Philostratus the Athenian 2nd/3rd cent, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, 6.11

ξυνελέξατό τε τὰ εὐδοκιμώτατα τῶν ἀναθημάτων ἐς τὴν Πυθὼ κόσμου ἕνεκα, καὶ οὔτ᾽ ἀγαλματοποιίαν ἀπήλασεν ἀπάγουσαν αὐτῷ κολοσσοὺς ἐς τὸ ἱερὸν τοὺς μὲν θεῶν, τοὺς δὲ ἀνθρώπων, τοὺς δὲ ἵππων τε καὶ ταύρων καὶ ἑτέρων ζῴων οὔτε Γλαῦκον μετὰ τοῦ ὑποκρατηριδίου ἥκοντα, οὔτε τὴν ἁλισκομένην Ἰλίου ἀκρόπολιν, ἣν Πολύγνωτος ἐκεῖ γράφει.

[...] and collected the most precious of offerings at Delphi for its adornment. Nor did he reject the sculptor’s art when it brought colossal statues to his sanctuary, some of gods, some of men, some of horses, bulls, and other animals. Nor did he reject Glaucus coming with his stand for a mixing bowl, or The Capture of the Citadel of Ilion, which Polygnotus painted there. (Trans. Christopher P. Jones 2005)

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[...] et pour orner le temple à Pythô, il a rassemblé les offrandes les plus magnifiques. Il n'a pas repoussé les sculpteurs lorsqu'ils ont apporté dans le sanctuaire des statues colossales de dieux, d'hommes aussi, même de chevaux, de taureaux et d'autres animaux. Il n'a pas repoussé Glaucos lorsqu'il est venu avec son support de cratère, ni même la "Prise de l'acropole d'Ilion" que Polygnote a peinte ici. (Trans. A. Reinach 1921, modifiée)

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Commentary

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, VI. 11.

On the celebrity of Polygnotos Ilioupersis at the Lesche at Delphi. (= Muller-Dufeu 280; SQ 272).

  1. On Philostratus and the Life of Apollonius of Tyana see text 52.

  2. The extract belongs to a dialogue between Apollonius and Thespesion concerning wisdom and sanctity. Apollonius aims to show that there is no need to seek poverty to attain sanctity. He gives the example of Apollo' temple at Delphi (see Paus. 10.5.9-13), which was full of marvellous work of art; among them, there was Polygnotos' Ilioupersis.

  3. According to ancient testimonies Glaucos from Chios (end of the 7th Century BC) was the "inventor" of iron welding. He made the iron stand for the mixing bowl (krater) offered by the Lydian king Alyattes (see : Hdt., 1.25; Paus., 10.16.3; Athenaeus, 5. 210 BC; Ach. Tat. II. 3; Reinach 1921, p. 133; Muller-Dufeu 2002, pp. 105-107).

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Bibliography

On Philostratus and the Life of Apollonius of Tyana see bibliography on text 52.

Philostratus. Apollonius of Tyana, Volume II: Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Books 5-8. Edited and translated by Christopher P. Jones. Loeb Classical Library 17. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Reinach, A. 1921, Textes grecs et latins relatifs à l'histoire de la peinture ancienne, Klincksieck, Paris.

Muller-Dufeu, M. 2002, La sculpture grecque. Sources littéraires et épigraphiques, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris.

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Created by Valérie Toillon