) was, according to Athenaeus (xi. pp. 470-472), Lucian (Lexiph. 7
), Pliny (Plin. Nat. 16.40. s. 76
), and the lexicographers (Etym. Mag.,
Suid., s. v. Θηρίκλειον
), a Corinthian potter, whose works obtained such celebrity that they became known throughout Greece by the name of Θηπίκλεια
) or κύλικες Θηρικλείαι
), and these names were applied not only to cups of earthenware, but also to those of wood, glass, gold, and silver. Athenaeus quotes numerous passages from the Athenian comic poets, in which these " Thericleian works " are mentioned ; and these, with the other testimonies on the subject, have been most elaborately discussed by Bentley, in his Dissertations on Phalaris,
and by Welcker, in the Rheinisches Museum
for 1839, vol. vi. pp. 404, foll.
These two great scholars, however, come to widely different results, the former fixing the date of Thericles at the time of Aristophanes; the latter denying the existence of Thericles altogether, and contending that the name of these vases is a descriptive one, derived from the figures of animals (θήρια
) with which they were adorned : vases thus decorated are frequently referred to by ancient authors, and numerous specimens of them have been discovered.
It is quite impossible, within the limits of this article, to state even the leading arguments on the two sides of the question; and no opinion ought to be expressed upon it without a pretty full statement of the reasons for the conclusions come to. We must, therefore, be content to refer readers, who are curious in such archaeological minutiae, to the treatises above mentioned, only adding an important observation made by another great scholar upon Welcker's arguments -- " Welckerus iis usus est argumentis, quae, ut mihi quidem videtur, labefactari possunt tantum non omnia." (Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec.
vol. iii. p. 221.)