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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Socrates

Portrait of the Greek philosopher. According to his pupils Plato and Xenophon, Socrates’s distinctive physical appearance resembled a satyr, and that his beauty was on the inside, not the outside.

The thirty or so Roman versions of Socrates, like this one, originate from a bronze statue said to have been made by Lysippos and erected in Athens after the philosopher’s death, in 399 BCE. The lower part of this sculpture is inscribed with his name and, missing from this cast, a quotation from the speech made from prison as recorded by Plato, Crito

Number: 
403
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Naples, National Museum 1118

Size: 
0.52m
Accession: 

Purchased in 1884 from Naples Museum

References: 

Bernoulli: Griechische Ikonographie (1901), 187, pl. XXIV
Ruesch: Guide to the National Museum, Naples, 264
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 115, no.604
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 895, no.525
Inscription: IG XIV, 1214
Richter: The Portraits of the Greeks, 199, & pl.161

Date: 
Imperial Roman. Original: C4 BCE (?)
Inscription: 

Yes but not on cast: “Socrates”, and a quotation from Plato’s Crito

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