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13. But why do I laugh at the sickles and tridents which have been given to the gods? why at the horns, hammers, and caps, when I know that certain images have46584658    Lit., “are.” the forms of certain men, and the features of notorious courtesans? For who is there that does not know that the Athenians formed the Hermæ in the likeness of Alcibiades? Who does not know—if he read Posidippus over again—that Praxiteles, putting forth his utmost skill,46594659    Lit., “with strife of skills.” fashioned the face of the Cnidian Venus on the model of the courtesan Gratina, whom the unhappy man loved desperately? But is this the only Venus to whom there has been given beauty taken from a harlot’s face? Phryne,46604660    ms. Phyrna, but below Phryna, which is read in both instances by Hild. and Oehler. the well-known native of Thespia—as those who have written on Thespian affairs relate—when she was at the height of her beauty, comeliness, and youthful vigour, is said to have been the model of all the Venuses which are held in esteem, whether throughout the cities of Greece or here,46614661    So Meursius, followed by Orelli, reading istic for the ms. iste. whither has flowed the longing and eager desire for such figures. All the artists, 512therefore, who lived at that time, and to whom truth gave the greatest ability to portray likenesses, vied in transferring with all painstaking and zeal the outline of a prostitute to the images of the Cytherean. The beautiful thoughts46624662    i.e., either the conceptions in their minds, or realized in their works. Orelli, followed by the German translator Besnard, adopting the former view, translates “the ideas of the artists (die Ideale der Künstler) were full of fire and life.” of the artists were full of fire; and they strove each to excel the other with emulous rivalry, not that Venus might become more august, but that Phryne46634663    [See note 15, p. 511.] might stand for Venus. And so it was brought to this, that sacred honours were offered to courtesans instead of the immortal gods, and an unhappy system of worship was led astray by the making of statues.46644664    [True, alas! to this day; notorious courtesans furnishing the models for the pictures and statues worshipped as saints, angels, etc.] That well-known and46654665    So Gelenius and Canterus, reading et for ms. est. most distinguished statuary, Phidias, when he had raised the form of Olympian Jupiter with immense labour and exertion,46664666    Lit., “with exertion of immense strength.” inscribed on the finger of the god Pantarces46674667    ms. Pantarches. This was a very common mode of expressing love among the ancients, the name of the loved one being carved on the bark of trees (as if the Loves or the mountain nymphs had done it), on walls, doors, or, as in this case, on statues, with the addition “beautiful” (Suidas, s.v. Καλοί and ῾Ραμνουσία Νέμεσις, with Küster’s notes). [Vol. ii. p. 187, note 1, this series.] is beautiful,—this, moreover, was the name of a boy loved by him, and that with lewd desire,—and was not moved by any fear or religious dread to call the god by the name of a prostitute; nay, rather, to consecrate the divinity and image of Jupiter to a debauchee. To such an extent is there wantonness and childish feeling in forming those little images, adoring them as gods, heaping upon them the divine virtues, when we see that the artists themselves find amusement in fashioning them, and set them up as monuments of their own lusts! For what reason is there, if you should inquire, why Phidias should hesitate to amuse himself, and be wanton when he knew that, but a little before, the very Jupiter which he had made was gold, stones, and ivory,46684668    Lit., “bones.” formless, separated, confused, and that it was he himself who brought all these together and bound them fast, that their appearance46694669    Lit., “conditions,” habitus. had been given to them by himself in the imitation46704670    Lit., “similitude.” of limbs which he had carved; and, which is more than46714671    Lit., “first among.” all, that it was his own free gift, that Jupiter had been produced and was adored among men?46724672    Lit., “human things.”


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