Professor Judith Barringer (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD)

Professor of Greek Art and Archaeology


I received my PhD in Classical Archaeology from Yale University and have taught at several colleges and universities in the USA. I joined the staff at the University of Edinburgh in 2005. My scholarly work centers on the archaeology, art, and culture of Greece, particularly the intersection between art, myth, and religion, from the Archaic through Hellenistic periods. More specifically, I am interested in why structures and images, particularly sculpture and vase painting, appear as they do and how they acquire meaning for ancient patrons and viewers from their physical and social contexts.

I have received numerous awards, including fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, a British Academy Larger Research Grant, a Senior Fellowship at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften in Vienna in 2011-2012, and a Marie Curie Fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung (2013-2015) at the Freie Universität in Berlin. I also was elected as a Korrespondierendes Mitglied des Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.

My publications concentrate on vase painting iconology, myth and religion, social history, and contextual readings of sculpture in both public sanctuaries and private contexts. My most recent monograph is Olympia: A Cultural History (Princeton University Press, 2021), and a collection of essays that I co-edited with François Lissarrague: Images at the Crossroads (Edinburgh University Press, 2022). My textbook, The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Cambridge University Press 2014) received the  PROSE (Professional Scholarly Excellence) Award for the best textbook in the Arts and Humanities from the American Association of Publishers (2016) and the Bolchazy Book Award (2018). Forthcoming is a volume co-edited with Gunnel Ekroth and David Scahill, Logistics in Greek Sanctuaries: Exploring the Human Experience of Visiting the Gods (Brill).

Undergraduate teaching

  • Greek World 1a
  • Greek World 1b
  • Greek Art and Archaeology
  • Early and Archaic Greek Art and Archaeology
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • Hellenistic Art
  • The Athenian Akropolis

Postgraduate teaching

  • Greek Vase Painting
  • Early and Archaic Greek Art and Archaeology
  • Hellenistic Art and Archaeology
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • The Athenian Akropolis

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Alex Magnani, PhD. 'The Mistress of the Animals in Archie and Classical Greek'. Primary Supervisor. 

Past PhD students supervised

Research summary



  • Mediterranean


  • Sanctuaries
  • Landscapes & Monuments
  • Material Culture
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Society


  • Antiquity


Research interests

Greek art and archaeology from the archaic through Hellenistic periods

Greek sanctuaries

Greek sculpture

Greek vase painting

Greek mythology

Greek religion



Current research interests

I am working on a new monograph, Seeking the Divine in a Faraway Place, concerning the relationship between western Greek cities and sanctuaries on the Greek mainland and Aegean islands from the 7th to 1st centuries B.C., and I am finishing up an article on Treasuries in Greek Sanctuaries. Research projects: Seeking the Divine in a Faraway Place

Knowledge exchange


2012 BBC series, Divine Women, part 2

2006 History Channel, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


Newspaper Interviews:






Judith Barringer, Olympia: A Cultural History. Princeton 2021.

Judith Barringer, The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece .Cambridge 2014.

Judith Barringer, Art, Myth, and Ritual in Classical Greece. Cambridge 2008.

Judith Barringer, The Hunt in Ancient Greece. Baltimore 2001.

Judith Barringer, Divine Escorts: Nereids in Archaic and Classical Greek Art. Ann Arbor 1995.


Edited Books

Judith Barringer, co-editor with Gunnel Ekroth and David Scahill, Logistics in Greek Sanctuaries: Exploring the Human Experience of Visiting the Gods. Leiden(forthcoming).

Judith Barringer, co-editor with François Lissarrague, Images at the Crossroads: Media and Meaning in Greek Art. Edinburgh 2022.

Judith Barringer, co-editor with Jeffrey M. Hurwit, Periklean Athens and its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives. Austin 2005.

Articles and Book Chapters

“Treasuries, Identity, and Politics.” In Memory, Ritual, and Identity in Ancient Greece and Rome, edited by William Hutton and Vassiliki Panoussi (forthcoming, De Gruyter)

“Aristocrats and Horses in Democratic Athens.” In Athenian Technē: Objects, Images, and Monuments in Context. Studies in Honor of Jenifer Neils, edited by D. Rogers, T. J. Smith, and A. Steiner (forthcoming, De Gruyter)

“Handworkers and Repair in Greek Sanctuaries”, in Logistics in Greek Sanctuaries, edited by G. Ekroth, J. Barringer, and D. Scahill (forthcoming, Brill).

