A Roll of the Dice for Ajax
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In the Homeric Iliad , the hero Ajax is second best in comparison with Achilles; in the Homeric Odyssey , he is second best in comparison with Odysseus. In Chapter 2 of my book The Best of the Achaeans ; 2nd ed. As for the Odyssey , the status of Ajax as the second best is more problematic. After the death of Achilles, the possession of his armor had been contested by both Ajax and Odysseus, and the contest had been won, unfairly, by Odysseus. The cheating of Ajax by Odysseus had brought about the most tragic consequences. His intense feelings of anger had caused Ajax, in a fit of madness, to slaughter herds sacred to Athena, and this wanton slaughter led ultimately to his suicide.
Exekias is regarded by art historians as an artistic visionary whose masterful use of incision and psychologically sensitive compositions mark him as one of the greatest of all Attic vase painters. The works of Exekias are distinguished by their innovative compositions, precise draughtsmanship, and subtle psychological characterization, all of which transcend the inherent challenges of the black-figure technique. John Boardman , the eminent historian of Greek art, described Exekias' style as follows: "The hallmark of his style is a near statuesque dignity which brings vase painting for the first time close to claiming a place as a major art. Fourteen signed works by Exekias have survived, while many more have been attributed to him based on the stylistic connoisseurship method developed by John Beazley. It has been suggested that he chose to sign as painter only the works he was particularly proud of. Beazley attributed one of the vases with the potter-only signature to the so-called Group E, to which Exekias is closely related. While Exekias' work itself offers a glimpse of the culture of ancient pottery, the find spots of his vases also reveal information about the market in which Exekias positioned himself.
Two-handled jar amphora with Achilles and Ajax. Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens. Dimensions Height: Accession Number Collections The Ancient World. Classifications Vessels.
Exekias, amphora with Ajax and Achilles playing a game
Achilles and Ajax, two great heroes of the Trojan War, play a board game on this Athenian black-figure amphora. Behind the table stands the goddess Athena. The scene of the warriors at leisure but with their armor at the ready might have taken place during a break in fighting the Trojan War. This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details such as the timestamp may not fully reflect those of the original file. The timestamp is only as accurate as the clock in the camera, and it may be completely wrong. Los Angeles , California , United States.