Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


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 currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

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

2. Evaluate the visual importance of observation and detail, as well as an understanding of the major art-historical developments between objects from different periods in Greco-Roman history;

3. Apply the social and historical contexts to Etruscan and Roman art and thereby linkages with past and subsequent aesthetic environments of Greece and Italy;

4. Critically analyse both ancient and modern texts which discuss art and its role;

5. Communicate oral and written expressions capable of conveying the understanding and the analyses of ancient art.


Introduction 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.

Assumed knowledge

20 units at any level in Ancient History or History or Fine Art

Assessment items

Essay: Major essay project (40%)

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial paper (30%)

In Term Test: Class-Test (30%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.