William Sterling

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The Etruscans: an Introduction

October 25, 2020

Although their language has been lost the influence of the Etruscans on the Greeks and Romans was enormous and many objects survive today. The day will conclude with a visit to the British Museum.

  1. What is the course about?

The Etruscans are one of the more mysterious civilisations of Ancient Europe.  The Greeks and Romans are well known but the influence of the Etruscans on them is less well known.  The course will look at the history of Etruria and the 12 Etruscans city states from the eighth century to the first century BC.  This history is difficult to piece together as it relies on the accounts of outsiders and archaeology filling in the blanks.  After the Romans took over rule of the Etruscan towns they continued to develop their own culture for some time until fully integrated.

  1. What topics will we cover?

We shall look at their religious beliefs and practices and how these changed over time as well as their culture and art as survives from the magnificent tombs.  Fortunately, many objects have been excavated and the British Museum has a particularly fine collection of them.  The final session of the day will be a tour of the Etruscan Gallery and time permitting a look at some of the Etruscan pieces in the Enlightenment Gallery, the Celtic Gallery and the Greek and Roman Life room.

  1. What will I learn? By the end of the course you should be able to:

describe important aspects of Etruscan history, culture and society

appreciate the cultural achievements of the Etruscans

identify some of the ways in which scholars have interpreted the Etruscans

study and research Etruscan culture with a developed awareness of the material available for study.


City Lit via Zoom