[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]
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.


[image ALT: link to next section]

 p371  Chapter XIX


[image ALT: missingALT]
Giace l'alta Cartago; appena i segni
Delle alte sue ruine il lido serba.
Muojono le città, muojono i regni;
Copre i fasti e le pompe arena ed erba.

— Tasso.

That castle was the strength of all that state,
Untill that state by strength was pulled downe;
And that same citie, so now ruinate,
Had bene the keye of all that kingdomes crowne.

— Spenser.

After beholding the wonders of the Montarozzi, the attention is naturally directed to the city from which these tombs were peopled. "If such were its sepulchres," we may exclaim with Lanzi, "what must have been its palaces!" Its antiquity, power, and magnificence are naturally inferred, — what was its history?

 p372  The origin of Tarquinii is wrapt in the mists of fable. The story, as told by the ancients, is this:— Soon after the Trojan War, Tyrrhenus, son of Atys king of Lydia, being compelled by famine to quit his native land, brought a colony to this part of Italy, and built the Twelve cities of Etruria, appointing to that work his relative Tarchon, from whom the city of Tarquinii, one of the Twelve, received its name.​1 From this tradition there is one dissentient voice, that of Justin, who says that Tarquinii was built by the Thessali and Spinambri,​2 or, in other words, by the Pelasgi.​3 This Tarchon was a man of such wonderful wisdom, which he had displayed even from his childhood, that he was traditionally said to have been born with a hoary head.​4 He it is who is introduced by Virgil as leading his forces to the assistance of Aeneas, against Turnus and Mezentius.5

 p373  Here, in the neighbourhood of Tarquinii, and about the period in question, it came to pass, said the Etruscan tradition recorded in the sacred books of the nation, that as a certain peasant was ploughing the land, and chanced to make a furrow deeper than usual, up sprang a wondrous being, a boy in appearance, but a patriarch in wisdom, Tages by name, the son of a Genius, and grandson of Jove.​6 The peasant, amazed at this apparition, uttered a loud cry; a crowd gathered round; and, "in a short time," says Cicero, who relates the story, "all Etruria was assembled on the spot." The mysterious boy then made known to them the practice of divination by the inspection of entrails and the flight of birds; they treasured up all he had said or sung, and committed it to writing; and these records formed the code of the sacred Discipline of the Etruscans, which regulated their entire polity, civil and religious, and was by them transmitted to the Romans.​7 Though all  p374 this is evidently fable,​8 yet through the mists of tradition we can catch a glimpse of substantial forms; we can perceive the high antiquity of the city of Tarquinii, dating from the very foundation of the Etruscan state — its importance, in the derivation of its name from the mythical hero of the land, the founder of the Twelve Cities; and as the spot selected for the divine revelation of the national system of polity. That it was one of the Twelve, none can doubt. Nay, it can urge claims to metropolitan supremacy; and, if not the political head, it must at least be regarded as the ecclesiastical metropolis of the land, the city peculiarly honoured by the gods, the spot where the religious system and the peculiar civilisation of the Etruscans took their rise.9

Of the early history of Tarquinii we are utterly ignorant; as we find no mention of it from the time of Tarchon till the close of the first century of Rome when Demaratus, a  p375 wealthy merchant of Corinth, being compelled to fly from his native city on the usurpation of Cypselus and the expulsion of the Bacchiads, migrated to Etruria, with which he had long been in the habit of commercial intercourse, and settled at Tarquinii. He married a lady of that city, and begat two sons.​10 He brought with him a large band of fellow-refugees, among them two potters or workers in clay, Eucheir and Eugrammos — names indicative of their skill — and a painter named Cleophantos. Whether these be real existences, or mere symbols of their respective arts, it is obviously meant that Demaratus introduced the civilisation of Greece and her refinement in the arts into the land of his adoption.​11 He was well received by the Tarquinienses, — one account, indeed, represents him as attaining to the supreme power in that city, in consequence of his great wealth.12

Lucumo or Lucius, the eldest son of Demaratus, and heir of his vast possessions, married an Etruscan lady of noble birth; but though thus allied to their aristocracy, and himself a native of Tarquinii, he was looked down on by the Etruscans on account of his foreign origin. Unable to brook this wound to his pride, he quitted the city of his birth, and seeking a fairer field for his ambition, migrated to Rome, where his talents and wealth eventually raised him to the throne, which he filled as Tarquinius Priscus.​13 With his history after he quitted his native city,  p376 we have nothing more to do than to mention that, if chroniclers may be credited, he had his revenge on his fellow countrymen, by the conquest of the entire Etruscan Confederation, which sent him twelve fasces, and the other insignia of empire in acknowledgment of its submission to his authority.​14 It may be, however, that the legend of Tarquin's migration to Rome and his attainment of the kingly power are merely significant of the conqust of that city by an Etruscan prince, who introduced the institutions of his country, and made her the capital of a powerful state in connection with the national Confederation.​15 In this case we may regard the legend of Tarquin's  p377 conquest of the Twelve Cities as significant either of the metropolitan power of Tarquinii over the rest of Etruria,​16 or as an invention of the annalists to account for the introduction of the Etruscan insignia of authority into Rome.17

When Servius Tullius ascended the throne, the Etruscans, who had been subdued by his predecessor, says Dionysius, revolted; and Tarquinii, with Veii and Caere, took a prominent part in the war, which lasted twenty years, and ended in the entire subjugation of the Confederation.18

After Tarquinius Superbus had been expelled from Rome, he sought assistance from the Tarquinienses and Veienses on the plea of consanguinity. It seemed good to the people of Tarquinii that their race should reign at Rome, and in conjunction with Veii they sent an army to reinstate Tarquin. In the battle which ensued, the Veientes, who had been often beaten by the Romans, turned and fled; but the Tarquinienses, "a new enemy, not only maintained their ground, but even repulsed the Romans." This was the battle of the Arsian Wood, in  p378 which Junius Brutus, the First Consul, and Aruns Tarquinius fell by each other's kind; and the Etruscans had to learn from divine lips that they were beaten.19

We hear nothing further of Tarquinii for more than a century, till in the year of Rome 357 (397 B.C.), she took up arms to assist Veii, then closely besieged by the Romans, but was severely punished for her interference.20

The next mention we find of her is in the year 366 (388 B.C.), when the Romans invaded her territory, and destroyed the towns of Cortuosa and Contenebra.21

In the year 395 (359 B.C.), her citizens retaliated by ravaging the Roman territory,​22 routing their army, and put to death in the Forum of Tarquinii three hundred and seven of the captives, as a sacrifice to their gods — the disgrace of the Romans being increased by the ignominy of the punishment.​23 In 397 the Tarquinienses were joined by the Falisci,​24 and in the following year occurred that singular scene, already referred to, when the Etruscan priests, with flaming torches and serpents in their hands, led the van of their force against the Romans, who, terrified at this charge of Furies, at first gave way but being laughed out of their fears by their leaders, rallied, rushed blindly on the foe, and put them to the rout. Hereupon the allied cities gathered all the force of the Confederation, and marched to the Salinae, at the mouth of the Tiber, where, being suddenly attacked by the Romans, eight  p379 thousand of them were captured, and the rest slain or driven out of the Roman territory.​25 But Tarquinii was not yet subdued; she continued the war manfully, and in the year 400 (354 B.C.) sustained another signal defeat, in which a vast number of her soldiers were taken prisoners, who were all slain in cold blood, save three hundred and fifty-eight of noble birth, who were sent to Rome, and there in the Forum were either scourged to death, or perished by the axes of the lictors. Thus bitterly did the Romans avenge the sacrifice of their countrymen in the Forum of Tarquinii.​26 Not yet even was the spirit of the Tarquinienses subdued; they still maintained the war, aided by the Caerites and Falisci. But their allies of Caere proved faithless, and made a separate peace with Rome, and the other two cities continued a fruitless struggle, till in the year 403 (351 B.C.), when the Romans had laid waste their lands with fire and sword, "doing battle" as Livy says, "with fields rather than with men," they besought and obtained a truce for forty years.27

