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John Franklin Genung.

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and that it is also of this last god that Plato speaks in the
before mentioned dialogue. We may also add, that the
Assyrians adored the sun under the name of Jupiter, and
that, in consequence, they called him Jupiter of Heliopolis,
or the city of the sun.

PLATE LVII.

In this composition we find Bacchus represented with a
beard ; he wears the Indian robe called bassaridet de-
noting his having conquered that nation; he is dancing
with a bacchante. This, according to Ovid, is the manner
in which he made himself master of India. These two figures
are full of animation ; the dress of the bacchante is remark-
able, for its fringe and ornaments, and |>articularly for



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[ 41 ]

the form, which is of the Oriental fashion ; the countenance
of Bacchus has been executed with great attention, and re-
sembles that of Ebon, which has already been mentioned.



PLATE LVIII.

This Plate probably represents Autolicus, a conqueror in
the Pancratian games ; the same person, in honour of whom
Leochares made a statue, which Pausanias says 1:
the Prytaneum at Athens. The crown, which a
victory is placing upon his head, is composed of
of wild olive. And this seems to prove, that he hi
conqueror in the; Athenian games. — ^The envy of h
sary is well marked by his action of pulling out
from the wing of the victory. The conquerors y
accustomed to ornament their arms with fillets, as ob^e^rved
in this composition, and sometimes ihey were fastened to
the horses, which had been successful in the race.



PLATE LIX.

The subject of this Plate is taken from the fourth act of the
tragedy of Euripides, called Iphigenia in Tauris. The*
characters, introduced, are Iphigenia, a female attendant,
called by the Romans Flabellifera, Orestes with a diadem
upon his head, and Pylades. The point of time, which is

G



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.[ 42 ]

cbijseti, seems to be that, in which Iphigenia is informed
oft he death of Agamemnon, and she appears to be lamenting
it; while Orestes, struck wich'tbie degree of sorrow she
evinces, is inquiring the motives of her grief. There is not
perhaps a finer composition upon any of the ancient vases,
than the present, in which the character and attitude of
Iphigenia are admirably pourtrayed.

PLATE LX.

The Epigoni, having taken the city of Thebes, iqimedi-
ately thought of fulfilling the vow, which they had made to
Apollo ; and determined to make choice, among all the
things they found in the city, of the most precious, as an
offering to that god. Nothing appeared to them so worthy as
Manto, the beautiful daughter of the prophet Tiresias. She
was therefore conducted to Delphi, where she remained
some time as the priestess, and was known also under
the name of Daphne. Ancient mythology reports, that
sometime after she was arrived there, the oracle ordered
her to go to Colophon, a town in Asia Minor, and to
found there a religious establishment, similar to that at
Delphi. She was also commanded to take as her associate
in this enterprize. and also to marry, the very first man she
met in going from the temple. Manto prepared to obey
the oracle, but the recollection of the misfortunes of her
country made so great an impression upon her, that she at



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[ 4S ]

last fell a prey to her affliction. The god, whom she had
served with the most exemplary piety, wishing to pay an
honour to the tears she shed for the fate of her country,
transformed them into a fountain, which was called the
fountain of Glaros. Its waters were said to be endued with
the power of unfolding futurity.

This Plate represents Manto, as listening with atten-
tion and respectful veneration to the oracle, which the
priestess, who is on the opposite side of the tripod,
pronounces.

PLATE LXI.

It was frequently the custom among the ancient Greeks,
when the bridegroom first entered the nuptial bed, to rub
himself over with perfumes, and particularly so for the
bride. Previous to this ceremony, a young boy, commonly
chosen from among the relations, washed the feet of the
bride ; the new married couple were afterwards presented
with a quince, which they tasted after they were in bed.
It is well known, that after Bellerophon had encountered
the Chimaera, (see Plate LII.) and successfully executed the
other orders of lobates, he inspired this prince with
considerable regard towards him. lobates was persuaded,
that this young hero was enabled to escape all the dangers,
to which he was exposed, by the purity of his mind. He



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[44]

gave bim his (laughter Cassandra in marriage, and bestowed
upon him a part of his dominions.

