Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 2.31. Themistocles

LCL 256: 258-259

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Philostratus: Imagines


(1) Ἕλλην ἐν βαρβάροις, ἀνὴρ ἐν οὐκ ἀνδράσιν ἅτε1 ἀπολωλόσι καὶ τρυφῶσιν, ἀττικῶς ἔχων μάλα τοῦ τρίβωνος, ἀγορεύει σοφὸν οἶμαί τι 25μεταποιῶν αὐτοὺς καὶ μεθιστὰς τοῦ θρύπτεσθαι. Μῆδοι ταῦτα καὶ Βαβυλὼν μέση καὶ τὸ σημεῖον τὸ βασίλειον ὁ χρυσοῦς ἐπὶ τῆς πέλτης ἀετὸς καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπὶ χρυσοῦ θρόνου στικτὸς οἷον ταώς. οὐκ ἀξιοῖ ἐπαινεῖσθαι ὁ ζωγράφος, εἰ τιάραν καλῶς 30μεμίμηται καὶ καλάσιριν ἢ κάνδυν ἢ θηρίων τερατώδεις μορφάς, οἷα ποικίλλουσι βάρβαροι,


Book II. 31

31. Themistocles2

A Greek among barbarians, a true man among those who are not men, inasmuch as they are ruined and dissolute, surely an Athenian to judge by his coarse cloak, he addresses some wise discourse to them, I think, trying to change their ways and make them give up their luxury. Here are Medes and the centre of Babylon, and the royal device—the golden eagle on the shield,3—and the king on a golden throne richly spangled like a peacock. The painter does not ask to be praised for his fine representation of tiara and tasselled cloak (kalasiris) or sleeved jacket (kandys) or of the monstrous shapes of animals with which barbarian garments are embroidered;1

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philostratus_elder-imagines_book_ii_31_themistocles.1931