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Etruscan Women

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The Etruscan culture differed in many ways when compared to the surrounding ancient cultures, such as the Greeks. When these two cultures are examined, they will show a contrast in women hierarchy and language. Though the main focus will be on how the Etruscans treated their women compared with Greek women. We do have some inscriptions on artifacts and tomb paintings, but the only written accounts we have of the Etruscan society comes from Greek and Roman Historians, which are all a little bias (Bonfante, 245). The longest account we have of the Etruscan society comes from Theopompus. He stated The Etruscans were extraordinarily pleasure-loving….women take great care of their bodies and exercise bare, exposing their bodies even before men…for it is not shameful for them to appear almost naked. He also says they dine not with their husbands, but with any man who happens to be present….And the Etruscans raise all the children that are born, not knowing who the father is of each one (Bonfante, 248). This was an upset to the Greece community because in their culture it was customary for men to be naked, but identified the women as prostitutes. Also, in Greece it was the father who raised up the baby acknowledging it as his own and therefore legitimate and a citizen. Aristotle also comments on the Etruscan society stating they eat with their wives, reclining at table with them under the same blanket; and that Etruscan slaves are very beautiful and dress better than is the custom slaves (Bonfante, 249). Unlike Greek life, married women do not accompany their husbands to banquets, or think of partying with strangers, or with anyone who has just happened to come along. When the men had drinking parties and the only females invited to these affairs were entertainers and prostitutes.

The evidence that we do have from the Etruscans is the artifacts and paintings found in tombs. These artifacts have few inscriptions and are mostly of...