Hippos: The Horse in Ancient Athens

edited by Jenifer Neils and Shannon M. Dunn

288 pp, 115 color and b/w figs
8.26" x 11.02"
Paper, ISBN: 978-960-99945-6-9
Publication Date: Jan 2023
Status: Active

Retail Price $40



Hippos delves deeply into all aspects of ancient Athenian horsemanship, from the scientific analysis of a horse skeleton recently excavated at Phaleron to the roles of horses in Greek religion. Major discussion is devoted to hippotrophia, the training of equines, their competitive activities in horse racing, and their important role in the cavalry. This richly illustrated book consists of over 40 short essays on diverse topics such as the practices for naming of Athenian horses, their appearance on the city’s coinage, the make-up of a chariot, the advice of the Athenian cavalry commander Xenophon, the cavalry inspection, and the possible appearance of horses on the Greek stage.

This bilingual volume is the result of an exhibition held at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 2022. All of the objects in the exhibit are included, from small silver coins to large marble memorials for slain cavalry officers. Many of the artifacts documenting the Athenian cavalry come from wells in the Athenian Agora. Horse racing was a passion of all Greeks, but only Athens had a hero (Hippothoon) suckled by a mare. This books makes clear that hippomania was rampant in ancient Athens, just as Aristophanes implied in his comedies.

About the Author: Jenifer Neils is the former director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Shannon M. Dunn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College.

". . . a didactic, intelligent, and effective compilation of a wide range of questions about the horse and horsemanship in ancient Athens and many other Greek contexts." Raimon Graells i Fabregat, AJA 128.3 (2024)

"Das besprochene Begleitbuch ist hervorragend und verdient eine entsprechende Würdigung im Rahmen der zahlreichen Aktivitäten (Ausstellung, Vorträge, Webseite usw.), die die Veranstaltung der American School at Athens begleiteten." Věra Klontza, Bonner Jahrbücher 222 (2022)