Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Etruscan and Italic Studies

Journal of the Etruscan Foundation

Editor-in-Chief: Meyers, Gretchen E.

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Performing the Prothesis: Gender, Gesture, Ritual and Role on the Chiusine Reliefs from Archaic Etruria

Laurel Taylor
Published Online: 2014-05-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/etst-2014-0007


In this article, prothesis imagery on relief monuments from Archaic Chiusi is examined. The lying in state of the corpse, a scene initially adopted from Attic models in the Archaic period, appears frequently among the Chiusine corpus. Unlike Attic prothesis imagery, the prothesis scene at Chiusi shows significant variation in gender roles, gestures, and notions of pollution. Additionally, the frequent inclusion of children within the reliefs may reflect a high degree of social visibility and participation among all age groups in the mourning ritual in Etruria.

Keywords: Chiusi; relief sculpture; prothesis; funerary imagery; Archaic Etruria; children


  • Ahlberg, G. 1971. Prothesis and Ekphora in Greek Geometric Art. Göteborg: P. Åström.Google Scholar

  • Alexiou, M. 2002. The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Beaumont, L. 2012. Childhood in Ancient Athens. Iconography and Social History. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Becker, H. 2007. Production, Consumption and Society in North Etruria During the Archaic ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬and Classical Periods: The World of Lars Porsenna‬. Ph.D. diss., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Google Scholar

  • Boardman, J. 1955. “Painted Funerary Plaques and Some Remarks on Prothesis.” BSA 50: 51–66.Google Scholar

  • Bonfante, L. 2003. Etruscan Dress. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

  • Brigger, E., and A. Giovannini. 2004. “Prothésis: étude sur les rites funéraires chez les Grecs et les étrusques.” MEFRA 116: 179–248.Google Scholar

  • Briguet, M. F. 1972. “La sculpture en pierre fétide de Chiusi au Musée du Louvre.” MEFRA 84.2 847–877.Google Scholar

  • Bruni, S. 2009. “Rituals and Ideology of the Orientalising Aristocracies: Pisa and the Origins of the Funus Imaginarium.” In Etruscan by Definition: The Culture, Regional and Personal Identity of the Etruscans. Papers in Honour of Sybille Haynes, edited by J. Swaddling and P. Perkins, 74–80. London: British Museum.Google Scholar

  • Camporeale, G. 1959. “Le scene etrusche di protesi.” RM 66: 31–44.Google Scholar

  • Clark, C. 2009. “To Kneel or not to Kneel: Gendered Nonverbal Behavior in Greek Ritual.” In Women, Gender and Religion (Journal of Religion and Society Supp. 5) edited by S. Calef and R. Simkins, 6–20 [http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2009/2009-7.pdf].

  • Colonna, G., and E. Di Paolo. 1997. “Il letto vuoto, la distribuzione del corredo e la ‘finestra’ della tomba Regolini-Galassi.” In Etrusca et italica: Scritti in ricordo di Massimo Pallottino, edited by G. Colonna and M. Cristofani, 131–71. Pisa: Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali.Google Scholar

  • Damgaard Andersen, H. 1993. “The Etruscan ancestral cult: its origins, and development, and the importance of anthropomorphization.” AnalRom 25: 7–66.Google Scholar

  • D’Agostino, B. 1989. “Image and society in archaic Etruria.” JRS 79: 1–10.Google Scholar

  • Erker, D. 2011. “Gender and Roman Funerary Ritual.” In Memory and Mourning: Studies on Roman Death, edited by V. Hope and J. Huskinson, 40–60. Oxford: Oxbow Books.Google Scholar

  • Gastaldi, P. ed. 1998. Studi su Chiusi Arcaica, AnnAStorAnt, n.s. 5. Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale.Google Scholar

  • Haynes, S. 2000. Etruscan Civilization: a Cultural History. Los Angeles: Getty Publications.Google Scholar

  • Havelock, C. 1982. “Mourners on Greek Vases: Remarks on the Social History of Women.” In Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, edited by Norma Broude and Mary Garrard, 45–61. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

  • Hus, A. 1961. Recherches sur la statuaire en pierre étrusque archaïque. Paris: Editions E. de Boccard.Google Scholar

