The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Hesperia 86.1 Now Online!

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce the publication of Hesperia 86.1. Topics in this issue include the sculptural program of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi, the results of recent archaeological work at Kolophon, over a dozen newly published sculptural pieces from the Agora, including one from the Bone Well, and new proposals concerning the calendar, start-up date, and provenance of the Antikythera Mechanism.

Subscribers can read the issue online at JSTOR, which hosts all current issues of Hesperia as well as an archive of past volumes.

Metaphors for Marathon in the Sculptural Program of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi, by Maryl B. Gensheimer, examines the significance of the choice to have Theseus and Herakles side by side in the metopes of the Athenian Treasury. The author shows how in several cases the positioning of the figures on one metope depicting a labor of Herakles will be mirrored by another depicting a deed of Theseus; the similar designs deliberately evoke a parallelism between Theseus and Herakles, and thereby elevate Theseus, Athens’ own founding hero, to the status of Herakles. The author also discusses how the mythical conquests of both heroes were used to proclaim the preeminence of Athens in Greece by metaphorically representing the victory of the Athenians over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.

The Urban Organization of Kolophon and Its Necropoleis: The Results of the 2011–2014 Surveys, by Verena Gassner, Ulrike Muss, Benedikt Grammer, Martin Gretscher, and Olivier Mariaud, first presents an overview of the work done on the site’s acropolis by American archaeologists in the 1920s, and then discusses the results of the different types of surveys that were conducted over three seasons by a joint Austrian and Turkish team.  The purpose of the most recent work was to provide a regional context for the city of Kolophon and to better understand its necropoleis.  Special attention is paid to the different types of burials found around Kolophon, such as burial mounds, constructed grave terraces, and at least one cave, which may have had a burial mound constructed on top of it.  The extent of the city and the settlement pattern surrounding it is also discussed.

Hellenistic Freestanding Sculpture from the Athenian Agora, Part 3: Agathe Tyche, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Eileithyia, by Andrew Stewart, examines 13 sculptural pieces, most of which are statuettes, and therefore most likely they were used in domestic contexts. Several are heads of Aphrodite, and provide , although there is also one helmeted head of Athena and one of a bearded Pan. One of the smaller pieces is a herm of Eileithyia found in the Agora’s Bone Well, which Stewart proposes was dropped down the well perhaps by a midwife as a propitiatory offering to Eileithyia after it broke. Stewart also discusses at length Agathe Tyche representations, and provides a reconstruction of S 37 with a cornucopia. Another highlight is Stewart’s discussion of a statue of Artemis (S 912), which he confirms as Artemis Boulaia.

The Calendar on the Antikythera Mechanism and the Corinthian Family of Calendars, by Paul Iversen, demonstrates that the Metonic Spiral of this amazing device does not bear the calendar of Syracuse, as has been previously proposed, but rather that of Epiros, and that the Mechanism was likely constructed on Rhodes. Furthermore, Iversen shows that its start-up date was shortly after the new moon of August 23, 205 B.C. Iversen comes to these conclusions after an extensive discussion of the different Corinthian-family calendars, their month names, and the seasons to which those months belong. The seasons within which certain Games were held also has bearing on the discussion. Resulting from these investigations are many observations on other calendars that fall within the Doric family of calendars, such as those of Argos, Epidauros, and Rhodes.