Collection: Athens, Agora Museum
Title: Cavalry contest two-sided relief
Context: From Athens, Agora
Findspot: Excavated at Athens, Agora
Summary: Cavalry galloping in formation
Object Function: Victory
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Single sculpture?
Style: Late Classical
Date: ca. 400 BC - ca. 350 BC

H 0.48 m

Scale: Miniature
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical

Subject Description:

Athenian cavalry galloping in formation from left to right. The five extant horsemen charge past a pilaster, an architectural detail of the composition which serves also to frame the image. Of the riders visible, all are young except the last. His age is indicated by his beard; unlike the others he is helmeted and carries a sword, apparently an officer. A second line of horsemen seem to be indicated behind these. On the reverse the hind leg of a lion is clearly a punning reference to the tribe Leontis, who is named in the inscription as the victor. Probably one of the equestrian contests connected with the Panathenaic festival is represented and this plaque commemorates the victory. Found close to where the Bryaxis base was found, probably close to where the contests were held. Roughly contemporary with the equestrian writings of Xenophon (e.g. Xen. Horse.; Xen. Cav..)

Form & Style:

A descendant of the riders of the Parthenon frieze.

Condition: Single fragment

Condition Description:

Lower corner of a two-sided relief. Surface is in good condition where preserved. Tiny holes for attachment of equipment in bronze.

Material Description:

Pentelic Marble


On the reverse: *L*E*O*N*T*I*S *E*N*I*K*A, "The tribe Leontis won the victory."

Collection History: Found in 1970 built into a late wall behind the Royal Stoa.

Sources Used: Shear 1971, 271-2; Camp 1986, 121-2; Agora Guide 1990, 204-5