No. D 220
Date Range: 180-160 BC
Material: Proconnesian marble
Total length 110 m, H. 2,30 m
Collection: Berlin, Pergamon Museum

  • General view
  • Athena and Alkyoneus
  • Nike and Gaia

When Zeus imprisoned Gaia´s (Earth) children, the Titans, she encouraged her other children the Giants to fight against the Olympian Gods. The Giants were huge with a human upper body and were serpent-footed. The frieze of the altar illustrates the battle between the Olympians and the Giants (Gigantomachy). The specific fragment of the frieze (part of the east frieze) shows a heated scene between the opponents. On the right Athena sheared the hair of the Giant Alcyoneus and disjoin him from earth. According to the myth this was required, since he stayed immortal as long as he was bound with his mother Earth.  Also Gaia participate in this battle. The mother, whose facial expressions are designated from affliction,  protrudes from the ground in order to help her son by holding off goddess Athena. On the right Nike holds a crown over the head of Athena, as a symbol for the victory of the Olympians.

(A.G.)

Bibliography

W. Fuchs, Die Skulpturen der Griechen4 (München 1993) 458-465
W. Radt, Pergamon. Geschichte und Bauten einer antiken Metropole (Darmstadt 1999) 168-180

Collections > Permanent Exhibition > Cast Collection > Greek Casts > Pergamon Altar. Frieze