Richard Francis Burton.

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and contained about 36 per cent, of lead.


Finally, the bas-reliefs and statuary, numbering
about a hundred, enable us to compare the most
archaic style (Venus), shapelessness, disproportionate
limbs, unnatural length, rigidity, and drapery
adhering to the body, with that of the most ad-
vanced civilisation (Venus and Mars). Thus Prof.
Count Conestabile is of opinion that the necropolis
of Marzabotto was used for a considerable period
after the Boian and Lingonian invasion ; whilst the
Abb6 G. Chierici is of opinion that both Misanello
and Misano owe their destruction to those bar-


1 Nulli nota poetas
Ilia fuit tellus, jacuit sine carmine sacro.'




WE have now seen the arts and industry, the tem-
porary abodes and the eternal homes of the Circum
padan Etrurians : it remains only to interview what
is left of the man himself. Here, again, a short
preparatory course is advisable, a glance at the
early geological history of Italy, especially at the
central regions in their long career of adaptation
for humanity. The palseontological field has been
admirably worked by the writers of the Peninsula :
amongst them we may single out Senator Ponzi
(' Atti della R. Acad. dei Lincei, 1871,' and many
other publications), who offered to the Congress of
Bologna (pp. 49-72) a synoptic table and a rtsumt
of the five great periods belonging to the annals of
our kind. He shall tell his own tale of cataclysms
and convulsions, although modern belief prefers
attributing to the normal activity of the present
day, prolonged through unnumbered ages, what was



formerly held to be the work of paroxysmal epochs. 1
But the last of the catastrophists has not yet gone
his ways : the mantle of Murchison seems to have
fallen upon the shoulders of Prestwich.

I. The Lower Pliocene of the Tertiary Age, when
the nummulitic strata are being laid, is a period of
calm and of sub-tropical temperature, represented by
the calcareous formations of Macco. The presence
of Pliocene man in Italy is still disputed. Professor
Nicolucci, of whom more presently, would place
him in the centre of the Peninsula (' Congres,' p. 234).
The Jury of the Congress (p. 520) opines that man
existed during the uppermost Tertiary 2 or the

1 The following table shows at a glance the four periods (A, B, C,
and D) of the greatest excentricity during the last million years ; and
the several glacial epochs which resulted from it :

Years be-
fore A.D.

of Orbit.

Difference of
distance in
millions of

Winter days
in Excess.

Mean of
hottest month
in the latitude
of London.

Mean of
coldest month
in the latitude
of London.




2 '75

7 '3

83 F.

21 F.

( a

c l'




2 '25


36 '4
27 '8




o'6 .







o' 9













2 Mr. Frank Calvert, of the Dardanelles, declares that he has
found traces of Miocene (Tertiary) man. From a cliff-face composed


oldest Quaternary or Post- Tertiary Age. 1 In the
Newer Pliocene sub-division the sub-Apennine sea
beats upon the mountains, depositing yellow silex
in the shape of extensive sand-beds which, however,
Nicolucci would attribute to a later age. The
cold, presently extending from the Poles towards
the Equator, causes a general and secular, as op-
posed to a seasonal, emigration of the fauna both
from higher to lower latitudes, and from the
uplands to the netherlands.

II. Follows the Diluvial Epoch at the end of
the Tertiary period and at the opening of the
Post-Tertiary Age : it is synchronous in the Apen-
nines with the Alpine diluvium. The temperature,
falling still, produces terrible meteoric convulsions.
The condensation of vapours precipitates masses
of water in successive deluges and whirlpools, ac-
companied by incessant electrical discharges. The

of strata dating from that period, at a geological depth of 800 feet, he
' extracted a fragment of the joint of a bone of either a dinotherium or
a mastodon, on the convex sides of which is deeply incised the un-
mistakeable figure of a horned quadruped.' He also exhumed a
flint-flake and bones of animals longitudinally fractured, probably to
extract the marrow. The discovery has set at rest all the doubts of
Sir John Lubbock (Pre-historic Times] and M. L. Figuier (Primitive

1 The term Pleistocene was proposed, on palaeontological grounds,
by Lyell, to demark beds later than the latest Tertiary, and older than
the deposits of the recent period.


resulting torrents sweep towards the ocean, which
still breaks against the Apennines, enormous burdens
of ddbris breached from the ancient rocks; and
thus thick beds of conglomerates, breccias, and
amygdaloids, showing the turmoil of the waters,
are deposited upon the yellow Tertiary sands. The
aspect of the Peninsula remains that of a com-
plicated archipelago, and the emerged lands are
covered, as their fossilised remnants prove, with
dense forests of oak, pine, and other tall trees.
The fauna continues to be the same, but the
tempests and deluges compel it to seek shelter in
the caves.

