Storage Jar with a Battle Scene
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Painter of London B174
Greek, Athens, about 540 B.C.

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In the mythological battles of the Greeks, the conflict did not end when a warrior killed his opponent. There was then a struggle over the corpse. The victorious warrior would try to strip the armor from the fallen opponent and perhaps mutilate the body or hold it for ransom, while the fallen soldier's comrades tried to win back the body.

The front of this Athenian black-figure neck-amphora shows such a conflict. In the center of the scene, two warriors battle over a corpse, stripped of all its armor except for the helmet and shield. A similar scene appears to the left. To the right, a warrior chases a fleeing opponent. The scene on the back of the vase shows a group of warriors flanked by riders and onlookers, and a procession of galloping horsemen decorates the shoulder on both sides of the vase.