Natural History (Rackham, Jones, & Eichholz)/Book 35
I. WE have now practically indicated the nature of metals, in which wealth consists, and of the substances related to them, connecting the facts in such a way as to indicate at the same time the enormous topic of medicine and the mysteries of the manufactories and the fastidious subtlety of the processes of carving and modelling and dyeing. There remain the various kinds of earth and of stones, forming an even more extensive series, each of which has been treated in many whole volumes, especially by Greeks. For our part in these topics we shall adhere to the brevity suitable to our plan, yet omitting nothing that is necessary or follows a law of Nature. And first we shall say what remains to be said about painting, an art that was formerly illustrious, at the time when it was in high demand with kings and nations and when it ennobled others whom it deigned to transmit to posterity. But at the present time it has been entirely ousted by marbles, and indeed finally also by gold, and not only to the point that whole party-walls are coveredwe have also marble engraved with designs and embossed marble slabs carved in wriggling lines to represent objects and animals. We are no longer content with panels nor with surfaces displaying broadly a range of mountains in a bedchamber; we have begun even to paint on the masonry. This was invented in the principate of Claudius, while in the time of Nero a plan was discovered to give variety to uniformity by inserting markings that were not present in the embossed marble surface, so that Numidian stone might show oval lines and Synnadic marble be picked out with purple, just as fastidious luxury would have liked them to be by nature. These are our resources to supplement the mountains when they fail us, and luxury is always busy in the effort to secure that if a fire occurs it may lose as much as possible.
II. The painting of portraits, used to transmit through the ages extremely correct likenesses of persons, has entirely gone out. Bronze shields are now set up as monuments with a design in silver, with a dim outline of men's figures; heads of statues are exchanged for others about which before now actually sarcastic epigrams have been current: so universally is a display of material preferred to a recognizable likeness of one's own self. And in the midst of all this, people tapestry the walls of their picture-galleries with old pictures, and they prize likenesses of strangers, while as for themselves they imagine that the honour only consists in the price, for their heir to break up the statue and haul it out of the house with a noose. Consequently nobody's likeness lives and they leave behind them portraits that represent their money, not themselves. The same people decorate even their own anointing-rooms with portraits of athletes of the wrestling-ring, and display all round their bedrooms and carry about with them likenesses of Epicurus; they offer sacrifices on his birthday, and keep his festival, which they call the eikas on the 20th day of every monththese of all people, whose desire it is not to be known even when alive! That is exactly how things are: indolence has destroyed the arts, and since our minds cannot be portrayed, our bodily features are also neglected. In the halls of our ancestors it was otherwise; portraits were the objects displayed to be looked at, not statues by foreign artists, nor bronzes nor marbles, but wax models of faces were set out each on a separate sideboard, to furnish likenesses to be carded in procession at a funeral in the clan, and always when some member of it passed away the entire company of his house that had ever existed was present. The pedigrees too were traced in a spread of lines running near the several painted portraits. The archive-rooms were kept filled with books of records and with written memorials of official careers. Outside the houses and round the doorways there were other presentations of those mighty spirits, with spoils taken from the enemy fastened to them, which even one who bought the house was not permitted to unfasten, and the mansions eternally celebrated a triumph even though they changed their masters. This acted as a mighty incentive, when every day the very walls reproached an unwarlike owner with intruding on the triumphs of another! There is extant an indignant speech by the pleader Messala protesting against the insertion among the likenesses of his family of a bust not belonging to them but to the family of the Laevini. similar reason extracted from old Messala the volumes he composed 'On Families,' because when passing through the hall of Scipio Pomponianus he had observed the Salvittones that was their former surnamein consequence of an act of adoption by will creeping into others' preserves, to the discredit of the Scipios called Africanus. But the Messala family must excuse me if I say that even to lay a false claim to the portraits of famous men showed some love for their virtues, and was much more honourable than to entail by one's conduct that nobody should seek to obtain one's own portraits!
We must not pass over a novelty that has also been invented, in that likenesses made, if not of gold or statues in silver, yet at all events of bronze are set up in the libraries in honour of those whose immortal spirits speak to us in the same places, nay more, even imaginary likenesses are modelled and our affection gives birth to countenances that have not been handed down to us, as occurs in the case of Homer. At any rate in my view at all events there is no greater kind of happiness than that all people for all time should desire to know what kind of a man a person was. At Rome this practice originated with Asinius Pollio, who first by founding a library made works of genius the property of the public.
Whether this practice began earlier, with the Kings of Alexandria and of Pergamum, between whom there had been such a keen competition in founding libraries, I cannot readily say. The existence of a strong passion for portraits in former days is evidenced by Atticus the friend of Cicero in the volume he published on the subject and by the most benevolent invention of Marcus Varro, who actually by some means inserted in a prolific output of volumes portraits of seven hundred famous people, not allowing their likenesses to disappear or the lapse of ages to prevail against immortality in men. Herein Varro was the inventor of a benefit that even the gods might envy, since he not only bestowed immortality but despatched it all over the world, enabling his subjects to be ubiquitous, like the gods. This was a service Varro rendered to strangers.
III. But the first person to institute the custom of privately dedicating the shields with portraits in a temple or public place, I find, was Appius Claudius, the consul with Publius Servilius in the 259th year of the city. He set up his ancestors in the shrine of the Goddess of War, and desired them to be in full view on an elevated spot, and the inscriptions stating their honours to be read. This is a seemly device, especially if miniature likenesses of a swarm of children at the sides display a sort of brood of nestlings; shields of this description everybody views with pleasure and approval.
IV. After him Marcus Aemilius, Quintus Lutatius's colleague in the consulship, set up portrait-shields not only in the Basilica Aemilia but also in his own home, and in doing this he was following a truly warlike example; for the shields which contained the likenesses resembled those employed in the fighting at Troy; and this indeed gave them their name of clupet which is not derived from the word meaning 'to be celebrated,' as the misguided ingenuity of scholars has made out. It is a copious inspiration of valour for there to be a representation on a shield of the countenance of him who once used it. The Carthaginians habitually made both shields and statues of gold, and carried these with them: at all events Marcius, who took vengeance for the Scipios in Spain, found a shield of this kind that belonged to Hasdrubal, in that general's camp when he captured it, and this shield was hung above the portals of the temple on the Capitol till the first fire. Indeed it is [83 B.C.] noticed that our ancestors felt so little anxiety about this matter that in the 575th year of the city, when the consuls were Lucius Maulius and Quintus Fulvius, the person who contracted for the safety of the Capitol, Marcus Aufidius, informed the Senate that the shields which for a good many censorship periods past had been scheduled as made of bronze were really silver.
V. The question as to the origin of the art of painting is uncertain and it does not belong to the plan of this work. The Egyptians declare that it was invented among themselves six thousand years ago before it passed over into Greecewhich is clearly an idle assertion. As to the Greeks, some of them say it was discovered at Sicyon, others in Corinth, but all agree that it began with tracing an outline round a man's shadow and consequently that pictures were originally done in this wax, but the second stage when a more elaborate method had been invented was done in a single colour and called monochrome, a method still in use at the present day. Line-drawing was invented by the Egyptian Philocles or by the Corinthian Cleanthes, but it was first practised by the Corinthian Aridices and the Sicyonian Telephanesthese were at that stage not using any colour, yet already adding lines here and there to the interior of the outlines; hence it became their custom to write on the pictures the names of the persons represented. Ecphantus of Corinth is said to have been the first to daub these drawings with a pigment made of powdered earthenware. We shall show below that this was another person, bearing the same name, not the one recorded by Cornelius Nepos to have followed into Italy Demaratus the father of the Roman king Tarquinius Priscus when he fled from Corinth to escape the violence of the tyrant Cypselus.
VI. For the art of painting had already been brought to perfection even in Italy. At all events there survive even today in the temples at Ardea paintings that are older than the city of Rome, which to me at all events are incomparably remarkable, surviving for so long a period as though freshly painted, although unprotected by a roof. Similarly at Lanuvium, where there are an Atalanta and a Helena close together, nude figures, painted by the same artist, each of outstanding beauty (the former shown as a virgin), and not damaged even by the collapse of the temple. The Emperor Caligula from lustful motives attempted to remove them, but the consistency of the plaster would not allow this to be done. There are pictures surviving at Caere that are even older. And whoever carefully judges these works will admit that none of the arts reached full perfection more quickly, inasmuch as it is clear that painting did not exist in the Trojan period.
VII. In Rome also honour was fully attained by this art at an early date, inasmuch as a very distinguished clan of the Fabii derived from it their surname of Pictor, 'Painter,' and the first holder of the name himself painted the Temple of Health in the year 450 from the foundation of the City: the work survived down to our own period, when the temple was destroyed by fire in the principate of Claudius. Next in celebrity was a painting by the poet Pacuvius in the temple of Hercules in the Cattle Market. Pacuvius was the son of a sister of Ennius, and he added distinction to the art of painting at Rome by reason of his fame as a playwright. After Pacuvius, painting was not esteemed as handiwork for persons of station, unless one chooses to recall a knight of Rome named Turpilius, from Venetia, in our own generation, because of his beautiful works still surviving at Verona. Turpilius painted with his left hand, a thing recorded of no preceding artist. Titedius Labeo, a man of praetorian rank who had actually held the office of Proconsul of the Province of Narbonne, and who died lately in extreme old age, used to be proud of his miniatures, but this was laughed at and actually damaged his reputation. There was also a celebrated debate on the subject of painting held between some men of eminence which must not be omitted, when the former consul and winner of a triumph Quintus Pedius, who was appointed by the Dictator Caesar as his joint heir with Augustus, had a grandson Quintus Pedius who was born dumb; in this debate the orator Messala, of whose family the boy's grandmother had been a member, gave the advice that the boy should have lessons in painting, and his late lamented Majesty Augustus also approved of the plan. The child made great progress in the art, but died before he grew up. But painting chiefly derived its rise to esteem at Rome, in my judgement, from Manius Valerius Maximus Messala, who in the year 490 after the foundation of the city first showed a picture in public on a side wall of the Curia Hostilia: the subject being the battle in Sicily in which he had defeated the Carthaginians and hero. The same thing was also done by Lucius Scipio, who put up in the Capitol a picture of his Asiatic victory; this is said to have annoyed his brother Africanus, not without reason, as his son had been taken prisoner in that battle. Also Lucius Hostilius Mancinus who had been the first to force an entrance into Carthage incurred a very similar offence with Aemilianus by displaying in the forum a picture of the plan of the city and of the attacks upon it and by himself standing by it and describing to the public looking on the details of the siege, a piece of popularity-hunting which won him the consulship at the next election. Also the stage erected for the shows given by Claudius Pulcher won great admiration for its painting, as crows were seen trying to alight on the roof tiles represented on the scenery, quite taken in by its realism.
VIII. The high esteem attached officially to foreign paintings at Rome originated from Lucius Mummius who from his victory received the surname of Achaicus. At the sale of booty captured King Attaius bought for 600,000 denarii a picture of Father Liber or Dionysus by Aristides, but the price surprised Mummius, who suspecting there must be some merit in the picture of which he was himself unaware had the picture called back, in spite of Attaius's strong protests, and placed it in the Shrine of Ceres: the first instance, I believe, of a foreign picture becoming state-property at Rome. After this I see that they were commonly placed even in the forum: to this is due the famous witticism df the pleader Crassus, when appearing in a case Below The Old Shops; a witness called kept asking him: 'Now tell me, Crassus, what sort of a person do you take me to be?' 'That sort of a person,' said Crassus, pointing to a picture of a Gaul putting out his tongue in a very unbecoming fashion. It was also in the forum that there was the picture of the Old Shepherd with his Staff, about which the Teuton envoy when asked what he thought was the value of it said that he would rather not have even the living original as a gift!
IX. But it was the Dictator Caesar who gave outstanding public importance to pictures by dedicating paintings of Ajax and Medea in front of the temple of Venus Genetrix; and after him Marcus Agrippa, a man who stood nearer to rustic simplicity than to refinements. At all events there is preserved a speech of Agrippa, lofty in tone and worthy of the greatest of the citizens, on the question of making all pictures and statues national property, a procedure which would have been preferable to banishing them to country houses. However, that same severe spirit paid the city of Cyzieus 1,200,000 sesterces for two pictures, an Ajax and an Aphrodite; he had also had small paintings let into the marble even in the warmest part of his Hot Baths; which were removed a short time ago when the Baths were being repaired.
