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no. iv.
Gladiator of the Borghese Palace.

This statue has been improper-
ly denominated the “Gladiator of
the Borghese Palace.” From the
characters of its inscription it ap-
pears to be of greater antiquity
than any other characterized by the
name of the artist. History gives
us no particulars relative to Agasi-
us of Ephesus, author of this chef
d'oeuvre; but the work which he
has left, bears the strongest testi-
mony of his merit.

In the statue of the Apollo of Bel-
vedere we are struck with the sub-
limity of ideal beauty. The group
of the Laocoon offers us a repre-
sentation of natural beauties unas-
sisted by imagination: the former
may be compared to an epic poem,
which, from probability, passing

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the bounds of truth, leads to the
marvellous; the latter to faithful
history, which in the exposition of
truth, makes choice of the most re-
fined ideas, and most elegant ex-

The head of this figure shews
that nothing but the truth of nature
has been consulted in its formation;
no traces of the ideal beauty of the
Apollo are to be found, and his
whole air is that of a man in the full
vigour of mature age, whose muscles
are strengthened by habitual activi-
ty, and whose body is hardened by

Antiquarians are divided in their
judgment of this figure; some have
supposed it a discobolus, or throw-
er of the disk; but others with more
probability have pronounced it, a
statue erected to the honour of some
Grecian warrior, who had signaliz-
ed himself in a dangerous position:
this appears perfectly to coincide
with the attitude of the figure,
which is at the same time actively
offensive and defensive; on the left
arm the strap of the buckler which
he is supposed to carry is seen; the
right arm is supposed to hold a jave-
lin: his looks are directed upwards,
as if defending himself from a dan-
ger threatening from above: this
position militates against the idea
of its being the statue of a fighting
gladiator, as his opponent may be
supposed on horseback: besides, it
is believed the honour of a statue
was never granted to a gladiator of
of the public arena; and this pro-
duction is supported anterior to the
institution of gladiators in Greece.

This statue as well as the Apollo,
was discovered in the city of Anti-
um, the birth place of the emperor
Nero, which he embelished at an
enormous expense.

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