The Etruscans were a people of sophisticated culture and technology who lived in the area between Florence and Rome. Their civilization flourished for nearly a thousand years before being subsumed by the Roman Empire, but they left a substantial legacy to western civilization. In antiquity they were known as a wealthy, luxury-loving people, fond of banqueting and music and deeply religious. They were highly literate, but their literature has not survived, so we turn to Etruscan art to tell us about their mythology and beliefs. Their plentiful, spontaneous art also tells us a great deal about their lives and about the importance of women in their aristocratic society. Most informative of their own distinctive and colorful beliefs are their interpretations of scenes from Greek mythology, reflecting the importance of goddesses and demons in their religion, as well as scenes of the human sacrifice they practiced. This book serves as an excellent introduction to the world of the Etruscans and their mythology and is plentifully illustrated from the vast collection of the British Museum and other international museums.
About the Author:
Larissa Bonfante, late Professor of Classics at New York University, specialized in Etruscan civilization. Judith Swaddling is an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum, where she is responsible for the Etruscan collections.