The sole illustration in this latest publication by the British Academy is an Athenian black-figure lekythos from Gela in the Ashmolean Museum that appears on the front cover. The vase depicts Herakles carrying the Kerkopes and makes one think of the author bearing the twin burden of the legacies of Beazley and Haspels (although I doubt this was the intention). The Dutch scholar C. H. E. (Caroline Henriette Emilie) Haspels was a student of Beazley and was the first to attribute the mass of black-figured lekythoi produced in Athens between ca. 560 and 470 B.C., mostly for graves, to specific painters and workshops. These new addenda listing some 1,500 black-figured vases serve to update the lists that appeared in Haspels’ groundbreaking publication Attic Black-figured Lekythoi published by the French Institute at Athens in 1936, and those additions made by J. D. Beazley in his Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters of 1956 and Paralipomena of 1971. The preface states that these are the last Addenda to be printed by the Beazley Archive, under whose auspices the volume was compiled; all future references to published illustrations and drawings of Greek vases will appear at the website, which currently lists 98,000 Attic vases accompanied by 120,000 black-and-white images. The vase entries are succinct, listing only the city, museum inventory number, and abbreviated publications with illustrations.
Following up on the Ashmolean vase (p. 5: 49) one finds up-to-date references to publications like LIMC and the recent exhibition catalogue of vases from Gela Ta Attika (2003) but surprisingly none of the references included in the latter, namely an important article by the curator Michael Vickers on vases acquired by Sir Arthur Evans in Sicily for the Ashmolean of which the Kerkopes lekythos is one. This reviewer notes the inclusion of her and Oakley’s Coming of Age in Ancient Greece exhibition catalogue in the list of added publications, but there were no Attic black-figured lekythoi in the show. Two lekythoi illustrated in the catalogue are not referenced: the Sandal Painter’s name vase (Bologna PU 204) has no entry at all; the lekythos in Athens (p. 28: 217.28) that illustrates the return of the boy Achilles to Peleus is listed but our exhibit catalogue is not cited. And speaking of catalogues, there is no listing for Goddess and Polis, which included three black-figure lekythoi: the Athena Painter’s lekythos with Athena in Kansas City (p. 52: 257.74); the Michigan Painter’s lekythos with athletes in New York (p. 6: 55); the Athena Painter’s lekythos with hieropoioi in Buffalo (p. 61: 256.34). Ironically the entry for this last vase lists “Neils, Goddess and Polis” although it does not appear in the list of abbreviations.1 One wonders if some references were inadvertently dropped out in the final manuscript?
Groups of lekythoi that have been thoroughly studied of late, such as the Phanyllis Class published in extenso by Giudice or the Painter of the Half-Palmettes elucidated by Lissarrague, are given the relevant citations. However, because this book provides new bibliography only for vases already in Haspels and Beazley, all of the numerous new additions to such groups or painters are omitted, making this a less than optimum reference tool. In the end scholars researching Greek vases will turn only to the Beazley Archive’s on-line database, which hopefully will maintain up-to-date and accurate entries (an effort that can be assisted by users who email addenda and corrigenda to the archive director, Thomas Mannack, firstname.lastname@example.org). The book concludes with an index of collections, so one can readily find a particular vase by its museum number.
1. For the purposes of this brief review I spot-checked a few of my own publications. To these could be added my The Parthenon Frieze (2001) the citation to which on p. 59 (519.15) mistakes the page number for the Theseus Painter’s oinochoe in Uppsala; it should read “155” not “115”.