Primitive man, a nomad like his congeners,
doubtless occupied at this epoch the higher Apen-
nines, together with the elephant, rhinoceros, hip-
popotamus, cave-bear and hyaena, Bos primigenius,
hipparion, and Cervus elaphiis. The necessities of
offence and defence taught him -the use of stone
weapons ; and we can hardly be surprised that the
invention was not only anterior to history, but was
even unknown to the earliest legends. Suetonius
(' in Aug.* cap. 72) gives us an interesting detail
concerning the Caesar who may be called the Father
of proto-historic Anthropology : ' Sua vero ....


excoluit, rebusque vetustate, ac raritate notabilibus ;
qualia sunt Caprseis immanum belluarum, ferarum-
que membra praegrandia, qua dicuntur gigantum
ossa et arma heroum.' The italics show that the
Romans were not so ignorant of palaeontology. Al-
dovrandi ('Museum Metallicum': Bononise, 1648,
p. 600) calls the fossil sharks' teeth glossopetrce,
and tells us that others had termed the article ' lapi-
dem ceraunium, nempe fulminarem.'

The first undoubted evidence of Italian 1 man
appears in the diluvial breccias and upon the Jani-
culan hill, 2 at Acquatraversa, on the Via Cassia,
which yielded two silex-flakes. As the stone im-
plements are transported, it would, perhaps, be
logical to admit the possibility of their pre-existence
amongst the yellow Tertiary sands, but in these
they are yet to be found. The flints show all the
characteristics of the rudest palaeolithic age the
archaeoliths of the Ponte Molle, the Tor di Quinto,
the Monte Sacro, and the Ponte Mammolo are the
best proofs. According to Professor W. Boyd-

1 I say ' Italian ' because Professor Busk has identified with the
human fibula a bone found in clay apparently pre-glacial this would
be the earliest relic of the cave-man.

2 Ponzi, Sulle selci tagliati rinvenuti in Roma ad Acquatraversa e
Gianicolo : Bulletin of Cor r. Stient. of Rome, No. 3, vol. viii., 1870.
Cav. de' Rossi expresses his doubts (Congres, pp. 452-3).


Dawkins ('Cave-hunting,' etc.) these ancientest
types of hunting and fishing gear have left their
representatives amongst the Eskimos, a people still
associated with the fauna of the older Pleistocene or
Stone Age, the reindeer and the musk-sheep.

III. After the Diluvial sets in the Glacial
Epoch, the second period of the Quaternary Age.
Under the ever - increasing cold the rains become
snows ; polar ice drifts towards the equator, and
the glaciers, Alpine and Apennine, deposit moraine
and angular erratic blocks upon the abundant con-
glomerates of the preceding period. The atmo-
spheric perturbation is accompanied by earthquakes,
which open the British and Saint George's Chan-
nels, the Straits of Gibraltar, and the Dardanelles ;
which sever Sicily from its mainland ; and which
form the Dalmatian Archipelago. Volcanoes, chiefly
sub-marine, begin to discharge lavas, mostly absent
from the previous formations. The sub-Apennine
shallows are gradually elevated into dry land, com-
pelling the Arno to change its course : Monte
Pisano sinks, and the central Italian Archipelago
becomes a great gulf, in the midst of which
the craters of Bolsena, Viterbo, and Bracciano,
linearly disposed from north-west to south-east,


vomit the palseo-plutonic tuffs which, in the Roman
Campagna and the adjacent parts, overlie the dilu-
vian breccias. The subaerial eruptions partially
arrest glacier formation in the Apennines, and allow
erratic blocks to be carried beyond the limits of the
ice which had stunted and withered the flora, and
which had scattered mountain and plain with the
corpses of the fauna. A mere remnant of the latter
saves itself by emigration ; and man, in the acme
of his misery, is not wholly destroyed by cold and
hunger, those implacable enemies of all life. Wan-
dering in search of shelter he, also, descends to
the sub-Apennine hills, and he seeks the calori-
ferous centres where the radiation of plutonian heat
defends him against the rigours of the secular
winter. His remains are shown in the worked
flakes of silex yielded by the volcanic tuffs of the
Campagna di Roma. Shell-implements, carefully cut
or chipped, and pierced with a hole for suspension
in fact, knives have lately been discovered in a dilu-
vial grotto near Les Corbieres, on the top of a moun-
tain overhanging the Padern village. This novel fact
also suggests that the Rousillon plains from Per-
pignan to near Estagel once formed part of the sea.
IV. During the A Ihivial Epoch, the third period


