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Chapter
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
The Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria

by George Dennis

published by John Murray, Albemarle Street
London, 1848.

The text is in the public domain.


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p291 Chapter XLVIII

VETULONIA.

Thayer's Note: Even in George Dennis's own mind he was not sure that he'd found Vetulonia (see below, and notice also the polemic tone throughout, unusual for him, suggesting just such a lack of conviction); and modern scholarship has placed this Etruscan town elsewhere, even renaming the nearby village with the ancient name. The 21c reader will thus have to disentangle the following account into two strands: the history of ancient Vetulonia (now believed to be here), and the remains of a necropolis at Doganella near Magliano in Toscana, for further details of which see this page on the excavations there by Maria-Grazia Celuzza. Dennis's Vetulonia and the current favorite are about 50 km apart.

Maeoniaeque decus quondam Vetulonia gentis.

Sil. Italicus.

             The deep foundations that we lay
Time ploughs them up, and not a trace remains.
We build with what we deem eternal rock —
A distant age asks where the fabric stood.

Cowper.

In former chapters I have spoken of the ancient city of Vetulonia, and of various sites that have been assigned to it; and have shown that all of them are far from satisfactory.1 In the course of my wanderings through the Tuscan Maremma in the spring of 1844, I had the fortune to fall in with a site, which has stronger claims to be considered that of Vetulonia than any of those to which it has hitherto been referred.

Vague rumours had reached my ear of Etruscan antiquities p292having been discovered at Magliano, a village between the Osa and the Albegna, and about eight miles inland; but I concluded it was nothing beyond the excavation of tombs, so commonly made at this season throughout Etruria. I resolved, however, to visit this place on my way from Orbetello to Saturnia. For a few miles I retraced my steps towards Telamone, but, turning to the right, crossed the Albegna some miles higher up, at a ferry called Barca del Grassi; from this spot there was no carriage-road to Magliano, and my vehicle toiled the intervening five miles through tracks sodden with the rain.

Magliano is a squalid, innless village, of three hundred souls,a at the foot of a mediaeval castle, in picturesque ruin.2 On making inquiries here I was referred to an engineer, Signor Tommaso Pasqualini, then forming a road from Magliano to the Saline at the mouth of the Albegna. I found this gentleman at a convent in the village, amid a circle of venerable monks, whose beards outshone their robes and the refectory cloth, in whiteness. I was delighted to learn that it was he who had made the rumoured discovery in this neighbourhood, and that it was not of tombs merely, but of a city of great size. The mode in which this was brought to light was singular enough. Nothing was visible above ground — not a fragment of ruin to indicate prior habitation; so that it was only by extraordinary means he was made aware that here a city had stood. The ground through which his road had to run being for the most part low and swampy, and the higher land being a soft friable tufo, he was at a loss for the materials he wanted, till he chanced to uncover some large blocks, buried beneath the surface, which he p293recognised as the foundations of an ancient wall. These he found to continue in an unbroken line, which he followed out, breaking up the blocks as he unearthed them, till he had traced out the periphery of a city.

With the genuine politeness of Tuscany, that "rare land of courtesy," as Coleridge terms it, he proposed at once to accompany me to the site. It was the first opportunity he had had of doing the honours of his city, for though the discovery had been made in May 1842, and he had communicated the fact to his friends, the intelligence had not spread, save in vague distorted rumours, and no antiquarian had visited the spot. News always travels on foot in Italy, and generally falls dead lame on the road. I had heard from the antiquarians of Florence, that something, no one knew what, had been found hereabouts. One thought it was tombs; another had heard it was gold roba; another was in utter ignorance of this site, but had heard of a city having been discovered on Monte Catini, to the west of Volterra.

