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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.

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amphora

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1867,0508.968

  • Description

    Pottery: black-figured amphora. Designs black on deep buff ground, with a band of network below; accessories of purple. Handles thin and grooved; under each, a palmette and lotus pattern.
    On the neck: (a) Two wrestlers about to engage, nude and bearded. On either side a brabeus (adjudicator) looking on, bearded, with long hair, fillet, embroidered himation, and wand in hand, (b) Two athletes, nude and bearded, boxing, each with caestus (gauntlet) on both hands; both are spitting blood. On either side, a brabeus, as last.
    On the body: (a) Two athletes boxing, nude and bearded, with caestus on their hands; the one on the left bleeds heavily at the nose; the other from a wound in the forehead. Between them is inscribed: NIKOΣΘENEΣEΠOIEΣEN, Νικοσθένης εποίησεν. (b) Two wrestlers, each grasping the other's right arm, nude and bearded.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 550BC-540BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 21.59 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    Musée Blacas, pl. ii. p.10-11; Panofka, Bild. Ant. Leb. pl. ii. 3, 4; Krause, Gymnastik, pl. xvii. 58, 59; Rev. Phil. ii. p. 484; Brunn, Künstlergesch. ii. p. 714; Klein, Meistersig, p. 61.
    For Nicosthenes, see also Klein, Meistersig., p. 51 ff., and Brunn, Künstler-geschichte, ii. p. 709.

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  • Bibliography

    • Vase B295 bibliographic details
    • CVA British Museum 4 III H e Pl. 72, 1 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G69/18

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1980 5 Jun- 26 Oct, London, BM, The Ancient Olympic Games

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1867

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1867,0508.968

Pottery: black-figured amphora showing a boxing contest. On the body: boxers wearing leather thongs bound onto the fist to form gloves are about to exchange blows; one has a nose-bleed. On the neck are wrestlers with instructors or judges standing on either side.

Pottery: black-figured amphora showing a boxing contest. On the body: boxers wearing leather thongs bound onto the fist to form gloves are about to exchange blows; one has a nose-bleed. On the neck are wrestlers with instructors or judges standing on either side.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA4067

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