Christmas gifts for children inspired by ancient Greeks

Dec 18, 2012
Christmas gifts for children inspired by ancient Greeks

As Christmas fast approaches and you are drawing up a shopping list of seasonal gifts, you may not realise that many of the choices you will make will be influenced by the ancient Greeks.

"We still revert to centuries-old when deciding what to buy," said Dr Richard Hawley from the Classics Department at Royal Holloway.

Indeed, many examples of this will be seen this Christmas, with dolls and princess outfits for girls and action figures and mini tool kits for the boys.

"In classical Greece and Rome girls had their own clay dolls, with tiny gold rings on their fingers, not that different from today's Barbie. These prepared for their role as passive objects of male desire, wearing clothes and jewellery that signified their family's wealth.

"For the boys, there were ancient action figures - the souvenirs that could be bought from the Roman arena in the shape of popular gladiators, the WWF celebrities of their day. These were the who growing boys looked up to", Dr Hawley added.

Citing gift catalogues that often divide presents into 'his' and 'hers' sections, Dr Hawley argues that our sense of gender equality seems to fade away during the .

"When it comes to Christmas and the marketing of gifts, particularly for children, we seem to revert back to the 'old' times", he said. "What people may not realise, though, is how far back these traditions really go!"

 

Explore further: Education Dept awards $75M in innovation grants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Centre for Consumer Science report on Christmas gifts

Feb 06, 2012

The stereotypical Christmas gift shopper is a stressed-to-the-max individual with a filled-to-the-rim shopping cart in a busy shopping mall. The shopping hysteria during the weeks before Christmas is frequently debated in ...

Email link to boys' popularity

Oct 14, 2011

Surveyed boys who used email at home were brighter and more popular than boys who did not – according to a recent study by an educational psychologist from Curtin University.

Recommended for you

Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

Sep 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —A 17-year old bet among scientists at the Karolinska Institute has been a wager that whoever wrote the most articles with Dylan quotes before they retired would get a free lunch. Results included ...

A simulation game to help people prep for court

Sep 25, 2014

Preparing for court and appearing before a judge can be a daunting experience, particularly for people who are representing themselves because they can't afford a lawyer or simply don't know all the ropes ...

When finding 'nothing' means something

Sep 25, 2014

Scientists usually communicate their latest findings by publishing results as scientific papers in journals that are almost always accessible online (albeit often at a price), ensuring fast sharing of latest ...

User comments : 0