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The north frieze of the Altar: the so-called “Nyx”

Unknown2nd Quarter 2nd century BCE

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

In the centre of the north frieze, a young goddess charges to the right. Her hair is pinned back and her garment swirls around her. She hurls a vase with a snake wrapped around it at her enemy, who is already falling to the ground. This extraordinary female figure has been interpreted as Nyx, goddess of the night, or Persephone, queen of the Underworld […]. The so-called Nyx begins a series of six female deities along the rest of the north frieze. The first three female figures, including Nyx herself, can be read as the Fates (Moirai) Klotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. A fragment of Klotho’s inscription was found to the north of the Altar. The second Fate is preserved only as far as her sandaled feet and the spear she drives into her snake-legged enemy, whose two snake heads face towards the right. The third Fate wears a quiver of arrows and would have also held a bow. She turns her head to the right, towards three goddesses with luxuriant long hair falling over their shoulders.

Details

  • Title: The north frieze of the Altar: the so-called “Nyx”
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 2nd Quarter 2nd century BCE
  • Location: Pergamon / Turkey
  • Physical Dimensions: w28.78 x h2.3 cm
  • Type: Frieze
  • Medium: Marble
  • Inv. no.: AvP III.2 GF 22, 5 - 22, 7
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814319
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Jürgen Liepe || Text © Verlag Philipp von Zabern / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Volker Kästner
  • Collection: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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