Etruria

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The area covered by the Etruscan civilization. Etruscan civilization map.png
The area covered by the Etruscan civilization.

Etruria ( /ɪˈtrʊəriə/ ; usually referred to in Greek source texts as Tyrrhenia, Ancient Greek : Τυρρηνία) was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.

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Etruscan Etruria

The ancient people of Etruria are labeled Etruscans. Their complex culture was centered on numerous city-states that rose during the Villanovan period in the ninth century BC, and they were very powerful during the Orientalizing Archaic periods. The Etruscans were a dominant culture in Italy by 650 BC, [1] surpassing other ancient Italic peoples such as the Ligures, and their influence may be seen beyond Etruria's confines in the Po River Valley and Latium, as well as in Campania and through their contact with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy (including Sicily). Indeed, at some Etruscan tombs, such as those of the Tumulus di Montefortini at Comeana (see Carmignano) in Tuscany, physical evidence of trade with Egypt has been found—fine Egyptian faience cups are an example. Such trade occurred either directly with Egypt or through intermediaries such as Greek or Phoenician sailors.

Rome, separated from Etruria by the Silva Ciminia, the Ciminian Forest, was influenced strongly by the Etruscans, with a series of Etruscan kings ruling at Rome until 509 BC when the last Etruscan king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was removed from power and the Roman Republic was established. [2] The Etruscans are credited with influencing Rome's architecture and ritual practice; it was under the Etruscan kings that important structures such as the Capitolium, Cloaca Maxima, and Via Sacra were realized.

The Etruscan civilization was responsible for much of the Greek culture imported into early Republican Rome, including the twelve Olympian gods, the growing of olives and grapes, the Latin alphabet (adapted from the Greek alphabet), and architecture like the arch, sewerage and drainage systems.

Territorial subdivision of Etruria

Etruria is usually divided into two main territories, called Northern Etruria and Southern Etruria, to which must be added the northernmost territories, called Etruria Padana, and the southernmost territories called Etruria Campana.

Roman Etruria

In the Augustan organization of Italy, Etruria was the name of a region (Regio VII), whose borders were the Tiber, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Apuan Alps and the Apennines, roughly coincident with those of pre-Roman Etruria. [3]

Etruria in later times

The Grand Duchy of Tuscany (which existed 1569–1801 and 1814–1859) styled itself in Latin as Magnus Ducatus Etruriae (Grand Duchy of Etruria). The name Etruria was also applied to the Kingdom of Etruria, an ephemeral client state of Napoleon I of France which replaced the Grand Duchy between 1801 and 1807.

A particularly noteworthy work dealing with Etruscan locations is D. H. Lawrence's Sketches of Etruscan Places and other Italian essays .

Cities

Latin and Italian names are given between parentheses:

There was a period between 600 BC and 500 BC, in which 12 Etruscan city-states formed a loose confederation known as the Etruscan League. Etruscan was the official language for meetings. When Etruria was conquered by the Roman Republic, Latin became the official language.

See also

Related Research Articles

Etruscan language Extinct language of ancient Italy

Etruscan was the language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria and in parts of Corsica, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy and Campania. Etruscan influenced Latin but eventually was completely superseded by it. The Etruscans left around 13,000 inscriptions that have been found so far, only a small minority of which are of significant length; some bilingual inscriptions with texts also in Latin, Greek, or Phoenician; and a few dozen loanwords. Attested from 700 BC to AD 50, the relation of Etruscan to other languages has been a source of long-running speculation and study, with its being referred to at times as an isolate, one of the Tyrsenian languages, and a number of other less well-known theories.

Lazio Region of Italy

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Etruscan civilization Pre-Roman civilization of ancient Italy

The Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and Campania.

Umbria Region of Italy

Umbria is a region of central Italy. It includes Lake Trasimeno and Marmore Falls, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia.

Veii

Veii was an important ancient Etruscan city situated on the southern limits of Etruria and only 16 km (9.9 mi) north-northwest of Rome, Italy. It now lies in Isola Farnese, in the comune of Rome. Many other sites associated with and in the city-state of Veii are in Formello, immediately to the north. Formello is named after the drainage channels that were first created by the Veians.

Apennine culture

The Apennine culture is a technology complex in central and southern Italy from the Italian Middle Bronze Age. In the mid-20th century the Apennine was divided into Proto-, Early, Middle and Late sub- phases, but now archaeologists prefer to consider as "Apennine" only the ornamental pottery style of the later phase of Middle Bronze Age (BM3). This phase is preceded by the Grotta Nuova facies and by the Protoapennine B facies and succeeded by the Subappennine facies of 13th-century. Apennine pottery is a burnished ware incised with spirals, meanders and geometrical zones, filled with dots or transverse dashes. It has been found on Ischia island in association with LHII and LHIII pottery and on Lipari in association with LHIIIA pottery, which associations date it to the Late Bronze Age as it is defined in Greece and the Aegean.

