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Hercules and Athena are easily recognized by their attributes,
but the other figures are simply warriors and have variously been identified as Argonauts,
some of the Seven who fought at Thebes, and Athenian Heroes at Marathon.
The disposition of the figures at several levels instead of on a single ground line suggests the influence of wall-painting, and it has been convincingly argued that the scene is Hercules rescuing Theseus from the Underworld based on a painting in the Theseum at Athens. In the case, the two seated figures would be Theseus and Peirithous.
Niob Painter from Orvieto (c. 450 BCE)
Paris, Louvre G3411
(Click the image for a full screen view)
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Copyright ©1998-1999 Roy George