Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003
page 12 of 14
Evidence: Only one statue of Socrates is mentioned in ancient literature. Diogenes Laertius (Diog. Laert. 2.43) explains that the Athenians immediately felt remorse for having condemned Socrates to death, so that they honored him with a bronze statue, created by Lysippos, that was placed in the Pompeion. But Lysippos’ career was much later than the death of Socrates so this work could not have been erected immediately after Socrates’ death, as Diogenes suggests; this statue might have dated more realistically to the
Two painted portraits of Socrates are noted by ancient writers: Lucian, in the Death of Peregrinus 38, mentions that several painters treated the subject of Socrates dying among his disciples; and Joannes Barboukallos mentions a painted portrait of Socrates in an epigram (Grk. Anth. 16, no. 327).
Ancient sources, both written and visual, provide a consistent view of Socrates’ physical form. His appearance was often compared to that of a Silenos, with regard to his stocky, broad-shouldered body (Plat. Symp. 215a ff.; Xen. Symp. 5.7), thick neck (Cic. De Fato ch. 5), protruding belly (Xen. Symp. 2.19), baldness (Sidon. Apoll. Epist. 9.9.14; Lucian, Dialog. mortuorem 20, Menippi et Aeaci 417), prominent eyeballs (Xen. Symp. 5.7), broad nose with wide nostrils and large mouth with thick lips (Xen. Symp. 5.7).
Heads or herms in the round:
Figures in the round:
Mosaics and paintings:
Gems and coins:
page 12 of 14