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Prometheus, Epimetheus and Pandora: from Athenian pottery to satyr-plays and cult1

Dyfri Williams

Résumé

Prometheus, Epimetheus and Pandora: from Athenian pottery to satyr-plays and cult On étudie dans cet article les représentations de Prométhée et Épiméthée dans la céramique attique entre les guerres médiques et la fin du Ve siècle, en abordant la question de leur interaction avec le drame satyrique et les cultes attiques. On commence par les connexions théâtrales possibles entre Prométhée et Héphaïstos, telles qu’elles apparaissent sur quatre vases, dont on suggère qu’ils sont liés à un drame satyrique, tel le Prométhée d’Eschyle (473/2 av. J. -C.). La confection de Pandora et sa remise aux hommes sont ensuite étudiées et les relations possibles avec la pièce de Sophocle Pandora ou les Marteleurs sont discutées. La « jarre » de Pandore est également prise en compte et une représentation jusque-là ignorée de la jarre dans un coffre est révélée. Enfin on suggère que les scènes incluant Prométhée et Épiméthée dans les représentations cultuelles du dernier quart du Ve siècle indiquent une renommée accrue pour ce couple à Athènes, qui confirmait leur réconciliation avec Zeus et les autres dieux Olympiens dans l’esprit des Athéniens.

Texte intégral

  • 1 I am very grateful to Kate Morton for kindly drawing the preliminary sketch lines on the London Owl (...)
  • 1 Hesiod, Theogony 507-616; Works and Days 42-105. On Hesiod see West 1966 and 1978. On the general t (...)

1The mythical figure of Prometheus has served many artists and writers since he first appeared in Hesiod’s the Works and Days.1 He is readily used as a model of human ingenuity and a symbol of mortal suffering, and we continue to invoke him whether faced with external or internal crises. In the nineteenth century this multivalent figure of Prometheus was equated with Christ, Napoleon, and even Don Giovanni, was used by slavery abolitionists and, of course, evoked by a defiant Karl Marx. In the wake of the Second World War and the growing Cold War, Oskar Kokoschka used the image in his great triptych of 1950 as a warning about what might happen to man in his arrogance, while Frances Bacon’s triptych of 1976 reveals a terrifying and ferocious mix of Classical imagery that seems to echo personal pain and suffering. The latest manifestation, however, is a Hollywood science-fiction film by Ridley Scott, in which Prometheus has become a space-craft that, together with its occupants, is sacrificed in a seemingly futile attempt to avert the threat posed by Titan-like alien beings (“Engineers”) to planet Earth. Prometheus’ name and his protective challenge on behalf of the human race have not, it would seem, been forgotten.

  • 2 For the visual evidence see most fully Gisler 1994.
  • 3 Williams 2008, p. 181-185.
  • 4 Williams 2008, p. 185; see also John D. Beazley, “Prometheus Fire-Lighter”, AJA 43, 1939, p. 618-63 (...)

2In ancient art there is an early visual tradition of the punishment of Prometheus.2 It was at Athens in the late seventh century and early sixth, however, that the fullest expression of the theme occurred, including images of Herakles shooting the eagle that tortured Prometheus, shackled to the Caucasian crag. I have suggested elsewhere that this latter scene was perhaps reinvigorated on Athenian vases from about 440 BC by Aeschylean drama, in particular the Prometheus Desmotes and the Lyomenos.3 I also went on to point out that at just the same time a satyr-play may have encouraged a particular interest among vase-painters in the theme of Prometheus’s theft of fire and the hiding of it in a fennel rod and even suggested that this play was, in fact, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Pyrkaeus which could have been created to go with the other two dramas.4

3Here, I wish to examine the increasing variety and complexity of scenes involving the Titan brothers, Prometheus and Epimetheus, in the years following the Persian Wars. By the beginning of the fifth century the stock of stories available to vase-painters was considerable, but it was at this point that the inventiveness of theatre drama began to add new dimensions to old themes and ensure that myth-making remained alive and vigorous. The recognition of such influence is based on three fundamental signals, rather than proofs. The first is the sudden apparent popularity of a story or episode (this may equally be the result of a new visual source, such as a wall or panel painting, but this would perhaps tend to lead to a host of very similar scenes as opposed to disparate versions). The second is a new feature or twist to an old story, including the appearance of an unexpected or extraneous figure or action. The third is the depiction of unusual details in the iconography, such as the wearing of special costumes. The iconographer must be attuned to such “intrusive” elements in what one may think of as the general store of mythological material and attempt to account for them, even if little evidence can be adduced to support any subsequent interpretation.

PROMETHEUS AND HEPHAISTOS

  • 5 Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 542: Beazley ARV2 p. 438, 133; Kerényi 1963, p. 59, with pl. 4; Diana (...)
  • 6 Return: Brommer 1978, p. 10-17 and p. 199-204. Hera on magic throne: Monique Halm-Tisserant, « La r (...)
  • 7 Hera as Prometheus’s mother: scholiast on Homer, Iliad XIV, 295 – Euphorion, ed. John U. Powell, Co (...)

4I begin with a particular example, the tondo of a fine red-figure cup in the Cabinet des Médailles, attributed to Douris and dating to about 470 BC or soon after. Prometheus stands before Hera who is seated on an elaborate throne: both figures are named (fig. 1).5 This scene and combination of figures is unique, while their meaning has never really been addressed. The likely context for the combination of figures would seem to be provided, in fact, by the scenes on the exterior, which show the return of Hephaistos to Olympos, accompanied by Dionysos and his troop of satyrs. The smithgod, in revenge for being thrown off Olympos by his mother Hera, made and sent the goddess a magical throne that imprisoned her; and in a number of fifth century representations she is seen seated on this throne awaiting the rescue procession and thus her release.6 Our preserved literary sources do not reveal what the role of Prometheus might have been in this story – was he appointed by Hephaistos to oversee the delivery and erection of the throne or could he have been one of those summoned to attempt her release? The parallel with Hephaistos, a god in need of reconciliation with the Olympian family, whether Hera or Zeus, is obvious and as we shall see there are many cross-overs between the stories of these two technologically minded immortals. Furthermore, we might note that there are actually later references to the idea that Hera was Prometheus’ mother and Hephaistos Prometheus’ son, as well as evidence for a general and growing convergence in the myth and cult of the two figures in the fifth century.7

  • 8 Vienna inv. IV 985: Beazley ARV2 p. 591, 20; Lissarrague 1990, p. 233; Krumeich et alii 1999, pl. 2 (...)
  • 9 On perizōmata see Anneliese Kossatz-Deissmann, “Zur Herkunft des Perizoma im Sayrspiel”, JDAI 97, 1 (...)
  • 10 Cf. Brommer 1959, p. 29-32; Sutton 1980, p. 70-1; Simon 1982, p. 131-2; Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 5 (...)

5There seems to be clear visual evidence for a satyr play at the time of the Paris cup, one that included the return of Hephaistos, for a fine calyxkrater in Vienna, attributed to the Altamura Painter, depicts a satyr wearing the perizoma, tight-fitting shorts with an attached erect phallus and a tail, as he leads Dionysos and Hephaistos to Olympos (fig. 2).8 The perizoma is regularly identified as a dramatic costume, since it is not required by “real” satyrs and thus breaks the illusion of a regular scene of myth.9 Although using visual evidence to reconstruct possible satyr plays is fraught with uncertainties (at least as many as those surrounding the identification or reconstruction of such plays from scraps of papyrus and possible quotes in later authors), most scholars seem comfortable with the idea of a play that included the return of Hephaistos to Mt Olympos and have tended to look to the playwright Achaios who is recorded as having produced a play entitled the “Komasts or Hephaistos”.10 Achaios, however, was clearly active in the second half of the fifth century, not in the first, a fact that has led some to suppose two satyr plays on the theme of Hephaistos.

  • 11 Boston 03.788: Beazley ARV2 p. 571, 75; Brommer 1959, p. 13-14, fig. 8; Simon 1982, p. 135-6, with (...)
  • 12 Cf. also Lissarrague 1990, p. 231 and 2013, p. 30 (chorēgos); Klaus Junker, “The Transformation of (...)

6Is there any other evidence for such an earlier play, whoever its author was? To answer this, we might look at a three more unusual scenes. A remarkable red-figure kalpis attributed to the Leningrad Painter in Boston shows a group of satyrs, also in perizōmata, carrying parts of what is surely a grand throne (fig. 3). This must be Hephaistos’s gift for Hera, as Erika Simon realised – we see the four elaborate legs and what seems to be the cross-bracing for the seat (held up-side-down) being brought forward to a plinth for erection.11 Simon, following one of Beazley’s suggestions, went on to identify the closely draped bearded male in a himation beyond the aulos as the chorēgos.12 She may be right, for the figure is isolated from the action by the musician, but Beazley’s alternative idea, “a character in the play”, is perhaps more likely, for the figure’s reserved hair and beard and his seemingly pouting mouth might well indicate a dramatic mask, perhaps a white-haired one. If he is part of the play, then he might best be thought of as Prometheus, as he can hardly be Hephaistos. This scene might thus help us to understand Douris’ cup as representing Prometheus observing Hera’s imprisonment, not perhaps without a certain quiet satisfaction.