The city lay between Magliano and the sea, on a low table-land, just where the ground begins to rise above the marshy plains of the coast. In length, according to Signor Pasquinelli, it was somewhat less than a mile and a half, and scarcely a mile in breadth; but taking into account its quadrilateral form, it must have had a circuit of at least four miles and a half.3 On the south-east it was bounded p294by the streamlet Patrignone, whose banks rise in cliffs of no great height; but on every other side the table-land sinks in a gentle slope to the plain. At the south-western extremity, near a house called La Doganella, the only habitation on the site, was found a smaller and inner circuit of the wall; and this, being also the highest part of the table-land, was thus marked out as the site of the Arx.

Though scarcely a vestige remained of the walls, and no ruins rose above the surface, I had not much difficulty in recognising the site as Etruscan. The soil was thickly strewn with broken pottery, that infallible and ineffaceable indicator of bygone habitation; and here it was of that character found on purely Etruscan sites, without any admixture of marbles, or fragments of verd-antique, porphyry, and other valuable stones, which mark the seats of Roman luxury.4 Though the walls, or rather their foundations, had been almost entirely destroyed since the first discovery, a few blocks remained yet entire, and corroborated the Etruscan character of the city.5

Within the walls a road or street had been traced by the foundations of the houses on either hand. Many things had been dug up, but no statues, or marble columns, as on Roman sites — chiefly articles of bronze or pottery.6 p295I myself saw a piece of bronze drawn from the soil, many feet below the surface, which proved to be a packing-needle, ten inches in length, with eye and point uninjured! It must have served some worthy Etruscan, either in preparing for his travels, perhaps to the Fanum Voltumnae, the parliament of Lucumones, perhaps for the grand tour, such as Herodotus made, which is pretty nearly the grand tour still; or, it may be, in shipping his goods to foreign lands from the neighbouring port of Telamon. This venerable needle is now in my possession.

While it is to be lamented that to future travellers scarcely a trace of this city will be visible, it must be remembered, that but for the peculiar exigencies of the engineer, which led to the destruction of its walls, we should have remained in ignorance of its existence. Other accidents might have led to the uncovering of a portion of the wall; but it is difficult to conceive that any other cause could have brought about the excavation of the entire circuit, and the consequent determination of the precise limits of the city. So that in spite of the wholesale macadamisation, the world is greatly indebted to the gentleman who made the discovery.7

Outside the walls to the north were many tumuli, originally encircled with masonry, which had been broken up for the road. Some were twenty-five or thirty feet in diameter. On this side also, i.e. towards Magliano, I saw some Roman remains — the bases of small Doric columns; and the site of Baths, where mosaic pavement and many coins of the Empire had been found, was also pointed out to me.8 On the high grounds to the south-east, I heard that many tombs had been opened, undoubtedly Etruscan in character and contents. They were not hollowed in cliffs, but sunk beneath the surface, as at Volterra and Vulci.9 At Magliano I saw many articles found within them — a lion of peperino, about a foot long — a small sphinx — Egyptian-like figures — a little bronze idol, with sickle in his hand — and sundry other articles in sculpture, pottery, and bronze, which my experience enabled me to pronounce indubitably Etruscan, and chiefly of the most archaic character. I saw no figured pottery, but much of the common black ware, like that of Chiusi and Volterra; and I was told that the tall black vases with relieved decorations, so abundant at Sarteano, had been discovered here. Scarabaei of cornelian had also been brought to light.

I learned, moreover, that several painted tombs had been opened in this neighbourhood, on the heights between Magliano and the Albegna. I could not see them, as they had been reclosed with earth; but of one I received a description from Signor Pasquinelli, who copied its paintings. It was a square chamber, divided into two by a wall hewn from the rock, on each face of which figures were painted. One was an archer on horseback, drawing his bow; another was a centaur with a long black beard, p297wings open and raised, and a tail terminating in a serpent's head; beside which there were dolphins, and flowers, and "serpents with hawks' heads;" as they were described to me — probably dragons.10 The existence of Etruscan tombs in this neighbourhood has, indeed, been known for some years, and excavators have even come hither from Chiusi on speculation; but tombs are of so frequent occurrence in this land, that the existence of an Etruscan town or city near at hand, though necessarily inferred, was not ascertained, and no researches were made for its site.11 To those, however, who know Italy, it will be no matter of surprise that the existence of this city should have been so long forgotten. Had there even been ruins of walls or temples on the site, such things are too abundant in that land to attract particular attention; and generation after generation of peasant might fold their flocks or stall their cattle amid the crumbling ruins, and the world at large remain in ignorance of their existence. Thus it was with Paestum; though its ruins are so stupendous and prominent, it was unknown to the antiquary till the last century. Can we wonder, then, that in the Tuscan Maremma, not better populated or more frequented, p298because not more healthy, than the Campanian shore, a city should have been lost sight of, which had no walls or ruins above ground, and no vestige but broken pottery, which tells no tale to the simple peasant? — a city

