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Daily Life of the Etruscans
The Etruscans were the most important -- and remarkable -- of the peoples who inhabited early Italy. But when the Romans gained supremacy, the distinctive Etruscan culture gradually disappeared. This masterly re-creation of the lives of a now-forgotten people lifts the veil from every aspect of their civilization -- origins, language, religion, and art.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Phoenix
(first published 1961)
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Who knew we knew so little about the Etruscans? I appreciate the author's attempts to merge literary, archaeological and mythological glimpses of the Etruscans into a portrait of daily life, but there is still too little to build upon. Added to this, the author can be endearingly pedantic, but can also belabor points I'm ready to concede, such as, not all Etruscans were obese. That thesis really doesn't need a 12-page defense.
It's tough to review books about Etruscology, because mostly the running thread between all of them is there isn't a lot to write about. For any particular question one might have about Etruscan culture, the answer seems to be, "We don't really know, or can't say for certain." Consequently they fill the pages not with information about Etruscans, but about the study of Etruscans—history of the discipline, what the evidence is (without too many conclusions), comparisons to Greece, etc.