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The Peloponnese: The Polykleitan School

Pliny, N.H. 34.50 and Paus. 5.17.4 (T 93) and Paus. 6.13.7 name nine direct pupils of Polykleitos, and though T 1 gives a floruit of 396-393 for several of them, it is clear that the school was already active during the Peloponnesian War: Antiphanes of Argos, a second-generation member (T 93) both made a Trojan Horse for the Argives shortly after 414, and collaborated with at least five fellow-disciples and several outsiders on the school's first major commission, Lysander's great monument at Delphi for his naval victory at Aigospotamoi in 405:

“Opposite [the Tegean dedication] are the Spartan offerings from the spoils of their victory over the Athenians: the Dioskouroi, Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, and beside these Poseidon, Lysander son of Aristokritos (who is being crowned by Poseidon), Agias, who was Lysander's soothsayer at the time, and Hermon the pilot of Lysander's ship. This statue of Hermon was made, as one might expect, by Thekosmas of Megara because Hermon had been enrolled as citizen of that city. The Dioskouroi were made by Antiphanes of Argos, the soothsayer by Pison from Kalaureia, which belongs to Troezen. As for Athenodoros and Dameas, the latter made the Poseidon, Artemis, and Lysander, while Athenodoros made the Apollo and Zeus. These two were Arkadians from Kleitor.

Behind the works just described are statues of those who, whether Spartans or Spartan allies, assisted Lysander at Aigospotamoi [405]. These are Arakos and Erianthes, the first a Spartan, Erianthes a Boiotian . . . [lacuna] . . . above Mimas, whence came Astykrates; Kephisokles, Hermophantos, and Hikesios of Chios, Timarchos and Diagoras of Rhodes, Theodamos of Knidos, Kimmerios of Ephesos, and Aiantides of Miletos. Tisander made these, but the next were made by Alypos of Sikyon: Theopompos of Myndos, Kleomedes of Samos, the two Euboians Aristokles of Karystos and Antonomos of Eretria, Aristophantos of Corinth, Apollodoros of Troezen, and Dion from Epidauros in the Argolid. Next to these come Axionikos, an Achaian from Pellene, Theares from Hermione, Phyrrias of Phokia, Komon of Megara, Agasimenes of Sikyon, Telykrates of Leukas, Pythodotos of Corinth, and Euantidas of Ambrakia; last come the Spartans Epikydidas and Eteonikos. They say that these are the works of Patrokles and Kanachos.

The Athenians refuse to admit that they were fairly beaten at Aigospotamoi . . ..

Some of the bases of these statues are extant. Another dedication, of tripods with statues beneath, was put up at Amyklai; this joined earlier votives from the Messenian wars, the work of Gitiadas of Sparta (commentary to T 24), another by Kalon of Aegina, and Bathykles' throne (T 23):

“The older tripods are said to be a tithe of the Messenian War. Under the first stood an image of Aphrodite, and under the second an Artemis; these and the reliefs [on the tripods] are by Gitiadas, but the third is by Kallon of Aigina; Kore, daughter of Demeter, stands under it. Aristandros of Paros and Polykleitos of Argos made, respectively, the woman with the lyre, supposedly Sparta, and the Aphrodite "beside the Amyklaian." These tripods are larger than the others, and were dedicated from the spoils of the victory at Aigospotamoi.

Aristandros was probably Skopas' father (see T 112-15, below), and Polykleitos is probably not the school's founder but his younger namesake (cf. T 87), who was still active around 350, making victor-statues and cult images (for Megalopolis, founded in 369: Paus. 8.31.4), and perhaps also designing the tholos and theater at Epidauros (Paus. 2.27.5). This Polykleitos apparently belonged to a semi-independent branch of the School, whose filial and master-pupil relationships are extremely complicated: cf. Arnold 1969, 6-17; Linfert, in Beck 1990, 240-43. Aside from him, the other important names are his two brothers Naukydes and Daidalos, and Antiphanes' pupil Kleon of Sikyon (T 93), all of whose careers extended at least into the second quarter of the fourth century, and Kleon's perhaps beyond that. A list of Naukydes' known works gives some idea of their output, which was heavily biased toward Olympic victor-statues, and almost exclusively in bronze:

  • Hebe in the Argive Heraion, in chryselephantine (T 63
  • Hekate at Argos
  • Hermes
  • Phrixos sacrificing the ram, on the Akropolis
  • The poetess Erinna of Lesbos, later taken to Rome (T 136
  • The wrestler Cheimon of Argos, at Olympia
  • The same, at Argos, later taken to Rome
  • The wrestler Baukis of Troezen, at Olympia
  • The boxer Eukles of Rhodes, at Olympia (T 87
  • A diskobolos
Though a bronze statuette in Malibu and the Capitoline diskobolos type have been linked with (4) and (10), we in fact know almost nothing about any of these works beyond their bare subject-matter; for the School was all but ignored by the ancient critics, leaving only Pausanias' laconic descriptions and Pliny's even briefer lists to enlighten us. The following is a typical citation:

“Next [at Olympia] comes a statue of Eukles, son of Kallianax, a Rhodian of the house of the Diagoridai. For he was the son of Diagoras' daughter, and won an Olympic victory in the boxing-match for men [400]. His statue is by Naukydes, while Polykleitos of Argos, not the man who made the image of Hera but a pupil of Naukydes, made the statue of the boy wrestler Agenor of Thebes. This was dedicated by the Phokian Commonwealth, for Theopompos, Agenor's father, was honorary consul for their nation.

Yet whereas attributions to individuals seem all but hopeless, a number of types may be plausibly ascribed to the School as such; some are comparatively small, roughly equaling the normal height of classical males (1.70m). Suggestively in this context, Olympic rules apparently forbade "heroic" scale victor-statues in the Altis. The main types, listed in their approximate chronological order (cf. Arnold 1969; Linfert, in Beck 1990, 243-92) are as follows: the "Pan", Dresden youth, "Narkissos", Berlin-Pitti Hermes, Capitoline Diskobolos, Capelli-Kyrene youth, Conservatori runner, Vatican oil pourer, armed ("Epidauros") Aphrodite, Richelieu Hermes, "Centocelle" Apollo, and Barberini Hermes. There are also a few small bronzes (including the Getty Phrixos, above), and one original statue from around 350, the Antikythera Perseus (Athens, NM Br. 13396; Stewart 1990, fig. 550). The well-known Idolino, long considered to be another original, most probably belongs among that array of neo-Polykleitan types invented in Roman times to serve as lamp-holders and the like: cf. Zanker 1974; Wünsche 1972; and Hallett 1983.


Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 1: 2422 (Robert, 1894); 4: 2006-07 (Robert, 1901); 11: 720-22 (Lippold, 1921); 16: 1966-67 (Lippold, 1935); 21: 1719-22 (Lippold, Fabricius, 1952); Furtwängler 1895/1964, 223-26, 262-92; ThB 1: 559-60 (Amelung, 1907); 8: 283-84 (Amelung, 1913); 20: 482-83 (Bieber, 1927); 25: 359-60 (Bieber, 1931); 27: 229-30 (Bieber, Weickert, 1933); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 2): (Picard/Manuel) 644-61; 1948, 254-322; Lippold 1950, 199-200, 216-19, 247-48; EAA 1: 437 (Mustilli, 1958); 2: 989-90 (Cressedi, 1959); 4: 371 (1961); 5: 362-65 (Conticello, 1963); 6: 297-98 (Zancani-Montuoro, 1965); EWA 11: 144, 146, 158-59 (Paribeni, 1958), 435-38 (Martin, 1958); Bieber 1961b, 10-12; Arnold 1969; M. Robertson 1975, 328, 387, 396-97, 409, 475; Beck 1990, 240-97 (Linfert); Stewart 1990, 168-71, 186, 272-73.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 978-1013; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 86-93, 95-96; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 131-38, 190-93; Marcadé 1953, 3, 5-6, 22-24, 60-61; Moretti 1957; P.E. Arias 1964 nos. 53-106; Pollitt 1990, 79-81, 106, 195.

