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orgeones of Aphrodite honour Serapion of Herakleia
AM 66
(1941) 228 no. 4 Athens, NM 3876 138/37 Plate 32

Three fragments found in Athens in 1933, in work on Leoforos Syngrou near Church of Hagios Sostos. Top, both edges preserved, back rough-picked. Considerable part of relief missing between two joining top fragments and fragment with bottom of relief and inscription. In back, two large, round holes, 0.08 diam., 0.04 deep, probably for reuse of stone. Relief bordered by architectural frame consisting of 0.055-0.06 wide antae supporting 0.06 wide taenia and 0.12 high pediment with akroteria. Relief somewhat worn, chipped, with accretions on upper fragment. Grey, medium-grained marble. p.h. (as restored) 0.82, w. 0.54 (top), 0.525 (bottom), th. 0.12 (top), 0.13 (bottom), relief h. 0.015, h. of letters 0.005-0.007.

The decree of the orgeones of Aphrodite honours their epimeletes Serapion for his service to the cult and to the demos of the Athenians. It is securely dated to the archonship of Timarchos, 138/37 (line 1). The stele was to have been set up in the sanctuary of Aphrodite (lines 19-20).

The figure on the right side of the relief is larger than the other figures and thus probably Aphrodite; only her legs and a trace of the top of her head are preserved. She turns toward the left and in her left hand holds a sceptre, apparently resting on her shoulder. The two figures on the left are slightly smaller in scale and therefore probably mortals, Serapion and his wife or perhaps a priestess. Serapion, who wears a wreath, is a portrait of a middle-aged man with a round face, large nose, and short, curly hair. The female figure wears a peplos or chiton and a mantle pulled up over the back of her head like a veil. She appears to raise her right hand almost to her chin. In the centre of the relief is an altar and behind it a pillar supporting a very small figure, intended as a statue in the distance. The figure turns toward the right and holds a crown or phiale in her extended right hand. In her left hand she holds a spear. She wears a chiton, himation, and diagonally draped aegis. Perched beside her on the pillar is a small bird or animal.

The individualization of the honorand and the suggestion of deep space in the distant pillar reflect Hellenistic interest in portraiture and the depiction of illusionistic space in relief.

N. Kyparissis and W. Peek, AM 66 (1941) 228-32 no. 4, pls. 75, 76; J. and L. Robert, REG 55 (1942) 329; G. Daux, Hesperia 16 (1947) 55 - 57; W. S. Ferguson, Commemorative Studies in Honor of Theodore Leslie Shear, Hesperia, Suppl. 8 (1949) 163; Meyer, 316 C 3.

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