The Ancient Greece ClipArt gallery offers 349 illustration of Greek history, events, and scenes of everyday life. For related images, please see Greek Mythology, Greek Architecture, Greek Ornament, Greek Coins, Greek Vases, and the Ancient Greek Musical Instruments ClipArt galleries.

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

Gem

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

Gem

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

Gem

"Engraved Gem in the British Museum." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

This illustration shows various types of gladiators, each type with with his specific weapons attributed to him.
Gladiators were swordsmen whose profession was to fight for the public amusement. Gladiators are said to have been borrowed by Rome from the Etruscans. They were first exhibited in Rome in 246 BC, primarily at funerals, but afterwards at festivals, particularly those celebrated by the aediles and other magistrates. More than ten thousand were shown at Trajan's triumph over the Dacians. They were either free-born citizens, usually of a low class, who fought for hire, or captives, slaves, or malefactors, and were kept in schools, where they were carefully trained. Chief varieties were Andabatae, who wore helmets with no openings for the eyes, so that their blindfold movements provoked the spectators' mirth; Mirmillones, who used Gallic weapons, sword and shield; Retiarii, who carried a net and a three-pronged lance -- the net to entangle their opponents; and Thraces, who, like the Thracians, used a short sword and a round buckler. 
When a gladiator was severely wounded and defeated, the people cried out 'Habet' (He has it), and he lowered his arms; then, if the spectators wished his life to be spared, they turned their thumbs down; but it they desired his death, they turned them up. These combats were often attended by great cruelty and callousness on the part of the spectators; sometimes they were fights à outrance, none being spared alive. Discharged gladiators were presented with a rudis, or wooden sword, and hence were called rudiarii. Gladiatorial combats were disliked by the Greeks, and practically never took place in Greek cities.

Gladiators

This illustration shows various types of gladiators, each type with with his specific weapons attributed…

"Gold Intaglios from Mycenae" — Morey, 1903

Gold Intaglios

"Gold Intaglios from Mycenae" — Morey, 1903

"Designs on Gold Rings from Mycenae" — Morey, 1903

Gold Rings

"Designs on Gold Rings from Mycenae" — Morey, 1903

"A relief on the tomb of a certain Hegeso. It represents a woman, seated, taking a jewel from a casket held by an attendant."—Webster, 1913

An Athenian Gravestone

"A relief on the tomb of a certain Hegeso. It represents a woman, seated, taking a jewel from a casket…

"Represents the interior view of a bronze shield and a pair of greaves. These greaves are made right and left." — Anthon, 1891

Greaves and shield

"Represents the interior view of a bronze shield and a pair of greaves. These greaves are made right…

Armor used by the ancient Greeks in battle.

Grecian Armor

Armor used by the ancient Greeks in battle.

A sculpture constructed by an ancient Greek artist.

Grecian Sculpture

A sculpture constructed by an ancient Greek artist.

A Grecian Temple

Grecian Temple

A Grecian Temple

An ancient tomb constructed by the Greeks.

Grecian Tomb

An ancient tomb constructed by the Greeks.

A poster with important images and facts from the Heroic period (1400-1100 B.C.)

Greece Poster

A poster with important images and facts from the Heroic period (1400-1100 B.C.)

A poster with important images and facts from the period of glory (500-431 B.C.).

Greece Poster

A poster with important images and facts from the period of glory (500-431 B.C.).

A poster with important images and facts from the period of decline (431-146 B.C.).

Greece Poster

A poster with important images and facts from the period of decline (431-146 B.C.).

A scene from ancient Greece, possibly from a vase.

Scene from ancient Greece

A scene from ancient Greece, possibly from a vase.

Greek soldier wearing armor.

Greek armor

Greek soldier wearing armor.

A costume of an upper class Greek youth.

Greek Costume

A costume of an upper class Greek youth.

A poster with important images and facts of the Greek civilization.

Greek Poster

A poster with important images and facts of the Greek civilization.

A Greek shield.

Greek Shield

A Greek shield.

Stylized Greek ship with waves and rocks.

Greek ship

Stylized Greek ship with waves and rocks.

A Greek soldier with his family.

Greek Soldier

A Greek soldier with his family.