X. His late lamented Majesty Augustus went beyond all others, in placing two pictures in the most frequented part of his forum, one with alikeness of War and Triumph, and one with the Castors and Victory. He also erected in the Temple of his father Caesar pictures we shall specify in giving the names of artists. He likewise let into a wall in the curia which he was dedicating in the comitium: a Nemea seated on a lion, holding a palm-branch in her hand, and standing at her side an old man leaning on a stick and with a picture of a two-horse chariot hung up over his head, on which there was an inscription saying that it was an encaustic designsuch is the term which he employedby Nicias. The second picture is remarkable for displaying the close family likeness between a son in the prime of life and an elderly father, allowing for the difference of age: above them soars an eagle with a snake in its claws; Philochares has stated this work to be by him showing the immeasurable power exercised by art if one merely considers this picture alone, inasmuch as thanks to Philochares two otherwise quite obscure persons Glaucio and his son Aristippus after all these centuries have passed still stand in the view of the senate of the Roman nation! The most ungracious emperor Tiberius also placed pictures in the temple of Augustus himself which we shall soon mention. Thus much for the dignity of this now expiring art.
XI. We stated what were the various single colours used by the first painters when we were discussing while on the subject of metals the pigments called monochromes from the class of painting for which they are used. Subsequent a inventions and their authors and dates we shall specify in enumerating the artists, because a prior motive for the work now in hand is to indicate the nature of colours. Eventually art differentiated itself, and discovered light and shade, contrast of colours heightening their effect reciprocally. Then came the final adjunct of shine, quite a different thing from light. The opposition between shine and light on the one hand and shade on the other was called contrast, while the juxtaposition of colours and their passage one into another was termed attunement.
XII. Some colours are sombre and some brilliant, the difference being due to the nature of the substances or to their mixture. The brilliant colours, which the patron supplies at his own expense to the painter, are cinnabar, Armenium, dragon's blood, gold-solder, indigo, bright purple; the rest are sombre. Of the whole list some are natural colours and some artificial. Natural colours are sinopis, ruddle, Paraetonium, Melinum, Eretrian earth and orpiment; all the rest are artificial, and first of all those which we specified among minerals, and moreover among the commoner kinds yellow ochre, burnt lead acetate, realgar, sandyx, Syrian colour m and black.
XIII. Sinopis was first discovered in Pontus, and hence takes its name from the city of Sinope. It is also produced in Egypt, the Balearic Islands and Africa, but the best is what is extracted from the caverns of Lemnos and Cappadocia, the part found adhering to the rock being rated highest. The lumps of it are self-coloured, but speckled on the outside. It was employed in old times to give a glow. There are three kinds of Sinopis, the red, the faintly red and the intermediate. The price of the best is 2 denarii a pound: this is used for painting with a brush or else for colouring wood; the kind imported from Africa costs 8 as-pieces a pound, and is called chick-pea colour; it is of a deeper red than the other kinds, and more useful for panels. The same price is charged for the kind called 'low toned' which is of a very dusky colour. It is employed for the lower parts of panelling; but used as a drug it has a soothing effect in lozenges and plasters and poultices, mixing easily either dry or moistened, as a remedy for ulcers in the humid parts of the body such as the mouth and the anus. Used in an enema it arrests diarrhoea, and taken through the mouth in doses of one denarius weight it checks menstruation. Applied in a burnt state, particularly with wine, it dries roughnesses of the eyes.
XIV. Some persons have wished to make out that Sinopis only consists in a kind of red-ochre of inferior quality, as they gave the palm to the red ochre of Lemnos. This last approximates very closely to cinnabar and it was very famous in old days, together with the island that produces it; it used only to be sold in sealed packages, from which it got the name of 'seal red-ochre.' It is used to supply an undercoating to cinnabar and also for adulterating cinnabar. In medicine it is a substance ranked very highly. Used as a liniment round the eyes it relieves defluxions and pains, and checks the discharge from eye-tumours; it is given in vinegar as a draught in cases of vomiting or spitting blood. It is also taken as a draught for troubles of the spleen and kidneys and for excessive menstruation; and likewise as a remedy for poisons and snake bites and the sting of sea serpents; hence it is in common use for all antidotes.
XV. Among the remaining kinds of red ochre the most useful for builders are the Egyptian and the African varieties, as they are most thoroughly absorbed by plaster. Red ochre is also found in a native state in iron mines.
XVI. It is also manufactured by burning ochre in new earthen pots lined with clay. The more completely it is calcined in the furnaces the better its quality. All kinds of red ochre have a drying property, and consequently will be found suitable in plasters even for erysipelas.
XVII. Half a pound of sinopis from Pontus, ten pounds of bright yellow ochre and two pounds of Greek earth of Melos mixed together and pounded up for twelve successive days make 'leucophorum,' a cement used in applying gold-leaf to wood.
XVIII. Paraetonium is called after the place pig of that name in Egypt. It is said to be sea-foam hardened with mud, and this is why tiny shells are found in it. It also occurs in the island of Crete and in Cyrene. At Rome it is adulterated with Cimolian clay which has been boiled and thickened. The price of the best quality is 50 denarii per 6 lbs. It is the most greasy of all the white colours and makes the most tenacious for plasters because of its smoothness.
XIX. Melinum also is a white colour, the best occurring in the island of Melos. It is found in Samos also, but the Samian is not used by painters, because it is excessively greasy. It is dug up in Samos by people lying on the ground and searching for a vein among the rocks. It has the same use in medicine as earth of Eretria; it also dries the tongue by contact, and acts as a depilatory, with a cleansing effect. It costs a sesterce a pound.
The third of the white pigments is ceruse or lead acetate, the nature of which we have stated in speaking of the ores of lead. There was also once a native ceruse found on the estate of Theodotus at Smyrna, which was employed in old days for painting ships. At the present time all ceruse is manufactured from lead and vinegar, as we said.
XX. Burnt ceruse was discovered by accident, when some was burnt up in jars in a fire at Piraeiis. It was first employed by Nicias above mentioned. Asiatic ceruse is now thought the best; it is also called purple ceruse and it costs 6 denarii per lb. It is also made at Rome by calcining yellow ochre which is as hard as marble and quenching it with vinegar. Burnt ceruse is indispensable for representing shadows.
XXI. Eretrian earth is named from the country that produces it. It was employed by Nicomachus and Parrhasius. It has cooling and emollient effects and fills lip wounds; if boiled it is prescribed as a desiccative, and is useful for pains in the head and for detecting internal suppurations, as these are shown to be present if when it is applied with water it immediately dries up.
XXII. According to Juba sandarach or realgar and ochre are products of the island of Topazus in the Red Sea, but they are not imported from those parts to us. We have stated the method of making sandarach. An adulterated sandarach is also made from ceruse boiled in a furnace. It ought to be flame-coloured. Its price is 5 asses per lb.
XXIII. If ceruse is mixed with red ochre in equal quantities and burnt, it produces sandyx or vermilionthough it is true that I observe Virgil held the view that sandyx is a plant, from the line:
Sandyx self-grown shall clothe the pasturing lambs.
Its cost per lb. is half that of sandarach. No other colours weigh heavier than these.
XXIV. Among the artificial colours is also Syrian colour, which as we said is used as an undercoating for cinnabar and red lead. It is made by mixing sinopis and sandyx together.
XXV. Black pigment will also be classed among the artificial colours, although it is also derived from earth in two ways; it either exudes from the earth like the brine in salt pits, or actual earth of a sulphur colour is approved for the purpose. Painters have been known to dig up charred remains from graves thus violated to supply it. All these plans are troublesome and new-fangled; for black paint can he made in a variety of ways from the soot produced by burning resin or pitch, owing to which factories have actually been built with no exit for the smoke produced by this process. The most esteemed black paint is obtained in the same way from the wood of the pitch-pine. It is adulterated by mixing it with the soot of furnaces and baths, which is used as a material for writing. Some people calcine dried wine-lees, and declare that if the lees from a good wine are used this ink has the appearance of Indian ink. The very celebrated painters Polygnotus and Micon at Athens made black paint from the skins of grapes, and called it grape-lees ink. Apelles invented the method of making black from burnt ivory; the Greek name for this is elephantinon.
There is also an Indian black, imported from India, the composition of which I have not yet discovered. A black is also produced with dyes from the black florescence which adheres to bronze pans. One is also made by burning logs of pitch-pine and pounding the charcoal in a mortar. The cuttlefish has, a remarkable property in forming a black secretion, but no colour is made from this. The preparation of all black is completed by exposure to the sun, black for writing ink receiving an admixture of gum and black for painting walls an admixture of glue. Black pigment that has been dissolved in vinegar is difficult to wash out.
XXVI. Among the remaining colours which because of their high cost, as we said, are supplied by patrons, dark purple holds the first place. It is produced by dipping silversmiths' earth along with purple cloth and in like manner, the earth absorbing the colour more quickly than the wool. The best is that which being the first formed in the boiling cauldron becomes saturated with the dyes in their primary state, and the next best produced when white earth is added to the same liquor after the first has been removed; and every time this is done the quality deteriorates, the liquid becoming more diluted at each stage. The reason why the dark purple of Pozzuoli is more highly praised than that of Tyre or Gaetulia or Laconia, places which produce the most costly purples, is that it combines most easily with hysginum and madder which cannot help absorbing it. The cheapest comes from Canosa. The price is from one to thirty denarii per lb. Painters using it put a coat of sandyx underneath and then add a coat of dark purple mixed with egg, and so produce the brilliance of cinnabar; if they wish instead to produce the glow of purple, they lay a coat of blue underneath, and then cover this with dark purple mixed with egg.
XXVII. Of next greatest importance after this is indigo, a product of India, being a slime that adheres to the scum upon reeds. When it is sifted out it is black, but in dilution it yields a marvellous mixture of purple and blue. There is another kind of it that floats on the surface of the pans in the purple dye-shops, and this is the 'scum of purple.' People who adulterate it stain pigeons' droppings with genuine indigo, or else colour earth of Selinus or ring-earth with woad. It can be tested by means of a live coal, as if genuine it gives off a brilliant purple flame and a smell of the sea while it smokes; on this account some people think that it is collected from rocks on the coast. The price of indigo is 20 denarii per pound. Used medicinally it allays cramps and fits and dries up sores.
XXVIII. Armenia sends us the substance Azarite, etc. named after it Armenian. This also is a mineral that is dyed like malachite, and the best is that which most closely approximates to that substance, the colour partaking also of dark blue. Its price used to be rated at 300 sesterces per pound. A sand has been found all over the Spanish provinces that admits of similar preparation, and accordingly the price has dropped to as low as six denarii. It differs from dark blue by a light white glow which renders this blue colour thinner in comparison. It is only used in medicine to give nourishment to the hair, and especially the eyelashes.
XXIX. There are also two colours of a very cheap class that have been recently discovered: one is the green called Appiah, which counterfeits malachite; just as if there were too few spurious varieties of it already! It is made from a green earth and is valued at a sesterce per pound.
XXX. The other colour is that called 'ring-white,' which is used to give brilliance of complexion in paintings of women. This itself also is made from white earth mixed with glass stones from the rings of the lower classes, which accounts for the name 'ring-white.'
XXXI. Of all the colours those which love a dry surface of white clay, and refuse to be applied to a damp plaster, are purple, indigo, blue, Melian, orpiment, Appian and ceruse. Wax is stained with these same colours for encaustic paintings, a sort of process which cannot be applied to walls but is common for ships of the navy, and indeed nowadays also for cargo vessels, since we even decorate vehicles with paintings, so that no one need be surprised that even logs for funeral pyres are painted; and we like gladiators going into the fray to ride in splendour to the scene of their death or at all events of carnage. Thus to contemplate all these numbers and great variety of colours prompts us to marvel at former generations.
