Sculptures

More clearly visible are the many votive statue bases that border the Sacred Way, sole remnants of the sculpture gallery that this avenue once was. Immediately on the left is the Geneleos Group (see p. 25-26), named after the sculptor who executed the work around 560 bc. These are casts of the original pieces which have been moved to the Museum in Vathi. They comprised originally a complete family group—father (reclining, right) and mother (seated, left), framing three daughters and an infant son—bearing names inscribed in their drapery, their clothes and features once brilliantly coloured. The prominent display of his beautiful daughters by a rich aristocrat, at such a conspicuous point of a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess who promoted and protected marriage, is probably not without a slightly solicitory purpose. To the left of the group are other honorific or dedicatory statue bases; some still preserve the fixing-dowels or the broken feet of a standing Kouros, others have their dedicatory inscriptions, invoking the goddess’s name. Directly across the Sacred Way from the Geneleos Group is the crescent shaped base of one of the sanctuary’s most famous dedications, which is mentioned by Strabo (Geog. XIV.1.14). This was a colossal group of three figures—Hercules, be received on Mt. Olympus by Athena and Zeus—by the 5th century sculptor Myron, known to us best as the creator of the Discus-Thrower. Strabo says the sculptures were carried off to Rome by Mark Antony, but later re turned again by Augustus, except for the Zeus which he placed in a custom-built shrine on the Capitol in Rome.

Samos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.

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