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Parva Tyrrhenuui per aequor 
Vela darem. Horat. 




Status intereunt tempestate, vi, vetustate; sepulcrorum autem sanctitas in ipso solo est ; quod 
nulla vi moveri neque deleri potest. Atque ut cetera extinguuntur, sic sepulcra fiunt sanctiora 

Cicbro, Philip, ix. G. 




Ancient and modern condition of this port — Etruscan relics at Civita Vecchia 
— Tombs in the neighbourhood — Road to Corneto 1 



Road from Civita Vecchia to Rome — Castrum Novum — Sta. Marinella and 
its bay — Remains of Punicum — Puntone del Castrato — Excavations of the 
Duchess of Sermoneta — Discovery of an Etruscan town — Speculations as 
to its name 5 



Fortress of Sta. Severa — Polygonal walls of Pyrgi — The town was Pelasgic — 
A castle and port — Its temple of Uithyia — Historical notices — Remains 
on the site — Sepulchres 11 



The Vaccina, and its ancient honours — Scenes of Virgil's pictures — Cervetri 
and its accommodation — Antiquity and origin of Agylla — Change of name 
— History of Caere — Present desolation of the site — Vestiges of the 
ancient city — Picturesque charms — The Banditaccia — Singular cemetery 
— A true "city of the dead" — Plans of the tombs — Tumuli— Tomba 
l'ccently opened — Grotta della Sedia — Ann-chair of rock — Tomb of 


the Seats and Shields — Grotta del Triclinio — Paintings on its walls — 
Lamentable decay — A pretty pair — Roman inscription — Late date of 
the paintings — Another painted tomb— Grotta de' Sarcofagi — Singular 
sarcophagi — Grotta dell' Alcova — Resemblance to a temple — Archi- 
tectural interest — Tomb of tue Tarquins — Probably of the royal blood 
of Rome — Numerous inscriptions — Sepulchral niches — Grotta Regulini- 
Galassi — Peculiar construction of this sepulchre — High antiquity 
— The warrior's chamber, and its furniture — The Priest's or Princess's 
chamber, and its wonderful jewellery — Side-chambers — Sad neglect of 
this sepulchre — Pelasgic alphabet and primer, inscribed on a pot — Other 
relics of the Pelasgic tongue — Monte Abatone — Grotta Campana — Its 
decorations, and furniture — Grotta della Sedia, Monte d'Oro — Arm- 
chair of rock — Grotta Torlonia — Singular entrance and vestibule — 
Crumbling dead — Tombs of La Zambra — Ancient Pottery of Caere — 

Artena 17 

Appendix. Shields as sepulchral decorations — Genii and Junones . . 64 



Alsium was of Pelasgic antiquity — Local vestiges — Tuniuli of Monteroni — Ex- 
cavations— Curious shafts and passages — Palo and its hostelry — Sea-shore 
scenes— Selva la Rocca — Fregense ........ 69 



Luua an Etruscan town — Its glorious port — Site and vestiges of Luna — 

Historical records — Its produce — Marble of Luna 78 


Leghorn — High antiquity of Pisse — Historical notices — Very few ancient 

remains — Etruscan urns in the Campo Santo 85 



Florence, not an Etruscan site — Museum of the Uffizj — Etruscan Cinerary 
urns — Various subjects in the reliefs — The vase-room — The King of 
Etruscan vases — Painted vases — Black ware from Chiusi — Canopi — 
Varieties — The Bronze-room — The Chimsera — The Orator — Various in- 
struments — Tuscwiiica Signa — Etruscan warriors— Etruscan Compass ! — 



Warrior in the Palazzo Bonarroti — Singular discovery of bronzes on 
Monte Falterona — Lake full of antiquities — Votive offerings — Mystery 
of the lake explained — Style of the bronzes — Singular tomb at Figline — 

Etruscan relics in the neighbourhood of Florence 92 

Appendix. The Francois Vase 115 



Interest of Fiesole — The Etruscan walls — Character of the masonry — Ancient 
pavement, and sewers — Fascinum — Roman Gateway — Extent of the city- 
walls — Faesulae not a first-rate city — " The top of Fesole" — Roman 
Theatre — The Fairies' Dens — Fonte Sotterra — Another ancient reservoir 
— No tombs open around Fiesole — History of.Feesulse — La Badia — 
Inghiranii . . . . 118 



Siena, not an Etruscan site — Etruscan tombs in this district — Alphabetical 
tomb, near Colle — Pelasgic alphabet and horn-book — Tomb of the Cilnii — 
Montalcino, its tombs and wine . . . . . • • .135 



The City. 

Commanding position of Volterra — Size and importance of the ancient city 

— History of Volaterrae — Locanda Callai — Modern Volterra — Porta all' 

Arco — Is Etruscan — Three mysterious heads — Masonry — Portcullis — 

Walls of the ancient city — Porta di Diana — Fragments of the city- walls — 

Extent of the ancient city — The necropolis — Grotta de' Marmini — Tombs 

of the Csecinse — Tholi, or domed sepulchres — Amphitheatre — Piscina, — 

Baths — Scenery around Volterra — Buche de' Saracini — Mysterious passages 

in the rock ............ 141 

The Museum. 
The Museum of Volterra, and its treasures — Ash-chests of Volterra — Condi- 
tion of woman in Etruria — Mythological urns — Myths of Thebes — Myths 
of the Trojan war — Myths of Ulysses, and Orestes — Etruscan marina 
divinities — Scylla — Glaucus — Echidna — Typhon — Monsters of the sea, 
earth, and air — Scenes of Etruscan life — Boar-hunts — Games of the circus 


— Judicial processions — Triumphal processions — Sacrifices — Schools — 
Banquets — Death-bed scenes — Last farewells — The passage of souls — Good 
and evil demons— Funeral processions — Etruscan cars — Sarcophagi — 
Touching character of these scenes — Urns of the Csecina family — Urns of 
the Gracchi and Flavii — Antiquity of the urns of Volterra— Terra-cotta 
urns — Relief of a warrior — Marble statue — Etruscan pottery of Volterra 
— Bronzes — Coins — Jewellery . . . . . . . . .167 

Appendix. The Charun of the Etruscans 206 


Attractions of the Maremma — Road from Volterra — The Cecina — Pomarance 
— Castelnuovo — Hill of Castiglion Bernardi — Pretended site of Vetulonia 
— Massa Marittima — Poggio di Vetreta — View of the Maremma — Fol- 
lonica — Maremma wilderness — Population and climate of the Maremma 
in ancient and modern times — " Roba di Maremma " — Caldane — 
Campiglia — Locanda Dini — Pretended ruins of Vetulonia — Alberti's 
account questioned — Etruscan remains near Campiglia — Panorama of the 
Maremma 210 

Appendix. Alberti's description of the pretended ruins of Vetulonia . . 232 



Road to Populonia — Ancient port — The castle and its hospitable lords — Area 
of the ancient city — Its antiquity and importance — Historical notices — 
Local remains — The specular mount — Etruscan walls and tombs of Popu- 
lonia — Coins — Gorgonion 233 



Road from Follonica — Grosseto — Locanda Palandri — Site of Rusellae — Its 
ancient walls — Area of the city — Modern defences — The ancient Arx — 
Lago di Castiglione — Paucity of tombs around the city — Rusellse, one of 
the Twelve — Historical notices — Utter desolation 245 

The Ombrone — Village of Telamone — Caution to travellers — Ancient remains 
— Legendary and historical notices — The port — Road to Orbetello — The 
Osa and Albegna — Ferries 257 




Orbetello and its fortifications — The lagoon — Polygonal walls — Etruscan tombs 

— Antiquity of the site — The modern town and its hostelry . . . 263 



Site of Cosa — Advice to visitors — Walls of polygonal masonry — Towers — Pecu- 
liarities of the walls — Gateways — Ruins within the walls — The Arx — 
View from the ramparts — Bagni della Regina — Lack of tombs — Who built 
these walls ? — Antiquity of polygonal masonry — Peculiarity of the poly- 
gonal type — It must be Pelasgic — High antiquity of Cosa and its walls — 
Historical notices 269 



Magliano — Discovery of an Etruscan city in its neighbourhood — Site and extent 
of this city — Remains discovered on the site — Sepulchres and their furni- 
ture — Painted tombs— Relation to the port of Telamon — What was the 
name of this ancient city ? — Notices of Vetulonia — Its accordance with 
this site — Maritime character of Vetulonia — Monumental evidence — 
Speculations 291 



Roads to Saturnia — Scansano — Travelling difficulties — Site of Saturnia — The 
modern village — A wise resolve — Area of the ancient city — Walls of poly- 
gonal masonry— Relics of other days — Natural beauties of the site — 
Sepulchral remains around it — Fare at the Fattoria — Advice to travellers 
— Piano di Palma — Singular tombs — Resemblance to cromlechs — Analo- 
gous monuments — Speculations on their origin — The city and its walls are 
Pelasgic — Who constructed the tombs ? — The type not proper to one race 
— Monte Merano — Manciano — Discovery of an Etruscan town . . , 305 



The City. 

Citta la Pieve — Clusium, its antiquity, history, and decay — Ancient walls — 
Other lions — Subterranean passages — Museo Casuccini — Statue-urn — 
Archaic cippi — Interesting sarcophagus — Cinerary urns — Varieties — 
Terra-cotta urns — Ancient black ware of Clusium — The focolari described 


— Painted vases — Bronzes — Palazzo Casuccini — The Paris- vase — The 
Anubis-vase — Museo Paolozzi — Interesting cippi — Cinerary urns — 
Canopi — Bronzes — The "Gabinetto" — Curious monument — Ottieri col- 
lection — Private Museums ......... 325 



The Cemetery. 

The necropolis of Clusium — del Colle Casuccini — Ancient Etruscan 
door — Chariot-races — Palsestric games — A symposium, — An Etruscan 
butler — Peculiarities of these paintings — Date of their execution — Depo- 
sito de' Dei — Funeral games — Banquets — Deposito delle Monache — Its 
furniture — Discovery of this tomb — Tomba del Postino — The Jewellers' 
Field — Scarabaei — Lake of Chiusi — Deposito del Gran Duca — An arched 
vault — The urns— Tomba della Scimia — Games — Dwarfs and monkeys — 
Mediaeval character of these scenes — Inner chamber — Singular well or 
shaft — Tomba d'Orfeo e d'Euridice — Festive scenes — Poggio del Vescovo 360 

Appendix. Etruscan family names 384 



The tomb of Lars Porsena — Not a mere fable — Analogies in extant monuments 
— The Labyinnth in Porsena's tomb — Tumulus of Poggio Gajella — Tiers 
of tombs — Rock-hewn couches — Sepulchral furniture — Labyrinthine pas- 
sages in the rock — What can they mean ? — Analogies — Reality of Porsena's 
monument vindicated .......... 385 



Etruscan sites around Chiusi — Cetona— Museo Terrosi — Painted ash-chests — 
Sarteano — Etruscan urns in the Museo Bargagli — Etruscan collections of 
Dr. Borselli and Signor Lunghini — Tombs of Sarteano and Castiglioncel 
del Trinoro 401 



Scenic beauties — Chianciano — The Casuccini collection — Montepulciano — 
Etruscan relics in the Palazzo Buccelli— The Manna of Montepulciano — 
Val ili Chiana — Royal farms and cattle — Etruscan tombs . . .410 




Glories of Arezzo — Arretium, its importance and history — Ancient walls of 
brick — Amphitheatre — Ancient pottery — Its peculiarities — Museo Bacci 
— Museo Pubblico — The three Roman colonies of Arretium — Is Arezzo the 
Etruscan site ? — Discovery of ancient walls at S. Cornelio — Arezzo cannot 
be the Etruscan Arretium . . . . . . . , .417 



Venerable antiquity of Cortona — Hints to travellers — Modern Cortona — The 
ancient fortifications — Cortona at sun-rise — Origin of Cortona — Early 
importance — Historical notices — Local remains within the walls — Vault in 
the Casa Cecchetti — Museum of the Academy — Pottery and bronzes — The 
wonderful lamp — Tombs of Cortona — The Cave of Pythagoras — Singular 
construction — Cromlech-like tombs — Grotta Sergardi — Peculiar construc- 
tion — The Melon tumulus, and its furniture — Great interest of Cortona . 432 



The City. 

Travelling incidents — The Thrasymene lake — The celebrated battle — Passig- 
nano — Inflammable waters — Magione, and its attractions — Vale of the 
Caina — Perugia- — Its modern interest — Ancient walls and gates — Arch of 
Augustus — Porta Marzia — The Museum — Cippi — Cinerary urns — 
Celebrated Etruscan inscription — Vases — Bronzes — Singular sarcophagus 
— Antiquity of Perusia — History 454 



The Cemetery. 

Tomb of the Volumnii — Banquet of the dead — Dantesque monument — Temple- 
urn, with a bilingual inscription — Gorgons' heads — Decorations of the 
tomb — The Velimnas Family — Date of the tomb — Great interest of the 
Grotta de' Volunni — Sepulchres of Etruscan families — Painted ash-chests 
— Ipogeo de' Cesi — Ipogeo de' Vezi — Ipogeo de' Petroni — Ipogeo degli 
Acsi — Ipogeo de' Fari — Palazzone Baglioni — Tempio di San Manno — 
Etruscan vault with an inscription . . . . . . .471 




The Etruscan antiquities in Rome — Museo Gregoriano — Origin of the 
Museum — Visitors' difficulties — Vestibule — Chamber of the Cinerary Urns 
— Chamber of the Sarcophagus — Hut-urns from the Alban Mount — 
Chamber of Terra-Cottas — The Adonis-urn — First Vase-Room — Second 
Vase- Room — Quadrant, or Third Vase-Room — Fourth Vase-Room — 
Cylices — Bronzes — Armour — Candelabra — Statues — Caskets — Varieties — 
Mirrors — Clogs — Jewellery — Gold ornaments — Coronse Etruscse — Silver 
bowls — Chamber of the Paintings — Chamber of the Tomb — Museo Campana 
— Terra-cottas — Vases — Gold and Jewellery — Bronzes — Other Private 
collections in Rome. 490 



the farewell of admetus and alcestis. From a tracing. Frontispiece. 


plan of a tomb at cervetri . . Monumenti Inediti dell' Instituto 32 

tomb of the seats and shields, cervetri . . . Mon. Ined. Instit. 35 

inscription in the tomb of the tarquins G. D. 44 

mouth of the regulini-galassi tomb . G. D. 46 

pelasgic alphabet and primer .... Annali dell' Instituto 54 

ETRUSCAN FUMIGATOR . . . . . . . G. D. 58 


canopus, from chiusi Micali 101 

tazza, with a fury and two fauns .... Museo "Gregoriano 117 

pelasgic ALPHiBET on the walls of a tomb . . . Dempster 138 





INSCRIPTION "auceicna" G. D. 199 


etruscan candelabrum Museo Gregoriano 204 

etruscan walls of populonia . . . . . . S. J. Ainsley 233 

etruscan gorgonion Micali 244 

etruscan walls of rusell^e S. J. Ainsley 245 

ancient gate and walls of cosa G. D. 269 

ancient tomb, saturnia G. D. 305 

focolare — black ware of chiusi Micali 325 

etruscan warrior, museo casuccini Micali 340 

the anubis-vase, chiusi Museo Chiusino 352 

etruscan canopus, museo paolozzi .... Museo Chiusino 356 

DOOR of an etruscan TOMB, CHIUSI G. D. 360 

simpulum Museo Gregoriano 366 

etruscan lituus, or trumpet .... Museo Gregoriano 380 




etroscan sphinx Gruner 395 

etbuscan strigil ....... Museo Gregoriano 426 


four-winged deity ......... Micali 465 

BILINGUAL inscription G. D. 475 

calpis, or water-jar ........ Gruner 490 

hut-urn from the alban mount ...... Visconti 495 


bronze visor ........ Museo Gregoriano 513 

etruscan candelabra ....... Museo Gregoriano 514 

fire- rake . ...... Museo Gregoriano 517 

bronze ewer . Museo Gregoriano 518 

etruscan jointed clogs Museo Gregoriano 522 


plan of cere and its necropolis . . . Adapted from Canina 28 

plan of tolterra, ancient and modern Micali 150 

plan of cosa Adapted from Micali 268 

plan of cortona Adapted from Micali 434 

map of etruria From Segato and others 557 





Ad Centumcellas forti deflexinius Austro ; 

Tranquilla puppes in statione sedent. 
Molibus sequoreum concluditur amphitheatrum, 

Angustosque aditus insula facta tegit ; 
Attollit geminas tuiTes, bifidoque meatu, 

Faucibus arctatis pandit utrumque latus. 
Nee posuisse satis laxo navalia portu, 

Ne vaga vel tutas ventilet aura rates. 
Interior medias sinus invitatus in aedes 

Instabilem fixis aera nescit aquis. 


Whoever has approached the Eternal City from the sea 
must admit the fidelity of the above picture. As Civita 
Vecchia was 1400 years since, so is it now. The artificial 
island, with its twin-towers at the mouth of the port ; the 
long moles stretching out to meet it ; the double passage, 
narrowed almost to a closing of the jaws ; the amphi- 
theatre of water within, overhung by the houses of the 
town, and sheltered from every wind — will be at once 
recognised. It would seem to have remained in statu 
quo ever since it was built by Trajan. Yet the original 


2 CIVITA VECCHIA. [chap. xxx. 

town was almost utterly destroyed by the Saracens 
in the ninth century ; but when rebuilt, the disposition of 
the port was preserved, by raising the moles, quay, and 
fortress on the ancient foundations, which are still visible 
beneath them. 1 

It is possible, in ancient times, when the ruler of the 
world made it his chosen retreat, and adorned it with his 
own virtues and the simple graces of his court, that Cen- 
tum Cellse may have been, as Pliny found it, " a right 
pleasant place " — locus perjucundus.' 1 Now, it is a paradise 
to none but facchini and doganieri. What more wearisome 
than the dull, dirty town of Civita Vecchia % and what 
traveller does not pray for a speedy deliverance from this 
den of thieves, of whom Gasperoni, though most renowned, 
is not the most accomplished % Civita is like " love, war, 
and hunting," according to the proverb — it is more easy to 
find the way in, than the way out. You enter the gates, 
whether on the land or sea-side, without even a demand for 
your passport ; but to leave them, you must pass through 
the hands of a score of custom-house officers — a fingering 
which tends neither to brighten the countenance nor to 
smooth the temper. This is owing to Civita being a 
free port — a privilege which, in conjunction with steam- 
traffic, renders it the only thriving town in the Papal 
State, pre-eminently — till the quickening sun of Pius IX. 
rose upon it — the land of stagnation. 

It does not appear that an Etruscan town occupied this 
site. Yet relics of that antiquity are preserved here, some 

1 There are other remains of the arm in bronze now in the Gregorian 

Roman town on the shore without the Museum, which, though of the time of 

walls ; and the aqueduct which supplies Trajan, is said to " surpass perhaps in 

the town with water is said to be erected, beauty all ancient works in this metal 

for the most part, on the ruins of that with which we are acquainted." Bull, 

constructed by Trajan. On the shore, Inst. 1837, p. 5. 

at this spot, was discovered that colossal 2 Plin. Epist. VI. 31. 


in the Town-hall, mostly from Corneto, 3 and some in the 
house of Signor Guglielmi, an extensive proprietor of land 
in the Roman Maremma, 4 besides a collection of vases, 
bronzes, and other portable articles in the shop of Signor 
Bucci, in the Piazza, whom I can highly recommend for 
his uprightness and moderate charges. 

Three miles from Civita Vecchia, on the road to Corneto, 
at a spot called Cava della Scaglia, Etruscan tombs have 
been opened, 5 which seem to have belonged to the neigh- 
bouring Alga?, though that place is known to us only as a 
Roman station. 6 Its site is marked by Torre Nuova, on 
the sea shore, three miles from Civita. 7 The country tra- 
versed on the way to Corneto is a desert of undulating 
heath, overrun with lentiscus, myrtle, and dwarf cork-trees — 

3 These have been placed here only 
since 1843 ; and consist of sarcophagi 
of wnfro with recumbent figures on the 
lids, recently found in the Montarozzi ; 
and half a dozen female heads in stone, 
painted in imitation of life, and very 
Egyptian in character. Besides these, 
there are sundry Roman cippi and 
monumental tablets, among which will be 
found the names of Pompeius and Cse- 
sennius — families of Tarquinii, as has 
been already shown (Vol. I. pp. 307, 
368) — Veturius, which answers to the 
Velthur in the Grotta delle Iscrizioni 
(Vol. I. p. 340) — and several milestones, 
probably of the Via Aurelia. 

4 The collection in the house of Signor 
Guglielmi is composed of articles found 
upon his own lands. One of the most 
remarkable objects is an urn of nenfro, 
found near Montalto, in 1840. It is in 
the form of a little temple, supported on 
Ionic-like columns, with a moulded door- 
way at one end, and a male figure, in 
relief, holding a wand and patera, at the 
other — probably representing the de- 
ceased, whose name is inscribed in 

Etruscan characters around him. In the 
opposite tympanum is a human head set 
in a flower ; and the angles of the 
pediments rest on lions' heads. Micali, 
Mou. Ined. pp. 403—7, tav. LIX. 

5 Excavations were made here in 1830 
by Signor Bucci, but with no great suc- 
cess. His attention was drawn to the 
spot by a Figaro of Civita Vecchia, who, 
fifteen years previous, had found there 
a shoe of bronze, which he had esteemed 
of no value, till a foreigner entering his 
shop, seized upon it and carried it off, 
leaving a napoleon in the palm of the 
astonished barber. 

6 Mentioned in the Maritime Itinerary. 
Ut supra, Vol. I. p. 388. 

7 Three miles to the north-east of 
Civita Vecchia, on the road to the Allu- 
miere, are the Bagni di Ferrata, the hot 
springs lauded by Rutilius (I. 249) as 
the Thermas Tauri, and identical with 
the " Aquenses cognomine Taurini," 
mentioned by Pliny (III. 8) in his cata- 
logue of Roman Colonies in Etruria, 
which has inconsiderately been referred 
to Acquapendente. See Vol. I. p. 501. 



[rHAP. XXX. 

the haunt of the wild boar and roe-buck. 8 Corneto is so 
easy of access, the thirteen miles from Civita Vecchia are 
so rapidly accomplished, that the traveller who enters the 
Papal State by that port, should make a point of visiting 
the painted tombs of the Montarozzi, which will open to 
him clearer and more comprehensive views of the early 
civilization of Italy than he can derive on any other site, 
and which form an excellent introduction to the works of 
ancient art in Rome. 

8 About half-way, or before reaching 
Le Mole, a little to the right of the road, 
is a spot called Piano d'Organo, where 

are said to be tombs and fragments of 
ancient walling ; but I have had no 
opportunity of verifying this report. 


The ancient sites on this coast, between Rome and Centum Cella?, are 
thus given, with their distances, by tbe Itineraries : — 

Antonine It: 


Peutingerian Table. 

{Via Aur 


{Via Am 








Ad Turres 








Castrum Novum 




Centum Cellas 




Castro Novo 


Maritime Itinerary. 

Centum Cellis 



In Portum 


Another Maritime Itinerary, 



Portus Augusti 





Ad Turres 






Castrum Novum 


Castrum Novum 


Centum Cellas 


Centum Cellas 




I wandered through the wrecks of days departed, 
Far by the desolated shore. 


Few roads in Italy are more frequented, and none are 
more generally uninteresting, than that from Civita 
Vecchia to Rome. He who approaches the Eternal City 
for the first time, has his whole soul absorbed in her — in 
recollections of her ancient glories, or in lively concep- 
tions of her modern magnificence. He heeds not the 
objects on the road as he winds along the desert shore, or 
over the more desolate undulations of the Campagna, save 
when here and there a ruined bridge or crumbling tower, 
in melancholy loneliness, serves to rivet his attention more 
fixedly on the past. How should he ? He has Coriolanus, 
Scipio, Cicero, Horace, and a thousand togaed phantoms 
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. The scattered 
towers along the coast, to his view are simply so many 
preventive stations or forts, and, with the inns by the 
way-side, are mere mile-stones — indices of the distance he 
has travelled and has yet to travel, ere he attain the desire 
of his eyes. And truly, as far as intrinsic beauty is con- 
cerned, it would be difficult to find in Italy a road more 

fi SANTA MARINELLA. [chap. xxxi. 

unattractive, more bleak, dreary, and desolate ; and to one 
just making an acquaintance with that land of famed ferti- 
lity and beauty, as so many do at Civita Vecchia, nothing 
can be more disappointing. Moreover, it is the road to 
Rome, and is therefore to be hurried over with all possible 
speed of diligence or vettura. Yet are there spots on this 
road full of interest, both for their history, associated with 
that of Rome, and for the relics they yet contain of the 
past ; and the traveller whose curiosity has been some- 
what allayed, and who can look from the Imperial City to 
objects around her, will find along this desert sandy shore, 
or among the low bleak hills inland, sites where he may 
linger many a delightful hour in contemplation of " the 
wrecks of days departed." 

Two miles and a half from Civita Vecchia, by the road- 
side, near a tower called Prima Torre, are two large 
barrows, which, from a slight excavation a few years since, 
are thought to give promise of valuable sepulchral furniture. 

About five miles from Civita Vecchia, the solitary tower 
of Chiaruccia marks the site of Castrum Novum, a Roman 
station on the Via Aurelia. All we know of it is that it 
was a colony 1 on this coast, 2 and that, with other neigh- 
bouring colonies, it reluctantly furnished its quota to the 
fleet which was despatched in the year 563 (b.c. 191) 3 

1 Liv. XXXVI. 3 ; Plin. III. 8 ; Ptol. mention of an ancient figure of Inuus 
Geog. p. 68, ed. Bert. over a gate at Castrum on this coast, 

2 Mela. II. 4. that the god may have been worshipped 

3 Liv. loc. cit. The Castrum Inui of at both sites. Inuus was a pastoral deity, 
Virgil (/En. VI. 776), which was on the equivalent to Pan, or Faunus, says Ser- 
coast of Latium, seems to have been vius. Holstenius( Cluver p. 35) 
confounded by Servius (ad loc.) and by and Mannert (Geog. p. 375) took Sta 
Rutilius (I. 232) with this Castrum Mariuella for Castrum Novum, though 
Novum in Etruria — the former a place Cluver (II. p. 488) had previously indi- 
of great antiquity, the latter probably cated the ruins at Torre di Chiaruccia 
only of Roman times. But Muller to be the site — an opinion which is now 
(Etrusk. III. 3, 7) thinks from Rutilius' universally admitted to be correct. 

chap, xxxi.] THE SITE OF PUNICUM. 7 

against Antiochus the Great. In the time of Rutilius it 
was in utter ruin — absumptum fluctuque et tempore.* 

Two miles and a half beyond, the road crosses the 
shoulder of a low headland, on which stand a few buildings. 
This promontory half embraces a tiny bay, with some 
ruins of a Roman mole or breakwater. A few fishing- 
boats are drawn up on the beach ; the half-draped tawny 
fishermen are sitting beneath their shade, mending their 
nets ; and two or three similar craft, with their latteen 
sails glistening like snow in the sunbeams, are gliding 
with swan-like motion over the blue waters. The hamlet 
is called Santa Marinella, and is supposed to mark the site 
of Punicum, a station on the Via Aurelia. 5 A few furlongs 
beyond, in a field by the road-side, are many traces of 
Roman habitation, probably marking the site of a villa. 
Here on the shore are a couple of ancient bridges standing in 
picturesque ruin near the road, and marking the course 
of the Via Aurelia along the coast. Excavations have 
been made of late years in this neighbourhood by the 
Duchess of Sermoneta, and many remains of Roman 
magnificence have been brought to light. 6 

Were the traveller now to retrace his steps from Sta 
Marinella for about a mile towards Civita Vecchia, and 
cross the heath to the extremity of the range of hills 

4 Rutil. I. 227. with the Panapio of the Maritime Itine- 

6 Punicum is mentioned only by the rary. 

Peutingerian Table. Nibby (Dintorni G In the winter of 1837, on the shores 

di Roma, II. p. 313) thinks it must have of the little bay, were found remains of 

taken its name from some pomegranate baths and other buildings, with mosaic 

{malum punicum) which flourished here, pavements, together with a singular 

or from some heraldic device of tins column, and a beautiful statue of Me- 

character ; but it is more likely to leager, now in the Museum of Berlin, 

have arisen from the association of Mon. Ined. Inst. III. tav. LVIII. For 

the place with the Carthaginians, as further notices, see Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 1 ; 

Lanzi (Saggio, II. p. 61) suggests. 1839, p. 85 ; 1840, p. 115; Ann. Inst. 

Cluver (II. p. 497) thinks it identical 1843, p. 237, ct seq. 

8 SANTA MARINELLA. [chap. xxxi. 

which here rise from the coast, he would find some 
remains of far prior antiquity to those at Santa Marinella, 
and which prove the existence of a long-forgotten Etruscan 
town or fortress on this spot. . Let him ask for the 
" Puntone del Castrato," or " Sito della Guardiola," and he 
may obtain a guide at the little osteria of Santa Marinella. 
I know not what induced the Duchess of Sermoneta to 
commence excavations on this site. No traces of sepulchres 
are now visible. More than once have I wandered long- 
over the heathy crag-strewn ground at the foot of these 
hills, vainly seeking vestiges of a necropolis. It is certain, 
however, that here have been discovered many tombs of 
a remarkable character, unlike any I have yet described ; 
being rude chambers hollowed in the rock, lined with 
rough slabs, and roofed in either by a single large cover- 
stone, or by two slabs resting against each other, gable- 
wise — extremely similar, as far as I can learn from the 
description, to those still to be seen at Saturnia. There is 
some analogy also to the tombs of Magna Grrecia, and yet 
more to the cromlechs of our own land, and other parts of 
Europe and of the East. The Egyptian character of the 
furniture they contained confirms their high antiquity. 7 

7 These tombs were found in 1840. this site. Over every tomb rose a 

The slabs which lined them were, some tumulus, of which Abeken saw few or 

calcareous, some volcanic, partly hewn, no traces ; but he says that the most 

partly rough, but always put together so remarkable feature was a cuniculus, or 

as to present a tolerably even surface. passage, lined with slabs, surrounding 

A single massive slab often lined each of one of these tombs ; and he thinks it 

the three side-walls of the tomb, and a served to separate the sacred space of 

fourth, leaning against the front, closed the sepulchre from the surrounding soil, 

the doorway. Sometimes the tombs had or to prevent one tomb from interfering 

two chambers, the outer of which served with another. It bears great analogy 

as a vestibule. They contained benches, to the trench cut in the rock round the 

or sepulchral couches, of rock. Abeken conical tomb at Bieda. See Vol. I. 

thinks that these gable-roofed tombs, p. 271. Among the sepulchral furniture 

from their resemblance to guard-houses, was found an alabastrum with hiero- 

inay have suggested to the peasantry glyphics. Abeken, Bull. Inst. 1840, 

the name of LaGuardiola, confeiTed on p. 113, et seq.; Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 31 ; 


Abeken speaks of a huge tumulus rising in the midst of 
these tombs. Tins, however, I found to be nothing but 
the termination of the range of hills which here sink to 
the coast ; and what he took for a vast sepulchre inclosed 
by masonry, I perceived to be the arx of an ancient 
town, marked out by a quadrangle of foundations, almost 
level with the soil ; and what he regarded as an outer 
circuit of walls to his tumulus, I discovered to be the 
fortifications of the town itself, extending a considerable 
way inland, along the brow of the hill, till their vestiges 
were lost among the crags with which the ground is 
strewn. Traces of several gates also I clearly observed ; 
and in more than one spot remains of polygonal masonry. 8 

Mittelitalien, pp. 239, 267. To this 
description by Abeken, Micali (Mon. 
Ined. p. 356) adds that the corpses 
always lay on large slabs of nenfro. 
Tombs of this simple character he con- 
siders as the most ancient in style, but 
not always in construction, as they 
must have continued in use for ages, 
and probably never went out among 
the peasantry. He describes some as 
built up of many blocks, regularly cut 
and smoothed, but without cement 
(p. 386, tav. LV.). 

8 I have given notices of this site in 
Bull. Inst. 1847, pp. 51,93. « On the 
summit of the mound or tumulus," says 
Abeken, "is a quadrangular inclosure 
of wall, about 150 palms one way, 
and 1 80 the other, and about 5 palms 
high, of calcareous blocks, uncemented, 
topt with a battlemented parapet of 
nenfro. Within this quadrangle rises a 
second, still higher, at the very summit 
of the mound ; and though it has lost 
somewhat of its original height, still 
measures in parts 8 or 9 palms high. 
The walls bear traces of red stucco. 
The ground between the two inclosures 
is paved with marine breccia. The space 

within the upper quadrangle has been 
excavated, and a sepulchral chamber 
has been discovered about 14 feet below 
ground, originally lined with masonry, 
but now much ruined. The entrance to 
this tomb is not distinguishable ; but it 
was probably connected with a corridor 
or passage above it, hollowed in the rock, 
bent at right angles, and full of human 
bones when discovered. It seems clear 
to me that the whole formed a cemetery, 
and perhaps the inclosing walls served 
to support different stories, rising above 
the sepulchral chamber ; a plan adopted 
by the Romans in the Mausolea of 
Augustus and of Hadrian, and in the 
Septizonium of Severus." Abeken, Bull. 
Inst. 1840, pp. 113—5 ; and Mittelitalien, 
p. 242. 

Abeken elsewhere (Ann. Inst. 1841, 
p. 34) suggests that the inner and higher 
quadrangle of masonry may have marked 
the area of a temple, like that of the 
Capitol. If so, the presence of bones in 
the passage, even supposing (which does 
not appear to me to be necessary) that 
this was a sepulchre, is explained by the 
well-known connection between temples 
and tombs. 

10 SANTA MABINELLA. [chap. xxxi. 

Here, then, stood the town in whose cemetery the 
Duchess of Sermoneta made excavations. What was its 
name ? We have no mention by ancient authors of any 
town on this coast between Alsium and Centum Cella?, 
whose site has not been determined. That this was of 
very ancient date, may be inferred from the silence of 
Roman writers, as well as from the character of the 
remains, which mark it as Etruscan. Now, on the coast 
immediately below it stands the Torre di Chiaruccia, the 
Castrum Xovum of antiquity; a name which manifestly 
implies the existence of a more ancient fortress, a Castrum 
Yetus, in the neighbourhood; which, there can be little 
doubt, is the place whose remains occupy the Puntone 
del Castrato. 9 This may have fallen into decay before the 
domination of the Romans, or it may have been destroyed 
by them at the conquest, and when a colony was to be 
established, a fresh site was chosen on the coast below, 
probably for convenience sake ; or it may be, that the 
entire population of the old town was transferred to the 
new, for the same reasons that led to the formation of 
the duplicate cities of Falerii and Yolsinii. 10 

9 This conjecture of mine is confirmed when those maps were executed. 
by the actual name of the site, as Dr. 10 Cramer (Ancient Italy, I. p. 203) 
Braun suggests (Bull. Inst. 184 7, p. 94) — supposes that the Castrum Veins implied 
Castrato being, probably, a mere corrup- in the Castrum Novum was the Castruiu 
tion of the ancient name. I am indebted Inui of the Latin coast, mentioned by 
to the Cav. Canina for the information Virgil (.^u. VI. 770), which Servius (ad 
that a mosaic discovered a few years loe.) and Rutilius (I. 232), on the other 
since at Sta Marinella, bore the repre- hand, seem to confound with Castrum 
sentation of a town on a height, which Novum. A Castrum is mentioned by 
he suggests may have been this on the Paterculus (I. 14) as colonised at the 
Puntone del Castrato. In the old fresco commencement of the First Punic War 
maps in the galleries of the Vatican, (cf. Liv. epit. XI.) ; but from the con- 
some ruins are indicated on this height, text it may be gathered that the Castrum 
though no name is attached. This iu Picenum is here referred to. Cramer, 
shows that the site was recognised as p. 285. 
ancient at the close of the 1 6th century, 



Pyrgi veteres. — Virgil. 
Grandia consumpsit mcenia tempus edax. — Rutilius. 

Six miles beyond Santa Marinella is the fortress of 
Santa Severa, standing on the shore, about a furlong 
from the high-road. It is a square castle, with a keep at 
one angle, and a lofty round tower, with machicolated bat- 
tlements, rising in the centre. To the casual observer, it 
has nothing to distinguish it from other mediaeval forts; 
but if examined closely, it will be seen that its walls on the 
side of Civita Vecchia are based on foundations of far 
earlier date, formed of massive, irregular, polygonal blocks, 
neatly fitted together without cement, 1 — precisely similar 
to the walls of Cora, Segni, Palestrina, Alatri, and other 
ancient towns in the Latin and Sabine Mountains — in 
short, a genuine specimen of what is called Pelasgic 
masonry. This wall may be traced by its foundations, 
often almost level with the soil, for a considerable distance 
from the sea, till it turns at right angles, running parallel 
with the shore, and, after a while, again turns towards the 
sea — enclosing a quadrangular space several times larger 

1 Under the walls of the fortress, tion, as at Orbetcllo. One block is 

however, the blocks are imbedded in 9 ft. 6 in. long, 3 ft. 9 in. liigh, and 1 ft. 

mortar. The traveller must not be 9 in. thick, 
misled by this, which is a modern addi- 

12 SANTA SEVERA. [chap, xxxii. 

than the present fort, and sufficiently extensive for a small 
town. 2 This is the site of " the ancient Pyrgi." 3 

These, and the slight remains on the Puntone del 
Castrato, are the only specimens of polygonal masonry 
in this part of Etruria, though such is found on three 
other sites further north. The strict similarity to the 
walling of cities south and east of the Tiber, seems to 
imply a common origin, and an origin not Etruscan. 
Moreover, the position of this town in the plain, scarcely 
raised above the level of the sea, is so unlike any purely 
Etruscan sites, which are always strong by nature as 
well as art, and the materials of its walls — limestone, 
travertine, crag, sandstone, all aqueous formations — so dis- 
tinguish them from the volcanic fortifications of the other 
ancient sites in the southern district of Etruria, that we are 
led irresistibly to the conclusion that it was built by a dif- 
ferent race, or in a different age. Now, though we have 
no express assertion in ancient writers that Pyrgi itself 
was of Pelasgic origin, we know that its temple of Ilithyia 
was built by that people, and that it was the port of 
Agylla or Caere 4 which was founded or occupied by the 

2 Canina (Ann. Instit. 1840. pp. 39, f little consequence, since it occupies 
40) gives the dimensions as 850 by C50 the relative position assigned to it be- 
Greek feet. Abeken calls it 750 by tween Alsiuni and Castrum Novum. 
600 ft. (Mittelitalien, p. 138), which 4 Strabo, V. p. 226 ; Diod. Sic. XV. 
nearly agrees with my measurement. p. 337, e d. Rhod. Pyrgi can hardly 

3 Strabo (V. p. 226) says Pyrgi is nave been founded originally as the port 
little less than 180 stadia from Graviscae, f Crere, for it was 50 stadia (6} miles) 
and 260 from Ostia. The Itinerary of distant from that city (Strabo, V. p. 226), 
Antoninus describes it as 34 miles from which lay only 4 miles from the sea 
Rome, which is the true distance, and (Plin. III. 8) ; and there can beno reason 
8 miles from Castrum Novum. The w hy a s jt e should not have been chosen 
Maritime Itinerary makes it 34 miles for a port much nearer the city, as there 
from Portus, at the mouth of the Tiber, i s nothing in this spot to recommend it 
16 from Alsium, and 8 from Castrum in preference to any other part of the 
Novum. The Peutingerian Table calls neighbouring coast, and the harbour it 
it 10 miles from Alsium, which is. cor- once possessed must have been entirely 
rect, but 14 from Castrum Novum. artificial. I think it much more probable 
These discrepancies iu the distances are that the earliest structure on this site 



same race, 5 and we have Virgil's authority as to its high 
antiquity, 6 and its name in proof of its Greek origin. So 
that while history gives us the strongest presumptive 
evidence that P} r rgi was a Pelasgic town, its existing 
remains confirming that evidence, may be considered deci- 
sive of the fact. 7 

The small size of the town, little more than half a mile 
in circuit, as determined by the remains of its walls, is 
another feature which distinguishes it from all the Etruscan 
sites already described. Yet in this particular it quite 
agrees with the description we have of Pyrgi, as "a castle" 8 
and " a small town." 9 It must, nevertheless, have been a 

was the celebrated temple, and that the 
castle sprung up subsequently to protect 
that wealthy shrine, and that the ex- 
istence of a fortress here determined the 
people of Caere to adopt the spot for 
their port, instead of constructing an- 
other on a more convenient site. Canina 
(Ann. Inst. 1840, p. 37) cites Dionysius, 
in support of his opinion that this temple 
was founded by the Pelasgi at least two 
generations before the Trojan War. 

5 Strab. loc. cit ; Dionys. Hah'c. I. 
p. 16, ed. Sylb.; Plin. N. H. III. 8; 
Solinus, Pol. cap. VIII. 

6 Virgil (iEn. X. 184) calls it ancient 
even in the days of ^Eneas ; and he, 
though at liberty to indulge in the pro- 
verbial licence of a poet, was too good 
an antiquary to commit a glaring ana- 

7 Cavaliere Canina (Ann. 1840, p. 40) 
thinks that as the site itself did not 
afford the Pelasgic builders of Pyrgi 
materials for the polygonal masonry, to 
which they were accustomed, they cut 
the blocks from the neighbouring moun- 
tains, now called Monti del Sasso, 
which yield a calcareous stone naturally 
assuming polygonal forms. Micali (Mon. 
Incd. p. 373) will not admit that this poly- 

gonal masonry shows a Pelasgic origin, 
but thinks such a style would be natu- 
rally adopted, in every age, in great 
walls, especially for substructions, and 
was here used in order to resist the 
force of the waves, and because the 
oblique stratification of the mountains 
afforded +he masses requisite. My rea- 
sons for regarding the polygonal masonry 
of Italy, in type at least if not always in 
construction, as Pelasgic, will be given 
in a future chapter. I may remark that 
both the writers cited admit that a 
choice was exerted in this instance. 
Indeed it was not necessary to go to the 
mountains of the interior to find stone 
for building ; and the variety of materials 
employed — all alike thrown into poly- 
gonal forms — proves that the adoption 
of that style in this case was not acci- 
dental, but intentional. At Agylla, 
however, where the rock is volcanic, the 
Pelasgi seem, if not in the city walls — 
which can hardly be ascribed to them — 
at least in their tombs, to have hewn it 
into rectangular blocks. See page 29. 

8 Serv. ad /En. X. 184. 

9 Rutil. I. 224. Strabo also (V. p. 225) 
classes it among the iroAi'x»"o of the 
Etruscan coast. 



[chap. XXXII. 

place of considerable importance as a port, naval station, 
and commercial emporium, 1 and it was renowned as the 
head-quarters of those hordes of pirates, who long made 
the Tyrrhenians as dreaded throughout the seas of Italy 
and Greece, 2 as the corsairs of Barbary have been in 
modern times. 

Much of the importance of Pyrgi must have arisen from 
its temple of Ilithyia or Lucina, the goddess of childbirth, 3 
— a shrine so richly endowed with gold and silver, and 
costly gifts, the opima spolia of Etruscan piracy, as to 
tempt the cupidity of Dionysius of Syracuse, who, in the 
year of Rome 370 (b.c. 384), fitted out a fleet of sixty 

1 Pyrgi was also afishing-town (Athen. 
VI. cap. 1, p. 224, ed. Casaub.). It seems 
to have suffered the usual evils of a sea- 
port, that — " quaedam corruptela ac de- 
mutatio morum " — as Cicero terms it 
(de Rep. II. 4) ; for Lucilius (ap. Serv. 
Ma. X. 184) mentions the — "scoi'ta 

2 Serv. loc. cit. — " Hoc castellum no- 
bihssimum fuit eo tempore, quo Thusci 
piraticam exercuerunt ; nam illic metro- 
polis fuit." The small size of Pyrgi, as 
Miiller remarks (Etrusk. I. 4, 8) is no 
proof against its importance in ancient 
times, seeing that the once renowned 
ports of Greece astonish the modern 
traveller by their confined dimensions. 

3 Rite maturos aperire partus 
Lenis Ilithyia, tuere matres ; 
Sive tu Lucina probas vocari 

Seu Genitalis ! &c. 
Hor. Carm. Scec. 1 3. 
Aristotle (G^conomic. II. 20) and Po- 
lyrenus also (V. cap. II. 21) call this 
goddess Leucothea. Niebuhr (II. pp. 
478, 493, Engl, trans.) and Miiller 
(Etrusk. III. 3, 4) call her Mater Ma- 
tuta, who was identified by the Romans 
with the Leucothea of the Greeks. But 
Matuta also is allied with Eos or Aurora 

(Lucret. V. 655) ; and Gerhard (Gott- 
heiten der Etrusker, pp. 9, 25) suggests 
an analogy between Ilithyia-Leucothea, 
and the Etruscan Aurora, who was call- 
ed "Thescm." Etrusk. Spiegel, I. taf. 
LXXVI. The natural relation between 
the goddess of the dawn and the goddess 
of births is easily understood ; that with 
a goddess of the sea, is not so evident. 
As Leucothea was deemed powerful in 
pi-eserving from shipwreck, and was the 
patron-deity of sailors, it is an argument 
hi her favour in this instance. Were this 
shrine sacred to her, it would seem to 
imply that the port was prior to the 
temple. On the other hand, it may be 
said, that Ilithyia being but one form of 
Juno, the great goddess of Argos (Hesych. 
El\r)6vias), the Pelasgic colony may well 
have raised a temple to her honour — as 
did the Argive colony, called by Diony- 
sius (I. pp. 1 6, 1 7) Pelasgic, which settled 
at Falerii. She is sometimes called the 
daughter of Juno (Paus. I. 18 ; Iliad. 
XL 271). Homer, however, elsewhere, 
(Iliad. XIX. 119) speaks of this goddess 
in the plural number. So also Hesychius. 
For a new view of the derivation of the 
name, vid. Ann. Inst. 1842, p. 95 


triremes, and attacked Pyrgi, ostensibly for the sake of 
repressing its piracies, but really to replenish his exhausted 
treasury. He surprised the place, which was very scantily 
garrisoned, spoiled the temple of not less than a thousand 
talents, and carried off booty to the amount of five hun- 
dred more, defeating the men of Caere, who came to its 
rescue, and laying waste their territory. 4 

This is all we know of Pyrgi in the days of Etruscan 
independence. Her history must in great measure be 
identical with that of Csere, on which she was so inti- 
mately dependent. We find her mentioned as a Roman 
colony in the year 563 (b.c. 191). 5 It is evident that 
under the Roman domination she lost much of her former 
importance. 6 We find nothing more than mere statements 
or hints of her existence, 7 till in the fifth century after 
Christ she is said to have dwindled from the condition of 
a small town to that of a large villa. 8 After that we hear 
no more of her as Pyrgi, but find her mentioned in a.d. 
1068, as the Castle of Sta Severa. 9 

Of the celebrated temple there are no traces existing ; 
nothing to determine even the site it occupied. Canina 
suggests that, from the period in which it was built, it 
may have been in the most ancient Doric style. 1 If so, it 
must have resembled the great temples of Psestum, stand- 
ing like them on the shore, and rearing its massive capitals 

4 Diodorus Sic. XV. p. 337 ; Serv. ad implies that she had lost her impoi*tance 
^En. X. 184. See also Aristot. CEcon. with her piracies. 

II. 20 ; Strab. V.p.226 ; Polyam. Strat. ' Liv. XXV. 3 ; Cic. de Orat. II. 71 ; 

V. cap. II. 21 ; cf. ^Elian. Var. Hist. P. Mela, II. 4 ; Plin. III. 8 ; Ptol. p. 68, 

1.20. ed. Bert. ; Mart. XII. epig. 2; Strab. 

5 Liv. XXXVI. 3. When with Fre- loc. cit. ; Serv. loc. cit. 

gense, Castrum Novum, and the maritime s Rutilius (I. 224 ), speaking of Alsium 

colonies of Latium, she was compelled and Pyrgi, says — 

to add her quota to the fleet fitting out "Nuncvillsegrandes,oppidaparvaprius." 

against Antiochus, king of Syria. 9 Nibby, Dintorni di Roma, III. 

6 Servius (loc. cit.) speaks of Pyrgi as p. 94. 

" nobilissimum " in early times, and ' Annal. Inst. 1840, p. 42. 

16 SANTA SEVERA. [chap, xxxii. 

and entablature high above the towers and battlements of 
the enclosing walls, at once a beacon to the mariner, and 
a stimulus to his devotion. 

The foundations show the walls of Pyrgi to have been 
in parts of great thickness, implying what might be ex- 
pected from its exposed situation in the plain, that its 
fortifications were of unusual strength and loftiness. 2 

The port, as already said, must have been wholly artificial, 
which seems indeed to be expressed in the term applied 
to it by ancient writers. 3 Nothing remains to determine 
the shape of the harbour, but Cav. Canina thinks it was 
formed by two curved moles, each terminating in a tower, 
with a third mole in front of the opening between them, 
like the island at Civita Vecchia. 

There are no tombs visible around Sta Severa, not even a 
tumulus on the plain, but at the foot of the heights which 
rise inland, sepulchres have been discovered. On one 
spot, called Pian Sultano, the Duchess of Sermoneta has 
excavated, and the tombs were of very simple character, 
and similar to those of Palo and Selva la Rocca. 4 

2 The name of Pyrgi denotes the ex- ancient walls seem to have varied from 

istence of " towers " in the ancient walls, 8 to 12, and 16 feet in thickness, 
yet there are no traces of any now 3 Cav. Canina points out that Strabo 

visible. It is evident they did not project and Dionysius both use the term eiriveiov, 

beyond the line of walls, as at Cosa and instead of \i^v, in describing Pyrgi — 

Falleri, though Cav. Canina, in his re- the former term implying an artificial 

stored Plan of Pyrgi, has so represented port, constructed with moles or break- 

them, for the outer face of the founda- waters — the latter a natural harbour 

tions is in parts clearly definable for a con- only. Ann. Inst. 1840, p. 43. This view 

siderable distance; nor are there traces of is favoured by Hesychius when he says 

towers within. Perhaps they rose only that Mi/eiov is smaller than \ifx.7)v. 
on the side towards the sea, where huge 4 Micali, Mon. Ined. pp. 375, 385. 

masses of ruin, the wTecks of the fortress The tombs which Abeken (Mittelitalien, 

and port, now he on the shore, fretting pp. 239, 242, 267) describes as belonging 

the waves into everlasting foam. There to Pyrgi, or to a village dependent on 

are traces of Roman work on this side, her, are those at the Puntone del Cas- 

of opus incertum and reticulatum. The trato, treated of in the last chapter. 

roMR of t;if: tarquins, cervktri. 



— saxo fundata vetusto 
Urbis Agylliuao sedes ; ubi Lydia quondam 
Gens, bcllo prseclara, jugia insedit 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 ? — Bvron. 

Soon after leaving Santa Severa, on the way to the Holy 
City, 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 inland, dark with wood. When he has 
journeyed onward for seven miles, he will find himself 
between this village and a solitary tower on the coast, 
called Torre Flavia. Here he will cross a rivulet known by 

VOL. II. c 

18 CERVETRI. [chap. xxxm. 

the homely name of La Vaccina, or the Cow-stream. Insig- 
nificant 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 Cceritis amnis 
of the JEneid, 1 on whose banks Tarcho and his Etruscans 
pitched their camps, and iEneas received from his divine 
mother his god-wrought arms and the prophetic shield 
eloquent of the future glories of Rome, 

clypei non enarrabile textum. 

Illic res Italas, Romanorumque triumphos, 
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 broad belt of olive and 
ilex. There frowned the dark grove of Silvanus, of dread 
antiquity, and there, on yon 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 — religione patrum late sacer — 
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 tradi- 
tional 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 mound which rises close to the bridge 
may be the eels us collis whence iEneas gazed on the Etrus- 
can camp. 2 No warlike sights or sounds now disturb the 

1 JEn. VIII. .5.07. Pliny (N. H. III. 8) calls it, "Cseretanus amnis." 
2 JEn. VIII., G04. 

chap, xxxiii.] THE MODERN VILLAGE. 19 

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- 
dogs, or the cry of the pecorajo as he marches at the head 
of his flock, and calls them to follow him to their fold or to 
fresh pastures. 3 Silvanus, "the god of fields and cattle," 
has still dominion in the land. 4 

If the traveller be in a vehicle, he must leave the high 
road a little before reaching the Vaccina, where a country- 
track crosses the downs to Cervetri. This same track he 
must pursue should he approach Cervetri from the side of 
Palo. For the pedestrian or horseman there is another, 
but longer path, just before reaching a second streamlet, 
known by the ominous name of La Sanguinara. 5 By the 
carriage-track he will ford the Vaccina at the chapel of 
Sta Maria de' Canneti, and presently finds himself between 
the walls of Cervetri and the heights of the ancient city. 

Cervetri, the representative of Agylla, is a miserable 
village, with 100 or 200 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 

:i This scene, of sheep following their 1241) speaks of the valleys or glens of 
shepherd, attracted by his voice, often Agylla, abounding in flocks. — 

meets the eye of the traveller in the ,. ,_, a , , .,#,, , 

J A7UAA7JS ai iroA\vpp7]voi vavai. 

East ; and beautiful allusion is made to 

it in Holy Writ (John X., 3, et seq.). 5 Livy (XXII. 1,) relates that, in the 

Oxen and goats also, in Corsica, and year 537, " the waters of Caere flowed 

even swine, in Italy, of old, used to mingled with blood." Cf.Val. Max. I. 6,5. 

follow their herdsman, at the sound of The Aquse Cseretes, here mentioned, are 

his trumpet. Polybius (XII. pp. 6.54, generally supposed to be the same as the 

655, ed. Casaub.), who records this fact, &ep^a KaipeTava of Strabo (V. p. 220), 

remarks that while the swineherds of now called the Bagni del Sasso, four 

Greece walked behind, those of Italy miles west of Cervetri. May not the 

invariably preceded, their herds. above tradition be preserved in the name 

4 This region was famed for its cattle of this stream? 

in the olden time. Lycophron (Cass. 

C 2 

20 CERVETR1. [chap, xxxiii. 

land for sonic miles round it, are the property of Prince 
Ruspoli, whose palace forms a conspicuous object in the 
scene. This noble seldom makes excavations 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 Cavaliere Campana, of General Galassi, 
and of the reverend arch-priest of Cervetri, Don Alessandro 
Regulini, 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 a good-tempered 
tobacconist, Flavio Passegieri, 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, four or five 
miles distant, where there is a decent inn ; but such as 
would devote more than a hurried day to the antiquities of 
C?ere, and to avoid the transit to and from Palo, are willing 
to put up with village accommodation, will find a clean bed 
and refreshment in the house of a vetturino, Pacifico Rosati, 
one of the most obliging, attentive hosts it has been my 
lot to encounter in Italy. He will also dress a meal, if 
need be, for the excursionist, who must not expect, 
however, the delicacies for which Caere was renowned 
of old. 6 

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 

6 Martial relished the pemce of Caere (de Re Rust. III. 3) testifies to the 
(XIII. 54), and compared her wines to abundance of her grapes, 
those of Setia (XIII. 124). Columella 



of the Etruscan state. 7 That it was at least Pelasgic 
and of very remote antiquity there can be no doubt ; s 
though we may not be willing to admit that that occupation 
of Italy can be referred with certainty to the third genera- 
tion before the Trojan war. 9 Traditions of ages so long- 
prior to the historic period must be too clouded by fable, 
or too distorted by the medium of their transmission, to be 
received as strictly authentic. In its early clays Agylla 
seems to have maintained intercourse with Greece, which 
corroborates, if need be, the uniform tradition of its 
Pelasgic origin. 10 

1 Dion. Hal. I. p. 16 ; cf. IIT. p. 193. 
Dionysius does not specify which of 
these towns were " previously inhabited 
by the Siculi," and which were " built 
by the Pelasgi with their confederate 

8 Dionysius is confirmed by Strabo 
(V. pp. 220, 226), Pliny (III. 8), Ser- 
ving (ad Virg. Mn. 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 able to 
find water elsewhere in the neighbour- 
hood. Strabo says these Pelasgi were 
from Thessaly (cf. Serv. ad Mn. VIII. 
600). Virgil corroborates the tradition 
by referring the grove of Silvanus on 
this site to the Pelasgi — 

Silvano fama est veteres sacr&ssePelasgos. 

Lycophron (Cass. 135.5) calls Agylla, 
Ausonian. It is justly remarked by 
Lepsius (Ann. Inst., 1836, p. 202) that 
there are more witnesses to the Pelasgic 
origin of Cuere, than of any other city 
of Etruria. 

9 It is stated by Hellanicus of Lesbos, 
that the Siculi were expelled from Italy 
at that period ; Philistos of Syracuse 
gives the date as 80 years before the 

Trojan War ; while Thucydides refers 
the expulsion to a period much sub- 
secment to the fall of Troy (ap. Dion. 
Hal. I. p. 1 8). Nibby (Dintorni di Roma, 
I. p. 345) on the strength of the tradi- 
tion of Hellanicus and Philistos, de- 
clares that the Pelasgic occupation took 
place, " certainly more than 1 350 years 
before Christ." 

10 That Agylla had a Greek origin 
may be inferred from the circumstance 
of its having dedicated treasure to the 
Delphian Apollo (Strabo, V. p. 220), 
and of its consulting that oracle (Herod. 
I. 167). Niebuhr (I. p. 127) is per- 
suaded that this dedication and con- 
sultation must have been made by the 
earlier inhabitants, the Pelasgi ; as the 
Etruscans would have been content with 
their own aruspicy. Cf. Canina, Cere 
Antica, p. 16. Then the language of the 
city, 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. 
The name is considered by Gerhard to 
be derived from the Greek — ayvid. Ann. 
Inst., 1831, p. 205. Servius (ad Mn. 
VIII. 597), however, derives it from a 
heros eponymos, Agella. 


(KKVETRI. [chap, xxxin. 

It would appear that at its conquest by the Etruscans its 
name was changed into Caere, but the reason of this altera- 
tion we know not, unless we choose to attach credit to the 
old legend, which tells us that when the Lydian or Etrus- 
can 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 V e — " bail ! " which they receiving as a 
good omen, on the capture of the city applied to it as its 
name. 1 But this, like most of the etymologies of the 
ancients, savours strongly of, what Pliny terms, the perversa 
subtilitas of the grammarians. 

In the time of iEneas, 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. 2 

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 
Rome ; and he cites them as examples of the rapid pro- 
gress this art had made, seeing that it appeared not to have 
been practised in the days of Troy. 3 Caere, even as early 

1 Strabo, loc. cit. Steph. Byzaut. v. of the Etruscan. Canina (Cere Antica 

Agylla. Servius (ad /En. VIII. 597) p. 25), who is of the old or literal school 

relates the same story, but on the of historic interpretation, thinks that 

authority of Hyginus (de Urbibus Ita- " the change of name, and the mingling 

licis) refers this blunder to the Romans. of the Agyllans with the Etruscan in- 

Miiller (Etrusk. einl. 2, 7, n. 40) thinks vaders can be established in the first 

the original Etruscan name was " Cisra," ten years after the fall of Troy ; " while 

and cites Verrius Flaccus (ap. Interp. Niebuhr, on the other hand (I. p. 127, 

JEn. X. 183. Veron.) in confirmation. cf. p. 385), will not allow it to have been 

Lepsius (die Tyrrhen. Pelasg. p. 28) re- made even as late as the year of Rome 

gards Caere as the original name, which 220 (B. C 534). 

came a second time into use ; andtbinks ' ; Virg. JEn. VII. C48 ; VIII. 481, ct 

it was Umbrian, not Etruscan, iu con- scq. 

formity with his theory of the Umbrian 3 Plin. N. H. XXXV. G. 

race and language being the foundation 

.hap. xx.mii] HISTORY OF CtERE. 23 

as the time of the first Tarquin, is represented as among the 
most flourishing and populous cities of Etruria ; 4 and she 
was undoubtedly one of the Twelve of the Confederation. 5 
But what, above all, distinguished Caere was, that she alone, 
of all the cities of Etruria, abstained from piracy, from no 
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. 6 

The first mention of this city in Roman history is, that it 
maintained a war with Tarquinius Priscus. 7 It also joined 
Veii and Tarquinii in the twenty years' war with his suc- 
cessor, 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. 8 

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 expedition against a colony of Phocteans, 
who had seized on Alalia in Corsica, and after a severe 
combat, all the prisoners taken by the allies were brought 
to Crcre and there stoned to death. In consequence 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 Phocseans 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 perforin 
solemn expiatory rites, and to institute games of gymnastic 

4 Dion. Hal. III. p. 1 93. . represents Caere as a powerful city of 

5 This may be learned from the Etruria. 

passages of Diouysius and Strabo already 6 Strabo, V. p. 220. 

cited, as well as from the prominent 7 Dion. Hal. III. p. l!)3. Nibby (I 

part the city took, in conjunction with p. 347) thinks it may then have changed 

Veii and Tarquinii, and the independent its name from Agylla to Caere. 

course she subsequently followed with 8 Dion. Hal. IV. p. 231 ; cf. Li v. 

regard to Rome. Livy (I. 2) also I. 42. 

24 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

exercises and horse-racing in honour of the slain ; which 
they continued to observe in the time of Herodotus. 1 

On the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus from Home, he 
and his two sons took refuge in Caere, 2 probably on account 
of his family connections there ; but it is not recorded that 
this city took part in Porsenna's expedition to reinstate 
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, Caere opened her gates 
and gave refuge to the Flamen Quirinalis, and Vestal 
Virgins, and eventually restored them in safety to their 
home. 4 Nay, we are told that the Caerites attacked the 
retreating Gauls, laden with the spoil of Rome, routed 
them, and recovered all the booty they were bearing 
away. 5 For these services the senate decreed that the 
Capites should receive the hospitium publicum, or be 
admitted into the most intimate relations with the Roman 
people 6 — in fact, they received the full privileges of 
Roman citizens, save the suffrage. 7 The origin of our 

1 Herod. I. 166, 167. more or less pure to a late period. 

2 Liv. I. 60. Dionysius (IV. pp. 276, Cf. Millingen, Ann. Tnst. 1834, p. 43. 
279) however, asserts that it was to 4 Liv. V. 40. Straho, V. p. 220. Val. 
Gabii he fled, where his son Sextus was Max. I. i. 10. Cf. Plut. Camil. ; Flor. 
king. Livy says it was Sextus alone I. 13. See also an inscription in the 
who went to Gabii. Vatican, given by Gruter, p. 492, 7, and 

3 This fraternity and intimate con- Muratori, p. 172, 4. 






. . EXIT 

nection were probably owing to the 
Pelasgic origin of Caere, and the con- 
sequent want of a complete sympathy 
with the Etruscans. Niebuhr (I. p. 
386) was even inclined to the opinion 
that Rome was a mere colony of Crere — 
an opinion which he had at first held, 5 Strabo, loc. cit. 

but afterwards modified. Lcpsius (Ann. c Liv. V. 50. Strabo, loc. cit. 

Inst., 1836, p. 203) thinks that the Pc- < This condition became proverbial, 

lassie population of Care was preserved and what had originally been conferred 

chap, xxxiii.] HISTORY OF CMRE. 25 

word ceremony — ccerimouia — has been ascribed to tins 
event. 8 

A year or two before the capture of Rome by the Gauls, 
Caere was engaged with another enemy, Dionysius, the 
tyrant of Syracuse, who, in 362, attacked Pyrgi, and 
spoiled its celebrated temple of Ilithyia. As this was the 
port of Caere, 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. 9 

Caere, though closely allied to Rome, continued to main- 
tain 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 (B.C 
353), to take up arms to assist Tarquinii against Rome, 
when she had been for ages intimately associated with the 
Republic. She must have received 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, 

as an honour was made significant of franchise as a disgraceful condition, 
disgrace ; for tabuloe Ccerites and cera 8 Val. Max. loc. cit. Festus, v. Cseri- 

Cceritis came to imply the condition of monia. The etymologies of the ancients, 

Roman citizens, who had been deprived however, are rarely to be trusted ; but 

of the right of suffrage. Hor. I. ep. Niebuhr (I. p. 386) thinks this derivation 

VI. 62. Aul. Gell. XVI. 13, 7. Strabo, very plausible. It has been suggested 

loc. cit. Niebuhr (II. pp. 60, 67) is of to me that the first syllable of the word 

opinion, from the classification of Festus was not originally Cieri, but Coeri (for 

(v. Municipium), that Care was really Curi, i. c. Cura) — monia — which, at least, 

degraded from the highest rank of citizen- is expressive of the meaning; and the 

ship, in consecpience of her conduct in two diphthongs are sometimes inter- 

the year 401 ; and thus he accounts for changeable, 
the proverbial reference to the Cseritan ° Sec the last chapter, page 15. 




rather than by the excuse then urged, listened to their 
prayer and granted them a truce for a hundred years. 10 It 
is highly probable that the Cserites 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 Caere 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 
illustrious city" had sunk into utter insignificance, retaining 
mere vestiges of past greatness, being even surpassed in 
population by the Thermae Crcretanaj — the hot baths in the 
neighbourhood, which the Romans frequented for health's 
sake. 3 It again revived, however, as appears from monu- 
ments and inscriptions found on the spot, and became a 
municipium.* Nor was it at any period wholly blotted 

» Liv. VII. 19, 20. 

1 Liv. XXVIII. 45. 

- Sil. Ital. VIII. 474. 

3 Strabo, V. p. 220. Now the Bagni 
del Sasso, so called from a remarkable 
bare crag on the summit of the neigh- 
bouring mountain. It is about 4 miles 
west of Cervetri, and is visible from 
the road between Sta Severa and Palo. 
Mannert (Geog. p. 379) places the 
Aquae Caeretanse at Ceri. Cluver (II. 
p. 493) confounds them with the Aqua: 
Apollinaris, on the upper road from 
Rome to Tarquinii, now the Bagni 
di Stigliano ; and the Table favours his 
view. Westphal (Rbm. Kamp. p. 160) 
also regards these names as identical. 
But Holstenius (Annot. ad Cluv. p. 35) 
distinguishes between the two Aquae, 
placing one at Stigliano, the other at 
Bagni del Sasso. Cluver thinks that 
.Martial (VI. 42) refers to the Aquae 
Apollinaris under the name of " Phcebi 

Vada." Gell (v. Agylla) mistakes the 
Careite of the Itinerary for Caere ; but it 
is evidently the station on the Via Clodia, 
now called Galera. See Vol. I. p. 77. 



Careias XV. 

Aquas Apol- 
linaris XVI III. 
Tarquinios XII. 



Lorio XII- 

Bebiana — 

Turres — 

Aquas Apol- 
linaris VIII. 
Tarquinis XII. 
4 Festus v. Municipium. Gruter, pp. 
215, 1 ; 485, 5 ; cf. 235, 9. Cluver, II. 
p. 493. Bull. Inst., 1840, pp. 5—8.— 
Canina. In excavations made in 1 840 on 
the site of the city, some beautiful marble 
statues of Tiberius, Drusus, Germanicus, 
and Agrippina were discovered, together 
with that singular bas-relief with the 
names and emblems of three Etruscan 

chap, xxxin.] DESOLATION OF THE SITE. 27 

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 Csere 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 recently found at Cervetri have 
established its identity with Caere beyond a doubt. 6 

Of the ancient city there are but few vestiges extant ; 
yet the outline of its walls is clearly denned, not so much 
by fragments, for there are few remaining, as by the cha- 
racter of the ground which the city occupied. This is a 
height or table-land, rising in steep cliffs 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 

cities, Tarquinii, Vetulonia, and Vulci, of the letters cut in marble and inlaid on a 

which mention has been made in a former darker stone. These things are perhaps 

chapter. Vol. I. p. 404. To the references still to be seen at the Convent, 

there given, add Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 174. 5 A bull of Gregory IX., in 1236, 

— Cavedoni. These monuments are now distinguishes between these two towns, 

among the chief ornaments of the new specifying " plebes et ccclesias in Cere 

Museum of the Lateran. In the season Nova," and also, " in Cere Vetere et 

of 1845-6, the Augustine monks of Cer- finibus ejus." Nibby, Dintorni di Roma 

vetri discovered many more statues and I. p. 355. 

torsi, with altars, bas-reliefs, beautiful 6 Bull. Inst., 1840, pp. 5 — 8 ; 1846, 

cornices, and other architectural frag- p. 129. But Gruter (pp. 214 ; 652, 8) 

ments of a theatre, coloured tiles and had long ago given some inscriptions 

antefixw, and numerous fragments of referring to Csere, which were found at 

Latin inscriptions, with one in Etruscan, Cervetri. Canina claims to have been the 

"Cusiach," which is unique in having first to indicate the true site of this city. 




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 
preserved 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 deter- 
mining the extent, form, and position of the city, — he will 
perceive that it was four or five miles in circuit, and there- 
fore fully substantiating its claim to be ranked among the 
first of Etruria, — that it was of oblong form, — that it had 
eight gates, all most 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 arrangement to those in the walls of Veii 
and Tarquinii, and utterly different from those of Pyrgi, 
which had a common origin. 7 

" Canina (Cere Antica p. 52) says still more distinct on the western side, 

there are no vestiges of the walls which I could perceive no such remains ; all 

surrounded the city ; but foundations the fragments I observed being of an 

may, in several parts, be traced along uniform character — rectangular tufo 

the brow of the cliffs, and on the side masonry, of smaller blocks than usual, 

opposite the Banditaccia, for a consi- and very similar in size and arrangement 

derable extent. Many of the ancient to the fragments of walling at Veii (Vol. 

blocks have been removed of late years I. p. 15), and Tarquinii (Vol. I. p. 383), 

to construct walls in the neighbourhood, and to the ancient fortifications on the 

and I was an indignant witness of this height of S. Silvcstro, near the Tiber, 

destruction, on one of my visits to the which I take to mark the site of Feseen- 

site. Nibby (I. p. 358) speaks of traces nium (Vol. I. p. ICO). It is neverthe- 

of the more ancient or Pelasgic walls less possible that these walls are of 

of large irregularly squared blocks, along Pelasgic construction; for, as the only 

the cliffs on the east of the city, and material on the spot is soft tufo, which 

30 CERVETEI. [chap. xxxm. 

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 sur- 
passed. The cliffs of the city, 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 bv encrusting lichens into the 
warmest orange or amber, or are gilt with the most bril- 
liant yellow — thrown out more prominently by an occa- 
sional sombring 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. 

has a rectangular cleavage, the Pelasgic composed of enormous masses. Though 
founders of the city could not avoid I acknowledge the influence of the local 
using it except by fetching limestone, at a materials on the style of masonry, I 
great expense of labour, from the moun- do not think it amounts to a constructive 
tains inland ; and, using the tufo, they necessity ; and though I believe the 
would naturally hew it into forms most Pelasgi may have employed one style of 
easily worked and arranged, as they did masonry at Cosa, another at Cortona, 
in the Regulini-Galassi tomb, and other and a third at Agylla, I cannot admit 
early sepulchres of Csere, whose contents that they exercised no preference, or 
authorise us to regard them as Pelasgic. that any other people with the same 
The objection to assign such an origin to materials would have arrived at the very 
the remains of the city walls, lies not in peculiar style which they seem always to 
the rectangularity of the blocks, but in have followed, where practicable, and 
their small size ; seeing that all the which is generally called after their 
ancient fortifications we are best war- name. For further remarks on this sub- 
ranted in ascribing to the Pelasgi, are ject, see chap. XLVII. 

chap, xxxm.] THE BANDITACCIA. 31 

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 Guide-book will tell him, 
was derived from the number of bandits who once infested 
the spot. 8 The name is simply indicative of the proprietor- 
ship of the land, which once belonging to the commie, or 
corporation of Cervetri, was terra bandita — "set apart;" 
and, as it was uncultivated and broken ground, the termi- 
nation descriptive of its ugliness was added — banditaccia. 
It retains the name, though it has passed into the hands of 
Prince Ruspoli. To reach it from Cervetri, you cross the 
narrow glen to the north. Here in the cliffs opposite is 
hollowed a long 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 impres- 
sion I had received at Bieda and other sites, that the 
cemeteries of the Etruscans were often intentional repre- 
sentations 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 piazza, surrounded by tombs 
instead of houses. None of these sepulchres, it is true, 
had architectural facades remaining, but the cliffs were 
hewn into smooth, upright faces, and here and there 

8 Mrs. Gray, from whose account swarming with caverns, might well 

that of the Hand-book is derived, may suggest such an appellation, 

be excused having fallen into this 9 One of them has a small pilaster 

error, when the same had been stated against its inner wall, with capital and 

by the highest archaeological authorities abacus quite Doric, and shaft, also, of 

in Rome. Cere Antica, p. .51. Bull. early Doric proportions, though resting 

Inst., 1838, p. 171. In truth, a spot so on a square base. 




were fragments of an ornamental cornice. Within the 
tombs the analogy was pre- 
served. 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. (See the annexed 
woodcut. 1 ) This central cham- 
ber represented the atrium of 
Etruscan houses, 2 whence 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 lain, reclining in effigy, as 


at a banquet. The ceilings of 

all the chambers had the usual beams and rafters hewn in 

1 The above plan is that of the Seat 
and Shield Tomb, presently to be 
described. The following is the ex- 
planation : — 
a. Rock-hewn steps leading down to 

the tomb. 
h. 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 trie! in in. 
;/,!/,!/■ Entrances to the inner chambers. 
/;, //. Windows to the same, cut in the 

i, i. Arm-chairs and foot-stools, hewn 

from the rock. 
I. Niche recessed in the wall. 
1c, k. Windows cut in the rock. 

The sepulchral benches which sur- 

round each chamber are here indicated ; 
sometimes with a raised, ornamental 

The shaded part of the plan repre- 
sents the rock in which the tomb is 

2 Described by Vitruvius (VI. 3)j 
Varro (L. L. V. 161), and Festus (v. 
Atrium). The atrium in this case was 
not a true cavcediwm, not being open to 
the sky ; but had it been, the purpose of 
concealment would have been defeated. 
Indeed it was sometimes deemed neces- 
sary to support the ceiling by a massive 
pillar of rock. Yet that the analogy 
was intended, and was preserved as far 
as possible, is evident from the windows 
around, which suppose the light to have 
been received from the centra! chamber. 
See the above Plan. 

chap, xxxni.] TOMBS RECENTLY OPENED. 33 

the rock ; and in one instance was the same fan-like orna- 
ment in relief, and walls similarly panelled, as in a tomb 
at Vulci ; 3 whence it may be inferred that such decora- 
tions were at one period fashionable in Etruscan houses. 

Many of the tombs of the Banditaccia are surmounted 
by tumuli. Indeed tumuli are scarcely less numerous here 
than at Tarquinii. Some of them are still unexcavated, 
the entrance being below the surface ; in others the door- 
way 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 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 a single instance of inscrip- 
tions on the exterior of tombs ; and that was no longer 

Some tombs of great interest were opened on this spot 
in the winter of 1845-6. The first you reach is a large 
tomb, 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 
corner recesses. 4 

3 See Vol. I. page 408. word of another inscription given by 

4 This word, from its position in the Lanzi (Sagg. II. p. 509 ; cf. Vermigl. 
corner of the tomb, seems to be the Iscriz. Perug. I. p. 140). See Bull, 
first of an inscription never completed. Inst., 1847, p. 55. This tomb, in size, 
It appears to have some analogy with form, and arrangements, is very like 
the Cethen. Suthi, which commences that of the Tarquins, which is repre- 
the celebrated inscription of S. Manno, sented in the wood-cut at the head of 
near Perugia, and also with the initial this chapter. 

VOL. II. I) 

34 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxin. 


Hard by 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, 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, 
or as 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 % Or was it, as Visconti 
suggests, for the use of the relatives who came yearly to 
hold solemn festivals at the tomb l 5 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. 6 Or, as Micali opines, was it to intimate the 
blissful repose of the new life on which his spirit had 
entered. 7 Or 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 ? 8 

Some eighteen or twenty years since a tomb was opened 
in the Banditaccia, which contained two of these chairs, 
each with a foot-stool attached, and a shield suspended 

5 Antichi Monumenti di Ceri, p. 31 — '' Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 152. 

where he gives a description of a similar 8 The form of this and similar rock - 

tomb. hewn seats in other tombs of Cervetri is 

fi It may have been for the support of a very like that of the beautiful marble 

funeral urn ; for in the tombs of Chiusi, chair, with bas-reliefs, in the Palazzo 

canopi, or vases in the form of human Corsini at Rome, which is thought to be 

busts, which were, probably, the effigies Etruscan, and a genuine sella curulis. 

of the deceased whose ashes they con- It will be borne in mind that the curule 

tained, have been found placed on seats chair was one of the Etruscan insignia 

of this form. Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 68. of authority ; and thence adopted by the 

Such canopi have also been discovered Romans. See Vol. I. pp. 26, 376, 377. 
at Caere, says Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 18.5. 





against the wall above it, all carved in the living rock. 
The annexed woodcut, which gives a section of the tomb, 
shows the seats, 

placed between 
the doors of in- 
ner chambers. 9 
The tomb is 
still open, but 
my endeavours 
to discover it 

among the thousand and one sepulchres of the Banditaccia 
have proved fruitless. 1 

At the further side of the Banditaccia is a group of four 
other recently-discovered tombs, which have been placed 
under lock and key by the Cavaliere Campana. One of 
these, opened in the spring of 1846, is a painted tomb — 
which I shall designate 

Grotta del Triclinio. 

It, consists of 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 still 
lies a skull, whose uniform grin startles 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 distinguish them, so much have 

9 Compare the Plan at page 32. The 
shields were of large size, like the 
Argolic shields, and like that on the 
tomb at Norchia (Vol. I. p. 252). This 
tomb has been described and delineated 
in Bull. Instit., 1834, p. 99. Ann. Inst., 
1835, p. 184. Mon. Ined. Inst. II. tav. 
XIX. For further remarks on the 
shields, see the Appendix to this Chapter, 
Note I. 

1 Mr. Ainsley, however, in a subse- 
quent visit, has been more fortunate, in 
falling in with a person who was present 
at the opening of the tomb, and remem- 
bered its site. He represents the prin- 
cipal chamber, indicated asc in the Plan, 
at page 32, as being hung with ten or 
twelve of these shields, carved in the 
rock, in relief. 

36 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxih. 

they suffered from the damp ; and if unaware of their 
existence, you might visit the tomb without perceiving the 
figures on its walls. 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 together 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 
beatification — of gods and heroes ; but hers is of the white 
hue of the stucco. He pledges her in a phial 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 meats, 
fruits, eggs, and goblets ; and a large round shield is sus- 
pended on the wall behind the man. You might fancy it 
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. 

It is from these heads we must judge of the rest in this 
tomb ; for the same scene is repeated again and again on 
the walls — eight other couples recline on the festive couch, 
each with a tripod-table by their side, and a shield sus- 
pended above. 2 But the females have lost the fairness of 

2 A singular feature here is, that the revellers are depicted reclining on a 
instead of a separate leclus for each pair continuous couch, which, as it occupies 

chap, xxxiii.] THE PAINTED TOMB. 37 

their sex, and, from the discoloration of the stucco, have 
become as dusky as negresses ; while the men, from their 
brick-dust complexions, are much more distinct. 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 
it and beneath it, and a tall candelabrum at its side, the 
counterpart to which is seen also on the side-wall. 3 On a 
mixing-vase which stands on this table or sideboard is 
inscribed the word ivnon in Roman letters, which, as it 
can hardly here allude to the " white-armed/' " ox-eyed " 
goddess, must refer to the Juno, or presiding spirit of some 
female, 4 probably the principal person interred in the 

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. 5 

three walls of the tomb, may be supposed ticular notice, as they are depicted with 

to represent a triclinium, such as the a number of little vases, or other small 

Romans used ; and this, I believe, is the objects tied to the stem in clusters ; and 

only ancient painting of that sort of candelabra, with vases so attached, have 

banqueting-scene, now in existence. The also been discovered in Etruscan tombs 

figures here lie under a red and white at Vulci. Bull. Inst. 1832, p. 194. 

striped coverlet, or stragulum. The From this we learn a secondary use to 

small tables by the side of the triclinium. w hi c h these elegant articles of furniture 

are not the usual TpaireQxi (i. c, rcTpd- were applied. 

irefci), or with four legs, as in all the 4 See the Appendix to this Chapter, 

paintings of Tarquinii, but rpiirofes, or Note II. 

with only three feet. s In the floor of this tomb is an oblong 

3 Banquets by lamp-light are rarely pit, just such as opens in the ceilings of 

represented in Etruscan tombs — the only so many sepulchres at Civita Castellaua, 

other instance I remember is in the and as is shown in the roof of the tomb of 

Grotta Querciola at Corneto ; the re- the Tarquins, in the wood-cut, at page 

vellers are generally depicted as lying 17. Whether it be the shaft to a second 

under the shade of the ivy or vine, or sepulchral chamber beneath this, as 

amid groves of myrtle. Even in the analogy suggests, or is merely intended 

Grotta Querciola, though a candelabrum to drain the tomb, I cannot say, for I 

is introduced, the festive couches are found it full of water. In the so-called 

surrounded by trees. The candelabra "Tomb of Solon" at Gombet Li, in 

in this tomb of Caere are worthy of par- Phrygia, described by Steuart in his 

38 CERVETRI. [chai\ xxxm. 

The colours in this tomb have been laid on in distemper, 
not al fresco. The freedom of the design, as far as it is 
discernible, the Greek character of the features, and the 
full faces of some of the males, are clear proofs of a late 
date — a date subsequent rather than prior to the period of 
Roman domination ; and this is confirmed by the presence 
of the Latin inscription. 6 

A painted tomb at Cervetri has peculiar interest, for this 
is the only site in Etruria where we have historical record 
of the existence 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. 7 Those 
in this tomb can scarcely lay claim to a purely Etruscan 
antiquity. Another sepulchre, however, was discovered 
some twenty 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 Campana at Veii. 8 The tomb is still open, but 
when last at Cervetri I could find no one who was 
acquainted with its site. 9 

work on Lydia and Phrygia, there is a beard, and close vest, shooting an arrow 
similar well or shaft sunk hi the middle at a stag — a lion devouring a stag, while 
of a sepulchral chamber. a second lion, squatting by, looked on — 
6 For notices of this tomb see Bull. a ram flying from another lion — and 
Inst., 1847, pp. 61, 97. fragments of other animals, and of a 
" Plin. XXXV. 6. second man with a bow. There was 
s See Vol. I. pp. 50 — 52. much truth and expression in the beasts, 
9 Mr. Ainsley has subsequently re- in spite of their unnatural parti-colour- 
discovered it. He describes its paintings ing. The only hues used in this tomb 
as more archaic than any at Tarquinii. are black, white, and red. The face and 
A description of them has been given by legs of the archer were painted white — 
Kramer (Bull. Inst. 1834, pp. 97 — 101), a ver y singular fact, as that was thecon- 
who represents them as of the rudest ventional hue of females. The door- 
character, painted on the bare porous moulding w T as striped diagonally, as in 
tufo, which has undergone no prepara- Egyptian architecture, with red, white, 
tion,not being even smoothed, to receive and black. Many of the above figures, 
them. The tomb was nearly elliptical, and according to Mr. Ainsley, have now dis- 
had an upper and lower band of figures ; appeared, and unless some means are 
those in the lower were almost effaced ; taken to preserve them, the rest will 
but above, there was a man with pointed soon perish. Cf. Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 1 83. 

chap, xxxm.] TOMB OF THE SARCOPHAGI. 39 

Gkotta de' Sarcofagi. 

Close to the last is a sepulchre which I shall designate 
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 rocky 
biers, without other covering than their robes or armour. 
The sarcophagi are here of alabaster — not that from Vol- 
terra, but another kind from the Circeian Promontory. 1 
Two have the draped figure of a man on the lid, not rest- 
ing, as usual, on his elbow, but reclining on his left side. 
They are in a very archaic style. The hair of one is 
arranged in the small stiff curls which are seen in the most 
ancient Etruscan bronzes, as well as in the early monu- 
ments of the East, and are shown in the reliefs from 
Nineveh, recently brought to this country. The same 
figure wears a chaplet of leaves, and holds a patera, and he 
has two small lions of the most quaint and primitive art at 
his feet. His eyes are painted black, and his lips red ; but 
the rest of the monument is uncoloured. The other figure 
is remarkable for his fine features ; and with mustachios, 
and a torque about his neck, he much resembles a Gaul. 
He has four similar lions on his couch, one at each angle. 
There is a peculiarly primitive air about these figures ; 
they are unlike any I have elsewhere seen on the lids of 
sarcophagi, where, in truth, they have generally nothing 
archaic in character. 

The third sarcophagus is of temple-form, like that from 
Bomarzo, now in the British Museum, but without sculp- 
tured decorations. 

On the wall of this tomb is scratched an Etruscan in- 
scription, which in Roman letters would be v: apucus: ac. 

1 Bull. Inst. 1847, p. 97. 

40 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxin. 

and on a slab which served as a cippus, I read larthi ap. 
vcuia, in Etruscan characters. Thence it appears that the 
sepulchre was that of a family named Apucus (Apicius 1) 
The front of the couches is painted with sea-monsters, 
dolphins, lions, and other animals, on a stuccoed surface ; 
and on the inner wall of the tomb is a band of the usual 

Grotta dell' Alcova. 

Another of these newly discovered sepulchres, I shall 
call the " Tomb of the Alcove," from a singular, recessed 
chamber in the further wall, like a chapel in a cathedral. 
There are in fact three of these recesses, 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 a 
cushion and pillows at its head, ornamented legs in relief, 
and a low stool, or scamnum in front — all hewn from the 
living rock. It may represent a thalamus or nuptial-couch, 
rather than the usual festive kAiV/ or lectus, for it is double, 
and must have been occupied by 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 integuments. 

This tomb bears a striking resemblance to a temple — 
in its spaciousness — in its division into three aisles by the 
pillars and pilasters which support the rafter-carved roof — 
in the dark shrine at the upper end, like the cella of the 
god, raised on a flight of steps — and in the altar-like mass 
of the couch within. Nor are the many large amphora 
which strew the floor, unpriestly furniture ; though they 
seem to hint at copious libations to a certain jolly god, 
poured forth on the occasion of the annual sepulchral 

chap, xxxni.] TOMB OF THE ALCOVE. 41 

But 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. 
Casre, indeed, is particularly rich in this respect — more so 
than any other Etruscan site. Most of the newly-found 
tombs 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 spacious- 
ness and the abundance of such decoration, had acquired 
the name of II Palazzo. Of the students of ancient archi- 
tecture who yearly flock to Rome, none should omit to 
visit the tombs of Cervetri — and none would regret it. 2 

The last tomb I have to describe of those recently 
opened in the Banditaccia, is the most interesting of all. 
In truth it is by far the most interesting that has been 
found in this necropolis, since the discovery of the cele- 
brated Grotta Regulini-Galassi. It must be called 

Grotta de' Tarquinj, 

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, 3 but never in any 

2 The pit which forms the entrance to construction. Bull. Inst. 1845, p. 224. 
each of these tombs is lined with tufo The frequent traces of the passages 
masonry. The style is not uniform ; in having been vaulted in by the gradual 
this instance it is what I have termed convergence of the horizontal courses, 
emplecton, precisely resembling the walls establish their high antiquity, as prior to 
of Sutri, Falleri, and Nepi, but here of the invention or practice of the arch, 
rather smaller dimensions, the courses 3 On a spherical cippus, found at 
being only 1 9 inches high. Canina re- Chiusi, was inscribed " tarcnal," (Pas- 
marks on the masonry at the mouth of seri, Acheront. p. 66, ap. Gori, III.) 
these tombs being always opus quadra- — " tarchnas " on a cornelian scarabcem, 
tum, even in those which can with most found near Piscille (Vcrmiglioli, Iscriz. 
confidence be pronounced of most ancient rerug. I. p. 81, tav. V. 2) — "iarchi," 

42 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

abundance. Nor are we yet assured that it was a common 
name in Etruria. We only know that there must have 
been a numerous family of Tarquins settled at Caere. But 
can this have been of the same race as the celebrated 
dynasty of Rome % Nothing more probable. We know 
that when the royal family was expelled, the king and two 
of his sons, Titus and Aruns, took refuge at Caere ; Sextus, 
the elder — 

" the false Tarquin 
Who wrought the deed of shame," — 

retiring to Gabii, where he was soon after slain. 4 What 
more likely then than that the family here interred was 
descended in a direct line from the last of the Roman 
kings 1 Though Aruns, one of the princes, was slain soon 
after in single combat with the consul Brutus, at the 
Arsian Wood, 5 he may have left his family at Caere, and 
his father and brother still survived to perpetuate the name 
of Tarquin. 6 However it be, let the visitor to this sepulchre 

on a column in the Museo Oddi at or nas — Tarchnas (Tarquinius),Tarchnai 

Perugia (id. I. p. 148) — "tarchis," on (Tarquinia). The termination sa or isa 

one of the urns in the Grotta de' Vo- is indicative of connection by marriage, 

lunui at Perugia. — " tarchisa," on an or Tarchisa may be equivalent to Tarquitia 

urn in the Museum of Florence (Lanzi, — an Etruscan family renowned for its 

Saggio, II. p. 417). " tarchu," on a skill in divination. Plin. N. H. I. lib. II. 

black cinerary pot from Chiusi, now in Macrob. Sat. III. 7 ; cf. II. 16 ; Amm. 

the same collection. The name on the Marcell. XXV. 2 ; J. Lydus de Ostent. 

spherical disc at Toscauella, which I II. 

thought to have been " tarchnas, " 4 Liv. I. 60. Dionysius says the king 

(See Vol. I. p. 448), is said by Keller- fled to Gabii, where Sextus was king, 

mann (Bull. Inst. 1833, p. 61, and and after staying there some time in the 

Suppl. 47), to be " Tarsalus." Lanzi vain hope of inducing the Latins to take 

fancied that Tarchu and Tarchi were up his cause, he removed to the city of 

the original Etruscan forms of the Etruria, whence his mother's family had 

name, and " Tarchun," the Greek form come ; i. e. Tarquinii (V. pp. 276, 279) ; 

adopted by the Romans. But it is but no mention is made of Ctere. 

quite unnecessary to refer any one of s Liv. II. 6. 

these to the Greek. Tarch was no doubt 6 Livy (II. G, 9) says the elder Tar- 

the primitive form, with the inflexion of quin and his son Titus subsequently went 

Tarch-/-M, or un; from this the adjective to Tarquinii, Veii, and Clusium, to raise 

was formed by the usual addition of va the cities of Etruria in their cause, and 

chap, xxxiii.] TOMB OF THE TARQUINS. 43 

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. 7 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-Tomb at Corneto, nor a name 
here and there, as in the Grotta delle Iscrizioni of 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 
long recesses for corpses, in the walls ; while below is a 
double tier of rock-hewn benches, which also served as biers 
for the dead. 8 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. 
They are remarkable for the wonderful freshness of the 
impression. The stucco or mortar has hardened in pro- 
minent ridges precisely as it was displaced ; and you might 
suppose the inscription had been written but one day, 

when the campaign of Porsenna had Tusculura. The existence of this tomb 

failed to reinstate them at Rome, they at least establishes the Etruscan origin 

retired to Tusculum, to their relative of the Tarquins, which Niebuhr has 

Mamilius Octavius, (Liv. II. 15). We called into question (I. pp. 37G, 511). 
hear no more of them at Csere, yet from ' The depth of the floor below the 

their choosing that city as their first surface must be very considerable — 

place of refuge in their exile, it is highly hardly less than 50 feet, 
probable that they had relatives residing 8 See the wood-cut at page 17. 

there, as well as at Gabii, Tarquinii, and 

44 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

instead of 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. 9 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, 1 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 proba- 
bility 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, those of Perugia for instance, this sepulchre will be 
found to contain very few other family-names introduced 
in the epitaphs as matronymics. 2 

,J I have given all the inscriptions that out referring these epigraphs to the 
remain legible, whether Etruscan or period of Roman domination. More- 
Latin, in Bull. Inst. 1847, pp. 56 — 5.9. over, even though in Latin letters, the 
Compare Dr. Mommsen's version of some name sometimes retains its Etruscan 
of them (p. 63) which differs from mine, form — " tarcna " — which is quite novel, 
though I cannot think in every instance and a presumptive evidence of antiquity, 
so correct. - In more than forty inscriptions, I 

1 The Latin inscriptions in this tomb could find only eleven names of other 

do not necessarily indicate a very late families, and of these seven only were in 

date ; if the family were of the royal Etruscan characters and connected with 

blood of Rome, the occasional use of the the name of Tarchnas ; the other four 

Latin character may be explained, with- were in Latin, and quite distinct. 

chav. xxxiii.] GROTTA REGULINI-GALASSI. 45 

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 alabastron, repre- 
sented 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 mortuary 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. 3 

Like most of the tombs of the Banditaccia, which are 
below the surface, this was half Ml of water. At the 
expense of wet feet, we 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 we were obliged to have 
it re-excavated for our especial inspection. 

Grotta Regulini-Galassi. 

The sepulchre at Cervetri which has most renown, and the 
greatest interest from its high antiquity, the peculiarity of 
its structure, and the extraordinary nature and value of its 
contents, is that called after its discoverers — the archpriest 
Regulini, and General Galassi. This is one of the very few 
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 

3 See the woodcut at the head of this late the sepulchre, in preparation for the 

chapter. The shaft was either used as an annual parcntalia. Such shafts are most 

entrance after the doorway had been common in the tombs of Falerii ; but 

closed, by means of niches cut for the feet there open generally in the anti-chamber, 

and hands ; or may have served, by the rarely in the tomb itself, 
removal of the covering above, to venti- 



[chap. XXXIII. 

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 le veilings of the soil for agri- 
cultural purposes, that its existence is now mere matter of 

The sepulchre opens in a low bank in the middle of a 
field. The pecu- 
liarity of its con- 
struction is evident 
at a glance. It is 
a rude attempt at- 
an arch, formed by 
the convergence of 
horizontal strata, 
hewn to a smooth 
surface, and slightly 
curved, so as to re- 
semble a Gothic 
arch. This is not, 
however, carried up to a point, but terminates in a 
square channel, covered by a large block of nenfro. 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. 4 This passage 
is divided into two parts or chambers, communicating by 
a doorway of the same Gothic form, with a truncated top. 5 


4 The masonry is of rectangular blocks 
of nenfro, in the outer chamber about 1 8 
inches long, in courses from 12 to 15 
inches deep ; but in the inner, of more 
massive dimensions. 

5 The outer chamber is 33 feet, the 
inner 24£ feet long, and the thickness of 
the partition-wall, 3 feet ; making the en- 
tire length 60£ feet. The inner doorway 
is Q\ feet high and 4$ 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 gene- 
rally of high antiquity. These bear an 
evident relation to the Treasuries of 
Mycenae and Orchomenos, and to the 


The similarity of the structure to the Cyclopean gallery 
at Tiryns is striking ; the masonry, it is true, is far less 
massive, but the style is identical, showing a rude attempt 
at an arch, the true principle of which had yet to be dis- 
covered. 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 expedient 
naturally adopted in the formation of arches, vaults, and 
domes, by those who are ignorant of the cuneiform prin- 
ciple ; 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. 6 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 Rome — prior, it may be, to the foundation of the 
City. 7 

Nurhags or Nuraghe of Sardinia and and terminate not in a point, but in a 

the Talajots of the Balearics, in as far square head, formed by the imposition 

as they are roofed in on the same of flat blocks ; the peculiarity consists 

principle. And they are probably of not in the courses being often almost at 

inferior antiquity. Like the Nuraghe right angles with the line of the arch, 

they may with good reason be regarded showing a near approach to the cunei- 

as the work of the Tyrrhene Pelasgi. form principle. 

The Druidical barrows of our own " Cavalier Canina (Cere Antica, p. 80) 

country sometimes contain passage- refers its construction to the Pelasgi, or 

formed sepulchres like these of Cervetri. earliest inhabitants of Agylla, aud assigns 

6 Stephens' Yucatan, I. p. 429, et seq. to it and its contents an antiquity of not 

This traveller's description and illus- less than 3000 years, making it coeval 

trations show the remarkable ana- with the Trojan war. He says it can be 

logy between these American pseudo- determined that precisely in the reign of 

vaults and those of ancient Europe. Tarquinius Priscus, the change in the 

The sides of the arch are hewn to a mode of constructing the arch was 

smooth curved surface, as in the Regu- effected in Rome, for Tarquin introduced 

lini tomb (see the woodcut at page 46), the style from Tarquinii. But though 



[chap. XXXIII. 

The great antiquity of this tomb may be deduced also 
from its contents, which were of the most archaic, Egyptian- 
like character. 8 Scarcely any pottery, and none figured, 
was found here ; but numerous articles of bronze, silver, 
and gold, so abundant, so singular, 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, with an elevated place 
for the head. 9 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. 

we were absolutely certain that Tarquin 
built the Cloaca Maxima, we have no au- 
thority for determining when the first 
true arch was erected in Rome. The 
principle may, for aught we know, have 
been known and practised at a much 
earlier period. At any rate, it is highly 
probable that it had been known in Etru- 
ria some time before the construction of 
the Cloaca Maxima, and if at Tarquinii 
whence Tarquin migrated, why not at 
Caere, 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 of his 
fellows, admits that the style of architec- 
ture shows it to be prior to the foundation 
of Rome (Mon. Ined. p. 350). Grin, how- 
ever,andCavedoni(Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 4 (5) 
refer it to the third century of the City. 
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 encir- 
cling 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 preserving it iutact from those 
who in ages past rifled the rest of the 
sepulchre. This has been pronounced 
by a most able critic, to be " a sagacious 
analysis. 1 ' Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 172. 

8 Lepsius, no mean authority on Egyp- 
tian matters, remarks the evident imita- 
tion 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. 

9 A learned friend suggests that this 
reticulated bier may be regarded as 
an illustration of the (VTprjTov Aex os °f 
Taris and Helen. Iliad III. 448. 

chap, xxxni.] THE WARRIOR'S CHAMBER. 49 

On the other side of the bier lay some thirty or forty little 
earthenware figures ; probably the Lares of the deceased, 
who had not selected his divinities for their 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 aa-rrls, and beautifully embossed, but 
apparently 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 
cauldrons, with a number of curious handles terminating in 
griffons' heads, together with a singular vessel — a pair of 
bell-shaped vases, united by a couple of spheres. 10 Besides 
these articles of bronze, there was a series of vessels sus- 
pended by bronze nails from each side of the recess in the 
roof. 1 The cauldrons, dripping-pan, and bell- vessel, are 
supposed to have contained perfumes, or incense, for fumi- 
gating the sepulchre. 

This tomb had evidently contained the body 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 

10 Much like that shown at page 58. Thesaurus, but that certain nodules in 

1 The nails thus supporting crockery the blocks have been mistaken for 

or bronzes in Etruscan tombs, throw them. Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 58 — Wolff, 

light on the use of them in the so-called But admitting that there were really 

Treasury of Atreus, at Mycense, where nails, it is far more probable that they 

they have long been supposed to have served to support pottery or other sepul- 

fastened the plates of bronze with which chral furniture, than a lining of metal, 

it was imagined the walls were lined. It seeing it is now generally admitted that 

has been suggested, however, that no the so-called "Treasuries" of Greece 

nails ever existed in that celebrated were no other than tombs. 

50 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

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 suspended on each side the 
entrance. Further in, stood two bronze cauldrons for per- 
fumes, 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, 2 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 body. 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." 3 There were, a head-dress of 
singular character — a large breastjDlate, beautifully embossed, 
such as was worn by Egyptian priests — a finely 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 fibulce or brooches, one of 
remarkable size and beauty — sundry rings, and fragments of 
gold fringes and lamince, 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. 4 
Against the inner wall lay two vessels of silver, with 
figures in relief. 

This abundance of ornament has led to the conclusion 
that the occupant of this inner chamber was a female of 

2 Canina (Cere Ant. p. 75) states that 3 Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 60. 

the floor under the corpse, in both * Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 60. Though 

tombs, was paved with stones cemented this is somewhat vague, it conveys the 

together — sclci collegati in calce — an idea of the great abundance of this metal, 

unique feature, and worthy of particular It was found crashed beneath a mass of 

notice in connection with the very re- fallen masonry, 
mote antiquity of the tomb. 



rank — a view confirmed by the inscriptions found in the 
tomb. 5 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, 6 
and would be consistent enough with the strong Egyptian 
style observable in many of the contents of this sepulchre. 7 
On each side of the outer passage was a small circular, 
domed chamber, hewn in the rock, one containing an urn 

5 Canina, Cere Aiitica, p. 76. Cave- 
doni, Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 46. The in- 
scriptions were on several of the silver ves- 
sels, and consisted merely of the female 
name " Larthia," or " Mi Larthia," 
in Etruscan characters. This was con- 
jectured 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. 

6 The necklace appears too massive 
and clumsy for a female's neck ; fibula 
would be applicable to either sex ; ear- 
rings were not considei'ed inappropriate 
to males in the East, any more than 
they arc now in southern Europe ; 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 imagination of 
the poet who sang the lay, the discoveries 
made since his day, especially in Etrus- 
can tombs, prove the abundance of gold 
ornaments in very early times, and also 
their warlike application ; so that what- 
ever 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 legend. 

Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 60) is surprised 
that the ornaments in this tomb should 
ever have been supposed to belong to a 
priest, for the breastplate and fibulae, 
from their fragility, were evidently, he 
thinks, mere sepulchral decorations ; and 
the bracelets show a funereal subject — 
a woman attacked by lions, and rescued 
by two winged genii — which he inter- 
prets as the soul freed from the power 
of evil spirits by the intervention of 
good. It may be remarked 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. 

7 Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 62) remarks 
that the silver vessels give, in the design 
of their adornments, the most perfect 
imitations of the Asiatic or Egyptian 
style, and that a further analogy is also 
displayed in the religious symbols ex- 
pressed on them ; yet, with all this, the 
stamp of nationality is so strongly marked, 
as to distinguish them altogether from 
purely Egyptian works. This, and the 
Isis-tomb of Vulci, contain the earliest 
monuments of Etruscan primitive art, 
as it existed before it had been subjected 
to Hellenic influence. 


52 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

with burnt bones, and a number of terra-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. 8 

All this roba, so rich and rare, has been religiously pre- 
served, 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 in Rome, 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 wholly 
with the produce of this tomb. The depositary 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 1 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 eyes of iEneas 
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 st} r 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 
preserved 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, 

8 Cere Ant. pp. 75, 78. 


but when a wooden door with lock and key would effect its 
salvation, it is astonishing that it is suffered to fall into ruin. 1 

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. 2 

At the same time with the Regulini-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. 3 What may have 
been its original application is not easy to say ; probably 
for perfumes, as it resembles the alabastron in form ; or it 
may have served, as an ink-stand, to hold the colouring- 
matter for inscriptions. Whatever its purpose, 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— Tin, Tha, Thu, 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— 

1 For the foregoing description of the - Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 62. The writer 

contents of this tomb and their arrange- does not mention in what characters was 

ment, I am indebted to Canina, Cere this inscription, though he says it was 

Antica, parte terza ; Braun, Bull. Inst. not worth copying ! I could not learn if 

1836, pp. 56—62 ; Bull. Inst. 1838, p. the tomb is still open. 

173. See also Grin, Monumenti di Cere 3 It has been erroneously asserted 

Antica, a work written to prove from the that this " horn-book" was found in the 

contents of this tomb the oriental, and Regulini-Galassi tomb. Sepulchres of 

especially Mithraie, character of the Etruria, pp. 26, 347. 
Etruscan worship. 




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 ; 4 and 


Tir Kr 


m © P^PvTr-r ^T 


there is every reason to believe it a relic of the earliest 
possessors of Caere, the Pelasgi, who are said to have intro- 
duced letters into Latium. 5 From the paleography, this 
is indubitably the most ancient monument extant winch 

4 The difference between this alphabet 
and the genuine Etruscan one, found on 
a vase at Bomarzo, is very apparent. 
See the fac-simile in Vol. I. p. 225. That 
has but twenty letters, this twenty-five, 
and both in their form and collocation 
there are wide differences. That has the 
Etruscan peculiai'ity of running from 
right to left. In Greek letters this 
alphabet would be thus expressed : — 
A, B, T, A, E, F (the digamma), Z, H 
(the ancient aspirate), 0, I, K, A, M (this 

is the letter effaced), N, H, O, n, Q (kop- 
pa), P, 2, T, Y, X, *, y. It will be re- 
marked that the same force has not been 
assigned to certain of these letters where 
they occur in the primer, and the reader 
will be ready to dispute my accuracy. 
Let him break a lance then with Profes- 
sor Lepsius, who is my authority, and 
who gives his views of this inscription in 
the Ann. Inst. 1836, pp. 186—203. 
5 Solinus, Polyhist. cap. VIII. 


teaches us the early Greek alphabet, and its authentic 
arrangement. 6 This singular relic has now past from the 
hands of General Galassi, its original possessor, into the 
Gregorian Museum of the Vatican. 

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 Pro- 
fessor Lepsius also determines to be 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 — 

Mi ni kethu ma mi mathu maram lisiai thipurenai 
Ethe erai sie epana mdjethu nastav helephu, 

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 he conceives that the population of Caere 
remained Pelasgic to a late period. 7 

6 The letters here are of the most doubtful. I have given that assigned to 

archaic forms known, some of them them by Lepsius, who has eruditely dis- 

strongly resembling the Phoenician ; and cussed the palaeography of this inscrip- 

the presence of the vau and the Jcoppa, tion. Notwithstanding its Greek or Pe- 

and the want of the eta and omega, lasgic character, there are circumstances 

establish the high anticmity of the pot. which seem to betray that it was scratched 

There are some singular features to be by an Etruscan hand. For evidences of 

remarked. The arrangement of the this, I refer the curious reader to the 

letters in the alphabet does not corre- said article by Professor Lepsius, merely 

spond with that in the primer, and in both mentioning that this inscription bears a 

it differs from that generally received. strong affinity to an alphabet and primer 

The vowels in the primer are placed in inscribed on the walls of an Etruscan 

an order entirely novel, ;and which is tomb at Colle, near Volterra. (See 

at variance with that of the alphabet. Chapter XXXIX.) 
There is a curious instance of pentimento ~> See the above-cited article by Lepsius. 

or alteration in the fourth line. Some of Ann. Inst. 1836, pp. 186 — 203, where 

the characters, moreover, have new and the inscription is given in its proper 

strange forms, and their force appears characters; and his more recent remarks 




The high ground to the east of Caere, on the opposite 
side of the Vaccina, is called Monte Abatone. This, 
Canina 8 regards as the site of the sacred grove of Silvanus, 
described by Virgil, 9 and thinks that its name is derived 
from the fir-trees — abietes — which are said by that poet to 
have surrounded the grove. 1 None, however, are now 
visible. Ceres has usurped the greater part of the hill, 
and has driven Pan to its further extremity. 

The interest of Monte Abatone is not its doubtful claim 
to the site of a sylvan shrine, but its positive possession of 
tombs of very singular character. About a mile to the 

in his pamphlet, " Ueber die Tyrrhenis- 
chen Pelasger in Etrurien," pp. 39 — 42, 
where he lucidly points out the pecu- 
liarities both in the language and cha- 
racters which distinguish this inscription 
from the Etruscan, and mark it as 
Pelasgic. He states that Miiller agreed 
with his opinion on this point, though 
it was disputed by Franz (Elementa 
Epigraphices Greecte, p. 24), who 
admitted, however, that the language 
was not Etruscan. 

8 Canina, Cere Ant. p. 53. So also 
Abeken, Mittelitalien, p. 37. Gell (Topog. 
of Rome, I. p. 1) places the grove on 
the hills on the opposite side of the 
Vaccina. But Virgil seems to have 
placed it rather on the banks of the 
stream than on a hill of any sort, and 
I should therefore consider it to have 
stood in the ravine between the city and 
Monte Abatone, in which case the colles 
cam would be aptly represented by the 
cliffs hollowed into tombs, and the slopes 
at whose foot are still dark with wood, 
though not of fir-trees. 

9 Virg. .En. VIII. 597— 

Est iugens gelidum lucus prope 

Caeritis aninem, 
Religione patrum late sacer : un- 

dique colics 

Inclusere cavi, et nigra nemus 

abiete cingunt. 
Silvano fama est veteros sacrasse 

Livy (XXI. 62) mentions an oracle at 

1 Cavaliere P. E. Visconti (Ant. Mo- 
num. Sepolc, di. Ceri, p. 17) would 
derive it from frfiarov — a spot sacred, 
not to be trodden — on the ground that 
this was the name applied by the Rho- 
dians to the edifice they had raised round 
the statue of Artemisia to conceal it 
from the public view. Vitruv. II. 8. 
But Cav. Canina rejects this deriva- 
tion, on account of the necropolis of 
Ctere being on the opposite side, in the 
Banditaccia. Yet the cemeteries of Etrus- 
can towns were not confined to any one 
side, though one spot might, for conve- 
nience sake, be more especially devoted 
to interment ; and hi this case in parti- 
cular the city was completely surrounded 
by tombs. When two Roman knights 
are breaking a lance together, who shall 
venture to step between them ? Yet the 
probability seems in favour of the fir- 
trees ; unless, indeed, the word is derived 
from some Abbey that in the middle ages 
stood on the spot. 

chap, xxxni.] GROTTA CAMPANA. 57 

east of the Regulini sepulchre, after crossing the Vaccina, 
you find a path leading up to the southermost point of the 
Monte. Here, at the very edge of the cliff, facing the city, 
a tomb was opened in May, 1845, which may be seen with 
all its furniture, just as it was found. Flavio Passegiere 
keeps the key. The traveller is again indebted, for the 
conservation of this monument, to the good taste of the 
Cavaliere Campana — a gentleman, whose zealous exertions 
in the field of Etruscan research, and in the advancement 
of archaeological science in general, are too well recognised 
to require laudation from me. This tomb is, or should be, 
known by the name of 


It bears considerable similarity to that of the same 
appellation at Veii — not so much in itself as in its contents. 
It lies beneath a crumbled tumulus, girt with masonry. 2 
There is but a single sepulchral chamber, but it is divided, 
by Doric-like pilasters, into three compartments. The 
first has a fan-like ornament in relief on its ceiling, just as 
exists in a tomb in the Banditaccia, and in another at 
Vulci, 3 and which being here found in connection with very 
archaic furniture, raises a presumption in favour of its 
being a most ancient style of decoration. Just within the 
entrance, on one hand, is a large jar, resting on a stumpy 
column of tufo, which is curiously adorned with reliefs of 
stripes and stars, though not in the approved Transatlantic 
arrangement. In the opposite corner is a squared mass of 

2 The entrance, as usual in the tombs two side-chambers which open on the 
of Cervetri, is lined with masonry. The entrance-passage of this tomb, the walls 
doorway is cut in the rock in an arched also are panelled in relief with the very 
form, and around it is a groove, into same pattern as decorates the said tomb 
which fitted the ancient door, a slab of of the Sun and Moon at Vulci. The 
stone. two-fold coincidence in this sepulchre 

3 Ut supra, page 33. In one of the is remarkable. 

58 CERVETRI. [chap. xxxm. 

rock, panelled like a piece of furniture, and supporting 
small black vessels. The second compartment of the tomb 
is occupied by two sepulchral couches, hewn from the rock, 
surrounded by sundry articles of crockery, and containing 
nothing of their occupants beyond some dark dust, mixed 
with fragments of metal, though their skulls are still left 
grinning at the heads of their respective biers. Between 
these couches, on a square mass of rock, retaining traces 
of colour, rests an earthern pan, or brazier, for perfumes, 
with archaic figures in relief round the rim ; and at the 
foot of each stands a huge jar, almost large 
enough to hold a man, which probably con- 
tained the ashes of the slaves or dependents 
of those whose bodies occupied the couches. 
In the inner compartment, against the wall, 
are two benches of rock ; on the upper, 
stand several similar large jars, together 
with smaller vessels ; and on the lower, is 
a curious, tall, bell-shaped pot, of black 
etruscan fumigator. earthenware, similar in form to one of bronze 
found in the Grotta Regulini-Galassi. It was probably an 
incense-burner. It is shown in the annexed woodcut. 

About a mile from the Grotta Campana, but still on the 
Monte Abatone, are two remarkable sepulchres, well worthy 
of a visit. They are not under lock and key, yet can 
scarcely be found without a guide. The spot is vulgarly 
called II Monte d'Oro, from a tradition of gold having been 
found there. On the way to it, you may observe traces of 
a sepulchral road, flanked with many tumuli — some with 
architectural decorations. The tombs lie in a small copse, 
and are not easily accessible to ladies. To explore them, 
indeed, demands much of the sportsman's spirit in the 
ruder sex, for they are often half-full of water. The first 
is called the " Tomb of the Seat," — 

chap, xxxiii.] GROTTA DELLA SEDIA, MONTE D'ORO. 59 


This tomb lies under a large tumulus, with a square 
basement of masonry, which makes it highly probable that 
the superincumbent mound was in this case of pyramidal 
form. 2 Half-way down the passage which leads to the 
sepulchre, you pass through a doorway of masonry, which 
marks the line of the tumulus-basement. The passage is 
lined with masonry, whose converging courses indicate the 
existence originally of a vault overhead. The tomb con- 
sists of two chambers, aud has nothing extraordinary, 
except an arm-chair, with a footstool attached, hewn out 
of the living rock, as in the two tombs of the Banditaccia, 
already described. Here it is not by the side of a sepul- 
chral couch, but against the wall of rock which separates 
the two chambers. 3 

Tins tomb had been rifled in ages past, but very care- 
lessly, for, when recently opened, some gold leaf, and 
several jibulce of the same metal were discovered in one of 
the chambers. Other furniture was also found, indicative 
of a high antiquity. 4 A singular feature was the skeleton 

2 The basement is 63 feet by 56. Vis- seats are Mitliraic symbols — and so he 
conti makes it larger — 108 by 91 Roman also regards the celebrated marble chair 
palms. At the back, or on the side op- of the Corsini Palace. Mon. Ined. p. 
posed to the entrance, is a square pro- 152. 

jection or buttress in the masonry. The ■* Here were fragments of embroidery 

blocks are of tufo, and the courses recede in flowers of smalt of Egyptian workman- 

as they ascend, as in the walls of Servius ship — a piece of blue pasta inscribed 

Tullius at Rome. Similar square base- with hieroglyphics — alabastra in the form 

ments of masonry, generally emplecton, of Egyptian females — and bits of amber 

and probably the bases of pyramids, are and other oriental gums placed around 

not uncommon in this necropolis, espe- the corpse. A morsel of one of these 

cially in the glen of the Vaccina, beneath gums being put to the fire emitted so 

the cliffs of the city. powerful an odour as to be insupportable, 

3 See page 34. Micali, in his last says Visconti, even in the spacious hall of 
work, in which he seeks to establish the Ducal palace at Ceri. Ant. Mon. di 
oriental analogies in Etruscan monu- Ceri, pp. 29 — 32. The vault at the en- 
ments, expresses his opinion that these trance proves this tomb to be very ancient. 

GO CERVETRI. [chap, xxxui. 

of a horse, lying by the bier of his master, and suggesting 
that he had been slain at the funeral obsequies. 5 

Grotta Torlonia. 

The sepulchre under the adjoining tumulus has received 
its name from the proprietor of the land. The basement 
is here of the usual circular form. 6 The entrance to this 
tomb is its most singular feature. At a considerable dis- 
tance a level passage opens in the hill -side, and runs partly 
underground towards the tumulus, till it terminates in a 
vestibule, now open to the sky, and communicating with 
the ground above, by two flights of steps. The inner part 
of this vestibule is recessed in the rock, like the upper 
chambers of the tombs of Castel d'Asso ; for there is a 
similar, moulded door in the centre, and on either hand are 
benches of rock, which, being too narrow for sarcophagi, 
suggest that this chamber was formed for the funeral rites — 
probably for the banquet, and generally for the convenience 
of the relatives of the deceased in their periodical visits to 
the tomb. This chamber is decorated with rock-hewn 
pilasters of Doric proportions, but with peculiar capitals, 
and bases somewhat allied to the Tuscan. 

In the floor of this vestibule opens another flight of 
steps leading down to the sepulchre. 7 There is an ante- 

s For a detailed description of this tombs of Civita Castellana, but there is 

tomb and its contents, and for illustra- no appearance of communication with 

tive plans and sections, see the work of the tomb below, and it could not there- 

Cav. P. E. Visconti, Antichi Monumenti fore have served the purpose of an 

Sepolcrali di Ceri. entrance. 

6 This tumulus is about 75 feet in 7 Visconti (Ant. Mon. di Ceri, p. 20) 

diameter. The masonry of the base- states, but apparently as a mere conjee - 

ment has this peculiarity," that at the ture, that this flight of steps was origi- 

distance of every 10 or 11 feet a block nally concealed, so that a person entering 

projects, so as to give the whole a resem- the passage or descending the steps from 

blance to a vast cog-wheel lying on the above, would take the vestibule with its 

ground. In the masonry, just above moulded doorway for the real sepulchre, 
the entrance, is a pit or shaft, as in the 

chap, xxxiii.] GROTTA TORLONIA. 61 

chamber at the entrance, which opens into a spacious hall, 
having three compartments, like chapels or stalls, on either 
hand, decorated with Tuscan pilasters, and a chamber also 
at the upper end, which, being the post of honour, was 
elevated, and approached by a flight of steps. Each 
chamber contained several sepulchral couches, altogether 
fifty-four in number. At the moment of opening the tomb, 
these were all laden with their dead, but in a little while, 
after the admission of the atmosphere, the bodies crumbled 
to dust and vanished, like Avvolta's Etruscan warrior at 
Corneto, leaving scarcely a vestige of their existence. 8 
The external grandeur of this tomb augured a rich harvest 
to the excavator, but it had been already stript of its 
furniture — not a piece of pottery was to be seen — so com- 
pletely had it been rifled by plunderers of old. 9 

In that part of the necropolis, called Zambra, which lies 
on the west of Cervetri, towards Pyrgi, some very ancient 

s Visconti, p. 21. A full description Indeed, if the tumular form of sepulture 

of this tomb, with illustrations, will be were not one of natural suggestion, and 

found in the said work of Visconti. which has therefore been employed by 

The architectural decorations do not almost every nation from China to Peru, 

betray a very high antiquity. it might be supposed that the Lydians, 

9 An external analogy to houses is who employed it extensively (see Vol. 

not very obvious in these tumular sepul- I. p. 353), had copied the subterranean 

chres. They have been supposed to huts of their neighbours the Phrygians, 

have the funeral pyre for their type and introduced the fashion into Etruria. 

(Ann. Inst. 1832, p. 275), but the usual The conical pit-houses of the ancient 

analogy may, perhaps, be traced in the Armenians might in the same way be 

habitations of the ancient Phrygians, regarded as the types of the tombs of 

who, dwelling in bare plains, on account that form which abound in southern 

of the scarcity of wood raised lofty Etruria, and are found also south of the 

mounds of earth, weaving stakes above Tiber, as well as in Sicily (see Vol. I. 

them into a cone, heaping reeds and p. 121) ; for the description given of 

stubble around them, and hollowing them (Xenophon, Anab. IV. 5, 25 ; cf. 

them out for their habitation. Such Diodor. XIV. pp. 258—9) closely cor- 

dwellings were very cool in summer, responds. The interiors of these sub- 

and extremely warm in winter. Vitruv. terranean huts of Armenia presented 

II. 1, 5. Externally they must have scenes very like those in an Italian 

resembled the shepherds' capanne, capanna. 
which now stud the Campagna of Rome. 




tombs were opened in 1842. In construction they were 
very like the Grotta Regulini-Galassi, being long passages 
similarly walled and roofed in with masonry, and lying 
beneath large tumuli of earth, and their furniture betrayed 
a corresponding antiquity. 1 

It is worthy of remark that though sepulchres are found 
on every side of Caere, those towards the sea are generally 
the most ancient. 2 

The ancient pottery of Caere is in keeping with the 
archaic, Egyptian character of the rest of the sepulchral 
furniture. The large, fluted, or fantastically moulded 
cinerary jars, of red or black ware, with figures of centaurs, 
sphinxes, and chimaeras in flat relief, resemble those of 
Veii ; and so the rest of her early unpainted pottery, which 
Lepsius takes to be Pelasgic rather than Etruscan. 3 The 

1 It consisted of great quantities of 
black ware with a brilliant varnish ; no 
painted vases except fragments in the 
earliest style ; bi'oken sculpture of very 
archaic character ; and articles in smalt, 
and bronze, and highly-wrought orna- 
ments in gold, some in the Egyptian 
style. The name Zambra seems of 
Saracenic origin, and recalls the old 
romances of Granada ; but it was 
used in Italy in the middle ages for 
camera ; and it seems probable that 
this spot derived its name from the 
sepulchral chambers here discovered. 
The word is also met with in several 
parts of Tuscany, but attached to streams 
and torrents (see Repetti, sub voce) ; 
so that it is difficult to trace a connection 
with the Moorish dance. For an account 
of the tombs, see Abeken, Bull. Inst. 
1810, p. 133 ; Mittelitalien, pp. 236, 268, 
272 ; Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 375, et seq. 
tav. LVI. 

- Abeken (Mittelital. p. 240) fancied 
there might be some reason for this 

westward position of the oldest tombs, 
as though it were chosen for its approxi- 
mation to the sea, the peculiar element 
of the Tyrrhene race. He notices the 
analogy of the Nuraghe on the western 
shore of Sardinia. 

3 To the Pelasgi, says Lepsius, must 
undoubtedly be referred the vases of 
black earth of peculiar, sometimes bi- 
zarre, but often elegant forms, adorned 
with fantastic handles, figures, nobs, 
flutes, and zigzag patterns — as well as 
the fine old gold articles, of archaic and 
extremely careful style, very thinly 
wrought, and sown with minute gold 
grains, and studded with short stumpy 
figures, with marked outlines and many 
Egyptian characteristics. " A central 
point, as it were, for this entire class of 
articles, which we might pre-eminently 
call Pelasgic, is now obtained through 
the important discoveries in the sepul- 
chres of the ancient Agylla or Caere." 
Tyrrhen. Pelasg. pp. 44 — 5. 




most ancient painted vases are also found on tins site, not 
only those of the so-called Egyptian or Phoenician style, 
but others of a much rarer class and peculiarly Doric 
character, resembling the ancient Corinthian pottery, as we 
know it through the celebrated Dodwell vase, and others 
from Greece and her islands. 4 Though the pottery of 
Caere is generally of a more archaic character than that 
of Vulci or Tarquinii ; yet beautiful vases of the later, 
or Greek, styles have also been found here. 5 

Between Csere and Veii, and in the territory of the 
former city, lay a very ancient Etruscan town, called 
Artena, which was destroyed by the Roman kings. Specu- 
lations have been raised as to its site, but it will probably 
always remain a matter of mere conjecture. 6 

4 Of this rare class of vases from 
Caere, there are two in the Gregorian 
Museum. One, an olpe, represents the 
combat of Ajax (Aivas), and Hector, 
who is assisted by ./Eneas. The palaeo- 
graphy of the inscriptions, just like that 
of the Dodwell vase, determines this 
also to be Doric ; especially the use of 
the O instead of the K ; for the koppa 
is quite foreign to Attic inscriptions. 
Mon. Ined. Inst. II. tav. 38 ; Ann. Inst. 
1836, pp. 306—310, Abeken. The 
other vase, a Jiydria, represents a boar- 
hunt, as on the Dodwell vase. Mus. 
Gregor. II. tav. 1 7, 2. Another good spe- 
cimen of this class of Ceeritan pottery 
is in the possession of Cavaliere Cam- 
pana at Rome. And there is one at 
Berlin, which represents the combat 
between Achilles and Memnon, with 
birds flying over the horses' heads— a 
frequent symbol on painted vases, which 
has been interpreted as a type of swift- 
ness, or as an augury — and also with 
peculiar palaeography. Mon. Ined. Inst. 

II. tav. 38 ; Ann. Inst. 1836, pp. 310— 
311. The figures on these vases are 
black and violet, on a pale yellow 
ground ; and the outlines are scratched, 
as on other vases of the most ancient 

5 Ann. Inst. 1837, p. 183. 

6 Livy (IV. 61) alone mentions this 
town, and he does so to distinguish it 
from the Artena of the Volsci, which 
is thought to have occupied the heights 
above Monte Fortino. He says the 
Etruscan Artena belonged to Caere, and 
not to Veii as some supposed. Nibby 
placed it at Castellaccio in the tenuta 
of Castel Campanile, where he found 
traces of an Etruscan town ; but Gell 
thought it more likely to have stood at 
Boccea, or Buccea, near the Arrone, 
twelve miles from Rome, for " there is 
here a high and insulated point, which 
has all the appcai'ance of a citadel, and 
which seems to have been occupied at a 
subsequent period by a patrician villa." 
(I. p. 195.) 

64 [appendix to 


Note I. — Shields as Sepulchral Decorations. 

The shields carved or painted in this and other tonihs of Csere, proba- 
bly mark them as the sepulchres of warriors, and are only a more per- 
manent mode of indicating what is expressed by the suspension of the 
actual bucklers. This was a Greek as well as Etruscan custom. The 
ancient pyramid between Argos and Epidaurus, mentioned by Pausanias, 
contained the shields of the slain there interred. Paus. II. 25. The 
analogous use of them as external decorations of sepulchres by the people 
of Asia Minor and by the Etruscans, has already been pointed out. Vol. 
I. p. 252. The shield was a favourite anathema with the ancients, who 
were wont, at the conclusion of a war, to suspend their own bucklers or 
those of their vanquished foes in the temples of their gods — a very early 
and oriental custom, for David dedicated to God the gold shields he had 
captured from the men of Zobah. 2 Sam. viii. 7, 11. Crcesus the 
Lydian offered a gold shield to Minerva Pronoea, to be seen at Delphi in 
the time of Herodotus (I. 92 ; cf. Paus. X. 8), and sent another to 
Amphiaraus, which was preserved in the temple of Apollo at Thebes. 
Herod. I. 52, 92. After the battle of Marathon, the Athenians dedi- 
cated their shields to the Delphic Apollo, and fixed them to the entabla- 
ture of his temple. Paus. X. 19. And traces of shields in the same 
position may still be observed on the eastern front of the Parthenon — 
one under each triglyph, with the marks also of the bronze letters of the 
inscriptions which alternated with them. The Roman conquerors of 
Corinth suspended a number of gilt shields on the entablature of the 
temple of Jupiter Olympius ; and in the pediment of the same building 
was a golden shield, also a dedicatory gift (Paus. V. 10) ; and so shields 
have been found carved in the pediments of the rock-hewn, temple-like, 
tombs of Phrygia. See Steuart's Lydia and Phrygia. Shields may 
sometimes have been symbols of protection received from the gods, and 
thus acknowledged ; but were often, like anathemata in general, mere 
emblems of the profession of those who dedicated them ; as was the case 
with the twenty-five shields of the armed runners in the Olympic stadium. 
Paus. V. 12. Sometimes they seem to have served merely decorative 
purposes, as when Solomon adorned his palace with five hundred gold 
targets (1 Kings, x. 16, 17) ; or as when, in Asia Minor, they were 


carved on city-walls, and the proscenia of theatres. And they were a 
conventional decoration also with the Romans, who emblazoned them 
with the portraits of their ancestors, and suspended them in temples or 
in their own houses. Plin. XXXV. 3, 4. The use of shields, however, 
as fields for personal devices, is as old as the War of the Seven against 
Thebes, if we may believe iEschylus ; and for family emblems is also 
very ancient, for Virgil {Mn. VII. 657), introduces one of his early 
Italian heroes with a formidable escutcheon — 

Pulcher Aventinus, clypeoque insigne paternum, 
Centum angues, cinctamque gerit serpentibus Hydram. 

The shields borne by the figures of Minerva on the Panathenaic vases are 
said to contain the devices of the Italian cities. Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 75. 
We must look beyond the days of chivalry for the origin of armorial 
bearings, and for their blazonment on shields. For an ingenious theory 
of the Egyptian origin of heraldry, see Mr. Wathen's most interesting- 
work on "Ancient Egypt," pp. 20 et seq. 

Note II. — Genii and Junones. 
The spirits which were believed by the Romans to attend and protect 
human beings through life, were supposed to be of the same sex as their 
individual charge ; the males being called Genii, the females Junones. 
Tibul. IV. 6, 1 ; Seneca, epist. 110. Such spirits were supposed not 
only to have presided over, but to have been the cause of birth, which is 
in fact implied in the name — Genius, a genendo (Festus, v. Geniales ; 
Censorinus, de Die Natali, III.) ; and hence the nuptial couch was called 
lectus genialis, and was sacred to the Genius. Fest. s. v. ; Serv. ad Virg. 
JEn. VI. 603. Some assert that every man at his birth, or rather at 
his conception, had two Genii allotted to him, to attend him through life 
— one inciting him to good deeds, the other to evil — and whose office it 
was also after death to attend him to the presence of the infernal judges, 
to confirm or refute his pleadings, according to their truth or falsehood : 
so that he might be raised to a better state of existence, or degraded to 
a lower. Serv. ad Virg. Mu. VI. 743 ; cf. III. 63 ; Euclid. Socrat. ap. 
Censorin. III. A similar doctrine of protecting and attendant spirits 
was held by the Greeks, who called them daemons — 8ainov€s — and 
believed them to be allotted to men at their birth, as guardians, always 
present, and cognizant not only of deeds but of thoughts, and commissioned 
also to accompany them to the other world. Plato, Phasdo, pp. 107, 108, 
ed. Steph., and ap. Apuleium, de Deo Socrat. p. 48, ed. 1625 ; cf. Ilesiod. 
Opera et Dies, I. 121 et seq., 250 et seq. ; Pind. Olymp. XIII. 


66 . CERVETR1. [appendix to 

Genii were distinguished from the Manes and Lares, inasmuch as these 
were the deified spirits of the dead, but the Genii were the offspring of 
the great gods (Fest. vv. Genium, Tages), and the givers of life itself, 
wherefore they were called Dii Genitales. This distinction, however, 
was not always preserved, for the Genii were sometimes confounded with 
the Manes and Lares, and supposed, after the death of their charge, to 
dwell in his sepulchre. Serv. ad JEn. III. 63 ; Censorin. loc. cit. ; cf. 
Plin. II. 5. 

A man was believed to be born under the influence of a favourable or 
unlucky Genius (Pers. IV. 27 — genio sinistro) ; and the Genius or Juno, 
as the case might be, was also supposed to be pleased or offended with 
the actions of the individual. Thus Quartilla, in Petronius (cap. 25), 
exclaims, " Junonemmeam iratam habeam, si unquam," he. And if a 
man restrained his passions and appetites, he was thought to " defraud 
his Genius," or if he gave way to them, to " indulge his Genius." 
Persius, V. 151 ; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. I. 302 ; Terent. ap. eund. 

As the Genius was a god he received divine honours, especially on the 
birthday of the individual, when he was propitiated by libations, and 
offerings of flowers (Horat. Ep. II. 1, 144 ; Tibul. I. 7, 50 ; IV. 5, 9 ; 
Pers. II. 3) ; and so also the Juno of a woman (Tibul. IV. 6) ; and it 
was customary to anoint the head of the image, to adorn it with chaplets, 
and to burn incense before it. Tibul. I. 7, 51; II. 2, 6; Ovid. Trist. V. 
5, 11. Even after death offerings were made to the Genius of the 
deceased, as J^neas to that of his father (Ovid. Fast. II. 54:5), to 
whom he offered gifts — 

Hie patris Genio sollemnia dona ferebat — 

a custom which explains the inscription, " ivnon " (Junoni), on the vase 
painted on the wall of this tomb at Cervctri. 

Women were in the habit of swearing by their Juno (Tibul. III. 6, 48), 
as men by their Genius ; and a lover would even swear by the Juno of his 
mistress (Tibid. IV. 13, 15), exalting her above every other divinity. 
Juvenal (II. 98), denouncing the effeminacy of the Romans, sets it in the 
strongest light by saying that a servant swears by the Juno of his lord — 

Et per Junonem domini jurante ministro. 

Not only men and women, but places and things, had their Genii, 
according to the Roman creed (Festus, v. Genium ; Serv. ad Georg. I. 
302 ; JEn. V. 85, 95). Cities, as well as their component parts — 
streets, houses, baths, fountains, &c. — had their individual Genii ; and 
so also with regions, provinces, armies, nations — every portion, as well 

chap, xxxiii.] GENII AND JUNONES. 07 

as the whole collectively, had its presiding spirit. The Genius of the 
Roman People is often represented on coins, though Prudentius might 
well question his individual character — 

Quanquam cur Genium Romse mihi fingitis unum, 
Cum portis, domibus, thermis, stabulis, soleatis 
Assignare suos Genios ? perque omnia membra 
Urbis, perque locos, Geniorum millia multa 
Fingere, ne propria vacet angulus ullus ab umbra ? 

These genii loci were supposed to take the visible form of a serpent 
(Virg. Mn. V. 95 ; Serv. ad loc.) ; and so they are constantly represented 
on the household shrines of Pompeii, eating meat or fruits from an 

The doctrine of Genii and Junones as held by the Romans, there is 
little doubt, was received from the Etruscans with that of the Lares. 
We know that the latter people worshipped Genii. A Genius Jovialis 
was one of their four Penates (Arnob. adv. Nat. III. 40 ; cf. Serv. iEn. II. 
325) ; and Tages, their great law-giver, was himself the son of a Genius 
(Fest. v. Tages). And that the Etruscans held the doctrine of good and 
evil spirits attending the soul into the other world, is demonstrated by 
their monuments ; by none more clearly than by the paintings in the 
Grotta del Cardinale at Corneto. This dualistic doctrine is thought by 
Gerhard (Gottheiten der Etrusker, p. 57) not to be Hellenic ; Micali 
refers its origin to the East. Inghirami (Mon. Etrusc. I., p. 59 et 
seq.) did not perceive that it was held by the Etruscans ; but this is 
now admitted on every hand. It is not so clear that the Etruscans 
held the distinction between Genii and Junones ; for the sex of the 
ministering spirit is often not accordant with that of the human being, 
who, whether man or woman, is generally attended by a female spirit. 
Thus the majority of the demons, represented on Etruscan urns, 
sarcophagi, and mirrors, are females. Therefore it is not strictly 
correct to term such female-demons, Junones. Passeri (Paralipom. 
in Dempst., p. 93) employed the name " Genise." Nor is it always 
easy to distinguish between the attendant Genii, good or bad, and the 
ministers of Fate, who are introduced as determining or directing 
events, or the Furies, who, as ministers of vengeance, are present at 
scenes of death, or assisting in the work of destruction. All have the 
same general characteristics. Wings at the shoulders — high buskins, 
often with long flaps, which are apt to be mistaken for talaria — a short, 
high-girt tunic — a double strap crossing the bosom, the upper ends 
passing over the shoulders, the under, behind the back, and united 
between the paps in a circular stud or rosette. The distinction must 


68 CERVETRI. [chap, xxxiii. 

bo drawn from the nature of the scene into which these demons are 
introduced, from their attitude and expression, but chiefly from the 
attribute in their hands, which, in the case of a Fury, or malignant 
Fate, is a hammer, sword, snakes, or a torch ; in the case of a decreeing 
Fate, is a scroll, or a bottle or ink-horn, with a stylus, or in a few 
instances, a hammer and a nail (see Vol. I., p. 510) ; in the case of 
a Genius may be a simple wand, or nothing at all. The demons of 
vengeance, who are often attendants on Charun, from their resemblance 
to the Furies of Greek mythology, are thought by Gerhard to have 
a Hellenic origin. Gottheiten der Etrusker, p. 17. Their Etruscan 
appellation is not yet discovered ; but against some of the female-demons 
of milder character, especially those which have the attributes of Fates, 
the name " Lasa " has been found attached on Etruscan mirrors 
(Lanzi, Sagg. II. tav. VI. 6 ; Gerhard, Etrusk. Spiegel, taf. XXXVII., 
CLXXXI. Bull. Inst. 1846, p. 106), though a similar goddess is some- 
times designated " Mean " (Etrusk. Spiegel, taf. LXXXIL, CXLI., 
CXLII.) Lasa, from its connection with other names in the instances 
cited, seems a generic appellation. It must be equivalent to " Lara," 
the r and s being interchangeable letters ; wherefore we find " Lases" 
for Lares in the Carmen Arvale. Lara or Larunda is considered by 
Midler (Etrusk. III., 4, 13) to be identical with Mania, the mother of 
the Manes and Lares. The origin of " Lasa" has also been referred 
to the Aha of the Greeks (Bull. Inst. loc. cit.) ; but the analogy seems 
to be one of office rather than of appellation, for the derivation from the 
Etruscan " Lar " is perfectly satisfactory. Gerhard (Gottheiten der 
Etrusker, p. 16) on this ground translates Lasa as the "mistress," not 
oidy of the Genii of men, but of the analogous Junones of women, yet 
thinks a Lasa must never be mistaken for a Juno. 

Though the female ministering-spirits of the Etruscan mythology are 
not in every respect analogous to the Roman Junones, it may be well, 
in default of a specific name, to apply to them the same appellation. 
To the mild or decreeing Fates, the name of " Lasa" may be confi- 
dently attached ; and the malignant Fates, or demons of vengeance, 
whose Etruscan name has not yet been ascertained, from their resem- 
blance to the Erinyes or Eumenides of Grecian fable, may well be 
designated Furies. 



Alsia praelegitur tellus. 


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. 


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 antiquity — one 
of the most hoary towns of Italy, founded or occupied by 
the Pelasgi, ages before the arrival of the Etruscans on these 
shores. 1 

It is strange that no record is preserved of Alsium 
during the Etruscan period ; but this may be owing to its 
dependence on Csere, with whose history and fortunes its 
own were probably identical. That it was occupied by the 
Etruscans we learn from history, 2 confirmed by recent 

1 Dion. Hal. I. p. 1C. Silius Italicus — a grove, as Professor Gerhard opines 

(VIII. 476) refers its origin to the (Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 205), in reference 

Argive Halesus, son of Agamemnon, to the dense woods on this coast, 

from whom he supposes it to have For both he and Professor Welcker are 

derived its name — of opinion that the Pelasgic tongue, 

Necnon Argolico dilectum litus Haleso though differing from the Greek, bore 

Alsium. sufficient analogy to it, to enable us to 

Its Pelasgic origin being admitted, it trace by that means the origin of the 

seems just as likely to have derived its names of certain ancient localities, 

name from a\s— the sea ; or from &\cros 2 Dion. Hal. loc. cit. 



[chap. XXXIV. 

researches. The earliest notice of it by Roman writers is 
its receiving a colony in the year 507. 3 At no time does 
it seem to have been of much importance ; the highest 
condition it attained, as far as we can learn, being that of 
a small town. 4 This may have been owing to its unhealthy 
position, on a low swampy coast. Yet it was much 
frequented by the wealthy Romans ; 5 and even the 
Emperor Antoninus chose it as his retreat, and had an 
Imperial villa on this shore. 6 

Haveva un bel giardin sopra una riva, 
Che colli intorno e tutto '1 mare scopriva. 

At the beginning of the fifth century Alsium, like the 
neighbouring Pyrgi, had sunk to the condition of a large 

3 Veil. Paterc. I. 14. As a maritime 
colony it was compelled to furnish its 
quota of troops in the year 547 (b.c. 
207), when in the Second Punic War 
Italy was threatened with a second 
invasion of Carthaginians under Has- 
drubal. Liv. XXVII. 38. But it is 
not mentioned with the other naval 
colonies, which, in 563 (b.c. 191), were 
reluctantly compelled to aid in fitting 
out a fleet against Antiochus the Great, 
King of Syria. Liv. XXXVI. 3. Pliny 
(III. 8), and Ptolemy (Geog. p. 68, ed. 
Bert.) certify to its existence as a 
colony in their days. 

4 Rutil. I. 224. Strabo (V. p. 225) 
also speaks of it as a mere iroXixviov. 
Yet the fact of giving its name to a 
lake — now Lago Martignano — full 20 
miles distant, implies an extensive ager, 
and no small importance. For the 
Lacus Alsietinus, see Frontinus, de 
Aquseduct. II. p. 48. Cluver (II. p. 
524) errs in taking the Lago Straccia- 
cappa to be the Lacus Alsietinus. 

4 Pompey had a villa here. Cicero, 
pro Milone, XX. M. yEmilius Porcina 
also built one on so magnificent a scale, 
that he was accused of it as a crime, 

and heavily fined by the Roman people. 
Val. Max. VIII. 1, Damn. 7. And the 
mother-in-law of the younger Pliny 
had also a villa at Alsium, which had 
previously belonged to Rufus Verginius, 
who took such delight hi it, that he 
called it " the nestling-place of his old 
age." — senectutis sum nidulum — and was 
buried on the spot. Plin. Epist. VI. 
10 ; cf. IX. 19. Cicero (ad Divers. 
IX. 6 ; cf. ad Attic. XIII. 50) refers to 
Alsium as the spot where Csesar was 
thinking of landing on his return from 

6 Fronto,deFeriis Alsiensibus. Gruter 
(p. 271, 3) gives a dedicatory inscrip- 
tion to Marcus Aurelius, by the Decu- 
riones of the Colony of Alsium, which was 
found at Palo. Cf. Cluver. II. p. 497. 
An inscription also, found at Ceri, men- 
tions a villa at Alsium. See Visconti, 
Mon. Ant. di Ceri, p. 12 : — 

D. M. 


chap, xxxiv.] VESTIGES OF ALSIUM. 7L 

villa 7 ; but we have no subsequent record of it, and it was 
probably destroyed by the Goths or Saracens, who devas- 
tated this coast in the middle ages. 8 

Not a vestige of the Pelasgic or Etruscan town is now 
visible ; but there are extensive substructions of Roman 
times along the beach. The fort, also, which was built in 
the fifteenth century, 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 Roman villas. 9 

Alsium, though its site had been pretty clearly indicated 
by the notices of the ancients, 1 had been well-nigh for- 
gotten, when a few years since the enterprise of a lady 
revived interest in the spot. 

About a mile and a half inland from Palo, close to the 
deserted post-house of Monteroni, and about twenty-two 
miles from Rome, are four or five large tumuli, standing in 
the open plain. They bear every appearance of being 
natural 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 
Sermoneta, 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 

" Rutil. I. 224 — on this coast between Pyrgi and Fre- 

Nuuc villae grandes, oppida parva prius. genae. And so also the Maritime 

From the mention made by the Peutin- Itinerary marks it as 9 miles from the 

gerian Table we also learn that it existed latter, and 1 6 from the former town, 

in the time of Theodosius. The Peutingerian Table is nearer the 

8 Nibby, Dintorni di Roma, II. p. truth in calling it 10 miles from Pyrgi 
526. (ut supra, page 4) ; but 12 is the true 

9 Nibby (op. cit. p. 528) takes these distance. These discrepancies are of 
ruins to be those of Pompey's villa, little importance ; the general position 
because the style of construction marks being thus indicated, the precise site 
the latter days of the Republic. can be determined by extant remains. 

1 Strabo (V. pp. 225, 226) places it 

72 PALO. [chap, xxxiv. 

periphery of nearly eight hundred feet. This wall had two 
buttresses 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 ; till at length, some forty or fifty feet up the slope, 
a passage was 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 
construction 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. 2 

No other tomb was discovered in this mound, but a well 
or shaft in the floor, twenty feet deep, opened into another 
horizontal passage, about a hundred feet long ; and here 
were three other shafts, probably sunk to other sepulchral 
chambers on a still lower level. This system of shafts and 
passages reminds us of the Pyramids, and is in harmony 
with the Egyptian character of the contents of this tomb. 3 

At the foot of this mound, sunk beneath the surface of 
the plain, was discovered a double-chambered sepulchre, of 
more ordinary Etruscan character, and its contents showed 

2 Rude pottery of black earth, with lamina with archaic reliefs, 

figures scratched thereon ; flat vases of 3 There were other passages opening 

smalt, ornamented with lotus-flowers, on that which formed the entrance to the 

purely Egyptian in character, and tomb, but Abeken considered them to 

ostrich-eggs painted — both as in the Isis- have been the experiments made by 

tomb of Vulci (see Vol. I. p. 41.0); former excavators. Mittelitalien, p. 

beads of smalt and amber ; and gold 24 





only that resemblance to the Egyptian which bespeaks a 
high antiquity. 4 

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 popu- 
lation 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, a 
few years since, nothing has been done on this coast. For 
antiquarian zeal and enterprise this lady rivalled the late 
Duchess of Devonshire. 

It is scarcely worth while to visit the tumuli of Monteroni, 

4 They consisted of pottery and terra- 
cotta figures in the archaic or Egypto- 
Etruscan style, some with four wings, 
forming the feet of vases. The de- 
scription of these tomhs I have taken 
from Abeken, Bull. Inst. 1839, pp. 
81—84 ; 1841, p. 39 ; and also from 
his Mittelitalien, pp. 242, 267, 272, 274 ; 
for nothing is now to be seen on the spot. 
Micali, who takes his notices from the 
papers of the late Duchess, gives a some- 
what different description of these tombs. 
He says, above the basement- wall of the 
tumulus the tufo was cut into steps to 
the height of 1 8 feet, and then levelled ; 
and on this was raised a mound of earth 
to the height of 27 feet more. In the 
lower or natural part of the mound was 
discovered a sepulchre of four chambers, 
one of them circular, all with rock-hewn 
benches, and bronze nails in the walls 
around. These, from his description 
of their contents, are the less ancient of 
the tombs mentioned in the text. The 
passage-tomb he represents as 45 feet 
long, sunk in the same levelled part of 
the mound, though lined with masonry, 
regularly squared and smoothed. Upon 
it opened, by a door of the usual 

Etruscan form, another narrow passage, 
similarly lined and half the length, 
with a rock-hewn bench, and numerous 
bronze nails in the wall. Here were 
found some articles of gold, and jewel- 
lery, fragments of Egyptian vases, and 
odorous paste, and a stone in the form 
of an axe-head, supposed to be Egyptian. 
There were no Etruscan inscriptions in 
any of these tombs. The masonry of 
the passage he represents (Mon. Ined. 
tav. LVII.) as opus quadratum of tufo 
blocks, but 2'>seudisodomon, or in courses 
of unequal heights. These tombs were 
drained by many channels cut in the 
rock, and branching in all directions. 
Mon. Ined. pp. 378—390. It must be 
the less ancient of these tombs in which 
Mrs. Hamilton Gray, who visited them 
shortly after they were opened, saw a 
pair of panthers painted over the door 
of the outer chamber, and two hippo- 
campi, with genii on their backs, on the 
walls of the inner. Sepulchres of 
Etruria, p. 123, third edition. Mrs. 
Gray errs in calling the site " Monte 
Ncrone ;" it is named Monteroni, from 
these "large mounds." 

'4 PALO. [chap, xxxiv. 

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 ancientry, Palo is a most dreary 
place. Without extant antiquities 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 accom- 
modation 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-quar- 
ters. The fare is not such as the place once afforded — no 
" fatted oysters, savoury apples, pastry, confectionery, and 
generous wines, in transparent faultless goblets/' dainties 
fit to set before a king — convivium regium 5 — 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 of the village, there is nothing to relieve the 
bare monotony of the level waste. It is hard to believe 
Alsium could ever have been " the voluptuous sea-side 
retreat" it is described in the time of the Antonines. 6 
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 litus, as it was to Halesus, yet memory 
recalls not without 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 softly heaving beneath 
my window, ever murmured its bright joy; mirroring "the 

5 Fronto, de Feriis Alsiensibus, edged tools ; which Pollio remembered 
epist. III. when challenged to banter by Augustus. 

6 Fronto, loc. cit. Were it not that the Macrob. Saturn. II. 4. Fronto, how- 
author was writing to an Emperor, ever, qualifies his praises of Alsium by 
we might suspect him of irony ; mentioning the raucas paludes. 

but sovereigns, especially despots, are 

chap, xxxiv.] SEA-SHORE SCENES. 75 

vault of blue Italian day." A few feluccas, their weary 
sails flapping in the breeze, lay off shore, lazily rocking 
with 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 moun- 
tains, 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 day, stood in after dark, and 
sent the produce of their nets to land. Then what bustle, 
what shouting, on board and ashore ! Red-cap t, bare- 
legged fellows with baskets — my chubby host of Palo bar- 
gaining for the haul — sky-blue doganieri, and cloaked 
quidnuncs, looking on — all common-place features enough, 
but assuming, from the glare of torches, a rich Rem- 
brandtish effect, to which the dark masses of the vessels, 
magnified by the gloom, formed an appropriate background. 
About three miles beyond Palo, on the road to Rome, at 
a spot called Statua, are some ruins, supposed to mark the 
site of Ad Turres, a station on the Via Aurelia. 7 

* Mentioned in the Itinerary of Anto- page 4. Here it is that Cramer (Ancient 
ninus, as 22 miles from Rome. Ut supra, Italy, I. p. 208) places Alsium. 

76 PALO. [chap, xxxiv. 

A mile or two beyond, not far from Palidoro, and at a 
spot 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 bronze, and gold, 
amber, smalt, glass, and alabaster. 8 

Beyond this, or six miles from Palo, stood Bebiana, 
another station on the Via Aurelia ; 9 and at or near Castel 
Guido, stood Lorium, the first station on this road out of 
Rome. 1 

About half-way between Palo and the Tiber, at the 
mouth of the river Arrone, stands the Tower of Maccarese, 
which is supposed to mark the site of the Etruscan town 
of Fregenae or Fregellae, 2 — 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 — obsesses campo squalente Frcgellce? In 
very early times it may have been of importance ; for 
Tarquinius 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. 4 We hear no more of it, how- 

8 Abeken, Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 84 ; a mile or two nearer Rome than Castel 
1840, p. 133 ; Mittelitalien, p. 2G7 ; Guido ; but Nibby (II. p. 270) thinks it 
Micali, Monum. Ined. p. 374. occupied the sites both of Bottaccia and 

9 Mentioned by the Peutingerian of Castel Guido. The Emperor Anto- 
Table. Ut supra, page 4. Gell {sub voce) ninus Pius had a villa at Lorium, and 
places it at Torrimpietra, a tower on an here he died. A. Victor, de Coes. 16. 
eminence to the left of the modern road 2 Cluver II. p. 499. Nibby, Dint, di 
to Rome ; Nibby (Dintorni di Roma, Roma, II. p. 281. The Maritime Itine- 
I. p. 297) at Casal Bruciato, in the same rary places it between Portus Augusti 
tenuta of Torrimpietra, 6 miles from and Alsium, nine miles from each. 
Palo, where is still some regular tra- 3 Sil. Ital. VIII. 477. 

vertine masonry, perhaps the cella of a 4 Pliny, who records this fact 

temple. Cluver (II. p. 522) placed it at (XXXV. 45), calls the place Fregellse ; 

Testa di Lepre, near the Arrone. but that he refers to the town of 

1 See the Itinerary and Table at Etruria, and not to Fregellse of the 

page 4. Gell places Lorium at Bottino, Volsci, is manifest from the context, as 




ever, till it was colonised by the Romans in 509 (b.c. 245) ; 5 
and in 563 (b.c. 191), with the other maritime colonies of 
this coast, it was compelled to aid in fitting out a fleet 
against Antiochus the Great. 6 It was in existence at the 
commencement of the Empire, 7 but after that we lose 
sight of it ; and now, as far as I can learn, there are no 
local remains visible to mark the Etruscan character of 
the spot. 

well as from a comparison with Liv. I. 
56 ; and is confirmed by the extended 
renown of the Etruscans in the fictile 
art. Besides, Silius Italicus calls the 
Etruscan town Fregellre, and Pliny 
(III. 9) the Latin town Fi*eginte ; so 
that the names seem to have been used 
indifferently. Yet Midler (Etrusk. IV. 
3, 2) takes the town whence Turianus 
came, for the Fregellse of Volscium, on 
the ground that the fictile art was early 
practised in that land, as is proved by 
the celebrated bas-reliefs found at 
Velletri ; but, to reconcile this view 

with the rest of Pliny's statement, he 
supposes this Volscian to have been a 
disciple of the Etruscan school. All 
this seems to me unnecessary, and the 
simplest and most rational interpretation 
is to suppose that Pliny referred to the 
Fregense of Etruria. 

5 Veil. Paterc. I. 14 ; cf. Epitome of 
Liv. XIX. 

6 Liv. XXXVI. 3. 

7 Pliny (III. 8) classes it among the 
maritime colonies of Etruria. Strabo 
(V. p. 225) also cites it as a small town 
on this coast, and calls it Fregenia. 



Lunai portum est operae cognoscere cives ! 


Anne metalliferse repetit jam moenia Lunse, 
Tyrrhenasque domos ? 


The most northerly city of Etruria was Luna. It stood, 
indeed, on the very frontier, on the left bank of the Macra, 
which formed the north-western boundary of that land. 1 
And though at one time in the possession of the Ligurians, 
together with a wide tract to the south, even down to Pisa 
and the Arno, yet Luna was originally Etruscan, and as 
such it was recognised in Imperial times. 2 It was never 

1 Strabo, V. p. 222. Strabo speaks 
of Macra as a place — x^P 10 " '■> but Pliny 
(III. 7, 8) is more definite in marking 
it as a river, the boundary of Etruria — 
flumen Macra, Ligui'iae finis— patet ora 
Ligurise inter amnes Varum et Macram 
— adnectitur septimte, in qua Etruria 
est, ab amne Macra— Tiberis amnis a 

2 Much confusion has arisen from the 
contradictory statements of ancient 
writers in calling this territory some- 
times Ligurian, sometimes Etruscan. 
On one side are Mela (II. 4 — Luna 
Ligurum) ; Frontinus (Strat. III. 2 — 
Luna, oppidum Ligurum) ; Persius 
(Sat. VI. 6) ; Statius (Sylv. IV. 3, 
99) ; Justin (XX. 1) ; Polybius (II. 
16) ; Aristotle (or the author of De 
Mirand. Auscultat., c. 94) ; Lycophron 
(Cassandra, 13.56) ; cf. Juven. Sat. III. 

257 ; Liv. XXI. 59. On the other 
hand, we have Strabo (V. p. 222) ; 
Pliny (III. 8 ; XIV. 8, 5) ; Silius 
Italicus (VIII. 482) ; Lucan (I. 586) ; 
Statius (Sylv. IV. 4, 23) ; Martial 
(Epig. Xlli. 30) ; cf. Plin. XL 97 ; 
Ptolemy (Geog. p. 68, ed. Bert.) ; and 
Stephanus (sub voce SeATJvjj) ; who all 
represent Luna as Etruscan. Livy 
(XLI. 13) explains the discrepancy by 
stating that Luna with its ager was 
captured by the Romans from the 
Ligurians ; but that before it belonged 
to the latter it had been Etruscan. 
Lycophron, however, represents the 
Ligures as dispossessed of Pisa and its 
territory by the Etruscans. Cluver (II. 
p. 458) gathers from Servius (Mn. X. 
1 79), that Luna must have been founded 
some ages before the Trojan War. 




renowned for size or power ; 3 its importance seems to 
have been derived chiefly from its vast and commodious 
port, truly "worthy of a people who long held dominion of 
the sea," 4 and which is now known as the Gulf of Spezia. 5 

Insignis portu, quo non spatiosior alter 
Innumeras cepisse rates, et claudere pontum. 6 

But its size and security are the least of its charms. To 
the tranquil beauty of a lake it unites the majesty of the 
sea. No fairer bay could poet sigh for, " to float about the 
summer- waters." Never did purer wave mirror more 
glorious objects. Shining towns — pine-crested convents — 
luxuriant groves — storm-defying forts — castled-crags — 

3 Dempster erroneously classed it 
among the Twelve chief cities of the 
Etruscan Confederation (II. pp. 41, 80) ; 
so also Targioni Tozzetti (Viaggi in 
Toscana, X.p. 406) ; and to this opinion 
even a recent writer is inclined, on ac- 
count of the port. Promis, Memorie della 
Citta di Luni, p. 24. But Strabo testi- 
fies to the small size of Luna. Tozzetti 
says it was not more than two miles in 

4 Strabo, loc. cit. 

5 As that Gulf lies on the Ligurian, 
and Luna on the Etruscan side of the 
Macra, it has been supposed either that 
there was anciently a port, properly 
that of Luna, at the mouth of the river, 
on the spot now called the Marsh of Sec- 
cagna (Holsten. ad Cluver. p. 25. Tar- 
gioni, Viaggi in Toscana, X. pp.406,440), 
or that the town occupied another site. 
It is true, as Promis observes (p. 15) that 
the alluvial deposits of the Magra have 
encroached much upon the sea, so as to 
have altered the course of the stream, 
and to have removed the site of the 
ancient town to a considerable distance 
from the shore. The whole plain in 
which it stands seems to have been 

formed by these deposits. Yet no har- 
bour within the mouth of the stream 
would answer to Strabo's description, 
which manifestly refers to the Gulf of 
Spezia. Holstenius (pp. 26, 277), how- 
ever, insists on the port being at the 
mouth of the Magra, and declares he saw 
the posts with rings attached, to which 
the ancient shipping had been moored. 
Cluver (II. p. 456) placed the site of 
Luna at Lerici, in which he is fol- 
lowed by Mannert (Geog. p. 288), who 
thinks this the reason why the Latin 
corrector of Ptolemy, instead of Lunte 
Partus puts Ericis Portus. Others 
have also placed it on the right bank of 
the Magra ; while Sarzana, Avenza, 
Spezia, even Carrara, have respectively 
been indicated as its site ; and Scaliger 
went so far as to deny it a local habita- 
tion, and to submerge it beneath the sea. 
See Repetti, v. Luni, II. p. 936. Cramer 
(I. p. 171) however and Miiller (Etrusk. 
einl. 2, 13) think its site is clearly esta- 
blished at Luni. 

« Sil. ltd. VIII. 483. Pliny (III. 8) 
also speaks of Luna as — oppidum portu 

80 LUNI. [chap. xxxv. 

proud headlands — foam-fretted islets — dark heights, pro- 
digal of wine and oil — purple mountains behind, — and 
naked marble-peaked Apennines over all, 

" Islanded in immeasurable air." 

About three miles from Sarzana, on the high-road to 
Lucca and Pisa, and just before reaching the modern 
frontier of Carrara, the traveller will have on his right a 
strip of low grassy land, intervening between him and the 
sea. Here stood the ancient city. Let him turn out of 
the high-road, opposite the Farm of the Iron Hand' — • 
Casino di Man di Ferro — and after a mile or more he will 
reach the site. There is little enough to see. Beyond a 
few crumbling tombs, and a fragment or two of Roman 
ruin, nothing remains of Luna. The fairy scene, described 
by Rutilius, 7 so appropriate to a spot which bore the name 
of the virgin-queen of heaven — "the fair white walls/' 
shaming with their brightness the untrodden snow — the 
smooth, many-tinted rocks, over-run with " laughing lilies" 
— if not the pure creation of the poet, have now vanished 
from the sight. Vestiges of an amphitheatre, of a semi- 
circular building, which may be a theatre, of a circus, a 
piscina, and fragments of columns, pedestals for statues, 
blocks of pavement, and inscriptions, are all that Luna has 
now to show. The walls, from Rutilius' description, are 
supposed to have been of marble; indeed, Ciriacus of 
Ancona tells us that what remained of them in the middle 
of the fifteenth century, were of that material ; s but not 
a block is now left to determine the point. 

" Rutil. Itiner. II. 63 — Et lsevi radiat picta nitore mIox. 

Advehimur celeri candcntia moenia Dives marmoribus tellus, quae luce 

lapsu, coloria 

Nomiuis est auctor Sole corusca Provocat intactas luxuriosa nives. 

soror. 8 Ciriacus, who wrote in 1442, is the 

Iudigenis superat ridentia lilia suxis, earliest antiquary who gives us an 

chap, xxxv.] SITE AND VESTIGES OF LUNA. 81 

Since so little remains of the Roman town, what vestige 
can we expect of Etruscan Lima 1 No monument of that 
antiquity has ever been discovered on the site, or in its 
vicinity ; 9 not even a trace of the ancient cemetery is to 
be recognized, either in the plain, or among the neigh- 
bouring heights, so that we might almost doubt the 
Etruscan antiquity of Luna ; yet such is expressly assigned 
to it by the ancients. No record, however, has come down 
to us prior to Roman times. 

The earliest mention we have of Luna is from old 
Ennius, who took part in the expedition against Sardinia, 
which sailed from this port in 539 (b. c. 215), under 
Manlius Torquatus ; and the poet, struck with the beauty 
of the gulf, called on his fellow-citizens to come and 
admire it with him, — 

" Luna'i portum est operee cognoscere, cives !" l 

The first historical notice to be found of Luna is in the 

account of Luni. He describes the blocks The broiize coin, with this name in 

of marble as being 8 " paces" (palms ?) Etruscan characters, has on the obverse 

long by 4 high. Promis does not credit a bearded, garlanded head, which Lanzi 

him as to the material ; all the remains takes for that of the genius of the 

of masonry at present on the spot being Macra ; and on the reverse, a reed, four 

of the coarse brown stone from the neigh- globules, and a wheel divided into four 

bouring headland of Corvo ; and the parts, and surrounded with rays like a 

fragments of architectural or sculptural sun. Lanzi, II. pp. 26, 73, tav. I. 10 ; 

decoration, which are of marble, are Passeri, Paralipom. ad Dempst. tab. V, 

not more numerous than on similar 1 . Midler (Etrusk. I. p. 337) is inclined 

sites in Italy (pp. 61, 6G). Midler to refer these coins to Populonia ; so 

(I. 2, 4) credits both Ciriacus and Ruti- also Mionnet (Supplem. I. pp. 109, 203), 

lius, and thinks these marble walls must Sestini (Geog. Numis. II. p. 4), and 

have been of Etruscan times. Targioni Millingcn (Numis. Anc. Ital. p. 173). A 

Tozzetti (XII. p. 1 42) speaks of the series of coins, with a young man's head 

walls as still of marble in his day. wearing the cap of an Aruspex, and with 

9 Except a stone inscribed with a sacrificial knife, an axe, and two crcs- 

Etruscan characters, foimd in the Val di cents, but no inscription, on the reverse, 

Vara, many miles inland, at the head of is supposed by Melchiorri to have be- 

the Gulf of Spezia. Promis, p. 61. No longed to Luna. Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 122. 
coins belonging to Luna have been ' Ennius, ap. Pers. Sat. VI. 9 ; cf. Liv. 

discovered on the spot. Promis, p. 23. XXIII. 34. 


82 LUNI. [chap. xxxv. 

year 559 (b.c. 195), when Cato the consul collected a 
force in the port, and sailed thence against the Spaniards. 2 
It is mentioned again in the }^ear 568, 3 and in 577, in 
the Ligurian War, it received a colony of two thousand 
Romans. 4 In the civil war between Ca?sar and Pompey, 
it is said to have been in utter decay, inhabited only by a 
venerable soothsayer — 

Arruns incoluit desertae moenia Lun?e. 5 

But a few years later it was re-colonized by the Romans ; 6 
and inscriptions found on the spot prove it to have existed 
at the close of the fourth century of our era. 

After the fall of the Roman Empire Luna was desolated 
by the Lombards, Saracens, and Normans, but it was a yet 
more formidable, though invisible, foe that depopulated the 
site, and that ultimately caused it, in the fifteenth century, 
to be utterly deserted. 7 

Luna, under the Romans, was renowned for its wine, 
which was the best in all Etruria ; 8 and for its cheeses, 
which were stamped with the figure, either of the moon, 
or of the Etruscan Diana, and were of vast size, sometimes 
weighing a thousand pounds. 9 But what gave Luna most 

2 Liv. XXXIV. 8. 6 By the Triumvirate, under the Lex 

3 Liv. XXXIX. 21. Julia. Frontin. de Colon, p. 19, ed. 

4 Liv. XLI. 13. Whether Luna or 1583. 

Luca is here the correct reading, is 7 There is an old legend which 

disputed. Veil. Paterculus (I. 15) has ascribes its destruction to another 

Luca. Promis (p. 29) thinks Luna cause. The lord of Luna won the 

was intended ; but Repetti (II. p. 939) affections of a certain Empress, who, to 

holds the opposite opinion. obtaiu her end, feigned herself dead ; 

5 Lucan. I. 586. Here again some her lover playing the resurrectionist, 
editions have " Lucae." Dante (Inferno, and carrying her to his own house. 
XX. 47) places this soothsayer in the This coming to the ears of the Emperor, 
mountains — he not only took vengeance on the 
Che ne' monti di Luni, dove ronca offenders, but laid the city in the dust. 

Lo Carrarese che di sotto alberga, Alberti, Descrit. d'ltalia, p. 22. 

Ebbe tra bianchi marmi la spelonca s Plin. XIV. 8, 5. 

Per sua dimora ; onde a guardar le 9 Martial. XIII. epig. 30; Plin. XL 97. 

stelle Though the Greek writers translate the 

E'l mar, nou gli era la veduta tronca. name of this town by 2eAij</»?, and 




renown was her marble ; known to us as that of Carrara. 
This does not appear to have been known in the time of 
Etruscan independence, for we find scarcely a trace of it 
in the national monuments ; x and surely a people who 
made such extensive use of alabaster, and executed such 
exquisite works in bronze, would have availed themselves 
of this beautiful material, had it been known to them ; yet, 
on the other hand, it is difficult to understand how its 
nivea metalla could have escaped their eye. It does not 
seem to have been discovered much before the Christian 
era. The earliest mention we have of it is in the time of 
Julius Csesar ; 2 but a stone which was whiter than Parian 
marble, 3 and yet might be cut with a saw, 4 was not likely 

though a moon seems to have been the 
symbol of Luna under the Romans 
(Mart. loc. cit.), we have no ground for 
concluding that such was the meaning 
of the Etruscan name. Some have 
thought that Luna was derived from the 
form of its port — even Miiller (Etrusk. 
I. 4, 8) held this opinion — but the name 
is not at all descriptive of the harbour, 
which cannot be likened to a moon, 
whether full, half, or crescent. Lanzi 
suggests that " Losna," the name at- 
tached to a goddess with a crescent as 
her emblem, represented on a mirror 
(Saggio, II. p. 26, tav. 8. ; see also 
Gerhard, Etrusk. Spieg. taf. CLXXI), 
may be the ancient Latin form ; 
Midler thinks it the Etruscan. But 
this is certainly a Roman monument. 
It appears to me highly probable 
that Luna was an Etruscan word, mis- 
interpreted by the Romans. For the 
three chief ports on this coast, as we 
learn from coins, had this termination 
to their names — Luna, PurLUNA 
(Populonia), and Vetluna (Vetulonia) ; 
and as no inland town of Etruria had 
the same ending, it is not improbable 
that Luna had a maritime signification, 

and meant " a port" — this, which has 
no prefix to its name, being, from its 
superior size, pre-eminently " the port" 
of Etruria. 

1 The only instance I remember of 
such marble being used in an Etruscan 
work (not to mention the inlaid letters 
at the Augustine Convent, Cervetri, see 
page 27), is in the Cathedral of Corneto, 
where an inscription is carved on a slab 
of that material. See vol. I. p. 279. 
Kellerman (Bull. Inst. 1833, p. 61) gives 
another inscription on a cone of marble, 
also, he says, now in Corneto. The 
statue of Ilithyia in the Volterra Museum 
is not of Luna marble. 

2 Mamurra, Prtefect of Caesar's army 
in Gaul, was the first who had his house 
lined with marble, and every column 
in it was of solid marble, either from 
Carystos or Luna. Corn. Nepos, ap. 
Plin. XXXVI. 7. 

a Plin. XXXVI. 4, 2. Strabo 
(V. p. 222) says truly that the quarries 
of Luna yielded not only white, but 
variegated marble, inclining to blue>. 

4 Plin. XXXVI. 29.— Lunensem sili- 
cem serra secari. This silcx has been 
supposed only a white tufo, not marble 

a 9 

84 LUX I. [chap. xxxv. 

to be neglected by the luxurious Romans of that age ; 
and accordingly it soon came into extensive use, as the 
Pantheon, the Portico of Octavia, the Pyramid of Caius 
Cestius, and other monuments of that period, remain to 
testify ; and it was to this discovery that Augustus owed 
his boast — that he had found Rome of brick, but had left 
it of marble. From that time forth, it has been in use for 
statuary, as well as for architectural decoration ; and from 
the Apollo Belvidere to the Triumphs of Thorwaldsen, 
" the stone that breathes and struggles " in immortal art, 
has been chiefly the marble of Luna. 5 

(Quintino, Marmi Lunensi, cited by 5 For further notices of Luna and its 

Midler, I. 2, 4, n. 63) ; but the term port, I refer the reader to Targioni's 

was of general application to the harder Toscana X. pp. 403—466 ; but especially 

sorts of rock, and the use of it here is to the work of Promis, already cited, 

expressive of the singularity of the cir- and to Repetti's Dizionario della Toscana. 

eumstanee that the stone should be Promis' work is reviewed by Canina, 

sawn, and the word would lose its force Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 142. 
if applied to a soft volcanic formation. 



Alphese veterem conteniplor originis ui'bem 
Quam cingunt geminis Arnus et Ausur aquis. 


On approaching* Leghorn from the sea, I have always 
been inclined to recognise in it, Triturrita, with the ancient 
port of Pisa, 1 It is true that the modern town does not 
wholly correspond with the description given by Rutilius. 

1 Rutil. I. 527, et seq. ; II. 12. Called 
" Turrita " by the Peutingerian Table, 
which places it 9 miles from Pisa?. 
The Maritime Itinerary has " Portus 
Pisanus " in the same position. Much 
doubt has been thrown on the antiquity 
of Livorno (Repetti, II. p. 717) ; and 
the highest generally ascribed to it is 
that of Roman times — either as the Ad 
Herculem of the Antonine Itinerary, on 
the Via Aurelia, 12 miles from Pisse ; 
or the Labro of Cicero (ad Quint. Frat. 
II. 6) ; or the Laburnum, mentioned by 
Zosimus (Annal. V. cited by Cluver) ; 
whence the modern name, Livorno, 
is derived. It is said to have been 
called Ligurnum (Leghorn) in the mid- 
dle ages. The arguments Cluver (II. 
p. 467) adduces to prove that the Portus 
was at the mouth of the Arno, seem to 
me of little force. Cramer (Ancient 
Italy, I. p. 175), however, agrees with 
him. Mannert (Geog. p. 353) on the 
other hand contends for the identity 
of Leghorn with the Portus Pisa- 
nus. He places Labro, however, at 

Salebro and Ad Herculem at Violino. 
An intermediate opinion is held by 
Targioni Tozzetti (Viaggi in Toscana, 
II. pp. 398—420), who considers the port 
of Piste to have been a bay between the 
Arno and the site of Leghorn, now filled 
up with alluvial deposits from the river ; 
and he finds Villa Triturrita in some 
Roman remains on the inner shore of 
this bay. Indeed it is well known that 
the land has gained considerably on the 
eea in the Delta of the Arno. Midler 
(Etrusk. I. 1, 2; I. 4, 8), who follows 
Tozzetti, considers this port to have 
been connected with the city, by an 
ancient branch of the Arno, now 
stopped up, one of the three mentioned 
by Strabo, V. p. 222. Yet from the 
Maritime Itinerary it seems evident 
that it was not at the principal mouth 
of the river, but .9 miles to the south ; 
which favours the claims of Livorno. 
The Villi in that Itinerary and the 
Peutingerian Tabic, may easily be an 
error for XIIII, which is the true dis- 
tance between Leghorn and Pisa. 

8fi PISA. [chap. xxxm. 

It has now more than a mere bank of sea-weed to protect 
it from the violence of the waves ; it embraces an ample 
harbour within its arms of stone ; but it lies on a naturally 
open shore ; it has an artificial peninsula, on which the 
Villa Triturrita may have stood ; and, by a singular coin- 
cidence, there are still three prominent towers to suggest 
the identity. 

No traveller, now-a-days, omits to make a trip hence to 
Pisa. Like the Itinerant Gaul, he leaves his vessel in the 
port, and hurries away to lionise that city. He now needs no 
friendly loan of a carriage, or of saddle-horses ; but, thanks 
to the railroad, he may run to Pisa and back, while the 
steamer is taking in coals ; for presuming on his privilege 
as " roba di vapore" he may set custom-house officers, and 
all the usual stumbling-blocks of travellers, at defiance. 2 

Of the multitudes that thus visit the elegant and 
tranquil city of Pisa, who remembers her great antiquity % 
— who thinks of her as one of the most venerable cities of 
Italy, prior to the Trojan War, one of the earliest settle- 

2 The use of this word roba is most his goods and chattels, as his roba. A 
singular and amusing, and should be mountain is the roba of the Tuscan, 
understood by the traveller. It is of Roman, or Neapolitan State, as the case 
universal application. What cannot be maybe. The mist rising from a stream 
designated as roba ? It is impossible to and the fish caught in it, are alike 
give its equivalent in English, for we roba di fiume—" river-stuff." The tra- 
have no word so handy. The nearest veller will sometimes have his dignity 
approach to it is "thing" or "stuff," offended when he hears the same term 
but it has a much wider application, applied to himself as to the cloth on his 
accommodating itself to the whole back — roba di Francia or roba d'Jnghil- 
range of created objects, animate or terra, according to his country ; or, as 
inanimate, substances or abstractions. in the case referred to above, when he 
It implies belonging, appertaining to, or hears himself spoken of as " steam- 
proceeding from. The Spaniards use stuff," because he happens to have just 
the cognate word ropa, but in a more landed from a steam-boat. Even the 
limited sense. Our word "robe," must laws and institutions of his country, and 
have the same origin, and "rubbish" the doctrines or observances of his 
must come from its depreciative in- creed, will be brought by the Italian 
iiexion — robaccia. An Italian will speak under this all-comprehensive term. 
"i bis wile anil children, as well as of 




ments of the Pelasgi on this coast 1 3 The Pisa of the 
middle ages is so bright a vision as to throw into dim 
shade the glories of her remoter antiquity. This is one of 
the very few cities of Etruria, which, after the lapse of 
three thousand years, still retains, not only its site, 4 but its 
importance, and has shrouded the hoariness of antiquity in 
the gay garlands of ever-flourishing youth. 

3 PisEe is classed by Dionysius (I. 
p. 16) among the primitive cities of 
Italy, either taken from the Siculi, or 
subsequently built by the confederate 
Pelasgi and Aborigines. Another tra- 
dition ascribes its foundation to a Greek 
colony from Arcadia, who named it 
after the celebrated city of that land ; 
another to some of the Gi'eeks who 
wandered to Italy after the Trojan 
War, whether Epeus, the maker of the 
wooden horse, or some of the Pylians, 
the followers of Nestor (Serv. ad iEn. 
X. 179 ; Strabo, V. p. 222) ; but the 
connection with Pisse of the Pelopon- 
nesus seems to have been most gene- 
rally believed. Virg. JEn. loc. cit. ; 
Serv. ad loc. ; Plin. III. 8 ; Claudian. 
de Bel. Gildon. 483 ; Rutil. I. 565,573 ; 
Solinus, Polyh. VIII. Servius records 
other traditions of its origin, one assign- 
ing it to the Celts ; another that its 
site had been occupied by an earlier 
town, by some called Phocis, by others 
Teuta, whose inhabitants the Teutse, 
Teutani, or Teutones, were of Greek 
race. Plin. III. 8. Cato (ap. Serv.) 
though admitting that this region was 
originally possessed by the Teutones, 
who spoke Greek, could not trace the 
foundation of Piste earlier than the 
arrival of the Etruscans in Italy ; and 
he ascribes it to Tarchon. This tradi- 
tion of the Teutanes, Miiller (einl. 2, .9, 
n. 55) regards as confirmatory of a 
Pelasgic origin. Some say Pisse was 
taken by the Etruscans from the Ligu- 

rians. Lycoph. Cass. 1356. cf. Justin. 
XX. 1. But the almost concurrent 
voice of tradition assigns to Pisse a 
Greek origin, which its name seems to 
confirm; though on the other hand its 
name, which Servius says signified a 
moon-shaped port in the Lydian (i.e. 
Etruscan) tongue, may have given rise 
to these, traditions. Its site also in an 
open plain, so unlike that of most 
Etruscan cities, favours the view of its 
Pelasgic origin. 

4 Pisa anciently stood on a tongue of 
land formed by the confluence of the 
Arnus and Ausar (Strabo, V. p. 222 ; 
Plin. III. 8 ; Rutil. I. 566) ; but the 
latter, the Serchio, at the close of the 
twelfth century altered its course, and 
found a more northerly channel to the 
sea. In Strabo's time the city was only 
20 stadia (2^ miles) inland, but by the 
accumulation of soil brought down by 
the two rivers it is now removed 6 miles 
from the sea. An old tradition repre- 
sents the water, at the point of con- 
fluence, rising to such a height in the 
middle of the channel, that persons 
standing on the opposite banks could 
not see each other. Strabo, loc. cit. ; 
cf. Pseudo-Aristot. Mirab. Auscult. c. 
94. Colonel Mure remarks the simi- 
larity of site between the Pisa of 
Etruria and that of Greece — both occu- 
pied " a precisely similar region, a low, 
warm, marshy flat, interspersed with 
pine-forest." Travels in Greece, II. p. 
283. The analogy of site may explain 

$8 PISA. [chap, xxxvi. 

Her remoteness from Rome may well account for the 
absence of historical mention of Pisa during the period of 
Etruscan independence. Virgil introduces her as sending 
aid to iEncas against Turnus 5 — a statement which can be 
received only as confirmatory evidence of her antiquity. 
Yet a modern writer of great weight does not hesitate to 
regard her as one of the Twelve chief cities of Etruria. 
The earliest mention of Pisa in history occurs in the year 
529 (b.c. 225), when, just before the battle of Telamon, a 
Roman army from Sardinia was landed here. 7 Frequent 
mention is subsequently made of Pisa, which played a 
prominent part in the Ligurian Wars. 8 It was colonised 
in the year 574, at the request of its citizens. 9 Under 
the Romans, it was of considerable importance on account 
of its port, and was celebrated also for the fertility of its 
territory, for the quarries in its neighbourhood, and for 
the abundance of timber it yielded for ship-building. 1 

Of the ancient magnificence of Pisa scarcely a vestige 

the identity of name ; which Colonel been a flourishing city. Mannert (Geog. 
Mure is doubtful whether to derive from p. 339), though he does not regard it as 
wlaos — a marsh — or from iriaa-a — the fir one of the Twelve, calls it, apparently 
or pine-tree. The former or an equiva- on the authority of Strabo and Poly- 
lent derivation is favoured by Strabo bius (II. 16), " the natural rampart and 
(VIII. p. 35C), aud by Eustathius (ad frontier-wall of Etruria towards the 
Horn. Iliad. XX. 9) ; but the latter north." 
derives support from the actual exist- 7 Polyb. II. 27. 

ence of pine-woods, both around the s lj V- XXI. 39 ; XXXIII. 43 ; 

city of Elis, and also on this coast, in XXXIV. 56 ; XXXV. 21 ; XL. 41 ; 

the royal Cascine, where they cover XLI. 5. Previously, in the Second 

some square miles, aud are in all pro- Punic War, Scipio had made use of its 

bability the legitimate descendants of port. Polyb. III. 56. 

the ancient forests, where Rutilius, 9 Liv. XL. 43. Festus calls it a 

when weather-bound, amused himself municipium. Pliny (III. 8) and Ptole- 

with hunting the wild-boar (I. 621 — 8). my (Geog. p. 72) mention it among the 

The city is called Pissa or Pissse by Roman colonies in Etruria. 

Lycophron, Polybius, and Ptolemy. l Strabo, V. p. 223. Pliny also speaks 

6 Virg. JEn. X. 179. He calls it— of its grain (XVIII. 20), of its grapes 

urbs Etrusca. (XIV. 4, 7), and of its wonderful springs, 

r ' Miiller, Etrusk. II. 1, 2. Strabo where frogs found themselves literally 

(V. p. 223) says that it had originally in hot water (II. 106). 


remains. Various fragments of Roman antiquity have 
been discovered on the spot ; but, with the exception of 
sundry sarcophagi, broken statues, and numerous inscrip- 
tions, nothing remains above ground beyond some mean 
traces of baths, and two marble columns with Composite 
capitals, probably belonging to the vestibule of a temple of 
the time of the Antonines, now embedded in the wall of the 
ruined church of San Felice. 2 As to the city of the 
Pelasgi and Etruscans, it has entirely disappeared. The 
traveller looks in vain for a stone of the walls, which from 
the exposed position of the city must have been of great 
strength — in vain for a tumulus or monument on the sur- 
rounding plain — the city of the dead, as well as that of the 
living, of that early period, is now lost to the eye. Yet 
the necropolis of Pisa must exist ; but, as far as I can 
learn, it has not been sought for. 3 

The only relics of Etruscan antiquity at Pisa are a few 
sarcophagi and urns in that celebrated sepulchral museum, 
the Campo Santo, 4 Even these were not found on the 

2 Repetti, IV. p. 305 ; Dempster stood originally almost on the shore. 
(II. p. 248) infers from Seneca (Thyes- It is now six miles from the sea ; but in 
tes, I. 123) that Pisa was anciently the tenth century, according to that 
renowned for her towers ; but the true wandering Jew, Benjamin of Tudela, it 
reading is — was but four ; and in Strabo's time only 

" Pisaeisque domos curribus inclytas," two miles and a half inland ; therefore, 

and the line refers to the city of Elis. at the same rate, we may conclude that 

The Italian Pisa, however, was renowned a thousand years earlier, it stood almost 

for her towers in the middle ages. Ben- close to the sea. Repetti (IV. p. 372) 

jamin, the Jew of Tudela, who lived in says that numerous Roman sarcophagi 

the tenth century, records that nearly have been disinterred within the city 

10,000 towers were to be counted, itself, for the most part on the right 

attached to the houses — verily, as old bank of the Arno, and at some distance 

Faccio degli Uberti says of Lucca — from the river 

" a guisa d' tin boschcto." Other chro- 4 There are some small copper coins 

niclers increase this number to 15,000 ; with the head of Mercury on the obverse, 

and Petrarch vouches for a great multi- and an owl, with the legend Peithesa, 

tude. in Etruscan characters, on the reverse, 

3 It can hardly lie between Pisa and which most probably belong to Pisa, 
(he sea ; for it is probable that the city The opinion of early Italian antiquaries 

90 PISA. [chap, xxxvi. 

spot. The eye, experienced in Etruscan remains, at once 
recognises them as the roba of Volterra. They were found at 
Morrona, in the neighbourhood of that town, and presented 
in 1808 to the city of Pisa. There is nothing among them 
of remarkable interest. Most are small square cinerary 
urns, or "ash chests," as the Germans term them, with 
stunted and distorted figures on the lids. One of these 
recumbent figures holds an open scroll, with an Etruscan in- 
scription in red letters. Among the reliefs are — a banquet ; 
a sacrifice ; another of the same on a sarcophagus, in good 
style ; the deathbed scene of a female, with her friends 
around her ; a soul in a quadriga;, conducted to the shades 
below by Charun, armed with his hammer ; a griffon con- 
tending with three warriors ; an Amazon with sword and 
shield defending her fallen comrade from a fierce beast like 
a tiger, which is emerging from a well ; Orestes persecuted 
by a Fury ; Polites, with one knee on the altar, defending 
himself with an axe against Pyrrhus, who is rushing up, 
sword in hand, to slay him, while two demons, one with a 
torch, the other with a sword, stand one on each. side. 
A large sarcophagus has a pair of figures on its lid, and the 
hunt of the Calydonian boar in relief below. Perhaps the 
most interesting monument is an alabaster urn, on which a 
female figure reclines, holding a rhyton, or drinking-cup, in 
the shape of a horse's head and fore-quarters ; in the relief 
below, is represented a female demon or Fury, winged and 

was generally in favour of Perusia; Lanzi (Ancient Italy, I. p. 173) also remarks 
(Sagg. II. pp. 27, 76) seems to bint at the that if we suppose its pronunciation to 
ArretiumFidens of Pliny. Sestini (Geog. have been Pithsa, it would not be far 
Numis. II. p. 5) was less extravagant from the Pissa of Lycophron. Millingen 
in ascribing these coins to Veii (cf. (Numis. Anc. Ital. p. 170) thinks that 
Mionnet, Suppl. I. p. 204). They have these coins belong to some forgotten 
also been assigned to Pitinum in Urn- town, near Todi in Umbria, because 
bria ; but Midler (Etrusk. I. p. 338) they are generally found in that neigh- 
suggests that Peithesa may be the old bourhood. 
Etruscan form of Pissa ; and Cramer 


buskined, but without drapery, in a sitting posture, and 
with a spear in her hand — extremely like one of the evil 
spirits painted on the walls of the Grotta del Cardinale at 
Corneto, 5 who sits as guardian over 

" the gates of grislie Hell, 

And horrid house of sad Proserpina." 

As in duty bound, I have noticed these Etruscan relics ; 
yet few who visit this sacred and silent corner of Pisa, 
where the grandeur and glory of the city are concentrated, 
are likely to give them much attention. Few will turn 
from the antique pomp, the mosque-like magnificence of 
the Cathedral — from the fair white marvel of the Leaning- 
Tower — from the cunningly-wrought pulpit and font of 
the Baptistery — or even from the frescoed visions, the 
grotesque solemnities of the Campo Santo, to examine 
these uncouth memorials of the early possessors of the 

4 See Vol. I. p. 321, where the resemblance this figure bears to the Fury 
Tisiphoue is pointed out. 




Florence, beneath the sun, 

Of cities, fairest one ! — Shelley. 

Di te, Donna dell' Arno, anch' io favello. 
Tu, in regio trono alteramente assisa, 
L'imperioso ciglio 
Volgi all' Etruria! — Filicaja. 

Florence, the Athens of modern Italy, in the days of 
Etruscan greatness and of the earliest civilization of the 



land, was nought. She cannot claim an origin higher than 
the latter years of the Roman Republic. 1 Yet she may be 
regarded in some sort as the representative of the ancient 
Etruscan city of Fsesulre, whose inhabitants at an early 
period removed from their rocky heights to the banks 
of the Arno 2 — an emigration in which Dante, in his 
Ghibelline wrath, finds matter of vituperation — 

quelle- ingrato popolo maligno, 
Che discese di Fiesole ab antico, 
E tiene ancor del monte e del raacieno — 

1 Frontinus (deColoniis,p. 13,ed. 1588) 
saysFlorentia was a colony of the Trium- 
virate, established under the Lex Julia ; 
which has led some to conclude that 
such was the date of her foundation. 
Yet Florus (III. 21) ranks her with 
Spoletium, Interamnium, and Prseneste, 
those " most splendid municipia of 
Italy," which, in the civil wars of 
Marius and Sylla, suffered from the 
vengeance of the latter. Some editions 
have "Fluentia," but this can be no 
other than Florentia, as the same name 
is given by Pliny (III. 8) in his list of 
the colonies in Etruria — Fluentiui prse- 
fluenti Arno oppositi. Repetti, how- 
ever, embraces the opinion of Salutati, 
and of Borghini, that it was the Feren- 
timim of the Volsci, to which Florus in 
the said passage alludes ; and ho thinks 
the origin of Florence is to be dated 
from the colony of the Triumvirate 
(Dizionario, II. pp. 108, 150). Cluver 
(II. p. 508) admits the higher antiquity. 
Mannert (Geog. p. 393) thinks the city 
dates its origin from the Ligurian wars. 
In the reign of Tiberius, Florentia was 
an important colony or municipium, one 
of those which sent deputies to Rome, 
to deprecate alterations in the course of 
the tributaries of the Tiber ; their plea 
being that if the Clanis were diverted 
into the Arnus, it would bring destruc- 

tion on their territory. Tacit. Anna! 
I. 79. She is subsequently mentioned 
by Pliny (XIV. 4, 7), by Ptolemy (p. 
72), by the Antonine Itinerary and the 
Peutingerian Table. Vestiges of her 
Roman magnificence remain in the ruins 
of the amphitheatre near the Piazza di 
Santa Croce. 

Livy (X. 25) speaks of an Etruscan 
town, Aharna, or as some readings have 
it, Adharnaha, which Lanzi translates 
Ad Arnum, and hints that it may be 
Florence, though not giving this as his 
opinion (Sagg. I. p. 377 ; II. p. 394). 
But Livy refers to the year 459, at which 
time the vale of the Arno must have 
been a marsh, as it was in the year 537, 
when Hannibal invaded Etruria (Liv. 
XXII. 2) ; and no town could have 
occupied the present site of Florence. 

2 The fact is not stated by the an- 
cients, but has for ages been traditional. 
Inghirami (Guida di Fiesole, p. 24) 
refers the emigration to the time of 
Sylla ; Repetti (II. p. 108) to that of 
Augustus. According to old Faccio 
degli Uberti, the city received its name 
from the " flower-basket " in which it 
is situated. 

Al fine gli habitanti per memoria 
Che lera posta en un gran cost de fiori, 
Gli dono el nome hello undo sen gloria. 

04 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvii. 

though it would puzzle a poet now to find any analogy 
in the courteous and polished Florentines to the rugged 
crags of Fiesole. 

It is not my province to make further mention of 
Florence, than to notice the relics of Etruscan anti- 
quity preserved within the city, or discovered in the 

The collection of such objects in the possession of the 
Grand Duke is kept in the Gallery of the Uffizj ; and 
though a meagre notice of it is to be found in the Guide 
Books, I should not be justified in omitting to particularise 
rather more fully the most interesting articles. 

At the further end of the long Gallery in the western 
wing are 

The Urns. 

The greater part of these are from Volterra, being a 
selection made in 1770 from the abundant fruits of 
the excavations then carrying forward, and at that time 
were reputed the most beautiful relics of Etruscan antiquity 
extant. 3 A few have been subsequently added from the 
same city, as well as from Chiusi. They are either of 
travertine, alabaster, or of a yellow tufaceous stone. Out 
of nearly fifty, very few are of remarkable beauty or 
interest. Indeed, he who has visited Volterra or Chiusi, 
will find httle to admire in the urns of the Uffizj. The 
figures on the lids are of the stumpy, contracted form 
usual in the "ash-chests" of Volterra. All are reclining, 
as at a banquet. The males, as usual, hold a goblet ; the 
females, generally a fan or a mirror in one hand, and 
a pomegranate in the other ; though one, of more depraved 
taste, holds a rhi/ton, or drinking-cup. 4 Most retain traces 
of the minium with which they were coloured. 

3 Iughiraini, Monunienti Etruschi, I. ' The rhyton is a drinking-cup, ori- 

p. 1 1 . ginally, perhaps, in the form of a cow's 




The reliefs on the urns are, for the most part, in a 
wretched style of art ; yet, as illustrative of the Etruscan 
belief and traditions, they are not without interest. Many 
represent parting scenes. The deceased is taking a last 
farewell of a relative, when the minister of Death, hammer 
in hand, steps between them, and a door hard by 
indicates the entrance to the unseen world. In another 
case the Genius rushes between the friends, seizes one, 
and at the same moment another demon extinguishes 

horn, as it is often so repi-esented in the 
hands of Bacchus on the painted vases, 
but it frequently terminates in the head 
of a dog, fox, bull, stag, boar, eagle, 
cock, or griffon. In this case it is in 
the form of a horse's head and fore- 
quarters— a favourite shape with the 
Etruscans. It is sometimes represented 
in ancient paintings with the wine flow- 
ing in a slender stream from the ex- 
tremity, but I do not recollect to have 
seen one so perforated. As it could only 
stand when inverted, it was necessary to 
drain it to the bottom before it could be 
laid down. It may therefore be re- 
garded as indicative of a debauch. . By 
the Greeks it was considered proper to 
heroes only. Athen. XI. c. 2, p. 461. 
From these female effigies holding 
patera, and even rhyta, we learn some- 
what of the habits of the Etruscan 
ladies. Indeed, if we may believe all 
that has been said about them, they 
were " terrible ones to drink," and were 
apt to be forward in pledging any gen- 
tleman to whom they took a fancy, not 
waiting, as modest ladies ought, till they 
were challenged to take wine. Theo- 
pompus, ap. Athen. XII. c. 3, p. 517. 
Very different was the condition of the 
Roman woman in early times. She was 
not allowed to drink wine at all, unless 
it were simple raisin-wine. And, how- 
ever she might relish strong drinks, she 

could not indulge even by stealth ; first, 
because she was never entrusted with 
the key of the wine-cellar ; and se- 
condly, because she was obliged daily to 
greet with a kiss all her own, as well as 
her husband's male relatives, down to 
second cousins ; and as she knew not 
when or where she might meet them, 
she was forced to be wary, and abstain 
altogether. For had she tasted but a 
drop, the smell would have betrayed her 
— " there would have been no need of 
slander," says Polybius (ap. Athen. X. 
c. 1 1, p. 440). The precautionary means, 
it may be thought, were worse than the 
possible evil they were intended to guard 
against. So strict, however, were the 
old Romans in this respect, that a cez-- 
tain Egnatius Mecenius is said to have 
slam his wife, because he caught her at 
the wine-cask — a punishment which was 
not deemed excessive by Romulus, who 
absolved the husband of the crime of 
murder. Another Roman lady who, 
under the pretence of taking a little 
wine for her stomach's sake and fre- 
quent infirmities, indulged somewhat too 
freely, was mulcted to the full amount 
of her dowry. Plin. XIV. 14. On an 
amphora from Volterra, in this same col- 
lection, two naked females are repre- 
sented pledging each other in these 

96 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvn. 

a torch. Here a husband is taking leave of his wife, ere 
he mounts the steed which is to convey him to the land 
whence no traveller returns — or a like fond pair are 
pressing hands for the last time at a column, the funeral 
pine-cone on which indicates the nature of their farewell. 
There, the winged messenger of Hades enters the chamber, 
and waves her torch over the head of the dying one, — or 
two sons are performing the last sad rites to their father ; 
one is piously closing his eyes, and the other stands by 
comforted by a good spirit, while the Genius of Death 
is also present, sword in hand, to indicate the triumph he 
has just achieved. 5 

The subjects are sometimes mythological. Winged 
hippocampi, or sea-monsters — Scylla with double fishes tail, 
in the midst of a shoal of merry dolphins 6 — Castor and 
Pollux resting on their shields, with a winged Fate seated 
between them — griffons, and other chimeras, or winged 
Genii guarding the urn which contains the ashes of the 

Here Paris has taken refuge at an altar, to escape from 
his brethren, who are enraged at Ins carrying off the palm 
from them in the public games. His good Genius steps in 
to save the victorious shepherd. There the young Pohtes 
is slain by Pyrrhus ; the altar to which he had fled, 
and the wheel of Fortune on which he relied availing 
him nothing. Here is the boar of Calydon at bay, fall- 
ing beneath the lance and double-axe (bipennis) of his 
pursuers. There Ulysses in his galley is struggling to free 
himself from his voluntary bondage, eager to yield to the 
allurements of "the Syrens three," who, in the guise 

5 This scene is illustrated by Micali, anchor in each hand— the decoration of 
Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. LIX. 4. an urn in this collection — is illustrated 

6 One of these marine goddesses, with by Micali, Italia avanti I Romani, tav. 
a pair of wings on her brows, and an XXII.; Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. CX. 

chap, xxxvu.] ETRUSCAN URNS IN THE UFF1ZJ. 97 

of women, with flute, lyre, and Pandean pipes, sit on the 
cliffs of their fatal island. Here is a scene where " the 
King of men" — lo gran Daca de' Greci, as Dante terms 
him — is about to immolate his virgin-daughter — 

Onde pianse Ifigenia il suo bel volto, 
E fe pianger di se e i folli e i savi, 
Ch' udir parlar di cosi fatto colto. 

And there you may see Clytemnestra slain on her 
guilty couch ; the avengers of blood, according to this 
version of the legend, being three ! On another urn 
Orestes and Pylades are represented sitting as victims, 
with their hands bound, at an altar ; the libation is poured 
on their heads, and the sword is raised by the priestesses 
of Diana. On a fourth urn the drama is advanced another 
step. Iphigenia discovers it is her brother she is about to 
sacrifice, and she stands leaning on his head, with her 
hands clasped, in deep dejection, hesitating between love 
and duty. The second priestess has still her weapon 
raised to slay Pylades ; and a third brings in a tray with 
libations and offerings. The daughter of Agamemnon is 
naked ; but her fellows are attired in all respects like the 
Lasas and Furies, commonly represented in Etruscan 
funeral scenes. This monument is in a very superior style 
of art to most of its neighbours. 

The subjects on others of these monuments are not 
easy of explanation. 7 One urn is in the shape of a little 

7 In one case a man, sitting on an a female Fury, or Fate, stands behind 

altar, is about to slay a child in his lap, him, with her weapon raised, as if to 

to the great alarm of two females ; some smite them. In one strange combat, a 

armed men rush up to the rescue. A minstrel-boy with a lyre mingles in the 

temple is represented behind, in per- fray. In another, a warrior drags a 

spective. Some are battle-scenes. A female, not an Amazon, from her cha- 

quadriga is upset — old Charun, " griesly riot — the horses are trampling on a 

grim," seizes one of the horses by the fallen man, and a Fury directs their 

ear and nose — a man strikes at them course. Here, two combatants are scpa- 

with one of the broken wheels — and rated by a female demon rushing between 

VOL. n. H 

98 FIRKNZE. [chap, xxxvii. 

temple, with all the wood and tile-work of the roof repre- 
sented in stone. 8 

The Vases 

are all contained in one small chamber. The Tuscan 
Government has not availed itself of the opportunity it 
possesses of forming the finest collection of Etruscan anti- 
quities in the world. Most of the articles discovered in 
the Duchy pass into foreign countries,' — little or nothing 
finds its way to Florence. With this apathy on the part 
of the Government, the collection of vases cannot be ex- 
pected to be extensive or remarkably choice. Yet it is 
characteristic. Most of the Etruscan sites within the 
limits of Tuscany are here represented by their pottery ; 
and there are even some good vases from other districts of 
Italy ; partly, I believe, collected, of old, by those princely 
patrons of art, the Medici. 

The chief glory of this collection strikes the eye on 
entering. It is a huge, wide-mouthed amphora, perhaps 
the largest painted vase ever found in Etruria — certainly 

them. There, two others are fighting, urn, no longer in this Museum, repre- 

and a monster in human form, with a sented the blinding of (Edipus. Two 

ram's head, perhaps one of Circe's vie- armed men hold the old man, while a 

tims, stands by with a stone in his hand. third thrusts a dagger into his eye ; his 

One scene, where a man is presenting a two little sons are running up, each with 

goblet to a female seated in a grotto, his hand to his head, to express his 

recalls Comus and the lady, were it not grief ; and a female is also rushing for- 

that another man is approaching ward to save him, but is held back by ;> 

stealthily, to transfix her with a spear. slave. Inghir. I. tav. LXXI ; Micali, 

Some of the urns described by Italian Ital. av. Rom. tav. XLVI ; Gori, I. tab. 

antiquaries as in this Museum, are no 142. It will be seen that this differs 

longer to be seen here. Such is a part- from the Greek version of the story 

ing scene at a door. A woman, about to which represents the ill-fated son of 

enter the fatal gate of Hades, is taking Laius, as blinding himself with his 

farewell of her husband and family; own hand. Sophoc. OZdip. Tyr. 1270; 

while Charun, or the minister of Death, yEsehyl. Sept. ad Theb. 783 — 4. 
with his hammer on his shoulder, is on 8 In one of the reliefs on these urns, 

the point of striking her down with a an arched gateway is represented, with 

sword. Inghir. Mon. Etrus. I. tav. rusticated vowsoirs — an architectural 

XXXVIII. Another very interesting fact worthy of attention. 

chap, xxxvii.] THE KING OF ETRUSCAN VASES. 99 

unrivalled in the variety and interest of its subjects, and 
the abundance of its inscriptions. It is about twenty-seven 
inches in height, and little less in diameter ; and has six 
bands of figures all in the Second or Archaic Greek style 
— black, tinted with white and red, on the yellow ground 
of the clay. It has eleven distinct subjects, eight of which 
are heroic, some quite novel ; and no fewer than one 
hundred and fifteen explanatory epigraphs ; besides the 
names of the potter and artist. The design, as in all 
vases of this style, is quaint and hard, yet the figures are 
full of expression and energy, and are often drawn with 
much minuteness and delicacy. Unfortunately it was 
found broken into numerous pieces ; it has been tolerably 
well restored, but some fragments are still wanting to 
complete it. Yet even in its imperfect state it is so superb 
a monument, that the Tuscan Government was induced to 
relax its purse-strings, and purchase it for one thousand 

This vase may be called an Iliad, or rather an Achilleid, in 
pottery, for its subjects have especial reference to the great 
hero of the Trojan War — from the youthful deeds of his 
father, and the marriage of his parents, down to his own 
death, interspersed with mythological episodes, as was the 
wont of the bard, 

" Whose poem Phoebus challenged for his own." 

This " king of Etruscan vases," as it has not unaptly 
been termed, was found at Chiusi in 1845, by Signor 
Francois. 9 

There are many other painted vases in this collection. 
Among them I may point out some amphorce, or wine-jars, 

9 Further- notices of this remarkable 214 (Gerhard). See also the Appendix 
vase will be found in Bull. Inst. 1845, to this Chapter. 
,,,,. H3—119 (Braun) ; and pp.210— 


100 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvii. 

with combats under the walls of Troy — councils of the 
gods — battles of the gods with the giants — two in a re- 
markable state of preservation, one with a group of four 
warriors, the other with Mercury and Minerva standing by 
a war-chariot — and two very small, but pretty, representing 
a winged Apollo playing the lyre, and a nymph. Of 
hydritz, or water-jars, distinguished by their three handles, 
the most remarkable are, one which represents Mercury 
pursuing the nymph Herse, whose sisters run to acquaint 
their father ; and a beautiful one, of the form called 
calpis, with Triptolemus on his winged car. Of mixing- 
jars — crateres, celebce, stamni — with wide mouths, the best 
display the contest of the Centaurs and Lapithze, — Bacchic 
subjects, — a solemn procession, — and priestesses making 
libations at an altar. The wine-jugs — cenoclioce — distin- 
guished by their single handle and spout, bear — some, 
Bacchic scenes ; one, Hercules "taking a cup of kindness" 
with his patron, the " grey-eyed " goddess ; another, a 
marriage-scene, the bride veiled, attended by her pronuba, 
or bridesmaid, giving her hand at a column. There are 
also some good drinking-bowls — cylices and canihari. The 
most beautiful of these painted vases are from Vulci ; and 
two huge ampJiorcc from Basilicata contrast their florid 
adornments with the more chaste and simple pottery of 

Arezzo may be recognized in an elegant vase of red 
ware, with heads and fruit in relief. Volterra has contri- 
buted sundry articles exhibiting the characteristic defects 
of her pottery — rudeness and carelessness of design, coarse- 
ness of clay, inferiority of varnish, and ungainliness of 
form. There are some of her favourite silhouette jugs, and 
little monstrosities in the shape of ducks, with a female 
head painted on each wing. Of the very early and uncouth 
black ware of Chiusi, Sarteano, Chianciano, and that district, 




there are numerous and excellent specimens ; and it is 

these which give this collection its chief interest, for this 

very characteristic and peculiarly Etruscan pottery is not 

to be seen in the Museo Gregoriano at Rome, in the British 

Museum, or in any other national collection in Europe, as 

far as I am aware. Here are the tall 

cock-crowned vases, with veiled larvce 

or spirits of the dead, demons, beasts, 

chimaeras, and other strange devices, 

surrounding or studding them in relief 

— as is shown in the curious jug at 

the head of this chapter. 1 Some are 

Canopi, or vases shaped like the head 

and shoulders of a man, the effigy of 

the dead whose ashes are contained 

within. One of them, shown in the 

annexed wood-cut, has less peculiarity 

than usual, and has the body adorned 

with figures in relief. The lid is in 

the form of a cap, tufted by a bird. 2 

There are also, in the same black ware, 


1 The black ware of which these vases 
are made is unglazed and imperfectly 
varnished; often incapable of containing 
liquid ; whence it may be inferred that 
much of this pottery was made ex- 
pressly for sepulchral purposes. Such 
appears to be the character of the vase 
represented at page 92. The animals 
in the lower band are panthers, carry- 
ing stags, conveniently packed on then* 
shoulders, as a fox carries a goose. 
Wild beasts with their prey are most 
common sepulchral emblems, not only 
on Etruscan but on Greek and Oriental 
monuments. See Vol. I. p. 359. The 
heads in the upper band seem to have 
an analogy with the silhouettes on the 
painted pottery of Volterra. The three 

things between them appear to be ala- 
baslra — common sepulchral furniture. 
The horse is a well-known funereal em- 
blem, indicative of the passage from one 
state of existence to another. The eyes 
scratched on the spout have evidently 
an analogy to those so often painted on 
the Hellenic vases ; and have doubtless 
the same symbolic meaning. See Vol. 
I. Chapter XXII. page 438. Micali, in 
treating of this vase (Mon. Ined. p. 176), 
takes them for a charm against the evil 
eye. The heads which stud the handle 
and top of this vase are supposed to be 
those of Larvce, or the spirits of the 

- This Canopus is described by Micali, 
Mon. Ined, p. 172 et seq. tav. XXIX. 

102 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvii. 

a pair of jocular i or fumigators, one round, the other square, 
with their incomprehensible tea-tray contents — cullenders 
— some singular stands which, for want of a better name 
and acquaintance w r ith their use, are called " asparagus- 
holders," — large basket-like vases or trays, commonly 
called, for similar reasons, ciste mistiche, — and a variety 
of drinking-cups with bands of minute figures in relief, 
which are found also on other sites in Etruria. Not the 
least interesting of these Chiusi vases, is a cinerary pot, 
with " Taechu " inscribed on it — a name rarely met with 
before the recent discovery at Cervetri of the Tomb of 
the Tarquins. 3 Nor must I forget two oblong tablets 
of black ware, with Etruscan inscriptions ; commonly 
called lavagne, or " slates," but which Professor Migliarini, 
the Director of the Antiquities, jocosely terms "visiting- 
cards." By the side of this very ancient black pottery, there 
are articles in a very different and much later style, whose 
elegant forms and reliefs, and brilliant varnish, betray a 
Greek origin or influence. They are said to come from 
Pompeii. There is also a Roman amphora, with a female 
painted on it, in the style of the frescoes of Pompeii. 

Among the minor articles, notice numerous votive offer- 
ings, chiefly portions of the human frame, — heads, portraits 
of the deceased, often found in sepulchres, — many small 
figures of household gods, — lamps, — masks, — cattle, — ah 
in baked clay, — eggs still unbroken, — a curious little group 
in ivory from an Etruscan tomb at Chiusi, representing two 
sleeping children attacked by a wolf and her young ones. 
— and two beautiful little cups of variegated glass. 

3 The inscription given in Roman tion must refer to some client or Greed 

letters, would read thus: — "Mi Tesan man of the gem Tarqumia. But ii 

Keia Tarchu Menaia." Micali (Mon. Beems rather to mention some one of 

[ned. p. Slid, tav. LV. 7), who gives a the name of Tarchon. 
drawing of the pot, thinks the inscrip- 

chap, xxxvii.] THE CHIMERA.— THE ORATOR. 103 

The Bronzes. 

The ancient bronzes in the Uffizj are in a small cham- 
ber — Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, mingled indiscrimi- 
nately. The most remarkable objects, however, are 
Etruscan, found within the Grand Duchy. In the centre 
of the room stand several works of high celebrity. The 
Cholera, found at Arezzo in 1534, is the legitimate com- 
pound, having the body of a lion, a goat's head springing 
from its back, and a serpent for a tail — the latter, however, 
is a modern restoration. The figure is full of expression. 
The goat's head is already dying, and the rest of the crea- 
ture is writhing in agony from two wounds it has received 
from the spear of Bellerophon. The style of art much 
resembles that of the celebrated Wolf of the Capitol, but is 
somewhat less archaic ; and its origin is determined by the 
word " Tinscvil " in Etruscan characters on the fore leg. 4 

The Arringatore, or Orator, is a beautiful statue, 
the size of life, of a senator or Lucumo, clad in tunic and 
pallium, and high-laced sandals, and with one arm raised 
in the attitude of haranguing. On the border of the 
pallium is an Etruscan inscription, which in Roman letters 
would run thus : — 

"Aulesj. Metelis. Ve. Vesial. Clensi. 
Cen. Phleres. Tece. Sansl. Tenine. 
tuthines. chisvlics" 

showing this to be the statue of Aulus Metellus, son of 
Velius, by a lady of the family of Vesius. Notwithstand- 
ing this proof of its origin, the monument is of no early 
date, but probably of the period of Roman domination, 
before the native language had fallen into disuse. 5 It was 
found in 1573, near the shores of the Thrasymene. 

See Lanzi, Saggio, II. p. 23G ; XLII. 2. Inghir. III. tav. XXI. 

Micali, Ant. Pop. ltal. III. p. 61, tav. 5 Lanzi (Sagg. II. p. 547) regards 

104 FIRENZE. [ohap. xxxvii. 

A much more archaic figure is that of Minerva, found at 
Arezzo about the same time as the ChiniEera. From her 
attitude she might also be engaged in haranguing. Though 
regarded as Greek, this statue has much of the quaint 
character of Etruscan art. 

The naked youth, sometimes called Mercury, was found 
at Pesaro, and is probably Roman. So is also the fine 
torso, discovered in the sea near Leghorn, the inside still 
encrusted with shells, — and the horse's head, of great spirit 
and beauty. 

In the glass-cases around the room, the works of various 
ages and people are so mingled, as to require an experi- 
enced eye to pronounce which are Etruscan. There are 
sundry tripods, and candelabra of various merit — cauldrons 
— spear-heads, and daggers — lamps — mirrors, both figured 
and plain — -pater ce, with elegant handles — a phiala of silver 
— strigils of bronze — sacrificial flesh-hooks — caps of chariot- 
wheels in the form of dogs' heads — handles of bronze 
amphorce, with masks in the scrolls — and sundry situlce or 
small pails, one of silver, another scratched with archaic 

Two sistra are probably Roman, and so are most of the 
little figures of deities and Lares, here so numerous. Some, 
however, are genuine Tuscanica signa, to be distinguished 
principally by their archaic, and often grotesque character. 
Some are as rudely misshapen as those from the Nuraghe 
of Sardinia ; others are fearfully elongated — a sure crite- 
rion of high antiquity ; others have all the Egyptian rigi- 
dity. Many of the females are holding out their gowns 
with one hand as if preparing for a dance ; yet with their 
feet closely set, and their linibs too stiff for motion, they 
remind one of the young lady who, when about to be led 

this statue as votive, and gives the III. 7). It is also given by Mieali (op. 
inscription in Etruscan characters (tav. cit. p. 64, tav. XLIV. 2). 

chap, xxxvn.] THE BRONZES.— ETRUSCAN COMPASS! 105 

forth in a quadrille, remained fixed, immovable — would not 
stir a step ; her face suddenly clouded with dismay and 
alarm, which was not shared in by those around her, when 
she whispered the cause of her seeming waywardness — 
"her garters had hooked together/' and she was leg- 
locked ! There are also many Genii with diadems, and 
patera in hand ; one with a child in his arms ; two winged 
Lasas, bearing the corpse of a warrior ; beside numerous 
sphinxes, chimaeras, centaurs, and other fantastic monsters. 
Among them is a bull with a human head, which, from 
the arms of a man clasped round his neck, must represent 
the river-god Achelous, conquered by Hercules. 

There are two small figures of Etruscan warriors ; the 
larger, more than a foot high, is very similar to the beautiful 
Mars from Monte Falterona, now in the British Museum ; 
and to a painted figure in the Tomb of the Monkey at 
Chiusi. His helmet has a straight cockade on each side, 
almost like asses' ears ; he wears a scaled cuirass, but his 
thighs are bare ; his legs are defended by greaves ; he 
carries a large embossed Argolic buckler ; but the weapon 
held in his right hand is gone. 6 

Much inquiry has been made of late years by English 
travellers for a certain ''compass" in this collection, by 
which the Etruscans steered to Carnsore Point in the 
county of Wexford. The first party who asked for this 
curious instrument met with a prompt reply from Professor 
Migliarini, the Director of Antiquities in Tuscany. He 
ordered one of his officers to show the signori the Room of 
the Bronzes, and particularly to point out the Etruscan 
compass. " Compass ! " — bussola ! — the man stared and 
hesitated, but on the repetition of the command led the 
way, persuaded of his own ignorance, and anxious to dis- 

6 See Micali, Italia av. Rom. tav. XXI. ; Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. XXXIX. 

|l)6 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvn. 

cover the article with which he was not acquainted. The 
search was fruitless — no compass could be discerned, and 
the English returned to the Professor, complaining of the 
man's stupidity. The learned Director, indicating the case 
and shelf where it was to be found, ordered him to return 
with the party. A second search proved no more suc- 
cessful ; and the officer, half dubiously, was obliged to con- 
fess his ignorance. Whereon the Professor went with the 
party to the room, and taking down a certain article, exhi- 
bited it as the compass. " Diamine ! " cried the man, " I 
always took that for a lamp, an eight-branched lamp," — 
not daring to dispute the Professor's word, though strongly 
doubting his seriousness. " Know then in future." said 
Migliarini, " that this has been discovered by a learned 
Eno-lishman to be an ' Etrusco-Phcenician nautical com- 


pass,' used by the Etruscans to steer by on their voyages 
to Ireland, which was a colony of theirs, and this inscrip- 
tion, written in pure Irish or Etruscan, which is all tli6 
same thing, certifies the fact — ' In the night on a voyage 
out or home in sailing happily always in clear weather is 
known the course of going.' " 7 

In the Cabinet of Gems in the Uffizj, there are a few of 
Etruscan antiquity, among them the well-known one of two 
Salii carrying six ancilia on a pole between them. 8 Here 

' Sir William Betham, when he found the centre is a Medusa's head, with 
this mare's nest (Etruria Celtica, II. p. wings on the temples, as on the lamps 
268), had evidently made acquaintance in the Tomb of the Volumni at Perugia, 
with the relic only through published This monument has been illustrated by 
illusti-ations, which all present but one several of the early writers on Etruscan 
view of it. Had he personally inspected auticniities. Dempster, de Etruria Re- 
it, he must have confessed it an eight- gali, I. tab. VIII. ; Gori, Museum Etrus- 
branched lamp, with the holes for the cum, I. p. xxx. ; Lanzi, Saggio, II. tav. 
wicks, and reservoir for the oil. The XIV. 3. 

inscription runs in a circle round the 8 This is illustrated by Lanzi, II. 

bottom, aud in Romau letters would be tav. IV. 1; but better by Inghirami, VI. 

— Mi. Sithil. Velthuri. Thura. tav. B 5, 6 ; and Gori, I. tab. CXCYIil. 

Turce. Au. Velthuri. Ph.mslal. In 1. 


are also some beautifully wrought ornaments in gold, from 
the tombs of Volterra. 

Besides the collection in the Uffizj, the Grand Duke has 
a few Etruscan relics in his private laboratory, principally 
brought from the Maremma. I have not seen them, but 
the tone in which I have heard them spoken of by high 
authority, as " roba di Maremma" was expressive rather 
of their quality than of the place of their discovery ; and 
satisfied me that there was not much to see. 

In the court of the Palazzo Buonarroti at Florence, is a 
slab of sandstone with the figure of an Etruscan warrior in 
relief. He is almost naked, with only a cloth about his 
loins ; his hair hangs loosely down his back ; he holds a 
spear in one hand and a lotus-flower, with a little bird on 
the stalk, in the other. The clumsiness, the Egyptian 
rigidity of this figure, mark it as of high antiquity ; an 
inscription proves it to be Etruscan. It was discovered 
ages since at Fiesole. 9 

Monte Falterona. 

Relics of Etruscan art are not always found in sepulchres 
— the celebrated lamp of Cortona and the numerous scara- 
bei of Chiusi are evidences to the contrary. But the most 
abundant collection of non-sepulchral relics that Etruria 
has produced was discovered in the summer of 1838 — not 
in the neighbourhood of a city or necropolis — not even in 
any of the rich plains or vallics which anciently teemed 
with population, but, strange to say ! near the summit of one 

9 Buonarroti, Michael Angelo's ne- Larthi Asses;, or Anises. Micali (Ant. 

phew (p. 95, Explic. ad Dempst. II.), Pop. Ital. III. p. 80, tav. LI.) takes the 

could not tell the date of its discovery ; lotus and bird to be mystic emblems of 

he only knew he had received it from the resurrection of the soul. This nionu- 

hia ancestors. The relief is about 3 ft. ment is illustrated also by Gori, Mus. 

9 in. high. The Etruscan inscription Etrus. III. p. ii., tab. XV111. 1 ; and 

would run thus in Roman letters — Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. XI V. 1. 

108 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvu. 

of the Apennines, one of the loftiest mountains in Tuscany, 
which rises to the height of 5,400 feet, and from which, 
Ariosto tells us, both seas are visible. 1 This is Monte Fal- 
terona, about twenty-five or thirty miles east of Florence, 
the mountain in which the Arno takes its rise, as Dante 
says — 

Un fiumicel che nasce in Falterona. 

On the same level with the source of this celebrated river 
is a lake, or tarn, called Ciliegeto, on whose banks a 
shepherdess, sauntering in dreamy mood, chanced to cast 
her eye on something sticking in the soil. It proved to 
be a little figure in bronze. She carried it home ; and 
taking it in her simplicity for the image of some holy man 
of God, set it up in her hut to aid her private devotions. 
The parish-priest, paying a pastoral visit, observed this 
mannikin, and inquired what it was. " A saint," replied 
the girl ; but incredulous of its sanctity, or not considering 
it a fit object for a maiden's adoration, he carried it away 
with him. The fact got wind in the neighbouring town of 
Stia del Casentino, and some of the inhabitants agreed to 
make researches on the spot. A single day sufficed to 
bring to light a quantity of such images and other articles 
in bronze, to the number of three hundred and thirty-five, 
lying confusedly on the shores of the lake, just beneath 
the surface. They then proceeded to drain the lake, and 
discovered in its bed a prodigious quantity of trunks of fir 
and beech trees, heaped confusedly on one another, with 
their roots often uppermost as if they had been overthrown 
by some might} 7 convulsion of nature ; and on them lay 
many other similar figures in bronze ; so that the total 
number of articles in this metal here discovered amounted 

1 Inghirami, the astronomer, called it 2825 bracda, P> soldi, above the level of 
the sea. 

chap, xxxvii.] BRONZES OF MONTE FALTERONA. 109 

to between six and seven hundred. They were mostly 
human figures of both sexes, many of them of gods and 
Penates, varying in size from two or three to seventeen 
inches in height. But how came they here 1 was the 
question which puzzled every one to answer. At first it 
was thought they had been cast into the lake for preserva- 
tion during some political convulsion, or hostile invasion, 
and afterwards forgotten. But further examination showed 
they were mostly of a votive character — offerings at some 
shrine, for favours expected or received. Most of them 
had their arms extended as if in the act of presenting 
gifts ; others were clearly representations of beings suffer- 
ing from disease, especially one who had a wound in his 
chest, and a frame wasted by consumption or atrophy ; 
and there were, moreover, a number of decided ex-votos — 
heads and limbs of various portions of the human body, 
and many images of domestic animals, also of a votive 
character. All this implied the existence of a shrine on 
this mountain, surrounded, as the trees seemed to indicate, 
by a sacred grove, like that of Feronia or Soracte, and of 
Silvanus at Caere ; 2 and it seemed that, by one of those 
terrible convulsions to which this land has from age to age 
been subject, the shrine and grove had been hurled down 
into this cavity of the mountain. It is well known that 
such catastrophes have in past ages occurred on Monte 
Falterona. For it is composed of stratified sandstone 
(macigno), and argillaceous schist (Jrisciajo), which latter, 
being very friable, has given way under the pressure of the 
superincumbent mass, and caused tremendous landslips, 
by which extensive forests have been precipitated down 
the slopes. 3 No traces, however, of a shrine, or of any 
habitation, were discovered with the relics in this lake. 

2 That of Silvanus was girt about with 3 Repetti (II. p. 91) records three of 

firs. Virg. Mn. VIII. 59.0. these landslips : the first on 15th May, 

110 FIRENZK. [chap, xxxvii. 

There were some articles of very different character 
mixed with these figures, the existence of which on such a 
site was still more difficult to explain. Such were frag- 
ments of knives and swords, and the heads of darts, all of 
iron, in great numbers, not less, it is said, than two thou- 
sand, much injured by rust ; besides great chains, and 
fibulae, and shapeless pieces of bronze from two ounces to 
two pounds in weight, recognised by antiquaries as the 
primitive money of Italy — the <ss rude, which preceded 
the coined metal, or ces signatum, and was valued by its 
weight — together -with fragments of the better-known 
coinage. Broken pottery, too, of the coarsest description, 
was mingled with the other articles, and also found scat- 
tered at some distance from the lake. 

The weapons have been accounted for in various ways — 
as the relics of some battle fought on the spot, which, be 
it remembered, was border-ground for ages ; 4 or as the 
offering of some military legion ; 5 or as indicating that the 
shrine here was sacred to the god of war. 6 

A solution of the mysteries of tins lake has been offered 
by Dr. Emil Braun, the learned secretary of the Archae- 
ological Institute of Rome ; and it is so novel and ingenious 
that I must give it to the reader. 

He commences by observing that the trees found in the 
lake had been completely deprived of vitality, the water 

1335, when a spur of the mountain slid brought about the fall of the Ros> 

down more than four miles, burying a in Switzerland, where the clayey strata, 

town with all its inhabitants, and pen- lying beneath the heavier conglomerate, 

dering the waters of the Arno turbid for were converted into mud by the perco- 

more than two months ; the second on lation of water, and ceased to be able to 

l"th May, 1G41 ; the latest on 15th afford support. The season of the year 

May, 1827, when the Arno was again in which each of these Italian landslips 

reddened for several weeks with the occurred, just after the fall of the early 

mud. From the quantity of water that rains, confirms this view. 

came down with the first of these land- 4 Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 70 — Migliarini. 

slips, it is highly probable that the same 5 Bull. Inst. 1 038, p. 66 — Inghirami. 

causes were in operation here that r ' Bull. Inst. 1842, p. 180. 


having absorbed all the resinous parts which they possessed 
when green. He considers that the convulsion or disloca- 
tion of the mountain, which hurled them into this spot, 
must have occurred long prior to the period when the 
bronzes and other articles were here deposited, otherwise 
the latter would have been buried beneath the former, and 
not regularly set around the lake. He thinks that the lake 
was formed at the time that the landslip occurred, and that 
its waters acquired a medicinal quality from the trees it 
contained, the parts which gave them that virtue being- 
identical with those from which modern chemistry ex- 
tracts creosote. Now, the diseases which are shown in 
the ew-votos, are just such, he observes, as are remediable 
by that medicine. The stiptic water of Pinelli, so cele- 
brated for stopping the hemorrhage of recent wounds, has 
a base of creosote ; and hither, it seems, flocked crowds of 
wounded warriors, who left their weapons in acknowledg- 
ment of their cure. The virtues of the same medicine, in 
curbing the attacks of phthisis, are now recognised by 
medical men of every school ; and by patients labouring 
under this disorder the lake seems to have been especially 
frequented. Creosote also is a specific against numerous 
diseases to which the fair sex are subject, and such seem, 
from the figures, to have resorted in crowds to these waters. 
To free his theory from the charge of caprice or fantasy, 
the learned doctor cites the case of a similar lake in China, 
which is known to have imbibed marvellous medicinal 
qualities from the trunks of trees casually immersed in its 
waters. 6 

7 Bull. Instit. 1842, pp. 179—184. Coelo-Syria, between Biblos and Helio- 

The opinion that the bronzes were de- polis, stood near the summit of Mount 

posited as votive offerings around the Lebanon, and in its waters votaries 

lake, is borne out by a similar fact men- were wont to deposit their gifts, which 

tioned by ancient writers. The sacred were not only of bronze, gold, and 

lake and grove of Venus Aphacitis, in silver, but also of linen and bimta ; and 

112 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvit. 

I leave it to medical readers, allcaopathic and homoeo- 
pathic, to determine the correctness of this theor} T ; to me 
it seems that se non e rero, e ben trovato. 

I must add a word on the bronzes. Most are very rude, 
like the offerings of peasants, but a few are in the best 
Etruscan style. One antiquary considers them to show 
every stage of art, from its infancy to its perfection under 
Greek influence, and again to its decline. 8 Another per- 
ceives no traces of Roman, much less of Imperial times, but 
refers them all to a purely native origin. 9 Certain it is 
that some show the perfection of Etruscan art. Such is 
the figure of a warrior, with helmet, cuirass, and shield, 
generally called Mars, 1 which may rival that of the said 
deity in the Florence gallery, — a Hercules, with the lion's 
skin over his shoulders — the " saint," I believe, of the 
pastorella, though "not in saintly garb,'" 2 — a Diana, said to 
resemble the celebrated archaic statue of marble found at 
Pompeii, — and a woman's leg and arm of great beauty, 3 
These, with a few more of the choicest produce of the lake, 
are now to be seen in the British Museum, in the " Room 
of the Bronzes," of which they form the chief ornament. 4 

A still more recent discovery has been made on one of 
the Apennines, between Monte Falterona and Romagna, 
where many coins were found, principally asses, but among 
them a very rare quincussis, like that in the Bacci collec- 
tion at Arezzo, which till now has been unique. 5 

a yearly festival was long held there, ■ — 68 (Inghirami) ; Bull. Inst. 1838, pp 

which was ultimately suppressed by Con- 69 — 70 (Migliarini) ; Bull. Inst. 1842 

stantine. See Bull. Inst. 1845. p. 96 (Cave- pp.179 — 184 (Braun) ; Micali, Mon 

doni), and the authorities there cited. Ined. tav. XII. — XVI. pp.86 — 102 

s Migliarini, Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 69. Braun's review of the same, Ann. Inst 

9 Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 89. 1843, p. 354. 

1 Idem. tav. XII. 4 The rest of the collection is also in 

2 Idem. tav. XV. London, in the hands of Signor Do- 

3 For notices of this curious lake and nienico Campanari. 

its contents, see Bull. Inst. 1838, pp. 65 5 Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 89. 

chap, xxxvii.] SINGULAR TOMB AT FIGLINE. 113 

Eighteen miles on the road from Florence to Arezzo is 
the little town of Figline, which had never been suspected 
of possessing Etruscan antiquities in its neighbourhood, till 
in 1843 a sepulchre was discovered on a hill hardly a mile 
beyond it. The roof had fallen in, but it was evident that 
the tomb had been formed of masonry, the hill being of 
too soft an earth to admit of excavated sepulchres ; the 
pavement was of opus incertum — a very singular feature, 
which I have never seen, or heard of as existing else- 
where in an Etruscan tomb. But a still more remarkable 
thing was that around one of the urns which had a female 
recumbent figure on the lid, was scattered an immense 
quantity of gold leaf in minute fragments, twisted and 
crumpled, which seemed to have been thrown over the 
figure in a sheet or veil, and to have been torn to pieces 
by the fall of the roof, which had destroyed most of the 
urns. It was of the purest gold, beaten out very thin ; 
and the fragments collected weighed about half a pound. 6 

Other Etruscan relics have been discovered in the neigh- 
bourhood of Florence in past times. Buonarroti — the 
painter's nephew — states, that, in 1689, at a spot called 
St. Andrea a Morgiano, in the heights above Antella, a 
village a few miles to the south-east of Florence, he saw an 
Etruscan inscription cut in large letters in the rock. 7 At 
Antella has also been found a stele, or monumental stone, 
with bas-reliefs, in two compartments — one representing a 

6 Migliarini, Bull. Inst. 1843, pp. seuts it as merely a huge stone cut from 
35 — 7. It may be that the so-called the rock, 1.5 Roman feet long, by 6 high, 
opus incertum of the pavement was only with letters (i inches in height. The 
a collection of small stones put down at inscription translated into Roman letters 
random, for no mention is made of would be 

cement, which forms the basis of the 
Roman masonry known by that name. 

7 Buonar. p. 95, Explicat. ad Dempst. 
torn. II. Passeri (p. 65, ap. Gori, Mus. It was found on the estate of the Cap- 
Etrus. III. tab. XV.), however, repre- poni family. 


TULAll . Mr . A . VIS 

114 FIRENZE. [chap, xxxvii. 

pair of figures on the banqueting-couch, and a slave standing 
by ; the other, a pair sitting opposite, with a table between 
them. It is of very archaic character, and the Egyptian 
rigidity of the figures and cast of the countenances is very 
marked. It is now in the possession of Signor Peruzzi of 
Florence. 8 

At SanMartino alia Palma, five or six miles from Florence, 
a little to the left of the road to Leghorn, some monu- 
ments of Etruscan art have been found — a female statue 
of marble, headless, with a dove in her hand, and an 
inscription on her robes; 9 and a singular, circular, altar-like 
cippas, four feet high, with figures in high relief — a warrior, 
preceded by two lictors, and followed by two citizens, one 
of whom is embracing him. It has an Etruscan inscription 
above. 1 

At San Casciano, eight or ten miles on the road to Siena, 
Etruscan inscriptions and bronzes have been found in ages 
past ; 2 and about the ruins of a castle, called Pogna, or 
Castro Pogna, on a height two miles to the west of 
Tavarnelle, on the same road, numerous Etruscan urns 
have been found, as far back as three or four hundred 
years since. They are said to have been of marble and of 
elegant character, and to have had peculiarities of form 

8 Inghirami gives illustrations of this be of much earlier date, and of un- 

singular stele (Mon. Etrus. VI. tav. C. D. doubted Etruscan antiquity. See Vol. I. 

E.) This is an instance of the fallacy p. 344. 

of the mode of determining the antiquity 9 Buonarroti (pp. 13, 29, tab. XLIII.) 
of monuments from the presence or took this figure for Venus, or the 
absence of the beard. Inghirami pro- nymph Begoe, of whom mention has 
nounces that this cannot be earlier than already been made — Vol. I. p. 447. 
the fifth century of the City, because the i Buonar. p. 29, tab. XLVI. The lictors 
males here are beardless ; and barbers had no axes in their fasces. Both these 
are said by Pliny (VII. 59) to have monuments were formerly in the posses- 
been introduced into Rome in the year sion of the Delia Stufa family. Where 
454; whereas the style of art, a much they are now I do not know, 
safer criterion, shows this monument to 2 Idem, p. 96. 

chap. xxxvu.J THE FRANQOIS VASE. 115 

and style. The castle was destroyed in 1185. The site 
must have been originally Etruscan. 3 


Note. — The Francois Vase. 

This monument is of such splendour and interest, that it demands a 
detailed description. Like the painted pottery of Etruria in general, 
it represents subjects from the mythological cycle of the Greeks, and 
all its inscriptions are in the Greek character 

To begin with the neck of the vase, which has two bands of figures : — 
The upper contains, on one side, the Hunt of the boar of Calydon. All 
the heroes, and even the dogs, have their appellations attached. The 
most prominent are Peleus, Meleagros, Atalate, Melanion, Akastos, 
Asmetos, Simon, and the great Twin-brethren, Kastor and Poludeukes 
(Pollux). At each end of this scene is a sphinx. On the other side is 
a subject which is explained as the Return of Theseus from the 
slaughter of the Minotaur, and the rejoicings consequent on his triumph. 
A ship full of men is approaching the land ; Phaidimos jumps ashore ; 
another casts himself into the sea, in his eagerness to reach the beach, 
on which a band of thirteen youths and maidens — all named seriatim 
— are dancing in honour of the hero Theseus, who plays the lyre, with 
Ariane (Ariadne) at his side. 

The second band has, on one side, the Battle of the Centaurs and 
Lapithae, all with names attached. Here again Theseus is prominent 
in the fight. On the other side, are the Funeral Games in honour of 
Patroclus, represented by a race of five quadrigae, driven by Oluteus, 
Automedon, Diomedes, Damasipos, and Hipo . . on ; while Achileus 
himself stands at the goal with a tripod for the victor, and other tripods 
and vases are seen beneath the chariots. 

3 Buonar. pp. 33, et seq. Repetti (IV. to the cast, a marble cippus, with an 
p. 498) says that the ruins of the castle Etruscan inscription, was discovered in 
are now called Le Masse del Poggio di 1700. Buonar. p. 96. The " marble " in 
Marcialla. Near Panzano, some miles these monuments was probably alabaster. 

i 2 

116 FIRENZE. [appendix to 

The third ami principal hand represents the Marriage of Peleus and 
Thetis. The goddess is sitting in a Doric temple. Before the portico, 
at an altar, designated Bo/* . ., on which rests a cantharus, stands her 
mortal spouse, his hand held by the Centaur Chikon, who is followed by 
Iris, with her caduceus ; the Nymphs Hestia and Chariklo, and another 
of indistinct name ; Dionisos bearing an amphora on his shoulders ; 
and the three Horai. Next comes a long procession of deities in 
quadrigae — Zeus and Hera in the first, attended by Orania and 
KALiorE. Who follow in the next two chariots, is not clear — the 
name of Anphitrite is alone legible; but both are attended by the 
other Muses. Ares and Aphrodite occupy the fourth car ; Hermes 
and his mother Maia, the sixth ; and the name of Ociieanos is alone 
left to mark the occupants of the seventh. Hephaistos mounted on his 
donkey terminates the procession. 

On the fourth band, Achilles is displaying his proverbial swiftness of 
foot, by pursuing a youth who is galloping with a pair of horses towards 
the gates of Troy. The same subject has been found on other 
vases ; but this is the first to make known the youth as Tro'i'los. The 
son of Peleus is followed by his mother Thetis, by Athena, Hermes, 
and Rhodia — all near a fountain, with its Greek designation — KpT]m) — 
where Troilus seems to have been surprised. Under his steeds' feet lies a 
water-jar, called vbpla, which has been cast away in terror by a female who 
is near him. The walls of Troy, to which he hastens, are painted white, 
and are of regular Greek masonry. The gate is not arched, but has a 
flat lintel. From it issue Hektor and Polites, armed for the rescue of 
their brother. Outside the gate, on a seat or throne marked 9a*co$, 
sits the venerable Priamos, talking with his son Antenor. At the foun- 
tain are two of the Trojans (Troon) — one is filling a jar, the water 
flowing from spouts like panthers' heads. 

On the other side of the fountain, is the Return of Hephaistos to 
Heaven. Zeus and Hera occupy a throne at one end of the scene, and 
behind them stand Athena, Ares, and Artemis ; while before them 
stand Dionisos and Aphrodite, as if to plead for the offending son of 
Jove. He follows on an ass, attended by Silenoi and the Nymphs 


The fifth band contains the common subject of beasts of various 
descriptions engaged in combat, or devouring their prey — griffons, 
sphinxes, lions, panthers, boars, bulls, &c. 

The sixth band is on the foot of the vase, and represents the Pigmies, 
mounted on goats for chargers, encountering their foes, the Cranes. 
Neither of these last two bands has inscriptions. The potter's and 




painter's names are on the principal band. The vase speaks for itself, 
and says, \ASlQ>P< e \\3tA\f\\J \ 4 > " Clitias drew me," 
and EPAOTIMO^MEnOIEJEA/ "Ergotimos made me." The 
inscriptions run, some from right to left, but most from left to right, 
generally according to the direction of the figures to which they are 

On one handle of the amphora, is a winged Diana grasping two 
panthers by the neck, and on the other the same figure holding a 
panther and a stag. 1 And beneath these groups is Aias (Ajax) 
bearing the dead body of Akileus. Within each handle is a Fury, 
with open mouth, gnashing teeth, wings spread, and in the act of 
running — the same figure that occurs so often on Etruscan vases and 
bronzes. An illustration of it has been given in the eyed cylix from 
Vulci, at page 397 of Vol. I. ; and a further specimen is presented in 
the subjoined cantharus, or goblet. 

1 The winged Artemis on the Chest of 
Cvpselus held in this way a lion in one 
hand, and a panther in the other. Pausan. 
V. 19. Such figures seem to have their 

type in the Babylonian cylinders, where 
they are often represented, throttling lions 
or swans. 




Chi Fiesol hedifico conobbe el loco 

Come gia per gli cieli ben composto. — Faccio degli Uberti. 

Vires autem veteres earum urbium hodieque magnitudo ostentat moenium. 

Vell. Patercuias. 

The first acquaintance the traveller in Italy makes with 
Etruscan antiquities — the first time, it may be, that he is 
reminded of such a race — is generally at Fiesole. The 
close vicinity to Florence, and the report that some remains 
are to be seen there, far older than Roman days, attract 
the visitor to the spot. He there beholds walls of great 
massiveness, and a few other remains, but forms a very 
imperfect conception of the race that constructed them. 
He learns, it is true, from the skill displayed in these 
monuments, that the Etruscans could not have been a 
barbarous people ; but the extent and character of their 
civilisation are still to him a mystery. It is not at Fiesole 
that this early people is to be comprehended. 

Who, that has visited Florence, does not know Fiesole — 
the Hampstead or Highgate of the Tuscan capital — the 
Sunday resort of Florentine Cockneyism '? Who does not 
know that it forms one of the most picturesque objects in 
the scenery around that most elegant of cities, crowning a 
height, three miles to the north, with its vine-shaded villas 
and cypress-girt convents, and rearing its tall Cathedral- 
tower between the two crests of the mount % Who has 

chap, xxxvni.] THE ETRUSCAN WALLS OF F^ESULjE. 119 

not lingered awhile on Ins way at Dante's mill, and, in 
spite of the exclusiveness of English proprietorship, who 
has not in imagination overleapt the walls of the Villa, 
hallowed by " The Hundred Tales of Love," and beheld 

" Boccaccio's Garden and its faery, 
The love, the joyaunce, and the gallantry ! " 

It may seem superfluous to give a description of Fiesole 
when it is to be found in every guide-book that treats of 
Florence ; yet, as an Etruscan city, it demands some 
notice ; and I may chance to state a few facts beyond 
what are to be found in the said publications. 

As the visitor ascends the hill by the new carriage-road, 
he will perceive, just before reaching the town, a portion of 
the ancient wall climbing the steep on the right. This is a 
very inferior specimen in point of massiveness and preserva- 
tion, to what he may see on the opposite side of the city. 
Let him then cross the Piazza, and take a path behind the 
Cathedral, which will lead him to the northern brow of the 
hill. Here he finds a superb remnant of the ancient forti- 
fications, stretching away to his right, and rising to the 
height of twenty or thirty feet. The masonry is widely 
different from that of ancient sites in southern Etruria. 
The hard rock of which the hill is composed, 1 not admitting 
of being worked so easily as the tufo and other soft volcanic 
formations of the southern plains, has been cut into blocks 
of various sizes, as they chanced to be split out from the 
quarry, but generally squared, and laid in horizontal courses. 
Strict regularity, however, was by no means observed. The 
courses vary in depth from about one foot to two or three, 
the average being above two ; and in length also the blocks 
vary greatly, some being square, others as much as seven, 

1 It is correctly termed macigno by it is called gramvackehy Miillcr, Etrusk. 

Dante (ut supra, page 93), a term ap- I. p. 246. In some parts it is much 

plieil to the hard sandstone formations more schistose than in others, 
of the offsets of the Apennines. Here 

120 F1ESOLE. [chap, xxxviii. 

eight, nine feet, and the longest twelve feet and a half. 
The joints, as in the walls of Pompeii, are often oblique, in- 
stead of vertical ; and, in one part, there is a wedge-course, 
as in the bridge of Bieda, 2 and the walls of Populonia, 
Perugia, and Todi, but without any apparent object, beyond 
saving the labour of squaring the blocks. It is evident, 
however, that the aim of the builder was regular, squared 
masonry, but he was fettered by his materials. In many 
parts where the angles of the blocks did not fit close, a 
portion was cut away and a small stone fitted in with great 
nicety, as in the most finished polygonal walling. Though 
the edges of the blocks have in general suffered from the 
weather, the joints are sometimes extremely neat; and it is 
apparent that such was originally the character of the whole. 
No cement or cramping was used ; the masses, as usual in 
these early structures, held together by their weight. The 
marks of the chisel on the surface of the blocks are often 
visible. 3 

This masonry is by no means so massive as that on 
other Etruscan sites of the same character — Volterra, 
Roselle, Cortona, for instance ; yet, from its finish, its 
excellent preservation, and the height of the walls, pictu- 
resquely draped with ivy and overshadowed by oak and 
ash-trees, it is very imposing. 

2 See Vol. I. p. 263. This is seen also city in the olden time. Guida di Fiesole, 
in the substructions of the Via Appia, p. 55. But such reckless, destructive 
near Aricia. barbarism is necessarily ignorant and 

3 At the angles of the blocks, holes indiseriminating. A striking proof of 
may often be observed, which have evi- this is seen in the temple of Jupiter Pan- 
dently been made by art, most probably, hellinus in ^Egina, where, even in the 
like those in the Colosseum, in the search monolithic columns, the barbarians have 
for metal cramps, which were supposed made holes for the same purpose, at the 
to hold the masses together. Inghirami, height where they had been accustomed 
however, would not admit that such to find the joints of the fi-usta ; thus 
cramps could ever have been suspected unwittingly paying the highest compli- 
to exist in the ancient masonry of ment to the exquisite workmanship of 
Fiesole, and sought to explain the holes the ancients. For this fact I am 
US the result of hostile attacks on the indebted to Mr. Edward Falkener. 


The entrance of the lane, by which the visitor descends 
from the Piazza, marks the site of an ancient gate ; and in 
the road below it, mixed with modern repairs, are remains 
of the old pavement — not of polygonal blocks, as used by 
the Romans, but of large rectangular flags, furrowed trans- 
versely on account of the steepness of the road. It is a 
style often adopted by the Greeks. 4 Its dissimilarity to 
Roman pavement, its relation to the gate in the Etruscan 
walls hard by, and the large size of the blocks or flags, 
rendering removal a work of great difficulty, induce me to 
consider it of Etruscan origin, though this is the only 
site in Etruria where it is found. 

In this portion of the wall open two passages, whose 
narrow dimensions prove them to have been nothing else 
but sewers, to drain the area of the city ; as is usual 
on Etruscan sites. 5 In the volcanic district such sewers 
are cut through the tufo cliffs on which the walls rest ; 
but here, as in other cities of Northern Etruria, there 
being no cliffs, and the fortifications rising from the slope 
and forming a revetement to the higher level of the city, 
they are made in the wall itself. So also at Volterra. 
Of the same character may be the apertures in the walls 
of the so-called Pelasgic towns of Latium — Norba, Segni, 
and Alatri ; but these of Fa^sula? are much inferior in 
size. 6 The smaller of them has a doccia, or sill, serving as 

4 This ribbed pavement, or cordonata, also. My friend, Mr. Edward Falkener, 

as the Italians call it, is said to be fre- tells me that he has remarked similar 

qutntly met with in Cyclopean cities, in pavement at Eleusa or Sebaste in Cilicia, 

the gateways, or on the roads. Orioli, at Labranda in Caria, and at Termessus 

ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrusc. IV. p. 159. It in Pamphylia. 

is found at Pozzuoli, on the ascent to 5 The smaller one is about four feet 

the Street of Tombs. I have observed from the ground, twenty inches high, 

it also in the ancient roads of Syracuse, and fifteen wide. The other is about 

but there it is the rock itself which is so eight feet above ground, four or five feet 

furrowed. Blocks of such pavement high, but scarcely one in breadth, 
exist on the ascent to the Acropolis R The openings in the walls of these 

of Athens ; and, I believe, at Messene, three Latin towns are large enough for 

122 FIESOLE. [chap, xxxvhi. 

a spout to carry the fluid clear of the wall. The other 
rims in a great way in a straight line, but being too small 
to admit a man, it has never been fathomed. A little 
child was once sent in, who crawled for a considerable 
distance without finding the end, till Ins courage failed 
him, and he returned to the light of day. 7 But the most 
singular feature of this sewer is, that on the wall beneath it 
is scratched a figure, the usual symbol among the ancients 
of rejDroductive power. It is here so slightly marked, as 
easily to escape the eye ; it may possibly have been done by 
some wanton hand in more recent times, but analogy is in 
favour of its antiquity. That such representations were 
placed by the ancients on the walls of their cities, there is 
no lack of proof. They are found on several of the early 
cities of Italy and Greece, on masonry polygonal as well as 
regular. 8 

The reason of this symbol being placed in such positions 
is not easy to determine. Cavaliere Inghirami thought it 

a man to enter, and may have been pos- of the wall, which is here of rectangular 

terns. It may be doubted if they were blocks (Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 7, 

conduits or sewers, though that at Norba tav. XIII.) ; and on the ancient walls of 

is of the usual size of Etruscan sewers — Todi, on the Umbrian bank of the Tiber, 

about seven feet high, and three wide. of similar masonry, it is found in promi- 

The larger of these two at Fiesole has nent relief, near the church of S. Fortu- 

also been thought not to be a sewer nato. Ask for " il pezzo di mar mo." It 

(Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 15) ; but I see no is also to be seen on a block at an angle 

reason to doubt it. of the walls of Oea, in the island of 

7 Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 16. Thera, in the iEgean Sea, with the in- 

3 The best known of these sites is scription ro7s cpiKois annexed, which has 

Alatri, where the symbol tripled, and in been considered a mere euphemism to 

relief, is sculptured on the lintel of the assist the fascinum in averting the 

above-mentioned sewer, postern, or pas- effects of the evil eye. The same twr- 

sage, which opens in the polygonal walls picula res, as Varro (L. L. VII. 97) calls 

of the citadel. It is also found tripled it, is said to have been found on the 

on the polygonal walls at Grottatorre, doors of tombs at Palazzolo, the ancient 

near Correse in Sabina. On the ancient Acre in Sicily, and at Castel d'Asso in 

walling in the Terra di Cesi, three miles Etruria, and even in the Catacombs of 

from Terni, the same symbol in relief Naples. Ann. Inst. 1829, p. 65 ; 1841, 

occurs in a similar position at the angle p. 1 9. 

chap, xxxvin.] ROMAN GATEWAY. 123 

might be to intimate the strength of the city, or else to 
show defiance of a foe, 9 in accordance with the ancient 
gesture of contempt and defiance, still in use among the 
southern nations of Europe ; but it seems more probably 
to have had the same meaning in this as in other cases, 
where it was used as a fascinum or charm against the 
effects of the evil eye. 1 

Follow the line of walls some hundred yards to the 
east — you come to an arch standing ten or twelve feet 
in advance of them. Here you have a structure of 
different character, and apparently of later date ; for the 
masonry is much less massive than in the city walls. You 
will perceive that it formed part of an open gateway, or 
projecting tower, for there are traces of a second arch 
which joined tins at right angles, uniting it to the wall. It 
is probably a Roman addition. 2 

Beyond this you can trace the walls in fragments, mixed 
with the small work of modern repairs, in a straight line 

9 Guida di Fiesole, p. 53. may remark that as the ancients were 

1 The occurrence of this symbol on wont to place these satyrica signa in 

the walls of Pelasgic cities may be ex- their gai'dens and houses, to avert the 

plained by the worship that ancient effects of the envious eye (Plin. XIX. 

people paid to the phallic Hemies. It 19, 1), so they may well have been 

was they who introduced it into Athens, placed on the walls of a city to protect 

and the rest of Greece, and also into its inhabitants. The philosophical idea 

Samothrace (Herod. II. 51, confirmed which they symbolise will also account 

by the coins of Lemnos and Imbros, for their use as sepulchral emblems ; 

says Muller, Etrusk. einl. 2, 3) ; and some remarkable instances of which are 

probably also with the mysterious rites to be seen at Chiusi. 
of the Cabiri, into Etruria and other 2 The arch is 10 feet high, nearly as 

parts of Italy. Yet the worship of this much in span, and about 3 feet in depth, 

symbol was by no means confined to the The ancient wall to which it was at- 

classic nations of antiquity. It seems to tached is in this part destroyed, and its 

have prevailed also among the nations place supplied by modern masonry. 

of the far East ; and recent researches This double gateway resembles those of 

lead us to conclude that it held even Volterra and Cosa, except that it is 

among the early people of the New here without the line of walls. Inghiranii 

World. Stephens' Yucatan, I. pp. 181, suggests that a tower may have been 

434. Not to dwell on this subject, I raised over it. 

124 FIESOLE. [chap, xxxviii. 

along the brow of the hill, till in the Borgo Unto, a 
suburb on the east of the ancient city, you find them turn 
at right angles and tend southward. On your way up the 
hill from the Borgo Unto to S. Polinari, you cross some 
basaltic pavement, and just beyond it, in a portion of 
the wall where very massive blocks are laid on very 
shallow ones, you may observe the site of a gate now 
blocked up, but indicated by the pavement leading up to 
it. Beyond this is a long line of the ancient masonry, 
more irregular and less massive, tending westward, and 
terminating at some quarries ; then after a wide gap you 
meet the wall again, and trace it down the steep to the 
modern road where you first descried it. 3 Westward of 
this there are said to be some fragments below the height 
of San Francesco, but I never could find them, though 
I have traced them up the same hill on the opposite or 
northern side. Few will think themselves repaid for their 
fatigue in tracing out the entire line of walls, over the 
broken ground, and through the vineyards and olive-groves 
on the slopes ; unless the visitor wish to verify for himself 
the extent and outline of the city, he may well rest content 
with seeing that part of the wall first described, which is 
by far the finest and best preserved portion of the whole. 

The extent of the walls in their original state was not 
great — less than two miles in circuit. 4 Fresulse was, there- 

3 There are said on this side of the work, give widely different measure- 
city to be traces of a gate, which, from ments, Fsesulse being much superior in 
one of the lintels still standing, must size to the last two, but smaller than 
have been of Egyptian form, narrowing the first. In fact his plan represents it 
upwards, like the doorways of the as about 8800 feet in circumference, or 
Etruscan tombs. Ann. Instit. 1835, just If English mile. Niebuhr (I. p. 
p. 14. 121, Eng. trans.) was therefore misin- 

4 So says Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. II. formed when he said that the walls, 
p. 20.0), who classes it with Ruselke, theatre, and other ruins of Fsesulse dis- 
Populonia and Cosa ; but the plans of play a greatness not inferior to that of 
the said cities which he attaches to his any other Etruscan city. He inclines 

chap, xxxvm.] F^ESULiE NOT A FIRST-RATE CITY. 


fore, much inferior in size to certain other Etruscan cities — 
Veii, Volaterrse, Agylla, Tarquinii, for instance. The highest 
crest of the hill to the north-west, where the Franciscan 
convent now stands, was originally the Arx ; for here have 
been found, at various times, traces of a triple concentric 
wall, engirdling the height, all within the outer line of the 
ancient fortifications. 5 Nothing of the triple wall is now 
to be seen. In the Church of S. Alessandro, on the same 
height, are some columns of cipollino, which probably 
belonged to a Roman temple on this spot. 6 

Though little of antiquity is to be seen on this height, 
the visitor should not fail to ascend it for the sake of 
its all-glorious view. No scene in Italy is better known, 
or has been more often described, than that " from 

on this account to rank it among the 
Twelve. And so also Miiller, Etrusk. 
II. 1, 2. But on this score, there are 
other towns in Etruria which might 
compete with it for that honour. 

The early writers on the antiquities 
of Italy — Raffael Maffei, Biondi, Alberti, 
for instance — also took Fsesulae for one 
of the Twelve ; even Dempster (Etrur. 
Reg. II. pp. 41, 73) held this opinion. 
She was probably dependent on Vola- 
terraj or Arretium. 

Miiller (I. 3, 3) cites Fsesulae as an 
instance of the quadrangular form, 
which was usually given to Etruscan 
cities, and thence copied in the original 
city of Romulus — Roma quadrata — a 
custom built on religious usages. Dion. 
Hal. I. p. 75. Plutarch, Romul. 10. 
Festus, v. Quadrata. Solinus, Polyh. 
cap. II. cf. Varro, Ling. Lat. V. 143. 
Miiller, III. 6, 7. 

5 Inghirami, Guida di Fiesole, p. 38. 
It is said, that at each angle of the outer 
square circuit, remains of a tower were 
discovered, besides two larger ones in 
the central inclosure ; and the numerous 

openings in these concentric walls gave 
a faint idea of a labyrinth. 

This inner line of wall is not of 
frequent occurrence in Etruscan towns ; 
more common, however, in the northern 
than southern district. The same may 
be said of double heights, or arces, within 
the city-walls, of which Feesulee pre- 
sents a specimen. The only instances 
I remember in southern Etruria are at 
Fidense and perhaps at Tarquinii ; but 
this is explained by the level character 
of that volcanic region. 

6 On this height was discovered in 
1814 the only instance known of the 
favissce attached to temples (see the 
Chapter on Rome) ; but after a few 
months they were reclosed, and are no 
longer to be seen. Inghir. loc. cit. p. 
40. Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 2. 5) who 
cites Del Rosso (Giorn. Arcad. III. p. 
1 1 3) describes them as " round cham- 
bers lined with masonry and contract- 
ing upwards " — i.e., like the tholi of the 
Greeks, the Treasuries of Atreus and 
Minyas, and the lower prison of the 
Tullianum at Rome. 

12o FIESOLE. [chap, xxxviii. 

the top of Fesole." Poets, painters, philosophers, his- 
torians, and tourists, have all kindled with its inspiration. 
And in truth, 

" Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty." 

Description, then, would here be needless. Yet I may 
remark, that with all its vastness and diversity, the scene 
has a simple character. All the luxuriant pomp of the 
Arno-vale, and the grandeur of the inclosing mountains, 
are but the framework, the setting-off of the picture, which 
is Florence, fair Florence — 

" The brightest star of star-bright Italy ! " 

hence beheld in all her brilliancy and beauty. 

Within the walls of Fiesole, there are few remains 
of antiquity. The principal is the Theatre, discovered 
and excavated in 1809 by a Prussian noble, Baron 
Schellersheim. It lies in a vineyard below the Cathedral, 
to the east. When first disinterred, it was found to have 
six gates or entrances in the outer circuit of wall, with 
twenty tiers of seats, and five flights of steps ; but little of 
this is now to be seen, for it was soon re-covered with 
earth, that the pulse-consuming canons of the Cathedral 
might not be put on short commons of beans or artichokes. 
All that is now visible is a portion of the outer circuit ot 
wall, of small stone-work — a few of the seats, of massive 
blocks, quarried, like those of the city-walls, from the hill 
itself — and a flight of steps leading down to five vaults of 
opus incertum and stone brick-work, called by the Fiesolani, 
Le Buche delle Fate, or " Dens of the Fairies ; " but verily 
the fairies of Italy must be a gloomy race, whom 

juvat ire sub umbra. 

Desertosque videre locos, 

chap, xxxvm.] THE ANCIENT THEATRE. 127 

if they take up with such haunts ; no way akin to the 
frolicsome, mischief-loving sprites, "the moonshine revellers" 
of merry England — 

" Oh these be Fancy's revellers by night ! 

These be the pretty genii of the flowers — 
Daintily fed with honey and pure dew — 

Midsummer's phantoms in her dreaming hours !" 

Such dark, dank, dripping, dismal " dens" as these would 
freeze the heart of a Mab or a Titania. 

This Theatre was long thought to be of Etruscan origin ; 
but more extensive research into what may be called the 
comparative anatomy of antiquities, has determined it to 
be Roman. 7 

Near the Theatre is a half-buried arch, similar to that 
outside the walls, but of smaller span. It leads into a 
vault of opus incertum ; and a little above is a second 
similar vault. Near the Theatre also are a few large 
rectangular stones beneath the surface, which have received 

7 Niebuhr, however, has thrown the is in the grandest Etruscan style." 
weight of his great name into the oppo- Miiller also thinks it was " probably of 
site scale, and has said, "That this old Etruscan construction" (II. p. 241). 
theatre was built before the time of Inferior men, it may be, but better anti- 
Sylla is indubitable ; its size and mag- quaries, have decided, however, to the 
nificence are far beyond the scale of a contrary. Indeed these great men lose 
Roman military colony ; and how could much of their authority when they treat 
such a colony have wished for anything of matters within the province rather of 
but an amphitheatre ? " (I. p. 1 35, the practical antiquary than of the his- 
Eng. trans.) It may be remarked that torian. Their want of personal ac- 
Fsesulse must have fallen under Roman quaintance with localities and monu- 
domination with the rest of Etruria two ments, or of opportunities of extensive 
centuries before Sylla's time ; and that comparison of styles of construction and 
other towns of Etruria which received of art, leads them at times into mis- 
military colonies, such as Veii, Falerii, statements of facts, or to erroneous 
and Luna, had theatres, as we learn from opinions, which, under more favourable 
local remains or from inscriptions, even circumstances, they would never have 
where, as in the first two cases, we can uttered, or with the candour of great 
find no vestiges or record of amphi- minds, they would have been most ready 
theatres. Niebuhr elsewhere (III. p. to renounce. 
311) asserts that "the theatre of Fa?sulso 

128 FIESOLE. [chap, xxxviii. 

the name of "the Etruscan Palace;" but to the Ciceroni 
on these sites no more credit should be given than to the 
"drab-coloured men of Pennsylvania." In the garden 
above the house, attached to the ground in which the 
Theatre lies, are some fragments of masonry, running at 
right angles with the city -walls below, and probably of the 
same origin ; and hard by is an underground vault lined 
with small masonry, and covered with horizontal flags. 

In the Borgo Unto is a curious fountain, called " Fonte 
Sotterra." You enter a Gothic archway, and descend a 
vaulted passage by a long flight of steps to a cave cut in 
the rock, bearing marks of the chisel on its walls. Here 
I was stopped by the water ; but when this is at a 
lower level, you reach a long shapeless gallery, hewn 
in the rock, and ending in a little reservoir, similarly 
hollowed, but for what purpose is hard to say. 8 Inghirami, 
indeed, imagined it might have been formed to catch the 
waters which, percolating through the ground, descended 
" in an eternal shower of gentle rain" into the reservoir. 9 
But who ever heard of such a fountain 1 and cut bono, 
when there is manifestly a spring on the spot \ The water 
is extremely pure, supplying the whole neighbourhood, and 
evidently wells up from below, as its height varies at 
different times, little affected by rain or drought. I have 
found it even higher in summer than in winter, after the 
melting of snow and the fall of heavy rains. It very rarely 
happens that it sinks low enough to permit a descent to 
the bottom of the passage. Such an event, however, 

8 You first reach, says Inghirami, a mount. Its length is 1 50 Frencli feet, 

large hollow like a quarry, the floor of if the plans given of it be correct, and 

which slopes in two ways towards an- its entire inclination from the threshold 

other entrance, in which commences a of the entrance to the bottom of the 

gallery of great length, but not regular steep passage is about 50 feet, 

throughout, and sinking from north to 9 Guida di Fiesole, p. 56. 
south, following the upper slope of the 

chap, xxxvni.] FONTE SOTTERRA. 129 

occurred in the autumn of that unusually hot year, 
1825, and has been thought worthy of record on a tablet 
at the entrance. 1 

Inghirami regards this Fonte as an Etruscan work ; but 
I could perceive nothing which marks such an origin. 2 

Only ten or twelve paces from this Fonte, a remarkable 
cistern or reservoir was discovered in 1832. Its walls, 
except on one side where a flight of steps led down into it, 3 
were built up with masonry, in large rectangular, rusticated 
blocks. 4 It was roofed in by the convergence of several 
horizontal layers of thin stones, and the imposition of 
larger slabs in the centre, 5 on the same principle as the 
celebrated Regulini-Galassi tomb at Cervetri. It was 
remarkable, that though undoubtedly a reservoir or 
fountain — for it was discovered by tracing an ancient 
water-channel which led from it — there were no traces of 
cement in the masonry. This fact, and the very ancient 
style of its vaulting, indicate an Etruscan origin; which is 
confirmed by the discovery of sundry amphora of that 
character, and fragments of water-pots buried in the mud 
which covered the bottom. This reservoir was, unfor- 
tunately, reclosed the year after it was opened. 6 It seems 

1 " Memorial. — Of this vast cistern, 3 The steps had subsequently been 
hollowed in the solid rock, and sloping rendered useless by a huge slab being 
down from the entrance a distance of laid across the opening to them. 

75 braccia (144 feet English), Luigi di 4 Inghirami mentions having seen 

Giuliano Ruggieri was the first, to his other remains of similar rusticated work 

astonishment, to discover the bottom among the ruins of Fiesole. Ann. Instit. 

dry, the 16th October, 1825 ; and in 1835, p. 9. 

memorial thereof he has set up this s A similar vaulting was found in an 

stone. Pay respect to the water." Etruscan crypt at Castellina del Chianti. 

2 The walls at the entrance of the Ann. Inst. loc. cit. 

passage are of small stones uncemented, 6 Full particulars of this reservoir 

but of later date ; some large blocks have been given by Cav. Inghirami and 

mixed with them may be of Etruscan Professor Pasqui, in the Annals of the 

hewing. The hollowing in the living Institute, 1835, pp.8 — 18; whence the 

rock is certainly an Etruscan, rather above account is taken, 
than a Roman feature. 


130 FIESOLE. [chap, xxxvni. 

to me highly probable that this was the original fountain 
on this spot, and that when it no longer answered its pur- 
pose, either by falling out of repair, or by ceasing to 
supply the wants of the population, it was covered up as it 
was found, and the Fonte Sotterra dug in its stead. The 
much greater depth of the latter favours this opinion. 

No tombs remain visible on this site, though a few, I 
believe, have been opened by Signor Francois. 7 The hard- 
ness of the rock of which the hill is composed forbade exca- 
vating sepulchres in the slopes around the town ; the only 
sort of tomb which would have been formed on such a site 
is that built up with masonry, and piled over with earth, 
like the Tanella di Pitagora at Cortona, or the Grotta 
Sergardi at Camuscia. If such there were they are no longer 
visible. Nothing like a tumulus could I perceive around 
Fiesole. Yet there are spots in the neighbourhood which 
one experienced in such matters has little hesitation in 
pronouncing to be the site of the ancient cemetery. All 
this district, however, is too rich in agricultural produce 
to admit of excavations being made. 

Relics of ancient Fsesulae have at various times been 
brought to light, within or around the walls of the city. 
One of the most striking is the bas relief of a warrior in 
the Palazzo Buonarroti, Florence, mentioned in the last 
chapter, whose Etruscan inscription and archaic character 
testify to the high antiquity of Fsesulse. 

In 1829, a singular discovery was made here of more 
than one thousand coins of Roman consuls and families ; 8 
but none of Etruscan character. 9 

Unghirami (Mon. Etrus. I. p. 14) Bull. Inst. 1829, p. 211 ; 1830, p. 205. 

speaks of cinerary urns found at Fiesole, There were 70 lbs. weight of silver 

which had not human figures recumbent denarii — Inghirami says 100 lbs. — all 

on the lids as usual. coined prior to the defeat of Catiline, 63 

8 An account of them was published years B.C. Guida di Fiesole, p. 17. 

by Caval. Zannoni in 1 830. See also 9 Etruscan coins of Fsesulee, though 




Fiesole, though known to have been an Etruscan city, 
from its extant remains and the monuments at various times 
found on the spot, is not mentioned as such in history. 
This must have been owing to its remoteness from Rome, 
which preserved it from immediate contact with that 
power, probably till the final subjugation of Etruria, when 
it is most likely that Fiesole, with the other few towns in 
the northern district, finding the great cities of the Con- 
federation had yielded to the conqueror, was induced to 
submit without a struggle. 10 

not yet, I believe, found on the spot, are 
not unknown. Specimens which were 
found at Caere and Vulci are preserved 
in the British Museum, in the Kircherian 
Museum, and the Campana collection at 
Rome. They are silver, having on the 
obverse the figure of a winged Gorgon, 
in a long tunic, with her tongue lolling 
out, holding a serpent in each hand, and 
in the act of running, — on the reverse, 
something, which may be part of a 
wheel, and the inscription " phesu," in 
Etruscan characters. The Due de 
Luynes ascribes these coins to Ftesulse ; 
so also Capranesi, Ann. Inst. 1840, 
pp. 203-7, tav. d'agg. P. n. 1. But 
Cavedoni, of Modena, considers the in- 
scription to have reference not to the 
place of coinage, but to the Fury or Fate 
on the obverse, and explains it .as Alcra, 
or Fate, here written with a digamma 
prefixed. Bull. Inst. 1842, p. 156. Alaot, 
we are told by Hesychius, were " gods 
among the Etruscans ;" and " ^Esar," 
we know to be the Etruscan word for 
"god." Dio Cass. LVI. 29 ; Sueton. 
Aug. 97. It has been suggested that 
^Esar may be but the Greek word 
adopted, and with an Etruscan termina- 
tion. Lanzi considers the name Fsesulse 
— written QaurovAai by the Greeks — to 
be derived from Alaoi, with the addition 
of the digamma (II. p. 444). But why 

refer to Hellenic sources for Etruscan 
etymologies — a system which, even in 
Lanzi's hands, has proved so unsuccess- 
ful and unsatisfactory ? It is more 
probable that the Etruscan form, with 
which we are not acquainted, was a 
compound with the initial " Vel," so 
often occurring in Etruscan proper 
names. The gold coin, with the Etrus- 
can legend " Velsu," which Sestini 
assigned to Felsina (Bologna), but 
Midler referred to Volsinii (see Vol. 
I. p. 503) — may it not be proper to 
Faesulse \ Millingen, however, consi- 
dered it of a barbarous people, or a 
counterfeit. Num. Anc. Ital. p. 171. 

10 The name is found in Floras (1. 1 1 ), 
but it is manifest from the connexion 
that Feesulse is not the true reading ; for 
the historian is relating in his most terse 
and spirited maimer, the arduous con- 
test Rome maintained in the first years 
of the Republic with the Latin cities 
around her. " Cora (quis credat ?) et 
Algidum terrori fuerunt ; Satricum 
atque Corniculum provincise. De Veru- 
lis et Bovillis pudet ; sed triumphavimus. 
&c." " Cora (who would believe it ?) and 
Algidum were a terror to us ; Satricum 
and Corniculum were like remote pro- 
vinces. Of Verulse and Bovillse I am 
ashamed to speak — yet did we triumph 
Tibur, now a suburban abode, and 
K 2 



[chap. XXXVIII. 

The first record we find of it is in the year 529, when 
the Gauls, making a descent on the Roman territory, past 
near Faesulae, and defeated the Romans who went out 
against them. 1 A few years after this, when Annibal, 
after his victory on the Trebia, entered Etruria, it was 
by the unusual route of Faesula?. 2 The city also is repre- 
sented by one of the poets as taking part in this Second 
Punic War, and as being renowned for its skill in augury. 3 
No farther record is found of it till the Social War, about 
ninety years B.C., when Faesulae is mentioned among the 
cities which suffered most severely from the terrible ven- 
geance of Rome, being laid waste with fire and sword. 4 
And again, but a few years later, it had to endure the 
vengeance of Sylla, when to punish the city for having 
espoused the side of his rival, he sent to it a military colony. 

Prseneste, a delightful summer retreat, 
were not assailed till vows had been 
offered in the Capitol. Then Faesulae 
was what Carrae has been of late — the 
grove of Arieia was as dreaded as the 
Hercynian forest — Fregelloewas then our 
Gesoriaeum, the Tiber our Euphrates." 
A glance at the passage shows that 
" Faesulae" is here out of place. A city 
so remote from Rome, and of Etruscan 
origin, could not have been referred to 
among the neighbouring Latin cities, 
The true reading must either be Fidence, 
which, though Etruscan, was on the left 
bank of the Tiber, or more probably 
^Esula, a town near Tibur. Horat. Od. 
III. 29, 6. 

1 Polyb. II. 25. Mannert (Geog. 
p. 396), however, thinks that it cannot 
be the city near Florence to which 
Polybius alludes, but some other town 
of the same name, which he would place 
to the west of Chiusi, and south of the 
Ombrone. Cluver (II. p. 509) does not 
think this the earliest mention made of 

Faesulae, for he considers the Castula, 
said by Diodorus (XX. p. 773) to have 
been taken from the Etruscans in the 
year 444, to be a mere conniption of 

2 Polyb. III. 82; cf. Liv. XXII. 3. 

3 Sil. Ital. VIII. 478— 

Affuit et sacris interpres fulminis alis, 

A goddess named Ancharia was wor- 
shipped here, says Tertullian (Apolog. 
24 ; ad Nationes, II. 8), which has been 
confirmed by inscriptions. Midler, II. 
p. 62, who cites Reinesius, CI. II. 23, and 
Gori, Inscr. II. p. 77. cf. p. 88. This 
fact establishes the correct reading to be 
" Faesulanorum Ancharia," and not 
" ^Esculanorum," as some copies have 
it. The Etruscan family-name of 
" Ancari," not unfrequently met with at 
Chiusi and Perugia, and also found at 
Montalcino (see page 1 40, of this volume) 
has doubtless a relation to the name of 
this goddess. See Miiller, I. p. 421. 

4 Flor. III. 1R. 

chap, xxxvin.] LA BADIA— 1NGHIRAMI. 133 

and divided its territory among his officers. 5 Still later it 
was made the head-quarters of Catiline's conspirators, and 
actively espoused his cause. 6 We learn from a statement 
of Pliny, that it must have retained the right of Roman 
citizenship in the reign of Augustus. 7 It was besieged and 
taken by the troops of Belisarius, a.d. 539. At what 
period it gave birth to Florence, which, rather than the 
paltry village on the hill, must be regarded as the repre- 
sentative of the ancient Faesulse, is a matter of dispute; 
some thinking it as early as the time of Sylla, and that his 
colonists removed from the steep and inconvenient height 
to the fertile plain ; 8 others regarding it to have been at a 
later date. It is certain, however, that Florence existed 
as a colony under the Romans. The principal emigration 
from Faesulse to Florence seems to have taken place in the 
middle ages. 

One of the attractions of Fiesole was, till of late, La 
Badia, a quaint old abbey at the foot of the hill, long the 
residence of the Cavalier Francesco Inghirami, the patri- 
arch of Etruscan antiquaries, whose profound learning and 
untiring research had won him an European renown. 
When I had the honour of making his acquaintance he was 
suffering from that illness from which he never recovered; 
yet his mind was active as ever; even then his pen was 
not idle, or he relaxed it only to exchange it for the pencil. 
He was not only the author; he was also the printer, the 
publisher, and even the illustrator of his own works. It 
may not be generally known, that he drew with his own 
hand the numerous plates of all the voluminous works he 

5 Cicero, in Catii. II. 9 ; III. C;pro " Plin. VII. 11. Pliny (III. 8) and 

Murena, 24. Ptolemy (Geog. p. 72) mention Faesulse 

G Sallust. Bell. Cat. 24, 27, 30, 43. among the inland colonies of Etruria. 

Appian. Bell. Civ. II. 3. Cicero, pro 8 Inghirami, Guida di Fiesole, p. 24. 
Murena, 24. 

134 FIESOLE. [chap, xxxvih. 

has given to the world ; and to insure accuracy, he had 
recourse to a most tedious process, which doubled his 
labour. In default of a camera-obscura, or lucida, he 
traced every object on an upright plane of glass, set be- 
tween it and his eye, and then retraced his drawing on 
paper. His illustrations have thus the merit of accuracy, 
which in the works of some Italian antiquaries is wanting, 
where most essential. Inghirami it was who, with Micali, 
was instrumental in bringing the almost obsolete subject of 
Etruscan antiquities before the world. They took the dusty 
topic from the shelf, where since the days of Dempster, 
Gori, Passeri, and Lanzi it had lain ; held it up to public 
view, till it became popular in Italy and in other lands, and 
was taken into favour by princes and nobles. Inghirami 
died at a good old age. Micali was cut off just before 
him ; and our own countryman, Millingen, inferior to neither 
in usefulness or merited reputation, followed soon after. 
Thus goes the world, as the proverb says — 

II niondo e fatto a scarpette — 
Chi se lo cava, chi se lo mette. 



Noi ce traenio ala cita de Sena, 

La quale e posta en parte forte sana ; 
De ligiadria e bei costumi plena, 

E vaghe donne, e huomeni cortesi, 
E laer dolcie, lucida, e serena. — Faccio degli Uberti. 

Data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulcris.— Juvenal. 

Siena can urge no pretensions to be considered an 
Etruscan city, that are founded either on historical records, 
or on extant remains. By ancient writers she is men- 
tioned only as a Roman colony, and as there is no mention 
of her before the time of Caesar, and as she is styled 
Sena Julia by the Theodosian Table, the probability is 
that a colony was first established here by Julius Caesar, 
or by the second Triumvirate. 1 Nor is there a trace of 
Etruscan antiquity visible on the site, though there are a 
few shapeless caves in the cliffs around, which seem to 
have been mistaken for tombs. 2 

Siena, therefore, would not have been mentioned among 

1 See Repetti, V. p. 295. Sena is from that people — Senomim de nomine 

mentioned as a colony by Pliny (III. 8) ; Sena — Sil. Ital. VIII. 455; XV. 552; 

Tacitus (Hist. IV. 45) ; and Ptolemy Polyb. II. 19 ; cf. Appian. Bell. Civ. 

(p. 72, ed. Bert.). Dempster (II. p. I. 88. Abeken (Mittelitab'cn, p. 33) 

342) ascribes its origin to the Senouiau thinks Sena was probably of Etruscan 

Gauls, but without any authority, though origin, and a dependency of Volateme ; 

not confounding this city as others have but I see no valid grounds for this 

done with Sena Gallica, now Sinigaglia opinion, 
on the Adriatic, which derived its name 2 Sepulchres of Etruria, p. 508. 

136 SIENA. [ohap. xxxix. 

Etruscan cities, but that it is situated in a district which, 
at various periods, has yielded treasures of that antiquity ; 
and from its position in the heart of Tuscany, and on 
the high road from Florence to Rome, it might be made 
a convenient central point for the exploration of this 
region. 3 It has two comfortable hotels — Le Armi 
d'Inghilterra and L'Aquila Nera — all-important in a city 
so full of medieval interest, whose glorious Cathedral alone 
might tempt the traveller to a lengthened stay, and 
whose inhabitants, in spite of Dante's vituperations, are all 
the stranger could wish to make his sojourn agreeable. 

Sixteen miles north of Siena, on the road to Florence, 
is Poggibonsi, the Podium Bonitii of the middle ages. 
Between this and Castellina, a town about seven or eight 
miles to the east, Etruscan tombs have been found. Near 
the site of a ruined city, called Salingolpe, as long since as 
1507, a sepulchre was opened, which, from the description 
given by an eye-witness, must have been very like the 
celebrated Regulini tomb at Cervetri. It was in a mound, 
and was vaulted over with uncemented masonry of large 
size, the courses converging till they met. It was about 
forty feet in length, six in breadth, and ten in height. It 
had also two side-chambers, so as to form in its plan the 
figure of a cross ; and one of these, about ten feet cube, 
was a very " magazine" of urns and vases, Ml of ashes ; 
and the other contained more valuable relics, " the adorn- 
ments of a queen " — to wit, a mirror, a hair-bodkin, and 
bracelets, all of silver, with abundance of leaf in the same 
metal — a square cinerary urn, with a golden grasshopper 
in the middle, and another in each of the corners — sundry 
precious stones — boxes of rings in a bronze covered vase 

3 Siena is 40 miles from Florence, 39 from Arezzo, 39 from Massa Marit- 
16 from Poggibonsi, 36 from Volterra, tima, and 48 from Grosseto. 

chap, xxxix.] ALPHABETICAL TOMB. 137 

or pot, perhaps one of the rare caskets in that metal — a 
female bust in alabaster, with a gold wire crossed on her 
bosom — and many cinerary urns of stone and marble, the 
finest of which belonged to a female. The long passage 
in this sepulchre was quite empty. 4 

In the year 1723, at a spot called La Fattoria di 
Lilliano, about half way between Poggibonsi and Castellina, 
some Etruscan urns were brought to light, but they were 
not of remarkable character. 5 

Still nearer Siena, on the road to Colle, and hard by the 
Abbadia all' Isola, a most remarkable tomb was discovered 
in the year 1698. It contained an abundance of human 
bones ; but whether loose or in sarcophagi does not appear 
from the record we have of it. It seems to have been a 
deep square pit or shaft, with an entrance cut obliquely 
down to its floor. But the most extraordinary thing about 
it was, that on three of its walls were inscriptions in large 
characters, painted on the rock, not horizontally, as usual, 
but in long lines from the top to the bottom of the chamber. 
Yet more strange — two of these inscriptions had no 
reference to the dead, but were an alphabet and a spelling- 
book ! — like the curious pot found at Cervetri, and now 
in the Gregorian Museum 6 — nor were they Etruscan, as 
would be expected from the locality, but pronounced by 
the learned to be early Greek or Pelasgic ! 7 Here is a 
fac-simile of a copy of the alphabet made at the time the 

4 Santi Marmocchini quoted by Buon- 7 So says Lepsius (Ann. Inst. 1836, 
arroti, p. 96, Explic. ad Dempster, torn. p. 195, et seq.) Lanzi (II. p. 513) 
II. Gori (Mus. Etr. Class II. tab. III.) called it a mixture of Etruscan and 
gives a plan of the tomb which differs a Latin. Lepsius seems to speak of this 
little from the description given above. tomb as if it were still in existence, but 
He says that the urns show it to be of it is now mere matter of history. It 
the Meminian or Memmian family — was reclosed and its site forgotten even 
in Etruscan — "Memna." in Maffei's day, more than a century 

5 Buonarroti, p. 4 1 , ap. Dempst. since. 

6 Ut supra, page 53 — 5. 

L38 SIENA. [chap, xxxix. 

tomb was opened. It will be seen that the alphabet is 
unfinished ; the letters after the omicron having faded 

from the wall before the tomb was discovered. The next 
line bore the interesting intelligence " ma, mi, me, mu, 
na, no" in letters which ran from right to left. 8 

"Why an alphabet and hornbook were thus preserved 
within a tomb, I leave to the imagination of my readers to 
conceive. Few, however, will be satisfied with Passeri's 
explanation — that it was the freak of some Etruscan 
schoolboy, who, finding the wall ready prepared for 
painting, mischievously scribbled thereon his last lesson. 9 

Five miles east of Siena, near the ruined Castle of 
Montaperti, ever memorable for the great victory of the 
Ghibellines in 1260— 

Lo strazio e il grande scempio 
Che fece l'Arbia colorata in rosso — 

was discovered in 1728, in a little mound, a tomb of the 

8 Buonarroti, p. 36, tab. 92, ap. one at Beni Hassan, described by Sir G. 
Dempst. torn. II. Lanzi II. p. 512. Wilkinson, — " On the wall of one of the 
Maffei, Osserv. Lett. V. p. 322. The tombs is a Greek alphabet, with the 
three inscribed walls of the tomb were letters transposed in various ways, evi- 
divided by vertical lines into broad dently by a person teaching Greek, who 
stripes or bands, in which were the in- appears to have found these cool re- 
scriptions — seven in all. Though each cesses as well suited for the resort of 
commenced at the top of the wall, the himself and pupils, as was any stoa, or 
letters were not placed upright, as in the grove of Academus." Modern 
Chinese inscriptions, but ran sometimes Egypt, II. p. 53. There is no reason to 
from left to right, as in the above alpha- believe that this Etruscan tomb was used 
bet, sometimes vice versd. for another than its original purpose, by 

9 Passeri, ap. Gori Mus. Etrus. III. a different race, and hi a subsequent 
p. 108. Nor can it be supposed that age ; for the palaeography shows the in- 
this Etruscan tomb presents an instance scriptions to be very ancient, probably 
of academical tuition, like an Egyptian coeval with the sepulchre itself. 

chap, xxxix.] TOMB UF THE CILNII. 139 

Cilnii — the great Etruscan family to which Maecenas 
belonged. It had fifteen square urns or " ash-chests" of 
travertine, and seventeen cinerary pots of earthenware, 
almost all with inscriptions ; but the urns were remarkably 
plain, without figures on their lids, and there was nothing 
in the sepulchre to mark it as belonging to one of the 
most illustrious families of Etruria, which possessed supreme 
power in the land. 1 The name was written Cvenle, or 
Cvenles — 


or more rarely Cvelne ; 2 though the Etruscan form was 
sometimes analogous to, or even identical with the Roman. 3 
On the door-posts of this tomb, as in the Grotta de' 
Volunni at Perugia, were carved inscriptions — a sort of 
general epitaph, in which the name of the family occurs. 

At Montalcino, a small city on the heights to the right 
of the road from Siena to S. Quirico, and about twenty 
miles south of the former city, Etruscan tombs have been 

1 Liv. X. 3 — Cilniuni gens prsepotens. the Etruscan character. But Lanzi 
Silius Italicus, VII. 29— (Sagg. II. pp. 366—7), who copied the 
Cilnius, Arreti Tyrrhenis ortus in oris, original inscriptions, as well as Gori 
Clarura nomen erat. (Mus. Etrus. III. pp. 96 — 7, cl. II. 
For the royal origin of Maecenas, see tab. 12 — 17), make precisely the same 
Horat. Od. I. 1 ; III. 29, 1. ; Sat. I. 6, transpositions. Miiller (I. pp. 404, 
1_4 ; Propert. III. 9, 1 ; Sil. Ital. X. 416) thinks that the Etruscan form 
40 ; Mart. XII. 4, 2 ; cf. Macrob. of Maecenas 1 name must have been 
Saturn. II. 4. Etruscan " royalty " " Cvelne (or as he writes it, Cfelne) 
must be understood merely as the Maecnatial," — the first being his 
supreme power delegated to one of patronymic, the second his mother's 
their body by the confederate princes or family name with the usual adjectival 
Lucumones. termination. 

2 It seems at first sight as if this 3 As is proved by an inscription on 
metastasis were an error of some of the one of the recently found sepulchres 
copiers or transcribers, who, as appears of Sovana, where the name is written 
from a manuscript account of this tomb " Cilnia ; " though the more peculiar 
in the Archaeological Institute at Rome, form seems also to occur in the same 
were not always well acquainted with necropolis. Vol. I. p. 500. 

140 SIENA. [chap, xxxix. 

opened in times past, though no excavations have been 
made, as far as I can learn, for many years. A great 
part of the Etruscan urns in the Museum of Ley den came 
from this site. They are all of travertine, and belong to 
different Etruscan families. 4 

Montalcino has now no antiquities to show, and, indeed, 
little more to boast of than her muscadel wine, lauded 
by Redi, as drink for the fair of Paris and London — 

II leggiadretto, 
II si divino 
Di Montalcino. 
Un tal vino 
Lo destino 
Per le dame di Parigi ; 
E per quelle, 
Che si belle 
j Rallegrar fanno il Tamigi. 

Castelnuovo delT Abate, seven miles further south, is 
another site which has yielded Etruscan tombs in the past 
century. 5 

Near Pienza, a town on the heights to the east of San 
Quirico, and seven miles west of Montepulciano, was found 
in 1779 a tomb of the family of " Caes" (Caius). 6 

In the district of Siena have been found other sepulchres 
of the olden time ; one of the family of " Lecne" (Licinius), 
and another of that of " Veti" (Vettius). 7 

4 Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. 97— 104. The (Arruntius?)- 

families mentioned in the epitaphs are 6 Lanzi, II. p. 373. Pienza is con- 

the "Apuni" (Aponius), "Tite" or jectured by Cramer (I. p. 221) to be the 

"Teti" (Titus), "Cae" (Caius), "An- Manliana of Ptolemy and the Itine- 

carni " (Ancharius), " Laucani " (Lu- raries. 

canus), and others whose names are " Lanzi, II. pp. 360, 361. The pre- 

not fully legible. cise localities of these tombs are not 

5 Lanzi, Saggio II. p. 368. One mentioned. 
was of the family of the " Arntle " 




The City. 

tornemo a Vultera, 

Sopra un monte, che forte e anticha, 

Quanto en Toscana niuna altra terra. — Faccio df.gli Uberti. 

We came e'en to the city's wall 
And the great gate. — Shelley. 

From whatever side Volterra may be approached it is a 
most commanding object, crowning the summit of a lofty, 
steep, and sternly naked height, if not wholly isolated, yet 
independent of the neighbouring hills, reducing them by 
its towering supereminence to mere satellites ; so lofty as 
to be conspicuous from many a league distant, and so 

142 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

steep that when the traveller has at length reached its foot, 
he finds that the fatigue he imagined had well nigh ter- 
minated, is then but about to begin. Strabo has accurately 
described it when he said " it is built on a lofty height, 
rising from a deep valley and precipitous on every side, 
on whose level summit stand the fortifications of the city. 
From base to summit the ascent is fifteen stadia long, 
and it is steep and difficult throughout." 1 

If Volterra be still "lordly" and imposing, what must 
she have been in the olden time, when instead of a mere 
cluster of mean buildings at one corner of the level moun- 
tain-crest, the entire area, four or five miles in circuit, was 
bristling with the towers, temples, and palaces of the city, 
one of Etruria's first and largest — when the walls, whose 
mere fragments are now so vast, that fable and song may 
well report them — 

" Piled by the hands of giants, 
For god-like kings of old," 

then surrounded the city with a girdle of fortifications such 
as for grandeur and massiveness have perhaps never been 

1 Strabo, V. p. 223. Modern mea- the name of (Enarea, — a site of cxtra- 

surement makes the mountain on which ordinary strength, on a hill 30 stadia 

Volterra stands 935 Tuscan braccia in height. To this view Lanzi (Saggio, 

(about 1800 English feet) above the level II. p. 94) is also inclined. Mannert 

of the sea. Miiller was therefore mis- (Geog. p. 357) is opposed to it, on the 

taken when he guessed Volterra to be ground that (Enarea had probably no 

probably the highest-lying town in all existence. Niebuhr (I. p. 124, n. 382), 

Italy. Etrusk. I p. 221. There are Miiller (Etrusk. II. 2, 10), and Arnold 

many towns and villages among the (Hist, of Rome, II. p. 530), raise the 

Apennines, and not a few ancient sites more valid objection, that from the 

in the mountains of Sabina and Latium, usurpation of power by its manumitted 

at a considerably greater elevation. slaves, (Enarea must be identical with 

Cluver (Ital. Ant. II. p. 513) takes Volsinii. I have hesitated to bow to 

Volaterrse to be the Etruscan city these mighty three, and have suggested 

referred to by the pseudo Aristotle that Monte Fiascone may possibly be the 

(De Mirab. Auscult. cap. 96), under site of (Enarea. Vol. I. p. 518. 

chap, xl.] HISTORY OF VOLATERRiE. 143 

surpassed. We now see but " the skeleton of her Titanic 
form," — what must have been the living body ? 

Her great size and the natural strength of her position 
mark Volaterra? as a city of first-rate importance, and give 
her indisputable claims to rank among the Twelve of the 
Confederation. Were such local evidence wanting, the 
testimony of Dionysius, 2 that she was one of the five cities, 
which acting independently of the rest of Etruria, deter- 
mined to aid the Latins against Tarquinius Priscus, would 
be conclusive ; 3 for no second-rate or dependent town 
could have ventured to oppose the views of the rest. This 
is the first historical mention of Volaterrse, and is satis- 
factory evidence as to her antiquity and early importance. 
The only other express record of Volaterra3 during the 
period of national independence, is in the year 456 
(b.c. 298), when L. Cornelius Scipio encountered the Etrus- 
can forces below this city, and so obstinate a combat 
ensued that night alone put an end to it, and not till 
morning showed the Etruscans had retired from the field, 
could the Roman general claim the victory. 4 As an 
Etruscan city, Volaterrse must have had a territory of 
great extent ; larger, without doubt, than that of any other 
city of the Confederation ; 5 and with the possession of the 

2 Dion. Hal. III. p. 189, ed. Sylb. and the rich plains of Lucca; eastward 
The other cities were Clusium, Arre- her ager must also have extended far, 
tium, Rusellse and Vetulonia. as the nearest city was Arretium, 50 

3 It is so regarded by the principal miles distant ; westward it was bounded 
writers on the subject. Cluver. II. p. by the Mediterranean (Strabo, V. p. 
511; Miiller, Etrusk. II. 1, 2, p. 346; 223), more than 20 miles off; and 
Cramer, I. p. 185. southward it extended at least as far as 

4 Liv. X. 12. Populonia, which was either a colony or 

5 North of Volaterrse there was no acquisition of Volaterrcc (Scrv. ad JEn. 
other city of the Confederation, unless X. 172) ; and from the intimate con- 
Pisse may at an early period have been nection of that port with Elba, it is 
one of the Twelve, to dispute her claim highly probable that it also compre- 
to all the land up to the confines of hended that island itself. 

Etruria, including the vale of the Arno, 


VOLTERRA.— The City. 


two great ports of Luna and Populonia, she must have 
been the most powerful among "the sea-ruling Etruscans," 
and probably also the most wealthy. Her Etruscan appel- 
lation, as we learn from her coins, was Velathri 6 — 


We have no record of her conquest, but from her 
remoteness and strength we may conclude Volaterrse was 
among the last of the cities of Etruria to fall under the 
yoke of Rome. In the Second Punic War, in common 
with the other principal cities of Etruria, she undertook to 
furnish her quota of supplies for the Roman fleet ; and it 
is worthy of remark that she still maintained her maritime 
character, being the only one, save Tarquinii, to furnish 
tackling or other gear for ships. 7 In the civil wars 

6 This is almost identical with the 
name of the ancient Volscian town 
Velitrse, now Velletri ; and there can 
be no doubt that there was a close 
analogy, as between many other towns 
of Etruria, and those of corresponding 
appellations south of the Tiber. In 
fact, the coins with the legend of 
Velathri have often been assigned to 
Velitrse. Raffaelle Maffei, il Biondo, 
and other early Italian antiquaries 
indulged in idle speculations as to the 
meaning of the name Volaterrte, and 
resolved it into "Vola (which they 
translated urbs) Tyrrhenorum," but 
Volaterrse is merely the Latin form, 
and in our present ignorance of the 
Etruscan language all sound analysis 
is out of the question. It may be re- 
marked, however, that the syllable Vel, 
or Vul, is a frequent initial to Etruscan 
names — Velsina, Vulsinii, Vulci, Velim- 
nas, &c. — and the rest of the word 
Atri seems to have some analogy to 
the Hat, or Hatri, on the coins of 

Hatria, — the Etruscan town which gave 
its name to the Adriatic, and to the 
atrium, or court, in Roman houses. 
Cramer (I. p. 184) infers from this 
analogy that Volterra was founded by 
the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi, when they quitted 
the shores of the Adriatic to settle in 
the land of the Umbri. The same origin 
for the city is inferred by Millingen 
(Numismatique de 1' Ancienne Italie, 
p. 167) from the name Velathri, which 
he takes to be identical with Elatria, a 
town in Epirus, the land whence came 
many of the colonists of Italy, especially 
the Pelasgi. He sees Elatria also in 
Velitrse of the Volsci, and even in Vul- 
turnus, the original appellation of Capua ; 
and he thinks this name was given to 
these three cities by the Tyrrhene- 
Pelasgi, during their possession of the 
land, in remembrance of their ancient 

" Liv. XXVIII. 45. Tarquinii sup- 
plied sail-cloth, Volaterrse, the fittings- 
up of ships, and also corn. This is 

chap, xl.] HISTORY OF VOLATERR^. 145 

between Marius and Sylla, Volaterra?, like most of the 
cities of Etruria, espoused the part of the former ; for this 
she was besieged two years by the forces of his rival, till 
she was compelled to surrender ; 8 but though thus taken 
in arms against him, she escaped the fate of Fsesulae and 
other cities which were deprived of their citizenship, and 
had their lands confiscated and divided among the troops 
of the victorious Dictator. For this she was indebted to 
the great Cicero, who was then Consul, and who ever 
afterwards retained the warmest attachment towards her, 
and honoured her with the highest commendations. 9 She 
subsequently, however, was forced to receive a military 
colony, under the Triumvirate.' 1 After the fall of the 
Western Empire, she suffered the fate of the neighbouring 
cities, and fell under the dominion of the Vandals and the 
Huns ; but was again raised to importance by the Lombard 
kings, who, for a time, fixed their court here, on account of 
the natural strength of the site. Of the subsequent his- 
tory of Volterra, suffice it to say, that though greatly sunk 
in size and importance, she has never wholly lost her 
population, and been abandoned, like so many of her 
fellows, to the fox, the owl, and the viper ; and that she 
retains to the present day, her original Etruscan appella- 
tion, but little corrupted. 2 

When the traveller has mastered the tedious ascent to 
the town, let him seek for the " Unione," the best inn in 

according to the usual reading, intcra- citizens, the satirist Persius. Her claim 

menta ; but Miiller (I. 2, 1, IV. 3, 6) is better founded, I believe, as regards 

prefers that of Gronovius, which is Linus, the successor of St. Peter, as 

inceramcnta. bishop of Rome. 

8 Sti-abo, loc. cit.; Liv. Epitome, ' Front. deColon. p. 14.ed. 1588. Pliny 
LXXXIX. ; cf. Cic. pro Csecina, VII. ; N. H. III. 8) and Ptolemy (p. 72, ed. 
pro Roscio Amerino, VII. Bert.) also speak of her as a colony in 

9 Cic. pro Domo sua, XXX. ; ad their days. 

Divers. XIII. 4, 5 ; ad Attic. I. 19. 2 For the post- Roman history of 

Volterra claims among her ancient Volterra, see Repetli, V. pj>. 801 et aeq. 

146 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xi.. 

Volterra. He may know it by the sign of three naked 
females, the most graceless things about the house. The 
landlord, Sig re - Ottavio Callai, having resided several years 
in England, understands our habits, wants, and somewhat 
of our language, and his general intelligence and local 
information, to say nothing of his obliging disposition, will 
prove of real service to his guests. 

Modern Volterra is but a country-town, having scarcely 
above four thousand inhabitants, and covering but a small 
portion of the area occupied by the ancient city. The 
lines of its battlemented wall, and the towered keep of its 
fortress, give it an imposing appearance externally. It is 
a dirty and gloomy place, however, without architectural 
beauty ; and save the heavy, feudal-faced Palazzo Pubblico, 
hung quaintly all over with coats of arms, as a pilgrim 
with scallop-shells — so many silent traditions of the stirring 
days of the Italian republics — and richer still in its 
Museum of Etruscan antiquities ; save the neat little 
Duomo, and the alabaster factories, which every one should 
visit, there is nothing of interest in modern Volterra. Her 
glories are the Etruscan walls and the Museum, to neither 
of which the visitor who feels interest in the early civiliza- 
tion of Italy, should fail to pay attention. 

To begin with the walls. From the "Unione," a few 
steps will lead to the 

Porta all' Arco. 3 

I envy the stranger his first impressions on approaching 
this gateway. The loftiness of the arch ; the boldness of 
its span ; the massiveness of the blocks, dwarfing into 
insignificance the mediaeval masonry by which it is sur- 

■ 1 Dempster (Etrur. Regal. II. p. 286) Gori (Mus. Etr. III. pp. 34, 44) follows 
says that certain learned men take this them in this superfluous etymology, 
for a corruption of Porta Herculis. 

chap, xl.] THE PORTA ALL' ARCO. 147 

rounded ; the venerable, yet solid air of the whole ; and 
more than all, the dark, featureless, mysterious heads 
around it, stretching forward as if eager to proclaim the 
tale of bygone races and events ; even the site of the gate 
on the very verge of the steep, with a glorious map of 
valley, river, plain, mountain, sea, headland, and island, 
unrolled beneath ; make it one of the most imposing yet 
singular portals conceivable, and fix it indelibly on his 

It is a double gateway, nearly thirty feet deep, united 
by parallel walls of very massive character, of the same 
masonry as those of the city. 4 This is decisive of its 
Etruscan origin ; yet some doubt has been raised as to the 
Etruscan antiquity of the arch, — I think, without just ground. 
It has been objected that the mouldings of the imposts are 
too Greek in character to be regarded as Etruscan, and 
that the arch must therefore be referred to the Romans. 5 
But if this were a sufficing reason, every article found in 
Etruscan tombs, which betrays a Hellenic influence, must 
be of Roman origin. Those who hold such a doctrine 
must totally forget the extensive intercourse the Etruscans 

4 The span of the arch is 1 3 ft. 2 in. ; of the gate to be " of true Etruscan 
the height to the top of the impost 15 construction:" (cf. I. p. 141). By 
feet ; so that the height to the keystone Ruspi, the Roman architect, the re- 
is about 21^ feet. Depth of the door- storation has been referred even to 
posts 4 ft. 6 in. The inner arch is 13 Imperial times. Bull. Inst. 1831, p. 
ft. 6 in. in span, and its doorpost nearly 52. The connecting walls, the door- 
5 ft. in depth. The length of the con- posts of the outer arch, and the heads, 
necting passage is 18 ft., and its width he alone allows to be Etruscan ; the 
15 ft. 8 in., so that the total depth of arch of the outer gate he conceives to 
the gateway, including the arches, is 27 have been raised during the Empire, 
feet, C> inches. the heads to have been then replaced, 

5 Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 5) and the inner gateway to have been at 
regards them as of Roman character the same time constructed. He thinks 
and construction, and thinks the whole a second restoration was effected 
arch, except the heads, is a restoration, during the middle ages, in that part 
probably after the siege of the city by where the portcullis was fixed. 

Sylla. Yet he admits the lower part 


148 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

maintained from very remote times, at least as early as the 
Roman kings, not only with the Greek colonies of Sicily 
and Campania, the latter long under their own dominion, 
but also with Greece herself — an intercourse quite sufficient 
to account for traces of Hellenisms in Etruscan art, 
whether exhibited in a modified form in architectural 
mouldings, or in the frequent Doric and Ionic features of 
the sarcophagi or rock-hewn monuments, or displayed 
more palpably and purely in the painted vases, found in 
myriads in Etruria, which are unequivocally Greek in form, 
design, myths, and even inscriptions. 6 The mouldings of 
these imposts then, were they even more strongly assimi- 
lated to the Greek, may well be of Etruscan construction, 
though not, of course, of the most remote epoch. 

The inner arch of the gateway differs from the outer in 
the material, form, and number of its voussoirs, and has 
much more of a Roman character. 

Whether this archway be Etruscan or not, it cannot 
be doubted that the three heads are of that character, 
and that they occupied similar positions in an arched 
gateway of ancient Volterra. This is corroborated in a 
singular manner. In the Museum is a cinerary urn, found 
in this necropolis, which has a bas-relief of the death of 
Capaneus, struck by lightning when in the act of scaling 
the gate of Thebes ; and the artist, copying probably 
the object best known to him, has represented in that 

fi Orioli (ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrusc. IV. terised as Greek. But it does not seem 

p. 162) maintains that this similarity to to me necessary to suppose so high an 

Greek art does not militate against the antiquity for the Hellenisms in Etruscan 

Etruscan construction of this arch, on art, which are more simply accounted 

the ground that Greek art arose and for in the manner indicated in the text, 

was nurtured in Asia Minor rather Canina, a high architectural authority, 

than in Greece Proper, and that the regards this gate as one of the most 

Etruscans coming from the East may ancient Etruscan monuments in this 

have brought with them a knowledge of region. Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 192. 
tliat architecture which is now charac- 


mythical gate, this very Porta all' Arco of Volterra, with 
the three heads exactly in the same relative position. 
What the heads might mean is not easy to determine. 
They may represent the heads of conquered enemies, 7 or 
the three mysterious Cabiri, 8 or possibly the patron deities 
of the city. 9 They could scarcely be intended for mere 

The masonry within the gateway is very massive, and 
well preserved. There are eight courses, about two feet 
deep each, of rectangular blocks, seven, eight, or ten feet 
in length. They are of panchina, a yellow arenaceous stone, 
as are also the door-posts of the outer arch ; the imposts 
and voussoirs, however, are of travertine, and the three 
heads are of dark grey peperino. This difference in the 
material has, doubtless, aided the opinion of the subsequent 
formation of the arch. 1 It is highly probable, indeed, that 

< Orioli, ap. Ingli. Mon. Etr. IV. p. 

8 This is Gerhard's view. Gottheiten 
tier Etrusker, p. ]'5.; cf. p. 48. 

9 Orioli, Ann. Inst. 1832, p. 38. This 
is also Micali's opinion (III. p. 5), who 
admits them to be Etruscan. Gori 
(Mus. Etrusc. Ill p. 46.) takes them for 
heads of the Lares Viales, placed in 
such a position to receive the adoration 
of passers by ; as Lucretius (I. 317 — 9) 
describes deities in bronze placed near 
city-gates, whose hands, like the toes of 
St. Peter and other saints of modern 
times, were quite worn down by the 
frequent kisses of their votaries. Lanzi 
(cited by Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. I. 
p. 679) in describing the said urn took 
the central head to represent Antigone, 
and the others, two Thebans, looking 
out from the city. He could not have 
carefully examined the monument ; or he 
must have confounded it with another 
somewhat similar urn. 

1 If the outer arch were a restoration 

by the Romans, they must have pre- 
served and built up again these three 
heads of peperino ; which is a great 
objection against the hypothesis. To 
me it does not seem at all probable that 
the Romans of the close of the Republic, 
the epoch of the Pantheon, and the 
purest period of Roman art, would have 
destroyed the symmetry of the gate by 
the replacement of such heavy unsightly 
masses. It is much easier to conceive 
them to have been placed there at an 
earlier period, when superstition or 
convention overcame a regard for the 
beautiful. A figure or head in relief 
on the keystone was common enough 
in Roman gateways, and is in accord- 
ance with good taste, not destroying the 
symmetry of the arch, but serving to 
fix the eye on the culminating point. 
But it may safely be assertet] that the 
introduction of such prominent shape- 
less masses around an arch, was wholly 
opposed to Roman taste, as we learn it 
from existing monuments. 

150 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

the arches are subsequent to the rest of the gateway, 
which I take to be coeval with the city walls, and prior to 
the invention of the arch ; and the same plan must 
originally have been adopted, as is traceable in another 
gateway at Yolterra, — namely, flat wooden architraves 
were let into the door-posts, having sockets in them corre- 
sponding to sockets in the threshold, in which the flaps 
of the doors worked. This plan is proved to have been 
used by the Etruscans, by certain tombs of Chiusi, where 
the doors are still working in their ancient sockets. But 
as the Etruscans were acquainted with the arch for at 
least two or three centuries before their final subjugation 
by Rome, the addition of it to this gateway may still have 
been made in the days of their independence. 

Just within the gate on each side is a groove or channel 
for the portcullis, or Saracinesca, as the Italians call it, 
which was suspended by iron chains, and let down from 
above like the gate of a sluice ; so that if the enemy 
attempted to force the inner gate, the portcullis was 
dropped, and all within were made prisoners. This man- 
trap, common enough in the middle ages, was also employed 
by the ancients ; and grooves for the cataracta are found in 
the double gates of their cities — at Pompeii and Cosa, 
for instance, where the gates are formed on the same plan 
as this of Volterra. 2 

From the Porta all' Arco let the visitor continue his 
walk eastward, beneath the walls of the modern town, 
till, leaving these behind, and following the brow of the 
hill for some distance, he comes in sight of the church 
of Sta. Chiara. Below this are some of the finest portions 
of the ancient walls now extant. They are in detached 
fragments. In the first the masonry is comparatively 

: Mention is made of the cataracta (de Re Milit. IV. cap. i), who sneaks of 
by Livy (XXVII. 28), and by Vegetius it as an ancient invention. 


H '"' 

34 Remains of an ancient edifice. 

35 Piazza Maggiore. 

3(5 Palazzo Comunale, containing 
the Museum. 

37 Cathedral. 

38 Church of S. Giovanni. 

39 ,, S. Filippo. 

40 ,, S. Francesco. 

41 „ S. .Michele. 

42 . , S. Agostino. 

43 ,, S. ietro. 

44 Locanda Callai. 

From U 


'hap. xl.] THE ETRUSCAN WALLS. 151 

small ; it is most massive in the third, which extends 
to the length of forty or fifty yards, and rises to a 
considerable height. In this fragment are two conduits or 
sewers — square openings, with projecting sills, as at Fiesole, 
ten or twelve feet above ground. 3 The fifth fragment is 
also fine ; but the sixth is very grand — forty feet in 
height, and about one hundred and forty in length ; and 
here also open two sewers. 4 

The masonry is very irregular. A horizontal arrange- 
ment is preserved ; but one course often runs into another, 
shallow ones alternate with deep, or even in the same, 
several shallow blocks are piled up to equal the depth of 
the larger. The masses, though intended to be rectangular, 
are rudely hewn, and more rudely jDut together, with none 
of that close " kissing" of joints, as the Italians say, or 
neat fitting-in of smaller pieces, which is seen at Fiesole. 
This may be called a rectangular Cyclopean style, if that 
be not a contradiction of terms. Nevertheless, it is 
essentially the same masonry as that of Fiesole ; but here 
it is seen in its rudeness or infancy, while Fiesole shows 
its perfection. To the friability of the sandstone of which 
it is composed, is owing much of its irregular character, 
the edges of the blocks having greatly worn away ; while 
the walls of Fiesole, being of harder rock, have suffered 
much less from the action of the elements. Fair com- 
parisons, however, can only be drawn between the walls 
on corresponding sides of the several cities ; for those 
which face the south, as these fragments under Santa 
Chiara, have always been most affected by the weather. 

3 Some of the blocks in this fragment is shown in the woodcut at the head of 
are very large — 8 or 10 feet long, by this Chapter. The largest blocks here 
2 to 3 in height. The architrave of one are about 8 feet long, and more than 
of the sewers is particularly massive. 3 in height. At this particular spot the 

4 It is this portion of the wall which wall is scarcely 20 feet high. 

152 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

As usual in the most ancient masonry, there are here no 
vestiges of cement. In spite of the saying, 

Duro con duro 

Non fa mai buon niuro, 

these gigantic masses have held together without it some 
twenty-five or thirty centuries, and may yet stand for as 
many more. All the fragments on this side of Volterra 
are mere embankments, as at Fiesole, to the higher level 
of the city. In parts they are underbuilt with modern 

From Sta. Chiara the walls may be traced by detached 
fragments, sometimes scarcely rising above the ground, till 
they turn to the north, stretching along the brow of the 
steep cliff, which bounds the city on this side. At a spot 
called " I Menseri," are some massive portions ; and just 
beyond the hamlet of S. Giusto are traces of a road 
running up to an ancient gate, whose position is clearly 
indicated. Here the ground sinks in tremendous preci- 
pices, " Le Baize," overhanging an abyss of fearful depth, 
and increasing its horror by their own blackness. This 
is the Leucadia — the lovers' leap of the Volterrani. But 
a few days before I reached the town, a forlorn swain 
had taken the plunge. 

Beyond this, the walls may be traced, more or less 
distinctly, all round the brow of the point which juts out 
towards the convent of La Badia. In one part they are 
seven feet in thickness, and are no longer mere embank- 
ments, but rise fifteen feet above the level of the city. In 
another spot they are topt by small rectangular masonry, 
also uncemented, apparently Roman. They continue to 
follow the brow of the high ground in all its sinuosities ; 
double the wooded point of Torricella, and again run far 
up the hollow to Le Conce, or the Tanyards, above which 

chap, xl.] THE GATE OF DIANA. 153 

they rise in a massive picturesque fragment overgrown 
with foliage. Then they stretch far away along the lofty 
and picturesque cliffs on the west of the hollow, till they 
lead you round to the Portone, or 

Poeta di Diana. 

This is another gateway of similar construction to the 
Porta all' Arco, but now in ruins. In its ground-plan, it 
is precisely similar, having a double gate with a con- 
necting passage. The masonry is of the same massive 
character as that of the city-walls, without an inter- 
mixture of different styles, except what is manifestly 
of modern date ; so that no doubt can be entertained of 
its purely Etruscan construction. The dimensions of the 
gate very nearly agree with those of the Porta all' Arco. 5 
The arches at either end are now gone ; the inner gate 
does not indeed appear to have had one, for the door- 
post rises to the height of about twenty feet, and at 
twelve feet or so above the ground is a square hole in a 
block on each side the gate, as if cut to receive a wooden 
lintel. The outer gate still retains traces of an arch, for at 
a height corresponding with the said lintel, there are cunei- 
form blocks on one side, sufficient to indicate an arch ; the 
opposite wall is too much ruined to retain such vestiges. 
It is highly probable that this gateway was constructed 
at the same time as the walls, and before the invention of 
the arch, both gates being covered in by wooden lintels, but 
that in after ages the outer gate was repaired, while the 
inner, needing it less, was left in its original state. 

This sort of double gateway is found in several ancient 
towns in Greece, as well as in other cities of Italy. It is 

5 The total depth of the gateway is is 12 ft. 4 in., and in the passage within 
27 ft., that of the door-posts of each gate 15 ft. (> in. 
4 ft. 4 in. The width at the door-posts 

154 YOLTERRA.— The City. [ohap. xl. 

to be seen also elsewhere in Btruria — at Cosa, for instance, 
where there is more than one specimen of it. 6 

From the Portone, the ancient fortifications may be 
traced along the wooded steep to the south, and then, 
instead of following its line, suddenly dive into the hollow, 
crossing it in an independent wall nearly thirty feet high. 
The masonry here is much smaller than in any other part 
of the walls, the courses being often scarcely a foot in 
height ; yet, as in other respects it precisely resembles the 
more massive fragments, it may be safely pronounced 
Etruscan. 7 

At the point of high ground to the east, is a fine frag- 
ment of wall, six feet thick, rising twelve feet above the 
level of the city, and having its inner surface as smooth as 
its outer. Beyond this, are two remarkable revetements, 
like bastions reverted, or with their concavities towards the 
city. The most easterly of these crescent embankments 
rises to the height of thirty feet. s Just beyond it, there 
are traces of a postern ; and presently the wall, pursuing 
the edge of the steep, reaches the extremity of the city to 

fi Canina (Archit. Antica, V. p. 96) walls; but a drain-hole hard by seems 

suggests, that it is probably from this sort to have been the original passage for it. 
of double gateway that the plural term — 8 Here it may be remarked, that the 

ai irvhai — applied to the gate of a city, blocks in the lower courses are small 

took its rise. See Vol. I. pp. 14, 15. and irregular, in the upper very massive. 

It will be observed that this gate, as This I have observed on other Etruscan 

well as the Porta all' Arco, opens sites. Orioli (ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrus. 

obliquely, so that the approach to it is IV. p. 161) thinks it was not without a 

commanded on one side by the city wall, reason— that the largest blocks were 

which answers the purpose of towers placed at that height in the walls, where 

whence to annoy the foe ; and the ap- they would be most likely to be struck 

proach is so planned in both cases, that by battering-engines (cf. Micali, Ant. 

an assailing force would have its right Pop. Ital. II. p. 294) ; and he even infers 

side, or that unprotected by the shield, hence the existence of such engines in 

exposed to the attacks of the besieged. remote times. One block covering a 

This is a rule of fortification laid down cavity, once perhaps a sewer, I found to 

by Vitruvius, I. 5,2. »e 11 ft. long, 3 in height, and 4 in 

' At the bottom of the hollow, a depth: and another block, below the 

streamlet flows out through a gap in the cavity, was of nearly equal dimensions. 


the east, and turns sharp to the south. The path to the 
Seminario leads along the very top of the walls, which are 
here from fourteen to seventeen feet in thickness. They 
are not solid throughout, but built with two faces of 
masonry, having the intervening space stuffed with rubbish, 
just as in the cob-walls of England, and as in that sort of 
emplecton, which Vitruvius characterises as Roman. 9 Just 
beneath the Seminario another postern may be distin- 
guished. From this point you may trace the line of the 
ancient walls, by fragments, beneath those of the modern 
town and of the Fortress, round to the Porta all' Arco. 

The circumference of the ancient walls has been said to 
be about four miles ; l but it appears more, as the sinuosities 
of the ground are very great. But pause, traveller, ere 
you venture to make the entire tour of them. Unless you 
be prepared for great fatigue — to cross ploughed land — 
climb and descend steeps — force your way through dense 
woods and thickset hedges — wade through swamps in the 
hollows if it be winter — follow the beds of streams, and 
creep at the brink of precipices ; in a word, to make a 
fairy-like progress 

" Over hill, over dale, 

Thorough bush, thorough brier, 
Over park, over pale, 

Thorough flood — " 

and only not 

"thorough fire — " 

think not of the entire giro. Verily — 

Viribus uteris per clivos, flumina, lamas. 

9 Vitiiiv. II. 8,7. Compare Vol.1. euit will be more than 4* miles. Gori(III. 

p. 107. This style of " stuffed" walls is p. .'32) cites an authority who ascribes to 

not uncommon in the cities of Greece. them a circuit of more than 5 miles. Old 

1 Micali, Ant. Pop.Ital. I. p. 141, and Alberti says, the city was in the form of 

II. p. 209. Abeken (Mittelital. p. 30) calls a hand, the headlands representing the 

it 21,000 feet. If Micali's map he correct, fingers. But it requires a lively fancy 

which calls it 7,280 - 73 metres, the cir- to perceive the likeness. 

156 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

There are portions of the wall which are of no difficult 
access : such as the fine fragments under the church of 
Santa Chiara ; those also at Le Baize di San Giusto, whither 
you may drive in a carriage ; the thick walls below the 
Seminario, which are comparatively near at hand : and 
from these a sufficient idea may be formed of the massive- 
ness and grandeur of the walls of Volterra. The Portone 
also is of easy access ; and it had better be taken in the 
way to the Grotta de' Marmini. With the Plan of the 
city in his hand, the visitor will have no difficulty in 
finding the most remarkable portions of the ancient forti- 

The necropolis of Volterra, as usual, surrounded the 
town ; but from the nature of the ground, the slopes 
beneath the walls to the north were particularly selected 
for burial. Here, for some centuries past, numerous tombs 
have been opened, from which the Museum of the town, as 
well as other collections, public and private, in various 
parts of Europe, have been stored with antiquarian wealth. 
From the multitude of sepulchres, the spot received the 
name of Campo Nero — "Black Field 2 " — a name now 
almost obsolete. But, though hundreds — nay, thousands — 
of tombs have been opened, what remains to satisfy the 
curiosity of the visitor ? One mean sepulchre alone. All 
the rest have been covered in as soon as rifled ; the usual 
excuse being — "per non damnijicar il podere." Even the 
tomb of the Csecinse, that family so illustrious in ancient 
times, has been refilled with earth, lest the produce of a 
square yard or two of soil should be lost to the owner ; and 
its site is now forgotten. "O optimi cives Volaterrani /" 
Are ye deserving of the commendation Cicero bestowed 
on your ancestors, 3 when ye set so little store on the 
monuments of those very forefathers which Fortune has 

- Gori, Mus. Etrus. III. p. 93. 3 Cicero, pro Domo sua, XXX. 

chap, xi,.] GROTTA DE' MARMINI. 157 

placed in your hands 1 Should not yours be rather the 
reproach that great man cast on the Syracusans, who knew 
not the sepulchre of their great citizen, Archimedes, till he 
pointed it out to them ? 9 Let the name, at least, of the 
only proprietor at Volterra who has rescued a tomb from 
oblivion be honourably distinguished by its association 
with that sepulchre, and let this in future be called 
La Grotta del Cinci, instead of its present appellation, 

Grotta de' Marmini. 

This sepulchre, which is said to be a type, in form and 
character, of the tombs of Volterra, lies on the hill-slope a 
little below the Porta di Diana, on a spot marked by 
a clump of cypresses. The key is kept at a cottage just 
outside the Gate, and torches may also be had there. 
Like all the tombs of Volterra, this is a hypoqceum, or 
sepulchre below the surface ; and you descend by a few 
steps to the door, above which is some rude masonry. 
The tomb is circular, seventeen or eighteen feet in 
diameter, but scarcely six feet in height, with a large 
square pillar in the centre, and a triple tier of benches 
around the walls — all rudely hewn from the rock, a yellow 
conchiliferous sandstone, called by the natives " panckina" 
On the benches are ranged numerous urns, or ash-chests, 
about two or three feet long, miniature sarcophagi, with 
reclining figures on the lids, some stretched on their backs, 
but most resting on one elbow in the usual attitude of the 
banquet. 1 In the southern part of Etruria, two or three, 
rarely more than six or eight, sarcophagi are found in one 

9 Cicero, Tusc. Qusest. V. 23. lie one on each side of the entrance. 

1 These urns are of panchina, traver- There is a hole in the roof of the tomb, 
tine, or alabaster, but are so blackened but whether formed in ancient times to 
by the smoke of the torches as to have let off the effluvium, or by modern ex- 
lost all beauty. Two large pine-cones cavators, is not very evident, 
of stone, common funereal emblems, 

L58 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xi,. 

chamber ; but here are at least forty or fifty urns — the 
ashes of a family for several generations. 

" The dead above, and the dead below, 
Lay ranged in many a coffined row." 

Such is said to be the general character of the sepulchres 
on this site. Their form is often circular; 2 while in 
Southern Etruria that form is rarely found, the oblong or 
square being prevalent. No tomb with painted walls has 
ever been discovered in this necropolis. Some, however, 
of a singular description have been brought to light. 3 

Tomb of the Cecike. 

In this same part of the necropolis, as long since as 
1 739, was discovered a tomb of the Cecina family, illus- 
trious in Roman annals. As described by Gori, who must 
have seen it, 4 this tomb was very like the Grotta de' Mar- 
mini, but on a larger scale. At the depth of eight feet 
below the surface, was found an archway, of beautiful con- 
struction, opening on a passage lined with similar masonry, 

' 2 Gori (Mus. Etr. III. p. 93) says the colate through the roof and walls. The 

tombs of Vol terra are more frequently vases are generally placed between the 

square than round, and are sometimes ums, or in front of them, if there be 

even triangular. Inghirami says they not room at the side, and the mirrors 

are generally circular, especially when are also laid in front. Inghir. IV. p. 83. 

small, but quadrangular when large When the body was not burnt, as usual, 

(Mon. Etrusc. IV. p. 80) ; and he gives it was laid on the bare rock. Sarcophagi 

a plate of one with four square chambers were very rarely used. 

(IV. tav. 16). Gori asserts that the 3 A tomb was found in this necropolis, 

roofs are often formed of a single stone in 1738, which was supposed, from the 

of enormous size, sometimes supported numerous pots, pans, and plates within it, 

in the middle by a pillar hewn from the to have been an Etruscan kitchen — some 

rock. The entrances generally face the of the pots being full of the bones of kids 

west. Testimony, unfortunately, is our and of little birds. MS. description, 

only authority in the matter. A second cited by Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. IV. 

tomb is sometimes found beneath the p. .00. But these must have been the 

first, says Inghirami (IV. p. 94). In relics of the funeral feast ; a pair of gold 

the centre of the floor of the tomb, there earrings in an urn was hardly consistent 

is often a hole, probably formed as a with the idea of a kitchen, 

receptacle for the water that might per- 4 Gori, Mus. Etr. III. pp. .01, 95. 

chap, xl.] TOMB OF THE CMC1KM. 159 

and leading down to the rock-hewn door of the tomb, 
which was closed with a large slab. The sepulchre was 
circular, about forty feet in diameter, 5 supported by a 
thick column in the midst, and surrounded by a triple tier 
of benches, all hewn from the rock. Forty urns of 
alabaster, adorned with painting and gilding, were found 
lying, not on the benches where they had originally been 
arranged, but in a confused heap on the floor, as though 
they had been cast there by former plunderers, or " thrown 
down by an earthquake," as Gori suggests — more pro- 
bably the former. Just within the door stood a beautiful 
Roman cippus, with a sepulchral inscription in Latin, to 
"A. Csecina." 6 Most of the urns also bore inscriptions, 
some in Etruscan, a few in Latin, but all of the same 
family. They have fortunately been preserved in the 
Museum of the city, just then commenced, but the tomb 
where they had lain for at least two thousand years, has 
been covered in, and its very site is now forgotten. 7 

A second tomb of this family was discovered in 1785, 
containing about forty urns ; none of them with Latin 
inscriptions. 8 

A third tomb of the Csecina family was discovered in 
1810, outside the Gate of Diana, containing six chambers, 
and numerous urns with Etruscan inscriptions. 9 Thus it 

5 Maffei, Osserv. Lett. V. p. 318 ; ' It was discovered by Dr. Pagnini, 
Inghirami, Mori. Etrus. IV. p. 85. whose description of it will be found in 
Gori's illustration makes it only 30 feet. Inghirami's Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 107. The 

6 Gori (III. p. 94, tab. XI.) and door was 1 2 braccia (23 feet) below the 
Inghirami (Mon. Etrus. VI. p. 23. tav. surface ; the first chamber was of irre- 
D 3.) call it an altar, which it resembles gular form, having a column in the 
in form ; but the inscription marks it as midst, with a base and capital of the 
a cippus. It is now in the Museum of Tuscan order, two rows of benches 
Volterra. around, on which the urns were found 

7 Illustrations of this tomb are given upset and in great confusion ; ten of 
by Gori, III. tab. X, and Inghirami, them were well preserved, and with 
IV. tav. XIV. XV. Etruscan inscriptions — none with Latin. 

s Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. I. p. 11. The other five chambers were of inferior 

160 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

would appear that this family was numerous as well as 
powerful. It has become extinct only in our own day. 1 

In 1831, Signor Giusto Cinci, to whom most of the 
excavations at Volterra of late years are due, discovered 
the vestiges of two tumular sepulchres, which had been 
covered in with masonr}^, in the form of domes. Though 
but slight vestiges remained, it was evident that the 
cone of one had been composed of small rectangular 
blocks of tufo, rudely hewn, and uncemented ; the other, 
of large masses of travertine, also without cement, whose 
upper sides proved the structure to have been of irregular 
polygons, though resting on a basement of rectangular 
masonry. 2 This is the only instance known of polygonal 
construction so far north in Italy, and is the more remark- 
able, as every other relic of ancient architecture on this 
site is strictly rectangular. Though the construction of 
this tomb betokened a high antiquity, the alabaster urns it 
contained betrayed a comparatively recent date, 3 and 
seemed to mark a reappropriation of a very ancient 
sepulchre. These domed tombs must have borne a close 
analogy to the Treasuries of Atreus and Minyas, and also 
to the Nuraghe of Sardinia, and the Talajots of the 
Balearic Islands. 4 

size. Inghirami thinks it was the early which he refers most of the urns of Vol- 
Christians who overturned the urns in terra ; but he generally inclines to too 
these tombs, in their iconoclastic zeal. recent a date. He has given full par- 

1 See the next Chapter. ticulars of these tombs, together with 

2 These monuments were only 5 feet illustrations. Ann. Inst. 1832, pp. 26 — 
apart. Each cone had a basement of 30, tav. d' Agg. A. 

such masonry, about 9 feet square, and 4 These were genuine specimens of 

beneath one of these were several courses the tholus, or domed structure of the 

of rude blocks, below the surface of the Greeks, such as we see it in the Treasury 

ground, and resting on the doorway of of Atreus at Mycense ; and they are the 

the sepulchre, which was composed of only instances known of such tholi in 

two upright blocks, crossed by a third as Etruria, though one has been found some 

a lintel. a S es s ' nce at Gubbio, the ancient Igu- 

3 Inghirami says, as late as the seventh viuin, in Umbria, where the celebrated 
or eighth century of Rome, the period to inscribed tablets, called the Eugubian 


Excavations are still carried on at Volterra, but not 

Tables, were found. Gori, Mus. Etrus. 
III. p. 100, tab. XVIII. 6. They also 
closely resemble the Nuraghe of Sar- 
dinia, and still more the Talajots of the 
Balearics, inasmuch as the latter are 
cones containing but one such chamber, 
while the Nuraghe have often several. 
The point of di fferenee is, that these domed 
tombs of Volterra, like that of Gubbio, 
must have been covered with a mound 
of earth, while the Nuraghe and Talajots 
are solid cones of masonry, like one of 
the towers in the Cucumella of Vulci, 
but hollowed into chambers, and built 
above the surface. The Nuraghe, al- 
ready referred to at page 47, still exist 
in great numbers in Sardinia. No fewer 
than 3000 are said to be scattered over 
the shores of that island (De la Marmora, 
Voyage en Sardaigne, II. p. 46), and the 
Talajots are not much less numerous in 
the Balearics. The former, which rise 
30 or 40 feet above ground, have some- 
times two or three stories, each with a 
domed chamber connected by spiral 
passages left in the masonry ; sometimes 
sevei-al chambers are on the same floor, 
communicating by corridors ; the struc- 
ture, instead of being conical, is some- 
times three-sided, yet with the angles 
rounded. Some of them have basements 
of masonry like these tombs of Volterra ; 
and othei-s are raised on platforms of 
earth, with embankments of masonry 
twenty feet in height. Though so nu- 
merous, none are found in so complete a 
state of preservation that it can be de- 
cided whether they terminated above in 
a perfect or a truncated cone. They 
are, in general, of regular though rude 
masonry, but a few are of polygonal con- 
struction. They are evidently of high 
antiquity. The construction of the 
domed chambers, formed, like the Trea- 
sury of Atreus, by the convergence of 
horizontal strata, establishes this beyond 

a doubt. But to what race to ascribe 
them is still in dispute. De la Marmora, 
Micali, and Arri, assign them to the 
Phoenicians or Carthaginians. Petit- 
Radel, on the other hand, ascribes them 
to the Tyrrhene Pelasgi, in which he is 
followed by Abeken ; and to this view 
Inghirami also inclines. Miiller, how- 
ever, regarded them as Etruscan, rather 
than Pelasgic (Etrusk. IV. 2, 2). For 
Petit-Radel's opinion there is ancient 
authority ; for the pseudo- Aristotle (de 
Mirab. Auscult. cap. 104) mentions the 
tholi of Sardinia, built by Iolaus, son of 
Iphicles, in the ancient Greek style. 
Diodorus (IV. p. 235, ed. Rhod.) speaks 
of them under the name of Dsedalia, so 
called from the architect who built 
them. These tholi can be no other than 
the Nuraghe. Though Micali (Ant. Pop. 
Ital. II. p. 4.5) does not take them to be 
tombs, and Canina (Archit. Ant. V. 
p. 547) thinks they were treasuries or 
forts, there is little doubt of their sepul- 
chral character ; for skeletons have often 
been found in them, and other funereal 
furniture, chiefly in metal. For detailed 
descriptions and illustrations of these 
singular tombs, see De la Marmora, 
Voyage en Sardaigne, torn. II., and Bull. 
Inst. 1833, p. 121 ; 1834, pp. 68—70 ; 
Petit-Radel, Nuraghes de la Sardaigne, 
Paris, 1826-8; Arri, Nur-hag della Sar- 
degna, Torino, 1835; Micali, Ant. Pop. 
Ital. II. pp. 43, ct seq.; III. p. Ill, tav. 
LXXI. ; Abeken, Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. 
155—160; 1841, pp. 40-2 ; Mittelitalien, 
pp. 236-8. 

Conical structures, roofed in exactly 
on the same plan as the Treasury of 
Atreus and other ancient tholi, have 
been discovered in the Valley of the 
Ohio. Stephens' Yucatan, 1. p. 433. 
Mr. Stephens wisely forbears to infer 
hence a common origin, which could be 
no more satisfactorily established by 

L62 VOLTERRA.— The City, [chap. xl. 

with much regularity or spirit, since the death of Signor 
Cinci, a few years since. 5 

Within the ancient walls are the remains of two struc- 
tures which have often been called Etruscan — the Amphi- 
theatre and the Piscina. The first lies in the Valle Buona, 
beneath the modern walls, to the north. Nothing is now 
to be seen beyond a semicircle of seats, apparently cut in 
the slope of the hill and now covered with turf. It 
displays not a trace of antiquity, and seems to have been 
formed for no other purpose than that it is now applied to 
— witnessing the game of the pallone. One may well 
doubt if it has ever been more than a theatre, for the 
other half of the structure, which must have been of 
masonry, has totally disappeared. Its antiquity, however, 
has been well ascertained, and it has even been regarded 
as an Etruscan structure, 6 but more discriminating criticism 
pronounces it to be Roman. 

Outside the gate of the fortress, but within the w^alls of 
the town, is the so-called Piscina. Like all the structures 
of similar name elsewhere in Italy, this is underground — a 

these monuments than by the coincidence comparatively modern times it was im- 

of pyramidal structures in Egypt and possible to say. They consisted of six 

Central America. crested snakes, their sex distinguished 

5 For accounts of the excavations at by the comb, all evidently made to be 

VolteiTa in past ages, see Inghirami, Mo- attached as adornments, probably to 

numenti Etruschi, IV. Ragionamento, helmets or shields — the hemes of a 

V. pp. 78 — 110. For the more recent Genius, 18 inches high, with diadem and 

operations consult the Bullettini of the patera, as usually represented— two 

Archaeological Institute. In the spring female figures, most ludicrously attr-nu- 

of 1844, I saw at VolteiTa, in the posses- ated, each also with a patera — a male in 

sionof Signor AgostinoPilastri, a number a toga, about a foot high, in an excellent 

of curious bronzes, which had been just style of art — a horse galloping, probably 

discovered in the neighbourhood, not in a mgrwm militart — and a large votive 

a sepulchre as usual, but buried at a dove, 10 or 12 inches long, of solid 

little depth below the surface, and on a bronze, with an Etruscan inscription on 

spot where no ancient relics had pre- its wing, which is given in my notice of 

viously been found. It seemed as though these articles, Bull. Inst. 1845, p. 137. 

they had been hastily interred for con- 6 Gori, Mus. Etr. III. p. 59. tab. VIII. 
cealment, but whether in ancient or 

chap, xi..] AMPHITHEATRE.— PISCINA.— BATHS. 163 

series of parallel vaults of great depth, supported by square 
pillars, and evidently either a reservoir for water, or, as 
the name it has received implies, a preserve for fish — more 
probably the former. 7 The vaults are arched over, but 
the pillars are connected by flat architraves, composed of 
cuneiform blocks, holding together on the arch principle. 
There is nothing in this peculiar construction which is 
un-Etruscan ; 8 but the general character of the structure, 
strongly resembling other buildings of this kind of 
undoubtedly Roman origin, proves this to have no higher 
antiquity. Gori, however, who was the first to descend 
into it, in 1739, braving the snakes with which tradition 
had filled it, declared it to be of Etruscan construction, 9 
an opinion which has been commonly followed, even to the 
present day. He who has seen the Piscine of the Cam- 
panian coast, may well avoid the difficulties attending a 
descent into this. A formal application has to be made to 
the Bishop, who keeps the key ; a ladder of unusual length 
has next to be sought, there being no steps to descend ; 
the Bishop's servant, and the men who bring the ladder, 
have to be feed : so that to those who consider time, trouble, 
and expense, lejeu ne vaut l pas la chandelle. 

A third relic, which has erroneously been called Etrus- 
can, is the Terme, or Baths, which lie just outside the 
gate of San Felice, on the south of the town. The form 
and disposition of the chambers, the brickwork, the opits 

7 It has three vaults, supported on six and woodcut at page 201) ; the p ople, 
pillars. It is said to be 37 bracda (71 moreover, who brought the arch to such 
feet) long, by 25 (48 feet) wide, and the perfection as is seen in the Cloaca Max- 
vaults are elevated 16 bracelet from the ima and certain tombs of Perugia and 
pavement. Repetti, V. p. 816. It is also Chiusi, could have had no difficulty in 
known by the name of II Castello, or the constructing a cuneiform architrave like 
reservoir. this. 

8 The gates of the theatre of Ferento, 9 Gori, 111. p. 63. It is called by 1 [oare, 
which are most probably of that origin, the most perfect Etruscan work at Vol- 
are similarly formed (see Vol. I. p. 206, terra. Clas. Tour. I. p. .') 

164 VOLTERRA.— The City. [chap. xt.. 

incertum, the fragments of mosaic pavement, the marble 
slabs with bas-reliefs — everything on the site is so purely 
Roman, that it is difficult to understand how a higher 
antiquity could ever have been assigned to this ruin. 

The traveller should not omit to pay a visit to the Villa 
Inghirami, and the Buche de' Saracini, in the valley to 
the east of Volterra ; for though there is little to satisfy 
antiquarian curiosity, the scenery on the road is magnifi- 
cent. May he have such a bright spring morning as I 
chose, for the walk. The sun, which had scarcely scaled 
the mountain-tops, looked in vain through the clear ether 
for a cloud to shadow his brightness. The wide, deep 
valley of the Cecina at my feet, all its nakedness and 
wrinkled desolation lost in the shadow of the purple moun- 
tains to the south, was crossed by two long lines of white 
vapour, which might have been taken for fleecy clouds, had 
they not been traceable to the tall chimneys of the Salt- 
works in the depths of the valley. Behind the mass of 
Monte Catino, to the west, shone out the bright blue Medi- 
terranean, with the rocky island of Gorgona prominent on 
its bosom ; and far be}^ond it, to the right, the snow-capt 
mountains of Corsica hovered like a cloud on the horizon, 
and to the left, rose the dark, sullen peaks of Elba, half- 
concealed by intervening heights. So pure the atmo- 
sphere, that many a white sail might be distinguished, 
studding the far-off deep ; and even the track of a 
steamer was marked by a dark thread on the bright face 
of the waters. 

As I descended the hill to the convent of San Girolamo 
the scenery on the northern side of Volterra came into 
view. The city, with its walls and convents crowning the 
opposite steep, now formed the principal object ; the 
highest point crested by the towers of the fortress, and the 
lower heights displaying fragments of the ancient wall, 

chap, xl.] BUCHE DE' SARACINI. 165 

peeping at intervals from the foliage. At my feet lay an 
expanse of bare undulating country, the valley of the Era, 
broken into ravines and studded with villages ; softening off 
in the distance into the well-known plain of Pisa, with the 
dark mountains behind that city — 

Per cui i Pisan veder Lucca non ponno — 

expanding into a form which recalled the higher beauties 
of the Alban Mount. There was still the blue sea in the 
distance, with the bald, jagged mountains of Carrara, ever 
dear to the memory, overhanging the Gulf of Spezia ; and 
the sublime hoary peaks of the Apennines, sharply cutting 
the azure, filled up the northern horizon — sea, gulf, and 
mountains, all so many boundaries of ancient Etruria. 
The weather had been gloomy and misty the previous days 
I had spent at Volterra, so that this range of icy sub- 
limities burst upon me like a new creation. The convent 
of S. Girolamo, with its grove of ilices and cypresses, 
formed a beautiful foreground to the scene. 

The Villa Inghirami, which lies lower on the slope, 
belongs to one of that old Volaterran family, which for 
ages has been renowned for arts and arms, — 

Chi puo l'armi tacer d' un Inghirami ? — 

or has distinguished itself in scientific or antiquarian 
research ; and a most illustrious member of which was 
the Cavalier Francesco, recently deceased. The antiqua- 
rian interest of the spot lies in the so-called Buche de' 
Saracini. To see them you must beat up the gardener of 
the Villa, who will furnish you with lights, and then you 
enter a little cave in a bank, and follow him into a long 
passage cut in the rock, six feet wide but only three high, 
so that you must travel on all fours. From time to time 
the passage widens into chambers, yet not high enough to 
permit you to stand upright ; or it meets other passages 

L66 VOLTEEEA.— The City. [chap. xl. 

of similar character opening in various directions, and 
extending into the heart of the hill, how far no one can 
say. In short, this is a perfect labyrinth, in which, with- 
out a clue, one might very soon be lost. 

By whom, and for what purpose these passages were 
formed, I cannot hazard an opinion. Though I went far 
into the hill, I saw no signs of tombs, or of a sepulchral 
appropriation — nothing to assimilate them to catacombs. 
That they have not lost their original character is proved 
by the marks of the chisel everywhere still fresh on the 
walls. They are too low for subterranean communications, 
otherwise one might lend an ear to the vulgar belief that 
they were formed to connect the Palazzo Inghirami in the 
town, with the Villa. They have no decided Etruscan 
character, yet are not unlike the tortuous passages in the 
Poggio Gajella at Chiusi, and in the Grotta Regina at Tos- 
canella. The cave at the entrance is lined with rude 
masonry, probably of comparatively recent date. Another 
tradition ascribes their formation to the Saracens, once the 
scourges, and at the same time the bugbears of the Italian 
coast. Though these infidel pirates were wont to make 
descents on these shores during the middle ages, carrying 
off plunder and females, they were often creatures of 
romance rather than of reality ; every trace of wanton 
barbarity and destruction is attributed to them, as to 
Cromwell's dragoons in England ; and as they have also 
the fame of having been great magicians, many a marvel 
of Nature and of Art is ascribed to their agency. In this 
case, tradition represents them as having made these 
passages to store their plunder, and keep their captives. 
Twenty miles from the sea, forsooth ! Hence the vulgar 
title of Buche dc' Saracini, or " the Saracens' Dens." 

lN marine deity. 



The Museum. 

D' Italia 1' antico 

Pregio, e 1' opra che giova. — Filicaj v. 

Miratur, faeilesque oculos fert omnia circum 

yEneas, capiturque locis ; et singula ketus 

Exquiritque auditquc viriim monimenta priorum. — Virgil. 

Some consolation for the loss of the tombs which have 
been opened and reclosed at Volterra is to be derived 
from the Museum, to which their contents for the most 
part have been removed. Here is treasured up the accu- 
mulated sepulchral spoil of more than a century. The 
collection was in great part formed by Monsignor Guar- 
nacci, a prelate of Volterra, and has since received large 
additions, so that it may now claim to be the most 
valuable collection of Etruscan antiquities in the world. 1 

1 The excavations at Volterra were 
commenced about 17-8, in consequence 

of the interest excited by the publica- 
tions of Dempster and Buonarroti. 

168 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xli. 

Valuable, not in a marketable sense, for a dozen of the 
Vulcian vases and patera; in the Gregorian Museum would 
purchase the contents of any one of its nine or ten rooms ; 
and the collection at Munich, or that in the British 
Museum, would fetch more dollars in the market than the 
entire Museum of Volterra, with the Palazzo Pubblico to 
boot. But for the light they throw on the manners, 
customs, religious creed, and traditions of the ancient 
Etruscans, the storied urns of Volterra are of infinitely 
more value than the choicest vases ever moulded by the 
hand of Eucheir, or touched by the pencil of Eugrammos. 
The latter almost invariably bear scenes taken from the 
mythical cycle of the Greeks, and, with rare exceptions, 
throw no light on the history or on the inner life of 
the Etruscans. The urns of Volterra, Chiusi, and Perugia, 
on the other hand, are more genuine — native in concep- 
tion and execution, often indeed bearing subjects from 
the Greek mythology, but treated in a native manner, and 
according to Etruscan traditions. Thus the Museum of 
Volterra is a storehouse of facts, illustrative of the civilisa- 
tion of ancient Etruria. I cannot agree with Maffei, that 
"he who has not been to Volterra knows nothing of 
Etruscan figured antiquity " 2 — this is too like the unqua- 
lified boastings of the other Peninsula. He was a towns- 
man of Volterra, and his evidence may be suspected of 

They were continued for more than 92) ; though it was not till 1761 that 
thirty years ; and such multitudes of Monsignor Guarnacci presented his col- 
urns were brought to light that they lection to the Comune of the city. After 
were used as building materials. It that time interest flagged in Etruscan 
was seeing them lie about in all direc- antiquities, but of late years it has re- 
tions that first excited Gori's curiosity, vived, and excavations have been car- 
and led him to the study of Etruscan ried on briskly, chiefly by Signor Giusto 
antiquities. Even in 1743, he said that Cinci. 

so many urns had been discovered in - Maffei, Osserv. Letter. V. p. 315. 

the last three years, that the Museum The remark was made when the Museum 

of Volterra surpassed every other in had but sixty urns ; now it has more 

Etruscan relics (Mus. Etrus. III. p. than four hundred. 

chap, xli.] TREASURES OF THE MUSEUM. 169 

partiality. Yet it may fairly be said, that this Museum is 
more instructive than any other collection of Etruscan 
antiquities in Italy or in other lands, and that Volterra on 
this account yields in interest to no other Etruscan site. 
He who has seen it may be content to pass by many other 
sites, and he who has not visited it, must bear in mind 
that, however much he may have seen, he has yet much 
to see. 

