Lower part of statue wearing chlamys (possibly of woman). Corinth (Achaea). Later 5th century.

Carved from an upended epistyle frieze block with the original surface left on the front of the plinth under the feet. Marble, H (overall) 145, (plinth) 12, W 45, D 39 cm. The mouldings on either side of the plinth have been carved back, but the triple fascia is intact along with a letter (an omicron?) on the first fascia.

The statue was found 1908 at the north end of the west shops at the northwest corner of the Agora (Johnson 1931 and De Grazia 1973: ‘from northeast of St. John’s church’; the monastery of St John which once stood in this area has now been removed). It is now in the Corinth museum inner courtyard, inv. no. S-925.

Lower part of a draped figure wearing a long chlamys over an ankle-length tunic, along with a slip-on shoe with high back and tongue. The chlamys falls all the way to the plinth, only the toes peeking out. The statue’s lack of the upper body makes its gender indeterminate; the great length of the chlamys, together with the unique ankle-length tunic, support the identification of the portrayed person as a woman rather than a man. At this late date, the portrayed person would almost certainly be an empress. If it is a man, it is likely that he was a high ranking imperial official, most probably a governor (proconsul) of Achaea (Kollwitz 1941, 90-1, Foss 1990, 213).

The statue was dated to the late 6th/ early 7th century by Johnson 1931; a date in the 6th century was adopted by Kollwitz 1941, De Grazia 1973, Sande 1975, Foss 1990, Sturgeon 2004.

Another example for a chlamys statue worked from an architectural piece is the chlamydatus from the Kraneion basilica LSA-80 from the late 5th century.

Amelia Brown/ Ulrich Gehn

Main Reference

Gehn, U., Ehrenstatuen in der Spätantike. Chlamydati und Togati, Wiesbaden 2012, 482-4 no. O 45

Brown, A., Last Men Standing: Chlamydatus Portraits and Public Life in Late Corinth, Hesperia 81, 141-76, 2012, 153-4 figs. 19. 20

de Grazia, C. E., American School of Classical Studies at Athens, "Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies at Corinth:
The Roman Portrait Sculpture," Ph.D. Dissertation
, Columbia University, 1973, pp. 291-2 no. 93

Discussion References

Foss, C., Stephanus, Proconsul of Asia and Related Statues, History and Archaeology of Byzantine Asia Minor
, (Reprint ed. p. III) Aldershot 1990, pp. 196-219, p. 213

Johnson, F. P., Sculpture, 1896-1923: Corinth IX, 1, Cambridge, Mass. 1931, pp. 153-4 no. 328

Kollwitz, J., Oströmische Plastik der theodosianischen Zeit, Berlin 1941, pp. 90-1 no. 16

Sande, S., 'Zur Porträtplastik des 6. Jhds n. Chr.,' , Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, 6 (1975), 65-166., p. 85

Sturgeon, M. C., Sculpture at Corinth, 1896 - 1996, Williams II, C. K. & N. Bookidis (eds.), Corinth. The centenary, 1896 - 1996 (Corinth XX), 351-68, Princeton 2003, p. 164 n. 188