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Athéna à la ciste

4th century BC, resembling works by Cephisodotus the Elder. "Ciste" is "basket" in English, "kisthos" in Greek. In this sculpture, the serpent Ericthonius is rising from it. According to the "Bibliotheca", Athena visited Hephaestus to request some weapons, but Hephaestus tried to seduce her in his workshop. Athena fled, pursued by him. Despite his lameness, Hephaestus caught Athena and tried to rape her, but she fought him off. During the struggle, his semen fell on her thigh. Athena wiped it away with a scrap of wool and flung it to the earth, from which the serpent Erichthonius was born. Athena, wishing to raise the child in secret, placed him in a small basket.

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Taken on August 10, 2012