Laocoön and His Sons
The statue, also called the Laocoön Group, is a monumental sculpture in marble now in the Vatican Museums, Rome. The statue is attributed by the Roman author Pliny the Elder to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. It shows the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being strangled by sea serpents.
The story of Laocoön had been the subject of a play by Sophocles (the play is now lost), and was mentioned by other Greek writers. Laocoön was killed after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse by striking it with a spear. The snakes were sent by Poseidonand were interpreted by the Trojans as proof that the horse was a sacred object.
Inscriptions found at Lindos in Rhodes date Agesander and Athenodoros to a period after 42 BC, making the years 42 to 20 the most likely date for the Laocoön statue’s creation. It is not known whether it is an original work or a copy of an earlier sculpture.