Attributed to the Painter of the Yale Lekythos
Date: ca. 470–460 B.C.
Culture: Greek, Attic
Medium: Terracotta; red-figure, white-ground
Dimensions: H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); diameter 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm); H. as restored 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number: 07.286.44
There were several important ceremonies in ancient Greece in which it was customary for boys and girls to sacrifice a lock of their hair. The image depicted on this vessel, however, may refer to a scene in The Seven against Thebes, a tragedy by Aeschylus produced in Athens about 470 B.C. Since the seven heroes knew that only one of them would survive battle, each cut a lock of his hair and tied it to the chariot that would carry home the survivor. This lekythos was probably made as a tomb offering. It may represent one of the seven heroes from Aeschylus' tragedy, or it may reflect the heroic death of an Athenian youth.