Callisthenes and Strato quarrel for Aristoclea

WAG 7763


This is one of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. This composition was used for a headpiece in 'Le Souvenir', a memorandum book published by Suttaby, Evance, Fox, Richardson/London in 1822, on the page for 16th September. The Greek biographer Plutarch writes that Aristoclea was widely admired throughout Greece because of her 'virtue, beauty and accomplishments'. Callisthenes and Strato were two of her admirers. Strato had great wealth and family connections, but Callisthenes was more likeable and Aristoclea chose him as her suitor. The two were to be wed, and Strato asked to be present at the ceremony. This was a trick, and he hired people to ambush the ceremony and kidnap Aristoclea. Burney depicts the two men fighting over Aristoclea here.