At the expiration of that period they, in conjunction with the rest of the Confederate cities, save Arretium, again took up arms, and besieged Sutrium, then in alliance with Rome, which made vain efforts to raise the siege; till in the following year, 444 (310 B.C.), Fabius routed the Etruscans with a shower of stones in the neighbourhood of that town; and followed up his victory by crossing the Ciminian Mount.​28 Tarquinii, though not expressly mentioned, doubtless took part in the great struggle and  p380 defeat at the Vadimonian Lake in 445; for in the next year she was compelled to furnish cornº for the Roman army, and to petition for another truce of forty years.29

Though we find no further mention of Tarquinii in Etruscan times, there is little doubt she took part in the final great struggle for independence, and joined her confederates in the second fruitless stand made at the Vadimonian Lake in the year 471 (283 B.C.).​30 At what precise period she fell under Roman domination we know not; but it must have been at the close of the fifth century of Rome. In the Second Punic War she furnished Scipio's fleet with sail-cloth.​31 The city was subsequently a colony and a municipium;​32 and inscriptions found on the spot prove it to have been flourishing in the time of Trajan and the Antonines.​33 It is supposed to have been desolated by the Saracens in the eighth and ninth centuries of our era, at which time its inhabitants removed to the opposite hill, and founded Corneto; but it was not finally deserted till the year 1307, when its last remains were destroyed by the Cornetans.34

The site of the ancient city is still called Turchina,​35 or Piano di Civita. From the Montarozzi nothing is to be seen of it but the high, bare table-land on which it stood,  p381 girt about with white cliffs. This table-land lies inland from the Montarozzi, and parallel to it, and rises five or six hundred feet above the sea. It is more than a mile from Corneto, across the deep intervening valley; and as there is no road or even track, the excursion must be made on foot or horseback — the latter being advisable for ladies, as the slope is steep and rugged. The highest part of the city is to the west, opposite Corneto. Here and in many other parts around the brow of the cliffs are a few massive rectangular blocks, the foundations of the ancient walls, but other trace of a city, above ground, there is none — a long, bare platform, overrun with weeds or corn-stubble, meets the eye, with not a sign of life, it may be, on its melancholy surface, or at most a few cattle grazing, and a lonely herdsman seated on some prostrate block, or stretched beneath a lowly bush. Yet that this has been the site of a city will not be doubted by him who regards the soil on which he treads; which is composed of brickbats, earthenware, hewn stone, and marble — ineffaceable traces of ancient habitation. A practised eye might even perceive in these fragments records of the city's history — that it was originally Etruscan is proved by the pottery, which resembles that on purely Etruscan sites; while the intermixture of marble tells of the domination of the Romans, and the frequent of verd-antique, and other rare and valuable stones, determine it to have been a place of wealth and consequence under the Empire.36

The lover of nature will turn from these dim traces of antiquity to the bright scene around him. He looks across the deep, bare, lonesome valley to the opposite height of the Montarozzi, whose long, rugged mass bounds the view to the south and west, terminating abruptly in yellow  p382 cliffs, which are crowned by the many towers of Corneto. The lofty bare height to the west is Monte Quagliero, part of the ancient necropolis; the line of trees in the intervening hollow marks the course of the Marta; and stretching away over a tract of level shore, the yee reaches the broad blue of the Mediterranean, and travels on to the graceful headland of Monte Argentaro, to the Giglio and Giannutri, its islet satellites, and if the weather be clear, to the peaks of Elba, dim and grey on the blue horizon. From this quarter round again to the south stretches the wide sweep of the Etruscan plain, broken and undulating — no longer here richly wooded as in days of yore,​37 but for the most part naked and barren; with dark crests of the Canino mountains on the north; the giant mass of Santa Fiora, a wedge of snow, towering behind; Monte Fiascone rising like a long wave in the north-east; the loftier double-peaked Ciminian at its side; and, bounding the view to the south, the long, serrated, and forested range of the Alumieri, sinking to the sea to Civita Vecchia.

On the way from this point eastward to a lofty part of the ridge several remains are passed — here mere substructions, there fragments of walling — here a well, there a vault opening in the slope. Still more numerous are such vestiges on the summit of this height, which seems to have been the Arx of Tarquinii. Here are nothing but substructions, yet the outline of several buildings may be traced,​38 — possibly temples of the three great Divinities, Jupiter, Juno,  p383 and Minerva, which were usual in Etruscan cities,​39 and which analogy teaches us to look for on the Acropolis, or most elevated position. This spot is known by the name of Ara della Regina, or "The Queen's Altar."

At a little distance behind these substructions, a semi-circular line of blocks is to be traced, which appears to mark the outline of the citadel. On the east of it are traces of a gate; and on the opposite side, in the slope fa­cing the Montarozzi, is a half-buried arch, which must be an ancient gateway, now encumbered with débris. It is shown in the woodcut at the head of this chapter.40

From the Arx the hill is seen to turn to the north-east, showing the form of the city to have been that of an obtuse angle. The arm most remote from Corneto is bounded at the distance of nearly a mile by a high sugar-loaf mound, and the intervening slopes are thinly strewn with block of the ancient walls — one stone rarely standing upon another. The conical, or rather wedge-shaped, height, called La Castellina, appears to have been without the limits of the city, from which it is separated by a hollow.​41 Were it not included, the city must still have been about five miles in circuit.

The line of walls may be traced in many detached portions by substructions. The blocks, though sometimes volcanic, are generally cut from the calcareous cliffs of the city, in dimensions and arrangement resembling the remnants of masonry at Veii and Caere, and with equal claims  p384 to be considered Etruscan. In fact, where the outline of a city is almost determined by nature, the original line of wall at the verge of the cliff may well have been preserved in all ages, and how often soever the upper portions may have been renewed, it is highly improbable that the foundations would ever have been disturbed. There seem to have been many gates. The sites of some are very discernible — especially in that part nearest Corneto.

The principal remains within the walls are evidently Roman. Just under the Arx to the west are traces of Baths, excavated in 1829. Little is now to be seen, but when opened there were painted walls, broken statues and columns, long Latin inscriptions, beautiful mosaics,​42 and other remains which told of

"What time the Romaine Empire bore the raine
Of all the world and florisht most in might."

Traces of other buildings have been discovered — a nymphaeum, temples, reservoirs — in fact, every excavation brings some ruin to light, for the entire surface of the hill is a thick stratum of débris; but as such excavations, however valuable to science, are seldom lucrative to the speculator, we cannot expect many discoveries to be made.43

A very remarkable relic on the site of the city is a  p385 tomb, or what is precisely similar to those found in such abundance on Etruscan sites — a chamber hollowed in the rock below the surface, of the ordinary size, with wall slightly converging as usual, and ceiling carved into beam and rafters. The circling row of benches is alone wanting; but this is wanting also in the majority of the tombs of the Montarozzi.

As it is in the very heart of the city, and I had never heard of an Etruscan tomb in such a situation, I felt persuaded, when on the spot, that it was no tomb, but a cellar or under­ground apartment, and even regarded it as a proof how closely the Etruscans in their sepulchres imitated the chambers of their habitations. But in the records of these excavations I find it mentioned as a tomb, and as containing, when opened, fragments of beautiful, painted vases, mingled with burnt bones.​44 It must then be regarded as an exception to the rule of Etruscan burial — as the tomb of some illustrious individual, who was honoured with sepulture within the city-walls.45

Such are the extant remains of the city which formerly occupied this site — a city among the most ancient, and once, it may be, the chief in all Italy — the metropolis of the Etruscan Confederation — which was in the zenith of her power and splendour when Rome was but a group of straw-built huts on the Palatine — which gave a dynasty  p386 to the Seven Hills, and exchanged with the cities of Greece, even in that early age, the products of her skill and labour. Who can behold unmoved her present desolation? Where stood temple and tower, palace and forum, where shone the glories of art and the lavishments of wealth and luxury, nature now displays, as in mockery, her summer tribute of golden corn — seges ubi Troja fuit. Or where the rock-strewn soil refuses to yield, all is a naked waste —

"The mighty columns are but sand,
And lazy snakes trail o'er the level ruins."

