Side A: symposium with Herakles, Eurytos, and his children

Left handle: Ajax, Odysseus and Diomedes

Rim: animal frieze

Side B: four warriors at left

Side B: four warriors at left

Side A: Herakles, Iphitos, and Iole

Collection: Paris, Musée du Louvre
Summary: Upper frieze: Side A: symposium, Herakles with King Eurytos and his children. Side B: battle before TroyLower frieze: Horsemen.
Ware: Corinthian
Context: From Caere
Date: ca. 600 BC - ca. 590 BC
Dimensions: H. 0.46 m
Primary Citation: Payne 1931, 100ff., 302 no. 780
Shape: Krater
Ceramic Phase: Middle Corinthian
Region: Etruria
Period: Archaic


Decoration Description:

On side A in the upper panel, a symposium meal is depicted, with the participants reclining on couches. King Eurytos and his four sons, as well as Herakles are present. Iole, whom Herakles has won in an archery contest with Eurytos and his sons (her father and brothers), stands near Herakles. The scene shows four couches, the two on the left occupied by two figures apiece, the two on the right by one each. On the far left, two of Eurytos's sons, Klytios and Toxos, are present, somewhat poorly preserved. Klytios turns toward the neighboring couch and raises a drinking cup in his right hand. On the second couch, Eurytos and his son Didaion appear, Eurytos holding a bowl in his left hand and Didaion a drinking cup in his right. On the third couch is Eurytos's eldest son Iphitos is pictured, also holding a drinking cup in his right hand. Herakles lies on the far righthand couch, grasping a meat knife in his right hand. He and Iphitos appear to be in conversation. In the foreground between them stands Iole, her body turned toward Herakles, but her head turned back to look at her father. In front of each kline is a table laden with food and drink, and under each crouches a dog leashed to the legs of the furniture. All six males wear identical red wraps that leave only their right shoulders and arms open. Their faces and necks are painted red, their beards black. Iole wears a long black garment covered by a red cloak. The scene is bordered above by a chain of lotus and palmettes.

In the lower panel, a procession of horsemen in short red chitons rides to the right on black horses with red flanks and necks. The procession continues around both sides of the vase. Below is a zone of black and red stripes and rays of black and red radiating up from the black and red striped base.

On side B, warriors before Troy are depicted. Under the left handle, Ajax crumples on his sword, which has run him through. Standing over him, Odysseus and Diomedes face each other, holding their round shields and spears, wearing helmets and greaves. The righthand figure, whose body is visible in front of his shield, also has a red cuirass. The shield device for the lefthand figure is a spiral. On the left side of the main scene an archer crouches, bow drawn and quiver on his back, behind a group of four warriors. One has fallen on his back, while the other three face off, naked except for their helmets and greaves, each clutching his shield and spear. The two shield devices on the left are a rooster and a spiral. The fallen warrior wears a short red chiton in addition to his armor. In the center of the scene, a pair of warriors faces off, each in helmet and greaves, the righthand figure in a red cuirass. Each raises his spear against the other. The lefthand shield device is a panther. On the right of the scene is a similarly posed pair. Behind them crouches a hunter, with two deer as prey, one wounded.

Around the flat mouth of the vessel is an animal frieze, with lions, panthers, dogs, deer, sheep, sirens, and birds pictured.

Shape Description: Column krater

Inscriptions: On side A, each figure is named in Corinthian letters: from left, Toxos's name (poorly preserved), *K*L*U*T*I*O*S (Klytios), *D*I*D*I*Av*O*S (Didaios), *E*U*R*U*T*I*O*S (Eurytos), V*I*F*I*T*O*S (Iphitos), V*I*O*L*A (Iole), and [epig-rough]*E*R*A*K*L*E*S (Herakles). Under the left handle the names of Ajax, Odysseus, and Diomedes are badly preserved.

Sources Used: Simon & Hirmer 1976, p. 52, no. XI (with previous bibliography)