The Persian and Carthaginian Invasions of 480 B.C.E. and the Beginning of the Classical Style: Part 2, The Finds from Other Sites in Athens, Attica, Elsewhere in Greece, and on Sicily; Part 3, The Severe Style: Motivations and Meaning

Center of the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia at Aigina.
Center of the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia at Aigina.

This study, in three parts, addresses the problem of the beginning of the classical style—the so-called Severe Style—from an archaeological perspective, focusing on those sculptures either found, or allegedly found, in Persian destruction contexts or directly associated with the Persian and Carthaginian invasions. Part 1 appears in a previous issue of the AJA (112 [2008] 377–412). Parts 2 and 3 are presented in this article. The first part of the study reexamined the 19th-century excavations of the Acropolis and demonstrated that the style probably did not predate the Persian invasion of 480–479 B.C.E. Part 2 revisits finds from elsewhere in Athens and Attica, Phokis, the Aphaia sanctuary on Aigina, and Sicily, with similar results. Part 3 summarizes current theories on the origins and significance of the Severe Style, suggests that the Tyrannicides of Kritios and Nesiotes, dedicated in 477/6, indeed inaugurated it, and reconsiders the idea that the Greek victories of 480–479 somehow inspired it, at least in part.


DOI: 10.3764/aja.112.4.581