), one of the most celebrated gem-engravers of ancient Greece, lived in the latter half of the fourth century B. C.
The esteem in which he was held may be inferred from that edict of Alexander
, which placed him on a level with Apelles and Lysippus, by naming him as the only artist who was permitted to engrave seal-rings for the king. (Plin. Nat. 7.37. s. 38
, 37.1. s. 4.) Unfortunately, however, beyond this one fact, every thing else respecting the artist is involved in that obscurity, to which the neglect of ancient writers and the impudence of ancient as well as modern forgers have conspired to doom one of the most interesting branches of Greek art. Several works are extant under the name of Pyrgoteles, but of these the best known have been demonstrated by Winckelmann to be forgeries, and very few of the others have any pretensions to authenticity. For the full discussion of the genuineness or spuriousness of the several gems ascribed to Pyrgoteles, the reader is referred to Winckelmann (Werke,
vol. vi. pp. 107, &c.), and Raoul-Rochette (Lettre à M. Schorn,
pp. 150-152, 2d ed.).