Obverse, Theseus about to slay the Minotaur, flanked by Nike (the personification of victory) and Ariadne Reverse, three youths
According to legend, Theseus, the most important Athenian hero, lived at a time when King Minos of Crete was exacting tribute from Athens. Every year seven youths and seven maidens were sent from Athens to Crete to be shut up in a labyrinth to die of starvation or be devoured by the Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull. Theseus accompanied the victims, slew the Minotaur, and escaped from the labyrinth with the help of King Minos' daughter, Ariadne.
Beazley, John D. 1963. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 531, no. 38, Oxford: Clarendon Press.