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Scopas

Σκόπας).


1.

An Aetolian, who held a leading position among his countrymen at the period of the outbreak of the war with Philip and the Achaeans (B.C. 220). He commanded the Aetolian army in the first year of the war; and he is mentioned again as general of the Aetolians, when the latter people concluded an alliance with the Romans to assist them against Philip (211 B.C.) (Livy, xxxvi. 24). After the close of the war with Philip, Scopas and Dorimachus were appointed to reform the Aetolian constitution (204 B.C.). Scopas had only undertaken the charge from motives of personal ambition; on finding himself disappointed in this object, he withdrew to Alexandria. Here he was received with the utmost favour by the ministers of the young king, Ptolemy V., and appointed to the chief command of the army against Antiochus the Great. At first he was successful, but was afterwards defeated by Antiochus at Panium, and reduced to shut himself up within the walls of Sidon, where he was ultimately compelled by famine to surrender (Joseph. Ant. xii. 3.3). Notwithstanding this ill success he continued in high favour at the Egyptian court; but having formed a plot in 296 to obtain by force the chief administration of the kingdom, he was arrested and put to death (Polyb. xiii. 1; xvi. 18, 39).


2.

A distinguished sculptor, a native of Paros, who appears to have belonged to a family of artists in that island. He flourished from B.C. 395 to 350. He was probably somewhat older than Praxiteles, with whom he stands at the head of that second period of perfected art which is called the Later Attic School (in contradistinction to the Earlier Attic School of Phidias), and which arose at Athens after the Peloponnesian War. Scopas was an architect and a statuary as well as a sculptor. He was the architect of the Temple of Athené Alea at Tegea, in Arcadia, which was commenced soon after B.C. 394. He was one of the artists employed in executing the bas-reliefs that decorated the frieze of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Caria. A portion of these bas-reliefs are now deposited in the British Museum. Among the single statues and groups of Scopas, the best known in modern times is his group of figures representing the destruction of the sons and daughters of Niobé. In Pliny's time the statues stood in the Temple of Apollo Sosianus (Pliny, xxxvi. 28). The remaining statues of this group, or copies of them, are all in the Florence Gallery, with the exception of the so-called Ilioneus at Munich, which some suppose to have belonged to the group. There is a head of Niobé in the collection of Lord Yarborough, which has some claim to be considered as the original. But the most esteemed of all the works of Scopas, in antiquity, was his group which stood in the shrine of Cn. Domitius in the Flaminian Circus, representing Achilles conducted to the island of Leucé by the divinities of the sea. It consisted of figures of Poseidon, Thetis, and Achilles, surrounded by Nereids, and attended by Tritons, and by an assemblage of sea monsters. See the monograph by Urlichs (1863); Perry, Greek and Roman Sculpture, pp. 378 foll. (1882); and the article Statuaria Ars.

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