Etruscan resources
March 13, 2013 1:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
posted by the man of twists and turns to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do you speak Italian at all?

UPenn's Guide to the Etruscan and Roman Worlds : while based on a specific set of galleries, it has some good info on the Etruscans in general, if you have access through ILL or a university

Etruscan Life and Afterlife: A Handbook of Etruscan Studies, Larissa Bonfante

This is a pretty good starting guide, actually:

Links to many of the best Etruscan museum collections, including the Met's always-quality timeline

I apologize for the formatting as I'm
on my phone, but I'm excited because the Etruscans are crazy awesome and so relatively unknown, despite phenomenal art, crazy demons, co-ed parties, and ridiculous gold jewelry! Good luck with your research!
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:05 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a book called Mentors to the Romans: The Search for the Etruscans, by Richard M. Bongiovanni. It shows up out of stock on Amazon, but several used copies are for sale, plus sure it can be found used on other sites. It's a pretty decent read, with lots of b&w photos, plus an extensive bibliography.

Some Googling reveals the author is a member of the Etruscan Foundation. I have no knowledge of them, but they may have more resources for you.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:09 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Whoops forgot Nancy de Grummond, another top prof in the field....The Religion of the Etruscans and Etruscan Myth, Sacred History, and Legend
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:11 PM on March 13, 2013

The go-to guy for Etruscans (and really the granddaddy of modern research) was Massimo Pallottino. He has several books to his name, and I found him to be quite readable. However, his last work was maybe over twenty years ago now, so could be badly out of date. If you're meaning to do some serious reading on the subject then put him on your list, but maybe not if you're only looking for an up-to-date summary.
posted by Jehan at 2:18 PM on March 13, 2013

Best answer: I did some studies on the Etruscans while I was in Italy... Larissa Bonfante came up a lot. I wrote a paper specifically on jewelry (which ties in to some burial rites as well), so here's some stuff related to that:

Ancient Jewellery, Interpreting the Past by Jack Ogden

The Etruscans by Michael Grant

Etruscan Dress by Larissa Bonfante

I also have some photos of Etruscan tombs I explored (I felt very Indiana Jones-y) that I'd be happy to email you, just memail me if you'd like to see. Sadly, I don't have any photos from all the Etruscan stuff we saw in the museums in Rome.
posted by jorlyfish at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2013

Best answer: Sybille Haynes' Etruscan Civilization is the current standard intro.
posted by oinopaponton at 2:36 PM on March 13, 2013

Best answer: Melvyn Bragg did a show about the Etruscans. The show page also has a bibliography.
posted by rustcellar at 3:19 PM on March 13, 2013

This is kind of a long shot, but perhaps something could come of it:
In the 1990s an American professor named Tony Tuck was in charge of an Etruscan dig in an Italian city called Murlo. There may be interesting documentation and academic papers from his work there.
posted by Tchad at 3:59 PM on March 13, 2013

Best answer: I should have given you a longer answer earlier, because I actually do a fair bit of work on the Etruscans.

an Etruscan dig in an Italian city called Murlo

The Etruscan site at Murlo is Poggio Civitate, where the "Cowboy of Murlo" was found.

There is a whole lot out there about the Etruscans, and a lot of it is completely wrong and outdated. Be very careful with anything more than 15 years old. Definitely start with the Haynes I mentioned above -- her book is the most complete and up to date -- and then you might like to try the Bonfantes' The Etruscan Language, which is not the newest book on Etruscan, but is the most readable. Then you can go to museums like the Met or the MFA and sound out inscriptions, which is fun.

Most of the recent English-language work on Etruscan stuff has been written by scholars of early Rome, not dedicated Etruscologists. Tim Cornell and Peter Wiseman rely very heavily on Etruscan evidence for their work on early Rome, which means they give helpful summaries of the major Italian and German secondary sources. Both are also a lot of fun to read.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to MeMail me and I'll be happy to point you in the direction of interesting articles, etc.
posted by oinopaponton at 4:30 PM on March 13, 2013

This article (completely a layman's discussion), on the Etruscan origins of the Papal and Cardinal wardrobes, came to my attention today.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 4:50 PM on March 13, 2013

Among the older texts but a lot of fun is George Dennis' Cities and Cemetaries of Etruria

See also Richardson, Emeline, The Etruscans: their art and civilization, etc.
posted by BWA at 4:51 PM on March 13, 2013

Response by poster: Prince_of_Cups: that's how this whole question started.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:10 PM on March 13, 2013

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