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Laocoön


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A Trojan prince, brother of Anchises and priest of Apollo or Poseidon. In the standard version of his story, he protested against drawing the Wooden Horse within the walls of Troy, and two great serpents coming over the sea from the island of Tenedos killed him and his two sons. Acc. to Virgil, the serpents were sent by Athena because of his hostility to the Horse.

In art, Laocoön is the subject of the famous marble group in the Vatican (found in 1506) showing father and sons in their death‐agony. It was made by three Rhodian sculptors. The group was exhibited in the palace of Titus, and was said by Pliny the Elder to have surpassed all other works of painting and sculpture. The death of Laocoön is shown in two wall‐paintings from Pompeii.

Subjects: Classical Studies — Religion.


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