- Museum number
'Bilingual' pottery amphora. Designs in two panels, with borders of double honeysuckle above: (a) Black on red ground, with purple accessories and finely-incised lines; (b) Red on black ground, with purple accessories, and network borders down the sides in black on red. On the sides of the handles, ivy-wreaths; below the handles, palmettes with volutes; all black on red.
(a) Achilles and Ajax (?) playing with pessi: On the right is Achilles seated, bearded, with hair rolled up under fillet, high-crested helmet short chiton richly diapered, cuirass, parameiridia, and greaves, all ornamented with volutes, and chlamys richly embroidered with stars and other patterns, in left hand two spears, behind him a Boeotian shield decorated with Satyric mask with short curls and protruding tongue. On the left is Ajax, seated, similarly attired and equipped; each stretches out right hand to a table between them, on which six pessi are visible; Achilles holds another between his fingers.
(b) Heracles and the Nemean lion: He is nude and bearded, with curly hair and fillet, and kneels on both knees, holding the lion head downwards over his left shoulder, right hand grasping its forepaws, while its hind-claws are inserted in his right shoulder; he is about to fling it on the ground with his left arm. On the left is Athene to right, with long tresses, high-crested helmet with fillet, ornamented with volutes, and chevron-pattern round crest, aegis with scales, and fringe of snakes in front, long diapered chiton, in right hand a spear, left extended to Heracles. On the right is Iolaos to right, looking back, nude and bearded, with curly hair and fillet, sword at side, in right hand Heracles' club.
- Production date
- 520BC-500BC (circa)
Height: 54.61 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- BM Cat. Vases
'Bilingual' denotes that the two sides of decoration are in different styles, and, in this case, possibly by different painters.
Overbeck, Her. Bildw. p. 312; Encyclopaedia Britannica(9), xix. p. 612; Athen. Mittheil. iv. p. 290; Klein, Euphronios*, p. 36; Jahrbuch, iv. (1889), p. 196.
For side A, cf. Vase Β211 and the inscribed vase of Exekias in the Vatican Museums, Rome. The warriors here represented may be named Achilles and Ajax, owing to the close resemblance of this vase to that of Exekias; but according to Eur. Iph. Aul. 192ff., they would be Protesilaos and Palamedes; cf. also Paus. x. 31. 1. The subject is discussed by Welcker, Alte Denkm. iii. p. 1 ff.
The attitude on side B is unusual, and resembles that of Heracles throwing down the boar on Eurystheus.
- On display (G14/dc1)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number