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which was appropriate to her, seeing that the oldest tree in Greece in the time of Pausanias was the willow growing in the court of the temple of Hera in Samos.' She was, indeed, reported to have been born under that willow. Apparently, also, the willow was
associated with the marriage of Zeus and Hera.
In Chapter IX. we describe each slab of the frieze in consecutive order.
1 For the willow wreath worn at the festival of Hera in Samos see Pliny, xxiv. 9. In the Thesmophoria the women had to sleep on willow branches:
Schol. Nicand. Theriac., 71. The lygos appears also to have been a symbol of chastity.
THE ATHENÈ PARTHENOS BY PHEIDIAS
HERE remains to be considered the colossal statue of
Athenè. Compared with it the external sculptures of the Parthenon, extraordinary as they were in extent, in grandeur and in beauty, were of secondary importance. These external sculptures were not intended to be other than embellishments of a building destined to contain the new statue, resplendent in gold and ivory, as was becoming the wealth and prosperity of the time. They have survived in some considerable measure, but no fragment even of the great statue exists. What it was like we can only imagine from certain descriptions of it in classical writers, and from certain ancient copies on a small scale. From these sources combined we may gather some dim notion of the splendour of that famous work of Pheidias. At present we have nothing else to rely upon. We read that the statue was of gold and ivory, of colossal size, about 40 feet in height, standing upright. Gold was employed for the dress, which fell in heavy folds to the ground; ivory for the face, neck,
1 Plutarch, Pericles, 31 : Pedids ó γενόμενος και μέγιστον παρ' αύτα δυνηπλάστης εργολάβος ήν του αγάλματος, θείς. . ώσπερ είρηται· φίλος δε τα Περικλεί
ATHENÈ PARTHENOS. 1. Marble Figure in Athens (Varvakeion). Marble Figure in Patras. 3. Marble Figure in Athens (Lenormant).
4. Marble Shield of Athenè in the British Museum,
Face p. 126.
DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUE
arms, and feet, as also for the Gorgon's mask on her breast. The goddess held out on the palm of her right hand a figure of Victory, about 6 feet high. At her left side stood a shield, on the outside of which was sculptured in relief a battle of Greeks and Amazons. On the inside was figured the war of gods and giants. Her left hand rested on the edge of the shield, and also held a spear. Between the shield and her left foot was her serpent. On her head she wore a helmet with triple crest. On her sandals was sculptured a battle of Centaurs and Lapiths, and on the base of the statue the birth of Pandora in the presence of a number of deities.
Such is the general description of the statue as we gather it from ancient writers. When we come to examine the existing copies, we shall see how far they agree with this description, and how far they diverge from it.
In the meantime there are some practical questions which we may consider. For instance, we are told that on another colossal statue of gold and ivory by Pheidias—the Zeus at Olympia -his golden robe was inlaid with patterns of flowers. There is no mention of anything of that kind on the chiton of the Athenè in the writers, and no trace of it in the copies. But there was this difference in the Zeus at Olympia : he was seated, and wore only a large mantle, wrapped round his legs in folds, which must have presented in many places large and hard masses very suitable for inlaid or enamelled patterns. Any such enrichment would have been lost on the robe of Athenè, with its deeply cut, close-lying parallel folds. Doubtless the scales of the aegis on her breast were brilliantly enamelled, but we may fairly