  • 13 Caltanisetta 20371: John D. Beazley, Paralipomena. Additions to Attic black-figure vase-painters an (...)
  • 14 For Lemnos as the landing place and for the forge: Homer, Iliad I, 590-1; Apollodoros, Bibl. I, 3, (...)
  • 15 Plato, Protagoras 321c; Lucian, Prometheus 5; Cicero, Tusc. II, 10, 23. There are other traditions: (...)
  • 16 Roman sarcophagus: Gisler 1994, no. 1.
  • 17 Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 174, F 206. Cf. Kerényi 1963, p. 70-71.

7Another vase that might hold a link between Hephaistos and Prometheus, but this time one that is not immediately obvious, is the column-krater from Caltanisetta attributed to the Harrow Painter, a work of the later 470s BC.13 It shows two satyrs (not wearing perizōmata) seemingly helping Hephaistos in his forge, although one wonders what mischief the satyr holding the pair of skin bellows might really have in mind. We cannot know what Hephaistos himself is busy with - it is clearly not Achilles’ armour – but it is the presence of the satyrs that seems the point of the scene, suggesting that the moment is prior to Dionysos and his satyrs escorting the lame smith-god back to Olympos. When Hephaistos was ejected from Olympos, he landed on the island of Lemnos, was rescued by Thetis and established his forge.14 The association between Prometheus’ theft of fire and the forge on Lemnos is made by several writers, including Cicero’s translation of a passage from the lost Prometheus Lyomenos where he refers to the theft of fire as “furtum Lemnium”.15 This suggests that Aeschylus located the theft on Lemnos and, indeed, it is thus depicted on a later Roman sarcophagus.16 Furthermore, it is perhaps with such a scene in Hephaistos’ forge on Lemnos that we should associate a fragment quoted from one of Aeschylus’ Prometheus plays, a line that suits a curious and mischievous satyr: “and you be careful lest a bubble burst in your face; for it is bitter, and its vapour bitter and deadly.”17

  • 18 Berlin 1962.33: Adolf Greifenhagen, Ein Satyrspiel des Aischylos? (118 Winckelmanns programm; Berli (...)
  • 19 One also thinks of the trumpet that started the drinking competition at the Anthesteria – cf. Arist (...)

8Finally, a third contemporary vase should be mentioned here as it seems to record, if indirectly, the celebration of the gift of fire to mankind, and that is the Altamura Painter’s chous in Berlin with its scene of young satyrs in a torch race, under the eye of a giant statue of Dionysos.18 Four tiny satyrs run in perfectly synchronised pairs, like striding male ballet dancers, clutching torches, while their companion has mounted the barrier round an altar to sound a trumpet, as if he was the starter of the race or announcing the winner.19 Whether this torch race was intended for that in honour of Hephaistos or of Prometheus is not clear: indeed, it may have been intended to do duty for both.

9These four vases, all roughly contemporary, provide an unusual range of images. All have been singled out before in some way or other, but the apparent connecting thread has not elicited any comment. For, if one were to put them together with the scenes of the return of Hephaistos as a single story, it might go as follows: Hera throws Hephaistos out of Olympos; he lands on Lemnos and establishes his forge there (Prometheus takes advantage of fire being on earth to pass it, with the aid of the satyrs, on to mankind); Hephaistos takes revenge on Hera with his magical throne, helped by the satyrs (and perhaps Prometheus, who is similarly soon cast out, perhaps with this additional cause); eventually Hephaistos is reconciled with Hera (thanks to Dionysos’ intervention; just as Prometheus was reconciled with Zeus thanks to Herakles’); and a torch race is established for Hephaistos (and Prometheus).

  • 20 Cf. Shapiro 1994, p. 8-9: “synoptic” and “cyclic”, following Anthony Snodgrass, Narration and Allus (...)
  • 21 See Williams 2008, p. 185.
  • 22 It is sometimes suggested that there was another satyr play by Aeschylus which might have been rela (...)
  • 23 Cf. Podlecki 2005, p. 4-16 and 17. On the other Prometheus plays see Williams 2008, p. 183-185.

10The impact that the public performance of plays, whether tragic or comic, had on vase-painters will have been filtered through their own system or language of images (both socially and personally determined) and may have resulted in either a generically representative image of the play (perhaps built around or incorporating a key scene or idea) or a series of images derived from different engaging moments.20 It might, therefore, be possible to associate not only the substantial series of scenes of Prometheus with fennel stalks or torches accompanied by satyrs with an Aeschylean satyr play,21 but also the diverse yet contemporary series of images connected here with the theme of Hephaistos’ expulsion from Olympos. Indeed, these images do seem to reflect some of the other potentially comic moments in the action – the satyr chorus playing dangerously in Hephaistos’ forge; the satyrs’ dance of the flat-packed furniture; the stiff embarrassment of Hera in front of a silently gloating Prometheus; and even the balletic satyr torch race that perhaps acted as a finale. As noted above, we know of a satyr-play by Achaios entitled the “Komasts or Hephaistos”, but this must have belonged after the middle of the fifth century. If, however, we follow the inclusion of Prometheus, as suggested especially by the Cabinet des Médailles tondo (fig. 1) and perhaps the Boston kalpis (figs 2-3), it would open the possibility of the influential play really being one of Aeschylus’, namely that performed under the title Prometheus which was victorious in the Great Dionysia of 473/2 BC.22 Although such a suggestion can only remain hypothetical, we might note that Aeschylus was, of course, not only a highly renowned writer of satyrika, with perhaps more than 20% of his output being devoted to that genre, but also that he appears to have had an interest in the figure of Prometheus as revealed by his later group of plays, a dilogy and a satyr play.23

MAKING PANDORA PRESENTABLE

  • 24 Hesiod, Works and Days, 59-68. See West 1978, p. 166 for the stories brought together or reflected (...)
  • 25 For this group of vases see most recently Boardman 2001, p. 237-241. On the scene of Pandora on the (...)
  • 26 British Museum GR 1885,0128.1 (Vase D 4): Beazley ARV2 p. 869, 55; Shapiro 1994, p. 66-7, fig. 41; (...)
  • 27 For this approach see especially Boardman 2001.

11Next, I should like to turn to a further group of images on fifth century vases, one that centres more directly on a particular strand of the Prometheus myth, that involving Pandora, for some of these representations on vases also betray a link with the theatre. Although Hesiod records the story that she was made from clay by Hephaistos and then provided with all sorts of gifts by several of the gods before being given to Epimetheus, there were no doubt other versions, certainly by the fifth century.24 A small group of contemporary vases, all of the decade 470-460 BC, show the final adornment of Pandora just prior to her despatch to Epimetheus.25 On the first, a white-ground cup attributed to the Tarquinia Painter, Athena and Hephaistos add the finishing touches to the creation of Pandora: Athena reaches out to fix the pin in the shoulder of Pandora’s peplos as Hephaistos adjusts her diadem, while holding his metalsmith’s hammer.26 Pandora is here given a name devoid of any traces of Hesiodic misogyny, Anesidora (“she who sends up gifts”), and bears witness to a positive shift in an Athenian context that helps us to understand the presence of the scene on the base of the Athena Parthenos.27

  • 28 British Museum GR 1856, 1213.1 (Vase E 467): Beazley ARV2 p. 601, 23; Shapiro 1994, p. 67-8, fig. 4 (...)
  • 29 For Ares cf. Homer, Iliad V, 889-891. Otherwise, his presence has been explained simply as the cons (...)
  • 30 Libanius, Narrationes, peri Hephaistou: Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 517.

12The second representation occurs in the centre of the upper frieze of one side of a calyx-krater attributed to the Niobid Painter.28 Here, Pandora stands, frontal, fully dressed and holding a branch or garland in either hand. Athena stands on the left holding out a garland, while behind her are Poseidon, Zeus and Iris. To the right of Pandora is Ares, then Hermes, while on the far right stands Hera (or Aphrodite). It is strange that Hephaistos is not shown opposite Athena, as on the white-ground cup (and on a third example discussed below), and that he has been replaced by Ares. In fact, Ares and Hermes form a pair of figures, moving apart (in contrast to all the other very static figures) but looking back at each other. The deliberateness of their dynamics may well be intended to be significant. We might wonder if the dangerous quarrelsomeness of Ares, highlighted in Homer, had been added at some point to Hesiod’s misogynistic list of gifts from the gods to amplify Hermes’ gift of bitchiness and deceit.29 Alternatively, if there was a humorous allusion here, we might think of the story that Ares was sent to try to bring back Hephaistos, but was frightened off by him wielding torches.30 Below is a frieze of satyrs wearing perizōmata (with satyrs’ tails and erect phalloi) but also sporting goat horns and hoofs, all dancing to the sound of the auloi being played by the youth in the centre. The link between this chorus and Pandora above is made clear by the punning additions to their dramatic costume, Pan’s horns and hoofs.

