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Dossier : Des vases pour les Athéniens

Dossier : Des vases pour les Athéniens (vie-ive siècles avant notre ère)

The wedding vases of the Athenians: a view from sanctuaries and houses

Victoria Sabetai

Résumé

Cet article porte sur les vases rituels nuptiaux (loutrophores et lebetes gamikoi) trouvés hors contexte funéraire, comme dans les sanctuaires et l’habitat attiques. Il met en évidence leur fonction, leur rôle performatif et leur signification dans des rituels sociaux comme la procession de la loutrophoria et s’intéresse aux modèles dédicatoires dans les divers sanctuaires de l’Attique où ils ont été consacrés. Des vases nuptiaux ont été trouvés dans le sanctuaire de Numphê, sur l’Acropole, au sanctuaire de Némésis à Rhamnonte, dans celui de Déméter et Koré à Éleusis, dans tous les sanctuaires d’Artémis (Brauron, Halai, Mounychie), dans les grottes-sanctuaires de Pan et des Nymphes et dans le sanctuaire des Tritopatores. Quelques exemples sont attestés dans des sanctuaires de déesses en dehors de l’Attique.

Texte intégral

The following are warmly thanked: M.-C. Villanueva Puig; the staff at the Acropolis, Brauron, National Museums and Archaeological Society at Athens (E. Manoli, G. Kavvadias, M. Chidiroglou, M. Stathi, K. Petrou, I. Ninnou); and M. Markantonatos.

1Although Attic vase-production and its diffusion and impact overseas are well studied, the role of Attic figured wares in their land of origin has not attracted the attention it deserves. Thus, the input of the Etruscan client in the creation and consumption of Attic figured pottery has on occasion been overstressed. A balanced approach to the norms of creation and social uses of figured pottery requires consideration also of the Greek archaeological record, despite preservation biases that contribute to an over-representation of figured vases in the tombs. The reason why the Etruscan factor has been overstressed is due to two main reasons: first, preponderance of figured pottery in the Etruscan tombs. Notably, Greek tombs normally contain fewer, smaller and simpler figured pottery than the Etruscan ones. Second, preservation deficiencies: the ceramic material from Greek and Etruscan sanctuaries and habitation contexts is, in general, not well preserved. Yet, this fragmented material reveals that in Greece the opulent clay and metal vases were meant primarily for use and display in various life situations in sacred and secular settings. Their funerary use was secondary, while only a few were created specially for it.

  • 1 Nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi from outside Attica: Sgourou 1994, p. 206-217; Yalouris 1972, p. 1 (...)

2In this paper I examine what sort of figured vases circulated in Attica on the occasion of an important social transition in the life of the Athenian citizen, namely marriage. Ritual wedding vessels, such as the nuptial lebes and the loutrophoros, offer a glimpse at the kind of figured pottery that was created by the Athenians for their own use, for these vessel-types did not form part of organized trade beyond Attica and were distinct local implements with a symbolic and performative function.1 The majority of the well preserved examples were found in graves, where they were kterismata addressing the missed ideal of marriage (loutrophoros) or demarcated the dead as matron (nuptial lebes) or soldier (battle-loutrophoros). Here I focus on nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi in non-funerary contexts and address issues related to their function in the wedding and in votive practice.

A DOUBLE LOOK AT THE FUNCTION OF THE LOUTROPHOROS AND THE NUPTIAL LEBES

  • 2 Clay loutrophoros: Mösch-Klingele 2006; Sabetai 2009a; Hannah 2010.
  • 3 Sgourou 1994, p. 18-22.
  • 4 Earliest loutrophoros: Kyrkou 1997. All major Attic vase-painters decorated loutrophoroi, in a line (...)
  • 5 Gex 2009-2010 argued that the standed nuptial lebes was a storage bin.
  • 6 Boardman 1998, p. 121, figs. 225-227; Boardman 1952, pls. 5-6; 8-11.
  • 7 Sgourou 1994, p. 35-38; Kyrkou 2011, p. 204, fig. 1.
  • 8 The pair of nuptial lebetes from graves are occasionally unequal in height; was this fortuitous or (...)
  • 9 Females and cereals: Tsoukala 2009.
  • 10 Nuptial dinoi and kraters: Sgourou 1994, p. 192-193; Sabetai 2011, p. 155-157.
  • 11 Some nuptial lebetes display a wider main scene, thus both vessel-type and imagery mattered: Sgouro (...)

3The function of ritual marriage vases is better documented in the case of the loutrophoros than the nuptial lebes. Iconographical and literary sources attest to the use of the loutrophoros in the transportation of the nuptial bathwater from the last quarter of the 7th c. BC onwards. The nuptial bath was a purificatory ritual that marked the transition to married life; its ceremonious transportation constituted an important social event and the vessel that figured so prominently in it became the symbol of nuptials. As an implement used in a transitional life-stage, the loutrophoros was subsequently dedicated to deities protecting the wedding. Its function as a votive with token character is indicated by the existence of monumental and miniature examples, therefore not all loutrophoroi had an actual use as water-vessels.2 In contrast to the loutrophoros, neither testimonia nor iconography inform us about the precise function of the nuptial lebes.3 Earlier positivist scholarship favoured functional theories, e.g., that the stand of the early examples was perforated in order to allow warming of the food supposedly contained in it, a practical use that is impossible for a figured vase. The current consensus is that the nuptial lebes was a kind of standed louterion, which served as receptacle for the bathwater that was transported in the loutrophoros. Positing a complementary function for the nuptial lebes and the loutrophoros does not, however, account for the chronological discrepancy between the creation of the two, the existence of a lid only for the nuptial lebes and the appearance of nuptial lebetes in sets of two. Let us note that the earliest loutrophoroi are of the third quarter of the 7th c. BC while the earliest nuptial lebes is by Sophilos (580-570 BC).4 The formal features of the nuptial lebes, namely absence of spout, narrow neck, deep bowl and stand, do not really allow for pouring or retrieving bathwater. These traits and its lid align the nuptial lebes to vessels used for storage.5 A close parallel are the 7th c. BC Eretrian “amphorae”, which depict festive processions and these continue to the 6th c. BC, when they bear wedding themes (Judgment of Paris, Peleus and Thetis).6 Vessels of the amphora-type were containers of liquid or solid foodstuffs (wine, oil, seeds and salted goods). Perhaps the nuptial lebes was a container of some sort of symbolic drink or food that marked the union of the couple in the wedding rites and, contrary to the loutrophoros, would remain in the home as part of the bride’s trousseau, or in order to be used in formal feasts, as indicated by its discovery in houses (see below). The occasional occurrence of paired nuptial lebetes in the graves and in the nuptial imagery is notable. In some scenes that depict two nuptial lebetes carried in procession with other nuptial gifts only one loutrophoros features, which may mean that each bride could receive one loutrophoros for her bath, but two nuptial lebetes; men seem to have received only loutrophoroi, as they do not feature associated with nuptial lebetes.7 It is not impossible that the paired nuptial lebetes may have referred symbolically to the joining of the supplies of the bride’s and the groom’s households in their new oikos.8 The close association of the nuptial lebes to women in the imagery may suggest that it belonged to the bride’s dowry and alluded to her safekeeping and treatment of food supplies, vital skills for the economy of her new home and important female virtues.9 The “female” associations of the nuptial lebes suggest that this vessel-type could not have been a receptacle for bathwater, because, if this was the case, grooms also would have needed one. The appearance of dinoi in nuptial scenes shows that equipment to mix the wine for the wedding feast did exist,10 so perhaps the nuptial lebes contained unmixed wine, or foodstuffs, such as grains. Furthermore, the high stand of the nuptial lebes and the elongated form of the loutrophoros makes them ceremonious objects for display, image-vases that would recall the prestigious vessels of the elite from earlier periods.11

  • 12 Sgourou 1994, p. 26-29; 222-224. A few nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi were found in the Agora of (...)
  • 13 One exception with a funerary theme: Sgourou 1994, p. 262, no. UB21 (500-490 BC). In contrast, the (...)

