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Exekias and Telamonian Ajax

Mary B. Moore
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct., 1980), pp. 417-434
DOI: 10.2307/504070
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/504070
Page Count: 23
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Exekias and Telamonian Ajax
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Abstract

Homer tells us that next to Achilles, among all the Greeks at Troy, Telamonian Ajax ranks second. Given Ajax's key role in some of the most significant episodes in the Trojan War, it is odd that he appears so seldom in Attic vase painting. Among all the vase painters, only Exekias takes a special interest in Ajax. This article examines the Ajax scenes by Exekias, compares them with others of the period, and attempts to explain Exekias' interest in this Achaian hero; namely that Exekias came to Athens from Salamis where Ajax is said to have been born and where his oldest cult was celebrated. By favoring Ajax, Exekias honors the hero of his homeland and has left us a special picture of the most famous hero of Salamis.

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