Abstract: Paris, Menelaos, and Helen: Reflections of the Saga in Etruscan Mirrors

Lecturer: Helen (Ili) Nagy

Women’s burials in Etruria have yielded thousands of bronze mirrors with incised images on their reverse. Currently an international effort is under way to publish all extant examples of these objects in the Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum. Two decorated mirrors from West Coast (USA) collections are the primary focus of this talk. One represents the “Judgment of Paris,” a common theme on Etruscan mirrors, the other shows Menelaos threatening Helen after the capture of Troy. These depictions, the before and after in the story of Helen and Paris, provide an insight into the Etruscans’ interpretation of Greek mythology. The mirrors also serve as examples of the technical, scientific and iconographic analysis applied to Etruscan mirrors as part of this collaborative research. This talk is part of the speaker’s current work on the publication of the West Coast USA fascicle of the CSE.   

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