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the whole centre of the pediment was occupied by one great group, closed in on each side by the two chariots. Within this group there was a further division, consisting of the two deities themselves, represented at that stage of the contention between them when Athenè had produced her olive tree on the Acropolis and Poseidon had made his spring of water flow. Thus the moment of greatest intensity had just been reached; and this is amply reflected in the action of the two contending deities, to say nothing of the rearing horses of Athenė.
That a similar degree of excitement had been shown by the horses of Poseidon is clear from the bearing of his charioteer, which we possess, O, and in a measure also from the heads of his two horses, which have been preserved (Pl. V.).
At this stage it is important to bear in mind that the east pediment of Olympia presents under a somewhat older type this same principle of a great middle group closed in by two chariots facing the centre, and serving to isolate as well as to magnify the protagonists. At Olympia the figures in the two wings of the pediment are obviously local and secondary beings—in a word, interested spectators. That, as we have already remarked, was a striking advance on the older methods of composition. It introduced a new touch of nature, which must have appealed to the poetic instincts of a great sculptor coming immediately after. But even apart from considerations of a poetic kind, we see at once from Carrey's drawing of the west pediment of the Parthenon that the figures in the two wings are markedly dissociated from the central group, except as interested spectators. It seems inconceivable that these figures so
ostentatiously cut off from the central group can be deities. By their presence they indicate the permanent effects of the momentary dispute of the deities on the district in question—that is, Attica. The produce of the land, especially olive-growing, was to be supreme over sea-faring. It was what would now be called a “ Little Athens ” policy. We need say no more concerning the general composition of this pediment. Our troubles will begin when we have to decide each for himself how far the figures in the angles are local heroes or local personifications. The one thing to bear in mind is that local heroes may after all be only local personifications crystallised into more popular forms, in which case a river-god, of whom we know only the name, may reasonably appear side by side with Cecrops, who, though equally a personification to begin with, had passed over into the legendary history of Athens.
To take the figures one by one, we begin as of right with the central group. And first it will be of interest to notice a Greek vase in St. Petersburg on which is painted the contest of Athenè and Poseidon (Pl. II., Fig. 2). In the centre between them is an olive tree with the serpent of Athenè twined round its stem and Nikè among the branches. On the left is Athenè in recoil from her final act, and at the same time turning towards her chariot to leave the scene. On the right Poseidon seizes by the bridle a horse, below which are the brackish pool of water and the dolphins. Doubtless this one horse is a sufficient attribute of Poseidon, but comparing the vase, so far as it goes, with the west pediment, we must conclude that the one horse in effect represents the two horses of his chariot. As a result of this com
parison we must further recognise the olive tree between the deities as equally applicable to the centre of the pediment. Whether there were there also the serpent and the Nike must be left in suspense.
The chariot of Athenè we know from Carrey's drawings, but by his time the horses of Poseidon had disappeared. The heads of his two horses have, however, been recovered on the Acropolis. We give them as they were probably intended to be seen (Pl. V.), the nearer head sculptured in a large, grand manner; the farther head is only roughed out, and at the same time has been sliced off at the back to fit against the vertical wall of the pediment." Curiously enough, the ear of the farther horse had been pricked forward strongly, and most probably the ears of the nearer horse had been similarly rendered to indicate sudden surprise. The horses of Athenè were lost through Morosini's attempt to lower them, and we cannot now say from Carrey's drawings whether their ears also had been pricked forward. It would almost seem not.
The charioteer of Poseidon, O, exists still in marble in the British Museum as well as in Carrey's drawing, though in both cases fragmentary (Pl. V.). We are inclined to recognise in her attitude and in the violence with which her scarf is twisted up round her shoulders more action than is perceptible in the opposite charioteer of Athenė, G. The broad girdle round her waist and her bare leg, as shown in Carrey, seem to give her an air of distinction, but
1 Michaelis assigned these heads wrongly to the chariot of Athenè, as Sauer has already pointed out.
whether these features are sufficient to justify the name that has often been given her of Amphitritè, the spouse of Poseidon, we are not prepared to say. Carrey was in time to preserve also in his drawing a female figure, N, hasting to the centre. This figure corresponds to the Hermes on the farther side of the horses of Athenè. We shall see that on the frieze each chariot is accompanied by a man on foot, whose function was to assist the driver in keeping his team in order, and usually he is there also placed at the farther side of the horses. The divine chariots in the pediment may have been in no need of such help. But clearly this was an artistic device of the time, to counteract in a measure the long horizontal masses of the horses by a standing figure at the farther side. We may therefore regard both the Hermes and this female figure as artistic elements rather than as beings absolutely necessary to the myth.
Some have proposed to identify this female figure, N, behind the missing horses of Poseidon with the torso of Victory at present placed in the east pediment in the Elgin Room (Pl. VIII., Fig. 1). In action and costume both are much alike. But there is a marked difference in the left arms. In our torso of Victory the left arm has been raised high, showing the armpit, whereas in Carrey's drawing of the west pediment the left arm falls downwards with a scarf over it, of which there is no trace on the Victory. Carrey was too observant a draughtsman to make an error of that kind. Besides, our Victory had wings, which had been fitted into deep sockets in the back of her shoulders, but are now lost. It is possible, no doubt, that Carrey's figure had wings originally, which