- Museum number
- Series: The Parthenon Sculptures
Marble relief (Block III) from the East frieze of the Parthenon. The frieze shows the procession of the Panathenaic festival, the commemoration of the birthday of the goddess Athena.
The East frieze shows the continuation of the pedestrian procession that features on the long north and south sides. For the first time in the frieze, however, female figures are shown, carrying the paraphernalia of sacrifice. To left of centre they proceed from left to right while to right of centre they come from right to left – sixteen on one side and thirteen on the other. Ahead of these female figures are shown males who are not part of the procession proper but, leaning on sticks, are engaged in conversation with one another. These are perhaps the eponymous heroes of the ten tribes of democratic Athens. Their leaning posture would, if they were to stand erect, make them larger then the mortals approaching on either side. The eponymoi in turn would be dwarfed by the gods at the heart of the East frieze, shown seated and therefore larger then other figures in the frieze. The gods can be named by sex and attribute and represent the twelve Olympians, together with Iris and Eros. Zeus and Athena sit innermost. They frame the subject at the very centre of the East frieze where five figures are shown engaged in a ritual involving the sacred peplos of Athena, presentation of which (to the statue of Athena Polias) was the culminating event of the Panathenaic festival.
Block III shows girls walking in a solemn procession. All the girls wear tunic and mantle. We see five girls carrying jugs for the pouring of ritual libations. Ahead of these, two pairs of girls each carry a peculiar trumpet-shaped object, usually seen as a stand for burning incense. A large dowel-hole is shown at the top of the first of the two. The foremost pair of girls stand quietly waiting, empty-handed.
At the head of the procession there stands a group of men (continues on Block IV) draped is simple cloaks. The two men on this Block are in conversation. The men are seen as heroes or as civic dignitaries, perhaps magistrates waiting to preside over the ceremonies. A fragment with the feet of the figure on the right is in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.
- Production date
- On display (G18)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: East Frieze, Block III