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A t h e n a
The earliest and most complete procession to Athena appears on this black-figure band cup.
To date it represents the closest parallel in vase-painting for the Parthenon frieze.
At the far left Athena is only half preserved, but her shield and the snakes of her aegis secure her identification.
Between her and the flaming altar stands a grown woman, presumably a priestess.
She reaches for the hand of a cloaked man holding a branch who leads the procession.
He his followed by a younger female kenephoros.
The sacrificial victims compose the tritoia, better known in Roman art as the souvetaurelia:
bull, sow, and sheep.
The musicians are next, two pipe-players and a citharist.
Three draped men carrying branches are followed by three hoplites, armed with helmets, shields, and spears.
Among them is a draped male turned to the right, whom may be identified as a marshal, since he faces in the opposite direction.
Finally, emerging from the handle is a horseman with a spear.
Attic black-figure band cup (c. 550 BCE)
London, private collection
(Click the images for a full screen view)
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Copyright ©1999 Roy George