The Etruscan World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Etruscan World

1st Edition

Edited by Jean MacIntosh Turfa


1,216 pages

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The Etruscans can be shown to have made significant, and in some cases perhaps the first, technical advances in the central and northern Mediterranean. To the Etruscan people we can attribute such developments as the tie-beam truss in large wooden structures, surveying and engineering drainage and water tunnels, the development of the foresail for fast long-distance sailing vessels, fine techniques of metal production and other pyrotechnology, post-mortem C-sections in medicine, and more. In art, many technical and iconographic developments, although they certainly happened first in Greece or the Near East, are first seen in extant Etruscan works, preserved in the lavish tombs and goods of Etruscan aristocrats. These include early portraiture, the first full-length painted portrait, the first perspective view of a human figure in monumental art, specialized techniques of bronze-casting, and reduction-fired pottery (the bucchero phenomenon). Etruscan contacts, through trade, treaty and intermarriage, linked their culture with Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily, with the Italic tribes of the peninsula, and with the Near Eastern kingdoms, Greece and the Greek colonial world, Iberia, Gaul and the Punic network of North Africa, and influenced the cultures of northern Europe.

In the past fifteen years striking advances have been made in scholarship and research techniques for Etruscan Studies. Archaeological and scientific discoveries have changed our picture of the Etruscans and furnished us with new, specialized information. Thanks to the work of dozens of international scholars, it is now possible to discuss topics of interest that could never before be researched, such as Etruscan mining and metallurgy, textile production, foods and agriculture. In this volume, over 60 experts provide insights into all these aspects of Etruscan culture, and more, with many contributions available in English for the first time to allow the reader access to research that may not otherwise be available to them. Lavishly illustrated, The Etruscan World brings to life the culture and material past of the Etruscans and highlights key points of development in research, making it essential reading for researchers, academics and students of this fascinating civilization.


“The Etruscan World will be a most useful and absolutely up-to-date addition to anyone interested in the Etruscans. This is a very useful handbook, an excellent introduction to the Etruscans but also a work of reference that advanced researchers will be very interested in consulting. The authors break a lot of new ground and really bring us up to date on a discipline that has seen remarkable changes in the past decade.”

– P. Gregory Warden, Franklin College Switzerland

“This book is a massive contribution to Etruscan studies, it covers virtually every aspect of Etruscan culture in fantastic detail. The range of up-to-date scholarship is truly impressive providing a reliable guide to everything from Augury to the Villanovans. It will be indispensable to everyone with a passion to know more about the Etruscans.”

– Phil Perkins, The Open University, UK

“This book is an excellent source of very recent information on the society, the sophisticated technical skills, science, art and religion of the Etruscans and their economic relations with the Near East and Western Europe.”

– L. Bouke van der Meer, Leiden University, The Netherlands

The Etruscan World, edited by Jean MacIntosh Turfa, is a monumental undertaking… it presents a panorama of the art and archaeology of the Etruscans which any teaching or research library will find well used for years to come.”

- Robert Witcher, Antiquity

"Turfa (Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum) provides a broad yet deep analysis of an ancient Etruria whose influence on Roman, Italian, and European history has been great, yet surprisingly not well understood…By presenting the latest research, each chapter sheds light onto a world that until recently has largely been hidden in the shadows of the distant past…this work will set the standard upon which other works concerned with these ancient people and their influence must follow. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

-P. Lorenzini, CHOICE

"The impressive number of contributors, chosen from among the most experienced Etruscologists worldwide…guarantees the quality of the essays, which are extremely well-informed and up-to-date…Furthermore, the choice to involve the scholars who directed the excavations in which arguably the most relevant recent discoveries took place can be considered an additional strength of the volume. Jean MacIntosh Turfa has produced an extremely well-informed book which definitely demonstrates the complexity of the Etruscan world and in this respect it hits the mark; both scholars and students will find great advantages in reading it."

