Artifacts from Ancient Greece

by Lee L. Brice


When Classical Greek objects and artifacts are properly analyzed, they serve as valuable primary sources for learning about ancient history.

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August 2020


Pages 320
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics World History/Culture
  World History/General
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What objects would have been familiar to people living in Classical Greek society more than two millennia ago? This book shows readers what life in ancient Greece was like through artifacts from domestic life, religion, politics, transportation, entertainment, and more.

There are no photographic images or video clips of events that document the Classical Greek period from more than 2,000 years ago. But through the careful examination of artifacts from that long-ago time, it is possible to get a clear sense of what life was like. Artifacts from Ancient Greece provides an opportunity to investigate key aspects of everyday life in Classical Greece, from childhood through death. Each artifact is discussed in depth to explain its place in Greek culture and how it was used.

During this period, Athens built its greatest temples, started its philosophical movements, and reached its high point in theater, literature, and historical works. However, the selection of artifacts draws from a wide sample of society in order to avoid focusing only on the lives of the rich. The book begins with an explanation of the concept of using artifacts to understand and "see" the past and provides a primer for effectively analyzing artifacts. Readers can examine images of artifacts, consider relevant primary sources, and read detailed explanations of each item's historical context.


  • Provides students with the opportunity to analyze and interpret both artifacts and primary sources, making this book an excellent complement to curricula that are increasing their focus on the use of a variety of primary sources
  • Allows readers to assemble a cohesive overall impression of Classical Greek life and society through artifacts that range from a legionary weapon and a medical scalpel to a wax tablet for writing, a bread oven, and a sundial
  • Includes primary source documents such as excerpts of histories, biographies, legal texts, inscriptions, medical texts, plays, and works of poetry
Series Description

Daily Life through Artifacts

Daily Life through Artifacts presents a collection of objects and artifacts from daily life that shed light on key aspects of social life and culture for specific historical periods or topics. Each artifact is illustrated with large images, showing interesting detail and allowing for close-up study. The series serves to demonstrate how objects and artifacts can be "read" as primary sources to provide greater insight into the people and societies who created and used them. Each title in the series provides guidance with the background material for these objects as well as guidance on how to analyze an object or artifact. Readers will not only learn about the daily life of past societies but also gain the skills of observation and assessment needed to analyze the objects and draw meaningful conclusions from them about their context and significance.
Author Info

Lee L. Brice, PhD, is professor of ancient history at Western Illinois University. Trained in history, archaeology, and classics, he specializes in military history in the ancient world and in Corinthian silver coinage. He has published five edited volumes on ancient warfare and history, including Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean World, ABC-CLIO's Warfare in the Roman Republic: From the Etruscan Wars to the Battle of Actium and Greek Warfare: From the Battle of Marathon to the Conquests of Alexander the Great, as well as articles and chapters on mutiny, teaching history, experimental history, the Athenian expedition to Sicily, Alexander the Great, and the coins of ancient Corinth. Brice is series editor for Brill's Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean.

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