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IX. Athenian Monuments of the Persian Wars in General
The portico of the Athenians at Delphi was built to house the spoils of victory in a sea battle and was dedicated to Apollo. It was discovered by French excavators in 1880 (Haussoulier 1881: 7-19). The structure had been described by Pausanias as containing the beaks of ships and bronze shields, with an inscription enumerating the cities from which the spoils were taken and mentioning a sacrifice to Theseus and Poseidon at Rhium. It probably also contained a dedicatory formula showing that this was an Athenian dedication. Pausanias rightly connected these dedications with the naval victories of Phormio at the outset of the Peloponnesian War (429 B. C.; Thuc. 2.83-92), but he also inferred that the portico itself was constructed from the revenue acquired from these victories. The inscription on the stylobate, however, is written in early Attic letters and clearly indicates that Pausanias’ date is too late for the construction of a stoa.
Describing the rebuilding of the Athenian city walls after the threat of Xerxes had been repulsed, Thucydides says that it was hastily constructed from all types of stones lying around the city in ruins. From the section now preserved at the Dipylon, which is full of stelae and bases heaped upon one another, one can readily confirm his testimony. The wall was hastily put up in his fashion at the instigation of Themistocles.
A statue of Zeus Eleutherios, sometimes referred to as Zeus Soter, stood in the Athenian Agora, in front of the Eleutherios Stoa along with statues of statesmen of the fourth century. Its connection ith the Persian Wars is established by Didymus, as reported by Harpocration; he contests a statement of the orator Hyperides that the Eleutherios Stoa was so named because it was built by freedmen. Didymus says that, on the contrary, the stoa was named from the statue which stood in front of it, set up to commemorate th deliverance from the Persians. The statue is also attested by Hesychius, Suidas, s. v. eleutherios Zeus; Schol. on Ps-Plato, Eryxias 329a; and Etymologicum Magnum, s. v. eleutherios.
In his description of the Athenian Agora Pausanias says that there were statues of Themistocles and Miltiades in the Prytaneum. These were probably portrait statues set up in honor of the famous statesmen, a fairly common practice in the fourth century and possibly even in the late fifth. Aristotle says that Harmodius and Aristogeiton were the first to have portrait statues in the Agora (Rhet. 1.3.9) as a public honor and Demosthenes says that Conon was the first statesman after them to be so honored (20.70). Furthermore he claims (23.96) that Themistocles and Miltiades did not have bronze statues in the fifth century; but he doubtless means public statues in the Athenian Agora, since there was a statue of Miltiades in the group sent to Delphi (no. 17) and the statues of Themistocles privately set up elsewhere (cf, the statue of Themistocles in the temple of Artemis Aristoboule, Plut. Themistokles 22; the statue of him in the market place of Magnesia, Diodorus 11.58.1 and Cornelius Nepos 10.3; his tomb in Magnesia, which may have had a statue, Thuc. 1.138.5, cf. Richter 1955: 1, 19). Moreover, since Themistocles died in exile, it is altogether unlikely that he had a statue in the Agora in the mid-fifth century. By the end of the century, however, his reputation may have been restored to its former fame (cf. Thuc. 1.138.3).
Tradition identified a point of land near the Piraeus as the tomb of Themistocles (Plut., Themistokles 32.5; Paus. 1.1.2; cf. Lenschau, ibid.). Plutarch cites a reference to it by Plato Comicus (5th/4th century B. C.), in addition to citing Andocides, Phylarchus, and Diodorus the periegete. Hence the tomb of Themistocles was in the Piraeus at least in the early fourth century and possibly in the late fifth.
Plutarch says that Aristides had become so impoverished that he had to be buried at public expense. Yet the poverty of Aristides was proverbial, in keeping with his reputation for justice (cf. Demosthenes 25.209); hence this may account for Plutarch’s story. If Aristides was buried at public expense, his tomb would acquire the chracter of a monument to his service tothe state. Athens did recognize the contributions of some of her statesmen of the era of the Persian Wars. At least in the fourth century portrait statues of Miltiades, Themistocles, and Xanthippus were set up (nos. 46,47). Curiously enough, a statue of Aristides is not attested. Nevertheless his tomb was probably cited as a site of some interest, although Limentani thinks that this may not be the actual tomb of the statesman (cf. Plutarch’s phrase … phasi kataskeuasai).