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Catalog Archive / Spring 2020

A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Laura McClure, Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell, and Matthew Roller, Series Editors

“John Oakley's many books have illuminated virtually every aspect of Athenian black- and red-figure vase-painting. Here he presents a panoramic view of day-to-day life in the ancient city as reflected on some of the finest vases. The book is as entertaining as it is authoritative.”
—Alan Shapiro, John Hopkins University

Painted vases are the richest and most complex images that remain from ancient Greece. Over the past decades, a great deal has been written on ancient art that portrays myths and rituals. Less has been written on scenes of daily life, and what has been written has been tucked away in hard-to-find books and journals. A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases synthesizes this material and expands it: it is the first comprehensive volume to present visual representations of everything from pets and children's games to drunken revelry and funerary rituals.

John H. Oakley's clear, accessible writing provides sound information with just the right amount of detail. Specialists of Greek art will welcome this book for its text and illustrations. This guide is an essential and much-needed reference for scholars and an ideal sourcebook for classics and art history.


John H. Oakley. John H. Oakley is the Chancellor Professor Emeritus and Forrest D. Murden, Jr. Professor Emeritus in the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary. He is co-author of Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past and the author of Picturing Death in Classical Athens: The Evidence of the White Lekythoi, The Greek Vase: The Art of the Storyteller, and many other books and articles.




“A clear and useful presentation of many areas of life in ancient Athens. Selecting Athenian vases as evidence is the perfect choice, because they survive in such large quantities and because their iconography is so rich and informative.”
—Tyler Jo Smith, University of Virginia

“A volume that gathers discussions, illustrations, and references while simultaneously addressing itself to a broad audience is long overdue. Among possible authors, John Oakley is without question the perfect person to write it.”
—Sheramy Bundrick, author of Athens, Etruria, and the Many Lives of Greek Figured Pottery

“One of the leading experts of Athenian figured vase painting, John Oakley offers a compendium of material relating to social life in archaic and classical Athens with the aim of making the visual evidence accessible to all. The book is lavishly illustrated: of the 248 images, 33 are superb colour plates. While many of its vases are familiar, less well-known examples appear, making it a valuable resource for the specialist as well as the student. . . . An excellent sourcebook, especially in view of the huge trove of images, many rarely seen, and the generous provision of excellent colour plates.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review



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Of Related Interest


Reset in Stone
Memory and reuse in Ancient Athens
Sarah A. Rous


Athens, Etruria, and the Many Lives of Greek Figured Pottery
Sheramy D. Bundrick

A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases: Cover art of an ancient Athenian vase, depicting a man and a cow in striking orange and black pigments, atop a gray background.

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August 2020
LC: 2019041251 NK
272 pp. 7 x 10
33 color, 215 b/w illus.

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Paper $34.95 S
ISBN 9780299327248
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Cloth $99.95 S
ISBN 9780299327200
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