Asteras Eipein: An Archaic View of the Constellations from Halai

by John T. Barnes

Hesperia, Volume 83, Issue 2
Page(s): 257-276
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.83.2.0257
Year: 2014


A fragmentary Archaic skyphos recovered from the excavations at Halai in East Lokris displays what might be one of the earliest depictions of constellations known from Greece. The cup shows an unusual frieze of animals that, by nature of the species depicted, cannot be read as a hunting scene or as a typical Corinthianizing motif. Instead, all of the represented animals have parallels to constellations described by Homer, Hesiod, and later Greek writers, and can be read together as seasonal representations of the night sky.