Mythological scenes

The selection here is of the latest 6th and 5th centuries BC. The subjects derive from Greek myth, sometimes treated in a novel manner and often labelled with Etruscan equivalents to Greek names.

Gem image

Ajax carries the dead body of Achilles. (The back of the scarab is carved with a frontal sphinx.) Early 5th cent.

Florence, Mus.Arch. 15258. 14mm. Zazoff, no. 11

Gem images

Herakles strikes down Kyknos, child of Ares. Inscribed HERKLE, KVKNE. Mid-5th cent. The Kyknos Master [Glynn].

London, Walters 621. 14.5mm. Zazoff, no. 40.

Gem image

A thunderbolt strikes down Kapaneus, one of the Seven against Thebes. A more popular subject in Etruria than Greece. The scarab back is carved with a squatting negro in relief. The same artist as the last.

London, Walters 652. 13mm. Zazoff, no.63.

Gem images

Aeneas carries his father Anchises, holding the sacred objects, from Troy. Mid-5th cent.

Paris, Cab.Med., de Luynes 276. 13mm. Zazoff, no.44.

Gem image

Ajax about to commit suicide by falling on his sword. About 450-425 BC. By the Master of the London Athlete [Glynn].

Boston 27.717. 13mm. Zazoff, no.335.

Gem image

Sleep and Death carry the body of Memnon from the field at Troy. A popular motif. Mid-5th cent.

Boston 21.1200; LHG no.38. 15mm.

Gem images

Herakles is rescuing Deianeira, who carries his club for him. Inscribed TVRAN (Etruscan Aphrodite). About 450-425 BC. By the Master of the Florence Herakles and Deianeira [Glynn].

Florence, Mus.Arch. 15257. 14mm. Zazoff no.45.

Gem image

Perseus decapitates the Gorgon Medusa. About 450-425 BC. By the Berlin Master [Glynn].

London, Walters 623. 16mm. Zazoff, no.55.

Gem image

Five heroes. The composition relates to Greek scenes of the Mission at Achilles at Troy, but the figures are given names of five of the Seven against Thebes, a popular subject in Etruria: PARTHENAPAES (Parthenopaios), AMPHIARE (Amphiaraos), PHULNIKE (Polyneikes), ATRESTHE (Adrastos), TUTE (Tydeus).

Berlin FG 194. 16.3mm. Zazoff, no.54.

Gem image

Herakles holds the sail of his raft (and his bow and arrows, his club beside him), supported by empty wine jars. An subject unknown to Greek art. About 450 BC.

Boston 21.1202; LHG no. 42. 13.5mm.