), a distinguished Greek statuary, mentioned by Pausanias and Pliny, and in an important extant inscription.
The inscription furnishes sufficient evidence for the true date of the artist, which had previously been determined wrongly on the supposed testimony of the writers referred to.
The inscription referred to was discovered, in 1840, near the entrance of the Acropolis at Athens, between the Propylaea and the Parthenon.
It is engraved on two plates of Pentelic marble, and runs thus : --
ΧΑΙΠΕΔΕΜΟΣΕΤΑΛΛΕϜΟ ΕΚΚΟΙϜΕΣΑΝΕΘΕΚΕΝ ΣΤΠΟΛΛΤϜΙΟΝΕΠΟΕΣΕΝ
that is, Χαιρέδημος Εὐαγγέλου ἐκ Κοίλης ἀνέθηκεν Στρογγυλίων ἐποίησεν
Now, we read in the Scholia
on Aristophanes (Av. 1128
), that there stood in the Acropolis a representation of the Trojan horse (δούριος ἵππος
) in bronze, bearing the inscription, Χαιρέδημος Εὐαγγέλου ἐκ Κοίλης ἀνέθηκε
, and Pausanias describes this statue as standing at the exact part of the Acropolis where the inscription was found (1.23.10) : and though Pausanias does not mention the name of the artist, he does tell us elsewhere that Strongylion excelled in the representation of oxen and horses (9.30.1).
But this is not all.
The passage of Aristophanes, which gives occasion for the information furnished by the Scholiast, describes the walls of the city of the Birds as being so broad, that two chariots might race upon them " having horses as large as the Durian (ὁ δούριος
)." Now, considering how constantly the comic poets appeal to the senses rather than the imagination of their audience, and how generally their illustrations are drawn from objects, especially novel objects, present before the eyes of the people, there can be little doubt of the soundness of the remark of the Scholiast, that " It is not credible that the poet says this merely in a general sense, but with reference to the bronze statue in the Acropolis." If this reasoning be admitted, the date of Strongylion's colossal bronze horse in the Acropolis will be fixed at a period shortly before the exhibition of the Birds
in B. C. 414.
This date is confirmed by the characters of the inscription, which belong to the style in use before the archonship of Eucleides. For the publication of this inscription and the inferences drawn from it, we are indebted to Ross. (Journal des Savants,
1841, pp. 245-247.)
) tells us that Strongylion made the bronze statue of Artemis Soteira. in her temple at Megara. Sillig makes Pausanias say that this statue of Artemis was one of the statues of the Twelve Gods, which were ascribed to Praxiteles ; and hence he infers, though by what process of reasoning is not very evident, that Strongylion was contemporary with Praxiteles.
The fact is, however, that Pausanias expressly distinguishes " the statues of the Twelve Gods, said to be the works of Praxiteles," from that of " Artemis herself," that is, the chief statue of the temple, which, he distinctly affirms, was made by Strongylion; and, so far is the passage from furnishing any evidence that Strongylion was contemporary with Praxiteles, that it affords two arguments to prove that he lived before him; for, in the first place, the statue of the deity, to whom the temple was dedicated, would of course be made earlier than any others that might be placed in it, and, moreover, Pausanias tells us that the temple was built to commemorate a victory gained by the Megarians over a detachment of the army of Mardonius, who had been struck by Artemis with a panic in the night; so that the only sound inference to be drawn from this passage, respecting the artist's date, is that he should be placed as soon after the Persian wars as the other evidence will permit.
In another passage of Pausanias (9.30.1
) we are informed that of the statues composing one of the two groups of the Muses on Mount Helicon, three were made by Cephisodotus, three by Strongylion, and the remaining three by Olympiosthenes ; whence it has been inferred that these three artists were contemporaries.
This inference is by no means necessarily true, but, on the contrary, while it is quite possible that the three artists may have worked at the same time on the different portions of the group, it is an equally probable conjecture, that the group was left unfinished by one of them, and completed by the others. If so, the order in which the names of the artists stand in Pausanias is not to be taken as the order of time in which they lived; for the preceding clause furnishes an obvious reason for his mentioning the name of Cephisodotus first. Even if we suppose the parts of the group to have been executed at the same time, it is quite possible, as Ross has argued, to bring back the date of Cephisodotus I. high enough to admit of his having been in part contemporary with Strongylion, about the beginning of the fourth century B. C.
At all events, it is clear that these passages do not warrant Sillig in placing Strongylion with Cephisodotus I. and Praxiteles at Ol. 103, B. C. 368, but that he flourished about B. C. 415, and probably for some time both before and after that date. Perhaps we might safely assign as his period the last thirty or forty years of the fifth century B. C.
Pliny mentions two other bronze statues by Strongylion (H. V.
34.8. s. 19.21); the one of an Amazon. the beauty of whose legs obtained for it the epithet Eucnemos,
and excited the admiration of Nero to such a degree that he had it carried about with him in his travels; the other of a boy, of which Brutus was so fond that it was named after him. (Sillig, Cat. Art. s. v. ;
Ross, as above quoted; R. Rochette, Lettre à M. Schorn,
pp. 409-411, 2d. ed.; Nagler, Künstler-Lexicon, s. v.