The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Scopas

754

SCOPAS,

with civil dissensions, and in order to appease these disorders, and provide some remedy against the burden of debts with which the chief persons in the country were oppressed, Scopas and Dori-machus were appointed to reform the constitution, b.c. 204. They were certainly not well qualified for legislators, and Scopas had only undertaken the charge from motives of personal ambition ; on finding himself disappointed in which, he with­drew to Alexandria, Here he was received with the utmost favour by the ministers who ruled during the minority of the young king, Ptolemy V., and appointed to the chief command of the army in Coele-Syria, where he had to make head against the ambitious designs of Antiochus the Great. At first he was completely successful, and reduced the whole province of Judaea into subjection to Pto-lemv, but was afterwards defeated bv Antiochus at

*t s •/

Panium, and reduced to shut himself up within the walls of Sidon, where (after an ineffectual at­tempt by Ptolemy to relieve him) he was ulti­mately compelled by famine to surrender (Polyb. xiii. 1, 2, xvi. 18,19, 39 ; Joseph. Ant. xii. 3. § 3; Hieronym. ad Daniel, xi. 15, 16). Notwith­standing this ill success he appears to have con­tinued in high favour at the Egyptian court, and in b. c. 200 he was sent to Greece with a large Bum of money to raise a mercenary force for the service of Ptolemy, a task which he performed so successfully as to carry back with him to Alex­andria a body of above 6000 of the flower of the Aetolian youth (Liv. xxxi. 43). His confidence in the support of so large a force, united to his own abilities, and the vast wealth which he had accu­mulated in the service of the. Egyptian king, appears to have inflamed his ambition, and led him to conceive the design of seizing by force on the chief administration of the kingdom. But his projects were discovered before they were ripe for execution, and a force was sent by Aristomenes, the chief minister of Ptolemy, to arrest him. Scopas was taken by surprise, and unable to offer any resistance. He was at once led before the council of the young king, condemned to death, and executed in prison the next night, b.c. 296. Ac­cording to Polybius he had well deserved his fate by the reckless and insatiable rapacity which he had displayed during the whole period of his residence in Egypt. (Polyb. xviii. 36—38). [E. H. B.]

SCOPAS (2/ttf7rccs), one of the most distin­guished sculptors of the later Attic school, was a native of Paros, which was then subject to Athens (Strab. xiii. p. 604 ; Paus. viii. 45. § 4) ; and he appears to have belonged to a family of artists in that island. There is an inscription of a much later period (probably the first century B. c.), in which a certain Aristander, the son of Scopas of Paros, is mentioned as the restorer of a statue of C. Bil-lienus, by Agasias, the son of Menophilus of Ephe-sus ; and we also know that there was a sculptor, Aristander of Paros, who lived during the latter part of the Peloponnesian War [aristander]. These facts, taken in connection with one another, and with the well-known alternate succession of names in a Greek family, make the inference ex­tremely probable that the father of Scopas was that very Aristander who flourished about B. c. 405, nnd that his familv continued to flourish as artists

A'

in their native island, almost or quite down to the Christian era (Bockh, C. I. No. 2285, b., vol. ii. pp. 236, 237). Scopas flourished during the first

SCOPAS.

half of the fourth century b. c. Pliny, indeed, places him, with Polycleitus, Phradmon, Myron, Pytha­goras, and Perelius, at 01. 90, b. c. 420 (PI. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19, Sillig's edition ; the common edi­tions place these artists with those of the preceding period, 01. 87). It will be seen presently that this cannot possibly be true. The source of Pliny's error here, as in other such cases, is no doubt in the manner in which he constructed his lists of artists, arranging the groups according to some particular epoch, and placing in each group artists who were in part contemporary with each other, although the earliest may have lived quite before, and the latest quite after the date specified. Other explanations of the difficulty have been attempted, of which it can only be said here that that of Sillig (Cat. Art. s. v.) is too far-fetched, and that the more usual plan of imagining a second artist of the name, a native of Elis, of whom nothing is known from any other source, is a vulgar uncritical expedient, which we have several times had occasion to condemn.

The indications which we possess of the true time of Scopas, in the dates of some of his worksr and in the period at which the school of art he be­longed to flourished, are sufficiently definite. He was engaged in the rebuilding of the temple of Athena in Arcadia, which must have been com­menced soon after 01. 96. 2, b. c. 394, the year in which the former temple was burnt (Paus. viii. 45. § 1). The part ascribed to him in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the authority of Pliny (ff.N. xxxvi. 14. s. 21), is a matter of some doubt ; but the period to which this testimony would extend his career is established by the un­doubted evidence of his share in the sculptures of the Mausoleum in 01. 107, about b. c. 350, or even a little later. The date cannot be assigned with exactness to a year ; but, as Mausolus died in 01. 106. 4, b. c. 352, and the edifice seems to have been commenced almost immediately, and, upon the death of Artemisia, two years after that of her husband, the artists engaged on the work con­tinued their labours voluntarily, it would follow that they were working at the sculptures both be­fore and after b. c. 350 (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 5. s. 4. § 9 ; Vitruv. vii. praef. § 12). On these grounds the period of Scopas may be assigned as from b. c. 395 to b. c. 350, and perhaps a little earlier and later. He was probably somewhat older than praxiteles, with whom he stands at the head of that second period of perfected art which is called the later Attic school (in contradistinction to the earlier Attic school of Pheidias), and which arose at Athens after the Peloponnesian War. The dis­tinctive character of this school is described under praxiteles, p. 519, b.

Like most of the other great artists of antiquity, Scopas is hardly known to us except by the very scanty and obscure notices which Pliny and other writers give us of his works. Happily, however, we possess remains of those works of the highest excellence, though, unfortunately, not altogether of undoubted genuineness ; we refer especially to the Niobe group, to various other statues, and the Bu-drum Marbles. We proceed to enumerate the works which he executed as an architect, a sculptor, and a statuary.

I. His architectural ivoiks. 1. He was the architect of the temple of Athena Alea, at Tegea, in Arcadia, the date of which has already been re-

Pages
About | First

752

753

754
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.