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National Archaeological Museum, Athens

NAMA 231 : Statue of the goddess Themis

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Pentelis marble. Found at Rhamnous, Attica, in the small temple of Nemesis The goffess wears a high-girt chiton, richly draped himation and sandals. The head is inlead and the right arm was made of a separate piece of marble. Themis, daugter of Ouranos and Gaia, was goddess of justice and at Rhamnous she was worshipped in the same temple as Nemesis. According to the inscription on the front of the base, the statue was carved by Chairestratos of Rhamnous and was dedicated to Themis by Megakles. About 300 BC.

Hellenistic Greece

National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece

Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο

The Themis of Rhamnous is a statue found in 1890 in Rhamnous, identified as the titaness Themis and dated to around 300 BCE on the basis of a dedicatory inscription on its base. It is displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.[1]

Description

2.22 metres (87 in) tall, the statue is carved of Pentelic marble.[1] Her standing figure is dressed in a sleeved chiton caught by a zone under the bodice, wrapped in a himation whose ends are draped over her outstretched left forearm.[1] The head is carved separately, the hair upswept and carved sketchily. Her weight is borne on the left leg, with the right knee brought forward and the heel lifted. The right forearm is missing, and would have held an offering bowl; the left hand would have held a set of scales.[2] One curiosity is the knot of fabric resting on the himation; this detail has no clear relationship to the rest of the drapery.[3]

The figure stands on a low, square base with a molding at both the top and the bottom. On its front surface is a dedicatory inscription by Megakles son of Megakles, identifying the sculptor as Chairestratos son of Charedemos.[4][3]

Discovery and interpretation
The smaller temple at Rhamnous, where the statue was found

The statue was discovered in 1890 in the course of excavations by the Archaeological Society of Athens, directed by Valerios Stais.[4] It was found, along with other statuary and fragments, in the cella of the smaller of the two temples which lie adjacent to each other on the site. The larger temple is definitely associated with Nemesis but there is uncertainty as to the smaller; generally it is assigned to Themis on the basis of this statue, as well as a pair of thrones found in the temple entrance, one of which bears an inscription dedicating it to the goddess.[5]

The statue has consistently been dated to around 300 BCE on the basis of the dedication and on stylistic grounds. An inscription indicates that a Charedemos was priest in Rhamnous in 315 or 314; another inscription from the agora in Athens mentions a Chairestratos son of Charedemos active in 328/327, variously speculated to be the grandfather or possibly the sculptor of the Themis itself.[3] A stylistic connection has been suggested to a torso (S 2370) found in Athens and tentatively identified as a personification of Demokratia, Tyche, or Themis.[3][6]
References

"Marble statue of Themis from Rhamnous ca. 300 BC". National Archaeological Museum. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
Spivey, Nigel (2013). Greek Sculpture. Cambridge University Press. p. 267. ISBN 9781107067042.
Ridgway, Brunilde Sismondo (2001). Hellenistic Sculpture. 1: The Styles of ca. 331-200 B.C. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 55–57. ISBN 9780299118242.
"Archaeological News: Greece". American Journal of Archaeology. Boston: Ginn & Company. 6: 565–568. 1890. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
Paga, Jessica (July 24, 2015). "Chapter 11: The Monumental Definition of Attica in the Early Democratic Period". In Miles, Margaret M. (ed.). Autopsy in Athens: Recent Archaeological Research on Athens and Attica. Oxford: Oxbow Books. pp. 112–116. ISBN 9781782978565. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
"Athens, Agora S 2370 (Sculpture)". Tufts University. Retrieved 2016-05-12.

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