The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding to Tuscany, south of the Arno river, western Umbria and central Lazio, with offshoots to the north in the Po Valley, in the current Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, to the south, in some areas of Campania. As distinguished by its unique language, this civilization endured from before the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions until its assimilation into the Roman Republic, beginning in the late 4th century BC with the Roman–Etruscan Wars. Culture, identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 900 BC with the Iron Age Villanovan culture, regarded as the oldest phase of Etruscan civilization; the latter gave way in the 7th century BCE to a culture, influenced by Ancient Greek culture, during the Archaic and the Hellenistic period. At its maximum extent, during the foundational period of Rome and the Roman Kingdom, Etruscan civilization flourished in three confederacies of cities: of Etruria, of the Po Valley with the eastern Alps, of Campania.
The league in northern Italy is mentioned in Livy. The decline was gradual, but by 500 BCE the political destiny of Italy had passed out of Etruscan hands; the last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome around 100 BCE. Although the Etruscans developed a system of writing, the Etruscan language remains only understood, only a handful of texts of any length survive, making modern understanding of their society and culture dependent on much and disapproving Roman and Greek sources. Politics was based on the small city and the family unit. In their heyday, the Etruscan elite grew rich through trade with the Celtic world to the north and the Greeks to the south and filled their large family tombs with imported luxuries. Archaic Greece had a huge influence on their art and architecture, Greek mythology was evidently familiar to them; the Etruscans called themselves Rasenna, syncopated to Rasna or Raśna, while the ancient Romans referred to the Etruscans as the Tuscī or Etruscī. Their Roman name is the origin of the terms "Toscana", which refers to their heartland, "Etruria", which can refer to their wider region.
In Attic Greek, the Etruscans were known as Tyrrhenians, from which the Romans derived the names Tyrrhēnī, Tyrrhēnia, Mare Tyrrhēnum, prompting some to associate them with the Teresh. The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory, although Greek historians as early as the 5th century BC associated the Tyrrhenians with Pelasgians, which could both be broad descriptive terms. Strabo and the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus make mention of the Tyrrhenians as pirates. Thucydides and Strabo all denote Lemnos as settled by Pelasgians, whom Thucydides identifies as "belonging to the Tyrrhenians". Although both Strabo and Herodotus agree that Tyrrhenus / Tyrsenos, son of Atys, king of Lydia, led the migration, Strabo specifies that it was the Pelasgians of Lemnos and Imbros who followed Tyrrhenus to the Italian Peninsula. A link between Lemnos and the Tyrrhenians was further manifested by the discovery of the Lemnos Stele, whose inscriptions were written in a language which shows strong structural resemblances to the language of the Etruscans.
This has led to the suggestion of a "Tyrrhenian language group" comprising Etruscan and the Raetic spoken in the Alps. Hellanicus of Lesbos records a Pelasgian migration from Thessaly to the Italian peninsula, noting that "the Pelasgi made themselves masters of some of the lands belonging to the Umbri". By contrast, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a Greek writer living in Rome, dismisses many of the ancient theories of the other Greek historians and postulates that the Etruscans were indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. For this reason, therefore, I am persuaded that the Pelasgians are a different people from the Tyrrhenians, and I do not believe, that the Tyrrhenians were a colony of the Lydians. For they neither worship the same gods as the Lydians nor make use of similar laws or institutions, but in these respects they differ more from the Lydians than from the Pelasgians. Indeed, those come nearest to the truth who declare that the nation migrated from nowhere else, but was native to the country, since it is found to be a ancient nation and to agree with no other either in its language or in its manner of living.
Furthermore, Dionysius of Halicarnassus is the first ancient writer who reports the endonym of the Etruscans: Rasenna. The Romans, give them other names: from the country they once inhabited, named Etruria, they call them Etruscans, from their knowledge of the ceremonies relating to divine worship, in which they excel others, they now call them, rather inaccurately, but with the same accuracy as the Greeks, they called them Thyoscoï, their own name for themselves, however, is the same as that of one of Rasenna. Livy in his Ab Urbe Condita Libri says the Rhaetians were Etruscans driven into the mountains by the invading Gauls, asserts that the inhabitants of Raetia were of Etruscan origin; the Alpine tribes have no doubt, the same origin the Raetians.
