Recovering Rhapsodes: A New Vase by the Pantoxena Painter

TitleRecovering Rhapsodes: A New Vase by the Pantoxena Painter
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBundrick, SD
JournalClassical Antiquity

This paper discusses an Athenian calyx krater whose style, shape, and inscription allow attribution to the Pantoxena Painter, a member of the Polygnotan workshop. I argue that the unusual scene on the obverse—with a wreathed, draped youth mounting a bema before Nikai and judges—provides the only known image of a rhapsode from the second half of the fifth century BC and joins the very small group of scenes that depict this contest at all. Given the similarity to images of kitharodes and victors in other mousikoi agones, the krater testifies to the continued prestige given rhapsodia in this period. Unfortunately, because the krater was looted from the tomb in Tarquinia where it was placed after export from Athens, its meaning for an Etruscan viewer is more difficult to evaluate. The lack of documentation and physical context means that only part of this vase's biography can be recovered. []


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