In the 8th century BC, the Etruscans expanded their power to Northern and Southern Italy, specifically towards Emilia and Campania, where they founded Etruscan dominions that 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.
The Greek and Latin ancient writers tell us that an Etruscan expansion into Southern Italy, present day Campania region, and northwards into the Po Valleyoccurred yet in the 9th century BC.
Following their usual methods, the Etruscan conquerors in the colonial areas overlapped themselves over the ancient inhabitants of the conquered regions imposing their culture and their political institutions. Consequently, as in Tuscany, the cities they founded in the Po valley and along the Adriatic coast formed a Dodecapolis (a federation or league of twelve cities), but, as for the original Etruscan Dodecapolis, we do not really know which cities were part of it. Inside Padanian Etruria, it is supposed they were ‘’Felsina’’ (Bologna), Spina and Marzabotto, while we can only guess about Ravenna, Cesena, Rimini, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Mantua and possibly, but improbably, Milan.
The founder of these cities and of their League had been Ocnus, brother or son of Aulestes (or Auletes), according some authors, Tarchon according to others. More probably, as the archaeological evidence suggests, both the traditions have to be accepted but must also be ascribed to two different moments of profound change in the political and economic framework of the Padanian Etruria.
A "First etruscan colonization," referred to the legendary Tarchon, can be traced to the early Iron Age (9th century BC). It was aimed to find new lands for agricultural uses; a "Second colonization", dated to the mid-6th century BC, can be attributed to the as much legendary Ocnus. The latter colonization involved the reorganization of the entire Padanian region in order to increase its utility for the etruscan businesses and trades.
During the 6th century BC Etruria experienced significant social, political and economic transformations. The formative process of the city-states had concluded, within these polities the power of the great aristocratic families was matched and then replaced by that of a new social class of men whose wealth was based mainly on trade.
The protagonists of this process were people of the northern cities of Tuscany. The Padanian Etruria is transformed in best way to serve the new commercial purposes: the trade routes are reinforced and developed, the previous settlements became real cities, better linked amongst them by a closer collaborative relationship, developing in an effective etruscan Dodecapolis.
From the late 9th century BC, the human settlement in the Lower Po valley, previously organized in small groups of huts scattered throughout the country and mostly inhabited by Umbrians or other Italics, centers in some major urban areas as Bologna, the main city of Padanian Etruria, and Verucchio, then flourishing settlement in the heart of Romagna, by initiative of the etruscan colonists.
The area around Bologna has been inhabited since the 9th century BC, as evidenced by the archeological digs in the 19th century in nearby Villanova. This period, and up to the 6th century, is in fact generally referred to as villanovian, and had various nuclei of people spread out around this area. In the 7-6th centuries BC, Etruria began to have an influence on this area, and the population went from Umbrian to Etruscan. The town was renamed Felsina.
Traces of a 12th-9th century BC settlement, supposed of Villanovan origin, have been found in Verucchio. Later it was an Etruscan possession. The current town derives its name from Vero Occhio ("True Eye"), referring to its privileged position offering a wide panorama of the surrounding countryside and the Romagna coast.
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A settlement existed as early as around 2000 BC on the banks of the Mincio, on a sort of island which provided natural protection. In the 6th century BC it was an Etruscan village which, in Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus. The name derives from the Etruscan god Mantus, of Hades. After being conquered by the Cenomani, a Gallic tribe, the city was conquered between the first and second Punic wars by the Romans, who attributed its name to Manto, a daughter of Tiresias. The new territory was populated by veteran soldiers of Augustus. Mantua's most famous ancient citizen is the poet Publius Vergilius Maro, Virgil (Mantua me genuit), who was born near the city in 70 B.C. at the village now known as Virgilio.
The first settlements built on the area are of Venetic origin, during the 12-9th century BC. At that time the main stream of the Po, the Adria channel, flowed into the sea by this area. The Villanovan culture, named for an archaeological site at the village of Villanova, near Bologna (Etruscan Felsina), flourished in this area from the 10th until as late as the 6th century BC. The foundations of classical Atria are dated from 530 to 520 BC. The Etruscans built the port and settlement of Adria after the channel was not the main stream anymore. During the later period of the 6th century BC the port continued to flourish. The Etruscan-controlled area of the Po Valley was generally known as Padanian Etruria (Padanian referring to the Po River), as opposed to their main concentration along the Tyrrhenian coast south of the Arno. Greeks from Aegina and later from Syracuse by Dionysius I colonised the city making it into an emporion. Greeks had been trading with the Eneti from the sixth century BC. Mass Celtic incursions into the Po valley resulted in friction between the Gauls and Etruscans and intermarriage, attested by epigraphic inscriptions on which Etruscan and Celtic names appear together. The city was populated by Etruscans, Eneti, Greeks and Celts.
Spina was an Etruscan port city on the Adriatic at the ancient mouth of the Po, south of the lagoon which would become the site of Venice. Spina may have had a Hellenised indigenous population.
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 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.
Adria is a town and comune in the province of Rovigo in the Veneto region of northern Italy, situated between the mouths of the rivers Adige and Po. The remains of the Etruscan city of Atria or Hatria are to be found below the modern city, three to four metres below the current level. Adria and Spina were the Etruscan ports and depots for Felsina. Adria may have given its name during an early period to the Adriatic Sea, to which it was connected by channels.
Etruria was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.
Spina was an Etruscan port city, established by the end of the 6th century BCE, on the Adriatic at the ancient mouth of the Po, south of the lagoon which would become the site of Venice.
The Villanovan culture, regarded as the earliest phase of the Etruscan civilization, was the earliest Iron Age culture of Central Italy and Northern Italy. It directly followed the Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture which branched off from the Urnfield culture of Central Europe. This gave way in the 7th century BC to an increasingly orientalizing culture influenced by Greek traders and colonists who settled in South Italy.
The Italic peoples were an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages.
Caere is the Latin name given by the Romans to one of the larger cities of southern Etruria, the modern Cerveteri, approximately 50-60 kilometres north-northwest of Rome. To the Etruscans it was known as Cisra, to the Greeks as Agylla and to the Phoenicians as Kyšryʼ.
Vulci or Volci was a rich and important Etruscan city.
Populonia or Populonia Alta today is a frazione of the comune of Piombino. As of 2009 its population was 17. Populonia is especially noteworthy for its Etruscan remains, including one of the main necropolis in Italy, discovered by Isidoro Falchi.
Verucchio is a comune in the province of Rimini, region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It has a population of about 9,300 and is 18 kilometres (11 mi) from Rimini, on a spur overlooking the valley of the Marecchia river.
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 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 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.
Adria was a former channel of the Po river delta, passing by the town of Adria, that ceased in the 1st century BC.
The Este culture or Atestine culture was an Iron Age archaeological culture existing from the late Italian Bronze Age to the Roman period. It was located in the present territory of Veneto in Italy and derived from the earlier and more extensive Proto-Villanovan culture. It is also called "civilization of situlas", or paleo-venetic.
Gino Vinicio Gentili was an Italian archaeologist.
The Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna is located in the fifteenth-century Palazzo Galvani building at Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 postal code 40124 Bologna, once known as the Hospital of Death. Founded in September 1881 by the merging of two separate museums: the one belonging to the University of Bologna – heir of the Room of Antiquity belonging to the Academy of Sciences founded by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili in (1714) – and that belonging to the City of Bologna (enriched by the antique collection of Artist Pelagio Palagi and the large amount of finds from excavations conducted in and around Bologna during these times.
The Metropolitan City of Bologna is a metropolitan city in the Emilia Romagna region, Italy. Its capital is the city of Bologna. Replacing the Province of Bologna, it was first created by the reform of local authorities and then established by the Law 56/2014. It has been operative since January 1, 2015.
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.