Votive, cult and commemorative monuments

A major source of Greek statuary is the range of dedicatory monuments which have been found in Greek sanctuaries, where they are dedications to a god, or in public places, where they are commemorative of an event or person. As such, many have been discussed under other headings in this programme. A majority of Archaic Sculpture, apart from the funerary, falls into this category. In later periods the principal monuments are statues of divinities and heroes; symbolic statuary, such as Victory; in the later period, action groups commemorating events (usually battles); portraits, as of victors or of public figures; and there is a large class of votive reliefs in stone, sometimes depicting the donors in an act of worship and with the receiving deity. Only in the late period does major statuary also become a feature of the decoration of private and some public buildings, with no obvious religious connotation, but often a matter of prestige; this is a result of the new palatial interests of ruling dynasties in the Hellenistic world, much copied in the Roman empire.

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