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these also were originally a separate triad, though in fact the absence of the central group of the pediment precludes absolute certainty on this point. We can, however, argue from the analogy of the west pediment, and in that light we accept these three figures, K, L, M, as a triad. No triad of women, each of about the same age and all fairly clad, was better known than the Fates, and none more appropriately present at a birth.
On the Madrid puteal (Pl. IX., Fig. 1), which represents the birth of Athenė, they are present with their shears and thread in their hands. It is true they are there standing in a group as the exigencies of a band of relief required. But they are there all the same. On these grounds it is not surprising that the three figures in the pediment have become popularly known as the Fates.
On the other hand, we learn from a fragment of Euripides (Nauck, 623) that the Fates were divine beings who "sat nearest to the throne of Zeus," and obviously on an occasion like the birth of Athenè they would have been intent on their natural occupation, not surprised and startled as are the three women in the remote angle of the pediment. They would thus have been the "Foolish Fates," as they are called in Midsummer Night's Dream. Further, the Fates had no special connection with Attica. But let us examine the group as it stands.
At first sight, and from a superficial point of view of the pediment as a whole, there is not much of artistic balance in the two angle groups. We recognise that the two figures K, L on the right respond fairly well to E, F on the left. But as a response to the nude Cephalos on the left we have a draped woman, M, on the right. Yet
beneath this superficial aspect we cannot deny that the reclining figure, M, represents the same idea as does the Cephalos; that is to say, a person in the act of awakening. We have thus in the same place in each angle a figure awakening from sleep, the superficial difference being that one is a man, the other a woman. In spirit the two angles thus respond perfectly. In both we have a scene of awakening, appropriately caused in the first instance by the dawn, but intensified in the second instance by the coincident birth of Athenė.
The third figure, M, lying with the feet still crossed one over the other, is surely still more asleep than awake. The second, L, has pulled back her feet, as a woman must do in rising suddenly from a low seat, and is doing her best to stir up her sleeping sister. The first, K, has swung round towards the centre, her left arm pressing hard on the shoulder of L. All three have been closely grouped like sisters. They are all three taken by surprise, nearly as much so as the three daughters of Cecrops in the west pediment. It is the surprise of beings who, till that moment, have been asleep under daily conditions, and in their native place. In Olympos nothing of the kind was possible. We must, therefore, regard the so-called Fates as local Attic beings, or, to repeat the phrase we have already used, when speaking of the west pediment, “interested local spectators.” Accordingly we recognise in both wings of the east pediment—as in the west-local personages
1 The marble head belonging to to one or other of the figures in the Count Laborde, in Paris, has some west pediment. The nose and mouth times been thought to belong to K, but are restored. See the cast in the Elgin more frequently perhaps it is assigned Room.
COMPARISON WITH WEST PEDIMENT
who either had already passed into legend or were still in the state of personifications. We regret that Professor Furtwaengler, having accepted the local Cephalos and two of the local Attic Horae for the left wing, should have fallen back on the Fates for the right wing, instead of following up the principle of local representation, a principle which in the west pediment he has pursued to its extreme.
The east and the west pediments of the Parthenon were respectively the first and the second acts of the drama of Athenè. It was incumbent that certain of the characters should be taken over from the one act to the other; at all events, Athenè herself and Poseidon. Poseidon could not have been absent from among the gods at the scene of her birth in the east pediment. Nor could Hermes have failed there; yet we find him also again in the west pediment accompanying the chariot of Athenè. If the charioteer of Poseidon in the west pediment is Amphitritè, as is mostly supposed, she also may have been present at the birth of Athenè in the east pediment by the same right which entitled her to be present at the birth of Aphroditè alongside of Poseidon on the base of the Zeus at Olympia by Pheidias. For all we know, the goddess also who accompanies the chariot of Poseidon and she who drives the chariot of Athenè may have been taken over from the missing central group of the east pediment. In any case, the two pediments stood in a dramatic relation to each other, with a certain number of the personae carried over from the one act to the other.
The facts are there, and need no illustration from other works of Greek sculpture. But we may mention as more or less analogous and nearly contemporary the narrow frieze of