Statuette of Athena
First half of the third century A.D.
Found in Athens, near the Varvakeion School
Athens, National Archaeological Museum, 129
The stauette, known as the ''Varvakeion Athena'', is the most complete of the surviving copies of the chryselephantine cult statue of Athena Parthenos by Pheidias, which was erected in the Parthenon in 438 B.C. To the original, which will have been 11,5 m. tall, all the areas of the exposed flesh were made of ivory, and the rest of the body was covered with gold.
In the statuette of Varvakeion, Athena wears an Attic peplos with a kolpos and apoptygma, and an aegis. On her head she wears an Attic helmet with three crests, the one in the middle ending at the front in a sphinx and the two at the sides in pegasoi. In her right palm stands a Nike. Her left hand rests on her shield. On the inside of the shild Erichthonios curls up as oikouros ophis (sacred snake).