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Article

C. Hobey-Hamsher

(fl late 5th century bc).

Greek painter. He was the son of Eudemos and came originally from Samos, but worked in Athens; none of his work survives. He was said to be self-taught. Vitruvius (On Architecture VII.praef.11) claimed that Agatharchos was the first artist to paint a stage set on wooden panels. This was for a tragedy by Aeschylus (525/4–456 bc), although it may have been a revival presented later in the 5th century bc. Vitruvius added that he wrote a commentary discussing the theoretical basis of his painted scenery and that the philosophers Demokritos (late 5th century bc) and Anaxagoras (c. 500–428 bc) followed him in exploring theories of perspective. It is unlikely that Agatharchos organized his compositions around a single vanishing point. More probably, individual objects and buildings or groups of buildings were depicted receding towards separate vanishing points. If Agatharchos’ experiments in perspective were confined to stage scenery, they would have been limited to architectural backgrounds, before which the actor moved. Aristotle (...

Article

4th century, male.

Painter.

Ancient Greek.

Pliny Antenorides was, with Euphranor, a follower of Aristides - though not Aristides the famous painter of the time of Alexander but probably the grandfather of the latter and an architect, sculptor and painter. Nothing is known of the works of Antenorides....

Article

5th century, male.

Active in Attica in the second half of the 5th century BC.

Stone worker, sculptor (?).

Ancient Greek.

Archedemus was involved with the transformation of one of the largest natural grottoes to the south of Mount Hymettus (near the modern village of Vari) into a sanctuary dedicated to Pan, the Nymphs and the Charites (the Graces). At the foot of the central wall of the grotto, Archedemus has depicted himself (?) in his working clothes, with his pointed hammer and set square....

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

6th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 6th century BC.

Born in Magnesia ad Maeandrum.

Sculptor, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Bathycles, like many other Ionians in Asia, moved westwards under the threat from the Medes as first Lydia and then the coastal towns fell. He came eventually to work in Greece. Around 530 BC, he designed the vast decorative construction known as the ...

Article

6th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 6th century BC.

Born in Chios.

Sculptor, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Boupalus' work is known from the writings of Pausanias. Mention is made of a statue of Fortune, crowned with a polos (head-dress) and holding in her hand the horn of Amalthea. It is likely that Boupalus was the originator of this type of statue, so often copied by the Romans. They, and Augustus in particular, much appreciated his work, examples of which were placed in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine. Boupalus worked with his sculptor brother Athenis in several towns in Asia Minor and at Delos....

Article

Sarah P. Morris

[Gr.: ‘cunning worker’; Lat. Daedalus]

(?fl c. 600 bc).

Legendary Greek craftsman. He is conventionally associated with Bronze Age Crete and was credited in antiquity with a variety of technical and artistic achievements.

The earliest reference to Daidalos is in the Iliad, where he is named as maker of a choros for Ariadne at Knossos. In the 2nd century ad Pausanias recorded seeing this choros as a white marble relief at Knossos (IX.xl.2), but the term used in the Iliad could mean equally a painting, dancing-floor or dance. In the Classical period (c. 480–323 bc) Daidalos was mentioned primarily as a sculptor of ‘magic’ statues, both in drama (e.g. Euripides: Hecuba 838; Aristophanes: Daidalos frag. 194) and in philosophy (Plato: Menon 97d and Euthyphro 11c). In Athens he was given an Athenian pedigree as the son of Palamaon or Eupalamos, son of Metion, of the line of Erechtheos, and thus related to Hephaistos (e.g. Plato: Alcibiades I.121). He was also reputedly the teacher or father of the early ...

Article

Dinas  

9th century, male.

Active in Greece 850 BC.

Painter, designer of ornamental architectural features.

Ancient Greek.

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

Article

3rd century BC, male.

Active in Megara.

Sculptor.

Ancient Greek.

Eupalinus worked in Athens. He should not be confused with famous architect of the 6th century.