  • Iozzo, M., and F. Galli, eds. 2003. Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Chiusi: Edizioni Luì.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 1984. Les reliefs archaïques de Chiusi. Rome: Collections de l’Ѐcole française de Rome.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 1987. “Chiusi au Ve siècle: Des reliefs archaïques aux statues assises.” Latomus 46.1: 37–51.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 1988. “Musique et musiciens étrusques.” CRAI 311–34.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 1993. “Insignia potestatis. Les signes du pouvoir dans l’iconographie de Chiusi.” In La civiltà di Chiusi e del suo territorio: Atti del XVII Convegno di studi etruschi ed italici, edited by Gugliermo Maetzke, 217–231. Florence: Leo S. Olschki.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 1998. “Les magistrats, leurs insignes et les jeux étrusques.” MEFRA 110.2: 635–645.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 2004. “Assemblées de femmes: une survivance clusienne des valeurs familiales archaïques.” RA 1: 33–49.Google Scholar

  • Jannot, J.-R. 2010. “Les Reliefs De Chiusi: Mise À Jour De Nos Connaissances.” MEFRA 122.1: 51–72.Google Scholar

  • Kurtz, D.C. 1985. “Vases for the Dead: An Attic Selection, 750–400 B.C.” In Ancient Greek and Related Pottery, edited by H.A.G. Brijder, 314–328. Amsterdam: Allard Pierson Series.Google Scholar

  • Meyers, G. 2013. “Women and the Production of Ceremonial Textiles: A Reevaluation of Ceramic Textile Tools in Etrusco-Italic Sanctuaries.” AJA 117.2: 247–274.Google Scholar

  • Minetti, A. 2004. L’Orientalizzante a Chiusi e nel suo territorio. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.Google Scholar

  • Oakley, J. H. 2003. “Death and the Child.” In Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, edited by J. Neils and J. Oakley, 163-194. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

  • Oakley, J. H. 2008 “Women in Athenian Ritual and Funerary Art.” In Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens, edited by N. Kaltsas and A. Shapiro, 334–341. New York: Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.Google Scholar

  • Parker, R. 1983. Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

  • Paribeni, E. 1938. “I rilievi chiusini arcaici.” StEtr 12: 57–139.Google Scholar

  • Paribeni, E. 1939. “I rilievi chiusini arcaici.” StEtr 13: 179–203.Google Scholar

  • Pieraccini, L. 2000. “Families, Feasting and Funerals: Funerary Ritual at Ancient Caere.” EtrStud 7: 35–49.Google Scholar

  • Pontrandolfo, A., S. Rouveret, and M. Cipriani. 2004. The Painted Tombs of Paestum. Naples: Pandemos.Google Scholar

  • Rathje, A. 1990 “The Adoption of the Homeric Banquet in Central Italy in the Orientalizzing Period.” In Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion, edited by O. Murray, 279–88. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

  • Rastrelli, A. 1998. “La necropoli di Poggio Gaiella.” In Studi su Chiusi Arcaica, AnnAStorAnt, n.s. 5, edited by P. Gastaldi, 57–80. Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale.Google Scholar

  • Riva, C. 2010. The Urbanisation of Etruria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Shapiro, H. 1991. “The Iconography of Mourning in Athenian Art.” AJA 95 (4): 629–656.Google Scholar

  • Steingräber, S. 1995. “Funerary architecture in Chiusi.” EtrStud 2.1: 53–84.Google Scholar

  • Steingräber, S. 2006. Abundance of Life: Etruscan Wall Painting. Los Angeles: Getty Press.Google Scholar

  • Steingräber, S. 2009. “The Cima Tumulus at San Giuliano—an aristocratic tomb and monument for the cult of the ancestors of the late orientalizing period.” In Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion. Studies in Honor of Jean MacIntosh Turfa, edited by M. Gleba and H. Becker, 123–33. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Taylor, L. 2011. “Mourning Becomes Etruria: Ritual, Performance and Iconography in the Seventh and Sixth Centuries.” EtrStud 14: 39–54.Google Scholar

  • Tuck, A. 1994. “The Etruscan Seated Banquet: Villanova Ritual and Etruscan Iconography.” AJA 98: 617–628.Google Scholar

  • Thuillier, J-P. 1997. “Un relief archaïque inédit de Chiusi.” RA 2: 243–260.Google Scholar

  • Toynbee, J. M. C. 1971. Death and Burial in the Roman World. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

  • Vermeule, E. 1979. Aspects of Death in Early Greek Art and Poetry. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2014-05-07

Published in Print: 2014-05-31

Citation Information: Etruscan Studies, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 1–27, ISSN (Online) 2163-8217, ISSN (Print) 1080-1960, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/etst-2014-0007.

Export Citation

© 2014 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in