While North at the time had invaded Italy through Alpine passes, peoples from the Balkans had come across the Adriatic. They intermingled with some native tribes, imposing on them many of their own primitive customs. But none of these early ones, the pre-Etruscans,-left written records on which history can be based. Explorations from archaeologists brought knowledge of the first people in Italy to be associated with the Iron Age.
The Etruscans used to cremate their dead, placing the ashes in urn-shaped receptacles which they covered with small inverted cuplike lids. Later on these lids were replaced by helmets with high crests of laminated bronze, apparently intended in a crude way to represent the heads of the decreased. This was the beginning of funerary sculpture which later the Etruscans were to perfect.
The Etruscan civilization was first to flower in Italy after the Iron Age. It was very well established by 700 B.C. and reached its peak five hundred years before Christ.
There is knowledge that the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coinage. It has also been said that there were many similarities between Etruscan customs and ways of life and those of the people of ancient Asia minor.
There is even their own national name Rasena which is found in closely similar forms in dialects of Asia Minor, as is the Greek name for the Etruscans. Many
Etruscan customs, religious beliefs, and artistic skills can be connected with the Orient.
... started to come in to Italy through business and trade, Italy invested largely in to culture. Many people spent their wealth on the ... Church and literature solely available to the monks. Now ordinary people could contribute to the literature that they read. Topics ... the newfound wealth that was created by these occupations, many people invested into culture in a significant way. Numerous changes were ...
The Etruscan civilizations social structure was the position of equality by which their women shared with men. The Etruscan woman were frequently shown in tomb frescoes reclining beside their husbands at the banqueting tables; they attended athletic contests and chariot races. Even though those facts remain, the Greek woman were kept in the background subordinate to their husbands.
Between 5-600 B.C. was a time of great power for the Etruscans. The Etruscans dominated Italy from the plains of the River Po in the north to the River Tiber and even farther south. The province of present day Tuscany was the heart of their domain. When Rome was only a cluster of small villages on seven hills in an
area called Latium, the great cities of Etruria, the land of the Etruscans, were centers of culture and art.
The Etruscans borrowed their alphabet from the Greeks of Cumae. But the Etruscan language is thus still another mystery. But it is said by archaeologists that Punic language could have deduced the meaning of the Etruscan words in the other text.
About the land:
The land where the Etruscans first flourished was bounded on the north by the Arno River. The Apenines moved into it from the east. From the bays, the Etruscans sent out their swift ships to trade with the Greek colonies in southern Italy. They also used a method of piracy, which at the time was an accepted way of gaining wealth. The sea provided the easiest means of communication with the cities in the north. And the land itself is almost like a heaving inland sea, because it is so broken up it is with hills and mountains and deep valleys through which rush sparkling streams. Wherever there was level land, wheat and other grains were grown. The Etruscans had domestic animals. Carvings in their tombs show geese
and hens. Wall paintings indicate that horses, oxen, and cattle were part of their economy, as were sheep from which they spun wool for clothing. The hillsides were terraced as they are today and planted with vineyards and groves of olive trees. Most important to the wealth of Etruria were the mineral deposits such as iron, zinc, copper, tin, and silver-bearing lead in ore-producing mountains on the mainland and offshore island of Elba.
... Barret-Graves Western Civilization 10/29/00 Roman Art Vs. Greek Art Throughout history art has consistently reflected the cultural values and social ... beauty. Aesthetics arguably represented the highest intellectual point in Greek art and continued to influence philosophers and artists throughout the ... such as The Bust of Cicero, modified from such Etruscan works as The Head of the Old Couple on the ...
According to Herodotus, it is believed that the Etruscaqns first appeared in Italy as early as 1000 B.C. The Etruscans built their cities on easily fortified hilltops and by 600 B.C. they had formed a loose federation of twelve city states, each was ruled by a priest king. Other important Etruscan towns were Populonia, on the coast southwest of Volterra; Fiesole, on a hillside above Florence; West; Sovana;
Saturnia; Tuscania; and Praemeste. Southeast of Rome, known today as Palestrina.
Among the musical instruments the Etruscans played were the double pipes, the cithara, the lyre, a percussion instrument similar to castanets, horns-short or long and curling-and trumpets. Dancing to was an essential aspect of Etruscan life. They also made pottery, jewelry, wall paintings, and other art forms.
The Etruscans believed that the lives of both individuals and nations were divided into periods of already determined lengths. The Etruscan priests and augurs predicted that there would be eight or at the most ten of these periods, now known as saculae, and afterwards the Etruscans would disappear as a race.