Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Pottery: red-figured neck-amphora (storage-jar), with twisted handles.
    (a) Victorious poet reciting. On a plinth or bema, on which is inscribed KAΛΟNEI, καλος εΐ, a bearded, wreathed man in an himation which leaves his right shoulder free stands to right, resting his extended right hand on a knotted staff. From his open mouth proceed the first words of a metrical poem. (See Inscription).
    (b) Flute-player: perhaps the accompanist of the poet in a. He stands on a smaller plinth to right playing on the flutes, which are attached by a phorbeia which has a broad band over the cheeks, to which are fastened two smaller bands by small rings, passing at the back of and over the head. He is wreathed, and has light hair on his cheeks: he wears a long sleeved chiton decorated with a band of pattern above the ankles, which flies back in wavy folds as if he were moving forward, shoes, and a short, fringed tunic of some thick material, decorated with a large chequer pattern. The chequers on the left shoulder are not filled in.
    Purple inscriptions in field, and wreaths. Brown inscriptions on plinth, hair on cheek, moustache, upper folds of chiton and shading on lower part of chiton in b, and inner markings, including even the muscles on the back of the flute-player's hands. The edge of the hair against the flesh has a row of minute brown dots: in b it has two parallel rows of raised black dots over the forehead. Eye in transition type (inner angle open and pupil close against it). Below each side, a strip of alternate maeanders with red cross squares and black squares.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 490BC-480BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 46.99 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

        Greek alphabet
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        Side A
        (a) KAΛΟNEI [καλος εΐ]
        (b) ΗΟΔΕΠΟΤΕΝΤYPIΝΘI [Ωδε ποτ έv Tύρινθι]

        Side B
      • Inscription Translation

        Side A
        (a) He is handsome
        (b) As once in Tiryns...
  • Curator's comments

    Bibliography: Beazley, J.D., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1963), 183.15, 1632 Burn, L., and Glynn, R., Beazley Addenda (Oxford, 1982), 93 Carpenter, T.H., with Mannack, T., and Mendonca, M., Beazley Addenda, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1989), 187 Anderson, W.D., Music and Musicians in Ancient Greece (Ithaca, 1994), PL.5 (B) Langdon, S. (ed.), Exploring the Culture of Geometric Greece (Columbia, 1997), 191, FIG.26 (A) Miller, M.C., Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC, A study in cultural receptivity (Cambridge, 1997), PL.95 (B) Beazley, J.D., Paralipomena (Oxford, 1971), 340 Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, LONDON, BRITISH MUSEUM 3, III.Ic.5, PL.(173) 8.2A-D H. Kotsidu, Die musischen Agone der Panathenaeen in archaischer und klassischer Zeit (Munich, 1991), p. 112.BM Cat. Vases

    Mon. dell' Inst, v, pl. 10; Ann. dell' Inst. 1849, p. 130; Baumeister, p. 553, fig. 590 (b); Smith, Dict. Ant.3 i, p. 358, a, gives b; Schreiber-Anderson, Atlas of Cl. Ant. pl. 7, 3; C.I. Gr. 7980. Instances of vases inscribed with phrases sung or said by figures in the design are given in Jahn, Arch. Aufs. p. 116; and his Munich Cat. p. cxi; Welcker, Alt. Denkm. iii, p. 510 and 528; with additions in Hartwig, Meistersch. p. 255, note 2.
    For a similar tunic worn by a flute-player, cf. Hartwig, Meistersch. pll. 65, 66
    The drawing in Mon. dell' Inst, is inadequate in many respects: the marks there shown on the head in a are merely cracks in the glaze, and form no part of the design; and the very fine and careful drawing of the inner details of muscles, &c, which is a characteristic feature of this vase, is not rendered. The inscription, which is evidently the beginning of a hexameter line, has been variously explained. Possibly it was the commencement of a poem dealing with the Bellerophon legend, in which the town of Tiryns prominently figured; cf. Vogel, Scenen Eurip. Trag. pp. 85-6. According to Paus. (x, 7, 4) the musical contests at the Pythia were in B.C. 495 increased by the addition of ανλωδία, singing to the accompaniment of the flute; for the subject, cf. Reisch, Gr. Weihgesch. pp. 8, 54.


  • Bibliography

    • Old Catalogue 797 bibliographic details
    • Vase E270 bibliographic details
    • CVA British Museum 3 III Ic Pl. 8, 2 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G15/dc4

  • Exhibition history


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

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Pottery: red-figured neck-amphora (storage-jar) with Rhapsode reciting the beginning of a poem, perhaps in a competition or festival. The words coming out of his mouth mean: "As once in Tiryns...". On the reverse is a youth in ceremonial dress playing the pipes as accompaniment.

Pottery: red-figured neck-amphora (storage-jar) with Rhapsode reciting the beginning of a poem, perhaps in a competition or festival. The words coming out of his mouth mean: "As once in Tiryns...". On the reverse is a youth in ceremonial dress playing the pipes as accompaniment.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA6602

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