Tenea Kouroi Update II

John Ketseas (thanks!) tracks down another one … this time with a photo of one of the missing legs:

via arxaiologia

more: Συμπληρώνεται το παζλ του μυστηρίου των δίδυμων κούρων | Arxaiologia online

The article gives us a couple more interesting details, including that the two kouroi have affinities with something called the “Youth of Tenea” which was unearthed in the area back in 1854. We also get some ancient references to Pausanias, who mentions a sanctuary called Tenea Eileithya and Strabo, who mentions a temple of Apollo there. I think they’re referring to the Apollo of Tenea which has been in the Munich Glyptothek since 1854 (and found in 1846):

So called “Apollo (or Kouros) of Tenea”, corin...
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s what Strabo has to say (via Lacus Curtius) in 8.6.22:

Tenea, also, is in Corinthia, and in it is a temple of the Teneatan Apollo; and it is said that most of the colonists who accompanied Archias, the leader of the colonists to Syracuse, set out from there, and that afterwards Tenea prospered more than the other settlements, and finally even had a government of its own, and, revolting from the Corinthians, joined the Romans, and endured after the destruction of Corinth. And mention is also made of an oracle that was given to a certain man from Asia, who enquired whether it was better to change his home to Corinth: “Blest is Corinth, but Tenea for me!” But in ignorance some pervert this as follows: “but Tegea for me!” And it is said that Polybus reared Oedipus here. And it seems, also, that there is a kinship between the peoples of Tenedos and Tenea, through Tennesthe son of Cycnus, as Aristotle says; and the similarity in the worship of Apollo among the two peoples affords strong indications of such kinship.

… and Pausanias 2.5.4 (via Theoi.com):

Such is the account I heard of the Asopus. When you have turned from the Acrocorinthus into the mountain road you see the Teneatic gate and a sanctuary of Eilethyia. The town called Tenea is just about sixty stades distant. The inhabitants say that they are Trojans who were taken prisoners in Tenedos by the Greeks, and were permitted by Agamemnon to dwell in their present home. For this reason they honor Apollo more than any other god.

Given the strong connections to Apollo, I think I’ll withdraw my idle early speculation that the kouroi which started all this might represent Cleobis and Biton.

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