The statue is the double portrait of the two most famous Greek historians, Herodotus (ca. 484—424 BC) and Thukydides (ca. 460—400 BC). Their names are engraved in Greek upon the lower part of the herm. Herodotus is shown as a middle-aged man, with a high forehead and an investigative gaze. Thukydides, also in his fifties, is shown with receding hair, a frown, and a short beard. These kinds of double busts became popular in the early Roman Imperial period. They usually stood in rich Roman villas, declaring the classical education of their owners.