Etruscan Women

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Etruscan Women:
An Analysis of Larissa Bofante’s Article

The comparisons between the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman way of life are similar in many respects and each contributes to the other, however, each civilization has its differences. The Etruscan society in the 5th to 7th c. BCE was one of luxury, lust, innovation, and they are thought to have been very skilled technicians: these attributes made them stand out among the rest. Larissa Bofante’s article, Daily Life and After Life, points out these distinguishing factors of the Etruscan society that left everyone else envious to what they had, even though most thought them to live barbarically. In Bofante’s article she discusses all aspects of the Etruscan life, from architecture, jewelry, art, religion, sex, wealth, festivities, and more in all great detail. An important aspect that Bofante chooses to discuss in her article is the role of women in the Etruscan society, and this is very important to know when learning about their culture. In this analysis, I plan to maintain, as Bofante points out, that women were of much greater importance in the Etruscan culture than in Greece and Rome.
Larissa Bofante’s article Daily Life and After Life highlights many points about the Etruscan way of life, and the part that I found to be the most interesting was about Etruscan women. There is substantial evidence to show that they were held at high regard and were considered equal to men. Bofante points out a few passages written from Greek writers and historians who depict scenes of the Etruscan life, she argues that while these may be “cliché”, the information may have come from eye witness accounts of Greeks who travelled to Etruria: of these scholars there was Theopompus, a Greek Historian of the 4th century BCE and Athenaeus, a Greek writer in 200 AD. Atheneus has a passage written in his book titled, Brilliant Dinner Party Conversation, about women and men dining together and sharing in multiple sex partners. Women

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