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date: 02 February 2023



  • Andrew F. Stewart


Athenian sculptor, son of Charmides, active c. 465–425 bce; reputed pupil of Hegias and Hageladas. His early works included the colossal bronze *Athena Promachos on the Acropolis; her spear-point and helmet-crest were supposedly visible from *Sunium (Paus. 1. 28. 2). His Athena Lemnia, perhaps preserved in Roman copy, and his Marathon group at *Delphi (see marathon, battle of) may also be early; some attribute the Riace bronzes (see ‘riace warriors’) to the latter.Phidias' reputation rested chiefly on his chryselephantine Athena Parthenos and his *Zeus at *Olympia (Quint. 12. 10. 9). Both were of gold and ivory over a wooden core, with embellishments in jewels, silver, copper, enamel, glass, and paint; each incorporated numerous subsidiary themes to demonstrate the divinity's power. *Plutarch (Per. 13) puts Phidias in charge not merely of the Athena but of *Pericles (1)'s entire building programme. He certainly belonged to Pericles' inner circle, and at the least probably directed the *Parthenon's exterior sculpture.


  • Greek Material Culture

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