The Symposium in Context: Pottery from a Late Archaic House near the Athenian Agora

by Kathleen M. Lynch

Hesperia Supplement 46
400 pp, 24 col and 258 bw figs, 15 tables
8.5" x 11"
Paper, ISBN: 978-0-87661-546-1
Publication Date: Oct 2011
Status: Active

Retail Price $75


This book presents the first well-preserved set of sympotic pottery which served a Late Archaic house in the Athenian Agora. The deposit contains household and fine-ware pottery, nearly all the figured pieces of which are forms associated with communal drinking. Since it comes from a single house, the pottery also reflects purchasing patterns and thematic preferences of the homeowner. The multifaceted approach adopted in this book shows that meaning and use are inherently related, and that through archaeology one can restore a context of use for a class of objects frequently studied in isolation.

Winner of the 2013 James R. Wiseman Book Award given by the Archaeological Institute of America.

About the Author: Kathleen M. Lynch is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati.

"The precision of Lynch's questions and the concreteness of her observations mean that this monograph is far more than an exemplary publication of a single lucky find. It offers perhaps the best available introduction to the study of the basic rituals of the symposion and enables us to penetrate beyond the often ambiguous evidence of iconography or literature to the level of the reality that they reflect." Oswyn Murray, Mouseion 12.2 (2012), pp. 243-246

"This is an exemplary study, a very thorough, painstaking endeavor that enables the interested reader to gain valuable information about the household of an Athenian citizen (and his family) during the turbulent time of the Persian War and a bit beyond. It is a welcome glimpse into an aspect of the ancient Greek past that is often very elusive." Mary B. Moore, BMCR 2012.07.40

"The Symposium in Context is a thorough (and beautifully produced) study with scrupulous attention to detail, notable for its exploration and integration of a significant body of ceramic and some other materials within their archaeological context." Margaret C. Miller, AJA 117.3 (2013)