Explore / Online Tours
The myth of the Trojan war
The wedding of Peleus and Thetis
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.