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Title: Greek Sculpture - A collection of sixteen pictures of Greek marbles with - introduction and interpretation
Author: Hurll, Estelle M. (Estelle May), 1863-1924
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Greek Sculpture - A collection of sixteen pictures of Greek marbles with - introduction and interpretation" ***

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[**Transcriber's notes:
    italics represented by underscores e.g. _italics_
    bold represented by $ e.g. $bold$
    The city of Terracina was mispelled Terracino in paragraph 9,
       section 3 of the Introduction
    end of transcriber's note**]

[Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_British Museum, London_]

 The Riverside Art Series






 The Riverside Press Cambridge



Within the limits of this small collection of pictures an attempt is
made to bring together as great a variety of subjects as possible.
Portraiture is illustrated in the statue of Sophocles and the bust of
Pericles, _genre_ studies in the Apoxyomenos and Discobolus, bas-relief
work in the panel from the Parthenon frieze and the Orpheus and
Eurydice, and ideal heads and statues in the representations of the
divinities. Both the Greek treatment of the nude and the Greek
management of drapery have due attention.

As classic literature is the best interpreter of Greek sculpture, the
text draws freely from such original sources as the Iliad and the
Odyssey, the Homeric hymns, and Ovid's Metamorphoses.


    January, 1901.


 PERICLES     (_Frontispiece_)
 From original in British Museum

        IN THIS COLLECTION     xi

 Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by the London Stereoscopic

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

 IX. SOPHOCLES      49
 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 X. ARES SEATED      55
 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by the English Photographic
 Co., Athens

 Picture from Photograph loaned by Edward Robinson,
 from the only negative known to exist

 Picture from Photograph by Neurdein Frères

 Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

 Picture from Photograph by Neurdein Frères

 XVI. PERICLES (See Frontispiece)     91


_Nine of the above illustrations are from photographs in the collection
of the William Hayes Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University_



The history of Greek sculpture covers a period of some eight or nine
hundred years, and falls into five divisions.[1] The first is the period
of development, extending from 600 to 480 B. C. The second is the period
of greatest achievement, under Phidias and his followers, in the Age of
Pericles, 480-430 B. C. The third is the period of Praxiteles and
Scopas, in the fourth century. The fourth is the period of decline,
characterized as the Hellenistic Age, and included between the years 320
and 100 B. C. The fifth is the Græco-Roman period, which includes the
work produced to meet the demand of the Roman market for Greek
sculpture, and which extends to 300 A. D.

[1] See Gardner's _Handbook of Greek Sculpture_, page 42.

Modern criticism differentiates sharply the characteristics of the
several periods and even of the individual artists, but such subtleties
are beyond the grasp of the unlearned. The majority of people continue
to regard Greek sculpture in its entirety, as if it were the homogeneous
product of a single age. To the popular imagination it is as if some
gigantic machine turned out the Apollo Belvedere, the Venus of Milo, the
Elgin Marbles, and all the rest, in a single day. Nor is it long ago
since even eminent writers had but vague ideas as to the distinctive
periods of these very works. Certain it is that all works of Greek
sculpture have a particular character which marks them as such.
Authorities have taught us to distinguish some few of their leading

The most striking characteristic of Greek art is perhaps its closeness
to nature. The sculptor showed an intimate knowledge of the human form,
acquired by constant observation of the splendid specimens of manhood
produced in the palæstra. It is because the artist "clung to nature as a
kind mother," says Waldstein, that the influence of his work persists
through the ages.

Again, Greek art is distinctly an art of generalization, dealing with
types rather than with individuals. This characteristic is of varying
degrees in different periods and with different sculptors. It is seen in
its perfection in the Elgin Marbles, in exaggeration in the Apollo
Belvedere, and at the minimum in the work of Praxiteles. Yet it is
everywhere sufficiently marked to be indissolubly connected with Greek

The quality of repose, so constantly associated with Greek sculpture, is
another characteristic which varies with the period and the individual
sculptor. Between the calm dignity of the portrait statue of Sophocles
and the intense muscular concentration of Myron's Discobolus, a long
range of degrees may be included. Yet on the whole, repose is an
essential characteristic of the best Greek sculpture, provided we do not
let our notion of repose exclude the spirited element. Fine as is the
effect of repose in the Parthenon frieze, the composition is likewise
full of spirit and life.

A distinguishing characteristic of the best Greek sculpture is its
simplicity. Compared with the Gothic sculptors, the Greeks appear to us,
in Ruskin's phrase, as the "masters of all that was grand, simple, wise
and tenderly human, opposed to the pettiness of the toys of the rest of
mankind." Their work is free from that "vain and mean decoration"--the
"weak and monstrous error"--which disfigures the art of other peoples.

As we turn from one Greek marble to another in the great sculpture
galleries of the world, the best features of the art impress themselves
deeply even upon the untutored eye. The Greek instinct for pose is
unfailing and unsurpassable. Standing or seated, the attitude is always
graceful, the lines are always fine. The best statues are equally well
composed, viewed from any standpoint. The camera may describe a
circumference about a marble as a centre, and a photograph made at any
point in the circle will show lines of rhythm and beauty.

The faultless regularity of the Greek profile has passed into history as
the accepted standard of human beauty. The straight continuous line of
brow and nose, the well moulded chin, the full lip, the small ear,
satisfy perfectly our æsthetic ideals.

The art of sculpture was an essential outgrowth of the Greek spirit, and
perfectly suited the requirements of Greek thought. In the words of a
recent writer, "it was the consummate expression in art of the genius of
a nation which worshiped physical perfection as the gift of the
immortals, which honored the gods by athletic games and choral dances,
and whose deities wore the flesh and shared the nature of men."[2] It
was moreover a national art, entering into every phase of public life,
and embodying the Greek sense of national greatness.

[2] From _Italian Cities_, by E. H. and E. W. Blashfield.

Greek sculpture can be sympathetically understood only by catching
something of the spirit which produced it. One must shake off the
centuries and regard life with the childlike simplicity of the young
world: one must give imagination free rein. The same attitude of mind
which can enjoy Greek mythology and Greek literature is the proper
attitude for the enjoyment of Greek sculpture. The best interpreter of a
nation's art is the nation's poetry.


Many learned works on the subject of Greek Sculpture have been written
in various languages. Three standard authorities are the English work by
A. S. Murray, "History of Greek Sculpture," second edition, London,
1890; the French work by Collignon, "Histoire de la Sculpture Grecque,"
Paris, 1892; and the German work by Furtwängler, translated into English
by E. Sellers, "The Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture," London, 1895.
Naturally these three writers are not always of one opinion, and the
student must turn from one to another to learn all the arguments
concerning a disputed point.

For the practical every-day use of the reader who has no time to sift
the evidences on difficult questions of archæology, Gardner's "Handbook
of Greek Sculpture" is an excellent outline summary of the history of
the subject.

Charles Waldstein's "Essays on the Art of Pheidias," New York, 1885, is
an exceedingly valuable and suggestive volume.

Two small books, written in a somewhat popular vein, make very pleasant
reading for those pursuing these studies: "Studies in Greek Art," by J.
E. Harrison, London, 1885, and "Greek Art on Greek Soil," by J. M.
Hoppin, Boston, 1897.

Besides the works devoted exclusively to the subject of Greek sculpture,
the subject receives due attention in various general histories of art,
of which may be mentioned, Lucy Mitchell's "History of Ancient
Sculpture," Lübke's "History of Sculpture," and Von Reber's "History of
Ancient Art."

A valuable bibliography is given in Gardner's "Handbook."


_Frontispiece._ Terminal bust of Pericles, after an original by
Cresilas. Approximate date, 440-430 B. C. In the British Museum, London.

1. _Bust of Zeus Otricoli._ Considered by Brunn and others a copy from a
head of the statue by Phidias. Later critics do not agree with this
opinion, and Furtwängler calls the head a Praxitelean development of the
type of Zeus created in the time of Myron. Now in the Vatican Gallery,

2. _Athena Giustiniana_ (_Minerva Medica_). Considered by Furtwängler a
copy, after Euphranor, of a statue dedicated below the Capitol, called
Minerva Catuliana, set up by A. Lutatius Catulus. The ægis and sphinx
are copyist's additions. Found in the gardens of the convent of S. Maria
sopra Minerva, Rome. Both arms are restored. Now in the Vatican Gallery,

3. _Horsemen from the Parthenon Frieze._ The frieze of the Parthenon is
part of the decorative scheme of the marble temple of Athena, built
during the age of Pericles (480-430 B. C.) on the Acropolis, Athens, and
decorated under the direction of Phidias. The frieze consisted of a
series of panels or slabs, about 3 ft. 4 in. in height, and was set on
the outer wall of the cella. Being lighted from below, the lower portion
is cut in low relief (1¼ in.) and the upper parts in high relief
(2¼ in.). The panel of the Horsemen is one of the Elgin Marbles,
removed by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon in 1801-1802, and now in the
British Museum, London.

4. _Bust of Hera._ Considered by Murray a copy after Polyclitus.
Regarded by Furtwängler as a "Roman creation based on a Praxitelean
model." Catalogued in Hare's "Walks in Rome" as a probable copy after
Alcamenes. In the Ludovisi Villa, Rome.

5. _The Apoxyomenos._. A marble copy of the original bronze statue by
Lysippus, who flourished in the 4th century B. C. According to Pliny the
original was brought from Greece to Rome by Agrippa to adorn the public
baths. This copy was found in 1849 in the Trastevere, Rome, and is now
in the Vatican Gallery.

6. _Head of the Apollo Belvedere._ According to Gardner, a marble copy
(Roman) of a bronze original of the Hellenistic Age (320-100 B. C.).
Some (Winter and Furtwängler) have assigned the original to Leochares, a
sculptor of the 4th century, and others to Calamis, in the 5th century.
This copy was found in the 16th century at Antium, and was purchased by
Pope Julius II. for the Belvedere Palace. Now in the Vatican Gallery,

7. _Demeter_ (_Ceres_) Considered by Furtwängler a copy from an original
by Agoracritus, who was a pupil of Phidias, and whose works are closely
allied to those of Alcamenes. By the same authority the statue is called
the Nemesis. In the Vatican Gallery, Rome.

8. _The Faun of Praxiteles._ A copy of the original statue by
Praxiteles, which was in the street of the Tripods, Athens. In the
Capitol Museum, Rome.

9. _Sophocles._ Referred to by Collignon as a faithful copy of the
bronze statue raised by Lycurgus. Found at Terracina in 1838, and now in
the Lateran Museum, Rome.

10. _Ares Seated._ Considered by Furtwängler and others a copy on a
reduced scale of a colossal statue by Scopas. The little god Eros is the
copyist's addition. Found in the portico of Octavia, and restored by
Bernini. Now in the Ludovisi Villa, Rome.