A Greek soldier in the time of Alexander the Great.

Greek Soldier

A Greek soldier in the time of Alexander the Great.

"From a Greek vase of about the time of the battle of Marathon."—Webster, 1913

Greek Soldiers in Arms

"From a Greek vase of about the time of the battle of Marathon."—Webster, 1913

A monument of Athenian foot soldier, found near Marathon.

Monument of a Greek Solider

A monument of Athenian foot soldier, found near Marathon.

"In the Homeric times, the Greeks used a belt for the sword, and another for the shield. These passed over the shoulders and crossed upon the breast. The shield-belt lay over the other, and was the larger and broader of the two. This mode of carrying the shield was subsequently laid aside, on account of its inconvenience. The later method is shown." — Anthon, 1891

Greek with shield

"In the Homeric times, the Greeks used a belt for the sword, and another for the shield. These passed…

A woman kneeling by a column, with several articles of pottery nearby.

Greek woman

A woman kneeling by a column, with several articles of pottery nearby.

Greek people standing and talking under a tree.

Greeks

Greek people standing and talking under a tree.

A group of ancient Greek around a stone table.

Gathering of Greeks

A group of ancient Greek around a stone table.

In heraldry, the griffin is a fabulous animal, with the head and forefeet of an eagle, and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion. The head is represented with pricked ears, symbolical of its vigilance. In mythology, the griffin was a creature similar in form to the griffin of heraldry, which was supposed to find its especial function in watching over hidden treasure, especially in Scythia. It was dedicated to the sun-god Apollo, whose chariot appears in early art as drawn by griffins. It was a favorite ornamental 'theme' in ancient Babylonian and Persian art, and is also found in a similar way on art objects of the Phoenicians, the Mycenæan civilization, and the ancient Greeks. The Romans and art-workers of the renaissance used it as a purely decorative device.

Griffin

In heraldry, the griffin is a fabulous animal, with the head and forefeet of an eagle, and the body,…

"A rudder. Before the invention of the rudder, which Pliny ascribes to Tiphys, the pilot of the ship Argo, vessels were both propelled and guided by oars alone. This circumstance may account for the form of the ancient rudder, as well as for the mode of using it. It was like an oar with a very broad blade, and was commonly placed on each side of the stern, not at its extremity. The annexed woodcut presents examples of its appearance as it is frequently exhibited on coins, gems, and other works of art." — Smith, 1873.

Gubernaculum

"A rudder. Before the invention of the rudder, which Pliny ascribes to Tiphys, the pilot of the ship…

"The mode of platting the hair, and then fastening it with a pin on a needle, is shown in the annexed figure of a female head, taken from a marble group which was found at Apt, in the south of France." — Anthon, 1891

Platted hair

"The mode of platting the hair, and then fastening it with a pin on a needle, is shown in the annexed…

"Halteres were certain masses of stone or metal, which were used in the gymnastic exercises of the Greeks and Romans. Persons who practised leaping frequently performed their exercises with halteres in both hands; but they were also frequently used merely to exercise the body in somewhat the same manner as out dumb-bells." — Smith, 1873

Halteres

"Halteres were certain masses of stone or metal, which were used in the gymnastic exercises of the Greeks…

A greek helmet or corinthian design.

Corinthian Helmet

A greek helmet or corinthian design.

""The crested Achilles was pressing on in his chariot." Some idea of the ancient crests may be formed from the following woodcuts, selected from ancient gems." — Anthon, 1891

Crested helmets

""The crested Achilles was pressing on in his chariot." Some idea of the ancient crests may be formed…

"In the following we have back and front views of the heads of statues from Herculaneum, on which we perceive the <em>vitta</em>." &mdash; Anthon, 1891

Herculaneum

"In the following we have back and front views of the heads of statues from Herculaneum, on which we…

A sculpture with a head or torso above a plain lower section.

An Archaic Herm

A sculpture with a head or torso above a plain lower section.

"Greek Hoplite" &mdash; Morey, 1903

Hoplite

"Greek Hoplite" — Morey, 1903

A citizen-soldier of Ancient Greece.

Hoplite

A citizen-soldier of Ancient Greece.

