Etruscan hedonism, women, and cruelty : interpretation of ancient writings and archaeological sources

Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. 149-162
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Etruscan control in Italy was not constrained distinctly by the well-known region of Etruscan culture (Tuscany and northern Lazio). The Etruscan power also extended toward the southwestern areas (Campania) as well as to the northern parts of Italy (Po valley). The impact of Etruscan culture spread over the entire land. The essential wellsprings of the paper are represented by the ancient sources in Latin and Greek from different periods treating Etruscan culture and society. The ancient authors portrayed the high class of society intentionally. They planned to define Etruscans as pleasure-seekers that participated in the spectacular banquets. The truth of the matter, from an archaeological perspective, is that it was not completely real. Archaeobotanical and anthropological investigation demonstrates that the way of life of the vast majority of the Etruscan population was standardly modest. Comparison of ancient written sources with archaeological data proves that the ancient writers were one-sided, sometimes without a critical approach to the sources, which could cause the misconception of certain components of Etruscan culture. There could be several reasons why it was so. The main focus of this paper is the examination of these reasons.
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