The sage or artist from Athens or Corinth — the Egyptian priest or magician — the Phoenician merchant — the Samnite ally — the subject Umbrian — the rude Gaul or stern Roman marvelling at the magnificence — the stately augur — the haughty Lucumo — the fierce corsair — the crowd of luxurious citizens, the rank, the wealth, the beauty of Tarquinii — where are they? Your voice passes over the lonely waste, and meets not the wall of temple, mart, or palace, to echo back the cry, "Where are they?" The city is no more — one stone of it is scarcely left upon another. And its inhabitants? They lie in the depths of yonder hill. Not one abode of the living is left, but sepulchres in thousands. There lie the remains of Tarquinii — the dust of her citizens, their treasures of gold and silver, of bronze and pottery, of painting and sculpture, all they prized in life, lie not here, but there — buried with them. Strange that while their place of abode on earth is mute, their sepulchres should utter such eloquent truths!

The Author's Notes:

1 Strab. V. p219; Herod. I.94; Vell. Paterc. I.1. Strabo calls the city Ταρκύνια, Stephanus Ταρχώνιον, from its eponymus, Tarchon; but Dionysius (III. p184) gives it the plural appellation, Ταρκυνίοι. So also Strabo, elsewhere (p220). Müller thinks its Etruscan name must have been Tachufin, as Tanquil becomes Tanchufil (Etrusk. einl. 2, 1), but from the Tomb of the Tarquins we may conclude it was Tarchna. Whether Tarchon was the son or brother of Tyrrhenus ancient writers are not agreed (Serv. ad Aen. X.198; Cato, ap. Serv. Aen. X.179; Lycoph. 1246; see also Müller, einl. 2, 7, n41); but Müller (einl. 2, 8; IV.4, 2) regards them ad identical — as respectively the Etruscan and Greek names of the same individual. Müller's theory is this:— "A Tyrrhene is a man of Tyrrha, the Lydian Torrha; the vowel was pronounced short, and therefore obscurely; the Etruscans aspirated strongly; what was more natural, then, than that a Tyrrhene should be called by them Tarchun, and the city of the Tyrrhenes Tarchufin, i. e. Tarquinii?" That the Tyrrheni were Pelasgi from Tyrrha in the interior of Lydia, says Mr. Grote (History of Greece, III. p239), "is a point on which we have not sufficient evidence to advance beyond conjecture;" and the evidence on which Müller built "seems unusually slender."

2 Justin. XX.1.

3 Niebuhr, I. pp36, 116. Müller (Etrusk. einl. 2, 7) also regards Tarquinii as of Pelasgic origin, but thinks that this Pelasgic colony came from the Lydian coast, thus reconciling the two traditions. He fixes the date of this emigration about the year 290 before the foundation of Rome, or 1044 B.C., which he considers the commencement of the Etruscan Era (einl. 2, 2). Gerhard (Ann. Inst. 1831, p203) also thinks Tarquinii was Pelasgic.

4 Strab. loc. cit.

5 Joannes Lydus (de Ostent. iii) speaks of two Tarchons — one, the founder of the Etruscan state; the (p373)other, the ally of Aeneas — and distinguishes them as the elder and the younger.

6 Festus, v. Tages. The Etruscans, however, regarded Tages as the son of Hercules and Minerva, as we learn from an Etruscan mirror, confirmed by other monuments.— Ann. Inst. 1841, p94 — Dr. Braun; who has also published a separate tractate on this subject — "Tages und des Hercules und der Minerva heilige Hochzeit." — München, 1839. An argument confirmatory of the Pelasgic origin of Tarquinii may be drawn from this very name. Tagus was the title of the chieftain of the confederate cities of Thessaly (Xenoph. Hist. Graec. VI.1; Pollux, I c10);º whence Tarquinii, according to Justin, derived her origin; and the word Thessali was used as a synonym with Pelasgi (Strab. V. p220), the latter people having one of their principal seats in Thessaly. Mr. Grote (Hist. Greece, II. p373) shows that the title Tagus was once applied by a Roman consul to the chief magistrate of the several cities of Thessaly.

7 Cic. de Divin. II.2339; Ovid. Metam. XV.553‑9; Censorin. de die Nat. IV.; Serv. ad Aen. VIII.398; Lucan. I.636; Amm. Marcell. XXI.1.10; Arnob. II.69; Isid. Orig. VIII.9; Mart. Capella de Nupt. II. p27; VI. p3134; Joan. Lydus de Ostentis ii, iii. Müller credits the version of the last named writer, that the husbandman who ploughed up the oracular child was no other than Tarchon himself (Etrusk. III.2, 3). Elsewhere (III.2, n14) he says, in reference to Tarchon's hoary head, mentioned by Strabo, "It is very clear that Tarchon and Tages were personages of the same legend, who might be easily confounded." Cluver (II p519) seems to regard them as identical.

8 Cicero II. (de Div. II.23) so regarded it, and laughed to scorn any who should credit it. Müller considers these traditions of Tarchon and Tages as local and genuinely and Tages (Etrusk. einl. 2, 1, and 8; IV.4, 2). Cluver (Ital. Ant. II. p52) suggests that the legend of Tages was a mere version of the creation of Adam, who first taught his children and children's children the practice, not of divination, but of all divine worship and sacred rites, which he had received from God himself.

9 It is nowhere expressly stated that Tarquinii was the chief city of the Confederation, yet it is implied in the fact of its being the spot where the civil and religious polity of the Etruscans had their origin, and of its eponymus Tarchon being the traditional founder of the Twelve Cities. The metropolis, in the primary sense of the term, it undoubtedly was. Müller remarks (Etrusk. einl. 2, 1, 2), that "the Etruscans themselves regarded Tarquinii as the metropolis of their Twelve Cities." And again (einl. 2, 16) — "Tarquinii is that particular spot of Etruria, to which are attached all traces of a permanent unity and a close connexion of the Etruscan cities under one head." Cluver (II p520) also thinks the metropolitan supremacy of Tarquinii is clearly implied. If this be so, it must, à fortiori, have been one of the Twelve, and no proof of this is requisite. Yet I may add that Dionysius (III. p184) calls it "a great and flourishing city" in the time of Demaratus, which is confirmed by Cicero, Repub. II.19. That its eminence is strongly implied by its conduct in the war with Servius Tullius (Dion. Hal. IV.p231), and again in the war of 398, when Tarquinii and Falerii took the lead of all the Etruscan states (Liv. VII.17).

10 Liv. I.34; Dion. Hal. III p184; Strab. V. p219; Cic. Tusc. Quaest. V.37; de Repub. II.19; Macrob. Sat. I.6. Dionysius says he had made his immense force by trading with Etruria alone.

11 Plin. N. H., XXXV.5, 43. He says that these two fictores first introduced the plastic art into Italy. Tacitus Ann. XI.4) says Demaratus taught the Etruscans alphabetical writing; and according to Cicero (de Repub. II.19) and Dionysius (loc. cit.), he instructed his sons in all the arts of Greece, for which Rome was indebted to Tarquin, who — Graecum ingenium Italicis artibus miscuisset — says Florus, I.5.

