Etruskische Sozialgeschichte – von alten Vorurteilen zu neuen Ufern


  • Petra Amann



Etrusker, Gesellschaft, soziale Schichten, penestai, Frauen, Forschungsgeschichte


As an introduction to the topic of the meeting this article aims to provide a detailed overview of the scholarly literature that has dealt more or less directly with Etruscan social history since the 19th century. It shows that certain ideas – still frequently found today – were developed quite early on the basis of a very modest number of sources and subsequently passed on, often without critical discussion. These ideas include the assumption of a rigid division of the population into masters on one side and highly dependent serfs on the other and the supposedly extraordinarily high position of the female element in the city-states of Etruria. Modern research has made only hesitant progress in these areas. Even though there are of course limits to the improvement of our knowledge due to the problematic source situation, the author nevertheless believes that a more systematic and chronologically differentiated approach to the heterogeneous but numerous Etruscan source material (of archaeological, iconographic, and epigraphic nature) allows new insights into Etruscan social structures – beyond old (pre)judices. Areas and desiderata of research that are particularly worthwhile investigating in future studies are listed at the end of the article as examples.