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fastening the girdle, with his serious pose of head, and the hand pointing to something. But the other boy, 6, is quite different.
He is entirely nude, and, so far, is unique in the whole frieze, if we except the youthful god Eros. His attitude also is unusual, standing with one leg crossed over the other, and holding his hands in a singular manner. It has been suggested that he is meant to be holding the reins of his master's horse, and that does not seem altogether improbable, except that the reins would be too long for a riding horse, as we said before. But his easy attitude is the more curious because of the energetic stride which the marshal, 5, is making, with his right hand advanced as if to seize the bridle reins. He looks almost as if he were chiding the boy. The action of his legs is ungainly, if one may say so.
The boy is youthful enough in appearance, yet his proportions have been greatly exaggerated by the sculptor. Later on we shall see other examples of a similar exaggeration, and consider the reason of them.
It is difficult to explain the figure standing at the head of this horse, 4. He has often been supposed to be putting the bit into the horse's mouth. But that is impossible, because both his hands are sufficiently preserved to show that they were turned away from the horse's head, and had nothing whatever to do with the horse. At the same time it looks very awkward to see two hands raised close to the mouth of a horse, which obviously is in need of being checked in some way, while yet these hands are in no manner occupied with him. It has been suggested that the man is clasping with both hands and resting on an upright rod, which had once existed in metal, at the same time
turning his head to another part of the procession. That seems to be a reasonable view, much more so than a recent suggestion to the effect that he is tying a diadem round his head.
Another class of boys on the frieze are those who are leading cows and sheep to the sacrifice, or bringing vessels with water, or playing on flutes and lyres (N. 1-28 and S. 106–131). A musical accompaniment has at all times been necessary in processions, as we know by experience. Part of the education of boys was to learn to play on the lyre and flute. It was therefore right and proper that the music in this instance should be provided by them. As regards the hydrophori, or boys carrying water-vessels, we are accustomed to think of girls doing that rather than boys. It is women and girls who draw and carry water on the old Greek painted vases, as it is in Greece and Egypt at the present day. We do not know why boys were chosen in the Panathenaic procession.
The slab of water-bearers (N. 16–19) has been well preserved fortunately in Athens, and we are thus enabled to admire almost to the full the charm which the sculptor has infused into the action and drapery. It is an action which involves every
limb of the body, and was therefore calculated to produce a fine scheme of folds, were the boys provided with ample mantles as they are.
The effect seems beautiful. Singularly beautiful also, to our mind, is the boy stooping eagerly and in haste to raise his hydria. Docile creatures like cows and sheep may easily be led or driven by boys,
1 See the figure of a Thracian listening to Orpheus on a vase from Gela, in Roscher's Lexikon, s.v. Orpheus, p. 1179.
and in the group of boys and sheep (iv.) the association of the two is quite natural. It is, in fact, a true and at the same time a poetic observation of nature to place the boy's hand gently on the back of the sheep as if no more guidance were needed.
The boys leading cows (i.-iii.) are a little taller and possibly a year or two older, but even then their figures are young and slight compared with the massive build of the cows. We know very well that a young boy may easily lead a cow. Even when she throws up her head as if exerting great force, a boy putting his strength to the rope will hold her in. Such things may be verified any day. It is a true and just observation of daily life. More than that, it is one of those revelations of Nature where she delights in making a huge or even a ferocious animal obey a child. These thoughts arise when we look on these animals being thus led to sacrifice, and we feel sure the sculptor meant to awaken thoughts of that kind, whatever the actual facts of the procession may have been.
We have yet another set of boys to consider—those who were employed to drive the chariots in the procession. In a public race it was no easy task to drive a chariot of four fiery horses, and even in the procession through the streets of Athens it must have been difficult, but we find on the frieze that certain precautions were taken.
That is to say, each chariot is accompanied by a man on foot, whose duty was to keep the horses in check when necessary. splendid fragment in Athens we see him at the heads of the horses, straining every effort to arrest their pace (N. 44). Nothing could be finer than the impact of human against equine
strength, nor, merely as a piece of harmonious composition of line and form, could anything more beautiful be desired. Let us take as an example of boy drivers slab xii. of the north frieze, where he is almost falling backwards. He is dressed as a girl. Such was the custom among the Greeks, strange as it may appear to us.
We have still to notice the two girls in the very centre of the east frieze, 31-32, each carrying on her head a fourlegged seat, and bringing it to the priestess of Athenè, Polias, who is in the act of receiving the seat carried by the elder and taller of the two. Thus, while the priest, 34, is receiving the new robe, the priestess close beside him is receiving
Both acts ought to be of co-ordinate importance or nearly so, seeing that they are placed in close juxtaposition in the most central part of the frieze. These two girls are obviously the well-known attendants of the priestess, who bore respectively the titles of Cosmo and Trapezo. They have small cushions on their heads to ease the weight of the seat. But for whom were these seats intended? That is a question which has given some trouble. At first sight one would suppose for the priest and priestess. It may have been so. It has often been thought so. But a reasonable objection has been raised that the priest and priestess when seated would have appeared co-ordinate with the deities on either side. To meet this difficulty . it has been suggested that the two seats were being brought forth from the temple to be taken possession of by invisible deities. That would be quite consistent with what we know of religious rites among the Greeks. When the visit of a god was expected or desired, an empty couch was prepared
for him. It is supposed that the two girls had previously brought forward the twelve seats on which the gods are sitting, and that they are here represented in some concluding act of the same kind. It is there assumed that the deities are inside the temple seated on seats which had been placed there for them. That is by no means a new idea. But deities seated inside a temple could hardly be expected to exhibit so much animation and interest in the approaching procession as they do on the frieze. Aphroditè, 41, points energetically to it. The goddess behind her pulls up her right hand. Dionysos (?) raises his left hand, 39. Poseidon also raises his left, 38. Hephaestos, 37, turns eagerly to Athenè, who remains placid, as does Zeus, 30.
But Hera, 29, beside him is excited, pulling aside her veil with both hands. There is not, perhaps, so much animation in the deities beyond her, but there is some. And the presence of deities among mortals to whom they are invisible needs no proof now.
From these remarks, so far as they have dealt with the mere boys and girls who appear in the procession, to say nothing of the multitude of youthful horsemen, we return to our opinion that the whole frieze is a glorification of youth. But why so? So far as the festival was in honour of Athene we can understand this preponderance of youth. She herself was always youthful. But the sacrifice at least was offered to the whole of the twelve great deities as we see, and they as a body had no special interest in youth more than old in age.
Possibly they had assembled as a united, invisible body to share with Athenè a sacrifice intended for her in the first instance. Though armed with helmet, shield, and spear from her birth and always ready for war, she was