Skip to main content

Chaironeia 338: topographies of commemoration*

  • John Ma (a1)

This article examines two funerary monuments associated with the battle of Chaironeia in 338: first, the mound, covering a mass cremation, by the Kephissos; second, near the town of Chaironeia, the mass burial surrounded by a stone enclosure and topped by a colossal stone lion. The accepted identifications are confirmed (the mound is that of the Macedonian dead, the lion monument that of Theban dead, in all probability the Sacred Band), and two propositions developed: the mound does not relate to the tactical dispositions of the battle, and hence the generally accepted reconstruction of the battle must be discarded; the lion monument must date to much later than 338. In developing these propositions, I examine material which has been long known, but never considered in depth; I notably present what I believe are the first photographs of some of the osteological material from the mass burial under the lion monument. More generally, the two monuments, located at different points of the battlefield, set up by different actors and at different moments, offer the opportunity for considerations on the different functions of ‘memory’ surrounding an historical event: the Macedonian mound reflected the needs and self-imagining of the victorious army, imposing a trace in the landscape; the lion monument embeds itself in preexisting topographies, for a more reflective, and more troubled, effect.

Hide All
Anderson J.K. (1970) Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon (Berkeley)
Anderson J.K. (1991) ‘Hoplite weapons and offensive arms’, in Hanson V.D. (ed.), Hoplites: the Classical Greek Battle Experience (London) 1537
Andronikos M. (1970) ‘Sarissa’, BCH 94, 91107
Andronikos M. (1982) ‘La Nécropole d'Aigai’, in Hatzopoulos M. and Loukopoulou L. (eds), Philippe de Macédoine (Paris) 188229
Andronikos M. (1984) Vergina. The Royal Tombs and the Ancient City (Athens)
Aravantinos V. (1993) ‘’Aγωγόζ φυσικοù ΔEΠA’, Archaiologikon Deltion 40, Chronika 2.1, 180
Armagnac J. (1910) ‘De Chéronée à Delphes par les défilés du Parnasse’, Tour du Monde 13ème livraison (26 March 1910) 97100
Baitinger H. (2001) Die Angriffswaffen aus Olympia (Olympische Forschungen 29, Berlin and New York)
Belle H. (1881) Trois années en Grèce (Paris)
Bintliff J. (2004) ‘Local history and heritage management in Greece’, in Doukellis P. and Mendoni L. (eds), Perception and Evaluation of Cultural Landscapes (Meletemata 38, Athens) 137–52
Bisel S. (1990) ‘Die Menschenknochen aus dem Grab der Messenier’, in Kovscovics W.K. (ed.), Kerameikos 14 (Berlin) 151–9
Bosanquet R. and Tod M.N. (1902) ‘Archaeology in Greece 1901–1902’, JHS 22 378–94
Brandt P. (1894) Von Athen zum Tempethal: Reiseerinnerungen aus Griechenland (Gütersloh)
Braun E. (1948) ‘Zur Schlacht bei Chaironeia’, Jahreshefte des österr archäolog. Instituts 37, 81–9
Braun K. (1981) Bemalte Keramik und Glas aus dem Kabirenheiligtum bei Theben (Das Kabirenheiligtum 4, Berlin)
Broneer O. (1941) The Lion Monument of Amphipolis (Cambridge, MA)
Buckler J. (1992) ‘Plutarch and Autopsy’, ANRW II 33.6, 4788–830
Buckler J. (2003) Aegean Greece in the Fourth Century BC (Leiden)
Buckler J. and Beck H. (2008) Central Greece and the Politics of Power in the Fourth Century (Cambridge)
Camp J., Ierardi M., McInerney J., Morgan K. and Umholtz G. (1992) ‘A trophy from the battle of Chaironeia of 86 BC’, AJA 96, 443–55
Carman J. (1997) (ed.), Material Harm. Archaeological Studies of War and Violence (Glasgow)
Clairmont C. (1983) Patrios Nomos. Public Burial in Athens during the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.: the Archaeological, Epigraphic-Literary, and Historical Evidence (Oxford)
