Tarpeia, comparative Etruscan iconography

This cinerary urn from the Copenhagen Glyptotek got me thinking:

The catalogue interpretation is that is a variation of the fatal duel with spirit as judge, usually taken to be Eteocles and Polynices. That type is common enough (see image below), but this dual sarcophagus seems to show a different narrative (as catalogue notes) notice beard vs. beardless and all the different head gear.

However that spirit coming from the Rocks in that top picture sure looks a lot like Tarpeia in some depictions….


Just be clear I don’t think the winged figure is Tarpeia but she and her ilk may be the model for Tarpeia iconography. I think it is likely given the snake with the winged central figure that she is a spirit of a particular place.

4 July 2021:

This intaglio also has that same design feel.  Torso emerging from rocks or shields


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s