Reconstruction drawing of the Daochos monument at Delphi

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Daochos Monument, east end of base (Daochos I to cutting for Apollo statue)

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Daochos Monument, west end of base (Sisyphos II to Agelaos)

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Daochos Monument, east end of base (Aknonios and cutting for Apollo statue)

Collection: Delphi Archaeological Museum
Title: Daochos Monument
Context: From Delphi
Findspot: Excavated at Delphi
Summary: Long rectangular base originally with nine statues
Object Function: Votive
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Multi-figure group
Category: Statuary group
Style: Late Classical
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 336 BC - ca. 332 BC
Region: Phocis
Period: Late Classical

Subject Description:

The Daochos Monument stood in the northeast corner of the terrace of the Temple of Apollo. It was a long, rectangular base, on which stood nine statues. On the front face of the base, beneath each of the statues except the one on the far right, was an epigram naming the person represented and listing, in most cases, his personal achievements. From these inscriptions we learn that the dedicator of the monument was a man named Daochos from Pharsalos, who was the delegate from Thessaly to the Amphictyonic Council. From other sources we know that his term ran from 337/6 to 333/2 BC. Presumably he erected this monument during his tenure at Delphi. From the inscriptions we also learn the location and relationship of the figures represented. Daochos II (so as to distinguish him from his grandfather of the same name, also represented) stood in the position second from the left end of the base. Next to him, on the end, was his son (Sisyphos II). On his other side, in generational order, were his father (Sisyphos I), grandfather (Daochos I), great-grandfather (Agias) and great-great-grandfather (Aknonios). In addition, two other family members of his great-grandfather's generation were represented, both athletes who had won crowns in the Pythian Games (Telemachos and Agelaos). Thus six generations in the direct family line (stretching back into the late 6th century), as well as two collateral ancestors whose achievements were directly tied to the sanctuary at Delphi, were represented.

All eight of the statues of the family members are at least partially preserved, six of them substantially so. Since the plinths of two of the statues were found still in the base and two others can be placed with certainty, the remaining four statues can be identified with a fair degree of accuracy by correlating the cuttings with the poses and other factors. The large cutting at the right end must have been for a statue of Apollo, to whom the monument was dedicated. The size and shallowness of the cutting suggest that the statue was seated. Themelis proposed that a seated statue of Apollo kitharodos, found at Delphi and restored from many fragments, be associated with this base. However, the association is not certain.

Soon after the first publication of the inscriptions in 1897, Preuner realized the epigram of Agias was nearly identical with a slightly longer inscription on a statue base at Pharsalos. At the bottom of the Pharsalos inscription was the name of Lysippos, presumably the sculptor of the statue which had stood on the base. Once the statue of Agias at Delphi was reunited with its base and its Lysippean qualities noted, it became apparent that the statue at Delphi probably was a copy of the one set up in Pharsalos. The original statue, like most of the works of Lysippos, was probably cast in bronze. It must have predated the statue in Delphi, although possibly not by many years.

After the initial discovery, the question of the originality of the other statues arose. Are any of them also copies of statues by Lysippos? Are they also copies of statues which stood in Pharsalos? There is no direct evidence for connecting any of the other statues with dedications in Pharsalos or with Lysippos. Analysis suggests a mixed bag of stylistic influence at work, and it is almost certain that the statues at Delphi were carved by more than one sculptor. However, it has been noticed that the statues of Agias, Telemachos and Agelaos appear to form a group within the group (see Adam 1966, 97ff.). They are naked, athletes, somewhat similar in style, set in adjacent positions on the base and include the only family members who are not in the direct line of descent. They are also works which could well have been conceived in bronze and easily cast, in contrast with some of the draped statues. Thus it has been hypothesized that prototypes of these three at least may have stood at Pharsalos and served as a core of the group when Daochos decided to commission a monument at Delphi to honor his ancestors and Apollo. In fact, however, the relationship between the Delphi dedication and any sculptures at Pharsalos remains unclear.

Date Description:

The dating of the monument is based on the date of Daochos' term as hieromnemon at Delphi, the title he carries in the inscription on the base. According to a recent slight shift of the chronology, he held that office during the years 337/6 to 333/2 (see Pouilloux in FdDelph 3.4, 136). This is the only known connection of Daochos with Delphi. Thus it is assumed that the monument was dedicated during this term.

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description:

The inscribed base is complete; it has been moved from its site on the temple terrace into the museum. Six of the eight statues representing the family of Daochos are substantially preserved. Condition varies considerably from statue to statue, e.g., Daochos II is represented by only the plinth and feet, and Telemachos only by the torso.


See under the entries for the individual statues.

Associated Building: Delphi, Monument of the Thessalians

Sources Used: GuideDelphMu 1991, 91ff.; Ridgway 1990a, 46ff.; Stewart 1990, 187; Themelis 1979, 507ff.; FdDelph 3.4, no. 460 (Pouilloux, 1976); Tsirivakos 1972, 70ff.; Dohrn 1968; Adam 1966, 97ff.; FdDelph 2.10, 67 ff.; Will 1938