Etruscan civilization

900 BC [1]–27 BC [1]
Extent of Etruscan civilisation and the twelve Etruscan League cities.
Extent of Etruscan civilisation and the twelve Etruscan League cities.
Common languagesEtruscan
LegislatureEtruscan League
Historical eraIron Age, Ancient history
900 BC [1]
• The last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome
27 BC [1]
CurrencyEtruscan coinage (5th century BC onward)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Proto-Villanovan culture
Roman Empire
Today part of

The Etruscan civilization (/ɛˈtrʌskən/) was developed by a people of Etruria in ancient Italy with a common language and culture who formed a federation of city-states. After conquering adjacent lands, its territory covered, at its greatest extent, roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio,[2][3] as well as what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and western Campania.[4][5][6][7]

The earliest evidence of a culture that is identifiably Etruscan dates from about 900 BC.[1] This is the period of the Iron Age Villanovan culture, considered to be the earliest phase of Etruscan civilization,[8][9][10][11][12] which itself developed from the previous late Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture in the same region.[13] Etruscan civilization endured until it was assimilated into Roman society. Assimilation began in the late 4th century BC as a result of the Roman–Etruscan Wars;[14] it accelerated with the grant of Roman citizenship in 90 BC, and became complete in 27 BC, when the Etruscans' territory was incorporated into the newly established Roman Empire.[1]

The territorial extent of Etruscan civilization reached its maximum around 750 BC, during the foundational period of the Roman Kingdom. Its culture flourished in three confederacies of cities: that of Etruria (Tuscany, Latium and Umbria), that of the Po Valley with the eastern Alps, and that of Campania.[15][16] The league in northern Italy is mentioned in Livy.[17][18][19] The reduction in Etruscan territory was gradual, but after 500 BC, the political balance of power on the Italian peninsula shifted away from the Etruscans in favor of the rising Roman Republic.[20]

The earliest known examples of Etruscan writing are inscriptions found in southern Etruria that date to around 700 BC.[14][21] The Etruscans developed a system of writing derived from the Euboean alphabet, which was used in the Magna Graecia (coastal areas located in Southern Italy).[22] The Etruscan language remains only partly understood, making modern understanding of their society and culture heavily dependent on much later and generally disapproving Roman and Greek sources. In the Etruscan political system, authority resided in its individual small cities, and probably in its prominent individual families. At the height of Etruscan power, elite Etruscan families grew very rich through trade with the Celtic world to the north and the Greeks to the south, and they filled their large family tombs with imported luxuries.[23][24]

  1. ^ a b c d Bartoloni, Gilda, ed. (2012). Introduzione all'Etruscologia (in Italian). Milan: Hoepli. ISBN 978-8820348700.
  2. ^ Goring, Elizabeth (2004). Treasures from Tuscany: the Etruscan legacy. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland Enterprises Limited. p. 13. ISBN 978-1901663907.
  3. ^ Leighton, Robert (2004). Tarquinia. An Etruscan City. Duckworth Archaeological Histories Series. London: Duckworth Press. p. 32. ISBN 0-7156-3162-4.
  4. ^ Camporeale, Giovannangelo, ed. (2001). The Etruscans Outside Etruria. Translated by Hartmann, Thomas Michael. Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications (published 2004).
  5. ^ Etruria campana
  6. ^ Strabo. Geography. Book V, Chapter IV. Perseus Digital Library. Tufts University. Archived from the original on 2 September 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  7. ^ Francesco Belsito (2013). Storia di Nocera. Monumenti, personaggi, leggende. Angri, Gaia.
  8. ^ Neri, Diana (2012). "1.1 Il periodo villanoviano nell'Emilia occidentale". Gli etruschi tra VIII e VII secolo a.C. nel territorio di Castelfranco Emilia (MO) (in Italian). Firenze: All'Insegna del Giglio. p. 9. ISBN 978-8878145337. Il termine "Villanoviano" è entrato nella letteratura archeologica quando, a metà dell '800, il conte Gozzadini mise in luce le prime tombe ad incinerazione nella sua proprietà di Villanova di Castenaso, in località Caselle (BO). La cultura villanoviana coincide con il periodo più antico della civiltà etrusca, in particolare durante i secoli IX e VIII a.C. e i termini di Villanoviano I, II e III, utilizzati dagli archeologi per scandire le fasi evolutive, costituiscono partizioni convenzionali della prima età del Ferro
  9. ^ Bartoloni, Gilda (2012) [2002]. La cultura villanoviana. All'inizio della storia etrusca (in Italian) (III ed.). Roma: Carocci editore. ISBN 9788843022618.
  10. ^ Colonna, Giovanni (2000). "I caratteri originali della civiltà Etrusca". In Torelli, Mario (ed.). Gi Etruschi (in Italian). Milano: Bompiani. pp. 25–41.
  11. ^ Briquel, Dominique (2000). "Le origini degli Etruschi: una questione dibattuta fin dall'antichità". In Torelli, Mario (ed.). Gi Etruschi (in Italian). Milano: Bompiani. pp. 43–51.
  12. ^ Bartoloni, Gilda (2000). "Le origini e la diffusione della cultura villanoviana". In Torelli, Mario (ed.). Gi Etruschi (in Italian). Milano: Bompiani. pp. 53–71.
  13. ^ Moser, Mary E. (1996). "The origins of the Etruscans: new evidence for an old question". In Hall, John Franklin (ed.). Etruscan Italy: Etruscan Influences on the Civilizations of Italy from Antiquity to the Modern Era. Provo, Utah: Museum of Art, Brigham Young University. pp. 29- 43. ISBN 0842523340.
  14. ^ a b Rix, Helmut (2008). "Etruscan". In Woodard, Roger D. (ed.). The Ancient Languages of Europe. Cambridge University Press. pp. 141–64. ISBN 9780521684958.
  15. ^ "A good map of the Italian range and cities of the culture at the beginning of its history".
  16. ^ The topic of the "League of Etruria" is covered in Freeman, pp. 562–65.
  17. ^ Livius, Titus. Ab Urbe Condita Libri [The History of Rome]. Book V, Section 33. The passage identifies the Raetii as a remnant of the 12 cities "beyond the Apennines".
  18. ^ Polybius. "Campanian Etruscans mentioned". II.17.
  19. ^ The entire subject with complete ancient sources in footnotes was worked up by George Dennis in his Introduction. In the LacusCurtius transcription, the references in Dennis's footnotes link to the texts in English or Latin; the reader may also find the English of some of them on WikiSource or other Internet sites. As the work has already been done by Dennis and Thayer, the complete work-up is not repeated here.
  20. ^ M. Cary; H.H. Scullard (1979). A History of Rome (3rd ed.). p. 28. ISBN 0-312-38395-9.
  21. ^ Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002) [1983]. The Etruscan language. An introduction (II (Revised) ed.). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719055407.
  22. ^ "Etruscan alphabet and language". Retrieved 2022-02-16.
  23. ^ Sassatelli, Giuseppe. "Celti ed Etruschi nell'Etruria Padana e nell'Italia settentrionale" (PDF) (in Italian).
  24. ^ federix71 (2019-08-28). "Etruschi e Celti della Gallia meridionale – parte 1". CelticWorld (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-02-15.