  • 31 British Museum GR 1888,1114.3 and 4 (Vase E 789) frr.: Beazley ARV2 p. 764, 9; D. Williams, “Sotade (...)
  • 32 Parutino, Olbian Arch. Mus.: Sergej D. Krijitsky, Nina A. Lejpunskaja, Olbia, Nikolaev, 1997, p. 45 (...)
  • 33 Plotinus, Enneads IV, 3, 14.

13The third example is a fine but fragmentary rhyton attributed to the Sotades Painter that was dedicated in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Paphos.31 It has the remains of a stately version of the dressing of Pandora, but it is sadly too incomplete to add much, other than that this time Athena and Hephaistos flanked Pandora. Nevertheless, the same workshop has left another version of the story on a fragmentary stemless cup from Olbia, which has not previously been discussed in this context.32 Here a draped, bearded man seems to adjust the drapery on the shoulder of the pale, lifeless-looking and frontal figure of Pandora, while to the right a satyr dances wildly. The presence of a satyr on this fragment indicates a dramatic context almost as clearly as the costumes of the chorus on the Niobid Painter’s krater. The identity of the figure dressing Pandora, however, is puzzling. If we follow Hesiod, he should be Hephaistos, but he has none of the usual distinguishing features of the smith-god and we have to consider the possibility that here a variant version is represented, one in which it was Prometheus who created Pandora, a version only preserved by Plotinus in the third century AD.33 Fifth-century playwrights were clearly quite ready and happy to mix and manipulate versions of a well-known theme as they sought success in the new vibrant world of fifth-century Athenian drama. Myth, in many ways, only exists to be manipulated.

RECEIVING PANDORA

  • 34 On anodos scenes see Bérard 1974, passim.
  • 35 Oxford G 275 (V 525): Beazley ARV2 p. 1562, 4; CVA Oxford i, p. 18-19, pls 21, 1-2, and 36, 1; Tren (...)
  • 36 Carl Robert, “Pandora”, Hermes 49, 1914, p. 17-38; and Beazley 1958, p. 92, who favoured the agricu (...)
  • 37 For Eros cf. Beazley in CVA Oxford i, p. 19; an alternate tradition has Prometheus married to Pando (...)

14What happened next to Pandora? Among the plethora of anodos scenes that show a female figure rising from the ground, surrounded by satyrs who beat the earth, we find a small group that involve a human, and in one case he is labelled Epimetheus and she Pandora.34 This is on a mid-fifth century volute-krater in Oxford (fig. 4).35 Epimetheus is shown with a large wooden hammer looking down at Pandora rising from the ground, arms outstretched as an Eros hovers above, while to the left of the scene are Hermes and Zeus. This would seem to present a story in which Epimetheus summoned Pandora from the earth by hammering the ground, perhaps accidentally as he toiled in the fields, for he is to be thought of as a farmer breaking up the clods of soil before planting.36 Quite why Pandora appears in this fashion is not explained in our preserved literary sources, but one can only suppose that although Hermes was to be her escort, the actual transition had to be effected by Epimetheus himself, beating on the ground and causing her to rise up, an anodos suitable for Anesidora (“she who sends up gifts”), the name used on the white-ground cup. Eros probably suggests the impending marriage of Epimetheus and Pandora, while Zeus is shown as the cruel conceiver of the whole plan.37

  • 38 Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 298: Beazley ABV p. 522, 87 (Athena Painter); Bérard 1974, figs 21-22;(...)
  • 39 Ivan R. Marazov et alii, Vassil Bojkov Collection, Sofia, 2005, no. 81. The text of the catalogue i (...)

15Two vases, which seem to depict the same theme, take it back some 20-30 years to around 490-480 BC. They are both black-figured lekythoi, one in Paris attributed to the Athena Painter, the other in the Bojkov collection attributable to the Theseus Painter. On the Paris lekythos only Pandora’s head is shown, flanked by two figures wielding hammers; the scene is bracketed by columns and all the figures wear festive branches in their hair.38 The figure on the right is a normal bearded man, but that on the left has the red ear, long beard and hair arrangement of a satyr, although he lacks a tail. On the Bulgarian lekythos, Pandora is now out of the ground to the level of her thighs and has two branches, while of the two flanking figures one at least is purely human.39 It might seem possible that on these two lekythoi both Epimetheus and Prometheus are involved, but on the Paris vase we may prefer to think that the vase-painter had in mind a satyr.

  • 40 Louvre C 10754 plus: Beazley ARV2 p. 228, 32; Beazley 1958, p. 91-95; with all the new fragments, f (...)
  • 41 Simon 1989, p. 199, identifies the object supporting the amphora as part of a basket; for rocks ser (...)
  • 42 Beazley 1958, p. 94, has the pipe-player do double duty. On the sacrifice, cf. Folkert T. van Strat (...)
  • 43 Beazley 1958, p. 93. For Mekone: Hesiod, Theogony 545-557, with West 1966.

16An extraordinary red-figured stamnos in the Louvre attributed to the Eucharides Painter and also dating to about 490-480 BC needs to be discussed here.40 On one side there are three satyrs dressed in perizōmata: two are wielding hammers, but the third has dropped his as a female head emerges from the ground (there is no Epimetheus here, but the context of a satyr play is clear from the costumes). The other side of the vase shows an aulos player, a youth preparing a bull for sacrifice (it is being encouraged to drink from the large lekanē beneath his head), and a bearded himationclad man. Under one handle is a goat; under the other a pointed amphora leaning against a small rock; there is also a bird above either handle.41 The piper has stopped playing, both his auloi are in one hand, the other hand is on his hip and his phorbeia is round his neck: he has turned away to look out of the scene. Indeed, his attention seems to have been attracted by the cry of alarm from the surprised satyr on the other side of the vase, as Simon suggests, following Beazley.42 Beazley took the bearded figure to be the chorēgos and the sacrifice as connected with his victory feast, but could there perhaps be some mixing of or cross-referencing to the story of Prometheus’ duplicitous sacrifice at Mekone and of the arrival of Pandora?43 The figure overseeing the sacrifice is perhaps less likely to be the chorēgos than a participant in the drama and, so, Epimetheus (rather than Prometheus), but we cannot be sure.

  • 44 Ferrara 3031 (T 579): Beazley ARV2 p. 612, 1; Trendall, Webster 1971, p. 34, II 7; Fede Berti and P (...)
  • 45 Cf. eg. Gisler 1994, esp. nos. 11 and 17, but also nos. 4 (?), 10, 15, 16 and 18; also Ancona 25342 (...)

17These early examples are followed by a grand volute-krater from Spina, which, like the Oxford krater (fig. 4), belongs to the middle of the century or soon after.44 Here a troop of six satyrs with hammers, along with a little baby satyr, dance to the music of a piper or react to the appearance of a woman with a stephanē on her head and a sceptre in her hand who rises from the ground. In the background behind her stands a bearded man with a wreath in his hair wearing chiton and ependutēs and holding two torches. On the far right a bearded man in a himation stands casually watching. The central bearded figure with torches is surely Prometheus: he is dressed exactly like the key figure in the scenes showing the passing of fire on to the satyrs and similarly holds two torches.45 His presence might be intended to indicate the cause of the creation and delivery of Pandora, his theft of fire on behalf of mankind (see further below). The other bearded figure might be his brother Epimetheus, but is perhaps better thought of as Zeus, observing his handiwork, as on the Oxford volute-krater (fig. 4).

  • 46 Basel, Cahn 278: A. Dale Trendall, Alexander Cambitoglou, The Red-figured Vases of Apulia I, Oxford (...)

18The scene recurs on a fragmentary two-row bell-krater in the Cahn collection in Basel, a piece attributed to the Hearst Painter, an Apulian vase-painter of the last decade of the fifth century.46 Here, in the lower frieze, satyrs with hammers leap around as a female rises from the ground. The central figure, however, is human – he wears a short chiton and has human ears - and also wields a hammer. On the basis of the Oxford krater, we may identify him as Epimetheus and presume that this vase also echoes a fifth-century satyr play. But which play could it be?

  • 47 See Sutton 1980, p. 55; and now Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 378-379, who note that the play was not n (...)
  • 48 Note also the possibility of a Prometheus by Sophokles himself, Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 169-170.

