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Fresco from the Casa dei Dioscuri, believed to exhibit Timomachus' influence

Timomachus of Byzantium (or Timomachos, a transliteration of Τιμόμαχος) was an influential painter of the first century BCE.


Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis Historia (35.136), records that Julius Caesar had acquired two paintings by Timomachus, an Ajax and a Medea, which cost him the considerable sum of 80 talents.[1]:178 Scholars have connected these works with the carrying away of a Medea and Ajax from Cyzicus, an ancient port of Anatolia, mentioned in Cicero's In Verrem (2.4.135), and propose that Caesar acquired them there, shortly after his victory at Pharsalus.[2]:308 The paintings, "a pair linked to each other by their rage",[3]:210 were installed in front of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, and remained there until their destruction by fire in 80 CE.

The Anthology of Planudes preserves a number of epigrams on the Medea, which note its incomplete state, and praise its emotional intensity and verisimilitude. Scholars believe that two well-known depictions of Medea preserved at Pompeii were composed under the influence of Timomachus' work.[2]:309-310


  1. ^ Pollitt, J. J. (26 October 1990). The Art of Ancient Greece: Sources and Documents. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-27366-4. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Gurd, Sean Alexander (2007). "Meaning and Material Presence: Four Epigrams on Timomachus's Unfinished Medea". Transactions of the American Philological Association. 137 (2): 305–331. doi:10.1353/apa.2008.0003. ISSN 1533-0699.
  3. ^ Harris, William Vernon (2001). Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00618-8. Retrieved 12 January 2013.