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Decree of the deme Acharnai concerning the sanctuary of Ares and Athena Areia
21.519 Athens, École française Inv. I 6 3rd q. 4th c. Plate 76

Two joining fragments, discovered in Attica in 1932, exact provenance unknown. Acquired in 1932 by L. Robert, shortly thereafter by l'École française. All of top, most of both edges preserved, broken along bottom of inscription, back set into modern wall. Relief bordered by 0.05 wide antae, above by single course with first line of heading and pediment with akroteria. Horizontal sima inscribed ΘΕΟΙ. Traces of paint on pediment: egg and dart on ovolo, solid colour in pediment. Paint on relief: blue background, red shield and cuirass of Ares. Surface corroded, covered with brown iron stain. White, medium-grained marble. p.h. 0.73, h. of relief (panel only) 0.265, w. 0.39 (top), 0.42 (bottom), 0.435 (pediment), th. (before set into wall, according to Robert) 0.065 (top), 0.06 (bottom), relief h. 0.004, h. of letters 0.004-0.006 (line 1), 0.009 (line 2), 0.006 (lines 3ff.).

The decree of the deme Acharnai concerns the construction of altars to Ares and Athena Areia at their sanctuary in Acharnai, which is where the stele was probably originally set up; no. 177, which was found with it, was dedicated by the priest of the sanctuary. The relief depicts Athena crowning Ares, who is shown in hoplite armour (cf. nos. 125, reportedly found in Acharnai, and no. 139, from Athens, which probably also depict Ares). There are at least two parallels in document reliefs for the motif of deities or personifications crowning others of their rank (nos. 38, 133). Athena stands on the right and turns slightly toward the left. She wears a short-sleeved chiton, peplos, aegis with gorgoneion, and an Attic helmet. With her right hand she places a crown on Ares' head. Her left hand rests on the rim of her shield. Ares is a beardless figure of the same scale who turns slightly toward Athena. He wears a short chiton, cuirass, and a chlamys draped over both shoulders, and he once held a painted spear in his raised right hand. His left hand rests on his shield.

The tall, slim, high-waisted figures, the flat, unrevealing drapery with its straight, sharply etched folds, the coarse featured heads, and the flat frame of the relief are characteristic of a number of document reliefs from the third quarter of the fourth century (cf. nos. 36, 38, 145-148). The figure types particularly resemble those of the relief of 340/39 honouring Phokinos, Nikandros, and Dexippos (no. 36), but the clear differences in the quality of the two reliefs suggest a workshop relationship rather than the presence of a single hand. The Athena, however, is so close to the Athena of no. 144 that the two reliefs may have been the work of the same sculptor.

L. Robert, Études épigraphiques et philologiques (1938) 293-96, pl. 1; Tod II, 204; M. Guarducci, RivFil 39 (1961) 63 n. 6; Picard IV.2, 1256 n. 2 on p. 1257, 1262 n. 6 on p. 1263, fig. 493; G. Daux, Charesterion A. K Orlandos A (1965) 87-90, pls. 3, 4; SEG 21.519; E. B. Harrison, AJA 71 (1967) 53; Frel, Les sculpteurs anonymes, 35 no. 213, pl. 23; Schmaltz, 33 n. 45; B. Holtzmann, BCH 96 (1972) 73-79, figs. 1, 2; Thompson and Wycherley, Agora XIV: The Agora of Athens (1972) 165; Harrison, ‘Eponymous Heroes’, 77; U. Kron, AM 94 (1979) 51 n. 9; LIMC II, 483 no. 65, s.v. Ares (P. Bruneau), 1013 no. 610, pl. 365, s.v. Athena (P. Demargne); SEG 34.104; Meyer, 304 A 137, pl. 41.2; I. Beck, Ares in Vasenmalerei, Relief und Rundplastik (1984), 92-3, 101-2, 106-7, 114, 126-7.

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