This paper examines the iconographic and archaeological evidence for chariot racing in Etruria, its context and audience. We then focus on the representation of the chariot crash - a motif pervasive in Etruscan art on a variety of locally-produced artistic media. The incongruous depiction of the most exciting, dangerous and tragic occurrence in the race alongside scenes of banqueting and dancing complicates our understanding of Etruscan tomb painting and of funeral ritual. Images of chariot crashes reveal an Etruscan appreciation for Greek epic, while also reflecting real details of the burial rite and the nature of élite competition.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068246214000038
Journal Papers of the British School at Rome
Citation
Banducci, L. (2014). Mourning deaths and endangering lives: Etruscan chariot racing between symbol and reality. Papers of the British School at Rome, 82(3), 1–39. doi:10.1017/S0068246214000038