Kroisos Kouros

Anavyssos Kouros, ca. 530 BC.

The Kroisos Kouros (Ancient Greek: κοῦρος) is a marble kouros from Anavyssos in Attica which functioned as a grave marker for a fallen young warrior named Kroîsos (Κροῖσος).[1][2] The free-standing sculpture strides forward with the "archaic smile" playing slightly on his face. The sculpture is dated to c. 540–515 BC and stands 1.95 meters high.[3] It is now situated in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (inv. no. 3851). Theoretical

The inscription on the base of the statue reads:[4]

στε̑θι ∶ καὶ οἴκτιρον ∶ Κροίσο παρὰ σε̑μα θανόντος ∶ / ℎόν ποτ’ ἐνὶ προμάχοις ∶ ὄλεσε θο̑ρος ∶ Ἄρες.

"Stop and show pity beside the marker of Kroisos, dead, whom, when he was in the front ranks, raging Ares destroyed".

The Kroisos Kouros is central to two ongoing archeological debates: first, whether kouroi represented specific young men or were generic representations of idealized archetypes which might not actually resemble a specific person commemorated, and thus are symbolic representations embodying the ideal of the male warrior en promáchois (ἐν προμάχοις), "in the front line" of battle, not naturalistic ones; and second the authenticity of the Getty kouros, which bears a falsified provenance and displays a suspicious similarity to the Kroisos kouros.[5]


  1. Fred Kleiner (1 January 2013). Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage Learning. pp. 113–. ISBN 1-133-95481-2.
  2. The Anavysos Kouros Alex. Philadelpheus The Annual of the British School at Athens Vol. 36, (1935/1936) , pp. 1-4 Published by: British School at Athens Stable URL:
  3. Judith M. Barringer (31 December 2014). The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece. Cambridge University Press. pp. 334–. ISBN 978-1-139-99174-2.
  4. IG I3 1240.
  5. Marion True. The Getty Kouros: Background on the Problem, in The Getty Kouros Colloquium, 1993, p. 13.

Further reading

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