11. _Head of the Olympian Hermes._ An undisputed original work of
Praxiteles, dating from the middle of the 4th century B. C. It was in
the Heræum (or Temple of Hera) at Olympia, and was discovered by German
excavators, May 8, 1877. Now in the museum at Olympia, Greece.

12. _The Discobolus_, a copy from an original by Myron, one of the last
masters of the "severe style," whose career culminated 465-450 B. C. In
the Lancelotti Palace, Rome.

13. _The Aphrodite of Melos (The Venus of Milo)._ Formerly attributed to
the period of transition between Phidias and Praxiteles, but assigned by
late critics to the Hellenistic Age (320-100 B. C.). Believed by
Furtwängler to be based on a work by Scopas, with considerable
modification of the original. Found in 1820 on the island of Melos at
the entrance of the Greek Archipelago. Purchased by the French
government for 6000 francs, and now in the Louvre, Paris.

14. _Orpheus and Eurydice._ One of several copies of an original
bas-relief referred by Collignon to the second half of 5th century B. C.
In the Albani Villa, Rome.

15. _Nike (The Winged Victory)._ A marble statue believed to have been
set up by Demetrius Poliorcetes to celebrate a naval victory in 306 B.
C. Found in 1863 by the French consul on the island of Samothrace. Now
in the Louvre, Paris.



From the earliest times men have sought to explain in one way and
another the common facts of daily life. Sunrise and sunset, seedtime and
harvest, life, death, and the hereafter are some of the mysteries which
have always puzzled the human mind. The primitive races, knowing nothing
of science, looked upon the forces of nature as gigantic personalities,
or gods, who controlled human destiny.

The most refined and imaginative of the ancient nations were the Greeks.
They invented innumerable tales or myths, in which all the changes of
nature and all the affairs of life were attributed to the workings of
the gods. When the sun rose, they said that Apollo had begun to drive
his chariot across the sky. When the wind blew, Zeus was sending his
messenger from the sky to the earth. When a man did a courageous deed,
it was because Athena had whispered to him what to do.

In this way the beliefs gradually took form which made the Greek
religion. Great temples were built for the worship of the gods, and
statues were set up in their honor. The finest works of Greek art were
connected with religious worship.

The gods were conceived as having the same form as human beings, but of
colossal size. They lived in an ideal country called Olympus,

    "Olympus, where the gods have made,
    So saith tradition, their eternal seat.
    The tempest shakes it not, nor is it drenched
    By showers, and there the snow doth never fall.
    The calm, clear ether is without a cloud,
    And in the golden light that lies on all,
    Day after day the blessed gods rejoice."[3]

[3] Odyssey, Book vi., lines 54-60 in Bryant's translation.

Here each god had a separate dwelling, and in the midst was the palace
of their supreme ruler, Zeus, known to the Romans as Jupiter or Jove.

Zeus was the sky god, "the father of gods and men," and the ruler of
heaven and earth. He was the "cloud compeller" at whose will the clouds
gathered or scattered across the sky, the "ruler of the storms," the
"thunderer," by whom were hurled the ruddy lightnings. How far he
surpassed all other gods in power is explained in the Iliad in an
address made by Zeus himself to the gods:--

                      "Suspend from heaven
    A golden chain; let all the immortal host
    Cling to it from below: ye could not draw,
    Strive as ye might, the all-disposing Jove
    From heaven to earth. And yet if I should choose
    To draw it upward to me, I should lift,
    With it and you, the earth itself and sea
    Together, and I then would bind the chain
    Around the summit of the Olympian mount,
    And they should hang aloft."[4]

[4] Iliad, Book viii., lines 21-30 in Bryant's translation.

[Illustration: Alinari, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Vatican Gallery, Rome_]

In the imagination of the Greeks Zeus was endowed with all the noblest
elements in human character. He ruled the affairs of men with fatherly
benevolence. He rewarded goodness, punished the wicked, and was withal
the fountain-head of justice. By a nod of his head he made known his
will, and there was no appeal from his decrees.

Naturally, the Greeks pictured this god as a being of majestic stature
and grand, benignant countenance, and sculptors did their best to make
statues worthy of this conception. By common consent a certain type of
countenance was accepted as the most fitting expression of this ideal.
At last a great artist named Phidias produced a statue which perfectly
carried out all the ideas at which other sculptors had aimed. It was of
colossal size, made of gold and ivory, and was set up in a temple of
Olympia. From this time forth every sculptor who had to represent Zeus
had only to repeat the design of Phidias.

Now we know that the farther an imitator gets from the original
standard, the weaker is his copy. The first successors of Phidias made
direct studies from his statue, but those coming after worked from
copies. Still later artists took for their models copies of these
copies, until at last much of the original grandeur of Phidias's
conception was lost.

The bust of Zeus reproduced in our illustration is thought to be a
far-away copy of the head of Phidias's statue. From the marble of which
it is made we know that it was executed in Italy, probably by some Greek
sculptor who had come thither after his own nation had been conquered by
Rome. The marvel is that he preserved so well the noble dignity of the
ideal Zeus. This is the father of gods and men in his most benign
aspect. The massive head is crowned like that of a lion with long,
overhanging locks with which the flowing beard is mingled. These are the

                               "Ambrosial curls
    Upon the Sovereign One's immortal head,"

of which Homer writes in the Iliad. The symmetrical arrangement of hair
and beard carry out the character of perfect evenness belonging to the
supreme ruler.

The forehead has the full bar of flesh which denotes virility. The brows
are straight, the nose finely modeled, the lips rather full, the
expression benignant. Altogether the impression is of a being of mental
and moral equipoise, full of energy and noble dignity.



Athena was the air goddess of the Greeks, or, in Ruskin's phrase, "the
queen of the air." She was known also by the name Pallas, and among the
Romans as Minerva. As the air comes to us from out the great dome of the
sky, so Athena was said to have sprung fully armed from the head of her
father Zeus. The old Homeric hymn tells how

                       "Wonder strange possessed
    The everlasting gods that shape to see,
    Shaking a javelin keen, impetuously
    Rush from the crest of ægis-bearing Jove."[5]

[5] In Shelley's translation.

Her eyes were blue, the color of the sky; her hair hung in ringlets over
her shoulders. Her dress was

                          "A gorgeous robe
    Of many hues, which her own hands had wrought."[6]

[6] Iliad, Book viii., lines 483, 484.

When arrayed for war she wore a golden helmet and carried a shield, or
_ægis_. In the centre of this shield was fastened the gorgon's head
which Perseus had cut off with her aid. In her hand she wielded a mighty

The owl was her symbolic bird, and she was called _glaukopis_, or
owl-eyed, because her wisdom gave her sight in darkness. The serpent was
the emblem of her command over the beneficent and healing influences in
the earth. Her favorite plant was the fruitful olive, valued by the
Greeks both for the beauty of its foliage and for the usefulness of its

In the fortunes of war, when it was for defensive aims, Athena took an
intense interest and an active part. In the war between the Greeks and
the Trojans, she was on the side of the Greeks, who sought to recover
from their enemies their queen Helen, whom the Trojan prince had
captured. When the Greek army assembled before the walls of Troy--

                          "Among them walked
    The blue-eyed Pallas, bearing on her arm
    The priceless ægis, ever fair and new,
    And undecaying; from its edge there hung
    A hundred golden fringes, fairly wrought,
    And every fringe might buy a hecatomb.
    With this and fierce, defiant looks she passed
    Through all the Achaian host, and made their hearts
    Impatient for the march and strong to endure
    The combat without pause,--for now the war
    Seemed to them dearer than the wished return
    In their good galleys to the land they loved."[7]

[7] Iliad, Book ii., lines 549-560 in Bryant's translation.

As the air gives us the breath of life, so Athena gave inspiration to
the heart of man. It was her friendly mission to fill with "strength and
courage" the hearts of those who were beset by difficulties of many
kinds.[8] To Achilles, lamenting the death of Patroclus, she came with
nectar and ambrosia, that his limbs might not grow faint with hunger.[9]
It was because of her aid that Diomed could proudly declare, "Minerva
will not let my spirit falter;" and when he cast his spear, "Minerva
kept the weapon faithful to its aim."[10]

[8] See the Iliad, Book v., line 2, and the Odyssey, Book i., line 396.

[9] Iliad, Book xix., lines 427-429.

[10] Iliad, Book v., lines 309 and 352.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Vatican Gallery, Rome_]

To Athena Ulysses owed his safe return to Ithaca after the adventures
related in the Odyssey. It was her adroit planning which brought
together the long lost father and his son Telemachus, with the faithful
wife Penelope. She also found ways to help Jason when he went in search
of the golden fleece; she aided Hercules in his labors and guided the
hand of Perseus when he cut off the Gorgon's head.

Athena was also the patroness of the industrial arts. She was skilful in
weaving and needlework, making both her own and others' beautiful robes
and teaching the craft to some favored mortals. She was, in short, the
personification of "inspired and impulsive wisdom in human conduct and
human art, giving the instinct of infallible decision, and of faultless
invention."[11] Finally, and not least important, Athena was one of the
agencies in the productiveness of the earth, and hence the patron
goddess of farmers.

[11] From Ruskin's _Queen of the Air_.

Our statue shows as many as possible of the attributes of the goddess.
The figure is tall and stately and magnificently developed. The Greek
ideal of beauty was to let nature have its way in the human body,
unhindered by any such restraints of clothing as our modern fashions
have invented. The broad shoulders and ample waist bespeak the splendid
strength of the goddess.

The neck rises from the shoulders like a column to support the well-set
head. A tunic falls in straight folds to the feet, and over this is worn
a long mantle gathered over the left shoulder. Upon her breast hangs the
shield, here made very small, and the helmet and spear complete her
equipment as a goddess of war. At her side coils the emblematic serpent.

Her aspect is far from warlike. The face is intellectual and the
expression thoughtful. This is the goddess of wisdom reflecting upon
grave concerns. The mouth is set somewhat proudly, and the countenance
is full of a dignified reserve. The masterful element, so strong in her
character, is admirably expressed. There is something almost austere in
the beauty of this virgin goddess. A majestic being like this is not one
to be familiarly approached.



