Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Aileen Ajootian

Relational Format



A pseudo-Panathenaic amphora in the University of Mississippi Museum poses many interesting questions to the modem viewer. By whom was this vase made, where, and for whom? This monograph is an attempt to shed light on these questions. A sustained inquiry will be made concerning the artist, the Nikoxenos Painter, as well as the iconography of the amphora. We shall consider the Panathenaic Festival of Athens, the prize amphorae that were awarded to victors in athletic competitions, and “pseudo- Panathenaic amphorae,” those amphorae with the shape of a Panathenaic amphora but a different iconography. In the process of this examination, we shall also take into account the various issues related to the ancient trade in vases, as well as the Nikoxenos Painter’s use of Athena throughout his body of work. All 27 of the painter’s vases depicting the goddess will be studied, and special attention will be paid to his series of pseudo-Panathenaic amphorae. We shall look for patterns in the Nikoxenos Painter’s use of iconography, and especially his depictions of Athena. Vases with a known provenance will be examined first, followed by those lacking a known provenance. Having surveyed the Nikoxenos Painter’s representations of Athena, we shall be able to make some general statements about the place of the University of Mississippi amphora in the artist’s corpus. Additionally, we shall be in a position to make a fuller statement about the painter’s distinctive renderings of Athena and to recognize consistent patterns in his organization of figures and themes. Although it is very difficult to reach absolute conclusions in the absence of much evidence about our amphora’s exact provenance, many questions may be resolved, as we shall see.

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