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Case 4: Classical Athens 540–400 BC

Pots and parties


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Drinking cup (kylix): Party Manners

Many of the vivid details here, like the couches for two, the wreaths or the kicked-off shoes, are common to most Greek party scenes. But what about the naked girl? Is she flirting with the drinkers or trying to ignore them? One drinker vomits: was this acceptable behaviour? The scenes may have encouraged the drinkers to reflect on their own behaviour, in terms of both sexual desires and alcohol consumption.

This vase was painted by a craftsman known today as the 'Foundry Painter'.

Production place: Athens
Date: around  480 BC
Fired Clay, red-figure technique
On loan from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Lewis Collection

Object Number: Loan Ant.103.18

see the online collections database




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Drinking cup (kylix): Techniques of courting

How to attract young men was certainly a topic of party conversation. This cup raises questions about how to dress and what to offer. The bald-headed 'suitors' are shabbily attired in rather short tunics and bring a wide range of gifts. But will the young man be attracted by a long-necked bird or a set of writing tablets? And who are the suitors anyway? Their bald heads, horse-like ears and capering movements suggest they may be satyrs, the sexually uncontrollable followers of the wine-god Dionysos.

This vase was painted by a craftsman known today as the 'Kodros Painter'.

Production place: Athens
Date: around  440–430 BC
Fired Clay, red-figure technique

Object Number: GR.2.1977

see the online collections database




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693086905268955
656206930169536
705906570868602
656256561669346