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patible with any period subsequent to the Roman conquest, when Hetruria disappears from the stage of independent political action.'

With better reason might the entire silence of all authorities, as to any knowledge or suspicion of Rhætian descent, either among the Etruscans themselves or elsewhere, be urged as conclusive against this otherwise most plausible part of Niebuhr's theory. Nothing certainly could seem more improbable than that among a nation of mountaineers, descending and settling as conquerors in the neighbouring plains, all memory of their primitive seats, all filial regard for the parent tribe, should have become extinct, under circumstances every way so favourable for its maintenance. This would be indeed the more unaccountable in the case of so proverbially superstitious a people, and one whose superstitions are so graphically described by Niebuhr himself as vitally interwoven with a complicated system of chronology, based on an uninterrupted chain of fatality, both in national and physical vicissitude. The argument derived from the Etruscan communities in the Rhætian Alps in Livy's time, the only real basis of this whole train of hypothesis, can have little weight with those who reflect how natural it would be for a powerful Etruscan dynasty in Lombardy to extend its settlements into the contiguous fertile valleys. Further, Niebuhr admits, they never spread; and how easy to maintain them, by aid of the surrounding fastnesses, even when driven by barbarian conquerors from the plain!

While the primitive population of Asia Minor, like that of Italy, comprised races of various, and probably, in some instances, radically distinct origin and language, the effect of a common soil and climate, of neighbourhood and commercial intercourse, and the exposure to the same class of external influences, seems to have spread, in each case respectively, certain pervading features of resemblance in character, religion, and miscellaneous customs. This community of character, as regards the tribes of the Asiatic peninsula, is reflected in the Greek tradition that Lydus, Carus, and Mysus were brothers-doubtless a mere figurative legend, since the native accounts seem hardly to have acknowledged any such common parentage. The same rule extends to the Phrygians and Lycians, also frequently blended or confounded by our authorities as one race with their neighbours. The Lydo-Etruscan tradition of Herodotus, therefore, taken in the spirit rather than by the letter, may be understood simply as implying that the Etruscans were a colony from the eastern coast of the gean. The ascendancy of the Lydian dynasty in Asia Minor, with its empire (real or fabulous) of the sea during its flourishing ages, would naturally impart to any such tradition a Lydian form. In any attempt, therefore, to illustrate Etruscan origin or manners


from Asiatic sources, our appeals may safely be extended to the neighbouring, whether kindred or merely connected races.

These common features of Lydo-Asiatic character may be defined as a medium between the Hellenic and the purely Asiatic, or Oriental in the wider sense; and such accordingly are the peculiarities which distinguish the Etruscans from their Italian neighbours, whom in many other respects, from causes above noticed, they closely resemble. The spirit of their gloomy superstition is decidedly Oriental, especially of their mystical astrology, their cycles of the sun and moon regulating the vicissitudes of personal or national destiny-chimæras peculiar to the East, and foreign to the northern mythology. The practice of entombing the dead in full armour, and surrounded by military accoutrements, was common to the Etruscans with the Carians, whose bodies, in the lustration of Delos (Thucyd. i. 8), were recognised by that peculiarity from those of the Greeks. The custom of tracing genealogies by the mothers' side was observed by Herodotus* as a singularity of the Lycians in his time; and that it prevailed among them in the age of Homer appears from his pedigree of Glaucus and Sarpedon. In the Etruscan sepulchral inscriptions it is very palpable, the conjectural evidence of such as are written in the native dialect being confirmed by others of later date in Latin. The Asiatic luxury of the Etruscans, displayed in their gorgeous carpets, massive plate, and crowds of beautiful and richly-dressed attendants,' has been pointedly noticed by the most zealous opponent of their Asiatic origin.† Theopompus describes their domestic habits as closely similar in this and other respects to those of the Lydians. The correspondence was equally observable in their regal state, so different from what might be expected in a primitive Alpine or Italic people: -The ensigns of office by which their kings were distinguished,' says the same Dionysius who would disprove their Lydian origin by a total disparity of manners, were a crown of gold and throne of ivory, a sceptre surmounted by an eagle, a vest of purple inlaid with gold, and a robe of variegated purple, similar to that which the kings of Lydia and Persia wore.'§ By other authorities the ordinary Etrusco-Roman toga is traced to Lydia. To this may be added the want of an o vowel in their alphabet, u supplying the place of both; and their pertinacious adherence to the practice of omitting the short vowels in writing, of using single consonants where double were required, and of writing from right to left-' usages common (another remark of

* I. 173; comp. Strab.
Ap. Athen. xii. p. 527.

Muller, i. 3, 7.

Niebuhr, p. 146.
S Lib. iii. c. 61.


Niebuhr) to all the Aramaic systems of writing.'*

A collation of the Etruscan inscriptions with those lately discovered by our travellers in Asia Minor, has also led intelligent living philologers to the conviction that the Etruscan alphabet must have been imported from that region into Italy at a very remote period, without the intervention of any Greek medium;† and in the same quarter most of the Etruscan characters not contained in the Greek alphabet have been identified, apparently on satisfactory evidence, in those of Asia Minor.

