The University of Wisconsin Press

Religion / Archaeology / Art History / Classical Studies / History


Religion in Ancient Etruria
Jean-René Jannot
Translated by Jane K. Whitehead

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
William Aylward, Nicholas D. Cahill, and Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Series Editors

“The best introduction to Etruscan religion currently available.”
—Christopher Smith, American Journal of Archaeology

This lively translation of Devins, Dieux et Démons is the first English-language edition of Jean-René Jannot’s highly informative examination of Etruscan religion. Jannot tackles this elusive subject within three major constructs—death, ritual, and the nature of the gods—and presents recent discoveries in an accessible format. Jane K. Whitehead’s translation updates Jannot’s innovative text and introduces readers of all types—students, scholars, and the general audience—to this thorough overview of ancient Etruscan beliefs, including the afterlife, funerary customs, and mythology.

Provocative insights and thoughtful discussions contribute to an understanding of the prophetic nature of Etruscan culture. Jannot investigates the elaborate systems of defining space and time that so distinctly characterize this ancient society. Jannot offers a unique perspective that illuminates the origins of some of our own “modern” religious beliefs.
This updated edition includes more than 100 illustrations that depict early temples, statues, mirrors, tablets, and sculptures.

Jean-René Jannot is professor emeritus of history and archaeology at the University of Nantes, France. Jane K. Whitehead is assistant professor at Valdosta State University and director of the La Piana excavation in Italy.


“The up-to-date references in the footnotes support a text that explains in detail—using the available evidence of artistic and archaeological monuments, inscriptions, and later literature—the ideas and practice of what was, in the eyes of the Romans and no doubt in real life, the Etruscans’ greatest technical expertise.”
—Larissa Bonfante, Etruscan Studies

“Extremely interesting, beautifully researched and current, making full use of recently discovered monuments and the latest interpretations of artifacts and texts.”
—Richard Daniel De Puma, University of Iowa, series editor

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover of Jannot has an inset photo of an ancient metallic sculpture

June 2005
LC: 2004024545 BL
252 pp.   8 x 10  
116 b/w figures, 1 map

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Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-20844-8
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Cloth $70.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-20840-0
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