To understand the history and meaning of the bas-relief reproduced in
our illustration, we must first learn something of the worship of Athena
in her chosen city of Athens. An annual festival was held here in her
honor, and every four years occurred a very elaborate celebration called
the Panathenæa. The Panathenæa lasted several days, and attracted
throngs of people from all parts of Greece. There were contests in
gymnastics and music, torch-races, horse-races, feasts and dances.
Sacrifices of oxen were offered on the altar of the goddess, every state
having to furnish an ox for the purpose. The climax was reached on the
last day, when a great procession started at sunrise and traversed the
streets of the city to the temple of Athena. It is with this procession
that the bas-relief of our picture is connected, as we shall presently

Some time before the festival a group of Athenian maidens of the noblest
families had made and embroidered for Athena a beautiful robe called the
_peplos_. This was carried above the procession, stretched like a sail
on the mast of a ship which was rolled through the street on wheels. The
pageant was made up of many different companies. There were the
Athenian magistrates, grave and dignified, maidens carrying sacrificial
vessels, men bearing trays of cakes, citharists (harpists) and
flute-players, old men with olive branches, four-horse chariots with
armed warriors, rows of young men mounted on prancing steeds, and
attendants with the cattle for the sacrifice.

During the invasion of Greece by the Persians, the temple of Athena in
Athens was destroyed by fire. Later, on its site, was erected another to
replace it, called the Parthenon. The city was now at the height of its
prosperity under the statesman Pericles. At this time also lived the
great sculptor Phidias, and to him Pericles intrusted the decoration of
the new temple.

The Parthenon was built of Pentelic marble, and the temple proper was
surrounded by a portico supported on rows of columns. The outside of the
building was richly adorned with bas-reliefs. There were designs in the
triangular spaces under the roof called _pediments_. Above the columns
ran a series of panels called _metopes_. Finally, there was a _frieze_
extending around the temple wall, to be seen from within the portico. It
is a bit of this frieze which is reproduced in our illustration.

[Illustration: London Stereoscopic Co., Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_British Museum, London_]

The Panathenaic procession is the subject carried the entire length of
this bas-relief decoration. On the portion running across one end were
depicted the scenes of preparation. Men are in the act of mounting their
horses, some having spirited animals to deal with, and all making ready
for the start. At the opposite end is the scene of the arrival at the
temple. Here sit the gods to receive the sacrifice, while the
magistrates stand ready to perform the rites, and maidens approach with
the vessels. On the two long sides the procession is seen actually in
motion. Here are represented all the figures which took part in such
occasions; old men and maidens, musicians, horsemen, charioteers, and
sacrificial animals, all moving forward on their way. Group follows
group, with that contrast and variety which give interest to a pageant,
and with the proper orderliness to give it unity.

Our panel shows us a line of horsemen riding four abreast. Though it is
broken and defaced, we catch at once the spirit of the work. The horses
are splendid animals; with dilated nostrils, and necks proudly arched,
they seem to prance to the music of the flutes. Though they are well
matched in size and type, no two are really alike. Every one has as
distinct a character as a human being, and lovers of horses might choose
each his own favorite from the four.

Only two of the riders fall within our range of vision. They are
handsome youths, with the perfectly formed head and finely cut profile
which we learn to recognize as the Greek ideal of beauty. The line
across forehead and nose is perfectly straight, and the line connecting
nose and chin forms a corresponding angle. Both faces bear the stamp of
refinement and high breeding which mark them as belonging to the class
of Athenian nobles.

Though the two youths have so similar a cast of countenance, they are
quite unlike in temperament. The farther one is of a somewhat dreamy,
poetic nature. He rides with bent head as if in a reverie. His companion
is of a sterner, more virile type. He looks straight before him, and
carries his head with a sense of the dignity of the occasion.

Both youths sit their horses as if born in the saddle. Horse and rider
are one, animated by a single dominant will. The Athenian youth were
trained from childhood in all sorts of manly exercise. The normal
development of the body was of first importance in the Greek educational
system. These young men are typical examples of the fine specimens of
manhood which that training produced.



               "The white armed queen,
    Juno, the mistress of the golden throne."

It is thus that the Iliad describes Hera, the wife of Zeus, now more
often called by her Roman name Juno. The marriage union between the
ruler of the gods and his queen represented the Greek ideal of perfect
conjugal happiness. Hera was therefore the goddess who presided over
human marriages, and was the type of matronly virtue and dignity. As the
queen of heaven, she had it in her power to bestow great riches, honor,
and influence upon her favorites.

In the Trojan war she was, like Athena, a partisan of the Greeks, and
once or twice even accompanied the war goddess to the battlefield.
Usually, however, her pursuits were of a more peaceful and domestic
order. She was a very beautiful goddess, "ox-eyed" in the quaint Greek
phrase, that is, with large expressive eyes. She had the august and
majestic bearing befitting a queen, and is usually described in classic
literature as wearing a veil. A long passage in the Iliad gives an
account of her toilet when arraying herself for a special occasion.
After bathing in ambrosia, and anointing with oil,

                        "When thus her shapely form
    Had been anointed, and her hands had combed
    Her tresses, she arranged the lustrous curls,
    Ambrosial, beautiful, that clustering hung
    Round her immortal brow. And next she threw
    Around her an ambrosial robe, the work
    Of Pallas, all its web embroidered o'er
    With forms of rare device. She fastened it
    Over the breast with clasps of gold, and then
    She passed about her waist a zone which bore
    Fringes a hundred-fold, and in her ears
    She hung her three-gemmed ear-rings, from whose gleam
    She won an added grace. Around her head
    The glorious goddess drew a flowing veil,
    Just from the loom, and shining like the sun;
    And, last, beneath her bright white feet she bound
    The shapely sandals."[12]

[12] Iliad, Book xiv., lines 210-226 in Bryant's translation.

One of the prettiest stories about Hera is that in which she acted as
the friend of Jason. Jason was the son of a dethroned king and was
brought up by the centaur Chiron. When he came of age he set forth, with
much good advice from Chiron, to reclaim his father's kingdom. On his
journey he came to a swollen stream which seemed well-nigh impassable.
As he was considering the danger of crossing it, an old woman on the
bank begged him to carry her over. This was a hazardous undertaking, and
the young man was sorely tempted to refuse her. At last his kindness
triumphed and he consented. Taking her on his back, he struggled across
the river at the peril of his life. When he set her safely on the
opposite bank, a wonderful thing happened. "She grew fairer than all
women, and taller than all men on earth; and her garments shone like the
summer sea, and her jewels like the stars of heaven; and over her
forehead was a veil, woven of the golden clouds of sunset, and through
the veil she looked down on him with great soft heifer's eyes; with
great eyes, mild and awful, which filled all the glen with light."[13]
Then he knew that this was Hera, and from thenceforth she was his guide
in every time of need.

[13] From Kingsley's _Greek Heroes_: the Argonauts.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Ludovisi Villa, Rome_]

The bust of Hera, reproduced in our illustration, shows how the Greeks
liked to think of their queen goddess. We at once recognize the features
assigned to her by tradition; the large eyes set somewhat far apart, the
low, broad forehead, the mild expression. The waving hair is parted, and
gathered at the back in a matronly coiffure, and over it is worn the
crown of a queen.

We have seen that in Greek sculpture the artist was not always left to
represent the divinities according to his own imagination. For each one
a certain fixed type had been gradually thought out in very early times,
and this type was handed down from generation to generation. A statue or
bust could always be recognized without any title. No one, for instance,
could ever mistake Zeus for Apollo, or confuse Hera and Athena.

By comparing this head of Hera with that of Athena in our previous
illustration, we can see how perfectly sculpture carried out the
distinctions in the two characters. Hera was less intellectual than
Athena, and had perhaps more distinctly feminine charms. The mouth has
less strength and firmness, the expression more mildness. Her beauty is
naturally of a more matronly type than that of the virgin goddess. The
crown which she wears belongs as distinctly to her as does the helmet to

A careful examination of the face suggests that it may have been studied
from actual life. If, as some critics believe, the bust was made in Rome
by some Greek sojourning there after the conquest of his own nation, a
noble Roman matron may have been the model. Be that as it may, this is
Hera as the Greeks worshipped her, and perhaps the best existing
representation of the great goddess.



An important part of the Greek system of education was the training of
the body in physical exercise. For this purpose there were gymnasia in
every city, where the youth were trained in running, leaping, wrestling,
throwing the javelin, and casting the discus. Great spaces were occupied
by these gymnasia, which included buildings for dressing-rooms and
baths, porticoes and halls used as assembly-rooms, walks, gardens, and
the palæstra, or wrestling-field.

Every four years a great national festival was held at Olympia,
consisting of games or contests in the various athletic sports. Every
freeman of Hellenic blood had a birthright to take part in them. The
contestants were required to undergo a preparatory training, often
lasting months, in the gymnasium of Elis, the province in which Olympia
was situated.

During the progress of the games a universal truce was proclaimed
throughout Greece. All hostilities ceased for the time, and the Greeks
as a united people assembled at Olympia for the joyous celebration in
honor of Zeus. So important were these Olympic games that they were used
as a standard for reckoning time. In assigning a date to an event, the
Greeks used to say that it took place in this or that Olympiad, an
Olympiad being the period of four years between two successive

We may well believe that the Olympic festivals, as well as the ordinary
daily exercise in the city gymnasia, had great attractions for
sculptors. The palæstra must have been a favorite resort of artists.
What a sight it was when the young men came out of the dressing-rooms
stripped for running, their bodies shining with oil,--what a play of
muscles in the lithe young limbs as the runners "pressed toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling!" The course was usually of deep sand,
and was about three miles in length. The runners trained for special
emergencies attained extraordinary speed and endurance. The race over,
each youth returned to the dressing-rooms of the gymnasium and, taking a
small instrument called the _strigil_, made of metal, ivory, or horn,
scraped the oil from his body.

It is in this cleansing process that the young man of our illustration
is engaged. The statue on this account is called the Apoxyomenos, which
is a Greek word meaning "scraping himself." It represents a typical
incident of the life of the gymnasium, such as might be seen any day of
the year.

Tall and graceful, with slender flexible limbs, the youth stands in an
attitude of rest, scraping his right arm. In his fingers is the die
which marks his number in the race. His body rests upon one leg, but so
light is his poise that he is ready to change his position momentarily.
Neither attitude nor countenance shows any sense of exhaustion, only
that delicious fatigue which makes rest so enjoyable.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Vatican Gallery, Rome_]

There is a passage in the Greek poet Aristophanes' comedy of the
Clouds, in which a speaker urges upon a young man the life of the
gymnasium. "Fresh and fair in beauty-bloom," he says, "you shall pass
your days in the wrestling-ground, or run races beneath the sacred olive
trees, crowned with white reed, in company with a pure-hearted friend,
smelling of bindweed, and leisure hours, and the white poplar that sheds
her leaves, rejoicing in the prime of spring when the plane tree
whispers to the lime." This is the kind of life typified in the figure
of our statue,[14] a side of Greek life which no one can overlook if he
would understand the genius of the Greek nation.