XXXII. Four colours only were used by the illustrious painters Apelles, Action, Melanthius and Nicomachus to execute their immortal worksof whites, Melinum; of yellow ochres, Attic; of reds, Pontic Sinopis; of blacks, atramentumalthough their pictures each sold for the wealth of a whole town. Nowadays when purple finds its way even on to party-walls and when India contributes the mud of her rivers and the gore of her snakes and elephants, there is no such thing as high-class painting. Everything in fact was superior in the days when resources were scantier. The reason for this is that, as we said before, it is values of material and not of genius that people are now on the lookout for.
XXXIII. One folly of our generation also in the matter of painting I will not leave out. The Emperor Nero had ordered his portrait to be painted on a colossal scale, on linen 120 ft. high, a thing unknown hitherto; this picture when finished, in the Gardens of Maius, was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire, together with the best part of the Gardens. When a freedman of Nero was giving at Anzio a gladiatorial show, the public porticoes were covered with paintings, so we are told, containing life-like portraits of all the gladiators and assistants. This portraiture of gladiators has been the highest interest in art for many generations now; but it was Gaius Terentius Lucanus who began the practice of having pictures made of gladiatorial shows and exhibited in public; in honour of his grandfather who had adopted him he provided thirty pairs of gladiators in the forum for three consecutive days, and exhibited a picture of their matches in the Grove of Diana.
XXXIV. I will now run through as briefly as possible the artists eminent in painting; and it is not consistent with the plan of this work to go into such detail; and accordingly it will be enough just to give the names of some of them even in passing and in course of mentioning others, with the exception of the famous works of art which whether still extant or now lost it will be proper to particularize.
In this department the exactitude of the Greeks is inconsistent, in placing the painters many Olympiads after the sculptors in bronze and chasers in metal, and putting the first in the 90th Olympiad, although it is said that even Phidias himself was a painter to begin with, and that there was a shield at Athens that had been painted by him; and although moreover it is universally admitted that his brother Panaenus came in the 83rd Olympiad, who painted the inner surface of a shield of Athene at Elis made by Colotes, Phidias's pupil and assistant in making the statue of Olympian Zeus. And then, is it not equally admitted that Candaules, the last King of Lydia of the Heraclid line, who was also commonly known by the name of Myrsilus, gave its weight in gold for a picture of the painter Bularchus representing a battle 'with the Magnetes.' So high was the value already set on the art of painting. This must have occurred at about the time of Romulus, since Candaules died in the 18th Olympiad, or, according to some accounts, in the same year as Romulus, making it clear, if I am not mistaken, and that the art had already achieved celebrity, and in fact a perfection. And if we are bound to accept this conclusion, it becomes clear at the same time that the first stages were at a much earlier date and that the painters in monochrome, whose date is not handed down to us, came considerably earlierHygiaenon, Dinias, Charmadas and Eumarus of Athens, the last being the earliest artist to distinguish the male from the female sex in painting, and venturing to reproduce every sort of figure; and Cimon of Cleonae who improved on the inventions of Eumarus. It was Cimon who first invented `catagrapha,' that is, images in 'three-quarter,' and who varied the aspect of the features, representing them as looking backward or upward or downward; he showed the attachments of the limbs, displayed the veins, and moreover introduced wrinkles and folds in the drapery. Indeed the brother of Phidias Panaenus even painted the Battle at Marathon between the Athenians and Persians; so widely established had the employment of colour now become and such perfection of art had been attained that he is said to have introduced actual portraits of the generals who commanded in that battle, Miltiades, Callimachus and Cynaegirus on the Athenian side and Datis and Artaphernes on that of the barbarians.
XXXV. Nay more, during the time that Panaenus flourished competitions in painting were actually instituted at Corinth and at Delphi, and on the first occasion of all Panaenus competed against Timagoras of Chalcis, being defeated by him, at the Pythian Games, a fact clearly shown by an ancient poem of Timagoras himself, the chronicles undoubtedly being in error.
After those and before the 90th Olympiad there were other celebrated painters also, such as Polygnotus of Thasos who first represented women in transparent draperies and showed their heads and covered with a parti-coloured headdress; and he first contributed many improvements to the art of painting, as he introduced showing the mouth wide open and displaying the teeth and giving expression to the countenance in place of the primitive rigidity. There is a picture by this artist in the Portico of Pompeius which formerly hung in front of the Curia which he built, in which it is doubtful whether the figure of a man with a shield is painted as going up or as coming down. Polygnotus painted the temple at Delphi and the colonnade at Athens called Painted Portico, doing his work gratuitously, although a part of the work was painted by Micon who received a fee. Indeed Polygnotus was held in higher esteem, as the Amphictyones, who are a General Council of Greece, voted him entertainment at the public expense. There was also another Micon, distinguished from the first by the surname of the Younger, whose daughter Timarete also painted.
XXXVI. In the 90th Olympiad lived Aglaophon, Cephisodorus, Erillus, and Evenor the father and teacher of Parrhasius, a very great painter (about Parrhasius we shall have to speak when we come to his period). All these are now artists of note, yet not figures over which our discourse should linger in its haste to arrive at the luminaries of the art; first among whom shone out Apollodorus of Athens, in the 93rd Olympiad. Apollodorus was the first artist to give realistic presentation of objects, and the first to confer glory as of right upon the paint brush. His are the Priest at Prayer and Ajax struck by Lightning, the latter to be seen at Pergamum at the present day. There is no painting now on view by any artist before Apollodorus that arrests the attention of the eyes.
The gates of art having been now thrown open by Apollodorus they were entered by Zeuxis of Heraclea in the 4th year of the 95th Olympiad, who led forward the already not unadventurous paintbrushfor this is what we are still speaking of--to great glory. Some writers erroneously place Zeuxis in the 89th Olympiad, when Demophilus of Himera and Neseus of Thasos must have been his contemporaries, as of one of them, it is uncertain which, he was a pupil. Of Zeuxis, Apollodorus above recorded wrote an epigram in a line of poetry to the effect that 'Zeuxis robbed his masters of their art and carried it off with him.' Also he acquired such great wealth that he advertised it at Olympia by displaying his own name embroidered in gold lettering on the checked pattern of his robes. Afterwards he set about giving away his works as presents, saying that it was impossible for them to be sold at any price adequate to their value: for instance he presented his Alcmena to the city of Girgenti and his Pan to Arehelaus. He also did a Penelope in which the picture seems to portray morality, and an Athlete, in the latter case being so pleased with his own work that he wrote below it a line of verse which has hence become famous, to the effect that it would be easier for someone to carp at him than to copy him. His Zeus seated on a throne with the gods standing by in attendance is also a magnificent work, and so is the Infant Heracles throttling two snakes in the presence of his mother Alemena, looking on in alarm, and of Amphitryon. Nevertheless Zeuxis is criticized for making the heads and joints of his figures too large in proportion, albeit he was so scrupulously careful that when he was going to produce a picture for the city of Girgenti to dedicate at the public cost in the temple of Laeinian Hera he held an inspection of maidens of the place paraded naked and chose five, for the purpose of reproducing in the picture the most admirable points in the form of each. He also painted monochromes in white. His contemporaries and rivals were Timanthes, Androeydes, Eupompus and Parrhasius. This last, it is recorded, entered into a competition with Zeuxis, who produced a picture of grapes so successfully represented that birds flew up to the stage-buildings; whereupon Parrhasius himself produced such a realistic picture of a curtain that Zeuxis, proud of the verdict of the birds, requested that the curtain should now be drawn and the picture displayed; and when he realized his mistake, with a modesty that did him honour he yielded up the prize, saying that whereas he had deceived birds Parrhasius had deceived him, an artist. It is said that Zeuxis also subsequently painted a Child Carrying Grapes, and when birds flew to the fruit with the same frankness as before he strode up to the picture in anger with it and said, I have painted the grapes better than the child, as if I had made a success of that as well, the birds would inevitably have been afraid of it. He also executed works in clay, the only works of art that were left at Arnbracia when Fulvius Nobilior removed the statues of the Muses from that place to Rome. There is at Rome a Helena by Zeuxis in the Porticoes of Philippus, and a Marsyas Bound, in the Shrine of Concord.
Parrhasius also, a native of Ephesus contributed much to painting, he was the first to give proportions to painting and the first to give vivacity to the expression of the countenance, elegance of the hair and beauty of the mouth; indeed it is admitted by artists that he won the palm in the drawing of outlines. This in painting is the high-water mark of refinement; to paint bulk and the surface within the outlines, though no doubt a great achievement, is one in which many have won distinction, but to give the contour of the figures, and make a satisfactory boundary where the painting within finishes, is rarely attained in successful artistry. For the contour ought to round itself off and so terminate as to suggest the presence of other parts behind it also, and disclose even what it hides. This is the distinction conceded to Parrhasius by Antigonus and Xenocrates who have written on the art of painting, and they do not merely admit it but actually advertise it. And there are many other pen-sketches a still extant among his panels and parchments, from which it is said that artists derive profit. Nevertheless he seems to fall below his own level in giving expression to the surface of the body inside the outline. His picture of the People of Athens also shows ingenuity in treating the subject, since he displayed them as fickle, choleric, unjust and variable, but also placable and merciful and compassionate, boastful and ...., lofty and humble, fierce and timidand all these at the same time. He also painted a Theseus which was once in the Capitol at Rome, and a Naval Commander in a Cuirass, and in a single picture now at Rhodes figures of Meleager, Heracles and Perseus. This last picture has been three times struck by lightning at Rhodes without being effaced, a circumstance which in itself enhances the wonder felt for it. He also painted a High Priest of Cybele, a picture for which the Emperor Tiberius conceived an affection and kept it shut up in his bedchamber, the price at which it was valued according to Deculo being 6,000,000 sesterces. He also painted a Thracian Nurse with an Infant in her Arms, a Philiscus, and a Father Liber or Dionysus attended by Virtue, and Two Children in which the carefree simplicity of childhood is clearly displayed, and also a Priest attended by Boy with Incense-box and Chaplet. There are also two very famous pictures by him, a Runner in the Race in Full Armour who actually seems to sweat with his efforts, and the other a Runner in Full Armour Taking off his Arms, so lifelike that he can be perceived to be panting for breath. His Aeneas, Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces), all in the same picture, are also highly praised, and likewise his group of Telephus with Achilles, Agamemnon and Odysseus. Parrhasius was a prolific artist, but one who enjoyed the glory of his art with unparalleled arrogance, for he actually adopted certain surnames, calling himself the 'Bon Viveur,' and in some other verses 'Prince of Painters,' who had brought the art to perfection, and above all saying he was sprung from the lineage of Apollo and that his picture of Heracles at Lindos presented the hero as he had often appeared to him in his dreams. Consequently when defeated by Timanthes at Samos by a large majority of votes, the subject of the pictures being Ajax and the Award of the Arms, he used to declare in the name of his hero that he was indignant at having been defeated a second time by an unworthy opponent. He also painted some smaller pictures of an immodest nature, taking his recreation in this sort of wanton amusement.
To return to Timantheshe had a very high degree of genius. Orators have sung the praises of his Iphigenia, who stands at the altar awaiting her doom; the artist has shown all present full of sorrow, and especially her uncle, and has exhausted all the indications of grief, yet has veiled the countenance of her father himself whom he was unable adequately to portray. There are also other examples of his genius, for instance a quite small panel of a Sleeping Cyclops, whose gigantic stature he aimed at representing even on that scale by painting at his side some Satyrs measuring the size of his thumb with a wand. Indeed Timanthes is the only artist in whose works more is always implied than is depicted, and whose execution, though consummate, is always surpassed by his genius. He painted a hero which is a work of supreme perfection, in which he has included the whole art of painting male figures; this work is now in the Temple of Peace in Rome.
It was at this period that Euxinidas had as his pupil the famous artist Aristides, that Eupompus taught Pamphilus who was the instructor of Apelles.
