1. Zeus, as you can tell by his thunderbolt, his throne, his regal beard. The young man is Ganymede the cupbearer. Seated off to the left is Athena, with her helmet and snaky aegis, and to the right we have Hera and Aphrodite. The scene is a banquet of the gods on Mt. Olympus. Return to list of questions.


2. Dionysus. Beard, garland in hair, drinking vessel; holding the thyrsus. In front of him a Maenad (one of his wild, snake-handling, leopard-skin-wearing female devotees) dervishes.  Return to list of questions.

3. Hermes (kerykeion, hat, beard, winged sandals).  Return to list of questions.

4. Zeus (throne, beard, thunderbolt) Athena (popping out of his head with a shield in one hand and a spear in the other [the spear itself has worn off]; Hephaestus, who's just cracked open Zeus' head with his axe. The scene is, of course, the birth of Athena. Looks like poor Hephaestus is about to get repaid for his efforts as "midwife" by getting zapped by the thunderbolt! Return to list of questions.

5. This is another image of the Birth of Athena. Zeus is seated on his throne, holding the baby armed goddess in his lap. To the left of Zeus is Apollo with his lyre. The female in front of him (females are distinguished by white skin in this style of vase painting) may be Hera, but who can tell? It could also be Artemis, balancing her brother on the other side, or Eileithyia, supervising the birth. At the far right is Ares, getting a good look at his new rival in the armed-god category. The little winged female under Zeus' throne is the rainbow/messenger goddess Iris. Note also the owl flying to the right of Athena's head.Return to list of questions.

6. Apollo, identifiable first by his bow, then by his youthful, beardless, unshorn appearance. If you guessed Artemis you weren't far off, but she doesn't usually wear her skirts so short. You might also recognize the thing he's struggling with the bearded fellow over, the tripod used in his oracle at Delphi. The guy with the beard is Heracles (we'll talk about why he's trying to steal the tripod later) Athena stands off to the left; the Pythian priestess to the right.  Return to list of questions.

7. Apollo: Youthful, beardless male holding a bow.  Return to list of questions.

8. Zeus (identifiable by context), with Dionysus' head popping out of his thigh. To the right stands Hermes (who had brought the fetus up to Olympus from earth and is now ready to take him back down to his earthly nursemaids. Hermes is identifiable by the traveller's hat, beard, kerykeion and winged boots.Return to list of questions.

9. a) Aphrodite. As usual, Aphrodite herself has no particularly distinguishing characteristics, aside from being youthful and attractive, but she is emerging from a clamshell (think of Botticelli's Birth of Venus ["Venus on the Half-Shell"]); that plus the little fish and the waves below her suggest her birth from the sea. b) Poseidon (right): a mature man seated on a throne in a marine setting, holding a trident. Hermes (left) wears his traveller's hat and holds the kerykeion (caduceus). Poseidon greets the new goddess as she is born in his kingdom; Hermes the boundary crosser oversees Aphrodite's transferral from the fishy realm to Olympus. The winged figure is Eros/Cupid, here apparently not conceived of as Aphrodite's son.  Return to list of questions.

10. Artemis. What other goddess hangs out with fawns? Note also the bow hanging up on the wall behind her.Return to list of questions.

11. Poseidon. Beard, trident. Remember Poseidon's association with horses. The god on the other horse is Athena, though it's hard to recognize her here. Athena was sometimes credited with inventing the bridle, making it possible to tame and control the natural power of the horse.  Return to list of questions.

12. Venus and Mars (Aphrodite and Ares). Mars has his armor, his rather intimate gesture toward the seated figure and the presence of cupid identifies her as Venus.  Return to list of questions.

13. It's not an easy call, but it's probably Zeus seated on his throne with his favorite bird, the eagle, in front of him.  Return to list of questions.

14. Demeter. Note her headdress and staff. If you look closely you can tell that the things shear is holding out are ears of grain, which distinguishes her from Hera. The young man on the right is probably Triptolemus, her messenger.  Return to list of questions.

15. The god on the left is Athena, here identifiable only by her aegis. On le left is Hephaestus with his hammer. They are in the process of creating and outfitting Pandora.   Return to list of questions.

16. Apollo: Lyre, beardless, long hair.   Return to list of questions.

17. Artemis   Return to list of questions.

18. Dionysus: Beard, long yellow robes, drinking horn; holding grape vines (note the clusters of grapes) and with a grapevine garland around his head. To his left and right are Hermes and Athena.   Return to list of questions.

19. Athena. With the armor it could be Athena or Ares, but the foot-length robe identifies this as a female (Ares wears a shorter tunic/skirt, as would a mortal Greek soldier). You can also see the snake heads that fringe her aegis.   Return to list of questions.

20. Demeter: Those are torches she is carrying; searching for her daughter night and day. Return to list of questions.

21. On the left: Dionysus: Drinking vessel, beard, long robes. That's a leopard skin he's wearing. On the donkey, Hephaestus (note the club foot!) The occasion is Hephaestus' return to Olympus (with the aid of Dionysus) after being tossed out.   Return to list of questions.

22. Athena. No Aegis this time, but she's definitely an armed female   Return to list of questions.