"Of which there now remaines no memorie,
Nor anie little moniment to see,
By which the traveller, that fares that way,
This once was she, may warned be to say."

As I stood on this ancient site, and perceived the sea so near at hand, and the Bay of Telamone but a few miles off, I exclaimed, This must have been a maritime city, and Telamon was its port!" The connection between them was obvious. The distance is scarcely more than that between Tarquinii and her port of Graviscae, and between Caere and the sea. When I looked also over the low marshy ground which intervened, I could understand why the city was situated so far inland; it was for strength of position, for elevation above the unhealthy swamps of the coast, and for room to extend its dimensions ad libitum, which it could not have done on the rocky heights above Telamone, or on the small conical headland of Telamonaccio. The peculiarity of the position on the first heights which rise from the level of the swamp, seemed to me a sure index to the character of the city. It was a compromise between security and convenience. Had it not been for maritime purposes, and proximity to the port of Telamon, the founders of the city could not have chosen a site so objectionable as this, but would have preferred one still further inland, which would have combined the advantages of more natural strength and greater elevation above the heavy atmosphere of the Maremma, in every age more or less insalubrious.12

p299 Another fact which forced itself on my observation, was the analogy of position with that of the earliest settlements on this coast — with the Pelasgic towns of Pisae, Tarquinii, Pyrgi, Alsium, Agylla — a fact greatly in favour of the high antiquity of this site.

Here then was a city genuinely Etruscan in character, of first-rate magnitude, inferior only to Veii, equal at least to Volaterrae, probably of high antiquity, certainly of great importance, second to none in naval and commercial advantages; a city, in short, which must have been one of the Twelve. Is it possible it could have been passed over in silence by ancient writers? But what was its name? Which of the still missing cities of Etruria can this have been? I called to mind the names of these outcasts — Caletra, Statonia, Sudertum, Salpinum, &c. — and reviewed their claims to a site of such magnitude and importance; but all were found wanting, all, save the most celebrated — Vetulonia; which, after much consideration, I am convinced must have stood on this spot.

Let us see what has been said of that city by the ancients. It is first mentioned by Dionysius as one of the five Etruscan cities which engaged to assist the Latins against Tarquinius Priscus. He states, that not all the cities of Etruria agreed to afford assistance, but these five only — Clusium, Arretium, Volaterrae, Rusellae, and also Vetulonia.13 This, as already shown, is a strong argument for regarding each of these cities as of the Twelve, for second-rate, or dependent towns, could not have acted in opposition to the rest of the Confederation.14 Silius Italicus p300bears testimony to the antiquity and former glory of Vetulonia, and even asserts that it was from her that the twelve fasces with their hatchets, and the other symbols of power, the curule-chairs of ivory, and the robes of Tyrian purple, as well as the use of the brazen trumpet in war, were all first derived.15 Beyond this we find no mention of Vetulonia except in the catalogues of Pliny and Ptolemy;16 both place it among the "inland colonies" of Etruria; the one adds its latitude and longitude, and the other elsewhere states, that there were hot waters at Vetulonii, in Etruria, not far from the sea, and that fish lived in the waters.17

