Side A: trainer at center, from the knees up

Tondo: detail of inscription

Side B: hoplitodromos at center, from the knees up

Side A: hoplitodromos at left, from the waist down

Tondo: hoplitodromos, head

Side B: hoplitodromos at left, from the waist up

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Side A: Trainer and two hoplitodromoiSide B: Three hoplitodromoiInterior: Hoplitodromos.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to Onesimos
Context: Said to be from Greece
Date: ca. 490 BC - ca. 480 BC

H. 0.099 m.; D. 0.239 m.; Diam. with handles 0.313 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 323, 55; Beazley Addenda 2, 215.
Shape: Kylix
Beazley Number: 203306
Region: Greece
Period: Late Archaic


Broken into 42 pieces; mended with some repainting, now discolored. The greatest damage is to the shield in the tondo and the shield and lower legs of the left-hand athlete on side A. The different tonality of the fragments in the tondo are the result of different conditions of erosion and salt absorption. Uneven firing in places, resulting in reddish color or iridescence. A reddish arc running through the legs of the figures on side B is from the rim of another vessel which touched the cup during firing.

Decoration Description:

Interior: A nude athlete with a budding beard and moustache, drawn with dilute glaze, is practicing the start of the race in armor, the hoplitodromos, a name shared by the competitors themselves. He stands to the left with his feet slightly spread and the knees bent, his body bent over, and both arms fully extended. The left arm, which would hold the shield in the race, is extended a little farther than the right, so that the man's back is turned partially toward the viewer. His fringed hair is tied with both a reserved fillet and a more slender cord, the latter in added red. Dilute glaze is used for the ribs and minor muscles of the back, hip, and limbs. Behind the hoplitodromos, at right, one above the other, lie a pair of greaves. Before him, at left, his shield leans against an unseen support; the damaged device may be the same poplar or plane tree leaf that appears on the four shields on the exterior. On top of the shield sits a Chalcidian helmet with a horsehair crest. The pair of jumping weights (halteres) hanging at the upper right do not indicate that the athlete is practicing for the long jump; they simply contribute to the athletic ambiance, presumably that of the palaestra.

Side A: In the center, a trainer (paidotribes), wearing a himation and a red wreath, is instructing a hoplitodromos. The trainer leans on the knotty staff in his right hand and with his left hand holds a forked wand, the symbol of his authority and dispenser of corrective pokes and whacks to athletes not exhibiting proper form. The hoplitodromos bends to the right to pick up his shield; he is already wearing greaves and a helmet. The latter, like all the helmets on the cup, is of Chalcidian type, and the shield device, as on all the other shields, is a leaf from a poplar or plane tree. At right, a second hoplitodromos, fully equipped with helmet, shield, and greaves, is practicing his start. Although he also stands to the left, his stance is the reverse of the athlete in the interior, with the right leg advanced and the right arm farther forward. His shield differs from the others on the cup in that the leaf device is surrounded by a circle of feathery strokes of dilute glaze, perhaps an attempt at suggesting rotundity. Behind him is a pick, with one blade stuck in the ground. A pair of halteres hand from red cords above the trainer's right hand. Unlike the man in the interior, whose beard is beginning to grow, these athletes and the ones on side B are still beardless youths.

Side B: Three young athletes, all wearing greaves and helmets, are practicing for the hoplitodromos. The two at left are running to the right, without shields. The one at left leans over with head down, his right arm back, his left arm forward with fingers spread; his left foot rests on a shield lying flat on the ground. The middle runner leans backward, a stance popular in early 5th-century art. The runner at right faces left and carries a shield; his pose is a mirror image of the left-hand runner, but with both feet on the ground. As on the athletes on side A, dilute glaze is used for the ribs and wispy sideburns of the youths and for minor muscles of the limbs, neck, and abdomen.

The exterior groundline is a single, continuous reserved stripe; reserved stripes also circle the inside of the rim and the resting surface of the foot. The side of the foot, the interior of the stem, the insides of the handles, and the area between the handle roots are reserved.

Shape Description:

Kylix of type B, with continuous profile from bowl to foot; stem concave and relatively tall; offset ridge about a third of the way down the foot; two horizontal handles, roughly rectangular and tilted upward.


Inscriptions with red letters in all three scenes. Interior: Diagonally and retrograde, from the athlete's hip to the helmet: [epig-rough]*O*P*A*I*S ("The boy"; i.e. "The boy is handsome," as on side A). Side A: From the face of the left-hand athlete to the lower fork of the wand: [epig-rough]*O*P*A*I*S; from the trainer's cloak to the top of the pick: *K*A*L*O*S. Side B: Below the left arm of the first runner: [epig-rough]*O*P*A*I*S.

Collection History:

Joseph Brummer collection; Bequest of Frederick M. Watkins.

Sources Used:

Watkins 1973.

Other Bibliography:

Watkins 1973, 58-61, no. 22; Neils 1992, 89, fig. 55.