Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

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system1988
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Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

Perhaps because of the NMA is undergoing preparations for its 150th years of serving the country celebrations, in 2016, it added to its Egyptian collection 2 statues from Alexandria that were donated to the museum by the Egyptian state, I think. Truth be told, I had seen Hephaestion's statue in photos but never it along with Alexander's staue, both of them together. It is obvious that it is an ensemble of 2 statues that, according to the researchers, was sculpted in the 1st BC in order to honor the king and his very good friend (who is the king who was presented along with his best friend in all of history, I wonder?).

Their hands are up as if they were enveloping something. I am translating to you the explanation text of the statues:
921027_IMG_2468.jpg
921027_IMG_2468.jpg (168.67 KiB) Viewed 6032 times
Μαρμάρινο άγαλμα του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου και μαρμάρινο άγαλμα του Ηφαιστίωνα. Πιθανόν πρόκειται για σύμπλεγμα στην Αλεξάνδρεια προς τιμήν του Ηφαιστίωνα, ο οποίος θεοποιήθηκε στην Αίγυπτο (1ος αι. π.Χ.). Οι Αιγυπτιώτες υποδέχτηκαν τον Αλέξανδρο ως ελευθερωτή από τους Πέρσες. Ο στρατηλάτης συνήθιζε να ντύνεται πανομοιότυπα με τον Ηφαιστίωνα, χωρίς να ενοχλείται όταν τους μπέρδευαν. Φωτό: Πάρις Ταβιτιάν / LIFO Πηγή: http://www.lifo.gr

Marble Alexander the Great statue and marbke statue of Hephaestionb. It probably was an ensemble located in Alexandria to honor Hephaestion who ascended to godhood in Egypt (1st BC). The Egyptians received Alexander as a liberator from the Persians. The king used to dress exactly like Hephaestion without being irritated when they confused them both with one another. The photo was taken by Paris Tavitian. Source: http://www.lifo.gr


More info on another post I hope

Here is the link to the exhibtion

http://www.lifo.gr/articles/archaeology_articles/83084
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agesilaos
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by agesilaos »

The plaque is wrong of course, they did not dress identically; on one occasion in some sources, Sisygambis, the mother of Dareios, mistook Hephaistion for Alexander, because, according to Curtius II 12 xvi 'While he was the king's age in stature he was his superior.' There is nothing about dressing the same. These two are dressed the same, however and the 'Hephaistion' is smaller (he was never deified only heroised in the 4th rather than the 1st century BC).

To me the 'Hephaistion' looks distinctly Augustan, whom we know took an interest in Alexander; a detail of the hair might demonstrate this, though there is no saying just when the form of Augustus' locks became stylised to such an extent that they are diagnostic. At the beginning of his rule, when still only Octavianus and a mortal being slightly smaller than the God Alexander would make sense IMHO.
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by hiphys »

Yes Agesilaos, you are right, "there is nothing about dressing the same" in Curtius, but there are two quotes on this subject , both in Diodorus (17, 37, 5: "Echonton d'amphoteron esthetas men homoias") and in Arrian (2, 12, 6: "Esthaltai gar ampho to auto kosmo"). Therefore I think quite right the statement reported by system1988 on the dressing of Alexander and Hephaestion statuettes.
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by agesilaos »

I beg to differ but ‘homoias’ is only ‘similar’ rather than their ‘exactly the same’ the Arrian is closer but this is one occasion not the ‘habitually’ implied in the museum label. This is just another case of ‘a little knowledge being a dangerous thing’, especially when one extrapolates from it. They do both mention a similarity of clothing, though so that serves me right for not checking! :oops:

I still see Augustus though, am I alone?
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by hiphys »

The quality of the statuettes is IMHO too poor to see the age and the style of the original ones. But I'm courious to know how do you translate "to AYTO kosmo".
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by agesilaos »

Esthaltai gar ampho to auto kosmo

For both were decked out in the same style;

although it would be fair to translate the 'auto' more emphatically as 'self-same'; this is a story that Arrian is relating but not vouching for though. We are also told that only Peuketas adopted Persian dress, so once Alexander went hybrid they cannot have dressed the same. The point of the story is not that these two dressed like twins but that Sisygambis could not distinguish between them and opted for the tallest, Greek costume is not that differentiated, Alexander does not seem to have been excessively ostentatious at this stage.

Are these not full scale statues? I agree they are crude I think I have mis-read that they were 1st C BC :oops:
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

agesilaos wrote: I still see Augustus though, am I alone?
Yes! You are alone in the whole world on this! You are just jealous of Hephaestion being handsome, tall and with such a good friend who would make a statue of him! Do you have any friends like that?


