The Glory That Was Greece

Greeks against Trojans, on the various sides. These subjects, with the contests of Theseus and the labours of Heracles, are the regular themes of sculpture on Greek temples. They all represented to the Greek mind the everlasting moral contest between Hellenism and Barbarism, or between culture and savagery. Heracles destroying monsters like the Hydra snake, Theseus slaying robbers and oppressors of mankind, are symbolical of the conflict between light and darkness. They also, no doubt, bear historical reference to the Persian wars. The best of these metope sculptures are high upon the walls of the Elgin Room. They were the work of subordinate artists, and they vary greatly in excellence. In some we can see the handiwork of old sculptors trained in the archaic school of athletic sculpture, still making their drapery stiff and mechanical. In the best there is great vigour and fine drawing. All are remarkable for the ingenuity of the

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