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Py'theas

1. A silver-chaser, who flourished at Rome in the age immediately following that of Pompey, and whose productions commanded a remarkably high price. (Plin. Nat. 35.12. s. 55 : Pliny states the precise value of every two ounces of silver plate engraved by him, but the number is differently given in the MSS. as 10,000 or 20,000 sesterces, see Sillig's edition.) A very celebrated work by him was a cup, on which Ulysses and Diomedes were represented carrying off the Palladium, in that sort of chasing which was called emnblema. According to the opinion of Thiersch, the greatest gem engravers of that and the succeeding age did not disdain to copy from the design of Pytheas, whose figure of Diomed is still to be seen on gems by Dioscurides, Gnaeus, Calpurnius Severus, and Solon : the grounds of this opinion, however, are not stated by the author. (Thiersch, Epochen, pp. 296-299.)

The suggestion of Meyer appears more probable, that the designs of both the vase of Pytheas and the gems referred to were copied from some more ancient work of art. (Meyer, Gesch. d. bild. Kunst, vol. iii. pp. 172, 173; comp. Levezow, Ueber den Raub des Palladium.

Pytheas also chased small drinking vessels with grotesque subjects, of the most elaborate and delicate workmanship, which are thus described by Pliny : -- “Fecit idem et cocos magiriscia appellatos, parvulis potoriis, sed e qztibus ne exemplsaria quidem licet exprimere, tan opportuna injuriae subtilitas erat.

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