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Parva Tyrrkenum per itquor 
Vela dareiu. HORAT. 







[TJic Sight of Translation is reserved.] 

Rsverere gloriam vetcrem, et lianc ipsam senectutem, qua; in bomine veneralrilis, in 
urbibus sacra. Sit apud te honor antiquitati, sit ingentibus factis, sit fabulis quoque. 

Pux. Epist. VHI. 24. 

Quis est autem, quern non moveat clarissimis rconumentis testata consignataque Antiqxiitas ? 

CICERO, de Div. I. 40. 





ffcr Hhtjesfji's ^mtassobor to UK Sublime |Jorfe, 

ETC., ETC., ETC. ; 











THIS work is the fruit of several tours made in Etruria betweeu 
the years 1842 and 1847. It has been written under the impres- 
sion that the Antiquities of that land, Avhich have excited intense 
interest in Italy and Germany during the last twenty or thirty 
years, deserve more attention than they have hitherto received 
from the British public ; especially from those swarms of our 
countrymen who annually traverse that classic region in their 
migrations between Florence and Rome. A few Englishmen, 
eminent for rank or acquirements, have long been practically 
acquainted with the subject but till the appearance of Mrs. 
Hamilton Gray's work on " The Sepulchres of Etruria " the 
public at large was in a state of profound ignorance or indiffer- 
ence. That lad} r is deserving of all praise for having first intro- 
duced Etruria to the notice of her countrymen, and for having, 
by the graces of her style and power of her imagination, rendered 
a subject so proverbially dry and uninviting as Antiquity, not 
only palatable but highly attractive. Her work, however, is far 
from satisfactory, as all who have used it as a Guide will con- 
fess ; for there are many sites of high interest which she has not 
described, and on some of those of which she has treated many 
remarkable monuments have been subsequently discovered. It 
is to supply such deficiencies that I offer these volumes to the 
public. The interest and curiosity that lady has aroused in the 


mysterious race to which Italy is indebted for her early civiliza- 
tion, I hope to extend and further to gratify. 

The primary object of this work is to serve as a Guide to those 
who would become personally acquainted with the extant remains 
of Etruscan civilization. The matter therefore is so arranged 
that the traveller may readily ascertain what monuments he will 
find on any particular site. I have deemed it advisable to add 
succinct notices of the history of each city, so far as it may be 
learnt from ancient writers, with a view to impart interest to the 
traveller's visit, as well as to give the book some value to those 
who would use it, not as a Hand-book, but as a work of classical 
and antiquarian reference. Yet as the former is its primary 
character, the traveller's wants and convenience have been parti- 
cularly consulted by statements of distances, by hints as to 
means of conveyance, as to the accommodation to be found on 
the road, and suiuhy such-like fragments of information, which, 
it is hoped, may prove the more acceptable to him, as they are 
intended for his exclusive use and benefit. 

Some apolog}" may be thought necessary for the copious 
annotations which give the work pretensions to something more 
than a mere Hand-book. As in the course of writing it I have 
had occasion to make frequent references to the classics and to 
modern works on archseolog}', it seemed to me, that by the in- 
sertion of my authorities I should avoid the charge of loose and 
unfounded statements ; while at the same time, by collecting and 
arranging these authorities according to the several subjects on 
which they bore, and by pointing out the sources whence further 
information might be derived, I should be rendering service to 
the scholar and antiquary. Yet to avoid swelling the work to an 
undue extent, I have contented myself, for the most part, with 
simply indicating, instead of quoting. Though the exhibition of 
the process by which the work was constructed may be useless or 
even unpleasing to the general reader, to the student of these 
matters it will not prove unwelcome. 


The obligations I have been under to Cluver, Miiller, and 
other writers, living as well as dead, I must here acknowledge in 
general terms, as it would be impossible to state the source 
whence every reference or suggestion has been derived. Yet 
wherever I have availed myself of the labours of others, I have 
carefully verified their authorities, or, when that was impossible, 
have transferred the responsibilit}* to the proper quarter. 

I must also take this opportunity of paying my personal tribute 
of thanks to certain living antiquaries, whose names stand high 
in European estimation ; particularly to Doctors Braun and 
Henzen, the secretaries of the Archaeological Institute at Home, 
for their kindness in affording me facilities for the prosecution of 
my studies, especially by placing the copious library of the Insti- 
tute at my command. To these I must add the names of Pro- 
fessor Migliarini of Florence, whose obliging courtesy has stood 
me in good stead when in that city ; and of Mr. Birch, of the 
British Museum, who has favoured me with his notes of two 
sarcophagi at Musignano, described at page 439 of this volume. 
Nor niust I forget to mention my friend and fellow-traveller Mr. 
Ainsley, to whom I am indebted for the free use of the notes of 
his Etruscan tours, as well as for several sketches used in illus- 
trating this work. 

The drawings of masonry, tombs, and other local remains have 
been mostly made by myself with the camera lucida. Those of 
portable monuments are generally copied from various works little 
knoAvn in England. Most of the plans of ancient sites are also 
borrowed, but two have been made by myself, and though laying 
no claim to scientific precision, will be found sufficiently accurate 
for the purposes of the tourist. The general Map of Etruria has 
been formed principally from Segato's Map of Tuscany, aided by 
Gell's and Westphal's Campagna di Roma, and by the official 
maps of the Pontifical State. 

My chief aim throughout this work has been truth and accuracy. 
At least half of the manuscript has been written in Italy, and the 


greater part of it has been verified l>y subsequent visits to the 
scenes described. Notwithstanding, the book has, doubtless, its 
share of errors and imperfections. Those who take it up for mere 
amusement will think I have said too much, the scholar and 
antiquary that I have said too little, on the subjects treated, on 
the one hand I may be accused of superficiality, on the other of 
prolixity and dulness. To all I make my apology in the words 
of Pliny Res ardiia, retustis novitatem dare, noris auctoritatem , 
obsoletis nitorem, obscuris luccm, fastlditis gmtiam, dubiis fidcm, 
omnibus rero naturam, ct natura suce omnla " It is no easy 
matter to give novelty to old subjects, authority to new, to impart 
lustre to rusty things, light to the obscure and mysterious, to 
throw a charm over what is distasteful, to command credence for 
doubtful matters, to give nature to everything, and to arrange 
everything according to its nature." 


SINCE the publication of the former edition of this work in 
1848, many important and interesting discoveries have been 
made in Etruria. Long forgotten sites have been recognised as 
Etruscan ; cemeteries of cities, known or suspected to have that 
origin, have been brought to light ; and excavations have been 
carried on with more or less success in various parts of that 
land. Many painted tombs have been opened, and some have 
unfortunately been closed. The interest in such discoveries has 
so greatly increased, that museums have been established in not 
a few provincial towns, and private collections have become 
numerous. The subject of Etruscan antiquities, moreover, has 
received new light, and acquired fresh interest from similar 
researches in other parts of Italy, especially at Palestrina, and in 
the country north of the Apennines. In preparing then a new 
edition, it has been my task not only to visit the sites of these 
discoveries, and note them on the spot, with which object I have 
made four tours through Etruria during the last three years, but 
to collect the published records of all the researches made since 
1848, and to incorporate notices of them with my original work. 
This I hope to have so far accomplished, that I believe very few 
discoveries of interest made since that date will be found to be 
unrecorded in these volumes. In short, it has been niy aim to 
present to the public as complete an account of antiquarian 
researches in Etruria down to the present day, as the character 
of my work will permit. In one instance I have even ventured 
to overstep the limits originally assigned to it, and to introduce a 
description of the recent excavations at Bologna. 


Not only has the work been considerably enlarged, but I have- 
enriched it with numerous fresh illustrations, nni with twelve 
additional plans of ancient cities ; several of them rudely drawn 
by myself on the spot, yet true enough, I trust, to prove useful 
to those who may visit the sites. 

I have little indebtedness to plead beyond what I have acknow- 
ledged in the course of the work. But I cannot omit to offer my- 
th anks to my old friend Dr. Henzen, now Chief Secretary to the- 
Archaeological Institute of Rome, Avho kindly furnished me with 
introductions to those local antiquaries in Etruria, who could 
be of service to me ; and to Padre Evola and Padre Di Marzo, 
Directors of the National and Communal Libraries of Palermo, 
for their indulgent courtesy in placing at my disposal whatever 
works it was in their power to supply. Nor must I fail to record 
my grateful sense of the kindness of another friend of my youth, 
E. "W. Cooke, B.A., in most generously placing his Italian port- 
folio at my disposal, from which I have selected four sketches as 

I have no further acknowledgments to make, having revised the 
work under considerable disadvantages, during the intervals of 
official labour, without access to many books which were at my 
command in writing the original edition, and far from all friends 
who could render me personal assistance. My chief sources of 
information have been the admirable publications of the Archaeo- 
logical Institute of Rome. 

I have had the gratification of learning that the former edition 
of this work, apart from literary and antiquarian considerations,, 
has received the approval of not a few who have used it as a 
guide, on account of the conscientious accuracj^ of its descriptions. 
I trust that the present issue will maintain its reputation in this 
respect, for to ensure correctness has been my primary endeavour^ 

PALERMO, October, 1878. 




Recent researches into the inner life of the Etruscans Nature of the docu- 
ments whence our knowledge is acquired Monumental Chronicles Object 
of this work to give facts, not theories Geographical position and extent 
of Etruria Its three grand divisions Etruria Proper, its boundaries and 
geological features The Twelve Cities of the Confederation Ancient and 
modern condition of the land Position of Etruscan cities Origin of the 
Etruscan race Ancient traditions Theories of Niebuhr. Mliller, Lepsius, 
and others The Lydiau origin probable Oriental character of the Etrus- 
cans Analogies in their religion and customs to those of the East Their 
language still a mystery The P^truscan alphabet and numerals Govern- 
ment of Etruria Convention of her princes Lower orders enthralled 
Eeligion of Etruria. its effects on her political and social state Mytho- 
logical system The Three great Deities The Twelve Dii Consentes The 
shrouded Gods The Nine thunder-wielding Gods Other divinities Fates 
Genii Lares and Lasas Gods of the lower world Extent and nature 
of Etruscan civilization Literature Science Commerce Physical con- 
veniences Sewerage Roads Tunnels Luxury The Etruscans superior 
to the Greeks in their treatment of woman Arts of Etruria Architecture 
To be learned chiefly from tombs Walls of cities Gates The arch in 
Italy worked out by the Etruscans Sepulchres Peculiarities which dis- 
tinguish them from the Roman Imitations of temples or houses Plastic 
arts Character and styles of Etruscan art Works in terra-cotta In 
bronze Statues ami various implements Works in wood and stone 
Sepulchral sculpture Scnralcl Mirrors and Caskets, with incised designs 
Jewellery The pictorial art in Etruria Painted tombs Varieties of 
style Pottery of Etruria Earliest ware not painted, but incised, stamped, 
or relieved Painted vases classified and described Why placed in 
sepulchres Tombs rifled in bygone times Vases of native or Greek 
manufacture .'Attic character of the painted vases Etruscr.n imitations 
of Greek vases The Etruscans maligned by the Greeks and Romans 
European civilization indebted to Etruria Pre-eminence of Tuscan 
intellect in all ages . xxv 

APPENDIX. Greek and Etruscan vases classified according to form and use . cv 





Historical interest of Veii Site determined to be near Isola Farnese First 
view of Veii Isola The mill Fragments of Walls Forum of Roman 
Veii Piazza d' Anni, the Arx of Veii Capture of Veii The cHnicitlu* 
of Camillas La Scaletta Columbarium in the cliffs Ruins of a. bridge 
Natural bridge called Ponte Sodo Remains of the ancient walls and 
gates Use of bricks Ponte Formcllo Ancient road Ponte d' Isola 
Antiquity of Etruscan bridges Extent of the Etruscan city Past great- 
ness and present desolation Roman nniHicijiimii Progress of destruc- 
tion Interior of a cajtantut Shepherd life in the Campagna History 
of Veii Fourteen wars with Rome Heroism and fate of the Fabii 
The ten years' siege Legend of the Alban Lake Fall of Veii Isola 
Farnese. probably the necropolis of Veii Hints to travellers . . 1 

APPENDIX. Sepulchral niches, and modes of sepulture Veii one of the 

Twelve Isola Farnese not the Arx of Veii, nor the Castle of the Fabii . 26 



Little to be seen in the necropolis Sepulchral tumuli Scenery around Veii 
Grotta Campana, a painted tomb Singular parti-coloured figures 
Interpretation of the paintings Helmet with a death-thrust Great 
antiquity of the tomb proved by the paintings and masonry Sepulchral 
pottery and urns Analogy between tombs and houses No epitaph for 
the Etruscan hero . 31 



The banks of the Tiber Site of Antemnae Anglo-Roman sports Campagna 
scenes and sounds Sites of ancient deeds Ponte Salaro Site and 
vestiges of Fidenae Historical notices A panorama 43 

APPENDIX. The eight captures of Fidenae 53 



Vandals in Italy Galcra Via Clodia Baccano and its lake Monte 
Razzano Campagnano Monte Musino Popular legends Scrofano 
Lake of Bracciano Site of Sabate discovered Aquae Apollinares 
Curious deposit of coins Forum Clodii Shores of the lake . . .54 

APPENDIX. The Via Clodia, from Rome to Cosa ... . (>1 





Le Sette Vene Monterosi Konciglionc Site of Sutrium Ancient walls, 
sewers, and gates Village antiquaries History of Sutrium Alliance with 
'Home The proverb, Ire Sutrinm Eock-hewn church Catacombs 
Amphitheatre of Sutri Iloman or Etruscan ? Its peciiliarities and beauty 
Tombs in the Cliffs Grotta d' Orlando Legends of Sntri Cave of the 
Madonna Capranica Vicus Matrini Road to Yetralla . . . .62 

APPENDIX. Emplccton masonry 80 



Park -like scenery Xepi Remains of its ancient walls Picturesque ravines 

Few traces of the necropolis The modern town History of Xepete . . 82 



Road from Xepi Beauties of the C'ampngna Civita much visited, but little 
explored Etruscan walls and tombs Glen of the Treia Glen of the 
Salcto Walls and , tombs Conical pit sepulchres Ponte Terrano 
Curious cemetery in the cliffs Shafts or chimneys Etruscan or Faliscan 
inscriptions on the rocks The viaduct Beauties of the ravines around 
Civita A word to travellers .... ,87 



Tombs with porticoes Singular inscription on an Etrusco-Roman tomb 
Walls and towers of Falleri Porta di Giove Cliffs with sepulchral 
niches Porta del Bove Magnificent piece of walling Extent of the 
city Theatre Convent of Sta. Maria di Falleri Is the city Etruscan or 
Roman ? Historical notices of Falerii The three cities of the Falisci 
Legend of the treacherous schoolmaster The city rebuilt on a lower site 
Civita Castellana an Etruscan, Falleri a Roman site Shepherd-guides . 97 

APPENDIX. The three towns of the Falisci Falerii one of the Twelve 

Faliscum Falleri not the Etruscan Falerii ..... 112 



Historical notices Site of Fcscennium uncertain Beauty of the Ager Faliscus 
Peculiarities of the scenery Corchiauo Etruscan remains Etruscan 


inscription carved on the rock Ancient roads and watercourses Tomb 
with a portico and inscription Via Amerina Gallese Vignanello 
Soriano Discovery of an Etruscan city Fine relic of the ancient walls 
The city is probably Fesceuniura, or ^Equum Faliscum . . . .115 



History of Capena Its site Difficult of access Legend of St. Domcnick 
Soracte View from the ascent-- Convents on the summit S. Oreste 
Probably an Etruscan site, and Feronia The shrine of Feronia 
Geology of Soracte Travellers' trials Local remains at Capena Cha- 
racter of the site Scenery of this district Ilignano lluins at S. Abondio 
Wolves of Soracte, ancient and modern Fire-proof feet Tombs of 
Sabina 12-t 


Voyage up the Tiber Beauty of this river scenery Views of Soracte Posi- 
tion of Horta Locanda della Campana Scanty records Local anti- 
quaries The necropolis Excavations Curious relics of antiquity 
Castellum Amerinum The Vadimonian Lake Pliny's description of it 
Its actual condition Why chosen as battle-ground Vale of the Tiber 
Bassano Via Amerina 136 



Lake of Vico View from the summit of the Pass The great Etruscan plain 

Etruria as it was, and is 146 



Local chroniclers Annio of Viterbo, and his forgeries Vitcrbo claims to 
be the Fanum Voltnmnae More probably occupies the site of Surrina 
Vestiges of an Etruscan town The Museum of Etruscan relics The 
Bazzichelli Collection Tomb of the beautiful Galiaua Lions of Viterbo . 150 



Numerous Etruscan remains around Viterbo Bacucco Historical notices of 
Fercntinum Remains on the site The Theatre Its scena Peculiar 
gateways Series of arches Architectural renown of Ferentinum Sin- 
gular sepulchres entered by wells Vitorchiano 156 





"The by-roads of Italy Scanty accommodation Bomarzo Etruscan town in 
the neighbourhood Name unknown Excavations in the necropolis 
Grotta della Colonna Rusticated masonry Grotta Dipinta Ancient 
caricatures Sea-horses and water-snakes Serpents on Etruscan monu- 
ments Curious sarcophagus Characteristics of the tombs of Bomarzo 
Sepulchral furniture An alphabet potted for posterity Return to Vitcrbo 
by the Ciminian ............ 1C4 



The cicerone The Bulicamc The Etruscan plain Sepulchral glens A street 
of tombs Sculptured facades, like houses Moulded doorways Inscrip- 
tions Sepulchral interiors Economy of space Produce of this necro- 
polis Sepulchral varieties The site is but recently discovered Antiquity 
of the tombs Site of the Etruscan town Not the Fanum Voltumnse 
More probably is Castellum Axia Tombs in the neighbourhood . . 1 75 

APPENDIX. Etruscan mouldings Inscriptions 18G 



Etruscan town discovered in 1850 by Signor Bazzichelli Position of the town 
Walls Gates Two Castles The Cemetery Excavations and their 
results Name of Musarna very doubtful 188 



This necropolis is of recent discovery Road from Viterbo to Vctralla An Etrus- 
can site Inn at Vetralla Path to Norchia First view of the necropolis 
The temple-tombs Who formed them ? The pediments and their sculptures 
Bas-relief under the portico Date of the tombs Magnificent facades and 
mean interiors Sepulchral varieties Mouldings No inscriptions Site 
of the Etruscan town Ancient name doubtful Canina's opinion Pic- 
turesque beauty of the site . . . .193 



Scanty notice? Romantic glens A true city of the dead Site of the ancient and 
modern towns Ancient bridge, and rock-hewn roads Sewers Fragments 
of the ancient walls The modern town Count of S.Giorgio Feudal power, 



courtesy, ami hospitality A second ancient bridge Rock-sunk roads 
The Count's domain The Cemetery of Blera Great variety in the 
sepulchres Cornices Door-mouldings Conical tomb with trench and 
rampart Sepulchral interiors S. Giovanni di Bieda .... 207 



Coast-road between Rome and Civita Yecchia Maccarcsc Fregense Palidoro 
Excavations at Selva la Rocca 1'elasgic antiquity of Alsiuin A city of 
villas Local remains Tumuli of Monteroni Shafts and galleries in the 
mound Palo and its hostelry Sea-shore scenes 21 !> 

APPENDIX. The Via Aurelia, from Rome to Centum Cellar .... 22l> 



Hints to travellers Road to Cervetri The Vaccina and its honours Scenes 
of Virgil's pictures The village, the cicerone, and the accommodation 
Remote antiquity of Agylla Change of its name to Cairo Historical notices 
Desolation of the site Vestiges of antiquity Picturesque scenes The 
Banditaccia, a singular cemetery A city of the dead Tumuli GROTTA 
GEOTTA DELL' ALCOVA Resemblance to a temple Architectural interest 
TOMB OF THE TARQUINS Probably of the royal family of Rome- 
Numerous inscriptions Sepulchral niches GROTTA DE' SARCOFAGI 
Three archaic monuments of marble GROTTA DEL TRICLINIO Paintings 
on its walls almost obliterated A pretty pair Another painted tomb, 
more archaic TOMB OF THE RELIEFS Reliefs around the walls Typhoii 
and Cerberus Reliefs on the pilasters and pillars Curious implements of 
domestic and sacred use TOMB OF THE SEATS AND SHIELDS Its plan 
that of a Roman house Arm-chairs and foot-stools hewn from the rock 
TOMB OF THE PAINTED TILES High antiquity of these paintings 
Difficult interpretation Similar tiles in the Louvre described and illus- 
trated Artistic peculiarities GROTTA REGULINI-GALASSI Peculiar con- 
struction, and high antiquity Very archaic furniture The Warrior's 
tomb and its contents His household divinities The Priest's or Princess's 
chamber, and its wonderful jewellery The side-chambers Deplorable 
condition of this sepulchre Pelasgic alphabet and primer inscribed on a 
pot Other relics of the Pelasgic tongue Monte Abatone GROTTA CAM- 
PANA Its decorations and furniture TOMB OF THE SEAT, Monte d'Oro 
Arm-chair of rock GROTTA TORLONIA Singular entrance and vestibule 
Crumbling dead Tombs at La Zambra Terra-cotta sarcophagus in the 
Louvre Another in the British Museum Both from Cervetri Corinthian 
vases, and imitations of them Hercules strangling the priests of Busiris 
Artena 227 

APPENDIX. Shields as sepulchral decorations Genii and Junones . . 281 





The fortress of Santa Severa -Foundations of polygonal masonry Pyrgi of 
Pelasgic origin A castle, port, and nest of pirates Its temple of 
Eileithyia History Necropolis little explored ..... 289 



Santa Marinella, and its tiny bay Remains of Punicum Puntone del Castrato 

Excavations by the Duchess of Sermoneta Discovery of an Etruscan 
town What was its name 1 The Torre di Chiaruccia Castrum Novum . 294 



Ancient and modern condition of this port Etruscan relics at Civita Vecchia 

Tombs in the neighbourhood Excavations at La Tolfa . . . 298 




Corneto, and the way to it First view of Tarquinii and its Cemetery Cor- 
neto, its inns, interest, and antiquity -Carlo Avvolta The painted Tombs 

GEOTTA QUERCIOLA First impressions An Etruscan banquet 
Dancers Wild-boar hunt Greek style of art -Superiority of the Etrus- 
cans to the Greeks in their treatment of the fair sex Colours used in this 
tomb GROTTA DE' CACCIATORI Frantic dances Return from the Chase 

Curious sea-shore scenes Revels in the open air GROTTA BELLA 
PULCELLA Sepulchral recess- Scene of revelry The pretty maiden 
GROTTA DEL LETTO FUXEBRE An empty bier Banquet under shelter 

Funeral games GROTTA DEL TRICLIXIO Striking scenes Banquets 
and dances Peculiarities of the figures Etruscan modesty Incongruity 
of festive scenes to a sepulchre -Religous character of music and dancing 
among the ancients Are these scenes symbolical 1 Colours in this tomb, 
how laid on CAMERA DEL MORTO Death-bed scene Tipsy dance and 
jollity Archaic character of the figures GROTTA DEL TIFONE Its 
peculiarities Typhons on the pillar Etruscan inscription Funeral pro- 
cession on the wall Charun with his mallet and snakes Procession of 
souls and demons Etruscan inscription Date of these paintings Latin 
inscriptions The Pompeys of Etruria Ariosto's pictures of Etruscan 
tombs GROTTA DEGLI SCUDI A mourning genius reading an epitaph 

A fair Etruscan at dinner Another pair Trumpeters Etruscan inscrip- 
tions Chamber hung with shields GROTTA DEL CARDIKALE Tern pie- 
like tomb Paintings on the walls Byres' work Cisapennine cockneys 
Spirited combats Souls in the charge of good and evil spirits Scenes in 

VOL. i. b 

xviii COXTEXTS. 


the Etruscan Hades Etniscan Cupid and Psyche Omnrs inia ma net nox 
GROTTA DELL' ORCO Three tombs in one Arnth Yelchas and his 
beautiful wife in Elysium A dusky demon Another banquet Ulysses 
blinding Polyphemus Pluto, Proserpine, and Geryon in Hades Shades 
of Teiresias, Mcmnon, and others Theseus and Peirithoos in charge of the 
demon Tuchulcha The sideboard The Montarozzi GROTTA DEL YEC- 
CHIO December and May Other revellers GROTTA DE' VASI DIPINTI 
Family banquet Affectionate children Painted vases on the sideboard 
Dance among the trees Character of the paintings GROTTA DEL 
MORIBONDO Death-bed scene, and horse waiting for the soul Style of 
art GHOTTA DELLE ISCRIZIONI Funeral games Dice Boxing Wrest- 
ling Horse-races A bacchic dance A sacrifice Primitive character of 
these paintings GROTTA DEL BARONE Horse-races The prize disputed 
Brilliancy of the colours Archaic character of the paintings GROTTA 
DEL MARE Marine monsters GEOTTA FRANCESCA Etniscan ballerine 
Spirited figures Dilapidated paintings GROTTA DELLE BIGHE A 
symposium Dances Funeral games of the Etruscans Character and date 
of these paintings GROTTA DEL PULCINELLA Men on foot and horse- 
back Figure in fantastical costume GROTTA DEL CITAREDO The sexes 
dance apart Expressive head of the Citharcedus Graco-Etruscan art 
Eeview of the painted tombs Their comparative antiquity Dcmonology 
of the Etruscans Speculations on the paintings Sepulchral luxury of 
the ancients Other painted tombs, now closed or destroyed Monkish 
record of them The tumuli on the Montarozzi The Mausolco Tumular 
sepulchres Avvolta's warrior-tomb Vast extent of this cemetery Exca- 
vations, ancient and modern Tomb of the Mercareccia Lamentable 
decay of its sculptures Singular chimney or shaft Mysterious caverns . i)01 

APPENDIX. Chaplets in Etruscan tombs Grotta della Scrofa Nera 
Lost tombs delineated by Byres Painted tombs recently opened and 
recloscd . ;W4 



The MUNICIPAL MUSEUM Painted sarcophagus of the Sacerdote Of the 
Magnate Other singular sepulchral monuments Kylix of Oltos and 
Euxitheos Kylix of Theseus and Ariadne Disk of the horned Dionysos 
MUSEO BRUSCHI Painted vases Bronzes Flesh-hooks Fragments of 
paintings from the Grotta Bruschi The Warrior's tomb Very archaic 
contents Pottery of Tarquinii Beautiful bronzes Jewellery Picliefs in 
ivory .............. 401 


.TiiK CITY. 

Origin of Tarquinii Legends of Tarchon and Tages Metropolitan claims of 
Tarquinii Legends of Dcmaratus and his son The Tarquins History of 
Tarquinii Scanty remains on the site Scenery The Acropolis and 
ancient walls Recent excavations Tomb on the site of the city Utter 
desolation of Tarquinii .......... 417 



Graviscas, the port of Tarquinii Its site disputed Le Saline Legend of St. 
Augustine Ruins on the right bank of the Marta Discovery of an ancient 
arch and embankment A port confessed Here stood the port of Tar- 
quinii Desolation of this coast ......... 4:?',) 

APPENDIX. The Via Aurelia from Pyrgi to Cosa ...... 4:>(J 



Vulci entirely of modern renown Montalto Regisvilla Ponte Sodo Ponte 
della Badia Magnificent bridge, draped with stalactites Date of the 
bridge and aqueduct Site of the ancient Vulci Its history almost a 
blank The Pelago The necropolis Its discovery accidental Lucien 
Bonaparte Tomb of the Sun and Moon The Campanari painted tomb 
The Francois painted tomb The Bonaparte excavations Barbarism of 
Italian excavators Necropolis of Vulci unlike that of Tarquinii The 
Cucumclla Its towers'and contents Analogy to the sepulchre of Alyattes 
at Sardis Other tumuli Warrior tombs Grotta d'Iside Egyptian 
articles in an Etruscan tomb Specimens of Etruscan female beauty 
Bronzes Painted pottery of Vulci Beautiful wine-jug .... 4.'!7 

APPENDIX. The Campanari painted tomb at Vulci ...... 4*55 



Hints to travellers Canino Lucien Bonaparte's villa at Musignano Cabinet 
of yases Bronzes Portraits of the Bonaparte family Interesting 
sarcophagi 4G7 

APPENDIX. Eyes on the painted vases Two sarcophagi representing nuptial 

scenes ..... 471 



Toscanella Accommodation for the traveller Campanari brothers Their 
garden, and model tomb Banqueting-hall of the dead Etruscan sar- 
cophagi explained Etruscan passion for jewellery Painted sculpture 
Occupants of the model sepulchre Tomb of the Calcarello Sarcophagus 
of the Niobids Sarcophagi of stone and earthenware Capital of Paris 
and Helen No history of this ancient town Extant vestiges Church of 
S. Pietro The necropolis of Tuscania Grotta Regina and its labyrinth 
Columbaria in the cliffs Campanari's excavations Origin of the Gre- 
gorian Museum Environs of Toscanella 473 

b 2 





Etruscan sites Piansano Ischia Italian squalor Farnese Castro 
Picturesque desolation Remains of antiquity Proverbial gloom Site of 
Statonia disputed Valcntano Lago Mczzano Lake of Statonia and its 
floating island 481) 



Phantom perils Pitigliano and its " Baby " An Etruscan site Walls, roads, 
and tombs Picturesque beauty of the ravines Popular legends Sorano 
Casa Farfanti Nox ambrosia Fiomantic scenery Scant antiquities 
The mirror of the Marchese Strozzi . 4% 


ETRUSCAN MIRROR (drawn on wood by G. Scharf ) from a cast of the original 












NOLAN AMPHORA . . . . G. D. CYJii 













ARCHAIC LEBES Mon. Instit. cxiii 



LATE OLPE, FROM ORVIETO Ann. Instit. cxiv 

(ENOCHOii cxiv 


<ENOCHOK, FROM NOLA From a Photograph cxv 


PROCHOOS Lenormant cxvi 








KARCHESIOX, OF BUCCHERO, CHiusi Des Vergers cxvii 

SKYPHOS cxviii 




DEPAS G. D. cxix 





KYLIX Mon. Inst. cxxi 


PELLA From a Photograph cxxi 













LATE LEKYTHOS, FROM BEXGHAZi .... From a Photograph cxxiv 



ARCHAIC ARYBALLOS From u Photograph cxxiv 









PYXIS Lenormant cxxvi 





<;I:OTTA CAM PAN A, VEII Campana :^1 


DITTO DITTO Micali i!5 






THE ANIO AND POXTE SALARO .... E. W. Cooke, E.A. 43 















MOULDED DOOR ..'... G. D. 180 

ROCK-HEWN TOMB, CASTEL D'ASSO . . . . . . Mon. Inst. 185 









TERRA-COTTA SARCOPHAGUS, CERVETiu . . . From a 1'hotograph 227 







DITTO Mon. Inst. 262 

DITTO Mon. Inst. 263 


TERRA-COTTA LARES FROM THIS TOMB . . . Museo Gregoriano 267 

PELASGIC ALPHABET AND PRIMEE . . . . . . Annali Inst. 271 




wood by G. Scharf ) G. D. 301 













HEAD OF A CITHARCEDUS. Annali Infit. 378 

HEAD OF A 8ALTATRIX Annali Ins'. 37! 




ETRUSCAX STRIGIL Mus. Gregor. 408 

KREAGR^:, OR FLESH-HOOKS Mils. Grcgor. 41 1 









BPOOX OF IVORY Micali 401 








"N PLAX OF VEII Adapted from Cell 1 

PLAX OF FIDEN.E From Cell 48 


PLAX OF FALERII From Canina 87 

PLAX OF FALLERI Adapted from Gell 105 




PLAX OF CJERE AXD ITS XECROPOLis . . . Adapted from Canina 235 

PLAX OF PYRGI F r0 m Canina 28!> 

/PLAX OF TAHQUIXII AXD ITS NECROPOLIS . Adapted from Westphal 304 

PLAX OF VULCI AXD ITS XECROPOLIS . . Adapted from Knapp 438 



ANTIQUARIAN research, partaking of the quickened energ} T of 
the nineteenth century, has of late years thrown great light on 
the early history of Italy. It has demonstrated, in confirmation 
of extant records, that ages before the straw hut of Romulus 
arose on the Palatine, there existed in that land a nation far 
advanced in civilization and refinement that Rome, before her 
intercourse with Greece, was indebted to ETRURIA for whatever 
tended to elevate and humanize her, for her chief lessons in art 
and science, for many of her political, and most of her religious 
and social institutions, for the conveniences and luxuries of peace, 
and the weapons and appliances of war for almost everything 
that tended to exalt her as a nation, save her stern virtues, her 
thirst of conquest, and her indomitable courage, which were 


peculiarly her own ; for verily her sons were mighty with little 
else but the sword 

Stolidum genus 
Bellipotentes sunt magi' quam sapientipotentes. 1 

The external history of the Etruscans, as there are no native 
chronicles extant, is to be gathered only from scattered notices in 
Greek and Roman writers. Their internal history, till of late 
years, was almost a blank, but by the continual accumulation of fresh 
facts it is now daily acquiring form and substance, and promises, 
ere long, to be as distinct and palpable as that of Egypt, Greece, 
or Home. For we already know the extent and peculiar nature 
of their civilization their social condition and modes of life 
their extended commerce and intercourse with far distant 
countries their religious creed, with its ceremonial observances 
in this life, and the joys and torments it set forth in a future 
state their popular traditions and a variety of customs, of all 
which, History, commonly so called, is either utterly silent, or 
makes but incidental mention, or gives notices imperfect and 
obscure. We can now enter into the inner life of the Etruscans, 
almost as fully as if they were living and moving before us, 
instead of having been extinct as a nation for more than two 
thousand years. "We can follow them from the cradle to the 
tomb, we see them in their national costume, varied according 
to age, sex, rank, and office, we learn the varying fashions of 
their dress, their personal adornments, and all the eccentricities 
of their toilet, we even become acquainted with their peculiar 
physiognomy, their individual portraiture, their names and family 
relationships, we know what houses they inhabited, what furni- 
ture they used, we behold them at their various avocations the 
princes in the council-chamber the augur, or priest, at the altar 
or in solemn procession the warrior in the battle-field, or 
returning home in triumph the judge on the bench the artisan 
at his handicraft the husbandman at the plough the slave at 
his daily toil, we see them at their marriages, in the bosom of 
their families, and at the festive board, reclining cup in hand 
amid the strains of music, and the time-beating feet of 
dancers, we see them at their favourite games and sports, 
encountering the wild boar, looking on or taking part in the 
horse or chariot-race, the wrestling-match, or other palsestric 

1 Old Ennius (Ann. VI. 10) said this of ceiving how much more applicable it was 
the JEacidre, or race of Pyrrhus, not per- to the Romans. 


exercises, we behold them stretched on the death-bed the last 
rites performed \)y mourning relatives the funeral procession 
their bodies laid in the tomb and solemn festivals held in their 
honour. Nor even here do we lose sight of them, but we follow 
their souls to the other world perceive them in the hands of good 
or evil spirits conducted to the judgment-seat, and in the enjoy- 
ment of bliss, or suffering the punishment of the damned. 

We are indebted for most of this knowledge, not to musty 
records drawn from the oblivion of centuries, but to monumental 
remains purer founts of historical truth landmarks which, 
even when few and far between, are the surest guides across the 
expanse of distant ages to the monuments which are still extant 
on the sites of the ancient Cities of Etruria, or have been drawn 
from their Cemeteries, and are stored in the museums of Italy 
and of Europe. 

The internal history of Etruria is written on the mighty Avails 
of her cities, and on other architectural monuments, on her 
roads, her sewers, her tunnels, but above all in her sepulchres ; it 
is to be read on graven rocks, and on the painted Avails of tombs ; 
but its chief chronicles are inscribed on stela or tombstones, on 
sarcophagi and cinerary urns, on vases and goblets, on mirrors, 
and other articles in bronze, and a thousand et cetera of personal 
adornment and of domestic and Avarlike furniture all found 
Avithin the tombs of a people long passed awa} r , and AA'hose exist- 
ence Avas till of late remembered by feAv but the traveller or the 
student of classical lore. It Avas the great reverence for the dead 
and the firm belief in a future life, which the Etruscans possessed 
in common Avith most other nations of antiquity, that prompted 
them to store their tombs Avith these rich and varied sepulchral 
treasures, which unveil to us of the nineteenth century the arcana 
of their inner life, almost as fully as though a second Pompeii 
had been disinterred in the heart of Etruria ; going far to com- 
pensate us for the loss of the native annals of the country, 3 of the 
chronicles of Theophrastus, 3 and Verrius Flaccus, 4 and the twenty 
books of its history by the Emperor Claudius. 5 

<; Parian le tombe ove la Storia e muta." 

Etruria truly illustrates the remark, that "the history of an ancient 
people must be sought in its sepulchres." 

2 Varro, ap. Censorin. de Die Natali, Miiller, Etrusker, I. pp. 2, 197. 
XVII. 6. ' " Interp. Mn. X. 183, 198, ed. Mai. 

a Schol. Pindar. Pyth. II. 3, cited by 5 Suetonius, Claud. 42. Aristotle also 


The object of this work is not to collect the disjecta membra 
of Etruscan history, and form them into a whole, though it 
were possible to breathe into it fresh spirit and life from the 
eloquent monuments 'that recent researches have brought to light; 
it is not to build up from these monuments any theory on the 
origin of this singular people, on the character of their language, 
or on the peculiar nature of their civilization, it is simply to set 
before the reader a mass of facts relative to Etruscan remains, 
and particularly to afford the traveller who would visit the Cities 
and Cemeteries of Etruria such information as may prove of 
service, by indicating precisely what is now to be found on each 
site, whether local monuments, or those portable relics which 
exist in public museums, or in the hands of private collectors. 

Before entering, however, on the consideration of the local 
antiquities of Etruria, it is advisable to take a general view of her 
geographical position and physical features, as well as to give a 
slight sketch of her civilization. 

It is difficult to define with precision the limits of a state, 
which existed at so early a period as Etruria, ages before any 
extant chronicles were written of which but scanty records 
have come down to us, and whose boundaries must have varied 
during her frequent struggles with her warlike neighbours. 

We are told that in very early times the dominion of Etruria 
embraced the greater part of Italy, 6 extending over the plains of 
Lombardy to the Alps on the one, hand, 7 and to Vesuvius and the 
Gulf of Salerno on the other ; 8 stretching also across the penin- 
sula from the Tyrrhene to the Adriatic Sea, 9 and comprising 
the large islands off her western shores. 1 

wrote on the laws of the Etruscans. Athen. Osci, the original inhabitants ; and then 

Deipn. I. cap. 42. founded Capua and Nola. If Velleius 

6 In Tuscoruiii jure pene omnis Italia Paterculus (I. 7) may be credited, this was 
fucrat Serv. ad Virg. 11. XI. 567; X. 17 years before the foundation of Rome. 
145 ; Liv. V. 33. Cato (ap. eund. ) makes it as late as 471 B.C. 

7 Usque ad Alpes tenuere. Liv. loc. Liv. IV. 37 ; Polyb. II. 17; Mela, II. 4; 
cit. ; Polyb. II. 17 ; Diodor. Sic. XIV. Strabo, V. pp. 242, 247 ; Plin. III. 9 ; 
p. 321, ed. Rhod. ; Scylax, Periplus, cited Serv. ad Virg. Georg. II. 533. 

by Miiller, Etrusk. einl. 3, 9 ; Justin. XX. 9 Liv. V. 33, 54 ; Plut. Camill. 16. The 

5. Catullus (XXXI. 13) calls the Benacus, Adriatic received its name from the Etrus- 

iiow the Lago di Garda, a Lydian, i.e., an can town of Atria. Plin. III. 20 ; Strabo, 

Etruscan, lake. V. p. 214. 

" The Etruscans at one time possessed l Elba, called Ilva by the Romans, and 

the land of the Volsci, and all Campania, JEthalia or .Ethale by the Greeks, belonged 

as far as the Silarus in the Gulf of Psestum, to Etruria, for Virgil (.En. X. 173) classes it 

or, as one account states, as far as the with the Etruscan states which sent assist- 

Ricilian sea. They took this land from the ance to .Eneas. Diodorus, XI. p. 67 ; 

Greek colonists, who had driven out the Pseudo- Aristotle, de Mirab. Auscult. c. 


This wide territory was divided into three grand districts 
that in the centre, which may be termed Etruria Proper ; that 
to the north, or Etruria Circumpadana ; and that to the south, 
or Etruria Campaniana. And each of these regions was divided 
into Twelve States, each represented by a city, 2 as in Greece, 

95 ; Hecat. ap. Steph. sul voce. There was 
a close connection between it and the 
neighbouring maritime city of Populonia ; 
and it is very probable that it was a 
possession of that city, unless both were 
under the sway of Yolaterrce. See Vol. II. 
pp. 138, 215. 

Corsica, the Cyrnus of the Greeks, was 
originally colonised by the Phocieans, who 
were driven out by the Etruscans, says 
Diodorus (V. p. 295, cf. XI. p. 67), by 
the Etruscans and Carthaginians combined, 
according to Herodotus (I. 166), and the 
island probably remained in the hands of 
the former to the last days of their in- 
dependence, when it passed under the 
dominion of Carthage. Kallimachos, Delos, 
19, cited by Miiller, einl. 4, 6. It would 
seem, however, that Corsica was never 
fully occupied by the Etruscans, for it was 
a wild, forest-grown, little-populated land, 
and its inhabitants had the savage manners 
of a primitive state of society (Strabo, V. 
p. 224 ; Diodor. V. p. 295 ; Seneca, Con- 
sol, ad Helv. c. 6 ; Theophrast. Hist. 
Plant. V. 8); and it is very likely, as 
Muller conjectures, that it was a mere nest 
of pirates. 

That Sardinia was a possession of the 
Etruscans is not so clear. The earliest 
settlers were Libyans, Greeks, Iberians, 
and Trojans, followed by the Carthaginians, 
about the middle of the third century of 
Kome. Strabo (V. p. 225) is the only 
ancient writer who mentions its being 
under Etruscan domination, and he says it 
was subject to the Tyrrheni, prior to the 
Carthaginian rule. By these Tyrrhenes 
Muller (Etrusk. einl. 4, 7) thinks Strabo 
meant Etruscans, not Pelasgi, because he 
always made a distinction between these 
races ; but Niebuhr (I. p. 127, Engl. trans.) 
maintains that they were unquestionably 

2 The Twelve Cities of Etruria Proper 
will be presently mentioned. 

In Etruria Circumpadana there were also 
Twelve cities, founded as colonies by the 
Twelve of Etniria Proper. Liv. V. 33; 

Serv. ad Virg. .En. X. 202. The capital 
is said by Virgil to have been MANTUA 
(.En. X. 203 ; Serv. ad loc.), though 
Pliny, with more probability, assigns that 
honour to FELSINA, now Bologna. H. N. 
III. 20. A third city was MELPUM, of 
which we know no more than that it stood 
north of the Po, was renowned for its 
wealth, and was destroyed by the Gauls on 
the same day that Camillus captured Veii. 
Corn. Nepos, ap. Plin. III. 21. ATRIA, 
or Adria, was a noble city and port of the 
Etruscans, and gave its name to the 
Adriatic Sea. Plin. III. 20 ; Liv. V. 33 ; 
Strabo, V. p. 214 ; Pint. Camill. 16 ; 
Varro, L. L. V. 161 ; Fest. v. Atrium. 
And SPINA, at the southern mouth of the 
Po, though called an ancient Greek city by 
Strabo (loc. cit. ) and Scylax (Geog. Min. I.), 
was certainly a Pelasgic settlement (Dion. 
Hal. I. c. 18, 28), and probably also Etrus- 
can. Niebuhr, I. p. 36 ; Muller, Etrusk. 
einl. 3, 4. Muller thinks, from Strabo's 
mention of it, that RAVENNA was an Etrus- 
can town, and its name is certainly sugges- 
tive of such an origin. But Strabo (V. 
p. 213) says it was founded by Thessalians, 
i.e., Pelasgians, who, on being attacked by 
the Etruscans, allied themselves with the 
Umbri, who obtained possession of the city, 
while the Thessalians returned home. 
CUPRA, in Picenum, was also probably 
Etruscan, for its temple was built by that 
people, and named after their goddess. 
Cupra, or Juno. Strabo, V. p. 241. And 
although PARJIA and MUTINA (Modena) are 
not mentioned in history as Etruscan towns, 
we are justified in regarding them as of 
that antiquity, by the evidence of monu- 
ments found in their territory, which Livy 
tells us once belonged to the Etruscans. 
Liv. XXXIX. 55. We know the names of 
no other Etruscan cities north of the Apen- 
nines, though Plutarch (Camill. 16) asserts 
that there were eighteen cities of wealth 
and importance in that region. 

There were Twelve chief cities also in 
Etruria Campaniana. Liv. V. 33 ; Strabo, 
Y. p. 242. The metropolis was CAPUA, 


where Athens, Sparta, Argos, Thebes or in Italy of the middle 
ages, where Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Florence were representatives 
of so many independent, sovereign states, possessed of extensive 

Such seems to have been the extent of Etruria in the time of 
Tarquinius Priscus, when she gave a dynasty to Rome, probably 
as to a conquered city. But ere long the Gauls on the north and 
east, 3 the Sabines, Saninites, and Greek colonists on the south, 4 
succeeded in compressing this wide-spread dominion into the 
comparatively narrow limits of the central region. This may be 
called Etruria Proper, because it was the peculiar seat of the 
Etruscan power the mother-country whence the adjoining 
districts were conquered or colonised the source where the 
political and religious system of the nation took its rise the 
region where the power of Etruria continued to flourish long 
after it had been extinguished in the rest of Italy, and where the 
name, religion, language and customs of the people were pre- 
served for ages after they had lost their political independence, 
and had been absorbed in the world- wide dominion of Home. 

It is of Etruria Proper that I propose to treat in the following 

It was still an extensive region of the Italian peninsula, com- 
prehending almost the whole of modern Tuscany, the Duchy of 
Lucca, and the Transtiberine portion of the Papal State ; being 
bounded on the north by the Apennines and the river Magra, on 
the east by the Tiber, on the west and south by the Mediter- 
ranean. This region was intersected by several ranges of moun- 
tains, lateral branches or offsets of the great spine-bone of the 

built by the Etruscans 800 years before II. 2, 2 ; Steph. Byz. s. r. ~2,vptv-riov) ; ar.d 

Christ, anil called by them Viilturnuni Jliiller would include Salernum. POSEI- 

(Strabo, loc. cit. ; Liv. IV. 37 ; V. Paterc. DONIA, or P.ESTCM, also appears at one 

I. 7 ; Mela, II. 4), though Servius (ad time to have been possessed by the Etrus- 

JEn. X. 145) derives its name from Cnpys, cans, for Aristoxenus (ap. Athen. XIV. 

which signified a "falcon" in Etruscan. 31) says, that though of Greek origin, the 

NOLA also was of Etruscan foundation. inhabitants had been completely barbarized 

Veil. Pater, loc. cit. DIC.EARCHIA, orPuteoli by the Etruscans or Romans, so as to have 

(Pausan. VIII. 7 ; Steph. Byz. v. Tlorio\oi), changed their language and all their other 

POMPEII, HERCULANEUM (Strabo, V. p. 247), customs, retaining only one Greek festival, 

and XUCERIA (Philistos, cited by Miiller, in which they annually lamented their 

einl. 4, 2) were all once possessed by degeneracy. 

the Etruscans ; and MARCINA in the 3 Liv. V. 35 ; XXXVII. 57 ; Polyb. II. 

Gulf of Pffistum, supposed to be Vietri, 17 ; Diodor. Sic. XIV. p. 321 ; Plin. III. 

was built by them. Strabo, V. p. 251. 19 ; Pint. Camill.16 ; Isidor. Orig. XV. 1. 
SUHREXTUM, also, from the temple of the 4 Liv. IV. 37 ; Strabo, V. p. 247 ; Plin. 

Etruscan Minerva on its promontory, must III. 9 ; Dionys. Hal. VII. p. 420, ct seq. 
have belonged to that people (Stat. Sylv. 


peninsula in the northern part in long chains, stretching in 
various directions in the south, of inferior altitude, lying in 
detached masses, and separated, not by mere valleys, but by 
vast plains or table-lands. The geology of the two districts 
differs as widely as their superficial features. In the northern, 
the higher mountains, like the great chain of the Apennines, are 
chiefly composed of secondary limestone, and attain a con- 
siderable altitude ; the lower are formed of sandstone or marl. 
The southern district shows on every hand traces of volcanic 
action in the abundance of hot springs and sulphureous waters 
in wide plains of tufo and other igneous deposits, of even later 
date than the tertiary formations and in the mountains which 
are chiefly of the same material, with beds of lava, basalt, or 
scoriae, and which have been themselves volcanoes, their craters, 
extinct long before the days of history, being now the beds of 
beautiful lakes. Here and there, however, in this southern 
region, are heights of limestone ; now, like Soracte, rearing their 
craggy peaks from the wide bosom of the volcanic plain; now, 
stretching in a continuous range along the coast. On these 
physical differences depend many of the characteristic features of 
northern and southern Etruria. The line of demarcation between 
these two great districts of Etruria is almost that which till 
lately was the frontier between the Tuscan and Koman States 
i. e., from Cosa north-eastward to Acquapendente, and thence 
following the course of the Paglia till it mingles with the Tiber, 
near Orvieto. 

Of the Twelve Cities or States of Etruria Proper, no complete 
list is given by the ancients, but it is not difficult in most 
instances to gather from their statements, which were the chief 
in the land. Foremost among them was TARQUINII, where the 
national polity, civil and religious, took its rise. This city was 
in the southern division of the land ; so also were YEII and 
FALERIT, long the antagonists, with CJ:RE, the ally, of Itome ; 
and VOLSINII, one of the last to be subdued. YULCI also was 
probably of the number. In the northern region were VETU- 
LONIA and perhaps RUSELLJE near the coast, 3 CLUSIUM and ARRE- 
TIUM in the vale of the Clanis, and CORTONA and PERUSIA on 
the heights near the Thrasymene : while VOLATERR.F, stood 

Rusellse is generally classed among the the preference to the latter, whose claims 

Twelve, but the question resolves itself rest on monumental, not on historical evi- 

into the comparative claims of that city dence. 
and of Yulci, and I am inclined to give 


apart and ruled over a wide tract in the far north. 6 Beside 
these, there were many other towns, renowned in history, or 
remarkable for their massive fortifications still extant, for their 
singular tombs, or for the wonderful treasures of their sepulchral 
furniture, together with numerous castles and villages scattered 
over the country, many of which will be described in the course 
of this work. 

Etruria was of old densely populated, not only in those parts 
which are still inhabited, but also, as is proved by remains of 
cities and cemeteries, in tracts now desolated by malaria, and 
relapsed into the desert ; and what is now the fen or the jungle, 
the haunt of the wild-boar, the buffalo, the fox, and the noxious 
reptile, where man often dreads to stay his steps, and hurries 
away as from a plague-stricken land 

Rus vacuum, quod non habitet, nisi nocte coacta, 

of old yielded rich harvests of corn, wine, and oil, 7 and contained 
numerous cities, mighty, and opulent, into whose laps commerce 
poured the treasures of the East, and the more precious produce 
of Hellenic genius. Most of these ancient sites are now without 
a habitant, furrowed yearly by the plough, or forsaken as unpro- 
fitable wildernesses ; and such as are still occupied, are, with few 
exceptions, mere phantoms of their pristine greatness mean 
villages in the place of populous cities. On every hand are 
traces of bygone civilization, inferior in quality, no doubt, to that 
which at present exists, but much wider in extent, and exerting 
far greater influence on the neighbouring nations, and on the 
destinies of the world. 

6 The claims of these several cities will tra, Vulci, and Salpinum whose claims,, 
be discussed, when they are treated of he thinks, must be admitted, and suggests 
respectively. The above is the classifica- that they may have held that rank at dif- 
tion which appears to me to be sanctioned by ferent periods, or have been associated re- 
ancient writers ; it agrees, save in the sub- spectively with some one of the rest. Noel 
stitution of Vulci for Rusellae, with that of des Vergers ranks both Vulci and Ruselhe 
Cluver (Ital. Ant. II. p. 453), and Cramer among the Twelve, and excludes Falerii. 
(Anc. Italy, I.). Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. Etrurie et les Etrusques, I. p. 203. 

I. p. 140) adopts it with the exception of ~> The fertility of Etruria was renowned 
Falerii, for which he offers no substitute. of old. Diodorus (V. p. 316) says it was. 
Niebuhr (I. p. 118, et seq.) admits the second to that of no other land. Liv. IX. 
claims of all, save Falerii and Cortona, 3ti ; XXII. 3 ; Varro, Re Rust. I. 9, 44. 
and hesitates to supply the void with The Romans, even in very early times, 
Fasulaj, Cosa, or Capena. Miiller (Etrusk. used to receive corn from Etruria, in times- 

II. 1, 2 ; 1, 3), to those given in the text, of famine. Liv. II. 34 ; IV. 12, 13, 25, 
adds five Pisa?, Fiesulas, Saturnia or Gale- 52. 


The sites of the cities varied according to the nature of the 
.ground. In the volcanic district, Avhere they were most thickly 
set, they stood on the level of the plains, yet were not unpro- 
tected hy nature, these plains or rather table-lands being every- 
where intersected by ravines, the cleavings of the earth under 
volcanic action, which form natural fosses of great depth round 
the cliff-bound islands or promontories on which the towns were 
built. Such was the situation of A'eii, Caere, Falerii, Sutrium, 
mid other cities of historical renown. The favourite position was 
-on a tongue of land at the junction of two of these ravines. In 
the northern district the cities stood in more commanding 
situations, on isolated hills ; but never on the summits of scarcely 
accessible mountains, like many a Cyclopean town of Central 
Italy, which 

" Like an eagle's nest, hangs on the crest 
Of purple Apennine.' ' 

"Low ground, without any natural strength of site, Avas alwa} r s 
avoided, though a few towns, as Luna, Pisa?, Graviscre, Pyrgi, for 
maritime and commercial purposes, stood on the very level of the 

The position of the cities of Etruria is in some measure a key 
to her civilization and political condition. s Had they been on 
mountain-tops, we might have inferred a state of societ}- little 
removed from barbarism, in which there was no security or 
.confidence between the several communities. Had they stood on 
the unbroken level of the plains, we should have seen in them 
i\\ index to an amount of internal security, such as nowhere 
existed in those early times. Yet is their medium position not 
inconsistent with a considerable degree of civilization, and a 
generally peaceable state of society. They are not such sites as 
were selected in later times, especially by the Romans ; but it should 
be borne in mind, that the political constitution of early Italy, as 
of Greece, was entirely municipal that cities were states, and 
citizens soldiers and fortifications were as indispensable to the 
cities of old, as standing armies and fleets are deemed to be to 
the states of Modern Europe. The Etruscans especially appear 
to have trusted more to their ramparts than to the valour of their 

Before we consider the institutions of Etruria, it may be well 

8 StraLo (XIII. p. 592') cites Plato as of civilization, illustrating this view l>y tlie 
pointing out the position of cities as tests successive cities of the Troad. 

VOL. I. C 


to say a word on the origin of the people, and the source of their 

It must be remarked, that the people known to the Romans 
as Etruscans were not the original inhabitants of the land, but 
a mixed race, composed partly of the earlier occupants, partly 
of a people of foreign origin, who became dominant by right of 
conquest, and engrafted their peculiar civilization on that pre- 
viously existing in the land. All history concurs in representing 
the earliest occupants to have been Siculi, or Umbri, two of the 
most ancient races of Italy, little removed, it is probable, from 
barbarism, though not nomade, but dwelling in towns. Then a 
people of Greek race from Thessaly, the Pelasgi, entered Italy at 
the head of the Adriatic, and crossing the Apennines, and allying 
themselves with the Aborigines, or mountaineers, took possession 
of Etruria, driving out the earlier inhabitants, raised towns and 
fortified them with mighty \valls, and long ruled supreme, till 
they were in turn conquered by a third race, called by the Greeks 
Tyrrheni, or Tyrseni, by the Romans Etrusci, Tusci, or Thusci, 9 
and by themselves, Rasena, 1 who are supposed to have established 
their power in the land about 290 years before the foundation of 
Rome, or 1044 before Christ. 2 

The threads of the histoiy, however, of these races are so 
entangled, as to defy every attempt at unravelment ; and the 
confusion is increased by the indiscriminate application of the 
word Tyrrheni, which was used by the ancients as a synonym, 
sometimes of Pelasgi, sometimes of Etrusci. 

Amid this confusion, two facts stand out with prominence. 
First that the land was inhabited before the Etruscans, pro- 

9 Plin. III. 8, 19 ; Dion. Hal. I. c. 30. raseni. Mannert. Geog. p. 308 ; Cramer, 

ct'. Herod. I. 94. They were called Tyrseni, I. p. 161. The name "Rasna," or 

it is said, from the fortifications rvpa-fts "Resna," is sometimes met with on the 

they were the first to raise in Italy (Dion. sepulchral urns of Etmria. A chain of 

Hal. I. loc. cit. ); and Tusci, orThusci, from mountains in Tuscany, not far from Arezzo, 

their frequent sacrifices airb rov 6veiv is said to have retained the name of Rasena 

Serv. ad Virg. .En. II. 781 ; X. 164 ; to the present day. Ann. List. 1856, 

Win. III. 8 ; cf. Fest. v. Tuscos. Etruria p. 77. 

is said to be derived from eVepoj and 'dpos, ~ This is the period which Muller(Etrusk. 

because it lay beyond the Tiber. Serv. einl. 2, 2 ; IV. 7, 8) considers the com- 

ad JEn. XI. 598. But the etymologies of mencement of the Etruscan era, referred 

the Romans are generally forced, and rarely to by Censorinus, de Die Natali, XVII. 

to be depended on. Thuscia is a late word, Helbig agrees with him. Ann. Inst. 1876, 

not to be found in the earlier writers. p. 227, ct seq. Kiebuhr (I. p. 138), how- 

1 Dion. Hal. I. c. 30. Some writers ever, would carry the first Etruscan sceculum 

take Rasena to be but a form of Tyrseni, as far back as 434 years before the founda- 

either a corruption from it, as Tyr seni= tion of Rome, or to 1188 B.C. 
Ra seni ; or a contraction of it, as Ty 


perly so called, took possession of it. And secondly that the 
Etruscans came from abroad. From what country, however, is 
a problem as much disputed as any in the whole compass of 
classical inquiry. 

It is not compatible with the object of this work to enter full}' 
into this question, yet it cannot be passed by in silence. To 
guide us, we have data of two kinds the records of the ancients, 
and the extant monuments of the Etruscans. The native annals, 
which may be presumed to have spoken explicitly on this point, 
have not come down to us, and we have only the testimony of 
Greek and Roman writers. The concurrent voice of these 
historians and geographers, philosophers and poets with one 
solitary exception, marks the Etruscans as a tribe of Lyclians, 
who, leaving their native land on account of a protracted famine, 
settled in this part of Italy. 3 The dissentient voice, however, is 
of great importance that of Dionysius of Halicarnassus one of 
the most accurate and diligent antiquaries of his times, and an 
authority considered by many as sufficient to outweigh the vast 
body of opposing evidence. His objections are two-fold. First 
that Xanthus, an early native historian of Lydia, well versed in 
the ancient history of his land, makes no mention of any such 
emigration, and never speaks of the Etruscans as a colony from 
Lydia. Secondly that neither in language, religion, laws, nor 
customs, was there any similarity between the Lydians and 
Etruscans i.e. as they existed in his day. He consequently 
maintained that the Etruscans were autochthons a view not 
held by any other ancient writer whose works have come down to 

3 "The father of history " is the first continued to exist, but at length, their 

that records this tradition. Herod. I. 94. condition being in no way improved, it was 

It is mentioned or alluded to also by Strabo. agreed that half the nation should emigrate, 

Plutarch, and Lycophron among the Greeks, under the conduct of Tyrrhenus, the king's 

and by a crowd of Roman writers Cicero, son. After various wanderings, they 

Pliny, Seneca, Valerius Maximus, Tacitus, reached the coast of Umbria, and there 

Paterculus, Appian, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, established themselves, exchanging the 

Catullus, Silius Italicus, Statius, Tertul- name of Lydians for that of Tyrrhenians, 

lian, Festus, Servius, Justin, and Rutilius. in honour of their leader. A more pro- 

The tradition as related by Herodotus, bable version of this emigration is given 

echoed by Servius, was this : In the by Anticleides, an Athenian historian (ap. 

reign of Atys there was a protracted Strab. V. p. 221), who states that the 

famine in Lydia ; and in order to forget Pelasgi first colonized about Leinnos and 

their misery the people had recourse to Imbros ; and then some of them joined 

games and amusements, and invented dice, Tyrrhenus the Lydian in his emigration to 

and ball, the pipes and the trumpet ; Italy. This account is nearly in accordance 

abstaining from food on alternate days with that given by Plutarch (Romulus, 2\ 

when they gave themselves up to these new that the Tyrrheni passed originally 

diversions. For eighteen years they thus Thessaly to Lydia, and thence to Italy. 

c 2 


us, yet suggested to him by the fsict that they were unlike every 
other race in language, manners, and customs. 4 This view has 
been adopted by Micali, who may be suspected of national par- 
tialities, when he attempts to prove that the early civilization of 
Italy was indigenous. 5 

A different opinion was held by Niebuhr that the Etruscans 
were a northern tribe who invaded Italy from the Rluetian Alps, 
and conquered the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi, the earlier possessors of 
the land, that the true Etruscans were these Rhretian invaders, 
and that the term Tyrrheni was strictly applicable only to the 
Pelasgic, or subject part of the population. This theory is 
worthy of respect, as coming from such a source, but it is directly 
opposed to the statements of ancient writers. 6 Nor does the 
well-known fact that monuments like the Etruscan, and inscrip- 
tions in a character very similar, have been found among the 
Rhretian and Xoric Alps, come to its aid. For though we are 
told by Livy and others, that the Etruscans occupied lihretia, it 
was only when they had been driven by the Gauls from their 
settlements in the plains of the Po. All history concurs in 
marking the emigration to have been from the south northwards, 
instead of the contrary. 7 The subjoined specimen of Ehreto- 
Etruscan art connrms Livy's testimony as to the degeneracy and 
semi-barbarism of these Etruscan emigrants. 8 

4 Dion. Hal. I. c. 28, 30. similar to those of Yoltcrra, and unlike the: 

5 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. I. cap. VII. works of the Gauls or Romans. 

6 Niebuhr, I. p. 110, et *e<j. So great ' Livy distinctly asserts the emigration 
an authority naturally takes in its train a to have been from the plains to the 
crowd of German writers, not unwilling to mountains, on the invasion of the Po-vale 
adopt an opinion so flattering to the rutcr- by the Gauls ; and he, as a native of 
hind. The view, however, of a Khtetian Padua, speaks with the more authority on 
origin of the Etruscan race had been pro- this subject. Alpinis quoque ea gentibus 
viously held by Freret, and by Heyne. It hand clubie origo est, maxime Rhretis, quos 
is founded on the resemblance of the name loca ipsa efferarunt, ne quid ex antiquo 
''Rasena/' which the Etruscans gave them- pnwter sonum linguae, nee eum incorrup- 
selves, to Rhaeti on the statement of the turn, retinerent. V. 33. He also states 
ancients that the Rhti were of Etruscan that the Twelve Etruscan cities of Northern 
origin on the analogy certain dialects now Ktruria were founded subsequently to those 
spoken in these regions bear to the Etrus- of Etruria Proper, being so many colonies 
can and on the fact that no earlier popu- of the original Twelve cities. Uha-tos 
lation than the Etruscan is recorded to Tlitiscorum prolem arbitrantur, a Gallis 
have inhabited those mountains. pulsos, duce Rharto. Plin. Nat. Hist. III. 

Niebuhr (II. p. 525) even supposes that 24. Galli . . . sedibus Tuscos expulerunt. 

at one time the Elruscan race extended Tusci quoque duce Rhscto, avitis sedibus 

north of the Alps into Alsace and the plains amissis, Alpes occupavere ; et ex nomine 

of Germany, and cites, in confirmation of ducisgenteslthaetorumcondiderunt. Justin, 

his view, the walls on Mont Sainte Odilie, XX. 5. 
in the former country, which are very 8 These figures form part of a procession 



A modification of Niebuhr's view was held by Otfried Muller 
that the later element in the Etruscan nation was from Lydia, 
yet composed not of natives, but of Tyrrhene-Pelasgl who had 
settled on the coasts of Asia Minor ; and that the earlier lords of 
the land were the Rasena, from the mountains of llluetia, who 


in relief found, in 1845, at Ilatrai, a 
village on the northern slope of Mount 
Brenner, in the Tyrol. Besides this were 
found other singular reliefs, one of which 
lias pugilists contending with the cevtiis, 
very like the scenes in the tombs at Chiusi 
and Tarquinii ; pieces of amber and coral, 
libulce and rings of bronze. At Sonnen- 
bnrg, 12 miles distant, many similar relics 
were in 1844 brought to light ; together 
with cinerary urns of black ware, and 
knives of bronze. A few years previous, 
in a sepulchre at Zilli, in the ancient Xori- 
cnm, were found two bronze casques, with 
inscriptions in a character very like the 
Etruscan. And in the valley of Cembra, 
!t miles from Trent iu the Tyrol, a bronze 
si tula, or bucket, was discovered in 1828, 
bearing five inscriptions in a similar cha- 
racter ; and it is remarkable that it was 
found near the torrent Lavis, and that that 
very word occurs in one of the inscriptions. 

(iiovanelli, Pension intorno ai Kezi, ed 
una inscrizione Rezio-Etmsca : Le antichit?!, 
iiezio-Etrusche scoperte Presso Matrai ; 
Micali, Monument! Inediti, p. 331, et seq. 
tav. 53. At Vadena, iu the Tyrol, Etrus- 
can tombs have been found, one bearing 
an Etruscan inscription graven on its lid. 
Ann. Inst. 1856, pp. 76-78. Relics of 
very similar character, however, are dis- 
covered in districts never possessed by the 
Etruscans. Such are the Euganean inscrip- 
tions found in the Venetian territory, in 
that corner of Italy which Livy tells us 
never belonged to the Etruscans. Liv. V. 
33. Such are the helmets \\ith similar 
inscriptions, discovered in 1812 between 
Marburg and Radkersburg . in Styria. 
Micali, Mon. Ined. loc. cit. And such is 
the gold torque, also with an. Eugauean 
inscription, found in 1835 in Wallachia. 
Micali, op. cit. p. 337 ; Bull. Inst. 1843 
p. 93. But at Castel Yetro, near Modena 

xxxviii OriNIOXS OF LEP3ITJS, [rNTRODUc-nox. 

driving back the Umbrians, and uniting with the Tyrrheni on 
the Tarquinian coast, formed tlie Etruscan race. 9 

A more recent opinion is that of Lepsius, who utterly rejects 
the Rhffitian theory of Niebuhr and Miiller, pronouncing it most 
improbable that the arts and sciences, the literature and religious 
discipline, the refined civilization of Etruria, originated with a 
rude race of mountaineers from the Tyrol ; although they may 
well have been introduced by the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi. He also 
rejects the Lydian tradition of Herodotus, chiefly on the ground 
of the silence of Xanthus, which he regards as conclusive evidence 
against it. His theory is that the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi, leaving 
Thessaly, entered Italy at the head of the Adriatic, made their 
first establishments at the mouths of the Po, eventually crossed 
the Apennines, and occupied Etruria, after conquering the Um- 
brians w r ho then possessed it, from whom they took three 
hundred cities. He thinks there was no subsequent occupation 
of the land by any foreign people, but that the Umbrians continued 
to inhabit it as a subject race, like the Saxons in England after 
the Norman conquest, and that this mixture of Umbrians with 
Pelasgians, produced what is known as the Etruscan nation. 1 

Mommsen, the historian of Rome, rejects alike the Lydian 
origin of the Etruscans, and their identity with the Pelasgi, or 
the Tyrrhene pirates of the .Egsean seas, with whom they had 

on the other hand, a bronze mirror lias an Etruscan sepulchral inscription has been 

been found with figures precisely in the found. Lull. Inst. 1871, pp. 214-219. At 

same style as those of llhsetia, and appa- Verona, at Ravenna, at Lusca, near Ales- 

rently by the same artist. Cavedoni, Ann. sandriain Piedmont, and at Adria, genuine 

Inst. 1842, p. 67, et seq. tav. d'Agg. H. Etruscan inscriptions have been found 

In this northern district of Italy many (Lanzi. II. p. 649 ; Miiller, I. pp. 140, 

relics have been found which substantiate 144, 164), and at the last-named place 

its recorded possession by the Etruscans. painted vases of great Ixjauty, like those 

Of the recent discoveries at Bologna, and of Vulci and other cemeteries of Central 

at Marzabotto in its neighbourhood, a de- Etruria, have been brought to light in 

tailed account is given in Chapter LXIV. abundance. Lull. Inst. 1834, pp. 135, 

of this work. At Castel Vetro, and Savig- 142 ; Micali, Mon. Ined. pp. 279-297, tav. 

nano, near Modena, a number of tombs 45, 46. In the hills above Rimini also, 

have been opened with similar furniture. tombs very like the Etruscan have been dis- 

Bull. Inst. 1841, pp. 75-79; 1868, p. 209; covered. Torini, I. p. 241. 

Ann. Inst. loc.cit. In the neighbourhood of 9 Miiller, Etrusk. einl. 2, 4-12; 3, 10. 

Parma numerous objects have been found This opinion is in part favoured by Plutarch 

proving the existence of the same race in (Ronml. c. 2), who says the Tyrrheni passed 

that region in very early times. Bull. from Thessaly to Lydia, and from Lydia 

Inst. 1875, pp. 140-149. At Arano and to Italy. Cf. Strab. V. p. 221. 

Rovio, in the district of Lugano, at Men- 1 Lepsius, Ueber die Tyrrhenischen- 

drisio, Ligurno, Sesto Calende, and in the Pelasger in Etrurien. Nearly the same 

Canton Ticino, many Etruscan antiquities view was held by the late Mr. Millingen, 

have been discovered. Bull. Inst. 1875, Trans. Roy. Soc. Literat. II. 1834. Ann. 

pp. 200-203. At Trevisio in the Valtelline, Inst. 1 834, p. 286. 


nothing whatever in common. He ascribes the confusion between 
these people, made by the ancients as well as by the moderns, to 
the accidental resemblance between the names Tursenni (Etrus- 
cans), and the Torrhcbi, or Tyrrhani, of Lydia, which resemblance 
seems to him the only foundation for the Lydian tradition of 
Herodotus. As the principal cities of Etruria were all in the 
interior (?), and as the movements of the Etruscans in historic 
times were always from north to south (?), he thinks the Etrus- 
cans must have reached the peninsula by land, and that their 
origin must be sought in the north or west of Italy, and pro- 
bably in the Rhaetian Alps, because the earliest inhabitants of 
that mountainous region spoke Etruscan even in historic times. 2 

It would take too long to record all the opinions and shades of 
opinion held on this intricate subject. Suffice it to say that the 
origin of the Etruscans has been assigned to the Greeks to the 
Egyptians the Phoenicians the Canaanites the Libyans the 
Tartars the Armenians the Cantabrians or Basques the 
Goths the Celts, an old theory, revived in our own days by Sir 
William Betham, who fraternises them with the Irish and to 
the Hyksos, or Shepherd-Kings of Egypt. I know not if they 
have been taken for the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, but, cartes, a 
very pretty theory might be set up to that effect, and supported 
by arguments which Avould appear all-cogent to every one who 
swears by Coningsby. 3 

The reader, when he perceives how many-sided is this 
question, will surely thank me for not leading him deeply into 
it, yet may hardly like to be left among this chaos of opinions 
without a guiding hand. Amid the clash and conflict of such a 
host of combatants, who shall attempt to establish harmony ? 
and where there are "giants in the land," who shall hope to 
prevail against them ? 

No one, of course, in our daj's accepts in full the legend as 

2 Rb'mische Geschichte, I. c. 9. first thousand he made heaven and earth. 

3 Not to mention minor analogies, there In the second, the apparent firmament, and 
is one of so striking a character, as satis- called it heaven. In the third, the sea 
factorily to prove, not a descent from and all the waters which are in the earth. 
Abraham, but an intercourse more or less In the fourth, the great lights sun, moon, 
direct with the Hebrews, and at least an and stars. In the fifth, every soul of birds, 
oriental origin. It is in the cosmogony of reptiles, and four-footed animals, in the 
the Etruscans, who are said, on the authority air, earth, and waters. At the end of the 
of one of their own historians, to have be- sixth, man. Suiclas, sub TOCC Tup^is'ia. 
lieved that the Creator spent 12,000 years To say that we recognise here a blending of 
in his operations ; 6, 000 of which were Etruscan doctrines with the Mosaic account 
assigned to the work of creation, and as of the Creation, as Miiller (III. 2. 7)observes, 
many to the duration of the world. In the does not make the analogy less remarkable. 


recorded by Herodotus, but it is received simply as bearing 
testimony to tbe Lydian, or rather I should say Asiatic, origin of 
the Etruscans. For 1113' own part, I confess that I do not 
perceive that the crowd of authorities who maintain that origin, 
have been put Jtors ilc combat by the dictum of Dionysius. 
There seems to be life in them yet. They clearly represent the 
popular traditions, not of the Romans only, but of the Etruscans 
also, for what was current on such a matter among the former, 
could hardly have been opposed to the traditions of the latter. 
Besides, we have it on record that the Etruscans claimed for 
themselves a Lydian origin. Tacitus tells us that in the time 
of Tiberius, deputies from Sardis recited before the Roman 
senate a decree of the Etruscans, declaring their consanguinity, 
on the ground of the early colonization of Etruria by the 
Lydians. 1 This popular tradition might not of itself be decisive 
of the question, but when it is confirmed by a comparison of the 
recorded customs and the extant monuments of the two peoples, 
as will presently be shown, it comes with a force to my mind, 
that will not admit of rejection.' I cannot yet consent to 
consign it to " the limbo of unsubstantial fabrics " to which it 
is contemptuously condemned by a recent writer on " the 
Etruscans." 6 

4 Tacit. Ann. IV. 55. This tradition 
appeai-s to have been at least as old as 
Romulus. Plutarch (Rom. c. 2~>) relates 
that that monarch, when he conquered 
Veil, and granted her a truce for 100 years, 
led the vanquished chief of the Veientincs 
in triumph through Home. To commemo- 
rate this triumph the Romans, whenever 
they offered a sacrifice for any victory, 
were wont to lead an old man clad in a 
to(ja prcetextd and wearing a golden Itulhi 
round his neck, from the Forum to the 
Capitol, preceded by a herald who shouted, 
" i^ardians to .sell ! " 

3 The argument of Dionysius rests on 
the negative authority of Xanthus. Xanthus 
was a Lydian, yet wrote in Greek, anil was 
somewhat earlier than Herodotus, who is 
said to have taken some of his matter about 
Lydia from him. Ephorus, ap. Athen. 
XII. 11. Yet there is a doubt if Xanthus 
were really the author of the history attri- 
buted to him, as Athena-us (loc. cit.) plainly 
shows. Herodotus gives the tradition as 
one current with the Lydians of his clay. 
The truthful historian of antiquity, whose 

great merit is the simple trusting fidelity 
with which he records what he heard or 
saw, could not have invented it. He 
doubtless heard it, and booked it just as 
he heard it, not caring to strip it of its 
incredible adjuncts. Xanthus probably 
rejected it as unworthy of record, on 
account of the mythical character of those 

6 Contemporary Review, Oct. 1875, p. 
719. Air. Alexander Murray does not 
advance a shadow of argument in support 
of this condemnation. The drift of his 
very interesting article on Etruscan art is 
to suggest the probability, from a considera- 
tion of the close similarity of style between 
the early silver coins of Thrace, and the 
engraved scarabs of Etruria, that the 
Etruscans and Greeks had common fore- 
fathers in the Pelasgi, and that this" 1 people 
in Italy developed into the Etruscans a 
theory not very unlike that propounded by 
Lepsius. But this is a very limited view 
of a many-sided subject. Mr. Murray 
omits to take into consideration the many 
striking oriental analogies in the earliest 


"NVhen a tribe like the Gypsies, without house or home, with- 
out literature or history, Avithout fixed religious creed, hut 
willing to adopt that of any country where their lot may he 
cast, with no moral peculiarity beyond, their nomade life and 
roguish habits when such a people assert that they come from 
Egypt or elsewhere, we believe them in proportion as we find 
their personal peculiarities, their language, habits, and customs, 
are in accordance Avith those of the people from whom they 
claim their origin. Their tradition is credible only when con- 
firmed from other sources. But when a people, not a mere 
tribe, but spread over a large extent of territory, not a nomade, 
semibarbarous, unlettered race, but a nation settled for ages in 
one country, possessing a literature and national annals, a 
systematic form of government and ecclesiastical polity, and a 
degree of civilization second to that of no contemporary people, 
save Greece, a nation having an extensive commerce, and 
frequent intercourse with the most polite and civilized of its. 
fellows, and probably with the very race from which it claimed 
its descent, when such a people lays claim traditionally to a 
definite origin, which nothing in its manners, customs, or creed 
appears to belie, but many things to confirm how can we set 
the tradition at nought ? why hesitate to give it credence ? 
It Avas not so much a doubtful fiction of poetry, assumed for a 
peculiar purpose, like the Trojan origin of Rome, as a record 
preserved in the religious books of the nation, like the Chronicles 
of the JeAvs. 

If this tradition of the Lydian origin of the Etruscans be 
borne out by their recorded manners, and by monumental 
evidence, it must entirely outAveigh the conflicting and unsup- 
ported testimony of Dionysius. Nay, granting him to have 
spoken advisedly in asserting that there Avas no resemblance 
between the tAvo people in language, religion, or customs, it 
would be Avell explained by the lapse of more than a thousand 
years from the traditional emigration to his day,' a period much 
more than sufficient to efface all superficial analogies between 
people so widely severed, and subjected to such different ex- 
ternal influences, and a period during which the Lydians Avere 

artistic works of the Etruscans, notably in for Ly commercial relations, however inti- 
the bucchero ware, and other such analogies mate, with the East ; and above all, he 
in their system of government, their creed, forgets the isolated character of their Ian- 
religious discipline, habits, and customs, guage, which bears not the remotest affinity 
in which they differed widely from the to that of Greece. 
Greeks, and which are not to be accounted ~' Velleius Paterculus (I. 1) states that 


purposely degraded by Cyrus, till they had '' lost all their 
pristine virtue," 8 while the Etruscans, though also subjected to 
a foreign yoke, continued to advance in the arts of civili/ed life.' 1 ' 

No fact can be more clearly established than the oriental 
character of the civil and religious polity, the social and domestic 
manners, and the early arts of the Etruscans ; and traces of this 
affinity are abundant in their monuments, especially in those of 
the most remote antiquity, which show none of the influence of 
Hellenic art. 

Like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, and Hindoos, 
the Etruscans were subject to an all-dominant hierarchy, which 
assumed to be a theocracy, and maintained its sway by arro- 
gating to itself an intimate acquaintance with the will of Heaven 
and the decrees of fate. But here this ecclesiastical authority 
was further strengthened \>y the civil government, for the priests 
and augurs of Etruria were also her princes and military chiefs ; 
so that with this triple sceptre of civil, religious, and military 
power, they ruled the people " as the soul governs the body." 
This state of things was purely oriental. It never existed among 
the Greeks or other European races ; unless it find some analogy 
in the Druidical system. The divination and augury for which 
the Etruscans were renowned, and which gave them so peculiar 
a character among the nations of the Avest, were of oriental 
origin. Besides the abundant proofs given in Holy Writ of 
the early prevalence of soothsaying in the East, we have the 
authority of Homer and other pagan writers ; and the origin of 
augury is particular^ referred to Caria, an adjoining and cognate 
country to Lydia. 1 Cicero, indeed, classes the Etruscans with 
the Chaldees for their powers of divination, though the}' aifected 
to read the will of Heaven, not in the stars, or in dreams, so 
much as in the entrails of victims, the flight of birds, and the 
effects of lightning. 2 

the Lyilian emigration took place shortly even in Lydia itself. XIII. p. 631. 

iifter the Trojan War, at the time of the ' Plin. VII. 57. Telmessus in Caria was 

murder of Pyrrh us by Orestes at the temple particularly famed for its aruspices and 

of Delphi. soothsayers. Herod. I. 78, 84 ; Cicero, 

* Herod. I. 155, 156; Justin. I. 7. de Divin. I. 41, 42. Clemens of Alexandria 

See Urote's " Geece," III. p. 288, et seq. (Strom. I. p. 306, ed. Sylb.) says the 

p In customs, however, as will be pre- Carians were the first who divined from 

sently shown, there existed strong analogies the stars, the Phrygians from the flight of 

Ixitween the Lydians and Etruscans. And birds, the Etruscans by aruspicy. 

Dionysius' statement as to the dissimilarity - Cicero, loc. cit. The same power, he 

of language is of no account, if Strabo's tells us, was also possessed by other Asiatic 

assertion be true, that in his day not a people the Phrygians, Cilicians, Pisidians, 

'vestige remained of the Lydian tongue, and Arabs. Cic. de Leg. II. 13. Divina- 


The evidence of extant monuments seems to point to a close 
analogy between the religious creed of the Etruscans and those of 
oriental nations. Micali has written a work with the express 
purpose of establishing this analogy from the consideration of 
Etruscan monuments. 3 He contends that the antagonism of 
good and evil in the government of the universe, which entered 
so largely into the religious systems of the East, was held by the 
Etruscans also, and is set forth by the same external means of 
expression either by the victories of deities over wild beasts or 
monsters, or by combats of animals of different natures. Such 
representations are seen in the colossal reliefs of Persepolis 
on the monuments of Bab}"lon and Nineveh in the Osiris and 
Typhon of Egypt and such abound on works of Etruscan art, 
particularly on those of most ancient character and date. But 
how far these representations on Etruscan monuments are sym- 
bolical, and how far they are parts of a conventional, decorative 
system derived from the East, it is not easy to pronounce. Such 
subjects are found also on works of primitive Hellenic art, and 
especially on those from the shores of Asia Minor. The same 
may be said of monsters of two-fold life sphinxes, griffons, 
chimseras and even of the four-winged demons of the Assyrian 
and Babylonian mythology, which abound also on Etruscan 
monuments, and are likewise found on early Greek vases. Yet 
the doctrine of good and evil spirits attendant on the soul 
obviously held by the Etruscans 4 favours the supposition that 
they held the dualistic principle of oriental creeds. 

tion by lightning was the branch for which can " thunder-calendar," for every day in 
the Etruscans were especially distinguished, the year, taken, he says, from the books of. 
.and in which they excelled all other people. Tages. Servius also (ad JEn. I. 46) men- 
Diod. Sic. V. p. 316; Dion. Hal. IX. tions Etruscan books on Lightning. Lucret. 
p. 563 ; Seneca, Nat. Qusest. II. 32 ; VI. 381 ; Cic. de Divin. I. 33 ; Amm. 
Lucan. I. 587 ; cf. Cic. in Catil. III. 8 ; Marcell. XXIII. 5. The entire system of 
A. Gell. IV. 5 ; Claud, in Eutrop. I. 12. divination among the Romans, be it re- 
Cicero believed implicitly in their skill membered, was derived from the Etruscans, 
in soothsaying. De Divin. I. 18, 41, 42. It continued to be practised by them even 
Himself an augur, he must have studied to the close of the Empire, for we find the 
deeply the books of the Etruscans on the Etruscan arusp'tces consulted by Julian in 
subject. the fourth (Amm. Marcell. XXV. 2, 7), 

and under Honoring in the fifth century of 
ium quis non, artis scripta ac montimenta ,, -rj- , ^ ,, xi-u 

, *. our era. Zosim. Hist. V. 41. bee Muller, 


Voces tristificas chartis promebat Etruscis ? Etrusk. III. 

De Divin. I. 12. 3 MonumeHti Inediti, a illustrazione della 

StoriadegliAntichi Popoli Italiani. Firenze 
Joannes Lydus in his work De Ostentis, 1844. 

c. 27, gives, on the authority of Nigidius 4 Vol. I. pp. 287, 342 ; II. p. 182. 

Figulus, a " Diarium Toiiitruale, or Etrus- 


The analogy of the Etruscan customs to those of the East 
did not escape the notice of ancient writers. And here let me 
remark that the Mysians, Lydians, Carians, Lycians, and 
Phrygians being cognate races, inhabiting adjoining lands, what 
is recorded of one is generally applicable to all.' " The 
ascendancy of the Lydian dynasty in Asia Minor, with its 
empire (real or fabulous) of the sea during its flourishing ages, 
would naturally impart to any such tradition a Lydian form. 
In any attempt, therefore, to illustrate the Etruscan origin or 
manners from Asiatic sources, our appeals may safely be 
extended to the neighbouring, whether kindred, or merely 
connected, races." (i The sports, games, and dances of the 
Etruscans, adopted by the liomans, are traditionally of Lydian 
origin.' The musical instruments on which they excelled were 
introduced from Asia Minor, the double-pipes from Phrygia, 
the trumpet from Lydia. 8 Their luxurious habits were so- 
strictly oriental, that almost the same language is used in 
describing them and those of the Lydians. Even the common 
national robe, the toga, was of Lydian origin. 1 Dionysius him- 
self, after having stated that there was no resemblance whatever 
between the customs of the Etruscans and Lydians, points out 
that the purple robes worn in Etruria as insiynia of authority., 
were similar to those of the Lydian and Persian monarchs, dif- 
fering only in form ~ the oriental robe being square, the Etruscan 

"' Herodotus (I. 171) culls the Carians, ad Stat. Theb. IV. 224. The current belief 

Mysians, and Lydians, Ka.a(yvT)Toi. Strabo was that the trumpet was of Etruscan 

(XIII. p. 628) says the boundaries between origin. Strabo, V. p. 220; Diod. Y. 

Lydia, Phrygia, Caria, and Mysia, could p. 316 ; JEschyl. Euiuen. 567 ; Sophoc. 

not be determined, and had given rise to Ajax, 17 ; Athen. IV. c. 82; Yirg. JJn. 

great confusion. Of. XIV. p. (578 ; Pliu. VIII. 526 ; Serv. in loc. ; Clem. Alex. 

V. 30. Strom. I. p. 306; Pollux. IV. 11. Silius- 

6 Quarterly Review, No. CLI. p. f>6. Italicus ( VIII. 490) specifies Vetulonia as 

' Liv. VII. 2 ; Val. Max. II. 4, 3 : the site of its invention. 
Tertull. de Spect. I. 5 ; Appian, de Reb. <J Athen. XII. c. 11, 17 ; XV. c. 41 ; 

Punic. LXVI. Dice, which were a Lydian Theopomp. ap. eund. XII. c. 14 : Poseidon, 

invention (Herod. I. l4), were also much ap. euud. IV. c. 38 ; Diod. Sic. V. p. 31<>. 

used in Etruria, a.s we learn from history So Anacreon (ap. Athen. XV. c. 41) uses 

(Liv. IV. 17), as well as from their being AvSotradys for i)$uira0ris, and JEsehylus. 

frequently found in Etruscan tombs. (Pers. 41) speaks of the afipoSiatrot Av5ui. 

8 Plin.'VII. 57. Clem. Alex. Strom. I. l Tertull. de Pallio, I. ; cf. Serv. ad 

p. 306. The Lydian pipes were also famous, Virg. ^En. IF. 781. The liomans received 

Find. Olymp. V. 44. One tradition ascribes it from the Etruscans, who have therefore 

the invention of the trumpet to Tyrrhenus, a prior right to the title of yens to;/(ita. 

the Lydian colonist of Etruria. Pausan. Liv. I. 8 ; Flor. I. 5 ; Plin. VIII. 74 ; 

II. 2l"; cf. Serv. ad Virg. .En. I. 71 ; Sil. IX. 63 ; Diodor. V. p. 316 ; Macrob. Sat. 

Ital. V. 12. Another refers it to Maleus, I. 6 ; Festus r. Sardi. 
the Etruscan prince of Kegisvilla. Lactant. - Dion. Hal. III. c. 61. 


toga, or Tyfievvos, which answered to it, semicircular. The eagle, 
which Home bore as her standard, and which she derived from 
Etruria, Avas also the military ensign of Persia. 3 The young 
women of Etruria are said, like those of Lydia, to have obtained 
their dowries by prostitution. 1 The singular custom of the 
Lycians, of tracing their descent \)y the maternal line, obtained 
also among the Etruscans, alone among the nations of antiquity. ' 
And another custom which essentially distinguished the Etrus- 
cans from the Greeks, and assimilated them to the people of 
Asia Minor, was that the} T shared the festive couch with their 
wives. 6 Their language and the character in which it was written 
have very marked oriental analogies. But in their tombs and 
sepulchral usages the affinity of Etruria to Lydia and other 
countries of Asia is most strongly marked ; and it is to be learned 
not only from extant monuments, but from historical records. 
These analogies will be pointed out in detail in the course of 
this work. 

In one important particular there is also a striking analogy 
in physiognomy. In many of the early monuments of Etruria, 
the oriental type of countenance is strongly and unmistakably 
marked, a fact well illustrated by reference to the loving couple 
of life-size recumbent on the terra-cotta sarcophagus from Cervetri, 
now in the Louvre," or better still, to the similar, but nude pair 
from the same site in the British Museum, who are portrayed in 
the woodcut at page 227 of this volume. There can be no 
mistake here. The type is purely oriental, nay Mongolian. Any 
one who has lived among Tartar tribes will at once recognixe the 
characteristics of that race, especially in the obliquely placed eyes, 
which, as Mr. Isaac Taylor says, no Aryan ever possessed. In 
the Etruscan portraits of later times, these archaic peculiarities 
are in great measure lost. The mixture of races, it may be, on 

3 Cf. Dion. Hal. loc. cit. and Xenopli. XII, 11. Horace complains of his Lyce as 
Anab. I. 10. being much too obdurate for an Etruscan. 

4 Cf. Herod. I. 93, and Plant. Cistell. Od. III. 10, 11. Strabo tells us that the 
II. 3, 20. ancient Armenians also prostituted their 

, . , . , laughters before marriage. 

non enim hie, ubi ex lusco mouo 6 

Tute tibi indigue dotem quseras corpore. bee V Ol- lt P* 1(JU ' 

6 See Vol. I. p. 309. Herodotus (I. 

Chastity, if we may believe the accounts of 172) mentions that the Caunians, a people 

the ancients, was little valued by either of Asia Minor, were accustomed to hold 

people ; and this is a point in which they symposia, or drinking-bouts, with their 

differed widely from the Greeks and early wives and families. Cf. I. 146. 

llomaiis. Strabo, XI. p. 532 ; Theopom- ' See Vol. I. p. 279. 
pus, ap. A then. XII. c. 14 ; cf. Athen. 


the one hand, and the influence of Greek art on the other, tended 
to assimilate Etruscan portraiture to the European type. 

The relation and connection of Etruria with the East is an 
established fact, admitted on all hands hut variously accounted 
for. ft To me it seems to be such as cannot be explained by 
commercial intercourse, however extensive, for it is apparent not 
merely on the surface of Etruscan life, but deep within it, 
influencing all its springs of action, and imparting a tone and 
character, that neither Greek example and preceptorship, nor 
lloman domination could ever entirely efface. So intimate a 
connection could only have been formed by conquest or colom'/a- 
tion from the East. That such was possible all will admit, that 
it was not improbable, the common practice of antiquity of 
coloni/ing distant lands is evidence enough ; sublime memorials 
of which we still behold on the shores of Italy and Sicily, in 
those shrines of a long-perished creed, now sacred to Hellenic 
genius. Had we been told that Mysia, Caria, Phrygia, or Lycia, 
was the mother-country of Etruria, we might have accepted the 
tradition, but as Lydia is specifically indicated, why refuse to 
credit it ? To what country of the East we may be inclined to 
ascribe this colonization, is of little moment. We must at least 
admit, with Seneca, that " Asia claims the Etruscans as her 
own." Tiiscos Asict sibl vindicate 


That which in an investigation of this kind would prove of 
most service is here unfortunately of no avail. The language 
of Etruria, even in an age which has unveiled the Egyptian 
hieroglyphics and the arrow-headed character of Bab} r lon, still 
remains a mystery. This " geological literature," as it has been 
aptly termed, has baffled the learning and research of scholars of 
every nation for ages past ; and though fresh treasures are daily 
stored up, the key to unlock them is still wanting. We know 
the characters in which it is written, which much resemble the 
Pelasgic or early Greek, 1 we can learn even somewhat of the 

s Miiller (Etnisk. einl. 2, 7) asserts their commercial intercourse with tLe- 

"the unmistakable connection between the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, ami 

civilization of Etruria and Asia Minor." other oriental people. 
Even Micali, who maintains the indigenous 9 Seneca, Consol. ad Helv. VI. 9. 

origin of the Etruscans, sets forth their l To the Pelasgi is referred the in- 

relation with the East in a prominent troduction of letters into Latium. Solin. 

light, though explaining it as the result of Polyhist. VIII. Another tradition says 


genius of the language and its inflections ; but beyond this, and 
the proper names and the numerals on sepulchral monuments, 
and a fe\v words recorded by the ancients, 2 the wisest must admit 
their ignorance, and confess that all they know of the Etruscan 
tongue, is that it is unique like the Basque, an utter alien to 
every known family of languages. To the other early tongues of 
Italy, which made use of the same or nearly the same character, 
we find some key in the Latin, especially to the Oscan, which 
bears to it a parental relation. But the Etruscan has been 
tested again and again by Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and every other 
'ancient language, and beyond occasional affinities which may be 
mere coincidences, such as occur in almost every case, no clue has 
yet been found to its interpretation, and unless some monument 
like the Kosetta-stone should come to light, and some Young or 
Champollion should arise to decipher it, the Etruscan must ever 
remain a dead, as it has always emphatically been, a sepulchral, 
language. 3 Till then, to every fanciful theorist, who fondly hugs 

they were brought to the Aborigines by 
Evander from Arcadia, and that the ancient 
Latin characters were the same as the 
earliest Greek. Tacit. Ann. XI. 14. 
The Etruscans are said by the same 
authority to have received their characters 
from Corinth through Demaratus. It is 
certain that all the ancient alphabets of 
Italy the Umbrian, Oscan, Euganean, 
Messapian, as well as the Etruscan bear 
an unmistakable affinity to the early Greek. 
- All we know of the language from the 
ancients is confined to some thirty words, 
many of which are manifestly disguised by 
the foreign medium through which they 
have come down to us. 

The names of certain Etruscan deities 
are also known, either from ancient writers 
or from monuments. Mr. Isaac Taylor 
(Etruscan Researches, p. 197 ct seq.), from 
a careful comparison of mortuary inscrip- 
tions, has determined the precise mean- 
ing of certain words used in sepulchral 
fonnulse : 

"Ril" = years. 

" Avil" or "avils" = age, or aged. 

" Leine" = lived. 

" Lupu" =: died. 

If to this we add that the general, if not 
precise, meaning of two or three other 
sepulchral formula? can be guessed at, and 
that "Clan" seems to mean son, "Sec," 

daughter, and "Hinthial," ghost, or 
spectre, we have the full extent of onr 
knowledge of the Etruscan vocabulary. 

3 Lanzi states that in his day, besides 
the three classic languages, "the Ethiopic, 
the Egyptian, the Arabic, the Coptic, the 
Chinese, the Celtic, the Basque, the Anglo- 
Saxon, the Teutonic, the Runic, and what 
not," had been consulted in vain for the 
key to the Etruscan. Lanzi thought he had 
discovered it in the Greek, and to establish 
his theory put that noble language to sad 
torture, from which sounder criticism has 
released it. Dr. Arnold (History of Rome, 
pref. p. xni.) expected the interpretation 
of the Etruscan to be discovered. And 
Mtiller (Etrusk. einl. 3, 10) entertained 
the hope that in some secluded valley of 
the Grisons or of the Tyrol, a renmant of 
the old Rhtetian dialect might be discovered 
which would serve as a key to the Etrus- 
can. He adds that Von Horuiayr held the 
Surselvish dialect to be Etruscan. Within 
the last few years Miiller's hope has been 
in some degree realised by the labours of a 
German scholar, who though he has found 
no key to the interpretation of the Etrus- 
can, has atleast shown that some remnantsof 
a dialect very like it remain among the Alps 
of Rluetia. Steub, Ueber die Urbewohner 
Rations und ihren Zusammenhang mit den 
Etruskern. Miinchen, 1843. In travelling 
in 1842 among these Alps he was struck 



himself into the belief that to him it has been reserved to unravel 
the mystery, or who possesses the Sabine faculty of dreaming 
what lie wishes, we must reply in the words of the prophet. 
"" It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest 

"Were it not for this mystery of the language, the oriental 
analogies on the one hand, and the Greek features on the other, 
which are obvious in the recorded customs of Etruria and the 
monuments of her art, might be reconciled by the theory of a 
Pelasgic colony from Asia Minor. But the language in its utter 
loneliness compels us to look further for the origin of the 
Etruscan people. 

For the benefit of travellers, who would spell their way through 
epitaphs, I subjoin the Etruscan alphabet, in the proper order of 
the characters, confronting them with the Greek. 


K (r ?) 






:(: rarely ^ 
B H 





S accented 
O koppa 









>!/ \J/ 


with the strange-sounding names, on the 
high-roads as \vell as in the most secluded 
valleys. Mountains or villages bore the 
-appellations of Tilisuua, Blisadona, Na- 
turns, Veltliurns, Schludems, Schlanders-, 
Villanders, Firmisaun, Similaun, (rutidaun, 
Altrans, Sistrans, Axams, \vherever he 
turned, these mysterious names resounded 
in his ears ; and lie took them to be the 
relics of some long perished race, lie 
tested them by the Celtic, and could find 
no analogy ; but with the Etruscan he had 
.more success, and found the ancient 

traditions of a Rhasto-Etruria confirmed. 
Like many of liis countrymen he rides hi.s 
hobby too hard ; and seeks to establish 
analogies which none but a determined 
theorist could perceive. What resemblance 
is apparent to eye or ear between such 
words as the following, taken almost at 
random from his tables? Carcuna 
Tschirgant ; Caca = Tschiitsch ; Yelacarasu 
:- Vollgross ; Caluruna Goldrain ; Calusa 
Schleiss ; Calunuturusa=Schlanders ; 
A'elavuna = Plawen. 



The Etruscan alphabet, it will be seen, wants the B, F, A, H, 
^, the H, and both the O and H. 1 In the custom of writing from 
right to left, and of frequently dropping the short vowels, the 
Etruscan bears a close oriental analog}'. Indeed it is probable 
that like the Pelasgic, the Greek, and other kindred alphabets, 
this had its origin from Phoenicia. 6 

The numerals known to us by the name of Roman, are in 
reality Etruscan ; and were originally not only read from right to 
left, but were inverted. 

Professor Mommsen points out that there are two distinct 
phases in the Etruscan language, the earlier, as ascertained from 
the most ancient monuments, showing an. abundance of vowels, 
and an avoidance of the juxta-positioii of two consonants ; but by 
the gradual suppression of the vowels this sweet and sonorous 
tongue was transformed into one insufferably harsh and rough ; 
forming such words as Tarchnas, Elchsentre, Achle, Klutmsta, 
Alksti, for Tarquinius, Alexandros, Achilleus, Clytsemnestra, 
Alcestis in short, the character of the language was changed 
from an Italian to a German type. There are certain isolated 
analogies to other Italic tongues, the proper names in particular 

4 In the Etruscan alphabet of Bomarzo 
the second letter is a ), and the kappa is 
wanting ; while those of Chhisi, which are 
probably of earlier date, show the latter 
letter alone. In the alphabet of Rusellte, 
however, which is apparently the most 
recent of all, there are not only both these 
characters, but the koppa in addition. It 
may be that the ) had the sound of the 
ijamma, though the existence of that letter 
in the Etruscan alphabet is not generally 
recognised. The fifth letter in the Etrus- 
can alphabet has the force of " ss " accord- 
ing to Lepsius, of " x " according to Miiller ; 
but it is now generally recognized as the 
equivalent of the Greek zcta. In the 
Bomarzo alphabet it has the peculiar form 
resembling an f . For the Etruscan alpha- 
bet found at Bomarzo, see p. 11 '2 of this 
volume ; for that of Rusellre, see Vol. II. 
p. 224 ; and for the three at Chiusi, 
Vol. II. p. 306. These last are supposed 
to be the most ancient. Gamurrini, Ann. 
Inst. 1871, pp. 156166. 

6 Dr. Helbig very ingeniously demon- 
-strates, from a consideration of the length 
of the Etruscan scccida, as given by Varro 
(ap. Censorin. XVII. 5), that the alphabet 
must have been introduced into Etruria 
VOL. I. 

between 750 and 644 B.C. Ann. Inst. 
1876, p. 227 et scq. Whether the cha- 
racters came directly from Phoenicia into 
Etruria, or were received through Greece, 
is a disputed point. Miiller maintains the 
latter. Etrusk. IV. 6, 1. Mommsen is 
of the same opinion, and thinks they were 
imported by the Doric Chalcidians, who 
colonized the shores of Campania, and that 
the Umbrians received them from the 
Etruscans. Mr. Daniel Sharpe, speaking of 
the discoveries in Lycia, declares, that "it 
may be proved, from a comparison of the 
alphabets, that the Etruscans derived their 
characters from Asia Minor, and not from 
Greece." Fellows' Lycia, p. 442. The 
resemblance, indeed, of the Etruscan 
alphabet to the Lycian is striking still 
more so that which it bears to the Phry- 
gian, such as it is seen on the tombs of 
Dogan-lfi. See Walpole's travels, and 
Steuart's Lydia and Phrygia. Dr. Kliig- 
mann marks three periods of Etruscan 
inscriptions, distinguishable by the form of 
the letters. The first, anterior to the Pelo- 
ponnesian War, or to 431 B.C. The second, 
from that date to the First Punic War, or 
to 264 B.C. The third, from the Punic War 
to the Empire. Ann. Inst. 1873, p. 250. 



being' formed in accordance with the universal Italic system, but 
with these exceptions the Etruscan language is as distinct from 
all the Gneco-Italic tongues, as are those of the Celts and Slavs 
a distinction recognized hy the Romans themselves, who spoke 
of the Etruscan and Gaulish as barbarous languages, of the 
( >scan and Yolscian as rustic dialects. The result of all our 
investigations into the character of this mysterious language, is 
that we seem to have sufficient authority for classing the Etrus- 
cans among the peoples of Indo- Germanic origin. 7 

While Professor Corssen, by a comparison of Etruscan inscrip- 
tions with other early languages of the Peninsula, arrives at the 
conclusion that the Etruscan is an indigenous Italic tongue, the 
Earl of Crawford and Balcarres has been led by confronting it 
with the remains of the old German dialects, to believe he has 
demonstrated its affinity to them, especially to those spoken by 
the Thuringian tribes, the Yisi-Goths and Ostro-Goths. I say 
he believes he has proved this, for to say more were to hazard a 
judgment, which in matters of such erudition I do not possess, 
but as I do not hold to the Rhsetian origin of the Etruscans, I 
may consistently hope that the verdict of philologists on his lord- 
ship's theory Avill be "not proven." The Ilev. Robert Ellis also 
maintains the Aryan character of the Etruscan language, believing 
it to have close affinities to the Armenian, yet he admits the non- 
Aryan character of its numerals, which he pronounces to be Ibero- 
African. The Rev. Isaac Taylor stands alone in regarding the 
Etruscan language as Turanian, and of the " Altaic, or Finno- 
Turkic family of speech," but the method he adopts in his quest 
of linguistic affinities, gathering them from different branches of 
the Turanian stock in all parts of the world, is surely not philo- 
sophical, and is hardly calculated to secure our confidence in his 
deductions. " The key to the Etruscan language " Mr. Taylor 
finds in a pair of ivory dice discovered at Yulci in 1847, and 
incribed with the monosyllables MACH, HUTU, Ki, SA, ZAL, THU. 
Professors Max Miiller and Corssen have questioned that these 
words are the names of Etruscan numerals ; but it may be fairly 
presumed that the words were inserted in this instance instead of 
the pips from 1 to 6 which are found on all other specimens of 
Etruscan dice as yet brought to light. Granting them to be the 
Etruscan names of the numerals, how are they to be arranged ? 
Here the interpreters differ widely, Ellis, Campanari. and Miglia- 
rini adopting one order, Taylor another, viz : 

7 Rom. Gesch. I. c. 9. 


1 234 f, 6 

Mr. Ellis Mach Thu Z:il Huth Ki Sa. 

Mr. Taylor Mach Ki Zal Sa Thu Huth. 

Until their order is determined, the discovery of these nu- 
merals will add little to our knowledge of the Etruscan language. 


The government of Etruria in external form bore some re- 
semblance to a federal republic, each of its Twelve States or 
Cities having a distinct sovereignty, yet combining in a league 
of amity and mutual assistance such a confederation, in fact, as 
existed in early times among the states of Greece. Yet the 
internal government of each state was an aristocracy, for the 
Etruscans hated a monarchy, and the kings Ave read of oc- 
casionally in Roman history were either the chief rulers of each 
state, or one chosen out of this body to preside over all, like 
the Doges of Venice or the Popes of Rome. The analogy in the 
latter case is strengthened by the double functions, political and 
ecclesiastical, of the Etruscan Lucumones. For these princes 
were all augurs, skilled in divination and the mysteries of " the 
Etruscan Discipline ; " and when they met in solemn conclave at 
the shrine of the great goddess Yoltumna, to deliberate on the 
affairs of the Confederation, one was chosen from among them 
as high priest or pontiff. 8 In Etruria, as in the Papal State, the 
same will decreed civil laws, and prescribed religious observances 
and ceremonies, all on the assumption of an unerring interpreta- 
tion of the will of heaven. 

Political freedom was a plant which nourished not in Etruria. 
The power was wholly in the hands of priestly nobles ; the 
people had no voice in the government, not even the power of 
making themselves heard and respected, as at Rome. AVhatever 
may have been the precise relation between the ruling class and 
their dependents, it is clear that it was akin to the feudal system, 
and that the mass of the community Avas enthralled. The state 
of society was not precisely that of the middle ages, for there was 
more union and community of interest and feeling than 

8 Liv. V. 1 ; Serv. adYirg. .ZEn. X. 202. sena in his sovereign capacity brought down 
Servius tells us that each of the Twelve fire from heaven. Plin. II. 54. When 
Cities of Etruria was ruled by a lucumo, Veil set up a real king, it gave great 
or king, one of whom was supreme ; ad offence to the rest of the Confederation. 
&n. II. 278 ; VIII. 05, 475 ; XL 9. For- Liv. V. 1. 

d 2 


the feudal lords of Germany, France, or England. The commons 
must have been a conquered people, the descendants of the early 
inhabitants of the land, and must have stood in a somewhat 
similar relation to their rulers, to that which the Periceci of 
Laconia held to their Dorian lords, or the subjugated Saxons of 
England bore to their Norman conquerors. That they were 
serfs rather than slaves seems evident, from the fact that they 
formed the class of which the Etruscan armies were composed. 
The Etruscans possessed slaves, like the other nations of 
antiquity ; 9 nay, their bondage was proverbially rigorous, 1 but 
these were captives taken in war, or in their piratical expeditions. 
Niebuhr shows that " the want of a free and respectable com- 
monalty which the Etruscans, obstinately retaining and extend- 
ing their old feudal system, never allowed to grow up was the 
occasion of the singular weakness displayed by the great Etruscan 
cities in their wars with the Romans, where the victory was 
decided by the number and strength of the infantry." ' It was 
also the cause of the inferiority of the Etruscan to the Greek 
civilization of its comparatively stationary and conventional 
character. Yet had there been no slaves, and had the entire 
population been of one race, the lower classes could hardly have 
escaped enthralment, for it is difficult to conceive of a system of 
government more calculated to enslave both mind and body than 
that of the aristocratical augurs and aruspices of Etruria. 

9 Liv. V. I. 22. Diouysius (XI. p. 562) - Niebuhr, I. p. 122. Engl. trans. The 
speaks of the Etruscan nobles leading the great historian, however, goes too far in 
irtvfffTcu, or serfs, out to battle against asserting that the extant works of the 
the Romans; and the "agrestium co- Etruscans could not have been executed 
hortes " mentioned by Livy (IX. 36), without taskmasters and bondmen (p. 129). 
were probably of the same class. The Indeed the distinction between the public 
rebellious slaves who usurped the supreme works of the Egyptians and Etruscans, ad- 
power at Yolsinii are shown by Niebuhr to mitted by Niebuhr himself that all the 
have been also serfs, not domestic slaves. works of the latter we are acquainted with 
Hist. Rom. I. p. 124 ; III. p. 546. See have a great public object is a sufficient 
Vol. II. p. 22, of this work. refutation of this position. The works of 

1 This would appear from Martial, IX. the Etruscans are not ostentatious, useless 

23. 4. piles, but such as might be produced in 

T^ j. i rr> industrious, commercial, vet warlike com- 

Et sonct mnumeni compede Tuscus ager. 

mumties, ol no great extent, and under the 

Cicero says the Etruscan pirates used to influence of more popular freedom than was 

tie their living captives to the bodies of the ever enjoyed in Etruria. The temples of 

dead (ap. Serv. ad .iEn. VIII. 479) ; and Piestum, Agrigentum, and Sclinus, are 

Virgil relates the same of Mezentius, the examples of this 
tyrant of Agylla. ;n. VIII. 485. 



The religion of Etruria in her earliest ages bore some resem- 
blance to that of Egypt, but more to the other theological systems 
of the East. It had the same gloom}*, unbending, imperious 
character, the same impenetrable shroud of mysticism and sym- 
bolism ; widely unlike the lively, plastic, phantasy-full creed of 
the Greeks, whose joyous spirit found utterance in song. The 
one was the religion of a caste, imposed for its exclusive benefit 
on the masses, and therefore not an exponent of national 
character, though influencing it ; the other was the creed of an 
entire people, voluntarily embraced from its adaptation to their 
wants nay, called into being by them and necessarily stamped 
with the peculiar impress of their thoughts and feelings. In 
consequence of increased intercourse with other lands in sub- 
sequent times, the mythology of Etruria assimilated in great 
measure to that of Greece ; yet there was always this difference, 
that she held her creed, not as something apart from all political 
S3 r stems, not as a set of dogmas which deep-probing philosophy 
and shallow superstition could hold" in common, and each invest 
with its peculiar meaning. Xo ; it was with her an all-pervading 
principle the very atmosphere of her existence a leaven 
operating on the entire mass of society a constant presence 
ever felt in one form or other a power admitting no rival, all- 
ruling, all-regulating, all-requiring. Such was its sway, that it 
moulded the national character, and gave the Etruscans a pre- 
eminently religious reputation among the people of antiquity. 3 
Like the Roman Catholic in after times, it was a religion of 
mysteries, of marvels, of ceremonial pomp and observances. It 
was, however, a religion of fear. The deities most dreaded 
received most adoration, and their wrath was deprecated even 
by the sacrifice of human life. Its dominance was not without 
one beneficial effect. It bound its votaries in fetters, if not of 
entire harmony, at least of peace. Those civil contests which 
were the disgrace of Greece, which retarded her civilization, and 
ultimately proved her destruction, seem to have been unknown 
in Etruria. Yet the power of her religion was' but negative ; it 
proved ineffectual as a national bond, as an incitement to make 
common cause against a common foe. The several States were 
often at variance, and pursued independent courses of action, and 

3 Liv. V. I Gens ante omnes alias eo arte colendi eas. Arnob. YII. Genetrix 
magis dedita religionibus, quod excelleret et mater superstitionis Etruria. 


thus laid themselves open to be conquered in detail. 4 But so 
far as we can learn from history, they were never arraj'ed in arms 
against each other ; and this must have been the effect of their 
common religion. Yet it was her system of spiritual tyranny 
that rendered Etruria inferior to Greece. She had the same 
arts an equal amount of scientific knowledge a more extended 
commerce. In every field had the Etruscan mind liberty to 
expand, save in that wherein lies man's highest delight and glory. 
Before the gate of that paradise where the intellect revels 
unfettered among speculations on its own nature, on its origin, 
existence, and final destiny, on its relation to the First Cause, 
to other minds, and to society in general stood the sacerdotal 
Lucumo, brandishing in one hand the double-edged sword of 
secular and ecclesiastical authority, and holding forth in the other 
the books of Tages, exclaiming, to his awe-struck subjects, 
"Believe and obey!" Liberty of thought and action was as 
incompatible with the assumption of infallibility in the governing 
power in the days of Tarchon or Porsena, as in those of Pius IX. 

The mythological system of Etruria is learned partly from 
ancient writers, partly from national monuments, particularly 
figured mirrors. It was in some measure allied to that of 
Greece, though rather to the early Pelasgic system than to that 
of the Hellenes ; but still more nearly to that of lionie, who in 
fact derived certain of her divinities and their names from this 

The three great deities, who had temples in every Etruscan 
city, were TINA or TINIA THALXA or CUPRA and MEXRVA, or 


TINIA was the supreme deity of the Etruscans, analogous to 
the Zeus of the Greeks, and the Jupiter of the llomans " the 
centre of the Etruscan god-world, the power who speaks in the 

4 Five only of the Twelve assisted tlie of the towns, might easily be outnumbered 

Latins against Tarquinius Priscus. Dion. by a garrison. That the conquered portion 

Hal. III. p. 189. Arretium, in 443, re- were ready to unite with their Etruscan 

fused to join the rest in their attack on brethren when occasion offered, is proved 

Sutrium, then in the power of the Romans. in the case of Nepete. Liv. VI. 10. Qere, 

Liv. IX. 32. Veii, just before her capture, however, was in more independent alliance 

estranged herself from the rest of the Con- with Rome, but even she at one time was 

federation, which refused succour in her urged by the sympathy of blood to sever this 

need. Liv. V. 1, 17. When Sutrium and alliance ; and it does not appear that she 

Nepete are called the allies of Rome, and was ever in arms against her fellow cities of 

are said to have besought assistance against the Etruscan Confederation. See Vol. I. 

the Etruscans (Liv. VI. 3, 9, 10), this must p. 233. 

refer to the Roman, not the Etruscan popu- 5 Serv. ad Virg. JEn. 1. 42(5; II. 29(>. 

lation. for the latter, from the small size To these three Tarquin added Mercury. 


thunder and descends in the lightning." He alone had three 
separate bolts to hurl, and is therefore always represented on 
Etruscan monuments with a thunder-bolt with triple points in 
his hand.'' 

THALNA or CUPRA was the Etruscan Hera or Juno, and her 
principal shrines seem to have been at Veii, Falerii, and Perusia. 
Like her counterpart among the Greeks and Romans, she appears 
to have been worshipped under other forms, according to her 
various attributes as Feronia, Uni, Eileithyia-Leucothea. 7 

MEXRVA, as she is called on Etruscan monuments, answers to 
the Pallas-Athene of the Greeks. It is probable that the name 
by which the Romans knew her was of purely Etruscan origin. s 
She seems to have been allied to NORTIA, the Fortuna of the 
Etruscans. 9 Like her counterpart in the Greek and Roman 
mythology, she is represented armed, and with the a>gis on her 
breast, but has sometimes wings in addition. 1 

There were Twelve Great Gods, six of each sex, called Dii 
Consentes or Complices. They composed the council of Tinia, 
and are called " the senators of the gods" "the Penates of the 
Thunderer himself." They were fierce and pitiless deities, 
dwelling in the inmost recesses of heaven, whose names it was 
forbidden to utter. Yet they were not deemed eternal, but 
supposed to rise and fall together. 2 

6 Pliii. II. 53. Seneca (Nat. Qwest. II. tive of her as a goddess of births and light. 
41) says that the first kind of bolt, which i.s Feronia is said by Yarro (V. 74) to be a 
monitory and not wrathful, Jove can hurl Sabine goddess. Gerhard (Gotth. p. 3) 
at his pleasure ; the second he can hurl takes her to be equivalent to Juno, Miiller 
only with the consent of his Council of the (III. 3, 8) to Tellus or Mania. See Vol. I. 
Twelve Great Gods : and to hurl the third p. 129. For Uni, see Ann. Inst. 1851, 
kind he is obliged to consult the Shrouded tav. d'agg. G. H. For Eileithyia, see Vol. I. 
Gods. He is sometimes represented as a p. 292. The rites of the Etruscan Juno are 
beardless youth. Gerhard, Etrus. Spieg. described by Ovid, Amor. III. eleg. 13 ; 
I. taf. 14. Some have sought an etymo- cf. Dion. Hal. I. p. 17. 

logical relation between Tina and Zeus ; s So thinks Muller (Etrusk. III. 3, 2), 

others to Tonans, and others even to the notwithstanding that Varro asserts it to lie 

Odin of the northern mythology, though Sabine. Ling. Lat. V. 74. Muller regards 

this similarity is pronounced by Muller to her as the only Etruscan divinity whose 

lie accidental. Etrusk. III. 3, 1. Gerhard, worship was transferred to Rome in all its 

Gottheit. p. 27. purity. 

7 We learn the name of Cupra from 9 Gerhard (Gottheit. p. 10) thinks the 
Strabo, Y. p. 241, who states that the town relation between Minerva and Nortia is 
of that name in Picenum took its name from established by the fact of the annual nail 
the temple built there by the Etruscans, being driven into the temple of the latter at 
and dedicated to this goddess. The name Volsinii, and of the former on the Capitol. 
Cupra lias not been found on Etruscan Gerhard takes Nortia for a Pelasgic divinity, 
inomiments, where the goddess is generally l As in a bronze figure from Orte, in the 
called Thalna, though Gerhard (Gotth. d. Museo Gregoriano, see Yol. II. p. 478. 
Etrusk. p. 40) thinks this name is descrip- 2 Arnob. adv. Nat. III. 40 ; Yarro, de 


Still more awful and potent were " the shrouded Gods," Dii 
Involuti whose appellation is suggestive of their mysterious 
character ; they ruled both gods and men, and to their decisions 
even Tinia himself was obedient. They were also called Dii 
Superiores. 3 


The Etruscans believed in Nine Great Gods, who had the power 
of hurling thunderbolts ; they were called Xovensiles by the 
Iiomans. 1 Of thunderbolts there were eleven sorts, of which 
TINIA, as the supreme thunder-god, wielded three. 3 CUPRA, or 
Juno, as one of the nine, also hurled her bolts. 6 MENERVA, the 
third, hurled hers at the time of the vernal equinox." SUMMANUS 
hurled his bolts by night as Jupiter did by day, and received even 

lie Rust. I. 1 ; Martian Capella, de Nupt. 
I. 14. Gerhard thinks they must include 
the eight thunder-wielding gods known to 
us, to which he would add Yertummis, 
Janus or Apollo, Nortia or Fortuna, and 
Yoltumua. Gotth. d. Etrusk. p. 23. 

3 Seneca, Nat. Qurest. II. 41 ; Festus, 
r. Manubiae. Gerhard (Gottheit. Etru&k. 
taf. 7) gives a singular plate of two veiled 
figures, sitting back to back, and with both 
hands to their mouths, which he thinks may 
represent "the shrouded gods." They are 
taken from a drawing in the public archives 
of Yiterbo, supposed to be a copy from 
some Etruscan monument, found in former 

times ; perhaps a mirror, as Gerhard 
suggests, but more probably a bas-relief. 
See the above wood-cut. 

4 Plin. II. 53 ; Manjlius ap. Arnob. III. 
38. Yarro (Ling. Lat. Y. 74) says the 
name of Novensiles is derived from the 
Sabines. Gerhard considers the Novensiles 
to belong, without doubt, to the Etruscan 
mythology. Gotth. Etrusk. p. 3. 

5 Plin. loc. cit. : Servius (ad JEn. I. 46) 
states that in the Etruscan books on Thing.% 
struck by Lightning, mention was made of 
twelve sorts of thunderbolts. 

6 Serv. loc. cit. ; VIII. 429. 
' Serv. loc. cit. ; XI. 259. 


more honour from the old Romans as a thunder- wielding god, 
than Jupiter himself. 8 VEJOVIS, or VEDIUS, though with a Latin 
name, was an Etruscan deity, whose bolts had the singular effect 
of making those they struck so deaf, " that they could not hear 
the thunder, or even louder noises." 9 Vulcan, or as the Etrus- 
cans called him SETHLAXS, was another bolt-hurling god. 1 MARS 
was also one of these nine. 2 The last two are not mentioned, 
but it seems probable that one was SATURX, or it may be their 
great infernal deity MANXus. 3 The ninth was probably Hercules 
ERCLE, or HERCLE a favourite god of the Etruscans. 1 

Besides these, were other great deities, as VERTUMXUS, or "the 
changeable," the god of wine and gardens, the Etruscan Bacchus; 5 
though that god is sometimes also called PHUPHLUXS. G Allied 
to him, probably in more than name, was VOLTUMXA, the great 
goddess at whose shrine the confederate princes of Etruria held 
their councils. 7 With her also may be analogous, HORTA, whose 
name perhaps indicates a goddess of gardens, and from whom 
a town of Etruria derived its name. 8 APLU, or Apollo, often 
appears on Etruscan monuments, as god of the sun, being some- 
times called UsiL; 9 and so also TURMS, or Mercury; 1 and 
TURAX, or Venus; ~ and more rarely THESAX, the goddess of the 

H Plin. loc. cit. ; Augustin. cle Civ. Dei, sented armed with the thunderbolt as well 

IV. 23. as with his club. Gottheit. d. Etrusk. p. 

'' Ammian. Marcell. XVII. 10, 2. 23. Lanzi (II. p. 203) took the ninth to 

1 Serv. ad 2En. I. 40. It is " Vulca- be Bacchus, 

num" in some editions, and Miilier (Etrusk. See Vol. II. p. 33. 

III. 3, 5) prefers it to " Jimonem," which 6 As in the beautiful mirror represented 

is Burmann's reading. in the frontispiece to this volume. The 

- Serv. ad Jin. VIII. 429 ; cf. Plin. II. name seems connected with "Pupluna, ! ' 

53. The name of the Etruscan Mars is not the Etruscan form of Populoiiia. See 

known, but that of the Sabine Mars, "Ma- Vol. II. p. 220. 

mers," is inscribed in Etruscan letters on a " See Vol. II. p. 33. 

fibula in the Gregorian Museum. Bull. s See Vol. I. p. 140. Gerhard, Gottheit. 

List. 1846, p. 11. p. 3". 

3 The Etruscans are said to have believed u As on a mirror in the Museo Gregoriano. 
that thunderbolts came not always from See Vol. II. p. 482. This name, however, 
heaven, but sometimes from the earth ; or, has been found attached to a female divinity 
as some said, from the planet Saturn. Plin. on another mirror. Bull. Inst. 1847, p. 117. 

II. 53. On this ground Miilier (Etrusk. : The name of this god on Etruscan 

III. 3, 5) thi)iks Saturn was the eighth. mirrors is generally "Turms,''or"Thurms ;" 
So Gerhard, Gottheiten der Etrusker, p. in one case he is called "Turms Aitas, " 
23. Servius (ad lEn. VIII. 430), indeed, or the infernal Mercury (Vol. II. p. 482), 
says that some ascribed the power of hurling in another, " Mirqurios. " Gerhard, Etrus. 
bolts to Auster. Spieg. II. taf. 182. He was associated by 

4 Miilier (III. 4, 2) does not attempt to Tarquin with the three great gods. Serv. 
supply the ninth. Gerhard, however, from ad JEn. II. 296. Callimachus (ap. Macro'o. 
the evidence of monuments, takes it to III. 8) said that the Etruscans called this 
have been Hercules, for on an Etruscan god Camillus. 

gem in his possession that god is repre- - This name is so often attached to 


dawn, Eos- Aurora; 3 and LOSXA, or LALA the Etruscan Luna, 
or Diana. 1 XKTHUNS, or Neptune, also appears on monuments,'"' 
though rarely, which is singular considering the maritime 
character of the people ; and Janus and Silvanus are also known 
as Etruscan gods, 6 the double head of the former being a common 
device on the coins of Volateme and Telamon. Then there were 
four gods called Penates Ceres, Pales, Eortuna, and the Genius 
Jovialis ; 7 and the two Penates of Latium, the Dioscuri, 
CASTUII and PULTUKE were much worshipped in Etruria, ns 
we learn from monuments. 8 The worship of the mysterious 
Oabeiri testified to the Pelasgic origin of a portion of the 
Etruscan population. 

All these deities are more or less akin to those of other ancient 
mythological systems, and what were of native origin and what of 
foreign introduction, it is not always easy to determine. But 
there were others more peculiarly Etruscan. At least if their 
counterparts are to be found in the Greek and lloiiian myth- 
ology, they had a wider influence in Etruria, and occupied a 
more prominent place in the Etruscan Pantheon. Such is the 
goddess of Eate, who is generally represented with wings, some- 
times with a hammer and nail, as if fixing unalterably her decrees 

figures of Venus, that there can be no ad 3i.n. II. 325), but Miiller (III. 3, 4) 

question of the identity. Sometimes she says justly, if the name be not Etruscan, 

is represented with " Atunis" (Adonis), that people must have had a god of the sea. 

or with " Elina " and " Menle " (Helen fi A four-faced Janus was worshipped at 

and Menelaus), or with "Elina" aiul Falerii. Serv. ad JEu. VII., 607 ; Macrob. 

"Elsntre" (Helen and Alexander). Ger- Sat. I. 9. Silvanus was a Pelasgic god, 

hard, Et. Spieg. taf. Ill, 115, 197, 198. who had a celebrated shrine at Ctere. 

Tertullian (Sped,, c. 8) says this goddess Virg. Mn. VIII. 600 ; cf. Liv. II. 7. 

was called Murt-ia. ' Arnob. loc. cit. ; Serv. ad Jin. II. 325. 

:l " Thesan " occurs on two mirrors in 8 The Dioscuri are not recorded as Etrus- 

the Gregorian Museum (Vol. II. p. 482). can divinities by ancient writers, but they 

Gerhard suggests a relation, and in one are so frequently and distinctly represented 

case an identity, between Thesan and the on the mirrors, that it is impossible not to 

Themis of the Greeks. Gotth. p. 39 : recognise them as Etruscan ; indeed, they 

Etrusk. Spieg. taf. 76. are often mentioned by name. Gerhard, 

* "Losna" is attached to the figure of Gottheit. pp. 2, 22, 46. 

Diana on a mirror. Etrusk. Spieg. taf. IJ The Cabeiri were the great gods of the 

171; Lanzi, II. tav. VIII. 6. It is doubt- Pelasgic Samothrace; and certain passages 

less a form of Luna. " Lala " is found on (Dion. Hal. I. c. 23; Macrob. Sat. III. 

another mirror. Gerhard, Gottheit. taf. 8) which ascribe their worship to the 

II. 7. Tyrrhenes, or Etruscans, may refer to the 

5 The name " Nethuns " occurs on a Pelasgi. Miiller, III. 3, 10. But Tarquin, 

mirror in the Gregorian Museum (Vol. it is said, was initiated into the mysteries 

II. p. 482). Gerhard (Gottheit. pp. 2, of Samothrace. Serv. ad &n. II. 296. 

19) regards this as the Latin name, and Gerhard sees in the three heads on the 

doubts if Neptune were an Etruscan deity, Gate of Volterra, and in certain scenes on 

though he is said to have been one of the mirrors, the three mysterious deities of 

Penates (Arnob. adv. Xat. III. 40; Serv. Lemnos. Gottheit. p. 13. 


an idea borrowed by the Romans ; but more frequently with 
a bottle in one hand and a stylus in the other, with which to 
inscribe her decisions. She is found with various names 
attached; but the most common are LASA, and MEAN". 1 A 
kindred goddess is frequently introduced in the reliefs on the 
sepulchral urns, as present at the death of some individual, and 
is generally armed with a hammer, a sword, or torch, though 
sometimes brandishing snakes like a Fury. 

AVhat gives most peculiarity to the Etruscan mythology is the 
doctrine of Genii. The entire system of national divination, 
called "the Etruscan Discipline," was supposed to have been 
revealed by a Genius, - called Tages a wondrous boy with a 
hoary head and the wisdom of age, who sprung from the fresh- 
ploughed furrows of Tarquinii. 3 But the worship of the Lares 
and Penates, the household deities who watched over the personal 
and pecuniary interests of individuals and families, was the most 
prominent feature in the Etruscan mythology, whence it was 
borrowed by the Romans. 3 Thence it was also, in all proba- 
bility, that the Romans obtained their doctrine of an attendant 
genius w r atching over every individual from his birth 

Genius natale comes qui temperat astrum, 

who was of the same sex as the individual, and was called Genius 
when male, and Juno when female. Yet we find no positive 
proof of this doctrine among the Etruscans. 4 

Last, but brought most prominently before the eye in Etruscan 
sepulchral monuments, are the dread powers of the lower world. 
Here rule MANTUS and MANIA, the infernal deities of the Etrus- 
can creed, w T hose names never occur on the native monuments, 
but are ascertained from Latin writers. 5 In fact, in two painted 

1 See Vol. I. p. 288. on Etruscan sepulchral urns in charge of 

- See Vol. I. p. 418. the dead, is Mantus ; though generally called 

3 Miillcr, Etrusk. III. 4, 6, 7 ; Gerhard, Charun. Gerhard (Gottheit. taf. VI. 2, 3, 
Gottheit. d. Etrusk. p. If). gives two figures from urns in the Museum 

4 The Genii or demons who are introduced of Volterra, which, being crowned, most 
(Hi Etruscan monuments to indicate a fatal probably represent the King of Shades, 
event, are generally females at least their Thus he was also depicted in the Cam- 
sex in many instances does not correspond panari tomb at Vulci. See p. 40*3 of 
with that of the defunct. For the Genii this volume. When two Charontic males 
and Junones see Vol. I. pp. 285-288. are introduced into the same scene, as 

5 Mantus is the Etruscan Dispater. Serv. on the vase illustrated in the frontispiece 
ad jn. X. 199. From him the city to Vol. II. of this work, one may be 
Mantua received its name. Miiller (III. intended for Mantus, or that which is not 
4, 10) thinks that the winged figure, armed Charun may be a Thanatos, a personifica- 
with a mallet or sword, often introduced tion of Death, or its messenger. Miiller 


tombs at Corneto and Orvieto, in which these divinities are de- 
picted, they are designated by the corresponding Greek appella- 
tions of Hades and Persephone. In both those instances Mantus 
is represented seated on a throne, with a wolf-skin on his head, 
and a serpent in one hand, or twining round his sceptre. Mania 
also, in the tomb at Corneto, has her head bristling with snakes. 
She was a fearful dehy, who was propitiated by human sacrifices. 7 
Intimately connected with these divinities was CHARUX, the great 
conductor of souls, the infernal Mercury of the Etruscans, the 
chief minister of Mantus, whose dread image, hideous as the 
imagination could conceive, is often introduced on sepulchral 
monuments ; and who, with his numerous attendant demons and 
Furies, well illustrates the dark and gloomy character of the 
Etruscan superstition. 8 

The government and religion of a country being ascertained, 
much may be inferred of the character, of its civilization. With 
such shackles as were imposed on it, it was impossible for the 
Etruscan mind, individually or collectively, to reach the highest 
degree of culture to which society, even in those earl}' ages, 
attained. The intellect of Etruria, when removed from the 
sciences and arts, and purely practical applications, was too much 
absorbed in the mysteries of divination and the juggleries of 
priestcraft. Even art was fettered by conventionalities, imposed, 
it seems, by her religious system. Yet there is recorded evidence 
that she possessed a national literature histories, 9 tragedies, L 

(III. 4, 9) suggests a relation to the was transferred from the Etruscan into 

Mundus, the pit in the Comitiuic, which the Roman mythology ; and that ^he 

was regarded as the mouth of Orcus, and answers also to the Lara or Larunda of the 

was opened three days in the year, for the Romans. Cf. Gerhard, Gmtheit. p. i.t ; . 

souls to step to the upper world. Varro, For the various derivations of the name 

ap. Macrob. I. 16; Fest. n: Mundus, suggested by Roman grammarians, see 

Manalem Lapidem. Varro, L. L. IX. 61 ; Festus v. Maniaj ; 

6 See the woodcuts, Vol. I. p. 351 ; II. Servius ad &n. I. 143 ; III. 63. lint if 

p. 58. the name of this deity be Etruscan it is 

~' Mania is called the mother of the useless to seek its origin in the Latin. 
Lares (Varro, L. L. IX. 61 ; Macrob. I. 7 ; s See Vol. II. pp. 191-193. 
Arnob. adv. Nat. III. 41), or the mother 1J Varro, ap. Censorin. XVII. 6. Poly- 
or grandmother of the Maries (Festus, sub bins (II. 17) speaks of histories of the 
voce). Boys used annually to be offered to Etruscan dynasties. There was also an 
her at the festival of the Compitalia, till. historian of the name of Vegoja, a frag- 
on the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, ment of whose work is extant. See 
the heads of garlic and poppies were sub- Miiller, IV. 5, 3 ; 7, 8. 
stituted. Macrob. Sat. I. 7. Miiller l Varro (Ling. Lat. V. 55) mentions 
(Etrusk. III. 4, 12, 13) thinks she is Volnius, or Volurnnius, a writer of Etrus- 
almost identical with Acca Larentia, the can tragedies, 
foster-mother of Romulus, a divinity who 



poems ; 3 besides religious ant! ritual books ; 3 and the Romans 
used to send their sons into the land of their hereditary foes to 
study its literature and language, 4 just as in later times the " old 
Christians " of Spain sent their youth to receive a knightly 
education at the Moslem courts of Cordoba and Granada. 

History, moreover, attests the eminence of the Etruscans in 
navigation and commerce for they were for ages " lords of the 
sea " 5 in military tactics, 6 agriculture, medicine, and other prac- 

2 The Fescennines, or songs of raillery, 
were Etruscan. See Vol. I. p. 116. The 
Etruscan histr tones or actors, danced and 
sang to the sound of the double-pipes. Liv. 
VII. 2. In their religious services also 
the Etruscans sang hymns to the honour 
of their gods or heroes. Dion. Hal. I. c. 
21 ; Serv. ad .En. VIII. 285. Lucretius 
(VI. 381) speaks of "Tyrrhena carmina" 
on divination by lightning. Miiller, IV. 
5, 1. 

3 The sacred or ritual books of the Etrus- 
cans are mentioned under many names by 
ancient writers libri Etrusci charts 
Etn.isc.-e scripta Etrusca Tusci libelli 
Etruscaj discipline libri libri fatales, 
rituales, haruspicini, fulgurales et toni- 
truales libri Tagetici sacra Tagetica 
sacra Acherontica libri Acherontici. The 
ivuthor of these sacred works on the 
"Etruscan Discipline," was supposed to be 
Tages. The names of Tarquitins, Csecina, 
Aquila, Labeo, Begoe, Umbricius, are given 
as writers on these subjects, probably com- 
mentatoi-s on Tages. 

4 Liv. IX. 36 : Cicero, de Divin. I. 41 ; 
Val. Max. I. 1, 1. 

5 Diod. Sic. V. pp. 295, 300, 316 ; 
Strabo, V. p. 222. They rivalled the 
Phoenicians in enterprise, founding colonies 
in the islands of the Tyrrhene Sea, and 
even on the coast of Spain, where Tarraco, 
now Tarragona (in whose name we recog- 
nise that of Tarchon), appears to have 
been one of their settlements (Auson. Epist. 
XXIV. 88) a tradition confirmed by its 
ancient fortifications. Miiller, Etrusk. I. 
4, 6 ; Abeken, Mittelitalien, p. 129. Nay, 
the Etruscans would fain have colonised 
the far " island of the blest," in the 
Atlantic Ocean, probably Madeira or one 
of the Canaries, had not the Carthaginians 
opposed them. Diod. Sic. V. p. 300. It 
was this mutual spirit of maritime enter- 
prise that led to a treaty between Carthage 

and Etruria, which probably defined the 
limits of each people's commerce. Ai'istot. 
Polit. III. 9. The naval greatness of 
Etruria is symbolised on her coins, a com- 
mon device on which is the prow of a ship, 
copied on those of early Rome long before 
that city had a fleet or had achieved a naval 
triumph. Ovid (Fast. I. 229) assigns a 
very different origin to the prow on Roman 
coins, but he relates the vulgar tradition. 

Of the relations of Etruria with Egypt in 
very early times her sepulchres have yielded 
abundant proofs. But these relations were 
not always commercial, or of a friendly 
character. It is recorded in hieroglyphics 
on the great temple of Kamak, that as early 
as the fourteenth century B.C. the Etrus- 
cans (Tourshas) invaded Egypt, occupied a 
portion of it, and even threatened Memphis, 
but being defeated by Meneptah I. of the 
Nineteenth Dynasty, 742 of them were 
slain, and 890 hands were cut off by the 
Egyptians. De Rouge, Revue Arch. 1867, 
pp. 35-45 ; 80-103. That Etruria had 
commercial relations with the far East, 
whether direct or indirect we cannot say, 
is proved by the discovery in a tomb at 
Vulci of a shell engraved with very archaic 
winged figures, which shell has been pro- 
nounced by conchologists to be of a species 
found only in the remote Indian seas, and 
chiefly in the waters of Japan. Bull. Inst. 
1848, p. 59. It is evident that Etruria 
had also an extensive commerce by land, 
for bronzes which are recognized as Etruscan 
have been found in many countries north of 
the Alps. See p. Ixxiii. n. 3. 

6 The military tactics of the Etruscans 
were celebrated. Diodor. V. p. 316. They 
fought in phalanx, and from them the 
Romans derived this their earliest mili- 
tary arrangement. Diod. Sic. XXIII. 1. 
Exccrp. Mai ; Athen. VI. p. 273 ; cf. 
Liv. VIII. 8. Their large circular shields 
were also adopted by the Romans. Diod. 


tienl sciences ; 7 above all in astronomy, which was brought by 
them to such perfection, that they seem to have arrived at a very 
close approximation to the true division of time, and to have fixed 
the tropical year at precisely 365 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes. 8 

If we measure Etruria by the standard of her own day, we must 
ascribe to her a high degree of civilization second only to that 
of Greece. It differed indeed, as the civilization of a country 
under despotic rule will always differ from that of a free people. 
It resided in the mass rather than in the individual ; it was the 
result of a set system, not of personal energy and excellence ; its 
tendency was stationary rather than progressive ; its object was 
to improve the material condition of the people, and to minister 
to luxury, rather than to advance and elevate the nobler faculties 
of human nature. In all this it assimilated to the civilization of 
the East, and of the Aztecs and Peruvians. It had not the earnest 
germ of development, the intense vitality which existed in Greece ; 
it could never have produced a Plato, a Demosthenes, a Thucy- 
dides, or a Pericles. Yet while inferior to her illustrious con- 
temporary in intellectual vigour and eminence, Etruria was in 
advance of her in her social condition and in certain respects in 
physical civilization, or that state in which the arts and sciences 
are made to minister to comfort and luxury. The health and 
cleanliness of her towns were insured by a system of sewerage, 
vestiges of which may be seen on many Etruscan sites ; and the 
Cloaca Maxima will be a memorial to all time of the attention 
paid by the Etruscans to drainage. Yet this is said to have been 

Sic. loc. cit. Another account, which Nie- dorus, V. p. 316. Cf. Plin. XXIV. 05. 

buhr (III. p. 99) calls in question, ascribes It must have been with the aid of science 

the origin of the Roman armour and that they were enabled to bring down 

weapons to the Samnites. Sallust, Catil. 51. lightning from heaven; though the priests 

The Romans probably borrowed the helmet made the people believe it was by religious 

from the Etruscans, as well as the word rites. Thus Porsena is said to have brought 

for it cassis. Isid. Orig. XVIII. 14. An down thunderbolts by invocation. Plin. 

interesting specimen of an Etruscan helmet, II. 54. And though Numa is said to have 

with a Greek inscription, showing it to be exercised the same power, which proved 

of the spoils taken from the Etruscans by fatal to Tullus Hostilius, it was probably 

Hiero of Syracuse, is preserved in the derived from Etruria. Pint. Numa; Ovid. 

British Museum. Fast. III. 327 ; Plin. loc. cit. ; XXVIII. 4. 

7 Virgil (Georg. II. 533) tells us that " This is Niebuhr's opinion (I. p. 270). 

to agriculture Etruria owed her great- The ancient Aztecs of Mexico, and the 

ness " sic fortis Etruria crevit. " Muyscas of South America, before their 

The skill of the Etruscans as physicians is intercourse with Europe, had arrived at 

celebrated by jEschylus, ap. Theophrast. a still nearer approach to truth in their 

Hist. Plant. IX. 15 ; and Mart. Capella, computation of time. Prescott's Mexico, 

de Geomet. VI. Their acquaintance with I. p. 98, ct scq. ; Conquest of Peru, I. p. 

the vegetable world is recorded by Dio- 117. 



neglected bv the Greeks. 9 In her internal communication Etruria 

O ' 

also shows her advance in material civilization. Few extant 
remains of paved ways, it is true, can be pronounced Etruscan, 
but in the neighbourhood of most of her cities are traces of roads 
cut in the rocks, sometimes flanked with tombs, or even marked 
with inscriptions, determining their antiquity ; and generally 
having water-channels or gutters to keep them dry and clean. 1 
The Etruscans were also skilled in controlling the injurious 
processes of nature. They drained lakes by cutting tunnels 
through the heart of mountains, and they diverted the course of 
rivers, to reclaim low and marshy ground, just as the Yal di 
C'hiana has been rescued in our own times. 2 And these grand 
works are not only still extant, but some are even efficient as 
ever, after the lapse of so many centuries. 

That the Etruscans were eminently skilled in tunnelling, 
excavating, and giving form and beauty to shapeless rocks, and 
for useful purposes, is a fact impressed on the mind of every 
one who visits the land. Their tombs were all subterranean, 
and, with few exceptions, hewn in the rock, after the manner of 
the Egyptians and other people of the East. In truth, in n<> 

'-' Strabo, V. p. 235. Strabo says that 
the Greeks, in founding their cities, con- 
sidered principally the strength and beauty 
of site, the advantages of ports, and the 
fertility of the soil ; whereas the Romans 
paid most attention to what the others 
neglected paved roads, aqueducts, and 
common sewers. This distinction the Ro- 
mans, in all probability, owe to the Etrus- 
cans. However, it is certain that vestiges 
of conduits and sewers are extant in many 
cities of Greece, though on a scale inferior, 
it is said, to those of Rome. Mure, Tour 
in Greece, II. p. 47. At Syracuse the 
ancient Greek aqueduct which transverses 
Epipolse still supplies the modern town 
with water. There are remains of ancient 
Greek roads, both in Greece and her colo- 
nies in Italy, Sicily, Africa, and Asia Minor. 

1 The Romans are said to have been in- 
debted to the Carthaginians for their paved 
roads. Isidor. Orig. XV. 16 ; cf. Serv. ad 
^En. I. 426. But from the little intercourse 
the Romans maintained with that people in 
early times, it seems more probable that 
they derived this art from the Etruscans, 
who were their great preceptors in all works 
of public utility. There is no positive evi- 
dence of this ; but it is the opinion now 

generally entertained. Mieali (Ant. Pop. 
Ital. I. p. 150 ; II. p. 307) indeed main- 
tains that there are remains of Etruscan 
paved roads still extant, such as that from 
Cre to Veii, and thence to Oapena, con- 
structed before the domination of the 

- Such is the interpretation put by Nie- 
buhr (I. p. 132) on Plin. III. 20 Omnia 
ea flumina, fossasque, primi a Sagi feccre 
Tliusci : egesto arnnis impetu per trans- 
versum in Atrianorum paludes. Kiebuhr 
declares the channels by which the Po still 
discharges itself, to be the work of the 
Etruscans. And in the territory of Perugia, 
and in Suburbicarian Tuscia, are traces of 
many lakes drained by the Etruscans, and 
now dried up ; "the tunnels are unknown 
and never cleared out, but still work." 
The Emissary of Albano, which there is 
everj- reason to regard as an Etruscan 
work, is a triumphant memorial of their 
skill in such operations. In such under- 
takings the Etruscans were rivalled Jjy the 
Greeks of Bceotia, who in early, probably 
heroic times, constructed katabothra to 
drain the lake Copais, and convey the super- 
abundant waters of the Cephissus into the 


point is the oriental character of the Etruscans more obviously 
marked than in their sepulchres ; and modern researches are 
daily bringing to light fresh analogies to the tombs of Lycia, 
Phrygia, Lydia, or Egypt. 

In physical comfort and luxury the Etruscans cannot have 
been surpassed by any contemporaiy nation. Whoever visits the 
Gregorian Museum of the Vatican, or that of Signer Augusto 
Castellani at Rome, will have abundant proofs of this. Much of 
it is doubtless owing to their extensive commerce, which was their 
pride for ages. In their social condition they were in advance of 
the Greeks, particularly in one point, which is an important test 
of civilization. In Athens, woman trod not by the side of man 
as his companion and helpmate, but followed as his slave ; the 
treatment of the sex, even in the days of Pericles, was what 
would now be called oriental. But in Etruria, woman was 
honoured and respected ; she took her place at the board by her 
husband's side, which she was never permitted to do at Athens ; :5 
she was educated and accomplished, and sometimes even in- 
structed in the mysteries of divination ; 4 her children assumed 
her name as well as their father's ; a and her grave was honoured 
with even more splendour than that of her lord. It is not easy 
to say to what Etruria owed this superiority. But whatever its 
cause, it was a fact which tended greatly to humanize her, and, 
through her, to civilize Italy a fact of which Rome reaped the 
benefit by imitating her example. 

AVe have now to consider the arts of the Etruscans, from the 
remains of which we gather our chief knowledge of this people. 
That which is most peculiarly their own, and has partaken least 
of foreign influence, is their 


From history we learn veiy little of this art among them. 
AVe know that they were the chief architects of early Rome, 
that the}' built the great temple of Jupiter 011 the Capitol, and 
constructed the Cloaca Maxima, 6 and that Rome, whenever she 

3 See Vol. I. p. 309. . r >65 ; Fcst. r. rrtedia). Yet she was an 

4 Two illustrious examples of this are industrious house-wife, a great spinner of 
Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, wool (Plin. VIII. 74 ; Fest. v. Gaia 
and the nymph Begoe. See Vol. I. p. 478; Csecilia), and an excellent helpmate to her 
of. II. pp. 163. Tanaquil is also said to husband. Suidas, r. Atwcioy. 

have been deeply versed in mathematics l See Vol. I. p. 100. 

and medicine (Schol. ad Juven. Sat. VI. c Liv. I. 56. 


would raise any public building, sent to Etruria for artificers. 
But of the peculiarities of Etruscan architecture we know from 
history little more than Yitruvius tells us of the plan and pro- 
portions of a temple in the Tuscan style. 6 We know too that 
Etruscan houses had frequently porticoes, 7 and a court, called 
atrium or cavcedhnn, within them, so arranged that the water 
from the roof fell into a tank in the centre a plan adopted by 
the Romans. 8 Unfortunately, not a vestige of an Etruscan 
temple, beyond some doubtful foundations, is now extant, to 
compare with Yitruvius' description ; 9 yet numerous models of 
temples and houses are to be seen in Etruscan tombs, either 
hewn from the rock, or sculptured on sepulchral monuments ; 
and there is no lack of materials whence to learn the propor- 
tions, style, and decorations of the former, and the arrange- 
ments, conveniences, and furniture of the latter. In truth 
Etruria presents abundant food to the inquiring architect ; and 
he who would make the tour of her ancient cities and ceme- 
teries, might add much to our knowledge of the early, archi- 
tecture of Italy. He would learn that the architecture of the 
Etruscans bore sometimes a close affinity to that of Egypt, 
sometimes to that of Greece or Rome, but had often remarkable 
native peculiarities. He would learn, also, beyond what Yitruvius 
tells him of the practice of the Etruscans to decorate the pedi- 
ments of their temples with figures of clay or of bronze gilt, 1 
that they must also have been adorned internally with paintings 
and reliefs, and that the whole, both within and without, must 
have glowed with colour, according to the polychrome system 
set forth in the tombs and sepulchral monuments. 

6 Yitruv. IV. 7. Miiller (IV. 2, 3) Greece, and Rome are yet extant, seems 

thinks Vitruvlus took his rules of an to be that they were constructed principally 

Etruscan temple from that of Ceres in of wood, which may be learnt from Vitru- 

the Circus Maximus, dedicated in the year vius (IV. 7), who represents the epistylia, 

of Rome 261. It is still disputed whether as of wood, and the intercolumniations on 

the so-called Tuscan order is an invention that account much wider than in temples 

of the Etruscans, or a mere variety of the of the Greek orders. Something may also 

Doric. For notices of the Etruscan temple, be learned from the analogy of the tombs, 

see Miiller, Etrusk. III. 6 ; IV. 2, 3 5 ; whose ceilings are generally cut into the 

Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. IV. pp. 1 51 ; form of beams and rafters, or into coffers 

Abeken, Mittelitalien, pp. 202 233. lacunaria as in the Pantheon. Canina 

Canina, Etruria Marittima, II., p. 153 (Et. Mar. II. p. 152) accounts for this use 

162. of wood in Etruscan temples by the want of 

" Diodor. Sic. V. p. 316. stone of sufficient strength to form epistylia ; 

8 Yitruv. VI. 3 ; Yarro, L. L. V. 161 ; but this objection is applicable only to the 
Festus, v. Atrium ; Serv. ad .ZEn. I. 730. tufo in the southern part of the land, and 

9 The reason why no Etruscan temples in the neighbourhood of Chiusi. 
are standing, while so many of Egypt, ' Yitruv. III. 3. 

VOL. I. e 


The remains of Etruscan architecture yet extant are found 
in the walls and gates of cities, in sewers, bridges, vaults, and 

Nothing gives a more exalted idea of the power and grandeur 
of this ancient people than the walls of their cities. 2 These 
enormous piles of masonry, uncemented, yet so solid as to have 
withstood for three thousand years the destroying hand of man, 
the tempests, the earthquakes, the invisible yet more destructive 
power of atmospheric action, seem destined to endure to the end 
of time ; yet often show a beauty, a perfection of workmanship, 
that has never been surpassed. The style of masonry differs in 
the two great divisions of the land, and is determined in part 
by the nature of the local materials. In the northern district, 
where the rock is difficult to be hewn, being limestone, hard 
sandstone, or travertine, the walls are composed of huge blocks, 
rectangular in general, but of various sixes, and irregular 
arrangement, according as the masses of rock were hewn or 
split from the quarry ; and in some instances small pieces are 
inserted in the interstices of the larger blocks. There are also a 
few instances of the irregular, polygonal style, as in the so-called 
O} T clopean cities of Latium and Sabina. In the southern district 
the masonry is less massive and very regular, being isodomon, 
composed of parallelepiped blocks of tufo or other volcanic rock, 
which admits of being easily worked. 3 

In the earliest fortifications the gates were square-headed, 

- There was a tradition, recorded by intended city, while his followers turned 

Dionysius (I. c. 30), that the Tyrrheni all the clods inward to the city. The 

were the first who raised fortresses in Italy, ridge thus raised marked the line of the 

and that thence they received their name. future walls, and the furrow that of the 

Cf. Tzetz. in Lycoph. 717. fosse. Wherever the site of a gate was 

3 The masonry most common in this reached, the plough was lifted from the 
ilistrict is that to which I have applied the earth, and carried over the proposed road- 
name emplecton, described Vol. I. pp. 65, way ; for the walls were deemed to be 
80. In measurement the blocks of this consecrated by the ceremony of ploughing, 
masonry generally correspond with the and had not the gateways been omitted, 
.ancient Roman foot and modern Tuscan there could have been no entrances into 
brace io. See Vol. I., p. t)<5 ; II. p. 339. the city. On either side of the walls a 

The peculiar ceremonies which the space called the ponueriu.m was also marked 

Romans observed in founding their cities, out, which was ever after sacred from the 

and which were observed in the case of plough, and from habitation. Virgil (.iEn. 

Rome itself, they received from the Etrus- V. 755 ; Serv. in loc.) represents -Eneas as 

cans, with whom this was a very sacred founding a city according to the same rite. 

rite. A day was chosen that was pro- For authorities, see Vol. II. p. 228, n. 9 : 

nounced auspicious by the augurs. The to which add, Dio Cass. Excerp. Mai, II. 

founder, having yoked a bull and cow to a p. 527 ; Serv. ad JEn. V. 755 ; Isid. Orig. 

brazen plough, the bull outside, the cow XV. 2. 
within, ploughed a deep furrow round the 


spanned by lintels of stone or wood, and the arch, when found 
in connection with such masonry, must be considered of sub- 
sequent construction. But in walls of later date the gates were 
arched on the perfect cuneiform s}"stem, the massive voussoirs 
holding together without cement. Indeed there is abundant 
evidence in the architectural remains of Etruria that the perfect 
arch Avas known and practised in that land at a very early period ; 
and that the Romans, who have long enjoyed the credit of its 
invention, derived it from the Etruscans, is now set beyond a 

That the world is indebted to Etruria for the discovery of the 
principle of the arch, would be difficult of proof. The existence 
of arches among the tombs of Thebes and in the pyramids of 
Nubia on the one hand, 4 and in a bridge in Laconia and a gate- 
wa} r in Acarnania on the other,' raises two rivals to contest the 
honour of originality with Etruria ; and a third may perhaps be 
found in Ass} r ria, if Mr. Layard's views of the date of the monu- 
ments at Nimroud be correct. But whichever of these leading 
nations of antiquity may have discovered the principle, there can 
be no doubt that it was the Etruscans who first practised it in 
Italy ; and, considering the inventive turn of this people and 
their acknowledged skill in architecture, it is probable that the 
principle of cuneiform sustentation was worked out by them, 
whether prior or subsequently to its discovery in Egypt, Greece, 

4 Sir G. Wilkinson (Mod. Egypt. II. Ancient Egypt, p. 234. His testimony is 

pp. 189, 218) speaks of some tombs confirmed by other architects who have 

vaulted with sun-dried bricks, which are assured me, from personal inspection, that 

" proved " by the hieroglyphic inscriptions these very ancient arches are apparent 

they bear, to be as old as 1540 years B. c. merely, not real. There is as yet no evidence 

For two tombs with stone arches, one at to prove the arch much earlier than six ceu- 

the foot of the Pyramids, the other at times before Christ. 

Sakkara, he does not claim an antiquity 6 The bridge referred to is that of 

higher than 600 years before our era (op. Xerokampo, in the neighbourhood of 

cit. I. pp. 357, 368), or a period about Sparta, discovered by Dr. lloss of Athens, 

coeval with the Cloaca Maxima. This, I It is on the true arch-principle, and sur- 

believe, is also the antiquity claimed by rounded by polygonal masonry (Ann. lust. 

Mr. Layard for the Assyrian arches he has 1838, p. 140 ; Mon. Inst. II. tav. 57) ; but 

discovered. Mr. Wathen, a professional it has been pronounced to be of late date 

authority, who speaks from careful exam- and Roman construction. The gateway is a 

ination, while admitting that the tomb at postern in the city of ffiniadrc, whose walls 

the foot of the Pyramids presents an in- are also of polygonal masonry. Indeed, 

stance of a perfect arch, declares that in this city is remarkable for exhibiting in its 

that of Sakkara, and in the earlier tombs several gates the progress from the flat 

referred to by Wilkinson, the supposed lintel to the perfect arch. See Vol. II. p. 

vaulting is a mere lining to the roof of the 250, n. 2. There are also some perfect 

tomb, hollowed in a friable rock, and does arches in the polygonal walls of (Enoanda, 

not hold together on the wedge-principle. in the Cibyratis, in Asia Minor. 

c 2 



or Assyria it is impossible to determine. 6 As in those countries, 
there are here also extant instances of pseudo-vaults, prior to the 
invention of the arch, formed by the gradual convergence of 
blocks laid in horizontal courses. These structures must be of 
very remote date, probably before the foundation of Rome. 7 


Archaeology has been called "the science of sepulchres." 
Those of Etruria are verily the fount whence we draw our chief 
knowledge of the civilization and arts of this wonderful people. 
So much will be said on this subject in the course of this work, 
that it is not necessary here to say much of the Sepulchres of the 
Etruscans. But it may be well to point out a few of their 
characteristics. A leading feature is, that they are always subter- 
ranean, being frequently hollowed in the living rock, either be- 
neath the surface of the ground, or in the face of a cliff, or at the 
foot of a cliff, which was shaped by the chisel into a monument, 
and inscribed with an epitaph. 8 Where the rock would not 

6 The earliest arched structure men- 
tioned in history, and now evtant, is the 
Cloaca Maxima constructed by Tarquinius 
Priscus (Liv. I. 38 ; Plin. XXXVI. 24) 
unless the vault of the upper prison of the 
Mamertine be really that ascribed by Livy 
(I. 33) to Ancus Martins, which is very 
doubtful and it dates from the middle of 
the second century of Rome, or about six 
hundred years before Christ. How much 
earlier the principle of the arch may have 
been discovered, it is impossible to say ; 
but the perfection of the Cloaca Maxima 
might lead us to suppose a long previous 
acquaintance with this mode of construction. 
Canina (Cere Antica, p. 66) refers the first 
use of the true arch in Italy to the reign of 
Tarquinius Priscus (616 578, B.C.), to 
which conclusion he arrives from a com- 
parison of the Cloaca with the Tullianum ; 
and he thinks that Tarquin must have 
brought the knowledge of it from Tarquinii, 
and that it was introduced there from 
Corinth by his father Demaratus ; but for 
this there is no authority in ancient writers. 

~' The most remarkable instances of 
pseudo-vaults in Etruria are the Regulini- 
Galassi tomb at Cervetri, the Grotta Ser- 
gardi near Cortona, and the sepulchres lately 
opened by Signer Mancini beneath Orvieto. 

A tomb of similar construction has been 
found at Cum a?. 

8 The only tomb of purely Roman times 
that I remember to resemble the Etruscan 
is that of the Nasones, on the Via Flaminia, 
a few miles from Rome. Early tombs of 
Etruscan character, however, are found in 
Latium, Sabina, and other parts of Central 
Italy, and notably at Ardea of the Rutuli. 
Noel des Vergers, Etrurie, I. pp. 1 85-8. So 
occasionally also on Greek sites. But of 
all the ancient sepulchres I have seen out 
of Italy, those of Cyrene bear the closest 
resemblance to the Etruscan, making allow- 
ance for the difference in the style of art. 
In that most remarkable and abounding 
Greek necropolis are streets of tombs 
carved in the cliffs, resembling temples or 
houses, with archaic Doric or Ionic 
fagades, and bearing Greek inscriptions, 
or else built up in the form of small 
temples on the surface of the plain. The 
city, for ages desolate, is surrounded by 
the homes of the dead, which have long 
survived the habitations of the living. It 
has always struck me with surprise that 
at Cyrene, next door as it were to Egypt, 
there should be little or nothing of Egyptian 
art in the sculptured architecture of the 
tombs, while that style is a prominent 


readily admit of such excavation, or where the soil was loose and 
friable, the tomb was sometimes a mere pit, or was constructed 
with masonry more or less rude, and heaped over with earth into 
the form of a tumulus. There is nothing in all Etruria like some 
Greek and most Roman sepulchres, built up above the surface of 
the ground ; unless, indeed, the tombs disinterred by Signer 
Mancini beneath Orvieto were originally left uncovered with 
earth. The object of the Etruscans seems generally to have been 
to conceal their tombs rather than to display them, in which 
they differed from the Romans. 9 

Another characteristic of Etruscan tombs, which distinguishes 
them from the Roman, and allies them intimately with those of 
Egypt and Asia Minor, is that 
they frequently show an imi- 
tation, more or less obvious, 
of the abodes of the living. 
Some display this analogy in 
their exterior ; others in their 
interior ; a few in both. Some 
have more resemblance to 
temples, and may be the 
sepulchres of augurs or arus- 
pices, or of families in which 
the sacerdotal office was here- 
ditary. Yet it must be con- 
fessed that the analogy sug- 
gested by the external monu- 
ment is often belied by the sepulchre it covers or contains, as is 
the case Avith the tumuli of Corneto and Cervetri, which, exter- 
nally at least, resemble the huts of the ancient Phrygians, 1 yet 


characteristic of the rock-hewn monuments 
of Norchia, Castel d'Asso, and Sovana. 

y Yet they often placed stelce or cippi over 
their underground sepulchres, in the shape 
of columns, cubes, pine-cones, slabs, lions, 
or sphinxes. The strong resemblance the 
sepulchral slabs, with reliefs of men and 
animals, found at La Certosa, near Bologna, 
tear to those which marked the sites of 
the royal tombs at Mycenae (see the wood- 
cuts at pp. 52, 81, 86, 93, of Schliemann's 
Mycenre), is worthy of notice. 

Etruscan tombs, like the Greek and 
Roman, are occasionally found by the way- 

side, real monuments monimenta warn- 
ings and admonitions to the living. Varro, 
Ling. Lat. VI. 45. 

1 Yitruv. II. 1,5. I have pointed out 
this analogy at p. 278 of this volume, yet 
I doubt if it be more than accidental, for 
the tumulus is a natural form of sepulchre, 
which would suggest itself to any people in 
any part of the world in an early stage of 
culture, from the facility of its construction. 
In a rude state of society, the body would 
he laid on the ground, or within it, and 
earth would be piled over it, both to pro- 
tect it from wild beasts, and to mark the 


cover tombs generally of quadrangular form. The idea of repre- 
senting the abodes of the living in the receptacles for the dead, 
which is quite oriental, was not, however, confined to the Etrus- 
cans among the early people of Italy, as is proved by the singular 
cinerary urns found in the necropolis of Alba Longa, which are 
obvious imitations of rude huta formed of boughs and covered 
with skins, 2 as shown in the woodcut on the preceding page. 
There can be no doubt that the paintings on the walls of 
Etruscan tombs show the style, though perhaps not the exact sub- 
jects, of the internal decorations of their houses. The ceilings are 
often carved to imitate beams and rafters, or adorned with coffers, 
and the walls with panelling couches and stools surround the 
chambers weapons and other furniture are suspended from the 
walls and easy arm-chairs, with foot-stools attached, all hewn 
from the living rock, are found in the subterranean houses of 
these Etruscan " cities of the dead." The analogy to houses in 
such instances has been truly said to hold in everything but the 
light of day. In this respect, Etruscan tombs have a peculiar 
interest and value, as illustrative of the plan, arrangements, and 
decorations, external and internal, of Etruscan houses : of which, 
as time has left us no trace, and history no definite description, 
we must gather what information we may from analogical sources. 
In the temples and houses of Etruria, be it remembered, we view 
those of early Rome, ere she had sat at the feet of her more 
accomplished preceptor, Greece. 


Of the plastic and pictorial arts of the Etruscans it is not 
easy to treat, both on account of the vast extent of the subject, 
and because it demands an intimate acquaintance with ancient 
art in general, such as can be acquired only by years of study 
and experience, and by the careful comparison of numerous 

site of its interment, and the more illns- they were covered. For no tumulus in 

trious the dead, the loftier, safer, and more Etruria has yet been found to contain a 

conspicuous would be the tnouml. I cer- conical or bell-shaped chamber, correspond- 

tainly cannot accept Mr. Taylor's theory ing with its external form ; and the Kpqirts 

(" Etruscan Researches, " p. 42) that these or podium of masonry, with which many, 

sepulchral mounds are intentional imita- if not all, of these mounds were originally 

lions of tents, and that the masonry en- girt, was absolutely necessary to sustain 

circling their base was in itself useless, and the superincumbent earth, and to give the 

therefore evidently a mere survival of the structure a permanent form, 
custom of surrounding tents with heavy 2 See Vol. II. p. 457. 

stones to keep down the skins with which 


works of various ages and countries. It lias been laid down as 
an axiom, that " He who lias seen one work of ancient art lias 
seen none, he who has seen a thousand has seen but one." 3 I 
feel, therefore, reluctant to enter on a ground to Avhich I 
cannot pretend to do justice, especially in the narrow limits to 
which I am confined. Yet it is incumbent on me to give the 
reader a general view of the subject, to enable him to under- 
stand the facts and observations he will meet with in the course 
of these volumes. 

As the fine arts of a country always bear the reflex of its 
political and social condition, so the hierarchical government of 
Etruria here finds its most palpable expression. In the most 
ancient works of sculpture the influence of the national religion 
is most apparent ; deities or religious symbols seem the only 
subjects represented, so that some have been led to the con- 
clusion that both the practice and theory of design were 
originally in the hands of the priests alone. 4 These early 
Etruscan Avorks have many points in common with those of 
the infancy of art in other lands, just as babes are very similar 
all the world over : yet, besides the usual shapelessness and 
want of expression, they have native peculiarities, such as dis- 
proportionate length of body and limbs, an unnatural elongation 
of hands and feet, drapery adhering to the bocty, and great 
rigidity, very like the Egyptian, yet with less parallelism. In 
truth, the earliest works of Etruria betray the great influence of 
Egypt ; 5 and that of Assyria is also often manifest in early 
Etruscan, as in early Greek art, especially in the decorations. 
By degrees, however, probably from the natural progress common 
to all civilized countries, Etruscan art stepped out of the con- 
ventionalities which confined it, and assumed a more energetic 
character, more like the Greek than the Egyptian, yet still rigid, 
hard, and dry, rather akin to the JKginetic than the Athenian 
school, displaying more force than beauty, more vigour than 
grace, better intention than ability of execution, an exaggerated, 
rather than a truthful representation of nature. It was onl} r 
when the triumph of Greek art was complete, and the world 

3 Gerhard, Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 111. some maintained that this rigid and recti- 

4 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. II. p. 222. linear Etruscan style was not necessarily 

5 Strabo, who was personally acquainted imported from the Nile ; for it is a style 
with the antiquities of the respective lands, which nature in the infancy of art taught 
remarks the resemblance between the alike to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Etrus- 
sculptured works of Egypt, Etruria, and cans, as it was not so much art, as the 
early Greece. XVII. p. 806. It is by want of art. 


acknowledged the transcendency of Hellenic genius, that Etruria 
became its humble disciple, and imitated, often with much 
success, the grand works of the Greek chisel and pencil. A 
distinctive national character is, however, generally preserved, 
for the tendency to realism, as opposed to Greek ideality, betrays 
itself even in the best works of Etruscan art. The four styles 
into which Etruscan art may be divided are 1st, The Asiatic, 
which has Babylonian as well as Egyptian affinities ; 2nd, The 
Etruscan, or Tyrrhene, as it is sometimes called ; 3rd, The 
Hellenic, or Greece-Etruscan ; 4th, That of the Decadence, 
which more resembles the Roman. The peculiarities of style, 
indeed, which distinguish Roman art from Greek, appear in 
great measure to have t>een borrowed from Etruria. 

This classification pertains to all the imitative arts of the 
Etruscans. Though we may not agree with those who affirm 
that Etruscan art was but a variety of Greek, we may admit 
that in their infancy, while contemporaneous, they bore a con- 
siderable resemblance. Greek art, as well as Etruscan, was 
born on the shores of Asia Minor; both received strong im- 
pressions from Egypt and Assyria ; but as they progressed they 
began to diverge, and this period of divergence is marked by 
the distinctive national style of Etruria. Subsequently they 
again approached, but it was no loiter as equals. Etruria, 
confessing her inferiority, became the docile, earnest pupil of 
Greece, and was indebted to that influence for all that was most 
excellent and refined in her art-productions. She wanted, how- 
ever, the genius, the inspiration of her master. She imitated 
his form, his manner, style, and general character, but failed to 
catch his spirit. The Etruscan artist carefull}" studied details, 
and strove to copy nature with fidelit} 7 , but failed to perceive 
that the distinguishing excellence of a Greek work of art lay 
in the harmony of all its pails, which rendered them all sub- 
servient to the expression of one leading idea ; and that mere 
skill in working out details would not compensate for the 
absence of the spirit of unit\ r and harmony pervading the whole. 

6 The specimens of Etmscan art that indeed these be not Etruscan, either impor- 

have come down to us confirm the assertion ted, or executed when the land of the 

of Quintilian (XII. 10), that the statues Volsci was subject to Etruria. Witness 

of Etruria differed from those of Greece in the singular painted reliefs in terra-cotta, 

kind, just as the eloquence of an Asiatic found at Velletri in 1784, and now in the 

differed from that of an Athenian. Very Museum of Naples, illustrated by Inghi- 

similar in style to those of Etruria are the rami, Mon. Etrus. VI. tav. T 4 -X 4 ; cf. 

early plastic works of Latinm and the few Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. LXI. 
remains of Volscian art preserved to us, if 


Like the craftsman described by Horace, the Etruscan could 
express with accuracy the nails, or imitate the flowing hair of 
his model, but he was an inferior artist after all 

Infelix operis summa, quia ponere totum 

Of the imitative arts of Etruria the working in cla} r was the 
most ancient, 7 as modelling naturally precedes casting, chiselling, 
or painting. For their works in terra-cotta the Etruscans were 
renowned in ancient times, 8 and early Rome contained numerous 
specimens of them. 9 The Veientes in particular were famed for 
their works in clay. 

Then followed the arts of casting and chiselling in bronze, for 
which the Etruscans were greatly renowned ; l and their statues 
in metal not only filled their own cities, and the temples of Rome, 2 
but were also exported to other lands. 3 In truth the Etruscans 
have the renown of being the inventors of this art in Italy. 4 In- 
numerable are the specimens of Etruscan toreutic statuary that 
have come down to us, and widely different are the degrees of 
excellence displayed, from the rudest, most uncouth attempts at 

7 Plin. XXXIV. 16 : XXXV. 45. 

8 Pneterea elaboratam hanc arteni Italias, 
et maxime Etrurise. Varro, ap. Plin. 
XXXV. 45. The most ancient specimens 
of Etruscan glyptic art yet disinterred are. 
pronounced by Dr. Helbig to be three female 
figures in terra-cotta, draped in chiton and 
peplos, which were discovered a few years 
since in a tomb at Cervetri, sitting on a 
chair hewn from the rock. Bull. Inst. 
1866, p. 177. 

a The most celebrated were the fictile 
statue of the god in the temple of Jupiter 
Capitolinus, executed by Turianus of 
Fregense, the quadriga on the fastigium 
of that temple, and the fictile statue of 
Hercules on the Capitol, all by the same 
artist (Plin. XXXV. 45 ; Vitruv. III. 3) ; 
though the quadriga is said to have been 
executed at Veil (see vol. I., p. 40). 
There was also a terra-cotta statue of 
Summanus on the fastigium of the same 
temple, which was struck down by light- 
ning. Cic. de Divin. I. 10. 

1 Athenaeus (XV. c. 60) speaking of the 
skill of the Etruscans in making lamps, calls 
them (piXoTfx^oi, and mentions their mani- 
fold art-productions iruiKl\at ipyeurtai. 
They obtained copper from their own mines 

of Montieri Moiis JSris near Massa ; 
tin also from mines near Campiglia ; and 
worked in bronze earlier than in iron, 
which as Lucretius (V. 1286) tells us, was 
a later discovery. 

Et prior seris erat, quaiu ferri, cognitus 

They had also an abundance of iron in the 
mines of Elba. 

2 Volsinii alone is said to have con- 
tained 2000 statues. Plin. XXXIV. 16. 
Tuscanica omnia in sedibus. Varro, ap. 
Plin. XXXV. 45. Tertullian (Apologet. 
25) says they inundated the City. Etrus- 
can bronze statues gilt also adorned the 
fastiyia of the temples at Rome. Vitruv. 
III. 3, 5. 

3 Plin. XXXIV. 16. Antiquaries are 
now generally agreed that all the ancient 
bronzes found in various lands north of 
the Alps, from Switzerland to Denmark, 
and from Ireland to Hungary and Walla- 
chia, are of Etruscan origin. Lindenschmit, 
Desor, Schuermans, Virchow, Worsaae, 
Gentlie, cited by (jozzadini, Mors de Clieval 
Italiques, p. 40. 

4 Cassiodor. Var. VII. 15. Clem. Alex. 
Strom. I. p. 306. 


representing the human form, to the glorification of its beauties, 
wrought with much of, if not all 

' ' The cunning they who dwell on high 
Have given unto the Greek." 

In size they varied no less : from the minute figures of deities, 
or lares,'' to statues of colossal dimensions, like that of the 
Apollo on the Palatine, which was fifty feet in height, and was 
as wonderful for its beauty as for its mass of metal. One of the 
most interesting monuments of this art extant is the she-wolf of 
the Capitol, which has a historical renown. 7 

Not only in the representation of life, but in instruments for 
domestic and warlike purposes, did the Etruscan metal-workers 
excel. 8 Even in the time of Pericles, the Athenian poet Phere- 
crates sang of the Etruscan candelabra ; 9 " and what testimony," 
asks Miiller, " can be more honourable for Etruscan art than 
the words of the cultivated Athenian, Kritias, the son of 
Kallreschros, a contemporary of Mys, who reckons as the best 
of their sort the Etruscan gold-wrought cups, and bronzes of 
every sort for the decoration and service of houses ; l by which 
we must understand candelabra, kratcrcs, goblets, and even 
weapons ? " Even Pheidias himself gave to his celebrated 

5 These are the "Tyrrhena sigilla" of priating to himself (Plutarch, Camil. 12), 

Horace, Ep. II. 2, 180 ; though Micali were probably adorned with reliefs. 

(Ant. Pop. Ital. II. p. 243) thinks the Miiller, Etrusk. IV. 3, 4. Even as late as 205 r 

term refers to gems and scarabei. The B.C., under the Roman domination, Arre- 

"Tuscanica signa " of Pliny (XXXI V. 16), tium, which seems to have been the Bir- 

which were exported to many lands, were mingham of Etruria, furnished the fleet 

probably figures of larger size. which Scipio was fitting out for the invasion 

fi Plin. XXXIY. 18. of Africa, with 30,000 shields, as many 

" There is no doubt that it is either the helmets, and 50,000 javelins, pikes, and 

figure mentioned by Dionysius (I. c. 79) as spears, besides axes, falchions, and other 

XoAKeoi' noirj/j.a. iroAoiaj fpya.ffias, and by implements sufficient for forty ships of war, 

Livy (X. 23) as existing in the year of and all in the space of forty-five days. 

Rome, 458, or that recorded by Cicero as Liv. XXVIII. 45. 

having been struck by lightning. De 9 Ap. Athen. XV. c. 60. for candelabra 

Divin. II. 20 ; in Catil. III. 8. See Vol. see Vol. II. pp. 190, 479. 
II. p. 492. l Tvp<rr)vii Sf *cpoT? xpvff6rviros tj>id\-ri, 

Pliny (XXXV. 45) tells us, on the autho- Kot iras xoAK&t OTIS KOff^e'i Sopor ev nvi 
rity of Varro, that under the Kings, and XP f ' tc t- 

for some years after, all the temples at Athen. I. c. 50. 

Rome were decorated by Etruscan artists, 2 Miiller, Etrusk. IV. 3, 4. Gerhard 

but that two Greeks, Damophilus and (Ann. Inst. 1837, 2, p. 143), however, is 

Gargasus, painters as well as sculptors, of opinion that these bronze works of 

were employed for the first time to em- the Etruscans had their origin in Greece, 

bellish the temple of Ceres in the Circus But the fact that Greek inscriptions have 

Maximus, which was built about 493 B.C. never been found on any of the Etruscan 

8 The brass gates from the spoils of bronzes, seems opposed to this opinion.' 

Veil, which Camillus was accused of appro- The inscriptions on the painted vases, on 



statue of Minerva sandals of the Etruscan fashion. 3 From all 
this we learn, that if Etruria was indebted to Greece for the 
excellence she attained in the re- 
presentation of the human form, 
the latter was ready to admit, and 
to avail herself of the native skill 
and taste of her pupil. And well 
ma}' it have been so ; for it were 
impossible that the Greeks should 
not admire such works as the 
bronze lamp in the Museum of 
Cortona, the casket from Yulci, 
and the exquisite specimens of gold 
filagree-work in the Museo Gre- 
goriano, and in the collection of 
Signor Augusto Castellani. 

The art of statuary was very 
ancient in Italy. It was either in 
wood or stone, the first being ap- 
plied in very remote times to the 
images of the gods.* The Etrus- 
cans made use of this primitive ma- 
terial; for a very ancient Jupiter, 
carved from the trunk of a vine, 
was worshipped at Populonia. Of 
their works in stone numerous spe- 
cimens have come down to us, some 
on the facades or walls of their rock- 
hewn sepulchres, others in detached 

statues, but chiefly on sarcophagi and cinerary urns : for it was 
their custom to decorate these monuments with the effigies of the 
deceased, and with reliefs of various descriptions. The extant 


the other hand, which confessedly have a 
Greek origin, are almost invariably in that 

:t Pollux, VII. 22 ; cf. Plin. XXXVI. 4, 
4. The Etruscans paid particular attention 
to their feet much more than the Greeks, 
who often went barefooted, whereas the 
former wore shoes or sandals, richly em- 
bossed and gilt, or fastened by gilt thongs 
(Pollux, loc. cit. ; Plin., loc. cit. ; Ovid. 
Amor. III. 13, 26), or high buskins (Ovid, 
loc. cit. I. 14). Thus Etruscan figures are 

often represented naked in every other 
part bxit the feet. As in other articles of 
costume, the Etruscans here set the fashion 
to the Romans. It is probable that the 
sort of Etruscan calccus, which Servius (ad 
.&n. VIII. 458) says was worn by Roman 
senators, was the boot or buskin repre- 
sented on the figures in the wall-paintings 
of Tavquinii. For further notices on this 
subject, see Miiller, Etrusk. I. 3, 10-11. 

4 Plin. XXXIV. 16. 

5 Plin. XIV. 2. 


sculpture of Etruria is indeed almost wholly sepulchral. It is not 
in general so archaic or so peculiarly national in character as the 
works in metal, and betrays rather the influence of Greek than of 
Egyptian art. The most archaic productions of the Etruscan 
chisel are the cippi, or so-called " altars," of fetid limestone, from 
Ohiusi and its neighbourhood, whose bas-reliefs show a purely 
native style of art ; together with a few large figures in relief, like 
the warrior in the Palazzo Buonarroti at Florence, and the other 
in the Museum of Volierra. 6 The latest are the cinerary urns of 
Yolterra and Perugia, which have often more of a Roman than 
a Greek character, and were probably executed in the period of 
Roman domination. 7 Yet it is from works of this description 
that we learn most of the manners, customs, inner life, and reli- 
gious creed, as well as of the costume and personal characteristics 
of this singular people. There is often great boldness and expres- 
sion in Etruscan sculpture, and generally much truth to nature ; 
but it rarely attains the beaut}' and grace which are found in the 
pictorial and toreutic works of this people, and never the perfec- 
tion of this art among the Greeks, to whom alone did heaven 
reveal the full sentiment of human beauty. 8 

It may be well here to notice those works of the Etruscans 
which have been distinguished as scalptural, or graven, such as 
gems or scaralci in stone, and specula or mirrors in bronze. 


Numerous as are Etruscan gems, none of them are cameos, or 
with figures cut in relief ; all are intaglios ; and all are cut into 
the form of the scarabceus or beetle. Nothing seems to indicate a 
closer analogy between Etruria and Eg_ypt than the multitude of 
these curious gems found on certain sites in this part of Italy. 
The use of them w r as, doubtless, derived from the banks of the 
Nile ; but they do not seem to stand in the same archaic relation 

11 For the clppi of Chiusi, see Vol. II. alabaster and travertine, neither used in 

p. 300. For the warriors in the Palazzo very early times, was too coarse or too 

Buonarroti of Florence and in the Museum friable to do justice to the skill of the 

of Volterra, see Vol. II. pp. 106, 188. artist. The marble of Carrara, to which 

~' Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. II. p. 24(5) Rome was so much indebted, does not 

takes the Volterra urns to be, some of the appear to have been known to the Etrus- 

seventh or eighth century of Rome, others cans at an early period, though that of the 

as late as the Antonines, and others of still Maremma and of the Circoean promontory 

later date. See Vol. II. p. 187. was used by them ; yet comparatively few 

8 The inferiority of Etruscan sculpture works of the Etruscan chisel in marble have 

may perhaps in part be attributed to the come down to us. See Vol. II. p. 67. 
local stone, which except in the case of 




to Etruscan art as the other works which betra}' an Egyptian 
analogy. They appear, however, to have served the same purpose 
as in Egypt to have been worn as charms or amulets, generally 
in rings ; yet it is probable that the Etruscans adopted this relic 
of foreign superstition Avithout attaching to it the same religious 
meaning as the Egyptians did, who worshipped it as a god as a 
symbol of the great Demiurgic principle. 9 The Etruscan sca- 
rabtei have a marked difference from the Egyptian, in material, 
form, and decoration ; T and the frequent representations they 
bear from the Greek mythology seem to prove them of no very 
early date, 3 for such subjects rarely appear on works of archaic- 
Etruscan art. From the heroic or pala?stric subjects on these 
scarabs, it is thought that they were symbols of valour and manly 
energy, and were worn only by the male sex. 3 

Scarcibai have rarely been found on more than two sites in 
Etruria Chiusi and Yulci. At the latter they are always in 
tombs, but at Chiusi the} r are found on the soil in a certain slope 
beneath the city, called, from the abundance of such discoveries, 
" The Jewellers' Field," where they are turned up b}'the plough, 
or washed to light by the rains. 4 

<J Pliny (XXX. 30) tells us tlie beetle 
received this adoration because it rolled 
balls of dirt, alluding to its habit of push- 
ing backwards with its hind feet small bits 
of dung or earth verily the most grovelling 
idea of Deity that the human mind ever 
conceived. Pliny adds that Apion, the 
Egyptian, who sought to excuse the de- 
graded rites of his countrymen, explained 
the worship of the beetle by some similarity 
in its operations to those of the sun "a 
curious interpretation," as Pliny remarks. 

1 The genuine Egyptian scarabs are of 
smalt, porphyry, basalt, or some very hard 
stone ; the Etruscan are of carnelian, sar- 
donyx, and agate, rarely of chalcedony ; a 
few have been found of smalt. The Egyptian 
are truthful representations of the insect ; 
the Etruscan are exaggerated resemblances, 
especially in the back, which is set up to 
an extravagant height. The flat or under 
part of the stone, which is always the side 
engraved, in the Egyptian bears hierogly- 
phics, or representations of deities ; in the 
Etruscan, though it sometimes shows imi- 
tations of Egyptian subjects, it generally 
bears figures or groups from the Greek 
mythology ; the deeds of Hercules, and of 
the heroes of the Theban and Trojan wars, 

being the favourite subjects. More rare 
are figures of the gods, and of the chimeras 
and other symbols of the Etruscan creed. 
And not a few have paltestric representa- 
tions. These scarabs often bear desiguatory 
inscriptions in Etruscan characters. 

Great difference of opinion lias been 
entertained as to the date of these gems. 
Gori (Mus. Etrus. II. p. 437) supposed 
them to be coeval with, or even anterior 
to, the Trojan War. \Yinckelman, though 
maintaining their high antiquity, took 
more moderate views. But it is now the 
general opinion, founded on a more in- 
timate acquaintance and a wider range of 
comparison, that they cannot be referred 
to a very archaic period of Etruscan art. 
Air. Alexander Murray, in an able article 
in the Contemporary lleview for October, 
1875, points out the striking analogy these 
scarabs of Etruria bear to the early silver 
coins of Thrace, to which he assigns the 
date of at least 500 B.C. 

a One, however, which I have seen in 
the possession of the Canon Pasquiui of 
Chiusi, was found set in an earring of gold. 
Bull. Inst. 1837, p. 46. 

4 See Vol. II. p. 297. Scaralcei are 
also found, though rarely, in other parts of 



or mirrors, are round or pear-shaped plates of bronze, often 
gilt or silvered, with the edge turned up, or slightly concave, 
having the outer side highly polished, and the inner adorned with 
figures engraved upon it. To the plate is attached a handle, 
often carved into some elegant form of life. The disk is seldom 
more than six or seven inches in diameter ; it is generally 
encircled by a wreath of leaves, as shown in the specimen en- 
graved for the frontispiece of this volume. 5 

For a long time these instruments went by the name of patera, 
and were supposed to have served as ladles for flour, or other 
light dry substances, used in sacrifices. Inghirami was among 
the first to reject this idea, and show them to be mirrors a fact 
now established beyond a doubt. 7 It is proved by representations 
of them, either on their own disks or on painted vases, in the 
hands of women, who are using them as mirrors by the high 
polish they often retain, so bright indeed, as sometimes to fit 
them for their original purpose, and l>y the discovery of them in 
caskets, with other articles of the female toilet. 8 

Italy, as at Palestrina in Latium (,Abeken, as were used by the luxurious Romans. 

Mittelitalien, p. 325). They have also Seneca, Nat. Qiuest. I. 17. 
been discovered in Greece, c.y. a celebrated G Inghir. Mon. Etnis. II. pp. 1-77. 

one, bearing a Greek inscription, found ' Micali alone, to the last of his life, 

among the ruins of .-Egina (Bull. List. held to the old doctrine of patcnv, a word 

1840, p. 140), and one from Attica, now now so completely superseded by specula, 

in the Museum of Athens (Ann. Inst. that he who would use it in reference to 

1837, 2, p. 144). In the British Museum these instruments would scarcely be in- 

are two found at Leucas in Acarnania. telligible. 

Gerhard is even of opinion that these gems s Ann. Inst. 1840, p. 150; see also 
may have had their origin in Greece. They Gerhard's Etruskische Spiegel, pp. 82 4, 
have been found also in Asia Minor, at for proofs of these instruments being 
Tharros in Sardinia, and at Curium in mirrors. It has been supposed from 
Cypi-us, where some have decided marks of certain scenes on painted vases, where 
a Phoenician origin. For the distinction women washing themselves at fountains 
between Egyptian and Phoenician scarabs, are represented with these instruments in 
.see an article by Mr. C. W. King in Cesnola's their hands, that they served a secondary 
Cyprus, p. 353. purpose of casting water over the body, 
* A few mirrors have been found with- the concave side serving as a bowl to hold 
out handles, but these are liable to be con- the liquid. Ann. Inst. 1840, p. 150 
founded with the capmdce, or cases for these Braun. These mirrors are generally de- 
instruments, which are formed of two round signated "mystic" by the Italians; and 
plates ornamented in a similar manner, or verily if mystic be synonymous with every - 
sometimes with reliefs, and hinged together thing unreal, unnatural, and iucompre- 
like the valves of an oyster-shell. No in- hensible, the term is often not misapplied, 
.stances have been found of Etruscan mir- for never were there more grotesque and 
rors in the precious metals, or adorned ludicrous distortions of form and feature 
with precious stones, or of so vast a size than are to be found on many of them. 


Etruscan S2iccckj may be divided into three classes. 

First those without any design on the inner surface. More 
than ordinary decoration is in these cases generally expended 
on the handles. Such mirrors are veiy rare. 

Secondly those with figures in relief. These are also met 
with hut seldom. 9 

Thirdly those with designs incised on the inner surface. 
These may be subdivided according to the subjects which they 
bear. First, and most numerous, are those which have scenes 
taken from the cycle of Greek mythology, or heroic fable, fre- 
quently illustrated b}' inscriptions, which are invariably in the 
Etruscan character, and often nationalised by the introduction of 
Etruscan demons. Next, those which bear representations or 
symbols of the divinities of the national creed, from the Nine Great 
Gods who wielded the thunder, through all the grades of their wild 
and multiform demonology, to the lowly Penates, the protectors of 
the individual hearth. 1 The last class portrays scenes of Etruscan 
life and manners ; but of this a few instances only are known. 

The art exhibited on these disks is not of primitive character, 
although a few have been found with archaic features, yet, though 
often extremely rude and feeble, it partakes less of the short- 
comings of the period of infanc}' than of the carelessness of the 
Decadence ; and it must be confessed that, except in compara- 
tively few cases, such as that represented in the frontispiece to 
this volume, the elevation and perfection of the high style are not 
displayed. 2 These mirrors then cannot lay claim to a remote 
antiquity. Their date indeed is pretty well determined l>y the 
fact that they are very rarely found in the same tomb with Greek 
painted vases, or if a vase by chance be found with them, it is in- 

He who turns over Gerhard's illustrated times called "Lasa" (Vol. I. p. 288), or of 

volumes will find amusement, as well as the Dioscuri. 

instruction. That learned antiquary proves " The beautiful mirror in the frontis- 

satisfactorily that these mirrors were in- piece represents "Phuphluns," or Bacchus, 

struments of personal rather than of sacred embracing his mother " Semla," or Semele. 

use, and served no other mysteries than It was found at Vulci, and is in the pos- 

those of the female bath and toilet (p. 76). session of Professor E. Gerhard of Berlin, 

9 A beautiful specimen of this class is who has illustrated it in his Etruskische 

in the Museo Gregoriano, representing Spiegel, taf. LXXXIII ; cf. Mon. Ined. 

Aiirora carrying Memnon. See Vol. II. Inst. I. tav. LVI. A. The illustration here 

p. 481. Another, in the British Museum, presented to the British public is drawn 

represents Minerva overcoming Hercules. by Mr. George Scharf, from a cast of the 

An exquisite example is in the possession original, reduced to half its size. It is 

of the Marchese Strozzi, of Florence. See one of the most beautiful specimens of 

Vol. II. p. 107. Etruscan design on metal that have come 

1 The most frequent representation is down to iis. 
that of the winged goddess of Fate, some- 


variably either of the Decadence, or of local origin. 3 And this fact 
proves that the importation or manufacture of Greek vases must have 
ceased, before these engraved mirrors came into use in Etruria. 
These monuments cannot be earlier than the fifth century of 
Rome, 4 and are probably later. Yet there is no branch of Etrus- 
can antiquities more genuinely native none more valuable to the 
inquirer, for the information it yields as to the mysterious 
language and creed of that ancient race ; for the inscriptions 
being always in the native character, and designatory of the 
individual gods or heroes represented, these mirrors become a 
sure index to the Etruscan creed, " a figurative dictionary," as 
Bunsen terms it, of Etruscan mythology ; while at the same time 
they afford us the chief source and one of the most solid bases 
of our acquaintance with the native language. 5 

Akin to the mirrors are the cistc, or caskets, of bronze, with 
incised designs, which are occasionally found in Etruscan tombs, 
and chiefly at Yulci. They are more abundant at Palestrina, the 
ancient Praeneste, but whether of Etruscan or Latin origin is not 
easy to say, for the bronzes, and particularly the engraved works 
of the two lands, bear so close a resemblance that they often 
appear to be the productions of the same people, and even of the 
same master. The cistc of Palestrina, however, like the mirrors, 
sometimes bear inscriptions in early Latin. The art exhibited 
on these caskets is in some cases purely Greek, proving them to 
have been either imported, or the work of Greek artists resident 
in Italy. The most beautiful cista yet discovered is that known 
as the Ficoronian, from Palestrina, now in the Kircheriaii 
Museum at Rome, 6 and the best from Etruria is one from Vulci 

3 This is the experience of Signer interred them also in Greek tombs in the 
Tommasi di Merighi of Canino, after long Cyrenaica, but all without designs or in- 
continued excavations at Vulci. Bull. scriptions. Gerhard (A.nn. Inst. 1837, 
Inst. 1869, p. 174. It is the experience 2, p. 143) supposes them to have had a 
also of those who have dug at Chiusi and Greek origin ; but it is remarkable that 
Corneto. Bull. Inst. 1870, p. 59 ; 1871, though they have often Greek myths, and 
p. 93. Helbig. Greek names, not one has ever been found 

4 From the association of these mirrors in Etruria with a Greek inscription, though 
with the cistc misticlte in the tombs of the inscriptions on the painted vases are 
Palestrina as well as of Yulci, it may be almost invariably in that language. The 
concluded that they came into use as sepul- same may be said of the other Etruscan 
chral furniture, at least as early as the works in bronze. Ann. Inst. 1834, p. 57 
latter half of the third century B.C. Bunsen. Several mirrors, however, have 

5 Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 18. Hitherto been found with Latin epigraphs. These 
these mirrors have been considered as pe- are generally from Palestrina. Gerhard, 
culiarly Etruscan, but of late years others Etrusk. Spieg. taf. 147, 171, 182 ; 
like them have been found in the tombs of Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. II. tav.41. 
Athens, .iftgina and Corinth. I have dis- 6 Vol. II. p. 497. 


in the Gregorian Museum. 7 In date these caskets correspond 
with the mirrors, with which they are generally found, and 
to them the term " mystic " has also been applied with as little 


In these volumes the jewellery of Etruria is frequently men- 
tioned in terms of high admiration. It has been assumed that 
all the beautiful objects in gold and silver found in Etruscan 
tombs were the work of that ancient people. But Signer 
Augusto Castellani, the eminent jeweller of Rome, is of a 
different opinion, and as his authority on such matters is 
paramount, I make no apology for briefly stating his views, as 
communicated to me personally, and as published in his pamphlet 
entitled " Orificeria Italiana," Roma, 1872. 

The most ancient jewellery of Italy has hitherto generally 
been ascribed to the Etruscans, but Signer Castellani dis- 
tinguishes from the special style peculiar to that people two 
earlier st3 T les proper to races who preceded them. 

First, the Pre-historic a simple and semi-barbarous style, 
recognised in ornaments found in the earliest tombs of Veii, 
Cervetri, Corneto, Chiusi, Palestrina, and Bologna, of extremely 
rude workmanship and primitive forms, wrought with little 
gold, more silver, and an abundance of amber. To this style 
belong necklaces and bracelets of those three materials mixed, 
or of coloured glass, often with pendants in the shape of axes, 
vases, or other utensils ; fibuhe of eccentric forms in gold, silver, 
or bronze, adorned with amber or variegated glass ; thin plates 
of gold marked with straight or hatched lines ; amulets of amber 
in the shape of monkeys, and other animals not found in Italy. 
It is a remarkable fact that articles of jewellery of similar 
character and style have been discovered also in Norway and 
Sweden, and even in Mexico. Signor Castellani does not 
attempt to determine to what particular race among the early 
inhabitants of Italy this primitive style should be ascribed, but 
is content to pronounce it Pre-historic. 

After this comes a style of widely different character, not a 
development of the preceding, but so remarkable for the 
exquisite taste and elaborate workmanship it exhibits that there 
can be 110 doubt of its distinct origin. This style Signor 
Castellani attributes to the people who immediately preceded 

^ Vol. II. p. 430. 

VOL T. / 


the Etruscans in Italy, i.e. the Pelasgians, whom he prefers to 
designate as "Tyrrhenes." He refuses to recognise this jewellery 
as Etruscan, because it is found not only in Etruria, but at 
Palestrina, Ciume, Ruvo, and other sites in Italy, and also in 
Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, and the Crimea, showing that the 
people who produced it were widely scattered throughout the 
ancient world, and particularly on the coasts of the Mediter- 
ranean and Black Sea; 8 while the jewellery of the Etruscans 
has a distinct and peculiar character, not common to other 
people, and is found only on Etruscan sites. 

The materials employed in this " Tyrrhene " style are gold, 
silver, bronze, amber, ivory, and variegated glass. The style is 
easily recognised by its elegant forms, the harmony of its parts, 
and the purity of its design, but chiefly by the marvellous 
fineness and elaboration of its workmanship. The patterns, 
which are always simple yet most elegant, and admirably 
harmonious, are wrought by soldering together globules or 
particles of gold, so minute as hardly to be perceptible to the 
naked eye, and by the interweaving of extremely delicate threads 
of gold ; and are sometimes, but sparingly, interspersed with 
enamels. 9 Tiny figures of men, animals, or chimteras, exquisitely 
chased in relief or in the round, form another and favourite 
feature in the ornamentation. On a close inspection this 
jewellery astonishes and confounds by its wonderful elaboration ; 
at a little distance it charms the eye by its exquisite taste, and 

8 Some of the gold ornaments found by 415 ; cf. Ezek. xxvii. 16, 22). That they 

Dr. Schlieniann at Mycense have much of excelled also in the art of jewellery, is 

the character of this style, although the evident from Homer's description of a 

designs are effected not by granulated, or Phoenician necklace of gold set with amber 

f un if orm, but by repoussf or intaglio work. beads. Odys. xv. 459. 
See Mycenre, illustrations, Nos. 281-292. 9 It is undoubted that both the Greeks- 

But many of those discovered by General and Etrftscans were acquainted with the 

Cesnola at Curium in Cyprus, are iinques- art of enamelling, but they used it spar- 

tionably of the so-called "Tyrrhene" ingly in their jewellery, being unwil- 

style, and are not to be distinguished from ling, thinks Signor Castellani, to cover too 

the best jewellery found in Etruscan tombs. much of the beautiful hue of pure gold, 

See Cyprus, plate xxv. And this fact then extremely rare, with coloured vitreous, 

favours the view held by some that this matter, which was comparatively common, 

early yet beautiful jewellery is to be as- Among the most remarkable works extant 

cribed to the Phoenicians, who at a very in enamelled gold of Greek and Etruscan 

remote period were renowned as skilful origin, he specifies a crown in the Campana 

workers in metal (iro\i>8at'5aAoi Iliad. Museum, a necklace exhibited by himself 

xxiii. 743 ; Odys. xv. 424 ; cf. 2 Chron. in the Loan Collection at South Kensington 

2, 14 ; 1 Kings, 7, 14), and manufac- in 1862, some earrings with swans found 

turers of trinkets a.0vpfj.ara in which at Vulci, and others with peacocks and 1 

they traded to foreign lands (Odys. xv. doves in the Campana collection. 


the graceful character and harmony of its outlines. In fact it is 
the perfection of jewellery, far transcending all that the most 
expert artists of subsequent ages have been able to produce. 

To this style belongs the most beautiful jewellery discovered 
in Etruria, and elsewhere in Italy, such as the gold ornaments 
from the Regulini-Galassi tomb, now in the Museo Gregoriano, 
and those, still more beautiful, recently found at Palestrina, and 
now exhibited at the Kircherian Museum at Home. 

Signer Castellani points out that the Hindoo jewellery, even of 
the present day, bears no slight resemblance to this ancient style. 
Though inferior in execution, and betraying a decline of taste, the 
method adopted of soldering minute grains or fine threads of gold, 
mixed with enamels, to the object, is precisely that employed by 
the Tyrrhenes of old. 

The genuine Etruscan jewellery, says Signer Castellani, is 
very inferior both in taste and execution to that of the Tyrrhene 
style, of which it is a corruption. There is the same sort of rela- 
tion between these styles that the works of the great painters of 
the cinque cento bear to those of the following centuries. The 
mode of workmanship is the same, yet the style has so degene- 
rated that it may be pronounced barocco. No longer the minute 
granulations, the delicate thread-work, the charming simplicity in 
form and design which mark the earlier style. These are ex- 
changed for forms of greater breadth and fulness ; the purity of 
the lines gives place to the artificial and turgid, and the whole, 
though it makes a more striking appearance, has far less elegance, 
harmony, and elaboration. 

Etruscan jewellery is of two descriptions, domestic and sepul- 
chral : the former most substantial and durable, the latter very 
light and flimsy witness the wreaths of gold leaves found 
encircling the helmets of illustrious warriors. The amber, 
coloured glass, enamel, and ivory used in the preceding style 
are rare in this, and give place to gems chiefly garnet, onyx, 
and carnelian. Among the ornaments for personal use are 
earrings of various forms and dimensions, large fibulce and 
brooches, massive gold rings, lentoid or vase-shaped bullte, agate 
scarabcci; but in all these productions an inflated and artificial 
style, marking the decline of the art, is conspicuous. 

The chief productions of this style come from the tombs of 
Corneto, Yulci, Chiusi, and Orvieto. 

This ancient style of jewellery has come down traditionally to 
our own day. In a remote corner of the Umbrian Marches, at the 


little town of St. Angelo in Vado, hidden in the recesses of the 
Apennines, far from every centre of civilization, there still 
exists a special school of jewellery by which some of the processes 
employed by the Etruscans have been traditionally preserved. 
The beautiful peasant-girls of that district at their wedding feasts 
wear necklaces of gold filagree beads, and long earrings of the 
peculiar form designated a navicclla, inferior in taste and 
elegance of design to the works of ancient art, yet wrought in a 
method which Signor Castellani does not hesitate to pronounce 
Etruscan. 1 

The art in which Etruscan genius and skill have achieved 
their greatest triumphs is PAINTING. This art is of veiy ancient 
date in Italy; for we hear of paintings at Crere in Etruria, 
which were commonly believed to be earlier than the foundation 
of Rome. 3 

The pictorial remains discovered in Etruria are of two kinds: 
the scenes on the walls of sepulchres, and the paintings on 


This is a most important class of monuments, for the variet} r 
and interest of the subjects represented, and the light the} r throw 
on the customs, domestic manners, and religious creed of the 
Etruscans, as well as on the progress and character of the pictorial 
art among them. We find these " chambers of imagery" chiefly 
in the cemeteries of Tarquinii and Clusium, though two have 
also been found at Cervetri, Vulci, and Orvieto, and a solitary 
one at Veii, Bomarzo, and Vetulonia respectively, all of which 
will be described in the course of this work. They show us 
Etruscan art in various periods and stages of excellence, from its 
infancy to its perfection ; some being coeval, it ma} r be, with the 
foundation of Ptome, others as late as the Empire ; some almost 
Egyptian, others peculiarly native ; some again decidedly Greek 
in character, if not in execution ; others resembling the Grseco- 
Ptoman frescoes of Pompeii and Pastum. There is the same 

1 The extraordinary earrings worn liy the temples at Ardea and Lanuvium, of nearly 

women of Forio in the Island of Ischia, equal antiquity. He remarks on the 

may possibly have a similar traditional speedy perfection this art attained, as it 

origin. seemed not to have been practised in 

* Plin. XXXV. G. These paintings Trojan times. 
were extant in Pliny's day; so also some in 


wide range as exists between the works of Giotto or Cimabue, 
and those of Raffaele or the Caracci. In the Campana tomb 
of Veii, which is the most ancient yet discovered, we have the 
rudeness and conventionality of very early art great exaggera- 
tion of anatomy and proportions and no attempt to imitate the 
colouring of nature, but only to arrest the eye by startling- 
contrasts. 3 Next in point of antiquity are the painted tiles which 
lined the Avails of certain tombs at Cervetri, where the human 
figure is drawn with more truth to nature, though in bald outline, 
and an attempt is even shown at the expression of sentiment, the 
character of the whole remaining purely and specifically Etrus- 
can. 4 In the earliest tombs of Tarquinii, though of later date, 
the Egyptian character and physiognomy are strongly pronounced. 
Of better style are other tomb-paintings on the same site and at 
Orvieto, 5 which, though retaining a native character, with much 
conventionality of form and colouring, show more correctness of 
design, and a degree of elegance and refinement which betrays the 
influence of Hellenic models. Earlier it may be, yet more free 
and careless, are most of the wall-paintings at Chiusi, which 
show us what Etruscan art with its strong tendency to realism 
could effect, before it had felt the refining influence of Greece. 
Later, and far better, are some of the scenes at Tarquinii 
which breathe the spirit and feeling of the Hellenic vases, where 
there is a grace of outline, a dignity and simplicity of attitude, 
and a force of expression, which prove the limner to have been a 
master of his art, though this was not wholly freed from conven- 
tional trammels. Still later, with yet more freedom, mastery, 
and intelligence, are some of the paintings on the same site, 
and those found at Vulci, where rigidity and severity are laid 
aside, where fore-shortening, grouping, composition, and even 
chiaroscuro are introduced ; which display, in a word, all the ease 
and power of Grreco-Roman frescoes of the close of the Republic 
or commencement of the Empire. 

There was little variety in the colours used in Etruscan wall- 
paintings. In one early tomb at Chiusi, and in another of later 
date at Bomarzo, the colouring is bichromatic black and red 
alone "mbrica picta et carbone." At Cervetri an early tomb 
shows black, red, and white ; the Campana tomb at Veii, black, 
red, and yellow ; the painted tiles of Cervetri, these four colours 
burnt in with the tile. It was with these four colours alone that 

:i Vol. I. p. 34. 5 Vol. II. pp. 55, 58. 

4 Vol. I. pp. 260-263. 6 Vol. II. pp. 320, 332, 333. 


the greatest painters of antiquitj', Polygnotus, Zeuxis, Apelles 
and others, produced their immortal works. 7 Pliny dates the 
decline of the pictorial art from the introduction of purple and 
other hues, and laments that in his day there was not a picture 
worth looking at " nunc nulla nobilis pictura est." In the 
tombs of Tarquinii, however, even in those which show the most 
archaic design, blue was used, and in one of the earliest, a 
decided green. The colours were invariably laid on in fresco. 

The Etruscans painted not only the walls of their tombs,- but 
often their coffins and cinerary urns. The latter, being generally 
of the Decadence, show crude and strongly contrasted hues on 
their reliefs, which are coloured in accordance with native con- 
ventionalities, and without any pretensions to pictorial skill. 
And although a better taste is occasionally displayed, there is too 
frequently a total disregard of harmony in the polychrome 
sculpture of Etruria. On the marble sarcophagi, however, in a 
few rare instances, AVC find some of the most exquisite productions 
of the Etruscan pencil, as regards both design and colouring, or 
it should more strictly be said, of the pictorial art in Etruria. 
Such paintings are executed on the flat surface of the marble. 
The most striking example of this monumental decoration 
hitherto brought to light, is the Amazon sarcophagus in the 
Etruscan Museum of Florence, which some critics claim as a 
purely Greek work, while others pronounce it to be the produc- 
tion of an Etruscan, deeply imbued with the spirit of Hellenic 
art. In this instance the colouring, though soft and harmonious, 
is less conspicuous for beautj', than the composition and design. 8 


The painted vases form the most comprehensive subject con- 
nected with art in Etruria. The vast multitude that have been 
brought to light, the great variety of form, of use, of story and 
myth, of degree of excellence in workmanship and design, the 
many questions connected with their origin and manufacture not 
yet satisfactorily answered, the diversity of opinions respecting 
them, render it impossible to treat fully of so extensive a sub- 
ject in a narrow compass. M} r remarks, then, must necessarily 
be brief, and are offered for the sake of elucidating the frequent 
references to ancient pottery made in the course of this work : 

7 Plin. XXXV. 32 ; Cicero, Brutus, 18. s ?ee Vol. II. p. 96. 


and rather with the hope of exciting interest in the subject than 
with the expectation of satisfying inquiry. 

The most ancient vases found in Etruria are not painted, but 
rudely shaped by the hand, often not baked, but merely dried in 
the sun, without glaze, and either perfectly plain, or marked with 
bands of dots, zig-zags, hatched lines, meanders and other 
geometrical patterns, clumsily scratched on the clay when soft. 
Such is the pottery found in the " well-tombs " of Chiusi and 
Sarteano, and a few other sites in Etruria, and of the same 
character are the pots discovered in the necropolis of Alba Longa, 
buried beneath a stratum of pepcrino, or consolidated volcanic 
ash, and those found on the Esquiline, lying beneath the walls 
of Servius Tullius. Indeed, this very primitive pottery is by 
some regarded as pre-Etruscan, and is attributed to the Um- 
brians, Sicilians, Oscans, or whatever early Italic race occupied 
the land prior to its conquest by the Etruscans. 9 The decora- 
tions on these vases were after a time drawn with more regularity 
and variety, and ultimately came to be stamped instead of 
incised, the geometrical designs giving place to imitations of 
animal life, birds, especially ducks, snakes, and rude attempts at 
representing the human form. Such was the earliest pottery 
of Yeii and Caere ; but on those sites we find a development of 
the art in large jars (pithoi), in stands, of brown or red ware, 
with heads or Egyptian-like figures in compartments or bands 
encircling the vase, and in flat relief, stamped on the clay when 
moist. Still later apparently was the buccltero ware of Chiusi 
and its neighbourhood, with figures in prominent and rounded 

9 As the geometrical style of decoration that of the northern necropolis of Alba 

is the most ancient, and as it is found on Longa, where the singular hut-urns have 

the primitive pottery of Greece, the Greek been disinterred ; nor on the fragments of 

islands, Italy, and also of Central and vases discovered within the precincts of 

Northern Europe, Professor Conze broached the temple of the Dea Dia, in the grove of 

the opinion that it must have been intro- the Arvales ; nor on those found in the 

tluced into Italy as well as into Greece by lowest vegetable stratum under the walls 

the first Aryan invaders from beyond the of Servius Tullius. It was only after Italy 

Alps. This view is combated by Dr. Wolf- had been inhabited for some time that 

gang Helbig (Ann. Inst. 1875, pp. 221- this system of decoration was developed or 

253), who shows that the earliest inha- introduced ; when we find it on the later 

bitants of Italy, to judge from their re- pottery of Poggio Renzo, and of the Alban 

mains the people of the terremare, or necropolis, and in the cinerary urns from 

fortified villages in the districts of Parma, the Benacci and Yillanova diggings at 

Modena, and Reggio, had no such decora- Bologna. Helbig, finding the same style 

tions on their pottery, or works in bone, of decoration on pottery discovered at 

horn, or bronze. Nor are such decorations Xineveh, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Ascalon, 

found on the very earliest pottery of Sar- assigns to it an Asiatic, and specifically 

teano, or of Poggio Ilenzo at Chiusi ; nor on a Semitic origin. 


relief, representing deities, chimceras, and other symbols of the 
Etruscan creed, more rarely myths and scenes illustrative of 
native life and customs. 1 Though very archaic and Oriental in 
style, this pottery is not necessarily in every instance so early 
as it appears; for the peculiarities of a remote period and 
primitive stage of art may have been conventionally preserved, 
especially in sepulchral or sacred vessels, from one age to 
another. 3 

The earliest vases of genuinely Etruscan character, with 
painted decorations, which are extremely rare, bear archaic 
figures of men and animals rudely drawn in opaque white on 
the natural red of the clay, or in red on a creamy ground ; s 
and in style they generally resemble the painted vases of the 
First or Doric style, witli which they are probably contemporary. 
Such vases have been found chiefly at Cervetri. 4 

The painted vases found in multitudes in the cemeteries of 
Etruria, and commonly called Etruscan, are not for the most 
part of that origin, but Greek, though to some extent, it may 
be, of local manufacture. They do not, therefore, strictly come 
under our notice. Yet as they have been disinterred in even 
greater abundance in Etruscan cemeteries than in those of Greece 
and her colonies, as they were sometimes imitated by native 
artists, and as they exerted a powerful influence on Etruscan art, 
it is impossible to exclude them from our consideration. 

The}' may be divided into three great classes. 

First, the Egyptian, Phoenician, or Babylonian, as it is 
variously termed from the oriental character of its ornamenta- 
tion, which has led some to ascribe its origin to those several 
peoples ; but it is now more correctly regarded as primitive 
Greek, and particularly Doric. 5 Yet the term " ASIATIC " may 
not unaptly be applied to it as indicating the distinctive charac- 

1 A description of this ware is given in cavations at Orvieto ; but as such tombs 
the chapters on Florence and Chiusi, Vol. always contain more than a single body, they 
II. pp. 76, 307. These vases are very rarely may have served for interment at different 
found in the same tomb with those that periods ; or the bucc/tero may have been 
are painted, or if so accompanied, it is interred as an antique relic. 

usually with those of the First or Corin- 3 See Vol. II. pp. 47, 489, 490. 

thian style. Bull. Inst. 1875, p. 99. They 4 Some of these vases from Cervetri 

are generally found with archaic bronzes, have been found with polychrome decora- 

and invariably in tombs where the corpse tions, in opaque colours, blue, white, and 

has been interred, not burnt. vermilion, laid on in fresco, as on the 

2 This ware has in some very rare cases walls of the painted tombs. Micali, Mon. 
been found in the same tomb with painted Ined. tav. 4, 5 ; Birch, p. 447. 

vases with black figures, and with red in 5 Gerhard, Ann. Inst. 1831, pp. 15, 

the early severe style, as in Mancini's ex- 201 ; Bunsen, Ann. Inst. 1834, pp. 63-70. 


teristics of its style. This class of vases is .of high antiquity, 
by some supposed to date as far back as twelve centuries B.C., 
and it cannot be later than 540 B.C., the epoch of Theodores 
of Samos, whose improvements in metal-casting marked a new 
era in ancient art. 

The most primitive vases of this class rarely show representa- 
tions of animal life, but are adorned with annular bands, zig-zags, 
waves, meanders, concentric circles, hatched lines, suastikas, and 
other geometrical patterns, often separated into compartments 
by upright lines, like diglyphs or trigryphs; indeed the general 
style of ornamentation closely resembles that on some of the 
fragments of painted pottery found by Dr. Schliemann at Mycenae. 


An example of this primitive style is given in the kyliz repre- 
sented in the annexed woodcut, and another in the Appendix at 
p. cxiii., which shows an Athenian lebes with three horses moulded 
on the lid. These very archaic vases are believed to be primitive 
Ionic Greek. " The absence of all human figures and of all in- 
scriptions," says Dr. Birch, " and their analogies with Oriental 
art, render it probable that some of them may be as old as the 
heroic ages. None can be more recent than the seventh century, 
i?.c." G 

Of rather later date are the vases of Doric character, which are 
found in Etruria as well as in Greece, Sicily, Magna Grrecia, and 
the Greek islands, and may be looked for on any ancient site 
which has an antiquity of not less than six centuries B.C. The 
figures, which are painted on the pale yellow ground of the clay, 
are generally arranged in several bands encircling the vase, and 

6 Ancient Pottery, p. 183. Dr. Birch style of decoration to those found in the 
points out the resemblance some of the sepulchres of the ancient Peruvians, 
earliest vases cf this class bear in their 



are brown rather than black, varied occasionally with purple, 
white, or crimson. They consist chiefly of wild beasts lions, 
panthers, wolves, boars ; of cattle bulls, goats, rams, antelopes ; 
of birds swans, cocks, owls ; or of sphinxes, griffons, and other 
compound mythical beings; arranged in pairs of opposite natures, 
either facing each other, or engaged in 
combat ; the oriental principle of antago- 
nism being obviousl}' set forth, as shown in 
the annexed woodcut of a Doric aryballos. 
Mixed with them are quaint representa- 
tions of fruit and flowers, especially of the 
lotus. 7 On the later vases of the Doric 
style, human figures first appear, but often 
under the form of demons or genii, or of 
the four-winged divinities of oriental wor- 
ship. Many vases of this class having 
been found at Corinth, and notably the 
celebrated Dodwell vase, 8 now at Munich, 
they have received the designation of 
" Corinthian." It is highly probable, in- 
deed, that these vases were introduced 
into Etruria \>y Demaratus of Corinth, 
about 660 u.c. A few admirable examples, supposed to be im- 
portations from Corinth, have been discovered in the necropolis 
of Cervetri, and also some Etruscan imitations of this archaic 
style, a_ specimen of which is given at p. 283 of this volume. 
The design on these Corinthian vases corresponds in great part 
with that of the earliest painted tombs, such as the Grotta Cam- 
pana at Veii, and also with the most archaic Etruscan bronzes. 
Were we to seek analogies to the art of other lands, it would be 
to the earliest works of the Greek chisel to the reliefs from 
the Temple of Hercules at Selinus, or to the Agamemnon, 
Talthybios, and Epeios from Samothrace, now in the Louvre. 
These " Corinthian " vases mark the transition from the early 
Asiatic style to that of the Archaic Greek, or Attic, for without 
tins intermediate class there appears to be so wide a difference 
between these styles, as to lead naturally to the conclusion that 
the) r are totally distinct in their origin. 

7 "The backgrounds with flowers ap- semble those of Solomon's temple and the 

pear, indeed, to have been copied from Babylonian tapestries, likewise indicates 

oriental or Assyrian art, which had ceased an epoch of high antiquity." Uirch, p. 

to exist in the sixth century B. c. ; while 158. 

the Asiatic style of the friezes, which re- s Supposed to date from 574 B.C. 




The annexed woodcut represents an archaic lebes from Athens, 
now in the British Museum. It is of the style which is supposed 
to have preceded the Corinthian. The figures are of a maroon 
colour, on a pale yellow ground. 


The Second class of vases is commonly designated "Etruscan," 
or " Tyrrhene," from the abundance in which it is found in that 
part of Italy ; in Campania it is called " Sicilian," for the same 
reason. The more correct appellation would be "Archaic Greek," 
for such is the character of the design, and the subjects and 
inscriptions are also purely Hellenic. This class is also appro- 
priately designated " Attic," in distinction from the Doric charac- 
ter of the preceding class, and because the inscriptions are in 
that dialect. It continued to exist for about a century, from 
about 540 to 450 or 440 B.C., when it gave place to a still higher 
development of the ceramic art. 9 

The Second class is recognisable b} T its figures being painted 

9 Dr. Brunn ascribes a large portion of 
the vases of this class found in Etruscan 
tombs to a much later period to the third 
or even second century B.C., and regards 
them as local or imported imitations of 
original Greek vases of this class. He 
arrives at this conclusion from considera- 
tions both of palaeography and style, which 
we have no room to specify, and must refer 
our readers to his work, ' ' Probleme in der 
Geschichte der Vasenmalerei. " That the 
Archaic Greek style was sometimes imi- 
tated in a subsequent age we have proofs 
in the Panathenaic vases of the Cyrenaica, 

which, though with black figures, bear 
dates of the fourth century B.C., one as late 
as 313 B.C. But that the generality of the 
vases of this class found in Etruria cannot 
be a century or two later than this, as 
Brunn opines, is clearly demonstrated by 
Helbig in his review of Brunn's pamphlet. 
Bull. Inst. 1871, pp. 85-96. While ad- 
mitting that this archaic style may have 
been conventionally continued longer than 
is generally supposed, Helbig is not in- 
clined to believe it was carried on later 
than the end of the fourth centurv B.C. 


black on the ground of the clay, which is yellow, warming to red. 
The flesh of women, the hair of old men, the devices on shields, 
and a few other objects are painted white ; the armour is some- 
times tinted purple, and crimson is occasionally introduced on 
the drapery. The outlines, the muscles, and folds of drapery are 
marked by incised lines. Though the faces are invariably in pro- 
file, the eyes of the men are always round, of the women long and 
almond-shaped, of that very form usually represented in Egyptian 
paintings. In this class the human figure forms the principal 
subject of the design, which in the earlier works is hard, severe, 
and conventional ; the attitudes rigid and constrained, often 
impossible ; the forms angular, the muscular development exag- 
gerated, the extremities of the limbs unnaturally attenuated, the 
hands and feet preposterously elongated. Yet with the progress 
of art these defects were in great measure remedied, and the 
design gradually became more natural and free, especially in the 
later works of this style, which sometimes show much truth and 
expression, and even spirit, with vigour of conception, and a 
conscientious carefulness and neatness of execution quite sur- 
prising. Yet none of this class are entirely free from the severity 
of archaic art. The figures bear the same relation to the sculp- 
tured reliefs of JKgina, that those on the Third class of vases do 
to the marbles of the Parthenon ; indeed, these may be said to be 
of the ^Eginetic school, for they correspond not only in style, but 
in date. And though it may be questioned if all the extant 
pottery with black figures can claim so remote an antiquity, and 
if some of it be not rather a more recent imitation, the type of it 
belongs indisputably to the archaic period of Greek art. It will 
be understood that whenever vases with black figures are men- 
tioned in the course of this work, a certain degree of archaicism 
of design is alwaj's implied. This style is found in connection 
with vases of more beauty and variety of form than the earlier 
class; the most common shapes being the ampliora, or wine-jar; 
the hi/dria, or water-jar ; the kelcbe, or mixing-vase ; the oinochoe, 
or wine-jug ; the kylix, or drinking-bowl ; and the Ickythos, or 

The subjects depicted on vases of this class are generally taken 
from the Heroic Cycle the deeds of Hercules or Theseus, 
events of the Trojan War, or the wanderings of Ulysses, combats 
of the Greeks with the Amazons, of the Gods with the Giants, 
and similar fables from the Hellenic mythology. Very numerous 
also are scenes from the Dionysiac tltiasos, Sileni and Maenads 


dancing round the jolly god, who sits or stands in the midst, 
crowned with ivy, and holding a vine-branch or thi/rsos in one 
hand, and a kantliaros in the other. Another class of subjects, 
not so common, is the Panathenaic. On one side of the vase the 
great goddess of Attica stands brandishing her lance between two 
Doric columns, crowned with cocks ; on the reverse are foot, 
horse, or chariot-races, or the wrestling, boxing, or hurling- 
matches, which took place at her annual festivals. Such vases, 
from the inscriptions they bear " One of the prizes from 
Athens " are proved to have been given to the victors on those 
occasions. 1 These subjects are peculiar to vases of the Second 
class. That the period to which this class of vases belonged 
overlapped that of the following class, and that for some time 
in the fifth century, B.C., the two styles were contemporary, is 
clear, not only from the advanced art of the later vases of the 
Second class, and from the hard, dry design of the earliest of the 
Third class, but also from certain instances where both stj'les 
are found on the same vase. Thus on a large kyllx, found at 
Chiusi, but now in the Museum of Palermo, one half of the bowl 
is adorned with black figures on a red ground, the other with red 
upon black. 

The Third class of Greek vases has justly been denominated 
" Perfect," as it partakes of the best art of that wonderful people. 
In these vases the ground is painted black, the figures being left 
of the natural reddish yellow of the clay, and the details are 
either marked with black lines, or with brownish red in the more 
delicate parts of the figures and drapery. These vases belong to 
the finest period of Greek art, but as some of the earliest with 
red figures retain the severe and archaic character of the preceding 
style, we may carry their age back to about 460 B.C. or even earlier. 2 

1 The inscription is TONA9ENE0EN- bear various dates, the latest being 313 

A0AON Titiv ' AOyvridfi' &QK<av sometimes B.C. T\vo of those in the British Museum 

with the prefix of EMI for flfj-i; as in the dated in the archonship of Pythodemos, 

earliest known vase of this class, found by 335 B.C., were found at Cervetri. For 

Mr. Burgon at Athens, and now in the notices of the Panathenaic vases see Bockh, 

British Museum. Pseudo-archaic vases of Bull. Inst. 1832, pp. 91-98 ; Ambrosch, 

this class have also been found in the Ann. Inst. 1833, pp. 64-89; Secchi, Bull. 

Cyrenaica, recognised as such by the affected Inst. 1843, p. 75. 

archaicisms of style, and by the dates with 2 Birch states that recent discoveries 

which they are inscribed. The earliest show some of these vases to be as old as 

dated vase yet known is one of six I clis- 480 B.C., and certainly prior to the age of 

covered at Teucheira in that land, and it Pheidias. p. 202. Bunsen assigns the 

dates from the archonship of Polyzelos, or vases of this style to a period between the 

367 B.C. Others, in the British Museum, 74th and 94th Olympiads (484-404, B.C.). 

the Louvre, and the Museum of Leyden, Ann. Inst. 1834, p. 62. 


They continued to be manufactured down to about 38G B.C., or 
to the accession of Alexander the Great, from which period dates 
the decline of the ceramic art. The best vases of this class are 
pre-eminent in elegance of form, in fineness of material, brilliancy 
of varnish, and in exquisite beauty of design, divested of that 
archaic severity and conventionality which distinguish the earlier 
classes. The sub-styles into which this class may be divided, 
are the Strong style, or the earliest, already mentioned, which 
belongs to the days of Pericles and Polygnotus; the Fine style, 
or that contemporary with Pheidias, Zeuxis, and Parrhasius ; and 
the Florid or latest style, which marks the transition from the 
Perfect class to the Decadence, and was contemporary with 
Scopas, Praxiteles, and Lysippus. 

The subjects illustrated are very similar to those on vases of 
the Second class, with the exception of the Panathenaic scenes ; 
those of Bacchic character are also of less frequent occurrence, 
the predominating subjects being Greek myths, or representa- 
tions of Greek manners. Little or nothing is to be learned from 
any of these painted vases of the customs, habits, traditions, or 
creed of the Etruscans. AYith very few exceptions all are purely 
Greek. The forms with which this style is associated are the 
amphora, the krater, or mixing-vase, the kalpis, an elegant variety 
of water-jar, the cenoclioe, the olpe, the kylix, and the lekythos. 

There is a class of vases belonging to this Third style, which 
have polychrome figures on a white ground, the colours being 
red, yellow, blue, purple, brown, and sometimes gold. These 
vases are generally of the lekythos form. They are rare every- 
where, but particularly so in Etruria, though one of the very finest 
of this class was found at Vulci the krater in the Gregorian 
Museum which represents Mercury handing the infant Bacchus 
to Silenus. 3 Beautiful specimens of this style have been found 
at Athens ; a few also at Cameirus in Rhodes : and I have brought 
a few to light in my excavations in Sicily and the Cyrenaica. 

No one can view the best works of this Third class without 
delight, and an intimate acquaintance with them begets in the 
man of taste an unbounded admiration. They are the source 
whence Flaxman drew his inspiration, and well would it be for 
the student of art to follow that master's example, and imbue 
his mind deeply with their excellences and beauties. The 
dignity of the conception and force of expression, at times rising 

s See Vol. II. p. 461. 


into the sublime, the chaste taste, the truth to nature, the purity 
and simplicity of the design, and the force as well as the delicacy 
of the execution, well entitle the best vases of this class to the 
appellation of " Perfect." Never, perhaps, do they attain the 
perfection of art displayed in the highest works of the Greek 
chisel, yet there is a mastery, a spirit of beauty about them 
which marks them as of the happiest and purest period of 
Hellenic art. Though the Greek vase-painters were held of 
small account in their own day, yet if the excellence of art 
consist in conveying ideas by the fewest and most simple touches, 
the merit of these artists is of a very high order. 

The conquest of Asia by Alexander, by introducing metal vases 
in the place of those of terra-cotta, was the cause of the decline of 
Greek ceramic art. The period of Decadence dates then from 
about 330 B.C., and was continued to about 150 B.C., when 
metal had quite superseded earthenware. Vases of this class 
continued to show red figures on a black ground, but white was 
abundantly introduced, colour more sparingly, and gold also 
occasionally in the ornaments and other accessories. They may 
be recognised chiefly by the design, which, though often masterly 
in the earlier vases of this style, is injured by affectation, 
mannerism, and excess of ornament, and in the later vases is 
coarse and careless in the extreme, with figures stumpy and in- 
elegant. The most striking vases of this class are found in the 
tombs of Puglia and Basilicata. They are often of enormous size 
and exaggerated proportions, and of shapes unknown in the purer 
days of ceramic art. The multitude of figures introduced, the 
complexity of the composition, the general inferiority and 
mannerism of the design, the flourish of the drapery, the lavish- 
ment of decoration, in a word, the absence of that chasteness of 
taste which gives the Perfect style its chief charm, indicate these 
vases to belong to the period when Greek art was beginning to 
trick herself out in meretricious embellishments, forgetful of her 
sublime and god-like simplicity. 

The vases of the Decadence found in Etruria are of more 
modest dimensions, but display a sad decline from the beauty of 
the earlier styles. They are almost always of local manufacture. 
Those from Yolterra are of pale clay, 'coarse forms, dull varnish, 
most careless and rustic design ; large female heads en silhouette, 
and scenes in which nude women are introduced, are the favourite 
subjects. At Orvieto, where vases of somewhat similar cha- 
racter are found, there is also a peculiar pottery belonging to this 


period, adorned, not with paintings, but with reliefs silvered, in 
imitation of vases of that metal. l 

"What use can this multitude of vases have served ? Though 
now found only in tombs, it must not be supposed that they were 
all originally of sepulchral application. Those with Panathenaic 
subjects were given, probably full of oil, as prizes at the national 
games, as in Greece. Others may have been given as prizes at 
the palajstric fetes, or as nuptial presents, or as pledges of love 
and friendship ; and these are generally marked by some appro- 
priate inscription. Many were doubtless articles of household 
furniture, for use or adornment ; 5 and a few seem to have been 
express!}' for sepulchral purposes, either as decorations of the 
tomb, or to contain the wine, honey, and milk, left as offerings 
to the mancs, c> or to make the customary libations, or more rarely 
to hold the ashes of the dead. 7 There can be little doubt, what- 
ever purposes they may have originally served, that these vases 
were placed in the tomb by the ashes of the deceased, together with 
liis armour and jewellery, as being among the articles which he 
most prized in life. 

4 Vol. II. p. 48. A choice collection of 
these peculiar vases is in the possession of 
Signer Augusto Castellani, at Rome. The 
fact of them all wanting a bottom shows 
them to have been made merely for deco- 
rative purposes. Bull. Inst. 1871, p. 18. 
Ann. Inst. 1871, pp. 5-27 ; Kliigmann, 
tav. d'agg. A C. 

5 Yet many of them are only varnished 
outside, and but partially not at all within; 
so that they could hardly have served for 
liquids. Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 97. Many 
may have been xised by the relatives at the 
parcntalia, or funeral feasts, and left as 
sacred in the tomb. 

6 The notion of feeding the souls of the 
departed was very general among the 
ancients. In Egypt the tomb of Osiris, in 
the isle of Phihe in the Nile, contained 360 
lihatory vessels x oai which were daily 
filled with milk by the priests. Diod. Sic. 
I. p. I!*, ed. Rhod. In Greece the souls 
were supposed to be fed by the libations 
and feasts held at the sepulchre. Lucian, 
de Luctu, p. 809, ed. 1615. And so in 
Italy, where the iiwncs were appeased by 
libations of wine, milk, and blood ; and 
the wail ing-women therefore beat their 
breasts to force out the milk, and tore 
their flesh to make the blood flow ; all for 

the satisfaction of the departed. Serv. ad 
Mn. V. 78. A similar custom, possibly 
of equal antiquity, prevails in China, of 
making an annual "feast for the hungry 
ghosts." It was the custom of the ancients 
to burn on the funeral pyre the vases con- 
taining oil, honey, or other offerings to the 
dead. Horn. Iliad. XXIII. 170 ; Virg. .n. 
VI. 225 ; Serv. in loc. Vases are often 
found in the tombs of Etruria, as well as 
of Greece, and her colonies in Italy and 
Sicily, which retain manifest proofs of 
subjection to fire. 

~' This is sometimes the case with those of 
Sicily and Magna Gratia, especially of Apulia 
and Lucania, and frequently with the vases 
of La Certosa at Bologna ; more rarely with 
those of Etruria Proper. A quaint but 
beautiful conceit on certain of these cine- 
rary vases is uttered by Sir Thomas Browne, 
in his Hydriotaphia, chap. III. " Most 
imitate a circular figure, in a spherical and 
round composure ; whether from any 
mystery, best duration, or capacity, were 
but a conjecture. But the common form 
with necks was a proper figure, making 
our last bed like our first ; nor much nn- 
like the urns of our nativity, while we lay 
in the nether part of the earth, and in- 
ward vault of our microcosm. " 


That these vases are found in such multitudes in Etruria is 
the more astonishing when we remember that almost all the 
tombs which contain them have been rifled in bygone times. It 
is extremely rare to find a virgin sepulchre. At Vulci, where the 
painted vases are most abundant, not one tomb in a hundred 
proves to be intact. It is obvious that those who in past ages 
violated these sepulchres were either ignorant of the value of the 
vases, or left ihem from superstitious motives most probably the 
former, for they are often found broken to pieces, as though they 
had been dashed wantonly to the earth in the search for the precious 
metals. We know that the sepulchres of Corinth and of Capua 
were ransacked by the Romans in the time of Julius Ciesar, for the 
sake of these painted vases, which were called necro-Corinthian, 
and were then highly prized and of immense value ; the art of 
making them having been lost ; l but how it came to pass that 
the Romans never worked the vast mines of the same treasures 
in Etruria, some almost within sight of the Seven-hilled City, 
it is difficult to comprehend. They could hardly have been 
ignorant of the custom of the Etruscans to bury these vases in 
their sepulchres, and religious scruples could not have deterred 
them from spoliation in Etruria more than in Greece or the 
south of Italy. Such, however, is the fact, and the abundance 
of these vases in Etruscan tombs forbids us to believe that the 
extensive system of rifling, to which they have evidently been 
subjected, was by Roman hands. It was more probably carried 
forward at the close of the Empire, or by the barbarian hordes 
who overran Italy in the early centuries of our era. 3 Plunder 

1 Sueton. , J. Caes. 81. Strabo (VIII. p. sanctioned the spoliation of ancient sepul- 

381) says the Romans did not leave a tomb chres, yet restricted it to the precious 

untouched at Corinth in their search for metals, commanding the ashes to be left 

the vases and bronzes. Robbers of tombs " quia nolumus lucra qtiseri, qufe per 

were not uncommon in ancient times, in funesta scelera possunt reperiri ; " and he 

Egypt and Greece as well as in Italy, and justified his decree on the ground that that 

were execrated, as body-snatchers are at was not stolen which had no owner, and 

the present day. Pliny states that in his that that ought not to be left with the 

time fictile vases, by which he probably dead, which would serve to keep the liv- 

means those that were painted, fetched ing " Non est enirn cupiditas eripere quw 

more money than the celebrated Murrhine nullus se dominus ingemiscat amisisse." 

vases, the cost of which he records (XXXV. Cassiodor. Var. IV. 34. The same feeling 

46 ; XXXVII. 7) ; and which are supposed was shown in the laws of the Twelve 

to have been of porcelain. That these Tables, which forbade the burial of gold 

painted vases were very rare in his day is in sepulchres, "Neve aurum addito," 

confirmed by the fact that not one has yet unless the teeth of the corpse happened to lie 

been discovered among the ruins of Pompeii fastened with it. " Quoi auro denies vincti 

or Herculaneum. Bull. Inst. 1871, p. 95. escunt, ast im cum illo sepelire urereve, 

It is known that Theodoric, the Goth, se t'raude esto." Cicero, de Leg. II. 24. 
VOL. i. (j 


was obviously the sole object, for the tombs of the poor, though 
opened, are left untouched ; while those of the rich have been 
despoiled of the precious metals, the vases have been thrown 
down, the sarcophagi and urns overturned, and everything left 
in confusion, as though no corner had been unransacked. In 
the middle ages, traditions of subterranean treasures were rife 
in this land, and sorcerers were applied to for their discovery, 3 
but it does not appear that any systematic researches were carried 
forward, as in earlier times, and again in our own day. 

In the consideration of these vases the question naturally 
arises if they are mostly of foreign character, either oriental 
or Greek, how came they in Etruscan tombs ? This is a ques- 
tion which has puzzled many a learned man of our age. At the 
first view of the matter, when the purely Hellenic nature of the 
design and subjects, and especially the inscriptions in the Greek 
language and character, are regarded, the natural response is 
that they must have been imported ; a view which receives 
confirmation from the recorded fact of an extensive commerce 
in pottery in ancient times. 4 Yet when, on the other hand, we 
bear in mind the enormous quantities of these vases that have 
been found in the Etruscan soil, that these spoils of the dead 
which within the last fifty years alone have been reaped by the 
excavator, may be reckoned, not by thousnnds, but by myriads, 
and that what have hitherto been found on a few sites only, can 
bear but a very small proportion to the multitudes still entombed 
when the peculiarities of style attaching to particular localities 
are considered, the pottery of each site having its distinguishing 
characteristics, so that an experienced eye is seldom at a loss to 
pronounce in what part of the ancient world any given vase was 
found it must be admitted that there are strong grounds for 
regarding many of them as of local manufacture. 5 Antiquaries, 

3 Mioali, Mon. Ined. p. 362. instance, occur in juxtaposition. Ann. 

4 Plin. XXXV. 46. Haec per maria Inst. 1831, pp. 72, 122, 171, et &eq. 
terrasque ultro citroquc portantur, insigni- This unknown tongue, which is frequently 
bus rotse officinis. The pottery of Athens found on vases of the Archaic style, may, 
was carried by the Phoenician traders to in some cases be Etruscan in Greek letters, 
the far western coast of Africa, and bar- Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 171. In the place of 
tered for leopard-skins and elephant-teeth. characters a row of dots is sometimes found, 
See Grote's Greece, III. p. 364. as though the copyist would not venture 

5 There are, moreover, facts which con- to imitate what he did not comprehend, 
firm this view. The inscriptions, though Yet from the extensive commercial inter- 
in Greek characters, are not unfrequently course of Etruria with Greece and her 
utterly unintelligible such collocations of colonies, many of the Etruscans must have 
letters as arc foreign to every dialect of known Greek. Sometimes a genuine in- 
Greek. Half a dozen consonants, for scription appears to have been incorrectly 


however, are much divided in opinion on this point, some main- 
taining all these vases to be importations from Greece or her 
colonies ; others, to be of Etruscan manufacture, in imitation 
of Greek ; and others, again, endeavouring to reconcile con- 
flicting facts by imagining an extensive population of Greeks 
settled for ages in Etruria, or at least bodies of Hellenic artists, 
like the masonic corporations of the middle ages. 

But after all what are the speculations of most antiquaries 
worth, where there are no historic records for guidance, and 
few other palpable data from which to arrive at the truth where, 
in a word, the question resolves itself into one of artistic feeling, 
as much as of archteological erudition ? 6 Not to every man is it 
given to penetrate the mysteries of art to distinguish the copy 
from the original in painting or sculpture. Long experience, 
extensive knowledge, and highly- cultivated taste, are requisite 
for the discernment of those minute, indefinite, indescribable, 
but not less real and convincing differences between the original 
and the imitation. So it is with the ceramographic art. When 
men, who to vast antiquarian attainments add the experience 
of many years, whose natural taste has led them to make 
ancient art in general, and Greek vases in particular, their express 
study who have visited every collection in Europe, and have 
had thousands of specimens year after year submitted to their 
inspection and judgment when such men as Gerhard, Braun, 
and Brunn, renowned throughout Europe for their profound 
knowledge of the archaeology of art, give their opinion that 
there is something about many of the vases of Etruria, some- 
thing in form, design, or feeling, which stamps them as imita- 
tions of those of Greece, distinguishable, by them at least, from 
the genuine pottery of Attica we may be content to accept 
their opinion, though unable personally to verify it. This view 
does not preclude the supposition that most of the vases found 
in Etruria are of Greek manufacture, either imported from 

copied, the blunders being such as could Frenchman, "peuvent difficilement se 

hardly have been made by Greeks. Many reduire en regie, et, sous ce rapport, 

of the vases also have Etruscan monograms beaucoup d'amateurs presque ignorans 

beneath the foot, scratched in the clay I'emporteraient sur les plus celebres anti- 

apparently before it was baked. On the quaires, parccque, pour 1'antiquite figured, 

vases of Nola such monograms are also les livres et les plus vastes etudes suppleent 

found, but in Oscan characters. Gerhard, inoins au gout, que le gout et 1'intelligence 

Ann. Inst. 1831, pp. 74, 177. no peuvent supplier a 1'erudition." Due 

6 " Des jugemens qui emanent du senti- de Luynes, Aim. lust. 1832, p. 146. 
ment," observes a shrewd and learned 


Greece or her colonies, or made by Greek residents in the 
former land. Gerhard, indeed, divides these vases into three 

I. Those purely Greek in character. 

II. Those also Greek, but modified as if by Greek residents 
in Etruria. 

III. Those of Etruscan manufacture, in imitation of Greek. 

It is clear that though the art of painted pottery originated in 
Greece, it was more highly developed in Etruria and other 
parts of Italy. For there is a much greater variety of form 
and style in the vases of these countries than in those of 
Greece, and the descriptions common to both lands are carried 
to a much larger size in Italy. 7 

It is worthy of remark that most of the painted vases of 
Etruria all those of the Second and Third styles have an 
Athenian character. The deities represented are chiefly Attic 
Athene, Poseidon, Phcebos, Artemis, Hermes, Dionysos, and 
Demeter. The myths also are generally Attic ; so are the public 
games, and the scenes taken from ordinary life. Even the 
inscriptions, with a few exceptions, are in Attic Greek, 8 and 
belong, says Gerhard, to a period of short duration, and which 
can be determined with precision, being confirmed by the forms 
of the vases, \>y the design, and the subjects represented. It was 
not prior to the 74th Otympiad (484 B.C.), nor later than the 
124th (284 B.C.) or between the third and fifth centuries of 
Home, when the Greek colonies of Italy were in the height of 
their power, and before Etruria had lost her independence. 9 
The Attic character of these vases is the more remarkable, for 
from the only record we have of Greek artists emigrating to 
Etruria namely, with Demaratus, the Corinthian we might 

"Gerhard, Bull. lust. 1332, p. 75; in the feminine, it probably marks a nuptial 

Ann. Inst. 1837, 2, p. 134, et scq. present. Other salutatory expressions are 

8 The inscriptions are for the most part sometimes found, such as XAIPE 2T "hail 

designatory ; the several figures having to thee ! " or HO2ONAEnOTEET*PON 

their appellations attached. The names of " happy as possible ! " On the vases for 

the potter and painter .are also not unfre- domestic use we often find XAIPEKAiniEI 

qucntly recorded ; the former being united "hail, and drink!" or sometimes 

with EnOIEI or EIIOIE2EN ; the latter FIIEIME "drink me!" as though the 

with ErPA*2E. Other inscriptions refer goblet itself were speaking. The inscrip- 

to the possessor of the vase, and either tions on the Panathenaic vases have already 

mention his name with the addition of been mentioned. The places where the 

KAAO2, or have merely the latter word vases were made are never indicated, as on 

alone, or HO IIAI2 KAAO2, showing the the red pottery of Arretium. 

vase to have been a gift to some "beautiful 9 Ann. Inst. 1831, pp. 99, ct seq. 201 ; 

youth." When this inscription is repeated Bull. Inst. 1831, pp 164 7. 


have expected that Doric vases and Doric inscriptions would 
have prevailed, whereas the fact is that such vases are of com- 
paratively rare occurrence, and that such inscriptions are still 
more rare, found only on archaic pottery of the Corinthian 

There are certain vases not mentioned ahove, hecause of such 
rare occurrence as hardly to form a class, which are undoubtedly 
of Etruscan manufacture ; as they bear both Etruscan subjects 
and Etruscan inscriptions. 1 I am enabled to offer to the notice 
of the reader a specimen of these vases more remarkable than 
any yet discovered. It is a krater with volute handles, in the 
late style, with a Bacchic dance on one side, 2 and on the other a 
striking scene of the parting of Admetus and Alcestis, whose 
names are attached, between the figures of Charun armed with 
his mallet, and of another demon brandishing serpents. I have 
given it, as a very rare and curious specimen of undoubted 
Etruscan ceramography, in its natural colours, as a frontispiece 
to the second volume of this work. 3 

With the vases I close mv notices of Etruscan art. 

1 Very few of this class are known. One, 
an amphora of ancient style, having birds 
with human heads, bears the inscription 
in Etruscan letters "Kape Mukathesa." 
Another, a stamnos in the Third style, 
shows a Victory writing the Etruscan word 
'Lasna" in an open book. Two other 
ampkorce of late style have inscriptions in 
a mixture of Greek and Etruscan, and one 
beai-s the name "Aruns" in Etruscan on 
the handle. Two others are krateres one 
with Actaeon (" Aitaiun " in Etruscan cha- 
racters), defending himself against his 
dogs ; rev. Ajax (" Aivas ") falling on his 
sword ; the other showing Ajax slaying a 
Trojan captive, and " Charun " standing 
by, ready to seize his victim ; rev. Charun 
amid a group of three women, one called 
" Pentasila " (Penthesilea), another desig- 
nated " Hinthial Turrnucas." Ann. Inst. 
1331, pp. 73, 175 ; 1834, pp. 5456 ; pp. 
264294 ; Mon. Ined. lust. II. tav. 8, 9. 

2 See the woodcut at p. 437 of this 

3 This krater was found at Vulci, and 
was formerly in the possession of Dr. Emil 
Braun of llome, through whose kindness I 
was enabled to offer this illustration, re- 
duced from a tracing of the original. The 
scene represents Admetus "ATMITE"- 

at his last hour, when a Thanatos, or 
winged messenger of Death is come to 
claim him, and threatens him with ser- 
pents. As it had been decreed by the 
Fates that if one of his nearest relatives 
would become his substitute his life would 
be spared, his wife Alcestis " ALKSTI," in 
Etruscan comes forward to devote herself 
in his room, and takes a farewell embrace, 
while a second demon, apparently Charun 
himself, stands behind her with his mallet 
raised, about to strike the fatal blow. 

The inscription between the last two 
figures would run thus in Roman letters 
It has been considered by Dr. Braun (Bull. 
Inst. 1847) pp. 8186) to imply that Eca 
(a proper name) dedicated this vase to 
Acheron. But if I may suggest another 
version, in a matter which must be prin- 
cipally conjecture, I would say that "Eca " 
can hardly be a proper name, for it is 
found frequently in connection with Suthi, 
as a formula on sepulchral monuments, 
and is probably equivalent to hcec, or ecce. 
"Ersce," in which Dr. Braun finds an 
analogy to epyov, I would interpret by one 
of the few Etruscan words whose meaning 
has come down to us from the ancients 
arse, which Festus says meant arerte. 


Such is the people to whose Cities and Cemeteries I propose 
to conduct the reader. From what has heen already stated, he 
will expect to find traces of no mean degree of culture, and 
should he test my descriptions with his own eyes, he will not he 
disappointed. The Etruscans were undoubtedly one of the most 
remarkable nations of antiquity the great civilizers of Italy 
and their influence not only extended over the whole of the 
ancient world, but has affected every subsequent age, and has 
njt been without effect, however faint, on the civilization of the 
nineteenth century, and of regions they never knew. 

When we consider the important part they played among the 
nations of old, it is astonishing that the records of them are so 
vague and meagre. They did not, it is true, like the Greeks and 
Romans, trumpet their own fame to posterity, or at least, if it 

cannot be said 

nulli nota poet* 
Ilia fuit tellus, jacuit sine carmine sacro, 

none of the works of their poets and historians have come down 
to us. 4 And thus, had it not been for their tombs, we should 
have known them only through the representations of the Greeks 
and Romans, which give us a most unfavourable impres- 
sion of them. For the Greeks describe them as pirates and 
robbers, 5 or as effeminate debauchees ; c the Romans brand them 

"Xac" is a particle, to which we have 5 Many of the passages containing this 
no clue, and whose meaning must be charge refer doubtless to the Tyrrhene- 
learned from the rest of the sentence. Pelasgi rather than to the Etruscans, pro- 
" Achrura " is apparently Acheron. Who- perly so called, but as the former race 
ther "Phlerthrce" be one word or two, its formed an ingredient in the population of 
meaning is pretty obvious, for "Phlere," Etruria, it is difficult always to draw the dis- 
or "Phleres," occurs frequently on votive tinction. Yet there is still evidence enough 
bronzes, and in connection with "Turce," to convict the Etruscans of this practice, 
and is generally admitted to be a dedica- Strabo, V. pp. 219, 220 ; VI. p. 267 ; 
tory formula. The meaning of the whole, Diod. Sic. V. p. 292 ; XI. p. 66. The 
then, I take to be this "Lo! she saves Romans also laid this charge distinctly to 
him from Acheron, and makes an offering the Etruscans. Cicero, de llepub. II. 4 ; 
of herself." Dr. Birch takes it for the Serv. ad JEn. VIII. 479 ; X. 184. See 
speech of Charun, and translates it, "I Niebuhr, I. p. 127, et seq. Piracy, how- 
bear thee to Acheron." Ancient Pottery, ever, in those days, be it remembered, was 
p. 461. For another interpretation see an honourable profession a legitimate field 
Bull. Inst. 1847, pp. 86 88 ; for Lord for glory. Thucyd. I. 5 ; Justin. XLIII. 3. 
Crawford's, see Etruscan Inscriptions, p. 6 For the charges of inordinate luxury 
37 ; for Mr. Taylor's, see Etruscan Re- see the statements of Timajus, Poseidonius, 
searches, p. 308. and Theopompus ap. Athen. IV. c. 38 ; 
4 "Troy herself," says Philostratus, XII. c. 14, cf. 17; Diod. Sic. V. p. 316; 
" would not have been, had not Homer Dion. Hal. II. p. 105 ; IX. p. 575. 
lived. He was verily the founder of Ilium" Niebuhr (I. p. 141) rejects the statements 
(cited by Lanzi, Sagg. II. p. 174). of Theopompus 011 this head, not only on 


as sluggards, gluttons, and voluptuaries. 7 Yet the former ac- 
knowledged their power at sea, their commercial enterprise, and 
their artistic skill ; and the latter were forced to confess that 
to Etruria they owed most of their institutions and arts : neither, 
however, have paid that tribute to her civilization which we now 
learn to be due, and the Romans have not admitted their full 
amount of indebtedness to it a fact which is seen in the silence 
or merely incidental acknowledgment of their historians and 
poets, who would willingly have referred all the refinement of 
Rome to a Hellenic source. 

Though the ancients were reluctant to admit the full worth of 
Etruria, it may be questioned if Niebuhr is correct in asserting 
that she has received from the moderns more than her due share 
of attention and praise. How far we Transalpines of the nine- 
teenth century are indebted to her civilization is a problem hardly 
to be solved ; but indelible traces of her influence are apparent in 
Italy. That portion of the Peninsula where civilization earliest 
flourished, whence infant Rome drew her first lessons, has in 
subsequent ages maintained its pre-eminence. It was on the 
Etruscan soil that the seeds of culture, dormant through the 
long winter of barbarism, broke forth anew when a genial spring 
smiled on the human intellect : it was in Etruria that immortality 
was first bestowed on the lyre, the canvas, the marble, the 
literature, the science of modern Europe. Here arose 

" the all Etruscan three 
Dante and Petrarch, and scarce less than they, 
The Bard of Prose, creative spirit ! he 
Of the Hundred Tales of love." 

It was Etruria which produced Giotto, Brunelleschi, Fra Ange- 
lico, Luca Signorelli, Fra Bartolemeo, Michel Angelo, 8 Hilde- 

account of his being unworthy of credit, no better than their neighbours in purity 

but because "there are no licentious repre- of life. 

sentations on any Etruscan works of art." 7 Virg. lEn. XI. 732 Semper inertes 

Though the accounts of Theopompus may Tyrrheni ! 

be exaggerated, as Miiller (Etrusk. I. 3, 12) At non in Venerem segnes nocturnaque 

supposes, yet Niebuhr is greatly mistaken bella ; 

as to the purity of the Etruscans. For to Aut, ubi curva chores indixit tibia Bacchi, 

say nothing of the painted vases, which Expectare dapes, et plena? pocula mensa?. 

are illustrative rather of Greek than Etrus- Hic amor > hoc studium. 

can manners, and on which the most Cf. Greorg. II. 193; Catul. XXXIX. 11. 

abominable indecencies are sometimes re- 8 Raffaele also, if he does not belong 

presented, there is evidence enough on strictly to Etruria Proper, was born not 

works of undoubtedly Etruscan art, such far from the frontiers, and in a region once 

as sepulchral paintings and bronze mirrors, possessed by the Etruscans. Besides he 

to convict the Etruscans of being little or was educated in the Perugiau school. If 


brand, Macchiavelli, " the starry Galileo," and such a noble band 
of painters, sculptors, and architects, as no other country of 
modern Europe can boast. Certainly no other region of Italy 
has produced such a galaxy of brilliant intellects. I leave it to 
philosophers to determine if there be anything in the climate or 
natural features of the land to render it thus intellectually pro- 
lific. Much may be owing to the natural superiority of the race, 
which, in spite of the revolutions of ages, remains essentially the 
same, and preserves a distinctive character ; 9 just as many traits 
of the ancient Greek, Gaul, German, and Spaniard may be recog- 
nised in their modern descendants. The roots of bygone moral, 
as well as physical, culture, are not easily eradicated. The wild 
vine and olive mark many a desert tract to have been once 
subject to cultivation. And thus ancient civilization will long 
maintain its traces even in a neglected soil, and will often 
germinate afresh on experiencing congenial influences, 

" The wheat three thousand years interred 
Will still its harvest bear." 

How else comes it that while the Roman of to-day retains 
much of the rudeness of former times while the Neapolitan in 
his craft and wiliness betrays his Greek origin, and the Sicilian 
the lawlessness of his African forefathers the Tuscan is still the 
most lively in intellect and imagination, the most highly endowed 
with a taste for art and literature ? May it not also be to the 
deep-seated influences of early culture that he owes that superior 
polish and blandness of manner, which entitle Tuscan}' pre- 
eminently to the distinction claimed for it of being " a rare land 
of courtesy ? " 

we were to claim as the sons of Etruria the 9 Micali (Ant. Pop. Ttal. I. p. 101; 

natives of those lands beyond the Apennines III. p. 11), maintained the analogy in 

and the Tiber which once belonged to her, physical and craniological development, 

there would he very few illustrious Italian between the ancient Etruscans and the 

names, either of ancient or modern times, modern inhabitants of Tuscany, 
which would be excluded from the category. 



THE Vases found in Etruscan tombs are of various forms, and served 
different purposes ; therefore to enable the reader to understand the frequent 
mention made of them under their technical names in the course of this 
work, I propose to arrange them under their respective classes. 

It must be borne in mind that the greater part of the figured vases found 
in Etruria are not Etruscan, although often so designated, but are Greek, 
whether imported from Greece and her colonies, or of local manufacture by 
Hellenic colonists, is a question not yet satisfactorily determined. But the 
subjects on the painted vases, the inscriptions they bear, and the art they 
display, are so unmistakably Greek as to determine their origin beyond a 
doubt, and to distinguish them markedly from the ware proper to Etruria. 
Etruscan imitations of Greek vases are occasionally brought to light, but the 
genuine pottery of Etruria is quite Oriental in character, without a trace of 
Hellenic influence. It is never painted, but is decorated with simple 
geometrical patterns, scratched or stamped on the clay, or witli figures in 
relief, as shown in the woodcut No, 1, at the head of this Appendix. It is of 
brown or black ware, made with the hand and not with tha latha, sun-dried 


and unglazed, of rude workmanship, and often of clumsy form, and its 
adornments betray none of the elegance and refinement which breathe more 
or less from all the works of the Greeks. Yet in form these Etruscan vases 
do not differ so widely from the Greek, that they cannot be classified with 
them, and I shall therefore apply to them the nomenclature of the latter, so 
far as it can be ascertained. The generic name by which this early Etruscan 
ware is now known is " bucchero," and by this term it will be mentioned in 
the following pages. The term applied by the Greeks to black sepulchral 
pottery was Libyes, or " niggers." 

The names of these ancient vases have been ascertained, in a few in- 
stances, from monumental sources, being attached to pots of certain forms 
introduced into scenes on painted vases ; as the word " hydria " is written 
over a water-jar, on the celebrated Franois vase at Florence (Vol. II., 
p. 114) ; but more generally we have only the descriptions given of vases 
by certain ancient authors, especially Athenasus, which descriptions being in 
many instances vague, ambiguous, or contradictory, are far from throwing a 
satisfactory light on the subject. It must be confessed that, even after the 
critical researches of Panofka, Gerhard, Letronne, Ussing, and Thiersch, into 
this subject, the nomenclature of many of the shapes of ancient vases is in 
great measure arbitrary or conventional. As to the forms of numerous 
vases mentioned by Athenreus we are still utterly in the dark. We are, 
however, able to recognise the characters of the most common shapes and to 
classify the vases according to the purposes they were intended to serve. 

Of the illustrations here given of the forms of ancient vases I would 
observe, that having been taken from various sources, and drawn at different 
periods, they are on no uniform scale, so that a large A r ase will often appear 
from the woodcut to be smaller than another to which it is really very supe- 
rior in size, e.g. Nos. 6 and 7. The woodcuts indicate, therefore, the form 
and character of the several descriptions of vases, not their relative size. 

Many of these woodcuts will probably be familiar to my readers from 
having appeared in the two editions of Dr. Birch's work on " Ancient 
Pottery," but availing myself of my right to claim my own thunder, I must 
mention that they originally illustrated the first edition of this work, ten years 
before they did duty for Dr. Birch. 

The following classification will, I think, comprise all the most common 
forms of Greek vases. 

Class I. Vases for holding or storing liquids, fruits, &c., pithos, amphora, 
pelike, stamnos, lekane. 

II. Vases for carrying water, hydria, kalpis. 

III. Vases for mixing or cooling wine, krater, kelebe, oxybaphon, lebes, 

IV. Vases for drawing and pouring out wine, &c., oinochoe, olpe, prochoos, 
kytithos, situla. 

V. Vases for drinking, Jcantharos, karchesion, skyphos, mastos, depas, 
kyathos, kylix, lepaste, pella, holkion, kerus, rhyton, phiale, kothon. 

VI. Vases for ointments or perfumes, lekythos, aryballos, bombylios, 
askos, kotyliskos, alubastos, pyxis. 


The largest vase of this class was the pithos, or wine-jar, a tall jar with 
a full body and wide mouth, with a lid, and generally without handles. It 



served also to hold oil, fruit, and other solids, and resembled in size and 
shape the large oil-jars of Southern Europe. The visitor to Pompeii may 
remember in the street of Mercury three oil-shops, full of these large pithoi, 
of coarse red ware, several of them mended of old with rivets of lead. The 
pithos was used also as an urn to contain burnt 
human ashes, and in the early days of Etruria, was 
often decorated with bands of small Egyptian-like 
figures in relief, and was also ribbed. An illustra- 
tion of this jar as a cinerary urn is given in the 
woodcut annexed, No. 2. It was sometimes used 
also to hold the corpse, for two such jars being 
placed mouth to mouth, served as a rude coffin, and 
thus arranged they are not unfrequently found in 
the tombs of the Troad. It was this form of vase 
which served as the habitation of Diogenes, for his 
" tub " is thus represented on ancient monuments, 
hence the Greek proverb " the life of a pithos" 
to express a mean and miserable existence. It was 
a brazen vase of this form, in which Eurystheus, in 
his terror at the bristly monster of Eryrnanthus,which 
Hercules was bringing him on his shoulders, endea- 
A r oured to hide himself a subject often depicted, 
and with infinite humour, on the early Attic vases. 

The amphora, called by the Greeks amphoreus, is a two-handled vase of 
various forms, but generally tall and full-bellied. This is the most common 
of all ancient vases, and is found in connection 
with every period and style of art. The more 
ordinary description was of coarse unglazed but 
very hard ware, with a long cylindrical body and 
long neck, and with two angular handles, on the 
shoulders of which was generally stamped the 
name of the magistrate for the year, Avith some- 
times the month in addi- 
tion, and the device of the 
town where the vase was 
made. The foot always 
tapered to a point for pe- 
netrating the earth, as the 
pot could not stand with- 
out support. Amphorae of 
this form are rarely found 
with decorations. 

Amphorce, even when 
decorated with paintings, 
are occasionally found 
with a pointed base, of 
which a beautiful ex- 
ample is preserved in the 
Museum of Perugia. See 
woodcut, No. 3. 

In the early relieved ware of Chiusi, the amphora was of a quaint and 
peculiar form, of which the annexed woodcut (No. 4) is an illustration. 





The ampJinra used in tlio earliest stylo of painted vases, is often, like the 
style itself, designated " Egyptian." It has plain handles, and the shoulders 
of the vase are rounded so as to meet the neck almost at right angles. 

Amphorae of the Second or Archaic Greek 
style, are commonly called " Tyrrhene." They 
have a fuller body and a thicker neck, and the 
greatest diameter of the vase is at about half 
its height. They are generally distinguished by 
squared handles, ornamented with floral decora- 
tions, and their shoulders, instead of meeting 
the neck abruptly, form with it a graceful curve. 
See woodcut No. 5. To this same period belongs 
the " Dionysiac " amphora, which differs gene- 
rally from the former in having ribbed or reeded 
handles, and in having a taller and narrower neck ; 
though it is chiefly distinguished by the Bacchic 
character of its subjects. Good examples of 
the Dionysiac ampliora are given in the woodcut 
No. 5. TYRRHENE AMPHORA. at p. 3G1 of this volume, which represents a scene 
in the " Tomb of the Painted Vases" at Corneto. 

The " Panathenaic " ampliorce, or the vases given, filled with oil, as prizes 
at the pala'stric games held at Athens in honour of the patron-goddess, are 


No. 7. NOLAN AilPHuKA. 

also distinguished by their subjects rather than by their shape ; the archaic 
vases, like the Burgon amphora in the British Museum, which is thought to 
be the earliest specimen of this class extant, being full-bellied, while those 
of later date are taller and more elegant, as in the woodcut Xo. G, which is 


taken from one of six of these vases I found at Teucheira in the Cyrenaica, 
and which are now in the British Museum. All these vases have on one 
side a figure of Athene Promachos, with helmet, shield, and spear, in the 
attitude of attack, flanked by two Doric columns, generally surmounted 
by cocks, and usually bear the inscription " Of the prizes from Athens." 
The reverse always shows one of the contests of the pentathlon, probably 
that for which the vase was awarded as a prize. Comparatively few of these 
vases have been discovered in Etruria. The Panatlienaic vases have invari- 
ably black figures on a yellow ground, although the later ones, like that 
represented in the woodeut, being of the Macedonian period, are pseudo- 
archaic, or mere imitations of the earlier style. 

The " Nolan " amphora is always of the Third style, with red figures, 
rarely more than one or two on each side, on the black ground of the vase. 
In shape it is slighter and more elegant than the forms already described ; its 
handles are either reeded or twisted. Vases of this kind are found not only 
at Nola, but in Sicily, and also in Etruria, principally at Vulci. For 
elegance of form, surprising brilliancy of lustre, simplicity and purity of 
design, and beauty of execution, these Nolan amphora, stand pre-eminent 
among the ceramic productions of antiquity. See woodcut No. 7. 

To the same period and style belongs the pelike, a description of amphora 
shaped like a pear, with its greatest diameter near the base, and tapering 
upwards to the neck. It is of comparatively rare occurrence in Etruria, and 
almost always has red figures, though in Sicily it is sometimes found with 
black. See woodcut No. 8. 

NO. 8. PELIK.E. No. 9. STAMNOS. 

Other varieties of the amphora are found, chiefly in Puglia and Basilicata, 
of much larger size, with taller and more slender forms, and handles elabo- 
rately moulded and decorated, in harmony with the more florid character of 
the paintings which adorn these vases. Numerous examples of them may 
be seen in the Museum at Naples, where they are designated according to 
the decorations of their handles, as vaso a girelle, a rotelle, a mascheroni, a 
volute, or, from some peculiarity of form, as vaso a langella, a tromba. This 
nomenclature, be it observed, is almost confined to Naples. It is not recog- 
nised in the higher parts of Italy, still less in the countries north of the Alps. 

Connected with this same class, though by Gerhard referred to that of 
mixing-jars, is the stamnos, a very high-shouldered, short-necked, plethoric 
vase, with two small handles, not upright as in all the other varieties of the 
amphora. Vases of this form are generally found with red figures. They 
are still called by the same name in modern Greece. They were used to 
hold wine, oil, or fruit. See woodcut No. 9. The Apulian stamnos is a 




small and late variety of the same form, with tall upright handles and a 
lid, and is occasionally, though seldom, found in 
Ktruria. It probably served to hold honey or 
sweetmeats. See woodcut No. 10. 

The lekane was another vase for preserving food, 
and was somewhat of the form of a tureen or 
sugar-basin, having a full deep body, with a wide 
mouth, a lid, and two handles generally upright. 
The woodcut No. 11 shows an example. Vases of 
this form, when of large size, were used for wash- 
ing the feet, as well as for other domestic but less 
cleanly purposes ; and also for playing the Sicilian 
game of the kottabos. 

Another form of the Ickanc, shown in the wood- 
No. 10. AMI-ULIAH STAMNOS. c ut No. 12, is called by Panofka the lopas. It 
was probably this variety which was given full of 
sweets or savoury meats, as a nuptial present, and which the bride carried 

No. 11. LKKAJJE. 

No. 12. LKKANK. 

to the house of the bridegroom. The lekanis and Iclcanislcns were smaller 
varieties, and probably served for fruits or sweets at the table. 


The characteristic feature of water-jars is that they have three handles, 
two small horizontal ones at the shoulders, and one large vertical one at the 
neck. The generic term is liydria, but when used spe- 
cifically, this name is applied to those of the earliest 
style which have a squareness about the shoulders, as 
shown in the woodcut No. 13, while a later and more 
elegant variety, with the shoulders rounded off, is 
generally called Jcalpis. See woodcut No. 14. But 
this distinction is conventional. The hydria is gene- 
rally found in connection with the earlier styles, with 
black figures, the kulpis with red figures, though the 
latter is also occasionally found bearing archaic de- 
signs. Another point of difference is that the Jtydria 
has its principal subject on the body, and another with 
No. 1'6. HYDKIA. smaller figures on the shoulder ; the designs on the 
kalpis are always confined to the body of the vase. 

The Injtlria is more commonly found in Etruria, the kulpis in the South of 
Italy. These water-jars were used by women alone, for whenever men are 


represented carrying water, it is invariably in an amphora. On certain 
early Attic vases, maidens are depicted on their way to and from the 
fountain. Each carries a hydria 
on her head, which when empty 
is lying on its side, just as the 
women of Central Italy carry 
their water-pots at the present 
day. But the hydria, when of 
bronze, was also used as a cine- 
rary urn, and the kalpis was 
often given as a nuptial present 
to Athenian brides, filled with 
the water of the celebrated 
fountain of Callirrhoe. It was 
also used for perfumes, probably 
when too small to serve any 
other purpose, for vases of all 
forms are frequently found in 
miniature in Greek and Etruscan 
tombs, which can have been 
mere toys, or have served only 
for the toilet. No. 14. KALI-IS. 


These are characterised by their wide mouths, for the convenience of dipping 
the cups or ladles ; for the wine having been brought in the amphora to the 
banquet, was there poured into 
the krater, mixed with water, 
and handed round to the guests. 
Krater is the generic term, its 
name being expressive of its 
use ; but it is applied specific- 
ally to the elegant form shown 
in the woodcut No. 15, which is 

No. 15. KRATER. 


confined to the third style of vase-painting. In Naples it is known as a 
"vaso a campana." A late but elegant variety of the krater is shown in 
the woodcut No. 16. The more archaic style is generally connected in 
Etruria with the kelebe, which is known by its peculiar pillared handles, 




although the earlier vases of this form have often curved handles, as in the 
woodcut No. 17. Vases of this shape are more commonly found in Sicily and 

Southern Italy than in Etruria, and are 
there termed "vasi a colonette" They 
were frequently used as cinerary urns. 
The vase represented in the woodcut 
No. 18, is sometimes called an am- 
phora with volute handles, but con- 
sidering the width of the mouth it 
should more properly be classed among 
the kratcres. In this instance, it is an 
Etruscan imitation of a Greek vase. 
See Vol. I., p. 463. This form is not 
usual in Etruria, though common 
17. KKLKUE. enough in Magna Gnecia, where it 

1 .lP r /27l'-/A.'// - // .',1,1,1 III It i\.i\\ \ .V -\ \,\ \ 'V i 





would be designated as " vaso a volute." It is 
exemplified, however, in the Francois vase, the 
monarch of Attic vases, found at Chiusi, and now 
in the Musco Etrtisco at Florence. See Vol. II., 
pp. 81, 113. A late but highly decorated variety 
of this form from Perugia is shown in the annexed 
woodcut, No. 19, which at Naples would be called 
a " vaso a mascheroni." 

The oxybaphon is another mixing-jar, of bell-shape 
(see woodcut No. 20), not of frequent occurrence 
in Etruria, though common in Magna Gnecia and 


Sicily. By some the name has been supposed to mark it as a vinegar-cup 
being derived from ogvs and ftiinria ; but as its form and size establish 
an analogy to the krater, the " sharpness " in its etymology must refer 
rather to time than to taste, and its name must be significant of " dipping 
quickly." It is found only in connection with the later styles. 

Another vase of this class was the lebes, a large vessel of caldron-shape, 
erroneously confounded with the holmos, or mortar. This form of vase is of 
very early date, and is frequently mentioned by Homer (e.g. II. XXIII. 259) 
as awarded for a prize in the public games. It was often of metal, and stood 
on three feet ; but it was also of earthenware, a very primitive specimen 
of which, from Athens, is given in the woodcut No. 21, with three horses on 



the lid, and the mysterious suastika among its adornments. A later, but 
still very archaic example from Athens, of large size, with a foot, and two 
handles, is in the British Museum, showing two large lions, facing each other, 
and each holding a paw over a flower ; the ground of the vase being studded 
with rude geometrical patterns instead of flowers, among which the suastika 
is also prominent. An illustration of this singular vase is given at p. xci., of 
the Introduction. The bottom of the lebes is sometimes pointed or rounded 
to fit into a stand, like a huge cup and ball, as in the vase illustrated in the 
woodcut No. 22, which though of the archaic Doric period, is of later date 
than the preceding examples. 

The holmos, or mortar, with which the lebes has often been confounded, 
was in the shape of a horn probably truncated, and about a cubit in height. 
Menesthencs, ap. Athen. XI. 8G. It had straight sides, like many mortars at 
the present day. 

In this class must be included the psykter, or wine-cooler, which was a 
large vase resembling a krater in form, but containing an inner pot for the 
wine, and a mouth or spout in its neck for the introduction of snow be- 
tween the inner and outer walls of the vase, and an orifice in the foot to let 
VOL. i. h 




the water ofT. The purpose of this vase is obvious, and is indeed implied in 
its name ; although the. description of it given by Athena-ns (XI. 108) is 
applicable rather to a large goblet, from which 1'lato, in his Symposium, 
represents Socrates quailing liberal potations all night long. It is a form of 
very rare occurrence, and generally found with black figures. There is an 
example in the British Museum of amphora-like form, having a Bacchic sub- 
ject on one side, and Theseus slaying the Minotaur on the other. Another 
psykter exists in the Etruscan Museum* of Florence, where the form is that 
of a krater, and the figures are yellow on a black ground. See Vol. II., p. 83. 


The ewer or jug, of whatever form, in which the wine was transferred from 
the krater to the goblets of the guests, was generically called oinochoe, but 
this term is applied specifically, though conventionally, to a jug with a trefoil 
spout, while that with a round even mouth without a spout is 
called an olpe, or olpis, a term strictly applicable to the leathern 
bottle or flask, containing the oil with which the athletes 
anointed themselves in the jmhestra. The ordinary form of 
the olpe is shown in the woodcut No. 23. An earlier variety 
from Chiusi, with a cock-crowned lid, illustrated in the wood- 
cut No. 24, is of bucchero, the early black ware of Etruria. The 
next cut shows another variety from Orvieto, with ribbed body, 
ivy foliage painted on the neck, and handle decorated with a 

No. 23. OLVK 



head in relief, No. 25. This vase is of late date, but the olpe form is gene- 
rally associated with the most archaic styles of vase-painting, an example of 
which is given in the woodcut, No. 80, at the end of this Appendix. 



The ordinary form of oinochoe is seen in the woodcut, No. 26. Varieties 
in the early black relieved ware of Ktruria are shown in woodcut No. 1, and 
at p. 318, Vol. II. Of the 
archaic Doric or Corinthian 
style an example is given 
in woodcut No. 27, which 
shows quaint animals and 
flowers in brown and 
purple on a pale yellow 
ground. A more elegant 
variety is exhibited in the 
Nolan jug, No. 28 ; a still 
later and beautiful variety 
in the ribbed vase, with 
ivy foliage and ribbons 
painted on its neck, No. 
29 ; a charming though 
fantastic specimen at page 
4G4 of this volume ; and 
examples in bronze in 
woodcuts Nos. 30, 31. 



No. 30. BRONZE OINOC110K. 


The procJioos is but a smaller variety of the oinochoe, being used for the 
same purpose, or as a jug from which water was poured on the hands of 

h 2 

ex vi 



guests. It is generally supposed to have the form of the woodcut, No. 32. 
A variety of it, with a long spout, was termed prwhoog makrostomos, of 
which an example is seen in the woodcut, No. 33, although Dr. Birch prefers 
to designate that form epichysis. These long beaked pots seem adapted to 
the pouring out of oil at the pala-stric exercises. 


No. 32. PKOCHOUS. 

No. 33. I'ROCHOUS. 

No. 34. KYATIIOS. 


The terms oinochoe, olpe, and prochoos are of generic application, and as we 
have but doubtful authority for attaching them to any specific shape of 
ewer, the above distinction may be regarded as conventional, and as 
adopted for the sake of convenience. 

The Jcyathos, though generally classed among the goblets, was also used 
as a ladle for drawing the wine from the mixing-jar. See woodcut, 
No. 34. 

The situla, or pail, for drawing water, was almost always of metal, and 
was so similar to the bucket of modern times, as hardly to require a descrip- 
tion. An example of a bronze situla in the Etruscan Museum at Florence is 
given in woodcut No. 35. This form is sometimes rounded at the bottom, 
and, in archaic examples, is decorated externally with incised or relieved 
figures, as in two other situlae in the said Museum (Vol. II. p. 104), and in 
another beautiful specimen in that of Bologna (Vol. II. p. 523). 

Class V. Curs AND GOBLETS. 

Thri drinking cups of the ancients were of various forms ; indeed the 
Athenians alone are said to have had no less than 72 different descriptions 
of goblets. The most common forms, especially in Etruria, were the kan- 
thiirnst and the skyphos. The kintharos was a two-handled cup, sacred to 
Dionysus (Plin. XXXIII. 53 : Macrob. Sat. V. 21) in whose hands it is 


generally represented on painted vases. The cup itself is rarely found 
decorated with paintings, at least in Etruria, where it is generally of plain 
blaek ware. This vase is supposed to take its name from some resemblance 
in form to that of the beetle Kavffapos but it more probably took it 
from the boat or vessel of the same name (Athen. XI. 47, 48), though it is 
also said to have been called from the potter who invented it (Philetserus, 
ap. Athen. loc. cit.). The usual form is shown in the w r oodcut No. 36 ; a 
late variety with handles differently arranged, m the woodcut No. 37. 



The Karchesion, which was also a Bacchic cup, " cape Maaonii carchesia 
Bacchi" (Virg. Georg. IV. 380) appears to have resembled the Kantharos, 
but to have been larger, heavier, slightly compressed in the middle, and 
with long " ears " or handles reaching to the bottom. It is a form very 
rarely met with. Macrobius (V. 21) tells us it was extremely rare among 
the Greeks, and never found among the Latins. Athenaeus says it is an 
extremely old form of vase. It was traditional that Jupiter gave a golden 
vase of this shape to Alcmena, as a love-token, which cup was supposed to 
have been preserved at Sparta (Athen. XL 49). The form is found in the 
early black ware of Chiusi, and the finest specimen I have seen is in that 



ware and in the possession of Signor Luigi Terrosi of Cetona. It is repre- 
sented in the woodcut, No. 38. A still more quaint example with a lid, and 
relieved decorations, is given in the accompanying illustration of a vase from 
Chiusi, taken from the work of M. Noel DCS Vergers ; see woodcut No. 39. 
A very common cup among the ancients was the skyphos, which seems to 




have been a generic name, but the term is applied, conventionally, to a full- 
bellied bowl with two horizontal handles. It was the cup of the peasantry, 
and was originally of wood and served for milk or whey, but afterwards 
was made of terra-cotta or silver. The name is derived from <r/ea0iy, a 
little boat (Anglicc, skiff, and ship). The slcyphos was the cup of Hercules, 
as the kantharos was that of Dionysos (Macrob. V. 21). The usual form is 
shown in the woodcut No. 40, a shape which Panofka calls the koiylos, and 
Dr. Birch takes to be also that of the kothon, or cup of the Spartan soldiers. 
A later and more elegant example is given in a cup in my own possession, 
No. 41, with painted decorations; the incurved handles indicating an imita- 

No. 40. SKYl'HOS. 

No. 41. SK.YP110S. 

tion of metal. Vases of this description have sometimes a pointed bottom, 
so that to be laid down they must be emptied. A variety of this goblet, 
from its resemblance to a woman's breast, Avas called a mastos, a name given 
to it by the Paphians (Apollod. Cyren. ap. Athen. XI. 74). It was generally 
decorated with Bacchic figures, as in the woodcut No. 42 ; and Avas some- 
times shaped like a head crowned with iA'y, as in the cut No. 43. Both 
these examples are from Vulci. 

No. 4:i. MASTOS. 

No. 43. MASTOS. 

The kothon Avas another form of cup carried by the Spartan soldiers on 
their expeditions, on account of its convenient form. For the brim being 
curved inwards the cup retained whatever sediment there might be in the 
Avater, Avhile the pure fluid alone Avas imbibed. It is described as a circular, 
short-eared, and thick-mouthed cup, having a single handle, and being of 
striped colours (Athen. XI. GG, G7). Birch appears to confound it Avith the 
*kij2>ho8, and attaches the name of kothon to the form illustrated in woodcut 
No. 40. But there can be no doubt that the name applies to a flat, thick, 


and round-lipped bowl, with a single short handle, apparently for sus- 
pension, of which 1 possess several specimens, five and a half inches in 
diameter, and two inches high, all marked with black and red stripes on 
the hard yellow clay. 

The depas, or aleison, was a cup with two ears or handles (Asclepiades 
ap. Athen. XI. 24, who quotes Homer, Od. XXII. 9). But the term depas 
appears to be generic, and to be often used, 
without any specific application, like the 
word poterion, yet as the name was ap- 
plied to the cup of the Sun, in which 
Hercules crossed the sea to Erytheia 
(Athen. XI. 38, 39), it was probably 
proper to cups of a bowl-shape. I am 
inclined to believe, with Panofka, that 
when used specifically the term is ap- 
plicable to the form given in the annexed 
woodcut, No. 44, which is copied from a No. 44. UEPAS. 

has given rise to much 

vase in my possession. 

The form of the Homeric Se'iras 

difference of opinion. Aristotle (Hist. Anim. IX. 40) uses the term to 
illustrate the forms of bees' cells, with a common base. There can be no 
doubt that he referred to certain cylindrical vases, like dice-boxes, with a 
bottom half-way up, so as to form a double cup, examples of which have 
been recently found in the cemeteries of Bologna, and which answer to the 
description of the dactylotos given by Philemon, ap. Athen. XI. 34. But the 
Homeric vase had two handles, and this has none. Dr. Schliemann thought 
he had found the SeVas of Homer in tall, straight-sided cups, " like cham- 
pagne glasses with enormous handles," which he unearthed at Hissarlik (Troy, 
pp. 86, 158, 171) ; but that form is evidently the holmos described by 
Athcmeus, XL 86. The golden cup the Doctor found among " Priam's 
Treasure " (p. 326), of boat-shape, with a handle on either side, to enable 
it to be passed easily from hand to 
hand, has a far better claim to be the 
Homeric SeVas. So also the golden 
cups he disinterred at Mycenae (see 
the illustrations at pages 231, 234, of 
his " Myceme "), are undoubted in- 
stances of this celebrated form. But 
we learn from Athenauis (XI. 24, 65) 
that opinions differed as widely as 
to the form of this vase among the 
ancient Greeks as among modern 

Another elegant form of vase, which 
is a Tcrater in miniature, is the krateris- 
kos or krateridion, which from its small 
size must be classed among the cups. 
The woodcut, No. 45, is from a vase 
in my collection. 

The kyathos was a cup with a single handle, and like the kantharos, is 
often represented in the hands of Dionysos on the painted vases. Unlike 
the /Mntharos, however, it is frequently found in painted pottery, an 

No. 45. K.RATEK1SKOS. 




instance of which is given in the woodcut, No. 46. The kyathos, though 

used as a cup, also served as a ladle to draw wine from the krater (Plato, 

ap. Athcn. X. 23), as already 

mentioned. The kyathos was 

also a measure, equal to |$ of a 

pint. In the Etruscan black 

ware this form is not uncommon, 

and is shown in the cut, No. 47, 

which represents an early vase 

in the relieved ware of Chiusi. 


No. 40. KYATHuS. 


Very like the kyathos was the kotylos or kotyle, a small deep cup with one 
handle, said to be the most beautiful of all cups, and also the most con- 
venient to drink from. Its precise shape has not been ascertained. It must 
have been in very common use, for there was an old Greek proverb, quoted 
by Athena-us (XI. 57), which said, 

" There is many a slip 
Between cotyle and lip." 


The kyli.r, the most elegant of all ancient goblets, is a wide Hat bowl on 
a slender stem. The most primitive form resembled a rude bowl of wood 
on a clumsy stand, .and was decorated with meanders, and other geometrical 
patterns ; an example of it is given in the woodcut at page Ixxxix of the 
Introduction. The earliest form with black figures on the yellow ground 
of the clay is shown in the woodcuts, Nos. 48 and 49. The later kylix saitk 


to the form shown, woodcut No. 50 ; and still later, those with yellow figures 
assumed the more elegant shape given in the woodcuts Nos. 51, 52. These 

No. 50. KYLIX, FJlOil VULOI. 

vases were generally painted inside as well as out ; but in the earlier and 
more compact variety, shown in the woodcut, No. 48, the paintings are often 

No. 51. KYLIX. 

No. i>'2. KYLIX. 

confined to the interior of the bowl. A late variety of the kylix is without 
a stem, and has only a moulded base. This form is supposed to be the 
lepaste, and to have borrowed its name from its resemblance to the limpet 
Xen-cfc see the woodcut, No. 53. It is not of frequent occurrence in 

The pellet or pellis, was another sort of cup, with a wide bottom, shaped 
somewhat like a pail, and originally used for milking cows and ewes 
(Athcn. XI. 91). It is shown in the woodcut, No. 54. 

No. 53. LEPASTE. 

No. 54. PELLA. 


The term holJcion is often applied to a cup-shaped vase on a tall stem, but 
without handles, as in the woodcut, No. 55. Birch assigns the name of 
holmos to a vase of this form, though elsewhere his description of the 
holmos accords with that of the lebes given at p. cxiii, No. 22. The holkion 
is a form very common in the Etruscan archaic black ware, and is often 



adorned with figures in relief, either in bands as in the woodcut, No. 56, or 
studding the edges, or stein of the vase, as in No. 57. 



Another class of cups is that made in imitation of the head or body of 
some animal. The earliest form was the keras, which was originally the 
horn of an ox, adapted as a drinking-cup. The form is often represented 
on ancient vases, but rarely found in terra cotta. It was succeeded by 
the rliyton, a fantastic goblet, terminating sometimes in the human head, 
but more frequently in the head of some animal. It is particularly described 
at p. 91 of Vol. II. The rhyton is said by Athcnanis (XI. 97) to have been 
invented by Ptolemy scarcely three centuries before Christ, 
yet he also mentions that the word was used by Demosthenes. Theo- 
phrastus says the rhyton was given to heroes alone (cf. Athen. XI. 4). 
It was certainly of late date, for it is never found in connection with the 
earlier styles of vase-painting. Varieties of the rhyton arc given in the 

No. 58. RHYTON. 

No. 59. RHYTON. 


woodcuts, Nos. 58, 59, GO. The last form was most common among the 
Etruscans ; and even women are sometimes represented in effigy reclining 
at the banquet, with the \\orsc-rhyton in their hand. 

The cup, however, most frequently placed in the hands of the recumbent 
figures on Etruscan sarcophagi and cinerary urns is the phiale, or flat 
saucer-like bowl, without a stand ; like the ^ofcra of the Romans. 
Instead of a handle, it has often a prominent boss in the centre, as in 
a shield, into whose cavity two fingers of the hand were introduced 
from beneath, to keep it steady. This form was designated phiale 
oinphalutos, or meeomphalos, from the boss in the centre, and sometimes 
nkatos, from its resemblance to a boat. The woodcut, No. 61, shows a 
bowl of tin's description with a hollow boss in the centre, surrounded 


by a race of four quadrigae in relief. Such bowls are to be seen in the 
British Museum as well as in the Etruscan Museum at Florence. 



The principal vase of this class is the lekythos, or oil-flask, the form of 
which is well ascertained. In the earlier lekythoi with black figures, the 
body is full, largest at the shoulder, and taper- 
ing gradually to the base the neck is short and 
joins the shoulder with a graceful curve. In the 
later style with yellow figures, the body is nearly 
cylindrical, the neck longer, and the shoulders 
Hatter, the general form being much improved in 
elegance. See woodcut, No. 62. 

The lekythos is much more abundant in the 
tombs of Greece, Magna Grsecia, and Sicily, than 
in those of Etruria. In Greek 
tombs it was always laid by the 
side of the corpse, or on its breast, 
or placed in the corners of the 
sepulchre. In Sicily it is often 
found of large size. The largest 
lekythos in the British Museum is 


Ko. ()3. LEKYTHOS. 

one I disinterred in the necropolis 
of the ancient Gela in that island. 
An illustration of it is given in the 
woodcut, No. 63. The figures in 
this instance are painted with va- 
rious colours on a white ground ; a 

description of decoration A'ery rare in Etruria, but common in Sicily as well 
ns at Athens, which has yielded very beautiful lekythoi with polychromatic 
designs, generally of a later date than those of Sicily. 

The lekythos of a later period was of smaller size, but of superior elegance, 
with an egg-shaped body on a broad base, with a still more slender neck. 



and a boll-shaped mouth. This form is shown in the woodcut, No. 64, and 
is sometimes called an aryballos. A more depressed form is given in the 

No. 64. LEKYTHOS. 


woodcut, No. 65. Both these forms are more abundant in Magna Gnrcia 

than in Etruria. A very early variety, found only in connection with the 

most archaic designs on a pale yellow 
clay, is that like a truncated jug, No. 66. 
The latest variety, on the other hand, is 
also of white clay with polychrome designs 
of flowers, vases, and instruments, and is 
illustrated in the woodcut, No. 67, repre- 
senting one from my excavations in the 
Cyrenaica, now in the British Museum. 

The last four shapes are often deno- 
minated aryballos, a name given to such 
vases as resembled a purse, in being wide 
at the bottom and contracted at the top, 
like a purse drawn together, as Athemeus 

tells us, though he adds that some give the name to purses from their 

resemblance to vases of this form. 

The earliest form of the aryballos was that in the cut, No. 68, but often 

without a base, as in No. 69, and as in the Doric vnse of this form illus- 


No. 68. 


No. 70. 


trated at p. xc of the Introduction. Such forms are found only with the 
most archaic di signs, of birds, beasts, or ehiuuvras. A very early and 
quaint variety is shown in the woodcut, No. 70. A later form is given in 
the cut, No. 71. Like the Ifkytlios, the aryballos was used for unguents, 
and was often carried on the person by a strap or string, for anointing the 
body after the bath. 



Akin to these, and applied to the same purposes, was the bombylios, a 
narrow-necked pot, which received its name from the gurgling sound caused 
b}- the flow of the liquid from it. See the woodcut, No. 72. A quaint 
variety is shown in the cut, No. 73. 

The askos is so called from its resemblance to the goat-skin, still so 
generally used in the South of Europe for the transport of wine and oil. 

The annexed cuts show two varieties of this form, Nos. 74, 75. Pots of these 
forms, and of large size, are still common in Spain and Portugal, where they 
are used for water. By the ancients they seem to have been employed 
for the toilet alone. 

The kotyliskos is a small pot with a single handle, in other respects 
like an amphora in miniature. See the woodcut, No. 76. It was used for 
unguents or perfumes. 

The alabastos, or alabastron, is a name applied to those forms of oint- 
ment-vases, which have no feet ; and to such as are in the shape of 
animals hares, monkeys, ducks or of 
heads and limbs of the human body. The 
most ordinary form of this pot is shown in 
the woodcut, No. 77. Alabastoi are often of 
oriental alabaster, but are also found of 
terra-cotta with a white or cream-coloured 
ground and black figures. The woodcut, 
No. 78, shows an alabastos of stone from 
Chiusi, carved into female faces above, and 
having a hole in the crown for pouring out 
the ointment or perfume. Another example 
of an alabastron in the shape of a figure of 
Isis is given in the cut, Vol. I., p. 458. 
Vases of this form were also used to hold 
ink or paint, for on Etruscan mirrors, a Lasa 
or Fate is not unfrequently represented with 
an alabastos in her left hand, and a stylus in 
her right. 

Among the vases which served the pur- 
poses of the toilet, was the pyxis or 
casket, in which the ladies deposited their 
jewellery. It was originally, as its name 
implies, made of box-wood, but was sometimes of metal, or of ivory, and 

No. 77. 






also of terrn-cotta, as in the woodcut, No. 79, and was tlion frequently 
decorated with beautiful paintings in tin; best slyle of ceramic art. Several 
exquisite specimens, one of them adorned with polychrome figures, from 
the tombs of Athens, are preserved in the British Museum. 

Ko. 79. PYXIS. 

In the nomenclature of these vases I have in most instances followed 
Gerhard, as his system is now generally adopted by antiquaries in Germany 
and Italy. 





I have just been informed by my friend, Mr. R. P. Pullan, of the existence 
of very extensive ruins on a height called Monte Leone, a few miles to the 
east of Monte Pescali, in the Maremma, north of Grosseto. He had heard of 
a great wall on this spot from Conte Bossi of Florence, who every winter 
visits this district for purposes of sport, and under the guidance of that 
gentleman he explored the site in May, 1877. He has already given some 
notice of his discovery in the " Academy " of 7th July last, but he has 
favoured me with further particulars to the following effect. 

Monte Leone lies about two hours' ride to the east of the town of Monte 
Pescali, on the same range of heights which form the southern boundary to 
the valley of the Bruna, and at the distance of about six miles from Colonna 
di Buriano. For the first hour the way lies through the valley, then it turns 
to the right, and ascends an oak-covered hill which rises between Monte 
Pescali and Monte Leone. After an ascent of about an hour, lines of old 
wall come into view at intervals, peeping through the brushwood on the 
opposite side of the ravine to the east, and at a considerable height up the 
hill-side ; but to reach these remains it is necessary to make a detour by way 
of Batignano, and thence northward to Monte Leone. This height is covered 
witli brushwood, thick and tangled, chiefly a sort of tall heather, through 
which it is difficult to force one's way. The wall is very extensive, inclos- 
ing all the upper part of the hill, and Mr. Pullan calculates that it may be 
at least ten miles in circuit. Owing to the density of the brushwood it is 
accessible only in parts. The first portion he reached disappointed him, as 
it was a mere heap of rough stones, piled together without any arrangement. 
In other parts, the construction appeared more systematic, but the masses of 
stone were still rough and unhewn, mere boulders, piled up to the height of 
seven or eight feet, without cement or jointing of any kind. The wall, 
which he found on measurement to be fully twenty feet in thickness, was 
composed of three parts, an outer and inner facing, constructed of larger 
masses about three feet six inches long, and an intervening space filled with 
smaller stones or mere rubble. All the stones were alike undressed ; he 
looked in vain for any traces of tooling on them. At one end of the inclo- 
sure, on a northern spur of the height, he observed a semicircular work, 
about a quarter of a mile in diameter, with an outer wall of similar construc- 
tion, some twenty or thirty feet in advance of it. He could perceive no 
traces of gateways, and no remains of buildings within the inclosure. 

These facts, as well as the very rude style of construction, led him at first 
to take these walls for the enceinte of a camp, and he remembered that the 
Cisalpine Gauls, before their defeat by the Romans at Telamon, 225 B.C., 
were encamped somewhere in this neighbourhood. But the great extent of 
the inclosure, and the unusual thickness of its wall, seemed to preclude that 
idea. The former appeared even too spacious for an ancient city, and the 


construction of the latter was so unlike that of any Etruscan wall he had 
* ver seen, being neither of the true Cyclopean style described by Pausanias 
like certain ancient walls in Central Italy, those of Civitclla, Olevano, and 
Monte Fortino, for instance nor like any of the varieties of Etruscan 
masonry which approach more or less to regularity in the arrangement of 
the blocks, that he was naturally led to entertain doubts of its Etruscan 
antiquity. lie was rather inclined to regard these as the ruins mentioned by 
Leandro Albert!, under the name of Vctulia or Vctulonia, which that old 
writer describes as those of a city surrounded by walls of large uncemented 
blocks, situated in a dense wood, and embracing a great extent of country ; 
and he was the more inclined to this view from the consideration that 
Alberti, having never seen those remains, but describing them at second- 
hand, may have been mistaken as to their exact position, which he places 
much further to the north, near Populonia. It is not easy, however, to 
believe .that this ancient site discovered by Mr. Pullan is identical with that 
described by Leandro Alberti. A reference to his description, given at 
p. 206 of vol. ii., will show wide discrepancies, especially as regards situa- 
tion. The ancient remains which Alberti took for those of Vetulonia, he 
places between the Torre cli San Vinccnzo and the headland of Populonia, 
three miles from the sea, five from the iron mines, and north of the Cornia 
that is, in the near neighbourhood of Campiglia. But this newly found site 
is more than thirty miles distant from that town as the crow flies , and there 
can be no doubt that the manuscript to which Alberti was indebted for his 
description, placed the supposed Vetulonia in the position indicated by him, 
for it was verified by Inghirami. The real question appears to be, whether 
the detailed description of Zacchio was the mere creation of that writer's 
imagination, as Inghirami supposed, or whether the ruins, if they actually 
had an existence and were extant in Zacchio's day, have not, during the last 
four centuries, totally disappeared under the pilferings of the peasantry. 

As attention has now been directed to this extensive inclosure discovered 
by Mr. Pullan, its character and antiquity cannot long remain a mystery. 







Hoc tune Veii f uere : quse reliquiae ? quod vestigium ? FLOKU.S. 

Sic magna fuit censuque virisque 
Perque cleceiu potuit tantum darfe sanguiuis annos ; 
Nunc humilis veteres tantummodo Troja ruinas, 
Et pro divitiis tumulos osteadit avoruin. OVID. Met. 

OF all the cities of Etruria, none takes so prominent a place 
in history as Veii. One of the earliest, nearest, and unquestion- 
ably the most formidable of the foes of Rome for nearly four 
centuries her rival in military power, her instructress in civilisa- 
tion and the arts the southern bulwark of Etruria the richest 
city of that land the Troy of Italy Veii excites our interest as 
much by the length of the struggle she maintained, and by the 
romantic legends attending her overthrow, as by the intimate 
connection of her history with Rome's earliest and most spirit- 
stirring days. Such was her greatness such her magnificence 
that, even after her conquest, Veii disputed with the city of 
Romulus for metropolitan honours ; and, but for the eloquence 
of Camillus, would have arisen as Roma Nova to be mistress of 
the world. 1 Yet, in the time of Augustus, we are told that the 
city was a desolation, 3 and a century later its very site is said to 
have been forgotten. 3 Though re-colonised under the Empire, 
it soon again fell into utter decay, and for ages Veii was blotted 
from the map of Italy. But when, on the revival of letters, 
attention was directed to the subject of Italian antiquities, its 
site became a point of dispute. Fiano, Ponzano, Martignano, 
and other places, found their respective advocates. Some, with 

1 Liv. V. 5155. - Propert. IV. Eleg. x. 29. 3 Florus, I. 12. 

VOL. I. B 


Castiglioni, placed it at Civita Castellana ; others, with Cluverius, 
at Scrofano, near Monte Musino ; Zanchi at Monte Lupolo, above 
Baccano ; while Holstenius, Nardini, and Fabretti assigned to it 
the site which more recent researches have determined beyond a 
doubt to belong to it. This is in the neighbourhood of Isola 
Farnese, a hamlet, about eleven miles from Home, on the right 
of the Via Cassia, which agrees with the distance assigned to 
Veii by Dionysius and the Peutingerian Table. 

The ancient road from Home seems to have left the Via Cassia 
about the fifth milestone, not far from the sepulchre vulgarly, 
but erroneously, called that of Nero ; and to have pursued a 
serpentine course to Veii. Instead of pursuing that ancient 
track, now distinguishable only by the sepulchres and tumuli at 
its side, travellers usually push on to La Storta, the first post- 
house from Rome, and beyond the ninth milestone on the Via 
Cassia. Hence it is a mile and a half to Isola by the carriage 
road ; but the visitor, on horse or foot, may save half a mile by 
taking a pathway across the downs. When Isola Farnese comes 
into sight, let him halt awhile to admire the scene. A wide 
sweep of the Campagna lies before him, in this part broken into- 
ravines or narrow glens, which, by varying the lines of the land- 
scape, redeem it from the monotony of a plain, and by patches of 
wood relieve it of its usual nakedness and sterility. On a steep 
cliff, about a mile distant, stands the hamlet of Isola consisting 
of a large chateau, with a few small houses around it. Behind it 
rises the long, swelling ground, which once bore the walls,, 
temples, and palaces of Veii, but is now a bare down, partly 
fringed with wood, and without a habitation on its surface. At. 
a few miles' distance is the conical, tufted hill of Musino, the 
supposed scene of ancient rites, the Eleusis, or Delphi, it may 
be, of Etruria. The eye is next caught by a tree-crested mound 
in the plain beyond the site of the city ; then it stretches away to- 
the triple paps of the Monticelli, and to Tivoli, gleaming from 
the dark slopes behind ; and then it rises and scans the majestic- 
chain of Apennines, bounding the horizon with their dark grey 
masses, and rests with delight on La Leonessa and other well- 
known giants of the Sabine range, all capt with snow. Oh, the 
beauty of that range ! From whatever part of the Campagna you 
view it, it presents those long, sweeping outlines, those grand,, 
towering crests not of Alpine abruptness, but consistently with 
the character of the land, preserving, even when soaring highest,, 
the true Italian dignity and repose. 


Isola is a wretched hamlet of ruinous houses, with not more 
than thirty inhabitants. Even the palace, which belongs to the 
Bospigliosi famil}', is falling into decay, and the next generation 
will probably find the place uninhabited. The caverns which 
yawn in the cliffs around whet the traveller's interest in the 
antiquities of Veii. In the little piazza are several relics of 
lloman domination, sculptural and inscriptive. 

It is necessary to take Isola on the way to the ancient city, as 
the cicerone dwells there, and the key of the Painted Tomb is to 
be there obtained. 

He who would make the tour of Veii must not expect to see 
numerous monuments of the past. Scarcely one Etruscan site 
has fewer remains, yet few possess greater interest. Veii lives in 
the page of history rather than in extant monuments ; she has 
no Colosseum, no Parthenon, no Pyramids few fragments even 
from which the antiquarian Cuvier may reconstruct her frame. 
The very skeleton of Veii has crumbled to dust the city is its 
own sepulchre si monumentum requiris circumspice ! 

Yet is there no want of interest in a spot so hallowed by legend 
and history. The shadow of past glory falls as solemnly on the 
spirit as that of temple or tower. It is something to know and 
feel that " here was and is " not. The senses may desire more 
relics to link the present to the past ; but the imagination need 
not here be " gravelled for lack of matter." 

Since there are such scanty remains at Veii, few will care to 
make the entire circuit of the city, yet there are three or four 
spots of interest which all should visit the Arx the Colum- 
barium the Ponte Sodo and the Painted Tomb. Beyond this 
there are but scattered fragments of walls the sites of the gates, 
determined only by the nature of the ground and the remains of 
several bridges. 

I shall detail the track I took on my first visit, and the reader, 
with the aid of the Plan, will be enabled to trace the site of 
every object of interest within and around the walls of Veii. 

My guide led the way into the glen which separates Isola from 
the ancient city, and in which stands a mill most picturesquely 
situated, with the city-cliffs towering above it, and the stream 
sinking in a cascade into a deep gulley, over-shadowed by ilex. 
The road to the mill is cut through tufo, which presents some 
remarkable features, being composed of very thin strata of 
calcined vegetable matter, alternating with earthy layers, showing 
the regular and rapidty intermittent action of some neighbouring 

B 2 


volcano the now extinct crater of Baccano or of Bracciano. The 
bed formed by an igneous deposit had been covered with vegeta- 
tion, which had been reduced to charcoal by a subsequent eruption, 
and buried beneath another shower of earthy matter, which in its 
turn served for a hotbed to a second crop of vegetation. That 
these eruptions occurred at very short intervals is apparent from 
the thinness of the charcoal layers. The whole mass is very 
friable, and as this softness of the rock precluded the formation 
of a water-trough on one side, so frequently seen in Etruscan 
roads, to carry off the water from above, small pipes of earthen- 
ware were here thrust through the soft tufo in one of the cliffs, 
and may be traced for some distance down the hill. 4 From the 
mill a path leads up to the site of one of the ancient gates (A in 
the Flan). Near this, which commands the view of Isola, given 
in the woodcut, which is from a sketch by the author, are some 
remains of the walls, composed of small rectangular blocks of 
nenfro. 5 

Following the line of the high ground to the east, I passed 
several other fragments of the ancient walls, all mere embank- 
ments, and then struck across bare downs or corn-fields into the 
heart of the city. A field, overgrown with briers, was pointed 
out by my guide as the site of excavations, where were found, 
among other remains, the colossal statue of Tiberius, now in the 
Vatican, and the twelve Ionic columns of marble, which sustain 
the portico of the Post-office at Rome. This was probably the 
Forum of the Roman " Municipium Augustnm Veiens" which 
rose on the ruins of Etruscan Veii. The columbarium, or Roman 
sepulchre, hard by, must have been without the limits of the 
municipium, which occupied but a small portion of the site of the 
original city ; when first opened, it contained stuccoes and 
paintings in excellent preservation, but is now in a state of utter 

I next entered on a wide down, overrun with rank vegetation, 
where tall thistles and briers played no small devilry with one's 
lower limbs, and would deny all passage to the fair sex, save on 
horseback. On I struggled, passing a Roman tomb, till I found 
traces of an ancient road, slightly sunk between banks. This 

4 These pipes may be Roman, for tululi tufo of the Campagna by its colour, a 
fictiles were often used by that people for dark grey, and by its superior hardness 
the conveyance of water. and compactness a difference thought to 

5 A volcanic stone, a species of tufo, dis- be owing to its having cooled more slowly, 
tinguished from the ordinary red or yellow 



was the road from Rome to the municipium, and after crossing 
the site of the ancient city in a direct line, it fell into the Via 
Cassia. I traced it a long distance southwards across the briery 
down, and then into a deep hollow, choked with thickets, where 
I came upon large polygonal blocks of basalt, such as usually 
compose Roman pavement. This was without the limits of the 
Etruscan city in a narrow hollow, which separated the cit}* from 


its Arx. At this spot is a fragment of the ancient walls. The 
road ran down the hollow towards Rome, and was probably 
known as the Via Yeientana. There are no remains of the gate. 
The Arx is a table-land of no great extent, rising precipitously 
from the deep glens which bound it, save at the single point 
where a narrow ridge unites it to the cit} r . Such a position would 
mark it at once as the citadel, even had it not traditionally retained 
its ancient designation in its modern name, Piazza d'Armi ; and 
its juxta-position and connection with the city give it much 
superior claims to be so considered, than those which can be 
urged for the height of Isola Farnese, which is separated from 
the city by a wide hollow. There is also every reason to believe 
that this was the site of the earliest town. Here alone could the 


founder of Veil have fixed his choice. The natural strength of 
its position, and its size, adapted it admirably for an infant 
settlement. In process of time, as its population increased, it 
would have been compelled to extend its limits, until it gradually 
embraced the whole of the adjoining table-land, which is far too 
extensive to have been the original site ; so that what was at first 
the whole town became eventually merely the citadel. Such was 
the case with Athens, Rome, Syracuse, and man}' other cities of 
antiquity. There may possibly have been a second settlement at 
Isola, which may have united with that on the Arx to occupy the 
site of the celebrated cit}' ; just as at Home, where the town of 
Romulus, confined at first to the hill of the Palatine, united with 
the earlier town on the Capitoline, to extend their limits as one 
city over the neighbouring heights and intervening valleys. 

I walked round the Piazza d'Armi, and from the verge of its 
cliffs looked into the beautiful glen on either hand, through which, 
far beneath me, wound the two streams which girded Veii, and 
into the broader and still more beautiful hollow, through which, 
after uniting their waters, they flowed, as the far-famed Cremera, 
now known as La Valca, to mingle with the Tiber. 7 Peculiar 
beauty was imparted to these glens by the rich autumnal tints of 
the woods, which crowned the verge or clothed the base of their 
red and grey clift's the dark russet foliage of the oaks, the 
orange or brilliant red of the mantling vines, being heightened 
by the contrast of the green meadows below. Scarceh r a sign of 
cultivation met the e} r e one house alone on the opposite cliff- 
no flocks or herds sprinkled the meadows beneath it was the 
wild beauty of sylvan, secluded nature. 

Far different was the scene that met the e} r e of Camillus, when 
he gazed from this spot after his capture of Veii. 8 The flames 
ascending from the burning city 9 the battle and slaughter still 
raging the shouts of the victors and shrieks of the vanquished 
here, his victorious soldiers pressing up through the hollow 
ways into the city, eager for spoil there, the wretched inhabi- 
tants flying across the open country yon height, studded with 
the tents of the Roman army the Cremera at his feet rolling- 
reddened down the valley towards the camp of the Fabii, whose 
slaughter he had so signally avenged all these sights and sounds 

7 The larger and more northerly stream menta Mai, XII. 13. 

is the Fosso di Formello, the other the 9 The city was not consumed, but Livy 

Fosso de' due Fossi. (V. 21) states that the Roman soldiers set 

8 Plut. Camillus. Dionys. Hal. Frag- it on fire. 


melted the stern warrior to tears of mingled pity and exultation. 
Veii, so long the rival of Borne, had fallen, and her generous 
conqueror mourned her downfall. Like Troy, she had held out 
for ten long years against a beleaguering army : and like Troy 
she fell at last only by the clandestine introduction of an armed 

The stoiy of the ctiniculus, or mine of Camillas, is well known; 
how he carried it up into the temple of Juno within the citadel 
how he himself led his troops to the assault how they over- 
heard the Etruscan aruspex, before the altar of the goddess, 
declare to the king of Yeii that victory would rest with him who 
completed the sacrifice how they burst through the flooring, 
seized the entrails and bore them to Camillus, v/ho offered them 
to the goddess with his own hand how his troops swarmed in 
through the mine, opened the gates to their fellows, and obtained 
possession of the city. Verily, as Livy sapiently remarks, " It 
were not worth while to prove or disprove these things, which are 
better fitted to be set forth on a stage which delighteth in marvels, 
than to be received with implicit faith. In matters of such anti- 
quity, I hold it sufficient if what seeineth truth be received as 

I wandered round the Arx seeking some traces of this temple 
of Juno, which was the largest in Veii. The sole remains of 
antiquity visible, are some foundations at the edge of the plateau, 
opposite the city, which may possibly be those of the celebrated 
temple, though more probably, as Gell suggests, the substruc- 
tions of towers which defended the entrance to the citadel. 
Several sepulchral monuments have been here discovered ; 
among them one of the Tarquitian family, which produced a 
celebrated writer on Etruscan divination, 1 and which seems from 
this and other inscriptions to have belonged to Veii. As none of 
these relics were Etruscan, they in no waj r militate against the 
view that this was the Arx, but merely show that it was without 
the bounds of the Eoman municipium. 

Of the cuniculus of Camillus no traces have been found. Not 
even is there a sewer, so common on most Etruscan sites, to be 
seen in the cliff beneath the Arx, though the dense wood which 
covers the eastern side of the hill may well conceal such open- 
ings ; and one cannot but regard these sewers as suggestive of the 
cuniculus, if that were not a mere enlargement of one of them to 
admit an armed force. Researches after the cuniculus are not 

i Plin. N. H. I. lib. 2. Macrob. Saturn. III. 7. cf. II. 16. 


[CHAP. i. 

likely to be successful. Not that I agree with Niebuhr in doubt- 
ing its existence ; for though it were folly to give full credence 
to the legend, which even Livy and Plutarch doubted, yet there 
is nothing unnatural or improbable in the recorded mode of the 
city's capture. When a siege of ten years had proved of no 
avail, resort might Avell have been had to artifice ; and the soft 
volcanic rock of the site offered every facility for tunnelling. 2 
But if the cuniculus were commenced in the plain at the foot of 
the height, it would not be easy to discover its mouth. The 
entrance would probably be by a perpendicular shaft or well, 
communicating with a subterranean passage leading towards the 

Returning into the hollow, through which runs the Via 
Veientana, my eye was caught by a curious flight of steps, high 
in the cliff on which the city stood. I climbed to them, and 
found them to be of uncemented masonry, too rude for Roman 
work, and similar in character to the walls of the Etruscan city ; 

Niebuhr (ii. p. 481, Eng. trans.) re- 
jects the account, given by Livy, of the 
capture of Veii : first, as bearing too close 
a resemblance to the siege and taking of 
Troy, to be authentic ; and next, because 
" in the whole history of ancient military 
operations we shall scarcely find an authen- 
tic instance of a town taken in the same 
manner." He thinks that the legend of 
the cuniculus arose out of a tradition of a 
mine of the ordinary character, by which a 
portion of the walls was overthrown ; be- 
cause the besiegers would never have re- 
orted to the arduous labour of forming a 
cuniculus into the heart of the city, "when, 
by merely firing the timbers, by which, at 
all events, the walls must have been propt, 
they might have made a breach." Now, 
though there are many circumstances at- 
tending the capture, of too marvellous a 
character to be admitted as authentic his- 
tory, I must venture to differ from that 
great man when he questions the formation 
of the cuniculus. The fact is stated, not 
only by Livy (V. 21), but by Plutarch 
(Camil.), Diodorus (XIV., p. 307), Florus 
(I. 12), and Zonaras (Ann. VII. 21). 
The capture of Fidense by means of a 
similar mine (Liv. IV. 22), Niebuhr thinks 
not a whit better attested than that of 
Veii ; but Dionysius mentions a similar 
capture of Fidense, as early as the reign 

of Ancus Martius (III. p. ISO) ; and Livy 
records the taking of Nequinum or Narnia. 
in a similar manner, in long subsequent 
times (X. 10). "When Niebuhr states that 
the walls of Veii i( might have been breached 
by firing the timbers of the mine, it is 
evident that he had not visited the site, 
and wrote in perfect ignorance of its cha- 
racter. Such a remark would apply to a 
town built in a plain, or on a slight eleva- 
tion ; but in a case where the citadel stood 
on a cliff, nearly two hundred feet above 
the valley (if Isola were the Arx, the height 
was yet greater), it is obviously inapplic- 
able ; and this Niebuhr, in fact, admits, 
when he says that "in Latium, where the 
strength of the towns arose from the steep 
rocks on which they were built, there was. 
no opportunity of mining." His argument, 
then, against the cuniculus of Camillus 
falls to the ground, because founded on <i 
misconception of the true situation of Veii. 
His error is the more surprising as he had 
the testimony of Dionysius (II., p. 116), 
that Veii "stood on a lofty and cliff- bound 

Holstenius, who regarded Isola Farnese 
as the Arx of Veii, speaks of the cuniculus 
of Camillus being " manifestly apparent " 
in his day (Adnot. ad Cluv., p. 54), but he 
probably mistook for it some sewer which 
opened low in the cliff. 

CHAP. 1.] 


therefore, I doubt not that this was a staircase leading to a postern 
gate of ancient Veii. The lower part having fallen with the cliff, 
these eight upper steps alone are left, and they will not remain 
long, for the shrubs which have interlaced their roots with the 
uncemented blocks, will soon precipitate them into the ravine. 


This curious staircase, La Scaletta, as it is called by the peasants, 
came to light in 1840, in consequence of the earth which con- 
cealed it having been washed away by unusually heavy rains. It 
is marked P in the Plan. 

From the Arx the line of the walls ran northward, as indi- 
cated by the cliffs. I passed a few excavations in the rocks, 
and the sites of two gates, 3 and at length reached a wood, belosv 

3 The road from the second gate (F. in the 
Plan) ran past the Tumulus of Vaccareccia 
towards Pietra Pertusa, a remarkable cut 
through a rock near the Via Flaininia and 

four miles from Yeii. The rock presents 
the appearance of an island rising out of a 
plain, which seems to have been originally 
a lake (Gell, Memor. Instit. I. p. 13). 


which, on the banks of the stream, is a piece of broken ground, 
which presents some curious traces of ancient times. It is a 
most picturesque spot, sunk in the bosom of the woods, and strewn 
with masses of grey rock, in wild confusion, full of sepulchral 
excavations literally honey-combed with niches ; whence its 
appellation of " II Colombario." In one place the rock is hol- 
lowed into a chamber of unusually small size, with room for only 
a single sarcophagus (see the woodcut on p. 9, which is from a 
sketch by the author). The niches are of various forms, some not 
unlike Etruscan, but all, it seemed to me, of Roman, construction. 
The most ancient Etruscan tombs of Veii are chambers excavated 
in the rock, with rock-hewn couches for bodies or sarcophagi. As 
the city was deserted soon after its capture in the year of Rome 
358, all its Etruscan sepulchres must have been prior to that 
date, and many of the niches within tombs are probably of high 
antiquit} T , as in them have been found vases, mirrors, and other 
objects of a purely Etruscan character. The smaller niches 
served to hold lamps, perfume vases, cinerary urns, or votive 
offerings, and those of elongated form contained the bodies of the 
dead. 4 But the niches in the face of these cliffs have pecu- 
liarities, which mark them as of Roman origin, especially the 
hole sunk within the niche for an olla or cinerary pot, as in the 
Roman columbaria, instances of which are very rare in Etruscan 
cemeteries. 5 Many of them are cut in the walls of rock, which 
flank an ancient road sunk through a mass of tufo to the depth 
of from twelve to twenty feet. Such roads are common in the 
neighbourhood of Etruscan cities ; several other instances occur 
around Veii. In this case part of the polygonal pavement is 
remaining with its kerb-stones, and the ruts worn by the ancient 
cars are visible. On the top of the rock, on one side, are remains 
of walls, which prove this to be the site of one of the city-gates. 
(G. in the Plan.) 

The road led directly from the Formello up to the gate, and 
had evidently crossed the stream by a bridge. This is no longer 
standing ; but several large hewn blocks of tufo lie in the water ; 
and a little further up the stream, on the side opposite the city, 
is a piece of walling, which has undoubtedly been the pier of the 
bridge. 6 

* See the Appendix to this Chapter, of the inscriptions found on the spot. 
Note I. 6 Marked R. on the Plan. It is 20 feet 

b Abeken (Mittelital. p. 258) regards wide, now only about 5 or 6 feet high, of 

these niches as Roman from the evidence Email blocks of tufo cemented, in 6 courses, 


I continued to follow the upward course of the Formello 
towards the Ponte Sodo. The banks of the stream, on the inner 
or city side, rose steep, rock}', and fringed with wood the ash, 
beech, and ilex springing from the grey rocks, and hanging in 
varied hues over the torrent. Here and there, at the verge of 
the steep, portions of the ancient walls peeped through the 
foliage. Among them was a grand fragment of walling filling a 
natural gap in the cliff. 7 On the other hand were bare, swelling 
mounds, in which the mouths of caves were visible, the tombs 
of ancient Veii, now half choked with earth. One tomb alone, 
the Grotta Campana, which will be particularly described in the 
following chapter, now remains open. Here are also several 
vaults of Roman reticulated work. 

It would be easy to pass the Ponte Sodo without observing it. 
It is called a bridge ; but is a mere mass of rock bored for the 
passage of the stream. AVhether wholly or but partly artificial 
may admit of dispute. It is, however, in all probability, an 
Etruscan excavation a tunnel in the rock, two hundred and 
forty feet long, twelve or fifteen wide, and nearly twenty high. 
From above, it is not visible. You must view it from the banks 
of the stream. You at first take it to be of natural formation, 
yet there is a squareness and regularity about it which prove 
it artificial. The steep cliffs of tufo, yellow, grey, or white, over- 
hung by ilex, ivy, and brushwood the deep, dark-mouthed tunnel 
with a ray of sunshine, it ma} 7 be, gleaming beyond the masses 
of lichen-clad rock, Avhich choke the stream give it a charm 
apart from its antiquity. 8 

and much more neat and modern in appear- some nine or ten centuries before Christ, 
ance than the usual Etruscan masonry. 8 Sodo, or solid, is a term commonly 

Yet it is unlike late Roman work, and applied to natural bridges, or to such as 

more resembles the remains of the ayyer in their massive character resemble them, 
of Servius Tullius, in the gardens of Sallust Gell (II., p. 328) thinks that the deep 

at Rome. Canina, who gives a drawing hollow through which the Formello here 

of this pier (Etruria Marittiraa, tav. 28), flows was not its original bed, but I could 

represents it as of a kind of masonry very see no traces of a former channel, and am 

common on early Etruscan sites, and which inclined to believe in the natural character of 

I take to be the emplecton of Vitruvius. the hollow, by which the stream approaches 

See Chapter V., p. 79. the Ponte Sodo, and to think that there 

7 Canina gives an illustration of this was a natural channel through the rock 

piece of wall (op. cit. I., p. 120, tav. 26), enlarged by art to obviate the disastrous 

and represents it as of IS courses in height, consequences of winter floods. Canina 

and of emplecton, at least in that style of (Etr. Marit. I. p. 121) believes the Ponte 

masonry to which that name is applied to be artificial. 

throughout this work, although he does Nibby (III., p. 432) calls the Ponte 

not so apply it. He takes it for part of Sodo 70 feet long. He could not have 

the earliest fortifications of Yeii, dating measured it, as I have, by wading through 


Upon this natural bridge is a shapeless mound in the midst of 
an ancient roadway. Gell sees in it the ruins of a square tower, 
though it requires a brisk imagination to perceive such traces in 
this overgrown mass ; }'et from its position, and from fragments 
of walling hard by, it is evident that this was the site of a double 
gateway. 9 (H in the Plan.) These fragments are traceable on 
both sides of the gate. To the left they rise high, and form the 
facing to an ayycr or embankment which extends along the verge 
of the slope for a considerable distance. The blocks are smaller 
than usual in Etruscan cities, being only sixteen inches deep, 
and eighteen to twenty-four in length ; yet there can be little 
doubt that these were the once renowned fortifications egregii 
mnri 1 of Etruscan Veii. A portion of the wall hereabouts has 
been described and delineated by Gell, as being composed of 
immense tufo blocks, ten or eleven feet long, based on courses 
of thin bricks, a yard in length. Again and again have I beat 
the bush far and wide in quest of this singular fragment of 
masonry, but have never been fortunate enough to stumble on it ; 
nor have I met with any one who has seen it. Of late years the 
wood has been greatly cleared on this side the city, but the 
fragment is still sought in vain ; and whether it has been torn 
to pieces by the peasants, or lies hid in some of the thorny 
brakes it is impossible to penetrate, I cannot say. 

it. It is not cut with nicety, though it duct, and the shafts for wells l>y which the 

is possible that the original surface of the citizens drew water (II., p. 331). At this 

rock has been injured by the rush of end of the tunnel, the roof is cut into a 

water through the tunnel, for the stream regular gable form, and is of much greater 

at times swells to a torrent, filling the elevation than the rest ; it is continued 

entire channel, as is proved by trunks of thus only for thirty or forty feet, as if the 

trees lodged in clefts of the rock close to original plan had been abandoned, 

the roof, which remind one that this is 9 Double gates such as this were com- 

the Cremera rapax of Ovid (Fast. II. mon in Italy the Porta Carmeutalis of 

205). There are two oblong shafts in the Rome, the gates at Pompeii and Segni, 

ceiling, with niches cut in them as a for instance and not unknown to the 

means of descent from above, precisely Greeks, being represented on monuments 

such shafts as are seen in the tombs at and mentioned by their writers. It may 

ivita Castellaua, Falleri, and other be doubted, however, whether the plura) 

Etruscan sites. Here they must have number applied to gates, as to the cele- 

been formed for the sake of carrying on brated Scsean gates of Troy (irvAai 2/cataJ), 

the work in several places at once. There had reference to a gate like this, or to 

is a third at the upper entrance to the one with a double portal connected by a 

tunnel, but not connected with it, as it passage, as the Porta all' Arco of Yolterra. 

is sunk into a sewer which crosses the Canina (Arch. Ant. V. p. 9fj) thinks the 

mouth of the tunnel diagonally, showing latter. The plural term would also apply 

the latter to have been of subsequent for- to a single gate with folding doors portto 

mation to the system of drainage in the bipatenten Virg. 3Ln. II. 330. 

city. Gell mistook the sewer for an aque- 1 Liv. V. 2. 


A little above the Ponte Sodo, where the ground sinks to the 
edge of the stream, and where many troughs in the rocky banks 
indicate the spots whence blocks have been quarried for the con- 
struction of the city, I observed, on the left bank, a fragment of 
walling with the same peculiarities as that described by Gell, and 
more massive than any other I had seen at Veii. From its posi- 
tion with regard to the gate, which may here be traced on the city 
side of the stream, it had evidently formed the pier of a bridge. 
Its width was ten feet. The largest block was only three feet 
nine inches by two feet four, but this was massive in comparison 
with those of the city walls. The absence of cement proved its 
antiquity. The whole rested on three layers of long sun-burnt 
bricks, or tiles. 3 Yet their position was no proof of the antiquity 
of their collocation, for they might have been inserted in after- 
times to repair the foundations, just as the massive walls of 
Volterra are here and there underbuilt with modern masonry. 
There is nothing, however, in the material which militates against 
the antiquity of the structure. Bricks were used in the remotest 
ages, and in most parts of the ancient world. 3 The Etruscans, 
so skilled in pottery, must have been acquainted with their use ; 
Arretium, one of the cities of the League, is said to have been 
walled with brick ; and we know that the Veientes in particular 
were famed for their manufactures of baked earth." If the bricks 
in this masonry really formed part of the original structure, the}' 
lead one to suspect that the walls of other Etruscan cities may 
have been formed in part of the same materials, which, when the 
cities fell into deca} r , would have formed a quarry for the con- 
struction of villages. The destruction of Etruscan fortifications, 
however, in the volcanic district of the land, may be accounted 
for without this supposition the small size, lightness, and facility 
of cleavage of the tufo blocks composing the extant fragments, 
must in all ages have proved a temptation to apply them to other 

About three quarters of a mile above the Ponte Sodo is another 

2 This site is marked S. in tlie plan. their early use in Egypt, corroborated by 
On a subsequent visit, I was grieved to extant monuments ; and Herodotus in- 
see that this pier had been almost de- forms us that the walls of Babylon were 
stroyed. Canina gives a drawing of this built of brick. For their use in Greece, 
pier. Etr. Marit. tav. 29. see Pausanias (I. 42, II. 27, V. 5, X. 

3 According to Sanchoniatho, bricks were 35); and in other countries, see Vitruvius 
invented before mankind had learned to (II. viii. 9) and Pliny (N. H. XXXV. 49). 
construct villages, or to tend flocks. The 4 Plut. Publicola. Serv. ad .ZEn. VII. 188. 
Tower of Babel was built of bricks. We Festus roce llatumena. 

.have the testimony of Moses also as to 


bridge, called Ponte Formello, whose piers are of nenfro, un- 
doubtedly ancient, possibly of Etruscan construction, though not 
of the earliest period ; but the existing arch is of mediaeval brick- 
work. The road which crosses the Formello by this bridge runs 
to the village of Formello and to Monte Musino, six miles 

Crossing this bridge, and following the line of the ancient walls 
as indicated by the nature of the ground, I presently came to a 
cross-road, cut through tufo banks, and leading into the city. 
(Gate K.) It is clearly an ancient way; fifty years ago its pave- 
ment was entire, 5 but, owing to the pilferings of the peasantry, 
scarcely a block is now left. 

The road that crosses the Formello runs direct, for half-a-mile, 
to the Ponte dell' Isola, a bridge over the Fosso de' due Fossi, 
the stream which washed the southern walls of Veii. The city 
walls followed the line of bank on the left, which turns off 
towards the mill, while the road leads directly to the Ponte 
d' Isola. This is a picturesque bridge of a single arch, twenty- 
two feet in span. 6 Antiquaries have pronounced it to be 
of very ancient date connected with the original plan of the 
city. But to my eye the very small size of the blocks, and 
the cement used in its construction, are opposed to so high an 

A doubt may arise as to the antiquity of these bridges at Veii,. 
as well as of any others which claim an Etruscan origin, seeing 
that no stone bridge was erected at Home before the year 575, 
the date of the Pons ^Emilius, 7 long after the entire subjugation 
of Etruria, and more than two centuries after the capture of Veii. 
Is it possible that the .Romans, if they found such structures 
existing in the conquered land, could have refrained from intro- 
ducing such additions to the beauty and convenience of the City ? 
how could they have remained satisfied for centuries with a 
single bridge, and that of wood ? But it must be remembered 
that the Tiber was one of the ramparts of Home ; that the Pons 
Sublicius was equivalent to a draw-bridge, being so constructed 
as to be readily taken to pieces on an emergency; that it was 
maintained, in its wooden state, as a religious duty, and com- 
mitted to the especial care of the priests, who hence derived their 

6 Nibby, III. p. 433. is not unlike that of the Ponte Formello, 

6 The piers are 14.J feet wide ; the and of the pier of the ruined bridge near 

lower courses are of nenfro ; the rest of the Columbarium gate. 

tufo ; all alike cemented. The masonry ~> Plut. Numa. 


name of pontifices ; and it was not till after the conquest of 
Etruria, the downfall of Hannibal, and when all fear of a foe at 
the gates of the City Avas removed, that a permanent bridge was 
constructed. The Romans of that day had no need to go beyond 
their own walls for the model of a stone arch ; they had had it 
for ages in the Cloaca Maxima. 

From the Ponte d'Isola, a pathway leads to the mill. Here I 
had completed the circuit of Yeii. Gell calls it more than four 
miles in circumference, but his own map makes it of much 
greater area. Nibby seems nearer the truth, in calling it seven 
miles round, which more nearly agrees with the statement of 
Dionysius that Yeii was equal in size to Athens, 8 said to have 
been sixty stadia in circumference, i.e. seven miles and a half, 9 
or at the lower estimate of ten stadia to the mile, the common 
itinerary stadia of Greece, six miles in circuit. The Rome of 
Sen-ins Tullius, which Dionysius also compares to Athens, was 
about the same extent. 1 

Such then is Veil once the most powerful, 2 the most wealthy 
city of Etruria, 3 renowned for its beauty/ its arts and refinement, 
which in size equalled Athens and Rome, in military force was 
not inferior to the latter, 5 and which for its site, strong by nature 
and almost impregnable by art, 6 and for the magnificence of its 
buildings and the superior extent and fertility of its territory, 
was preferred by the Romans to the Eternal City itself, even 
before the destruction of the latter by the Gauls/ now void 
and desolate, without one house or habitant, its temples and 
palaces level with the dust, and nothing beyond a few fragments 
of walls, and some empty sepulchres, remaining to tell the tra- 
veller that here Yeii was. The plough passes over its bosom, 
and the shepherd pastures his flock on the waste within it. Such 

8 Dionys. II. p. 116. of the conquerors. Eutrop. I. 18. 

9 So says the Scholiast on Thucydules, 4 Liv. V. 24. 

II. 13 ; but the great historian himself 3 Pint. Camillus. 

merely states that the extent of that part 6 Urbe valida muris ac situ ip^o rou- 

of the city which was guarded was 43 nita, Liv. I. 15, V. 2. Dionys. loc. cit., 

stadia ; and the Scholiast adds that the and IX. p. 593 ; Pint, fiomul. and Camil. 

unguarded part, or the space between the 7 Liv. V. 24. Arnold (I. p. 212) questions 

Long Walls, which united the city with the the authority of Livy on this head, and 

Pirreus, and the Phaleric Wall, was 17 also the sincerity of the Romans, if they 

stadia in breadth. said it ; without good grounds, it seems 

1 Dionys. IV. p. 219 ; and IX. p. 624. to me. Dionysius (Frag. Mai, XII. 14) 

2 Dionys. II. p. 116 ; Liv. IV. 58. in s-ome measure confirms Livy by saying 

3 Liv. II. 50; V. 20, 21, 22. Florus Veii was in no way inferior to Home as a 
(I. 12) and Plutarch (Camil.) attest its residence. 

wealth by the spoil that fell into the hands 


must it have been in the earlier years of Augustus, for Propertius 
pictures a similar scene of decay. 

Et Veil veteres, et vos turn regna fuistis ; 

Et vestro posita est aurea sella foro ; 
Xunc intra muros pastoris buccina lenti 

Cantat, et in vestris ossibus arva metunt. 

Veii, thou hadst a royal crown of old, 
And in thy forum stood a throne of gold ! 
Thy walls now echo but the shepherd's horn, 
And o'er thine ashes waves the summer corn. 

Lucan also speaks of its desolation : 

Gabios, Veiosque, Coramque 
Pulvere vix tectae poterunt monstrare ruinas. 

How are we to account for this neglect ? The city was certainly 
not destroyed by Camillas, for the superior magnificence of its 
public and private buildings was a temptation to the Romans to 
desert the Seven Hills. But after the destruction of Rome by 
the Gauls, Veii was abandoned, in consequence of the decree of 
the Senate threatening with the severest punishment the Roman 
citizens who should remain within its walls ; and Niebuhr's 
conjecture may be correct, that it was demolished to supply 
materials for the rebuilding of Rome, though the distance would 
almost preclude the transport of more than the architectural 
ornaments. Its desolation must have been owing either to the 
policy of Rome which proscribed its inhabitation, or to malaria;* 
otherwise, a city which presented so many advantages as almost 
to have tempted the Romans to desert their hearths and the 
sepulchres of their fathers, would scarcely have been suffered to 
fall into utter decay, and remain so for nearly four centuries. 
The Romans most probably ceased to maintain the high cultiva- 
tion of its territory, and it became unhealthy, as at the present 
<lay. This was the case with the Campagna in general, which 
in very early times was studded with towns, but under Roman 
domination became, what it has ever since remained a desert, 
whose wide surface is rarely relieved by habitation. 

After the lapse of ages the site was colonised afresh \yy 
Augustus ; but the glory of Veii had departed the new colony 

8 Eionysius, however (Excerpta Mai, it now-a-days ; some of the inhabitants of 
XII. 14), tells us the air of Veii was very Isola being constant sufferers from the 
healthy, which is more than can be said of malaria fever. 


occupied scarcely a third of the area of the ancient city, and 
struggled for a century for existence, till in the days of Adrian it 
again sunk into decay. Yet it is difficult to credit the assertion 
of Floras, that its very site was forgotten. " This, then, was 
Veii ! who now remembers its existence ? What ruins ? what 
traces of it are left? Hardly can we credit our annals, which 
tell us Veii has been." 9 For the inscriptions found on the spot 
prove that the colony continued to exist to the fourth century of 
our era. 

I have now described my first walk round Veii ; but many a 
day, and in all seasons, have I spent in wandering over the site 
and around the walls of this once renowned city. I was wont 
to take up my quarters at La Storta, and step over at day- 
break; and, with a luncheon in my pocket and a draught from the 
Cremera, I cared not to return till the landscape was veiled in 
the purple shadows of evening. 

Every time I visit Veii I am struck with the rapid progress of 
destruction. Nibby and Gell mention many remains which are 
no longer visible. The site has less to show on every succeed- 
ing year. Even masonry, such as the pier. of the bridge over 
the Fosso di Formello, that from its massiveness might seem to 
defy the pilferings of the peasantry, is torn to pieces, and the 
blocks removed to form walls or houses elsewhere, so that, ere 
long, it may be said of Veii, " Her very ruins have perished " 
ttiam perire ruince. 

Occasionally, in my wanderings on this site, I have entered, 
either from curiosity or for shelter, one of the capanne scattered 
over the downs. These are tall, conical, thatched huts, which 
the shepherds make their winter abode. For in Italy, the low 
lands being generally unhealthy in summer, the flocks are driven 
to the mountains about May, and as soon as the great heats are 
-past, are brought back to the richer pastures of the plains. It 
is a curious sight the interior of a capanna. A little boldness 
is requisite to pass through the pack of dogs, white as new-dropt 
lambs, but large and fierce as wolves, which, were the shepherd 
not at hand, would tear in pieces whoever might venture to 
approach the hut; but, with one of the pecoraj for a Teucer, 

9 Flor. I. 12. The Roman colony the Strabo, who wrote in the reign of Tiberius, 

Municipium Auyustum Veiens of the in- speaks of it as an insignificant place in his 

scriptions could never have been of much time as one of the TroAt^vat crvxvcu of 

importance, though the inscriptions mention Etraria (V. p. 226). 
several temples, a theatre, and baths; for 
VOL. I. 


nothing is to be feared. The capanne are of various sizes. One 
I entered not far from Veii was thirty or forty feet in diameter, 
and nearly as high, propped in the centre by two rough masts, 
between which a hole was left in the roof for the escape of smoke. 
"Within the door lay a large pile of lambs there might be a 
hundred killed that morning and ahead}' flayed, and a number 
of shepherds were busied in operating on the carcasses of others; 
all of which were to be despatched forthwith to the Roman 
market. Though a fierce May sun blazed without, a huge fire 
roared in the middle of the hut ; but this was for the sake of 
the ricotta, which was being made in another part of the 
capanna. Here stood a huge caldron, full of boiling ewes' -milk. 
In a warm state this curd is a delicious jelly, and has often 
tempted me to enter a capanna in quest of it, to the amazement 
of the pecoraj, to whom it is " vilior alga." Lord of the caldron, 
stood a man dispensing ladlefuls of the rich simmering mess to 
his fellows, as they brought their bowls for their morning's 
allowance ; and he varied his occupation by pouring the same into- 
certain small baskets, in which it is conveyed to market ; the 
serous parts running off through the wicker, and the residue 
caking as it cooled. On the same board stood the cheeses, pre- 
viously made from the cream. In this hut lived twenty-five men, 
their nether limbs clad in goat-skins, with the hair outwards, 
suggestive of the satyrs of ancient fable ; but they had no nymphs, 
to tease, nor shepherdesses to woo, and never 

" sat all day 

Playing- on pipes of corn, and versing love 
To amorous Phillida." 

They were a band of celibats, without the vows. In such huts 
they dwell all the year round, flaying lambs, or shearing sheep, 
living on bread, ricotta, and water, very rarely tasting meat or 
wine, and sleeping on shelves ranged round the hut, like berths, 
in a ship's cabin. Thus are the dreams of Arcadia dispelled by 
realities ! 

To revert to the early history of Veii. 1 That she was one of 
the most ancient cities of Etruria may be inferred from the pitch 

1 It has been suggested by Orioli (Ann. another, Mantus (Serv. ad 2En. X. 198). 

Tnst. 1833, p. 22) that Veii may be derived According to Festus (ap. Paul. Diac.) Veia 

from Vedius, or Vejovis, one of the Etrus- is an Oscan word, signifying plaustrum, a 

can deities, just as Mantua was derived from waggon ; hence probably velio. 


of power she had attained in the time of Eomulus. 2 That she 
was one of the Twelve of the great Etruscan Confederation 
cannot be doubted. Her vast size, superior to that of every 
other Etruscan city whose limits can be ascertained the great 
extent of her territory, and the numerous towns dependent on 
her 3 her power, opulence, and magnificence would make it 
sufficiently evident, without the express testimony of Livj r and 
Dioirysius to the fact. 4 

Of the history of Veii we know no more than her contests 
with Rome. She is one of those numerous cities of antiquity, 
whose records are mere tissues of wars bloody trails across the 
field of history. While regretting that our knowledge of them 
is confined to such events, we should remember that, had not 
such wars been chronicled, the very names of these cities would 
most probabty never have come down to us. Whatever mention 
of Yeii we find in ancient writers is as the antagonist of Rome. 
No less than fourteen wars with that power are on record. The 
Veientes indeed are called by Floras "the unceasing and annual 
enemies of Rome " assidui vero et anniversarii hostes. 

The first six wars were with the Kings of Rome, and as in 
all this history the man, and not the lion, drew the picture, we 
are told that the Roman monarchs were always triumphant, 
whether against Veii alone, or the united forces of Etruria. 5 

2 Dion. Hal. II. p. 116. She is called opinion that Sabate, on the Lake of Brac- 
" antiquissima et ditissima civitas" by ciano, was in the Veientine territory; and 
Eutropius (I. 18). Veii is not mentioned that even Sutrium and Nepete were also 
by Virgil among the cities of Etruria in the included. On the north, it met the Ager 
time of Jineas, but nothing can be fairly Faliscm. On the east, it must have em- 
deduced from this against her antiquity, braced all the district south of Soracte and 
seeing that the poet is equally silent of eastward to the Tiber, or, in other words, 
Arretium, Perusia, Volsinii, Busellse, and the Ager Cape.natis, because Capena was 
Volaterra, some of which most assuredly a colony of Veii (Cato ap. Serv. ad Jin. VII. 
existed at that period, as Perusia, tra- 697. Niebuhr, I. p. 120; Miiller, Einl. 2, 
ditionally very ancient (Serv. loc. cit.) and 14; and II. 1, 2); and Feronia, under So- 
Volaterra, of whose colony (Populouia) racte, was also in the Ayer Capenatis, 
Virgil makes mention (Jin. X. 172). Fidense was another colony of Veii. Of 

3 Plut. Romul. Dion. Hal. III. p. 181; the Ayer Veiens, we further know that 
also Frag. Mai, XII. 14. The territory it produced a red wine of inferior quality, 
of Veii, before it was curtailed by the too bad to be drunk on festive occasions : 
Romans, extended on the south and east Horat. II. Sat. 3, 143; Pers. Sat. V. 147; 
to the Tiber (Plin. III. 9), and on the Mart. I. epig. 104, 9; II. 53, 4; III. 49. 
south-west to the sea, embracing the Pliny (XXXVII. 69) and Solinus (I. 
Salinse, or salt-works, at the mouth of the p. 16) speak of a precious stone found at 
river (Dion. Hal. II. p. 118; Plut. Romul.). Veii, Veientana gemma which was black 
On the west, it adjoined the territory of bordered with white ; perhaps onyx. 
Caere, though the frontier line is not de- 4 See the Appendix, Note II. 

fined. Miiller (Etrusk. II. 2, 1) is of 5 Tarquinius Priscus, indeed, is said 

c 2 


Seventh War. In the year 245, Veil joined Tarquinii in the 
attempt to replace Tarquinius Superbus on his throne. They 
encountered the forces of the young Republic near the Arsian 
Wood ; Aruns, the son of Tarquin, and Brutus, the first Consul, 
fell by each other's hands, and the victory remained undecided. 
In the following night an unearthly voice, thought to be that of 
the god Silvanus, was heard proceeding from the wood " The 
Etruscans have lost one more man in the fight ; the Romans 
are therefore the victors." 6 This war terminated with the cele- 
brated march of Porsenna on Rome. Too well known are the 
romantic events of that campaign to need recording. 

" How well Horatius kept the bridge 
In the brave days of old," 

how Scsevola braved the fire, and Cloelia the Avater and how the 
Clusian chieftain strove to emulate these deeds of heroism by his 
chivalrous magnanimity all these events are familiar to us as 
household Avords. 

In the year 272 broke out the ninth Avar with Rome, during 
which occurred the most interesting incident in the annals of 
Yeii. In the year 275, the Avar still continuing, the Veientes at 
one time even threatening the City itself, which Avas pressed upon 
at the same time by the ^Equi and Volsci, an instance of patriotic 
devotion was called forth, such as few ages have produced. Cseso 
Fabius, the consul, and chief of the noblest and most powerful of 
Roman gentes, rose in the Senate, and said " Well know ye, 
Conscript Fathers, that to keep the Veientes in check there is 
need of a fixed garrison, rather than of a powerful army. Look 
ye to our other foes ; leave it to the Fabii to deal Avith Veii. We 
Avill engage to uphold the majesty of the Roman name. The 
Republic hath need of men and money elseAvhere ; be this Avar at 
our own cost." The next day the whole gens of the Fabii, three 

to have conquered the whole of Etruria, account for the introduction of the Etrus- 

which in token of submission sent him can symbols of royalty the twelve lictors 

tlie Etruscan insiynia of authority, thence- with their fasces, the gcklen crown, the 

f >rth adopted by the Romans. Dionys. ivory chair, the purple robe, the eagled 

Hal. III. pp. 193, 195; Flor. I. 5. Nei- sceptre which were traditionally adopted 

linhr (I. p. 379) justly questions the truth about this time. But it were more reason- 

of this tradition of the entire conquest of able to account for their introduction by 

Etraria by Tarquin, which is not noticed the accession cf an Etruscan prince to the 

by Livy or Cicero; yet thinks the union throne of Rome. 

of Rome with Etruria may be seen in it. 6 Liv. II. 6, 7; Dion. Hal. V. p. 288 

It seems probable that this conquest was 290 ; Plut. Publicola. 
an invention of the old annalists, to 

CHAP. I.] 



hundred and six in number, all of patrician blood, marched forth 
from Rome, the consul himself at their head, amid the admiration, 
the prayers, and joyful shouts of the citizens. One single family 
to meet an entire people, the most powerful of Etruria ! "Never," 
says Lny, " never did an army so small in number, or so great in 
deeds, and in the admiration of their countrymen, march through 
the streets of Rome." 7 When they reached the Cremera, they 
pitched their camp on a precipice-girt hill, and further protected 

CASILK OF TJlli i'Abii. 

it by a double fosse and numerous towers. There they main- 
tained themselves for a year against all the efforts of their 
enemies to dislodge them, ravaging the lands of Veii far and 
wide, and routing the forces sent against them till in the year 
276 the Consul JEmilius Mamercus defeated the Veientes, and 
forced them to sue for peace. 8 

~< Liv. II. 4S, 49; Dion. Hal. IX. p. 571 
573. Dionysius says there were fully 
4000 in the band, most of them ireAcroi re 
Kal f-rcupoi, and 306 only of the Fabian 
yens. Festus also says (vocc Scelerata 
Porta) that there were some thousands of 

clicntes. Loth these statements Niebuhr 
(II. p. 195) thinks greatly exaggerated. A. 
Gellius (XVII. 21), says there were 306 
"with their families." 

8 Liv. II. 49 ; Dion. Hal. IX. p. 573 - 

22 . VEIL THE CITY. [CHAP. i. 

Tenth War. In the following year, 277, the Veientes ftgain 
declared war against Rome, and commenced by attacking the 
Fabii, who had not withdrawn from their camp. Knowing that 
open force was of little avail against these heroes, they had re- 
course to stratagem. They sent out flocks and herds, as if to 
pasture ; and the Fabii beholding these from the height of their 
castle, sallied forth, eager for the spoil. As they were returning 
with it the Etruscans rushed from their ambush, and over- 
whelming them by numbers, after a long and desperate resistance, 
cut them to pieces, not one escaping save a boy, who lived to 
preserve the race and be the progenitor of Fabius Maximus. 9 
The slaughter of the Fabii was but the prelude to a signal 
victory of the Veientes ; and, had they followed up their ad- 
vantage, Rome itself might have fallen into their hands. As it 
was, they took possession of the Janiculan, where they main- 
tained themselves for many months, till they were routed by 
the Roman Consuls, from whom they obtained a truce for forty 
years. 1 

Twelfth "War. In the year 316 the Ficlenates threw off the 
yoke of Rome, and declared for Veii. The Veientes espoused 
their cause, and put to death the ambassadors sent by Rome to 
demand an explanation. The Etruscan army encountered their 
foes on the banks of the Tiber, below Fidena?, the scene of so 
many former defeats, and were again routed by the Dictator 
Mam. ^milius ; their king, Lars Tolumnius, being slain by the 
sword of A. Cornelius Cossus; 2 yet two years after, the allied 
army of Veii and Fidense marched up to the very gates of Rome, 
but were routed by the Dictator A. Servilius, who captured 
Fidenre. 3 

So again in the thirteenth war which broke out in 326, the 
Veientes and the Fidenates crossed the Tiber, and struck terror 
into the City of Romulus. Their course, however, was soon 

Liv. II. 50 ; Dion. Hal. IX. p. 577 (II. p. 202), nor by Arnold (I. p. 217), who 

580. Floras, 1. 12. Dionysius gives another prefers it to the other tradition. Ovid (Fast, 

version of this slaughter, which, however, II. 195 242) recounts the story as given 

he discredits as improbable. It is that the in the text. See also Diodor. Sic. XI. p. 

whole body of the Fabii left their camp to 40, ed. Rhod. A. Gellius, XVII. 21. 

offer up a sacrifice at their family shrine in Dion. Cass. Excerpta Mai, XXI. 

Rome; and, journeying along, heedless of * Liv. II. 51, 53, 54. Dion. Hal. IX. 

danger, they were suddenly attacked by the pp. 582 5, 592-4. 

Veientes, who rushed from their ambush, 2 Liv. IV. 17 19. Propert. IV. Eleg. 10 

and cut them to pieces. Dionysius' reasons Dion. Hal. Excerpta Mai, XII. 2. 

(IX. p. 578) for regarding this version as 3 Liv. IV. 21, 22. 
apocryphal are not deemed valid by Niebuhr 


checked ; for they were again utterly routed by Mam. ^Emilius 
and Cornelius Cossus, on the very field of their former triumph. 
Fidense was taken and destroyed, and Veii obtained a truce for 
twenty years. 4 

Fourteenth War. In 347, the truce having expired, war 
broke out afresh ; and in 349 the Romans laid seige to Veii, 5 a 
fate which would earlier have befallen her, had it not been for 
the great strength of her position and fortifications, which ren- 
dered her conquest almost hopeless ; but Rome being at peace 
elsewhere, was noAV enabled to pour out all her strength against 
her ancient foe. 6 In 352 Veii obtained the assistance of the 
Falisci and Capenates, who saw that she was the bulwark of 
Etruria against Rome, and should she fall, the whole land would 
be open to invasion, and they, as the nearest, would be the next 
to suffer. The diversion thus created, together with dissension 
in the Roman camp, operated greatly in favour of the Veientes, 
so that at one time they had possession of the Roman lines ; 
but they were ultimately driven out, and their allies, put to the 
rout. 7 In 356, when the siege had already endured eight years, 
a remarkable phenomenon occurred, which was considered a 
portent of some fearful event. In the height of summer, when 
elsewhere the streams were running dry, the waters of the Alban 
Lake, without any evident cause, suddenly rose to an extraor- 
dinary height, overflowing their barrier the crater-lip of an 
extinct volcano and threatened to burst it and devastate the 
Campagna. Sacrifices were offered up, but the gods Avere not 
appeased. 8 Messengers were despatched from Rome to consult 
the oracle at Delphi as to the meaning of this prodigy. In the 
mean time, at one of the outposts of the camp before Veii, the 
soldiers, as often happens in such situations, fell to gossiping 
with the townsfolk instead of fighting ; and one of them, a 
Roman centurion, who had made acquaintance with an old 
citizen, renowned as a soothsa3 r er, began one day to lament the 
fate of his friend, seeing that when the city was taken, he would 
be involved in the common destruction. But the Veientine 
laughed thereat, saying, " Ye maintain an unprofitable war in 
the vain hope of taking this city of Veii, knowing not that it is 
revealed by the Etruscan Discipline, that when the Alban Lake 
shall swell, the gods will not abandon Veii, unless its waters be 

4 Liv. IV. 3035. 6 Liv. IV. 61; V. 1. 

5 Liv. IV. 58, 61. Diod. Sic. XIV. p. 7 Liv. V. 8, 12, 13. 

247. 8 Dionys. Frag. Mai, XII. 8. 


drained off, so as not to mingle with the sea." The centurion 
pondered these words in his mind, and the next day met the 
old soothsayer again, and under pretext of consulting him on 
certain signs and portents, led him far from the walls of Veii; 
then suddenly seizing him in his arms, hore him off to the 
Roman camp. Thence he was taken before the Senate, to whom 
he repeated his prophecy, saying that the gods would not have it 
concealed, for thus it was wiitten in the hooks of Fate. The 
Senate at first distrusted this prophecy ; but, on the return of 
the messengers from Delphi, it was confirmed by the oracle of 
the god "Romans, beware of letting the water remain in the 
Alban Lake : take heed that it flow not to the sea in a natural 
channel. Draw it off, and diffuse it through your fields. Then 
shall ye stand victors on the walls of Veii." In obedience to- 
the oracle a tunnel was bored through the rocky hill, which still, 
as the Emissary of Albano, calls forth the admiration of the 
traveller; and verily it is a marvellous work for that early age 
the more so, if completed, as Livy asserts, within the short 
space of one year. 9 In 357 the Yeientes received further suc- 
cour from Tarquinii, by w r hich their prospects of deliverance 
were raised ; more especially when their allies obtained a victory, 
which struck terror into the citizens of Rome, who hourly ex- 
pected to see a triumphant foe beneath their walls. 1 But the 
tables were soon turned ; for Camillus, now appointed dictator, 
first routed the forces of the allies, and then, taking a hint, it 
may be, from the Alban Emissary, which was \>y this time com- 
pleted, began to work his celebrated cuniculus, " a very great and 
most laborious undertaking," into the citadel of Veii. Then, 
were the oracle and the prophecy of the soothsa} r er accomplished, 
and Veii fell, proving her power even in her final overthrow 

Vincere cum Veios posse laboris erat 

"for, though beleaguered," as Livy states, '"'for ten long years, 
with more injury to her foe than to herself, she was at last over- 
come by stratagem, not by open force." 3 

It is instructive to observe how similar are the fruits of super- 
stition in all ages, and under various religious creeds. The scene 

9 For an account of the Alban prodigy, ] Liv. V. 1C, 18. 

see Dionys. Frag. Mai, XII. cap. 811; 2 Propert. , Lib. IV. Eleg. X. 24. 

Liv. V. 15, 16, 17, 19; Cic. de Divin. I. 3 Liv. V. 19, 21, 22; Flor. I. 12; Plut. 

44, and II. 32; Val. Max. I. 6, 3; Pint. Camil. 
Caiuil. ; Zonaras, Annal. VII. c. 20. 


between Camillas and the statue of Juno, the patron goddess of 
Veil, which he wanted to remove to Borne, is precisely such as 
has been reported to occur in similar circumstances in more 
recent times. Said Camillus to the goddess, " Wilt thou go to 
Rome, Juno?" The image signified assent by bowing her head; 
and some of the bystanders asserted that they heard a soft voice 
whispering assent. 4 Ancient writers frequently report such 
miracles that statues broke into a sweat, groaned, rolled their 
eyes, and turned their heads precisely such miracles as are 
related by modern enthusiasts or impostors. 

The relation which the height of Isola Farnese bore to the 
ancient city has been the subject of much difference of opinion. 
Some have regarded it as the Arx of Veii, which Camillus 
entered through his cuuiculus. That it may have been inhabited 
and fortified at an early period is not improbable ; but there 
are strong reasons for believing that it was not so in the time 
of Camillus. Others, with still less probability, have considered 
it the site of the Castle of the Fabii. 5 To me it seems evident 
that at the time of the conquest it was nothing more than part 
of the necropolis of Veii. The rock is hollowed in every direction 
into sepulchral caves and niches, most of them apparently Etrus- 
can ; not only in the face of its cliffs, but also on the table-land 
above. Now it is clear that such must have been its character in 
the days of Camillus, for the Etruscans never inhabited nor 
walled in a site that had been appropriated to burial; and 
though it may originally have been fortified, yet once made 
sacred to the dead, it must ever have remained so. The principal 
necropolis of Veii lay on the opposite side of the city, but the 
Etruscans did not confine their cemeteries to any particular side 
of their cities, but availed themselves of any ground that was 
convenient for the purpose of burial. 

To see the Ponte Sodo, the Columbario, and the Painted 
Tomb, which are within a short distance of each other, will not 
occupy more than two hours ; the Arx, tying in another direction, 
will require another hour ; and the entire circuit of the city, in- 
cluding the above lions, can be accomplished in four or five. 
The cicerone will provide asses, if required, possibly saddles. 
Visitors should bring their own provender with them, or, the 
guide will provide refreshment, which may be eaten without 

4 Liv. V. 22. Pint. Camil. Dionysius According to Livy, it was not Camillus 
(Excerp. Mai, XII. 17) says the goddess who put the question, 
repeated her assent in an audible voice. 5 See Appendix, Note III. 


alarm, in spite of the suspicion expressed by a lady writer that 
Isola is a sort of Cannibal Island. 6 All fear of bandits, suggested 
in the same quarter, may be dispensed with, 'and " mounted con- 
tadini, covered with togas and armed with long iron-shod poles," 
may be encountered without trepidation as honest drovers in quest 
of cattle. 

Veii is of such easy access that no visitor to Borne should 
fail to make an excursion thither. It is not more than a couple 
of hours' drive from the gates, and though there be little of 
attraction on the road, beyond views of the all-glorious Campagna, 
and though the site of the ancient city be well-nigh denuded of 
its ruins, yet the intense interest of a spot, so renowned in 

' ' And where the antique fame of stout Camill 
Doth ever live " 

.and the tomb now open with its marvellous paintings and strange 
furniture, which carry the mind back with realising force to the 
earliest days of Rome, render a trip to the site of Veii one of the 
most delightful excursions in the neighbourhood of the Eternal 



Sepulchral niches are found in the rocks in the neighbourhood of other 
ancient cities in the southern district of Etruria, but nowhere in such abun- 
dance and variety as at Veii. Hollowed rocks like these, with their faces 
full of small sepulchral niches, are almost unique in Etruria, though abun- 
dant at Syracuse, and other Greek sites of Sicily. Tombs full of niches are 
not unfrequent in Etruria, but as they are almost always found in exposed 
situations, rifled of all their furniture, it is difficult to pronounce on their 
antiquity. Their similarity to the columbaria of the Romans, is suggestive 
of such an origin, while the want of the olla hole, already mentioned, and 
the fact of being hollowed in the rock, instead of being constructed with 
masonry, distinguish them from the Roman columbaria. It is not improbable 
that these pigeon-holed tombs of Etruria are of native origin, and that the 
Romans thence derived their idea of the columbaria, most likely from those 
of Veii, the nearest city of Etruria. Canina (Etr. Marit. I. p. 123) is of this 
opinion, and takes these niches at Veii to be all prior to the Roman conquest. 
By some the pigeon-holed tombs in Etruscan cemeteries are regarded as of 
late date, indicating a period when burning had superseded burial. Micali 

6 Sepulchres of Etruria, p. 109. 


(Mon. Ined., pp. 1C3, 370), who is of this opinion, thinks all such tombs on 
this site posterior to the fall of Veii. But cremation was of far higher 
antiquity. The Greeks, in the earliest times, certainly buried their dead ; 
such was the custom in the time of Cecrops, and of fable (Cic. de Leg. II. 
capp. 22, 25), yet in Homeric times burning was practised, as in the case of 
Patroclus and of Hector. The expense of the pyre, however, as we find it 
described by Homer (II. XXIII. 164, et seq. ; XXIV. 784, et seq.^), and by 
Virgil (JEn. XI. 72, et seg.), must have put it out of the reach of the com- 
munity. My own excavations in various Greek cemeteries convince me that, 
with that people, burial was the rule, burning the exception. De Jorio, a 
practised excavator, maintains that burial among the Greeks of Magna 
Grascia was to burning as ten to one among the Romans as one to ten 
(Metodo per frugare i Sepolcri, p. 28 ; cf. Serradifalco, Ant. di Sic. IV. p. 197). 
Philosophic notions of purification or of resolving the frame into its original 
elements, may have had to do with the practice of burning. My own ex- 
perience as an excavator in Greek cemeteries convinces me that both methods 
were practised coevally. Cinerary urns were generally deposited in a hole at 
no great depth and covered with a slab or tile. So at least I have invariably 
found them in Greek necropoles, mixed with tombs hollowed in the rock, or 
constructed of masonry. 

The practice of the Romans also in the earliest times was to bury, not 
burn their dead (Plin. Nat. His. VII. 55), the latter mode having been adopted 
only when it was found that in protracted wars the dead were disinterred. 
Yet burning also seems to have been in vogue in the time of Numa, who, 
as he wished to be interred, was obliged to forbid his body to be burned 
(I'lut. Numa). Perhaps the latter custom had reference only to great men. 
Ovid represents the body of Remus as burnt (Fast. IV. 853-6). In the early 
times of the Republic, interment was the general mode ; cremation, however, 
seems to have gradually come into use the Twelve Tables speak of both 
{Cic. de Leg. II. 23) yet certain families long adhered to the more ancient 
custom, the Cornelian gens for instance, the first member of which, who was 
burnt, was Sylla the Dictator, who, having dishonoured the corpse of Marius, 
feared retaliation on his own remains (Plin. loc. cit. Cic. de Leg. II. 22). 
Burning, at first confined to heroes, or the wealthy, became general under 
the Empire, but at length fell out of fashion, and was principally applied to 
the corpses of freedmen and slaves, and in the fourth century after Christ 
was wholly superseded by burial. Macrob. Sat. VII. 7. 

With the Etruscans it is difficult to pronounce whether inhumation or cre- 
mation was the earlier, as instances of both together are found in tombs of 
very remote antiquity. With them, as with the Greeks and Romans, both 
methods seem, in later periods of their history, to have been practised con- 
temporaneously. In certain sites, however, one or the other mode was the 
more prevalent. At Volterra, Chiusi, Perugia, and the northern cities gene- 
rally, cremation was the fashion ; at Tarquinii, Ca?re, and the other cities of the 
great southern plain, it was rare, and interment was almost universal. The 
antiquity of cremation is confirmed by the cinerary hut-urns of Albano, 
which analogy, as well as the position in which they were found, indicates 
to be of very ancient date by the well-tombs of Poggio Renzo, the earliest 
sepulchres of Chiusi and by the very archaic character of some of the 
"ash-chests" and cinerary pots found in Etruscan cemeteries. 



That Veii was one of the Twelve principal cities of Etruria is implied by 
Livy (II. G), and by Dionysius (V., p. 288), when they state that it united 
with Tarquinii, the metropolis of Etruria, in assisting Tarquinius Superbus to 
recover his throne, and again, where the example of Veii, in throwing off the 
yoke of Servius Tullius, was followed by Ca?re and Tarquinii (Dion. Hal. IV., 
p. 231), undoubtedly cities of the Confederation. It is stated explicitly, 
where Tullius grants peace to the Twelve Cities, but mulcts the aforesaid 
three, which commenced the revolt, and instigated the rest to war against 
the Romans. It is clearly shown by Dionysius (Frag. Mai, XII. 13), when 
he calls it " a great and flourishing city, not the least part of Etruria ; " and 
also (VI., p. 3i)8), when he calls Veii and Tarquinii " the two most illustrious 
cities of Etruria;" and again (IX., p. 577), when he says that the Veientes, 
having made peace with Rome, " the eleven Etruscan people who were not 
parties to this peace having convened a council of the nation, accused the 
Veientes, because they had made peace without consulting the rest." It is 
also clearly shown by Livy (V. 1), in that the king of the Veientes was dis- 
appointed because another bad been chosen by the suffrages of the Twelve 
Cities to be high-priest of the nation, in preference to himself. Livy elsewhere 
(IV. 23) states, that Veii and Falerii sent ambassadors to the Twelve people 
to demand a council of the nation, at the Voltumnse Fanum. This might, 
at first sight, be interpreted as indicating these two cities as not of the 
Twelve ; but on further consideration it will be seen that the term " Twelve 
Cities" was a common, or as Muller (II. 1, 2, n. 20) calls it, " a standing ex- 
pression," and is not opposed to the idea of the two cities being included. 
They sought for a convention of the Twelve, of which they formed a part. 
Had it not been so they could scarcely have acted an independent part : the 
cities to which they were subject would have made the demand. When, at 
a later date, Capena joined Falerii in a similar request (Liv. V. 17), it should 
be remembered that Veii was then closely beleaguered, and Capena being 
her colony, might aptly act as her representative. Where Livy mentions 
the Twelve Cities, after the fall of Veii (VII. 21), it can only mean that the 
number being a fixed one in each of the three divisions of Etruria, like the 
Thirty Cities of Latium, and the Twelve of the Acha?an League, the place of 
the city that was separated was immmediately supplied by another (Niebuhr. 
I., p. 119). But were all these historical proofs wanting to show Veii to 
have been one of the Twelve, her large size, as determined by existing re- 
mains an extent second to that of no other Etruscan city would be 
evidence enough. 


Though at first view it would seem that a site so strongly fortified by 
nature as the rock of Isola, would naturally have been chosen for a citadel, 
yet there is good ground for rejecting the supposition. Its isolation sepa- 
rated as it is from the city by a broad glen of considerable depth, is strongly 
opposed to the idea. Nibby, indeed, who regards Isola as the Arx, takes a 
hint from Holstenius (Adnot. ad Cluv., p. 54), and thinks it may have been 
connected with the city by means of a covered way between parallel Avails, 
as Athens was with the Pirajus ; but no traces of such a structure are visible, 


and it probably never existed save in the worthy Professor's imagination. 
Livy (V. 21) makes it clear that the Arx adjoined the city, for, on the former 
being captured by Camillus, the latter immediately fell into his hands, which 
could not have been the case had Isola been the Arx, for its possession by 
an enemy, in those days of non-artillery, would have proved an annoyance, 
but could have little affected the safety of the city. There is every reason 
to believe, as already shown, that Isola was only a portion of the necropolis. 
If nothing more than Iloman columbaria, and Roman funeral inscriptions, 
had been found on the spot, there would be room for doubt, seeing that 
sepulchral remains of that nation have also been found on the Piazza d'Armi, 
the true Arx, as well as within the walls of Etruscan Veii ; which fact, how- 
ever, only proves the small size of the Roman municipium. But the numerous 
Etruscan tombs on the height of Isola, and the absence of every trace of 
such sepulture on the Piazza d'Armi, seem alone, independently of their 
position with regard to the city, to afford a strong argument in favour of 
the opinion that the latter, and not Isola, was the Arx of Veii. 

It is surprising that Isola should ever have been mistaken for the Castle of 
the Fabii. The objection raised by Gell, that it is not on the Cremera, scarcely 
seems valid, for who is to pronounce with certainty which of the two con- 
fluents bore the ancient name ? It seems incredible, however, that the band 
of the Fabii should have been allowed to take up a position at so short a 
distance from Veii, overlooking its very walls, and that they should have 
succeeded in raising a fortress here, and strengthening it with a double fosse 
and numerous towers (Dion. Hal. IX., p. 573). Dionysius says they fixed their 
camp on an abrupt and precipice-girt height on the banks of the Cremera, 
which is not far distant from the city of Veii ; a description which will 
apply to any such site between Veii and the Tiber, though scarcely to the hill 
of Isola, hardly two bow-shots from the walls. Ovid (Fast. II. 205), as well 
as Dionysius, seems to imply that their camp was between Veii and Rome, 
and Livy (II. 49) indicates a similar position, when he says, that they were 
on the frontier between the Etruscan and Roman territories, protecting the 
one from foes, and devastating the other ; and again more decidedly, when 
he asserts that the Veientes, on attacking the castle of the Fabii, were driven 
back by the Roman legions to Saxa Rubra, where they had a camp. Now, 
Saxa Rubra was on the Via Flaminia, 1 some miles distant, and it is evident 
that had Isola been the Castellum Fabiorum, the nearest place of refuge for 
the Veientes would have been their own city, and it is not to be believed 
that they could not have reached some one of its many gates even though 
attacked in flank by the Roman horse, as Livy states. The site claimed for 
the Fabian Camp by Nibby and Gell, but first indicated by Nardini (Veio 
Antico, p. 180), is on the right bank of the Cremera, near its junction with 
the Tiber, on the steep heights above the Osteria della Valchetta, and over- 
hanging the Flaminian Way, about half-way between Veii and Rome, on 
which height are still remains of ancient buildings, though not of a style 

1 Cluverius (Ital. Antiq. II.. p. 527) places 79), but from the Peutingerian Table and 

Saxa Rubra at Borghetto, ten miles from Jerusalem Itinerary, which agree in placing 

Home; Holstenhis, Cramer, and Gell, some- it on this Via, nine miles from Rome. That 

what nearer the City, at Prima Porta, five it was not far from the City is clear from 

miles from Yeii. That it was on or near Cicero (Phil. II. 31). Martial (IV., ep. 

the Flaminian Way is evident, not only from 64. 15) shows that it could be seen from 

a passage in Tacitus, "Antonius per Fla- the Janiculan, and that it was a place of 

iiiiniam ad Saxa Rubra venit " (Hist. III. small importance breres Rubras. 


which can be referred to so early a period. The Fabii could not have chosen 
a more favourable spot than this for holding the Veientes in check, because 
it dominated the whole valley of the Cremera, then the boundary, as Livy 
implies, between the Roman and Etruscan territories, protected the former 
from incursions, and also held in check the Fidenates, should they have 
rebelled and attempted to form a junction with their kinsmen of Veii. See- 
the woodcut at p. 21, made from a sketch by the author. 

The ruins on the summit of this height are of late Roman and of mediaeval 
times there is not a fragment that can be referred to the Republican era ; 
only in the face of the cliff is a sewer cut in the rock, like those on Etrus- 
can sites, showing the spot to have been inhabited at an earlier period than 
the extant remains would testify. On the height on the opposite side of the 
glen, are some Roman ruins of opus incertum, of prior antiquity. 

Neither of these eminences has more than situation to advance as a claim 
to be considered the site of the " Presidium Cremera}." If we look for an 
objection, we might suggest that the distance, six miles, from Veii, seems, 
too great, but, till a stronger claim is urged for some other site, we may be 
content to regard this as the Thermopylae of the Fabii. 




Non e il raondan romore altro ch' un fiato 

Di vento, ch' or vien quinci, eel or vien quindi, 

E muta nome, perche muta lato. DANTE. 

The noise 

Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind 
That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name 
Shifting the point it blows from. GARY. 

IT is to be regretted that so little is to be seen of the long-for- 
gotten dead of Veii. It was the largest, and, in Romulus' time,, 
the most mighty of Etruscan cities, and j r et in scarcely another 
cemetery are there so few tombs to be seen. The hills around 
the city without doubt abound in sepulchres, all hewn out of the^ 
rock according to the universal Etruscan custom, but with the 
exception of those around the hamlet of Isola, which from the 
exposure of ages have lost almost all form and character, one 
alone remains open to give the traveller an idea of the buiying- 
places of the Veientes. Yet excavations are frequently, almost 
} T early, carried forward, mostly by dealers in antiquities at Rome; 
but as lucre is their sole object they are content to rifle the 
tombs of everything convertible into cash, and cover them in 
immediately with earth. Many tombs, it is true, have no peculiar 
features nothing to redeem them from the common herd of 


sepulchres, of which, ex uno disce omnia ; but some discrimina- 
tion should be exercised as to this, and the filling up should not 
be left to caprice or convenience. Surely, among the multitude 
that have been opened, some containing treasures in gold, 
jewellery, and highly ornamented bronzes, not a few must have 
been found remarkable enough for their form or decorations to 
have demanded preservation. 

Of tumuli there is no lack, though they are not so abundant as 
at Cervetri and Corneto : some of them have been proved to be 
Roman. That on the east of the city, called La Vaccareccia, 
with its crest of trees so prominent an object in the Campagna, 
has been excavated, but without success. Like the rest, it was 
probably raised over some Lucumo or distinguished man among the 
Veientes, but whether it be the tomb of Propertius, king of Veii, 
or of Morrius, the Veientine king who instituted the Salian rites 
and dances, as Gell suggests, or of some other prince unknown to 
fame, is mere matter of conjecture. 

This tumulus is worthy of a visit for the magnificent view 
which it commands of the Campagna. There are several other 
tumuli or barrows in the valley of the Cremera below the Arx, 
and also on the heights on the right bank, which may have been 
raised over the slain in some of the bloody combats between the 
citizens and Romans during the ten years' siege, or they may be 
individual or family sepulchres. On these heights Gell thinks 
Camillus must have pitched his camp in the last siege of Veii. 
At their base is a singular archway in the rock, whether natural 
or artificial is not easy to say, called L' Arco di Pino, which, with 
its masses of yellow and grey tufo, overhung with ilices, forms a 
most picturesque object in form and colouring, and claims a place 
in the visitor's sketch-book. Several other large tumuli lie on 
the west and north of the city, and may be observed on the right 
of the modern road to Baccano. 

The solitary tomb remaining open in the necropolis of Veii was 
discovered in the winter of 184243 by the late Marchese Cam- 
pana, so well known for his unrivalled collection of Etruscan 
vases and jewellery. It is of very remarkable character, and 
has fortunately been preserved for the gratification of the traveller, 
with its furniture untouched, almost in the exact condition in 
which it was discovered. 

"When I first knew Veii, its necropolis possessed no interest ; 
though a thousand sepulchres had been excavated, not one re- 
mained open, and it was the discovery of this tomb that led me 


to turn my steps once more to the site. As I crossed the ancient 
city, I perceived that the wood which had covered the northern 
side had been cut down, so as no longer to impede the view. 
The eye wandered across the valley of the Formello, and the bare 
undulations of the necropolis opposite, away to the green mass 
of Monte Aguzzo northwards, with the conical and tufted Monte 
Musino behind it, and the village of Formello on a wooded slope 
below a wild and desolate scene, such as meets the eye from 
many a spot in the Campagna, and to which the baying of the 
sheep-dogs in the valley beneath me, and the sharp shriek of the 
falcon wheeling above my head, formed a harmonious accompani- 
ment and yet, whether from the associations connected with 
this region, or the elevating effect of the back-ground of glorious 
Apennines, it is a wildness that charms a desolation that, to me 
at least, yields a delight such as few scenes of cultivated beauty 
can impart. From this point I descried the site of the tomb, in 
a hill on the other side of the valley of the Formello, where deep 
furrows on the slopes marked recent excavations. 

The tomb, in compliment to its discoverer, has been termed 


Half way up the slope of a mound, the Poggio Michele, is a 
long passage, about six feet wide, cut through the rock towards 
the centre of the hill. At the entrance on each side crouches 
a stone lion, of that quaint, singular style of sculpture, that 
ludicrously clumsy form, which the antiquary recognises as the 
conventional mode among Etruscan sculptors of representing the 
king of beasts. At the further end of the passage crouch two 
similar lions, one on each side of the door of the tomb all 
intended as figurative guardians of the sepulchre. 8 The passage 

8 Ingliirami (Mon. Etrus. I., p. 2 1C) re- Thus, Solomon set lions around his throne 

jects this notion, on the ground that they (1 Kings X., 19, 20), and the Egyptians and 

could not frighten violators, who, if they Hindoos placed them at the entrance of their 

had overcome their dread of the avenging temples. That they were at a very early 

Manes, so as to attempt to plunder a period used by the Greeks as figurative 

sepulchre, would not be deterred by mere guardians, is proved by the celebrated gate 

figures in stone. But he argues from a of Mycense. The monuments of Lycia, now 

modern point of view, and does not allow in the British Museum, and the tombs of 

for the effect of such palpable symbols of Phrygia, delineated by Steuart (Ancient 

vengeful wrath, upon the superstitious Monuments of Lydia and Phrygia), show 

minds of the ancients. Figures pf lions, as this animal in a similar relation to sepul- 

images of power, and to inspire dread, are chres; and moreover establish a strong point 

of very ancient use, and quite oriental. of analogy between Etruria and the East. 
VOL. i. D 


[CHAP. ii. 

is of ancient formation, and has merely been cleared out by the 
spade of the excavator. 

The door, of which the custode keeps the key, is a modern 
addition the ancient one, which was a slab of stone, having 
been broken to pieces by former excavators ; for it is rare to find 
an Etruscan tomb which has escaped the spoilers of every previous 
age, though the earliest riders, after carrying off the precious 

metals and jewellery, often left every other article, even the most 
beautiful vases, untouched. It is a moment of excitement, this 
the first peep within an Etruscan painted tomb ; and if this be 
the first the visitor has beheld, he will find food enough for 
wonderment. He enters a low, dark chamber, hewn out of the 
rock, whose dull greyish hue adds to the gloom. He catches 
an imperfect glance of several jars of great size, and smaller pieces 
of crockery and bronze, lying on benches or standing on the floor, 
but he heeds them not, for his eye is at once riveted on the 
extraordinary paintings on the inner wall of the tomb, facing the 
entrance. Were there ever more strangely devised, more 
grotesquely designed figures ? was there ever such a harlequin 
scene as this. Here is a horse with legs of most undesirable 
length and tenuity, chest and quarters far from meagre, but barrel 
pinched in like a lady's waist. His colour is not to be told in a 
word as Lord Tolumnius' chestnut colt, or Mr. C. Vibenna's bay 



gelding. His neck and fore-hand are red, with yellow spots his 
head black mane and tail yellow hind- quarters and near leg 
black near fore-leg corresponding with his body, but off-legs 
yellow, spotted with red. His groom is naked, and his skin is of 
a deep-red hue. A boy of similar complexion bestrides the horse ; 
and another man precedes him, bearing a hammer, or, it may be, 
a liipennis, or double-headed axe, upon his shoulder ; while on the 

croup crouches a tailless cat or dog, parti-coloured like the steed, 
with one paw familiarly resting on the boy's shoulder. Another 
beast, similar in character, but with the head of a dog, stands 
beneath the horse. This is but one scene, and occupies a band 
about three feet deep, or the upper half of the wall. 

In the baud below is a sphinx, standing, not crouching, as is 
usual on ancient Egyptian monuments, with a red face and 
bosom, spotted with white straight black hair, depending behind 
wings short, with curling tips, and striped black, red, and yellow 
body, near hind-leg and tail of the latter colour, near fore-leg 
black, and off-legs like the bosom. A panther, or large animal 
of the feline species, sits behind, rampant, with one paw on the 
haunch, the other on the tail of the sphinx ; and beneath the 
latter is an ass, or it may be a deer, of smaller size than the pan- 
ther. Both are painted in the same curious parti-colours as 
those already described. 

D 2 


[CHAP. it. 

On the opposite side of the doorway (for there is a door in 
this wall, opening into an inner chamber), in the upper band, is a 
horse, with a boy on his back, and a " spotted pard " behind 
him sitting on the ground. In the lower band is another similar 
beast of great size, with his tongue lolling out and a couple of 
dogs beneath him. All these quadrupeds are of the same curious 
patchwork of red, yellow, and black. 9 

To explain the signification of these figures I pretend not. 
In quaintness and peculiarity of form they strongly resemble the 

animals represented on the vases of the most archaic style, and 
like them had probably some mystic or symbolic import ; but who 
shall now interpret them ? who shall now read aright the hand- 
writing on these walls ? Panthers are frequently introduced into 
the painted tombs of Etruria, as figurative guardians of the dead, 
being probably sacred to Mantus, the Hades of the Etruscans. 
The boys on horseback I take to be emblematical of the passage 
of the soul into another state of existence, as is clearly the case 
in many cinerary urns of later date ; and the figure with the 
hammer is probably intended for the Charon of the Etruscans. 
There is nothing of an Egyptian character in the faces of the 
men, as in some of the oldest monuments of Etruria, where the 
figures have more or less of the Egyptian physiognomy, according 

9 These harlequin figures are not unique. 
They have been found also in a painted 
tomb at Cervetri, and to a lesser extent 

are to be seen in the tombs of Tarquinii, 
where, however, they cannot pretend to so 
high an antiquity. 


to their degree of antiquity. The features here on the contrary 
are very rudely drawn, and quite devoid of any national pecu- 
liarity, seeming rather like untutored efforts to portray the 
human face divine. 1 Indeed, in this particular, as well as in the 
uncouth representations of flowers interspersed with the figures, 
and of the same parti-coloured hues, there is a great resemblance 
to the paintings on early Doric vases nor would it be difficult 
to find points of analogy with Assyrian reliefs on the one hand, 
and with Mexican paintings on the other. The sphinx, though 
with an Egyptian coiffure, has none of that character in other 
respects, for the Egyptians never represented this chimsera with 
wings, nor of so attenuated a form. The land of the Nile how- 
ever may be seen in the ornamental border of lotus-flowers, 
emblematical of immortality, which surmounts the figures. 

On either side of this tomb, and projecting from the walls, is 
a bench of rock about two feet and a half high, on each of which, 
when the tomb was opened, lay a skeleton ; but exposure to the 
air caused them very soon to crumble to dust. One of these 
had been a warrior, and on the right-hand bench you still see 
portions of the breast-plate, and the helmet entire, which once 
encased his remains. Observe the helmet it is a plain bronze 
casque of the simplest form. On one side of it is a hole, which 
seems by the indentation of the metal to have been caused by a 
hard blow. Turn the casque about and you will observe on the 
opposite side a gash, evidently formed by the point of a sword 
or lance from within ; proving this to have been the fatal wound 
which deprived the wearer of life. 

" Through teeth and skull and helmet 

So fierce a thrust was sped, 
The good sword stood a hand-breadth out 
Behind the Tuscan's head." 

On the same bench you see the iron head, much corroded, and 
the bronze rest of a spear it may be the very weapon which 
inflicted the death-wound. And how long since may that be ? 
If it were not subsequent to the decorations of the tomb and 
the fact of this warrior being laid out on one of the rock-hewn 
benches, goes far to prove him one of its earliest occupants it 
must have been in very remote antiquit} T . The most untutored 
eye can perceive at a glance that the paintings belong to a very 
early age of the world. After having carefully studied every 

1 The wooclcut on p. 34 fails to give the strange rudeness of the features. 



[CHAP. ir. 

other painted tomb now open in Etruria, I have not a moment's 
hesitation in asserting, that this is in point of antiquity pre- 
eminent ; and, I believe, that few other tombs in Italy, though 
unpainted, have any claim to be considered anterior to it. Its 
great antiquity is confirmed \)y its contents, all of which are of 
the most archaic character. Campana was of opinion that if it 
did not precede the foundation of Rome it was at least coeval 
with that event. I am not inclined to assign to it an inferior 
antiquity. 2 The wall within the doorway is built up with masonry 
of very rude character, uncemented, belonging to an age prior to 
the invention of the arch ; for the door is formed of blocks gra- 
dually converging towards the top, as in the oldest European 
architecture extant in the style of the Cyclopean gateways of 
Greece and Italy those mysteries of unknown antiquity. On 
one side of the door indeed there is some approximation to the 
arch cuneiform blocks like voussoirs, and one also in the place 
of a key-stone; but if this be not mere accident, as might be 
supposed from the blocks not holding together as in a true arch, 
it shows merely a transition period, when, though somewhat of 

2 It is now universally admitted that 
the decorations of this tomb are the earliest 
works yet known of Etruscan wall -paint- 
ing. It is more easy, however, to deter- 
mine their relative antiquity, than to fix 
their precise date. Though there are 
features unquestionably oriental, there is 
here no imitation of the Egyptian, all is 
genuinely national, and characteristic of 
the primitive Etruscan school. 

Dr. Helbig, of the Archaeological Institute 
of Rome, says of these paintings, ' ' The 
design is rude, and shows a want of deci- 
sion almost childish. The bodies of the 
beasts are all out of proportion. The 
artist could not express the finer parts of 
the human form, such as the fingers, and 
the eye, which is represented without a 
pupil, and in two of the figures is out of 
its proper place ; nor in the countenances 
is there any variety of form and expression. 
The influence of archaic Greek art is clearly 
distinguishable. The bodies of the men 
are delineated according to the same laws 
of style which we find in the Corinthian 
and Attic vases." Ann. Inst. 1863, 
pp. 337341. Dr. H. Brunn, of Munich, 
cannot admit that these paintings show 
the true archaic Greek style, and is of 
opinion that the rudeness and defects of 

the design, which he would ascribe rather 
to the u nskilf ulness of the individual artist, 
than to the imperfect development of the 
art, give them an appearance of higher 
antiquity than really belongs to them. He 
does not, however, dispute that they are 
the earliest works of pictorial art yet 
discovered in Etruria. Ann. Inst. 1866, 
p. 418. 

Few painted tombs have been discovered 
in Greece. One in the island of .ZEgina has 
only four figures sketched in charcoal on the 
walls of rock, representing a Bacchic 
dance. The style is free and masterly. 
Several painted tombs also have been found 
at Paestum, a few at Cyrene in Libya, and 
some also in Lycia, Pausanias (VII. c. 22) 
describes one near the city of Tritsea, 
painted by Nicias, the Athenian. " On 
an ivory chair sits a young woman of great 
beauty ; before her stands a maid-servant, 
holding an umbrella, and a youth quite 
beardless is standing by, clad in a tunic 
and a purple chlamys over it, and by him 
stands a slave with some javelins in his 
hand, leading dogs such as are used by 
hunters. We were not able to divine their 
names ; but we all alike conjectured that 
here a husband and wife were interred in 
the same sepulchre." 



the principle of the arch was comprehended, it was not brought 
to perfection. Now as there is every reason to believe that the 
arch was known to, and practised by, the Etruscans at a very 
early period, prior to the reign of the Tarquins, when the Cloaca} 
of Rome were constructed, it is obvious that the masonry in this 
tomb indicates a very high antiquity. 

The skeleton on the other bench was probably that of the wife 
of this warrior, as no weapons or armour were found on the couch. 
But these were not the sole occupants of 
the tomb. The large jars on the floor were 
found to contain human ashes, probably of 
the dependents of the family ; if so, they 
would indicate that, among the Etruscans 
of that age, to bury was more honourable 
than to burn or at least they prove that 
both modes of sepulture were practised at 
a very early period. There are four of 
these jars (see the annexed woodcut), about 
three feet high, of dark brown earthenware, 
and ornamented with patterns in relief or 
colours ; also several smaller jars of quaint, 
squat form, with archaic figures painted in CINERARY JAR, GROTTA 
the earliest style of Greek art, representing CAMPANA. 

in one instance a dance of Bacchanals. 3 A 

bronze pr&fericulum or ewer, and a light candelabrum of very 
simple form, stand on the bench, by the warrior's helmet. 
Several bronze specclg, or mirrors, and small figures of men 

3 This is some of the earliest painted 
pottery of Veil, and is very similar to that 
found at Caere. That of purely Etruscan 
manufacture, peculiar to Veii, consists of 
vases and jars of similar description, of 
plain black or brown ware, but with figures 
scratched upon the clay when wet, or else 
moulded in very low relief. Such plain 
ware is the most abundant on this site ; 
painted vases are comparatively rare. 
Those in the archaic style with animals 
and chimseras are sometimes of extraor- 
dinary size, larger than any Panathenaic 
vases. There are also some with black 
figures in the archaic style, and even with 
red figures on a black ground, sometimes of 
a noble simplicity ; yet, in spite of the 
beauty of conception and design, the ri- 
gidity and severity of the early school are 

never wholly lost. We may hence infer that 
vase-painting had not reached its per- 
fection when Veii was captured. This is 
a fact worthy of attention as tending to 
fix the era of the art. For as Veii was 
taken in the year of Home 358, and re- 
mained uninhabited and desolate till the 
commencement of the Empire, we have 
sure grounds for ascribing all the pottery 
found in its tombs to a period prior to 39t> 

For a description of the vases of Veii, 
see " Descrizione de' Vasi dell* Isola 
Farnese, &c. , di Secondiano Campanari, 
Roma, 1839," with a review of the same 
in Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. 1216. Also 
Micali, Mon. Ined., p. 156, et seq. tav. 
XXVII. ; and p. 242, tav. XLI. 



[CHAP. n. 

or gods in terra- cotta, and of animals in amber, were also found 
in the tomb. 

Of similar description is the furniture of the inner and smaller 
chamber. The ceiling has two beams carved in relief ; showing 
that even at a very early period Etruscan tombs were imita- 
tions of the abodes of the living. A low ledge of rock runs round 
three sides of the chamber, and on it stand as many square 
cinerary urns or chests of earthenware, about eighteen inches 
long and a foot high, each with an overhanging lid, and a man's 
head projecting from it, as if for a handle ; probably intended 
for a portrait of him whose ashes are stored in the urn 4 (see the 
annexed woodcut). On the same ledge are 
eight tall jars, some plain, others painted 
banded red and yellow. Two stand in pans 
of terra-cotta, with a rim of animals of 
archaic form, beautifully executed in relief. 
There are other smaller jars or vases, all 
probably of cinerary character. In the cen- 
tre of the apartment stands a low brazier 
of bronze, nearly two feet in diameter ; 
which must have served for burning per- 
fumes to destroy the effluvium of the 


CAMPAKA. sepulchre. 

The walls of this inner chamber are un- 

painted, save opposite the doorway, where six disks or " crowns," 
as* Campana calls them, are represented as suspended. They 

4 Such urns as this are almost the only 
specimens yet found of the fictile statuary 
for which Veii was of old renowned, 
though a few antefixce and decorated tiles 
have been brought to light. The fictile 
quadriga made at Veii by order of Tar- 
quinius Superbus was, like the Palladium, 
one of the seven sacred things, on the 
preservation of which the power and safety 
of Home were believed to depend the 
others being, Cybele's needle, the ashes 
of Orestes, Priam's sceptre, Ilione's veil, 
and the Salian bucklers. Serv. ad /En. 
VII. 188. The legend of the quadriga is 
worth recording. Tarqiiin had bespoken 
one or more such cars of earthenware to 
adorn the pediment of his new temple on 
the Capitoline, according to the Etruscan 
fashion in architecture ; but the clay, 
nstead of shrinking as usual, swelled so as 

to burst the mould, and not to be extracted 
from the furnace ; and the Etruscan sooth- 
sayers interpreting this as betokening in- 
crease of dominion to the possessor, the 
chariot was retained at Yeii. Shortly after, 
however, a chariot-race was held at this 
city, and the victor having received his 
crown was leaving the arena, when his 
horses suddenly took fright, and dashed off 
at full speed towards Home ; nor did they 
stop till they arrived at the foot of the 
Capitol, where they threw out and killed 
their driver at the gate, afterwards called 
from his name, Ratumena. Whereon the 
Veientes, terrified at this second portent, 
gave up the earthen quadriga to the 
Romans. Plut. Publicola. Festus v. Ra- 
tumena. Plin. H. K VIII. 65. XXVIII. 
4. XXXV. 45. 


are fifteen inches in diameter, and are painted with a mosaic- 
work of various colours, black, blue, red, yellow, and grey, in 
such small fragments, and with such an arrangement, as if they 
were copies of some kaleidoscopic effect. They are too small for 
shields ; and the whole disk being filled with colour, precludes 
the idea of crowns or chaplets. They were probably intended for 
paterce or drinking-bowls, and the colour may indicate some st} T le 
of ornamentation of which no examples have come down to us. 5 
Above them are many stumps of iron nails, formerly supporting 
vases, the originals, it may be, of these painted disks ; and 
around the door between the two chambers are many similar 
traces of nails. It was a common custom to suspend vessels, 
and jugs of terra-cotta or bronze in this manner in Etruscan 
tombs ; but, as no fragments of such were found at the foot of 
the wall, it is probable that something of a more perishable 
nature, or so valuable as to have been removed by previous 
spoilers, was here suspended. 

At the entrance of this double-chambered tomb, and opening 
on the same passage, is another small tomb, evidently an appen- 
dage to the family- vault, and apparently of more recent formation. 
It is the porter's lodge to this mansion of the dead and not 
metaphorically so, for Etruscan tombs being generally imitations 
of houses, the analogy may be concluded to hold throughout ; and 
these small chambers, of which there are often two, one on each 
side of the ostium, or doorwa} r , answer to the cellulce janitoris, 
or ostiarii not here within the entrance, as usual in Roman 
houses, but just outside janitor ante fores and it is highly 
probable that the lions here found were in place of the dog 
in domestic houses custos liminis Cave canem ! Here were 
probably interred the slaves of the family, who were fre- 
quently buried at the doors of their masters' sepulchres. This 
little chamber has a bench of rock on one side, on which are 
rudely carved the legs of a couch, with a hypopodium or long 
low stool beneath it; representing respectively the banqueting- 
couch and accompanying stool, so often pictured on the 
walls of Etruscan tombs. The body was probably extended 
on its rocky bier without coffin or sarcophagus. No vestiges 
of it, or of its habiliments, now remain nothing beyond sundry 
small articles of pottery, perfume-vases, drinking-cups, plates, 

5 The analogy of a phiala with similar Corneto, leaves no doubt that these disks 
decorations, depicted in the hands of a were intended to represent drinking-cups. 
banqueter in the Grotta della Pulcella, at 


bowls, and bronze mirrors the usual furniture of Etruscan 

The rock out of which these tombs are hewn is not tufo, but 
an arenaceous clay, of greyish-brown hue, indurating by exposure 
to the aii\ This is a fair specimen of the Etruscan tombs found 
at Veii, though in general they have not more than a single 
chamber. Sometimes they are formed with a rounded, sometimes 
with a gabled ceiling, always alike hewn out of the rock. 

One peculiarity of this sepulchre remains to be noticed. In 
most Etruscan tombs there is some inscription, either on sar- 
cophagus, or um, on cippus, or tile, or it may be on the inner 
walls, or external facade ; but to whom this belonged, no epitaph, 
no inscription whatever, remains to inform us. Here was interred 
some bold but unfortunate chieftain, some Veientine Lucumo, not 
less brave, not less worthy, it may be, of having his name pre- 
served, than Achilles, Ulysses, ./Eneas, or half the heroes of 
antiquity ; but he had no bard of fame to immortalise his deeds. 

" Vain was the chief's, the hero's pride ! 
He had no poet and he died ; 
In vain he fought, in vain he bled ! 
He had no poet and is dead." 

More than this we know not of him. His deeds may have been 
sung by some native Homer some compatriot may have chronicled 
his valour with the elegance and poetic fire of a Li\y, or the 
dignified pen of a Tacitus, but they and their works have alike 
perished with him. It might be that his renown was so great 
that it was deemed a vain thing to raise a monumental stone his 
deeds spoke for him they were such as his friends and admiring 
countrymen fondly imagined could never die ; so they laid him 
out on his rocky bier, fresh, it would seem, from the battle-field, 
with his battered panoply for a shroud, and there 

" They left him alone with his glory." 

rum a Hketcii by Ji. }>' 




.... tot vacuas urbes ! LUCAN. 

Revolving, as we rest on the green turf, 

The changes from that hour when He from Troy 

Went up the Tiber. ROGERS. 

IF from Yeii the traveller follow the course of the Cremera for 
five or six miles it will lead him to the Tiber, of which it is a 
tributary. In the cliffs of the lonely but beautiful ravine through 
which it flows he will observe in several places sepulchral caves, 
particularly at the end nearer Yeii ; and on reaching the mouth 
of the glen, he will have, on the right, the ruin-capt heights which 
are supposed by Xibby and Gell to have been the site of the 
Castle of the Fabii. 

Exactly opposite the mouth of this glen, and on the other 
bank of the Tiber, rises the hill which was once crowned by the 
city of Fidena?. This, though beyond the bounds of Etruria 
Proper, being on the left bank of the Tiber, was an Etruscan 
city, 1 and in all probability a colony of Veii ; for Livy speaks 
of the consanguinity of the inhabitants of the two cities, though 

1 Liv. I. 15. Strab. V., p. 226. Plutarch (Romul.) says Fideuae was claimed by VeiL 

44 FIDEKE. [CHAP. in. 

some writers assign to it a Latin origin. 2 It seems at least to have 
been dependent on Veii, and was frequently associated with her 
in opposition to Rome. Its history, indeed, save that on several 
occasions it fell into the hands of the Romans, is almost identical 
with that of Yeii. 

The traveller who Avould visit the site of Fidenae had better do 
so from Rome ; for unless, like Cassius, he be prepared to 

" leap into the angry flood 
And swim to yonder point," 

he will find no means of crossing " the troubled Tyber ; " and 
rapid and turbulent is the current at this point, as it was in 
ancient times. 3 It is but a short excursion only five miles 
from Rome, and the road lies across a very interesting part of the 
Campagna. There are indeed two roads to it. One, the carnage 
road, runs direct from the Porta Salara, and follows the line of 
the ancient Via Salaria. But the traveller on foot or horseback 
should quit the Eternal City by the Porta del Popolo, and leaving 
the Florence road on the left, take the path to the Acqua Acetosa. 
Here a green hill one of those bare, square table-lands, so com- 
mon in the Campagna rises on the right. Ascend it where a 
broad furrow in the slope seems to mark the line of an ancient 
road. You are on a plateau, almost quadrangular in form, rising 
steeply to the height of nearly two hundred feet above the Tiber, 
and isolated, save at one angle where it is united to other high 
ground by a narrow isthmus. Not a tree not a shrub on its turf- 
grown surface not a house not a ruin not one stone upon 
another, to tell you that the site had been inhabited. Yet here 
once stood Antemnas, the city of many towers turrigerse An- 
temnfe/ one of the most ancient of Italy. 

-Antemnaque prisco 

Crustumio prior. 5 

2 Dionysius (II., p. 116) says that ordinary confusion between the Tuscans and 

Fidente was originally a colony of Alba, Tyrrhenes. Miiller (Etrus. Einl. 2. 14) 

formed at the same time as Nomentum thinks there must have been in the 

and Crustumeria. Virgil, /En. VI. 773. population of Fidena* the same three 

Steph, Byz. sub voce. Solinus (Polyhistor, elements as in that of Home Etruscans, 

II., p. 13) says it was settled by Ascanius Latins, and Sabines. Livy (I. 27) makes 

himself. According to Plutarch (Uomul.), it clear that the native language of the 

Fidenos, in the time of Romulus, was Fidenates was not Latin, 

possessed by the Sabines. Niebuhr (II., 3 Dionysius (III. p. 165) notices this fact, 

p. 45?, trans.) thinks the Fidenates were 4 Virg. .2En. VII. 631. 

originally Tyrrheni, and that when Livy Sil. Ital. VIII. 37. cf. Dion. Hal. 

calls them Etruscans, it is through the II., p. 103. 


Not a trace remains above ground. Even the broken potteiy, 
that infallible indicator of bygone civilisation, which marks the 
site and determines the limits of habitation on many a now deso- 
late spot of classic ground, is here so overgrown with herbage 
that the eye of an antiquary would alone detect it. It is a site 
strong by nature, and well adapted for a city, as cities then were ; 
for it is scarcely larger than the Palatine Hill, which, though at 
first it embraced the whole of Eome was afterwards too small for 
a single palace. It has a peculiar interest as the site of one of 
the three cities of Sabina, whose daughters, ravished by the 
followers of Romulus, became the mothers of the Roman race. 6 
Antemnse was the nearest city to Rome only three miles distant 
and therefore must have suffered most from the inhospitable 
violence of the Romans. 

It was a bright spring morning when I first visited the spot. 
All Rome was issuing from its gates to witness the meeting of 
the huntsmen at the tomb of Crecilia Metella. Shades of Flaccus 
and Juvenal ! can ye rest amid the clangour of these modern 
Circenses ? Doth not the earth weigh heavy on your ashes, 
when "savage Britons," whom ye were wont to see "led in 
chains down the Sacred AVay," flaunt haughtily among your 
hearths and altars ? when, spurning the sober pleasures of 
the august and solemn city, in the pride of their wealth and 
power, they startle all Rome from its propriety by races 
and fox-lmiits, awakening unwonted echoes among the old 
sepulchres of the Appian Way, and the ruined aqueducts of the 
Campagna ? 

Here, beyond the echo of the tally-ho, I lay down on the green 
sward and gave myself up to enjoyment. Much Avas there to 
afford delight the brightness and beauty of the scene the clear 
blue sky the genial warmth of the sun, by no means oppres- 
sive, but just giving a foretaste of his summer's might there 
was the interest of this and other sites around and there was 
Livy in my hand. No one can thoroughly enjoy Italy without 
him for a companion. There are a thousand sites and scenes 
which might be passed by without interest, but which, once 
touched by the wand of this magician, rise immediately into life 
and beauty. Be he more of a romancer than historian I care 
not ; but piize him as among the first of Roman poets. To 
read him thus, reclining on the sunny sward, with all the influ- 

6 Liv. I. 9, 10; Dionys. II., p. 101 ; Plut. Roruul. The other two were Csenina 
and Grustumium. 

40 FIDEN^J. [CHAP. in. 

ences of nature congenial, and amid the scenes he has described, 
was perfect luxury. 
Here no sound 

Conf usoi sonus urbis et illietabile murmur 

told of the proximity of the cit} r . Rome seldom, save on great 
festive occasions, raises her voice audibly. Never does she roar 
tempestuously like London, nor buzz and rustle like Paris or 
Naples at the most she utters what Carlyle would call, " an 
inarticulate slumberous mumblement." 

" The City's voice itself is soft, like Solitude's." 

She is verily more " blessed " in the want than in the possession 
of the " noise and smoke " of Horace's time. 

Omitte mirari beatae 

Fumum et opes strepitumque Romce. 

Far beneath me, at the foot of the steep cliff which bounds 
Antemnse to the north, flowed the Anio, not here the "head- 
long" stream it shows itself at Tivoli, and higher up its course/ 
but gliding soberly along to lose itself in the Tiber. 8 Beyond 
it, stretched a long level tract of meadow-land, dotted with 
cattle ; and, bounding this, a couple of miles or more distant, 
rose another eminence crested by some building and jutting out 
from the adjoining heights till it almost overhung the Tiber. 
This was Castel Giubileo, the site of the ancient Fidenee. On 
the low hills to the right, Romulus, when at war with that city, 
laid his successful ambush. 9 But in the intervening plain was 
fought the desperate conflict between the Romans and the allied 
forces of the Veientes and Fidenates, in the reign of Tullus 
Hostilius. With Livy's vivid page before me, it required little 
imagination to people the scene anew, and to picture the Romans 
encamped at the confluence of the streams at my feet, and the 
army of Veil crossing the Tiber, and joining the troops of Fidense 
in yonder plain. Tullus Hostilius marches his forces along the 
Tiber to the encounter. Mettus Fuffetius, his ally, the leader 

7 " Prseceps Anio." Hor. I. Od. 7, qui Anio influit in Tiberim." cf. Servius 
13. Statius, Silv. I., 5, 25. (ad Mn. VII. 631) and Festus (v. Am- 

8 Varro (de Ling. Lat. V. 28) says the nenses). 

name of the city was derived from its 9 Liv. I. 14. Dion. Hal. II., p. 117. 

position. "Antemnaj, quod ante amnem Plut. Romul. Frontin. Strat. II. 5. 1. 


of the Albans, meditating treachery, and willing to throw his 
weight into the heavier scale, is creeping up the hills on the 
right, where with his array he remains a spectator of the combat, 
till fortune befriends the Komans. Here I see the Fidenates 
flying back to defend their city; and there the Veientes are 
driven into the Tiber, or cut down in numbers on its banks. 
And I shudder to behold in imagination the terrible vengeance 
inflicted by the victorious Roman upon his treacherous ally. 1 

On the same field was fought many a bloody fight between 
the Romans and Etruscans. Here, in the } r ear of Rome 317, 
the Fidenates, with their allies of Veii and Falerii, were again 
defeated, and Lars Tolumnius, chief of the Veientes, was slain. 2 
And a few years later, Mamilius JEmilius and Cornelius Cossus, 
the heroes of the former fight, routed the same foes in the same 
plain, and captured the city of Fideme. 3 Here too, Annibal 
pitched his camp when he marched from Capua to surprise the 
City. 4 

I turned to the right, and there, at the foot of the hill, the 
Ponte Salaro, a venerable relic of antiquity, spanned the Anio. 
It may be the identical structure which, in the year of Rome 
393, was the scene of many a fierce encounter between the 
Romans and Gauls encamped on opposite banks of the stream, 
and on which Manlius Torquatus did combat with the gigantic 
Celt who had defied the Roman host, and like another David, 
smote his Goliath to the dust. 5 

I turned to the left, and the ruins on the further bank of the 
Tiber marked the supposed site of the Castle of the Fabii ; 
nearer still several crumbling towers indicated the course -of the 
Flaminian Way ; and yon cave at the base of a cliff was the cele- 
brated tomb of the Nasones. Further down the Tiber was the 
Ponte Molle, the scene of Constantine's battle with Maxentius, 
and of the miracle of the flaming cross. On every hand was 
some object attracting the eye by its picturesque beauty, or 
exciting the mind to the contemplation of the past. 

The Ponte Salaro is on the line of the ancient Via Salaria, the 
high road to Fidenae. It is a very fine bridge, of three arches ; 
the central one, eighty feet in span, and about thirty above the 

1 Liv. I. 27, 28. cf. Dion. Hal. III., 3 Liv. IV. 32, 33, 34. 
p. 161172. Flor. I. 3. Val. Max. 4 Liv. XXVI. 10. 

VII. 4. 1. Ennius, Ann. II. 30, et seq. 5 Liv. VII. 9, 10. Serv. ad .En. VI. 

A. Viet., Vir. 111., IV. 825. Aul. Gell. IX. 13. cf. Dio Cassius, 

2 Liv. IV. 17, 18, 19. Excerp. Mai, torn. II. p. 530. 

Height of Castel 


Ancient sower. 
Cutting in the 

Sites of the Gates. 



stream ; the side ones stilted, and not more than twelve feet in 
span. The structure is faced with .travertine ; but this indicates 
the repairs made by Narses in the sixth century after Christ ; 
the original masonry, which is uncovered in parts, is of tufo, 
in the Etruscan style, and may possibly be of Etruscan con- 
struction ; as it may be presumed were many of the public edifices 
of Rome and her territory for the first few centuries of her 
existence. Its masonry is rusticated, and in the arrangement 
and dimensions of the blocks precisely similar to that of the 
ancient walls at Sutri, Nepi, Civita Castellana, Bieda and other 
Etruscan sites in the southern district of the land. 6 

Just beyond the bridge is an osteria, in what was once a Roman 
sepulchre, where he who foots it to Fidenre may refresh himself 
with decent wine. The road runs through the meadows for a 
couple of miles to Castel Giubileo. In the low hills to the right 
are caves, which have been tombs. Just before Fidense, at a 
bend in the road, stands the Villa Spada, the height above which 
is supposed to be the site of the Villa of Phaon, the scene of 
Nero's suicide. 

The first indications of the ancient city are in the cliffs on 
the right of the road, in which are remains of tombs with niches, 
and a sewer, all excavated in the rock beneath the city-walls 
walls, I say, but none exist, and the outline of the city is to be 
traced only by the character of the ground and the extent of the 
fragments of pottery. The height above the tombs bears these 
unequivocal traces of bygone habitation ; and at certain parts on 
the edge of the cliffs are remains of opus inccrtum, probably of 
some Roman villa. The hill of Castel Giubileo, on the other 
hand, has also formed part of the cit} r , and its steep, lofty, and 
isolated character leaves little room to doubt that here was the 
Arx of Fidenre. A farm-house now crests its summit, raised to 
that elevation for protection, not from man's attack, but from 
a more insidious foe, the malaria of the Campagna. The ancient 
Via Salaria, whose course the modern road follows, passed 
between these two eminences, as does the railroad, that is, 
through the very heart of Fidenre. In the cliff beneath the 
farm-house is another tomb. The whole face of the steep, when 
I first visited it, was frosted over with the bloom of wild pear- 
trees, and tinted with the flowers of the Judas-tree 

6 This bridge was blown up in 1867, portion now remaining of the ancient 
when Garibaldi was threatening Rome, and structure, 
has been rebuilt, the piers being the only 

VOL. I. E 

50 FIDEN^J. [CHAP. in. 

" One white empurpled shower 
Of mingled blossoms." 

Had the whole of the city been comprehended on this height, 
it would be easy to understand Livy's description; "the cit)v 
lofty and well-fortified, could not be taken by assault ; " 7 but as. 
it also covered the opposite eminence, the walls which united them 
must have descended in two places, almost to the level of the 
plain. These were the vulnerable points of Fidenae, and to them 
was perhaps owing its frequent capture. It seems probable, from 
the nature of the position, that the earliest town was confined to 
the height of Castel Giubileo. Yet, in this case, Fidenae would 
scarcely answer the description of Dionysius, who says, " it was 
a great and populous city " in the time of Romulus. 8 This was 
doubtless meant in a comparative sense, in reference to the neigh- 
bouring towns. Fidenae, however, could never have been of great 
size or importance. It was little more than two miles in circuit. 
Its vicinity to and frequent contests with Rome gave it a pro- 
minence in history, to which, from its inferior size and power, it 
was hardly entitled. 

Making the circuit of Castel Giubileo, you are led round till 
you meet the road, where it issues from the hollow at the 
northern angle of the city. 9 Besides the tombs which are found 
on both sides of the southern promontory of the city, there is 
a cave, running far into the rock, and branching off into several 
chambers and passages. Fidenae, like Veii, is said to have been 
taken by a mine ; l and this cave might be supposed to indicate 
the spot, had not Livy stated that the cimicuhts was on the 
opposite side of Fidenae, where the cliffs were loftiest, and that 
it was carried into the Arx. 

The chief necropolis of Fidenae was probably on the heights to 
the north-east, called Poggio de' Sette Bagni, where are a number 
of caves ; and here, also, are traces of quarries, perhaps those of 
the soft rock for which Fidenae was famed in ancient times. 2 

The ruin of Fidenae is as complete as that of Antemnae. The 
hills on which it stood are now bare and desolate ; the shepherd 
tends his flocks on its slopes, or the plough furrows its bosom. 
Its Avails have utterly disappeared ; not one stone remains on 

7 Liv. IV. 22. more expressly by Livy (IV. 22). 

8 Dion. Hal. II., p. llfi. ' Liv. loc. cit. Dionysius (III., p. 180) 

9 This is tlie steepest and most ini- mentions a prior capture of Fidenze by 
pregnable side of Fidense, and as such is Ancus Martins by means of a cunicvlus. 
referred to by Dionysius (V., p. 310), and - Vitruv. II. 7. Plin. XXXVI. 48. 


another, and the broken pottery and the tombs around are the 
sole evidences of its existence. Yet, as Nibby observes, " few 
ancient cities, of which few or no vestiges remain, have had the 
good fortune to have their sites so well determined as Fidenas." 
Its distance of forty stadia, or five miles from Rome, mentioned 
by Dionysius, 3 and its position relative to Veil, to the Tiber, and 
to the confluence of the Anio with that stream, as set forth by 
Livy, 4 leave not a doubt of its true site. 

The history of Fidenre is a series of struggles with Rome, of 
captures and rebellions, if the efforts of a people to free them- 
selves from a foreign and unwelcome yoke may be thus designated. 
We have no less than eight distinct captures of it recorded. 5 Livy 
sneeringly remarks, "it was almost more often captured than 
attacked." It was first taken by Romulus, and by him made a 
Roman colony; and such it continued, save at intervals when it 
threw off the yoke, till its final capture and destruction in the 
year of Rome 328. 7 Its destruction was an act of policy on the 
part of Rome. She had experienced so much annoyance from the 
towns in her immediate neighbourhood, especially from Fidense, 
which she had subdued again and again, and re-colonised Avith 
Romans, but which, from the hostility of the Etruscan inhabi- 
tants, was ever a thorn in her side, that to rid herself of these 
foes at her very gates, she destroyed or suffered to fall into decay 
Fidense, Antemna?, Veii, and other towns of the Campagna. 
The destruction of Fidenae was complete, and in after ages its 
desolation became a bye-word. 

Gabiis desertior atque 
Fidenis vicus. s 

Yet its site seems to have been inhabited in the time of Cicero, 
and still later it was a village, or more probably only the site of 
some private villa. 1 Under the Empire it seems to have risen in 

3 Dion. Hal. II., p. 11C; III., p. 167 ; neighbouring people, suddenly rising, and 
and X. , p. 648. Strabo V., p. 230. striking such terror into the Romans, that 

4 Liv. I. 14, 27; IV., 17, 21, 31, 32, they commemorated the event ever after by 
33, 34; see also Dionysius III. pp. 165, a public festival on the Nones of July, called 
181,191,193. "Poimlifugia" or " Poplifugia." Varro 

5 See the Appendix to this Chapter. de L. L. VI. 18. Macrob. Saturn. III. 2. 

6 Liv. IV. 32, prope saepius captas Dionysius, however (II., p. 118), gives a 
quam oppugnatas. different version of the origin of this 

7 Florus (I. 12) speaks of it as having festival. 

been burnt by its inhabitants. Yet not . 8 Hor. I. Epist. XI. 7. 

many years after, shortly after the Gauls 9 Cic. tie Leg. Agrar. II. 35. 

had evacuated Home, we hear of the Fide- 1 Strabo V., pp. 226, 230. 
nates, in conjunction with some of the 

52 FIDENwE. [CHAP. in. 

importance, for an amphitheatre of wood was erected there, in the 
reign of Tiberius, which gave way during the performance, and 
twenty, or as some accounts say, fifty thousand persons were 
mutilated or crushed to death by its ruins. It must not, how- 
ever, be supposed that such was the population of Fidenre in 
those times, for Tacitus states that a great concourse had flocked 
thither from Rome, the more abundant from the propinquity of 
the place. 3 

Though there are few local antiquities little more than asso- 
ciations of the olden time remaining at Fideme, the scenery 
should alone be sufficient to attract the visitor to the spot. From 
these heights } r ou look down on " the yellow Tiber " winding 
through the green valley rafts floating down its stream, and 
buffaloes on its sandy banks, slaking their thirst, or revelling in 
its waters. That opening in the cliffs on its opposite bank is the 
glen of the Cremera, whose waters, oft dyeing the Tiber with 
crimson, told the Fidenates of the struggles between their kins- 
men of Veii and the common foe. Those ruins on the cliff above 
the glen are supposed to mark the site of the Castle of the Fabii, 
that band of heroes, who, like Leonidas and his Spartans, devoted 
themselves to their country, and fell in her cause. Further, in 
the same direction, yon distant tree-capt mound points out the 
site of Veii ; it is the tumulus of Vaccareccia. On the high 
ground to the left may be recognised the palace at Isola Farnese, 
and the inn of La Storta ; and the solitary towers at intervals 
between this and Rome, mark the line of the Via Cassia. There 
you see the undulating heights around the lake of Bracciano ; and 
the grey head of the Ciminian be} r ond ; the tufted cone of Monte 
Musino ; and that p}*ramid of Nature's raising, Soracte, rarely 
now snow-capt as in days of yore, but towering in dark and lonely 
grandeur from the plain. Do you seek for snow ? turn to the 
range of Apennines, whose frozen masses are glittering like ice- 
bergs in the sun, piled above nearer and darker heights, among 
Avhich Monte Gennaro, the "Lucretilis amoenus" of Horace, stands 
prominent ; and at its feet Tivoli, ever dear to the poet 

" Sit mea3 sedes utinam sencctae ! " 

sparkles out from the dense olive-groves. There, where the 
purple range sinks to the plain, " cool Pneneste " climbs the 
steep with her Cyclopean walls. Here, as your eye sweeps over 

= Tacit. Ann. iv. 62, 63 ; cf. Sueton, Tiber. 40. 


the bare Campagna, it passes the site of many a city, renowned 
in the early history of Italy, but now, like Fidense and Antemnse, 
in utter desolation, and lost to the common eye. 3 And there, on 
the slope of the Alban, that most graceful of mountains, with its 
soft flowing outlines and long drawn swells, still brightened by 
towns once stood Alba, the fostermother, and rival of Eome ; 
Tusculum with its noble villas and its Academy, where the 
greatest of Romans lived, wrote, debated, taught, and where 

" Still the eloquent air breathes, burns, with Cicero ; " 

and from its highest peak shone the Temple of Jove, the common 
shrine of the Latin cities, a worthy altar to the King of Heaven. 
Then, after again sweeping the surface of the wide Campagna, 
strewn in this quarter with league-long lines of ruined aqueducts, 
with crumbling tombs, and many a monument of Roman gran- 
deur, your eye reaches at length the Imperial City herself. She 
is in great part concealed by the intervening Pincian, but you 
catch sight of her most prominent buildings the pinnacled 
statues of St. John Lateran, the tower and cupolas of Sta. Maria 
Maggiore, and the vast dome of St. Peter's ; and you look in 
imagination on the rest from the brow of Monte Mario, which rises 
on the right, crested with dark cypresses and snow-white villas. 



FIDENJE was taken, 1st, by Eomulus, who pursued the routed citi/ens 
within the gates. Liv. I., 14 ; Dion. Hal. II., p. 11G ; Pint. Uomul. 

The 2nd time by Tullus Hostilius, who reduced it by famine. Dion. 
Hal. III., p. 172. 

The 3rd by Ancus Martius, by means of a cuniculus. Dion. Hal. III., p. 180. 

The 4th by Tarquinius Priscus, by storm. Dion. Hal. III., p. 194. 

The 5th in the year of Eome 250, by the Consuls Valerius Poplicola, and 
Lucretius Tricipitinus, also by storm, Dion. Hal. V. p. 310. 

The Gth in the year 256, by the Consul Largius Flavus, by famine. Dion. 
Hal. V., p. 325. 

The 7th in the year 319, by the Dictator A. Servilius Priscus, by means of 
a cuniculus. Liv. IV., 22. 

The 8th, and last time, in the year 328, by the Dictator Mam. ^milius 
Mamercinus, in the same manner as it was first taken by Komulus (Liv. IV., 
34), though Florus (I., 12) says it was set on fire by its own citizens. 

8 Pliny (III. 9) enumerates fifty-three maining interiere sine vestiyiis ; among 
towns of ancient Latium, which in his day them were Antemnae and Fidenae. 
had utterly perished, without a trace re- 



Nor rough nor barren are the winding ways 

Of hoar antiquity, but strewed with flowers. T. WARTO.N. 

On Lough Neagh's banks as the fisherman strays, 

When the clear cold eve's declining, 
He sees the round towers of other days 

In the wave beneath him shining. MOORE. 

THE next Etruscan town of any note in history northward from 
Veil was Sutrium, but there is an intervening district, containing 
several sites of that antiquity, which merit the traveller's atten- 
tion. Moreover, this district possesses much geological interest, 
for it contains no less than four extinct craters, three of them 
now lakes, and one, the Lago Bracciano, the largest sheet of 
water in Etruria after the Thrasymene and the " great Volsinian 

The high-road northwards from Storta pursues the line of the 
ancient Via Cassia, of which I was unpleasantly reminded by the 
large blocks of basalt which had formed the ancient pavement, 
and were now laid at intervals by the side of the road proli 
pudor ! to be Macadamised for the convenience of modern 
travellers. This is, alas, too often the case in Italy, where the 
spirit of utilitarianism is fully rife. If a relic of antiquity be 
convertible into cash, whether by sale or by exhibition, it meets 
with due attention ; but when this is not the case, nobody cares 
to preserve it the very terms in which it is mentioned are those 
of contempt it is il pontaccio or, le muraccia and " worth 
nothing ; " or, if it can be turned to any account, however base, 
the most hoary antiquity will avail it nought. Stones are torn 
from the spots they have occupied twenty, or five-and -twenty 
centuries, where they served as corroborations of history, as 
elucidations of national customs, as evidences of long extinct 
civilisation, and as landmarks to the antiquary they are torn 


thence to be turned to some vile purpose of domestic or general 
convenience. This is not an evil of to-day. It existed under 
the old governments of the Peninsula as fully as under that of 
Victor Emmanuel. Let us hope that a government which pro- 
fesses to reverence and prize memorials of the past, will put a 
stop to such barbarous spoliations and perversions; or the 
ancient monuments of Italian greatness will ere long exist in 
history alone. 

Just after leaving La Storta, a road branches to the left towards 
Bracciano and its Lake. It follows nearly the line of the ancient 
Via Clodia, which ran through Sabate, Blera, and Tuscania, to 
Cosa. The first station on that Way beyond Veii was Careiae, 
fifteen miles from Eome, represented by the ruined and utterly 
deserted, but highly picturesque, village of Galera, which stands 
on a cliff-bound rock, washed by the Arrone, about a mile off 
the modern road. The only mention of Careiffi is made by 
Frontinus and the Itineraries, and there is no record of an 
Etruscan population here, yet there are said to be remains of 
ancient walls on the west of the town, and Etruscan tombs in the 
cliffs around. 1 The modern town dates from the eleventh 
century, and was a possession of the Orsini family, whose 
abandoned castle with the tall campanile form the most pro- 
minent features in this scene of picturesque desolation. 

Two miles beyond La Storta bring you to the Osteria del 
Fosso, a lonely way-side inn. The stream here crossed is that 
of I due Fossi, which washes the western walls of Veii. In the 
wood-hung cliffs around are traces of Etruscan tombs, part of the 
necropolis of that city. 

Seven miles more over the bare undulating Campagna to 
Baccano, the ancient Ad Baccanas, a place like many others in 
Italy, known to us only through the Itineraries, once a Roman 
Mutatio, and now a modern post-house, situated in a deep hollow, 
originally the crater of a volcano, and afterwards a lake, but 
drained in ancient times, by emissaries cut through the encircling 
hills. At the eighteenth milestone is one, cut through the rocky 
soil to the depth of about twenty feet, which Gell seems to think 
may have been formed in ancient times, but I believe it to be 
modern, and the work of the Chigi family, the territorial lords of 
Baccano. 2 

1 Front, de Aquaed. II., p. 48. Gell, found that after receiving one or two 
II. v. Galeria. Nibby II., p. 92. streamlets, it loses altogether its artificial 

2 I followed it for some distance, and character, and so continues till it find? 


Nothing like the Alban Emissary now exists in the hollow. 
On the height however towards Home there are several cuniculi, 
which drain the water from an upper basin of the crater. They 
are carried through Monte Lupolo, a lofty part of the crater rim. 
Here are also a number of holes in the upper part of the hill, 
said to be of great depth, and called by the peasants " pozzi," 
or wells ; probably nothing more than shafts to the emissaries. 
It was these passages that were mistaken by Zanchi for the 
cuniculus of Camillus, and which led him to regard this as the 
site of ancient Veii. 

The lake is now represented by a stagnant pond in the marshy 
bottom of the crater, which makes Baccanb one of the most fertile 
spots in all Italy in malaria. Fortunately for the landlord of 
La Posta, summer is not the travelling season, or his inn would 
boast its fair reputation in vain. This neighbourhood in the 
olden time was notorious for robbers, so that the " Diversorium 
Bacchance " passed into a proverb. 3 Let the traveller still be 
wary; though he be in no peril of assault, he may yet fall a victim 
to some perfidua caupo, who thirsting for foreign spoil " expects 
his evening prey." In the ridge of the surrounding hills are 
several gaps, marking the spots by which ancient roads entered 
the crater. On Monte Razzano, the hill above Baccano, are 
some ruins called, on dubious authority, Fanum Bacchi though 
it is probable that the Roman mutatio derived its name from some 
such shrine. There is a large cave on the said Mount, which is 
vulgarly believed to contain hidden treasures. From the hills of 
Baccano, travellers coming from Florence are supposed to get 
their first view of Rome. But the dome of St. Peter's may be 
distinctly seen in the Gampagna horizon, from the Monte Cimino, 
a distance of forty miles, or twice as far as Baccano. 

Two miles to the north of Baccano, and to the right of the 
road to Florence, lies Campagnano ; the first view of which, with 
Soracte in the back-ground, is highly picturesque. It is a place 
of some size and importance, compared to other villages of the 
Campagna, and its position, and some caves in the neighbour- 
hood, seem to mark it as of Etruscan origin. A few Roman 
remains are to be seen in the streets. 

a natural vent from the crater at Madonna but, as they all sink towards the lake, 

del Sorbo, three miles to the south-east of they cannot be emissaries : they are either 

Baccano, where it forms one of the sources natural clefts, or they have been sunk for 

of the Cremera. I observed other deep roads. 

clefts opening upon it, and running 3 Dempster, de Etrur. Reg. II., p. 161. 

towards the mountains in the same quarter ; 


From Campagnano a path runs eastward, first through vine- 
yards, and then across a wide valley of corn, to Scrofano, five 
miles distant. This is a small secluded village, also of 
Etruscan origin, for the cliffs around it, especially to the west, 
are full of tombs ; among them are several columbaria. It lies at 
the foot of Monte Musino, that curious tufted hill which is seen 
from every part of the Campagna, and is thought to have been 
the site of ancient religious rites. The name Musino is generally 
supposed to be a corruption of the Ara Mutice, which was in the 
territory of Veii, 4 though some place the Ara at Belmonte, nearer 
the Flaminian Way. 5 The hill is conical, of volcanic formation, 
the lower slopes being composed of ashes and scoria?, strewed with 
blocks of lava. It is ascended by broad terraces leading spirally 
to the summit, on which are the remains of a large circular 
structure, which, Gell suggests, may have been the Altar. There 
is also a large cavern near the summit, reported, like that of Monte 
Razzano, to contain great treasures ; access to which is said to be 
debarred by an iron grating so far within the mountain, however, 
that no one can pretend to have seen it. The clump of oaks and 
chestnuts which tufts the hill-top, is sacred from the axe, though 
the wood on the slopes is cut from time to time ; and the only 
explanation of this which I could obtain, was, that the said clump 
preserves Scrofano from the sea- wind, which is deemed unhealthy, 
and that, were it cut, the wind, instead of pursuing its course 
at a great elevation, would descend upon the devoted village. 6 
This seems so unsatisfactory, that I cannot but regard it as a 
modern explanation of an ancient custom, the meaning of which 
lias been lost in the lapse of ages and the change of religious 
faith. The immunity of the clump is in all probability a relic of 
the ancient reverence for a sacred grove. Gell justly remarks of 
the artificial terraces round this hill and the building on the sum- 
mit, that this extraordinary labour can only be accounted for by 
concluding the place was sacred. The analogy, indeed, of the 
winding road still extant, which led to the temple of Jupiter 

4 Plin. II. 98. Dempster (Etr. Reg. II. to the same writer (II. 98) the soil at the 

p. 140) thinks it should have been spelt Araj Mutise was so peculiarly tenacious, 

" Murcise," Murcia or Murtia being that whatever was thrust in could not be 

another name for the Etruscan Venus. extracted. Nardini (Veio Antico, p. 260) 

Tertullian, de Spect. cap. VIII. Pliny asserts that the same phenomenon is to be 

(XV. 36) derives the name of Murcia from observed on the slopes of Monte Musino. 

the myrtle, which was sacred to that 5 Westphal, Rom. Kamp., p. 135. 

Goddess ara vetus fuit Veneri Myrtese, 6 Gell (I., p. 166) gives another version 

quam mine Murckou vocant. According of this belief. 


Latialis on the summit of the Alban Mount, is sufficient authority 
for such a conclusion. The terraces here, however, are too broad 
for simple roads ; the lower being sixt} r , the upper forty feet in 
breadth. Gell imagines them to have been formed for the Salii, 
or for the augurs of Veii the rites of the former consisting in 
dancing or running round the altar. The local tradition is, that 
the Monte was the citadel of Veii, 7 though that city is confessed 
to be at least six miles distant, and it has hence received its vulgar 
appellation of La Fortezza ; and the cave is believed to be the 
mouth of Camillus' cuniculus. The said cuniculus is also to be 
seen so say the village oracles at a spot two miles distant, on 
the way to Isola Farnese, called Monte Sorriglio (or Soviglio), in 
a subterranean passage, wide enough for two waggons to pass, 
which runs eight miles under ground to Prima Porta, on the 
Flaminian Way, where Camillus is pronounced to have com- 
menced his mine. These things are only worthy of mention as 
indicative of the state of local antiquarian knowledge, which the 
traveller should ever mistrust. 

In summer it is no easy matter to reach the summit of Monte 
Musino, on account of the dense thickets which cover its slopes. 
The view it commands, however, will repay any trouble in the 
ascent, which is easiest from Scrofano, whence the summit may 
be a mile distant. The most direct road to Scrofano from Rome 
is by the Via Flaminia, which must be left to the right about a 
mile or more beyond Borghettaccio, where a path pursues the 
banks of a stream up to the village. It may also be reached 
through Fonnello, either directly from the site of Veii, whence it 
is six miles distant, or by a path which leaves the modern Via 
Cassia at the Osteria di Merluzzo, near the sixteenth milestone. 
From this spot it is about six miles to Scrofano. 

The ancient name of Scrofano is quite unknown. Its present 
appellation has no more dignified an origin than a sow (scrofa 
possibly from an ancient family of that name), 8 an appears from 
the arms of the town over one of the gateways, which display 
that unclean animal under a figure of San Biagio, the "Protector" 

. ' This tradition is probably owing to the their dictum is naturally accepted by their 

recorded opinion of Cluverius (Ital. Ant., flocks. Who, indeed, should gainsay it ? 

II., p. 530), that Scrofano was the site of " In a nation of blind men, the one-eyed 

ancient Veii. Such traditions generally man is king," says the Spanish proverb, 
originate with the priests, who often dabble s Nibby (III. p. 77) records a derivation, 

in antiquarian matters, though rarely to which, as he says, "is not to be despised;" 

the advancement of science, being tc.o certainly not, if Monte Musino were 

much swayed by local prejudices, and hallowed ground Scrofano, a gacrofano. 


of the place. Almost the only relic of early times is a Roman 
cippus of marble under the Palazzo Serraggi. 

From Baccano, two tracks, cut in ancient times in the lip of 
the crater-lake, and retaining vestiges of Roman pavement, run 
westward to the lonesome little lakes of Stracciacappa, and Mar- 
tignano (Lacus Alsietinus), and thence continue to the spacious 
one of Bracciano (Lacus Sabatinus); branching to the right to 
Trevignano and Oriolo, and to the left to Anguillara and Brac- 
ciano. 9 

The lake of Bracciano (Lacus Sabatinus), like every other in 
this district of Italy, is the crater of an extinct volcano. It is 
nearly twenty miles in circuit, and though without islands, or 
other very striking features, is not deficient in beauty. 

Sabate, which gives its name to the lake, is not mentioned as 
mi Etruscan town, though it was probably of that antiquity. 1 
It must have stood on or near the lake, though its precise site 
has been matter of dispute. By some it has been thought to 
have occupied the site of Bracciano, but at that town there are 
no vestiges or even traditions of antiquity, the earliest mention 
of it in history being of the fourteenth century. Some have 
supposed it to have stood on the eastern shore, while others take 
it to be the city mentioned by Sotion as engulfed of old beneath 
the waters of the lake. 2 It has been reserved for M. Ernest 
Desjardins, a learned and enterprising Frenchman, who has 
taken great pains to trace out the stations on the Vise Clodia 
and Cassia, to determine its true site. This is at Trevignano, 
a little village on the northern shore of the lake, lying at the 
foot of a rock of basalt, now crested by a medieval tower. 3 

M. Desjardins has arrived at this conclusion, both b} 7 carefully 
working out the position of Sabate from the Itineraries, and by 
finding early Etruscan remains on the spot. He noticed, on issu- 

9 The l< Sabatia stagna"of Silius Italicus Holstenius (ad Cluver. p. 44) and West- 

(VIII., 492) probably included the neigh- phal (p. 156) point out some ruins at a 

bouring lakelets of Martignano and Strac- spot more than a mile beyond Bracciano, 

ciacappa. near S. Marciano or S. Liberate, as those 

1 The earliest mention of it is in the year of Sabate, but Nibby declares them to be 
367, after the fall of Veii and Falerii, when the remains of a Roman villa of the early 
the conquered territory was given to the Empire. 

Etruscans who had favoured Rome in the Sotion (de Mir. Font.) says a town was 

contest, and four new tribes, one called swallowed up by this lake, and that many 

Sabatina, were formed. Liv. YI. 4, 5. foundations and temples and statues might 

Fest. v. Sabatina. The town, in fact, is be seen in its clear depths, 

not named except in the Peutingerian Table ; 3 The discovery is recorded in the Ann. 

but there can be no doubt of its existence. Inst. 1859, pp. 34 60. 

2 Cluver II. p. 524. Nibby I. p. 325. 


ing from the gate of the village facing the west, the only gate now 
remaining, a large fragment of walling of squared blocks of rather 
regular masonry, which he declares to be in perfect conformity 
with the Etruscan fortifications of Cortona and Perugia.* This 
masonry, which is probably of basalt or other hard volcanic 
stone, proves the existence of an Etruscan town on this spot, 
and as there are no other such remains on the shores of the 
lake, there can be no doubt that here stood Sabate. 

At the Bagni di Vicarello, three miles beyond, there are 
abundant remains of Imperial times, villas and baths, which 
mark the site of the Aquse Apollinares. 5 Here in 1852, in 
clearing out the reservoir of the ancient baths, a most interest- 
ing discovery was made of a large collection of copper coins from 
the earliest tcs rude and (es signatum of Etruria down to the 
money of the Empire ; as well as of sundry silver vases all 
votive offerings, now preserved in the Kirclierian Museum at 

The Forum Clodii is generally supposed to have stood at Oriuolo, 
but M. Desjardiiis places it on the hill above S. Liberate, on the 
west of the lake, where are some extensive Roman remains. On 
the ancient road, between this and Bieda stands the ruined town 
or castle of Ischia, supposed, but on no authority, to be one of 
the Novem Pagi of antiquity. 6 

I retain pleasurable reminiscences of a midsummer ramble on 
the shores of this lake. My path ran first over flats of corn, 
then falling beneath the sickle next it led through avenues of 
mulberries, whitening the ground with their showered fruit, while 

4 Nibby (III. p. 287) had previously ' cement, like those in the walls of Volterra, 

suspected this to be an Etruscan site from Populonia, Cosa, or Rusellse. I measured 

this fragment of ancient masonry, which some of these blocks, which are as much 

he described as composed " of irregularly as 3 metres in length." Noel des Vergers, 

squared blocks, joined together as in the Etrurie, I., p. 18:2. 

walls of Collatia, Ardea, and other very 5 Desjardins, Ann. Inst. 1859, pp. 34 

ancient cities." M. Desjardins (op. cit. p. 60. The fact is determined beyond a doubt 

48) finds fault with this description, and by a number of dedicatory inscriptions in 

declares there is not the least resemblance honour of Apollo found on the spot, 
between this fragment and the walls of 6 Westphal (p. 157) thinks the Novem 

the Latin towns on the south of the Tiber. Pagi are represented by the neighbouring 

I cannot add my testimony in this instance, sites of Viano, Ischia, Agliola, Barberano, 

the walling having escaped my observation &c. But this is mere conjecture. The 

when I passed that way ; but I can recon- only mention of them is by Pliny (N. H. 

cile these conflicting descriptions by the III. 8), who places them in his list of 

authority of another French antiquary, Etruscan towns between Nepet and Prse- 

who describes the walls of Ardea as com- fectura Claudia Foroclodii, but as his list 

posed ' ' of enormous blocks cut in regular is alphabetical, it gives us no clue to their 

parallelograms, and put together without position. 


the whole strip of shore was covered with the richest tessellation 
of wheat, hemp, maize, flax, melons, artichokes, overshadowed 
by vines, olives, figs, and other fruit trees, intermingling with 
that " gracious prodigality of Nature," which almost dispenses 
with labour in these sunny climes and then it passed the hamlet 
of Trevignano and the wrecks of Roman luxury at Bagni di 
Vicarello, and climbed the heights above, where cultivation ceases, 
and those forest aristocrats, the oak, the beech, and the chestnut, 
hold undisputed sway. From this height the eye revels over the 
broad blue lake, the mirror of Italian heavens, 

" It was the azure time of June, 
When the skies are deep in the stainless noon " 

reflecting, on one shore, the cliff-perched towns of Anguillara 
and Bracciano the latter dominated by the turretted mass of its 
feudal castle and on the other, the crumbling tower of .Trevig- 
nano, backed by the green mountain-pyramid of Rocca Romana. 
But the glassy surface of the lake does not merely mirror remains 
of the olden time, for in its clear depths, it is said, may still be 
seen the ruins of former days, on certain parts of its shores. 
There is no doubt that the waters are now higher than in ancient 
times proof of which may be seen in a mass of Roman reticu- 
lated work off the shore near Vicarello ; and in the fact recorded 
byNibby and Desjardins, that the ancient road between that place 
and Trevignano is now submerged for a considerable distance. 



The stations and distances on the Via Clodia are thus given by the 

Aquas Apol 


. M.P. XV. Ad Sextum 



p. vr. 


xi r. 


inaris . . . XVIIF. Careias 
XVII. Ad Nonas 
XT. Sabate 
Foro Clodo 
Blera . 
Tuscana . 
Saturn ia 
Cosa . 




Gramineum carnpum, quern collibus undique curvis 
Cingebant silvic ; mediuque in valle theatri 
Circus erat. VIRG. 

Imaginare amphitheatrum . . 

. quale sola renim natura possit effingere. 

PUN. Epist. 

IT was a bright but cool morning in October, when I left the 
comfortless inn of Baccano, and set out for Sutri. The wind 
blew keenly in my teeth ; and the rich tints of the trees wherever 
they appeared on the undulating plain, and the snow on the 
loftiest peaks of the Apennines, proved that autumn was fast 
giving place to winter. 

About four miles from Baccano on the Via Cassia is Le Sette 
Vene, a lonely inn in the midst of an open country. It is one of 
the largest and most comfortable hotels between Florence and 
Home, on the Siena road. Close to it is an ancient Roman 
bridge of a single arch, in excellent preservation. 

The next place on the Via Cassia three miles beyond Sette 
Vene, is Monterosi, which does not appear to have been an Etrus- 
can site. It is commanded by a conical height, called Monte di 


Lucchetti, crested with some ruins of the middle ages. The 
view from it well repays the small difficulty of the ascent ; for it 
commands the wide sea-like Campagna Soracte, a rocky islet in 
the midst, lorded over by the snow-capt Apennines the sharp 
wooded peak of Ilocca Romana on the one hand, and the long 
sweeping mass of the Ciminian on the other. 

Monterosi has two inns, both wretched. L'Angelo is said to 
be the better. Of La Posta I have had unpleasant experience, 
animus meminissc liorrel! Hence there is a carriageable road fol- 
lowing the line of the old Via Cassia to Sutri, the ancient Sutrium, 
seven or eight miles distant; 1 but as very inferior accommodation 
is to be had there, the traveller who would take more than a 
passing glance at that site had better drive on to Ronciglione, 
and visit it thence. 

Soon after descending from Monterosi, and after passing a. 
small dreary lake and crossing a stream of lava, the road divides ; 
the right branch leading northward to Nepi, Narni and Perugia ; 
the other, which is the Siena road, running in a direct line to 
Ronciglione, which, as it lies on the lower slope of the Ciminian, 
is visible at a considerable distance. In truth, it bears quite an 
imposing appearance, with its buildings stretching up the slope, 
and its white domes gleaming out from the wooded hill. The 
celebrated castle-palace of Capraruola, the chef-d'oeuvre of Vignola, 
also adorns the slope of the Ciminian a few miles to the right. 

But the beauties of Ronciglione are not to be seen from a 
distance. The town is romantically situated on the brink of a 
deep ravine, with precipitous cliffs, in which many caverns, 
originally sepulchres, mark the site of an Etruscan town. 2 Its 
memory and name, however, have utterly perished. Ronciglione 
has very tolerable accommodation ; even a choice of hotels the 
Aquila Nera and the Posta and the traveller will do well to- 

1 The distance of Sutrium from Rome Its present distance is thirty-two miles,, 

was thirty-three miles. but the measurement is taken from the 

modern gate, a mile from the Forum , whence 
the distances were anciently calculated. 

ITINERARY OF FECTINGERIAN 2 <> Not far from Capraruola," says 

ANTONINUS. TABLE. Bonarroti (Michael Angelo's nephew), " I 

Rama Roma saw an Etruscan inscription in letters 

BaecanasM.P. XXI. Ad SextumM.P. VI. almost three feet high, carved in the rock, 

Sutrio XII. Veios VI. through which the road to Sutri (as I 

Forum Cassi XI. Vacanas VIIII. understood) is cut, but on account of the 

Sutrio XII. loftin-ss of the site distrusting my copy, 

Vico Matrini (TV/.) I do not venture to give it," p. 98, ap- 

Foro Cassii IIII. Dempst. II. 

64 SUTRI. [CHAP. v. 

make it his head-qjuarters for excursions to Sutri, which lies 
about three miles to the south. It must be confessed, how- 
ever, that the road to it is wretched enough, and if it resemble 
the ancient approaches to the town, it would incline us to 
believe that the proverb ire Sutrium (to be prompt) was applied 

Like most of the ancient towns in Southern Etruria, Sutrium 
stood on a plateau of rock, at the point of junction of two of the 
deep ravines which furrow the plain in all directions, 3 being 
united to the main-land of the plain only by a narrow neck. 
The extent of the town, therefore, was circumscribed ; the low 
but steep cliffs which formed its natural fortifications forbade 
its extension into the ravines. Veil, whose citadel occupied a 
similar position, crossed the isthmus, and swelled out over the 
adjoining table-land, just as Home soon ceased to be confined 
to the narrow plateau of the Palatine. But the same principle of 
growth seems not to have existed in Sutrium, and the town 
appears never to have extended beyond the limits prescribed \yy 
nature. It was thus precluded from attaining the dignit}' of a 
first-rate cit} r , \et on account of its situation and strong natural 
position it was a place of much importance, especially after the 
fall of Veii, when it was celebrated as one of " the keys and 
gates of Etruria;" (claustra portseque Etrurire) ; Nepete, a town 
similarly situated, being the other. 4 As a fortress, indeed, 
Sutrium seems to have been maintained to a late period, long 
after the neighbouring Etruscan cities had been destroyed. 

The modern town occupies the site of the ancient, and is pro- 
bably composed of the same materials. Not that any of the ancient 
Sutria tecta are extant, but the blocks of tufo of which the houses 
are constructed, may well have been hewn Toy Etruscan hands. 
Every one who knows the Italians, is aware that they never cut 
fresh materials, when they have a quarry of ready-hewn stones to 
their hands. The columns and fragments of sculpture here and 
there imbedded in the walls of houses, prove that the remains of 
Roman Sutrium at least were thus applied. There are some fine 
fragments of the ancient walls on the south side of the town, and 
not a few sewers opening in the cliffs beneath them. 

3 The ground in the neighbourhood of however, classes it among the cities of 
Sutri is much broken, and some parts Etruria with Arretium, Perusia, and Volsinii, 
answer to the description given by Livy and Plutarch (Camil.) calls it "a flourish- 
(IX. 35) aspreta strata saxis. ing and wealthy town," fuSalfiova. al irAou- 

4 Liv. VI. 9 ; IX. 32. Strabo (V. 9), viav Tr6\iv. 

CHAP. V.] 



As the walls of Sutri are similar to those of most of the 
Etruscan cities in the southern or volcanic district of the land, 
I shall describe the peculiarity of their masonry. The blocks 
are arranged so as to present their ends and sides to view in 
alternate courses, in the st} T le which is called by builders " old 


A. Porta Menona. 

B. , , Romana. 

C. ,, di Mezza. 
I). ,, Vecchia. 

E. ,, Furia. 

F. Cathedral. 

G. H. Piazze. 

a. Etruscan wall, nine courses. 

b. ,, ,, seven ,, 

c. ,, ,, four ,, 

d. ,, ,, seven ,, 

e. ,, Sewers, cut in rock. 
/. Mediaeval bastion. 

rj. Columbarium. 

h. Madonna del Parto. 

English bond," or more vulgar ly, "headers and stretchers;" but 
as this masonry is of classic origin, I will designate it by the 
more appropriate term of emplccton, which was applied by the 
Greeks to a similar sort of masonry in use among them 5 a term 
significant of the interweaving process by which the blocks were 
wrought into a solid wall. The dimensions of the blocks being 
the same, or very nearly so, in almost every specimen of this 
masonry extant in Etruria, 6 I will give them as a guide in future 

5 Vitruv. II., vin. 7. For further 
remarks on emplecton masonry, see 

VOL. I. 

6 The only exceptions I remember are at 
Cervetri, where the dimensions are smaller. 

66 SUTEI. [CHAP. v. 

descriptions, in order that when the term cmplccton is used, it 
may not be necessary to re-specify the dimensions. This 
masonry is isodomon, i. e. the courses are of equal height about 
one foot eleven inches. The blocks which present their ends to 
the eye are generally square, though sometimes a little more or 
a little less in width ; and the others vary slightly in length, but 
in general this is double the height, or three feet ten inches. It 
is singular that these measurements accord with the length of the 
modern Tuscan braccio of twenty-three inches. The same de- 
scription of masonry was used extensively by the Romans, under 
the kings and during the Republic, in Rome itself, as well as 
in Latium and Sabina, and was brought to perfection in the 
magnificent Avail of the Forum of Augustus ; but that it was also 
used by the Etruscans in very early times is attested by their 
walls and tombs ; so that while it is often impossible to pro- 
nounce any particular portion to be of Etruscan or Roman origin, 
it may safely be asserted that the style was Etruscan, imitated 
and adopted by the Romans. 7 

Sutri has four gates ; one at the end of the town towards 
Ronciglione, another at the opposite extremity, and two 011 the 
southern side. A fifth in the northern wall is now blocked up; 
and it is said that this and the two on the opposite side are the 
original entrances, and that the two at the extremities have been 
formed within the last century. If so, Sutrium had the precise 

7 The earliest walls of Rome those of cites, were built by a Roman colony in this 
the Roma Qnadrata, on the Palatine are style(see the woodcuts at pages 97 andlOl); 
of this masonry, and of the precise di- but what can be said to the masonry of 
mensions mentioned above. So are also precisely the same character and dimen- 
those of the second period, on the Aven- sions, which may be traced in fragments 
tine. Roman masonry, however, of this around the heights of Civita Castellana, 
description, especially on the south side marking out the periphery of a city which 
of the Tiber, is often of inferior dimen- is now universally admitted to be no 
sions, as in the Porta Romana of Segni, other than the Etruscan Falerii, de- 
where the courses are only eighteen inches stroyed, be it remembered, on its con- 
deep, and the Porta Cassamaro of Ferentino, quest ? How is it that in no case in 
where they are still less from fourteen to Etruria is this masonry found based on a 
seventeen inches. The specimens in Etru- different description, as though it were 
ria are much more uniform. Mr. Bunbury, Roman repairs of earlier fortifications, but 
in his new edition of Sir William Gell's is always found at the very foundations, 
Rome (p. 328), questions whether these and often in positions where the walls 
walls of Sutri, or in fact any masonry of must have been completely secure from 
this description found on Etruscan sites, be the contingencies of warfare ? And what 
of Etruscan construction, and asserts that can be said to the numerous instances of 
"it is certain that it is not found in any its existence in connection with undoubted 
Etruscan cities of undoubted antiquity ; " Etruscan tombs at Cervetri and Corneto, 
referring it always to the Romans. True if it were not employed by the Etruscans 
it is tliat the walls of Fallen, which he as well as by the Romans ? 


number of gates prescribed by the Etruscan ritual. 8 Over that at 
the western end the claims of the town to distinction are thus set 


CONJUNCTA JULIA ;" and over the Porta Komana, the other modern 
gate, are painted the arms of the town a man on horseback, 
holding three ears of corn with the inscription "A PELASGIIS 
SUTRIUM COXDITUR." Now, though the village fathers should 
maintain that the latter epigraph is a quotation from Livy, 
believe them not, traveller, but rather credit my assertion that 
there is no historic evidence of such an origin for Sutri for on 
no substantial authority doth this derivation rest. 9 

Though Sutrium was undoubtedly an ancient Etruscan city, 1 
we know nothing of its history during its independence. The 
first mention made of it is its capture by the Romans. It is 
singular that, in all the notices we have of it, we find it en- 
gaged in Avar, not like Veii and Fidense with the Romans, but 
with the Etruscans. It was taken from the latter at an early 
period, probably in the year u.c. 360 ; 2 and in 371, or seven years 
after the Gallic conquest of the City, it was made a Roman 
colony. 3 From the date of its capture, so soon after the fall of 
Veii, it seems probable it was one of the towns dependent on 
that city, like Fidenae ; yet it is nowhere mentioned in such a 
connection. 4 It was celebrated for the fidelity to its victors 
displayed in several sieges it sustained from the confederate 
Etruscans. The first and most remarkable was in the } r ear 365, 
when it was besieged, as Livy tells us, \)y almost the whole force 
of Etruria, and compelled to surrender ; and the miserable in- 
habitants were driven out, Avith nothing but the clothes on their 
backs. As the sad train was pursuing its melancholy way on 

8 Servius (ad /En. I. 426) says no Etrus- town, though evidently proper names, 
can city was deemed perfect that had less l Steph. Byzant. voce ~2.ovrpwv. 

than three gates. " l)iodorus (XIV. p. 311, ed. Khod.) 

9 The only shadow of authority for such states that the Romans attacked it in this 
an origin is derived from the " Catonis year. 

Origines " of Annio of Viterbo, that 3 Veil. Paterc. I. 14. It must have 

"most impudent trifler and nefarious been one of the colonies of the Trium- 

impostor," as Cluverius styles him, but virate, for it is called in an inscription in 

whose forgeries long passed as genuine. the church Colonia Julia Sutrina 

Here we find, " Sutrium a Pelasgis condi- (Griiter, 302, 1). Festus (voce Munici- 

tum, ab insigni grano dictum." Sutrium pium) speaks of it as a municipium. 

is probably the Latinized form of the Frontin. de Col. 

Etruscan appellation. We find " Sutrinas " 4 Miiller's Etrusker, II. 2, 1. The 

and " Suthrina " in Etruscan inscriptions, passage in Livy (XXVI. 34), "in Veiente, 

which Vermiglioli (Iscriz. Perug. I. pp. aut Sutrino, Nepesinove agro," can only 

174, 256) thinks have reference to this refer to the contiguity of the lands. 

F 2 

68 SUTBI. [CHAP. v. 

foot towards Rome, it chanced to fall in with the army of Camil- 
las, then on his road to relieve their city, which he imagined 
still held out. The dictator, moved by the prayers of the princes 
of Sutrium, by the lamentations of the women and children, bade 
them diy their tears, for he would soon transfer their weepings 
and wailings to their foes ; and well did he keep his word. That 
self-same day he reached the town, which he found an easy pre}', 
for the gates were unguarded, the walls unmanned, and the vic- 
torious Etruscans intent only on gathering the spoil. In a very 
short time he was master of the place ; the Etruscans submitted 
almost without resistance, and ere night he restored the inhabit- 
ants to their homes, and reinstated them in their possessions. 
Thus Sutrium was taken twice in one day. 5 From the rapidity 
of this exploit the proverb " ire Sutrium " took its rise. 6 The 
gateway, now blocked up, on the northern side of the town, is 
pointed out as that by which Camillus entered, and hence it has 
received the name of Porta Furia, from the gentile name of the 
dictator. But such an antiquity is apocryphal ; for the gate as it 
now exists is of the middle ages, and has an arch slightly, yet 
decidedly, pointed. 7 It is now blocked up, and does not seem to 
have been used for centuries. 

In u.c. 368, Sutrium was again taken by the Etruscans, and 
rescued by Camillus ; 8 and in 443, it was long besieged by the 
same foes, but saved by Fabius and Homan valour. 9 Near Su- 
trium, too, after Fabius had returned from his expedition across 
the Ciminian Mount, he signally surprised the Etruscans, and 
slew or captured sixty thousand. 1 Sutrium is subsequently men- 
tioned by several ancient writers, 2 and the last intimation of its 
existence in classic times is given \>y an inscription of the time 
of Adrian. 3 It seems never to have shared the fate of Veil and 
Fidense to have lain uninhabited and desolate for centuries ; 
for its existence can be traced through the middle ages down to 
our own times. 

5 Liv. VI. 3 ; Hut. Camil.; Died. Sic. 1 Liv. IX. 37. 

XIV. p. 325. 2 Strabo, V. p. 226 ; Liv. X. 14 ; 

6 riautus, Cas. Act. III., sc. I. 10. XXVI. 34; XXVII. 9; XXIX. 15. Sil. 
Festus roce Sutrium. Ital. VIII. 493. Appian. B.C., V. 31. 

" Yet Canina (Etruria Marittima I. Festus voce Municipium. Flin. III. 8. 

pp. 72, 76) maintains it^to be an ancient Ptol. Geog. p. 72, ed. Bert. Front. <le 

Etruscan gate, and refers it to the time of Colon. Tertullian (Apolog. 24) mentions 

Tarquinius Priscus. a goddess Hostia, or, as some editions have 

8 Liv. VI. 9. it, Nortia, worshipped at Sutrium. Miiller 

9 Liv. IX. 32, 33, 35. Diodor. XX. (Etrusk. III. 3, 7) would read it, Horta. 
pp. 772 3. 3 Nibby roce Sutrium. 


On descending from the Porta Romana, I entered a glen, 
bounded by steep cliffs of red and grey tufo, hollowed into caves. 
To the right rose a most picturesque height, crowned with a 
thick grove of ilex. Over a doorway in the cliff was this inscrip- 
tion : "Here stay thy step ; the place is sacred to God, to the 
Virgin, to the repose of the departed. Pray or pass on." I did 
neither, but entered, and found myself, first in an Etruscan 
sepulchre, and then in a Christian church a little church in the 
heart of the rock, with three aisles, separated by square pillars 
left in the tufo in which the temple is excavated, and lighted by 
windows, also cut in the rock which forms one of the walls. It 
is believed by the Sutrini to have been formed by the early 
Christians, at a time when their worship was proscribed within 
the town. That it is of early date cannot be doubted ; the walls 
of the vestibule and the ceiling of the church retain traces of 
frescoes of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The altar-piece 
was an old fresco of the Madonna and Child, which was under 
repair by a young artist of Sutri. This gentleman took me into 
an adjoining cave, which served as a sacristy, and showed me a 
door, which, he said, led to catacombs, supposed to communicate 
with those of Rome, Nepi, and Ostia. There are many wild 
legends connected with these mysterious subterranean passages ; 
the truth is that, though their extent has been greatly exag- 
gerated, they are very intricate, and it is not difficult to lose one- 
self therein. On this account the Sutrini have blocked up the 
door leading to their subterranean wonders. Finding I had not 
yet seen the lions of Sutri, the young artist threw down his brush 
and palette, and insisted politely on doing the honours of his 
native town. He pointed out a cavern adjoining the vestibule of 
the church, now a charnel-house, full of human bones. The 
vestibule itself had originally been an Etruscan tomb, and the 
church, in all probability, another, enlarged to its present dimen- 
sions. It is called La Madonna del Parto. 

On the top of the cliff, in which the church is excavated, stands 
the villa of the Marchese Savorelli, in a beautiful grove of ilex and 
cypress, which had attracted my eye on leaving the gate of Sutri. 
I walked through the grove to the further edge of the cliff, and 
lo ! the amphitheatre of Sutri lay beneath me a structure which, 
from its unique character, and picturesque beauty, merits a de- 
tailed description. 

70 SUTRI. [CHAP. v. 


Imagine a miniature of the Colosseum, or of any other amphi- 
theatre you please, with corridors, seats, and vomitories ; the seats 
in many pails perfect, and the flights of steps particularly sharp 
and fresh. Imagine such an amphitheatre, smaller than such 
structures in general, not built up with masonry, but in its every 
part hewn from the solid rock, and most richly coloured green 
and grey weather-tints harmonising with the natural warm red 
hue of the tufo ; the upper edge of the whole not merely fringed 
with shrubs, but bristling all round with forest trees, which on 
one side overshadow it in a dense wood, the classical ilex ming- 
ling with the solemn cypress ; and you have the amphitheatre 
of Sutri. The imagination of a Claude or a Poussin could not 
have conceived a sylvan theatre of more picturesque character. 

Apart from its natural charms, this amphitheatre has peculiar 
interest, as being probably the type of all those celebrated 
structures raised \)y Imperial Rome, even of the Colosseum 
itself. We have historical evidence that Rome derived her 
theatrical exhibitions from Etruria. Livy tells us that the liidi 
sccnici, " a new thing for a warlike people, who had hitherto 
known only the games of the circus," were introduced into Rome 
in the year 390, in order to appease the wrath of the gods for a 
pestilence then desolating the city the same, by the way, which 
carried off Furius Camillus ; and that ludioncs were sent for from 
Etruria who acted to the sound of the pipe, in the Tuscan fashion. 
He adds, that they were also called " histriones"- hi8ter,w, the 
Etruscan tongue, being equivalent to Indio in the Latin. 4 All 
this is corroborated by Valerius Maximus ; and Tertullian and 
Appian make it appear that the very name of these sports was 
indicative of their Etruscan origin, 5 ludio a Lydid the traditional 
mother-country of the Etruscans. The Roman theatres of that 
day must have been temporary structures of wood, the first per- 
manent theatre being that erected by Pompey A. u. c. 699, which 
still exists in Rome. We also learn from Livy that the Circus 
Maximus was built by Tarquinius Priscus, the first of the Etruscan 
dynasty of Rome, who sent for race-horses and pugilists to 
Etruria, 6 where such and kindred games must have been 

4 Liv. VII. 2. LXVI. 

6 Val. Max. II. 4. 3 ; Tertul. cle p Liv. I. 35 ; cf. Dionys. Hal. III. p. 

Spectac. V. ; Appian <le Beb. Punic. 200. Herodotus (I. 167) mentions the 




common, as they are represented on the walls of many painted 
tombs, and on sarcophagi, cinerary urns, and cippi. We have 
historical evidence also, that the gladiatorial combats of the 
Romans had an Etruscan origin. 7 Therefore, though we find no 
express mention of circi, theatres and amphitheatres in use 
among the Etruscans, we may fairly infer their existence. There 
is strong ground for the presumption that the edifices they used 
were copied by the Romans, as well as the performances ; s and if 
a building of this description be discovered in Etruria, it may 
well, primd facie, urge a claim to be considered as of Etruscan 
construction. 9 It is true that some authorities of weight regard 
this amphitheatre of Sutri as Roman and of Imperial times, 
founding their opinion on its architectural details, 1 although an 
argument drawn from that source is far from conclusive, as we 
shall afterwards have occasion to show ; but on the other hand 

institution of such games at Agylla. Vale- 
rius Maxiinus (loc. cit.), on the other hand, 
states that the Circensian games were first 
celebrated by Romulus, under the name of 
Consualia. Dionys. II. p. 100 ; Virg. 
jn. VIII. 636. It seems probable that 
t\\Q LudiCir censes, introduced by Tarquin, 
were a new form of the original Consualia 
of Romulus. Boxing to the sound of the 
flute is said by Eratosthenes (ap. Athen. 
IV. c. 39) to have been an. Etruscan 

' Nicolaus Damascenus, ap. Athen. loc. 
cit. In confirmation of which statement, 
we may mention that the name Lanista, 
which was given to the superintendent or 
trainer of the Roman gladiators, was an 
Etruscan word (Isid. Orig. X., 247). 
Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 1, 10) is of opinion 
that the origin of the custom of gladia- 
torial combats at funerals should be re- 
ferred to the Etruscans ; "at least such 
a sanguinary mode of appeasing the dead 
must have appeared a very suitable oblation 
to the Manes among a people who so long 
retained human sacrifices." 

b The existence of theatres is strongly 
implied by the passage of Nicolaus Dama- 
scenus above cited, who says, ' ' The Ro- 
mans held their gladiatorial spectacles not 
only at public festivals and in theatres, 
receiving the custom from the Etruscans, 
but also at their banquets." 

9 As we know there was no amphi- 
theatre erected in Rome before the time of 

Csesar, when C. Curio constructed one of 
wood, in separate halves, which could be 
brought together into an amphitheatre, or 
swung round at pleasure into two distinct 
theatres (Plin. Nat. Hist., XXXVI. 24, 
8) ; and as we know that the first stone 
building of this description was erected by 
Statilius Taurus in the reign of Augustus 
(Dio Cass. LI. 23 ; Sueton. Aug. 29), and 
that the Colosseum, and all the other am- 
phitheatres extant, were constructed during 
the Empire ; the question naturally arises, 
How, if such edifices previously existed in 
Etruscan cities, there were none erected at 
Rome, or in her territories, before the 
time of Caesar ? for we know that until the 
amphitheatre was introduced, the Romans 
were content to hold their wild-beast fights 
and naymachice in the Circus, and their 
gladiatorial combats in the forum, at the 
banquet, or at the funeral pyre. It may 
be that in the construction of amphi- 
theatres, Etruria did not long precede 
Rome, and that this of Sutri, if it be 
really of Etruscan origin, is not to be 
referred to the remote days of the national 
independence, but rather to a period before 
all native peculiarities in art and customs 
had been completely obliterated. 

1 Nibby (voce Sutrium) considers it of 
the time of Augustus ; Canina (Etr. Marit. 
I. p. 56) thinks it an imitation of Roman 
structures of this description, while Micali 
(Ant. Pop. It. I. p. 145) regards it a 

72 SUTKI. [CHAP. v. 

the structure has certain characteristics of a native origin, which 
may be observed in the cornice of the podium which surrounds 
the arena in the doors in the same, narrower above than below, 
and above all in its mode of construction which is decidedly un- 
Roman, and peculiarly Etruscan ; while the irregularity of the 
structure the seats and passages being accommodated to the 
natural surface of the rock and its singular, nay rustic, sim- 
plicity, distinguish it widely from the known amphitheatres of 
the Romans. 3 In one sense it is undoubtedly Roman, for it can- 
not claim an antiquity prior to the conquest of Sutri. 

This curious relic of antiquity is an ellipse the arena being, 
according to my measurement, one hundred and sixty-four feet in 
length, by one hundred and thirty-two in its greatest breadth. 
The doors in the podium open into a vaulted corridor which 
surrounds the arena. This corridor, with its doors, is of very 
rare occurrence ; found elsewhere, I believe, only at Capua and 
Syracuse. 3 Above the podium rise the benches ; at the interval 
of every four or five is a prcecinctio or encircling passage, for the 
convenience of spectators in reaching their seats. There are 
several of these preednctiones, and also a broad corridor above 
the whole, running round the upper edge of the structure ; but 
such is the irregularity and want of uniformity throughout, that 
their number and disposition in few parts correspond. Above the 
upper corridor, on that side of the amphitheatre which is over- 
hung by the garden Savorelli, rises a wall of rock, with slender 
half-columns carved in relief on its face, and a cornice above, but 
both so ruined or concealed by the bushes which clothe the rock, 
as to make it difficult to perceive their distinctive character. In 
the same wall or cliff' are several niches or recesses, some upright, 
high enough for a man to stand in ; others evidently sepulchral, 
of the usual form and size of those in which bodies were interred. 
The upright ones, being elevated above the level of the pra- 
cinctio, were probably intended to hold the statues of the gods, in 
whose honour the games were held. 4 Such a thing was unknown, 

2 The only ether amphitheatres I know, the podium I Lave observed in the stadium 
which are in parts rock-hewn, are those of at Ephesus. 

Syracuse, Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica, and 4 Xibby conjectures these to have been 

Dorchester. for the designatores, or persons whose 

3 The podium, or parapet, now rises office it was to assign posts to the specta- 
only three or four feet above the ground, tors ; in other words, masters of the cere- 
but the arena has not been cleared out to mouics. But Plautus (Psen. prol. 19) in- 
its original level. The corridor that sur- timates, as indeed it is more natural to 
rounds it is between five and six feet high, suppose, that the desiynatores walked 
and the same in width. Similar doors in about, and handed people to their seats, 


I believe, in Roman amphitheatres ; but I remember something 
like it in Spanish bull-rings a chapel of the Virgin in a similar 
position, in the very roof of the gallery, before which the matador 
kneels on entering the arena, to beg her protection in his en- 
counter with the bull. The horizontal recesses, on the other 
hand, have clearly no connexion with the amphitheatre, but are 
of subsequent formation, for in almost every instance they have 
broken through the half-columns, and destroyed the decorations 
of the amphitheatre, proving this to have fallen into decay before 
these sepulchral niches Avere formed, which are probably the work 
of the early Christians. 

Another peculiarity in this amphitheatre is a number of re- 
cesses, about half-way up the slope of seats. There are twelve 
in all, at regular intervals, but three are vomitories, and the rest 
are alcoves slightly arched over, and containing each a seat of 
rock, wide enough for two or three persons. They seem to have 
some reference to the municipal economy of Sutiium, and were 
probably intended for the magnates of the town. 5 At the southern 
end is a vomitory on either sid3 of the principal entrance ; at 
the northern, on one side only of the gateway. The latter 
vomitory is now a great gap in the rock, having lost the flight 
of steps within it, which must have been supplied with wood or 
masonry. The other vomitories are perfect. 6 They have grooves, 
or channels along their Avails to carry off the Avater that might 
percolate through the porous tufo ; and similar channels are to 
be seen in other parts of the amphitheatre, and furnish an argu- 

instead of shouting to them from a fixed the suggestion of the elder Africanus, and 

station on the top of the building. If it set aside this custom by appointing separate 

were a theatre instead of an amphitheatre, places to the senators and the people, which 

we might suspect them to be for the r;x e ' a estranged the minds of the populace, and 

or brazen pots which were used for throwing greatly injured Scipio in their esteem" 

out the voice, though Yitruvius tells us (Yal. Max. II. 4. 2 ; Liv. XXXIV. 54). 

(V. 5) that these were placed among the Augustus assigned to every rank and each 

seats of the theatre ; but there could have sex a distinct place at the public shows, 

been no need of this in an amphitheatre, (Suet. Aug. 44). 

where all appealed to the eye, nothing to 6 They are seven or eight feet high at 

the ear. the mouth, and the same in width, with. 

5 The number twelve may not be with- a well-formed arch ; but within the passage 

out a meaning, as there were twelve cities the arch is depressed, almost like that of 

in each of the three divisions of Etruria. the later Gothic. They contain flights of 

The only parallel instance is in the theatre steps relieved by landing-places. The 

of Catania, in Sicily, which had four sirni- entrance-passage is hewn into the form of 

lar recesses. (Serrad.Antich. Sicil.v. p. 13. ) a regular vault, sixteen or seventeen feet 

"Till the year 558 of Home, the senators high, and about the same in width. Its 

had always mingled indiscriminately with length is sixty-eight feet, which is here the 

the people at public spectacles. But Atilius thickness of the rock out of which the 

Serranus and L. Scribonius, aediles, followed structure is hewn. 

74 STJTRI. [CHAP. v. 

ment for its Etruscan origin; as this is a feature very frequently 
observed in the rock-hewn sepulchres and roads of Etruria. 
The sharpness of the steps in some parts is surprising, but this is 
explained by the fact that this amphitheatre, only within the last 
thirty-five years, has been cleared of the rubbish which had 
choked and the trees which had covered it for centuries, so that 
its existence was unknown to Dempster, Gori, Buonarroti, and 
the early writers on Etruscan antiquities. 7 We are indebted 
for its excavation to the antiquarian zeal of the Marquis Savorelli, 
its present proprietor. Its worst foe seems to have been Nature, 
the tufo being in parts split by the roots of trees, remains of its 
forest covering, now reduced to mere stumps, which are too deeply 
imbedded to be eradicated. 

The exterior of this structure exhibits no "arches upon arches," 
no corridors upon corridors it is in keeping with the simplicity 
and picturesque character of the interior. Cliffs of red tufo in 
all the ruggedness of nature, coloured with white and grey 
lichens, hung with a drapery of ivy or shrubs, and crowned with 
a circling diadem of trees, with the never-to-be-forgotten group 
of ilices and cypresses on the table-land above Sutri itself, at a 
little distance on another rocky height, the road running up to 
its open gate, and its church-spire shooting high above the mass 
of buildings the deep dark glens around, with their yawning 
sepulchral caverns, dashing the scene with a shade of mystery 
and gloom. 

A little down the road, beyond the amphitheatre, in a range of 
tufo cliffs, are mail}- sepulchral caverns; some remarkable for 
their sculptured fronts. Not one of these facades remains in a 
perfect state ; but there are traces of pediments, pilasters, and 
half-columns, with arches in relief, and fragments of mouldings 
of a simple character. In their interiors, some are small and 
shallow, others deep and spacious; some have flat ceilings, others 
are vaulted over, now with a perfect, now with a depressed arch; 
and some have simple cornices in relief surrounding the chamber. 
In some there are benches of rock for the support of sarcophagi; 
in others these benches are hollowed out to receive the body 
.and in many are semi-circular cavities recessed in the walls for a 
similar purpose. All these features are Etruscan characteristics, 
but most of these sepulchres bear traces of an after appropriation 
to Roman burial, in small upright niches, similar to those in 

' It is simply mentioned by Miiller (Etrusk. II. p. 241, n. 49). 


Roman columbaria, which have the same variety of form as in 
those in the rocks at Veii, and like them, contain sunken holes 
for the ollce, of which there are from two to six in each niche. 
In one instance the niches are separated hy small Doric-like 
pilasters, hewn out of the tufo. A feature that distinguishes 
them from the niches of a genuine Etruscan character is that 
they want the usual groove running round the back of the recess 
and opening in two holes in front, to carry off the moisture that 
might percolate the rock. The facades of many tombs on this 
site have similar grooves, which sometimes form a sort of graven 
pediment over the doorway. 

Not one of these open sepulchres remains in a perfect state. 
The Spaniards have a proverb, "An open door tempts the devil 
to enter." Such has been the fate of these sepulchres in all 
ages they have been misapplied. The Romans, both Pagan and 
Christian, introduced their own dead. In the dark and turbulent 
ages succeeding the fall of the Empire, they were probably in- 
habited by a semi-barbarous peasantry, or served as the lurking- 
places of banditti; and now they are commonly used as wine- 
cellars, hog-sties, or cattle-stalls, and their sarcophagi converted 
into bins, mangers, or water-troughs. 

Beyond the sculptured tombs, in a field by the road-side, I 
found a sepulchre differing from any I had yet entered. It was 
divided into several chambers, all with recesses excavated in their 
walls to contain bodies, with or without sarcophagi in tiers 
of shelves one above the other, like berths in a steamer's 
cabin. Such an arrangement is often observed in the catacombs 
of Italy and Sicil}% and would lead one to suspect these 
tombs to have had a Christian origin, were it not also found in 
connection with Etruscan inscriptions at Civita Castellana, and 

Some distance beyond is a cave called the Grotta d' ( )rlando, 
a personage, who, like his Satanic Majesty, has his name attached 
to many a marvel of nature and of art in the southern countries 
of Europe. He it was who cleft the Pyrenees with one stroke 
of his sword, Durandal, with the same ease with which he had 
been wont to cleave the Saracens from crown to seat. This 
Grotta may have been an Etruscan tomb, of two chambers, the 
outer and larger supported by a square pillar. But what has it 
to do with Orlando '? Tradition represents that hero, while on 
his way to Rome in the army of Charlemagne, as having lured 
away some maid or matron of Sutri, and concealed her in this 

78 SUTKI. [CHAP. v. 

cave, which would scarcely tempt an ^neas and Dido at present. 8 
On the same cliff with the Villa Savorelli is a ruin, pointed out 
as the house in which Charlemagne took up his abode, when on 
his way to Rome, to succour Adrian I., but it is evidently of 
much later date. Nor is Orlando the only hero of former times 
of whom Sutri has to boast. She lays claim to the nativity of 
that much execrated character, Pontius Pilate, and a house is 
still shown as the identical one in which he was born ; though 
the building is obviously of the middle ages. 

There are other curious traditions hanging about this old 
town of Sutri. At the angle of a house in the main street is 
an ass's or sheep's head of stone, minus the ears, which, like 
the Moorish statues in the vaults of the Alhauibra, is believed to 
have been placed there as the guardian of hidden treasure. Not 
that any stores of wealth have yet been brought to light, for no 
one has been able to determine on what spot the eyes of this 
mysterious ass are fixed ; but its existence is not the less 
implicitly believed, and not by the vulgar only. The artist who 
accompanied me round Sutri, and his father, who is one of the 
principal inhabitants, had jointly made researches for the said 
treasure. Thinking they had discovered the direction of the 
asinine regards, they hired an opposite house, commenced delving 
into its foundations, and doubted not to have found the object of 
their search, had they not been stopped by the authorities, who, 
wishing to keep the spoils to themselves, had forbidden all 
private enterprise in this line. He had made however more 
profitable excavations. He had opened tombs in the ground 
above the sculptured cliffs, and had brought to light vases, 
bronzes, and other valuable relics of Etruscan date. Sutri has 
been so little explored, that it is probable many treasures of 
antiquity are yet to be found in its neighbourhood. The tombs 
hollowed in the cliffs have been rifled ages since, but those below 
the surface, with no external indications, have in some cases 
escaped the researches of former plunderers. It is among these 
alone that art-treasures are to be expected. 

The traveller will find no inn at Sutri ; and even for refresh- 
ment he must be dependent on the good-will of some private 
townsman, who will dress him a meal for a consideration. 

In the glen to the west of the town, on the road to Capranica, 

8 It is not improbable that this legend meeting the fair Isabella in a cave : 
originated in those stanzas of Ariosto (XI f. t( Era bella si, che facea il loco 

88-91), in which he represents his hero as Salvatico, parere un paradiso." 


there is a cavern of large dimensions, but of natural formation, 
at the mouth of which is a church called, La Madonna della 
Grotta. The cave is extremely picturesque, its roof stalactited 
with pendent ferns. 

The Via Cassia runs beyond Sutri through this wooded ravine 
to Capranica, another Etruscan site with a few tombs and sewers, 
but nothing of extraordinary interest. It is now a place of 
more importance than Sutri, having 3000 inhabitants excellent 
fruit and wine mineral waters beneficial in disorders of the 
kidneys, bladder, and spleen, (ask for the Fonte Carbonari, for so 
the spring is dubbed by the peasantry, instead of Carbonate) 
and, Avhat is of more importance to the traveller, possessing a 
hospitium formerly kept by a butcher, Pietro Ferri, where, if he 
will not find comfort, he may be sure of its best substitute, un- 
bounded civility and readiness to oblige. The women here wear 
the skirt of their gowns over their heads for a veil, like Teresa 
Panza and other Manchegas, and being very brightly arrayed, 
are always picturesque. I could perceive no Roman remains at 
Capranica, the ancient name of which has not come down to us. 
It is three miles distant from Sutri, eight or more from Vetralla 
also on the Via Cassia, three from Bassano, four from Pconciglione, 
and nine from Oriuolo. On this latter road I found in several 
spots remains of Roman pavement, and about halfway from 
Oriuolo, or near Agliola, I observed a long portion of the road 
entire, running directly between the two towns, and probably a 
cross road connecting the Claudian and Cassian "Ways. The 
church of San Vincenzo, on a height above Bassano, is a con- 
spicuous object in this district, and is the great shrine of the 
neighbourhood, where, on the first fortnight in November, a 
general " penlono " is dispensed, and the countryfolks flock in 
thousands to obtain remission. 

Beyond Capranica, some three or four miles, and a little off 
the road to the left, are the ruins of Vicus Matrini, a station on 
the Via Cassia, still retaining its ancient name, but having little 
to show beyond a few crumbling towers and sepulchres, all of 
Roman date ; and a mile or so beyond it, is a way-side osteria, 
called Le Capannaccie, which has sundry relics from the said 
ancient station embedded in its walls. This is the highest point 
of the road, which here crosses the shoulder of the Ciminian, 
but its rise is so gradual as to be scarcely perceptible. The 
first part of the road from Capranica passes through shady 
lanes, orchards, and vineyards ; then it traverses wide tracts of 

80 SUTEI. [CHAP. v. 

corn-land the most wearisome scenery to the summer traveller, 
when the sun's glare is reflected with sickening intensity from 
the ever-restless, ever-dazzling surface. He who has crossed the 
torrid plains of the Castilles, La Mancha, or Estremadura, under 
a dog-day sun, will readily acknowledge that scyctes are latte 
only in poetry or to the eye of the proprietor. A gradual descent 
of four miles, mostly through orchards, leads to Yetralla, on the 
verge of the great central plain of Etruria, which here hursts 
upon the view. The road from Rome to this place, a distance 
of forty-three miles, follows as near as may be the line of the 
ancient Via Cassia. It is still carriageable throughout; indeed, 
a " diligence " runs to Vetralla once or twice a week, professedly 
in nine hours, which are increased indefinitely at the convenience 
of the driver. 



I AM aware that this interpretation of emplecton differs from that generally 
adopted, especially by Italian writers on ancient architecture, who take it to 
be descriptive of masonry formed of two fronts of squared blocks, with the 
intervening space filled with rubbish and mortar ; thus forming " three 
crusts," as Yitruvius says, " two of facings, and a middle one of stuffing." 
This, however, was the mode employed by the Ifomans, as an expeditious 
substitute for the more solid construction of the Greeks, as Yitruvius (II., 8) 
expressly asserts ; but the application of the term emplccton to it, was 
evidently an abuse. The Italians err in taking the word to be significant of 
filling in, stuffing, as though it were derived from ffjinin\rjfjLi or e/x7rXj/$a>, to 
Jill up, instead of /i7rX/Ka>, to weave in a word expressive of the peculiar 
arrangement of the blocks. Marini, in his edition of Yitruvius (Koine, 1830, 
I., p. 97) commits the error of rendering f'/xn-XeVcw by irnpleo. Orsini, in his 
Dictionary of Yitruvius, makes emplecton to mean " something full or to be 
filled." Baldus, in his Lexicon, makes the same blunder, which De Laetus, 
in his, quarrels with, but does not correct, though he quotes Salmasius 
(Exercit. Plin., p. 1231), who comes nearer the mark, and acknowledges its 
derivation from wXeKtu ; but only perceives an analogy with the dressing of 
women's hair, where the outside is made smooth, while the inside remains 
rough, as this masonry is described. Canina also (Arch. Ant. V., p. 130) 
explains emplecton as signifj'ing the stuffed masonry above mentioned, but 
thinks it applicable to constructions of small stones like bricks (VIII., p. 
104). This stuffed masonry was used extensively by the Romans, especially 
in small work, and it was even employed by the Greeks on a larger scale, as 
the remains of their cities testify. It may be seen also in part of the 
Cyclopean walls of Arpinum, and even in the Etruscan ones of Yolterra. 
Pliny (Nat. Hist., XXXYI. 51) says it was called diamicton, i.e., mixt-work. 


The Greeks, however, sometimes, as at Pfestum, Syracuse, and elsewhere in 
Sicily, bound the facings of their walls together by solid masonry. So Pliny 
remarks, in his description of emplecton, though he says, where it was not 
possible, they built as with bricks, which evidently means, as bricks were 
used in facings merely, the rest being filled in with rubbish. The point 
aimed at, according to the same writer, was to lay the blocks so that their 
centres should fall immediately over the joinings of those below them. 

Vitruvius, however, 'is the best authority for the application of emplecton 
to solid masonry, for, after mentioning it as descriptive of a style used by 
the Greeks, and after distinguishing the Roman variety, he says, " Graci 
vero non ita ; sed plana (coria) collocantes et longitudines chororum alternis 
coagmentis in crassitudinem instruentes, non media farciunt, sed e suis 
f rontatis perpetuum et in unam crassitudinem parietem consolidant. Prscterea 
interpommt singulos pcrpetua, crassitudine utraque parte frontatos, quos 
SiarowDs appellant, qui maxirne religando confirmant parietum soliditatem." 
This is a just description of the walls of Falleri, which, not being mere em- 
bankments, display the blocks in some parts " stretching through " from side 
to side. I would not maintain that the term emplecton should be confined to 
this sort of masonry. It is also applicable to that where the diatoni or cross 
blocks, instead of occurring in alternate courses, and continuously, are found 
only from time to time ; it is applicable, in short, to any masonry where the 
principle of interweaving is preserved. I use it throughout this work to 
designate that species of opus quadratum, which is so common in ancient 
structures in the southern district of Etruria, as well as in Rome and its 

There are difficulties, I own, in this passage of Vitruvius, describing 
Greek masonry ; in fact, the text is generally admitted to be corrupt, as 
the variety of readings prove ; but it is still clear that the term emplecton, 
however misapplied by the Romans, or their descendants, was properly con- 
fined by the Greeks to masonry, of which an interweaving of the blocks was 
the principle. The analogy to brick-work, indicated by Vitruvius (cf. II. 3), 
is confirmatory of this. Abeken (Mittelitalien, p. 151) is the only writer 
besides myself, so far as I am aware, who takes this view of emplecton. 

An excellent example of Greek emplecton masonry is presented by the 
Castle of Euryalus in Epipohe at Syracuse, where the four towers above the 
fosse, and the piers for the drawbridge within the fosse, are of this masonry 
rusticated, but it is on a rather smaller scale than is usual in Etruria. 

VOL. I. 



"Where Time hath leant 

His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power 
And magic in the mined battlement, 
For which the palace of the present hour 
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower. BYRON. 

IF on reaching the Guglia, or sign-post, beyond Monterosi, 
instead of taking the road to Ronciglione and " Firenze," the 
traveller follow the more holy track of " Loreto," three short 
miles will carry him to Nepi. Let him remark the scenery 
on the road. He has left the open wastes of the Campagna 
and entered a wooded district. It is one of the few portions 
of central Italy that will remind him, if an Englishman, of 
home. Those sweeps of bright green sward those stately wide- 
armed oaks scattered over it, singly, or in clumps those neat 
hedge-rows, made up of maples, hawthorns, and brambles, with 
fern below, and clematis, dog-roses, and honeysuckles above ; 
they are the very brothers of those in Merry England. The 
whole forms a lively imitation of what is most rare on the 
Continent English park-scenery; and it requires no stretch of 
fancy to conceive oneself journeying through Surrey or Devon- 

The first view of Nepi dispels the illusion. It is a quaint- 
looking town. A line of crumbling Avail, laden with machi- 
colated battlements, and a massive castle within rising high 
above it, would give it the appearance of a fortress, were it not 
for the square red tower of the cathedral with its white pyramid 
of a spire, shooting high and bright into the deep blue sky. 
Behind it soars Soracte, its serrated mass blued by distance ; 
and far away in the horizon is the range of snow-capt Apennines. 
On entering the gate the eye is caught by a fine piece of 
ancient walling, in nineteen courses, or about thirty-six feet and 
a half in height, and of considerable length. Its crumbling 


weather-worn condition proclaims its antiquity, and the size and 
arrangement of the blocks mark its Etruscan character. Just 
within the inner gate is another fragment of less extent, only ten 
courses high, and still more decayed. These are probably the 
very walls which Camillus and his soldiers scaled when they 
stormed the town, 386 j^ears before Christ. 1 

But instead of entering the town, cross the court-yard to the 
right, and pass through another gate in the fortifications. 2 Here 
you are on the brink of the ravine which bounds Nepi on the 
south. The view of the cliff-bound city of the profound, lonely 
ravine of the lofty venerable walls of the keep, with their 
machicolated battlements towering above you of the lowly mill 
at their feet, vying with them in picturesque effect, as it shoots 
out a jet of foam which sinks in a cascade into the glen would 
alone claim admiration. But there is yet more for the attention 
of the antiquary. At the verge of the cliff, to which, indeed, it 
forms a facing or embankment, and only a few steps from the 
gate of the town, is another bit of the ancient walling of Nepete, 
and the most perfect specimen remaining. It is of four courses 
only, in an excellent state of preservation. Like the two other 
portions mentioned, it is of emplecton, precisely similar to the 
walls of Sutri. 

The wall, of which this is a fragment, seems to have extended 
along the face of the precipice. Much seems to remain imbedded 
in a mass of Roman opus incertum, which apparent!} 7 once faced 
the whole structure, showing the priority of the emplecton? If 
this formed part of the walls of Nepete, the ancient must have 
been somewhat larger than the modern town. 

This is all I could perceive of the ancient walls of Nepete. 
These portions, be it observed, are on the weakest side of the 
town, where it receives no protection from nature. On every other 

1 Liv. VI. 10. But it is also precisely similar to the 

2 The road from this gate is a by-path masonry of the ancient walls at Civita 
to Sette Vene, shorter by several miles, but Castellana, which they admit to be Etrus- 
said to be a wretched track, utterly im- can. There is no reason to suppose that 
practicable for vehicles. these walls at Nepi are of less ancient con- 

3 Nibby (II. p. 400) thinks these relics struction. The discovery since their day 
of the ancient walls of Nepi are of Roman of the walls of Roma Quadrata proves 
construction, and of the time of the colony that this style of masonry was used in 
formed here A. U. C. 381, because their the earliest days of Rome, and as we find it 
masonry is analogous with that of the walls also in very primitive cities and tombs in 
of the new Falerium (Falleri) raised not Etruria, there can be no doubt that it was 
long after that date. Canina (Etruria originally employed by the Etruscans, and 
Marittima I., p. 72) takes the same view. imitated by the Romans. 

a 2 

84 NEPI. [CHAP. vi. 

side, as it is situated on a long cliff-bound tongue of land between 
two ravines that meet at its tip, there was little need of walls. 
But at the root of the tongue, where the ground on which the 
city stands meets the unbroken level of the Campagna, it was 
most strongly fortified in ancient times ; and this necessity con- 
tinuing throughout the troubled period of the middle ages, the 
walls were preserved as much as might be, or replaced, where 
dilapidated, by the strong line of fortifications and flanking 
bastions, which still unite the ravines. From the analogy of 
other Etruscan cities, it is probable that the inhabitants were 
not satisfied with the natural protection of their precipices, but 
surrounded the city with walls, which, in after times, were 
demolished, probably for the sake of materials to build or repair 
the edifices of the town. 

My aim being simply to point out objects of antiquarian 
interest, I shall say little of the modern representative of Nepete.. 
It is a small town, not larger than Sutri; and its position is. 
very similar, though the plateau it occupies rises much higher 
from the ravines, and the cliffs are in most parts more pre- 
cipitous. As regards its natural strength it has certainly no less, 
claim than Sutri to the title of " key and portal of Etruria." 4 

In strolling around the place, I was surprised at the small 
number of tombs. The opposite cliff' of the ravine to the south,, 
has not a single cave ; and on the other side of the town there 
are far fewer than usual in the immediate vicinity of Etruscan 
sites, which present facilities for excavation. The Nepesini seem 
to have preferred burying their dead beneath the surface of the 
ground, to hollowing out tombs or niches in the cliffs ; and the- 
table-lands around the town are probably burrowed thickly with 
sepulchres. In the rock on which the modem walls are based, 
close to the gate that opens to Civita Castellana, are traces of' 
sepulchral niches ; and here also a sewer, like those at Sutri, 
opens in the cliff. The ravine is spanned by a bridge, 5 and 
also by an aqueduct with a double tier of arches, the work of the 
sixteenth century. 

No one should cross this bridge without a pause. The dark 
ravine, deepening as it recedes, leading the eye to the many- 
peaked mass of Soracte in the distance, by the towers and battle- 

* Liv. VI. 9. vated appellation than ' ' La Buttata della 

6 The stream below is said by Nibby to Mola," or the Mill-force. The stream in the^ 

retain the classic name of Falisco, though opposite ravine is called " Cava-terra *'- 

all my inquiries called forth no more ele- i. e., Earth -digger. 


ments of the town on one hand, and by a stately stone-pine 
raising its spreading crest into the blue sky on the other, is set 
off like a picture in its frame. It is one of those scenes in 
which you could scarcely suggest an improvement in which 
Nature rivals the perfection of Art. 

There is little to detain the antiquarian traveller in Nepi. 
In the Piazza, beside a fine fountain of large size, are several 
Roman altars and statues found in the neighbourhood, one of 
them having reference to the goddess Feronia ; and a mutilated 
bas-relief of a winged lion. 

Of the old inn, "La Fontana/' no one speaks well; and I 
retain a most uncomfortable remembrance of it. A new locanda, 
"Hotel de la Paix," has since been opened, in which the tra- 
veller will fore well enough but let him look to his bill suspice 
Jinem ! 

Nepete never took a prominent part in history ; at least, we 
find little more than incidental mention of this town. It early 
fell under Roman dominion, for in the year 368, a few years after 
the capture of the City by the Gauls, we find it mentioned with 
Sutrium, as an ally of Rome ; both towns seeking assistance 
against the Etruscans, by whom they were attacked. Nepete 
surrendered to the Etruscans, because a portion of the inhabi- 
tants were better affected towards their countrymen than towards 
their recent allies ; but it was retaken at the first assault by 
Camillus ; and the rebellious citizens met their punishment from 
the axes of the lictors. 6 It was made a Roman colony ten years 
later than Sutrium, or seventeen years after the Gallic capture of 
the City. 7 Both these towns enjoyed municipal honours of the 
highest class, that is, while retaining their own internal adminis- 
tration, thej' were admitted to the full rights and privileges of 
Roman citizenship. 8 

There seems to have been some particular bond of union 
between Nepete and Sutrium ; for they are frequently coupled 
together by ancient writers. 9 Similar bonds seem to have existed 
among other Etruscan cities, even those of the Confederation ; for 
instance, Arretium, Cortona, and Perugia appear to have had a 
minor league among themselves 1 a vinculum in vinculo a bond 
arising, as in this case, from proximity and community of interest. 

6 Liv. VI. 9, 10. 8 Festus, voce Municipium. 

7 Yell. Pat. I. 14. Livy (VI. 21) makes 9 Liv. VI. 9 ; X. 14 ; XXVI. 34 ; XXVII. 
it to be the same year as Sutrium, or A. U. 9; XXIX. 15. Festus (loc. cit.). 

-371. Liv. IX. 37 ; Diod. XX. p. 773. 

86 NEPI. [CHAP. vi. 

Nepete, like Sutrium, nas retained its name, 3 and maintained 
an existence from ancient times. Under the Empire, it seems to 
have been of inferior consequence ; 3 but in the middle ages it 
rose greatly in importance, and at one period exercised no little 
influence over Home herself. 4 It is now an insignificant town, 
with about 1500 inhabitants. 

Nepi is five miles distant from Monterosi, eight from Civita 
Castellana, five from Falleri by a path through the woods, the 
line of the ancient Via Amerina ; seven from Sutri by a short cut, 
and nine by the carriage-road. 

2 It is called Nepete l>y Livy, and by tioned among the smaller towns (iroAi'xva*). 
inscriptions, but Nepita by Strabo (V. p. 4 This was in the eighth century, when 
226), Nepe by Paterculus and the Peu- Totone, Duke of Nepi, created his brother 
tingerian table, Nepet by Pliny (III. 8), Pope, under the title of Constantino II., 
Nepeta by Ptolemy (Geog. p. 72), Nepisby and maintained him in the seat of St. 
Frontinus (do Col.), Nepetus by Dionysius Peter for thirteen months. "Nepi seems 
(XIII. ap. Steph. J3yz.). at that epoch to have risen like a meteor, 

3 Strabo (V. p. 226) classes Sutrium with and rapidly to have sunk to her former 
Arretium, Perusia, and Volsinii, as cities condition." Nibby, voce Nepi. 

v6\fis) of Etruria ; while Nepete is men- 


From Canind. 



Mcenia contigimus victa, Camille, tibi. OVID. Amor. 

Poi giunsi in una valle incolta e fiera, 

Di ripe cinta e spaventose tane ; 

Che nel mezzo su un sasso havea uu castello, 

Forte, e ben posto, e a inaraviglia bello. AKIOSTO. 

FROM Nepi, which is thirty miles from Rome, the high road 
runs direct to Civita Castellana, a distance of nearly eight miles ; 
but to the traveller on horse or foot I would recommend a route, 
by which he will save two miles. On passing the bridge of Nepi, 
let him turn immediately to the right ; a mile of lane-scenery 
with fine views of Nepi will carry him to Castel di Santa Elia, a 
small village, which looks much like an Etruscan site, and was 
perhaps a castellum dependent on Nepete. The road to it and 
beyond it seems in parts to have been ancient, cut through the 
tufo ; there are few tombs by its side, but here and there portions 
of masonry, serving as fences to the road, may be observed, 
which are of ancient blocks, often found in such situations. He 
then enters on a bare green down, rich in the peculiar beauties 
of the Campagna. A ravine yawns on either hand. That on the 
right, dark with wood, is more than usually deep, gloonry, and 
grand. Be} r ond the other runs the high road to Civita ; and in 


that direction the plain in winter an uniform sheet of dark rich 
brown from the oak-woods which cover it, studded here and 
there with some tower or spire shooting up from the foliage 
stretches to the foot of the Ciminian Mount, Ronciglione and 
Capraruola gleam in sunshine on its slopes, each beneath one of 
its dark wooded peaks. The towers of Civita Castellana rise 
before him. Towns shine out from the distant mountains of 
Umbria and Sabina. The plain on the right is variegated in 
hue, and broken in surface. Soracte towers in lonely majesty 
in the midst ; and the chain of Apennines in grey or snow-capped 
masses billows along the horizon. A goatherd, shaggy with 
skins, stands leaning on his staff, watching the passing traveller ; 
and with his flock and huge baying dogs, occupies the foreground 
of the picture. Just so has Dante beautifully drawn it 

" Le capre 

Tacite all' ombra inentre che '1 sol ferve, 
Guardate dal pastor che 'n su la verga 
Poggiato s' e, e lor poggiato serve." Purg. xxvu. 70. 

All in the shade 

The goats lie silent, 'neath the fervid noon. 
Watched by the goatherd, who upon his staff 
Stands leaning ; and thus resting, tendeth them. 

A stone-piled cross by the wa3 r -side, recording that here 

" Some shrieking victim hath 
Poured forth his blood beneath the assassin's knife," 

seenis strangely at variance with the beauty and calm of the 

To reach Civita Castellana by this road, you must cross the 
wide and deep ravine which forms its southern boundary. The 
high-road, however, continues along the ridge, approaching the 
town by level ground, and enters it beneath the walls of the 
octagonal fortress the masterpiece of Sangallo, and the political 
Bastille of Rome, when the Pope retained his temporal sove- 

What traveller who has visited Rome, before the days of rail- 
roads, has not passed through Civita Castellana? There is 
scarcely any object in Italy better known than its bridge none 
assuredly is more certain to find a place in every tourist's sketch- 
book ; and well does it merit it. Though little more than a 
century old, this bridge or viaduct is worthy of the magnificence 


of Imperial Rome ; and combines with the ravine, the town on its 
verge, the distant Cauipagna, Soracte, and the Apennines, to 
form one of the choicest unions of nature and art to be found 
in that land where, above all others, their beauties seem most 
closely wedded. Yet beyond this, little or nothing is known of 
Civita Castellana. Not one in five hundred who passes through 
it, and halts awhile to admire the superb view from the bridge, or 
even descends from his carriage to transfer it to his sketch-book, 
ever visits the tombs by the Ponte Terrano. Still fewer descend 
to the Ponte di Treia ; and not one in a thousand makes the tour 
of the ravines, or thinks of this as a site abounding in Etruscan 
antiquities. My aim is to direct attention to the objects of 
antiquarian interest with which Civita Castellana is surrounded. 

Very near the bridge, and on the verge of the cliff on which 
the town is built, is a portion of the ancient walls, of tufo, in 
emplccton, seventeen courses in height, and precisely similar in 
the size and arrangement of its blocks, to the walls of Sutri and 
Nepi, already described. It forms an angle at the verge of the 
precipice, and is nothing more than a revctemcnt to the ground 
within. 1 

If you here enter the town, and continue down the long street 
on the left, you will arrive at the nunnery of St. Agata, at the 
north-east angle of the plateau, on which Civita is built. By its 
side is a road cut in the rock, which a very little experience will 
tell you is Etruscan. It has on one side a water-course or gutter 
sunk in the tufo, which, after running high above the road for 
some distance, discharges its waters over the precipice. There 
are tombs also genuine Etruscan tombs on either hand, though 
the forms of some are almost obliterated, and others are sadly 
injured by the purposes they are now made to serve shepherds' 
huts, cattle-stalls, and hog-sties. They are mostly in the cliff, 
which, as the road descends rapidl} 7 to the valley, rises high 
above your head. Here, too, opening in the cliff, are the mouths 
of several sewers, similar to tbose at Sutri and the Etruscan sites 
described. 2 

1 Canina gives illustrations of three blocks in alternate courses, 
pieces of the walls on this north side of - These sewers are about 6 ft. in height, 

the ancient city, and represents them all 2 ft. 6 in. wide at the bottom, tapering to 

as showing the ends only of the blocks. 1 ft. 6 in. at the top. One runs into the 

Etruria Marit. tav. 6. All the fragments rocks some little distance, and then rises 

which I saw were certainly of that masonry in an upright square chimney, into which 

which I have designated as emplccton, and another passage opens horizontally above, 
which shows the ends and sides of the 


It was probably these subterranean passages being ignorantly 
mistaken for the ciiiiiciilns of Camillas that gave rise to the notion 
of this being the site of Veii ; but such sewers are to be found 
beneath the walls of every Etruscan city in the tufo district of 
the land, where the rock would admit of easy excavation, and are 
found also on all the ancient sites of the Campagna, even in the 
Capitoline, Palatine, and Aventine hills of Home. Here you are 
at the extreme angle of the plateau of Civita Castellana ; the 
ravine spanned by the celebrated bridge opens on one hand, uhile 
another and wider glen lies 011 the other, bounding the plateau to 
the east. 15 The road passes two ruined gateways of the middle 
ages, and winds down into this valley, through which flows the 
Treia, spanned by a neat bridge of three arches. Here stands a 
large building in ruins ; the table-land of Civita rises above your 
head in a range of steep, lofty cliffs of red tufo, based on a 
stratum of white sandy breccia. At the brow of the cliff, just 
above the bridge, is a long line of wall of the middle ages, in one 
place based on more ancient masonry of larger blocks, evidently 
part of the Etruscan walls, the very "moenia alta " sung by 
Ovid. 4 A sewer in the cliff' beneath them rivals them in anti- 

This line of cliff runs due north and south for some distance 
it then suddenly turns at right angles, where a glen opens to the 
west, and the streamlet of the Saleto, or, as it is also called, the 
Ricano, issues from it to unite its waters with those of the Treia. 
It is a lonely and wild, but attractive spot. No sign of man save 
in the stepping-stones over the stream, or in the narrow track 
through the meadows or brushwood. Not a sound to remind you. 
of the neighbourhood of the town over your head. The lofty 
cliffs on either hand bare their broad faces with a contrasted 
expression smiling or scowling as they catch or lose the sun. 

Here it is advisable to cross the stream to get a better view of 
the cliffs of the city. Soon after entering this glen you may per- 
ceive a portion of ancient wall sunk in a hollow of the cliff, and 

3 Gell points out this angle of the cliff distant, proving that it was not confined 

pierced by tombs and sewers as the site of to a mere corner of the plateau, but ex- 

the ancient city (which he supposes to have tended over the whole area, whose limits, 

been Fescennium), intimating his opinion are defined by natural boundaries, and was 

that the city occupied this corner of the thus one of the largest cities in the south 

pljiteau only (I. p. 292). Had he made of Etruria. This peninsular platform, 

the tour of the height of Civita Castellana, which he mistook for the site of the entire 

he would have observed unequivocal traces city, was probably that of the Arx. 
of the ancient city in several places widely 4 Ovid. Amor. III., Eleg. xui. 34. 


filling a natural gap. You may count as many as twelve courses. 
A little beyond you meet with another piece in a similar situa- 
tion, and of five or six courses. You cannot inspect the masonry 
as you could wish, on account of the height of the cliff, which 
rises more than two hundred feet above your head, and, as the 
wall is at the very brink of the precipice, it is obviously not to be 
viewed from above. A practised e3 r e, however, has no difficulty 
in determining its character the difference between it and the 
mediaeval masonry, a long line of which presently follows, is most 
decided. Below this wall, and half-way up the cliff, are many 
tombs, Avith traces also of sewers. 

At the Ponte Saleto, where you meet the short cut from Civita 
to Nepi, you cross the stream, and take the road to the city, 
passing many tombs hollowed in the rock, resembling those near 
the Ponte Terrano, which will presently be described. The cliff 
here turns to the north-west, and a path runs along its brow, out- 
ride the modern walls. On this side there is rather a natural 
fosse than a ravine, for the cliff rises nearly one hundred feet 
above the lower part of the isthmus which unites the plateau of 
Civita with the plain of the Campagna. It is probable that 
wherever the cliffs were not sufficiently steep they were scarped 
by art, to increase the natural strength of the position no diffi- 
cult task, as tufo has a tendency to split vertically. Remains of 
the ancient walls may be observed in the foundations of the 
modern, from which they are easily distinguished by the superior 
massiveness of the blocks, by their different arrangement, and by 
the absence of cement. It will be remarked that all these frag- 
ments of ancient walling either exist in situations at the verge of 
the precipice, most difficult of access, or serve as foundations to 
more modern walls ; whence it may be inferred that the rest of 
the ancient fortifications have been applied to other purposes ; 
and a glance at the houses in the town suffices to show that, like 
Sutri, Civita is in great measure built of ancient materials. 

Passing round the castle of Sangallo, you re-enter the town by 
an adjoining gate, where are traces of an ancient road cut in the 
rock at the verge of the precipice, which bounds the city on the 
north ; its character marked by the tombs at its side. The Avail 
of the city must here have been on the top of the rock in which 
the tombs are hollowed and the road sunk ; and it seems most 
probable that here was the site of a gate, and that the modern- 
fortress stands without the walls of the ancient cit}'. It is curious, 
to observe how close to their cities the Etruscans buried their 


dead even up to the very gates ; though very rarely within the 
walls, as was the custom in some of the cities of Greece, and 
occasionally permitted at Home. 5 These tombs are large conical 
niches or pits, eight or nine feet high, by six in diameter. They 
are very common in the tufo district of Etruria, and are also met 
with in the neighbourhood of the ancient cities of Latium, in the 
Campagna south of the Tiber, and at Syracuse and other ancient 
sites in Sicily. Some have supposed them depositories for 
grain, 6 and were they found only as close to ancient cities as in 
this case, this would be probable enough ; but around Civita 
there are others in very different situations ; and having seen 
them on other Etruscan sites, far outside the ancient walls, and 
in the midst of undoubted tombs, I have not the smallest doubt 
of their sepulchral character. Besides, they have, almost invari- 
abl} r , above the cone a small niche of the usual sepulchral form, 
as if for a cippns, or for a votive offering. I think it not unlikely 
that they contained figures of stone or terra-cotta, probably the 
effigies of the deceased, which were at the same time cinerary 
urns, holding their ashes, such figures as have been found in 
several cemeteries of Etruria. 

Instead of entering the town, follow the brink of the precipice 
to the Ponte Terrano a bridge which spans the ravine, where it 
contracts and becomes a mere bed to the Rio Maggiore. It has 
a single arch in span, but a double one in height, the one which 
carries the road across being raised above another of more 
ancient date. Over all runs an aqueduct of modern construction, 
which spares the Civitonici the trouble of fetching water from the 
bottom of the ravines. 

The cliffs above and below the bridge are perforated in every 
direction with holes doorways innumerable, leading into spacious 
tombs sepulchral niches of various forms and sizes here, rows 
of squares, side by side, like the port-holes of a ship of war 
there, long and shallow recesses, one over the other, like an open 
cupboard, or a book-case, where the dead were literally laid upon 

5 For this custom in Greece, see Becker, by the Greeks of Cappadocia and Thrace. 
Charicles. Excurs. sc. IX. At Rome it Varro, de Re Rust. I. cap. 57. But these 
was forbidden by the Twelve Tables to bury Pollux (Onomast. IX. cap. 5. s. 49) 
or burn the dead within the walls, but the mentions among the parts of a city, with 
privilege was occasionally granted to a few, cellars, wells, bridges, gates, vaults ; 
illustrious for their deeds or virtues. Cic. whence we may conclude they were within 
<le Leg. II. 23. Pint. Publicola. the walls. Such pits are still known in 

6 The corn-pits for which these tombs Sicily by the name of Sill. 
Lave been taken were called arttpol or aipoi 


the shelf, now again, upright like pigeon-holes, or still taller 
and narrower, like loop-holes in a fortification. This seems to 
have been the principal necropolis of the Etruscan city. If you 
enter any of the tombs in the faces of the low cliffs into which 
the ground breaks, you will find one general plan prevailing, 
characteristic of the site. Unlike those of Sutri, where the door 
opens at once into the tomb, it here leads into a small ante- 
chamber, seldom as much as five feet square, which has an 
oblong hole in the ceiling, running up like a chimney to the level 
of the ground above. The tomb itself is generally spacious 
from twelve to twenty feet square, or of an oblong form never 
circular mostl} r with a massive square pillar in the centre, hewn 
out of the rock, or, in many cases, with a thick partition-wall of 
rock instead, dividing the tomb into two equal parts. The front 
face of this, whether it be pillar or projecting wall, is generally 
hollowed out, sometimes in recesses, long and shallow, and one 
over the other, to contain bodies, sometimes in upright niches, 
for cinerary urns or votive offerings. Around the walls are long 
recesses for bodies, in double or triple tiers, just as in the 
catacombs and tombs of the early Christians. The door-posts 
are frequently grooved to hold the stone slabs with which the 
tombs were closed. The chimney in the ceiling of the ante- 
chamber probably served several purposes as a spiramen, or 
vent-hole, to let off the effluvium of the decaying bodies or burnt 
ashes as a means of pouring in libations to the Manes of the 
dead and as a mode of entrance on emergency after the doors 
were closed. That they were used for the latter purpose is 
evident, for in the sides of these chimneys may be seen small 
niches, about a foot or eighteen inches one above the other, 
manifestly cut for the hands and feet. These chimne3 T s were 
probably left open for some time, till the effluvium had passed 
off, and then were covered in, generally with large hewn blocks. 
Similar trap-doorways to tombs are found occasionally at Corneto, 
Ferento, Cervetri, and elsewhere in Etruria, but nowhere in 
such numbers as at Civita Castellana and Falleri, where they 
form a leading characteristic of the sepulchres. 7 

A few of these tombs have a vestibule or open chamber in 
front, sometimes with a cornice in relief, benches of rock against 

7 I have opened tombs with such entrances had similar trap-doors, b they had no 

atTeuchirain the Cyrenaica ; and the tombs other mode of entrance, the facade having 

of Phrygia, described by Steuart (Ancient merely a false doorway, as in the tombs of 

Monuments of Lydia and Phrygia, pi. vii. ), Castel d'Asso and Norchia. 


the walls for the support of sarcophagi, and niches recessed 
ahove, probably for votive offerings. In one instance there is a 
row of these niches, five on each side the doorway, high and 
narrow, like loopholes for musketry, save that they do not 
perforate the rock. Sometimes a large sarcophagus is hollowed 
out of a mass of rock. It is not uncommon to find graves of the 
same form sunk in the rock in front of the tomb, probably for the 
bodies of the slaves of the family, who, in death as in life, seem 
to have lain at their masters' doors. 

In the front wall of the tomb next to that with the row of 
niches, is an inscription in Etruscan letters, " Tucthnu "- 
which I do not recognise as an Etruscan name. It is probable 
that this is but part of the original inscription, the rest being 
obliterated. The letters retain traces of the red paint with 
which, as on the sarcophagi and urns generally, they were filled, 
to render them more legible. No other tomb could I find on this 
site with an Etruscan inscription on its exterior; it does not seem 
to have been the custom in this part of Etruria, as in some 
necropoles north of the Ciminian, to engrave epitaphs on the 
rock-hewn facades of the sepulchres. 

On the inner wall of a large tomb, close to the Ponte Terrano, 
is an Etruscan inscription of two lines rudely graven on the rock, 
and in unusually large letters, about a foot in height. 8 It is over 
one of the long body-niches, which are hollowed in the walls of 
this tomb in three tiers, and is of importance as it proves these 
niches to be of Etruscan formation, and not always early 
Christian, as many have imagined. Further proof of this is given 
by the tombs of Cervetri that of the Tarquins, for example. 9 

From the tombs on this site we learn that it was the custom 
here to bury rather than to burn the dead the latter rite seems 
to have been more prevalent at Sutrium. These differences are 
worthy of notice, as every Etruscan city had its peculiar mode of 
sepulture ; though there is in general much affinity among those 
in the same district, and in similar situations. 

The Ponte Terrano is a modern structure on an ancient 
basement. The northern pier, to the height of ten courses and 
to the width of twenty-three feet, is of emplecton masonry 

8 It is given by Buonarroti (ap. Dempst. 9 Padre Garrucci (Ann. Inst. 1860, p. 

II., tav. 82, p. 26), who visited it in 1691, 269, tav. G.) gives several other inscriptions 

and by Gori and Lanzi. Mr. Ainsley gives from tombs on this spot, which he pro- 

a different reading. Bull. Inst. 1845, p. nounces to be in the ancient Faliscan 

139. character and language. 


Etruscan in style and in the size and arrangement of the blocks. 
Above it is small irregular masonry of modern times. The 
opposite pier is of rock, overhung with ivy and ilex. The lower 
arch is of the middle ages, so that the bridge unites in itself the 
work of three distinct epochs. Its antiquity has scarcely been 
noticed by former writers. 1 

Whoever would see the chief beauties of Civita Castellana, 
should descend into the deep ravine on this side of the town. 
The most convenient path is near the great bridge or viaduct. 
It is a zigzag track, cut through the tufo, and of ancient forma- 
tion, as is proved by the water-troughs at its side, and by the 
tombs in the rocks. 

From the bottom of the descent the bridge is seen to great 
advantage, spanning the ravine with its stupendous double tier of 
arches, with a grandeur that few viaducts, save the Pont du 
Gard, can surpass. A mimic cataract rushes down the cliff to 
join the stream a rustic mill or two nestling beneath the bridge, 
are the only other buildings visible, and contrast their humilit}' 
with its majesty, as if to show at one glance the loftiest and 
meanest efforts of man's constructive power. Whoever has seen 
the magnificent Tajo of Honda, in the south of Spain, will 
recognise immediately some resemblance here ; but this ravine is 
by no means so profound the bridge is of a different character, 
wider, lighter, less solid, and massive and here are no cascades, 
and lines of ivy-grown mills, as on the Rio Verde. Nevertheless, 
there is much in the general features of the ravine to recall to 
the memory the glorious Tajo de Ronda. 

The cliff's, both above and below the bridge, are excavated into 
tombs and niches of various forms, but few have retained their 
original shape. It must be confessed that the Etruscans often 
displayed great taste in selecting the sites of their sepulchres. 
Where could be found a more impressive, a more appropriate 
cemetery, than a ravine like this a vast grave in itself, sunk two 
hundred and fifty feet below the surface full of grandeur and 
gloom ? 

The ravine, moreover, is fertile in the picturesque. Ascend 
the course of the stream, and just above a rustic bridge you 
obtain a fine view of the Ponte Terrano spanning the glen in the 
distance, the Castle cresting the precipice on the left, and a ruined 
tower frowning down upon you from the opposite height. The 

1 Cell and even Nibby seem to have overlooked it. Westphal alone (Romiscae Kam- 
pagne, p. 139) mentions it as ancient. 


cliffs rise on either hand, of yellow and red tufo, dashed with 
grey, white, or brown, with occasional ledges of green ; the 
whole crested with ilex, and draped here and there with ivy, 
clematis, and wild vine. Below the great bridge you have still 
more of the picturesque. The walls of warm yellow cliff, varie- 
gated with foliage, here approach so close as to make this a mere 
chasm the fragment of Etruscan walling crowns the precipice 
on the right huge masses of cliff fallen from above, lie about 
in wild confusion, almost choking the hollow tall trees shoot up 
from among them, by the banks of the stream, but are dwarfed 
into shrubs by the vast height of the all-shadowing cliffs. 

There is no lack of accommodation at Civita Castellana. The 
principal inn, La Posta, has received a bad name on account of 
the alleged extortion and insolence of the landlord. At La Croce 
Bianca, however, the traveller will find comfortable accommoda- 
tion, civility and attention. Sausages are not now famous here, 
as in ancient times. 2 Civita Castellana contains scarcely more 
than two thousand souls, and extends over but a small part of 
the area occupied by the Etruscan city ; which is now for the 
most part covered with gardens and vineyards. This city, from 
its size, must have been of considerable importance among those 
of Southern Etruria. It was formerly supposed to be Veii, and 
there is an inscription in the cathedral, calling the church 
" Veiorum Basilica;" but this opinion has not the slightest 
foundation its distance from Rome being three times greater 
than that of Veii, as mentioned by Dionysius. 3 Gell supposes it 
to have been Fescennium, but gives no reason for his opinion, in 
which he follows Miiller and Nardini. 4 There is much more 
probability that it is the ancient Falerium, or Falerii, so pro- 
minent in the early history of the Roman Republic. My reasons, 
for holding this opinion will be given in the next chapter, when I 
treat of the ruined town, a few miles distant, now called Fallen. 

2 Varro (L. L. V. Ill) says they were 35. 

called Falisci venires. So also Martial. 3 Dion. Hal. II. p. 116, ed. Sylb. 

IV. epig., 46. 8. ; cf. Stat. Silv. IV. 9. 4 Gell, I. p. 290. 




Ebbi improvviso un gran sepolcro scorto, . . . 

E in brevi note altrui vi si sponea 

II nome e la virtii del guerrier morto. 

lo non sapea da tal vista levarmi, 

Miraudo ora le lettre, ed ora i marmi. TASSO. 

Gaudent Italise sublimibus oppida muris. CLAUDIAN. 

THE road from Ponte Terrano leads to Santa Maria di Falleri, 
or Falari, a ruined convent on another ancient site, about four 
miles from Civita Castellana. After two or three miles over the 
heath, you reach the Fosso de' Tre Camini, and where you cross 
the stream are traces of an ancient bridge. Just before coming 
in sight of Falleri, you reach a tomb, which, as you come suddenly 
upon it, cannot fail to strike you with admiration. A wide recess 
in the cliif is occupied by a spacious portico of three large arches, 
hewn out of the rock, and with a bold cornice of masonry above, 

VOL. I. H 



[CHAP, viu. 

of massive tufo blocks, now somewhat dislocated, and concealed 
by the overhanging foliage. A door in the inner wall of the 
portico, of the usual Etruscan form, slightly narrowing upwards, 
opens into the sepulchre. Sepulchre ! to an unpractised eye the 
structure looks far more like a habitation ; and in truth it is an 
imitation of an ancient abode. The portico is surrounded bj" 


an elegant cornice, carved in the rock ; the door, to which you 
ascend by steps, is ornamented with mouldings in relief. Within 
it, is a small antechamber, with the usual chimney or funnel in 
its ceiling; and then you enter a spacious, gloomy sepulchre. Its 
flat ceiling is supported in the midst by a massive square pillar, 
in the face of which are three long, shallow niches, one over the 
other ; and in the walls of the tomb are smaller niches for urns 
or votive offerings. Under the portico the rock is cut into 
benches for sarcophagi, and long holes are sunk in the ground 
for the reception of bodies, which, with the exception of being 
covered over with tiles, must have been exposed to the passers- 
by, as the arches of the portico could hardly have been closed. 


The cornice around the portico and the mouldings of the door 
are almost Roman in character ; } r et in form and arrangement 
the tomb is too nearly allied to the Etruscan tombs of this 
district to be of Roman construction. It is probable that the 
Romans appropriated it to their own dead ; and possible that 
they added these decorations ; but, though an architectural 
adornment be proved to have been used by that people, it by no 
means follows that they originated it. Had not history in- 
formed us that the Corinthian capital was of Greek origin, the 
frequency of it in the ancient buildings of Rome and Italy, and its 
rarity in Greece, might have led us to a different conclusion. 
Now, we know almost nothing of Etruscan architecture from 
written records ; and therefore when we find, in a position which 
favours an Etruscan origin, architectural decorations analogous 
to those used by the Romans, it were illogical to pronounce them 
necessarily to be the work of the latter. On the contrary, it were 
quite as reasonable to regard them as Etruscan, knowing that, 
before the time of the Empire at least, the Romans were mere 
imitators of the Etruscans and Greeks in the arts, servile enough 
in that respect imitatores, servum pecus ! however they ma}' 
have taken the lead of the world in arms. Nevertheless, whether 
Etruscan or Roman, the tomb is probably of a late period. 

This is the only instance known of an Etruscan tomb with a 
cornice of masonry, and it was thought to be unique also as 
regards its portico ; but I was fortunate enough to discover a 
group of tombs of similar charcter, very near this, which were 
before unknown. 1 

Among them is one which seems also to have had a portico, 
but the cliff out of which it was hewn is broken away. What 
now forms its front, has been the inner wall, if not of a portico, 
of an antechamber or outer tomb, and on it, to my astonishment, 
I found a Latin inscription, in very neatty formed letters, about 
four or five inches high, graven deep in the tufo. 







1 One has two arches in its portico ; seems to have had two more ; and a thirtl 
another has only one standing, though it is a mere portico of two arches, without 

H 2 

100 FALLEEI. [CHAP. vin. 

The last line was buried in the earth, and having no instru- 
ment at hand, I could not uncover it ; but I communicated the 
discovery to the Archaeological Institute 3 of Home ; and my 
friend, Dr. Henzen, one of the secretaries, proceeded imme- 
diately to Falleri to inspect the inscription. To him is due the 
discovery of the last line, which explains the whole. To him 
also am I indebted for the correction and explanation of the 

" To Lucius Vecilius, son of Vibius and of Polla (or Pollia) 
Abeles, one bed (sepulchral couch) is given to ... Vecilius, 
son of Lucius and of Plenesta, one bed. Let no one place 
anything before (i.e., another bod} r in) these beds, save with the 
permission of Lucius and Caius Levius, sons of Lucius, and (with 
the permission) of whoever may perform their obsequies (i.e. 
their heirs)." 

The beds are the long niches in the walls of the tomb, of 
which there are eleven. The inscription is curious for its ancient 
Latinity alone ; but most interesting as an evidence of the fact 
that the Romans made use of the tombs of the Etruscans, or else 
constructed sepulchres precisely similar. No one can doubt the 
Etruscan character of this particular tomb, and yet it belonged to 
the Roman family of the Levii, who gave it or let it out to the 
Vecilii, as we know to have been frequently the case with the ollce 
of Roman columbaria. The mention of the mother's name after 
the father's is a genuine Etruscanism. 3 It is general in Etruscan 
epitaphs, and was retained even under Roman domination, for 
some sarcophagi bear similar epitaphs in Latin, with " natus " 
affixed to the mother's name in the genitive or ablative. But 
those sarcophagi were found in Etruscan tombs, in the midst of 
others with Etruscan inscriptions, and are only the coffins of the 
latest members of the same families, belonging to a period when 
the native language was being superseded by that of the con- 
querors. This ma}' be the case here also the Levii may have 
been an Etruscan family ; as indeed seems highly probable. If 
not, we have here a Roman usurpation of an Etruscan sepulchre, 
or it may be an imitation of the Etruscan mode of burial, and 

an inner chamber, the portico itself being the Lycians always traced their descent 

the tomb, as is shown by the rock-benches through the maternal line, to the exclu- 

within it. sion of the paternal a fact recorded by 

2 See Bull. lustit. 1844, p. 92. Herodotus (f. 173), and verified by 

3 This custom the Etruscans must modern researches. Fellows' Lycia, p. 
have derived from the East, as it was not 276. The Etruscans being less purely 
practised by the Greeks or Romans ; but Oriental, made use of both methods. 




also an instance of the adoption of the customs of that people by 
the Romans. 4 

Just beyond these tombs the city of Failed comes into view. 
And an imposing sight it is not from its position, for it is on 
the very level of the plain by which you approach it but from 


its lofty walls and numerous towers, stretching away on either 
hand to a great distance in an almost unbroken line, and only just 
dilapidated enough to acquire a picturesque effect, which is 
heightened by overhanging foliage. You approach it from the 
east, at an angle of the Avail where there is an arched gateway on 
either hand one still open 5 , the other almost buried in the earth. 

4 Dr. Henzen, who is facile princeps in 
the archaeology of inscriptions, refers this 
to a remote period, undoubtedly to the 
time of the Republic, and before the 
establishment of the Colonia Junonia by 
the Triumvirate, and considers the tomb 
as one of the most ancient on this site. 
Bull. Inst. 1844, pp. 129, 161-8. In the 
neighbourhood of this tomb Signer Guidi, 
in 1851, opened five others which contained 
a number of inscriptions in a character 
and language neither Etruscan nor Latin, 
and therefore pronounced to be Faliscan. 
They were painted on sepulchral tiles. 
Eight were written like the Etruscan, 
from right to left, and two in Roman 
letters, from left to right. The characters 

of the ten differed from the Etruscan in 
the forms of the A. E. P. R., and in the 
use of the 0, assimilating more to the 
Greek. But the language was much more 
akin to the Latin. Copies of these inscrip- 
tions are given in Ann. Inst. 1860, tav. 
d'Agg. G. H., and they are explained by 
Padre Garrucci (op. cit., pp. 272-9), who 
refers them to the sixth century of Rome. 

5 This gate, as will be seen in the 
woodcut, has a tower immediately to the 
left of him who approaches it, which is 
contrary to the precepts of Vitruvius 
(I. 5), who recommends that the ap- 
proach to a city-gate be such, that the 
right side of the foe, which is unpro- 
tected by his shield, may be open to attack 

102 FALLEKI. [CHAP. vm. 

The walls here are about seven feet thick, and in thirteen 
courses, or about twenty-five feet high ; they are of red tufa 
blocks, of the size usual in the emplecton masonry of Etruria, 
fitted together without cement and with great nicety. In parts the 
tufo has lost its surface, but in others the masonry looks as sharp 
and fresh as though it had been just constructed, without a sign 
of age beyond its weather-stained coating of grey. Both walls and 
towers are perpendicular or nearly so ; the latter, which are at 
unequal distances, but generally about one hundred feet apart. 
are square about seventeen feet wide, and projecting ten feet. 
They are external onl} r ; the inner surface of the wall, which rises 
high above the level of the ground within, is unbroken by pro- 
jections ; it is similar in appearance to the outer surface, though 
not so neatly smoothed and finished. 

Following the northern wall of the city, after passing ten 
towers, you reach a small arched gate or postern. Outside it are 
remains of Roman tombs of opus incertum, on mounds by the- 
side of the road which issued from this gate ; blocks of basalt,, 
now upturned by the plough, indicate its course. It was the 
Via Amerina, w r hich ran northward to Horta and Amelia. 
Passing a breach which Gell takes for a gateway, you next cross, 
a long wall or embankment stretching away at right angles from 
the city ; it is of ancient blocks, probably taken from the city 
walls. A little beyond is Avhat seems a window, high in the wall 
and partly blocked up, but it is a mere hole cut in later times. 

On turning the corner of the wall you reach the Porta di 
Giove, a fine gate in excellent preservation, flanked by towers. 
The arch-stones and encircling moulding are of peperino ; and in 
the centre over the key-stone, is a head in bold relief. "Why 
called Giove I do not understand ; it has none of the attributes of 
Jupiter, but in its beardless youth and gentleness of expression,, 
seems rather to represent Bacchus or Apollo. 6 See the woodcut 

from the ramparts. The angular form of posts is more than seven feet, which is 

this city, and of the towers in its walls, also the thickness of the city wall. The 

is also at variance with the rules laid imposts are also of peperino above them 

down by the same author, who denounces the arch is blocked up with brickwork, 
angles, as protecting the foe rather than Canina is inclined to regard this gate 

the citizen. as Etruscan. He says (Archit. Ant. VI. 

6 Canina takes the head to be that of p. 54), from a comparison of it with thos^ 

Juno, rather than of Jupiter, as she was of Paestum and Volterra, that it cannot be 

the great goddess of the Falisci. Etruria otherwise than of early date, and not 

Marit. I. p. 70. The gate is nearly wholly Roman, as some have supposed ; 

eighteen feet in height, and ten feet eight and again (Ann. lust. 1835, p. 192) he 

inches in span. The depth of its door- cites the head on the keystone as a proof 



at the head of this chapter. Within the gate is a double line of 
ancient wall, flanking a hollow way or road, which now leads to the 
ruined convent of Santa Maria di Falleri, the only building stand- 
ing within the walls. 7 

The wall soon turns again and follows the course of the valley 
through which flows the Miccino. Here it is based on low tufo 
cliff's, in Avhich are the mouths of several sewers. On this side it is 
for the most part greatly dilapidated : sometimes you lose sight of it 
altogether for a considerable distance, then again trace it by 


detached portions or by towers only, which jet boldly into the 
valley on projecting masses of cliff. The rock beneath the w r alls 
is in mam r places hollowed into niches or caves, once evidently 
tombs; and on the other side of the stream are tall cliffs, full 
of long sepulchral niches one above the other, where the Falerians 
of old stored up their dead shown in the above woodcut On 

of this sort of decoration being Etruscan. 
It was also extensively used by both Greeks 
and Komans. 

' Just within the gate, to the right as 
you enter, is a sewer-like hole, now blocked 

up, which seems to have been a window. 
It is not visible from without, because the 
ancient wall just in that part is faced 
with mediaeval masonry ; but its form is 

104 FALLEBI. [CHAP, vin 

that side also are the remains of several Roman tombs massive 
piles of opus incertum, towering high above the light wood that 
covers that bank of the stream. This necropolis has been little 
explored, and I regret that I have not been able to give it due 
examination. Dr. Henzen found one tomb here with a Christian 
inscription. 8 

One of the city-towers stands on a projection of the cliff where 
the wall makes a semicircular bend inwards. Beneath this tower 
is a tomb of unusual size, square and lofty. It would seem at 
first sight to have been formed as a cellar to the tower, but further 
observation shows that it was of prior formation, for its original 
doorway is blocked up by the masonry of the tower itself. 
Whence it may be inferred that the city was of subsequent con- 
struction, and that the tomb had been profaned b}' the founders. 
Near this is another instance of the city-wall blocking up an 
ancient tomb. Facts of importance, as bearing on the question by 
whom and in what age the city was built. 

A little beyond this you reach another deep recess in the line 
of cliff, with a magnificent mass of walling rising to the height of 
twenty- eight courses, or fifty-four feet, and stretching completely 
across the hollow. In the centre is a gate, the Porta del Bove, 
fine in itself, but appearing quite insignificant a mere drain-hole 
in the vast expanse of wall. 9 Towers, bannered with oak-saplings, 
and battlemented with ivy, crest boldly the projecting cliffs at 
the angles of the recess. "Desert caves, with wild thyme and 
the gadding vine o'ergrown," yawn around. Soracte soars bluel}* 
in the distance above the wooded glen. The whole scene is one 
of picturesque grandeur, rendered more impressive by the silence, 
loneliness, and desolation. 1 

8 Bull. Inst. 1844, p. 168. higher ground of the city. It must have 

9 This is perhaps the loftiest relic of been a very steep ascent, as the gate opens 
ancient city-walls extant in Italy, save the at the bottom of a deep gulley, and the 
Bastion in the polygonal walls of Norba ground within is almost on a level with 
in Latium, which is about the same height. the top of the wall. A large tree, now 
The wall of the Fornm of Augustus at reduced to charcoal, lies prostrate on the 
Rome, in the same style of masonry, is, ramparts, which, when it flourished high 
however, considerably higher. above the wall, must have greatly in- 

1 The gate derives its present appella- creased the picturesque effect from below, 

tion from something carved in relief on The gate is 8 feet in span, and the depth 

its key-stone, which may once have been of the arch, or the thickness of the wall 

a bull's skull, a favourite ornament of in this part, is 9 feet. There are 13 

gateways among the Romans. Another voussoirs in the arch, 3 feet 9 inches deep, 

appellation, Porta della Puttana, is yet fitted together with great neatness all 

more difficult of explanation. Within are are of tufo, and are rusticated in the 

traces of a vaulted passage, much wider return facing of the arch, 
than the gate itself, leading up to the 



Opposite the Porta del Bove are the remains of a bridge over 
the Miccino, the piers on both banks being still extant. 

The southern wall of the city extends but a short way beyond 
the Porta del Bove. It then turns to the north ; and after pass- 
ing nine towers in excellent preservation, you come to the site 
of another gate, now destroyed. Outside it, a Roman tomb 
rises to a considerable height. From this spot, a short distance 


A to II. Gates in the city-walls. L, 

C. Porta del Bove. M. 

E. Gate represented in woodcut, p. a. 

101. b. 

II. Porta di Giove. See woodcut, p. 97. c. 

I. Theatre. d d. 

K. Ruins. e c,. 

Supposed site of Forum. 
Church of Sta. Maria di Falleri. 
Window in the wall. 
Small gate, almost buried. 
Pyramid, and other Roman tombs. 
Loftiest portions of the walls. 
Sewers cut in the rock. 

carries you to the gate at the north-eastern angle, where you 
complete the tour of the city. According to Gell, the circuit of 
the walls is 2305 yards, or more than one English mile and a 
third. 2 The form of the city is a right-angled triangle, with the 
angles truncated. About fifty towers are standing, and eight or 
nine gates may be traced. "Perhaps," as Gell remarks, ''no 
place presents a more perfect specimen of ancient military 

2 Gell, I. p. 421. 

106 FALLERL [CHAP, vin. 

Within the walls there are but few remains. On the spot 
where the theatre was found nothing . can now be traced of the 
seats or arches. A high bank, encircling a hollow, marks the 
outline. Here, as on the other spots where excavations have been 
made, are fragments of cornices and columns of travertine and 
marble, and other traces of the llomans. Several fine statues, 
have been found on this spot. 3 

The only building now standing within the walls is the convent 
of Sta. Maria di Falleri, but even this shares in the ruin of the 
spot, and, instead of chaunt and orison, resounds with the bleat- 
ing of sheep and lowing of oxen. It is of the Lombard style, so 
common in the ecclesiastical architecture of Italy, but of a 
more simple character than usual. It is constructed of the ma- 
terials of the ancient city, and apparently is of the twelfth century. 

We have now to consider the origin and ancient name of this 
cit}\ That an Etruscan population occupied this or a neigh- 
bouring site is evident from the multitude of tombs and niches, 
excavated in the cliffs, undoubtedly of that character, and too 
remote to belong to the city which occupied the site of Civita 
Castellana. The Avails are certainly in the Etruscan style as 
regards the masonry ; but this is not decisive of their origin, for 
precisely the same sort of masomy was employed in the earliest 
walls 01 Home, and is to be seen in other places south and east 
of the Tiber; in almost every case, however, prior to the Empire. 
Nibby 4 is of opinion from the method of fortification, from the 
urching of the gateways, and from the sculpture and mouldings, 
as well as from the fact that the theatre and other ancient relics 
within the walls are unequivocally Roman, that the remains now 
extant belong to a Roman city. Canina, on the other hand, a 
superior authority on architectural matters, sees much Etruscan 
character in the gateways. 5 As before her intercourse with 
Greece, Rome was indebted to Etruria for all her arts, as well as 
for most of her institutions, religious, political, and social; it may 
well be that this city was built under the Roman domination, but 
that Etruscan artists and artisans were employed in its construc- 
tion. The name of the original town, moreover, seems preserved 
in its modern appellation, which it possessed through the middle 

3 The theatre is said to have been cut lated statues of C. and L. Csesar, which 

in the rock, like the amphitheatre of Sutri were found among its niins. A fine 

(Hull. Inst. 1829, p. 57). It was exca- statue of Juno has also been excavated 

vated in 1829 and 1830. It seems to within the walls of Falleri. 
have been of the time of Augustus, from a 4 II. p. 27. 

statue of Livia as Concord, and some muti- 5 See note 6, p. 102. 


ages, and which indicates it as the Falerii of the Etruscans. Let 
us consider what is said of that town by ancient Avriters. 

At an early period, says tradition, shortly after the Trojan war, 
a body of Greeks from Argos, led by Halesus, or Haliscus, son 
of Agamemnon, settled in this part of Italy, 6 drove out the Siculi, 
who then possessed it, and occupied their towns of Falerium and 
Fescennium. 7 Whether they were subsequently conquered by 
the Tyrrheni or Etruscans, or entered into alliance with them, 
does not appear, but it is certain that they were incorporated 
with that people, and under the name of Falisci 8 continued to 
possess this part of Etruria till its conquest by Eome. Yet they 
were always in some respects a distinct people ; their language 
was said to differ from the Etruscan ; B and even as late as the 
time of Augustus, they retained traces of their Argive origin, in 
their armour and weapons, and in various customs, especially in 
what regarded their temples and religious rites. The temple of 
Juno at Falerii is said to have been the counterpart of that 
dedicated to the same goddess at Argos, i.e. the Heneum, and 
her worship to have been similar. 1 There seems to have been 
a third city, Faliscum, similar in origin to the other two, and 
deriving its name from the chief of the original colonists. 2 

We see then that there were three cities, probably not far 
removed from each other, inhabited by a race, which, though 

6 Dion. Hal. I. p. 17. Ovid. Fast. y Strabo, V. p. 226. 

IV. 73, and Amor. III. Eleg. 13, 31. l Dion. Hal. loc. cit. Ovid. Amor. III. 

Cato ap. Plin. III. 8. Serv. ad .En. VII. Eleg. 13, 27, et seq. : see also Fasti, VI. 

(595. Steph. Byzant. v. *aA.i'<r/cor. Solinus 49. This Juno had the epithet of Curitis 

II. p. 13. All agree as to the Argive or Quiritis, as we learn from Tertullian 

origin of the Falisci, save Justin (XX. 1), (Apolog. 24) and from inscriptions found 

who derives them from the Chalcidenses on the spot (Holsten. ad Cluv. p. 57. 

an origin which Niebuhr (III. p. 179) Gruter, p. 308, 1). In the Sabine tongue 

rejects. Quiris signifies "lance," she was therefore 

7 Dionys. Hal. I. pp. 16, 17. Neither the "lance-Juno," and is represented 
Dionysius, Cato, nor Stephanus makes holding that weapon. Plut. Eomul. Mi- 
mention of Halesus as the founder. nerva also was worshipped at Falerii. Ovid. 
Servius (ad JEn. VII. 695) points out the Fast. III. 843. Mars seems to have been 
change of the initial H. into F. , the another god of the Falisci, as they called the 
adoption by the Romans of the ^Eolic fifth month in their calendar after his name, 
digamma to express the Greek aspirate, Ovid. Fast. III. 89. A four-faced Janus 
sicut Pol-mis', qute Horrnia fuerunt was also worshipped here, whose statue 
curb TTJS 6p/j.ris. was carried to Rome, where the temple of 

8 Dionysius (loc. cit.) calls this Argive Janus Quadrifrons was erected to receive it. 
colony Pelasgi, and the similarity, almost Serv. ad 2En. VII. 607. Festus (v. Strop- 
amounting to identity, of this word to pus) speaks of a festival kept by the Falisci 
Falisci is remarkable ; in fact it is not under the name of Strupearia, but in 
improbable that the appellation Falisci honour of what deity he does not mention, 
was one simply indicative of their Argive 2 See Note I. in the Appendix to this 

i. e. Pelasgic) descent. Chapter. 


of Greek origin, was, at the period it is mentioned in Roman 
history, to all intents and purposes, Etruscan ; amalgamated, 
like the inhabitants of Agylla, Cortona, and other Pelasgic cities 
of Etruria, with the mixed race of the Tyrrhenes, and bearing, 
from the general testimony of ancient writers, the generic name 
of Falisci. 

Of these three cities, Falerii, or Falerium, as it is indifferently 
called, was evidently the most important. There is every reason 
to believe it one of the Twelve cities of the Confederation. 8 
Plutarch says it was so strong by nature and so admirably 
prepared to sustain an attack, that the citizens made light of 
being besieged by the Romans, 4 even though led by Camillus ; 
and according to Livy the siege bid fair to be as tedious as that 
of Veii ; 5 which could not have been the case had not the city 
occupied a site strong by nature as well as by art. Ovid speaks 
of the steepness of the ascent to the celebrated temple of Juno 
within the city. 6 Zonaras also mentions the natural strength 
of its position on a lofty height/ All descriptive of a site 
widely different from that of Falleri, and perfectly agreeing 
with that of Civita Castellana, which, in accordance with Cluve- 
rius, Holstenius, Cramer, and Nibby, I am fully persuaded is 
the representative of the Etruscan Falerium. 

There it is we must place the scene of the well-known story of 
the treacherous schoolmaster. 

The Falerians, trusting in the strength of their town, regarded 
with indifference the Roman army encamped about it, and pur- 
sued their ordinary avocations. It was the custom of the Falisci, 
derived probably from their Greek ancestors, to have a public 
school for the tuition of the male children of the citizens. The 
schoolmaster during the siege took his boys out of the city for 
exercise, as usual in time of peace, and led them daily further 
from the walls, till at length he carried them to the Roman 
camp, and delivered them up to their foes. As among them 
were the children of the principal citizens, he thought by this 
act to transfer to the Romans the destinies of the city itself, and 
thus purchase for himself the favour of Camillus. But the 
Roman general, with that noble generosity and inflexible virtue 
which characterised many of his countrymen of early times, 

3 See Note II. in the Appendix to this s Liv. V. 26. 
Chapter. 6 Amor. III., Eleg. 13, 6. 

4 Plut. Camil. : see also Val. Max. VI. ' Zonar. Ann. VII. 22 ; and VIII. 18. 
5. 1. nuenia expugnari non poterant. 


scorned to profit by such baseness, and sternly replied, "Not 
to such wretches as thyself art thou come with thy base offers. 
With the Falisci we have no common bond of human making ; 
but such as nature hath formed, that will we ever respect. War 
hath its laws as well as peace ; and its duties we have learnt 
to execute, whether they demand our justice or our valour. We 
are arrayed, not against that tender age which is sacred even in 
the moment of successful assault, but against those who, though 
neither injured nor annoyed by us, took up arms and attacked 
our camp at Veii. Them hast thou surpassed in iniquity ; and 
them will I overcome, as I have the Veientes, by Roman skill, 
determination, and valour." Then commanding the wretch to 
be stript, and his hands to be bound behind his back, he 
delivered him to the boys, who with rods and scourges drove 
him back to the city. The anxiety and terror of the inhabitants 
at the loss of their children was turned to joy on their return, 
and they conceived such admiration of the Roman general that 
they forthwith surrendered the city into his hands. 8 

This was in the year of Rome 360 ; but the Falisci, as a 
people, are mentioned in Roman history as early as the year 
317 ; 9 from which time, to the capture of the city, they several 
times warred against Rome, in alliance with either the Veientes, 
Fidenates, or Capenates. The Falisci remained subject to 
Rome till the year 397, when they revolted, and joined the 
Tarquinienses, but were subdued by the dictator, Marcius. 
Rutilus. 1 In 461 they joined the other Etruscan cities in the 
final struggle for independence. 2 In 513, after the first Punic 
war, they again revolted; but were soon reduced. 3 Zonaras,. 
who has given us an account of this final capture, says that 
" the ancient city situated on a steep and lofty height was. 
destro} r ed, and another built in a place of easy access." * The 
description of the latter, which will not apply at all to the site 
of Civita Castellana, agrees precisely with that of Falleri, which,, 
as already shown, stands on two sides on the actual level of the 
plain, and on the third, on cliffs but slightly raised from the 
valley such a situation, as, by analogy, we know would never 
have been chosen by the Etruscans, but is not at all inconsistent 

8 Livy, V. 27. Pint. Camil. Dion. 432. 

Hal. Excerp. Mai, XII. c. 16. Val. Max. 2 Liv. X. 45, 46. 

VI. 5, 1. Flonis. I. 12. Frontin. Strat. a Polyb. I. 65. Val. Max. VI. 5. 

IV. 4. Zonaras, VII. 22. Eutrop. II. 28. Zonaras, Ann. VIII. 18. 

9 Liv. IV. 17. Orosius, IV. 11. 

1 Liv. VII. 16, 17. Diocl. Sic. XVI. p. 4 Zonar. loc. cit. 


with a Roman origin. 5 Regarding Fallen, then, to be the city 
rebuilt at this period, all difficulty with regard to its name is 
removed. It is not necessary to suppose it the Etruscan Falerii; 
for the name of the original city was transferred with the inhabit- 
ants to this site, which has retained it, while the ancient site 
lay desolate, it is probable, for many ages, 6 till long after the fall 
of the Empire, in the eighth or ninth century of our era, the 
strength of its position attracted a fresh settlement, and it was 
fortified under the name of Civitas Castellana. 

That Civita was the site of the original, and Falleri of the 
second city of Falerii, is corroborated by the much superior si/e 
of the former, and by the fact that no Roman remains have been 
discovered there, while they abound at the latter place. 7 

This is the opinion regarding Falerii held by most antiquaries 
of note, and it seems clear and consistent. 8 Some few, as 
Nardini, Miiller, Gell, and Mannert, led astray by the resem- 
blance of the name, view Falleri as the original Falerii, and 
without just grounds regard Civita Castellana as the site of 

Regarding, then, the remains of Falleri as belonging to Roman 
times, the resemblance of its walls and gates to Etruscan 
masonry and architecture is explained by the date of their con- 
struction, as they belong to a period when the Romans were 
imitators of the Etruscans in all their arts ; besides, the inhabit- 
ants were still of the latter nation, though they had received a 
Roman colony. This may also, to some extent, explain its tombs, 
which, with a few exceptions, are purely Etruscan. Neverthe- 
less, as already shown, there is ground for believing that such 
tombs existed here long prior to the erection of the walls of 
Falleri, and therefore that a genuine Etruscan town occupied 
a neighbouring site but where that town ma} 7 have stood, or 

5 See Note III. in the Appendix to this rounded every temple. It is probable, how- 
Chapter, ever, that there was still some small popu- 

6 The "apple-bearing Falisci " men- Lation on this spot, as usual in the imme- 
tioned by Ovid (Amor. III., Eleg. 13), as diate neighbourhood of celebrated shrines, 
the birthplace of his wife may have been and to that Ovid may have referred under 
Falleri ; but the temple of Juno continued the name of Falisci. The Colonia Junonia, 
in his day to occupy the original site, as is referred to by Frontinus (de colon.) qua; 
proved by his mention of the walls con- appellatur Faliscos, quae a III viris cst 
quered by Camillus, and the steep ascent assignata and in an inscription found at 
to the town, diflicilis clivis via there Falleri, must apply to the second city. 
b_ j ing nothing like a steep to Falleri. The 7 Nibby, II. v. Falerii. 

dense and venerable grove, too, around the 8 See Note IV. in the Appendix to this 

temple, may perhaps mark the desolation Chapter. 
of the site, though a grove generally sur- 


what its name ma} r have been, I pretend not to determine. It 
was probably some small town dependent on Falerii, the name 
of which has not come down to us. 

Fallen was on the Via Amerina which branched from the Via 
.Cassia at Le Sette Vene, and ran northward through Nepi to 
Todi and Perugia. It is five miles from Nepi, as set down in 
the Table, and three from Corchiano on the same line of ancient 
road. In this direction, or northwards from Falleri, the road 
may be traced by fragments more or less perfect almost as far as 
Orte, on the Tiber'. 9 

For my guide to Falleri I took a man from Civita Castellana, 
named Domenico Mancini, a most civil fellow, simple but 
intelligent, and, what is more than can be said for Italian guides 
in general, satisfied with a just remuneration. Having tended 
cattle or sheep all his life-time in the neighbourhood, -he knows 
the site of every grotta or tomb, and in fact, pointed out to me 
those with the porticoes and Latin inscription, which were pre- 
viously unknown to the world. The antiquity-hunter in Italy 
can have no better guide than an intelligent shepherd ; for these 
men, passing their da}'s in the open air, and following their 
flocks over the wilds far from beaten tracks, become familiar 
with every cave, eveiy fragment of ruined wall, and block of 
hewn stone ; and, though the} T do not comprehend the antiquity 
of such relics, yet, if the traveller makes them aware of what he 
is seeking, the}- will rarely fail to lead him to the sites of such 
remains. The visitor to Falleri who would engage the services 
of the said Domenico, must ask for " Domenico, detto Figlio del 
He," or the King's Son ; which is no reflection on any crowned 
head in Europe, but is a sobriquet belonging to him in right of 
his father, who was generally called " The King," whether from 
his dignified bearing, or from out-topping his fellows, like Saul, 
I know not. These cocinomina are general among the lower 
orders in Italy a relic, doubtless, of ancient times and no one 
seems ashamed of them ; nay, a man is best known \>y his nick- 
name. At Sutri I was guided by a Sorcio, or " Mouse " 
(remember the three great Republican heroes of the same name, 

9 The distances on the Via Amerina are Faleros V. 

thus marked in the Peutingerian Table : Ca&tello Amerino XII. 

Roma Ameria VI III. 

Ad Sextum M.P, VI. Tuder 

Veios VI. VI. 

Vacanas VIIII. Vetona XX. 

Nepa VIIII. Pirusio XIIII. 

112 FALLERL [CHAP. vm. 

P. Decins Mus!); at Narni, I was diiven by Mosto, or "New 
Wine;" at Chianciano by the "Holy Father" himself; and at 
Pitigliano I lodged in the house of II Bimbo, or " the Baby." 
I should mention that this son of the shepherd-king of Civita 
Castellana, will provide the traveller with horses at three francs 
each per diem. 



NIBIIY doubts the existence of a third town, and thinks that Faliscum 
is merely another name for Falerium, seeing that Falisci was the name 
of the people, and Falerii of their city ; just as the inhabitants of Koine 
were called Quirites, and of Ardea, liutuli. Cluver (II., p. 544) is much of 
the same opinion. Now, though " Falisci " was undoubtedly the name of 
the race, as shown by most writers, particularly by Livy, and though some- 
times employed, in this sense, indifferently with Falerii, and though Faliscum, 
Falisca, or Falisci, is often confounded with Falerii the town, as by Ovid, 
Pliny, Diodorus, (XIV., p. 810), and perhaps by Servius ; yet Faliscum is 
mentioned by Strabo (V., p. 226), by Stephanus (v. <I>nAio-Kos), and Solinus 
(II., p. 13), in addition to Falerium. The last-named author speaks of the 
three cities in the same passage, ab Haleso Argivo Phaliscam ; a Phalerio 
Argivo Phalerios ; Fescennium quoque ab Argivis. See Miiller's opinion on 
this passage (Etrusk. IV., 4, 3, n. 31). Strabo also mentions " Falerium and 
Faliscum " in the same breath ; and as by the former he must mean the 
second, or Roman Falerii, seeing that the original Etruscan city had ceased 
to exist long before his time, it is clear that the latter must refer to some 
other place probably the ^quum Faliscum which he indicates as lying on 
the Flaminian Way between Ocriculum and Home. See Note III. 


That Falerii was one of the Twelve Cities of the Etruscan Confederation, 
there is every reason to believe. Its position, in a portion of Etruria which 
could scarcely belong to Veii, or to Volsinii, the nearest cities of the League 
its size, much superior to any of the known dependent towns, and second 
only to Caere and Veii, among the cities south of the Ciminian and the 
importance ascribed to it by ancient writers make it highly probable that 
it was one of the principal cities of Etruria. Cluver (II., p. 545) thinks the 
fact may be deduced from the passage of Livy (IV. 23) already commented 
on, in connection with Veii (ut supra, p. 28). Miiller thinks Falerii has 
equal claims to this honour with Veii and Ca>re ; and that it was much too 
powerful, and acted too independently, to be the colony of another city. 
Etrusk. II. 1, 2. Eutropius (1. 18) says it was not inferior to Veii. Dempster 
(de Etruria Regali, II. p. 52) places Falerii among the Twelve. Niebuhr is 
not of this opinion ; perhaps because he regarded the Falisci as ^Equi, rather 
than as Etruscans. Hist. Rom. I. pp. 72, 119, Eng. trans. 


NOTE III. ^QUUM FALISCUM. See page 110. 

Niebuhr (Hist. Horn. I. p. 72, Eng. trans.) is of opinion that the epithet 
of JEqui, attached by Virgil (yEn. VII. G95) and Silius Italicus (VIII. 491, 
cf. V. 17G) to the Falisci, was applied to them because they were JEqui or 
Volsci, and remarks that the names Falisci and Volsci are clearly identical. 
Miiller (einl. II. 14), however, shows that the Etruscan element was pre- 
dominant at Falerii ; that the city was never found in political connection 
with the Sabines, Umbrians, or JSquians, but solely with the Etruscans, and 
thinks that the epithet refers to the position of the second city of Falerium 
in the plain, as stated by Zonaras. Servius, however, in his comment on 
this passage of Virgil, interprets ^Equi as, "Just, because the Roman people, 
having got rid of the Decemvirs, received from the Falisci the Fecial laws, 
and some supplements of the XII. Tables which they had had from the 
Athenians." Cluver (Ital. Ant. II. p. 538) and Miiller (Etrusk. II. 3, 6) 
refute this statement ; and the latter will not allow that the}- were called 
JEqui Falisci, either from their uprightness, or their origin from the race of 
the .^Equi, as Niebuhr supposes ; but solely from the situation of their second 
city. I pretend not to reconcile the variances of such authorities ; but 
merely point out the glaring anachronism of which the Mantuan bard is 
guilty, provided the opinion of Miiller be correct. The same epithet, how- 
ever, in another case .ZEquimselium we are expressly told, was significant 
of the level nature of the ground (Dion. Hal. Excerp. Mai, XII. 1). It 
seems to me more probable, from a comparison with Strabo (V. p. 226), that 
yEquum Faliscum was a synonym not of Roman Falerii, but of Faliscum, 
the third city of the Falisci. See Note I. and note 4 , on page 123. 


The name of most weight in the opposite scale is that of Miiller ; but 
though his opinion was " the result of careful consideration," it is, in this 
case, of no weight, seeing that it is founded on a mistaken view of the local 
characteristics of Fallen, which, it is evident, he had never visited. He has 
been misled by false statements, and his arguments, on such premises, are of 
course powerless. He says (Etrusker, einl. II., 14), " the walls of the ancient 
city of Falerii, built of polygonal blocks of white stone, uncemented, are 
situated on the heights about three miles to the west of Civita Castellana ; 
and the site is still called Falari." He takes his information, as to the 
position of the ruins, from Nardini (Veio Antico, p. 153), and from Sickler's 
Plan of the Campagna, a map full of inaccuracies, both in names and sites : 
though he owns that Cluver, Holstenius, and Mazzocchi state that Falleri is 
in the plain. But it is on this false notion that he founds his main argu- 
ment, which is the correspondence of the position of Falari with that 
ascribed to Falerii, by ancient writers. Again, he says, " it is quite 
incredible that such massive walls as these are the work of the conquered 
Falisci, or of a Roman colony. Falari must therefore be regarded as the 
ancient Falerii." Now, there are no polygonal walls in existence in Southern 
Etruria, save at Pyrgi on the coast ; and the blocks of which those of Falerii 
are composed are of the comparatively small size, usually employed in 
Etruscan cities in this part of the land, and precisely accord in dimensions 
and arrangement with those of Roma Quadrata, of the Tabularium, and 
many other remains in and around Rome. The second town of Falerii 

VOL. I. I 


jEquum Faliscum, as he calls it he places, with Nardini, on some unde- 
termined site in the Plain of Borghetto, near the Tiber, because Strabo says 
it was near the Via Flaminia. Civita Castellana, he follows Nardini and the 
early Italian antiquaries, in supposing to be the ancient Fescennium, and 
contents himself with saying that it cannot be Falerii. 

It should be stated that Festus offers a singular derivation for the name of 
this city Faleri oppidum a sale dictum which Cluver (II. p. 542) explains 
as the consequence of a blunder in transcribing from the Greek authors 
airo TOV SXos instead of dno TOV 'AXrjcrov. Its obscurity is in some measure 
relieved by Servius (ad ./En. VIII. 285), who calls Alesus the son of 
Neptune, and by Silius Italicus (VIII. 47G), where he refers to Halesus ac 
the founder of Alsium, on the sea-coast. Some readings, however, of Festus. 
give " Faleri a, fale" -/a/a meaning something lofty, being derived, say 
Festus, from the Etruscan word falando, which signifies heaven. 




Festa dicax funclat convicia Fescenninus. SENECA. 

Hem ! nos homunculi iudignamur, si quis nostrum interiit ant occisus est quorum vita 
bre/ior esse debet, cuin uno loco tot oppidum cadavera projecta jaceant? 

SERV. SULPIT., Epist. ad M. Tull. Cicer. 

THE second town of the Falisci, Fescennium, or Fescennia, or 
Fascenium, as Dioirysius calls it, was founded, like Falerii, by 
the Siculi, who were driven out by the Pelasgi ; traces of which 
latter race were still extant in Dionysius' day, in the warlike 
tactics, the Argolic shields and spears, the religious rites and 
ceremonies, and in the construction and furniture of the temples 
of the Falisci. 1 This Argive or Pelasgic origin of Fescennium, 
as well as of Falerii, is confirmed hy Solinus. 2 

Virgil mentions 

1 Dion. Hal. I. pp. 1C, 17. 

2 Solin. II. p. 13. Servius, however, 
ascribes to Fescennium an Athenian origin, 

and calls it a to-wn of Campania (ad JEn. 
VII. 695). 

I 2 


Fescennium as sending her hosts to the assistance of Turnus ; 3 
but no notice of it, which can be regarded as historical, has come 
down to us ; and it is probable that, as a Faliscan town, it 
followed the fortunes and fate of Falerii. It was a Homan 
colony in the time of Pliny. 4 We know only this in addition, 
that here are said to have originated the songs, which from an 
early period were in use among the Romans at their nuptials ; 5 
and which were sung also by the peasantry in alternate extempore 
verses, full of banter and raillery. 6 

To the precise site of Fescennium we have no clue, though, 
from its connection with Falerii, and the mention made of 
it by Virgil, we may safely conclude it was in the district 
between Soracte and the Ciminian mount, i. e. in the ager 
Faliscus. Miiller's opinion, that it occupied the site of Civita 
Castellana, has been shown to be incorrect. The assumption 
of Cluver, that it is represented by Gallese, a village about 
nine miles to the north of Civita Castellana, seems wholly 
gratuitous ; he is followed, however, in this by subsequent 
writers magni nominis umbra. 7 The truth is, that there are 
numerous Etruscan sites in this district, none of which, 
save Gallese, have been recognised as such, so that, in the 
absence of definite description by the ancients, and of all 
monumentary evidence on the several localities, it is iin- 

3 Virg. JEn. loc. cit. of Cortona, Cfere, Alsium, Pyrgi, all which 

4 Plin. III. 8. cities had a Pelasgic origin. 

5 Serving, loc. cit. Festus roce Fescennini 6 Livy (VII. 2) calls them versuin 
versus. Plin. XV. 24. Catul. LXI. 126. incompositum temere ac rudem. Catullus 
Seneca, Medea, 113. Glaudian gives a (loc. cit.) procax Fescennina locutio. So 
specimen of Fescennina, on the nuptials of also Seneca (loc. cit.). Fescennine seems 
Honorius and Maria. Festus offers a deri- to have been a proverbial synonym for 
vation quia fascinum putabantur arcere "playing the fool." Macrob. Saturn. II. 
which Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 5. 2. n. 8.) 10. In their original character these 
thinks is not satisfactory. Dr. Schmitz, Fescennines, though coarse and bold, were 
in Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities, objects not malicious ; but in time, says Horace, 
to the Fescennian origin of these songs, on the freedom of amiable sport grew to 
the ground that " this kind of amusement malignant rage, and gave rise to dissen- 
has at all times been, and is still, so popular sions and feuds ; whereon the law stept in, 
in Italy, that it can scarcely be considered and put an end to them altogether. Epist. 
as peculiar to any particular place." He II. I. 145. Augustus himself wrote Fes- 
funher maintains that these songs cannot cennines on Pollio, who would not respond, 
be of Etruscan origin, because Fescennium save with a witty excuse non est facile in 
was not an Etruscan, but a Faliscan town. eum scribere, qui potest proscribere. 
But whatever may have been the origin of Macrob. Satur. II. 4. 

the Falisci, ages before we find mention of 7 Cluv. Ital. Antiq. II. p. 551. Nibby, 

the Fescennine verses, they had been incor- II. p. 28. Cramer, I. p. 226. Abeken's 

porated with the Etruscan Confederation, Mittelital. p. 36. Westphal, Map of the 

and were as much Etruscans as the citizens Campagna. 


possible to pronounce with certainty which is the site of 

This district tying between the Ciminian on the west, Soracte 
on the east, the Tiber on the north, and the modern Via Cassia 
on the south, with the exception of the road which passes 
through Nepi and Civita Castellana to Ponte Felice, is to 
travellers in general, and to antiquaries in particular, a terra 
Incognita. This tract of country, though level, is of exceeding 
beauty not the stern, barren grandeur of the Campagna around 
Rome but beauty, soft, rich, and luxuriant. Plains covered 
with oaks and chestnuts grand gnarled giants, who have lorded 
it here for centuries over the lowly hawthorn, nut, or fern such 
sunny glades, carpeted with green sward ! such bright stretches 
of corn, waving away even under the trees! such "quaint 
mazes in the wanton groves ! " and such delicious shady dells, 
and avenues, and knolls, where Nature, in her springtide frolics, 
mocks Art or Titania, arid girds every tree, every bush, with a 
fairy belt of crocuses, anemones, purple and white cistuses, 
delicate cyclamens, convolvuluses of different hues, and more 
varieties of laughing flowers than I would care to enumerate. 
A merrier greenwood you cannot see in all merry England ; it 
may want the buck to make it perfect to the stalker's taste ; 
but its beauty, its joyousness, must fill every other eye with 

" It is, I ween, a lovely spot of ground, 
And in a season atween June and May 
Half prankt with spring, with summer half embrowned . . 
Is nought around but images of rest. 
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between, 
And flowery beds that slumb'rous influence kest 
From poppies breathed, and beds of pleasant green." 

Ever and anon the vine and the olive come in to enrich, and a 
flock of goats or of long-horned cattle 8 to animate the landscape, 
which is hedged in by the dark, forest-clad Ciminian, the naked, 
craggy, sparkling Soracte, and the ever-fresh and glorious range 
of Apennines, gemmed with many a town, and chequered with 
shifting shadows. 

All this is seen on the plain ; but go northwards towards the 

8 The waters or the pastures of this but the local breed is now of the grey hue 

district, the "ager Faliscus," were sup- common in the Campagna. This district 

posed by the ancients to have the property was anciently fertile in flax (Sil. Ital. IV. 

of turning cattle white (Plin. Nat. His. II. 223). There is little enough, either of 

106. Ovid. Amor. III. Eleg. 13, v. 13), produce or manufacture, at present. 


Tiber, and you find that you are far from being on low ground ; 
the river flows five hundred feet beneath you, through a valley 
which in fertile beauty has few rivals, even in Italy. Or 
attempt to approach some one of the towns whose spires you 
see peering above the woods of the plain ; and many a ravine, 
darkly profound, unseen, unthought of till you stand on its 
brink, yawns at your feet, and must be traversed to its uttermost 
recesses ere you attain your object. In these lower regions } T OU 
are amid scenes widely different from those on the upper level. 
Your horizon is bounded b} r walls of rock, but what it wants in 
distance it gains in intrinsic beauty. The cliffs, broken into 
fantastic forms, and hollowed into caves of mysterious interest, 
display the richest hues of brown, red, orange, and grey ; wood 
hangs from their every ledge, and even crests their brows a 
wood as varied in mass as in tint ilex, ash, alder, oak, chestnut 
matted together with ivy, vines, clematis, and honeysuckle ; a 
stream winds brawling through the hollow, here spanned by a 
rustic bridge, there sinking in a mimic cascade ; now struggling 
among the fallen, moss-grown crags, now running riot through 
some lowly mill, half hid by foliage. A white shrine or hermit- 
age looks down from the verge of the cliff, or a bolder- featured 
town, picturesque with the ruin of ages, towers above you on an 
insulated mass at the forking of the glen ; so lofty, so inaccessible 
is the site, you cannot believe it the very same town you had 
seen for miles before you, lying in the bosom of the plain. Such 
are the general outlines of the scenery ; but every site has its 
peculiar features, which I shall only notice in so far as the} r 
have antiquarian interest. 

About six miles northwards from Civita Castellana lies 
Corchiano, now a wretched village of five or six hundred souls, 
ruined by the French at the beginning of the century, and never 
rebuilt. There is nothing of antiquity within the walls, but the 
site is clearly Etruscan. No walls of that origin are extant, but 
the ravines around contain numerous sepulchres, now defaced by 
appropriation to other purposes. Traces of Etruscan roads, too, 
are abundant. On the way to Gallese, to Ponte Felice, and to 
Civita Castellana, you pass through deep clefts, sunk in the rock 
in ancient times ; and in the more immediate neighbourhood of 
the village are roads cut in the rock, and flanked by sepulchres, 
or built up on either hand with large blocks of tufo, which have 
every appearance of remote antiquity. The tombs have no 
remarkable features being mostly square chambers, with benches 


of rock around, and sometimes with a pillar or partition-wall in 
the centre. There are some columbaria as at Falleri, and not a 
few of those singular conical tombs, sunk in the ground, and 
having an opening above, which abound at Civita Castellana. 
But the most remarkable monument on this site is about half a 
mile from Corchiano, on the road to Falleri. After crossing the 
river the Rio Fratte you ascend to the level of the plain by a 
road sunk in the tufo, on the wall of which is carved an Etruscan 
inscription, in letters fifteen inches in height, with an intaglio of 
at least three inches 

or LARTH. VEL. ARNIES. On the rock just beyond there has been 
another inscription, but one letter only is now traceable. There 
is no appearance of a tomb, and the rock does not seem to have 
been hewn into a monumental form, yet the inscription of a 
proper name, in such a situation (and complete in itself, as the 
smooth surface testifies), can hardly have been other than sepul- 
chral. Here, at least, is proof positive of the Etruscan antiquity 
of the road, and a valuable guide by which to judge of other roads. 
There has been a water-course down one side, and, a little above 
the inscription, a sewer, just like those beneath the walls of 
Etruscan cities, opens on the road, bringing the water from the 
ground above into the course ; and again, some distance below the 
inscribed rock, another similar sewer opens in the tufo, and 
carries the water through the cliff, clear of the road, down to the 
river. Both sewers have evidently been formed for no other 
purpose ; and have every appearance of being coeval with the 
road. This, which ran here in Etruscan times, must be the same 
as that afterwards called by the Romans Via Amerina; it led 
northward from Nepi, through Falleri, to the Tiber near Orte. 
Corchiano, the ancient name of which is utterly lost, 9 was also on 
the road, perhaps a mutatio. 

9 Among the sepulchral incriptions of tion said by Buonarroti to be cut on some 

Chiusi, we find the proper name of rocks in the mountains near Florence (p. 

"Carcu" "Carca" "Carcna," and 95, ap. Dempst. II.). The name Carconia 

"Carcuni," which in Latin would be in Faliscan letters occurs in one of the 

Carconia. Mus. Chius. II. p. 218. sepulchral inscriptions found in 1851 near 

Lanzi, II. pp. 348, 409, 432, 455. The Sta. Maria di Falleri. Ann. Inst. 1860, 

name of "Curcli," which bears a strong tav. G. 
affinity to Corchiano, occurs in an inscrip- 


There is considerable interest around Corchiano, and the anti- 
quary or artist, who would explore the neighbourhood, would do 
well to make it his head-quarters, as it is centrally convenient, 
and accommodation might formerly be had in the house of the 
butcher of the place, Giuseppe Lionidi. The persons who 
entertain strangers at these out-of-the-way places are often 
butchers, and generally well to do in the world, that is, as well-doing 
is esteemed in Italy. At such places the traveller cannot look 
for comfort, but he will generally meet with great attention from 
the whole household. 

About two miles from Corchiauo on the road to Bassanello, at 
a spot called Puntone del Ponte, is a singular tomb, with a sort 
of court in front sunk in the rock, 1 and with the remains of a 
portico, of which but one square pillar is now standing. On the 
inner wall of the portico, high under the cornice, is an Etruscan 
inscription, which is imperfect, but seems to state the age of the 
defunct. In its general style this sepulchre resembles the triple- 
arched tomb at Falleri. It now serves as a pig-sty; therefore 
beware of fleas swarming as in Egyptian plagues beclouding 
light nether garments ! 

Seven miles north of Corchiano, on the road to Orte, is 
Bassanello, perhaps an Etruscan site. There is nothing of 
interest here ; but half-way between it and Corchiano, is a 
deserted town called Aleano or Liano, alias Sta. Bruna, from a 
ruined church on the site. The walls and other ruins, so far as 
I could see, are mediaeval, and highly picturesque ; but there are 
tombs of more ancient date in the cliffs beneath the walls, and in 
the neighbourhood. In many parts of this road you trace the 
Via Amerina, by the line of basaltic blocks, running almost due 
N. and S., and in one part, near the Puntone del Ponte, you 
tread the ancient pavement for some distance. 

Three miles from Corchiano and nine from Civita Castellana, 
lies Gallese, the town which has been supposed to occupy the site 
of Fescennium. It stands, as usual, on a mass of rock at the 
junction of two ravines. It has evidently been an Etruscan site, 
and though no walls of that construction are extant, there are 
several sewers in the cliffs beneath the town, and plenty of tombs 
in the rocks around. Within the town are a few lloman remains, 
fragments of columns, inscriptions, and bas-reliefs, but nothing 

1 This court in front of the portico Macrob. Sat. VI. 8) as a vacant space 
must represent the vestibule described by before the door of the house, through 
Ciecilius Gallus (ap. A. Gell. XVI. 5 ; which lay the approach to it. 


which throws light on the ancient name of the place. This, 
however, has been determined by a worthy canonico of Gallese, 
now deceased, to be the ^Equuni Faliscum, mentioned by Strabo, 
Virgil, and Italicus, and he wrote a work thereon, still in manu- 
script, entitled, " La Antica Falisca, o sia notizie istoriche della 
citta di Gallese, dal Canonico Teologo Amanzio Nardoni." His 
is not a new idea, for on the front of the Palazzo Comunale or 
Town-hall is inscribed 


The derivation of Gallese from Halesus, or Haliscus, the son 
of Agamemnon, and reputed founder of the Faliscan race, is 
plausible enough ; but another less venerable origin has been 
sought for the name by the townspeople, who have assumed for 
the arms of the town a cock Gallese a gallo. ^Equum Faliscum 
seems, from Strabo, to have been on the Flaminian Way, but 
Gallese lies about midway between that and the Via Amerina, two 
or three miles from each. The town is circumscribed by nature, 
and can never have been of importance scarcely large enough to 
be the ancient Fescennium. Gallese is very accessible by railway 
from Rome, from which it is 74 chilometres distant, and three 
miles from the station bearing its own name. 

Six miles north-west of Corchiano lies Vignanello, also an 
Etruscan site, but with no remains of interest. It is a mean and 
dirty town with a villanous osteria, yet of such importance that a 
vehicle, miscalled diligence, runs thither from Rome twice a week. 
Four miles beyond is Soriano, another ancient site, possibly the 
Surrina Vetus whose existence may be inferred from the " Sur- 
rina Nova " which occupied the site of Viterbo. It is boldly 
situated on the lower slope of the dark Ciminian, lorded over by 
its venerable castle ; and retains many a picturesque trace of the 
earthquake which shattered it in the last century. 

I had the fortune to discover the site of an ancient city in this 
district, which seems to me to be more probably that of Fescen- 
nium than any one of those yet mentioned. It lies about a mile 
and a half west of Ponte Felice, on the way thence to Corchiano, 
and the site is indicated by a long line of walling, an embankment 
to the cliffs on one side of a ravine. From the character of the 
ground the city must have been of great size, for it is not the 
usual narrow ridge between two ravines, but a wide area, some 
miles in circuit, surrounded by ravines of great depth ; more like 
the site of the ancient Falerii, on the heights of Civita Castel- 


lana, than of any other town in this neighbourhood. The area 
of the city is covered with dense wood, which greatly impedes 
research ; on it stands the ruined church of San Silvestro, which 
gives its name to the spot. The wall is the facing to a sort of 
natural bastion in the cliff, considerably below the level of the 
city. It is so conspicuous that I am surprised to find no men- 
tion of it in any work on the Cainpagna, not even in "VVestphal or 

Forcing a way through pathless thickets, I climbed to the wall 
and found it to extend in an unbroken mass for 150 or 200 feet. 2 
In the size and arrangement of its blocks it is more like the frag- 
ments at Tarquinii and Caere, than any other remains I can recollect 
in Etruria. The whole is much ruined in surface, and bears the 
appearance of very high antiquity. It has evidently been the 
wall of a cit} r , for no mere castle would have had a bastion such 
as this, nor would it have occupied such a site, on a ledge of the 
cliff, completely commanded by higher ground ; and though in 
the style of its masonry it differs somewhat from the general 
type, yet in its position, as a revetement to the cliff, it exactly 
corresponds with the usual walling of Etruscan cities. That 
such is its character is corroborated by the existence of numerous 
tombs, not in the cliffs of the ravines, but, as at Nepi, on the 
level of the high ground opposite, together with fragments of 
walling, and sewers which were probably intended to drain this 
level and keep the tombs dry. 

The size of this city, so much superior to that of the neigh- 
bouring Etruscan towns, and its vicinity to the Via Flaminia 
which ran just below it to the East on its way to the Tiber and 
Otricoli, greatly favour the view that here stood Fescennium. 
Not that that city is known to have been on the Flaminian, but 
the ancients generally made their roads to accommodate any 
place of importance that lay in the same direction ; 3 and that 

2 About eight or ten courses are Borghetto, crossing the Tiber by the bridge 
standing, formed of tufo blocks, from 18 now in ruins, called Le Pile d' Augusto; 
to 22 inches in height, and square, or but its precise course through this district 
nearly so (not alternating with long has not been determined. Westphal, Un- 
blocks as in the usual emplectori), and mis. Kamp. p. 136. It did not run to the 
laid often one directly over the other, as original Falerii, because that city had been 
in the Tullianum prison, and other very destroyed before its formation, and the 
early structures. second Falerii was accommodated by the 

3 The ancient road departed from the Via Amerina. But Fescennium continued 
line of the modern Via Flaminia about to exist under the Empire, and therefore 
Aqua Viva, leaving Civita Castellana two was most probably connected with the City 
or three miles to the left, and continued to by a road. 


Fescennium was of more importance than the many nameless 
Etruscan towns in this district, it is fair to conclude from the 
mention of it by Dionysius and Virgil, and from its being coupled 
with Falerii, one of the cities of the Confederation. If it were 
certain that ./Equum Faliscum was not merely another name for 
Falerii, it might well have occupied this site, for Strabo seems to 
indicate it as being on the Flaminian Way, between Otricoli and 
Rome, which must mean somewhat on the Roman side of the 
former place. 4 In one of the three Itineraries, indeed, which 
give the stations on the Flaminian, a town of that name is placed 
in this neighbourhood; but on the wrong bank of the Tiber. 
Neither Fescennium nor J^quum Faliscum is mentioned by 
Ptolemy. If this be the site of Fescennium, as the latest men- 
tion of that town is made by Pliny, it is probable that at an early 
period of the Empire it fell into decay, and was deserted, like so 
many other Etruscan towns, and " the rejoicing city became a 
desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in." Its only inhabit- 
.its are now the feathered tribes, and the only nuptial songs 
which meet the ear are those of countless nightingales, which in 
spring-time not only " smooth the rugged brow of Night," but 
even at noonday fill the groves and ravines with tuneful echoes, 

" Stirring the air with such a harmony " 

as to infuse a spirit of joy and gladness into this lonely and 
desolate spot. 

4 Strabo, it must be observed, does not of the evidently corrupt text also approved 

speak from his own knowledge, but records of by Miiller (Etrusk. einl. II. 14, n. 101). 

it as a report oi5e A.lKov/j.<t>a.\iffKov \tyov- Both these authorities, however, take this 

atVf &c. (V. p. 226). This is according for a synonym of the second Falerii, which 

to the version of Cluver (II. p. 538), who was built in the plain, not of the third city 

reads it ^Equum Faliscum, an emendation (Faliscum) of the Falisci. 



Hsec duo praeterea disjectis oppida muris. VIRO. 

Itur in agros 

Dives ubi ante omnes colitur Feronia luco 
Et sacer huinectat fluvialia rura Capeiias. SIL. ITAL. 

ANOTHER Etruscan city which played a prominent part in the 
early history of Home, was Capena. 1 It is first mentioned by 
Livy in his account of the last Veientine war, when it united 
with Falerii in assisting Veii, then beleaguered by the Romans. 
The latter city, from her power and proximity to Rome, was the 
bulwark of Etruria; and it was foreseen by the neighbouring 
people, that should she fall, the whole land would be open to 
invasion. 2 Falerii and Capena, fearing they would be next 
attacked, made strenuous attempts to raise the siege, but finding 
their efforts vain, they besought the aid of the great Confedera- 
tion of Etruria. 3 Now, it had so happened that the Veientes had 
greatly offended the Confederation, first, by acting contrary to 

1 Capena is evidently a name of Etruscan 
origin. A tomb of the family of " Capeni," 
or "Capenia," was discovered at Perugia 
in 1843 (Yermigl. Scavi Perugini, p. 9). 
Among Etruscan family names, we meet 
with "Capnas" (Verm. Isc. Perug. I. p. 
226) and "Capevani," (Lanzi II. p. 371) 
probably a derivation from Capena with 
the insertion of the digamma. In the tomb 
of the Cilnii, the name "Caupna" occurs. 

Signer Giulietti of Chiusi has an urn in- 
scribed ' ' Thania Capnei. " Stephanus calls 
this town Capinna. 

- Liv. V. 8. 

3 Liv. V. 17. Cato (ap. Serv. ad .En. 
VII. 697) states that Capena was a colony of 
Veii, which would be an additional reason 
for her eagerness to assist the latter in her 


the established custom of the land, in taking to themselves a 
king ; and in the next place, their king had made himself 
personally obnoxious by interrupting the solemn games an act 
amounting to sacrilege. So the Confederation had decreed that 
no succour should be afforded to Veii so long as she retained her 
king. 4 To the representations of the Falisci and Capenates, the 
magnates of Etruria in conclave assembled, replied, that hitherto 
they had refused Veii assistance on the ground that as she had 
not sought counsel of them, neither must she seek succour, and 
that they must still withhold it, being themselves in peril from 
the sudden invasion of the Gauls. 5 The two allies nevertheless 
persisted in their efforts to raise the siege, but in vain : their 
lands were several times ravaged, and their armies overthrown ; 6 
and on the fall of Veii, the fate they had anticipated befell them. 
Their territories were again invaded, and though the natural 
strength of their cities preserved them from assault, their lands 
were laid waste, and the produce of their fields and orchards 
utterly destroyed. 7 The territory of Capena was particularly 
fertile, 8 and such a blow as this was more efficacious than the 
sword, for it compelled the citizens to sue for peace, though at 
the expense of their independence. A few years later (A.U. 365) 
the Roman citizenship was granted to such of the inhabitants of 
Veii, Falerii, and Capena, as had sided with Rome in the recent 
struggle ; and the conquered territory was divided among them. 9 
Such means did Rome employ to facilitate her conquests, and 
secure them more firmly to herself. 

That Capena continued to exist as late as the time of 
Aurelian, is proved by scattered notices in ancient writers and 
by inscriptions. From that time we lose sight of her. Her 
site probably became desolate ; and her name was consequently 
forgotten. When interest was again awakened in the antiquities 
of Italy, she was sought for, but long in vain. Cluver 1 placed 
Capena at Civitella San Paolo, not far from the Tiber ; 
Holstenius, 2 at Morlupo ; while Galetti, from the evidence of 
inscriptions discovered on the spot, 3 has determined it to 

4 Liv. Y. 1. * Cluv. II. p. 549. 

5 Liv. Y. 17. : Adnot. ad CluT. p. 62. 

6 Liv. Y. 1214. 19. 3 Galetti, Sopra il Sito di Capena, p. 
' Liv. Y. 24. 4 23. One of these inscriptions is now 

8 Cicero pro Flac. XXIX. at Morlupo, another in the church of S. 

9 Liv. YI. 4. Those of Capena were Oreste, and a third in that of S. Silvestro, 
formed into a new tribe, called Stdlatina. on the summit of Soracte. cf. Gruter, p. 
Festus, s. voce. cf. Liv. YI. 5. 189. 5. and 466. 6. Fabretti, p. 109. 


have been at Civitucola, an uninhabited hill, half-way between 
the two. 4 

This hill lies far from any high road or frequented path, and 
still further from any town where the traveller may find accom- 
modation in a part of the Campagna which is never visited by 
strangers, save by some adventurous antiquary, or some sports- 
man, led by his eagerness far away from his accustomed haunts. 
It was more accessible when the Via Flaminia was in use as the 
high-way from Rome to Civita Castellana, for it lies only five or 
six miles off that road. The nearest point on the railroad from 
which it may be visited is Monte Rotondo, from which station it 
is about five miles distant ; but when I visited it, the nearest 
point was Civita Castellana, sixteen or eighteen miles distant, and 
it was a long day's journey there and back, on account of the 
nature of the country to be traversed, which is practicable only 
on foot or on horseback. In truth it was necessary to leave 
Civita at break of day, to avoid the risk of being benighted no 
agreeable accident in a country so lonely, and whose inhabitants 
are not well reputed for honesty. 

Domenico, my guide to Falleri, could not attend me to Capena, 
and sent his brother in his stead Antonio, commonly called " II 
Re " the King a nom de guerre which, as the eldest son, he 
had inherited from his father. Doinenico, I learned, was having 
his pigs blessed. A mad dog had attacked them, and the hogs 
had defended themselves stoutly, rushing upon and goring him 
with their tusks till they trampled his dead body under their feet. 
They paid dearly for it, however ; ten of them were bitten in the 
conflict, and to save them from hydrophobia Domenico had sent 
to the sacerdote to bless them and put the iron of San Domenico 
on their foreheads. 

I requested an explanation. 

Saint Domenick, it seems, was once on a time on his travels, 
when his horse dropped a shoe. He stopped at the first farrier's 
he came to, and had it replaced. The farrier asked for payment. 

4 Cramer, I. p. 231; Nibby, roceCapena; the opposite direction, but from Capua, 

Gell, I. p. 263. Dempster (Et. Reg. II. p. and that the termination is but the early 

179) made the blunder of placing it in Latin adjectival form, as we know it to 

Latium, on the Appian Way, because the have been the Etruscan. Frontinus indeed 

Porta Capena of Rome opened on that road, (de AquaxL, p. 27) says the Via Appia led 

as Servius (ad JEn. VII. 697) had said: a portd Capenft usque ad Capuam; and 

Porta Capena juxta Capenos est. There Dionysius (VIII. p. 483) calls the gate 

can be little doubt that the Gate derived irv\ri Kairvtvi). 
its name, not from Capena, which lay in 

CHAP, x.] SOEACTE. 127 

The saint-errant was as astonished as the knight of La Mancha 
could have heen at such a demand ; but with less courtesy he 
said to his horse, " Give him back the shoe." Whereupon the 
obedient animal flung out his heels, and with a blow on the fore- 
head laid the farrier dead. Domenico in his simplicity could 
not perceive that the farrier was at least as worthy of his hire 
as the priest, to whom he had paid three pauls for saying a 
benediction over his hogs, and branding their foreheads with the 
mark of a horse-shoe. 

For the first five miles the road was the modern Via Flaminia, 
which after crossing the Treia, ascends to the level of the 
Campagna, and continues through a country partially wooded 
nnd cultivated, yet not without beauty, to the foot of Soracte. 
The mountain itself is sufficient to obviate all tedium on the 
ride. At first it presents the form of a dark wedge or cone, the 
end towards you being densely clothed with wood ; but as you 
approach it lengthens out gradually, peak after peak disclosing 
itself, till it presents a totally different aspect a long serrated 
ridge, rising at first in bright green slopes from the plain, then 
darkening above with a belt of olive-groves, and terminating in a 
bald crest of grey rock, jagged and craggj r , its peaks capt witli 
white convents, which sparkle in the sun like jewels on a diadem. 
The whole mass reminds one of Gibraltar ; it is about the same 
length more than three miles it rises to about the same 
height above the plain 5 it has the same p} T ramidal form when 
foreshortened, a similar line of jagged peaks. But there is less 
abruptness, and more fertility. There is not the stern savage 
grandeur of the Spanish Rock ; but the true Italian grace and 
ease of outline still the beautiful though verging on the wild. 

At the Romitorio, a hamlet of a few ruined houses, I left the 
Via Flaminia, and striking across some fields and through a 
wood, ascended, by wretched tracks saturated with rain, to the 
olive-groves which belt the mountain. The view on the ascent 
is magnificent the vast expanse of the wild, almost uninhabited, 
Campagna at my feet here dark with wood, from which the 
towers of a few towns arose at wide intervals there sweeping 
away in league after league of bare down or heath the double- 
headed mass of the Ciminian on the right the more distant 

5 Gibraltar is about 1500 feet above the But the plain from which Soracte is viewed, 

sea. Soracte, according to Nibby, is 2150 being considerably elevated above the sea, 

French feet ; according to Gell, 2270 French the heights of the two mountains appear 

feet in height. Westphal calls it 2200 feet. nearly equal. 


Alban on the other hand the sharp wooded peak of Rocca 
Romana between them the varied effects of light and shade, of 
cloud and sunshine, as storms arose from time to time and 
crossed the scene, darkening and shrouding a portion of the 
landscape, which presently came forth laughing in brilliant sun- 
shine ; while the lowering cloud moved on, blotting out one 
object after another on which the eye but a moment before had 
been resting with delight. 

On emerging from the wood, Sant Oreste was seen before us, 
situated on a bare elevated shoulder of the mountain. From the 
rocky ridge leading to the village a new scene comes into view. 
A richly wooded valley lies beneath, with the Tiber winding 
through it ; and the Apennines rise beyond, peak above peak 
in steps of sublimit}', and stretch away far to the south till they 
sink all faint and grey into the Latin valley, at the steep of 

The rock of which the mountain is composed here starts up in 
Ijold crags on every side ; it is a sort of limestone, called from 
its colour " paloiribino ; " it is not however of dove-colour alone, 
Lut it is to be found of various shades of grey, and sometimes 
almost white. Among these crags a path winds up to the 
summit of the mountain. Here the traveller will find a colony of 
recluses, and the several churches of Sta. Lucia, La Madonna 
delle Grazie, Sant Antonio, and San Silvestro. The latter 
stands on the central and highest peak of the mountain, and is 
generally supposed to occupy the site of the ancient temple of 
Apollo, to which deit} r Soracte was sacred. 6 It can boast of no 
small antiquity itself, having been founded in A.D. 746, by Carlo- 
man, son of Charles Martel, and uncle of the celebrated Charle- 
magne, in honour of the saint whose name it bears. 

Sant Oreste is a wretched village, with steep, foul streets, and 
mean houses without any accommodation for the stranger. I 
was at once impressed with the conviction that it must have 
been an Etruscan site. Its situation is too strong by 'nature to 
have been neglected, and is just such as would have been chosen 
for a city in the northern part of Etruria ; the plateau rising just 
as high above the plain as those of Cosa, Rusellae, and Saturnia. 
At the foot of the steep and rocky hill on which the village 
stands I found confirmation of my opinion in a number of tombs 

6 Yirg. JEn. XI. 785. Sil. Ital. V. 170. the name of the Mount was Pelasgic, and 
VII. 662. VIII. 494 ; Plin. VII. 2; So- suggested 2up6s OKT^ as its derivation, 
linus, Polyhist. II. p. 15. Nibby fancied 


in the tufo cliffs. I did not observe any remains of ancient walls 
on the height, but if they were of tufo as is most probable, since 
that sort of rock is hewn with so much facility, that notwith- 
standing the transport of the blocks up the hill, there would have 
been less labour than in preparing the hard limestone close at 
hand 7 they may have been destroyed for the sake of materials 
to construct the houses of the village. What may have been the 
name of the Etruscan town which occupied this site is not easy to 
determine ; but I am inclined to agree with Nibby in regarding 
it as Feronia, which Strabo says was situated under Soracte, and 
its name seems to be preserved in that of Felonica, a fountain at 
the foot of this hill, on the road to Civitella di San Paolo. 8 

At or near Feronia was a celebrated temple to the goddess of 
that name, which, like many ancient shrines, stood in a thick 
grove Lucus Feronise. 9 She seems to have been identical with 
Proserpine, 1 and was worshipped by the Sabines, and Latins, as 
well as by the Etruscans. 3 Hither, on yearly festivals, pilgrims 
resorted in great numbers from the surrounding country, many 
to perform vows and offer sacrifice and those who were pos- 
sessed with the spirit of the goddess, walked with naked feet over 
heaps of burning coal and ashes, without receiving injury 3 and 

" This was done at Tivoli, whose walls cit.) calls Feronia a city, and says the 

are volcanic (Gell, II. p. 272), though the Grove was on the same spot. This must 

rocks are travertine and limestone ; so also not be confounded with the other Lucus 

at Palestrina, and again at Segni, where a Feroniae in the north of Etruria near Luca, 

gate and a portion of the walls are of tufo, which Ptolemy (Geog. p. 72, ed. Bert.) 

though the rest are formed of the natural places among the "inland colonies" of that 

limestone of the hill on which the city land, still less with the Temple of Feronia 

stands. The i>alvmbino of Soracte was mentioned by Virgil (^En. VII. 800) as 

quarried by the Romans, and is classed by situated in a green grove viridi gaudens 

Vitruvius (II. 7) with travertine, as a stone Feronia luco which was near Terracina 

of moderate hardness, a mean between tufo and theCircsean promontory. It is to this 

and tnlex or lava. latter shrine and the fountain attached to 

8 Nibby, II. p. 108 ; Strab. V. p. 226. it that Horace refers on his journey to 
Gell thinks, quite unnecessarily it seems Brundusium (Sat. I. 5, 24). 

to me, that this Felonica is "the site of * Dion. Hal. III. p. 173. According to 
the temple, grove, and fountain of Fero- Servius(ad JEn. VII. 799) Juno, as a virgin, 
nia. " Holstenius (Adnot. ad Cluver. p. was also called Feronia. Servius elsewhere 
60) also placed Feronia in the plain about (VIII. 564) calls Feronia the goddess of freed 
a mile from S. Oreste, where he said there men, who, in her temple at Terracina, 
were extensive remains of a town. The placed a pileus, or felt scull-cap, on their 
site he referred to is probably that indi- shaven crowns. Here also was a stone 
cated by Westphal (Ro'mis. Kamp. p. 136), bench, inscribed with these words : "Be- 
as occupied by an unimportant ruin, and nemeriti servi sedeant, surgent liberi." 
vulgarly called Feronia. It lies between 2 Dion. Hal. loc. cit.; Liv. XXVI. 11 ; 
the Flaminian Way and the mountain. Yarro, de Ling. Lat. V. 7-1. 

9 Liv. I. 30, XXVI. 11, XXVII. 4; Sil. 3 Strab. V. p. 226. The same is related 
Ital. XIII. 83 ; Plin. III. 8. Strabo (loc. of the shrine of Apollo on this mountain. 

VOL. I. K 


many merchants, artisans, and husbandmen, taking advantage 
of the concourse, brought their goods hither for sale, so that 
the market or fail' held here was more splendid than any other in 
Itaty.* From the numerous first-fruits and other gifts offered to 
the goddess, her shrine became renowned for its riches, and was 
decorated with an abundance of gold and silver. But it was 
despoiled by Hannibal on his march through Itaty. 5 It was 
however maintained till the fall of paganism in the fourth 
century. That the temple itself stood on a height seems pro- 
bable from the fact, mentioned by Livy, of its being struck by 
lightning. 6 

In a geological point of view, Soracte is interesting. It is a 
mass of limestone rising out of the volcanic plain, not resting, as 
Gell supposed, on a basis of tufo. One of those convulsions of 
the earth, which ejected from the neighbouring craters the matter 
which constitutes the surface of the Campagna, upheaved this 
huge mass of limestone, and either drove it through the super- 
incumbent beds of tufo ; or, what is more probable, upraised it 
previous to the volcanic disturbances of this district, when the 
Campagna lay beneath the waters of the ocean. 

Sant Oreste is about eight miles from Civita Castellana, or 
about half way from that town to the site of Capena. On 
journeying this latter half of the road, I learned two things, by 
which future travellers would do well to profit first, not to 
attempt to cross an uncultivated country without a competent 
guide, especially on fete-days, when there are no labourers or 
shepherds in the fields ; secondly, to look well to the horses one 
hires and to ascertain before starting that the}' have been fed, and, if 
need be, to carry provender for them. The animals hired in these 
country-towns are mere beasts of burden, overworked and under- 
fed, accustomed to carry wood, charcoal, or flour, and with 

Plin. N. H. VII. 2; Rolinus, II. p. 15; road from Reate to Rome, " turning out of 

Virgil, Jin. XI. 785, et seq. ; Sil. Ital. V. his way from Eretum," which he mustcer- 

177, et seq. tainly have done, if Monte Rotondo be the 

4 Dion. Hal. III. p. 173; cf. Liv. I. 30. siteof Eretum,asCluver(II.p.667)supposes. 

8 Liv. XXVI. 11; Sil. Ital. XIII. 84, et The battle of Eretum, in which the Sabines 

Beq. Cramer (I. p. 232, 309) opines that were defeated by Tullus Hostilius, was the 

the temple Hannibal rifled was one to the consequence of that people having laid 

ame goddess at Eretum in Sabina, and violent hands on some Romans at the fair 

quotes Fabretti (Insc. Ant. p. 452), who of Fanum Feronize. Dion. Hal. loc. cit. 

states that inscriptions have been found cf. Liv. I. 30. 

near Eretum which mention a temple to 6 Liv. XXXIII. 2.6. It has been suggested 

Feronia at that place. Livy, however, re- that the Temple of Feronia stood on the 

cords a tradition that Hannibal spoiled this site of the Church of S. Abondio, near 

said shrine in the ayer Capenatis, on his Rignano. Ann. Inst., 1864, p. 130. 


difficulty to be urged out of their usual deliberate pace. Their 
mouths are as tough and insensible as their hides ; the whip is 
of little avail, arid spurs are indispensable. As these are not 
always to be had, it is advisable for whoever would explore the 
b} r -roads of Italy, to add a pair to his luggage. 

Antonio, my guide, had never been beyond Sant Oreste, but 
the road I wished to take was pointed out to us so clearly by some 
people of that town, that it seemed impossible to miss it. But 
among the lanes and hollows at the foot of Soracte we were soon 
at fault took a wrong path wandered about for an hour over 
newly-ploughed land, swampy from recent rains at length found 
the right path lost it again immediate^ on a trackless down 
and then, like Dante, found ourselves at the middle of our 
journey in a dark and savage wood. No poet, " od onibra od 
nomo certo " nor any other being, came to our assistance, for 
not a sign of humanity was in sight ; and, to crown our difficul- 
ties, one of the horses sunk from exhaustion, owing to want of 
food. Remembering the proverb, " sacco vuoto non regge in 
plede" "an empty sack will not stand upright," we trans- 
ferred what refreshments we had brought for our own use to our 
horses' stomachs, and quietly awaited their time. Patience no 
easy virtue when the rain was coining down in deluging showers 
at length overcame all difficulties, and we found ourselves in the 
right track, on the banks of the Grammiccia, which led us to the 
site of Capena. 7 

The city crowned a hill of some elevation, rising steeply from 
the valley, and whose highest point is now crested with some 
ruins, called the church of San Martino ; by which name the 
spot is known among the peasantry, and not by that of Civitu- 
cola, as I had been led by former writers to suppose ; the latter 
appellation being assigned to the spot by some documents of 
the middle ages. The whole declivity was frosted over with the 
^blossom of the wild pear-trees which cover its face. Through 
these I had to climb by sheep-tracks, slippery with the rain. 
The ruins just mentioned are the only remains on the height 
on which the city stood. They are of opus incertnm, and 
probably formed part of a villa of Imperial times, which may 
subsequently have been converted into a Christian chapel. That 
a city originally stood here, however, there are unequivocal proofs 
in the broken pottery which thickly strews the hill. It occupied 

' The stream itself seems to have heen 85. It is now sometimes called Fosso di 
anciently called Capenas. Sil. Ital. XIII. San Martino. 

K 2 


an elevated ridge on one side of a deep hollow, which Gell 
supposes to be an extinct crater, and which is now called II 

No remains of walls could I find, save at the western angle, 
overhanging the Lago, where a few blocks mark the foundations ; 
but on the slopes beneath, to the south and east, many blocks, 
lie scattered about. 8 The form of the city, however, is easily 
traced by the pottery, and character of the ground : it was long 
and narrow, especially narrow in the centre of its length, near the 
ruins of San Martino. Its circumference can hardly have been 
a mile and a half, and this marks it as a town of inferior 
importance. The highest part was to the west, and there, in 
all probability, was the Arx. I observed the sites of three gates,. 
one at the eastern, one at the western extremity, and one to- 
the south, where the land narrows opposite the ruin. By this 
gate alone vehicles could have reached the city, so steep are the 
cliffs and slopes around it. After making the tour of Capena,. 
it is easy to comprehend how the Roman armies several times 
entered the territory, and laid it waste, but never attacked the 
town. It was as elevated as Falerii, and could on no side be 
approached on level ground. 

I could perceive no tombs in the cliffs around or beneath the 
city, and one only in the low ground, to the north. 9 

The view from the height of Capena is wildly beautiful. The 

8 Gell states that the walls may be traced archaic art. In some of the later tombs 
by their foundations round the summit of pots were found bearing inscriptions, either 
the hill ; but either he was deceived by the in early Latin, or in a character neither 
natural breaks of the tufo rock, which at a Etruscan nor Faliscan, and which therefore 
little distance may be easily mistaken for suggested the existence of a dialect peculiar 
masonry, or the blocks since his time have to Capena. Dr. Henzen refers these in- 
been carried off by the peasantry. scriptions to the sixth century of Rome. 

9 That this is the true site of Capena has Bull. Inst., 1864, pp. 143-150. 

been called in question. Excavations made With the meagre notices we possess of 

here of late years tend to prove that the these excavations, it would be premature 

cemetery, rather than the city, of Capena to pronounce that this hill was not the 

occupied this hill of S. Martino. For these site of Capena. The slopes beneath many 

researches have brought to light many Etruscan cities are full of tombs, and the. 

sepulchres, some described as of peculiar discovery of Roman sepulchres, even on 

form, being sunk like shallow wells beneath the plateau above, would not be opposed 

the surface, with niches hollowed in the to the existence of habitation in earlier 

aides, one to contain the corpse, and the times. Until we can ascertain the exact 

others the objects of art buried with it. position of the tombs which have yielded 

These articles were, as usual, of terra cotta, the archaic articles, or until further exca- 

bronze, and glass, but of different periods. rations decide the question, we may keep 

Some of the vases were of very primitive our judgment in abeyance as to the site of 

forms, with figures of animals painted or Capena. 
scratched on them in bands, and of very 


deep hollow on the south, with its green carpet : the steep hills 
overhanging it, dark with wood the groves of Capena, be it 
remembered, Avere sung by Virgil 1 the bare swelling ground to 
the north, with Soracte towering above : the snow-capt Apennines 
in the eastern horizon : the deep silence, the seclusion : the 
absence of human habitations (not even a shepherd's hut) within 
the sphere of vision, save the distant town of Sant Oreste, 
scarcely distinguishable from the grey rock on which it stands ; 
compose a scene of more singular desolation than belongs to the 
site of any other Etruscan city in this district of the land. 

A visit to this site will scarcely repay the antiquary for the 
difficulty of reaching it. But the scenery on the way is delight- 
ful, especially between San Martino and Hignano, about seven 
miles distant, which road I took on my return. It is a mere 
mule-track, and passes over very rough ground. Now it descends 
into ravines picturesque with cliff and wood, and with an overshot 
mill, it may be, in the hollow now pursues the level of the 
plain, commanding glorious views of Soracte, with a changing, 
but ever beautiful foreground of glen, heath, wood, or corn-land. 
On the approach to Rignano, the view is particularly fine ; for 
beneath the town opens a wide ravine which seems to stretch up 
to the very base of Soracte, its cliffs overhung with wood, and a 
pretty convent nestling in its bosom. Around Rignano the land 
presents a singular stratification of white and grey rock the 
white, called " cappettaccw" is a sort of friable tufo ; the grey, 
with which it alternates, is a sandstone, in very thin la} T ers. 

Eignano is a miserable town ; tolerably flourishing, it is said, 
when the Via Flaminia, on which it stands, was the high road to 
Borne, but now falling into decay. It is evidently a Roman site, 
for altars, cippi, fragments of statues and cornices, and other 
traces of that people, abound in the streets. There is also a 
curious relic of the middle ages, a primitive cannon, made like 
a barrel, with staves of iron hooped at intervals, and with rings 
attached to serve as handles. It is the counterpart of one I have 
seen, I think, in the armoury of Madrid. Rignano lays claim to 
be the birthplace of the infamous Csesar Borgia. 

Around the church of S. Abondio, which stands on a wooded 
height near Rignano, are many ancient remains, which, from the 

1 Lucosque Capenos. Mn. VII. <397. tis. Liv. XXVI. '11, XXVII. 4, XXXIII. 

But the groves here referred to may with 26. Cato also mentions lucus Capenatis 

equal probability be those around the shrine (ap. Priscian. IV. p. 36, ed. Aid.), 
of Feronia, which was in tb.3 Ager Capena- 


description given, appear to be all of Roman times. From the 
marble columns and capitals, the numerous fragments of architec- 
ture, and the sarcophagi and inscribed cippi which encumber the 
spot, it is concluded that a temple, of such magnificence as not 
to belie the description we have of the Fanum Feronia?, formerly- 
stood here ; and it is inferred that this must be the site of that 
celebrated shrine. As we are not told, however, of the existence 
of Etruscan antiquities on the spot, we may hesitate to accept 
the inference, until we have more precise information as to the 
locality. 2 

No one who values comfort will care to enter the osteria of 
Rignano. Woe betide the man who is compelled to pass a night 
within its walls. To avoid the companionship of squalid monks 
and disgusting cripples, I resolved to push on for Civita, though 
it was almost dark, and there were still nine miles before our 
jaded beasts. By the time we reached the Romitorio, Soracte 
loomed an indistinct mass against the sky. Near this my guide 
pointed out a tree by the road-side, in which when a boy he had 
taken refuge from the wolves. He was returning from Rignano- 
one winter's night, when the ground was covered with snow. On 
reaching this spot he heard their howlings in the wood by the 
road-side. They seemed to scent him, for he had barely time to- 
climb the tree when it was surrounded by a dozen yelling 
demons, whose eyes, he said, shone with " the fire of hell." 
The tree was then but a sapling, and bent fearfully Avith his- 
weight ; so that he was in dread lest it should break and pre- 
cipitate him among them. After a time of terrible suspense he 
was left alone, and at break of day ventured to descend, and with 
the protection of the Virgin reached Civita in safety. At that 
time the wood was very thick on Soracte, and afforded shelter 
to multitudes of wolves and bears which were wont to ravage 
the Campagna' for miles round. Some years later the wood was v 
cut, and the wild beasts disappeared with it, and retired to the 

The wolves of Soracte were celebrated in ancient times. 
Servius relates that sacrifices were once being offered on this 
mount to Pluto, when some wolves rushed in, seized the smoking 

2 Signer Fabio Gori points out these of inscriptions referring to that town. An 

rulas in Ann. Inst. 1864, p. 130. He ancient road branched from the Via Fla- 

states that the site lies immediately under minia, and ran directly up to the hill of 

Soracte, and in the ayer Capenatis, as may S. Abondio. 
be learned from the discovery on the spot 


entrails from the altar, and bore them away to a cave, which 
emitted pestiferous vapours. 3 The shepherds pursued them, 
thither, but were arrested by these fumes. A pestilence was 
the consequence. They consulted the oracle, and received for 
answer that the plague would be staid when they imitated wolves, 
i.e., led a life of rapine. So they became robbers by divine 
authority. Hence they were called Hirpini Sorani, or Pluto's 
Wolves, from hirpus, which signified a wolf in the Sabine tongue, 
and Soranus, another name for Dis Pater.* It was the descend- 
ants of these Hirpini, or Hirpi, who made the annual sacrifice 
to the god of the mountain, and performed the marvellous feat 
of walking bare-footed over live coals. 5 This exploit seems to 
have continued in fashion to a late period ; at least to the 
third century of our era, for Solinus speaks of it as existing in 
his day. Varro suspected jugglery, and would allow nothing 
supernatural in it, for he says they rubbed their soles with a 
certain medicament. 

Wolves are not the only beasts for which Soracte was re- 
nowned. There was a race of wild goats caprce ferae perhaps 
roebucks, on the mountain, which could leap more than sixty 
feet at a bound ! Well done, old Cato ! 6 

At Sommavilla, a village on the Sabine side of the Tiber, 
opposite Soracte, tombs have been found containing vases and 
other furniture, extremely like those of Etruria. 7 

3 On the eastern side of the mountain, and were so called from Irpus, their leader, 
near the church of Santa Romana, is a cave, which word signified a wolf in the Samnite 
with deep fissures near it, called Le Vora- tongue. The Samnites, be it remembered, 
gini, which emit foul vapours. Hence the were of the Sabine race. Yarro de L. L. 
fable related by Servius must have taken VII. 29. Servius says the mountain was 
its rise. Pliny (II. 95) seems to refer to sacred to the Manes, but other ancient 
these fissures, yet says the vapours were writers concur in stating that it was sacred 
fatal to birds alone. But elsewhere (XXXI. to Apollo. 

19) he cites Varro as saying that fatal 5 Pliii. Nat. Hist. VII. 2 ; Yarro ap. 

effects were produced by a fountain on all Serv. ad Mn. XI. 787. Solinus, Polyh. II. 

birds which tasted it. To this spring Yi- p. 15. See p. 129, note 3. 
truvius (VIII. 3, 17) seems also to allude; 6 Cato ap. Yarron. Re Rust. II. cap. 3. 

though he places it agro Falisco via Cam- 7 For an account of these discoveries, see 

pana in campo Corneto. This fountain, Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 172, Braun ; 1837, p. 

Nibby (III. p. 112) thinks is represented 95 ; p. 7073, Braun; p. 209213, 

by the Acqua Forte, in the plain between Fossati; Bull. 1838, p. 71. At Sestino, in 

Soracte and the Tiber, about two miles from the Umbrian Apennines, a bronze mirror, 

Ponzano. with dancing figures and Etruscan inscrip 

4 Serv. ad 2En. XI. 785 ; cf. VII. 696. tions incised, has recently been discovered 
Festus (voce Irpini) and Strabo (V. p. 250) Bull. Inst. 1875, p. 88. 

say the Irpini were a colony of Samnites, 




Et terrain Hesperiam venies, ubi Lydius, arva 

Inter opiina virum, leni fluit agmine Thybris. VIRGIL. 

By the rushy-f ringed bank, 
Where grows the willow and the osier dank, 
My chariot stays. MILTON. 

ONE of the most delightful excursions I ever made in Italy 
was up the Tiber, from Home to Orte. It was as far back as 1846, 
long before the railway whistle had been heard in the Papal 
States, and when the great " Etruscan river " was almost a sealed 
book to travellers ; for in those days the roads through the valley 
of the Tiber were mere country tracks, in few pails carriageable. 
Inns there were none fit for any one above the condition of a 
day-labourer. I therefore considered myself highly fortunate in 
having an opportunity of doing the river in a steamboat ! This 
w r as a small tug of some fifteen or twenty tons, which had recently 
come from England to fetch charcoal from Porte Felice, when 
the state of the river would permit it. The craft had no accom- 
modation whatever. My artist friend and I were happy to find 
space enough on the grimy deck to stretch our limbs at night, 
instead of seeking shelter in some filthy and well populated 
locanda on shore, knowing from experience that a by-road bed 
in Italy is not likely to prove 

" a perfect Halcyon nest. 
All calm, and balm, and quiet and rest.'' 


It was a voyage of two or three da} T s, for the current was 
strong against us, and the boat came to an anchor at dusk, when 
the " mail culices ranseque palustres " feelingly reminded us of 
Horace's discomforts on his road to Brundusium. Like him 
again in the morning, we lost much time in starting, for the sun 
was well up before we got under weigh. But these were 
annoyances of little moment. To balance them we had a plethoric 
basket of provisions, some flasks of excellent wine to cheer us, 
with "allaying Tyber " ad libitum; we had } T outh, health, good 
appetites, enthusiasm, and no end of enjoyment, for the scenery 
was not only beautiful but novel, and every turn in the river 
brought new and picturesque objects into view, or produced fresh 
combinations of those already familiar. 

Times are indeed changed, when you can now run to Orte by 
rail in a couple of hours too scanty a time to enjoy the all- 
glorious landscapes on the road ; but as the line keeps the 
Sabine bank for the greater part of the way, you have more com- 
prehensive views of Soracte and the Etruscan shore, than you 
can obtain from the river itself. You pass the caverned heights 
of Antemnse, you shoot like an arrow through the heart of 
Fidenee, and as you rush on, you catch exciting glimpses of the 
Alban Mount, of the Latin valle}', with Palestrina at its mouth, 
of Tivoli 011 the slope of Monte Gennaro, of the nearer triple- 
papped Monticelli, and of the snow-capped, " olive-sandalled 
Apennines" in the horizon. .Your first halt is beneath Monte 
Rotondo, near which Garibaldi was discomfited in 1867 ; the 
little brook you here cross is 110 other than the Allia 
"infaustum nomeii ! " the scene of the disastrous defeat of the 
Romans by the Gauls in the year 390 (364 B.C.) which was 
followed by the capture and destruction of the City by Brennus. 
This is the nearest station to the site of Capena, which lies 011 
the right bank, about half-way between this and the next station 
of Passo di Correse ; but if you are bound thither, get out at 
Monte Rotondo, where you can obtain beasts and a guide. 1 In 
the plain, opposite the Passo, lie the " Flavinia arva" of Virgil, 
if the village of Fiano represent, as is generally supposed, the 
Etruscan town of Flavina. 3 Beyond Fiano on the same side, on 
the crest of the wooded hills which here embank the river, stands 
Nazzano, which has been proved by recent excavations to be an 
Etruscan site. Its necropolis occupies the plateau of Caraffa, 
about half a mile to the north of the town, and it has yielded 

1 See the last chapter, p. 126. 2 Virg. JEn. VII. 696 ; Sil. Ital. VIII. 492. 

138 ORTK [CHAP. xr. 

vases with both black and red figures, besides various articles in 
bronze. 8 There can be little doubt that others of the many 
towns within view, if subjected to similar research, would be 
found to occupy Etruscan sites ; not excluding those on the 
Sabine bank, for the territory of Etriirnl,.* which at one time 
extended from the Alps as far south as Ptestum, could not have 
been rigidly bounded by this narrow stream, and must at that 
period have embraced all the region between the Tiber and the 
Apennines ; and the Umbrians and cognate Sabines must have 
continued to feel the civilizing influences of Etruria, even when 
no longer under her dominion. 4 

At Montorso, the next station, the valley narrows almost to a 
gorge, and becomes more than ever picturesque, for the river 
here forms sharp bends, which give great variety to the land- 
scape. The yellow banks are overhung with trees, festooned 
with honeysuckle and wild vine, or sink into stretches of pebbly 
beach, the haunt of thirsty wallowing buffaloes ; above them on 
either hand, rise wooded heights, studded with towers and towns, 
castles and convents, the whole dominated by the rocky crests of 
Soracte, sparkling with many shrines. It is an exquisite bit of 
what is most rare in Italy river-scenery. After all, the most 
striking and interesting feature of the Tiber valley is Soracte, 
which you seem in your progress upward completely to circum- 
ambulate. On the way to Monte Eotondo its southern slopes, 
familiar to Romans, meet the eye. From Passo di Correse the 
mountain looks like a sharp cone or wedge of rock, soaring above 
the wooded hills at its base. As you advance it gradually opens 
out again, till from Stimigliano it presents its northern flank fully 
to the eye, the intervening hills which have hitherto concealed 
all but its crest, here sinking to the plain, and displaying the 
mountain mass from base to summit. Another valley presently 
opens to the left, through which winds the Treja, which after 
washing the castled crags of Civita Castellana, here falls into 
the Tiber. On a low red cliff at the point of junction, a tall 
ruined tower, through whose walls the blue light of heaven is 
visible, forms a picturesque object in the scene. It is known as. 
the Torre Giuliana, and is of mediaeval times, though tombs arid 
sewers in the cliffs mark the site as originally Etruscan. The 
tower is shown in the woodcut on the next page. 

Here you cross the Tiber into Etruria, and continue in that 

3 Bull. Inst. 1873, pp. 113-123, Helbig. in Sabina, seep. 135, note 7; also Ann. Inst. 

4 For the discovery of Etruscan objects 1858, p. 240; Bull. Inst. 1866, p. 213. 




land as far as Orte, passing beneath the mediaeval ruins of 
Borghetto, another picturesque village on an Etruscan site, 
below which is the Ponte Felice, by which the old post-road 
from Rome crossed the Tiber on its way to Narni, Terni, and 

The station of Gallese is three miles from the town of that 
name, which, as already stated, occupies an Etruscan site, b}' 


some supposed to be that of Fescennium. 5 From this point 
Soracte is again seen foreshortened, reassuming the form of a 
wedge or cone. 

ORTE is 83 kilometres, or 52 miles from Rome \)y railroad. 
Here the two lines from Florence to Rome, one by Chiusi, the 
other by Perugia, form a junction. 

Orte lies on the right bank of the Tiber, about twelve miles 
above Ponte Felice, and crowns the summit of a long narrow 
isolated ridge of tufo rock. Beneath the walls of the town this 
ridge breaks into naked cliffs, and then sinks gradually in slopes 
clad with olives and vines to meet the Tiber and the plain. 
Viewed from the north or south its situation appears very similar 
to that of Orvieto, though far from being so elevated and im- 
posing, but from the east or west it has a less commanding 
though more picturesque appearance. At its western end the 
ridge is particularly narrow, terminating in a mere wall of cliff, 
called La Rocca, which communicates with the town by a viaduct. 

5 See Chapter IX. p. 120. 

140 ORTE.^ [CHAP. xi. 

Thus the plan of the whole takes the form of a battledore, of 
which the handle is the Rocca and the body the town. Orte is 
still a place of some importance ; and though its air in summer- 
time be in no good repute, it retains its population throughout 
the year. The only place of entertainment for the traveller is 
the " Antica Trattoria e Locanda " of the Bell, but "it is not 
enough to have a clean tablecloth, " as the proverb says; for if 
you make a tolerable meal by day, you furnish forth a dainty 
feast by night to thousands of hungry banqueters, whose nimble- 
ness gets them off scot-free, though credit is not the order of the 
house, as is pompously set forth in the cuclna 

" Credenza e morta 
11 creditor F ha ucciga 
Arnica, abbi jiazicnza, 
Piaccr tifarb, ma mm crcdenza." 

Of the ancient history of Horta, we have no record, unless the 
notice by Virgil, the application of which to this town has been 
doubted, be received as historical. 1 We know, however, from 
better authority than that of the Mantuan bard, namely, from its 
extant monuments, that Horta was an Etruscan city, and the 
archaic character of those remains even leads us to regard it as 
among the most ancient in the land. The only other mention of 
it is by Pliny, who cites it among the "inland colonies" of 
Etruria; 2 but we learn from inscriptions that it was one of the 
military colonies of Augustus. 

Orte preserves no vestiges of its ancient walls, nor is there a 
sign of high antiquity in either of its three gates. Nothing of 
classic times, in fact, is to be seed within the town save a few 
Roman relics. The Ortani show a house on the walls as Etrus- 
can, but credat Jadceiis ! Let no one, however, express such a 
doubt within the walls of Orte, for he will have to combat not 
merely the prejudices of her 3000 inhabitants, but a formidable 
array of piety and learning in her clergy. 

1 Qui Tiberim Fabarimquc bibunt, quos and distinct from Nortia or Fortuna, the 

frigida misit #reat deity of Volsinii. This goddess 

Nursia, et Hortinae classes, populique Horta is mentioned by Plutarch (Quaest. 

Latini. JJx. VII. 715. Horn. XLVI), who says her temple was 

- Plin. III. 8. Padre Seech i, the always kept open. A distinction between 

learned Jesuit of Rome, follows Mliller her and the Etruscan Fortuna is indicated 

fEtrusk. III. 3, 7,) in thinking the place by Tacitus (Ann. XV. 53). Secchi, 11 

derives its name from Horta, an Etruscan Musaico Antoniniano, p. 47. n. 5. 
goddess equivalent to the Roman "Sains," 


" Odi, vede, e tace, 
Se vuoi viver in pace/' 

These gentlemen, whose want of experience in such matters 
may well excuse this blunder, deserve all credit for the interest 
they take in the antiquities of their town. To the learned canon 
Don Giovanni Yitali I am especially indebted for his courtesy in 
furnishing me with information about the excavations which have 
been made at Orte, and in giving me copies of inscriptions there 
brought to light which his antiquarian zeal has preserved from 
oblivion. What little I have to say of the Etruscan antiquities 
of Orte, as scarcely anything is now to be seen, I derive from his 
lips, and from those of Signer Brugiotti, a gentleman who took 
part in these excavations. 

To the south of the town, at the distance of a mile or more, 
rise lofty, cliff-bound heights, apparently ranges of hills, but in 
fact the termination of the high table-land of the Campagna. 
Here, near the Convent of Bemardines, a few tombs are seen in 
the cliffs, and in the rocks on the plain above are others, said to 
resemble those of Castel d'Asso, hereafter to be described, having 
a false moulded doorway in the facade, an open chamber beneath 
it, and the sepulchre itself belo\v all, underground. Excavations 
were made in this plain in 1837, with no great profit. They were 
carried forward, however, more successfully by an association of 
the townsmen, under the direction of Signer Arduini, on a still 
loftier height to the south-west* of Orte, near the Capuchin Con- 
vent, where the tombs had no external indications, but lay beneath 
the surface of the ground. The articles found were similar in 
character to those from the neighbouring site of Bomarzo no 
figured pottery, but common and rude ware of various forms, 
articles of glass, and bronzes in abundance. Among the 
latter were candelabra of great elegance and beauty, now in the 
Gregorian Museum at Rome, tripods, mirrors, vases with figured 
handles, and small statues of deities. A winged Minerva, with 
an owl on her hand, is, perhaps, unique in metal, though the 
goddess is so represented on painted vases. A leaden spade, 
which must have been a votive offering, is curious as the type of 
those still in use in this part of the country. Alabasti of glass, 
figured blue and white. Egg-shells in an entire state, often 
found in Etruscan tombs. A singular jar of earthenware,, 
hermetically sealed, and half-f^ill of liquid, which was heard 
when the jar was shaken, and when it was inverted would exude 
from a porous part in drops of limpid water. If testimony 

142 ORTE. [CHAP. xi. 

be here trustworthy, this must be the most ancient bottled liquid 

Numerous cinerary urns of terra cotta or nenfro were brought 
to light, generally quite plain, with inscriptions ; sometimes with 
a head projecting from the lid, as at Veii ; as many as sixty have 
been found in one tomb. Only one large sarcophagus, with a 
reclining figure on its lid, was discovered ; whence it is evident 
that the Hortani burnt rather than buried their dead. Coins and 
other relics of Roman times were occasionally found in the sepul- 
chres along with articles of undoubted Etruscan antiquity. One 
instance was found of a painted tomb, in which a bear was repre- 
sented chained to a column ; but I could not ascertain if this 
were of Etruscan or Roman art. It was almost immediately 
destroyed by the peasantry. 3 

In the cliffs beneath the town are a few tombs, now greatly 
.defaced, some of them columbaria ; and near the gate of S. Agos- 
tino is a sewer of the usual size and form. On the banks of the 
Tiber, below the town, are the remains of a Roman bridge which 
carried the Via Amerina across the river on its way to Tuder and 
Perusia. The bridge was repaired during the middle ages, and 
the masonry of its piers, now standing on the banks, and of the 
masses prostrate in the water, is of that period. Castellum Ame- 
rinum, the last stage on the Via Amerina within the Etruscan 
territory, which was distant twelve miles from Falerii and nine 
from Ameria, must have been in the near neighbourhood of Orte, 
probably on the heights to the south of the town, near the spot 
where the modern road from Corchiano begins to descend into 
the valley of the Tiber. 

If you follow the Tiber for about four miles above Orte, } r ou will 
reach, on the right bank, the "Laghetto" or " Lagherello," or 
"Lago di Bassano," so called from a village in the neighbourhood. 
In it 3 r ou behold the Vadirnonian Lake of antiquity, renowned for 
the defeat of the Etruscans on two several occasions first, by 
the Dictator, Papirius Cursor, in the } y ear 445, when after a 
hard-contested battle the might of Etruria was irrecoverably 
broken ; 4 and again, in the year 471, when Cornelius Dolabella 
utterly routed the allied forces of the Etruscans and Gauls on 
its shores. 5 In after times it was renowned for its floating 

3 For other notices of the results of these II. 10. Floms relates this as occurring 
excavations, see Bull. Inst. 1837, p. 129. before Fabi us crossed the Ciminian, while 

4 Liv. IX. 39. in fact it was nearly 30 years after ; unless 
4 Flor. I. 13. Polyb. II. 20. Eutrop. indeed he is here anticipating the event, 


islands, 6 a minute description of which is given by the younger 
Pliny : 

" They pointed out to me a lake lying below the hill, the 
Vadimon by name, and told me certain marvellous stories con- 
cerning it. I went thither. The lake is in the form of a wheel 
lying on its side, even all round, without sinuosity or irregularity, 
but perfectly uniform in shape, as though it had been hollowed 
out and cut round by the hand of man. The water is whitish 
rather than blue, inclined to green, and turbid, of sulphureous 
smell, medicinal taste, and glutinous quality. The lake is but 
moderate in size, yet it is affected by the winds and swells into 
waves. No vessel is on its waters, for it is a sacred lake, but 
grassy islets, covered with reeds and rushes, float on its bosom, 
and on its margin flourish the plants of the rankest marshes. 
Each of these islets has a distinct form and size, and all have 
their edges smoothed off, from constantly rubbing against the 
shore and against one another. All are equal in height and in 
buoyancy, for they sink into a sort of boat with a deep keel, which 
is seen from every side ; and there is just as much of the island 
above as below water. At one time these islands are all joined 
close together, like a part of the mainland ; at another they are 
driven asunder and scattered by the winds ; sometimes thus 
detached, the wind falling dead, they float apart, motionless on 
the water. It often happens that the smaller ones stick to the 
greater, like skiffs to ships of burden ; and often both large and 
small seem to strive together in a race. Again, all driven 
together into one spot, add to the land on that side, and now 
here, now there, increase or diminish the surface of the lake ; 
and only cease to contract it, when they float in the middle. It 
is a well-known fact that cattle attracted by the herbage, are wont 
to walk on the islets, mistaking them for the shore of the lake ; 
nor do they become aware that they are not on firm ground, till 
borne away from the shore, they behold with terror the waters 
stretching around them. Presently, when the wind has carried 
them again to the bank, they go forth, no more aware of disem- 
barking than they were of their embarkation. The water of this 
said lake flows out in a stream which, after showing itself for a 
little space, is lost in a cave, and runs deep underground ; and if 
anything be thrown into it before it thus dives, it is brought to 

and mentions it out of its chronological monian. No author mentions both, 
order. But there is probably some con- 6 Plin. Nat. Hist. II. 96. Senec. Nat. 

fusion between the two routs at the Vadi- Quaest. III. 25. Sotion, de Mir. Font. 

144 OETE. [CHAP. xi. 

light again where it emerges. I have written of these things to 
thee, thinking they would be as novel and pleasing to tliee as to 
myself, for we both delight in noticing so much as the works of 
Nature." 7 

The lake lies beneath the heights, in the plain by the banks of 
the Tiber ; but he who would expect Pliny's description to be 
verified, might search for ever in vain. It is, indeed, no easy 
matter to find the lake ; for it has so shrunk in dimensions, that 
what must have been a spacious tract of water in the olden time, 
is now but a small stagnant pond, almost lost in the tall reeds 
and bulrushes that wave over it. These we may conclude repre- 
sent the islets, which either never had an existence, or have now 
clubbed together to stop up the lake. 8 The water has still a 
sulphureous appearance, though not too highly flavoured for the 
frogs, whose croakings mingling with the shrill chirrup of the 
cicala, rise eternally from the pool. I fancied I saw the stream 
of which Pliny speaks, in a small ditch which carries the super- 
fluous water towards the Tiber ; but I did not perceive it to take 
a subterranean course. 

Whoever visits the Vadimon, will comprehend how it was that 
decisive battles were fought upon its shores. The valley here 
forms the natural pass into the inner or central plain of Etruria. 
It is a spot, indeed, very like the field of Thrasymene a low, 
level tract, about a mile wide, hemmed in between the heights 
and the Tiber, which here takes the place of that lake ; but the 
heights rise more steeply and loftily than those by the Thrasymene, 
and are even now densely covered with wood, as no doubt they 
were in ancient times, the celebrated Ciminian forest extending 
thus far. Though the Consul Fabius had once passed that fearful 
wood, it was against the express command of the Senate ; so 
when the Etruscans were next to be attacked, the Roman general, 

" Plin. Epist. VIII. 20. rock being suspended over the lake, like 

8 This process is still going forward in broken ice over a deep abyss." The waters 

certain lakes in Italy in the Lago d' Isole are sulphureous, yet there are fish in the 

Natanti, or Lake of Floating Islands, near lake. " The phenomenon of floating islands 

the road from Rome to Tivoli, and well may still be observed ; they are nothing 

known from the description of Sir Hum- more than reeds or long coarse grass, the 

phry Davy in his "Last Days of a Philo- roots of which bound together by the petri- 

sopher " (see also Westphal's Romische fying nature of the water, are sometimes 

Kampagne, p. 108), and also in the Lacus detached from the shore." Gell's Rome, 

Cutilise in Sabina, renowned by the II. p. 370. Floating islands are common 

ancients for its floating islands, and now enough in the great rivers of South America, 

called the Pozzo Ratignano. "Its banks I have seen them even far at sea, carried 
appear to be approaching each other by in- out by the tide, 
crustation ; there is no shelving shore, the 


instead of again crossing the mountain, turned its extremity, and 
there encountered the Etruscan army drawn up in this natural 
pass into their land, leagued together by a solemn bond to defend 
their country to the utmost a determination which caused them 
to offer so desperate and extraordinary a resistance. 9 

The vale of the Tiber is here rich and beautiful the low 
ground highly cultivated with corn, wine, and oil ; the slopes on 
the Etruscan side clothed with dense oak-woods, on the Umbriaii 
with olive-groves and vine3 T ards ; the towns of Giove and Penna 
crown the latter heights ; Bassano overhangs the lake from the 
former. Looking up the stream, Mugnano is seen on its hill, 
backed by the loftier ground of Bomarzo ; looking down, the 
horizon is bounded by the distant range of the Apennines, with 
their " silent pinnacles of aged snow." 

Bassano has been supposed by Cluver, 1 Cramer, 2 and others, 
to be the Castellum Amerinum on the Via Amerina, mentioned 
by the Peutingerian Table, because it overhangs the Vadimon, 
as Pliny describes the Amerine estate Amerina pr&dia of his 
wife's grandfather to have done. 3 But the Castellum must have 
been near Orte, as already stated, because the road took a direct 
course from Nepi to Amelia, and the distance, twenty-six miles, 
between these places is correctly stated by the Table, but would 
have been considerably increased had the road made a detour to 
Bassano. Besides, I have myself traced the road by its fragments 
from Nepi to within a mile or two of Orte, and its course is due 
north and south, without deviation ; and there can be no doubt 
that it crossed the Tiber by the bridge at Orte, now in ruins. The 
ground about Bassano may nevertheless have been called Amerine, 
though the Castellum itself was three or four miles distant. 

Bassano is a miserable place, without accommodation for the 
traveller ; and with no signs of antiquity, or anything to interest, 
beyond its picturesque sceneiy. It lies on the railway from Eome 
to Florence, ninety- one kilometres, or fifty-seven miles from the 
former city. It is nearly two miles from the Vadimonian Lake, 
five from Orte, by the direct road, four or five from Bomarzo, 
seven or eight from Soriano, and the same from Yignanello. 

9 Livy says, non cum Etruscis toties of the ground, with which those writers 

victis, sed cum aliqua nova gente, videretur seem to have been unacquainted, sufficiently 

dimicalio esse, (IX. 39). Miiller (II. 1. accounts for the fact. 
4) and Mannert (p. 422) seem to me to be 1 Ital. Ant. II. p. 551. 

in error in supposing that the Etruscans Ancient Italy, I. p. 224. 

made their stand on this spot on account 3 Plin. Epist. loc. cit. 

of the sacredness of the lake. The nature 

VOL. I. I. 


Cimini cum inonte lacum. VIRGIL. 

How soon the tale of ages may be told ! 
A page, a verse, records the fall of fame. 
The wreck of centuries we gaze on you 
cities, once the glorious and the free ! 
The lofty tales that charmed our youth renew, 
And wondering ask if these their scenes can be. 


WHO that has seen has not hailed with delight the exquisite 
little lake of Vico, which lies in the lap of the Ciminian Mount, 
just above Ronciglione ? I saw it for the first time one evening 
when I strolled up from that town, and came upon it unex^ 
pectedly, not aware of its close proximity. The sun was sinking 
behind the hills, which reared their broad, purple masses into 
the clear sky, and shaded half the bosom of the calm lake with 
their hues while the other half reflected the orange and golden 
glories of an Italian sunset. Not a sound broke the stillness, 
save the chirping of the cicala from the trees, whose song served 
but to make the silence heard and not a sign of human life was 
there beyond a column of smoke wreathing up whitely in front of 
the dark mountains. When I next visited the lake, it was under 
the glare of a noonday sun its calm surface, deepening the 
azure of the sky into a vivid sapphire, was dashed at the edge 
with reflections of the overhanging woods, in the richest hues of 
autumn ; and with Siren smiles it treacherously masked the 
destruction it had wrought. 1 

1 The waters of this lake, the ancient evidently the crater of an extinct volcano. 

Lacus Ciminus, are said to cover a town Fable, however, gives it another origin, 

called Succinium, or Saccumum, engulfed When Hercules was on this mount, he was 

by an earthquake (Ammian. Marcell. XVII. begged by the inhabitants to give them 

7. 13; Sotion. de Mir. Font.). The latter some proof of his marvellous strength; 

writer states the same of the Lacus Saba- whereon he drove an iron bar deep into the 

tinus, or Lago Bracciano. The lake is earth. When they had tried in vain to stir 


Who has not hailed with } r et higher delight the view from the 
summit of the long steep ascent which rises from the shores of 
the lake to the shoulder of the mountain more especially if he 
be for the first time approaching the Eternal City ? for from 
this height, if the da}^ be clear, he will obtain his first view of 
Home. There lies the vast, variegated expanse of the Campagna 
at his feet, with its framework of sea and mountain. There 
stands Soracte in the midst, which 

" from out the plain 

Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break, 
And on the curl hangs pausing." 

The white convent of San Silvestro gleams on its dark craggy 
crest, as though it were an altar to the god of poetry and light on 
this his favourite mountain. There sweeps the long range of 
Apennines, in grey or purple masses, or rearing some giant, 
hoary peak, into the blue heaven. There flows the Tiber at 
their feet, from time to time sparkling in the sun as it winds 
through the undulating plain. Far in the southern horizon 
swells the Alban Mount with its soft flowing outlines ; and 
apparently at its foot, lies Rome herself, distinguishable more by 
the cupola of St. Peter's than by the white line of her buildings. 
Well, traveller, mayest thou gaze, for even in her present fallen 

Possis nihil urbe Roma 
Visere majus. 2 

Nor must the dense and manj'-tinted woods, which clothe the 
slopes of the mountain around and beneath, be passed without 
notice. It is the Ciminian forest, in olden times the terror of 
the Roman, 3 and still with its majestic oaks and chestnuts 
vindicating its ancient reputation silv(B sunt consule dignce ! 

On descending from the crest of the pass on the road to 
Viterbo, a new scene broke on my view. The slopes around and 

it, they besought the hero to draw it forth, 2 Horat. Carm. Ssec. 11. 
which life did ; but an immense flood of 3 It was so dreaded by the ancient 
water welled up from the hole, and formed Romans, that the Senate, even after the 
the Ciminian Lake. Serv. ad JEn. VII. 697. great rout of the Etruscans at Sutrium, in 
The height on the northern shore is called the year 444, dispatched legates to the con- 
Monte Venere a name it is said to owe to sul Fabius, charging him not to enter the 
a temple of Venus, that once occupied the wood (Liv. IX. 36; Florus, I. 17); and 
summit. But so far as I can learn, the when it was known that he had done so, all 
exibtence of a temple here rests on tradition Rome was terror-struck (Liv. IX. 38). 

L 2 


beneath were still densely clothed with wood a wide plain again 
lay at my feet mountains also rose beyond the sea glittered in 
a golden line on the horizon a lake shone out from the plain 
even Soracte had its counterpart: the general features of the 
scene were the same as on the other side of the mountain, but 
there was more tameness, more monotony in their character, and 
the same stirring interest did not attach to every spot as the site 
of some historic event or romantic legend ; nor was there one 
grand focus of attraction to which every other object was sub- 
ordinate. Yet was it a scene of high interest. It was the great 
Etruscan plain, the fruitful mother of cities renowned before 
Rome was where arose, flourished, and fell that nation which 
from this plain as from a centre extended its dominion over the 
greater part of Ital} r , giving laws, arts, and institutions to the 
surrounding tribes, and to Rome itself the twin-sister of Greece 
in the work of civilising Europe. I could not, as the consul 
Fabius once did from this same height, admire " the rich fields 
of Etruria," 4 for the plain is in most parts uncultivated, with 
here and there a few patches of wood to relieve its monotonous 

"With what pride must an Etruscan have regarded this scene 
twenty-five centuries since. The numerous cities in the plain 
were so many trophies of the power and civilisation of his nation. 
There stood Volsinii, renowned for her wealth and arts, on the 
shores of her crater-lake Tuscania reared her towers in the 
west Vulci shone out from the plain, and Cosa from the 
mountain and Tarquinii, chief of all, asserted her metropolitan 

4 Liv. IX. 36 opulenta Etruriae arva. Besides, as Arnold (Hist. Rome, II. p. 

If it were not expressly stated by Livy that 249) observes, the range could not have 

juga Ciminii mentis tenebat, it would formed "an impassable barrier." The 

be more reasonable to suppose that Fabius highest peak rises 3000 feet above the sea, 

crossed from Sutrium by the line of the but there are very deep depressions between 

subsequent Via Cassia, than that he should its crests ; and the shoulder to the south, 

have scaled this much loftier, more diffi- crossed by the Via Cassia, is of so slight an 

cult, and dangerous pass. Possibly he elevation, that the rise is scarcely percepti- 

chose it as being wholly undefended. He ble. The difficulty must have lain rather 

was the first Roman, it is said, who dared in the density of the forest than in the 

to penetrate the dread Ciruinian forest, height of the mountain. Niebuhr (III. p. 

which before his time had never been trod 279) also disputes Livy's statement, but 

even by the peaceful traveller. It is im- suggests that the mountain may have been 

possible to believe this statement, and that left in a savage state by mutual agreement 

the forest was utterly pathless (Liv. loc. cit. to serve as a natural frontier between 

Flor. loc. cit.), for as the Mount originally Latium and Etruria. He was evidently, 

stood in the heart of Etruria, there must however, quite ignorant of the pass by the 

have been sundry passes across it for com- Vadimonian Lake, between the foot of the 

munication between the several states. Mount and the Tiber. 


supremacy from her far-off cliff-bound heights. Nearer still, his 
eye must have rested on cit} r after city, some in the plain, and 
others on the slope beneath him ; while the mountains in the 
horizon would have carried his thoughts to the glories of 
Clusium, Perusia, Cortona, Yetulonia, Volaterra?, and other 
cities of the great Etruscan Confederation. How changed is 
now the scene ! Save Tuscania, which is still inhabited, all 
within view are now desolate. Tarquinii has left scarce a vestige 
of her greatness on the grass-grown heights she once occupied ; 
the very site of Volsinii is disputed ; silence has long reigned in 
the crumbling theatre of Ferentum ; the plough yearly furrows 
the bosom of Yulci ; the fox, the owl, and the bat, are the sole 
tenants of the vaults within the ruined walls of Cosa : and of the 
rest, the greater part have neither building, habitant, nor name 
nothing but the sepulchres around them to prove they ever had 
an existence. 

Did he turn to the southern side of the mountain ? his eye 
wandered from city to city of no less renown, studding the plain 
beneath him Veii, Fidenre, Falerii, Fescennium, Capena, Nepete, 
Sutrium all then powerful, wealthy, and independent. Little 
did he foresee that yon small town on the banks of the Tiber, 
would prove the destruction of them all, and even of his nation 
and language, of his religion and civilisation. 



Cernimus exemplis oppiila posse mori. RUTILIUS. 

Multa retro rerum jacet, atque ambagibus sevi 
Obtegitur densa caligine mersa vetustas. SIL. ITALICUS. 

ALMOST every town in Italy and Spain has its chronicle, written 
generally by some priest or monk, who has made it a labour of 
love to record the history, real or imaginary, of his native place 
from the creation down to his own time. In these monographs, as 
they maybe termed, the great object appears to have been to exalt 
the antiquity and magnify the pristine importance of each respec- 
tive town, often at the expense of every other. It is this feeling 
which has ascribed to many of the cities of Spain a foundation by 
Japhet or Tubal-Cain ; and to this foolish partiality we owe 
many a bulky volume replete with dogmatical assertions, distor- 
tions of history, unwarranted readings or interpretations of 
ancient writers ; and even, it may be, blackened with forgery. 

Among those who have been guilty of this foulest of literary 
crimes, stands foremost in impudence, unrivalled in voluminous 
perseverance, Fra Giovanni Nanni, commonly called Annio di 
Viterbo, a Dominican monk of this town, who lived in the 
fifteenth century. He was a wholesale and crafty forger ; he did 
not write the history of his native place, but pretended to have 
discovered fragments of various ancient writers, most of which 
are made, more or less directly, to bear testimony to its antiquity 
and pristine importance. Besides these fragments of Berosus, 
Manetho, Archilochus, Xenophon, Fabius Pictor, Cato, Anto- 
ninus, and others, he forged, with the same object, a marble 
tablet, with an edict purporting to be of King Desiderio, the last 
of the Lombard dynasty, in which it is decreed that " within one 
wall shall be included the three towns, Longula, Vetulonia, and 
Tirrena, called Volturna, and the whole city thus formed shall be 
called Etruria or Viterbum," which city Annio further attempted 


to prove one of the Twelve, and the metropolis of ancient 
Etruria. His forgeries for some time imposed 011 the world ; but 
they have been long exposed, and he is now universally branded 
as an impostor. 1 

One of his statements, however, that Viterbo was the site of 
the Fanum VoltumnaB, the shrine at which the princes of Etruria 
were wont to assemble in solemn conclave to deliberate on the 
affairs of the Confederation has been assented to by many who 
denounce him, and is an opinion that has found supporters among 
antiquaries of note. 3 That the Fanum was somewhere in this 
district is probable enough; but as Livy, who alone mentions 
it, has given no clue to its locality, 3 and as 110 inscriptions have 
thrown light on the subject, it can be but pure conjecture to 
assign it to this or that particular site. Viterbo, inasmuch as it 
contains a church named Santa Maria in Voltuma, may be 
allowed to put in some claim to that honour, certainly stronger 
than can be urged for Castel d' Asso. Yet such is far from 
amounting to positive evidence, for, to say nothing of the corrup- 
tion of words in the course of two thousand years, Voltumna or 
Volturna was a deity of the Etruscans, and probably had temples 
in various parts of the land. 

That the long lost Vetulonia occupied this or a neighbouring 
site, is an opinion held not only by Annio, and the early 
antiquaries of Italy, but even in our own times has found its 
advocates, who cite in support of their views the oriental magnifi- 
cence of the sepulchres of Norchia and Castel d' Asso. 4 A much 
more probable site will be indicated for Vetulonia in a subsequent 

Though Viterbo has been a bone of contention to archa3ologists, 
ever since the days of Annio, its name contains a clear indication 
of its antiquity, being evidently compounded of Veins urbs. 5 
There are, moreover, indisputable proofs of the existence of an 
Etruscan town on this spot, in the numerous sepulchral caves in 

1 The authenticity of the Desiderio Ambrosch, in his reply to the letters of 
decree has been much disputed. Even Inghirami on the subject. 

Holstenius (Adnot. ad Cluver. p. 68) con- 5 Yet old Fazio degli Uberti could find 

tended for its authenticity ; and as late as another derivation 

1777 Faure maintained it to be genuine. " Che nel principio Veghienza fu decta, 

2 Cluverius, II. p. 565. Cellaring, Sino al tempo che a Roma fu nemica, 
<^eog. Ant. I. p. 581. Ambrosch, Mem. Ma vinta poi agli Roman dilecta, 

Inst. IV. p. 149. Tanto per le buone acque e dolcie sito 

3 Liv. IV. 23, 25, 61 ; V. 17 ; VI. 2. Che'n vita Erbo del suo nome tragecta." 

4 Inghir. Mem. Inst. IV. p. 98 et seq. DITTAMUKDI, III. cap. 1C. 
This has been ably controverted by I)r. 

152 VITEBBO. [CHAP. xin. 

the cliffs around, and in the tomhs which from time to time have 
heen excavated, yielding genuine Etruscan objects. No remains 
of the ancient town itself are extant, beyond the foundations of a 
bridge near the cathedral, composed of large rectangular blocks 
of emplecton masonry, rusticated and uncemented, and sundry 
sewers cut in the neighbouring cliffs. The blocks are of the 
same hard peperino that forms the pavement of the town. In 
dimensions and arrangement they are like Etruscan ; but the 
general style of the masomy, and the peculiarity of the material, 
so different from the red tufo rock on which these piers rest, 
induce me to pronounce them of lloman construction ; if they 
be not, as Canina suggests, a re-construction, in still later times, 
of the ancient materials. The name of the ancient town seems 
from Latin inscriptions to have been Surrina or Sorrina, 7 and it 
appears to have occupied the cliff- bound plateau on which the 
Cathedral stands. 

In the Palazzo Comunale, in an upper room, is shown the 
marble tablet with the decree of the king Desiderio, already 
mentioned, the authenticity of which has given rise to so much 
discussion, 8 and the Tabula Cibellaria, another of Annio's 
forgeries, by which he sought to make it appear that his town 
was as ancient as Corythus, or prior to the foundation of Troy. 
When I first knew Viterbo, there was a respectable collection of 
Etruscan relics up-stairs, comprising sepulchral urns, conical 
cippi with inscriptions, small idols of bronze, and other objects of 
the same metal, pottery of biicchero, black or uncoloured, show- 
ing antiquity, not richness or elegance with few of the beautiful 
figured vases, so abundant on the more luxurious sites of Vulci, 

6 Canina (Etruria Marit. Vol. II. p. 70, town. Marini (Frat. Arval. II. p. 424), 
tav. 100) gives an illustration of this piece referred Surrina Nova to Soriano on the 
of walling. eastern slope of the Ciminian ; but Orioli 

7 The existence of a "Surrina or Sor- would rather consider that town to be the 
rina Nova " is made known by sundry in- Surrina Vetus, from which this, distin- 
scriptions, most of which have been found guished as Nova, may have been originally 
in the neighbourhood. Muratori, 201, 6, peopled. To me, however, it appears more 
and 1083, 8 ; Mariani, de Etrur. Metrop. probable, that the old town of this name 
p. 125. The names of Surina, and Civitas was that on the very site of Yiterbo, on 
Surinae, were attached to the place in the the heights of the Cathedral, as already 
middle ages ; Surianum, also, is said often stated, and that when the Koman settle- 
to occur in old documents. Orioli (Nouvel. ment was made on the lower ground, indi- 
Ann. Inst. 1836, p. 41) says, the town of cated by Orioli, it received the epithet of 
Surrina Nova stood half a mile from Viter- "Nova," while that on the original site 
bo, just where Annio placed it, between was distinguished only as "the old town, 
the Grotta di Riello, the stream of the Ar- vet us urbs of which Viterbo is obviously 
cione, and the modern baths, where are a derivative. 

numerous ruins and manifest traces of a 8 It may be found in Gruter, p. 220. 


Tarquinii, or Clusium. But all these objects have been carried 
away by the Jesuits, and nothing is now left but a few monu- 
ments from Musarna, stored in a room on the ground floor. 
Here are sixteen sarcophagi of nenfro, some with bas-reliefs on 
the sides, and all with the effigy of the deceased of life-size reclin- 
ing on the lid. They are all from the newly discovered Etruscan 
town of Musarna, and from one tomb, which we learn from the 
inscriptions to have been that of the family " Alethnas," a name 
suggestive of a Greek origin. A singular feature in these in- 
scriptions is that they are not confined to the sarcophagi and lids 
as usual ; but some are carved on the recumbent effigies them- 
selves, in one case on the bosom, in three on the thigh as if the 
figures were of bronze instead of stone. Another peculiarity is 
that the flesh of some of the males is coloured 3 r ellow instead of 
red. In the relief, on one sarcophagus, a soul is represented in 
a bic/a, led by a demon, and followed by Charun. The art dis- 
pla}-ed in these monuments is very rude, but it is the rudeness of 
the Decadence, not of primitive art. 

The only other collection of Etruscan antiquities at Viterbo is 
in the possession of Signor Giosafat Bazzichelli, the proprietor 
of Castel d'Asso, the discoverer of Musarna, and the explorer of 
many other cemeteries in the great Etruscan plain, and is the 
accumulated fruit of his researches. He is also the Government 
Inspector of excavations for this district. Of his courtes} r and 
readiness to impart the results of his experience, I retain a grate- 
ful recollection. He possesses some beautiful Greek vases in 
the Second style, from Corneto, of which the following are the 
most noteworthy : 

Amphora. Four naked, phallic Fauns in procession, each 
carrying a draped Msenad on his shoulder, one of whom is 
plajdng the lyre, and two the double-pipes. 

Amphora. A quadriga drawn by horses of surprising life and 

Amphora. Hercules overcoming Nereus. 

Amphora. Hercules contending with the Amazons. 

Some other vases of the same form and style, with a brilliant 
lustre, and in wonderful preservation all from Corneto. 

You see here what is not seen elsewhere the produce of 
excavations at Castel d'Asso. The vases, which are numerous, 
are in a very early style, but for the most part pseudo-archaic, 
mere Etruscan imitations of the so-called Phoenician style. When 
confronted with genuine vases of that style, the imitation is 

154 V1TERBO. [CHAP. xm. 

palpable. Yet they are not of late date, but contemporaneous, 
for they are always found in the same tombs with vases of 
bucchero, the earliest native pottery of Etruria. There are other 
painted vases in the late style of Magna Grtecia, and these also 
are local imitations. So that Castel d'Asso produces pottery of 
a very early and a very late period of 600 B.C. and of 250 K.C. 
while the art of the intervening centuries is not represented. 
The tombs with architectural facades probably belonged to this 
interval ; for, though ransacked long ages since, the fragments of 
pottery found in them are not of the archaic bucchero, but of 
ordinary plain ware of a later date. Signer Bazzichelli possesses 
a beautiful bronze speccliio, from this site, representing Venus 
(TURAN) and Adonis (Axuxs) embracing; another, of Hercules 
overcoming Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons ; with other 
mirrors of inferior art, and numerous strigils, among them one 
of iron, retaining fragments of the cloth in which it was wrapt. 9 

In the wall of the church in front of this palace, is a Roman 
sarcophagus of marble, bearing a bas-relief of a lion contending 
with a boar. An inscription shows it to have been raised in 
honour of a Viterbian damsel of the twelfth century, who had such 
extraordinary beauty, that, like Helen, she became the cause of a 
war "causa teterrima belli." On her account the city was 
besieged by the Romans; and after unsuccessful assaults they 
agreed to raise the siege, on condition that the fair Galiana 
displayed her charms from the ramparts an instance of "the 
might, the majesty of loveliness " never surpassed in any 

It may partly be owing to this Italian Helen that the daughters 
of Viterbo still enjoy a proverbial reputation for beauty. But 
these are delicate matters, not to be handled by an antiquary. 
What more shall I say of Viterbo ? It was the second city in the 
Papal State within the limits of ancient Etruria, and can still 
boast of thirteen or fourteen thousand inhabitants, and in former 
times was often the residence of the Popes. I will say nothing of 
the remains of Santa Rosa, the holy patroness of the city of the 
pulpit of San Bernardino of Siena of the celebrated "Deposition " 
of Sebastian del Piombo, from the design of Michael Angelo of the 
palace where Olimpia Pamfili held her revels of the Gothic 
Cathedral, stained with the royal blood of England 1 of the 
quaint Episcopal palace adjoining, whose vast hall has witnessed 

9 Iiull. Inst. 1874, p. 257. ami occupies the site of a temple to Hercules, 

1 The cathedral is dedicated to S. Lorenzo, mentioned in early Christian documents. 


the election of some half-dozen popes are they not all recorded 
by Murray ? Yet I must testify to the neatness and cleanliness 
of Viterbo to the Tuscan character of its architecture' to its 
well-paved, ever dry streets to its noble fountains, proverbial for 
their beauty and I must not omit the abundant civility experi- 
enced in the hotel of the " Angelo," which the traveller should 
make his head-quarters while exploring the antiquities of the 




Si te grata quies, et primam soinnus in horam 

Delectat ; si te pulvis strepitusque rotarnm, 

Si liedit caupona ; Ferentinum ire julebo. HORAT. 

THE neighbourhood of Yiterho is rich in antiquities. It 
was not usual with the southern Etruscans to build on the 
summits of lofty mountains, or even on the higher slopes 
therefore no remains are found on the Ciminian itself but all 
along its base stood city after city, now for the most part in 
utter desolation, yet whose pristine magnificence can be traced 
in the sepulchres around them. The vast plain, also, north of 
the Ciminian, now in great part uncultivated, and throughout 
most thinly inhabited, teems with vestiges of long extinct 

Five miles north of Yiterbo, on the left of the road to Monte 
Fiascone, and near the Ponte Fontanile, is a remarkable assem- 
blage of ruins, called Le Casacce del Bacucco. One is an edifice 
of two stories, by some thought a temple of Serapis, most pro- 
bably because they fancied they could trace a corruption of this 




word in its name, Bagni delle Serpi. 1 It is more vulgarly called 
La Lettighetta, or the Warming-pan. Then there are several 
quadrilateral buildings, evidently baths ; one retaining traces of 
some magnificence, being surmounted by an octagon which 
originally supported a cupola. From the character of these 
ruins, and the abundance of thermal springs in this district, it 
has been with great probability supposed that this is the site of 
the Aqua3 Passeris of antiquity. 2 All these ruins are clearly of 
Boman times ; but there is one monument on this site apparently 
of Etruscan construction. It is a mound of tufo shaped like a 
cone, hollowed into a tomb, and girt with rectangular travertine 
masonry, like the tumuli of Tarquinii. Its interior is very 
plain. 3 

Considerably to the east of Bacucco, and about five miles north 
of Viterbo stand the ruins of an Etruscan cit} r , now called Ferento 
or Ferenti. It is the ancient Ferentinum of Etruria, 4 the birth- 
place of the emperor Otho ; and must not be confounded with the 
town of the same name in the land of the Hernici. That, the 
" Ferentinum of the rock," stands on the summit of a lofty hill, 

1 Excavations were made here in 1830, 
and statues and mosaic pavements were 
brought to light. Bull. Inst. 1831, p. 84 ; 
Ann. Inst. 1835, 17. Camilli. 

2 Cluver (ii. p. 561). The Feutingerian 
Table places Aquae Passeris between Forum 
Cassii and Volsinii, eleven miles from the 
former, and nine from the latter. If Ve- 
tralla be the site of Forum Cassii, the 
distance to Bacucco is about correct, but 
tliencs to Yolsinii is fourteen miles ; and 
this distance Cluverius thinks was originally 
stated by the Table, but that XIIII. was 
corrupted by the transcriber into VIIII. 
which might very easily occur. 

Professor Orioli also, who has published 
a long Latin inscription, found near Viterbo, 
referring to the springs and course of these 
" Aquas Passerianae," is of opinion that the 
baths occupied the site of Bacucco. (Ann. 
Instit. 1829, p. 174179.) But Canina 
takes the Bullicaine to be the Aquae Passeris, 
because there are no other hot springs in the 
neighbourhood to which Martial's descrip- 
tion can apply fervidi fluctus Passeris (VI. 
Epig. 42). The name of Le Serpi, vulgarly 
given to the building at Bacucco, may be a 
corruption of " Scirpianum," an estate 
mentioned by the said inscription as tra- 
versed by the Via Ferentiensis. Etr. 

Marit. II., p. 133. 

3 Bull. List. 1831, p. 85. Tt is consi- 
dered by Lenoir (Annali dell' Inst. 1832, 
p. 277), from the character of its mouldings, 
to be of It oman construction, in imitation 
of tombs genuinely Etruscan ; but I have 
already shown, in treating of the tombs of 
Falleri, that a resemblance to Roman archi- 
tecture is not necessarily an evidence against 
an Etruscan origin ; and it is clear that the 
Romans could as well imitate the Etruscans 
in the mouldings as in the general character 
of the tomb. For an illustration of this tomb, 
see Mon. Ined. Inst. I. tav. XLI. 16. 

4 By Strabo (V. p. 226), Tacitus (Hist. 
II. 50), Pliny (III. 8), and Suetonius (Otho 
I.), it is called Ferentinum ; by Ptolemy 
(Geog. p. 72, ed. Bertii) Pherentia ; by 
Vitruvius (II. 7) Ferentum. It may also 
be referred to as Ferentum by Suetonius 
(Vespas. 3). It seems to have given name 
to an Etruscan family, mentioned on a 
sepulchral urn of Perugia "ArnthPhrenti- 
nate Pisice. " It is strange that Vermiglioli, 
who gives this inscription (Iscriz. Perug. 
I. 319), should have thought of an analogy 
with the Frentani of Samnium, or with the 
Ferentinates of Latium, rather than with 
this town of Etruria. 

158 FEBENTO. [CHAP. xiv. 

and to the traveller from Rome to Naples by the upper road, is 
an object of interest on account of its massive Cyclopean walls ; 
this is on the level of the great Etruscan plain, girt about, how- 
ever, by profound ravines. Nor must it be confounded with 
Ferentum in Apulia, a town also situated in a plain, 

Pingue tenent humilis Ferenti. 5 

We have no record of this town in Etruscan times, though the 
sepulchres around it give sure evidence of such an antiquity. It 
must have been a dependency of Volsinii. The earliest mention 
of it is in the time of Augustus, when it was a Roman colony of 
small importance, 6 and, if the passage of Horace which heads 
this chapter refer to this town, 7 it was then a quiet, secluded, 
country village. Then we hear of it as the birthplace of the 
Emperor Otho ; 8 and as the site of a temple of Fortune, 9 pro- 
bably the Etruscan goddess, Nurtia, who had a celebrated shrine 
at Volsinii, not many miles distant. It continued in existence 
after the fall of the Empire, and rose into the importance of an 
episcopal see, 1 but was utterly destroyed in the eleventh century, 
by the Viterbesi, in their zeal to exterminate a heresy with which 
its inhabitants were tainted, that heresy being that they repre- 
sented Christ on the cross with his eyes open, instead of being 
orthodoxly closed ! 

The area of the town is covered with ruins of the three epochs, 
into which its history may be divided. The greater part are 
foundations of houses and other structures of the middle ages. 
There are considerable remains of Roman pavement of polygonal 
blocks of basalt ; and several Roman structures in ruin, among 
which a tower with a vaulted roof is prominent. Some of the 
ruins of later date are raised on foundations of Roman antiquity. 
The walls of the town are in great part overthrown, but fragments 
of them remain, and many of the rectangular blocks which corn- 

5 Hor. III. Od. 4, 15. of that great thoroughfare, the Latin Way. 

6 Strabo, V. p. 226 ; Frontinus (de Cramer (I. p. 225) follows his opinion. 
Colon. ) also calls it a colony ; Yitruvius (loc. 8 Sueton. Otho I. ; Tacit. Hist. II. 50;. 
cit.) and Tacitus (Hist. II. 50) a munici- Aur. Viet. Imp. Otho. 

pium. 9 Tacit. Annal. XV. 53. 

7 Cluver (II. p. 563) is decidedly of this J Cluver. II. p. 562. Camilli, Mon. di 
opinion ; and shows that it could not have Viterbo, pp. 62, 84. An inscription re- 
applied to the other Ferentinum, which corded by Orelli calls it " splendidissima 
was precisely amid the dust and the noise civitas." 


posed them, lie scattered on the slopes around. 3 The sites of 
several gates are distinctl}* traceable. 

But the grand monument at Ferento is the theatre. In its 
perfect state it must have been a truly imposing edifice ; even 
now, though all the winds of heaven play through its open arches, 
it is a most majestic ruin, with every advantage of situation to- 
increase its effect on the senses. For it stands on the brink of a 
precipice, overhanging a wooded and picturesque ravine, amid 
solitude, ruin, and desolation, where for centuries man has left 
his dwelling to the falcon, the owl, the bat, the viper, and the- 
lizard, and where his foot or voice now rarely calls forth echoes 
with the wide plain on every hand, the dark gloomy mass of the 
Ciminian in front, the swelling Mount of Fiascone behind, and 
the snowy ranges of the Umbrian Apennines in the horizon. 

The stage-front of the theatre is one hundred and thirt}--six 
feet in length, of massive masonry, composed of large rectangular- 
volcanic blocks uncemented ; not, as in the Etruscan walls, 
already described, laid lengthways and endways in alternate 
courses, but like those in the northern division of the land, 
arranged rather with regard to the size and form of the blocks- 
themselves than to any predetermined order or style of masonry. 
From its peculiar character, and its evidently superior antiquity 
to the rest of the structure, I am inclined to regard this facade as- 
Etruscan. The construction of its gates might be cited as an 
objection. There are seven of these, the largest in the centre, 
all with flat architraves composed of cuneiform blocks holding 
together on the principle of the arch, though without cement ; as 
is proved in one gateway, where, the masonry being dislocated, 
the keystone has slipt down several inches, yet is still supported 
by the contiguous blocks. 3 This mode of construction, like the- 
arch itself, has generally been supposed a Roman invention ; but 

2 The extant portions of the \valls are uslrina, than any other ancient walling in 

generally of small masonry, either Roman Etruria ; though there is also some resem- 

or of " the low times ;" but there are frag- blance to the pier of a ruined bridge at 

nients on the northern side, of more ancient Veii, mentioned at page 10 of this work, 
date and more massive character. They 3 This has fallen since the above was- 

are indeed very peculiar, the blocks being written, and the architrave is destroyed, 

nearly square, without any regularity in Its place is seen to the left in the woodcut 

size or arrangement, and being often let at page 156. 

into one another, more like the masonry The central gate, which is represented in- 

of that singular quadrangle on the Via the woodcut, is more than 12 ft. in height, 

Appia, which Gell called the " Campus and is 10ft. 2 in. wide; the next on either 

Sacer Horatiorum," but which Canina, with hand, 8 ft. 1 in. ; the next two, 7 ft. 6 in. ^ 

much more probability, regards as an and the outer' gates, 7 ft. 3 in. in width. 

160 FERENTO. [CHAP. xiv. 

there is now little doubt that the arch in Italy had an Etruscan 
origin ; therefore, seeing the perfection to which the arched vault 
had been brought at a very early age in the Cloaca Maxima, there 
is nothing in the peculiar style or construction of this flat arch 
which militates against its being of Etruscan formation ; for the 
principle of cuneiform sustentation once discovered, the progress 
from one application of it to another must have been short and 

This massive masonry rises to the height of ten courses. On 
it rests a mass of Roman brickwork, of Imperial times, with 
several arched openings, intended to admit light into the passage 
within. This passage, or postsccnium, which runs the whole 
length of the facade, is about four feet wide, and its inner wall, 
or the scena, is also of red Homan brick. One vast mass of this 
wall has been loosened from its foundation, probably by the same 
convulsion of nature which dislocated the gateway, and reclines 
against the outer wall, adding much to the picturesque effect of 
the ruins. The passage must have been a means of communica- 
tion for the actors behind the scenes, and in two parts it widens 
into a chamber the parascenion of the Greek theatre for their 
convenience in changing costumes. Within the theatre all is 
ruin a chaos of fallen masonry, shapeless masses of rock and 
red brick-work, overgrown with weeds and moss the orchestra 
filled up to the level of the stage not a seat of the cavca re- 
maining, that part of the theatre being only distinguishable by 
the semicircle of arches which inclosed it. These are of regular 
and massive masonry, of a hard grey tufo whitened by lichen a 
whiteness quite dazzling in the sunshine. The semicircle which 
they originally formed is not complete. Commencing with the 
first arch at the south-western angle of the arc, there are eleven 
in an unbroken series ; then occurs a gap, where one has been 
destroyed ; then follow nine more in succession ; and six or seven 
are wanting to complete the semicircle. Attached to the first is 
another, at an angle with it, indicating the line of the chord of 
the arc, the division between the cavca and the proscenium ; and 
its distance from the walls of the sccna shows the depth of the 
stage. These arches are beautifully formed, the blocks shaped 
with uniformity, and fitted with great nicety, though without 
cement. 4 Canina, the Roman architect, regards them as an in- 

4 These arches vary from 7i ft. to 9 ft. supporting a simple lip-impost, also a single 
in span. They are based on pillars about block ; as is likewise the mass raised on it, 
3 ft. square, each a single block of stone, from which springs the arch on either side. 


terior structure only, and thinks there was an outer range of arches 
for the external adornment of the theatre, as in those of Pompeii, 
and of Marcellus at Rome. He says that, from its excellent state 
of preservation, the sccna in this ruin gives us a more complete 
idea of that part in ancient theatres than can be derived from any 
other remain of the same description extant, particularly in the 
distinction between the " roy&l gate " in the centre, and the 
" stranger- gates " on either hand. 5 Canina pronounced this 
theatre a Roman structure, as late as the time of Otho ; G yet the 
lower part of the facade has an air of much superior antiquity, 
and from its resemblance to the masonry of other Etruscan sites, 
has strong claims to be considered Etruscan. 7 

Eerentum, though small, and probably at no time of political 
importance, was celebrated for the beauty of its public monu- 
ments. Vitruvius cites them as exhibiting " the infinite virtues " 
of a stone hewn from certain quarries, called " Anitianre," in the 
territory of Tarquinii, and especially in the neighbourhood of the 
Yolsinian Lake. This stone, says he, was similar to that of the 
Alban Mount in colour, i.e., it was grey like pcpcrino ; it was 
proof alike against frost and fire, and of extreme hardness and 
durability, as might be seen from the monuments of Ferentum, 
which were made of it. " For there are noble statues of wondrous 
workmanship, and likewise figures of smaller size, together with 
foliage and acanthi, delicately carved, which albeit they be ancient, 
appear as fresh as if they were but just now finished." The 
brass-founders, he adds, find this stone most useful for 
moulds. " Were these quarries near the City, it would be well to 

The length of the chord of the arc, or the 6 Etr. Marit. II., pp. 132, 141. The 

greatest width of the theatre, according to plan of this theatre, and its measure- 

my measurement, is exactly 200 English ments in Tuscan Iraccia, are given in the 

feet. The depth of the stage is 33 feet. Annals of the Institute 1839. Tav. d' Agg. 

fc Yitruv. V. 6. The seven gates in the F. 

outer wall are a very unusual number ; but ' The semicircle of arches, though of 

in the scena there is only the legitimate the same material as this facade, and very 

number of three ; the rest opening into the massive, seems, from the regularity of its 

postscenium alone. There are no traces of masonry, to be of later date. I regard it 

a portico at the back of the theatre, as was as Roman. That the brickwork is but a 

common in Greek edifices of this descrip- repair of a more ancient structure is most 

tion. Yitniv. V. 9. clear, from the irregularity of the upper 

This is certainly the best preserved scena line of the masonry below it, and from the 

in Italy ; but that of Taormina in Sicily is brickwork filling up its deficiencies. See 

more perfect, having a second story ; and the woodcut at page 156. It appears to 

that of Aspendus in Pamphylia is entire, me probable that the original Etruscan 

with three stories inside, and four outside, theatre having fallen into decay, Otho, or 

as I learn from the drawings of my friend, one of the early Emperors, put it into 

Mr. Edward Falkener. repair. 

VOL. I. Jt 

1G2 FERENTO. [CHAP. xiv. 

construct everything of this stone." 8 Pliny speaks of this stone 
in the same laudatory terms, but calls it a white silex. g Canina 
takes this stone to be nenfro ; l but nenfro was found at Gabii, 
and was well known and much used at Rome. Moreover, nenfro 
has not the properties assigned to this stone \>y Vitruvius. 
When last at Ferento, I sought particularly to obtain light on 
this subject. Among the numerous blocks with which the site is 
strewed, I remarked very few fragments of architectural decora- 
tion ; nothing that would at all bear out the praises of Vitruvius. 3 
The cliffs beneath the town are a sort of travertine ; yet the 
masonry of the theatre is of a yellowish tufo, not unlike nenfro ; 
and the town walls are composed of the same or of limestone. 
This latter, which is also found in abundance among the scat- 
tered masses, seems too hard for the chisel. I could perceive 
nothing which answered to the description of Vitruvius. 

In the neighbourhood of Ferento are sepulchres, some of 
Roman, but most of Etruscan construction. A few of these are 
tumuli, not of the large size seen at Veii, rather like those so 
abundant at Tarquinii; but the majority are caves hollowed in the 
rocks. Orioli mentions some remarkable tombs in a plain near 
the town, called Piano de' Pozzi, because these tombs are entered 
by oblong wells or shafts sunk to a great depth in the earth, with 
niches cut in the sides for the feet and hands, as in the tombs of 
Civita Castellana and Falleri. One of the shafts into which he 
descended was eighty feet deep, another, one hundred and 
twenty ; and at the bottom were horizontal passages, opening at 
intervals into sepulchral chambers. 3 

The visitor may vary his route on his return to Viterbo, by 
way of Vitorchiano, a small town three or four miles from Ferento. 
A competent guide, however, is requisite, for there is merely a 
foot-path. Vitorchiano seems to have been an Etruscan site, from 

8 Vitruv. II. 7. 2 There is a stone, quarried at Manziana, 

9 Plin. Nat. Hist. XXXVI. 49. near the Lake of Bracciano, which has 
1 Canina, Arch. Ant. VIII. p. 86. some of the properties ascribed to that men- 

But he subsequently altered his opinion, tioned by Yitruvius and Pliny, and is 

and in his last woi'k (Etruria Marit. II., much used in Rome, at the present day, for 

p. 40) he asserts that the quarries in ques- moulds for metal-casting, 

tion have been recently found near Bag- 3 Orioli ap. Inghir. Monument! Etraschi 

narea, and that the stone is now used at IV. p. 189. In Magna Graecia also such 

Rome for pavements. He. maintains that tombs have been found, the shafts to which 

the lower part of the sccna and the arches are sunk sometimes perpendicularly, like 

of the cavea of the theatre at Ferento are wells, sometimes obliquely, as in the 

all constructed of the stone from these Egyptian pyramids. De Jorio. Sepol. 

quarries (II. p. 142). Ant. p. 10. 


the slight excavations which have been made in its neighbour- 
hood. Its ancient name is unknown, but in 1435 it was colonised 
by the inhabitants of Norchia, who deserted their native town on 
account of its insalubrity, and migrated hither. Hence its modern 
name Vitorchiano (Vicus Orclanus). 4 It possesses the exclusive 
right of providing servants for the Senator of Rome that solitary 
representative of the mighty body which once ruled the world. 
This privilege is derived, tradition asserts, from classic times, and 
was accorded in perpetuity to Vitorchiano by a certain emperor, 
because one of its townsmen extracted a thorn from his foot. In 
virtue thereof, every forty years, the principal families in the place 
assemble and draw lots for their order of annual service ; each 
family sending one of its members to Rome in its turn, or selling 
the privilege, which custom has fixed at a certain price. The 
truth of this may be tested by any one \vho chooses to inquire on 
the Capitol of the Senator's servants, distinguished by their red 
and yellow, beef-eating costume. The validity of the privilege 
was contested, some years since, and the Vitorchianesi came off 
with flying colours. 

4 Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 21. 

M 2 



Mirenmr periisse homines ? monumenta fatiscunt, 

Mors etiam saxis nominibusque venit. AUSONIUS. 

Ecce libet pisces Tyrrhenaque monstra 
Dicere. OVID. 

ABOUT twelve miles east of Viterbo, on the same slope of the 
Oiminian, is the village of Bomarzo, in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of an Etruscan town where extensive excavations have been 
made. The direct road to it runs along the base of the mountain, 
but the excursion may be made more interesting by a detour to 
Fe'rento, which must be done in the saddle, the road being quite 
impracticable for vehicles. 

From Ferento the path leads across a deep ravine, past the 
village of Le Grotte di Santo Stefano, whose name marks the 
existence of caves in its neighbourhood, 1 and over the open heath 
towards Bomarzo. But before reaching that place, a wooded 
ravine, Fosso della Vezza, which forms a natural fosse to the 
Ciminian, has to be crossed, and here the proverb Chi va piano 
va sano must be borne in mind. A more steep, slippery, and 
dangerous tract I do not remember to have traversed in Italy. 
Stiff miry clay, in which the steeds will anchor fast ; rocks 
shelving and smooth-faced, like inclined planes of ice, are the 
alternatives. Let the traveller take warning, and not pursue this 
track after heavy rains. It w r ould be advisable, especially if ladies 
are of the party, to return from Ferento to Viterbo, and to take 
the direct road thence to Bomarzo. A diligence runs daily 
between Viterbo and the railway station at Orte, passing not far 
from Bomarzo. 

1 I coukl not learn that excavations had with no great success. He found, however, 

been made here, though at Monte Calvello, another well-tomb, similar to those of 

about 14 mile beyond, Kuggieri of Viterbo Ferento, the shaft to which was 127 palms 

excavated iu 1845 for Prince Doria, but deep. 


This is a village of considerable size situated on a wooded cliff- 
bound platform, Avith an old castle of tlie Borghese family at the 
verge of the precipice. It commands a glorious view of the vale 
of the Tiber, and the long chain of Umbrian and Sabine Apen- 
nines to the east ; of the vast Etruscan plain to the north, with 
Monte Fiascone like a watch-tower in the midst, and the giant 
masses of Monte Cetona and Monte Amiata in the far horizon. 
Like most villages in the old Papal State, Bomarzo is squalid in 
the extreme ; so that as we rode down its main street, not a house 
could we see whose exterior promised decent accommodation. 
We pulled up at one of the best, the Casa Fosci, to which we 
had been directed as a place where travellers were entertained. 

One great point of contrast between France and Italy I may 
saj", between northern and southern Europe is that in every 
French village or hamlet, be it ever so small, there is some one 
house, often several, Avhere Pierre or Jean so-and-so " donne a, 
boire et a manger," or "loge a pied et a cheval; " but in Central 
and Southern Italy such signs are as rare as notices of spiritual 
refreshment and halting-places for the devotee are abundant. 
Here and there a withered bush at a doorway shows that wine 
may be had within ; but as to an inn, except on the great high- 
ways you might as well look for a club-house. Some one or 
more of the most respectable inhabitants of these country-towns 
and villages is always, however thank Mercury ! ready to 
entertain the traveller, for a consideration for what will not an 
Italian do for gain ? especially the Eomans, who, however 
unlike in some points, resemble their ancestors in thirst for 
foreign spoil. " Omnia Romas cum pretio " holds good now as 
in Juvenal's day. This occasional Boniface is generally a man 
of decayed fortunes, and, as in this instance, shows his gentle 
blood by his courtesy and attention, and by doing everything 
that the slender resources of a country village will allow, to con- 
tribute to the traveller's comfort. The ruder sex may be content 
with their modicum of this, and thank God it is not less, but 
should ladies desire to explore the antiquities of Bomarzo I can 
scarcely recommend them to make more than a filing visit. 

The site of the Etruscan town, which Bomarzo represents, lies 
on a platform nearly two miles to the north of the village, 
separated from it by the deep ravine of La Vezza. From the 
brow of the further height the valley of the Tiber opened beneath 
us, the royal river winding through it, washing the base of many 
a town-capt height, of which that of Mugnano was the nearest 

166 BOMARZO. [CHAP. xv. 

and most prominent, and that of Orte the most distant, while 
midway lay the Vadimonion lake, on whose shores the Roman 
eagle twice soared in triumph, and the fate of Etruria was doubly 
sealed as a dependent nation. 2 

The first ruin which met our eye was some Roman baths, in 
three parallel vaults of OJJMS incertum, very massive in character. 
They are clearly of Roman construction ; for cement, though not 
unknown to the Etruscans, was rareh', if ever, vised in their 
architecture never to such an extent as to form the principal 
portion of the masonry. This ruin is without the ancient town, 
and the platform on which it stands, called Pi an della Colonna, 
is united to that of the town by a narrow neck of land. Here 
Ruggieri of Viterbo made excavations for Prince Borghese, and 
found no less than twenty spccchj in one tomb. 3 

On passing this strait, fragments of pottery, bricks, and wrought 
stone strewn over the ground, showed us we were on the site of 
former habitation ; but 110 more definite remains could I perceive 
than some fragments of red tessellated pavement probably 
marking the site of an impluvium, or tank in the court of a 
private house. The town must have been of very small import- 
ance, for its size is limited by the natural boundaries of cliffs, 
save at the narrow neck already mentioned ; and the space thus 
circumscribed forms a single field of no great dimensions. Of 
the ancient walls not one stone remains on another ; but beneath 
the brow of the hill on the east lie a few of the blocks, of red 
tufo, and of the dimensions usual in Etruscan walls in the 
volcanic district. In the cliff, on the same side, are two sewers 
opening in the rock, similar to those on other Etruscan sites. 

The name of this town in Etruscan times we have no means of 
determining. It has been supposed to be Meeonia, or Pneonia, 
but there is no authority for this in ancient writers. By others 
it has been thought to be Polimartium ; but as this is a name 
mentioned only in works of the middle ages, 4 it may have had no 
connection with the Etruscan town, but may have been simply 
the original of the village of Bomarzo. 

The existence of an Etruscan town on this site had for ages 
been forgotten, when some years since it was proved by the dis- 

2 See Chapter XI. Mugnano claims to fables and the plague. May not his own 

be the birthplace of Biagio Sinibaldi, a existence be called into question ? may he 

famous traveller of the olden time, who not be an European embodiment of the 

visited Ceylon, Japan, the Eastern Archi- oriental myth of Sinbad the Sailor ? 
pelago, China, and Tartary, at a date when 3 Bull. Inst. 1845, p. 21. 

Europe imported little from the East but * Dempster de Etrur. Keg. II. p. 110. 


coveiy of tombs containing articles of value and interest. Exca- 
vations were commenced in 1830, and have since been carried on 
with various success. 

The platforms to the south and west of the town seem to have 
been the chief depositories of its dead. A few tombs are seen in the 
cliffs beneath the walls, but the greater part are sunk deep below 
the surface of the ground as at Tarquinii and Vulci, and were 
entered by long narrow passages, descending obliquely. Though 
very many have been excavated, few now remain open ; the greater 
part, as at Veil and Vulci, have been reclosed, in order to save 
for tillage the few yards of earth occupied by the entrance- 
passages. Many tombs do not merit preservation, but on the 
other hand it is well known that some of the most interesting 
opened in former years in this and other cemeteries are not now 
to be entered, and their very sites are forgotten. 

The principal group of tombs that still remain open, is on the 
edge of the hill facing Bomarzo. Two of them merit a few words 
of description. One is called 


from a massive pillar of Doric-like simplicity, which supports 
the ceiling. The chamber is about thirteen feet square, and 
seven in height, with a roof slightly vaulted, in the form of a 
camber-arch. The door is of the usual Etruscan form, smaller 
above than below, like Egyptian and Doric doorways ; and the 
wall on each side of it, within the tomb, is lined with masonry 
a rare feature in Etruscan tombs, especially in those of subter- 
raneous excavation. The blocks are very massive and neatly 
rusticated, a clear proof that this style of masonry was used by 
the Etruscans ; a fact also attested by other remains on Etruscan 
sites. It is worthy of remark that this style, which probably 
originated in Etruria, is still prevalent in this part of Italy ; and 
the grand palaces of Florence and Siena, so far as masonry is 
concerned, may be purely traditional imitations of those of 
Etruscan Lucumones, raised five-and-twenty centuries ago. 

The character of this tomb is most solemn and imposing. The 
rock-hewn pillar in the midst, more simple and severe than any 
Doric column 5 the bare, damp walls of rock the massive 

5 Canina cites this as the most striking hewn columns in the tombs of Beni-Hassan. 

example of a Doric-like column among the Etruria Marit. II., p. 166. This column 

very few to be found in Etruscan tombs, is singularly formed, the side facing the 

and points out its similarity to the rock- door being rounded, the back squared. The 

168 UOMARZO. [CHAP. xv. 

blocks of masonry the yawning sarcophagus with its lid over- 
thrown, and the dust of the long-forgotten dead exposed to view 
the deep gloom never hroken hut by the torch of the curious 
traveller all strike the soul with a chill feeling of awe. 


Let us leave this tomb and enter another hard b}'. We are in 
a chamber whose walls, gaily painted, are alive with sea-horses 
snorting and plunging water-snakes uprearing their crests and 
gliding along in slimy folds dolphins sporting as in their native 
element and, can we believe our e} r es ? grim and hideous 
caricatures of the human face divine. One is the head of an old 
man, with eye starting from its socket, and mouth wide open as 
though smitten with terror. Another is a face elongated into a 
coffin form, or like the head of an ox, with one eye blotted from 
his visage, and the other regarding you with a fixed stare, no 
nostrils visible, the mouth gaping above a shapeless chin, and 
the hair standing out stiffly from the head, as though electrified. 

1 could not readily bring myself to believe that this caricature 
was of ancient execution ; but, after minute examination, I was 
convinced that it was of the same date, and by the same hand, as 
the other paintings in this tomb, which are indubitably Etruscan. 
All are drawn in the same broad and sketchy stj^le, with red and 
black crayons " rubrica picta aut carbone." 

In the centre of one wall is a third head, no caricature, and 
probably the portrait of the Etruscan for whom the tomb was 
constructed, and whose ashes were found in his sarcophagus. 
The other two heads may represent respectively Charun and 
Typhon, i.e. the angel or minister of Death, and the principle of 
Destruction, both of whom are usually depicted as hideous as the 
imagination of the artist could conceive. 6 

Hippocampi and water-snakes are symbols frequently found in 
Etruscan tombs, either depicted on the walls, or sculptured on 
sarcophagi and urns. They are generally regarded as emblematic 
of the passage of the soul from one state of existence to another, 
an opinion confirmed by the frequent representation of boys 

shaft is 5 ft. high, and 18 inches in dia- fi Typhon is here, as elsewhere in this 

meter, with a plain base. The capital is work, used conventionally, to express a di- 

2 ft. square, with its lower edge bevelled vinity of Etruscan mythology, whose name 
down to the shaft. The whole is crowned has not yet been ascertained, but who bears 
by an abacus, 4 ft. square, and, like the some analogy to the Typhon of Egyptian and 
capital, about 1 ft. deep. Greek mythology. See Chapter XXV. 


riding on their backs. This view is, moreover, borne out by 
their amphibious character horse and fish, snake and fish 
evidently referring to a two-fold state of existence. The dolphins, 
which form a border round the apartment, painted alternately 
black and red, are a common sepulchral ornament, and are 
supposed to have a similar symbolical reference ; 7 though they 
have also been considered as emblematic of the maritime power 
of the Etruscans, the " sea-kings " of antiquit}-. 8 The rolling 
border beneath them represents the waves, in which the}' are 
supposed to be sporting 

circum clari delphines in orbern 
jEquora verrebant caudis, ajstumque secabant. 

Next to the Typhon-head is a large jar, sketched on the wall, 
out of which two serpents with forked tongues are rising. The 
demons or genii of Etruscan mytholog}' are commonly represented 
brandishing these reptiles in their hands, or with them bound 
round their brows or waists, and sometimes, as in this case, 
having them by their side. That snakes were also made use of 
by the Etruscan priests and soothsayers, as by the Egyptian, to 
establish their credit for superior powers in the minds of the 
people, as evincing control over the most deadly and untractable 
creatures i-n existence, may be learned both from history and 
from sepulchral monuments, 9 and it is possible that those used in 
the service of the temples were kept in such jars as this. 1 

" Gori Mus. Etr. II. p. 236. Inghirami called from this fable Tyrrhenus piscis 

Mon. Etrus. I. p. 160. Some have imagined Seneca, Agam. 451. cf. Stat. Achil. I. 

that the dolphins so frequently introduced 56. The dolphin is also an emblem of 

on Etruscan sepulchral monuments have Apollo, who once assumed its form, and 

reference to the story of Dionysos, told in drove a ship from Crete to Crissa. Horn, 

the Homeric Hymn to that god, who, Ilyrn. Apol. 401, et seq. 
when seized by some Tyrrhene pirates, as- s Tup/5rji/ol 6a\\a.TroKpaTowrfs. Diod. 

sumed the form of a lion (v. 44), or, as Sic. V. p. 295, 316. Strabo V. p. 222. 
Apollodorus has it, turned the mast and 9 Livy (VII. 17) records that the Etrus- 

oars into serpents, and filled the ship with can priests made iise of these animals to 

ivy and the music of pipes, which so ter- strike terror into their foes. See also Flo- 

rified the crew that they leaped into the rus. I. 12, and Front. Strat. II. 4, 17. 
sea, and were transformed to dolphins. 1 The serpent was an object of divination 

Apollod. III. 5, 3. cf. Ovid. Met. III. among the Latins (.Elian. Nat. AD. XI. 

575,ctscq. Serv. ad 2n. 1. 67. Hyginus, cap. 16), and probably also among the 

134. Nonnus, Dionys. XLY. p. 1164, ed. Etruscans, as it continues to be among cer- 

Hanov. 160"). Eurip. Cycl. 112. But it tain people of Asia and Africa. Serpents, 

is clear that these pirates were Tyrrhene were worshipped by the Egyptians, and 

Pelasgi, of the Lydian coast, not .Etruscans. cherished in their temples (^Elian. X. cap. 

See Niebuhr, I. p. 42. Miiller, Etrus. 31, XI. 17, XVII. 5), and the Greeks kept 

einl. 2, 4, and I. 4, 4. The dolphin was representations of them in the temples of 



[CHAP. xv. 

In this tomb was found the curious sarcophagus, now in the 
British Museum, of temple -shape, with a pair of serpents, in 
knotted coils on the roof; and it appears highly probable, from 
this and the other adornments of the sarcophagus, as well as 
from the serpent-jar painted on the wall, that this was the 
sepulchre of some augur or aruspcx, skilled in the mysteries of 
" the Etruscan Discipline," and in interpreting the will of 
Heaven. His name, we learn from his sarcophagus, was " Vel 
Urinates," a family name met with in other parts of Etruria; 2 
and his portrait is probably seen on the right-hand wall. 3 

From the freedom of the sketches on the walls, from the 
Greek character of the ornaments, and the peculiar style of the 

Bacchus ^Schol. ad Aristopli. Pint. III. sc. 
2, 690), probably because this reptile was 
a symbol of regeneration and renovation. 
The serpent is also a well-known emblem 
of Apollo, of his son .ZEsculapius, and of 
Minerva in her character of Hygieia. 

The Romans also connected the serpent 
with the worship of the Lares; this reptile 
being always found on the Lararia of the 
houses at Pompeii. The serpent indeed 
seems to have been used by the Romans as 
a mark of sacredness. They were wont to 
paint it on walls for the same purpose that 
the modern Italians paint crosses or souls 
in purgatory. 

Pinge duos angucs : pueri, locus 

est sacer: extra, &c., 
says Persius (Sat. I. 113). Whether it be 
& traditional custom, or a mere coincidence, 
I know not, but the modern Italians, espe- 
cially the Romans, are very fond of chalk- 
ing huge serpents on walls, generally chained 
to a post. 

Serpents were regarded by the ancients 
as genii of the place where they were found; 
or as ministers to the dead; as when .Ineas 
sees one issue from the tomb of his father 
lie was 

Incertus geniumne loci, famulumne 

Esse putet. .En. V. 95. 

So also Yal. Place. Argon. III. 458. Um- 
braruni famuli. So says Isidore (Orig. 
XII. 4) Angues apud gentiles, pro geniis 
locorum erant habiti semper. Seneca (de 
Ira II. 31) speaks of them at banquets, 
gliding among the goblets on the table ; so 
also Virgil describes the serpent mentioned 
above, taking part in the funeral feast 

(n. V. 90). 

agmine longo 
Tandem inter patents et levia pocula 

Libavitque dapes 

cf . Yal. Flacc. loc. cit. It is probable that 
the serpent was delineated on the walls of 
tombs, not so much to mark the sacredness 
of the spot, as to keep it inviolate by ex- 
citing the superstitious terror of intruders. 

2 The name Urinates is inscribed on a 
rock-tomb at Castel d' Asso. It occurs 
also among the Etruscan family names of 
Perugia, Yolterra, and Chiusi. 

3 This sarcophagus is unique. It seems 
from the sloping roof, joint-tiles, and ante- 
fix, to have represented a house or temple, 
yet nothing like a door is visible. The lid 
has a winged sphinx at each end of the 
ridge, and in the middle are a pair of ser- 
pents curiously knotted together like ropes. 
The antefixse are female heads, probably 
Larvae, as on the black pottery of Chiusi 
and Sarteano. At each end of the monu- 
ment are griffons, or beasts of prey, de- 
vouring antelopes, and on the sides at each 
angle is a figure, also in relief, one repre- 
senting Charun with his hammer and a 
crested snake in his hand ; another, a 
winged female genius, with a drawn sword; 
a third, a similar figure, with an open 
scroll ; and the fourth, a warrior, with 
sword and shield. The whole was origin- 
ally covered with stucco and coloured, and 
traces of red, black, and blue, may still be 
detected. The name Yel Urinates is 
inscribed on one side just beneath the lid. 

A plate of it is given, Mon. Ined. Instit. 
I. tav. XLIL, and Etruria Warit. tav. CXX. 


sarcophagus, this tomb cannot be of early date. It must be 
some centuries later than the Grotta Campagna at Veii, coeval 
with the latest painted tombs of Corneto, probably subsequent to 
the conquest of Etruria, though betraying no foreign influence, 
save in its style of art, and the character of its adornments. 4 

This is the only painted tomb yet found in this necropolis. 
The generality of sepulchres on this site are quadrilateral, of 
moderate size, with a broad ledge or bench of rock round three 
sides, on which lay the bodies, sometimes in sarcophagi, some- 
times uncoffmed, with a lamp of terra-cotta or bronze at the head 
of each; and weapons, vases, and other sepulchral furniture 
around. These benches were occasionally hollowed into sarco- 
phagi, which were covered by large sun-burnt tiles, three feet or 
more in length. Body -niches, so common at Sutri, Civita 
Castellana, and Falleri, are seldom found on this site ; and even 
small niches for lamps or vases are rare. I observed one tomb 
under the town-walls, which seems to have been circular, with a 
pillar in the centre the usual form of the sepulchres of Volterra. 
In some instances, sarcophagi have been found not in tombs, but 
sunk like our modern coffins, a few feet below the surface of the 
ground, covered with large tiles, or stone slabs. These were for 
the bodies of the poor. At this site they did not always bury 
their dead ; for vases are often found containing calcined remains. 

As every necropolis in Etruria has its peculiar style of tomb, 
so there is a peculiarity also in the character of the sepulchral 
furniture. On this site the beautiful painted vases of Vulci and 
Tarquinii are not common ; those, however, with yellow figures, 
are not so rare as the more archaic, with black on a yellow 
ground ; but they are seldom in a good st3*le of art. Articles of 
bronze, often of great richness and beauty, are abundant; consist- 
ing of helmets, often gilt, shields, greaves, and other portions of 
armour; vases of different forms; spccclij, or mirrors, figured with 
mythological scenes; tripods and candelabra; and long thin plates 
of this metal gilt, covered with designs in relief. Besides these 
have been found swords and bows of steel. But perhaps the 
most remarkable article in bronze here found is an aspis, or 
circular shield, about three feet in diameter, with a lance-thrust 

4 The tomb is 18 ft. long by 15 wide, wards on either side. The floor is said to 
and nearly 7 high in the middle ; the ceil- have been covered with cement. The walls 
ing is cut as usual into the form of the are coated with a fine white stucco to re- 
roof of a house, with a beam along the ceive the colour, not here, as at Veil and 
centre, and rafters sloping from it down- Chiusi, laid on the rock itself. 



[CHAP. xv. 

in it, and its lining of wood, and braces of leather still remaining, 
after the lapse of more than 2000 years. Go to the Gregorian 
Museum, and behold it suspended on the walls ; for the Pope 
purchased it of Signer Ruggieri, the fortunate excavator, for the 
sum of GOO scitdi. It was found suspended from the wall, near 
the sarcophagus of its owner, and the rest of his armour hung 
there with it his embossed helmet, his greaves of bronze, and 
his wooden-hilted sword of steel. In one tomb on this site a 
skeleton was discovered still retaining fragments of its shroud ; 
and in another a purple mantle was found covering two vases and 
a garland of box ! 5 In a third was a little cup of ordinary ware, 
but bearing on its foot an inscription, which proved to be no 
other than the Etruscan alphabet. What was the meaning of it 
in such a situation is hard to say to us it is suggestive only of a 
present to a child. Though originally of little worth, it is now a 
rare treasure, being, until very recently, the sole instance known 
of an alphabet in the Etruscan character. 6 Here is a fac-simile 
of it 

All these articles are now in the possession of the Prince 
Borghese. The fullest description of the excavations at Bomarzo 
will be found in the work of Don Luigi Yittori, arch-priest of the 
villae. 7 

5 Yittori, Mem. Polim. p. 33. 

c A little pot was discovered at Cervctri 
some few years since, inscribed with an 
alphabet and primer ; and a tomb at Colle, 
near Yolterra, opened two or three centuries 
ago, had a somewhat similar epigraph on its 
walls. But in both those cases the letters 
were Pelasgic, not Etruscan. Here, how- 
ever, is an alphabet which is admitted to be 
in the latter character. The order adopted 
is singular. In Roman letters it runs thus : 
A, C, E, V, Z, H, TH, I, L, M, N, P, S, 
R, S, T, U, TH, CH, PH. The fifth, or 
the zeta, is of a very rare form. The usual 
form of the Etruscan zeta is J. It will be 
observed that there .are two tftetas ; the 
ante-penultimate letter in the alphabet may 
also be a phi. The difference between the 
two slyinas is supposed by Lepsins to con- 
sist in the first being accented, and the 
other not ; but they are often used indif- 
ferently in the same word. 

Another Etruscan alphabet has lately 
been found scratched on a black bowl, now 
in the Museum at Grosseto, but the place 
of its discovery I could not ascertain. It 
closely resembles this of Bomarzo in the 
order, and generally in the form of the 
letters, but contains twenty-two instead of 
twenty. See Chapter XLVII. In tho 
Museum at Chiusi are three Etruscan 
alphabets, all fragmentary, carved on slabs 
of tufo. They are of earlier date than, the 
two mentioned, and the letters, which do 
not observe the same arrangement, run 
from left to right. See Chapter LIII. 

7 For other particulars regarding the 
excavations on this site, see Annali dell' 
Inst. 1831, p. 116 (Gerhard); 1832, 
p. 284; 1832, p. 269 (Lenoir); Bui- 
lettini dell' Inst. 1830, p. 233; 1831, 

p. 6 ; p. 
p. 50. 

85 ; p. 90; 1832, p. 195; 1334, 


We returned to Viterbo by the direct road along the foot of the 
Ciminian Mount. It presents many picturesque combinations of 
rock and wood, with striking views of the Etruscan plain, and the 
distant snow-capt mountains of Cetona and Amiata. This dis- 
trict is said to be rich in remains of Etruscan roads, sepulchres, 
and buildings. 8 I observed in one spot a singular line of rocks, 
which, at a short distance, seemed to be Cyclopean walls, but 
proved to be a natural arrangement ; and I remarked some traces 
of an ancient road ; but beyond this, I saw nothing no tombs or 
other remains of Etruscan antiquity. 9 About two miles from 
Viterbo is the village of Bagnaja, with the celebrated Villa Lante 
of Vignola, and thence the curious in natural phenomena may 
ascend to the Menicatore, or rocking-stone, near the summit of 
the mountain an enormous block of peperino, about twenty-two 
feet long, twenty wide, and nine high, calculated to weigh more 
than two hundred and twenty tons, and yet easily moved with a 
slight lever. 

8 Ann. Instit. 1832, p. 282 (Knapp). On the corridor open four chambers. Orioli, 

9 At Corviano, about three miles from who describes it, could not pronounce 
Bomarzo, on this road, there is said to be a whether it was Etruscan, Roman, or of the 
singular tomb, composed of a very long Low Empire, (ap. Ingh. IV. p. 189, tav. 
corridor lined with masonry, ending in a XXXXI. 2.) The passage and shaft are 
narrow passage which terminates in a well. quite Etruscan features. 






g o 

o O 

3 P3 




" a 

a w 
^ .2 

a -s to 

^3 ft 

a -g 

fl n 

a 1 

rt o 
P^ H 

Vs Ci 

o S ^- 

d a 



Sow' a' sepolti le tombe terragne 
. Portan segnato quel ck' elli eran pria. DANTE. 

Here man's departed steps are traced 

But by his dust amid the solitude. HEMANS. 

THE best guide to the Etruscan antiquities of Viterbo and its 
neighbourhood used to be Euggieri, a caffettiere of that city who, 
though a master-excavator himself, would condescend, for a con- 
sideration, to act the cicerone. His mantle has now fallen on a 
certain Fanali, who also acts as guide to Castel d' Asso, an 
Etruscan necropolis, which was first made known to the English 
public by the lively description of Mrs. Hamilton Gray. It lies 
about five miles to the west of Viterbo, and can be reached by the 
light vehicles of the country, though more easily on horse-back. 1 

From the gate of Viterbo, the road descends between low cliffs, 
here and there hollowed into sepulchres. At the extremity of 
this cleft is a large cave, called Grotta di Riello, once a sepulchre, 
and a spot long approached with superstitious awe, as the deposi- 
tory of hidden treasure guarded \>y demons. But a small Virgin 
having been erected at the corner of the road hard by, the worthy 
Viterbesi can now pass on their daily or nightly avocations with- 
out let or hindrance from spiritual foe. The same evil report is 
given of another sepulchral cavern, not far off, called Grotta del 

1 It is first found under this name in the Castellaccio, tuis site is always mentioned 

works of Annio of Viterbo. Orioli (Ann. by the shepherds and peasantry as Castel 

dell' Inst. 1833, p. 23) asserts that its true d' Asso. Bullett. dell' Inst. 1833, p. 97. 

name is Castellaccio, as it has always been, My own experience agrees with that of 

and is still, called by the lower orders of Orioli, and I have found peasants who did 

Viterbo ; but the Baron Bunsen, on the not understand the name of Castel d' Asso, 

other hand, maintains that, though there but instantly comprehended what site I 

is a ruined tower some miles distant called meant by Castellaccio. 

176 CASTEL D'ASSO. [CHAP. xvi. 

About a mile and a half from Yiterbo we entered on the open 
heath, and here columns of steam, issuing from the ground by 
the roadside, marked the Bulicame, a hot sulphureous spring, 
which has the honour of having been sung by Dante. 2 It is 
apparently in a boiling state, but is not of intolerable heat. 3 It 
Is inclosed by a circular wall, and being carried off in small 
channels, flows steaming across the plain. This is almost the 
only active intimation of those latent fires which, in past ages, 
have deposited the strata of this district. It lies midway between 
the Lake of Bolsena and that of Yico, both craters of extinct 
volcanoes. The high temperature and medicinal qualities of 
these waters have given rise to baths in their neighbourhood, and 
from the many ruins around, there seem to have been similar 
edifices in former ages, at least as far back as lioman times. 4 

We were now on the great Etruscan plain, which was here 
and there darkened by w r ood, but unenlivened by towns or 
villages ; no habitations visible on its vast expanse save the 
distant towers of Toscanella, and a lonely farm-house or crumb- 
ling ruin studding its surface at wide intervals. Our guide, 
being then new in his trade, mistook one of these ruins for 
another, and, after wandering a long time over the moor, fairly 
confessed he was at fault. So we took the road into our own 
hands, and with much difficulty, in consequence of the numerous 
ravines with which the plain is intersected, reached the brink of 
the wide glen of Castel d'Asso. Just opposite the ruined castle 
which gives its name to the site, we found a smaller glen, open- 
ing at an angle into the large one, and here we descended, and 
presently came upon the object of our search. Tomb after tomb, 
hewn out of the cliffs, on either hand a street of sepulchres; all 
with a house-like character ! They were unlike any Etruscan 
tombs I had yet seen; not simply opening in the cliffs as at 
Sutri and Civita Castellana, nor fronted with arched porticoes as 
at Falleri, but hewn into square architectural facades, with bold 
cornices and mouldings in high relief, and many Avith inscriptions 
graven on their fronts, in the striking characters and mysterious 
language of Etruria. 

Such a scene is well calculated to produce an impression on a 

2 Inferno, XII. 117, and XIV. 79. The heat is said to be not greater than 

3 Fazio degli Uberti, in his Dittamundi, 50 Reaumur. Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 5. 

lib. III. cap. 10, says it is so hot that in 4 Canina takes the Bulicarae to be the 

less time than a man can walk a quarter of Aquae Passeris of Martial, VI. Epig. 42, 

a mile you may boil all the flesh off a sheep, ut supra, p. 157, note 2. 
so as to leave it a mere skeleton. 


sensitive mind, especially on one to whom an Etruscan necropolis 
is a novel spectacle. The solemnity of the site the burial- 
place of long-past generations, of a people of mysterious origin 
and undetermined antiquity their empty sepulchres yawning at 
our feet, yet their monuments still standing, in eternal memorial 
of their extinct civilization, and their epitaphs mocking their dust 
that has long ago been trampled under foot or scattered to the 
winds all this cannot fail to excite reflection. Then the lone- 
liness, seclusion, and utter stillness of the scene the absence of 
all habitation nothing but the ruined and picturesque castle on 
the opposite precipice, and the grand dark mass of the Ciminian, 
looking down on the glen tend to make this more imposing 
than other Etruscan cemeteries which are in the immediate 
neighbourhood of modern habitations. 

As I advanced down the glen I found that the tombs continued 
round the face of the cliffs, on either hand, into the great valley, 
in a line opposite the ruined castle. There might be thirty or 
forty of them not all, however, preserving their monumental 
faades occupying an extent of cliff about half a mile in 
length. 5 

The fa9ades are formed by the face of the cliffs being hewn to 
a smooth surface, save where the decorations are left in relief; the 
height of the cliff being that of the monuments, which vary, in this 
respect, from twelve to thirty feet. The imposing effect of these 
tombs is perhaps increased by their form, which is like that of 
Eg}'ptian edifices and Doric doorways, narrower above than 
below, the front also retreating from the perpendicular a form 
ordinarily associated in our minds with the remotest antiquity. 
Still more of Egyptian character is seen in the massive hori- 
zontal cornices, which, however, depart from that type in reced- 
ing, instead of projecting from the plane of the facade. 6 These 
cornices, in many instances, are carried round the sides of the 
monument, and even where this is not the case, each tomb is 
quite isolated from its neighbours ; a broad upright groove, or a 
flight of steps cut in the rock, and leading to the plain above, 
marking the separation. In the centre of each fa9ade is a rod- 
moulding, describing the outline of a door; in some instances 

5 Orioli (ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrus. IV. p. torus, the fascia, the ogee, and the becco di 
175) makes it to be a mile and a half in civetta, or lip-moulding, generally arranged 
length, but the learned Professor has here in the same relative order, but varying con- 
decidedly stretched a point. siderably in proportions and boldness. See 

6 The mouldings of the cornice are the the Appendix, Note L 

X 2 



[CHAP. xvi. 

having panels recessed one within the other, as in the annexed 
woodcut. This is not the entrance, but merely the frontispiece 
to the tomb, and the title is generally engraved 
on the lowest and most prominent fascia, or, 
in some cases, on the flat surface of the fagade 
just over the moulded door. 7 The letters are 
seldom six inches in height, though, from the 
depth of their intaglio, they can be read in the 
sunshine from a considerable distance. Not 
half the tombs have inscriptions, and not ah 1 of 
these are legible ; yet, in proportion to the number of monu- 
ments, there are more inscribed facades at Castel d'Asso than in 
any other Etruscan necropolis, save that of Sovana. Most of 
these inscriptions seem to indicate the name of the individual or 
family buried below, but there are others, the precise meaning of 
which can be only conjectured. 8 

So much for the title-page of these sepulchres. The preface 
comes next, in the form of a chamber hollowed in the rock, 
receding, in most instances, a little from the face of the monu- 
ment above it, and vaulted half over, by the rock being left to- 
project at the base of the fagade. The front seems to have been 
al\va}*s open. 9 On the inner wall, and directly beneath the 
moulded door of the fagade, is a similar false door, sometimes 
with a niche in its centre. 1 Here the funeral feast may have 
been held; or the corpse may have been laid out in this chamber, 
before its transfer to its last resting-place in the sepulchre 
beneath ; or here the surviving relatives may have assembled to 
perform their annual festivities in honour of the dead ; and the 
niche may have held a lamp, a cippus, or a vase of perfume to- 
destroy the effluvium, or in it may have been left an offering to 
the infernal deities, or to the manes of the deceased. 

Directly beneath this second moulded door, is the real 

" Tliis system of false doors in the fagades 
of tombs, obtains in the ancient rock-hewn 
sepulchres of Phrygia, which, indeed, have 
many other points of analogy with these of 
Etruria (see Steuart's Ancient Monuments 
of Lydiaand Phrygia, Loncl 1842), and also 
in those of Lycia, which have often recessed 
panellings. See Sir C. Fellows' works, and 
the monuments from Xanthus now in the 
British Museum. Moulded doorways often 
occur also in Egyptian monuments, anil 
sometimes with recessed panellings, as in 

the above woodcut ; as on a granite sarco- 
phagus in the Museum of Leyden. 

8 All the inscriptions that remain legible 
are given in the Appendix, Note II. 

9 Some of the smaller tombs are without 
this open chamber, and have the entrance- 
passage immediately below the facade. This, 
intermediate chamber is a feature almost 
peculiar to the tombs of Castel d' Asso, and 
A" orchia. 

1 As in the woodcut iu Chap. X!X.. 
page 216. 


entrance to the sepulchre, generally twenty, sometimes thirty or 
forty feet below the uppermost moulding. It is approached by 
a narrow and shelving passage, cut through the rock in front of 
the monument, running down at an angle of about forty degrees, 
and originally cut into steps. The door, like the false ones 
above it, tapers upwards, but is often arched. Forcing my way 
down these passages, mostly choked with rocks and bushes, and 
squeezing nry body through the doorways, now often nearly 
reclosed with earth, by the aid of a taper, without which nothing 
would have been visible, I explored most of the sepulchres. 
They are now half filled with earth, and I had to crawl on all- 
fours, over upturned sarcophagi, fragments of pottery, and the 
bones and dust of the ancient dead. 

The tombs are of various sizes, some very spacious, others 
extremely small all rudely hollowed in the rock, and most of a 
quadrilateral form. The ceilings are generally flat, though 
sometimes slightly vaulted ; and I do not recollect an instance 
of beams and rafters in relief, so common in other cemeteries. 
The resemblance to houses is here external only. Some have 
the usual benches of rock against the walls for the support of 
sarcophagi : in others are double rows of coffins, sunk in the 
rock, side by side, like beds in a hospital or workhouse, and with 
a narrow passage down the middle. In one tomb these sunken 
sarcophagi radiate from the centre. The bodies, when laid in 
these hollows were probably covered with tiles. 

I was greatly surprised at the studied economy of space dis- 
played in these sepulchres a fact which entirely sets aside the 
notion that none but the most illustrious of the nation were here 
interred. The truth is, that the tombs with the largest and 
grandest fagades have generally the meanest interiors. The last 
tomb in the great glen, in the direction of Viterbo, is externally 
the largest of all, and a truly magnificent monument, its facade 
rising nearly thirt} r feet above the upper chamber ; 2 and it is 
natural to conclude that it was appropriated to some great 
chieftain, hero, or priest ; yet, like all its neighbours, it was not 
a mausoleum for a single individual, but a family-vault, for it 
contains eight or ten sarcophagi of nenfro. Unlike the figure- 
lidded sarcophagi and urns, so common in many Etruscan 
cemeteries, these correspond with the tombs themselves in their 
simple, massive, and archaic character, having no bas-reliefs 

2 It is seen in the woodcut at p. 177, which shows the range of cliff-hewn tombs in 
the glen opposite the Castle. 

182 CASTEL D'ASSO. [CHAP. xvi. 

or other sculptured ornaments, and, in their general form, re- 
sembling the sarcophagi of Lydia and Phrygia. I did not 
observe a single instance of a niche within the tomb itself, but 
in the wall of the passage, just outside the door, there is often 
one, which was probably for the cippus, inscribed with the name 
of the family to whom the sepulchre belonged. 

From their exposed position, there is every reason to conclude 
that these tombs, like those of Sutri, Civita Castellana, and 
Fallen, were rifled at an early period. As soon as the sacred- 
ness attaching to them as the resting-place of the dead had worn 
off, they must have fallen a prey to plunderers. Their site being 
always indicated by their superincumbent monuments, whatever 
of their contents the earlier spoilers might have spared must 
inevitabty have been carried off or destroyed in subsequent ages. 
It is absurd to expect that anything of value should be found in 
our own days in these open tombs. But in others excavated of 
late years in the plain above, have been found various articles of 
bronze, specchj with figures and inscriptions, tripods, vases, large 
studs representing lions' heads, besides articles of gold and 
jewellery, scarabei, c., with painted vases, some of great beauty 
and archaic design, though in general mere native imitations of 
the Greek. 3 A collection of antiquities from this site may be 
seen at Yiterbo, in the possession of Signor Bazzichelli, the 
present proprietor of Castel d'Asso. 4 

Only one tomb did I perceive which, in any striking particular, 
differed from those already described. It is in the narrow glen. 
On each side of the false door of the facade is a squared buttress 
projecting at right angles, and cut out of the rock which formed 
the roof of the upper and open chamber. These buttresses are 
surmounted by cornices, and have a small door-moulding on their 
inner sides, like that on the facade. The sepulchre itself, in this 
instance, is of an unusual form elliptical. Orioli has described 
a singular sepulchre at Castel d'Asso, which differs wholly from 
those already mentioned, being a cavity for a body, sunk in the 
surface of the plain and surrounded by an ornamental pattern, 
cut in the tufo. 5 I looked in vain for this ; but nearly opposite 

3 Orioli, Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 33, and ap. 1874, p. 257. 

Inghir. Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 188. Urlichs, i> Orioli, ap. Inghir. Mon. Etr. IV. p. 

Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 75. Abeken (Mittel- 189, tav. XXXIX. 3. The same writer 

italien, p. 256) is mistaken in supposing (p. 209) speaks of a tomb on this site with 

these articles were found in the fa9aded two phalli scratched on its walls. I did 

tombs. not perceive such symbols in any of these 

4 Ut supra, p. 153. See also Bull. Inst. tombs 


the castle, I remarked a deep well or shaft sunk in the plain, 
which doubtless was the entrance to a tomb, such as exist at 
Ferento. There can be no doubt, from the analogy of other 
sites, and from the excavations already made, that sepulchres 
abound beneath the surface of the plain. 

In a country like our own, where intelligence is so widely 
diffused, and news travels with telegraphic rapidity, it were 
scarcely possible that monuments of former ages, of the most 
striking character, should exist in the open air, be seen daily by 
the peasantry, and remain unknown to the rest of the world for 
many ages. Yet so it is in Italy. Here is a site abounding in 
most imposing remains of the olden time, bearing at every step 
indisputable traces of by-gone civilisation, scarcely six miles from 
the great thoroughfare of Italy, and from Viterbo, the largest cit} r 
in all this district ; and yet it remained unknown to the world at 
large till the year 1808, when Professor Orioli, of Bologna, and 
the Padre Pio Semeria, of Viterbo, had their attention directed to 
the wonders of this glen. 6 I am persuaded that Italy is not yet 
half explored that veiy much remains to be brought to light ; a 
persuasion founded on such discoveries as this, which are still, 
from time to time, being made, of which I may cite the Etruscan 
necropolis of Sovana, discovered by niy fellow-traveller, Mr. 
Ainsley even more remarkable than this of Castel d'Asso and 
sundry monuments of the same antiquity, which it has been my 
lot to make known to the world. In fact, ruins and remains of 
ancient art are of such common occurrence in Italy as to excite 
no particular attention. To whatever age they may belong 
mediaeval, Imperial, Republican, or pre-historical the peasant 
knows them only as " muraccia," and he shelters his flock amid 
their walls, ploughs the land around them, daily slumbers 
beneath their shade, or even dwells within their precincts from 
year to year ; and the world at large knows no more of their 
existence than if they were situated in the heart of the Great 

The general style of these monuments their simplicity and 

6 The gentleman who has the honour of by Annio of Yiterbo, in the fifteenth cen- 

having indicated the site to Orioli, is Signer tury ; indeed, the name is painted on the 

Luigi Anselmi, of Yiterbo, who is well stored ceiling of the principal hall of the Palazzo 

with local antiquarian knowledge. He has Comunale, at Viterbo, which must be more 

also made excavations in the necropolis of than 200 years old (Orioli, Ann. Inst. 1833, 

Castel d'Asso. The place had been long p. 24), but it was not recognised as an 

known as the site of a ruined castle, and Etruscan site till the year 1808. 
was even mentioned under its present name 

184 C'ASTEL D'ASHO. [CHAP. xvi. 

massive grandeur, and strong Egyptian features testify to their 
high antiquity ; and this is confirmed by the remarkable plainness 
of the sarcophagi, and by the archaic character of the rest of 
their furniture, so far as it is possible to judge of it. They may 
safely be referred to the days of Etruscan independence. 

This ancient cemetery clearly implies the existence of an 
Etruscan town in its neighbourhood ; and the eye of the anti- 
quary needs not the extant remains to point out the site on the 
opposite cliff, just at that spot where a tongue of land is formed 
in the plateau, by the intersection of a deep glen opening 
obliquely into the great valley. Here, accordingly, besides 
numerous remains of the middle ages, to which the castle wholly 
belongs, may be traced the outline of a town, almost utterly 
destroyed, indeed, but, on one side, towards the east, retaining 
a fragment of its walls in several courses of rectangular tufo 
blocks, uncemented, which have every appearance of an Etruscan 
origin. The site is worthy of a visit for the fine view it com- 
mands of the tomb-hewn cliffs opposite. The extent of the 
town, which is clearly marked by the nature of the ground, was 
very small, about half a mile in circuit. AVhat may have been 
its ancient name is a question to determine. By Mrs. Hamilton 
Gray it has been conjectured to be the Eanum Yoltumme, the 
shrine of the great goddess of the Etruscans, where the princes 
of Etruria were wont to meet in a grand national council ; but 
for this there is no authority ; Yiterbo, as already shown, has 
stronger claims to that, honour, and still stronger will hereafter 
be urged for another site. It has been suggested, and with high 
probability, that it may be the site of the Castellurn Axia, men- 
tioned by Cicero as near the farm of Csesennia, the wife of A. 
Cfficina, his client. 7 Its very small size shows it could never 

" Cicero pro Ca?cina ; cf. cap. VI. and and by Vitruvius (II. 7) is said to be in 

VII. Cluver (II. p. 521) could not deter- finibus Tarquiniensium. If the strong re- 

raine the site of Castellum Axia ; but semblance of the name, the agreement in 

Mariani (de Etrur. Metrop. p. 45) as early the distance from Rome, said by Cicero (loc. 

as 1728, declared it to be Castel d'Asso. cit. cap. X.) to be less than 53 miles (i.e. 

The objection urged by Orioli (Ann. Instit. by the Via Cassia), as well as in the position 

1833, p. 24) that Castel d'Asso is too on a height (cap. VII.), be taken into ac- 

distant from Tarquinii to be included within count, there can be little doubt that this is 

its territory, as the Castellum Axia seems really the site of the Castellum Axia. 

to have been, is not valid, for Tarquinii, as Cacina, however, objects to place the 

the metropolis of the land, most probably Fundus Ctesennise here, because it is only 

had a more extended aycr than usual ; be- fifty miles from Rome, and would rather 

sides, the lake of Kolsena, which is more place it at Castel Cardinale, three miles 

remote from that city, is called by Pliny further to the north. Etr. Marit. II., 

(Nat. His. II. 95), lacus Tarquiniensis p. 51. 


have been more than a mere fortress. This could have been 
only its lloman name ; as to its Etruscan appellation, we are 
still at a loss. It is not improbable, however, that it bore a 
somewhat similar name in Etruscan times. Acsi, we know, from 
u tomb at Perugia, to have been a family name among that 
people ; and it was not uncommon for them, as well as for the 
llomans and other nations, to derive their family names from 
those of countries, cities, towns, or rivers. 


At the mouth of the wide glen of Castel d'Asso is a mass of 
rock, hewn into a sort of cone, and hollowed into a tomb, with a 
night of steps cut out of the rock at the side, leading to the flat 
summit of the cone, which, it is conjectured, w r as surmounted by 
a statue. 8 About a mile from Castel d'Asso is a very spacious 
tomb, with decorated front, called Grotta Colonna, 9 which is near 
enough to have formed part of this same necropolis. 

8 Lenoir, Annali dell' Inst. 1832, p. 276. 

y The Grotta Colonna is nearly 70 feet 

long by 16 wide. It contains a double row 

of coffins sunk in the rock, with a passage 
down the middle. Orioli, ap. Ingh. Mon. 
Etr. IV. p. 197, 218. See also tav. 38. 3. 



[CHAP. xvi. 



FIG. 1 shows the moulding of the 
fa9ade of the great tomb, mentioned at 
page 181. This arrangement is that 
generally followed at Castel d'Asso, but 
with varieties in the proportions of the 
parts, and in the boldness of the general 
character as seen in fig. 2. A few of 
the monuments are moulded as in fig. 3 ; 
but this arrangement is more common at 
Norchia, where, however, the former 
system also obtains. These three mould- 
ings are not on an uniform scale. All 
the fa9ades on this site fall slightly back, 
as in the annexed cuts. 

The specimens of mouldings from 
this necropolis, published by Gell, and 
copied by Mrs. Hamilton Gray, are very 
incorrect ; though Sir William flattered 
himself that they were " the only speci- 
mens of real Etruscan mouldings that 
have ever been seen in our country." 
Canina (Etruria Marit. tav. 97) gives 
illustrations of some of these mouldings, 
which ought to be accurate. In his 
restorations, he represents the tombs as 
being each surmounted by a pyramid of 
masonry, but I could perceive no traces 
of such superstructures. 


The inscriptions at Castel d'Asso are the following, which I give in Roman 
letters : On a tornb on the left of the small glen, " ARNTHAL CEISES." 

On one at the mouth of this glen on the same side is " ECASUTH ..." 
which is but the commencement of the inscription. 

On a tomb on the opposite side of the glen, " RINATE . . . LVIES " . 

Orioli (Ann. Inst. 1833, pp. 31-2) reads it " URINATES . . . LVIES " . . The 
initial of the first word was very probably U, as the name Urinate occurs in 
other inscriptions the sarcophagus from Bomarzo, for instance, now in the 
British Museum (see page 170), and on cinerary urns from Perugia, Volterra 
and Chiusi. On the last named site a sepulchre of this family was dis- 
covered in 1859. Conestabile, Bull. Soc. Colomb. iii., pp. 7-12. 

Near this is a tomb, part of whose cornice has fallen. On the fragment 


yet standing, you read " ECASU ; " and on the prostrate mass is the rest of the 
inscription, " INESL. TITNIE," so that the inscription, when entire, read thus : 

On a tomb in the great valley is " INESL," which is but a fragment. 

On a fallen mass Orioli read " . . . . UTHIN . SL . . . " 

Orioli (ap. Ingh. iv. p. 218 ; Ann. Instit. 1833, pp. 34, 52) read on two 
tombs these numerals, IIAXX and IIIIIIIAXX, which doubtless recorded 
the ages of the dead therein interred. 

The recurrence of ECASUTHINESL shows it to be a formula. It is found 
also on other sites, and has given rise to much conjecture. SUTHINA is 
frequently found on bronze figures, which appear to have been votive 
offerings. Lanzi (II. pp. 481, 494) derived SUTHI from o-omyp/a, in which he 
is followed by Vermiglioli (Iscriz. Perug. I. p. 133) and Campanari (Urna 
d' Arunte), who deduced the formula from TJKO and o-wrijp. One antiquaiy 
(Bibliot. Ital. Magg. 1817) sought its interpretation in the Latin hie sultus 
inest. Professor Migliarini of Florence, also sought a Latin analogy eccc 
situs, or hie situs est (Bull. Inst. 1847, p. 86). The " Ulster king-at-arms," 
(Etruria Celtica, I. p. 38) finds it to be choice Erse, and to signify " eternal 
houses of death ! " Whatever it mean, it can hardly be a proper name. 
Beyond this, we must own with Orioli (loc. cit.), that " we know nothing 
about it, and our Avisest plan is to confess our ignorance." 



Though nought at all but mines now I bee, 

And lye in mine own ashes, as you see ; 

Vevlame I was ; what bootes it that I was, 

Sith now I am but weedes and wastefull grass ? SPENSER. 

MOST of the ancient cities of Etruria which have been dis- 
covered of late years, have been found fortuitously by travellers, 
native or foreign, who, with more or less knowledge of the 
subject, chancing to traverse ground far from the beaten tracks, 
have been attracted by the local monuments yet extant, and 
have recognised them as of Etruscan antiquity. But in 1850 
the existence of an Etruscan town was made known to the world 
in a novel manner as " the fruit of diligent and persistent re- 
searches," made by Signer Giosafat Bazzichelli of Yiterbo, acting 
on information furnished by Professor Orioli. In searching the 
archives of that city, the learned Professor found mention, in a 
chronicle of the thirteenth century, of two old towns, one called 
" Sorena," near the Bulicame, the other named " Civita Muserna," 
(in other documents Musana, or Musarna,) which towns, like the 
Theban brothers of old, were recorded to have fought so long, 
and so fiercely, that at length they utterly destroyed each other. 

The site of Sorena or Surrina, the Etruscan representative of 
Yiterbo, had long been known ; it remained only to discover that 
of Musarna, whose existence was confirmed l>y other mediaeval 
documents. As Orioli was personally unable to undertake the 
task of exploring the wide and desolate Etruscan plain, he 
delegated it to Signer Bazzichelli, who under his auspices suc- 
ceeded eventually in rescuing from obscurity the long-forgotten 
town, and in proving it to be of Etruscan antiquity. 

On visiting the Macchia del Conte, a vast estate belonging 
to the Counts of Gentili, about 7 miles west of Yiterbo, on the 


road to Toscanella, Signer Bazzichelli was fortunate enough to 
discover the site in question. Leaving the high road at the 
bridge of the Leja, turning to the left, and following the course 
of that stream for about a mile, he reached a ruined castle on 
a lofty cliff, bearing the name of Cordigliano. Leaving this 
old fortress by its eastern gate, and skirting the line of precipices 
which turn to the soiith, at the distance of little more than a 
mile he came to another height, overhanging the vale of the 
Leja, and called Civita. It was crested with the remains of an 
ancient town, which he recognised at once as Etruscan. The 
platform 011 which it stood is elliptical, the longer axis running 
from north-east to south-west. On the north it sinks in a fearful 
precipice to the valley of the Leja; on the west it is bounded by 
the same deep ravine ; and on the south it is separated from the 
adjacent plain by an enormous fosse, of the length of the town, 
sunk with immense labour in the rock, and bounded at each 
extremity b}' the ruins of a tower. On the east of the town is a 
hollow, partly natural, partly artificial, which sinks to the vale 
of the Leja. The area of the town is very limited, so that it is 
difficult to regard it as more than a castle, or at most a fortified 
village. 1 All round the height stretch the Etruscan walls, in 
parts rising some height above the surface and in admirable 
preservation, in others, level with the plain, though the founda- 
tions may be distinctly traced throughout. The walls are of 
regular masonry, composed of large blocks of tufo, joined with 
wonderful nicety, though without cement, and arranged in alter- 
nate courses of long and short blocks, in the style usual in the 
southern cities of Etruria, and which in this work is described 
as cmplccton. Beneath the walls, the cliffs on every side of the 
town are perforated with sewers. 3 

The town had four gates, two on the south side, one in the 
west, and one in the north wall. The principal entrance was 
from the south-east by a bridge hewn from the rock, spanning 
the fosse, of which mention has been made, and thus uniting the 
platform of the city with the adjacent plain. There is a similar 

1 Canina (Etr. Marit. II. p. 135) takes ponds with that of the farm of Cicero's 

both Musarna and Cordigliano, from their client. 

very small size, to have been mere estates, " The fragments of these walls delineated 

the habitations of the proprietor and his by Canina (Etr. Marit. tav. 11 9) show that 

retainers, inclosed by walls. He regards early description of masonry, in which the 

Castel Cardinale to be the Fundus Caesen- blocks present their ends only to the eye, 

niae of Cicero (pro CsecimA as its distance, as in the walls of Tarquinii and Caere, 
fifty-three miles, from Rome exactly corres- 

190 MUSAENA. [CHAP. xvn. 

bridge at the other extremity of the fosse, each being protected 
by a large tower, as already stated, whose foundations alone are 
extant. Within the walls are many remains of ancient buildings, 
with a few traces also of still later occupation. 

The town lies between two castles, which form, as it were, its 
suburbs. The nearest is Castel Cardinale, hardly a gunshot 
distant, on the further side of the valley of the Leja. It retains 
many remains of mediaeval times. The other, or that already 
mentioned as Cordigliano, is at a somewhat greater distance, 
situated on a platform very similar as regards position, but much 
more circumscribed than that occupied by the town. The isthmus 
of rock which united it to the plain was in this instance also 
crossed by a deep fosse, which barred the approach to the castle. 
The height was anciently enclosed by Avails of massive, un- 
cemented masonry, fragments of whose foundations are extant, 
and have been recognised as Etruscan. Numerous similar blocks 
strew the steep slopes beneath, overturned probably by some 
convulsion of nature, unless we are rather to believe the tradition 
which attributes it to the hostility of the Sorenesi. Beneath 
this castle, in the valley of the Leja, is the pier of an ancient 
bridge which once spanned the stream. The existence of these 
castles in close vicinity to the town, suggests a considerable 
population in ancient times, but this part of the plain is now 
utterly desolate and uncultivated. 

This ancient town of course had its necropolis, and, as usual 
in southern Etruria, there were visible traces of it in tombs hewn 
in the neighbouring cliffs, some with facades like those at Castel 
d'Asso and Norchia, though in a simpler and severer style. 3 
Other sepulchres were covered by tumuli, which rose above the 
plain ; but most were sunk deep below the surface, and were 
reached by long passages with flights of steps hewn from the 
living rock. 4 

Soon after the discovery of this town, a party of gentlemen, 
with Bazzichelli at their head, repaired to the site to explore the 
necropolis. They opened the tumuli, dug into the hill slopes, and 
dived beneath the plain, but they found that almost all the 
sepulchres had been rifled in former times. In a hill to the 
west of the town they opened tombs in great numbers, both in the 
upper stratum of calcareous rock, and in the red tufo beneath it ; 

3 One of these tombs is of remarkable 4 Illustrations of some of the sepulchres 

character, having square holes, like win- at Castel Cardinale will be found in Canina's 
<lows, in its fa9ade. Etruria Marittima, tav. 99. 


and they found the tombs to extend for a long distance in this 
hill, lying in tier above tier from the foot of the slope to the very 
summit. They were of small size, rudely hewn from the rock, 
generally square in plan, and sometimes divided into two by a 
wall left in the rock, and fronting the entrance. In some the 
ceilings were carved in imitation of beams and rafters; others 
were surrounded by benches of rock, on which were still stretched 
skeletons. The sepulchres sunk beneath the plain, were some- 
times mere pits rudely lined with tiles ; these were the resting- 
places of the poorer inhabitants. Here were also found spacious 
chambers, in one instance supported by massive piers of rock. 
In this tomb they found more than forty large sarcophagi of 
nenfro, lying in tiers around the Avails, nearly all with lids 
bearing the effigies of the deceased as large as life, and with 
Etruscan inscriptions on the lids or coffins, though sometimes 
incised on the figures themselves, either on their bodies or on 
their legs a feature quite peculiar to this site. The inscriptions 
proved the tomb to belong to the family " Alethnas." Eude and 
coarse as was the art displayed in these figures, there was much 
character and life-like expression in the countenances, which 
were evidently portraits. The men reclined with a drinking-bowl 
in their right hand, their flesh coloured red as usual. The 
women were represented with rich dresses and ornaments, and 
holding fans. The eyes of many were coloured blue. Sixteen 
of the sarcophagi from this tomb are now to be seen in the 
Museum of Viterbo. 

In other tombs the sarcophagi were simple chests of stone 
without ornament of any kind. One was of archaic character, 
like the early monuments of Chiusi, with flat reliefs representing 
a funeral procession. Of similar style was a square cippus, dis- 
playing a winged Charun, armed with a mallet. Many articles 
of bronze were brought to light, generally of an early style of art 
mirrors, with figures incised ; strigils, one with an inscription; 
coins, sometimes in the mouths of the skeletons ; spear-heads, 
one retaining in its socket fragments of its wooden shaft; a 
Satyr's head in relief, of exquisite workmanship ; a candelabrum 
011 a tripod of human legs. Little or no figured pottery was 
disinterred 011 this site, but there were three beautiful masks 
of terra-cotta, painted red and blue, with strange head-dresses of 
ribbons. In one tomb were found a pair of skulls, male and 
female, the former with the indentation of the leaden acorn from 
his foeman's sling, which had struck him in the forehead ; and 

192 MUSARXA. [CHAP. xvn. 

with a fracture of the parietal bone from some other weapon, 
which was probably his coup de (/nice. Orioli says the profiles 
of these skulls were of the true Italian cast, the face elongated, 
the chin sharp and prominent, " almost of the type of our 
Dante." 5 

It does not appear to me that Orioli has established the 
identity of this Etruscan town with the Muserna or Musana of 
the chronicles he cites. He takes it for granted rather than 
proves it. The only clue to its position given by the chronicles 
is, that it lies " towards the Veia." The only mention indeed of 
Civita Musarna is found in the apocryphal records of Annio of 
Yiterbo, who represents it as a ruined town, built b} 7 Hercules, 
near " Coriti Lyanum," and places it five miles from Viterbo, 
not far from the Yadimonian lake, a position which would tally 
better with that of Bomarzo, than of the town in question. But 
Orioli assumes the "Yeia" to be identical with the Leja, and the 
" Coriti Lyanum " of Annio to be Cordigliano, and prefers the 
name Musarna to Muserna or Musana, because Mastarna and a 
few other words in Etruscan have the same termination. 

Whether Musarna be the correct appellation of this ancient town 
or not is of little moment. Until a more likely one is found 
for it, we may be content to accept this nomenclature for want 
of a better. 

For further particulars regarding this Inst. 1850, pp. 22 30; pp. 35 44; pp. 
Etruscan town, and especially for the in- 89 96. 
scriptions in the Alethnas tomb, see Bull. 




Quid sibi saxa cavata 

Quid pulchra volunt monumenta ? PRUDE XTIU.S. 

There is a temple in ruin stands, 
Fashioned by long- forgotten hands. BYKOX. 

AT the same time, and by the same parties that Castel d'Asso 
was made known, there Avas brought to light another Etruscan 
necropolis, of even greater extent and higher interest. It lies 
more to the west, about fourteen miles from Viterbo, among the 
wooded glens which here intersect the great Etruscan plain, and 
in the neighbourhood of a ruined and desolate town, known by its 
mediaeval name of Norchia. Besides numerous rock-sepulchres, 
similar to those of Castel d'Asso, this necropolis contains two of 
a more remarkable character imitations of temples, with porti- 
coed facades and sculptured pediments, thought to be unique in 
Etruria, until the discoveries of Mr. Ainsle}', at Sovana. It is a 
spot which should not fail to be visited by every one who feels 
interest in the antiquities of early Italy. 

Norchia is reached with most ease from Vetralla, from which it 
is six or seven miles distant. The road from Viterbo to Vetralla 
skirts the base of the Ciminian, but has little of the picturesque 
beauty of that from Viterbo to Bomarzo. The village of San 

194 NOECHIA. [CHAP. xvm. 

Martino is passed on the left, high on the slope of the mountain. 
At S. Ippolito, half-way between Viterbo and Vetralla, a line of 
low aqueduct and other remains of Roman buildings are passed, 
which mark the site of ancient baths, and probably also of a 
station on the Via Cassia, which, after crossing the shoulder of 
the Ciminian, in its way from Sutrium, and passing through 
Forum Cassii, hard by Vetralla, turned northward across the 
great plain to Volsinii. The road, for the rest of the wa}* to 
Vetralla, follows the line of the ancient Cassian, fragments of 
whose pavement were visible when first I travelled this road. 

Vetralla stands at the western base of the Ciminian, and its 
position on a cliff-bound ridge between two ravines, the ancient 
rock-cut road by which you approach it, and numerous grottoes 
in the cliffs around, are so many proofs that it occupies the site 
of an Etruscan town. The antiquity of the place seems implied 
in its name, which has been supposed to be a corruption of Vetus 
A via; the derivation of the former part of the word at least can 
hardly be gainsaid. Forum Cassii, as already stated, was a 
station on the Cassian Way, eleven miles from Sutri, and twelve 
from Aquae Passeris, lying about a mile to the E.N.E. of Vetralla, 
and its position is marked by the church of Santa Maria in 
Forcassi, corrupted by the peasantry into " Filicassi." There is 
nothing to be seen on this spot beyond two Roman vaults, and a 
mass of opus incertum. 1 

Vetralla is a place of some importance, having 6000 inhabitants. 
Viterbo is celebrated for its beautiful women, but verity good 
looks are more abundant at Vetralla 

" tTno ha la voce. 
L'altro mangia la noce." 

This town is forty-three miles from Rome, eleven or twelve from 
Sutri, nine from Viterbo, twelve from Monte Romano, twenty- 
one from Corneto, thirty from Civita Vecchia, and eighteen from 
Toscanella. All these roads, save the last, are carriageable. 

The sole interest of Vetralla, to the antiquary, consists in its 
being the best point whence to lionise the two Etruscan sites of 
Norchia and Bieda, which are each about six miles distant. Not 
that the osteria, for it is nothing more, of Vetralla, has very 
inviting quarters ; it lacks many things comfort more than all ; 

1 Canina places Forum Cassii at Vetralla, though recognizing this as an Etruscan 
site. Etruria Marit. II., p. 54. 


but it is the best accommodation the neighbourhood for miles 
round can afford. Yet I may not do the place justice, for on 
three several occasions I have spent some days there in the 
month of November, when the weather was either extremely wet 
or lowering ; and after a long day's work, often in rain, always in 
mud, cold, and gloom, the want of comfort at night ma} r have 
been more severely felt. I have visited it also in the height of 
summer, but being caught in a thunder-storm, my reminiscences 
of the Vetralla hostelry were not brightened. A guide to Norchia 
or Bieda may be obtained at the ostcria of Vetralla. 

Norchia lies W.N.W. from Vetralla. For the first three miles 
you follow the high road to Corneto. Here, in a glen to the 
right of the road, may be observed many traces of sepulture, 
indicating the existence of some Etruscan town, whose name 
and memory have perished, unless these tombs belong to the 
necropolis of Norchia, three miles distant, to which the path here 
turns to the right. It is more likely, however, that they mark 
the necropolis of some town near at hand. Canina takes that 
town to be Cortuosa, which, with Contenebra, was captured by 
the Romans in the year 367 (B.C. 387), ten years after the fall of 
Veii. Contenebra he supposes to be no other than Norchia. 2 
For the latter half of the way, the road dwindles to a mere 
path, or vanishes altogether as you cross the wide desert heath, 
or dive into the deep glens with which it is in every direction 
intersected. Nothing can be more dreary than this scenery, on a 
dull November day. The bare, treeless, trackless moor has 
scarcely a habitation on its broad melancholy expanse, which 
seems unbroken till one of its numerous ravines opens suddenly 

2 Etruria Marittima, II., p. 50. He reach this spot the Romans must have 

founds this opinion on the statement of already passed Vetralla, an undoubted 

Livy (VI. 4) from which he infers that Etruscan site, which, as nearer Rome, has 

these were the first towns that were at- a better claim to be regarded as Cortuosa. 

tacked by the Romans on entering the Livy, moreover, ascribes the easy conquest 

territory of Tarquinii. Cortuosa, as the of that town to its being attacked by sur- 

nearest, was the first assailed, and offered prise ; and he represents Contenebra as 

no resistance, which he attributes to the being compelled to surrender on account of 

inferior strength of its position, the cliffs the paucity of its inhabitants, they being 

in this neighbourhood having no great unable to resist the continuous attacks of 

elevation. Contenebra made more resist- the Romans, who, dividing their forces 

ance, and kept the Romans at bay for into six bodies, kept up the assault with 

several days, being protected, he asserts, fresh troops, night and day, till they 

by strong fortifications, and was of more wearied the citizens into a surrender. Of 

importance, being mentioned by Livy as a the fortifications on which Canina bases 

"city," while Cortuosa was a mere "town." his opinion that Norchia was the site of 

This opinion of Canina, however, will not Contenebra, I shall have occasion to speak 

bear examination. He forgets that to presently. 

o 2 

196 NORCHIA. [CHAP. xvm. 

at your feet. The mountains around, which, in brighter weather, 
give beauty and grandeur to the scene, are lost in cloud and mist ; 
even Monte Fiascone has shrouded his unaspiring crest. In the 
ravines is always more or less of the picturesque ; yet their silence 
and lonesomeness, their woods almost stript of foliage, and drip- 
ping with moisture, have a chilling effect on the traveller's 
spirits, little to be cheered by the sight of a flock of sheep pent 
in a muddy fold, or of the smoke of the shepherd's fire issuing 
from a neighbouring cave, suggestive of savage comfort. 

Little heeded we, however, the dulness of the weather. Hastily 
we threaded these glens, eager to reach the famed necropolis. 
The few tombs we did see here and there in the cliffs, served but 
to whet our appetite. At length we tunied a corner in the glen, 
and lo ! a grand range of monuments burst upon us. There they 
were a line of sepulchres, high in the face of the cliff which 
forms the right-hand barrier of the glen, some two hundred feet 
above the stream an amphitheatre of tombs ! for the glen here 
swells into something not unlike that form. This singular glen 
is perhaps the most imposing spot in the whole compass of 
Etruscan cemeteries. 3 

The eye, as it ranges along the line of corniced sepulchres, 
singles out one of the most remote one, whose prominent and 
decorated pediment gives it, even at a distance, an unique 
character. In our way towards it, we passed huge masses of 
rock-cornice, split from the cliffs above, and lying low in the 
valley. We found that what looked like one tomb at a distance, 
was in fact a double tomb, or rather a tomb and a half, seeing 
that the half of one of the pediments has fallen. Its peculiarity 
consists in this that while all the sepulchres around are of the 
severely simple style of Castel d'Asso, approximating to the 
Egyptian, these two are highly ornate, and Avith much of the 
Greek character. Instead of the bold horizontal cornices which 
surmount the other tombs, here are pediments and Doric friezes, 
supported on columns ; and, what is to be seen on the exterior 
of very few other Etruscan monuments, the tympana are occupied 
with figures in high relief. The inner wall of the portico is also 
adorned with reliefs, at least under the remaining half of the 
mutilated facade. 

3 It is said by Lenoir ( Annali dell' Instit. and a half high. I could perceive no traces 

1S82, p. 291) that the slope from the base of them ; but if they existed they must 

of the tombs down to the banks of the have greatly increased the resemblance of 

.stream was cut into steps, about two feet the glen to an amphitheatre. 



A. Castle of the middle ages, in ruins. 

B. Church of the same period, do. 

a. Gateway with tombs. 
. Gateway, with ancient road cut in 
the rock. 

c. Tomb perforating the rock, and re- 

sembling a natural bridge. 

d. Tomb in the cliff, with a portico. 
c. The Temple-tombs. 

/. Sewer in the cliffs. 

<j. Fallen mass of cornice. 

h. Fragment of Etruscan wall below 

the cliff. 
Tombs with rook-hewn fagade.s. 

198 NORCHIA. [CHAP. xvin. 

Our first impression was the modern date of this double tomb, 
compared with those of archaic character around ; and then we 
were naturally led to speculate on its origin. Who had made 
this his last resting-place ? Was it some merchant-prince of 
Etruria, who had grown wealthy by commerce or, it might be, 
by piracy and who, not content with the simple sepulchres of 
his forefathers, obtruded among them one on the model of some 
temple he had seen and admired in his wanderings through 
Greece or Asia Minor ? Was it a hero, renowned in Etruscan 
annals some conqueror of Umbrians and Pelasgians some suc- 
cessful opposer of that restless, quarrelsome city, that upstart 
bully of the Seven Hills ? There, in each pediment, were 
figures engaged in combat some overthrown and prostrate 
others sinking to their knees, and covering their heads with their 
shields one rushing forward to the assault, sword in hand 
another raising a wounded warrior. All this, however, may have 
been the ornament of the temple from which this double-tomb 
was copied ; or it ma} r have had a symbolical meaning. Yet that 
he had been a warrior seemed certain, for in the relief within the 
portico were shield, mace, and sword suspended against the wall, 
as if to intimate that he had fought his last fight ; '* and beneath 
was a long funeral procession. Could he have been a Greek, 
who, flying from his native land, like Demaratus of Corinth, 
became great and powerful in this the home of his adoption, yet 
with fond yearnings after his native soil, raised himself a sepulchre 
after the fashion of his kindred, that, though separated from them 
in life, he might in some sort be united with them in death ? 
No he must have been an Etruscan in blood and creed; for 
this same procession shows certain peculiarities of the Etruscan 
mythology the winged genius of Death, with three other figures 
in long robes, bearing twisted rods those mysterious symbols of 

4 It was the custom of the Greeks and but curious instance of this is seen in the 
Romans, on retiring from active life, to baker's tomb at the Porta Maggiore of 
dedicate to the gods the instruments of Rome, and another in the cutler's monu- 
their craft or profession. Thus Horace ment in the Galleria Lapidaria of the 
(Od. III. 26) proposed to suspend his arms Vatican. Another, more analogous to this 
and lyre on the wall of the temple of Venus. Norchian sepulchre, is seen on a vase, de- 
The temple-form of this tomb is suggestive scribed by Millingen (Peintures de Vases 
of such an explanation ; though, on the Grecs, pi. XIX.), where within an mlicuta 
other hand, it was not uncommon to indi- or shrine stands the figure of the deceased, 
cate on the sepulchre itself the profession with his shield and greaves suspended above 
of the deceased by the representation of his head. The custom is still retained in 
his implements or tools, or by scenes de- the East. I have observed frequent in- 
scriptive of his mode of life. A well-known stances of it in Armenian burial-grounds. 


the Etruscan Hades conducting the souls of two warriors with 
funeral pomp, just as in the Typhon-tomb at Corneto. 

I have spoken of columns. None are now standing, 5 but it is 
evident that the heavy projecting entablatures have been so sup- 
ported that of the entire tomb by four, traces of whose capitals 
and bases are very distinct that of the broken one, whether by 
four or six it is difficult to say ; more probably by the latter. In 
neither case do they seem to have been more than plain square 
antfs, the inner ones similar to those at the angles of the portico. 
They were all left in the rock out of which the faades are hewn, 
and the softness and friability of the tufo accounts for their 

The entablatures at a distance seem Doric, but a nearer ap- 
proach discloses peculiar features. The pediments terminate on 
each side in a volute, 6 within which is a grim, grinning face with 
prominent teeth, a Gorgon's head, a common sepulchral decora- 
tion among the Etruscans. Over two of the three remaining 
volutes is something, which from below seems a shapeless mass 
of rock, but on closer examination proves to be a lioness or 
leopard, specimens of the ocrotcria, with which the ancients 
were wont to decorate their temples." Other peculiarities may 
be observed in the guttce, the triglyphs, the dentilled cornice 
above them, and the ornamented fascia of the pediment all so 
many Etruscan corruptions of the pure Greek. 8 

The tomb whose facade is entire, is more ancient than its 
fellow, as is proved by the bas-relief in the portico of the latter 
encroaching considerably on the wall of the former. Yet with 
some trifling exceptions they correspond. 9 Indeed the sculptures 

5 The pillar at the right-hand angle of entrances of tombs, or painted within them 
the entire tomb was standing when Orioli over the doorway and are sometimes found 
first visited these monuments. Ann. List. in a similar position as acrotcria to porticoes, 
1833, p. 36. as in a temple-like sarcophagus at Chiusi, 

6 The pediments to these tombs prove which bears a relief of a death-bed scene, 
them to be imitations of temples, or of very Micali. Mon. Ined. tav. XXII. They are 
distinguished houses if we may judge also often found carved on the lids of 
from the analogy of the Romans, among sarcophagi, one at each angle, as if to 
whom pediments were such marks of dignity, guard the effigy of the deceased. Panthers 
that Cicero says (de Orat. III. 46) if you or leopards are also sepulchral emblems, 
could build in heaven, where you have no and are frequently represented in the pedi- 
showers to fear, yet you would never seem ments of painted tombs. 

to have attained dignity without a pediment. 8 The yutt<z arc inverted, having the 

Julius Csesar, as a great mark of distinc- points downwards, and they are only three 

tion, was allowed a pediment to his house. in number. The triglyphs are without the 

Flor. IV. 2. cf. Cic. Phil. II. 43. half-channels on their outer edges, and are 

7 Lions were symbolic guardians of sepul- therefore more properly diglyphs. 

chres ; and as such were often placed at the 9 The pediment is rather higher in the 

200 NORCIIIA. [CHAP. xvin. 

in the two pediments are by some considered as relating to the 
same subject ; though what that may be, it is not easy from the 
dilapidated state of the figures to decide. One has conjectured it 
to represent the contest for the body of Patroclus ; another the 
destruction of Niobe's children ; one has seen in it an interment, 
or games of chance, and the gladiatorial combats which the Etrus- 
cans held at their funerals ; while a fourth regards it as the 
representation of some dispute about peace or war at the Fanum 
Voltumnee. The attitudes of the figures alone and in some 
cases not even these are distinguishable. All the details which 
would give character and meaning are effaced. The broken half 
of the pediment does not serve to clear up the mystery, though 
it was discovered, half buried in the earth, with the figures in ex- 
cellent preservation, and was removed to Viterbo, where it is still 
to be seen in the possession of Signer Giosafat Bazzichelli. 1 
Whatever be the subject of these sculptures, they have not the 
archaic Etruscan character displayed in the bas-relief beneath 
the portico. 

The surface of this rocky wall is so much injured, that doubt 
must ever hang over certain parts of this relief. Thus much is 
clear and unequivocal that there is first a large, circular, convex 
shield, 2 like the aspis of the Greeks, and then a mace, both sus- 
pended against the wall. Next is a figure, now almost effaced, 
which from its large open wings must be that of a genius. 3 Over 
this is a plumed helmet, either worn by a figure behind the 
genius, not now distinguishable, or more probably suspended. 

older tomb. This has no guttce like the phylia, as well as on city-walls. See Fellows' 

other. The portico is loftier in the imper- Asia Minor, pp. 175, 192, where Ezek. 

feet monument. xxvii. 11, is cited in illustration. They 

1 A plate of it, with the rest of the relief, were also suspended by the Greeks in their 
is given in the Mon. Ined. Inst. I. tav. sepulchres ; as in the pyramid between 
XLVIII. Argos and Epidaurus, described by Pausanias 

2 Orioli (Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 38) thinks (II. 25, 7). From the frequency of them 
here was originally a boss of metal in the painted or sculptured in the tombs of 

centre of the shield, but there are now no Cervetri and Corneto, they seem to have 

traces of such an ornament. In the rock- had a votive meaning among the Etruscans, 

hewn temple-tombs of Phrygia, the shields as well as among the Greeks and Komans. 

found on the architraves or pediments are The latter people used to emblazon them 

bossed. Those represented in Etruscan with the portraits of their ancestors or with 

monuments have very seldom a boss, and their heroic deeds. Pliny (XXXV. 3). 
are always circular, like the Argolic shields :> One wing is most distinct. There is a 

and the a<rm'5es tvnvK\oi of the Homeric corresponding arched ridge where the other 

heroes; Diodoms (Eclog. lib. XXIII. 3) ought to be. Orioli (Ann. dell' Inst. 1833, 

says the Romans at first used a square p. 53) thinks this figure represents Venus 

shield, but afterwards exchanged it for the Libitina, the goddess who presided over 

aspis of the Etruscans. Similar shields funerals. It is certainly a female, for the 

are found sculptured on tombs in Pam- prominence of the bosom is manifest 


Another figure seems to have followed, and above it hangs by a 
cord a short curved sword 4 ; a second helmet succeeds, which 
seems to be worn by a figure ; then a straight sword suspended ; 
and three draped figures, about the size of life, probably repre- 
senting souls, each bearing one of the mysterious twisted rods, 
close the procession. 5 This may have been continued in the former 
half of the relief, now utterly destroyed. It is clear that the 
ground of the whole has been originally painted red, and traces 
of the same colour, and of yellow, may be observed here and there 
about the figures ; and from the same on the fallen half of the 
pediment, it is certain that the reliefs of both tympana and of the 
portico and probable that the architectural portions of the tombs 
also were thus decorated. This is one among numerous proofs 
in tombs, sarcophagi, and urns, that the Etruscans, like the 
Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, had a polychrome system of 
decorating their architecture and sculpture. 

Various are the opinions of archaeologists as to the date of these 
monuments. All are agreed on one point, that both the architec- 
ture and sculpture are decided imitations of the Greek. They 
have been considered as early as Demaratus, the father of Tar- 
quinius Priscus, to whose time belongs the first historical mention 
of the influence of Greek over Etruscan art; but the spirit 
and freedom of the sculptures in the pediments, do not indicate 
so early an age ; while the somewhat archaic stiffness and quaint- 
ness of the three figures which close the procession in the portico, 
seem to show, that art had not entirely thrown aside the con- 
ventional trammels of its infancy. I think then we shall not be 
far from the truth in referring them to the close of the fourth 
century of Rome. 6 

4 Similar curved swords are represented loco), or that they may have an affinity to 
on several Etruscan monuments. A curved the sacred and golden bough fatalit virga 
.steel sword, with the sharp edge on the torn from the grove of Proserpine, 
inner side, as in a scythe, found in an and borne by 2Eneas into hell as a gift to 
Etruscan tomb, was formerly in the Cam- that goddess. Virg. J5n. VI. 136, 406, 
pana collection at Rome. <>36. Ovid. Met. XIV. 114. Urlichs 

5 Such rods as these have been found (Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 45) suggests that 
represented on only two other Etruscan they may be magisterial rods. It is possi- 
monuments, the Typhon-tomb of Tarquinii, ble they are emblems of supplication ; as 
where they are borne in a procession very Orestes sat at the altar with a topmost 
similar to this, and the Tomb of the branch of olive wound round with much 
Reliefs at Cervetri. Their precise meaning wool. JEschyl. Eumen. 43. 

is unknown. Orioli (Ann. Inst. 1834, p. 6 Gerhard sees no rigidity in the reliefs 

161) suggests that they may be either of the pediments such as might be expected 

funalia, links used at funerals, made of in monuments in the midst of others of so 

papyrus or rope twisted and covered with very ancient a character ; and thinks the 

wax or pitch (Virg. 2En. I. 731. Serv. ii design shows rather the decadence than 

202 NORCHIA. [CHAP. xvni. 

There are no moulded doors in the facades of these tombs, as 
in those adjoining, and at Castel d'Asso ; but the resemblance to 
temples is sufficiently obvious. The analogy is strengthened by 
a depression in the stylobate of the unbroken tomb, which seems 
to indicate the steps leading up to the portico. In the porticoes 
being arseostyle, or having very wide intercolumniations, and in 
some minor particulars, these monuments may illustrate the 
temple of the Tuscan order, described by Vitruvius ; 7 but in most 
points the fayades have more of a Greek character. 8 Of the 
proportions and adornments of the columns nothing can now be 

The external magnificence of these temple-tombs raises anti- 
cipations of a corresponding degree of adornment within. But 
these are soon destroyed. The tombs, which are entered as 
usual by narrow, steeply-descending passages, are like the plainest 
at Castel d'Asso large chambers rudely hollowed in the rock, 
utterly devoid of ornament, and containing a double row of sar- 
cophagi sunk in the tufo, with an economisation of space which 
quite dispels the notion of their being the burial-places, each of 
an illustrious hero or Lucumo. They are, in fact, like most of 
those around them, family sepulchres. 

Let not the traveller suppose that in these tombs he has seen 
all the wonders of Norchia. The glen which contains the temple- 
tombs opens to the west on a wide area where four glens meet. 
Immediately opposite, as you emerge on this space, are a few fine 
detached tombs, almost at the foot of the cliffs. To the left, on a 
tongue of land which projects into the hollow between two other 
ravines, stands the ruined and picturesque church of Norchia, 

infancy of art; yet considers them prior they so constructed to free themselves from 
to the Roman conquest of Etruria (Bull. the confusion and annoyance of crowds of 
dell' Inst. 1831, pp. 84, 89). Urlichs attendants. Diod. Sic. V. p. 316. 
views them as of a subsequent period 8 The Cavaliere del Rosso is said to have 
(Bull, dell' Inst. 1839, p. 45). Their proved that the dimensions of these tombs 
similarity to the reliefs of the sarcophagi are on the scale of the Greek cubit. Ann. 
and urns is noticed by several writers. Inst. 1833, p. 56. Their general dimen- 
7 Vitruv. IV. cap. 7, cf. III. 3. Lenoir sions may be learned from the woodcut at 
(Ann. Inst. 1832, p. 290) points out the p. 193, by the figures under the portico, 
correspondence of these facades with the which are nearly the size of life ; but to 
araeostyle temples of the Etruscans be more explicit, the length of the broken 
liaryrcv, barycephalcc, humiles, latce. When fafade is 15 ft. 6 in. ; of the entire one, 
I speak, in the text, of the resemblance to 25 ft. 6 in. The portico is about 9 ft. 
temples, I refer to the apparent character high, and projects 4 ft. The height of the 
of these tombs, for it is possible that they entablature is 8 ft. 6 in., and of ihe entire 
are imitations, not of temples, but of mere fa9ade, 17 ft. 6 in., exclusive of the stylo- 
houses; seeing that the Etruscans are known bate, which averages about 5 ft. in height, 
to have had porticoes to their abodes, which 




marking the site of the Etruscan town. The glen to the west of 
this contains very few tombs, but that on the opposite side 
abounds in them, especially in the cliffs facing the town, where 
they rise in terraces or stand in 
picturesque groups, half hidden 
by wild luxuriant foliage. A few 
may also be seen on the opposite 
side of the stream in the cliffs 
which are terminated by the 
ancient town. Altogether the 
monuments in this glen are very 
numerous twice as many as are 
to be found at Castel d'Asso, 
and more interesting from their 
variety; for though in general 
character they resemble the tombs 
of that necropolis, in their details 
they are often dissimilar, and 
differ also more widely from each 
other. It may suffice to state 
that the variations are observable 
rather in the fa9ades and mould- 
ings than in the open chambers 
or the tombs beneath. No other example is there of a temple- 
tomb at Norchia ; yet high above the detached monuments in the 
open area just mentioned, is a portico recessed in the cliff. It is 
scarcely intelligible from below, and is rather difficult of access. 
It is composed of three recesses, separated by prominent pilasters 
rounded in front like half-columns, and having curious fluted 
capitals. Each recess is stuccoed, and seems to have been 
coloured. It is obvious that this elevated portico was not a mere 
tomb-stone, like the monuments around, but a sepulchre itself, 
each recess serving as a niche for the deposit of a sarcophagus. 
It bears a strong analogy to some Greek tombs in the island of 
Thera, recessed in the cliffs in a similar manner. 1 

The tombs at Norchia are more numerous than at Castel 
d'Asso. There must be at least fifty or sixty with distinct 
sculptured fa9ades, besides many others in ruin. I sought in vain 

Fiy. 3. 


9 The mouldings of Fig. 1 are most com- 
mon at this site. Those of Figs. 2 and 3 
are varieties. Those also most common at 
Castel d'Asso see Figs. 1 and 2 in the 

woodcut at page 186) are to be found at 
Norchia, but less frequently. 

1 Mon. Ined. Inst. III. tav. 25, 3. Ann. 
Inst. 1841, p. 17. 


for one described by Orioli 2 as having a trapezium cut in the xock 
above its facade, in all probability to represent the roof to that 
sort of cavadium which Vitruvius terms displuviatum. Nor could 
I find another, said by the same antiquary to have a sphinx in 
prominent relief on each of the side- walls of the fasade. 3 It 
is singular that not a single Etruscan inscription has been found 
in this necropolis. Excavations have been made on this site by 
Signer Desiderio of Rome, but nothing of value was brought to 

The Etruscan town of which these tombs formed the necropolis, 
occupied the site of the ruined church of Norchia. Its position 
on a sharp point of land at the junction of two glens, and in rela- 
tion to the tombs around, would alone tend to indicate this as the 
site of ancient habitation. But there are also remains of ancient 
gateways cut through the cliffs ; though no vestiges of Etruscan 
walls are visible all the ruins on the height belonging to the 
middle ages. The size of the ancient town was very small, 
scarcely larger than that at Castel d'Asso, though the number 
and magnificence of its sepulchres indicate a place of some 
importance. Its name is involved in obscurity. We know that 
in the ninth century it was called Orcle ; 4 but that such was its 
original appellation it is impossible to determine, as no mention 
is made of it by ancient writers. 5 Canina takes it to be Con- 
teiiebra, and so marks it on his map, but has no authority for this 

" Ap. Ingbir. Mou. Etrus. IV. p. 199, Orcus, as Mantua was so called from Man- 

tav. XLII. 2. Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 30. tus. But seeing that it was called Orcle as 

3 Annali dell' Inst. 1833, p. 29. So also early as the ninth century, it is quite as 
Lenoir (Ann. Inst. 1832, p. 295), who probable that it derives its name from 
speaks of but one, a colossal sphinx, cut in Hercules, who was worshipped by the 
the rock among the tombs. Etruscans as Ercle just as Minerva gave 

4 In an epistle of Leo. IV., "to the her name to Athens, and Neptune his to 
good man the Bishop of Toscanella," given Posidonia or Psestum. 

by Orioli (Annali dell' Instit. 1833, p. Orcle was partly deserted in early times 

20), which, singularly enough, mentions on account of the unhealthiness of the site, 

the " petra fata" without the city most and the emigrants removed to Vitorchiano 

probably referring to the temple-tombs. In (Vicus Orclanus), whither in 1435, under 

the same letter are also mentioned "cacti the pontificate of Eugene IV., the rest of 

-icamerata " and " cara caprilis" i.e. a the inhabitants removed, and the town was 

cave with chambers, and one where goats destroyed. Orioli, Ann. Instit. 1833, p. 21. 

were kept. Though Orioli lays claim to the discovery 

5 Orioli (op. cit. p. 22) suggests that it of this site, it was indicated as Etruscan a 
may be identical with Nyrtia, mentioned by century before his time by Mariani (Dc 
the ancient scholiast on Juvenal (X. 74) as Etrur. Metrop. p. 46, compare his map), 
a town, the birthplace of Sejanus, giving who speaks of " Horchia. Sic appellabatur 
its name to or deriving it from the goddess dea Etruscorum ibi culta, Norchiam mine 
Nurtia or Fortuna, spoken of by the Satirist dicunt, ut Nannium pro Annio, Nannam pro 
in the text, or that it derives its name from Anna." 

CHAP, xviii.] THE ETRUSCAN TOWN. 205- 

nomenclature, which is mere conjecture. 6 In its present state of 
utter desolation, it has charms as much for the artist as for the 
antiquary. Who that has visited this spot can forget the ruined 
church of Lombard architecture, wasting its simple beauty on the 
stupid gaze of the shepherd, the only frequenter of these wilds ? 
AVho that has an e} r e for the picturesque, can forget the tall cliffs 
on which it stands here, perforated so as to form a bridge, 7 there, 
dislocated, and cleft to their base, the rich red and grey tufo half- 
mantled with the evergreen foliage of cork, ilex, and ivy ? "Who 
can forget the deep glens around, ever wrapt in gloom, where the 
stillness is broken only by the murmurs of the stream, or by the 
shriek of the falcon solitudes teeming with solemn memorials 
of a past, mysterious race with pompous monuments mocking 
their very purpose ; for, raised to perpetuate the memory of the 
dead, they still stand, while their inmates have for long ages been 
forgotten ? He who has visited it must admit, that though name- 
less and unchronicled, there are few sites in Etruria more in- 
teresting than this none which more imperatively demand the 
attention of the antiquary. 

6 In his map he places the ancient town and if it protected anything, it was the- 
on the broad platform between the Fosso tombs in the cliffs above it. (See Canina's 
delle Pile and the Fosso dell' Acqua Alta, illustration, tav. XCII.) It can have 
and thiis represents it as a place of first- formed no part of the city- walls. I see no- 
rate size, which we know Contenebra was reason to alter my opinion that the Etrus- 
not, for it had but a scanty population can town stood on the height, now occupied 
(Liv. VI. 4). Canina founds his opinion by the Lombard church, 
on a piece of ancient walling on the spot " Orioli (Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 20) says 
marked 7t in my plan, which he takes to there is an ancient Roman bridge of regular 
be a portion of the walls of the Etruscan masonry over the Biedano, below the town ; 
town, and he thereon pronounces it to have but I did not perceive it. He also mentions 
been "strongly fortified in roost ancient a road cut in the rock, and called the "Cava 
times," so as to have been able to resist Buja," on whose wall is carved a Latin in- 
the Romans for several days (Etr. Marit. scription. The only instance of a rock- 
II., p. fil). But this bit of wall is not on hewn road that I could perceive is near the 
the brow of the cliff as the fortifications natural bridge, and it is now choked with 
would be, but in the valley at their feet ; fallen masses of rock. 

C o w 


<< & a O OH PH ' 



Data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulcris. JUVENAL. 

Some things in it you may meet with, which are out of the common road ; a Duke there 
is, and the scene lies in Italy. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHEK. 

ANOTHER Etruscan site of great interest, but very little known, 
is Bieda, a village five or six miles south-west of Vetralla. It is 
the representative of tht, ancient town of Blera, of which its 
name is a corruption. 1 Blera could not have been a place of 
importance, under either Etruscans or Romans. Not once is it 
mentioned by ancient historians, and its name onlj 7 occurs in the 
catalogues of geographers. 2 We know that it was a small town 
at the commencement of the Empire ; s that it was on the Via 
Clodia, between the Forum Clodii and Tuscania ; and there ends 
our knowledge of it from ancient sources. That it had an exist- 
ence in Etruscan times, we learn, not from the pages of history, 
but from the surer records of its extant monuments. 

Bieda is best visited from Vetralla. The road for the first two 
miles is the highway to Corneto and Civita Vecchia. We then 
turned off to the left, crossed some downs by a mere bridle-path, 
forded a stream in a wild, deep hollow, and reached the brow 
of a hill, whence the village of Bieda came into view, crowning 
an opposite height. The sceneiy here was very romantic. The 
height of Bieda was lofty and precipitous, and as usual was a 
tongue of rock at the junction of two glens, which separated it 
from corresponding heights of equal abruptness. These glens, 

1 "When I in Latin words follows a com- language. "Phleres" is a word which 

sonant, the Italians are wont to change it often occurs in Etruscan votive inscrip- 

into i; as from clarus, planus, flamma, tions. 

they make chiaro, piano, Jiamma ; and r 2 Strabo V. p. 22G. Ptolem. Geog. p. 72, 

is sometimes changed into d, as rarus into ed. Bertii. Pliu. Nat. His. III. 8. 

rado, porphyrites into porjido. Blera must 3 Strabo classes it among the iroA/xi'ai 

have been called Phlera, or Phlere, liy the ffvxfai of Etruria. 
Etruscans, since they had no b in their 

208 BIEDA. [CHAP. xix. 

or ravines, were well clothed with wood, now rich with the tints 
of autumn. Wood also climbed the steep cliffs, struggled for a 
footing among the wild masses of ttifo split from their brow, and 
crowned in triumph the surface of the platforms above. 

On descending the rocky slope, we found ourselves in the 
Etruscan necropolis. The slope was broken into many ledges, 
and the cliffs thus formed were full of caverns sepulchre after 
sepulchre above, beneath, around us some simply hollowed in 
the rock and entered by Egyptian doorways, some mere niches, 
and others adorned with architectural facades ; from the banks of 
the stream to the brow of the height the whole face of the hill 
was thus burrowed. 

I had been struck at Castel d'Asso with the street-like arrange- 
ment of the tombs, and at Norchia with their house-like character ; 
but I had been unwilling to consider those features as other than 
accidental, and had ascribed them to the natural peculiarities of 
the ground. But here, I felt convinced that they were inten- 
tional, and that this assemblage of sepulchres was literally a 
necropolis a city of the dead. 

I fere were rows of tombs, side by side, hollowed in the cliff, 
each with its gaping doorway ; here they were in terraces, one 
above the other, united by flights of steps carved out of the rock; 
here were masses split from the precipice above, and hewn into 
tombs, standing out like isolated abodes shaped, too, into the 
very forms of houses, with sloping roofs culminating to an apex, 
overhanging eaves at the gable, and a massive central beam to 
support the rafters. The angle of the roof, I observed, was that 
still usual in Italian buildings that angle, which being just 
sufficient to carry off the rain, is naturally suggested in a climate 
where snow rarely lies a day. I have spoken only of the exterior 
of the tombs. On entering any one of them, the resemblance 
was no less striking. The broad beam carved in relief along the 
ceiling the rafters, also in relief, resting on it and sinking 
gently on either side the inner chamber in many, lighted by a 
window on each side of the door in the partition-wall, all three 
of the same Egyptian form the triclinial arrangement of the 
rock-hewn benches, as though the dead, as represented on their 
sarcophagi, were wont to recline at a banquet these things were 
enough to convince me that in their sepulchres the Etruscans, in 
many respects, imitated their habitations, and sought to make 
their cemeteries as far as possible the counterparts of their cities. 

The cliff-bound height of Bieda at its termination is sharp as 


a wedge. On it stood the ancient town as well as the modern 
village, but they did not occupy precisely the same site ; the 
former from the fragments of ancient wall at the verge of the 
precipice on both sides the height, seems to have extended to tho 
very tip of the tongue of land ; while the latter is removed almost, 
a mile further back. 

At the point of junction of the two ravines, where the streams 
from each also meet, is an ancient bridge, of one wide arch, based 
on the rocky banks of the stream, and approached by a gradually 
ascending causeway of masonry, which, as well as the bridge, is 
of tufo cut from the cliffs around. 4 The parapets have been 
overturned, probably by the large shrubs which flank it, in- 
sinuating their roots among the uncemented masonry, and 
threatening ultimately to destroy the whole structure. The only 
means of approach to Bieda from this side is by this ancient 
bridge, which was probably on the Via Clodia. 

From this point there seem to have been anciently two roads 
to the town one leading directly up to the summit of the wedge- 
shaped table-land, the other still in use, running beneath the 
precipice to the right, and sunk deep in the tufo rock. The cliffs 
between which it passes are hollowed out for the reception of the 
dead, not, as at Veii, in square or upright niches, which could 
hold only an urn or vase, but in low-arched recesses, as at 
Falleri, of sufficient length to contain a body, with a deep hollow 
for it to He in, and a groove around it for a lid of stone or terra- 
cotta, apparently serving also to cany off the water which might 
trickle from the ground above. Nor are there wanting sepulchral 
chambers hollowed in these cliffs, nor the water-channel formed 
in the rock on one side of the road to keep it dry and clean, and 
free from deposits from above. 

The road to Bieda creeps beneath the cliffs of the ancient town, 
which are honey-combed with sepulchral caverns, broken and 
blackened with smoke. Here and there among them tall upright 
openings in the cliff show the mouths of ancient sewers, and at 
intervals are fragments of the Etruscan wall along the verge of 
the cliff; in one spot filling a natural gap, as at Civita Castellana. 
The masonry is of rectangular blocks of tufo, of the size and 

4 In order to accommodate the masonry of several Etruscan and Umbrian cities 

to the ascent of the road, a course of wedge- Populonia, Fiesole, Perugia, Todi and this 

like form was introduced, which gives a feature is also to be seen in the substruc- 

slight rising towards the arch. Similar tions of the Appian Way, near Aricia. 
wedge courses I have observed in the walls 

VOL. I. p 

210 BIEDA. [CHAP. xix. 

arrangement which I have described under the name of emplecton. 
The ancient town certainly occupied part, perhaps the whole, of 
the modern village. It must have heen very long and narrow, 
since the height on which it stood forms but a ridge a mere 
spine-hone between the parallel glens. 

Bieda, like every town and village off the main roads through- 
out the Roman State, is a wretched place, " in linked squalor 
long drawn out," with no osteria where the traveller, who values 
comfort, could venture to pass the night. There is but one 
respectable house, and here we were stopped by the Count of 
S. Giorgio, .who stood at the door waiting to receive us. He 
apologised for delaying us; but said that the presence of strangers 
was of such rare occurrence in this secluded village, that he could 
not allow us to pass without inquiring if he could be of service to 
us. AVe learned that he was from Turin, but having bought 
some estates in this part of Italy, he had acquired therewith the 
title of Duke of Bieda, the honour of magistracy, and almost 
feudal dominion over the inhabitants of this village and its 
territoiy. The purchase could only be effected on these terms, 
and on the condition of his residing six months in the year on 
this spot, which he regarded as a veritable exile from civilisation. 
He pointed out a ruin opposite, as once the palace of the Counts of 
Anguillara, the old feudal lords of Bieda, who, among other 
barbarous privileges, claimed that of forestalling every bride- 
groom in their domain by insisting on which the last of these 
fine old Roman gentlemen, three centuries since, fell a victim to 
popular fury, and his mansion was destro}"ed. Yet much of the 
power of its feudal chiefs has descended to the present lord of 
Bieda, who told us he was almost absolute ; that his will was 
law; that he had power over the lives and properties of his. 
tenants, being supreme judge of both civil and criminal causes 
in a country, be it remembered, where trial by jury was then 
unknown. His rule, however, seemed based on love, rather than 
on fear more akin to that of the chief of a clan than to feudal 
seigniory, on the one hand, or to the authority of an English 
landowner over his tenantry, on the other. 

The Count courteously proposed to act as our cicerone to the 
antiquities of the neighbourhood, and mounted his steed to 
accompany us. 

Our first object was an ancient bridge of three arches, which 
lay in the ravine to the south-east of the town. The Count led 
the way down the descent, through a narrow c^eft, sunk some 

P 2 


twenty feet in the tufo, with a channel or furrow in the middle, 
so deep and narrow that the horses could scarcely put one foot 
before the other, and we were obliged to adhere to the Horatian 
maxim, in mcdio tiitissimus, lest our legs should be crushed 
against the walls of rock. 

On emerging from this cleft, the triple-arched bridge stood 
before us. The central arch was a true semicircle, thirty feet in 
span ; the side arches were only ten feet wide, and stilted. All 
were formed of rusticated blocks, with edges so sharp and fresh 
that it was difficult to believe it the work of two hundred years 
since, much less of two thousand ; but the first step I set on the 
bridge convinced me of its high antiquity. The central arch has 
been split throughout its entire length, probably by an earth- 
quake ; the blocks, being uncemented, have been much dis- 
located, but few have fallen. It is clear that this split occurred 
at an early period ; for in crossing the bridge, passengers have 
been obliged to step clear of the gaps, which in some parts yawn 
from one to two feet wide, and, by treading in each other's foot- 
steps, have worn holes far deeper than pious knees have done in 
the steps at A'Becket's shrine, or in the Santa Scala at Rome. 
They have worn a hollow pathwa}' almost through the thick 
masses of rock ; in some spots entirely through a perpendicular 
depth of more than three feet. 5 

From the superior neatness of its masonry, I have no hesita- 
tion in assigning to this bridge a later date than to that on the 
other side of Bieda. That being of similar masonry to the town- 
walls, may well be of Etruscan construction. This may be as 
late as the Roman domination in Etruria, 3 r et is in the Etruscan 
style, and the work probably of Etruscan architects, like other 
public works in Rome and her territories, raised in the earlier 
ages of the City, in consequence of the system she adopted of 
supplying her own deficiencies in the useful and ornamental arts 
by the superior skill of her neighbours. It must be remembered 
that this part of Etruria was not conquered before the fourth 

5 The bridge is of tufo, usually soft, during the middle ages, as the masonry at- 

flaky or friable, but here of a peculiarly tests, all further necessity of following the 

close, hard character, as is shown by the foot- worn track was obviated, yet the bridge 

remarkable sharpness of the rustications. was still scarcely practicable for beasts. It 

And it must be observed that for ages the is evident that the hollow pathway has been 

bridge must have been impassable to beasts, worn wholly by human feet, and prior to 

for the same earthquake that split the arch the repairs of the bridge in the middle 

caused the outer part of it on one side to ages, 
fall ; this, however, having been repaired 

214 BIEDA. [CHAP. xix. 

century of Rome ; yet the Etruscans must previously have had 
bridges over these streams ; and that they could raise perfect 
arches in much earlier times the Cloaca Maxima remains to 
attest. These bridges have an air of greater antiquity than the 
two at Veii, which have been accounted Etruscan. It is probable 
that they were both on the line of the Via Clodia, which passed 
through Blera on its way to Tuscania. 

The Count declared that the bridge was an enigma, as none 
could perceive by what road it had anciently communicated with 
the town the cleft by which we had descended not being deemed 
of sufficient antiquity. But to me it WAS plain as the cliffs that 
rose around me, that this very cleft had formed the ancient 
approach to Bieda from this side ; for I had observed, almost 
throughout its length, traces of the water-channels recessed at, 
the foot of its rocky walls, just above the original level of the road ; 
and it was no less clear that the deep and narrow furrow along 
which we had steered with so much difficult}', had been worn by 
the feet of beasts through many ages, as from the narrowness of 
the road they had been constrained always to keep in the middle. 

The scenery in the hollow is very fine. Just beyond the bridge 
the glen again forks and the cliffs rise to a vast height. I do not 
recollect a site in the volcanic district of Etruria, save Sorano in 
Tuscany, where the chasms are more profound, and the scenery 
more picturesque, than around Bieda. 

Close to the bridge is a large cave, the cliff above which was 
pitted with bullet marks, which were thus explained by the 
Count : " Every tenant of mine on returning home from the 
wild-boar chase, if successful, discharges his piece against this 
rock, and I, or my steward, answer the summons by appearing on 
the top of the cliff and claiming the boar's thigh as my right." 

Between these ancient bridges, and just below the town, is a 
modern bridge, overhung by a ruined tower of the middle ages, 
and in the opposite steep is another artificial cleft in the rock 
another Etruscan roadway. From this height the whole face of 
the slope below Bieda is seen honeycombed with caves, originally 
sepulchres, extending in terraces and scattered groups down to 
the banks of the stream. It is a very warren of tombs, used by 
the Biedani as hog-sties, cattle-stalls, or wine-cellars. The 
application to the former purposes is a profanation, but of the 
latter change who shall complain ? 

" Better to hold the sparkling grape 
Than nurse the earthworm's slimy brood." 


At the top of the ascent we were in an undulating plain, appa- 
rently an unbroken level, with the village of Bieda in the inidst. 
The Count pointed out the extent of his domain, which was far 
too large for the limited number of his tenantry. At the close of 
every year he assembles his vassals, as they may be called, and 
having determined what part of his estate is to be cultivated, 
.and having partitioned it into lots, he makes them draw for 
the several portions. He takes a share of the produce in lieu of 

On our return to the village we visited the church, in front of 
which stood a Roman sarcophagus with a good bas-relief, found 
in the neighbourhood. We were not a little surprised to see in 
this secluded place a genuine altar-piece of Annibale Caracci 
the Scourging of Christ. At the Count's mansion we found a 
sumptuous repast spread for us, and refusing his pressing invita- 
tion to stay the night, we groped our way in the dark to Vetralla 
thus closing our first day at Bieda, and one of the most agree- 
able of our Etruscan travel. 

Bieda is a site which deserves much more attention than it has 
jet received from antiquaries. In no Etruscan necropolis are 
the tombs hollowed in the face of cliffs more numerous. The 
glens 011 every side of the town abound in them, and they face 
every point of the compass, though here, as elsewhere, few have a 
northern or eastern aspect. On this account, the cliffs on the 
western side of the town, even under the very walls, are honey- 
combed with tombs, while scarcely one is to be seen on the 
opposite side of the glen, or in the cliifs beneath the town on the 
east. For variety of character the tombs of Bieda are parti- 
cularly interesting. At Castel d'Asso there is much monotony ; 
even at Norchia, with a few striking exceptions, one prevailing 
fashion is maintained throughout. But Bieda, without any 
marked peculiarities of its own, seems to unite those of many 
other necropoles. Here we find tombs with architectural facades, 
like those of Castel d'Asso and Norchia, but in general differently 
moulded, and in a simpler and severer style. Here are many, 
as at Civita Castellaiia and Sutri, having a mere doorway, without 
any inscription or external decoration. Here are the body- 
niches of the same two cemeteries the columbarium-tombs of 
Toscanella and Bolsena, and even something like the curious 
cliff-columbarium of Veii the house-like tombs of Sovana ; and 
certain rock-hewn isolated monuments, square or conical, of a 
character rarely seen elsewhere. In one instance is a bench cut 



[CHAP. xix. 

out of the rock in front of a tomb n practical " Siste Viator!" 
which I have observed also on other sites. 

In cornices there is a great variety at Bieda. One struck 

ine as very peculiar; it had no 
rounded mouldings, but three 
distinct fascice, retreating one 
above the other, and though not 
ornamental, its simplicity and 
massiveness made it very impos- 
ing. See the woodcut, fig. 3. 
The moulded door, which fre- 
quently occurs on the fagades, is 
in no instance like those of Castel 
d'Asso and Norchia, but inva- 
riably as in the woodcut below. 
In most instances this is a 
mere moulding, or pseudo-door ; 
in others, a real one ; in others 
again it forms a framework to a 
small niche, which must have 
contained an um or vase, pro- 
bably with the ashes of the 

These door-mouldings are very common in Etruria. On some 
sites, Cervetri, Toscanella, Vulci, and Chiusi, for instance, they 
are found, not on the face of cliffs as here, but 
at the entrances to sepulchres, many feet below 
the surface ; and sometimes within the tombs 
themselves. They are also often found on 
cinerary urns, of house or temple shape. The 
form is truly Doric, particularly as it is seen at 
Bieda ; it is found also in archaic monuments 
of the Doric colonies in Italy and Sicily . G 
Whether it be the representation of the ordinary door, or a mere 
sepulchral ornament, with or without a symbolical meaning, has 

Fiy. 3. 




6 At Cefalft, the ancient Cephalcedium, 
in Sicily, where it is found in connection 
with Cyclopean masonry, and at Canosa, 
the ancient Canusium, in Apulia, in a 
tomb of four chambers in every respect 
extremely like the Etruscan, discovered in 
1828. The architrave, however, is by no 
means so heavy in this as in the Etruscan 

tombs, but more like the Doric. This tomb 
is remarkable for having two false windows, 
painted on one wall one on each side a 
doorway. Ann. Inst. 1832, pp. 2859, 
and Mon. Ined. Inst. I. tav. XLIII. Real 
windows so situated are not uncommon in 
Etruscan tombs, and occur most frequently 
at Cervetri, Bieda, and Chiusi. 


been questioned. I have no doubt of the former, not only 
because it is found on urns and tombs which are evident repre- 
sentations of houses, but on account of the high probability that 
these rows and streets of sepulchres were designed to imitate 
the buildings in the city opposite. 


Among the sepulchral varieties of Bieda, two claim particular 
notice. One of these, which lies in the glen to the east of the 
town, is a cone of rock, hewn into steps, or a series of circular 
bases, tapering upwards. Of these, four only now remain, and 
the cone is truncated, but whether this were its original form, it 
is not easy to say. Like the conical tombs of Vulci and 
Tarquinii, it was probably surmounted by a sphinx, lion, pine- 
cone, or some other funereal emblem, or by a cippus, or statue. 
The rock around it is cut into a trench and rampart. Within the 
cone is the sepulchre, which is double-chambered, entered by a 
level passage not lying beneath the surface as in the conical 
tombs of Tarquinii. There is a monument at Vulci very similar 
to this rock-hewn tumulus of Bieda. 

The other tomb to which I have referred retains some traces 
of colour on its walls the only instance of this among the multi- 
tudinous sepulchres of Bieda now open. It is also remarkable for 
being supported in its centre by a column, with base, capital, and 
abacus, of simple character. Whatever figures may have been 
painted on its walls, are now obliterated ; but ribbons of various 
hues, and the Greek wave-ornament, can be distinguished 

218 BIEBA. [CHAP. xix. 

through the soot from the shepherd's fires, which thickly coats 
the walls. 

The tomhs of Bieda present no great variety in their interiors. 
'They are usually surrounded by benches of rock, about two feet 
and a half from the ground ; sometimes merely for the support of 
sarcophagi, but more frequently hollowed out for the reception of 
bodies. The fronts of these benches are adorned with pilasters, 
often in imitation of the legs of a banqueting-couch, which the 
bench itself is designed to resemble. The niches hollowed in the 
cliffs are usually for entire bodies, whence it may be inferred that 
the custom of burning the dead was not prevalent on this site. 
Double-chambered tombs are b} r no means rare, though I saw no 
instance of one with more than two chambers. 

In one of our excursions to Bieda, we varied the route by pass- 
ing through San Giovanni di Bieda, a wretched village two or 
three miles from the former place, in the midst of park-like 
scenery, but with no antiquities in its neighbourhood. 7 

Bieda, it has been said, was on the Via Clodia, or Claudia. 
'This Way parted from the Cassian a few miles from Rome, ran 
by Ad Careias, or Galera, to Sabate on the Lacus Sabatinus, and 
through Forum Clodii, Blera, and Tuscania to Cosa, where it fell 
into the Aurelian. 8 

" Gell has stated that there are tombs at Vetralla and Viterbo," whereas it is three 

this spot with genuine Etruscan mouldings, miles on the other side of Vetralla. 
but it is evident that lie had never visited 8 Sec p. 01. 

it, since he places it "on the road between 



Kecnon Argolico dilectum littus Haleso 

The place of tombs, 

Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men, 
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang, 
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam. TENNYSON. 

FEW roads in Italy are now more frequented than the coast- 
line of railway between Borne and Pisa, and none in point of 
scenery are more uninteresting. Yet along this coast lie some of 
the principal cities of Etruria cities of the most hoary antiquity, 
foremost of old in power and in wealth, in arts and in arms, 
as well as in the intimate association of their history with that 
of Rome, and still prominent in interest for the wonders they 
have yet to displa} r in their local monuments. So far as intrinsic 
beauty is concerned, it would be difficult to find in Italy a tract 
less inviting, more bleak, dreary, and desolate, than that which 
lies between Civita Vecchia and Home, and to the traveller on 
first making an acquaintance with that land of famed fertility 
and beauty, as many used to do, and some still do, at that port, 
nothing can be more disappointing. He who approaches the 
Eternal City for the first time from this side has his whole soul 
absorbed in recollections of her ancient glories, or in conceptions 
of her modern magnificence. He heeds not the objects on the 
road, as he skirts the desert shore, or the more desolate undula- 
tions of the Campagna, save when here and there a ruined bridge 
or crumbling tower serves to rivet his attention more fixedly on 
the past. A thousand togaed phantoms rise before his eyes ; 
or the dome of St. Peter's swells in his perspective, and the 
treasured glories of the Vatican and the Capitol are revealed to 
his imagination. Yet when he has attained the desire of his 
e} r es, and can look from the Imperial City to objects around her, 

220 PALO. [CHAP. xx. 

he will find along this desert, arid shore, or among the wooded 
hills inland, sites where he may linger many a delightful hour 
in contemplation of " the wrecks of days departed." 

Most of these sites are now easily reached by the train which 
leaves Rome three times a day. It was not so when I first knew 
this coast some thirty and odd years ago, when, if the diligence 
chanced to be full, it was often impossible to find any conveyance, 
not even a donkey as a montnre y between one point and another. 
To such straits have I been put, that I have a lively recollection 
of entering Rome one fine morning on a fish- cart, after a night's 
journey from Palo, spread-eagled some fifteen feet above the 
road, on a pile of fish-baskets. 

An hour's run from Rome by the railway brings you to Mac- 
carese (twenty-one miles), on the river Arrone. At the mouth 
of the same river stands the Torre di Maccarese, supposed to 
mark the site of the Etruscan town of Fregena3 or Fregella?, 1 - 
and its position on a low swampy shore, and in the vicinity of a 
noxious marsh or fen, called Stagno di Maccarese, answers to 
the picture of Silius Italicus obscsscc campo squalente Free/elite.* 
In very early times it ma}' have been of importance ; for Tar- 
quinius Priscus invited Turianus, an artist of this place, to 
Rome; to make the terra-cotta statue of Jupiter, for his new 
temple on the Capitol. 3 We hear no more of it, however, till it 
was colonized by the Romans in 509 (B.C. 245) ; 4 and in 563 
(B.C. 191), with the other maritime colonies of this coast, it 
was compelled to assist in fitting out a fleet against Antiochus 
the Great. 5 It was in existence at the commencement of the 
Empire, 6 but after that we lose sight of it ; and now, so far as I 

1 Cluver, II. p. 499. Nibby, Dint, di the Yolsci, on the ground that the fictile 
lloma, II. p. 281. The Maritime Itinerary art was early practiced in that land, as is 
places it between Portus Augusti and proved by the celebrated bas-reliefs found 
Alsium, nine miles from each. at Yelletri ; but, to reconcile this view with 

2 Sil. Ital. VIII. 477. the rest of Pliny's statement, he supposes 

3 Pliny, who records this fact (XXXV. this Volscian to have studied art in the 
45), calls the place Fregellce ; but that he Etruscan school. All this seems to me 
refers to the town of Etruria, and not to unnecessary, and the simplest and mos-.t 
Fregellrti of the Yolsci, is manifest from the rational interpretation is to suppose that 
context, as well as from a comparison with Pliny referred to the Fregense of Etruria. 
Liv. I. 56 ; and is confirmed by the ex- 4 Yell. Paterc. I. 14 j cf. Epitome of 
tended renown of the Etruscans in the fictile Livy, XIX. 

art. Moreover, Silius Italicus calls the 6 Liv. XXXVI. 3. 

Etruscan town Fregellae, and Pliny (III. 9) c Pliny (III. 8) classes it among the 

the Latin town, Freginae, so that the names maritime colonies of Etruria. Strabo (V. 

seem to have been used indifferently. Yet p. 225) also cites it as a small town on 

Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 3, 2) takes the town this coast, and calls it Fregenia. 

whence Turianus came for the Fregellse of 


can learn, there are no local remains visible to mark the Etruscan 
character of the 8ite. 

The next station is Palidoro, twenty- six miles and a half from 
Rome, marked by a church and two large farm-houses. At a 
spot not far from this, called Selva la Rocca, the Duchess of 
Sermoneta, in 1839 and 1840, excavated some tumuli, and found 
vases of the most beautiful Greek style, some resembling those 
of Sicily and Athens ; besides pottery of more ancient character ; 
together with articles in gold, bronze, amber, smalt, glass, and 
alabaster. 7 

A mile or two beyond, at a spot called Statua, are some ruins, 
supposed to mark the site of Ad Turres, a station on the Via 
Aurelia. 8 

Palo station is forty-nine kilometres, or thirty miles from 
Home by railway, though some miles less by the old high road. 

Palo is well known to travellers as the half-way house between 
Rome and Civita Vecchia ; but few bear in mind that the post- 
house, the ruined fortress, and the few fishers' huts on the beach, 
represent the Alsium of antiquit} T one of the most venerable 
towns of Italy, founded or occupied by the Pelasgi, ages before 
the arrival of the Etruscans on these shores. 9 

It is strange that no record is preserved of Alsium during the 
Etruscan period ; but this may be owing to its dependence on 
Crere, with whose history and fortunes its own were probably 
identical. That it was occupied by the Etruscans we learn from 
history, confirmed by recent researches. The earliest notice of 
it by Roman writers is its receiving a colony in the year 507. x 
At no time does it seem to have been of much importance ; the 
highest condition it attained, so far as we can learn, being that of 

' Abeken, Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 84 ; 1840, coast. For both he and Welcker are of 

p. 133 ; Mittelitalien, p. 267 ; Micali, opinion that the Pelasgic tongue, though 

Monum. Ined. p. 374. differing from the Greek, bore sufficient 

8 Mentioned in the Itinerary of Anto- analogy to it, to enable iis to trace by that 
ninus, as 22 miles from Rome. Here it means the origin of the names of certain 
is that Cramer (Ancient Italy, I. p. 208) ancient localities. 

places Alsium. 1 Veil. Paterc. I. 14. As a maritime 

9 Dion. Hal. I. p. 16. Silius Italicus colony it was compelled to furnish its quota 
(VIII. 476) refers its origin to the Argive of troops in the year 547 (B.C. 207), 
Halesus, son of Agamemnon, from whom when in the Second Punic War Italy was 
he supposes it to have derived its name. threatened with a second invasion of Car- 
Its Pelasgic origin being admitted, it seems thaginians under Hasdrubal. Liv. XXVII. 
just as likely to have derived its name from 38. Pliny (III. 8) and Ptolemy (Geog. 
a\s the sea ; or from &\ffos a grove, as p. 68, ed. Bert.) certify to its existence as 
Gerhard opines (Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 205), a colony in their days. 

in reference to the dense woods on the 

222 PALO. [CHAP. xx. 

a small town. 3 This may have been owing to its unhealthy 
position, on a low swampy coast. Yet it was much frequented 
by the wealthy Romans; 3 and even the Emperor Antoninus chose 
it as his retreat, and hud an Imperial villa on this shore. 4 

Havcva un bel giardin sopra una riva, 
Che colli intorno e tutto 1 mare scopriva. 

At the beginning of the fifth centuiy Alsium, like the neigh- 
bouring Pyrgi, was no longer a town, but merely the site of a 
large villa ; 5 we have no subsequent record of it, and it was pro- 
bably destroyed by the Goths or Saracens, who devastated this 
coast in the middle ages. 

Not a vestige of the Pelasgic or I^truscan town is now visible ; 
but there are extensive substructions of lloman. times along the 
beach. The fort, also, which was built in the fifteenth centuiy, 
has some ancient materials in its walls. About a mile to the 
east are some very extensive ruins on the shore, apparently of 
one of the lloman villas. 

Alsium, though its site had been pretty clearly indicated by 
the notices of the ancients, 6 had been well-nigh forgotten, when 
some years since the enterprise of a lady revived interest in the 

About a mile and a half inland from Palo, close to the deserted 
post-house of Monteroni, are four or five large tumuli, standing 
in the open plain. They bear every appearance of being natural 

- Until. I. 224. Strabo (Y. p. 225Ki!so at Ceri, mentions a villa at Alsium. Vis- 
speaks of it as a mere iro\ixviov. Yet the conti, Mon. Ant. di Geri, p. 12. 
fact of giving its name to a lake now Lago 4 Fronto, de Feriis Alsiensibus. ftruter 
Martignano full 20 miles distant, seems (p. 271, 3) gives a dedicatory inscription 
to imply an extensive ayer, and no small to Marcus Aurelius, by the Decuriones of 
importance. For the Lacus Alsietinus, see the Colony of Alsium, which was found at 
Frontinus, de Aquaeduct. II. p. 48. Cluver Palo. Of. Cluver. II. p. 497. 
(II. p. 524) errs in taking the Lago Strac- 5 Kutil. I. 224 

ciacappa to Le the Lacus Alsietinus. XT -n i 

... , .,,. JN unc villfe grandes, oppida parva pnus. 

