Salpinx, Snake, and Salamis: The Political Geography of the Pella Hydria

by Jenifer Neils

Hesperia, Volume 82, Issue 4
Page(s): 595-613
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.82.4.0595
Year: 2013


In 1980 an important Attic red-figure hydria dated to ca. 400 B.C. came to light in the excavations of the eastern necropolis at Pella in Macedonia. With its dramatic image of the strife between Athena and Poseidon for the hegemony of Attica, this vase has attracted the attention of scholars, in particular for the light it sheds on the composition of the west pediment of the Parthenon. However, other components of the vase are equally interesting and have yet to be fully deciphered. This article takes note of one overlooked figure, the salpinx player, who carries a snake, and offers a new identification of him as the Salaminian hero Kychreus. This identification has ramifications for the overall intent of the vase's imagery, its message to viewers, and its provenience.