The date of the Laocoon being now fixed (see Agesander) to 40-20 B.C., there can be no question of copying Virgil.
LAOCOON, in Greek legend a brother of Anchises, who had been a priest of Apollo, but having profaned the temple of the god he and his two sons were attacked by serpents while preparing to sacrifice a bull at the altar of Poseidon, in whose service Laocoon was then acting as priest.
Among others of the name may be mentioned (3) Athenodorus Of Teos, who played the cithara at the wedding of Alexander the Great and Statira at Susa (324 B.C.); (4) a Greek physician of the 1st century A.D., who wrote on epidemic diseases; and two sculptors, of whom (5) one executed the statues of Apollo and Zeus which the Spartans dedicated at Delphi after Aegospotami; and (6) the other was a son of Alexander of Rhodes, whom he helped in the Laocoon group.
The Iliu Persis, again, was the oldest authority for the story of Laocoon and of the consequent escape of Aeneas - a story which connected a surviving branch of the house of Priam with the later inhabitants of the Troad.
The sculptors of the Laocoon are among the priests of Athena Lindia, whose names are recorded by inscriptions.
He prefers the marble Laocoon in the palace of Titus to all the pictures and bronzes in the world (xxxvi.
While I was there, General Loring himself came in, and showed me some of the most beautiful statues, among which were the Venus of Medici, the Minerva of the Parthenon, Diana, in her hunting costume, with her hand on the quiver and a doe by her side, and the unfortunate Laocoon and his two little sons, struggling in the fearful coils of two huge serpents, and stretching their arms to the skies with heart-rending cries.