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172. 00.345 CUP from Tarquinia PLATE CIII, 2 and PLATE CV

Diameter 0.3559, height 0.1315. From the collection of Conte Bruschi at Tarquinia. FR. pl. 129, whence (I) Pfuhl fig. 586 (whence Stella p. 847), (I) Seltman pl. 4, b, (I) Haspels Eski yunan boyalı keramiği pl. 65, 2, (B) Jb. 57 p. 151 (Peters), (all) Riv. Ist. N.S. 4 pp. 126-7; the shape, Caskey G. p. 199 no. 53. Replica of the last, by the same hand (VA. p. 189; Att. V. p. 465 no. 3; ARV.1 p. 842 no. 3; ARV.2 p. 1319 no. 3). The drawings of these cups in FR. are not by Reichhold but by F. Anderson.

The two cups are said to have been found in the same tomb. The first mention of them is by Gustav Korte in AZ. 1878 p. 114. They are replicas, and will be described together. Cup X, as we shall call 00.344, bears a double signature on the exergue of the tondo, ΕΡΓΙΝΟΣ: ΕΠΟ[ΙΕ]ΣΕΝ and ΑΡ[Ι]ΣΤΟΦΑ[ΝΕ]Σ: ΕΓΡΑΦΕ complete aft. Cup Y, though rather the better of the two, is unsigned.

The cups are of Type B (our figure gives 00.344). The foot-plate is unusual: the profile of it is lipped below; and the underside of the foot has mouldings (which though common in stemless cups is rare in kylikes), besides a black band and some black lines. The Berlin cup with the same double signature1 has a similar foot, and is close to the Boston pair in other ways.

Inside, on an exergue, Nessos, with Deianeira in his arms, is overtaken by Herakles, who seizes him by the head and steps back for room to swing the club. The focus of the picture is the round head of the centaur, in three-quarter view, ringed by thick hair and beard. All four hooves are off the ground. Deianeira extends an arm towards Herakles. She wears bracelets, ear-rings, and a peplos with a pair of stripes down the right side and a longish apoptygma, overgirt. The wrap of Herakles passes over his left arm and right thigh, on the point of falling off: this is a favourite motive from the early classic period onwards2 and already occurs in the late archaic, on a cup by the Brygos Painter in the British Museum.3 Aristophanes has it several times.

Relief-contours. A few minor details of the male bodies are in brown lines. The hair is in dark waves on a lighter background.

In Y, the hollows of the folds are shaded with a brown wash which is not, however, applied very precisely; in X the shading is reduced to a few dabs. In X the hair of Deianeira is bound up with a cord that passes thrice round it; in Y it is in a sling, which is ornamented with a maeander in front and palmettes behind. In Y there are two rows of leaves, mostly washed with brown, near the lower edge of the skirt: this is of course a border, and not eye-folds as Hauser claimed. The same appears on the kolpos of Ge in the Berlin Aristophanes. On Y the lower lip of Deianeira is repainted, on X the ends of her hair near the nape. In both the 'odd man' of the maeander is west, a little north.

All three names are inscribed. ΗΡΑΚΛΕΣ and ΔΕΙΑΝΕΙΡΑ are the same in both cups. ΝΕΣΣΟΣ on X, ΝΕΣΟΣ on Y.

Hauser4 has pointed out the resemblance between these pictures and the Centaur attacking a woman on a fragment of a stemless cup in Leningrad. There, however, the style is lighter, purer, and nearer to the Meidias Painter, who may indeed be the artist.5 Even closer to the group on our cups, two figures on a volute-krater in Ferrara where the figures are not Perithoos and Deianeira but form part of a Centauromachy at the wedding-feast of Perithoos and may be Eurytion and Deidameia.6 There, as in our picture and in many others of the free style, the focus, the bull's eye of the design, is a round head in three-quarter view.

Outside. The egg-pattern above the pictures is a not infrequent enrichment on cups from the second quarter of the fifth century onward: it occurs, for example, in several cups by the Euaion Painter. The substitution of a maeander for the line border below the outside pictures is quite common on the more elaborate cups both in the late archaic period and after.

The floral design at each handle is fairly careful although without relief-lines. It includes 'internal helices', and acanthus-leaves at the base.7 The Aristophanes cup in Berlin has the same design.

The subject, which first appears in the early classic period, is the Centauromachy at the wedding-feast of Perithoos. There are three pairs, Lapith and Centaur, in each half. We begin with the half that includes the chief person, Perithoos, although the other half is more successful.

In the middle, the Centaur has turned tail, but Perithoos catches him by the hair and strikes down at him with a spit. On this occasion the fight started unexpectedly, and most of the weapons were improvised. (Spits are often used in this scene — already in the Centauromachy on the early classic volute-krater in New York.)8 The Centaur grasps the left arm of Perithoos, struggling to free himself. The attitude of Perithoos is much the same as on the new volute-krater in Ferrara;9 Hauser has compared the fragment of an Amazonomachy, contemporary with the Aristophanes cups, in Odessa.10 On Y the hero's face has turned out badly.

On the right, the chief companion of Perithoos — Theseus — has his opponent's head in chancery and throttles him. The motive is traditional, and occurs as early as the column-krater in Florence.11 Theseus was thought of as the inventor of scientific wrestling, and the Greek without a weapon in this scene is usually Theseus. On our cups the Centaur lays a limp hand on the hero's head and tries to grip him with his forelegs. On X the Centaur holds the hero's waist, but on Y the hand already drops.

On the left of the picture, the Centaur uses a wine-jar — a pointed amphora — for a weapon, but before he can bring it down the Lapith thrusts his sword into the Centaur's human belly. Before this, the jar has been broken on the person of a Lapith, or, missing him, on wall or floor.

In the middle of the other half, the Centaur, with raised fist, grasps a boy cup-bearer by the neck. The boy's wrap is held up in the left hand and hangs momentarily over the right thigh — the same motive, or nearly, as in the Herakles of the inside picture. In X the Centaur's head is in profile: in Y it is in three-quarter view like the boy's: this is an improvement; the two heads form a splendid focus for the picture and are the most attractive piece of drawing in the two cups, recalling coins of the period. The Centaur's hair falls over his forehead instead of back from it as in the other Centaur's. The boy's hair is long too, whereas the older Lapiths have short hair. In favour of X it should be said that it shows the boy's right hand, closed, which is concealed in Y; and also the right foreleg of the Centaur, the lower part of which in Y is simply suppressed. Y, in its turn, has a pair of creases — a favourite late-fifth-century detail — at the bend of the boy's elbow, which help to make it clear that the arm is seen from the front and not from behind. The attack on the boy cup-bearer is a regular feature of the Centauromachy at the Feast from the beginning, as we know from the West Pediment at Olympia and the volute-krater in New York. On a pelike in Barcelona he is seen fleeing.12

On the left, a Centaur, armed with a broken wine-jar, has been forced down on his haunches — cornered, one would say — and the Lapith attacks him with an axe. The figure with the axe is also traditional in this scene: again Olympia and the New York krater. According to Hauser the weapon on our vase is a hammer, but it looks more like an axe.

On the right of the picture, the Centaur uses a bronze lampstand as a weapon; the Lapith has a sword. In several of our pictures, one Lapith has a regular weapon — is allowed to have cautiously retained his sword. Lampstands are used in this scene on the calyx-krater by the Nekyia Painter in Vienna.13 Our lampstand is of a general type often represented on vases and known from many Etruscan and other originals.14 The three feet end in lion's paws, and there is an ivy-leaf in the axil between each pair of feet.

The technique is the same as inside the cup. The Lapiths are all wreathed for the feast: the stem of the wreath, and the berries, are white, the leaves reserved. The only garment — the boy's — has some shading in the hollows of the folds, at least on Y.

We have still to speak of the inscriptions, which are well preserved on X, not at all well on Y. They have been discussed by Edward Robinson in the Museum Report for 1903, p. 49, and by Hauser in FR. iii pp. 43-45. Miss Palmer and Miss Chapman have kindly re-examined them for me, and the list that follows includes new readings. In the middle group on A: in X, ΠΕΡΙΘΟΣ, Περίθους: (see iii p. 69; Boston 99.539), and ΥΨΙΠΥΛΟΣ, Ὑψίπυλος; in Y, ΠΕΡΙΘΟΣ, the Centaur unnamed. In the right-hand group on A: in X, ΘΗΣΕΥΣ and the Centaur ΝΥΚ[Τ]ΕΥΣ, Νυκτεύς; in Y, ΘΗΣΕΥ[Σ] and ΝΕΩΝ, Νέων. In the left-hand group on A: in X, Centaur is ΣΚΙΡΤΟΣ, Σκιρτός, the Lapith ΑΙΟΛΟΣ, Αἴολος; in Y, the Centaur is ΕΥΡΥΒΟΤΟΣ, Εὐρύβοτος, the Lapith ΚΡΕΘΕΥΣ, Κρηθεύς (enough of the fourth letter remains to show that it was either omikron or theta). In the middle group on B: in X the Centaur is ΑΝΤΙΒΑΤΕΣ, Ἀντιβάτης, the boy ΕΥΡΥΠΥΛΟΣ, Εὐρυπυλος; in Y, the Centaur is ΑΙΘΩΝ, Αἴθων, the boy ΠΟΛΥΑΙΝΟΣ, Πολύαινος. In the left-hand group on B: in X, the Centaur is ΕΓΡΕΤΟΣ, Ἔγρετος, the Lapith ΑΣΜΕΤΟΣ, Ἄσμητος. In Y, the Centaur is ΑΝΤΙΝΟΜΟΣ, Ἀντίνομος, the Lapith again ΑΣΜΕΤΟΣ. In the right-hand group on B: in X, the Centaur is inscribed ΜΑΙΝΕΥΕΣ, the Lapith ΑΝΤΙΘΗ[ΟΣ], Ἀντίθεος; in Y, the Centaur is ΤΕΛΕΣ, Τέλης, his opponents ΝΕΣΕΥΣ, Νησεύς. As the word Τέλης did not fill the space, the writer added a ΚΑΛΟΣ.

Lapiths. Kretheus and Aiolos are good Thessalian names, although those heroes belong to an older time than the contemporaries of Perithous, Kretheus being grandfather of Admetos, and Aiolos father of Kretheus. Ἄσμητος for Ἄδμητος as in other Attic forms, like Κάσμος for Κάδμος, Πολυφράσμων for Πολυφράδμων.15 The form already occurs in the François vase, and ΑΣΣΜΕΤΟΣ in the picture of his wedding on fragments of a red-figured loutrophoros, by the Methyse Painter, in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.16 No means of determining the exact sound of the consonant in such Attic words. A Neseus was a Thasian painter, dated by Pliny (35, 61) to the 89th Olympiad (424-420 B.C.). Antitheos and Polyainos may have been suggested to our artist, or to his monitor, or to a predecessor, by ἀντίθεον Πολύφημον in the most famous muster-roll of Lapiths (Iliad 1, 264 = 'Hesiod' Scutum 182; Hom. Il. 1.264; Hes. Sh. 182).

Centaurs. The name Hypsipyle is familiar, but Hypsipylos occurs only once elsewhere, as the name of a king of Methymna in a fragment of Apollonius Rhodius (J. U. Powell Collectanea Alexandrina p. 7; see van Groningen in Mnemosyne 4th ser., 4 pp. 107-12). Ἔγρετος is not known as a word elsewhere, and Hauser takes it to be for Ἐγερτός: but an ἔγρετος is implicit in νήγρετος. Σκιρτός is the name of a satyr in Nonnus (14, 11) and Σκίρτων of a Pan on a red-figured oinochoe, mid fifth-century, in the Agora Museum at Athens.17 Nycteus is one of the four horses of Pluto's chariot in Claudian (De raptu Proserpinae 1, 285); another is Aethon. Perhaps Σκιρτός was also a horse-name. ΜΑΙΝΕΥΕΣ seems an impossible word, and it is not clear what the writer meant, Μαινόλης or what. As to the form, the proper name Krateuas comes to mind, but is not helpful.

On representations of the Centauromachy at the Wedding-feast: Robert Marathonschlacht p. 49; Hauser in FR. ii pp. 301-2 and 322-5 and iii pp. 42-56; Schrader Pheidias pp. 169-76; Buschor in FR. iii pp. 188-9; Arias in Riv. Ist. N.S. 4 pp. 116-28 and 169-73. As the latest account does not separate the Centauromachy at the Feast from Centauromachies on other occasions, we give a brief list, without direct references to publications unless the vase is mentioned elsewhere in our commentary.18

  • 1. Florence 3997. Column-krater. FR. pl. 166, 2; CV. pl. 39, 3, pl. 43,1-3, and pl. 44, 2-3: ARV.1 p. 341, Florence Painter no. 1; ARV.2 p. 541 no. 1.
  • 2. Berlin 2403, frr. Volute-krater. ARV.1 p. 418, Niobid Painter no. 8; ARV.2 p. 599 no. 9.
  • 3. New York 07.286.84. Volute-krater. FR. pll. 116-17, whence (A) Pfuhl fig. 506; Richter and Hall pll. 97-98: ARV.1 p. 427, Painter of the Woolly Satyrs, no. 1; ARV.2 p. 613 no. 1.
  • 4. Louvre C 10749 and Tübingen E97. Volute-krater. Painter of the Woolly Satyrs. In ARV.1 p. 426, no. 28, it was said that the Tübingen fragment (Watzinger pl. 28) might be by this painter; Shefton has now seen that it joins the volute-krater recently put together from fragments in the Louvre. ARV.2 p. 613 no. 2.
  • 5. Vienna 1026. Calyx-krater. A.Z. 1883 pl. 18; Lücken pll. 111-12; Metr. St. 5 pp. 132-3, Jacobsthal: ARV.1 p. 717, Nekyia Painter no. 2; ARV.2 p. 1087 no. 2.
  • 6. Louvre G 621. Cup. ARV.1 p. 777, Painter of London E 105, no. 7; ARV.2 p. 1293 no. 9. The inside picture; the Centauromachy outside is not at the feast.
  • 7-8. Boston. Our two cups.
  • 9. Ferrara T. 136 A VP. Volute-krater. ILN. Dec. 4 1954 pp. 1014-15, figs. 10-11; Riv. Ist. N.S. 4 pp. 95-97, p. 98 fig. 5, pp. 99-102, p. 103 fig. 11, p. 108 fig. 16, pp. 117-23, pp. 129-33, Arias.
  • 10. New York 06.1021.140, fr. Volute-krater. ARV.1 p. 870, Painter of the New York Centauromachy, no. 2; ARV.2 p. 1408 no. 2.
  • 11. Barcelona 33. Pelike. Anuari 1908 pp. 37-41 and pll. 1 and 3 (Frickenhaus), whence (A) FR. iii p. 54.
  • 12. Tübingen F 16, frr. of a Faliscan vase, full fourth century, apparently Apulianizing. Watzinger pl. 46. A centaur wields a foot-bath (pl. 46, c), which surely connects the scene with the Centauromachy at the Wedding-feast: the artist is thinking of the ablutions preliminary to the feast. There are several pictures on the vase: see EVP. p. 102.
  • 13. London F 272. Apulian calyx-krater, later part of the fourth century. Mon. 1854 pl. 16. New typology, unconnected with the old.


  • 14. Olympia, West pediment.
  • 15. Parthenon, South metopes. The Centauromachy at the feast, but not strictly in the tradition, since some of the Lapiths wear chlamydes and one of them has a shield.
The two cups in Boston, and the cup with the same signatures in Berlin, are important examples of the florid style of the late fifth century. Aristophanes belongs to the Group of the Meidias Painter. In the best work of the Meidias Painter himself the style attains beauty; in his companions and imitators it does not. Aristophanes is one of those who apply the florid style to the rendering of heroic action, for which it is quite unsuited. There is plenty of movement and spirit in his cups: handsome work; at the first impact, and for a moment, effective.

