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It is a remarkable fact that the art of chasing gold should have conferred no celebrity upon any person, while that of embossing silver has rendered many illustrious. The greatest renown, however, has been acquired by Mentor, of whom mention has been made already.1 Four pairs [of vases] were all that were ever2 made by him; and at the present day, not one of these, it is said, is any longer in existence, owing to the conflagrations of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus and of that in the Capitol.3 Varro informs us in his writings that he also was in possession of a bronze statue, the work of this artist. Next to Mentor, the most admired artists were Acra- gas,4 Boëthus,5 and Mys.6 Works of all these artists are still extant in the Isle of Rhodes; of Boëthus, in the Temple of Minerva, at Lindus; of Acragas, in the Temple of Father Liber, at Rhodes, consisting of cups engraved with figures in relief of Centaurs and Bacchantes; and of Mys, in the same temple, figures of Sileni and Cupids. Representations also of the chase by Acragas on drinking cups were held in high estimation.

Next to these in repute comes Calamis.7 Antipater8 too, it has been said, laid, rather than engraved,9 a Sleeping Satyr upon a drinking-bowl.10 Next to these come Stratonicus11 of Cyzicus, and Tauriscus:12 Ariston13 also, and Eunicus,14 of Mytilene are highly praised; Hecatæus15 also, and, about the age of Pompeius Magnus, Pasiteles,16 Posidonius17 of Ephesus, Hedystratides18 who engraved battle-scenes and armed warriors, and Zopyrus,19 who represented the Court of the Areopa- gus and the trial of Orestes,20 upon two cups valued at twelve thousand sesterces. There was Pytheas21 also, a work of whose sold at the rate of ten thousand denarii for two ounces: it was a drinking-bowl, the figures on which represented Ulysses and Diomedes stealing the Palladium.22 The same artist engraved also, upon some small drinking-vessels, kitchen scenes,23 known as "magiriscia;"24 of such remarkably fine workmanship and so liable to injury, that it was quite impossible to take copies25 of them. Teucer too, the inlayer,26 enjoyed a great reputation.

All at once, however, this art became so lost in point of excellence, that at the present day ancient specimens are the only ones at all valued; and only those pieces of plate are held in esteem the designs on which are so much worn that the figures cannot be distinguished.

Silver becomes tainted by the contact of mineral waters, and of the salt exhalations from them, as in the interior of Spain, for instance.

1 In B. vii. c. 39, and in Chapter 53 of this Book.

2 "Quatuor paria ab eo omnino facta sunt." Sillig, in his Dictionary of Ancient Artists, finds a difficulty in this passage. "The term 'omnino' seems to imply that the productions in question, all of which perished, were the only works executed by this artist; but we find several passages of ancient writers, in which vases, &c. engraved by Mentor, are mentioned as extant. Thus, then, we must conclude, either that the term 'omnino' should be understood in the sense of 'chiefly,' 'pre-eminently,' or that the individuals claiming to possess works of Mentor, were themselves misinformed, or endeavoured to deceive others." If, however, we look at the word "paria" in a strictly technical sense, the difficulty will probably be removed. Pliny's meaning seems to be that Mentor made four pairs, and no more, of some peculiar kind of vessel probably, and that all these pairs were now lost. He does not say that Mentor did not make other works of art, in single pieces. Thiersch, Act. Acad. Monac. v. p. 128, expresses an opinion that the word "omnino" is a corruption and that in it lies concealed the name of the kind of plate that is meant.

3 See B. vii. c. 39.

4 His age and country are unknown.

5 From Pausanias we learn that he was a statuary and engraver on plate, born at Carthage; but Raoul Rochette thinks that he was a native of Chalcedon. He is mentioned also by Cicero, In Verrem, 4. 14, and in the Culex, 1. 66, ascribed by some to Virgil.

6 His country is uncertain. According to the statements of Pausanias, B. i. c. 28, he must have been a contemporary of Phidias, about Olymp. 84, B.C. 444. He is mentioned also by Propertius, Martial, and Statius.

7 His birth-place is unknown, but he probably lived about the time of Phidias, and we learn from Pausanias that he was living when the plague ceased at Athens, in B.C. 429. He is mentioned also by Cicero, Ovid, Quintilian, Lucian, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

8 Nothing further is known of this artist.

9 "Collocavisse verius quam cælasse."

10 "Phiala."

11 He lived probably about Olymp. 126; but his country is unknown. He is mentioned by Athenæus. See also B. xxxiv. c. 19.

12 Nothing whatever is known of him, unless indeed he is identical with the Tauriscus mentioned in B. xxxvi. c. 5.

13 Nothing is known of his age or country. He is also mentioned in B. xxxiv. c. 19.

14 His age and country are unknown. See B. xxxiv. c.19.

15 Nothing further is known of him. See B. xxxiv. c. 19.

16 See the end of this Book.

17 Beyond the mention made of him in B. xxxiv. c. 19, no particulars relative to him are known.

18 Other readings of this name are "Lædus Stratiotes," "Ledis Thracides," "Hieris Thracides," and "Lidistratices." The Bamberg MS. has "Hedys Trachides." Salmasius, Hardouin, and Sillig propose "Leostratides," and Thiersch "Lysistratides."

19 Nothing further is known of him.

20 For the murder of his mother Clytæmnestra.

21 Nothing is known of this artist.

22 From Troy.

23 "Coquos," literally, "cooks."

24 "Cooks in miniature."

25 By the process of moulding, probably.

26 "Crustarius." Of this artist nothing further is known.

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