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The Mysterious Etruscans

The Mysterious Etruscans
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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Between the Greeks and Romans
Meet the Etruscans. Although you may not know much about them, this opening lecture quickly shows how they served as a conduit between the Greeks and the Romans, influencing much…
Episode 2 Lost Cities of Tuscany
Although Etruscan cities no longer survive, we can learn much by studying the geography and the foundations of cities that were built over the Etruscan developments. Explore three Etruscan cities…
Episode 3 Who Founded Rome?
Much of Rome's geography, architecture, and artistic inscriptions suggest strong Etruscan influence. After discussing three Etruscan kings who ruled Rome, Professor Tuck reviews the evidence--particularly in some of the city's…
Episode 4 Etruscan Cities of the Dead
Step into the Etruscan necropolis--a literal city of the dead--which tells us much about how the culture viewed the afterlife, social class, and more. In this first of three lectures…
Episode 5 Etruscan Burial and Mourning
Funeral rites are some of the most conservative components of a culture. Because they change so slowly, we can learn much from looking at a society's funerals. Here, examine Etruscan…
Episode 6 Etruscan Afterlife
Round out your study of the Etruscan view of the dead and the afterlife by examining wall paintings. Reflect on some of the key symbols around the transition from the…
Episode 7 Etruscan Gods and Goddesses
Shift your attention from the afterlife to survey Etruscan gods and goddesses. Learn about their pantheon and see how their deities compare to Greek and Roman gods, and consider what…
Episode 8 Divination: The Will of the Gods
One of the longest-lasting Etruscan legacies is divination, which had a profound influence on Rome. Venture into the Etruscan cosmos and find out how the interpretation of entrails, the flight…
Episode 9 Sanctuaries and Sacred Places
Sanctuaries reflect Etruscan religious beliefs and offer critical insight into their culture and politics. Examine the placement and design of several key sanctuaries, and contrast them with Greek temples. After…
Episode 10 Etruscan Myths, Legends, and Heroes
While much of their art incorporates Greek elements--confusing archaeologists for decades--the Etruscans have their own distinct myths and legends. Here, delve into some of those stories and meet heroes such…
Episode 11 Greek Myth: Etruscan Tombs and Temples
Between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC, the Etruscans imported thousands of pieces of Greek pottery, and this ubiquity influenced much of their own art. Study the urns, tomb paintings,…
Episode 12 Greek Myth: Etruscan Homes
Continue your study of how Greek mythology influenced the Etruscans. Look at carvings, sculptural reliefs, bronze works, and other media that depict scenes from Greek myths. Examples include scenes from…
Episode 13 Etruscan Language and Literature
The Etruscan language survives in more than 13,000 texts, from religious transcriptions on mummy linens to fascinating legal contracts written in stone. Because the Etruscans had a primarily oral culture,…
Episode 14 Etruscan Government
Reflect on the Etruscan form of government, which shifted from tyranny to a kind of city-state democracy. Examine some of the limitations of their democracy--especially in the realm of defense…
Episode 15 Etruscan Warriors and Warfare
The Etruscan militaries were formidable, and their navies sailed around the Mediterranean, threatening many foreign settlements. Yet the military structure--or lack thereof--combined with a lack of any grand strategy, meant…
Episode 16 Mediterranean Artisans and Merchants
Turn to the Etruscans' extensive trade network across the Mediterranean, and consider some of their imports from the Greeks and Phoenicians--including pottery, ivory, glass, and more. Reflect on arts and…
Episode 17 Bronze, Terra-Cotta, and Portraiture
Dig deeper into Etruscan artwork and go inside the world of bronze metalworking and the terra-cotta industry. Professor Tuck shows you the patterns to their art, traces the Greek influence,…
Episode 18 Etruscan Sports and Spectacles
Sport and spectacle have long been part of human affairs. We associate gladiatorial combat with the Romans, but it actually originated with the Etruscans, who held such combats and chariot…
Episode 19 The Etruscan Banquet
Banquets were the most significant social experience in the Etruscan world. Using tomb art as your guide, delve into the banquet world and see the customs for celebrating victories and…
Episode 20 Etruscan Women
One stark contrast between Etruscan society and the Greek and Roman worlds is the relative equality of Etruscan women to men. They appeared in public and even danced and banqueted…
Episode 21 Etruscan Families
Relative equality between men and women extended to family life, as well. In this lecture, take a look at the Etruscan family structure and compare it to the Greeks, Romans,…
Episode 22 The Etruscan World Falls Apart
Many people assume that Etruscan culture simply died after the rise of Rome, but in truth, the culture lived on several centuries into Roman rule. Trace the history of the…
Episode 23 Etruscan Legacy in the Roman World
Tour Rome in the era of Augustus at the turn of the Common Era to reveal the Etruscans' influence on all things Roman. While Etruscan culture officially faded away, you'll…
Episode 24 Where Have the Etruscans Gone?
In this final lecture, you'll trace the influence of Etruscan art and architecture in the Renaissance, when many exports of "Roman" culture were actually Etruscan. Then review what modern DNA…

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