First Advisor

George Armantrout

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art History and University Honors


Art History


Other (Philosophy) in art, Arts, Ancient -- Greece, Art, Greek -- Themes, motives, Women in art, Femininity in art




The mythological Amazon represents the opposite of Greek ideals, contrasting the Ancient Greek identity and their societal ideals. In this thesis, I reconsider the role of the Amazon in Greek art between 750 and 400 BCE with particular focus on costume as an indication of a gendered and ethnic Other. This construction of the Other is conveyed through poetic description and visual motif in the minor arts. Responding to previous discourse, I will provide an alternative exploration of Athenian propensity to relegate unwanted foreign traits into the portrayal of the Amazon. The illustrated clothing is adapted to the scope of local knowledge on foreign customs, limited initially to neighboring East Greeks, and encompassing Scythian archers towards 550. The Amazon represents the Persian enemy metaphorically in public art under Perikles following the Persian Wars. Depicting the feminine Amazon as an eastern enemy is a realization of internal and external threats of infiltration challenging Greek cultural standards. By 450, the mythological Amazon's identity is that of the feminine barbarian constructed in response to apprehensions of domestic and foreign peril of the Greek state.


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