The revenge of Cassandra

Cassandra was the most beautiful daughter of the king Priam of Troy and she received the gift of prophecy from Apollo. However, she was punished by the gods because she refused to love Apollo. As a result, none would believe her words.


None listened to her warnings about her brother Paride. She was the first to see him as the one who would cause the destruction of Troy. Trojans failed to listen to her when Paride left for Sparta and they did not believe her warnings about the big, wooden horse left by the Greeks on the beach. During Troy’s battle, Cassandra was chased by the mighty Aiace and she took refuge in the temple of Athena and begged by embracing the statue of the goddess. However, Aiace took her from the simulacrum, showing no sign of mercy or fear towards the goddess.


The justice of the Gods made the Peastum-based potter Assteas, who loved to represent theatre scenes, decide to tell a different story. This story is about a terrified Greek hero who embraces the statue of Athena while a woman seizes him with violence and the smug goddess winks her eye. To ensure that none could misunderstand the scene, he wrote over his painting the names of victorious Cassandra and the not so heroic Aiace. As a result, in this museum, Cassandra’s revenge is renewed every day.


Texts: A. Lagi
Pictures: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Volcei “Marcello Gigante
English translation: Scu association Pro Loco Buccino Volcei