"What has happened, I wonder, to all those thousands of busts and portraits, which once adorned so many private houses and public buildings? Can they really all have been smashed and burned?"
The Romans decorated their homes and public buildings with statues, paintings and mosaics, much influenced by the Classical Greek and Hellenistic art of the past. They were particularly fond of busts of their family and ancestors, a chance to display and show off good family connections, wealth and a proud lineage. Tiro wonders if these can all have been smashed and burned, referring to the riots, political upheaval and general chaos of the last years of the Republic.