Abstract

In a frequently quoted passage preserved in Plato's Protagoras, Simonides asserts that it is difficult to become "a truly good man, fashioned foursquare (tetragonos)." Previous commentators have associated the term tetragonos with Pythagoreanism. More probably, Simonides and his readers connected the term with sculpture, specifically, with the herms that were erected by Hipparkhos and symbolized Peisistratid championship of the common man. Sculptors employed square grids in planning their works. Herms became very common in late archaic Athens and were distinguished by their rectilinear shafts. Simonides' reference to the difficulty of being perfect in hands and feet seems to make the allusion certain.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6504
Print ISSN
0004-0975
Pages
pp. 1-10
Launched on MUSE
2004-05-14
Open Access
No
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