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interrupt the uniformity of the movement by the boldness of his action and his brilliant nude form. Almost equally bold and equally noticeable is one of the first youths we meet on turning the angle to the north frieze (xlii.), standing full to the front, and by his attitude requiring the greatest artistic skill to avoid ungainliness and errors of perspective.
The youthful faces in profile present in general an air of solemnity, often with the corners of the mouth turned down. Occasionally there is an eager expression, as in the youth stooping to raise his hydria, as if he were a little belated. On the south frieze some of the faces look like prematurely aged youths. The eyes are mostly in side face, which probably is due to a lingering on of archaic tradition. The ear is very carefully and finely rendered ; the hair avoids equally the conventionalism of archaic and the naturalism of later art.
In the heads of the deities we readily recognise certain known types, such Zeus and Hera, Athenè and Hephaestos, much damaged as they all are, except on one slab at Athens, which has been singularly well preserved (vi.). So also the head of Iris (E. 28) has fortunately been preserved nearly intact. But it is not easy, as we have already said, to explain the action of her left hand, which is raised to her hair, further than that it must be meant to assist in expressing her surprise at the approach of the procession, as does her mistress Hera. While pulling aside her veil with both hands, Hera reveals on the left side of her head a wreath, the leaves of which have a fine serrated edge, like those of the willow,
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 ATHENĖ PARTHENOS BY PHEIDIAS
T'fhente en compared with it the "external sculptures
HERE remains to be considered the colossal statue of
Athene. 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: Pedias ó γενόμενος και μέγιστον παρ' αύτα δυνηπλάστης εργολάβος ήν του αγάλματος, θείς. . ώσπερ είρηται· φίλος δε το Περικλεί
ATHENÈ PARTHENOS. 1. Marble Figure in Athens (Varvakeion). 2. Marble Figure in Patras. 3. Marble Figure in Athens (Lenormant).
4. Marble Shield of Athenè in the British Museum,
Face p. 126.