Vase inscriptions in ancient Greece

Inscriptions on Greek Vases

Importance of inscriptions on vases—Incised inscriptions—Names and prices incised underneath vases—Owners' names and dedications—Painted inscriptions—Early Greek alphabets—Painted inscriptions on early vases—Corinthian, Ionic, Boeotian, and Chalcidian inscriptions—Inscriptions on Athenian vases—Dialect—Artists' signatures—Inscriptions relating to the subjects—Exclamations—Καλός-names—The Attic alphabet and orthography—Chronology of Attic inscriptions—South Italian vases with inscriptions.

The practice of inscribing works of art with the names of persons and objects represented was one of some antiquity in Greece. The earliest instance of which we have historical record is the chest of Kypselos, which dated from the beginning of the sixth century B.C., and concerning which Pausaniastells us that “the majority of the figures on the chest have inscriptions written in the archaic characters; and some of them read straight, but other letters have the appearance called by the Greeks ‘backwards-and-forwards' (βουστροφηδόν), which is like this: at the end of the verse the second line turns round again like a runner half through his course. And any way the inscriptions on the chest are written in a tortuous and hardly decipherable fashion.” There is, however, no mention of inscribed vases until a much later date; Athenaeus speaks of a cup with the name of Zeus Soter upon it, also of γραμματικὰ ἐκπώματα, or cups with letters on them.

Inscriptions on Greek vases are found in comparatively early times, even prior to the date to which the chest of Kypselos is attributed. This question will receive more attention subsequently; meanwhile, we may point out some of the ways in which they have proved important in the study of archaeology. In the first place, they were originally among the principal, perhaps the strongest, arguments in the hands of Winckelmann, Sir W. Hamilton, and the other upholders of the true origin of Greek vases against Gori and the other “Etruscans”. They are, in fact, if such were required, an incontestable proof of Greek manufacture. Secondly, in more modern times, they have been of inestimable value in enabling scholars to classify the early vases according to their different fabrics. The alphabets of the different cities and states being established by inscriptions obtained from trustworthy sources or found in situ , it was an easy matter to apply this knowledge to the vases. In Chapters VII.-VIII. numerous instances have been given of the value of this evidence, perhaps the best being that of the Chalcidian class, for which the inscriptions have been a more important criterion even than style. Thirdly, the inscriptions are sometimes of considerable philological value. Those on Attic vases may fairly be said to represent the vernacular of the day; and thus we learn that the Greeks of the Peisistratid age spoke of Ὀλυττεύς, not Ὀδυσσεύς, and of Θῆσυς, not Θησεύς; that they used such forms as υἱύς for υἱός, and πίει for πίε. Traces of foreign influence in the inscriptions, as in the frequently occurring Doric forms, imply that many of the vase-painters were foreigners, probably of the metic class. We shall also see that one class of inscriptions gives some interesting information on the subject of the names and prices of vases in antiquity.

The whole subject has been treated exhaustively—especially from a philological point of view—in a valuable treatise by P. Kretschmer, to which we shall have occasion to make constant reference in the following pages. He classifies them under two main headings: (a ) inscriptions incised with a sharp tool in the hard clay; (b ) inscriptions painted with the brush after the final baking. They are also found in very rare instances impressed in the soft clay and varnished over. In later times inscriptions in relief are actually found, sometimes painted with thick white pigment, sometimes gilded. On the so-called Megarian bowls and on the Arretine and other wares of the Roman period they are stamped from the moulds.

The incised inscriptions  are of three kinds: (1) those executed by the maker of the vase; (2) those scratched under the foot; (3) those incised by the owner. As these represent a much smaller class than the painted ones, they shall be dealt with first.

(1) Inscriptions incised by the maker before the final baking. These are found on the handles and feet, round the edge of a design, or interspersed therewith like the painted inscriptions. Generally they represent the signature of the potter, as in the case of the early Boeotian vase signed by Gamedes,the vases of the fifth-century artist Hieron, and those of Assteas, Python, and Lasimos in Southern Italy. On the vases of the latter class explanatory inscriptions seldom occur, but when they do (as on the vases of Assteas) they are always incised. Of their palaeographical peculiarities we will speak later. On a vase in the South Kensington Museum the words Βραχᾶς καλός are incised and painted red, and on the pottery found on the site of the Kabeirion at Thebes the same process is often adopted, except that the paint used is white.

(2) Of inscriptions scratched under the foot a considerable number remain, especially on B.F. vases. They are often difficult to decipher, being in the form of monograms, and frequently appear to be meaningless. In many cases they may have been private marks of the potter or his workmen; others, again, are evidently private memoranda made by the workman, relating to the number of forms of vases in his batch, or by the merchant respecting the price to be paid. Commonly they take the form of names of vases, such as ΗVΔΡΙ for ὑδρία (hydria ), ΛΗΚ or ΛΗΚV for λήκυθος (lekythos ), ΣΚV for σκύφος (skyphos ), and so on. Many of the inscriptions give the words in full, with numbers and prices, and we may obtain from them some curious information.

Among the more elaborate examples given by Schöne in his valuable monograph is one from a krater in the Louvre:

ΚΡΑΤΕΡΕΣ : ΠIκρατῆρες ἑξ
ΤΙΜΕ : ͰͰͰͰ  ΟΞΙΔΕΣ : [Π]ΙΙΙτιμὴ τέσσαρες ὀξίδες ὀκτώ
ΒΑΘΕΑ : ΔΔͰΙβαθέα εἰκόσι (at 1 dr. 1 ob.)

That is, six kraters, value four drachmae; eight oxides ; twenty bathea  (an unknown form), one drachma one obol. The bathea  were probably deep cups or ladles; the oxides  (lit. vinegar-cups) were small vessels, probably answering to our wine-glasses.

Another instance given by Schöne is:

ΛΗΚΥΘΙΑ Δληκύθια δέκα
ΟΙΝΟΧΟΑΙ ΙΙοἰνοχοαὶ δύο

or ten lekythi and two oinochoae.

Another good example is on a krater in the British Museum (E 504):

ΚΡΑΤΕΡΕ [Π]Ι : ͰͰͰͰκρατῆρε(ς) ἑξ τέσσαρες
ΠΕΛΛΙΝΙΑ : ΔΙΙ : ΙΙΙπελλίνια δώδεκα τρεῖς
ΟΞΙΔΕΣ : ΔΔ : ΙΙΙὀξίδες εἰκόσι τρεῖς
ΟΞΥΒΑΦΑ : ΔΔͰIὀξύβαφα εἰκόσι (at 1 dr. 1 ob.)

i.e. six kraters at four drachmae, twelve cups at three obols, twenty oxides  at three obols, twenty oxybapha  at one drachma one obol.

Another in Vienna:

ΚΡΑΤΕΡΕ[Σ] : [Π]Ι : ΤΙΜΕ : ͰͰͰͰκρατῆρες ἑξ τιμὴ τέσσαρες (4 dr.)
ΒΑΘΕΑ : ΔΔ : ΤΙΜΕ : ͰΙβαθέα εἰκοσι τιμὴ ͰΙ (1 dr. 1 ob.)
..ΟΞΙΔΕ[Σ] : Δὀξιδες δέκα

is to the same effect as the two preceding. On a hydria at Petersburg we find:

ὑδ(ρίαι) τρ(ε)ῖ(ς) δραχ(μῶν) π(έντε) ὀ(βόλου) ἑνός

or three hydriae worth five drachmae one obol. The last example that need be mentioned is from a vase at Berlin:

ὠά(?)· Λύδια με(ί)ξω ιέ λεπαστίδες κξ'

Here the letters probably stand for numerals of the ordinary kind, denoting the numbers of the batch (ιε' = 15, κξ' = 27).

The form of the letters in all these cases is that of the fifth century. In the case of the second, third, and fourth examples given, it will be noted that the shape of the vase itself corresponds with the first item. Jahn and Letronne originally held the view that these marks were made by the potter on the feet of the vases before  they were attached to their respective bodies. Schöne, in the light of the examples already quoted, makes the ingenious suggestion that each list represents a different “set” of so many vases of different forms, and used for different purposes, sold together in a batch, like a modern “dinner-set” or “toilet-set” of china. Thus we have in our fourth example a set of six mixing-bowls at four drachmae (3 s.) apiece, ten wine-glasses at (probably) three obols or 4½d. apiece, and twenty cups or ladles at about 10½d. apiece.

Some of the shorter inscriptions also throw light on the prices at which different vases were sold. For instance, 15 123ΛΗΚV : ΛΔ : ΛΗ would denote thirty-four lekythi for thirty-seven obols, or roughly 1½d. apiece; 15 121ΛΗΚV : ΙΓ : ΙΑ thirteen lekythi for eleven obols, at a slightly lower price. Aristophanes tells us that one obol would purchase quite a fine lekythos, just as elsewhere he mentions three drachmae as the cost of a κάδος or cask. This latter statement is borne out by the inscription on a vase, [Π]·ΚΑΔΙΑ·ΔΙΙ, or five κάδια value twelve drachmae, i.e. at about 2½ dr. apiece. An inscription quoted below shows that the owner of a cup valued it at one drachma. Other examples of the same kind are collected by Schöne. The cup from Cerigo in the British Museum, on which is incised [Ͱ]ΕΜΙΚΟΤVΛΙΟΝ (ἡμικοτύλιον) does not strictly come into this category, but may be mentioned as having an inscription of the same class.

(3) Inscriptions incised by the owner, and subsequently to the completion of the vase. These usually take the form of the word ΕΙΜΙ (ΕΜΙ), with the owner's name in the genitive, as ΑΣΤΥΟΞΙΔΑ ΗΜΙ (“I am Idamenes'”), or ΑΣΤΥΟΞΙΔΑ ΗΜΙ (“I am Astyochidas'”), on two B.F. cups from Rhodes.Sometimes this appears in an extended and metrical form, as on another B.F. kylix from the same site:

ΦΙΛΤΟΣΗΜΙΤΑΣΚΑΛΑΣΑΚΥΛΙΞΣΑΠΟΙΚΙΛΑ
Φιλτῶς ἠμὶ τᾶς καλᾶς ἁ κύλιξ ἁ ποικίλα
“I am the painted cup of the fair Philto.”