Province of Terni Province of Italy

The Province of Terni is the smaller of the two provinces in the Umbria region of Italy, comprising one-third of both the area and population of the region. Its capital is the city of Terni. The province came into being in 1927, when it was carved out of the original unitary province of Umbria.

Etruscan alphabet The alphabet used by the Etruscans of central and northern Italy

The Etruscan alphabet was the alphabet used by the Etruscans, an ancient civilization of central and northern Italy, to write their language, from about 700 BC to sometime around 100 AD.

Roman Italy Italian peninsula during the Roman Empire

Italia was the homeland of the Romans and metropole of Rome's empire in classical antiquity. According to Roman mythology, Italy was the ancestral home promised by Jupiter to Aeneas of Troy and his descendants, who were the founders of Rome. Aside from the legendary accounts, Rome was an Italic city-state that changed its form of government from kingdom to republic and then grew within the context of a peninsula dominated by the Celts in the North, the Etruscans and Umbrians in the Centre, and the Messapians and Greeks colonies in the south.

Umbri

The Umbri were Italic people of ancient Italy. A region called Umbria still exists and is now occupied by Italian speakers. It is somewhat smaller than the ancient Umbria.

Latium

Latium is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire.

Bucchero

Bucchero is a class of ceramics produced in central Italy by the region's pre-Roman Etruscan population. This Italian word is derived from the Latin poculum, a drinking-vessel, perhaps through the Spanish búcaro, or the Portuguese púcaro.

Etruscan history

Etruscan history is the written record of Etruscan civilization compiled mainly by Greek and Roman authors. Apart from their inscriptions, from which information mainly of a sociological character can be extracted, the Etruscans left no surviving history of their own, nor is there any mention in the Roman authors that any was ever written. Remnants of Etruscan writings are almost exclusively concerned with religion.

Etruscan cities

Etruscan cities were a group of ancient settlements that shared a common Etruscan language and culture, even though they were independent city-states. They flourished over a large part of the northern half of Italy starting from the Iron Age, and in some cases reached a substantial level of wealth and power. They were eventually assimilated first by Italics in the south, then by Celts in the north and finally in Etruria itself by the growing Roman Republic.

Etruscan art

Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.

Prehistoric Italy

The prehistory of Italy began in the Paleolithic period, when the Homo species colonized the Italian territory for the first time, and ended in the Iron Age, when the first written records appeared in the Insular Italy.

Etruscan origins

In antiquity, several theses were elaborated on the origin of the Etruscans that can be summarized into three main hypotheses. The first is the autochthonous development in situ out of the Villanovan culture, as claimed by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus who described the Etruscans as indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. The second is a migration from the Aegean sea, as claimed by two Greek historians: Herodotus, who described them as a group of immigrants from Lydia in Anatolia, and Hellanicus of Lesbos who claimed that the Tyrrhenians were the Pelasgians originally from Thessaly, Greece, who entered Italy at the head of the Adriatic sea. The third hypotheses was reported by Livy and Pliny the Elder, and puts the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and other populations living in the Alps.

In the 8th century BC, the Etruscans expanded their power to Northern and Southern Italy, specifically towards Emilia and Campania, there they founded Etruscan dominions who are modernly known under the names of Padanian Etruria and Campanian Etruria. Moving from the northern city-states of the Etruscan Dodecapolis they swept into the Po valley through the Apennine passes.

Roman expansion in Italy History of Roman growth starting in the 5th century BCE

The Roman expansion in Italy covers a series of conflicts in which Rome grew from being a small Italian city-state to be the ruler of the Italian peninsula. Roman tradition attributes to the Roman kings the first war against the Sabines and the first conquests around the Alban Hills and down to the coast of Latium. The birth of the Roman Republic after the overthrow of the Etruscan monarch of Rome in 509 BC began a series of major wars between the Romans and the Etruscans. In 390 BC, Gauls from the north of Italy sacked Rome. In the second half of the 4th century BC Rome clashed repeatedly with the Samnites, a powerful tribal coalition of the Apennine region. By the end of these wars, Rome had become the most powerful state in central Italy and began to expand to the north and to the south. The last threat to Roman hegemony came during the Pyrrhic war when Tarentum enlisted the aid of the Greek king Pyrrhus of Epirus to campaign in the South of Italy. Resistance in Etruria was finally crushed in 265-264 BC, the same year the first punic war began and brought Roman forces outside of the peninsula for the first time.

In ancient Italy, the Etruscan "Lega dei popoli" was a league comprising several towns — usually, but not necessarily, twelve — located in the areas that today are known as Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Lazio.

References

  1. Rix, Helmut. "Etruscan." In The Ancient Languages of Europe, ed. Roger D. Woodard. Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 141–164.
  2. Cary, M.; Scullard, H. H., A History of Rome. Page 28. 3rd Ed. 1979. ISBN   0-312-38395-9.
  3. Baracca, M. (1970). Atlante Storico (in Latin). Novara: De Agostini. p. 15.

Bibliography