Grave stele of Stratokles
Early 4th century B.C.
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 064; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 108 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 074-075.
Overall: 59 x 40.5 x 11.4cm (23 1/4 x 15 15/16 x 4 1/2in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, Pentelic, reddish yellow patina
Not On View
The rectangular area above the figures in relief has been carved in very low relief to form a pediment with akroteria and a curving molding below the architrave. On this last is carved (STRATOKLES PROKLEOS) “Stratokles, son of Prokles”).
A bearded warrior with short tunic, belted below the overfold at the waist, scabbard-strap, fluttering cloak, and crested helmet charges at a fallen foe. His short sword is drawn for a cut and thrust, and he holds a round shield on his left arm. He is undoubtedly Stratokles, at an epic moment in his military career. The fallen warrior, similarly bearded and also clad in a tunic and cloak, his short sword still sheathed, wears the conical helmet or pilos associated with Boiotians to the north of Attica.
The stele is broken off irregularly along the lower part of the fallen warrior. Part of the right-hand akroterion and the top of the central akroterion are missing. There is slight damage to the surface, above the cloak of the attacking warrior and on the shield and tunic of the fallen warrior.
1912: said to have been found in Attica in 1912 (D. von Bothmer); by 1918: Vicomte du Dresnay Collection, Château du Dréneuc (Loire-Inférieure) (published by P. Perdrizet, Antiquités grecques de la collection du Vicomte du Dresnay, 1918, pl. 4); by 1969: with Hôtel Drouot, 7, Rue Drouot, Paris (Drouot auction, Paris, December 15, 1969, lot 134); purchased at Drouot auction by Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland; purchased by MFA from Münzen und Medaillen A.G., March 21, 1971
John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund