ETRUSCANS - GENERAL Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Latium. ETRUSCANS - HISTORY The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. Historians have no literature, no texts of religion or philosophy; therefore much of what is known about this civilization is derived from grave goods and tomb findings. Culture that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 800 BC approximately over the range of the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture. The latter gave way in the 7th century to a culture that was influenced by Greek traders and Greek neighbours in Magna Graecia, the Hellenic civilization of southern Italy. After 500 BC the political destiny of Italy passed out of Etruscan hands. ETRUSCAN – HISTORIC PICTURES ETRUSCANS – GOVERNMENT The historical Etruscans had achieved a state system of society, with remnants of the chiefdom and tribal forms. In this they were different from the surrounding Italics, who had chiefs and tribes. Rome was in a sense the first Italic state. It is believed that the Etruscan government style changed from total monarchy to being ruled by a small faction of people. ETRUSCANS – MILITARY The Etruscans, like the contemporary cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, had a significant military tradition. In addition to marking the rank and power of certain individuals in Etruscan culture, warfare was a considerable economic boost to Etruscan civilization. Like many ancient societies, the Etruscans conducted campaigns during summer months, raiding neighbouring areas, attempting to gain territory and combating piracy as a means of acquiring valuable resources such as land, prestige, goods, and slaves. ETRUSCANS - RELIGION The Etruscan system of belief was polytheism, that is, all visible things were considered to be divine power and that power was subdivided into gods that acted continually on the world of man and could be dissuaded or persuaded in favour of human affairs. ETRUSCANS RELIGIOUS PICTURES ETRUSCANS – LANGUAGE The Etruscans are believed to have spoken a non-Indo- European language, the majority consensus is that Etruscan is related only to other members of what is called the Tyrsenian language family ETRUSCANS – ARCHITECTURE Etruscan art was the form of figurative art produced by the Etruscan civilization in northern Italy between the 9th and 2nd centuries BC. ETRUSCANS – ART Etruscan art was the form of figurative art produced by the Etruscan civilization in northern Italy between the 9th and 2nd centuries BC. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta and cast bronze, wall-painting and metalworking.