Red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

Museum number

1843,1103.31

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Red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

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  • Red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos (jar) showing Odysseus and the Sirens.

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos.  (a) The ship of Odysseus passing the Sirens. The sea is represented by a narrow space in the foreground shaded in thinned black, and with a wavy outline of the same colour. In this the ship moves to left, propelled by oars, of which six are seen on the port side; the heads and shoulders of five bearded rowers are visible above the gunwale; the fourth and fifth are seated on the same thwart: the stroke oar looks round to left at no. 2; the rowers of the second and fifth oars are not shown, and there is a seventh port near the bows which is not occupied by an oar. High up in the stern seat sits the steersman between the two steering-oars (p?d???a), which work on cords attached to the ship's side; with his left hand he steers, his right is extended, and his mouth open, as if he were encouraging the rowers; he is bearded and has an himation around the lower part of his body. This figure and the first two rowers are wreathed, the other rowers have a fillet. Over the aphlaston a fringed piece of drapery decorated with crosses is hung (as ensign or s?µe????). The fore part of the hull is formed like the snout of a boar, with a large eye of archaic form painted in black; above it is a raised platform or forecastle formed of crossed spars, which reaches to the mast. Near the top of the mast is the ?a???s???, probably of metal, as it is shaded differently from the mast, with two projecting eyelet holes (t??????a?) in which the halyards (?µ??te?) run. The yard, with sail attached to it by a rope (coloured brown), is hoisted to the top of the mast, in a position oblique to the keel, and is kept in position by two braces (?p??a?), of which one is attached at the bows, the other at the stern, immediately in front of the steersman. The sail is brailed up along its whole length, the brailing ropes (µ???µata ?a??d???) indicated by brown lines here and there on the sail, and attached on deck within the steersman's reach. Odysseus, wreathed and bearded, is fastened against the bottom of the mast, facing the stern, with his arms behind his back lashed to it. His head is thrown back, looking upwards towards the Sirens. On each side of the scene a rocky promontory projects over the sea, with a Siren standing on the top. The Sirens are represented as birds with woman's heads, their hair looped up with a dotted stephane, a single tress hanging beside the ear (parotis): their lips are parted as though singing. The one on the left flaps her wings: over her is inscribed ???EP???, ?µe??pa. The one on the right stands still with folded wings. In front of her a third Siren flings herself down from the edge of the cliff, and falls headlong with closed eyes, as though already dead.  (b) Three Erotes flying over the sea. The sea is represented as in a. The Erotes fly in single file to right, the foremost inscribed HIMEPOS, ?µe???, carrying in both hands a long taenia decorated with key pattern and fringed ends; he looks round at the others, who carry a long tendril and a hare respectively. Their type is that of a full-grown boy, with long hair coiled above the neck (cf. ?67) and hanging over the ear, and a fillet. Beside each of the second and third figures is inscribed KA??S, ?a???.  At the bottom of the foot an incised character.  Purple rigging of ship, wreaths, fillets, and inscriptions. Brown inner markings, shading of the sea and sails, gunwale of boat, feathers of Sirens, earth in b, pinions of wings, and skin of hare. Eye in archaic form (both angles slightly open). Each design is enclosed in a panel, formed by (below) sets of three maeanders separated by chequer squares, (above) tongue surmounting egg pattern, (at sides) net