A work of Eupompus is a Winner in a Gymnastic Contest holding a Palm branch. Eupompus's own influence was so powerful that he made a fresh division of painting; it had previously been divided into two schools, called the Helladic or Grecian and the Asiatic, but because of Eupompus, who was a Sicyonian, the Grecian school was subdivided into three groups, the Ionic, Sicyonian and Attic. To Pamphilus belong Family Group, and a Battle at Phlius and a Victory of the Athenians, and also Odysseus on his Raft. He was himself a Macedonian by birth, but was brought up at Sicyon, and was the first painter highly educated in all branches of learning, especially arithmetic and geometry, without the aid of which he maintained art could not attain perfection. He took no pupils at a lower fee than a talent, at the rate of 500 drachmae per annum, and this was paid him by both Apelles and Melanthius. It was brought about by his influence, first at Sicyon and then in the whole of Greece as well, that children of free birth were given lessons in drawing on boxwood, which had not been included hitherto, and that this art was accepted into the front rank of the liberal sciences. And it has always consistently had the honour of being practised by people of free birth, and later on by persons of station, it having always been forbidden that slaves should be instructed in it. Hence it is that neither in painting nor in the art of statuary a are there any famous works that were executed by any person who was a slave.
In the 107th Olympiad Aetion and Therimachus also attained outstanding distinction. Famous paintings by Aetion are a Father Liber or Dionysus, Tragedy and Comedy and Semiramis the Slave Girl Rising to a Throne; and the Old Woman carrying Torches, with a Newly Married Bride, remarkable for her air of modesty.
But it was Apelles of Cos who surpassed all the painters that preceded and all who were to come after him; he dates in the 112th Olympiad. He is singly contributed almost more to painting than all the other artists put together, also publishing volumes containing the principles of painting. His art was unrivalled for graceful charm, although other very great painters were his contemporaries. Although he admired their works and gave high praise to all of them, he used to say that they lacked the glamour that his work possessed, the quality denoted by the Greek word charis, and that although they had every other merit, in that alone no one was his rival. He also asserted another claim to distinction when he expressed his admiration for the immensely laborious and infinitely meticulous work of Protogenes; for he said that in all respects his achievements and those of Protogenes were on a level, or those of Protogenes were superior, but that in one respect he stood higher. that he knew when to take his hand away from a picture aa noteworthy warning of the frequently evil effects of excessive diligence. The candour of Apelles was however equal to his artistic skill: he used to acknowledge his inferiority to Melanthius in grouping, and to Aselepiodorus in nicety of measurement, that is in the proper space to be left between one object and another.
A clever incident took place between Protogenes and Apelles. Protogenes lived at Rhodes, and Apelles made the voyage there from a desire to make himself acquainted with Protogenes's works, as that artist was hitherto only known to him by reputation. He went at once to his studio. The artist was not there but there was a panel of considerable size on the easel prepared for painting, which was in the charge of a single old woman. In answer to his enquiry, she told him that Protogenes was not at home, and asked who it was she should report as having wished to see him. 'Say it was this person,' said Apelles, and taking up a brush he painted in colour across the panel an extremely fine line; and when Protogenes returned the old woman showed him what had taken place. The story goes that the artist, after looking closely at the finish of this, said that the new arrival was Apelles, as so perfect a piece of work tallied with nobody else; and he himself, using another colour, drew a still finer line exactly on the top of the first one, and leaving the room told the attendant to show it to the visitor if he returned and add that this was the person he was in search; and so it happened; for Apelles came back, and, ashamed to be beaten, cut a the lines with another in a third colour, leaving no room for any further display of minute work. Hereupon Protogenes admitted he was defeated, and flew down to the harbour to look for the visitor; and he decided that the panel should be handed on to posterity as it was, to be admired as a marvel by everybody, but particularly by artists. I am informed that it was burnt in the first fire which occurred in Caesar's palace on the Palatine; it had been previously much admired by us, on its vast surface containing nothing else than the almost invisible lines, so that among the outstanding works of many artists it looked like a blank space, and by that very fact attracted attention and was more esteemed than every masterpiece there.
Moreover it was a regular custom with Apelles never to let a day of business to be so fully occupied that he did not practise his art by drawing a line, which has passed from him into a proverb. Another habit of his was when he had finished his works to place them in a gallery in the view of passers by, and he himself stood out of sight behind the picture and listened to hear what faults were noticed, rating the public as a more observant critic than himself. And it is said that he was found fault with by a shoemaker because in drawing a subject's sandals he had represented the loops in them as one too few, and the next day the same critic was so proud of the artist's correcting the fault indicated by his previous objection that he found fault with the leg, but Apelles indignantly looked out from behind the picture and rebuked him, saying that a shoemaker in his criticism must not go beyond the sandala remark that has also passed into a proverb. In fact he also possessed great courtesy of manners, which made him more agreeable to Alexander the Great, who frequently visited his studiofor, as we have said, Alexander had published an edict forbidding any other artist to paint his portrait; but in the studio Alexander used to talk a great deal about painting without any real knowledge of it, and Apelles would politely advise him to drop the subject, saying that the boys engaged in grinding the colours were laughing at him: so much power did his authority exercise over a King who was otherwise of an irascible temper. And yet Alexander conferred honour on him in a most conspicuous instance; he had such an admiration for the beauty of his favourite mistress, named Pancaspe, that he gave orders that she should be painted in the nude by Apelles, and then discovering that the artist while executing the commission had fallen in hive with the woman, he presented her to him, great minded as he was and still greater owing to his control of himself, and of a greatness proved by this action as much as by any other victory: because he conquered himself, and presented not only his bedmate but his affection also to the artist, and was not even influenced by regard for the feelings of his favourite in having been recently the mistress of a monarch and now belonged to a painter. Some persons believe that she was the model from which the Aphrodite Anadyomene (Rising from the Sea) was painted. It was Apelles also who, kindly among his rivals, first established the reputation of Protogenes at Rhodes. Protogenes was held in low esteem by his fellow-countrymen, as is usual with home products, and, when Apelles asked him what price he set on some works he had finished, he had mentioned some small sum, but Apelles made him an offer of fifty talents for them, and spread it about that he was buying them with the intention of selling them as works of his own. This device aroused the people of Rhodes to appreciate the artist, and Apelles only parted with the pictures to them at an enhanced price.
He also painted portraits so absolutely lifelike that, incredible as it sounds, the grammarian Apio has left it on record that one of those persons called 'physiognomists,' who prophesy people's future by their countenance, pronounced from their portraits either the year of the subjects' deaths hereafter or the number of years they had already lived. Apelles had been on bad terms with Ptolemy in Alexander's retinue. When this Ptolemy was King of Egypt, Apelles on a voyage had been driven by a violent storm into Alexandria. His rivals maliciously suborned the King's jester to convey to him an invitation to dinner, to which he came. Ptolemy was very indignant, and paraded his hospitality-stewards for Apelles to say which of them had given him the invitation. Apelles picked up a piece of extinguished charcoal from the hearth and drew a likeness on the wall, the King recognizing the features of the jester as soon as he began the sketch. He also painted a portrait of King Antigonus who was blind in one eye, and devised an original method of concealing the defect, for he did the likeness in 'three-quarter,' so that the feature that was lacking in the subject might be thought instead to be absent in the picture, and he only showed the part of the face which he was able to display as unmutilated. Among his works there are also pictures of persons at the point of death. But it is not easy to say which of his productions are of the highest rank. His Aphrodite emerging from the Sea was dedicated by his late lamented Majesty Augustus in the Shrine of his father Caesar; it is known as the Anadyomene; this like other works is eclipsed yet made famous by the Greek verses which sing its praises; the lower part of the picture having become damaged nobody could be found to restore it, but the actual injury contributed to the glory of the artist. This picture however suffered from age and rot, and Nero when emperor substituted another for it, a work by Dorotheus. Apelles had also begun on another Aphrodite at Cos, which was to surpass even his famous earlier one; but death grudged him the work when only partly finished, nor could anybody be found to carry on the task, in conformity with the outlines of the sketches prepared. He also painted Alexander the Great holding a Thunderbolt, in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, for a fee of twenty talents in gold. The fingers have the appearance of projecting from the surface and the thunderbolt seems to stand out from the picturereaders must remember that all these effects were produced by four colours; the artist received the price of this picture in gold coin measured by weighty not counted. He also painted a Procession of the Magabyzus, the priest of Artemis of Ephesus, a Clitus with Horse hastening into battle; and an armour-bearer handing someone a helmet at his command. How many times he painted Alexander and Philip it would be superfluous to recount. His Habron at Samos is much admired, as is his Menander. King of Caria, at Rhodes, likewise his Antaeus, and at Alexandria his Gorgosthenes the Tragic Actor, and at Rome his Castor and Pollux with Victory and Alexander the Great, and also his figure of Ware with the Hands Tied behind, with Alexander riding in Triumph in his Chariot. Both of these pictures his late lamented Majesty Augustus with restrained good taste had dedicated in the most frequented parts of his forum; the emperor Claudius however thought it more advisable to cut out the face of Alexander from both works and substitute portraits of Augustus. The Heracles with Face Averted in the temple of Diana is also believed to be by his handso drawn that the picture more truly displays Heracles' face than merely suggests it to the imaginationa very difficult achievement. He also painted a Nude Hero, a picture with which he challenged Nature herself. There is, or was, a picture of a Horse by him, painted in a competition, by which he carried his appeal for judgement from mankind to the dumb quadrupeds; for perceiving that his rivals were getting the better of him by intrigue, he had some horses brought and showed them their pictures one by one; and the horses only began to neigh when they saw the horse painted by Apelles; and this always happened subsequently, showing it to be a sound. test of artistic skill. He also did a Neoptolemus on Horseback fighting against the Persians, an Archelaus with his Wife and Daughter, and an Antigonus with a Breastplate marching with his horse at his side. Connoisseurs put at the head of all his works the portrait of the same king seated on horseback, and his Artemis in the midst of a band of Maidens offering a Sacrifice, a work by which he may be thought to have surpassed Homer's verses describing the same subject. He even painted things that cannot be represented in picturesthunder, lightning and thunderbolts, the pictures known respectively under the Greek titles of Bronte, Astrape and Ceraunobolia.
His inventions in the art of painting have been useful to all other painters as well, but there was one which nobody was able to imitate: when his works were finished he used to cover them over with a black varnish of such thinness that its very presence, while its reflexion threw up the brilliance of all the colours and preserved them from dust and dirt, was only visible to anyone who looked at it close up, but also employing great calculation of lights, so that the brilliance of the colours should not offend the sight when people looked at them as if through muscovy-glass and so that the same device from a distance might invisibly give sombreness to colours that were too brilliant.
Contemporary with Apelles was Aristides of Thebes. He was the first of all painters who depicted the mind and expressed the feelings of a human being, what the Greeks term ethe, and also the emotions; he was a little too hard in his colours. His works include on the capture of a town, showing an infant creeping to the breast of its mother who is dying of a wound; it is felt that the mother is aware of the child and is afraid that as her milk is exhausted by death it may suck blood; this picture had been removed by Alexander the Great to his native place, Pella. The same artist painted a Battle with the Persians, a panel that contains a hundred human figures, which he parted with to Mnason the Tyrant of Elatea on the terms of ten Chariots Racing, a Suppliant, who almost appeared speak, Huntsmen with Quarry, Leontion Epicurus's mistress, and Woman At Rest through per man. He also painted a Four-horse of her Brother; and likewise the Dionysus the Ariadne once on view in the Temple of Ceres at Rome, and the Tragic Actor and Boy in the Temple of Apollo, a picture of which the beauty has perished owing to the lack of skill of a painter commissioned by Marcus Junius as praetor to clean it in readiness for the festival of the Games of Apollo. There has also been on view in the Temple of Faith in the Capitol his picture of an Old Man with a Lyre giving lessons to a Boy. He also painted a Sick Man which has received unlimited praise; and he was so able an artist that King Attalus is said to have bought a single picture of his for a hundred talents.
Protogenes also flourished at the same time, as has been said. He was born at Caunus, in a community that was under the dominion of Rhodes. At the outset he was extremely poor, and extremely devoted to his art and consequently not very productive.
