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Etruscan Italy: Life and Afterlife | February 28-29, 2020

Date:

02/28/2020


Etruscan Italy: Life and Afterlife | February 28-29, 2020

Join Humanities West for a fascinating series of lectures about the Etruascan civilization at the Marines' Memorial Theatre.

The Etruscans were major contributors to some of Western civilization’s greatest achievements in architecture, engineering, and art. A sophisticated and wealthy people living in central Italy between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, the Etruscans leave us much of their past through their material culture, namely, tombs, temples, habitation sites, and more. By the 7th century BCE the Etruscans had created a broad network of commercial and artistic trade routes throughout the Mediterranean and were avid importers of Greek and Near Eastern art. Their artistic legacy lives on in their tomb paintings, bronze and clay sculpture, vase paintings and gold jewelry. In fact, since their literature has not survived, it is from their material history that we learn about their fascinating culture. More...

 

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PROGRAM

Friday, February 28, 2020 | 7:30-9:30 pm

Etruscan Life and Afterlife Revisited - Lisa C. Pieraccini (History of Art, Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology, UC Berkeley)

The Etruscans were major contributors to some of Western civilization’s greatest achievements in architecture, engineering and art. A sophisticated people living in central Italy in the first millennium BCE, the Etruscans leave us much of their past through archaeological remains, namely, tombs, temples and towns. Their artistic legacy lives on in tomb paintings, sculptures, vase paintings and gold jewelry. Since their literature has not survived, we rely on their material culture to provide insight into their fascinating culture. What new perspectives and insights have broadened our understanding of Etruscan life and afterlife and why do scholars refrain from describing them as ‘mysterious’?

Performance: Etruscans at the Opera: Highlights from Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia / Introduced by Clifford (Kip) Cranna (Dramaturg Emeritus, San Francisco Opera)

Tradition holds that the rape of the Roman noblewoman Lucretia by the Etruscan Prince Tarquinius sparked the overthrow of the Roman monarchy and the birth of the Republic. Benjamin Britten’s eloquent chamber opera tells the story in music of haunting beauty. The cast of four talented singers features Chantal Grybas as Lucretia, Eugene Brancoveanu as the Etruscan Tarquinius, and Hope Briggs and Christopher Colmenero as the Female and Male Chorus (Narrators), with Kevin Korth, piano.

 

Saturday, February 29, 2020 | 10 am-noon & 1:30-4 pm

Etruscan Development of Organized Government & City-States / Ingrid Edlund-Berry (Professor Emerita, University of Texas)

The Etruscans had a common language and shared the area that is equivalent to today’s Tuscany. They traveled extensively within Italy and across the Mediterranean as merchants and sometimes as pirates and returned home with new experiences and abundant wealth. Surprisingly, perhaps, the strength of Etruscan power was manifested through an intricate pattern of local governments where each city state prospered on its own terms. As their neighbor Rome came to experience, each Etruscan city acted independently, and only occasionally formed alliances based on common religious or political interests, using their individuality as a tool to create unity and strength.

The Etruscans in the Roman Imagination / Christopher Hallett (Professor of History of Art and Classics, UC Berkeley)

By the late 1st century BCE the old Etruscan cities of central Italy had all been absorbed by the Romans, and Etruscan culture lived on only in memory. The language was moribund, inscriptions less and less frequent; Etruscan literature—mostly works on religion—translated into Latin. But at the beginning of the reign of Augustus (ca. 30 BCE) there was a great revival of interest in the Etruscans. What did Romans of Augustus’ generation choose to remember about their great predecessors in central Italy? What did they make of the legends, the art, the buildings that survived?

Quintessentially Etruscan: Art and Architecture from the Villanovan to the Etrusco-Roman Period / Alexandra A. Carpino (Professor of Art History, Northern Arizona University)

From the 9th century on, Etruscan and immigrant artists and craftsmen created temples, tombs, vases, jewelry and more for individuals eager to communicate statements about their wealth, families, beliefs and traditions. While foreign influences are undeniable, Etruscan art stands out for its sophisticated mastery of terracotta and metal, its vividly expressive style and its memorable content, which includes both local stories and tales from the Hellenic repertoire rarely if ever visualized in the classical world. While assessments of meaning can be challenging, given the absence of their literature and histories, Etruscan art brings to life a remarkable Mediterranean culture.

The Rediscovery of the Etruscans: A Retrospective / Lisa C. Pieraccini (History of Art, Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology, University of California Berkeley)

The question here is, where did the Etruscans go? This presentation traces the reception of certain aspects of Etruscan culture over several centuries to the present. Examples of Etruscan reception, including monuments, forgeries, borrowings of imagery, collecting and subjects of literary works illustrate the varying motivations through the ages for appropriating the Etruscans. Dr Pieraccini seeks to illuminate where the Etruscans have gone and suggest where they still might be going.

Discussion with Presenters / George Hammond, Moderator (Humanities West)

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Information

Date: Da Friday, February 28, 2020 a Saturday, February 29, 2020

Organized by : Humanities West

Entrance : With fee


Location:

Marines' Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St

1442