' Pompey had a villa here. Cicero, pro 

Milone, XX. M. .ZEmilius Porcina also 6 Strabo (V. pp. 225, 226) places it on 

built one on .so magnificent a scale, that he this coast between Pyrgi and Fregenae. And 

was accused of it as a crime, and heavily so also the Maritime Itinerary marks it as. 

fined by the lloman people. Yal. Max. 9 miles from the latter, and 12 from the 

VIII. 1, Damn. 7. And the mother-in-law former town. The Peutingerian Table is 

of the younger Pliny had also a villa at in error in calling it 10 miles from Pyrgi, 

Alsium, which had previously belonged to for 12 is the true distance. These discre- 

Ruf us Yerginius, who took such delight in pancies are of little importance ; the general 

it, that he called it "the nestling-place of position of a place being thus indicated, 

his old age." gencctutis SUCK nidulum the precise site can be determined by extant. 

and was buried on the spot. Plin. Epist. remains. 
VI. 10 ; cf. IX. 19. An inscription, found 


hillocks huge masses of tufo rising above the surrounding level. 
Hence their ordinary appellation of " Colli Tufarini." Yet their 
isolation and similarity to the sepulchral mounds of Cervetri, 
induced the Duchess of Serinoneta, in whose land they lay, to 
probe their recesses. This was in 1838. One of the most 
regular in form, which was about forty feet high, was found to 
be girt by a low basement wall of tufo masonry, which formed a 
periphery of nearly eight hundred feet. This Avail had two but- 
tresses on the north, sundry drains on the south, and on the 
west a hole containing a small stone cylinder. Though the 
sepulchral character of the tumulus was thus clearly indicated, 
the entrance to the tomb was long sought in vain ; at length, 
some forty or fifty feet up the slope, a passage Avas found 
cut in the rock, and leading to the tomb ; and it was remarked 
that the mouth of the passage was pointed at by the cylinder in 
the basement-wall. The tomb closely resembled the Grotta 
Regulini-Galassi of Cervetri ; for it was a long passage, walled 
with regular masonry, the courses converging till they formed a 
rude Gothic-like arch, which terminated in a similar square 
channel or groove ; and the high antiquity indicated by its con- 
struction was likewise confirmed by the character of its furniture. 
No painted vases of Greek form or design; nothing that betrayed 
the influence of Hellenic art ; all was here closely allied to the 
Egyptian. 7 

No other tomb was discovered in this mound, but a well or 
shaft in the floor, twenty feet deep, opened into a horizontal 
passage, about a hundred feet long ; and here were three other 
shafts, probably sunk to other sepulchral chambers on a still 
loAver level. This system of shafts and galleries reminds us of 
the Pyramids, and is in harmony Avith the Egyptian character of 
the contents of this tomb. 

At the foot of this mound, sunk beneath the surface of the 
plain, Avas discoA r ered a double-chambered sepulchre, of more 
ordinary Etruscan character, and its contents shoAved onry that 
general resemblance to the Egyptian Avhich bespeaks a high 
antiquity. 8 

7 Rude pottery of black earth, with 8 They consisted of pottery, and terra- 
figures scratched thereon ; flat vases of cotta figures in the Oriental Etruscan style, 
smalt, ornamented with lotus-flowers, some with four wings, forming the feet of 
purely Egyptian in character, and ostrich- vases. The description of these tombs I 
e gg s painted, as in the Isis-tomb of Vulci, have taken from Abelien, Bull. Inst. 1839, 
Leads of smalt and arnber, and goldlamince pp. 81 84 ; 1841, p. 39 ; and also from 
with archaic reliefs. his Mittelitalien, pp. 242, 267, 272, 274. 

224 PALO. [CHAP. xx. 

These tombs, from their position, must have belonged to the 
'necropolis of Alsium ; and thus, while one bears out Dionysius* 
statement of the existence of an Etruscan population on this 
site, the other confirms his testimony as to its prior occupation 
"by a more ancient race. 

Were excavations continued here, other tombs would doubtless 
"be discovered. But since the Duchess's death, little has been 
done on this coast. 

It is scarcely worth while to visit the tumuli of Monteroni, for 
the chambers are now re-closed with earth ; even the basement- 
wall is re-covered or destroyed, and not a trace remains to attest 
their sepulchral character. 

In spite of its venerable antiquity, Palo is a most dreary place. 
Without extant remains of interest, or charms of scenery, it can 
offer no inducement to the traveller to halt one hour, save that 
he will here find the best accommodation in the neighbourhood 
of Cervetri ; and should he propose to take more than a passing 
glance at that site, he may well admit the claims of Palo to be 
his head-quarters. The fare is not such as the place once 
afforded no " fatted oysters, savoury apples, pastry, confec- 
tioner} r , and generous wines, in transparent faultless goblets," 
dainties fit to set before a king convivium regium 9 but, for a 
wayside hostelry, the post-house is not to be despised. Yet the 
place itself is desolate enough. Beyond a copse on either side 

See Canina's Etruria Marittima L, p. 126 and numerous Lronze nails in the wall, 

and tav. XL. , for plans and sections of these Here were found some articles of gold, and 

tombs. Micali, who takes his notices from jewellery, fragments of Egyptian vases, and 

the papers of the late Duchess, gives a some- odorous paste, and a stone in the form of 

what different description of these tombs. an axe-head, supposed to be Egyptian. 

He says, above the basement-wall of the There were no Etniscan inscriptions in any 

tumulus the tufo was cut into steps to the of these tombs. The masonry of the passage 

height of 18 feet, and then levelled ; and he represents (Mon. Ined. tav. LVII.) as 

on this was raised a mound of earth to the opus quadratum of tufo blocks, but pseud- 

height of 27 feet more. In the lower or isodomon, or in courses of unequal heights, 

natural part of the mound was discovered a These tombs were drained by many channels 

sepulchre of four chambers, one of them cir- cut in the rock, and branching in all direc- 

cular, all with rock-hewn benches, and with tions. Mon. Ined. pp. 378 390. It must 

Ibronze nails in the walls. These, from his be the less ancient of these tombs in which 

description of their contents, are the least Mrs. Hamilton Gray, who visited them 

ancient of the tombs mentioned in the text. shortly after they were opened, saw a pair 

The passage-tomb he represents as 45 feet of panthers painted over the door of the 

long, sunk in the same levelled part of the outer chamber, and two hippocampi, with 

mound, though lined with masonry, regu- genii on their backs, on the walls of the 

larly squared and smoothed. Upon it opened, inner. Sepulchres of Etruria, p. 123, third 

by a door of the usual Etruscan form, edition. 

another narrow passage, similarly lined but 9 Pronto, de Feriis Alsiensibus, epist. III. 
.half the length, with a rock-hewn bench, 


of the village, there is nothing to relieve the bare monotony of the 
level waste. It is hard to believe Alsiuni could ever have been 
" the voluptuous sea-side retreat " it is described in the time of 
the Antonines. 1 Now the traveller is ready to exclaim 

" Oh, the dreary, dreary moorland ! oh, the barren, barren shore ! " 

Yet the lover of sea-side nature may find interest here, as well 
as in the sparkling bay of Naples. Though to me this is no 
dilectum Uttns, as it was to Halesus, yet memory recalls not with- 
out pleasure the days I have spent at Palo. The calm delight 
of a sunny shore finds its reflex in the human breast. The broad 
ocean softty heaving beneath my window, ever murmured its 
bright joy; mirroring "the vault of blue Italian day." A few 
feluccas, their weary sails flapping in the breeze, lay off shore, 
lazily rocking Avith the swell, which broke languidly on the red 
ruins at my feet, or licked with foam the walls of the crumbling 
fortress. Away to the right, was the distant point of Santa 
Marinella ; and to the left, the eye wandered along the level 
shore, to which the dunes of Holland were mountains, uncertain 
whether it were traversing sea or land, save when it rested here 
and there on a lonely tower on the coast ; or when it reached a 
building on the extreme horizon, so faint as now to seem but a 
summer-cloud, yet gleaming out whitely when the evening sun 
fell full on its flank. This was the fort of Fiumicino, at the 
mouth of the Tiber, the port of modern Rome. Such were the 
standing features of my prospect ; which was varied only by 
scenes of domestic life, at the doors of the huts opening seaward, 
or by herds of long-horned cattle, which came down to pick their 
evening meal from the straw scattered over the beach. When 
the sun's last glories had faded from the sky, then began the life 
and stir of Palo. The craft, which had lain in the offing all 
da} r , stood in after dark, and sent the produce of their nets to 
land. Then what bustle, what shouting, on board and ashore ! 
Red-capped, bare-legged fellows with baskets my chubb}' host of 
Palo bargaining for the haul sky-blue doyanicri, and cloaked 
quidnuncs, looking on all common-place features enough, but 
assuming, from the glare of torches, a rich Rembrandtish effect, 

? Fronto, loc. cit. "Were it not that the Pollio remembered when challenged to 

-uuthor was writing to an Emperor, we might banter by Augustus. Macrob. Saturn. II. 

; suspect him of irony ; but sovereigns, es- 4. Fronto, however, qualifies his praises 

pccially despots, are edged tools; which of Alsium by mentioning the raucas paltides. 

VOL. I. Q 



[CHAP. xx.. 

to which the dark masses of the vessels, magnified by the gloom,, 
formed an appropriate background. 


THK ancient sites on this coast, between Koine and Centum Cellse, arc- 
thus given, with their distances, by the Itineraries : 

( Via Aurtlia.) 

Ad Turres 

Castrum Norum 
Centum Cellas 









In Portum M.P. XVIIII. 

Fregenas VIIII. 

Alsium VIIII. 

Pyrgos XII. 

Cabtrum Novuni VIII. 

Centum Cellas. VIII. 

( Via Aurelia. } 

Castro Novo 
Centum Cellis. 

M.P. XII. 




Portus August! 

Pyrgos M.P. XXXVIII. 

Panapionem III. 

Castrum Novum VIF. 

Centum Cellas V. 




saxo fimdata vetusto 
Urbis Agyllinse sedes ; ubi Lydia quondam 
Gens, bello prasclara, jugis iusedit Etruscis. VIRGIL. 

Buried he lay, where thousands before 

For thousands of years were inhumed on the shore. 

What of them is left to tell 

Where they lie, and how they fell ? BYRON. 

FROM the railway-station at Palo the traveller will espy before 
him a small village with one prominent building sparkling in the 
sun, at the foot of the hills which rise to the north, dark with 
wood. This is Cervetri, the modern representative of the ancient 
city of Ca3re. Should he come by train with the intention of 
visiting that site, he will probably be disappointed in finding a 
conveyance. A corriere conveys to Cervetri the mails dropped 
by the morning train from Borne, but the baroccino seats only 
two, and a place is not always to be had. If the traveller then 

Q 2 

228 CERVETEJ. [CHAP. xxr. 

do not care to have a walk of five miles over the downs, he 
should write the day beforehand to Giovanni Passeggieri of 
Cervetri, who will have a vettura in readiness at the Palo station. 
The pedestrian or horseman on his way to Cervetri, will leave 
the high road for a shorter path, just after crossing a streamlet, 
known by the ominous name of La Sanguinara. 1 If the traveller 
be in a vehicle, he must keep the high road as far as a second 
rivulet, the Vaccina, or Cow-stream, where a country-track turns 
to the right and crosses the downs to Cervetri. Insignificant as 
this turbid brook may appear, let him pause a moment on the 
bridge and bethink him that it has had the honour of being sung 
by Virgil. It is the Cteritis amnis of the yEneid, 2 on whose 
banks Tarcho and his Etruscans pitched their camps, and /Eneas 
received from his divine mother his god-wrought arms and the 
prophetic shield eloquent of the future glories of Rome, 

clypei noil enarrabile textum. 
Illic res Italas, Romanorumque triumpho?, 
Fecerat Ignipotens. 

The eye wanders up the shrub-fringed stream, over bare 
undulating downs, the arva lata of ancient song, to the hills 
swelling into peaks and girt with a belt of olive and ilex. There 
frowned the dark grove of Silvanus, of dread antiquity, and there, on 
yonder red cliffs the " ancient heights " of Virgil sat the once 
opulent and powerful city of Agylla, the Caere of the Etruscans, 
now represented, in name and site alone, by the miserable village 
of Cervetri. All this is hallowed ground religions pat rum Idle 
STCcr hallowed, not by the traditions of evanescent creeds, nor 
even by the hoary antiquity of the site, so much as by the 
homage the heart ever pays to the undying creations of the 
fathers of song. The hillocks which rise here and there on the 
wide downs, are so many sepulchres of princes and heroes of old, 
coeval, it may be, with those on the plains of Troy ; and if not, 
like them, the standing records of traditional events, at least the 
mysterious memorials of a prior age, which led the poet to select 
this spot as a fit scene for his verse. The large natural mound 
which rises close to the bridge may be the celsus collis whence 

1 Livy (XXII. 1,) relates that, in the now called the Bagni del Sasso, four miles 

year 537, "the waters of Caere flowed west of Cervetri. May not the above tra- 

mingled with blood." Cf. Val. Max. I. 6, dition be preserved in the name of this 

5. The Aquae Casretes, here mentioned, stream 1 

are generally supposed to be the same as 2 JEn. VIII. 597. Pliny (N. H. III. 8) 

the Qfpfjui KcuptTavd of Strabo (V. p 220), calls it, "Cseretanus amnis." 


^Eneas gazed on the Etruscan canip. 3 No warlike sights or 
sounds now disturb the rural quiet of the scene. Sword and 
spear are exchanged for crook and ploughshare; and the only 
sound likely to catch the ear is the lowing of cattle, the baying of 
sheep- clogs, or the cry of the pecorajo as he inarches at the head 
of his flock, and calls them to follow him to their fold or to fresh 
pastures. 4 Silvanus, "the god of fields and cattle," has still 
dominion in the land. 5 

After two miles of the country-road the traveller passes the 
chapel of Sta Maria de' Canneti, and presently ascends between 
the walls of Cervetri and the heights of the ancient city. 

Cervetri, the representative of Agylia, is a miserable village, 
with 800 or 400 inhabitants, and is utterly void of interest. It 
is surrounded by fortifications of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries, and stands just without the line of the ancient walls, 
so that it is annexed to, rather than occupies, the site of the 
original city. The village, and the land for some miles round it, 
are the property of Prince Euspoli, whose palace forms a con- 
spicuous object in the scene. This noble seldom makes excava- 
tions himself, but allows them to be carried on by his friends, 
who are of a more speculative or philarchaic turn of mind. It is 
to the enterprise of the Marchese Campana, of General Galassi, 
of the arch-priest Regulini, and subsequently of Sign or Capranesi, 
and of the brothers Boccanera, that we owe the numerous and 
remarkable objects of Etruscan antiquity that have been brought 
to light here of late years. 

The cicerone of whose services and keys the visitor who would 
see the tombs must avail himself, is Giovanni Passegieri, a 
tobacconist, to be found in his shop in the little piazza. Most 
travellers will find it sufficient to lionize the site in a day's 
excursion from Palo, where there is a tolerable inn ; but those 
who would devote more than a hurried day to the antiquities of 
Caere, and to avoid the transit to and from Palo, are willing to 
put up with village accommodation, will find a clean bed and 

3 Jin. VIII. C04. (XII. pp. 654, 655, eel. Casaub.), who 

4 This scene, of sheep following their records this fact, remarks that while the 
shepherd, attracted by his vuce, often swineherds of Greece walked behind, those 
meets the eye of the traveller in the East ; of Italy invariably preceded their herds, 
and beautiful allusion is made to it in Holy 5 This region was famed for its cattle in 
Writ (St. John X., 3, tt seq.). Oxen and the olden time. Lycophror <Cass. 124i, 
goats also in Corsica, and even swine in speaks of the valleys or ghns of Agylia, 
Italy, of old, used to follow their herds- abounding in flocks. 

man at the sound of his trumpet. Folvbius 



[CHAP. xxi. 

refreshment in the house of the suicl Giovanni, although they must 
not expect the delicacies for which Cajre was renowned of old. 

Remote as are the days of the Etruscans, this city boasts a far 
prior antiquity. It was originally called Agylla, and is classed 
by Dionysius among the primitive towns of Central Italy, which 
were either built by the united Pelasgi and Aborigines, or taken 
by them from the Siculi, the earliest possessors of the land, ages 
before the foundation of the Etruscan state. 7 That it was at 
least Pelasgic and of very remote antiquity there can be no 
doubt ; 8 though we may not be willing to admit that that occupa- 
tion of Italy can be referred with certainty to the third genera- 
tion before the Trojan war. Traditions of ages so long prior to 
the historic period must be too clouded by fable, or too distorted 
by tho medium of their transmission, to be received as strictly 
authentic. In its early days Agylla seems to have maintained 
intercourse with Greece, which corroborates, if need be, the 
uniform tradition of its Pelasgic origin. 1 

It would appear that at its conquest by the Etruscans its name 

6 Martial relished the pcrnce of Care 
(XIII. 54), and compared her wines to 
those of Setia (XIII. 124). Columella (de 
Re llust. III. 3) testifies to the abundance 
of her grapes. 

Dion. Hal. I. p. 16 ; cf. III. p. 

8 Dionysius is confirmed l>y Strabo (V. 
pp. 220, 226), Pliny (III. 8), Servius (ad 
.En. VIII. 479; X. 183), and Solinus 
(Polyh. cap. VIII.), who all record the 
tradition that Agylla was founded by the 
Pelasgi. Servius states that they were led 
to select this site on account of a fountain ; 
not being ab'e to find water elsewhere in 
the neigh bourhood. Strabo says these 
Pelasgi were from Thessaly (cf. Serv. ad 
Jin. VIII. 600). Virgil corroborates the 
tradition by referring the grove of Silvanus 
on this site to the Pelasgi 

Filvano faina cst vctcres sacrasse Pelasgos. 

Lycophron (Cass. 1355) calls Agylla, 
Ausonian. It is justly remarked by 
Lepsius (Ann. Inst., 1836, p. 202) that 
there are more witnesses to the Pelasgic 
origin of Ca;re, than of any other city of 
Etruiia. Mommsen (Hist. Home, I. c. 10) 
asserts that Agylla is not a Pelasgic name, 
as generally supposed, but a word of purely 
Phoenician origin, signifying "round city," 

for such a form the town must have pre- 
sented when viewed from the coast. 

9 It is stated by Hellenicus of Lesbos, 
that the Siculi were expelled from Italy at 
that period ; Philistosof Syracuse gives the 
date as 80 years before the Trojan War ; 
while Thucydides refers the expulsion to a 
period much subsequent to the fall of Troy 
(up. Dion. Hal. I. p. IS). 

1 That Agylla had a Greek origin can- 
not be deduced from the ciivr.mstance 
of its having dedicated treasure to the 
Delphian Apollo (Strabo, V. p. 220), and 
of its consulting that oracle (Herod. I. 167), 
for other people than the Greeks are re- 
corded to have made similar dedications 
and consultations. Croesus, king of 
Lydia, consulted the oracle of Delphi and 
other Greek oracles (Herod. I. 4f> ; Paus. 
III. 10, 8 ; X. 8, 7), and Tarqninius Su- 
perbus sent his two sons with gilts to con- 
sult the Delphic oracle. Liv. I. 56. The 
language of the city, however, in very 
early times, if Strabo may be believed, was 
Greek ; or if we refuse credence to the 
tradition he records, we may, at least, 
receive it as evidence of the general belief 
in the Greek origin of the city, which gave 
rise to the legend. Servius (ad Jin. VIII. 
597) derives the name from a lieros cpony- 
mos, Agella, 


was changed into Caere, but the reason of this alteration we know 
not, unless we choose to attach credit to the old legend, which 
tells us that when the Lydian or Etruscan colonists were about 
to attack the city, they hailed it and inquired its name ; whereon, 
a soldier from the ramparts, not understanding their motives 
or language, replied with a salutation x a ^ "hail!" which 
they receiving as a good omen, on the capture of the city applied 
to it as its name. 2 But this, like most of the etymologies of the 
ancients, savours strongly of, what Pliny terms, the pcrversa, 
siibtilitas of the grammarians. 

In the time of Jilneas, the city is represented by Virgil as 
under the sway of Mezentius, a cruel and impious tyrant, who 
was expelled by his subjects and fled to Turnus, king of the 
Rutuli ; while the liberated Agyllans joined the ranks of the 
Trojan prince. 3 

In very early times, Caere is said to have cultivated the arts ; 
for Pliny asserts, that in his day paintings were here extant, 
which had been executed before the foundation of Home ; and he 
cites them as examples of the rapid progress this art had made, 
seeing that it appeared not to have been practised in the days of 
Troy. 4 Caere, even as early as the time of the first Tarquin, is 
represented as among the most flourishing and populous cities of 
Etruria ; 5 and she was undoubtedly one of the Twelve of the 
Confederation. 6 But what, above ah 1 , distinguished Caere was, 
that she alone, of all the cities of Etruria, abstained from 
piracy, from 110 inferiority of power or natural advantages, but 
solely from her sense of justice ; wherefore the Greeks greatly 
honoured her for her moral courage in resisting this temptation. 7 

- Strabo, loc. cit. Steph. Byzaut. r. years after the fall of Troy ; " while 

Agylla. Servius (ad JEn. VIII. 597) relates Niebuhr, on the other hand (I. p. 1'27, cf. 

the same story, but on the authority of p. 385), will not allow it to have been made 

Hyginus (cle Urbibus Italicis) refers this even so early as the year of Rome 220 (B.C. 

blunder to the Romans. Muller (Etrusk. 534). 

einl. 2, 7, n. 40) thinks the original Etrus- 3 Virg. JEn. VII. 648; VIII. 481, ct 

can name was "Cisra. " Lepsius (die seq. ; cf. Liv. I. 2. 
Tyrrhen. Pelasg. p. 28) regards Caere as 4 Plin. N. H. XXXV. 6. 

the original name, which came a second 5 Dion. Hal. III. p. 193. 

time into use ; and thinks it was Umbrian, 6 This may be learned from the passages 

not Etruscan, in conformity with his theery of Dionysius and Strabo already cited, as 

of the Umbrian race and language being well as from the prominent part the city 

the foundation of the Etruscan. Canina took, in con junction with Veil and Tarquinii, 

(Cere Antica, p. 25), who is of the old or and the independent coiirse she subsequently 

literal school of historic interpretation, followed with regard to Rome. Livy (I. 

thinks that "the change of name, and the 2) also represents Caere as a powerful and 

mingling of the Agyllans with the Etruscan wealthy city of Etruria. 
invaders can be established in the first ten "' Strabo, V. p. 220. Mommsen (loc. 

232 CERVETRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

The first mention of this city in Roman history is, that it 
maintained a war with Tarquiiiius Prisons. 8 It also joined Veil 
and Tarquinii in the twenty j'ears' war with his successor, Servius 
Tullius, and at the re-establishment of peace, in consequence of 
the prominent part it had taken, it was punished by the Roman 
monarch with the forfeiture of a portion of its territory. 9 

At the same period, or about the year of Rome 220 (534 B.C.), 
the Cserites joined their fleet with that of Carthage on an expedi- 
tion against a colony of Phocseans, who had seized on Alalia in 
Corsica, and after a severe combat, all the prisoners taken by the 
allies were brought to Caere and there stoned to death. In con- 
sequence of this cold-blooded massacre, the city was punished 
with a plague ; men, herds, and flocks whatever animal passed 
near the spot where the bodies of the Phocreans lay, became 
afflicted with distortion, mutilation, or paralysis ; whereon the 
Caerites sent to Delphi to consult the oracle how they might 
atone for their crime, and were ordered to perform solemn 
expiatory rites, and to institute games of gymnastic exercises and 
horse-racing in honour of the slain ; which they continued to 
observe in the time of Herodotus. 1 

On the expulsion of Tarquiiiius Superbus from Rome, he and 
his two sons took refuge in Cffire, 2 probably on account of his 
family connections there ; but it is not recorded that this city 
took part in Porsenna's expedition to re-instate the exiled prince. 
Unlike Veii, Fidenae, Falerii, and other cities in this part of 
Etruria, Caere, though but twenty-seven miles from Rome, seems 
to have been for ages on friendly terms with that city. 3 When, 
in the year 365, Rome was attacked by the Gauls, Care opened 
her gates and gave refuge to the Flamen Quirinalis, and Vestal 
Virgins, and eventually restored them in safety to their home. 4 ' 

cit.) thinks that Strabo in this passage did Gabii. 

not refer to piracy, but meant that Caere 3 This fraternity and intimate connection 

"protected and encouraged foreign com- were probably owing to the Pelasgic origin 

merce, by refraining from exactions, and of Caere, and the consequent -want of a 

that she thus became a sort of free-port, complete sympathy with the Etruscans, 

both for the Phoenicians and Greeks, to Niebuhr (I. p. 386) was even inclined to 

which fact she owed her great wealth and the opinion that Rome was a mere colony 

importance in early times. of Care an opinion which he afterwards 

s Dion. Hal. III. p. 193. modified. Lepsius (Ann. Inst. 1836, p. 

y Dion. Hal. IV. p. 231 ; cf. Liv. I. 42. 203) thinks that the Pelasgic population 

Herod. I. 166, 167. of Caere was preserved more or less pure to 

- Liv. I. 60. Dionysius (IV. pp. 276, a late period. 

279) however, asserts that it was to Gabii 4 Liv. V. 40. Strabo, V. p. 220. Val. 

he fled, where his son Sextus was King. Max. I. i. 10. Cf. Plut. Camil. ; Flor. I. 

Livy says it was Sextus alone who went to 13. See also an inscription in the Vatican, 


Na} r , we are told that the Cserites attacked the retreating Gauls, 
laden with the spoil of Home, routed them, and recovered all the 
booty they were bearing away. For these services the senate 
decreed that the Cffirites should receive the hospitium fniblicuin, 
or be admitted into the most intimate relations with the Roman 
people 5 in fact, they received the full privileges of Roman 
citizens, save the suffrage. 6 The origin of our word ceremony 
cterlmonia has been ascribed to this event. 7 

A year or two before the capture of Rome by the Gauls, Caere 
was engaged with another enemy, Dionysius of Syracuse, who, in 
362, attacked PjTgi, and spoiled its celebrated temple of Eileithyia. 
As this was the port of Ctere, the inhabitants of the latter 
city rushed to the rescue, but, being probably unprepared for 
war, not expecting an attack, they were easily routed by the 
Sicilians. 8 

Ctere, though closely allied to Rome, continued to maintain 
her independence ; but it is probable that this was threatened, 
otherwise "the sympathy of blood" alone would hardly have 
induced her, in the year 401 (13. C. 353), to take up arms to 
assist Tarquinii against Rome, when she had for ages been 
intimately associated with the Republic. She must have re- 
ceived some provocation when she sent an army into the Roman 
territory, and laid it waste up to the mouth of the Tiber. Ere 
long, however, conscious of her unequal strength, she repented of 
this step, and besought pardon and peace, reminding the Romans 
of the services she had rendered in their distress. The senate 
referred her ambassadors to the people, who, moved by their 
touching appeal and the remembrance of past services, rather 
than by the excuse then urged, listened to their prayer and 

given by Gruter, p. 492 7, and Muratori, he accounts for the proverbial reference 

p. 172, 4. to the Creritan franchise as a disgraceful 

Liv. V. 50. Strabo, loc. cit. condition. 

This condition became proverbial, and ' Val. Max. loc. cit. Festus, v. Cseri- 

what had originally been conferred as an monia. The etymologies of the ancients 

honour was subsequently made significant are rarely to be trusted ; but Niebuhr (I. 

of disgrace ; for tabulcc Cantes and cera p. 386) thinks this derivation very plausible. 

Cteritis came to imply the condition of The first syllable of the word may not have 

Roman citizens, who had been deprived of been originally Cceri, but Coeri (for Curi) 

the right of suffrage. Hor. I. ep. \I. 62. monia Coerare being an early form of 

Aul. Gell. XVI. 13, 7. Strabo, loc. cit. Curare (A. Gell. IV. 2) which, at least, 

Niebuhr (II. pp. 60, 67) is of opinion, from is expressive of the meaning ; the two diph- 

the classification of Festus (v. Municipium), thongs, it is well known, were sometimes 

that Caere was really degraded from the interchangeable, 

highest rank of citizenship, in consequence 8 Diod. Sic. XV. p. 337. Serv. ad jn. 

of her conduct in the year 401; and thus X. 184. 

234 CERVETRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

granted them a truce for a hundred years. 9 It is highly probable 
that the Ojerites paid the penalty of their error by the loss of 
their independence, for we have no record of any further conquest 
of them by the Romans ; indeed, we next hear of Ccere as a 
Roman dependency, providing corn and other provisions for the 
fleet of Scipio, in the year 549, 1 and otherwise assisting in the 
Second Punic War. 2 

At the commencement of the Empire this " splendid and illus- 
trious city" had sunk into utter insignificance, retaining mere 
vestiges of its past greatness, being even surpassed in population 
by the Thermae Caeretanse the hot baths in the neighbour- 
hood, which the Romans frequented for health's sake. 3 It 
revived, however, as appears from monuments and inscriptions 
found on the spot, and became a municipium.* Nor was it at 
any period wholly blotted from the map, but continued to exist, 
and with its ancient name, till, at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, part of its inhabitants removed to a site .about three 
miles off', on which they bestowed the same name, and the old 
town was distinguished by the title of Vetus, or Caere Vetere, 
which has been corrupted into its present appellation of Cervetri, 
the new town still retaining the name of Ceri. This has misled 
antiquarians, who have sought the Etruscan city on the site 
which seemed more clearly to bear its name, 5 but inscriptions and 

9 Liv. VII. 19, 20. 215, 1 ; 485, 5 ; cf. 235, 9. Cluver, II. 

1 Liv. XXVIII. 45. p. 493. Bull. lust., 1840, pp. 58. 

2 Sil. Ital. VIII. 474. Canina. In excavations made in 1840 on 

3 Strabo, V. p. 220. Now the Bagni the site of the city, some beautiful marble 
del Sasso, so called from a remarkable bare statues of Tiberius, Drusus, Germanicus, 
crag on the summit of the neighbouring and Agrippina were discovered, together 
mountain. It lies about five miles west of with a singular bas-relief bearing the names 
Cervetri, and is visible from the road be- and emblems of three Etruscan cities, Tar- 
tweeii Palo and Sta Severa. Manuert quinii, Vetulonia, and Vulci, which monu- 
4Geog. p. 379) places the Aquas Casretanse tnents are now among the chief ornaments 
at Ceri ; Canina (Etr. Marit. I. p. 163) at of the new Museum of the Lateran. In 
Caldane, five or six miles to the S. E. the season of 1845-6, the Augustine monks 
of Cervetri. Cluver (II. p. 493)confounds of Cervetri discovered many more statues 
them with the Aquae Apollinares, on the and torsi, with altars, bas-reliefs, beauti- 
upper road from Home to Tarquinii. West- ful cornices, and other architectural frag- 
phal (Rom. Kamp. p. 160) makes a similar ments of a theatre, coloured tiles and 
mistake. But Holstenius (Annot. ad Cluv. ante/Lew, and numerous fragments of Latin 
p. 35) distinguishes between the two Aquae, inscriptions, with one in Etruscan, "Cu- 
placing one at Stigliano, the other at Bagni SIACH," which is unique in having the 
del Sasso. The true site of the Aqua? letters cut in marble and inlaid on a darker 
Apollinares has been fixed by M. Desjardins stone. 

at Vicarello, on the Lago Bracciano. Ann. & A bull of Gregory IX., in 1236, dis- 

Inst. 1S59, pp. 34 CO. tinguishes between these two towns, speci- 

4 Festus v. Municipium. Gruter, pp. lying " plebes et ecclesias in Cere Nova," 


Adapted from. Cam'na. 

1. Tomb with pilasters. 

2. Grotta della Sedia. 

;). ,, delle Cinque Sedie. 
4. dell' Alcova. 

o. Grotta dei Tarquinj. 
<\ ,, dei Sarcofagi. 
7. ,, del Triclinio. 
S. dei Rilievi. 

9. Grotta degli Scudi e Sedie. 

10. ,, Keguliai-Galassi. 

11. ,, Campana. 

236 CERVETBI. [CHAP. xxi. 

other monuments found at Cervetri of late years, have established 
its identity with Crere beyond a doubt. 

Of the ancient city but few vestiges are extant ; yet the out- 
line of its walls is clearly denned, not so much by fragments, 
for there are few remaining, as by the character of the ground 
which the city occupied. This is a height or table-land, rising 
in steep cliff's above the plain of the coast, except on the northern 
side where it is united by a neck to the high land adjoining. 
Within the space thus marked off by nature, not a ruin of the 
ancient city now rises above ground. Temples, towers, halls, 
palaces, theatres have all gone to dust ; the very ruins of Caere 
have perished, or are overheaped with soil; and the peasant 
follows his plough, the husbandman dresses his vines, and the 
shepherd tends his flock, unconscious that he is treading over 
the streets and buildings of a city among the most renowned of 
ancient times, and thirty times more extensive than the miserable 
village which has retained its name. 

Let not the traveller omit to visit the site of Caere under the 
impression that there is nothing to be seen. If of antiquarian 
tastes, he will have the satisfaction of determining the extent, 
form, and position of the city, he will perceive that it was four 
or five miles in circuit, and therefore fully substantiated its 
claim to be ranked among the first of Etruria, that it was of 
oblong form, that it had eight gates, all distinctly traceable, some 
approached by roads sunk in the rock and lined with tombs, 
others retaining their flanking walls of masonry, he will see in 
the cliffs around the city, the mouths of sewers above, and more 
frequently tombs of various forms below ; and he will learn from 
the few fragments that remain, that the walls of Caere were 
composed of rectangular blocks of tufo, of similar size and arrange- 
ment to those in the walls of Veii and Tarquinii, and utterly 
different from those of Pyrgi, which are supposed to have had a 
common origin. 7 

and also, " in Cere Vetere et finibus ejus." north of the city. Foundations may, in 

Nibby, Dintorni di lloma, I. p. 355. several parts, be traced along the brow of 

6 Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. 5 -8; 1846, the cliffs, and on the side opposite the lian- 
p. 129. Canina in his Cere Antica, pub- ditaccia, for a considerable extent. Many 
lished in 1838, claims to have been the of the ancient blocks have been removed of 
first to indicate the true site of this late years to construct walls in the neigh- 
city. But Gruter (pp. 214 ; 652, 8) had bourhood, and I was an indignant witness 
long before given some inscriptions refer- of this destruction, on one of my visits to 
ring to Caere, which were found at Cervetri. the site. Nibby (I. p. 358) speaks of traces 

' Canina (Etruria Warit. tav. 45) illus- of the more ancient or Pelasgic walls in 

tratcs some fragments of the wall on the large irregularly squared blocks, along the 


If he be an artist, or lover of the picturesque, taking no interest 
in the antiquities of the place, he will still find abundance of 
matter to delight his eye or employ his pencil ; either on the site 
of the city itself, with its wide-sweeping prospect of plain and sea 
on the one hand, and of the dark many-peaked hills on the other, 
or in the ravines around, where he will meet with combinations of 
rock and wood, such as for form and colour are rarely surpassed. 
The cliffs of the cit} r , here rising boldly at one spring from the 
slope, there broken away into many angular forms, with huge 
masses of rock scattered at their feet, are naturally of the liveliest 
red that tufo can assume, yet are brightened still further by 
encrusting lichens into the warmest orange or amber, or are gilt 
with the most brilliant yellow thrown out more prominently by 
an occasional sombering of grey while the dark ilex, or oak, 
feathers and crests the whole, 

" And overhead the wandering ivy and vine 
This way and that, in many a wild festoon , 
Run riot, garlanding the gnarled boughs 
With bunch and berry and flower." 

The chief interest of Caere, however, lies in its tombs. These 
are found on all sides of the city, but particularly on the high 
ground to the north, now called La Banditaccia. Let not the 
traveller conceive vain fears from a name of so ominous a sound, 
and which his imagination may lead him to suppose was derived 

cliffs on the east of the city, and still more sepulchres of Caere, whose contents autho- 

distinct on the western side. I could per- rise us to regard them as Pelasgic. The 

ceive no such remains ; all the fragments objection to assign such an origin to the 

I observed being of an uniform character remains of the city walls, lies not in the 

rectangular tufo masonry, of smaller blocks rectangularity of the blocks, but in their 

than usual, and very similar in size and small size ; seeing that all the ancient for- 

arrangeTuent to the fragments of walling titications we are best wan-anted in ascrib- 

at Veil (p. 12), and Tarquinii (p. 427), ing to the Pelasgi, are composed of enormous 

and to the ancient fortifications on the masses. Though I acknowledge the influ- 

height of S. Silvestro near the Tiber, ence of the local materials on the style of 

which I take to mark the site of Fescen- masonry, I do not think it amounts to a 

nium (p. 122). It is nevertheless possible constructive necessity ; and though I believe 

that these walls are of Pelasgic construction ; the Pelasgi may have employed one style of 

for, as the only material on the spot is soft masonry at Cosa, another at Cortona, and 

tufo, which has a rectangular cleavage, the a third at Agylla, I cannot admit that they 

Pelasgic founders of the city could not avoid exercised no preference, or that any other 

\ising it except by fetching limestone, at a people with the same materials would have 

great expense of labour, from the mountains arrived at the veiy peculiar style which 

inland ; and, using the tufo, they would they seem always to have followed, where 

naturally hew it into forms most easily practicable, and which is generally called 

worked and arranged, as they did in the after their name. For further remarks on 

llegulini-Galassi tomb, and other early this subject, see chap. L. 

238 CEBVETRL [CHAP. xxi. 

from the number of bandits infesting the spot. 8 The name is 
simply indicative of the proprietorship of the land, which once 
belonging to the comune, or corporation of Cervetri, was terra 
bandita "set apart; " or "forbidden" to the public, and, as it 
was uncultivated and broken ground, the termination descriptive of 
its ugliness was added banditaccia. It retains the name, though 
it has passed into the hands of Prince Iluspoli. To reach it from 
Cervetri, you cross the narrow glen to the north. Here in 
the cliffs opposite is hollowed a range of sepulchres, all greatly 
injured within and without. 9 

This Banditaccia is a singular place a Brobdignag warren, 
studded with mole-hills. It confirmed the impression I had re- 
ceived at Bieda and other sites, that the cemeteries of the Etrus- 
cans were often intentional representations of their cities. Here 
were ranges of tombs hollowed in low cliffs, rarely more than 
fifteen feet high, not piled one on another as at Bieda, but on the 
same level, facing each other as in streets, and sometimes branching 
off laterally into smaller lanes or alleys. In one part was a 
spacious square or piaz/a, surrounded by tombs instead of houses. 
None of these sepulchres, it is true, had architectural fa9ades re- 
maining, but the cliffs were hewn into smooth, upright faces, and 
here and there were fragments of an ornamental cornice cut in the 
rock. Within the tombs the analogy was preserved. Many had 
a large central chamber, with others of smaller size opening upon 
it, lighted by windows in the wall of rock, which served as the 
partition. This central chamber represented the atrium of 
Etruscan houses, 1 whe-nce it was borrowed by the Romans; and 
the chambers around it the triclinia, for each had a bench of rock 
round three of its sides, on which the dead had been deposited, 
reclining as at a banquet. The ceilings of all the chambers had 
the usual beams and rafters hewn in the rock ; and in one 

8 Mrs. Gray (Sep. Etruria, p. 367) may l Described by Vitruvins (VI. 3), Varro 
be excused for having fallen into this error, (L. L. V. 161), and Festus (v. Atrium), 
when the same had been stated by the The atrium in this case was not a true 
highest archaeological authorities in Rome. carccdium, not being open to the sky ; but 
Cere Antica, p. 51. Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 171. had it been, the purpose of concealment 
In truth, a spot so swarming with caverns, would have been defeated. Indeed it was- 
might well suggest such an appellation. sometimes deemed necessary to support the 

9 One of them has a small pilaster against ceiling by a massive pillar of rock. Yet 
its inner wall, with capital and abacus that the analogy was intended, and was 
quite Doric, and shaft also of early Doric preserved as far as possible, is evident from 
Droportions, though resting on a square the windows around, which suppose the 
base. light to have been received from the central 



instance there was a fan- like ornament in relief, and walls panelled, 
precisely as in a tomb at Vulci ; 2 whence it may be inferred that 
such decorations were at one period fashionable in Etruscan 

Many of the tombs of the Banditaccia are surmounted by 
tumuli. Tumuli, indeed, are scarcely less numerous here than at 
Tarquinii. Some of them are still unexcavated, the entrance 
being below the surface ; in others the doorway opens in the 
basement, which is often of rock, hewn into mouldings and 
cornice, and more rarely of masonry. The cone of earth which 
originally surmounted these tumuli is in most cases broken down, 
in some almost to the level of the soil. As at Tarquinii, there 
are no architectural facades in this necropolis ; the decoration is 
chiefly internal. Nor could I perceive more than two instances 
of inscriptions on the exterior of tombs ; and those were no 
longer legible. 

Tombs of great interest have been opened on this spot at 
various periods, and not a few still remain open. The first you 
reach is a large tomb, lying deep below the surface of the hill, 
with two square pillars in the centre, and a row of long niches 
for bodies recessed in the walls; beside which the chamber is 
surrounded by a deep bench, separated into compartments for 
corpses, which were arranged, not in lines parallel with the 
niches, but at right angles, with their feet pointing to the centre 
of the tomb. There is nothing further remarkable in this 
sepulchre beyond an Etruscan word CVETHN cut in the rock 
over one of the recesses, which, from its position in the corner, 
seems to be the commencement of an inscription never completed. 
This tomb, in size, form, and arrangements, is very like that of 
the Tarquins, represented in the wood-cut at page 242. It was 
discovered in 1845. It is marked 1 in the Plan. 


Hard by, on the slope between Cervetri and the Banditaccia, is 
a sepulchre, on the plan of those of Bieda, with two small 
chambers, separated by a wall of rock, in which are cut a door 
and two little windows, all surrounded by the usual rod-moulding. 
But the marvel of the tomb is an arm-chair, cut from the living rock, 
standing by the side of one of the two sepulchral couches in the 
outer chamber, as though it were an easy- chair by the bed-side, 

2 See Chapter XXIX., p. 448. 

240 CERVETRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

or a seat for the doctor visiting his patient ! But why placed 
in a tomb ? Was it merely to carry out still further the analogy 
to a house ? Was it, as Visconti suggests, for the use of the 
relatives who came yearly to hold solemn festivals at the tomb ? 3 
Or was it for the shade of the deceased himself, as though he 
were too restless to be satisfied with his banqueting-couch, but 
must have his easy-chair also to repose him after his wanderings? 
Or, as Micali opines, was it to intimate the blissful repose of the 
new life on which his spirit had entered ? 4 Was it not rather a 
curule chair, the insigne of the rank or condition of the deceased, 
showing him to have been a ruler or magnate in the land ? 5 It 
may have been for the support of a cinerary urn ; for in the tombs 
of Chiusi, canopi, or vases in the form of human busts, which 
were probably the effigies of the deceased whose ashes they 
contained, have often been found placed on earthenware seats of 
this form. Such canopi have also been discovered at Caere. This 
tomb was opened in 1845. 6 

Crossing the western end of the Banditaccia, we reach a tomb 
opening in its northern slope, called the 


It has three chambers, one in the centre, which has its roof 
carved into beam and rafters, and a smaller one on each side, 
opening on the passage by which the tomb is approached. The 
rock-cut doorway to each chamber is arched an unusual feature. 
In the little chamber to the left, are five small seats in a row, 
hewn from the rock, but without decorations. They give its 
name to the sepulchre. I found this tomb full of water in June, 
1876. It faces W.N.W. 


A little beyond that just described, and lying beneath a tumulus, 
is another sepulchre which I shall call the " Tomb of the Alcove." 

3 Antichi Monument! cli Ceri, p. 31. genuine sdla curulis. It will be borne in 

4 Micali, Mon. Inecl. p. 152. mind that the curule chair was one of the 

5 The form of this and similar rock-hewn Etruscan insignia of authority ; and 
seats in other tombs of Cervetri is very like adopted by the Romans from the Etruscans, 
that of the beautiful marble chair, with 6 Canina gives a representation of tLi 
lias-reliefs, in the Palazzo Corsini at Rome, tomb. Etruria Marit. I. tav. 65. 

which is thought to be Etruscan, and a 


from a large recess in the further wall, almost like a chapel in a 
Cathedral. 7 There are in fact three of these recesses, like so 
many apsides, but the central one is the most spacious, and is 
obviously the post of honour, the last resting-place of the most 
illustrious dead here interred. In it is a massive sepulchral couch, 
with cushion and pillows at its head, ornamented legs in relief, 
and a low stool, or hypopodium in front all hewn from the living 
rock. It may represent a thalamus or nuptial-couch, rather than 
the usual festive K^ivr] or lectus, for it is double, and must have 
been occupied Toy some noble Etruscan and his wife, whose skulls 
still serve as a memento mori to the visitor, though a confused 
heap of dust on the couch is all that is left of their bodies and 

The tomb bears a striking resemblance to a temple in its 
spaciousness in its division into aisles by the pillars and pilasters 
which support the rafter-carved roof in the dark shrine at the 
upper end, raised on a flight of steps and in the altar-like mass 
of the couch within. Nor are the many large amphorce which 
strew the floor, unpriestly furniture ; though they hint at copious 
libations to a certain jolly god, poured forth on the occasion of 
the annual sepulchral festivals. 

This tomb has other features of interest. The two fluted 
pillars which support the roof, and the pilasters against the inner 
wall, present specimens of capitals and mouldings of a peculiar 
character, and throw light on that little-understood subject the 
architecture of the Etruscans. Crere, indeed, is particularly rich 
in this respect more so than any other Etruscan site. Many 
of the tombs still open have singular or beautiful architectural 
features ; and others of the same character are now lost sight of, 
or reclosed with earth ; one in particular, from its spaciousness 
and the abundance of such decoration, had acquired the name of 
" II Palazzo." Of the students of ancient architecture who yearly 
flock to Rome, none should omit to visit the tombs of Cervetri 
.and none would regret it. This tomb was discovered in 1845. 8 

At the back of this tomb is one by far the most interesting 

7 Canina calls this tomb " Sepolcro clei form; in this instance over the doorway 
Pilastri, " and gives a plan and sections of it is cmpleclon, precisely resembling the 
it. Etruria Maritt. I. tav. 67, p. 195. It walls of Sutri, Fallen, and Nepi, though 
faces N.N.NY. of rather smaller dimensions. In every 

8 The deep pit which forms the entrance instance it is opus quadratum, or regular 
to most of these tombs is generally lined masonry, even in those tombs which are 
with tufo masonry. The style is not uni- manifestly of the most ancient construction. 

VOL. I. R 



[CHAP. xxr. 

that has been found in this necropolis, since the discovery of the 
celebrated Grotta llegulini-Galassi. It must be called 


or, the " Tomb of the Tarquins ! " Yes, reader here for the 
first time in Etruria has a sepulchre of that celebrated family 
been discovered. The name had been met with, a few times, on 


urns, and funeral furniture, 9 but never in any abundance. Nor 
are we yet assured that it was a common name in Etruria. 
"NVe only know that there must have been a numerous family 
of Tarquins settled at Crere. But can this have been of the 
same race as the celebrated dynasty of Rome ? Nothing more 

The frequent traces of the passages having 
been vaulted by the gradual convergence 
of the horizontal courses, establish their 
high antiquity, as being prior to the inven- 
tion or at least the practice of the arch. 

9 On a spherical cippus, found at Chiusi, 
was inscribed "TAUCNAL" (Passed, Acher- 
ont. p. 66, ap. Gori, III.) "TARCHNAS" 
on a cornelian scarab&us, found near 
Pi.scille (Vermiglioli, Iscriz. Perug. I. p. 
81, tav. V. 2) "TARCHI," on a column in 
the Museo Oddi at Perugia (id. I. p. 148) 
" TARCHIS," on one of the urns in the 
Grotta de' Volunni at Perugia. "TAR- 

CHISA," on an urn in the Museum of Flo- 
rence (Lanzi, Saggio, II. p. 417). "TAR- 
CHU," on a black cinerary pot from Chiusi, 
now in the same collection. TARCH was no 
doubt the primitive form, with the inflexion 
of Tarch-i-w, or un ; from this the adjective 
was formed by the usual addition of na or 
nas Tarchnas (Tarquinius), Tarchnai 
(Tarquinia). The termination sa or isa is 
indicative of connection by marriage, or 
Tarchisa may be equivalent to Tarquitia 
an Etruscan family renowned for its skill 
in divination. See p. 7. 


probable. We know that when the royal family was expelled, 
the king and two of his sons, Titus and Aruns, took refuge at 
Cfere ; Sextus, the elder 

" the false Tarquin 
"Who wrought the deed of shame," 

retiring to Gabii, where he was soon after slain. 1 What more 
likely then than that the famil}' here interred was descended in a 
direct line from the last of the Roman kings ? Though Aruns, 
one of the princes, was slain soon after in single combat with the 
consul Brutus, at the Arsian Wood, 3 he may have left his family 
at Caere, and his father and brother still survived to perpetuate 
the name of Tarquin. 3 However it be, let the visitor to this 
sepulchre bear in mind the possibility, to say the least, that the 
skulls he handles, and the dust he gazes on, may be those of that 
proud race, whose tyranny cost them a crown perhaps the 
Empire of the World. 

The first chamber you enter is surrounded by benches of rock, 
and contains nothing of interest ; but in the floor opens a long 
flight of steps, which lead down, not directly, but by a bend at 
right angles, to a lower chamber of much larger size. 4 It is called 
by the peasantry the " Tomb of the Inscriptions," and well does 
it merit the name ; for it has not merely a single lengthy legend, 
as on the pillar of the Pompey-Tonib at Corneto, nor a name 
here and there, as in the Grotta delle Iscrizioni at the same 
place ; but the tomb is vocal with epigraphs every niche, every 
bench, every portion of the walls speaks Etruscan, and echoes the 
name of Tarquin. 

This chamber is a square, or nearly so, of thirty-five feet, with 
two massive pillars in the centre, and a row of thirteen recesses 

1 Liv. I. 60. Dionysius says the king to their relative Mamilius Octavius (Liv. 
fled to Gabii, where Sextus was prince, II. 15). We hear no more of them at 
and after staying there some time in the Ctere, yet from their choosing that city as 
vain hope of inducing the Latins to take up their first place of refuge in their exile, it 
his cause, he removed to the city of Etruria, is highly probable that they had relatives 
whence his mother's family had come, i.e. residing there, as well as at Gabii, Tar- 
Tarquinii (V. pp. 276, 279) ; but no men- quinii, and Tusculum. The existence of 
tion is made of Caere. this tomb at least establishes the Etruscan 

2 Liv. II. 6. origin of the Tarquins, which Niebuhr has 

3 Livy (II. 6, 9) says the elder Tarquin called in question (I. pp. 376, 511). 

and his son Titus subsequently went to Tar- 4 The depth of the floor below the sur- 

quinii, Yeii, and Clusium, to raise the cities face must be very considerable hardly less 

of Etruria in their cause, and when the than 50 feet. The upper chamber faces 

campaign of Porsenna had failed to reinstate S.S.E. The tomb was discovered in 1845. 
them at Rome, they retired to Tusculum, 

244 CERVETRL- [CHAP. xxi. 

for corpses, in the walls ; while below is a double tier of rock- 
hewn benches, which also served as biers for the dead. The 
walls, niches, benches, and pillars, are all stuccoed, and the 
inscriptions are painted in red or black, or in some instances 
merely marked with the finger on the damp stucco. Observe 
these scratched epigraphs. The}' are remarkable for the wonder- 
ful freshness of the impression. The stucco or mortar has 
hardened in prominent ridges precisely as it was displaced; and 
you might suppose the inscription had been written but one day, 
instead of much more than two thousand years. No finger, not 
even the effacing one of Time, has touched it, since that of the 
Etruscan, who so many centuries ago recorded the name of his 
just departed friend. 

Were I to insert all the inscriptions of this tomb, I should 
heartily weary the reader. 5 Let one suffice to show the Etruscan 
form of the name of Tarquin. 

which in Roman letters would be 


The name, either in Etruscan or Latin, 6 occurs no fewer than 
thirty-five times! How much oftener it was repeated in parts 
where the paint has run or faded, or the inscriptions have become 
otherwise illegible, I cannot say, but should think that not less 
than fifty epitaphs with this name must have been originally 
inscribed in this tomb. One fact I noticed, which seems to 
strengthen the probability that this family was of the royal race 
namely*, that it appears to have kept itself in great measure 
distinct by intermarriages, and to have mingled little with other 
Etruscan families at least when compared with similar tombs, 

* I have given all the inscriptions that not necessarily indicate a very late date ; if 

remain legible, whether Etruscan or Latin, the family were of the royal blood of Rome, 

in Bull.Inst. 1847, pp. 56 59. Compare the occasional use of the Latin character 

Dr. Mommsen's version of some of them may be explained, without referring these 

(p. 63) which differs from mine, though I epigraphs to the period of Roman douiina- 

cannot think in every instance so correct. tion. Moreover, even though in Latin 

For the plan, sections, inscriptions, &c., of letters, the name sometimes retains its 

this tomb see Canina, Etr. Maritt. I. tav. Etruscan form "TARCNA" which is 

62. quite novel, and a presumptive evidence of 

6 The Latin inscriptions in this tomb do antiquity. 


those of Perugia for instance, this sepulchre will be found to 
contain very few other family-names introduced in the epitaphs as 
matronymics. 7 

Most of the niches are double, or for two bodies. Some, 
beside inscriptions, have painted decorations a wreath, for 
instance, on one side, and some crotala, or castanets, on the 
other, or a wreath, and a small pot or alabastos, represented as 
if suspended above the corpse. Between the niches are elegant 
pilasters, and in front are the legs of couches, and the usual long, 
paw-footed stools, all painted on the stucco, to make each mortu- 
ary bed resemble a festive couch. On one of the square pillars 
which support the beamed roof, is painted a large round shield. 
In the ceiling between the pillars is a shaft cut through the rock, 
from the plain above, still covered by the slabs with which it was 
closed when the last of " the great house of Tarquin " w r as laid in 
this tomb. 8 

Like most of the tombs of the Banditaccia, which are below the 
surface, this was half full of water, as it generally is in winter. 
At the expense of wet feet, I contrived to examine them all ; but 
after heavy rains, a visit to Caere would, to many, prove fruitless. 
One tomb was completely reclosed with earth washed down from 
above, so that I was obliged to have it re- excavated for my 
especial inspection. 


Close to the Tomb of the Tarquins is another sepulchre, sunk 
deep below the surface, and approached by a similar narrow 
passage lined with masonry. I designate it the " Tomb of the 
Sarcophagi," from its containing three of those large monuments, 
which are very rarely found at Caere, the dead being in general 
laid out on their rock} r biers, without other covering than their 
robes or armour. The sarcophagi here are of marble. Two 
have the draped figure of a man on the lid, in an archaic 
style of art. The first reclines on his back, his right hand rest- 

" In more than forty inscriptions, I the doorway had been closed, by means of 

could find only eleven names of other niches cut for the feet and hands ; or 

families ; and of these, seven only were in may have served, by the removal of the 

Etruscan characters, and connected with covering slabs, to ventilate the sepulchre, 

the name of Tarchnas : the other four were in preparation for the annual parentalia. 

in Latin, and quite distinct. Such shafts are most common in the tombs 

3 See the woodcut at page 242. The of Falerii ; but there they open generally in 

shaft was either used as an entrance after the antechamber, rarely in the tomb itself. 

240 CERVETRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

ing on his belly, and his left holding the torque, which encircles 
his neck. He has remarkably fine features, and wears mustachios 
and beard, and a chaplet of leaves round his brow. Four small 
lions, of most quaint and primitive art, surround his couch, one 
at each angle. The other figure reclines on his left side, wears a 
chaplet, and holds a pltiala in his right hand, while his left rests 
on his bosom. His hair is arranged in the stiff crisp curls which 
are seen in the earliest Etruscan bronzes ; his eyes are painted 
black, his lips red ; the rest of the monument is uncoloured. At 
each shoulder is a small sphinx, and a little lion at each foot. 
Another sarcophagus of similar character was found in this tomb, 
even more interesting than those described, as it bore a number 
of figures in relief and coloured, but it has been transferred to 
the Gregorian Museum. 

There is a peculiarly primitive air about these figures ; they are 
unlike those generally carved on the lids of sarcophagi, which, in 
truth, are seldom archaic in character. They bear a strong re- 
semblance to some archaic sarcophagi very recently found at 
Tarquinii, and now in the Museum of Corneto. 

The third sarcophagus is of temple-form, with a tiled roof, but 
without sculptured decorations. 

The marble of which these monuments are formed is pronounced 
by Canina to come from the Circaean promontory, where, from a 
town near the quarry, and from its transparency, it is known as 
the alabaster of S. Felice. The same marble was employed in 
the archaic sarcophagi of Tarquinii and Vulci, and the Etruscans 
made use of it, though not extensively, until they became 
acquainted with the marble of Luna. 

On the wall of this tomb is scratched an Etruscan inscription, 
which in Roman letters would be v : APUCUS : AC. and on a slab 
which served as a cippus, I read LARTHI AP. VCUIA, in Etruscan 
characters. Hence it appears probable that the sepulchre was 
that of a family named Apucus (Apicius ?) 9 

The front of the couches is painted with sea-monsters, dolphins, 
lions, and other animals, on a stuccoed surface. There are traces 
of painting also on the walls of the tomb, but nothing is now in- 
telligible beyond a band of the usual wave-pattern on the inner 

Immediately above the tomb last described, is one opened in 

9 For illustrations of these sarcophagi, see Canina, Etr. Maritt. I. tav. 60, 61, p. 192. 


the spring of 1846, which has paintings on its walls. It is 

designated the 


The tumulus under which it lies is enclosed hy a wall of loose 
stones, and the door of the tomb is surmounted by three courses 
of masonry. This tomb has but a single chamber, twenty-four feet 
by sixteen, surrounded by deep benches of rock, on which the 
dead were laid, and at the head of each compartment, when I 
first saw it, lay a skull, which startled the eye on entering the 
sepulchre. Just within the door are bas-reliefs a wild-boar on 
one side, and a panther tearing its prey on the other. But the 
paintings ? It requires a close and careful examination to dis- 
tinguish them, so much have they suffered from the damp ; and 
if unaware of their existence, you might visit the tomb without 
perceiving them. The white stucco on which the scenes are 
painted has been changed by the damp to a hue dark as the native 
rock. In a few places only where it has remained dry has the 
painting retained its distinctness. On the left-hand wall you 
perceive the heads of a man and woman, who are reclining to- 
gether at a banquet ; and beautiful heads they are, with features 
of Greek symmetry, and more mastery and delicacy in the design 
than are commonly found in the sepulchral paintings of Etruria. 
He is garlanded with laurel and wears a short beard ; and his 
flesh is of the usual deep red, the conventional colour of gods 
and heroes ; but hers is of the white hue of the stucco, though 
her cheek is touched with red. He pledges her in a >/a/, or 
bowl of wine, to which she replies ~by an approving look, turning 
her head towards him. Her face and expression are extremely 
pretty, and a variegated skull-cap, and a full rich tress at the side 
of her face add to her charms. She wears also a necklace and 
torque of gold. A round table, resting on three deer-legs, stands 
by them, with meat, fruits, eggs, and goblets ; and a large round 
shield is suspended on the wall behind. You might fancy it a 
portrait of Pericles, who had just laid his armour by, and was 
pledging the fair Aspasia. 

A maraviglia egli gagliardo, ed ella 
Quanto si possa dir, leggiadra e bella. 

From these heads we must judge of the rest in this tomb ; for 
a similar scene is repeated again and again on the Avails eight 

248 CERVETRL [CHAP. xxi. 

other couples recline on the festive couch, each with a tripod- 
table by their side, and a shield suspended above. 1 But the 
women have lost the fairness of their sex, and, from the dis- 
coloration of the stucco, have become as dusky as negresses ; 
while the men, from their brick-dust complexions, are much more 
distinct. The men are not half-draped, as in the earlier tombs of 
Cometo, but are all dressed in white tunics, the women in yellow. 
In the centre of the inner wall stand a couple of slaves, at a 
large table or sideboard, which has sundry vases and goblets on 
and beneath it, and a tall candelabrum at its side, the counterpart 
to which is seen also on the side-wall. 2 On a mixing-vase 
which stands on this table or sideboard is inscribed the word 
" ivxox " in Roman letters, which can hardly here allude to the 
" white-armed," " ox-eyed " goddess, but must rather refer to the 
Juno, or presiding spirit of some fair Etruscan, 3 probably of the 
principal lady interred in this tomb. 

The face of the sepulchral couches is also painted above, 
with the usual wave-pattern below, with animals, of which a 
pair of winged hippocampi, in a very spirited style, and a dragon 
with green wings, are alone discernible. 4 

The colours in this tomb have been laid on in distemper, not 
alfresco. The freedom of the design, so far as it is discernible, 

1 A singular feature is, that instead of a a number of little vases tied to the stem 
separate Icctus for each pair, the revellers in clusters, and with fruit and flowers at 
here are depicted reclining on a continuous the top. Candelabra, with vases so at- 
couch, which, as it occupies three walls of tached, have been discovered in Etruscan 
the tomb, may be supposed to represent a tombs at Vulci. Bull. Inst. 1832, p. 194. 
triclinium, such as the Romans used. The From this we learn a secondary use to which 
figures here lie under a red and white, these elegant articles of furniture were 
or blue and white, striped coverlet, or applied. 

stragulum. The small tables by the side 3 See the Appendix to this Chapter, 

of the triclinium are not the usual rpditffat Note II. 

(i.e. T6Tpdjreai), or with four legs, as in 4 In the floor of this tomb is an oblong 

most of the paintings of Tarquinii, but pit, just such as opens in the ceilings of so 

fpliroSfs, or with only three feet. many sepulchres at Civita Castellana, and 

2 Banquets by lamp-light are rarely re- as is shown in the roof of the tomb of the 
presented in Etruscan tombs ; the revellers Tarquins, in the wood-cut, at page 242. 
are generally depicted lying under the shade Whether it be the shaft to a second sepul- 
of the ivy or vine, or amid groves of myrtle. chral chamber beneath this, as analogy 
Even in the Grotta Querciola, at Corneto, suggests, or is merely intended to drain the 
though a candelabrum is introduced, the tomb, I cannot say, for I found it full of 
festive couches are surrounded by trees. water. In the so-called " Tomb of Solon " 
In the Tomba Golini, at Orvieto, however, at Grombet Li, in Phrygia, described by 
candelabra are depicted with lights burning, Steuart in his work on Lydia and Phrygia, 
but the paintings there evidently represent a similar well or shaft is sunk in the middle 
scenes in the Etruscan Hades. The can- of a sepulchral chamber. I have found the 
delabra in this tomb of Caere are worthy of same also in Greek tombs in Sicily. 
particular notice, as they are depicted with 


the Greek character of the features, and the full faces of some 
of the males, are clear proofs of a late date a date certainly 
subsequent to the Roman conquest ; and this is confirmed by the 
presence of the Latin inscription. 5 This tomb faces the S.E. 

A painted tomb at Cervetri has peculiar interest, for this is the 
only site in Etruria where we have historical record of the exist- 
ence of ancient paintings. Pliny speaks of some extant in his 
day, which were vulgarly believed to have been executed prior to 
the foundation of Rome. 6 Those in this tomb can scarcely lay 
claim to a purely Etruscan antiquity. Another sepulchre, how- 
ever, was discovered some forty years since, which contained 
figures of men and animals in a very archaic style, bearing in 
their singular parti-coloured character much resemblance to those 
in the Grotta Canipana at Veii. The tomb is still open, and 
lies on the slope to the N. of Cervetri, and not far from the 
" Tomb of the Seats and Shields," but it is not easy to find, 
and is full of water in the winter. 7 

Traversing the long street of tombs and tumuli, at the N.E. 
extremity of the Banditaccia, next to a large tumulus with a 
circular, rock-hewn base, we reach the 


or " Tomb of the Reliefs," so called from its peculiar decora- 
tions. It was discovered in 1850 by the late Marchese Campana, 
and is entered by a long flight of steps sunk deep in the rock, the 
passage being lined with emplccton masonry. The entrance to 

5 For notices of this tomb see Bull. Inst. , close vest, shooting an arrow at a stag a 
1847, pp. 61, 97, and Canina, Etruria lion devouring a stag, while a second lion, 
Marit. vol. I. p. 194, tav. 63, 64. Canina squatting by, looked on a ram flying from 
calls it the " Tomba delle Pitture," and another lion and fragments of other 
ascribes it to the end of the Republic. animals, and of a second man with a bow. 

6 Plin. XXXV. 6. There was much truth and expression in 

7 The paintings in this tomb are said by the beasts, in spite of their unnatural 
Mr. Ainsley to be more archaic than any at parti-colouring. The only hues used in 
Tarquinii. A description of them has been this tomb are black, white, and red. The 
given by Kramer (Bull. Inst. 1834, pp. 97 face and legs of the archer were painted 
101), who represents them as of the white a singular fact, as that was the 
rudest character, painted on the bare porous conventional hue of women. The door- 
tufo, which has undergone no preparation, moulding was striped diagonally, as in 
not being even smoothed, to receive them. Egyptian architecture, with red, white, and 
The tomb was nearly elliptical, and had an black. Many of the above figures have 
upper and lower band of figures ; those in now disappeared, and unless some means, 
the lower were almost effaced ; but above, are taken to preserve then;, the rest will 
there was a man with pointed beard, and soon perish. Cf. Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 183. 

2,30 CEEVETEI. [CHAP. xxi. 

the passage is guarded by two lions of tufo, of life-size. This 
tomb resembles that of the Tarquins in its plan, being surrounded 
fry broad benches of rock, having a series of sepulchral recesses 
hollowed in its walls, and its roof supported by two similar pillars 
hewn from the living rock. But its interest is of a very different 
character. That of the former tomb lies in the historical associa- 
tions connected with the family there interred, and in its numerous 
epitaphs recording the name of Tarquin. The interest of this 
sepulchre, which belonged to an Etruscan family unknown to 
fame, lies in its singular and abundant decorations, in the 
numerous representations of Aveapons and other implements, 
generally domestic, sometimes religious, both sculptured and 
painted on its walls, pillars, and pilasters. In this particular it 
stands alone among the extant sepulchres of Etruria. 

It is of smaller size than the tomb of the Tarquins, being only 
iibout twenty-five feet in length, by twenty-one feet in width ; the 
height above the benches of rock on which the pillars rest being 
about seven feet. The roof, which is nearly flat, is carved into a 
broad beam and rafters. The benches which surround the cham- 
ber are not the usual narrow ledges projecting from the walls, 
but broad terraces of tufo, on which the dead were laid at right 
angles to the walls, the beds, of which there are thirty-two, being 
separated by narrow ridges left in the rock. Recessed in the 
wall above the benches are a number of horizontal niches, thir- 
teen in all, each for a body, and each with a rock-hewn pillow, 
painted deep red. These niches are separated by fluted pilasters, 
and each pilaster bears a shield carved in relief, having Ionic-like 
capitals, with lotus flowers pendent from the volutes. Above the 
niches runs a frieze, decorated with a series of weapons, offensive 
and defensive, all carved in high relief and coloured. Here are 
Basques, greaves, swords, shields, and double strings of large 
balls, apparently of stone, and probably the missiles used in 
slings. 8 Over the doorway, however, the weapons give place to 
two bulls' heads, bound with fillets, as if for sacrifice, and to a 
bronze patera suspended between them for the libation. To the 
left of the doorway also hangs a flat quadrangular dish represent- 
ing metal, probably for carrying meat, as it closely resembles the 

8 M. Xotil des Verges (Ktrurie et les received from the Etruscans. He draws 

Ktrusques, III. p. 2) takes them to be them in his plate as tassels, but to my eye 

the phalerce rnetal plaques used to de- they appeared to represent a number of 

corate the breasts of victorious heroes, or balls of large size, strung on a pair of stont 

ornaments used for the heads of horses ropes, the lowest ball being much the 

which Floras (I. 5) tells us the Romans largest. 


butcher's trays used now-a-days in Italy. On each jamb of the 
doorway hangs a large two-handled dish (lepastc), probably of 
metal, and beneath it a circular trumpet or horn. 9 Over the 
central niche in the inner wall, on the frieze are two shields 
flanking a helmet of peculiar form, and a sword suspended in its 
sheath. On the narrow cornice above this frieze are represented 
swords, some naked, others sheathed, between red and yellow 

In many of the sepulchral niches were found suits of bronze 
armour cuirass, helm, and greaves though the heroes who had 
worn them had long crumbled to dust, but in the central niche, 
which was evidently the post of honour, the skeleton of the 
warrior who occupied it still lay, when the tomb was opened, 
stretched in his metal shroud. The wall beneath him is carved 
with legs so as to resemble a couch, and under it is represented 
one of the mysterious divinities of the Etruscan Hades, Typhoii 
or Charun, bearing a rudder in his right hand and a snake in his 
left, while the serpent-coils, in which his body terminates, seem 
to float just above the liypopodium or low stool, the usual supple- 
ment to the banqueting-couch. Behind the stool stands Cerberus, 
his three heads painted of different colours, red, white, and black, 
and his neck bristling with a collar of snakes. To the left of 
this scene stands a square chest or closet, painted red and white, 
with a keyhole. On the pilasters, which flank the central niche, 
are represented two heads much defaced ; l one evidently repre- 
senting a bearded man; and beneath him hang a black kylix, and 
a red olpe. The other head is almost obliterated ; the face is 
quite gone, but, from a chaplet, some strings of red beads, and 
a circular fan suspended beneath it, we may infer that it repre- 
sented a woman. A walking-stick, on the other hand, resting 
against the couch, is hardh- in character with this inference. 
As this central niche contained two bodies, the busts on the 
pilasters were in all probability the portraits of the warrior and 
his wife. 

On all the side pilasters which separate the niches are shields 
in relief, painted yellow, as if to represent brass or gold of that 
circular Argolic form, which alone seems to have been used by 

9 The Kfpas which we learn from self, they appeared clearly to represent 

Athenseus (IV. 82) was invented by the heads in relief. The curly beard of the 

Etruscans. male head is most distinct. The other has 

1 M. Noel des Vergers represents these something tied round the throat in a knot, 

as hand-bags (Etrurie, III. pi. 2), but to as is often the case with female figures in 

Sir Gardner Wilkinson, as well as to my- Etruscan reliefs. 

254 CEUYErRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

the Etruscans, and which the Romans adopted, in preference to 
the square shield they had previously used. 

The two pillars in the centre of the tomb are about twenty inches, 
square, and have capitals akin to the Ionic, but with an anthcmion, 
or honeysuckle ornament, dependent from each volute, which 
gives them a singular though far from inelegant appearance. 
Two faces of each pillar are represented as hung with a variety 
of instruments, sacred and domestic, which demand a detailed 
description. On the pillar to the left, and on the side facing the 
door, you see hanging on nails, close under the capital, a pair of 
those mysterious twisted rods, which are represented only in two 
other monuments of Etruria -the procession of souls and demons 
on the walls of the Typhon-tomb at Corneto, and that beneath 
the portico of the Temple-tomb at Norchia. Their use was 
evidently religious, and their presence in this tomb probably 
indicates the interment of some augur or aruspex, or it may be of 
some Lucumo of high rank in the Etruscan hierarchy. These 
rods are coloured white and yellow, as if to represent wood. By 
their side hangs a leathern strap in several coils, probably a sling; 
and such may also be the coil of rope suspended below it near the 
base of the same pillar. On the other side of the rods hang a 
large olpe, or pitcher, and a stout stick or club suspended by a 
rope ; lower down an axe, and a long-bladed knife or sword, while 
at the foot of the pillar a spotted cat is sporting with a mouse. 

On the same pillar, but on the side opposite the other pillar, 
are suspended high up a long straight lituus, or trumpet, a painted 
kylix or drinking bowl, and a bottle hanging by a string round its. 
neck. Below hang a dagger in its sheath, a hand-bag of very 
modern appearance, with a small bottle and a plate hanging over 
it ; and a nondescript piece of furniture, more like a double lamp- 
bracket than anything else. At the base of the pillar a goose is 
picking up corn. 

On the other pillar we see suspended another pair of the twisted 
rods, and by their side a large disk or drum, hanging by a leathern 
strap. Below hang an axe, a wooden case or frame, holding a 
pair of knives, a bundle of seven long spits, strung and bound 
together, the counterpart of which, in bronze, may be seen in the 
Gregorian Museum, a mace, and a small pot like an inkstand ; 
and at the base of the pillar is a large globe, apparently of metal, 
resting on a wooden stand, which, from the short heavy mallet 
suspended by its side, we take to represent an Etruscan gong. 

On the inner face of the same pillar hangs a long broad tablet, 


with two handles, ruled as if to take an inscription. It is. 
flanked by a litnus, similar to that on the opposite pillar, and by 
what seems to be a spoon or ladle. On it hangs a small red bag, 
fastened with a long pin. Beneath it are suspended a pair of 
pincers, a mace, and a mallet, and between them is represented 
a duck. At the foot of the pillar are a tortoise, and a dog, with a 
bell round his neck, seizing a lizard. 

At the entrance to the tomb stand two marble dp pi, shaped 
like the hat of a Calabrese peasant, one of which bears the Etrus- 
can inscription 



In three of the niches also the name "Matunas " occurs, whence 
we may infer that the sepulchre belonged to a family of that 
name. 3 The tomb faces S.S.W. 

A little to the west of the Matunas tomb is another beneath a 
tumulus, which has a chamber on each side of the doorway, a 
spacious atrium, or central hall, with a flat roof supported by 
two decagonal pillars, with bastard Ionic capitals, and three 
inner chambers, with Etruscan doors, and small windows open- 
ing on the atrium. The roof is carved into beam and rafters, 
and the spaces between the latter are filled with diagonal patterns,, 
almost like chevrons. 

A short distance to the S. of the Tomb of the Reliefs, and' 
beneath a large tumulus, lies a sepulchre, called, from its peculiar 


or the "Tomb of the Seats and Shields." This tomb was dis- 
covered in 1834, but not having been preserved under lock 
and key, like most of those just described, it is now choked 
with rubbish, so as to be hardly accessible. Yet it is one 
of the most interesting sepulchres on the Banditaccia. It con- 
tains no less than six chambers, and from their arrangement 
and furniture, and from its manifest resemblance to an ancient 
house, we may regard it as a typical monument. The large 

For further notices of this curious Gardner Wilkinson, on "An Etruscan toml> 
tomb, see M. Noel des Vergers, Etrurie et at Cervetri." Ann. Inst. 1854, p. 58. 
les Etrusques, III. p. 1 3, pi. I. III. Sir 



[CHAP. xxr. 

chamber in the centre, marked c in the annexed plan, represents 
the atrium, the inner ones, marked/,/,/, the triclinia OTCubiciila; 
those outside the door marked c, c, the TruAwpia, or celluhe janitoris. 


The following is the explanation of the 
p'.an : 

a. Rock-hewn steps leading down to 

the tomb. 

b. The vestibule. 

c. c. Chambers on each side of the 


d. Doorway to the tomb. 

e. Principal chamber, or atrium. 

f. f, f. Inner chambers, or triclinia. 

<j, y, g. Entrances to the inner chambers. 
h, h. Windows to the same, cut in the 

i, i. Arm-chairs and foot-stools, hewn 

from the rock. 

I. Niche recessed in the wall, 

/t, k. Windows cut in the rock. 

The sepulchral benches which surround 
each chamber are here indicated ; some- 
times with a raised, ornamental head-piece. 

The shaded part of the plan represents 
the rock in which the tomb is hollowed. 

But the most singular feature of this tomb is two arm-chairs, 
with footstools attached, hewn from the living rock, and a shield 
carved in lew relief, suspended against the wall over each. On 

looking round the principal chamber, you perceive no fewer than 
fourteen similar shields represented in relief, hanging around the 
walls. They are circular, like Argolic shields, about a metre in 
diameter, and quite plain, without rim or boss. The above 
woodcut, which gives a section of the tomb, shows the chairs 


standing between the doors of the inner chambers, with the 
shields hanging above them. 3 


About one hundred paces from the " Tomb of the Beliefs," 
the Signori Boccanera in 1874 discovered a tomb of very small 
size, with a doorway only just large enough for a man to creep 
through, which, nevertheless, contained objects of rare interest. 
Lying, some on the rock-hewn benches, which flanked the tomb, 
some on the floor, were found five large tiles of terra-cotta, about 
40 inches long, by 22 wide, painted with figures of very archaic 
character, and which bore traces of having been originally 
attached to the walls as decorations, just as the chambers in 
the royal palace at Nimroud were lined with marble slabs covered 
with reliefs. Two bore the figure of a sphinx, and appeared to 
have been placed one on each side the doorway. The other three 
formed a continuous series, and seemed to have occupied the 
inner wall. 

The tomb is now closed, and has lost its interest. But the 
painted slabs are preserved in the Palazzo Ruspoli at Cervetri, 
where I saw them in June 1876, in the possession of the brothers 
Boccanera. As they were for sale, and the Italian government 
was then in treaty for the purchase, they will probably not long 
remain on the site of their discovery, but will pass into some 
native or foreign Museum. 

Though these paintings are of high antiquity, the colours retain 
their freshness in a remarkable degree. They are limited to red, 
yellow, black, and white. The sphinxes alone are somewhat 
faded. They stand facing each other, each with one fore paw 
raised, their flesh white, eyes, eyebrows, and hair, black, the 
latter falling loosely on their shoulders and deep bosoms. Their 
open wings raised behind their backs, with their tips curling up 
like elephants' trunks, have the feathers coloured alternately red, 
white, and black. 

The other three tiles bear three figures each, not more than 
half the height of the slab, which is ornamented above with a 
triple guilloche pattern in colours, and below the figures with a 

3 This tomb has been described and tav. 71) makes the mistake of placing 

delineated in Bull. Inst. 1834, p. 99. Ann. this tomb on the Monte d'Oro, near Ceri. 

Inst. 1835, p. 184. Mon. Ined. Inst. II. For further remarks on the shields, see 

tav. XIX. Canina (Etr. Mar. I. p. 197, the Appendix to this Chapter. 

VOL. I. S 

2oS CERVETBI. [CHAP. xxi. 

deep band composed of broad vertical stripes, red and white. Of 
the nine figures, seven are females, two males, distinguished, as 
in the painted tombs, by the flesh, which in the men is a deep 
red, in the women, white. The interpretation of the scene they 
represent is not clear. It is easier to say that it is not a banquet, 
nor a dance, nor public game, nor any such scene of festivity as 
was usually selected by the Etruscans to decorate their sepulchres 
and coffins ; nor is it a scene of mourning. It might represent a 
procession, were all the figures walking in the same direction. 
The nature of the scene not being intelligible, I can only describe 
the figures which compose it. 

The women are draped to their feet in red, white, or yellow 
chiton cs, and where the material represented is of very light 
texture, this character is expressed by black wavy lines, as in 
the woodcut at p. 262. Over the chiton they wear a mantle, red 
or black, sometimes covering the head, in which case the lady is 
depicted lifting it with one hand like a veil. Sometimes it hangs 
on her shoulders, and her long black hair descends in a mass 
below her waist. Their shoes with long sharp points, turned 
back at the toes, as in the earliest painted tombs of Corneto, are- 
red and black, in alternate figures ; two wear buskins like the 
men; and one is bare-footed. Three of them carry vases of 
different kinds in their hands, and two hold branches of pome- 
granates. The men, who stand together, conversing, have short 
hair and pointed beards. One wears a black cap and mantle, 
and holds a red bough. The other, whose head is covered with 
a sharp pointed petasus, wears a black pallium over a white tunic, 
and carries in one hand a chaplet, and in the other a long wand 
tipped by the figure of a small bull. Both have buskins reaching 
half way up the leg, where they are fastened by large buttons ; 
as shown in the woodcut at p. 261. These male figures are thick- 
limbed and clumsy, their muscular development exaggerated but 
not detailed, and their knee-caps distinctly though conventionally 
expressed. 4 

These paintings evidently belong to the infancy of Etruscan 
art. The clumsiness and extreme rigidity of the figures, the 

4 An elaborate and able article on these female sex seems to be clearly indicated by 

tile-paintings will be found in the Bull, their white flesh, to be young men, and 

Inst. 1874, pp. 128-136, from the pen of infers, from their carrying branches of 

Signer E. Hrizio. He puts an interpreta- pornegr mates, that they are making love to 

tion on the scene, which, in my opinion, it one of the women, who accepts their 

will hardly bear. He views in it a love- advances, while she rejects the attentions of 

scene ; taking two of the figures, whose the two bearded men. 


very archaic though careful design, the utter want of expression, 
the limited scale of colour, the incapacity of the artist to delineate 
active movements, and even to express the folds of drapery, 
though conscientiously indicating those details which were within 
his power, all mark these paintings as among the most primitive 
works of Etruscan pictorial art yet brought to light. 

But these painted slabs are not unique. In 1856, the Marchese 
Campana disinterred at Cervetri, six tiles of very similar cha- 
racter, which, on the breaking up of his collection at Rome, were 
transferred to the Louvre. A few years afterwards, another 
series of painted terra-cottas, said also to have been dug up at 
Cervetri, appeared in the market at Rome. But these were 
eventually pronounced to be fabrications, and the knowledge of 
that fact naturally threw suspicion on those of the Campana 
collection, and also on those from the Boccanera scavi, when 
their discovery was first made known. But these latter, while 
they confirm the doubts as to the second batch, vindicate the 
genuineness of the first ; for the similarity between the two series 
in style, design, colouring, ornamentation, and general treatment, 
though not in subject, is so striking, that it is impossible to 
doubt their equal antiquity, and difficult to believe they are not 
by the same hand. 

Not being able to procure copies of the quaint and curious tiles 
now at Cervetri, I offer for the reader's inspection, faithful tran- 
scripts of those in the Louvre. These, like the Boccanera 
series, were the decorations of a single tomb. 

The principal scene is composed of three tiles, each about four 
feet long by two wide. In the centre is a lofty altar, built up 
with blocks of various colours, disposed chequer-wise, and carved 
into architectural forms, among which the torus and owl's beak 
moulding repeatedly occur. Behind the altar rises a slender 
column, supporting a large bowl, or it may be a capital of pecu- 
liar form, and doubtless indicating the temple, before which the 
altar stands. By the altar, on which a fire is burning, stands 
a man, beardless,- and with short hair, and wearing nothing 
but a close-fitting yellow vest, and black boots. He rests one 
hand on the altar and raises the other to his face, as if he were 
smelling the incense. Behind him, and on the next tile, 
stand three figures, two of men, clad in like fashion, in tight 
vests, in one case, red, in the other, white, and in similar boots ; 
both are bearded, have a chaplet over their brows, and wear their 
hair long and loose upon their shoulders. Both are armed, one 

s 2 

260 CERVETRI. [CHAP. xxi. 

.with bow and arrows, the other with a spear. Between them 
stands a woman, distinguished hy her white flesh, with her hair 
reaching to her waist, and draped to her heels in a white chiton, 
over which she wears a yellow tunic reaching to her knees, and 
over all a red mantle with ornamented border. Her shoes are 
yellow. She carries, what, but for its red colour, would be pro- 
nounced a branch, or a chaplet of leaves. Each of these figures 
lias one hand raised, as if in adoration. The procession was 
continued on another tile, but as it is imperfect, I omit a descrip- 
tion of the figures upon it. 5 

The tile to the right presents a singular scene. The figures 
already described are standing still or moving slowly towards 
the altar, but those on this tile are rushing at full speed towards 
it. The foremost is clad like the other men, and carries a bow 
and arrows. He who follows also resembles the rest in his 
costume, though he has no beard, but the parti-coloured wings 
at his shoulders and heels, mark him as no creature of flesh 
and blood, but as a genius or demon of the Etruscan mythology 
one of those spirits so frequently introduced 011 sepulchral 
monuments into scenes of death and destruction. As he rushes 
to the altar he bears in his arms the body of a woman, who from 
her helpless attitude, and her arms swaddled beneath her mantle, 
either represents a corpse, or is intended for a victim. 

The sacrifice of Iphigenia, a favourite subject on Etruscan 
urns of late date, is naturally suggested by this scene. But to 
this interpretation it may be objected that the art is here so 
purely Etruscan, so entirely free from all Hellenic influence, 
that it would be an anomaly to regard it as the representation 
of a Greek myth. " These figures," says Dr. Brunn, 6 " are 
Etruscans of the purest blood, not ideal but real, so far as the 
style of that remote epoch permitted them to be represented." 
The man at the altar, again, has none of the attributes of a 
priest, not even a beard, and is the least imposing figure of the 

On a fourth tile, belonging to the same series, although it does 
not fit on to the others, two grey-headed men are sitting, face to 
face, on folding-stools, each dressed in a long white tunic of 
some light material, covered l>y a red mantle. One, who holds a 

5 The said tile in all probability originally opposite sexes, now remain, and that of the 

contained three figures, but it has been woman is mutilated, 

reduced in width, apparently to fit it into 6 Ann. Inst. 1859, p. 334. 
a narrow space, so that two figures only, of 



[CHAP. xxi. 

wand, appears to be talking on some serious subject to the other, 
whose attitude, as he rests his chin on his right hand, is expres- 
sive of meditation, or of profound grief. The small female 
winged figure in the air behind him, with one hand stretched 


out towards him, evidently represents a soul, as we learn from 
analogous scenes on other Etruscan monuments, and may justly 
be taken for the soul of the woman w r ho is borne away by the 
winged demon, and who was probably the wife or daughter of the 
sorrowful old man, and we may infer that it is for her loss that 
his friend is endeavouring to console him. 

The fifth tile does not belong to the same series, for it differs 
from the rest in dimensions and decorations ; yet it was found in 




the same tomb, and was painted apparently by the same hand. 
It represents a man in a white shirt, covered by a brown tunic, 
sitting, wand in hand, on a plicatilis, or folding-stool, in front of 
an altar or pedestal, not unlike that already described, on which 


stands, with open arms, the image of a goddess, with tittulus and 
ampyx on her head, and white talaric chiton, with a brown tunic 
over it, open in front, and girdled round her waist. At the foot of 
the altar a snake is seen approaching the leg of the sitting figure, 
which has given rise to the suggestion that he may represent 
Philoctetes in the island of Lenmos. 7 This view, however, is 

" Ann. Inst. 1857, pp. 251, 359. But 
pbiloctetes would be represented with the 

bow and arrows of Hercules, and not with 
a wand or sceptre. 

264 CEBVETBI. [CHAP. xxi. 

difficult of acceptation, for the reasons already assigned, and he 
more probably is merely the priest of the unknown divinity, and 
the serpent, like the wand, is one of his attributes. 8 

A glance is enough to satisfy one as to the high antiquity of 
these paintings. It will be remarked that the figures show none 
of the anatomical development so ostentatiously exhibited in 
many of the early wall-paintings of Etruria. The artist has 
contented himself with marking out, which he has done with 
decision and purit}', the bald outlines of his figures, merely ex- 
pressing in some cases the rounding of the hip, and in a conven- 
tional manner the prominence of the knee-pan, and elbow, and 
indicating the nails. Nor in the drapery has he attempted to 
represent folds, save by thin wav} r lines, where the material is- 
either \vool, or of a very thin texture. Yet in every part the 
desire to delineate nature with fidelity, so far as lay within the 
limits of .his ability, is most apparent. His ability, however, did 
not enable him to design with correctness the human figure in 
motion. Everything indicates a very imperfect knowledge of 
his art. In point of antiquity, indeed, these painted tiles of 
Cervetri are pronounced by the most competent judges, to be 
second only to the very archaic wall-pictures of the Grotta 
Campana at Veii, and anterior to all the other tomb-paintings of 
Etruria. 9 

The colours are indelible, being burnt in with the tiles. The 
ground is w r hite, and the flesh of the women, and the parts of the 
dresses and furniture which are of that hue, are left untouched. 
The other colours used are black, red, brown (a mixture of the two), 
and yellow. No blue, or green, is introduced, probably from the 
inability at that early age to produce pigments of those hues. 


The sepulchre at Cervetri which has most renown, and possesses 
the greatest interest from its high antiquity, its peculiar structure, 
and the extraordinary nature and value of its contents, is that 
which has received the name of its discoverers, the archpriest 
Regulini, and General Galassi. This is one of the very few 

8 For the part that serpents were made 9 Helbig thinks they are separated by 

to play by the priesthood of Etruria, see a long space of time from the Yeientine 

p. 331. An interesting analysis of the paintings. Ann. Inst. 1863, p. 341. Brunu 

scenes on these tiles is given by H. Brunn, admits an interval, but does not think it 

Ann. Jnst. 1859, pp. 325353. a wide one. Ann. Inst. 1866, p. 423. 




virgin-tombs, found in Etruscan cemeteries. It was opened in 
April 1836. It lies about three furlongs from Cervetri, to the 
south-west of the ancient city, and not far from the walls. It is 
said to have been inclosed in a tumulus, but the mound was so 
large, and its top has been so broken by frequent excavations, 
and levellings of the soil for agricultural purposes, that its 
existence is now mere matter of history. 

The sepulchre opens in a low bank in the middle of a field. 
The peculiarity of its construction is evident at a glance. It is a 
rude attempt at an 
arch, formed by the 
convergence of hori- 
zontal strata, hewn to 
a smooth surface, and 
slightly curved, so as 
to resemble a Gothic 
arch. This is not, 
however, carried up 
to a point, but termi- 
nates in a square 
channel, covered by 
large blocks ofnenfro. 
The doorway is the 
index to the whole 
tomb, which is a mere passage, about sixty feet long, constructed 
on the same principle, and lined with masonry. 1 This passage 
is divided into two parts or chambers, communicating by a door- 
way of the same Gothic form, with a truncated top. 3 

The similarity of the structure to the Cyclopean gallery at 
Tir} r ns is striking ; the masonry, it is true, is far less massive ,. 


1 The masonry is of rectangular blocks of 
red tufo, containing large nodules ; in the 
outer chamber, small and irregular, the 
courses, which are not always horizontal, 
being from 12 to 15 inches deep ; in the 
inner it is of more massive dimensions. 

2 The outer chamber is 33 feet, the 
inner 24-J- feet long, and the thickness of 
the partition-wall, 3 feet ; making the en- 
tire length 60 feet. The inner doorway 
is 6j feet high and 44 wide at the bottom, 
narrowing upward to 1 foot at the top. 
Similar passage-tombs have been found 
elsewhere in this necropolis, especially in 
that part called Zambra (Bull. Inst. 1840, 

p. 133), as well as at Palo and Selva la 
Rocca. Tombs of this passage-form are 
generally of high antiquity. These bear 
an evident re'ation to the Treasuries of 
Mycenae and Or homenos, and to the= 
Nurhags or Nuraghe of Sardinia and the- 
Talajots of the Balearics, in as far as they 
are roofed in on the same principle. And 
they are probably of not inferior antiquity. 
Like the Nuraghe they may with good 
reason be regarded as the work of the 
Tyrrhene-Pelasgi. The Druidical barrows. 
of our own country sometimes contain 
passage-formed sepulchres like these of 



[CHAP. xxi. 

but the style is identical, showing a rude attempt at an arch, the 
true principle of which had yet to be discovered. It is generally 
admitted, not only that such a mode of construction must be 
prior to the discovery of the perfect arch, but that every extant 
specimen of it must have preceded the knowledge of the correct 
principle. It is a mode not peculiar to one race, or to one age, 
or the result of a particular class of materials, but is the expe- 
dient naturally adopted in the formation of arches, vaults, and 
domes, by those who are ignorant of the cuneiform principle ; 
and it is therefore to be found in the earliest structures of Egypt, 
Greece, Italy, and other parts of the Old World, as well as in 
those of the semi -civilised races of the New. 3 The Cloaca 
Maxima, which is the earliest known instance of the perfect arch 
in Italy, dates from the days of the Tarquins ; this tomb then 
must be considered as of a remoter period, coeval at least with 
the earliest days of Home prior, it may be, to the foundation of 
the City. 4 

The great antiquity of this tomb may be deduced also from its 
contents, which were of the most archaic, Egyptian-like cha- 

3 Stephens' Yucatan, I. p. 429, et seq. 
Tliis traveller's description and illustrations 
show the remarkable analogy between these 
American pseud o- vaults and those of an- 
cient Europe. The sides of the arch in 
certain of these vaults are hewn to a 
smooth curved surface, as in the Regu- 
lini tomb, and terminate not in a point, 
but in a square head, formed by the im- 
position of -flat blocks ; the peculiarity 
consists in the courses being often almost 
at right angles with the line of the arch, 
.showing a near approach to the cuneiform 

4 Canina (Cere Antica, p. 80) refers it.s 
construction to the Pelasgi, or earliest in- 
habitants of Agylla, and assigns to it and 
its contents an antiquity of not less than 
3000 years, making it coeval with the 
Trojan war. lie says it can be determined 
that precisely in the reign of Tarquinius 
Priscus, the change in the mode of con- 
.structiug the arch was effected in Home, 
for Tarquin introduced the style from Tar- 
quinii. Uut though we were absolutely 
certain that Tarquin built the Cloaca 
Maxima, we have no authority for deter- 
mining when the first true arch was 
erected in Home. The principle may, for 
aught we know, have been known and 

practised at an earlier period. At any 
rate, it is highly probable that it had 
been known in Etruria some time before 
the construction of the Cloaca Maxima, 
and if at Tarquinii whence Tarquiu mi- 
grated, why not at Ca^re, a neighbouring 
city belonging to the same people ? As 
regards this tomb all are agreed on its very 
high antiquity. Even Micali, who sees 
everything in a more modern light than 
most archaeologists, admits that the style 
of architecture shows it to be prior to the 
foundation of Rome (Mon. Ined. p. 359). 
Canina is of opinion that the tomb in its 
original state was surmounted by a small 
tumulus, but that after the arrival of the 
Lydians, another tumulus of much larger 
size was constructed .about it, of which it 
formed a part ; traces of such a second 
tumulus having been found in an encircling 
basement of masonry and several chambers 
hollowed in the rock below the original 
tomb, and that the piling up of the earth 
around the latter was the means of pre- 
serving it intact from those who in ages 
past rifled the rest of the sepulchral 
mound. This has been pronounced by an 
able critic, to be "a sagacious analysis." 
Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 172. 




racter. 5 Scarcely any pottery, and none painted, was found here ; 
but numerous articles of bronze, silver, and gold, so abundant, so 
quaint, and so beautiful, that it is verily no easy task to describe 
them. I shall here do little more than specify the position which 
they occupied in the tomb. 

In the outer chamber, at the further end, lay a bier of bronze, 
formed of narrow cross-bars, Avith an elevated place for the head. 
The corpse which had lain on it, had long since fallen to dust. By 


its side stood a small four- wheeled car, or tray, of bronze, with a 
basin-like cavity in the centre, the whole bearing, in form and 
size, a strong resemblance to a dripping-pan ; though ornamented 
in a way that would hardly become that homely instrument. On 
the other side of the bier lay some forty little earthenware 
figures; probably the Lares of the deceased, who certainly was 
no worshipper of beauty. At the head and foot of the bier 
stood a small iron altar on a tripod, which may have served to do 
homage to these household gods. At the foot of the bier also lay 
a bundle of darts, and a shield ; and several more shields rested 
against the opposite wall. All were of bronze, large and round 
like the Greek aanris, and beautifully embossed, but apparently 

Lepsius, no mean authority on Egyp- 
tian matters, remarks the evident imitation 
of Egyptian forms (Ann. Inst. 1836, p. 

187). The ordinary observer would not 
hesitate to pronounce the figures on some 
of the vessels to be purely Egyptian. 

268 CEEVETBI. [CHAP. xxi. 

for ornament alone, as the metal was too thin to have been of 
service in the field. Nearer the door stood a four-wheeled car, 
which, from its size and form, seemed to have borne the bier to 
the sepulchre. And just within the entrance stood, on iron 
tripods, a couple of caldrons, with a number of curious handles 
terminating in griffons' heads, 6 together with a singular vessel a 
paii 1 of bell-shaped vases, united by a couple of spheres. 7 Besides 
these articles of bronze, there was a series of vessels suspended 
by bronze nails from each side of the recess in the roof. 8 The 
caldrons, dripping-pan, and bell-vessel, are supposed to have 
contained perfumes, or incense, for fumigating the sepulchre. 

This tomb had evidently contained the bod}^ of a warrior ; but 
to whom had the inner chamber belonged? The intervening 
doorway was closed with masonry to half its height, and in it 
stood two more pots of bronze, and against each door-post hung 
a vessel of pure silver. There were no urns in this chamber, but 
the vault was hung with bronze vessels, and others were sus- 
pended on each side the entrance. Further in, stood two bronze 
caldrons for perfumes, as in the outer chamber : and then, at the 
end of the tomb, on no couch, bier, or sarcophagus, not even on 
a rude bench of rock, but on the bare ground, 9 lay a corpse ? 
no, for it had ages since returned to dust, but a number of gold 
ornaments, whose position showed most clearly that, when placed 
in the tomb, they were upon a human bod} r . The richness, 
beauty, and abundance of these articles, all of pure gold, were 
amazing such a collection, it has been said, "would not be 
found in the shop of a well-furnished goldsmith." 1 There w T ere, 
a head-dress of singular character a large breastplate, beauti- 
fully embossed, such as was worn by Egyptian priests a finely 

6 Similar to this must have been the been mistaken for them. Bull. Inst. 
brass krater dedicated to Juno by Cokeus, 1836, p. 58 Wolff. But admitting that 
the Samian, out of the profits of his sue- there were really nails, it is far more pro- 
cessful voyage to Tartessus, about 630 B.C., bable that they served to support pottery 
for Herodotus describes it as having griffons' or other sepulchral furniture, than a lining 
heads set in a row around it ; IV. 152. of metal, seeing it is now generally, be- 

7 Much like that shown at page 275. lieved that the so-called "Treasuries" of 

8 The nails thus supporting crockery or Greece were no other than tombs, 
bronzes in Etruscan tombs, throw light on 9 Canina (Cere Ant. p. 75) states that 
the use of them in the so-called Treasury the floor under the corpse, in both tombs, 
of Atreus, at Mycense, where they have waspavedwithstonesembeddedincewen* 
long been supposed to have fastened the sdci collegati in calcc an unique feature, 
plates of bronze with which it was ima- and worthy of particular notice in con- 
gined the walls were lined. It has been nection with the very remote antiquity of 
suggested, however, that no nails ever the tomb. 

existed in that celebrated Thesaurus, but * Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 60. 

that certain nodules in the blocks have 




twisted chain, and a necklace of very long joints earrings of 
great length a pair of massive bracelets of exquisite filagree- 
work, no less than eighteen fibula or brooches, one of remark- 
able size and beaut}- sundry rings, and fragments of gold fringes 
and lamina, in such quantities, that there seemed to have been 
an entire garment of pure gold. It is said that the fragments of 
this metal crushed and bruised, were alone sufficient to fill more 
than one basket. 2 Against the inner wall lay two vessels of 
silver, with figures in relief. 3 

This abundance of ornament has led to the conclusion that the 
occupant of this inner chamber was a lady of rank a view con- 
firmed by the inscriptions found in the tomb. 4 But may it not 
have been a priest with equal probability ? The breastplate is 
far more like a sacerdotal than a feminine decoration ; and the 
other ornaments, if worn by a man, would simply mark an 
oriental character, 5 and would be consistent enough with the 
strong Egyptian style observable in many of the contents of this 
sepulchre. 6 

2 Bull. Inst. loc. cit. Though this de- 
scription is somewhat vague, it conveys the 
idea of the great abundance of this metal, 
which was found crushed beneath a mass of 
fallen masonry. 

3 A silver vessel of precisely similar 
character has since been found at Pales- 
trina. Ann. Inst. 1866, p. 208. 

4 Canina, Cere Antica, p. 76. Cavedoni, 
Bull. Inst. 1S43, p. 46. The inscriptions 
were on several of the silver vessels, and 
consisted merely of the female name 
"LARTHIA," or "Mi LARTHIA," in Etrus- 
can characters. This was conjectured to 
signify the proprietor of these vessels, who, 
it was concluded, was also the occupant of 
the tomb. Larthia is the feminine of Lar, 
Lars, or Larth, as it is variously written. 

5 The necklace appears too massive and 
clumsy for a woman's neck ; and we have 
abundant proof in sarcophagi and painted 
tombs that such ornaments were worn also 
tiy men ; fibulce would be applicable to either 
sex ; earrings were not inappropriate to 
Etruscan dignitaries, as we learn from the 
sarcophagus of the " Sacerdote " in the 
Museum of Corneto ; and bracelets of gold, 
we are taught by the old legend of Tarpeia, 
to regard as the common ornaments of 
Sabine soldiers in very early times. And 
though Niebuhr (I. p. 226) has pronounced 

these golden decorations of the Sabines to 
have had no existence, save in the imagina- 
tion of the poet who sang the lay, the 
discoveries made since his day, especially 
in Etruscan tombs, prove the abundance of 
gold ornaments in very early times, and 
also their warlike application ; so that 
whatever improbability there be in the 
story, arises merely from its inconsistency 
with the simple, hardy manners of the 
Sabines. Yet even here, the analogy of 
the golden torques of the rude and warlike 
Gauls might be cited in support of the 

Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 60) thinks the, 
breastplate andfibulce, from their fragility, 
were evidently mere sepulchral decorations ; 
and the bracelets show a funereal subject 
a woman attacked by lions, and rescued by 
two winged genii which he interprets as 
the soul freed from the power of evil spirits 
by the intervention of good. It may be re- 
marked that the form of this tomb is that 
prescribed by Plato (Leg. XII. p. 947, ed. 
Steph.) for Greek priests "a grave 
under ground, a lengthened vault of choice 
stones, hard and imperishable, and having 
parallel couches of rock." The benches 
alone are here wanting. 

6 Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 62) is of opinion 
that this, and the Isis-tomb of Vulci, con- 

270 CERVETEI. [CHAP. xxr. 

On each side of the outer passage was a small circular, domed 
chamber, hewn in the rock, one containing an urn with burnt 
bones, and a number of tcrra-cotta idols ; the other, pottery, and 
vessels of bronze. These chambers seem of later formation. 
Canina indeed is of opinion that the inner chamber alone was the 
original tomb ; that the outer, then serving as a mere passage, 
was subsequently used as a burial place, and that, at a still later 
period, the side-chambers were constructed. 7 

All this roba, so rich and rare, has been religiously preserved, 
but he who would see it, must seek it, not on the spot where it 
had lain for so many centuries, but at the Gregorian Museum at 
Home, of which it forms one of the chief glories. That revolving 
cabinet of jewellery, whose treasures of exquisite workmanship 
excite the enthusiastic admiration of all fair travellers, is occupied 
almost wholl}' with the produce of this tomb. The depository 
which has yielded this wealth, now contains nought but mud, 
slime, and serpents the genii of the spot. It has been gutted of 
its long-hoarded treasure, and may now take its fate. Who is 
there to give it a thought ? None save the peasant, who will ere 
long find its blocks handy for the construction of his hovel, or 
the fence of his vineyard, as he has already found a quarry of 
materials in neighbouring tumuli ; and the sepulchre, which may 
have greeted the e} r es of JEneas himself, will leave not a wreck 
behind. Much of the masonry of the inner chamber has been 
already removed, and the whole threatens a speedy fall. Surely 
a specimen of a most ancient and rare st3"le of architecture has 
public claims for protection, as well as the works of the early 
painters, or the figures of bronze, clay, or stone, which are pre- 
served in museums as specimens of the infancy of their respective 
arts. Were its position such as to render it difficult to preserve, 
there would be some excuse for neglect, but when a wooden door 
with lock and key would effect its salvation, it is astonishing that 
it is suffered to fall into ruin. 8 

tain the earliest monuments of Etruscan these silver vases as importations from the 
primitive art, as it existed before it had East, and probably from Cyprus, which 
been subjected to Hellenic influence. He would explain their mixed Asiatic and 
considers the silver vessels to show perfect Egyptian character. Ann. Inst. 1866, 
imitations of the Asiatic or Egyptian style p. 413. 
of ornamentation ; yet with all this, to ' Cere Ant. pp. 75, 78. 
have the stamp of nationality so strongly 8 The above was written in 1847. I 
marked, as to distinguish them altogether was grieved on a recent visit (June, 1876} 
from purely Egyptian works. Dr. Brunn, to find that nothing has yet been done to 
on the other hand, from the analogy of a save this curious monument from de- 
similar vase in the Louvre, regards all struction. The outer chamber is choked 



Another tomb, of precisely similar construction, was found 
near the one just described ; but, having been rifled in past ages, 
it contained nothing but an inscription rudely scratched on the 
wall. 9 

At the same time with the Begulini-Galassi tomb, several 
others were opened in the neighbourhood ; in one of which was. 


found a relic of antiquity, insignificant enough in itself, but of 
high interest for the light it throws on the early languages of 
Italy. It is a little cruet-like vase, of plain black ware, a few 
inches high, and from its form has not unaptly been compared to- 
an ink-bottle. What may have been its original application is 

with debris, and in the inner the lower 
courses have been carried off, and the 
upper overhang in such a manner, that the 
whole structure appears on the point of 

For the foregoing description of the 
contents of this tomb and their arrange- 
ment, I am indebted to Canina, Cere 
Antica, parte terza ; Braun, Bull. Inst. 
1836, pp. 5662 ; 1838, p. 173. Canina 
in his later work, Etruria Marittima, gives 

a plan, and mimerous illustrations of this, 
tomb and its contents, tav. 50 59. Grifi, 
in his Monumenti di Cere Antica, endea- 
vours to prove from the contents of this 
tomb the oriental, and especially Mithraic, 
character of the Etruscan worship. 

9 Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 62. The writer 
does not mention in what characters was 
this inscription, though he says it was 
not worth copying ! I could not learn if 
the tomb is still open. 



[CHAP. xxi. 

not easy to say ; probably for perfumes, as it resembles the 
alabastos in form ; or it may have served as an ink-stand, to 
hold the colouring-matter for inscriptions. Whatever its pur- 
pose, it has no obvious relation to a sepulchre, for round its base 
is an alphabet, in very ancient characters, shown in the bottom 
line of the subjoined fac -simile ; and round the body of the pot 
the consonants are coupled with the vowels in turn, in that 
manner so captivating to budding intelligences. Thus we read 
"Bi, Ba, Bu, Be Gi, Ga, Gu, Ge Zi, Za, Zu, Ze Hi, Ha, 
Hu, He Thi, Tha, Tim, The Mi, Ma, Mu, Me Ni, Na, Nu, 
Ne-Pi, Pa, Pu, Pe Ki, Ka, Ku, Ke Si, Sa, Su, Se Chi, 
Cha, Chu, Che Phi, Pha, Phu, Phe Ti, Ta, Tu, Te." Now, 
it must be observed, that this inscription, though found in an 
Etruscan tomb, is not in that character, but in Greek, of very 
-archaic style ; 1 and there is every reason to believe it a relic of 
the earliest possessors of Crere, the Pelasgi, who are said to have 
introduced letters into Latium. 2 From the palaeograph}', this is 
indubitably the most ancient monument extant which teaches us 
the early Greek alphabet, and its authentic arrangement. 3 This 
singular relic has now past from the hands of General Galassi, its 
original possessor, into the Gregorian Museum of the Vatican. 

1 The difference between this alphabet 
and the genuine Etruscan one, found on 
a vase at Bomarzo, is very apparent. See 
the fac-simile at p. 172. That has but 
twenty letters, this twenty-five, and both 
in their form and collocation there are \vide 
differences. That has the Etruscan pecu- 
liarity of running from right to left. In 
Greek letters this alphabet would be thus 
expressed : A, B, T, A, E, F (the di- 
gamma), Z, H (the ancient aspirate), 0, I, 
K, A, M (this is the letter effaced), N, H, 
O, O (koppa>, n, P, 2, T, T, X, *, . It 
will be remarked that the same force has 
not been assigned, to certain of thesa 
letters where they occur in the primer, and 
the reader will be ready to dispute my 
accuracy. Let him break a lance then 
with Professor Lepsius, who is my au- 
thority, and who gives his views of this 
inscription in the Ann. Inst. 1836, pp. 

2 Solinus, Polyhist. cap. VIII. 

3 The letters here are of the most archaic 
forms known, some of them strongly re- 
sembling the Phoenician ; and the presence 
of the rau and the koppa, and the want of 

the eta and omeya, establish the high an- 
tiquity of the pot. There are some singular 
features to be remarked. The arrangement 
of the letters in the alphabet does not cor- 
respond with that in the primer, and in 
both it differs from that generally received. 
The vowels in the primer are placed in an 
order entirely novel, and which is at 
variance with that of the alphabet. There 
is a curious instance of pcntimcnto or altera- 
tion in the fourth line. Some of the 
characters, moreover, have new and strange 
forms, and their force appears doubtful. 
I have given that assigned to them by 
Le{ sius, who has eruditely discussed the 
paleography of this inscription. Notwith- 
standing its Greek or Pelasgic character, 
there are circumstances which seem to 
betray that it was scratched by an Etruscan 
hand. For evidences of this, I refer the 
curious reader to the said article by Lepsius, 
merely mentioning that this inscription 
bears a strong affinity to an alphabet and 
primer inscribed on the walls of an Etruscan 
tomb at Colle, near Volterra. (See Chapter 


Another small black pot, found by Gen. Galassi in the same 
excavations, has an inscription similarly scratched around it, and 
then filled in with red paint, which Professor Lepsius determines 
to be also in the Pelasgic, not the Etruscan, character and 
language. The letters are not separated into words, but run in 
a continuous line round the pot. Lepsius thus divides them 


and remarks that "he who is so inclined may easily read them 
as two hexameter lines, after the manner of the old Greek 
dedicatory inscriptions." Though he pronounces that in this 
inscription we possess one of the very rare relics of the Pelasgic 
tongue, he regards the date of it as uncertain, as lie conceives 
that the population of Caere remained Pelasgic to a late period. 4 

The high ground to the east of Caere, on the opposite side of 
the Yaccina, is called Monte Abatone. This Canina 5 regards as 
the site of the sacred grove of Silvanus, described by Virgil, 6 

Est ingens gelidum lucus prope Caeritis amnem, 
Religions patrum late sacer : undique colles 
Inclusere cavi, et nigra nemus abiete cingunt. 
Silvano fama est veteres sacrasse Pelasgos ; 

and thinks that its name is derived from the fir-trees abides 
which are said by that poet to have surrounded the grove. 7 

4 See the above-cited article by Lepsius, " Cavaliere P. E. Visconti (Ant. Monum. 
where the inscription is given in its proper Sepolc. di Ceri, p. 17) would derive it from 
characters ; and his more recent remarks aftaTov a spot sacred, not to be trodden 
in his pamphlet, " Ueber die Tyrrhenis- on the ground that this was the name 
chen Pelasger in Etrurien,