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“Athena Promachos” on Panathenaic amphora (the association of the figure type on the vase with the statue of ‘Athena Promachos’ is disputed, however)

These types of vases were painted in the black-figure technique, in a deliberate archaism, even after introduction of the red-figure technique in the later 6th cent. BC.

The reverse of the vase shows a chariot race (the discipline in which the vase, filled with olive oil, was won). London, British Museum. End of 5th cent. BC. 


So-called Mourning Athena.

Marble relief in Athens, Acropolis Museum (height: 0,48 m)

C. 460-450 BC. 


Athena – Marsyas group by Myron, showing Marsyas discovering the flute (auloi) that had been invented, but then discarded, by Athena. Modern reconstruction of the original statue group from C. 450 BC (in bronze) in Frankfurt, Liebieghaus. 


Athena and Marsyas. Roman marble copies after a sculpture group by Myron on the Acropolis of Athens. C. 450 BC. 


Athena as judge in the struggle between Aias (on the left, with sword) and Odysseus for the arms of Achilles. The selection of this scene from the Trojan war, with Athena and the Greeks voting (right), reflects a new interest in democratic institutions at the time the vase was made.

Red figure kylix by Douris. C. 490 BC. 


Erechtheion on the Athenian Acropolis, with Athena’s olive tree in front. The highly unusual architecture of the building reflects the cults it accommodated: of the mythical kings Kekrops and Erechtheus, Erichthonios; and the gods Poseidon, Hephaistos, Athena.

421-406 BC. 


Parthenon. Plan and reconstruction with statue of Athena Parthenos in the cella/naos (4).

The Parthenon was built by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, the cult statue of Athena was made by Pheidias

447-432 BC. The cult statue was dedicated in 438 BCE. 


Parthenon, west pediment (reconstruction). Contest of Athena and Poseidon over the land of Attica. 


Fragments of the statues of Athena (left) and Poseidon (right) from Parthenon west pediment. 


Parthenon, reconstruction of the West pediment with contest of Athena and Apollo 


Parthenon, east pediment (reconstruction). Birth of Athena. Zeus in the center, Hera and Hephaistos on the left, Athena and Poseidon on the right. 


Birth of Athena. Red figure Pelike from mid 5th century BC. 


Parthenon, East pediment: reconstruction with scene of birth of Athena; surviving figures of deities now in the British Museum 


Parthenon, east pediment. Birth of Athena.

Sculptures in the pediment as shown in the drawings of Jacques Carrey (1674), before the destruction of the Parthenon by explosion in 1684.

Roman puteal in Madrid, reflecting the birth of Athena in the center of the pediment. 


Parthenon. Female figures in the east pediment.

From left to right: Probably Hestia, Dione and Aphrodite (others suggest Leto, Artemis, Aphrodite). 


Parthenon, South metopes: Centauromachy (fight between Centaurs and Lapiths), cf. for west pediment of temple of Zeus in Olympia. 


Parthenon, East frieze. Panathenaic procession and assembly of the gods.

1 (top). Young women with sacrificial instruments (cups for libations, jars), Eponymous heroes of Attic tribes.

2. Assembly of the gods: Hermes, Dionysos, Demeter, Ares, Hera, Zeus. Then ‘Peplos scene’: Two girls carrying chairs, one of them is handed over to a female figure (priestess of Athena?); then older man (Athenian official) receiving folded Peplos from younger girl (who was in charge of weaving).

3. Assembly of the gods: Athena, Hephaistos, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Eros. Eponymous heroes of Attic tribes.

4. Young women with sacrificial instruments (cups for libations, jars). 


Parthenon, east frieze. Details with Hera and Zeus (left) and Peplos scene as well as Athena and Hephaistos (right). 


Parthenon. Reconstructions with gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos by Pheidias

The relief on the base of the statue represented the myth of the birth of Pandora. 


Roman ‘miniature’ copy of the Athena Parthenos in marble (‘Varvakion Athena’). Athens, National Museum. 2nd cent. AD. 


Marble copy (from Roman times) of the shield of the Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon. The shield showed an amazonomachy (also represented on the west metopes) on the outside and a painted gigantomachy (also represented on the east metopes) on the inside. 


Neptune. Drawing (by Abbate, c. 1844) after now lost wall painting in Pompeii, Casa di Nettuno. 


Athena and Poseidon. Amphora by Amasis painter. C 540-530 BC. 


Amphitrite and Poseidon, Hera and Zeus. Red figure kylix by Kodros painter. London, British Museum. C. 440 BC 


Center: Birth of Aphrodite, assisted by two females (either charites=graces, or horai=seasons)

Small sides: Nude flute player (hetaira/prostitute?) and dressed female (bride?) with incense burner in front of her, illustrating two different aspects of Aphrodite. The distinction between the two different aspects of Aphrodite reminds us of the distinction between Aphrodite ‘Urania’ and Aphrodite ‘Pandemos’.

So-called Ludovisi throne. Rome, National Museum. C. 460 BC 


Epinetron from Eretria. Ca. 425 BCE. By the Eretria Painter, National Archaeological Museum Athens. Epinetra were used for the carding of wool, an exclusively feminine activity. Both sides of the vessel depict scenes related to marriage and the feminine realm. The front (behind the female bust) shows the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (parents of the hero Achilles). The particular object was probably never used in real life, but given as a grave gift to a young woman who died prematurely. 


Preparation of the wedding of the mythical heroine Alcestis (top, right) leaning against the marriage bed in her palace.

Aphrodite (center, left), Eros in front of her, Peitho (persuasion, with mirror as sign of beauty), and other personifications related to Aphrodite, among them Himeros (‘desire’) holding a little vase.

Epinetron by Eretria painter in Athens, NaJonal Museum C. 420 BC 


Punishment of Eros/Amor Peitho (‘persuasion’) returns the punished amor (crying, with a hoe or pick axe) to Aphrodite (seated, with quiver and another cupid). Wall painting from Pompeii, Casa dell’amore punito. 1st cent. CE. 


Center: Birth of Aphrodite, assisted by two females (either charites=graces, or horai=seasons)

So-called Ludovisi throne. Rome, National Museum. C. 460 BC 


Center: Birth of Aphrodite, assisted by two females (either charites=graces, or horai=seasons)

So-called Ludovisi throne. Rome, National Museum. C. 460 BC