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Laocoön (legendary character)

RA Collection: People and Organisations

A priest of Apollo, who warned the Trojans against accepting the wooden horse, which after the death of Achilles the Greeks offered to them. The horse concealed Odysseus and other Greek warriors. For warning the Trojans Laocoön and his two sons were punished by Athene by being killed by sea-serpents. The story is recounted in Vergil’s ‘Aeneid’ (book II). A famous sculpture of the group is described by Pliny the Elder; and this work or a copy of it was excavated in Rome in 1506. It stimulated some of the writings of Winckelmann and Lessing on aesthetics.

Associated books

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