The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


of an image of Athena, or before a palm-tree.1 It is true that these designs have given rise to a good deal of rash speculation. They afford no justification for the wild suggestion that Athene Alea is a goddess of astragalomancy, and there is no reason to suppose that the goddess of the vases is Skiradian Athena. Again, from the presence of two warriors, especially when we remember the exigencies of design, it cannot be confidently asserted that the scene is an appeal to divination to declare the victor in an approaching duel. The figures may even represent merely warriors engaged in pastime ; the design of two warriors playing TreWot, which also figures often on vases, is so similar that it is sometimes difficult to determine whether it is astragali or draughts­men over which they crouch. Nevertheless this pictorial representation of a goddess pre­siding over the casting of astragali is worth recording as possible evidence of the continued associations of the religious origin of casting the dice. The analogous coin types to which reference has been made come from a quarter

1 Bouche Leclerq, ii. pp. 404-405 ; Welcker, Alt. Denk. iii. i, Taf. 1-2 ; Roulez, '• Les Peintures d'une coupe de Duns," Annali del-[ Institute, 1867, xxxix. p. 140 foil. ; Monumenti deir Inst. viii., PI. xli. ; cf. Furtwangler, Beschreibung der Vasensammtung zu Berlin, older black fig., Attic hydria, No. 1908 ; later black fig., Attic lekythi, Nos. 1953, 1982, 1984, 1987.

About | Preface | Contents | Index



page #  
Search this site