Abstract: The English, Etruscans and 'Etouria': the Grand Tour


During the Grand Tour, visitors to Italy went to Florence, Rome and Pompeii, as ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy were the main attractions and promised a well-rounded education to the cultured English. But why did others decide to look for the pre-Roman peoples of ancient Italy? How did they find out about the Etruscans and, on a practical note, find Etruscan places? What could they see in those days of Etruscan greatness, cities, and cemeteries? The reflections of these “non archaeologists” supply vibrant and practical information regarding artifacts, cemeteries, cities, and landscapes. Their descriptions and impressions are extremely important in understanding how the Etruscans, as a subject matter, spread through Europe and into the US. In several instances, they wrote about objects, or painted tombs that are now destroyed or ruined, so their reports, however poetic, have become increasingly valuable to scholars today. By examining writers from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Mrs. Hamilton Gray, George Dennis, and D.H. Lawrence, the difficulties, discoveries, mistaken identities, and mishaps on their quest to understand the Etruscans begins to emerge.

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