Chapter 4C. Grand Combats

IV-11 Gods and Giants, Siphnian Treasury

Processional way zigzagging up to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (broken columns at right of slide). The Siphnian Treasury originally stood just below the small reconstructed treasury that you see slightly left of center here.

Detail from Battle of Gods and Giants, frieze in Delphi Museum. From north side of Siphnian Treasury, Delphi. Lions (drawing chariot) attack helmeted giant.

IV-12 The Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs

Battle of Centaurs and Lapiths, Olympia Museum. From West Pediment at of Temple of Zeus. Marble figures carved in the round. Height of central figure, c. 11 ft. (3.35 m), other figures 8 to 9 feet. Central part of pediment showing a deity, probably Apollo, between groups of centaurs struggling with Lapith women. At our left a Lapith man advances to the rescue. Condition: badly broken, reassembled. Many parts missing. Exact position of some figures, such as the Lapith man whose head you see on the left, not certain.

Detail of a centaur attacking a Lapith woman. Because of her proximity to the center of the pediment, the woman is thought by some to be the bride.

IV-13 Chariot Race, east pediment

Five marble statues from the center of the East Pediment of the Temple of Zeus, now in the Olympia Museum. There are two women, presumably Hippodamia and her mother; a beardless man, the challenger, Pelops; a bearded man, the king Oinomaos; and, in the center, a taller figure, presumably Zeus. The original height of Zeus is given by Stewart as about 3.15 m, or just under 10 feet

Temple of Zeus, Olympia

Reconstruction of the Temple of Zeus

IV-14 Centaurs and Lapiths, Parthenon Metopes

These are among the best preserved metopes from the south side of the building. Most show centaurs as natural and believable combination of horse and man. Some, notably the example at the right, show a contrast between human and inhuman faces. Others, like the one in the middle, show them as similar.

Metope of Lapith attacking centaur

south side of Parthenon

Metope of centaur attacking Lapith

south side of Parthenon

Metope of Lapith and centaur engaged in combat

south side of Parthenon

Persons and Events of interest:

  • Giants

  • Athena

  • Themis

  • Battle

  • Pelops

  • Zeus

  • Apollo

  • Centaurs

  • Lapiths

  • Monster Killing

  • Rape

Objects and Places:

  • Temple decoration

  • Treasury decoration

  • Public religious space

Texts and Authors:

  • Hesdiod

  • Pindar

  • unknown texts?