No. D 18
Date Range: 477/476 BC
H. 1,95m
Material: Marble copy of a Greek bronze by Kritios and Nesiotes
Collection: Naples, National Archaeological Museum

  • General view of Tyrant-slayers
  • Detailed view of Harmodius
  • Bust of Aristogeiton

During the Panathenaea in 514 BC Harmodius and Aristogeiton attempted to kill the tyrants Hipparchus and his brother Hippias. This statue group illustrates the moment just before the assassination. The two men are displayed in heroic nudity. They come rushing ahead with a great stride, while all their muscles are strained. Harmodius, the younger of them, has raised his sword for the hit, strong-willed to fulfill the bloody act. The older, bearded and skilled Aristogeiton (cf. portrait bust), reaches out his left arm in order to protect his friend. In his left hand he probably held a sword scabbard and in his right hand the sword. The head of Aristogeiton was incorrectly restored and it probably does not represent the prototype (cf. portrait bust). This group of the two sculptures was arranged at the Athenian Agora among a rank of sculptures with gods and heroes as a symbol for the hard-won democracy.

(H.V.)

Bibliography

W. Fuchs, Die Skulptur der Griechen2 (München 1979) 337-341 Abb. 374. 375
H. Schlange-Schöningen, Harmodios und Aristogeiton. Die Tyrannenmörder von 514 v. Chr. (Köln 1996)

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