Anna Bart

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




K.M.D. Dunbabin


The study of late Etruscan funerary urns has fascinated scholars for over a century. This topic has generated a large corpus of works, but much research remains to be done to better understand the meaning and place of these urns in Etruscan society. This thesis will examine the iconographic development of one motif, specifically those themes that employ a central quadriga. The study of the development of this motif, since it was adapted to mythological, exclusively funerary, and civic themes, is valuable because it reveals the artistic processes that Etruscan artisans may have employed when selecting and executing their works of art. An examination of the possible significance of each theme, furthermore, reveals that the selection of the individual themes, is, to some extent, influenced by the larger forces at play in the Mediterranean world between the third and first centuries BC. Consequently, a detailed iconographic analysis of this motif, and its changing role on the urns, can offer insight not only into the changing styles and tastes, but also into the deeper beliefs and mentalities of the society that produced them.

McMaster University Library

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Classics Commons