4If we see the nuptial lebes as a symbol of the prosperity of the oikos through matrimony, we may understand its absence from the Sanctuary of the Nymphe, whose cultic profile seems particularly associated with rites of transition. The nuptial lebes, then, may have pertained to rites of incorporation into the wedded status, which would explain its presence in habitation contexts. Examples are the nuptial lebes by Sophilos, unearthed by the hearth of a house at Smyrna; a nuptial lebes (ca. 430 BC) found together with two kraters in the floor-packing of an Attic house at Dema; and some nuptial lebetes from Olynthian houses (4th c. BC).12 We may, therefore, conclude that the nuptial lebetes were prized possessions of the household. In contrast to the loutrophoros, which was produced also as a funerary vessel for the ἄωροι, the nuptial lebes was apparently not, because it did not bear funerary iconography and its bottom was not open or pierced.13 The nuptial lebetes found in tombs were presumably brought from the home to accompany the dead spouse, as is also indicated by the fact that some bear mending holes, a sign of preciousness and use-life. Note that mended loutrophoroi are not known.

5Concerning the iconographic repertory of nuptial loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes, wedding themes are the norm, with some exceptions on examples from specific sanctuaries (see below). Mythological weddings occur at all periods, but generic ones are more frequent and provide the iconographic schemes also for the divine ones. More common for both nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi are the nuptial cortège with chariots in the archaic and the nuptial preparations in the classical period; the latter occur primarily on nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi-hydriai. Yet, certain themes, such as women working wool, appear only on nuptial lebetes, while the depiction of the loutrophoria procession, and of the bridal couple hand in hand is the favourite of the loutrophoros. Loutrophoroi and occasionally nuptial lebetes are often depicted offered as gifts to the brides, bound with ribbons and filled with sprigs (fig. 1). The preponderance of female themes on nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi-hydriai of the 5th c. BC suggests a connection of these vessel-types with women, whereas loutrophoroiamphorai are mainly associated with men, as suggested also by the Battleloutrophoroi, all of the amphora type.

  • 14 Sgourou 1994, p. 28.

6In short, the loutrophoros and the nuptial lebes had distinct ritual functions as the former was associated with the bath, the latter, presumably, with drink or food. The fact that nuptial lebetes do not coexist with loutrophoroi in the graves suggests that the former pertained to the realm of the matron and the oikos, while the latter to the transient state of the bride/groom and to the sanctuary.14 The dearth of evidence from houses may explain the small number of nuptial lebetes, versus the larger numbers of loutrophoroi, which abound in cult places devoted to deities overseeing marriage.

7We now turn to marriage vases in the context of the Attic sanctuaries.

FINDSPOTS

8Marriage vases were found in the Attic sanctuaries of the Nymphe; Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite on the Acropolis; Nemesis at Rhamnous; Demeter and Kore at Eleusis; Artemis at Brauron, Halai and Mounichia; Pan and the Nymphs at various caves; and the Tritopatores at the Kerameikos. Random examples occur in sanctuaries beyond Attica (Hera at Delos; Demeter and Kore at Corinth). Characteristic votive patterns are attested in these civic and rural sanctuaries with regard to the marriage vases. The Sanctuary of the Nymphe yielded the richest series and the earliest examples (from the 7th to the 4th c. BC). The sanctuaries on the Acropolis and at Eleusis housed some exquisite late archaic examples, but in the latter they were smashed in ritual pyres; the Sanctuary of Nemesis contained only medium quality archaic loutrophoroi that highlight her cultic aspect as a protectress of marriage. The cult-places of Artemis as well as the cave-shrines of Pan and the Nymphs yielded more common and mostly small and miniature pieces of the late 5th and 4th c. BC in deposits that contained also krateriskoi. The shrine of the Tritopatores yielded late 5th and 4th c. BC sherds. Note, only loutrophoroi were found in the sanctuaries of the Nymphe and Nemesis, while the others yielded both loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes; in the non-Attic sanctuaries only nuptial lebetes were found. In terms of quality of drawing and originality of iconography, the best examples come from the sanctuaries of the Nymphe for the longest duration; Athena (Acropolis) and Demeter and Kore (Eleusis) in the archaic era; and Artemis (Brauron) in the 4th c. BC.

9In order to understand patterns of dedication, marriage vases should be studied in the general context of each site while limitations such as preservation and publication biases should be considered. In addition to understanding the cultic aspect of deities receiving marriage vases, questions concerning the identity of the votaries and the circumstances of dedication should be accounted for, as the transition to marriage received a great deal of cultural attention and was important on a personal and sociopolitical level.

1. Sanctuary of the Nymphe

  • 15 For collected bibliography see Greco 2010, p. 200-203; Tiverios 2011, p. 72, n. 1; Kyrkou 2011 (7th(...)
  • 16 Other offerings: hydriai, cups, skyphoi, lekythoi, plates, phialai, formiskoi, pinakes (Karoglou 20 (...)
  • 17 Paralipomena 45.
  • 18 PK, pl. 32, no. 164; pl. 59, no. 297; pl. 76, no. 385; pl. 28, no. 142. Tripods: Papalexandrou 2005
  • 19 Information given by M. Kyrkou.
  • 20 Kokula 1984, p. 116-118; Mösch 1988.

10In terms of numbers, an overwhelming bulk of material associated with marriage comes from a hypaethral sanctuary at the south slope of the Acropolis, identified by inscriptions with the Sanctuary of the Nymphe.15 This was the wedding sanctuary par excellence of the city of Athens from the 7th c. BC onwards and had a specific prenuptial cultic profile as the data bear out. 80% of its votives were loutrophoroi, especially loutrophoroihydriai, complemented by loutrophoroi-amphorai, containers, as we saw, of the nuptial bathwater.16 The absence of nuptial lebetes in this shrine indicates that these were not water-vessels and were not dedicated to the Nymphe after the completion of the wedding rites. The prenuptial character of this sanctuary is indicated by the imagery of its vases, which depict mostly themes referring to the wedding celebrations of mortals, as well as to paradigmatic myths exemplifying divine and heroic marriages. The earliest figurative theme is the loutrophoria procession (last third of the 7th c. BC), a type of scene that glorifies a social ritual (fig. 2). The choice of theme, reminiscent of an important life-situation that was celebrated in public, may be analogous to the depiction of the prothesis on late-geometric vases that marked the burials of the elite. A loutrophoroshydria by Lydos, the earliest black-figure example to depict a loutrophoria accompanied with the explanatory word ὑμέναιος, proves that the vesseltype and its place of dedication are clearly associated with marriage.17 Identical processions on open-bottomed, funerary loutrophoroi found in tombs do not depict the bath of the dead, but highlight the status of the deceased as one who never enjoyed the nuptial bath and did not make the transition to the married status. Some rare archaic loutrophoroi from the Nymphe shrine depict tripods, riders and athletic contests, which convey ephebic ideals of aristocratic and agonistic nature18 (fig. 3). Thus, the imagery does not allude only to marriage, but also to the social qualities and standing of the citizens about to found a new oikos. The sanctuary did not yield any funerary or open-bottomed pieces,19 as has been claimed, thus its tutelary deity was associated with the celebrations of the living, not of the dead. In view of this, the suggestion that loutrophoroi-hydriai were nuptial, whereas the loutrophoroi-amphorai funerary vases, seems unconvincing and we may remain with the older theory that loutrophoroihydriai were “female” vessels, whereas loutrophoroi-amphorai were “male”.20 The gender correlations of these vessel-types are not without exceptions. Archaic examples, in particular, present difficulties, because their subject-matter cannot be easily distinguished as male/female, as is the case in the 5th c. BC, when nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi-hydriai usually depict female imagery and loutrophoroi-amphorai male. The chariot processions, the departures of warriors and the mixed groups of men and women that appear indiscriminately on black-figure marriage vases may be best seen as elevated themes of a visual language that refers to the oikos as a collectivity and not to the gendered identities of its individual members, as is the case with post-parthenoneian imagery. Thus, such themes could decorate all types of marriage vessels regardless of the sex of their recipient, although it is possible that also in the archaic era nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi-hydriai were given specifically to women and were considered “female” vessels on the basis of their ceramic type.

