The Ancient Library

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On this page: Polydectes – Polydeuces – Polydorus



in the development of Greek art, owing to his having laid down rules of universal application with regard to the proportions of the human body in its mean standard of height, age, etc. In close accordance with these rules he fashioned a typical figure, the DOrjjphOrus, a powerful youth with a spear in his hand : this figure was called the Canon, and for a long time served as a " standard " for succeeding artists [Pliny, N. If. xxxiv 55]. The rules which he practically applied in the Canon he also set forth theoretically in a written work [Galen, in Over-beck's Schriftguellen, §§958, 959]. It is also said of him that, when he made statues in an attitude of rest, instead of dividing the weight of the body equally between the two feet, according to the cus­tom which had hitherto prevailed, he intro­duced the practice of causing them to rest upon one foot, with the other foot lightly raised, whereby the impression of graceful ease and calm repose was for the first time fully produced [Pliny, I.e. 56]. Except the celebrated chryselephantine colossal statue of Hera (q.v.), which he made for the temple of

* T[[K I'AltNKSE DIADl'MICNUS. (Brilisli Museum.)

the goddess at Argos [Pausanias, ii 17 § 4], when it was rebuilt after a fire in 423 B.C., he produced statues in bronze alone, and almost exclusively of men in the prime of youth, such as the Doryphorus already men- i tioned ; the DiCidumimis, a youth of softer I lineaments, who is tying a band round his

head [Pliny, I.e. 55; Lucian, Philopseudes, 18] ; and an Amazon, which was preferred even to that of Phidias [Pliny, I.e. 53]. These 1 statues may still be identified in copies of a later time (see cut, and compare cut under amazons). He also worked as an architect. j The theatre at Epidaurus (of which con-• siderable remains still exist), and the cir­cular structure called the Tholos, and the temple of Asclepius [Pausanias, ii 27; cp. plan in Baedeker's Greece, p. 241], are now generally assigned to the younger Polyclitus.

[Polyclitus the Younger was a pupil of the Argive sculptor Naucydes. Among his works was a statue of the athlete AgSnor (Pausanias, vi 6 § 2), and of Zeus Phttios at Megalopolis, in which the god was repre­sented with some of the attributes of Dionysus (ib. viii 31 § 4). The statues of Zeus MeilichiSs at Argos (ib. ii 20 § 1), and those of Apollo, LPtd and ArtSmis on Mount Lycone near Argos (ib. 24 § 5), may possibly be assigned to the elder Polyclitus (Over-beck, Schriftquellen, §§ 941-Sj.) [J. E. S.)

PSlJdectes. Son of Magnes, king of the island of Seriphus; attempted to compel Danae to marry him, but was turned into a stone by her son Perseus (q.v.) by the sight of the head of Medusa.

Pdljdences (Lat. Pollux). See dioscuri.

P5lyd6rns. (1) Son of Cadmus and Harmdnia, father of Labdacus, and great­grandfather of (Edipus.

(2) Youngest son of Priam and of Lao-thoe, his father's favourite son. He was killed while yet a boy by Achilles. The tragedians make him the son of Priam and Hecuba, who, before the fall of Troy, com­mitted him with many treasures to the care of their guest-friend, the Thracian king Polymestor (or Polymnestor). After the capture of Troy Polymestor puts the boy to death, in order to get possession of the gold, and throws the body into the sea. The waves cast it up on the Trojan shore, and here Hecuba finds it, just as Polyxena is on the point of being sacrificed. Out of revenge she, with the help of the captive Trojan women, kills the two children of the murderer, and blinds Polymestor him­self. According to another version, Illone, Priam's daughter and Polymestor's wife, brings up the brother, who has been com­mitted to her charge, as her own son, while she gives up her child Deiphilus (or Delpy-lus) instead of Polydorus. The Greeks, who wish to exterminate the race of Priam, win over Polymestor by promising him the hand of Electra and a large present of money in

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