    Full: Front

  • Pottery: red-figured stamnos.  (a) The ship of Odysseus passing the Sirens. The sea is represented by a narrow space in the foreground shaded in thinned black, and with a wavy outline of the same colour. In this the ship moves to left, propelled by oars, of which six are seen on the port side; the heads and shoulders of five bearded rowers are visible above the gunwale; the fourth and fifth are seated on the same thwart: the stroke oar looks round to left at no. 2; the rowers of the second and fifth oars are not shown, and there is a seventh port near the bows which is not occupied by an oar. High up in the stern seat sits the steersman between the two steering-oars (p?d???a), which work on cords attached to the ship's side; with his left hand he steers, his right is extended, and his mouth open, as if he were encouraging the rowers; he is bearded and has an himation around the lower part of his body. This figure and the first two rowers are wreathed, the other rowers have a fillet. Over the aphlaston a fringed piece of drapery decorated with crosses is hung (as ensign or s?µe????). The fore part of the hull is formed like the snout of a boar, with a large eye of archaic form painted in black; above it is a raised platform or forecastle formed of crossed spars, which reaches to the mast. Near the top of the mast is the ?a???s???, probably of metal, as it is shaded differently from the mast, with two projecting eyelet holes (t??????a?) in which the halyards (?µ??te?) run. The yard, with sail attached to it by a rope (coloured brown), is hoisted to the top of the mast, in a position oblique to the keel, and is kept in position by two braces (?p??a?), of which one is attached at the bows, the other at the stern, immediately in front of the steersman. The sail is brailed up along its whole length, the brailing ropes (µ???µata ?a??d???) indicated by brown lines here and there on the sail, and attached on deck within the steersman's reach. Odysseus, wreathed and bearded, is fastened against the bottom of the mast, facing the stern, with his arms behind his back lashed to it. His head is thrown back, looking upwards towards the Sirens. On each side of the scene a rocky promontory projects over the sea, with a Siren standing on the top. The Sirens are represented as birds with woman's heads, their hair looped up with a dotted stephane, a single tress hanging beside the ear (parotis): their lips are parted as though singing. The one on the left flaps her wings: over her is inscribed ???EP???, ?µe??pa. The one on the right stands still with folded wings. In front of her a third Siren flings herself down from the edge of the cliff, and falls headlong with closed eyes, as though already dead.  (b) Three Erotes flying over the sea. The sea is represented as in a. The Erotes fly in single file to right, the foremost inscribed HIMEPOS, ?µe???, carrying in both hands a long taenia decorated with key pattern and fringed ends; he looks round at the others, who carry a long tendril and a hare respectively. Their type is that of a full-grown boy, with long hair coiled above the neck (cf. ?67) and hanging over the ear, and a fillet. Beside each of the second and third figures is inscribed KA??S, ?a???.  At the bottom of the foot an incised character.  Purple rigging of ship, wreaths, fillets, and inscriptions. Brown inner markings, shading of the sea and sails, gunwale of boat, feathers of Sirens, earth in b, pinions of wings, and skin of hare. Eye in archaic form (both angles slightly open). Each design is enclosed in a panel, formed by (below) sets of three maeanders separated by chequer squares, (above) tongue surmounting egg pattern, (at sides) net

    Full: Front

  • Black-figured pottery amphora. Under each handle, two patterns of spirals.  (a) Achilles slaying Penthesilea: Achilles steps to right, bearded, with long tresses, fully armed, high-crested helmet and short striped chiton, and has beaten down the Amazon queen Penthesilea on one knee, and plunges spear into her throat. She has a high-crested helmet with cheek-pieces and serpent in relief, short diapered chiton, over which is a pardalis (leopard skin), sword and shield, and looks back at him, thrusting vainly with spear; a stream of blood gushes from her wound. In front of Achilles is inscribed: ??????S; in front of Penthesilea: ???T?S????. On the left is inscribed: ??s???a? ?pt???se; on the right: ???t???d?? ?a???.  (b) Dionysos and Oinopion: Dionysos to left (facing left), bearded, with hair looped up and wreathed with ivy, long white chiton and embroidered himation, holds in left hand vine-branches, and with right gives a cantharos to his son, Oinopion, who stands facing him, nude and beardless, his hair looped up with a myrtle wreath, holding an oinochoe in right hand. In front of Dionysos is inscribed: S?S???? (retr.), ?????s??; above Oinopion: OINO?ION; behind him: ???t???d?? ?a???, as on (a).

    Full: Front