19We know of a satyr drama by Sophokles called Pandora or the Sphyrokopoi (Hammerers), but the Louvre stamnos and the black-figure lekythoi would seem just a little too early to be associated with that playwright, who was only born in 497/6 BC.47 Similarly, there appears to be a gap between these three early vases and the Hephaistos and Prometheus group assembled at the beginning of this paper (section 1). It is quite possible, however, that the Sophoclean drama might be connected with the Spina and Basel kraters and, less overtly, with the Oxford one. Although our vase chronology is far from secure, we might, therefore, have to think in terms of two “Hammerers” plays, the earlier being completely lost to us. A final complexity in any reconstruction, however, is the remarkable juxtaposition on the Spina krater of Prometheus porphuros with the summoning of Pandora. Did both scenes actually form part of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Pyrkaeus, or might Sophokles have echoed a motif from that play in his own Pandora, or is it the vase-painter who is adding a crossreference of his own?48

PANDORA’S CHEST

20We have, so far, looked at two main characters and their stories, Hephaistos and Prometheus. These stories seem to have various possible points of intersection – Prometheus appears to have had a role in Hephaistos’ trick on Hera (see above), Hephaistos was the major force in the creation of Pandora (although possibly also attributed to Prometheus) and, of course, Hephaistos was, under protest, the god to chain Prometheus to the rock. Such connections must have made it possible for the playwrights to weave anew the main threads of their chosen story, whether concentrating on Hephaistos, Prometheus or Pandora, resulting in our modern difficulties in seeing a way through to individual dramas. Indeed, it is perhaps more important to recognise examples of the impact of such dramas on the vase iconography and to envisage how it may have operated than to actually name individual authors, especially when we know of only such a tiny fraction of the respective outputs of a select few.

  • 49 Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 174-5 no. F 207a; scholiast on Hesiod, Works and Days 89; cf. West 1978, (...)
  • 50 London F 147: Arthur B. Cook, Zeus iii, Cambridge, 1914, p. 349-353, pl. 34; A. Dale Trendall, The (...)
  • 51 Neils 2005, p. 38-39, sees him as Hephaistos, on the basis of a vague resemblance to metalworker, a (...)
  • 52 Neils 2005, p. 39-40 (Zeus); Daniel Ogden, “What was in Pandora’s box”, in Nicolas Fisher, Hans van (...)
  • 53 Boardman 2000, p. 52 with n. 1, was right in seeing that the upper horizontal line in the published (...)

21Now I should like to turn to the next episode in the Pandora story - or is it really the Prometheus story? There is a reference in a scholiast on Hesiod’s Works and Days to a satyr play in which “Prometheus received the jar with the Evils from the satyrs and, passing it on to Epimetheus, commands him not to accept any gift from Zeus; Epimetheus disregards the advice and accepts Pandora.”49 Although this is often associated with Aeschylus’ Prometheus Pyrkaeus, such an attribution remains a conjecture. The action does, however, bring to mind a very strange vase in the British Museum that belongs to the so-called Owl-Pillar Group (figs 5-6).50 This group of vases would seem to have been produced in Campania, but perhaps by an immigrant Athenian potter (who was no painter!), around the middle of the fifth century. Here we see the young Epimetheus, dressed as a countryman or workman, his hammer now resting on the ground, as Pandora rises from the ground (fig. 5), much as on the Oxford volute-krater.51 The other side is particularly unexpected (fig. 6): a bearded figure, wearing a himation, turns to view a jar in the neck of which is stuck the head and draped shoulders of a woman, regularly identified as Elpis (Hope). Although the bearded figure has recently been interpreted as both Hephaistos and Zeus, he is surely Prometheus.52 But let us look more carefully at the jar and the preliminary sketch lines under the black glaze, as they have never been adequately explained (fig. 7). These sketch lines actually mapped out a large wooden chest, decorated with stars and wheels – Pandora’s chest.53 Its feet are decorated with a zigzag pattern and its lid is open. As sketched, only the very rim of the pithos would have been visible, with the head and shoulders of Hope showing against the raised lid, the rest hidden within the chest. The painter seems to have become confused when adding the black slip and found himself unable properly to delineate the chest, causing him to omit it - unless his change was deliberate and done to make the scene more recognisable by showing the whole jar.

  • 54 Erwin and Dora Panofsky, Pandora’s Box: The Changing Aspects of a Mythical Symbol, New York, 1956.

22The story of Pandora’s box or pyxis, as opposed to her jar or pithos, was explained by the Panofskys in their book, Pandora’s Box (an amusingly apposite collaboration, since her name was Dora and he was fondly called Pan), as a slip by Erasmus of Rotterdam at the beginning of the 16th century, led astray by Psyche’s pyxis.54 The idea that the jar would have been kept in, or even delivered in, a large wooden chest, perhaps together with Pandora’s other treasures, like a marriage chest (or the modern American “Hope Chest”), would probably have seemed very practical and appropriate to an ancient Greek. Clearly the painter of the Owl-Pillar vase thought it so, even if he changed his mind about showing it.

  • 55 Cf. above n. 49; and Babrius, Fabula 58, with West 1978, 169-70 (note the connection with Theognis (...)
  • 56 Formerly European market: Lissarrague 1995, p. 100 fig. 15; Lissarrague 2013, p. 209 fig. 181.

23The sight of Prometheus gazing into the chest that contains the pithos with Elpis stuck in the neck requires explanation (fig. 6). Is it simply that Prometheus is viewing the result of Epimetheus’ acceptance of a gift from Zeus? Or do we have here an echo of the satyr play recorded by the scholiast on Hesiod to the effect that the jar was actually brought first to Prometheus, who warned Epimetheus to no avail, a version which might also be associated with Babrius’ reference to a “foolish anthrōpos” who opened the jar.55 It even brings to mind the tondo of a contemporary Athenian cup which shows a satyr bent over, his head and shoulders fully inside a similar chest – is he to be thought of simply as an incorrigibly curious satyr rootling through some maenad’s belongings or is this rather a reference to a satyr play in which a satyr placed the jar inside Pandora’s chest, or was even the one to open it?56

  • 57 Boston 01.8056: Arthur Fairbanks, Catalogue of Greek and Etruscan Vases, Boston, 1928, no. 539, pl. (...)
  • 58 Pace Neils 2005, p. 42.
  • 59 Louvre CA 445: Edmond Pottier, “Le vase de Cléoménès”, RA 27, 1900, p. 195 and pl. 14, 1; Humphry P (...)
  • 60 For a positive reading of Elpis see Paul Girard, “Le mythe de Pandora dans la poésie hésiodique”, R (...)

24In connection with the Owl-Pillar vase, Jennifer Neils recently drew attention to a most remarkable plastic vase said to be from Thebes that, as she rightly argues, represents Pandora’s jar with the head of Hope similarly stuck in the top, as on the Owl-Pillar vase.57 This Boston vase should date from the first half of the sixth century.58 The decoration, simple bands around the body and two-line dog-teeth on the shoulder, does not help much in trying to decide its place of manufactures, but it is probably Boeotian. This would also seem to be true of a somewhat similar little vessel, also said to be from Thebes, and now in the Louvre.59 In this case the jar is a pointed one (with alternate black and red bands on the body) and the head in the top less carefully made: it may be slightly earlier. These two evocative, little sixth-century scent-bottles might have been made by a potter with a similarly misogynistic outlook as Boeotian Hesiod’s, but they could equally have been made in line with a more positive version of the story that had Zeus give Prometheus a jar full of beneficent demons, which all escaped back to Olympos when it was opened, leaving only Hope to comfort mankind.60

  • 61 For Hesiod’s sources see West 1978, p. 166. Sappho (fr. 207: Lobel and Page); Ibykos (PMG 342).
  • 62 Pherekydes: Martin L. West “The Prometheus Trilogy”, JHS 99, 1979, p. 145-6.
  • 63 Plato, Protagoras 320d-322d. Cf. also Plato, Gorgias 523d-e and Philebos 16c.

25In the interpretation of all the scenes discussed above, it is important to keep an open mind as to the source of the scene and understand that stories were rarely simple or static. Hesiod was surely not the earliest source on Prometheus and in the sixth century, Ibykos and Sappho seem to have made mention of him, but only perhaps in passing.61 In the fifth century Pherkydes perhaps dwelt on Prometheus in greater detail, but it was at the hands of the fifth-century playwrights, who seem to have regularly sought to re-juggle elements of the myths that they used for added novelty and appeal, that the story gained depth and complexity.62 To this, one has to add the work of the sophist Pythagoras, whose own radical revision of the Prometheus story, is probably related in Plato’s dialogue (written in the 390s BC, but set in the late 430s BC).63 A positive acceptance of Prometheus, and Epimetheus, naturally entailed some sort of re-writing of the old Hesiodic tale.

PROMETHEUS AND EPIMETHEUS

  • 64 See Williams 2008.
  • 65 John Oakley, “A Calyx-Krater in Virginia by the Nikias Painter with the Birth of Erichthonios,” AK (...)
  • 66 Douris, FGH 76 F 47: scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius II, 1248.