Article

Stephen T. Driscoll

Scottish royal centre in Perthshire, which reached its zenith in the late Pictish period (8th–9th centuries ad) and is the source of an assemblage of high quality ecclesiastical sculpture. Occupying the fertile heart of Strathearn, Forteviot has been more or less in continuous use as a ceremonial centre since the 3rd millennium bc and is the focus of élite burials from the Early Bronze Age (c. 1900 bc) through to the Pictish era. Cinead mac Alpín (Kenneth mac Alpine), the king traditionally identified with the foundation of the Gaelic kingdom of the Scots, died at the palacium (palace) of Forteviot in ad 858. It was eclipsed as a royal centre by Scone in ad 906, but remained a significant royal estate until the 13th century.

The only surviving fabric of the palace is a unique monolithic arch, presumably a chancel arch, carved with three moustached Picts in classical dress flanking a crucifix (now in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh). Fragments of at least four additional sandstone crosses indicate the presence of a major church, perhaps a monastery. The celebrated Dupplin Cross (now in Dunning Church) originally overlooked Forteviot from the north. This monolithic, free-standing cross (2.5 m tall) bears a Latin inscription naming Constantine son of Fergus, King of the Picts (...

Article

7th century, male.

Active in Lacedaemonia probably during the 7th century BC.

Sculptor, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Gitiadas made a statue of Athena for the temple dedicated to the goddess in Sparta, as well as two tripods decorated with figures of Ares and Aphrodite for the temple of Apollo at Amyclae. He worked in bronze, particularly for the cladding on reliefs in a number of temples, such as that of Athena Chalkioikos (Athena of the Bronze House) in Sparta. This technique, more metalwork than sculpture, derived from eastern art. It is not possible to describe Gitiadas' style, since nothing remains of his work....

Article

Iktinos  

Anastasia N. Dinsmoor

(fl mid-5th century bc).

Greek architect. Ancient sources attribute three buildings to Iktinos: the Parthenon (c. 447–432 bc) on the Athenian Acropolis (see Athens, §II, 1, (i)); the Telesterion or Hall of Mysteries (c. 430 bc) at Eleusis; and the Temple of Apollo at Bassai (c. 430–400 bc; see Bassai, §1). On the Parthenon, about which he and the unknown Karpion wrote a treatise (now lost; see Vitruvius), Iktinos collaborated with Kallikrates. The exact nature of their collaboration is, however, uncertain, though the theory that Iktinos took the work over from Kallikrates (see R. Carpenter: The Architects of the Parthenon, Harmondsworth, 1970, pp. 46, 54, 111) is not widely accepted.

It is possible that Iktinos’ treatise on the Parthenon laid down the mathematical concepts underlying its design, since exceptional features of the building are its system of proportion and its refinements. The prevalent proportions are 4:9, 7:12 and 9:14, giving a constant difference of 5. Of these, the most common is 4:9. This governs the relationships between the building’s width and length, its height and width, column diameter and interaxial spacing, and height of cornice and height of frieze. The chief refinement, which must have required minute calculations, is the curvature of the temple platform. In addition, the columns incline inwards, as do the cella’s side walls, while the antae incline outwards. The columns have entasis, a slight bulge at about one-third of their height, and the corner columns are slightly thickened....

Article

Anastasia N. Dinsmoor

[Callicrates] (fl 5th century bc)

Greek architect. He is known through inscriptions and later authors such as Plutarch (Perikles XIII.4–5) as the designer of the Temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis (see Athens §II 1., (i)); the Middle Wall, part of the fortifications linking Athens and Peiraeus; and, especially, as one of the two architects of the Parthenon (see Athens §II 1., (i)). The nature of the collaboration between Kallikrates and Iktinos in designing the Parthenon has been the subject of controversy: Carpenter, for example, proposed that the two men did not work together, but that Kallikrates was the original designer, and that his plans were later revised and completed by Iktinos. Nevertheless, Kallikrates is traditionally assumed to have been responsible for the Ionic elements in the Parthenon, a view based on his association with the Ionic Temple of Athena Nike. The tetrastyle amphiprostyle plan of this elegant building, as well as details of its Ionic order, closely resembled those of a temple (now destroyed) by the Ilissos River in Athens, which was roughly contemporary with or slightly earlier than the Nike Temple and is widely accepted as the work of Kallikrates. Two other buildings, the so-called Temple of the Athenians at ...

