Death of Priam

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Death of Priam on an Attic Red figure crater, Bologna museum

Here we have the death of Priam at the hands of Neoptolemus.

Priam is seated on the altar of Zeus, the god of the household which was in the centre of the palace. He is holding his sceptre. But ignoring the sanctity of the place, Neoptolemus has grabbed his hair with his left hand and is beating him to death with the lifeless body of Astyanax, Hector's son, whom he is holding by one leg.

This image combines two events: the death of Astyanax and the murder of Priam.

It emphasises the horror of the scene and the brutality of Neoptolemus.

On either side, a Greek and a Trojan warrior fill up the scene, identically armed with helmet shield and spear. Symmetrically, they face up to each other. They both wear a short shirt under a quilted cuirass. Neoptolemus is similarly armed, but his cuirass is of leather, or bronze worked in imitation of leather.

A little girl in peplos and carrying a wineskin completes the scene. She is running away in terror.