of the Quatenary Age, the cold diminishes, the
glaciers shrink towards their former limits, the atmo-
spheric convulsions and the eruptions, both submarine
and subaerial, are gradually extinguished ; and
the sun, piercing the dark fogs and vapours, vivifies
and awakens nature. The sea-bottoms, strewn with
volcanic deposits, become dry land, and the great
river-valleys begin to assume their actual profiles.
The fusion of the retreating ice and snow, coursing
in immense torrents, transporting vast masses of
abraded matter, resetting their sides with travertine,
and lining their soles with sand, with river-
drift, fluvial conglomerates and huge water-rolled
blocks, forms deep ravines, and traces broad beds,
especially upon the newly-born plains. This action
is still distinctly marked in the valleys of the Arno,
the Anio and, to mention no others, the Tiber. With
the increment of heat there is a counter emigration
on a small scale, the remnants of the fauna and
flora return to their former seats, whose temperature,
however, is still below that of its former average,
while the isotherms occasion another geographical
distribution of organic beings. A new vegetation
supplies abundant food to the animal creation, and
man, who has escaped the horrors of the diluvial


and the glacial epochs, quits the mountains and
begins to inhabit the plains.

The variety of silex-implements, arrow and
lance heads, knives, and axes, preserved in the strata
of vegetable earth immediately overlying the oldest
volcanic tuffs, proves that, during the alluvial epoch,
the palaeolithic began to merge into the neolithic
age. Signs of civilisation appear in bone (C.
elapkns) handles, and in fragments of pottery
' sibi primum fecit agrestis pocula.' The quantities
of stone weapons found, for instance, at Inviolatella 1
(Campagna di Roma), suggests that these neolithic
cave-men according to some, the earliest Aryan
immigrants, who introduced the dog, the goat, the
sheep, and the long-fronted bull either had their
manufactories or fought their battles there. To this
the Jury (' Congres,' p. 513) would attribute the
Olmo Calvaria, a calotte found incrusted with
several centimetres of travertino. At this period
the Bosprimigenius, the elephant, and the rhinoceros
(tichorrJiinos] were still in the land, showing climac-
teric conditions which differ from the modern (?).

1 Ponzi : Sui manufatti di focaja rinvenuti all' Inviolatella, etc.
Accad. pontif. dei nuovi Lincei. Sess. i, 2 die. 1866. De' Rossi:
Rapporto sugli studi, etc., nel bacino della campagna Romana. Ann. de
1'Inst. de cor. arch,, vol. xxxix.


Moreover, it is remarked in Italy that weapons of
the second Stone Age outside the stratifications of
the great rivers, prove that these had abandoned
their gigantic primitive beds. De' Rossi disinterred
silex and lava instruments, neolithic arrows, as well
as archseoliths, upon the flanks of the great Latial
Cone ; and in 1866 he made, near the Anio, above
Cantelupo (formerly of the yqui), on the Via
Valeria at the mouth of the Ustica valley, which
discharges the Digentia rivulet of Horace, the re-
markable discovery of regular sepulchres. Two sets
of crypts or small galleries, at an upper and lower
horizon, hollowed in the travertino which had been
left dry by the retreat of the Quaternary waters,
produced five intact skeletons, distinctly establishing
the existence, in the second Stone Age, of the two
forms of skull which are still found throughout Italy.
The adults of the higher sepulchre, one supine,
the other doubled for want of room, were bra-
chycephalic, and, though one was rachitic, both
appeared to belong to a short, broad race ; amongst
the many arrow-piles of grey silex and a fine knife,
interred with them, were a coarse and primitive
water-pot and a lance-head of fine quartz with ame-
thystine veins. The three underlying dolichocephalic


skeletons, apparently of one family, showed much
more delicacy of texture. The bones were not un-
like those of modern man : there were neither arms,
nor fictiles, but around them and at their feet were
found remains, some worked, of the dog, horse,
ox, pig, Cervus elaphus, and perhaps the rein-
deer. The memory of the neolithic TTS'ASXUS was
long preserved by the Romans, who, in the Fecial
rite derived from the Equicolae, sacrificed the pig
with a stone hatchet, and it became the sign of
Thurs, the ' giant,' the third letter in the Runic
alphabet. Similarly the Jewish knife used in cir-
cumcision was probably a survival of older days.

The Hernician ('mountaineer' ?) valley especially
became the seat of a powerful and highly-civilised
race ; and, during the period of quiescence which
followed, Latium began to build cities.

