About us Etruscans

by various authors

A “satura”

“In former times the name satire was given to a poem composed of pieces of different kinds (carmen quod ex uariispoematibusconstabat) [...].”

“Satura is a dish composed of different ingredients, and a law formed by uniting several laws, and a type of poem uniting several subjects.”

“A modern philologist [...] derives satura from an Etruscan word meaning ‘speak’.”

(William Beare: The Roman Stage)

A proposito di noi etruschi aims to contribute to the understanding of the Etruscan world through the reading of passages by various authors who have spoken of the Etruscans or of matters related to them.

The Etruscans are a people who have always been surrounded, for our culture and for each of us, by an aura of mystery. The unintelligible script; the usages and customs so different from the ones that would prevail later under Roman rule; the social system, if not exactly matriarchal then certainly one in which the sexes were treated on equal terms; the art, so refined and so different, the enigmatic aspect of its representations of human beings; the ostentatious cult of the dead; the sacred groves and the haruspices; the uncertain and perhaps distant origin of the people: all this helps to build a sense of presence and indefinability at one and the same time... The Etruscans have always stirred our imagination and made us uneasy.

A selection of extracts from poems, by writers like Apollonius of Rhodes, Homer ad Carducci, and historical texts, from Theopompus to Livy, a digression into D.H. Lawrence’s fascinating travel book and other more or less well-known sources will help to get the audience to picture a vanished world.

Marina Spreafico

Performance commissioned by the Archeological Museum of Milan on the occasion of the exhibition Gli Etruschi and by the Comitato Nazionale Sport e Cultura per la Pace on the occasion of the Athens Olympics in 2004 as part of the festival Le altre civiltà: l’Etruria – Volterra