26If we are right in thinking that from about 480 BC down through the third quarter of the century the figure of Prometheus appeared in several dramas, including both tragedies and satyr plays, and that this had an impact on vase-painters, then we might well imagine that his appearance on vases in a soberly Olympian context, with no apparent dramatic overtones, in the last third of the century may have been the result of the Titan’s increased role in Athenian cult and society. His new visibility is first found on a grand but fragmentary cup in the Vatican of c. 430 BC, attributed to the Codrus Painter, where Prometheus is included in the scenes on the exterior that are probably connected with the passions of Zeus (for Leda and for Io).64 Likewise, he or his brother Epimetheus (the name is difficult to read, but the figure is beardless) is also depicted as an observer at the birth of Erichthonios on a late fifth-century krater attributed to the Nikias Painter in Richmond, Virginia.65 This might possibly suggest a reference to the later tradition that Prometheus was actually the father of Erichthonios – he, not Hephaistos, having had a passion for Athena.66 Whether there was such a motif behind the inclusion of Epimetheus or Prometheus, the Richmond krater and the Vatican cup clearly suggest a growing importance of the brothers in fifth-century Athenian cult.

  • 67 Athens, 3rd Arch Eph. inv. 3500: Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler: Werke und Weggefahrten, (...)
  • 68 On the Anthesteria see most recently Parker 2005, p. 290-316 (see p. 306 n. 69 for the Athens chous (...)

27This idea is further reinforced by the appearance of both brothers (or father and son) in a remarkable cultic scene on a large chous attributed to the Eretria Painter.67 On the left of the scene is a stone structure on a three-stepped base, adorned with the head of Dionysos (seen in profile): both the head and the top step have been decorated with festive branches. To the right of this stands a youth labelled Epimetheus: he is shown frontally, wearing an ivy wreath and a short mantle round his waist, and drinking from a cup-skyphos, a small column-krater on the ground beside him. In the centre of the scene is a three-legged table on which is placed a liknon wrapped in an ornate textile and covered with some branches. To the right stands the bearded figure of Prometheus who is placing another branch on the covered liknon; his left hand is closed, but what if anything it was holding is not clear. At the far right of the scene is a young boy, naked but for an ivy wreath, holding a large chous. Prometheus and Epimetheus are clearly involved in a Dionysian celebration that included the tasting or drinking of mixed wine and the veneration of the mask of Dionysos hidden inside the liknon on the table, elements that would seem to point to the Athenian festival known as the Anthesteria, rather than the Lenaia.68

28The built structure on the left seems too solid, complete with a stone mask of Dionysos, as argued by Tsachou-Alexandri, to be the “Lenaia” pole and mask, and makes one think of the ancient sanctuary of Dionysos “in the Marshes”. The roles of Prometheus and Epimetheus, however, are puzzling. It seems difficult to escape the conclusion that by the last decades of the fifth century they had become linked to the Anthesteria in some specific way, not just as symbolic role-models. We might guess at some sort of a connection between the Pithoigia of the first day of the Anthesteria and the release of whatever was in Pandora’s pithos or that Prometheus’s technical skills became linked to an understanding of the fermentation of wine, but neither can be substantiated. Although the Eretria Painter was clearly much interested in scenes of cult, we should no more expect such a scene to be specific or accurate than a scene derived from drama: both were no doubt only intended as evocative and impressionistic, and the combination of different moments in time unexceptional. Nevertheless, the inclusion of the boy with a chous would at least seem to suggest roles for Prometheus and Epimetheus in the cult of Dionysos and its connections with both the upbringing of citizens and the cohesion of the community at large.

  • 69 For the Promethia see Ludwig Deubner, Attische Feste, Berlin, 1932, p. 211-2; Giulio Q. Giglioli, “ (...)
  • 70 Scholiast on Sophokles, Oedipus Colonnus 56 (= FrGrH 244 F 147); and cf. Salust’s hypothesis; John (...)
  • 71 Cf. Aristophanes, Frogs 1089-98.
  • 72 British Museum GR 1898,0716.6: Beazley ARV2 p. 1333, 1; most recently Dyfri Williams, Masterpieces (...)

29Prometheus’ role in Athenian cult, however, is perhaps best known to us now from the torch race that was held in his honour at the annual Prometheia.69 This relay race of tribal teams began at Prometheus’ altar near the Academy, where there once stood, according to Apollodoros, a base with a relief showing a youthful Hephaistos and an older Prometheus with a sceptre (or torch?) in his right hand (the ages perhaps echoing the story that Hephaistos was Prometheus’son).70 The racers passed through the Kerameikos where the inhabitants made fun of the slower runners.71 On a bell-krater in London, signed as potter by Nikias, the son of Hermokles and of the deme of Anáphlystos, and like the Richmond krater attributed to the Nikias Painter, we see an elaborate scene connected with a torch race (fig. 8).72 In the centre a bearded athlete holds his torch over an altar, while a winged Nike flies in to tie a fillet around his arm. His elaborate headgear bears an inscription that clearly reads ANTIOCH…, thus labelling the team as that of the tribe Antiochis (Nikias’ own tribe). Two younger athletes are also present: neither holds a torch and the one on the left seems to be warming up. To the right of and behind the altar stands a white-haired man with an olive or laurel wreath in his hair.

  • 73 Cf. also perhaps the figure on the Boston kalpis with satyrs assembling Hera’s trick throne – see a (...)

30The torch race was run by youths, not bearded men, so that we must presume that the athlete with the torch is Antiochos, the eponymous hero of the tribe, rather than a real runner. The scene must be the lighting of the torch at Prometheus’ altar before the start of the race, carried out here symbolically by the tribal hero, with Nike anticipating the result. The white hair of the man behind the altar would seem to militate against him being the presiding Archon Basileus or official (or, indeed, the god Hephaistos), and the idea that he is instead Prometheus himself might be supported by comparison with the fact that Prometheus on the Vatican cup has white hair and a wreath.73 Prometheus is present to witness the successful lighting of the torch at his altar at the beginning of the race, a race that symbolised the return of fire to the city, and he puts his head back and opens his mouth, perhaps to call on Zeus to accept the return of fire and, in so doing, to reconfirm his position in both the city and on Olympos after his terrible punishment at the hands of the father of the gods.

CONCLUSION

  • 74 See Boardman 2001, p. 241-2, enlisting Philochoros (FHrH 328 F 10) and Aristophanes, Birds 971 for (...)
  • 75 See West 1966, p. 306; and Lucian, Prometheus Es, 2.

31It was in fifth-century Athens, then, that the Titan Prometheus came to be celebrated as a political rebel and a culture hero, a god who suffered for mankind, and a subversive who was in the end reconciled to Olympos, all passion spent. His story, and that of his alter ego, Epimetheus, as we have seen, increasingly pervaded stage, philosophy and cult, a development that was also perhaps mirrored to some extent in the case of Pandora, who was not forgotten when sacrifices were made to Athena and seems to have also become linked to the family of Erechtheus.74 Their rising profile in Athens was reflected by that city’s vase-painters, who presented a new and complex repertoire of themes, inspired first by the dramas that they saw and then by the cult festivities in which they and their fellows participated. Indeed, how could it be otherwise, for Prometheus, who in the fifth century took his place alongside Athena and Hephaistos as part of the technologically informed trio, was worshipped by potters – they were to be called “Prometheuses”.75

Fig. 1: Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 542, cup: Prometheus and Hera

Fig. 2: Vienna IV 985, calyx-krater: return of Hephaistos

Fig. 3: Boston 03.788, kalpis – satyrs with parts of a throne, and Prometheus (?)

Fig. 4: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum G 275 – Epimetheus and Pandora

Fig. 5: London, British Museum F. 147, neck-amphora.
a. Epimetheus and Pandora. – b. Prometheus and jar. – c. Preliminary sketch showing chest, with final pithos superimposed (drawing by Kate Morton, British Museum)

Fig. 8: London, British Museum, GR 1898,0716.6, bell-krater – preparations for and completion of a torch race

Bibliographie

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beazley 1958: John D. Beazley, “A Stamnos in the Louvre”, in Paolo E. Arias (ed.), Scritti in onore di Guido Libertini, Firenze, 1958, p. 91-95.

Beazley 1963: John D. Beazley, Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1963.

Bérard 1974: Claude Bérard, Anodoi, Neuchâtel, 1974.

Boardman 2000: John Boardman, “Pandora in Italy”, in Agathos Daimon Lilly Kahil, Paris, 2000, p. 51-56 (BCH Suppl. 38).

Boardman 2001: John Boardman, “Pandora in the Parthenon: A Grace to Mortals”, in Alexandra Alexandre, Iphigenia Levente (ed.), Kallisteuma: Meletes pros timen tes Olgas Tzachou-Alexandre, Athens, 2001, p. 233-244.

