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3.
Rheitos bridge decree
IG I3 79 Eleusis, Archaeological Museum E 958 422/21 Plate 2

Found in fortification wall near Greater Propylaia in Eleusis in 1887. Back and top rough-picked, sides smooth, bottom broken. Badly chipped taenia and cyma reversa above. Relief bordered below by taenia with first line of inscription and cyma reversa, together 0.09 wide. Surface uniformly weathered, with corrosion and red-brown iron stains. White, medium-grained marble. p.h. of stele 0.90, w. 0.53 (relief and inscription), 0.57 (top moulding), th. 0.10 (relief), 0.12 (inscription), relief h. 0.02, h. of letters 0.018.

The decree, dated to the first prytany of 422/21 by its secretary Prepis (lines 1-4), provides for the construction of a stone footbridge over one of the Rheitoi, the pair of lakes that stood at the border between Athens and Eleusis, to be constructed from blocks taken from the demolished Archaic Telesterion at Eleusis. The bridge formed part of the Sacred Way taken by Athenians going to Eleusis for initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The relief depicts Demeter, Kore, a young male probably to be identified as Triptolemos, and Athena, all standing on a ground line slightly raised above the moulding. Athena stands on the right. She wears a belted peplos, shoulder mantle, aegis with gorgoneion, and an Attic helmet. Her left arm is raised high to hold her spear, which was originally shown in paint. She looks toward the smaller male figure, who wears a himation. His left hand is raised with the fingers turned inward as though holding a slender object. His right hand crosses Athena's right hand but probably does not grasp it; the angle of their arms seems too low, the gesture too inconsequential for dexiosis. In age and gesture the youth resembles the male figure in the Great Eleusinian Relief (NM 126: L. Schneider, AntP 12 (1973) 103-22, pls. 31-41) and like him is often identified as Triptolemos holding once-painted stalks of grain. Triptolemos often appears with Demeter and Kore in votive reliefs of this period and is therefore a likely representative of their cult. Although he is almost always shown in his chariot (cf. no. 161), the stalks of grain would have been sufficient to identify him.

Further left stand Demeter and Kore, to whom the Rheitoi were said to be sacred (Paus. 1.38.1; Hesych. s.v. Rheitoi). Kore carries one torch cradled in her left arm and a second torch held upside down in her extended right hand. She wears a peplos and a himation. Demeter wears a belted peplos with unbelted overfall and a shoulder mantle, one end of which she holds up in her left hand. Figures very similar to these appear in contemporary votive reliefs (cf. the figures identified by inscription on a relief in the Catania Mus. Communale: Neumann, Weihreliefs pl. 32a) and may have been inspired by the figures of Demeter and Kore on the east frieze of the Nike Temple (Blümel, pl. 7, figs. 20, 21); cf. also no. 165. The style of the document relief is also closely comparable to that of the frieze; figures in both relief and frieze have the same clear distinction between the weight leg obscured by heavy folds and the free leg revealed by clinging cloth.

D. Philios, AM 19 (1894) 163-73, pl. 7; M. Ruhland, Eleusinischen Göttinnen (1901) 19-27, 40, pl. 2.1 (det.); Farnell III, 237, pl. 14; Matz, 56; SIG3 86; IG I2 81 and Add. p. 302; Kjellberg, 87, 89, 93, 120, 132-33, 137, 140, 144, pl. 12 no. 39; A. Hekler, JdI 42 (1927) 70-73, Beil. 2 to p. 71; Diepolder, 21; Binneboeßel, 4 no. 5, 20, 23, 28-31, 33-34, 37-38, 50; F. Poulsen, ActaA 3 (1932) 242-46, fig. 10; H. Speier, RM 47 (1932) 24-25, 90, pls. 8.1, 8.2 (dets.), 9.1; V. Müller, AJA 39 (1935) 250; K. Kourouniotes, Eleusis, Guide to the Excavations and Museum (1936) 85-86, frontispiece; Curtius, Antike Kunst, 237, 265, 315, 324, 428, fig. 410; Süsserott, 19 n. 27, 27 n. 5, 29, 32 n. 20, 33-34, 37 n. 33, 38 n. 39, 39, 45 n. 63, 54, 94-95, 130, 197 n. 4, 216; Picard II.2, 838; SEG 10.94; Lippold, 198 n. 6, pl. 73.3; Dohrn, 17, 21, 24, 26-29, 41; Hausmann, 41-42, pl. 20; G. Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries (1961) 84 n. 17, 193-94, fig. 69; F. Eckstein, AntP 4 (1965) 31, figs. 3-6 (casts); E. Berger, AntK 10 (1967) 85, pl. 24.2 (det.); B. D. Meritt and M. F. McGregor, Phoenix 21 (1967) 85-91; Schefold, Classical Greece, 111, 151, 158-59, 248 no. 30, app. pl. 30; Guarducci, 592-93, fig. 185; G. M. A. Richter, Sculptors and Sculpture of the Greeks4 (1970) 69, 255; Schmaltz, 22 n. 26, 23, 43; Hiller, 21-23, 27, 49, 54, 56, 62, fig. 23 (det.); Rauscher, 149-50; A. Peschlow-Bindokat, JdI 87 (1972) 112-13, 130-34, 150, fig. 34; Mitropoulou, Corpus I, 172-73 no. 9, fig. 83; K. Kanta, Eleusis: Myth, Mysteries, History, Museum (1979) 47 no. 5093, fig. 10; Neumann, Weihreliefs, 57; T. L. Shear, Jr., Studies in Athenian Architecture, Sculpture and Topography presented to Homer A. Thompson, Hesperia, Suppl. 20 (1982) 130-31, pl. 18b; LIMC II, 1013 no. 606, pl. 763, s.v. Athena (P. Demargne); J. Boardman, Greek Sculpture: the Classical Period (1985) 186-87, fig. 178; L.J. Roccos, AJA 90 (1986) 208; LIMC III, 378-79 no. 42, s.v. Demos (O. Alexandri-Tzachou); LIMC IV, 881 no. 446, s.v. Demeter (L. Beschi); Meyer, 266 A 5; SEG 36.13 and 137.

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