  • 21 PK; PK2. Represented in the deposits of this sanctuary are: Nessos Painter, Gorgon Painter, Deianei (...)
  • 22 PK2, p. 210-212, no. 142; PK, pl. 18, no. 96; pl. 32, no. 164; pl. 33, no. 166.
  • 23 PK passim. For the last two see p. 128, no. 284; pl. 51, no. 256.
  • 24 PK, pl. 79, no. 404.
  • 25 PK, passim; see, e. g., pl. 65, no. 322.
  • 26 PK, pls. 85-102.

11Only a selection of 523 fragmentary black-figure loutrophoroi from the Nymphe Shrine dating from 630 to 490 BC are published.21 Their subjectmatter is as follows: the earliest loutrophoroi (630-600 BC, 42 pieces) depict animals, legendary creatures and the loutrophoria procession which is long-lived and continues to the 5th c. BC. In the first quarter of the 6th c. (140 pieces) the previous themes continue, but the neck now depicts files of women, some holding branches. Singletons include Kadmos at the fountain, horse-protomes, tripods, Bellerophon (?) and Pegasos.22 In the second quarter of the 6th c. (130 pieces) the new themes include the rider, conversing men and women, confronted cocks which refer symbolically to male agonistic behaviour, processions of women carrying gifts or offering a wreath, the nuptial procession with chariot, gods and mortals, a fountain scene, Theseus and the Minotaur and the Judgment of Paris.23 In the third quarter of the 6th c. (121 pieces) the theme of the dance is added.24 Most common is the procession of women, some holding a loutrophoros or a wreath.25 On loutrophoroi-amphorai occur files of men. In the fourth quarter of the 6th and in the early 5th c. (68 pieces) the most frequent theme is the nuptial procession with chariot, represented with thousands of fragments. The imagery includes on occasion gods (Apollo, Athena, Hermes). The end of the century marks the appearance of women striving or dancing around a tree laden with fruits, erotic pursuits, and combinations of the nuptial chariot procession with a siren on each side of the vessel.26

  • 27 Bibliography for pieces by the Sabouroff, the Washing and the Meidias Painters: Tiverios 2011, p. 7 (...)

12The red-figure loutrophoroi from this shrine comprise many outstanding examples. Several bear novel nuptial imagery but the majority depicts the nuptial preparations and the wedded couple. Nuptial processions and divine/heroic weddings (Admetos and Alcestis, Herakles and Hebe, Boreas and Oreithyia, possibly Phaethon and Aphrodite) occur on the most elaborate red-figure loutrophoroi.27

  • 28 Fritzilas 2006, p. 166-190.
  • 29 Sabetai 1993; for the loutrophoros of fig. 1 see vol. II, p. 104, pls. 23-24 top.

13The importance of the Nymphe Shrine for the study of the loutrophoros and the institution of the Athenian marriage can hardly be accentuated enough. The finds, when fully published, will change traditional views about vase-painting production in Athens, for it will become evident that the bulk of figured ceramics, as well as vases of the highest quality were created with the Athenian public in mind and circulated primarily in Attica. For example, prior to the discovery of the Nymphe Shrine, the Theseus Painter was known as a skyphos-and lekythos-painter on the basis of finds from Greece and abroad. Yet, he did in fact paint a significant amount of loutrophoroi for the weddings of his Athenian clientele.28 Notably, little by this painter is known from Attic graves and houses, which attests to the high degree of preservation bias of the archaeological record associated especially with the latter. The case of the Washing Painter is also notable: he was originally known from humble small vessels that were exported to the West and from his few elaborate funerary vessels from Attic tombs. Yet, his best works and bulk of production were the nuptial loutrophoroi which ended up in the Sanctuary of the Nymphe29 (fig. 1).

14In the course of the 6th and 5th c. BC the nuptial repertory spread over other shapes too, such as hydriai, amphorae and kraters, which were cherished in various areas of the Greek mainland and Etruria, where loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes were not in use in the local wedding customs.

2. Acropolis

  • 30 GL 1925, p. 128-132; GL 1933, p. 58-59; Pala 2012, p. 80-85.

15Different conventions of dedication can be attested with regard to loutrophoroi dedicated at the Acropolis, where some special examples were found as part of a large spectrum of high-quality figured pottery produced mostly for Athena. Graef and Langlotz listed 105 black-figure and 22 red-figure loutrophoros fragments; of these, 12 black-figure pieces were later identified as nuptial lebetes by M. Sgourou. The archaic material was found in the layers of the Persian destruction, while the classical, mostly miniatures, was unearthed close to the Propylaia and was therefore associated with the Brauroneion.30

  • 31 GL 1925, pl. 70, no. 1193; pl. 68, no. 1151; Pala 2009, esp. 121.
  • 32 BArch 498; GL 1925, pl. 67, no. 1220; Pala 2009, 120.
  • 33 BArch 200142; GL 1933, pl. 50, no. 636; Bremmer 2005, p. 162; Worshiping Women, p. 256-257, n° 1156 (...)
  • 34 Gebauer 2002, p. 55-60, esp. p. 57.
  • 35 The pig occurs more frequently in reliefs, versus the cattle on vases: Van Straten 1987, p. 164-165 (...)

16The earliest examples depict friezes of animals and daemonic beings as is the norm. In the second half of the 6th c. BC the fragments depict women, men in processions, casket-carrying, dancing and wedding myths (Judgment of Paris, capture of Thetis). However, some scenes are peculiar to the Acropolis loutrophoroi, for they are specifically connected to the recipient deity and, more interestingly, do not really belong to the repertory of the loutrophoroi at all. These are the birth of Erichthonios, Athena mounting her chariot in the presence of Herakles and Hermes, and sacrificial processions in the goddess’ honour.31 One such late-archaic example (530-520 BC) depicts Athena Promachos receiving the libation of a procession of votaries, some with branches, at her temple altar (fig. 4). The dipinti ΑΘΕΝΑΙΑΣ and ΧΑ[ΙΡΕ], show that this loutrophoros was a special commission for the Acropolis sanctuary, where one every five vases depicts Athena, versus one every 50 that represents the norm.32 Another example depicts a sacrificial procession with a pregnant sow and praises Olympiodoros as kalos, while also giving the names of the other figures (Mitron, Lykos, Proxenides)33 (fig. 5). Created in the workshop of Phintias (520-510 BC), it is the earliest loutrophoros in red-figure and has no iconographic parallels. The filleted youth guiding the sow may indicate that the scene depicts the proteleia, a sacrifice offered by the groom (and the bride) at the eve of their wedding; offering a pregnant animal would guarantee the fertility of the couple.34 The dipinto kalos and the choice of the loutrophoros as the ceramic support of such an image may suggest that it was a special prenuptial offering to Athena, as a virgin goddess. These scenes are patterned on the imagery of generic sacrificial processions, but are also comparable to votive reliefs.35 Thus, some monumental Acropolis loutrophoroi function as the equivalent of sculptures and attest to a discourse between figured ceramics and art in other media. They use the formal language of public art and must have been displayed and consecrated on special occasions in order to exhibit publicly the devotion of the worshipper, possibly a member of the elite, to Athens’s tutelary goddess. The miniatures and the dedicatory inscriptions on some pieces enhance the votive character of the Akropolis loutrophoroi.

  • 36 Sgourou 1994, p. 256-257, nos. UB1-UB2; p. 259-262, nos. UB11-UB20; p. 271-272, no. R19; p. 307-308 (...)
  • 37 Sgourou 1994, 260, no. UB12.
  • 38 Sgourou 1994, p. 271, no. R19; p. 307, no. UR2.
  • 39 Preservation biases may be responsible for two late 6th c. BC fragments that have been tentatively (...)

