Agoracritus (Greek polytonic|Ἀγοράκριτος, fl. late 5th century BC) was a famous statuary and sculptor in
ancient Greece,Citation | last = Mason | first = Charles Peter | author-link = | contribution = Agoracritus | editor-last = Smith | editor-first = William | title = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology| volume = 1 | pages = 75 | publisher = Little, Brown and Company| place = Boston | year = 1867 | contribution-url = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0084.html ] born on the island of Paros, who flourished from about Olympiad85 to 88, that is, from about 436 to 424 BC.Pliny, "Naturalis Historia" xxxvi. 5. s. 4] He was the favourite pupil and beloved of Phidias, who is even said by Pliny to have inscribed some of his own works with the name of his disciple.Pausanias, "Description of Greece" ix. 34. § 1]
Only four of his works are mentioned, viz. a statue of
Zeusand one of Athena Itoniain the temple of that goddess at Athens; a statue, probably of Cybele, in the temple of the Great Goddess at Athens; and the Rhamnusian Nemesis. Respecting this last work there has been a great deal of discussion. The account which Pliny gives of it is that Agoracritus contended with Alcamenes(another distinguished disciple of Phidias) in making a statue of Venus; and that the Athenians, through an undue partiality towards their countryman, awarded the victory to Alcamenes. Agoracritus, indignant at his defeat, made some slight alterations so as to change his Venus into a Nemesis (the goddess of retribution or revenge), and sold it to the people of Rhamnuson the condition that it should never be set up in Athens.
Pausanias, without saying a word about Agoracritus, says that the Rhamnusian Nemesis was the work of
Phidias, and was made out of the block of Parian marblewhich the Persians under Datisand Artaphernesbrought with them for the purpose of setting up a trophy. [See Theteaetus and Parmenio, "Anthol. Gr. Planud." iv. 12, 221, 222] This account however has been overwhelmingly rejected as involving a confusion of the ideas connected by the Greeks with the goddess Nemesis.Citation | last = Stewart | first = Anthony F. | author-link = | contribution = Agoracritus | editor-last = Hornblower | editor-first = Simon | title = Oxford Classical Dictionary| volume = | pages = | publisher = Oxford University Press| place = Oxford | year = 1996 | contribution-url = ] The statue moreover was not of Parian, but of Pentelic marble. ["The Unedited Antiquities of Attica, p. 43] Strabo, John Tzetzes, the Sudaand Photius give other variations in speaking of this statue. [ Strabo, ix. p. 396] [ John Tzetzes, " Chiliades" vii. 154] It seems generally agreed that Pliny's account of the matter is correct in most of the particulars; and there have been various dissertations on the way in which a statue of Venus could have been changed into one of Nemesis. [ Johann Joachim Winckelmann, "Sämmtliche Werke" von J. Eiselein, vol. v. p. 364] [ Jörgen Zoega, "Abhandlungen", pp. 56—62] [ Karl Otfried Müller, "Arch. d. Kunst" p. 102]
As late as the early 20th century, part of this statue's head were in the
British Museum; some fragments of the reliefs which adorned the pedestal were in the museum at Athens. ["Encyclopedia Britannica", 1911, "Agoracritus"] By the beginning of the 21st century, enough fragments had been recovered (including the base) that a partial reconstruction of Agoracritus' Nemesis was performed in Rhamnus. In it, Nemesis is depicted holding an apple branch and a phiale, wearing a crown decorated with deer. The base depicts Ledashowing Helento Tyndareus.
"Agoracritus" is also a character (the sausage seller) in Greek playwright
Aristophanes' play " The Knights".
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AGORACRITUS — Parius statuarius, Phidiae discipulus. Plin. l. 36. c. 5. Hic creditur Veneris Rhamnusiae signum effinxisse. Nam cum de facienda Venere cum Alcamene discipulo conrenderer, suffragiô imperiti populi, non arte superatus, usque adeo rei indignitare… … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
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