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Ephedrismos Group

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Late 4th century B. Cthought to be AtticTerracottaH 22 cm

Silenus and Maenad, hybrid creatures from Dionysus’ entourage in Greek mythology, are shown playing Ephedrismos. The older satyr is giving a piggy-back ride to a girl wearing a wreath of leaves and baring one breast. The aim of this game, highly popular in Antiquity, was to hit a stone on the ground with a pebble or a ball. The loser had to then carry the winner on their back and knock over the stone while the winner covers their eyes. It is this “penalty” that is most often depicted. When a satyr is depicted playing this specific game, it is thought the artwork is referring to the theatre of Antiquity.