Published on October 30, 2007
Etruscan Women: Etruscan Women The Other? Sketch of Etruscan History: Sketch of Etruscan History Iron Age: “Villanovan” culture, between the rivers Arno (runs through Florence) and Tiber (runs through Rome), gained a lot from outside influence in their mineral resources (9th-8th centuries). Women’s graves at this time contained spinning and weaving equipment, tablewear, jewelry, belts, and other items of personal adornment. Large numbers of amber, which was held to have magical powers. Mineral Deposits: Mineral Deposits Villanovan Rattle: Women spinning and weaving: Villanovan Rattle: Women spinning and weaving 7th Century: 7th Century Etruscans were able to acquire and commission luxury goods from the eastern Mediterranean. Politically, the Tarquin kingship in Rome is said to have been founded at this time. Etruscan Luxury Goods: Etruscan Luxury Goods 6th-5th Centuries: 6th-5th Centuries Tombs at Tarquinia and elsewhere preserve painting that gives us a glimpse of the world of the Etruscans. Topics: banquets, games, hunting Political form: city-states (aristocracies), loosely organized in a League of Twelve Peoples (12 cities). Etruscan Luxury, 6th c.: Incense Burner: Etruscan Luxury, 6th c.: Incense Burner Tarquinia Tombs: Tarquinia Tombs 4th Century: 4th Century Etruscan tombs designate the sex of those within: men marked by phallus-shaped stone pillars, women by house-shaped stone pillars. Romans began to take over the Etruscan city-states: 396 destruction of Veii 311 Romans head north into Etruria, establishing a military presence there. Grave Markers for Tombs: Grave Markers for Tombs Etruscan Influence on Rome: Etruscan Influence on Rome Writing (via the Greeks, Euboian traders nearby) Fasces (wooden rods = ability to have citizens beaten; axe = power of life and death; lackeys carried these before magistrates; consuls had 12) Toga (clothing in general) Curule Chair (special folding chair magistrates with imperium sat in) Temple architecture Engineering (roads, drains, sophisticated rock cutting for drainage) Kings Temple Architecture: Temple Architecture Etruscan Road: Etruscan Road Status of Women in Etruscan Culture: Status of Women in Etruscan Culture High compared with Greek and other cultures. Since all Etruscan literature is lost, how do we know about this status? Inscriptions, art, artifacts, Roman and Greek literature Banquets: Banquets As seen in art from tombs and elsewhere: Women reclined on banquet couches with their husbands (or other men, if we believe Theopompus). Note that after the Roman conquest of Etruria, these changed. Women were now depicted sitting upright by their reclining husbands. Tarquina Tomb Banquet Scene: Tarquina Tomb Banquet Scene Co-ed Spectator Sports: Co-ed Spectator Sports Etruscan art shows us men and women sitting together on bleachers to watch sporting events. Domestic Scenes of Husband and Wife: Domestic Scenes of Husband and Wife Artifacts such as mirrors show us spouses in domestic realm - even by their bed. Intimate, affectionate depictions of married couples interacting in art (tomb paintings of banquets, carved sarcophagi, mirrors, pottery). Bonfante points out that the Etruscans didn’t import as many Greek vases with scenes of women alone - they didn’t appeal as much in a society in which women were not sequestered and secluded like in Classical Athens. Mirrors Depicting Married Couples in Domestic Contexts: Mirrors Depicting Married Couples in Domestic Contexts Marriage Ceremony: Inspecting the Gifts?: Marriage Ceremony: Inspecting the Gifts? Couple on Sarcophagus: Couple on Sarcophagus Votive with Married Couple on Their Bed, 3rd c.: Votive with Married Couple on Their Bed, 3rd c. Greater Legal Rights: Greater Legal Rights Women had their own names (example: just plain Tanaquil, without reference to either father or husband). Women had greater social importance, as is implied by the fact that the dead are identified by means of both patronymic and matronymic (passed on their rank to their children?). Theopompus says that Etruscan women had the right to raise their children without their husbands formal recognition. Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa: Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa Died c. 150 BCE Her tomb was discovered in 1886, with her sarcophagus intact, with skeleton inside, near Chiusi in northern Etruria. These are all family names (Seiante and Tlesna clans; Seianti was her family name, Tlesnasa her husband’s), given above - we don’t know what her given name was. Her middle name, Hanunia, is the feminine form of Hanu, a given name often found in the Seiante family. Skeletal Analysis: Skeletal Analysis She was: elderly (around 55) Children in Art: Children in Art Unlike Greek culture, Etruscan culture has many artistic representations of children; often as infants with nursing mothers. Votive of Swaddled Baby: Votive of Swaddled Baby Literacy: Literacy A small percentage of bronze mirrors were inscribed with names, etc. Dress: Dress Women were depicted wearing heavy mantles (outerwear) and sturdy shoes, implying that they got out a lot more than Greek women. There was less of a distinction between male and female dress. Tomb of the 5 Chairs, Cerveteri: Tomb of the 5 Chairs, Cerveteri The Five Chairs: The Five Chairs Representations of Male/Female Ancestors (on the 5 chairs): Representations of Male/Female Ancestors (on the 5 chairs) Burial Iconography: Burial Iconography Tomb paintings (ex. Chiusi) show funeral games being performed in honor of the dead woman, who is shown seated with footstool and parasol, an equivalent scene to those of men (ex. Tomb of the Juggler at Tarquinia). Slide41: Tomb bedrooms: men and women’s beds have different shapes. Men’s a regular banquet couch, women’s banquet couches encased in house-shaped containers, with pediments at the front and back. “Woman” closely associated with the home. Male and Female Beds, Cerveteri: Male and Female Beds, Cerveteri Ash Urn as Female Bed: Ash Urn as Female Bed Sarcophagus Iconography: Sarcophagus Iconography Husband and wife were shown on terra-cotta sarcophagi shaped like couches, with a blanket over them (symbol of brides as well as marriage). Example: Sposi sarcophagus from Cerveteri (6th c.) Ash Urn as Sarcophagus of Old Married Couple: Ash Urn as Sarcophagus of Old Married Couple Reconstruction of Tomb: Reconstruction of Tomb Couples in Funerary Art: Larth and Velia, 4th c. Tarquinia: Couples in Funerary Art: Larth and Velia, 4th c. Tarquinia Velia Close Up: Velia Close Up Etruscan House: Etruscan House Tombs as Houses: Cerveteri, 4th c.: Tombs as Houses: Cerveteri, 4th c. House of the Impluvium, late 7th c.: House of the Impluvium, late 7th c. Votive Head of Woman: Votive Head of Woman Votive Head of a Girl: Votive Head of a Girl Votive of Man: Votive of Man Bronze Votive of Man, 4th c.: Bronze Votive of Man, 4th c. Bronze Votive of Man, 5th c.: Bronze Votive of Man, 5th c.