- Hipponax and the Swallow Vase
- American Journal of Philology
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 131, Number 4 (Whole Number 524), Winter 2010
- pp. 573-587
- View Citation
- Additional Information
A red-figured pelike (late sixth century) in St. Petersburg shows on side A a youth, a bearded man, and an adolescent observing the first swallow of spring. The article discusses their identification and concludes that they are the kind of characters commonly found in the palaestra: athlete, young lover, and older visitor. A passage in the Suda cites a fragment of Hipponax, "the swallow's pharmakon" (magic charm) with a scholion interpreted here as saying "in Hipponax the spell that comes to pass when one first sees a swallow." This interpretation is used to suggest that the swallow is casting a spell on the youth presaging a success in an erotic pursuit. This view is supported by erotic aspects of the wrestling scene on side B.