Universität Wien

090108 SE Greeks and Barbarians: Race in Ancient Greek Art (2020W)

8.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 9 - Altertumswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Update am 15.11.2020: Aufgrund der allgemeinen COVID19-Beschränkungen ist es bis zum Ende des Semesters leider nicht mehr möglich, den Seminarraum als Aufenthaltsort während des Seminars zu nutzen.

Ab 16.10.2020 besteht für zum Seminar angemeldete Studierende die Möglichkeit den Seminarraum zur Teilnahme an der Lehrveranstaltung zu nutzen. Bitte beachten Sie, dass Ihr eigener Laptop (+ weitere Ausstattung wie Kopfhörer u.ä.) zu verwenden ist.

Friday 09.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 16.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 23.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 30.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 06.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 13.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 20.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 27.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 04.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 11.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 18.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 08.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 15.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 22.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital
Friday 29.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar examines the portrayal of race and ethnicity in Greek visual art.

This seminar will examine how Greeks and non-Greeks were portrayed in ancient Greek visual art between the Archaic and the early Hellenistic periods (c.700-200 BCE). During this period, Greek ideas about ethnicity and race changed dramatically, as did conventions for the visual representations of both Greeks and non-Greeks. Engaging critically with both modern and ancient theories of race and ethnicity, we will explore Greek depictions of Africans including Egyptians and Ethiopians; Asians including Persians and Indians; and northern barbarians including Gauls and Scythians. To do this, we will focus primarily on painted pottery, but will also consider depictions in a range of other media including decorative arts, relief sculpture, and freestanding sculpture.

This seminar will be taught entirely online, each week comprising an information video and guided activity (asynchronous), and one discussion seminar (synchronous).

Assessment and permitted materials

.) Oral presentation for 30 minutes in German or English followed by discussion (30%)
.) Active participation in weekly exercises (20%)
.) Written seminar paper 15 to 20 pages without illustrations in German or English (50%)

In addition the following will be considered: submission of the written work on time; presentation on the selected topic with PowerPoint presentation and written comment; written work on the selected topic.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Presentation - discussion - regular and active participation. Attendance is compulsory. A maximum of two absences is permitted, unless in the case of illness.

Examination topics

Reading list

Bindman, D. and H.L. Gates (eds). 2010. The Image of the Black in Western Art. Volume I: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of Rome. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Brinkmann, V. et al. 2017. Gods in Colour: Polychromy in the Ancient World. Prestel.
Cohen, B. (ed.) 2000. Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art. Leiden: Brill.
Lowenstam, S. 2008. As Witnessed by Images: The Trojan War Tradition in Greek and Etruscan Art. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
Miller, M. 2020. ‘Persians in the Greek Imagination’, Mediterranean Archaeology 19/20: 109-123.
Osborne, R. 2019. The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pollitt, J.J. 1986. Art in the Hellenistic Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Snowden, F.M. 1971. Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Further reading will be recommended during the course of the module.

Association in the course directory

Anrechenbar: im Fachbereich Griechische Archäologie;
im BA 2019: M14;
im BA 2011 - auslaufend: APM griech, gr. Vert., BM;
im MA 2019: PM1, PM3, PM4, PM5;
im MA 2008 - auslaufend: PM Gr-röm, SM A, SM B;

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:14