University of Fribourg: ‘Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome’

We are delighted to announce the programme of the international conference Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome, which will be held on Skype on 22 – 23 June 2021. The conference is supported by the ERC Advanced Grant (Scientific Program Locus ludi. The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity. 2017-2022) in collaboration with the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past.

Registration to attend the event is now open. We invite those who are interested in the workshop to register at: [email protected]

For more details (general abstract of the conference and brief abstracts of the single presentations), please visit the ERC Locus ludi Project website.

Organizing Committee: Véronique Dasen, Marco Vespa

International conference 

Toys as Cultural Artefacts

in Ancient Greece, Etruria and Rome


University of Fribourg/Remote

June 22-23, 2021


Tuesday June 22

9:00 OPENING Véronique DASEN & Marco VESPA


9:15 Éric DIEU, Toulouse, Les désignations du jouet en grec ancien et en latin

9:30 Paola MORETTI, Milano, Ludicrum, a Word for “Toy”: Origin, Meaning, Use

9:45 Discussion Marco VESPA, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

10:00 Andrea CAPRA, Durham & Claudia ZICHI, Uppsala, Toying with Philosophy: Plato’s Wondrous Puppet in the Laws

10:15 Cecilia NOBILI, Bergamo, Persephones’ καλν θυρμα. Toys, Ornaments, and the Marvel of Music Lucia FLORIDI, Bologna, ράσμιον αἰὲν θυρμα. Toys, Slaves, and Erotic Objects

10:35 Discussion Claudia LAMBRUGO, Milano

10:45 Break


11:00 Ioanna PATERA, Cracow, Paignia, jeux et jouets

11:15 Sophie LARIBI-GLAUDEL, Nancy, Les jouets dans les épigrammes et les inscriptions votives

11:30 Tatiana BUR, Cambridge, Airing the Ludic

11:45 Discussion Victoria SABETAI, Athens

12:00 Lunch break



13:30 Claudia LAMBRUGO, Milano, Stone Pebbles as Game pieces?

13:45 Daniela COSTANZO, Reggio Calabria, Games and Toys in context: Problems and Methods of Interpretation in Magna Graecia and Sicily

14:00 Discussion Alessandro PACE, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

14:15 Victoria SABETAI, Athens, Τhe Archaeology of Play in Boeotian Sanctuaries and Graves: A Contribution to the Ludic Culture of a Greek Polis

14:30 Barbara CARÈ, Athens, Functional and Fun? Reassessing the Value of Worked Astragali in Ancient Game Practices

14:45 Discussion Ulrich SCHÄDLER, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

15:00 Break


15:15 Edwige LOVERGNE, Paris/Roma, Quelques réflexions sur les objets miniatures en contexte funéraire en Étrurie méridionale

15:30 Bernard FARAGO-SZEKERES, Inrap, Isabelle BERTRAND, Chauvigny, Coralie GARCIA-BAY, Poitiers, Encore une enfant, déjà une jeune femme ? Naintré (Fr)

15:45 Thomas DANIAUX, Fribourg & Kyriaki KATSARELIA, Fribourg, Chevaux à roulettes grecs et romains en contexte

16:00 Discussion Marie-Lys ARNETTE, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

16:15 Break



16:30 Hanna AMMAR, Fribourg/Paris, Children’s Ball Games on Attic Vases from the 5th and 4th Centuries BCE

16:45 Véronique DASEN, Fribourg, Representations of Toys in Funerary Contexts

17:00 Discussion Alexandra ATTIA, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

17:15 Break


17:30 Keynote speaker 

Michel MANSON, Paris, Le cheval bâton de l’Antiquité à la Renaissance : mutations du regard sur l’enfance et ses jouets

18:00 Discussion Oriol VAZ, Barcelona

18:15 Final discussion and closure of the day

Wednesday June 23


09:00 Francesca DIOSONO, München, Federica GROSSI, Milano & Loredana LANCINI, Le Mans, Ritual Offerings or Divination Tools? Objects of Play from the Roman Republic Sanctuary of Diana in Nemi

09:15 Sonia KLINGER, Haifa, Toys or Models of Toys: Objects in Terracotta and Bronze from the Demeter and Kore Sanctuary at Ancient Corinth

9:30 Discussion Thomas DANIAUX, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi

9:45 Emilie THIBAULT, Amiens, Des offrandes miniatures pour les dieux des Étrusques : des jouets pour grandir ?

10:00 Astrid FENDT, München, Rite de Passage or Special Ability? The Bronze Statuette of a Boy Holding a Spinning Top in the Munich Collection of Antiquities

10:15 Discussion Edwige LOVERGNE, Rome

10:30 Break


10:45 Angela BELLIA, Roma, Dancing with a Ball: Written Sources and Material Evidence

11:00 Discussion Hanna AMMAR, Fribourg/ERC Locus Ludi


11:15 Cleo GOUGOULIS, Patras, From άθυρμα and παίγνιον to παιχνίδι. Defining Toys in Modern Greece

11:30 Jean-Pierre ROSSIE, Braga , Vegetal Material in Moroccan Children’s Toy and Play Culture

11:45 Mattia THIBAULT, Tampere, Toys, Toying, Toyish: The Semiotics of Toys from Objectual Play to Toyification

12:00 Final discussion and closure of the conference