[14] The application of this passage to the Apoxyomenos is made by J. A.
Symonds in his _Greek Poets_.

It must not be supposed that our statue represents an actual individual.
It is not a portrait, but an imaginary typical figure. It is true that
portrait statues of athletes were made in great numbers, as we shall
note again in another chapter. It was indeed this practical experience
among athletes that led sculptors to see what a perfect human figure
ought to be. In the study of many different forms they developed an idea
of a type common to all and uniting all the perfections. Certain
sculptors figured out what they regarded as the true proportions of the
ideal human form. One of these was Lysippus, who is believed to have
executed this statue as an illustration of his theories. We note as the
special characteristics of his ideal figure that it is tall, with slim
light limbs, and a rather small head, about one eighth the total height.

We may now see how such a statue as the Apoxyomenos was a preparatory
study for statues of the gods. The gods were to be represented in the
most perfect human forms which it was possible to conceive, and by
working out typical figures like this, forms were found worthy of the
noblest subjects. Thus the proportions discovered by Lysippus were
peculiarly appropriate for the lighter, fleeter gods, as Apollo and

Lysippus executed his works entirely in bronze, and the statue
reproduced in our illustration is a marble copy of the original, which
was long since lost.



Phœbus Apollo was the Greek god of day, who drove the great chariot
of the sun across the sky from dawn to sunset. As the sun's rays pierce
the air with darts of fire, so Apollo is an archer god carrying a quiver
full of arrows. The old Homeric hymn calls him--

        "Heaven's far darter, the fair king of days
    Whom even the gods themselves fear when he goes
    Through Jove's high house; and when his goodly bows
    He goes to bend, all from their thrones arise
    And cluster near t' admire his faculties."[15]

[15] In Chapman's translation.

If we count up all the gifts which the sunlight brings us, we shall have
a list of the offices of Apollo. He brought the spring and the summer,
and ripened the grain for harvest. He warded off disease and healed the
sick. One of his earliest adventures was to slay the serpent Python
lurking in the caves of Mt. Parnassus. Like the legend of St. George and
the Dragon, the story is an allegory of the triumph of light over
darkness, health over disease, the power of good over the power of evil.

Apollo was also the patron of music, having received from Hermes the
gift of the lyre. He was wont to play at the banquets of the gods, and
the poet Shelley describes his music in these words:--

    "And then Apollo with the plectrum strook
    The chords, and from beneath his hands a crash
    Of mighty sounds rushed up, whose music shook
    The soul with sweetness, and like an adept
    His sweeter voice a just accordance kept."[16]

[16] From Shelley's translation of the Homeric _Hymn to Mercury_.

Poetry and the dance were also under Apollo's protection, and he was the
leader of the nine muses.

His highest office was prophecy, and in all his temples the priestesses
gave mystic revelations of the future. The most famous of these was at
Delphi, built over an opening in the ground, whence a strange vapor
rose. The priestess, a young woman called a _pythia_, from the python
slain by Apollo, sat over this opening on a three-legged seat, or
tripod, and answered the questions brought to her. Her sayings were in
verses called _oracles_, supposed to be communicated to her by the god.

Now, as might be expected, the character of Apollo was as pure and
transparent as the sunlight itself. He required clean hands and pure
hearts of those who worshiped him. As the sunlight shines into the dark
places of the earth, driving the shadows away, so Apollo hated all that
was dark and evil in human life. He was not only the rewarder of good
but the punisher of evil. In Shelley's "Hymn of Apollo" these words are
put in the god's mouth:--

    "The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
    Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;

    All men who do or even imagine ill
    Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
    Good minds and open actions take new might,
    Until diminished by the reign of night."

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Vatican Gallery, Rome_]

The head of Apollo in our illustration is from a famous full-length
statue of the god known as the Apollo Belvedere. The name Belvedere,
which is useful only to distinguish the statue from others of the same
subject, comes from the fact that the marble once adorned a pavilion of
the Vatican called the Belvedere.

The god stands with left arm extended holding, it is supposed, either a
bow or a shield. A quiver of arrows is slung across his back, and a
chlamys, or cloak, hangs over his left shoulder. His is the proud
attitude of one who is defending some sacred trust. So he holds his head
high and gazes steadily before him as if watching an arrow speed to its
mark, or perhaps scanning the vanguard of an approaching army. The
expression is not a little haughty, and one detects an almost disdainful
curve of the lips as if the god regarded the enemy with scorn. The face
is cut in an aristocratic mould, with fine sensitive lines which mark
the lover of music and poetry. In fact, the refinement of his beauty has
something of a feminine quality.

The carefully curled hair is gathered in a bow knot on the top of his
head. It may indeed be supposed that the handsome young god was by no
means unconscious of his charms, and took no little pains to display
them to good advantage.

The Apollo, however, is a god worthy of our admiration for the noble
purity of his countenance. Surely, all base thoughts and mean motives
would be put to shame by this pure presence.

The poet Byron, whose "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" describes many
interesting sights in Greece and Italy, has written these lines about
the Apollo Belvedere:--

      "The Lord of the unerring bow,
    The god of life, and poesy, and light--
    The sun, in human limbs array'd, and brow
    All radiant from his triumph in the fight;
    The shaft hath just been shot--the arrow bright
    With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye
    And nostril beautiful disdain, and might,
    And majesty flash their full lightnings by,
    Developing in that one glance the deity."



The Greeks worshipped among their deities a goddess called Demeter,
which means "mother earth." It was her office to attend to the sowing
and reaping and all kinds of farm work. She first taught mankind the use
of the plough; she helped the men in their threshing and the women in
their baking. All country folk sought her blessing in their labors. She
was, in fact, a personification of nature, and perhaps it is a remnant
of the old Greek belief in our speech that we still refer to "mother
earth" and "mother nature."

Demeter's only child was a daughter, Persephone, and upon her she
lavished all a mother's fond devotion. The story runs that one day
Persephone was gathering posies in the meadow when a strange accident
overtook her. A beautiful flower suddenly attracted her attention, the
like of which she had never before seen. When she put forth her hand to
pluck it, the entire plant came up by the roots, leaving a hole in the
ground. The hole widened into a great crack, the earth shook with a
mighty thundering, and out dashed a chariot drawn by coal-black steeds,
bearing Pluto, the king of the lower regions. He caught up the
astonished Persephone, and away they sped again into the gloomy kingdom
beyond the Styx, where Persephone was installed as queen.

Demeter, missing her daughter, inquired everywhere what had become of
the maiden, but none could tell her. Then she lighted a torch and began
a weary search for the lost child. Nine days she wandered without
finding any clew. But on the tenth day she met the old witch Hecate, who
had heard Persephone scream when she was carried away. Together the two
sought Apollo, who sees all the doings of gods and men, and he told them
the whole story. "Then a more terrible grief took possession of Demeter,
and ... she forsook the assembly of the gods and abode among men for a
long time, veiling her beauty under a worn countenance so that none who
looked upon her knew her." She declared that the earth should not again
bring forth fruit till she had seen her daughter.

It comforted her not a little in this time of mourning to take a
mother's care of a certain sickly little child she chanced upon.
Disguised as a nurse, she fed the child upon ambrosia, held him in her
bosom, and at night covered him in a bed of coals. Under this treatment
he thrived amazingly; but the parents discovered the nurse's strange
ways and became alarmed. Their anxiety was turned to dismay when they
learned that this was a goddess, who would have made their son immortal
but for their interference.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Vatican Gallery, Rome_]

In the mean time the crops fell into a bad state, and it was a year of
grievous famine. Demeter still kept her vow to let no green thing appear
upon the earth. Then Zeus came to the rescue of perishing humanity. He
sent a messenger to Pluto begging him to let Persephone return to her
mother. The request was granted, the chariot was made ready, but the
wily king first pressed his bride to eat with him some pomegranate
seeds, designing that she should return to him again. Mother and
daughter were now joyfully reunited, but not without further separation;
for a portion of each year Persephone returned to her kingdom below the
earth, reappearing in the spring to visit her mother. And this is why to
this day the harvest is followed by winter until the spring revisits the

[17] The story of Demeter and Persephone is related in the Homeric _Hymn
to Demeter_, of which an abridged English version is given in the
chapter on the Myth of Demeter and Persephone in Pater's _Greek
Studies_. The same chapter refers to various other ancient forms of the
story, one of the most important being that of Ovid's Metamorphoses,
translated into English blank verse by Edward King.

In all this story we see that the most striking characteristic of
Demeter is her motherliness. In some respects she is like Hera, because
both are matrons and are patterns of the domestic virtues. But while
Hera is the model wife, Demeter is the model mother.

It is the motherliness of our statue which makes us feel sure that it
must be intended to represent Demeter.[18] The goddess stands holding in
her outstretched right hand a sheaf of wheat, and lifting high in the
left hand the torch with which she journeyed round the world. It is as
if she stood on the threshold of the opening season awaiting her
daughter's return. She gazes straight before her with a look of
expectancy as if she already saw her child from afar. Her face is
lighted by a smile of welcome. One can fancy how tenderly those motherly
arms will fold the child to her heart, and how gladly the daughter will
pillow her head on that broad bosom.

[18] See in the _Historical Directory_ another subject assigned to the

The figure is in striking contrast to the statue of Athena which we have
studied. The virgin goddess is stately and unapproachable in her panoply
of wisdom, but the great mother seems to invite our confidence. She is
one to whom a frightened child might run, sure of being soothed. To her
the sorrowing would turn, fearing no repulse. She would welcome, she
would understand, she would comfort. There is strength and repose in
every line of her majestic figure.

The statue illustrates admirably the grandeur and simplicity of the best
Greek art. The long straight lines of the drapery, unbroken by any
unnecessary folds, are the secret of the impression of tranquil dignity
in the work.



The imagination of the Greeks peopled the woods and waters with all
sorts of mythical beings, among which one of the most delightful was the
faun. This was a creature half human, half animal, which frolicked in
the woods in spring time. In outward appearance it looked much like a
human being, except that it had pointed furry ears. In nature, however,
it was closely akin to the animals, and lived a free happy life, with
none of the thoughts and cares which beset the soul of man.

