Text Box: DYING GAUL 
Approximately 8 years ago my first writing on Dying Gaul appeared. Looking back now, I noticed how much my knowledge of Galatians has matured. Although my previous comments, in their entirety, still valid, the scientific part of my interest on the subject of Galatians is more dominant. Add the new information acquired meanwhile, revising the main body of this composition have now become a necessity. (October, 20 2006) 
Once upon a time in Bergama, Turkey, there was a statue in the temple of Athena. The name of the statue was “Dying Gaul.” In Turkish the name is “Yaralı Galat,” meaning “The Wounded Galatian.” The Turkish name was first used in the Turkish translation of Les Galates by Fernand Lequenne, translated by Dr. Suzan Albek. Without knowing it, I, too, intuitively mentioned the statue as “Yaralı Galat,” because the Turkish translation of “Dying Gaul” did not sound aesthetic to ear. In any case, according to the story, the statue was erected to the honor of Pergammon King Attalos I who defeated Galatians in a battle during the years 240-220 B.C. 

The oldest copy of the statue is of marble and is currently housed in the Museum of Capitolini in Rome, Italy. According to the story, the statue was discovered during an excavation for the construction of the Villa of Ludovisi in Rome. The statue was officially first listed as part of the Ludovisi collection in 1623. According to the claim, the original statue was made of bronze. Another claim is that the existing marble copy actually is the original statue. 
Currently, I, too, believe that the existing copy is the original statue.  The story about its rediscovery during an excavation may simply be a hoax, because it is common knowledge that many historical and religious artifacts of Turkey had been either taken by force or smuggled to West since the time of Galatians. In addition, its a common knowledge that the statues of the similar time frame were made of marble not bronze. A comparative chemical analysis of samples taken from Dying Gaul and from similar statues in the Pergammon region may reveal the truth about Dying Gaul. 
Following the plundering of Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797, the statue was taken to Paris and was returned to Italy and housed in Capitolini Museum in 1815. In my view, this event alone shows the importance, value and, even, the possibility of it being the original. Also rediscovery of the statue in almost perfect condition and parading the statue under different names such as Wounded Gladiator until the 20th century are all thought provoking. 
Today, various copies of the statue are exhibited in the USA, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, England and the Czech Republic. However, there is not a single copy in Turkey where it is the birthplace of the Dying Gaul. Wouldn’t it be nice if one of the fine arts schools oversees the re-making of a new Dying Gaul in Turkey? 

Dying Gaul reflects the sadness of a warrior following the loss of battle while sitting on his shield, resting on his right arm and bowing his head. There is trace of a bleeding battle wound on the right lower ribs of Dying Gaul. Anatomically, the wound is a result of either a punctured liver or a lower lung lobe. Either way, his remaining life is about 15 minutes. 
The most sensitive organ to a lack of oxygenation is the brain; delay of oxygen for more than 3 minutes to brain would result in accumulation of carbon dioxide that would act as sedation. As the brain prepares to shut down and the feel of pain subsides, the loss of consciousness ensues. The wounded Gaul is now a dying Gaul. 
It is hard to stay unaffected while looking at Dying Gaul’s body, head and his facial expression from various angles. His facial expression containing a certain depth is difficult to describe in words. His face contains details that are not seen in typical Hellenic or Roman sculptures, as if the artist had attempted to capture the Gaul’s innermost world and feelings as well as the reality of his situation.  It is hard to see expressions of feeling in other sculptures of similar time period.  Other Galatian sculptures made by Romans and Hellenes would normally carry certain facial and body features, such as softer and rounder rubenesque lines.  Dying Gaul’s face is quite different.  The statue does not really convey the celebration of Attalos’ victory but celebration of the Gaul.  Isn’t it?
    
Growing mustache only was a sign of barbarism according to the Hellenes, not unlike the modern European view of Turkish mustache.  Even today in Turkey, growing mustache, as opposed to growing beard, is considered a sign of manliness.  One can look at other Roman and Hellenic sculptures of males.  How many of them have shaven cheeks with only mustache on their face?  In short, Dying Gaul does not look like any of his contemporary statues of antiquity.
In a close-up view, one may see even more interesting details.  He has a symmetrical but an androgynous face.  His slightly protruding cheekbones are more pronounced with sunken cheeks.  His eyebrows are, although not thick, well delineated and crossed.  The composition of his facial muscles and mouth indicate that his thoughts are more concentrated on mental analysis, confusion and concern as opposed to feelings of anger.  His forehead is slightly sloped back.  His nose is sharply drawn but not too short or too long, perhaps with a strong bridge structure. 
The sculpture is single colored; it is not possible to justify whether he is blond, though many assume arbitrarily as such.  Although modern anthropology defines the human populations as cultural units – as they should have been – and moves away from ethnic summations, the layman’s attitude within us still reflects the old.  Therefore, in many Internet sites, Dying Gaul is paraded with a fanfare as a model of ancestral North European man.  A more serious ethnic comparison should also consider other physical characteristics as well.  Wondering how he would have looked, I darkened his hair (see below.)  In my view, he pretty much looks like a face one would come across in today’s Anatolia, modern Turkey.  Wouldn’t you agree?

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Historically, it is narrated that Celts bleached there hair blond using lime or dyed their in red. I also found a colorized blond version of Dying Gaul in an internet site, from a US University source. (see below) Which one of the colorized versions gives you the feeling of a more natural look? The decision is yours.

The Dying Gauls skull structure looks more mesocephalic then dolichocephalic. (see below) As seen from all of the above, the presumed Nordic characteristics of Dying Gaul are really open to argument rather than a close-and-shut case. 

I am hoping that these comparisons and documentation would help people of supposedly different cultures to understand and tolerate each other more while realizing that their roads crossed many many times in the past.  Today is merely a recurrence rather than an exception.  (Rev.1 12/31/1999, Rev.2 10/20/2006, Rev.3 10/2/2007, Rev.4, 10/7/2007)