Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta pelike (wine jar)

Attributed to the Painter of Munich 2365
Late Classical
ca. 375–350 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 11 in. (28 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse, battle between Arimaspeans and griffins
Reverse, three youths conversing

The Greek historian Herodotus described a legendary race of one-eyed men living in the far north who were in constant battle with the griffins guarding hoards of gold. The men were called Arimaspeans by the nomadic Scythians who dominated the steppes north of the Black Sea, and also by the Greeks.
The subject matter is appropriate indeed for a group of fourth century Attic vases that were found in considerable quantity in southern Russia, specifically Kerch, whence that name, which is often used for them.
Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. pp. 4-5, fig. 39, New York: Plantin Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 115, 255, pl. 95b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 1473, no. 2 top, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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