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Monument of Lysicrătes

One of the most graceful relics of Greek antiquity, raised in memory of a victory in the dramatic contests won by Lysicrates when he was choregus (see Chorus) in B.C. 334. From a slender square basement, 12 feet high by 9 feet wide, rises a small but elegant round temple. Six engaged Corinthian columns surround its circular wall and support the entablature, on the frieze of which there is a delicate and life-like representation of a scene in the legend of Dionysus —the changing of the Tyrrhenian pirates into dolphins, for having by mistake laid hands on the god. Over the entablature is a flat dome made of a single block of marble, and from the centre of the roof rises a finial of acanthus leaves, formerly crowned by the tripod which was the prize of victory. The monument is 35 feet high, and the diameter of the inside is about 6 feet. The reliefs of the frieze are of great value, as they belong to the new Attic school of Scopas and Praxiteles. According to a tradition (which is without foundation) that Demosthenes used to study here, the monument used to be called the Lantern of Demosthenes—a name familiar to Michael Acominatos, in the second half of the twelfth century (Gregorovius, Mirabilien der Stadt Athen, p. 357). The true name was first restored by Transfeldt about 1674 (id. Athen im Mittelalter, ii. 357). See Perry's Greek and Roman Sculpture, pp. 473-475.

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