This Plate represents Cassandra and Bellerophon upon
the point of being conducted to the nuptial couch.
Bellerophon, crowned with the myrtle sacred to Venus, is
in the act of presenting a vase to his bride, that she may
smell the perfume, which he has used, or which is intended
for her. A divinity, adored by the ancients under the name
of the Genius of Fecundity, and who presides at the birth
of mortals, is seen washing the feet of Cassandra, and ful-
filling that office, which is usually allotted to a youthful
relation of the bride.

The Nymphagogue, or, as the Romans call her, the
Pronuba^ holds in her hands a fillet, with which the hair of
the bride was commonly bound, when she was conducted to
the bed ; and custom preserved this function to the mother.
It is observable, that the tunic of Cassandra is ornamented
with spots placed three together ; this number, according
to Plato, Aristotle, and Plutarch, was regarded as sacred,
being the symbol of perfection and of creation ; and it might
be so perhaps, because three numbers multiplied into each
other form the solid, and because every body is said to
have three dimensions ; in fact, the Genius of Fecundity,
who washes the feet of Cassandra, and the triangular spots,
considered as the indication of the creative faculty, concur



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[45 ]

in marking the great end of the institution of marriage, and
form a presage of what results from connubial rites. The
parasol was not only used to defend them from the rays of
the sun, but was also a mark of elevated rank. It is for this
reason, that we see it placed in the hands of the princess.
In some countries it was the custom for new married
people to retire before sunset.

PLATE LXII.

This interesting composition is said to represent some of
the rites, which were paid to Venus at Paphos. The
goddess appears to be personated by one of her priestesses,
as the diflFerent gods were by their priests, and is in the
act of receiving something from one of her attendants.
She is seated on a sort of throne, with a branch, or crown,
of myrtle upon her head, on which a dove is perched.
A genius is seen holding a wreath or crown of roses in
one hand, and in the other offers an indication of the
goddess. This indication is in the form of a small vase,
like that which is observable upon the cistus. The dress
of the figure, carrying the flambeau, seems to characterize
Adonis, who is represented in his first youth, when the
attractions of both sexes may be combined in forming a
perfect beauty. The other priestess and genius in this
part of the composition, have each a fillet in their hands,



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[46]

which they hold towards the tdbemactdum, where they
keep the cistus.

It is a question, whether the other part of this composi-
tion (that on the left) is connected with the one just
described. But if it be not intended to characterize the
various ablutions which so often precede these sacred
ceremonies, it is probably meant to represent the feasts,
that were held upon the banks of the Helicon, in honour
of Love, and the Muses Plutarch speaks of these in his
Dialogue, and Pausanias says, that the Thespians observed
them every five years. A Cupid is seen sitting upon one
of those large marble vases, of which so many have been
found at Herculaneum, and which were intended for the
purposes of ablution. Two naked females would lead us
to suppose, that in these feasts they contested the prize of
beauty, in the same manner as in those, which were ob-
served upon the banks of the Alpheus at Sparta, at Lesbos,
and at Paros.

Psiche, as is related in the sixth book of Apuleius,
found the pilasters of the gateway of the temple of Juno,
and the branches of the neighbouring trees, hung with
valuable offerings and rich cloths, upon which also were
written the name and good actions of the goddess, to
whom they had consecrated them. In the same manner
we may observe in this Plate a fillet suspended near the
tabemaculufttt upon which a portrait of Venus is placed ;



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[■•' ]

and there is also some drapery attached to the branch of a
tree as an ofiFering to this goddess.

Mirrors were symbolical both of Bacchus and Venus ;
and it is probably on this account that we find so many
casts of this goddess in bronze, with a mirror in her
hand.



Frinted by W. Bolmcr and Co
Cleveland-rowt St* Jamei't.



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Online LibraryJohn Franklin GenungOutlines of rhetoric: embodied in rules, illustrative examples, and ... → online text (page 4 of 4)