A pair of large eyes frames busts of the hero Herakles and his patron goddess Athena on one side of this black-figure cup. In the 500s B.C., Greek vase-painters frequently placed eyes on vessels, perhaps because they were believed to be apotropaic--that is, they had the power to ward off evil. The other side of the cup has a similar scene with three busts, one male and two female. The center female was once painted white and wears a type of headdress called a polos, typical of Greek goddesses. These busts, however, are harder to identify than those on the front of the cup. Some scholars identify them as Zeus, Hebe, and Hera, suggesting that the subject of the cup as a whole would be the apotheosis of Herakles, his introduction on Mount Olympus as a god. Other scholars, however, interpret the heads as Hades, Persephone, and Demeter and the cup's theme as Herakles' introduction into the Eleusinian Mysteries, a cult that promised a better afterlife to its followers.