Another metrical inscription runs:

Κηφισοφῶντος ἡ κύλιξ· ἐὰν δέ τις κατάξη δραχμὴν ἀποτείσει· δῶρον ὄν
παρὰ Ξενο....
“I am the cup of Kephisophon; if any one breaks me, let him pay
a drachma; the gift of Xeno(krates).”

A yet more remarkable example is on an early lekythos from Cumae in the British Museum, which, in the manner favoured by modern schoolboys, invokes an imprecation on the head of a thief:

FIG. 171.

Ταταίης ἐμὶ λήϙυθος ὃς δ' ἄν με κλέφσῃ θυφλὸς ἔσται
“I am Tataie's oil-flask, and he shall be struck blind who steals me.”

Others, again, record the gift of the vase, as: “Epainetos gave me to Charopos”; ΤΕΝΔΙ[Σ]ΟΙ ΘΟΔΕΜΟ[Σ] ΔΙΔΟ[Σ]Ι[:] “Lo, this Thoudemos gives to thee.” A boat-shaped vase (kymbion ) in the British Museum has incised on it the exhortation [Π]ΡΟ]Π]ΙΝΕ ΜΗ ΚΑΤΘΗΣ, “Drink, do not lay me down.” The owner's name is found in the nominative on a vase from Carthage at Naples: ΧΑΡΜΙΝΟΣ ΘΕΟΦΑΜΙΔΑ ΚΩΙΟΣ, “Charminos, son of Theophamidas, a Coan”; similarly in the genitive with the omission of εἰμίΑΡΙϹΤΑΡΧΟ ΑΡΙΣΤΩΝΟϹἈριστάρχου Ἀρίστωνος; ΑΛΕΞΙΔΑΜΩ Ἀλεξιδάμου.

Under the same heading comes the class of votive or dedicatory inscriptions, found in such large numbers on the pottery of certain temple-sites, such as that of Aphrodite at Naukratis, and that of the Kabeiri at Thebes. The usual formula at Naukratis is ὁ δεῖνα ἀνέθηκε τῇ Ἀφροδίτη (or τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι); but sometimes we find the formula Ἀπόλλωνος εἰμί, where the god as the recipient of the gift is regarded as the owner.

FIG. 172.

One of the most interesting, and certainly the most ancient, of all incised inscriptions on Greek vases is that engraved on a jug of “Dipylon” ware found at Athens in 1880. It runs: ὃς νῦν ὀρχηστῶν παντων ἀταλώτατα παίζει, τῦυ τόδε.... “He who now sports most delicately of all the dancers,” etc. Though probably not contemporary with this eighth-century vase, it is still of great antiquity, and the earliest Athenian inscription known.

In studying these graffiti , it must always be borne in mind that they lend themselves easily to forgery, and that many are open to grave suspicion. Instances of these doubtful inscriptions are the Kleomenes vase in the Louvre and a late vase signed by Statios in the British Museum (F 594).


The painted inscriptions  are practically limited to a period extending over two centuries, from the time at which the primitive methods of painting were slowly emerging into the black-figured style, down to the finest stage of red-figure vases. Rare at first, they rapidly spring into popularity, being constantly found on the sixth-century fabrics; but throughout the red-figure period they gradually become rarer and rarer, until they drop out almost entirely. In the vases of the Decadence they have for the most part fallen into disuse; at any rate, they are comparatively scarce. Some of the latest inscriptions are in the Oscan and Latin languages, showing the increasing influence of the Romans over Southern Italy, and especially Campania. The inscriptions always follow the laws of palaeography of the region and period to which they belong.

Generally speaking, it may be said that they have some reference to the design painted on the vase; at least, the majority are explanatory of the subject represented. Sometimes not only is every figure accompanied by its name, but even animals and inanimate objects, instances of which are given below. On the François vase there are no less than 115 such inscriptions. In almost all cases we can be certain that they are original, and contemporaneous with the vase itself.

The explanatory inscriptions are generally small in size, the letters averaging one-eighth of an inch in height. On B.F. vases they are painted in black; on R.F. vases of the “severe” style, in purple on the black ground, or in black on the red portions; on later R.F. vases, in white. There is no rule for their position, or indeed for their presence; but, as a general rule, it may be said that they are oftener found on the finer and larger vases, and that they are placed in close juxtaposition to the figures to which they refer. The direction in which they are written may be either from left to right or right to left (as generally on Corinthian or Chalcidian vases); on the Panathenaic amphorae are the only known examples of κιονηδόν inscriptions, in which the letters are placed vertically in relation to each other. They are occasionally found on the objects depicted, as on stelae or lavers , on shields, or even on the figures themselves. Signatures of artists are occasionally found on the handle or foot of a vase.

Kretschmer (p. 5) illustrates the practice of employing inscriptions on vases from the art of the Semitic nations. He instances clay vases from Cyprus with painted Phoenician inscriptions, for which the same pigment is used as for the decoration of the vases themselves. But none of these are likely to be earlier than the first Greek inscriptions, and it is more than probable that the Cypriote Phoenicians borrowed the practice from the Greeks. In order, therefore, to obtain information as to the date of these painted inscriptions, we are entirely dependent upon internal evidence.

The importance of these inscriptions may, perhaps, be best realised when it is pointed out that they are one of the chief guides to the age of the vases, and have contributed more than any other feature to the establishment of a scientific classification of the earlier fabrics, as will be fully indicated in the succeeding account.

The Greek alphabet, as is well known, is derived from the Phoenician, and this is attested not only by tradition, but by the known existing forms of the latter, the signs being twenty-two in number. The invention of the two double letters, and of the long η and ω, which are purely Greek, was attributed by popular tradition to various personages without any authority. With the question of the introduction of writing into Greece this is not the place to deal. Recent discoveries, especially in Crete, have greatly modified all preconceived notions on the subject, and for the present we are only immediately concerned with the earliest use of the Greek alphabet, as we know it.

This can be traced as far back as the seventh century B.C. on various grounds, and in all probability the traditional view which placed its introduction into Greece at about 660 B.C. is fairly correct. The earliest inscriptions on the vases are certainly not later, perhaps earlier than this). At Abou-Simbel in Egypt, Greek inscriptions have been found in which the name of Psammetichos occurs, and this king is generally supposed to be the second of that name (594–589). In Thera and other Aegean islands, and on the coast of Asia Minor, inscriptions are known which, for various reasons, have been placed even earlier than this, and the vase with Arkesilaos, the inscriptions on which are discussed below, is hardly later, as it can be shown to date between 580 and 550 B.C.

Before proceeding to discuss the early inscriptions, it may be as well to note, for the benefit of those to whom Greek Epigraphy is an unfamiliar subject, the chief peculiarities of the earlier alphabets. They fall into two principal groups, the Eastern and Western, each of which has many subdivisions. Certain forms, such as Χ for Χ, are characteristic of one or the other division; but the distinction is not so clearly marked on the vases, on which many alphabets, such as the Ionic and Island varieties, are scarcely represented. The vase-inscriptions fall mainly under three heads: Corinthian and Athenian in the Eastern group, Chalcidian in the Western. During the fifth century (or even earlier) there is a rapid tendency to unification in the Greek alphabet, which is chiefly brought about by the growing supremacy of Athens. This acted in two ways: firstly, by the fact that Attic became the literary and therefore the paramount language in Greece; secondly, by the fact of her artistic pre-eminence, which crushed out the other local fabrics. Finally, by the time of the archonship of Eukleides in 403 B.C., the alphabet, if not the language, had become entirely unified, and the Ionic forms universally adopted for public and official purposes. For private use they had, of course, long been known at Athens; but the official enactment of that year only set the seal to a long recognised practice. Throughout the fifth century the old Attic and the Ionic forms are found side by side on R.F. vases.

In the later archaic period the coins come in as an important source of evidence. None of the inscribed ones appear to be earlier than the sixth century, the oldest being perhaps the electrum stater usually attributed to Halikarnassos, with the name of Phanes(?). The only characteristic letter (the alphabet belonging to the Ionic group) is the sign heta in place of Η to denote eta , which has not been found on any vase with the Ionic alphabet, and therefore betokens a very early date. Next comes an Attic stater of about 560 B.C., with the legend (Α)☉Ε, which may be fitly compared with the oldest Panathenaic amphora, on which the dotted ☉ is also found. The earliest coins of Haliartos in Boeotia have the curious form 15 8curious asper for the spiritus asper  or Η, dating apparently before 550 B.C.; the succession can thence be traced through 14 10asper2 14 9asper3 and heta, down to about 480 B.C., when it is dropped entirely. At Himera in Sicily heta occurs in the fifth century for the spiritus asper , and is followed by the HH form, which in the West is employed down to about 400 B.C. On the early coins of Poseidonia (Paestum) the M form of Σ is found (550–480 B.C.), being also characteristic of Corinthian vases of the sixth century; it also lingers on in Crete, but in Sicily and elsewhere the Σ form of Attic and other alphabets is more usual, until replaced in the fifth century by Σ. Of the specially Ionic letters, Η (= eta ) is found generally at an early date, as at Teos (540–400 B.C.), and also Ω. At Corinth the koppa  Ϙ for Κ is in use from the earliest times down to the days of the Achaean League, and does not therefore afford evidence of date by itself, but only of a local peculiarity, being equally universal on vases. The digamma is only found on coins of Elis and Crete, whereas it often occurs on early Greek vases.

It may also be of interest to note that the heta form for the rough breathing occurs on the helmet of Hiero in the British Museum, which can be dated 480–470 B.C., and that the use of Η for eta  and of the four-lined Σ at Athens previous to the archonship of Eukleides can be deduced from the well-known fragment of Euripides in which the letters forming the name ΘΗΣΕΥΣ are carefully described.

In the following pages illustrations of the points above noted will be fully detailed where occurring on the vases. The annexed scheme of alphabets used on vases (Fig. ) will serve to give a general idea of the variations of form in different fabrics.

