polytheist extractions

Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51

“Even now they were still desirous of money, for absolutely nothing can satiate the avarice of the barbarians. They eyed the bronze statues and threw them into the fire. And so the bronze statue of Hera, standing in the agora of Constantine, was broken into pieces and consigned to the flames. The head of this statue, which could hardly be drawn by four oxen yoked together, was brought to the great palace. The statue of Paris, also called Alexander, opposite it was cast off its base. This statue was connected with that of the goddess Aphrodite to whom the apple of Eris was depicted as being awarded by Paris. These barbarians – who do not appreciate beauty! – did not neglect to overturn the statues standing in the Hippodrome or any other marvelous works. Rather, these too they turned into coinage, exchanging great things for small, thus acquiring petty coins at the expense of those things created at enormous cost. They then threw down the great Hercules Trihesperus, magnificently constructed on a base and girded with the skin of a lion, a terrifying thing to see even in bronze. He was represented as standing, carrying in his hands neither quiver nor arrows nor club, but having his right foot and right hand extended and his left foot bent at the knee with the left hand raised at the elbow. He was very broad in the chest and shoulders and had thick hair, plump buttocks, and strong arms, and was of such huge size, Ι think, as Lysimachus considered the real Hercules to have been – Lysimachus who sculpted from bronze this first and last great masterpiece of his hands. The statue was so large that the rope around his thumb had the size of a man’s belt and the lower portion of the leg, the height of a man. But those who separate manly vigour from other virtues and claim it for themselves (considering it the most important quality) did not leave this Hercules (although it was the epitome of this attribute) untouched.” – Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51


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