"The horse-race." &mdash; Smith, 1882

Horse-race

"The horse-race." — Smith, 1882

"Hymen had been called to bless with his presence the nuptials of Orpheus with Eurydice; but though he attended, he brought no happy omens with him." &mdash;Bulfinch, 1897

Hymen

"Hymen had been called to bless with his presence the nuptials of Orpheus with Eurydice; but though…

"Isocrates was the son of a prosperous flute-maker; he was born at Athens B.C. 436, and lived till 338. He represents the excellence of that species of oratory which gives the highest place to artistic form and finish, and regards the subject-matter as comparatively of small importance." &mdash; The Delphian Society, 1913

Isocrates

"Isocrates was the son of a prosperous flute-maker; he was born at Athens B.C. 436, and lived till 338.…

"The Olympic games were of greater efficacy than the Amphictyonic Council in promoting the spirit of union among the various branches of the Greek race, and in keeping alive a feeling of their common origin. They were open to all persons who could prove their Hellenic blood, and were frequented by spectators from all parts of the Grecian world. They were celebrated at Olympia, on the banks of the alpheus, in the territory of Elis." &mdash; Smith, 1882

Hurling the javelin

"The Olympic games were of greater efficacy than the Amphictyonic Council in promoting the spirit of…

Laocoon and his sons.

Laocoon

Laocoon and his sons.

"In later Greek, a lantern. Two bronze lanterns, constructed with nicety and skill, have been found in the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii. One of them is represented in the annexed woodcut. Its form is cylindrical. Within is a bronze lamp attached to the centre of the base, and provided with an extinguisher shown on the right hand of the lantern. The plates are of translucent horn. A front view of one of the two upright pillars is shown on the left hand." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Laterna

"In later Greek, a lantern. Two bronze lanterns, constructed with nicety and skill, have been found…

"Laying out of the Dead" &mdash; Morey, 1903

Laying Dead

"Laying out of the Dead" — Morey, 1903

"Lectica was a kind of couch or litter, in which persons, in a lying position, were carried from one place to another. They were used for carrying the dead as well as the living. The Greek lectica consisted of a bed or mattress, and a pillow to support the head, placed upon a kind of bedstead or couch. It had a roof, consisting of the skin of an ox, extending over the couch and resting on four posts. The sides of this lectica were covered with curtains. In the republican period it appears to have been chiefly used by women, and by men only when they were in ill health. When this kind of lectica was introduced among the Romans, it was chiefly used in traveling, and very seldom in Rome itself. But towards the end of the republic, and under the empire, it was commonly used in the city, and was fitted up in the most splendid manner. Instead of curtains, it was frequently closed on the sides with windows made of transparent stone, and was provided with a pillow and bed. when standing, it rested on four feet, generally made of wood. Persons were carried in a lectica by slaves, by means of poles attached to it, but not fixed, so that they might easily be taken off when necessary. The number of lecticarri employed in carrying one lectica varied according to its size, and the display of wealth which a person might wish to make. The ordinary number was probably two; but it varied from two to eight, and the lectica is called hexaphoron or octophoron, according as it was carried by six or eight persons. The following woodcut represents a lectica. It is taken from the tombstone of M. Antonius Antius." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lectica

"Lectica was a kind of couch or litter, in which persons, in a lying position, were carried from one…

"Sacrifices being of the nature of feasts, the Greeks and Romans, on occasion of extraordinary solemnities, placed images of the gods reclining on couches, with tables and viands before them, as if they were really partaking of the things offered in sacrifice. This ceremony was called Lectisternium. The woodcut here introduced exhibits a couch employed on one of these occasions. It has a cushion covered by a cloth hanging in ample folds down each side. This beautiful pulvinar is wrought altogether in white marble, and is somewhat more than two feet in height." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lectisternium

"Sacrifices being of the nature of feasts, the Greeks and Romans, on occasion of extraordinary solemnities,…

"A Lesson in the Poets" &mdash; Morey, 1903

Lesson Poets

"A Lesson in the Poets" — Morey, 1903

"The most common material on which books were written by the Greeks and Romans, was the thin coats or rind of the Egyptian papyrus. This plant was called by the Egyptians Byblos. The papyrus tree grows in swamps to the height of ten feet and more, and paper was prepared from the thin coats or pellicles which surround the plant. The form and general appearance of the papyri rolls will be understood from the following woodcut taken from the paintings found at Pompeii." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Liber

