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The Sculpture Collection

The cosmete Sosistratos is depicted as a mature man, while the inscription inform us that the stele was commissioned by the ephebi in honour of their cosmete
Hermaic stele of the cosmete Sosistratos

This hermaic stele is related to one of the most important buildings of ancient Athens, the Diogeneion Gymnasium. It was found at the gymnasium΄s presumed location and is preserved intact, along with its base. The stele depicts the cosmete Sosistratos from Marathon, a mature, bearded man with short, curly hair. A two-part inscriprion engraved above and below the phallus states that the stele was erected by the ephebi in honour of their cosmete. The office of the cosmete, who was responsible for the physical and spiritual education of young men at the gymnasia, was one of the highest distinctions in ancient Greek society. The stele is precisely dated thanks to the name of the archon mentioned in the inscription.

Inscription:   Οι επί Π(οπλίου) Αιλίου Φιλέου Με|λιτέως άρχοντος έφηβοι | τον εαυτών κοσμητήν | Σωσίστρατον Μαραθώ|νιον, ευνοίας ένεκεν| της εις αυτούς ανέστησαν
Τ (phallus) | Παιδοτριβούντος | δια βίου Αβασκάντου | του Ευμόλπου Κηφει|σιέως
(translation: When P(oplius) Aelius Phileus was archon, the ephebi erected (the hermaic stele) in honour of their cosmete Sosistratos from Marathon, because of his favour to them. When Avaskandos, son of Eumolpos, from Kephesia, was paidotrives for life-time
Exhibit Features
Date: Roman period, 141/2 A.D.
Place of discovery: Athens
Dimensions: width: 0,325 m, height: 1,94 m, base height: 0,34 m
Material: pentelic marble
Inventory number: 385
Exhibition hole: Exhibition hall 31A
  Suggestive Bibliography
Ρουσόπουλος Α., "Β. Άλλα αλλόθεν", ΑΕ, Αθήνα, 1862, σ. 183, αρ. 186
Graindor P., "Les cosmetes du Musee d' Athenes", BCH 39, Αθήνα, (1915), σσ. 320-323, αρ. 9, πίν. 18, εικ. 7
Lattanzi E., I ritratti dei cosmeti nel Museo Nazionale di Atene, Ρώμη, 1968, σ. 41, αρ. 8, πίν. 8α-β
Ντατσούλη-Σταυρίδη Α., Ρωμαϊκά πορτραίτα στο Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο της Αθήνας, Αθήνα, 1985, σσ. 95-96, πίν. 141-2
Το πνεύμα και το σώμα. Οι αθλητικοί αγώνες στην Αρχαία Ελλάδα: κατάλογος έκθεσης, Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο (15/5/1989-15/1/1990), Αθήνα, 1989, σσ. 193-194, αρ. 86