Boys Leading Rams to Sacrifice, North Frieze, Block 4, Parthenon
Unknown Greek Artist
ca. 442 BCE - 438 BCE
5th century BCE
40 x 43 x 4 in. (101.6 x 109.22 x 10.16 cm)
Medium and Support:
Plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Gift of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bellarmine Hall Cast Corridor
This scene, from block 4 of the North Frieze, represents events related to the sacrifice for the Panathenaia. A procession of four bulls and four rams being brought to sacrifice appears in the four blocks closest to the east end of the frieze. The depiction is solemn as the procession moves at a stately walk.
Sources tell us that ancient Athenian law required the offering of a ewe to Pandrosus, daughter of Kekrops, the first king of Athens, whenever Athena received a cow. This offering is incorporated into the overall subject of sacrifice within the North (and the South) frieze.