(C) Individual works: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 34; Bommelaer 1971; Borbein 1973, 63-65, 77-79, 200-204; Vierneisel-Schlorb 1979, 198-213; Despinis 1981; Landwehr 1985, 100-02, nos. 59-62; Habicht 1985, 71-75.


The sculptors of the temple of Asklepios at Epidauros

For the sculptures, datable to ca. 380, see Stewart 1990, figs. 455-65: East akroterion (Athens, NM 162); West akroterion, Nike with partridge (Athens, NM 155); West akroterion, Aura (Athens, NM 156); West akroterion, Aura (Athens, NM 157); East pediment, Priam (Athens, NM 144); East pediment, lunging youth (Athens, NM 148); West pediment, Penthesilea (Athens, NM 136); West pediment, Achilles (Athens, NM 4757); West pediment, Amazon and Greek (Athens, NM 4752); West pediment, dead Greek (Athens, NM L. 91); West pediment, dead Greek (Athens, NM 4492); the following are the relevant lines of the building accounts:

“Timotheos took up the contract to work and supply typoi, for 900 drs.; his guarantor was Pythokles. Thrasymedes took up the contract for the ceiling, the cella door, and the gates between the columns, for 9,800 drs.; his guarantors were Pythokles, Theopheides, and Hagemon. Hektoridas took up the contract to work one wing of the pediment, for 1,610 drs.; his guarantors were Philokleidas and Timokleidas. Timotheos took up the contract for the akroteria over the other pediment, for 2,240 drs.; his guarantors were Pythokles and Hagemon. Theo [. . . .] took up the contract for the akroteria over the other pediment, for 2,240 drs.; his guarantor was Theoxenidas. [. . . .] took up the contract for the pediment sculptures over the other pediment, for 3,010 drs.; his guarantor was Theoxenidas. To Hektoridas, for the sculptures in the other wing of the pediment, 1,400 drs. To Hektoridas, for a model of the encaustic painting of the lions' heads, 16 drs. 1/2 obol.

IG 421 no. 102 (lines 34-35, 43-46, 87-90, 95-100, 109-10, 303)
The sculpture contracts proceed in zigzag fashion from one façade to the other, though which comes first remains controversial: see below.

Of the sculptors, Theo[.....] may be Theodoros the architect of the temple, and Hektoridas signed a free-standing dedication in the sanctuary (IG 421 no. 695), but like the Erechtheion carvers both are mere names. Thrasymedes son of Arignotos of Paros is slightly better documented, for he made the temple's chryselephantine cult statue (elsewhere inevitably attributed to Pheidias):

“The image of Asklepios is half the size of that of the Olympian Zeus at Athens, and is made of ivory and gold. An inscription says that it was made by Thrasymedes son of Arignotos of Paros. The god is seated on a throne and holds a staff in one hand; his other hand is above the head of the serpent, and a dog lies by his side. On the throne are wrought the exploits of Argive heroes: Bellerophon against the Chimaira, and Perseus carrying off the head of Medusa.

A new fragment of an inscription hitherto identified as the accounts for this statue (SEG 15.208; Burford 1966, no. 2; 1969, 59-61) now shows that it actually refers to the incubation-building or enkoimaterion of the sanctuary: Mitsos 1967. Here Thrasymedes appears only as a hardware-supplier, but elsewhere he emerges as an extremely versatile carpenter and metalworker, able to turn his hand to a ceiling, a grille, a bronze statue (IG 421 no. 198) or a chryselephantine one, as required. Krause 1972 has identified a replica of this cult image in Copenhagen from representations on Epidaurian coins (cf. M. Price 1977, fig. 355).

