Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians

A disrobed Hercules seduces Auge (a virginal priestess of Athena) in the raised relief on the bottom of this fourth-century B.C. silver bowl. (As a result of the seduction, Auge gives birth to Telephos, who, somewhat like Oedipus, is separated from his parents, grows up to kill his grandfather and almost marries his own mother.) Auge’s name is incised in Greek directly above her head, and a short inscription reading “common” or “it is obvious” appears just to the left of Hercules, suggesting that the scene was intended as a reminder for maidens not to forsake their sacred duties.