9 Centuries of Etruscan History Infographic
9 Centuries of Etruscan History Infographic
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9th Century BC
The great Etruscan Metropolises arose in areas where there were already little societies called Villanovian supposedly the origins of the Etruscans. The inhabitants were farmers living in one-room huts made of straw and mud. It was their costume to burn their dead and bury them near their dwellings.
8th Century BC
The Etruscan/Villanovian Civilization rose up to reach its splendor. During this time, burials were already expression of great wealth. Towards the end of this century commercial relationships with other Mediterranean countries particularly intensified. Proof of this commercial expansion is an Egyptian vase with hieroglyphics that recall the cartouche of the Pharaoh Bocchoris (718/712 B.C.), an evidence found in a tomb of the Necropolis of Tarquinia.
7th Century BC
This century is known as the Orientalzing period. The Etruscan communication with the rest of the Mediterranean civilizations greatly intensified. The Lucumoni increased their wealthness and the placing of precious gold and silver objects in great quantity inside the tombs began to be a costume. The Etruscan towns evolved; houses with walls of stone and tile replaced the crude huts. The great necropolis of Caere Agilla began to take shape, characterized by tombs reproducing houses and often covered with enormous mounds of earth. According to the legend, the Greek Demaratus of Corinth moved to Tarquinia where after accumulating great honors became one of the city’s aristocrats. Near the end of the century his son, Lucius Tarquinius, left the city of Tarquinia and moved to Rome; he would then become the fifth king of the Latin city, Tarquinius Priscus.
6th Century BC
This century is characterized because the Etruscan Civilization began to flourish its wealth and dominance over the Tyrrhenian area. Some of the power of control over the city states passed more towards the aristocratic families and the prince-lucumone lose their monopoly. A significant number of tombs in Tarquinia were filled with scenes of banquettes, games, dances, and hunting frescos – all themes quite admired by the Etruscan aristocrats. From a commercial point of view, Vulci becomes the main market place where vases made in Athens were sold abundantly. The first great monumental temples were built. The seaport of Gravisca became popular for its commercial exchange involving merchants from Greece, Asia Minor and Carthage. Right in this period took place also a naval battle. The Etruscans with their allies the Carthaginians fought against the Greeks of Focea in the sea of Sardinia. Even though the Greeks won they suffered significant losses forcing them to leave the western Mediterranean (the so called Cadmean victory) and seek refuge in Campania, where they founded Velia. After this battle Corsica became an Etruscan domain, while Sardinia was given to the Carthaginians. Towards the end of the century the king Thefarie Velianas took hold of power in Caere and draws up political-religious treaties with the Phoenicians; meanwhile in Rome Tarquinius the Superb was thrown out and the republic started to be established.
5th Century BC
During this century the political order of the Etruscan City States falls into crisis, most probably due to social conflicts. This crisis is even more accentuated because of the military defeat suffered by the Etruscans in the waters off Cumae in 474 B.C against the Greeks. The middle of the century is characterized by economic stagnation highlighted by almost the disappearance of luxurious goods imported from Greece and other Mediterranean countries. The port of Gravisca seems to be nearly abandoned. On the other hand, a new monumental temple is built in Pyrgi, a clear indication that Etruscan economic powers is still relevant. Towards the end of the century there is a renewal of agreements with the Greek world, especially with Athens. An Etruscan commission led by the founder of the Tarquinian family from Spurinna together with Athens fights bravely at the unfortunate expedition against Syracuse in Sicily (415/410 BC).
4th Century BC
After ten years of siege, in 396 BC, the Etruscan city of Veii is conquered by the Roman leader Furius Camillus. This is the first Roman advance against the Etruscans. Falerii Veteres and Vulci host craftsmen coming mostly from Athens who lead the way to the rich production of the Etruscan vases of red figures so typical of this century. This era sees the political and religious hegemony of Tarquinia that intervenes without hesitation in an internal conflict happening in the city of Arezzo. During the middle of the century the allied Tarquinia and Falerii Veteres fight against Rome, which ends without a winner and truce for forty-years (358/351 BC). The alliance between Rome and Caere takes place during these years. Civitas sine suffragio is conferred to Caere (citizenship without the vote), this represents equal rights in terms of marriage and commercial dealings (connubium et commercium) with the Roman citizens.
3rd Century BC
Rome conquers Tarquinia (281 BC), Volsini and Vulci (280 BC), and Caere (272 BC). The Romans found the Latin colony of Cosa (274 BC) in the territory of Vulci, leaving the Etruscan metropolis without a way to the sea. The Roman expansion continues in 265 BC when Volsinii Vetus (Orvieto) is conquered. Romans plunder tremendously the areas conquered and take everything to Rome. The Etruscan city is destroyed, and its inhabitants are moved to Volsinii Novi (Bolsena). Much the same thing occurs some years later in Falerii. The expansion of Rome is unstoppable. At the end of the century in the Second Punic War, during the battle of Carthage, the Etruscan cities become Rome loyal allies.
2nd Century BC
Rome after winning the fight with Carthage becomes the ruler of the western Mediterranean. The Etruscan cities are controlled by the Romans and the few sparks of Etruscan rebellion are soon extinguished. In 181 BC the Roman colony of Gravisca is also founded at Tarquinia harbour.
1st Century BC
In 40 B.C. Octavian conquers, pillages and burns Perusia (Perugia), where a significant number of Marco Antonio partisans were hiding. The battle is very quick between Rome and the Etruscans. From this moment Etruria becomes a province of Italy unified by Rome.