The sum total then of what we learn from the ancients on this point, may be comprised in a few words. Vetulonia was a city of great antiquity, importance, and magnificence, with very strong claims to rank among the Twelve chief cities of the land; having hot springs in its neighbourhood, and though not situated exactly on the shore, it must have stood at a short distance from the sea.18

p301 Such are the requisites of the long-lost Vetulonia. Every one of them is fulfilled by this newly-found city. On its antiquity and importance it is not necessary to enlarge. Its size alone, without the possession of such a port as Telamon, would give this city a right to rank among the Twelve. In situation it also corresponds, being near enough to the sea to agree with Pliny's "non procul a mari," and far enough inland to come within the category of "intus coloniae," being scarcely further from the shore than Tarquinii and Caere, kindred cities similarly classed.19 As to the springs, where the fish in Pliny's time had got, in a double sense, into hot water, I had the satisfaction of learning that near Telamonaccio, two or three hundred yards from the sea, were hot springs; but I had no opportunity of returning to the coast to ascertain if the advantages the ancients possessed, in fishing out parboiled mackerel and mullet, have descended to the modern Tuscans. For any traces of the ancient name existing in the neighbourhood, I inquired in vain; but that in no way affects my opinion, as no traditional memory exists of p302Veii, Fidenae, Cosa, and many other ancient cities whose sites have been fixed beyond a doubt.

One important feature of Vetulonia, which is nowhere indeed expressly mentioned by the ancients, but may be inferred from their statements,20 and is strongly corroborated by coins21 and other monumental evidence, is its maritime character. This feature has been little regarded by Inghirami and Ambrosch, who would fix the site of this ancient city at Castiglione Bernardi, fourteen or fifteen miles from the sea.22 But it is one which tends most strongly to establish p303the identity of Vetulonia with this newly-discovered city near Magliano.

The maritime character of Vetulonia is indeed established by a monument discovered at Cervetri in 1840, and now in the Lateran Museum. It is a bas-relief, bearing the devices of three Etruscan cities — Tarquinii, Vulci, and Vetulonia. The latter, which is indicated by the inscription "VETULONENSES," is symbolised by a naked man with an oar on his shoulder, and holding a pine-cone, which he seems to have just plucked from a tree over his head. Dr. Braun, the learned secretary of the Archaeological Institute of Rome, whose opinion is of great weight in such matters, says:— "that this figure represents Neptune, seems to me beyond a doubt; it is shown not only by the attribute in his hand, but also by the tree, sacred to that deity, which stands at his side. However it be, no one can presume to deny that the figure bearing an oar indicates a maritime city, such as Pliny in truth implies Vetulonia to have been."23

We are quite in the dark as to the period and causes of Vetulonia's destruction or abandonment. It may have been malaria; it may have been the sword which desolated p304it.24 In truth, the little mention made of it by ancient writers, seems to mark it as having ceased to exist at or before the time of Roman domination.25 The total silence of Livy and Strabo is also thus best explained. The absence of Roman remains on the site of this city is in accordance with this view. Yet that Vetulonia existed, or rather re-existed, in Imperial times, is proved by the mention made of it by Pliny and Ptolemy, and by an inscription found at Arezzo.26 The many Roman remains in the immediate vicinity of this site, and further inland, probably belong to that colony; and it is not unlikely that the ancient city, like Veii, had previously lain desolate for centuries, and that when a colony was to be established, a neighbouring spot was chosen in preference to the original site, which was abandoned as too near the unhealthy swamps of the coast.

I have the satisfaction of learning that my opinion as to this city being the long-lost Vetulonia, is concurred in by some of the leading antiquaries of Rome — Germans as well as Italians. But be it Vetulonia or not, it is manifest that it must have been of great importance in the early days of Etruria; as it is surpassed but by one city of that land in size, and by none in naval and commercial advantages of situation.


