The name vase of the Phineus painter in Würzburg is the largest of all known Chalcidian cups. Dated
c. 530, it is also one of the most important narrative works of art of the sixth century (PLATE V). Accordingly, it is scarcely surprising that the vase itself has been often described and interpreted. If we offer now a further analysis, it is rather to exemplify and elaborate the judgment of Erika Simon that ‘the vase has the same charm as the fragments of archaic lyric’. In fact, we believe that the vase provides us with a closer and more interesting parallel to archaic lyric than has been realized, and at the same time allows us to perceive that the artist was deliberately attempting to provide us not just with a mythical history, but more specifically with an exemplum, a story from which we are required to make a deduction by analogy, or with an ainos, a story where the point is not explicitly stated, both well known features of archaic narrative.