c. 480–470 BC
(Greek, Attic, active c. 480-460 BC)
Overall: 43.5 x 16.5 cm (17 1/8 x 6 1/2 in.)
The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1928.660
The painter lavished great detail on this warrior’s armor, even including a lion on his helmet’s cheekpiece!
Whether cutting his hair or combing it, this solitary warrior seems to be contemplating his fate. If mythological, he may be Parthenopaios or another of the ill-fated Seven Against Thebes, a band of warriors tasked with overthrowing that central Greek city. The Seven left mementos for their loved ones before departing, and he may be cutting a lock of hair for this reason. The same motive might apply to historical soldiers as well, and he may represent one of the many Greeks who battled the Persians around the time this vase was made. Unfortunately, the inscriptions painted on either side of the figure seem to be nonsense—actual Greek letters that do not spell out recognizable names or words.
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