Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of artificial lighting means and their efficiency in the performance of domestic nocturnal activities (except cult practices) in ancient Greece. Through experiments conducted in the Lighting Laboratory of the National Technical University of Athens, the optical properties of exact copies of ancient light sources are investigated. The experimental data are used to assess the sufficiency of light produced by the lighting devices, and to examine the resulting lighting conditions in relation to colour perception and domestic nocturnal activities. The results show that people in antiquity could move around and operate with relative ease at night. Most domestic nocturnal activities could be performed even by the light of a single lamp, provided that it was located relatively nearby. Activities involving colour discrimination, such as weaving, were the most difficult but not impossible to perform. Therefore, artificial light in antiquity could be both effective and economical.

Keywords: artificial light, Ancient Greece, measurements, lighting devices, light and colour perception, nocturnal activities feasibility

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.