I do not propose to lead the reader through the nine or 
ten rooms of the Museum in succession, and describe the 
articles seriatim ; nor do I pretend to give him every 
detail of those I notice ; it will suffice to call his atten- 
tion to those of greatest interest, pointing out their sub- 
jects and characteristic features ; assuring him that not a 
single visit, or even two or three, will suffice to make him 
acquainted with the Museum, but that continued study 
will only tend to develop new facts and supply him with 
further sources of interest. 

The urns, of which there are said to be more than four 
hundred, are sometimes of the local rock called panchina, but 
more generally of alabaster, which is only to be quarried in 
this neighbourhood. Thus no doubt can be entertained of 
their native and local character. 3 They are miniature sarco- 
phagi, resembling those of Tarquinii and Toscanella in 
everything but material and size ; being intended to 

:i This panchina is an arenaceous gests that these urns may be the work 
tufo of aqueous formation, contain- of Greeks settled at Volterra, after its 
ing marine substances. It is of a conquest by the Romans (Mon. Etrus. I. 
warm yellow hue, more or less reddish. p. 541) ; but such a supposition is 
The alabaster quarries are at Spicchia- unnecessary, inasmuch as the Hellenic 
jola, 3 miles distant, and at Ulignano, mythology was well known to the Etrus- 
5 or 6 miles from Volterra, both in the cans ; and the style of art of these 
Val d' Era. A few of the Etruscan urns, and the mode of treating the sub- 
urns are of travertine, which is found jects — neither of which is Greek — aro 
at Pignano, 6 miles to the east, in the opposed to this view, 
same valley. Inghirami. indeed, sug- 

170 VOLTERRA.— The Musedm. [chap. xm. 

contain not the entire body, but merely the ashes of the. 
deceased, a third of the dimensions suffices, — 

Mors sola fatetui 
Quantula sunt hominum corpuscula. 

These " ash-chests " are rarely more than two feet in 
length ; so that they merit the name, usually applied to 
them, of urnlets — urnette. Most have the effigy of the 
deceased recumbent on the lid. Hence we learn some- 
thing of the physiognomy and costume of the Etruscans ; 
though we should do wrong to draw inferences as to 
their symmetry from the stunted distorted figures often 
presented to us. The equality of woman in the social 
state of Etruria may also be learned from the figures on 
these urns. It is evident that no inferior respect was paid 
to the fair when dead, that as much labour and expense 
were bestowed on their sepulchral decorations as on those 
of their lords. In fact, it has generally been remarked 
that the tombs of females are more highly ornamented 
and richly furnished than those of the opposite sex. Their 
equality may also be learned from the tablets which so 
many hold open in their hands 4 — intimating that they were 
not kept in ignorance and degradation, but were educated 
to be the companions rather than the slaves of the men. 
Nay — if we may judge from these urns, the Etruscan 
ladies had the advantage of their lords ; for whereas the 

4 What I call tablets Micali (Ant. If, then, these were tablets — tabulae, 

Pop. Ital. III. p. 180) takes to be a imgillares— they must have been made 

mirror in the form of a book. But no of wood, coated with wax, which will 

mirrors of this form have ever been dis- account for no specimens of them having 

covered ; and it is difficult to believe been found in Etruscan sepulchres, 

that an article so frefmently repre- Two such tablets, however, of the time 

sented on Etruscan urns, would never of Marcus Aurelius, have come down to 

have been found in tombs, if it had been us, preserved in gold mines in Tran- 

of metal, like other ancient mirrors. sylvania. See Smith's Dictionary of 

Besides, it is well known that the tab- Antiquities v. Tabulae, 
lets of the ancients were of this form. 

bhap. xli.] ASH-CHESTS OF VOLTERRA. 171 

latter are rarely represented with tablets or a scroll, but 
generally recline in luxurious indolence, with chaplet 
around their brows, torque about their neck, and a patera, 
or the more debauched rhyton in one hand, with some- 
times a wine-jug in the other ; the females, though a few 
seem to have been too fond of creature comforts, are, for 
the most part, guiltless of anything beyond a fan, an egg, 
a pomegranate, a mirror, or it may be tablets or a scroll. 
Though the Etruscan fair ones were not all Tanaquils or 
Begoes, they were probably all educated — at least among 
the higher orders. Let them not, however, be suspected 
of cerulean tendencies — too dark or deep a hue was 
clearly not in fashion ; for the ladies who have the tablets 
in one hand, generally hold a pomegranate, the emblem 
of fertility, in the other, to intimate that the grand duties 
of woman were not to be neglected — at least I think this 
interpretation may be put on these Etruscan " belles and 
pomegranates." 5 

On these urns the female figures are always decently 
draped, while the men are generally but half clad. Most 
of the figures and reliefs were originally coloured and gilt, 
but few now retain more than very faint traces of such 

As to the reliefs on the urns, it may be well to consider 
them in two classes ; those of purely Etruscan subjects, 
and those which illustrate well-known mythological legends ; 
though it is often difficult to pronounce to which class a 
particular monument belongs. We will first treat of the 

It has been truly remarked, that from Etruscan urns 
might be formed a series of the most celebrated deeds 
of the mythical cycle, from Cadmus to Ulysses. Manx 

See Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 13 ; fcion of this fact — a lady of the Cseciua 
Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 105, for an illustra- family, with tablets and a pomegranate, 


VOLTERRA.— The Museum. 

[chap. xli. 

links in such a chain might be furnished by the Museum of 
Voltcrra, which also contains other monuments illustrative 
of the doings of the divinities of Grecian fable. I can only 
notice the most striking. 

The Rape of Proserpine. — The gloomy king of Hades is 
carrying off his struggling bride in his chariot ; the four 
steeds, lashed to a gallop by a truculent Fury with out- 
spread wings, who acts as charioteer, are about to pass 
over a Triton, whose tail stretches in vast coils almost 
across the scene. In another relief of the same subject a 
snake fakes the place of the sea-monster. fi 

Aurora. — The goddess who " gives light to mortals and 
immortals," is rising in her chariot from the waves, in winch 
dolphins are sporting. 7 

Cupid and Psyche. — One relief represents the god of 

6 Illustrated by Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. 
I. tav. 9, 53 ; VI. tav. D. 5. Gori, I. tab. 
78 ; III. cl. 3, tab. 3. This is one of the 
most common subjects on Etruscan 
sepulchral monuments. It is thought to 
symbolise the descent of the soul to the 
other world ; and as such would be a 
peculiarly appropriate subject for the 
urns of young females. The Fury driving 
the quadriga, seems an illustration of 
that passage in Claudian (Rapt. Pro- 
serp. II. 215), where Minerva thus 
addresses Pluto — 

qute te stimulis facibnsque 

Eumenidcs movere ? tua cur sede 

Audes Tartareis ccelum incestare 

quadrigis ? 
But this monument must be much earlier 
than the poem. The monster and the 
serpent may be explained by another 
passage in the same writer (II. 157), 
where the " ruler of souls " drives over 
the groaning Enceladus — the fish's-tail, 
which marks a Triton, having probably 

been substituted by the sculptor through 
caprice or carelessness for the serpent- 
tail of a Giant — 

Sub terns quserebat iter, gravibusque 

Enceladum calcabat equis ; immania 

Membra rotae ; pressaque gigas cer- 
vice laborat, 

Sicaniam cum Dite ferens ; tentatque 

Debilis, et fessis serpentibus impedit 
Inghirami (I. pp. 104, 443), who puts an 
astronomical interpretation on all these 
myths, sees in the Rape of Proserpine an 
emblem of the autumnal equinox, which 
view he founds on Macrobius, Saturn. I. 
1 8. In this case the serpent would be an 
emblem of the sun. Cf. Macrob. I. 20. 

7 She has here not merely a pair of 
steeds, as represented by Homer (Odys. 
XXIII. 246), but drives four in hand. 
For illustrations see Inghirami, I. tav. 
.">. Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 25. 

chap, xli.] MYTHOLOGICAL URNS. 17-3 

love embracing his bride ; each having but a single 
wing. 8 

Actseon attacked by his dogs. — This scene is remark- 
able only for the presence of a winged Fury, who sits by 
with a torch reversed. 9 On another urn Diana with a 
lance stands on one side, and an old man on the other. 10 

Centaurs and Lapitha). — A subject often repeated. In 
conformity with Ovid's description, some of the monsters 
are striving to escape with the females they have seized, 
while others are hurling rocks at Theseus and his fellows. 1 
From the numerous repetitions of certain subjects on 
Etruscan urns, sometimes precisely similar, more frequently 
with slight variations, it is evident that there was often 
one original type of the scene, probably the work of some 
celebrated artist. 

Perseus and Andromeda. — The maiden is chained to 
the walls of a cavern ; the fearful monster is opening his 
huge jaws to devour her, when Perseus comes to her 
rescue. Contrary to the received legend, she is here 
draped. Her father Cepheus sits by, horror-struck at the 
impending fate of his daughter. The presence of a winged 
demon — probably the Juno of the maiden — is an Etruscan 
peculiarity. On another similar relief, the protecting spirit 
is wanting ; but some palm-trees mark the scene to be in 
Ethiopia, 2 

8 So it is represented by Inghirami, ' Ovid. Met. XII. 223 et seq. Gori, 
I. tav. 52. I liave not a distinct recol- I. tab. 152, 153 ; III. cl. 3, tab. 1, 2. 
lection of this urn. 2 Perseus in the one case has all his 

9 In^hir. I. tav. 70. This may be attributes — pileus, talaria, harpe, and 
Diana herself, who was sometimes re- Gorgonion^'va. the other, the last two 
presented with wings by the Greeks only. Gori, I. tab. 123 ; III. c. 13, tab. 1 . 
(Pausan. V. 19), and frequently by the Inghirami, I. tav. 55, 56. Ovid (Met. 
Etruscans, an instance of which is IV. fi!)0) represents both the parents of 
shown in the woodcut, at page 440, of the maiden as present. It may have been 
Vol. I. so in the original scene which was the 

10 Inghir. I. tav. 65. Gori, I. tab. 122. type of these reliefs, and the Juno may 


yOLTERRA.— The Museum. 

I ''II \1\ XI, I. 

The mythical history of Thebes has afforded numerous 
subjects to these Etruscan urns — perhaps chosen for the 
moral of retributive justice throughout expressed. 

Cadmus. — Here he is contending with the dragon of 
Mars, which has enfolded one of his companions in its 
fearful coils. 3 There he is combating the armed men who 
sprung from the teeth of the dragon which Minerva 
ordered him to sow — his only weapon being the plough 
with which he had opened the furrows. This scene, how- 
ever, will apply to Jason, as well as to Cadmus, for the 
former is said to have sown half the teeth of the same 
dragon, and to have reaped the same fruits. This is a 
very common subject on Etruscan urns, especially on those 
of terra-cotta. 4 

be an Etruscan version of the mother. 
For the analogy between Perseus and 
Bellerophon, see Ann. Inst. 1834, pp. 
328—331. Due de Luynes. cf. Bull. 
Inst. 1842, p. 60. The scene of this 
exploit of Perseus is said to have been 
at Joppa, in proof of which the skeleton 
of the monster was shown there at the 
commencement of the Empire, and was 
brought to Rome to feed the appetite of 
that people for the marvellous. Its 
dimensions are chronicled by Pliny. 
N. H. IX. 4 ; Mela, I. 1 1 ; cf. Strab. 
I. p. 43 ; XVI. p. 759. 

Another urn represents Perseus, with 
the gorgonion in his hand, attacked by 
two warriors ; a female genius steps 
between him and his pursuers. Inghir. 
I. tav. 54. 

3 Inghir. I. tav. 62, p. 519. Inghi- 
rami (I. p. 657) offers a second inter- 
pretation of this scene — that it may be 
Adrastus slaying the serpent of Nemca, 
and that the figure in its coils is the 
young Opheltes. Gori, I. tab. 156. 

4 Lanzi took this scene to represent 
Jason ; Inghirami referred it to (VI- 

mus ; Passeri and Winckelmann to 
Echetlus, or Echetlaeus, the mysterious 
rustic who, in the battle of Marathon, 
with his plough alone made fearful 
slaughter of the Persians (Pausan. I. 
32, 5 ; cf. I. 15, 3) ; Zoega, to some 
Etruscan hero of whom history is silent. 
See Inghir. Mon. Etr. I. pp. 402, 527 et seq. 
It is likely to represent a mythical rather 
than an historical event. Dr. Braun 
doubts if the instrument in the hands 
of the unarmed man be a plough, and 
takes the figure to represent Cliarun 
himself, or one of his infernal atten- 
dants, who is about to take possession 
of one of the warriors who is slain. 
Ann. Inst. 1837, 2, p. 264. This 
scene, and the death of the Tin ban 
brothers, are the most common of all 
on Etruscan monuments, and will be 
found in every collection of such anti- 
quities. There are several of it in the 
British Museum. For illustrations see 
Dempster, Etrur. Reg. tab. 64 ; Inghir. 
I. tav. 63, C4 ; VI. tav. L 3. Gori, I. 
tab. L57. 

chap, xli.] MYTHS OF THEBES. 175 

(Edipus and the Sphinx. — The son of Laius is solving 
the riddle put to him by 

" That sad inexplicable beast of prey," 

whose "man-devouring" tendencies are seen in a human 
skull beneath her paws. A Fury with a torch stands 
behind the monster. 5 

(Edipus slaying Laius. — He has dragged his father from 
his chariot, and thrown him to the earth ; and is about to 
plunge his sword into his body, heedless of the warning 
of a Juno, who lays her hand on his shoulder, as if to 
restrain his fury. Another winged being, a male, whose 
brute ears mark him as allied to " Charun," stands 
by the horses' heads. 6 

Amphiaraus and Eriphyle. — In some of these scenes a 
female, reclining on her couch, is thought to represent the 

" Eriphyle, that for an ouche of gold, 
Hath privily unto the Grekis told 
Where that her husbond hid him in a place, 
For which he had at Thebis sory grace." 

For behind her stands a figure, thought to be Polynices, 
with the necklace of Harmonia in his hand, with which 
he had bribed her ; and on the other side is a man 
muffled, as if for a journey, who is supposed to represent 
Amphiaraus. 7 

5 The subject is repeated, with the 77, pp. 182, et seq. Micali, Ital. av. 

omission of the skull. Inghir. I. tav. Rom. tav. 36. Inghirami follows Lanzi 

67, 68. in interpreting this scene as the parting 

c Inghir. I. tav. 66. Gori, III. cl. 4, of Amphiaraus and Eriphyle. Gori 

tab. 21, 1. Gerhard takes this figure to (II. p. 262), however, took it for a 

be Mantus, the king of the Etruscan version of the final parting-scene so 

Hades, and what he holds in his hands often represented on Etruscan monu- 

to be shields, or large nails. Gottheit. ments, without any reference to Greek 

d. Etrus. p. 63, taf. VI. 2. mythology. It has also been regarded 

7 Inghir. I. tav. 19, 20, 74, 75, 76, as the death of Alcestis. Ann. Inst. 

170 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xli. 

The Seven before Thebes. — There are three urns with 
this subject. One, which represents the assault of Capaneus 
on the Electrian Gate of Thebes, is very remarkable. The 
moment is chosen when the hero, who has defied the 
power of Jove, and has endeavoured to scale " the sacred 
walls," is struck by a thunderbolt, and falls headlong to 
the earth ; - his ladder also breaking with him. The 
amazement and awe of his comrades are well expressed. 
The gate of the city is evidently an imitation of the 
ancient one of Volterra, called Porta all' Arco ; for it is 
represented with the three mysterious heads around it, 
precisely in the same relative positions. 8 In the other 
two urns Capaneus is wanting, though an assault on the 
gate is represented ; but the original type is still evident, 
though the three heads are transferred to the battlements 
above, and are turned into those of warriors resisting the 
attack of the besiegers. In one of these scenes a female, 
probably Antigone, is looking out of a small window by 
the side of the gate. And in both, the principal figure 
among the besiegers grasps a severed head by the hair, 
and is about to hurl it into the city. 9 

18-12, pp. 40 — 7, — Grauer. cf. Mon. mounted warriors appear in monuments 
Ined. Inst. III. tav. XL. B. The of the highest antiquity. The date 
parting of Amphiaraus and his wife of this urn is more safely determined 
was one of the scenes which adorned by the style of art. For illustrative 
the celebrated Chest of Cypselus, but descriptions of this scene see iEscliyl. 
there he was represented as ready to Sept. ad Theb. 423 — 456, and the pro- 
take vengeance on her. Pausan. V. 17. lix yarn of Statius, Theb. X. 828 — ad 
8 lnghir. I. tav. 87. Micali, Ital. av. finera. Pausan. IX. 8. The subject 
Rom. tav. 29 ; Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 108. of Capaneus has been found also on 
Though the gate in this scene is a Etruscan scarabai. One of them bears 
perfect arch, there are no voussoirs the name " Capne " in Etruscan cha- 
expressed. The freedom and vigour racters. Bull. Inst. 1834, p. 118. 
of design in this relief show it to be of 9 lnghir. I. tav. 88, 90 ; Micali, Ital. 
no early date. Iiighirami (I. p. 678, av. Rom. tav. 30, 31. Gori, I. tab. 132. 
et seq.) infers this from the presence of Inghirami (I. p. 681) thinks the female 
warriors on horseback, for such are at the window is intended for Antigone 
never represented by Homer. But counting the besiegers. He remarks that 

chap, xli.] MYTHS OF THEBES AND TROY. 177 

Polynices and Eteocles. — The fatal combat of the Theban 
Brothers is a subject of most frequent occurrence on 
Etruscan urns, and there are many instances in this Museum. 
They are generally represented in the act of giving each 
other the death-wound. A Charun, or a Fury, or it may 
be two, are present. 1 

The Trojan War has also furnished scenes for some of 
these urns, though this class of subjects is not so frequently 
represented on urns or sarcophagi as on vases. 

The Rape of Helen. — A scene often repeated. " The 
faire Tyndarid lasse," is hurried on board a "brazen-beaked 
ship" — attendants are carrying vases and other goods on 
board — 

— crateres auro solidi, captivaque vestis 
Congeritur — 

all is hurry and confusion — but Paris, marked by his 
Phrygian cap, is seated on the shore in loving contem- 
plation of 

" the face that launched a thousand ships, 
And burnt the topmost towers of Ilium." 2 

Sometimes the fond pair are represented making their 
escape in a quadriga? 

both Greeks and Romans were wont to representation of this combat on the 

hurl the heads of their slaughtered Chest of Cypselus, a female demon or 

foes into beleaguered cities, in order to Fate, having the fangs and claws of a 

infuse terror into the besieged ; an wild beast, was introduced behind one 

instance of which is seen on Trajan's of the brothers. Pausan. V. 19. This 

Column, where Roman soldiers are and Jason or Cadmus fighting with the 

casting the heads of the Dacians into teeth-sown warriors, are the most 

their city. From this he unnecessarily common subjects on Etruscan urns — 

infers that these urns are of the same chosen, thinks Inghirami (I. p. 403), as 

date as that celebrated column. The illustrative of the brevity of human 

style of art proves them to be of no life, and its continual warfare, 

very early period ; one of them is a Gori, Mus. Etrus. I. tab. 138, 139 ; 

among the most beautiful urns yet dis- III. class. 3, tab. 5. Gori interprets 

covered at Volterra. this scene as the fate of Auges and her 

1 Gori, I. tab. 133. Inghirami, I. tav. son Telephus. 

92, 93 ; VI. tav. V. 2. In the very similar 3 Gori, III. cl. 3, tab. 7. 


ilH VOLTERRA.-^Thb Museum. [chap. hi. 

One scene represents the death of Polites, so beautifully 
described by Virgil. 4 The youth has fled to the altar for 
refuge, the altar of his household gods, by which stand his 
venerable parents ; but the relentless Pyrrhus rushes on, 
thirsting for his blood — Priam implores mercy for his son 
— even his guardian genius steps in to his aid, and holds 
out a wheel to his grasp. The urn tells no more, but 
leaves the catastrophe — -finis Priami fat ovum — to the 
imagination of the beholder. 5 

A scene very similar to this shows Paris, when a shep- 
herd, ere he had been rendered effeminate by the caresses 
of Helen, defending himself against his brothers, who, 
enraged that a stranger should have carried off the prizes 
from them in the public games, sought to take his life. 
The palm he bears in his hand, as he kneels on the altar 
to which he had fled for refuge, tells the tale. The 
venerable Priam comes up and recognises his son. A 
Juno, or guardian spirit, steps between him and his foes. 6 

Ulysses and the Syrens is a favourite subject. The 
hero is represented lashed by his own command to the 

4 Virg. ^En. II. 526 — 558. and in one instance throws her arm 

5 Gori, Mus. Etrus. I. tab. 171 ; III. round his neck. Yet in others, the 
cl. 4, tab. 16, 17. The demon in this office of the demon, or demons, for 
scene is by many regarded as Nemesis. there are sometimes two, is more equi- 
Gori interprets this scene as " Sacra vocal ; and they have been interpreted 
Cabiria." as Furies urging on the brothers of 

6 Gori, I. tab. 174 ; III. class. 3, Paris to take revenge. Mus. Oiius. I- 
tav. 9 ; cl. 4, tab. 18, 19. This is a tav. 81. In such cases the scene will 
scene frequently occurring on Etruscan well admit of interpretation as the 
urns ; and is found also on bronze death of Pyrrhus, and the man who 
mirror-cases, of which I have seen slays him, would be either the priest of the 
several instances — two now in the temple (Pausan. X. 24), or Machcereus 
British Museum. It has been explained (Strab. IX. p. 421). Micali (Ital. av. 
as the death of Pyrrhus, at Delphi, and Rom. tav. 48) takes this scene to repre- 
the female demon is supposed to repre- sent Orestes at Delphi. In the urn, 
sent the Pythia, at whose command the which he illustrates, the Juno has an 
son of Achilles was slain. — Pausan. I. eye in each outspread wing, just as in 
14. But in most of these scenes the the marine deity, drawn in the woodcut 
Juno is manifestly protecting the youth, at the head of this chapter. 


mast of his vessel, yet struggling to break loose, that he 
may yield to the three enchantresses and their " warbling 
charms." 8 

The great hero of Homeric song is also represented in 
the company of Circe, 

" The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup 
Whoever tasted lost his upright shape ; " 

for his companions, her victims, stand around, their heads 

" Into some brutish form of wolf or bear, 
Or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat, 
All other parts remaining as they were." 

The death of Clytemnestra. — This is a favourite subject, 
chosen, doubtless, as illustrative of the doctrine of retri- 
bution. In one scene the matricide is reclining on her 
couch, when Orestes and Pylades rush in with drawn 
swords ; one seizes her, the other her paramour iEgisthus, 
and a winged Fate stands by to betoken their end. 9 In 
another, she lies a corpse on her bed, and the avengers are 
returning from the slaughter. But the most remarkable 
monument is a large, broken urn, on which Orestes — 
" Urste" — is represented in the act of slaying his mother, 
" Clutmsta," and his companion is putting to death 
iEgisthus. At one end of the same relief the two friends, 
" Urste" and " Puluctre" (Pylades), are kneeling on an 
altar, with swords turned against their own bosoms, making 
expiation, while the truculent, brute-eared " Charun," with 
his fatal hammer raised, and a Fury with flaming torch, 
and hissing serpent, are rising from the abyss at their 
feet. 1 On the broken fragment adjoining this urn is a 

8 Gori, I. tab. 147. torn. III. p. 183. Inghirami, Mon. Etr. 

9 Gori, III. cl. 3, tab. 11, 2. VI. tav. A. 2. Raoul-Rochette, Mon. 
1 Micali, Italia, av. Rom. tav. Ined. pi. XXIX. Ann. Inst., 1837,2, 

XLVII. ; Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. CIX., p. 262— Braun. Greek names arp by 

N 2 

180 VULTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xi.i. 

warrior also kneeling on an altar, with two other figures 
falling around him, to which are attached the names 
" Acns" and " Priumnes." 2 

Orestes persecuted by the Furies. — There are here not 
three only of these avengeful deities, but five, armed with 
torches or hammers, attacking the son of Agamemnon, 
who endeavours to defend himself with his sword. 3 

Many of these urns bear mythological subjects purely 
native. The most numerous class is that of marine deities, 
generally figured as women from the middle upwards, but 
with fishes' tails instead of legs — 

Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne. 

A few, however, are represented of the male sex, as that 
in the woodcut at the head of this chapter. These beings 
are generally winged also, probably to show their super- 
human power and energy; and smaller wings often spring 
from their temples — a common attribute of Etruscan 
divinities, symbolical, it may be, of a rapidity and power 

no means uniformly expressed on choice Irish, and may hug themselves in 

Etruscan monuments. On one mirror, the discovery that Urste means " stop 

which represents the same mythical the slaughter ! "— Clutmsta, " stop the 

event as this urn, the names are spelt pursuit ! " — Puluctre, " all are pri- 

" Urusthe " and " Clutumsta," (Ger- soners ! " (Etruria Celtica, II. p. 166) 

hard, Etrusk. Spieg. taf. CCXXXVII.) ; — but few will be inclined to reject the 

and on another, " Urusthe " and old-fashioned interpretation of Orestes 

" Cluthumustha ; " and a fierce demon, and Clytemnestra. 

named " Nathum," with huge fangs, 2 Inghir. I. tav. 43. Micah, Ant. Pop. 

and hair on an end, stands behind Ital. tav. 109. There are some kindred 

the avenger, and brandishes a serpent scenes, where two armed men, kneeling on 

over the murderess's head. Gerh. an altar, are defending themselves against 

Etrusk. Spieg. taf. CCXXXVIII. ; their foes. One of them being some- 

Gottheiten der Etrusker, taf. VI. 5, pp. times represented with a -head in his 

11,63; Bull. Inst., 1842, p. 47. Ger- hand, seems intended for Perseus. Gori, 

hard takes this demon to be a female, I. tab. 150, 175 ; Inghir. I. tav. 58, 59 ; 

and equivalent to Mania. A totally VI. tav. A. 5. 

different interpretation has been found 3 Inghir. I. tav. 25 ; cf. Gori, I tab. 

for this urn. Etrusco- Celts, if they will, 151. 
may pronounce the inscriptions to be 


of intellectual action, far transcending that of mortals. 4 
They have not serpent-locks, or the resemblance of their 
heads to that of the Greek Medusa would be complete ; 
but they have sometimes a pair of snakes knotted around 
their brows, and uprearing their crests, just like those 
which are the distinctive mark of Egyptian gods and 
monarchs. These trifold divinities bear sometimes a 
trident or anchor, a rudder or oar, to indicate their 
dominion over the sea — sometimes a sword, or it may be, 
a firebrand or mass of rock, to show their might over 
the earth also, and their power of destruction, or their 
malignant character ; which they further display by 
brandishing these weapons over the heads of their victims. 
They are often represented with a torque about their 
necks. Marine deities would naturally be much worshipped 
by a people, whose power lay greatly in their commerce 
and maritime supremacy ; and accordingly the active 
imaginations of the Etruscans were thus led to symbolise 
the destructive agencies of nature at sea. For these are 
evidently beings to be propitiated, whose vengeance is to 
be averted ; very unlike the gentle power to which the 
Italian sailor now looks for succour in the hour of peril — 

In mare irato, in subita procella, 
Invoco te, nostra benigna stella ! 

It is highly probable that these sea-gods were of 
Etruscan origin ; yet as we are ignorant of their native 
appellations, it may be well to designate them, as is 
generally done, by the names of the somewhat analogous 
beings of Grecian mythology, to which, however, they 
do not answer in every respect. The females then are 

4 The wings may be considered an who takes the dolphins' tails to be 

Etruscan characteristic, for they are symbols of torrents, regards the wings 

rarely found attached to similar figures as emblems of evaporation. Ann. Inst., 

on Greek monuments. Forchhammer, 1838, p. 290. 


VOLTERRA.— The Mosbdm. 

[chap. XL1. 

usually called Scylla, 5 though wanting the peculiar charac- 
teristic of that monster, who 

Pube preniit rabidos inguinibusque canes. 

The male sea-divinities, which are of less frequent 
occurrence, are commonly called Glaucus. 6 On one urn 
such a being is enfolding a struggling warrior in the coils 
of each tail. 7 In another, he has thus entangled two 
figures of opposite sexes, and is seizing them by the hair. 8 
One of these deities, illustrated in the woodcut at the head 
of this chapter, has an eye in either wing, a symbol, it 
may be, of all-searching power, added to that of ubiquitous 
energy. 9 

When, instead of fishes' tails, the woman's body termi- 
nates in snakes, she is commonly called Echidna, the 

5 Scylla, with the Greeks, seems to 
have been the embodied emblem of the 
sea, or of its monsters ; and she thus 
personifies the perils of a maritime life. 
Ann. Inst., 1843, p. 182. 

6 Glaucus is very rarely represented 
on ancient works of art. Never has he 
been found on painted vases — only on 
medals, gems, Etruscan urns, and in an 
ancient painting in the Villa Adriaua. 
Ann. Inst,, 1843, p. 184. M. Vinet, 
who writes the article cited, regards 
Glaucus as the personification of the 
colour of the sea (pp. 173, 181). He 
thinks the word expressed " that clear 
hue, verging on green or blue, but in 
which white predominates, which the 
sky or the surface of the waves assumes 
under certain conditions, and at certain 
hours of the day. On viewing these 
effects of light, the people, who of the 
seven-hued rainbow had formed Iris, 
could not possibly have refrained from 
increasing the abundant scries of their 
cerations, and Neptune henceforth 
counted a new subject in his empire." 

' Were it not for the sex of the 
monster this scene might represent the 
companions of Ulysses encountering 
Scylla ; or it may be an Etruscan ver- 
sion of the same myth. Gori (I. tab. 
148), however, represents it as a female. 

s Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 23. 

o Mieali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 24. This 
writer (Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 180) 
regards the eye in the wings as a 
symbol of celerity and foresight ; In- 
ghirami (I. p. 79), of circumspection. 
On another urn in this Museum, the 
eye is represented on the wing of a 
Charun, who is conducting a soul to the 
other world, (Micali, op. cit. tav. 1(14, 
1 ; Inghir. I. tav. 8) ; and on another, 
where a female demon protects Paris 
from the assaults of his brothers (ut 
supra, p. 178). It is found also on the 
wing of a Charun interfering in a battle- 
scene, on a Volterran urn, from the 
tomb of the CieciiiEe, now in the Museum 
of Paris. Micali, op. cit. tav. 105 ; 
Ital. av. Rom. tav. 43. 

chap, xli.] SCYLLA.— GLAUCUS.— ECHIDNA.— TYPHON. 183 

sister of Medusa and the Gorgons, the mother of Cerberus, 
the Hydra, the Chimaera, the Sphinx, and other mythical 
monsters, and herself 

neXaipov, ap.r)xavov, ov8ev eoikos 
Qvtjtois avdpamoi*;, ov6° ddavdroian 6eoi<n, 
Stt^V kvi yXa(pvpu), delrjv Kparepocppov ' E%i8vav ' 
'H/xi<7u p,ev vvfKprjv, iXiKC07n8a, KaXXnraprjOv, 
"H/xtcrn 8 avre rreXcopou o<pii>, 8eivov re piyav re, 
HoikIXov, a>p.rj<TTr)v, £ader]s vtto Kevdeai yairjs- 

" Stupendous, nor in shape resembling aught 
Of human or of heavenly ; monstrous, fierce 
Echidna ; half a nymph, with eyes of jet 
And beauty-blooming cheeks ; and half again 
A speckled serpent, terrible and vast, 
Gorged with blood-banquets ; trailing her huge folds 
Deep in the hollows of the blessed earth." 

Akin to her is the male divinity, the 

" Typhon huge, ending in snaky twine," 

already treated of in describing the tombs of Corneto. 2 
He is said to have been her lover, and the progenitor of all 
those monsters, 

" Horrible, hideous, and of hellish race, 
Born of the brooding of Echidna base." 

As the fish is emblematical of the depths of the sea, so 
the serpent would seem to symbolise those of the land ; 
and we shall probably not be mistaken in regarding these 
snake-tailed beings as personifying the subterranean powers 
of nature, such as have to do with fissures and caverns, 
and especially such as regard volcanic disturbances. 3 That 
these destructive agencies should have been deified in a 

1 Hesiod. Thoog. 295, et scq. 301. It is well established that Typhon, 

2 See vol. I. pp. 303 — 5. and the other Giants were, in the Greek 
:< In a cavern under a hollow rock mythology, symbols of volcanic agencies. 

was Echidna's abode. Hesiod. Thcog. See vol. I., p. 304. 

184 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xli. 

land which, in various ages, has experienced from them 
terrible catastrophes, and which, on every hand, bears 
traces of their effects, is no more than might be expected ; 
and their relation to the sepulchre among a people who 
always committed their dead to the caverns of the rock, or 
to the bowels of the earth, will be readily understood. 

Some of these urns have the heads alone of these wing- 
browed divinities, which, in certain cases, degenerate into 
mere masks. One head, with serpents tied beneath the 
chin, is not unlike Da Vinci's celebrated Medusa in the 
Florence Gallery. Other urns bear representations of 
dolphins sporting on the waves, marine-horses, or 

Et qua marmoreo fert monstra sub sequoie pontus — 

symbols, it may be, of maritime power, but more probably 
of the passage of the soul to another state of existence ; 
which is clearly the case where one of these monsters bears 
a veiled figure on his back. 5 

Other twofold existences are of the earth. Centaurs, 
of both sexes, not combating their established foes the 
Lapithae, but forming the sole or chief subject in the 
scene ; sometimes with wings ; sometimes robed with a 
lion's skin, and holding a large bough. Etruscan centaurs, 
be it observed, especially those on early monuments, have 
generally the fore-legs of a man, the hind ones only of a 
horse. 6 Like the sea-monsters, the centaur may be a 
symbol of the passage of the soul. 7 

4 The idea of the hippocampus on 5 Inghir. I. tav. 6 ; cf. Braun, Ann. 

ancient monuments was probably sug- Inst., 1837, 2, p. 261. 

gested by the singular fish of that name, <> So the Centaur was represented in 

which abounds in the Mediterranean, early Greek works — the chest of Cypse- 

and whose skeleton resembles a horse's lus, for instance. Pausan. V. 19. 

head and neck placed on a fish's tail. ~ It is evident from the frequent in- 

See Inghir. VI. tav. D. 2, 3. traduction of this chimeera ou funeral 

chap, xli.] SCENES OF ETRUSCAN LIFE. 185 

Griffons are also favourite subjects on these urns. That 
they are embodiments of some evil and destructive power, 
is evident in their compound of lion and eagle. And thus 
they are generally represented ; now, like beasts of prey, 
tearing some animal to pieces ; now overthrowing the 
Arimaspes, who sought to steal the gold they guarded. 8 

One small urn has the legs and seat of a couch carved 
in relief on its front, and a couple of small birds below, 
apparently picking up the crumbs. These have been 
interpreted as " the sacred fowls of Etruscan divination" 
— the birds from whose motions was learned the will of the 
gods. 9 But to me they seem inserted merely to fill the 
vacant space beneath the banqueting-couch. 

The reliefs illustrative of Etruscan life are the most 
interesting monuments in tins collection. They may be 
divided into two classes ; those referring to the customs, 
pursuits, and practices of the Etruscans in their ordinary 
life, and those which have a funereal import. It is not 
always easy to draw the distinction. 

To commence with their sports. There are numerous 
representations of boar-hunts, of which the Etruscans of 
old were as fond as their modern descendants. The Tuscus 

monuments that it had a conventional 13, 27 ; Plin. VII. 2 ; Pausan. I. 24. 
relation to the sepulchre. Virgil (JEn. Inghirami takes these scenes to sym- 

VI. 286) represents Centaurs stalled holise the weakness of humanity to con- 
with other monsters, at the gate of tend with Fate ; though in pursuance 
Hell — of his system of astronomical interpre- 

tation he regards the griffon as an 

Centauri in foribus stabulant, Scyllseque 
biformes, &c. 

emblem of the power of the sun in the 
vernal eiminox, and where it is devour- 
Inghirami (Museo Chiusino, I. p. 91) ing a stag he takes it to mean spring 
regards them as symbols of autumn. overcoming winter (I. pp. 328, 723). 

8 Inghir. Mon. Etrus. I. tav. 39, 41, Servius (ad Virg. Buc. VIII. 27) says 
42, 99. Gori, I. tab. 154, 156; III. those monsters were sacred to Apollo. 
cl. 3, tab. 4. The Arimaspes on these 9 Inghir. I. tav. 36, pp. 308—311. 

urns are not one-eyed, as represented He remarks that out of six hundred 
by the ancients. Herod. III. 116 ; IV. urns this alone displays the holy birds. 

|s«i VOLTERRA.— The Mlselm. [chap. xi.i. 

aper, though celebrated in ancient times, can hardly have 
abounded as much as at present, when he has so much 
more uncultivated country for his range ; for the Maremma, 
which was of old well populated, is now for the greater 
part a very desert. Some of these scenes may have re- 
ference to Meleager and the boar of Calydon, or to the 
exploit of Hercules with the fierce beast of Erymanthus ; 
for the subject is variously treated. Its frequent occur- 
ence on urns, as well as on vases and in painted tombs, 
shows how much such sports were to the Etruscan taste. 1 

Other reliefs represent the games of the circus, which 
resembles that of the Romans, having a spina, surmounted 
by a row of cones or obelisks. In some of these scenes 
are bull-fights ; in others, horse-races, or gladiatorial com- 
bats. The two latter games the Romans borrowed from 
the Etruscans. 2 

These urns, though not being of early date they can 
hardly be cited as proofs, yet tend to confirm the high 
probability that the circus, as well as its games, was of 
Etruscan origin. We know that the Romans had no such 
edifices before the accession of Tarquin, the first of the 
Etruscan dynasty, who built the Circus Maximus, and 
" sent for boxers and race-horses to Etruria ; " 3 and we 

1 In one of these boar-hunts the beast : Liv. I. 35 ; Nicol. Damasc. ap. 

1 9 attacked by two winged boys, who are Athen. IV. c. 13, p. 153. Before the 

thought to be Cupids catching the boar introduction of the amphitheatre, in the 

which killed Adonis. Theocr. Idyl. time of Augustus, the Romans often 

XXX. ; Inghir. I. tav. 69, p. 586*. held their gladiatorial combats in the 

Macrobius (I. 21), who gives the astx-o- circus, as here represented. See Vol. I. 

uomical symbolism of the legend, tells p. 95. Inghirami (I. tav. 98, p. 718) 

us that the boar was an emblem of gives a scene from an urn, in the Cinci 

winter ; and on this account, thinks collection at Voltcrra, whore two gladia- 

Enghirami (I. p. 594), he is represented tors are contending over a vase, 
on sepulchral monuments, to indicate the 3 Liv. loc. cit. — Ludicrum fuit equi 

season when the annual inf crier or pa- ]>ugilesque ex Etruria maxime acciti. 

' were held in honour of the Cf. Dion. Hal. III. p. 200. 
■ lead. Gori, III. cl. 3, tab. 1. 


know also, from the frequent representations of them in 
the painted tombs, that such sports must have been 
common in that land ; so that it is a fair conclusion that 
similar structures to that Tarquin raised for their dis- 
play, already existed there. As an Etruscan, he is likely to 
have chosen for his model some circus with which he was 
well acquainted — probably that of Tarquinii, his native 
city, and the metropolis of the Confederation. That no 
vestiges of such structures are extant may be accounted 
for by supposing them to have been of wood, as the scaf- 
folding of the original Circus Maximus is said to have 
been. 4 

Processions there are of various descriptions — funeral, 
triumphal, and judicial. In one of the latter, four judges 
or magistrates, wrapt in togas, are proceeding to judgment. 
Before them march two lictors, each with a pair of rods or 
wands, which may represent the fasces without the secures 
or hatchets, just as they were carried by Roman lictors, 
before one of the consuls when in the City. 5 They are 
preceded by a slave, bearing a curule chair, another 
insigne of authority, and, like the lictors and fasces, of 
Etruscan origin. 6 Other slaves carry the scrinium or 

4 Dion. Hal. loc. cit. The only Etrus- introduced, it has manifestly a figurative 

can monument which shows us how the allusion ; for a man and woman are 

spectators were accommodated at the taking their last farewell at it, as if to 

public games, is the painted tomb at intimate that the soul had reached its 

Corneto, called the Grotta delle Bighe, goal and finished its course. Inghir. I. 

and that represents them seated on tav. 100. 

simple platforms, apparently of wood — 5 Cicero, de Repub. II. 31 ; Val. Max. 

just such as are now raised at a horse- IV. 1, 1 ; Plutarch. Publicola ; Dion, 

race or other spectacle in Florence or Hal. V. p. 278. So they are represented 

Rome, but with curtains to shade them also on an Etruscan cippus, described at 

from the sun. See Vol. I. p. 327. P a g c 114 ; and also on an urn with a 

These circus-scenes ought, perhaps, to banqueting-sccne, which Inghirami in- 

be classed with the funereal subjects ; terprets as the curse of (Edipus (1. tav. 

for it is not improbable that they repre- 72, 73 ; cf. Gori, III. cl. 3, tav. 14). 

sent the games in honour of the de- 6 Liv. I. 8 ; Flor. T. , r > ; Dion. Hal. 

ceased, [n one scene, where a spina is 111. p. 1 .').'>; Strabo, V. p. 220; Sil. 

188 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chai>. xli. 

capsa, a cylindrical box for the documents, and pugiUares, 

or wax tablets for noting down the proceedings. 7 

On another urn the four magistrates are returning from 
judgment, having descended from their seats on the ele- 
vated platform. The lictors, who precede them in this 
case, bear forked rods. They are encountered by a veiled 
female, with her two daughters, and two little children of 
tender age — the family, it must be, of the criminal come 
to implore mercy for the husband and father. 8 

Here are also triumphal processions, which history tells 
us the Etruscans had as well as the Romans ; 9 and which, 
in fact, are generally attributed to the former people, 1 
though there is no positive evidence of such an origin, 
beyond the introduction into such processions of golden or 
gilt chariots, drawn by four horses ; the earlier triumphs 
having been on foot. 2 Here are instances of both modes, 
the victor being preceded by cornicines or trumpeters, by 
fifers and harpers, and where he is in a chariot, by a lictor 
also with a wand. 3 The Etruscanism of the scene lies in 

Ital. VIII. 486—8 ; Diodor. Sic. V. eleg. I. 32) ; but Plutarch opposes this, 

p. 316. ed. Rhod. ; Macrob. Saturn. and cites ancient statues of that monarch 

1.6 ; cf. Sallust. Catil. 51. to prove that he triumphed on foot. 

< This scene is illustrated by Micali, The introduction of the quadriga from 

Ital. av. Rom. tav. 40 ; Ant. Pop. Ital. Etruria is generally ascribed to the elder 

tav. 112, 1 ; Gori, III. cl. 4, tab. 23, 27. Tarcmin. 

8 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 112, 2 ; 3 The description Appian (loc. cit.) 
Gori, III. cl. 4. tab. 15. gives of a triumph in the Etruscan 

9 Flor. I. 5 ; Appian. de Reb. Pun. style, corresponds nearly with the scenes 
LXVI. ; cf. Plin. XXXIII. 4. on these urns. The victor, he says, was 

' Dempster, Etrur. Reg. I. p. 328 ; preceded by lictors in purple tunics, 

Gori, Mus. Etr. I. p. 370. Miiller and then, in imitation of an Etruscan 

(Etrusk. II. 2, 7) considers the Roman pageant, by a chorus of harpers and sa- 

triumph to be either immediately de- tyrs belted and wearing golden chaplets, 

rived from Etruria, or to be a coutinua- dancing and singing as they went. One 

tion of the pageants which the kings of in the midst of them wore a long purple 

Rome had received from that land. robe, and was adorned with golden 

- Plutarch. Romul. ; Flor. I. 5. Dio- bracelets and torques. Such men,he says, 

nysius (II. p. 102) says Romulus tri- were called Lydi, because the Etrus- 

umphed in a quadriga (cf. Propcrt. IV. cans were colonists from Lydia. These 


the winged genius, who, with a torch in her hand, is 
seated on one of the horses. 4 It may be that the scene is 
rather funereal than festive, and that the figure in the 
chariot with the attributes of triumph is intended to re- 
present a soul entering on a new state of existence. This 
is rendered more probable by the analogy of the funeral 
procession in the G-rotta del Tifone at Corneto, where souls 
are attended by demons, one with a torch, and by figures 
bearing wands, preceded by a cornicen. 5 

Of marriages, no representation, which has not a 
mythical reference, has yet been found on the sepulchral 
urns of Etruria, though most of the earlier writers on these 
antiquities mistook the farewell-scenes, presently to be 
described, where persons of opposite sexes stand hand in 
hand, for scenes of nuptial festivity. 6 

There are several representations of sacrifices ; the 
priest pouring a libation on the head of the bull about to 
be slain. In one case the victim is a donkey — the delight 
of the garden-god, — 

Cseditur et rigido custodi ruris asellus. 

In another scene, a beast like a wolf is rising from a 
well, but is restrained by a chain held by two men, while 

were followed by men bearing vessels stands a warrior, is drawn by a Fury, 

of incense, and last of all came the with a torch, into an abyss. Lanzi (ap. 

victorious general in his quadriga, Inghir. I. p. 669) interpreted it as the 

clad in his toga picta, and tunica pal- death of Amphiaraus — Amphiaraese fata 

mata, with a golden crown of oak leaves quadrigae. Ingh. I. tav. 84 ; Gori, III. 

on his brow, and an ivory sceptre, cl. 3, tab. 12. 

adorned with gold, in his hand. See s See Vol. I. pp. 31 1 — 3. Thispaint- 

Miiller, Etrusk. IV. 1, 2. Illustrations ing has been supposed to represent the 

of these urns will be found in Micali, triumphal entrance of souls into the 

Ital. av. Rom. tav. 34, 35 ; Gori, I. unseen world. Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 47. 

tab. 178, 179 ; III. cl. 3, tab. 28. Urlichs. 

4 Muller thinks this female demon 6 Buonarroti, Passeri, Gori, even 

may be a Victory. On another urn in Lanzi and Micali, made this mistake, 

this museum, a quadriga, in which See Inghirami, I. pp. 191, 208. 


VOT/TEKRA.— The Museum. 

[chap. XI, I. 

a third pours a libation on his head, and a fourth strikes 
him down with an axe. It is evidently no ordinary sacri- 
fice, for all the figures are armed. 7 

Here also is seen the dreadful rite of human sacrifice, 
too often performed by the Etruscans, as well as by the 
Greeks and Romans. 8 The men who sit with their hands 
bound behind their backs, and on whose heads the priest- 
esses are pouring libations, are probably captives about to 
be offered to a deity,' or to the Manes of some hero. It 
may be the Trojans whom Achilles sacrificed to the shade 
of Patroclus ; it may be Orestes and Pylades at the altar 
of Diana. Observe the altar in this scene. It is precisely 
like a Roman Catholic shrine, even to the very cross in the 
midst, for the panelling of the wall shows that form in 
relief. 9 

1 Ingliir. I. tav. 60 ; VI. tav. E. 5, 4 ; 
Gori, III. cl. 3, tab. 10. Dempster 
(tab. 25) gives a plate of a Perugian urn, 
with a similar scene ; but the monster 
lias a human body with a dog's head. 
It is not easy to explain this very singu- 
lar subject. Buonarroti (p. 24, ap. 
Dempst. II.) sees in the victim the 
monster Volta, which is said to have 
ravaged the land of Volsinii, and to 
have been destroyed by Porsenna. Plin. 
II. 54. Passeri (Acheront. p. 59, ap. 
Gori, Mus. Etr.) interprets it as the 
demon of Temessa, called Lybas, which 
was clad in a wolf's skin, and was over- 
come by Euthymus, the pugilist. Pau- 
san. VI. 6. Inghirami takes it to repre- 
sent Lycaon protected by Mars, with 
Ceres as a Fury by his side. 

s Maffei (Osserv. Letter. IV. p. 65) 
indignantly rejects this charge against 
his forefathers : " They cannot, and they 
ought not to attribute so unworthy and 
barbarous a custom to our Etruscans, 
without any foundation of authority ! " 
It is true there is no recorded evidence 

of such a practice amoug the Etruscan-, 
unless the Roman captives, put to death 
— immolati — in the forum of Tarquinii, 
may be regarded as offered to the gods. 
Liv. VII. 19. But monuments abun- 
dantly establish the fact. Miiller, in- 
deed, thinks the Romans learned this 
horrid rite from the Etruscans (Etrusk. 
III. 4, 14). Inghirami (I. p. 716), 
though admitting it to be an Etruscan 
custom, thinks it had gone out of prac- 
tice before the date of these urns. Yet 
we know it had not entirely fallen into 
disuse in Greece or Rome till Imperial 

9 Gori, I. tab. 170. Two of these 
reliefs, illustrated by Inghirami (I. tav. 
96, 97), may perhaps represent a human 
sacrifice. In one, a man is on his knees 
amid some warriors ; and slaves are 
bearing, one a ladder, another a jar 
on his shoulder, and a large mallet in 
his hand, and a boy plays the double 
pipes. The other relief has the same 
features, but the victim is falling to the 
earth, apparently just struck by the 


In another scene the victim lies dead at the foot of the 
altar, and a winged genius sits in a tree hard by. Micali 
takes this to represent the oracle of Faunus, Inghirami 
that of Tiresias. 1 

Not all these sacrificial scenes are of this sanguinary 
character. Offerings of various descriptions are being 
brought to the altar, and in one case a tall amphora stands 
upon it. 

On one urn, on which a young girl reclines in effigy, 
is a school scene, with half a dozen figures sitting together 
holding open scrolls ; seeming to intimate that the deceased 
had been cut off in the bloom of life, ere her education 
was complete. 2 In this, as in certain other cases, there 
seems a relation between the figure on the lid and the 
bas-relief below, though in general the reliefs, especially 
when the subject is from the Grecian mythology, bear no 
apparent reference to the superincumbent effigy. 3 

Banqueting scenes are numerous, and bear a close re- 
semblance to those in the painted tombs of Tarquinii and 
Clusium. There are generally several couches with a pair 
of figures of opposite sexes on each — a corroboration from 

sword of one of the group. Gori( style of art betrays a wide difference 

146) calls this scene "the death of of excellence, and even of antiquity. 

Elpenor." Another relief, which repre- Inghirami cites a case of a young girl 

sents a youth stabbing himself on an reclining on the lid of an urn, which 

altar, is interpreted by Lanzi and bears an epitaph for a person of more 

Inghirami (I. p. 673, tav. 86) as the than 70 ; and explains such anomalies 

self-sacrifice of Menoeceus, son of Creon. by regarding these recumbent figures, 

1 Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 41 ; not as portraits of individuals, but as 
Inghir. I. tav. 78, p. 654. idealities — the men as heroes, the women 

2 Gori, III. cl. 2, tab. 12. as souls (I. p. 399 ; cf. 408, tav. U. 3, 2). 

3 The relation is seen also in some But in the case cited, it is more likely 
of the car-scenes presently to be de- that the lid was shifted from one urn to 
scribed ; but, with rare exceptions, there the other, in the removal from the se- 
seems to be no relation beyond that of pulchre. The frequent incongruities, 
juxta-position, between the urn and its however, render it very probable that 
lid. Besides the incongruity of subject, the urns were kept in store, and fitted 
the material is often not the same. The with lids to order. 

192 VOLTERRA— The Museum. [chap. xu. 

another source of the high social civilisation of the Etrus- 
cans 4 — and there are children of various ages standing 
around, sometimes embracing each other ; pictures of 
domestic felicity, such as are rarely seen on the monu- 
ments of antiquity. The usual musicians are present — 
subulones, with the double pipes ; citharistce, with the lyre ; 
and players of the syrinx or Pandean pipes — all, as 
well as the banqueters, crowned with garlands of roses. 
Tables, bearing refreshments, stand by the side of the 
couches, together with scamna or stools, on which the 
musicians stand, or by which the attendants ascend to fill 
the goblets of the banqueters, elevated as they are by lofty 
cushions. 5 Just such tables and stools are often repre- 
sented in relief against the bench of rock on which the 
body or sarcophagus was laid in the tomb — the banqueting 
hall of the dead. 6 

The most interesting scenes, because the most touching 
and pathetic, are those which depict the last moments of 
the deceased. A female is stretched on her couch ; her 
father, husband, sisters or daughters are weeping around 
her ; her little ones stand at her bed-side, unconscious 
how soon they are to be bereft of a mother's tenderness — 
a moment near at hand, as is intimated by the presence 
of a winged genius with a torch on the point of expiring. 
Sometimes the dying woman is delivering to her friend 
her tablets, open as though she had just been recording 
her thoughts upon them. This death-bed scene is a 
favourite subject. It may be remarked that the couches 

4 See Vol. I. p. 286. his sons, which happened at a ban- 

5 Inghirami, I. tav. 72, 73, 82 ; VI. quet. Another, he thinks, represents 
tav. Y. 3 ; Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. Ulysses in disguise, at the banquet of 
37, 38 ; Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 107 ; Gori, Penelope's suitors. Inghir. VI. tav. F. 
III. cl. 4, tab. 14. Two of these ban- 6 See Vol. I, pp. 59, 272 ; Vol. II. 
quet-scenes Inghirami takes to repre- p. 40. 

sent CEdipus pronouncing a curse on 

chap, xu.] DEATH-BEDS.— LAST FAREWELLS. 193 

are sometimes recessed in alcoves, and sometimes canopied 
over like bed-steads, though in a more classical style. 
Behind the couch is often a column surmounted by a 
pine-cone, a common funereal emblem. 7 Most of such 
scenes, however, bear but a metaphorical reference to the 
dread event. It has been already mentioned that souls 
are often symbolised by figures on horseback. 8 On an 
urn, on the lid of which he reclines in effigy, a youth is 
represented on horseback about to start on that journey 
from which " no traveller returns," when his little sister 
rushes in, and strives to stay the horse's steps, — in vain, for 
the relentless messenger of Death seizes the bridle and 
hurries him away. It is a simple tale, touchingly told ; its 
truthful earnestness and expressive beauty are lost in the 
bare recital. 

" An unskilled hand, but one informed 
With genius, had the marble warmed 
With that pathetic life." 

There are many such family-separations, all of deep 
interest. The most common is the parting of husband 
and wife, embracing for the last time. That such is the 
import is proved by the fatal horse, in waiting to convey 
him or her to another world ; and a Genius, or it may be 

7 Inghir. I. tav. 95 ; Gori, III. cl. 4, part it was probably no further symbo- 
tab. 13, 23. Such an alcove is also Heal, than as significant of a journey, 
shown in an urn, illustrated by Gori Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. p. 259. It was 
(III. cl. 3, tab. 6), where a man seems frequently introduced on funeral urns 
to be taking farewell of his wife, who by the Greeks and Romans ; the latter 
reclines on the couch. Another some- probably borrowed it from the Etrus- 
what similar relief is interpreted by cans. Sometimes the beast's head alone 
Inghirami (I. tav. 61, p. 514), as is represented, looking in at a window 
Stheneboea, the wanton wife of Proetus, upon a funeral feast, as in a celebrated 
despatching Bellerophon to Lycia. relief in the Villa Albani. Inghir. VI. 

8 The horse on sepulchral monuments tav. G. 3. On one of these urns the 
has been thought to show the equestrian horse is represented trampling over 
rank of the deceased, or to denote the prostrate bodies, as if to intimate the 
elevation of the soul to divine dignity. passage through the regions of the dead. 
Inghir. I. p. 179. But for the most Inghir. I. p. 246, tav. 27. 


194 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xr.i. 


grim Charun himself, in readiness as conductor, and a 
slave, with a large sack on his shoulders, to accompany 
him — intimating the length and dreariness of the journey — 
while his relations and little ones stand around, mourning 
his departure. Here the man is already mounted, driven 
away by Charun with his hammer, while a female genius 
affectionately throws her arm round the neck of the 
disconsolate widow, and tries to assuage her grief. 9 Here 
again the man has mounted, and a group of females rush 
out frantically to stop him. In some the parting takes 
place at a column, the bourn that cannot be repassed; the 
living on this side, the dead on that ; or at a doorway, 
one within, the other without, giving the last squeeze of 
the hand ere the door closes upon one for ever. 1 

There are many versions of this final separation, and 
the horse, or some other feature in the scene, is sometimes 
omitted ; but the subject is still intelligibly expressed. 2 

Numerous urns represent the passage of the soul alone, 
without any parting-scene ; 3 and in these old Charun, 
grisly, savage, and of brutish aspect, with his hammer 
raised to strike, and often with a sword in the other hand, 
generally takes part ; now leading the horse by the bridle, 
or clutching it by the mane ; more often driving it before 
him, while a spirit of gentle aspect, and with torch 

9 Inghir. I. tav. 28. tunie of these souls is generally the 

1 Iughir. I. tav. 38 ; VI. tav. Q, 2,1. 3 ; simple toga, often muffling the face — 
Gori, I. tab. 84, 189. not as travellers are conventionally dis- 

2 Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 39 ; tinguished on Greek painted vases by 
Gori, I. tab. 169 ; III. cl. 4, tab. 20, 21. fctasus, staff, sandals, and dishevelled 
Visconti interprets these parting-scenes hair. See Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 78. In 
as representing in general the parting one case, however, the deceased ap- 
of Protesilaus and Laodamia (ap. Inghir. pears to have been a warrior, for he is 
I. p. 297). Inglrirami considers them from attended by two squires on foot, with 
being always of opposite sexes, to sym- his shield and lances, besides two slaves 
bolize the separation of the soul and at the ends of the scene. Inghir. I. 
body (I. p. 724). tav. 18. 

3 It may be observed that the cos- 

chap, xli.] THE PASSAGE OF SOULS. 195 

inverted, takes the lead. 4 The slave with a sack on his 
shoulder generally follows this funeral procession, and 
refers either to the length of the journey which requires 
such provision, or to the articles of domestic use with 
which the tomb was furnished, as he often carries a vase 
or pitcher in his hand. In some cases a vase, in others a 
Phrygian cap, lies under the horse's feet, as if to express 
that the delights and pursuits of this world were for ever 
abandoned, and cast aside as worthless ; and on one urn 
a serpent occupies the same place, intimating the funeral 
character of the scene. 5 

As the good and bad demons on these urns are not to 
be distinguished by their colour, as in the painted tombs, 
they are to be recognised either by their attributes, by 
their features and expression, or by the offices they are 
performing. The good are handsome and gentle, the 
evil ill-favoured and truculent. Charun, in particular, has 
satyresque features and brute's ears, and in one case a horn 
on his forehead, The hammer or sword are his usual 
attributes, as well as those of his ministers ; some of whom 
bear a torch instead, the general emblem of Furies. 6 But 
the good spirits, in many cases, also hold a torch ; indeed, 
this seems merely a funereal emblem, to distinguish between 
the living and the dead. As the flame symbolises the 
vital spark, the demon, in these farewell scenes, who stands 

4 The genius is not always iutro- Ann. Inst. 1837, 2, p. 2G0. This would 
duced. Inghirami takes it to repre- be more likely in tav. 33, 34. The 
sent, sometimes a Fury, sometimes one demons are not always in the same 
of the Virtues ! (I. pp. 80, 139). scene with the other figures; as where 

5 For illustrations of these urns, see a muffled soul on horseback occupies 
Inghir. Mon. Etrus. I. tav. 7, 8, 14, 15, the front of the urn, Charun one of its 
17, 18, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 32, 37; ends, and a genius, with torch inverted, 
Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 26 ; Gori, the other. Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 
I. tab. 84 ; III. cl. 3, tab. 11 ; cl. 4, 104,2, 3. 

tab. 24. In one of these reliefs (Ingh. ° For the characteristics of the 

I. tav. 28), Dr. Braun recognises the Etruscan Charun, see the Appendix to 
re-meeting of souls in the other world. this Chapter. 


196 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xt.i. 

on the side of the living holds his torch erect ; he on the 
side of the dead has it inverted. The spirit, therefore, 
who leads the fatal horse, has it always turned down- 
wards. 7 When two demons with torches, thus differently 
arranged, are in the same scene, they seem to indicate the 
very moment of the soul's departure — now here, now 
there — 

" Like snow that falls upon the river — 
A moment white — then melts for ever ! " 

It may be observed, that the good spirits are almost 
always females, or Junones, an Etruscan compliment to 
man's ministering angel ; but the fearful attendants of 
Charun are, in most cases, males. 

There are funeral processions of a different character. 
A covered car or waggon, open in front, and drawn by 
two horses or mules — what the Romans called a carpentum, 
and the modern Spaniards would term a galera — is accom- 
panied by figures on foot. In one instance it is preceded 
by a litter, out of which a female is looking ; and in several 
it is encountered by a man on horseback. In this car is 
seen reclining, now a mother with her child, now an 
elderly couple, but generally a single figure, the counter- 
part in miniature of the recumbent effigy on the lid of the 
urn. I would interpret it as representing the transport 
of the actual ash-chest or sarcophagus to the sepulchre, 
which seems confirmed by the drowsy air and drooping 
heads of the horses. Nor is this view opposed by the 
figures with musical instruments, nor by an armed man, 
who in one case follows the car. 8 On one urn the funeral 

7 This might be supposed to mark an time, but not a malignant spirit who 
evil demon, but I think it has more revels in destruction, like the hammer- 
probably reference to the surrounding bearing Charun, who also attends the 
figures than to the genius himself. He soul, 
is here a minister of Death, it is s In general it is essentially distin- 

chap, xli.] FUNERAL PROCESSIONS. 197 

procession is manifestly represented, for the deceased is 
stretched on a bier, carried on men's shoulders. These 
car-scenes, as far as I can learn, are peculiar to Volterra ; 
for I have seen them on no other site. 9 

Though cinerary urns are so numerous in this collection, 
there are but two sarcophagi, properly so called ; both 
found in the tomb of the Flavian family in 1760. 1 The 
recumbent figures on the lids are of opposite sexes. On 
the sarcophagus of the male is a procession of several 
figures, each with a pair of wands, not twisted like those 
in the Grotta Tifone at Corneto, or on the sculptured tomb 
of Norchia ; except one who bears a short thick staff, which 
may be intended for a lictor's fastis. They precede a 
figure in a toga, which seems to represent a soul ; unless 
there be some analogy to the procession of magistrates 
already described, and they represent the infernal judge 
on his way to sit in sentence. 2 For the soul is figured at 

guished from the horse-scenes by the and drawn by two mules ; mourners on 
absence of Charun and his ministers, or foot are accompanying it, all with their 
of attendant genii, and of figures taking hands to their heads in token of grief ; 
farewell. There is nothing to hint that together with a suhulo with double- 
it is more than a representation of pipes, followed by a number of warriors 
actual life. In one instance only does lowering their lances. Micali, Ant. 
it seem to refer to the passage of the Pop. Ital. III. p. 150, ta v. 96, 1. 
soul, and there the car is preceded by 1 The tomb contained moreover forty 
a demon with two small shields, and urns all with inscriptions. These are 
followed by another with a torch. The the only genuine Etruscan sarcophagi 
car may not in every instance be the Inghirami ever saw from the tombs of 
hearse ; in some, where several figures Volterra ; so universal was the custom 
are reclining within it, it may answer of burning. Mon. Etrus. I. pp, 9, 34. 
to the mourning coach, conveying the 2 Inghirami (I. p. 31, tav. 3) takes 
relatives of the deceased, for we know this for a funeral procession preceding 
that the Romans used caiyenta in funeral the corpse. He represents the three 
processions. Sueton. Calig. 1 5. figures in the middle as holding swords 
9 For illustrations see Micali, Ital. in their right hands, and sticks in their 
av. Rom. tav. 27, 28. Gori, I. tab. 1 69 ; left, and he thinks them gladiators who 
III. cl. 4, tab. 22. On a vase from were to fight at the tomb or pyre, first 
Vulci, in the Archaic style, a scene with sticks, then with more deadly 
very similar is depicted. The corpse weapons, 
is stretched on a bier, placed on wheels 

L98 VOLTERRA.— The Museum, [chap. xli. 

one end of the sarcophagus, under the conduct of an evil 
genius with a hammer, yet not Charun, since he has not 
brute's ears, nor is he of truculent or hideous aspect, like 
the genuine Charun, who is to be seen with all his 
unmistakeable attributes at the opposite end of the 
monument. 3 

The other sarcophagus, on which reclines a female, has 
reliefs of unusual beauty, whose Greek character marks them 
as of no very early date. There are two distinct groups ; 
in one, a mother with her little ones around her, is taking 
an embrace of her husband — in the other, she is seated 
mournfully on a stool, fondling her child, which leans upon 
her lap. The one scene portrays her in the height of 
domestic felicity ; the other in the lonely condition of a 
widow, yet with some consolation left in the pledges of her 
love. Or if the first represent the farewell embrace, though 
there is no concomitant to determine it as such, in the 
second is clearly set forth the greatness of her loss, and 
the bitterness of her bereavement. 

It is such scenes as these, and others before described, 
which give so great a charm to this collection. The 
Etruscans seem to have excelled in the palpable expression 
of natural feelings. How unmeaning the hieroglyphics on 
Egyptian sarcophagi, save to the initiated ! How deficient 
the sepulchral monuments of Greece and Home in such 
universal appeals to the sympathies ! — even their epitaphs, 
from the constant recurrence of the same conventional terms, 
may often be suspected of insincerity. 4 But the touches 
of nature on these Etruscan urns, so simply but eloquently 
expressed, must appeal to the sympathies of all — they are 

3 Inghirami (I. tav. 32) gives one of tiones, propter quas vadimoninin deseri 

these end scenes. possit. At quum iutraveris, dii deee- 

■» Hear a Roman's description of que ! quani nihil in medio invenics !" 

Greek inscriptions. " Inscriptionisapud Plin. N. II. prsefat. 
Graecos mira fclieitas : . . inscrip- 

chap, xli.] URNS OF THE C^CINA FAMILY. 199 

chords to which every heart must respond ; and I envy 
not the man who can walk through this Museum unmoved, 
without feeling a tear rise to his eye, 

" And recognising ever and anon 
The breeze of Nature stirring in his soul." 

The interest of the urns of Volterra lies rather in their 
reliefs than in their inscriptions. Some, however, have 
this additional interest. It has already been said that this 
Museum contains the urns found in the tomb of the 
Caecinae, that ancient and noble family of Volterra, which 
either gave its name to, or received it from, the river which 
washes the southern base of the hill ; 5 a family to which 
belonged two "most noble men" of the name of Aulus 
Caecina, the friends of Cicero ; the elder defended by his 
eloquence ; the younger honoured by his correspondence. 
The latter it was who wrote a libel on Julius Caesar, and 
was generously pardoned by him ; and who availed 
himself of his hereditary right, as an Etruscan patrician, 
to dabble in the science of thunderbolts. The name is 
found more than once on these urns, and is thus written 
in Etruscan — 

or " Aule Ceicna." But it occurs also in its Latin form on 
others of these monuments — on a beautiful altar-like cipptcs, 
and on a cinerary urn. 6 Others of the CaccinaG distinguished 
themselves under the Empire in the field, in the senate, or 

5 Miiller (Etrusk. I. p. 416) thinks it on the banks of the river (Rutil. I. 

more probable that the family gave its 466) ; and Miiller (I. p. 406) remarks, 

name to the river, than the river to the but on what authority is not obvious, 

family. An Englishman's experience that this estate seems to have been in 

would lead him rather to the opposite the possession of the family for a 

conclusion. One of this family, Decins thousand years. 

Albinus Csecina, at the beginning of G The cipjms has already been mcn- 

thc fifth century after Christ, had a villa tioncd at page 159. The urn hears this 

200 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xli. 

in letters. 7 This family has continued to exist from the 
days of the Etruscans, almost clown to our own times ; 
though it now appears to be extinct. I learned the general 
opinion at Volterra to be, that the last of his race was a 
bishop, who died in 1765. His epitaph in the Cathedral 
calls him, " Phil. Nic. Coecina. Patric. Volat. Zenopolit. 
Epiis, &c." Fantozzi, the custode of the Museum, however, 
assures me that he remembers a priest of this name some 
twenty years since ; and as he is a barber, he should, 
ex officio, be well informed on such points. In Dempster's 
time, more than two centuries since, the family was 
flourishing — "hodie nobilitate sad viget" — and two of its 
members, very studious men, and " ad bonas artes nati," 
were his intimate friends. One of them rejoiced in the 
ancient name of Aulus Cecina. 8 

Another Etruscan family of Volterra, of which there 
are several urns, is the 

or "Cracna ;" the Gracchus, or it may be, the Gracchanus, 
of the Romans. 

The Flavian has been already mentioned, as one of the 

inscription — gives a detailed account of the various 

a • caecina • selcia • annos xu. individuals of this illustrious family, 

The figure on this urn is that of a youth. who are mentioned by ancient writers ; 

The relief displays one of the car-scenes but still better notices will be found in 

— a proof, among many others, that Dr. Smith's Dictionary of Greek and 

after the Roman conquest the Etruscans Roman Biography. Cf. Midler, Etrusk. 

adhered to their funeral customs. On I. pp. 416 — 8. 

another urn the same name — av-ceicna- s Dempster, I. p. 233. An A. Cecum 
selcia— occurs in Etruscan characters. wrote the history of his native city- 
One of the modern gates of Volterra is " Notizie Istoriehe di Volterra "— per- 
called "Porta a Selci." Can it have haps it was Dempster's friend. Inghir- 
derived its name from the ancient family ami (I. p. 7) mentions a Lorenzo Aulo 
of Selcia, rather than from the blocks of Cecina, a proprietor at Volterra, who 
its masonry, or of the pavement % made excavations in 1740. 
"• Dempster (Etrur. Reg. I. p. 23 1) 



Etruscan families of Volterra. In its native form, as 
found on these urns, it was written " Vlave." 9 

The inscriptions on these urns are generally cut into 
the stone, and filled with black or red paint, more fre- 
quently the latter, to make them more legible ; so that 
they are often preserved with remarkable freshness. 10 

These cinerary urns of Volterra cannot lay claim to a 
very remote antiquity. They are unquestionably more 
recent than many of those of other Etruscan sites. This 
may be learned from the style of art — the best, indeed 
the only safe criterion — which is never of that archaic 
character found on certain reliefs on the altars or cippi of 
Chiusi and Perugia. The freedom and mastery of design, 
and the skill in composition, at times evinced, bespeak the 
period of Roman domination ; while the defects display 
not so much the rudeness of early art, as the carelessness 
of the time of decadence. 1 

9 Among the Etruscan inscriptions in 
this museum, I observed the names of 
" UaiNATi," which occurs also at Bo- 
marzo, Castel d' Asso, Chiusi, and 
Perugia (see Vol. I. pp. 222, 242); 
" Setkes," found also at Chiusi ; " Tla- 
puni," written " Tlabo.m," iu some of 
the Latin inscriptions ; Cneunae, Lau- 
cina, Saijcni, Pheljiuia, Ranazuia, 
and others, which I have seen on no 
other Etruscan site. 

10 Inghirami, who will admit nothing 
about these monuments to be merely 
decorative, but puts a symbolical inter- 
pretation on every feature, considers this 
red paint to represent the blood which 
was offered to the manes of the deceased 
(I. p. 129). Pliny (XXXIII. 40), how- 
ever, tells us that minium was used 
in this way in sepulchral and other in- 
scriptions, to make the letters more 

1 Inghirami, whose mterion seems to 

be chiefly the presence or absence of 
the beard, assigns a very late date to 
these urns of Volterra. In truth he 
regards them rather as Roman than 
Etruscan ; and as he considers certain 
bas-reliefs, even when of very archaic 
character, to be subsequent to the year 
454 of Rome, because the males are 
represented beardless ; so these, he 
infers by comparison, must be of a very 
late date — the best, of the days of the 
first Emperors ; the worst, of the time 
of Alexander Severus and downwards. 
Mon. Etrus. I. pp. 252, G89, 709. The 
fallacy of this test of the beard hi 
determining the age of monuments has 
already been shown. Vol. I. p. 344 ; 
Vol. II. p. 114. Inghirami also thinks 
those urns the oldest, which have reliefs 
at the ends, because they must have 
been made when the tombs were not 
crowded, and the urns could be placed 
far enough apart for the decorations to 

202 VOLTERRA.— The Museum. [chap. xli. 

There are other sepulchral monuments of a different 
character in this Museum — steles, or slabs, with Etruscan 
inscriptions, and cippi of club-like, or else phallic, form. 

Of terra-cotta are the figures of an old man and woman 
reclining together as at a banquet, and probably forming 
the lid of an urn. They are full of expression. Monu- 
ments in this material are rarely found at Volterra ; yet 
there are a few urns of very small size, with the often 
repeated subjects of the Theban brothers, and Cadmus or 
Jason destroying the teeth-sprung warriors with the plough. 
The figures on the lids are generally wrapt in togas, and 
recline, not as at a banquet, but as in slumber. 

One of the most singular monuments in the Museum is 
a bas-relief of a bearded warrior, the size of life, on a large 
slab of yellow sandstone, which, from the Etruscan inscrip- 
tion annexed, would seem to be a stele, or flat tombstone. 2 
He holds a lance in one hand, and his sword, which hangs 
at his side, with the other. The peculiar quaintness of 
this figure, approximating to the Egyptian, or rather to the 
Persepolitan or Babylonian in style, yet with strictly 
Etruscan features, causes it justly to be regarded as of 
high antiquity. It is very similar to the warrior in relief 
found near Fiesole, and now in the Palazzo Bonarroti at 
Florence, though of a character less decidedly archaic. 3 

The capital of a column, somewhat like Corinthian, but 
with heads among the foliage, as in that of Toscanella, is 
worthy of particular attention. 

There is a headless statue of a female with a child in 
her arms, of marble, with an Etruscan inscription on her 
right sleeve. It was found in the amphitheatre. The 

be seen. I. pp. 82, 247. But this, as a represent the guardian Lap. 

test of antiquity, is not to be relied on. 8 It is illustrated by Gori, III. cl. 4, 

2 Inghirami (IV. p. 84) suggests that tav. 18, 2 ; Inghirami, VI. tav. A ; 

it may have formed the door, or closing Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. 14, 2 ; Ant. 

slab, of a tomb, and the warrior may Top. Ital. tav. 51, 2. 


child is swaddled in the same unnatural manner which is 
still practised by Italian mothers. 4 

There is not much pottery in this Museum ; enough to 
show the characteristic features of Volterran ware, but 
nothing of extraordinary interest. The painted vases of 
this site are very inferior to those of Vulci, Tarquinii, or 
Chiusi. The clay is coarse, the varnish neither lustrous 
nor durable, the design of peculiar rudeness and rusticity. 
Staring silhouette heads, or a few large figures carelessly 
sketched, take the place of the exquisitely designed and 
delicately finished groups on the best vases of Vulci. Of 
the early styles of Etruscan pottery — the Egyptian and 
the Archaic Greek — with black figures on the yellow 
ground of the clay, Volterra yields no examples. Yellow 
figures on a black ground betray a more recent date, and 
the best specimens seem but unskilful copies of Etruscan 
or Greek vases of the latest style. Everything marks the 
decadence of the ceramographic art. 5 

Yet there is an ancient ware of great beauty, almost 
peculiar to Volterra. It is of black clay, sometimes plain, 
sometimes with figures in relief ; but in simple elegance of 

* Dempster, tab. 42 ; Gori, III. p. Pyrgi. Gottheiten der Etrusker, pp. 39, 

60, cl. I. tab. 9 ; Gerhard, Gottheit. d. 60. The marble of which this statue is 

Etrusk. taf. III. 1. Some have thought formed is not that of Carrara, but a 

this statue represented Nortia, or the grey description, such as is said to be 

Fortune of the Etruscans — because the quarried in the Tuscan Maremma. In 

Fortune of Praeneste is described by Alberti's time this statue was lying in 

Cicero (de Divin. II. 41) as nursing the one of the streets of Volterra, together 

infant Jove. Pausanias (IX. 16) says with a statue of Mars, " very cunningly 

this goddess at Thebes was repre- wrought, and sundry urns of alabaster, 

sented bearing the infant Plutus in her storied with great art, on which are 

arms. Buonarroti, p. 20, ap. Dempst. certain characters, understood by none, 

II. ; Gori, loc. cit. Lanzi (II. p. 546) albeit many call them Etruscan." 

thought this statue might be Diana, or ' Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 216) says 

Ceres, or Juno with the infant Hercules, that most beautiful Greek vases have 

but that it could not be easily referred been occasionally found on this site, 

to any one goddess in particular. So They were probably importations, 

also Passeri, Paralip. in Dempst. p. 77. Vases like those of Volterra have been 

Gerhard, however, thinks it represents discovered at Tarquinii. Inghir. VI. 

Ilithyia or Juno-Lucina, the goddess of tav. O 3. 


VOLTERRA.— The .Museum. 

[chap. xli. 

form, and brilliancy of varnish, it is 
not surpassed by the ancient pottery 
of any other site in Etruria. 

There is a fair collection of 
figured specula, or mirrors, in this 
Museum — some in a good style of 
art. The most common subject is 
a winged Lasa, or Fate. The other 
bronzes are not extraordinarily 
numerous or valuable ; and consist 
of candelabra, strigils, small figures 
of Lares or other divinities, ex-votos, 
and the usual furniture of Etruscan 

There are numerous Etruscan 
coins — many belonging to the 
ancient Volaterrae, and found in the 
neighbourhood. They are all of 
copper, cast, not struck — some are 
dupondii, or double asses, full three 
inches in diameter, with a beardless 
Janus-head, capt by a petasus, on 
the obverse, and a dolphin, with 
the word Velathri — 



in large letters around, on the 

reverse. The smaller coins, from 

the as down to the uncia, differ 

from these in having a club, or a crescent, in place of the 

dolphin. The Janus-head is still the arms of Yolterra. 

The dolphin marks the maritime power of the city. 6 

6 Volterra presents a more complete 
series of coins than any other Etruscan 

city. But they are all of copper ; none 
of gold or silver. The as has some- 




Among the minor curiosities are spoons, pins, and dice 
of bone ; astragali, or huckle-bones, which furnished the 
same diversion to the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans, as 
to school-boys in our own day ; and various articles in 
variegated glass. 

There is also a collection of Etruscan jewellery — chains, 
JibulcB, rings for the fingers and ears, all wrought in gold ; 
but these articles are not found in such abundance at Vol- 
terra, as on some other Etruscan sites. The most curious 
and beautiful jewellery this necropolis has yielded is pre- 
served in the Ufnzj Gallery at Florence. 

In the Casa Cinci there was a valuable collection of 
urns and other Etruscan relics, but since Signor Giusto's 
death the greater part of them has been sold. In the 
Casa Giorgi, there was also a collection of urns. 7 

times the prow of a ship on the reverse, 
as in that of early Rome ; and some- 
times a single head, instead of the 
Janus, on the obverse. This Janus- 
head was put on coins, says Athenteus 
(XV. c. 13, p. G92), because Janus was 
the first to coin money in bronze ; on 
which account many cities of Greece, 
Italy, and Sicily assumed his head as 
their device. Cf. Macrob. Saturn. I. 7. 
But Servius (ad Virg. Mn. XII. 198) 
gives a much more reasonable expla- 
nation — that it symbolised the union 
of two people under one government, 
and this interpretation is received by 
modern writers. Lanzi, Sagg. II. p. 
98. Melchiorri, Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 
113. The dolphin is understood to 
mark a city with a port — in any case 
it is an Etruscan symbol — Tyrrhcnus 
piscis. These coins with the legend 
of " Velathri " were at first ascribed to 
Velitrae of the Volsci, but their refer- 

ence to Volaterrse is now unquestioned. 
Ut supra, page 144. 

These coins of Velathri are illustrated 
by Lanzi, II. tav. 7 ; Dempster, I. tab. 
56 — 9 ; Guarnacci, Origini Italiche, II. 
tav. 20 — 22 ; Inghirami,III.tav. I,and4; 
Marchi and Tessieri, JEs grave, cl. III. 
tav. 1. See also Mailer, Etrusk. I. p. 
332 ; Lepsius, Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 105 ; 
Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 189 ; Mionnet, 
Suppl. I. pp. 205—7. 

7 One of these represented Poly- 
phemus issuing from his cave, and 
hurling rocks at Ulysses in his ship. 
A Juno interposes, with drawn sword. 
In this Etruscan version of the myth, 
the Cyclops has two eyes ! Micali, Ital. 
av. Rom. tav. 45. Another urn showed 
carpenters and sawyers at their avoca- 
tions ; this is interpreted by Micali 
(op. cit. tav. 49), as the building of the 
ship Argo. I have seen a similar urn 
in the museum of Leyden. 



Note. — Tiie Citarun of tiie Etruscans. 

The Charun of the Etruscans was by no means identical with the 
Charon of the Greeks. Dr. Ambrosch, in his work, " De Charonte 
Etrusco," endeavours to show that there was no analogy between them ; 
though referring the origin of the Etruscan, as of the Greek, to Egypt 
(Diod. Sic. I. c. 92, p. 82, ed. Rhod.), whence Charon was introduced into 
Greece, together with the Orphic doctrines, between the 30th and 40th 
Olympiad (660 — 620 b. c.) ; and though he thinks the Etruscan Charun 
owes his origin immediately to the scenic travesties of the Greek 
dramatic poets. Dr. Braun (Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. p. 269), however, 
who rejects this Orphic origin of the Etruscan Charun, and thinks him 
Cabiric, maintains the analogy between him and the aged ferryman of 
Hellenic mythology. But in the Etruscan system he is not merely 
"the pilot of the livid lake;" his office is also to destroy life; to 
conduct shades to the other world ; and, moreover, to torment the souls 
of the guilty. 

Like the ferryman of the Styx, the Etruscan Charun is generally 
represented as a squalid and hideous old man, with flaming eyes, and 
savage aspect ; but he has, moreover, the ears, and often the tusks, of a 
brute, and has sometimes negro features and complexion, and frequently 
wings — in short, he answers well, cloven feet excepted, to the modern 
conception of the devil. See the frontispiece to this volume. He is 
principally, however, distinguished by his attributes, chief of which is 
the hammer or mallet ; but he has sometimes a sword in addition, or in 
place of it ; or else a rudder, or oar, which indicates his analogy to the 
Charon of the Greeks ; or a forked stick, perhaps equivalent to the 
caduceus of Mercury, to whom as an infernal deity he also corresponds ; 
or, it may be, a torch, or snakes, the usual attributes of a Fury. 

He is most frequently introduced as intervening in cases of violent 
death, and in such instances we find his name recorded ; as in the relief 

chap, xr.i.] THE ETRUSCAN CHARUN. 207 

with the death of Clytemnestra, described at page 179, and as on a 
purely Etruscan vase from Vulci, in which Ajax is depicted immolating 
a Trojan captive, while " Charun" stands by, grinning with savage 
delight. Mon. Ined. Inst. II. tav. 9. 

He is also often represented as the messenger of Death, leading or 
driving the horse on which the soul is mounted (ut supra, pp. 194 — 6) ; or, 
as on a vase at Rome, and another from Bomarzo, now at Berlin, 
accompanying the car in which the soul is seated (Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. 
p. 261; cf. vol. I. p. 320); or attending the procession of souls on foot 
into the other world, as shown in the Grotta de' Pompej, of Corneto 
(Vol. I. pp. 310 etseq. cf. Ann. Inst. 1834, p. 275) ; though this scene 
both Braun and Ambrosch regard as not so much a real representation of 
the infernal minister and his charge, as a sort of theatrical masquerade, 
such as were used in Bacchic festivals. 

Charun, in the Etruscan mythology, is also the tormentor of guilty 
souls ; and his hammer or sword is the instrument of torture. Such 
scenes are represented in the Grotta Cardinale at Corneto (Vol. I. p. 320; 
cf. Byers' Hypogsei of Tarquinia, Pt. II. pi. 6, 7, Pt. III. pi. 5, 6 ; 
Inghir. Mon. Etrus. IV. tav. 27.); and in the Grotta Tartaglia at the 
same place (Vol. I. p. 348 ; Dempst. II. tab. 88 ; Inghir. IV. tav. 24), 
as well as on a Nolan vase in the Museo Mastrilli, and on another in the 
Musee Pourtales-Gorgier ; in all which instances the victim is supplicating 
for mercy (Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. p. 268). 

In many of these scenes it is difficult to distinguish between Charun 
and other infernal demons, his attendants, with hammers or other 
analogous attributes. For two or more are sometimes introduced in 
the same scene, as in that which forms the frontispiece to this volume, 
and as in the Grotta Cardinale at Corneto, where many such beings, of 
both sexes, are similarly armed. They may generally be supposed the 
attendants on Charun. Miiller, indeed, takes many of these demons 
on Etruscan monuments to represent Mantus, the King of Hades 
(Etrusk. III. 4, 10), as the Romans introduced a figure of Pluto, 
armed with a hammer, at their gladiatorial combats, to carry off the 
slain (Tertull. ad Nat. I. 10). Gerhard also (Gottheit. d. Etrusk. pp. 16, 
56, taf. VI. 2, 3) thinks it is Mantus that is often represented on these 
urns, especially where he is crowned, though he distinguishes the beings 
with hammers and other attributes generally by the name of Charun. 
Both Miiller and Gerhard refer the origin of the " Manducus" (Fest. ap. 
P. Diac. sub voce; Plaut. Rud. II. 6, 51), the ridiculous effigy, with 
wide jaws and chattering teeth, borne in the public games of the 
Romans, to this source, and consider it as a caricature of the Etruscan 

208 VOLTERRA .— The Museum. [appendix to 

Charun, or leader of souls — Manducus — quasi Manium Dux. Charun 
must be regarded rather as a minister of Mantus, than as identical with 
him. He is often represented on Etruscan urns, accompanied by female 
demons or Fates, who, in other cases, are substituted for him. Dr. 
Ambrosch fancied that the sex of the demons indicated that of the 
defunct ; but female Fates or Furies are often introduced into scenes 
which represent the death of males, as in the mutual slaughter of 
the Theban Brothers. The eyes in the wings of Charun, or of a 
female demon, his substitute, have already been mentioned, as intimating 
superhuman power and intelligence (ut supra, p. 182). 

Miiller suggests that the Charon of the early Greek traditions may 
have been a great infernal deity, as in the later Greek poems ; and 
thinks the Xapaweta (Xapwveiot KXi/iaKes?) or Charontic door, of the Greek 
theatre, indicates a greater extension of the idea than is usually supposed. 

It is singular that Charun has never been found designed on Etruscan 
mirrors, those monuments which present us, as Chevalier Bunsen 
remarks, with a figurative dictionary of Etruscan mythology (Bull. Inst. 
1836, p. 18). This must be explained by the non-sepulchral character 
of these articles. The Etruscan lady, while dressing her hair or 
painting her cheeks, would scarcely relish such a memorial of her 
mortality under her eyes, but would prefer to look at the deeds of gods 
or heroes, or the loves of Paris and Helen. Occasionally, however, it 
must be confessed that scenes of a funereal character were represented 
on these mirrors. 

Charun is sometimes introduced as guardian of the sepulchre — as in 
the painted tomb of Vulci (Vol. I. p. 428); and also in a tomb at 
Chiusi, opened in 1837, where two Charuns, as large as life, were 
sculptured in high relief in the doorway, threatening the intruder with 
their hammers (Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. p. 258). 

It has been remarked by Miiller, as well as by Platner in his 
" Beschreibung der Stadt Rom," that the Charon Michael Angelo has 
introduced into his celebrated picture of the Last Judgment, has much 
more of the conception of his Etruscan forefathers, than of the Greek 

The hammer is considered by Dr. Braun rather as a symbol, or 
distinctive attribute, than as an instrument, yet it is occasionally repre- 
sented as such. In one instance it is decorated with a fillet (Ann. 
Inst. 1837, 2. p. 260) ; in another, encircled by a serpent (Bull. Inst. 
1844, p. 97). In every case it appears to have an infernal reference ; 
in the Greek mythology it is either the instrument of Vulcan, of the 
Cyclops, or of Jupiter Serapis ; but as an Etruscan symbol it is referred 

chap, xli.] THE ETRUSCAN CHARUN. 209 

by Braun to the Cabiri, in whose mysterious worship he thinks 
Charun had his seat and origin. Gerhard, who has embraced the doc- 
trine of the northern origin of the Etruscans, a doctrine so fashionable 
among the Germans, suggests the analogy of Thor with his hammer ; 
and reminds us that in the northern mythology there was also a 
ferryman for the dead; that female demons, friendly and malignant, 
were in readiness to carry off the soul ; and that even the horse, as in 
Etruria, was present for the swift ride of the dead (Gottheiten der 
Etrusker, pp. 17, 57). 

For further details concerning the Etruscan Charun, see the work of 
Dr. Ambrosch, " De Charon te Etrusco," and the review of it by Dr. 
Emil. Braun, Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. pp. 253 — 274, to which I am con- 
siderably indebted for this note. Dr. Ambrosch's work I am not 
acquainted with, except through this excellent article by Dr. Braun. 




Guarda, mi disse, al mare ; e vidi piana 

Cogli altri colli la Marema tutta, 

Dilectivole molto, e poco sana. 

Ivi e Massa, Grossetto, e la distructa 

Civita vechia, e ivi Popolonia, 

Che apenna pare tanto e mal conduta. 

Ivi e ancor ove fue la Sendonia. 

Queste cita e altre ehio non dico, 

Sono per la Marema en verso Roma, 

Famose e grandi per lo tempo antico. 

Faccio degli Ubeuti. 
The green Maremma ! — 
A sun-bright waste of beauty — yet an air 
Of brooding sadness o'er the scene is shed ; 
No human footstep tracks the lone domain — 
The desert of luxuriance glows in vain. 


These lines of Mrs. Hemans present a true summer 
picture of the Tuscan Maremma ; and such is the idea 
generally conceived of it at all seasons alike by most Eng- 
lishmen, except as regards its beauty. For few have a 
notion that it is other than a desert seashore swamp, 
totally without interest, save as a preserve of wild boars 
and roe-bucks, without the picturesque, or antiquities, or 
good accommodation, or anything else to compensate for 
the dangers of its fever-fraught atmosphere — in short, 

" A wild and melancholy waste 
Of putrid marshes," 

as desolate and perilous as the Pomptine. They know not 


that it is full of the picturesque and beautiful ; a beauty 
peculiar and somewhat savage, it is true, like that of an 
Indian maiden, yet fascinating in its wild unschooled 
luxuriance, and offering abundant food for the pencil of 
the artist and the imagination of the poet. They think 
not that in summer alone it is unhealthy ; that from 
October to May it is as free from noxious vapours as any 
other part of Italy, and may be visited and explored with 
perfect impunity. They scarcely remember that it con- 
tains not a few sites of classical interest ; and they are 
ignorant that it has excellent roads, that public convey- 
ances bring it into regular communication with Leghorn, 
Siena, and Florence ; and that, in winter at least, its ac- 
commodations are as good as will be found on most bye- 
roads in the Tuscan State. 

As my object is to point out sites and objects of Etrus- 
can antiquity, I pass over that tract of coast which 
extends about fifty miles south of Leghorn to the promon- 
tory of Populonia, as containing no interest of this kind. 
The ancient port of Vada Volaterrana, near the mouth of 
the Cecina, is not mentioned as Etruscan, 1 though it seems 
very improbable that the maritime city of Volaterrae would 
not have availed itself of it, and of the communication with 
the sea afforded by the Csecina. 

The high-road along this coast follows the course of the 

1 Vada is mentioned by Cicero, pro of Albinus Czechia, who resided here at 

Quintio, c. VI ; Pliny, III. 8 ; Rutilius, the commencement of the fifth century 

I. 453 ; and the Itineraries, but as of our era (Rutil. I. 466 — 475 ; cf. 

Roman only. It must have received Miiller, Etrusk. I. pp. 406, 418), which 

its name from the swamps in the Repetti places on the neighbouring 

neighbourhood. But it was a port, as height of Rosignano, where there are 

Rutilius shows, and it still affords pro- some ancient remains, called " Vil- 

tection to small vessels. Repetti, V. lana." I. p. 65. For an account of 

p. 616. There are said to be some the gi'eat improvements of this deadly 

Roman remains at Vada. Viaggio Antiq. and once desert shore effected during 

per la Via Aurelia, p. 5. Here were also the last fifteen years see the same 

some ancient Salt-works, and the villa writer. Suppl. pp. 261 — 4. 


2 1 2 


[chap, xi.ii. 

ancient Via Aurelia. 2 It is in excellent condition, and a 
diligence runs three times a week from Leghorn to Piom- 
bino and Grosseto. 

I propose to conduct my readers to Populonia by the 
road from Volterra. 

The road that runs from that city southward to the 
Maremma is " carriageable " throughout, though some- 
what rugged in parts, and nowhere to be rejoiced in after 
heavy rains. As it descends the long bare slope beneath 
Volterra, it passes through a singular tract, broken into 
hills of black marl or clay, without a blade of grass on 
their surface, seeming to mark the ravages of a recent 
flood, but so existing for ages, perhaps before the creation 
of man. At the foot of the long-drawn hill, and five miles 
from Volterra, are the Saline, the government Salt-works, 

2 The following are the ancient sta- 
tions and distances on this road, and 
along the coast, from Cosa northwards 
to Luna, as given by the three Itine- 

Itinerary of Antoninus. 

Lacum Aprilem 








Vada Volaterrana 


Ad Herculera 











Albinia, fl. 






Umbro, fl. 








Vadis Volateris X. 

Velinis X. 

Ad Fines XIII. 

Piscinas VIII. 

Turrita XVI. 

Pisis Villi. 

Fossis Papirianis XI. 

Ad Taberna Frigida XII. 

Lunse X. 

Maritime Itinerary. 
Amine, fluv. 

Portum Herculis XXV. 

Cetarias Domitianas III. 

Almina, fluv. Villi. 

Portum Telamonis i 

Fluv. Umbronis I XVIII. 

Lacu Aprile J 

Alma, flum. XVII I. 

Scabros, port. \ I . 

Falesiam, port. XVII I. 

Populonium, port. XIII. 

Vada, port. XXX. 

Portum l'isanum XVII 1. 

Pisas, fluv. Villi. 

Lunam, fluv. Macra XXX. 


where the deep wells and the evaporating* factories are 
well worthy of inspection. Through the hollow flows the 
Cecina of classical renown, 3 a small stream in a wide 
sandy bed, between wooded banks, and here spanned, to 
my astonishment, by a suspension bridge, — verily, as the 
natives say, " una gran betta cosa ! " in the midst of this 
wilderness. From the wooded heights beyond, a magni- 
ficent view of Volterra, with her mural diadem, is obtained. 
A few miles further is Pomarance, a clean neat town, by 
moonlight at least, which is all I can vouch for, but, as 
the proverb saith, " What seems a lion at night may prove 
but an ape in the morning — " 

La sera Hone, 

La mattina babbione. 

Pomarance is said to have a comfortable inn. Let the 
traveller then, who would halt the night somewhere on 
this road, remember the same, especially if it be his in- 
tention to visit the singular, interesting, and celebrated 
borax-works of Monte Cerboli, about four miles distant. 4 
At Castelnuovo, a village some ten or twelve miles beyond 
Pomarance, I can promise him little comfort, as he will 
find, if he have my lot, his bed fully preoccupied, and the 
mind of his host also preoccupied with extravagant 
notions of the wealth and pluckability of the English. All 
this district, even beyond Castelnuovo and Monterotondo, 
is boracic, and the hills on every hand are ever shooting 

3 Pliny (III. 8) shows that the river it as a river, as Cluver (II. p. 469) 

had the same name in his time, " fluvius opines, who would read the passage — 

Caecinna," — how much earlier we know " Etrusca et loca et flumina," instead of 

not ; but probably from very remote the current version — " loca et nomina." 
times. Mela (II. 4) speaks of it among 4 A good description of these works 

the towns on this coast. But he may is given in Murray's Hand-book. See 

have cited u Cecina," instead of Vada also Repetti, vv. Lagoni, Monte Cerboli, 

Volaterrana, the port which was near Pomarance. 
its mouth ; or he may have referred to 

2 I 1 THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

forth the hot and fetid vapour in numerous tall white 
columns, which, by moonlight on their dark slopes, look 
like " quills upon the fretful porcupine/' 

Some miles beyond Castelnuovo, the road, which has 
been continually ascending from the Cecina, attains its 
greatest elevation. Here it commands a prospect of vast 
extent, over a wide expanse of undulating country to the 
sea, nearly twenty miles distant, with the promontory of 
Piombino and Populonia rising like an island from the 
deep, and the lofty peaks of Elba seen dimly in the far 
horizon. Among the undulations at the foot of the height, 
which the road here crosses, is the hill of Castiglione Ber- 
nardi, which Inghirami has pronounced to be the site of 
the Vetulonia of antiquity. 

I did not visit this spot, for I was deterred by one of 
those sudden deluges of rain common in southern climates, 
Avhich burst like a water-spout upon me, just as I had 
begun to descend to it ; and I thought myself fortunate in 
soon regaining the shelter of my carrettino. Not relishing 
a country walk of some miles after such a storm, I did not 
await its cessation, but made the best of my way to Massa. 
I did this with the less regret, for my quondam fellow- 
traveller, Mr. Ainsley, had previously twice visited the spot, 
furnished with directions from Inghirami himself, and had 
sought in vain, in a careful examination of the ground, 
for any remains of Etruscan antiquity, or for any traces of 
an ancient city of importance. Inghirami indeed admits 
that the hill in question is but a poggetto angusto — " a 
circumscribed mound, not more than half a mile in circuit, 
and quite incapable of holding a city such as Vetulonia 
must have been ; " and says that on it are to be seen only 
the ruins of a castle of the middle ages, overgrown with 
enormous oaks, nor could he " perceive among the extant 
masonry a single stone which bore a trace of ancient 



Tyrrhene construction, such as might correspond with the 
remains of the Etruscan city of Vetulonia." 5 Why then 
suppose this to have been the site of that famous city 3 
First — because he finds the hill so called in certain docu- 
ments of the middle ages, one as far back as the eleventh 
century. 6 Secondly — because it is not far from the river 
Cornia, which abounds in hot springs, some of which he 
thinks must have been those mentioned by Pliny as exist- 
ing, — ad Vetulonios ; " 7 besides being in the immediate 
neighbourhood of a lake — Lago Cerchiaio — of hot sulphu- 
reous water. Thirdly — because a few tombs of Etruscan 
construction, and with undoubted Etruscan furniture, have 
been found in the vicinity. Fourthly — and on this the 
Cavaliere lays most stress — because the situation assigned 
to Vetulonia by Ptolemy was in the district comprised 
between Volterra, Siena, and Populonia, 8 which he thinks 

8 Ricerclie di Vetulonia, Lettera II. 
pp. 35, 36, 52. Published also in the 
Memorie dell' Institute IV. pp. 95 — 

6 Ric. di Vetul. p. 29. Repetti (V. 
p. 706), however, tells us that many 
documents of the tenth century speak 
of this Castiglioue, without mentioning 
the " hill of Vetulonio." How this spot 
acquired the name of Vetulonium which 
it bore during the middle ages, it is not 
easy to say. That it bore this appella- 
tion in Etruscan times we have no 
proof. That the names of places were 
often altered by the ancients we have 
evidence in Etruria and its confines — 
Camers was changed to Clusium, Agylla 
to Ccere, Aurinia to Saturnia, Nequinum 
to Narnia, Felsina to Bononia — and we 
know that the name of a town was 
sometimes transferred from one site to 
another, as in Falerii and Volsinii — and 
that names were occasionally multiplied 
we see in Clusium Vetus and Clusium 

Novum ; in Arretium Vetus, Arretium 
Fidens, and Arretium Julium. It 
must also be remembered that the 
nomenclature of the middle ages is no 
evidence of that of more early times. 
Through the fond partiality of an 
ecclesiastic for his native-place, or the 
blunder of some antiquary, ancient 
names were often attached to sites, to 
which they did not belong. Such 
errors would soon however become 
traditional with the people, anxious to 
maintain the honour of their native 
town, and would even pass into their 
documents and monumental inscrip- 
tions. Thus it was that Civita Castel- 
lana was made the ancient Veii ; and 
thus Annio's forgeries and capricious 
nomenclature became current for ages 
in the traditions of the people. 

7 Plin. N. H. II. 106. 

8 Ric. di Vetul. p. 93. He even pro- 
poses to make this the basis of his re- 
searches for the site of Vetulonia. But 

21G THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

may correspond with this hill of Castiglione Bernard! 
Nevertheless, so little could he reconcile this circumscribed 
site with that of a first-rate city, such as Vetulonia is 
described to have been, that he was driven to suppose the 
existence of two ancient cities or towns of that name — 
the one of greatest renown lying on the northern slopes of 
the Ciminian ; the other, being that famous for hot springs, 
occupying this hill of Castiglione. 9 

I shall not in this place do more than state the views of 
the late Cavaliere Inghirami, which, coming from a man of 
approved archaeological eminence, are entitled to all respect. 
The subject will be further considered in a subsequent 
chapter, when I treat of another site in the Maremma, 
which, I think, has much stronger claims to be regarded 
as that of the ancient Vetulonia. Let it suffice to mention 
that Mr. Ainsley's description and sketches of Castiglione 
Bernardi represent it in entire accordance with the admis- 
sion of Inghirami, as a small, isolated, conical hill, about 
the size of the celebrated Poggio di Gajella at Chiusi, cer- 
tainly not so large as the Castellina at Tarquinii — a mere 
" poggetto" or " monticcllo" without any level space that 
could admit of an Etruscan town, even of fourth or fifth- 
rate importance. To which I may add, that if this were 

how unsound a basis this is, and how quence of the reasoning of Dr. Ambrosch 

little Ptolemy is to be trusted — being in a letter written in reply to the three 

so full of errors and inconsistencies, that published by the venerable antiquary 

if the towns of Etruria were arranged (Memor. Inst. IV. pp. 137 — 155), and 

according to the latitudes and longitudes fell back upon his hill of Castiglione. 

he assigns them, we should have an His opinion that this was the site of 

entirely new map of the land— I have Vetulonia is supported by Dr. Ambrosch, 

shown at length in an article in the who to reconcile this mean site with 

Classical Museum, 1844, No. V. pp. that of Vetulonia is driven to attempt 

229 — 246. to invalidate the evidence of Silius 

9 Ricerche di Vetulonia, p. 50. He Italicus as to the importance and gran- 

ultimately gave up the idea of a Ciminian deur of that ancient city. I have replied 

Vetulonia (op. cit. pp. 93—6 ; Bull. to his objections in the above-men- 

fnst. 1839, pp. 150—152), in conse- tioned paper in the Classical Museum. 


an Etruscan site, as the neighbouring tombs seem to indi- 
cate, it can have been only one of the thousand and one 
" villages and castles " — castella vicique — which existed in 
Etruria. The traveller may rest satisfied that no remains 
of an Etruscan town are to be seen on the spot. Should 
he wish to verify the fact, he will find accommodation at 
Monte Rotondo, a town two or three miles from the 
Poggio of Castiglione ; and he can see, in the house of 
Signer Baldasserini, the proprietor of this tenuta, a number 
of vases and other Etruscan antiquities, found in the neigh- 

A continual descent of many miles through a wild tract 
of oak forests, underwooded with tamarisk, laurestinus, and 
brushwood, leads to the plain of Massa. That city crowns 
the extremity of a long range of heights, and at a distance 
is not unlike Harrow as seen from Hampstead Heath ; but 
its walls and towers give it a more imposing air. Though 
the see of a bishop, with nearly 3000 inhabitants, and one 
of the principal cities of the Maremma, Massa is a mean, 
dirty place, without an inn — unless the chandler's shop, 
assuming the name of "Locanda del Sole," may be so 
called. The Duomo is a small, neat edifice, of the thirteenth 
century, in the Byzantine style, with a low dome and a 
triple tier of arcades in the facade. The interior is not 
in keeping, being spoilt by modern additions, and has 
nothing of interest beyond a very curious font of early 
date, formed of a single block. 

Massa has been supposed by some to occupy the site of 
Vetulonia, an opinion founded principally on the epithet 
" Veternensis," attached to a town of this name by 
Ammianus Marcellinus, 1 the only ancient writer who 

1 Amm. Marcell. XIV. 11, 27. He Ciesar, the brother of Julian the Apos- 
speaks of it as the birth-place of Gallus tate. 

218 THE MAREMMA. [chap. xmi. 

speaks of Massa, and which is regarded as a corruption 
of "Vetuloniensis." 2 The towns-people, ready to catch at 
anything that would confer dignity on their native place, 
have adopted this opinion, and it has become a local tradi- 
tion ; not to be the more credited on that account. I 
have little doubt, however, that there was originally an 
Etruscan population on the spot. Adjoining the town, to 
the south-east, is a height, or rather a cliff-bound table- 
land, called Poggio di Vetreta, or Vuetreta, which has all 
the features of an Etruscan site. It is about a mile in 
length, and three-quarters of a mile in its greatest breadth; 
it breaks into cliffs on all sides, except where a narrow 
isthmus unites it to the neighbouring heights. No fragments 
of ancient walls could I perceive ; but there are not a few 
traces of sepulchres in the cliffs. 3 It is highly probable 
that the original name of this town is to be traced in 
its Roman appellation (if that, indeed, belong to this site), 4 

" See Targioni-Tozzetti, Viaggi in that town, are the ruins of the city of 

Toscana, IV. p. 1 16. Vetulonia ; but Inghirami ascribes tins 

3 In the cliffs just opposite the tradition to its true source, as will pre- 

Cathedral are some sepulchral niches, sently be shown. 

and so also in the rocks beneath Massa 4 Repetti (III. p. 139) does not think 
itself. Mr. Ainsley observed, in the there is sufficient authority for identify- 
cliffs of the Poggio de Vetreta, some ing the Massa Veternensis of Marcel- 
passages running far into the rock, like hnus with this town of Massa Marit- 
the Buche de' Saracini at Volterra. tima ; for he shows (cf. p. 109) that 
They were probably sewers. Below numerous places, not only in Tuscany, 
this height there is also a Giardino di but in the Papal State, especially in the 
Vuetreta. This name has been sup- southern district of Etruria, had the 
posed to be derived from Vetulonia, title of Massa, i.e., « a large estate," in 
but is more probably a corruption of the middle ages, most of which have 
the Latin appellation of the town ; if now dropped it. He inclines to recog- 
it be not rather traceable to the glass- nise the birth-place of Gallus in Viterbo, 
factories, once common in this district. and would read « Massa Veterbensis," 
Inghir. Ric. di Vetul. p. 39; Memor. instead of "Veternensis." Cluver (II. 
Inst. IV. p. 120. Ximenes (cited by p. 513), however, does not hesitate to 
Iughiranh, op. cit. p. 62) asserts the identify the modem Massa with that 
currency of a tradition at Massa, that of A. Marcellinus. 
in a dense wood five miles west of 

chap, xlii.] MASSA MARITTIMA. 219 

which indicates, not Vetulonia, but Volturnus or Volturna 
as its root ; and the town may have taken its name from 
a shrine to one of those Etruscan deities, on or near the 
spot. 5 

The rock here is a rich red tufo, much indurated, and 
picturesquely overhung with ilex. Traces of volcanic 
action are occasionally met with in this part of Italy, 
though the higher mountains are of limestone, sandstone, 
or clay slate. 

This height commands a magnificent view. The wide 
Maremma lies outspread at your feet, and the eye is led 
across it by a long straight road to the village of Follonica 
on the coast, some twelve or thirteen miles distant. Monte 
Calvi rises on the right, overhanging the deep vale of the 
Cornia ; and many a village sparkles out from its wooded 
slopes. The heights of Piombino and Populonia rise 
beyond it, forming the northern horn of the Bay of 
Follonica ; the headland of Troja, with its subject islet, 
forms the southern ; and the dark, abrupt peaks of Elba, 
the dim island of Monte Cristo, and the deep blue line of 
the Mediterranean, bound the horizon. 6 

Its elevated position might be supposed to secure Massa 
from the pestiferous atmosphere of the Maremma ; but 
such is not the case. The city does not suffer so much as 

5 For Volturnus and Volturna, or the same relation to this town, that the 

Vertumnus and Voltumna, see Vol. I. ancient family Csecina had to the river 

p. 519. Veternensis, deprived of its of that name. A tomh of the family 

Latin adjectival termination, becomes of Velthurna, or Velthurnas, was dis- 

Veterni or Veterna, which seems covered at Perugia in 1 822, with eight 

nothing but a corruption of the Etrus- urns bearing this name. Vermiglioli, 

can Velturna, or Velthurna, the Latin Iscriz. Perug. I. pp. 262 — 3. 

Volturnus, according to the frequent 6 Massa is 38 miles from Volterra, 

Roman substitution of o for the Etrus- 40 from Siena, 16 from Castelnuovo, 

can e. Velthur or Velthurna was also 20 from Piombino, 24 from Populonia, 

an Etruscan proper name (sec Vol. I. 24 from Campiglia, 30 from Grosscto. 
pp. 340, 446, 499), and may have had 

220 THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

others on lower ground, yet has a bad name, proverbialised 
by the saying, 

Massa, Massa — 
Salute passa. 

It is a dreary road to Follonica across the barren plain. 
Let the traveller, however, drive on rather than pass the 
night at Massa ; for the inn, though of no high pretensions, 
is far more comfortable at the former place. Follonica, 
indeed, is much more frequented, having a little port, and 
large iron factories ; and lying on the high-road from 
Leghorn to Civita Vecchia. This little industrious village 
appears quite civilised after the dreamy dulness of Massa. 7 

From Follonica there are two ways to Populonia — one 
along the sandy strip of shore, called II Tombolo, to 
Piombino, fifteen miles distant, 8 and thence six miles 
further over the mountains ; the other by the high road 
to Leghorn, for ten or eleven miles, and then across the 
Maremma. The first, in fine weather, is practicable for a 
carriage throughout ; the second only as long as you keep 
the high-road, the rest of the way being by a path through 
the forest. I chose the latter track, which is shorter by 

7 Abeken thinks that the abandoned neighbouring Etruscan city of Popu- 

mines, which Strabo (V. p. 223) saw in Ionia. Ann. Inst. 1834, pp. 198—222. 

the neighbourhood of Populonia, must Tav. d'Agg. D. 1. Mon. Ined. Inst, 

have been at Follonica. Mittelitalien, I. tav. 58, 59. Between Follouica 

p. 30. But Miiller (Etrusk. I. p. 240) and Piombino, and about a mile 

mentions Caldana as the site of these only from the latter, is the Porto de' 

mines. They are probably those which Faliesi, the Faleria of Rutilius (I. 

have been re-opened of late with great 371), the Falesia Portus of the Mari- 

success in the vicinity of Campiglia. time Itinerary, see page 212. Demp- 

s Piombino is not an ancient site. ster (II. p. 432) erroneously places this 

Here, however, a beautiful votive statue ancient port at the other end of the 

of Apollo in bronze was found in the bay, near the island of Troja. The 

sea a few years since, having a Greek neighbouring lagoon, which Rutilius 

inscription on its foot — A0ANAIAI speaks of, is that into which the Cornia 

AEKATAN— It is now in the Louvre. empties itself. Repetti (IV. p. 293) says 

M. Letronuc thinks it may have deco- the ancient port is now much choked by 

rated some temple of Minerva in the the deposits from that river. 


five miles, because the road by the Tombolo had been 
rendered uncarriageable by heavy rains. 

My road lay through the level of the Maremma, where 
for some miles everything was in a state of primitive 
nature ; a dense wood ran wild over the plain ; it could 
not be called a forest, for there was scarcely a tree 
twenty feet in height ; but a tall underwood of tamarisk, 
lentiscus, myrtle, dwarf cork-trees, and numerous shrubs 
unknown to me, fostered by the heat and moisture into an 
extravagant luxuriance, and matted together by parasitical 
plants of various kinds. Here a break offered a peep of a 
stagnant lagoon ; there of the sandy Tombolo, with the 
sea breaking over it ; and above the foliage I could see 
the dark crests of Monte Calvi on the one hand, and the 
lofty promontory of Populonia on the other. Habitations 
there were none in this wilderness, save one lonely house 
on a rising-ground. If a pathway opened into the dense 
thickets on either hand, it was the track of the wild beasts 
of the forest. Man seemed here to have no dominion. 
The boar, the roebuck, the buffalo, and wild cattle have 
the undisputed range of the jungle. It was the " woods 
and wasteness wide " of this Maremma, that seized Dante's 
imagination when he pictured the Infernal wood, inhabited 
by the souls of suicides, 

un bosco 

Che da nessun sentiero era segnato. 
Non frondi verdi, ma di color fosco ; 

Non rami schietti, ma nodosi e 'nvolti ; 
Non pomi v' eran, ma stecchi con tosco. 

Non han si aspri sterpi, ne si folti 
Quelle fiere selvegge, che 'n odio hanno 

Tra Cecina e Corneto i luoghi colti. 

After some miles there were a few traces of cultivation 
— strips of land by the road-side redeemed from the 
waste, and sown with corn ; yet, like the clearings of 

■Z2Z THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

American backwoods, still studded with stumps of 
trees, showing the struggle with which nature had been 
subdued. At this cool season the roads had a fair 
sprinkling of travellers — labourers going to work, and not a 
few pedlars, indispensable beings in a region that produces 
nothing but fish, flesh, and fuel. But the population is tem- 
porary and nomade, consisting of woodcutters, agricultural 
labourers and herdsmen, and those who minister to their 
wants. These colonists — for such they may strictly be 
called — are from distant parts of the Duchy, mostly from 
Pistoja and the northern districts ; and they come down 
to these lowlands in the autumn to cut wood and make 
charcoal — the prime duties of the Maremma labourer. 
In May, at the commencement of the summer heats, the 
greater jmrt of them emigrate to the neighbouring moun- 
tains, or return to their homes ; but a few linger four or 
five weeks longer, just to gather in the scanty harvest, 
where there is any, and then it is sauve qui peut, and " the 
devil take the hindmost." No one remains in this deadly 
atmosphere, who can in any way crawl out of it — even 
"the birds and the very flies" are said, in the emphatic 
language of the Southron, to abandon the plague-stricken 
waste. Follonica, which in winter has two or three 
hundred inhabitants, has scarcely half-a-dozen souls left 
in the dog-days ; beyond the men of the coast-guard, 
who are doomed to rot at their posts. Such, at least, is 
the report given by the natives ; how far it is coloured by 
southern imaginations, I leave to others to verify, if they 
wish it. My advice, however, for that season would be 

— has terras, Italique hanc litoris oram, 
Effuge ; cuncta malis habitantur moenia ; 

for the sallow emaciation, or dropsical bloatedness, so often 
seen along this coast, confirms a great part of the tale. In 


October, when the sun is losing his power to create 
miasma, the tide of population begins again to flow towards 
the Maremma. 

The same causes must always have produced the same 
effects, and the Maremma must have been unhealthy from 
the earliest times. Yet scarcely to the same extent as at 
present, or the coast and its neighbourhood would not 
have been so well peopled, as extant remains prove it to 
have been. In Roman times we know it was much as at 
the present day. 9 Yet the Emperors and patricians had 
villas along this coast in spots which are now utterly 
deserted. The Romans, by their conscriptions, and cen- 
tralising system, diminished the population ; the land fell 
out of cultivation, and malaria was the natural conse- 
quence ; so that where large cities had originally stood, 
mere road-stations, post-houses, or lonely villas met the 
eye in Imperial times. The same causes which reduced 
the Campagna of Rome to a desert must have operated 
here. The old saying, 

Lontan da citta, 
Lontan da sanita, 

is most applicable to these regions, where population and 
cultivation are the best safeguards against disease. It 
is probable that under the Etruscans the malaria was 
confined to the level of the coast, or we should scarcely 
find traces of so many cities, the chief cities of the land, 
on the great table-lands, not far from the sea ; on sites 
which now, from want of cultivation and proper draining, 
are become most pestilent ; but which, from their eleva- 
tion, ought to enjoy immunity from the desolating scourge. 
It is but justice to add, that the rulers of Tuscany, for a 

9 Pliny (epist. V. 6) says of it — Est sane gravis et pestilens ora Tuscorum, qure 
per litus extenditur. Cf. Virg. ./En. X. 184 ; Serv. in loc. ; Rutil. I. 282. 

224 THE MAREMMA. [chap, xi.ii. 

century past, have clone much to improve the condition of 
this district, both by drainage, by filling up the pools and 
swamps, and by reclaiming land from the waste for agri- 
cultural purposes. But much yet remains to be done ; 
for the mischief of ages cannot be remedied in a day. The 
success already attained in the Val di Chiana, and the 
natural fertility of the soil, offer every encouragement. 
"In the Mareinnia," saith the proverb, "you get rich 
in a year, but — you die in six months" — in Maremma 
s'arricchisce in un anno, si muore in sei mesi. 

The peculiar circumstances of the Maremma are made 
the universal excuse for every inferiority of quantity, 
quality, or workmanship. You complain of the food or 
accommodation. My host shrugs his shoulders, and cries, 
" Ma che — cosa vnole, signor ? siamo in Maremma' — 
what would you have, sir 1 we are in the Maremma. 
A bungling smith well nigh lamed the horse I had hired ; 
to my complaints he replied, " Cosa vnole, signor f e roba 
di Maremma!' " Maremma-stuff " is a proverbial expres- 
sion of inferiority. These lower regions of Italy, in truth, 
are scarcely deemed worthy of a place in a Tuscan's 
geography. " Nel mondo, o in Maremma" has for ages 
been a current saying. Thus, Boccaccio's Madonna Lisetta 
tells her gossip that the angel Gabriel had called her the 
handsomest woman " in the world or in the Maremma." 
The traveller will find, however, that as accommodation 
deteriorates, the demands on his purse become more 
exorbitant ; not wholly without reason, for everything 
comes from other parts — nothing is produced in the 
Maremma, Milk, butter, fruit, all the necessaries of life, 
even bread and meat, are brought from a distance ; fowls 
and eggs, and occasionally fish or a wild-boar chop, are 
the only produce of the spot. Corn is not yet grown in 
sufficient quantities for the winter population. 

chap, xlii.] CALDANE.— CAMPIGLIA. £25 

About the ninth milestone from Follonica, the road 
crosses the Cornia, which flows from the wide valley on 
the right, between the heights of Massa and Campiglia. 
The latter place is seen from afar off, glistening on the 
wooded slopes. A mile or two beyond the Cornia, a road 
branches to it, thence three miles distant ; and a path 
turns off in the opposite direction through the jungle to 
Populonia, seven miles off. Hard by this spot a white 
house by the road-side, at the eleventh milestone from 
Follonica, marks Le Caldane, the hot springs, which have 
been regarded by Inghirami, as well as by earlier writers, 
as the aqiice calidce ad Vetulonios, mentioned by Pliny. 2 
They are still used as hot baths. 

Campiglia is a town of some consequence, having 2000 
resident inhabitants ; but in the cool season that number 
is almost doubled by the influx of the labourers from other 
parts of the Duchy, who migrate to the Maremma. A 
recent traveller complains of having been mobbed here, 
and followed through the streets, as bears and monkeys 
are by children, and describes the locanda as the worst 
that could possibly exist. 3 I did not happen to be mis- 
taken for either of those saltatory quadrupeds ; and more- 
over, in the Locanda of Giovanni Dini, I experienced great 
civility and attention, and as much comfort as can be 
expected in a country town, off the high road, and where 
the tastes and whims of foreigners are not wont to be 

1 Tuscany is indebted for much of able!'" Supplem. p. 261. 
this improvement to the assiduous - Plin. II. 106. The Cornia is sup- 
exertions of her present benevolent posed to be the Lvnceus of Lycophron 
ruler, Leopold II. " He who in 1832," (Cassand. 1240), a river of Etruria 
says Repetti, " visited the desert and which abounded in hot springs. Clu- 
unhealthy plain between the Cecina and ver. II. p. 472. Inghir. Ric. di Vetul. 
the height of Rosignano, and returns p. 26. 

to it in 1846, cannot but exclaim with 3 Viaggio Antirjuario per la Via Aure- 

me : — 'The evils of the Tuscan Ma- lia, p. 14. 
remma are not then in every part incur- 

VOL. II. y 

•>M THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

studied. Giovanni himself is as obliging and intelligent an 
host as you will meet in the wide Maremma, Therefore, 
those visitors to Populonia, who do not accept the hospi- 
talities of the Desiderj, or seek a lodging at Piombino, 
cannot do better than make the acquaintance of Giovanni 
of Campiglia. 

It is in these mountains, and not far from Campiglia, 
that Vetulonia was long supposed to have been situated. 
Leandro Alberti, in 1550, first gave to the world a long 
and detailed account of some ruins in a thick wood here- 
abouts, which, from the name of the wood, and from the 
vicinity of the hot springs of Le Caldane, he concluded to 
be the remains of Vetulonia, or, as he calls it, Itulonium. 

He asserts that between the Torre di S. Vincenzio and 
the headland of Populonia, three miles from the sea, and 
in the midst of dense woods, is a spacious inclosure of 
ancient masonry, composed of blocks from four to six feet 
long, neatly put together, and without cement ; the wall 
being ten feet thick. In many parts it is overthrown 
to the foundations. Within this are many fountains, or 
reservoirs, almost all ruined and empty ; besides certain 
wells, some quite choked with earth ; mosaic pavement of 
marble and other costly stones, but much ruined ; the 
remains of a superb amphitheatre, in which lies a great 
block of marble, inscribed with Etruscan characters. Both 
within and around the said inclosure, among the dense 
thickets and underwood, lie fragments of statues, broken 
capitals and bases of columns, slabs, tablets, tomb-stones, 
and such-like remains of antiquity, together with very 
thick substructions and fragments of massive walling, 
which he thinks belonged to some temple or palace. This 
wood, he says, is called Selva di Vetletta, and the ruins, 
Vetulia ; which he takes to be Vetulonia, or a temple 
called Vitulonium. All around these remains are ruined 



fountains ; and two miles beyond, on the same wooded 
hills, is a large building, where alum is prepared ; and 
three miles further, are the mines, where iron ore is dug up. 
Following the said hill, which faces the south, for another 
mile, and descending to its foot, you find the marsh 
through which the Cornia flows to the sea. 5 

I have given Alberti's account for the benefit of those 
who would seek for the ruins he describes. 

Though Alberti's opinion, as to this being the site of 
Vetulonia, has been now broached for three centuries, and 
though it has been adopted, through good faith in his 
statements, by almost every subsequent writer on Italian 
antiquities, 6 no one has hitherto been able to discover a 
vestige of the ruins he pretends to describe ; yet no one 
seems to have doubted their existence, accounting for their 
disappearance by the density of the wood which covers 
the slopes of these mountains. 7 The wood, however, 

5 Alberti, Descrittione d 1 Italia, p. 
27. See the Appendix to this Chapter. 
Inghirami (Ric. di Vetul. p. 38) tells 
us that Leandro Alberti did not de- 
scribe these ruins from his own per- 
sonal acquaintance, but copied a manu- 
script account by a certain Zaccaria 
Zacchio, a painter, sculptor, and anti- 
quary of Volterra, who wrote long 
before him ; and pronounces the above 
account to be the offspring of Zacchio's 
lively imagination, copied by the credu- 
lous Alberti. 

6 Cluver. Ital. Ant. II. p. 472 ; Demp- 
ster, Etrur. Reg. II. p. 432 ; Ximenes, 
Maremma Sanese, p. 24 ; Targioni- 
Tozzetti, Viaggi in Toscana, IV. pp. 117, 
268 ; Midler, Etrusk. I. pp. 211, 347 ; 
Cramer, Anc. Italy, I. p. 187. Lanzi 
(II. p. 10G) and Micali (Ant. Pop. 
Ital. I. p. 144) do not pronounce an 
opinion. Some of these writers had 
made no personal researches in this 

district, but contented themselves with 
repeating the accounts of their prede- 
cessors ; and even those who had tra- 
velled along this coast, accepted impli- 
citly the assertion, canned away by the 
great authority of Cluverius, who gave 
the statement to the world as his own, 
at least without acknowledging that he 
had it from Alberti. 

" Santi (Viaggio, III. p. 189, cited by 
lnghir. Ric. di Vetul. p. 47) sought in 
vain for a vestige of these ruins ; yet 
would he not impugn the authority of 
previous writers, " although no one had 
been able to ascertain the site of the 
ancient and irrecoverably lost Vetu- 
lonia." Sir Richard Colt Hoare was 
also disappointed in his search for these 
ruins, yet did not call in question their 
existence. Classical Tour, I. p. 46. And 
it must be confessed that Alberti's de- 
scription, no way vague or extravagant, 
has all the air of verity. 


228 THE MAREMMA. [chap. ran. 

would not afford an effectual concealment, for it is cut 
from time to time, at least once in a generation ; so that 
any ruins among it must, since Alberti's days, have been 
frequently exposed for years together, and some tradi- 
tional record of their site could hardly fail to be preserved 
among the peasantry. Inghirami was the first to impugn 
Alberti's credibility, after he had sought in vain for these 
ruins, and for any one who had seen them ; but finding 
that no one, native or foreigner, had ever been able to dis- 
cover their site, he concluded them to have existed only in 
Alberti's imagination. 8 He admits, however, the currency 
of such rumours along this coast ; but could never meet 
with any one who had ocular testimony to offer as to the 
existence of these ruins, and therefore refers such tradi- 
tions to their probable source — the statement of Alberti, 
repeated by subsequent writers, till it has become current 
in the mouths of the peasantry. 9 

My own experience does not quite agree with Inghir- 
ami's ; for though I made many inquiries at Campiglia 
and Populonia, not only of residents, but of campagnuoli 
and shepherds, men whose life had been past in the neigh- 
bouring country, I could not learn that such names as 
Vetulonia, Vetulia, or even Vetletta, or Vetreta, had ever 
been heard in this district ; nothing beyond the Valle al 
Vetro (Vetriera, as I heard it) which Inghirami speaks of, 
the valley below Campiglia, towards the Caldane — a name 
derived from the glass-factories formerly existing there, 1 

s Inghirami investigated all this coun- glass. He also shows, from other pal- 
try with the greatest care, but could pably absurd statements of Alberti with 
find no vestige of Alberti's Vetulonia ; regard to Populonia, how little he is 
nor even, among the traditions of the worthy of confidence in such matters, 
peasantry, a trace of the name Vetulia, Ric. di Vetul. pp. 40, 48, 49. 
or Vetletta, which he thinks to have 9 Ric. di Vetul. p. 63. To this source 
been formed by Zacchio or Alberti, from he ascribes the tradition of the Masse- 
that of Vetreta, which exists in several tani, mentioned above, at page 218. 
spots along this coast where there have ' Ric. di Vetul. p. 39. 
been in former days manufactories of 


traces of which are still to be seen in the dross from the 
furnaces. There are, however, not a few remains of the 
olden time around Campiglia. At Rocca di San Silvestro, 
three miles to the north towards the Torre di San Vin- 
cenzio f at Castel di Biserno, a mile beyond ; at Castel di 
Monte Pilli, half way between Campiglia and Suvereto ; and 
also at San Bartolo — are ruins, but all of churches or 
castles of the middle ages. 

Though the ruins Alberti describes are not now to be 
found, that there was an Etruscan population in the neigh- 
bourhood of Campiglia is a fact, attested by tombs that 
have been opened at Monte Patone, a mile below the town 
on the road to Populonia. They have been reclosed with 
earth, but the description I received of their form and 
contents — sarcophagi with reliefs, and recumbent figures 
on the lids — fragments of bronze armour, embossed with 
lions, cocks, boars, serpents, geese, and strange chiniseras, 
such as had never been seen or heard of by my informants 
— and pottery of sundry kinds — thoroughly persuaded me 
of their Etruscan character. 

The precise site of this Etruscan town I did not ascer- 
tain. It may have been at Campiglia itself, though no 
traces of such antiquity are now to be seen there. In fact, 
were we to trust to such blind guides as Annio of Viterbo 
and Leandro Alberti, we should hold that Campiglia was 
founded by the " sweet-worded Nestor," who named it 
after his realm of Pylos, and that the syllable Cam, by 
some unexplained means, afterwards stole a march on the 
old appellation, and took its place at the head of the word. 3 

After all, it is a mere assumption, founded partly on 
Alberti's description, and partly on the hot springs at Le 

2 To this ruined fortress Sir R. C. to be a corruption of Capitolium ; for 

Hoare was taken. Classical Tour, I. he thinks this town occupies the site of 

p. 47. the Arx or Capitol of Vctulonia. Viaggio 

:| A modern traveller takes Campiglia Antiquario per la Via Amelia, p. 12. 

2 St i 



Caklaue, that Vetulonia stood in this neighbourhood, as 
tliere is no statement in ancient writers which should lead 
us to look for it here, rather than elsewhere along the 
coast. 4 But the fashion was set by Alberti, and it has 
ever since been followed — fashions in opinion not being so 
easily cast aside as those in dress. 5 

Roman remains have also been found in this neighbour- 
hood. I heard of sundry pieces of mosaic, and other 
traces of Roman villas, that had been recently brought to 
light. 6 

The summit of the hill above the town is called Cam- 
piglia Vecchia, but there are no remains more ancient 
than the middle ages. Forbear not, however, to ascend ; 
for you will thence obtain one of the most magnificent 
panoramas in all Italy — where mountain and plain, rock 

4 Oliver (II. p. 473) proposes to 
alter the " Velinis," which the Peutin- 
gerian Table places on this coast north 
of Vada Volaterrana {ut supra, p. 212), 
into " Vetulonis," and to transpose it 
so as to place it between Vada and 
Populonia, ten miles from the latter. 
Cramer (I. p. 187) and Mannert (p. 358) 
agree with him. But this is a purely 
arbitrary transposition, suggested by a 
belief in Alberti's statements. 

s Professor Gerhard (Ann. Inst. 1829, 
p. 194) suggests three causes, which 
may have given rise to this opiuion. 
The hot springs of the Caldane — the 
reported existence of the names of 
Vetulia, Vetleta, &c, in the neighbour- 
hood — and " the order in which Ptolemy 
mentions Vetulonia, after having cited 
Rusellse and Arretium and before pass- 
ing to Suana, Saturnia, and Volci." 
With regard to the latter reason, 
nothing more can be deduced from 
the order of these places than from the 
latitude and longitude Ptolemy assigns 

them, as it is evident they follow no 
geographical arrangement — " Pisse, Vo- 
laterrce, Rusellte, Feesulse, Perusia, Ar- 
retium, Cortona, Acula, Biturgia, Man- 
liana, Vetulonium, Ssena, Suana, Satur- 
nia, Eba, Volci, Clusium," Sec. 

6 Near Campiglia some ancient mines 
have of late years been reopened and 
worked with great success by an English 
gentleman, who, as I heard the story, 
was led to turn his attention to this spot 
from observing the mention made by 
Strabo (V. p. 223) of some abandoned 
mines near Populonia. ut supra, p. 220. 
According to Dempster (II. p. 432), 
Campiglia could boast of mines of a 
richer metal, for he calls it — " argenti 
fodinis nuper ditissima, ac monetae ofti- 
cina." In the mountains of Campiglia 
also are quarries of white marble, to 
which the Duomo of Florence is more 
indebted for its beautiful incrustations 
than to the marble of Carrara. Repetti, 
I. p. 421. 

chap, xlii.] PANORAMA OF THE MAREMMA. 231 

and wood, sea and sky, lake, river, and island, are brought 
together into one mighty spirit-stirring whole, where Nature 
exults in undying strength and freshness. 

Turn your back on the deep valley of the Cornia and 
the lofty mountains inland, and let your eye range over 
the other half of the scene. Campiglia lies at your feet, 
cradled in olive-groves, and its feudal castle, in ivy-grown 
ruin, scowls over the subject town. Now glance south- 
ward, far across the green and red Maremma and the 
azure bay of Follonica, to the headland of Troja, with the 
islet at its foot. Far beyond it, in the dim horizon, you 
will perceive another island, the Giglio, so favourite a 
feature in the scenery of Corneto. To the west rises the 
lofty rock of Monte Cristo. Nearer still, the many-peaked 
mass of Elba, once the whole realm of him for whom 
Europe was too small, towers behind the heights of Piom- 
bino ; and on the northern extremity of these heights 
gleams the castle of Populonia, overhanging its sail-less 
port. Due west, Capraja rises from the blue deep ; and 
far, far beyond, the snow-capt mountains of Corsica faintly 
whiten the horizon. More to the north, seen through a 
gap in the olive-clad heights on which you stand, is the 
steep islet-rock of Gorgona. 

How delightful at times is ignorance ! How disenchant- 
ing is knowledge ! Look over these luxuriant, variegated 
woods, these smiling lakes at your feet ; admire them, 
rejoice in them — think not, know not, that for half the 
year they " exhale earth's rottenest vapours," and curdle 
the air with pestilence. Let yon castle on its headland be 
to you a picturesque object, placed there but to add beauty 
to the scene ; listen not to its melancholy tale of desolation 
and departed grandeur. Those islands, studding the 
deep, may be, some at least, barren, treeless, storm-lashed 
rocks, the haunt only of the fisherman, or forsaken as 

232 THE MAREMMA. [chap. xlii. 

unprofitable wildernesses ; but to you who would enjoy 
this scene, let them be, one and all, what they appear, 

" Summer-isles of Eden, lying 
In dark purple spheres of sea." 


Alberti's Description of the pretended ruins of Vetulonia. 
Voglio discrivere alcune cose, che souo fra la Torre di Santo Vinceuzo, ed il 
Proruontorio, sopra lo quale era posta Populonia, fra quelle selve, e folti boschi trc 
iniglia da '1 mare discosto. Vedesi aduuque iu questo luogo tutto silvoso, un graude 
e lungo muro (che abbraccia molto paese) fabricato con gran sassi lunghi comuna- 
mente di piedi 4 in 6, tanto diligeutemente composti insieme, che paiono esser 
composti sensa calce ed altro bitumo. Onde si puo couoscere la gran diligentia de 
gli artefici iu drizzare tanta fabrica. Ella e larga piedi 1 0, ben e vero che in alcuni 
luoghi vedesi intiera, ed altrove mezo rovinata, ed anche totalraente insino ai 
t'ondanienti disfatta. Sono ne'l mezo di questa muraglia molte Fontane, dico 
edificij per li quali scendevano l'acque che hora sono quasi tutti guasti, e cosi sono 
mancate l'acque. Etiandio scoprensi alquanti pozzi, qual totalmente pieno di terra, 
e qual mezo vuoto, e chi coll' acqua, e chi senza. Vedensi assai silicati alia musaica 
molto maestrevolmente composti di preciose pietre, traversati di vaghi compassi di 
finissimi marmi. Vero e che ella e guasta per maggior parte tanta opera. Altresi 
si rapresenta parte d'un superbo Amphitheatro, da laquale facihnente si puo giudi- 
care la grandezza, e suntuosita di quello, quanta ella fusse, quando era in essere. 
Quivi giace un gran pezzo di marmo molto misuratamente intagliato di lettere 
Hetrusche, come affermano i curiosi vestigatori dell' antichitati. Ritrovansi tanto 
deutro da detta muraglia, quanto di fuori, per i vicini luoghi, fra folti boschi, e 
cespugli, e pruni, pezzi di nobili marmi, capitelli spezzati, basamenti, tavole di 
pietre, mesule, aveli, ed altre simili vestiggi d' antichitati molto artificiosamente 
lavorate. Per le quali si puo giudicare che fossero ornamenti de nobih edifici, o di 
qualche Tempio o Palagio, scoprendosi etiamdio grossissimi fondamenti con alquanti 
pezzi di grandissime mura in piedi. Per quanto io posso divisare, credo che questo 
fusse edificio (hora tanto rovinato, e abbandonato, quanto si vede) da gli habitatori 
de'l paese, Vetulia dimandato, e questi folti boschi nominati la Selva di Vetletta, 

quel luogo da Tolemeo Vetulonium nominato E se deve scrivere questo 

luogo, Itulonio, e cosi si vede esser corrotto Tolemeo Fuori di questi rovinati 

edifici, da ogni lato se dimostrano fontane guaste e deri'ochatte. Piu avanti cami- 
nando lungo quei colli tutti selvaggi e pieni di cespugli e di pruni, da Vetulia due 
miglia discosto, appare un grand' edificio, ove si confetta 1' alume, c quindi a tre, 
vedense le Fodine overo il luogo ove se cava il Ferro molto crudo. Pur piu oltre 
seguitando l'antidetto colle, che risguarda al mezo gioruo, per un miglio, e scendendo 
alle radici, ritrovasi una Palude che mctte capo nclla marina. . . c il fiume Cornia 
finisse il suo corso a qucsla raludc. 




I 'roxinia securum reserat Populonia litus 

Qua naturalem ducit in arva sinum 

Agnosci nequeunt £evi monimenta prioris 
Grandia consumpsit moenia tempus edax. 

Sola manent intercepts vestigia muris ; 

Ruderibus latis tecta sepulta jacent. — Rutilius. 

So long they traveile'd with little ease, 

Till that at last they to a castle came, 

Built on a rocke adjoyning to the seas; 

It was an auncient worke of antique fame 

And wondrous strong by nature and by skilful frame. 


He who would drive from Campiglia to Populonia must 
make a wide circuit by the Torre di San Vincenzio. I 
chose the direct track, which is practicable only on foot or 
horseback, and entered the jungle which stretches from 

£84 POPULONIA. [chap, xliii. 

the Leghorn road westward to the heights of Populonia. 
The wood was dense enough in parts, yet I could catch an 
occasional glimpse of the castle-crowned headland to which 
I was bound. The ground was swampy ; the paths, mere 
tracks made by the cattle ; yet such difficulties were in 
time overcome, and I was approaching Populonia, when I 
encountered a more formidable obstacle in a flock of sheep. 
Not that, like the knight of La Mancha, or his heroic pro- 
totype, Ajax Telamonius, I took them for foes to be sub- 
dued ; but some half-a-dozen dogs, their guardians, large 
and fierce as wolves, threatened to dispute my further 
progress. Seeing no shepherd at hand to calm their fury, 
and not caring to fight a passage, or to put Ulysses' 
example and Pliny's precept into practice, and sit down 
quietly amongst them, 1 I made a detour by the sea-shore, 
where a range of sand-hills concealed me from their view. 
Here the sand, untrodden perhaps for ages, lay so loose 
and deep that I verified the truth of the saying — 

Chi vuol path - nel mondo una gran pena, 
Dorma diritto, o cammini per arena. 

This was the beach of the celebrated port of Populonia, 
once the chief mart of Etruscan commerce ; but not a sail, 
not even a skiff now shadowed its waters, which reflected 
nothing but the girdle of yellow sand-hills, and the dark 
headland of Populonia, with the turreted ruins on its crest, 
and the lonely Tower of Baratti at its foot. 

Let future travellers take warning, and trust to the legs 
of a horse or mule, rather than to their own, in crossing 
this Maremma. 

It is a steep ascent up the olive-clad slope to Populonia. 

1 Homer (Odys. XIV. 31) tells us and let his stick drop. Pliny (VIII. 
that Ulysses, on being attacked by the 61) also says that you may calm dogs' 
dogs of Eumreus, knowingly sat down, fury by sitting down on the ground. 


Just before reaching the Castle, a portion of the ancient 
wall is passed, stretching along the brow of the hill ; but 
this is by no means the finest fragment of the Etruscan 

The Castle of Populonia is an excellent specimen of the 
Italian feudal fortress ; its turrets and maehicolatecl battle- 
ments make it as picturesque an object as its situation 
renders it prominent in the scenery of this district. The 
ancient family of the Desiderj have been the hereditary 
lords of Populonia for centuries ; and though the donjon 
and keep are no more, though the ramparts are not 
manned, and no warder winds his horn at the stranger's 
approach, the Desiderj still dwell within the castle walls, 
in the midst of their dependents, retaining all the patriarchal 
dignity and simplicity of the olden time, without its tyranny; 
and with hospitality in no age surpassed, welcome the 
traveller with open doors. I had not the good fortune to 
make the acquaintance of this amiable family, as they 
were in the metropolis at the time of my visit ; but a 
friend, who in the previous spring had visited Populonia 
for the sake of its antiquities, was persuaded — compelled I 
may say — to stay a week at the Castle, finding it impossible 
to refuse the urgent hospitality of the Cavaliere. It is 
refreshing to experience such cordiality in a foreign land 
— to find that hospitality which we are too apt to regard 
as peculiarly of British growth, flourishing as luxuriantly 
in another soil. However reluctant to receive such atten- 
tions from strangers, in a case like this where there is 
no inn, nor so much as a wineshop where refreshment 
may be had, one feels at liberty to trespass a little. This 
dependence, however, on the good offices of others 
must interfere with liberty of action, and might be no 
slight inconvenience, were the antiquities of Populonia 
very extended or numerous. As it is, the traveller may 

236 POPULONIA. [chap, xliii. 

drive over in the morning from Piombino, five miles 
distant, or even from Campiglia, see thoroughly the 
remains at Populonia, and return at an early hour the 
same day. 

There are few relics of antiquity extant at Populonia 
beyond its walls, which may be traced in fragments along 
the brow of the hill, showing the Etruscan city to have 
had a circuit of little more than a mile and a half. 2 The 
area thus inclosed is of the form of a shoulder of mutton, 
with the shank-end towards the north-east. These dimen- 
sions place Populonia in the rank of an inferior city, which 
must have derived its importance from its situation 
and commerce, rather than from the abundance of its 

Populonia has been supposed one of the Twelve chief 
cities of the Etruscan Confederation, 3 but without adequate 
grounds. Nothing said of it by ancient writers marks 
it as of such importance ; and the only statement that can 
in any way be construed to favour such a view, is made by 
Livy, who mentions it among the principal cities of 
Etruria, but at a time when the whole of that state had 
long been subject to Roman domination. 4 The authority 
of Servius, indeed, is directly opposed to that view, in the 
three traditions he records of it : — first, that it was founded 
by the Corsicans, " after the establishment of the Twelve 
cities of Etruria;" secondly, that it was a colony of 
Volaterra) ; and thirdly, that the Volaterrani took it from 

- Micali's Plan of Populonia (Ant. not improbable, however, as Niebuhr 

Pop. Ital. tav. II.) makes the circuit of (I. p. 118, Eng. trans.) suggests, that 

walls to be more than 8000 feet. Populonia, though not one of the origi- 

3 Dempster, II. p. 56. nal Twelve Cities, may in after times 

4 Liv. XXVIII. 45. Livy can only have taken the place of some one 
mean that Populonia at the time re- already extinct — perhaps Vetulonia, " if 
ferred to was among the first cities of the topography be correct which places 
the Roman province of Etruria. It is Vetulonia near it.'' 

chap, xliii.] ANTIQUITY AND IMPORTANCE. 237 

the Corsicans. 4 At any rate, it was an inferior and 
dependent town in Etruscan times, and its consequence 
arose from its commerce, from its being a great naval 
station, and also from the strength of its position, which 
enabled it to defy the attacks of pirates, to which cities on 
this coast were then subject. 5 Moreover, it was the grand 
depot and factory of the iron of Elba, which, as at the 
present day, was not smelted in the island, but brought for 
that purpose to the neighbouring continent. 6 

The antiquity of Populonia is undoubted. Virgil repre- 
sents it sending forces to the assistance of Mneas, and 
bears testimony to its importance in early times. 7 Yet we 
find no historical mention of this city till the end of 
the Second Punic War. When Scipio made a demand on 
the resources of the province of Etruria to supply his 
fleet, each of the principal cities furnished that in which it 
abounded — Ca3re sent corn and other provisions; Tarquinii, 
sailcloth ; Volaterrae, ship-tackle and corn ; Arretium, 
corn, weapons, and sundry implements ; Perusia, Clusium, 
and Rusellae, corn and fir for ship-building ; and Populonia, 
iron. 8 

4 Serv. ad Virg. JEn. X. 172. Mil- was not, from its small size, entitled to 
lingen (Numis. Anc. Ital. p. 163), from rank as a city. See Muller's remarks, 
the character of certain coins of Popu- Etrusk. I. p. 348. 

Ionia, attributes the foundation of the 6 Strabo, loc. cit. ; Varro, ap. Serv. 

town to the Phocseans, during their ad Mn. X. 174; Pseudo-Aristot. de 

settlement in Corsica, and thinks it Mirab. Auscult. c. 95. 

possible that they may have long held " Virg. Mn. X. 172. Whereas the 

possession of it. whole island of Elba sent only 300 

5 Strabo (V. p. 223), and Pliny (III. warriors, Populonia sent 600 — 

8) tell us it was the only one of the _ , . 

. ^ -n ± - A - " , • , Sexcentos illi dederat Populonia mater 

ancient Etruscan cities winch was „. . T , 

.. . , , , . ., Expertos belli juvenes ; ast Ilva tre- 

situated, properly speaking, on the sea. r J 

Whence it is evident that Telamon, 

Graviscse, Pyrgi, and the other places 8 Liv. XXVIII. 45. It is subse- 

on this coast were not cities ; probably quently mentioned in the year 552, 

mere landing-places — ports to the great when Claudius Nero the consul took 

cities in their vicinity. Even Cosa, refuge in this harbour from a storm. 

though similarly situated to Populonia, Liv. XXX. 39. 

238 POPULONIA. [oha*. xuir. 

Like Volaterrse, Populonia sustained a siege from the 
forces of Sylla, and was almost destroyed by the victor ; for 
Strabo, who visited it nearly a century afterwards, says 
the place would have been an utter desert, were it not that 
the temples and a few of the houses were still standing; 9 
even the port at the foot of the hill was better inhabited. 
It seems never to have recovered from this blow, though 
we find it subsequently mentioned among the coast-towns 
of Etruria. 1 At the beginning of the fifth century of our 
era it was in utter ruin, and the description of Rutilius is 
quite applicable to its present condition. 2 Micali ascribes 
its final destruction to the Saracens in A. D. 826 and 828 ; 3 
but Repetti makes it more than two centuries earlier, 
referring it to the Lombards in the time of Gregory the 
Great. 4 

Within the walls of Populonia are to be seen a line of 
six parallel vaults, co7icamerationes, sometimes erroneously 
called an amphitheatre ; a curious piece of mosaic, with 
a variety of fishes ; 5 and some reservoirs of water — all 
of Roman times. Nothing is Etruscan within the walls. 
On the highest ground is a tower, where the French 
established a telegraph. Strabo tells us that in his time 
there was a look-out tower on this promontory, to watch 
the arrival of the tunny-fish ; 6 just as is the practice 

9 Juno had a temple at Populonia. * Repetti, IV. p. 580. 

Macrob. Sat. III. 11. And there was a s g ee ;g u n. Inst. 1843, p. 150, for an 

very ancient and curious statue of account of this mosaic from the pen of 

Jupiter here, hewn from the trunk of Inghirami, who mentions the various 

an enormous vine. Pliny (XIV. 2) fish under their scientific names, 

speaks of it as extant in his day, though fi Strabo, loc.cit. — 0vvvoanoire7ov. Hol- 

of great antiquity — tot revis incorrup- stenius (Annot.adCluv p. 2.0) interprets 

turn. this woi'd as piscatio thummrum ; and 

1 Mela. II. 4. Plin. III. 8. Ptolemy does not think there was any tower, 
(p. 68, ed. Bert.) even calls it a city. But he stands alone in this opinion. It 

2 Rutil. Itin. I. 401 — 412. See the was probably this same tower which 
heading to this Chapter. was standing in the time of Rutilius, 

:i .Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. I. p. 150. four centuries later, who speaks of a 

chap, xltii.] THE SPECULAR MOUNT. 239 

at the present day along the coasts of Italy. It may have 
stood on this height, which commands a wide view of the 
Mediterranean, though Repetti thinks it probably occupied 
the eastern cliff, which is still known by the name of 
Punto della Tonnarella. From this " specular mount" you 
perceive that Populonia is situated, as Strabo describes it, 
" on a lofty promontory, sinking abruptly to the sea, and 
forming a peninsula." The Castle hides the view of 
the bay ; but on the north the coast is seen trending 
away in a long low line towards the mountains around 
Leghorn ; and even the snowy Apennines above the Gulf 
of Spezia may be descried in clear weather. As the eye 
sweeps round the horizon of waters, it meets the steep 
rock of Gorgona, then the larger and nearer island of 
Capraja, and, if the weather be very clear, the mountain- 
crests of Corsica beyond. But those of Sardinia are not 
visible, though Strabo has recorded his experience to the 
contrary, and Macaulay, on his authority, has sung of 

" sea-girt Populonia, 
Whose sentinels descry 
Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops 
Fringing the southern sky." 

Even were the distance not too great, the broad mass 
of Elba which fills the south-western horizon, would 
effectually conceal them from the view. That island rises 
in a long line of dark peaks, the loftiest of which on 
the right is Monte Campana ; and the highest at the 
other end of the range, is crowned by the town of Rio. 

beacon-tower on the fortifications, in- Sed speculam, valicUc rupis sortita 

stead of a Pharos built as usual on the vetustas, 

mole ; so that a double purpose was Qua fiuctus domitos arduus urget 

served (I. 403 — 8) : — apex. 

Non illic positas extollit in sethera Castellum geminos hominum funda- 

moles vit in usus, 

Lumine nocturno conspicienda Presidium tcrris, indiciunique 

Pharos ; fretis. 



[chap, xliii. 

Midway lies the Bay of Portoferrajo, so called from 
its shipments of iron ore ; and the town itself, the court of 
the exiled Emperor, is visible on a rock jutting into 
the bay. 6 

The finest portions of the Etruscan walls he on this 
western side of Populonia, and from the magnitude of the 
masonry are appropriately termed " I Massi." 7 They are 
formed of blocks, perhaps less rectangular than those of 
Volterra, but laid horizontally, though with little regularity. 
More care seems to have been bestowed on smoothing the 
surface of the masonry than on its arrangement ; and it is 
often vain to attempt to count the number of courses, as 
blocks of very different heights lie side by side. None of 
them are of the vast dimensions of some at Fiesole and 
Volterra. 8 But the frequent splitting of the rock often 

Portoferrajo is 20 miles from Popu- 
lonia, but the nearest point of Elba is 
not more than 15 miles. He who 
would cross to that island must do so 
from Follonica or Piombino — better 
from the latter from which it is only 
8 miles distant, and whence there is a 
regular communication. As the island 
belonged to the Etruscans, remains of 
that people may be expected to exist 
there, but I have never heard of such 
being discovered ; and I have had no 
opportunity of visiting it for personal 
research. Sir Richard C. Hoare de- 
scribes some ancient remains at Le 
Grotte, opposite Portoferrajo, and on 
Capo Castello, where they are called 
the " Palazzo della Regina dell' Elba," 
— both he considers to be of the same 
date, and his description seems to indi- 
cate them as Roman. — Classical Tour, 
I. pp. 23, 26. But he who would gain 
information on the antiquities of Elba, 
should seek an introduction to Signor 
Francois, the experienced and success- 
ful excavator of Tuscan Etruria, who is 

now a resident at Portoferrajo. Elba, 
however, has more interest for the 
naturalist than for the antiquary. It 
is, as Repetti observes, " the best 
stored mineralogical cabinet in Tus- 
cany." Its iron mines have been re- 
nowned from the days of the Romans 
(ut supra, page 237), and Virgil (Mn. 
X. 174) truly calls Elba, 

Insula inexhaustis chalybum generosa 
For an account of this beautiful island 
and its productions see Repetti, II. V. 
Isola dell' Elba. 

' It is this portion of the walls which 
is represented in the woodcut at the 
head of this Chapter. The block 
marked a is 6 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 6 in.— 
that marked b is 5 ft. 4 in. by 2 ft. 
2 in. 

8 The largest I could find was 7 feet 
in length ; few are more than 2 feet in 
height, and many much less than one. 
It may be observed here, as at Volterra 
and other sites in northern Etruria, 
that the smallest and shallowest blocks 


renders it difficult to determine their original size and 
form ; and in parts gives them a very irregular character. 9 
In other parts, more to the south, the walls are composed 
of long and very shallow courses, the rock having there 
a tendency to split in thin lamince. As in all other 
Etruscan walling, there is an entire absence of cement or 

In every part of the circuit, the walls of Populonia are 
embankments only, never rising above the level of the city, 
as is sometimes the case at Volterra. In no part are they 
now to be seen more than ten or twelve feet in height. 

The other Etruscan remains of Populonia are a few 
tombs in the surrounding slopes. About a quarter of a 
mile below the walls to the south, are some sepulchres, 
called, like the vaults in the theatre of Fiesole, Le Buche 
delle Fate — "the Fairies' Dens." They are hollowed in 
low cliffs of yellow sandstone, and have passages cut down 
to them, as in the southern part of Etruria, but have no 
monumental facade. They seem to have been circular, 
but the rock is so friable that the original form is nearly 
destroyed. How long they have been opened I could not 
learn. They are not to be found without a guide, as the 
path to them lies through a dense wood of tall lentiscus. 

are generally at the bottom, as if to split, perhaps from the superincumbent 

make a good foundation for the larger weight, and often diagonally, so as 

masses. to convert a quadrangular mass into 

9 The walls of Populonia have been two or more of triangular form ; an 

styled polygonal (Gerhard, Memor. example of which is shown in the 

Inst. I. p. 79) ; but I could perceive woodcut at the head of this Chapter, 

nothing to warrant such a nomencla- In truth, it is singular to observe how 

ture. It is true that small pieces are closely this masonry in some parts re- 

often inserted to fill the interstices, and sembles the natural rock, when split by 

few blocks are strictly rectangular ; but time or the elements. The most irre- 

if carefully examined it will be gene- gular masses, however, are trapezoidal 

rally found that the most irregular are or triangular ; and horizontally is 

mere splittings from larger blocks, for throughout the distinctive character of 

the rock, a schistose sand-stone, has the masonry. 


242 POPULONIA. [chap. xliii. 

On the hill to the east of Populonia, and about one 
mile from the castle, are other tombs, opened in 1840 by 
Signor Francois ; and known by the name of Le Grotte. 
They are within a tumulus ; and other similar mounds, 
probably containing tombs, rise on this spot. 1 They 
had already been rifled of their most precious con- 
tents in former ages, so that little was learnt of the 
sepulchral furniture of Populonia. Some painted vases, 
however, are said to have been found in the neighbour- 
hood, near the chapel of San Cerboni, at the foot of 
the hill. 

Not a vestige now remains of the docks or slips which 
Strabo tells us anciently existed at Populonia. 2 

We learn from coins that the Etruscan name of this city 
was "Pupltjna," 3 — a name which seems to be derived 
from the Etruscan Bacchus — " Phuphlttns ; " * as Mantua 
was from the Etruscan Pluto — Mantus ; if it be not rather 
a compound word ; for " Luna " being found in the names 
of three Etruscan towns, all on the coast — Luna, Pup-luna, 
Vet-luna — seems significant of a maritime character. 5 

Populonia is one of the few Etruscan cities of which 
coins, unquestionably genuine, have been found. They are 

1 Inghirami, Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 148. derive Populonia from this source; and 

2 Strabo, V. p. 223. so also Gerhard (Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 

3 It is sometimes written "Puplana," 193 ; Gottheiten der Etrusker, p. 29.) 
or contracted into " Pup." The town But may it not be, on the contrary, that 
was called Populonia by Virgil, Servius, the god took this name from the town, 
Mela, and Rutilius — Populonii, by Livy as Venus did hers of Cypris and 
— and Poplonium, or Populonium, by Cytherea, from her favourite islands ? 
Strabo, the Pseudo- Aristotle, Stephanus, It is not improbable that the Etruscan 
Ptolemy, and the Itineraries. name " Pupli," " Puplina," (Publius) 

4 Bacchus is so designated on several had some affinity to " Pupluna." For 
Etruscan mirrors — e. g. that which the distinction between Phuphluns and 
forms the frontispiece to Vol. I. of this Tinia, see Grotefend, Ann. Inst. 1835, 
work. See Gerhard, Etrusk. Spieg. taf. pp. 274 — 8. 

LXXXIII. LXXXIV. XC. Micali 3 Ut supra, page 83. 
(Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 173) would 




of gold and silver, as well as of copper, and generally have 
one or two small crosses, which mark their value. The 
emblems are often significant of the commerce of the town. 
The head of Vulcan ; a hammer and tongs, on the reverse 
— in allusion to its iron-foundries. The head of Mercury ; 
a cadnceus and trident — indicative of its commerce and 
maritime importance. The head of Minerva ; an owl, 
with a crescent moon and two stars. 6 But the most 
remarkable type on the coins of Populonia is the Gor- 
gonion; not here " the head of the fair-cheeked Medusa — " 7 

"A woman's countenance with serpent locks," — 

as it is represented by the sculptors of later Greece, and 
by Leonardo da Vinci, in his celebrated picture ; but a mon- 
strous fiend-like visage, just as in the subjoined woodcut, 8 

6 Another type of Populonia is a 
female head, helmeted, with a fish by 
its side ; this Lanzi thinks refers to 
the tunny fisheries mentioned by 
Strabo. Other coins have a wild-boar 
— an apt emblem of the Maremma ; or 
a lion, about to seize his prey, which 
Millingen thinks is an evident imitation 
of an Ionic coin. One mentioned by 
Eckhel with a female head covered 
with a lion's skin, and a club on the 
reverse, Muller considers significant of 
the Lydian origin of the Etruscans. 
Many of the coins of Populonia have 
the peculiarity of having the reverse 
cmite bare. For descriptions and illus- 
trations of the coins of Populonia, see 
Pa6seri, Paralip. in Dempst. tab.V. 3 — 5 ; 
Lanzi, Saggio, II. pp. 27, (11, tav. II. 
1 — 3 ; Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 
CXV. ; Ital. av. Rom. tav. LIX— 
LXI. ; Muller, Etrusk. I. pp. 323, 330 ; 
Mionnet,Med. Ant. I. pp. 101 — 2 ; Suppl. 
I. pp. 199—203 ; Sestini, Geog. Numis.II. 
p. 5 ; Millingen, Numis. Anc. Ttalie, 

p. 163, et seq.; cf. Capranesi, Ann. Inst. 
1840, p. 204. ; Abeken, Mittelitalien, taf. 
XI. 1—3 ; Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 348, 
et scq. tav. LIV. 

l Pindar, Pyth. XII. 28. 

8 This cut is taken from a vase from 
Chiusi, but it is characteristic of the 
Etruscan Gorgonion. 

The Gorgon's head, according to the 
Orphic doctrines, was a symbol of the 
lunar disk. Epigenes, ap. Clem. Alex- 
and. Strom. V. p. 676, ed. Potter. 

A singular opinion has been broached 
by Dr. Levezow of Berlin — that the 
type of the Gorgon of antiquity was 
nothing but an ape or ourang-outang, 
seen on the African coast by some early 
Greek or Phoenician mariner ; and that 
its ferocious air, its horrible tusks, its 
features and form caricaturing humanity, 
seized on his imagination, which repro- 
duced the monster in the series of his 
myths. See a review of Levezow's 
work by the Due de Luynes, Ann. Inst., 
1834, pp. 311—332. 

I! 2 

244 P0PUL0N1A. [chap, xliii. 

with snaky hair, with gnashing tusks, and tongue lolling 
out of 

" The open mouth, that seemed to containe 
A full good pecke within the utmost brim, 
All set with yron teeth in raunges twaine, 
That terrifide his foes, and armed him, 
Appearing like the mouth of Orcus griesly grim." 





Jam silvse steriles, et putres robore trunci 
Assaraci pressere domos, et templa Deorum, 
Jam lassa radice tenent, ac tota teguntur 
Pergama dumetis ; et jam periere mime. — Luca.n. 

It is a tedious drive of nearly thirty miles from Folloniea 
to Grosseto. There is a track along the coast direct to 
Castiglion della Pescaja, leaving the Torre di Troja, the 
Trajanus Portus of antiquity, 1 to the right ; but the high- 
road, formed of late years, leaves the coast at Folloniea, 
and runs for half the way through a long barren valley. 
At the distance of nine miles is the Locanda della Potassa, 

1 Ptol. Geog. p. fifi, ed. Bert 

246 RUSELLjE. [chaf. xliv. 

a wretched osteria, yet the best halting-place on the road. 
Beyond Gavorrano, Caldana, and Giuncario, the scenery 
begins to improve, and Colonna on a wooded height is a 
picturesque feature in the landscape. This is supposed to 
be the Colonia, near which, in the year of Rome 529, 
took place the great rout of the Gauls, commonly called 
the battle of Telamon. 2 

The half-way house to Grosseto is Lupo, a wretched 
cabaret — a mere wolfs den. Here you emerge from the 
valley into a vast, treeless, houseless moor, or rather swamp, 
containing the waters of the Lake Castiglione, the Lacus 
Prelius or Aprilis of antiquity, and realizing all your worst 
conceptions of the Maremma, its putrescent fens, its deso- 
late scenery. You must make a wide circuit at the edge 
of the swamp, beneath the Monte Pescali, ere you reach 
the gates of Grosseto. If the morass have its horrors, it 
is not necessary to linger amid them, for the road is 

Grosseto, the capital of the Tuscan Maremma, stands on 
the very level of the plain. It has two or three thousand 
inhabitants — a population almost doubled in winter ; and 
in comparison with the towns and villages in its neighbour- 
hood, seems an oasis of civilization ; for it has an air of 
neatness and cleanliness, a small but pretty cathedral, a 
faint reflection of the glories of Siena, a theatre ! and an 
inn, whose praises I cannot express better than by saying 

2 It is Frontinus (Strat. I. 2, 7) who of the same when in that part of the 

mentions Colonia as the site of that country, or I should not have passed 

battle. Polybius (II. 27) says it was the spot without examination. Repetti 

fought near Telamon. This Colonna di (I. p. 784) does not think this 

Buriano is said to have the remains Colonna can be the site of the said 

of Cyclopean walling and Roman battle, which he would rather place at 

pavement on the summit of the hill ; a village, Colonnata, in the neighbour- 

and vases, Roman coins and other anti- hood of Toscanella. Cluver (II. p. 475) 

quarian treasures are stated to have takes this Buriano to be the site of the 

been there discovered. I was not aware Salebro of the Itineraries. 

chap, xliv.] GROSSETO.— BAGNI DI ROSELLE. 247 

it is one of the best in Tuscany, south of Florence. The 
padrona, the widow Palandri, is known far and wide 
through the Maremma — nay, throughout the Duchy — not 
only for the excellence of her accommodation, but for her 
boast of having resided, maid, wife, and widow, more than 
sixty years at Grosseto, summer as well as winter, and in 
robust, uninterrupted health — a living monument of the 
elasticity of the human frame, and of its power to resist by 
habituation the most noxious influences of Nature. For 
Grosseto, though protected from the assaults of man by 
strong fortifications, has no safeguard against the insidious 
attacks of the marsh-fever, which desolates it in summer ; 
and the proverbial saying, "Grosseto ingrossa" — save in the 
case of La Palandri, where it applies literally — is no mere 
play upon words, nor is it to be taken ironically, but refers 
to the bloating, dropsifying effect of the oft-recurring 
fever. Grosseto has no interest to the antiquarian, beyond 
its vicinity to the ancient Etruscan city of Rusellse, which 
lies a few miles to the north, near the high-road to Siena. 
At the distance of about four miles on this road are the 
hot-springs, called I Bagni cli Roselle. Above them rises 
a lofty hill, Poggio di Moscona, crowned with ruins, which 
the traveller will be apt to mistake for those of Rusellse, 
as did Sir Richard Colt Hoare. 3 At the little wineshop 
hard by the Baths a guide is generally to be had. I found 
not one, but half a dozen — young peasants, who had come 
to hear mass in the little chapel, and were returning to 
the site of Rusellae, where their cattle were grazing. There 
are two ways hence to the ancient city, one on each side 
of the lofty hill of Moscona. It would not be amiss to go 
one way and return the other. I took the path to the 
right, and after traversing a forest of underwood for a 

:l Classical Tour, T. p. 4.9. 

248 RUSELLjE. [chap. xliv. 

couple of miles, ascended the steep slope on which Rusellae 
was situated. The hill is one of those truncated cones 
sometimes chosen by the Etruscans for the site of their 
cities, as at Orvieto, Saturnia, and Cosa ; and the slopes 
around it are covered with wood, so dense that it effectually 
conceals the walls from the spectator at a distance. By 
this road I entered Rusella? on its south-western side. I 
then turned to the right and followed the line of walls, 
which are traceable in detached fragments along the brow 
of the hill. 

At first, the masonry was horizontal — rudely so indeed, 
. like that of Volterra and Populonia, but such was its 
decided character, though small stones were inserted in the 
interstices of the large masses. 4 But when I had gained 
the eastern side of the city, I found all rectangularity and 
horizontality at an end, the walls being composed of enor- 
mous masses piled up without regard to form, and differing 
only from the rudest style of Cyclopean, as described by 
Fausanias, in having the outer surfaces smoothed. Speak- 
ing of Tiryns in Argolis, that writer says, " The walls, which 
are the only ruins remaining, are the work of the Cyclops, 
and are formed of unhewn blocks, each of which is so huge 
that the smallest of them could not be in the least stirred 
by a yoke of mules. Small stones were fitted in of old, 
in such a way that each of them is of great service in 
uniting the laro-e blocks. 5 ' 5 In these walls of Rusellre small 
blocks are intermixed with the large masses, occupying the 
interstices, and often in some measure fitted to the form of 

4 It is this regular portion of the walls kXuttwv fxtv tcriv tpyov, irtiroir]Tai Si 
which is represented in the wood-cut at apyuiv \idwv, /xeyeOos i% a ' v tnaaros 
the head of this chapter. They are here \idos, &s an abrwv fiitf av apxV 
about 15 feet high ; the block marked a Kivydrjvai rhv niKporarov vwb (^tvyovs 
is 7 feet 4 inches long, by 5 feet 4 inches rmiSvaiy. \i8ia Si tvr\p\xoarai ird\ai, ws 
in height. fxaKiffra aurwt/ enaarov ap/ioviav tois 

5 Pausan. II. 25, 7. Tb 5rj t(?xos ncya\ ois \Wots thai. cf. II. 16,4. 
h St) f.u6vov rwv iptnrioiv Xt'nrtTai. Kv- 




the gap. The irregularity and shapelessness of this masonry 
is partly owing to the travertine of which it is composed ; 
that material not so readily splitting into determinate 
forms as limestone, although it has a horizontal cleavage. 6 
The masses are in general very large, varying from six 
to ten feet in length, and from four to eight in height. 
Some stand vertically seven or eight feet, by four or five 
in width, and I observed one nearly thirteen feet in length. 7 
The walls on the eastern side of the city are in several 
parts fifteen or twenty feet high ; but on the north, where 
they are most perfect, they rise to the height of twenty to 
thirty feet. Here the largest blocks are to be seen, and 
the masonry is most Tirynthian in character ; here also 
the walls are not mere embankments, but rise above the 
level of the city. On the western side there are few 

6 These walls are cited by Gerhard 
(Ann. Inst. 1829, p. 40; cf. 1831, 
p. 410, tav. d'agg. F. 1.) as an example 
of the rudest and most ancient kind of 
Cyclopean masonry, similar to those of 
Tiryns and Mycenee in Argolis, and of 
Arpino and Aufidena in Italy ; but the 
smoothing of the outer surface distin- 
guishes them from the Cyclopean walls 
of Pausanias, as well as from the ancient 
walls above Monte Fortino, thought to 
be those of Artena of the Volsci, and 
from those at Civitella and Olevano, 
on the opposite range of mountains ; 
all of which are in every respect 
unhewn. Mr. Bunbury (Class. Mus. V. 
p. 180) speaks of portions of the walls of 
Rusellae being " decidedly polygonal " — 
a term by no means applicable ; for there 
is nothing here resembling the ancient 
masonry of Cosa, or of Segni, Alati'i, and 
other polygonal fortifications of Central 
Italy. Mr. Bunbury, however, does not 
speak from personal acquaintance with 
Rusellse. He also states that all the 

polygonal portions of these walls are of 
hard limestone, while the regular 
masonry is of macigno, or stratified 
sandstone. I may be allowed to ques- 
tion this fact, for to me the rock appear- 
ed to be travertine throughout. This is 
confirmed by Repetti, IV. p. 820. 

7 I add the dimensions of a few of 
these blocks — 8 feet 4 inches high, by 3 
feet 2 inches wide — 12 feet 8 inches long, 
by 2 feet 10 inches high — 7 feet 4 inches, 
by 4 feet 10 inches — 6 feet 4 inches, by 
5 feet 4 inches. 

The difficulty of raising such huge 
blocks into their places would be im- 
mense ; but I believe that in nearly all 
these cases where the walls are formed 
of the local rock, they have been let 
down from above — that the top of the 
insulated height chosen for the site 
of the city was levelled, and the masses 
thus quarried off were used in the forti- 
fications. There are still some deep 
pits in one part of the city, whence 
stone has been cut. 

250 RUSELLiE. [chap. xliv. 

fragments extant, and those are of smaller and more 
regular masonry than in any other part of the circuit. On 
this side are many traces of an inner wall banking up the 
higher ground within the city, and composed of small 
rectangular blocks, corresponding in size with those usually 
forming city-walls in the volcanic district of the land. The 
space between this outer and inner line of wall reminded 
me of the pomeerium, the sacred space within and without 
the walls of Etruscan cities, no signs of which have I been 
able to trace on any other ancient site. 8 It is true that in 
this part the inner wall embanks the high mound to the 
north, which there is reason to suppose was the Arx ; but 
the same walling is to be traced round another mound at 
the south-eastern angle, as well as at several intermediate 
points ; which makes me suspect there was a continuous 
line of it. 

The area enclosed by the walls forms an irregular 

8 The pomczrium was a space marked eluded within it. Its boundaries were 

out by the founder within, or without, marked by cippi or termini. The space 

or on both sides of, the walls of an it enclosed was called the ager effatus. 

Etruscan city, or of those cities, which, Liv. I. 44 ; Dion. Hal. IV. p. 218 ; 

like Rome, were built according to the Varro, L. L. V. 143 ; Plutarch. Romul. ; 

Etruscan ritual ; and it was so called Aul. Gell. XIII. 14 ; Tacit. Ann. XII. 

by the Romans, because it was post 24, 25 ; Festus, r. Prosimurium ; Serv. 

murum, or pone muros as A. Gellius ad Virg. iEn. VI. 197 ; Cicero, de 

says, or proximum muro as Festus Divin. I. 17 ; II. 35 ; cf. Miiller, 

intimates. Though its name is Roman, Etrusk. III. 6, 9. Niebuhr (I. p. 288) 

its origin was undoubtedly Etruscan ; thinks the " word pomeerium seems pro- 

and it was marked out by the plough, perly to denote a suburb taken into the 

according to the rites which the Etruscans city, and included within the range of 

observed in founding their cities. It was its auspices." 

ever after held sacred from the plough If the above-mentioned space in the 

and from habitation, and was used by walls of Rusellse were the pomeerium, 

the augurs in taking the city-auspices, of which I am very doubtful, it was the 

being divided into "regions" for that inner portion. But the inner line of 

purpose. But when the city was en- masonry may be merely the embank- 

larged the pomeerium was also earned ment of the higher ground within the 

further out, as was the case with Rome, city-walls, or it may be a sccoud line o f 

where one hill after another was in- fortifications. 

chap, xliv.] MODERN DEFENCES OF THE SITE. 251 

quadrangle, between ten and eleven thousand feet, or about 
two miles, in circuit. 9 The city then was much smaller 
than Volterra, yet larger than Populonia or Fiesole. 

I traced the sites of six gates — two on the northern 
side, one at each angle ; two in the eastern wall, and two 
also in the western. In the southern I could perceive no 
such traces. 

Let no one venture to explore the site of RusellsQ who is 
not prepared for a desperate undertaking, who is not 
thorn-proof in the strength or the worthlessness of his 
raiment. To ladies it is a curiosity more effectually 
tabooed than a Carthusian convent, since they can hardly 
even approach its walls. The area of the city and the 
slopes around are densely covered with a thorny shrub, 
called " marruca" which I had often admired elsewhere 
for its bright yellow blossoms, and delicate foliage ; but as 
an antagonist it is most formidable, particularly in winter, 
when its fierceness is unmitigated by a leafy covering. 
Even could one disregard the thorns, the difficulty of 
forcing one's way through the thickets is so great that 
some of the finest portions of the walls are unapproachable 
from below, and in very few spots is it possible to take a 
sketch. 10 Within the city, the thickets are not so dense. 

9 See Micali's Plan of Rusellse (Ant. cut at the head of this chapter — and 
Pop. Ital. tav. III.), and that of Ximenes were stopt by the marrnca from seeing 
(Esame dell' Esame d'un libro sopra la the finest fragments. This shrub seems 
Maremma Sanese) from which it is to have a long hereditary locus standi in 
taken. Midler (Etrusk. I. 3, 3) cites this part of Italy ; for it is most probably 
Rusellso as an instance of the usual to this that Polybius (II. 28) refers, 
quadrangular form of Etruscan cities. in his description of the battle between 

10 When writers describe the walls of the Romans and Gauls in this neigh- 
Rusellse as " of well hewn parallelopiped bourhood. The latter were evidently 
blocks" (Micali,Ant. Pop. Ital. I. p. 144), "freshmen " in the Maremma, or 
or " of squared blocks of immense size " they would not have been so ready to 
(Cluver. II. p. 514), it is clear they denude themselves, lest their clothes 
must have contented themselves with should impede them in passing through 
the portions to the south and west, — the thickets. 

such as that represented in the wood- 

252 RUSELLjE. [chap. xliv. 

Such at least I found the state of the hill in 1844. Let 
him therefore, who would explore this site, keep in mind 
the proverb — " tal came, tal coltello " — " as your meat is, 
so must your knife be" — and take care to arm himself 
for the struggle. 

Within the walls are sundry remains. On the elevated 
part to the north, which I take to have been the Arx, 
besides fragments of rectangular masonry, are some vaults 
of Roman work, winch have been supposed, it seems to me 
on no valid grounds, to have formed part of an amphi- 
theatre. 1 At the south-eastern angle of the city is a 
mound, crested by a triple, concentric square of masonry, 
which Micali takes to have been the Arx, though it seems 
to me more probably the site of a temple or tower. 2 

On the south-western side of the city are three parallel 
vaults of Roman opus incertum, about a hundred feet long. 
They are sunk in the high embanked ground already 
mentioned, in which, not far from them, are traces of a 
gate through the inner line of wall. 


1 Ximenes (Esame, &c), who pub- Within the square the ground sinks in 
lished in 1775, was the first to give a a deep hollow. This would seem to 
plan of these ruins as an amphitheatre ; indicate a tower rather than a temple, 
but Hoare (Class. Tour, I. p. 64), in but its small size precludes to my mind 
1818, could see nothing of such a the idea of its being the citadel, which 
structure, beyond the form ; and that on other Etruscan sites is not a mere 
is not at the present day vei-y apparent. castle or keep, as this must have 
Repetti (IV. p. 820), however, speaks been, but an inclosure of such extent as 
of it as an undoubted amphitheatre, to contain within its area a triple 
but perhaps only on the authority of temple, like that on the Capitoline at 
Ximenes, whom he cites. Rome. 

2 The foundations of the two outer 3 At this spot the masonry of the 
quadrangles are not now very distinct, embankment, each course of which re- 
though the terraces can be traced ; but cedes from that below it, as at the Ara 
the inner square preserves its founda- Reginaof Tarquinii, terminates abruptly, 
tions unmoved, consisting of the small so as to leave an even break all the 
l'ectangular blocks already described — way up, making it clear that here was 
the only sort of masonry within the a gate, or a roadway, to the high ground 
city-walls. The square is 48 feet, and within the embankment. 

the thickness of the wall 5 feet 6 inches. 




From the height of Rusellse you look southward over 
the wide vale of the Ombrone, with the ruined town of 
Istia on the banks of that river ; but Grosseto is not visible, 
being concealed by the loftier height of Moscona, which is 
crowned by the ruins of a circular tower. 4 On the east is 
a wooded hollow ; but on the north lies a wide bare valley, 
through which runs the road to Siena, and on the opposite 
heights stands the town of Batignano, of proverbial insalu- 
brity — " Batignano fa la fossa." There resides the present 
proprietor of Rusellse, hight Jacobetti. On the west the 
valley widens out towards the great lake of Castiglione, 
the Lacus Prelius, or Aprilis, of antiquity, which of old 
must have been as at present a mere morass, into which 
several rivers discharged themselves ; but it had then an 
island in the midst, 5 which is no longer distinguishable. 

4 I did not ascend this height, but 
Sir Richard Hoare who sought here 
for the ruins of Rusellse, describes this 
tower as built over subterranean vaults, 
apparently reservoirs. The same tra- 
veller speaks of a small house in the 
plain beneath Rusellse, belonging to one 
Franchi, or Franceschi, which has many 
inscribed tablets built into the wall, but 
with their faces turned inwards. Clas- 
sical Tour, I. pp. 50, 68. 

B This lake, or rather swamp, is called 
" Aprilis," by the Itineraries (see page 
212). Cicero (pro Milone, 27) calls 
it " Prelius," and speaks of its island. 
Pliny (III. 8) must mean the same 
when he mentions the " amnes Prille," 
a little to the north of the Umbro. 
These " amnes " seem to refer to seve- 
ral mouths or emissaries to the lake. 
The island of which Cicero speaks is by 
some supposed to have been the hill of 
Badia al Fango, nearly two miles from 
the lake, but Repetti (IV. p. 10) con- 
siders it rather to have been a little 
mound now called Badiola, on which 

are still some remains of ancient build- 
ings, and which he thinks in the time of 
Cicero may have stood in the midst of 
the marsh, instead of hard by it, as at 
present. It is impossible to say of 
what extent the lake was of old ; befoi'e 
the hydraulic operations commenced in 
1828 for its "bonification," as the 
Italians term it, it had a superficial 
extent of 33 square miles, but it is now 
reduced by the means taken, and still 
taking, for filling it up ; this is done by 
letting in the waters of the Umbrone, 
which bring down abundant deposits 
from the interior. It would seem from 
the forcible possession Clodius took of 
the island in its waters, as related 
by Cicero (loc. cit.), that this spot 
was much more desirable as a habita- 
tion in ancient times than at present, 
when it is "the very centre of the 
infection of the Tuscan Maremma." 
Repetti gives good reasons for regard- 
ing this lake or swamp as originally the 
bed of the sea. An interesting account 
will be found in the same writer (II. v. 

254 RUSELL^. [chap. xliv. 

Castiglion della Pcscaja is seen on the shore at the foot of 
the hills which rise behind the promontory of Troja. 

Scarcely a trace of the necropolis has been discovered 
at Rusella). The hardness of the rock and the dense 
woods winch for ages have covered the hill, in great mea- 
sure account for this. It is probable that here, as on other 
sites of similar character, the tombs were of masonry, 
heaped over with earth. Such is the character of one on 
the ascent to the city from the south, not far from the 
walls. It is a chamber only seven feet by five, lined with 
small blocks of unhewn masonry like the Tirynthian in 
miniature, and covered with large slabs, about eighteen 
inches thick. The chamber was originally of greater depth, 
being now so choked with earth that a man cannot stand 
upright in it. It can be entered only by a hole in the 
roof, where one of the cover-slabs has been removed ; for 
the original doorway, which opened in the slope of the 
hill, and which is covered with a horizontal lintel, is 
now blocked up. As it is therefore a mere pit, without 
any indications above the surface, it is not easy to find. 
From the peculiarity of the masonry, and from the general 
analogy this tomb bears to those of Saturnia, I do not 
hesitate to pronounce it of high antiquity. This was the 
only sepulchre I could perceive, or that I could hear of, 
in the vicinity of Rusellae, though many others probably 
exist among the dense woods below the walls. No excava- 
tions have been made on this site within the memory of 
man. 6 

Grosseto) of the attempts made at various are long, passage-like sepulchres of rude 

periods and by different means to reduce stones, and covered in with unhewn 

the extent of stagnant water, and lessen slabs. De la Marmora, Voyage en Sar- 

the unhealthiness of this district. daigne, pi. IV. pp. 21—35 ; and Bull. Inst 

6 This tomb has a great resemblance 1833, p. 1 25, ct scq. tav d' Agg. ; Abeken, 

in construction, if not in form, to the Mittelitalien, p. 240, taf. IV. 6a — d. 

Sepolture di Giganti of Sardinia, which Micali (Mon. Incd. tav. XVII. 11, 

chap, xliv.] HISTORICAL NOTICES. 255 

The walls of Rusellae, from their stupendous massive- 
ness, and the rude shapelessness of the blocks, are indis- 
putably of very early date, and may rank among the 
most ancient structures extant in Italy. While those of 
Cosa and Saturnia, in the neatly joined polygonal style, 
have been referred to later, even to Roman, times, no one 
has ever ventured to call in question the venerable anti- 
quity of Rusellae ; which therefore needs no confirmation 
from historical sources. The limited extent of the city, 
only two miles in circumference, and not more than a fourth 
the size of Volterra, does not seem to entitle it to rank 
among the Twelve chief cities of Etruria. Yet this honour 
is generally accorded to it ; principally on the ground of a 
passage in Dionysius, where it is cited in connection with 
Clusium, Arretium, Volaterrae, and Vetulonia, all cities of 
the Confederation, as taking part in the war against Tar- 
quinius Priscus, independently of the rest of Etruria ; 7 
which it could not have done had it not been a city of 
first-rate importance. This is the earliest mention made 
of Rusellae in history. We next hear of it in the year 453 
of Rome, in the dictatorship of M. Valerius Maximus, who 
marched his army into the territory of Rusellae, and there 
"broke the might of the Etruscans," and forced them to 
sue for peace. 8 And again in the year 460, the consul, 
Postumius Megellus, entered the territory of Rusellae, and 
not only laid it waste, but attacked and stormed the city 
itself, capturing more than 2000 men, and slaying almost 
as many around the walls. 9 When we next find it men- 
tioned in history, it is among the cities of Etruria, which 

p. 109) describes a small bronze lamp marbles, columns, bronze figures, and 

found near Rusellae ; which is in no way ancient coins having been dug up before 

peculiar, except as coming from this his time. 

site ; for, as far as I could learn, it is all 7 Dion. Hal. III. p. 189. 

that has yet been found here. Cluver 8 Liv. X. 4, 5. 

(II. p. 514), however, speaks of sundry 9 Liv. X. 37. 

256 RUSELLjE. [chap. xuv. 

furnished supplies to Scipio in the Second Punic War. It 
sent him its quota in corn, and fir for ship -building. 1 It 
is afterwards mentioned among the Roman colonies in 
Etruria. 2 It continued to exist after the fall of the 
Western Empire, and for ages was a bishop's see, till in 
1138, its population had sunk so low, and the site was so 
infested by robbers and outlaws, that its see and inhabi- 
tants were tranferred to Grosseto, its modern representa- 
tive. 3 Since that time Rusellai has remained as it is now 
seen — a wilderness of rocks and thickets — the haunt of 
the fox and wild boar, of the serpent and lizard — visited 
by none but the herdsman or shepherd, who lies the live- 
long day stretched in vacancy on the sward, or turning a 
wondering gaze on the stupendous ruins around him, of 
whose origin and history he has not a conception. 

1 Liv. XXVIII. 45. either this latter city could not have 

2 Plin. III. 8. Ptol. p. 72, ed. Bert. been as unhealthy as at present, or 

3 Repetti, II. pp. 526, 822. This Rusellse could not have been deserted 
writer shows that at the period of the on account of malaria. 

transfer of the bishopric to Grosseto, 



— dives opum Prianii dum regna manebant ; 
Nunc tantum sinus, et statio malefida carinis. 


South of G-rosseto, the next place of Etruscan interest 
is Telamone, or Talamone, eighteen miles distant. For 
the first half of the way the road traverses a wide plain, 
crossing the Ombrone by a ferry. This, the Umbro of 
antiquity — non ignobile jiumen — is a stream of no great 
width, and ought to be spanned by a bridge. In Pliny's 
time it was navigable ; x but for what distance we know 
not. Passing Alberese and its quarries, 2 the road enters a 
wooded valley, with a range of hills on the right renowned 
as a favourite haunt of the wild-boar and roebuck — 

Ul>i cerva silvicultrix, ubi aper nemorivagus. 

Hither accordingly the cacciatori of Rome and Florence 
resort in the season, taking up their quarters at Collecchio, 

1 Plin. III. 8. — Umbro, navigiorum trict on the river was called Umbi-ia. 
capax, et ab eo tractus Umbrise. Ruti- 2 A modern writer opines that Albe- 
lius (I. 337 — 341) speaks of the snug rese may be the site of the Eba of 
port at its mouth. Cluver (II. p. 474) Ptolemy. Viaggio Antiquario per la 
thinks from Pliny's mention of it, that Via Aurelia, p. 43. But an ancient 
it gave its name to the Umbrians ; but etymology is here quite superfluous, for 
Miiller (Etrusk. einl. 2, 12) on the the name is manifestly derived from 
contrary considers it to have received the limestone — alberese — which is quar- 
ks name from that ancient people ; and ried here, 
interprets Pliny as meaning that a dis- 


258 TELAMONE. [ohap. xiv. 

a way-side inn, twelve miles from Grosseto. 3 Where this 
rano-e sinks to the sea, a castle on a small headland, a few 
houses at its foot, and a vessel or two off the shore, mark 
the port of Telamone. 

Telamone lies nearly two miles off the high road, and 
to reach it you have to skirt the sandy shores of the httle 
bay, sprinkled with aloes, and fragments of Roman 
ruin. The place is squalid beyond description, almost 
in utter ruin, desolated in summer by malaria, and 
at no time containing more than some hundred and 
fifty befevered souls — -febbricitanti, as the Italians say — on 
whose heads Heaven has rained 

" The blistering drops of the JMaremma's dew." 

Inn there is none ; and no traveller, who seeks more 
than mere shelter and a shake-down, should think of 
passing the night here, but should go forward to Orbetello, 
twelve miles to the south. Indeed, I know not why 
the antiquarian traveller should halt at Telamone, for 
the castle is only of the middle ages, and nothing 
within it is of higher antiquity; though the shores 
of its bay are covered, like those of Baiae, with abundant 
wrecks of Roman villas. 4 No vestiges of Etruscan times 
could I perceive or hear of at Telamone, or in its immediate 
neighbourhood ; although the place can lay claim to that 
remote antiquity. There are said to be Roman remains 
also on the tower-crested headland of Telamonaccio, which 
forms the eastern horn of the port, and which even 

3 Not far from Collecchio is a ruiued nople, where her beauty raised her to 

tower, called Torre della Bella Mar- share the throne of the Saltan. Repetti, 

silia ; and tradition asserts that a fair I. p. IG'i. 

daughter of the Marsilj family was in 4 There are said to be some Roman 

bygone ages seized here by some Bar- vaults on the heights above Telamone, 

bary corsairs, and carried to Constanta- but I sought them in vain. 


disputes with Telamone the honour of being the site of 
the Etruscan town. 

Telamone has retained its ancient name, which is said 
to be derived from Telamon, the Argonaut, who touched 
here on returning from the celebrated expedition to Colchis, 
prior to the Trojan war, and thirteen centuries before 
Christ. 5 But such an origin is clearly fabulous. There is 
no doubt, however, of its high antiquity ; but whether it 
was founded by the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi, who built many 
towns on this coast, 6 or was simply of Etruscan origin, 7 
we have no means of determining. 

There is no historical mention of Telamon in the times 
of Etruscan independence. We hear of it first in the 
year 529, when the Romans defeated, in this neighbour- 
hood, an army of Cisalpine Gauls, who had made an 
irruption into Etruria, 8 

It was at the port of Telamon that Marius landed on 
his return from Africa (87 b. a), to retrieve his ruined 

5 Diod. Sic. IV. p. 259, ed. Rhod. were all Etruscan both in site and 

Diodorus calls it 800 stadia (100 miles) name — Etrusca et loca et nomina ; 

from Rome, which is rather less than but this must be taken with reserva- 

the distance by the road. Lanzi (II. tion, as in the same list are Pisse, 

p. 83) suggests that this port may have Pyrgi, and Castrum Novum, as mani- 

received its name from its form of a festly Greek and Roman respectively 

girdle — TeAa/xdv. Telamon is not the in name, as they are known to have 

only Argonaut mentioned in connection been in oiugin. cf. Steph. Byzant. v. 

with Etruria. Jason also is said to have TeAwfiwv. 

landed in Elba, whence Porto Ferrajo s Polybius (II. 27) places the site of 

received its ancient name of Argous this battle near Telamon ; Frontinns 

Portus (Strabo, V. p. 224 ; Diodor. loc. (Strateg. I. 2, 7) says it was at a place 

cit.) ; and to have contended with the called Colonia, which some think was 

Tyrrhenes in a naval combat. Possis Colonna di Buriano, between Grosseto 

of Magnesia ap. Athen. VII. c. 12, and Follonica (Cramer, Anc. Italy, I. 

p. 296. p. 194) ; but Repetti (I. p. 784) opines 

fi Cluver (II. p. 477) ascribes its that it was fought much to the south, 

origin to the Pelasgi ; and so also in the neighbourhood of Toscanella. 

Cramer, I. p. 1 92. Some editions of Frontinus have " Pop- 

7 Mela (II. 4) in mentioning it among Ionia" instead of "Colonia." 
the coast-towns of Etruria, says they 

» 2 




fortunes. 9 This is the last historical notice we have of 
it in ancient times ; and except that it is mentioned in 
the catalogues of the geographers and in the Itineraries, 1 
we have no further record of its existence till the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. 2 

Though we do not learn from ancient writers that 
Telamon was used as a port in Etruscan times, it is 
impossible to believe that the advantages of a harbour, 
sheltered from every wind save the south, and protected 
even in that quarter by the natural break-water of Monte 
Argentaro and its double isthmus, could have been over- 
looked or neglected by the most maritime nation of their 
time, the "sea-kings" of Italy. 3 The recent discovery of 
an Etruscan city of great size in the neighbourhood, 
sufficiently establishes the fact, 4 which is further confirmed 
by the evidence of its coins. 5 

9 Plutarch. Marius. 

1 Plin. III. 8 — portusque Telamon. 
Ptolemy (p. 68) speaks of its " pro- 

- Repetti, V. p. 498. 

3 Diodorus (IV. p. 259) indeed calls 
it a port in the time of the Argonauts, 
but beside that such a record of fabulous 
times cannot be received as authentic, 
the word he uses may signify merely a 
natural haven, without the addition of a 

4 See Chapter XLV HI. on Vetulonia. 
Miiller hesitates whether to regard 
Telamon as the port of Ruselke, Satur- 
nia, or Vulci, but inclines to the latter. 
Etrusk. I. p. 296. cf. 333. But Miiller 
knew not of the existence of a first-rate 
city, only a few miles inland, to which 
it must undoubtedly have served as a 
port. Though Stephanos calls Telamon 
a " city," it can have been but a small 
town, or a fortified landing-place ; just 
as Gravisese, the port of Tarqmnii, and 
Pyrgi, the port of Agylla, together with 

Alsium, appear to have been. See Vol. 
I. p. 3.05 ; II. pp. 13, 70. 

5 The coins attributed to Telamon 
are in general just like the as and semis 
of early Rome, having the bearded 
Janus-head on the obverse, and the 
prow on the reverse, but with the 
addition of " Tla " in Etruscan cha- 
racters. Sometimes in place of the 
Janus, there is the head of Jove, or 
that of a helmed warrior, whom Lanzi 
takes for Telamon, as it was customary 
to represent heroes or heroines on 
coins. And he interprets the prow also 
as referring to the Argonauts. One, 
a ikcussis, has the legend of " Tlate," 
in Etruscan characters, which Lanzi 
proposes to blend in such a way as to 
read " Tlamne," or Telamon ; but 
Miiller suggests that these coins may 
belong to the fadus Lutinum — Tlate 
being put for Tlatium. A sextans 
with the head of a young Hercules, and 
a trident between two dolphins, with 
the legend " Tel," is referred by Ses- 

chap, xlv.] THE PORT.— THE OSA AND ALBEGNA. 261 

The bay is now so choked with sand and sea-weed, 
that even the small coasting craft, when laden, have much 
ado to enter ; and in summer the stagnant pools along 
the shore send forth intolerable effluvia, generating deadly 
fevers, and poisoning the atmosphere for many miles 
around. What little commerce is now carried on, consists 
in the shipment of corn, timber, and charcoal. 

The road to Orbetello runs along the swampy shore, 
with low bare heights inland, once crowned by one of the 
proudest cities of Etruria, whose site had been forgotten 
for ages ; and with the lofty headland of Monte Argentaro 
seaward, and the wooded peaks of the Giglio — Igilii silwsa 
cacumina & — by its side ; often concealed by the woods of 
pine, which stretch for miles in a dense black line along 
this coast. The river Osa, the Ossa of antiquity, 7 has to be 
crossed by a ferry, where large masses in the stream pro- 
claim the wreck of the Roman bridge, by which the Via 
Aurelia was carried across. Four or five miles beyond, is 
the Albegna, anciently the Albinia, 8 a much wider river, 
with a little fort on its left bank, marking the frontier of the 
Presidj, a small district on this coast, which belonged first 
to Spain, then to Naples, and was annexed to Tuscany at 
the Congress of Vienna. This stream is also crossed by a 
ferry. There is a saying — " When you meet with a bridge, 
pay it more respect than you would to a count" — 

Quando vedi un ponte, 

Fa gli piu onor che non ad un conte — 

and with good reason, for counts in Italy are plentiful as 

tini to Telamon. Lanzi, II. pp. 28, 84, G Rutilius, I. 325. Cucsar, Bell. Civ. 

tav. II. 4—6 ; Miiller, Etrusk. I. p. I. 34 ; Mela, II. 7. Called also ,-Egi- 

333 ; Sestini, Lett. Numis. III. pp. liuni ; by the Greeks, ^Egilon. 1'lin, 

11— 13 ; Mionnet, Suppl. I. pp. 203—4. III. 12. 

Cramer, Anc. Italy, I. p. 192. Mil- " Ptolem. Geog. p. 68. 

lingen (Numis. Anc. Italie, p. 173) s Culled Albinia by tin- Peutingerian 

doubts if these coins should be referred Table, Almina by the Maritime Itine- 

to Telamon. rary. 

262 TELAMONE. [chap. xlv. 

blackberries — you meet them at every turn ; but bridges ! 
— they are deserving of all reverence, albeit patronised by 
neither saint nor sovereign. Three rivers in a morning's 
drive along one of the best roads in Tuscany, and all 
still under the protection of St. Christopher, the first 
Christian ferryman ! For the next five or six miles 
the road traverses pine-woods, and then branches off to 
Orbetello, which lies at the extremity of a long tongue of 
sand, stretching into its wide lagoon, and is overshadowed 
by the double-peaked mountain-mass of Argentaro. 

Tenditur in medias mons Argentarius undas, 
Ancipitique jugo ceerula rura premit. 



Cyclopum moenia conspicio. — Virgil. 

Orbetello makes a threatening front to the stranger. 
A strong line of fortifications crosses the sandy isthmus by 
which he approaches it ; principally the work of the 
Spaniards, who possessed the town for a hundred and fifty 
years — from 1557 to 1707. On every other side it is 
fenced in by a stout sea-wall. But its chief strength lies 
in its position in the midst of the wide lagoon, protected 
from all attacks by sea by the two necks of sand which 
unite Monte Argentaro to the mainland ; and to be other- 
wise approached only by the narrow tongue, on whose tip 
it stands — a position singularly like that of Mexico. 1 

This Stagno, or lagoon, the " sea-marsh " of Strabo, 2 is 
a vast expanse of stagnant salt-water, so shallow that it 
may be forded in parts, yet never dried up by the hottest 
summer ; the curse of the country around, for the foul and 
pestilent vapours, and the swarms of musquitoes and other 
insects it generates at that season, yet blessing the inhabi- 
tants with an abundance of fish. 3 

1 I have here described its original at night, and in the way often practised 
position. The causeway which now in Italy and Sicily — by harpooning the 
connects it with Monte Argentaro, is of fish which are attracted by a light in 
very recent construction, completed only the prow of the boat. It is a curious 
a few years since. s 'ght, says Repetti (III. p. C75), to see 

2 Strabo, V. p. 225. — \t/j.vodd\a.TTa. on calm nights hundreds of these little 

3 The fishery is generally carried on skiffs or canoes wandering about with 

2(54 ORBETELLO. [chap. xlm. 

Orbetello has further interest for the antiquary. The 
foundations of the sea-wall which surround it on three 
sides, are of vast polygonal blocks, just such as are seen 
on many ancient sites of Central Italy — Norba, Segni, 
Palestrina, to wit — and such as compose the walls of the 
neighbouring Cosa. That these blocks are of ancient 
shaping no one acquainted with the so-called Pelasgic 
remains of Italy can for a moment doubt ; and that 
they are also in great measure of ancient arrangement, 
is equally manifest ; but that they have been in some 
parts rebuilt, especially in the upper courses, is also 
obvious from the wide interstices between them, now 
stopt with mortar and bricks. The masonry tells its 
tale as clearly as stones can speak — that the ancient 
fortifications, having fallen into decay, were rebuilt with 
the old materials, but by much less skilful hands, the 
defects in the reconstruction being stopt up with mortar 
and rubble — that the blocks, even where they retain their 
original positions, have suffered so much from the action 
of the elements, especially from the salt waves of the lake, 
which often violently lash the walls, as to have lost much 
of that smoothness of surface, and that close, neat fitting 
of joints, which characterise this sort of masonry; and that 
the hollows and interstices thus formed have been in many 
parts plastered over with mortar. 4 Ancient masonry of 

their lights, and making an ever the usual material in roads. Still less 

moving illumination on the surface of likely is it that they have been brought 

the lake. from Cosa, for the walls of that city on 

4 Hoare (Class. Tour, I. p. CI) came this side, and towards the sea generally, 

to the conclusion that the blocks in are too perfect to have supplied so 

these fortifications must have been great a mass of material ; and again 

brought, either from some Roman road, the masonry of Cosa is wholly of lime- 

or from the neighbouring ruins of Cosa. stone ; that of Orbetello is principally 

But they are of larger size, and of of crag, or marine conglomerate, as 

much greater depth than the ancient though it had been quarried near the 

paving-stones ; nor are they of basalt, shore. 


this description never had and never needed cement ; 
holding together by the enormous weight of its masses. 

It seems highly probable from the character of this 
masonry, and the position of the town on the level of the 
shore, that Orbetello, like Pisa, Pyrgi, and Alsium, was 
originally founded by the Pelasgi; to whom I would attri- 
bute the construction of these walls. But that it was also 
occupied by the Etruscans is abundantly proved by the 
tombs of that people, which have been discovered in the 
close vicinity of the city, on the isthmus of sand which 
connects it with the mainland. Most of them were found 
in the vineyard of Signor Raffael de Wit, an inhabitant of 
the town, who has made a collection of their contents. 
No tombs now remain open ; in truth, the soil is so loose 
that they are found with their roofs fallen in, and their 
contents buried in the earth. The articles brought to 
light are, sarcophagi of nenfro, though the dead were 
generally laid uncoffined on a slab of rock, and covered 
with tiles — vases, seldom painted, and then coarsely, like 
those of Volterra rather than of Vulci — tripods, and other 
articles in bronze ; but nothing of extraordinary beauty or 
value. 5 

Orbetello, then, by these remains is clearly proved an 
Etruscan site. What was its name \ Some take it to have 
been the Succosa of the Peutingerian Table ; 6 but I hesitate 

5 Bull. Inst. 1829, p. 7 ; 1830, p. of Paris and Helen in Campanari's 

254. Here was found a sistrum, with Garden at Toscanella (Vol. I. p. 451), 

a little cow on the top, representing in having human heads between the 

Isis, in whose worship these instruments volutes. 

were used. Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 109, 6 Gerhard, Bull. Inst. 1830, pp. 251, 

tav. XVII. 10) says it was found not 254 ; Memor. Inst. III. p. 83 ; Repetti, 

far from Cosa. It is now in the Labo- III. p. 665. The Peutingerian Table, 

ratory of the Duke of Tuscany. In which alone makes mention of Succosa 

Signor De Wit's garden there is the (see Vol. I. p. 388), places it two miles 

capital of a column, taken from an to the east of Cosa, while Orbetello is 

Etruscan tomb, which resembles that four or five miles to the west. The 



[chap. xlvi. 

to assent to this opinion, and am rather inclined to regard 
it as an Etruscan town, the name of which has not come 
down to us. That it was also inhabited in Roman times 
is proved by columns, altars, cippi, and other remains 
which have been found here. Its ancient name cannot be 
traced in its modern appellation, which is apparently a 
mere corruption of urbicula, 1 unless it be significant of its 
antiquity — urbs vetus. It must suffice for us at present 
to know that here has stood an ancient town, originally, 
it may be, Pelasgic, certainly Etruscan, and afterwards 
Roman. 8 

Orbetello is now a place of some size, having nearly 
3000 inhabitants, and among Maremma towns, is second 
only to Grosseto. 9 Instead of one good inn, it has two 
indifferent ones, called Locanda dell' Ussero, and that of 

correctness of these Itineraries may 
indeed often be questioned. But I 
think it more probable that Succosa, 
or Subcosa, was a station at the foot 
of the hill on which Cosa stands, only 
called into existence after the ruin of 
that Etruscan city. See Abeken, Mit- 
talitalien, p. 34. Some have even taken 
Orbetello to be the site of Cosa itself. 
.Mionnet, Suppl. I. p. 197. 

" So called, it may be, to distinguish 
it from the larger city of Cosa on the 
neighbouring heights. Certainly the 
name cannot be derived, as has been 
suggested, " from the rotundity of its 
walls, which form a perfect circle," 
(Viag. Antiq. Via Aurelia, p. 50) ; see- 
ing that the said walls form a truncated 
cone in outline, without any curve 
whatever. There is nothing round 
about Orbetello. Nor is it more 
likely to be dei'ived from Orbicum and 
Tdlus, as Repetti (III. p. 665) pro- 
poses in preference to the Urbt Vittlli, 
suggested by Land. That it was 
derived from urbicula, or urbicclla, 

seems confirmed by the fact of its 
being called Orbicellum in a papal bull 
of the thirteenth century. Dempster, 

II. p. 432. 

8 That such a town is not men- 
tioned by Strabo or Mela, by Pliny or 
Ptolemy, in their lists of places along 
this coast, is explained by its distance 
from the sea, from which it could not 
be approached. It must have been 
regarded as an inland town, and may 
be mentioned under some one of those 
names of Etruscan towns, for which no 
site has yet been determined. 

9 It is a proof how much population 
tends to salubrity in the Maremma, 
that Orbetello, though in the midst of a 
stagnant lagoon, ten square miles in 
extent, is comparatively healthy, and 
lias almost doubled its population in 24 
rears ; while Telamone, and other small 
places along this coast, are almost de- 
serted in summer, and the few people 
that remain become bloated like wine- 
skins, or yellow as lizards. Repetti, 

III. p. 680. 

chap, xlvi.] THE HOSTELRY. 267 

La Chiave d'Oro. There is little difference, I believe, in 
their merits ; but I have generally heard the former pre- 
ferred. At the supper-table I met the arch-priest of 
Telamone, a sprightly, courteous young pastor, whom I 
had seen in the morning among his flock, and a motley 
group of proprietors, or country gentlemen, wild boar 
hunters, commercial travellers, monks, bumpkins, and 
vetturini ; among whom the priest, on account of his cloth, 
and I as a foreigner, received the most attention. Travel- 
ling in this primitive land levels all distinctions of rank. 
The landlord's niece, who waited on us, presuming on her 
good looks, chatted familiarly with her guests, and directed 
her smartest banter against the young priest, ridiculing his 
vows of celibacy, and often in such terms as would have 
driven an English female from the room. Yet Rosinetta 
was scarcely sixteen ! 

Hie nullus verbis pudor, aut reverentia mensae. 

1. Ancient gates. 

2. Probable site of a gate. 

3. 3. Square towers, external anil internal. 

4. 4. Circular towers, internal. 

5. Hound tower of Roman work, 
(i. Tbe Acropolis. 

Kuins, — Etruscan, Roman, and mediaeval. 
Deep pit, perhaps a quarry. 
Roman columbarium. 




Cernimus antiquas liullo custode ruinas, 
Et desolatae mcenia fceda Cosse. 


Go round about her, and tell the towers thereof. 
Mark well her bulwarks ; that ye may tell them that come after. 


As Cosa was in the time of the Emperor Honorius, such 
is it still — a deserted waste of ruins, inclosed by dilapidated 
walls ; fourteen centuries have wrought no change in its 
condition. Yet it is one of the most remarkable Etruscan 
sites, and should not fail to be visited by every one inter- 
ested in ancient fortifications. 

It occupies the flat summit of a truncated conical hill, 

270 cosa: [chap, xiaii. 

about six hundred feet high, which from its isolation, and 
proximity to the sea, forms a conspicuous object in the 
scenery of this coast. It stands just outside the Feniglia, 
the southernmost of the two necks of sand which unite 
Monte Argentaro to the main-land ; and is about five or 
six miles to the south-east of Orbetello. 1 It were best to 
leave the high-road, where it begins to rise at the foot of 
the hill of Cosa, and turn down a lane to the right. You 
will presently perceive a lonely house in a garden, called 
La Selciatella, the only habitation hereabouts. Here you 
can leave your vehicle ; but if you have a cavalcatura you 
need not dismount — only ask for one Pietro Fruggioni, 
who dwells here, and will act as your guide to the ruins ; 
and a more obliging, civil-spoken cicerone you will nowhere 
meet. Some travellers who have visited Cosa have fol- 
lowed the high road to the further side of the city, and 
taken as their guide a soldier from the Torre della Tagliata ; 
but this is unnecessary, for Pietro knows the site as well 
as any one, having tended his cattle there for many a 
year, and can point out all the lions, which is as much as 
can be expected from these country ciceroni ; the traveller 
must exercise his own judgment as to their origin, antiquity, 
and purpose. Enquire not for " Cosa," or you will be 
answered by a stare of surprise, and " non c' e qui tal roba," 
but for " Ansedonia," the modern appellation of the site. 
It is a steep ascent of a mile or more to the walls of 

1 The site of Cosa has been much Portus Hereulis, and hard by, the sea- 
disputed. Some have placed it at marsh ; and on the headland which 
Orbetello, others at Santa Liberate, overhangs the bay is a tower for watch- 
near Santo Stefano on Monte Argen- ing the tunny-fish." He also states 
taro ; yet Strabo (V. p. 225) has that Cossa is 300 stadia (37-J miles) 
described its position so as to leave no from Graviscse ; and from Populonium 
reasonable doubt of its whereabouts. nearly 800 stadia (100 miles), though 
"Cossa, a city a little above the sea. someday 600 stadia (75 miles). Cf. 
The lofty height on which the town is Rutil. Ttin. I. 285 et seq. 
situated lies in a bay. Below, lies the 

chap, xlvii.] WALLS OF POLYGONAL MASONRY. 271 

Cosa. You may trace the ancient road all the way to the 
gate, running in a straight line up the rocky slope ; it 
is but a skeleton, marked by the kerb-stones, for the inner 
blocks are in few places remaining. On the way it passes 
some Roman ruins of brick, among them a columbarium. 

He who has not seen the so-called Cyclopean cities of 
Latium and Sabina, of Greece and of Asia Minor, those 
marvels of early art, which overpower the mind with their 
grandeur, bewilder it with amazement, or excite it to 
active speculations as to their antiquity, the race which 
erected them, and the state of society which demanded 
fortifications so stupendous on sites so inaccessible as 
they in general occupy ; — he who has not beheld those 
sublime trophies of early Italian civilization — the bastion 
and round tower of Norba — the gates of Segni and 
Arpino — the citadel of Alatri — the many terraces of 
Cora — the covered way of Praeneste, and the colossal 
works of the same masonry in the mountains of Latium, 
Sabina, and Samnium, will be astonished at the first view 
of the walls of Cosa. Nay, he who is no stranger to this 
style of masonry, will be surprised to see it on this spot, 
so remote from the district which seems its peculiar 
locality. He will behold in these walls immense blocks 
of stone, irregular polygons in form, not bound together 
with cement, yet fitted with so admirable nicety, that 
the joints are mere lines, into which he might often in 
vain attempt to insert a penknife : the surface smooth as 
a billiard-table ; and the whole resembling, at a little 
distance, a freshly plastered wall, scratched over with 
strange diagrams. 

The form of the ancient city is a rude quadrangle, 
scarcely a mile in circuit. 2 The walls vary from twelve 

: Micali's Plan of the city, from it about 2,640 bracelet, or 5,060 feet 
which that annexed is adapted, makes English, in circumference. 

272 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

to thirty feet in height, and are relieved, at intervals, by 
square towers, projecting from eleven to fifteen feet, and 
of more horizontal masonry than the rest of the fortifica- 
tions. Fourteen of these towers, square and external, 
and two internal and circular, are now standing, or to be 
traced ; 3 but there were probably more, for in several 
places are immense heaps of ruins, though whether of 
towers, or of the wall itself fallen outwards, it is difficult 
to determine. 

Though Cosa resembles many other ancient sites in 
Italy in the character of its masonry, it has certain pecu- 
liarities. I remember no other instances of towers in 
polygonal fortifications, with the exceptions of the bastion 
and round tower of Norba, a similar bastion at Alatri, 
near the Porta S. Francesco, and the towers at Fondi, 
apparently of no high antiquity. 4 In no case is there a 
continuous chain of towers, as round the southern and 
western walls of Cosa. Another peculiarity of these forti- 

3 On the northern side there is but that form recommended by Vitruvius 
one tower and that in a ruined state ; (I. 5), who says they should be either 
but on the western, or that facing the round or many-sided, for the square 
sea, which was most open to attack, ones are easily knocked to pieces by the 
I counted, besides a circular one within battering-ram, whereas on the circular 
the walls, seven external, in various it can make no impression. The weak- 
states of preservation, the southernmost ness of square towers, however, was 
being the largest and most perfect. ascertained long before the time of 
This tower is 22 feet wide, and about Vitruvius : for in one of the very earlj- 
20 high, as it now stands. In the wall and curious Assyrian reliefs from the 
to the south are five towers square and ruins of Nineveh, recently placed in the 
external, and one, internal and circular, British Museum, which represents the 
42 feet in diameter. On the eastern siege of a city, the battering-ram is 
side there is but one ancient square directed against the angles of a tower, 
tower, and one semicircular of smaller from which it is fast dislodging the 
and more recent masonry. Though I blocks. 

have called these towers external, they 4 Memor. Inst. III. p. 00. Even 

also project a little inward, from the Pyrgi, which was fortified with similar 

line of walls. In Mieali's Plan many of masonry, though its name signified 

these towers are omitted. " towers," retains no trace of such in 

It will be observed that here, as at its walls (ut supra, page 16). 
Falerii, the external towers are not of 


fications is, that in many parts they rise above the level of 
the area they enclose, as is also the case at Volterra and 
Rusellae ; whereas the walls of the Latin and Sabine towns 
are generally mere embankments. 5 The outer half of the 
wall also is raised three or four feet above the inner, to 
serve as a rampart : this I have seen on no other site. 
The total thickness of the wall in this superficial part is 
between five and six feet. The inner surface is not 
smoothed like the outer, but left in its natural state, un- 
touched by hammer or chisel ; showing in the same piece 
of walling the rudest and the most finished styles of 
Cyclopean masonry, and bearing testimony that the outer 
surface was hewn to its perfection of smoothness after the 
blocks were raised. A fourth peculiarity is, that while 
the lower portions of the walls are of decidedly polygonal 
masonry, the upper parts are often composed of horizontal 
courses, with a strong tendency to rectangularity, and the 
blocks are generally of smaller dimensions than the poly- 
gonal masses below them. The line between these different 
styles is sometimes very decidedly marked, which seems 
confirmatory of the notion suggested by the first sight of 
this masonry, that it is of two different epochs ; the rect- 
angular marking the repairs — a notion further strengthened 
by the fact, that the material is the same throughout — a 
close grey limestone. For if the peculiar cleavage of the 
rock had led to the adoption of the polygonal style in the 
first instance, it would continue to do so throughout ; and 
any deviation from that style would seem to have been 
the work of another race, or subsequent age. On the 

5 I have visited most of those ancient above the level of the city. The height 

cities in the mountains of Latium, and in of the eastern wall of Cosa above that 

the land of the iEqui, Volsci, and Hernici, level varies from a few feet to twelve or 

and remember no other instance than fifteen, and externally the wall is at 

the round tower at Norba, which rises least double that height. 




other hand it may be said, that this rectangular masonry 
is but the natural finishing off of the polygonal, just as the 
latter generally runs into the horizontal at angles, as may 
be observed in the gates and towers of this same city. 6 

From the ramparts you may perceive that the walls 
fall back in some degree, though never so much as in a 
modern revetement, but the towers are perpendicular on 
every side, save in a few cases where the masonry is 
dislocated, and they topple over. 7 

Of gates there is the orthodox number of three ; one in 
the centre of the northern, southern, and eastern walls of 
the city respectively. 8 They are well worthy of attention, 
all of them being double, like the two celebrated gateways 
of Volterra, though without even the vestige of an arch. 
The most perfect is that in the eastern wall, which is 
represented in the woodcut at the head of this chapter. 9 

6 These features are shown in the 
woodcut at the head of this Chapter, 
which represents the eastern gate of 
Cosa. The masonry, though decidedly 
polygonal, appears in the door-post of 
the gate to be rectangular. In the 
fragment of walling to the left, the 
blocks are polygonal below, and regular 
above, or at least laid in horizontal 
courses. The manner in which small 
pieces were fitted into the interstices 
is also shown . But the peculiarities of 
the masonry are not so striking in this, 
as in many other portions of the forti- 
fications. It was selected from several 
sketches, as illustrative also of the gate. 
On this side of the city the masonry is 
smaller than on the others. The largest 
of the blocks in the woodcut is not 
more than 4 feet square, and the height 
of the wall is only 15 or 16 feet. 

7 The bastion and round tower of 
Norba, on the contrary, narrow up- 
wards considerably. 

8 There may have been a postern in 

the south-eastern angle of the walls, at 
the spot marked 2 in the Plan. Sir R. 
C. Hoare also thought he could perceive 
four gates ; and he speaks of four ancient 
roads. Classical Tour, I. p. 58. 

9 Its entrance is about 12 feet wide, 
but the passage within is double that in 
width and 28 feet long ; the inner gate 
is no longer standing, though indications 
of it are traceable. The depth of the 
outer doorposts, or in other words the 
thickness of the wall, is 7 feet, 8 inches. 
Gateways on a similar plan are found 
in the Cyclopean cities of Latium — the 
Porta di S. Francesco at Alatri, and 
the Porta Cassamara at Ferentino for 
instance ; the latter however is proba- 
bly of Roman construction. 

The gates of Cosa, unlike those of 
Volterra, do not exemplify the precepts 
of Vitruvius (I. 5), that the road to a 
gateway should be so aiTanged, that the 
approaching foe should have his right 
side, or that unprotected by his shield, 
open to the attacks of the besieged. 

cHAr. xlvii.] THE GATEWAYS. 275 

It is evident that it was never arched, for the door-post 
still standing rises to the height of nearly twenty feet in 
a perfectly upright surface ; and as in the Porta di Diana 
of Volterra, it seems to have been spanned by a lintel of 
wood, for at the height of twelve or fifteen feet is a square 
hole, as if for its insertion. 10 The arch indeed is never 
found, in Italy at least, in connection with this style of 
masonry ; but the gateways of Cyclopean cities were either 
spanned by flat slabs of stone, or when of too great a 
width, by lintels of wood, or else by stones overlapping 
each other, and gradually converging till they met and 
formed a rude sort of Gothic arch. 1 

The other two gateways, though more dilapidated, 
show that they have been formed on the same plan 
as this in the eastern wall. In the one to the south 
is a block, nine feet by four, the largest I observed in 
the walls of Cosa. In this gate also is a large round 
hole in the inner doorpost for the insertion of a wooden 

I observed no instances of sewers opening in these walls, 
as usual in Etruscan fortifications, and as are found also in 

10 It is shown in the woodcut, together usually small size. It was discovered 

with the upright groove for the saraci- by Dr. Ross of Athens, but first made 

nesca, or portcullis, like that in the known to the world by Colonel Mure, 

Porta all' Arco of Volterra. in the Ann. Inst. 1838, p. 140; Mon. 

1 In Greece, however, regularly Ined. Inst. loc. cit. ; and afterwards in 

arched gateways have been found in his interesting Tour in Greece, II. p. 

connection with this polygonal masonry. 248. Several archaeologists of eminence, 

At (Eniadse, in Acarnania, is a postern how ever, who have seen it have de- 

of a perfect arch in the polygonal walls clared to me their full conviction that 

of the city. Leake, Northern Greece, this bridge is of late date and of Roman 

III. pp. 560 et seq. ; Mure, Tour in construction. Cf. Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 77. 

Greece, I. p. 109 ; and Ann. Inst. 1838, In the polygonal walls of (Enoanda in 

p. 134. Mon. Ined. Inst. II. tav. LVII. the Cibyratis, north of Lycia, there is a 

And at Xerokampo, in the neighbour- gateway regularly arched, with Greek 

hood of Sparta, is a bridge on the time inscriptions on tablets in the masonry 

arch-principle, in the midst of masonry by its side; as I learn from the portfolio 

of irregular polygons, though of un- of Mr. Edward Falkener. 

T 2 

276 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

certain other Cyclopean cities of Italy. 2 Yet such may 
exist, for I found it impossible fully to inspect the walls on 
the southern and western sides, the slopes beneath them 
being covered with a wood so dense as to be often impene- 
trable, though the difficulties are not aggravated, as at 
Rusellae, by any thickets more formidable than myrtle, 
lentiscus, and laurestinus. 

Within the city, all is ruin — a chaos of crumbling walls, 
overturned masonry, scattered masses of bare rock, and 
subterranean vaults, " where the owl peeps deeming it 
midnight," — all overrun with shrubs and creepers, and 
acanthus in great profusion. The popular superstition 
may be pardoned for regarding this as the haunt of 
demons ; for ages it was the den of bandits and outlaws, 
and tradition, kept alive by the natural gloominess of the 
spot, has thus preserved, it may be, the remembrance of 
their atrocities. At the south-western corner of the area 
was the Arx, for the ground here rises considerably above 
the ordinary level, and is banked up with masonry in parts 
polygonal, but in general regular, like that in similar situa- 
tions at Rusella). On this platform are several ruins, bare 
walls rising to the height of twenty feet, apparently of the 
low Empire, or still later, of the middle ages ; and numerous 
foundations, some of the same small cemented masonry, 
others of larger rectangular blocks, decidedly Roman, and 
some even polygonal, like the city-walls. It is probable 

2 Besides the instances of such open- The better known opening in the walls 

ings in the walls of Norba, Segni, and of the citadel of Alatri, I do not believe 

Alatri, referred to in a former Chapter to be a sewer, but a postern. In the 

(see page 121), I may mention a sewer Cyclopean walls of Verulse, now Veroli, 

in the walls of the latter city, close to in the rudest and most ancient parts 

the bastion by the Porta di San Fran- of the masonry, are several sewers — 

cesco, which is of very peculiar form tall upright openings, like that in the 

— a truncated cone inverted, appa- walls of Norba, or yet more similar in 

rently 2 feet wide above, tapering to form and dimensions to those so com- 

1 foot below, and about 3 feet in height. mon in the cities of southern Etruria. 

chap, xlvii.] REMAINS WITHIN THE WALLS. 277 

that the latter, as the earliest masonry — for in many parts 
the Roman work rests on it — marks the foundations of the 
three temples winch the Etruscans were wont to raise in 
every city to the divine trio, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. 3 

Within the gate to the east, are many remains of build- 
ings, some with upper stories and windows ; and not far 
from this is a deep hollow with precipitous walls of rock, 
which seems to have been a quarry. 

Joyfully will the traveller hail the view from the 
ramparts of Cosa ; and in truth it were hard to find one 
on this coast more singular, varied, and grand. Inland, 
rise lofty walls of rock — rugged, stern, and forbidding — 
blocking up all view in that direction. At his feet 
spreads the sun-bright bay, with Porto Ercole and its 
rocky islet on the further shore, 4 but not a skiff to break 
the blue calm of its waters ; the wide lagoon is mapped 
out by its side ; and the vast double-peaked mass of Monte 
Argentaro, the natural Gibraltar of Tuscany, overshadows 
all, lying like a majestic vessel along the shore, moored by 
its three ropes of sand 5 — the castellated Orbetello being 
but a knot in the centre of the middle one. To the north 
he looks along the pine-fringed coast to the twin head- 
lands of the bay of Telamone, and then far away over the 
level Maremma, to the distant heights of Troja and the 

3 Servius, ad Virg. Mn. I. 422. difficult to account for the formation of 

4 The Portus Herculis of Rutilius the two isthmi. The Tombolo, or 
(1.293), and the Itineraries. It was also that to the north, may have been de- 
called Portus Cosauus. Liv. XXII. 11 ; posited by the Albegna, which opens 
XXX. 3fl. I did not visit it; but Sir hard by; but for the Feniglia— there is 
R. C. Hoare says it is a singular town, no river discharging itself hereabouts, 
and " resembles a flight of steps, each The circuit of 36 miles, which Rutilius 
street bearing the appearance of a (1. 318) ascribes to this promontory, is 
landing-place." Classical Tour, I. p. 56. much exaggerated. For the physical 
There are said to be no antiquities re- features and productions of this singular 
maining. Viag. Ant. per la Via Aurelia, district, see Brocchi, Osservazioni natu- 
p. 54. rail sul promontorio Argentaro, Bibliot. 

5 It is highly probable that the Monte Ital. XI., and Repetti, s. v. Orbetello. 
Argentaro was once an island ; but it is 

~78 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

grey peaks of Elba. The Giglio, the so called " Lily " 
island, is lost behind the Argentaro ; but, as it travels 
southwards, the eye rests on the islet of the Giannutri ; 6 
and, after scanning the wide horizon of waters, meets 
land again in the dim hills above Civita Vecchia. The 
intervening tract is low, flat, desert, — here a broad strip 
of sand, — there a long, sea-shore lagoon, or a deadly fen 
or swamp, — now a tract dark with underwood, — now a 
wide, barren moor, treeless, houseless — 

Arsiccia, nuda, sterile, e deserta. 

Yet in this region, all desolate as it now appears, stood 
Vulci, that mine of sepulchral treasures, and Tarquinii, the 
queen of Etruscan cities, with her port of Graviscae ; and 
Corneto, her modern representative, may be descried, 
thirty miles off, lifting her diadem of towers above the 
nearer turrets of Montalto. 

Around the walls of Cosa there are few relics of 
antiquity. It is said that in the plain below are " very 
extensive remains of a wall of much ruder construction " 
than those of the city ; 7 but I did not perceive them. Near 
the Torre della Tagliata are several ruins of Roman 
date, of which those commonly called Bagni della Regina 
are the most remarkable. You enter a long cleft in the 
rock, sixty or seventy feet deep, and on one side perceive 
a huge cave, within which is a second, still larger, appa- 
rently formed for baths ; for there are seats cut out of the 
living rock — vivo sedilia saxo — but all now in utter ruin. 
The place, it has been remarked, recalls the grotto of the 
Nymphs, described by Virgil ; 8 but popular tradition has 
peopled it with demons, as says Faccio degli Uberti — 

Ivi e ancor ove fue la Sendonia, 
Ivi e la cava, ove andarno a torme, 
Si crede il tristo, overo le demonia. 

6 The Dianiuru, or Artemisia of the " Classical Museum, V. p. 180. 

ancients. Mela, II. 7 ; Tlin. III. 12. s fan. 1. Ifi7 ; Repetti, III. p. 670. 

chap, xlvii.] WHO BUILT THESE WALLS? 279 

Among the ruins on the shore at this spot is some 
mosaic pavement. The site has been taken, with con- 
siderable probability, for that of Subcosa. 9 

No tombs are to be seen on the slopes around Cosa. 1 It 
is probable, that, like the one at Rusellse, and those of 
Cortona and Saturnia, they were constructed of rude 
masonry, and covered over with earth. Such seems to 
have been the plan adopted on sites where the rock was 
too hard to admit of easy excavation. At Volterra and 
Populonia it was not necessary, for there were soft strata 
in the neighbourhood. 

The walls of Cosa, so unlike those of most cities of 
Etruria, to what people, and to what age shall we refer 
them 1 Can it be that they were raised by the Etruscans 
themselves — induced to depart from their general style of 
masonry by the local rock having a natural cleavage into 
polygons 1 Or are the peculiarities of these and similar 
walls in Etruria characteristic of the race which con- 
structed them, rather than of the materials of which they 
are formed 1 Are they to be attributed to the earliest 
occupants of the land, the Umbri or the Pelasgi \ — or to 
much later times, and to the Roman conquerors 1 The 
latter view seems now in favour. It was first broached 
by Micali, the great advocate of the indigenous origin of 
the Etruscans, and who sought, by invalidating the anti- 
quity of this polygonal style, to enhance that of the 
regular masonry, which is more peculiarly Etruscan. He 

9 Mannert, Geog. p. 366. According 1 Yet excavations have been made in 

to this writer, it is this spot which is the neighbourhood. Micali (Mon. Ined. 

called Ansedonia, and not the ruined p. 328) states that what was found here 

city above. Holstenius (Annot. ad in 1837, was presented by himself to 

Cluver. p. 30) made the same distinc- the late Pope ; and speaks of a flat 

tion ; but both seem to have been led vessel of bronze, containing an odori- 

to this conclusion by the lines of Faccio ferous gum, which, when burnt, gave 

degli Uberti, quoted above ; for the city forth a most agreeable perfume, 
itself is certainly now called Ansedonia. 

