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A 2,000-Year-Old Golden Horse Head Suggests Romans

The sculpture fragment suggests Romans lived peacefully alongside Germans until a decisive defeat at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest

Some 2,000 years ago, a monumental bronze sculpture of the Roman emperor Augustus and his trusted steed welcomed visitors to the central marketplace of Waldgirmes, an ancient settlement near modern-day Frankfurt, Germany. Made of bronze covered in gold leaf and weighing an estimated 900 pounds, the equestrian statue was an imposing presence in the newly annexed province. It reminded viewers of imperial might with symbols like the Roman war god Mars affixed onto the horse’s bridle.