The painted inscriptions on vases first appear, as already noted, about the beginning of the seventh century B.C. The earlier fabrics—Mycenaean, Cretan, and Cycladic—generally belong to an epoch when writing, if not unknown, was at any rate little practised; nor have any inscriptions been found on the Dipylon or Geometrical vases, except the incised one which we have already discussed. The oldest known painted inscriptions are found on a Proto-Corinthian lekythos, the Euphorbos pinax from Kameiros (B.M. A 749), and the krater signed by Aristonoös, which is perhaps of Ionic origin, strongly influenced by Mycenaean art.

SCHEME OF ALPHABETS USED ON GREEK VASES

FIG. 173.

With the great impulse given to vase-painting at the beginning of the sixth century by the development of the art in Corinth, Chalkis, and Athens (especially in Corinth), the number of inscribed vases rapidly increases. Among the earliest examples are those remarkable painted pinakes found at Corinth, nearly all of which have dedicatory inscriptions, while in most cases the names are given of the deities, Poseidon and Amphitrite, to whom they were dedicated, and whose figures appear on them. They may be dated 600–550 B.C. The custom of inscribing names on works of art is illustrated by other products of this period, as we have already noted in the case of the chest of Kypselos; and they occur on the early bronze reliefs from Olympia, the Samothrace relief in the Louvre, the archaic reliefs at Delphi, and the newly found painted metopes at Thermon, as well as later on the paintings of Polygnotos.

On the Euphorbos pinax already mentioned appear the names of Menelaos (ΜΕΝΕΛΑΣ), Hector (ΡΟΤΚΕ), and Euphorbos (ΙΥΦΟΡΒΟΣ). Although found in Rhodes, it is proved to be of Argive origin by the characteristic form Λ of the Λ in Menelaos. Although its date cannot be exactly ascertained, it is probably about 620–600 B.C. It is a vase important in more than one respect, as it may be said to foreshadow the beginnings of the black-figure style.

The vase of Aristonoös was found at Cervetri, and bears the artist's signature,

ΝΕΣΙΟΠΕΣΟΦΟΝΟΤΣΙΡΑἈριστόνο<φ>ος ἐποί[η]σεν,

in an alphabet from which, unfortunately, all characteristic letters are wanting, so that its origin is uncertain. It is, however, as we have said, probably a seventh-century product of an Ionian fabric, on the coast of Asia Minor. The 14 13halved circle has been taken by several scholars to denote F as in the Phrygian alphabet, but Kretschmer (p. 11) prefers to read it as ϑ 14 13halved circle = 14 13quartered circleWe have, however, already seen that it is most probably a superfluous letter.

Early in the sixth century must be placed another remarkable vase, the Arkesilaos cup of Cyrenaean fabric. The inscribed names on this vase are as remarkable as its subject; there are nine in all, two only fragmentary. The only proper name is that of Arkesilas (ΑΡΚΕΣΙΛΑΣ), who was king of Kyrene 580–550 B.C.; the others seem to be titles, such as ΙΟΦΟΡΤΟΣἸόφορτος or Σώφορτος, “Keeper of the burdens”; ΣΛΙΦΟΜΑΧΟΣΣλιφόμαχος, a word having some reference to silphium, the subject of the vase; ΦΥΛΑΚΟΣ, “Guardian”; ΙΡΜΟΦΟΡΟΣ, and ΟΞΥΡΟὀρυξό[ς. One word, ΣΟΜΘΑστ]αθμός, refers to an inanimate object (a balance). The dialect is Doric, Kyrene having been colonised by that race.

Next we have to deal with a very important class of inscriptions—those found on Corinthian vases.They are too numerous to be dealt with in detail; Kretschmer mentions nearly fifty inscribed vases, exclusive of the pinakes. Wilisch attributes the earliest to the latter half of the seventh century, the latest to the middle of the sixth century; but they certainly do not become common before the sixth. They include several artists' signatures—viz. Chares, Milonidas, and Timonidas. One of the most famous of the inscribed vases is the Dodwell pyxis at Munich, representing a boar-hunt. The figures are inscribed with fanciful names, such as ΑΓΑΜΕΜΝΟΝ (Agamemnon), ΔΟΡΙΜΑΧΟΣ(Dorimachos, or “spearman”), ΠΑϘΟΝ (Pakon), and so on. A krater in the British Museum (Plate XXI.) represents a similar scene, also with fancy names, such as Polydas and Antiphatas. Another famous vase is the Amphiaraos krater in Berlin, representing the setting out of Amphiaraos and the funeral games of Pelias; no less than twenty names are inscribed. Of these, ΒΑΤΟΝ (Baton) and ἹΠΠΑΛϘΜΟΣ(Hippalk(i)mos) illustrate other palaeo graphical peculiarities. Other good examples are the vase by Chares, another in the British Museum with the name of the owner (ΑΣΝΒΤΑ ΒΜΣΑἰινετα ἐμίἐ), and that by Timonidas representing Achilles lying in wait for Troilos. A study of the pinakes in Berlin is also instructive in this respect. One is signed by Timonidas, another by Milonidas, while others bear interesting inscriptions, such as Fig. 174:

FIG. 174.

Πειραείοθεν ἵκομες,
“We have come from Peiraeus”;
ΤΥΔΕΔΟΣΧΑΡΙΕΣΑΝ ΑΦΟΡΜΑΝ
τὲ δὲ δὸς χαρίες(ς)αν ἀφορμάν,
“And do thou make a graceful repayment”;

and so on. The majority have only the names of Poseidon and Amphitrite, or (ὁ δεῖναἀνέθηκεν,

In view of the palaeographical importance of these inscriptions, it may be worth while to dwell briefly on their peculiarities. The dialect is of course Doric, and consequently the names often differ widely from the forms to which we are accustomed; and this is increased by divergencies of spelling, which produce many anomalous results. For instance, (ΚΕΣΑΝΔΡΑ) (Κεσάνδρα) appears for Kassandra on a vase in the Louvre. ΑΕ is used for ΑΙ, as in ΑΕΘΟΝ (Ἀέθων = Αἴθων) on the Chares pyxis, and in ΠΕΡΑΕΟΘΕΝ (Περαεόθεν for Πε(ι)ραιόθεν) on the pinax already quoted. A nasal is dropped before a consonant, as in the names of Amphiaraos (ΑΦΙΑΡΕΟΣ) and Amphitrite (ΑΦΕΤΡΙΤΑ) The digamma lingers as a medial (more rarely as initial) in many words, such as ϝαχύςΔαμοϝάνασσαΠοτειδαϝων, and Διδαίϝων; its written form is 15 9Ϝ or 15 9ϝ The use of heta for the rough breathing is invariable.

One or two vases have been recognised as of Sicyonian fabric by the use in inscriptions of the unique 15 16E for Ε, peculiar to that place. The only certain example, however, is a krater in Berlin (Cat. 1147), with the names of Achilles (ΣΥΕΛΙΞΑ) and Memnon (Μ[Ε]ΜΝΟΝ). It may also be noted that an Athenian sixth-century vase, signed by Exekias, has a Sicyonian inscription incised  upon it by its owner:

ΕΠΑΙΝΕΤΟΣ Μ ΕΔΟΚΕΝ ΧΑΡΟΠΟΙ
Ἐπαίνετός μ' ἔδωκεν Χαρόπω.

Boeotian vases never attained to the importance of the Corinthian fabrics, though, on the other hand, the manufacture lasted longer; but there are several instances of early signed vases from this district. Two, of which one is in the British Museum, are by Gamedes, the others by Theozotos, Gryton, Iphitadas, Mnasalkes, and Menaidas. They are recognised as Boeotian by the use of typical letters, as well as by origin, style, and dialect; such are the Boeotian A for A, Boeotian Χ for Χ, and so on. There is also a fifth-century vase with the Boeotian alphabet. The Kabeirion vases have inscriptions in the local alphabet, with a few exceptions, which are Ionic.

A unique vase, from the epigraphical point of view, is E 732 in the Louvre, found at Cervetri, to which allusion has been made elsewhere. It bears eleven names (of gods and giants) in an alphabet which has been recognised as Ionian, and is according to Kretschmer most probably that of the island of Keos. The great uncertainty as to the Ε sounds presented by this vase finds parallels in the stone inscriptions found on that island, while in the use of Β for Ϲ (the older form of that letter), the four-stroke Fourline Σ and ☉, with a central dot, this attribution finds further support. The only other islands that would fit the conditions are Naxos and Amorgos. As instances of the confused use of Ε, we have ΖΗΥΣ for Ζεύς, but ΠΟΛΥΒΟΤΕ for Πολυβώτη[ς, while again Ἐφιάλτης appears as ΕΙΠΙΑΛΤΕΣ! But this confusion does not occur in Naxos or Amorgos.

Other vases are undoubtedly of Ionic origin, but their actual home is uncertain; they are usually assigned to the coast of Asia Minor. For some reason, however, it is very rare for these vases to bear inscriptions; in all the numerous instances now collected, only some half-dozen with inscriptions can be found.One of these is the well-known Würzburg kylix with Phineus and the Harpies; another is a vase from Vulci, published by Gerhard, which has since disappeared. On both of these we find the characteristic Ionic letters Ω for ω, Η for η, Χ for χ, Λ for λ, and Σ with four strokes. Both vases are of the sixth century, and other details attest their Ionic origin.

We now come to a very important but somewhat puzzling class of inscriptions, those in the Chalcidian alphabet. The number of these is hardly more than a dozen, but such as they are they have enabled archaeologists to establish a Chalcidian school of painting by comparisons with other uninscribed vases. In all cases the inscriptions relate exclusively to the figures in the designs. Among the characteristic Chalcidian letters are the Ϙ for Κ, as in ΣΙΟΤΥΛϘ (Κλύτιος); the curved Ϲ for Γ, as in ΣΕΝΟϜΥΡΑϹ(Γαρυϝόνες=Γηρυόνης); Ξ for Λ and Ξ for Χ, as in ΑΧΙΛΛΕΥΣ; (Ἀχιλλεύς); Ξ for Ξ, as in ΣΟΘΝΑΞ(Ξάνθος); and the abnormal form of the digamma Ϝ, as in ΣΥΧΑϜ (Ϝαχύς). Ψ is represented by ΦΣ in one instance (ΜΠΟΦΣΟΣ = Μ<π>όψος).

