The Religion of the Etruscans

The Religion of the Etruscans


Edited by Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Edited by Erika Simon

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Paperback | 239 pages
  • Dimensions: 208mm x 279mm x 18mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 0292721463
  • ISBN 13: 9780292721463
  • Sales rank: 1,291,395

Product description

Devotion to religion was the distinguishing characteristic of the Etruscan people, the most powerful civilization of Italy in the Archaic period. From a very early date, Etruscan religion spread its influence into Roman society, especially with the practice of divination. The Etruscan priest Spurinna, to give a well-known example, warned Caesar to beware the Ides of March. Yet despite the importance of religion in Etruscan life, there are relatively few modern comprehensive studies of Etruscan religion, and none in English. This volume seeks to fill that deficiency by bringing together essays by leading scholars that collectively provide a state-of-the-art overview of Etruscan religion. The eight essays in this book cover all of the most important topics in Etruscan religion, including the Etruscan pantheon and the roles of the gods, the roles of priests and divinatory practices, votive rituals, liturgical literature, sacred spaces and temples, and burial and the afterlife. In addition to the essays, the book contains valuable supporting materials, including the first English translation of an Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar (which guided priests in making divinations), Greek and Latin sources about Etruscan religion (in the original language and English translation), a concordance to Etruscan inscriptions, and a glossary. Nearly 150 black and white photographs and drawings illustrate surviving Etruscan artefacts and inscriptions, as well as temple floor plans and reconstructions.

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Review quote

"I cannot praise this book sufficiently... The authors are first-rate scholars in the field; they provide up-to-date information, support, and analysis of the topic. The book offers a great deal of new data and new interpretation in an accessible, clear manner." Helen Nagy, Professor of Art, University of Puget Sound "Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon in their edited collection, The Religion of the Etruscans, offer contributions by the leading specialists on many of the key topics ... These are important topics and make for excellent reading."--Times Literary Supplement, 9 March 2007 Reviewed by D. Paleothodros in French Journal Les Etudes Classiques, 75, 3