Brommer 1959: Frank Brommer, Satyrspiele, 2nd ed., Berlin, 1959.

Brommer 1978: Frank Brommer, Hephaistos: Der Schmiedegott in der antiken Kunst, Mainz, 1978.

Carpenter 2005: Thomas H. Carpenter, “Images of Satyr Plays in South Italy”, in Harrison 2005, p. 219-236.

Csapo, Miller 2003: Eric Csapo, Margaret Miller (ed.), Poetry, Theory and Praxis: The Social Life of Myth. Word and Image in Ancient Greece – Essays in Honour of William J. Slater, Oxford, 2003.

Gisler 1994: Jean-Robert Gisler, “Prometheus”, in LIMC VII, Zurich and Munich, 1994, p. 531-553.

Harrison 2005: George W. M. Harrison (ed.), Satyr Drama. Tragedy at Play, Swansea, 2005.

Hart 2010: Mary L. Hart, The art of ancient Greek theater, Los Angeles, 2010.

Kerényi 1963: Carl Kerényi, Prometheus, London, 1963.

Krumeich et alii 1999: Ralf Krumeich, Nikolaus Pechstein, Bernd Seidensticker (ed.), Das griechische Satyrspiel, Darmstadt, 1999.

Lissarrague 1990: François Lissarrague, “Why satyrs are good to represent”, in John J. Winkler, Froma I. Zeitlin (ed.), Nothing to Do with Dionysos?, Princeton, 1990, p. 228-236.

Lissarrague 1995: François Lissarrague, “Women, boxes, containers: some signs and metaphors”, in Reeder 1995, p. 91-101.

Lissarrague 2013: François Lissarrague, La cité des satyres, Paris, 2013.

Mitchell 2009: Alexandre G. Mitchell, Greek vase-painting and the origins of visual humour, Cambridge, 2009.

Neils 2005: Jennifer Neils, “The Girl in the Pithos. Hesiod’s Elpis”, in Judith M. Barringer, Jeffrey M. Hurwitt (ed.) Periklean Athens and its Legacy. Problems and Perspectives, Austin, Texas, 2005, p. 37-45.

Parker 2005: Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford, 2005.

Podlecki 2005: Athony J. Podlecki, “Aischylos Tragikos”, in Harrison 2005, p. 1-19.

Reeder 1995: Ellen R. Reeder (ed.), Pandora: Women in Classical Greece, Baltimore, 1995.

Shapiro 1994: H. Alan Shapiro, Myth into Art: Poet and Painter in Classical Greece, London, 1994.

Simon 1981: Erika Simon, Das Satyrspiel Sphinx des Aischylos, Heidelberg, 1981.

Simon 1982: Erika Simon, “Satyr-plays on Vases in the time of Aeschylus”, in Donna C. Kurtz, Brian A. Sparkes (ed.), The Eye of Greece: Studies in the Art of Athens, Cambridge, 1982, p. 123-148.

Simon 1989: Erika Simon, “Hermeneutisches zur Anodos von Göttinnen”, in Hans-Ulrich Cain, Hans Gabelmann, Dieter Salzmann (ed.), Festschrift für Nikolaus Himmelmann, Mainz, 1989, p. 197-203.

Sutton 1980: Danna F. Sutton, The Greek Satyr Play, Meisenheim, 1980.

Taplin, Wyles 2010: Oliver Taplin, Rosie Wyles (ed.), The Pronomos Vase and its Context, Oxford, 2010.

Trendall, Webster 1971: A. Dale Trendall, Thomas B. L. Webster, Illustrations of Greek Drama, London, 1971.

West 1966: Martin L. West, Hesiod: Theogony, Oxford, 1966.

West 1978: Martin L. West, Hesiod: Works and Days, Oxford, 1978.

Williams 2008: Dyfri Williams, “Prometheus Bound and Unbound: between art and drama”, in Donna C. Kurtz et alii (ed.), Essays in Classical Archaeology for Eleni Hatzivassiliou 1977-2007, Oxford, 2008, p. 181-192.

Zarecki 2007: Jonathan P. Zarecki, “Pandora and the Good Eris in Hesiod”, GRBS 47, 2007, p. 5-29.

Notes

1 Hesiod, Theogony 507-616; Works and Days 42-105. On Hesiod see West 1966 and 1978. On the general theme of Prometheus see most recently Carol Dougherty, Prometheus, Abingdon, 2006.

2 For the visual evidence see most fully Gisler 1994.

3 Williams 2008, p. 181-185.

4 Williams 2008, p. 185; see also John D. Beazley, “Prometheus Fire-Lighter”, AJA 43, 1939, p. 618-639, with a different conclusion.

5 Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 542: Beazley ARV2 p. 438, 133; Kerényi 1963, p. 59, with pl. 4; Diana Buitron-Oliver, Douris, Mainz, 1995, pl. 100.

6 Return: Brommer 1978, p. 10-17 and p. 199-204. Hera on magic throne: Monique Halm-Tisserant, « La représentation du retour d’Héphaïstos dans l’Olympe: Iconographie traditionelle et innovations formelles dans l’atelier de Polygnotos (440-430) », AK 29, 1986, p. 8-22, esp. p. 20-1. For Brommer 1978, no. B 53 see now Delia G. Lollini et alii, La ceramica attica figurate nelle Marche (Ancona 1991) no. 5 (Enrico Paribeni); and for a new representation see Giovanni Rizza, “La liberazione di Hera in un vaso attico da Lentini”, in Graziella Fiorentini et alii (ed.), Archeologia del Mediterraneo: studi in onore di Ernesto de Miro, Roma, 2003, p. 579-590. There do not seem to be any examples of Hera trapped in her throne before the first decade of the fifth century (the earliest is the Kleophrades Painter’s calyx-krater, Louvre G 162, Brommer 1978, no. B 3).

7 Hera as Prometheus’s mother: scholiast on Homer, Iliad XIV, 295 – Euphorion, ed. John U. Powell, Collectanea Alexandrina, Oxford, 1925, p. 42, fr. 99; Kerényi 1963, p. 35 and 59. For the idea that Hephaistos was Prometheus’son (with this cup) see Kerényi 1963, p. 57-58, using Pausanias IX, 25, 6. The difference in age is noted in the description of the pair on a carved pedestal from near the Academy: scholiast on Sophokles, Oedipus Colonus 55-56. There is also a reference to the idea that it was not Hephaistos but Prometheus that wielded the axe that released Athena from Zeus’ head: Euripides, Ion 452-7; and a tradition that it was Prometheus that created Pandora: Plotinus, Enneads IV, 3, 14.

8 Vienna inv. IV 985: Beazley ARV2 p. 591, 20; Lissarrague 1990, p. 233; Krumeich et alii 1999, pl. 28a. For recent comments on the visual indicators of satyr plays see the important overview in Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 41-73; also Bernd Seidensticker, “The Chorus in Greek Satyrplay”, in Csapo, Miller 2003, p. 100-121; Podlecki 2005, p. 2-3; Carpenter 2005, p. 233; and Lissarrague 2013, p. 28-37. Note also I. C. Storey, “But Comedy has satyrs too”, in Harrison 2005, p. 201-218, esp. p. 208-209, who makes it clear that our ability to differentiate between satyrs in satyr-plays and in comedies is limited. On satyr plays in general see most recently: Pierre Voelke, Un Théâtre de la marge. Aspects figuratifs et configurationels du drame satyrique dans l’Athènes classique, Bari, 2001; J. Gibert, “Recent work on Greek satyr play”, CJ 98, 2002, p. 79-88; J. Gibert, “Satyric Drama”, CR 2003, p. 22-24 (review of Voelke).

9 On perizōmata see Anneliese Kossatz-Deissmann, “Zur Herkunft des Perizoma im Sayrspiel”, JDAI 97, 1982, p. 65-90. Lissarrague 1990, p. 230-231, is perhaps unduly cautious.

10 Cf. Brommer 1959, p. 29-32; Sutton 1980, p. 70-1; Simon 1982, p. 131-2; Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 519-521.

11 Boston 03.788: Beazley ARV2 p. 571, 75; Brommer 1959, p. 13-14, fig. 8; Simon 1982, p. 135-6, with fig. 36b; Lissarrague 1990, p. 231 with pl. 10; Carpenter 2005, p. 222 and fig. 4 (he notes that it is probably by the same painter as a kalpis in Tokyo that Simon argued was inspired by Aeschylus’ Sphinx Simon 1981; Simon 1982, pl. 37 a-b; Krumeich et alii 1999, pl. 22b); Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 23 n. 109, 59, 209, 520 n. 13, with pl. 4; Mitchell 2009, p. 210-1; Marie Louise Hart (ed.), The Art of the Ancient Greek Theater, Los Angeles, 2010, p. 98-99, no. 46; Lissarrague 2013, p. 29-30 and fig. 6. Note especially Beazley’s careful description in Lacey D. Caskey, John D. Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston iii, Oxford, 1963, p. 51-52, no. 151.

