The Ficoroni Cista
Ca. 340—330 BCE.
Made by Novios Plautios.
Rome, National Etruscan Museum of Villa JuliaPhoto by Egisto Sani

The Ficoroni Cista.

Ca. 340—330 BCE.
Made by Novios Plautios.

Rome, National Etruscan Museum of Villa Julia
(Roma, Museo nazionale etrusco di Villa Giulia).

From Palestrina.
The tailpiece of the frieze shows a Silenus under a tree flanked by two standing figures which, together with their accessories (the punching bag and the waterspout), form a balanced, closed composition.

The young man punching the kώρυκος, or punching bag, performs an action, customary among Greek boxers practicing for a contest: he indicates Polydeukes.

Near a fountain a young man is drinking from his kylix. Polydeukes’ counterpart in this symmetrical scene is certainly his brother Kastor with whom he so constantly appears. He has the required youthful beard and he is further characterized by the spear and chlamys, his familiar attributes on innumerable monuments. A comparison of the two figures of the heroes engraved on two different sections of the cista frieze emphasizes the correctness of this assumption, for they are identical, downy beard and all.

The most amusing figure of this trio is the Silenus who gaily imitates Polydeukes at the expense of his own fat stomach. The appearance of such a figure in the context of the Argonauts is of particular interest given the fact that Sophokles wrote a satyrplay, Amykos.

(cc) 2015. Photo: Egisto Sani (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
© 1945. Description: Williams P. L., “Note on the Interpretation of the Ficoroni Cista”, American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 348—352.
Keywords: ελληνική μυθολογία mythologia graeca greek mythology mitologia greca griechische mythologie grecque διόσκοροι διόσκουροι κάστωρ kastor πολυδεύκης polydeukes gemini dioscuri castor et pollux castores tyndaridae tyndarids polydeuces castore polideuce polluce dioskuren und tyndariden dioscures σειληνός seilenos silenus sileni selenus papposilenus silenuses sileno papposileni silenos silen papposilen silène papposilène ετρουρία ετρουσκική etruria etruscan etrusco etruskisch etruskische etruskischer etruskischen étrusque ἀργοναῦται αργοναύτες argonautai argonautes argonautae argonauts argonauti argonautensage argonauten cista cist ciste youth young man giovane junge adolescent νεαρός bronze bronzo ορείχαλκος cloak mantello mantel manteau μανδύα hasta spear lancia speer lance δόρυ the ficoroni copper rame kupfer cuivre χαλκό palestrina praeneste from da von de pugil pugilis pugilator pugilist pugile faustkämpfer pugiliste boxeur πυγμάχος spearhead punta di speerspitze fer αιχμή δόρατος aqua water acqua wasser eau νερό follis pugilatorius korykos punching bag punchbag sacco boxe pugilato boxsack sandsack sack punching-ball ballon frappe κώρυκος fons spring fonte quelle quell source πηγή kylix cylix κύλιξ clavus nail chiodo nagel clou καρφί lion head testa leone löwenkopf tête κεφάλι λιονταριού drinking drinks beve trinkt boit πίνει novios plautios novius plautius dindia macolnia