University of Kansas, Lippincott Hall

Parthenon - Metopes

South metope 28: Cast of a centauromachy scene from a metope at the east end of the south side of the Parthenon. A centaur figure stands triumphantly over a nude fallen Lapith male in high relief, almost in the round. The head, right arm, front legs, and back right hoof are missing from the centaur. The Lapith's face, right knee, and right hand are gone. The centaur holds a lion skin draped over his left arm and a large pot (pithos) above his head with his right hand. The centaur is rearing over the fallen Lapith with arms outstretched, caught in the moment just after he has smashed the pot onto his opponent, breaking his neck. The original metope was made in 447-433 BCE.

South metope 30Cast of a centauromachy scene from a metope at the east end of the south side of the Parthenon. A nude Lapith male is resting on his left heel while trying to hold off the centaur with his right arm and grips a rock in his limp left arm. The centaur stands over him, his left hand holding the Lapith's hair to keep his head steady. His right arm, though broken off, is stretched back to strike the Lapith. The right front and back legs of the centaur are missing. The two figures are in high relief, almost independent of the background. The centaur's face is bearded and elderly. The Lapith's face is young and beardless. Both show minimal expression. The drapery falling off the Lapith is extremely stylized. The original was made in 447-433 BCE.

Select Bibliography: The Parthenon
Ancient Sources
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece I.24.5-7.
  • Plutarch, Pericles 12.5-13.

Web Sites

Modern Sources

  • Ashmole, B. 1972. Architect and Sculptor in Classical Greece. London: Phaidon.
  • Barber, E., Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1991).
  • Barber, E., Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years (New York: Norton, 1994).
  • Berger, E., and M. Gisler-Huwiler. 1996. Der Parthenon in Basel: Dokumentation zum Fries. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.
  • Blundel, S/ 1998. "Marriage and the Maiden: Narratives on the Parthenon," in The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece, ed. S. Blundell and M. Williamson. London: Routledge. 47-70.
  • Boardman, J. 1985. Greek Sculpture. The Classical Period (London) 96-145.
  • Boardman, J. 1999. "The Parthenon Frieze, A Closer Look," Revue Archeologique 305-30.
  • Boardman, J. and D. Finn. 1985. The Parthenon and Its Sculptures. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Boardman, John. 1977. "The Parthenon Frieze—Another View" in U. Höckmann and A. Krug (eds), Festschrift Frank Brommer (Mainz) 39-49.
  • Brommer, F. 1963. Die Skulpturen der Parthenon-Giebel (Mainz).
  • Brommer, F. 1967. Die Metopen des Parthenon (Mainz).
  • Brommer, F. 1977. Der Parthenonfries (Mainz).
  • Bugh, G.R. 1988.
  • Camp, J. 2002. The Archaeology of Athens (New Haven: Yale University Press).
  • Castriota, D. 1992. Myth, Ethos, and Actuality (Madison).
  • Dillon, M., and Lynda Garland (eds.), Ancient Greece (London), no. 10.4. [building accounts]
  • Ferrari, G. 2002. "The Ancient Temple on the Akropolis at Athens." American Journal of Archaeology 106 (2002) 11-35.
  • Harrison, E.B. 1984. "Time in the Parthenon Frieze." In: Parthenon-Kongress Basel, ed. E. Berger (Mainz 1984) 230-234
  • Jenkins, Ian. 1994. The Parthenon Frieze (Austin).
  • Korres, M. 2000. The Stones of the Parthenon (Los Angeles)
  • Meiggs, R., and D. Lewis. 1969. A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions (Oxford) no. 59. [Parthenon building accounts in English]
  • Neils, J. (ed.) 1992. Goddess and Polis. (Princeton).
  • Neils, Jennifer. 2001. The Parthenon Frieze (Cambridge).
  • Palagia, Olga. 1998. The Pediments of the Parthenon (Leiden).
  • Pemberton, Elizabeth, "The Gods of the East Parthenon Frieze," American Journal of Archaeology  80.2 (1976) 113-24.
  • Pinney, G. Ferrari. 1988. "Pallas and Panathenaia," in Proceedings of the Third Symposium on Ancient Greek and Related Pottery (Copenhagen) 465-77.
  • Robertson, Martin, & Alison Frantz, The Sculptures of the Parthenon . London 1963. 
  • Robertson, Martin, and Alison Frantz. 1975. The Parthenon Frieze (New York).
  • Schmidt, M. (ed.) 1988. Kanon. (Antike Kunst Beiheft 15) (Basel).
  • Stanier, R.S. 1953. "Cost of the Parthenon," Journal of Hellenic Studies 73: 68-76.
  • Stevenson, T., "Cavalry Uniforms on the Parthenon Frieze?," American Journal of Archaeology 107 (2003) 629-54.
  • Younger, J.G. 1997. "Gender and Sexuality in the Parthenon Frieze," in C. Lyons and A. Koloski-Ostrow (eds), Naked Truths. Women, Sexuality, and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology (London), 120-53.
  • Younger, John G. 2004. "Work Sections and Repeating Patterns in the Parthenon Frieze," in Michael Cosmopoulos (ed), Partheneia (Cambridge).

Featured item:


Nike (Victory) of Samothrace (reduced size)
Modern plaster replica (given to the Wilcox by the KU Department of French and Italian) at a about 1/2 scale of a Greek original of ca. 190 BCE (original is just over 8 ft tall). According to the small metal oval in the back, the cast was purchased from the Caproni Bros. cast company of Boston probably in 1885.

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