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VIRTUAL - Continuity and change in Etruscan religion under Roman hegemony
February 17, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PST
This is an online event Tokyo.
Sponsored by: Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
AIA Society: Spokane
Dr. Kevin Dicus (University of Oregon)
Roman imperial ambitions began with the occupation of Italy. The Etruscans, once the dominant civilization, experienced great cultural and political upheavals. Foreign traditions, goods, and belief systems entered their territories, challenging and changing their ways of being. Scholars have referred to the process as “Romanization”: conquered peoples adopt Roman customs, recognizing their obvious appeal and ultimately identifying as Roman. More recently, the Romanization paradigm has been contested, and this talk continues to critique it. The talk examines Etruscan religion before and during Roman expansion to measure Roman influence on it. In particular, it introduces a widespread ritual in which people dedicated terracotta body parts at Roman and Etruscan sanctuaries from the 4th to the 1st centuries BC. That the Etruscans readily participated in a ritual with Greco-Roman roots has been seen to mark an end of Etruscan orthodoxy. Close examination, however, reveals that Etruscans did not adopt the anatomical votive tradition to replace their own established practices; instead, they retained the agency to adapt the ritual, changing it in ways that made it more meaningful to their experiences and gave people greater control than before in their personal relationship with the gods.