Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In anc. Gr. art, a work of sculpture of the most ancient and primitive class, rudely formed in wood, the eyes being generally represented closed, and the limbs, when indicated at all, extended stiffly. The examples of these statues, representing deities, which were preserved in Greek historic times, were looked upon with much veneration as divine gifts fallen from heaven; they were usually cloaked with precious stuffs and rich embroideries. No specimen survives, but representations of these old works are found on painted vases. The term is sometimes applied attributively to primitive statues in stone advanced but little beyond the wooden prototypes, as the xoanon statue discovered by the French in Delos. See cut under
- Ancient Greek (Wiktionary)
“The image borne in procession was clearly the xoanon which was brought by Pegasus from”
“Pausanias tells us  that the xoanon brought from Eleutherae was in one of the two temples in the theatre-precinct, while the other contained the chryselephantine statue of Alcamenes.”
“Pausanias 'use of the plural in τεταγμέναις ημέραις is excellent authority that the temple of the xoanon was opened at least on more than one day of every year.”
“Here was the precinct containing two temples of Dionysus, in the older of which was the xoanon  brought from Eleutherae by Pegasus.”
“It is also borne out by another significant and interesting fact -- that the next image to be introduced, that of Diana in the temple on the Aventine, was a copy of the [Greek: xoanon] of Artemis at Massilia, itself a copy of the famous one at”
“The word for wooden statue is [Greek: xoanon] ξόανον which is sometimes simply translated statue.”
“The temple was celebrated as containing an ancient statue of Diana, the oldest or almost the oldest representation of a deity in human form known at Rome, which was a copy of a rude image of Artemis at Massilia, of the type of the famous [Greek: xoanon] of the Ephesian Artemis. [”
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