Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to page footer

Department of History and Archaeology


Spring Semester, Optional module, 10 ECTS

Instructor: Stylianos E. Katakis


This course examines an important category of Greek art, the sculpture in the round and in relief, from the Archaic till the end of the Hellenistic period about 30 BC. The students, who will have already attested the core module “Visual Cultures of Classical Greece”, will now study thoroughly specific issues concerning the use of sculptural works as cult images, as votive offerings, as grave monuments and as part of architectural settings. Emphasis will be given to the original sculpture kept in the Athenian museums with the most rich and valuable collections around the world; a great advantage that we are going to exploit.

Note: The course includes visits to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the New Acropolis Museum and the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, as well as the Collection of Casts in the University Museum.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be familiar with:

  • the basic forms of Greek sculpture, their use and meaning,
  • the methods of recognize, date and interpret a sculpture or a group of sculptures.

They should also be able to:

  • use and combine data from different sources for an holistic study of sculpture. 
  • create and express their own opinions about sculpture as a means to learn more about ancient Greek society: politics, economics, everyday life, religion, cult and customs.


Essay (3,500-5,000 words). A list of indicative topics will be provided, but students are strongly encouraged to discuss and personalize the essay topic with the course coordinator. Students will additionally have the option to select a specific statue from the National Archaeological Museum or the New Acropolis Museum and make a short oral presentation on the spot. 


Palagia, O. and J.J. Pollitt (eds.) 1996. Personal Styles in Greek Sculpture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Queyrel, F. 2016. La sculpture hellénistique. Formes, thèmes et fonctions. Paris: Editions Picard.

Ridgway, B.S. 1981. Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Spivey, N. 1996. Understanding Greek Sculpture. Ancient Meanings, Modern Readings. London: Thames and Hudson.