Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Brygos Painter

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156

Athena holding spear and aphlaston (a symbol of naval victory)

Athena holds the curved stern of a trireme (warship) with a decorative attachment at the end. Following a rich strike of silver in Attica, the Athenian commander Themistokles persuaded the assembly to use the financial windfall to build a navy. By 480 B.C., Athens was able to provide the largest contingent of ships when the Greeks faced and defeated the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis. The Athenian navy came to dominate the eastern Mediterranean, and this vase may commemorate a victory at sea.

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask), Attributed to the Brygos Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

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