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90. 95.44 LEKYTHOS, fragmentary from Thebes (see no. 88 PLATE XLVI, 90

Height 0.411. Classical Studies presented to Edward Capps p. 245 fig. 5 (Luce); the shape, Caskey G. p. 215. The wedding of Menelaos and Helen. On the left, downwards, ΗΙΠ[Π]ΟΝΚΑΛΟΣ. About 470-460 B.C., by the Providence Painter (VA. p. 76; Att. V. p. 135 no. 46; ARV. p. 434 no. 54).

A young man stands with left leg frontal, right leg in profile, holding a flower-crowned sceptre in his right hand near the top, and looking towards a woman whom he takes by the wrist to lead her forward. His head is wreathed, and he wears a himation; she a chiton with kolpos, and over it, shawl-wise, a himation which veils the back of her head. The front of a metal head-band is preserved, the upper part of it notched or embattled. The figures are contoured with relief-lines; the outer line of the woman's hair-reserve, above the head-band, is also a relief-line. 'The brown lines on the body of the youth, for his whisker, for the woman's nostril, and in her kolpos, hardly come out in the photograph. Her eye is dot-and-circle.

The various kinds of group, not always easy to interpret exactly, in which a man or youth leads a woman by the hand, have been studied by Massow (AM. 41 pp. 58-62 and 64-5) and Miss Haspels (BCH. 1930 pp. 15-23). Our group is one of the many representing bride and bridegroom. In such scenes on Attic loutrophoroi, the pair move to right; but elsewhere the direction is often leftward as here: for example, on a cup by Euphronios in Athens (Athens, Acr. 176: Langlotz pl. 8: ARV. p. 18 no. 15), on a cup by the Amymone Painter in Berlin (Berlin 2530: Stackelberg pl. 42: ARV. p. 551 no. 17), on an oinochoe in Tübingen (Tübingen E 174: Watzinger pl. 38). The free hand of the bridegroom is usually empty: but on a white pyxis by the Splanchnopt Painter in London he carries a stick (Murray WAV. pl. 20: ARV. p. 592 no. 52); Herakles at his wedding retains his club (pyxis in Philadelphia, Burl. Cat. 1903 pl. 96, I 74, Mus. J. 7 pp. 270 and 272; pyxis in the collection of Prof. Andreas Alföldi, Budapest, Corolla Curtius pll. 52-3); while on a cup in the Louvre, Louvre G 265, by the Painter of Louvre G 265 (Pottier pl. 133: ARV. p. 273, middle, no. 1), and on a nuptial lebes, from the Mannerist Group, in Athens (Athens 1172: Collignon and Couve pl. 43, 1229: ARV. p. 397 no. 31) the bridegroom holds a sceptre as on our lekythos; perhaps also on the oinochoe, already quoted, in Tübingen (Tübingen E 174: Watzinger pl. 38).

The figures on our lekythos can hardly be simple bride and bridegroom, as they doubtless are on the loutrophoroi: they must be a particular pair. At first I called them Menelaos and Helen (VA. p. 76); later, Paris and Helen (Att. V. p. 135; ARV. p. 434), thinking not of the departure from the house of Menelaos, but of the wedding at Troy, which is represented, in a more elaborate form, on a Middle Corinthian column-krater in New York (Bull. Metr. 23 pp. 48-9, Alexander: Payne NC. pl. 33, 5 and p. 318 no. 1187: see also AJA 1950 p. 310. Peleus and Thetis would also be possible. Menelaos and Helen, however, are the most likely. The clue is given by the Brygos Painter's lekythos in Berlin (Berlin 2205: Millingen AUM. 1 pl. 32; Neugebauer pl. 54, 1: ARV. p. 255 no. 153), where the name is inscribed, ΜΕΝΕΛΕΟΣ. There is a difference: the Brygan youth wears a helmet and greaves as well as a himation, and holds a spear instead of a sceptre. He may be thought of as leading Helen away after the award, rather than at the actual wedding. That Menelaos might appear at his wedding in civilian costume can be shown, if necessary, from a later version of the same subject, on the oinochoe in Tübingen, of about 400 B.C., mentioned twice already (Tübingen E 174: Watzinger pl. 38): the presence of a kalathiskos-dancer, as Watzinger observed, shows that the Tübingen couple are Menelaos and Helen.

Menelaos as the fortunate suitor is depicted on a footed alabastron, Apulian of A.P. style, in Boston (Boston 00.360: described in Annual Report 1900 p. 470): the young hero sits to left, leaning on his stick, his head in three-quarter view to right; Helen approaches him, to left, her himation veiling the back of her head, with a mirror in her hand; Eros flies down towards Menelaos with a wreath; behind him a woman plays the harp: inscriptions ΜΕΝΕΛΑΟΣ, ΗΕΛΕΝΑ. On B, a seated youth, and a woman with a pair of phialai and a fan.1

The wedding of Menelaos was treated by Stesichorus; the gathering of Helen's suitors is described in fragments of the Hesiodean Catalogues (94-6 Rz.), and this was doubtless followed by an account of the wedding.

Ghali-Kahil 1955, p. 115, no. 108, pl. 85, 1; Brommer 1960, p. 291, no. B 3; ARV2, pp. 640 (no. 76), 1663; B. A. Sparkes, JHS 87 (1967), p. 124; Brommer 1973, p. 403, no. B 3; K. Hamma, GettyMusJ 11 (1983), p. 126, fig. 5; LIMC, IV, 1, pp. 514 (no. 63), 556, IV, 2, pl. 302, illus. (L. Kahil with N. Icard); Beazley Addenda 2, p. 274.

1 The wooing is shown on an Etruscan mirror in Naples (Gerhard ES. pl. 197; JHS. 69 p. 7 fig. 5): Menle, a youth in armour, offers Elina a necklace; both are seated, and Turan stands between them.

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