Ca. 340—330 BCE.
Made by Novios Plautios. Rome, National Etruscan Museum of Villa JuliaPhoto by Egisto Sani
Ca. 340—330 BCE.
Made by Novios Plautios.
Rome, National Etruscan Museum of Villa Julia
(Roma, Museo nazionale etrusco di Villa Giulia).
The bearded figure standing to the right of Athena has frequently been called Herakles. Given the fact that he is the only bearded Argonaut on the cista, and that Herakles was already a mature and celebrated hero when he joined in the quest, this identification is probably correct. The youth seated beside him has most often been called Jason for no reason save that he occupies so important a position. Nevertheless, this laurel-crowned youth whose feet are protected by shoes and who is adorned by an armband in no way suggests the hardy hero. On the contrary, his appearance is well-suited to Orpheus whose rank among the Argonauts is attested by the fact that Apollonios Rhodios lists him as the very first of his far larger company.
Kastor could be the figure seated on the Argo who watches the main scene so intently. The fact that like his twin brother Polydeukes, he has the now familiar downy beard on his face suggests that this identification is correct, especially since, as we shall see, both of the Dioskouroi are characterized by this beard in the little epilogue scene.
The remainder of Pindar’s Argonauts, the sons of Poseidon, of Hermes, and of Boreas cannot be identified with any reasonable degree of certainty.
By exclusion, the young man descending from the ship Argo near Kastor, can reasonably be identified as Echion or Erytos, one of the two sons of Hermes.