Hand Mirror, 470-450 B.C., Bronze
16.8 x 15.1 x 0.7 cm (6 5/8 x 6 x 5/16 in.)
The Art Institute, Chicago
Bronze hand mirrors like this one are a fairly frequently found luxury good, preserved in burials of high-status Etruscan women. (On the Etruscans, see my previous post on the canopic vase from Chiusi.) One side would have been highly polished to create a reflective surface; the other was often inscribed with a mythical scene. Here, we see the goddess Eos (Dawn) carrying the corpse of her son Memnon, a hero of the Trojan War who was killed by Achilles: his story was originally told in the lost epic, the Aethiopis, of which only summaries and fragments survive.