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The Religion of the Etruscans

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The Religion of the Etruscans
Edited by Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon. (University of Texas Press, Austin: 2006. Pg. xiii, 225. Illustrations.) ISBN: 0-292-70687-1.

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - March 13, 2006

Much of what we know about the Etruscans comes from their material remains - including sculpture, funerary art, jewelry, and pottery, as well as from discourses by Greek and Roman writers writing long after the Etruscan civilization fell. In The Religion of the Etruscans, Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon have organized a collection of eight essays that examine Etruscan Religion and the techniques by which Etruscan civilization, and its religion, is studied by historians and archaeologists.

The essays in this collection have been penned by a number of outstanding scholars in the field of Etruscan Religion, and they bring to this book the most current information and analysis available on Etruscan religion. Combined, the information in this book provides the reader with an in-depth and captivating overview of Etruscan religion, from it Pantheon and religious beliefs to the relevance of divination and the role played by Etruscan priests. The essays in this book also illustrate the extent to which Etruscan religious influenced Roman Society.

The essays in this book are: In addition to these outstanding, scholarly essays, this book also includes an informative glossary, and detailed overview of the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, and a list of Latin and Greek Literary Sources. In addition, each essay contains end notes and a current bibliography that can readily be used as a reading list for those wishing to pursue these subjects in greater detail. This book is also copiously illustrated.

The Religion of the Etruscans, which is edited by Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon, is one of the best books on Etruscan religion that I've come across, and the first that offers and English translation of the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar. This book is readily accessible to both academicians and general readers alike, and it will thrill anyone interested in the study of Etruscan Religion.

Related Reviews:

Etruscan Civilization: A Cultural History, by Sybille Haynes.
Haynes offers a solid overview of Etruscan civilization, from its earliest Iron Age beginnings until after it was fully absorbed by the Romans.

Panorama of the Classical World, by Nigel Spivey and Michael Squire.
A general overview of the history of the classical world, arranged thematically. Amply illustrated.

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