Storage Jar with Herakles Attacking a Centaur
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Attributed to the Medea Group
Greek, Athens, about 530 - 520 B.C.
13 3/8 x 8 11/16 in.

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A centaur turns around to face the hero Herakles, who attacks him from behind with a club. From either side a woman and an old man watch the conflict. The scene shown probably comes from the story of the rape of Deianeira. Pretending to aid the couple on a journey, the centaur Nessos attempted to carry off Herakles' wife Deianeira. The woman and old man are probably Deianeira and her father Oineus.

The back of the vase depicts a scene from daily life. Four nude athletes train at several sports: three youths throw the javelin and the discus, and the youth at the right holds jumping weights. Athletic training was an essential part of a youth's education in ancient Greece.