Who his teacher was is believed to be unrecorded. Some people say that until the age of fifty he was also a ship-painter, and that this is proved by the fact that when he was decorating with paintings, on a very famous site at Athens, the gateway of the Temple of Athene, where he depicted his famous Paralus and Hammonias, which is by some people called the Nausicaa, he added some small drawings of battleships in what painters call the 'side-pieces,' in order to show from what commencement his work had arrived at the pinnacle of glorious display. Among his pictures the palm is held by his Ialysus, which is consecrated in the Temple of Peace in Rome. It is said that while painting this he lived on soaked lupins, because he thus at the same time both sustained his hunger and thirst and avoided blunting his sensibilities by too luxurious a diet. For this picture he used four coats of paint, to serve as three protections against injury and old age, so that when the upper coat disappeared the one below it would take its place. In the picture there is a dog marvellously executed, so as to appear to have been painted by art and good fortune jointly: the artist's own opinion was that he did not fully show in it the foam of the panting dog, although in all the remaining details he had satisfied himself, which was very difficult. But the actual art displayed displeased him, nor was he able to diminish it, and he thought it was excessive and departed too far from realitythe foam appeared to be painted, not to be the natural product of the animal's mouth; vexed and tormented, as he wanted his picture to contain the truth and not merely a near-truth, he had several times rubbed off the paint and used another brush, quite unable to satisfy himself. Finally he fell into a rage with his art because it was perceptible, and dashed a sponge against the place in the picture that offended him, and the sponge restored the colours he had removed, in the way that his anxiety had wished them to appear, and chance produced the effect of nature in the picture!
It is said that Nealces also following this example of his achieved a similar success in representing a horse's foam by dashing a sponge on the picture in a similar manner, in a representation of a man clucking in his cheek to soothe a horse he was holding. Thus did Protogenes indicate the possibilities of a stroke of luck also.
It was on account of this Ialysus that King Demetrius, in order to avoid burning a picture, abstained from setting fire to Rhodes when the city could only be taken from the side where the picture was stored, and through consideration for the safety of a picture lost the chance of a victory! Protogenes at the time was in his little garden on the outskirts of the city, that is in the middle of the Camp of Demetrius, and would not be interrupted by the battles going on, or on any account suspend the works he had begun, had he not been summoned by the King, who asked him what gave him the assurance to continue outside the walls. He replied that he knew the King was waging war with the Rhodians, not with the arts. The King, delighted to be able to safeguard the hands which he had spared, placed guardposts to protect him, and, to avoid repeatedly calling him from his work, actually though an enemy came to pay him visits, and quitting his aspirations for his own victory, in the thick of battles and the battering down of walls, looked on at the work of an artist. And even to this day the story is attached to a picture of that date that Protogenes painted it with a sword hanging over him. The picture is the one of a Satyr, called the Satyr Reposing, and to give a final touch to the sense of security felt at the time, the figure holds a pair of flutes.
Other works of Protogenes were a Cydippe, Tlepolemus, a Philiscus the Tragic Poet in Meditation, an Athlete, a portrait of King Antigonus, and one of the Mother of Aristotle the philosopher. Aristotle used to advise the artist to paint the achievements of Alexander the Great, as belonging to history for all time. The impulse of his mind however and a certain artistic capriciousness led him rather to the subjects mentioned. His latest works were pictures of Alexander and of Pan. He also made bronze statues, as we have said.
In the same period there was also Aselepiodorus, who was admired by Apelles for his proportions. For a picture of the Twelve Gods the tyrant Mnaso paid him three hundred minae per god. The same patron paid Theomnestus twenty minae for each of the heroes in a picture.
To the list of these artists must also be added Nicomachus son and pupil of Aristides. He painted a Rape of Persephone, a picture formerly in the Shrine of Minerva on the Capitol, just above the Chapel of Youth; and there was also in the Capitol, where it was placed by General Planeus, his Victory hurrying her Chariot aloft. He was the first painter who represented Odysseus wearing a felt skull-cap. He also painted an Apollo and Artemis, and the Mother of the Gods seated on a Lion, and likewise a fine picture of Bacchants with Satyrs prowling towards them, and a Scylla that is now in the Temple of Peace in Rome. No other painter was ever a more rapid worker. Indeed it is recorded that he accepted a commission from the tyrant of Sicyon Aristratus to paint by a given date a monument that he was erecting to the poet Telestes, and that he only arrived not long before the date; the wrathful tyrant threatened to punish him, but in a few days he finished the work with a speed and an artistic skill that were both remarkable. Among his pupils were his brother Ariston and his son Aristides and Philoxenus of Eretria, who painted for King Cassander a picture that holds the highest rank, containing a battle between Alexander and Darius. He also painted a picture with a wanton subject showing three Sileni at their revels. Imitating the rapidity of his master he introduced some shorthand methods of painting, executed with still more rapidity of technique.
With these artists is also reckoned Nicophanes, an elegant and finished painter with whom few can be compared for gracefulness, but who for tragic feeling and weight of style is far from Zeuxis and Apelles. Perseus, the pupil to whom Apelles dedicated his volumes on the art of painting, had belonged to the same period. Aristides of Thebes also had as his pupils his sons Niceros and Ariston, the latter the painter of a Satyr Crowned with a Wreath and Holding a Goblet; and other pupils of Aristides were Antorides and Euphranor about the latter we shall speak later on.
XXXVII. For it is proper to append the artists famous with the brush in a minor style of painting. Among these was Piraeicus, to be ranked below few painters in skill; it is possible that he won distinction by his choice of subjects, inasmuch as although adopting a humble line he attained in that field the height of glory. He painted barbers' shops and cobblers' stalls, asses, viands and the like, consequently receiving a Greek name meaning 'painter of sordid subjects'; in these however he gives exquisite pleasure, and indeed they fetched bigger prices than the largest works of many masters. On the other hand 'a picture by Serapio,' says Varro, 'covered the whole of the Maenian Balconies at the place Beneath the Old Shops.' Serapio was a most successful scene-painter, but he could not paint a human being. On the contrary, Dionysius painted nothing else but people, and consequently has a Greek name meaning 'Painter of Human Beings.' Callicles also made small pictures, and so did Calates of subjects taken from comedy; both classes were painted by Antiphilus, who executed the famous picture of Hesion and an Alexander and a Philip with Athene which are now in the school in Octavia's Porticoes, and in Philippus' Portico a Father Liber or Dionysus, a Young Alexander, Hippolytus alarmed by the Bull rushing upon him, and in Pompey's Portico a Cadmus and Europa. He also painted a figure in an absurd costume known by the joking name of Gryllus, the name consequently applied to every picture of that sort. He was himself born in Egypt and a pupil of Ctesidemus.
It is proper also not to pass over the painter of the temple at Ardea, especially as he was granted the citizenship of that place and honoured with an inscription on the picture, consisting in the following verses:
One Marcus Plautius, a worthy man,
Adorned, with paintings worthy of this place,
The shrine of Juno, Queen of Spouse supreme,
This Marcus Plautius, as men know, was born
In Asia wide. Now, and hereafter always,
Ardea applauds him for this work of art.
These lines are written in the antique Latin script. Nor must Spurius Tadius also, of the period of his late lamented Majesty Augustus, be cheated of his due, who first introduced the most attractive fashion of painting walls with pictures of country houses and porticoes and landscape gardens, groves, woods, hills, fish-ponds, canals, rivers, coasts, and whatever anybody could desire, together with various sketches of people going for a stroll or sailing in a boat or on land going to country houses riding on asses or in carriages, and also people fishing and fowling or hunting or even gathering the vintage. His works include splendid villas approached by roads across marshes men tottering and staggering along carrying women on their shoulders for a bargain, and a number of humorous drawings of that sort besides, extremely wittily designed. He also introduced using pictures of seaside cities to decorate uncovered terraces, giving a most pleasing effect and at a very small expense.
But among artists great fame has been confined to painters of pictures only a fact which shows the wisdom of early times to be the more worthy of respect, for they did not decorate walls, merely for owners of property, or houses, which would remain in one place and which could not be rescued from a fire. Protogenes was content with a cottage in his little garden; Apelles had no wall-frescoes in his house; it was not yet the fashion to colour the whole of the walls. With all these artists their art was on the alert for the benefit of cities, and a painter was the common property of the world.
A little before the period of his late lamented Majesty Augustus, Arellius also was in high esteem at Rome, had he not prostituted his art by a notorious outrage, by always paying court to any woman he happened to fall in love with, and consequently painting goddesses, but in the likeness of his mistresses; and so his pictures included a number of portraits of harlots. Another recent painter was Famulus, a dignified and severe but also very florid artist; to him belonged a Minerva who faced the spectator at whatever angle she was looked at. Famulus used to spend only a few hours a day in painting, and also took his work very seriously, as he always wore a toga, even when in the midst of his easels. The Golden House was the prison that contained his productions, and this is why other examples of his work are not extant to any considerable extent. After him in esteem were Cornelius Pinus and Attius Priscus, who painted the temples of Honour and Virtue for the Emperor Vespasian's restoration of them; Priscus was nearer in style to the artists of old days.
XXXVIII. In speaking of painting one must not omit the famous story about Lepidus. During his Triumvirate, when entertained by the magistrates of a certain place, he was given lodging in a house buried in trees; and the next day he complained to them in threatening language that he had been robbed of sleep by the singing of the birds however the authorities had a picture of a large snake made on an extremely long strip of parchment and fixed it up round the wood, and the story goes that this at once frightened the birds into silence, and that subsequently it was possible to keep them in check.
XXXIX. It is not agreed who was the inventor of painting in wax and of designs in encaustic. Some people think it was a discovery of Aristides, subsequently brought to perfection by Praxiteles, but there were encaustic paintings in existence at a considerably earlier date, for instance those of Polygnotus, and Nicanor and Mnasilaus of Paros. Also Elasippus of Aegina has inscribed on a picture enekan ('burnt in'), which he would not have done if the art of encaustic painting-had not been invented.
XL. It is recorded also that Pamphilus, the teacher of Apelles, not only painted in encaustic but also taught it to Pausias of Sicyon, the first artist who became famous in this style. Pausias was the son of Bryetes, and started as his father's pupil. He himself also did some wall-painting with the brush at Thespiae, when some old paintings by Polygnotus were being restored, and he was deemed to come off very second best in comparison with the original artist, having entered into competition in what was not really his line. Pausias also first introduced the painting of panelled ceilings, and it was not customary before him to decorate arched roofs in this way. He used to paint miniatures, and especially children. His rivals explained this practice as being due to the slow pace of his work in painting; and consequently to give his work also the reputation of speed he finished a picture in a single day, a picture of a boy which was called in Greek Henieresios, meaning One-day Boy. In his youth he fell in love with a fellow-townswoman named Glycera, who invented chaplets of flowers, and by imitating her in rivalry he advanced the art of encaustic painting so as to reproduce an extremely numerous variety of flowers. Finally he painted a portrait of the woman herself, seated and wearing a wreath, which is one of the very finest of pictures; it is called in Greek Stephanoplocos, Girl making Wreaths, or by others Stephanopolis, Girl selling Wreaths, because Glycera had supported her poverty by that trade. A copy (in Greek apographoa) of this picture was bought by Lucius Lucullus at Athens for two talents; it had been made by Dionysius at Athens. But Pausias also did large pictures, for instance the Sacrifice of Oxen which formerly was to be seen in Pompey's Portico. He first invented a method of painting which has afterwards been copied by many people but equalled by no one; the chief point was that although he wanted to show the long body of an ox he painted the animal facing the spectator and not standing sideways, and its great size is fully conveyed. Next, whereas all painters ordinarily execute in light colour the parts they wish to appear prominent and in dark those they wish to keep less obvious, this artist has made the whole ox of a black colour and has given substance to the shadow from the shadow itself, with quite remarkable skill that shows the shapes standing out on a level surface and a uniform solidity on a broken ground. Pausias also passed his life at Sicyon, which was for a long period a native place of painting. But all the pictures there had to be sold to meet a debt of the community, and were removed from the ownership of the state to Rome by Scaurus as aedile.
After Pausias, Euphranor the Isthmian distinguished himself far before all others, in the 104th Olympiad; he has also appeared in our account of statuaries. His works included colossal statues, works in marble, and reliefs, as he was exceptionally studious and diligent, excelling in every field and never falling below his own level. This artist seems to have been the first fully to represent the lofty qualities of heroes, and to have achieved good proportions, but he was too slight in his structure of the whole body and too large in his heads and joints. He also wrote books about proportions and about colours. Works of his are a Cavalry Battle, the Twelve Gods, and a Theseus, in respect of which he said that Parrhasius's Theseus had lived on a diet of roses, but his was a beef-eater. There is a celebrated picture by him at Ephesus, Odysseus Feigning Madness and yoking an ox with a horse, with men in cloaks reflecting, and the leader sheathing his sword.
