Some sources state that the reclining figure from the east pediment of the Parthenon (see photo of Theseus sculpture in the sidebar “How the Marbles Changed History”) represents Dionysus, while still others identify it as Herakles or Theseus.



The most complete account of the acquisition of the marbles, based on correspondence between Lord Elgin and his agents in Athens, is by Arthur H. Smith, “Lord Elgin and His Collection,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 36 (1916), pp. 163–372. Very valuable, too, is William St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1983). See also Jacob Rothenberg, Descensus Ad Terram: The Acquisition and Reception of the Elgin Marbles (New York and London: Garland Publishing Company, 1977).


Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Earl of Elgin’s Collection of Sculptured Marbles (London, 1816), p. 41.


Fauvel had actually secured for Choiseul-Gouffier a second south metope, which he recovered after it was blown down in a storm. He shipped it to Paris in 1803, but the French boat carrying it was intercepted by the British navy. Its entire cargo was confiscated and Admiral Nelson, believing the metope was part of Elgin’s collection, had it sent to London. When Elgin unpacked it and saw that it belonged to Choiseul-Gouffier, he immediately offered to return it, but the count, confused by the strange incident, refused to believe that his metope was in Elgin’s hands and never requested it back. It ended up in the Elgin collection (Smith, “Lord Elgin and His Collection,” pp. 355–365).


P.h-E. Legrand, “Biographie de Louis-Francois-Sebastien Fauvel,” Revue archeologique, 3rd series, vol. 30 (1897), p. 57; See also St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles, pp. 58, 288, notes 9, 10.


Smith, “Lord Elgin and His Collection,” p. 190.


St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles, pp. 17–18, 79–82.


For a complete English translation of the firman, see Report from the Select Committee, Appendix 10, pp. xxiv-xxvi.


Report from the Select Committee, p. 142. The role that Hunt played in maneuvering the Voivode into allowing the removal of the marbles is well detailed in St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles, pp. 94–95.


Report from the Select Committee, p. 146.


William R. Hamilton, Memorandum on the Subject of the Earl of Elgin’s Pursuits in Greece, 2nd ed. Corrected (London: W. Miller, 1815), p. 15.


The new roof that was built covered only the cella. The area between the cella and the peristyle was left uncovered (M. Korres, The Parthenon and Its Impact on Modern Times [Athens: Melissa and New York: Abrams, 1994], pp. 145, 146, fig. 12).


A.D. Norre, “Studies in the History of the Parthenon,” (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Los Angeles, 1966), p. 88.


Smith, “Lord Elgin and His Collections,” p. 227.


Elgin to Perceval, May 6, 1811, British Museum Library, ADD. MS 38191, fol. 119.


Perceval to Elgin, May 7, 1811 British Museum Library, ADD. MS 38191, fol. 197–198.