Clarke E.D. (1818) Travels in various countries of Europe, Asia and Africa, Part the second: Greece, Egypt and the Holy land, Section the third, Volume the seventh (4th edn, London)
Collignon M. (1911) Les statues funéraires dans l’art grec (Paris)
Connolly P. (2000) ‘Experiments with the sarissa - the Macedonian pike and cavalry lance: a functional view’, Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies 11, 103–12
Conner P. (1979) ‘George Ledwell Taylor and the Lion of Chaeronea. A traveller in Greece in 1818’, Apollo Magazine, March 1979, 134–42
Coolley A.S. (1904) ‘The Macedonian tomb and the battlefield of Chaironeia’, Records of the Past 3.5 (May 1904) 131–43
Costanzi V. (1923) ‘Il Leone di Cheronea et alcune questione con esso connesse’, Riv. Fil. 51, 6170
Cotton E. (1862) A Voice from Waterloo. A History of the Battle Fought on the 18th June 1815 (6th edn, Mont St-Jean)
d'Istria D. (1863) Excursions en Roumélie et en Morée (Zurich and Paris)
Dalton C. (1904) The Waterloo Roll Call (reprint of the 2nd edn, London 1971)
Davidson J.N. (2007) The Greeks and Greek Love. A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece (London)
Dupré L. (1825) Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople (Paris)
Fiorato V., Boylston A. and Knüsel C. (2000) Blood Red Roses. The Archaeology of a Mass Grave from the Battle of Towton AD 1461 (Oxford)
Flaubert G. (1998) Voyages (ed. Barbéris D., Paris)
Fossey J. (1988) Topography and Population of Ancient Boiotia (Chicago)
Foster P. (1878) Greek Arms and Armour, Greek Museum, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Frazer J. (1898) Pausanias’ Description of Greece (London)
Furtwängler A. (1890) Die Bronzen und die übrigen kleineren Funde aus Olympia (Olympia 4, Berlin)
Geibel E. (1918) Werke (ed. Stammler W., Leipzig)
Göttling K. (1846) Narratio de Chaeronea atque praesertim de leone Chaeronensis pugnae monumento (Iena)
Hammond N. (1973) Studies in Greek History (Oxford)
Hammond N. (1987) Review of Pritchett (1985), CR 37, 236–7
Hettner H. (1853) Griechische Reiseskizzen (Braunschweig)
Hobhouse J. (1813) A Journey through Albania and other Provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia, to Constantinople, during the years 1809 and 1810 (London)
T. Hölscher (1974) ‘Die Nike der Messenier und Naupaktier in Olympia. Kunst und Geschichte im späten 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr.’, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 89, 70111
Ingelmark B. (1939) ‘The Skeletons’, in Thordemann B., Armour from the Battle of Wisby 1361 (Stockholm), 1.149209
Jacob-Felsch M. (1969) Die Entwicklung griechischer Statuenbasen und die Aufstellung der Statuen (Waldsassen)
Jacquemin A. (1999) Offrandes Monumentales à Delphes (Paris)
Kastorchis E. (1875) ‘Περί τοù έν Xαιρωνεία’, Athenaion 4, 304–9
Kastorchis E. (1879) ‘Περί τοù έν Xαιρωνεία’, Athenaion 8, 486506
Kastorchis E. (1880) ‘’Aρχαιογικαί είδήσειζ’, Athenaion 9, 157–61
Kavvadias P. (1900) ‘Iστορία τηζ ’Aρχαιολογικηζ έταιρείαζ άπό τηζ έν ἔτει 1837 ίδρύσεωζ αύτηζ μέχρι τοù 1900 (Athens)
Kavvadias P. (1902) ‘ἔκθεσιζ τɷν πεπαραγμένων Έταιρείαζ’, Praktikα 936
Kirsten E. (1984) Landschaft und Geschichte in der antiken Welt (Bonn)
Knigge U. (1976) ‘Zum Löwen von Kantzas’, Ath. Mitt. 91, 167–73
Knollys W. (1876) Shaw the Life Guardsman (London)
Koch G. (1984) ‘Zum Grabrelief der Helena’, J.P Getty Museum Journal 12, 5972
Körte A. (1878) ‘Die antiken Sculpturen aus Boeotien’, Ath. Mitt. 3, 301422
Kotera Feyer E. (1993) Die Strigilis (Frankfurt am Main)
Kountouri E. (2006) ‘’Aνασκαφικέζ έργασίεζ στην Xαιρώνεια 2000–2002: Πρɷτεζ έκτιμησειζ’, Άρχαιολογά ἔργα Θεσσαλίαζ καί Στερε⋯ζ ‘Eλλάδαζ 2 (Volos) 779–97
