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In no other art of antiquity do we come closer to the visual experience of the ancient Greeks that through their finely-wrought pottery – the subject is ‘a central one to classical archaeology and art, and dare not be ignored by students of any other ancient medium’. In this volume John Boardman explores the vases’ functions in Greek life and culture, and as messengers of style and subject. He relates the processes of identifying artists, the methods of making and decorating the vases, the artists’ lives and conduct in the potters’ quarter in Greek towns, and the ways in which their wares were traded far beyond the borders of the Greek world, from Morocco to Persia, from Russia to the Sudan. Boardman demonstrates that the scenes figured on the vases reflected not simply on story-telling, but on the politics and social order of the day; moreover, they exercised a style of narrative in art that was to resonate throughout Western culture for centuries to come.