What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

The wedding of Peleus and Thetis


Black-figured bowl and stand

Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

Detail

Detail

Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter


Height: 71.000 cm
Height: 71.000 cm

GR 1971.11-1.1


The sea-nymph Thetis was loved by both Zeus, king of the gods, and Poseidon, god of the sea. However, their ardour was cooled when they learned that Thetis' son was destined to be greater than his father.

The gods decided that Thetis should be made to marry a mortal in order that her son, however powerful, should present no threat to the gods. They chose Peleus and to reconcile Thetis to this inferior alliance, they gave the couple a magnificent wedding, illustrated on this vase.

The vase-painter has shown Peleus, to the right, standing in front of his house offering a cup to the arriving dignitaries. Thetis is decorously concealed within. The guests include appropriate deities such as Hebe, the goddess of youth, and Dionysus, the god of wine. The centaur Cheiron, part man and part horse, also appears; he later became the tutor of the son of Peleus and Thetis, the mighty Achilles. The figures have their names inscribed beside them.

On display: Room 13: Greece 1050-520 BC