previous next


2. Of the younger Polycleitus of Argos very little is known, doubtless because his fame was eclipsed by that of his more celebrated namesake, and, in part, contemporary. The chief testimony respecting him is a passage of Pausanias, who says that the statue of Agenor of Thebes, an Olympic victor in the boys' wrestling, was made by "Polycleitus of Argos, not the one who made the statue of Hera, but the pupil of Naucydes" (Paus. 6.6.1. s. 2). Now Naucydes flourished between B. C. 420 and 400; so that Polycleitus must be placed about B. C. 400. With this agrees the statement of Pausanias, that Polycleitus made the bronze tripod and statue of Aphrodite, at Amyclae, which the Lacedaemonians dedicated out of the spoils of the victory of Aegospotami (Paus. 3.18.5. s. 8); for the age of the elder Polycleitus cannot be brought down so low as this. Mention has been made above of the statue of Zeus Philis, at Megalopolis, among the works of the elder Polycleitus. Some, however, refer it to the younger, and take it as a proof that he was still alive after the building of Megalopolis, in B. C. 370; but this argument is in no way decisive, for it is natural to suppose that many of the statues which adorned Megalopolis were carried thither by the first settlers. To this artist also we should probably refer the passage of Pausanias (2.22.8), in which mention is made of a bronze statue of Hecate by him at Argos, and from which we learn too that Polycleitus was the brother of his instructor Naucydes. [NAUCYDES.] He also was probably the maker of the mutilated statue of Alcibiades, mentioned by Dio Chrysostom (Orat. 37, vol. ii. p. 122, Reiske). It would seem from the passage of Pausanias first quoted (6.6.1), that the younger Polycleitus was famous for his statues of Olympic victors; and, therefore, it is exceedingly probable that some, if not all, of the statues of this class, mentioned above under the name of the elder Polycleitus, ought to be referred to him. Whatever else was once known of him is now hopelessly merged in the statements respecting the elder artist.

Thiersch makes still a third (according to him, a fourth) statuary or sculptor of this name, Polycleitus of Thasos, on the authority of an epigram of Geminus (Auth, Plan. 3.30; Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 279) :--

Χείρ με Πολυκλείτου Θασίου κάμεν, εἰμὶ δ᾽ ἐκεῖνος
Σαλμωνεύς, βρονταῖς, ὃς Διὸς ἀντεμάνην, κ.τ.λ.

where Grotius proposed to read Πολυγνώτου for Πολυκλείτου, an emendation which is almost certainly correct, notwithstanding Heyne's objection, that the phrase χεὶρ κάμεν is more appropriate to a sculpture than a painting. There is no other mention of a Thasian Polycleitus; but it is well known that Polygnotus was a Thasian. The error is just one of a class often met with, and of which we have a precisely parallel example in another epigram, which ascribes to Polycleitus a painting of Polyxena (Anth. Plan. 4.150; Brunck, Anal vol. ii. p. 440). It is not, however, certain that Πολυγνώτοιο is the right reading in this second case; the blunder is very probably that of the author of the epigram. (Jacobs, Animadu. in Anth. Graec. ad loc.

Lastly, there are gems bearing the name of Polycleitus, respecting which it is doubtful whether the engraver was the same person as the great Argive statuary; but it is more probable that he was a different person. (Bracci, tab. 96; Stosch, de Gemm. 76; Lewezow, über den Raub des Palladium, pp. 31, &c.; Sillig, Catal. Artif. s. v.)


hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
420 BC (1)
400 BC (1)
370 BC (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: