The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Praxilla – Praxiteles – Priam – Priapeia



Praxilla. Of Slcyon; a Greek poetess, about 450 b.c., composed hymns and dithy­rambs, but was especially famous for her sculm. We only possess insignificant frag­ments of her poems.

Praxiteles. One of the most famous Greek sculptors, born at Athens about 390 [prob­ably the son of CephlsSdotus, the sculptor of the statue of (q.v.) with the In­fant Plutus]. He and his somewhat older contemporary, Scopas, were at the head of the later Attic school. He chiefly worked in marble, but at the same time occasionally used bronze. His recorded works exhibit every age and sex in the greatest variety of the divine and human form. Still he paid most attention to youthful figures, which gave him the opportunity of dis­playing all the charm of sensuous grace in soft and delicate contours.


Among his most celebrated works the naked AphrSdlte, of Cnldus, stands first, according to the enthusiastic descriptions of the ancients, a masterpiece of the most entrancing beauty [e.g. Pliny, N. II. xxxvii §§ 20, 21; cp. aphrodite, fig. 2]. Noteless famous were his representations of ErBa, among which the marble statue at Thespiae was esteemed most highly [ib., § 22 ; cp. eros] ; his Apollo SaurSctonOs

(lizard-slayer) in bronze \ib., xxxiv § 70]; and a youthful Satyr in Athens [Pausanias, i 20 § 1]. As. to the group of Nlobe's chil­dren, preserved at Rome in Pliny's time, it was disputed even among the ancienta whether it was the work of Praxiteles or, as is more probable, of Scopas [N. H. xxxvi § 28; cp. nioue]. Of all these, only later copies have been preserved. An im­portant original work by him [mentioned by Pausanias, v 17 § 3] was unearthed in 1877 by the German excavators at Olympia, Hermes with the Child Dionysus in his Arms, which was set up in the cello. of the temple of Hera. The arms and legs are partly mutilated, but otherwise it is in an excellent state of preservation. (See cut.)

His sons, Cephls6d5tus the younger, and Timarchides, were masters of some importance.

Priam (Gr. PrtdmSs; Lat. Prlamus). Son of Laomedon and Strymo, brother of Tithonus and HesISne, the last king of Troy. Originally his name was PSdarces (the swift-footed); the name Priamus, which is interpreted to mean " ransomed," is supposed to have been given to him after the first sacking of Troy by Heracles. Heracles allowed Hesione to select one of the prisoners, and when she decided in favour of her sole surviving brother, she was permitted to ransom him with her veil. Legends represented him as rich alike in treasures and in children. He had fifty sons and fifty daughters by different wives ; by his second wife, Hecuba (Gr. Ilekabe) alone, nineteen sons; among them Hector, Paris, Deiphobus, HglSnus, PSlydorus, Troilus; by his first, Arisbe, ^Esacus. Among his daughters were Creusa, the wife of jEneas, Cassandra, and Polyxena. In his young days he was a mighty warrior, as in the conflict with the Amazons; but at the outbreak of the Trojan War, he was so old and feeble that he took no part in the combat, and only twice left the city to conclude the compact for the duel between Paris and Mgnelaus, and to beg the dead body of Hector from Achilles. He met his death in the sack of the city by the hand of Neoptolemus, at his family altar, whither he had fled with Hecuba and his daughter. Prlapela. A collection of some eighty elegant but indecent Latin poems in various metres on the subject of Piiapus. Judging from their execution, they may be referred to the time of Augustus, and may probably be traced to the circle of

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.