17Full and small size nuptial lebetes dating from the 6th to the 4th c. BC were unearthed on the Athenian Rock; the later ones have been associated with the Brauroneion: 12 black-and 13 red-figured fragments, mainly stands of nuptial lebetes, have been identified. The earliest examples date in the second half of the 6th c. BC, but the bulk of the black-figure material (10 examples) falls from 500 to 480 BC; 13 red-figure nuptial lebetes date in the 5th-4th c. BC.36 The black-figure repertory includes nuptial chariot processions, scenes with female activity, such as woolworking and dancing, men and women, and myths pertinent to nuptials, such as the capture of Thetis. Exceptional is a stand fragment depicting an assembly of gods; the presence of Herakles with a kithara facing Athena, may suggest that the scene referred to the introduction of the hero to the family of the Olympian gods. The (missing) body of this nuptial lebes may have depicted mythological or heroic nuptials of elevated character.37 The red-figure nuptial lebetes from the Acropolis start in the second quarter of the 5th c. BC and depict women with caskets and bands, Eros, and ritual scenes.38 In contrast to the loutrophoroi from this site, the imagery of the nuptial lebetes is more mainstream. Most pieces do not display artistic quality, nor are they attributed to major artists, a fact that might be due to preservation circumstances.39

  • 40 Pala 2010, p. 198-203; Pala 2012, p. 148-149.

18Loutrophoroi of the late 5th-early 4th c. BC depicting nuptial preparations are also reported from underneath the bastion of Athena Nike. Inscribed sherds mention Aphrodite and the find was associated with the sanctuary of Aphrodite Pandemos; it comprised also plastic lekythoi, protomes, figurines of an Aphrodisiac female and Eros.40

  • 41 Criteria for defining special vase-offerings: Verbanck-Piérard 2008 (special iconography, original (...)

19In sum, marriage vases, especially loutrophoroi, are relatively well represented on the Acropolis and their quality range is varied. Some late-archaic loutrophoroi, in particular, were ostentatious pieces with special iconography. The monumental loutrophoroi depicting sacrificial processions and bearing dipinti were special commissions for Athena. The existence of special loutrophoroi on the Acropolis should be understood in the context of a general accumulation of outstanding ceramic votives on the Acropolis.41 The iconographic discourse between loutrophoroi and reliefs attests to the formal character of the former and to their dedication at an important transitional moment of their dedicant. The humbler nuptial lebetes that have survived may classify as more common offerings, although the stand with Herakles among the Olympians offers an elevated scene of family values. The range of quality of the Acropolis marriage vases suggests dedication by various strata of the society and indicates that a variety of workshops operated at the Athenian Kerameikos to meet the needs of its Attic clientele.

3. The Sanctuary of Nemesis at Rhamnous

  • 42 Petrakos 1999, p. 188-197. Since no funerary loutrophoroi were found, the cult of Nemesis should be (...)
  • 43 In the lost 6th c. BC epic, Kypria, Nemesis is a bridal figure who resists Zeus’erotic advances by (...)

20Several archaic loutrophoroi were unearthed in fragments in the Sanctuary of Nemesis at Rhamnous and are associated with its early phase. The series date from the late 7th to the end of the 6th c. BC, but the bulk of the material is mostly late-archaic. They are part of a wider corpus of votive ceramics in the first half of the 6th c. BC, but become the predominant vessel-type later on. While no special pieces stand out, many are attributed to a craftsman with noted presence in rural Attica and Boeotia, the Polos Painter, and to the Painter of the Dresden Lekanis (fig. 6). Their iconography is typical of the archaic loutrophoros repertory and of the Polos Painter, namely animals, daemonic beings and files of women. The loutrophoroi attest to the prenuptial cult activity in this northeastern sanctuary and highlight the aspect of Nemesis, as protector of marriage.42 Some testimonia portray Nemesis as the bride of Zeus and mother of the archetypical beautiful bride, Helen, which may be the reason for her association with prenuptial rites and the dedication of loutrophoroi to her. The latter’s homecoming to her mother on the occasion of her marriage to Menelaos or upon her return from the Trojan War is depicted on the base of Nemesis’ cult statue.43

4. Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, Eleusis

  • 44 KV, p. 159, n. 1; p. 216, fig. 67. She calculated a total of 14 marriage vases that were found in v (...)
  • 45 KV, p. 204-205, n. 105, fig. 66.
  • 46 However, the lost body of this loutrophoros may have depicted a nuptial theme.
  • 47 KV, p. 159, n. 1; p. 95, fig. 25. For tripods on loutrophoroi from the Nymphe Shrine see above.
  • 48 Shapiro 1989, p. 81, pl. 36 d-f.
  • 49 Ephebes at Eleusis: Mehl 2006, p. 212-213.

21A few but significant marriage vases were unearthed in the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis and testify to their aspect as wedding deities. Some (two loutrophoroi-hydriai and a loutrophoros-amphora) bear imagery that is comparable to archaic loutrophoroi from the Nymphe shrine.44 Others (notably only loutrophoroi and especially loutrophoros-amphorai) are comparable to the Acropolis image-vases, for they employ the formal visual language of the festive procession and their iconography may bear some connection with the cult of Demeter and Kore. This is the case of the loutrophoros depicting a procession of men, women and a child who are led by a priestly figure, identified with the Eleusinian dadouchos.45 As with the Acropolis loutrophoroi, this piece conforms less to the conventional nuptial repertory of the vessel-type and more to the cultic context of the sanctuary where it was offered.46 Another loutrophoros-amphora (Swing Painter; 540-520 BC) depicts an all-male procession of basket- and dinoscarriers on the neck and another with musicians (flute and kithara-players) as well as bearers of branches and a tripod on its body47 (fig. 7). The scenes were interpreted as the festive procession from Athens to Eleusis and considered the fullest contemporary document we possess for that event.48 What has passed unnoticed so far is that in this all male procession only the middle figure is youthful, unbearded and differentiated from all the others by his garment, which bears dots instead of stripes. This particular detail, combined with the inclusion of a tripod in the main scene and the type of the vessel itself (loutrophoros-amphora) may indicate that it was the offering of an aristocratic youth, an ephebe or groom-to-be who partook of a cultic event (rite of passage or initiation) in honour of the Eleusinian goddesses together with his elders and subsequently consecrated a splendid nuptial vase to commemorate it.49

  • 50 KV, p. 21-45. It is possible that Kleimachos’ vase was an amphora, due to the fashioning of its lip (...)
  • 51 KV, p. 53-110; Swing Painter. For new joining sherds to this vessel see Tiverios 2013, p. 185-190. (...)
  • 52 KV, p. 111-134. Group E (Perhaps Group of London B174?); 540-530 BC. If the reconstruction is corre (...)
  • 53 KV, p. 135-157; 500-490 BC. Workshop of the Kleophrades Painter.
  • 54 KV, p. 197-198, figs. 58-59. For the recently reconstructed escharis see Tiverios 2013, p. 191. KV, (...)

22This piece, as well as six (possibly eight) other marriage vases, loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes, formed part of two closed deposits of burned objects that were comprised of vases, terracottas and jewellery and were situated near the gates of the terrace wall of the archaic Τελεστήριον. In particular, “Pyra Γ” (second quarter 6th —first quarter 5th c. BC) contained several burnt vases, figurines, pinakes and metal objects. In addition to the loutrophoros-amphora with the male basket-carriers, the group of marriage vases included a fragment, perhaps a loutrophoros-amphora, signed by Kleimachos and three black-figure nuptial lebetes.50 The first nuptial lebes depicts a nuptial procession with chariot and some gods as participants (Hermes, a pais, Apollo, presumably Dionysos, women with baskets) on side A (fig. 8) and a heroic departure with chariot overlooked by males of different age-classes on B, while the stand depicts Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and two women.51 The second nuptial lebes is, notably, mended. It depicts a nuptial procession with chariot on side A (a man carrying a vase, perhaps a krater, may have been present) and two groups of men and women on B.52 The stand of the partly preserved third nuptial lebes bears the capture of Thetis.53 The scenes on these nuptial lebetes are clearly set in an elevated tone and are inscribed in the sphere of the heroic nuptials. “Pyra B” (end of 7th–beginning 5th c. BC) was comprised of a fragment originally attributed to a loutrophoros-amphora by Lydos (560-550 BC), but later reconstructed as an ἐσχαρίς, and a miniature nuptial lebes, together with lekythoi, amphorae, θυμιατήριον, miniature hydriai, lamps, a flute, objects of adornment, a knife, nails and a piece of tissue. The nuptial lebes bears the typical birds of the Swan Group (late 6th c. B. C).54

  • 55 Patera 2008; Patera 2011.

