Etruscans and Romans


The Etruscans were living in what we now know as the center of Italy from around 700 BCE until they were absorbed by Imperial Rome in the 4th century BCE.  The Etruscan civilization leaves very little behind so it takes a vivid imagination to comprehend the great influence they had on ancient Rome.  They were skilled craftsmen and artists.  The Villa Giulia is now the museum that houses the largest collection of the works that still survive.  Most of what has survived was found in vast tombs in central Italy, as the Etruscans had a complex association with the afterlife.

A bit about the villa itself- it was built as a summer retreat for Pope Julius III and once housed a large collection of statues which of course are now in the Vatican Museum.  In 1889 it was converted to the museum it is now and has had some recent upgrades as well.  It’s quite well put together and houses the Husband and Wife sarcophagus that is in our textbook.  I never realized she has cowboy boots on!  I was most happy to see that two vases that had been at the Metropolitan Museum of Art including the Euphronius Vase have been returned and are housed here.

We also visited the Campidoglio, a square designed by Michelangelo and displaying prominently, the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, though the original is inside the Capitoline Museum, which we also visited.

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