Abstract: Children in Wartime: Ancient Athens and Modern Europe


This lecture considers the depiction of children in Athenian funerary art during the time of the Peloponnesian War - 431-404 BC. A close examination, particularly of grave reliefs and white-ground lekythoi, demonstrates how there was a sudden increase of interest in representing children at this time. This new interest, the speaker suggests, is due to the effects of the war, when the life of each child became more important for the continuation of the polis. Wars produced a similar situation in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century and resulted in pro-child movements that were likewise reflected in art and literature.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

J. Neils and J.H. Oakley, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece (2003)

J.H. Oakley, Picturing Death in Classical Athens: The Evidence of the White Lekythoi (2004)

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