12 Strab. VIII. p378.

13 Liv. I.34; Dion. Hal. III p185; Polyb. VI.2, ap. Suid. v. Λεύκιος. All (p376)this pretty legend of Demaratus falls to the ground at a touch of the critical wand of Niebuhr, who shows (I. p372, et seq.) that the chronological basis on which it rests is utterly unsound. He does not positively deny the existence of such a man as Demaratus, but totally rejects his relation­ship with Tarquinius Priscus, whom he regards not as an Etruscan at all, but as a Latin — which he deduces from his cognomen, Priscus. The two potters he looks on, not as real personages, but as symbols of moulding or painting on clay. Yet these names were not always mere abstractions; for I have seen that of "Eucheir" on a vase in the possession of Dr. Braun, at Rome, inscribed as the potter. There is also a tazza in the British Museum, with the inscription —


Müller (einl. 2, 16, n32) agrees with Niebuhr in considering the two legends of Demaratus and L. Tarquinius as originally in no way connected. He regards (einl. 5, 4) the legend of Demaratus as purely Corinthian, not Italian — and as showing, whether true or false, the early commerce of Tarquinii with Corinth.

14 Dion. Hal. III p195; Flor. I.5. See Niebuhr's objections to this tradition of Tarquin's conquest of Etruria, I. p379, ut supra, p26, note 3. Müller (einl. 2, 16) also regards this legend of Tarquin's conquest as "impossible;" for Etruria was then at the zenith of her power. Mannert (Geog. p333) also points out the impossibility of this conquest, as being opposed to all the occurrences of the later history of Etruria. The silence of Polybius, Cicero, and Livy, proves — thinks Niebuhr — that they did not credit it.

15 Niebuhr (I. p384) is of opinion that the legend of Tarquinius Priscus "clearly implies a belief that there was a time when Rome received Tuscan institutions from a prince of Etruria, and was the great and splendid capital of a powerful Etruscan state." Müller (einl. 2, 16) is much of the same opinion. Arnold (Hist. of Rome, I. p56) also considers the Etruscan dynasty of Rome to show the dominion of Etruria over the Latins, and the expulsion of the Tarquins to signify the decline of the city of Tarquinii, and the liberation of Rome from the Etruscan yoke.

16 Müller (einl. 2, 16) consider this tradition of Tarquin's conquest of all Etruria as indicative of the supremacy of Tarquinii over the rest of the Etruscan cities. "If you will," says he, "you may view the two Tarquins as regents of Tarquinii in Rome; but this seems in both cases open to doubt." He would rather consider Priscus and Superbus as names descriptive of an earlier and later tyranny; and the two kings so specified as being in fact "nameless in history." Niebuhr (I. p383) suspects a connexion between the Roman legend of Tarquin, being the supreme ruler of all Etruria, and the Etruscan one of Tarchon, who conquered that land and founded the Twelve Cities.

17 Strabo (V. p220) ascribes the introduction of the Etruscan insignia into Rome to Tarquin himself, who brought them from Tarquinii. The statement of Strabo that "Tarquin adorned Etruria" — which from the context would seem to refer more particularly to his native city, Tarquinii — "by means of resources derived from Rome," seems opposed to the tradition of his subjugation of that land, and more consistent with his conquest of Rome as an Etruscan prince.

18 Dion. Hal. IV.pp214, 231. To this conquest of Etruria by S. Tullius, the same objections will apply that are urged against that by his predecessor. Niebuhr (I. p367) rejects it as fictitious.

19 Liv. II.6, 7; Dion. Hal. V. pp279, 288, et seq. Livy, in making Tarquinii on this occasion for the first time at war with Rome, is quite opposed to Dionysius; but seems to corroborate the opinion above mentioned the early Etruscan conquest of Rome, and to show that the Tarquinienses regarded the expulsion of the Tarquins as a rebellion against their authority in particular. The expedition of Porsena seems, however, rather to indicate that it was regarded as a rebellion against the entire Confederation.

20 Liv. V.16.

21 Liv. VI.4.

22 Liv. VII.12.

23 Liv. VII.15.

24 Liv. VII.16.

25 Liv. VII.17; Frontin. Strat. II.4, 17; Diod. Sic. XVI p432. The latter writer says nothing memorable was effected — only the ager Faliscus was devastated. Yet Rutilus the dictator had his triumph — Fasti Capitolini, anno 397.

