Mauro Cristofani

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Mauro Cristofani (born January 2, 1941 , † August 25, 1997 in Rome ) was an Italian etrusologist , epigraphist and classical archaeologist . He is considered one of the most important and influential Etruscologists.

life and career

Mauro Cristofani was an academic student of the Etruscanologist Massimo Pallottino . He has been a full professor at the University of Siena since 1975 , previously at the University of Pisa and since 1989 at the University of Naples Federico II . Since 1970 he was married to the archaeologist Marina Martelli , with whom he lived in Rome and also worked several times on a scientific basis. Cristofani's journalistic oeuvre comprises around 400 writings, including 16 monographs. These include archaeological and philological-epigraphic special studies that addressed the scientific world, as well as popular scientific writings. Many of his books have had multiple editions in Italy. Together with the art historian Giovanni Previtali , he founded the magazine Prospettiva , which presents ancient and modern art.

Since 1985 he has also written frequently for the third page of the daily Corriere della Sera on archaeological topics. He carried out excavations in Calabria , the Acropolis of Volterra , in Lucca , in the ancient industrial area of Populonia and as a teaching excavation in the urban area of Cerveteri . Since 1981 Cristofani has headed the Centro di Studio per l'Archeologia Etrusco-Italica . He has received multiple honors. He was a member of the Italian Society for Linguistics , the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi ed Italici in Florence , a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute and the Accademia dei Lincei . In addition, he received local awards from the Etruscan cities he explored, such as Cortona , Siena and Volterra. After a long illness and a liver transplant, which did not prevent him from further research, Cristofani died in 1997 at the age of only 56.

Cristofani did research in the most diverse areas of Etruscology. As an archaeologist he excavated settlements, researched jewelry, ceramics, metalwork, but also as an epigraphist on inscriptions , where he benefited from his good philological tools. For example, he published the festival calendar on a clay tablet from Capua . With his wife he published a large three-volume work. Together they designed the first volume on Etruscan jewelry, he published the second volume on bronzes, and the third on ceramics. Cristofani contributed the final chapter on red-figure vase painting . He always looked at the totality of the material as well as the linguistic-literary legacies and the historical and cultural-historical findings about the Etruscans. In his later years he also turned increasingly to the archeology of the Lower Italian Greeks, and was particularly interested in their ceramics. A high point in his work was the Etruscan year 1985, in which he conceived the exhibition Civiltà degli Etruschi in Florence and published the accompanying catalog, which became a standard work of Etruscology.

Fonts (selection)

as an author
  • The Etruscans. History, Faith and Culture ("Etruschi. Cultura e società", 1979). Reich, Luzern 1983, ISBN 3-7243-0205-3 (Terra magica).
  • The Etruscans ("Gli Etruschi", 1984). Belser, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-7630-1676-7 .
as editor
  • Civiltà degli Etruschi (Progetto Etruschi; Vol. 3). Electa, Milano 1985, ISBN 88-435-1157-2 (catalog of the exhibition of the same name in the Museo Archeologico Firenze , March 16 to October 20, 1985).
  • Dizionario della civiltà etrusca . Giunti Gruppo Editoriale, Florence 1999, ISBN 88-09-21728-4 (reprint of the Florence 1985 edition).


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