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The Etruscans (and their influence on early Rome)

Terms in this set (31)

Writes that: "Sharing wives is an established Etruscan custom. Etruscan women take particular care of their bodies and exercise often, sometimes along with the men, and sometimes by themselves. It is not a disgrace for them to be seen naked. They do not share their couches with their husbands but with the other men who happen to be present, and they propose toasts to anyone they choose. They are expert drinkers and very attractive.
The Etruscans raise all the children that are born, without knowing who their fathers are. The children live the way their parents live, often attending drinking parties and having sexual relations with all the women. It is no disgrace for them to do anything in the open, or to be seen having it done to them, for they consider it a native custom. So far from thinking it disgraceful, they say when someone ask to see the master of the house, and he is making love, that he is doing so-and-so, calling the indecent action by its name.
When they are having sexual relations either with courtesans or within their family, they do as follows: after they have stopped drinking and are about to go to bed, while the lamps are still lit, servants bring in courtesans, or boys, or sometimes even their wives. And when they have enjoyed these they bring in boys, and make love to them. They sometimes make love and have intercourse while people are watching them, but most of the time they put screens woven of sticks around the beds, and throw cloths on top of them.
They are keen on making love to women, but they particularly enjoy boys and youths. The youths in Etruria are very good-looking, because they live in luxury and keep their bodies smooth. In fact all the barbarians in the West use pitch to pull out and shave off the hair on their bodies.
The pre-urban phase can be exemplified by the late Bronze Age settlements (10th c. BCE) of the Palatine and by the necropolis of the Forum (hut-urns). A gradual change from cremation to inhumation and the abandonment of the Forum's necropolis in favour of other areas on the Esquiline was underway during the 8th cent. BCE. This process was also parallel to a demographic increase. Burial evidence (10th - 6th c. BCE) presence of weapons, spinning equipment and luxury goods implying military activity, textile/weaving industry (rugs, clothes), importation of prestigious items for social elites. Gradual shifting from cremation to inhumation. Cremation: ashes in hut-urns, weapons (or spinning whorls in case of females), miniature pottery, all placed in a large jar (dolium). Inhumation: similar funerary goods deposited in the pit next to the deceased. During the Period IVA (730-630 BCE) corresponding to the Orientalizing period as a result of local trade with Etruria the imported material becomes more frequent (e.g. Greek pottery and Etruscan Bucchero from the sacred area of Sant' Omobono). Scarcity of evidence of burials for the 7th c. BCE (due to the various destructions and building activities). Aristocratic tombs of this period can be observed at Praeneste (Palestrina, circa 30 Km east of Rome), indicating close relations with Etruscan centres and Eastern Mediterranean cultures. The rich funerary goods from Praeneste and those from contemporary Caere can illustrate the cultural interaction between the Etruscan and Latin elites.