With Dr Eireann Marshall
As a result of the wealth they accrued from their trade in metals, wine and pottery, the Etruscans were able to dominate much of Italy from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC. Its: Their long, slow decline coincided with the burgeoning power of Rome, whose growth was greatly enhanced by the fact that it was situated in-between two great cultures: Etruscans and Greeks, who traded with one another.
By the first part of the 3rd century BC, each of the 12 cities of the Etruscan league had been conquered by Rome and by the 1st century BC their language, which made the Etruscans so distinctive, had disappeared. Such was their demise that we are unable to fully grasp what their 13000 surviving inscriptions tell us, just as their vast literature hasn’t survived and the name we call them is one we have inherited from their conquerors.
This same evolution from Etruscan to Roman culture is visible in the inimitably beautiful Tuscan town of Volterra, which was first settled in the Villanovan period and became one of the 12 cities of the Etruscan league. Just as with Rome, its Etruscan origins are central to the fabric of the town, from its Etruscan acropolis to its Etruscan gateway which preserves the busts of the Capitoline triad of Tinia (Jupiter) Uni (Juno) and Menvra (Minerva).