An earlier blog, A laptop in ancient
? was a big joke as
it was meant to be, but during a recent visit to the Louvre-Lens music exhibition
I came across another “laptop” picture on an Attic red-figure oenochoe. This vase, dating from around
450-440 BC, shows the Muses Urania, Calliope and Melpomene, and is attributed
to the painter Methyse. It was found in Greece Etruria,
In order to recognize who is who, each Muse wears or holds her own attributes.
Urania was the Muse of Astronomy, usually holding a celestial globe and pointing to the stars with her little rod – maybe the seated figure in the center?
Calliope was the Muse of Music and poetry who normally holds a writing tablet in her hand. So she could be the figure on the left with what appears to be a laptop, right?
The third Muse Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy is usually portrayed with a tragic theater mask or a sword but the figure on the far right of this oenochoe looks more like playing an aulos (double flute).
Well, whatever the total picture, I have no problem identifying the left figure as Calliope who is not opening her writing tablet as we would open a book but she is holding it horizontally and opens it upwards.
Truly we should not take everything at face value!