23The choice of burning votives indicates a particular type of consecration at Eleusis. These pyres were interpreted by Kokkou-Vyridi as funerary or heroic sacrifices in the context of “chthonic” religion (ἐναγισμοί). On the contrary, Patera associated the pyres with initiatory rituals, challenged the whole concept of a “chthonic” religion and argued that these burnt objects were basically votives thrown to the fire in order to be consecrated to Persephone. According to her, the spot of the pyres, near the gates of the Τελεστήριον and thus, in passageways, suggests that the ceremonies in which the loutrophoroi and the nuptial lebetes were thrown had a transient character.55

  • 56 Kledt 2004, esp. 38-57. Cf. Bodiou 2006. The story of Kore’s abduction may date as early as the 8th(...)
  • 57 Sabetai 2009a.
  • 58 For the modern amalgamated concept of “chthonic” see Polignac 2009, p. 30.
  • 59 Late sources (Clem. Protr. 2, 17) refer to cultic performances that enacted the abduction of Kore: (...)
  • 60 The testimonia refer also to a sacrifice called «ζημία» (damage) which took place at the Thesmophor (...)
  • 61 For the term see Ekroth 2002, p. 325-330.

24But why burn nuptial ware? The destruction by fire of an assemblage that contains also splendid marriage-vases may refer to Kore as the quintessential bride of Hades. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter narrates Kore’s traumatic transition to womanhood and abounds with metaphors pertaining to maidenhood and maturation. Kledt showed that it is replete with figurative language referring to the change of status that both Kore and Demeter underwent, one by crossing to marriage, the other to old age. These transitions were poetically and ritually expressed as mourning rituals which mark the end of a phase of life (κόρη/mother) and anticipate the next (wife/grandmother).56 Indeed, the wedding is a type of ritual that has structural similarities with the funerals, as both involve separation from a former state of being and laments. Kore’s wedding was assimilated to death in a much more intense manner than in other myths of forced marriage. It was visualised as a kind of death not only metaphorically (abduction) but also literally, for the groom was the god of Death himself. Thus, the sad aspect of this marriage was prominent at Eleusis and may have found ritual expression in the burning of votives, including wedding vases, which, thus, became ritualized into the fabric of the cult. This type of consecration recalls the funerary practice of the Opferrinne, whereby lavish pottery, occasionally including nuptial ware for young deceased, was smashed and burned in the funerals of the aristocratic elite.57 Note that the nuptial vases consecrated at Eleusis bear imagery that has parallels in the Nymphe Shrine and at the Acropolis. They are not, therefore, primarily funerary and should not be used as evidence to posit a general “chthonic” nature for the Eleusinian religion.58 They are primarily nuptial, but thrown into pyres presumably to designate the ritual death of the ἄωρος Kore. Thus, the metaphor of marriage as death which was substantiated in the mythical narrative of the Hymn to Demeter may have found expression also in cultic practice.59 Despite the lack of definitive proof to back this hypothesis, the finds suggest that a nuptial dimension underpinned the ritual burning of wedding vases at Eleusis.60 The presence of pinakes and objects such as inscribed ἁλτῆρες in the pyres may suggest that these were votives consecrated in a “high intensity” ritual61 in honour of a peculiar divine bride. The mending holes on one of the nuptial lebetes suggest use-life of some of the consecrated ceramics, but the dipinto on the loutrophoros-amphora (?) by Kleimachos indicates that some were special commands or even first fruits dedicated to the goddess(es).

  • 62 With the notable exception of Kledt 2004.
  • 63 Roscino 2009; Tiverios 2009, p. 280-281, fig. 1. (435-430 BC).
  • 64 Roscino 2009, 137. Thesmophoria as initiation festival and Demeter as wedding-goddess: Kledt 2004, (...)

25The relationship of Demeter and Kore to the nuptials has received little scholarly attention.62 Yet, it was in the mind of the votaries who offered special gifts such as a unique skyphos depicting the abduction of Kore by Hades in the presence of Eros.63 Hades’chariot hints at the bride’s transfer to her groom’s home, which in Kore’s case is the Underworld, whereas Eros alludes to the eroticism and sexual maturation that propels the (safe or unsafe) crossing to marriage. The skyphos was the offering of a woman, which may mean that it was dedicated during the local Thesmophoria or at cultic performances of prenuptial character in honour of Kore, the Bride.64

5. Sanctuaries of Artemis

26The sanctuaries of Artemis at Halai, Brauron and Mounichia yielded a few late-archaic pieces of nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi, but mostly late 5th and 4th c. BC miniature ones.

  • 65 Kalogeropoulos 2010, p. 175; 181-182. Kalogeropoulos 2013, vol. A’, p. 268-272; 500; vol. B’, pl. 4 (...)
  • 66 Kahil 1997, p. 382, fig. 1.
  • 67 In the Brauron Museum are displayed two late-archaic loutrophoroi depicting a procession. The fragm (...)
  • 68 Kahil 1997, p. 382-383, figs. 2-6.
  • 69 Kahil 1997, p. 390-403.

27At Halai the loutrophoros is attested among the scant sherds found at this site.65 At Brauron the marriage vases are part of a larger votive assemblage comprising various vessel-types, mainly unguent and drinking vases, many of which depict female themes. The series of nuptial vessels starts in the archaic period and depicts women running66 and dancing as well as a gathering of gods, or gods and mortals.67 A stand of a nuptial lebes of the second quarter of the 5th c. BC depicts girls with torches running around an altar.68 The subject-matter is unusual for a nuptial lebes, but fits within the cult context of the Arkteia at Brauron and may be related to the imagery of the krateriskoi. The miniature nuptial lebetes depict the usual nuptial preparations. The most exquisite nuptial lebes from Brauron dates in the second quarter of the 4th c. BC and is a monumental, elongated example, presumably one of the tallest nuptial lebetes of the 4th c. BC (height, 66 cm). It depicts half-naked girls dancing; a θυμιατήριον and a tripod set the scene in a sacred setting.69

  • 70 Palaiokrassa 1991, p. 66-70; 73-74; 81; 134-137.

28At Mounichia the archaic material comprised very few loutrophoros fragments but no nuptial lebetes. Several miniature nuptial lebetes of the 4th c. BC were found, but only a few loutrophoroi. They are decorated with scenes of female nuptial activity and are comparable to those from Brauron. The general assemblage comprised a large spectrum of vessel-types for females.70

29In sum, the large number of late-classical miniature loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes suggest standardization in the votive activity with marriage vessels in the late-classical era. These may have been girls’offerings to Artemis in a prenuptial cultic frame, which highlights her cult aspect as kourotrophos and overseer of female maturation rituals. The stand of the nuptial lebes with maidens dancing at the altar is unusual for this vessel-type, but fits within the cult context of the Arkteia at Brauron.

6. Cave sanctuaries to Pan and the Nymphs

  • 71 Recent studies: SP, p. 153-166; 462-478; Baumer 2004, p. 86, no. Att 5.
  • 72 SP, p. 138-152; 435-461; Baumer 2004, p. 87, no. Att 7.
  • 73 SP, p. 62-92; 336-385; Baumer 2004, p. 96-97, no. Att 23.
  • 74 SP, p. 93-137; 386-434; Baumer 2004, p. 108-109, no. Att 42; Schörner, Goette 2004, pl. 49, 1.
  • 75 Zampiti 2013.
  • 76 SP, p. 44-61; 295-335.

