CLA / HIST 4081 / 5081.  Lecture 2.  Etruscans and Kings


I. Laudes Italiae (Praises of Italy):  Italian Geography

A. Vergil (Georgics):   "Perpetual Spring and Summer"

Mild weather - fertile - Mediterranean Lake (Mare Nostrum) - Protected by Alps


B. Cicero:  "could Romulus have acted with a wisdom more divine"

Upstream from Ostia - Seven Hills - Campus Martius - Tiber Island - Trade route


II. An Italian Context

A. The Rise of Civilization in Italy

-1800-1000 BC Bronze Age

-c. 1000 Iron Age Begins ("Villanovan" culture; biconical urns)

-c. 750 cultural shift:  cremation v. inhumation


B. Appenine Peoples

“Umbrosabellians” - Indo-European Speakers; Samnites


C. Greeks

-Colonize South Italy and Sicily 8th / 7th C.

-Pithecousae (c. 750) >> Cumae and Naples

-Southern Italy = Magna Graecia (Greater Greece)

-Paestum:  temple of Hera I and II; temple of Poseidon


D. Etruscans (fl. 700)

-Lydians (Herodotus) or Locals (Dionysius)?

-Skilled Artisans:  Terracotta - frescoes - bronze

-Originally in Etruria (Tuscany) and Umbria

-Move South to Latium and Campania (7th C.)


III. Early Rome

A. Legend

-Greek Legend:   Aeneas (Vergil) - Trojan War

-Italian Legend:  Romulus and Remus - Numitor - Rhea Silvia

-April 21, 753 "Parilia"

-"Rape of the Sabines"

- Sabine Influence (language; religion "Quirinus") - Roman readiness to accept non-Romans


Fusion of the Greek and Italian legends:  By 3rd C.


Regnal Period:  7 kings (rex = king)

-4 Pre-Etruscan:  esp. Numa Pompilius

-3 Etruscan:  Tarquinius Priscus (the ancient)- Servius Tullius - Tarquinius Superbus (the arrogant)

-Expulsion in 510 BC:  Lucretia - L. Junius Brutus


B. Realtiy:  Archaeology

-Villanovan Settlement (1000-800):  Palatine, Esquiline, Quirinal - Isolated Villages - Palatine Huts (Casa Romuli: house of Romulus)

-Expand to “Forum” (c. 800)

-Etruscan Domination  (c. 625)

Urban Growth:  Marshes drained for Forum - Cloaca Maxima (drainage sewer) - Roads Built (Via Sacra) - Organize Commerce (Forum Boarium) - "Servian Wall" (agger) -


Religious Culture:  Vesta - Capitoline Temple (Jupiter Optimus Maximus = Jupiter the Best and Greatest) - pomerium (sacred boundary) - portents / augury - gladiators


Politics:  Senate expanded - Magistrates symbols (toga - curule chair - fasces)


IV. Was Rome Unique?

A. No!  Most  cities of Latium are influenced by Etruscans in 7th / 6th C.


B. No!  Etruscans expelled all over South Italy c. 500

-Decline of Etruscan Kings

-No Unified Etruscan Action

-Greeks expel from South c. 500-400

-Celts expel from North c. 400-350