Our statue represents a sculptor's conception of this sportive being. It
is famous not only because it is a celebrated work of art, but because
it takes an important place in a celebrated novel. This is the "marble
faun" which gives the title to Hawthorne's book. It will be remembered
that in the beginning of the story, a party of friends are visiting the
museum of the Capitol in Rome, where the statue stands. Suddenly they
notice the resemblance which one of their number, a young Italian named
Donatello, bears to the statue. They bid him take the same attitude, and
the likeness is complete. The writer describes the statue in these
words: "The Faun is the marble image of a young man leaning his right
arm on the trunk or stump of a tree; one hand hangs carelessly by his
side; in the other he holds the fragment of a pipe, or some such sylvan
instrument of music. His only garment--a lion's skin,[19] with the claws
upon his shoulder--falls halfway down his back, leaving the limbs and
entire front of the figure nude. The form, thus displayed, is
marvellously graceful, but has a fuller and more rounded outline, more
flesh, and less of heroic muscle, than the old sculptors were wont to
assign to their types of masculine beauty.[20] The character of the face
corresponds with the figure; it is most agreeable in outline and
feature, but rounded and somewhat voluptuously developed, especially
about the throat and chin; the nose is almost straight, but very
slightly curves inward, thereby acquiring an indescribable charm of
geniality and humor. The mouth, with its full yet delicate lips, seems
so nearly to smile outright that it calls forth a responsive smile. The
whole statue--unlike anything else that ever was wrought in that severe
material of marble--conveys the idea of an amiable and sensual creature,
easy, mirthful, apt for jollity, yet not incapable of being touched by
pathos. It is impossible to gaze long at this stone image without
conceiving a kindly sentiment towards it, as if its substance were warm
to the touch, and imbued with actual life. It comes very close to some
of our pleasantest sympathies."

[19] More likely a leopard's skin.

[20] Compare, for instance, the slender figure of the Apoxyomenos.

[Illustration: Alinari, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Capitol Museum, Rome_]

After this description the writer goes on to analyze the nature of the
Faun. "The being here represented," he says, "is endowed with no
principle of virtue, and would be incapable of comprehending such; but
he would be true and honest by dint of his simplicity. We should expect
from him no sacrifice or effort for an abstract cause; there is not an
atom of martyr's stuff in all that softened marble; but he has a
capacity for strong and warm attachment, and might act devotedly through
its impulse, and even die for it at need. It is possible, too, that the
Faun might be educated through the medium of his emotions, so that the
coarser animal portion of his nature might eventually be thrown into the
background, though never utterly expelled."

The original statue, of which the marble of the Capitol is a copy, was
the work of the sculptor Praxiteles. As Hawthorne says: "Only a sculptor
of the finest imagination, the most delicate taste, the sweetest
feeling, and the rarest artistic skill--in a word, a sculptor and a poet
too--could have ... succeeded in imprisoning the sportive and frisky
thing in marble." We are presently to see again in the head of Hermes
that Praxiteles was indeed a remarkable sculptor. The Faun, however, is
the more difficult subject of the two, for it was puzzling to think what
expression would be proper to a being partly human, but without a soul.

It is said that Praxiteles himself considered the Faun one of his two
best works. It had been impossible for his friends to get an expression
of opinion from him in regard to his statues, until one day a trick was
devised to betray him. He was told that his studio was on fire, when he
exclaimed that his labor was all lost if the Faun and the Eros were

The Faun originally stood in the street of the Tripods at Athens, but
what has now become of it we do not know. The statue in our illustration
is one of the most celebrated copies. Many travellers make a special
pilgrimage to see it, and seeing it recall the words of Hawthorne,
describing the spell it casts upon the spectator. "All the pleasantness
of sylvan life, all the genial and happy characteristics of creatures
that dwell in woods and fields, will seem to be mingled and kneaded into
one substance, along with the kindred qualities in the human soul.
Trees, grass, flowers, woodland streamlets, cattle, deer, and
unsophisticated man--the essence of all these was compressed long ago,
and still exists, within that discolored marble surface of the Faun of



One of the greatest of Greek writers was the tragic poet Sophocles. He
was born near Athens in the year 495 B. C., and was educated after the
manner of the Greek youth of his time. Every advantage was given him for
the study of music and poetry, and also for that gymnastic training
which, as we have seen, was so important in Greek education.

Sophocles was a handsome youth, and acquitted himself well in the
palæstra. When he was sixteen years of age the great battle of Salamis
was fought and won by the Greeks. In the celebration of this victory at
Athens, Sophocles led with dance and lyre the chorus of young men who
sang the pæan or hymn of victory. That such an honor should be given him
shows how graceful and gifted he must have been.

The beginning of his literary career came when he was in his
twenty-fifth year. At that time a solemn festival was held in Athens in
memory of the ancient King Theseus, whose bones had been brought thither
from the island of Scyros. Now all religious festivals in Greece were
celebrated with contests, some athletic, others artistic and literary.
On this occasion there was a contest of dramatic poets. Æschylus was at
that time the greatest of living tragedians, and as he was among the
contestants, it might have been supposed that no other candidate could
have succeeded. Sophocles now came forward with his first tragedy, and
so remarkable was it found to be that the judges pronounced him victor.

From this time forth Sophocles continually grew in dramatic and literary
power. Twenty times he obtained the first prize in other contests, and
many times also the second prize. The amount of his work was prodigious.
Most of his dramas are lost, but we still have a half dozen or more to
show us the noble quality of his work. The finest are perhaps those
called Œdipus Tyrannus, Œdipus Coloneus, and Antigone, all dealing
with the tragic fate of an ancient royal family.

Athens was justly proud of her great poet and bestowed various honors
upon him. He was even made a general, and served in the war against
Samos; but nature had made him a poet, and it is as a poet that we must
always think of him. Full of years and honors, he died in Athens at the
age of ninety. Of him the Greek poet Phrynicus wrote,--

    "Thrice happy Sophocles! in good old age
    Blessed as a man, and as a craftsman blessed,
    He died: his many tragedies were fair,
    And fair his end, nor knew he any sorrow."

Our portrait shows admirably what manner of man he was, handsome and
dignified, in the prime of life.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Lateran Museum, Rome_]

The scanty folds of his toga reveal the fine lines of his graceful
figure. The pose shows the bodily vigor which his early athletic
training gave him. He holds his head erect in a manner suggestive of his
military life. The face is that of an idealist and a poet, a man who
sees splendid visions. Yet it is not altogether dreamy in the ordinary
sense; it has the alert, energetic aspect of one who would turn from
vision to action. It is not hard to believe the tale of his one hundred
and twenty-three dramas: such a man would fill his life with activity.
The face has, too, the expression of genial kindliness which made the
great poet so beloved of his fellow men. His must have been that calm,
equable temperament not easily ruffled, which goes with the
self-respecting nature. A receptacle at his side is filled with the
scrolls of his tragedies. He stands in the attitude of a poet reciting
his lines to an assembled audience.

The statue shows how sane was the Greek ideal of intellectual greatness.
In those days genius did not mean eccentricity, but the rule of life was
a sound mind in a sound body. It is a mistaken notion of our own times
that bodily health must be sacrificed to the training of the brain. It
is even supposed by some that oddities of dress and manner are signs of

The Greeks had no such delusions. Here is Sophocles, the greatest
dramatic poet of antiquity, a magnificent specimen of symmetrically
developed manhood. He is a man who has made the most of life's
opportunities as he understood them. He enjoys perfect bodily vigor; he
is as well a man of the world, at ease among men. There is evidently
nothing of the recluse in his character. He wears his beard carefully
trimmed as one who looks well to his personal appearance. Yet
intellectual greatness is stamped on face and bearing: the noble
countenance marks him as a poet.

There was a period in Greek history when it was a custom to adorn public
buildings with statues of famous men, living or dead. Libraries were
appropriately decorated with statues of poets, and we fancy that our
statue of Sophocles was made for such a purpose. The original is
supposed to have been set up by a certain Athenian statesman named
Lycurgus in the fourth century B. C.



Old soldiers tell us that sometimes in the thick of a battle men fight
as though possessed by a spirit of fury. The excitement of the conflict
seems to arouse an impulse of bloodthirstiness in them, and for the
moment they seem to exult in the carnage. In the ancient methods of
warfare, when a battle was literally a hand-to-hand conflict, this
spirit of brutality was of course even more marked. In the wars among
the early Greeks men fell upon one another with the violence of wild

The Greeks with their ready gift for personification conceived of this
spirit of warfare as a supernatural being acting on human lives. He was
called Ares, the god whose special delight was to incite the fierce
passions of men.

It was natural that the Greeks should refer his influence chiefly to
their enemies. On their own part they preferred to think that their
armies were inspired by the prudent spirit of self-defense embodied in
Athena. This explains why in the Iliad Ares was on the side of the
Trojans, while Athena aided the Greeks. Thus Ares and Athena were
brought into direct rivalry, the spirit of violence against the spirit
of strategy.

An instance is related when Athena makes an appeal to her enemy, the
translation running in these words, the Roman name Mars being used for

    "Mars, Mars, thou slayer of men, thou steeped in blood,
    Destroyer of walled cities! should we not
    Leave both the Greeks and Trojans to contend,
    And Jove to crown with glory whom he will,
    While we retire, lest we provoke his wrath?"[21]

[21] Iliad, Book v., lines 33-37.

As a matter of fact, however, both deities continued to aid their
favorites. Mars was forced to yield before the skill and prudence of
Athena. Guided by the goddess the Greek hero Diomed wounds and drives
him from the battle.[22]

[22] Iliad, Book v., lines 1068-1075.

In spite of his violent nature Mars was a handsome god, "stately, swift,
unwearied, puissant." Though war was his chief delight he was quite
susceptible to the tender passion. Venus was the object of his devotion,
and the goddess of love returned the war god's admiration. It was she
who soothed his wounded vanity when Athena mocked him in the presence of
the gods and struck him to earth with a stone.[23]

[23] Iliad, Book xxi., lines 500 _et seq._

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Ludovisi Villa, Rome_]

The statue reproduced in our illustration shows the god in his mildest
aspect. He is seated in a meditative attitude, clasping his hands over
his upraised knee. His splendidly developed body is relaxed in a posture
of repose, the shield is laid aside for a moment, and he rests from his
labors. In the best period of Greek sculpture it was entirely contrary
to the laws of taste to represent Ares in any warlike action. The gods
must always be portrayed in a dignified repose befitting their
superiority to mankind. Not then in his attitude or expression do we
find any sign of the character of the god. There is no suggestion of
unrest in his quiet posture.

The shape of his head perhaps gives some hint of his combative nature.
The cast of countenance, too, shows an impulsive temper, weak in
intellectual qualities, and quick to anger. Yet he is undeniably
attractive, with his well-chiseled features and clustering curls. The
small ear is as delicately cut as a woman's. The fine athletic figure is
such as any warrior might covet; muscular and supple, it is full of
power even in repose. The attitude of easy grace displays its best
points to advantage.

