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Catalog Archive / Fall 2021

Athens, Etruria, and the Many Lives of Greek Figured Pottery

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Edited by Laura McClure, Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, and Matthew Roller

“Challenges and enriches our understanding of the ancient economy, the Athenian vase trade and its Etruscan customers, the iconography of Attic vases, and Etruscan funerary practices.”
—Denise Demetriou, author of Negotiating Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean

A lucrative trade in Athenian pottery flourished from the early sixth until the late fifth century B.C.E., finding an eager market in Etruria. Most studies of these painted vases focus on the artistry and worldview of the Greeks who made them, but Sheramy D. Bundrick shifts attention to their Etruscan customers, ancient trade networks, and archaeological contexts.

Thousands of Greek painted vases have emerged from excavations of tombs, sanctuaries, and settlements throughout Etruria, from southern coastal centers to northern communities in the Po Valley. Using documented archaeological assemblages, especially from tombs in southern Etruria, Bundrick challenges the widely held assumption that Etruscans were hellenized through Greek imports. She marshals evidence to show that Etruscan consumers purposefully selected figured pottery that harmonized with their own local needs and customs, so much so that the vases are better described as etruscanized. Athenian ceramic workers, she contends, learned from traders which shapes and imagery sold best to the Etruscans and employed a variety of strategies to maximize artistry, output, and profit.


Sheramy D. Bundrick Sheramy D. Bundrick is a professor of art history at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She is the author of Music and Image in Classical Athens.




“Bundrick's emphasis on consumer choice is original and groundbreaking. She does not examine vases as isolated creations. By reconstructing Etruscan funerary assemblages, she demonstrates a coherence in the choice of iconographical subjects adorning the various vases deposited in a grave.”
—Athéna Tsingarida, Université libre de Bruxelles

“A unique, informative, and inherently fascinating work of original and meticulous scholarship. Impressively well written, organized and presented.”
Midwest Book Review

“A solid example of the ongoing scholarly reinterpretation of imported objects across the Mediterranean through consumers’ eyes. The discussion of both individual vases and tomb assemblages is rich, detailed, deeply researched, and observant.”
American Journal of Archaeology



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Athens, Etruria, and the Many Lives of Greek Figured Pottery

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New in Paperback!
January 2022
LC: 2018016666 NK
352 pp. 8 x 10
110 b/w illus.

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ISBN 9780299321000
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