The Author's Notes:

1 It may be well to restate the various sites where Vetulonia has been supposed to have stood. At or near Viterbo (Vol. I pp195, 200) — on Monte Calvi, three miles from the sea, buried in a dense wood (ut supra, p226) — at Massa Marittima, or five miles westward from that town (ut supra, pp217, 218) — on the site of Vulci (Vol. I p405) — and on the hill of Castiglione Bernardi, near Monte Rotondo (ut supra, p214). The nearest guess is that of Ermolao Barbaro, the earliest writer on the subject, who places it at Orbetello (see Dempster, II. p56). I should state that when Mannert (Geog. p358) asserts that the village of Badiola on an eminence by the river Cornia, and a geographical mile-and‑a‑half (about six miles English) from the coast, preserves the memory of the ancient city, he evidently refers to the site five miles west of Massa.

2 Magliano does not appears to be an ancient site; yet like all other places of this name in Italy it probably derives its name from the gens Manlia, and must have been anciently called Manlianum.

3 This account differs from that I heard on the spot, and which I have elsewhere given to the world:— viz., that the circuit was not less than six miles. I have since received more accurate details from Signor Pasquinelli, who says that the city was 7200 English feet in length, by 4800 in width. He also states that a certain spot in the city was about 11,000 English yards from the sea, 5,800 from Magliano, 3,200 from the river Albegna, and 5,000 from the Osa. "A distanza di circa 5,500 tese Inglesi dal mare, 1,600 dal fiume Albegna, 2,500 dal torrente Osa, e 2,900 dal paese di Magliano, sotto la superfice della campagna, senza nessun vestigio apparente, esistevano da secoli sepolti gli avanzi di numerose fabbriche, alcune delle quali ella potè vedere in detta circostanza, circoscritte entro un recinto quadrilatero di mura rovinate, lungo circa 1,200 tese, largo 800."

4 Signor Pasquinelli mentioned two exceptions only to this — a small oval stone, somewhat like black porphyry, and a fragment of white marble, found near the foundations of a building which seemed to have been a temple.

5 As to the style of the masonry, little or nothing could be ascertained, seeing these were mere foundations; but the blocks themselves were indicative of an Etruscan origin — some of macigno, resembling those of Populonia in their size and rude shaping; others of tufo, or of the soft local rock, like that of Corneto, agreeing in size and form with the usual blocks of this material found on Etruscan sites. Some of the former had been found nine or ten feet in length. But the blocks were not generally of large dimensions, though always without cement. On one spot, where a portion of the walls had been uncovered, at the verge of a hollow, a sewer opening in them was disclosed.

6 Among the latter was a huge pot, one mètre in diameter, and not much less in height, of rough red ware, with its rim covered with lead, clamped into it with spikes; the lead alone weighed 27 lbs. This pot was found full of burnt matter. The bronzes consisted of fibulae, lances, javelins, nails, and little figures of deities or lares; some of decidedly Etruscan character.

7 I am the more desirous of referring the merit of this discovery to its rightful owner, because Signor Pasquinelli complains of not having received justice from a party to whom he committed for publication a plan he had made of the city and its environs, drawings of the paintings in the tombs, and many other particulars, and who has since publicly claimed the honour of the discovery for himself. Nor does Repetti (Suppl. p133), who mentions the fact of the discovery on the occasion of forming the road, record the name of the engineer.

8 These coins are of silver as well as copper. Some of the latter are of Vespasian.

9 Many of these tombs were mere holes in the earth, of the size of a body, and lined with rude masonry. From what I could learn, traces of interment were much more numerous on this site than of cremation.

10 It must be this tomb which was opened by Don Luigi Dei, of Chiusi, in 1835 or 6, and is described as having two chambers with chimerical figures in monochroms, red, green, and sky-blue (Bull. Instit. 1840, p147). The same is also described by an eye-witness (Bull. Inst. 1841, p22), with more minuteness as to the chamber, but no further details of the paintings. He says this tomb is about one mile only from Magliano.

