First Hero-Statues

The first men ever to have a public statue made of them—men who were not kings—were these two: Harmodius and Aristogeiton.

tyrannicides statue

They tried to kill a dictator (then called a tyrant: a man who had taken power by force) and were afterwards venerated as freedom fighters—tyrannicides—by the Athenian people.
The original group-statue, by a sculptor named Antenor, was made of bronze and was set up in about 500BC on a hill across from the marketplace.

It stood there for thirty years. Then the Persians captured Athens and carried it off to their capital city as a war trophy.
As soon as the Persians left, the Athenians ordered a copy of the looted Tyrannicides statue and put it back on the hill.

Finally, two hundred years later, Alexander the Great recovered the original one from the Persian palace in Susa and had it sent back to Athens. For a long time there were two of the statues (four figures) side by side on the Areopagus hill.

They have long since disappeared; all we have are Roman copies like the one above.



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7 Responses to First Hero-Statues

  1. cantueso says:

    I think the spook in my blogroll has disappeared. Just now. —

    This new template, what is it? It seems to have made a mess of your pages. I liked the old one better, though it was a bit too much WYSIWYG with no surprises.

  2. I love the history lessons you give.
    Even though they’re not originals, they’re beautiful.
    Looking forward to seeing which template you decide on. It’s interesting to watch your experiments.

    Ooops! I meant the statues aren’t originals, not your history lessons!

  3. wpm1955 says:

    It’s too bad some people can’t leave their comments in a more helpful/positive way!

    I enjoy the history lessons, too.

    Madame Monet
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine

  4. wpm1955 says:

    P.S.–I think this page of the blog looks really nice.

    Madame Monet

  5. cameron says:

    This was news to me and an interesting post. I’ll take a look at others while I’m here. Good job.

  6. 100swallows says:

    Thanks, Cameron. I hope you see a few other posts you like.

  7. Jon says:

    Luckily, we still have the two Riaci Bronzes with us:

    Which give us a glimpse of the full glory of Greek art at its absolute best.

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