Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Pottery: black-figured 'Tyrrhenian' amphora: Designs black on red ground; no accessories. (a) Combat of warriors over a fallen warrior: The prostrate man has helmet, cuirass, greaves, sword, and shield by his side; over him strides a fully-armed warrior with short bound-up chiton, parameridia (armour on thighs), and Boeotian shield, defending him with spear. On the left a warrior to right (helmet, short chiton, greaves, sword-belt, shield, and spear), is about to transfix another, with long hair, high-crested helmet, short chiton, greaves, shield, and sword, whom he has beaten down on his knees. On the right is a warrior fleeing to right and looking back, with helmet, short embroidered chiton, greaves, sword, and shield; next, a similar warrior moving to right, thrusting with spear at a warrior prostrate to right, of whom the legs and part of the body (in a short chiton) are alone visible. On the extreme right the head of another warrior is visible, with high-crested helmet.
    (b) Athletic contests: On the left is a brabeus (arbitrator), bearded, in a himation; next to him, two wrestlers about to engage, the one on the left bearded; a bearded athlete to right with two leaping-poles, or spears for throwing, a similar athlete to right with halteres (weights used to aid momentum), leaping over eskammena (pegs fixed in the ground to mark the distance); a paidotribes (trainer) to left, bearded, in long chiton and himation, with staff, directing the movements of the last with right hand; a diskobolos (discus thrower) to right, bearded, with diskos in right hand, which he is about to throw. All the athletes are nude.
    Below, three friezes of animals: (1) Two Sirens confronted, each having one wing advanced; between them a palmette- and lotus-pattern, of Corinthian type (cf. B 24-25) behind each Siren a panther; at the back, a group of two swans flanked by panthers; on the left a swan to right preening itself, on the right a goat to left. (2) Sphinx to right, with one wing advanced, flanked by a cock and panther on either side; at the back a panther and ram confronting a similar pair. (3) Goat to right, on either side a lion; at the back a panther to right, on either side a ram; before the panther, a rosette.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 540BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 42.1 centimetres
    • Width: 25.5 centimetres
    • Depth: 26 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        SIXVOΣ, Είχλος; BIPOSTENEΣ, ‘Iπ(π)οσ(θ)ένης.
      • Inscription Comment

        The names of wrestlers.
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    Holwerda in Jahrbuch, v. (1890), pp. 243, 254; Jahn, Vasensamml. p. cxlix, n. 1060.
    For similar wrestlers, cf. Berlin Cat. 783 and 1655.
    The wrestler Hipposthenes might be the Spartan boy-wrestler, Paus. v. 8, 9. The scene probably represents the Pentathlon; supposing the athlete on the right of the wrestlers to be an akontistes (javelin thrower), all the contests are then indicated except the ποδώκεια (running). Cf. B 134 and B 326.


  • Bibliography

    • Old Catalogue 429 bibliographic details
    • Vase B48 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    2007 31 Mar-30 Jun, Gosport, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2007-2008 3 Nov-24 Feb, Leicester, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2008 29 Mar-1 Jun, Luton, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2008 20 Jun-5 Oct, Lincoln, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2008-2009 25 Oct-24 Jan, South Shields, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2009 7 Feb-4 May, Glasgow, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes

  • Condition

    Repaired and restored.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Pottery: black-figured `Tyrrhenian' amphora: athletes, including a jumper using jumping weights; reverse: combat scene.

Detail: Other

Pottery: black-figured `Tyrrhenian' amphora: athletes, including a jumper using jumping weights; reverse: combat scene.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA9762

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