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VoloNoscere OP t1_ivk4uor wrote

The discovery of more than 2000-year-old bronze statues in the Tuscany region represents a key finding that could change our understanding of the transition from Etruscan civilization to the Roman Empire. Discovered in a hot spring, the statues are preserved thanks to the mud. In addition to the statues, more than 5,000 silver and gold coins were discovered.


FateEntity t1_ivljhw7 wrote

Could you elaborate, please, what this changes or why is such a big find? For those of us who don't know much about this kind of stuff.


loups t1_ivlkux0 wrote

As far as I could tell from the article the statues had both Etruscan and Roman inscriptions, and shows that the elites of both nations prayed together even though they warred.


Fatshortstack t1_ivm4k6t wrote

I though this was well known.


MagicCuboid t1_ivma10q wrote

It was, Livy wrote about it 2000 years ago lol


Reatina t1_ivnal2f wrote

3 of the first 7 mythical Roman kings were Etruscan: Tarquinio Prisco, Servio Tullio and Tarquinio il Superbo.

It was mostly histories, but well accepted and not meaningless.


Averla93 t1_ivnw4qj wrote

Yes it is, but historians and archaeologists use to think that by the II Century B.C. - I century A.D. period (from which the bronzes are) Etruscan culture and language had already died out, Etruscan influences on roman culture have always been dated in the Monarchy and early-mid republic, some of those statues are from the Flavian period.


AyeItsMeToby t1_ivo1tqy wrote

So the old line “Emperor Claudius was the last known person to have known/written in Etruscan” has been pretty much been disproved by these?


Averla93 t1_ivo42wd wrote

I've been reading a lot of articles but "Flavian dinasty" was the most precise thing i found about the most recent of those statues and inscriptions, almost all articles just say I century B.C. So the answer is probably yes but we should wait further news.


Fatshortstack t1_ivohzck wrote

I'm no historian, but I was under the impression that the Etruscan culture died when they were sacked by rome?


Averla93 t1_ivonk2e wrote

There were a lot of Etruscan cities, just a few were destroyed by the Romans, Veium and Volsinii (Orvieto) come to mind, most were integrated as "allies" and then gradually given Roman citizenship until there was total integration, this discovery might move this integration a few centuries later.


MagicCuboid t1_ivm9vnw wrote

Livy already mentions this when he describes how Romans would invite Etruscan leaders to visit Rome... I don't know, I don't think these statues revolutionize much


artaccforbjarne t1_iw1zq6w wrote

Livy was writing centuries later, so historians know not to take it at face value, something like this confirms it.


MagicCuboid t1_iw2q73z wrote

When you're dealing with ancient history Historians work with what they have. Short of anyone claiming the contrary this still means Rome as host to shared sporting/religious events has always been the prevailing narrative. The work archaeologists do is really astounding sometimes, but it requires the context provided by writers like Livy to derive meaning. I'm thankful we found these statues though, as confirming something that was until now merely a possibility is a great win


[deleted] t1_ivltz2l wrote

I thought this was known since there are shared gods v


Tidesticky t1_ivnsect wrote

Didn't they limit this conclusion, for now, to just the subject temple?


ADROSIDI t1_ivlupq9 wrote

The traditional historical narrative is that the Etruscans became 'Romanised' implying their culture passively adopted Roman culture and was completely taken over by it. This discovery implies that rather then a holistic transformation into Roman culture, the Etruscans and Romans integrated their cultural identities. This allowed for elites to use votive artefacts together, such as these bronzes, even though there were heaps of war and conflict at the time.

It rewrites history as it changes our perception of relationship between the Etruscans and the Romans, suggesting a continuous Etruscan cultural identity in tandem with the Romans, rather then a complete domination as the traditional historical narrative implies.

Edit: Just to clarify, I am not denying that the Romans were in control of Italy at the time, obviously they were. I am trying to say that Roman culture was dynamic and was influenced/influencing with their interactions with other cultures, such as the Etruscans.


TrippyReality t1_ivm92bi wrote

I thought that it was history that Rome was just a small city in the periphery of the Etruscan city-state coalition but the Romans just took on other cultures ideas like religion and sailing. Although, any Etruscan artifacts are hard to come by. It’s like to how they incorporate Greek, Carthiginian, Persian, and Egyptian influences.


