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Etruscan and Italic Studies

Journal of the Etruscan Foundation

Editor-in-Chief: Meyers, Gretchen E.

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2566-9109
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Stories in Clay: Mythological Characters on Ceramics in Archaic Etruria

Dr. Lucy Shipley
  • Corresponding author
  • Independent Scholar, Lower Rodway Farm, Devon, Devon EX14 9DN, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Published Online: 2016-11-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/etst-2015-0025

Abstract

Attic vases were imported to Etruria in large numbers during the Archaic period (650–450 B. C. E.). A large corpus of decorative imagery has been scrupulously recorded in great detail, presenting a contrast with the antiquarian excavation methods which unearthed them. This article considers a corpus of imported ceramic vessels excavated at Chiusi, Tarquinia and Vulci to explore the presence of different characters and themes in Greek mythology within Etruria, examining the popularity of particular mythological motifs and images. These are then compared with a subsidiary corpus of comparable date from the Athenian Agora. The results of the analysis are interpreted to suggest that Etruscan consumers were deliberately acquiring iconographic content that related to indigenous Italian mythologies, values and ideals. The analysis proposes that the reception of imported mythology reflects themes of consequence in Etruscan mythology, closely related to the context of the use of these vessels in both feasts and funerals.

Keywords: ceramics; mythology; gender; imagery; Chiusi; Tarquinia; Vulci; Attic vases

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Published Online: 2016-11-05

Published in Print: 2016-11-01


Citation Information: Etruscan Studies, Volume 19, Issue 2, Pages 225–255, ISSN (Online) 2163-8217, ISSN (Print) 1080-1960, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/etst-2015-0025.

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