from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Polyclitus fl. fifth century B.C. Greek sculptor and architect known for his bronze and marble statues of athletes.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Looking up one sees an immense blue sky, painted with spheres and white insets inscribed with the names of leading Greek sculptors from the 4th century: Cephisodotus, Lysippus, Myron, Phidias, Polyclitus, Praxiteles and Scopas.

    Cy Twombly's Ceiling at the Musee du Louvre

  • Although Polyclitus undoubtedly made use of geometry in constructing this magnificent shape, in a famous sentence from his book, also entitled Canon, he asserts that his statue came to be not through many shapes but


  • Perhaps the most famous statue of the classical period is the Doryphoros by the Argive sculptor Polyclitus, which he also referred to as the Canon (i.e., the standard).


  • Similarly, the sculptor, Polyclitus of Argos, stated that “the good comes to be ¦ through many numbers,”


  • Polyclitus’, in another ‘sculptor’ is the cause of a statue, because ‘being Polyclitus’ and


  • Again we may use a complex expression for either and say, e.g. neither ‘Polyclitus’ nor


  • Wisdom (1) in the arts we ascribe to their most finished exponents, e.g. to Phidias as a sculptor and to Polyclitus as a maker of portrait-statues, and here we mean nothing by wisdom except excellence in art; but (2) we think that some people are wise in general, not in some particular field or in any other limited respect, as Homer says in the Margites,

    The Nicomachean Ethics

  • Again, there are accidental causes and the classes which include these; e.g. while in one sense ‘the sculptor’ causes the statue, in another sense ‘Polyclitus’ causes it, because the sculptor happens to be Polyclitus; and the classes that include the accidental cause are also causes, e.g. ‘man’-or in general ‘animal’-is the cause of the statue, because Polyclitus is a man, and man is an animal.


  • The tortured lumps of admixed metals found among the detritus had been gathered up and given to the smiths for refining, but the ingots the smiths had smelted (which went into the Treasury beneath the temple of Saturn against the time when they would be given to artisans to make new works) could not replace the immortal names of the original sculptors-Praxiteles and Myron, Strongylion and Polyclitus, Scopas and Lysippus.

    Fortune's Favorites

  • Nor had Cicero produced witnesses to grain thefts within just one district, but within many districts, and the catalogue of works by Praxiteles, Phidias, Polyclitus, Myron, Strongylion and every other famous sculptor which Verres had looted was supported by bills of “sale” that saw the owner of a Praxiteles Cupid obliged virtually to give it away to Verres.

    Fortune's Favorites


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.