Learning outcomes of the course unit
Acquisition of the fundamental knowledge on the history and civilisation of the Etruscans and the role they played within the sphere of the populations of ancient Italy, in particular in terms of communication of elements of civilisation, with particular reference to the teaching of writing. Students will be guided to master the investigations of modern Etruscology science, through the correlated use of historical and literary sources, epigraphic sources and archaeological sources. Cataloguing procedures will be learned through archaeological sources aimed at reconstructing the related original contexts. The basics of the Etruscan language will be learned from epigraphic sources, used to read and interpret some short texts.
This course should be attended after having attended Classical Archaeology and Greek Literature.
Course contents summary
◦Course contents: Course title: Etruscan history and civilisation. Origin and development of Etruscology. The Etruscans and other populations of ancient Italy.
Etruscan ethnogenesis. The Villanovian phase: territorial organisation and forms of settlement; the first differentiations from a political and social viewpoint; relations with the world of Nuraghi and Greece; the origins of thalassocracy. The orientalising phase: the aristocratic ideology; from the village to the city; houses and palaces; funerary architecture; the birth of writing. The archaic and later archaic phases: the establishment of new social groups; new institutional forms; the concilium of duodecim populi; the completed urbanisation of Etruria; Etruscans on the sea; relations with the eastern Greek world and reflections on artistic expressions. The classical phase: the great season of internal Etruria; the influences on the Greek world on Etruscan art. The Hellenistic phase: after the 4th century crisis, the servants’ revolt and the power of the aristocracy; relations with the world of Magna Graecia and Macedonia; the progressive Romanisation of Etruria.
Religion. The centrality of religion in the Etruscan civilisation: gods and worshipers. Sanctuaries in Etruria. The places of worship in the Po valley Etruria.
The Po Valley Etruria. Overview, from the Villanovian phase to the fall of the Gauls. Field trips to some museums and archaeological areas of the region.
Language and alphabet. The problem of the Etruscan language. The alphabets. Onomasticon. Reading and comment on some Etruscan inscriptions.
A selection of the following general works is recommended: M. Pallottino, Etruscologia, Milano 1986; AA.VV. (edited by M. Cristofani), Gli Etruschi. Una nuova immagine, Florence 1983; AA.VV., Rasenna. Storia e civiltà degli Etruschi, Milan 1986; G. Camporeale, Gli Etruschi. Storia e civiltà, Milan 2000. On religion: G. Colonna (edited by), Santuari d’Etruria, catalogue of the show, with particular reference to the introduction of the various sections; M. Torelli, La religione, in AA.VV., Rasenna. Storia e civiltà degli Etruschi, Milan 1986, pg. 157-237. On Po Valley Etruria: G. Sassatelli, Gli Etruschi nella pianura padana, in G. Camporeale, edited by, Gli Etruschi fuori d’Etruria, Verona 2001, pg. 168-191. On the language: M. Cristofani, Introduzione allo studio dell’etrusco, Florence 1973 (or subsequent editions), limited to the general parts and inscriptions read and commented on.
Teaching methods: lectures supported by digital presentations. Etruscan epigraphy exercises, using readings of short texts in the classroom, with direct student involvement. Visits to Etruscan related museums and archaeological areas in the region, to obtain direct contact with monuments and different classes of material.
Assessment methods and criteria
Assessment methods: oral examination and practical test (reading of Etruscan inscriptions proposed during lectures).