Monument of Lysicrates
The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates was erected by the choregos Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of musical performances at the Theater of Dionysus.
According to an inscription, Lysicrates built the monument to commemorate a prize-giving ceremony in 335-334 BC.
Circular in design and anchored on a square limestone podium, the centrepiece is surrounded by six elaborate Corinthian-style columns made of white Pentelic marble. Its frieze sculptures depict episodes from the myth of Dionysus and it is crowned by a monolithic roof that supports the choragic tripod. This ancient monument, also called the “Lantern of Diogenes”, was arbitrarily enclosed by the nearby French Catholic Capuchin monastery during the 17th century.
In 1821, the convent was destroyed during the battles for independence. However, the monument survived, and is considered to be the best-preserved sample of an ancient choragic monument in existence. It now occupies the centre of Lysicratous Square, drawing admiration from passers-by.
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