Side A: head of Ajax

Handle: right of side A

Side A: Athena, upper half

Side A: Athena

Side A: oblique from right

Side A: Ajax and Achilles playing

Collection: Berlin, Antikenmuseen
Summary: Side A: Achilles and Ajax playing. Side B: four youths.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Hephaistos Painter
Context: From Gela
Date: ca. 440 BC

H. 41.5 cm.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 1114.9; Para, 452
Shape: Column krater
Region: Sicily
Period: Classical


The surface is mottled and discolored, and there is some loss of surface details.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Achilles and Ajax playing. The two men sit on a plinth playing a board game on a box positioned between them. Athena, dressed as Athena Parthenos (chiton, aegis, helmet), stands between the two men overseeing the game. She holds a spear in her left hand and a Nike (in chiton and short tunic) in her right. The Nike holds a wreath, ready to crown the winner, who is probably the man toward whom she and Athena face, Achilles. Achilles, on the left, is young and unbearded. Ajax, the older man, is bearded. The men play with their right hand and hold spear and shield in their left. Both both wear short tunics and have pushed their helmets up on their foreheads. Achilles wears a cuirass; Ajax's body is hidden by his shield. Ajax's shield device is an ass. On the far left, a youth stands watching the game and gestures with his left hand; in his right hand he holds a spear. The youth on the left wears a short tunic, chlamys and a petasos hanging down his back.

Side B: four youths. Four youths wearing mantles converse in pairs. On the right, one youth leans on his staff listening while his companion talks and gestures with his right hand, his other hand hidden under his mantle. The pair on the left almost duplicate the pair on the right, with the exception that the youth speaking gestures with both hands.

Sources Used:

Anz. 1892, 102-3.

Other Bibliography:

Jb. 52, 31; Bull. MFA 44, 49; Marb. Jb. 15, 62 fig. 32; Boardman 1989, fig. 200.