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The Core Curriculum

Agamemnon leads Briseis away from Achilles, Athenian Red Figure Skyphos, c. 480-470 BCE

Relates to: 

On the Athenian red figure skyphos (cup) whose restored images appear above, Agamemnon leads away Briseis, followed by two heralds. As Agamemnon is arriving at a stool in his tent, one of the heralds is looking back, perhaps expressing his fear of Achilles' anger.

On the same cup, the embassy of Aias, Odysseus, and Phoenix sent to Achilles in Iliad Book 9 is depicted. Achilles is seated and the three men sent to persuade him to return to battle surround him. Their names are inscribed above each figure. Notice how Achilles' sword is hanging on the wall. The distance between Achilles and his sword underlines the hero's refusal to join the battle.

Why would these two scenes be the ones chosen to decorate a cup used for drinking? How are the two images linked? 



Image and data via Wikimedia Commons; Image in the Public Domain.

Contemporaneous Resource
Access Level: 
Public Domain