Gli Etruschi

Funeral Rites


Cippo con danza funebre. Chiusi, Museo Archeologico.

The death of a person belonging to an illustrious family was celebrated with all the citizens taking part in the mourning. On the day of the burial, a long procession would wind its way from the home of the deceased to the family tomb.

Priests with the symbols of their religious office, flautists, relatives and acquaintances with votive offerings accompanied the body transported on a four-wheeled chariot.

From the procession, which proceeded very slowly, arose a mixture of litanies, mournful music and the loud laments of relatives and female mourners. When they reached the tomb, prepared beforehand for the rite, the burial ceremony of the deceased took place.

Some discoveries of parts of religious texts on funeral ceremonies give us an idea of the importance the Etruscans gave to these rites.

Unfortunately, our incomplete knowledge of the Etruscan language does not allow us to fully understand the specialized language of these texts, and therefore we are unable to accurately reconstruct these ceremonies.

What we can say with certainty is that prayers, music and dancing were very important and that, in addition to the intensely religious occasion, there were games of skill, athletic contests and cruel fighting until the last drop of blood.

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