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The Alkmene hydrias and Vase Painting in late-Sixth-century Athens.


A black-figure hydria attributed to the Alkmene Painter resurfaced after a century out of sight. Reassessment of the hydria leads to a modified attribution and revised ideas about black-figure painters working in Athens during the late sixth century B.C. Style, novel compositions, and the syntactical practice of repeating figures across fields to create narrative connections and paradigmatic relationships reveal artistic innovation. Iconographic and inscriptional evidence confirms the use of hydrias in elite convivial events. The choice of black-figure to reflect Peisistratid fountain-house construction suggests a conservative elite sensibility at the time that the Kleisthenic reforms were beginning to take shape.


In the last third of the sixth century B.C. in Athens, potters and painters produced a large number of hydrias, vases for collecting and carrying water, the majority decorated in the black-figure technique. (1) J. D. Beazley attributed most of these hydrias to two large workshops, the Antimenes Painter and his circle and the Leagros Group. (2) John Boardman's is a typical characterization of the hydria painters when he says the Antimenes Painter is "little influenced by [red-figure]" and is a "reliable conservative"; (3) the painter may draw on a wide range of subject matter, but very little is his own inspiration or invention. This assessment extends to members of the painter's circle. The Leagros Group fares slightly better in Boardman's estimation: there are some new subjects, new compositions of old subjects, and new points of interest in old standards; nevertheless, he describes the Leagran novelty as "a different, though parallel tradition" to red-figure innovations, despite some instances of sharing between the Leagros Group and certain bilingual painters. (4) According to this profile, the black-figure hydria painters are traditional in style and mainly isolated from the trendsetters of the time.

The historical picture for this period in Athens is one of political excitement and dramatic change; the sons of the tyrant Peisistratos are powerful, influencing the arts and constructing new buildings. One son is assassinated, and ultimately a series of reforms by Kleisthenes institutes profound and enduring change in the political role of the Athenian elites. Given that the burst of production in Athenian black-figure hydrias appears to coincide with a great Peisistratid architectural effort, a new fountain house in the Athenian Agora, it is puzzling to think that the hydria painters, on the one hand so responsive to a new element on the visual landscape, are out of the artistic mainstream and somewhat conservative.

The recent rediscovery of an unusual black-figure hydria (Figs. 1-4) attributed to a member of the circle of the Antimenes Painter, the Alkmene Painter, provides us with an occasion to look again at the apparently incongruous cause-and-effect relationship between an architectural event and a ceramic backwater. So doing opens up a valuable reconsideration of the interconnected roles of black- and red-figure artists in the Athenian iconographic, stylistic, and technical revolution during the last third of the sixth century B.C. Moreover, this second look prompts us to consider again the indirect role of Athenian political and cultural leaders in this revolution. One group of black-figure hydria painters is exposed as players responding to external events in an energetic artistic milieu, rather than reflectors of--or simply outside of--trends set by red-figure counterparts. In addition, this second debut for the Alkmene Painter's hydria answers the invitation extended by the recently constituted Museums and Exhibitions Committee of the Archaeological Institute of America: to exploit fully the potential for rediscoveries of material legally obtained but languishing forgotten in the back corners of museum collections. (5)


In this article I first present the rediscovered hydria and assess its attribution and artistic interconnections. I then place this hydria and others like it within the social and political context of late-sixth-century Athens.


In the mid-19th century, an Attic black-figure hydria was on the art market in Rome and appeared in Gerhard's Auserlesene griechische Vasenbilder (Fig. 1). (6) In May of 1930, the hydria arrived in Philadelphia via the S.S. London Citizen. Edwin A. Quier had purchased it from Sydney Burney's gallery at 13 St. James Place in London, and he gave it immediately to the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. (7) Although the documents that accompanied the hydria identify it as "London 1519.69," it was not demonstrably ever part of a major museum collection there. (8) We do not know where the hydria was between its moment on the art market in the 19th century and 1930.

Scholars have occasionally cited the hydria from the drawing in Gerhard's publication. On the basis of that drawing, for example, J. D. Beazley attributed the hydria to the Alkmene Painter, one of the artists working in the wider circle of the Antimenes Painter around 530-510 B.C. (9) Although it is listed in ABV and Paralipomena, the vase remained out of circulation with its whereabouts unknown to scholars until the mid-1990s. At that time, the museum in Reading was reorganized under the direction of a private board of directors, and the ensuing publicity brought the collection of antiquities out of obscurity. (10)

The only other piece attributed to the Alkmene Painter by Beazley is a very similar hydria in the British Museum (London B 301; see below, Figs. 5, 6). (11) This hydria also apparently came through Italy, as its original publication by Micali would suggest. The Princess di Canino sold it to the British Museum in 1843. (12) Beazley observed that the two hydrias have a great deal in common, both stylistically and iconographically; a consideration of each in turn will lead to an evaluation of Beazley's attribution.



The rareness of the composition of the main scene on the Reading hydria caught the attention of scholars who saw it in Gerhard's drawing, and it is indeed unusual (Figs. 2-4). Herakles, wearing a himation tied around his waist, sash-style, has thrown the Nemean lion over on its back, where it lies protesting, with rear legs kicking uselessly. As Herakles grasps the throat of the lion with his left hand, he steps on its left shoulder with his left foot and prepares to strike the beast's belly with the club he holds in his right hand. The lion appears to choke as a result of the hero's neckhold, and his front paws flail the air.

The observers to the match are less unusual than the positions of hero and lion. At the right, Athena walks right, away from the struggle, but looks back over her shoulder. She wears her aegis over her peplos, and she carries her spear in her left hand and extends her right hand, holding her high-crested Attic helmet back in the direction of the hero and lion. A quiver and bow hang at the left, above Herakles, and a sword in a scabbard hangs to the right. A draped female figure stands to left, holding a staff topped by a floral ornament in her right hand and gesturing, with left elbow bent and fingers spread, toward the struggle.

The identity of this female figure is uncertain. In several cases, a female figure joins Athena, Hermes, and Iolaos in various combinations observing Herakles wrestle with the lion, and she is tentatively identified as the eponymous nymph, Nemea. (13) Her name is never inscribed, however, and "Nemea" is only a guess for a figure who has no attributes that would otherwise identify her. (14) Another potential identity for a female figure who watches Herakles is his mother, Alkmene, who is labeled on the London hydria by the Alkmene Painter. Since there is no label on the Reading hydria, however, the figure's identity must remain uncertain. (15) In sum, what we see in the main scene of the hydria is a relatively common frame, two observers, with a novel central group of hero and beast.

The shoulder scene (Fig. 3) is more conventional. Athena appears again, here in armed combat with a giant. She runs right, with a very wide stride and the left leg off the ground, and grasps the crest of her adversary's helmet with her left hand. She holds her spear aloft, point down toward the ground, in her right hand. Here the goddess wears her high-crested helmet, and a himation replaces her aegis over the peplos. The giant, significantly shorter than the goddess, runs right with an exceptionally wide stride and looks back over his shoulder at Athena. He wears a Corinthian helmet, cuirass, baldric, and greaves; he carries a round shield, extended on his right shoulder and arm, and holds a spear horizontally in his left hand.

The central combat group is framed identically on each side by a quadriga driven at a very fast pace by a charioteer. An armed figure with Corinthian helmet, cuirass, and greaves, and holding a spear and round shield, runs with a very wide stride behind each chariot. Although the figures of Athena on the shoulder and belly wear different clothing, the stride and arm position of the former are echoed by those of Herakles, placed directly under the goddess, in the belly scene. The predella depicts two grazing goats, facing inward, flanking a panther who stands to the right as he looks out at the viewer. A palmette appears at each border of the field.


The London hydria also concerns Herakles, Athena, and the Nemean lion adventure; it is replete with elaborate detail, including labels (Figs. 5, 6). The main scene on the belly shows Herakles reclining as monoposiast on a fancy kline with decorated mattress and pillow (Fig. 6). He wears a fillet in his hair and has a richly colored and embroidered himation wrapped around his waist. To the right stand Athena and Hermes; Athena wears her high-crested Attic helmet, a colorful and embroidered peplos, and her aegis. She holds with both hands a wreath or another fillet out to Herakles. Hermes stands behind Athena at the far right of the scene, and he wears petasos, chlamys, and winged shoes, and carries his kerykeion. At the foot of Herakles' kline is Alkmene. Her himation is pulled up over her head, and covers much of her peplos, which is decorated with a dotted lozenge. Her jewelry includes earring, necklace, and bracelet. Both arms are bent at the elbow and gesture with extended fingers toward Herakles. A table alongside the kline holds food--meat and bread--and a kantharos. The props that appear in the field make it clear that Herakles is resting from fighting: his quiver and bow lean against the small table, his club leans against the far side of the kline, and his sword and scabbard hang above, in the field. Most striking is his lionskin, hanging above the foot of his couch, with a dramatic top view of the head and muzzle, flame-patterned mane, and stippled skin.

Scholars have noted several unusual aspects of this scene, but the label identifying Alkmene, Herakles' mortal mother, is its most striking feature. Indeed, this is the only example on any preserved vase where Alkmene is labeled. (16) The prominence of the lionskin and the elaborate decoration on the kline, although they are not unique, are two other special features of the scene as rendered here.

The shoulder scene depicts Herakles in the midst of wrestling with the lion (Fig. 5). He leans over to the right, prone, in a scheme named by Marwitz the Wippschema (see below), in which the hero at left pushes from his feet, choking the lion in a neck-hold. (17) The lion's mouth is stretched wide open, a response to being choked. His left hind foot is set firmly against the hero's head. The dramatic mane, the shagginess of which extends along the lion's back and down onto his haunches, appears much as it does in the main scene, except that there is no stippling.

At the right, Athena runs toward the center with both knees bent, appearing almost to kneel on her left knee. As in the main scene, she wears a high-crested Attic helmet, striped peplos, and aegis, but all three are decorated slightly differently in comparison to their counterparts below. She holds her spear in her left hand and gestures toward the struggle with her right arm fully extended. Iolaos sits at the left on a block-stool, watching the fight. He wears cuirass, chitoniskos, and baldric. He holds Herakles' club in his right hand, elbow bent at midchest level, and with his left hand he gestures, his left arm also bent at the elbow, toward Herakles and the lion. Baldric and scabbard and quiver, but no bow, hang in the field over hero and beast. Once again, each figure is labeled. The names of Athena and Herakles are spelled the same way in each case, but both in the main field are retrograde inscriptions in contrast to the orthograde writing on the shoulder. The predella (Fig. 6) shows a stag hunt: two nude youths run behind two who ride horseback; all four frame the stag.

The same subsidiary ornament appears on the two hydrias at the join between shoulder and neck, where there is a zone of alternating red and black tongues, and along the sides of the main panels, where there is a double row of vertical ivy. The Reading hydria has, in addition, a line of simple meanders running left at the junction of main field and shoulder, as well as palmettes framing the animals on the predella. The repertory of characters on the predella differs: on the Reading hydria, there are three animals, two goats surrounding a panther, while on the London vase, runners and horsemen surround a single stag. There is significant added color on the London vase, but it is minimal on the Reading hydria. (18)


Now that we can do what Beazley could not--compare photographs of the two vases, and consider them both, at least individually, "in the flesh"--we can assess his attribution. Because there is overlap in the casts of characters and their attributes, a careful inventory of similarities is possible. Much is indeed identical, from the hero's collarbones to the unusually shaggy and lengthy mane of the lion to the helmet of Athena. But folds on drapery do differ: the very prominent long verticals on the London amphora are tight squiggles, almost dashes; we see similar wavy lines on the zigzag edges of Herakles' garment on the Reading vase, but the vertical lines on the drapery are straight. Drapery on the London example is everywhere dotted as is the skin of the lion; the Reading example lacks these embellishments. Bangs on corresponding characters are different: Athena and the female opposite her on the London hydria have undulating hairlines, but these are simple curves on their counterparts in Reading; the London Herakles has two or three rows of rich spirals for curls, while his Reading counterpart has one row of simple connected circles. The eye of the London Herakles is very prominent and round with both iris and pupil detailed; the Reading hero has an almond-shaped eye with a small dot at center for the pupil.

Herakles' attributes also have subtle differences: the Reading quiver is elaborate, with a distinctive cover flap that resembles a wing, and straight diagonal stitching; the curvaceous bow is carefully tucked under straps at bottom and midpoint. On the London vase, stitching is curved, the cover flap is long and narrow without detail, and the bow is slight and propped against the leg of the kline rather than tucked into the quiver. Clubs differ: the London example is rounded at the tip, knots are randomly placed, and knobs have incised circles at their bases to suggest their affinity to knots. The Reading club is a straight, thin rectangle with a precise row of knots indicated by regular incised circles down the center, and knobs are regular scallops with no incision and sharp points.

Overall, the two main scenes give different impressions. The London example is rich with detail; incision is everywhere prominent. There is much added color. The Reading example, by contrast, seems plainer, less cluttered, and simpler, with less incision and, as noted above, almost no added color. Two details reveal the influence of the red-figure style on the London hydria: the ubiquitous wavy lines for vertical and diagonal drapery folds, and the long, tapering left fingers of Herakles with turned-up tips characteristic of an early red-figure artist like the Andokides Painter. (19)

Do these observations of inconsistency undermine Beazley's attribution? It is worth noting that the drawing in Gerhard from which Beazley presumably worked has some inaccuracies and suggests similarities to the London example that are in fact not there. Most striking are the hairlines of all three figures in the main scene, which appear wavier and more elaborate than they are. The knots on Herakles' club appear more natural and irregularly spaced--more like those on the London club--than they are. The lines on the scabbard are drawn as straight diagonals instead of groups of horizontal lines; the error makes the object look more like its counterpart in London. Beazley might have reconsidered the attribution if he had seen the Reading vase or even photographs of it. If we were considering a very large repertory, such as that of the Antimenes Painter himself, we might see how these two examples fit on a continuum. The two hydrias joined under the name of the Alkmene Painter could demonstrate two moments in an evolution or development over time, two examples out of many by this painter. As the lone attributions to a single painter, however, they do not seem to have enough in common to warrant the stylistic unity such a designation would imply. As the discussion below demonstrates, the last decades of the sixth century in Athens saw intense stylistic and iconographic creativity shared between black- and red-figure painters. It is plausible that we have here two nearly contemporaneous products of a single close-knit corner of the Antimenean workshop, one incorporating some traits of red-figure technique and the other very few.

When considering the subjects and the compositions, there is another reason to link the two hydrias, which may have strongly influenced Beazley. The two vases are strikingly focused on Herakles and Athena. Each presents one of these two figures twice, each time in a different event with a unique time and setting. Beyond the obvious shared topics of Herakles and Athena, the hydrias both preserve relatively unusual scenes of Herakles in compositions newly introduced to the repertory of vase painters at around the time when the vases were made. Of the two, the lion fight that decorates the main field of the Reading hydria is certainly the more innovative in comparison to other contemporaneous examples, and it never becomes a common type. Herakles as monoposiast is also relatively new and unusual, but it is a scene-type that does appear elsewhere. Undeniably unique among known examples is the deliberate and specific inclusion of Alkmene in a composition with the hero. (20) It is more accurate to call the two vases the products of an "Alkmene Group," a subgroup within the circle of the Antimenes Painter, than to attribute them to a single painter. An exploration of the artistic, social, and political environment that stimulated the creation of these hydrias and their combination of innovation with tight focus on Herakles and Athena provides further testimony for revising the view that the Antimenean workshop was complacent. (21)


What is the wider context of the two scenes of Herakles fighting the Nemean lion that appear on the two hydrias? After several rather static decades from 575 to 540, the repertory of motifs used to depict the struggle expands in a major way in the last third of the sixth century. Earlier versions depict Herakles either crouching on one knee or standing; to these are added at around 540 a scheme that has the broadest impact on vase-painting compositions of any motif introduced since the earliest appearance of the subject in the Late Orientalizing period. The change, in which both hero and beast are prone and wrestling on the ground, gives a strikingly different appearance from the standing or kneeling schemes. (22) In addition to a number of minor variations involving slight alterations in the position of Herakles' hands or the lion's paws, the appearance of the prone scheme is accompanied by several other experimental compositions. The following description of this expansion is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to show the broad parameters of the iconographical climate within which the Alkmene Group painter developed the scene he chose. (23)

The prone scheme for the lion fight appears to have been first painted by Exekias, but his version is preserved only in fragments. (24) Boardman reconstructs Exekias's depiction as follows: "[Herakles'] near leg must have been raised well off the ground, as though he has just leapt on to the lion or is allowing his full weight to bear down upon it, rather than settling down to throttle it." (25) It is a position of balance and tension, and according to Marwitz's analysis is best described as Wippschema, which he identifies as a black-figure composition in contrast to the scheme first introduced and thereafter seen more commonly in red-figure, the Knieschema, where Herakles' knees rest on the ground line. (26)

Painters immediately developed variations on the basic prone types, with three significant categories appearing in the period 520-500. (27) The variants have few distinctive features; they all involve differing placement of Herakles' hands on the lion's neck, jaws, or paws and are fairly widespread in the repertories of several painters. The distinctions among the examples are analogous, although not identical, to the varieties within the broad group of standing schemes earlier in the sixth century. (28) Most of the variants persist for several decades. In addition, some strikingly innovative schemes involving the position of the hero and the lion appear around the same time but are not widespread and do not find a permanent place in the repertory.

The work of leading painters reflects these trends. The Andokides Painter's renderings of Herakles and the lion are especially instructive for this study because he is an acknowledged innovator in both technique and iconography while at the same time collaborating with black-figure hydria painters. (29) The compositions of the Andokides Painter reflect the trends seen at this moment, including the orthodox renderings of the still-new recumbent scheme together with at least one that is both surprising and unique, in which neither Herakles nor the lion is prone. A very fragmentary red-figure amphora in Leipzig lacks a significant portion of the main scene, but we see the hero in the foreground wrestling prone in the Wippschema, with Athena observing at left and Iolaos at right. (30) As both Cohen and Marwitz have pointed out, the scheme itself, as well as several other details of the painting, is more closely tied to black-figure, where it originated, than to the red-figure technique as painted by the Andokides Painter. (31) Indeed, the same scheme is seen in black-figure on the shoulder of the Alkmene Painter's London hydria. The Andokides version is thus creative in one sense--it is a recasting of a traditional scheme in a new technique and color scheme--but it is not a compositional innovation.

A second red-figure example by the Andokides Painter preserves an apparently similar lion fight, another Wippschema, except that Iolaos is absent and Athena appears at left in the background, in a scale sharply reduced in comparison to the hero and the lion in the foreground. (32) Cohen hypothesizes an influence on this composition from outside the world of vase painting: the discrepancy in scale between the hero and the lion, on the one hand, and Athena, on the other, she suggests, is a result of the influence of pedimental sculpture on the painter. Cohen likens the differences in scale in the composition to those observable in the pediment of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi. (33) This suggestion that the frame of reference for the invention of a scheme is well outside the visual idiom of vase painting is one to keep in mind when looking at the wider influences, such as new architectural creations, on the Alkmene Group and others in the Antimenean circle.

The third red-figure example by the Andokides Painter is strikingly unusual, and not only in technique; in this London amphora, Herakles is accompanied by both Athena and Iolaos, as is usual, but while kneeling on the ground, he flips the lion over his head (Fig. 7). (34) The consequence of the throw appears to be that the beast will end up on its back, with paws clawing the air, much as on the Reading hydria. In analyzing this vase, scholars have suggested several sources of inspiration for this novel scheme, including gem design and a kind of motif mutation from scenes of Herakles and Cerberus. (35) Whatever the source, this last example is one of a cluster of unique variants that appear between approximately 520 and 500. (36)


Indeed, the painter has combined a number of traditional and novel features in this scene, ensuring that he will startle the viewer who encounters it. There are just enough variations from the expected to provoke a second look. The frame, two observers to the fight, is by now old: Exekias's example at about 540, with both Athena and Iolaos labeled, provides a good benchmark. (37) The departing Iolaos is, however, newer. (38) Herakles is almost in a Knieschema, but his torso is upright rather than prone. The lion is most surprising, as it is vertical instead of horizontal. For those familiar with a favored Group E scheme in which Herakles and the lion both move right, with the beast behind the hero (Fig. 8), (39) the Andokides Painter's scheme is a subsequent step: Herakles has dropped to the ground on his knees, while flipping the lion over on its back. (40) The combination of these novelties and the red-figure technique sets up the viewer for a double take, where expectation, conditioned by exposure to a particular set of normative iconographic and technical formulas, is sufficiently thwarted to create interest and engagement with the vase. (41)


The Andokides Painter gives a new look, red- rather than black-figure, to the recumbent Wippschema and creates a truly innovative composition. Is this creative streak anomalous? There are many examples where a slight change gives a very new look to a standard combination of hero and lion, such as on a hydria in Norwich, where a very conservative standing fight gains a new look from the frontal face of the lion, posed so that Herakles appears to pinch its nose! This brief survey, however, includes only those scenes involving a major change in the relationship between the bodies of the two combatants. (42) All of these inspire the double take, itself a way of creating new interest in a familiar scheme.

First, by the Antimenes painter himself, we have our nearest parallel to the unusual Reading hydria scene, but on the shoulder of a hydria (Fig. 9). (43) There are differences: the hero on the shoulder is dressed in a tunic, wears his quiver, baldric, and scabbard, and grasps the lion by the foot rather than the neck with his left hand. The lion is on its back, but its hindquarters are raised almost to the level of Herakles' waist. The overall impression that the scene gives, however, is quite similar to that of the Reading vase.


A second unorthodox depiction evokes the spirit of the Andokides Painter's London amphora, but is also not a verbatim repetition. On side A of a black-figure skyphos in Lund (Fig. 10), (44) a nude Herakles squats on his right heel, holding the lion by its front and rear paws, over his left shoulder. It is as if he is between the moves depicted on the London and Reading examples--Herakles has moved up into a squatting position from the "crawl" or "stoop" on the London amphora, and when he completes the move, he will stand, having turned the beast on its back, as on the Reading hydria.


On the reverse of the Lund skyphos, there is a second depiction of the same episode: the hero is again nude, and scabbard with knife and quiver again hang in the field, but Herakles stands, grasping the lion around the neck with his left hand and by the upper muzzle with his right hand (Fig. 11). The unusual pose on side A can be understood as resulting from a setup on B: the hero is about to flip the beast on B and has then flipped the lion on A. Were it not for the marked difference in the skin of the lion in the two depictions, we could be confident in saying that we see on the Lund skyphos a two-phased narrative, with side B the earlier moment in the fight. (45)


Another innovative formula appears in black-figure at about the same time in a repertory near the Princeton Painter and on a cup by Sakonides. The amphora, located near the Princeton Painter by Bohr and dated to about 540-530, shows Herakles in a tunic and wearing a quiver, with his left leg swung up and over the shoulder of the lion. (46) His left arm is wrapped around the lion's neck, while the right arm is raised aloft holding the sword. As Bohr points out, this scheme appears more commonly in fights between Herakles and Nessos. (47)

Also similar is the scene on an eye-cup by Sakonides (Fig. 12). (48) Again, Herakles has flung his left leg over the lion's back and raises his right arm, holding his club above the beast. Despite some differences, such as the addition of a cuirass on the hero, his use of a club rather than sword, and the lion's rear paw pushing against Herakles' right knee, the two examples are overwhelmingly similar.


Like the Lund skyphos, the Sakonides cup couples two versions of this topic. On the opposite side, Herakles stands nude in a standard, old-fashioned scheme: he confronts the lion with both feet on the ground, his left arm wrapped around the lion's neck, and the right grasping the lion's front paw (Fig. 13). Overall, the cup provides us with a classic example of a decorative program that invites and expects comparison between the two sides of the vessel. Embedded in a context of syntactical similarity--eyes with nose at the center of each side, handles framed by rampant stags looking back over their shoulders--are two striking differences: first, signatures appear on each side of the foot, but one is of the painter and the other of the potter. Clearly the artists expected the viewer to look carefully at each side and to put together the two texts. The two depictions of Herakles and the lion occupy the same place on the vessel, but reveal significant differences: in one case, the hero is clothed and uses weapons, in the other he is nude and uses only brute strength. Similarities between the two scenes are minimal: the hero's beard and hair, his scabbard and baldric, and the lion's general appearance, including his mane.


The two scenes comprise two distinct moments in the fight. (49) In the first, Herakles tries out his weapons, still wearing the cuirass that bespeaks military engagement, and in the second, he strips down and turns to physical force alone. In addition, two separate stages of the lion fight highlight Herakles' general paradigmatic value for two different skills valued by adult Athenian males: the soldier who wears a cuirass and uses weapons, and the athlete who uses skill and force.

This brief survey informs us that the combination of two slightly different schemes--one relatively common and one that is quite innovative--appears on a handful of examples. (50) Whatever painters were trying to achieve by this conjunction--possibly distinguishing two narrative moments or explicating different aspects of Herakles' paradigmatic value--their need to separate one from the other may have engendered the creative innovations. This suggestion that repetition can breed innovation is of particular interest in the present study since it seems to be relevant to the two Alkmene Group hydrias: in the Reading example, we see two distinct activities involving Athena, and in the London example, we see two discrete activities of Herakles.


Discussion of scenes of the reclining Herakles has increased in the past 15 years, most recently in a monograph by Simone Wolf. (51) The full iconographic spectrum of the hero reclining while eating or drinking includes several variations on setting, companions, props, or lack thereof. The London hydria, where Herakles reclines on a kline and both food and drinking vessels are present, represents a distinct type, separate from those examples where he is accompanied by others or reclines on the ground in a rustic setting. Wolf, Boardman, Carpenter, and Shapiro agree that the type found on the London hydria appears by 540 B.C., (52) about the same time as the scheme of Herakles and the lion wrestling prone first appears in the repertory of Exekias. Scholars provide several plausible explanations for the meaning of the scene, but none of these explanations reveals why it appeared at precisely this moment.

Shapiro offers the most specific hypothesis for explaining the invention of the scene. In his view, Herakles figures in these scenes as a diner rather than primarily as a drinker, and he is best understood as a companion of the mortal parasitoi, attested to in slightly later Attic cults to Herakles at Marathon and Kynosarges. (53) According to Shapiro, we ought to imagine Herakles with his attendants in a setting with parasitoi who are not present in the image. Boardman, on the other hand, notes the absence of fellow diners and drinkers in these early scenes. For him, the scenes emphasize the completion of the hero's work and his need for food and rest. Herakles alone is positioned to consume food and drink. (54) It is impossible to decide unequivocally between these two interpretations for the London hydria; together they illustrate the conundrum of Herakles and his complex relationship to both gods and mortals, including the ancient Athenians. (55)

After the apparent introduction of this scene around 550-540 by the Archippe Painter, a handful of other examples appear at about 530-520. (56) Some scenes in which Herakles reclines alone have a number of features in common with our London hydria. One by the Antimenes Painter includes Athena and, just as on the London hydria, a hanging lionskin; but here it hangs at the head rather than at the foot of the kline. (57) A second example, on an amphora by the Madrid Painter, is slightly later, perhaps 520-510; this amphora is of special interest because it couples two Herakles scenes: (58) we see Herakles and Geryon on side A, with the dead Eurytion on the ground below, and Herakles reclining and celebrating with Athena and Hermes on the reverse. The background is crowded with vines and grape clusters, and Herakles extends a phiale to Athena; but there is no lionskin or weapons of any sort belonging to the hero. As on the London hydria, we can see a "before and after" sequence here--the Geryon fight followed by a celebration. The London example, however, provides a much more specific visual link between scenes, with the portrayal of the lion and the lionskin tying both shoulder and main scene together on a single side of the vase.

The two scenes of Herakles as monoposiast coupled by the Andokides/ Lysippides Painters on their amphora in Munich are apparently among the cluster of examples created just after the invention of the scene. (59) Once again, it is worthwhile for us to consider carefully the appearance of any innovation in this repertory. There is a demonstrated connection between the Andokides/Lysippides Painters and black-figure hydria production, and innovation in scenes of Herakles and the lion in the two repertories is already established as simultaneous and very similar. Interestingly, the two scenes on the Munich amphora may demonstrate sequence, but sequence within the celebration alone. (60) The Munich amphora does not couple a deed of Herakles with a relaxing feast; rather the difference in technique helps to showcase the absence of attributes and the curtailed cast of attendants for the reclining figure on the red-figure side. (61) There appears to be a temporal difference, on at least two levels: the black-figure side shows a cup about to be filled and a crowd of figures, in contrast to an empty cup and a scene of intimacy on the red-figure side. The black-figure side collects evidence of Herakles' past, through his attributes, and of his passage to Olympos, through the presence of Hermes. The red-figure side points to Herakles' future, where weapons and divine escorts will not be necessary. The combination of the two techniques helps to alert the viewer to an awareness of sequence, a more subtle version of the type of sequence achieved on the Madrid Painter and Alkmene Group examples. (62)

This discussion has demonstrated how thoroughly the two hydrias attributed to the Alkmene Group reflect an extremely innovative period in Athenian vase-painting technique and iconography. The connections of the two hydrias extend broadly and to the most experimental contemporaneous painters, the bilinguists. The main scenes of both hydrias link the painters to the forefront of iconographic change; aspects of style, identified above, reflect one painter's close association with the red-figure technique. (63) The hypothesis that the Alkmene Group artists worked in the midst of the two techniques is quite plausible. (64)


To what degree are the Alkmene hydrias embedded in the typical conventions for hydria decoration in the last third of the sixth century? How do subjects on shoulder, belly, and predella interconnect? How common is the repetition of characters on belly and shoulder, as we see with Herakles and Athena on the London hydria and with Athena alone on the Reading vase, and what do such repetitions mean?

The tradition for hydria decoration in the earlier part of the century is not one that predictably includes repetition between shoulder and main field. Hydrias are relatively rare until just before the last third of the sixth century, with the largest early concentration, beginning at roughly 560, in the Lydan workshop. (65) In the majority of cases, the main fields on Lydos's round-shouldered hydrias have subjects that are plainly narrative, involving human figures, and these are coupled with non-narrative animal subjects, arranged with a swan, fawn, or siren between panthers (five examples) or lions (one example) on the shoulder. (66) In only one case among the hydrias decorated by Lydos is there evidence of figures repeated in both fields; (67) at least two figure types--both adult males, one nude and one draped--who observe a departure on the belly are repeated as spectators to the boxing on the shoulder. Because this example is so fragmentary, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the purpose of the repetitions, but its general affinities to the schemes observed on contemporaneous cups, where repeated spectators link scenes, are clear.

On one Lydan hydria in the Villa Giulia, (68) we see not an entire repeated figure but a repeated element: Herakles wears a lionskin as he fights Geryon in the main scene, and a lion appears flanking sirens in the shoulder group. (69) However, Herakles' lionskin is stippled, and that of the living beast is plain. Several of the hydrias depict departure scenes or show conflict on the main panels, while shoulders depict two stronger animals flanking a weaker one; but there is no visual repetition to make an overt link. As a group, the Lydan hydrias rank low in repetition of images.

The earliest black-figure hydrias with flat shoulders, the type to which the Reading and London hydrias belong, appear around 540-530, in the repertory of the Taleides Painter and signed by the potter Timagoras. (70) Indeed, they are more rounded versions of the type refined by Andokides as potter and ultimately of the type produced by and in the circle of the Antimenes Painter. The essential profile is already there. Bloesch sees some affinities between the earliest of the Andokidean black-figure hydrias and one of the Timagorean examples, but he also identifies a developmental "gap" between them. (71) One example by Taleides/Timagoras preserves repetition of figures between shoulder and main scene. (72) A few black-figure hydrias attributed to the Lysippides Painter and members of his circle do preserve shoulder/belly repetitions, but these comprise less than a sixth of the total. (73) Interestingly, two of these were, according to Bloesch, most likely potted by the Andokides Painter. Once again, a novel element apparent in the Alkmene hydrias, this time a syntactical feature, appears in the workshop of one of the leading innovators at around 530-520.

Slightly earlier black-figure neck amphoras commonly preserve repeated figures--principal figures and spectators to both mythical and nonmythical events--on shoulder and belly; these repetitions can be seen, for example, in the repertories of Group E, Painter N, and the Affecter. (74) Indeed, one example of a fragmentary amphora by a painter close to Exekias depicts Herakles both on the shoulder, where he fights Cerberus, and the belly, where he accompanies a group of divinities who watch Demeter as she mounts a chariot. (75) Overwhelmingly, however, the shapes that most commonly display a great deal of repetition from field to field are not those that are "one-sided," with a combination of shoulder and main fields, but rather cups and amphoras; some of the leading cup and amphora artists of the last third of the sixth century skillfully apply the principles of repetition, among the most prominent being the bilingual painters whose iconographic innovations were mentioned above. (76) Indeed, when we assess the black-figure hydrias of the last third or last quarter of the sixth century, we see a significant shift from earlier decorative principles: the repetitive conventions apparent on cups and amphoras--repetitions of a main character, often a hero or a divinity, or an anonymous figure in two or more fields--begin to appear on these hydrias, particularly those in the Leagros Group and by the Antimenes Painter.

That hydrias in the last third of the sixth century reflect some of the syntactical principles employed by amphora painters is not at all surprising. The Antimenes Painter himself decorated many examples of both shapes, and this alone can explain a merging of conventions. Studies of the shape development of the hydria suggest that its evolution in the last third of the sixth century is closely intertwined with that of the amphora, at least in the workshop of the Andokides Painter: Bloesch described the "slender" amphoras of the Andokides Painter as having profiles very similar to the extremely slender contemporaneous hydrias that he attributes to Andokides as potter and that Beazley attributes as related to, in the manner of, and by the Lysippides Painter. (77) It is among these Andokidean hydrias that the parallels to those painted in the early phases of the work of the Antimenes Painter and members of his circle appear. Johannes Burow, in his exhaustive study of the painter, has referred to this phase as phase Ib. (78) So it is not surprising that our hydrias are influenced in shape from the same source--amphoras--from whence we see the influences on the syntactical principles, particularly those employing repetition, apparent in their iconography. Indeed, when we take a detailed look at the Antimenes Painter and his circle, as redefined by Burow, we see that the Andokides/Lysippides Painters are credited with being hugely influential overall in the character of the workshop. (79)

Looking further at the hydrias produced by the Antimenes Painter and his workshop helps us to see how widespread the practice is of linking shoulder and main scenes via repetition of a figure and to understand several of the meanings such repetitions yield. Out of 35 hydrias attributed to the Antimenes painter himself, over half (19) preserve a repeated prop or character linking shoulder and main scene. (80) A variety of results are achieved through these repetitions:

1. In at least four examples, an object or figure is repeated in shoulder and/or predella and main scenes. No figure is explicitly identified by label or attributes, and while the context may be heroic, no specific legendary or mythical context is clear. The two scenes in combination may show two aspects of chariot use, such as a battle and a wedding, (81) or they may preserve youths in two contexts--mounting a chariot and engaged in fighting. (82)

2. In a related example, the two scenes appear to be sequential, with the harnessing of the chariot in the main scene preceding the departure of a chariot for battle on the shoulder (Fig. 14). (83) The repeated figure is not explicitly related to myth, but serves to establish context and sequence.


3. In several other examples, a figure is repeated who is an identifiable divinity or legendary hero; some occur in scenes that are identifiable myth-narratives. Five of these paired scenes do not relate to one another in a particular sequence that we can reconstruct (e.g., Fig. 15). (84) Other related examples in this category appear to draw mortal elites into a comparison with a mythical figure, thereby enhancing the status of the mortal, in a process named by Stansbury-O'Donnell "paradigmatic extension." (85) Specific examples include the following: a hoplite in a departure scene on the belly has the same weapons and armor as the companions of Herakles in the Amazon fight above; a male figure steps into a chariot on the shoulder as does Athena on the belly; a shoulder scene depicts Iolaos brandishing Herakles' bow as he fights the lion above a belly scene where a Scythian holds aloft his bow as a warrior mounts his chariot to depart. (86)


4. Five examples connect two scenes of mythical narratives on the shoulder and the belly by means of a repeated figure or prop. The result is to relate two scenes that are temporally discrete but may be causally linked, with the prior event having brought about the subsequent one, either directly or indirectly. The most obvious example of this class is a hydria on which the Judgment of Paris is coupled with the ambush of Troilos (Fig. 16). (87) In each scene, the figures of Athena and Hermes appear, linking the cause of the war with one of its later episodes. (88) In a second case, an episode involving Neoptolemos, Helikaon, Athena, and Apollo from the Little Iliad is coupled with the Judgment. (89) Another example is less specific about bringing two episodes together. A scene from the Little Iliad on the shoulder includes both Athena and Apollo and their chariots as well as Neoptolemos, the fallen Eurypylos, and the corpse of Helikaon; below, on the belly, Athena appears again, seated, with Zeus and Hermes. (90) We may see the observing divinity in one field coupled with her entry into the battle in the other. Finally, in an example in which the subject matter is not connected to Troy, we see a causally linked sequence in the combination of two scenes involving Herakles. (91) On the shoulder, he fights with the Nemean lion, and on the belly he wears the lionskin and moves to accept his reward for the successful completion of his labors: he enters Olympos in the company of Athena, a status that he achieved in part by the completion of tasks like subduing the lion. In both scenes, Herakles is accompanied by Hermes; another set of repetitions connects the lionskin worn by the lion above with the one worn by Herakles below: the incised lines that represent the mane and the added color for the crown of the lion's head are repeated, but the lionskin has acquired stipples when it appears on the hero on the belly of the vessel, a detail that it lacks on the shoulder. There is another lion (between two boars) in the predella, also without stipples. (92)


Clearly, the scenes on the London hydria in the Alkmene Group most closely parallel the last example cited. Similar repetitions occur among fields and a temporal sequence is achieved that involves a Heraklean labor followed by a reward--relaxation, feast, and drinking on the Alkmene hydria versus a chariot trip to Olympos on the Antimenean example. The labels for the figures on the London hydria affirm the connection, though subtly: they are orthograde on the shoulder and retrograde on the belly, suggesting that the two scenes exist in response to one another. (93)

The Reading hydria, by contrast, has its closest affinities to the hydrias discussed above in the third category. In this case, the pose of Athena that appears on the shoulder is repeated by Herakles on the belly. The two scenes do not have a fixed causal and temporal relationship to one another: Athena's success in the Gigantomachy does not directly (or even indirectly) lead to Herakles' fight with the Nemean lion. Instead, the purpose of the link is to model the hero on his successful sponsor, creating a paradigmatic relationship--hero is "like" goddess. Such a relationship intensifies the well-developed connection between Herakles and Athena, his divine mentor. (94) In conclusion, we see these two vases once again as part of an innovative trend, where syntactic principles implementing repetition expand into a wider spectrum of vessel shapes, principally from cups and amphoras to hydrias, to create the same kinds of results. (95)


The above discussion has shown how fully connected the Alkmene Group and the Antimenes Circle were to mainstream developments in shape, syntax, subject matter, and iconography in the last third of the sixth century. This observation invites reassessment of the common characterization of black-figure hydria painters as traditional and somewhat isolated. Indeed, in some pockets of the Antimenes Painter's work and workshop, influence from red-figure painters can be detected, as revealed in the drapery and elongated fingertips on one of the hydrias in the Alkmene Group, and new compositional and especially syntactical developments can be traced. Causally linked sequential narration as well as paradigmatic relationships are achieved by the use of repeated figures and other elements in the scenes. I have stressed above that leading red-figure painters sometimes used old-fashioned iconography in the new technique, as did the Andokides Painter in his scenes of the prone Herakles and the lion, while those working in the older technique were sometimes innovative in both style and iconography, as was Sakonides, a painter in the workshop of Ure's skyphos A1, and of course the Antimenes Painter and the Alkmene Group.

Finally, this second debut for the Reading hydria provides more information about the creative moment in the last third of the sixth century in Athenian vase painting, of which the appearance of red-figure is one symptom. The appearance of the new technique is undeniably striking, and we have clear evidence from this study of its relationship with the older, engraving-based, black-figure style. Certainly, compositions developed along innovative lines, even for old subjects, and there is novelty in the old technique as well as conservatism in the new. Both of these phenomena seem to take advantage of a prevailing practice whereby the vase painter revises old formulas and engages his viewer by setting him up for unexpected combinations, creating the springboard for a double take. The analysis of the two hydrias in the Alkmene Group demonstrates that syntactic conventions that were developed in the decoration of amphoras and cups extended to hydrias during the last third of the sixth century; moreover, we have clear evidence of the explosion of new ways to link scenes in different fields on a single hydria and the many and diverse results of such repetitions. The exploration of the relationship among the sequence of events in a narrative, the explication of mythical characters in diverse situations, and the creation of paradigms are three such results. That the Alkmene Group's innovations in subject matter focus on Herakles and Athena is also noteworthy because it highlights the link between the changes in vase painting and the external political environment in Athens, addressed below. Crucial to this enterprise is a consideration of the evidence for the function of the shoulder hydria. If the syntactical principles that inform its decoration are linked to those seen on cups and amphoras, does that imply that it functioned in similar ways and also was used in similar contexts?


"Hydria" is one of a few vase names that we apply just as the ancient Athenians did: we can be confident that any hydria, plain or decorated, held water. (96) Textual evidence for the function and use-context of hydrias is later than the period of the Alkmene Painter hydrias. Aristophanes, in the second half of the fifth century, employs the word "hydria" when referring to a vessel used to collect water from a spring. (97) Hydrias identical in shape to those considered here, but not necessarily decorated in the black-figure technique, are depicted in images as a means to collect water from fountain houses. These images appear on hydrias exactly contemporary with the London and Reading examples. (98) It is tempting to believe that the depicted hydrias stand for figural pottery, but there is no guarantee of such accuracy in vase imagery. The fountain-house scenes are informed by an idealized composite of imagery, values, and even social fictions. (99)

We know water is essential at symposia because it must be mixed with wine before the wine is consumed. It might seem surprising, therefore, that hydrias do not appear in images of symposia on Athenian pottery; however, this absence is not conclusive evidence for excluding them from the repertory of sympotic vessels. (100) Other vessels, notably amphoras, which carry imagery and inscriptions reflecting sympotic activity, are rare in these same images of the symposium. (101) Furthermore, hydrias are found in archaeological contexts that are demonstrably sympotic. (102)

In a passage relevant to the discussion below, Thucydides states that the Athenians collected water from the spring Kallirhoe for religious ceremonies, including those surrounding marriage. (103) It is fair to assume that hydrias were used to collect this water, but they could have been either metal or pottery. Indeed, visual evidence suggests hydrias were used in contexts of sacrifice and other religious activity, for participants carry them in the sacrificial procession on the Parthenon frieze. (104) The Athenian wedding, for which we have both textual and visual evidence, provides one example for understanding various moments, including symposia, in which water and hydrias play a part.

Athenian weddings were complex affairs lasting several days. At least one component was a feast, apparently very much like a dinner party followed by a symposium, except that men and woman ate and drank together whether the celebration took place at home or, more rarely, in sanctuaries. (105) One fourth-century vase-painting image portrays a hydria in the context of food preparation for the wedding feast; water from a special source might be present in painted versions of the utilitarian vessels used for collection. (106) Clearly for the symposium held in connection with the wedding, water was required for mixing with wine. (107)

Based on evidence from this narrow context of the wedding and its related symposia, a conclusion that the hydria played a role in more ordinary symposia is plausible. Indeed, the kalos inscriptions that often embellish imagery ensconce the vessels in the discourse of pederasty that is so pervasive in both visual and written sources for symposia. (108) There is no doubt that the production of flat-shouldered hydrias like those by the Alkmene Group increased dramatically in the last third of the sixth century: while only a handful appear around 540, more than a hundred are preserved from the last quarter of the century, created primarily in the workshops of the Antimenes Painter and the Leagros Group. (109) Moreover, of the 84 different youths named as kalos on black-figure vases listed by Beazley, almost a third (25) occur on these same black-figure hydrias, some more than once. (110) This evidence, especially that the earliest flat-shouldered hydrias bear kalos inscriptions, suggests that the shape and its conservative black-figure decoration are bound up, both in origin and subsequent use, with the pederastic mores of the symposium. Furthermore, some youths named as kalos on black-figure hydrias are also cited on contemporaneous red-figure cups. (111)

Shapiro has recently suggested that some of the fountain-house imagery that so often decorates black-figure hydrias might be a kind of voyeuristic "soft-core pornography," creating a fictional reverse-world where women sometimes shower in public, for sympotic context. (112) Indeed, some red-figure hydrias combine an erotic main scene with a depiction of a symposium on the shoulder: youths collect water at a fountain, watched by an older man, embellished with Megakles kalos, and symposiasts recline on the shoulder. (113) Those hydrias with subjects other than the fountain house are also well suited to a sympotic setting: examples where repetitions in shoulder and main scenes create paradigms between mortal and divine, or where repetitions link parts of a narrative, reflect typical elements of sympotic entertainment and discourse. (114)

In sum, there is much evidence, sometimes indirect, to suggest that hydrias were part of the repertory of shapes used in symposia.


What inspired this period of dynamic creativity in the production of hydrias for symposia in the last third of the sixth century in Athens? For the second and third quarters of the century, the deliberate selection of Herakles by Peisistratos for his hero-analogue is frequently cited as an explanation for a wide variety of iconographic developments, by now well known thanks to intense scholarly interest over the past 30 years; discussions by Boardman and Shapiro are prominent in the literature. (115) One instance for which Boardman has postulated a link between iconographic developments concerning Herakles and the political activities of Peisistratos is the appearance of the reclining scheme for Herakles' battle with the Nemean lion, discussed extensively above in relation to both hydrias by the Alkmene Group. In Boardman's view, the appearance of the reclining scheme at about 540, followed by many more examples of explicitly "human" wrestling moves after 520, is a (delayed) response to Peisistratos's earlier reorganization of the Panathenaia and the accompanying Games. (116) The Sakonides cup, discussed above, thus provides an example in which the athletic lion-fighter contrasts with the hoplite. Surely, to some degree, the focus on Herakles and his patron Athena shared by both of the Alkmene Group hydrias is a by-product of the popularity engendered by the tyrant and perhaps nurtured by his sons.

We can be even more precise when we look carefully at the last 30 years of the sixth century. The documented activities of Peisistratos's descendants, Hippias, his younger brother, Hipparchos, and Hippias's son, Peisistratos the Younger, suggest a tremendously stimulating environment for the visual expression of elite and civic identity, two phenomena closely intertwined during Hippias's rule from 527 to 510. The issuing of coinage stamped with the owl, work on the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and activity in the sanctuary to Apollo Pythios, where Peisistratos the Younger dedicated the altar, were three such expressions. (117) In the Agora, the secondand third-generation tyrants built a villa-type structure where some scholars believe they lived, a fountain house, and the Altar to the Twelve Gods. (118) The stimulus was verbal as well as visual. Hipparchos patronized performers like Anakreon and Simonides, embellished the herms he set up throughout Attica with gnomic sayings, and added Homeric recitals to the Panathenaia. (119) Each of these three Hipparchic undertakings involved traditional material or at least traditional categories (Hipparchos's proverbs were his original creations rather than existing maxims)--lyric poetry, gnomic wisdom, and epic--that also saw expression in the elite activity of the symposium. (120) The arts-sponsoring activities of Hipparchos had an impact both in public and in private: gnomic wisdom, references to Homeric epic, and the poetry of Simonides demonstrably crossed the boundary between public performance and private symposia. (121) The space of the Agora was a blending locus for civic and private activity, for it included the tyrants' villa, a fountain house shared with the demos, and the tyrant's civic altar.

These Peisistratid activities did not merely fuel artistic fires in a general way; we have striking evidence of at least two of their contributions--the building of fountain houses and the erection of herms--on contemporaneous vases. Such a correspondence is extremely rare during this period. "Quotes" from well-known sculptures and architectural sculpture appear on vases in the Archaic period, but even these are relatively uncommon. It is fair to say that Peisistratid activity had an uncommonly direct influence on the imagery created by Athenian vase painters.

Shapiro has outlined the way in which Hipparchos's herms, "a bearded head of Hermes atop a square pillar with erect phallus," appeared in Attica in 521-514. (122) At this time, images of herms, in one case accompanied by the inscription [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], appear on a red-figure cup by the painter Epiktetos. (123) Here, then, we have a case in which public sculpture enters the sphere of elite sympotic activity, replacing the proverbial inscription with a statement seen commonly on drinking vessels and one that projects elite pederastic mores.

In a strikingly direct conjunction of a definite architectural event and vase-painting imagery, black-figure hydrias by the Antimenes Painter and others show maidens or youths collecting water at a fountain house, on two occasions labeled "Kallirhoe," which is apparently the spring that fed the Enneakrounos, a fountain house built by the Peisistratids. (124) One of these examples, now in London, is by the Lysippides Painter and possibly potted by Andokides. The implication is that, almost immediately upon the erection of the fountain house in the Agora, images of fountain houses appeared on vases apparently used to hold water, perhaps collected from that or similar fountain houses. In addition, Shapiro has hypothesized that the kalos inscription naming Hippokrates on the Lysippides Painter's London fountain-house hydria refers to a descendant of Peisistratos, perhaps the grandson of Hippias. (125) Fountain houses recalling the new construction appear on black-figure hydrias dating after the inception of the red-figure technique; the comparatively old-fashioned artistic language was apparently considered more suitable for expression of the new topic. The Lysippides Painter, whose work is most specifically tied to the Peisistratid fountain house, is the partner of a trendsetter, the Andokides Painter, whose innovations are mirrored and even exceeded in the works of the Alkmene Group.

As established above, there is iconographical, inscriptional, and archaeological evidence linking hydrias to elite symposia. The hydria just mentioned, which names Hippokrates as kalos, would find a fitting place at a symposium. Several other hydrias, such as the name-vase of the Antimenes Painter, reflect pederastic mores in other ways, both visually and with text: the fountain house is used as an outdoor shower by nude youths and one adult male and is accompanied by a kalos inscription. (126) It is therefore quite likely that a visual reminder of the Peisistratid fountain-house building embellished the setting at elite symposia. Moreover, it is possible that the increased number of hydrias at this moment is a result of the construction of the fountain houses. Such confluence, then, is a tangible link between the public world of Peisistratid buildings and statues and the private world of elite conviviality; it serves as a visual corollary to the Peisistratid-sponsored poetry and gnomic wisdom that also made its way into symposia. These specific examples run parallel to the projected influence of large-scale pedimental sculpture on the compositions of the Andokides Painter discussed above.

Both of the examples treated in detail here, the herm and the fountain house, display unusually specific links between Peisistratid projects and vase imagery, both in red-figure and black-figure. Such links lend credibility to hypothetical influences. For example, cults of Herakles, such as those documented later at Kynosarges and Marathon, where parasitoi were the dining companions of the hero, may have influenced the iconography of the Alkmene Group's London hydria. (127) The celebration of these cults would require water for mixing with wine and for food preparation, and the London hydria, with its main scene of Herakles as monoposiast, may therefore be self-reflecting in a general way. Once again, it is appropriate to note the unusual labeling of Alkmene in this scene: does her presence, emphasizing Herakles' mortal aspect, perhaps lend credibility to the Peisistratid-Herakles association?


In the last third of the sixth century, the activities of political leaders created an atmosphere of cultural, and often visual, stimulation that had a very direct impact on the shapes and imagery of vases. This is demonstrably true for those vases created in and around the workshop of the Andokides/ Lysippides painters and the Antimenes Painter. These political leaders' specific interests in Herakles and in Athena, demonstrated both in ancient sources and by modern scholarship, yield results clearly present in the two vases that are the focus of this study. If Peisistratid actions affecting the landscape of Athens and Attica are reflected in vase imagery, it is plausible that these leaders' general interest in Athena and Herakles, possibly in cults of the hero, lay behind the appearance of new scene types involving both figures. Similarly, Peisistratid sponsorship of fountain houses may have contributed to the new prominence of a water vessel, the black-figure hydria.

Another set of factors might have played a general role in the creative dynamic as well: the last third of the sixth century is clearly a period when the interests of the tyrants, other elites, and the demos were sometimes merged yet inevitably on a collision course. Elites such as Miltiades and Kleisthenes, the eventual author of the democratic reforms in 508/7, were eponymous archons in 525/4 and 524/3, while Peisistratos the Younger succeeded both of them, probably in 522/1. (128) These events were followed by the assassination of Hipparchos in 514 and Kleisthenes' reforms a few years later. Such political tensions and their impact on elite institutions, including the conviviality accompanying cult, weddings, and private entertainment, must have invited innovation and excitement. Such responses are features clearly apparent in the Alkmene Group's London and Reading hydrias. (129)

The reappearance of the Reading hydria has provided a valuable opportunity to understand the interplay of developments within the vase-painting milieu. We see how Athenian vases reflect their social, political, and artistic contexts: the hydria assumes a new importance. Innovation was not limited to painters who employed the new red-figure technique. Instead, a broad, interconnected complex, motivated by tumultuous and significant external events, affected developments in shape, technique, iconography, and the interplay of scenes on a single vessel.

(1.) I would like to thank Jenifer Neils for reintroducing me to the Reading hydria and for encouraging me to take up its study. Thanks also to the Director and CEO of the Reading Public Museum, Richard Roth, for permission to publish the vase, and to O. Christopher Miller and Deborah Winkler, staff members at the museum who have been extremely helpful with this and other projects. I am very grateful for the comments of the anonymous Hesperia reviewers, which played a substantial role in the shape of the final version of this article. Special thanks go to Judith Chien for her enthusiastic editing and collegiality.

Thanks are also owed to the following for permission to reproduce photographs: Trustees of the British Museum; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Lund University; Staatliche Antikensammlung und Glyptothek, Munich; Victoria and Albert Museum; Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz; Martin von Wagner Museum, Universitat Wurzburg; and Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

(2.) ABV 266-291 and 354-391.

(3.) Boardman 1974, p. 109.

(4.) Boardman 1974, p.111.

(5.) Another answer to this call was the colloquium entitled "Research, Repatriation, and Loans: Museums in 2002," held in Philadelphia at the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. See Steiner 2002a.

(6.) Gerhard 1840-1858, vol. 2, pl. 94. Gerhard's commentary is as follows: "Der nemeische Lowe; archaische Hydrien im romischen Kunsthandel gezeichnet."

(7.) Reading 30.301.1. H. 0.40 m.

(8.) In a message of January 29, 2002, Paul Roberts of the British Museum informed me that the vase has never been part of their collections; similarly, Robin Hildyard of the South Kensington (Victoria and Albert) Museum wrote on February 27, 2002, that while the number, with four digits separated by a period from two more, does conform to those used to inventory the Victoria and Albert Museum's collections, this particular number does not appear in their records: "I can say positively that your mystery pot was never in the Victoria and Albert Collections."

(9.) ABV 282, no. 1; Beazley Addenda2 74; Brommer 1973, p. 128, no. 23.

(10.) Karlsson 1980, p. 45, fig. 23; Burow 1989, p. 67, n. 465, and p. 121, where it is listed as a neck amphora. For publications of other vases from Reading, see Neils 1997 and 2002. Photography of the vase is courtesy of H. Fred Schroch, of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.

(11.) London 1843.11-3.73 (B 301). H. 0.405 m, from Vulci, ABV 282, no. 2; Paralipomena 124; Beazley Addenda2 74; Micali 1849, pl. 89; Gerhard 1840, pl. C:6; CVA British Museum 6 [Great Britain 8], pls. 74:2, 75:2; EAA I, p. 200; Richter 1966, p. 2, fig. 314; LIMC I, 1981, p. 415, s.v. Alkmene (A. Trendall); LIMC IV, 1988, p. 817, no. 1489, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman); Carpenter 1986, p. 112 and pl. 31. Beazley Addenda2 74 mistakenly lists Watrous 1982, pl. 21, fig. 10, as a publication of this hydria, but London B 310 is actually shown in pl. 21, fig. 20. Wolf (1993, p. 197, no. SF 6) lists every publication in which the vase is mentioned.

(12.) Paul Roberts (pers. comm., January 29, 2002).

(13.) LIMC VI, 1992, p. 732, nos. 2-6, s.v. Nemea (H. Fracchia), all dating to 540-520 B.C.

(14.) The identity of such female figures who have no specific attributes is always ambiguous, and accordingly, scholars do not necessarily agree that an anonymous female is or is not Nemea. For instance, in the LIMC entry on Herakles and the lion (LIMC V, 1981, p. 32, nos. 1853, 1858, 1860, s.v. Herakles [W. Felten]), different examples are cited as representing Nemea than are found in the "Nemea" entry LIMC VI, 1992, p. 732 (no. 3 = Herakles no. 1797, no. 4 = Herakles no. 1795, no. 6 = Herakles no. 1900), s.v. Nemea (H. Fracchia).

(15.) See, e.g., LIMC I, 1981, p. 554, nos. 8-11, s.v. Alkmene (A. D. Trendall).

(16.) LIMC I, 1981, p. 554, nos. 8-11, s.v. Alkmene (A. D. Trendall) are scenes of the infant Herakles strangling the snakes, and a female figure is identified as Alkmene by context and not by inscription.

(17.) Marwitz 1961-1963, p. 78. Felten (LIMC V, 1981, p. 23, s.v. Herakles) describes this as variant c.(i) of the recumbent fight, based on the clasped hands of Herakles. Parallels include no. 1851, the Andokides Painter's amphora in Basel, discussed below.

(18.) London hydria, red: alternate folds of all drapery, beards, mouth of quiver (shoulder), fillet (Alkmene, Herakles), helmet crest (main scene); white: female flesh, volutes on kline, food (bread?) on table, baldric (Iolaos). Reading hydria, red: alternate folds of Herakles' drapery, a few splotches at neck and right "sleeve" on the female bystander, lion's mane around face, Herakles' beard; white: female flesh.

(19.) See, e.g., the hand of Artemis on Berlin F 2159, ARV 2 3, no. 1; Paralipomena 320; and in Simon and Hirmer 1976, pl. 85.

(20.) LIMC I, 1981, p. 555, no. 17, s.v. Alkmene (A. D. Trendall).

(21.) Verbanck-Pierard (1985) points out the unusually large number of images of Herakles in the work of the Antimenes Painter and the Lysippides Painter.

(22.) LIMC V, 1981, nos. 1762-1850; 1851-1880, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(23.) There are several summaries of the development of Herakles and the lion in Athenian vase painting. Boardman (1974, pp. 221-222) gives a brief overview, as does Carpenter (1991, pp. 120-121). The most comprehensive account of the scheme's development and variety is LIMC V, 1981, pp. 16-34, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten); Gantz (1993, pp. 383-384) gives a short version.

(24.) Enserune, Abbe J. Giry; Boardman 1978, p. 14, ill. 1.

(25.) Boardman 1978, p. 14. Boardman documents three other early appearances of this scheme, all slightly later than the example by Exekias.

(26.) Marwitz 1961-1963, pp. 78-79. The Wippschema and Knieschema are variants of on-the-ground wrestling, but Felten (LIMC V, 1981, p. 23, s.v. Herakles) uses the position of the hero's hands rather than leg position to group variants. Marwitz (1961-1963, p. 78) is here refining the descriptive taxonomy in Technau 1938.

(27.) LIMC V, 1981, p. 32, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(28.) LIMC V, 1981, p. 31, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(29.) Bloesch 1951, p. 35.

(30.) Leipzig T 635, ARV 2 3, no. 3; Paralipomena 320; Beazley Addenda2 149; Marwitz 1961-1963, ills. on pp. 74-75; Cohen 1978, p. 157, no. C4.

(31.) Cohen 1978, pp. 150-153; Marwitz 1961-1963, pp. 79-80.

(32.) Basel, Antikenmus. BS 491, ARV 2 3, no. 4; Cohen 1978, p. 150, no. C3; LIMC V, 1981, p. 23, no. 1851, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten). Felten classifies the pose under 1.c.i: "Herakles fights the lion on the ground: H. links his hands."

(33.) Cohen 1978, pp. 151-153. Boardman (1978, p. 15) suggests the creation of the recumbent scheme at about 540 may have been inspired by pedimental compositions.

(34.) London B 193, amphora, ARV 2 4, no. 8; ABV 254, no. 3; Cohen 1978, p. 75, no. B5*, p. 180, pl. 34; Marwitz 1961-1963, p. 82. See also LIMC V, 1981, p. 25, no. 1883, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten), where Felten classifies the pose under "Other moments in the wrestling, ii. Herakles throws the lion." The only other example under this rubric is that in Lund University (no. 596, Paralipomena 84, no. 9: Ure's class of skyphoi A1, discussed below).

(35.) Boardman (2001, p. 151, pl. 366), in discussing the gem by the Semon Master, a carnelian ring stone from Cyprus and now in Boston, states that the master has taken care to ensure the viewer will perceive the motif as vertical rather than horizontal by creating a ground line on which the hero kneels; Cohen (1978, p. 180, n. 192) states: "In a lecture at the Morgan Library December 1976, Boardman connected the vertical lion-fight with gem design." Finally, Cohen (1978, p. 180) suggests that the vertical scheme may have evolved from scenes of Herakles and Cerberus.

(36.) LIMC V, 1981, pp. 24-26, nos. 1875, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1889, 1895, 1896, 1900, 1901, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(37.) Berlin 1720, ABV 143, no. 1.

(38.) Hermes or Iolaos depart in a similar way in a few slightly earlier black-figure depictions; on one of these, the departing figure is coupled with an unusual Herakles-and-the-lion pose, discussed below. The amphora near the Princeton Painter in Havana preserves scenes of Herakles and the lion on each side, possibly joining two phases of the fight. On side A, Iolaos holds Herakles' club and turns back toward the central fight as he walks away from it (Havana Lagunillas type B amphora, ABV 300, no. 8; Olmos Romera 1990, pp. 66-69, no. 18). In a second example, the Iolaos figure departs at a clip, with a small dog at his feet: once Beverly Hills, Summa Galleries, Bohr 1982, no. P 3, pl. 168, where the amphora is attributed as "near the Princeton Painter." A Hermes-like figure departs in a similar way on a Panathenaic-shaped amphora somewhere near Group E or the Princeton Painter; Taranto, ABV 139, no. 11; Paralipomena 57; CVA Italy 18 [Taranto 2], pl. 1. For an important discussion of the departing or "palinopt" figure, see Mackay, Harrison, and Masters 1999, pp. 130-136.

(39.) Standing type (iv) according to Felton: LIMC V, 1981, p. 21, no. 1829, pl. 40, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(40.) Some examples by Group E of this scheme include Oxford 1965.135, ABV 137, no. 59; Paralipomena 55; London market (Hewett), Paralipomena 56, no. 20 bis; Richmond, Virginia 62.17, Paralipomena 56, no. 42 bis; Richmond, Virginia 60.23, Paralipomena 56, no. 48 ter, and Paris, Larosiere, Paralipomena 56, no. 56 bis.

(41.) For a full discussion of this setup for a double take in the work of Exekias and the Andikodes/Lysippides Painters, see Steiner 1997, p. 158, and passim.

(42.) Norwich Castle Museum 72.20, ABV 268, no. 23 (Antimenes Painter; Burow 1989, no. U5, pl. 145: circle of the Antimenes Painter). The examples that follow are identified by Felton in LIMC V as "variants," "uncertain types," "other moments in the wrestling," and "other wrestling schemes." See n. 34 above.

(43.) Wurzburg L 306, ABV 267, no. 14, 282; Burow 1989, no. 127, pl. 125; LIMC V, 1981, p. 26, no. 1900, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten), listed under 2.c: "Herakles attacks with weapons, other schemes."

(44.) Lund Univ. 596, Paralipomena 84, no. 9: Ure's class of skyphoi A1; Schauenburg 1965, p. 101, figs. 23-25; LIMC V, 1981, p. 25, no. 1884, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten). Felten classifies the pose under 1.d.ii: "Other moments in the wrestling, H. throws the lion." The only other example under this rubric is that by the Andokides Painter (London B 193, amphora, ARV 2 4, no. 8; ABV 254, no. 3), discussed above (Fig. 7).

(45). A very well known and oftencited example of two-phased narrative is Geneva MF 154, ABV 299, no. 18, displaying sequential moments in the birth of Athena; for a discussion of this example and others, see Steiner 1993, pp. 200-204. See also New York Callimanopolis, ABV 329, no. 5, discussed below.

(46.) Once Beverly Hills, Summa Galleries, Catalogue Summa Galleries 5, 1979, no. 6; Bohr 1982, p. 110, no. P 3, pl. 168; LIMC V, 1981, p. 20, no. 1810, pl. 38, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten). Felten classifies the pose under b.ii, "Herakles is standing," and as the only example of the subgroup "H. holds raised club."

(47.) Bohr (1982, p. 110) cites as a parallel to the depiction of that subject on the belly amphora by the Princeton Painter, Naples Stg. 144 (ABV 298, no. 13).

(48.) Eye-cup, Cambridge FitzMus, GR 38.1864 (ex 60), ABV 172, Beazley Addenda2 49; Schefold 1992, fig. 109; Seki 1985, pl. 2:1-3.

(49.) Froning 1988.

(50.) In addition to the Sakonides cup, the Lund cup, and the Alkmene Painter Reading hydria, there is at least one other example, Paris, Louvre F 108, ABV 220, no. 30; LIMC V, 1981, p. 26, no. 1896, s.v. Herakles (W. Felten).

(51.) Wolf 1993. In her entry on the London hydria (p. 197, no. SF 6), she provides a very detailed bibliography, indicating where the hydria has been discussed and illustrated.

(52.) Basel, Cahn Coll. 919; Wolf 1993, p. 195, no. SF 1; LIMC IV, 1988, p. 817, no. 1486, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman); Carpenter 1986, p. 111; Shapiro 1989, p. 160. Boardman and Shapiro identify these scenes as cultic, relying primarily on the common meaning of the phiale depicted on many examples, but not on the London hydria.

(53.) Shapiro 1989, p. 161. The cult at Kynosarges was certainly already established by the fifth century, but there is no proof that it existed in the last quarter of the sixth century. Shapiro notes that the prominence of food in the scene should be correspondingly prominent in its interpretation. Herakles does also drink wine, as the kantharos depicted on the table next to him indicates. Shapiro makes the hero also a drinking companion of undepicted mortals, a fellow symposiast. The specific inclusion of his mortal mother serves to shorten the distance between the hero and his mortal parasitoi. The net effect elevates the status of putative mortal companions, and simultaneously humanizes the hero. See also Verbanck-Pierard 1992.

(54.) LIMC IV, 1988, p. 820, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman). Shapiro (1989, pp. 160-161) explicitly disagrees with his interpretation, seeing the meaning of these scenes as essentially cultic, with mortal parasitoi to be imagined eating in company with the hero (see above, n. 53).

(55.) The list of vessels showing Dionysos as monoposiast that run parallel to the Herakles examples given here is discussed by Carpenter (1986, pp. 113-114), who also demonstrates that scenes of Herakles as monoposiast have much in common with scenes of the reclining Dionysos. According to Carpenter (1986, pp. 111-112), in the last quarter of the sixth century Herakles not only reclines like Dionysos, but sometimes uses Dionysos's vessel of preference, the kantharos, just as on the London hydria. Carpenter (1986, pp. 122-123) wonders if the fact that both Dionysos and Herakles are from Thebes could explain their common use of the kantharos.

(56.) Archippe Painter, hydria frr. Basel, Cahn Coll. 919; Boardman 1985a, pp. 242-245, fig. 1. Carpenter (1986) lists seven examples, including the two on the Munich amphora. Later, the scenes diversify, as discussed by Wolf (1993). Shortly afterward, around 510, scenes appear of Herakles and Dionysos reclining together at symposia (Wolf 1993, p. 191).

(57.) Tarquinia RC 1635, ABV 270, no. 65, 676; Paralipomena 118; Beazley Addenda2 35; Burow 1989, pl. 26.

(58.) New York Callimanopolis, ABV 329, no. 5; CVA Castle Ashby 1 [Great Britain 15], pls. 10, 11 [664-665]: 3, 4.

(59.) Munich 2301, ARV 2 4, no. 9; LIMC IV, 1988, p. 817, no. 1487, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman); ABV 255, no. 4; Carpenter 1986, pp. 111-113, n. 63.

(60.) The possibility that the two sides preserve sequential scenes is explored in Steiner 1997, pp. 165-166.

(61.) Some scholars propose that the figure on the red-figure side is not Herakles. Carpenter (1986, p. 98) concludes that both figures are Herakles, but he allows for the possibility that the red-figure image is Dionysos; the Andokides Painter has other idiosyncratic representations of Dionysos. Schefold (1992, p. 46) notes that the story of Herakles' trip to Olympos is more prominent on the black-figure side, while side B is about the characters and their relationship.

(62.) There is another broader iconographic trend to which the London hydria alone may belong. Boardman's interpretation, discussed above, sees the hero as antisocial, acting outside the social norms of mortals as he eats and drinks alone. Similarly, the Boston amphora by the Andokides/Lysippides Painters (Boston 99.538, ABV 255, no. 6; ARV 2 4, no. 12) provides two versions of the hero in another antisocial act, setting out to sacrifice a bull and consume it alone. When the lionskin hangs behind the hero, as on the London hydria, it also signifies the hero's solitary status. He is not the hoplite who fights in a phalanx. He follows his iconographic predecessor Achilles, who is depicted as monoposiast in the ransom of Hector (Carpenter 1986, pp. 115-116). Later on, Herakles is more civilized as he reclines at a symposium with Dionysos: see Carpenter 1986, p. 113, n. 63.

(63.) Beazley (1927), in his initial discussion of the Antimenes Painter, identified "the substitution of a wavyline for a straight in non-terminal folds," (p. 80) as a sign of the painter's black-figure work in the red-figure period, and one of the indications that he is "deeply affected by the strong new art of the end of the sixth century" (p. 82). Burow's full study (1989) of the painter affirms that this characteristic is late and indicative of the influence of the red-figure technique on the Antimenes Painter. Burow (1989, p. 55) places several pieces in his late group that manifest this same feature: no. 122 (London B 336, ABV 266, no. 3; Burow 1989, pl. 120); no. 124 (London B 232, ABV 270, no. 57; Burow 1989, pl. 122); no. 128 (Wurzburg L 309, ABV 268, no. 28; Burow 1989, pl. 126).

(64.) The channels between artists working in both techniques were open, as a contemporaneous example of iconographic innovation corroborates: a scene-type apparently initiated in blackfigure and then moving to red-figure has been discussed recently by J. M. Padgett (2001). In his analysis of a Euphronian red-figure image of Ajax carrying the body of Achilles, Padgett sees the source of the motif depicting Herakles killing Geryon in the black-figure repertory of Euphronios's teacher, Psiax. If Padgett is correct, we have an example confirming that innovation did not always begin with the newer technique: Padgett 2001, p. 8, fig. 9.

(65.) Many of the earliest hydrias are so fragmentary that a comparison of shoulder and main scenes is impossible. Some exceptions are the hydria by or near Sophilos once on the Paris market, ABV 42, where there are repeated examples of animals in both fields; on a hydria by Nearchos, Eleusis 766, ABV 86, no. 6, women appear in each field.

(66.) Berlin Univ., ABV 108, no. 15; Tiverios 1976, no. 21, pls. 4:b, 5, 6:a; Louvre E 804, ABV 108, no. 13; Tiverios 1976, no. 22, pls. 6:b, 7:a; Rome, Villa Giulia (M.430), ABV 108, no. 14; Tiverios 1976, no. 23, pls. 20:b, 21; Rome, Villa Giulia 42045, ABV 108, no. 17; Tiverios 1976, no. 24, pl. 70:g; Munich 1681 (J.1276), ABV 108, no. 12; Tiverios 1976, no. 20, pl. 2; Ancona, Museo Civico P998 (3032), ABV 108, no. 16; Tiverios 1976, no. 26.

(67.) Athens, Kerameikos, Paralipomena 45; Tiverios 1976, no. 25, pl. 30. There may well be repeated figures in each field on a hydria in both Gottingen and Paris (Gottingen; and Cab. Med., ABV 109, no. 19; Tiverios 1976, pl. 31), but it is too fragmentary to tell.

(68.) Villa Giulia (M.430), ABV 108, no. 14; Tiverios 1976, pl. 21.

(69.) Markoe (1989, p. 90) makes the point that Lydos, on another occasion (Berlin 1732, ABV 110, no. 37) uses a scene of a lion attacking a boar and two lions attacking a bull to underscore, literally, a scene where Herakles wears the lionskin and attacks Kyknos. He believes the combination to be intentional and meaningful.

(70.) Louvre F 39, ABV 174, no. 5; Hoppin 1924, p. 361, and Louvre F 38, ABV 174, no. 7; Hoppin 1924, p. 359.

(71.) Bloesch 1951, p. 35.

(72.) One example cited above (n. 70), Louvre F 39, preserves repeated figures: the youths who watch Theseus plunge a sword into the Minotaur in the shoulder scene are identical to a youth in the main scene on the belly. The latter youth watches the departure of a warrior in a chariot. In contrast, Louvre F 38 (see n. 70) preserves no repeated figures.

(73.) Louvre F 294, ABV 256, no. 18, by the Lysippides Painter and probably potted by Andokides (Bloesch 1951, p. 35), has on the shoulder a frontal chariot and Athena mounting a chariot with Herakles on the belly; Louvre F 295, ABV 260, p. 31, in the Manner of the Lysippides Painter, depicts the same subjects and is also, according to Bloesch, likely to have been potted by Andokides. Two others, also in the Manner of the Lysippides Painter, repeat horses (Princeton 171, ABV 260, no. 34) and female figures (London B 331, ABV 261, no. 41).

(74.) See, e.g., Munich 1471 (J. 476), ABV 137, no. 60; Tarquinia, ABV 137, no. 63; Berlin 1716, ABV 137, no. 62; Oxford 1965.135, ABV 137, no. 59, all attributed to Group E. For Painter N, one example out of many possibilities is Louvre F 108, ABV 220, no. 30; for the Affecter, London 1928.1-17.40, ABV 240, no. 13, is a good example.

(75.) Reggio 4001 fr., ABV 147, no. 6; Paralipomena 61; Beazley Addenda2 41. 76. See Steiner 1997 for a discussion of repetition in Exekias and the Lysippides and Andokides Painters.

(77.) Bloesch 1951, p. 35; Diehl 1964, p. 58; Louvre F 294, ABV 256, no. 18, Lysippides Painter; Louvre F 295, ABV 260, no. 31, Manner of Lysippides Painter; London B 339, ABV 264, no. 1 (below); Group of London B 339 and Related to the Lysippides Painter.

(78.) Burow 1989, p. 21, and n. 112; p. 48, n. 309; he notes especially the link between the hydria attributed by Bloesch to Andokides as potter (but unattributed by Beazley), Wurzburg L 304 (Bloesch 1951, p. 35; see also ABV 676, 678, where Beazley lists the hydria for its kale names). Burow considers the style of this hydria similar to that seen in works in the circle of the Antimenes Painter.

(79.) Burow 1989, pp. 48-49.

(80.) Figures based on the results of Burow 1989. The total number of vases attributed to the Antimenes Painter by Burow is 132; possibly by the painter, 16; in his circle, 23.

(81.) London B 340, ABV 267, no. 9; Burow 1989, no. 118.

(82.) Formerly London, Sotheby's, July 5, 1982, p. 122, no. 342; Burow 1989, no. 14. One additional hydria with a similar type of repetition is Switzerland, private collection (Zurich L 635), ABV 267, no. 13; Burow 1989, no. 15, where the figure of a hoplite is repeated.

(83.) Munich 1694, ABV 266, no. 5; Burow 1989, no. 107, pl. 105.

(84.) Victoria and Albert Museum 4795.1901, ABV 267, no. 17; Burow 1989, no. U3, pl. 143; Civitavecchia 1319, ABV 267, no. 11; Burow 1989, no. 94. Others with similar sorts of repetition are Wurzburg L 308, ABV 267, no. 19; Burow 1989, no. 92; Toledo 56.70, ABV 268, no. 26; Burow 1989, no. 100; Minneapolis 61.59, Paralipomena 119, no. 8 ter; Burow 1989, no. 110 (where the repeated figure is Athena); Altenburg 222, ABV 268, no. 27; Burow 1989, no. 119.

(85.) Stansbury-O'Donnell 1999, pp. 124-129.

(86.) Louvre F 285, ABV 267, no. 7; Burow 1989, no. 121; Wurzburg L 320, ABV 267, no. 18; Burow 1989, no. 123 (see also London, Victoria and Albert 4795.1901, ABV 267, no. 17; Burow 1989, no. U3); Wurzburg L 306, ABV 267, no. 14 (Fig. 9, here); Burow 1989, no. 127.

(87.) See Stansbury-O'Donnell 1999, pp. 118-124; Berlin F 1895, ABV 268, no. 31; Burow 1989, no. 63.

(88.) The figure of Hermes also appears in the predella on this hydria, as an observer to Herakles fighting with the Nemean lion.

(89.) Wurzburg L 309, ABV 268, no. 28; Burow 1989, no. 128, pl. 126. The identification of the shoulder scene as from the Little Iliad is by comparison to Basel BS 498 (Paralipomena 119, no. 35 bis; Burow 1989, no. 131), which is labeled and discussed below.

(90.) Basel BS 498, Paralipomena 119, no. 35 bis; Burow 1989, no. 131, pl. 128. Note that Hermes also appears in the predella. (This is an unusual hydria with figural scenes on each side of the belly.) Another example couples a scene of the Judgment with an anonymous battle; the two are linked by the helmet styles of Athena on the belly and the warriors on the shoulder: Basel BS 434, ABV 268, no. 32; Burow 1989, no. 115, pl. 114.

(91.) Vatican 419, ABV 267, no. 15; Burow 1989, no. 16.

(92.) Stansbury-O'Donnell 1999, pp. 1-8 and 149-155.

(93.) This recognition of temporal sequence ought to be incorporated into the interpretations of the London vase by Carpenter (1986), Boardman (LIMC IV, 1988, p. 820, s.v. Herakles), Shapiro (1989), and Wolf (1993), and into their discussions about the meaning of scenes where Herakles reclines as monoposiast. But the understanding of the London hydria as put forth here does not challenge fundamentally either a notion of the solo, antisocial Herakles receiving his reward or the successful hero feasting with his parasitoi after his heroic labor. See the discussion above, pp. 444-445, and nn. 53-54.

(94.) Several scholars have focused attention on the special relationship between Athena and Herakles; see, e.g., Boardman 1985a.

(95.) Such clusters of two scenes involving Herakles are antecedents to vessels on which several of his labors or deeds appear. For a full discussion of the latter, where at least four separate labors must be connected to qualify for inclusion, see LIMC V, pp. 6-7, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman). The earliest example of a vase including as many as four labors is an Attic red-figure volute-krater by the Kleophrades Painter, no. 1702, Malibu 77.AE.11, ARV 2 186, nos. 51, 52; Beazley Addenda2 188.

(96.) Richter and Milne 1973, pp. 11-12. As the text here points out, the shape is labeled as "hydria" on the Francois vase. This discussion excludes miniature hydrias used for votive purposes.

(97.) Ar. Lys. 327. Aristophanes uses the words "kalpis" and "hydria" interchangeably for vessels used to carry water from a source: Lys. 35, 327.

(98.) For fountain-house scenes divided by the architectural characteristics of the buildings, see Tolle-Kastenbein 1994, pp. 88-102.

(99.) Berard and Durand 1989.

(100.) Gericke's list of images of hydrias in scenes on pottery includes fountain-house scenes, the kidnapping of Troilos, and a few examples that are Dionysiac or mythical (Gericke 1970, pp. 49-54, tables 13-15). Tolle-Kastenbein (1994, tables I-III) provides an updated list of images of fountain houses on hydrias and other shapes. There is no testimony from images on vases that hydrias were implements in symposia, but we do have archaeological evidence that ties the shape to elite conviviality. In debris dating to the second quarter of the fifth century from a dining facility for Athenian magistrates in the Athenian Agora, an establishment where the ambience was distinctly sympotic and elite, there are fragments of kalpis-hydrias; a substantial "set" of sympotic ware by Hermonax included a bell-krater, lekythos, and hydria (Rotroff and Oakley 1992, pp. 12-13). For a discussion of the elite character of this dining establishment, see Steiner 2002b; for the fragments themselves, see Rotroff and Oakley 1992, pp. 92-94. See also Boardman 2003, p. 113.

(101.) Gericke 1970, tables 3-5.

(102.) Rotroff and Oakley 1992; Steiner 2002b.

(103.) Thuc. 2.15.

(104.) See Boardman 1985b, pls. 72, 73.

(105.) Oakley and Sinos 1993, p. 22.

(106.) Oakley and Sinos 1993, p. 23, and n. 6. They cite the fourth-century vase St. Petersburg Hermitage St. 1791, a red-figure lekanis by the Eleusinian Painter, ARV 2 1476, no. 3. Considerably later on Kos an inscription (Sokolowski 1969, no. 177) explains that a local sanctuary to Herakles could be used as a kind of catering hall, with a kline to be provided for Herakles who would be represented via his cult statue. The wedding celebrants thereby become parasitoi of the god, just as they were in the much earlier Attic cults at Marathon and Kynosarges, discussed above.

(107.) Durand, Frontisi-Ducroux, and Lissarrague 1989.

(108.) Bremmer 1990; Slater 1999. Such a kalos inscription appears on the first black-figure flat-shouldered hydrias produced in the workshop of Timagoras and painted by the Taleides Painter, discussed above (p. 448, nn. 70-72).

(109.) ABV 266-269, 360-366; Paralipomena 119, 164-165. The additions in Burow 1989, p. 104, are included in the total.

(110.) ABV 664-678; Paralipomena 317-319.

(111.) E.g., the hydria in the manner of the Lysippides Painter in Rimini, ABV 261, no. 36, and ABV 665, which shares the kalos name "Automenes" with the cup Florence 81601 by Oltos (ARV 2 64, no. 96).

(112.) Shapiro 2003, p. 97. Other recent discussions of the fountainhouse scenes (e.g., Manakidou 1992-1993) suggest that the women represented are elite Athenians whose collection of water in hydrias is fictional, or at most limited to times of ceremony and ritual; Manakidou concludes that the shape is used for transport and notes the large number of hydrias exported to Etruria.

(113.) London B 159, ARV 2 24, no. 9; Hoppin 1919, vol. 2, pp. 360-361. A second example, London E 161, ARV 2 262, no. 41, CVA British Museum 3 [Great Britain 7], pl. 72:3, combines a mythical theme, Menelaos pursuing Helen, and generic kalos and kale inscriptions in each field.

(114.) Poetry in the Theognidae, widely acknowledged as sympotic, includes many examples of mythical paradigms (see Cobb-Stevens and Figueira 1995, p. 1; Levine 1985). In Xenophon's Symposion (11.1-7), entertainers act out the story of the wedding of Dionysos and Ariadne; this is just one example from the literary symposia where storytelling is part of the entertainment.

(115.) Boardman 1972, 1975, 1978, 1982, and 1985a; and Shapiro 1989, pp. 157-163.

(116.) Boardman, 1975, p. 11.

(117.) For the inscription of the dedication to Apollo by the younger Peisistratos, see Meiggs and Lewis 1988, no. 11 (IG I2 761) and Thuc. 6.54.6 for a record of Peisistratos the Younger's dedication of both this altar and that to the Twelve Gods in the Agora. I deliberately avoid mentioning Peisistratean activity on the Acropolis, because scholars are not certain what the Peisistradids did, if anything; for a recent discussion and summary of the evidence and interpretations, see Hurwit 1999, pp. 105-121.

(118.) For discussion and references to building F, the Peisistratid "villa," see Camp 1994, pp. 11-12; and Shear 1995, pp. 230-231. Miller (1995, p. 224, n. 4) provides a long note on the (small) degree to which the Peisistratid Agora is public space with a function similar to that of a proper agora. Shear makes it clear that the villa might well have been built for Peisistratos himself, corresponding to his return in 546 B.C. Papadopoulos (2003, p. 296, n. 142) calls for a reexamination of the evidence, believing that the structure may be a potter's workshop.

(119.) Shapiro (1989, p. 125) provides an excellent discussion of the sources ([Pl.] Hipparch. 228b-229d) and what they mean.

(120.) [Pl.] Hipparch. 228d-e. For the role of gnomic wisdom, lyric, and epic poetry in symposia, see Kurke 1990; Levine 1985; and Bowie 1990.

(121.) Theognis: Levine 1985; Homeric references to symposia: Robb 1994, pp. 27-34; for Simonides: Rutherford 1996. For Simonides' apparent hymn to Achilles (the "new Simonides"), several scholars make suggestions as to where the elegy was first performed; most places are public but one is private. Aloni (2001, pp. 101-102) proposes that the occasion for the elegy was the construction of a tomb for those fallen in war, the construction of the altar to Zeus Eleutherios, and the establishment of the quadrenniel games, the Eleutheria, for a contest in honor of those who died in battle. Boedeker (2001, p. 120, n. 2) determines that a Panhellenic setting, the Isthmian Games, was the most likely venue, while Rutherford (2001, p. 41, n. 38) suggests another Panhellenic setting, Delphi, at the dedication of the serpent column. For the suggestion of a private, sympotic setting, see Mace 2001, p. 202, n. 87, and p. 203. Hipparchos also apparently invited Anakreon to Athens, and although scholars do not generally find evidence of a civic component in Anakreon's poetry, the poet certainly influenced Athenian vases designed for symposia; see Miller 1999.

(122.) Shapiro 1989, p. 125.

(123.) Copenhagen 119, ARV 2 75, no. 59. See Shapiro 1989, p. 126.

(124.) London B 331, ABV 261, no. 41; and Akr. 732, Graef and Langlotz 1925-1933, vol. 1, pl. 47. The conjunction of fountain house and label appears to confirm Thuc. 2.15: the Enneakrounos stood at the spring Kallirhoe near the sanctuary to Dionysos in the marshes of the Ilissos River. The inscription reads [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.].

For links between the building of fountain houses and scenes on hydrias of fetching water, see Burow 1989, pp. 74-75; Travlos, Athens, p. 204. Ferrari (2003, p. 49) suggests that fountain houses on hydrias, including those with labels, refer to the Kallirhoe of the autochthonous Athenians. The images may evoke the ancient fountain house as well as the Peisistratid construction; the architecture varies in the images, so the scenes cannot refer to a single construction. Building materials and masonry clamps date the southeast fountain house in the Athenian Agora, a second fountain house put up by the tyrants, to 530-520 (Camp 1994, p. 10).

(125.) Shapiro 1980; there is no independent verification for his attractive and plausible theory.

(126.) Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 63; ABV 266, no. 1; Burow 1989, p. 74, no. 11. Burow (1989, pp. 74-75) summarizes the scholarship on fountain houses as water sources and as showers with erotic overtones. Note also that the name "Hipparchos" appears on a blackfigure hydria of the same date, but depicting Amazons harnessing a chariot and Herakles and the lion: Wurzburg L 310, unattributed, ABV 667.

(127.) Pausanias mentions (1.19.3) that there is an altar to Alkmene at Kynosarges, but there is no evidence for it as early as the sixth century (Shapiro 1989, p. 161).

(128.) Meiggs and Lewis 1988, p. 20.

(129.) Miller (1999, p. 253) describes the cross-dressing that accompanied the appearance of "Anakreon" on Athenian vases as a "strategy for coping with elite anxieties."


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Ann Steiner



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