Contemporaries of Euphranor were Cydias, for whose picture of the Argonauts the orator Hortensius [114-50 BC] paid 144,000 sesterces, and made a shrine for its reception at his villa at Tusculum. Euphranor's pupil was Antidotus. Works by the latter are a Combatant with a Shield at Athens and a Wrestler and a Trumpeter which has been exceptionally praised. Antidotus himself was more careful in his work than prolific, and severe in his use of colours; his chief distinction was being the teacher of the Athenian Nicias, who was an extremely careful painter of female portraits. Nicias kept a strict watch on light and shade, and took the greatest pains to make his paintings stand out from the panels. Works of his are: a Nemea, brought to Rome from Asia by Silanus and deposited in the Senate-house as we have said, and also the Father Liber or Dionysus in the Shrine of Concord, a Hyacinthus with which Caesar Augustus was so delighted that when he took Alexandria he brought it back with himand consequently Tiberius Caesar dedicated this picture in the Temple a of Augustusand a Dana; while at Ephesus there is the tomb of a megabyzus or priest of Diana of Ephesus, and at Athens there is a Necyomantea of Homer. The last the artist refused to sell to King Attalus for 60 talents, and preferred to present it to his native place, as he was a wealthy man. He also executed some large pictures, among them a Calypso, an Io and an Andromeda; and also the very fine Alexander in Pompey's Porticoes and a Seated Calypso are assigned to him.
In drawings of animals he was most successful with dogs. It is this Nicias of whom Praxiteles used to say, when asked which of his own works in marble he placed highest, `The ones to which Nicias has set his hand'so much value did he assign to his colouring of surfaces. It is not quite clear whether it is another artist of the same name or this Nicias whom some people put in the 112th Olympiad. [332-329 BC].
With Nicias is compared Athenion of Maronea, and sometimes to the disadvantage of the former. Athenion was a pupil of Glaucion of Corinth; he is more sombre in his colour than Nicias and yet therewithal more pleasing, so that his extensive knowledge shines out in his actual painting. He painted a Cavalry Captain in the temple at Eleusis and at Athens the group of figures which has been called the Family Group, and also an Achilles Disguised in Female Dress detected by Odysseus, a group of six figures in a single picture, and a Groom with a Horse, which has specially contributed to his fame. If he had not died in youth, there would have been nobody to compare with him.
Heraclides of Macedon is also a painter of note. He began by painting ships, and after the capture of King Perseus he migrated to Athens, where at the same period was the painter Metrodorus, who was also a philosopher and a great authority in both fields. Accordingly when Lucius Paulus after conquering Perseus requested the Athenians to send him their most esteemed philosopher to educate his children, and also a painter to embellish his triumphal procession, the Athenians selected Metrodorus, stating that he was most distinguished in both of these requirements alike, as to which Paulus also held the same view. Timomachus of Byzantium the period of Caesar's dictatorship painted an Ajax and a Medea, placed by Caesar in the temple of Venus Genetrix, having been bought at the price of 80 talents (Marcus Varro rates the Attic talent at 6000 denarii). Equal praise is given to Timomachus's Orestes, his Iphigenia among the Tauri and his Gymnastic-Master Lecythion; also his Noble Family and his Two Men wearing the Pallium, whom he has represented as about to converse; one is a standing figure and the other seated. It is in his painting of a Gorgon however that his art seems to have given him most success.
Pausias's son and pupil Aristolaus was one of the painters of the very severe style; to him belong an Epaminondas, a Pericles, a Medea, a Virtue, a Theseus, a figure representing the Athenian People, and a Sacrifice of Oxen. Some persons also admire Nicophanes, who was likewise a pupil of Pausias, for his careful accuracy which only artists can appreciate, though apart from that he is hard in his colouring and lavish in his use of ochre. As for Socrates he is justly a universal favourite popular pictures by him are his group of Asclepius with his daughters Health, Brightness, All-Heal and Remedy, and his Sluggard, bearing the Greek name of Ocnos, Laziness, and represented as twisting a rope of broom which an ass is nibbling.
Having so far pointed out the chief painters in both branches, we will also mention those of the rank next to the first: Aristoclides who decorated the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Antiphilus who is praised for his Boy Blowing a Fire, and for the apartment, beautiful in itself, lit by the reflection from the fire and the light thrown on the boy's face; and likewise for his Spinning-room, in which all the women are busily plying their tasks, and his Ptolemy Hunting, but, most famous of all, his Satyr with Leopard's Skin, called in Greek the Man Shading his Eyes. Aristophon did an Ancaeus Wounded by the Boar, with Astypale sharing his grief, and a picture crowded with figures, among them Priam, Helen, Credulity, Odysseus, Deiphobus, Craft. Androbius painted a Scyllus Cutting the Anchor-ropes of the Persian Fleet, Artemon a Danae admired by the Robbers, a Queen Stratdnice, and a Heracles and Deianira; but the finest of all his works, now in Octavia's Buildings, are his Heracles Ascending to Heaven with the consent of the Gods after his mortal remains were burnt on Mount Oeta in Doris, and the story of Laomedon in the matter of Heraeles and Posidon. Alcimachus painted Dioxippus, who won the All-round Bout at Olympia 'without raising any dust,' akoniti as the Greek word is. Coenus painted pedigrees.
Ctesilochus a pupil of Apelles became famous for a saucy burlesque painting which showed Zeus in labour with Dionysus, wearing a womans nightcap and crying like a woman, while goddesses act as midwives; Cleon for his Cadnsus, Ctesidemus for his Storming of Oechalia and his Laodamia. Ctesicles won notoriety by the insult he offered to Queen Stratonice, because as she did not give him an honourable reception he painted a picture of her romping with a fisherman with whom gossip said she was in love, and put it on exhibition at Ephesus Harbour, himself making a hurried escape on shipboard. The Queen would not allow the picture to be removed, the likeness of the two figures being admirably expressed. Cratinus painted the Comic Actors in the Processional Building at Athens, Eutychides a Chariot and Pair driven by Victory. Eudorus is famous for a scene-paintinghe also made bronze statuesand Hippys for his Posidon and his Victory. Habron painted a Friendship and a Harmony and figures of gods, Leontiscus an Aratus with the Trophies of Victory, and a Harpist Girl, Leon a Sappho, Nearchus Aphrodite among the Graces and the Cupids, and a Heracles in Sorrow Repenting his Madness, Nealces an Aphrodite. This Nealces was a talented and clever artist, inasmuch as when he painted a picture of a naval battle between the Persians and the Egyptians, which he desired to be understood as taking place on the river Nile, the water of which resembles the sea, he suggested by inference what could not be shown by art: he painted an ass standing on the shore drinking, and a crocodile lying in wait for it. Oenias has done a Family Group, Philiscus a Painter's Studio with a boy blowing the fire, Phalerion a Scylla, Simonides an Agatharchus and a Mnemosyne, Simus a Young Man Reposing, a Fuller's Shop Celebrating the Quinquatrus, and also a Nemesis of great merit; Theorus a Man Anointing Himself, and also Orestes killing his Mother and Aegisthus, and the Trojan War in a series of pictures now in Philippus' Porticoes at Rome and a Cassandra, in the Shrine of Concord, a Leontion Epicurus a mistress in Contemplation, a King Demetrius; Theon a Madness of Orestes, a Thamyras the Harper; Tauriscus a Man throwing a Quoit, a Clytaemnestra, a Young Pan, a Polynices Claiming the Sovereignty, and a Capaneus.
Among these artists the following remarkable case is not to be left out; the man who ground the colours for the painter Nealces, Erigonus, attained such proficiency on his own account that he actually left behind him a famous pupil, Pasias, the brother of the painter Aeginetas. It is also a very unusual and memorable fact that the last works of artists and their unfinished pictures such as the Iris of Aristides, the Tyndarus' Children of Nicomachus, the Medea of Timomachus and the Aphrodite of Apelles which we have mentioned, are more admired than those which they finished, because in them are seen the preliminary drawings left visible and the artists' actual thoughts, and in the midst of approval's beguilement we feel regret that the artist's hand while engaged in the work was removed by death.
There are still some artists who are not undistinguished but who only need be mentioned in passingAristocydes, Anaxander, Aristobulus of Syria, Arcesilas son of Tisicrates, Coroebus the pupil of Nicomachus, Charmantides, the pupil of Euphranor, Dionysodorus of Colophon, Dicaeogenes resident at the court of King Demetrius, Euthymides, the Macedonian Heraclides and Milon of Soli, pupils of Pyrornachus, the sculptor of the human figure, Mnasitheus of Sicyon, Mnasitimus the son and pupil of Aristonides, Nessus son of Habron, Polemo of Alexandria, Theodorus of Samos and Stadius, both pupils of Nicosthenes, Xenon of Sicyon, pupil of Neocles.
There have also been women artistsTimarete the daughter of Micon who painted the extremely archaic panel picture of Artemis at Ephesus, Irene daughter and pupil of the painter Cratinus who did the Maiden at Eleusis, a Calypso, an Old Man and Theodorus the Juggler, and painted also Alcisthenes the Dancer; Aristarete the daughter and pupil of Nearchus, who painted an Asclepius.
When Marcus Varro was a young man, Iaia of Cyzicus, who never married, painted pictures with the brush at Rome (and also drew with the cestrum or graver on ivory), chiefly portraits of women, as well as a large picture on wood of an Old Woman at Naples, and also a portrait of herself, done with a looking-glass. No one else had a quicker hand in painting, while her artistic skill was such that in the prices she obtained she far outdid the most celebrated portrait painters of the same period, Sopolis and Dionysius, whose pictures fill the galleries. A certain Olympias also painted; the only fact recorded about her is that Autobulus was her pupil.
XLI. In early days there were two kinds of encaustic painting, with wax and on ivory with a graver or cestrum (that is a small pointed graver); but later the practice came in of decorating battleships. This added a third method, that of employing a brush, when wax has been melted by fire; this process of painting ships is not spoilt by the action of the sun nor by salt water or winds.
XLII. In Egypt they also colour cloth by an exceptionally remarkable kind of process. They first thoroughly rub white fabrics and then smear them not with colours but with chemicals that absorb colour. When this has been done, the fabrics show no sign of the treatment, but after being plunged into a cauldron of boiling dye they are drawn out a moment later dyed. And the remarkable thing is that although the cauldron contains only one colour, it produces a series of different colours in the fabric, the hue changing with the quality of the chemical employed, and it cannot afterwards be washed out. Thus the cauldron which, if dyed fabrics were put into it, would undoubtedly blend the colours together, produces several colours out of one, and dyes the material in the process of being boiled; and the dress fabrics when submitted to heat become stronger for wear than they would be if not so heated.
XLIII. Enough and more than enough has now been said about painting. It may be suitable to append to these remarks something about the plastic art. It was through the service of that same earth that modelling portraits from clay was first invented by Butades, a potter of Sicyon, at Corinth. He did this owing to his daughter, who was in love with a young man; and she, when he was going abroad, drew in outline on the wall the shadow of his face thrown by a lamp. Her father pressed clay on this and made a relief, which he hardened by exposure to fire with the rest of his pottery; and it is said that this likeness was preserved in the Shrine of the Nymphs until the destruction of Corinth by Mummius. Some authorities state that the plastic art was first invented by Rhoecus and Theodorus at Samos, long before the expulsion of the Bacchiadae from Corinth, but that when Damaratus, who in Etruria became the father of Tarquin king of the Roman people, was banished from the same city, [578 B.C.] he was accompanied by the modellers Euchir, Diopus and Eugrammus, and they introduced modelling to Italy. The method of adding red earth to the material or else modelling out of red chalk, was an invention of Butades, and he first placed masks as fronts to the outer gutter-tiles on roofs; these at the first stage he called prostypa, but afterwards he likewise made eciypa. It was from these that the ornaments on the pediments of temples originated. Because of Butades modellers get their Greek name of piastae.
