Abstract: Go Spartans: Girls’ Athletics in Ancient Greece

Lecturer: Jenifer Neils

Given the paucity of imagery of Sparta’s legendary beautiful women, this lecture posits some Attic red-figure vase paintings as possible representations of young Laconian females as seen from an Athenian perspective.  Beginning with athletics where Spartan girls are most readily identifiable, this article goes on to consider rare images of girls racing chariots, drinking wine, going to school and being courted by older women.  Ranging in date from the late sixth to the end of the fifth century B.C., these paintings illustrate the Athenians’ fascination with their Greek rivals, as evidenced also by the character of Lampito in Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata.

Featured Lecturer

Professor Andrea M. Berlin is the James R. Wiseman Chair in Classical Archaeology at Boston University. She received an MA in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology from the University of Chicago’s... Read More

Upcoming Events

List an Event

Dig Deeper

Email the AIA
Subscribe to the AIA e-Update

Sign Up!