Sitting on the ground in front of the god is the figure of a mischievous
baby boy. This is the little god Eros, who in Greek mythology was
supposed to be the inspirer of love. The artist meant to suggest that
the subject of Ares' meditations might be some affair of the heart.
Certainly his mild smile would carry out that interpretation. Some
critics have thought, however, that the statue did not originally
include the child.

As we study the modelling of the figure, the free sweep of the long
lines delights the eye. We shall come to understand from repeated
examples that the best Greek sculptors thoroughly mastered the secret of
fine lines. Our illustration is somewhat unusual because the figure is
seated. Even in this position, however, the sculptor gives us a sense
of the perfect grace and lightness of the pose. There is nothing heavy
or immovable in the attitude. We can easily imagine how the god, rising
lightly to his feet, would stand erect and beautiful, ready for action.



To do his errands and carry his messages through the universe the
supreme god Zeus had a herald, Hermes, the god of the wind. As the wind
blows out of the great sky, so Hermes descended from Olympus to earth to
do the sky god's bidding. Equipped as a herald he wore a winged cap and
winged sandals, which carried him about with great speed. He had also a
short sword bent like a scythe, given him by Zeus with the cap and
sandals. He possessed the strange power of making himself invisible, and
of assuming different forms. As he had besides a ready wit and an
eloquent tongue, he could make himself very useful. It was one of his
common tasks to carry sleep to mortals, and his most solemn office was
to conduct the souls of the dying to the other world.

This is the way the Odyssey describes Hermes setting forth on one of the
errands of Zeus:--

              "The herald Argicide obeyed,
    And hastily beneath his feet he bound
    The fair ambrosial golden sandals, worn
    To bear him over ocean like the wind,
    And o'er the boundless land. His wand he took,
    Wherewith he softly seals the eyes of men,
    And opens them at will from sleep."[24]

[24] Book v., lines 55-61 in Bryant's translation.

One of the most famous adventures of Hermes was the slaying of the
many-eyed monster Argus, from whom he rescued the unhappy Io. This is
why the old Greek poet, whom we have quoted, calls the god the Argicide.
Another of his well known missions was the care of the motherless infant
Bacchus, whom he conveyed to the nymphs of Nysa to be reared. An
adventurer himself, Hermes was ever ready to aid heroes in their
exploits. It was with his sword that Perseus cut off the Gorgon's head:
we may read the story in Hawthorne's "Wonder-Book" and Kingsley's "Greek

Nor was Hermes above a bit of mischief now and then. An old Homeric hymn
tells of a sly prank he played upon Apollo, when he was a mere baby,
stealing the herds of Admetus which Apollo was keeping. He was an
ingenious fellow too, and this is how he invented the lyre. Taking from
the beach a tortoise, he cleaned out the shell, pierced it with holes,
and stretched from hole to hole, at regular intervals, cords of sheep

    "When he had wrought the lovely instrument
    He tried the chords, and made division meet,
    Preluding with the plectrum, and there went
    Up from beneath his hand a tumult sweet
      Of mighty sounds."[25]

[25] From the Homeric _Hymn to Mercury_ in Shelley's translation, Stanza

[Illustration: English Photographic Co., Athens, Photo. John Andrew &
Son, Sc.


_Museum, Olympia_]

With this instrument Apollo was so delighted that Hermes straightway
presented it to him, to make some amends, as it were, for the injury
done him. In return Apollo bestowed the _caduceus_, or wand, upon
Hermes, and the two gods vowed eternal friendship.

The Greeks were very fond of their god Hermes. He was not too grand to
be companionable, like the awe-inspiring Zeus or the haughty Apollo.
They thought of him as a blithe, gentle being whose lighthearted ways
and easy good nature made him a general favorite. It was an early custom
to set up in his honor stone posts at the crossroads. Sometimes they
were topped by the heads of other gods, but these were called for him,
_hermæ_. In the course of time better statues were made in full length
figure. The head reproduced in our illustration is from such an one
which used to stand in a temple of Olympia, from the ruins of which it
was unearthed a few years ago.

The entire right arm and parts of both legs are missing, but the other
portions of the statue show the god's position. He is leaning against a
tree trunk, holding on his left arm the infant Bacchus, who was, as we
have seen, consigned to his care by Zeus. Hermes is not, however,
looking at the child, but gazes dreamily before him, his head bent in
the pensive pose which we see. The features are cut with typical Greek
regularity, but the countenance has besides its own individual charm.
The droop of the upper eyelid suggests a dreamy nature, and in the curve
of the smiling lips is a hint of playfulness. The lower forehead is
full, showing over the eyes the bar of flesh which marks the strongly
masculine nature. The closely cropped curls preserve the perfect
contour of the head. The small, beautiful ear is as daintily modeled as
the ringlets of hair.

The face wins us at once with its gentle amiability. It is tender and
playful, and withal exquisitely refined and courteous. What a
deferential listener is suggested in that pose of the head! The pure
outline of the face calls to mind those knights of chivalry who gathered
about King Arthur's Round Table, and one wonders if Sir Galahad himself
might not have looked like this.

This statue is the work of the great sculptor Praxiteles, and is the
only original marble in existence direct from his hands. All the rest of
his work is known from descriptions and copies. We can understand, then,
how sculptors and critics the world over have examined it to study the
sculptor's methods. It is of Parian marble, much stained with iron rust
from its long entombment under the soil.



We have seen how important a part in the Greek national life was
occupied by the Olympic Games. They were regarded as a sacred
institution of the gods, and to contend in them was a religious
consecration. None could enter them who had been guilty of dishonorable
conduct or sacrilege, and young men from the noblest families were not
above taking part. The prizes were wreaths of wild parsley, olive, and
pine, having no intrinsic worth, but of priceless value to the
recipients. To win them was the highest ambition of many a Greek youth.

The victor was led forth before the people, crowned with the wreath and
bearing a palm branch in his hand. Heralds proclaimed his name and that
of his father. Banquets were spread in his honor, and songs were
composed in his praise.[26] From thenceforth he was a person of
distinction. Finally his statue was set up in the _altis_ or sacred
grove of Olympia. There were at one time as many as three thousand such
statues in the place.

[26] See, for instance, Pindar's _Olympic Odes_.

It will be readily seen that in statues of athletes the sculptor had
greater freedom than in statues of the gods. The latter must be
represented in dignified attitudes of repose, but the former would
naturally be portrayed in some characteristic posture of action. It is
so with the statue in our illustration called the Discobolus or

The game of disk-throwing was very old, so old that there were Greek
legends of famous games played by the gods and heroes. Apollo sometimes
tried his hand at it, and also Perseus. The discus, or disk, was a heavy
round plate of metal, bronze or iron, about eight inches in diameter,
grasped in one hand, swung around to give it a rotary motion, and then
sent flying through the air. A modern authority explains that it was
thrown not as the quoit is to-day, with arm and shoulder only, but by
bringing into play and utilizing every limb and muscle of the body.
"Immediately preceding the actual hurling of the discus, therefore,
there had to be a general storing up and compression of energy which,
when suddenly set free, produced the violence of the projection. The
principle is simply that of the spring which, when compressed, shoots
out from the centre. The greater the contortion of the body, the more
each muscle and sinew is strung towards one centre, the greater will be
the impetus when this compression is suddenly set free."[27]

[27] Waldstein, in _Essays on the Art of Pheidias_, page 49.

[Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Lancelotti Palace, Rome_]

Our statue shows the disk-thrower at the moment immediately preceding
the throw. As described by the ancient writer Lucian, "he is bent down
into the position for the throw, turning towards the hand that holds the
disk, and all but bending on one knee, he seems as if he would
straighten himself up at the throw."

The modern critic whom we have already quoted shows that when we view
the statue from the front, "all the lines of the modelling indicate the
tension of the sinews towards the contracted centre of the body, and the
legs, neck, and shoulders tend towards the same point." When we walk
around the statue, all the lines in the back and sides "seem to lead
towards that central point like the spiral contraction of a spring." It
is by thus suggesting the concentration of energy on the part of the
Discobolus that the figure appears so full of life and action.

By the choice of this posture the artist was enabled to model his figure
on magnificent sculpturesque lines. One long fine curve sweeps along the
right arm, is continued down the left arm, and is carried to completion
in the left leg and foot. The counter curve starts under the right
shoulder, and sweeps down the right side and leg.

The original statue of the Discobolus was executed in bronze, and our
reproduction is from one of several ancient copies in marble. In some of
these the original head of the statue has been replaced by another, but
the copy we see here has a fine, vigorous head. The English critic,
Walter Pater,[28] describes the face "as smooth but spare, and tightly
drawn over muscle and bone." He shows too how sympathetic the face is
with the whole intention of the statue, "as the source of will."[29]

[28] In the chapter on Athletic Prizemen, in _Greek Studies_.

[29] This opinion is the more interesting because the face of the
Discobolus is commonly criticised for "absence of emotional expression."
See Furtwängler's _Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture_, p. 173.

The sculptor of the Discobolus was Myron, who lived in the period
between the Persian War and the middle of the fifth century. His work
shows his fondness for movement, though many of his subjects did not
permit him to indulge his taste. He made a specialty of figures of
athletes, both commemorative portrait statues and typical figures. We do
not know whether this statue represents an actual Olympic victor, or is
a typical figure, like the Apoxyomenos. In any case it gives an
excellent idea of the great influence exercised upon Greek life by the
athletic games.



By Greek tradition the fairest of the goddesses was Aphrodite, the
goddess of love and beauty. To her every lover paid his vows and every
maiden prayed for charms. An old legend relates that she was born from
the foam of the sea, hence the name Aphrodite, which means "foam-born."
Among the Romans she was called Venus. At her birth the island of Cyprus
received her.

                        "Where the force
    Of gentle-breathing Zephyr steer'd her course
    Along the waves of the resounding sea,
    While yet unborn in that soft foam she lay
    That brought her forth."

Here she emerged "a goddess in the charms of awful beauty." The Hours
welcomed her eagerly, taking her in their arms and putting a crown of
gold upon her head. As she went on her way, flowers grew in her path,--

                                   "Where her delicate feet
    Had pressed the sands, green herbage flowering sprang."[30]

[30] An account of the birth of Aphrodite is given in Hesiod's
_Theogony_ and in the Homeric _Hymn to Venus_, and the quotations here
are drawn from both sources.

As we have already seen, there were among the Greek divinities two other
goddesses besides Aphrodite specially famed for their beauty,--Athena
and Hera. Tradition tells how the beauty of the three was tested. An
apple was thrown into their midst inscribed "For the fairest," and a
contention at once arose as to the rightful owner. Paris, the prince of
Troy, being chosen arbiter, decided in favor of Aphrodite, who promised
him for a wife the fairest woman in Greece, that is, Helen.[31] This was
the real cause of the Trojan War, in which the Greeks sought to recover
their stolen princess. Aphrodite being at the bottom of the trouble
remained through the war on the Trojan side.

