Athena and Poseidon
1st century BCE.
Inv. No. 25837.Naples, National Archaeological MuseumPhoto by Luciano Pedicini

Athena and Poseidon.

1st century BCE.
Inv. No. 25837.

Naples, National Archaeological Museum
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale).

Private collection, Medici.
From the Medici collection.
The letters Py incised at the bottom suggests that this work could be attributed to a Pyrgoteles of the late Hellenistic age. This famous cameo depicts the scene of the competition between Poseidon and Athena for the rule of Athens at the time of the mythical king Cecrops. Poseidon created a salt-water fountain, the “sea of Erechtheus”, while the gift of Athena was an olive tree. A version of the myth narrates that the Athenians, thanks to womens’ participation in the vote, chose the goddess’ gift, and the city was named after her. Between the two deities there is the olive tree and a snake (in which Cecrops or the child Erichthonius became incarnate), both kept in the Erechtheum in the Classic age.
© 1996. Photo, text: Stefano De Caro, “The National Archaeological Museum of Naples”. Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli e Caserta. Electa, Napoli, 2001, p. 341.
© 1996. Photo: Luciano Pedicini.
Keywords: gemma glyptics gem gems glittica gliptica gemme glyptik glyptique ελληνική μυθολογία mythologia graeca greek mythology mitologia greca griechische mythologie grecque ρωμαϊκή romana roman römische romaine θεά αθηνά παλλὰς ἀθηνᾶ ἀθήνη athene athena pallas goddess dea atena göttin déesse athéna athéné θεός ποσειδῶν posidon poseidon god dio poseidone posidone gott dieu poséidon μινέρβα minerva divinità minerve romano romani römischer romain καμέα κάμερες cameo cameos cammeo cammei kamee camée kameo νεπτούνους neptunus neptune nettuno neptun sardonyx sardonica-onyx master pyrgoteles round shield spear helmet headpiece plume aegis snake serpent dolphin olive tree female garment garments clothes clothing outerwear scene of the competition between and from medici collection inv no 25837