skip to content

Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Strangford Shield

This is a reduced version, made of marble in Roman times, of the shield of the Athena in the Parthenon by Pheidias. The reliefs depicted on it are a Gorgon’s head in the centre, surrounded by groups of fighting Greeks and Amazons.

The Roman scholar Plutarch writes, describing the original cult statue, not this copy, that the bald figure with his arms raised, just below the middle of the shield, is a self-portrait by Pheidias. Less plausibly he also claims that the figure to our right of Pheidias, with his face hidden, is a portrait of Perikles, who was responsible for the building programme that included the Parthenon.

There are traces of paint on the original, and the all-action style is very different to the more controlled action we see on the Parthenon friezes and pediments

Pentelic marble (?)
Location of Original: 

London British Museum 302


Purchased by the Fitzwilliam Museum from Brucciani. Transferred to the Museum in 1884


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 147 (n.3)
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), 218
Richter: Three Critical Periods in Greek Sculpture, 10-11 & n.4, figs.10-13
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 56, no.254
Lawrence: Classical Sculpture (1928), 196
Ras, S: Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique LXVIII-LXIX (1944-5), 163-
Pliny: Natural History XXXVI.18
Hurwit: The Athenian Acropolis (1999), 187

Roman. Original c.440 BCE
Of original: Pheidias

Taken from Athens by Viscount Strangford

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