During this alluvial epoch the ancient volcanoes
are closed by the elevation of the land, which some
call the retreat of the sea ; and other subaerial vents
open at Tichiena, Pofi, Callame, and other places
in the Hernician (Anagni) and Ciminian (Viterbo)
valleys. Hence the subterranean fire passes to
Latium proper, whose late development of civilisa-
tion was probably due to the long evolution of plu-


tonic disturbances. The Latin eruptions are usually
distributed into four successive eras, each separated
by periods of rest. The first raised the great Latial
Cone (Mons Latialis), with its central and apical
crater Artemisa, and its ring of auxiliary mouths,
represented by Nemi, Vallericcia, Laghetto, Valle
Marciana, Gabii, and others, discharging pyroxenic
lavas. The second movement appeared at the same
places after a period of calm, shown by fossils on the
volcano flanks for instance, at Monte Cavo, which
resembles Vesuvius in the Somma Circle. To this
or to the subsequent division belongs the discovery
of bronze implements, 1 and of stones which, like
the Jadeite found near the Sabine Sacco, but not
existing in Italy, argue the extension of commerce
and emigration.

This also is the period of monoliths, dolmens,
mortarless Cyclopean walls, and hydraulic works cut
in the rock ; and to it we must refer the legends of
Picus and Faunus, Saturn and Janus ' those old
credulities to nature dear. 1

The third eruptive era was apparently limited to
opening the Albano crater. It spread around it

1 We have the testimony of Lucretius that bronze was used before
iron ; the latter, moreover, was long prescribed in religious ceremonies
for instance, of the Romans.


not vast lava-rivers, but lapilli, scoriae, and ashes,
which, converted by torrents of rain to a muddy
paste, were presently solidified into the volcanic
conglomerate known &$> peperino. Upon this foun-
dation Alba Longa was subsequently built, and
became the capital of the Latin race. At last the
craters were changed to rain-pools, and the Alluvial
Epoch ended with scattering lakes over the surface
of Latium. About this time lacustrine villages were
numerous. The Sabines occupied the lands beyond
the Anio, and the Etruscans settled north of the

V. During the Recent, or Modern, Epoch, fol-
lowing the Post-pleiocene, the temperature becomes
what it is now, and the rivers, the miserable rem-
nants of the alluvial giants, shrink to citnettes in their
huge beds. After many centuries of repose, the
fourth and last outbreak in Latium opens the little
vent of Monte Pila, on the edge of Monte Cavo.
The latter was still in eruption when Romulus was
laying the foundations of Rome: Livy (i. 31)
mentions, under the reign of the third King, a thick
shower of stones, and a heavenly voice sent from the
Albano Mount a prodigy which required a nine-
days' festival. The comparatively modern date of



the convulsion is proved by the potteries, and even
the libral as grave, discovered, like the cinerary hut-
urns, under the volcanic pepenno. This movement
ended in earthquakes, which continue till our day,
and in the transference of volcanic tension to the
south, where it is now shown by the Phlegraean
Fields, Vesuvius, Stromboli, and Etna.




THE geological sketch of early Italy ended, I would
offer a few remarks concerning the successive im-
migrations into the Italian Peninsula which finally
brought the Etruscans racial movements established
either by old traditions or by modern science,
especially craniology ; and carefully investigated by
later writers, especially by Pictet of Geneva, and
more recently by Schleicher and Conestabile. It is
beyond the scope of these pages to notice the great
Mongoloid (?) or Turanian (?) substratum which
Prof. Hunfalvy would prudently call an- Aryan, and
which M. Thomas and his numerous school would
make superior in culture to the Aryan, 1 every-

1 I will not attempt to resume the discussion about the origin of
' Aryan.' Some (older school) derive it simply from ar, the plough,
which seems to have originated in Bactria and Irdn ; others find many
Sanskrit and Zend roots, as arth, ridh, rh, and r, meaning noble,
worthy, rich, honoured. Again, the Zendavestan tradition assigns to
Thraetavna (Indra) three sons, Airya, Caizima (Shem ? ), and Tuirya
(Tur, Turan). Firdausi (loth century) makes the three races sons
of Furaydun, and his Pehlevi ' Irij ' (Airja) was the youngest but the
steadiest of all.