30The following cave-sanctuaries contained ritual marriage-vases: 1, Daphni.71 2, Eleusis.72 3, Phyle, Parnes.73 4, Vari.74 5, Cave at Schisto, Keratsini.75 6, Marathon.76

  • 77 SP, fig. 149.
  • 78 Cf. Deschodt 2012; CVA Athens, Benaki Museum 1, text to pls. 29-30 (V. Sabetai).
  • 79 Zampiti 2013, esp. 306-309.
  • 80 Larson 2001, p. 100-112. The use of the krateriskoi is debated. Their presence in almost all the ca (...)

31In these caves were found mostly small and miniature nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi, but there existed also a few larger pieces (Daphni). As in the Artemis sanctuaries, the bulk of the miniatures date in the second half of the 5th and in the 4th c. BC, but on occasion archaic examples also occur (Daphni). Most are loutrophoros-hydriai, but loutrophoros-amphorai also exist (Eleusis; Vari). They all bear nuptial imagery or florals. One loutrophoros-hydria from Phyle77 with a sphinx at a column indicates that this mixed creature should not be seen as a symbol of death, but of transition78 (fig. 9) The finds from Schisto (5th c. BC to Roman times), among which were nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi of the second half of the 5th c. BC are informative, for they were recovered from a closed votive pit at the rear of the cave and provide an archaeological context. The nuptial vessels were found together with several red-figure and blackglazed sherds of various shape-types, dated ca. 450-400 BC. The largest category of the pit were the krateriskoi (ca. 40 pieces) and the rarest the kalathoi, both vessel-types associated with women, their maturation and their skills as textile-workers. According to Zampiti, the proximity of this cave to the sanctuary of Artemis at Mounichia and the resemblance of its votive material to that found in sanctuaries of Artemis indicates some kind of special connection between these cult places.79 The general coexistence of marriage vases and krateriskoi in the caves offers a link with the Artemisiac realm and may suggest visits of young votaries, as well as a kinship between the cultic persona of Artemis and the nymphs, the latter being the mythic paradigm of the chaste marriageable maiden.80 All marriage vases depict scenes of bridal preparations.

7. Sanctuary of the Tritopatores, Kerameikos

  • 81 Stroszeck 2010, p. 79-80.

32Red-figured sherds of loutrophoroi and nuptial lebetes of the late 5th and the 4th c. BC were found in this small hypethral shrine, which was devoted to the mythic forefathers of the Athenians. The testimonia reveal a particularly Athenian prenuptial function of this cult-place, specifying that the dedicants prayed for the birth of legitimate sons to continue the lineage of their oikoi. The wedding vessels must have been votives associated with pre-or post-nuptial activity at this shrine.81

CONCLUSIONS

33Ritual wedding vases constitute an important corpus of evidence for the study of production and consumption of Attic figured pottery in its place of origin. Its choice of imagery and vessel-type sheds light to wedding customs, mentalities, identities, values, ideals, social status and patterns of dedication as expressed visually and projected in the backdrop of the private and public life. Wedding vases were dedicated to deities protecting marriage all over Attica, but the earliest and most long-lived series comes from the Sanctuary of the Nymphe.

34The loutrophoros, created earlier than the nuptial lebes, attests to the importance of wedding as a social ritual and to marriage as a civic institution already in the second half of the 7th c. BC. In particular, the choice to depict a secular theme inspired from the wedding preparations, namely the loutrophoria procession, attests to the interest in ceremonious public events that highlighted the role and status of the oikos and the socially prescribed roles of its members. This phenomenon is reminiscent of and may bear analogies with the funerary geometric vases that were created for the elite. The choice of an elevated heroic/mythological repertory for marriage vases may reflect the consolidation of the polis structure in the late-archaic period, when wedding scenes with chariots and processions reach a peak and attest to collective ideals. In the years of the Democracy the repertory focuses more on idealized roles of the individual citizens. Nuptial vases become standardized in the late-classical period, when they also spread to peripheral Attic sanctuaries in large numbers.

35Although marriage vessels bear imagery that accord with their function in the ceremonies, some elaborate examples dedicated to the great sanctuaries of the Acropolis and Eleusis adopt an iconography that takes into account the specific myths and cult associated with the goddesses venerated there. These are the loutrophoroi depicting the birth of Erichthonios (Acropolis), dance at an altar (Brauron) and cultic or sacrificial processions with ephebes (Acropolis, Eleusis). Their dipinti indicate that they were special commissions for specific sanctuaries and may have been offered on the occasion of their dedicant’s proteleia ritual or in commemoration of the prenuptial status. At all cult-places the wedding vessels must have been votive offerings which were on display for a while, the only exception being Eleusis, where they were consecrated at the gates of the Τελεστήριον by having been ritually burned, a fact that may be connected to the transition of Kore, namely her marriage with Hades and passage to his oikos in the Underworld. The dark, sorrowful side that is part of all rites of passage at the phase of separation seems to have been particularly accentuated at Eleusis, as the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the ritual killing of votives, among which nuptial ones, suggests. This is a case where the votive offerings are ritualized and integrated into the fabric of the local cult practice.

36The study of a special group of figured vessels that were produced and consumed locally, such as the loutrophoros and the nuptial lebes, allows us to conclude that Athenians created figured ceramics with representations which were inspired from their lived experience and were informed by their imagination. The best went to the sanctuaries or stayed at home, whereas the ostentatious pieces from graves are fewer, indicating the special dead that the prematurely deceased individuals (ἄωροι) were.

Fig. 1: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 1844. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas). See front cover.

Fig. 2: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 189. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas)

Fig. 3: Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 22. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas)

Fig. 4: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum. (From GL 1925, pl. 67, no. 1220)

Fig. 5: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum. (From GL 1933, pl. 50, no. 636)

Fig. 6: Fragments of nuptial vessels, Sanctuary of Nemesis. (From Petrakos 1999, p. 196, fig. 112)

Fig. 7: Eleusis, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, inv. no. ΜΕλ 471. (From KV p. 95, fig. 25)

Fig. 8: Eleusis, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore. (From KV p. 59, fig. 22)

Fig. 9: Athens, National Museum inv. no. 14888. (From the cave at Phyle)

Bibliographie

ABBREVIATIONS

Barch: Beazley Archive Database.

GL 1925: Graef-Langlotz 1925: Botho Graef, Ernst Langlotz, Die antiken Vasen von der Akropolis zu Athen, vol. 1, Berlin.

GL 1933: Graef-Langlotz 1933: op. cit. vol. 2.

KV: Konstantina Kokkou-Vyridi, Μελανόμορφα γαμήλια αγγεία από τις πυρές θυσιών στο ιερό της Ελευσίνας, Athens, 2010.

FS: Heide Frielinghaus, Jutta Stroszeck (ed.), Neue Forschungen zu griechischen Städten und Heiligtümern, Möhnesee, 2010.

PK: Charikleia Papadopoulou-Kanellopoulou, Ιερό της Νύμφης. Μελανόμορφες λουτροφόροι, Athens, 1997.

PK2: Charikleia Papadopoulou-Kanellopoulou, “Iερό της Νύμφης. Μελανόμορφες Λουτροφόροι. Συμπλήρωμα”, ΑΑΑ 35-38, 2002-2005, p. 205-222.

SP: Xeni Arapoyianni, Τα σπήλαια του Πανός στην Αττική, Diss. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2000. http://phdtheses.ekt.gr/eadd/handle/10442/13606.

Worshiping Women: Nikolaos Kaltsas, Alan Shapiro (ed.) Worshiping Women. Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens, New York, 2008.

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Smith 2011: Amy Smith, Polis and Personification in Classical Athenian Art, Leiden, 2011.

Stroszeck 2010: Jutta Stroszeck, “Das Heiligtum des Tritopatores im Kerameikos von Athen”, in FS, p. 55-83.

Tiverios 2009: Michalis Tiverios, «Αγγεία-αναθήματα από το μεγάλο ελευσινιακό ιερό», in John H. Oakley, Olga Palagia (ed.), Athenian Potters and Painters, II, Oxford, 2009, p. 280-290.

Tiverios 2011: Michalis Tiverios, «Ο Φαέθων του Ζ. του Μειδία και ο Φαέθων του Ευριπίδη», Logeion 1, 2011, p. 72-110.

