This amphora depicts scenes from Homer's Iliad, the greatest war epic of the ancient world. An amphora was a general-purpose container for liquids. In a funerary context, these vessels could also hold the ashes of the deceased. They are named for their two characteristic handles. Here, two hoplites, or foot soldiers, engage in face-to-face battle. Both wear menacing Corinthian helmets. They hold shields on their left arms and wield spears in their right hands. Paris, the Trojan prince who started the war by abducting the beautiful Helen, flees from the battlefield. He wears Eastern dress and carries a quiver of the arrows that would eventually cause the death of the great hero Achilles.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Greek (Attic)
Attributed to the Hattatt Painter, Greek (Attic)
Black-figure Amphora with Scene from the Iliad
540–520 BC
Terracotta & slip
10 5/16 × 5 1/2 in. (26.2 × 14 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by George Fleming, Robin Gibbs, Lee Godfrey, Charles W. Tate, and Richard Mithoff in honor of Lee Hage Jamail at "One Great Night in November, 2006," and by Ali and Hicham Aboutaam

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
Accession Number

Charles Gillet (1879–1972), Lausanne, Switzerland, 1950s–1972; by inheritance to Marion Schuster (1958–1982), Lausanne, 1972–1982; by inheritance to Madame Mathilde de Goldschmidt Rosthschild, 1982; [Phoenix Ancient Art, New York/Geneva, by 2006]; purchased by MFAH, 2006.