M 2


where met by the intruding family ; 1 or to enter
into the subject of the Basques, whom Dr. Broca,
despite their splendid type, moral as well as phy-
sical, would consider autochthonous, and whom Prince
Louis Lucien Bonaparte would make, with Hum-
boldt, Grimm, And, and Rask, remote kinsmen of the
modern Finns and Uralians. Nor will my list in
elude the modern Skipetar, Albanians whose origin
is still a mystery, 2 the Gipsies from the Valley of
the Indus, and the Magyars, the latest flood which
the East poured into Europe.

Sogdiana and Bactriana apparently the earliest
seats of settled life agriculture and comparative
civilisation appear to have been the cradle of the
conquering race whose dispersion throughout the
furthest regions of the West was accomplished before
the tenth century B.C. ; and the following are the
four successive waves whose influx is admitted by
modern anthropologists :

I. The Kelts first left the family home ; the

1 It is still uncertain whether the first neolithic cave-men were of
Iberian, Mongoloid, or Aryan stock.

3 Perhaps the most mysterious part of their language is the way
in which it explains the oldest Greek terms (Fallmerayer : das Albane
Elem. in Griechenland}. Plutarch says that ' swift-footed ' was 'Aore're
in the dialect of Epirus : it is still Chpdte in the tongue of the Tosks
or Southerns, and Shpe"te amongst the Gheghs or Northerns.


ethnologic law declaring those tribes to be the oldest
who have been driven to the extremities of conti-
nents: the voice of all history is in favour of their
superior antiquity. They are supposed to have taken
the direction of ancient Hyrcania ; to have passed
south and west of the Caspian, as they planted
colonies in the Caucasian Albania and Iberia ; and
to have entered Europe, of course by land, via
the southern shores of the Black Sea and the
Danube Valley. Thence they spread westward far
and wide ; they occupied, in historical ages, Western
Austria, Northern Italy, the broad lands afterwards
called Gaul, the P.yrenean countries, and the British
Islands. This race is supposed to have brought
with it the neolithic Stone Age and its constant
accompaniment, pottery. We can hardly assign the
movement to a date later than thirty centuries B.C. 1

II. The Aryo-Pelasgi are supposed to have emi-
grated either at the same time as, or shortly after, the
Kelts, and they followed the same line, by Ariana
and Parthia, but a little to the south ; this is shown
by their traces in Asia Minor and on the ^Egean, the

1 The wide extension of the race justifies Pelloutier (Hist, des
Celtes, p. 10), who, like the ' Ulster King-at-Arms ' (' Etruria Celtica'),
is generally ridiculed for seeing Kelts everywhere.


Hellespont, and Propontis, till, travelling by land, they
reached the Mediterranean shores, Greece, Thrace,
Illyria, and Italy, as far as the Alps, where they
mingled with the Keltic Gauls. 1 This second emi-
gration would continue till the fifteenth century B.C,
III. The Scandinavo-Teuton appears much
later in history, which, of course, ignores his first
coming. The group may be divided into two dis-
tinct sections, the former being judged more ancient,
for the same reason as the Kelts, namely, having
been pushed further west by subsequent invaders ;
but the similarity, amounting almost to identity, of
physique, temperament, character, and even lan-
guage, shows them to be brothers rather than
cousins. They are supposed to have turned north
of the Aral Lake and the Caspian the negative
proof being that there are no remains of them
to the south to have extended over Scythia and
Sarmatia, the land of the Slavs, and to have en-
tered Europe via the upper Danube and the Rhine.
Hence they extended to the Baltic and to where the
North Cape prevented further progress. This was

1 Mr. Edward A. Freeman, judging from the similarity of the Latin
and Greek tongues, would make these cognate families of Aryans
* branch off from the original stock as one swarm (?) and part, most
probably, (?) at the head of the Adriatic Gulf.'


the noble barbarian blood which overran the declin-
ing Roman Empire.

IV. The Lithuano-Slavs, the last great wave,
passed by Asiatic Sarmatia, crossed the Volga, and
occupied the eastern parts of the European Conti-
nent, where population was thinnest. Their ninety
millions still hold nearly half of it, being limited by a
meridional line, connecting the western extremities
of the Baltic with the Adriatic, bounding the Scandi-
navo-Teutons on the south and east, as these bound
the Kelts ; and they are preponderant in Old
Prussia, Lithuania, Russia and European Turkey; in
parts of Hungary ; in Bohemia, and in the Eastern
regions of Austria. As the Latin race is of the Past,
so the glories and triumphs in arts and arms await
the Future of the youngest member of the family it
is, perhaps, the most interesting, when we think not of
what it has been, but of what it will be. This emigra-
tion appears in history about the third and fourth cen-

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Online LibraryRichard Francis BurtonEtruscan Bologna: a study → online text (page 8 of 14)