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THE CYCLE OF LIFE Born and reborn in Etruria

13 June @ 09:30 - 6 October @ 17:00 UTC+1

Il Ciclo della vita (The cycle of life), from birth to death, is at the center of this new exhibition project that deals with the theme of the physiological interweaving of different moments of life from a social point of view, highlighting the transitions from one phase to another and the diversity of approach depending on the historical context in which one lives.

Having rooted in antiquity, archaeological evidence tells us that the physiological passages were perceived by the peoples of ancient Italy as so important that they were placed under the protection of the gods and sanctioned by rites and choral ceremonies.

In this perspective, the forms of popular religiosity of the Etruscans and neighboring populations are on display, for which the fertility of soils and human fertility are at the basis of the survival of the species. The story is entrusted to the gifts offered to the deities who presided over marriage and fertility, both female and male, solicited and encouraged by the involvement of eros, who protected motherhood in all its phases, from the moment of conception to the growth of children.

The theme of birth is also central: just think of the varied range of representations of terracotta wombs that also reveal the knowledge and practices of the Etruscans in the anatomical field.

Through history pills we come to the theme of the defeat of illness, old age and death. This natural tendency is not exclusive to our days characterized by continuous technological developments and new frontiers in life, but it is a theme that we find in the myth and imagination of the Etruscan people since the 7th century BC.

Prestigious vases destined for the consumption of wine at aristocratic banquets tell us of the vain spells of the sorceress Medea to satisfy the dream of eternal youth, of Heracles’s inability to defeat Old Age, of the immortality achieved by Arianna through the fidelity of conjugal love of Dionysus or of the same Heracles as a reward for his spending himself against evil in favor of humanity.

In this perspective, intertwining the Etruscan-Italic world and current events, the two extreme poles of the path of life – birth and death – merge in the everlasting theme of illness and the old.

This is the main theme of the exhibition created by the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, by the “San Camillo-Forlanini” Foundation in Rome, by the Museum of the History of Medicine and by the “Sapienza” University Polo Museum thanks to a collaboration agreement stipulated between the four institutions. By virtue of this agreement, the central garden of Villa Giulia, also this year welcomes on the day of June 12, the “Award 2019 Excellence in Health” promoted by the “San Camillo-Forlanini” Foundation of Rome that rewards those who they are distinguished as illustrious Italian protagonists of Medicine.

The exhibition in continuity with this event is open to the public from 13 June to 6 October 2019 in the splendid frescoed rooms of the Villa’s noble floor.

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13 June @ 09:30
6 October @ 17:00
Categorie Evento:


National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia
Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9
Roma, RM 00196 Italia
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