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The Athenian Woman

An Iconographic Handbook

Sian Lewis (University of Delaware, United States)



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23 May 2002
Ceramics are an unparalleled resource for women's lives in ancient Greece, since they show a huge number of female types and activities. Yet it can be difficult to interpret the meanings of these images, especially when they seem to conflict with literary sources. This much-needed study shows that it is vital to see the vases as archaeology as well as art, since context is the key to understanding which images can stand as evidence for the real lives of women, and which should be reassessed. Sian Lewis considers the full range of female existence in classical Greece - childhood and old age, unfree and foreign status, and the ageless woman characteristic of Athenian red-figure painting. Specific topics investigated include domestic labour, women's work outside the household, seclusion, and relationships with men. Dr Lewis explores the reasons for the artistic focus on some areas of women's lives and the neglect of others. The text also engages with deeper issues of methodology and explores current debates about the portrayal of women in classical art. Accessible, informative and lavishly illustrated with more than 150 photographs and line drawings, The Athenian Woman is indispensable as a guide for students and a resource for academics in across the disciplines of ancient gender, ancient history and classical art and archaeology.
By:   Sian Lewis (University of Delaware United States)
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 174mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   748g
ISBN:   9780415232340
ISBN 10:   0415232341
Pages:   276
Publication Date:   23 May 2002
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction 1. Becoming visible 2. Domestic labour 3. Working women 4. The Women's room 5. Women and Men Conclusion

Reviews for The Athenian Woman: An Iconographic Handbook

'[The book encourages] us to think carefully about provenance in our interpretation of the vases and to use caution in our categorization of themes and images ... L[ewis] has done a tremendous service by calling attention to this lacuna in the scholarship.' - BMCR 'This is essential reading for anyone remotely interested in Greek social history, art and archaeology, or gender studies ... I shall certainly be putting it on a number of undergraduate reading lists.' - JACT Review

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