c. 350 BC
With handle: 30.3 cm (11 15/16 in.); Diameter of rim: 24.5 cm (9 5/8 in.); Diameter of foot: 13.1 cm (5 3/16 in.); without handle: 28 cm (11 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1977.179
The mythical fire-breathing Chimaera comprises a lion with goat’s head and neck, plus a snake-headed tail.
The dramatic scene on this bucket-like vessel (known as a situla, more common in bronze) shows the hero Bellerophon astride his winged horse Pegasos, taking aim with a spear at the monstrous Chimaera. Combining parts of a goat and snake with the body of a lion, this fearsome fire-breathing creature lived in Lycia (now southwest Turkey), where fire still burns from natural vents in the rock. Also present on the vase are Hermes and Athena, watching Bellerophon, as well as a small Pan and two young satyrs with stones. Are they taking aim at Pegasos or the Chimaera? Dionysos, Eros, and two maenads appear on the reverse.
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