LEARCHUS

ΛΕΑΡΧΟΣ

1. [See ATHAMAS.]

2. Of Rhegium, is one of those Daedalian artists who stand on the confines of the mythical and historical periods, and about whom we have extremely uncertain information. One account made him a pupil of Daedalus, another of Dipoenus and Scyllis. (Paus. iii. 17. § 6.) Pausanias saw, in the Brazen House at Sparta, a statue of Zeus by him, which was made of separate pieces of hammered bronze, fastened together with nails. Pausanias adds, that this was the most ancient of all existing statues in bronze. It evidently belonged to a period when the art of casting in bronze was not yet known. But this is inconsistent with the account which made Learchus the pupil of Dipoenus and Scyllis, for these artists are said to have been the inventors of sculpture in marble, an art which is generally admitted to have had a later origin than that of casting in bronze. Moreover, Rhoecus and Theodorus, the inventors of casting in bronze, are placed about the beginning of the Olympiads. Learchus must, therefore, have flourished still earlier; but the date of Dipoenus and Scyllis is, according to the only account we have of it, about 200 years later. [See DIPOENUS.] The difficulty is rather increased than diminished if we substitute for Learchon, in the passage of Pausanias, Klearchon, which is probably the true reading. (See the editions of Schubart and Walz, and Bekker.) In another passage, Pausanias mentions (vi. 4. § 2) Clearchus of Rhegium as the instructor of Pythagoras of Rhegium, and the pupil of Eucheirus of Corinth. This Clearchus must therefore have lived about B. C. 500, eighty years later than Dipoenus and Scyllis. We must therefore either assume the existence of two Clearchi of Rhegium, one near the beginning, and the other at the end of the Daedalian period, or else we must account for the statement of Pausanias by supposing that, as often happens, a vague tradition affixed the name of a well-known ancient artist to a work whose true origin was lost in remote antiquity.