In one or two instances the dialect alone is peculiarly Chalcidian, as the characteristic letters happen to be wanting. In some instances, as Kretschmer points out, the Aeolic fondness for the vowel υ is to be traced, as in  ΣΥΝϘΥϘ, for  Κύκνος, which finds parallels in the Chalcidian colony of Cumae, and probably influenced the Latin language through that means. Hence, too, the preference for the Q sound of the Ϙ, as in English and other languages when υ is preceded by a guttural. On the British Museum Geryon vase (B 155) there is a curious mixture of dialect in the forms  Γαρυόνης, Νηίδες.

It must be borne in mind, in speaking of the Chalcidian alphabet, that it really extended over a wide area, including not only Chalkis in Euboea, but Chalkidike in Northern Greece, and the colonies on the coast of Italy, such as Cumae, and this may partly account for the mixed character of the dialect on some of these Chalcidian vases. But although an attempt has been made to connect them with Cumae, it cannot be said at present that any certainty has been attained as to the place of their manufacture.

Though not belonging to the Chalcidian group, there is a vase which must be mentioned here, on account of its inscription, which is partly in the alphabet of the Chalcidian colonies. The vase is of the “Proto-Corinthian” class, and dates about 700–650 B.C.; it bears the name of the maker, Pyrrhos:

ΠΥΡΟΣΜΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝΑΓΑΣΙΛΕϜ
Πυρ(ρ)ος μ' εποιησεν Αγασιλεϝου

and is therefore one of the oldest existing signatures.

Athenian Vases

Under this heading are included all remaining vase-inscriptions, except a few from Italy. Their value to us, as Kretschmer points out, is not to be measured only by the mythological information they provide, or by the list of Athenian craftsmen and popular favourites which can be drawn up from them, but it is also largely philological. In other words, they illustrate for us the vernacular of Athens in the sixth and fifth centuries, just as the Egyptian papyri have thrown light on the Hellenistic vernacular of the second. In countless small details the language of the vase-painters varies from the official language of state documents and the literary standard of Thucydides, Sophocles, and even Aristophanes. The reason is, of course, a simple one—namely, that the vase-artists occupied a subordinate position in the Athenian state; they were mere craftsmen, of little education, and in all probability their spelling was purely phonetic. Hence we constantly find such forms as πίει for πίευἱύς for υἱός, or Θῆσυς for Θησεύς; and even the rich potter Hyperbolos is ridiculed by the comic poet Plato for saying ὀλίον (sc. oliyon ) for ὀλίγον, and δῃτώμην for διῃτώμην.

Another interesting point is that many of the artists who have signed their vases were obviously not Athenians by birth. Thus we find such names as Phintias, Amasis, Brygos, Cholkos, Sikanos, Thrax,and even such signatures as ὁ Λυδός (or ὁ Σκύθηςἔγραψεν. It is, then, evident that many of them were μέτοικοι or resident aliens, and consequently occupied but a humble rank in the social order of the city. One name, indeed, that of Epiktetos, is actually a slave's name (Ἐπίκτητος = “acquired”).

We need not, then, be surprised at meeting with many un-Attic forms or spellings in the vase-inscriptions, which sometimes give a clue to the origin of the artist, and of which it may be interesting to give some specimens. Kretschmer notes that these variations are always Doric, never Ionic.

The commonest Doricism on Attic vases is the use of Α for H, of which there are many instances, such as ΔΑΙΑΝΕΙΡΑΔαιάνειρα for ΔηιάνειραΗΙΜΕΡΟΠΑ for Ἱμερόπη (B.M. E 440); ΟΙΔΙΠΟΔΑΣfor the Attic Οἰδιπούς. Such forms as Ὀλυσσεύς and Φερρέφασσα are also clearly un-Attic. On the other hand, the names Menelaos and Iolaos always appear in their Attic form ΜενελέωςἸολέως. The above instances are all from proper names; but there are other remarkable instances, such as the use of καλά for καλή in ΠΑΝΤΟΞΕΝΑ ΚΑΛΑ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΩΙ. On one of his signed vases Exekias uses the un-Attic form ΤΕΣΑΡΑτέσ(σ)αρα, but, as Kretschmer notes, he also uses Ἰόλαος for Ἰολέως, and was probably not an Athenian. On a B.F. amphora in Rome occurs the form παρβέβακεν.

Perhaps the most remarkable use of non-Attic Greek on a vase is in the case of the artist Brygos, who, as we have already pointed out, was of foreign origin. On a kylix in his style (B.M. E 69) we find the forms ΔίπιλοςΝικοπίληΠίλων, and Πίλιππος. These were at one time referred to a Macedonian origin,but Kretschmer points out that that people used Β, not Π, for Φ. He aptly quotes the Scythian in the Thesmophoriasusae , with his πιλήσειπαίνεται, and κεπαλή, as giving a likely clue to the home of this dropping of the aspirate.

The painted inscriptions on the Attic vases may be divided into three classes: (1) those relating to the whole vase and its purpose, such as artists' signatures; (2) those relating to the designs on the vase, i.e.explanatory inscriptions, and those found on Panathenaic amphorae; (3) those which stand in no direct relation to the vase, such as the so-called “love-names” or “pet-names,” and interjections such as “hail,” “drink deep,” etc. The incised inscriptions have already been discussed.

The artists' signatures first call for consideration. In relation to their works they are fully discussed elsewhere, but the present may be regarded as a convenient opportunity for some general outline of the style and palaeography of these inscriptions.

Klein in his Meistersignaturen  (2nd edn.) reckons a total of ninety-five signatures, a number which has probably been largely increased since he wrote in 1887. These names he finds distributed over some 424 vases, one name, that of Nikosthenes, occurring on no fewer than seventy-seven; he divides them into four classes, as follows: (1) masters in the B.F. method; (2) masters combining the two methods; (3) masters in the R.F. method (including S. Italy vases); (4) masters whose names appear on vases without subjects. These four classes are not mutually exclusive, as names in (1) and (3) appear again in (2) and (4).

The form which the signature takes is usually (1)—

ὁ δεῖνα ἐποίησεν (of the potter);

or (2)—

ἔγραψεν (of the painter);

or (3), the two combined, either under one name, as—

Ἐξηκίας ἔγραψε κἀποιησέ με;

or (4), with separate names, as on the François vase—

FIG. 175.

Κλίτιας μ' ἔγραψεν Ἐργότιμός μ' ἐποίησεν.

The form (3) may possibly indicate the priority of the artist, but it is more probable that it was adopted as forming an iambic trimeter. When ἐποίησεν only occurs on a painted vase, it is generally to be assumed that the potter is also the painter.

The older artists avoided, as a rule, the imperfect ἔγραφε or ἐποίει, but its use came into fashion for a short time among the early R.F. artists, such as Andokides, Chelis, and Psiax, who use ἐποίει; it was again adopted by the Paestum and Apulian schools, as a modest affectation that their work was as yet unfinished. But the majority preferred the more decided aorist, indicating completeness. The word με or ἐμέ is usually added by the earlier artists, as in the instance already quoted from Exekias. Generally speaking, ἔγραψεν rarely occurs on B.F. vases, ἐποίησεν being the rule. A rare form of inscription is the formula ἔργον (τοῦ δεῖνα), as in the doubtful signature of Statios; and even more unique is the use of the word κεραμεύειν by the early Attic potter Oikopheles, as a synonym for ποιεῖν. Other peculiarities of signature are to be seen on the works of Lykinos (ἠργάσατο), Paseas (Πασέου τῶν γραμμάτων), and Therinos (Θερίνου ποίημα).

The potter sometimes added the name of his father, either as being that of a well-known man, or to distinguish himself from others of the same name. Thus Timonidas of Corinth signs ΤΙΜΟΝΙΔΑΣ ΕΓΡΑΨΙΑ Τιμωνίδας ἔγραψε Βία (sc. son of Bias); Tleson, Τλήσων ὁ Νεάρχου; Eucheiros, Ὁργοτίμου υίυς (the son of Ergotimos); Euthymides, ὉΠΟΛΙΟΥὁ Πολίου. The latter in one instance not only gives his patronymic, but challenges comparison with his great rival Euphronios, in the following terms: ὉΣ ΟΥΔΕ ΠΟΤ ΕΥΦΡΟΝΙΟΣὁς οὐδέποτ(ε) Εὐφρόνιοςi.e., “Euphronios never made anything like this.” Other peculiarities are: the omission of the verb, as was sometimes done by R.F. artists (e.g. Psiax); or, on the contrary, the simple ἐποίησεν, without a name, sometimesfound on R.F. kylikes of the Epictetan school; or the addition by the artist of his tribe or nationality. Among the latter we have Kleomenes, Teisias, and Xenophantos, who style themselves Ἀθηναῖος, and Nikias, who not only gives his father's name, but also his deme in Attica:

FIG. 176.

Νικίας Ἑ[ρ]μοκλέους Ἀναφλύστιος ἐποίησεν.

Two other artists call themselves ὁ Λυδός (the Lydian) and ὁ Σκύθης (the Scythian). Smikros signs one of his vases in the Louvre ΔΟΚΕΙΣΜΙΚΡΩΕΙΝΑΙ, “It seems to be Smikros' work.” There are also frequent vagaries of spelling, as in Φιτίας for ΦιντίαςΠάνφαιος or Πάνθαιος for Πάμφαιος, and Ἱέπωνfor Ἱέρων. Sakonides once spells his name Ζακωνίδης, and Nikosthenes once uses the koppa Ϙ for Κ. Fuller information in regard to this subject may be found in Klein's admirable work; there is also much of interest relating to the R.F. cup-painters in Hartwig's exhaustive treatise. A complete list of all known artists' names is given at the end of this chapter.


