History of the Etruscan Culture: the First Great Italian Civilization


Kelly Macquire
published on 26 June 2021

The Etruscans, who knew themselves as the Rasenna, were a culture that flourished in central Italy in the region of Etruria between the 8th and the 3rd century BCE. They are first mentioned by the Greek writer Hesiod in the 8th century BCE and were the first great Italian civilization before the Romans. They were a major trading entity in the Mediterranean, and in the ancient world, they were renowned for their mineral resources. Although much of the Etruscan culture and history was obliterated or absorbed by the Romans, many Etruscan tombs and their contents, wall paintings, and Roman adoption of Etruscan material and religious culture have survived. The Etruscans lived in independent city-states, linked only by their common language, religion, and general culture. This means that art, governmental and architectural developments happened at different times in each city, since they were working autonomously.

In central Italy during the Iron Age, a culture began to develop in around 1100 BCE, and they have been called the Villanovan culture. These peoples were actually what we know as the Etruscan culture in their early form. The lack of evidence showing that there was warfare in the region, or migration of new peoples, suggest that the Villanovan people never left, and the Etruscan people never arrived, but they are one and the same.

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/history-of-the-etruscan-culture-the-first-great-italian-civilization-images-and-attributions-5269

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

Yann Forget
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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2021, June 26). History of the Etruscan Culture: the First Great Italian Civilization. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2590/history-of-the-etruscan-culture-the-first-great-it/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "History of the Etruscan Culture: the First Great Italian Civilization." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 26, 2021. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2590/history-of-the-etruscan-culture-the-first-great-it/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "History of the Etruscan Culture: the First Great Italian Civilization." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 26 Jun 2021. Web. 15 Jun 2024.