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Siphnian Treasury at Delphi, pediment

The historian Herodotus describes Siphnos as the wealthiest Greek island at precisely the date of construction, thanks to its gold and silver mines. Not surprisingly the Siphnian was the most extravagantly adorned of all the Delphic treasuries in the sanctuary of Apollo, built in the new Ionic architectural order, and luckily, the best surviving.

The pediment is the triangular gable-end at the front and back of a temple or similar building. The scene depicted is the dispute between Herakles and Apollo, after Herakles had sought advice from the Delphic oracle but ended up grappling with the god, having siezed the priestess’s tripod. The carving is in the round at the top, but oddly, in relief lower down

Location of Original: 


0.74m x 5.5m

Purchased 1922


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 69-
Lapalus, E., Le Fronton Sculpté en Grèce (1947), 128-
Fouilles de Delphes IV: 1 & 2, 153-
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 128, pl. 187

c.525 BCE

Found on the site at Delphi

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