Completed PhD: Dr Eóin O'Donoghue (2011)

Remember me when I am gone away: An examination of the representation of gender in the material culture of archaic Etruria

The study of the lives of men and women in ancient Greece and Rome has attracted scholarly attention. However, there has been a comparative neglect of the study of gender identities in the world of the Etruscans. It was the purpose of this thesis to partially rectify this situation through the examination of the gender identities of men and women from Archaic Etruria (c. 600–450 BC). Unlike most previous scholarship on gender the approach employed was not grounded in feminist thought, instead the aim was to seek to analyse the differences in the roles, activities and identities of men and women during this time. The apparent power of Etruscan women was carefully analysed, it was shown that while they had many significant public roles and duties, they were performed within the framework of a hegemonic masculine society. The public and private identities of men were examined within their social and political environment.

The evidence employed was primarily artistic. As well as explaining the respective roles of men and women the evidence was considered in its environmental, regional, and historical setting. This allowed for the understanding of gender roles in the respective regions of Etruria at different points during the period examined, and significantly how gender as a medium of social difference was used in their civilisation.

Supervisor: Dr Edward Herring
Funding: College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Postgraduate Fellowship

Research area: cross-cultural encounters