Greek Influence on Western Culture Essay - 796 Words
Archaeology provides important evidence for ancient Greek dress, which was essential to the construction of social identities. Although no complete garments survive, preserved fragments of silk and embroideries indicate the elite status of the wearer. Jewelry, dress fasteners, toilet implements, perfume vessels, cosmetics, and mirrors are also important indicators of status and gender. The visual sources, including sculpture and vase-painting, depict men and women performing various dress practices. Although some practices, such as bathing and the use of perfumes, are common to both genders, others are specific to either men or women. The visual sources demonstrate other aspects of identity: age and social role are often indicated by hairstyle, whereas ethnicity is also conveyed by means of garments and body-modifications. Although dress is often considered a mundane aspect of culture, Professor Lee argues that dress provides unique insight into ancient Greek ideologies.
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By considering the backgrounds of these works, and comparing them directly we are able get a taste not only of the artistic styles of the time, but also a taste of ancient Greek culture....
Mireille Lee is Assistant Professor with the Departments of History of Art and Classical Studies at Vanderbilt University, and holds her degrees from Bryn Mawr (Ph.D.) and Occidental College. Her research interests include Greek art and archaeology, in particular the construction of gender in ancient visual and material culture. She has published widely on the social functions of dress in ancient Greece, including her volume Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Her current research focuses on ancient Greek mirrors as social objects.