An introduction into the Tomb:
http://www.mysteriousetruscans.com/francois.html (also used in following posts)
Combat between Etruscans and Romans: Caelius Vibenna and Mastarna
|Caelius Vibenna Mastarna (Servius)|
Rosenstein, Nathan S. and Morstein-Marx, Robert, A Companion to the Roman Republic, Blackwell Pub., Malden, MA, 2006
The François Vase
|The François Vase|
Another fascinating note about this vase is the fine craftsmanship and themes put into the friezes, or horizontal lines which contain different depictions. Each frieze has its own story, describing the life of Achilles. For example, in the first frieze frieze, we see the Caledonian Boar hunt playing out. In the scene, Achilles' father,
Peleus, along with every other famous character of the time, like Atalanta, the Dioskouroi, and Meleager, and excluding Heracles, slay the fearsome beast. The second frieze then depicts scene from the funeral games of Patroclus. Patroclus was a close friend, sometimes thought to be the lover, to Achilles. The frieze is pretty obvious, the game is a chariot race. These friezes all continue with the same theme, and follow down showing the marriage scene of the hero's parents; Peleus and Thetis, a boat with Athenian dancers, and various other stories which relate directly to the life of this character.
The fact that the François vase is still around today, considering that the vase was found in the tomb in pieces and underwent various dangers, is a miracle. While several fragments were missing, the vase was soon reconstructed and remained in tact until the turn of the 20th century. At this time, a frustrated museum worker threw a stool at the glass covering, and the vase was shattered once more. Finally reconstructed in 1904, the vase remains a looking glass into the history of the Etruscans, who valued the great works of their Greek brothers.