Abstract–Art in transition: Damophon of Messene in the Ionian coast of Greece

This paper consists of a preliminary reassessment of the activity and chronology of the Messenian sculptor Damophon, on the basis of three specific episodes of his career. A new inscription from the Asklepieion of Butrint and two honorary decrees issued for the sculptor by the cities of Leukas and Kranioi (Kephallenia) confirm that he was active in the Ionian coast of Greece in the 2nd century BC. Historical and archaeological data seem also to suggest that at the time of Damophon’s work the whole area was already under the control of the Romans. The sculptor’s activity and the cult statues he made/restored are therefore interpreted in the light of contemporary religious and cultural policies, aimed at strengthening the links between Rome and Greece.