R. G. Kent, The Baffled Hercules from Sparta (1923), pp. 16-17; Walston 1926, pp. 47-48 (fig. 46), 69 (fig. 72), 71; Metzger 1951, p. 192, no. 6; Brommer 1956, pp. 92 (no. B 5), 132 (no. B 5); EAA, I, pp. 654-655 (G. Becatti); Brommer 1960, pp. 122 (no. B 5), 169 (no. B 5); Palmer 1962, pp. 78, 80 (fig. 68), 81, 84 (fig. 71); Marcadé 1962, pp. 156-157, color illus.; B. B. Shefton, Hesperia 31 (1962), pp. 338-339, 342, 357-359, 366, no. 12, pls. 107b, 108; H. R. Immerwahr, The James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science 46 (1964), pp. 25-27; Noble 1965, p. 52; Sedlmayr & Messerer 1967, p. 42 (W. Züchner); Fittschen 1969, p. 123, note 609d; Richter 1970c, p. 31, fig. 140; E. Vermeule, JdI 85 (1970), pp. 102-103; Fittschen 1970, pp. 163 (as 00.245), 165, 168-171; Para., p. 478, no. 3; H. Froning, 1971, Dithyrambos und Vasenmalerei in Athen (BA 2), Würzburg, Triltsch, pp. 72, 115, note 442; J. P. Barron, JHS 92 (1972), p. 29; Charbonneaux et al. 1972, pp. 270-271 (figs. 310-311), 392 (F. Villard); Brommer 1973, pp. 157 (no. B 3), 223 (no. B 5); S. Woodford, JHS 94 (1974), p. 165, nos. L. and M.; Lezzi-Hafter 1976, pp. 47, 51, 118, no. O 28, pl. 56 b; W. A. Daszewski, 1977, La Mosaïque de Thésée: études sur les mosaïques avec représentations du labyrinthe, de Thésée et du Minotaure (Nea Paphos II), Varsovie: Editions Scientifiques de Pologne, p. 48, note 15; Cooper 1978, p. 148, fig. 43; F. V. K. Stern, Archaeological News 7 (1978), p. 16, fig. 13; Brommer 1979a, p. 19 (ref. to FR, 129); LIMC, I, 1, p. 221, no. 18 (M. Schmidt); Beazley Addenda 1, p. 181; Moon 1983, pp. 175, 188, note 47 (B. Cohen); A. Lezzi-Hafter, in Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1 (1983), p. 113, no. XIII, 2; U. Knigge, AA 1983, p. 211, note 7; K. A. Schwab, Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2 (1985), pp. 93-94, figs. 5a-b; B. Schmidt-Dounas, 1985, Der Lykische Sarkophag aus Sidon, Tübingen, E. Wasmuth, p. 87, note 354; Burn 1987, pp. 45-46, 103, no. A 3; Amyx 1988, p. 575, under no. 71; H. Metzger, RA 1989, p. 164; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 363; LIMC, V, 1, p. 442 (E. Simon); CVA, Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum, 3, p. 91, under pl. 46 (C. Weiss); EpaA 1990, p. 209, under no. 52 (D. von Bothmer); EdM 1991, p. 225, under no. 52 (D. von Bothmer).

1 Berlin 2531: FR. pl. 27, whence Hoppin i p. 50, (B) Pfuhl fig. 587, (I) Swindler fig. 346; I, Neugebauer pl. 65, 2; CV. pl. 119, pl. 120, 1-3, pl. 121, 2-4, and pl. 133, 10 (Greifenhagen); the palmettes, Jacobsthal O. pl. 86, d: ARV.1 p. 841 no. 1; ARV.2 p. 1319 no. 1.

2 JHS. 59 p. 20, 53.

3 London E 69: Archaeologia 32 pll. 8-9 and 11; WV. 6 pl. 2; Hofkes-Brukker pl. 10: ARV.1 p. 246 no. 2; ARV.2 p. 369 no. 2.

4 FR. iii p. 50.

5 Compte Rendu 1869 pl. 4, 13, whence FR. iii p. 47: ARV.1 p. 834 no. 4; ARV.2 p. 1329 no. 116.

6 See iii p. 87 no. 9 (vase description for Boston 00.345).

7 For the helices see above, iii p. 68 (Boston 00.355); for the acanthus-leaves, Jacobsthal O. pp. 192 ff. and Greek Pins pp. 69 and 71. The Berlin floral, Jacobsthal O. pl. 86, d, and CV. pl. 119, 4.

8 New York 07.286.84: see iii p. 87 no. 3 (Boston 00.345). On the Ferrara krater (iii p. 87 no. 9 (vase description for Boston 00.345): Riv. Ist. N.S. 4 p. 118 fig. 25, p. 119 fig. 26, and p. 121) the weapon is a spit, not, as it has been called, a spear. On the volute-krater in the Louvre (iii p. 87 no. 4; vase description for Boston 00.345) the Centaur attacks with a spit.

9 iii p. 87 no. 9 (vase description for Boston 00.345).

10 Stern Theodosia pl. 3, 16.

11 Florence 3997: see iii p. 87 no. 1 (vase description for Boston 00.345). On the Barcelona pelike (iii p. 87 no. 11; vase description for Boston 00.345) the artist has misnamed the wrestler, ΠΕΡΙΘΟΣ.

12 New York: p. 87 no. 3. Barcelona: p. 87 no. 11.

13 Vienna 1026: p. 87 no. 5.

14 Dohrn in RM. 66 pp. 61-63.

15 Kretschmer Vaseninschriften pp. 148-9.

16 ARV.2 p. 632, below, no. 1.

17 Athens, Agora P 21860: Hesp. 22 pl. 26, 9, with p. 68.

18 (From Addenda to Part III) P. 87: on the Centauromachy at the wedding-feast see now Shefton in Hesperia 31 pp. 330-68 and 414-5.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 182
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.264
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