11 Before Pasquinelli's discovery it had been suggested that the Etruscan city of Caletra stood somewhere in the neighbourhood of Magliano. Repetti thought either at Montemerano, or more probably on the heights of Colle di Lupo, three miles north-east of Magliano, where sundry relics of ancient times had been discovered (V. p207). He adds that many sepulchral urns, fragments of Roman inscriptions, bas-reliefs, and other works of sculptural adornment in the local travertine, had been at various times brought to light in the district of Magliano, and especially on a lofty hill between Colle di Lupo and Pereta, which from the sepulchral remains found there, was called the Tombara (III. p18). On a hill, a mile from Magliano, stands the ruined church of S. Brizio, of the low Empire, with other remains of higher antiquity.

12 At the present day the swamps of Telamone render Magliano very unhealthy in summer. Repetti, III. p14; V. p497. Yet the soil is wonderfully fertile, and presents every encouragement for cultivation. A proof of this exists in a venerable olive, hard by Magliano, which has a circumference of thirty feet.

13 Dion. Hal. III p189, ed. Sylb.

14 This is the opinion of Cluver (II p473), and of Müller (Etrus. II.1, 2). Mannert (Geog. p358) also took Vetulonia for one of the Twelve. Vetulonia has even been supposed the metropolis of Etruria (Ann. Inst. 1829, p190), but on no valid grounds.

15 Sil. Ital. VIII.485 —

Maeoniaeque decus quondam Vetulonia gentis.
Bissenos haec prima dedit praecedere fasces,
Et junxit totidem tacito terrore secures;
Haec altas eboris decoravit honore curules,
Et princeps Tyrio vestem praetexuit ostro;
Haec eadem pugnas accendere protulit aere.

16 Pliny III.8; Ptolemy p72, ed. Bert. Ptolemy calls the city VetuloniumΟὐετουλώνιον.

17 Plin. II.106 — (aquis calidis) ad Vetulonios in Etruriâ, non procul a mari, pisces (innascuntur). It has already been stated (ut supra, p230), that Cluver and others took the "Velinis" of the Peutingerian Table to be a corruption of "Vetulonis;" but there is no solid ground for such an opinion.

Dionysius (II. p104) speaks of an Etruscan city called Solonium, whence a Lucumo, probably Caeles Vibenna, came to the assistance of Romulus. Cluver (II pp454, 473) took this to be a corruption of Vetulonium. Casaubon thought it meant Populonium. But Müller (Etrusk. I p116), by comparing Propertius (IV.2, 4), comes to the more probable opinion that it was Volsinii that was here intended.

18 Dr. Ambrosch, in order to reconcile the insignificant hill of Castiglione Bernardi (ut supra, p214) with the site of Vetulonia, endeavours to invalidate the testimony of Silius Italicus as to the importance and magnificence of that ancient city. He founds his view on the mention Dionysius makes of it, and the place he assigns it at the end of the sentence, after the other four cities, its confederates; but chiefly on the silence of Livy and other historians, of Strabo and Virgil; for he considers it impossible, if Vetulonia had been of the importance Silius Italicus ascribes to it, that no mention should be made of it by the principal writers of Rome. Ricerche di Vetulonia, pp65‑92; Memor. Inst. IV. pp137‑155. The limits of this work will not allow me here to reply to these arguments further than by stating that Cluver and Müller put a totally different interpretation on the words of Dionysius — that other cities of Etruria, some of no less importance than Vetulonia, are past by in equal silence by the said writers on Roman legends, history, and geography — and that the authority of Silius Italicus is gratuitously impugned in this matter, as that writer had the reputation among his contemporaries for care and accuracy, not for a lively imagination. For a more detailed reply to Dr. Ambrosch, I must be allowed to refer the reader to my notice of Vetulonia in the Classical Museum, No. V.

19 In the same article in the Classical Museum, I have shown, that the arguments Inghirami adduces, from the latitudes and longitudes of Ptolemy, in favour of Vetulonia occupying the hill of Castiglione Bernardi, may be applied with superior force to this ancient site near Magliano; though at the same time I disclaim as unsubstantial all evidence drawn from this source. Ut supra, page 215, note 8.

