Collection: Athens, Acropolis Museum
Title: Relief from an honorary (?) decree
Context: From Athens
Findspot: Found at Athens, Akropolis, in front of the east facade of the Parthenon (Athens, Acropolis 2552a) and in a large Turkish cistern (Athens, Acropolis 2552)
Object Function: Honorary?
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Separated fragments
Style: High Classical
Technique: Low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 420 BC - ca. 410 BC
Dimensions: D. (relief) 0.013Athens, Acropolis 2552: P.H. 0.195 m; P.W. 0.235 m; Th. 0.09 mAthens, Acropolis 2552a: P.H. 0.175 m; P.W. 0.18 m; Th. 0.12 m; P.H. (stele) 0.22 m
Scale: Miniature (pictorial field)
Region: Attica
Period: High Classical


Subject Description:

A male figure, probably Hermes (missing above waist and below calves), standing profile to the right, with his weight on his right leg, and his left leg relaxed, wearing a chlamys draped over his left arm and down his back, hangs his right arm at his side, and extends his left hand slightly forward, in which he probably held a painted kerykeion (?); a smaller figure (preserved from mid-chest to knees), standing near profile to the right, with weight on her (?) left leg, her right leg relaxed, wearing a himation draped over her (?) left shoulder and around her lower body, over a short-sleeved chiton, raises her left hand (left arm bent at waist, hand broken off) to the right, and reaches her right hand forward at waist level (broken at the wrist) to the right, to accept a crown (?) from the next figure (missing, perhaps Aphrodite, as suggested by Lawton 1995; a female figure, perhaps Boule, standing 3/4-view to the left (preserved above the waist), wearing a belted peplos, a himation draped down her back and veiled over her head, and a stephane, holds her veil in an anakalypsis gesture (cf. Aphrodite in Lawton 1995, no. 68) over her right shoulder with her right hand, and holds her left hand at her side (?, arm broken at elbow).

The identification of the female figure at the right as Boule (suggested originally by Walter 1923, 4) has been doubted by Lawton 1995, 120, who prefers to see her as Aphrodite, as she is a goddess often associated with Hermes in cult.

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description: Two non-joining fragments, currently reconstructed with plaster separation, preserving both vertical edges and part of the top; back and top rough picked; surface well-preserved, with some scratches and brown and white adhesions (including modern plaster); vertical edges smooth; modern dowel hole (diam. ca. 0.02 m; D. ca. 0.055 m) in the center of the bottom of each fragment.

Material Description: White, fine- to medium-grained marble

Inscription: Above the relief, a moulding (H. 0.045 m), extending 0.02 beyond the stele in front and side, comprised of a taenia (H. 0.025 m) inscribed [...]*O*N*T*O*S (L.H. 0.012 m), above a beveled ovolo.

Inscription Bibliography: Athens, Acropolis 2552a: IG 1.3, 191

Sources Used: Lawton 1995, 120 no. 77, pl. 41 (with previous bibliography).