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The Core Curriculum

Blinding of Polyphemos, Lucanian Red Figure Calyx Krater, c. 410 BCE.

Relates to: 

A Calyx Krater was a large vase used to mix wine with water.

In this representation of the blinding of the Cyclops, Odysseus is wearing a mantle and a cap. He resembles a traveler, similar to representations of the god Hermes and the hero Oedipus. Odysseus and his companions are cutting off a tree trunk; this is what they will use to blind the Cyclops.

Notice that Polyphemos is holding a cup in his right hand. A wineskin is next to the cup, indicating the source of his drunkenness.

In the far right satyrs are depicted, as they commonly accompanied scenes of drinking. 

Notice how differently from other representations Polyphemos' blinding is represented on this cup. Is this representation more suited for a drinking vessel?



British Museum, London. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporaneous Resource
Access Level: 
Public Domain