Finally, Timotheos. His typoi are problematic: since the basic meaning of this word is "mold-made image," they may refer to models for the pediments, but this is by no means certain, and other interpretations have been suggested. His other documented works, which extend his career to at least ca. 360, are:

  • Artemis in marble, later in Rome (T 90
  • Asklepios/Hippolytos in Troezen
  • Akrolithic Ares in Halikarnassos, attributed by some to Leochares
  • "Athletes, soldiers, hunters, and priests sacrificing" (or a selection from this list), in bronze
  • Marble sculptures on the south side of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos, attributed by some to Praxiteles (T 107-8
Upon this somewhat uncertain foundation, Schlörb 1964 constructs a major personality to bridge the eras of the Nike temple parapet and the Mausoleum; though her account of the Asklepieion sculptures themselves must be modified in the light of recent discoveries and joins, it does seem that whereas the drapery styles of the western pediment and akroteria are somewhat different, those of the east end seem fairly compatible: cf. M. Robertson 1975, 401. Her suggestion that the western set are therefore to be attributed to Hektoridas and Theo[.....] respectively (T 88, lines 87, 95, 109) and the eastern to Timotheos (line 88) is thus attractive but because of the damage to line 96 remains unprovable. As she affirms, a Hygieia from Epidauros and a Leda known in over two dozen copies are closely related to this style, though both are unattested in the literary sources. Her other attributions, particularly the Pastoret head (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 438; Stewart 1990, fig. 481), the Rospigliosi Athena, and certain pieces from the Mausoleum, are rather less compelling. As for the works mentioned in the sources, only the Artemis (2) has been positively identified, thanks to a note in Pliny:

“In the temple of Apollo on the Palatine at Rome stands a Diana by Timotheus, the head of which has been restored by Avianius Evander.

Pliny, N.H. 36.32
Encouraged by N.H. 36.24 and 25, mentioning an Apollo of Skopas and a Leto of Kephisodotos (II) in the same shrine, and by Propertius' extended description of the complex, dedicated by Augustus in 27 (Prop. 2.31), scholars have recognized the trio on an early imperial relief from Sorrento (most recently, Zanker 1988, fig. 186); yet though copies of the central Apollo survive, the two flanking figures have apparently left no other trace.

Select bibliography: (A) The temple: Crome 1951; Schlörb 1965, 1-35; BCH 90 (1966): 783-85; Stewart 1977a, 87-89; Yalouris 1977 and Yalouris 1986.

(B) The sculptors (general): RE 7: 2818-19 (Pfuhl, 1912); 5.A: 55 (Anger, 1934); 6.A: 594-95, 1363-65 (Lippold, 1936, 1937); ThB 16: 322 (1926); 32: 600 (Züchner, 1938); 33: 105, 599-600 (Bieber, 1939); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 3): (Picard/Manuel) 214-23, 322-87; Lippold 1950, 219-22, 230; EWA 11: 144, 146 (Paribeni, 1958); EAA 3: 1133 (Marziani, 1960); 7: 814-15, 838-39 (Moreno, 1966), 862-65 (Vlad Borelli, 1966); Schlörb 1965; Richter 1970d, 213-17, 219-20; M. Robertson 1975, 397-402, 448, 459, 461; Stewart 1990, 59-60, 170-71, 180-82, 273-74.

(C) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 853-54 1160, 1177-78, 1307, 1328-30; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 174-78, 186; IG 42 1 no. 102; SEG 25.208; Burford 1966 nos. 1-2; Mitsos 1967; Burford 1969; Pollitt 1974, 274, 284-86, 292; Pollitt 1990, 104-05, 195-98.

(D) Attributions, etc.: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 43; Schlörb 1965; Künzl 1968, 12-16; Künzl 1969; Krause 1972; Rieche 1978; Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979, 248-51; Zanker 1988, 240-41.

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