The Early Influences of Rome

Topics: Ancient Rome, Rome, Etruscan civilization Pages: 5 (1704 words) Published: December 14, 2008
The early influences of Rome, according to the text, were the people of Etruia and Greece. It is said that it all started in the southernmost Etruscan centers[1]. These places, Caere, Tarquinii, Vulci, and Veii, were the first city-states to be formed. It wasn’t long before the great city of Rome would rise. In this essay, we will briefly comment on the founders of Rome and their influences. Taking each part of history step by step hoping to uncover the secrets of Rome’s first steps towards become a great empire. The first thought of discussion will be on the Etruscans, the people of Etruia. The Etruscans played music, danced, did acrobatics, and held foot and chariot races[2]. This group of people were incredibly advanced. However, after reading a series of articles and text about these people, there is no real answer as to where they originated. According to Herodotus, the Etruscans originated in Lydia, in Asia Minor. He also continues to say that due to a famine in the area, they invented a number of games to take their minds off the lack of food.[3] Although Herodotus’ accounts may have been inaccurate, the features of the Etruscan people do prove that half of his theory was correct. Other historians of his time also claimed the same thing. Hesiod and Homer mention that the Etruscans came “from the period around 750 BCE in Ionian Greece, part of Asia Minor.”[4] However just like Herodotus, their records might be inaccurate. One piece of evidence that most historians agree on would be the Etruscan connection to the famous Pelasgians or Sea people of Lemmons. In the online article titled, The Origins of the Etruscan, it states, “ some Greeks and Etruscans were the branch of the Pelasgians, aboriginal inhabitants of the Aegean region.”[5] There is also a mention of Virgil who agrees with Herodotus in some ways, saying that they came from Lydia, a kingdom of western Anatolia. But we’ve learned from text not to trust the storytellers. Most of the accurate literature of Eturia was burned. In the 4th century CE, early Christians destroyed most of their records. It was believed that the Etruscans religious belief and practices were influenced by Theodosian code. The Theodosian code represented the Old Religion and was considered as idolatry and the work of the devil.[6] This irritated the early Christians so much that, Flavius Stillcho, a regent for the Emperor Honorius, burnt a huge number of the text from the Tagetic books, which were stored in the Temple Of Apollo in Rome. But these are just some of the theories linned to the destruction of Etruscan literature. To continue from the previous statement of origin, the online article states that the Pelasgians were made up of a mixture of people that held positions in various parts of Europe; places like Northern, Oriental and spots right outside of Etruia. The main reason why the Pelassgian are our most accurate connection is the evidence. “Excavations on Lemmons turned up a community there which dates back to around 600 BCE and which links the Etruscans to that place. The inscription on the Lemmos Stele was dated at 600 BCE and was written in a language similar to early Etruscan.”[7] The main origin of the Etruscans was the Pelassgians, they controlled a significant part of the Mediterranean.[8] This being said, they were soon labeled with the stereotype of pirate. There is no proof that the Etruscan were actually pirates but they were engaged in a lot of trade with the surrounding city states. Trade was a big part of the growth in the Etruscan civilization. They obtained the alphabet through Greek traders, although some of the grammatical symbols were changed, this was still a Greek influence. The Etruscans were also introduced to Greece’s myths. According to an online article, Greek Mythology heavily influenced the Etruscans. “Indeed many of their gods and mythological characters come directly from the Greek pantheon...
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