We now come to the inscriptions which have relation to the subjects depicted on the vases. These are seldom of a general kind, having reference to the whole composition; but on a Panathenaic amphora in Naples a boxing scene is entitled ΠΑΝΚΡΑΤΙΟΝ, “general maul,” and on another in Munich over a foot-race is written, ΣΤΑΔΙΟ ΑΝΔΡΟΝ ΝΙΚΕσταδίου ἀνδρῶν νίκη, while B.F. lekythos in the same collection with Dionysos and dancing Maenads is inscribed ΔΙΟΝΥΣΙΑ(Κ)Α. On a vase with a Homeric subject is ΠΑΤΡΟΚΛΙΑ, and on one with a scene from Theban legend ΚΡΕΟΝΤΕΙΑ.Localities are sometimes hinted at by the use of such words as ΚΡΕΝΕ (κρήνη) on the François vase, where Polyxena goes to the fountain, or by the ΚΑΛΙΡΕΚΡΕΝΕ Καλλιρρ(ό)η κρήνη on the British Museum hydria (B 331) with girls drawing water at the fountain of Kallirrhoë. More often names are given to inanimate objects like the θᾶκος (seat) and ὑδρία (pitcher) on the François vase, σταθμός on the Arkesilas cup, the βῶμος (altar) on a vase in Munich (Cat. 124), λύρα (lyre) on a cup in Munich (333), and θρονός (throne) on an amphora in the Louvre. On a washing-basin on a R.F. vase published by Tischbein appears the word ΔΗΜΟΣΙΑi.e. “public baths.” The word τέρμων sometimes appears on a stele  on later vases. Animals are also occasionally named, such as the ὗς on the Munich vase already quoted (333).

But the greater majority of these inscriptions refer to the names of persons, deities, and mythological figures, the name being usually in the nominative, but occasionally in the genitive, with εἶδος or εἰκωνunderstood. Sometimes generic names or nicknames are given to ordinary figures in genre  scenes, as Ἀρχεναύτης, “the ship's captain”; Κώμαρχος, “leader of the revels”; or, again, Πλήξιππος for a horseman, Τόξαμις and Κιμμέριος for a Scythian bowman. Names of real contemporary persons are occasionally introduced, as on a hydria by Phintias, on which his comrade Euthymides and the “minor artist” Tlenpolemos are represented, with names inscribed; and on a stamnos by Smikros at Brussels the artist introduces himself and the potter Pheidiades at a banquet. Although proper names usually stand alone, they are sometimes accompanied by some interjection, as ὁδὶ Μενεσθεύς, “Here is Menestheus,” Σφίγξ ἥδε χαῖρε, “This is the Sphinx; hail!” or in the form of a phrase, as Ἑρμῆς εἰμὶ Κυλλήνιος. So also we find ΗΑΛΙΟΣ ΓΕΡΩΝ Ἅλιος γέρων, “the old man of the sea,” for Nereus; ΝΕΣΤΟΡ ΠΥΛΙΟΣ “Nestor of Pylos”; ΔΙΟΣ ΦΟΣ Διὸς φῶς, for Dionysos; ΔΙΟΣ ΠΑΙΣ, “the son of Zeus,” for Herakles; ταῦρος φορβάς, “the grazing bull,” for the metamorphosed Zeus (a doubtful instance).

Besides the names of figures and objects, words and exclamations are sometimes represented as proceeding from the mouths of the figures themselves, in the same manner as on the labels affixed to the figures of saints in the Middle Ages. They vary in length and purport, but in some cases they appear to be extracts from poems or songs, or expressions familiar at the time, but now unintelligible or lost in the wreck of Hellenic literature. They are found on both B.F. and R.F. vases, but more commonly on the former, and generally read according to the direction of the figure, as if issuing from the mouth.

Thus a boy pouring wine out of an amphora cries, ΕΝΧΕ ΗΔ . . ΟΙΝΟΝἔ(γ)χει ἡδ[ὺν] οἶνον, “Pour in sweet wine”; over the first of three runners in a race appears νικᾷς, Πολυμένων, “Polymenon, you win”; again, Amphiaraos is exhorted to mount his chariot with the word ἀνάβα, or one personage says to another, χαἶρε or πῖνε καὶ σύ. Sometimes the words are evidently those of a song, as on a R.F. kylix at Athens, where a man lying on a couch sings an elegy of Theognis beginning ὦ παίδων κάλλιστε, “Fairest of boys!” Another sings ΜΑΜΕΚΑΙΠΟΤΕΟ, which has been recognised as an inaccurate version of an Aeolic line, καὶ ποθήω καὶ μάομαι. On a red-figured vase in the British Museum (E 270) a man accompanied by a flute-player has an inscription proceeding from his open mouth, which runs, ΕΟΠΟΔΕΡΟΤΕΝΤΥΡΙΝΘΙὡδέ ποτ' ἐν Τύρινθι; evidently the beginning of a song, “Here once in Tiryns....” On a stamnos in the British Museum (E 439) the letters ΝΟΝ appear before the mouth of a Seilenos, and evidently represent notes of music.

On a psykter by Euphronios a courtesan playing at kottabos casts the drops out of a cup with the words ·ΡΓΑΕΛΟΣΣΑΤΑΛΕΔΝΑΤΝΙΤτὶν τάνδε λατάσσω Λέαγρ(ε), “To thee, Leagros, I dash these drops.” Another kylix (Munich 371) represents a surfeited drinker on a couch, saying, οὐ δύναμ' οὔ, “I can no more!”

To turn to another class of these expressions, we have a Panathenaic amphora in the British Museum (B 144), on which a herald proclaims a victor in the horse-race as follows: ΔΥΝΕΙΚΕΤΥ : ΗΙΠΟΣ : ΝΙΚΑΙ,Δυ(σ)νείκητου ἵππος νικᾷ, “The horse of Dysneiketos wins.” On another of the same class is an acrobat on horseback before judges, of whom one cries, ΚΑΛΟΣΤΟΙΚΥΒΙΣΤΕΙΤΟΙκαλῶς τῷ κυβιοτῇ τοι, “Bravo, then, to the acrobat.” A boy walking with his dog calls to it, ΜΕΛΙΤΑΙΕ, Μελιταῖε (i.e. “Maltese (?) dog”). A charioteer calls to his horses, ἔλα, ἔλα, “Gee up!” Women weeping over a corpse cry, οἴμοι, “Woe is me!” In a representation of Oedipus and the Sphinx on a R.F. vase in Rome the words ΚΑΙΤΡΙ[ΠΟΥΝ]καὶ τρίπουν, occur, evidently with reference to the well-known riddle.

An interesting bit of dialogue appears on a B.F. vase, which represents boys and men watching a swallow, evidently the first of the returning spring; one boy says, ἰδοὺ χελιδών, “See, the swallow”; to which a man replies, νὴ τὸν Ἡρακλέα, “Yes, by Herakles!” Another boy joins in with αὑτηί, “There she is,” and ἔαρ ἤδη, “It is already spring.” Another good instance is on a B.F. vase in the Vatican. On one side we see the proprietor of an olive garden extracting oil from the olives, with the prayer, ΟΖΕΥΠΑΤΕΡΑΙΘΕΠΛΟΥΣΙΟΣΓΕΝ ὦ Ζεῦ πάτερ, αἴθε πλούσιος γέν[οιμ' ἄν, “O Father Zeus, may I be rich!” while on the other he sits over a full vessel, and cries to the purchaser, ΕΔΕΜΕΝΕΔΕ ΠΛΕΟΙ ΠΑΡΒΕΒΑΚΕΝἤδη μέν, ἤδη πλέο(ν) παρβέβακεν, “Already, already it has gone far beyond my needs.”

To conclude with a few miscellaneous and unique inscriptions, we have firstly, on a vase in the British Museum (E 298), a tripod, on the base of which are the words Ἀκαμαντὶς ἐνίκα φυλή, showing that it is intended for a monument in honour of a choragic victory, with the name of the victorious tribe. On a sepulchral stele on a B.F. funeral amphora at Athens are the words (now nearly obliterated) ἀνδρὸς ἀπ[οφθιμ]ένοιο ῥάκ[ος] κα[κ]ὸν [ἐν]θάδε κεῖμα[ι, “Here lie I, a vile rag of a dead man.” Similarly, on a sepulchral plaque at Athens are the words, SÊMATODESTIN : AREIOU, “This is the grave of Areios.” In a representation of Sappho reading from her poems, she holds an open roll, on which are visible the words Θεοί, ἠερίων ἐπἐων ἄρχομαι ἄλλ[ων] ... ἔπεα πτερόεντα; and in the well-known school-scene on the Duris vase in Berlin a teacher holds a roll, on which are the words (in Aeolic dialect, and combined from the openings of two distinct hymns):

ΜΟΙΣΑΜΟΙΜοῖσά μοι
ΑΦΙΣΚΑΜΑΝΔΡΟΝἀ(μ)φὶ Σκάμανδρον
ΕΥΡΩΝΑΡΧΟΜΑΙἐύρ(ρ)ων ἄρχομαι
ΑΕΙΝΔΕΝἀεί<ν>δειν.

A small fragment of a red-figure kylix (?) of fine style, found at Naukratis in 1899 (and now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford), has a similar scene of a dictation lesson. A seated figure unrolls an inscribed scroll, on which is the boustrophedon  legend, στησίχορον ὕμνον ἄγοισαι, while another figure, of which the right hand alone remains, is writing on a tablet (Fig. 177).

FIG. 177. FIGURE WITH INSCRIBED SCROLL.

In a very puzzling scene on a R.F. vase of fine style, generally supposed to have some reference to the Argonautic expedition, one figure holds up an object inscribed with the name ΣΙΣΥΦΟΣ. This object has generally been interpreted as a tessera hospitalis , or “letter of introduction,” as we should say.

Lastly, there is the class of Panathenaic vases with their inscriptions. They fall into two groups: (1) the words ΤΟΝ ΑΘΕΝΕΘΕΝ ΑΘΛΟΝ, to which ΕΜΙ is sometimes added, “(I am) from the games at Athens”; (2) the names of archons, which only occur on the fourth-century examples. They form a unique instance of inscriptions which give direct information as to the date of a vase, and range from 367 to 313 B.C..

Sometimes vases (especially in the B.F. period) are covered with meaningless collocations of letters, either separate or in the form of words. Some ingenious explanations of these have been propounded, but none are very satisfactory. They are often found on the class known as “Corintho-Attic” or “Tyrrhenian amphorae,” and it is just possible that in this case they are attempts by an Athenian workman to copy the unfamiliar Corinthian alphabet.


