Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Grave stele with Hoplite Battle Scene

ca. 390 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Marble, Pentelic
Overall: 21 x 16in. (53.4 x 40.6cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
The ashes of every Athenian who fell in battle were returned to the city and buried in the state funerary ground in the outer Kerameikos at the northwest edge of the city, just outside the walls. The grieving family might also erect a stele--usually with a battle scene--in its own burial precinct to honor the fallen soldier. Here, captured in a desperate moment, both the standing soldier and his fallen opponent are about to be slain.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1941. "A Fifth Century Greek Relief." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 36(3): pp. 67–70.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 93, 233, pl. 73a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 82, pp. 55-56, pl. 66b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. p. 57, n. 125, Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska.

Clairmont, Christoph W. 1993. Classical Attic Tombstones, Vol. 2. no. 2.192, pp. 127-8, Kilchberg: Akanthus.

Goette, Hans Rupprecht and Olga Palagia. 2009. "Images in the Athenian 'Demosian Sema'." Art in Athens During the Peloponnesian War, Olga Palagia, ed. pp. 196, 206, n. 15, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stampolidis, Professor Nicholas Chr. and Stavroula Oikonomou. 2014. Beyond: Death and Afterlife in Ancient Greece. no. 58, p. 130, Athens: Museum of Cycladic Art.

Related Objects

Fragment of the marble stele (grave marker) of a hoplite (foot soldier)

Artist: Date: ca. 525–515 B.C.
Accession Number: 38.11.13
Date: ca. 525–515 B.C. Medium: Marble, Hymettian Accession: 38.11.13 On view in:Gallery 154

Marble stele (grave marker) of a young girl

Artist: Date: ca. 440–425 B.C.
Accession Number: 11.141
Date: ca. 440–425 B.C. Medium: Marble, Pentelic Accession: 11.141 On view in:Gallery 159

Marble grave stele of Antigenes

Artist: Date: end of the 6th century B.C.
Accession Number: 15.167
Date: end of the 6th century B.C. Medium: Marble, Hymettian (base) Accession: 15.167 On view in:Gallery 157

Marble grave stele of a young woman and servant

Artist: Date: ca. 400–390 B.C.
Accession Number: 36.11.1
Date: ca. 400–390 B.C. Medium: Marble, Pentelic Accession: 36.11.1 On view in:Gallery 156

Marble grave stele with a family group

Artist: Date: ca. 360 B.C.
Accession Number: 11.100.2
Date: ca. 360 B.C. Medium: Marble, Pentelic Accession: 11.100.2 On view in:Gallery 156