The Etruscans: an introduction

March 6th 2023, 10am – March 20th 2023, 12pm

The William Elder Building | £18pp | Berwick Education Association

This is a series of three talks by Dr. June Neilson on Mondays from 10a – 12 noon. They will examine one of the most vibrant civilisations of the ancient world which flourished in Central Italy from the ninth to the first centuries B.C. The Etruscans were a sophisticated people who created beautiful jewellery and works of art, left amazing tombs, were skilled engineers and metalworkers and demonstrated an advanced knowledge of medicine and dentistry.

Lecture 1 will set the scene, examining the controversial origins of the Etruscans. Were they native to Italy or migrants from the Aegean Sea or from the Alps? Their geographical location will be discussed particularly in relation to trading links and their reputation as excellent sailors. An historical consideration of nine centuries of Etruscan civilisation will be given and their subsequent demise as Rome gradually took over their area.

Lecture 2 will be devoted to the political and social organisation of the Etruscans. Twelve independent city-states constituted Etruria, each with advanced urban layouts and flourishing agriculture. Women enjoyed a higher status in society than other contemporary cultures. Scientific knowledge of medicine and dentistry will be explored as well as engineering marvels particularly in the field of hydraulics.

Lecture 3 will consider their artistic achievements in painting, their amazing sculpture, their advanced goldwork and masterly ceramics. They were very religious as exemplified in their attitude to honouring their dead in sophisticated tombs with beautiful wall paintings and many articles. Finally, their legacy to the Roman world will be demonstrated.

No previous knowledge is assumed and all are welcome. Tea and coffee will be served. There is no need to print out and bring your ticket, as we will have a record of your booking.

Dates & Prices


From To
Monday Monday 06/03/2023 10:00am 10:00am Monday Monday 06/03/2023 12:00pm 12:00pm