280 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

maintains that the walls of Cosa, and of Satnrnia, which 
resemble them, are among the least ancient in the land ; 
and he suggests that they may have been raised by the 
Roman colony, established here at the close of the fifth 
century of the City, seeing that the Romans are known to 
have employed this masonry in certain of their public 

works. 2 

It would demand more room than the limits of this work 
will allow, to discuss this subject to its full extent. But I 
must make a few remarks. 

This polygonal masonry is of high antiquity, long prior 
to Roman times, though every instance of it cannot claim 
to be of so remote a date. It must, however, be of later 
origin than that composed of unhewn masses, rudely piled 
up, with no further adjustment than the insertion of small 
blocks in the interstices — that style which, from the 
description of Pausanias, is sometimes designated " Cyclo- 
pean;" 3 for this polygonal masonry is the perfecting 

2 Micali, Ant.Pop.Ital. II .pp. 144,196; respectively of hard limestone and tra- 
il!, p. 6. "A mere glance," he says," at the vertine. I cite Micali in this instance, 
walls of Cosa, so smooth and well pre- not as the writer who has treated the 
served, proves their construction to be of subject in the most able manner, but as 
small antiquity in comparison with those the originator of the opinion of the 
of Fiesole and Volterra, of quadrilateral Roman oi'igin of Cosa, and as one who 
blocks, and of genuine Etruscan work- has been referred to as authority on the 
manship." The superior sharpness and point. 

freshness in these walls of Cosa, how- 3 Pausan. II. 16, 4 ; 25, 7 ; VII. 25. 

ever, are no proof whatever of a less Pausanias, however, applies the same 

remote antiquity. Micali's argument, term to the walls of Mycence, which are 

to have any weight, should show that of hewn polygonal blocks, and even to 

the material of which these walls are the celebrated Gate of the Lions, which 

respectively composed, is either the is of regular, squared masonry. The 

same, or one equally affected by atmo- term is also repeatedly used by Euripides, 

spheric influences. Whereas the forti- in reference to the walls of Mj cente, or 

fications of Volterra and Fiesole, and, it of Argos (Elect. 1158; Iphig. Aul. 

may be added, of Populonia and Cortona, 152, 534, 1501; Orest. 963; Troad. 

are either of macigno, stratified sand- 1083 ; Here. Fur. 944; compare Seneca, 

stone, or of other rock equally friable, Here. Fur. 997 ; Statius, Theb. I. 252). 

while those of Cosa and Satnrnia are It is therefore clear that the term 



of that ruder mode of construction. 4 Yet that this 
smooth-surfaced, closely -joined style, as seen in the walls 
of Cosa, is also of early origin, is proved, not only by 
numerous instances of it on very ancient sites in Greece 
and Italy — some referred to as marvels of antiquity by 
the ancients themselves — but also by the primitive style of 
its gateways, and the absence of the arch in connection 
with it. 5 The fact of the Romans adopting this style of 
masonry, as they seem to have done in the substructions 
of some of their great Ways, and perhaps in a few cities of 
Latium, 6 in no way militates against the high antiquity 
of the type. The Romans of early times were a servile 
race of imitators, who had little original beyond their 

" Cyclopean" cannot with propriety be 
confiued, as it has been by Dodwell, 
Gell, and others, to masonry of the 
rudest unhewn description, in contra- 
distinction to the neater polygonal, or to 
the horizontal style. The term was 
employed in reference to the traditions 
of the Greeks, rather than to the cha- 
racter of the masonry ; or if used in 
this way it was generic, not specific ; 
applicable to any walling of great 
massiveness, which had the appearance, 
or the reputation of high antiquity. 
" Arces Cyclopum autem, aut quas 
Cyclopes fecerunt, aut magni ac miri 
operis ; nam quicquid magnitudine sua. 
nobile est Cyclopum manu dicitur fabri- 
catum." Lactant. ad Stat. Theb. I. 252 ; 
cf. I. 630. Though rejected altogether 
by Bunsen (Ann. Inst. 1834, p. 145), 
the term is convenient — se non e vero, e 
ben trovalo— and in default of a better, 
has some claim to be retained. On this 
ground I have made use of it in the 
course of this work in its generic sense, 
applying it alike to all early massive 
irregular masonry. 

* Gell held the contrary opinion — 
that the polygonal was more ancient by 

some centuries. Topog. Rome, II. p. 165. 

5 Gerhard (Ann. Inst. 1829, p. 40), 
remarking on this fact, says it seems 
certain that even the least ancient 
remains of this description preceded 
the invention of the arch. But this is 
refuted by the recent discovery of 
arches in connection with this masonry 
in Greece and Asia Minor. Ut supra, 
page 275. In none of these cases, how- 
ever, have the structures an appearance 
of very remote antiquity. 

6 In the Via Salaria, near Rieti, 
and in several places between Antro- 
doco and Civita Ducale ; in the Via 
Valeria, below Roviano, and elsewhere 
between Tivoli and Tagliacozzo ; and 
in the Via Appia, between Terracina 
and Fondi. The cities, whose polygonal 
fortifications have been ascribed to the 
Romans, are Noi-ba and Signia. Ger- 
hard, Ann. Inst. 1829, p. 55, et seq. 
83, et seq ; Bunsen, Ann. Inst. 1834, 
p. 144 ; Bunbury, Classical Museum, V. 
p. 167, et seq. Strabo (V. p. 237) states 
that most of the cities on the Via 
Latina, in the lands of the Ilernic-i, 
vEqui, and Volsci, were built by the 

282 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

beUipotentia, and were ever borrowing of their neighbours, 
not onlv civil and religious institutions, and whatever 
ministered to luxury and enjoyment, but even the sterner 
arts of war. Thus in their architecture and fortifications : 
in Sabina they seem to have copied the style of the 
Sabines, in Latium of the Latins, in Etruria of the Etrus- 
cans. How much they may have been led to this by the 
local materials, is a question for separate consideration. 

Conceding that the style of masonry must to a consider- 
able extent have been affected by the character of the 
materials employed, I cannot hold, with some, that it was 
the natural and unavoidable result — I cannot believe in a 
constructive necessity — that with certain given materials 
every people in every age would have produced the same 
or a similar description of masonry. There are convention- 
alities and fashions in this as in other arts. It were 
easy, indeed, to admit the proposition in regard to the 
ruder Cyclopean style, which is a mere random piling of 
masses as detached from the quarry ; a style which may 
suggest itself to any people, and which is adopted, though 
on a much smaller scale, in the formation of fences or of 
embankments by the modern Italians and T} r rolese, and 
even by the peasantry of England and Scotland, on spots 
where stone is cheaper than wood. But the polygonal 
masonry of which we are treating stands on a totally 
different ground ; and it seems unreasonable to suppose 
that the marvellous neatness, the artistic perfection dis- 
played in polygonal structures like the walls of Cosa, could 
have been produced by any people indifferently who hap- 
pened to fix on the site. For it is not the mere cleavage 
of the rock into polygonal masses that will produce this 
masonry. There is also the accurate and laborious adjust- 
ment, the careful adaptation of parts, and the subsequent 
smoothing of the whole into an uniform, level surface. If 



ever masonry had the stamp of peculiarity it is this. 
Not the regular isodomon of the Greeks, nor the opus reti- 
culatum of the Romans has it more strongly marked. I 
could as readily believe that the Corinthian capital was 
invented by every nation by which it has been adopted, 
as that this style of masonry had an independent origin in 
every country where it has been found. 7 

The question next arises, to what particular race is this 
peculiar masonry to be ascribed. No doubt when once 
introduced, the fashion might be adopted by other tribes 
than that which originated it, 8 but the type, whose source 
alone we are considering, would still be proper to one race. 
Now at the risk of being thought to entertain old-fashioned 
opinions, I must confess that I can refer it to no other than 

"' The adoption of this style by the 
Romans in the pavements of their 
high-ways, in no way affects the ques- 
tion. The earliest of these roads, the 
Via Appia, was constructed only in the 
year 442 (b.c. 312) — ages later even 
than those polygonal cities which are 
sometimes ascribed to the Romans ; 
and it may be that they but imitated 
the roads of their predecessors. Still 
less can the use of polygonal pavement 
by the modern Florentines, be admitted 
as an argument against the peculiarity 
of the type, as Micali would fain have 
it. Ant. Pop. Ital. I. p. 197. They 
have but adhered to the style which 
was handed down to them from anti- 
quity, while the modern Romans have 
preferred the opus reticulatum, as the 
model for their pavements. And though 
Micali contends for a constructive ne- 
cessity, it is completely set aside by 
the fact, which he mentions, that the 
stone for the pavement of Florence is 
brought from the heights of Fiesolc ; 
for the horizontal cleavage of that rock 
is most manifest and notorious. 

Nor can the existence of polygonal 
masonry in the fortresses and other 
structures of the aboriginal Peruvians, 
be regarded as opposed to the pecu- 
liarity of the type. Too great a mys- 
tery hangs over the origin of that 
singular race, and of its civilization, 
for us to admit them as evidence in 
this question. The style seems to have 
differed from that of the polygonal 
masonry of the old world, resembling 
it in little more than the close-fitting of 
the masses. If anything is to be learned 
from these structures, it is that they 
contradict the doctrine of a constructive 
necessity ; being of granite or porphyry, 
which have no polygonal cleavage ; and 
are rather suggestive of a traditional 
custom. See Prescott's Conquest of 
Peru, I. pp. 16, 143. 

8 Chevalier Bunsen maintains that 
many of the polygonal fortifications of 
Italy were raised by the Volsci, yEqui, 
and Hernici. Ann. Inst., 1834, p. 142. 
But if this be admitted, it does not 
prove that the type originated with 

284 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

tlie Pelasgi. Not that, with Sir W. Gell, I would cite the 
myth of Lycaon, son of Pelasgus, and founder of Lycosura, 
as proof that this masonry was of Pelasgic origin 9 — I 
might even admit that " there is no conclusive evidence in 
any one instance of the Pelasgian origin of the monuments 
under consideration," 10 — yet the wide-spread existence of 
remains of this masonry through the countries of the 
ancient world, the equally wide diffusion of the Pelasgic 
race, 1 and the remarkable correspondence of the lands it 
occupied or inhabited with those where these monuments 
most abound ; to say nothing of the impossibility of 
ascribing them with a shadow of reason to any other parti- 
cular people mentioned in history — afford satisfactory 
evidence to my mind of the Pelasgic origin of the polygonal 
masonry. And here it is not necessary to determine the 
much vexata qucestio, what and whence was that Pelasgic 
race, which was so widely diffused throughout the ancient 
world ; it is enough to know that in almost every land 
which it is said to have occupied, we find remains of this 
description. 2 In Thessaly, Epirus, and the Peloponnesus, 

fl Gell, Rome, II. v. Pelasgi. more widely spread than any other 

10 Bunbury, Clas. Mus. V. p. 186. people in Europe, extended from the Po 

Yet there is, in most instances, the and the Arno almost to the Bosphorus." 

same kind and degree of evidence as I. p. 52, Eng. trans. 

lead us to ascribe the walls of Fiesole 2 Gerhard (Memor. Inst. III. p. 72) 

and Volterra to the Etruscans, those of takes these structures of irregular poly- 

Psestum to the Greeks, or Stonehenge gons to be Pelasgic. Muller (Archa- 

to the Druids. We find it recorded ologie der Kunst, p. 27) thinks that most 

that in very early times the lands or of the so-called Cyclopean walls of 

sites were occupied by certain races ; Epirus and the Peloponnesus were 

and finding local remains, which analogy erected by the Pelasgi. We know that 

marks as of high antiquity, and not of they built the ancient wall roimd the 

Roman construction, we feel authorised Acropolis of Athens ; and the way in 

in ascribing them to the respective which this fact is mentioned by Diony- 

people. sius (I. p. 22), in connection with their 

1 " It is not a mere hypothesis," says wandering habits, favours the opinion 

Niebuhr, " but with a full historical of some, that these Pelasgi were the 

conviction, that I assert, there was a great fort-builders of antiquity, a migra 

time when the Pelasgians, then perhaps tory race of warlike masons, who went 




the peculiar homes of this people, such monuments are 
most abundant ; they are found also in the Isles of the 
iEgean Sea, and on the coasts of Asia Minor, which were 
at some period occupied or colonised by the Pelasgi. In 
Italy also, those regions which abound most in such monu- 
ments were all once in possession of the Pelasgi, though it 
must be acknowledged on the other hand, that we have 
historic mention of that race in certain other districts — at 
the head of the Adriatic, and in CEnotria — where no such 
remains have been discovered ; 3 nor indeed do we find 
walls of this character in all the ancient cities of central 
Italy — even of Etruria — which are said to have had a 
Pelasgic origin. 4 These discrepancies, whether real or 
apparent, whether occasioned by the character of the 
local rock, 5 or by the entire destruction of the earliest 

about from land to land, sword in one 
hand, hammer and chisel in the other, 
fortifying themselves wherever they 

3 It is asserted that no polygonal 
structures are to be found in Basilicata 
or Calabria ; nor, indeed, north of the 
Ombrone, nor south of the Vulturnus — 
some say the Silarus. Memor. Inst. I. 
p. 72 ; Ann. Inst., 1834, p. 143. But, 
as regards the south of Italy, the 
assertion is premature. Have sufficient 
researches been made among the Cala- 
brian Apennines ? Petit- Radel, who 
maintains the Pelasgic construction of 
this masonry, asserts that there are 
remains of it far south, in Apulia and 
Lucania. Memor. Instit. HI. pp. 55 — 
66. I have heard also, on good autho- 
rity, that a German gentleman has 
recently made some singular discoveries 
of very extensive polygonal remains in 
this part of Italy, and is about to give an 
account of them to the world. That no 
such walls are to be found on the ancient 
sites at the head of the Adriatic, where 

the Pelasgi first landed in Italy, may be 
explained by the nature of the low 
swampy coast, which did not furnish 
the necessary materials. 

4 At Falerii, Agylla, and Cortona, 
which were Pelasgic, we find regular, 
parallelopiped masonry ; at Pyrgi and 
Saturnia, on the contrary, whose Pe- 
lasgic origin is equally well attested, we 
have remains of purely polygonal con- 

r ' It is very probable that the local rock 
sometimes, though not always, deter- 
mined the style of the masonry. Where 
it naturally split into rectangular forms, 
as is the case with the macigno of Cor- 
tona, and the volcanic tufo of southern 
Etruria, there the horizontal may have 
been preferred, even by those who were 
wont to employ a different description 
of masonry. This seems to have been 
the case at Agylla, where the rock is of 
tufo ; there are no traces of polygonal 
construction ; even in the most ancient 
tombs the masonry is rectangular. See 
page 29. Yet, in spite of these natural 

286 COSA. [chap, xi.vii. 

monuments of the land, are but exceptions to the rule, and 
do not invalidate the evidence for the Pelasgic origin of 
this peculiar masonry. 

With respect to Cosa, there is no reason whatever for 
regarding its walls as of Roman construction. There is 
nothing which marks them as more recent than any other 
ancient fortifications in Italy of similar masonry. The 
resemblance of the gateways to those of Volterra, and the 
absence of the arch, point to a much earlier date than the 
establishment of the Roman colony, only two hundred and 
seventy-three years before Christ ; but whether they were 
erected by the Pelasgi, or by the Etruscans copying the 
masonry of their predecessors, is open to doubt. As the 
walls of Pyrgi and Saturnia, known Pelasgic sites, were of 
the same polygonal construction ; it is no unfair inference 
that these of Cosa, which has relation to the one by 
proximity, to the other by situation on the coast, are of a 
like origin. The high antiquity of Cosa is indeed attested 

inducements to the contrary, the style ; for the same stone which was 

favourite style was sometimes carried out, hewn into horizontal masonry in the 

as is proved hy the tholus of polygonal towers, gateways, and upper courses, as 

construction at Volterra, formed of shown in the wood-cut'at page 269, could 

travertine (ut supra, page 160) ; by the have been thrown into the same forms 

polygonal walls of Saturnia of the same throughout, had not the builders been 

material — a stone of decidedly hori- influenced by some other motive than 

zoutal cleavage, and used abundantly in the natural cleavage. Another singular 

regular masonry in all ages, from the instance of disregard of cleavage is 

Etruscan walls of Clusium and Peru- exhibited in the walls of Empulum, now 

sia, and the Greek temples of Prestum, Ampiglione, near Tivoli, where the 

to the Colosseum, St. Peter's, and the masonry, though of tufo, is decidedly 

palaces of modern Rome. This is also polygonal ; this is the only instance 

proved by the travertine and crag used known of that volcanic rock being 

in the polygonal walls of Pyrgi (see thrown into any other than the rectan- 

page 12), and by the crag in the similar gular forms it naturally assumes. See 

fortifications of Orbetello (see page 264) ; Gell's Rome, v. Empulum. These facts 

and even these walls of Cosa afford will suffice to overthrow the doctrine of 

abundant proof that the builders were a constructive necessity, often applied to 

not the slaves of their materials, but this polygonal masonry, 
exerted a free choice in the adoption of 


by Virgil, when he represents it, with other very ancient 
towns of Etruria, sending assistance to iEneas. 6 Some, 
however, have inferred from Pliny's expression — Cossa 
Volcientium — that it was a mere colony of Vulci, and one 
of the latest of Etruscan cities ; 7 but Niebuhr with more 
probability considered that the original inhabitants of 
Cosa were not Etruscans, but an earlier race who had 
maintained their ground against that people. 8 The con- 
nection indeed between Vulci or Volci, and Volsci, is 
obvious, and from the fact that at one time the Etruscans 

6 Virg. ./En. X. 168 ; Serv. in loc. 
Miiller (Etrusk. I. 3, 1) remarks that 
the walls of Cosa are by no means to 
be regarded as not Etruscan, because 
they are polygonal, and considers them 
as evidence of its antiquity (II. 1, 2). 
Oi'ioli (ap. Inghir. Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 
1G1) also thinks the walls of Cosa con- 
firm the antiquity assigned to it by 
Virgil. Abeken (Mittelital. p. 21) takes 
Cosa to be Pelasgic ; and Gerhard 
inclines to the same opinion (Ann. Inst., 
1831, p. 205), and reminds us that there 
was a city of the same name in Thrace. 
He thinks the name may have an 
affinity to the Doric ndrra, KoSSd, a 
head. It is written Cossse by Strabo 
and Ptolemy, but Cluver (II. p. 479) 
thinks this was merely owing to the 
habit of the Greeks of doubling the s in 
the middle of a word. It is not written 
so by any Roman author but Pliny, 
though Virgil gives it a plural termi- 
nation. If the Etruscan name were 
analogous it must have been spelt with 
an u — Cusa. We find in Etruscan 
inscriptions the proper names of "Cusis " 
or " Cusim," " Cusinei," " Cusithia,"— 
Lanzi, II. pp. 371, 402, 416 ; Vermigl. 
Iscriz. Perug. I. p. 324. " Cusiach " 
also at Cervetri, (ul supra, page 27), and 
« Cusu " at Cortona. See Chap. LVI. 

7 Plin. III. 8. Cluver (II. p. 515), 

Lanzi (II. p. 56), Micali (Ant. Pop. 
Ital. I. p. 147), and Cramer (I. p. 195), 
interpret Pliny as saying that Cosa was 
a colony of Vulci. But the expression 
he uses is shown by Gerhard to have 
indicated merely the territory in which 
a town stood, without reference to its 
origin ; as " Alba Marsorum " signified 
the Latin colony of Alba in the land of 
the Marsi. Ann. Inst., 1829, p. 200. 
Mr. Bunbury (Classical Museum, V. 
p. 180) argues that as Vulci itself did 
not begin to flourish till after the 
decline of Tarquinii, for which he cites 
Gerhard's authority (Ann. Inst, 1831, 
p. 101), Cosa, its colony or offset, must 
needs belong to a late period. But — 
the question of the colony apart — that 
Vulci was of so recent a date is wholly 
unsupported by historic evidence, nay, 
is refuted by the very archaic cha- 
racter of much of the furniture of its 
sepulchres. And Miiller (Etrusk. II. 
1, 2) justly observes that Pliny's men- 
tion of Cosa does not prove that before 
it was colonised by the Romans the 
town had no existence. 

8 Niebuhr, I. p. 120 ; cf. p. 70. He 
founds this opinion on the mention by 
Livy (XXVII. 15) of a people called 
Volcentes, in connection with the Hirpini 
and Lucani, whom he took to be of the 
same race as the Volsci. 

288 COSA. [chap, xlvii. 

possessed the land of the Volsci, it would seem that this 
was not one of name merely. 9 But the Volsci were of 
Opican or Oscan race, and what affinity existed between 
them and the Pelasgi is doubtful ; whether an affinity of 
orioin, or one arising merely from the occupation of the 
same territory at different epochs. Confusion of names 
and races on such grounds is common enough in the 
records of early Italy. As the Etruscans were frequently 
confounded with their predecessors, the Tyrrhenes, so the 
Volsci may have been with the Pelasgi. 1 It is well 
known that walls precisely similar to these of Cosa 
abound in the territory of the Volsci, but whether erected 
by the Pelasgi, by the Volsci themselves, or by their 
Roman conquerors, is still matter of dispute ; yet by 
none are they assigned to a later date than the reign of 
Tarquinius Superbus, two centuries and a half before the 
Roman colonization of Cosa, which was in the year 
481. 2 I repeat that there is no solid ground whatever 
for ascribing these polygonal walls of Cosa to so recent 

9 Cato, ap. Serv. ad Mn. XI. 567. syllable is merely the ancient adjectival 

The connection between the Etruscans termination. Alatrium seems connected 

and the Cistiberine people, especially with Velathri, by the dropping of the 

the Oscan races, is very apparent from digamma ; so also iEsula with Fsesulse. 

the names of places. Velathri ( Volterra) Instances of such analogies might be yet 

has its counterpart in Vehtrae (Velletri) further cited. 

— Fregena; in Fregellse— Perusia in ' The names, indeed, bear a strong 

Frusinum— Sutrium in Satricum. A affinity. Niebuhr (I. p. 72) points out 

Ferentinum and an Artena existed in the analogy between the names Volsci 

both lands ; so also a river Clanis. and Falisci ; the latter people, he thinks, 

There was a Compsa in Samnium, and a were ^Equi, but they are called in 

Cossa in Lucania, as well as a river history Pelasgi ; and the similarity of 

Cosa in the land of the Hernici ; and the words Falisci and Pelasgi is also 

Cora also seems connected with Cosa, striking. (Vol. I. p. 140). 

the s and r being frequently inter- 2 Val. Patera I. 14 ; Liv. Epit. XIV; 

changeable. That the Vulturnus on Cicero (in Verr. VI. 61) speaks of Cosa 

which Capua stood had an Etruscan as a munieiphim. Gerhard suggests that 

name needs no proof. Capua itself is she may have been colonised with the 

analogous to Capena (Vol. I. p. 175) ; remains of the population of Vul<a. 

so is Falerii to Falernus, whose Last Ann. Inst. 1831, p. 404. 




a period. With just as much propriety might the 
massive fortifications of Psestum, which was colonised 
in the same year, be referred to the Romans. 3 

Beyond the mention made by Virgil, which can only be 
received as evidence of her high antiquity, we have no 
record of Cosa in the days of Etruscan independence. 
She probably fell under the Roman yoke at the same 
time as Vulci— on or soon after the year 474 (b. c. 280). 4 
Her fidelity during the Second Punic War, when with 
seventeen other colonies she came forward and saved the 
Republic, at a time when Sutrium, Nepete, and other 
colonies refused their aid, is highly commended by Livy. 5 
At what period the city was deserted, and fell into the 
utter ruin which was witnessed by Rutilius at the com- 
mencement of the fifth century after Christ, we known 
not; 6 we only learn from the same poet the traditional 

3 If the Romans had any hand in the 
construction of these walls, it must have 
been in the upper courses alone, which 
differ so widely from the lower, though 
the material is the same throughout. 
It is possible they may have thus re- 
paired the walls. But if Virgil's testi- 
mony as to the antiquity of Cosa be 
admitted — and who can reject it ? — the 
Romans cannot have raised them en- 
tirely, or what has become of the prior 
fortifications \ It is hardly credible that 
at so early a period they could have 
been rased to the foundations, so as not 
to leave a vestige. 

4 Vol. I. p. 404. 

ft Liv. XXVII. .0, 10. She is subse- 
quently mentioned in Roman history. 
Liv. XXXII. 2 ; XXXIII. 24 ; Caesar, 
Bell. Civ. I. 34 ; Cicero, ad Attic. IX. 1 1 . 
Tacitus (Annal. II. 39) speaks of Cosa 
as "a promontory of Etruria." The 
Emperor Vespasian was brought up in 
its neighbourhood (Sueton. Vespas. c. 2) ; 

at least Cluver (II. p. 47 9) and Pitiseus 
consider the Cosa of Etruria is here 
meant ; but Repetti (I. p. 829) thinks it 
is the Cossa of the Hirpini. 

6 Rutil. I. 285, et seq. Inscriptions, 
however, prove the city to have been in 
existence in the middle of the third 
century of our era. Repetti, I. p. 828 ; 
Reines. III. 37, cited by Midler, I. 
p. 348. 

There are certain coins — with the 
head of Mars on the obverse, and a 
horse's head bridled, and the legend 
Cosano or Coza on the reverse — which 
have been attributed to Cosa. Lanzi, II. 
pp. 24, 58; Mionnet, Med. Ant. I. p. 97 ; 
Suppl. I. p. 197. Lanzi infers from the 
type an analogy with Consus, an eques- 
trian name of Neptune, whence the 
public games of the Consualia were 
called (Tertul. de Spect. c. 5), and 
thinks Cosa to a Roman must have 
liecn equivalent to Posidonia to a Greek. 
Midler (Etrusk. I. p. 3411), who does 

290 COSA. [OHAP. Xl.vil. 

cause of such desolation, with needless apologies for its 
absurdity. The mountain laboured and brought forth, 
not one " ridiculous mouse," but so many as to drive the 
citizens from their fire-sides — 

Ridiculam cladis pudet inter seria causam 
Promere, sed risum dissimulare piget. 

Dicuntur cives quondam migrare coacti 
Muribus infestos deseruisse lares. 

Credere maluerim pygmeee danina cohortis, 
Et conjuratas in sua bella grues. 

not ascribe these coins to Cosa, shows Compsa in Samnium ; and so also Mil- 

that they cannot in any case belong to lingen (Nuniis. Anc. Italie, p. 170) ; but 

the times of the Etruscans, because that Sestini (Geog. Numis. II. p. 4) to Cossea, 

people had no O in their language. a city of Thrace. 
Cramer (I. p. 195) refers them to 



Maeoniseque decus quondam Vetulonia gentis. 

Sil. Italicus. 

The deep foundations that we lay 
Time ploughs them up, and not a trace remains. 
We build with what we deem eternal rock — 
A distant age asks where the fabric stood. 


In former chapters I have spoken of the ancient city of 
Vetulonia, and of various sites that have been assigned to 
it ; and have shown that all of them are far from satisfac- 
tory. 1 In the course of my wanderings through the 
Tuscan Maremma in the spring of 1844, I had the fortune 
to fall in with a site, which has stronger claims to be con- 
sidered that of Vetulonia than any of those to which 
it has hitherto been referred. 

Vague rumours had reached my ear of Etruscan anti- 

1 It may be well to restate the Ermolao Barbaro, the earliest writer on 

various sites where Vetulonia has been the subject, who places it at Orbetello 

supposed to have stood. At or near (see Dempster, II. p. 56). I should 

Viterbo (Vol. I. pp. 195, 200)— on Monte state that when Mannert (Geog. p. 358) 

Calvi, three miles from the sea, buried asserts that the village of Badiola on an 

in a dense wood (ut supra, p. 226) — at eminence by the river Cornia, and a 

Massa Marittima, or five miles westward geographical mile-and-a-half (about six 

from that town (ut supra, pp. 217, 218) miles English) from the coast, preserves 

—on the site of Vulci (Vol. I. p. 405) the memory of the ancient city, he 

—and on the hill of Castiglione Ber- evidently refers to the site five miles 

nardi, near Monte Rotondo (ut supra, west of Massa. 
]). 214). The nearest guess is tbat of 


292 VETUL0N1A. [chap. mm. 

quities having been discovered at Magliano, a village 
between the Osa and the Albegna, and about eight miles 
inland ; but I concluded it was nothing beyond the exca- 
vation of tombs, so commonly made at this season through- 
out Etruria. I resolved, however, to visit this place on 
my way from Orbetello to Saturnia. For a few miles I 
retraced my steps towards Telamone, but, turning to the 
right, crossed the Albegna some miles higher up, at a ferry 
called Barca del Grassi ; from this spot there was no 
carriage-road to Magliano, and my vehicle toiled the inter- 
vening five miles through tracks sodden with the rain. 

Magliano is a squalid, innless village, of three hundred 
souls, at the foot of a mediaeval castle, in picturesque ruin. 2 
On making inquiries here I was referred to an engineer, 
Signor Tommaso Pasquinelli, then forming a road from 
Magliano to the Saline at the mouth of the Albegna. I 
found this gentleman at a convent in the village, amid a 
circle of venerable monks, whose beards outshone their 
robes and the refectory table cloth, in whiteness. I was 
delighted to learn that it was he who had made the 
rumoured discovery in this neighbourhood, and that it was 
not of tombs merely, but of a city of great size. The 
mode in which this w r as brought to light w T as singular 
enough. Nothing was visible above ground — not a frag- 
ment of ruin to indicate prior habitation ; so that it was 
only by extraordinary means he was made aware that 
here a city had stood. The ground through which his 
road had to run being for the most part low and swampy, 
and the higher land being a soft friable tufo, he was at a 
loss for the materials he wanted, till he chanced to uncover 
some large blocks, buried beneath the surface, which he 

2 Magliano does not appear to be an its name from the gens Manila, and 
ancient site ; yet like all other places of must have been anciently called Man- 
this name in Italy it probably derives liainun. 

chap, xlviii.] DISCOVERY OF AN ETRUSCAN CITY. 293 

recognised as the foundations of an ancient wall. These 
he found to continue in an unbroken line, which he fol- 
lowed out, breaking up the blocks as he unearthed them, 
till he had traced out the periphery of a city. 

With the genuine politeness of Tuscany, that " rare 
land of courtesy," as Coleridge terms it, he proposed at 
once to accompany me to the site. It was the first oppor- 
tunity he had had of doing the honours of his city, for 
though the discovery had been made in May 1842, and he 
had communicated the fact to his friends, the intelligence 
had not spread, save in vague distorted rumours, and no 
antiquarian had visited the spot. News always travels 
on foot in Italy, and generally falls dead lame on the road. 
I had heard from the antiquarians of Florence, that some- 
thing, no one knew what, had been found hereabouts. 
One thought it was tombs ; another had heard it was gold 
roba ; another was in utter ignorance of this site, but had 
heard of a city having been discovered on Monte Catini, to 
the west of Volterra. 

The city lay between Magliano and the sea, on a low 
table-land, just where the ground begins to rise above the 
marshy plains of the coast. In length, according to Signor 
Pasquinelli, it was somewhat less than a mile and a half, 
and scarcely a mile in breadth ; but taking into account 
its quadrilateral form, it must have had a circuit of at least 
four miles and a half. 3 On the south-east it was bounded 

3 This account differs from that I the sea, 5,800 from Magliano, 3,200 

heard on the spot, and which I have from the river Albegna, and 5,000 from 

elsewhere given to the world : — viz., the Osa. " A distanza di circa 5,500 

that the circuit was not less than six tese Inglesi dal mare, 1,G00 dal flume 

miles. I have since received more Albegna, 2,500 dal torrente Osa, e 2,900 

accurate details from Signor Pasquinelli, dal paese di Magliano, sotto la superfice 

who says that the city was 7200 English della campagna, senza nessun vestigio 

feet in length, by 4800 in width. He apparente, esistevano da secoli sepolti 

also states that a certain spot in the city gli avanzi di numerose fabbriche, ak-unc 

was afeout 11,000 English yards from deUe quali ella pote vedere in detta 

294 VETULONIA. [chap, xlvih. 

by the streamlet Patrignone, whose banks rise in cliffs of 
no o-reat height ; but on every other side the table-land 
sinks in a gentle slope to the plain. At the south-western 
extremity, near a house called La Doganella, the only 
habitation on the site, was found a smaller and inner 
circuit of wall ; and this, being also the highest part of the 
table-land, was thus marked out as the site of the Arx. 

Though scarcely a vestige remained of the walls, and no 
ruins rose above the surface, I had not much difficulty in 
recognising the site as Etruscan. The soil was thickly 
strewn with broken pottery, that infallible and ineffaceable 
indicator of bygone habitation ; and here it was of that 
character found on purely Etruscan sites, without any 
admixture of marbles, or fragments of verd-antique, 
porphyry, and other valuable stones, which mark the seats 
of Roman luxury. 4 Though the walls, or rather their 
foundations, had been almost entirely destroyed since the 
first discovery, a few blocks remained yet entire, and cor- 
roborated the Etruscan character of the city. 5 

Within the walls a road or street had been traced by 
the foundations of the houses on either hand. Many 
things had been dug up, but no statues, or marble columns, 
as on Roman sites — chiefly articles of bronze or pottery. 6 

circostanza, circoscritte entro un recinto sembling those of Populonia in their 

quadrilatero di mura rovinate, lungo size and rude shaping ; others of tufo, 

circa 1 ,200 tese, largo 800." or of the soft local rock, like that of 

4 Signer Pasquinelli mentioned two Corneto, agreeing in size and form with 
exceptions only to this — a small oval the usual blocks of this material found 
stone, somewhat like black porphyry, on Etruscan sites. Some of the former 
and a fragment of white marble, found had been found nine or ten feet in 
near the foundations of a building which length. But the blocks were not gene- 
seemed to have been a temple. rally of large dimensions, though always 

5 As to the style of masonry, little or without cement. On one spot, where a 
nothing could be ascertained, seeing portion of the walls had been uncovered, 
these were mere foundations ; but the at the verge of a hollow, a sewer opening 
blocks themselves were indicative of an in them was disclosed. 

Etruscan origin— some of macigno, re- fi Among the latter was a huge pot, 


I myself saw a piece of bronze drawn from the soil, many 
feet below the surface, which proved to be a packing- 
needle, ten inches in length, with eye and point uninjured ! 
It must have served some worthy Etruscan, either in pre- 
paring for his travels, perhaps to the Fanum Voltumnae, 
the parliament of Lucumones, perhaps for the grand tour, 
such as Herodotus made, which is pretty nearly the grand 
tour still ; or, it may be, in shipping his goods to foreign 
lands from the neighbouring port of Telamon. This vene- 
rable needle is now in my possession. 

While it is to be lamented that to future travellers 
scarcely a trace of this city will be visible, it must be 
remembered, that but for the peculiar exigencies of the 
engineer, which led to the destruction of its walls, we 
should have remained in ignorance of its existence. Other 
accidents might have led to the uncovering of a portion 
of the wall ; but it is difficult to conceive that any other 
cause could have brought about the excavation of the 
entire circuit, and the consequent determination of the 
precise limits of the city. So that in spite of the whole- 
sale macadamisation, the world is greatly indebted to the 
gentleman who made the discovery. 7 

Outside the walls to the north were many tumuli, 
originally encircled with masonry, which had been broken 
up for the road. Some were twenty-five or thirty feet in 

one metre in diametei', and not much complains of not having received justice 

less in height, of rough red ware, with from a party to whom he committed for 

its rim covered with lead, clamped into publication a plan he had made of the 

it with spikes ; the lead alone weighed city and its environs, drawings of the 

27 lbs. This pot was found full of burnt paintings in the tombs, and many other 

matter. The bronzes consisted of particulars, and who has since publicly 

fibulw, lances, javelins, nails, and little claimed the honour of the discovery for 

figures of deities or lares; some of himself. Nor does Repetti (Suppl. p. 

decidedly Etruscan character. 133), who mentions the fact of the dis- 

7 I am the more desirous of referring covery on the occasion of forming the 

the merit of this discovery to its right- road, record the name of the engineer, 
ful owner, because Signer Pasquinclli 

296 VETULONIA. [chap, xi.viii. 

diameter. On this side also, i. e., towards Magliano, I saw 
some Roman remains — the bases of small Doric columns ; 
and the site of Baths, where mosaic pavement and many 
coins of the Empire had been found, was also pointed out 
to me. 8 On the high grounds to the south-east, I heard 
that many tombs had been opened, undoubtedly Etruscan 
in character and contents. They were not hollowed in 
cliffs, but sunk beneath the surface, as at Volterra and 
Vulci. 9 At Magliano I saw many articles found within 
them — a lion of peperino, about a foot long — a small 
sphinx — Egyptian-like figures — a little bronze idol, with 
sickle in his hand — and sundry other articles in sculpture, 
pottery, and bronze, which my experience enabled me 
to pronounce indubitably Etruscan, and chiefly of the 
most archaic character. I saw no figured pottery, but 
much of the common black ware, like that of Chiusi and 
Volterra ; and I was told that the tall black vases with 
relieved decorations, so abundant at Sarteano, had been 
discovered here. Scarabei of cornelian had also been 
brought to light. 

I learned, moreover, that several painted tombs had 
been opened in this neighbourhood, on the heights between 
Magliano and the Albegna. I could not see them, as 
they had been reclosed with earth ; but of one I received 
a description from Signor Pasquinelli, who had copied 
its paintings. It was a square chamber, divided into two 
by a wall hewn from the rock, on each face of which figures 
were painted. One was an archer on horseback, drawing 
his bow ; another was a centaur with a long black beard, 

8 These coins are of silver as well as lined with rude masonry. From what 
copper. Some of the latter are of I could learn, traces of interment were 
Vespasian. much more numerous on this site than 

9 Many of these tombs were mere holes of cremation, 
in the earth, of the size of a body, and 

chap, xlviii.] THE NECROPOLIS. 297 

wings open and raised, and a tail terminating in a serpent's 
head ; beside which there were dolphins, and flowers, 
and "serpents with hawks' heads;" as they were described 
to me — probably dragons. 1 The existence of Etruscan 
tombs in this neighbourhood has, indeed, been known for 
some years, and excavators have even come hither from 
Chiusi on speculation ; but tombs are of so frequent 
occurrence in this land, that the existence of an Etruscan 
town or city near at hand, though necessarily inferred, was 
not ascertained, and no researches were made for its site, 2 
To those, however, who know Italy, it will be no matter of 
surprise that the existence of this city should have been so 
long forgotten. Had there even been ruins of walls or 
temples on the site, such things are too abundant in that 
land to attract particular attention ; and generation after 
generation of peasants might fold their flocks or stall 
their cattle amid the crumbling ruins, and the world at 
large remain in ignorance of their existence. Thus it was 
with Psestum ; though its ruins are so stupendous and 
prominent, it was unknown to the antiquary till the last 
century. Can we wonder, then, that in the Tuscan 
Maremma, not better populated or more frequented, 

1 It must be this tomb which was probably on the heights of Colle di 
opened by Don Luigi Dei, of Chiusi, in Lupo, three miles north-east of Magli- 
1 835 or 6, and is described as having ano, where sundry relics of ancient 
two chambers with chimerical figures in times had been discovered (V. p. 207). 
monochroms, red, green, and sky-blue He adds that many sepulchral urns, 
(Bull. Instit. 1840, p. 147). The same fragments of Roman inscriptions, bas- 
is also described by an eye-witness reliefs, and other works of sculptural 
(Bull. Inst. 1841, p. 22), with more adornment in the local travertine, had 
minuteness as to the chamber, but no been at various times brought to light 
further details of the paintings. He in the district of Magliano, and espe- 
says this tomb is about one mile only cially on a lofty hill between Colle di 
from Mao-liano. Lupo and Pereta, which from the sepul- 

2 Befoi-e Pasquinelli's discovery it chral remains found there, was called 
had been suggested that the Etruscan the Tombara (III. p. 18). On a hill, a 
city of Caletra stood somewhere in the mile from Magliano, stands the ruined 
neighbourhood of Magliano. Repetti church of S. Brizio, of the low Empire, 
thought either at Montemerano, or more with other remains of higher antiquity. 

298 VETULONIA. [chap, xlviii. 

because not more healthy, than the Campanian shore, a 
city should have been lost sight of, which had no walls or 
ruins above ground, and no vestige but broken pottery, 
which tells no tale to the simple peasant ? — a city 

" Of which there now remaines no memorie, 
Nor anie little moniment to see, 
By which the travailer, that fares that way, 
This once was she, may warned be to say." 

As I stood on this ancient site, and perceived the sea so 
near at hand, and the Bay of Telamone but a few miles 
off, I exclaimed, " This must have been a maritime city, 
and Telamon was its port!" The connection between 
them was obvious. The distance is scarcely more than 
that between Tarquinii and her port of Graviscre, and 
between Caere and the sea. When I looked also over the 
low marshy ground which intervened, I could understand 
why the city was situated so far inland ; it was for 
strength of position, for elevation above the unhealthy 
swamps of the coast, and for room to extend its dimensions 
ad libitum, which it could not have done on the rocky 
heights above Telamone, or on the small conical headland 
of Telamonaccio. The peculiarity of the position on the 
first heights which rise from the level of the swamp, 
seemed to me a sure index to the character of the city. 
It was a compromise between security and convenience. 
Had it not been for maritime purposes, and proximity to 
the port of Telamon, the founders of this city could not 
have chosen a site so objectionable as this, but would have 
preferred one still further inland, which would have com- 
bined the advantages of more natural strength and greater 
elevation above the heavy atmosphere of the Maremma, in 
every age more or less insalubrious. 3 

:i At the present day the swamps of healthy in summer. Itepetti, III. p. 
Telamone render Magliano very un- 14 ; V. p. 497. Yet the soil is wonder- 

chap. xLvm.] WHAT WAS THIS ANCIENT CITY \ 299 

Another fact which forced itself on my observation, was 
the analogy of position with that of the earliest settlements 
on this coast — with the Pelasgic towns of Pisa?, Tarquinii, 
Pyrgi, Alsium, Agylla — a fact greatly in favour of the 
high antiquity of this site. 

Here then was a city genuinely Etruscan in character, of 
first-rate magnitude, inferior only to Veii, equal at least to 
Volaterrre, probably of high antiquity, certainly of great 
importance, second to none in naval and commercial advan- 
tages ; a city, in short, which must have been one of the 
Twelve. Is it possible it could have been passed over in 
silence by ancient writers ? But what was its name % 
Which of the still missing cities of Etruria can this have 
been ? I called to mind the names of these outcasts — 
Caletra, Statonia, Sudertum, Salpinum, &c. — and reviewed 
their claims to a site of such magnitude and importance ; 
but all were found wanting, all, save the most celebrated — 
Vetulonia ; which, after much consideration, I am con- 
vinced must have stood on this spot. 

Let us see what has been said of that city by the 
ancients. It is first mentioned by Dionysius as one of the 
five Etruscan cities which engaged to assist the Latins 
against Tarquinius Priscus. He states, that not all the 
cities of Etruria agreed to afford assistance, but these five 
only — Clusium, Arretium, Volaterra?, Rusella), and also 
Vetulonia. 4 This, as already shown, is a strong argument 
for regarding each of these cities as of the Twelve, for 
second-rate, or dependent towns, could not have acted in 
opposition to the rest of the Confederation. 5 Silius Italicus 

fully fertile, and presents every encou- p. 473), and of Miiller (Etrus. II. 1, 2). 

ragement for cultivation. A proof of Manncrt (Gcog. p. 358) also took 

this exists in a venerable olive, hard Vetulonia for one of the Twelve, 

by Magliano, which has a circum- Vetulonia has oven been supposed the 

ference of thirty feet. metropolis of Etruria (Ann. lust. 1829, 

4 Dion. Hal. III. p. 1!!!), ed. Sylb. \>. 190), but on no valid grounds. 

; ' This is the opinion of Cluver (II. 

800 VETULONIA. [chap, xlviii. 

bears testimony to the antiquity and former glory of Vetu- 
lonia, and even asserts that it was from her that the twelve 
fasces with their hatchets, and the other symbols of power, 
the curule-chairs of ivory, and the robes of Tynan purple, 
as well as the use of the brazen trumpet in war, were all 
first derived. 6 Beyond this we find no mention of Vetu- 
lonia except in the catalogues of Pliny and Ptolemy; 7 both 
place it among the " inland colonies " of Etruria ; the one 
adds its latitude and longitude, and the other elsewhere 
states, that there were hot waters at Vetulonii, in Etruria, 
not far from the sea, and that fish lived in the waters. 8 

The sum total then of what we learn from the ancients 
on this point, may be comprised in a few words. Vetulonia 
was a city of great antiquity, importance, and magnificence, 
with very strong claims to rank among the Twelve chief 
cities of the land ; having hot springs in its neighbourhood, 
and though not situated exactly on the shore, it must have 
stood at a short distance from the sea. 9 

6 Sil. Ital. VIII. 485.— conniption of « Vetulonis ; " but there is 
Mfeoniseque decus quondam Vetulonia no solid ground for such an opinion. 

gentis. Dionysius (II. p. 104) speaks of an 

Bissenos hsec prima dedit prsecedere Etruscan city called Solonium, whence 

fasces, a Lucumo, probably Caeles Vibenna, 

Et junxit totidem tacito terrore se- came to the assistance of Romulus. 

cures ; Cluver (II. pp. 454, 473) took this to 

Haec altas eboris decoravit honore be a corruption of Vetulonium. Cas- 

curules, aubon thought it meant Populonium. 

Et princeps Tyrio vestem prsetexuit But Miiller (Etrusk. I. p. 116), by com- 

ostro ; paring Propertius (IV. 2, 4), comes 

Hsec eadem pugnas accendere pro- to the more probable opinion that it was 

tulit aere. Volsinii that was here intended. 

7 Plin. III. 8. Ptol. p. 72, ed. Bert. 9 Dr. Ambrosch, in order to reconcile 
Ptolemy calls the city Vetulonium — the insignificant hill of Castiglione Ber- 
ObiTovXwuiov. nardi (ut supra, p. 214) with the site of 

8 Plin. II. 106. — (aquis calidis) ad Vetulonia, endeavours to invalidate the 
Vctulonios in Etruria, non procul testimony of Silius Italicus as to the im- 
a mari, pisces (innascuntur). It has portance and magnificence of that ancient 
already been stated (ut supra, p. 230), city. He founds his view on the mention 
that Cluver and others took the " Veli- Dionysius makes of it, and the place he 
nis " of the Peutingerian Table to be a assigns it at the end of the sentence, after 

<•hap.xi.vmi.] IT MUST BE VETULONIA. 301 

Such are the requisites of the long-lost Vetulonia. Every 
one of them is fulfilled by this newly -found city. On its 
antiquity and importance it is not necessary to enlarge. 
Its size alone, without the possession of such a port as 
Telamon, would give this city a right to rank among the 
Twelve. In situation it also corresponds, being near 
enough to the sea to agree with Pliny's " non procid a 
mart," and far enough inland to come within the category 
of " intus colonice" being scarcely further from the 
shore than Tarquinii and Csere, kindred cities similarly 
classed. 1 As to the springs, where the fish in Pliny's time 
had got, in a double sense, into hot water, I had the satis- 
faction of learning that near Telamonaccio, two or three 
hundred yards only from the sea, were hot springs ; but I 
had no opportunity of returning to the coast to ascertain 
if the advantages the ancients possessed, in fishing out par- 
boiled mackerel and mullet, have descended to the modern 
Tuscans. For any traces of the ancient name existing in 
the neighbourhood, I inquired in vain ; but that in no way 
affects my opinion, as no traditional memory exists of 

the other foux* cities, its confederates ; Italicus is gratuitously impugned in this 

but chiefly on the silence of Livy and matter, as that writer had the reputation 

other historians, of Strabo and Virgil ; among his contemporaries for care and 

for he considers it impossible, if Vetulo- accuracy, not for a lively imagination, 

nia had been of the importance Silius For a more detailed reply to Dr. 

Italicus ascribes to it, that no mention Ambrosch, I must be allowed to refer 

should be made of it by the principal the reader to my notice of Vetulonia in 

writers of Rome. Ricerche di Vetulonia, the Classical Museum, No. V. 
pp. 65 — 92 ; Memor. Inst. IV. pp. 137 ' In the same article in the Classical 

— 155. The limits of this work will not Museum, I have shown, that the argu- 

allow me here to reply to these arguments ments Inghirami adduces, from the 

further than by stating that Cluver and latitudes and longitudes of Ptolemy, in 

Muller put a totally different interpreta- favour of Vetulonia occupying the hill 

tion on the words of Dionysius — that of Castiglione Bernardi, may be applied 

other cities of Etruria, some of no less with superior force to this ancient site 

importance than Vetulonia, are past by near Magliano ; though at the same time 

in equal silence by the said writers on I disclaim as unsubstantial all evidence 

Roman legends, history, and geography drawn from this source. Ut sii/>i i h, 

— and that the authority of Silius page 2 1 5, note 8. 



[(II \V. M.VIII. 

Veii, Fidense, Cosa, and many other ancient cities whose 
sites have been fixed beyond a doubt. 

One important feature of Vetulonia, which is nowhere 
indeed expressly mentioned by the ancients, but may be 
inferred from their statements, 2 and is strongly corroborated 
by coins 3 and other monumental evidence, is its maritime 
character. This feature has been little regarded by Inghi- 
rami and Ambrosch, who would fix the site of this ancient 
city at Castiglione Bernardi, fourteen or fifteen miles from 
the sea. 4 But it is one which tends most strongly to esta- 

2 An analysis of the passage in Silius 
Italicus will lead us to the conclusion 
that Vetulonia must have been a sea- 
port, or at least so situated as to be 
able to carry on a foreign commerce. 
The city which first introduced the use 
of ivory chairs and Tyrian purple into 
Etruria must surely have had direct 
intercourse with the East, such as could 
not have been maintained had she been 
far removed from the coast. We are 
told that the purple robes which the 
Etruscan cities sent to Tarquin, among 
the other insignia of royalty, in token 
of submission to his authority, were 
such as were worn by the Lydian and 
Persian monarchs, differing only in 
form. Dion. Hal. III. p. 10.5. Now 
whatever may have been the origin of 
the Etruscan race, it is manifest that 
a city which first introduced a foreign 
custom like this, must, if that custom 
were brought directly from the East by 
its founders, have been on, or near, the 
coast ; or if subsequently, owing to 
commercial relations with those lands, 
must either have been, or have had, a 

3 There are certain coins with a head 
and the legend " Vatl " in Etruscan 
characters on the obverse, and on the 
reverse a trident, whose two outer 
prongs rise from the bodies of dolphins. 

One as has a wheel and an anchor, 
with the legend " Vetl . . a," for 
" Vetiana," in Etruscan letters. Lanzi 
describes some as having a crescent, 
though a wheel and an axe are the 
most frequent types, the one indicating 
the lictors, the other the curule chair ; 
the origin of both being ascribed by 
Sil. Italicus to Vetulonia. Micali sees 
in the anchor a proof of the proximity 
of this city to the sea, and of her mari- 
time commerce. Passeri, Paralip. in 
Dempst. p. 183, tab. VI. 1 ; Guarnacci, 
Orig. Ital. II. tav. XIX. 6 — 16 ; Lanzi, 
Sagg. II. pp. 31, 110, tav. III. 4—6 ; 
Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. I. p. 144 ; III. 
p. 1.01, tav. CXV. 8. It is asserted 
indeed by Millingen (Numis. Anc. 
Italie, p. 174) that these coins are not 
found in any known collection, and 
therefore they ought to be considered 
imaginary. But Lanzi (II. p. 30) and 
Passeri speak of one as in the Museo 
Olivieri ; nor is their existence ques- 
tioned by Mionnet (Suppl. I. pp. 205 — 7, 
214), Sestini (Geog. Numis. II. p. .">), 
or Muller (Etrusk. I. p. 336), who, how- 
ever, ascribe them to Vettuna, now 
Bettona, in Umbria. They are also 
stated to have been found in the urns 
of Volterra. Bava, ap. Inghir. Mon. 
Etrus. IV. p. 87. 

1 J'i ntpra, p. 214 et seq. 


blisli the identity of Vetulonia with this newly-discovered 
city near Magliano. 

The maritime character of Vetulonia is indeed esta- 
blished by a monument discovered at Cervetri in 1840, 
and now in the Lateran Museum. It is a bas-relief, 
bearing the devices of three Etruscan cities — Tarquinii, 
Vulci, and Vetulonia. The latter, which is indicated by 
the inscription vetvlonenses, is symbolised by a naked 
man with an oar on his shoulder, and holding a pine-cone, 
which he seems to have just plucked from a tree over his 
head. Dr. Braun, the learned secretary of the Archaeolo- 
gical Institute of Rome, whose opinion is of great weight 
in such matters, says : — " that this figure represents 
Neptune, seems to me beyond a doubt ; it is shown not 
only by the attribute in his hand, but also by the tree, 
sacred to that deity, which stands at his side. However it 
be, no one can presume to deny that the figure bearing an 
oar indicates a maritime city, such as Pliny in truth implies 
Vetulonia to have been." 5 

We are quite in the dark as to the period and causes of 
Vetulonia's destruction or abandonment. It may have 
been malaria ; it may have been the sword which desolated 

Ann. Inst. 1842, p. 38, tav. d'Agg. joined by the Cavalier Canina (Bull. Inst. 
C. Another learned antiquary of Rome, 1840, p. 93), that this bas-relief formed 
who agrees with me as to this being the one of the sides of a square pedestal, 
site of Vetulonia, takes the figure with whose other three sides bore emblems of 
an oar to represent Telamon, the Argo- other cities — the Twelve of the Etruscan 
naut. Dr. Braun suggests, from a consi- Confederation ; and they think that as 
deration of this monument, that there the relief was found near a statue of 
was probably a pine-wood in the neigh- Claudius, the pedestal originally sup- 
bourhood of Vetulonia. It so happens ported that statue, and that the Twelve 
that there is such a wood extending for Cities of Etruria were symbolised there- 
miles along the shore between Telamone on in compliment to that emperor having 
and Orbetello, which may be the remains written a history of Etruria. To me, 
of a forest yet more extensive in ancient however, the relief appears rather to 
times. have formed part of a throne, for at one 

Dr. Braun is of opinion, in which he is end it is decorated on both sides. 

304 VETULONIA. [chap. xlvhi. 

it. 6 In truth, the little mention made of it by ancient 
writers, seems to mark it as having ceased to exist at or 
before the time of Roman domination. 7 The total silence 
of Livy and Strabo is also thus best explained. The 
absence of Roman remains on the site of this city is in 
accordance with this view. Yet that Vetulonia existed, 
or rather re-existed, in Imperial times, is proved by the 
mention made of it by Pliny and Ptolemy, and by an 
inscription found at Arezzo. 8 The many Roman remains 
in the immediate vicinity of this site, and further inland, 
probably belong to that colony ; and it is not unlikely that 
the ancient city, like Veii, had previously lain desolate for 
centuries, and that when a colony was to be established, a 
neighbouring spot was chosen in preference to the original 
site, which was abandoned as too near the unhealthy 
swamps of the coast. 

I have the satisfaction of learning that my opinion as to 
this city being the long-lost Vetulonia, is concurred in by 
some of the leading antiquaries of Rome — Germans as 
well as Italians. But be it Vetulonia or not, it is manifest 
that it must have been of great importance in the early 
days of Etruria ; as it is surpassed but by one city of that 
land in size, and by none in naval and commercial advan- 
tages of situation. 

6 Signor Pasquinelli remarks that even specifies the period of the city's 

from the confusion in which the blocks destruction, 

of masonry were found, overturned in s Grater, p. 1029, 7. — 

the foundations of the buildings, min- Q • spvrinnae . q . f. 

gled with fragments of pottery, with p . . . . qvintiaxo 

burnt matter and fused metal, this city eq . pvbl . lavr . lavjn 

had probably undergone a violent de- aedil . nviR . cvrat 

struetion. kalexd . pleb . arret 

" This was given out by Dempster cvr vbl . vetvi.h 

(Etrar. Reg. II. p. 56) as a mere m.nmy.m plebs 

conjecture ; but has been assumed vrbana 

as a fact by a recent writer, who i. . n . n . d 




A few rude monuments of mountain stone 
Survive ; all else is swept away. 


Ed io : maestro, quai son quelle genti, 
Che seppellite dentro da quell' arche 
Si fan sentire ? 


One of the most ancient of Etruscan sites is Saturnia, 
which lies in the valley of the Albegna, twenty miles from 
the sea. It may be reached either from Orbetello or 
Grosseto. 1 

1 Saturnia is about 28 miles from by the direct track through Sovana, 

Cosa, 13 from Scansano, nearly 30 but 16 or 17 by the high road through 

from Grosseto, 1 1 or 12 from Pitigliano Manciano. 


30G SATURNIA. [chap. xlix. 

The road from Orbetello runs on the left bank of the 
Albegna, passing through Marsiliana and Monte Merano, 
and is carriageable to this latter place, which is but three 
miles from Saturnia, Those who would take the more 
direct track must leave their vehicles at Marsiliana, and 
on horseback follow the banks of the Albegna. But this 
will not do after heavy rains, as the river has to be forded 
no less than fourteen times ! 

From Magliano I took the route of Scansano, a town 
some nine or ten miles to the north. Half way is Pereta, 
a small village, with a ruined castle on a height, over- 
hanging a deep valley ; and a steep ascent of some miles 
leads hence to Scansano. This is a town of some size, 
near the summit of a mountain, but with no interest 
beyond being the only halting-place between Grosseto and 
Saturnia. Inquire for the house of Domenico Bianchi — 
the lack of comfort will be as far as possible atoned for by 
civility and attention. Grosseto is sixteen or seventeen 
miles distant, and the road is excellent, but terminates at 
Scansano. For the first four miles from Grosseto it crosses 
the plain to Istia, a ruined village on the right bank of the 
Ombrone, with a double circuit of crumbling walls, telling 
of vanished greatness. Here the river is crossed by a 
ferry, but when swollen by heavy rains, it is difficult of 
transit. I had much ado to cross it on my way from 
Scansano, but on my return a few hours afterwards, it had 
so overstept the modesty of its nature as to rival the Tiber, 
nine times its volume, as the saying goes — 

" Tre Ombroni fanno un Arno, 
Tre Ami fanno un Tevere, 
Tre Teveri fanno un Po ; 
E tre Po di Lombardia 
Fanno un Danubio di Turchia " — 

and as to oblige me to leave my vehicle behind, and do 

chap, xjax.] SCANSANO.— ROAD TO SATURNIA. 307 

the rest of the way on foot. For the thirteen miles hence 
to Scansano it is a continual ascent, through woods of oak, 
chesnut, and Maremma shrubs. The laurestinus, then in 
full bloom, and numerous flowers of varied hue and odour, 
gave the country the appearance of a vast shrubbery, or 
untrimmed garden — 

" A wilderness of sweets — 
Flowers of all hue and weeds of glorious feature." 

But never did shrubbery or lawn command a view so mag- 
nificent as that from these heights. From the headland 
of Troja to those of Telamone and Argentaro, 

" That lovely shore of solitude and light " 

lay unrolled beneath, with its bounding belt of the blue 
Mediterranean, studded with many a silvery islet. 

From Scansano to Saturnia there are thirteen miles, 
winch I expected to accomplish on horseback in three 
hours, yet six elapsed ere I reached my destination. The 
track is a mere bridle-path, utterly impracticable to 
vehicles ; here, running through dense woods ; there, 
crossing moors which the rains had converted into quag- 
mires ; and often disappearing altogether ; and my guide 
did his best to enhance its delights by assuring me the 
Albegna would be too swollen to be fordable, and we must 
certainly retrace our steps to Scansano. However — al fin 
si canta la gloria — we reached the left bank of the stream, 
and ascended the long slope to Saturnia. 

The situation of this city is most imposing. Like Cosa 
and Rusellae, it occupies the summit of a truncated cone ; 
but, still more like Orvieto, it also rises in the midst of an 
amphitheatre of lofty mountains ; and as the circuit of its 
walls is complete, it appears at a distance to be well 
inhabited. It is only on entering its gates that the deso- 
lation within is apparent. 

308 SATURNIA. [chap, xt.i x. 

The modern Saturaia is the representative of the ancient 
merely in name. It occupies but a fractional part of the 
original area, and is a miserable " luogliettaccio" with a 
church and some score of hovels, and only one decent 
house — that of the Marchese Panciatichi Ximenes, a noble 
of Aragonese blood, whose family has possessed this manor 
for the last two hundred and fifty years. It were folly to 
expect an inn in such a hamlet. There is indeed what is 
called an osteria, but a peep within it confirmed all I had 
heard of its horrors, and determined me to effect a lodge- 
ment in the palace. This was no difficult matter. The 
fattore, or agent of the Marchese, readily agreed to accom- 
modate me ; and the heifer being offered, as Sancho would 
say, I was not long in fetching a rope — 

Quando se diere la vaquilla 
Corre con la soguilla. 

Moreover he furnished me with a guide to the antiquities 
— one Domenico Lepri, whom I can recommend to future 

The form of the ancient city is an irregular rhomboid, 
the angles facing the cardinal points. It may be rather 
more than two miles in circuit, 2 its extent being deter- 
mined by the character of the ground, which breaks into 
cliffs at the top of the cone. In this respect also Saturnia 
resembles Orvieto, and differs from Cosa and Rusellae, 
which have no cliffs. The existing fortifications were 
erected on the ruins of the ancient in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, and are evidently prior to the use of artillery. 3 

2 Sir R. C. Hoare calls the circuit never seen a plan of Saturnia, and regret 

three miles (Classical Tour, I. p. 52), that I did not measure it myself, 
hut that is certainly an overstatement. 3 In a few parts are remains of 

It can scarcely he the two miles and a Roman work — optis incertwm and reti- 

half which Santi ascribes to it. Viaggio, cidatum — the repairs of the still earlier 

p. 88, cited by Midler, I. '.', 3. I have fortifications. 



In three spots only could I perceive remains of the 
original walls. The finest portion is on the south, beneath 
the ruined castle, and hard by the village. Here is a gate- 
way, called Porta Romana, whether from the direction in 
which it opens, or from its evident antiquity, matters not. 
On either hand of it is polygonal masonry, precisely like 
that of Cosa in its smooth surface and the close " kissing " 
of its joints ; but whether topt in the same way with hori- 
zontal courses cannot be determined, the loftiest fragment 
not rising above twelve feet. 4 The gateway, though now 
arched over with the work of the middle ages, is mani- 
festly coeval with these walls, for the masonry here running 
into horizontal forms as usual at angles, terminates 
abruptly in doorposts ; 5 and there are no traces of an 
ancient arch, the gate having been spanned, like those at 
Cosa and kindred sites, by a horizontal lintel of stone or 
wood. The pavement of the old Roman road still runs 
through the gate into the city. 

In the eastern wall, at a spot called II Marrucatone, just 
above the Campo Santo, is another fragment of polygonal 
masonry. Only two courses are now standing, and there 
may be about twenty blocks in all ; and these show more 
tendency to regularity and horizontality than the portion 
at the Porta Romana. 

On the opposite side of the city is a third fragment, in 

4 The blocks here are not of great he had not given the date of his visit 
size. Two of the largest I found to be I should have doubted that he had ever 
respectively — 5 ft. 7 in. in length, by been at Saturnia. It is surprising that 
4 ft. 7 in. high ; and 4 ft. 7 in. long, by the peculiar character of this masonry, so 
3 ft. 2 in. high. A view of this frag- decidedly polygonal, could have escaped 
ment of the walls of Saturnia is given his eye. His inaccuracy in describing it 
in Ann. Inst. 1831, tav. d' Agg. E. as macigno must also be attributed to 

5 It must have been the horizontality want of observation ; and his opinion 
in the doorposts that led Repetti to that it is "rather Roman than Etrus- 
speak of this masonry as composed " of can," can therefore have little weight, 
great blocks of squared maceV/Jio." If See Repetti, V. p. 206. 

aiO SATURNIA. [chap. xlix. 

the foundations of the modern walls. Beyond this I could 
not perceive, nor could I learn, that there were any remains 
of the ancient fortifications ; but it is almost impossible to 
make the entire tour of the walls externally, on account of 
the dense thickets and scattered rocks, which in parts for- 
bid a near approach. Unlike Cosa, Saturnia has but these 
few disjecta membra left of her former might, but these 
suffice to attest it — ew pede Hercidem. 

The wide area within the walls is in summer a cornfield 
— seges ubi Trojafuit ; in winter a sheep-walk. Here are 
but few relics of the olden time.. Near the Marrucatone 
is a singular square inclosure of artificial concrete, called 
Bagno Secco ; but that it was anciently a Bath is very 
doubtful. It must be of Roman times. 6 

The few other antiquities are within the village. The 
most remarkable is a tall massive pilaster, square in front, 
but rounded at the back, and having a fluted half-column, 
engaged at one corner, and hewn out of the blocks of 
travertine which compose the structure. If not of more 
ancient date, it probably formed part of a Roman temple, 
rather than of an arch or gateway, as has been supposed. 7 

There are also sundry scattered relics — tablets — altars 
— cippi— statues — cornices— all of Roman times. Nothing 
did I perceive that could be pronounced Etruscan. 8 

Few ancient sites in Etruria have more natural beauties 
than Saturnia. Deep vallies and towering heights all 
around, yet variety in every quarter. Here the cliff-bound, 
olive-spread hill of Monte Merano ; there the elm-tufted 

6 It has only two courses, each 2 feet as to be scarcely legible, but I could 
high, but the blocks are 20 feet in perceive them to be of the time of 
length. It forms a square of 49 feet. Marcus Aurelius. On the opposite side 

7 Hoare, Class. Tour, I. p. 52. of the Piazza is a Roman sepulchral 

8 In front of the Marchese's house monument. There are other inscrip- 
stand two large altars of travertine, tions built into the wall of the church. 
with very long inscriptions, so defaced 


ridge of Scansano ; and there the hoary crests of Monte 
Labbro and Santa Fiora. From the northern ramparts you 
command the whole valley of the Albegna. You see the 
stream bursting from a dark gorge in its escape from the 
regions of mountain frost ; and where it is not lost be- 
hind the rock-mingled foliage on the slope, snaking its 
shining way joyously down the valley ; and its murmurs 
come up with the fainter sheep-bell from the echoing 
hollow. Whatever Saturnia be within, it has a paradise 
around it. If you be an artist, forget not your portfolio 
when you stroll around the walls. These ruins of art and 
nature — these crumbling walls, half-draped with ivy, 
clematis, and wild vines — these rugged cliffs beneath them 
— this chaos of crags and trees on the slope — revel among 
them, and declare that never have you found more capti- 
vating studies of rock, wood, and ruin ! 

Here is food for the antiquary also. Some few hundred 
yards west of the Porta Romana he will observe among 
the crags of travertine which strew the slope, one upright 
mass about fifteen feet high, whose squared faces bear 
marks of the hand of man. What may have been its pur- 
pose, he is at a loss to conjecture. High at one end he 
will espy the remains of a flight of steps hewn in the rock, 
and formerly leading to the summit. Let him scramble 
up, and he will behold three sarcophagi or graves sunk in 
the level summit of the mass, each about the size of a body, 
having a ledge for the lid, which may have been of tiles, 
or more probably was a slab of rock carved into the effigy 
of the dead. Strange this trio must have appeared, half 
rising as it were from the tomb. This is a singular posi- 
tion for interment — unique, as far as is yet known, in 
Etruria. 9 The natural rock is used abundantly for sepulture, 

9 In the island of Thera in the Greek isolated rocks with sarcophagi sunk in 
archipelago, there are several such them. Professor Ross calls them Btjkcu 

312 SATURNIA. [chap. xlix. 

but the tomb is either beneath, or within, the monu- 
mental facade ; — here alone it is above it. For the rock 
itself has been carved with architectural decorations, per- 
haps on each face, though the southern one alone retains 
such traces. 1 The extreme simplicity of the details seems 
to mark this monument as Etruscan. 

No other monument could I perceive near the walls ; 
but on the slope beneath the city to the south, and on the 
way to the Bagni, are several ancient tombs, similar in 
character but of smaller size and more ruined than those 
in the Pian di Palma, which I am about to describe. This 
spot is called La Pestiera. The necropolis of Saturnia does 
not lie so much on the slopes around, as at Volterra, or on 
the opposite heights, as at Tarquinii ; but in the low 
grounds on the other bank of the Albegna, two miles or 
more from the city. Tins may be in great measure owing 
to the rocky nature of these slopes, which would not 
readily admit of excavation ; for the early Italians always 
sought the easiest materials for their chisels, and never 
attempted the marvels in granite, porphyry, or basalt, 
achieved by the children of Ham. 

On these slopes are traces of several Roman roads — all 
of the usual polygonal pavement. 2 

Kai6ix-f)rai. Ann. Inst. 1841, pp. 16, 19. chisel committed to it far better than 

Mon. Ined. Inst. III. tav. XXVI. I the tufo or sandstone of which most 

have observed them also in the necro- Etruscan monuments are hewn, it 

polis of Syracuse. seems probable that there were none. 

1 Here are two pilasters with square - Sir R. C. Hoare traced five of these 

abaci, of most simple character, sup- roads — running from Saturnia towards 

porting an architrave, which is divided Rome, Monte Argentoro,Rusell£e, Siena, 

in the middle by a sort of chimney — and Chiusi, respectively. The first, which 

the whole in very low relief, forming issues from the Porto Romana, is almost 

indeed but a panelling to the smooth perfect for some distance down the slope, 

face of the rock. No traces of figures This must be the Via Clodia. See Vol. 

or of inscriptions are visible, and from I. p. 463. The second, which led down 

the hardness of the travertine, which the valley of the Albegna, I traced by 

would preserve any such works of the its kerb-stones on the ascent from Scan- 

chap, xlix.] FARE AT THE FATTORIA. 31:3 

As an excursion to the necropolis in the Pian di Palma 
demands half a day, I deferred it to the morrow. On 
returning to my quarters I found the fattore and his 
people about to sit down to their evening meal. Whether 
something extraordinary had been prepared on my account, 
I cannot say, but I am certain no English peasant sits 
down nightly to such a supper as this, which needed no 
apologies from Signor Gaspare. There was soup, beef, 
kid, poultry, game, and a dessert of dried fruits and cheese, 
all the produce of the estate — cooked in the spacious 
hall in which it was served, and by the labouring men, 
who on bringing a dish to table sat down and partook of 
it. It was a patriarchal and excellent meal — 

Prorsus jucunde coenam produximus illam ! 

I was no less satisfied with the accommodation up stairs, 
where everything did credit to the fattore and his men ; 
for, be it known, to all this crew of shepherds and swains 
there was not one 

" Phyllis, Charyllis, or sweet Amaryllis " — 

not " one fair spirit for a minister." 

Let future visitors to Saturnia follow my example, and 
exchange the hostelry for the palace. No one of course 
can receive accommodation in this way gratis ; and if the 
traveller pay double what he would in the osteria, he is no 
loser, seeing he gains comfort, preserves his skin and his 
temper, and retains a pleasing remembrance of the place. 
Happy he who in his by-road wanderings in Italy meets 
no worse welcome than from the sun-ruddied face and 
jovial smile of Signor Gaspare ! 

sano. That to Rusellse is also very the north, which probably led from 
traceable ; and I observed some vestiges the Porta di Montagna, I did not 
of that running eastward ; but that to perceive. 

314 SATURNIA. [chap. xlix. 

Let the traveller eschew the summer months for a visit 
to Saturnia. In spite of its elevation the ariaccia is then 
most pestilent ; whether arising from the sulphureous 
springs in its neighbourhood, or wafted from the swamps 
on the coast, it well-nigh desolates the spot ; and when 
the harvest is cut scarcely a soul remains within the walls. 

Ere the sun had risen, I was on my way to the Piano 
di Palma. The track down the slope followed the line of 
a Roman road, probably that leading to Rusellse. The 
Albegna was still swollen but fordable, and about a mile 
beyond it I reached some ploughed fields strewn with 
fragments of pottery, mingled with large stones and slabs. 
Here lay the tombs of the ancient dwellers of Saturnia. 

It may be remarked that the name attached to ancient 
sepulchres differs in various parts of Italy, and it is well 
to know the local appellation. In some places they are 
sepolcri — in others, though rarely, tombe — in some, ipogei — 
in a few, camere, or cette — in many, grotte — here they were 
none of these, but depositi. In truth they required a peculiar 
name, as they differed from anything to be seen elsewhere 
in Etruria. They were very numerous ; piles of blocks and 
slabs being scattered over the plain, each bearing traces of 
regular arrangement, yet this was so often disturbed or 
almost destroyed that the original character of the monu- 
ments could only be learned from a few which remain 
entire, and serve as keys to the rest. They are quad- 
rangular chambers, sunk a few feet below the surface, 
lined with rough slabs of rock, set upright, one on 
each side, and roofed over with two huge slabs resting 
against each other so as to form a rude penthouse ; or else 
with a single one of enormous size, covering the whole, 
and laid at a slight inclination, apparently for the same 
purpose of carrying off the rain. Not a chisel has touched 
these rugged masses, which are just as broken off from 

chap, xlix.] REMARKABLE TOMBS. 815 

their native rock, with their edges all shapeless and irre- 
gular ; and, if their faces are somewhat smooth, it is owing 
to the tendency of the travertine to split in laminar forms. 
These are the most rude and primitive structures conceiv- 
able ; such as the savage would make on inhaling his first 
breath of civilization, on emerging from his cave or den in 
the rock. Their dimensions vary from about sixteen feet 
square to half that size, though few are strictly of that 
form. 3 Many are divided into two chambers or com- 
partments for bodies, by an upright slab, on which the 
cover-stones rest. 4 In most there is a passage, about three 
feet wide, and ten or twelve feet long, leading to the sepul- 
chral chamber, and lined with slabs of inferior size and 

These tombs are sunk but little below the surface, 
because each is inclosed in a tumulus ; the earth being 
piled around so as to conceal all but the cover-stones, which 
may have been also originally buried. 5 In many instances 

3 I add the dimensions of some that of rock. One tomb indeed was lined 

I measured : — 1 6 feet long by somewhat entirely with small stones rudely put 

less in width — 14 feet by 11| — 14 feet together, very like the solitary sepul- 

by 1\ — 11 feet by 6^ — 9^ feet by 6 — chre I have described as existing at 

9 feet by 8 — 8 feet by 6^. All the Rusellse, but of ruder construction. Ut 

tombs were about 5 or 6 feet high supra, p. 254. 

within. It should be borne in mind 4 This is shown in the woodcut at the 
that as each side is composed generally head of this Chapter. It is in general 
of a single slab, so the dimensions of about two-thirds of the tomb in length, 
the tombs indicate those also of the i. e., when placed longitudinally, for it 
slabs, except as regards the cover- is sometimes, though rarely, set trans- 
stones, which lap over about a foot each versely, in which case it is shaped 
way and are therefore so much larger. above into a gable to support the cover- 
When single, these cover-stones are of stones. This partition -slab is generally 
great size — one 16 feet by 12 — another set rather obliquely. Some tombs are 
16 feet by 10^ — and a third 10 } feet even divided into three compartments, 
by 9£. In some few instances where the one at the end and one on each side, 
tomb is very large there are two slabs with a passage between them, just as 
on one side, and the interstices between in so many of the rock-hewn sepulchres 
them, as they are not cut to fit, are of Etruria. But these are rare, 
filled with small stones and fragments B See the woodcut at the head of 

316 SATURNIA. [chap.xi.ix. 

the earth has been removed or washed away, so as to leave 
the structure standing above the surface. Here the eye 
is startled by the striking resemblance to the cromlechs of 
our own country. Not that one such monument is actually 
standing above ground in an entire state ; but remove the 
earth from any one of those with a single cover-stone, 
and in the three upright slabs, with their shelving, over- 
lapping Hd, you have the exact counterpart of Kit's 
Cotty House, and other like familiar antiquities of Britain ; 
and the resemblance is not only in the form, and in the 
unhewn masses, but even in the dimensions of the structures. 
We know also that many of the cromlechs or kistvaens 
of the British Isles have been found inclosed in barrows, 
sometimes with a circle of small upright slabs around 
them ; and from analogy we may infer that all were 
originally so buried. Here is a further point of resem- 
blance to these tombs of Saturnia. 6 In some of the crom- 
lechs, moreover, which are inclosed in tumuli, long passages, 
lined with upright slabs, and roofed in with others laid 
horizontally, have been found ; whether the similar pas- 
sages in these tombs of Saturnia were also covered in, 
cannot now be determined. 

The shelving or dip of the cover-stone in the cairns or 
cromlechs has induced antiquaries to regard them as 
Druidical altars, formed with this inclination in order that 
the blood of the victims might more easily run off. But 
it is now generally agreed, from the remains found within 
them, that they are sepulchral monuments; and there can 

this Chapter, which represents one of to have heen quadrangular, 
these tombs with a single cover-stone, 6 I observed only one instance of a 

1G or 18 feet each way, and about 1 tumulus encircled by small slabs ; but 

foot in thickness. The tumuli, as far it is probable that the custom was 

as it is possible to ascertain, were general ; the small size of these slabs 

about 25 or 30 feet in diameter. Mr. offering a temptation to the peasantry 

Ainslcy remarked one which appeared to remove them. 

chap, xhx.] TOMBS LIKE CROMLECHS. -'317 

be no doubt that these structures of Saturnia are of that 
character, though nothing beyond analogy and tradition 
now remains to attest it. Here the slope of the cover- 
stone is evidently to carry off the rain. 

These tombs have stood for so many ages open and 
dismantled — the haunts of the fox, the porcupine, and 
unclean reptiles — that no traces of the ancient dead are 
now visible, beyond the broken pottery which strews the 
plain. At a spot called II Puntone, west of the Pian cli 
Palma, and nearer the banks of the Albegna, are more of 
these singular sepulchres. Those at La Pestiera on the 
south of Saturnia have already been mentioned ; and it is 
possible that more exist on other sides of the city, but I 
could not ascertain the fact. 

These monuments of Saturnia are particularly worthy 
of notice, as nothing like them is to be seen on any other 
site in Etruria. Similar tombs, however, have in ages 
past been discovered at Cortona, 7 and of late years at 
Santa Marinella; 8 but no traces of them now remain on 
either site. I have never seen any description of these 
tombs in the Pian di Palma ; nor am I aware that any 
traveller has visited them, besides Mr. Ainsley and myself. 9 

To what era, and to what race, are we to attribute 
these tombs 1 Prior to the Roman conquest they must be, 
for that people never constructed such rude burial-places 
for their dead. Can we assign them to the Etruscans — to 

7 Baldelli, MS. quoted by Gori, Mus. appears after hard rains." Classical 
Etms. III. pp. 75— G, and Inghirami, Tour, I. p. 52. But he does not appear 
Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 72. to have seen them, or he must have 

8 Ut supra, page 8. been struck by their peculiar character. 

9 Sir R. C. Hoare merely states that Repetti (V. p. 207) only mentions those 
" several subterraneous grottos are still on the slope beneath Saturnia, towards 
open in the neighbouring fields, but the Bagni, and describes them simply 
there is great reason to suppose that as " fosse copertc da lastroni di traver- 
many more exist undiscovered, for in tino," containing human bones and 
various spots the water suddenly dis- nothing else. 

31 S SATURNIA. [chap. xlix. 

that race of whose care in decorating their tombs with 
architectural facades, or internally with painting and 
sculpture, we have so many proofs 1 If we are to regard 
the Regulini-Galassi tomb of Caere, with its regular, squared 
masonry, as of Pelasgic antiquity, surely such savagely 
rude structures as these cannot be of later date. Be it 
remembered that the masses are wholly unwrought — not 
even hammer-dressed, but simply split off from the 
laminous rock ; the principal difficulty lying in the trans- 
port of them to their present sites. If not of Etruscan 
construction, to whom can they be attributed 1 The prior 
occupants of the land, as we learn from ancient writers, 
were first the Umbrians or Siculi, and then the Pelasgi. 
As the antiquity of these monuments is connected with 
that of the city-walls, we will consider both, in reviewing 
the few notices we find of Saturnia in ancient writers. 

Dionysius mentions Saturnia together with Agylla, Pisa, 
and Alsium, as one of the many towns either built by the 
united Pelasgi and Aborigines, or taken by them from the 
Siculi, the original inhabitants. 1 Beyond this there is 
little mention of it. We learn that it was one of the 
Roman colonies in Etruria, that it had originally borne the 
name of Aurinia ; 2 that it was in the territory of Caletra, 
and that it was colonised in the year of Rome 571 
(b.c. 183). 3 

Though we may not be able to accord Dionysius 

1 Dion. Hal. I. p. 16. It may be 2 Plin. III. 8.—" Saturnini qui ante 

thought by some that Dionysius referred Aurinini vocabantur." It is also men- 

to the original town on the site of tioned as a colony by Ptolemy (p. 7"2, 

Rome — " Saturnia, ubi nunc Roma ed Bert.), and a prcefectura by Festus 

est" (Plin. III. 9)— but it is evident (r. Praefecturae). The Etruscan family- 

that this town of Etruria was intended, name of " Sauturine," or " Sauturini " 

as all the other places mentioned are (Vermigl. Iscriz. Perug. I. pp. 267, 

in this land, and are said by him to 313), seems to bear some relation to 

have been afterwards conquered by the Saturnia. 

Etruscans. 3 Liv - XXXIX. 55. 


unreserved credit in his accounts of such remote periods, 
we may safely admit his testimony as to the great anti- 
quity of Saturnia. The very name, the earliest appellation 
of Italy itself, is corroborative of this fact. We are there- 
fore prepared for relics of very ancient times on this spot. 
Yet Micali would fain have it that its polygonal walls 
do not indicate a high antiquity, and probably date only 
from the time of the Roman colony. 4 It is unnecessary to 
repeat what has been said in a previous chapter in refuta- 
tion of his views ; but what was there said in support of 
the antiquity and Pelasgic origin of this style of masonry, 5 
applies with more than usual force to Saturnia, which has 
the addition of historical testimony in its favour. It is 
enough to entertain doubts in those cases where we have 
no record of a definite Pelasgic origin. Where such 
record exists, we may take it to be authenticated by the 
walls, if of accordant structure, and the walls to be cha- 
racterised by the tradition. Either alone may be open 
to suspicion, but together they substantiate each other into 
genuineness. In the case of Saturnia, moreover, we are 
particularly entitled to ascribe these walls to that people, 
with whom polygonal masonry was the rule, rectangular 
the exception, rather than to any subsequent race. For 
the doctrine of the material having alone determined the 
character of the masonry, is here utterly at fault. It is 
not limestone, which is said to split so readily into polygonal 
forms ; it is travertine, which all the world knows has a 
horizontal cleavage. The natural superfluities of the blocks 

4 Ant. Pop. Ital. I. pp. 144, 196. masonry wherever found — in Italy, 

Micali's objection is mere supposition — Greece, or Asia Minor ; though we 

"forse " — " si pub credere " — " potrebV are well assured that in many instances 

essere" — or assertion ; the only argu- walls of this description were raised 

merit he uses is the high finish of the in very remote times, prior to the 

masonry, an argument which, if it have invention of the arch, 

any force, will apply to all similar s Ut supra, pages 279 — 286. 

320 SATURNIA. [chap. xux. 

were not squared down as the Romans always treated this 
material, but cut into those angular forms which best 
pleased the builders. 6 So much for the doctrine of con- 
structive necessity as applied to Saturnia. 

But if the walls of Saturnia be Pelasgic, can the tombs 
have the same origin? Their primitive rudeness would 
accord better with walls of unhewn Cyclopean masonry, 
like those above Monte Fortino, or at Civitella and Olevano, 
and seems hardly consistent with the highly-wrought cha- 
racter of the polygonal style, — it is difficult to believe that 
the same hands constructed both tombs and walls. Yet it 
may be urged in favour of a Pelasgic origin for the former, 
that they are very similar to ancient tombs found at Santa 
Marinella, on that coast which is studded with Pelasgic 
settlements ; and the resemblance the least rude among 
them (those with gabled roofs) bear to the sepulchres of 
Paestuni and of Magna Grsecia generally, favours a Greek 
origin. They are, however, more like the structures of a 
ruder people, such as we may conceive the Umbri or 
Siculi, the earliest possessors of the land, to have been. 
We learn from Dionysius, that the Aborigines who joined 
the Pelasgi in expelling the Siculi from Etruria, had 
cemeteries of tumuli like this, but of the internal structure 
of their tombs we know nothing. 7 Unfortunately we have 
here no furniture remaining to assist our inquiries. 8 But 
it may be objected — if these be the sepulchres of the 
earlier occupants of the site, where are those of the 
Etruscans ? It is a question which may be asked at Fiesole, 
Roselle, Cosa, Pisa, and many other sites, where no exca- 

6 It has been asserted that polygonal B The articles found in a similar 

masonry was never formed of tra- tomb at Cortona, as far as can be 

vertine (Memor. Inst. III. p. 90), but gathered from the description of Bal- 

this is contradicted by these walls of delli (ut supra, p. 317), seem to mark it 

Saturnia. as Etruscan. 

'" Dion. Hal. I. p. 12. 


vations have been made. Future research, either by 
finding sonic of these rude tombs intact, or by discovering 
others of a different character, may be expected to throw 
light on the subject. 9 

Yet this form of sepulchre can hardly be indicative of 
any one race in particular. The structure is so rude and 
simple, that it might have suggested itself to any people, 
and be naturally adopted in an early state of civilization. 
It is the very arrangement the child makes use of in 
building his house of cards. This simplicity accounts for 
the wide diffusion of such monuments over the Old World ; 
for they are found in different climates and widely distant 
countries, from the mountains of Wales and Ireland to the 
deserts of Barbary, and from the western shores of the 
Iberian Peninsula to the steppes of Tartary, and the 
eastern coasts of Hindostan. They are found on moun- 
tains and in plains, on continents and in islands, on the 
sea-coast and far inland, by the river and in the desert, 
solitary and grouped in multitudes. 1 That in certain 

3 The quantity of coarse broken pot- gigantic proportions. The very similar 

tery strewn over the plain, hints the tombs near Santa Marinella contained 

character of their contents ; but llepetti articles like those found in the earliest 

(V. p. 207) says that in the similar sepulchres of Etruria, of very archaic 

tombs on the other side of Saturnia, character— some even purely Egyptian, 

already mentioned, were found human ' How numerous these monuments 

bones alone, without any articles of are in the British Isles is well known, 

sculpture, or urns, fictile vases, and They are found also on the continent 

the usual furniture of Etruscan tombs. of Europe, particularly in the north 

" Di tempi incerti e una specie di of France ; and also in the Spanish 

Camposanto che ci fu indicate no' Peninsula, though to what extent they 

campi sotto il poggio c prcsso il Bagno exist there is unknown, as the auti- 

di Saturnia, dove furono trovatc delle cmities of that land have been little 

ossa umane dentro fosse coperte da investigated. (See Borrow's Bible in 

lastroni di travertino, senza alcun Spain, Chapter VII.). On the shores 

oggetto di scultura, senza urne, senza of the Mediterranean they are parti- 

vasi di tcrraglie e cose simili, facili a cularly abundant. Besides the other 

scuoprirsi nei sepolcreti di etrusco two sites in Etruria, they arc found in 

nome." If the peasantry may be ere- Sardinia and the Balcarics ; and it may 

dited, the hones found here were of not be generally known that they exist 

VOL. Ii. Y 




instances they may be the work of the same people in 
different countries is not to be gainsaid, 2 but there is no 
necessity to seek for one particular race as the constructors 
of these monuments, or even as the originators of the type. 

I trust that this notice of the tombs of Saturnia will 
excite interest in this unfrequented spot, and lead to 
further investigation. This district of Italy is a new field 
to the antiquary. No excavations have been made, nor 
even researches for monuments above ground. 3 

From Saturnia you may proceed to Pitigliano, Sovana, 
and Sorano. There is a carriage-road to those places 
from Monte Merano, only three miles from Saturnia. On 

in abundance in the Regency of Tunis, 
anciently the territory of Carthage, as 
I learn from the notes and sketches of 
Mr. Catherwood, who has penetrated 
far into that unexplored region, and 
possesses artistic records of its monu- 
ments of such value and interest as 
to demand publication. From these 
documents I learn that the tombs of 
the African desert exactly accord in 
construction and measurements with 
the better-known monuments of this 
character. The three sites on which 
he found them were, Sidi Boosi, to the 
north-east of Hydrah, Welled Ayar, 
and Lheys. At the first place tliey 
were particularly numerous. I am not 
aware that any have been discovered 
in Greece, but in Asia they are not 
wanting. Captains Irby and Mangles 
describe a group of them on the banks 
of the Jordan. Holy Land, p. 99. 
Colon. Libr. edit. They are said also 
to have been found among the moun- 
tains of the Caucasus, and on the 
steppes of Tartary ; and recent re- 
searches have brought them to light in 
the Presidency of Madras. For in a 
letter read at the Asiatic Society. 
January 17th, 1846, Captain Newbold 

stated that near Chittoor in North 
Arcot, he had seen a square mile of 
ground covered with such monuments, 
mostly opened and destroyed by the 
natives for the sake of the blocks which 
composed them, yet a few remained 
entire to testify to the character of 
the rest. In them were found sarco- 
phagi, with the bones of the dead, and 
pottery of red and black ware. They 
were here paved with a large slab, 
and entered by a circular hole in one 
of the upright slabs, which formed the 

2 In the British Isles and in France 
they are probably of Celtic construction. 
In the Peninsula and the isles of the 
Mediterranean they may be of Punic 
origin, like those in the territory of 
Carthage ; though those of Sardinia 
and Etruria are more probably the 
work of the Tyrrhene-Pelasgi. 

3 On a hill three miles to the E.S.E. 
of Saturnia are some ruins, called Le 
Murelle. I had no opportunity of 
visiting them, but from the description 
I received I doubt not they are Roman 
concamerationes, probably the remains 
of a villa. On other spots in the neigh- 
bourhood, there are said to be ruins. 


the way to it you pass the Bagni, a spring of sulphureous 
water, like the Bulicame near Viterbo, which falls in a 
cascade, encrusting the cliffs with a many-hued deposit. 
The table-land on which Monte Merano stands is strewn 
with pottery, which may possibly mark the Etruscan 
necropolis of Saturnia. Three miles beyond is Manciano, 
on a height commanding one of those glorious and varied 
panoramas which give such a charm to Italy. Here you 
are on the very frontier between the Tuscan and Roman 
States. The Maremma, its well-known headlands, the 
isle-studded deep, Saturnia in the vale of the Albegna, at 
the foot of Monte Amiata — are all in the Grand Duchy ; 
while the Patrimony of St. Peter greets you in the vast 
Etruscan plain, with the Ponte della Badia, the towers of 
Montalto and Corneto, the Monti di Canino, and many 
other familiar objects on its wide surface, which is bounded 
by the dark-crested Ciminian, and the distant Apennines, 
a range of icy peaks all burnished with gold — sublime as 
the Alps from the Jura, 4 

Beyond Manciano, on the descent to the Fiora, some 
tombs and sepulchral niches in the cliffs, and fragments of 
pottery on the slopes, proclaim the site of an Etruscan 
town. 5 I could make no researches here, as the sun was 
on the horizon as I passed, and I had no opportunity of 
returning to the spot ; but it seemed to me that the town 
must have stood on the cliff-bound height, now crested 
with a castle in ruins. What its name was, we have no 
means of determining. It may be remembered, however, 

4 From Manciano a road leads south- aary to have the passport vise at 

ward to Montalto and Corneto. There Montalto, hut under the proposed system 

is also a track to the Ponte della Badia. of an Italian Customs' Union, that may 

The traveller who would make an ex- probably be dispensed with, 
cursion from Corneto to Cosa and 5 It has been already stated that 

Saturnia will have no difficulty in cross- Campanari has made slight excavations 

ing the frontier. It used to be neces- in this neighbourhood. Vol. I. p. 471. 





that Caletra stood somewhere in this district, for Saturnia 
was in its territory. 6 The Fiora has here the same charac- 
ter as at Vulci — a rapid stream overhung by lofty cliffs, 
half draped with wood. The rocks are of the same forma- 
tion — dark red or brown tufo, overlaid with a stratum of 
white travertine, like a wedding cake with its top-crust of 
sugar ; but as the plums are not visible till the cake has 
been cut, so you can only see the soft volcanic rock, where 
the hard aqueous deposit which covers it has been broken 

■ Liv. XXXIX. 55. It will be ob- 
served that Livy "does not speak of 'a 
town of this name, merely of an a/jer — 
" Saturnia colouia civium Romanorum 
in agrum Caletrannm est deducta ;" 
and from this, and more clearly from 
Pliny's notice (III. 8) — " oppidorum 
veterum nomina retinent agri Crustu- 
minus, Caletranus " — it appears that 
the Etruscan town had ceased to exist 
before Imperial times — a fact which 
may assist researches for its site. It 

has been already observed (ut supra, 
p. 2.97), that Repetti suggests for 
Caletra a site in the neighbourhood of 
Magliano, and some would identify it 
with the newly found city between that 
village and the sea ; but there is no 
reason to suppose from the only two 
notices we have of Caletra, that it was 
ever of such importance as tliat site 
would indicate, which corresponds witli 
far more probability to the ancient 




The City. 

] pray you let us satisfy our eyes 

With the memorials and the things of fame, 

That do renown this city. 


Musseum ante omnw. 


I must transport my reader from the banks of the 
Fiora, where I left him at the close of the last Chapter, 
to the door of the Convent of S. Antonio in the little town 
of Citta della Pieve, some forty miles to the north-east, 
and within the Roman frontier. He will have no reason 
to regret the change of scene. He will find himself on a 
lofty height, commanding a wide, deep valley, with many 
a slope and undulation, among which 

" sweet Clanis wanders 
Through com, and vines, and flowers." 

:3:2G CHIUSI.— The City. [chap. l. 

Chiusi, once the proud capital of Porsena, crests an olive- 
clad eminence on the right ; and on the other hand is a 
lono- range of wooded heights studded with towns — 
Cetona, with its impending* castle nearest the eye ; Sar- 
teano, on the hill-brow beyond ; still farther, Chianciano 
and Montepulciano, apparently blended into one — all re- 
presentatives of Etruscan towns, and all nestling beneath 
the majestic Alpine mass of Monte Cetona. 1 

Citta la Pieve retains no traces of remote antiquity, 
though Etruscan urns have been found in its neighbour- 
hood. 2 But as it contains numerous works of Pietro 
Perugino, who was born here, to say nothing of his genuine 
letters and paint-pots, the traveller from Orvieto to Chiusi 
will probably be induced to halt for the night. Let him 
eschew the inn called La Luna, which is a mere bettola, 
and knock at an opposite house with the name of " Valen- 
tini " over the door, where he will find bed and board, 
average comfort, and abundant attention. 

It is but six miles from La Pieve to Chiusi, and the road 
is delightful, through woods of brave old oaks, baring their 
lichen-clad boughs to the bright winter sky ; the luxuriant 
vale of Chiana, and the broad Thrasymene with its 
islands, in the distance ; and the Apennines stretching 
their snow half across the horizon. The frontier is crossed 
in the valley below Chiusi. 3 

1 The road from Pitigliano to Chiusi houses. The entire distance may be 

is hardly carriageable throughout. It done in one day, by starting early. The 

runs through Sorano, crosses the high- Baths of San Casciano are proved by 

road to Florence near the Ponte Centino, numerous remains to be of ancient date. 

skirts the base of the wild mountain of Repetti (I. p. 22.5 ; V. p. 25) takes them 

Radicofani, through San Casciano de' for the Fontes Clusini mentioned by 

Bagni and Cetona, to Chiusi. Another Horace (Epist. I. 15, i)). 

track runs through Acquapendente, but - Lanzi, Sagg. II. p. 53. Its name, 

is to be avoided because it enters the derived from Civitas Plebis, seems also 

Roman territory, and exposes the tra- to indicate a classical origin. 

veller to the annoyance of two custom- * Chiusi is 10 miles from Arezzo, 

CHAP. L.] 



Chiusi is the representative of Clusium, the city of the 
magnanimous Porsena, one of the most ancient in Italy, 
among the Twelve of the Etruscan Confederation ; 4 indeed 
it would appear that for a time 

" The banner of proud Clusium 
Was highest of them all." 

Its original name was Camars, 5 whence it has been 

22 from Cortona, about 35 from Orvieto, 
5 from Cetona, as many from Sarteano, 
8 from Chianciano, 12 from Montepul- 
ciano, 20 from Radicofani, 23 from 
Acquapendente, 20 from Pienza, 48 
from Siena, and 88 from Florence. 

Polybius (II. 25) says Clusium was 
three days journey from Rome ; Strabo 
(V. p. 226) calls it 800 stadia, or 100 
miles, which is less than the distance by 
the modern road, and than by the 
ancient Via Cassia, according to 
Antonine Itinerary. 







Foruni Cassii 






The Peutingerian Table, in the part of 
this road after Sutrium, is defective and 
very incorrect. 


Ad Sextum 








Vico Matrini 


Foro Cassii 


Aquas Passaris 




Pallio fl. 




4 That Clusium was one of the Twelve 
is manifest from the prominent part sin- 

took in the war which Etruria, under 
her chieftain Porsena, waged against 
Rome. The very name of Clusium 
struck terror into the Senate — " non 
unquam alias ante tantus terror sena- 
tum invasit, adeo valida res turn Clusina 
erat, magnumque Porsense nomen." 
Liv. II. 9. A city, whose ruler headed 
the forces of the whole Etruscan State, 
cannot have been of second-rate im- 
portance. See Florus, I. 10. Dion. 
Hal. V. pp. 303, 304. Plutarch (Pub- 
licola) also says Lars Porsena had the 
greatest power among the princes of 
Italy. There is no reason however to 
believe, that though Clusium on this 
occasion took a prominent part among 
the cities of the Confederation, she 
was, as Dempster (II. p. 71) infers, 
the metropolis of Etruria. This city 
has further claims to rank among the 
Twelve, as being one of the five which 
assisted the Latins against the first 
Tarquiu. Dion. Hal. III. p. 189. 

3 Liv. X. 25 ; cf. Polyb. II. 19, 5. 
Niebuhr (III. p. 377), however, thinks 
that Polybius here refers to Camerinum 
in Umbria, and says Livy remembers 
at an improper time that Clusium was 
called Camars in Etruscan. 

There arc certain coins with the 
type of a wild boar, on both sides, and 
the legend ka or kam, which are 
ascribed to Camars, or Clusium. Yet 
the legend is peculiar in running from 
left to right, and if the letters arc 


CHIUSI.— The City 

| I'll AT. 

inferred that it was founded by the Umbri, the earliest 
inhabitants of Etruria. 6 Whatever its origin, it is certain 
that from a very remote age it was a city of great 
might and importance, and that it maintained this condi- 
tion throughout the period of Etruscan independence. 
Though Virgil represents it as assisting iEneas against 
Turnus, 7 the earliest notice of it that can be regarded as 

Etruscan, the word would be kas. One 
of those illustrated by Lanzi, to the 
legend ka on one side, adds that of 
raet, in Etruscan letters, on the other. 
Midler (Etrusk. I. p. 332) hints that 
the kas may possibly have reference to 
Cisra, the native name of Caere (nt 
ynpra, p. 22) — which city, as he re- 
marks, had certainly as much necessity 
for coins as Clusium — and that " Ka- 
raet " may find its equivalent in Ccerete. 
Certain coins, however, with this type 
have the legend kaji in Etruscan cha- 
racters, and running from right to left. 
Lanzi thinks the wild boar was an 
appropriate type for Clusium, charac- 
teristic of the country. See Lanzi, Saggio, 

II. pp. 24, 56 ; tav. I. 1, 2 ; Guarnacei, 
Orig. Ital. II. p. 206. tav. VIII. ; 
Mionnet, Med. Ant. p. .07 ; Suppl. I. 
p. 1 96. Yet Millingen has pronounced, 
on what authority does not appear, that 
these coins are all counterfeits. Numis. 
Anc. Italie, p. 170. There are two 
other series of coins which have been 
assigned respectively to Clusium Vetus 
and Clusium Novum. On the obverse 
is a wheel, on the reverse an anchor, 
with the mark of value and the legend 
CH or cha in Etruscan characters. 
Marchi and Tessieri, yEs Grave, cl. 

III. tav. VII— IX. ; cf. Bull. Inst. 
1839, p. 124. But Lepsius thinks the 
attribution of these coins to Camars 
cannot be justified on any ground. 
Verbreitung des Italischen Munzsys- 
tems, p. 6!? ; Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 108. 

6 Cluver. II. p. 567 ; Cramer, I. p. 
219. Midler (Etrusk. einl. 2, 12) con- 
siders the ancient name of the city, 
Camars, to be a proof that the Camertes 
of Umbria had once occupied it. Cluver 
thinks that these Camertes, the original 
inhabitants of Camars, were driven 
across the Tiber by the Tyrrhene- 
Pelasgi, and retained their ancient 
name in their new settlement ; and that 
the Pelasgi gave the city the name of 
Clusium, from Clusius, son of Tyrrhenus 
the Lydian, as Servius states (ad Mn. 
X. 167), who however leaves its origin 
doubtful between Clusius and Telema- 
chus. That Camars or Gamers was an 
Umbrian rather than a Pelasgic name 
is the more probable, as Lepsius assures 
us it is not derived from the Greek. 
Ann. Inst. 1836, p. 201. Mention is 
made of these Camertes of Umbria by 
Livy, IX. 36 ; Pliny, TIL 1 9 ; Cicero, 
pro Balbo, 20 ; Strabo, V. p. 227 ; 
Sil. Italic. VIII. 463 ; Frontin. Strat. 
I. 2, 2. riiny (loc. cit.) also men- 
tions a Clusiolum above Intcranma in 
Umbria. The Camers of Umbria is 
supposed by Cramer (I. pp. 262, 274) 
to have occupied the site of Camerata, 
a town between Todi and Amelia, but 
Cluver (II. p. 613) thinks it identical 
with Camerinum, now Camerino, on the 
borders of Picenum. 

' Virg. yEn. X. 167. Virgil else- 
where (X. 655) says Clusium had a 
king Osinius. 

chap, l.] HISTORY OF GLUSIUM. 329 

historic is that with Arretium, Volaterra?, Rusellae, and 
Vetulonia, it sent aid to the Latins against Tarquinius 
Priscus. 8 We hear no more of it till the Tarqnins, on 
their expulsion from Rome, induced Porsena, its king or 
chief Lucumo, to espouse their cause. That war, its 
stirring events, its deeds of heroism, are among the 
cherished memories of our boyhood, and need no record 
here. Yet modern criticism snatches from us 

" Those old credulities to nature dear," 

and teaches us to regard the deeds of Horatius, Scawola, 
Cloelia, Publicola, as mere fictions of the old Roman min- 
strels, sung in the heroic " Lay of the Tarquins." 9 

When Clusium next appears in history it is as the occa- 
sion of the destruction of Rome by the Gauls. It was in 
the year 363 (b.c. 391), just after the capture of Veii, that 
one Aruns, a native of Clusium, having been dishonoured 
by a youthful Lucumo, his pupil, who had debauched his 
wife, and not being able to obtain justice from the law, 
owing to the young noble's rank and influence in the state, 
determined to have his revenge, even at the sacrifice of 
his country. The prototype of Count Julian, who for 
vengeance sold Spain to the Moslem, he induced the 
Senonian Gauls to take up his cause, tempting them by 
the figs, the oil, and above all the rich wine of Tuscany — 
the royal Montepulciano, it may have been — to marcli 
against Clusium. The citizens, terrified at the strange and 
ferocious aspect, and the vast hosts of these unlooked-for 

s Dion. Hal. III. p. 189. digies and miracles, which were they 
9 Niebuhr (I. p. 551) maintains that not in our annals would now-a-days be 
of this war, from beginning to end, not accounted fables" — Tunc ilia Romana 
a single incident can pass for historical. prodigia atque miracula, Horatius, Mu- 
lt is evident that the ancients had some cius, Cluclia ; quae nisi in annalibus 
such suspicions themselves, for Florus forent, hodie fabulce videreiitur. 
(I. 10) speaks of the heroes, as "pro- 

330 CH1USI.— The City. [chap, l. 

foes, sent to beg succour of Rome, though bound to her by 
no tie of friendship or alliance. Flattered by this compli- 
ment to their power and martial spirit, the Romans in an 
evil hour interfered, and diverting the fury of the Gaulish 
hordes from Clusium to themselves, opened the way for 
the capture and destruction of the Seven-hilled City. 10 

In what year Clusium fell under the Roman yoke is not 
recorded ; not, however, immediately after the fatal rout 
of the Etruscans in the year 445 (b.c. 309) at the Vadi- 
monian Lake, though Perusia was in consequence com- 
pelled to surrender ; x for in the year 459 (b.c. 295) a 
Roman legion was left before Clusium, during the war 
with the Etruscans, and was there cut to pieces by the 
Senonian Gauls, their allies. 2 In the same year also, after 
the great rout of the Gauls and Samnites in the territory 
of Sentinum, the Clusini, in conjunction with the Perusini, 
sustained a defeat from Cn. Fulvius the Roman propraetor. 3 
We hear no more of Clusium in the time of Etruscan in- 
dependence ; for the next notice of it is that the Gauls 
marched a third time to this city, just before their defeat 
near Telamon in 529. 4 Clusium, with the other cities of 
Etruria, assisted Rome in the Second Punic War, supplying 
the fleet of Scipio with corn, and fir for ship-building. 5 
More than a century later Sylla defeated an army of his 
foes near Clusium, which, it is probable, had joined others 
of the Etruscan cities in espousing the cause of Marius. 6 

1,1 Liv. V. 33, 35 ; Dion. Hal. Excerp. a Liv. XXVIII. 45 ; cf. SI Ital. 

Mai. XII. 24, 25 ; Flor. L 13 j Plut. VIII. 479. The grain, indeed, of Clu- 

Camillus ; Diod. Sic. XIV. p. 321, ed. sium was celebrated for its whiteness. 

Rhod. Dionysius' version of the story Columella, de Re Rustics, II. 6. Mar- 

of Aruns differs somewhat from that of tial (XIII. 8) also recommends the meal 

Livy. of Clusium. 

1 Liv. IX. 39, 40. 6 Vel. Paterc. II. 28. Appian. Bell. 

2 Liv. X. 25, 26. Civ. I. 89. An inscription has been 

3 Li v _ x. 30. found which shows that the Clusini 

4 Polyb. II. 25. raised a statue to Sylla, two years 

chaf. l.] DECAY OF CLUSIUM. 331 

Inscriptions prove Clusium to have continued in existence 
under the Empire, nor does she seem, like too many of her 
fellows, ever to have been utterly desolated or deserted, 
but has preserved her name and site from the remotest 
antiquity to the present day. 7 Yet so fallen and reduced 
was this illustrious city in the middle ages, principally 
through the pestilent vapours of the neighbouring lakes 
and marshes, that for eight centuries and more, says 
Repetti, she might be called "a city of sepulchres." 
Chiusi is even cited by Dante, as an instance of the 
melancholy decay of cities — 

Se tu riguardi Luni ed Urbisaglia 

Come son ite, e come se ne vanno 
Diretro ad esse Chiusi e Sinigaglia, 

Udir come le schiatte si disfanno, 
Non ti parra nuova cosa ne forte, 

Poscia che le cittadi termine hanno. 

Since the draining of the Val di Chiana, she has risen 
from her low estate, and though she no longer holds her 
head proudly among the cities of Italy, she has an air of 
snugness and respectability, with two or three thousand 
inhabitants, and an inn, the Leon d'Oro, of more than 
ordinary bye-road comfort. 

In his excursions to the numerous and widely scattered 
points of Etruscan interest, the visitor cannot do better 

after this battle, or 80 b.c. Repetti, I. which is continued by the Church of 

p 714 S. Mustiola, built in the year 765. It 

7 Repetti, loc. cit. This writer thinks has been supposed that the site of the 

the colony of Clusium Novum spoken original Camars, was not at Chiusi, but 

of by Pliny (III. 8) was established by at Sarteano (Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 4) ; 

Sylla. Clusium is mentioned also by but I see uo valid ground for this 

Ptolemy (p. 72, ed. Bert.), and by the opinion, which is founded on the disco- 

Antonine and Theodosian Itineraries. very at the latter place of a number of 

The catacombs in the neighbourhood of Etruscan urns of the family, " Cumere" 

Chiusi, moreover, prove its existence in See Chapter LIU. p. 40(i. 
the early ages of the Christian era ; 

332 CHIUST.— The City. [chap. l. 

than have at his elbow Giambattista Zeppoloni, the 
" souter Johnny" of Chiusi, who claims to be at once 
" shoemaker, saddler, cicerone and landed proprietor." 

Chiusi retains few traces of Etruscan times on her site, 
beyond the contents of her museums, drawn from the 
sepulchres around. Of her ancient fortifications some frag- 
ments are extant, but these are not sufficiently abundant 
or continuous to determine the precise extent or limits of 
the city. Where still standing, they form the foundations 
of the mediaeval walls. The fragment of most easy access 
is beneath the Duomo, near the Porta delle Torri, or 
di Pacciano. It is composed of rectangular blocks of 
travertine, a few of large size, but generally small and 
shallow — all without cement. 8 Another portion of the 
ancient walls is to be seen beneath the Prato, or public 
promenade. This is also of travertine, of similar and 
rather more regular masonry ; but still of small blocks, 
rarely exceeding three feet in length, and never so much 
as two in height. 9 It can be seen from the Giardino 
Paolozzi, adjoining the Prato. Beneath this garden, which 
seems the site of the ancient Acropolis, and is still called 
La Fortezza, are some buttresses of Roman work, under 
which are also a few courses of the earlier, or Etruscan 

The style of all these fragments is very similar to that 
of Perugia and Todi, and very unlike that of the more 

8 I am surprised to find Repetti (I. p. taming marine deposits, which prevails 

720) describing this masonry as " of in this district of Italy, 
large polygons ; " when it is as hori- 9 Though of opus quadratum, it is not 

zontal as that of Perugia or Todi, isodomon, and the blocks are arranged 

though not so regular. He also errs without any symmetrical relation to 

in calling it the only fragment of the those above or beneath them. The finest 

Etruscan walls. The travertine must portion is below a brick arch, at the 

have been brought from a distance, further end of the Prato. The courses 

probably from Sarteano, for the hill of vary from 15 to 21 inches in height. 
Chiusi is of that friable sandstone con- 


northern cities — Fiesole, Vol terra, or Cortona; the blocks 
being much smaller, the courses more uniform, and the 
sharpness of the edges, preserved by the hardness of 
the travertine, giving the whole a much more modern 

In the Piazza del Duomo are more traces of this ancient 
masonry, and in many of the buildings of the city, as well 
as in the fences without the walls, are large blocks of 
travertine, probably from the ancient fortifications, as this 
is not a local stone. 

There are many relics of early days, scattered through 
Chiusi. Fragments of architectural decorations built into 
the houses. Over a well in the main street is a sphere of 
stone resting on a cube, with a sphinx, in a quaint style, 
carved on each side. On Signor Paolozzi's gate are two 
similar monuments, with lions instead of sphinxes. 1 But 
on the Prato hard by, are numerous sarcophagi and urns, 
and a menagerie of wild beasts, more like those with 
which "the learned stock the constellations" than anything 
that ever trod terrestrial desert — the most uncouth savage- 
ness ever beheld or conceived, grotesque caricatures of 
ferocity — the majesty of the king of beasts relaxed to 
a ridiculous grin — buffos of the leo species. 

In the Paolozzi garden is a so-called " Labyrinth." 
The mere word brought to mind the celebrated Tomb of 
Porsena, described by Varro as existing at Clusium, and 
I eagerly rushed into the cavern. To my disappointment 
it was merely a natural hollow in the rock, of some extent. 

1 Inghirami (Mon. Etrus. VI. tav. can cippi, or tomb-stones. They rc- 

P 5) gives a plate of a similar monu- mind us of the sphere and cylinder on 

ment, with a sphinx, a lion, a griffon, and the tomb of Archimedes, at Syracuse — 

an augur with his litit/us, on each side i. e. on the real sepulchre discovered by 

respectively. The style of art is very Cicero (Tusc. Qurest. V. 23), not that 

archaic. These were probably Etrus- shown now-a-days under the name. 


CHIUS1.— The City. 

[chap. r.. 

hut without a sign of labyrinthine passages. 2 But in the 
cliffs of this verv height, immediately beneath the Palazzo 
Paolozzi, are some singular subterranean passages, running 
far into the heart of the rock, yet being half filled with 
water they have never been penetrated. It is asserted, 
however, that there are seven of these strade, but whether 
running parallel like the Sette Sale at Rome, or radiating 
from one point like the Seven Dials of the Great Metropolis, 
I could not ascertain. The only passage I saw was hollowed 
in the sandy rock, and rudely shaped into a vault ; the 
marks of the chisel being very distinct. Rumour says 
there are many other such passages ; the whole city, 
indeed, is supposed to be undermined by them, and by 
subterranean chambers, though what purpose they may 
have served is a mystery no one can fathom. 3 

2 On complaining of tliis I was told 
that a passage had been discovered 
here, a few years since, but it was not 
penetrated, being full of water ; I could 
perceive no traces of it. In this gar- 
den are remains of Roman baths. 

