|APULIAN APPLIED RED-FIGURE CHOUS: TWO CARIAN MUSICIANS
One playing the auletes is preceded by another playing clappers; a dog to the rear. A rare depiction.
4th Century BC
H. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm.)
Ex J.M.E. collection, New York, acquired from H. Cahn, Basel, in October 1984.
Probably a gift for the second day of the Anthesterian which was one of the four Athenian festivals in honor of Dionysus. It was held each year from the 11th to the 13th of the month of Anthesterion, around the time of the January or February full moon. The three days of the feast were called Pithoigia, Choës, and Chytroi. It celebrated the beginning of spring, particularly the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage, which was now consumed. During the feast, social order was flexible, slaves being allowed to participate. The Anthesteria also had aspects of a festival of the dead: either the Keres or the Carians were entertained, freely roaming the city with feathers attached to their headwear, until they were expelled after the festival.