Etruscan history and civilization. The Etruscans, who spoke a non Indo-European language that was the first
in Europe (after Greek) to be written, dominated large parts of the Italian peninsula from about 800 to 200 BC.
The Etruscans' wealth derived from the mining and the commerce of metals as well as from agriculture. Their
city-states, instead, from shared religious practices. Rich artifacts found in the elaborate tombs of wealthy
families manifest the influence of the Greeks, who looked askance at the high status accorded women in
Etruscan society. The Etruscan annexed by Rome after a bitter century of warfare.
Instructor: Tom Rasmussen, PhD. is the former Head of the Art History and Visual Studies program at the
University of Manchester in England (currently Hon. Research Fellow, School of Arts Languages and
Cultures). He is author (with Graeme Barker) of The Etruscans (Oxford: Blackwell 2003).
|Copyright © 2012-2013
James Emil Flege
A History of Olive Oil. Olive oil production in the eastern Mediterranean basis dates to about 2500 BC and olive oil was a mainstay in
the diet of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Italy produces Nearly 22% of the word’s olive oil comes from Italy, and many regard the oil
produced in central Italy, in the area around Tarquinia, as the very best. This class examines the history of olive oil cultivation in the
Mediterranean, with a special focus on production in central Italy. It will consider when, where and how olive trees are planted, how
olives are harvested, how olive oil is produced, the nutritional properties of olive oil, and the culinary uses of olive oil.
The Founding of Rome by Etruscans. Virgil’s epic tells how Rome was founded by the Trojan prince Aeneas, but this myth was
commissioned by the Emperor Augustus nearly 700 years after the actual founding of Rome. The prevailing view today is that Rome
was founded by Italics who later merged with Etruscans. Rome remained a small and insignificant hamlet on the edge of Etruria, the
Etruscan homeland, until the Etruscans established a colony there and created an urban infrastructure resembling hat of older
Etruscan cities. Very little written history exists before 390 BC when the Gauls attached Rome but later history indicates the existence
of Etruscan quarter, and several of Rome’s early kings were of Etruscan origin.There is evidence that many of ancient Rome’s key
institutions and customs were borrowed from the Etruscans. These include gladitorial competitions, the use of the arch in architecture,
and the word “populus” are of Etruscan. Even the name of Rome appears to be Etruscan (Ruma-χ).
Etruscan luxury goods. A great deal of outstanding jewelry and pottery has been recovered from the
thousands of tombs around Tarquinia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also from Caere, Vetulonia, and
other central Italian sites such as Praeneste. This class explores the impact of new exotic materials such as
ivory and gold, and of the craftsmen involved who gave rise to the revolutionary style known as Orientalizing. It
examines the techniques used by master Etruscan metal smiths in the 7th and 6th centuries BC (granulation
filigree, chasing, repouseé) to produce gold jewelry which even today, with the benefit of modern tools,
continues to amaze. It also considers the range of fine pottery found in abundance in local tombs, including
elaborate painted vases imported from Greece and the black bucchero ware made only by local artisans.
Instructor: Tom Rasmussen, PhD. Is the former Head of the Art History and Visual Studies program at the
University of Manchester in English (currently Hon. Research Fellow, School of Arts Languages and Cultures).
He is author of Bucchero Pottery from Southern Etruria (Cambridge University Press 2006).
Classes in the "Local" category are ideal for people who want to
learn as much as possible about the host city in which they have
chosen to Please check back later for the complete list of
offerings as well as details about the classes themselves and the
professors who will teach them.
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