Etruscology and italic antiquity


Ancient Italy before Romanization was an area rich in peoples and languages. This research field deals on the one hand with the Etruscans, who display a very independent character and can be called one of the first major cultural nations in Europe, and on the other hand, with the other ethnic and cultural groups of the Apennine peninsula and its offshore islands. These include the so-called indigenous Italic peoples (e.g., Latins, Umbrians, Venetians, Samnites, etc.) as well as groups that immigrated during the 1st millennium BC such as Phoenicians, Greeks and Celts. The chronological range spans from the late Bronze Age in the 11th-10th century BC to the early Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. From a cultural-historical point of view, especially the Etruscans had a key role in mediating the cultural traditions and achievements of the eastern Mediterranean to the west. 

Although there has long been interest in the Etruscans and a first intense engagement began alreadyin the early Renaissance, the subject of "Etruscologyand Italic Antiquity " is a relatively young science discipline. After important forerunners such as Emil Vetter and Ambros Josef Pfiffig, the first chair for Etruscology and Italic Antiquity in Vienna was established in 1994 and occupied by Luciana Aigner-Foresti. In 1998, the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi ed Italici, the Florentine mother institution of Etruscan research, founded an independent foreign section in Vienna, which today is based at our Department. 

Viennese Etruscology and Italic Antiquity has always adhered to the principle that all available sources (whether of philological, epigraphic and archaeological nature) should be analyzed as unified under one roof, and during its long genesis has developed a distinctly historically oriented approach. In terms of methodology, this requires above all a strong interdisciplinarity in antiquity studies.

Special study program for students of all majors:

Etruscans and Italic peoples: Diversity in Ancient Italy "(15 ECTS)

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