Etruscan and Roman Art

Course code AHIS3540Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

Aims to give an introduction to the sculpture, painting, pottery, architecture, minor arts and mosaic of the Etruscans and Romans. The period covered will range from the early Italian Villanovan culture, or pre-Etruscan civilisation (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the Roman Empire of about 200 AD. Broad topic themes include the importance of funerary art, the influence of Greek art, the rise of personal portraiture, patronage and the consumer, the problem of originality as opposed to copies, and the use of art in private and state propaganda.

Not available in 2015

ObjectivesAs a result of participating in this course, students will demonstrate:

1. An understanding and appreciation of Etruscan and Roman art as a rich physical expression of values, aesthetics, religious beliefs and (sometimes) political attitudes of these cultures.

2. An appreciation of the visual and the importance of observation and detail, as well as an understanding of the major art-historical developments; i.e. being able to recognise and understand the differences between objects from different periods in Greco-Roman history; for instance, why a piece of Archaic statuary or vase is different from something Classical.

3. An appreciation of the social and historical context of Etruscan and Roman art and thereby linkages with past and subsequent literary, historical and social environments of Greece and Italy.

4. The ability to offer a critical analysis of both ancient and modern texts which discuss art and its role.

5. Development of oral and written expression capable of conveying the understanding and the analyses referred to in 1 - 4.
ContentIntroduction to the Etruscans; country, sites, ethnic origins, language, cultural influences. Etruscan archaeology - past and present.

The Villanovan culture.

Etruscan canopic urns and funerary sculpture

Etruscan sculpture in stone, bronze and terracotta.

Tomb painting; the afterlife and the Eternal Banquet

Etruscan pottery, bronze utensils, jewellery and minor arts; the importance of women as consumers.

Etruscan architecture. Introduction to Roman art, private and state.

The Greek antecedents of Roman art; the problem of copies and Roman originality.

Verism and Roman Republican sculpture

Augustan art and architecture

Roman painting and mosaic
Replacing Course(s)n/a
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge20 units at any level in Ancient History or History or Fine Art
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassOne Class-Test, based on visual material (slides) seen in lectures, 25%, 1,000 words.
This test evaluates the students understanding of the visual material - of crucial significance in a course where visual input and memory are major components. Students are tested on a limited number of slides which they see first in lectures and which are available afterwards in the library for private study.
Essays / Written AssignmentsOne tutorial paper or equivalent task, 25%, 1,000 words.
The tutorial paper is a research and writing task which examines a particular monument or work of art and its social and political context, using ancient literary sources where appropriate and comparative examples. Class discussion is another important aspect, which encourages students to share findings and ideas and improve oral communication.
Essays / Written AssignmentsOne major essay project or equivalent task, 50%, 2,000 words.
This is a major, individual research and writing assignment on a choice of topics
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term