Oresteia

The scenes from the Oresteia  cover roughly the same ground as the great trilogy of Aeschylos, together with the Iphigeneia in Tauris  and the Andromache  of Euripides. We have first the murder of Agamemnon by Klytaemnestra with her axe. Next, Elektra making her offerings at the tomb of Agamemnon, sometimes accompanied by her sister Chrysothemis. It must be borne in mind that the “type” of this scene does not differ in any respect from ordinary scenes of “offering at a stele ,” and therefore, where the names are not given or are obviously modern additions, this interpretation is at best a doubtful one. The same applies to the next series of vases, on which Orestes meets Elektra at the tomb; but there seems to be one undoubted instance of Orestes and Pylades with the urn containing the supposed ashes of the former (cf. Soph. Electra , 1098 ff.). The next group to be dealt with shows us Orestes slaying Aegisthos, while Klytaemnestra is held back by Talthybios; and, finally, the death of Klytaemnestra herself.

Orestes is then pursued by the Furies, and seeks refuge at Delphi, where he is purified by Apollo at the Omphalos; and he is also seen at Athens, where he afterwards sought the protection of Athena. Other vases, nearly all of late date, and therefore under the influence of the Euripidean tragedy, represent Orestes accompanied by Pylades, arrived at the temple of the Tauric Artemis, where Iphigeneia presents Pylades with the letter. Lastly, we have the death of Neoptolemos at the hand of Orestes at Delphi.