3 One entrance to these underground 
" streets " is near the church of San 
Francesco. Another is on the Piazza 
del Duomo. In 1830, in lowering this 
Piazza, four round holes, 2 feet in 
diameter, were discovered, and they 
were found to be for lighting a square 
chamber, vaulted over with great blocks 
of travertine, and divided by an arch. 
It was nearly full of earth, but in it 
were found a large flask of glass, frag- 
ments of swords, pieces of marble, 
broken columns. About 100 feet dis- 
tant was another light-hole, giving ad- 
mission to a second vault, about 27 feet 
deep, but so large that its extent could 
not be ascertained. In the Bishop's 
garden, close to the Piazza, another 
subterranean chamber, very profound 

and spacious, was opened, and on one side 
of it was a small well. Signor Flavio 
Paolozzi has also discovered two under- 
ground streets, about 3 feet wide and 
10 high, partly built up with large 
squared blocks of travertine. Capitano 
Sozzi takes them to be conduits, because 
many pipes of lead and terra cotta were 
found in them, and because water still 
chokes them. Bull. Inst. 1831, pp. 99 
— 102. Perhaps it is these two which 
rumour has multiplied into seven. Un- 
der the house of the Nardi Dei is 
also known to be a passage, opened 
forty or fifty years since ; and it is 
said that a reverend prelate ventured 
to penetrate it, but found it so laby- 
rinthine, that had he not provided him- 
self with a clue, he would never have 
seen again the light of day. It is by 
some pretended that these subterranean 
passages form part of the Labyrinth 
of Porsena, but that this opinion is 
unfounded will be shown in a subse- 
quent Chapter. They are much more 

chap, i..] MUSEO CASUCCINI. 335 

Chiusi, unluckily for the sight-seer, has not, like Vol terra, 
its Etruscan relics gathered into one public Museum, but 
scattered in numerous private collections. By far the 
largest and most important is the property of Signor 
Ottavio Casuccini. Next to his ranks that of Signor 
Paolozzi ; and these two alone have a permanent character, 
the others varying from year to year, increased by fresh 
discoveries, or diminished by sales. The collections of 
miscellaneous character are those of the Conte Ottieri, 
Don Luigi Dei, the Signori Luccioli and Ciofi. Those 
of Capitano Sozzi and Signor Galanti are now in the 
" Gabinetto," in the high street. The bishop has a 
number of choice vases, and the canons Pasquini and 
Mazzetti, and the arch-priest Carducci, besides the ordinary 
articles, are rich in scarabcei.* None of these collections 
are difficult of access. A request from a stranger will 
meet with prompt attention, and he will be received with 
all that courtesy and urbanity which distinguish the Tuscan 

Museo Casuccini. 

This, the largest private collection of Etruscan antiqui- 
ties in Italy, second in the number and interest of its 
urns only to the Museum of Volterra, is the produce 
of many a season's excavation, by Signor Pietro Bonci 
Casuccini, the grandfather of the present proprietor. To 
visit it should be the first object of every traveller who 
would gain an acquaintance with the peculiarities of the 

probably connected with the system of they seem to bear a close analogy to 

sewerage ; and the subterranean cham- the Buche de' Saracini which are hol- 

bers may have been either cellars to lowed in the base of the hill on which 

houses or favissce to temples. However, Volterra stands. Ut supra, pp. 165, 

the idea of a labyrinth has been con- 166. 

nected with such passages, for more than 4 Captain Cecehini has now disposed 

a century past. See Maffei, Osserv. of his collection. 
Letter. V. p. 314. From the description, 

386 CHIUSI.— The City. [chap. l. 

Etruscan relics of Cliiusi. On entering, he is instructed 
" how to observe" by this notice — 

voi che qua niovete il passo amico 

1 pregi ad ammirare del bello antico, 

Qui posate ogn' impaccio, e sia per gli occhi 
Libero il giro, ma la man non tocchi. 

This collection is crammed into three chambers. The 
object that first arrests the eye, is the figure of a female, 
almost as large as life, seated in the midst of the room, 
holding out a pomegranate, as if to present it to whoever 
approached her. The first feeling excited is one of 
astonishment at its singularity ; the next, of amusement 
at its droll quaintness — its more than Egyptian rigidity 
— its utter want of anatomical expression. It looks like a 
stone effigy, not of that form which tempted angels to sin, 
but of a jointed doll, or an artist's lay-figure. 5 Further 
examination proves this stiffness to arise from the arms, 
feet, head, and even the crown, being in separate pieces, 
removable at pleasure, fixed in their places by metal pins. 
This figure is at once the effigy of the deceased, and the 
urn to contain her ashes, which were found within it ; in 
truth, it is but a variety of the Etruscan practice of repre- 
senting the dead reclining upon their own coffins. The 
limbs were jointed, probably from the inability of the 
artist to carve them from the same block, or from the 
brittlcness of the material, which would not allow of it. 

5 This figure has been styled by Mrs. beauty which almost melted Mrs. Gray 
Hamilton Gray (Sepulchres of Etruria, to tears. Instead of regarding it as 
p. 475), " the gem of Chiusi," and said " the most beautiful and solemn man- 
to be " in a beautiful style of art." It ner of embellishing death, that ever 
were paying that lady a poor compli- entered a mortal's head," I could see 
ment to believe she took a note to that in it only a caricature of humanity- 
effect. Her lively imagination, in after a woman made her own coffin — in- 
••ontemplation of the figure, invested it teresting only for its singularity, its 
with a halo it docs not possess. Nor undoubted antiquity, and archaic style 
could I perceive any of that moral of art. 

CHAP. L.] 



The pedestal of the chair on which the figure sits is 
decorated with bas-reliefs — chariot and foot-races — of 
corresponding archaic character. Red paint is to be 
traced on the drapery, sandals, and seat ; and the whole 
monument was probably originally coloured. It is of cispo, 
or fetid limestone, a yellowish brittle material, much used 
in the most ancient monuments of this district. 6 Upright 
Etruscan statues in stone, be it observed, are extremely 
rare ; most of those extant being of bronze or terra-cotta. 
From this Museum the traveller will learn that the 

6 For a plate of this monument see 
Micali, Mon. Ined. tav. XXVI. The 
height of the figure is about four feet. 
Bull. Inst. 1838, p. 73. Micali (p. 152) 
regards its position in the chair as 
indicative of the supreme beatitude of 
the soul. Inghirami gives illustrations 
of a very similar statue found near Chiusi 
(Museo Chiusino, tav. XVII. XVIII) ; 
which he takes to represent Proserpine, 
and thinks the ashes of the deceased 
were deposited in the effigy of the 
Queen of Hades, because the soul was 
supposed to be committed to her keep- 
ing. Bull. Instit. 1831, p. 5.5. Micali 
(op. cit. tav. XXVI. 2) also represents 
a similar figure of a man, found in a 
tomb at Chiusi ; the face a portrait, 
and the body being hollow. A colossal 
statue of a male, with jointed arms and 
in sitting position, was discovered in 
1839. One of this description, of most 
archaic style, the bust of which is the 
lid, and the lower half of the body, the 
urn, has recently been placed in the 
British Museum. Another of these statue- 
urns has been found of alabaster, yet of 
a very curious and Egyptian-like style. 
Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 150. Similar figures 
have also been found at Chiusi, of much 
inferior size, — one a female, with a pome- 
granatein her hand, very like this in the 

Museo Casuccini, but only 20 inches 
high. Bull. Inst. 1836, p. 29; 1837, p. 21. 
There is a close affinity between these 
early works of the Etruscan chisel, and 
those of a corresponding period in 
Hellenic art. Let any one compare 
with these the terra-cotta figures of 
Minerva and another female found at 
Athens, and illustrated by Stackelberg 
in his Graeber der Hellenen, taf. LVII. 
LVIII. They are only 5 or 6 inches 
high, but are in similar attitudes, and 
of a very analogous style of art ; but 
are painted red, white, blue, and green, 
and the ornaments are gilt. Sir C Fel- 
lows gives a cut of a similar figure in 
terra cotta, found in a tomb near Aby- 
dos. Asia Minor, p. 81. 

The most remarkable monument of 
this description from the tombs of 
Chiusi, was a group, the size of life, 
representing a man on a couch, em- 
bracing a winged genius who was sitting 
on his hip. A boy and dog stood at 
their feet. Even this was a cinerary 
urn, for in the drapery of the couch, 
where it was folded on the man's thigh, 
was a hole with a stopper, which gave 
access to the ashes. Bull. Inst. 1837, 
p. 21. What has become of this singular 
coffin, I cannot learn. 

338 CHIUSL— Thr City. [chap. l. 

tombs of Chiusi and its neighbourhood yield articles more 
singular, quaint, and archaic in character, than those of 
any other part of Etruria, with the exception of Veii and 

The most remarkable of these early monuments are the 
square or round pedestals of cippi, sometimes supposed to 
be altars. They are almost invariably of the fetid lime- 
stone, peculiar to this district. Their interest lies in being, 
next to the bronzes, the earliest and most genuinely 
national works of the Etruscan chisel. Though possibly 
of different epochs, a characteristic archaicism is always 
preserved : the figures are in very low, almost flat relief, 
and with a strong Egyptian rigidity and severity. The 
style, in fact, may be said to be peculiar to these monu- 
ments, and in some measure may be owing to the material, 
which would not admit of the finish and delicacy of the 
high reliefs in alabaster and travertine. 7 The subjects are 
also purely national — religious or funeral rites and cere- 
monies — scenes of civil or domestic life — figures in proces- 
sion, marching to the sound of the double-pipes, or dancing 
with Bacchanalian furor to the same instrument and the 
tyre. 8 There is no introduction of Greek myths, so fre- 
quently represented on the sepulchral urns. 

7 So brittle is this stone that it is pedestal, and must have been a cippus. 
rare to find a monument formed of it Inghirami gives a plate of a very 
in a perfect state. Whence it has singular monument of this description 
been unnecessarily imagined that these — a square cippus, with a female figure 
pedestals were purposely broken before sitting on the top, holding a chaplet. In 
being placed in the tomb. Such monu- the relief below, are two females sitting 
inents are found throughout the Val di opposite, and holding a chaplet between 
Chiana, and some even at Perugia. them. Inghirami thinks these two are 

8 One of this subject is given by in Tartarus, and the upper one in 
Micali, Ant. Pop.Ital. tav. LIV. LV; and Elysium. Against the sides of the mo- 
in the Museo Chiusino, tav. II. — V. On nument stand two large figures, as if 
the top of the monument are traces of supporters to the female on the top. 
animals, probably lions, couchant. In Mus. Chins, p. 185, tav. CXCI. I do not 
this case it can hardly have served as a remember to have seen this curious relic. 

chap, i,.] ARCHAIC CIPPI. 339 

One of these square monuments has, on each of its sides, 
a couple of warriors on horseback, turning from each 
other. They retain traces of red colour, and are in a 
better style than usual. 9 

Another pedestal displays a judicial scene — two judges, 
with wands of office, sitting on a platform, with their 
secretary, who has stylus and tablets to take notes of the 
proceedings ; a lictor or attendant stands by with a rod 
in each hand. Before the bench a warrior fully armed — 
helm, spear, shield, and greaves — appears to be awaiting 
judgment. A woman behind him, dancing with castanets 
to the music of a subulo, seems to mark him as some hero 
or victor in the public games. The judges are consulting 
as to his merits ; and their decree seems to be favourable, 
for the officer of the court is pointing to half a dozen skins 
or leathern-bottles, beneath the platform, which, full of 
oil, probably constitute his reward. 1 

A bas-relief, not forming part of one of these monu- 
ments, but similar in style, represents several figures at a 
banquet, with hands and paterce raised in that peculiar 
manner characteristic of early Etruscan art. 2 Another 
fragment represents a youth, with veiled head, falling to 
the ground. 3 On a third relief, in this archaic style, is a 
race of trigce, or three-horse chariots — a very rare subject. 
The resemblance of the details to those of similar scenes in 
the painted tombs of Chiusi, is remarkable ; though the 

9 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. LII. 1. he connects the scene unnecessarily with 

Inghirami (Mus. Chius. tav. I.) takes the mythology of Egypt. See Braun's 

them for Castor and Pollux ; but need- strictures on him. Ann. Inst. 1843, 

lessly, thinks Gerhard. Bull Inst. 1831, p. 359. 

p. 54. 2 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. LVIII. 1 ; 

1 Micali, Mon. Ined. tav. XXIV. 1. Mus. Chius. tav. XXXVIII. 

This writer considers this relief to hint 3 Micali, op. cit. tav. LII. 4 ; Mus. 

either at some honourable deed in the Chius. tav. XXX. Beneath him is an 

life of the deceased, or to represent Etruscan inscription, 
his judgment in Tartai'us, in which case 

Z 2 


CHIUSI.— The City. 

[chap, l, 

latter arc by no means in so early a style of art. 4 Akin 
to this is a relief with a contest of wrestlers. 

But the most common subject represented on these 
monuments is the death-bed. The corpse is stretched on 
its couch, the helmet and greaves lie neglected beneath it, 
the relatives stand mourning around, and the prceficcE, or 
wailing- women, are tearing their hair. In another similar 
scene, a child is closing the eyes of its parent, while the 
figures around are tearing their hair and beating their 
breasts. 5 

On a round cippus are fragments of three warriors, 
marching to the 
sound of the double- 
pipes; probably part 
of a funeral pro- 
cession. It is in a 
very rigid style of 
art. 6 One of the 
figures is shown in 
the annexed wood- 

A glance round 
this Museum will 
show that the Etrus- 
cans of Chiusi, as of 
Vol terra, were wont 
to burn rather than 


4 Micali, Mon. Ined. tav. XXIV. 2. 
The aurigce have the reins round their 
bodies ; the horses' tails are knotted ; 
and the trees which are introduced are 
as much like paddles as those in the 
painted tombs. 

5 On this monument one of the 
figures is represented with a full face, 
though the style of art is so very 

archaic. I recollect no other instance of 
this in early Etruscan paintings or reliefs, 
except in the cases of Gorgons, whose 
faces are always represented in full. 

6 Micali (Mon. Ined. tav. XXV. 1.) 
pronounces this to be in the best archaic 
style. In the same plate Micali gives 
an illustration of another of these 
monuments, with warriors on foot and 


bury their dead. The cinerary urns are most numerous, 
piled up from floor to ceiling, but of sarcophagi there 
are but two or three examples. The most remarkable of 
these bears on its lid the headless figure of a female, richly 
draped and ornamented, and in too good a style to be of 
early date. The jewellery carved about her neck is very 
curious, and its counterpart in gold has been found in the 
tombs of Chiusi. The relief on the body of the monument 
represents the farewell embrace of a married pair. He is 
designated " Larth Aphuna ;" in Etruscan characters ; she 
has the feminine inflexion, " Aphunei ;" and it is probable, 
as there is not the usual inscription to set forth the name 
and family of the deceased, that this figure represents the 
lady who reclines in effigy above. She is gently drawn 
from her husband's arms by a female winged demon, the 
messenger of Death, whose name is almost obliterated. 7 
Another woman, named "Thanuh" 8 — a contraction of 
Thanchvil, or Tanaquil — probably their daughter, lays her 
hand on the old man's shoulder, as if to rouse him from 
his sorrow, and remind him of the ties which yet bind him 
to life. Four others of his family stand by, three of them 
males, each with a scroll in his hand. One of these, called 
" Larce Aphuna," is evidently the son of the severed 
couple. 9 Next to this group stands a female demon, 

horseback, some armed with swords prainomcn of the dying wife, 
and Argolic shields, like that in the 8 Part of her name is obliterated, but 
above wood-cut, but others with a battle- the feminine termination . . ei, pro- 
axe in one hand and a bow in the other. bably of Aphunei, is remaining. She 
This monument was, and may be still, has been taken for the sister, and the 
in the possession of Dr. Emil Braun, of men for the brothers of the husbaud. 
Rome, who pronounces it to be of " the Mus. Chius. loc. cit. " Aphuna " seems 
most magnificent style of which the equivalent to the Latin, Aponius, or 
Etruscans were ever capable." Ann. Apponius. 
Inst. 1843, p. 359. ,J The other males are called « Vel. 

7 Migliarini and Valeriani (Museo Arntni," and " Larsa " The 

Chiusino, II. p. 213) give this name as female is designated " Lartiii Purnei." 

Fasti (Fausta), and regard it as the But if, as I read it, it be " Pursnei," 

3-42 CHIUSI.— Thb Crnr. [chap. l. 

looking on, with some nondescript instrument under her 
arm. 1 She is named " Vaxth." In the corner of the scene 
a Fury or Fate, called " CtTLMU," with naming torch on her 
shoulder, and large shears in her hand, is issuing from a 
gateway, the portal of Death.' 2 

On another sarcophagus is a male recumbent figure, 
larger than life, with remarkably fine head and features. 
Like the former, it must be of the times of Roman domina- 
tion, though with an Etruscan inscription attached. 

The sepulchral urns of Chiusi are usually of travertine, 
or sandstone, rarely of alabaster ; yet are much like those 
ofVolterra in size and character, and differ chiefly in being 
generally of an earlier style of art. They more frequently 
retain traces of colour, both on the recumbent figures, 
which were painted red, and on the reliefs below. The 
subjects of these reliefs are very similar, often identical ; 
and were I to give a detailed account of the " ash-chests " 
of this Museum, it would be little more than a repetition 
of what has been said of those of Volterra. I shall there- 
fore have some regard for my reader's patience, and con- 
fine my descriptions to a few of the most remarkable 

her name will be equivalent to Lartia The shears seem also an adoption 

Porsena, the feminine of the celebrated from Greek fable, whether alluding to 

chieftain of Chiusi, Lars Porsena. Atropos, who cuts the thread of life 

1 It bears some resembance to the in- spun out by her sister Clotho, or to 

struments of torture used by the demons Proserpine, who severs the hair from 

in the Grotta Tartaglia of Tarquinii. the head of the doomed. Virg. j£n. 

Vol. I. p. 348. IV. 698 ; Stat. Sylv. II. 1, 147. The 

- Migliarmi and Valeriani think the late date of this monument is also 

name of Culmu belongs not to the shown by the material — marble, which 

Fury, but to the gateway. Mus. Chins. is found in very few works of the 

II. p. 213. For illustrations see that Etruscan chisel ; never in those of hi"h 

work, tav. XIII. XIV ; and Micali, antiquity. There are several other 

Ant. Pop. ItaL tav. LX. This monu- urns in this collection of the same 

ment is evidently of a late period in stone, which, however, does not appear 

Etruscan art, as is proved by the atti- to be from the quarries of Luna. 
tudes, full faces, and flow of drapery. 

< hap. l.] SEPULCHRAL URNS. 343 

It has been often asserted, that the recumbent figures 
on Etruscan urns and sarcophagi are portraits of the 
deceased. The correspondence of sex and age with the 
inscriptions, and the individual peculiarities of physiog- 
nomy, attest this beyond a doubt. Here is a singular in- 
stance of portraiture. An elderly gentleman is represented 
blind. 3 Yet he was no (Edipus or Belisarius ; he was not 
dependent on others for support as well as guidance. He 
seems to have been a noble, for he wears a large signet- 
ring ; and as a Lucumo, he was probably skilled in augury 
— perhaps a Tiresias, a blind seer of the will of heaven, 
who knew alike the past, the present, and the future — 

Os f]8q rd t eoj>ra, rd t tacrofxeva, irpo t iovra. 

One of these urns bears the effigies of a wedded pair 
reclining on it, as on the banqueting couch. Both are 
half draped and decorated with ornaments. She lies 
on his bosom, while he has one hand on hers, the 
other holding a patera, — a specimen of Etruscan con- 
nubials highly edifying. The relief below displays a 
furious combat, a contrast, perhaps, intentionally in- 
troduced to show the turmoil and struggle of this life, as 
opposed to the blissful repose of a future existence, which 
the Etruscans could only express by scenes of sensual 
pleasure. 4 

These urns of Chiusi have not so frequently subjects 
from the Greek mythical cycle, as those of Volterra. Yet 
there are a few of the favourite subjects — Pyrrhus slaying 
Polites 5 — Paris kneeling on an altar defending himself 
against his brothers 6 — combats of Greeks with Amazons, 

3 Mus. Chius. tav. XXIX. He is not, severed head of Menalippus in his 

however, represented blind in this plate. hand. 

4 Mus. Chius. tav. XXV. XXVI. 5 Mus. Chius. tav. XV. Inghirami 

Inghirami interprets this combat as calls it the death of Astyanax. 

Amphiaraus before Thebes, with the G Mus. Chius. tav. LXXXI. 

844 CHIUSI.— Thk City. [chap. l. 

now one, now the other victorious 7 — Centaurs carrying off 
women 8 — and sundry illustrations 

" Of the dark sorrows of the Theban line." 9 

An unusual subject is Hercules slaying Laomedon, who 
has fled for refuge to an altar, hard by the ashes of his 
forefathers ; and a female demon is standing, with torch 
inverted, at each end of the scene. 1 

In one relief reclines a man with a patera in one hand, 
and a pen or feather in the other. 2 

Many of these urns have combats, sometimes, it may be, 
representing a well-known event in classic mythology; 3 
sometimes, an ordinary contest between warriors, without 
any individual reference, or illustrative of some unknow r n 
native tradition — 

" The reflex of a legend past 

And loosely settled into form." 

Of such a character appears the scene, w r here two men 
kneeling on an altar, one holding a severed head in his 
hand, are defending themselves against their foes. 4 

7 Mus. Chius. tav. XLIII. CXCII. so to distinguish it. Micali, who also 
There is a sarcophagus with this subject. illustrates this monument (Ant. Pop. 

8 Mus. Chius. tav. XCIII. CLIX. Ital. tav. LIX. 5, 6, 7), does not attach 

9 Museo Chiusino, tav. LXXVII. any particular signification. 
CLXXXIX. 4 There are some urns with this sub- 

1 So this urn is explained by Inghi- ject in the Museum of Volterra, ut 
rami (Mus. Chius. tav. LXIII)- Were supra, p. 180, n. 2. Inghirami puts a 
it not for the lion's skin, it might be strange interpretation on it — Perseus 
interpreted as the common subject of contending with the followers of 
Pyrrhus and Polites. Bacchus, or the opposition the Bacchic 

2 Micali (Mon. Ined. tav. XLVIII. rites encountered in Greece, from the 
4, p. 307) calls this not a pen, but a adherents to the old Pelasgic religion ! 
"sacred bough," and thinks the figure Mon. Etrus. I. tav. LVIII. LIX. ; VI. 
represents the deceased who had entered tav. A 5. It seems akin to another 
into a purified state. scene in this Museum, which lie inter- 

3 One of these combats is interpreted prets as Amphiaraus before Thebes, 
as Achilles overcoming Mne&s (Mus. Mus. Chius. I. tav. XXV. 

Chius. tav. XXVII.), but there is nothing 

chap, l.] SEPULCHRAL URNS. 345 

The ministers of death are generally represented at 
such scenes, ready to carry off their victims, or rushing in 
between the combatants. 5 Sometimes demons of opposite 
characters are present, both waiting, it would seem, to 
claim the soul. Charun, with his hammer, plays a con- 
spicuous part, and is often attended by a female demon 
with a torch ; as in a farewell-scene, where the departing 
soul stands in the very gate of Death, guarded on either 
hand by one of these fearful spirits. 6 

In truth there is no lack of such monsters in this 
Museum, which is an excellent school for the study of 
Etruscan demonology. What with urns, sarcophagi, and 
pottery, we seem to have here specimens 

" Of all the demons that are found 
In fire, air, flood, or underground." 

A favourite subject is Scylla, here wielding an anchor 
in each hand, as if combating an invisible foe ; there, 
armed with an oar, contending with two warriors. She is 
sometimes winged, sometimes not ; always with a double 
fishes tail. 7 

Other marine emblems are abundant — winged sea- 
horses — dolphins — hippocampi ; and on one urn is a horse 
galloping, with a dolphin above it — a double emblem of 
Neptune. 8 

Nor is there any lack of terrestrial monsters — Gorgon's 
heads, winged and snaked, sometimes set in acanthus- 
leaves — centaurs — griffons devouring stags or women, or 

5 As on an urn where a winged Fury ' See Mus. Chius. tav. CXVII., and 

with a torch rushes in between the Micali, Ant. Pdj). Ital. tav. CXI. for 

Theban Brothers, flying by each other's an illustration of one of these urns, in 

hands. Mus. Chius. tav. LXXVII. CXC. which the monster, being apparently a 

G These demons have occasionally male, represents rather Glaucus than 

neither wings, buskins, nor anything Scylla. lit supra, p. 182. 

but the attributes in their hands to dis- 8 Mus. Chius. tav. CLXXXVIII. 
tinguish them from ordinary mortals 

34G CHIUSL— The City. [chap. l. 

overcoming warriors — and a chimsera with human head, 
lion's body, and the hind parts of a dragon. 

A patera is a very common device on these urns, and 
it is generally set between a pair of peltcB, or half-moon 
shields. 9 The favourite sport of hunting the wild-boar is 
not omitted in these sepulchral reliefs. 1 

The urns of terra cotta are very numerous. They are 
miniatures of those in stone, being rarely more than 
twelve or fifteen inches long, but the figures on the lids 
are not generally reclining as at a banquet, but are 
stretched in slumber, muffled in togas. 2 A few of un- 
usually large size are even in a sitting posture, decorated 
with very long and highly- wrought torques, and with 
rino-s, which for size might be coveted by Pope or Sultan. 3 
There is never much variety of subject on these urns. 
They were multiplied abundantly from the same moulds. 
The mutual slaughter of Polynices and Eteocles, and 
Jason or Cadmus vanquishing with the plough the teeth- 
sprung warriors, are the most frequent devices. 4 These 
little urns were all painted — both the figure on the lid, 
and the relief below ; and many retain vivid traces of 
colouring — red, blue, purple, and yellow. 

Some of the inferior sort of cinerary urns of terra cotta 
are bell-shaped, with inscriptions in red paint. 

9 The patera in these scenes, has been Its reference to the sepulchre may 

taken by a fanciful writer, whose theories perhaps be shown by these recumbent 

distort his vision, to represent a nautical figures, 

compass ! Etruria Celtica, II. p. 270. 3 The art displayed in these large 

1 Mus. Chius. tav. CCIV. figures is superior to that usually seen 

2 The toga, which was originally an in the urns of stone. Indeed these terra- 
Etruscan article of dress, borrowed by cotta monuments seem in general of 
the Romans, was used, in Juvenal's ^ ater date. 

time, as a shroud alone in great part of 4 Here, however, there is a little 

Italy (Sat. III. 171)— variety— parting-scenes at gateways- 

marine monsters — griffons — gorgonia — 
Pars magna Italise est, si verum a lion's head between two pellce — agate, 
admittimus, in qua without any figure, but a simple fillet 

Nemo togam sumit, nisi mortuus. hung on each side. 


There are some curious sphinxes in stone, with wings 
curled up like elephants' trunks ; they were found in the 
tombs of the Poggio Gajella. 5 

There are also numerous sepulchral tiles, two or three 
feet long, bearing Etruscan inscriptions — one in the ancient 
style called boustrophedon, 6 rarely found on the monuments 
of this people. 

The pottery in this Museum is deserving of particular 
attention. It is not of the beautiful, painted description 
so abundantly found at Vulci, though such vases are by no 
means rare at Chiusi. It is chiefly of coarse, black, un- 
baked ware, of uncouth forms, grotesque decorations, rude 
workmanship, and no artistic beauty, yet of extraordinary 
interest as illustrative of Etruscan art in its earliest and 
purest stages, ere it had been subjected to Hellenic in- 
fluence. 7 Such ware is peculiar to Chiusi, Sarteano, Cas- 
tiglioncel del Trinoro, and the neighbouring Etruscan sites. 
It consists of tall, slender-necked amphora, with cock- 
crowned lids, or of quaint, knobbed jars — as unlike the 
Greek in form as in decoration ; with strange figures in 
relief — grinning masks, scowling, tusk-gnashing gorgons, 
divinities of most ungodlike aspect, sphinxes, pegasi, 
chimseras of many a wild conception, travesties of the 
human form and face divine, and many an uncouth speci- 
men of beast, fowl, fish, and flower — symbols, it may be, 
of the earliest creed and rites of the Etruscans, or dim 
allusions to their long forgotten myths. 1 All this is novel 

* See the wood-cut at p. 395. "' If the early ware of Care and the 

6 Bull. Inst. 1829, p. 180. These coast should be referred to the Pelasgic 

tiles are discovered either in tombs as inhabitants of the land, rather than to 

covers to urns, or in niches in the rock the Etruscans, as Professor Lepsius is 

— two or three being arranged so as to of opinion (Tyrrhen. Pelas. p. 44), 

form a little penthouse over a cinerary this of Clusium cannot be of inferior 

urn ; and the epitaph, instead of being on antiquity, 

the urn, is sometimes inscribed on a tile. 1 Illustrations of this ware are given 


CHIUSL— Thk City. 


to the stranger — he finds himself in a new world of 
Etruscan art ; for this ware is not to be seen in the Museo 
Gregoriano at Rome, in the Louvre, in the British Museum, 
nor in any other of Italy, with the exception of Florence, 
where, however, it is seen but imperfectly. The smaller 
ware — the jugs, pots, and goblets, with handles moulded 
into every form of life, real or unreal, and bands of 
minute figures of mysterious import and more than 
Egyptian rigidity and shapelessness — is not less archaic 
and curious, though not confined to this district of Etruria. 
Perhaps the most curious articles in this ware are the 
focolari or recipient i ; of which, however, there are no 
superior specimens in this collection. And how, oh reader! 
shall I make thee understand what afocolare is 1 It is a 
square, paw-footed, wall-sided tray, half open in front, set 

at pages 92, 101, 352. See also Mieali, 
Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. XXII — XXVI ; 
Mon. Ined. tav. XXVIII— XXXI. ; 
Mus. Chius. tav. XII. XIX — XXI. 
XLV. LXXXII. This ware is not 
baked, but merely sun-dried, and un- 
glazed, though slightly varnished. It 
is generally designated " creta nera." 
Mieali thinks it was not of ordinary use, 
but merely for sepulchral rites. It is 
certain that it is more illustrative of the 
religious creed of the Etruscans than 
any other pottery found in the land. 
Inghirami took the chimseras on this 
ware for " the chaotic monsters which 
preceded the order of nature " (Mus. 
Chius. I. p. 11). The cock, which crests 
so many of these jars, is thought by the 
same writer to have been an augury of 
prosperity to the dead. It had certainly 
a sepulchral reference, but in what way 
it is symbolical is not very evident ; 
perhaps of the funeral games, as Gerhard 
remarks (Bull. Inst. 1831, p. 58) that 
the cock in Greek and Etruscan art was 

the symbol of athletic and gymnastic 

It is said that this black ware is 
formed of no peculiar earth, aud that 
when broken it sometimes shows a 
gradation of colour from the surface to 
the centre, where it is of the natural 
yellow of the clay. Depoletti and Ruspi, 
who differ from the ordinary opinion in 
considering it to be baked, think the 
black hue was thus obtained. When 
moulded, the vase was put into a recep- 
tacle of larger size ; the intervening 
space, as well as the vase itself, was 
filled with shavings, or sawdust, and 
the whole plastered over with mud, so 
as to prevent the escape of the smoke. 
Being then placed in the furnace, the 
woody matter carbonising by slew and 
equal heat, coloured the vase with its 
smoke. They ascertained by experi- 
ment that by this process the desired 
effect might be obtained. Bull. Inst. 
1837, pp. 28—30. 


about with prominent figures of veiled women, supposed 
to represent Larva, the spirits of the dead, 2 or of winged 
demons, masks, or chimseras ; and it contains, that is, when 
found in the tomb, the strangest set of little odds and 
ends of crockery, which Mrs. Hamilton Gray naturally 
enough mistook for a tea-service. 3 Indeed the resem- 
blance to that useful piece of furniture is striking, though 
the sugar-basins inconveniently outnumber the cups and 
saucers ; but there are these, as well as milk-jugs, and 
spoons and ladles, of the same black ware. It is just such 
a quaint, clumsy, primitive thing as you could imagine — 
peculiarities of art apart — might have served as a tea-tray 
in the time of Alfred, if our sturdy Saxon ancestors could 
have condescended to such effeminate potations. Certain 
strange articles, however, quite upset the tea-tray — un- 
auentaria, or perfume-bottles — vases in the forms of cocks, 4 
ducks, and other animals — and flat strips or tablets of 
black pottery, sometimes scratched with Etruscan inscrip- 
tions, which have been jocularly styled — in ignorance of 
their purpose — " visiting-cards." 

The purpose of these focolari is matter of dispute. 
Some think them intended for the toilet, and the pots and 
pans for perfumes; others take them for culinary appa- 
ratus, or braziers ; while a third consider them as purely 
sepulchral in application and meaning. If the latter view 
be correct, I should still regard them as imitations of 
domestic furniture once actually in use, and rather per- 
taining to the triclinium than to the toilet. Being raised 

2 Mus. Chius. I. p. 17. Here re- 3 Sepulchres of Etruria, p. 444. 

presented, thinks Inghirami, to remind 4 The middle pot in the woodcut at 

survivors of their duties in performing page 325, is in the foi*m of a cock, 

the sepulchral rites. Gerhard thinks though, being fore-shortened, it is not 

they may have reference to the sacer- very clearly shown, but the beak, crest, 

dotal costume. Bull. Inst. 1831, p. .58. and wings are visible. 

350 CHIUSI.— The City. [chap. l. 

from the ground by their claw-feet, they seem intended to 
stand over a fire. In domestic life they were probably used 
to keep meats or liquids hot, like some of the braziers in 
the Museo Borbonico. At the sepulchre, they may have 
served the same purpose for the funeral feast, or they 
may have been for fumigation, equivalent to the censers, 
or wheeled cars of bronze, sometimes found in early 
Etruscan tombs. 5 

Not all the pottery in this Museum is of this archaic, 
un-Hellenic character. There are specimens of figured 
vases and tazze in the various styles of Etrusco-Greek 
art. For while Chiusi has a pottery peculiar to itself, it 
produces almost every description that is found in other 
Etruscan cemeteries, from the plain black or yellow ware 
of Volterra, to the purest Greek vases of Tarquinii and 
Yulci ; and it is a singular fact that the largest vase, the 
most rich in figures and inscriptions ever discovered in 
Etruria, " the king of Etruscan vases," was from the soil 
of Chiusi. 6 It must be admitted, however, that the painted 
ware of this district is by no means so abundant, or in 
general so excellent, either for clay, varnish, or design, as 
that of some other Etruscan sites, 7 though occasionally 
articles of extreme beauty are brought to light 

5 Inghirami thinks the}- were not are to be seen in almost every Museum 

actually used as braziers, but were left of such antiquities. Illustrations of 

in the tomb at the close of the funeral focoktri are given by Micali, Ant. Pop. 

ceremonies, as substitutes for those of ItaL tav. XXVI. XXVII. See also 

bronze which had been used. Mas. Mus. Cbius. tav. XXXI. XXXII. XL. 
Chius. I. p. 29. These wheeled cars or 6 Ut supra, pp. 99, 115, ft seq. It was 

censers — Ov/xiar-lipia — have been found found at a spot called Fonte Rotella, 

in the most ancient tombs, viz. — the about a mile west of Chiusi. 
Grotta dTside at Vulci (Vol. I. p. 423), 7 Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 212. It has 

and the Grotta Regulini-Galassi at Cer- been remarked that on the painted I 

vetri (ut supra, p. 48 ; cf. Mus. Chius. and patera of Chiusi, it is common to 

tav. XXXIX. ; Micali, Mon. Ined. tav. find just twelve figures on the outside. 

VIII. p. 66) ; and specimens of the ordi- Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 149. 
nary braziers of Etruscan sepulchres 

chap, i..] POTTERY AND BRONZES. 351 

Among the curiosities of pottery here is a rhyton, or 
drinking-cup, in the shape of a man's leg, kneeling, with a 
human face at the upper part of the thigh. 8 Rhyta, ter- 
minating in animals' heads are common enough, but of this 
form, they are very rare. 

In the middle room are copies of paintings found in the 
Etruscan tombs of Chiusi. 

This Museum is rich in bronzes; — tripods — jugs — 
strainers — strigils — a large round shield, embossed — wea- 
pons — idols, though these are not numerous — and specula, 
or mirrors, some figured, and some gilt. Neither the gold 
ornaments, nor the scarabcsi, are numerous. 

As in every other collection of Etruscan antiquities in 
Italy, public or private, there is here no catalogue, and 
unless the traveller have the guidance of some learned 
friend, he is left to put his own knowledge to the test ; for 
the guardians of these treasures are mere doorkeepers ; 
and in the Museo Casuccini the visitor will look in vain for 
a ray of antiquarian light from the flashing eyes of the fair 

The choicest vases in the possession of the Casuccini 
are not in this Museum, but in his Palazzo. The most 
beautiful is one in the best Greek style, representing the 
Judgment of Paris ; indeed this is one of the finest works 
of art ever rescued from the tombs of Clusium. The 
happy shepherd is not alone with "the three Idaean 
ladies," as Spenser calls them, for Mercury, Cupid, a 
warrior, a female thought to be (Enone, and a Victory, 
are also present to inspect their charms. This vase was 
found in the singular labyrinthine tumulus, called Poggio 

8 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. CI. 12 ; thinks its position is manifestly syni- 
Mus. Onus. tav. LXXVI. Micali takes bolical of the mysterious birth of that 
the face to be that of Bacchus, and deity. 


CUIUS!.— The City. 

[chap. I.. 

Gajella. 9 Another beautiful vase represents the birth of 
Ericthonius. 1 

But the most remarkable monument here is a large jug- 
in the peculiar black ware of Chiusi, studded with grinning 


masks, and banded with figures, in a group of six, repeated 
three times round the body of the vase. The first of these 
figures, shown in the above wood-cut, is a inonsrer in 

9 An illustration and description of 1840. See also Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 148. 
this vase are given by Dr. Braun in his ' Ann. Inst. 1841, pp. 91 — 98. 

work on the Poggio Gajella, Rome, Braun. Mon. Ined. Inst. III. tav. XXX. 

chap. l. I THE ANUBIS-VASE. 353 

human shape with the head of a beast, supposed to be a 
dog, which, from its resemblance to the Egyptian god, is 
generally called Anubis. 2 Next to him is a winged deity, 
probably Mercury the conductor of souls ; then a Fury 
with Gorgon's head, and wings springing from her breast, 
is gnashing her teeth for her prey, and with hands up- 
raised seems about to spring upon it. The rest of the 
group represents a veiled female between two warriors, 
who though in the semblance of this world are supposed 
to have reference to the next. Various are the interpre- 
tations put upon this singular scene ; but from the mani- 
festly remote antiquity of the monument, it is probable 
that it bears no reference to any subject in the Greek 
mythical cycle, but illustrates some doctrine or fable in 
the long perished creed of the mysterious Etruscans. 3 

Museo Paolozzi. 

The collection next in interest at Chiusi is that of 
Signer Flavio Paolozzi, once much more extensive than at 
present. It still contains, however, some excellent speci- 
mens of early Etruscan art. 

Among the most remarkable is one of the square cippi 

2 There is no necessary relation, XXXIV.; Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. III. 
however, to Anubis ; for there was a p. 20, tav. XXII. ; Bull. Inst. 1830, p. 
tradition among the ancients that mon- 63. Levezow interpreted it as Perseus, 
sters of this description were common attended by Minerva, about to cut off the 
in mountainous regions. Ctesias, the Gorgon's head ; Mercury and a genius 
Greek writer on India, declared there or Gorgon in front ; the swans indicat- 
were more than a hundred thousand of ing the neighbourhood of the Tritonian 
them. Plin. VII. 2. The head of this lake. The Due tie Luynes saw in it 
figure, however, being as much like a Ulysses conducted by Circe or a Sibyl 
bull's as a dog's, may mark it as the to the infernal regions, indicated by the 
Minotaur, which is usually so repre- Gorgon, Fear, the Minotaur, and the 
sented on painted vases. Stymphalian birds. Ann. Inst. 1834, 

3 Illustrations, descriptions, and opi- pp. 320 — 3. Cavedoni also regards it 
nions of this vase are given by Tnghi- as the descent of some hero to the lower 
rami, Mus. Chius. p. 29, tav. XXXIII. world. Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 59. 


354 CHIUSL— The City. [chap. l. 

of fetid limestone, with archaic reliefs, representing the 
death of an Etruscan lady. She is stretched on a couch — 
her spirit has just fled — several women, perhaps hired 
mourners, are wailing around her, tearing their cheeks 
and hair — a subulo at the foot of the couch is endeavouring 
to drown their cries in the shriller notes of his double- 
pipes — while in contrast with all this extravagance of 
sound and gesture, a little boy leans on his mother's couch, 
with one hand to his head ; and his subdued attitude pro- 
claims as strongly as stone can speak, the intensity of his 
grief. His feelings, as Inghirami remarks, could not have 
been better expressed by the most skilful artist of our 
days. On another face of the monument are prceficce, 
with dishevelled hair, beating their breasts, wringing their 
hands, and tearing their cheeks and garments. A third 
side shows some togaed figures with wands, and an augur 
with his lituus — taking part in the funeral rites. What 
the females on the fourth side are about is hard to deter- 
mine. They appear to be parting the raiment of the 
deceased among them. 4 

On this cippus stands another, of round form, and of a 
much later style, representing women dancing to the 
sound of the syrinx. On this is a slab with a bilingual 
sepulchral inscription, Etruscan and Latin. 5 Another 

4 This cippus has been illustrated by tore their flesh to make the blood flow, 

Inghirami, Mus. Chius. I. tav. 53 — 56, because the souls of the dead were 

and by Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 56. supposed to be pleased with milk and 

It is very similar to a relief at Perugia. blood. Serv. ad Virg. Mxx. V. 78 ; 

Mon. Etrus. VI. tav. Z 2. But it still Varro, ap. eund. III. 67. By the laws 

more resembles, as regards two of its of Solon and by the Twelve Tables 

sides, another cippus from Chiusi, once women were forbidden thus to tear 

in the Mazzetti collection, and now their cheeks, and to wail the dead, 

in the Museum of Berlin. Abeken, Cic. de Leg. II. 23. 
Mittelitalien, taf. VIII. ; Micali, Mon. 5 The Etruscan would run thus — 

Ined. tav. XXII. Bull. Inst. 1840, vl . alphni . nuvi . 

p. 150. The prafcce beat their breasts, cainal . 

it is said, to squeeze out the milk, and if rendered into Latin letters. The 


fragment of a relief represents a faun dancing behind a 
Menad, on one side ; and a magnate on a curule chair, 
with attendants around him, on the other. 6 

One urn displays the attack on a city, which is defended 
by a figure hurling stones on the assailants. A Fury is 
present to mark the slaughter. 

Another monument bears a subject not very common. 
A bull is represented overturning a chariot. The driver 
is thrown to the earth, and a genius with a torch bestrides 
his body. It is the death of Hippolytus, whose horses 
took fright at the bull of Neptune. His history is thus 
quaintly told by Spenser : — 

" Hippolytus a jolly huntsman was, 
That wont in charett chace the foming bore ; 
He all his peeres in beauty did surpas : 
But ladies love, as losse of time, forbore. 
His wanton stepdame loved him the more ; 
But when she saw her offred sweets refusd, 
Her love she turnd to hate, and him before 
His father fierce of treason false accusd, 
And with her gealous termes his open eares abusd ; 

Who, all in rage, his sea-god syre besought 

Some cursed vengeaunce on his sonne to cast ; 

From surging gulf two monsters streight were brought 

With dread whereof his chasing steedes aghast 

Both charett swifte and huntsman overcast. 

His goodly corps, on ragged cliffs yrent, 

Was quite dismembred, and his members chast 

Scattered on every mountaine as he went, 

That of Hippolytus was lefte no moniment." 

One urn bears none of the usual reliefs, but is carved 
into the form of a banqueting-couch, with elegant legs, 
cushions, and the scamnum, or small low stool beneath it, 

Latin inscription is other ; though Kellermann thinks other- 

c . alfivs . a . f . wise. Bull. Inst. 1833, p. 51. 

cainnia . natvs . 6 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 53, 1. 

One may not be a translation of the 

A A 2 


CHIUSI.— The City. 

[chap. I.. 

for the Ganymede or Hebe to stand on while replenishing 
the goblets of the revellers. 7 

In this collection are some curious specimens of Canopi, 
or head-lidded jars. They are of the same frill-bellied 
form as those of Egypt, but always of pottery, instead of 
stone or alabaster ; and they are surmounted, not by the 

heads of dogs or other animals, 
but always by those of men, 
or what are intended for such. 
The jar itself represents the 
bust, which is sometimes fur- 
ther marked by nipples, and 
by the arms either moulded 
on the jar, as in the annexed 
wood-cut, or attached to the 
shoulders by metal pins. These 
are all cinerary urns, and there 
is a hole either in the crown, or 
at each shoulder, to let off the 
effluvium of the ashes. The 
heads are portraits of the deceased, though some imagine 
them to represent Pluto or Proserpine, according to the 
sex, seeing that the soul of the deceased had passed into 
the charge of those deities. 8 


~> Mus. Chius. tav. CXXXIX. 

8 Inghirami thought the jar symbol- 
ised the world, and the head the pre- 
siding deity. It is true that in the 
Egyptian canopi, the lids are generally 
the heads of known divinities, hut from 
the analogy of the Etruscan sarcophagi 
and urns, and of the heads in terra-cotta, 
it is much more reasonable to suppose 
them here to be portraits. " The great 
variety of the countenances," says 
Micali, "the different ages, the various 
modes of wearing the hair, the purely 

national character of the physiognomy, 
the agreement of the facial angle, leave 
no doubt that these are veritable por- 
traits—so much the more important, as 
they faithfully and without any embel- 
lishment, show us the physical type of 
our forefathers." Ant. Pop. Ital. III. 
p. 11. Illustrations of canopi are given 
by Inghirami, Mus. Chius. tav. 49, 67 ; 
Mon. Etrus. VI. tav. G .5 ; Micali, 
Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 14, 15; Mon. Ined. 
tav. 33. They are generally in the 
black ware of this district, but a few 

chap, l.] MUSEO PAOLOZZI.— CANOPI. 357 

There are numerous small urns of terra-cotta, with the 
subjects usual on such monuments. 9 

The pottery here is chiefly of the black ware of this 
district, with or without reliefs ; some with a metallic 
varnish, bright as if fresh from the maker's hands. 

The Paolozzi collection was once renowned for its 
bronzes ; and there are still many remaining — mirrors — 
paterce — candelabra — cauldrons, and other articles of 
culinary or sacrificial use — figures purely Egyptian, 
domestic animals, and other votive offerings — and many 
small figures of gods or Lares, of marine monsters, and 
other chimaeras, which the Etruscans delighted to honour, 
or which were symbols of their creed. There is also a 
cabinet of medals, coins, and scarabcei, which can be in- 
spected only with the proprietor's special permission. 

In the high street has recently been opened a " Gabi- 
netto," or shop for the sale of Etruscan relics ; chiefly 
from the collections of Captain Sozzi and Signor Galanti. 10 

are of yellow clay. The eyes are some- of the earliest days of Etruscan art. 

times represented by coloured stones. All analogy, however, is opposed to 

Some have been found resting on stools his opinion. 

of earthenware ; others placed on small 9 There was formerly a remarkable 

chairs, in form very like those of rock monument of this material in the Pao- 

in the tombs of Cervetri (ut supra, pp. lozzi collection. In the centre of the 

34, 35, 59), either of oak, preserved by a scene sat a woman with a babe at her 

coating of calcareous matter, or of terra- breast, taking farewell of her husband 

cotta. Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 68. They who stood by her side. Hard by sat 

must be curulc chairs, and indicative Cliarun, with his wonted hammer in one 

of the dignity of the defunct. Such jars hand, and an oar in the other — a fact 

evidently bear a close analogy to the which removes all doubt as to the 

sitting statues, like that in the Museo Etruscan Charon being akin to the 

Casuccini, which are also cinerary Greek — and he was waiting to conduct 

urns. The style of art likewise shows his victim to the Gate of Hell, which 

a similar epoch. Yet Micali (Mou. yawned close at hand, surrounded 

Ined. p. 151), while admitting the with the heads of wild beasts, and 

caiiopi to be of very early date, pro- surmounted by Furies, brandishing 

noimces the statues to be as late as their torches and threatening their 

the seventh or eighth century of Rome. expected victim. Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 

Abcken (Mittelitalicn, p. 275), on the 153.— Braun. 
other hand, thinks the canopi not to be 10 I looked in vain in the Gabinetto 

35S CHIUSI.— The City. [chap. l. 

The articles are principally of pottery and bronze, and the 
prices are attached ; and very moderate. It would be 
well for the visitor who intends carrying away with him 
reminiscences of the city of Porsena, to cast an eye round 
this chamber before making purchases elsewhere ; as he 
may thus learn somewhat of the market-prices of such 
anticaglia. Here is a singular canopus with a pendant of 
bronze in one ear, and bracelets of the same metal. But 
the strangest monument is a pot of uncoloured clay, with 
a large female figure standing on the lid, of most archaic 
character, with arms attached by metal pins ; holding in 
one hand an apple or other fruit. Her body is hollow, and 
the effluvium of the ashes in the urn passed off through a 
hole in her crown. She rises like a giantess from a circle 
of eleven Lilliputian females with hands on their breasts ; 
and round the outer edge of the urn stand seven other 
similar figures, alternating with large heads of snakes or 
dragons, with open jaws. All these figures are remov- 
able at pleasure, being merely attached to the urn by 
pegs. This is one of the most remarkable articles to be 
seen at Chiusi ; in truth, though its details find analogies 
elsewhere in Etruria, as a whole it is unlike every other 
monument of this antiquity } r et discovered, and in the un- 
couth rudeness of its figures and their fantastic arrange- 
ment, you seem to recognise rather the work of New Zea- 
land or Hawaii, than a production of classical antiquity. 1 
Count Ottieri's collection is very interesting for its 

for some monuments I had seen in the origin of the Roman Catholic sa- 

Signor Sozzi's possession, on a former crament of extreme miction — while a 

visit to Chiusi. On one urn, the soul third stood at the foot of the couch, 

of a female was represented being led waving a fan to cool the dying one. 

by the minister of death through the Micali (Mon. Ined. tav. XLVIII. 3) 

portal of the lower world. Another gives an illustration of this monument, 
relief showed a female on her death- ' This urn stands about three feet 

bed, and two others pouring ointments in height. It is illustrated by Micali, 

upon her head — which recalls to mind Mon. Ined. p. 1 88, et seq. tav. 33 ; cf. 


archaic articles. Here are three Egyptian-like figures of 
fetid limestone, four feet and a half high, extremely like 
that from the Grotta d'Iside, at Vulci, and if not by the 
same hand, evidently of the same period. 2 Here are also 
some bas-reliefs, — the chief of them having a banqueting- 
scene of very rigid style, the figures in which have red 
borders to their robes — one of many illustrations of the 
toga preetexta, which the Romans received from the Etrus- 
cans. 3 And here, moreover, besides the usual black ware 
of Chiusi, are some painted vases — a beautiful patera, 
with banqueting-scenes — a pelike, representing Gairymede 
holding his hoop, seized by Jupiter — and a large skyphos 
with athletcB ; all in the Perfect style. 

The visitor should not omit to see the painted vases in 
the possession of the Bishop, taken from his excavations 
in the Poggio Paccianesi ; nor the pottery and bronzes in 
the houses of Signor Luccioli and Don Luigi Dei. Signor 
Ciofi has also some bronzes ; and he who studies beetles 
will find no lack of matter in the cabinets of the reverend 
canons Carducci, Mazzetti, and Pasquini. As all, or most, of 
these gentlemen are willing to part with their treasures, no 
offence will be given by inquiring the prices of the articles. 4 

Bull. Inst. 1843. p. 3 ; Ann. Inst. 1843. ■ See Vol. I. p. 422. 

p. 361. Micali takes the small female 3 Liv. I. 8 ; Flor. I. 5 ; Plin. VIII. 

figures for Junones ; and reminds us 74 ; IX. 63. 

that the number seven was a sacred or 4 There was a marble cube in the 

mystic number among the Etruscans as Canonico Carducci's garden, which is 

well as among the Jews and other said to be quite sublime for the magni- 

people of antiquity, being supposed ficent style of its reliefs. Bull. Inst, 

to have relation to the term of human 1840, p. 151. Notices of the articles 

life. Censorin. de Die Nat. cap. XI ; discovered during the last twenty years 

Varro. ap. eund. cap. XIV. Cicero calls at Chiusi and its neighbourhood will be 

seven — numerus rerum omnium fere found in the publications of the Ar- 

nodus. Repub. VI. 18; ap. Macrob. clucological Institute at Rome. 
Somn. Scip. I. 6 ; II. 4. 




The Cemetery. 

Have they not sword-players, and every sort 
Of gymnie artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, 
Jugglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics { 


No Etruscan site has more general interest than Chiusi. 
On some this centres in walls ; on others, in tombs ; on 
these, in museums ; on those, in historical associations. 
Chiusi combines all, though not to an equal extent. Her 


weak point is her fortifications ; but for this she makes 
amends by her mysterious underground passages. Her 
excavations yield as abundantly as those of Vulci, though 
a different roba ; her museums together may rival that of 
Volterra ; and in the extent of her necropolis, and the 
variety, singularity, and rich decorations of her sepulchres, 
she is second only to Tarquinii. As regards her painted 
tombs, it must be confessed that she is inferior to the city 
of Tarchon and Tages, and not in number merely ; there 
is here less variety of style and subject. Nevertheless, 
the sepulchral paintings of Chiusi display scenes of great 
spirit and interest, differing in many points from those of 

The tombs of Chiusi which are kept open for the 
visitor's inspection are not, as at Tarquinii, on one side of 
the city, but lie all around it, sometimes several miles 
apart ; and as the country tracks are not easily travelled 
on foot after wet weather, it would be well, especially for 
ladies, to procure beasts in the town. Another incon- 
venience is that each tomb has its own custode, who must 
be dispatched expressly from Chiusi with the keys, and 
the visitor in his rounds runs the risk of not finding; this 
keeper at his post at the appointed hour, and of being 
obliged to pass by some of the lions, or to return expressly 
for their inspection. 

The most accessible of these painted tombs is the 


It lies " a short mile " to the east of Chiusi. It is hollowed 
in the side of a hill, and is entered by a level passage cut 
in the slope. At Chiusi, indeed, almost all the tombs now 
open are entered in this manner, instead of by a descend- 
ing flight of steps, as at Corneto, Vulci, and Cervetri. 
The marvels of this tomb meet you on its threshold. 

362 CHIUSI. — The Cemeteky. [chap. li. 

The entrance is closed with folding-doors, each flap being 
a single slab of travertine. You are startled at this un- 
usual sort of door — still more, when you hear, what your 
eyes confirm, that these ponderous slabs are the original 
doors of the tomb, still working on their hinges as when 
they were first raised, some twenty and odd centuries since. 
Hinges, strictly speaking, there are none ; for the doors 
have one side lengthened into a pivot above and below, 
which pivots work in sockets made in the stone lintel and 
threshold ; just as in the early gateways of Etruscan 
cities, 1 and as doors were himg in the middle ages — those 
of the Alhambra for instance. There can be no doubt 
of the antiquity of these doors ; it is manifest in their 
very arrangement ; for the lintel is a huge mass of rock 
buried beneath a weight of superincumbent earth ; and 
must have been laid after the slabs were in their places ; 
and it is obvious that none but those who committed their 
treasures to this sepulchre, would have taken so much 
labour to preserve them. 2 This was not a common mode 
of closing the tomb, which was generally done with one or 
more slabs of rock, often fitted to the doorway, and some- 
times highly adorned with reliefs, as in the Grotta delle 
Inscrizioni at Tarquinii. 3 

Just outside the door a small chamber opens on either 
hand, probably for the freeclmen or slaves of the family. 
The tomb itself has three chambers, two only decorated 
with paintings, the third unfinished. The first is the 
largest, 4 and has a doorway in the centre of two of its 

1 Ut supra, pp. 150, 153. ' With the exception of one tomb in 

2 This ancient doorway is shown in this necropolis, no longer to be seen 
the woodcut at the head of this Chapter. (Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 3), this is the only 
The door is 4 ft. 4 in. high, and each instance known of an Etruscan tomb 
leaf or flap is about 18 inches wide, preserving its door, still working as it 
and more than 4 thick. The depth of was raised. 

the architrave is 16 inches. The iron * The dimensions of this chamber are 

handles are a modern addition. 14 ft. 2 inches by 10 ft. 2 indies ; the 


walls, opening into the other chambers ; but on the third 
wall is a false door painted to correspond, as in the tomb 
of Tarquinii just mentioned. All the doors, true or false, 
narrow upwards, and have the usual Etruscan mouldings. 
The ceilings are not carved, as usual on other sites, into 
rafters, but coffered, as in the Grotta Cardinale at Tar- 
quinii, in concentric squares and oblongs recessed, and 
painted black and red. 

The paintings do not stand out forcibly, though on a 
white ground. 5 Beyond this, the walls have undergone no 
other preparation than smoothing. The rock is a sort of 
sandstone, which will not take a very fine surface, and 
therefore hardly allows of a high finish or of much force 
of colour. 

The figures are in a band about twenty-two or three 
inches deep, which surrounds the chamber as a frieze. 
They are twenty-six in number, and are divided into two 
subjects, banquets and games, both having a funereal re- 
ference. On the portion of the frieze facing you as you 
enter, are the pal?estric games. To the right of the central 
door is a race of three bigce. The charioteers are dressed 
in white scull -caps and tunics, and the reins are as usual 
passed round their bodies. Each pair of horses is black 
and red, and red and black, alternately. 6 By the side of 
each chariot is a tree, or what in the conventional system 
of the Etruscans was intended to represent such, though 
to our eyes it is more like a tall bullrush, or a paddle 
stuck into the ground, the stick being painted red, and the 
blade bright blue. Such trees may be intended for 

height to the cornice is 6 ft. 8 in., and Chiusi, the colours are laid on no other 

about 7 ft. 5 in. to the central beam ; ground than the natural rock, which is 

which runs transversely and is 2i ft. of a yellowish grey hue. 

broad. 6 The red horses have black hoofs 

6 This chamber is peculiar in being and blue tails ; the black have blue 

whitened. In most of the tombs of hoofs. 

• Ill I CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap, li 

cypresses — cupressus fwiebres. The action of both men 
and horses is natural and easy ; the latter especially, 
though with native peculiarities, have more spirit and free- 
dom than any of those in the painted tombs of Tarquinii. 7 
To the left of the central door, are represented the 
games on foot. First is a pair of wrestlers, or it may be 
tumblers, for one is inverted with his heels in the air and 
his body resting on the shoulders of the other, who is 
kneeling. 8 They strongly resemble certain figures in the 
painted tombs of Egypt. An agonothete in blue pallium, 
and holding a wand, stands by to direct the sport. Next, 
a naked man, whose attitude may remind you of the cele- 
brated dancing faun at Naples, is boxing with an imagi- 
nary opponent, to the sound of the double-pipes. 9 A female 
follows, dancing to the same music, and to the castanets 
which she rattles herself. She is draped with boddice and 
light transparent gown, and a cJdamys or scarf on her 
shoulders ; and in attitude as well as costume she is very 
like the dancing-girls in the tombs of Tarquinii. 1 Next to 
this group is a naked man, with crested helmet, round 
shield, and long wavy spear, running as if to charge the 
foe ; or he may be practising an armed dance, such as the 
ancients were wont to perform. 2 The last figure is a naked 

' The whole race-scene is very like de' Dei, who has an opponent. He 

one on a relief in the Museo Casuccini ; has no cestus, though one fist is closed, 

but the latter is more stiff and archaic, Mus. Chius. tav. CLXXXII. 

and the chariots are trigcs instead of 1 See Vol. I. pp. 275, 289. 

bigce. Ut supra, p. 339. Micali, Mon. " That the Etruscans had armed 

lned. tav. XXIV. 2. dances is proved by other monuments, 

s For illustrations of Etruscan turn- especially by a silver gilt vessel in very 

biers see Micali, Ital. av. Rom. tav. archaic style found at Chiusi. Demp- 

LVI. ster, I. tab. 78 ; Inghir. Mon. Etrus. 

9 This figure seems at first to be III. tav. XIX. Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 1, 7) 

beating nothing but the air with his is of opinion that the Etruscan hietriones, 

hands, and time with his feet ; but that who formed an essential part of the 

he is a pugilist is rendered evident by a pageantry of the circus, danced armed, 

precisely similar figure in the Deposito because they are compared by Valerius] FEASTING AND GAMES. 365 

man, exercising himself with halteres, or, in plain English, 
using the dumb-bells, which, with the ancients, served the 
same purpose as with us. 3 

Half of the frieze in this chamber being devoted to 
games, the other half is pictured with the banquet. Here 
are five couches, each bearing a pair of figures, all males, 
young and beardless, half-draped, and crowned with blue 
chaplets. The absence of the fair sex shows this to be a 
symposium. Their gestures, animated and varied, betray 
the exhilarating influence of the rosy god. One holds a 
chaplet, another a flower, a third a branch, apparently of 
myrtle, and several have patera, which the slaves are 
hastening to replenish. The whole goes forward to the 
music of the double-pipes. At one end of the scene stands 
a tripod with a large triple basin, either a wine-cooler, or 
containing the beverage, mixed to the palates of the 
revellers ; 4 and a slave is busied at it, replenishing wine- 
jugs. A second figure, who, with arm uplifted, is giving 

Maximus (I[. 4, 3) to the Curetes. lead. Those represented in this tomb 
And the armed dances of the Salii in are nearly of the form now in use, but 
honour of Mars, which according to one on the painted vases, as on some in the 
tradition (Serv. ad Ma. VIII. 285) British Museum, they are represented 
were of Veientine institution, Midler flat, of an oval form, with a hole for 
would refer to an Etruscan origin. the insertion of the hand (Bull. Inst. 
The figure, however, in this painted 183G, p. 29), as they are described by 
tomb of Chiusi, can have no relation to Pausanias (V. 2G) who, however, speaks 
the Salii, who danced in purple robes, of their handles as attached, like those 
with brass belts, helmets, swords, and by which shields were grasped, 
bucklers of a peculiar form, described 4 This basin seems to answer the 
by Plutarch (Nunia), and represented purpose of the crater, or ordinary 
on a singular Etruscan gem in the mixing-bowl. A similar basin and 
Uffizj Gallery at Florence. Ut supra, tripod is shown on a bas-relief from 
p. 106. Chiusi, representing the funeral feast 
3 Mart. VII. 67, 5 — and dances, in very archaic style, now 
gravesque draucis in the possession of Thomas Blayds, 
Halteras facili rotat lacerto — Esq., of Englefield Green (Micali, Mon. 
cf. XIV. 49; Juv. Sat. VI. 421; Incd. p. 140, tav. 23) ; and also on a sin- 
Seneca, Epist. XV. 4 ; LVI ; Pollux, gular sarcophagus recently discovered 
X. c. 17. Seneca says they were of at Perugia. Mon. Ined. Inst. IV. tav. 32. 

366 CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap. m. 

the slave directions — " Deprome, o Thaliarche, merum 
diotd !" — is evidently the butler; and the patera sus- 
pended on the wall marks this corner as his pantry. 
Should curiosity be excited as to the costume of butlers in 
Italy some two or three-and-twenty centuries since, I 
must reply that this Etruscan worthy is " in leathers," as 
the Spaniards say, though not in buff, chamois, or cordovan. 

One of the slaves in this scene holds a long ladle — 
simpidum, or capidula — with a handle bent into 
a hook, for the purpose of suspension on the rim 
of the wine-vessel. Such simpida, in bronze, 
shown in the annexed woodcut, are occasionally 
found in Etruscan tombs. 

The inner chamber is of smaller dimensions, 5 
surrounded by a bench of rock. It has also a 
frieze of figures, here only fourteen inches high 
— a chorus of youths; one with & patera, another 
with a chaplet, a third has the double-pipes, and 
a fourth a lyre, by which they regulate the dance. All 
are naked, with the exception of a light chlamys on their 
shoulders. 6 

The natural interpretation of these scenes is that they 
represent the funeral rites of the Etruscans. Though 
antiquaries of great renown have attached a symbolical 
meaning to them, I see no reason why they should not 

5 About 9 ft. 10 in., by 7 ft. 9 in. ; than usual in Etruscan tombs. One of 
and it is 7 ft. 8 in. high. these figures, not being painted red 

6 This chlamys may be introduced like the rest, must be intended for a 
merely for the sake of the colour ; as it woman. They have all been carelessly 
varies— red, black, blue, and white, in scratched in before being coloured ; 
succession. For variety's sake also, and the artist has not always adhered 
these figures are made to alternate with to his outline, which in some cases lias 
trees, all painted black, both stems and evidently been retouched. This chorus 
foliage, and not paddle-shaped, like is very like one once existing in the 
those in the outer chamber, but branch- inner chamber of the Mercareccia tomb 
ing out with more nature and freedom at Corneto. Vol. I. p. 362, n. 7. 



represent the feasting, music, dances, and palsestric games, 
actually held in honour of the dead. 7 It is possible that 
they may be at once descriptive and symbolical. This is 
a point on which every one is at liberty to hold his own 

The figures in these paintings are generally outlined 
with black. The colours are hardly so well preserved as 
in those of Tarquinii; the blues and whites are the most 
vivid. Yet all have been seriously injured. Let the 
visitor have a care as he moves through these tombs. 
The medium, whatever it were, with which the colours 
were laid on, having perished after so many ages, they 
now remain in mere powder on the walls, and might be 
effaced by a touch of the finger, or by the sweeping of a 

These paintings have no chiaroscuro, no perspective, no 
foreshortening ; the faces are always in profile ; the figures 
sometimes unnaturally elongated; the limbs clumsy; the 
attitudes rigid ; the drapery arranged in stiff, regular folds 
— all features of archaic character. Yet there are more 

7 I may add to what has been stated to the scenes in this tomb, because the 

elsewhere (Vol. I. p. 296), that Inghi- usual tables for food being wanting, 

rami regards such scenes as " an the figm-es are drinking, not eating ; 

apotheosis of virtuous souls " — i. e., and souls in bliss would be served with 

that the figures in these scenes do not nectar alone. Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 22. 

represent the survivors, thus express- But this difference merely indicates a 

ing tluir sorrow for the dead, but Bym- drinking-bout instead of a regular meal 

bolise the souls of the departed, thus — a symposium, not a deipnon. In 

depicted in the enjoyment of sensual either case it may be a funeral feast, in 

pleasures, because the ancients had no its late, rather than early stage. In 

other way of representing the delights the trees of the dancing-scene in the 

of Elysium. In truth, some of thorn inner chamber, he sees the " fortunata 

considered that the highest reward the nemora," and the " luci opaci " of the 

gods could bestow on the virtuous in Elysian regions (Virg. JEn. VI. 639, 

another life was an eternity of intoxica- 673), and further quotes Virgil (iEn. 

tion. Musteus, ap. Plat. Repub. II. p. VI. 647) to prove thp orthodoxy of the 

363, ed. Steph. Inghirami thinks such lyre in this scene, 
an interpretation the more appropriate 

368 CHIUSL— The Cemetery. [chap. h. 

ease and power than arc usually found in connection with 
such signs of antiquity. They seem the work of a man 
who could do better things, but who either felt tomb- 
painting to be a degradation of his talents, or was re- 
strained by conventionalities from the free exercise of 
them. These are of later date than most of the paintings 
of Tarquinii, yet must be of Etruscan times; they can 
hardly belong to the period of Roman domination, still 
less, as Inghirami opines, to the decadence of art. s 

This tomb was discovered in May 1833, by accident, 
while making " bonifications " to the soil. It must have 
been rifled in past ages, for nothing but fragments of 
pottery and urns was found within it. 9 

Deposito de' Dei. 

On the opposite side of Chiusi, and about three miles 
from the tomb just described, is another with paintings so 
strikingly similar, that on entering you are ready to abuse 
your guide for leading you back to what you have already 
seen. The resemblance is not only in subject, mode of 
treatment, and style of art, but individual figures are 
almost identical, and afford convincing proof that this 
tomb and the Tomba del Colle Casuccini were decorated 
by the same hand. Even in the plan, number, and arrange- 
ments of the chambers, these sepulchres exactly correspond. 
But the Deposito de' Dei has suffered more from time; the 
surface of the wall has flaked off largely, and the whole 
threatens a speedy decay. 1 

s Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 26. ' This tomb receives its name from 

9 Illustrations of the scenes in this the family in whose ground it lay. 

tomb are given in the Museo Chiusino, Since its discovery in 1826, it has 

tav. 181 — 185. For further notices passed into the hands of Signor Felice 

see Ann. Inst. 1835, p. 1.0, ct acq. Giulietti of Chiusi. It lies about two 

— Inghirami. miles from the city, to the north-west, 


The frieze round the principal chamber is devoted 
entirely to games. Here is a race of three bigce, as in the 
other tomb, but drawn with more variety and spirit. The 
steeds are springing from the ground, as in the gallop, but 
the middle pair is refractory, and in their rearing and 
plunging have broken the shaft and kicked the chariot 
high into the air, and the unlucky auriga, still holding 
reins and whip, is performing a somerset over their heads. 

There is a repetition of the subjects of the Tomba del 
Colle, but with some variety. A female is dancing with 
crotala to the music of a subulo, — two pugilists are boxing 
with the cestus, one being the exact counterpart of the 
figure in the other tomb, — a naked man is performing an 
armed dance, 2 — another leaping with the dumb-bells, — a 
pair of wrestlers, or tumblers, in almost the same position, 
with an agonothete leaning on his staff and seeing fair 
play ; and a pot of oil rests on a slender pole hard by, 
from which they may anoint their limbs. 

In addition, there is a discobolus, about to cast his quoit, 
— a man with two long poles, which I cannot explain, 3 — a 
boy with two nondescript articles attached to a string 4 — 
four youths about to contend in a foot-race, under the 
directions of a pcedotribe, who appears to be marking the 

in a hill, from which it has received the does not attempt to describe it ; nor 

second name of Tomba del Poggio al does Micali (Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 110), 

Moro. Chevalier Kestner describes it though he represents this man (tav. 70) as 

under the name of Grotta delle Mo- holding a long curved pole. Inghirami 

nache Ann. Inst. 1829, p. 116. (Mus. Chius. II. tav. 125) more coi-- 

2 It is possible that this figure is in- rectly divides this into two sticks, which 
tended to be hurling his lance. If so he takes for darts. 

there are depicted in this tomb all the * Kestner (loc. cit.) takes these arti- 

games of the Pentathlon, or Quinquer- cles for quoits ; but to me they seemed 

tium, viz. leaping (here with dumb-bells) more like unguent-pots, such as are 

— the foot-race — casting the discus — sometimes represented tied by ribbons 

hurling the spear — and wrestling. to candelabra (ut supra, p. 37), and 

3 Chevalier Kestner (Ann. Inst. 1829, as have been discovered in Etruscan 
p. 118) calls it a damaged figure, and tombs. Bull. Inst. 1832. p. 194. 


370 CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap. m. 

starting-post, 5 — two men playing at ascolia, or trying to 
leap on to a greasy vase, over which one is tumbling 
unsuccessfully 6 — and a pair of figures which I can only 
explain as an athlete, playing at ball with a boy, i. e., 
making the boy his ball, & la Risley, for he has one knee 
to the ground, with his hand raised as if to catch the boy, 
whom he has tossed into the air. Hard by, are a couple 
of stout sticks, propt against each other, which seem to 
have something to do with his operations. 7 

The banquets in this tomb are painted in the pediments 
over the side-doors. In each scene are three figures, 
males, reclining on cushions. One plays the lyre; another 
holds a flower ; a third, a branch of olive ; a fourth offers 
a goblet to his neighbour. In one corner a slave is busy 
at a mixing-vase, like that in the Tomba del Colle. In 
each pediment is something which may be a dog, or a 
saddle, or anything the imagination pleases ; it seems 
introduced merely to fill the angle. But what is more 
remarkable — in each pediment one of the figures has the 

5 The meaning of these figures has ing on it. Schol. Aristoph. Plut. 1129. 
been doubted by Inghirami (Mus. Chius. It was an amusement much akin to the 
II. p. 132. tav. 131), because one of greasy pole and flitch of bacon of our 
these youths has a stick in his hand ; own rustic fairs and merry-makings, 
but the subject is obvious. From the action of hopping in this 

6 It was not generally vases, but game, the term came to be applied to 

leathern bottles — a<rKo\ — that were used hopping on any occasion. Aristoph. loc. 

in this sport ; or goat-skins filled with cit. Pollux, II. c. 4. Inghirami (Mus. 

wind, and greased, as Virgil (Georg. II. Chius. tav. 124) fancied the man stum- 

384) describes them — bling over the vase, was gathering dust ! 

— more than enough, no doubt — and 

Mollibus in pratis unctos saluere per ^ ^ yage .^ contained dust with 


which to strew the arena. 

See also Pollux, IX. cap. 7. This was ? Micali (Ant. Pop. Itai. III. p. 110) 

an amusement also of the Athenians, designates this game, " *7 salto del caval- 

and it was of Bacchic character, for the Ictto," formed by two sticks balanced, 

goat whose skin furnished the sport had These may represent the spring-board, 

previously been sacrificed to the jolly by which the boy is thrown into the 

god. The skin became the prize of air. 
him who succeeded in keeping his foot- 




face of a dog; it is at least so scratched on the wall, 
though the colour is almost effaced. 8 

The only painting in the inner chamber is a hideous 
mask, or Gorgon's face, with tongue hanging out. 9 Here, 
as well as in the other two chambers, are a number of 
urns and other sepulchral monuments, which, however, are 
said not to have been found in the tomb. One of the 
sarcophagi has a female figure reclining on the lid, and 
holding a small bird in her hand — the effigy of some 
Etruscan Lesbia with her sparrow, her delicics, 

Quera plus ilia oculis suis amabat ; 

and her mourning Catullus chose thus to immortalize her 
and her passion in stone. 10 

Among the sepulchral inscriptions there is one of 
bilingual character. 1 

8 A painted tomb, very like the two 
just described, was opened as long since 
as 1734, in a hill near Poggio Montolli, 
about a mile from Chiusi. It has been 
long reclosed, but a record of it is pre- 
served by Gori (Mus. Etrus. III. pp. 
84 — 7. cl. II. tav. 6), who shows us a 
pair of wrestlers in the same singular 
positions — a pah' of pugilists, with an 
oil-pot on a column hard by — the ago- 
nothete with his rod, and with a tutu- 
lus, or high-peaked cap — a subulo with 
double-pipes, — a bearded dwarf — a cha- 
rioteer in his biga, followed by a man 
with a palm-branch in token of victory 
— a recumbent figure with a patera, to 
indicate the banquet, though Gori takes 
it for the soul of the deceased — and two 
men, with rods and something twisted 
round them, which seems to be a ser- 
pent, as in the Grotta delle Bighe of 
Corneto ; but Gori takes these figures 
to be centurions with their vites. Other 
figures of huntsmen, dogs, and wild 
beasts, all prostrate in the midst of a 

wood, together with two other chariots, 
were seen in this tomb when first 
opened, but they soon faded from its 

9 Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. CII. 4. 

in In a tomb near this, Signor Luccioli 
discovered, in 1839, about a hundred 
vases of the black relieved ware, all glued 
together in a mass by the sandy earth, 
and in the centre was a painted tazza in 
the best style. Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. 5, 
61, 153. 

1 The Etruscan inscription in Latin 
letters would run thus, vel. venzileal. 
phnalisle. The Roman epitaph is 

c. vensivs. c. F. 


Here again it will be observed that the 
names do not seem to correspond, the 
" Velus " of the Etruscan, as in the 
other bilingual inscription, given at page 
354, being rendered by "Caius" in the 
Latin. Yet Kellermann seems to regard 
them as referring to one and the same 
B B 2 

372 CHIUSI. — The Cemetery. [chap. m. 

Deposito delle Monache. 

Not far from the sepulchre just described, is the " Tomb 
of the Nuns," so called, not from containing the ashes of 
ancient religious virgins — Etruscan civilization, so far as 
we can learn, never having encouraged voluntary celibacy 
in either sex — but from being in the grounds of the 
nunnery of Santo Stefano. It lies about a mile and a half 
from Chiusi, to the north-west, in a hollow, called Val 
d'Acqua. It is a vaulted chamber of small size, rudely 
hollowed in the rock, and unpainted; possessing no inte- 
rest beyond the preservation of its monuments, just as 
they were discovered, with the exception of a few which 
have been sold. There are still ten left — two sarcophagi, 
for unburnt bodies; the rest, cinerary urns, of alabaster and 

On one of the sarcophagi reclines a figure, nearly seven 
feet long; its eyes are painted black, and its drapery 
retains traces of colour. 

One of the urns exhibits the colour yet more distinctly. 
The relief represents a bull goring a man in a Phrygian 
cap. Another man runs to his deliverance, spear in hand. 
A Juno stands by, holding a second bull by the nose; and 
she seems to be the good genius who urged the man to 
the rescue; just as the Virgin is often represented on 
modern ex votos, seizing a bull by the horn, or a runaway 
horse by the bridle. The robes of these figures, as well as 
the wings of the Juno, are of a rich red, the old Tyrian 
purple ; and her eyes, eyebrows, hair, lips, are all coloured 
naturally. The sepulchral urns of this district are more 
generally painted than those of Volterra; but the poly- 

individual. Bull. Inst. 1833. pp. 49, 51. III. pp. 108—111. Inghirami, Mus. 
This tomb is illustrated and described Onus. tav. 122 — 133. Kestner, Ann. 
by Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. 6», 70. Inst. 1829. pp. 116—120. 

chap, u.] TOMB OF THE NUNS. 373 

chrome system of the Etruscans is seen to most advantage 
at Cetona and Perugia. 

Of the other urns, one has a wild boar hunt ; another, 
some Etruscan legend, not easily explained; 2 a third, the 
figure of a panther — an uncommon device on urns. On 
the last reclines a figure, full of expression. Pass him not 
hastily; for he is called " Arnth Caule Vipina" — in which 
you may recognise the name of Ca3les, or Cselius, Vibenna, 
the Etruscan chieftain who assisted Romulus against the 
Sabines, and gave his name to the Cselian hill. 3 From 
what city that illustrious warrior came to Rome, we know 
not; 4 though it seems probable he was from this district of 
Etruria. The individual whose ashes are inclosed in this 
urn may be presumed to be of the same illustrious race. 

But this is an interloper — he is not of the family to 
which the sepulchre belonged, which, from the majority of 
the epitaphs, was evidently that of " Umrana." This is 

2 It is illustrated in the Museo Chiu- remaining. Miiller (Etrusk. I. p. 117) 
sino, tav. 212. Inghirami (op. cit. II. would read it " Volcientes," because of 
p. 206) suggests that it may represent the neighbourhood of Volsinii, to which 
the Theban Brothers ; but there is city he would refer the hero. The 
nothing in the scene to favour this view. Lucumo, whom Dionysius (II. p. 104) 
A warrior, fallen from his horse, is represents as coming to the assistance 
supported by a comrade ; a figure with f Romulus, " from Solonium, a city of 
Phrygian cap, and a torch in hand, the Etruscans," both Miiller and Nie- 
probably a genius, seizes the bridle. A buhr (I. p. 297) identify with Cteles 
warrior stands opposite. Chaplets are Vibenna ; but as no such city is men- 
suspended behind, and a column sup- tioned by any other writer, it is pro- 
porting a vase stands in one corner. bable that the text is corrupt ; though 

3 The bronze tablet fourid at Lyons, whether we should read " Vetulonium," 
containing a fragment of an oration by as Cluver (II. pp. 454, 473) imagines, 
the Emperor Claudius, represents him or " Volsinium," as Miiller opines, or 
as the chieftain and friend of Mastarna, " Populonium," as Casaubon and others 
afterwards Servius Tullius. Gruter, would have it, it is not easy to deter- 
p. 502. mine. The name of Vibenna — Vipi, 

4 Festus (v. Tuscum Vicum), who Vipina, Vipinanas — has been found on 
chops his name in half, and makes two sepulchral inscriptions also at Tosca- 
brothers out of it, seems to hint at Veii ; nclla, Volsinii, and Perugia. 

but the word is imperfect — " cntcs " only 

37 I CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap. u. 

;in interesting fact, for in this word we recognise the name 
of Umbria ; and it is confirmatory of the historical record 
of the early relations between that country and this city 
of Clusium. 5 

This tomb was discovered in 1826, by some clairvoyant 
peasant, it is said, dreaming that he found a sepulchre on 
this spot. But the fact loses much of the marvellous when 
it is recollected that the discovery of tombs around Chiusi 
is of every-day occurrence; the neighbourhood being so 
full of them, that on any spot a man might select, he would 
probably meet with traces of ancient sepulture. But such 
is "the stuff that dreams are made of" in Italy, where the 
lower orders place implicit faith in them, and consult 
soothsayers and somnipatent books for the interpretation 
thereof. In lottery matters, dreams are the Italian's 
oracles. Before purchasing a ticket he tries to dream of 
" buoni numeri ; " or if no numbers enter into his visions, 
the circumstances of the dream determine its character, 
and the phantasmagoria of his somnolent hours are trans- 
latable into numerals. 

Not far from the Tomba del Colle, and to the east of 
Chiusi, is a sepulchre called Tomba del Postino, from its 
proprietor, the postmaster of the town, or sometimes Tomba 

5 The last syllable of Umraiia is but often derived from regions, cities, rivers, 
the usual augmentative, as from Titi is &c. ; and the discovery of a family- 
formed Thine, from Pumpu, Pumpuni, name of this character at Chiusi is cor- 
from Vipi, Vipina. On an urn in the roborative of the historical record. It 
Museo Casnccini the very word Umbria, may be further observed that the ap- 
expressed as well as it can be in the pellation Livy (IX. 36) attaches to the 
Etruscan, which has no B, occurs as a foreign kindred of the Clusians, — "Ca- 
family-name — "Larthia Umria Puia." mertes Umbri," has its equivalent hi 
From the known relation between Ca- this tomb, for in one of the epitaphs the 
mars or Clusium, and the Camertes of names are coupled together — " Phastia 
Umbria (ut supra, p. 328), we might ex- Umranei Cumerunasa " — which, divested 
pect to find traces of that connection in of the adventitious terminations, would 
the names of families, which, among the be — Umra Cumere. 
Etruscans, as among other nations, were 


di Pomponini. It contains seven chambers, full of urns, the 
fruit of excavations made in the neighbourhood. In the 
cliff hard by have been discovered many urns in niches, 
covered with tiles. 6 

Beyond this on the way to the Deposito del Sovrano, 
you pass a slope called Campo degli Orefici, or the 
"Jeweller's Field," from the number of scambcei there 
brought to light. For these valuable relics of ancient days, 
which are found much more abundantly at Chiusi than 
on any other Etruscan site, are very rarely the produce 
of her tombs, 7 or the fruit of systematic research, but 

" the unlettered ploughboy wins 
The casual treasure from the fun-owed soil." 

Why they should be more abundant on this slope, than on 
any other around the town, is matter for speculative 
inquiry. But there can be no doubt that this branch of 
ancient Etruscan art was carried on extensively, if not 
even exclusively, at Clusium.* 

Not far from this are the Catacombs of the early Chris- 
tians ; which are too like those of Rome and its Campagna, 
Naples, and Syracuse, to require particular notice. 

At the foot of these slopes lies the Lake of Chiusi, a 
piece of water about two square miles in extent, and 
of no great beauty, yet heightening the charms of the 
surrounding scenery. Though often styled the " Chiaro 
di Chiusi," it is the muddiest lake I have ever seen; as 

6 Near this, a tomb was discovered in 7 Bull. Inst. 1829, p. 13. Other arti- 

1837, having two figures of the Etrus- cles of jewellery, however, are dis- 

can Charun, as large as life, sculptured covered in the tombs of Chiusi, such as 

in high relief in the doorway, and armed acorns of gold, and chaplets of laurel or 

with hammers as if to guard the sepul- other leaves in the same metal, like 

chre against violation. Ann. Inst. 1837. those of Vulci. Bull. Inst. 1829, p. 

2, p. 258. Unfortunately this tomb has 180 ; 1840, pp. 2, 61. 
been rcclosed. 

376 CH1USI.— The Cjsmktkuy. [ohap. l1. 

golden in hue as the Tiber, the Tagus, or the Guadalquivir. 
Its eastern shore forms the frontier, and at its southern 
extremity two towers frown defiance at each other, and 
seem to say, in words which have been applied to them 
as names — "Beccati questo," and "Beccati quest'altro." 
In the olden time the chief magistrate of Chiusi used 
yearly to wed this little lake with a ring, as the Doges of 
Venice espoused the Adriatic ; yet the Chiusians had no 
great reason to be fond of their misnamed Cliiaro, for its 
stagnant waters render the city unhealthy in summer, in 
spite of its elevation. 7 The atmosphere at that season is 
more or less impregnated with miasma ; it is always 
" grossa" sometimes even " balorda" 

Deposito del Gkan Due a 

or " del Sovrano/' is so called from lying in the property 
of the Crown. It is also known as the " Camera della 
Paccianese." It lies nearly two miles to the north-east of 
Chiusi, in a slope above the lake. I was startled on 
entering ; so unexpected was the sight. Yet the walls 
blazed not with gorgeous colours — no Bacchanals danced 
before me — no revellers lay on their couches — no athletce 
contended in the arena. All was colourless and sombre. 
But the tomb was vaulted over in a perfect arch ! with 
neat masonry of travertine ; 8 and on the benches around 

' Chiusi stands nearly 500 feet above It has been asserted that the measure- 

the lake, and about 1300 above the level ments of this tomb correspond through- 

of the sea. out with the multiples and divisions of 

8 The masonry is not massive, the the Tuscan braccio, which is known to 

courses being from 10 to 18 inches be just double the ancient Roman foot; 

high, and the blocks varying from 2 -J and it is hence fairly inferred that the 

to 3£ feet in length. It is entirely Romans took that measure from the 

without cement. The tomb is 12 ft. Etruscans, and that it has descended 

6 in. long, by 9 ft. 9 in. wide, which is unaltered to the modern inhabitants of 

consequently the span of the vault. Tuscany. See the observations of the 

The height is 7 feet 1 1 inches. architect Del Rosso, appended to Ver- 


lay the urns exactly as they were found, undisturbed for 
more than two thousand years. If other proof were 
wanting, this tomb would suffice to show that the Etrus- 
cans understood and practised the arch. 9 

There are here eight urns of travertine, some without 
recumbent figures on their lids ; and none with reliefs 
of great interest — Gorgon's heads, winged, and snaked — 
sea-divinities and hippocampi — a patera between two half- 
moon shields ; the most striking is a male riding on a 
panther, probably representing Bacchus. The inscriptions, 
which are painted in red or black, show this to be the 
tomb of the Peris — one of the noble families of Clusium. 10 

The doorway of this tomb is worthy of notice. It has 
a lintel of a single stone, but above that is a low, camber 
arch, of cuneiform blocks, springing from the masonry of 
the doorposts, which seems introduced to lessen the pres- 
sure of the superincumbent earth upon the lintel. The 
door was formed like that of the Tomba del Colle Casuccini, 
shown in the woodcut at the head of this chapter, but one 
flap is now removed, and the other no longer works on its 
hinges. 1 

This tomb was discovered in 1818. From the style of 

miglioli's description of this tomb, Pe- and friable to admit of a tomb being 

rugia, 1819. I have often been struck excavated. 

with this same accordance, on measur- 10 One of the males, called " Au. 

ing ancient masonry and tombs in Etru- Pursna. Peris. Pumpual," must have 

ria with the Tuscan braccio. It may been of the illustrious race of Porsena 

be observed in several of these sepul- by a mother of the great Etruscan 

chres at Chiusi. What other instance family of Pumpus, or Pompeius. The 

can be shown of a standard measure other males are called " Au. Pulphna. 

being handed down unchanged through Peris. Au. Seiantial." — " Ltli. Peris, 

so many ages ? Matausnal." — " La. Pulphna. La." . . . 

9 Though now in the slope of the hill, The famales are " Thania. Seianti. Pe- 

it is probable that this tomb was origi- risal." — " Thana. Arntnei. Perisalisa." 

nally built up as an independent struc- — " Thana. Arinei. Perisalisai." 

ture, and then covered with earth — a ' The door is six feet high, and about 

method adopted, it would seem, because half as wide, 
the ground in this part was too loose 

378 CH1USI. — The Cemetery. [chap. u. 

its urns, rather than from the character of its construction, 
it may be pronounced of no early period of Etruscan art. 2 


On the Poggio Renzo, or La Pellegrina, an oak-covered 
hill, about a mile from Chiusi to the north-east, a tomb 
was opened in March, 1846, with paintings of singular 
interest. For though the style proves them to be of very 
early date, the subject has features which recall the days 
of chivalry. I shall call it the " Monkey Tomb." 

This sepulchre is entered by a deep passage sunk in the 
rock ; in form and arrangement it bears a great resem- 
blance to the other painted tombs, but has four chambers. 3 
That in the centre is surrounded by a band of figures, 
thirty inches high, representing palsestric games. The 
only spectator is a lady, veiled, sitting beneath the shade 
of an umbrella, just like those of modern times, and 
indicative, it is probable, of her rank and dignity. 4 Her 

2 A tomb very similar to this in double the size ; and he assigns to it a 

every respect was opened in 1839, in very high antiquity. Monuments of 

the Vigna Grande, about three quarters Lydia and Phrygia, p. 5. 
of a mile to the south of Chiusi. It 3 The fourth chamber opens in the 

was, however, of larger dimensions. side-wall, where there is merely a false 

It contained eight urns, which showed door in the other painted tombs, already 

it to be the family- vault of the « Phe- described. The ceilings here are simi- 

rini." The door was perfect, of two larly coffered. The first or outer 

leaves of travertine, working just like chamber is 16^ ft. wide, by 13^ ft. 

that of the Tomba del Colle ; and each deep. The inner one is 11 J ft. by 9£ 

leaf had had a handle of bronze, which ft. These two only are painted. There 

was broken off. Bull. Inst. 1840, pp. are remains of nails in the walls of 

2, 3. Signor Ciofi, in his " Visita ai Se- these chambers. 

polcri presso Chiusi," speaks of this 4 Umbrellas and parasols, be it re- 
tomb as if it were still open ; but in membered, are as old as the sun and 
neither of my visits to Chiusi have I vain. Though of modern introduction 
seen it, and I was told that it had been into this country, they were well-known 
reclosed with earth. in the olden time. In the East the 

Mr. Steuart describes a tomb near umbrella has been used from time 

Afghan Khiu, in Phrygia, very similar immemorial, though chiefly by the 

t<> this in construction, though nearly groat ; and proud is the oriental de- 

chap, li.] TOMB OF THE MONKEY. 379 

foot-stool is marked with a pair of eyes, like so many of 
the painted vases. Before her, is a table or couch at 
which stands a subulo, blowing his pipes for her amusement. 

There is a race of three bigce, as in the other painted 
tombs, the goal being indicated by a ribbon suspended ; 
and here stands the umpire, ready to bestow a branch on 
the victor. Under each chariot lies something like a bag 
or skin, probably of oil, the usual prize in such contests. 
The artist was unable to group them together, and there- 
fore scattered them in the vacant spots of his picture. In 
other parts of the scene a groom is exercising a pair of 
horses, and a man is riding with a boy, perhaps instructing 
him in the manege; in both cases the riders are seated 
sideways, as horsemen are often represented in Etruscan 
monuments. The steeds are black, red, or white, and 
though of no desirable forms, are not deficient in spirit. 
Beneath one of the chariots a boy is playing with a 

The other figures are as follows : — A pair of wrestlers, 
in even more difficult attitudes than in the other tombs — 

spot, who can style himself, " Brother a fair one of Greece and Rome from 

of the Sun and Moon, and Lord of Phoebus' gaze, as we learn from ancient 

the Umbrella." Assyrian monarchs vases, bas-reliefs, and paintings. They 

stood beneath its shade while receiving were borne by the men, as well as by 

homage from their vanquished foes ; the Maids of Athens in the days of Peri- 

and Lycian princes sat under such cles (Aristoph. Equit. 1345 ; Thesmoph. 

shelter while directing the siege of 830 ; Aves, 1508, 1549) ; and Roman 

a hostile city ; as the reliefs recently gallants were wont to hold them over 

brought from the ruins of Nineveh, their mistresses. Ovid. Art. Amat. II. 

and the coast of Lycia, and now in the 209. In this tomb we have proof, the 

British Museum, satisfactorily attest. first proof, that they were used in 

The proudest trophy of the Gallic arms Etruria also. Yet though an umbrella 

in Africa was the umbrella of Abd-el- often shadowed the rich cheek of Cleo- 

Kader, till he himself shared its fate ; patra, and softened the glow of Aspa- 

though he was soon avenged by his sia's charms, in London, the centre of 

victor being compelled to abandon his modern civilisation, not a century since, 

in a far ignobler manner. Umbrellas Jonas Ilanway wasridiculed for carrying 

preserved the complexion of " the fair- one through the streets. 
cheeked " Helen, and sheltered many 

380 CH1USI. — The Cemetery. [chap. li. 

an agonothete in blue " high-lows," seeing fair play. — A 
pair of pugilists, boxing with the cestus, holding one 
hand open for defence, the other closed for attack ; their 
robes on a stool between them. — A man in white 
armour — helm, cuirass, greaves, Argolic shield, and wavy 
spear — probably a gladiator ; his helmet has the two long- 
cockades, so often represented on the painted vases. — A 
naked figure, who seems to have been hurling a long 
straight lance, having a looped cord attached to it, is 
taking a flask of oil or wine from a boy, who also 
offers him a bough. — A minstrel with lyre and bough. — 
A trumpeter with a large horn, a peculiar specimen of 


this instrument, which w r as of Etruscan invention. 5 — A 
priestess, distinguished by a string of huge brown beads, 
crossed on her bosom, as the female demons wear their 
bands, is bearing a tall candelabrum on her head. — Two 
dwarfs with bushy black beards — one with tutuhis and 
chaplet, is teaching the double-pipes to a youthful subido 
of fair proportions ; the other, bearing a large paddle-like 
leaf on his shoulder, has Ins arm seized by an athlete, who 

5 It is not the round trumpet or pension. The trumpet represented above 

corn/a represented on the urns of was found at Vulci, and is now in the 

Volterra (ut supra, p. 188), but curved Gregorian Museum at Rome ; it is the 

like a pedum, or lituus ; and it must only specimen I remember to have seen 

be of that sort designated by the of an Etruscan trumpet, and its exact 

latter name. See Vol. I. p. 312. The counterpart is not to be found on any 

curved part is supported by cross bars, native monument, — painting or sculp- 

and at the extremity is a ring for sus- ture. It is about four feet in length. 

chap, li.] DWARFS AND MONKEYS. 381 

seems to wish to instruct him in gymnastics, to which the 
little man naturally shows reluctance. 6 

Dwarfs and monkeys are associated in our minds ; and 
so apparently in those of the Etruscans. Here, amid the 
athletce, sits an ape chained to a rock ; from his action he 
seems to be taking a pinch of snuff, though the foul weed 
never tickled Etruscan nostrils. He has no apparent rela- 
tion to the scene, and it may be that, like the dwarfs, he is 
introduced to fill an awkward space under the projecting 
lintel of a door. 

It is impossible not to be struck with the mediaeval 
character of much of this scene. It requires no great 
exercise of the imagination to see a castle-yard in the 
days of chivalry. There is the warder with his horn, the 
minstrel with his lyre, the knight in armour, the nun with 
her rosary, the dwarfs and monkey — and even some of the 
other figures would not be out of place. Yet the style of 
art, bearing a close resemblance to that of the Grotta delle 
Inscrizioni at Corneto, proves this to be without a doubt 
the most ancient of the painted tombs of Chiusi, and at 
least four or five centuries before the Christian era. 

Below the figures is a band of the Egyptian and Greek 
meander-pattern. Above them on the cornice, on each 
wall, is the head of a female with dishevelled hair. 

The inner chamber has only two figures painted — one 
on each side- wall. They are boys ; one holding a flask of 
wine or oil ; the other a bill-hooked lance. Like the 
outer chamber this has a sepulchral couch hewn from the 
rock ; but in one corner a square mass is left, which would 
hardly be intelligible, were not the arm of a chair painted 
on the wall above it, indicating its analogy to the curule 
chairs in the tombs of Cervetri. 7 The arm in this case 

f ' Some of these athletce have leathern pads to their knees and heels. 
7 lit supra, pp. .°)4, 59. 

3S2 CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap. u. 

represents a spotted snake, a proof among many others, 
that the Etruscans, like other nations of antiquity, were 
wont to introduce imitations of animal life into their 
furniture. Above the seat, the wall is painted to represent 

In the square coffer in the ceiling are painted four ivy 
leaves, alternating with as many Syrens, each with long- 
dishevelled hair, hands to her bosom as if beating it in 
grief, and two pair of wings, like the Cherubim of the Jews. 

The sexes of the figures in this tomb are as usual dis- 
tinguished by their colour ; the males being a strong red, 
the females white. Many were first scratched in, then 
drawn with strong black outlines, and filled up with 
colour. Some show that the artist made many attempts 
before he could draw the form to his satisfaction. 8 

Hard by the " Tomb of the Monkey," a remarkable 
circular well or shaft has been recently discovered, sunk to 
a great depth in the hill, and having windows at intervals 
opening into tombs, of which there are supposed to be 
several stories, but the well has not yet been fully exca- 
vated. The absence of niches in its walls seems to mark 
it as a means of ventilation rather than of entrance to the 

On the hill-slope below the Tomba della Scimia, is a 
tomb recently opened, which contains the only Etruscan 
inscription yet discovered on this site, graven or painted 
on the rock. It is cut over a large body-niche in the inner 
chamber, as in the tomb by the Ponte Terrano, at Civita 
Castellana. The inscription is legible, but does not appear 
to be a proper name. 

8 Near this tomb, another was opened art was very inferior, and the walls 

at the same time, having three chain- much dilapidated, so that it was not 

bers, one of which was painted with thought worthy of being kept open for 

the scene of a hare-hunt, a novel sub- public inspection, and was therefore 

ject in Etruscan tombs. The style of reclosed with earth. 


Tomba d'Orfeo e d'Euridice. 

About a mile or more to the west of Chiusi, at a spot 
called I Pianacci, is another painted tomb, opened a few 
years since, and now from neglect and humidity almost 
destroyed. 9 It has three chambers, two of them with 
painted walls. In one, a man, with a light pallium on his 
shoulders, is playing the lyre in the midst of a group of 
dancers ; one of whom is a female. Antiquaries of high 
credit think to see in this scene Orpheus fetching Eurydice 
from the shades ; and the inclination of the two figures 
towards each other, and the outstretched arms of the 
female, would seem to favour this opinion. In this case, 
the other dancers might represent souls attracted and 
animated by the magic of his lyre. But I doubt if this 
be the real purport of the scene, for there is no other 
instance of a mythological subject being depicted on the 
walls of a tomb. It more probably represents the ordinary 
dance at the funeral rites. Trees, more freely drawn than 
usual, alternate with the figures. 

The other chamber contains festive scenes — males 
reclining at the banquet, a subido playing the pipes, and a 
mixing-jar, with a satyr painted on it, standing on the 
ground. Here were also the funeral games, as indicated 
by a figure with a lance, and another with dumb-bells ; 
but the surface of the wall has been so much injured, 
that little is now distinguishable. It is evident, however, 
that in point of design, this tomb has a decided superiority 
to every other yet discovered at Chiusi. 

The paintings in this and the Tomba della Scimia have 

9 This tomb has not been placed of lions, and will not be shown unless 

under lock and key, and will therefore especially demanded. One Monni, a 

soon cease to be worthy of a visit. It restorer of vases at Chiusi, knows its 

does not come into the cicerone's list whereabouts. 

334 CHIUSI.— The Cemetery. [chap. li. 

never been described, as far as I am aware ; bnt they have 
been copied, and will shortly be published by the Archaeo- 
logical Institute of Rome. 

In a hill near the Poggio Gajella, called Poggio 
Paccianesi, or del Vescovo, because it is episcopal property, 
is a tomb with seven chambers, arranged like atrium and 
triclinia, some of which bear traces of paintings ; but little 
is now to be distinguished be}^ond a pair of parti-coloured 
lions in one of the pediments. As the tomb is often 
flooded, these lions may be left unbearded by those who 
have seen the other painted tombs. Here were found the 
beautiful vases, now in the possession of the Bishop of 

The novel wonders of the Poggio Gajella demand a 
separate chapter. 



Among the Etruscan families mentioned in the sepulchral inscriptions 
of Chiusi and its neighbourhood, are the following; many of which are 
well known in their Roman form: — 

Achni, Alphna, Ani, Aphune, Apluni, Arini, Arntni, Atina. Cae, 
Caina, Camarina, Carcu, Carpna, Carna, Causlini, Cenci, Clauca or 
Clauce, Creice, Crisu, Cucuma, Cumeruni, Cutlisna. Larcna or Larcne, 
Latini, Lautni. Marcni, Matausna. Papasa, Patislana, Peris, Perna, 
Pethna, Pherini, Phulne, Phuphle, Plauti, Presnti, Purna, Pursna, 
Pulphna, Pumpu. Reicna, Remzana, Resna. Satna, Seiati, Seianti, 
Sentinati, Sethna, Sethre, Spaluria, Stenia. Tanasa, Tetina, Titi, 
Thesnti, Thurmna, Tlesna, Trepu, Tulus, Tuna, Tutna. Umrana, 
Umria, Urinati or Vrinati. Varna, Vecnati, Velsi, Velthurus, Vensi, 
Veti, Vipi, Vipina, Vusine. 




Crede mihi, vires aliquas natura sepulcris 

Attribuit ; tumulos vindicat umbra suos. 


Ut quondam Creta fertur Labyrinthus in alta 
Parietibus textum caecis iter, aucipitemque 
Mille viis habuisse dolum, qua signa sequendi 
Falleret indeprensus et irremeabilis error. 


It is a notable fact that but one description of an 
Etruscan tomb is to be found in ancient writers ; and that 
tomb was at Clusium — the mausoleum of Lars Porsena. 
It is thus described by Varro, as quoted by Pliny : — 

"He was buried under the city of Clusium, in a spot 
where he has left a monument in rectangular masonry, 
each side whereof is three hundred feet wide, and fifty 
high, and within the square of the basement is an 
inextricable labyrinth, out of which no one who ventures 
in without a clue of thread, can ever find an exit. On 
that square basement stand five pyramids, four at the 
angles, and one in the centre, each being seventy-five feet 
wide at its base, and one hundred and fifty high, and all so 
terminating above, as to support a brazen circle and a 
petasus, from which are hung by chains certain bells, 
which, when stirred by the wind, resound afar off, as was 
formerly the case at Dodona. Upon this circle four other 
pyramids are based, each rising to the height of one 

VOL. II. c c 


CHIUSI. — Poggio Gajella. 

[chap. 1.11. 

hundred feet. And above these, from one floor, five more 
pyramids, the height whereof Varro was ashamed to men- 
tion. The Etruscan fables record that it was equal to that 
of the rest of the structure." 

This description is so extravagant, that it raised doubts 
even in the mind of the all-credulous Pliny, who would not 
commit himself by recording it, save in the very words of 
Varro. 1 Can we wonder that the moderns should be 
inclined to reject it in toto f Niebuhr regarded it as a 
mere dream, — " a building totally inconceivable, except as 
the work of magic," — no more substantial than the palace 
of Aladdin. 2 

But at the same time that we allow such an edifice as 

1 Plin. N. H. XXXVI. 19, 4.— Nam- 
que et Italicum (labyrintlnmi) dici con- 
venit, quera fecit sibi Porsenna rex 
Etruriae sepulcri causa, simul ut exter- 
uoi'um regum vanitas quoque ab Italis 
superetur. Sed cum excedat omnia fabu- 
lositas, utemur ipsius M. Varronis in 
expositione ejus verbis : — Sepultus est, 
inquit, sub urbe Clusio ; in quo loco 
monumentum reliquit lapide quadrato : 
singula latera pedum lata triceniim, alta 
quinquagenum ; inquc basi quadrata 
intus labyrinthum incxtricabilem : quo 
si quis improperet sine glomere lini, 
exitura invenire nequeat. Supra id 
quadratum pyramides stant quinque, 
quatuor in angulis, in medio una : in 
imo lata; pedum quinum septuagenum, 
alta; centum quinquagenum : ita fasti- 
gatte, ut in summo orbis ameus et peta- 
sus unus omnibus sit impositus, ex quo 
peudeant exapta catenis tintinnabula, 
qua; vento agitata, longe sonitus refer- 
ant, ut Dodonse olim factum. Supra 
quern orbem quatuor pyramides insu- 
per, singula; exstant alta; pedum ccn- 
tcniim. Supra quas uno solo quinque 
pyramides ; quanim altitudinem Varro- 

uem puduit adjicere. Fabula; Etruscan 
tradunt eandem fuisse, quam totius 
operis : adeo vesana dementia qua;sisse 
gloriam impendio nulli profuturo. Pra;- 
terea fatigasse regni vires, ut tamen lau* 
major artificis esset. 

3 Niebuhr, I. pp. 1 30, 55 1 . Engl, trans. 
Letronne (Ann. Instit. 1829. pp. 386 — 
395) thinks it nothing more than the 
fragment of an Etruscan epic, preserved 
in the religious and poetical traditions 
of the country. So also Orioli, who 
puts on it a mystic interpretation. 
Ann. Inst. 1833, p. 43. Hirt (Geschichte 
der Baukunst I., p. 249) according to 
Miiller, maintains on this subject a pru- 
dent reserve. The Due de Luynes, 
however, and Quatremere de Quincy 
believed the whole tale literally, and 
have attempted to restore the monument 
from the description. Ann. Inst. 1829, 
p. 304—9. Mon. Ined. Inst. I., tav. 
XIII. Canina lias also made a restora- 
tion of this monument. Archit. Ant. 
Seg. Sec. tav. CLIX. The worthy father 
Angelo Cortenovis wrote a treatise to 
prove it was nothing else than a huge 
electrifying machine. 

chap, hi.] THE TOMB OF LARS PORSENA. 387 

Varro describes, to be of very difficult, if not impossible 
construction, we should pause before we reject the state- 
ment as utterly false and fabulous. It is the dimensions 
alone which startle us. Granting these to be greatly 
exaggerated, the structure is not impracticable. 3 We 
should consider the peculiarities of its construction, and if 
we find an analogy between it and existing monuments, 
we may pronounce it to be even within the bounds of pro- 
bability. A monument would hardly have been tradi- 
tional, had it not been characteristic. However national 
vanity may have exaggerated its dimensions, or extrava- 
gantly heightened its peculiarities, it could not have con- 
ceived of something utterly foreign to its experience ; any 
more than a Druid bard could have sung of a temple like 
the Parthenon, or an Athenian fable have described a palace 
like the Alhambra. That such was the Etruscan tradition 
we cannot doubt, for Varro was not the man to invent a 
marvellous tale, or to colour a story more highly than he 
received it. 4 

No one can doubt that a magnificent sepulchre was 
raised for Lars Porsena, the powerful chieftain, whose 
very name struck terror into Rome, and whose victorious 
arms, but for his own magnanimity, might have swept her 

J Miiller (Etrusk. IV., 2. 1.) is of thinks Varro took his description from 
opinion that the lower part with the the Etruscan books. Orioli (ap. Inghir. 
labyrinth really existed, and that the Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 167) thinks Varro's 
upper, though greatly exaggerated, was picture must have been not only con- 
not the mere offspring of fancy. sistent with the Etruscan style of archi- 

4 Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 2. 1.) is of tecture, but drawn from a real object, 
opinion that Varro must have seen a just as the palaces of Ariosto's and 
portion of the monument he describes Tasso's imagination had evidently their 
— " he would hardly have gathered such originals in Italy. And Abeken (Mit- 
precise statements from mere hearsay; telitalien, p. 246) considers it, in its fun- 
yet the upper part, from what point damental conditions, to be thoroughly 
upwards is uncertain, was merely pic- national, and in accordance with other 
tared to him by the inhabitants of the edifices of the land, 
city." Niebuhr (I. p. 130), however, 

C C 2 


CHIUSI.— Poggio Gajeli.a. 

[CHAr. HI. 

from the map of Italy. 5 The site, too, of such a monu- 
ment would naturally be at Clusium, his capital. That it 

5 Lars is an Etruscan prcenomen, sup- 
posed to be significant of rank and 
dignity, as Etruscan princes seem always 
to have had this name — Lars Porsena, 
Lars Tolumnius — a title of honour, equi- 
valent to dominus. Miiller, Etrusk. I. 
p. 405. The fact of its being the appel- 
lation also of the household deities of 
the Etruscans favours this view. Yet 
the frequent occurrence of this name, or 
its varieties, " Lart," or * Larth," in 
sepulchral inscriptions, seems to deprive 
it of any peculiar dignity, and to show 
that it was used indiscriminately. Per- 
haps the distinction drawn by the gram- 
marians is correct — that Lar, Laris, was 
significant of deity, and Lars, Lartis, 
was the Etruscan prcenomen. The 
Romans, however, who took both from 
the Etruscans, seem to have used them 
indifferently. Muller, I. p. 408. Thus 
we find a Lar Herminius, consul in the 
year 306. Liv. III. 65. The old patri- 
cian gens Lartia derived its name from 
Lars, just as many other gentile names 
were formed from prwnomina. Lars is 
supposed by Lanzi (II. p. 203) to signify 
divas, but it is more generally believed 
to be equivalent to " lord ; " and it is 
even maintained that the English word 
is derived from the Etruscan. Some 
take Lai-s to be of Pelasgic origin, from 
the analogy of Larissa, daughter of 
Pelasgus ; and others seek its source in 
the Phoenician. However that be, it 
can at least, with all its derivatives, be 
traced with certainty to the Etruscan. 

Porsena is often called King of 
Clusium or of Etruria. Pliny (II. 54), 
however, seems to call him King of 
Volsinii. He was properly chief Lucumo 
of Clusium, and " King of Etruria " only 
in virtue of commanding the forces of 
the Confederation. 

The name is spelt both Porsena 

and Porsenna, but in any case, thinks 
Niebuhr (I. pp. 500, 541 ), the penulti- 
mate is long, from the analogy of other 
Etruscan gentile names — Vibenna, Er- 
genna, Perpenna, Spurinna; and he pro- 
nounces Martial (I. 22; XIV. 98) guilty 
of a " decided blunder " in shortening 
the penultimate. Mr. Macaulay, in his 
admirable " Lays of Ancient Rome " 
(p. 44), questions the right of Niebuhr 
or any other modern to pronounce on 
the quantity of a word which " Martial 
must have uttered and heard uttered a 
hundred times before he left school ;" 
and cites Horace (Epod. XVI. 4) and 
Silius Italicus (VIII. 391, 480) in cor- 
roboration of that poet. Compare Sil. 
Ital. X. 484. The following prose- 
writers, though their authority cannot 
affect the quantity, also spell it " Por- 
sena." — Liv. II. 9 ; Cicero, pro Sext. 
21 ; Flor. I. 10 ; Val. Max. III. 2. 2 ; 
Tacit. Hist. III. 72. On the other hand 
there is the great authority of Virgil 
(^n. VIII. 646)— 

Nee non Tarquinium ejectum Por- 
senna jubebat; 
followed by Claudian (in Eutrop. I. 444) 
Quaesiit, et tantum fluvio Porsenna 
remotus — 
by Pliny (II. 54 ; XXXIV. 13, 39 ; 
XXXVI. 19), and Seneca (Epist. 66 ; 
Benef. V. 1 6), for the lengthening of the 
penultimate — Porsenna; Plutarch (Pub- 
licola) also has T\op<ri]vas, and Diony- 
sius (lib. V.) TlopffTvos. Servius (ad iEn. 
VIII. 646) indeed asserts that Virgil 
added an n for the sake of the metre, 
as the penultimate is short. Now, 
though Mr. Macaulay was at liberty to 
adopt either mode, I believe him to be 
right in his choice of Porsena ; not on 
account of Servius' assertion, or because 
the authority of Horace, Martial, and 


was of extraordinary dimensions and splendour is likely 
enough ; otherwise it would not have been 

" A worthy tomb for such a worthy wight " — 

the greatest Etruscan prince and hero whom history com- 
memorates ; nor would it have been thus traditionally re- 
corded. That it had a square basement of regular masonry, 
supporting five pyramids, as described by the legend, is 
no way improbable, seeing that just such a tomb is extant 
— the well-known sepulchre on the Appian Way at Albano, 
vulgarly called that of the Horatii and Curiatii. 6 And 
though this tomb be Roman and of Republican date, it 
shows the existence of such a style in early times ; and 
its uniqueness also favours the antiquity of its model. 
Whether the analogy was carried further in this monu- 
ment it is impossible to say, for its cones now support 
nothing but themselves, and cannot even do that without 
assistance. The Cucumella of Vulci, with its walled base- 
ment and pair of towers, square and conical, and its Lydian 
cousin, the royal sepulchre of Sardis, with its diadem 
of five termini, though both are circular in the basement, 
bear also a strong affinity to the Varronian picture. 7 For 

Silius Italicus outweighs that of Virgil shows that the pyramid had a specific 

and Claudian, but because it is more form, distinct from the cone; a fact not 

agreeable to the genius of the Etruscan to be questioned. Tombs with square 

language, which gives us" Pursna," as its basements of large size, either for 

equivalent (M£s!y>ra, p. 377); and just so mounds of earth, or for the support of 

the "Ceicna" of the Etruscans was writ- pyramids or cones, like that of Albano, 

ten Ctecina or Csecinna, by the Romans. are still extant at Cervetri. Ut supra, 

6 In that instance, however, there are p. 5.9. 

cones, not pyramids, but the latter word 7 The cippi so commonly found in 

is thought by some to have had a Etruscan tombs, in the form of trun- 

generic application to anything having catod cones on square pedestals — some- 

the tapering form of a flame. Cauina times several rising from one basement 

(Ann. Inst. 1837, 2. p. 56) objects to — bear much analogy to the pyramids 

this on the authority of Cicero (Nat. of the Clusian legend, still more to the 

Deor. II. 18); who, however, merely tomb at Albano. 