“Olympia: Archaic and Classical Monuments”, in The Oxford Handbook of Greek Sanctuaries, edited by Catherine Keesling (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).

“Images of Greek Myth: Sanctuaries, Graves and Private Contexts: The Archaic and Classical Period”, in The Cambridge Guide to Greek Myth and the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by F. Meinel (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).

“The Message is in the Medium: White-Ground Lekythoi and Stone Grave Markers in Classical Athens”, in Images at the Crossroads: Media and Meaning in Greek Art, edited by F. Lissarrague and J. Barringer, 310-331. Edinburgh 2022.

“The Design of the Trysa Heroon and Narrative Structures”, in Das Heroon von Trysa, edited by A. Gottsmann und G. Plattner. Leiden 2022.

“Western Greek Poleis and Sanctuaries Abroad”, in Transmission and Organization of Knowledge in the Ancient Mediterranean World, Fourth Euro-Japanese Colloquium on the Ancient Mediterranean World, edited by Y. Suto, 149-162, Vienna 2021.

“When Does ‘Classical’ Begin?” in Innovations and Inventions in Athens ca. 530-470 B.C.—Two Crucial Generations, edited by M. Meyer, 49-56. Vienna 2020.

“Olympia: More Than Meets the Eye,”, Classics Ireland 19-20, 2012-2013 (published: 2016), 26-49.

“The Shefton Dolphin Rider”, in On the Fascination of Objects: Greek and Etruscan Art in the Shefton Collection, edited by J. Boardman and S. Waite, 117-130. Oxford 2015.

“The Changing Image of Zeus at Olympia”, Archäologischer Anzeiger 2015/1, 19-37.

“Athenian State Monuments for the War Dead: Evidence from a Loutrophoros”, In Approaching the Ancient Artifact: Representation, Narrative, and Function, edited by A. Avramidou and D. Demetriou, 153-160. Berlin 2014.

"Hunters and Hunting on the Francois Vase' in The Francois Vase: New Perspectives, ed. H. A. Shapiro, M. Iozzo, Kilchberg 2013.

“The Legacy of the Pheidian Zeus at Olympia”, in The Statue of Zeus of Olympia: New Perspectives, edited by T. Stevenson, S. Puttock, and J. McWilliam, 61-71. Cambridge 2011.

"Zeus in Olympia", in The Gods of Ancient Greece: Identities and Transformations, ed. A. Erskine, J. N. Bremmer, 155-177. Edinburgh 2010.

“The Olympic Altis Before the Temple of Zeus.” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 124 (2009) 223-250.

"Making Heroes in the Athenian Agora: A New Interpretation of the Hephaisteion," In Structure, Image, Ornament: Architectural Sculpture of the Greek World, edited by P. Schultz and R. von den Hoff, 105-120. Oxford 2009.

"The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Heroes, and Athletes", Hesperia (2005), 211-241.

"Alkamenes’ Prokne and Itys in Context", in Periklean Athens and its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives(University of Texas Press, 2005), 163-76.

"Skythian Hunters on Attic Vases", in Greek Vases, Images, and Controversies, Proceedings of the Conference Sponsored by the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean at Columbia University, 23-24 March 2002, Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 25, edited by C. Marconi, 13-25. Leiden 2004.

“Panathenaic Games and Panathenaic Amphorae Under Macedonian Rule", in O. Palagia and S. Tracy (eds.), The Macedonians in Athens, 323-229 BC , 243-56. Oxford 2003.

"Atalanta as Model: The Hunter and the Hunted", Classical Antiquity, 15 (1996), 48-76.

"The Mythological Paintings in the Macellum at Pompeii", Classical Antiquity, 13 (1994), 149-66.

"Europa and the Nereids: wedding or funeral?" American Journal of Archaeology, 95 (1991), 657-67.