Kromayer J. (1905) ‘Zu den griechischen Schlachtfelderstudien’, Wiener Studien 27, 134
Lappas T. (1939) ‘O Λέων τηζ Xαιρωνείαζ (Athens)
Leitao D. (2002 ) ‘The legend of the Sacred Band’, in Nussbaum M.C. and Sihvola J. (eds), The Sleep of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome (Chicago) 143–69
Lethaby W.R. (1918) ‘Greek lion monuments’, JHS 38, 3944
Lolling H. (1989) Reisenotizen aus Griechenland 1876 und 1877 (Berlin)
Low P. (2003) ‘Remembering war in fifth-century Greece: ideologies, societies and commemoration beyond democratic Athens’, World Archaeology 35, 98111
Mahaffy J. (1905) Rambles and Studies in Greece (5th edn, London)
Mallouchou Tufano F. (1998) ‘H άνατήλωση τɷν άρχαίων μνημείων στη νεώτερη ‘Eλλάδα, 1834–1939: τό ἔργο τηζ έν ’Aθήναιζ ’Aρχαιογικηζ ‘Eταιρείαζ καί τηζ ’Aρχαιολογικηζ ‘Yηρεσίαζ(Athens)
Markle M. III (1977) ‘The Macedonian sarissa, spear, and related armor’, AJA 75, 323–39
Markle M. III (1980 ) ‘Weapons from the cemetery at Vergina and Alexander's army’, in Vavouskos K. (ed.), Mέγαζ ’Aλέξανδροζ. 2300 χρόνια μετά τόν θάνατόν του (Thessaloniki) 243–67
Markle M. III (1982 ) ‘Macedonian arms and tactics under Alexander the Great’, in Barr-Sharrar B. and Borza E. (eds), Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times (Washington) 87111
Mayo J.M. (1988) ‘War memorials as political memory’, Geographical Review 78, 6275
Mee C. and Spawforth A. (2001) Greece. An Oxford Archaeological Guide (Oxford)
Mertens-Horn M. (1986) Die Löwenkopf-wasserspiessen des griechischen Westerns im 6. und 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr. im Vergleich mit den Löwen des griechischen Mutterlandes (Mainz)
Mertens-Horn M. (1988) ‘Studien zu griechischen Löwenbildern’, Röm. Mitt. 93, 161
Miller S. and Miller S. (1972) ‘Architectural blocks from the Strymon’, Arch. Delt. 27, 140–69
Morrow K.D. (1985) Greek Footwear and the Dating of Sculpture (Madison, Wisconsin)
H. Müller (1887) Griechische Reisen und Studien (Leipzig)
Mure W. (1842) Journal of a Tour in Greece and the Ionian Islands (Edinburgh)
Newton C. (1862–3) A History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus, Cnidus and Branchidae (London)
Norden E. (1966 ) ‘Heldenehrungen’, in Kleine Schriften (Berlin) 552–64
Oakley J. (2004) Picturing Death in Classical Athens: the Evidence of the White Lekythoi (Cambridge)
Oikonomos G. (1938) Tά έκατόν ἔτη τηζ έν ’Aθήναιζ ‘Aρχαιογικηζ ‘Eταιρεείάζ. Λόγοζ πανηγυρικόζ τοù Γραμματέωζ τοù Συμβουυ (Athens)
Osgood R. (2005) The Unknown Soldier. An Archaeology of the Common Soldier (Stroud)
Petrakos V. (1987) ‘H έν ’Aθήναιζ άρχαιογική έταιρεία. ‘H ίστορία τɷν 150 χρόνων τηζ 1837–1987 (Athens)
Phytalis L. (1880) ‘ἔρευναι έν τɷ πολυανδρίɷ Xαιρωνείαζ’, Athenaion 9, 347–52
Pritchett W.K. (1958) ‘Observations on Chaironeia’, AJA 61, 307–11
Pritchett W.K. (1974) The Greek State at War, part 2 (Berkeley)
Pritchett W.K. (1985) The Greek State at War, part 4 (Berkeley)
Rahe P.A. (1981) ‘The annihilation of the Sacred Band at Chaeronea’, AJA 85, 84–7
Rainbird P. (2003) ‘Representing nation, dividing community: the Broken Hill War Memorial, New South Wales, Australia’, World Archaeology 35.1, 2234
Richardson R. (1907) Greece through the Stereoscope (New York and London)
Ritter S. (2002) Bildkontakte. Götter und Heroen in der Bildsprache griechischer Münzen des 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. (Berlin)
Roger J. (1939) ‘Le monument au Lion d'Amphipolis’, BCH 63, 442
Salazar C. (2000) The Treatment of War Wounds in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (Leiden)
Sanborn F. (1897) ‘The Lion of Chaeronea’, The New England Journal 22.1 (March 1897), 97103
Schilardi D. (1977) The Thespian Polyandrion (424 BC) (Princeton Ph.D. thesis)