Tiverios 2013: Michalis Tiverios, «Ξαναβλέποντας τα παλιά κεραμικά ευρήματα από το μεγάλο ελευσινιακό ιερό», Ο Μέντωρ 105, 2013, p. 175-228.

Tiverios 2014: Michalis Tiverios, “Der Phaethon des Meidias-Malers und der ‘ Phaethon’des Euripides”, in Rita Amedick, Heide Froning, Winfried Held (ed.), Marburger Winckelmann-Programm 2014, Marburg, 2014, p. 67-89.

Tsoukala 2009: Victoria Tsoukala, “Cereal processing and the performance of gender in archaic and classical Greece: iconography and function of a group of terracotta statuettes and vases”, in Çiğdem Özkan Aygün, Soma 2007, Oxford, 2009, p. 387-395.

Van Straten 1987: Folkert Van Straten, “Greek Sacrificial Representations: Livestock Prices and Religious Mentality”, in Tullia Linders, Gullög Nordquist (ed.), Gifts to the Gods, Uppsala, 1987, p. 159-170.

Verbanck-Piérard 1988: Annie Verbanck-Piérard, « Images et piété en Grèce classique: la contribution de l’iconographie céramique à l’étude de la religion grecque », Kernos 1, 1988, p. 223-234.

Verbanck-Piérard 2008: Annie Verbanck-Piérard, “The Colors of the Acropolis: Special Techniques for Athena”, in K. Lapatin (ed.), Papers on Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, Los Angeles, 2008, p. 47-60.

Wagner 2003: Claudia Wagner, « Des vases pour Athéna: Quelques réflexions sur l’Acropole d’Athènes comme contexte », in Pierre Rouillard, Annie Verbanck-Piérard (éd.), Le vase grec et ses destins, München, 2003, p. 49-56.

Yalouris 1972: Nikolaos Yalouris, «Ἀνασκαφή Ἀρχαίας Ἤλιδος», PraktAE 1972, p. 139-142.

Zampiti 2013: Alexandra Zampiti, “Schisto Cave at Keratsini (Attika): The Pottery from Classical Through Roman Times”, in Fanis Mavridis, Jesper Tae Jensen (ed.), Stable Places and Changing Perceptions: Cave Archaeology in Greece, Oxford, 2013, p. 306-318.

Notes

1 Nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi from outside Attica: Sgourou 1994, p. 206-217; Yalouris 1972, p. 142, pl. 122, a (Elis, votive deposit).

2 Clay loutrophoros: Mösch-Klingele 2006; Sabetai 2009a; Hannah 2010.

3 Sgourou 1994, p. 18-22.

4 Earliest loutrophoros: Kyrkou 1997. All major Attic vase-painters decorated loutrophoroi, in a line of production that continued uninterrupted down to the 4th c. BC and testifies to the continuation of the ritual that it served. The nuptial lebes without stand was introduced later (ca. 450 BC). Only a few painters of archaic nuptial lebetes are known, due to preservation deficiency: Sophilos, Painter of Louvre F6, Swing Painter, workshop of the Antimenes Painter, Rycroft Painter and near him, Painter of Tarquinia RC 6847 (?).

5 Gex 2009-2010 argued that the standed nuptial lebes was a storage bin.

6 Boardman 1998, p. 121, figs. 225-227; Boardman 1952, pls. 5-6; 8-11.

7 Sgourou 1994, p. 35-38; Kyrkou 2011, p. 204, fig. 1.

8 The pair of nuptial lebetes from graves are occasionally unequal in height; was this fortuitous or symbolic (standing for each spouse)? For a grave-group with sets of nuptial lebetes of both Types and for the Kerameikos HS 164 Opferrinne see Eliopoulos 2010, p. 86-87. The loutrophoros is depicted paired once with the bridal couple, but this is not a real pair, as one vase is a loutrophoros-amphora presumably meant for the groom, the other a loutrophoros-hydria for the bride: BArch 34.

9 Females and cereals: Tsoukala 2009.

10 Nuptial dinoi and kraters: Sgourou 1994, p. 192-193; Sabetai 2011, p. 155-157.

11 Some nuptial lebetes display a wider main scene, thus both vessel-type and imagery mattered: Sgourou 1994, p. 23.

12 Sgourou 1994, p. 26-29; 222-224. A few nuptial lebetes and loutrophoroi were found in the Agora of Athens in mixed archaeological contexts: Schmidt 2005, p. 98-99. Nuptial lebetes outnumber the loutrophoroi and may have originally belonged to shrines or houses.

13 One exception with a funerary theme: Sgourou 1994, p. 262, no. UB21 (500-490 BC). In contrast, the series of open-bottomed funerary loutrophoroi (with funerary or nuptial themes) starts after ca. 550 BC. Funerary loutrophoroi postdate the nuptial loutrophoroi by a century.

14 Sgourou 1994, p. 28.

15 For collected bibliography see Greco 2010, p. 200-203; Tiverios 2011, p. 72, n. 1; Kyrkou 2011 (7th -2nd c. BC). The Greek word νύμφη designates the nubile young woman and is used both for the bride until the birth of her first child, and the minor female divinities of the wild places. Cf. n. 80, below.

16 Other offerings: hydriai, cups, skyphoi, lekythoi, plates, phialai, formiskoi, pinakes (Karoglou 2010, p. 36-37) spindle-whorls, miniatures and female protomes. The hydria NA 1957 Aa 220 from this wedding shrine depicts women at the fountain. For the nuptial content of this type of scene see most recently Sabetai 2009b.

17 Paralipomena 45.

18 PK, pl. 32, no. 164; pl. 59, no. 297; pl. 76, no. 385; pl. 28, no. 142. Tripods: Papalexandrou 2005.

19 Information given by M. Kyrkou.

20 Kokula 1984, p. 116-118; Mösch 1988.

21 PK; PK2. Represented in the deposits of this sanctuary are: Nessos Painter, Gorgon Painter, Deianeira Group, KX Painter, Komast Group, Kerameikos Painter, Sophilos, Feytmans’Lotus Painter, Painter of Eleusis 767, Painter of the Dresden Lekanis and his workshop, Graiai Painter, Polos Painter, C Painter, Painter of Berlin F1659, Gryps Painter, Prometheus Painter (?), Painter of London B76 (?), Group E (?), Lydos, Painter of Louvre F6, Group of North Slope no. 942, Taleides Painter (epoiesen), Amasis Painter, Swing Painter, Leafless Group, Diosphos Painter, Theseus Painter, Sappho Painter, Gryps Painter (no. 509), Burgon Group, Swan Group.

22 PK2, p. 210-212, no. 142; PK, pl. 18, no. 96; pl. 32, no. 164; pl. 33, no. 166.

23 PK passim. For the last two see p. 128, no. 284; pl. 51, no. 256.

24 PK, pl. 79, no. 404.

25 PK, passim; see, e. g., pl. 65, no. 322.

26 PK, pls. 85-102.

27 Bibliography for pieces by the Sabouroff, the Washing and the Meidias Painters: Tiverios 2011, p. 72, n. 1; Kyrkou 2011; Tiverios 2014. Naples Painter: Sabetai 2004, p. 31-32.

28 Fritzilas 2006, p. 166-190.

29 Sabetai 1993; for the loutrophoros of fig. 1 see vol. II, p. 104, pls. 23-24 top.

30 GL 1925, p. 128-132; GL 1933, p. 58-59; Pala 2012, p. 80-85.

31 GL 1925, pl. 70, no. 1193; pl. 68, no. 1151; Pala 2009, esp. 121.

32 BArch 498; GL 1925, pl. 67, no. 1220; Pala 2009, 120.

33 BArch 200142; GL 1933, pl. 50, no. 636; Bremmer 2005, p. 162; Worshiping Women, p. 256-257, n° 1156 (G. Kavvadias).

34 Gebauer 2002, p. 55-60, esp. p. 57.

35 The pig occurs more frequently in reliefs, versus the cattle on vases: Van Straten 1987, p. 164-165, figs. 10-13; Verbanck-Piérard 1988, p. 230-231; Gebauer 2002, p. 59-60.

