Amphora with Scene from the Iliad

Hattatt Painter-0540/-0520

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This amphora depicts scenes from Homer's Iliad, the greatest war epic of the ancient world. An amphora was a general-purpose container for liquids. In a funerary context, these vessels could also hold the ashes of the deceased. They are named for their two characteristic handles.

Here, two hoplites, or foot soldiers, engage in face-to-face battle. Both wear menacing Corinthian helmets. They hold shields on their left arms and wield spears in their right hands. Paris, the Trojan prince who started the war by abducting the beautiful Helen, flees from the battlefield. He wears Eastern dress and carries a quiver of the arrows that would eventually cause the death of the great hero Achilles.

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  • Title: Amphora with Scene from the Iliad
  • Creator: Attributed to the Hattatt Painter
  • Date Created: -0540/-0520
  • Physical Dimensions: w14 x h26.2 cm (overall)
  • Type: Ceramics
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Ceramic
  • Style: Archaic
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by George Fleming, Robin Gibbs, Lee Godfrey, Charles W. Tate, and Richard Mithoff in honor of Lee Hage Jamail at "One Great Night in November," and by Ali and Hicham Aboutaam


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