The Battle with the Suitors

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The Slaughter of the Suitors; relief on an Etruscan Urn, in the Museum at Volterra.

This relief shows us four suitors on a couch, with a table in front and a mixing bowl beside it. They are no longer drinking, for one lies dead at the top of the couch; another, pierced through the back, writhes in his efforts to draw the arrow out, while he raises a cup to hurl it at the archer; a third strives to pull an arrow from his eye; and the fourth, rising on the couch, draws his mantle round him to give himself some form of protection.

Close by him, Odysseus is drawing his bow once more, while Leodes, in the form of a boy, has seized him by the knee, and begs for mercy. (B k22, line 310)

To the left, behind Odysseus, two women have fled in terror, one of whom places her knee upon the altar (cf Bk 22 line 379), and clasps the idol which stands on a pillar above.

On the other side of the picture stands a Fury with her torch, gazing on the terrible work that she has brought about