The third class of inscriptions on Attic vases is composed of those which have no direct relation to the vase itself. They include invocations to deities such as were used in making libations, e.g. Διὸς Σωτῆρος, “To Zeus the Saviour”; or, again, the exhortations so frequently found on B.F. kylikes of the “Minor Artists'” school, of which the commonest is χαῖρε καὶ πίει εὖ, “Hail, and drink deep!” or χαῖρε καὶ πίει τήνδε, “Hail, and drink this!” On a number of R.F. kylikes appears the word προσαγορεύω, “I salute you.”

But the most numerous and important inscriptions of this class are those conveniently named by German archaeologists “Lieblingsnamen,” or “Lieblingsinschriften,” for which we have no satisfactory equivalent in English, though “pet-name” and “love-name” have been suggested, and latterly “καλός-name.” The latter title has been adopted from the fact that the usual form which these inscriptions take is that of a proper name in the nominative case, generally masculine, with the word καλός attached. Sometimes, but not so frequently, the name is feminine, with καλή; the superlative form κάλλιστοςis also found. In other cases  or ἑ παῖς appears in place of the proper name, or the word δοκεῖ is added, and sometimes also ναί or ναιχί, emphasising the statement. The most remarkable instance is a B.F. jug at Munich, round the shoulder of which is the inscription καλός Νικόλα Δωρόθεος καλὸς κἀμοὶ δοκεῆ, ναί· χἄτερος παῖς καλὸς, Μέμνων κἀμοὶ καλὸς φιλός. It is not quite certain how far the word καλὸς should be interpreted in a physical sense as “handsome” or “fair,” or in an ethical sense as “good” or “noble”; but having regard to the manners and customs of fifth-century Athens, it is more likely that the physical meaning of the word is to be inferred.

These inscriptions are often found on B.F. vases, but far more frequently in the succeeding period, and generally in more or less direct connection with artists' signatures, from which fact interesting results have been obtained. Special attention has been drawn to them of late years, from the fact that many of the names are those borne by historical personages, such as Miltiades, Megakles, Glaukon, and so on, and attempts have been made to connect them with those characters.

Klein, the chief writer on this subject, has collected in the second edition of his valuable work no less than 558 instances of these καλὸς-inscriptions, as against 424 signatures of artists; and there are besides these the numerous instances in which no proper name is given.

The chief question which calls for consideration in regard to these inscriptions is their purport, and the reason why they occur exclusively on vases, and of these exclusively on Attic vases covering a period of not more than one hundred years. The custom was not, of course, an unfamiliar one at Athens, as two references in Aristophanes indicate. In the Acharnians  he describes the Thracian Sitalkes as being such a “lover” of the Athenians that he wrote on the walls, “The Athenians are fair”; and, again, the slave Xanthias, in the Wasps , speaking of his master's litigious proclivities, says that if ever he saw Δῆμος καλός written on a door he promptly wrote by the side κημὸς καλός. But the most interesting and apposite instance recorded is that of Pheidias, who scratched on the finger of his statue of the Olympian Zeus, Παντάρκης καλός. Generally speaking, the word was no doubt intended to refer to the personal beauty of boys (as indicated by the use of ὁ παῖς), or at any rate of young athletes, and was applied to popular favourites of the day, whose occupations in the gymnasium, at the banquet, and elsewhere were matters of every-day talk.

These names may have been placed on the vases with the view of attracting the public to purchase them, or may even have been the subject of special orders from customers. Some light seems to be thrown on the matter by a cup signed by the painter Phintias, which represents a young man, purse in hand, making purchases of vases in a potter's workshop. This vase has the inscription Χαιρίας καλός, but whether it is intended as a representation of Chairias or his admirer it is impossible to say. The names, however, are not always those of every-day life. They may have relation to the figures on the vase, as ΗΕΚΤΟΡ ΚΑΛΟΣ.

We have already noted that historical names frequently occur in this series, and it is obvious that if they can be identified with the actual historical owners of such names much valuable information in regard to the chronology of Greek vases will be gained. It is sufficient to say that so far only two or three names have been identified with those of historical personages, though more results may yet be obtained. Of these one is Stesileos, occurring on two vases in Berlin, and identified with a strategos  who fell at Marathon in 490. On two lekythi (one late B.F., the other R.F.) the name of Glaukon son of Leagros appears, and these two names have also been identified with Athenian strategi , Leagros having fallen in battle against the Edones in 467, while Glaukon commanded at Kerkyra in 433–432 B.C. It may be roughly inferred that Leagros was a boy (παῖς) about 510 B.C., and his son Glaukon about 470 B.C., which gives an approximate date (within ten years or so) for these two groups of vases. It is, however, obvious that much at present only rests on hypothesis.

It is curious to note that nearly all these names have an aristocratic sound: thus we have Alcibiades, Alkmaeon, Hipparchos, and Megakles, besides those already quoted. Miltiades καλός occurs on a R.F. plate at Oxford, but there seems hardly sufficient evidence for referring it to the youth of the conqueror of Marathon. The table at the end of this chapter may be found useful as giving a conspectus  of the principal names and their relation to the artists.


It is now necessary to discuss some of the principal peculiarities of the Attic vase-inscriptions, in regard to palaeography, orthography, and grammar. The variety in the forms and uses of the letters is somewhat surprising at first sight, but it must be remembered that non-Attic influences were always strong, as has indeed already been pointed out.

Α usually appears either in that form or as Corinthian ΑSicyonian Α; but such variations as 15 14RF Attic alpha 15 14RF Attic alpha 15 13RF Attic alpha are found on R.F. vases, while at a later period even 15 13RF Attic alpha occurs. Δ on the vases of Duris generally appears as 15 13RF Attic alpha Attic lambda2 is found for Attic lambda, the Attic form of Λ. Σ varies between sigma and fourline sigma, while such abnormal forms as 15 11rounded S (Oikopheles), and 15 11E-shaped sigma are not unknown. The minor artist Xenokles uses a sort of cursive handwriting for his signature. Η is used for ἑ and ἡ, as in HΡΜΕΣ for ΗΕΡΜΕΣΗΡΑΚΛΕΣ for ΗΕΡΑKΛΕΣ, which seems to be a confusion of ideas resulting from its use for eta  in Ionic, and for h  in Chalcidian (i.e. Western) alphabets. The sign for the aspirate occurs first as heta, afterwards as Η, and is sometimes introduced without apparent reason, as in ΗΙΛΕΙΘΙΑ for Εἰλείθυια, and HΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΕ for Ἀφροδίτη. The digamma is unknown on Attic vases, but the François vase and the allied 'Tyrrhenian' group give some interesting examples of the use of Ϙ for Κ. Thus we find ϘORAΞΣ for ΚόραξΕΤΕΟϘΛΟΣ for ἘτέοκλοςΧARIϘΛO for Χαπικλώ. On the Corintho-Attic vase in Berlin (1704) are two curious instances of dittography, due no doubt to Corinthian influence, Κυλλήνιος being written ΚϘYΕNIOΣ (Κϙυελνιος) and Ζεύς as ΔΒΕYΣ, where the Corinthian and Attic forms of Κ and Ε stand side by side. So on a vase in the Louvre (E 852) we have ΖDEYΣ = Ζδεύς.

As a result no doubt of the unsettled state of the alphabet in the fifth century, a confusion in the use of ε and η, and ο and ω respectively, often arises, and we find Ἀλκιμάχως κάλως for Ἀλκίμαχος καλόςΚΥΜΟΔΩΚΕ for ΚυμοδόκηΘΗΤΙΣ for Θέτις, and similar forms. The diphthong ει is sometimes rendered by ΕΙ, sometimes by Ε, as in ΚΑΛΕΔΟΚΕΣ for καλὴ δοκεῖςαι and ει are also rendered by Ε, as in the name ΑΛΚΜΕΟΝ for Ἀλκμαίων and ΠΕΝΘΕΣΙΛΕΑ for Πενθεσίλεια, or αι by Α, as in ΑΘΕΝΑΑ for Ἀθηναία. In a few words, such as ΧΙΡΟΝ (Χείρων) and ΣΙΛΕΝΟΣ (Σείληνος), the diphthong ει is represented by its other member Ι. On the other hand, we find ΕΙΟΛΕΟΣ for Ἰολέως(B.M. B 301). The general vagueness of the Attic craftsmen's orthography is well illustrated by Kretschmer in the word Ὀδυσσεύς, which is not only invariably spelled with a Λ, reminding us of the Latin form Ulixes , but occurs in the following different forms:— 15 86ΟΛΥΤΕΥΣ 15 79ΟΛΥΤΕΥ 15 99ΟΛΛΥΤΕΥΣ 15 103ΟΛΥΤΤΕΥΣ 15 73ΟΛΥΤΕΣ 15 81ΟΛΥΣΕΥΣ 15 91ΩΛΥΣΣΕΥΣ this order being roughly chronological. The ordinary δ-form is, however, found.

A tendency to assimilation of aspirated consonants, always avoided in literary Greek, is seen in such forms as ΘΑΛΘΥΒΙΟΣ for ΤαλθύβιοςΧΑΧΡΥΛΙΟΝ for Καχρυλίων, and ΦΑΝΦΑΙΟΣ for Πάμφαιος. The reverse tendency is curiously illustrated in ΚΑΡΙΘΑΙΟΣ for Χαριταῖος. Unassimilated forms occur, as in the case of ΑΝΧΙΠΟΣ for Ἄγχιππος. Another peculiarity is the omission of nasals before consonants, as in ΑΤΑΛΑΤΕ for Ἀταλά(ν)τηΤΥΤΑΡΕΟΣ for Τυ(ν)δαρέωςΙΑΦΥΙ for Νύ(μ)φαι,ΛΑΠΟΝ for Λά(μ)πων, and ΕΚΕΛΑΔΟΣ for Ἐ(γ)κέλαδος. There is also a tendency to avoid double consonants, as in ΜΕΣΙΛΑ for ΜνήσιλλαΑΡΙΑΝΕ for ἈριάδνηΚΛΥΤΑΙΜΕΣΤΡΑ for ΚλυταίμνηστραΠΕΡΟΦΑΤΑ for Περσέφαττα; this is especially common in the case of double Λ or double Σ, as in ΟΛΥΤΕΥΣ and ΜΕΣΙΛΑ just quoted. On the other hand, on later vases consonants are often doubled without reason, as in ΚΑΣΣΤΟΡ for ΚάστωρΤΡΙΠΠΤΟΛΕΜΟΣ for ΤριπτόλεμοςΜΕΜΜΝΟΝ for Μέμνων, this being commonest with fourline Σ and ΠΧ and Chalcidian Χ, originally absent from the Attic alphabet, are represented usually by ΞΣ and ΘΣ, exceptionally by ΚΣ and ΠΣ, as in ΧΑΡΟΠΣΚΣΕΝΟΚΛΕΣ; also occasionally by metathesis, as ΕΛΡΑΣΦΕΝΣΧΑΝΘΟΣΠΙΣΤΟΣΧΕΝΟΣ. Attic contractions, such as ΧΑΤΕΡΟΣ for καὶ ἕτερος and ΚΑΜΟΙ for καὶἐμοί, are also found.

