LCL 256: 394-395
ς΄ ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΕΝ ΣΙΚΥΩΝΙ ΑΓΑΛΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΙΡΟΥ
(1) Ἐθέλω δέ σοι καὶ τὸ Λυσίππου δημιούργημα 5τῷ λόγῳ παραστῆσαι, ὅπερ ἀγαλμάτων κάλλιστον ὁ δημιουργὸς τεχνησάμενος Σικυωνίοις εἰς θέαν προὔθηκε· Καιρὸς ἦν εἰς ἄγαλμα τετυπωμένος
6. On the Statue of Opportunity at Sicyon2
I desire to set before you in words the creation of Lysippus3 also, the most beautiful of statues, which the artist wrought and set up for the Sicyonians to look upon. Opportunity was represented
- 2Cf. Anth. Pal. XVI. 275, on the statue of Opportunity (Time) by Lysippus: “Why dost thou stand on tiptoe? I am ever running. And why hast thou a pair of wings on thy feet? I fly with the wind. And why dost thou hold a razor in thy right hand? As a sign to man that I am sharper than any sharp edge. And why does they hair hang over thy face? For him who meets me to take me by the forelock. And why in Heaven’s name is the back of thy head bald? Because none whom I have raced by . . . will take hold of me from behind.” Trans. Paton, L.C.L. This statue is to be understood, not as pure allegory, but as representing one of the mythical beings created in the classical age of Greek thought. The accounts of the god and this statue vary greatly, but the common elements in the accounts which may be conceived as belonging to a statue indicate that the type was developed out of the form of the Hermes who granted victory in athletic contests. Probably Lysippus represented him as a youth, presumably with winged feet, possibly with hair long in front and short behind to indicate that opportunity cannot be grasped when it is past, and perhaps with a razor (or a pair of scales balanced on a sharp edge) in his hand to suggest that success is balanced on a razor’s edge. Cf. Benndorf, Arch. Zeit. XXI. 87 f., and Curtius, Arch. Zeit. XXXIII. 33 f., Pl. 1, 2; infra, p. 397, fig. 35.
- 3Lysippus, head of the Sicyonian school of sculptors, was a prolific sculptor of statues in bronze during the middle and latter part of the fourth century b.c.