A Warrior's Vase of Life - Adam Kanfer

In this gallery I will take you through the different modalities of Greek Combat as told by vases. Each one of these pieces of art is a vase crafted throughout time. I believe that the combat throughout time are the most telling of how a culture and a civilization were representative in the past.

An "Amphora" is just a fancy name for vase in the Greek language. The Attic Black-Figure Amphora is about the Minotaur's death at the hands of Theseus, a Greek hero. The Minotaur is surrounded by Theseus and naked youth to watch the slaying. The bird flying by the vase going from right to left signifies the moment when Theseus attacks and stabs the Minotaur in the head killing him and freeing Athens from his terror.
The design on Storage Jar with Diomedes and Odysseus is showing Odysseus slitting Thracian's throat. With the horses and the riders in mid motion, it looks like they are going in a circle around the vase during the time of the murder. It appears that all of the animals are ignoring what is happening and looking past the killing.
On this vase you see Athena, in the middle, stabbing the warrior on the right, while the warrior on the left is watching this as it happens. Both of the warriors' bodies are facing away from Athena but their heads are both facing her when all of the commotion is happening.
The Black-figured amphora tells the story of Amazon warriors being brought to the battle at Troy and their leader is getting killed by Achilles. As Achilles is killing Penthesilea, her body is facing the other direction but she is still trying to fight him. She still has her spear trying to stab Achilles, but Achilles stabbed her first.
On this vase, you can see Achilles and Ajax playing a board game as the goddess Athena is watching them. It appears that Achilles and Ajax are concentrating on their game. However, they are wearing their armor which signifies they are not in a friendly area and had to be ready for battle. Athena is looking off into the distance, possibly looking for enemies.
The Storage Jar with Achilles and Ajax Gaming shows the two gods facing each other while Athena stands in between them. It seems like when she showed up they stopped what they were doing. To present herself to both of them, her body is facing the god on the right while her head is facing the god on the left.
Storage Jar with Aeneas and Anchises could be my favorite piece of my collection. It is very intriguing how the warrior in the middle has two different faces as he is watching both of the goddesses. On the one side, facing right, he is trying to kill or defend himself from her, while he still has his eyes on the other goddess. Above them is a chariot as it looks like he is about to go right and join the fight.
In the scene depicted on the vase, Heracles is threatening Eurystheus with the Erymanthean boar which he has on his shoulder. Behind Heracles on the left, Athena stands with her shield and her spear. On the other side is a female onlooker. The female onlooker's hand is extended out to almost show that she was trying to help Eurystheus.
The Attic Black-Figure Neck shows two scenes that are closely related. On the front, there is a warrior from the left of the vase about to kill the warrior who is trying to get away. The warrior on the right has his body facing right and his shield facing the oncoming threat, but it seems that he was too late.
Volute Krater shows a female goddess, coming in between two warriors fighting each other. The warrior on the right, the one with the sword and shield, is trying to run away from the fight. The warrior on the left with the spear is still trying to continue the fight. The goddess in the middle is trying to stop it, but it does not look like it is working and the warrior on the left is intent to kill the other warrior. I also choose this vase to show how parts of the vase changes over time (the handles) but the images still show the story the artist trying to convey.
Credits: All media
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