Terracotta amphora (jar)

Attributed to Group E

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154

Obverse, Ajax attempting to rape Cassandra at the statue of Athena
Reverse, Theseus attacking the Minotaur

A lost epic poem, the Iliu Persis, described the fall of Troy to the Greeks. Cassandra, a daughter of King Priam, tried to take refuge at a statue of Athena but was dragged away and raped by the Greek warrior Ajax. Here she kneels below Athena's shield, while Ajax appears to be challenging the goddess herself. The artist has shown the statue of Athena as it appeared on every Panathenaic prize amphora.

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