390 CHIUSI.— Poggio Gajf.u.a. [chap. lh. 

further analogies it is not necessary to seek, though Varro 
himself suggests one for the bells ; because the super- 
structure is just that part of the edifice, which offered a 
field for the imagination of the legend-mongers. 8 

But the distinguishing feature of Porsena's tomb was 
the labyrinth, which alone led Pliny to mention it. Here, 
if in any point, we may consider the tradition to speak 
truth ; and here, as will presently be shown, a close ana- 
logy may be traced to existing monuments. Now the 
labyrinth being within the basement, was in all probability 
underground ; which may account for its not being visible 
in Pliny's day. The upper portion of the monument, 
whatever it may have been, had probably been long pre- 
viously destroyed in the Gallic or Roman sieges of Clusium, 
and the labyrinth itself, with the sepulchral chambers, may 
have been completely buried beneath the ruins of the 
superstructure, so that even its site had been forgotten. 9 
That this labyrinth, however, actually had an existence, 
there is no ground for doubt ; such is the opinion of dis- 
tinguished critics who have considered the subject. 1 

8 Dr. Braun points out the analogy the monument had been entirely of ma- 
existing between the far-projecting roofs sonry, it could not possibly have utterly 
of Etruscan houses — as we know them disappeared, especially so early as Pliny's 
from the imitations in cinerary urus — time ; and thinks it was more probably 
and the x>ctasus, which Varro describes a hill or mound like the Capitoline area 
as resting on the lower tier of pyramids. of Rome. Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 34 ; Mit- 
Laberinto di Porsenna, comparato coi telitalien, p. 245. In this case, when 
sepolcri di Poggio Gajella, p. 3. He the surrounding masonry was removed, 
gives a plate of such an urn, of fetid the rest of the monument would soon 
lime-stone, found at Chiusi, in the lose its artificial character and sink 
shape of a house, with an overhanging into a natural mound ; yet though all the 
roof, " whose singular aspect recalls external adornments of the tomb might 
to every one who has regarded such have perished, the labyrinth, being hol- 
monuments with an experienced eye, the lowed in the rock, must have remained, 
peculiarities of the tomb of Porsenna " ' Niebuhr, struck with the extrava- 
(op. cit. tav. VI. a. cf. Abeken, Mittelital. gance of Varro 's description, condemned 
taf. III. 6 ; Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 150.) it at once as fabulous, which as an his- 

9 Abeken remarks with justice, that if torian he was justified in doing. It is 


It is not idle then to believe that some vestiges of this 
labyrinth may still exist, and to expect that it may yet be 
brought to light. If subterranean, it was in all probability 
excavated in the rock, and traces of it would not easily be 
effaced. In truth it has often been sought, and found — in 
the opinion of the seekers, who have generally placed it 
on the site of Chiusi itself, in the subterranean passages of 
the garden Paolozzi, or in those beneath the city ; misled 
perhaps by Pliny's expression, "sub urbe Clusio" But 
that such was its position, the general analogy of the 
sepulchral economy of the Etruscans forbids us to believe. 
It must have been outside the walls, and if it were in 
one of the valleys around, it would be equally (i below 
the city." 

Some few years since, the attention of the antiquarian 
world was much drawn to the tomb of Porsena, in con- 
sequence of the discovery at Chiusi of a monument not 
only novel in character, but with peculiarities strikingly 
analogous, and in extent surpassing every other Etruscan 

About three miles to the north-north-east of Chiusi is a 
hill called Poggio Gajella, the termination of the range on 
which the city stands. There is nothing remarkable in 
the appearance of this height ; it is of the yellow arena- 
ceous earth so common in this district ; 2 its crest is of 
the same conical form as most of the hills around, and 

the province of the antiquary to view Miinchner Akademie, I. p. 41.5) and 

the details and consider how far they Abeken (Ann. Instit. 1841, p. 33 ; 

are supported by reason and analogy. Mittelitalieu, p. 244) who cites him. 

Miiller, therefore, makes a decided dis- 2 Gruner calls this rock a volcanic 

tinction between the upper and lower nenfro, but it is decidedly of aqueous 

part of the structure, and is of opinion, deposition, often containing oyster-shells, 

not only that the latter had an exist- and other marine substances. It 

ence, but that it was still extant in the compact when moist, but extremely 

days of Varro. Etrusker, IV. 2, 1. So friable when dry ; and, like chalk, it 

also think Thiersch (Abhandlung der has occasional layers of flint. 

392 CHIUSI.— Poggio Gajella. [chap. lii. 

it is covered with a light avooc! of oaks. There was no 
reason to suspect the existence of ancient sepulchres ; for 
it was not a mere tumulus, but a hill, raised by nature, not 
by art. Yet it has proved to be a vast sepulchre or rather 
a cemetery in itself — a potyandrion — an isolated city of 
the dead — situated like other ancient cities on the summit 
of a hill — fenced around with walls and fosse, filled with 
the abodes of the dead, carved into the very forms, and 
adorned with the very decorations and furniture of those 
of the living, arranged in distinct terraces, and communi- 
cating by the usual network of streets and alleys. 3 

I know not what first induced Signor Pietro Bonci- 
Casuccini, the owner of the hill, to make excavations here ; 
it may have been merely in pursuance of his long and sys- 
tematic researches on his estate. But in the winter of 
1839-40 the spade was applied, and very soon brought to 
light the marvels of the mound. 

About the base of the conical crest was unearthed a 
circuit of masonry, of rectangular blocks of travertine, un- 
cemented, from two to four feet in length ; and around 
this was a fosse three or four feet wide. Many of the 
blocks, removed from their original places, he scattered at 
the base of the mound ; but the fosse may still be traced, 
and will be found to mark a circumference of more than 
nine hundred feet. 4 

Above it the crest of the hill rises some forty or fifty 
feet, and in its slopes open the tombs, not in a single row, 
but in several tiers or terraces, one above the other ; and 

3 Conical mounds or isolated rocks of 4 Abeken (Ann. Inst. 1841, p. 31) 

other forms, full of sepulchres, are not says 285 metres, which are equal to 938 

uncommon in Asia Minor. Mr. Steuart feet English. A similar wall and fosse 

speaks of one at Dogan-lu, in Phrygia have been found encircling tombs at 

(Lydia and Phrygia, p. 11), and Sir Sta Marinella and Selva la Rocca ; and 

Charles Fellows describes and illustrates a fosse is cut in the rock round a tumu- 

one atPinarain Lycia. Fellows' Lycia, lus at Bieda. See Vol. I. p. 271. 
p. 139. 


not in regular or continuous order, but in groups. A 
single passage of great length cut into the heart of the 
hill, and at right angles with the girdling fosse, generally 
leads into a spacious antechamber, or atrium, on which 
open several smaller chambers, or triclinia, just as in the 
tombs of Csere. 5 Both atrium and triclinia are surrounded 
by benches of rock for the support of the bodies or of 
sarcophagi. The ceilings are generally flat, and coffered 
in recessed squares or oblongs, as in the other tombs of 
Chiusi, or they are carved into beams and rafters. They 
are painted in the usual style, and the walls also in certain 
chambers have painted figures, which though often almost 
effaced and in no case very distinct, may be traced as 
those of dancers or athletes, circling the apartments in a 
frieze, about twenty inches high. 6 The benches of rock 
are not left in unmeaning shapelessness ; they are hewn 
into the form of couches, with pillows or cushions at one 
end, and the front moulded into seat and legs in relief — 
so many patterns of Etruscan furniture, more durable than 
the articles themselves. Many of these couches are double 
— made for a pair of bodies to recline side by side, as they 
are generally represented in the banquets painted on the 
walls. They prove this monument to be of a period when 
bodies were buried, rather than burned. 7 

The most important tombs are on the lower and second 
tiers. On the lower, the most remarkable is one that 
opens to the south. It is circular, about twenty-five feet 
in diameter, supported in the centre by a huge column 

5 "The antechamber still more nearly They are of very simple character of 
resembles an atrium, inasmuch as the two colours only, red and black, and in 
roof has in most instances fallen in, an archaic style. See Bull. Inst. 1841 
leaving it open to the sky. p. 10. 

6 The principal of these paintings 7 The doors of these tombs are all 
are in a group of tombs to the right of moulded in the usual Egyptian form, with 
the circular tomb, marked e in the Plan. an overhanging simare-headed lintel. 


m ) 
n n 



W ^ t jv 

Entrance from the south. 

Antechamber or vestibule. 


I'oor to the principal chamber. 

Circular chamber. 

Column, hewn from the rock. 

Cuniculus, or passage cut in the rock, not yet cleared out. 

Cuniculus, leading to chamber aa. 

Original mouth of the passages. 

Passages, varying in size, and inclination, but only large enough to admit a man on all 
fours. At * the original cuniculus ni seems to have terminated, or to have turned in 
another direction ; the rest of it to s being narrower and more irregular. 

Spurious mouth of the passages, opening much higher in the wall than i. 

funiculi, partly unfinished, partly not yet excavated. 

Antechamber to the group of square tombs, opening to the west. 


Chambers, more or less rude, and all unpainted, with rock-hewn benches. 
In s are the mouths of the cumculi m and n. 

Antechamber to 

A tomb found tilled with large stones. 
Chamber, now encumbered with earth. 
Hecesses in its walls. 

The shaded part represents the rock in which the tombs and passages are hewn. 




hewn from the rock, ten or eleven feet thick, rudely formed, 
without base or capital, but in the place of the latter there 
chances to occur a thin stratum of flints. 8 The tomb is 
much injured, retaining no traces of ornament, except 
over the entrance, where is something like a head in relief 
on the lintel. Some beautiful vases, 9 
and the curious stone sphinxes of 
the Museo Casuccini were found 
here. Nothing is now to be seen 
but fragments of urns of cispo. In 
this circular tomb, as well as in the 
group of square chambers on the 
same level, are mysterious dark pas- 
sages opening in the walls, and ex- 
citing the astonishment and curiosity 

Of these more will 


of the stranger, 
be said anon. 

There are four other groups of tombs in this lower tier, 
making twenty-five chambers in all, besides two which 
are unfinished. 

On the tier above this are several tombs, some in groups, 
others single ; two to the south seem to have been circular. 
The finest group is one of five square chambers opening 
to the south-east, whose walls retain traces of painting, 
now much injured. Here were discovered articles of great 
beauty and value : — the magnificent vase of the Judgment 
of Paris, which forms the gem of the Casuccini collection, 

8 The entrance to this tomb is by a 
broad passage, or rather chamber, with 
large recesses on either hand, indicated 
in the Plan. 

9 For an account of these vases, some 
of which were in the archaic Etruscan 
style, others of the best Greek art, see 
Bull. Inst. 1840, p. 128.— Feuerbach. 

At the entrance to the round chamber 
was found part of a winged lion, of cispo, 
in the most severely archaic style ; 
and such, it is thought, must have sur- 
rounded this tumulus in great numbers, 
as at the Cucumella, of Vulci. Bull. 
Inst. 1841, p. 9. 

896 CHIUSI. — Poggio Gajella. [chap. lii. 

found in one hundred and twenty minute pieces, now 
neatly rejoined — another vase on a small bronze stand 
or stool, with legs like those sculptured on the couches 
of rock — a cinerary urn in the form of a male statue, with 
a moveable head as a lid — many small articles of gold and 
jewellery, and some thin Iambics of gold attached to the 
walls of one of the tombs, as though originally lining it 
throughout. In two of these chambers open smaD passages, 
like those in the lower tier. 10 

On the third and highest tier are three groups of tombs, 
one of which is supported by a column of rock ; and 
here also were found articles of jewellery, and fragments 
of painted vases. 1 

The marvel and mystery of this curious hive of tombs 
are the dark passages, which have given rise to as much 
speculation as such obscurities are ever wont to excite, 
in works sepulchral or literary, ancient or modern, of 
Cheops or Coleridge. They are just large enough for a 
man to creep through on all fours. Here, traveller, if 
curious and enterprising, " you may thrust your arms up 
to the elbows in adventures." Enter one of the holes 
in the circular tomb, and take a taper, either between 
your teeth, or in your fore-paw, to light you in your 
Nebuchadnezzar-like progress. You will find quite a 
labyrinth in the heart of the mound. Here the passage 
makes a wide sweep or circuit, apparently at random — 

10 The longest of these passages extends suggests that they may have been for the 

to 35 braccia, or 67 feet, and is not yet slaves or dependents of the family. Ann. 

fully cleared out. Another passage, Inst. 1841, p. 32. But the meanest 

which is nearly 3 feet square, runs tombs are at the base of the mound, 

some distance hi a straight line iuto the Some have seen in these a fourth tier, 

rock, and then meets a third, at right though they can hardly be said to be 

angles, which is still full of earth. on a different level from the principal 

1 As the tombs on this upper tier are groups, 
inferior to those below them, Abeken 


there it bends back on itself, and forms an inner sweep, 
leading again to the circular chamber — now it terminates 
abruptly, after a longer or shorter course, — and now, 
behold ! it brings you to another tomb in a distant part of 
the hill. Observe, too, as you creep on your echoing way, 
that the passages sometimes rise, sometimes sink, and 
rarely preserve the same level ; and that they occasionally 
swell out or contract, though generally regular and of 
uniform dimensions. 2 

What can these cuniadi mean 1 is a question every one 
asks, but none can satisfactorily answer. Had they been 
beneath a city, we should find some analogy between them 
and those often existing on Etruscan sites, not forgetting 
the Capitol and Rock Tarpeian. Had they been beneath 
some temple, or oracular shrine, we might see in them the 
secret communications by which the machinery of jugglery 
was carried forward ; but in tombs — among the mouldering 
ashes of the dead, what purpose could they have served 1 
Some have thought them part of a regularly planned 
labyrinth, of which the circular tomb was the centre or 
nucleus, formed to preserve the remains and treasure 
there deposited from profanation and pillage. 3 But surely 
they would not then make so many superfluous 
means of access to the chamber, when it already had a 
regular entrance. Moreover, the smallness of the passages 
— never more than three feet in height, and two in 
width, as small, in truth, as could well be made by the 
hand of man, which renders it difficult to thread them 
on all fours ; the irregularity of their level ; and the 
fact that one has its opening just beneath the ceiling, 

2 For plans of the several stories in The plans and plates are by M. Gruner, 

this tumulus, and for illustrations of the the well-known artist. The plan given 

articles found in the tombs, see the beau- at page 394 is from that work, 
tiful work of Dr. Braun cited above. 3 Feuerbach, Bull. Inst. 1841, p. 8. 

B98 CHIUSI. — Poggio Gajella. [chap. mi. 

destroying the beauty of the walls which were painted 
with dancing figures, and that another actually cuts 
through one of the rock-hewn couches — forbid us to 
suppose they were designed for regular communication, or 
were constructed throughout on any determined system. 
In truth, the latter facts would seem to show that in those 
cases, at least, they must be of subsequent construction to 
the tombs. Could they then have been formed either by 
the burrowings of some animal, or by former plunderers of 
the tombs in their search for treasures ? 

To the first it may be safely objected that these passages 
are too large, and in general too regular. In one of the 
tombs in the upper tier, however, are certain passages too 
small to admit a man, and therefore in all probability 
formed by some animal. I learned from the peasants 
who dwell at the foot of the hill, that badgers have been 
killed here. On the roofs of several of the chambers, 
which I was told had been found choked with earth, I 
observed the marks of that animal's claws. But it is 
impossible to believe that these labyrinthine passages have 
been made by that or any other quadruped. 

It is more easy to believe that they have been formed 
in by-gone researches for buried treasure. 4 That the 
tombs have been opened in past ages is evident from the 
state in which they were discovered, from the broken pottery 
and urns, and from the pieces of a vase being found in 
separate chambers. 5 Yet in general there is too much 
regularity about them, for the work of careless excava- 
tors. In one instance, indeed, in the second tier, there is 
a passage of very careful and curious formation, which 

1 This was Abeken's more digested must have been overlooked by the first 

opinion (Mittelital. p. 244), and that of riflers, as is sometimes the case— articles 

Micali also (Mon. Ined. p. 36.5). of great value being found occasionally 

5 The gold and jewellery discovered among the loose earth. 


gradually diminishes in size as it penetrates the hill, 
not regularly tapering, but in successive stages — magna 
componere parvis — like the tubes of an open telescope. 
From a careful examination of the cuniculi in this hill, all 
of which I penetrated, I cannot but regard them as 
generally evincing design ; here and there are traces 
of accidental or random excavation, such as the openings 
into the tombs which spoil their symmetry ; but these, 
I think, did not form part of the original construction ; 
they must have been made by the riflers carrying on the 
passages which were left as cul-de-sacs. 6 

What the design of this labyrinth may have been, I 
cannot surmise. Analogy does not assist us here. True, 
the Grotta della Regina at Toscanella, has somewhat 
kindred passages, though to a much smaller extent ; but 
these are involved in equal obscurity ; and in one of the 
mounds at Monteroni there were found cuniculi of this 
description, though leading not from the tomb, but from 
the grand entrance-passage. 7 There seems to be little 
analogy with the system of vertical shafts and horizontal 
ways which exists in the same tumulus at Monteroni, in 
the necropolis of Ferento, and in the Capitoline. There 
is more apparently with the subterranean passages beneath 
Chiusi ; still more with the Buche de' Saracini at Volterra ; 
but these are of most doubtful antiquity, origin, and pur- 
pose, and probably not sepulchral. Nor can any affinity 

The passage which connects the bench. May not the passages have 
circular chamber with the group to the been formed before certain of the tombs ? 
west, narrows very suddenly as it May they not have formed part of the 
approaches the latter, and opens in it original sepulchre in connection with 
in an irregular aperture, which seems the circular chamber, and have been 
of more recent date. In the circular cut into by the subsequent excavation 
chamber, one opening is regular, and of other chambers ? 
another quite irregular. Yet in one 7 Abcken (Mittclitalicn, p. 242) sup- 
case it is the neatest and most decidedly poses these to have been the work of 
artificial passage that cuts through the former riflers. 

400 CHIUSI.— Poggio Gajella. [chap. L1I. 

be discovered to the catacombs of Rome, Naples, and 
other places in Italy and Sicily. Future researches, either 
by clearing out these passages where they are now blocked 
up, or by analogous discoveries, may possibly throw some 
light on the mystery. 

We have now seen the existence of something very 
like a labyrinth in the heart of an Etruscan sepulchral 
tumulus, and have thus established, by analogy, the 
characteristic truth of Varro's description, as regards the 
substructions of Porsena's monument. I would, however, 
go no further. I would not infer, as some have done, 
that this tumulus of Poggio Gajella may be the very 
sepulchre of that hero. The circular, instead of the 
square basement, and the comparatively late date of its 
decorations and contents are opposed to such a conclu- 
sion. 8 Yet its vast extent, and the richness of its furni- 
ture, mark it as the burial-place of some of the ancient 
princes of Clusium ; and its discovery, after so many ages 
of oblivion, encourages the hope that some kindred monu- 
ment may yet be found, which may unhesitatingly be 
pronounced the original of Varro's description. 9 

Be this hope realised or not, the memory of Porsena 
and his virtues is beyond decay. It rests not on mauso- 
leum or " star-y-pointing pyramid," which, without that 
"monument more durable than brass," are frail and 
perishing records of human greatness ; for, as an old 
writer observes, " to be but pyramidally extant is a fallacy 
in duration." 

8 This is also Abeken's opinion. Mit- seem to indicate the basement of a sepul- 
telitalien, p. 245. chral tumulus. Here is a most pro- 

9 There is another similar, but larger arising field for such researches. But 
hill, not far off, called Poggio di San no excavations have been yet made ; 
Paolo, which tradition has marked as and are not likely to be made as long 
the depository of ancient treasures. as the mound remains in the hands of 
Fragments of massive masonry also its present proprietors. 



Molta tenent antiqua, sepolta, vetusta. 


— gia furo 
Incliti, ed or n'e quasi il nonie oscuro. 


The hills to the west of Chiusi are rich in Etruscan 
remains. The several towns of Cetona, Sarteano, Chian- 
ciano and Montepulciano are supposed, from the positions 
they occupy, and the mines of ancient wealth around 
them, not from any extant remains of fortifications, to 
indicate the sites of so many Etruscan cities. It is certain 
at least that in their environs are ancient cemeteries 
yielding the most archaic relics of Etruscan times. He 
who visits Chiusi should not omit to extend his tour to 
these towns, for they are all within a trifling distance of 
that city, and of each other ; and should he feel little 
interest in their antiquities, he cannot fail to be delighted 
with the glorious scenery around them. He may make 
the tour of the whole in a day, for the roads are very 

Cetona is only five or six miles from Chiusi — a clean 
little town, and a picturesque, on an olive-clad height, 
with a ruined castle of feudal times towering above it. 
Moreover, it has a decent locanda, kept by Alessandro 
Davide, where bright eyes will look brighter when the 
traveller comes. 


402 CETONA AND SARTEANO. [chap. un. 

The Etruscan antiquities now visible at Cetona are all 
contained in one house, that of the Cavaliere Terrosi, who 
lias drawn most of these treasures from a spot called 
Le Cardetelle, in the valley of the Astrone, half way 
between Chiusi and Cetona. This gentleman's collection 
is not large, but very select — the choicest produce of 
his excavations. Here are some beautiful specimens of 
the black pottery of this district — the tall, cock-crested 
jars, focolari, and other articles in the old rigid style of 
Clusian art ; among which a fine goblet of the rare form 
called carchesion, with a band of figures in relief, is con- 
spicuous. There are painted vases also, chiefly in the 
archaic style, with black figures on a red ground. 

But the gems of this collection are two ash-chests. 
One, on which reclines a female figure, with patera in 
hand, on a cushion that was once coloured blue, bears in 
the relief below an armed warrior, seized by two figures 
in human shape, but with the heads of a pig and of a ram. 
A draped female, who seems to have the warrior's sword 
in one hand, stands behind him, and lifts a rod over 
his head with the other, while round the same arm is 
entwined a serpent. Another female, whose attributes 
mark her as a Fury, stands at the opposite end of the 
scene. A second warrior is sinking to the ground in 
death. It is not difficult to recognise in this scene 
the attempted enchantment of Ulysses by Circe. 1 The 
drapery on these figures bears traces of pink colouring. 

1 Who may be the dying warrior is cate his death. Ann. Inst. 1842. p. 48 ; 
not obvious. Dr. Braun suggests it Bull. Inst. 1843. p. CI. Sozzi (Bull. Inst, 
may be Eurylochus who brought the 1842. p. 18) took this scene for a Bacchic 
hero word of the fate of his companions, dance. Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 310) con- 
though he was not slain on this occasion. fesses his inability to explain it. An 
He might he introduced merely for the illustration of the urn is given in Ann. 
sake of the composition, were it not Inst. 1842. tav. d'Agg. D. ; and by 
that the Fury seems expressly to indi- Micali, op. cit. tav. XLIX. 

chap, mi.] CETONA.— MUSEO TEBROSI. 403 

The other cinerary urn is the best preserved Etruscan 
monument of this character I remember to have seen. 
The relief shows a female without wings, but with a 
hammer and the other usual attributes of a demon, sitting 
on an altar, with her arm about a naked youth. On each 
side a man, with a Phrygian cap and a light robe, stands 
with drawn bow, threatening the life of the youth. A 
child sits weeping at the foot of the altar, and a female 
figure in an attitude of grief, with hands clasped on her 
lap, sits on the other side of the demon. It is difficult to 
explain this scene. It may represent the slaughter of 
Penelope's suitors — the chaste queen being portrayed in 
the weeping female, if this be not Euryclaea, her nurse ; 
and the two archers being Ulysses and Telemachus. 2 

The interest of this urn lies not so much in the subject 
of the relief, as in its high state of preservation, and its 
peculiar adornments. The necklace, chaplet, zone, and 
anklets of the genius are gilt ; so also the chaplet of the 
youth, and the Phrygian cap of the warrior ; and the 
drapery of the whole is coloured a rich purple. The 
recumbent figure on the lid is that of an elderly man, and 
his chaplet of oak-leaves, his long and thick torque, his 
signet-ring, and the vase in his hand, are all gilt ; while 

- This is Dr. Brain's opinion. Ann. ing at her feet may mean, it is most 

Instit. 1842. p. 48. tav. d'Agg. E. He difficult to conjecture. Micali (Mon. 

elsewhere suggests that the demon on Ined. p. 30.0) sees in the female, Pene- 

the altar may he Proserpine. Bull. lope caressed by the insolent suitors, 

Inst. 1843. p. 61. He acknowledges one of whom tries in vain to draw the 

that Telemachus is not so represented bow, when Ulysses seizes his weapon 

by Homer : but Etruscan versions of and takes his revenge. But the relief 

Greek myths generally differ more or will not admit of this interpretation, 

less from those which are received. Sozzi (Bull. Inst. 1842. p. 1!)) takes the 

Though there are no corpses repre- demon for Proserpine striving to keep 

sented, he thinks that the demon sufti- the soul of Alcestis from Hercules, 

ciently indicates the work of destruction. This urn is illustrated by Micali, Mou. 

Who the youth under her protecting Ined. tav. XLIX. 
arm may be, and what the child weep- 


the cushion on which lie reclines and the drapery on his 
person are purple. These colours are perfectly fresh, and 
are set out brilliantly by the pure white alabaster of the 
monument. The effect of the whole is very rich ; and as 
the sculpture is not of a high order, the colour does not 
impair the ideality. It is the best specimen of poly- 
chromy, applied to sculpture, that is to be seen in Etruria. 

A just value is set on this relic, for it is carefully 
preserved in a glass case. 

The Cavaliere is most courteous to strangers, and per- 
mits his treasures to be freely inspected. Those with 
Cockney tastes will find somewhat in his grounds to delight 

Another relic of classical antiquity to be seen at Cetona 
is a statue of marble, the size of life, recently discovered 
among some Roman ruins near the town. It represents a 
philosopher or poet, sitting, half-draped, in an attitude of 
contemplation, and is evidently of Roman times. 3 It is in 
the possession of Signor Gigli. 

If Cetona be an ancient site, we have no clue to its 
original name ; the earliest record we have of it being in 
the thirteenth century of our era. 4 

From Cetona to Sarteano there are but four miles, and 
the road is full of beauty. It ascends a steep and lofty 
height covered with wood, and from the summit commands 
a magnificent view over the vale of the Chiana — Cetona 
nestling at the foot of the mountain which bears its name, 
a mighty mass of hanging woods, in winter all robed in 
snow 5 — La Pieve with its twin towers, like horns bristling 

3 See Bull. Instit. 1843. p. 153, for can relics have recently been discovered, 
further notices of this statue. 5 Monte Cetona rises 1957 braccia, or 

4 Repetti,I. p. 678. For notices of the about 3751 feet, above the level of the 
excavations on this site see Bull. Inst. sea. In this mountain, says Repetti, we 
1839, p. 50 ; 1842, p. 17. AtPalazzone, find verified the fable of Janus, who 
six miles south of Cetona, many Etrus- looks with one face at the regions of 

chap, tin.] SARTEANO.— MUSEO BARGAGLI. 405 

from the brow of the long dark hills which stretch up from 
the south — Chiusi, nearer the eye, on a rival height — the 
intervening valley, with its grey and brown carpet of olive 
and oak woods — the lakes gleaming out bluely in the 
distance — and the snowy Apennines billowing along the 

Sarteano stands on the brow of an elevated plateau, 
overhanging the valley of the Chiana. 6 It is a place of 
some importance, fully as large as Chiusi, surrounded by 
walls of the middle ages. The inn, kept by a dame of the 
ethereal name of Serafina, but of as substantial a frame as 
an hostess could desire, is more respectable than might be 
expected in a district so little frequented by foreign travel- 
lers ; but this range of hills is much resorted to by the 
Tuscans in the hot season, both as a retreat from the burn- 
ing heat of the low grounds, and for the sake of its mineral 

At Sarteano there are three foci of interest to the anti- 
quary — the collections of the Cavaliere Bargagli, the Dottor 
Borselli, and Signor Lunghini. 

The first of these gentlemen has some choice urns, found 
on his estate at a spot called Le Tombe, near the banks of 
the Astrone. 

One represents in its relief Hippolytus attacked by the 
sea-bull, which Neptune sent against him, and which caused 
his horses to take fright, so that they dashed him and his 
chariot to pieces — 

littore curium 
Et juvenem monstria pavidi effudcre marinis. 

Vulcan, with the other at the realm of rise the lava-cone of Radicufani, and 

Neptune ; for though it rises in the the trachitc of Montamiata, I. p. 683. 
midst of hills covered with marine sub- 6 Sarteano is only five miles from 

stances, it gives vent on every side to Chiusi ; the road is excellent. About 

sulphureous vapours and hot springs, half-way is a hill, called Poggio Montolo, 

which have completely incrustcd its where painted tombs arc said to hare 

base ; while at a few miles' distance, been discovered. 

40G CETONA AND SARTEANO. [chap. un. 

A female demon or Fury, holding a torch, bestrides the 
fallen youth, and a warrior seems about to attack her, sword 
in hand. 7 

There is a very good urn with the trite subject of Eteocles 
and Polynices. The moment, as usual, is chosen when the 
brothers are giving each other the death-wound. A Fury 
rushes between them, not to separate them, but to indicate 
her triumph over both ; she sets her foot on an altar in the 
midst, and extinguishes her torch. 8 This urn is worthy of 
notice, as having on the lid, beside the usual recumbent 
figure, which is here a male, a little child also, caressing its 

Another relief represents Orestes in Tauris ; and indi- 
cates the discovery by Iphigenia, that the stranger she is 
about to sacrifice to Diana, is her own brother. Orestes, 
naked, sits weeping on the altar ; she, also naked, stands 
leaning on his shoulder in deep dejection. Pylades is 
being disarmed by a warrior, to be subjected to the same 
bloody rite ; and the female attendants of the priestess fill 
up the scene. The execution of this relief is admirable. 

Another scene, where two young warriors are slaying an 
old man and seizing a maiden, must represent the death of 
Priam and rape of Cassandra, A female demon, as usual, 
is in at the death. 

These urns, with others, fourteen in all, were found in 
one tomb, and the inscriptions show them to belong to the 
family of "Cumere." l The door of the tomb was closed 

' This urn is polychrome — the flesh and weapons also of the warriors are 

of the men, the horses, the flame of the painted. 

torch, are all red ; the drapery, the ' The name is found also with the 

shield, and other parts of the relief bear inflexions of Cumeresa, Cumerusa, Cu- 

traces of yellow. merunia. Lanzi gives other Etruscan 

8 She has wings on her brows, a ser- sepulchral inscriptions with the names 

pent round her neck, blue wings to her of Camarina, Camurina, and Camas, 

shoulders, and red buskins. The armour wl,i(h last he would read Camars. Sag- 

gio, II. pp. 376, 399, 134. 


by a large tile, bearing the same name ; it is also in this 
collection. The discovery of a sepulchre of this family in 
the neighbourhood has led some to regard Sarteano as the 
site of the ancient Camars, without sufficient reason, 2 though 
the very archaic character of the pottery found in its tombs 
proves the existence of Etruscan habitation at a remote 
period. 3 

Dr. Borselli has a collection of vases ; some painted, but 
most of the black ware of this district. Among the early 
pottery are canopi, both in black and coloured ware ; and 
there is also a round urn of stone in the shape of an 
Egyptian female's head, with a conical cap for a lid ; in 
it was found a bronze pot containing the ashes of the 
dead. Of the painted pottery, the best articles have been 
sold of late years, but a few of merit remain. 4 

Signor Lunghini possesses a large collection of Etrus- 
can pottery, both painted and in the usual black relieved 
ware. 5 The most remarkable are two of those tall and 
very rare vases, commonly called holmi, 6 a good specimen 

2 Cervetri might as reasonably be vases with mythological subjects — the 
supposed the site of the ancient Tar- deeds of Theseus, and Prometheus 
quinii, because the Tomb of the Tarqums delivered from the vulture by the 
is in its neighbourhood. Lanzi (II. p. arrows of Hercules. There was also a 
451) thinks Sarteano may be traced in seat or curule chair of pottery, with bas- 
the Etruscan name, " Satria." reliefs ; much resembling the beautiful 

3 For notices of the urns in the Mu- marble throne of the Falazzo Corsini at 
seum Bargagli, see Bull. Inst. 1836. pp. Rome. For notices of this collection, 
30 — 32 (Sozzi) ; 1840. pp. 151 — 2 as it was a few years since, see Bull. 
(Braun). Inst. 1840. pp. 148, 149, 153. 

* An amphora, with Hercules leading 5 On the painted pottery are scenes 
Cerberus (here with but two heads) and from the Trojan War — the deeds of 
followed by Minerva,— a celebs, with a Hercules — Europa and the bull— Mi- 
warrior receiving a goblet from a nerva caressing a horse— fauns feeding 
female, in very good style,— a similar the ass of Silenus— fauns pursuing Bac- 
vase, with athlelce exercising,— a patera, chantes — chariot-races— sacrifices, &c. 
with naked youths at the bath, holding Here are also some minute cups and 
strigils, — a scyphos, with Fauns, Msena- saucers, and other toys in pottery — the 
des, and sphinxes. There were for- furniture of a child's sepulchre. 
merly in this collection some beautiful G The holwos was also the Hat or 

408 CETONA AND SARTEANO. [chap. liii. 

of which decorates the Gregorian Museum. They are 
about three feet high, and are composed of a bowl-shaped 
vase, resting on a stand. Whether for containing the 
ashes of the dead, or for perfumes I cannot tell ; but the 
lid is pierced for the escape of effluvium. One of these 
vases is painted with numerous figures of men and animals 
in separate bands ; the other is of black ware with deco- 
rations in relief. Both are evidently of very early date. 

But the most singular article in this collection is an urn 
of stone in the form of a little temple or small dog-kennel, 
with a high-pitched roof. Each side displays a scene in 
very low relief. First is a death-bed — the corpse covered 
with the shroud — children on their knees in attitudes of 
grief — wailing-women tearing their hair — subulones 
drowning their cries with the double-pipes. On the 
opposite side is a race of trkjce, or three-horse chariots ; 
and at the ends are banqueting-scenes — the feasting and 
sports attending the funeral. On the ridge of the roof at 
each end is a lion couchant — the symbolic guardians of 
the ashes. The urn rests on the bodies of two bulls with 
human, or rather fauns', heads, 7 representing either river- 
gods, or, more probably, Bacchus Hebon, — 

Semibovemque virum, seniivirumque bovem. 

This monument is an excellent specimen of the very early 
and severely archaic style of Etruscan sculpture. 8 

So rich is the soil around Sarteano in Etruscan trea- 
sures, that in the ordinary processes of agriculture articles 

hollow plate placed on a tripod, as the supposed to represent either Bacchus 

seat of the Pythia when she delivered Ilebou, the divinity of Campania, or 

her oracles. the Sebcthus, a rivulet near that city, 

" These heads are like that shown in or Achelous, or some other river-god. 

the wood-cut at page 3.58 of Vol. 1. Ann. Inst. 1841. p. 133. 

This is a figure found on many bronze 8 For a notice of this urn, see Bull. 

coins of Neapolis of late date ; and is Inst. 1846. p. l(i - 2. 

chap, liii.] TOMBS OF SARTEANO. 409 

are often brought to light, and the various proprietors of 
land come into the possession of antiquities without the 
trouble of research. In the hands of Gaetano Bernardini, 
a shopkeeper of Sarteano, I saw some very curious bronzes ; 
indeed this necropolis is hardly less abundant in metals 
than in pottery. 

Most of these relics are found near the Madonna clella 
Fea, about a mile to the west ; others also at a spot called 
Solaja, in the same direction ; but the most archaic 
pottery is found still further, towards Castiglioncel del 
Trinoro, a wall-girt village, with the ominous alias of 
de' Ladri, or, the Robber-hold, three miles from Sarteano, 
towards Radicofani. 9 

9 The tombs of Sarteano are all hoi- which, when of great size, is supported 

lowed in the rock, as usual. They are by a rock-hewn pillar in the midst, 

very simple, without decorations, and Micali, Ant. Pop. Ital. III. p. 10. None 

have generally but a single chamber, remain open for inspection. 



Reliquias veterumque vides monumenta virorum. 


Feom Sarteano to Cliianciano it is a drive of seven 
miles amid glorious scenery. This range of heights, indeed 
the whole district of Chiusi, is prodigal in charms — an 
earthly paradise. There are so many features of beauty, 
that those which are wanting are not missed. Here are 
hill and vale, rock and wood, towns and castles on 
picturesque heights, broad islet-studded lakes, and ranges 
of Alpine snow and sublimity ; and if the ocean be want- 
ing, it has no unapt substitute in the vast vale or plain of 
Chiana — a sea of fertility and luxuriance ; while all is 
warmed and enriched by the glowing sun of Italy, and 
canopied by a vault of that heavenly blue, that 

Dolce color d'oriental zaffiro, 

which reflects beauty on everything beneath it. It is the 
sort of scenery which wins rather than imposes, whose 
grandeur lies in its totality, not in particular features, 
where sublimity takes you not by storm, but retires into 
an element of the beautiful. 

Chianciano, like Sarteano, stands on the brow of a hill, 
girt with corn, vines and olives — a proud site, lording it 
over the wide vale of the Chiana, and the twin lakes of 
Chiusi and Montepulciano. It is a neat town of about 


two thousand souls, and is much resorted to in summer, 
for the hot springs in its neighbourhood. Here are two 
little inns, kept by Faenzi and Sporazzini ; in neither will 
the traveller have much occasion to complain. 

There are no local remains of high antiquity at Chian- 
ciano, yet it seems very probable, both from the nature of 
its position, and from the discovery of numerous sepulchres 
in the neighbourhood, that an Etruscan town occupied 
this site. In truth the modern name is indicative of the 
ancient appellation. 1 Many Etruscan tombs have been 
opened at a spot called Volpajo, near the mound of 
I Gelli, half a mile from Chianciano. 2 

The only gentleman who at present makes excavations 
in tins necropolis is the Signor Carlo Casuccini, cousin of 
the Casuccini of Chiusi. From the collection in his 
possession, I learned that besides the peculiar black ware 
of this district — the ciste mistiche, the focolari, and cock- 
crowned jars — vases painted in the finest Hellenic style 
are sometimes brought to light, together with bronzes of 
various descriptions. I remarked a novelty in a steel 
dagger, with a ring at the hilt, for fixing it like a bayonet 
to a pole. 3 

1 The derivation from Chiana (Clanis) ing altogether 100 lbs. Bull. Inst. 1830. p. 
is obvious; but the very name of this 63; 1831. p. 38. These were, till lately, 
town has been found in an Etruscan in the possession of the Signori Conti 
inscription, which contains that also of of Chianciano. In the same neighbour- 
Clusium — "Clunsia." The form in hood, at a spot called Le Fornaci, was 
which it occurs is "Clanicianisth." found, half a century since, the remains 
Mus. Chius. II. p. 222. This is pro- of an ancient factory of vases and tiles, 
bably an adjective, the last syllable of Roman times, belonging to a certain 
answering, it may be, to the Latin ad- L. Gellius. On two of the tiles was 
jectival termination, — estis — as a ccelo, inscribed the name of that Sisenua, who 
ccelestis — ah agro, agrestis — an inflexion was consul in the year of Rome 7C.9, 
common also in modern Italian. sixteen years after Christ ; but though 

2 Among the antique treasure here of so late a date the word is written 
brought to light was a large vase, con- from right to left, in the Etruscan style 
taining no less than seven axe-hcads, Bull. Inst. 1832. p. 33. 

and forty-three spades, of bronze, weigh- ' In the neighbourhood of Chianciano 


Chianciano is only four miles from Montepulciano. The 
road skirts the brow of the hills, which are covered with 
oak-woods ; about half-way it crosses the Acqua Boglia, a 
sulphureous and ferruginous spring ; and, on the approach 
to Montepulciano, passes a bare, conical hill, called Poggio 
Tutoni, or Tutona — a name, which from its affinity to the 
Tutni or Tutna, often found in Etruscan inscriptions in this 
district, appears to be very ancient. 4 

Montepulciano is a city of some three thousand inha- 
bitants, girt by walls of the middle ages, and cresting a 
lofty height at the northern extremity of this range of 
hills. It is built on so steep a slope, that it would seem 
the architects of the Cathedral had leagued with the 
priests to impose a perjjetual penance on the inhabitants 
by placing it at the summit of the town. The most 
interesting building is the church of San Biagio, with- 
out the walls, a modern edifice after the designs of San- 
gallo, which owes its existence to a miracle of a Madonna, 
who is recorded to have winked " her most holy eyes " 
at two washerwomen, in so fascinating a manner as to 
bring even a herd of cattle to their knees before her 

Montepulciano is supposed to be an Etruscan site. Its 
situation and the remains discovered in its neighbourhood, 
favour this opinion. Some have ascribed its foundation to 
Porsena ; 5 others more modestly have regarded it as the 

has been found one of the rare bilingual Etruscan epitaph, was probably T, a 

inscriptions, in Etruscan and Latin. character which in the Etruscan may 

The former would run thus in Roman easily be mistaken for an U. 

letters— 4 In the Museo Chiusino (II. pp. 124, 

cxi.vr. send, arntnal. 133,226) will be found Etruscan in- 

scriptions with this family-name ; and I 

which is translated by ^ ^^ ^ bot) ; &% ^^ and 

q. sentivs. l. r. arria. xatv>. Cetoua. 

See Bull. Inst. 1841. p. 14. cf. p. 80. 5 Auctores ap. Dempster. Etrur. Reg. 

The last letter in the second word of the 1 [, p . 422. 



Arretium Ficlens of Pliny, 6 or as the Ad Novas of the 
Peutingerian Table. 7 The earliest record we have of it is 
in the year 715 after Christ, when it was called Castellum 
Politianum. 8 Its ancient name must remain a matter of 
conjecture, till fortune favours us with some local inscrip- 
tion, throwing light on the subject. No vestiges of ancient 
walls are now extant, nor are there any tombs open 
around the town. The only evidence of antiquity is in the 
collection of monuments, Etruscan and Latin, discovered 
in the vicinity, and preserved in the Palazzo Buccelli. 9 
Here are sepulchral inscriptions, and reliefs from sarco- 
phagi and urns, embedded in the facade — a prodigal 
display of antiquarian wealth, which is lost on the eyes of 
the natives, but has the advantage of attaching the relics 
to the spot. In the reliefs are centaurs, gorgons, souls on 
horseback — but nothing of extraordinary interest. Some 

fi Dempster. II. p. 423. 

7 Cluver. II. p. 569 ; Cramer, Ancient 
Italy, I. p. 247. If this be the case, the 
Villi, of the^ Table is probably a mis- 
copy of XIIII. ; but Montepulciano 
seems to he off the direct road. 

North of Clusium the Tables give us 
the following stations, on the ancient 
Via Cassia. 

Ad Aquileia 


Florentia Tuscorum 

Amum fl. 

In Portu 






From Clusium a second road ran more 
to the west to Sena, and apparently to 
Florentia, according to the same Table ; 



but the distances 

are very incorrect. 

V l ll^l l U I 1 . 

Ad Statuas 





Ad Novas 


Ad Fines, sive 






Ad Mensulas 




Umbro fl. 




Sena Julia 




Ad Sextum 





8 Repetti, III. 



Ad Novas 


9 Gori, Mus. 

Etrus. I. tab. 191—5 \ 

Ad Grsecos 


Lanzi, II. p. 269 

; Inghirami, Mon 

Ad Joglandem 


Etrus. I. p. 14. 




of the inscriptions are remarkable for having Etruscan 
names in Roman letters, 1 as — 

TITIA • C • L A . . . ABASSA 


Let not the traveller omit to pay his devoirs to the 
liquid " manna of Montepulciano," the monarch of Tuscan, 
if not of all other wines, as Bacchus and Redi have pro- 
nounced it — 

•'Montepulciano cFogni vino e il Re." 

Hark to the extatic jolliness of the god ! — 

" Sweet Ariadne — 
Fill me the manna of Montepulciano ! 
Fill me a magnum, and reach it me. — Gods ! 
How it slides to my heart by the sweetest of roads ! 
Oh, how it kisses me, tickles me, bites me ! 
Oh, how my eyes loosen sweetly in tears ! 
I 'm ravish'd ! I 'm rapt ! Heaven finds me admissible ! 
Lost in an ecstasy ! blinded ! invisible ! 
Hearken all earth ! 

We, Bacchus, in the might of our great mirth 
To all who reverence us, and are right thinkers ; — 
Hear, all ye drinkers ! 

Give ear and give faith to our edict divine — 
Montepulciano 's the king of all wine." 

Montepulciano commands a most extensive view of the 
vale of the Chiana, which, after lying in confined luxu- 
riance between this range and the triple paps of Chiusi, 
here swells out and unfolds its beauties in a wide expanse 
of fertility ; stretching northward to the walls of Arezzo 
and the tower-crowned height of Cortona ; and eastward 
beyond the twin lakes, to the broad and bright-bosomed 

1 Those in the native character men- (Sejanus), Velthur (Veturius), Pethni, 

tion the families of Varna (Varius), &c, but the greater part belong to the 

Trepu (Trebius), Tlesna or Tresna families of Leene (Licinius) and Tetina 

(Telesinus), Latini (Latinos), Seianti (Titinius). 

chap, liv.] VAL DI CHLANA. 415 

Thrasymene, and to the very base of the hoary Apennines. 
This was for ages a dreary swamp, proverbial for pestilence ; 

" But that is past, and now the zephyr brings 
Health in its breath, and gladness on its wings." 

It is now one of the most fertile tracts in Europe, scarcely 
less healthy than the heights around it. This surprising 
change, which had been aimed at in vain for two centuries, 
has been effected in the last sixty years by filling up the 
swamp with alluvial deposits ; 2 and instead of slime and 
putrid water, it now overruns with oil and wine, and all 
the wealth of a southern soil, and in place of the fish and 
wild-fowl, for which it was famed of old, 3 are milk-white 
oxen, fair as the steers of Clitumnus, and flocks of sheep, 
tended by dark-eyed Chloes and Delias, who sit spinning 
by the road-side. 

A great portion of the plain belongs to the Grand Duke, 
who has a small palace at Bettolle, eleven miles from 
Montepulciano, and much of the land is parcelled off into 
small poderi or farms, all built on one plan, and titled and 
numbered like papers in a cabinet. In appearance the 
plain is much like Lombardy, the products are similar, the 
fertility equal, the road almost as level. The traveller 
who would journey across it to Arezzo may find accom- 
modation at Bettolle or Fojano. 4 

2 In the Roman portion of the Val and the project was abandoned. Tacit, 

di Chiana, the opposite system of drain- Annal. 1. 7.'). 

ing lias been pursued, and with little 3 The \ijxvn 7repl K\ov<riov of Strabo 

success. Repetti, I. p. 685. The Clanis (V. p. 226) must refer to this swamp, 

or Chiana originally fell into the Tiber, then under water, rather than to either 

but is now made to fall into the Arno. of the small lakes near the town, which 

This change in its course was contem- were probably hardly distinguishable, 

plated as long since as the reign of 4 Montepulciano is 13 miles from 

Tiberius ; but the Florentines of that day Chiusi by the direct road, 7 from Pienza, 

sent a deputation to Rome deprecating 18 or 19 from Cortona, and 32 or 33 

such a change on the ground that their from Arezzo. A so-called diligence rims 

lands would be flooded and destroyed ; to the latter city several times a week. 


Every one must be struck with the beauty of the cattle 
on these royal farms. They are either purely white or 
tinged with grey, which in the sun has quite a lilac bloom ; 
and their eyes are so large, soft, and lustrous, that one 
ceases to wonder that Juno was called " ox-eyed," or that 
Europa eloped with a bull. 

At various spots in the Val di Chiana, Etruscan tombs 
have been found ; and it would seem that some of the 
eminences which vary its surface, must have been occupied 
in ancient times by towns, or villages, though much of the 
low ground was under water. 5 

There is a good road through Pienza to also at the foot of the " Poggio de' 

San Quirico, 13 or 14 miles distant, on Morti," or "Dead Men's Hill," some 

the high-road from Rome to Siena and Etrascan urns, of the families of " Spu- 

Florence ; and there is another road to rina " and " Thurice," with female 

Siena by Asinalunga and Asciano. ornaments of gold and silver, and 

5 Near Asinalunga, and also on a hill painted vases in the latest and best 

near the farm of Fonte Rotella, tombs style, have been brought to light. Bull, 

have been found with curious articles in Inst. 1843. pp. 37, 38 ; cf. Micali, Mon. 

bronze. Bull. Inst. 1834. p. 200; 1835. Ined. p. 213. tav. XXXV. 2. At Mar- 

p. 126. Near Lucignano, in some hills, ciano, a village on the heights by the 

called " Poggi Grassi," or " delle Belle road-side, a few miles from Fojano, 

Donne," a Roman urn of marble and tombs have been opened, containing 

some red Aretine vases have been dis- numerous urns. Bull. Inst. 1830. p. 202. 
covered. Bull. Inst. 1832. p. 54. And 



Sic terapora verti 
Cernimus, atque illas adsumere robora gentes, 
Concidere has. 


" Can any good come out of Nazareth 1 " was asked of 
old. " Can any good come elsewhere than from Arezzo 1 " 
one is ready to inquire, on beholding the numerous tablets 
in the streets of that city, recording the unparalleled 
virtues and talents of her sons. Here dwelt " the monarch 
of wisdom, "■ — there " an incomparable pupil of Melpo- 
mene/' — this was " the stoutest champion of Tuscany, the 
dread and terror of the Turks," — and that, — the world 
ne'er saw his like, — for 

" Natura il fece, e poi ruppe la stampa " — ' 

no unapt metaphor for a city of potters, as this was of old. 
Verily may it be said, " Parlano in Arezzo ancora i sassi " 
— the very stones are eloquent of the past glories of 
Arezzo, and of her maternal pride. Yet some of her 
children's names have filled the trump, not of Tuscan, but 
of universal fame ; and the city which has produced a 
Ma)cenas and a Petrarch may be pardoned for a little 
vanity. 2 

1 This seems the original of those 2 Even Msecenas, who, having found 

lines of Byron — his bard, might well have dispensed 

" — Nature made but one such man, with it, has his monument in Arezzo. 

And broke the die, in moulding Sheri- On the grass-plot by the Duomo is a 

dan." granite column to his memory. — " C. 


4 ] 8 AREZZO. [chap. i.v. 

It is not for me to set forth the modern glories of Arezzo 
— her Cathedral with its choice monuments of sculpture 
and painting — the quaint-fashioned church of La Pieve — 
the localities immortalised by Boccaccio — the delightful 
promenade on the ramparts — the produce of her vineyards, 
renowned in ancient times, 3 and sung at the present day, 
as the juice which 



Fa superbo 1' Aretino. 

But I may assure the traveller that nowhere on his jour- 
neyings in Etruria will he find better accommodation than 
at La Posta or Le Armi d' Inghilterra, at Arezzo. 4 

This large and lively city is the representative of the 
ancient Arretium or Aretium, 5 a venerable city of Etruria, 
and one of the Twelve of the Confederation. Of its origin 
we have no record. 6 The earliest notice of it is, that with 
Clusium, Volaterrse, Rusellse, and Vetulonia, it engaged to 
assist the Latins against Tarquinius Priscus. 7 "We next 
hear of it in the year 443 (b.c. 311) as refraining from 
joining the rest of the Etruscan cities in their attack on 
the town of Sutrium, then an ally of Rome ; 8 yet it must 
have been drawn into the war, for in the following year, it 
is said, jointly with Perusia and Cortona, all three among 

C'ilnio Msecenati Arretino, Concives give Arretium. Cluver. II. p. 571. 

tanto nomine decorati, P. C. Prid. Idus 6 Cluver considered it to have been 

Mai 1819, l. d. s. c." prior to the Trojan War, and to have 

3 Arretium had three sorts of grapes been founded either by the Umbri or 
— " talpana, et etesiaca, et conseminia " Pelasgi. But there is no statement to 
— whose peculiarities are set forth by that effect in ancient writers. 

Pliny, XIV. 4, 7. " Dion. Hal. III. p. 189. This, as 

4 Arrezzoisl8 miles from Cortona, already stated with reference to the 
31 from Montepulciano, more than 40 other four cities, is a proof of the rank 
from Chiusi, nearly as many from Siena, Arretium took as one of the Twelve ; 
nnd 51 from Florence. which is fully confirmed by Livy. 

5 It is spelt both ways by classic 8 Liv. IX. 32. 
writers ; but ancient inscriptions always 

chap, lt.] HISTORY OF ARRETIUM. 419 

the chief cities of Etruria, to have sought and obtained a 
truce for thirty years. 9 

In the year 453 (b.c. 301) the citizens of Arretium rose 
against their leading family, the Cilnii, whose great wealth 
had excited their jealousy, and drove them out of the city. 
The Romans espoused the cause of the exiles, and Valerius 
Maximus, the dictator, marched against the Arretines and 
the other Etruscans who had joined them ; but during his 
absence from the army, in order to reconsult the auspices 
at Rome, his lieutenant in command fell into an ambus- 
cade, and met with a signal defeat. The Etruscans, 
however, were eventually overcome in the fields of Rusellae, 
and their might was broken. 1 

In the war which the Etruscans, in alliance with the 
Gauls and Umbrians, waged against Rome in the years 
459 and 460, Arretium took part, and with Perusia 
and Volsinii, the mightiest cities of the land, sustained 
another defeat in the neighbourhood of Rusellae, and was 
forced to sue for peace. 2 

The last mention we find of Arretium, in the time of 
national independence, is that it was besieged by the 
Gauls about the year 469, and that the Romans, vainly 
endeavouring to relieve it, met with a signal defeat under 
its walls. 3 There is no record of the date or the manner 
of its final conquest by Rome. It was at Arretium that 
the consul Flaminius fixed his camp before the fatal over- 

9 Liv. IX. 37 ; Diodoi*. Sic. XX. p. Maecenas came. 

773. 2 Liv. X. 37. — Tres validissima; 

1 Liv. X. 3 — 5. Some authorities, urbes, Etrurise capita, Volsinii, Perusia, 

adds Livy, state that there was no Arretium, pacem petiere. 

warfare consequent on the insurrection 3 Polyb. II. ] 9. Orosius (III. 22) 

of the Arretines, but that it was peace- refers this event to the year 463, but 

ably suppressed and the Cilnian family as he says it was in the consulate of 

restored to the favour of the people. Dolabella and Domitius, he must mean 

It was of this " royal " house that 471 (b.c. 283). 

E E 2 

420 AREZZO. [chap. i.v. 

throw on the shores of the Thrasymene. 4 The city did 
not remain faithful during the Punic War, but made 
several efforts to throw off the yoke, and the Romans were 
compelled to make hostages of the sons of the senators, 
and put new keys on the city-gates. 5 Yet towards the 
close of the war, Arretium furnished her quota of supplies 
— corn, weapons, and other munitions of war — for Scipio's 
fleet. 6 In the civil contests of Sylla and Marius, she 
sided with the latter, and would have suffered from the 
victor the loss of her lands and citizenship, but for the 
eloquence of Cicero, who pleaded her cause. 7 Many of 
the colonists afterwards espoused the cause of Catiline. 8 
In the war between Csesar and Pompey, Arretium was 
one of the first places seized by the former. 9 Her fertile 
lands were three times partitioned among the soldiers of 
the Republic, and the colonies established were distin- 
guished by the names of Arretium Vetus, Fidens, and 
Julium. 1 The former was still one of the chief cities of 

4 Liv. XXII. 2, 3 ; Polyb. III. 77, 7 Cicero, pro Caecina, 33 ; ad Attic. 
80 ; Cicero (de Diviu. I. 35) tells us I. 19. 

that the Consul and his horse here fell 8 Cicero, pro Murena, 24. 

suddenly to the ground before a statue 9 Cicero, ad Divers. XVI. 1 2 ; Caesar, 

of Jupiter Stator, yet he neglected the Bell. Civ. I. 11. 

omen ; and when he consulted the l Plin. III. 8. Repetti (I. p. 113) 

auspices, though the holy chickens refers the colony of Arretium Fidens to 

would not feed propitiously, he refused Sylla ; yet Cicero (ad Attic. I. 1 9) 

to regard the warning, and marched expressly states that though Sylla had 

out to his own destruction. confiscated the lands of the Arretini, 

5 Liv. XXVII. 21, 22, 24. he was prevented by himself from 

6 Liv. XXVIII. 45. — Arretini triginta dividing them among his legions. The 
millia scutorum, galeas totidem, pila, Arretium Julium was established under 
gaesa, hastas longas, millium quinqua- the Triumvirate, as Frontinus (de 
ginta summam pari cujusque generis Coloniis) assures us. Arretium is also 
numero expleturos, secures, rutra, mentioned as a colony by Ptolemy (p. 
falces, alveolos, molas, quantum in 72, ed. Bert.), and as a municipium by 
quadraginta longas naves opus esset, Isidor (Orig. XX. 4) and by inscriptions, 
tritici centum et viginti millia modium, Dempster, II. p. 311. Cluver (II. 
et in viaticum decurionibus remigibus- p. 572) thinks it must have been a 
que collaturos. municipium of the third kind described 




Etruria under the Empire. 2 Though said to have been 
destroyed by Totila, the Vandal, Arretium rose from her 
ashes, withstood all the vicissitudes of the dark ages, which 
proved so fatal to many of her fellows, and is still repre- 
sented by a city, which, though shorn of her ancient 
pre-eminence, takes rank among the chief of Tuscany. 

The walls of Arretium were renowned for the beauty 
and peculiarity of their construction, being formed of 
brick 3 — the only instance on record of such a material 
being employed in an Etruscan town. It has been asserted 
that those ancient fortifications still enclose the modern 
city ; but after a careful examination, I am convinced that 
not a fragment of the existing walls can lay claim to 
an Etruscan origin. 4 In truth, as will be presently shown, 
it is extremely questionable if Arezzo occupies the site of 
the original city. 

by Festus (sub voce), of which the inha- 
bitants had the citizenship of Rome, 
together with the internal administra- 
tion of their own city. 

2 Strabo, V. p. 2*26. He states that 
it was the most inland city of Etruria, 
and a thousand stadia (125 miles) from 
Rome ; which is less than the real 
distance. The Antonine Itinerary is 
nearer the truth in making the distance 
139 miles. Vt supra, pp. 327, 413. 

3 Vitruv. II. 8. — E latere .... in 
Italia Aretii vetustum egregie factum 
murum. cf. Plin. XXXV. 49. 

1 The assertion is made in the 
"Sepulchres of Etruria," p. 503, and 
copied into Murray's Hand Book. I 
speak confidently when I state that so 
far are the walls of Arezzo from being 
of Etruscan construction, that there is 
not a fragment of such antiquity in the 
entire circuit. I paid a third visit to 
the city in order to satisfy myself on 
this point. The walls are for the 
most part of squared stones, not unlike 

bricks, in size and form, put together 
with cement ; and they are patched 
here and there with larger masonry 
also cemented, and of yet more recent 
date— all undoubtedly the work of the 
middle ages, and of no remote period. 
In the walls in the higher part of the 
town, around the Cathedral, there are 
fragments of earlier construction, of 
brick-work, possibly Roman, for it is 
like that in Roman buildings of Impe- 
rial times. The best fragments are 
near the Porta del Casentino. This 
brick-work, if it be Roman, cannot be 
earlier than the close of the Republic, 
but may be of very much later date, as 
this style was employed for ages, and is 
even imitated at the present day. The 
brick-work of the Etruscans, the pre- 
ceptors of the Romans hi architecture, 
would resemble the fragments found at 
Veii (Vol. I. pp. 15, 16), or the earlier 
structures of the Romans, rather than 
any later style of that people. 

'[•29. AREZZO. [chap. lv. 

Iu the garden of the Passionist Convent, in the lower 
part of the town, are some Roman ruins, of opus reticu- 
lation, commonly called the Amphitheatre, but not a seat 
remains in the cacea to indicate that such was the purpose 
of the structure. Like the amphitheatre of Volterra, 
and the theatre of Fiesole, this building was long con- 
sidered to be Etruscan, but its Roman origin is most 
manifest. 5 

Arretium was celebrated of old for her pottery, which 
was of red ware. 6 Pliny speaks of it in connection with 
that of Samos, Surrentum, Saguntum, and Pergamos, and 
says it was used for dry meats as well as liquids, and was 
sent to various parts of the world. 7 It was much employed 
for ordinary purposes, and on this account is sneered at by 
Martial. 8 

In excavations made at various times within the walls 
of Arezzo, generally in laying the foundations of buildings, 
much of this pottery has been brought to light ; in one 
place, indeed, the site of a factory was clearly indicated. 9 
It is of very fine clay, of a bright coral hue, adorned with 

5 Gori (Mus. Etrus. III. p. 55, cl. I. 8 Mart. I. epig. 54, 6— 

tab. 7) took it to be Etruscan. Did gic ^^ ^^ crystallina teste- 

not remains of seats, steps, and prce- 

ci act tones, exist beneath the soil, as And a gam, XIV. 98 

Gorc affirms, I should take the ruin Aretina nimisnespernasvasa,monemus; 

for a bath, as it bears more resemblance Lautus erat Tuscis Porsena fictilibus. 

to certain structures of that description, 

than to an amphitheatre. That the P ° ttery ° f Arret,um was used 

6 Isidor One XX 4 for ordinarv purp oses 1S als0 proved by 
? Plin. XXXV. ie.lsamia etiam- Persius < L 130 ) who S P eaks ° f an 8edile 

num in esculetis laudantur. Retinet breakin S thoSe P° tS whlch Were not of 

hanc nobilitatem et Arretium in Italia ; J ust measure - 

. „„r . r. A * 9 In laying the foundations of the 

et calicum tantum, Surrentum, Asta, J ° 

•p ,, ,. • tt- • c * ™ •„ new theatre a quantity of this pottery 

rollentia ; in Hispania Saguntum, in ... J 

A ■ r, . ' , • was found, together with moulds for 

Asia Pergamum. ... sic gentes nobi- . ... 

... T , . . casting the reliefs, and remains of vitri- 

litantur. Haec quoque per mana ter- ° , . , 

., . . . • tied earth — marking the site of a pottery, 

rasque ultro citroque portantur, insig- ° r J 

^;v * « • • Bull. Inst. 1830, p. 238. 

nilms rote officims. ' r 

chap, lv.] PECULIAR RED POTTERY. 423 

reliefs, rather of flowers than of figures, and bearing the 
maker's name at the bottom of the vase. In form, 
material, decoration, and style of art, it is so totally 
unlike the produce of any Etruscan necropolis, that it 
scarcely needs the Latin inscriptions to mark its origin. 1 
Moreover, the decorations betray a late period of art — the 
elegance and finish of Augustan times, not the simplicity 
and severity of the purely Etruscan style — very unlike 
the quaint reliefs on the pottery of the neighbouring 
district of Chiusi. The subjects, too, are not the strange 
chimaeras of the early monuments of Etruria, nor the 
scenes of Etruscan and Greek mythology on the urns, 
on the walls of tombs, and on the painted vases ; but in 
general unmeaning arabesques, like those of Pompeii, 
though a figure or two is occasionally introduced. As far 
as I can learn, none of this ware has been found with 
Etruscan inscriptions or devices ; nor ever in Etruscan 
tombs, though often in Roman ones of the early Empire. 2 
Therefore, though it were too much to assert that the 
Etruscans never formed such a ware, it is clear that all 
hitherto found is of Roman manufacture. It is discovered 
chiefly, but not exclusively, at Arezzo. Specimens are 

1 The inscription is generally the which this pottery has been found in 
maker's name alone, though his busi- connection with Etruscan articles, is 
ness and the site of the manufacture where a small marble urn with a bilin- 
are sometimes added, thus — gual inscription was discovered in a 

a . titi . niche in a rock, half a mile from 
figvl Arezzo, surrounded by these red vases. 
arret . Bull. Inst. 1834, p. 149. But from 
Bull. Inst. 1834, pp. 102, 150. For this we can only deduce that the 
the names stampt on these vases, see Etruscan character had not wholly 
Fabroni, Vasi Fittili Aretini, tav. XI ; fallen into disuse at the period of the 
Bull. Inst. 1834, pp. 102, 150. Ing- manufacture of this ware. Miiller 
hirami remarks that some of these (Etrusk. IV. 3, 1) regarded this pot- 
names are Greek ; which he regards as tery as Etruscan ; but his opinion 
a proof that the Etruscans employed seems to be formed rather on the 
Greek artists. Mon. Etrus. V. p. 11. notices of the ancients than on prac- 

2 The only instance I believe, in tical acquaintance. 



[chap. lv. 

occasionally brought to light on other sites in Etruria; 
and abundance of it at Modena. 3 

There are two collections of antiquities at Arezzo — the 
Museo Pubblico, and the Museo Bacci. The latter was 
once of great renown, but having been reduced by sales, 
and much neglected of late years, it is shorn of its pristine 
glory. Yet it still contains a large number of bronzes, 
chiefly small figures of deities, and lares, with coins ; 4 but 
there are also other articles, among which I noticed par- 
ticularly a sacrificial knife, and a curious urn in the form 
of a lion ; his body holding the fire, his head containing a 
square pot for the water, to which his crown serves as a 
lid, and the steam escaping through a pipe in his mouth — 
just as the water issues from the mouths of the granite 
lions at the foot of the Capitol, or of those in the Court 
of the Alhambra. Of pottery there is none worth notice, 
except a painted amphora, with red figures, representing 

3 In the British Museum is a tazza 
of this red ware, with the word " lapi " 
on it in Roman letters. It was found, 
with others of the same description, at 
Toscanella. Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 28. 
The same pottery has been discovered 
in some quantity at Cervetri. Bull. 
Inst. 1839, p. 20. And the red ware, 
found in abundance at Modena, is pre- 
cisely like this of Arezzo, even to the 
names and seals of the potters, which 
are often identical (Bull. Inst. 1837, 
p. 14 ; 1841, p. 144) — a fact, which 
as Mutina had also its peculiar pottery 
(Plin. loc. cit. — habent et Tralles opera 
sua, et Mutina in Italia) must be ex- 
plained by the commerce which existed 
in such articles. 

For an account of the Arretine pot- 
tery see Dr. Fabroni's work, " Storia 
degli antichi vasi fittili aretini, 1841, 
8vo. pp. 78." Iughirami, Mon. Etrus. 
V. pp. 1 — 12, tav. I. And besides the 

notices in the publications of the Archaeo- 
logical Institute, already cited, see Bull. 
Inst. 1837, p. 10.5. 

4 One is a qui7icussts, 4 inches in dia- 
meter. The coins which are commonly 
attributed to Arretium have a wheel on 
the obverse ; and an anchor or the 
prow of a ship, on the reverse, — both 
equally inappropriate emblems for a 
city which was further removed from the 
sea than any in Etruria. Nor does the 
legend, in Etruscan letters, " vpn," 
bear any obvious relation to Arretium. 
More appropriate are those which, with 
the wheel on the obverse, have a vase 
on the reverse, either a crater, or an 
amphora. Marchi and Tessiei'i refer 
those with the former to Arretium 
Vetus, and those with the latter to the 
Roman colony of Arretium Fidens. 
Ms Grave, class. III. tav. V. VI ; 
Bull. Inst. 1839, pp. 123—4 ; Ann. 
Inst. 1841. p. 104.] MUSEO BACCI.— MUSEO PUBBLICO. 425 

a dance of Bacchanals, Theseus overcoming an Amazon, 
and Hercules slaying a warrior. It was found more than 
a century since, in the vicinity of Arezzo, and doubtless 
in a genuinely Etruscan tomb. 5 

The Museo Pubblico contains a more numerous collection 
of Etruscan antiquities. Each article is labelled with the 
name of the spot where it was found — an admirable plan, 
greatly facilitating an acquaintance with these relics, and 
which ought to be adopted in every other collection. It is 
due to Dr. Fabroni, the learned director of this Museum. 

Here is an abundance of the red ware, mostly in frag- 
ments, and the greater part found within the walls of 
Arezzo. Here is also the pottery of Sarteano, red as well 
as black, — a canopus from the same place, — a covered pot 
from Radicofani, with an Etruscan inscription, " Pupli 
Tarlntia," 6 which calls to mind the celebrated Ghibelline 
bishop, Guido Tarlati, whose tomb, so rich in storied reliefs, 
forms one of the chief ornaments of Arezzo Cathedral, 
— a tall, painted vase, in the third style, found at Prato 
Antico, three miles from the city, — another vase, in the 
same style, representing the departure of a warrior, and 
his return from the field, discovered at Alberoro, nine 
miles from Arezzo, on the road to Fojano. 7 

Here are also many cinerary urns of travertine, without 
recumbent figures on their lids, but with Etruscan inscrip- 
tions ; — among which I noticed the celebrated name 
of " Spurina." 8 One urn of late date, found in the im- 
mediate vicinity of Arezzo, is remarkable for a bilingual 

5 Dempster, I. tab. XIX. na me of " Tarlnia " occurs on an Etrus- 

6 Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 386, tav. can urn in one of the tombs of Perugia. 
LV. 6) reads it "Pupli Tarchntias," 7 Bull. Inst, 1838, p. 74. 

or Publius Tarchuntias. He may be 8 This was found at Lucignano, 18 

right, for the addition of a small stroke miles distant, in the Val di Chiana. 

would convert the l into en. Yet the Bull. Inst. 1843, p. 38. 



[chap. lv. 

inscription. 9 Here are heads and other articles in terra 
cotta ; and also a few bronzes — idols, mirrors, and strigils. 1 

Bronzes seem to have been parti- 
cularly abundant in the Etruscan 
tombs of Arretium, Cortona, and 
Perugia, and bear a much larger 
proportion to the pottery, than in 
the cemeteries near the coast. 

The celebrated bronze Chimaera 
of the Florence Gallery was found 
at Arezzo in 1534, but no record 
exists of the precise site. 2 And 
the Minerva in the same Gallery, 
which is generally thought to be 
a work of early Greek art, but 
may well be Etruscan, was also 
discovered on this site. 


9 This is the urn which was found 
with the red vases, as mentioned above. 
The Etruscan inscription is very im- 
perfect, but it seems to run thus in 
Roman letters — v . caszi . c . clans . 
The Latin inscription is — 

c . cassivs . c . f . 


Saturninus, being the Latin cognomen, 
finds no equivalent in the Etruscan. 
It is singular that the Velus of the 
Etruscan should be translated by Caius 
in Latin, but the same occurs in other 
bilingual inscriptions. Vt supra, pp. 
354, 371. See also Lanzi, II. p. 342 ; 
Bull. Inst. 1833, p. 51 ; 1834, p. 149. 
Caius is sometimes used as an equiva- 
lent to Larth. 

1 The strigil was a scraper used after 
bathing to remove the perspiration 
from the skin ; as an ostler would 
remove the foam from a horse's coat. 
The curved part of the instrument is 

hollow like a boat ; either to hold oil 
to soften the effect on the skin, which 
was far from pleasant if the instrument 
was too often or violently used, as 
Augustus experienced (Sueton. Aug. 
80) ; or to allow the grease scraped 
from the body to run off as by a 
gutter. See the Scholiast on Juvenal, 
III. 262 — Strigla, uncle oleum deteritur. 
It was generally of bronze, sometimes 
of iron (Mart. XIV. 51. — curvo des- 
tringereferro), and I have seen one of 
silver. The metal is always very thin ; 
and it is rare to find strigils in a perfect 
state. I have occasionally seen them 
with Etruscan inscriptions. Roman 
strigils were of different forms, but the 
Etruscan were invariably like that in the 
above wood-cut. 

2 Vt supra, p. 103. The Etruscan 
inscription on the fore-leg " Tinscvil," 
is almost identical with the " Tinscil " 
on the shoulder of a griffon in the 

chap, lv.] IS AREZZO AN ETRUSCAN SITE ? 427 

It has been stated that there were three Roman colonies 
of the name of Arretium, distinguished by the epithets of 
Vetus, Fidens, and Julium. The first was evidently the 
Etruscan city, and has always been identified with Arezzo ; 
the other two are supposed to be in the neighbourhood, but 
their sites are not satisfactorily determined. 3 I am per- 
suaded, however, that Arezzo does not occupy the original 
site, but merely that of one of the colonies. Its position, 
for the greater part on the very level of the plain, only 
rising a little at the northern end, 4 is so unlike that of 
Etruscan cities in general, as to raise, at the first glance, 
strong doubts of its antiquity in my mind. Every other 
Etruscan town in this district is on a lofty height — Fiesole, 
Volterra, Cortona, Perugia, Chiusi — why should Arretium 
alone be in the plain ? Necessity did not here, as at Pisa, 
dictate such a site, for there are high grounds suitable for 
a city in the immediate vicinity. 

This view is confirmed by the discovery, within a few 
years, of the walls of an ancient city in the neighbourhood 
of Arezzo, — discovery, I say, because though within sight 
of the town, and familiar, perhaps, for ages to the 
inhabitants, they were unheeded, and no one had made 
them known to the world. 5 They lie two or three miles 

Museum of Leyden. See Micali, Ant. 4 The height of the upper part of 

Pop. Ital. tav. XLII. Inghir. Mon. the city above the lower is said to be 

Etrus. III. tav. XX. ; Gori, Mus. Etrus. 74 braccia, or 142 feet (Repetti, I. p. 

I. tab. CLV. 112) ; but it does not appear nearly so 

3 Cluver (II. p. 571) did not attempt much, 

to assign a site to either. Holstenius 5 Repetti appears to have been the 

(Annot. ad Cluver, p. 72), however, first to make them known ; and that 

placed the Julian colony at Subbiano was in 1833(1. p. 585). Even Alessi, 

on the Arno, some ten miles north of who in the fifteenth century made 

Arezzo, and the Fidens at Castiglion diligent search for local antiquities, 

Fiorentino, on the road to Cortona. makes no mention of them in his 

lie is followed in this by Cramer, I. Cronaca d' Arezzo, a MS. in the 

p. 213. Dempster (II. p. 423) placed Biblioteca Riccardiana, at Florence, 

the Fidens at Montepulciano. Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 410. 

428 AREZZO. [chap. lv. 

only to the south-east, on a height called Poggio di San 
Cornelio, or Castel Secco, a barren eminence of no great 
elevation, yet much higher than Arezzo, whose level 
summit is so strewn with fragments of rock and pottery, 
as scarcely to nourish a weed. On the brow of the hill, to 
the north-west, is a fragment of ancient walling of regular 
masonry. 6 More to the west are traces of a gate. Then 
is another portion of the walls, with narrow buttresses, 
thirteen feet apart. But on the southern side of the hill 
the wall rises nearly thirty feet, and extends for two 
hundred, having eight massive buttresses at short inter- 
vals. 7 The masonry is horizontal ; and though perhaps 
originally neatly cut and fitted, it has suffered so much 
from the weather, and the rock is naturally so brittle, that 
it presents as rude an appearance as the towers in the 
Cucumella at Vulci, which were not intended to see the 
light of day. 8 

I regret that the circumstances under which I visited 
it, did not permit me to make a plan of this ancient town, 
or to determine its precise dimensions. 9 

These walls are very peculiar ; as regards the buttresses, 
unique in Etruria. They have the appearance of great 

8 In one part this fragment is as high 9 Repetti (I. p. 585) says it is only 

as 12 feet, but in general it scarcely 1240 bracelet, in circuit ; Micali (Mon. 

rises above the ground. The blocks are Ined. p. 410) calls it 1300 Iraccia, or 

2 or 3 feet long, by 18 inches high. less than half a mile, round ; and says 

7 These buttresses ai-e 7 or 8 feet it has the form of an irregular ellipse, 
wide, and project about 3 feet. They To me it appeared of much larger size, 
might be taken for towers, were it not Indeed this hill may be but a portion 
for the small distance between them — of the ancient site, for it is connected 
1 5 feet. Both walls and buttresses fall with high grounds of considerable 
back slightly from the perpendicular. extent, apparently capable of holding 

8 The size of the blocks is not extra- a city of first-rate importance. But 
ordinary. One which was 8 ft. 2 in. having had no opportunity of examin- 
long, by 1 ft. 8 in. high, was unusually ing these heights, I cannot say if they 
large. But the tendency of the stone retain vestiges of ancient habitation, 
to split at right angles, makes it some- For further notices of this site see 
times difficult to determine the size. Bull. Inst. 1837, p. 06. 


antiquity. Inghirami took them to be Roman, and to 
belong to one of the two colonies qf Arretium, and thought 
the rudeness of the masonry might be the result of hasty 
construction. But he did not form his opinion from 
ocular inspection. To me this seems an Etruscan town. 1 
It were contrary to all analogy to suppose that Arezzo 
was the original site, and that this, so much stronger by. 
nature, was a Roman colony. This was just the position 
that would have been chosen by the Etruscans ; that, by 
the Romans. The cities of the former were founded at a 
time when the inhabitants had to struggle for existence 
with neighbouring tribes, warlike, restless, ever encroach- 
ing — semibarbarians who knew no law but that of sword 
and lance. It was necessary for them to select sites where 
nature would add to the strength of their fortifications. 
But with the Romans, the case was very different. At 
the time the latter, at least, of the two colonies of Arre- 
tium was founded, they were masters not only of all Italy, 
but of the greater part of the known world. They had 
nothing to fear from foreign invasion, and it was enough 
for them to surround their cities with fortifications, with- 
out selecting sites which, though adding to their strength, 
would involve a great sacrifice of convenience. This was 
their practice much earlier than the establishment of these 
Arretine colonies, as is shown by the instances of Volsinii 
and Falerii, whose population, about the time of the First 
Punic War, was removed from the original city on the 

1 Miiller, who visited these ruins in the city. Yet he admits them to be of 

1839 at Micali's suggestion, regarded Etruscan construction. Mon. Ined. pp. 

them as Etruscan and the remains of 41 1- — 413. He gives a plan of the 

the original city. Micali, however, sets bastions and a view of the masonry 

no value on his opinion in the latter (tav. LX.). Repetti (I. p. 585) also 

particular, and considers them to belong hints that this may be the Acropolis 

to an advanced or look-out post of of Arretium, but says no excavations 

Ari'etium, which he identifies with have ever been made to determine the 

Arezzo, or to an outwork detached from fact. 

430 AREZZO. [chap. i.v. 

heights to a new one in the plain. This may have been 
the case also with Arretium. 2 Or at least if the original 
town were not deserted, there is every ground for con- 
cluding that the fresh colony was established on a no less 
convenient site. However this be, there can be little 
doubt that the Etruscan city, like all its fellows, stood on 
an eminence, and was fortified by nature as well as by 
art. 3 Whether it occupied this Poggio di San Cornelio, 
or some of the neighbouring heights, I do not determine ; 
but hesitate not to assert that it cannot have stood on the 
site of modern Arezzo. In fact not only is all evidence of 
identity wanting, but history is opposed to the current 
opinion, for it is known that at least on three several 
occasions have the walls of this city been enlarged ; 4 and 
it is quite impossible that the original site, which must 
have been the circumscribed height on which the Duomo 
stands, could have held a first-rate city, like the Arretium 
of the Etruscans. 

In a word, there is every reason to believe that the 
illustrious city of Arezzo does not occupy the site of the 

2 In the case of Falerii and Volsinii, completely destroyed the ancient walls, 
the fact is not mentioned by one of the but as this rests on tradition, rather 
earlier historians of Rome, only by than on history, it is subject to doubt. 
Zonaras, a Byzantine writer of late Yet it is certain that the walls of the 
date. The original town of Arretium, city were destroyed in the year 1111 
however, was still extant in Pliny's by the Emperor, Henry V., and were 
day ; but it may have been inhabited, not restored for more than a century, 
like Falerii and Veii, by a fresh colony. being in 1 226 rebuilt with a more 

3 Silius Italicus, a writer of more ac- ample circuit. These were replaced 
curacy than imagination (Plin. epist. III. by a fresh and still more extended line, 
7 — scribebat carminamajore cura quam commenced in 1276, and completed in 
ingenio), in speaking of the Second 1322 by Guido Tarlati, Bishop of Pie- 
Punic War, notices " the lofty walls of tramala. And lastly the walls were 
Arretium" (V. 122) — a description rebuilt and altered, from 1549 to 1568, 
which, by hypallage, must refer rather by Cosimo I. who erected the bastions 
to the site of the city than to the cha- and curtains which meet the eye at the 
racter of the fortifications. present day. Repetti, I. p. 1 14. 

4 Totila, the Vandal, is said to have 



Etruscan Arretium, but of one of the Roman colonies of 
the same name ; 5 and as all analogy marks the town on 
the Poggio di San Cornelio to be of earlier date than this 
in the plain, the question turns upon that town. If it be 
proved an Etruscan site, 6 Arezzo may be the Arretium 
Fidens ; but if the town on the heights cannot be identi- 
fied with the original city, it must be the Fidens, and 
Arezzo the later colony of Arretium Julium ; and the site 
of the Etruscan city has yet to be discovered. 

5 That Arezzo occupies a site that 
was once Roman is abundantly proved 
by its extant remains. The fragments 
of brickwork around the higher part of 
the city, may belong to the Roman 
walls, which, if this be the site of the 
Julian colony, are those mentioned by 
Frontinus, — w Arretium, muro ducta 
colonia lege Triumvirali." 

6 It may be urged as an objection to 
this being the Etruscan site, that the 
masonry is of stone, whereas the ancient 
walls were of brick. But we have no 
positive assurance that these brick walls 
were of Etruscan construction. If on 
the capture of the city, a fresh town 

were built, as was the case with Falerii 
and Volsinii, it may have been that 
which had the walls of brick ; for as 
nearly three centuries intervened to the 
time of Vitruvius, they would have been 
entitled to his designation of "ancient." 
Were it even certain that Vitruvius and 
Pliny refer to the Etruscan walls, it 
may be that in these ruins we see but a 
small portion of the ancient fortifica- 
tions, and just that portion which from 
the massiveness of the masonry has 
escaped destruction. If the brickwork 
were not strongly cemented it would 
soon be pulled to pieces by the peasantry, 
for the sake of the materials. 




Corythum, terrasque requirat 

Ausonias ! 

Clara fuit Sparte ; iuagnae viguere Mycenae ; 
Vile solum Sparte est ; altse cecidere Mycenae. 



Traveller, thou art approaching Cortona ! Dost thou 
reverence age — that fulness of years which, as Pliny says, 
" in man is venerable, in cities sacred % " Here is that 
which demands thy reverence. Here is that, which when 
the Druidical marvels of thine own land were newly raised, 
was of hoary antiquity — that, compared to which I(ome is 
but of yesterday — to which most other cities of ancient 




renown are fresh and green. Thou mayst have wandered 
far and wide through Italy — nothing hast thou seen more 
venerable than Cortona. Ere the days of Hector and 
Achilles, ere Troy itself arose — Cortona was. On that 
bare and lofty height, whose towered crest holds com- 
munion with the cloud, dwelt the heaven-born Dardanus, 
ere he left Italy to found the Trojan race ; and on that 
mount reigned his father Corythus, and there he was 
laid in the tomb. 1 Such is the ancient legend, and 

1 This is the Italian tradition. It is 
because Dardanus the founder of Troy 
was believed to have come from Cortona 
that Virgil (^En. I. 380) makes ^Eneas 

Italiam qusero patriam, et genus ab 
Jove summo. 
Servius (in loc.) thus explains it, and 
shows that elsewhere (JEn. VII. 122) 
Mneas is made to say of Italy — 
Hie domus, haec patria est. 
cf. Mu. III. 167 ; VII. 206, et seq. 
The oiiginal name of Cortona was Cory- 
thus, or Corithus, so called from its 
heros eponymos, Corythus, the reputed 
father of Dardanus. The legend states 
that Corythus, who ruled also over 
other cities of Italy, was buried on this 
mount. His wife Electra bore a son 
to Jupiter, called Dardanus, who, being 
driven out of Italy went to Phrygia and 
founded Troy. Another tradition re- 
cords that Dardanus, repulsed in an 
equestrian combat with the Aborigines, 
lost his helmet, and rallying his men to 
recover it, gained the victory ; to cele- 
brate which he built a city on the spot, 
and named it from his helmet — ic6pvs. 
A third legend refers the origin of the 
city to Corythus, son of Paris and 
CEnone. Virg. Mn. III. 167 ; VII. 
206—211 : IX. 10 ; X. 719 ; Serv. in 

loc. and ad _<En. I. 380 ; III. 15, 104, 
170. All this belongs to the purely 
mythical period, and cannot be regarded 
as historical, yet may be received as 
evidence of the very remote antiquity 
of this city. 

It is generally believed that Corythus 
was really the ancient name of Cortona, 
but Miiller (Etrusk. IV. 4, 5) questions 
this, and thinks that it is a mere Greek 
tradition, arbitrarily referred to that 
city. Yet there can be no doubt that 
it was so regarded by the Romans. 
Besides the evidence of Virgil and his 
commentator, the identity is made per- 
fectly clear in a passage of Silius Italicus 
(V. 122) which Niebuhr (I. p. 33) pro- 
nounced decisive — 

Pcenus nunc occupet altos 
Arreti muros, Corythi nunc diruat 

arcem ? 
Hinc Clusina petat ? postremo ad 
mocnia Romse, &c. 
The poet uses the ancient name for the 
sake of the verse, as elsewhere (IV. 

sedemque ab origine prisei 
Sacratam Corythi. 
There is no reason to believe that it 
was retained to Annibal's time, to 
which the poem refers, much less to 
his own. 

VOL. It. 

F F 



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H5in«l8«S»aOHfi« 3)22!223§5e1 


chap, lvi.] MODERN CORTONA. 435 

wherefore gainsay it ? Away with doubts ! — pay thy full 
tribute of homage — acceptam parce movere fidem ! Hast 
thou respect to fallen greatness % — Yon solemn city was 
once the proudest and mightiest in the land, the metro- 
polis of Etruria, and now — but enter its gates and look 

Let not the traveller mount with baggage, and such 
impedimenta, directly to Cortona, thinking, in the inno- 
cence of his heart, that in a city of five thousand inha- 
bitants, boasting of a cathedral and seven or eight 
churches, he will be sure of accommodation. There is 
but one inn within the walls, marked by the sign of 
II Dragone — which monster guards no Hesperidan fruit, 
but serves to scare the traveller from a wretched osteria, 
full of all uncleanness. Let him take up his quarters in 
the snug hotel of Camuscia, on the high-road at the foot 
of the mountain. 

Hence it is half an hour's walk to the town, and the 
ascent is steep and toilsome, scarcely to be conquered in 
a vehicle. Nor when the gates are reached is the labour 
over. There is still a long climb to the upper end of the 
town ; for Cortona is not, like Fiesole and Volterra, 
spread over the summit of the mountain, but hangs 
suspended from its peak, down one of the slopes. Steep, 
winding, foot-torturing streets, rich in filth, buildings mean 
and squalid, with hardly a shadow of past magnificence, 
houses in crumbling ruin, heaps of debris, and tracts of 
naked rock — such is modern Cortona. Cheerless and 
melancholy, she seems mourning over the glories of the 

Modern Cortona retains the site of the ancient city, 
which was of oblong form, and about two miles in circum- 
ference. The modern walls are in most parts based on 
the ancient, though at the higher end of the city the 

F F 2 

4.36 CORTONA. [chap. 

latter made a considerably wider circuit. 2 They may be 
traced in fragments more or less preserved almost entirely 
round the city ; and are composed of rectangular blocks 
of great size, arranged without much regularity, though 
with more regard to horizontality and distinct courses 
than is observable in the walls of Volterra or Populonia, 
and often joined with great nicety, like the masonry of 
Fiesole. At the lower part of the city, they stretch for a 
long distance in an unbroken line beneath the modern 
fortifications. 3 But the finest relic of this regular masonry 
at Cortona, and perhaps in all Italy, is at a spot called 
Terra Mozza, outside the Fortress, at the highest part of 
the city, where is a fragment, one hundred and twenty 
feet in length, composed of blocks of enormous magnitude. 
A portion of it is shown in the woodcut at the head of this 
Chapter. 4 

The masonry is of a grey sandstone, very like that of 
Fiesole, in parts flaky and brittle, but generally very hard 
and compact ; it is sometimes hewn to a smooth surface, 

2 Micali's Plan (Ant. Pop. Ital. tav. the ground, is 10 feet by 5. Just within 
VI.) makes Cortona about 10,000 feet the Porta Montanina are several, 10 or 
in circumference, but taking into account 12 feet in length, but more shallow than 
the wider circuit of the ancient walls usual. 

round the Fortress, which he has not 4 In one part it rises to the height of 

indicated, the city cannot have been less seven courses, or about 25 feet high, 

than two miles round. Thus it would but the general height is about 15 or 16 

be scarcely larger than Rusellse, and feet, which is that of the fragment deli- 

among the smallest of the cities of the neated. The blocks vary from 2 ft. 6 

Confederation. in. to 5 ft. in height, and from 6 or 7 

3 The finest portions at this end are feet to 11 or 12 in length ; and some- 
about Porta Colonia on the north of the times are as much or more in depth, as 
city, where the blocks are from 9 to 1 3 the smallest end is seen in the face of 
feet in length by more than 3 feet in the wall. Here as at Volterra and 
height, hewn to a smooth surface and Rusellse, the smallest blocks are often 
very neatly joined ; and about Porta below, as if to fill up the inequalities 
S. Domenico on the south, where they of the ground, and make a basement 
measure 12 or 14 feet by 2. One, at for the larger. 

the height of ten or twelve feet from 

chap, lvi.] THE ANCIENT WALLS. 437 

at others left with a natural face ; in no part is it cemented, 
though the blocks are often so closely fitted together as to 
appear so, not admitting even a penknife to be thrust be- 
tween them. The joints are often diagonal, and small 
pieces are inserted to fill up deficiencies, as in the walls of 
Fiesole, to which in every respect this masonry bears a 
close resemblance, though more massive, and on the whole 
more regular. 5 

These walls bear evidence of very high antiquity, cer- 
tainly not inferior to those of Volterra and Fiesole. That 
they are as early as the Etruscan domination cannot be 
doubted ; nay, it is probable they are of prior date, either 
raised by the Pelasgi and Aborigines, or by the yet earlier 
possessors of the land. 6 

But this leads us to consider the history of Cortona. 
First, however, let us mount to the summit of the hill, 
and take a seat on the cypress-shaded terrace in front of 
the Church of Sta Margherita. Should it be the hour of 
sunrise, the scene will not lose interest or beauty. A 
warm rosy tint ruddying the eastern sky, and extending 
round half the horizon, proclaims the coming day. The 
landscape is in deep gloom — dark mountain-tops alone are 
seen around. Even after the sun is up, and the rosy red 
has brightened into gold, the scene is purpled and obscured 
by the shadow of the mountains to the east. But pre- 
sently a ray wakens the distant snow of Monte Cetona, 
and sparkles on the yet loftier peak of Amiata behind it. 

5 The principal variety observable is the city was well fortified in the time of 
within the Porta Montanina, where the the Unibri, and the Pelasgi only took 
blocks are very long and shallow, with it from them by a sudden assault. Lep- 
smaller pieces in the interstices. Here sius regards the existing walls as the 
the line of the ancient wall was rather work of the Pelasgi (Tyrrhen. Pelas. 
within that of the modem, as shown in p. 10); and there can be little doubt 
tin Plan. that they have that antiquity. Cf. 

6 According to Dionysius (I. p. Ifi), Miillcr, Etrusk. I. .'?, 1. 

438 CORTONA. [chap. lvi. 

Then the dark mass of Montepulciano, rising on the 
further side of the wide plain, like a second Cortona, 
is brightened into life. Anon the towers, battlements and 
roofs of the town at our feet are touched with gold — and 
ere long the fair face of the Thrasymene in the south 
bursts into smiles — and the beams roll over the mountain- 
tops in a torrent, and flood the vast plain beneath, dis- 
closing regions of corn and wood, of vines and olives, with 
many a glittering farm and village and town — a map of 
fertility and luxuriance, in which the eye recognizes Chiusi, 
La Pieve, and other familiar spots in the far southern 

The origin of Cortona, it has been said, is very ancient 
— so remote indeed that it is necessarily involved in ob- 
scurity. 7 The legend that makes it the city of Dardanus 
and elder sister of Troy has already been mentioned. 
Tradition asserts that long ere the establishment of the 
Etruscan State, Cortona was "great and flourishing 8 " — 
" a memorable city of the Umbrians, 9 " — and that it was 
taken from them by the Pelasgi and Aborigines, who used 
it as a bulwark against them, seeing it was well fortified, 
and surrounded by good pastures. 1 Subsequently, with 

7 This obscurity is increased by the and by Theopompus (ap. Tzetz. ad Ly- 

different names by which the city was coph. loc. cit.), who records a tradition 

known — Corythus, Croton, Crotona, that Ulysses, called by the Etruscans, 

Cyrtoniou, Creston, Gortynsea, Cothor- Nauos (cf. Lycoph. 1244 ; Tzetzes in 

nia, or Cortona. The latter name, if loc), sailed to Etruria, took up his 

we may believe Dionysius (I. p. 21) abode at Gortynsea, and there died, 

was only given when the city was made This says Muller is the Hellenised form 

a Roman colony, not long before his of Cortona, for no other Etruscan city 

day, taking the place of the old appel- can be here intended. Etrusk. IV. 4, 1. 

lation, Croton. Of Corythus, we have 8 Dion. Hal. I. p. 16. 

already spoken. Cyrtonios or Cyrtonion 9 Dion. Hal. I. p. 20. 

is the name used by Polybius (III. 82) * Dion. Hal. I. p. 16. cf. Hell- 

and Stephanus of Byzantium. Creston anicus of Lesbos ap. eund. I. p. 22. 

is found only in Herodotus, and will be The Pelasgic character of Cortona is 

further mentioned presently. Gortynsea also intimated by the legend, which 

is used by Lycophron (Cass. 806), represents Jasius son of Corythus, king 




the rest of the land, it fell to the Etruscans, 2 and under 
them it appears to have been a second metropolis — to 
have been to the interior and mountainous part of the 
land what Tarquinii was to the coast. 3 Even under the 
Etruscan domination it seems like Falerii to have retained 
much of its Pelasgic character, for Herodotus says that in 
his day it was still inhabited by a Pelasgic population, 
speaking their peculiar language, unintelligible to the 
people around them, though identical with that of Placia 
on the Hellespont, another colony of the Pelasgi. 4 Niebuhr 

of this city, settling in Samothrace, 
when his brother Dardanus founded 
Troy. Serv. ad ^En. III. 15, 167 ; 
VII. 207. 

2 Dion. Hal. I. p. 16. 

3 This would seem to be implied by 
the designation of it by Silius Italicus 
(VIII. 474) « superbi Tarchontis 
domus." Stephanus of Byzantium (v. 
KpoToiv) calls it " the metropolis of 
Etruria, and the third city of Italy." 
Lepsius is of opinion that this is also 
proved by its coins, for that the entire 
system of Etruscan, indeed of ancient 
Italian coinage, proceeds from Cortona. 
Tyrrhen. Pelasg. p. 10. 

The coins attributed to Cortona are 
the most simple of all ancient Italian 
money. All twelve sides of the series, 
from the as to the uncia, bear one uni- 
form type — a wheel. Thex'e is no 
legend to mark these corns as belonging 
to any particular city, but Marchi and 
Tessieri see in the wheel the symbol of 
Cortona, whose original name they take 
to have been "Rutun" (instead of 
K-rutun) — a rotd — and setting all his- 
tory aside, they regard it as a colony of 
the Rutuli, who had a similar device on 
their coins. yEs Grave del Museo Kir- 
cheriano, cl. III. tav. III. Professor 
Lepsius, though condemning this expla- 
nation as erroneous, assents to the attri- 

bution of these coins to Cortona, and 
agrees with the worthy Jesuits in re- 
garding Cortona as a most ancient 
mint, and as the metropolis of five other 
coining cities, which have a wheel on 
one side only. Ann. Inst. 1841, pp. 103, 
1 09 ; Verbreit. d. Ital. Munzsyst. pp. 
58, 69. See also Bull. Inst. 1839, p. 
123.— Melchiorri ; 1842, p. 126.— Gena- 
relli. Abeken (Mittelitalien, p. 286) 
does not consider the wheel, or the other 
devices on Etruscan coins, to mark any 
particular sites, and he regards the dis- 
tribution of these coins to a metropolis 
and its dependencies to be quite ar- 

4 Herod. I. 57. Herodotus' state- 
ment is repeated by Dionysius (I. p. 
23), but with this difference that in the 
text of Herodotus the city is called 
Creston, in that of Dionysius, Croton. 
That they were identical is maintained 
by Niebuhr (I. p. 34, n. 89), by Cluver 
(II. p. 574), and Mannert (Geog. p. 
418) ; but opposed by Miiller (Etrusk. 
einl. 2, 10), by Lepsius (Ueber die 
Tyrrhenischen Pelasger in Etrurien, 
pp. 18 etseq.), and by Mr Grote (His- 
tory of Greece, II. p. 348). Miiller and 
Lepsius consider Herodotus to refer to 
a Creston in Thrace, beyond Mount 
Athos. It is not possible here to state 
the arguments on both sides. They will 

410 CORTONA. [chap. lvi. 

suggests that Cortona may have continued distinct from 
the Etruscans, as he thinks Falerii was. 5 But that she was 
included in the great Etruscan Confederation, and one of 
the Twelve chief cities, is unquestionable. Livy describes 
her as one of the " heads of Etruria," in the year of Rome 
444, when with Perusia and Arretium she was forced to 
sue for peace. 6 It is singular that this is the only record 
we find of Cortona during the days of Etruscan indepen- 
dence. She is referred to again incidentally in the Second 
Punic War when Hannibal marched beneath her walls and 
laid waste the land between the city and the Thrasymene. 7 
Yet when a few years later all the principal cities of 
Etruria sent supplies for Scipio's fleet, Cortona is not 
mentioned among them ; 8 which is not a little strange, as 
but a century before she had been one of the chief in the 
land. Yet she did not cease to exist, for we find her men- 
tioned as a Roman colony under the Empire. 9 What was 
her fate in the subsequent convulsions of Italy we know 
not, for there is a gap of a thousand years in her annals, 
and the history of modern Cortona commences only with 
the thirteenth century of our era. 1 

Within the walls of Cortona are but few local remains 
of high antiquity. 2 There is a fragment of walling under 
the Palazzo Facchini, composed of a few large blocks, 

be found in the above named works, 9 Dion. Hal. I. p. 21 ; Plin. III. 8. 

especially in that of Lepsius. She is mentioned also by Ptolemy, Geog. 

s Niebuhr, I. p. 119. p. 72. 

6 Liv. IX. 37. Cluver (II. p. 575) ' Repetti, I. p. 812. 

takes Cortona to have been the site of 2 There is said to have been a large 

the great rout of the Gauls in the year piece of Etruscan walling under the 

52.0, instead of Colonia, as Frontinus Spedale Maggiore, forming the base of 

(Strat. I. 2, 7) has it. But Polybius a vault ; another fragment behind the 

(II. 27) states that that battle was Palazzo Passerini ; and a third outside 

fought near Telamon. Ut supra, pp- the gate of the Borgo S. Vineenzo. 

246, 259. These were all destroyed however at 

7 Polyb. III. 82 ; Liv. XXII I. the end of the seventeenth century. 
R Liv. XXVIII 45. Inghirami, Mon. Etrus. IV. p. 71. 


apparently of the same date as the city-walls. 3 Another 
relic of Etruscan times within the walls is well worthy of 
the traveller's attention. It is a vault beneath the Palazzo 
Cecchetti, just within the gate of S. Agostino. On my 
begging permission to see the monument, the owner cour- 
teously proposed to show it in person. He led me into 
his coach-house, raised a trap-door, and descended into a 
wine-cellar ; where I thought he was about to offer me 
some of the juice of his vineyards, but on looking around 
I perceived that I was in the very vault I was seeking. 

It is of no great size, about thirteen feet in span, rather 
less in length, and nine in height, lined with regular 
masonry, uncemented, neatly cut and arranged, and in 
excellent preservation. 4 It is so like the Deposito del 
Gran Duca, at Chiusi, and the Grotta di San Manno, 
near Perugia, that it is difficult to deny it an Etruscan 
origin. Analogy thus seems to mark it as a tomb, yet its 
position within the ancient walls is opposed to this view, 
and there is nothing to determine its original purpose. 5 

The only other local antiquity in Cortona is a fragment 
of Roman opus incertum, commonly called the Baths of 
Bacchus, in the higher part of the town. 

Cortona, for more than a century past, has been the seat 
of an antiquarian society, the Accademia Etrusca, which 
has published many volumes of archaeological treatises. It 
has formed also a Museum of Etruscan relics, found in the 
neighbourhood. There is little pottery here — no painted 

3 Inghiranii speaks of a fragment, 5 It may have an affinity to the sub- 

21 feet long, and 32 feet high, in the terranean, tomb-like chamber within 

foundations of the Palazzo Laparelli, in the walls of Tarquinii. Vol. I. p. ."585. 

the Piazza S. Andrea. Mon. Etrus. The floor is the bare rock ; the back 

IV. p. 77. I sought it in vain. wall of the vault has been pulled down 

■i The blocks are of the local sand- to enlarge its dimensions. Abcken re- 
stone, or macigno, as it is called. They gards it as undoubtedly a sepulchre. Ann. 
vary from 3 to nearly 7 feet in length, Inst. 1841, p. 39 ; Mittelitalicn, p. 250. 
and are 1 5 inches in height. 

I 1,2 CORTONA. [chap. lvi. 

vases of great beauty or interest ; merely black or red 
ware, often with bands of small archaic figures in relief. 
Many little idols, or figurine, as the Italians call them, of 
earthenware, from four to ten inches in height, votive 
offerings, or more probably the Lares of the lower orders, 
who could not afford deities of bronze. Heads of the 
same material, the size of life and evidently portraits, con- 
taining the ashes of the person whose features they repre- 
sent. Sundry small lamps, some of them grotesque. 6 

There are several small cinerary urns of terra-cotta, with 
toga- wrapt figures on the lids, and the usual subjects in 

The Museum is more rich in bronzes than in pottery. 
The most remarkable are — a naked figure of Jupiter 
Tonans, about seven or eight inches high, with an inscrip- 
tion on the stand in Greek letters, but unintelligible, — a 
female divinity with a cock on her head, and the wings of 
a sphinx, — many purely Egyptian idols, found in the 
tombs around Cortona, — the head of a negro. 

There is also a considerable collection of Etruscan coins. 

But the wonder of ancient wonders in the Museum of 
Cortona, is a bronze lamp of such surpassing beauty and 
elaboration of workmanship as to throw into the shade 
every toreutic work yet discovered in the soil of Etruria. 
Were there nothing else to be seen at Cortona, this alone 
would demand a visit. It merits therefore a more detailed 
description than I have generally given to individual 
articles. It is circular, about twenty -three inches in 
diameter, hollow like a bowl, but from the centre rises a 
sort of conical chimney or tube, to which must have been 
attached a chain for its suspension. Round the rim are 
sixteen lamps, of classic form, fed by oil from the great 

6 One is formed like a face, with a and other holes in the forehead and cliin, 
hole in the nose, by which to suspend it, for the wicks. 

chap, lvi.] THE WONDERFUL LAMP. 443 

bowl, and adorned with elegant foliage in relief. Alter- 
nating with them are heads of the horned and bearded 
Bacchus. At the bottom of each lamp is a figure in relief 
— alternately a draped Siren with wings outspread, and a 
naked Satyr playing the double-pipes, or the syrinx. The 
bottom is hollowed in the centre, and contains a huge 
Gorgon's face ; not such as Da Vinci painted it, with 

" The melodious hue of beauty thrown 
Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain, 
Which humanise and harmonise the strain." 

Here is no loveliness — all horror. The visage of a fiend, 
with savage frown — eyes starting from their sockets in the 
fury of rage — a mouth stretched to its utmost, with 
gnashing tusks and lolling tongue — and the whole rendered 
yet more terrible by a wreath of serpents bristling around 
it. It is a libel on the fair face of Dian, to say that this 
hideous visage symbolises the moon. 7 In a band encircling 
it, are lions, leopards, wolves, and griffons, in pairs, 
devouring a bull, a horse, a boar, and a stag ; and in an 
outer band is the favourite wave-ornament, with dolphins 
sporting above it. Between two of the lamps was a small 
tablet with an Etruscan inscription, marking this as a 
dedicatory offering. 8 The weight of the whole is said 
to be one hundred and seventy Tuscan pounds. 9 

7 This is a well-known Orphic doc- on a bronze dog in the possession of Sr. 
trine. Epigenes, ap. Clem. Alex. Strom. Coltellini of Cortona, and also on a 
V. p. 676, ed. Potter. The serpents small pedestal in this same museum, 
also are supposed to be emblems of the Ann. Inst. 1842, p. 62. Micali, Mon. 
lunar changes. Ann. lost. 1842, p. 57. Ined. p. 80. Inscriptions like this, 

8 The inscription is not very legible. attached to monuments, are not of un- 
Some of the letters are peculiar ; but frequent occurrence. It was the custom 
one word, " inscvil," marks it as a dedi- to attach them to gifts, as now-a-days it 
catory gift. It is in all probability is with us to write the name of the giver 
intended for " Tinscvil," the word which and gifted, in a presented book. 

is inscribed on the Chimsera in the Flo- 9 Bull Inst. 1840, p. 165. Cf. Micali, 

rence Gallery, on the Griffon at Lcydcn, Mon. Ined. p. 78. 

1 H 


[chap, lvi. 

From the higli decoration of the bottom of the lamp, 
and the comparative plainness of the upper part, as well 
as from the analogy of similar monuments, there is every 
reason to believe that it was suspended, perhaps in a tomb, 
perhaps in a temple, as a sacrificial lamp ; which in truth 
its remarkable size and beauty seem to indicate. 1 

The style of art proves this monument to be of no very 
early date, yet there is a certain archaicism about it which 
marks it as of ante-Roman times. 2 

From this monument, so beautiful in art and elaborate 
in decoration, we can well understand how it was that the 
Etruscan candelabra and other works of toreutic art were 
so admired and prized by the Athenians, even in the days 
of Pericles. 3 In truth, as Micali observes, in mastery of 
art no other Etruscan work in bronze, except the larger 
statues, can rival this gem. 4 

1 It is a lyclinus, such as were hung 
from the ceilings of palaces or temples 
(Virg. Ma. I. 726 ; Plin. XXXIV. 8), 
and as have been found also suspended 
in sepulchres — even in Etruscan ones, 
as in the Tomb of the Volumnii, at Peru- 
gia. Micali (Mon. Ined, p. 78) thinks it 
a sepulchral monument — a funeral offer- 
ing to the great god of the infernal 
regions, consecrated by some lady of 
illustrious race, as the inscription seems 
to show. He suggests that it may have 
hung in the chamber, where the funei-al 
feast was wont to be celebrated, as well 
as the anuual inferice or parentalia. The 
use of sepulchral lamps by the ancients 
is well known, and gave rise, in the 
middle ages, to strange notions of 
perpetual fire ; for it was asserted 
that some were found still burning in 
the tombs, though fifteen or twenty 
centuries had elapsed since they were 
Lighted. It seems, however, that lain) is 
\\cre sometimes kept burning in sepul- 
chres long after the interment. Micali 

cites an extract from Modestinus (leg. 
44, Msevia D. de Manumiss. testam.), 
which shows that a certain Roman gave 
freedom to his slaves at his death, on 
condition of their keeping a light burn- 
ing in his sepulchre : " Saccus servus 
meus et Eutychia et Hiene ancillse meae 
omnes sub hac conditione liberi sunto, 
ut monumento meo alternis mensibus 
lucernam accendant, et solemnia mortis 

3 Micali (Mon. Ined. p. 75) says truly 
that it is of a style between the cele- 
brated Wolf of the Capitol, and the 
Chimaera and Orator of the Florence 
Gallery ; but he would refer it to the 
sixth or seventh century of Rome, 
which, according to the standard of the 
painted pottery, would be too late a 
date. I should rather say the fifth 
century, or the close of Etruscan inde- 

3 Pherecrates, ap. Allien. XV. c. 18, 
p. 700 ; Critias, ap. eund. I. e. 22, p. 28. 

4 Micali, Mon. Ined. p. 75. 

chap, lvi.] ANCIENT TOMBS. U5 

This singular relic of Etruscan antiquity was discovered 
in 1840, at a spot called La Fratta, at the foot of the 
Mount of Cortona, on the road to Montepulciano ; not in 
a tomb, but in a ditch, at a slight depth below the surface. 
The fortunate possessor is the Signora Tommasi, of 
Cortona, whose husband is said to have given 700 dollars 
to the peasants who found it. 5 

There are two other collections of antiquities at Cortona ; 
one in the possession of the Venuti family, the other in 
the Palazzo Corazzi, though the greater part of the latter 
has been purchased by Holland, and is now to be seen in 
the Museum of Leyden. 6 

There is nothing more, as far as I am aware, of Etrus- 
can interest within the walls of Cortona. I leave the 
traveller to his tutelar deities the Guide-books to steer 
him safely among the churches, the paintings, and such 
rocks as the sarcophagus in the Cathedral — said to be that 
of the Consul Flaminius, who lost his life by " the reedy 
Thrasymene" — on which inexperience and credulity have 
so often run aground ; but I will resume the helm when 
we quit the Gate of S. Agostino, for the tombs of Cortona. 

The height on which the city stands is of stratified 
sandstone, the same as composes the ancient walls — too 
hard to be easily excavated into sepulchral chambers, at 
least by the Etruscans, who had not the aqua-fortis tooth 
of the Egyptians, and rarely attempted to eat a way into 
anything harder than tufo or light arenaceous rocks. 
Here then, as at Rusellaa, Cosa, and Saturnia, tombs must 
be looked for on the lower slopes or in the plain beneath, 
rather than immediately around the city-walls. Yet on 

5 For illustrations and notices of this 354 (Braun) ; Mon. Ined. Instit. III. 

lamp see Micali, Monumenti Inediti, tav. XLI. XLII. 

pp. 72, et seq. tav. IX. X. ; Bull. Inst. fi For a description of the Etruscan 

1840, p. 164 (Fabroni) ; Ann. Inst. monuments in that Museum see Bull. 

1842, p. .53, et seq. (Abeken) ; 1843, p. Inst. 1840, pp. 97—104 (Janssen). 

146 CORTONA. [chap, lti. 

ledges in the slopes, where accumulations of soil from the 
high ground made it practicable, tombs were constructed. 
As the soil, however, was too soft to preserve the form of 
a sepulchre, it was necessary to construct it of masonry, 
and that it might be subterranean, according to the usual 
practice, it was heaped over with earth. Of this descrip- 
tion is the celebrated 

Takella di Pitagoea, 

or the " Cave of Pythagoras," so called from the vulgar 
belief that that philosopher dwelt and taught in this city, 
though it was at Croton in Magna Graecia, not the Croton 
of Etruria. 

This most remarkable sepulchre stands on the slope two 
or three furlongs below the city. It has been known for 
ages to the world, but had been neglected and half buried 
beneath the earth, till, in the } r ear 1834, it was re-exca- 
vated ; and it now stands in all its majesty revealed to 
the sun, like a temple of the Druids, amid a grove of 

The monument is now in such a state of ruin as at first 
sight to be hardly intelligible. The entrance is by a 
square-headed doorway, leading into a small chamber, 
surrounded by walls of massive rectangular masonry, in 
which sundry gaps are left for niches. 7 One side of this 
chamber is in utter ruin. It was roofed in by five im- 
mense, long blocks, 8 resting on two semicircular masses 
which crowned the masonry at the opposite ends of the 

' The doorway is 5