One can always spot an emperor by his haircut
Brand recognition is nothing new; the use of image as an immediately identifiable expression of the power of the state was one perfected by the Roman emperors.
Today heads of state have a standard image: identical portraits of Queen Elizabeth II look down on courtrooms and public offices from Canada to the Cook Islands, from Australia to Antigua; of the President of the United States from Alaska to Hawaii. Similarly at the peak of the Roman Empire, citizens and slaves alike would recognise the same portrait of the emperor from Spain to Syria, from Scotland to the Sahara. Like so much which is unmistakably Roman (gladiators, wine, the Colosseum) it was an idea borrowed from the Greek world. [...]