Course # 01:090:295:H1
Index # 06614
Monday 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Campus: College Avenue
Location: HC-S124
Professor Bice Peruzzi (Classics)

Attic pottery is one of the largest dataset for the study of ancient Greece: it was used in homes, temples, and tombs, and its decoration gives us insights on many aspects of Greek culture, from religion to gender roles. However, most Greek vases displayed in modern museums do not come from Greece. These pots were, in fact, widely exported in the Mediterranean over the course of several centuries, and have been found in Italy, France, Spain and beyond. With these vases, also travelled the stories that were depicted on them.

This class explores the cultural significance of Attic pots in different geographical and social contexts, highlighting how different social groups related to them and how that affected the meaning of the vases. Traditionally, the presence of Greek vases abroad has been interpreted as a sign of “hellenization” (the process of becoming more Greek-like); however, more recent scholarship has focused on the agency of the locals in selecting specific shapes or decorations that better fit their values and practices. As Michael Dietler noted, Attic pots were (metaphorically) “empty vessels” that could be imbued with different meanings by the people who used them.

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