Details for World of Wonder 8/12

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2019

Bronze helmet
used as a lid on an
ash urn.

The Etruscans
Exploring the realms of history, science, nature and technology

The Etruscans (ih-TRUHS-kuhns) were an ancient
and mysterious people who settled on the Italian
peninsula around 800 B.C. The Etruscan
civilization is remembered for its strong influence
on the culture and art of early Rome.

Much of what
we know about
the Etruscans is
from the hundreds of burial
tombs that have
been excavated.
The walls of
the tombs are
decorated with
elaborate paintings that depict
a variety of rites.

Black-figure neck amphora
Late sixth century B.C., ceramic

Mysterious

Historians continue to debate
where the Etruscans came from
before they settled in Northern
Italy. Archaeologists have theorized that the Etruscans arrived
by sea and were from Asia
Minor. But it is possible that
their culture developed from
an indigenous people of Italy
called the Villanovans.

The Etruscans called themselves the Rasena or Rasna.
They were known as the
Tyrsenoi or Tyrrhenoi by the
Greeks and as the Tusci or
Etrusci by the Romans.

When and where
Illyrians

ETRURIA
Corsica
Sardinia

Adriatic
Rome Sea
Tyrrhenian
Sea
Sicily

The Etruscan civilization thrived
from about 900 B.C. to about
200 B.C. They lived in a land
called Etruria (present day
Tuscany, Umbria and Latium),
which lay between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Eventually, they
spread north across the Apennines and the Arno River into
the Po Valley. They also moved
south across the Tiber River
into Latium and Campania.
One village they conquered
was called Latins, which would
someday become the city
of Rome.

Urn

Etruscan sculpture
was carved in a variety
of stone, terra cotta
and metal. Sculptures
were usually used for
religious purposes and
were painted.
The Etruscans also
made beautify pottery. One style strongly
resembles the Greek
pottery of the time, but
the images are more
fluid. Black pottery with
molded decorations is
called bucchero (BOOker-oh).
The jewelry of the
Etruscns is still admired for its beauty and
technical artistry. Gold,
bronze and silver were
utilized. They had
mastered the art of
filigree (fine wire)
and granulation
(tiny gold granules).

Gold
earrings

Ivory
dice

A brief timeline
800 B.C.:
Beginning of the
Etruscan
civilization
in Italy.

900 B.C.

Hundreds
of ceramic
vessels
have been
found in
Etruscan
tombs.

700 — 580:
Major Etruscan cities such
as Cerveteri (Cisra), Chiusi
(Clevsin), Populonia (Puplona),
Tarquinia (Tarchuna), Veii (Vei),
Vetulonia (Vetluna), and Vulci
(Velch) are established.

800

700

The Etruscans lived in fortified
city-states, usually on a hill.
Their cities had sophisticated
sewer systems, and homes
were built around an open
courtyard. The Etruscan
military was a force to be
reckoned with. Their powerful
military was used to conquer
and control surrounding
peoples. Dominated
populations were forced to
work the land while the
Etruscans focused on
commerce and industry.

Government

The arts

In a name

Venetti

Tomb painting of men dancing

Daily life

600

Gold and
glass
Etruscan
necklace
The Metropolitan
Museum
of Art

616 — 579:
Rome is ruled by
its first, legendary Etruscan
king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus

500

Tomb
500:
Etruscan
power
is at its
zenith.

400

580 — 325:
Rome begins to take
an interest
in Etruscan
holdings.

300

Etruria (the land of the
Etruscans) was divided into
12 city-states. A king or magistrate ruled each city. The cities
were united into a federation
or league. The league was not
strong enough to prevent the
cities from fighting each other,
which eventually contributed to
their downfall.
Maritime trade, agriculture and
mining were the backbone of
the thriving Etruscan economy.

Beliefs

The Etruscans worshipped
many gods and goddesses, and
many of their legendary heroes,
such as Hercules, were adopted
from the Greeks and renamed.
The Etruscans built temples to
their gods, where offerings were
made. The main gods were Tin,
ruler of the universe; Uni (Tin’s
wife), the protector of cities and
births; and Menrva, the healer.
The Etruscans foretold the
future by observing signs, such
as lightning and birds flying.
325 — 90: The Etruscan
Decline is marked by the
expansion of Rome.
The Etruscans are
absorbed into
Roman culture.

200

100

1 A.D.

SOURCES: World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc.; https://www.ancient.eu; https://www.thoughtco.com; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; www.historyforkids.net; www.socialstudiesforkids.com

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