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178

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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178 ROMAN DAYS.
of the Zeus type softened into humane nobleness ; in none,
the sympathetic heart, the piercing eye, the power of
thought, which the best chisels of Greece know how to
unite in their statues of the " helpful " and " modest
’’
son of Zeus. The British museum owns the work. In
the Berlin museum of casts, one of this head of yEscula-
pius is placed by the side of the Otricolanian head of
Zeus, the most beautiful likeness of the father of the gods
that we possess ; and that dangerous vicinity, (instructive
as it is for the study of types of the gods,) does not
lessen the grandiose impression of this other Melian dis-
covery. No one, as far as I know, has ventured to assert
that this iEsculapius had been " dragged " to Melos, or that
it had not been executed for the temple in which it was
found. The same thing, then, may be assumed for the
Melian Aphrodite.
In the second place, Melos, in both an intellectual
and material sense, had a right to possess good works of
art. It was not a Grecian Trosaf^ It was a small,
wealthy community, flourishing through industry and
commerce. The state against which Athens sent out
sixty ships of war and two thousand heavily-armed war-
riors, to compel it to an alliance, and which successfully
repulsed such an enemy, had means enough to adorn its
temples with beautiful statues. And no reason can be
found to deny the Melians that feeling for art which ani-
mated all other Hellenes, when by reason of the evidence
of history, we must attribute to them, and that in a high
degree, the other qualities that made the Hellenes a
noble nation. Melos was greater than it looks on the
map, greater than the surveyor’s line will allow, for its
inhabitants were lofty-minded ; and no Greek community,
* A very small place in Sweden.—C,

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