26 Liv. VII.19.

27 Liv. VIII.19‑22.

28 Liv. IX. 32, 33, 35, 36; cf. Diod. Sic. XX p773, ed. Rhod.; Flor. I.17; Fasti Capitolini, anno 444.

29 Liv. IX.39, 41; Diod. Sic. XX p781. Niebuhr (III. p276) regards Tarquinii as the only bitter enemy that Rome possessed among the Etruscans, after the fall of Veii.

30 See Chapter IX. p168. Of this final war we have but scattered notices. A connected and detailed account was doubtless given in the lost second decade of Livy.

31 Liv. XXVIII.45.

32 Plin. III.8; Frontin. de Col. — colonia Tarquinii lege Sempronianâ est assignata. Cicero, prince Caecinâ, cap. IV; Ptolem. Geog. p72, ed. Bert.

33 For these inscriptions, see the records of the Archaeological Institute, ut supra, Chapter XVIII. p279, n5. That it was in existence in the fourth century after Christ is proved by the Theodosian Table.

34 Garampi, ap. Tirabos. Letter. Ital. I. p50.

35 This is very nearly the Etruscan appellation, which, as we learn from the Tomb of the Tarquins recently discovered at Caere, must have been Tarchna.

36 It is said that scarabaei and beautiful cameos are often brought to light by the plough. Ann. Inst. 1829, p93.

37 Stat. Sylv. V.2.1; Varro, de Re Rust. III.12. The latter writer speaks of a park here, stocked with wild animals, not only deer, roebuck, and hares, but also wild sheep.

38 On the side fa­cing the Montarozzi, the blocks are arranged in terraces down the slope, possibly the steps by which the superincumbent buildings were approached, but more probably so placed for the sake of a firmer foundation. Manzi and Fossati, who excavated here, first took these substructures to be part of a pyramidal sepulchre (Bull. Inst. 1829, p199; 1830, p73); but afterwards (1831, p4) acknowledged that this was the citadel.

39 Serv. ad Aen. I.426.

40 The arch is only 6 ft. 6 in. in span, and about 3 ft. thick, inwards; so that it must have been a mere postern. The depth of the voussoirs is 21 inches, and of the courses in the surrounding masonry, 17 or 18 inches.

41 Westphal (Ann. Inst. 1830, p37) took this height for the acropolis. Its slope, indeed, bears fragments of ancient walling, but whether these belonged to a fortification, or mark the precinct of a temple which crowned the summit, now occupied by medieval remains, I could not determine.

42 Some of the devices in the mosaics were singular. The inscriptions, which were also in the pavement, were much worn by the feet, showing that the Baths had been in use for many years. They are preserved in the Palazzo Bruschi at Corneto — ut supra, page 279. A singular capital of a column having an Etruscan inscription on its abacus — Panzai or Panzni — was found here in 1830. It was of peperino. It is delineated by Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. CXX.1; cf. II p225. For notices of the excavations on the site of Tarquinii, see Bull. Inst. 1829, p197; 1830, pp72, 238; 1831, p4; 1835, p27.

43 Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. II p222) mentions a large cloaca, similar in construction to the Cloaca Maxima, at the foot of the hill of Tarquinii. I sought it in vain; nor is it mentioned by any but himself. He may possibly mean the half-buried arch, of which a woodcut is given at the head of this chapter.

44 Bull. Inst. 1830, p72. Instances of similar intramural sepulture I have since observed on the site of the ancient Caere.

45 This was the custom with the Romans. Cic. de Leg. II.23; Plut. Publicola, ad finem. And in Greece, though in early times the dead were buried in their own houses (Plato, Minos, II. p315, ed. Steph.), and though in Sparta and some of her colonies it was usual to inter within the city (Plut. Lycurg.; Polyb. VIII p533, ed. Casaub.; Paus. I.43) yet in the historic period it was the general custom to bury without the walls, as at Athens (Cic. ad Div. IV.12), except when peculiar honour was to be shown to the dead; as when Themistocles was interred in the forum of Magnesia (Plut. Themist. ad fin.), and Timoleon in that of Syracuse (Plut. Timol. ad fin.).

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 31 Mar 18