12 Cf. also Lissarrague 1990, p. 231 and 2013, p. 30 (chorēgos); Klaus Junker, “The Transformation of Athenian Theatre Culture around 400 BC”, in Taplin, Wyles 2010, p. 134-5 (choregos or ordinary citizen as audience). For a more plausible choregos, Charinos on the Pronomos vase see Peter Wilson, “The Man and the Music (and the Choregos)”, in Taplin, Wyles 2010, p. 206 and 209-210.

13 Caltanisetta 20371: John D. Beazley, Paralipomena. Additions to Attic black-figure vase-painters and to Attic red-figure vase-painters, Oxford, 1971, p. 354, add as 274, 39 bis; Brommer 1978, p. 25, with 209 no. B. 3; Robert Gempeler, “Die Schmiede des Hephäst – Eine Satyr-Spielszene des Harrow-Malers”, AK 12, 1969, p. 16-21, pls 13 and 14, 3-4. See also Mitchell 2009, p. 195; and Lissarrague 2013, p. 214, who views the satyrs simply as workmen.

14 For Lemnos as the landing place and for the forge: Homer, Iliad I, 590-1; Apollodoros, Bibl. I, 3, 5; Lucian, De Sacrificiis 6.

15 Plato, Protagoras 321c; Lucian, Prometheus 5; Cicero, Tusc. II, 10, 23. There are other traditions: Hesiod, Works and Days 51; Virgil, Eclogues VI, 42. See further Kerényi 1963, p. 80-81.

16 Roman sarcophagus: Gisler 1994, no. 1.

17 Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 174, F 206. Cf. Kerényi 1963, p. 70-71.

18 Berlin 1962.33: Adolf Greifenhagen, Ein Satyrspiel des Aischylos? (118 Winckelmanns programm; Berlin 1963); Simon 1981, p. 27-28 with pl. 16. See further, Simon 1982, p. 140, who associates it, perhaps rather oddly, with a different satyr drama, the Trophoi. Cf. also Mitchell 2009, p. 184 with fig. 94, who takes the satyrs as antiathletes rather than as part of a satyr play (he also mistakes Simon’s attribution).

19 One also thinks of the trumpet that started the drinking competition at the Anthesteria – cf. Aristophanes, Acharnians 1000-2.

20 Cf. Shapiro 1994, p. 8-9: “synoptic” and “cyclic”, following Anthony Snodgrass, Narration and Allusion in Archaic Greek Art, London, 1982.

21 See Williams 2008, p. 185.

22 It is sometimes suggested that there was another satyr play by Aeschylus which might have been related in theme – the Kabeiroi – but its existence is very uncertain – see Podlecki 2005, p. 12-13. The Sicilian playwright, Epicharmos, is also recorded as having produced a Pyrrha or Prometheus, perhaps in the first half of the fifth century: Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 169.

23 Cf. Podlecki 2005, p. 4-16 and 17. On the other Prometheus plays see Williams 2008, p. 183-185.

24 Hesiod, Works and Days, 59-68. See West 1978, p. 166 for the stories brought together or reflected in Hesiod. See also Boardman 2001, p. 233-236.

25 For this group of vases see most recently Boardman 2001, p. 237-241. On the scene of Pandora on the base of the Athena Parthenos see also N. Robertson, “Pandora and the Panathenaic Peplos”, in Michael Cosmopoulos (ed.), The Parthenon and its Sculptures, Cambridge, 2004, p. 86-94; Claire C. Davison, Geoffrey B. Waywell, Pheidias: the Sculptures & ancient sources, London, 2009, p. 117-126 (BICS Suppl. 105).

26 British Museum GR 1885,0128.1 (Vase D 4): Beazley ARV2 p. 869, 55; Shapiro 1994, p. 66-7, fig. 41; Reeder 1995, no. 79.

27 For this approach see especially Boardman 2001.

28 British Museum GR 1856, 1213.1 (Vase E 467): Beazley ARV2 p. 601, 23; Shapiro 1994, p. 67-8, fig. 42; Reeder 1995, no. 80.

29 For Ares cf. Homer, Iliad V, 889-891. Otherwise, his presence has been explained simply as the consort of Aphrodite (cf. Reeder 1995, p. 283) or more allusively as a womaniser (Shapiro 1994, p. 67).

30 Libanius, Narrationes, peri Hephaistou: Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 517.

31 British Museum GR 1888,1114.3 and 4 (Vase E 789) frr.: Beazley ARV2 p. 764, 9; D. Williams, “Sotades: Plastic and White”, in Simon Keay, Stephanie Moser (ed.), Greek Art in View: Studies in Honour of Brian Sparkes, Oxford, 2004, p. 103-106, figs 7.8 and 7.9.

32 Parutino, Olbian Arch. Mus.: Sergej D. Krijitsky, Nina A. Lejpunskaja, Olbia, Nikolaev, 1997, p. 45 fig. 26-2.

33 Plotinus, Enneads IV, 3, 14.

34 On anodos scenes see Bérard 1974, passim.

35 Oxford G 275 (V 525): Beazley ARV2 p. 1562, 4; CVA Oxford i, p. 18-19, pls 21, 1-2, and 36, 1; Trendall, Webster 1971, p. 33, II 8; Shapiro 1994, p. 69, fig. 45; Reeder 1995, no. 81.

36 Carl Robert, “Pandora”, Hermes 49, 1914, p. 17-38; and Beazley 1958, p. 92, who favoured the agricultural mallet or bettle used for breaking up the clods of earth. Simon 1982, 146, prefers the idea that the hammers were for beating clay; but in Simon 1989, p. 199, she offers both possibilities. In fact the wooden hammers (kopana) used by early twentieth century potters on the Greek islands are of a radically different shape.

37 For Eros cf. Beazley in CVA Oxford i, p. 19; an alternate tradition has Prometheus married to Pandora, see West 1978, p. 165 (Hesiod fr. 2).

38 Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 298: Beazley ABV p. 522, 87 (Athena Painter); Bérard 1974, figs 21-22; Simon 1989, pl. 34, 5; Shapiro 1994, p. 69; and Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 56, n. 69, who discount the satyr-like figure. On the problem of anodoi in general see recently Boardman 2001, p. 240-241. The figure with a hammer attacking a tree (and the satyr-play versions of it) have been plausibly interpreted as Erysichthon, see H. Alan Shapiro, “The Iconography of Erysichthon: Kallimachos and his sources”, in Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Berlin 1988, Mainz, 1990, p. 529-530 (satyr play Aithon by Achaios); and Uta Kron, in LIMC IV, s. v. Erysichthon I, p. 14-18.

39 Ivan R. Marazov et alii, Vassil Bojkov Collection, Sofia, 2005, no. 81. The text of the catalogue is not very informative, and the illustration only shows one of the men.

40 Louvre C 10754 plus: Beazley ARV2 p. 228, 32; Beazley 1958, p. 91-95; with all the new fragments, found since Beazley’s publication, Simon 1989, p. 197-203, pls 34, 1-4 and 35, 1-2; Krumeich et alii 1999, pl. 1b-c, with p. 57 with n. 71, dismissing Simon’s interpretation.

41 Simon 1989, p. 199, identifies the object supporting the amphora as part of a basket; for rocks serving this purpose see eg. Norbert Kunisch, Makron, Mainz, 1997, 65 fig. 28 no. 87. The birds may be connected with the sacrifice or simply witness to the rural setting, startled by the hammering.

42 Beazley 1958, p. 94, has the pipe-player do double duty. On the sacrifice, cf. Folkert T. van Straten, Hiera Kala, Leiden, 1995, p. 217-8, V 135, but the goat is not mentioned; and G. C. Nordquist, “Instrumental Music in Representations of Greek Cult”, in Robin Hägg (ed.), The Iconography of Greek Cult in the Archaic and Classical Periods, Liège, 1992, p. 157 (Kernos Suppl. 1).

43 Beazley 1958, p. 93. For Mekone: Hesiod, Theogony 545-557, with West 1966.

44 Ferrara 3031 (T 579): Beazley ARV2 p. 612, 1; Trendall, Webster 1971, p. 34, II 7; Fede Berti and Piero G. Guzzo, Spina: Storia di una città tra Greci ed Etruschi, Ferrara, 1993, p. 97, fig. 75 (cat. 789); Krumeich et alii 1999, pl. 10.

45 Cf. eg. Gisler 1994, esp. nos. 11 and 17, but also nos. 4 (?), 10, 15, 16 and 18; also Ancona 25342, Williams 2008, p. 191 fig. 4.

