skip to content

Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases


A Roman copy of a bronze original group by Myron.

The myth runs as follows. The goddess Athena invented the flute, but threw it away because it distorted her face to play it. Marsyas, a satyr, picked it up and having taught himself to play, rashly challenged Apollo to a musical contest. Needless to say the musical god Apollo won and Marsyas was killed for his cheek.

Here we see the bearded Marsyas gleefully spotting the musical instrument on the ground where Athena has thrown it. The story was a well-known one in the ancient Greek world, and the figures of Athena and Marsyas are seen in poses very similar to these on vase paintings and coins

Pentelic marble (?)
Location of Original: 

Rome, Vatican, Lateran 225


Purchased in 1884 from Malpieri of Rome


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 139 (n.9)
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), 209-, fig.584
Arias: Mirone, 18,1, pl. V.17-18, pl. VI.19
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 32, no.120
Lawrence: Classical Sculpture (1928), 180-, pl. 46.1
Rhys Carpenter: Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome XVIII (1941), 5-, pls. 2,3,5

c.130 CE. Original: c.450 BCE
Of original: Myron

Found on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in 1823

Search Casts

Use our search tools to search the Casts Archive

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

Every cast tells two stories.
One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.

We are open

Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 11am-2pm
Sat: 2-5pm (Univ. term-time only)
Sun & Mon: Closed

Closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue

Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402

Facebook Twitter

For an explanation of what personal information we gather when you visit the University’s website and details of how that information is used please see the following University Privacy policy:

Copyright statement

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. Permission is required to reproduce our images.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.

Important Information

Museum of Classical Archaeology Web Accessibility Statement