XLIV. The first person who modelled a likeness in plaster of a human being from the living face itself, and established the method of pouring wax into this plaster mould and then making final corrections on the wax cast, was Lysistratus of Sicyon, the brother of Lysippus of whom we have spoken. Indeed he introduced the practice of giving likenesses, the object aimed at previously having been to make as handsome a face as possible. The same artist also invented taking casts from statues, and this method advanced to such an extent that no figures or statues were made without a clay model. This shows that the knowledge of modelling in clay was older than that of casting bronze.
XLV. Most highly praised modellers were Damophilus and Gorgasus, who were also painters they had decorated the Shrine of Ceres in the Circus Maxfmus at Rome with both kinds of their art, and there is an inscription on the building in Greek verse in which they indicated that the decorations on the right hand side were the work of Damophilus and those on the left were by Gorgasus. Varro states that before this shrine was built everything in the temples was Tuscanic work; and that when this shrine was undergoing restoration the embossed work of the walls was cut out and enclosed in framed panels; and that the figures also were taken from the pediment and dispersed. Chalcosthenes also executed at Athens some works in unbaked clay, at the place named the Cerarnicus, Potters Quarter, after his workshop. Marcus Varro records that he knew at Rome an artist named Possis who made fruit and grapes in such a way that nobody could tell by sight from the real things. Varro also speaks very highly of Arcesilaus, who was on terms of intimacy with Lucius Lucullus, and says that his sketch-models of clay used to sell for more, among artists themselves, than the finished works of others; and that this artist made the statue of Venus Genetrix in Caesar's Forum and that it was erected before it was finished as there was a great haste to dedicate it; and that the same artist had contracted with Lucullus to make a statue of Happiness for 1,000,000 sesterces, which was prevented by the death of both parties; and that when a Knight of Rome Octavius desired him to make a wine-bowl he made him a model in plaster for the price of a talent. He also praises Pasiteles, who said that modelling was the mother of chasing and of bronze statuary and sculpture, and who, although he was eminent in all these arts, never made anything before he had made a clay model. He also states that this art had already been brought to perfection by Italy and especially by Etruria; that Vulca was summoned from Veii to receive the contract from Tarquinius Priscus for a statue of Jupiter to be consecrated in the Capitol, and that this Jupiter was made of clay and consequently was regularly painted with cinnabar; and that the four-horse chariots about which we spoke above on the pediment of the temple were modelled in clay; and that the figure of Hercules, which even today retains in the city the name of the material it is made of, was the work of the same artist. For these were the most splendid images of gods at that time; and we are not ashamed of those ancestors of ours for worshipping them in that material. For they used not formerly to work up silver and gold even for gods.
XLVI. Statues of this kind are still to be found at various places. In fact even at Rome and in the Municipal Towns there are many pediments of temples, remarkable for their carving and artistic merit and intrinsic durability, more deserving of respect than gold, and certainly less baneful. At the present day indeed, even in the midst of our present rich resources the preliminary libation is made at sacrifices not from fluorspar or crystal vessels but with small ladles of earthenware, thanks to the ineffable kindness of Mother Earth, if one considers her gifts in detail, even though we omit her blessings in the various kinds of corn, wine. fruit, herbs and shrubs, drugs and metals, all the things that we have so far mentioned. Nor do our products even in pottery satisfy our needs with their unfailing supply, with jars invented for our wine, and pipes for water, conduits for baths, tiles for our roofs, baked bricks for our house-walls and foundations, or things that are made on a wheel, because of which King Numa established a seventh Guild, the Potters. Indeed moreover many people have preferred to be buried in earthenware coffins, for instance Marcus Varro who was interred in the Pythagorean style, in leaves of myrtle, olive and as black poplar; the majority of mankind employs earthenware receptacles for this purpose. Among table services Samian pottery is still spoken highly of; this reputation is also retained by Arezzo in Italy, and, merely for cups, Sorrento, Asti, and Pollenza, and by Saguntuni in Spain and Pergamum in Asia Minor. Also Tralles in Asia Minor and Modena in Italy have their respective products, since even this brings nations fame, and their products also, so distinguished are the workshops of the potter's wheel, are carried to and fro across land and sea. In a temple at Erythrae even today are on view two wine-jars which were dedicated on account of their fine material, owing to a competition between a master potter and his apprentice as to which would make thinner earthenware. The pottery of Cos is most famous for this, but that of Adria is most substantial; while there are also some instances of severity also in relation to pottery. We find that Quintus Coponius was found guilty of bribery because he made a present of a jar of wine to a person who had the right to a vote. And so that luxury also may contribute some importance to earthenware, the name of a service of three dishes, we are told by Fenestella, used to denote the most luxurious possible banquet: one dish was of lamprey, a second of pike and a third of a mixture of fish. Clearly manners were already on the decline, though nevertheless we can still prefer them even to those of the philosophers of Greece, inasmuch as it is recorded that at the auction held by the heirs of Aristotle seventy earthenware dishes were. sold. We have already stated when on the subject of birds that a single dish cost the tragic actor Aesop 100,000 sesterces, and I have no doubt that readers felt indignant; but, good heavens, Vitellius when emperor had a dish made that cost 1,000,000 sesterees, and to make which a special furnace was constructed out in open country, as luxury has reached a point when even earthenware costs more than vessels of fluorspar. It was owing to this dish that Mucianus in his second consulship, in a protest [AD. 70] which he delivered, reproached the memory of Vitellius for dishes as broad as marshes, although this particular dish was not more disgraceful than the poisoned one by which Cassius Severus when prosecuting Asprenas charged him with having caused the death of 130 guests. Artistic pottery also confers fame on towns, for instance Reggio and Cumae. The priests of the Mother of the Cods called Galli castrate themselves, if we accept the account of Marcus Caelius, with a piece of Samian pottery, the only way of avoiding dangerous results; and Cacius proposed as a penalty for an abominable offence that the guilty person should have his tongue cut out in the same way, just as if he were already himself inveighing against the same Vitellius in anticipation. What is there that experience cannot devise? For it employs even broken crockery, making it more solid and durable by pounding it up and adding what is called Segni lime, a kind of material used in a method which experience has also invented for making pavements.
XLVII. But there are other inventions also that belong to Earth herself. For who could sufficiently marvel at the fact that the most inferior portion of the earth's substance, which is in consequence designated dust, on the hills of Pozzuoli, encounters the waves of the sea and as soon as it is submerged turns into a single mass of stone that withstands the attacks of the waves and becomes stronger every day, especially if it mixed with broken quarry-stone from Cumae? In the Cyzicus district also the nature of the earth is the same, but there not dust but the earth itself is cut out in blocks of any size wanted and plunged into the sea; and when drawn out, it is of the consistency of stone. The same is said to take place in the neighbourhood of Cassandreae and it is stated that in a fresh water spring at Cnidus earth becomes petrified in less than eight months. Or the coast from Oropus to Aulis all the earth that the sea touches is turned into rocks. The finest portion of the sand from the Nile is not very different from the dust of Pozzuoli, not to be used for an embankment against the sea and to act as a breakwater against waves, but for the purpose of subduing men's bodies for the exercises of the wrestling school. At all events it used to be imported from there for Patrobius, a freedman of the emperor Nero, and moreover I also find that this sand was carried with other military commodities for Alexander the Great's generals Craterus, Leonnatus and Meleager, though I shall not say more about this part of the subject any more than, by heaven, I shall mention the use of earth in making ointments, employed by our young men while ruining their vigour of mind by exercising their muscles.
XLVIII. Moreover, are there not in Africa and Spain walls made of earth that are called framed walls, because they are made by packing in a frame enclosed between two boards, one on each side, and so are stuffed in rather than built, and do they not last for ages, undamaged by rain, wind and fire, and stronger than any quarry-stone? Spain still sees the watchtowers of Hannibal and turrets of earth placed on the mountain ridges. From the same source is also obtained the substantial sods of earth suitable for the fortifications of our camps and for cmbankments against the violent flooding of rivers. At all events everybody knows that party-walls can be made by coating hurdles with clay, and are thus built up as if with raw bricks.
XLIX. Bricks should not be made from a sandy or gravelly soil and far less from a stony one, but from a marly and white soil or else from a red earth; or even with the aid of sand, at all events if coarse male sand is used. The best time for making bricks is in spring, as at midsummer they tend to crack. For buildings, only bricks two years old are recommended; moreover the material for them when it has been pounded should be well soaked before they are moulded.
Three kinds of bricks are made: the 'didoron,' the one employed by us, eighteen inches long and a foot wide, second the 'tetradoron' and third the 'pentadoron,' doron being an old Greek word meaning the palm of the hand from which comes doron, meaning a gift, because a gift was given by the hand. Consequently the bricks get their names from four or five palms' length as the case may be. Their breadth is in all cases the same. In Greece the smaller kind is used for private structures and the larger in public buildings. At Pitana in Asia Minor as also in the city states of Maxima and Callet in Further Spain bricks are made which when dried will not sink in water, being made of pumice-like earth, which is an extremely useful material when it is capable of being worked. The Greeks preferred brick walls except in places permitting of a stone structure, as brick walls last for ever if built exactly perpendicular. Consequently that was how they built both public works and kings' palacesthe wall at Athens that faces towards Mount Hymettus, at Patrae the Shrines of Zeus and of Heracles (although the columns and architraves with which they surrounded these were of stone), and the royal palace of Attaius at Tralles and likewise the palace of Croesus at Sardis, which they converted into a house of elders, and that of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, buildings still standing. Murena and Varro in their aedileship had some plaster work on brick walls at Sparta cut away, and because of the excellence of its painting had it enclosed in wooden frames and brought to Rome to decorate the Assembly-place. It was in itself a wonderful piece of work, yet its transfer caused even more admiration. In Italy also there is a brick wall at Arezzo and at Mevania. Structures of this sort are not erected in Rome, because an eighteen inch wall will only carry a single storey, and there is a regulation forbidding any partition exceeding that thickness: nor does the system used for party-walls permit of it.
L. Let this be what we say about bricks. Among the other kinds of earth the one with the most remarkable properties is sulphur, which exercises a great power over a great many other substances. Sulphur occurs in the Aeolian Islands between Sicily and Italy, which we have said are volcanic, but the most famous is on the island of Melos. It is also found in Italy, in the territory of Naples and Campania, on the hills called the Leucogaei. It is there dug out of mineshafts and dressed with fire. There are four kinds: live sulphur, the Greek name for which means 'untouched by fire,' which alone forms as a solid massfor all the other sorts consist of liquid and are prepared by boiling in oil; live sulphur is dug up, and it is translucent and of a green colour; it is the only one of all the kinds that is employed by doctors. The second kind is called 'clod-sulphur,' and is commonly found only in fullers' workshops. The third kind also is only employed for one purpose, for smoking woollens from beneath, as it bestows whiteness and softness; this sort is called egula. The fourth kind is specially used for making lamp-wicks. For the rest, sulphur is so potent that when put on the fire it detects epilepsy by its smell. Anaxilaus even made a sport with it by putting some in a cup of wine and placing a hot coal underneath and handing it round at dinner-parties, when by its reflection it threw on their faces a dreadful pallor as though they were dead. Its property is calorific and concoctive, but it also disperses abscesses on the body, and consequently is used as an ingredient in plasters and poultices for such cases. It is also remarkably beneficial for the kidneys and loins if in cases of pain it is applied to them with grease. In combination with turpentine it also removes lichenous growths on the face and leprosy; so it is called harpax, owing to the speed with which it has to be applied, which is caused by the need for immediate removal. Used as an electuary it is good for cases of asthma, and also purulent expectoration after coughing and as a remedy for the sting of scorpions. Live sulphur mixed with soda and pounded in vinegar and used as a liniment removes cutaneous eruptions, and also eggs of lice, and in combination with vinegar mixed with realgar it is useful on the eyelids. Sulphur also has a place in religious ceremonies, for the purpose of purifying houses by fumigation. Its potency is also perceptible in hot springs of water, and no other substance is more easily ignited, showing that it contains a powerful abundance of fire. Thunderbolts and lightning also have a smell of sulphur, and their actual light has a sulphurous quality.
