The World of the Etruscans

From the 8th to 4th centuries BC, the sophisticated and innovative Etruscans dominated the beautiful area of Italy now known as Tuscany. Their ancient native culture interacted with those of Greece and Phoenicia to produce an astonishing array of frescos, jewellery, sculpture and pottery. The Etruscans were famous for their oracles, metalwork, and elaborate “cities of the dead”. Their civilization profoundly influenced, and threatened, the Romans who gradually obliterated Etruscan language and culture. This new eight week course will examine these fascinating people in detail as well as the beautiful areas of Tuscany and Umbria where they lived.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


  • Barker, G., and Rasmussen, T., 2000, The Etruscans, Malden, Mass.
  • Bonfante, G., 1983, The Etruscan Language: an introduction, Manchester
  • Bonfante, L., 2006, Etruscan Myth, London
  • Bonfante, L., 1990, Etruscan, London
  • Bonfante, L., Ed., 1986, Etruscan Life and Afterlife: a handbook of Etruscan studies, Warminster
  • Izzet, V., 2007, The Archaeology of Etruscan Society, Cambridge
  • MacNamara, E., 1990, The Etruscans, London
  • Settis, S., Ed., 1985, The Land of the Etruscans, Florence
  • Spivey, N., 1997, Etruscan Art, London
  • Torelli, M., 2000, The Etruscans, Milan


  • Geography of Etrusca, The origins of the Etruscans – ancient sources versus archaeology, The Villanovian “proto-Etruscan” period c900-700BC
  • The Villa Guilia Etruscan Museum in Rome – a brief introduction, The Orientalising Period – c700-c600BC – growing interaction with Greeks and Phoenicians, Etruscan kingship and governance
  • Etruscan language and literacy, Etruscan Religion and Myths, Tarquinia and Gravisca
  • Cerveteri and Pyrgi, Veii, Orvieto
  • Volterra, Chiusi
  • Populonia, Vulci
  • Etruscan women, Archaic and Classical Etrusca – expansion and war
  • Descent into obscurity – how the Etruscans became “mysterious”, The Etruscan influence on Rome


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Have a good overview of Etruscan chronology and social development.
  2. Understand some of the known concepts of Etruscan religion, language and society.
  3. Enjoy a thorough knowledge of the geography and archaeology of the area of Etruria which will provide the student with an excellent basis for travel in the region.
  4. Gain appreciation of the variety and beauty of the material culture and environment of the Etruscan world and those of some of its contemporaries.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .