Etruscology is the study of the ancient civilization of the Etruscans in Italy, which was incorporated into an expanding Roman Empire during the period of Rome's Middle Republic. Since the Etruscans were politically and culturally influential in pre-Republican Rome, many Etruscologists are also scholars of the history, archaeology, and culture of Rome.
The premier scholarly journal of Etruscan Studies is Studi Etruschi. A recent addition to the scholarly literature is the American journal, Etruscan Studies: Journal of the Etruscan Foundation, which began publication in 1994. A more informal organ is Etruscan News and the accompanying cyber-publication Etruscan News Online.
Thomas Dempster (b. 1570, d. 1625), Scottish scholar and historian, is perhaps the godfather of Etruscology. Under the patronage of Grand Duke Cosimo II of Etruria, Dempster researched and wrote De Etruria Regali Libri Septem in Latin.
Prominent Etruscologists, past and present, include Pericle Ducati, Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, Massimo Pallottino, Mauro Cristofani, Giovanni Colonna, Giulio Giglioli, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Jacques Heurgon, Dominique Briquel, Carlo De Simone, Helmut Rix, L. Bouke van der Meer, George Dennis, Guglielmo Maetzke,Nancy T. DeGrummond, Sybille Haynes, and Larissa Bonfante. Other scholars who focus more on the Etruscan influence on Rome include, R. E. A. Palmer, John F. Hall, and H. H. Scullard.
Various organizations promote Etruscology. The Etruscan Foundation supports Etruscan scholarship in the United States and abroad. The foundation provides internships and fellowships, and publishes the journal Etruscan Studies. It also sponsors an annual lecture.
Etruscan was the language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria. Etruscan influenced Latin but eventually was completely superseded by it.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 BCE to 50 CE, 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.
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.
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.
Etruria was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.
Thomas Dempster was a Scottish scholar and historian. Born into the aristocracy in Aberdeenshire, which comprises regions of both the Scottish highlands and the Scottish lowlands, he was sent abroad as a youth for his education. The Dempsters were Catholic in an increasingly Protestant country and had a reputation for being quarrelsome. Thomas' brother James, outlawed for an attack on his father, spent some years as a pirate in the northern islands, escaped by volunteering for military service in the Low Countries and was drawn and quartered there for insubordination. Thomas' father lost the family fortune in clan feuding and was beheaded for forgery.
Volsinii or Vulsinii, is the name of two ancient cities of Etruria, one situated on the shore of Lacus Volsiniensis, and the other on the Via Clodia, between Clusium (Chiusi) and Forum Cassii (Vetralla). The latter was Etruscan and was destroyed by the Romans in 264 BC following an attempted revolt by its slaves, while the former was founded by the Romans using the remainder of the Etruscan population rescued from the razed city.
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.
Clusium was an ancient city in Italy, one of several found at the site. The current municipality of Chiusi (Tuscany) partly overlaps this Roman walled city. The Roman city remodeled an earlier Etruscan city, Clevsin, found in the territory of a prehistoric culture, possibly also Etruscan or proto-Etruscan. The site is located in northern central Italy on the west side of the Apennines.
Mario Torelli was an Italian scholar of Italic archaeology and the culture of the Etruscans. He taught at the University of Perugia.
Massimo Pallottino was an Italian archaeologist specializing in Etruscan civilization and art.
Tyrsenian, named after the Tyrrhenians, is a proposed extinct family of closely related ancient languages put forward by linguist Helmut Rix (1998), which consists of the Etruscan language of northern, central and south-western Italy, and eastern Corsica (France); the Rhaetic language of the Alps, named after the Rhaetian people; and the Lemnian language of the Aegean Sea. Camunic in northern Lombardy, in between Etruscan and Rhaetic, may belong here too, but the material is very scant. The Tyrsenian languages are generally considered Pre-Indo-European (Paleo-European).
Filippo Buonarroti, the great-grandnephew of Michelangelo Buonarroti, was a Florentine official at the court of Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany and an antiquarian, whose Etruscan studies, among the earliest in that field, inspired Antonio Francesco Gori. The Etruscan art and antiquities in the family palazzo-museum of Florence, Casa Buonarroti, are his contribution to the artistic-intellectual memorial to the Buonarroti.
George Dennis was a British explorer of Etruria; his written account and drawings of the ancient places and monuments of the Etruscan civilization combined with his summary of the ancient sources is among the first of the modern era and remains an indispensable reference in Etruscan studies.
The Fanum Voltumnae was the chief sanctuary of the Etruscans; fanum means a sacred place, a much broader notion than a single temple. Numerous sources refer to a league of the "Twelve Peoples" (lucumonies) of Etruria, formed for religious purposes but evidently having some political functions. The Etruscan league of twelve city-states met annually at the Fanum, located in a place chosen as omphalos, the geographical and spiritual centre of the whole Etruscan nation. Each spring political and religious leaders from the cities would meet to discuss military campaigns and civic affairs and pray to their common gods. Chief amongst these was Voltumna, possibly state god of the Etruria.
Antonio Francesco Gori, on his titlepages Franciscus Gorius, was a Florentine antiquarian, a priest in minor orders, provost of the Baptistery of San Giovanni from 1746, and a professor at the Liceo, whose numerous publications of ancient Roman sculpture and antiquities formed part of the repertory on which 18th-century scholarship as well as the artistic movement of neoclassicism were based. In 1735 he was a founding member of a circle of antiquaries and connoisseurs in Florence called the Società Colombaria, the predecessor of the Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere la Colombaria, to foster "not only Tuscan Poetry and Eloquence, or one faculty only; but almost all the most distinguished and useful parts of human knowledge: in a word, it is what the Greeks called Encyclopedia".
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.
Sybille Edith Haynes, is a British expert on Etruscology. She grew up and was educated in Germany and Austria before moving to the UK in the 1950s. She worked with Etruscan artefacts at the British Museum for many years as well as publishing numerous books, for fellow scholars and also for the general public. In the 1980s she joined the Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Luisa Banti (1894-1978) was an Italian archaeologist, art historian, and educator specializing in the Etruscan and Minoan civilizations. Her best known work is Il mondo degli Etruschi. First published in 1960 and translated into several languages, it influenced scholarly opinion for many years and became a classic text.
Judith Swaddling is a British classical archaeologist and the Senior Curator of Etruscan and pre-Roman Italy in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum. She is particularly known for her work on the Etruscans, and the ancient Olympic Games.
Maria Bonghi Jovino is an Italian archaeologist. Bonghi Jovino was Professor of Etruscology and Italic Archaeology at the University of Milan.