Spartan Dances

WAG 7657


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. The Spartan Dances, otherwise known as the Gymnopaedia, wer held every summer from 668BC to honour the god Apollo. This festival gave an opportunity for naked male youths to display their martial and athletic skills through the medium of war dancing.