Murray, A. S.; British Museum <London> [Editor]
Greek and Etruscan terracotta sarcophagi in the British Museum — London, 1898

Page: 1
DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
1 cm

Pis. L—VII.

IN the early records of painting in Asia Minor we have been accustomed to read of
a Battle or Destruction of the Magnesians painted by Bularchos,1 a Fight at the
Ships by Calliphon of Samos,2 and a Passage of the Army of Darius over the
Bosporos, painted at the instance of Mandrocles of Samos, as a memorial of the bridge
he had constructed for Darius.3 In the records of sculpture we know the details of
the Throne of Apollo at Amyclas by Bathycles of Magnesia, with which, because of its
strongly Ionian affinities, we associate the famous chest of Kypselos. In legendary
times we are told of Helena embroidering scenes of the Trojan war as they tran-
spired before her eyes.4 Homer, in his description of the Shield of Achilles, gives
us an elaborate account of the work of the divine artificer, Hephsestos. From these
actual or legendary statements we have been led to expect two things as characteristic
of the early art of Asia Minor: first, compositions in which a multitude of figures
were engaged; and secondly, an occasional representation of actual, historical events.
It would seem that both these expectations are realised in a striking manner by
the sarcophagus from Clazomenae recently acquired by the British Museum. The
illustrations speak for themselves as to the multitude of figures. Nor can anyone
doubt that the scene in which a horde of barbarians (PI. I.) sweep down their Greek
opponents is other than a historical picture of one of those invasions of Cimmerians
into Asia Minor which Herodotus records.6 It is not a battle scene in the ordinary
sense, where two sides are more or less evenly opposed. It is a raid, e'£ eViSpo^y

1 Pliny, vii. 126 and xxxv. 55.

2 Pausanias, v. 19, 1. Cf. x. 26, 2, where he
again mentions the picture by Calliphon which was
to be seen in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
In the former passage he describes the picture as
the Fight at the Ships {Iliad, xiii.), but in the
second he mentions the arming of Patroclos {Iliad,
xvi.) as having been represented in the picture.
Robert, Iliupersis dcs Polygnot, p. 24, considers
these two passages as taken from Polemo.

3 Herodotus, iv. 88.

4 Iliad, iii. 125.

i. 15, an invasion of Cimmerians in the time
of Ardys, the successor of Gyges, in which Sardis
was captured, except the acropolis ; i. 16, Alyattes,

the second in succession after Ardys, expelled
the Cimmerians from Asia Minor and invaded
Clazomenae; i. 6, describes the invasion of the
Cimmerians, which took place before the time ot
Crcesus, as not involving the destruction of cities,
but as being e£ iiri,Spo[ifj<s apTrayyj. The capture
of Sardis is attested also by Strabo, xiii. 627, where
he quotes Callisthenes, and he again the poet
Callinos, as the original authority; also xiv. 647,
where in addition he records the total destruction
of Magnesia by the Cimmerians at some date
between the poets Callinos and Archilochos ; in i. 20,
Strabo seems to have convinced himself that an
inroad of Cimmerians into Asia Minor had occurred
as early as the time of Homer, or a little before.
For examples of Scythian costume, see Antiquity
du Bosphore CimmSrien, pi. 33.
loading ...