Notes on Taylor’s Etruscan Identity

This is a great article particularly for thinking about shifts in arms and armor in the Republic. I’m sure I’ll come back to it many times. Three initial thoughts below.

Michael J. Taylor. “Etruscan Identity and Service in the Roman Army: 300–100 B.C.E.” American Journal of Archaeology 121, no. 2 (2017): 275-92. doi:10.3764/aja.121.2.0275.

On RRC 319/1

P. 282-3: “The kneeling fighter on the Minucius Thermus denarius (see fig. 4) carries a round shield and thus seems to be a fallen cavalryman awaiting rescue from the infantryman with the scutum.”

I want the figure on the ground to have a round shield and on many dies it looks that way but I’m not so sure its consistent enough cross the known dies to really be an intentional distinction to help us identify the figures and their ranks:

From Schaefer Archive left could be oval where as right specimen clearly round.

A batch of more oval-ish shields:

again from Schaefer’s archive

P. 285: “Otherwise equipped as a Roman soldier, the Telamon soldier wears a hellenizing Attic-Phrygian helmet (characterized by the prominent brow protector and low hemispherical dome that rises to a Phrygian peak).71 Similar helmets, a common enough Greek style, are well attested in pre-Roman Etruscan art.72

The Phrygian helmet (often with wings) of course is common on numismatic depictions of Roma but one type is VERY close to this figurine’s helmet.

RRC 388/1

CF. RPC 1 520

I just love this marriage image.

p. 290: “The use of Greek myth on the urn is confident, even play-ful, with the front of the urn featuring centaurs and nymphs in apposition to the cavalryman, his warhorse, and his wife, proof of the wealthy patron’s studied Hellenism. The inscriptions are in Etruscan. A Volt-erran noble at the end of the Roman Republic could serve (and perhaps die) as a Roman eques and still go to the afterlife as an Etruscan aristocrat.”

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