Books of the month
May - 2022
SCENES OF EVERYDAY LIFE
In A guide to scenes of daily life on Athenian vases (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2020, 272 pages, paperback, US$34.95), John Oakley provides an extensive catalog of scenes of everyday life on Athenian vases dated between 630-320 BCE. These scenes were extracted from a variety of ceramic supports, from transportation jars (pithoi) to perfume bottles (lekythoi), fabricated through the three great Attic technical traditions (black-figure, red-figure, and white-ground). The sources are divided in ten thematic chapters, of which it is worth mentioning those that are concerned with the home and work spaces, city and countryside surroundings. This catalogue allows the visualization of forms and shapes of representation of the practices of subaltern groups and gives tools to question their degrees of representativeness and the conditions of production, consumption and use of these figurative objects.
SLAVERY IN LATE ANTIQUITY
Slavery in the Late Antique World, 150-700 CE (Cambridge University Press, 2022, Hardcover, 359 pages, $120), edited by Chris L. de Wet, Maijastina Kahlos, and Ville Vuolanto, is a collection of studies on the slavery and the living conditions of enslaved people in Late Antiquity in their cultural and geographical variations. The book is the result of the effort of a team made up of members from the United States, South Africa, Europe and Latin America. The authors put into perspective those enslaved in the peripheral regions of the Roman Empire and present comparative historical approaches, sources written in Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Latin and Greek, and a diversity of inscriptions and papyri. They also discuss the relationship between slavery and social discourses, gender, age group and ethnicity, among other topics. This diversity of themes, approaches and sources makes the work a great introduction to the most recent research on the subject in this specific historical period.