[31] See Tennyson's poem, _Oenone_.

Oddly enough the beautiful goddess was mated to the ugliest of the gods,
the lame blacksmith Hephæstus (or Vulcan). At his forge were made those
fateful arrows of the little god Eros (or Cupid), the mother standing by
to tip their points with honey.

The power of love in human life made the ideal of Aphrodite very dear to
the hearts of the Greeks. All that is most tender and sacred in this
human relation was personified in her. As love ennobles the life and
makes it unselfish, so, they reasoned, must Aphrodite be a grand and
noble being. Again, as love glorifies the life, and brings joy into its
commonest details, she must also be beautiful and laughter-loving. In
short, one cannot think of any quality of love which was not reflected
in the person of the glorious goddess. Temples were built in her honor,
and she was worshiped in festivals and sacrificial rites. Statues of her
were set up in many places, and one of the most famous which has come
down to us is reproduced in our illustration.

[Illustration: Neurdein Frères, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_The Louvre, Paris_]

We have now learned by repeated instances that the Greeks had such
definite ideas of their deities that their statues were as readily
recognized as if they represented actual persons. The sculptors followed
types accepted by tradition as the best embodiment of the characters
they stood for. So especially with Zeus, Athena, and Hera, and so again
with Aphrodite. She must be supremely fair, with a beauty less austere
than that of the maiden Athena, less regal than that of Hera, and more
fascinating than either.

We see then at once that the beautiful figure of our illustration must
be Aphrodite, or Venus. In looking at her we think, not of wisdom, or
force, or power, but just of beauty. She stands resting the weight of
her body on one foot, and advancing the other with knee bent. The
posture causes the figure to sway slightly to one side, describing a
fine curved line. The lower limbs are draped, but the upper part of the
body is uncovered, and in some mysterious way the sculptor has imparted
to the marble a seeming softness as of real flesh. The head is as
exquisitely set as a flower on its stalk. The parted hair is drawn back
in rippling waves over the low forehead.

The eyes are not very wide open, having something of a dreamy languor.
"Melting eyes" are indeed characteristic of Venus, and an analytical
critic has explained that this effect is produced in sculpture by a
"slight elevation of the inner corner of the lower eyelid." The nose is
perfectly cut, the mouth and chin are moulded in adorable curves. Yet to
say that every feature is of faultless perfection is but cold praise. No
analysis can convey the sense of her peerless beauty.

The statue originally stood on the Greek island of Melos, where it was
discovered in 1820 in this broken state. Many wise heads have been
puzzled to know the position of the missing arms. Some have thought that
the goddess carried a shield, and others have fancied her holding the
traditional apple. There have also been many discussions as to the date
of the work. Now if the statue had been made in the fifth century B. C.,
the goddess would have been fully draped; if in the fourth century,
entirely without drapery. Our sculptor then belonged to neither of these
periods, and combined the characteristics of both. It is a fault on his
part to have placed the drapery in an impossible position, whence in
actual life it would immediately fall of its own weight. Yet we do not
think of such criticisms when we see it. The beautiful body rising above
the drapery reminds us of the myth of Aphrodite emerging from the sea
foam. Her beauty is a union of strength and sweetness, a perfect
embodiment of a nature at harmony with itself and its surroundings.



There was once a man named Orpheus, who lived in the land of Thrace. It
was said that his father was Apollo, and his mother the muse Calliope;
so it is not strange that he was both poet and musician. So enchanting
was the music of his lyre that wild animals came forth from their haunts
to hear him. Even trees and rocks seemed to feel the magic influence of
the strain.

He had a beautiful wife named Eurydice, whom he loved dearly, and they
were happy together till a sad accident separated them. She was bitten
one day by a poisonous serpent, and died from the effects of the wound.
There was no more happiness on earth for Orpheus, and he determined to
seek Eurydice in the underworld of the dead.

Now the gates of the lower regions were guarded by a three-headed dog
named Cerberus, but even this fierce beast was subdued by the entrancing
music of Orpheus, who

                     "Through the unsubstantial realm
    Populous with phantom ghosts of buried men,
    Undaunted passed to where Persephone
    Sits by the monarch of that cheerless folk
    Of shadows throned--and struck his lyre, and sang."

Pouring forth the mournful tale of his lost love, he appealed to the
gods to give him back Eurydice. So eloquent was his plea that all who
listened were "moved to weeping." Then for the first time the iron
cheeks of the Furies were wet with tears, and

                          "Of the nether realm
    Nor King nor Queen had heart to say him nay."

Eurydice was brought forth and restored to her husband, but a single
condition was laid upon Orpheus in leading her out. Until they had
regained the earth he was not to look backward, or the boon would be
forfeited. The Latin poet Ovid tells how the two fared forth together
from the underworld, and how Orpheus failed in the conditions of the

                    "Through the silent realm
    Upward against the steep and fronting hill
    Dark with obscurest gloom, the way he led:
    And now the upper air was all but won,
    When fearful lest the toil o'ertask her strength
    And yearning to behold the form he loved,
    An instant back he looked,--and back the shade
    That instant fled....
    ...One last
    And sad 'Farewell,' scarce audible, she sighed,
    And vanished to the ghosts that late she left."[32]

[32] From the Metamorphoses, Book x, in Henry King's translation, from
which also the other quotations are drawn.

[Illustration: D. Anderson, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_Albani Villa, Rome_]

Our bas-relief represents a scene of parting between Orpheus and
Eurydice, and we may take it, as we please, to refer to their first or
to their last farewell. It seems, however, to apply more appropriately
to the first departure of Eurydice to the unknown land. She lays her
hand fondly upon her husband's shoulder, and he touches it gently as if
to detain her.

The figure on the other side is the messenger god Hermes, whose mission
is to conduct departing spirits to the other world.[33] He has come for
Eurydice, and he takes her by the hand to draw her away. For a moment
husband and wife gaze into each other's eyes with love and sorrow, while
the messenger waits with exquisite courtesy.

[33] See page 61.

Though the Greeks had many tales of sorrow in their poetry and
mythology, they did not often illustrate them in their art. The subjects
of their sculpture are nearly always happy ones. Even here, you see,
grief is made so beautiful and dignified that we forget to feel sad
about the parting. We think most of the love and devotion between
Orpheus and Eurydice.

The simple story of the bas-relief touches us more readily perhaps than
the grand statues of the gods. People like in art something which
corresponds to the common human lives of all.

The garment worn by Eurydice seems quite like that of the goddess
Demeter. The drapery is very full in front, falling in long straight
folds. At the side it is scantier and shows the motion of the figure in
walking. The short tunic worn by the other figures is a picturesque
costume, and the mantle swinging over one shoulder is very graceful.
When one contrasts with these classical draperies the stiff dress of
modern times, one wonders that the sculptor of to-day does not throw
down his chisel in despair.

The style of the draperies often enables a critic to decide in what
period a work of art was produced. In the best art the folds are always
simple: it is a sure sign of declining art when the folds are
complicated and broken. Here we see the few simple, severe lines which
mark the purest classical taste.



Upon the death of Alexander the Great there was much disputing among his
generals as to what should become of the various provinces of his
empire, including Greece. It was finally decided that the Greek cities
should be left free. A general named Ptolemy soon broke this agreement
and entered Greece, whereupon another named Antigonus promptly proceeded
to punish him. Antigonus had a son Demetrius, who was a skilful
engineer, and was called Poliorcetes, "besieger of cities," for his
success in raising sieges. He was sent to Athens with a fleet of two
hundred and fifty ships, and won the gratitude of the city for
delivering it from the hands of Ptolemy. Demetrius next turned his
attention to the island of Cyprus, of which Ptolemy was in possession.
The rival forces met off Salamis, 306 B. C., in a fierce sea fight, and
Demetrius was victorious.

Now the Greeks were fond of commemorating notable events by the erection
of statues, and it was an old custom among them to set up a statue of
victory in honor of any success of arms on land or sea. We have seen how
natural it was for them to attribute the affairs of life to the agency
of the deities. So in war, greatly as they praised their armies and
their generals, it was to Nike, the goddess of victory, that they gave
the chief credit of success. This goddess was conceived as a winged
being attendant upon both Zeus and Athena, who, as we have seen,
controlled the destinies of war.

To Nike then, this winged goddess of victory, was due the wonderful
success of Demetrius over Ptolemy's fleet before Salamis, and it was
fitting that her statue should commemorate the event. The spot chosen
for it was the island of Samothrace, which stands so high above water
level that it is very conspicuous in the northern Greek archipelago.

The goddess was represented standing on the prow of a vessel as if
leading the fleet to success. It may be that the old Greek idea of a
goddess at the prow was the origin of the "figure head" for so many
years carried by every ship that sailed the seas. The vessels in those
old days were called _triremes_, being propelled by rowers who sat at
their oars in three _tiers_, or banks, which gave the name to the craft.
The goddess stood in the middle of what was called the _ikrion proras_,
which would correspond to the forecastle deck. In her right hand she
held a trumpet to her lips, and in her left she carried a crosstree, the
framework of a trophy.

[Illustration: Neurdein Frères, Photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.


_The Louvre, Paris_]

The figure is in an erect poise with the chest held high. You will
notice that a walker making his way against the wind bends the body
forward to resist its force, while one who is borne along on some
vehicle in the face of the wind steadies himself upright. So with Nike;
the attitude expresses the sense of exhilaration from the rush of wind
in the face of one borne along on a moving vessel. The breeze beats the
thin drapery back upon her, outlining the beautiful curves of bust and
limb, and fluttering behind her in the air. The broad pinions which
would retard the ship's motion if spread open are folded to cut the air
like the prow.

When the statue was set up and the colossal figure in white marble was
seen against the blue sky of a southern land, what an inspiration it
must have been as a symbol of success! What discouraged heart could look
at such a figure and not be thrilled with new ambition! The statue of
Nike was not the only tribute to the victory of Demetrius. Some special
coins were struck in honor of the event, including gold staters and
silver tetradrachms, specimens of which still exist. The design on the
obverse of these coins represented the statue of Nike.

