Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Monster of Troy

A strange, menacing creature lurks on one of the ancient Greek vases in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The scene is painted on the vase ... a Corinthian black-figure krater dating to between 560 and 540 B.C. It is the oldest illustration of the ancient legend of the Monster of Troy.
In Greek myth, a terrible sea monster suddenly appears on the Trojan coast, where it causes great destruction. To appease the giant beast, the king of Troy, Laomedon, sends his daughter Hesione as a sacrifice. At the last moment Hercules arrives to slay the monster and rescue the princess.

The vase shows Hesione and Hercules fighting the monster. Hesione throws rocks from a pile at her feet. Hercules shoots a volley of arrows, one of which has hit the monster’s chin.
Some have suggested that the Monster of Troy resembles a Plesiosaur, a Mesozoic marine reptile. Plesiosaurs are amoung the largest marine apex predators in the fossil record.