"The Secret Lives of Etruscan Wives"

Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Contact: Connie Rodriguez · rodrigue@loyno.edu · 865.2287

Location: Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall

A Lecture by

Dr. Jean MacIntosh Turfa

Mediterranean Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum

The William J. Roberts Lectureship of the AIA

free admission and free parking on campus (West Road Garage and the Horseshoe)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Etruscan women “… are big drinkers and especially good-looking…” said the Greek author Theopompus … Etruscan literature is lost, and the Romans and Greeks, their rivals, have left us a wildly biased perspective on Etruscan culture. What is the truth about these women, who, while their Greek and Roman sisters had to keep out of sight doing housework, owned land and ran factories, even bought and sold slaves (and sometimes married them)? Thanks to archaeology and their inscriptions, we now know the stories of some Etruscan women, like Kanuta the slave girl who gained her freedom, married into the ruling family of Volsinii (Orvieto) and patronized the great sanctuary, the Fanum Voltumnae. Many Etruscan women were highly literate, and left thousands of votive body parts at healing shrines. They wove plaid clothing, used state of the art cosmetics and medical remedies, drove their own chariots, and were the only ancient people to use false teeth. In Orvieto in 263 BCE, desperate Etruscan housewives triggered a counter-revolt that toppled their oppressors – and delivered the impregnable city into Rome’s clutches. Etruscans’ personal experiences lie at the roots of today’s rock-star Grillz, the gauge of European railways, and perhaps even our modern attitudes toward women and literacy, travel and citizenship. A look at Etruria’s powerful females shows there really is no secret about it – they were modern women in the Old World.