ADROSIDI t1_ivmb10t wrote

Absolutely, the Etruscans were heavily involved with trade with those cultures, so they were also influenced each other. However due to a lack of Etruscan literary sources and that we do not fully understand their language, much of what we know about them is from a Greek and Roman persepctives, so it is slightly skewed. The Romans are commonly viewed as being culturally dominant in Italy, rather then being part of a large network of interaction, with the Etruscans tending to be forgotton in the cultural landscape in comparison to the Greeks and Romans. By describing the Etruscans with terms such as 'Romanisation' sort of implies that the Romans influenced the Etruscans in a one way exchange, rather then a complex cultural exchange. Part of what made the Romans so successful in their conquest of Italy was their integration of cultures, rather then complete replacement. Artefacts like the bronzes in this article demonstrate this integration of cultures, even within Roman control.


Tiako t1_ivnk0u8 wrote

> I thought that it was history that Rome was just a small city in the periphery of the Etruscan city-state coalition

While it is a common cliche to say Rome was "just a small village" it is worth noting that is mostly Roman self mythologizing being accepted uncritically--By the late sixth/early fifth century Rome was already the great power in central Italy. As an illustrative proxy, the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus one of the largest in the entire Mediterranean, larger than any Etruscan temple.


bik1230 t1_ivo66dd wrote

>The traditional historical narrative is that the Etruscans became 'Romanised' implying their culture passively adopted Roman culture and was completely taken over by it. This discovery implies that rather then a holistic transformation into Roman culture, the Etruscans and Romans integrated their cultural identities. This allowed for elites to use votive artefacts together, such as these bronzes, even though there were heaps of war and conflict at the time.

Whenever I've heard of other peoples in Italy being Romanized, it's been presented as something that didn't even really start until after the apparent period this find is from. So I find this slightly puzzling.


FeDeWould-be t1_ivm8u6y wrote

Some low-paid Roman engraver who was given that job after the previous owners heads were chopped off is looking down saying little do they know


812many t1_ivlwitx wrote

The pertinent info from the article:

>Jacopo Tabolli, who coordinated the dig for the University for Foreigners in Siena, said the discovery was significant because it sheds new light on the end of the Etruscan civilization and the expansion of the Roman Empire in today’s central Italy between the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.

>The period was marked by wars and conflicts across what is today’s Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio regions, and yet, the bronze statues show evidence that Etruscan and Roman families prayed together to deities in the sacred sanctuary of the thermal springs. The statues, including depictions of Apollo and Igea, the ancient Greek god and goddess of health, bear both Etruscan and Latin inscriptions.

>“While there were social and civil wars being fought outside the sanctuary ... inside the sanctuary the great elite Etruscan and Roman families prayed together in a context of peace surrounded by conflict,” Tabolli said. “This possibility to rewrite the relationship and dialectic between the Etruscan and Romans is an exceptional opportunity.”

One reason we know so much about the Romans is that they put inscriptions on everything. And wrote it in stone. Very handy for us 2000 years later. For example, gravestones often had short life stories about the person, even if they were just a small shop owner.


DigitalDiogenesAus t1_ivnjekh wrote

For me it's the bronzes. There aren't that many bronze statues because people melted them down. Many of the famous statues are stone copies of bronze originals-you can't melt down marble, so they are the ones that survive.


Ethan0pia t1_ivmfcvq wrote

I volunteered at an Etruscan necropolis archaeological dig a few years back and found a bronze mirror dated to 300-600BCE. Was really cool.

All the pottery had finger prints around the base where they held it to dip it into the glaze. Was interesting to think about while holding the 2000+ year old pottery that had fingerprints on it.


Goldblood4 t1_ivlwqb3 wrote

As a collector of Roman coins, The coins piqued my interest


aphilsphan t1_ivm33u5 wrote

Suppose I wanted a middling quality denarius from Septimius Severus, where would I go in North America to buy one and what would it set me back? Are there a large number of fakes floating about?


Goldblood4 t1_ivm47yy wrote

The best site for buying ancient coins is definitely

It's full of different stores from the USA and Europe. Look up what kind of coin you're looking for and you should be able to find an American store that supplies it.

Denarii can vary in price depending on how detailed it is and its rarity. You can find a great denarius for a great price if you look hard enough ;)

There's a whole subreddit dedicated to this stuff too r/ancientcoins


aphilsphan t1_ivm5zfl wrote

Many thanks. I think a few Roman coins would be very cool to have.


Goldblood4 t1_ivm9m0o wrote

Look up some auctions too! You could get awesome deals on some neat coins. I got a Trajan sestertius celebrating his victory of Dacia for €70 is my recommended auction site.


_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ t1_ivlsyiq wrote

The transition from Etruscan to Roman Empire is called the Roman Republic.


ADROSIDI t1_ivlzvw6 wrote

There was no linear transition of the Etruscans into the Roman empire. Yes, the Etruscans were around before the republic, but they did not become the Republic. The Roman Republic developed in parallel to the Etruscans, with a great deal of cultural exchange between them. It was not Etruscans, then Republic, then empire, but rather a development in tandem to each other with connectivity between them, whether that be through trade or warfare.


ThePatio t1_ivm6vtb wrote

By the time the Rome transitioned from republic to empire, the entire Italian peninsula had been under Roman rule for some time.


ADROSIDI t1_ivm8asw wrote

Thats true, and when Rome became and Empire they also controlled majority of the Mediterranean. I was just implying that cultural transitions are not as simple as first Etruscans, then Roman. There was in depth connectivity between cultures. Even within Italy itself, there was never a uniform Roman culture. Roman culture, as with most cultures, was extremely dynamic and was constantly influenced/influencing and integrated aspects of other cultures, even ones they annexed. The Etruscans did not become Roman, rather they culture was slowly integrated into the Roman cultural identity, with many aspects of Roman culture to have originated from foreign influence.

Edit: P.S I apologise for my long winded response. I am currently researching Etruscans relationship with Rome for uni, so I am quite passionate about this topic.


_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ t1_ivnvgkr wrote

Yes. All we're doing is correcting OP who skipped hundreds of years ahead.


Hattarottattaan3 t1_ivpu6hn wrote

Let's not forget in fact other important cultures that didn't disappear all of a sudden, like ligures, samnites, oscan peoples, daunians, sicanians, greek city states of Magna Grecia... They didn't disappear all of a sudden at all


lawyerjsd t1_ivyypcm wrote

So. . .these statues were made during the reign of Augustus or Tiberius?


unnccaassoo t1_ivl2zn9 wrote

This is huge, we are talking about a pit inside a temple where for 3-4 centuries Etruscan and roman people used to put votive artifacts, sometimes around 100ac the pit was closed and basically everything in it was preserved in a time capsule.


WoosterChops t1_ivlil33 wrote

How is it possible that these bronze statues spent so long in a hot spring, and yet they don’t have sediments of minerals on them, not even tarnish?


va_wanderer t1_ivljis9 wrote

They ended up buried in the soft mud at the bottom, which shielded them from the corrosion you might otherwise expect.


cybercuzco t1_ivm0eyx wrote

Corrosion comes from oxygen. If you use up all the oxygen corrosion stops. So in normal water the oxygen in the water comes from the air and as the water moves it brings fresh oxygen to the area being corroded. If you put the thing in mud or peat now the water can’t move so no fresh oxygen is being brought in.


Micascisto t1_ivn5qd9 wrote

This is the right answer. Same basic mechanism for the fossilization of organic parts, otherwise they decay.


Special_Task5520 t1_ivm8yzg wrote

Bronze statues from the ancient world are rare because they were mostly melted down. I believe the majority of surviving ancient bronzes come from shipwrecks for that reason.


unassumingdink t1_ivluxp2 wrote

> Jacopo Tabolli, who coordinated the dig for the University for Foreigners

I'm gonna assume that sounds less weird in Italian.


Reatina t1_ivnbd0h wrote

It was born in fascist times to affirm Italian superiority over foreign cultures, educating foreign students to the italian ways.

It is well regarded, despite it's origin and weird name. It is a small university specialized in Italy in forming "italian-as-a-second language teachers" and outside Italy with courses of italian language and culture.


rickster907 t1_ivnoy5m wrote

Exactly zero explanation as to HOW exactly this find will change any history at all. Great find. No idea of its significance. Bad article.


Deep-Mention-3875 t1_ivm9jxp wrote

2000 years ago was 22AD, Roman was already an empire and was a republic for over 700-800 years. Dont the statue need to be like 2800-3000 years old for any new data on roman-Etruscan history?


beardChamp t1_ivn0e2t wrote

The article references shedding new light on a period from 2nd to 1st century BC.


Lele_ t1_ivng2y1 wrote

The Etruscans continued to exist as a people for a long long time after Roman conquest.


wamred t1_ivmf9cr wrote

Good point, i wonder if that was typo or if this needs to be cross sited?


chopyhop t1_ivndan4 wrote

It says more than 2000 year, not 2000 year.


My3rstAccount t1_ivmlr42 wrote

I guess it depends on how long they threw stuff in the pit.


silverfang789 t1_ivm5e9c wrote

What a beautiful find. Hoping to see new photos of the statues after they're cleaned up.


criticalnegation t1_ivn97zw wrote

Article mentions "the ministry" but doesn't specify which...?


Tidesticky t1_ivnsp6s wrote

Love Roman history but Etruscans seem to get the short end. Understandably Etruscans were early on and the winners chose to overlook their part in the action. In any case I thought as interesting as the interaction of 2 "tribes" was the find of"body parts" as temple offerings.