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Top 10 Facts About the Ancient Etruscans

Oct

15

Written by Nicole Gaudier, Curatorial Intern

This series will highlight 10 quick and easy facts about different cultures, artistic movements, and stylistic periods.  Stay tuned for the next list in the series!

Artist unknown (Etruscan), Pair Gold Earrings, 5th-6th century BC, gold, Purchased with funds from Membership Contributions, AP.1973.6.1

Artist unknown (Etruscan), Pair Gold Earrings, 5th-6th century BC, gold, Purchased with funds from Membership Contributions, AP.1973.6.1

10.The Etruscan language was not related to any other language, and although there is historical evidence of written religious and secular documents, it has no major surviving literary works.

9. The Etruscans traded with the ancient Greeks and the Greek colonies throughout the Mediterranean, and were both influenced by and influenced the Greeks.

8. The Etruscans were known for their jewelry especially those made with gold and semi-precious stones.

7. The Etruscans influenced the Romans in many ways including their city grid plans, their invention and use of the arch, the layout of aristocratic homes, and their polytheistic religion, especially those gods who had been accepted by the Greeks.

6. They were of the first Mediterranean society to adopt a grid plan for their cities.

5. Most of their remaining art is funerary, including: wall frescos, cinerary urns, terracotta portraits, and sarcophagi.

Artist unknown (Etruscan), Mirror, late 4th Century BC, bronze, h: 10 ¾, Gift of Dr. M. Anwar Kamal, AG.1984.5.1.

Artist unknown (Etruscan), Mirror, late 4th Century BC, bronze, h: 10 ¾, Gift of Dr. M. Anwar Kamal, AG.1984.5.1.

4. The Tuscan region is named after them: Tuscany comes from the Latin, Tuscanus from the word Tuscas ‘an Etruscan.’

3. They were master bronze smiths and their detailed work has been found  throughout the Mediterranean.

2. The art and archeological records of the Etruscans have given us the most information about them.

1. The Etruscans were an ancient Italic culture that lived in central Italy from roughly the ninth century BC, until they were conquered by the Romans in the first century BC.

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