Tondo: shield of warrior

Tondo: warrior, lower half

Tondo: head of warrior

Tondo: warrior, upper half

Tondo: warrior in barbarian costume

Exterior: view from below

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Int: warrior in barbarian costume
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Date: ca. 470 BC - ca. 460 BC

H. 0.078 m.; D. bowl 0.204 m.

Shape: Kylix
Period: Early Classical


Complete. Broken in half in antiquity and repaired with four pairs of bronze rivets; the crack and drill holes are now concealed by repainting.

Decoration Description:

Tondo: A young warrior stands to left on a small exergue, surrounded by a circular frame of linked maeanders. He is a peltast, a light infantryman equipped with a spear, a crescent-shaped shield (pelta), high leather boots with long flaps (endromides), a Thracian cloak (zeira decorated with battlements and dotted stripes, and a cap of eastern type, probably leather or felt, with long flaps in back and by the ears. This exotic costume is clearly intended to identify the peltast as a non-Greek, a "barbarian," but his nationality is not clearly defined, for although the cloak and boots are appropriate to a Thracian, the cap is not the spotted alopekis of fox or wildcat skin. The cap lacks the pointed tip customary on headgear worn by Scythian warriors, who are usually employed as archers, but this may have been omitted by the artist when he ran out of room at the top of his composition. As it is, the rounded top of the cap is closer to that of the Persian kidaris, which also has long flaps. The shield, too, is a barbarian type and is the one customarily given to Amazons and other non-Greeks. Adding to the confusion is the fact that these diverse elements of barbarian attire are often mixed and matched by Attic vase-painters, who were usually more concerned with identifying someone as a barbarian than as a member of any particular ethnic group. Even warriors who are clearly Greek may wear one or more pieces of "barbarian" costume; Greek cavalrymen, in particular, are frequently represented wearing the Thracian zeira. The nose and eyes decorating this warrior's pelta are a typically Greek motif and often appear as the device on round and quintessentially Greek "Argive" shields.

The exterior is all black except for the insides of the handles, the space between the handle roots, and the edge of the foot, and the shallow riser on top of the foot. A broad black band circles the underside of the foot.

Shape Description:

Type B kylix.

Collection History:

From von Marees Coll, Rome. Bequest of David M. Robinson.

Sources Used:

Robinson CVA, 2.

Other Bibliography:

CVA, Robinson 2, 15, pl. 10; Lissarrague 1990b, 154, fig. 87.