Corinthian oinochoe
Collections OnlineGregorian Etruscan MuseumRooms XVII and XVIII

Corinthian Trefoil Oinochoe (wine jug)

Cerveteri
ca. 570-550 B.C.
painted ceramic
h. 29,9 cm.
inv. 16439

This oinochoe with a clover shaped (trefoil) mouth and spherical body illustrates the battle between Ajax and Hector - episode from the Trojan war differently narrated by Homer in the Iliad (XIV, 402 on). The main figures are identified by painted inscriptions. In the center, Ajax has just stabbed Hector with a lance. He wears a girt chitonisco, helmet, shield and shin-guards. Behind him Hector, with his right leg on the ground, protects himself behind the assailant’s shield while preparing to strike a blow with his raised right arm. Hector is naked except for his helmet and shin-guards; his right thigh is wounded and spouting blood (painted in red). To his rescue on the right, we see Aeneas wearing a helmet, shin-guards and sword on his hip while holding his shield and lance positioned for attack.
On the left, the composition is framed by two warriors fighting each other. The first one from the left, wearing a rough hide, is holding a shield lined in animal skin and enflamed fleece. His contender is naked and armored like Aeneas. Alternate fields coloured in violet-red and white enliven the composition and define some details. The main subject is framed above by a row of polychromatic scales; on the sides a cross-hatch pattern in red and on the lower part bands painted in violet-red on a light background.