In respect to the religion of the two races, our ignorance of the primitive Lydo-Asiatic Pantheon deprives us of any more extended field of illustration. Several marked features of correspondence have however been pointed out both by Thiersch and Müller, the latter of whom, under the influence of his own system, refers them to Pelasgo-Tyrrhenian rather than native Lydian sources. The curious attribute of patroness of the flute, the trumpet, and other wind instruments, with which the Etruscan Minerva was invested, is traced by him to a Phrygian fountainhead. The Lycean, or Lycian Apollo, also appears in the Etruscan varieties of this deity's character-in the same form and with the same distinctive emblems as in the land of his fabulous nativity a beautiful youth armed with bow and arrows, and attended by wolves. The Erythræan' sibyl, by whose orders the worship of Cybele, the popular Lydian deity, was first imported into Italy from the Lydian coast, represents doubtless, as Thiersch observes, a Lydian rather than an Ionian agency. Another point of correspondence appears to betray itself in the Lectisternium or Etrusco-Roman banquet of the gods, where couches were laid out to figure their presence and propitiate their favour. Herodotus describes Croesus as sacrificing gilt and plated couches to appease the deity. The custom of reclining at meals is itself purely Asiatic; and by reference to this ancient rite, and to other monumental evidence, must have prevailed in Etruria from remote antiquity, probably before its introduction into Greece. But the most striking point perhaps of religious correspondence is the existence and prominence of the Chimæra in the figurative or mystical pantheon of Etruria-and of Etruria alone among the western nations-in common with the region of Asia Minor where that singular caprice of mythological fancy had its origin.§

By far the most important evidence, however, is that derived from a comparison of the sepulchral monuments of the two races, partly as described by the ancients, partly as exemplified in the existing remains. It is to this point that Thiersch's Essay is more + Sharpe, Append. to Fellows's Lycia, p. 442 seq. § Micali, pl. xx, xxvi., xlii.; and Museo Chiusino, pl. lii., &c. immediately

Niebuhr, p. 141.

I. 50.

immediately directed; and his ingenious speculations on the more limited data at his disposal have been strikingly confirmed by subsequent discoveries. Such monuments possess a two-fold value as illustrative of the origin of nations, from being both, as a general rule, the most massive and durable of all, and from reflecting, in their primitive unalloyed form, the characteristic peculiarities of native art. Inferences drawn from the broader features of such works would be indeed often fallacious, inasmuch as the same or similar expedients will here, as in other cases, naturally suggest themselves, under similar circumstances, for attaining the same object. Hence the same elementary type--the tumulus, for example, or the pyramid-is frequently found common to races between whose schools of art no immediate connexion can reasonably be imagined. The more conclusive is the argument from such peculiarities of detail as could hardly by any possibility be expected to occur simultaneously in different quarters; and such are the features of correspondence between the Lydian and Etruscan tombs.

The most remarkable monument of Lydia, Herodotus informs us, was the tomb of Alyattes, father of Croesus. It was a mound or tumulus of earth, raised upon a solid mass of masonry, and surmounted by five pyramidal columns or cones. The text of the historian, as Thiersch remarks, leaves it somewhat doubtful whether the crepis, or solid masonry, was a mere substruction, or was carried up through the mound of earth as a basement for the columns.

The most remarkable monument of Etruria was the tomb of Porsena at Clusium. Its remains, as still extant in Varro's time, are described by him as exhibiting a massive stone basement, on the summit of which were five pyramidal columns or cones. The Etruscan tradition assigned various other marvellous superadditions; but the above, as Thiersch remarks, was all that Varro saw, and, consequently, all that we have any valid authority to suppose ever existed.

A third monument, offering the same peculiarity of a basement supporting five pyramidal columns, is that still extant on the Via Appia, between Albano and La Riccia, vulgarly known as the sepulchre of the Horatii and Curiatii. Nibby, from the evidence of the five cones, conjectures it to have been that of Aruns, son of Porsena, who was slain in his father's assault on the town of Aricia. Thiersch, and all other leading authorities, agree with him in so far as to class it either as an ancient Etrurian structure, or (which is more probable) a later imitation of that peculiar model of sepulchral architecture.


Another building of similar form but larger size is described by Quatremère de Quincy as extant in Sardinia-a solid substruction, with five cones on the summit.* That Sardinia was a colony or dependency of Etruria during its flourishing ages we learn upon other authority, the accuracy of which, if open to doubt, this monument would go far to confirm.

But the closest parallel to the old Lydian model is that offered by the sepulchral tumuli called Cucumelle, spread in large numbers, and under considerable variety of form and structure, over the deserted plains of the Roman Maremma, once the cemeteries of the Etruscan cities of Volci and Tarquinii. The true nature of these monuments has only been ascertained by the excavations of the last twelve or fifteen years. Their chief feature of distinction from the ordinary barrow is the crepis, or solid stone masonry, which presents, in different instances, examples of the two modes of structure to which Thiersch supposes Herodotus may refer in his description of the tomb of Alyattes. The plan of the 'great Cucumella' of Volci, according to the reports of the French and German architects by whom it was examined, corresponds, as those gentlemen remark, so closely with that of the Lydian tomb, as at once to suggest the notion that it must have been erected upon the same original model; and such, we may add, was the impression produced on our own mind by a personal inspection some years ago. It consists of a solid stone basement seventy or eighty yards in diameter, supporting a tumulus surmounted by pyramidal cones, fragments of which are still strewed over the sides of the mound. The original number of these cones, even in the present dilapidated state of the monument, has been recognised by the intelligent observers above quoted to be five, standing on the summit of an equal number of massive towers carried up from the foundation through the centre of the tumulus, and in the lower recesses of which were the sepulchral chambers. Within and around this, and other neighbouring tumuli, were found various pieces of sculpture, representing human figures, lions, griffins, harpies, &c., in a grotesque archaïc style, which, we agree with the judicious authority already cited, will be recognised by all who are not under the sway of the popular Egyptian prejudice as exhibiting an independent national type of art. Several of these imaginary animals may be recognised among the figures on the Lycian monuments lately discovered and described by our distinguished countryman Sir Charles Fellows.

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That the tombs of the two most powerful monarchs of Lydia

Ap. Thiersch, p. 443 seq.

† See Transactions of the Roman Archæological Institute, vol. iv. 1832, p. 272.


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