Lecture explains how Etruscan culture affects modern day

Patrice Horton

A traveling presenter for a non-profit organization gave his insight on the influence of Etruscans and Greeks on western culture.

On April 27, Daniele Maras, Archaeological Institute of America lecturer, presented his lecture on “A Way to Immortality: Greek Myths of Divinization and Etruscan Funerary Rituals” in the Whitney Bank Presentation Room, located in Thomas Hall, to explain his new and cutting edge research.

The Greek, Roman and Etruscan societies influenced western culture, yet little is known about the Etruscans. Connie Rodriguez, the coordinator of this event and Loyola’s Classical Studies chairwoman, said Etruscans and Greeks lived in proximity to each other and sometimes not harmoniously.

“But they exchanged ideas as well as goods,” Rodriguez said. “Then the Romans made them part of their empire.”

Rodriguez gave Maras’s lecture rave reviews.

“I don’t know how we’re going to top this next year,” Rodriguez said.

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation chooses lecturers to represent their mission in “advancing the history, conservation, and enjoyment of the vast heritage of European art, architecture, and archaeology from antiquity to the early 19th century.” In his travels, Maras said he aims to explain his new research to the general public. To summarize his tour, Maras said he believes his research is better due to the different audiences and questions he encountered along the way.

The lecture also sparked the interest and eye of Maggie McGovern, History sophomore.

During the lecture, McGovern at one point noticed how the architecture shifted from Etruscan to Roman through their structure and mythological carvings. Even though she previously thought the Greeks and Romans were principal influences of classical culture, she now grasps how Etruscan culture saturates our classical culture and literature today, and she joked in regard to Etruscan significance on immortality.

“Now I want to be immortal”, McGovern said. “I was especially interested in women being able to marry into immortality through marriage to a god.”