Center of a Calene bowl or cup

Greek, South Italian
Hellenistic Period
3rd or 2nd century B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Campania, Cales

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Calenian ware

On View

Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)


Europe, The Ancient World



From the workshop of C. (Caius) Atilius at Cales north of Naples
Black-glazed ceramic with molded relief.

A warrior, bearded, nude and with crested helmet, pulls at a female by the hair; the female, nude except for legs, looks out; Cupid tugs at the warrior’s right forearm. Inscription above the crest of warrior’s helmet.

The figures may be identified as Ajax and Kassandra, the priestess who had foreseen that the wooden horse made by the Greeks should not be brought inside the walls of Troy, was spared death in the sanctuary of Athena and was brought captive to Greece. However, the presence of Eros points to an identification of Menelaos and Helen.

Although such bowls are a Greek tradition, the owner of the workshop has a Roman name and labels his products in Latin.


By 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (bought in Naples); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 1903

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900