46 Basel, Cahn 278: A. Dale Trendall, Alexander Cambitoglou, The Red-figured Vases of Apulia I, Oxford, 1978, p. 11 no 25a, pl. 4, 1; Vera Slehoferova, in Vera Slehoferova, Herbert A. Cahn, Margot Schmidt, Der zerbrochene Krug. Vasenfragmente klassischer Zeit aus Athen und Grossgriechenland, Basel, 1991, no. 31; Boardman 2000, p. 53 with fig. 6 on p. 56 (only one fragment).

47 See Sutton 1980, p. 55; and now Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 378-379, who note that the play was not necessarily a satyr play.

48 Note also the possibility of a Prometheus by Sophokles himself, Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 169-170.

49 Krumeich et alii 1999, p. 174-5 no. F 207a; scholiast on Hesiod, Works and Days 89; cf. West 1978, p. 95 and 73, who notes Tzetzes’ reference in this context to “krotous” (“hammerings”?) as well as satyrs.

50 London F 147: Arthur B. Cook, Zeus iii, Cambridge, 1914, p. 349-353, pl. 34; A. Dale Trendall, The Red-figured Vases of Campania, Lucania and Sicily I, Oxford, 1967, p. 189 and 667 no. 5; Boardman 2000, p. 51-53, and 55 figs 1-5; Neils 2005, p. 38-40, figs 4, 1-2 and 6-8.

51 Neils 2005, p. 38-39, sees him as Hephaistos, on the basis of a vague resemblance to metalworker, and her determinedly Hesiodic reading, which seems entirely unsympathetic to the vase iconography.

52 Neils 2005, p. 39-40 (Zeus); Daniel Ogden, “What was in Pandora’s box”, in Nicolas Fisher, Hans van Wees (ed.), Archaic Greece: New Approaches and New Evidence, London, 1998, 217 (Hephaistos).

53 Boardman 2000, p. 52 with n. 1, was right in seeing that the upper horizontal line in the published drawing of the preliminary sketch was a wheel mark. There is, however, another pair of horizontal lines further up the vase almost at handle level, indicating the top of the lid of the chest, open and viewed from the front; there are also triple vertical lines on each side. Circles and stars are suitable decoration for a wooden chest, whether magical or not. On boxes see E. Brümmer, “Griechische Truhenbehälter”, JdI 100, 1985, p. 1-168; cf. also eg. Reeder 1995, nos. 75-77, and p. 270 fig. 74; and François Lissarrague, “Women, boxes, containers: some signs and metaphors”, in Reeder 1995, p. 91-101 – note p. 93 fig. 2, 94 fig. 3, 100 fig. 15.

54 Erwin and Dora Panofsky, Pandora’s Box: The Changing Aspects of a Mythical Symbol, New York, 1956.

55 Cf. above n. 49; and Babrius, Fabula 58, with West 1978, 169-70 (note the connection with Theognis 1135-7 and Macedonius). “Anthrōpos ”, however, by Babrius’ time can mean a woman too: cf. Zarecki 2007, p. 20 n. 32.

56 Formerly European market: Lissarrague 1995, p. 100 fig. 15; Lissarrague 2013, p. 209 fig. 181.

57 Boston 01.8056: Arthur Fairbanks, Catalogue of Greek and Etruscan Vases, Boston, 1928, no. 539, pl. 51; Neils 2005, p. 41-42, figs 4, 9-12.

58 Pace Neils 2005, p. 42.

59 Louvre CA 445: Edmond Pottier, “Le vase de Cléoménès”, RA 27, 1900, p. 195 and pl. 14, 1; Humphry Payne, Necrocorinthia, Oxford, 1931, p. 173 n. 2.

60 For a positive reading of Elpis see Paul Girard, “Le mythe de Pandora dans la poésie hésiodique”, REG 22, 1909, p. 217-30, esp. 229-30; and E. F. Beal, “The Contents of Hesiod’s Pandora Jar: Erga 94-98”, Hermes 117, 1989, p. 227-30. See also most recently Zarecki 2007, p. 19-22.

61 For Hesiod’s sources see West 1978, p. 166. Sappho (fr. 207: Lobel and Page); Ibykos (PMG 342).

62 Pherekydes: Martin L. West “The Prometheus Trilogy”, JHS 99, 1979, p. 145-6.

63 Plato, Protagoras 320d-322d. Cf. also Plato, Gorgias 523d-e and Philebos 16c.

64 See Williams 2008.

65 John Oakley, “A Calyx-Krater in Virginia by the Nikias Painter with the Birth of Erichthonios,” AK 30, 1987, p. 123-130; Reeder 1995, no. 71.

66 Douris, FGH 76 F 47: scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius II, 1248.

67 Athens, 3rd Arch Eph. inv. 3500: Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler: Werke und Weggefahrten, Mainz, 1988, p. 202 n. 304; Olga Tsachou-Alexandri, “Apeikoniseis ton Anthesterion kai o chous tes Odou Peiraios tou zographou tes Eretrias”, in John Oakley et alii (ed.), Athenian Potters and Painters, Oxford, 1997, p. 473-490, a full and important publication. For Prometheus as the father of Epimetheus, see scholiast to Pindar, Olympian Odes IX, 68.

68 On the Anthesteria see most recently Parker 2005, p. 290-316 (see p. 306 n. 69 for the Athens chous). See also Richard Hamilton, Choes and Anthesteria: Athenian Iconography and Ritual, Ann Arbor, 1992; and Richard Hamilton, “Lenaia Vases in Context”, in Csapo, Miller 2003, p. 48-68 (see p. 51 for the Athens chous).

69 For the Promethia see Ludwig Deubner, Attische Feste, Berlin, 1932, p. 211-2; Giulio Q. Giglioli, “Lampadedromia”, Archeologia Classica 3, 1951, p. 147-162; Julia L. Shear, Polis and Panathenaia: The History and Development of Athena’s Festival, diss. University of Pennsylvania, 2001, p. 335-339, and 113-114; Martin Bentz, “Torch race and vase-painting”, in Olga Palagia, Alceste Choremi-Spetsieri (ed.), The Panathenaic Games, Oxford, 2007, p. 73-80. On Prometheus in cult in general see also Paola Pisi, Prometeo nel culto attico, Roma, 1990.

70 Scholiast on Sophokles, Oedipus Colonnus 56 (= FrGrH 244 F 147); and cf. Salust’s hypothesis; John Travlos, Bildlexikon zur Topographie des antiken Athen, Tübingen, 1971, p. 42-51. Cf. also Pausanias I, 30, 2.

71 Cf. Aristophanes, Frogs 1089-98.

72 British Museum GR 1898,0716.6: Beazley ARV2 p. 1333, 1; most recently Dyfri Williams, Masterpieces of Classical Art, London, 2009, p. 128-9 no. 56. Note that the Nikias Painter is one of the few Athenian painters to have left a scene from comedy – cf. Paris Louvre MN 707: Beazley ARV2 p. 1335, 34; Hart 2010, p. 114-5, no. 52.

73 Cf. also perhaps the figure on the Boston kalpis with satyrs assembling Hera’s trick throne – see above. On Prometheus’ white hair cf. Williams 2008, p. 185.

74 See Boardman 2001, p. 241-2, enlisting Philochoros (FHrH 328 F 10) and Aristophanes, Birds 971 for sacrifices to Pandora, and Phanodemos (FGrH 325 F 4) for the Erechtheid connection.

75 See West 1966, p. 306; and Lucian, Prometheus Es, 2.

Notes de fin

1 I am very grateful to Kate Morton for kindly drawing the preliminary sketch lines on the London Owl-Pillar neck-amphora for me. I should also like to thank François Lissarrague for the invitation to Paris, as a Visiting Professor at the Centre Louis Gernet in May 2008, where I did some of the early research on Prometheus for one of his seminars, and for seeing the resultant article, which was written during my tenure of a Gerda Henkel Marie Curie Senior Research Fellowship at the Université libre de Bruxelles, through the press. Finally I should like to thank Natacha Massar who very kindly read various drafts and Georg Plattner, Christine Kondoleon, and Anja Ulbrich for their help with images.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1: Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 542, cup: Prometheus and Hera
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 536k
Légende Fig. 2: Vienna IV 985, calyx-krater: return of Hephaistos
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 720k
Légende Fig. 3: Boston 03.788, kalpis – satyrs with parts of a throne, and Prometheus (?)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 648k
Légende Fig. 4: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum G 275 – Epimetheus and Pandora
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 604k
Légende Fig. 5: London, British Museum F. 147, neck-amphora.a. Epimetheus and Pandora. – b. Prometheus and jar. – c. Preliminary sketch showing chest, with final pithos superimposed (drawing by Kate Morton, British Museum)
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 660k
Légende Fig. 8: London, British Museum, GR 1898,0716.6, bell-krater – preparations for and completion of a torch race
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/3227/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 710k

Auteur

Gerda Henkel Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow, Université libre de Bruxelles

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