previous next



1. An Athenian architect, of the demos of Cholargos, was one of the architects who superintended the erection of the temple of Demeter, at Eleusis, in the time of Pericles. The part which Xenocles took in the work is described thus τὸ δ᾽ ὀπαῖον ἐπὶ τοῦ Ἀνακτορου Ξενοκλῆς Χολαργεὺς ἐκοπύφωσε (Plut. Per. 13). The precise meaning of this phrase is doubtful; but it is most probable, as it occurs immediately after the account of the erection of the columns and entablature, that the addition made by Xenocles to the temple consisted of a pediment with its tynmpanum open, according to the ancient fashion, in order to light the Anatoron, or principal chamber of the temple.

Another important testimony respecting this architect, or another of the same name. is furnished by an epigram, which is ascribed to Simonides, but is more probably by Antagoras of Rhodes (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 138). It is as follows :--

ἴτε Δήμητρος πρὸς Ἀνάκτορον, ἴτε Μύσται,
μηδ᾽ ὕδατος προχοὰς δείδετε χειμεριους.
τοῖον Ξεινοκλῆς γὰρ Λίνδιος ἀσφαλὲς ὔμμιν
ζεῦγμα διὰ πλατέος τοῦδ᾽ ἔβαλεν ποταμοῦ.

M. Raoul-Rochette (Lettre à M. Schorn, pp. 426, 427) is led to assume that the river here mentioned was the Cephissus, and that the ζεῦγμα was the bridge by which the sacred procession to Eleusis crossed that river, on account of the obvious propriety of such a means of access to the temple being constructed by one of the same architects who erected the temple itself; and he quotes passages illustrating the dangers referred to in the second line of the epigram, to which the procession used to be exposed by the overflowing of the river (Paus. 1.38). § 5; Demosth. ad v. Callicl. p. 1279 ; Euseb. Chron. p. 81). This notion, which was also entertained by Casaubon (ad Strab. ix. p. 613c.), of course involves the necessity of supposing that either Plutarch or the author of the epigram has made a mistake respecting the country of Xenocles. For this reason we must not overlook the possibility, suggested by Jacobs (Animadv. in Anth. Graec. vol. i. pt. i. p. 240), that the river and bridge and mysteries referred to in the epigram may have been in Rhodes and not in Attica.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: