It’s time for a One Like = One Awesome Thing from the Ancient World thread... #ClassicsTwitter
Obviously I have to start with Phrasikleia. She's a funerary kore statue of c. 540-550 BCE. Phrasikleia herself died as a relatively young woman, before marriage. More:
Here's a 5th-4th c. BCE terracotta pomegranate. Pomegranates are associated with Persephone, obviously - but have a wider role to play in myth too. For example, in Persian myth eating pomegranate seeds made Isfandiyar invincible!
3. As you can see, though, pomegranates made it into art all over the ancient world - this more functional example is from 12th C. Egypt. It's a bottle.
4. Nestor’s cup, so named because the cup’s inscription declares that is is the cup of Nestor. It’s a skyphos (2 handled, deep wine cup) and is from Pithekoussai and one of the very earliest piece of alphabetic Greek writing. It dates to just before 700 BCE.
5. For obvious reasons, perhaps, I'm currently very into ancient depictions of mothers - like this fragment from a terracotta relief from the 4th C BCE. More:
6.The hairstyle of the Caryatides from the Erechtheion in Athens.
7. The Altar of the Twelve Gods in the Athenian Agora. Set up by Pisistratus (grandson of the famous tyrant of the same name). We don’t know exactly who the Twelve were (though likely the Olympians). It was the ‘centre’ of Athens for the purpose of defining distances.
8. This mid-5th C BCE vase shows a depiction of the Aiora, or 'the swing', festival in Athens. Long story short, Athens was cursed to have its girls 'swing' (i.e. be hanged) and they got around it by instituting a festival where girls swung on swings.
9. Polyxena's sacrifice: this amphora (c. 570-550 BCE) depicts the Trojan princess held aloft by ephebes - in the style of other sacrifices - and having her throat slit by Neoptolemos.
10. The same scene is depicted in low relief on this sarcophagus (c. 500 BCE). It's from Hellespontine Phrygia, and shows Polyxena - again held aloft by young men - with a sword being driven down into her exposed neck.
11. Here's a Romano-British terracotta tile, from #Aldborough, with deer hoof prints embedded in it. Animal prints are relatively common in Roman tiles - but deer hoof prints are less common than cats and dogs. Aldborough, by the way, has a great collection for a small site!!
12. This pinax (terracotta plaque) with a funerary scene on it. It dates from the second half of the 6th C BCE and clearly shows the deceased being tended by women, while men hang back - this reflects what we know about gender roles during funerals at this time.
13. Did you know that Persephone has the power to, basically, reincarnate people who serve her for nine years in death? No? So says Pindar (via Plato).
14. The winner of the four-horse chariot race at the quadrennial Greater Panathenaia got a total of 5,320 litres of olive oil. Here is a Panathenaic Prize amphora that shows the four-horse chariot race.
15. This lekythos shows two women working at a warp-weighted loom. Other parts of the image show women weighing and spinning wool, and women folding cloth. From c. 550-530 BCE.
16. This is a Carthaginian or Phoenician earring with an apotropaic demon face. These types of amulets protect the wearer from evil.
17. Not all earrings were similarly apotropaic though - here's a lovely gold earring that features a bull's head. It's Greek though, and from the 4th-3rd C. BCE.
18. What I like about this black-figure lekythos ('oil flask') is that the rooster looks GIANT. It's from c. 550-560 BCE, around a time when cockfighting was a relatively popular pastime.
19. This is my favourite figure from the Parthenon frieze. She's a parthenos, or maiden - perhaps one of the young women who assisted the arrhephoroi and the priestess of Athena in weaving Athena's peplos (dress). She lives in the Louvre now.
20. This one of Aesop’s fables (100 Perry; trans. Laura Gibbs). Momos (personification of fault-finding) gets himself banished from Olympus for pissing off Zeus.
21. The concept of the antefix (roof tile) featuring Medusa’s head as a way of warding off evil. This one is from Tarentine in southern Italy from around 540 BCE.
22. This antefix, also from Tarentine, but now the second half of the 5th C, shows a transition to the more standard Classical form of Medusa. She’s far more beautiful, and though she still has fangs they’re much reduced in size.
23. Still on Medusa, here a gorgon’s face graces the top of a bronze greave (shin guard) from the 4th C BCE. Medusa heads were common motifs on shields too - for example Homer (Iliad 11.35–41) tells us that Agamemnon’s shield had one emblazoned in the centre.
24. Gilgamesh and his pet cat. Alternatively, Gilgamesh as master of animals. It's a relief carving from the Assyrian palace at Dur-Sharrukin (713-706 BCE).
25. This owl-shaped Corinthian aryballos (perfume jar), from c. 640 BCE, is only 5 cms in height. At this time Corinth - not Athens - was the cutting edge of pottery!
26. Let's go back to that 'winning 5,320 litres of oil' thing from tweet 14. How do we know this? Well, the Athenians liked to write things down, and this is one of those things. This is a stele (marble block), from c. 370 BCE, details prizes for the Panathenaic festival.
27. This is one of four wooden panels that make up the earliest surviving example of panel painting in Greece. From Pitsa around 540-530 BCE. This one depicts a religious procession, probably of historically real people.
28. The peplos scene from the Parthenon frieze. This was a peplos (dress) made and offered to Athena each year. I've argued that it represents the past (priest and boy folding up last year's peplos), present (priestess of Athena), and future (arrhephoroi on the left).
29. To the right of the peplos scene is my favourite depiction of Athena. She's relaxing, chatting to Hephaistos, her aegis rests in her lap - she's getting ready to receive her new dress.
30. Sometimes the best things are the small details, like this beautiful two-headed snake curling around the lip of this jug from Southern Italy c. 550 BCE
31. Herakles sacrificing in the presence of Helios, c. 500 BCE white-ground lekythos (oil flask), from Attica. This probably depicts a scene from Herakles's journey to the west, where he killed the monster Geryon.
32. Votive offerings, like this little clay horse from Boeotia c. 6th C, are common and plentiful. Votives make up the largest single body of evidence and remind us that there were regular people with wants and needs and joys and fears - and belief.
33. A young man abducts his wife-to-be, who throws her arms open in imitation of Persephone calling to her mother during her own abduction by Hades. These pinnaces (terracotta plaques) were dedicated by young women in Lokroi Epizephyrioi to Persephone upon their own weddings.
34. Hermes weighs the souls of Memnon and Achilles in this scene - the gods cannot change the fates of men (maybe?) once they've been handed out by the Moirai (fates). Attic black-figure lekythos from the archaic period.
35. This is a frankly INCREDIBLE mosaic of Hades abducting Persephone. It's from a Macedonian (royal?) tomb in Amphipolis and dates to the Hellenistic period. It was uncovered in 2014 and caused the internet to immediately melt down with more predictions over who was buried here!
36. Thy Cyrus cylinder is a kind of peace treaty. It's a clay cylinder in Akkadian cuneiform, from Babylon, c. 539-538 BCE. Some think it proves Cyrus's repatriation of the enslaved Jews, but all the sanctuaries mentioned are Mesopotamian. Translation:
37. The Harpy Tomb is called this because its depicts harpies snatching children on the corners. The relief adorned the top of a pillar tomb - to Xanthos, in Lycia (in the Achaemenid Empire). The best part of the relief, though, is the pig that stands under the warrior's throne.
38. Here's another horse votive - this one from Olympia and made of bronze in a more geometric style. It's from around 730 BCE and one probably assumes it has some connection to the famous games in the same location!
39. Here's a little Cypriot Tamborine player, from c. 600–480 BCE.
40. Here's a Carthaginian (or Phoenician) glass pendant of a head.
41. While we're on odd little things, here's a bronze statuette of a satyr. It's Etruscan, from the 6th C BCE, and he wears a kind of Etruscan hot-pants (perizoma). He even puts Kylie to shame!
42. This is a little limestone statuette of Artemis holding a fawn, from Cyprus (3rd - 1st C BCE). She wears a long chiton - odd for Artemis, who is often shown wearing a shorter Chiton suitable for hunting. She's still got her quiver though!
43. Here is a handmade terracotta mask from Cyprus, c. 600-480 BCE.
44. This beautiful Attic red-figure calyx-krater shows Hermes watching as Thanatos (Death) and Hypnos (Sleep) move the bleeding body of Sarpedon. It shows Hermes as the psychopompos ('guide of souls').
45. Later on, Thanatos (with or without Hypnos) is shown moving not just the bodies of Sarpedon or other heroes, but also regular men (and women). This lovely example is an Attic white-ground lekythos from c. 440-430 BCE.
46. Back to Hermes - this lekythos (oil flask) shows the psychopompic god taking the soul of the deceased to Charon, who stands in his boat ready to ferry the dead into the Underworld. It's from Attica around 450 BCE.
47. The Anthesteria was a festival of Dionysos, but Hermes played a significant role because something that happened at the festival was the dead came back to roam about the world. This Southern Italian vase of c. 375-350 shows many aspects of the festival - all except Dionysos!
48. This mid-6th C BCE black-figure neck amphora depicting two warriors clashing could represent a scene from the Amazonomachy ('battle [of Greeks] with Amazons') - image @diffendale.
49. This c. 550-525 BCE bronze figurine of an Amazon (originally part of a tripod support) is from Thessaly. Image @diffendale.
50. Hades abducts Persephone. This beautiful fragment is from Locri Epizefiri from c. 470-460 BCE. This certainly doesn’t look like the ‘normal’ Persephone abduction scene, where the young goddess leans out of the back of Hades’s chariot with arms outstretched in panic.
51. Here’s a similar Persephone abduction scene, from an Apulian vase of c. 340-330 BCE. In the centre Hades drives his four-horse chariot, grasping Persephone. Hecate appears with her double-torches on the right of the scene, while a nymph cases the chariot on the left.
52. At the other end of this myth, Persephone returns to the world above - this Attic bell-krater (mixing bowl) from c. 440 BCE shows Persephone coming out of the Underworld, guided by Hades and Hekate, who lead her to her mother Demeter, who stands on the right of the scene.
53. To round off this Persephone-abduction series is this later (c. 1st C BCE - 1st C CE) onyx cameo. Here Hades’s pert naked bottom is the most obvious departure from earlier representations!
54. This bronze falcon is, in fact, a sarcophagus for (probably) a falcon. It’s hollow, and contains animal bones and one has to conclude they belong to a rather special falcon. It’s from Egypt, anywhere from 664 BCE to 30 BCE.
This rather small mummy-looking thing is actually a substitute (X-ray found no bone material) probably meant to serve in the place of a sacred falcon. It’s only 37.5cms tall, and is from Egypt, sometime between 400 BCE and 100 CE.
CN: mummified animal remains

From around the same period (664 BCE - 30 CE) here is an actual mummified falcon. It’s quite a bit smaller, at only 24.5cms high.
57. Of course, objects w9th complete images are far more impressive than broken fragments like this, but these are still important and lovely. This is from a terracotta tile. It’s Lydian from the 6th C BCE.
58. Moving to a totally different region, this is a turning key from c. 3rd C BCE Northern China. To me it looks like a moon bear, but I could be wrong.
59. Is this Satyr a) dancing or b) taking a touristy photograph at the Leaning Tower of Pisa? It’s Etruscan, so b is possible. It is from the late 5th C BCE though, so that points to a.
60. A Cypriot limestone statue of a young man bearing a ram from the second quarter of the 6th C BCE. This kind of image is relatively common, depicting worshippers bringing animals to sacrifice, demonstrating piety and giving these as votive offerings remind the god of the gift.
61. This oinochoe (wine jug) shows a man standing before a statue of Athena mounted on a column. It’s Attic, from c. 470-460 BCE. Athena is often depicted in this pose, but here the statue turns to look directly at the worshipper.
62. This fragment of a votive relief shows Athena in a similar pose as on the oinochoe from 61. She wears an Attic-style helmet with a belted peplos. Votives are often dedicated in thanks to a divinity related to a specific prayer-request. It’s Attic, from c. 405-390 BCE.
63. This Attic grave marker from c. 530 BCE shows a young man and a little girl and the base reads: to dear Me[gakles], on his death, his father with his dear mother set [me] up as a monument. It’s *huge* - over 4m high - and must be from a leading aristocratic family.
64. I really love this image of a seated Athena, chatting with one of the Dioskouroi, Hermes, and Pan, with Eros playing with a bird. It’s the ‘back’ of a column-krater (mixing bowl)... see 65. It’s Apulian from c. 360-350 BCE.
65. The ’front’ of the column-krater from 64. It shows an artist applying paint to the lion skin draped over a statue of Herakles. The hero himself ambles in from the right to watch, while Nike (‘Victory’) hovers above. Zeus and a temple attendant appear on the right.
66. This is a fragment of a skyphos (drinking cup) that shows Zeus, holding a sceptre topped with a bird. One has to assume that the hand on the right belongs to Hera - but whoever it is, the look on Eros’s face says it all. It’s Lucanian, from c. 430-400 BCE.
67. This is an Egyptian tree frog. From c. 3rd - 1st C BCE.
68. Back to China! This gilt bronze plaque in the shape of a coiled two-headed snake (?) is from the 5th - 4th C BCE.
69. These gold griffins are Scythian dress ornament. There two were part of a larger group of similar items acquired by Western museums in the early 20th C. Scholars *think* they’re from Maikop in the northern Black Sea region. Goes to show what happens when provenance is lost.
70. More gold, more leonine creatures. This time, a golden drinking vessel that terminates in a kind of lion-like fantastic creature. It’s from the Persian Achaemenid empire in the 5th C. BCE.
