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Archeologist discusses children depicted in art during wartime

Loyola press release - April 12, 2010

A visiting archeology professor will discuss the relevance of children depicted in art in times of war during a free lecture at Loyola University New Orleans on Wednesday, April 14.

John Oakley, Ph.D., a chancellor professor at the College of William & Mary, will examine the use of children in Athenian funerary art from the Peloponnesian War during his talk, “Children in Wartime: Ancient Athens and Modern Europe.” The event takes place Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Miller Hall, Room 114, and is presented as part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Martha Shark Joukowsky Lecture series. It is sponsored by the New Orleans Archaeological Society and Loyola’s classical studies program in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences.

According to Oakley, close examination of grave reliefs and lekythoi, Greek vessels used for holding oils, reveals there was a sudden increase of interest in representing children during the Peloponnesian War, 431-404 B.C.

“This new interest is due to the effects of the war, when the life of each child became more important for the continuation of the city-state,” said Oakley. “Wars produced a similar situation in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century and resulted in pro-child movements that were likewise reflected in art and literature.”

Oakley is the Forrest D. Murden Jr. Professor in the department of classical studies at the College of William & Mary. He received his doctorate from Rutgers University and specializes in Greek art and archaeology, Greek vase-painting and Roman sarcophagi. He has conducted fieldwork in England, Italy and Greece. Oakley has also taught as a visiting professor at Princeton University, L’Université Libre de Bruxelles and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.