3 Pages

Classical Studies
Course Code
Classical Studies 3400E
Chris Piper

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1 Source Problems: I. Literary All our authors are elite males, and therefore present only a certain (very limited) viewpoint. Each literary genre has its own specific problems: satire may exaggerate social ills or situations for its own purposes, for example. Love poets look more favorably on sexual practices than the moralists. Most tend to proscribe the same sorts of sexual activities (such as fellatio). The study of sexual content in ancient art may counteract this prohibition to some degree, and it is one of the course objectives to compare and contrast literary and artistic evidence. II. Artistic A. Vase Painting There are two kinds of vases or pots, for our purposes: Athenian Black Figure and Athenian Red Figure (ABF, ARF, or Black Figure/ Red Figure). Technology: Athenian clay turned a warm deep reddish-orange when fired. Pots were made in several pieces (body, spout, foot, handles). The pieces were allowed to partially dry, then put together with slip (clay in liquid form). Decoration was achieved by special clay slips. The most important colors were black, white, and purplish-red. These color producing- slips were applied with different kinds of brushes and then fired (an all-important step) in the kiln. The body of the pot turned red, and "painted" parts black/white/purple in the course of firing, depending on the temperature of the kiln and the amount of oxygen inside. Early vase-painting was black-figured (figures are silhouette); women are white- limbed. Red-figured painting is just the reverse of black-figure. The background is black and the figures are the color of the clay, contoured or detailed by lines. Red-figure pottery has more emphasis on clothing and flowing drapery, and it is the type in which we see 2 more depictions of sexual activity. Functions of vases: amphorae for storing, kraters for mixing, kylikes for drinking, etc. Sexual scenes often occur on certain types of pots. See handout. B. Sculpture: marble We will also be looking at sculpture for evidence of body ideals, beauty, and sexual practices. Technology: Lifesize statues in Greece were always a luxury; transport was expensive; the statue might take a year to make. Marmaros is derived from the verb marmarein, "to shine or sparkle;" marble bodies
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