Among peculiarities of inflection (some of which may of course be mere misspellings) may be mentioned ΗΥΙΥΣ = υἱύς for υἱόςΠΑΥΣ for paῖs, ΘΕΣΥΣ for Θησεύς, and ΠΕΡΣΕΣ for Περσεύς; also the open form -εες for -hς, as in ΗΕΡΑΚΛΕΕΣΧΣΕΝΟΚΛΕΕΣ, and the form πίει for πίε; to some of these allusion has already been made.


From this mass of detail it is possible to deduce certain chronological results, which are not without their value for the dating of the various Athenian fabrics. Excluding the doubtful Dipylon vase, the inscriptions extend from the seventh century down to the time of Xenophantos and the late Panathenaic amphorae, a period of over three hundred years.

In the François vase we meet with the closed asper for the aspirate, the Ϙ and Κ together, and the two forms Θ and Θ of Θ; as the Θ form dropped out of private use earlier than out of official documents, and is found in the latter down to 520 B.C., we can date the François vase about the middle of the sixth century (not later, as the closed asper shows); the same date will also apply to the earliest Panathenaic amphora (B.M. B 130), and the cup of Oikopheles. The fact that Eucheiros, a “minor artist,” calls himself the son of Ergotimos, who made the François vase, permits us to place him some thirty years later, about 520 B.C., and this point may be regarded as the zenith of the B.F. period. In the later B.F. vases the H and Ω for Ε and Ο begin to make their appearance; but the conservative Panathenaic amphorae, like the coins, adhere to the original spelling right down to the end.

The existence of the R.F. style for some time previous to 480 B.C. has now been established by the discoveries on the Athenian Acropolis. This is also borne out by the appearance on vases by Euthymides of the Θ form for Θ, and the complete absence in the earlier vases of the H and Ω forms, which are not found among the Acropolis fragments. The hydria of Meidias (B.M. B 224), which marks the zenith of the “fine” period, has a purely Ionic alphabet. The Ionic forms seem to have come in with the “fine” R.F. style after 480 B.C., and for some time we find a mixed alphabet on the vases. It is also interesting to note the appearance in some cases of the Thasian alphabet, with its use of Ω for Ο (as in Ἀλκιμάχως καλώς, B.M. E 318), which has been traced to the influence of Polygnotos.


We conclude our account of inscriptions on Greek vases with a brief survey of those found on the vases of Southern Italy; it will be seen that they are neither numerous nor specially interesting.

The inscriptions are for the most part in the Doric dialect and Ionic alphabet, with the addition of the Doric sign doric asper for the aspirate. Generally speaking, these Doric forms are found on the Apulian vases, whereas on the products of Paestum they are mainly Ionic, with admixtures of Doric. Attic forms also occur. It seems probable that the Doric tendencies of the Apulian inscriptions are due to the influence of the great Laconian colony of Tarentum (although the vases were not made there), while Paestum was influenced, on the other hand, by the neighbouring Ionic colonies, such as Cumae.

The latter, being for the most part of earlier date, will first occupy our attention. They include two artists' signatures, which appear in the form ΑΣΣΤΕΑΣ ΕΓΡΑΦΕ and ΠΥΘΩΝ ΕΓΡΑΦΕ. We have already remarked on the use of the imperfect tense; there are five vases by Assteas and one by Python, on all of which the figures also have their names inscribed. The Ionic forms appear in ΜΕΓΑΡΗΜεγάρηΑΛΚΜΗΝΗἈλκμήνη, and so on; on the other hand, Python uses the Doric form ΑΩΣἈώς = Ἠώς, and Assteas the Doric Doric heta in ἙΣΣΠΕΡΙΑΣ = Ἑ<σ>σπεριάς. Ionic forms are also found on a few Apulian vases, as for instance Berlin 3257 (from Ceglie), which has Ε]ΥΘΥΜΙΗ and ΕΥΝΟΜΙΗ for Εὐθυμία and Εὐνομία, or Naples 2296 with ΝΗΣΑΙΗ for Νησαία.

Some of the inscribed Apulian vases are not without interest, as for instance that in the Louvre, which bears the signature of Lasimos: ΛΑΣΙΜΟΣ ΕΓΡΑΨΕΛάσιμος ἔγραψε. He was probably not a Greek, but of Messapian origin. On the great Dareios vase in Naples (No. 3253) several names are inscribed, such as ἙΛΛΑΣ for ἝλλαςΑΣΙΑΔΑΡΕΙΟΣ, and the general title of the scene, ΠΕΡΣΑΙ. On a well-known burlesque scene in the British Museum (F 269) the characters are inscribed ΗΕΡΑ(Ἥρα), ΔΑΙΔΑΛΟΣ (Δαίδαλος = Hephaistos), and ΕΝΕΥΑΛΙΟΣ (Ἐν<ε>υάλιος = Ares); and on the fine amphora F 331, representing Pelops at Olympia, are numerous incised inscriptions: ΠΕΛΟΨ,ΠέλοψΟΙΝΟΜΑΟΣΟἰνόμαοςἹΠΠΟΔΑΜΕΙΑἹπποδάμεια, etc. On the altar is painted ΔΙΟΣ,Διόςsc. “the altar of Zeus.”

A curious inscription is that on a krater in Naples (No. 2872), which represents Eros and a woman playing at ball; the latter leans on a stele on which is inscribed ἹΗΣΑΝΜΟΙΤΑΝΣΦΙΡΑΝ which was interpreted by Cavedoni, probably correctly, as ἵης ἄν μοι τὰν σφ(α)ῖραν, “You might send me the ball.” The Sicyonian Χ is an error for Doric heta, the heta reversed for Η. This inscription, be it noted, is painted, contrary to the general rule in these vases, as they are generally incised; but an exception seems to be made in favour of inscriptions on stelae  and similar objects, which are not uncommon, though many are open to suspicion. In theBritish Museum there are several examples, but by far the most curious is on an amphora in Naples (No. 2868), where a stele  is inscribed:

νώτω [μὲν] μολάχην τε καὶ ἀσφόδολον πολύριζον
κόλπῳ δ' Οἰδιπόδαν Λαίο(υ) υἱὸν ἔχω

“On my back I bear mallow and many-rooted asphodel, but
in my bosom Oedipus, Laios' son.”

A curious and unique inscription is found engraved on a kotyle from Chiusi: οὗτος τὸν δᾶμον ἔφα ποναρόν, “This fellow said that the people were a depraved lot.” The η of πονηρόν was first written Ε, and then corrected into Α, the Doric form. It may be supposed that the inscription is due to a workman who did not approve of the democracy under which he lived.

On an amphora from Gnatia (Fasano), with a goose and a cock, in white on the black ground, is the quaint dialogue:

ΑΝΗΧΝΟΤΙΑ, ΟΤΟΝΕΛΕΤΡΥΓΟΝΑ
αἴ τὸν χῆνα, ὦ τὸν ἐλετρυγόνα, or, “What, the goose?”
“Oh, the cock!”

Etruscan inscriptions do not come within the scope of this chapter, but an Oscan inscription should be mentioned here, which is incised on a vase in the British Museum (F 233), over an actor: ΑΙΤΝΑΣ =Santia , the Oscan form of Ξανθίας, which was a common name for the slave of comedy.

LIST OF ARTISTS' SIGNATURES FOUND ON GREEK VASES
I. Early Fabrics
 
Aristonoös ἐποίησεUncertain fabric
Pyrrhos ἐποίησεProto-Corinthian Rev. Arch. xl. (1902), p. 41
Chares ἔγραψεCorinthian Klein, Meistersig. p. 29
Milonidas ἔγραψε   do.Wiener Vorl. 1888, pl. 1, fig. 4
Timonidas ἔγραψεdo.Klein, p. 28
Gamedes ἐποίησεBoeotian Ibid. p. 31
Gryton ἐποίησεdo.Boston Mus. Report , 1898, p. 54
Iphitadas ἐποίησεBoeotian Röm. Mitth. 1897, p. 105
Menaidas ἐποίησεdo.Wiener Vorl. 1889, pl. 1, fig. 1
Mnasalkes ἐποίησεdo.Boston Mus. Report , 1899, p. 56
Theozotos ἐποίησεdo.Louvre F 69
 
