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Troilos and Achilles: A Monumental Statue Group from Aphrodisias

  • R. R. R. Smith (a1) and C. H. Hallett (a2)


A remarkable blue-grey marble horse with a white marble rider, found in the Basilica at Aphrodisias, has been a focus of recent research. The article describes the archaeology and history of the monument — how it can be reconstructed, with its base and in its precise setting in the Basilica. The group was a daring composition that had already fallen and been restored once in antiquity. What emerges is firstly a new full-size hellenistic-style statue group whose subject can be identified as Troilos and Achilles, and secondly a striking example of the long second lives of classical statues in Late Antiquity. The horse was a great public monument of the early imperial period that was moved to the Basilica probably in the mid-fourth century a.d., where it has a well-documented context. The subject of the group can be identified both from epigraphy and from its iconographic antecedents, and its version of the subject can be related to a particular strand in the rich later literary representations of the story.1


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