“He clenches his jaw, twisting and turning as he looks for some way out of this. But there isn’t one. I don’t expect him to forgive me, and I don’t deserve it either. But his hand closes over mine, holding on to the last person on his side.
Slowly he starts to hum. I recognize the tune as the sad song, the one we kissed to in a room full of moonlight.”
Decorated in repoussé with outlines and details incised, the central medallion with scene of hero attacking a lion, the lion leaping over a stylized mound towards the hero who wears an animal skin and holds a spear aloft, papyrus thicket in the background with nine large flowers and eight buds, the middle register with animal hunt, two horsemen and three warriors on foot pursue an ibex, stylized plant and two date palms between, a large falcon overlooking the scene, the outer register with a lion hunt, 11 warriors on foot carrying spears and shields and two horsemen, pursue a leaping lion, birds and stylized trees in between, each register divided by a band of punched dots, a band of larger dots around the exterior, rim folded over, remains of gilding.
Trojan War Themed Omphalos Phiale with the Armor of Achilles and Thetis, Late 5th-Early 4th Century BC
The figural scene here shows a very famous subject known as the thiasos (sea parade), widespread in Greek iconography from the 4th century BC. The main figure here is Thetis, bringing to her son Achilles his new armor forged by the most gifted of all craftsmen, the god Hephaestus. According to the mythological narration, Achilles (who, with Heracles, is the archetypal Greek hero) had lent the weapons that he took to the Trojan War to his friend Patroclus, for him to fight beneath the city walls of Troy. But after the death of Patroclus by the hand of Hector, Achilles decided to resume the battle and to defy Priam’s son. Thetis comes at that moment and, since she cannot convince her son to refrain from avenging the death of his best friend, she gives him fine new armor. A sea deity (she is one of the Nereids, the daughters of the sea god Nereus), Thetis can be identified by her crown and especially by her mount, a seahorse (her sisters ride dolphins). She holds a spear and carries a shield decorated with an impressive gorgoneion (protective representation of a Gorgon’s head). Two other Nereids carry the helmet and the rest of the armor, while a third Nereid simply holds a ribbon. The figures are dressed in loose chitons (tunics) that flutter in the breeze, emphasizing the speed of the marine creatures that swim by leaping on the waves of the sea. As usual, Achilles himself is not represented in the thiasos.