The image of the Etruscan rider has a longstanding history as an emblem for the College, dating from the early years of the Rome Program.
The Etruscans, the people who inhabited the central Italian peninsula before the Romans about whom we know relatively little, connect us to the late Archaic period and the sense of beauty and craft in the ancient world generally. Learning about the Etruscans, one is left with a sense of wonder about such cultures lost in the mists of time.
As an extension, it enkindles a sense of interest in more contemporary cultures whose habits, mores and way of looking at the world may be different from our own.
Further, the image of the rider–a youthful man on a horse with full trappings–calls up the pursuit of a noble life, a life of high purpose and daring. Closer in time, it invokes the medieval chivalric tradition, the figure of the Knight (and, by implication, the Lady) and the Christian heroic ideal.
On many levels the Etruscan rider calls forth definite educational aims: an invitation to learning, the inculcation of taste, and the solid formation of young men and women.
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