Images and Translations

The Etruscans Abroad
Larissa Bonfante
A lively journey to meet the Etruscans, one of Europe’s most enigmatic societies, by world-renowned archaeologist Larissa Bonfante


Professor Larissa Bonfante’s great gift is the ability to evoke in a fresh, immediate, and convincing way the experiences, beliefs, and thoughts of people living more than two thousand years ago. Images and Translations: The Etruscans Abroad communicates the sensations of other times and places, from the day to day to the solemnly ritualistic.

The world of the Etruscans, sophisticated and pleasure-loving, radiated throughout a vast area of the ancient world. Starting from works of art created by individuals of ages very different from our own, Bonfante examined the expertise and production of the artists and artisans who made them, the tastes of those who used them, and the sometimes surprising results of the exchanges between creators and buyers. Just as the French demand for Chinese ceramics in the seventeenth century gave birth to the unprecedented famille colors, so the production of Greek ceramics for the Etruscan market produced singularly expressive depictions. Humorous, pious, or erotic to the buyers, they could be shocking to the culture who made them. Images and Translations explores areas in much closer economic and cultural contact than is usually recognized. Following traces and transformations, this book finds threads of connection not only between Italy and Greece, but between Italy and northern Europe—today’s France and Germany—as well as between Italy and the Near East. Etruscan influence runs through Western history, into the Renaissance, and emerges in imagery still evocative today.

Larissa Bonfante was Professor of Classics Emerita at New York University.

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 456pp.
  • 238 illustrations, 8 maps, 20 plates.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2023
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-13197-6

  • $65.00 U.S.



  • Etruscans; Cultural exchanges; Artistic results of economic demand; Sex in the art of the ancient Mediterranean; Death in the art of the ancient Mediterranean; Women in the ancient world; Religion; Mythology; Angels; Amber; Pottery; Sculpture; Gold; Frescoes; Mirrors; Furniture; Human sacrifice; Nudity; Northen Europe in antiquity; Trade in the ancient Mediterranean; Exchanges between the Near East and the Mediterranean; Social history; The Greeks and the Etruscans