"The most common material on which books were written by the Greeks and Romans, was the thin coats or…

"A balance, a pair of scales. The principal parts of this instrument were: 1. The beam. 2. The two scales, called in Latin lances. The beam was made without a tongue, being held by a ring or other appendage, fixed in the centre. The annexed woodcut represents Mercury and Apollo engaged in exploring the fates of Achilles and Memnon, by weighing the attendent genius of the one against that of the other." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Libra

"A balance, a pair of scales. The principal parts of this instrument were: 1. The beam. 2. The two scales,…

The Lions Gate in Mycenae, Greece.

Lion Gate

The Lions Gate in Mycenae, Greece.

The main entrance through the circuit wall was made grand by the best known feature of Mycenae, the Lion Gate, through which passed a stepped ramp leading past circle A and up to the palace. The Lion Gate was built in the form of a 'Relieving Triangle' to support the weight of the stones. Two lionesses flank the central column that represents a god or goddess.

Lion Gate at Mycenæ

The main entrance through the circuit wall was made grand by the best known feature of Mycenae, the…

"This instrument was long, and curved at the end. From the similarity of form the original staff received the same appelation." &mdash; Anthon, 1891

Litmus

"This instrument was long, and curved at the end. From the similarity of form the original staff received…

"Probably an Etruscan word signifying crooked. 1. The crooked staff borne by the augurs, with which they divided the expanse of heaven, when viewed with reference to divination, into regions. It is very frequently exhibited upon works of art. 2. A sort of trumpet slightly curved at the extremity. It differed both from the tuba and the cornu, the former being straight, while the latter was bent round into a spiral shape. Its tones are usually characterized as harsh and shrill." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lituus

"Probably an Etruscan word signifying crooked. 1. The crooked staff borne by the augurs, with which…

"A cuirass. The cuirass was worn by the heavy-armed infantry both among the Greeks and Romans. The soldiers commonly wore cuirasses made of flexble bands of steel, or cuirasses of chain mail, but those of generals and officers usually consisted of the breast-piece and back-piece, made of bronze or iron, which were joined by means of buckles." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lorica

"A cuirass. The cuirass was worn by the heavy-armed infantry both among the Greeks and Romans. The soldiers…

"A cuirass. The cuirass was worn by the heavy-armed infantry both among the Greeks and Romans. The soldiers commonly wore cuirasses made of flexble bands of steel, or cuirasses of chain mail, but those of generals and officers usually consisted of the breast-piece and back-piece, made of bronze or iron, which were joined by means of buckles." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lorica

"A cuirass. The cuirass was worn by the heavy-armed infantry both among the Greeks and Romans. The soldiers…

"An oil lamp. The Greeks and Romans originally used candles; but in later times candles were chiefly confined to the houses of the lower classes. A great number of ancient lamps has come down to us; the greater part of which are made of terra cotta, but also a considerable number of bronze. Most of the lamps are of an oval form, and flat upon the top, on which there are frequently figures in relief. In the lamps there are one or more ellychnia burnt into it. The following is an example of a dumyxos lucerna, upon which there is a winged boy with a goose." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lucerna

"An oil lamp. The Greeks and Romans originally used candles; but in later times candles were chiefly…

"An oil lamp. The Greeks and Romans originally used candles; but in later times candles were chiefly confined to the houses of the lower classes. A great number of ancient lamps has come down to us; the greater part of which are made of terra cotta, but also a considerable number of bronze. Most of the lamps are of an oval form, and flat upon the top, on which there are frequently figures in relief. In the lamps there are one or more ellychnia burnt into it. The following is an example of a dumyxos lucerna, upon which there is a winged boy with a goose." &mdash; Smith, 1873

Lucerna

"An oil lamp. The Greeks and Romans originally used candles; but in later times candles were chiefly…

"Cithara or Phorminx, from a vase in the British Museum. Best period of Greek art." &mdash;The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1903

Lyre

"Cithara or Phorminx, from a vase in the British Museum. Best period of Greek art." —The Encyclopedia…