Article

A. Linfert

[Callimachus]

(fl second half of the 5th century bc).

Greek sculptor. Almost nothing is known of his life. He probably came from Corinth since, according to Vitruvius (On Architecture IV.i.9–10), Kallimachos invented the Corinthian capital (presumably before its earliest known use—in uncanonical form—at Bassai). His technical abilities were also displayed in the golden lamp (late 5th century bc) he made for the Erechtheion in Athens, which burnt for a year without refilling and had a chimney in the shape of a palm (Pausanias: Guide to Greece I.xxvi.6), i.e. a hollow column with an Aeolic ‘reed’ capital, rare before the Hellenistic period (323–27 bc). Kallimachos’ technical punctiliousness may be the reason for his ancient nickname, katatexitechnos (‘he who pines away because of art’; Vitruvius IV.i.10), given to him, according to Vitruvius, because of the ‘subtlety’ of his work in marble. His care in drilling the stone led Pausanias to use a play on words, calling him ...

Article

Anastasia N. Dinsmoor

(fl 430s bc).

Greek architect. He designed the Propylaia, the monumental gateway to the Athenian Acropolis (see Athens, §II, 1, (i)). Begun in 437 bc but never finished, probably due to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 bc), this building may have undergone several changes in design while under construction. Mnesikles showed great originality in adapting it to a restricted area on different levels. The Propylaia departs from the largely conventional character of earlier Greek architecture in giving an illusion of symmetry, housing a multiplicity of activities under abutting roofs, accommodating different ground levels and using darker stone not only for highlighting but also to create an optical illusion. The basic design, with a central structure (the gatehouse proper, consisting of porches to east and west separated by a wall with five openings) framed by projecting wings, inspired several buildings in the Athenian Agora, and probably also the ...

Article

5th century, male.

Born c. 490 BC, in Athens; died c. 432 BC.

Sculptor, painter, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Phidias is a particularly difficult sculptor to describe, especially since no works exist that can be attributed to him with absolute certainty. Some of his statues are known through copies or written descriptions. His main body of work, the Parthenon sculptures, has become badly deteriorated and in any case was executed for the most part by assistants, even if they were following his plans. Yet, although he is difficult to pin down in detail, his figure looms large through the example of his major works. There is something exceptional and larger than life about Phidias, both in his choice of statues and in the programmes of work he was to tackle, such as the Parthenon....

Article

Pytheos  

F. E. Winter

(fl c. 370–c. 330 bc).

Greek architect who worked in Asia Minor. Vitruvius (On Architecture I.i.12–15, VII.Pref.12) cited the Commentaries by Pytheos on his most famous works, the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (see Halikarnassos §2) and the Temple of Athena Polias at Priene; Pytheos has also been credited with the original design for the altar of Athena at Priene. He may have produced new town plans for Halikarnassos and Priene, including, at Priene, provision for the sanctuary of Zeus east of the agora, and he may be Pliny the elder’s ‘Pythis’, the designer of the quadriga on top of the Mausoleum (Natural History XXVI.iv.31). He apparently incorporated a traditionally Doric opisthodomos and acanthus-scroll sima in the Temple of Athena at Priene, setting a precedent for later Ionic temples such as the new Temple of Artemis at Ephesos. The Priene temple evidently inspired some features of the new Temple of Zeus (c....

Article

Rhoecus  

7th century, male.

Born in Samos.

Sculptor, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Rhoecus, with his son Theodorus, built and decorated several temples, including that dedicated to Hera in Samos and the first temple of Artemis in Ephesus. With his son and Smilis of Aegina he directed work on the Labyrinth at Lemnos. He is said to have invented bronze casting for statues....

Article

Scopas  

4th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 4th century BC.

Born in Paros.

Sculptor, architect.

Ancient Greek.

Scopas worked with Bryaxis, Leochares and Timotheus on the sculptural decoration of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (c. 350 BC), his contribution being the Battle of Greeks and Amazons...