Attic Oil Flask Depicting a Scene from Seven Against Thebes

Illustration

Ibolya Horvath
by Metropolitan Museum of Art
published on 25 May 2018

This image of a young warrior cutting his hair before battle may reflect a scene in Seven against Thebes, a tragedy by Aeschylus. 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 terracotta lekythos (oil flask) was probably made as a tomb gift c. 470-460 BCE. It may represent one of the seven heroes, or it may reflect the heroic death of an Athenian youth.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund

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