The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Horses and Horsemanship in the Athenian Agora

by John McK. Camp II

Agora Picture Book 24
40 pp, b/w figs
5.5" x 8.5"
Paper, ISBN: 978-0-87661-639-0
Publication Date: Nov 1998
Status: Active

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Description:
This concise and beautifully illustrated book demonstrates the many roles played by the horse in the lives of the Greeks, from its place in myth and early history to its significance as a marker of social status and its use in warfare, transportation, games, and festivals. From their arrival in Greece, at the start of the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 2000 B.C.), horses were a powerful symbol of rank. Bridles and other horse trappings are often found in graves, alongside vases depicting horses grazing, racing, and parading. Sculpture is also full of horse imagery, from monumental equestrian statues (a bronze leg and gilded sword are all that remain from one of these) to tiny terracotta figurines, perhaps the toys of a child. As well as presenting many examples of horse imagery found in the Agora, the author reports on recent finds near the ancient hipparcheion, the stables of the Athenian cavalry.

About the Author: John McK. Camp II is Director of Excavations at the Athenian Agora and Professor of Classics at Randolph-Macon College.