Faculty Seminar Advisor

John L. Rector



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The late eighth to early fifth centuries BC were a time of cultural growth in Etruria, fueled by a growing economy and active maritime trade. This time is generally considered to be the time when the Greeks imported much of their culture to the Etruscans and gave Etruscan culture its distinct Hellenistic cast. Since excavations have been carried out on only a very few Etruscan settlements, this influence is instead most noticeable in burials where foreign elements have been found, including imported dining wares and painted banquet scenes with plenty of

Greek elements. The presence of these elements has in the past been interpreted as the Etruscans allowing facets of Greek civilization to overtake their own. However, as Bruno D’Agostino states, “...in the ancient Mediterranean world the moment of death is the occasion on which the community tends to make explicit its own system of values...” and funerary images are the society’s own descript ion of itself. Thus, as shown by their own burials, the Etruscans absorbed cultural elements from Greece and the Near East and adapted them for use with their own traditions.