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June 23: Rome August 3, 2010

Posted by msmith78 in Uncategorized.

Villa Giulia

Pope Julius III began construction of this villa in 1550 as a new guest hosting house for the recently elected pope. Right on the Tiber River it had direct access to the Vatican palace. Michelangelo was the advisor of the project and many of his more Mannerist influences can be found throughout. The primary designers however were Vignola and Ammannati. There was a partially build villa on the site when the pope inherited the land, but the level of influence it had on the structure was limited to the outline of the foundations.  The villa is made up of a series of gardens that grow more private in nature the further back you move into the property with a series of screens and perspective views. The final garden is a model of the garden of paradise at the time of Pope Julius III; it is like that of the monastery cloisters with four quadrants for the four rivers of Eden forming a perfectly regular cross. Throughout history the picture of nature and paradise has evolved. Before the 17th century nature was ordered and manicured like a garden; post 17th century the pastoral view of nature was elevated. Further the idea of nature, as something that could not be contained to a walled area or fenced garden emerged; wild and free growing landscapes became our view of nature. The pope suffered from gout, and this villa provided the garden space for relaxing as well as the possible aqua therapy from the fountains in the grotto. The Italian government later took over the building and converted it to the National Etruscan Museum.

Etruscan Museum

The different use of materials is what impressed me most for the Etruscans compared to the other work we have seen. An example would be the more elaborate use of terracotta instead of marble. The most impressive items, however, was the jewelry. The pieces were so intricately designed, but they were also so machine manufactured looking as well. Its amazing how they were able on such a small scale to draw perfectly similar swirls and master the patterns they did. Upon further discussion with Dr. Allen, he said that they would use some bubble techniques for the extremely tiny details.


I wanted to do a more in depth study of the Etruscans for my reflection today.

I. Origin: Herodutus and DNA Testing reveals they came to Italy from the coast of Turkey in the 1200-800 BC

II. Customs: the city walls were a sacred boundary and they developed a grid system for cities; both of these customs were adopted by the Romans

III. Burial

-The poor were in trenches

-The rich were in huts with each family having a street; this practice led to the term “neocropolis” or city of the dead

IV. Cruel Religion

-Human sacrifice with gladiator duels

-P.O.W. Massacres to protect themselves from the demons of the underworld

V. Art

-This was mainly imported clay pieces from Greece in the pottery

-For metal work, they were unrivaled

-They did not practice sculpture really, but did make statuary out of terracotta

VI. Trade

-They traded by sea mainly, and had their own coins for use within their borders

-With the fall of their naval lifestyle, their people fell

-They had an alliance at sea with Carthage to control the western Mediterranean before their fall

V. Colonies

-Small groups of soldiers with their dominate organization ad culture would easily overcome the native peoples they were colonizing

-The Etrustcans never allowed the native people to merge with the artistocracy; they remain aloof

VI. Politics

-Lucumones: King with a gold crown, purple robe, and ivory throne


-Noble Rulers: treat slaves and servants oppressively

-There was a small tight middle class

-The lineage passed through the woman

-Almost achieved the first unification of Italy in the early 6th century BC when they tried to take back Latium

VII. Etruscan League

– It was composed of 12 cities that met at the Fanum Voltumae

-The parties would cooperate but could never agree on national unity

VIII. Rome: had 3 kings

-Lucius Tarquinius Priscus: brought drainage system and horses races

-Servius Tullinus: reorganized the state army, walled the city, built the Temple of Diana Aventine

-Tarquinius Superbus: Temple of Jupiter Capitalinus; tyrant; son raped Lydia and led to revolt



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