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

The Etruscan World

1st Edition

Edited by Jean MacIntosh Turfa


1,168 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, UK

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