Timoclea brought before Alexander. A.M. 3669.

WAG 7715


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 1825, on the page for 1st September. Timoclea was a noble of Thebes. She features in Plutarch's biography of Alexander the Great. When Alexander's Thracian army took Thebes in 335 BCE, the city was ransacked and one of the Thracian captains raped Timoclea. After the attack, he asked her whether she knew of any hidden money. Timoclea fooled the captain into thinking that there was money at the bottom of a well. When the captain looked into the well Timoclea pushed him in and then dropped rocks down onto him until he was dead. Brought before Alexander the Great, Timoclea told the leader than she was the sister of Theagenes, last commander of the Theban Sacred Band, who Alexander's father had defeated in battle. Alexander was impressed by Timoclea's dignity and composure, and she and her children were released without punishment for killing the captain. This scene shows Timoclea standing before Alexander before being released.