The Hunt in Ancient Greece
Hunting and its imagery continued to play a significant role in archaic and classical Greece long after hunting had ceased being a necessity for survival in everyday life. Drawing on vase paintings, sculpture, inscriptions, and other literary evidence, Judith Barringer reexamines the theme of the hunt and shows how the tradition it depicts helped maintain the dominance of the ruling social groups.
Along with athletics and battle, hunting was a defining activity of the masculine aristocracy and was crucial to the efforts of the Athenian elite to control the social agenda, even as their political power declined. The Hunt in Ancient Greece examines descriptions of hunting in initiation rituals as well as the ideals of masculinity and adulthood such rites of passage promoted. Barringer argues that depictions of the hunt in literature and art also served as striking metaphors for the intricacies of courtship, shedding light on sexuality and gender roles. Through an exploration of various representations of the hunt, Barringer provides extraordinary insight into Athenian society.