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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ancient Greek Footwear

The article focuses on the different types of footwear worn by ancient Greeks. The ancient Greek names of sandals, shoes, boots and slippers are given with relevant citations from passages of ancient writers. The names of footwear are considered according to five small groups, devoted to those known from the early archaic ripe and late archaic, the classical, the Hellenistic and the Roman period, respectively. Then, visual evidence on ancient sandals, shoes and boots is considered and representations in vase-painting, reliefs and statues are examined. Furthermore, the influence of the general artistic trends throughout antiquity -especially that of the Near-East styles on the changing types of Greek footwear, and sandals in particular – is considered, while the most reliable conclusion on the correspondence between the ancient names and the important types known from visual evidence is presented. Finally, an attempt is made to justify the habit of dressing of certain figures of the Greek myths or of the everyday life – depicted in visual arts- with specific types of footwear.