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A Companion to the Etruscans



A Companion to the Etruscans

Sinclair Bell (Editor), Alexandra A. Carpino (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-35495-7 December 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 528 Pages

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This new collection presents a rich selection of innovative scholarship on the Etruscans, a vibrant, independent people whose distinct civilization flourished in central Italy for most of the first millennium BCE and whose artistic, social and cultural traditions helped shape the ancient Mediterranean, European, and Classical worlds.

  • Includes contributions from an international cast of both established and emerging scholars
  • Offers fresh perspectives on Etruscan art and culture, including analysis of the most up-to-date research and archaeological discoveries
  • Reassesses and evaluates traditional topics like architecture, wall painting, ceramics, and sculpture as well as new ones such as textile archaeology, while also addressing themes that have yet to be thoroughly investigated in the scholarship, such as the obesus etruscus, the function and use of jewelry at different life stages, Greek and Roman topoi about the Etruscans, the Etruscans’ reception of ponderation, and more
  • Counters the claim that the Etruscans were culturally inferior to the Greeks and Romans by emphasizing fields where the Etruscans were either technological or artistic pioneers and by reframing similarities in style and iconography as examples of Etruscan agency and reception rather than as a deficit of local creativity

List of Illustrations viii

List of Tables xv

Notes on Contributors xvi

Acknowledgments xx

Map of Etruria xxi

Introduction xxii
Alexandra A. Carpino and Sinclair Bell

Part I History 1

1 Beginnings: Protovillanovan and Villanovan Etruria 3
Simon Stoddart

2 Materializing the Etruscans: The Expression and Negotiation of Identity during the Orientalizing, Archaic, and Classical Periods 15
Skylar Neil

3 The Romanization of Etruria 28
Letizia Ceccarelli

Part II Geography, Urbanization, and Space 41

4 Etruscan Italy: Physical Geography and Environment 43
Simon Stoddart

5 City and Countryside 55
Simon Stoddart

6 The Etruscans and the Mediterranean 67
Giovannangelo Camporeale

7 Urbanization and Foundation Rites: The Material Culture of Rituals at the Heart and the Margins of Etruscan Early Cities 87
Corinna Riva

8 Poggio Civitate: Community Form in Inland Etruria 105
Anthony S. Tuck

9 Southern and Inner Etruria: Benchmark Sites and Current Excavations 117
Claudio Bizzarri

10 Etruscan Domestic Architecture, Hydraulic Engineering, and Water Management Technologies: Innovations and Legacy to Rome 129
Claudio Bizzarri and David Soren

11 Rock Tombs and the World of the Etruscan Necropoleis: Recent Discoveries, Research, and Interpretations 146
Stephan Steingräber

12 Communicating with Gods: Sacred Space in Etruria 162
P. Gregory Warden

Part III Evidence in Context 179

13 Etruscan Skeletal Biology and Etruscan Origins 181
Marshall J. Becker

14 Language, Alphabet, and Linguistic Affiliation 203
Rex E. Wallace

15 Bucchero in Context 224
Philip Perkins

16 Etruscan Textiles in Context 237
Margarita Gleba

17 Etruscan Wall Painting: Insights, Innovations, and Legacy 247
Lisa C. Pieraccini

18 Votives in their Larger Religious Context 261
Helen Nagy

19 Etruscan Jewelry and Identity 275
Alexis Q. Castor

20 Luxuria prolapsa est: Etruscan Wealth and Decadence 293
Hilary Becker

21 Tanaquil: The Conception and Construction of an Etruscan Matron 305
Gretchen E. Meyers

22 The Obesus Etruscus: Can the Trope be True? 321
Jean MacIntosh Turfa

Part IV Art, Society, and Culture 337

23 The Etruscans, Greek Art, and the Near East 339
Ann C. Gunter

24 Etruscan Artists 353
Jocelyn Penny Small

25 Etruscan Bodies and Greek Ponderation: Anthropology and Artistic Form 368
Francesco de Angelis

26 Myth in Etruria 388
Ingrid Krauskopf

27 The "Taste" for Violence in Etruscan Art: Debunking the Myth 410
Alexandra A. Carpino

Part V The Etruscan Legacy and Contemporary Issues 431

28 Annius of Viterbo and the Beginning of Etruscan Studies 433
Ingrid D. Rowland

29 Tyrrhenian Sirens: The Seductive Song of Etruscan Forgeries 446
Richard Daniel De Puma

30 Looting and the Antiquities Trade 458
Gordon Lobay


Appendix: Etruscan Art in North American Museums 477
Richard Daniel De Puma

Index 483

"This collection of fascinating articles written by specialists in the field has a given place in libraries. ... As can be expected, each chapter in this Companion makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the Etruscans, and depending on our interests we can choose among the topics covered, ranging from landscape to settlements to art and culture. ... My own favorite topics were the chapters on Tanaquil (by Gretchen Meyers), on obesus Etruscus (by Jean MacIntosh Turfa), and on Etruscan forgeries (by Richard De Puma), because they figure prominently in all general accounts on the Etruscans but are rarely, if ever, discussed separately and in more detail." - Etruscan Studies
“…this volume represents a significant effort to bring together new work and novel approaches on the Etruscans. Although prior knowledge of the main issues in Etruscan studies is recommended, the book’s format makes it accessible to a broad audience as well. It would be a welcome addition to any Classics and archaeology libraries and will become undoubtedly a source of inspiration for scholars and students with interest in Etruria.”- Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"As a whole, A Companion to the Etruscans presents a well-assembled and well-edited collection of essays on the current state of research in Etruscan studies. Ungraduates, graduate students, and specialists alike will find it to be an important resource ... institutional libraries will want this indispensable English-language guide on the shelves."
Laurel Taylor, American Journal of Archaeology