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BCE with the Etruscans of Italy; the sea is bounded by the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, the Italian peninsula to the east, the island of Sicily. The Tyrrhenian sea includes a number of small islands like Capri and Ustica; the maximum depth of the sea is 3,785 metres. The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the Eurasian Plates meet; the eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tyrrhenian Sea as follows: In the Strait of Messina: A line joining the North extreme of Cape Paci with the East extreme of the Island of Sicily, Cape Peloro. On the Southwest: A line running from Cape Lilibeo to the South extreme of Cape Teulada in Sardinia. In the Strait of Bonifacio: A line joining the West extreme of Cape Testa in Sardinia with the Southwest extreme of Cape Feno in Corsica.
On the North: A line joining Cape Corse in Corsica, with Tinetto Island and thence through Tino and Palmaria islands to San Pietro Point on the coast of Italy. There are four exits from the Tyrrhenian Sea: The Tyrrhenian Basin is divided into two basins, the Vavilov plain and the Marsili plain, they are separated by the undersea ridge known after Arturo Issel. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a back-arc basin that formed due to the rollback of the Calabrian slab towards South-East during the Neogene. Episodes of fast and slow trench retreat formed first the Vavilov basin and the Marsili basin. Submarine volcanoes formed because trench retreat produces extension in the overriding plate allowing the mantle to rise below the surface and melts; the magmatism here is affected by the fluids released from the slab. Its name derives from the Greek name for the Etruscans, who were said to be emigrants from Lydia and led by the prince Tyrrhenus; the Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".
Islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea include: Corsica Sardinia Sicily Elba Ischia Capri Ustica The main ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy are: Naples, Civitavecchia, Salerno and Gioia Tauro. In France the most important port is Bastia. Note that though the phrase "port of Rome" is used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, some 68 km to the northwest of Rome, not too far from its airport. Giglio Porto is a small island port in this area, it rose to prominence, when the Costa Concordia ran aground a few metres off the coast of Giglio and sank. The ship was refloated and towed to Genoa for scrapping. In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus; the winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the southwest, the Sirocco and Ostro from the south
The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the study of history in the Western world; the Histories stands as one of the first accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, as well as the events and causes of the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery on the one hand, freedom on the other; the Histories was at some point divided into the nine books that appear in modern editions, conventionally named after the nine Muses. Herodotus claims to have traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book all of which covers territories of the Persian Empire.
At the beginning of The Histories, Herodotus sets out his reasons for writing it: This is the showing-forth of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that neither what has come to be from man in time might become faded, nor that great and wondrous deeds, those shown forth by Greeks and those by barbarians, might be without their glory. The rapes of Io, Medea, which motivated Paris to abduct Helen; the subsequent Trojan War is marked as a precursor to conflicts between peoples of Asia and Europe. Colchis and Medea; the rulers of Lydia: Candaules, Ardys, Alyattes, Croesus How Candaules made his bodyguard, view the naked body of his wife. Upon discovery, she ordered Gyges to murder Candaules or face death himself How Gyges took the kingdom from Candaules The singer Arion's ride on the dolphin Solon's answer to Croesus's question that Tellus was the happiest person in the world Croesus's efforts to protect his son Atys, his son's accidental death by Adrastus Croesus's test of the oracles The answer from the Oracle of Delphi concerning whether Croesus should attack the Persians: If you attack, a great empire will fall.
Peisistratos' falls from power as tyrant of Athens The rise of Sparta The Battle of Halys. Rebellion fails and he seeks refuge from Mazares in Cyme The culture of Assyria the design and improvement of the city of Babylon and the ways of its people Cyrus's attack on Babylon, including his revenge on the river Gyndes and his famous method for entering the city Cyrus's ill-fated attack on the Massagetæ, leading to his death The proof of the antiquity of the Phrygians by the use of children unexposed to language The geography of Egypt Speculations on the Nile river The religious practices of Egypt as they differ from the Greeks The animals of Egypt: cats, crocodiles, otters, sacred serpents, winged snakes, ibises The culture of Egypt: medicine, funeral rites, boats The kings of Egypt: Menes, Nitocris, Mœris, Pheron, Proteus Helen and Paris's stay in Egypt, just before the Trojan War More kings of Egypt: Rhampsinit, Chephren, Asychis, Sethôs The line of priests The Labyrinth More kings of Egypt: the twelve, Necôs, Apries, Amasis II Cambyses II of Persia's attack on Egypt, the defeat of the Egyptian king Psammetichus III.
