Boscoreale Cup Resources

  • I am wondering if anyone has more and better copies of photos of the Boscoreale Cup. (For those who don't know, this image of the cup shows Epicurus on the right with the pig at his feet, and Zeno the stoic on the left pointing the accusing hand at Epicurus.) This image attached is the best that I have, but it is rotated in such a way that the image behind Epicurus is invisible, and I wonder if it might be related to Epicurus just like the tripod with bread and the leaping pig at his feet in front of him are related.

    There are also word inscriptions associated with the characters that would be helpful to identify and translate.

    Doe anyone have links to resources with better pictures that might help with this? It has been some time since we talked about this here and I wonder if there are any new resources (or good links to old ones).

    The best photo I have of Epicurus on the Boscoreale cup is here.

    No photo description available.

    At one point I found this description: "The Boscoreale treasure included this cup which reputedly has Epicurean maxims engraved along with the skeletons. A Latin inscription on the base of one of the cups gives their weight and the name of their owner, Gavia. Greek inscriptions engraved in dots form captions, and are accompanied by Epicurean maxims such as: “Enjoy life while you can, for tomorrow is uncertain.” Clotho, one of the Fates, looks on as Menander, Euripides, Archilochus, Monimus the Cynic, Demetrius of Phalera, Sophocles, and Moschion provide a caustic and ironic illustration of the fragility and vanity of the human condition. But the main message of the cups’ decoration is that life should be enjoyed to the full: Zeno and Epicurus, the founders of the Stoic and Epicurean philosophies in the 4th century BC, confront each other before two mating dogs—a detail of some significance, as it represents the triumph of Epicureanism."

    This page has useful information, including this labeled picture - There is clearly something behind Epicurus and between him and the next skeleton --…xjy1Pf8QN5zLSqJ8hzLmAyQU/

    I see something that looks like an out-of-proportion fig, with a stem, on the ground behind Epicurus. It's too large to match the scene, but maybe had to be in order to be visible. Epicurus clearly has a staff in his hand, so the object would not likely be another staff. But until we get a head-on view of that object it's hard to say.

    More links:


    A copy which has a better view, but it is a reproduction and missing detail:…Q6H8ua1AnYAiBw0pQHIVKnuDw…1DSPdVZZrCeMyUu5-X2u88uK4

    Thanks to Coatem Pantli for several of these links.

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “Photos” to “Boscoreale Cup Resources”.
  • I've found a side view of the cup, showing both a clear view of the walking stick as well as the object behind. This appears to me to be a column with a statue of a woman on top. Hard to say what's at the base of the column, or who the woman (goddess?) is.

    A more interesting question for me was the walking stick itself, as well as the bags carried by the philosophers. It seems that this represents the "wallet and staff" that marked out Cynicism, but was also a generic symbol for Greek philosophers.

  • In this magazine (…n70/mode/1up?view=theater) I've found a picture of the cup that may raise more questions that it solves ! :P The faces of the skeletons, the tripod or the pig's back leg aren't the same as in most of the cups pictures ! It might have been restored or damadged but the tripod is really different in the magazine. If you can read Greek, this photo might help though.