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Onatas ( Greek Ὀνάτας Onátas ) was a Greek sculptor and ore caster of the school of Aigina who worked in the first half of the 5th century BC. Was active. He was the son of the sculptor Mikon and is considered one of the most important exponents of the strict style . None of his works have been preserved in the original or backed up by copies. It is known through inscriptions and literary evidence that he created statues for Aegina, Athens , Olympia and Delphi .


Only inscriptions on statue bases of Onata's work have survived, works attested to in the literature were often associated with copies and derivations, although none of these works can be safely traced back to Onata.

Equestrian statue in Athens

On the Acropolis in Athens his signature was found on a marble pillar base in Attic form, which because of the typeface to the early 5th century BC. Can be dated BC. The traces on the base identify the sculpture as a bronze horse smaller than life, the dedicatory inscription on the base suggests that the donor Timarchus donated an equestrian portrait of himself to the goddess Athena .

Base from Olympia

A limestone pillar base was found in Olympia, the inscription of which was added to Onatas. The traces of the base point to a small sculpture, possibly an eagle, which was consecrated by a pythion from Byzantion .

Apollo in Pergamon
Torso of Apollo, associated with Apollo from Pergemon

Onata's signature can be found on a statue base found in Pergamon; according to the script, this signature dates from the early 2nd century BC. Chr. Pausanias , who viewed the work in the 2nd century, praised it for its size and skill. The statue probably originally stood in the city sanctuary of Aigina until around 210 BC. BC Attalus I acquired the island and then the statue with other works of art was brought to Pergamon. There it was given a new base and rededicated to Apollo. The statue was created before 459 BC. BC, because after this date there was war with Athens, which ended with a forced entry into the Attic League .

Statue of Hermes as a ram carrier

Pausanias reports of a statue of the rogue god Hermes , which was given as a dedication by Pheneos to Olympia. The type of the ram-bearing Hermes as god of the shepherds is of Peloponnesian origin. According to the description of Pausanias, Hermes was dressed in a chiton , chlamys and a felt hat and held the ram under his arm, which corresponds to the originally Peloponnesian pictorial program.

Colossal statue of Heracles

A colossal statue of Heracles stood east of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia as a consecration gift from the Thasians , which was donated on the occasion of a victory against the Peuketeers . Both the statue and the base were made of bronze, the statue itself ten cubits high. Heracles held his club in his right hand and a bow in his left. Kalliteles or Kalynthos are named as employees in the epigram , after Pausania's pupil or son of Onatas, who was probably responsible for secondary tasks.

Demeter Melaina
Tarantine Christmas present in Delphi
Consecration gift of Hieron of Syracuse in Olympia
Achaean consecration present in Olympia


Web links

Commons : Onatas  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Pausanias 8:42, 7.
  2. ^ Pausanias 5:27 , 8.
  3. ^ Pausanias 5:25 , 12.