- Maria Cristina Biella, The British School at Rome - University of Southampton

Table of Contents

Introduction Jean MacIntosh Turfa Part I: Environment, Background, and the Study of Etruscan Culture 1. Etruscan environments Ingele M.B. Wiman 2. "Origins" in perspective Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni 3. Etruscan origins and the ancient authors Dominique Briquel 4. Fleshing out the demography of Etruria Geof Kron Part II: The Historical Development of Etruria 5. The Villanovan culture. At the beginning of Etruscan history Gilda Bartoloni 6. Orientalizing Etruria Maurizio Sannibale 7. Urbanization in southern Etruria from the 10th to the 6th century BC Robert Leighton 8. The long twilight: "Romanization" of Etruria Vincent Jolivet 9. Family tombs in northern Etruria Marjatta Nielsen Part III: Etruscans and Their Neighbors 10. The western Mediterranean before the Etruscans Fulvia LoSchiavo 11. The Nuragic heritage in Etruria Fulvia LoSchiavo & Matteo Milletti 12. Phoenician and Punic Sardinia and the Etruscans Rubens D’Oriano & Antonio Sanciu 13. Etruria and Corsica Matteo Milletti 14. Etruria and the Italic peoples: the Faliscans Maria Anna De Lucia Brolli & Jacopo Tabolli 15. Etruria on the Po and the Adriatic Giuseppe Sassatelli & Elisabetta Govi 16. Etruscans in Campania Mariassunta Cuozzo 17. Etruria Marittima, Carthage and Iberia, Massalia, Gaul Jean Gran Aymerich Part IV: Etruscan Society and Economy 18. Political systems and Law: and the issue of federation Hilary Wills Becker 19. Economy and commerce through material evidence Jean Gran Aymerich 20. Mothers and Children Larissa Bonfante 21. Slavery and Manumission Enrico Benelli 22. The Etruscan Language Luciano Agostiniani 23. Numbers & Reckoning Daniele Maras Part V: Religion in Etruria 24. Greek Myth in Etruscan Culture Erika Simon 25. Gods and Demons in the Etruscan Pantheon Ingrid Krauskopf 26. Haruspicy and Augury: Sources and Procedures Nancy T. de Grummond 27. Religion: the gods and the places Ingrid Edlund-Berry 28. Archaeological Evidence for Etruscan Religious Rituals Simona Rafanelli 29. Tarquinia, sacred areas and sanctuaries on the Civita plateau and on the coast Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni 30. Pyrgi Maria Paola Baglione 31. Orvieto, Campo della Fiera – Fanum Voltumnae Simonetta Stopponi 32. Worshiping with the dead Stephan Steingräber 33. The Imagery of Tomb Objects and its Funerary Relevance Tom B. Rasmussen Part VI: Special Aspects of Etruscan Culture 34. The Science of the Etruscans Armando Cherici 35. The Architectural Heritage of Etruria Ingrid Edlund-Berry 36. Etruscan Town Planning and Related Structures Claudio Bizzarri 37. Villanovan and Etruscan Mining and Metallurgy Claudio Giardino 38. Technology, Ideology, Warfare and the Etruscans Before the Roman Conquest David George 39. The Art of the Etruscan Armourer Ross H. Cowan 40. Seafaring: shipbuilding, harbors, the issue of piracy Stefano Bruni 41. Princely Chariots and Carts Adriana Emiliozzi 42. The World of Etruscan Textiles Margarita Gleba 43. Food and Drink in the Etruscan World Lisa C. Pieraccini 44. The banquet through Etruscan history Annette Rathje 45. Etruscan Spectacles: Theater and Sport Jean-Paul Thuillier 46. Music and musical instruments in Etruria Fredrik Tobin 47. Health and Medicine in Etruria Jean MacIntosh Turfa, with Marshall J. Becker Part VII: Etruscan Specialties in Art 48. Foreign Artists in Etruria Giovannangelo Camporeale 49. The phenomenon of terracotta: architectural terracottas Nancy Winter 50. Jewelry Françoise Gaultier 51. Engraved Gems Ulf R. Hansson 52. The Etruscan Painted Pottery Laura Ambrosini 53. The Meanings of Bucchero Richard Daniel De Puma 54. Etruscan terracotta figurines Helen Nagy 55. Portraiture Alexandra Carpino 56. Landscape and illusionism: qualities of Etruscan wall paintings Helen Nagy 57. The bronze votive tradition in Etruria Margherita Gilda Scarpellini 58. Mirrors in art and society Richard Daniel De Puma 59. Science as art: Etruscan anatomical votives Matthias Recke 60. Animals in the Etruscan household and environment Adrian P. Harrison Part VIII: Post-Antique Reception of Etruscan Culture 61. Annius of Viterbo etc. Ingrid Rowland 62. The reception of Etruscan culture: Dempster and Buonarotti Francesco De Angelis 63. Modern approaches to Etruscan culture Marie-Laurence Haack

About the Editor

Jean MacIntosh Turfa is a Research Associate and occasional Lecturer in the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum and an adjunct professor in Classics at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. She has taught at the University of Liverpool, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Loyola University of Chicago, Drexel University, Dickinson and Bryn Mawr Colleges, St. Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Member of the Istituto di Studi Etruschi e Italici.

About the Series

Routledge Worlds

The Routledge Worlds are magisterial surveys of key historical epochs, edited and written by world-renowned experts. Giving unprecedented breadth and depth of coverage, they are the works against which all future books on their subjects will be judged and are essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the subject.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General