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Marble statue of a charioteer

 

Height: 1.280 m

Gift of the Society of Dilettanti

GR 1870.3-20.203 (Sculpture 1154)

Room 22: Alexander the Great

    Marble statue of a charioteer

    Hellenistic, about 320-300 BC
    From the temple of Athena Polias at Priene, modern Turkey

    An air of quiet dignity

    This marble figure, with its air of quiet dignity, can be identified as a charioteer from its pose and garments. Though the head and arms were made separately and do not survive, it is clear that the arms extended forwards to grasp the reins. The figure wears a very full chiton (tunic), symmetrically fastened on the top of each shoulder. This over-garment is encircled with a high belt and worn over a tightly-fitting tunic. Holes survive on the belt for a metal attachment. The garments are much like those of an early fifth-century BC bronze charioteer from Delphi.

    The original group to which the figure belonged probably showed a two or four horse chariot, though remains of neither horses nor chariot have been found. Although the charioteer was found inside the Temple of Athena Polias its original position could have been elsewhere on the site.

    J.C. Carter, The sculpture from the Sanctua (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)

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    On display: Room 22: Alexander the Great

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