71. Here’s a very sweet little lekythos (oil flask) with a rather startled looking owl painted on it. From Apulia in Southern Italy, 4th C BCE.
72. This veiled woman, from the late 4th or early 3rd C BCE, stares confidently into the distance. She’s Greek.
73. This Attic olpe (wine jug) shows the familiar scene of Thanatos and Hypnos lifting Sarpedon’s body onto a funeral pyre. Above his lifeless body, Sarpedon’s psyche (soul) grieves his death.
For #MythologyMonday and to celebrate the release of my book #HeroinesOfOlympus I'm going to present some objects related to women I wrote about for the book! 
74. Eos, goddess of the Dawn, cradles the body of her slain son Memnon on this Attic red-figure cup from c. 490-480 BCE. Memnon's father was the ill-fated Tithonus, whom Eos loved so much she asked for him to be made immortal. But, she forgot to ask for everlasting youth.
75. Skylla wasn't always the monster hiding in a cave. She was transformed from a beautiful nymph by Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon, who grew jealous of her husband's affection toward Skylla. Here she is on an Attic bell-krater from c. 450-425.
76. Andromache, Hektor's dutiful wife, bids her husband farewell, while little Astyanax reaches out towards his father. Knowing what we know, these scenes are heartbreaking reminders of the horror of war and the bravery and valour of Hektor. This is Apulian from c. 370-360 BCE.
77. The Erinyes appear sleeping after having chased Orestes from Argos to punish him for the murder of his mother, Klytaimestra. They're goddesses of vengeance, with a particular interest in crimes against family members. Here, on an Apulian red-figure krater from c. 380-370 BCE.
78. This isn't the most famous image of Achilles and Penthesilea, but this late 5th C. Lucanian red-figure bell-krater is so expressive. It shows Achilles chasing the Amazonian queen - she's clearly marked out as other by her shield and hat.
79. Here’s a small (6.8cms) faience woman playing a lyre. She’s Egyptian and hails from c. 945–525 BCE. She, and a bunch of other little figures like her, relate to the goddess Baset.
80. Meanwhile, this c. 3rd-2nd C BCE (western?) Greek woman balances a box mirror on her knee. She peers down into its surface, fixing her hair.
81. Not a box mirror, but this is a mirror! It’s viewing surface would have been polished to a high shine. This is from Argos, c. mid-5th C BCE. Please be sure to note the little bird in the woman’s hand - for no reason other than I find it a particularly charming detail!
82. This Cypriot woman, from c. 400-310 BCE, wears a fancy metal headband (called a stephane). She might have been a votive offering, and probably comes from somewhere near Paphos, where there was a big cult of Aphrodite. She’s mould-made, so there are several other examples.
83. Nike (Victory) moves purposefully across this red-figure lekythos (oil flask) from c. 480-470 BCE Attica. Nike was a common feature of early 5th C art, undoubtedly in response to the Greek defeat of the Persians.
84. Not all pottery was highly decorated. Everyday-use pottery wouldn’t have been. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that these vessels that we look at from behind glass in museum cabinets actually were living objects. Like this late 5th C BCE Corinthian lekythos (oil flask).
85. Here’s a jug - probably used in ritual practice - that features relatively simple decoration, but with the head of a bull fashioned into the spout. It’s from c. 750-600 BCE Cyprus.
86. This golden phiale (libation bowl) is from 4th-3rd C BCE Greece. The best thing about it is the bees that sit between the acorns on the largest circle of decoration.
87. While we’re on insects, this is a capsule shaped like a grasshopper. From 6th-4th C BCE Cyprus. Capsules like this were usually worn as pendants and were sort of half jewellery and half amulets. It’s about 2.5cms in length.
88. Insects on amulets also occurred in Egypt. Like this banded jasper amulet of a mosquito from c. 712-323 BCE. It’s only 1.3cms in length. I think I’d rather wear a grasshopper than a mosquito.
89. I'm not keen on self-referential art, but I do like this hydria (water jar) that shows women at the water fountain. This kind of scene became popular on hydriai after Peisistratos and his son Hippias improved public access to water in Athens. This one is c. 510-500 BCE.
90. This is such an interesting lekythos (oil flask) from Attica, c. 420 BCE. Ignoring, if you can, the upper and lower registers, the white ground band in the middle is a heartbreaking scene of Achilles mourning Patroklos, who is laid out behind the slumped warrior.
91. I guess most people think of Plato when they think 'Symposium' (no? just me?), but here's an image of one on a mid-5th C BCE Attic bell-krater. Bell-kraters were used for diluting wine with water, so an especially pertinent addition to a drinking party. As is music!