Smith A.H. (1892–1904) A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Departments, British Museum (London)
Sotiriadis G. (1902 ) ‘’Aνασκαφή δύο τύμβων παρά τήν Xαιρωνείαν’, Praktika 53–9
Sotiriadis G. (1903) ‘Das Schlachtfeld von Chäronea und der Grabhügel der Makedonen’, Ath. Mitt. 28, 301–30
Sotiriadis G. (1904) Aί παρά τήν Xαιρωνείαν, τόν ’Oρχομενόν καί τήν ’Eλατείαν άνασκαφαί, Praktika 3557
Sotiriadis G. (1905) ‘Untersuchungen in Boiotien und Phokis. 1. Topographisches über Chaironeia. Das Stadtflüsschen Haimon und das Herakleion’, Ath. Mitt 30, 113–20
Sotiriadis G. (1910) ‘Aί έν Xαιρωνεία καί κατά τήν Φωκίδα άνασκαφαί’, Praktika 122–30
Stephani L. (1843) Reise durch einige Gegenden des nördlichen Griechenlands (Leipzig)
Stupperich R. (1977) Staatsbegrabnis und Privatgrabmal im klassischen Athen (Münster)
Tarlow S. (1999) Bereavement and Commemoration: an Archaeology of Mortality (Oxford)
Taylor G. (18701872) The Auto-biography of an Octagenarian Architect, being a Record of his Studies at Home and Abroad, during 65 Years, Comprising among the Subjects The Cathedrals of England, France and Italy, the Temples of Rome, Greece and Sicily, with Explanations of their Various Styles - and Plans, from Measurement; also, Incidents of Travel, and Sketches of Other Buildings and Objects on his Route, From Notes and Measurements during Tours through England, France, Italy, Greece and Sicily, 1816-17-18-19 (principally on Foot), with Re-visits in 1857 to 1868, 2 vols. (London)
Themelis P. and Touratsoglou I. (1997) Oί τάφοι τοù Δερβενίου (Athens)
Thompson H.A. (1954) ‘Excavations in the Athenian Agora: 1953’, Hesperia 23, 3167
Touratsoglou I. (1996) ‘Die Baupolitik Kassanders’, in Hoepfner W. and Brands G. (eds), Basileia. Die Paläste der hellenistischen Könige. Internationales symposion in Berlin vom 16.12.1992 bis 20.12.1992 (Mainz) 176–81
Tsimbidou-Avloniti M. (2005) Mακεδονικοί τάφοι στον Φοίνικα καί στον ‘Άγιον ’Aθανάσιο Θεσσαλονίκηζ (Athens)
Tzavella-Evjen H. (1995) ‘Aνασκαφικέζ ἔρευνεζ στην Xαιρώνεια’, Ep. HetBoiot. Mel. 2.1, 630–7
Ure P. (1913) Black Glaze Pottery from Rhitsona in Boeotia (London and New York)
Vaux W. (1866) ‘On the discovery of the Lion at Chaeronaea, by a party of English travellers in 1818’, Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, 2nd ser. 8, 111
Vermeule C. (1972) ‘Greek Funerary Animals, 450–300 B.C.’, AJA 76, 4959
Vermeule E. (1979) Aspects of Death in Early Greek Art and Poetry (Berkeley)
Wakely J. (1997) ‘Identification and analysis of violent and non-violent head injuries in osteo-archaeological material’, in Carman (1997) 2446
Waywell G. (1998) ‘The Lion from the Lion Tomb at Cnidus’, in Palagia O. and Coulson W. (eds), Regional Schools in Hellenistic Sculpture (Oxford) 235–42
Welcker F.G. (1856) ‘Il leone di Cheronea’, Monumenti, Annali e Bulletini pubblicati dall'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica 1–5 and pl. 1
Welcker F.G. (1864) ‘Der Löwe von Chäronea’, in Alte Denkmäler 5.62–72
Welcker F.G. (1865) Tagebuch einer griechischen Reise (Berlin)
Willemsen F. (1959) Die Löwenkopf-wassenspeier vom Dach des Zeustempels (Olympische Forschungen 4, Berlin)
Woysch-Méautis D. (1982) La Représentation des animaux et des êtres fabuleux sur les monuments funéraires grecs: de l'époque archaïque à la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C. (Neuchâtel)
Wyse T. (1871) Impressions of Greece (London)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Hellenic Studies
  • ISSN: 0075-4269
  • EISSN: 2041-4099
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-hellenic-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 32 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 245 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.