Etruscans

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The same region of central Italy twice, in the shape of ancient Etruria and modern Tuscany, been the source of civilization in Italy. ~ Jacques Heurgon

The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient northern and central Italy.

Quotes[edit]

  • It is indeed a striking thought that the same region of central Italy twice, in the shape of ancient Etruria and modern Tuscany, been the source of civilization in Italy. Since the seventh century BC and from the fifteenth century onwards, in the dawn of antiquity as well as at the beginning of modern times, the same region of the peninsula has been distinguished by exceptional qualities. The birth and re-birth or Renaissance of Italy had the same cradle.
  • The tradition that they originally came from Lydia, reported as a Lydian story by Herodotus, is based on erroneous etymologies, like many other traditions about the origins of 'fringe' peoples of the Greek world. Although the (no doubt numerous) early group movements in and out of Italy, and within its borders, are irretrievably lost, the Etruscans must be regarded as an Italian people.
  • Not many authors of general books about the Romans feel bound to discuss the alleged Trojan ancestry of their subject. In sharp contrast, hardly anyone outside the inner circle of tecnici seems able to write about the Etruscans without reflecting at length on the supposed mystery of their origins and on the solution that may or (as has long been beyond all doubt) may not lie in the East, specifically in Lydia. The reason for this is the erroneous but still widely held conviction that the authority of Herodotus is involved.
    • David Ridgway, The 'Lydian Origins' of the Etruscans (1993), pp. 109-110.
  • Yet wherever one looks, in non-specialist guides, or in holiday brochures, one reads about the 'mysterious' Etruscans; hidden Etruria; underground Etruria — as if the culture is somehow concealed from us. It is a sales gimmick which has been very useful and profitable, but it is also misleading. (...) The Etruscans were no more more mysterious than most other peoples of archaic Italy.

External links[edit]

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