92. Mortals aren't the only ones who like to party! The exterior decoration of this kylix (drinking cup) shows a bunch of sirens making music. Sirens traditionally weren't super-sex mermaid-like women, but birds with women's heads. This is early 5th C BCE from Boeotia.
93. And here's a Cypriot man, from the early 6th C BCE, playing an aulos. He's made of limestone and only 16.5cms tall.
94. Here's a gold rattle in the shape of a poppy pod. It's Greek, from the 6th C BCE, and it's 11.4 cms long.
95. This is a fragment of a Greek (?) terracotta relief, that's from c. 450 BCE "or later". It might be a genuinely ancient artefact, but there's also contention that's it's a forgery. I included it here, because this is something we sometimes contend with as ancient historians.
96. Votive body parts are well known from across the Greek world, they're often used as part of healing prayers. This limestone breast is from Cyrpus in the c. 4th-3rd C BCE. As a currently breastfeeding mother, I feel deeply connected to whoever left this votive!
97. Here's a kantharos (drinking cup) with the head of a stayr on one side and the head of a woman on the other - she's probably a maenad - a follower of the god Dionysos. Makes sense, given he's the god of wine!
98. With drinking goes dancing - this charming little terracotta statue of a dancing woman is from Taranto in southern Italy and dates to the 3rd C BCE. Her bare breast indicates she might be a maenad.
99. It's no secret that I really like artefacts that are objects of use - so I love this little perfume dipper. Made of bronze, it's decorated with a tiny nude woman who holds a libation bowl. It's Etruscan, from the 4th-3rd C BCE.
100. Persephone and Hades enthroned at their wedding. This terracotta pinax is from Lokroi Epizephyrioi (essentially 'The Western Locri' a colony of mainland Lokroi). It's from the first half of the 5th C. And @diffendale let me use this image on my wedding invitations.
101. This terracotta statuette of a woman, with a himation (cloak) draped around her shoulders, is Greek from Asia Minor. It's 2nd C BCE. There is some gilding remaining on her diadem, and a bit of pink on her clothing.
102. This similar style statuette is from Boeotia in the 3rd C. BCE. Her hair retains quite a bit of colour, and he holds a club-shaped fan.
103. Still on statuettes of women, but this example, also Boeotian but from c. 575 - 550 BCE, shows a highly stylised woman, seated and decorated with lined patterns, including a bird on the front of her skirt. She's probably a goddess, because she's seated.
104. I mainly love this woman because she embodies sass. She's late 3rd - early 4th C BCE, and also Boeotian.
105. Here's a Cypriot woman from c. 600–480 BCE. She leans over a heated oven, throwing disks of bread onto the oven's hot walls. Note her lovely red shoe.
106. Here's an Attic funerary statue from c. 320. It shows a maiden and a little girl. The elder of the two must have died before marriage, as she wears the distinctive dress of the kanephoros ('basket bearer'), maidens who carry sacrificial accoutrements in ritual processions.
107. Sometimes we all feel a bit like this man, thinking we have the upper hand (or, as it were, leg) and finding that our opponent has grabbed us. This Panathenaic prize amphora, from c. 500 BCE Athens, shows the sport of pankration - kind of kick-boxing mixed with wrestling...
108. Here's a tiny bronze dog. That's it. That's the tweet.

It's 9th-8th C BCE Assyrian.
109. This c. 8th C BCE bronze knife is from either northeast China or southeast Inner Mongolia. Note the little face on the top.
110. This little human figurine is from somewhere in the 9th to 4th C BCE and originates from Chorrera (which is modern Ecuador). The rotund, genderless figure lays on its back, wearing a little red cap.
111. A copper alloy lion figurine, from southwest Arabia. It's late 1st millennium BCE.
112. Sometimes I think people forget that ancient texts are also objects. Like this fragment of papyrus from Egypt around 285–250 BCE, which contains three non-standard lines of book 20 of Homer's Odyssey.
113. Is it easier to think of tablets as objects? This is a cuneiform tablet from c. 2nd-1st C BCE that contains a balag (song of lament) to Innin, a Sumerian fertility goddess. It's written in Sumerian, but many lines are translated into Akkadian. It's Seleucid or Parthian.
114. Something else I wonder if people forget is that children in the ancient world weren't dissimilar to modern children in a lot of ways. That's why I like toys, like this Greek doll made out of bone, from the late 3rd or early 4th C BCE.
115. This late 1st C BCE Roman glass bowl, decorated with inset garlands is incredible - so much that the Met calls it "a tour-de-force of ancient glass production".
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