Arts & Humanities, Art History & Restoration; Medea; Argonauts; Etruscan art; Cavatha
It could be said with some precision, that in Antiquity the myth of the Argonauts and especially of Medea herself as a personage of this myth, has enjoyed popularity not only in Greece but also outside its territories. The first among the Italic tribes to be introduced to the personage of Medea no doubt were the Etruscans, who were the first to establish intensive contacts with the Greeks from Euboea founding a colony in Cumae, Italy. It is noteworthy that the first image of Medea in the World Art is seen on Etruscan ceramics. The paper gives detailed analyses of Etruscan artefacts on which Medea appears, providing a solid precondition for substantive conclusions. Some new versions of an interpretation expressed in relation to each of the artefacts on the basis of critical analysis of Etruscan archeological material, of classical texts and of previously undertaken modern research, are provided. Images of Medea in Etruscan art confirmed from the Orientalist era to the Hellenization period represent an original, local interpretation of Medea's image. Medea's magical art turned out to be familiar to the Etruscans, who were well known all throughout the Mediterranean for divination and being experts of magic. In contrast to the Greeks, they turned Medea into an object of cult worship, identifying her with the Etruscan sun god Cavatha.