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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an overview of Etruscan literature. It considers how the Greek innovations of myth and writing came into Etruria, how the Etruscans viewed early writing as magical, and how Etruscan culture developed its own identity. It discusses the Etruscan language, written documents, and inscriptions, as well as religious ritual, divination, and prophecy. It also examines Etruscan historical epic and myth, theatre, and imagery. Finally, it examines the influence of Etruscan culture in the Roman world: the Romans derived their alphabet from the Etruscans and adopted Etruscan dress and musical instruments, along with the organization of the army. The article shows the significance of such Etruscan influence to Roman culture and life even as the Romans maintained their own religion and language, and the eventual death of the Etruscan language by the time of the Roman Empire.

Keywords: Etruscan literature, myth, writing, Etruria, language, religious ritual, divination, historical epic, theatre, Roman Empire

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