The sculpture of the Heroon of Perikle at Limyra: the making of a Lycian king

Sare T.

ANATOLIAN STUDIES, vol.63, pp.55-74, 2013 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0066154613000045
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.55-74
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


As one of the many monumental tombs of fourth-century BC Anatolia, the Heroon of Perikle at Limyra is usually overshadowed by the earlier and better preserved Nereid Monument of Xanthos. Its owner, Perikle, is seen as either a mediocre pro-Achaemenid dynast or a fan of his namesake, the Athenian strategos, a view reflected in previous assessments of the stylistic pedigree of the tomb's ornamentation. But a re-examination of the Heroon's sculptural programme that places the cella friezes, karyatids and akroteria within their historical context shows the tomb to be Perikle's announcement of his status as the first military king of Lycia. The Heroon of Perikle reflects associations with both the buildings of the Athenian Akropolis and Persian iconography, but these elements were appropriated to serve the political agenda of Perikle and his later hero cult.