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Ritual dress

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Chapter Summary

Evidence for Etruscan religious and ritual dress cannot always be taken at face value. In the case of iconography, we cannot always be sure that the artist was depicting a garment that really existed, that our interpretation of a particular representation of a costume is correct, or that it had a ritual meaning for the Etruscans. The dress worn during the Iron Age in Italy is difficult to identify from the monuments of this period, c. 1000750 BCE. The chapter shows that by using a variety of evidence we can reconstruct some of the Etruscan ritual garments that marked out their status as priests and priestesses, as well as some of their special ceremonies, such as weddings and funerary rituals. It also shows that a number of features of the ritual dress of later Roman priests and priestesses preserved aspects of earlier garments illustrated on artistic monuments from Etruria.

Keywords: Etruscan ritual dress; funerary rituals; iconography; Iron Age; Italy; Roman priests



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