II. Attic Black-figured Vases
 
Amasis ἐποίησεAmphorae and oinochoae Klein, p. 43
Anakles ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 75
Antidoros ἐποίειMinor artist Notizie degli Scavi , 1897, p. 231
Archikles ἐποίησεMinor artist Klein, p. 76
Charitaios ἐποίησεHydria and kylix Ibid. p. 51
Cheiron ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 79
Epitimos ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 84
Ergoteles ἐποίησεMinor artist Berlin 1758
Ergotimos ἐποίησεPotter of François vase; kylix Klein, p. 37
Eucheiros ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 72
Euphiletos ἔγραψεPinax Ibid. p. 49
Exekias {ἔγραψε }Amphorae and kylikes Ibid. p. 38
{ἐποίησε}
Glaukytes ἐποίησεMinor artist (with Archikles)Ibid. p. 77
Hermogenes ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 82
Kaulos ἐποίησεPotter for Sakonides Notizie degli Scavi , 1903, p. 35
Kittos ἐποίησεPanathen. amph. (4th cent.)B.M. B 604
Kleisophos ἔγραψεOinochoë (Xenokles as potter)Athens 691
Klitias ἔγραψεFrançois vase (painter)Klein, p. 32; B.M. B 601 4–5
Kolchos ἐποίησεOinochoëBerlin 1732
Mnesikleides ἔγραψεAryballos Athens 669
Myspios ἐποίησεMinor artist Klein, p. 84
Neandros ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 79
Nearchos ἐγρ. κ. ἐπ.Situla Ibid. p. 38
Nikosthenes ἐποίησεAbout eighty vases Ibid. p. 51
Oikopheles ἐκεράμευσεKylix Oxford 189
Paseas γράμμαPinax Klein, p. 49
Phrynos ἐποίησεMinor artist B.M. B 424 and Boston
Priapos ἐποίησεDoubtful B.M. B 395
Psoieas ἐποίησε(?)Minor artist B.M. B 600 40
Sakonides ἔγραψεMinor artist Klein, p. 85
Sikelos ἔγραψεPanathen. amphora Ibid. p. 86
Skythes ἔγραψεPinax Ibid. p. 48
Sokles ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 79
Sondros ἐποίησεMinor artist B.M. B 601 6
Sophilos ἔγραψεFragment Ath. Mitth. 1889, pl. 1
Taleides ἐποίησεVarious shapes Klein, p. 46
Thrax ἐποίησεMinor artist Notizie degli Scavi , 1903, p. 36
Timagoras ἐποίησεHydriae Klein, p. 50
Tlenpolemos ἐποίησεMinor artist; potter for Sakonides Ibid. p. 84
Tleson ἐποίησεMinor artist Ibid. p. 73
Tychios ἐποίησεHydria Ibid. p. 50
Xenokles ἐποίησεMinor artist; potter for Kleisophos Ibid. p. 80
 
III. Transitional or “Mixed Technique”
 
Andokides ἐποίησε }Amphorae, etc.
ἐποίει }
Chelis See below
Epiktetos See below
Epilykos See below
Hischylos ἐποίησεPotter for Epiktetos, Sakonides, Pheidippos Klein, p. 97
Nikosthenes See above; two mixed; three R.F.
Pamphaios ἐποίησεVarious shapes Ibid. p. 87
Pasiades ἐποίησεWhite-ground B.M. B 668
Thypheithides ἐποίησεDoubtful See B.M. E 4
 
IV. Attic Red-figured Vases
 
Aeson ἔγραψεKylix Ant. Denkm. ii. pl. 1
Amasis II (ἔγραψε)Kylix Bibl. Nat. 535; Hartwig, Meistersch.chap. xvi.
Apollodoros ἔγραψεKylikes Ibid. chap. xxii.
Aristophanes ἔγραψεKylikes Berlin 2531; Boston Mus. Report , 1900, p. 49 ff.
Brygos ἐποίησεKylikes Hartwig, chap. xiii.
Chachrylion ἐποίησεKylikes Ibid. chap iv.
Chelis ἐποίησε}Kylikes (one “mixed”)Klein, Meistersig. p. 116
ἐποίει   }
Deiniades ἐποίησεPotter for Phintias
Duris ἔγραψεVarious shapes Hartwig, chaps. x., xxi.
Epigenes ἐποίησεKantharos Klein, p. 186
Epiktetos ἔγραψεKylikes and plates Ibid. p. 100
Epilykos ἔγραψεKylikes Ibid. p. 114: see Monuments Piot , ix. p. 135 ff.
Erginos ἐποίησεPotter for Aristophanes
Euergides ἐποίησεKylikes Klein, p. 99
Euphronios ἔγραψε }Various shapes Hartwig, chaps. vii., xviii.
{ἐποίησε }
Euthymides ἔγραψεVarious shapes Hoppin, Euthymides
Euxitheos ἐποίησεAmphora; potter for Oltos Klein, p. 135
Hegesiboulos ἐποίησεWhite-ground cup Branteghem Cat., No. 167
Hegias ἔγραψεKylix Klein, p. 186
Hermaios ἐποίησεKylikes
Hermonax ἔγραψεStamni and “pelikae”Klein, p. 200
Hieron ἐποίησεKylikes and kotylae; potter for Makron Hartwig, chap. xii.
Hilinos ἐποίησεPotter for Psiax
Hischylos ἐποίησεSee above
Hypsis ἔγραψεHydria Klein, p. 198
Kalliades ἐποίησεPotter for Duris: see Table V.
Kleophrades ἐποίησεPotter for Duris and Amasis II.
Makron ἔγραψε(With Hieron)
Maurion ἐποίειPyxis B.M. E 770; Class. Rev. 1894, p. 419
Megakles ἐποίησεPyxis Klein, p. 205
Meidias ἐποίησεHydria B.M. E 224 = Plate XLI.
Mys ἐποίησεLekythos Athens 1362
Nikias ἐποίησεKrater in B.M
Oltos ἔγραψεKylikes Hartwig, chap. v.
Onesimos ἔγραψεKylikes (Euphronios as potter)Ibid. chap. xix.
Peithinos ἔγραψεKylikes Ibid. chap. xi.
Pheidippos ἔγραψεKylix B.M. E 6
Phintias ἔγραψεVarious shapes Hartwig, chap. ix.
Pistoxenos ἐποίησεKotylae; potter for Euphronios Ibid. chap. xiv.
Polygnotos ἔγραψεAmphorae; stamni Mon. Antichi , ix. p. 1 ff.
Praxias ἔγραψε(Non-Athenian?)Klein, p. 31
Psiax ἔγραψεKylix and alabastron Amer. Journ. of Arch. 1895, p. 485
Python I.ἐποίησεPotter for Epiktetos and Duris
Sikanos ἐποίησεPlate Klein, p. 116
Smikros ἔγραψεStamni Monuments Piot , ix. p. 15 ff.
Sosias ἐποίησεKylix Berlin 2278; Klein, p. 147
Sotades ἐποίησε }White-ground vases Branteghem Cat. 159–166
ἐποίει }{ Klein, p. 187
Syriskos ἐποίησεAstragalos vase Hartwig, chap. xxiv.
Xenophantos ἐποίησεLekythos Petersburg 1790
Xenotimos ἐποίησεKylikes Branteghem Cat. 84–85
 
V. Unfigured and Modelled Vases
 
Charinos ἐποίησεModelled vases Klein, p. 215; Röm. Mitth. 1890, p. 316
Kalliades ἐποίησεModelled vases; potter for Duris Klein, p. 216
Kleomenes ἐποίησεModelled vase in Louvre Mon. Grecs , 1897, pls. 16–17
Kriton ἐποίησεJug; no subject Klein, p. 213
Lydos ἐποίησεFragment; painter's name lost Ibid. p. 217
Lykinos ἠργάσατοPyxis Ibid. p. 213
Lysias ἐποίησεJug; no subject Ibid. p. 213
Myson ἐγρ. κ. ἐπ.Fragment Ibid. p. 217
Prokles ἐποίησεModelled lekythos Berlin 2202
Teisias ἐποίησεVases without subject Klein, p. 212
Therinos ποίημαChytra Ibid. p. 214
 
VI. South Italian
 
Assteas ἔγραψεKraters, etc.
Lasimos ἔγραψεKrater Klein, p. 210
Python ἔγραφεKrater B.M. F 149
Statios ἔργονDoubtful See B.M. F 594
LIST OF ΚΑΛΟΣ-NAMES ON GREEK VASES
Names in parentheses denote the artists with whom they are associated
I. Black-figured Vases
 
Aischis Myia
Andokides (Timagoras)Mys
Anthylle Neokleides (Taleides)
Automenes Onetor
Chairaia? (Nikosthenes)Onetorides (Exekias)
Chares Pyles
Dorotheos (Charinos? also R.F.)Pythokles I.
Eresilla Rhodon
Euphiletos Rhodopis
Hippokrates (also R.F.)Sibon
Hippokritos (Glaukytes)Sime
Hippon I.Sostratos
Kallias I. (Taleides)Stesias (Exekias)
Kallippe Stesileos
Klitarchos (Taleides)Stroibos
Leagros (Exekias; also R.F.)Timotheos
Lysippides Xenodoke (Charinos)
Mnesilla
 
II. Red-figured Vases
 
Aisimides Antimachos
Akestor Antiphon
Akestorides Aphrodisia
Alexomenos Archinos II.
Alkides Aristagoras (Duris)
Alkimachos Aristarchos
Antias Aristeides
 
Athenodotos (Peithinos; with Leagros)Lichas
Brachas Lyandros
Chairestratos Lykopis
Chairias (Phintias)Lykos (Euphronios, Duris, Onesimos)
Chairippos Lysis (Hartwig, chap. xxiii.)
Charmides Megakles I. (Phintias, Euthymides)
Damas Megakles II.
Diogenes (see Hartwig, chap. xv.)Memnon (Chelis, Chachrylion)
Diokles Midas
Dion Mikion II.
Dionokles Miltiades
Diphilos Naukleia (Hieron)
Dorotheos (also B.F.)Nikodemos
Dromippos Nikon
Elpinikos Nikophile
Epidromos (Chachrylion?)Nikostratos II. (Hartwig, chap. xx.)
Epileios Oinanthe
Epimedes Olympiodoros (also one B.F.)
Erosantheo Panaitios (Euphronios, Duris)
Erothemis (Euphronios and Onesimos)Pedieus
Euaion Perses
Eurymachos Phayllos
Euryptolemos (Apollodoros)Pheidiades
Glaukon (Euphronios)Pheidon
Heras Philon
Hermogenes (Duris)Praxiteles
Hiketes Sekline (Euphronios)
Hipparchos (Epiktetos)Sikinnos
Hippodamas (Duris and Hieron)Simiades
Hippon II.Smikythos (Euthymides)
Hygiainon Sokrates
Kallias II.Solon
Kallides Sophanes
Kallikles Sostratos
Kallisto (Hieron)Thaleia
Karton Theodoros
Kephisios Thero (Oltos)
Kephisophon Timarchos
Kleinias Timokrates
Kleophon (with Megakles I.)Timoxenos or Timaxenos
Krates Tleson
Laches (see Hartwig, chap. xx.)Xenon
Leagros (Chachrylion, Euphronios, Euxitheos)Xenophon.

[The foregoing list is not exhaustive, but only gives the more frequently occurring names; reference should be made throughout to Klein's Lieblingsinschriften , 1898 edition.]