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ELEPHAS.

parts of gold and one of silver, proportions differ­ing from those mentioned by Pliny. (Isid. xvi. 23.)

Eiectru.nl was used for plate, and the other similar purposes for which gold and silver were employed. It was also used as a material for money. Lampridius tells us, that Alexander Severus struck coins of it ; and coins are in existence, of this metal, struck by the kings of Bosporus, by Syracuse, and by other Greek states. (Eckhel, Doct. Num. Vet, vol. i. pp. xxiv. xxv.) [P. S.]

ELEPHAS (e'Ae^as). As we have to speak of ivory chiefly in connection with Greek art, we place what we have to say of it under its Greek name, in preference to the proper Latin word Ebur. (Etyrfiantus is also used in poetry for ivory ; Virg. Georg. iii, 26, Aen. iii, 464, vi, 896.) In the early writers, such as Homer, liesiod, and Pindar, the word invariably means ivory, never the elephant; just because the Greeks obtained ivory by commerce long before they ever saw, or had occasion to speak of, the animal from which it was obtained. But, on the other hand, there can be no doubt that the word etymologicalty signifies the animal, being identical with the Hebrew and Arabic, Alepli and Elef, which means an ox or other large graminivorous animal ; that is to say, the Greeks received the substance ivory, together with the name of the animal which produces it, and naturally applied the latter to the former. (Re­specting the name see further Liddell and Scott's Lexicon., and Pott's Etym. Forscli. pt. i. p. Ixxxi.) Herodotus, as might be expected from his researches in Asia and Africa, knew that ivory came from the teeth of the elephant, (iv. 191 ; Plin. //. N. viii. 3. s. 4) ; while on the other hand writers as late as Juba (Plin. I. c.} and Pausanias (v. 12. s. 1.) fell into the mistake of regarding the tusks as horns.

The earliest mention of ivory in a Greek writer is in a passage of the Iliad (v. 583), where it appears as an ornament for harness (yivia Aey/c' eAe^azm). In the Odyssey its use as an article of luxury is so often referred to, that it is needless to enumerate the passages, which prove how exten­sively the Phoenician traders had introduced it into the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and no doubt also into Greece Proper. It appears among the ornaments of houses, furniture, vessels, armour, harness, and so forth. Neither is there any oc­casion to trace its continued use among the Greeks and Romans, down to the luxurious and expensive period of the empire, when the supply furnished by increased commerce was greatly enlarged by the prodigious quantity of elephants, which were pro­vided for the slaughters of the amphitheatre. It was used, not only as an ornament for, but as the entire material of chairs, beds, footstools, and other furniture, statues, flutes, and the frames of lyres, besides many other objects.

The most important application of ivory was to works of art, and especially to those statues which, being composed of gold and ivory, were called chryselephantine (xpvffeXe^dvTiva).

The art of chryselephantine statuary must be regarded as a distinct subdivision, different from casting in bronze, and sculpturing in marble, and indeed more nearly connected with carving in wood, as is even indicated by the application of the name £<faj/« to the master works in this art (Strab.

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ELEPHAS.

viii. p. 372). While the sculptor wrought at once upon a material, which had been compara­tively neglected in the early stages of art, on ac­count of the difficulty of working it, while the statuary reproduced in a more durable substance those forms which had been first moulded in a plastic material, another class of artists developed the capabilities of the other original branch of' sculpture, carving in wood, which, on account of its facility, had been the most extensively practised in early times, especially for the statues of the gods. (Comp. statuaria, and Diet, of Biog. art. Daedalus.} The rude wooden images were not only improved in form, but elaborately decorated, at first with colours and real drapery, and after­wards with more costly materials. The first great step in their improvement was to make the parts which were not covered by drapery, namely the face, hands, and feet, of white marble ; such statues were called acroliths. The next was to substitute plates of ivory for the marble ; and the further im­provement, the use of beaten gold in place of real drapery, constitut:d the chryselephantine statues. This art was one of those which have attained to their perfection almost as soon as they have re­ceived their first development. There were some works of this description before the time of Phei­dias* ; but the art, properly regarded, was at once created and perfected by him ; and the reason for its immediate perfection was, that the artist was prepared for his work, not only by his genius, but also by a perfect knowledge of the artistic laws, and the technical processes, of all the other departments of his art.

Chryselephantine statuary, as practised by Phei­dias, combined, in addition to that perfection of form which characterised all the great works of the age, the elements of colossal grandeur, exqui­site beauty and delicacy of material, and the most rich and elaborate subsidiary decorations. The general effect of his Zeus or Athena was that of the most imposing grandeur and the most perfect illusion to which art can attain. In a bronze or marble statue the material at once dispels the illusion of reality ; but the impression produced upon a spectator by the soft tints of the ivory, the coloured eyes and the golden robe of the Olympian Zeus, to say nothing of the expression of the fea­tures and the figure, was almost that of looking upon the praesens numen. These statues were the highest efforts ever made, and probably that ever can be made, to invest a religion of idolatry with an external appearance of reality ; and for the sake of this immediate effect the artist was willing to forego the lasting fame which he would have obtained if he had executed his greatest works in a more durable material.

The most celebrated chryselephantine statues in Greece and the Greek states were those of Athena in the Acropolis of Athens, of Zeus at Olympia, of Asclepius at Epidaurus, all three by Pheidias ; the Hera near Argos by Polycleitus (whose works in this department are esteemed by some the most beautiful in existence, though others considered them far inferior to those of Pheidias : comp. Strab. viii. p. 372 ,• Quintil. xii. 10); the Olympian Zeus,

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* Mention is made of chryselephantine statues by Dorycleides, Theocles, Medon, Canachus, Me-naechmus, and Suidas. (See the articles in the Did. of Biog.}

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