Years passed, and at length the independence of the Greeks was crushed
under the heel of the Roman conqueror. Many places were laid waste
throughout the peninsula and the Greek islands. Temples were destroyed
and pillaged, and statues were thrown from their pedestals and buried
beneath the soil and débris. Our statue of Nike shared the sad fate
which befell so many other great works of art. For centuries it lay in
fragments in the ruins surrounding a temple in Samothrace. Then came the
explorer with pickaxe and shovel, some of the precious bits were
recovered, and learned men set to work to put them together again. The
coins of Demetrius were their guide, and the tiny figure of Nike
engraved thereon was the model after which the great statue was

The head and arms are still missing, and a fanciful conceit might
suggest that these losses were the marks of a hard-fought battle.
Success has been dearly bought, but the goddess emerges, erect and
undaunted, her tattered wings beating the air victoriously. As we look
at the statue we think less of what it lacks than of what it is. Perhaps
if head and arms were there we should not have eyes for the glorious
lines in the figure itself. One particularly fine line is the continuous
curve running across the bust and the arched top of the wings.

The figure gives us a sense of motion which fairly quickens the blood in
our veins. We, too, seem to feel the strong salt breeze in our faces,
speeding through the air with courage high, and hope steadily set toward



In the history of ancient Greece the half century included between the
years 480 and 430 B. C. is called the Age of Pericles. During forty
years of this period Pericles was the political leader of Athens. Under
his guidance the city reached the height of her power as the capital of
an empire composed of tributary states. Nor was political power the
chief glory of Athens at this time. She was the centre of arts and
science for the whole world. This was the age of great Greek literature,
when Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides wrote their immortal dramas. It
was also the age of great oratory, when the Athenians constantly heard
"the purest lessons of patriotism put forth in the loftiest forms of
eloquence." Finally, it was the age of great art, when architecture and
sculpture attained perfection and when Phidias, the foremost Greek
sculptor, produced his masterpieces.

Pericles was the dominating spirit in all this brilliant company. It was
his able statesmanship which made and executed the ambitious plans for
the aggrandizement of the city. It was, moreover, his generalship which
carried out successfully so many military expeditions. His eloquence
gave him great influence over the people. He had the art of controlling
men and moving their passions as a musician plays on the strings of his
instrument. Upon his return from the Samian war he delivered a
remarkable funeral oration on those who had fallen in battle. Still
again, his oration in honor of the heroes of the Peloponnesian war was a
noble eulogy of Athens and the Athenians.

The part of Pericles' career which interests us most in our study of
Greek art is his zeal in beautifying Athens with works of architecture
and sculpture. He covered the Acropolis, as the great hill in Athens was
called, with beautiful buildings richly adorned with sculpture. He
appointed Phidias superintendent of all the public edifices, and
employed the most skilled workmen. Besides many temples, a theatre for
music, called an _odeum_, was built, and Pericles introduced into the
Panathenaic festival a contest in music held in this place. In addition
to the public buildings erected, Pericles caused a long wall to be built
to surround the city with fortifications.

It may be supposed that all these improvements cost a great deal of
money, and there were not lacking men who criticised Pericles for
extravagance in the use of public funds. In an assembly of the people,
the great statesman called upon them to say if they thought he had spent
too much. "Yes," came the answer. "Then," said he, "be it charged to my
account, not yours, only let the edifices be inscribed with my name, not
that of the people of Athens." At this they cried out that he might
spend all he pleased of the public funds, and the criticism was
silenced. The story shows the quick wit of the orator, as well as his
knowledge of human nature. He knew he was safe in appealing to the pride
of the people in their city.

At the close of his long career Pericles was seized with the plague, and
lay sick unto death. As his friends gathered about his death-bed they
recounted his great deeds and many victories. Suddenly he interrupted
them by exclaiming that they were praising only those qualities in which
he was no greater than other men. In his own estimate, the most
honorable trait of his character was that "no Athenian through his means
had ever put on mourning."

Pericles was in fact a true patriot and a benefactor of his people. In
the administration of public affairs he showed an upright and honorable
character. Though all his life handling the public funds and increasing
the wealth of the state, it is said that he added not one drachma to his
own estate. He managed his private fortune with great prudence and
dispensed many charities to the needy. His manners were calm and
moderate, and he never gave way to envy or anger. His biographer,
Plutarch, has written of him that "where severity was required, no man
was ever more moderate, or if mildness was necessary, no man better kept
up his dignity than Pericles."

Pericles was a man of fine and striking presence, with a countenance
cast in the mould we have come to know as the typical Greek. His head
was somewhat abnormally long, and the nickname "onion head" was given
him on this account. Plutarch says that this peculiarity accounts for
the fact that he was always represented in portraits as wearing a

We have reason to believe that the bust reproduced in our frontispiece
was made soon after his successful war against Samos. It represents him
then in the fullness of his manhood and at the height of his success and
popularity. The handsome face is full of refinement and shows the calm,
equable temperament which made him a leader. His qualities of
statesmanship strike us most forcibly in the portrait. We should hardly
suspect that this was a great military commander. Yet that here is a
master of men, we can easily believe. One can imagine him standing
before a great multitude, moving them with the power of his eloquence.


The Diacritical Marks given are those found in the latest edition of
Webster's International Dictionary.


    A Dash (¯) above the vowel denotes the long sound, as in fāte,
    ēve, tīme, nōte, ūse.

    A Dash and a Dot (ǡ) above the vowel denote the same sound, less

    A Curve (˘) above the vowel denotes the short sound, as in ădd,
    ĕnd, ĭll, ŏdd, ŭp.

    A Dot (·) above the vowel a denotes the obscure sound of a in
    pȧst, ȧbāte, Amĕricȧ.

    A Double Dot (¨) above the vowel a denotes the broad sound of a
    in fäther, älms.

    A Double Dot (¨) below the vowel a denotes the sound of a in

    A Wave (~) above the vowel e denotes the sound of e in hẽr.

    A Circumflex Accent (^) above the vowel o denotes the sound of o
    in bôrn.

    A dot (.) below the vowel u denotes the sound of u in the French

    N indicates that the preceding vowel has the French nasal tone.

    ç sounds like $s$.

    c̵ sounds like $k$.

    s̱ sounds like $z$.

    g̅ is hard as in g̅et.

    ġ is soft as in ġem.

    Achaian (ȧ-kā´yȧn).

    Achilles (ȧ-kĭl´lēz).

    Acropolis (ȧ-krŏp´ō̇-lĭs).

    Admetus (ăd-mē´tŭs).

    Ægis (ē´jĭs).

    Æschylus (ĕs´kĭ-lŭs).

    Agoracritus (ăg-ō̇-răk´rĭ-tŭs).

    Agrippa (ȧ-grĭp´ȧ).

    Albani (äl-bä´nē).

    Alcamenes (ăl-kăm´ĕ-nēz).


    Antigone (ăn-tĭg̅´ō-nē).

    Antigonus (ăn-tĭg̅´ō-nŭs).

    Antium (ăn´shĭ-ŭm).

    Aphrodite (ăf-rō̇-dī´tē).

    Apollo (ȧ-pŏl´ō).

    Apoxyomenos (ă-pŏx-ĭ-ŏm´ē̇-nŏs).

    Ares (ā´rēz).

    Argicide (är´jĭ-sīd).

    Argonauts (är´g̅ō-na̤tz).


    Aristophanes (ăr-ĭs-tŏf´ȧ-nēz).

    Athena (ă-thē´nȧ).

    Athens (ăth´ĕnz).

    Bacchus (băk´ŭs).

    Belvedere (bĕl-vē̇-dēr´).

    Bernini (bĕr-nē´nē).

    Brunn (brŏŏn).

    caduceus (kȧ-dū´sē̇-ŭs).



    Centaur (sĕn´ta̤r).

    Cerberus (sẽr´bē̇-rŭs).

    Ceres (sē´rēz).

    Chiron (kī´rŏn).

    Collignon (kŏl-lē̇n-yôN´).


    Cyprus (sī´prŭs).

    Delphi (dĕl´fī).







    Elgin (ĕl´g̅ĭn).

    Eros (ē´rŏs).

    Euphranor (ū-frā´nôr).

    Euripides (ū-rĭp´ĭ-dēz).

    Eurydice (ū-rĭd´ī-sē̇).

    Furtwängler (fōōrt´vǡng-lẽr).


    Giustiniana (jŏŏs-tē-nē-ä´nä).

    glaukopis (gla̤-kō´pĭs).

    Gorgon (g̅ôr´g̅ŏn).



    Hephæstus (hē̇-fĕs´tŭs).


    Heræum (hē̇-rē´ŭm).


    hermæ (hẽr´mē).



    ĭk´rĭŏn prō´räs.

    Iliad (ĭl´ĭ-ȧd).

    Io (ī´ō).

    Ithaca (ĭth´ȧ-kȧ).




    Lancelotti (län-chǡ-lŏt´ē).


    Leochares (lē̇-ŏk´ȧ-rēz).

    Louvre (lōō´vr).

    Lucian (lū´shĭ-ȧn).

    Ludovisi (lōō-dō-vē´zē).

    Lutatius Catulus (lū-tā´shĭ-ŭs kăt´ū-lŭs).
















    Odyssey (ŏd´ĭ-sĭ).

    Œdipus Coloneus (ĕd´ĭ-pŭs kō-lō-nē´-ŭs).

    Œdipus Tyrannus (ĕd´ĭ-pŭs tĭ-răn´-ŭs).

    Œnone (ē-nō´nē̇).

    Olympia (ō-lĭm´pĭ-ȧ).

    Olympiad (ō-lĭm´pĭ-ăd).

    Olympic (ō-lĭm´pĭk).

    Olympus (ō-lĭm´pŭs).

    Orpheus (ôr´fūs).

    Otricoli (ō-trē´kō-lē).

    Ovid (ŏv´ĭd).

    palæstra (pȧ-lĕs´trȧ).


    Panathenæa (păn-ăth-ē̇-nē´ȧ).






    Peloponnesian (pĕl-ō̇-pŏn-nē´shȧn).





    Persephone (pẽr-sĕf´ō-nē).

    Perseus (pẽr´sūs).

    Phidias (fĭd´ĭ-ȧs).

    Phœbus (fē´bŭs).

    Phrynicus (frĭn´ĭ-kŭs).




    Plutarch (plū´tärk).





    Ptolemy (tŏl´ĕ-mĭ).



    Reber, von (fŏn rā´bẽr).




    Samothrace (săm´ō̇-thrās).


    Scyros (sī´rŏs).


    strigil (strĭ´jĭl).


    Symonds (sĭm´ŭndz).

    Telemachus (tē̇-lĕm´ȧ-kŭs).

    Terracina (tĕr-rä-chē´nä).


    Theseus (thē´sūs).

    Thrace (thrās).

    Trastevere (träs-tā-vā´rā).

    trireme (trī´rēm).


    Ulysses (ū-ly̆s´sēz).

    Vatican (văt´ĭ-kȧn).



    Waldstein (wa̤ld´stīn).

    Zeus (zūs).

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Greek Sculpture - A collection of sixteen pictures of Greek marbles with - introduction and interpretation" ***

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