The ancient Etruscans have left many tantalizing traces of their unique culture in the form of temples, towns, and tombs and the wealth of artifacts and works of art they contained. Although often characterized as a mysterious people, we can, in fact, learn a great deal about the Etruscans from their artistic and archaeological remains. This course will examine the material evidence for Etruscan life from the 8th to the 1st century BC, taking into account artistic developments, socioeconomic and political conditions, religious and burial practices, gender issues, and historical events. It will also take note of the influence of Etruscan civilization on the Romans and on later cultural periods in Italy. Twice-weekly illustrated lectures and class discussions will be supplemented when possible by visits to area museums. Readings include a textbook and articles in an electronic course pack. Grading is based on class participation (which includes discussion of reading assignments), two examinations (a midterm and a final based on image identifications and essay questions), and short writing assignments on Etruscan objects. Students enrolled for graduate credit must also write a substantial research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Students may elect to focus their research on Etruscan artifacts in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
Estimated cost: $50 or more but less than $100. D. 1