Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome View larger

Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome



MI-75. Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome

Véronique Dasen & Marco Vespa (eds), 2022, 266 p., ill. coul. (ISBN : 978-2-35518-129-0).

Crédit photo : Bronze statuette of a male youth with spinning top (H. 36 cm), from Coll. Loeb, 350-325 BCE, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Munich, inv. SL 25.
Photo Renate Kühling, Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Munich. 

diffusion : Editions Mergoil.

Published with the support of the European Research Council (ERC) as part of the ERC Advanced Grant Locus Ludi.

The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement # 741520)

The book is available in Open Access on this page.

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Resume :

The research led by the ERC AdG project Locus Ludi. The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity has focused on the cultural dimension of toys in ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome. This multidisciplinary book brings together twenty articles that encompass the perspectives of philologists, archaeologists, historians, semioticians and anthropologists in order to provide a
new way of considering toys as cultural artefacts in Classical antiquity. A first series of contributions, mainly textual, proposes a detailed analysis of discursive contexts associating toys with various terms and cultural experiences that relate to the sphere of pleasure and emotion, but without defining materiality. The second series of articles examines the archaeological traces of playthings, often very modest. They invite us to deconstruct a modern vision of toys and play too narrowly reduced to objects manufactured by adults for children. Finally, historians, semiologists and anthropologists propose a different way of thinking about the categories of the past, inscribed in a long period of time made up of continuities and discontinuities.

Avec les contributions de : 

Angela Bellia, Tatiana Bur, Daniela Costanzo, Véronique Dasen, Anna Maria D’Onofrio, Éric Dieu, Astrid Fendt, Lucia Floridi, Cleo Gougoulis, Claudia Lambrugo, Sophie Laribi-Glaudel, Michel Manson, Paola Francesca Moretti, Cecilia Nobili, Ioanna Patera, Brigitte Röder, Jean-Pierre Rossie, Victoria Sabetai, Mattia Thibault, Marco Vespa, Claudia Zichi.


Toys and Play Experience in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome.
An Introduction
Véronique Dasen & Marco Vespa


Les désignations du « jouet » en grec ancien et en latin
Éric Dieu

Ludicrum, a Word for “Toy, Plaything”. Some Remarks on its Origin and Use
Paola Moretti

Toying with Philosophy: The Wonderous Puppet in Plato’s Laws
Claudia Zichi

Persephones’ kalon athyrma. Toys, Ornaments and the Marvel of Music
Cecilia Nobili

Ἐράσμιον αἰὲν ἄθυρμα. Toys, Slaves, and Erotic Objects
Lucia Floridi

Paignia : jeux et jouets d’enfants, d’adultes et fêtes religieuses
Ioanna Patera

Airing the Ludic: on the Playful and Embodied Qualities of Ancient Pneumatics
Tatiana Bur

Les consécrations de jouets dans les sanctuaires du monde grec entre littérature et épigraphie aux époques classique et hellénistique
Sophie Laribi-Glaudel


A Stacker Toy from Eretria (and a Collection of Little Cups).
A New Look at Old Finds
Anna Maria D’Onofrio

‘Playing’ with Stones. Stone Pebbles in the Greek World: Game Pieces, Tools, or Ritual Objects?
Claudia Lambrugo

Games and Toys in Context: Problems and Methods of Interpretation.
Some Case Studies from Magna Graecia and Sicily
Daniela Costanzo

Τhe Archaeology of Play in Boeotia. A Contribution to the Ludic Culture of a Greek Region
Victoria Sabetai

‘Rite de Passage’ or Special Ability? The Bronze Statuette of a Boy Holding a Whipping Top in the Munich Collections of Antiquities
Astrid Fendt

Dancing with a Ball
Angela Bellia


Le cheval bâton de l’Antiquité à la Renaissance. Mutations du regard sur l’enfance et ses jouets
Michel Manson

Vegetal Material in Moroccan Children’s Toy and Play Culture
Jean-Pierre Rossie

From άθυρμα and παίγνιον to παιχνίδι. Defining Toys in Modern Greece
Cleo Gougoulis

Toys, Toying, Toyish: The Semiotics of Objectual Play
Mattia Thibault


Do Finds Tell Stories? Yes: our Own! The Example of Prehistoric Toys
Brigitte Röder



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