Women In The Etruscan Women

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While ancient civilizations had commonly put their women in the lower level of the society, the Etruscans treated their women differently. Etruscan women are known to be taken seriously and enjoyed a great deal of freedom and equality with that of men. For instance, while most Roman societies considered symposiums, such as those that included festive drinking, sex and the involvement in the sharing of thoughts to be an all-man’s affair, it was not so among the Etruscans. Women in the Etruscan society are allowed to attend banquets, and share a toast with men, signifying how they are equally treated in the society. While historians have difficulty interpreting the literary works of the Etruscans, they shifted their focus on other archaeological…show more content…
Modern historian, Ateneus, once wrote that Etruscan women “Lie on the kline not only with their husbands but also with strangers and have relations with anyone willing to do so” (Lobner n.d, 357)1. This is illustrated in Figure 1 where the women are shown seated next to men in the banquet. Etruscan women, whether married or unmarried are allowed to dine and socialize with men on any occasion. In other societies, the only women who are allowed to join men in banquets are the prostitutes, thus the negative interpretation over the freedom of the Etruscan woman in attending these festivities. The Etruscan women are described by other Greek societies as having no morals and women who enjoyed pleasure rather than being upright. This was observed by other societies who do not understand the right and privilege accorded to them by the society. As depicted in some images of arts during ancient times, the Etruscan woman is allowed to dance, dine and socialize with men other than their husband. The image of women joining men in festivities was perceived by others as scandalous and they must have become a threat to other cultures that followed the patriarchal order of society. Other Greek societies were critical of what they called an excessive freedom given to women in the Etruscan society. Figure 1 is an illustration of…show more content…
While her Greek and Roman counterparts are left to care for the homes, the Etruscan woman is allowed to join the men in whatever festivities. Ateneus, a known historian one noted how Etruscan women had been willing to recline in the banquet couch not only with their husbands but with other men. The Etruscan women are also fond of wearing jewels and heavy make-up, though this act can also be observed in men. It is the women of the society, however, who exquisitely and lavishly use make up and body ornaments. One later day archaeological excavation in the site of the Etruscan civilization revealed a tomb where a woman lay with her jewels, “around her neck was a torque and on her right arm two twisted bracelets; the one above the elbow is composed of two parallel rings, the one below, a spiral bracelet with S –shaped end” (Eldridge, 1918, 251)2. This is perhaps to show the high status and regard of the society to them. Note that it is those who are in the higher class who are fond of adorning themselves of more expensive and flamboyant body decorations to show their
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