P. 280 (with art)

Chapter 9, Theseus’ Later Exploits

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Athens, Hephaisteion, west frieze with wedding of Peirithoos





 C.H. Morgan, “The Sculptures of the Hephaisteion II. The Friezes,” Hesperia vol. 31.3, 1962, pls. 80-81

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (on design of temple; see also p. 281 on this site)


West facade of Hephaisteion, with west frieze visible over columns of temple’s back porch, Wikimedia Commons

London, British Museum: interior frieze with wedding of Peirithoos, from temple of Apollo, Bassai


Remains of pronaos (front porch) and interior cella, location of frieze; O.M. von Stackelberg, Der Apollotempel zu Bassae in Arcadien und die daselbst ausgegrabenen Bildwerke, 1826, pl. 3

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (design of temple)


Plan of temple; O.M. Stackelberg, Der Apollotempel zu Bassae in Arcadien und die daselbst ausgegrabenen Bildwerke, 1826, pl. 4


Reconstruction of cella showing where frieze was located


Mike Peel’s photo of Bassai frieze at British Museum, Wikimedia Commons










O.M. von Stackelberg, Der Apollotempel zu Bassae in Arcadien und die daselbst ausgegrabenen Bildwerke, 1826, pls. 19-29

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser

London, British Museum

Apollodorus, Epitome 1.21

And Theseus allied himself with Pirithous, when he engaged in war against the centaurs. For when Pirithous wooed Hippodamia, he feasted the centaurs because they  her kinsmen. But being unaccustomed to wine, they made themselves drunk by swilling it greedily, and when the bride was brought in, they attempted to violate her. But Pirithous, fully armed, with Theseus, joined battle with them, and Theseus killed many of them. Greek Text

Plutarch, Theseus 30.3

After this, when Peirithous was about to marry Deidameia, he asked Theseus to come to the wedding, and see the country, and become acquainted with the Iapithae. Now he had invited the Centaurs also to the wedding feast. And when these were flown with insolence and wine, and laid hands upon the women, the Lapithae took vengeance upon them. Some of them they slew upon the spot, the rest they afterwards overcame in war and expelled from the country, Theseus fighting with them at the banquet and in the war.  Greek Text

Isokrates, Helen 26

And after this, allying himself with the Lapiths, he took the field against the Centaurs, those creatures of double nature, endowed with surpassing swiftness, strength, and daring, who were sacking, or about to sack, or were threatening, one city after another. These he conquered in battle and straightway put an end to their insolence, and not long thereafter he caused their race to disappear from the sight of men.  Greek Text

Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheca Historica 4.70.3-4

[3] Afterwards, when they had reconciled, Peirithous married Hippodameia, the daughter of Boutes, and he called both Theseus and the Centaurs to the wedding. They say that the drunken Centaurs attacked the female guests and lay with them by force, on account of which violation Theseus and the angered Lapiths killed not a few [Centaurs] and drove the rest out of the city. [4] For this reason, after the armies of the Centaurs were joined against the Lapiths and after they slew many [of them],  those remaining fled to Pholoe of Arkadia. Finally, after escaping to Malea, they settled there. The Centaurs, excited by their success and having begun again from Pholoe, plundered Greek passers-by and killed many of their neighbors.  (translated by Aaron J. Ivey)  Greek Text

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Edited by Aaron J. Ivey, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Classics, University of Georgia, June 2016; and by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgi, July 2016.  Literary sources updated by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023.

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