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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER IX - Art and Science


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Page 49

North Etruscan and South Etruscan Art

But even within Etruria there appears a further remarkable distinction in artistic development between the southern and northern districts. It is South Etruria, particularly in the districts of Caere, Tarquinii, and Volci, that has preserved the great treasures of art which the nation boasted, especially in frescoes, temple decorations, gold ornaments, and painted vases. Northern Etruria is far inferior; no painted tomb, for example, has been found to the north of Chiusi.

The most southern Etruscan cities, Veii, Caere, and Tarquinii, were accounted in Roman tradition the primitive and chief seats of Etruscan art; the most northerly town, Volaterrae, with the largest territory of all the Etruscan communities, stood most of all aloof from art While a Greek semi-culture prevailed in South Etruria, Northern Etruria was much more marked by an absence of all culture. The causes of this remarkable contrast may be sought partly in differences of nationality--South Etruria being largely peopled in all probability by non-Etruscan elements(42)--partly in the varying intensity of Greek influence, which must have made itself very decidedly felt at Caere in particular.

42. Cf. I. IX. Settlements of the Etruscans in Italy

The fact itself admits of no doubt. The more injurious on that account must have been the early subjugation of the southern half of Etruria by the Romans, and the Romanizing--which there began very early--of Etruscan art. What Northern Etruria, confined to its own efforts, was able to produce in the way of art, is shown by the copper coins which essentially belong to it.

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