Terracotta cinerary urn


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171

The frieze depicts one of the most popular subjects on Etruscan terracotta urns, a man using a plow as a weapon. Some scholars suggest that he is the Greek hero Echetlos, a rustic who came to the aid of the Athenians and killed many Persians, wielding his plow against them at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. However, it has never been explained satisfactorily why such an obscure Greek legend was so popular in Etruria. It is possible that the scene represents an Etruscan legend or event of unknown specific meaning. The type was produced extensively in Chiusi. As told by the inscription, AULE : PETRUNI : ATH : CUTNALISA, this is the cinerary urn of Aulus Petronius, son of Arnth Cutnalisa.

Terracotta cinerary urn, Terracotta, Etruscan

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