39584 - Introduction to Etruscology (1)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will know the rudiments of Etruscan history and civilization and the various kinds of source needed to reconstruct these, as well as how the Etruscan world typically relates to other cultures. They will speak and write using the appropriate terminology, and be able to describe and illustrate the various aspects of cultural encounters (connection, hybridization, conflict). They will have learnt to listen, understand and debate respectfully with different cultures and viewpoints, and spot tie-ups among different disciplines.

Course contents

During the starting lecture, the teacher will give advice on the studying, will explain the exam carrying out and will give the outlines of the basic elements of the discipline, in order to fill in possible gaps in students' knowledge.

Etruscans and the Italic peoples: Ancient Italy between Bronze Age and Iron Age. Transition from the protovillanovian to the villanovian period; transformations of the population, origin of the proto-urban centres and “formation” of the Etruscan ethnos. Cultures, languages and peoples of the pre-roman Italy. Etruscans and their relationships with the other italic peoples: commercial exchanges and cultural connections. Cultural and chronological periods.

History and culture of the Etruscans Culture: The Villanovian period (IX-VIII c. BCE): from the hut to the house and from the village to the town; the early forms of social and political organization. The Orientalising period (VIII-VII c. BCE): the rise and consolidation of the aristocracy; the culture of the princes; palaces and big funerary architecture; different expressions of the aristocratic ideology. The Archaic period (VI c. BCE): the end of the aristocracies and coming of the demos; big works of urban monumentalising; cities and their harbours; relations with the oriental Greek Culture. The Classic period (V-IV c. BCE): the dominance of the inner Etruria and the crisis of the coastal Etruria; the artistic issue and the relationships with Greece. The Hellenistic period (IV-III c. BCE): the great “crisis” of the Fourth Century and the return of aristocracies; the relations with Macedonia and Magna Graecia and last great season of the Etruscan culture. Conflict with Rome and decline of the Etruscans.   


All the books are available at the library of the Department of History, Cultures and Civilization - Archaeology section, Piazza S. Giovanni in Monte, 2 Bologna.

Those students attending classes:

1) G. Bartoloni (a cura di), Introduzione all'Etruscologia, Hoepli, Roma 2012.

2) G. Camporeale, Gli Etruschi. Storia e civiltà, Parte Seconda Le città (Quarta edizione), Novara, UTET, 2015, pp. 247-488.

Those students not attending classes, also one of these books:

- G. Colonna, Urbanistica e architettura, in AA.VV., Rasenna. Storia e civiltà degli Etruschi (a cura di G. Pugliese Carratelli), Milano 1987, pp. 371-530.

- G. Camporeale, Gli Etruschi. Storia e civiltà, Parte Prima La civiltà etrusca (Quarta edizione), Novara, UTET, 2015, pp. 17-243.

- Gli Etruschi. Una nuova immagine (a cura di M. Cristofani), Firenze 1972 (o ristampe successive).

- Gli Etruschi (Catalogo della mostra, Venezia 2000), Cinisello Balsamo 2000.

For Erasmus students are also available books in english, french, german, spanish languages. 

Teaching methods

Teaching method consists in face-to-face lectures. All those students who may be concerned will have the chance to supplement the lectures of the course with practice in laboratory among the didactic proposals of the Department of Archaeology relatively in particular to the possibility of excavations in the Etruscan site of Marzabotto and the opportunity of studying, cataloguing and drawing archaeological items.

In consideration of the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this training activity requires for all students the attendance of Modules 1 and 2 in e-learning mode and the participation in Module 3 of specific training on safety and health in the places of study. Information on dates and methods of attendance of Module 3 can be consulted in the specific section of the degree program website.

Assessment methods

The exam consists on an oral examination, during which the teacher is going to ask questions, related to those topics illustrated and debated at lectures and/or found in the bibliography.

The assessment of students is based on their ability to refer the acquired knowledge by using the field-specific terminology and by framing consistently a specific topic in its related period.

Those students who demonstrate to have a systematic perspective of topics covered during lectures and/or in the above-mentioned bibliography, mastering them critically, also by using field-specific terms, will be given a mark of excellence. A mnemonic knowledge of the subject with the ability to sinthetize/analize, with correct, although not always field-specific command of the language will be rewarded with a 'fair' mark. Those students who demonstrate minimal knowledge of the subject, showing gaps and/or inappropriate command of the specific language will be given a pass mark or just above the pass mark. Significant knowledge gaps, insufficient field-specific language, lack of those abilities to frame correctly the covered topics and to orientate themselves among the bibliographical materials will not be given a pass mark.

Teaching tools

During the lessons visual aids will be widely used, especially slides and projections from computer.

Office hours

See the website of Elisabetta Govi