LI. Near to the nature of sulphur is also that of bitumen. In some places it is a slime and others an earth, the shine being emitted, as we have said, from the lake of Judea and the earth being found in the neighbourhood of the seaside town of Sidon in Syria. Both of these varieties get thickened and solidify into a dense consistency. But there is also a liquid sort of bitumen, for instance that of Zacynthus and the kind imported from Babylon; at the latter place indeed it also occurs with a white colour. The bitumen from Apollonia also is liquid, and all of these varieties are called by the Greeks pissasphalt, from its likeness to vegetable-pitch and bitumen. There is also an unctuous bitumen, of the consistency of oil, found in Sicily, in a spring at Girgenti, the stream from which is tainted by it. The inhabitants collect it on tufts of reeds, as it very quickly adheres to them, and they use it instead of oil for burning in lamps, and also as a cure for scab in beasts of burden. Some authorities also include among the varieties of bitumen naphtha about which we spoke in Book II, but its burning property and liability to ignition is far removed from any practical use. The test of bitumen is that it should be extremely brilliant, and that it should be massive, with an oppressive smell; when quite black, its brilliance is moderate, as it is commonly adulterated with vegetable pitch. Its medical effect is that of sulphur, as it is astringent, dispersive, contractive, and agglutinating. Ignited it drives away snakes by us smell. Babylonian bitumen is said to be serviceable for cataract and film in the eye, and also for leprosy lichen and itch. It is also used as a liniment for gout; while all varieties of it are used to fold back eyelashes that get in the way of sight, and also to cure toothache, when smeared on with soda. Taken as a draught with wine it alleviates an inveterate cough and shortness of breath; and it is also given in the same way in cases of dysentery, and arrests diarrhoea. Drunk however with vinegar it dissolves and brings away coagulated blood. It reduces pains in the loins and also in the joints, and applied with barley-meal it makes a special kind of plaster that bears its name. It stops a flow of blood, closes up wounds, and unites severed muscles. It is employed also for quartan fevers, the dose being a dram of bitumen and an equal weight of wild mint pounded up with a sixth of a dram of myrrh. Burnt bitumen detects cases of epilepsy, and mixed with wine and beaver-oil its scent dissipates suffocations of the womb; its smoke when applied from beneath relieves prolapsus of the womb; and drunk in wine it hastens menstruation. Among other uses of it, it is applied as a coating to copper and bronze vessels to make them fireproof.
We have stated that it also used to be the practice to employ it for staining copper and bronze and coating statues. It has also been used as a substitute for lime, the walls of Babylon being cemented with it. In smithies also it is in favour for varnishing iron and the heads of nails and many other uses.
LII. Not less important or very different is the use made of alum, by which is meant a salt exudation from the earth. There are several varieties of it. In Cyprus there is a white alum and another sort of a darker colour, though the difference of colour is only slight; nevertheless the use made of them is very different, as the white and liquid kind is most useful for dying woollens a bright colour whereas the black kind is best for dark or sombre hues. Black alum is also used in cleaning gold. All alum is produced from water and slime, that is, a substance exuded by the earth; this collects naturally in a hollow in winter and its maturity by crystallisation is completed by the sunshine of summer; the part of it that separates earliest is whiter in colour. It occurs in Spain, Egypt, Armenia, Macedonia, Pontus, Africa, and the islands Sardinia, Melos, Lipari and Stromboli; the most highly valued is in Egypt and the next best in Melos. The alum of Melos also is of two kinds, fluid and dense. The test of the fluid kind is that it should be of a limpid, milky consistency, free from grit when rubbed between the fingers, and giving a slight glow of colour; this kind is called in Greek 'phorimon' in the sense of 'abundant.' Its adulteration can be detected by means of the juice of a pomegranate, as this mixed with it does not turn it black if it is pure. The other kind is the pale rough alum which may be stained with oak-gall also, and consequently this is called 'paraphoron,' perverted or adulterated alum. Liquid alum has an astringent, hardening and corrosive property. Mixed with honey it cures ulcers in the mouth, pimples and eruptions; this treatment is carried out in baths containing two parts of honey to one of alum. It reduces odour from the armpits and perspiration. It is taken in pills against disorders of the spleen and discharge of blood in the urine. Mixed with soda and chamomile it is also a remedy for scabies.
One kind of solid alum which is called in Greek schiston, 'splittable,' splits into a sort of filament of a whitish colour, owing to which some people have preferred to give it in Greek the name of trichitis, 'hairy alum.' This is produced from the same ore as copper, known as copperstone, a sort of sweat from that mineral, coagulated into foam. This kind of alum has less drying effect and serves less to arrest the detrimental humours of the body, but it is extremely beneficial as an ear-wash, or as a liniment also for ulcers of the mouth and for the teeth, and if it is retained in the mouth with saliva; or it forms a suitable ingredient in medicines for the eyes and for the genital organs of either sex. It is roasted in crucibles until it has quite lost its liquidity. There is another alum of a less active kind, called in Greek strongyle, 'round alum.' Of this also there are two varieties, the fungous which dissolves easily in any liquid and which is rejected as entirely worthless, and a better kind which is porous and pierced with small holes like a sponge and of a round formation, nearer white in colour, possessing a certain quality of unctuousness, free from grit, friable, and not apt to cause a black stain. This is roasted by itself on clean hot coals till it is reduced to ash. The best a of all kinds is that called Melos alum, after the island of that name, as we said; no other kind has a greater power of acting as an astringent, giving a black stain and hardening, and none other has a closer consistency. It removes granulations of the eyes, and is still more efficacious in arresting defluxions when calcined, and in that state also it is applied to itchings on the body. Taken as a draft or applied externally it also arrests haemorrhage. It is applied in vinegar to parts from which the hair has been removed and changes into soft down the hair that grows in its place. The chief property of all kinds of alum is their astringent effect, which gives it its name in Greek. This makes them extremely suitable for eye troubles, and effective in arresting haemorrhage. Mixed with lard it checks the spread of putrid ulcersso applied it also dries ulcers in infants and eruptions in cases of dropsyand, mixed with pomegranate juice, it checks ear troubles and malformations of the nails and hardening of scars, and flesh growing over the nails, and chilblains. Calcined with vinegar or gallnuts to an equal weight it heals gangrenous ulcers, and, if mixed with cabbage juice, pruritus, or if with twice the quantity of salt, serpiginous eruptions, and if thoroughly mixed with water, it kills eggs of lice and other insects that infest the hair. Used in the same way it is also good for burns, and mixed with watery fluid from vegetable pitch for scurf on the body. It is also used as an injection for dysentery, and taken in the mouth it reduces swellings of the uvula and tonsils. It must be understood that for all the purposes which we have mentioned in the case of the other kinds the alum imported from Melos is more efficacious. It has been indicated how important it is for the other requirements of life in giving a finish to hides and woollens.
LIII. Next to these we will deal with the various kinds of earth which are connected with medicine. There are two sorts of Samos earth, called collyrium, 'eye-salve,' and star-earth. The recommendation of the former is that it must be fresh and very soft and sticky to the tongue; the second is more lumpy; both are white in colour. The process is to calcine them and then to wash them. Some people prefer the former kind. They are beneficial for people spitting blood, and for plasters made up for drying purposes, and they are also used as an ingredient in medicines for the eyes.
LIV. Earth of Eretria has the same number of varieties, as one is white and one ash-coloured, the latter preferred in medicine. It is tested by its softness and by its leaving a violet tint if rubbed on copper. Its efficacy and the method of using it as a medicine have been spoken of among the pigments.
LV. All these earthswe will mention it in this placeare washed by having water poured over them and dried in the sun, and then after being put in water again ground up and left to stand, till they settle down and can be divided into tablets. They are boiled in cups that are repeatedly well shaken.
LVI. White earth of Chios is also among medicaments; its effect is the same as that of Samos earth. It is specially used as a cosmetic for the skin of women, and Selinunte earth is used in the same way. The latter is of the colour of milk, and it dissolves very quickly in water, and likewise dissolved in milk it is used for touching up the whitewash on plastered walls. Pnigitis, or suffocating earth closely resembles that of Eretria, only it is in larger lumps and is sticky. It produces the same effect as Cimolian earth, although it is less powerful. Arnpelitis or vine earth is very like bitumen. The test for it is whether it dissolves when oil is put in it, like wax, and whether when roasted it retains a blackish colour. It is used for an emollient and dissipant, and is added to drugs for these purposes, especially in the case of eyelash beautifiers and for hair dyes.
LVII. There are several sorts of white earth. Among them there are two sorts of Cimolian earth that concern doctors one bright white and one inclining to purple. Either is effective for dispelling tumours, and, with vinegar added, for stopping fluxes. They also check swellings and inflammation of the parotid glands, and applied as a liniment, troubles of the spleen and pimples; while if foam-soda and oil of cypros and vinegar are added, they cure swollen feet, provided the treatment is applied in the sun, and the application is washed off again with salt water six hours later. A mixture of this earth with oil of cypros and wax is good for swellings of the testicles. Cretaceous earth also possesses cooling properties, and applied in a liniment it stops immoderate sweating, and likewise taken in wine while in a bath it removes pimples. The kind from Thessaly is most esteemed, but it is also found in the neighbourhood of Bubo in Lycia. Another use also made of Cimolus earth is in regard to cloth. The kind called Sarda, which is brought from Sardinia, is only used for white fabrics, and is of no use for cloths of various colours; it is the cheapest of all the Cimolus kinds; more valuable are the Umbrian and the one called 'rock.' The peculiarity of the latter is that it increases in size when it is steeped in liquid; consequently it is sold by weight, whereas Umbrian is sold by measure. Umbrian earth is only employed for giving lustre to cloths. It will not be out of place to touch on this part of the subject also, as a Metilian law referring to fullers still stands, the law which Gaius Flamiuius and Lucius Aemilius as censors put forward to be carried in parliament: so careful about everything were our ancestors. The process then is this: the cloth is first washed with earth of Sardinia, and then it is fumigated with sulphur, and afterwards scoured with Cimolian earth provided that the dye is fast; if it is coloured with bad dye it is detected and turns black and its colour is spread by the action of the sulphur; whereas genuine and valuable colours are softened and brightened up with a sort of brilliance by Cimolian earth when they have been made sombre by the sulphur. The 'rock' kind is more serviceable for white garments, after the application of sulphur, but it is very detrimental to colour. In Greece they use Tymphaea gypsum instead of Cimolian earth.
LVIII. There is another cretaceous earth called silversmiths' powder as used for polishing silver; but the most inferior kind is the one which our ancestors made it the practice to use for tracing the line indicating victory in circus-races and for marking the feet of slaves on sale that had been imported from overseas; instances of these being Publilius of Antioch the founder of our mimic stage and his cousin Manilius Antiochus the originator of our astronomy, and likewise Staberius Eros our first grammarian, all of whom our ancestors saw brought over in the same ship. But why need anybody mention these men, recommended to notice as they are by their literary honours? Other instances that have been seen on the stand in the slave market are Chrysogonus, freedman of Sulla, Amphion, freedman of Quintus Catulus, Hector, freedman of Lucius Lucullus, Demetrius, freedman of Pompey, and Auge, freedwoman of Demetrius, although she herself also was believed to have belonged to Pompey; Hipparchus freedman of Mark Antony, Menas and Menecrates freedmen of Sextus Pompeius, and a list of others whom this is not the occasion to enumerate, who have enriched themselves by the bloodshed of Roman citizens and by the licence of the proscriptions. Such is the mark set on these herds of slaves for sale, and the disgrace attached to us by capricious fortune persons whom even we have seen risen to such power that we actually beheld the honour of the praetorship awarded to them by decree of the Senate at the bidding of Claudius Caesar's wife Agrippina and all but sent back with the rods of office wreathed in laurels to the places from which they came to Rome with their feet whitened with white earth.
LIX. Moreover there are other kinds of earth with a special property of their own about which we have spoken already, but the nature of which must again be stated here: soil taken from the island of Galata and in the neighbourhood of Clupea in Africa kills scorpions, and that of the Balearic Islands and Iviza is fatal to snakes.