... Yes you are right, he does bear some resemblance to Augustus. I will of course visit the museum and see the statues for myself (I think they are stattuetes)


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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by Alexias »

Lucky you, Pauline, to get to see these without having to go to Alexandria. I'm guessing that there is no inscription on these to say who is who, but that the identification has been made based on the similarity of the right hand statue to other portraits of Alexander, and the similarity of the other one to the Hephaestion relief. Either Alexander has a very big head, or Hephaestion a very small one, but the Alexander one lacks the anastole hairstyle, brow ridges and parted lips, so they wouldn't seem to be particularly accurate portraits. Can't think what on earth the holes between their feet would be for.
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

Alexias wrote:Lucky you, Pauline, to get to see these without having to go to Alexandria. I'm guessing that there is no inscription on these to say who is who, but that the identification has been made based on the similarity of the right hand statue to other portraits of Alexander, and the similarity of the other one to the Hephaestion relief. Either Alexander has a very big head, or Hephaestion a very small one, but the Alexander one lacks the anastole hairstyle, brow ridges and parted lips, so they wouldn't seem to be particularly accurate portraits. Can't think what on earth the holes between their feet would be for.
No, I suppose as well that there are no inscriptions. Your observations on symmetry are true but I am certain that these stattuetes were diplayed not for their aesthetic value which is almost non-existence, even when taken in their own timeframe, but because they are one of the two parts of evidence we have on A. and H. as being portrayed together in certain occasions (the other evidence part is a relief). One must see them up close in order to certify some elements oneself, elements such as, for example, I think that next to H. I see a snake but I am not sure. Also the case of the holes is to be examined.

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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by Efstathios »

And, Hephaestion is being portrayed to be the same height as Alexander, while the sources tell us he was taller.
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

To Efstathios: The modern pedestal of Alexander statuette is taller than the modern pedestal of Hephaestion. Also the Alexander s pedestal is positioned slighty forward. ( Perhaps because is the King !)
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by Jeanne Reames »

This "Hephaistion" is arguably Demetrios (the Besieger).

As for physical comparisons, Curtius has one, as well, which I translate (as exactly as possible): "And although he was around the king's same age, he was of a larger physique."

That doesn't necessarily mean he was taller, although I'm inclined to assume it. But it could (being fair) just mean he was bulkier. Also, he is NOT necessarily Alexander's same age; again, this is commonly assumed, but no ancient text says as much. He's a contemporary of the king (what the Macedonians might call an syntrophos), but that could vary a year or two either way.

Also and again to be completely above board, Sabine Muller things he was significantly older (similar to Heckel's arguments about Ptolemaios and Erigyios). While I buy Heckel's arguments, I don't agree with Muller's proposal, although I should state that I value and respect her work. (We can do that in academia--respect but still disagree. *grin*)
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system1988
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

Jeanne Reames wrote:This "Hephaistion" is arguably Demetrios (the Besieger).

As far as the identity for Hephaestion's (?) is concerned I would like to add here the catalogue of an exhibition that contained the two stattuetes. The catalogue includes the article of the archaeologist Eleni Tourna that I believe adds some elements. Among other things she mentions, if I am not mistaken, 2 temples dedicated to Hephaestion, one near the lighthouse and another near the city. Also she gives another identification for Hephaestion's stattuete. I will translate the text in time but for those of you who know German, can read it right now, just follow this link


http://s1246.photobucket.com/user/IamSy ... sort=3&o=2

There, the first 2 photos are 2 more seperate stattuetes of Alexander which I added to enrich the material (from the same catalogue of course)


Best to all

Pauline

PS I am sorry the pages got mixed !
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by hiphys »

Thank you Pauline for posting new links of these statuettes. I think it's quite clear the photo of a statuette newly identified with Hephaestion is very similar to the one in the National Museum of Athens. Therefore it's possible the two specimens are copies of the same original statue, and by the way, the man represented in both of them is also similar to the one represented in the relief with the dedication to the "hero Hephaistion", that is now in Thessalonika Museum. Is then it only a sheer coincidence?
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Re: Statues of Alexander and Hephaestion, National Museum of Athens

Post by system1988 »

hiphys wrote:Thank you Pauline for posting new links of these statuettes. I think it's quite clear the photo of a statuette newly identified with Hephaestion is very similar to the one in the National Museum of Athens. Therefore it's possible the two specimens are copies of the same original statue, and by the way, the man represented in both of them is also similar to the one represented in the relief with the dedication to the "hero Hephaistion", that is now in Thessalonika Museum. Is then it only a sheer coincidence?
Which "statuete newly identified wiht Hephaestion" do you mean ? I hope you are right but alas the identification with a certain person, unless he/she is somenthing very real-like, is a difficult process in the study of ancient sculpture. I have to translate the article of E.Tourna in order to see what are her criteria for the identification of the this statuete to Hephaestion.
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