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Description

Alexander the Great Carved Into Mount Athos

Fascinatng allegorical image of Alexander the Great. The image shows at the lower right the pope, followed by a cleric holding the canopy, looking at a tablet on which is a drawing presented to him by a clergyman and another man. In the background you can see a mountain on which a gigantic male. On the right the figure holds the symbol of a spring and on the left a city.

A man next to Lozano points to a mountain transformed into a statue of Alexander the Great. The image represents the story of the ancient architect Dinocrates of Rhodes, who according to Vitruvius proposed to Alexander "to transform Mount Athos into the statue of a man holding a spacious city in his left hand, and in his right a huge cup, into which shall be collected all the streams of the mountain, which shall then be poured into the sea" (De architectura, lib. II, introduction).

Dinocrates & Alexander

Prior to the building of Alexandria, when Alexander was looking to build a city in his glory, Dinocrates proposed to build a city on Mount Athos. Alexander dropped the proposal as Dinocrates reportedly did not consider the living conditions of the residents when he admitted to not planning for grain to be grown near the city. Instead, it was to be transported by sea. 

Dinocrates is noted by Vitruvius, in the only surviving architectural treatise from Antiquity, for his plan to sculpt in the flank of Mount Athos a colossal image of Alexander, holding a small city in one hand and with the other, pouring from a gigantic pitcher a river into the sea.