Cambyses's abortive attack on Ethiopia The madness of Cambyses The good fortune of Polycrates, king of Samos Periander, the king of Corinth and Corcyra, his obstinate son The revolt of the two Magi in Persia and the death of Cambyses The conspiracy of the seven to remove the Magi The rise of Darius I of Persia. The twenty satrapies The culture of India and their method of collecting gold The culture of Arabia and their method of collecting spices The flooded valley with five gates Orœtes's scheme against Polycrates The physician Democêdes The rise of Syloson governor of Samos The revolt of Babylon and its defeat by the scheme of Zopyrus The history of the Scythians The miraculous poet Aristeas The geography of Scythia The inhabitants of regions beyond Scythia: Sauromatae, Thyssagetae, Issedones, Hyperboreans A comparison of Libya and Europe The rivers of Scythia: the Ister, the Tyras, the Hypanis, the Borysthe
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian, its capital was Sardis. The Kingdom of Lydia existed from about 1200 BC to 546 BC. At its greatest extent, during the 7th century BC, it covered all of western Anatolia. In 546 BC, it became a province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, known as the satrapy of Lydia or Sparda in Old Persian. In 133 BC, it became part of the Roman province of Asia. Coins are said to have been invented in Lydia around the 7th century BC; the endonym Śfard survives in bilingual and trilingual stone-carved notices of the Achaemenid Empire: the satrapy of Sparda, Aramaic Saparda, Babylonian Sapardu, Elamitic Išbarda, Hebrew סְפָרַד. These in the Greek tradition are associated with Sardis, the capital city of King Gyges, constructed during the 7th century BC; the region of the Lydian kingdom was during the 15th-14th centuries part of the Arzawa kingdom.
However, the Lydian language is not categorized as part of the Luwic subgroup, as are the other nearby Anatolian languages Luwian and Lycian. An Etruscan/Lydian association has long been a subject of conjecture; the Greek historian Herodotus stated that the Etruscans came from Lydia, repeated in Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid, Etruscan-like language was found on the Lemnos stele from the Aegean Sea island of Lemnos. However, the decipherment of Lydian and its classification as an Anatolian language mean that Etruscan and Lydian were not part of the same language family. Furthermore, a mitochondrial DNA study suggests that the Etruscans were an indigenous population, showing that Etruscans appear to fall close to a Neolithic population from Central Europe and to other Tuscan populations suggesting that the Etruscan civilization developed locally from the Villanovan culture, genetic links between Tuscany and Anatolia date back to at least 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic; the boundaries of historical Lydia varied across the centuries.
It was bounded first by Mysia, Caria and coastal Ionia. The military power of Alyattes and Croesus expanded Lydia, with its capital at Sardis, controlled all Asia Minor west of the River Halys, except Lycia. After the Persian conquest the River Maeander was regarded as its southern boundary, during imperial Roman times Lydia comprised the country between Mysia and Caria on the one side and Phrygia and the Aegean Sea on the other; the Lydian language was an Indo-European language in the Anatolian language family, related to Luwian and Hittite. Due to its fragmentary attestation, the meanings of many words are unknown but much of the grammar has been determined. Similar to other Anatolian languages, it featured extensive use of prefixes and grammatical particles to chain clauses together. Lydian had undergone extensive syncope, leading to numerous consonant clusters atypical of Indo-European languages. Lydian became extinct during the 1st century BC. Lydia developed after the decline of the Hittite Empire in the 12th century BC.
In Hittite times, the name for the region had been Arzawa. According to Greek source, the original name of the Lydian kingdom was Maionia, or Maeonia: Homer refers to the inhabitants of Lydia as Maiones. Homer describes their capital not as Hyde. Herodotus adds that the "Meiones" were renamed Lydians after their king Lydus, son of Atys, during the mythical epoch that preceded the Heracleid dynasty; this etiological eponym served to account for the Greek ethnic name Lydoi. The Hebrew term for Lydians, Lûḏîm, as found in the Book of Jeremiah, has been considered, beginning with Flavius Josephus, to be derived from Lud son of Shem. During Biblical times, the Lydian warriors were famous archers; some Maeones still existed during historical times in the upland interior along the River Hermus, where a town named Maeonia existed, according to Pliny the Elder and Hierocles. Lydian mythology is unknown, their literature and rituals have been lost due to the absence of any monuments or archaeological finds with extensive inscriptions.
For the Greeks, Tantalus was a primordial ruler of mythic Lydia, Niobe his proud daughter. In Greek myth, Lydia had adopted the double-axe symbol, that appears in the Mycenaean civilization, the labrys. Omphale, daughter of the river Iardanos, was a ruler of Lydia, whom Heracles was required to serve for a time, his adventures in Lydia are the adventures of a Greek hero in a peripheral and foreign land: during his stay, Heracles enslaved the Itones.
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious