c. 520–515 BCE
(Greek, Attic, active c. 530–510 BCE)
Diameter: 50.8 cm (20 in.); Overall: 33.6 cm (13 1/4 in.); Diameter of rim: 34 cm (13 3/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1971.46
Unable to stand on its own, this round-bottomed vessel probably once had a separately made base.
Designed for use at a symposium, or drinking party, this large dinos has a wide mouth allowing easy access to its contents—wine mixed with water (and sometimes other ingredients for flavoring). While drinking, symposiasts would often recite poetry and celebrate the mythological exploits of gods and heroes, perhaps prompted by the images painted on their pottery. Here, the vase-painter clearly anticipated such use; when the vessel was full, the ships painted on the inside of the rim would appear to sail across the “wine-dark sea” (to borrow a phrase found frequently in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey). Other heroic scenes, including Herakles wrestling the Nemean lion and Theseus battling the Minotaur, appear on top of the rim, interspersed with chariots and anonymous combats.
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