Agamemnon (page 671, with art)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

Previous Page   Table of Contents   Next Page

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 63.1246: Attic red-figure calyx krater by the Dokimasia Painter with murders of Agamemnon and Aigisthos; in the center of side A, Aigisthos slays Agamemnon, who is encased in a net-like garment; on the left, Klytaimestra races in with her axe; at far left, a fleeing woman, perhaps Chrysothemis (Agamemnon’s youngest daughter); behind Agamemnon is a distressed Elektra and fleeing Kassandra; in the center of side B, a helmeted Orestes slays a seated Aigisthos; on the left, Kltaimestra rushes in with her axe, while on the right is an alarmed Elektra

Chrysothemis, Klytaimestra, Aigisthos, Agamemnon and Elektra from side A, in image from Museum of Fine Arts

Elektra and Kassandra from side A and Klytaimestra from side B

Klytaimestra, Orestes, Aigisthos and Elektra from side B; second and third photos from Twitter

Elektra from side B and Chrysothemis and Klytaimestra from side A; image from E. Vermeule, “The Boston Oresteia Krater,” American Journal of Archaeology 70 (1966) pl. 4 fig. 7

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Digital LIMC

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (no photos)

Pindar, Pythian 11

For Thrasydaeus of Thebes Foot Race or Double Foot Race 474 or 454 B. C.

Daughters of Cadmus, Semele dwelling among the Olympians and Ino Leucothea, sharing the chamber of the Nereid sea-nymphs: come, with the mother of Heracles, greatest in birth, to the presence of Melia; come to the sanctuary of golden tripods, [5] the treasure-house which Loxias honored above all and named the Ismenion, true seat of prophecy. Come, children of Harmonia, where even now he calls the native host of heroines to assemble, so that you may loudly sing of holy Themis and Pytho and the just [10] navel of the earth, at the edge of evening, in honor of seven-gated Thebes and the contest at Cirrha, in which Thrasydaeus caused his ancestral hearth to be remembered by flinging over it a third wreath [15] as a victor in the rich fields of Pylades, the friend of Laconian Orestes, who indeed, when his father was murdered, was taken by his nurse Arsinoe from the strong hands and bitter deceit of Clytaemnestra, when she sent the Dardanian daughter of Priam, [20] Cassandra, together with the soul of Agamemnon, to the shadowy bank of Acheron with her gray blade of bronze, the pitiless woman. Was it Iphigeneia, slaughtered at the Euripus far from her fatherland, that provoked her to raise the heavy hand of her anger? Or was she vanquished by another bed [25] and led astray by their nightly sleeping together? This is the most hateful error for young brides, and is impossible to conceal because other people will talk. Citizens are apt to speak evil, for prosperity brings with it envy as great as itself. [30] But the man who breathes close to the ground roars unseen. He himself died, the heroic son of Atreus, when at last he returned to famous Amyclae, and he caused the destruction of the prophetic girl, when he had robbed of their opulent treasures the houses of the Trojans, set on fire for Helen«s sake. And his young son went to the friend of the family, the old man [35] Strophius, who dwelled at the foot of Parnassus. But at last, with the help of Ares, he killed his mother and laid Aegisthus low in blood. My friends, I was whirled off the track at a shifting fork in the road, although I had been traveling on a straight path before. Or did some wind throw me off course, [40] like a skiff on the sea? Muse, it is your task, if you undertook to lend your voice for silver, to let it flit now this way, now that: now to the father, who was a Pythian victor, now to his son Thrasydaeus. [45] Their joyfulness and renown shine brightly. With their chariots they were victorious long ago; they captured the swift radiance of the famous games at Olympia with their horses. And at Pytho, when they entered the naked footrace, they put to shame [50] the Hellenic host with their speed. May I desire fine things from the gods, seeking what is possible at my time of life. For I have found that those of middle rank in a city flourish with longer prosperity, and I find fault with the lot of tyrannies. I am intent upon common excellences. The evil workings of envy are warded off, [55] if a man who attains the summit and dwells in peace escapes dread arrogance. Such a man would go to the farthest shore of a dark death that is finer when he leaves to his sweetest offspring the grace of a good name, the best of possessions. Such is the grace that spreads abroad the fame of the son of Iphicles, [60] Iolaus, whose praises are sung; and of the strength of Castor, and of you, lord Polydeuces, sons of the gods: you who dwell for one day at home in Therapne, and for the other in Olympus.  Greek Text

Scholia at Pindar, Pythian 11 Inscr. a and b – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Vol. 2, p. 254, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Previous Page   Table of Contents   Next Page









Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, July 2022

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2023

 377 total views,  2 views today