V. Gods

(and a Hero?)

V-1 Zeus from Artemision

Bronze figure found in the sea off cape Artemesion, and known as the "Zeus of Artemesion." The figure originally held something in his right hand: Some scholars think he is hurling a trident, and some think it was a thunder bolt. Height 2.09 m, extent along arms, 2.10 m. National Museum in Athens.

V-2 Zeus by Phidias

Cult statue inside temple of Zeus at Olympia. The statue was chryselephantine, that is, made of gold and ivory over a wooden core. It was taken to Constantinople by the Byzantine emperors, and perhaps destroyed when the crusaders sacked that city.

Small marble copy of cult statue at Olympia

currently in the Getty Villa museum, Malabu, CA

IV-12 Apollo from Olympia

Detail of West pediment (see Chapter 4). Central figure from West pediment or Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Beardless, therefore young, usually identified as Apollo. Original height about 3.1 m (just over 9 feet). Both hands and lower legs are missing.

V-3 Apollo Belvedere

Roman copy of a Greek work of about 330 B.C. Ht. 2.24 m. Vatican Museum 1016. Lower arms missing: thought to have been drawing a bow.

V-4 Athena by Phidias

Left: Small, poorly made Roman statuette copying the Athena inside the Parthenon, which, like the Zeus at Olympia, was made of gold and ivory over wood. This figurine, just over 1 m or 3 feet high, is in the National Museum in Athens (129). Athena wears her aegis and an elaborate helmet. She holds a figure of Nike (victory) on the palm of her right hand, and a shield in her left. Inside the shield a snake is coiling upward.

Model reconstructing Phidias's cult statue of Athena in the Parthenon.

V-5 Birth of Athena, East Pediment of Parthenon

Reconstruction of the east pediment. Athena springs from the head of Zeus, fully formed. Depicted being crowned by winged figure (Nike).

V-6 Hermes and the Child Dionysos by Praxiteles

Found inside the Temple of Hera at Olympia. 4th century BC

V-7 Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles

Cult statue of the temple on Knidos.

Roman statue thought to be a copy of the Aphrodite of Knidos. Height 2.04 m. Neck, lower arms and hands and the lower legs are restored on the basis of other copies. Vatican Museum no. 812.

Comparisons of Aphrodite typed (Hellenistic Period)

LEFT: Crouching Aphrodite : RIGHT: Aphrodite of Syracuse

A Hero? The Spear Bearer (Achilles?)

Many copies of the same figure by Polycleitos. No clear attributes. Once carried spear. Possibly Achilles?

ca. 440 BC

Persons and Events:

  • Aphrodite

  • Apollo

  • Athena

  • Hermes

  • Dionysos

  • Zeus

  • Birth of Athena

  • Horses of the Dawn

Objects and Places:

  • Parthenon

  • Temple of Zeus

  • Athens

  • Olympia

  • Cult Statue

  • Pediment

  • Temple Decoration

  • Public religious space

Texts and Authors:

no particular texts or authors