36 Sgourou 1994, p. 256-257, nos. UB1-UB2; p. 259-262, nos. UB11-UB20; p. 271-272, no. R19; p. 307-308, nos. UR2-UR5; p. 310, no. UR14; p. 335, no. UR87; p. 340-341, nos. UR 105-UR108; p. 346, no. RM7; p. 347, no. RM13; Pala 2012, p. 48-51.

37 Sgourou 1994, 260, no. UB12.

38 Sgourou 1994, p. 271, no. R19; p. 307, no. UR2.

39 Preservation biases may be responsible for two late 6th c. BC fragments that have been tentatively assigned to a funerary loutrophoros depicting a prothesis-scene. Preserved are parts of a cushioned κλίνη with traces of a male head and four draped figures: GL 1925, pl. 66, no. 1147; BArch 32087; Mösch-Klingele 2006, 116, n. 13. It is not clear to which deity this vase may have been offered, as gods protecting the wedding are not known (at the present time) to have received nuptial vases with funerary imagery. One could possibly think of an offering to a dead hero. The only other funerary vases found on the Acropolis are of the geometric period and are associated with the transfer of earth from nearby graveyards in order to construct the terracing of the area around the Parthenon, or with tombs of heroes: Wagner 2003, p. 52; Pala 2012, p. 30-32.

40 Pala 2010, p. 198-203; Pala 2012, p. 148-149.

41 Criteria for defining special vase-offerings: Verbanck-Piérard 2008 (special iconography, original representations of special myths/crafts/activities; special shapes/dimensions/techniques; drawing of outstanding refinement; interesting inscriptions: kalos names/signatures/dedications). For an evaluation of the figured ceramics from the Acropolis see Pala 2012.

42 Petrakos 1999, p. 188-197. Since no funerary loutrophoroi were found, the cult of Nemesis should be perceived, not as a “chthonic” one, but as related to the safe passage to married life.

43 In the lost 6th c. BC epic, Kypria, Nemesis is a bridal figure who resists Zeus’erotic advances by changing shapes, a feature that aligns her with Thetis and makes her a paradigm of the resisting bride. On Nemesis see recently Smith 2011, p. 41-46. On Helen as a legendary bride see Sabetai 1993, I, p. 198; 213-217; 235-236.

44 KV, p. 159, n. 1; p. 216, fig. 67. She calculated a total of 14 marriage vases that were found in various Eleusinian contexts (six nuptial lebetes and eight loutrophoroi, of which two are loutrophoroi-hydriai). From this total should be subtracted the fragment no. MEl 13, which was later reconstructed as an escharis: see Tiverios 2013, p. 191.

45 KV, p. 204-205, n. 105, fig. 66.

46 However, the lost body of this loutrophoros may have depicted a nuptial theme.

47 KV, p. 159, n. 1; p. 95, fig. 25. For tripods on loutrophoroi from the Nymphe Shrine see above.

48 Shapiro 1989, p. 81, pl. 36 d-f.

49 Ephebes at Eleusis: Mehl 2006, p. 212-213.

50 KV, p. 21-45. It is possible that Kleimachos’ vase was an amphora, due to the fashioning of its lip with ledge for a lid (cf. Pala 2012, p. 135, fig. 60). It is probable, but not certain, that “Pyra Γ” contained also a third loutrophoros and a fourth (now lost) nuptial lebes: KV, p. 159, n. 1.

51 KV, p. 53-110; Swing Painter. For new joining sherds to this vessel see Tiverios 2013, p. 185-190. The figures on the stand of the nuptial lebes have been seen as either Leto and a woman or as Demeter and Kore.

52 KV, p. 111-134. Group E (Perhaps Group of London B174?); 540-530 BC. If the reconstruction is correct, the groups of figures on side B could portray the bridal couple twice, depicted as addressing a father and a mother respectively.

53 KV, p. 135-157; 500-490 BC. Workshop of the Kleophrades Painter.

54 KV, p. 197-198, figs. 58-59. For the recently reconstructed escharis see Tiverios 2013, p. 191. KV, p. 198-199, fig. 59 published it as a loutrophoros-amphora. For the miniature nuptial lebes see KV, p. 197, fig. 58.

55 Patera 2008; Patera 2011.

56 Kledt 2004, esp. 38-57. Cf. Bodiou 2006. The story of Kore’s abduction may date as early as the 8th c. BC and may constitute the original kernel of the Hymn: Currie 2012, p. 190-192.

57 Sabetai 2009a.

58 For the modern amalgamated concept of “chthonic” see Polignac 2009, p. 30.

59 Late sources (Clem. Protr. 2, 17) refer to cultic performances that enacted the abduction of Kore: Kledt 2004, p. 175, n. 2.

60 The testimonia refer also to a sacrifice called «ζημία» (damage) which took place at the Thesmophoria and may have been related to maturation rituals: Kledt 2004, p. 142.

61 For the term see Ekroth 2002, p. 325-330.

62 With the notable exception of Kledt 2004.

63 Roscino 2009; Tiverios 2009, p. 280-281, fig. 1. (435-430 BC).

64 Roscino 2009, 137. Thesmophoria as initiation festival and Demeter as wedding-goddess: Kledt 2004, p. 114-147; 138.

65 Kalogeropoulos 2010, p. 175; 181-182. Kalogeropoulos 2013, vol. A’, p. 268-272; 500; vol. B’, pl. 41, nos. K 82-K 88.

66 Kahil 1997, p. 382, fig. 1.

67 In the Brauron Museum are displayed two late-archaic loutrophoroi depicting a procession. The fragment no. 646 may depict a procession, or the Judgment of Paris; the scene is not funerary (contra: KV, p. 192, n. 78).

68 Kahil 1997, p. 382-383, figs. 2-6.

69 Kahil 1997, p. 390-403.

70 Palaiokrassa 1991, p. 66-70; 73-74; 81; 134-137.

71 Recent studies: SP, p. 153-166; 462-478; Baumer 2004, p. 86, no. Att 5.

72 SP, p. 138-152; 435-461; Baumer 2004, p. 87, no. Att 7.

73 SP, p. 62-92; 336-385; Baumer 2004, p. 96-97, no. Att 23.

74 SP, p. 93-137; 386-434; Baumer 2004, p. 108-109, no. Att 42; Schörner, Goette 2004, pl. 49, 1.

75 Zampiti 2013.

76 SP, p. 44-61; 295-335.

77 SP, fig. 149.

78 Cf. Deschodt 2012; CVA Athens, Benaki Museum 1, text to pls. 29-30 (V. Sabetai).

79 Zampiti 2013, esp. 306-309.

80 Larson 2001, p. 100-112. The use of the krateriskoi is debated. Their presence in almost all the caves to Pan and the Nymphs suggests that they were primarily votives there. The burned interior of the Brauron and Mounichia ones suggests a (primary?) function as thuribles: Kalogeropoulos 2010, p. 176.

81 Stroszeck 2010, p. 79-80.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 1844. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas). See front cover.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 280k
Légende Fig. 2: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 189. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 368k
Légende Fig. 3: Acropolis Museum, inv. no. NA 1957 Aa 22. (Copyright Acropolis Museum; Photograph by Elias Cosintas)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 168k
Légende Fig. 4: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum. (From GL 1925, pl. 67, no. 1220)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 680k
Légende Fig. 5: Loutrophoros fragment, Acropolis Museum. (From GL 1933, pl. 50, no. 636)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 540k
Légende Fig. 6: Fragments of nuptial vessels, Sanctuary of Nemesis. (From Petrakos 1999, p. 196, fig. 112)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 904k
Légende Fig. 7: Eleusis, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, inv. no. ΜΕλ 471. (From KV p. 95, fig. 25)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 820k
Légende Fig. 8: Eleusis, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore. (From KV p. 59, fig. 22)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 608k
Légende Fig. 9: Athens, National Museum inv. no. 14888. (From the cave at Phyle)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3134/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 349k

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