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Chariot group from the south frieze of the Parthenon


Height: 100.000 cm

Elgin Collection

GR South Frieze XXXI, 75-77

Room 18: Greece: Parthenon

    Chariot group from the south frieze of the Parthenon

    Greek, carved about 438-432 BC
    From Athens, Greece

    The Parthenon frieze shows racing chariots ahead of the cavalcade of mounted horsemen. The Panathenaic Games at Athens featured races in which chariots were driven at high speed. At the end of the race, a soldier would leap out of the vehicle and finish the contest on foot. Here a partially preserved charioteer is seen on the extreme left of the block, while a foot soldier rides beside him, helmeted and holding a large round shield on his left arm. The carriage of the chariot and the hub of a wheel are just visible below.

    The scene, carved into a shallow depth of relief, is vividly expressed with no less than four horses abreast. Their fiery manes are echoed in the flying crest and cloak of the soldier.

    B.F. Cook, The Elgin Marbles, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)


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    On display: Room 18: Greece: Parthenon