20 An analysis of the passage in Silius Italicus will lead us to the conclusion that Vetulonia must have been a sea-port, or at least so situated as to be able to carry on a foreign commerce. The city which first introduced the use of ivory chairs and Tyrian purple into Etruria must surely have had direct intercourse with the East, such as could not have been maintained had she been far removed from the coast. We are told that the purple robes which the Etruscan cities sent to Tarquin, among the other insignia of royalty, were such as were worn by the Lydian and Persian monarchs, differing only in form. Dion. Hal. III p195. Now whatever may have been the origin of the Etruscan race, it is manifest that a city which first introduced a foreign custom like this, must, if that custom were brought directly from the East by its founders, have been on, or near, the coast; or if subsequently, owing to commercial relations with those lands, must either have been, or have had, a port.

21 There are certain coins with a head and the legend "Vatl" in Etruscan characters on the obverse, and on the reverse a trident, whose two outer prongs rise from the bodies of dolphins. One has a wheel and an anchor, with the legend "Vetl . . a," v. "Vetluna," in Etruscan letters. Lanzi describes some as having a crescent, though a wheel and an axe are the most frequent types, the one indicating lictors, the other the curule chair; the origin of both being ascribed by Sil. Italicus to Vetulonia. Micali sees in the anchor a proof of the proximity of this city to the sea, and of her maritime commerce. Passeri, Paralip. in Dempst. p183, tab. VI.1; Guarnacci, Orig. Ital. II. tav. XIX.6‑16; Lanzi, Sagg. II pp31, 110, tav. III.4‑6; Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. I p144; III. p191, tav. CXV.8. It is asserted indeed by Millingen (Numis. Anc. Italie, p174) that these coins are not found in any known collection, and therefore they ought to be considered imaginary. But Lanzi (II. p30) and Passeri speak of one as in the Museo Olivieri; nor is their existence questioned by Mionnet (Suppl. I. pp205‑7, 214), Sestini (Geog. Numis. II. p5), or Müller (Etrusk. I p336), who, however, ascribe them to Vettuna, now Bettona, in Umbria. They are also stated to have been found in the urns of Volterra. Bava, ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrus. IV.p87.

22 Ut supra, p214 et seq.

23 Ann. Inst. 1842, p38, tav. d'Agg. C. Another learned antiquary of Rome, who agrees with me as to this being the site of Vetulonia, takes the figure with an oar to represent Telamon, the Argonaut. Dr. Braun suggests, from a consideration of this monument, that there was probably a pine-wood in the neighbourhood of Vetulonia. It so happens that there is such a wood extending for miles along the shore between Telamone and Orbetello, which may be the remains of a forest yet more extensive in ancient times.

Dr. Braun is of opinion, in which he is joined by the Cavalier Canina (Bull. Inst. 1840, p93), that this bas-relief formed one of the sides of a square pedestal, whose other three sides bore emblems of other cities — the Twelve of the Etruscan Confederation; and they think that as the relief was found near a statue of Claudius, the pedestal originally supported that statue, and that the Twelve Cities of Etruria were symbolised thereon in compliment to that emperor having written a history of Etruria. To me, however, the relief appears rather to have formed part of a throne, for at one end it is decorated on both sides.

24 Signor Pasquinelli remarks that from the confusion in which the blocks of masonry were found, overturned in the foundations of the buildings, mingled with fragments of pottery, with burnt matter and fused metal, this city had probably undergone a violent destruction.

25 This was given out by Dempster (Etrur. Reg. II. p56) as a mere conjecture; but has been assumed as a fact by a recent writer, who even specifies the period of the city's destruction.

26 Gruter, p1029, 7. —

Q. SPVRINNAE . Q. F.
P . . . . QVINTIANO
EQ . PVBL . LAVR . LAVIN
AEDIL . IIVIR . CVRAT
KALEND . PLEB . ARRET
CVR . . . . . VBL . VETVLO
NENSIVM . PLEBS
VRBANA
L. D. D. D

Thayer's Note:

a about 300 inhabitants: The 2000 census gives the official population of Magliano in Toscana as 3776 for the entire comune, that is, the town proper and the township around it.


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