The Kroisos Kouros (Ancient Greek: κοῦρος) is a marble kouros from Anavyssos in Attica which functioned as a grave marker for a fallen young warrior named Kroîsos (Κροῖσος). The free-standing sculpture strides forward with the "archaic smile" playing slightly on his face. The sculpture is dated to c. 540–515 BC and stands 1.95 meters high. It is now situated in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (inv. no. 3851).
The inscription on the base of the statue reads:
στε̑θι ∶ καὶ οἴκτιρον ∶ Κροίσο παρὰ σε̑μα θανόντος ∶ / ℎόν ποτ’ ἐνὶ προμάχοις ∶ ὄλεσε θο̑ρος ∶ Ἄρες.
"Stop and show pity beside the marker of Kroisos, dead, whom, when he was in the front ranks, raging Ares destroyed".
The Kroisos Kouros is central to two ongoing archeological debates: first, whether kouroi represented specific young men or were generic representations of idealized archetypes which might not actually resemble a specific person commemorated, and thus are symbolic representations embodying the ideal of the male warrior en promáchois (ἐν προμάχοις), "in the front line" of battle, not naturalistic ones; and second the authenticity of the Getty kouros, which bears a falsified provenance and displays a suspicious similarity to the Kroisos kouros.
- IG I3 1240.
- Marion True. The Getty Kouros: Background on the Problem, in The Getty Kouros Colloquium, 1993, p. 13.
- Nikolaos Kaltsas: Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 2002, ISBN 0-89236-686-9, p. 58–59.
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