Monument of Lysikrates

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Monument of Lysikrates

Located on one of the ancient city's grandest avenues (which once linked the Theater of Dionysus with the Agora), this tempietto-like monument is a delightfully elegant jewel of the Corinthian style. It was originally built (335–334 BC) by a choregos (theatrical producer) as the support for the tripod (a three-footed vessel used as a prize) he won for sponsoring the best play at the nearby Theater of Dionysus. Six of the earliest Corinthian columns are arranged in a circle on a square base, topped by a marble dome from which rise acanthus leaves. In the 17th century the exceedingly picturesque monument was incorporated into a Capuchin monastery where Byron stayed while writing part of Childe Harold. The monument was once known as the Lantern of Diogenis because it was incorrectly believed to be where the famous orator practiced speaking with pebbles in his mouth in an effort to overcome his stutter. A fresh-looking dirt track at the monument's base is a section of the ancient street of the Tripods (now called Tripodon), where sponsors installed prizes awarded for various athletic or artistic competitions.


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