Friday, 14 September 2012

Amphitrite in Art Two

Amphitrite in Art Two .
Here's two more vase paintings.
The first one features Theseus Athena and Amphitrite.

There is a story that Minos tested Theseus' claim to be a son of Poseidon by throwing a ring into the sea. Theseus dived in after it. Aided by dolphins he swam down to Amphitrite's underseas palace and retrieved not only the ring but also a golden crown.

Given the presence of dolphins and Triton supporting Theseus plus Athena appearing this suggests to me that there may have been another lost version of this story in which Athena sponsors and protects Theseus as he encounters his father's wife and given how mnay dramas did NOT survive even perhaps a play in which Athena argues for the need for wives to be kind to sons their husbands had by other women?

The other story we have about Poseidon and Amphitrite is that she was reluctant to marry him and this image seems to show Iris messenger of the gods acting as a matchmaker between the two gods?

Sometimes when written versions don't surivive as more than summaries in the mythographers vase paintings and other art give us more of the story.

But don't forget the ancients may have perceived these images differently!