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Attic Black Figure Amphora
ca. 540&endash;530 BC
By Exekias
Orvieto, Italy
MS 3442
Scenes from the Aethiopis, a largely lost 7th century BC epic poem. Menelaus fights the Egyptian King Amasis, while Ajax lifts Achilles' body to drag it off the field of battle. The legendary exploits of mortals at the time of the Trojan War provide a rich source of material for artists, especially during the 6th and 5th centuries. Only human protagonists appear here, but the background roles of the gods would have been familiar to most Greeks through their close acquaintance with the epics of Homer and other literary sources.
H. 58.3; Dia. 34.0 cm. UM neg. S8-2751.

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