Recently, a group of bronze cultural relics were unearthed in Italy, and experts said they would “rewrite history.” What kind of cultural relics will rewrite history? What kind of past was rewritten?
In November this year, a bronze statue more than 2,300 years ago was recreated in the mud of a hot spring in Tuscany, Italy. The Central Italy region, regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance, has added a thick and mysterious history.
Rewrite the coexistence relationship of ancient civilizations
There are more than 20 statues in total, made of bronze. They were created from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD.
This holy place was originally founded by the Etruscans. It is said that the Etruscan civilization was the most splendid civilization before ancient Rome. These bronze statues were well preserved in the hot spring mud. Even today, more than 2,000 years later, you can still see the clear inscriptions on the statues and the folds of the clothes, and even the marks of some powerful families at that time were also engraved on the On the bronze statue.
Bronze statue excavation site
The unearthed cultural relics not only make people sigh the uncanny craftsmanship of more than 2,000 years ago, but also enable human beings to truly record the history and culture at that time. Experts in charge of the project say it is an “unparalleled” discovery that promises to shed new light on the period when the bronzes were created – a time when the ancient civilization of the Etruscans “disappeared”.
Why is the unearthed batch of bronzes regarded as an “unparalleled” discovery? Here are the largest remains of Etruscan and Roman bronze statues ever found in Italy. According to the British “Daily Mail” report, these bronze statues have also “rewritten” the history from the Etruscan civilization to the Roman Empire-because they have both Etruscan and Latin inscriptions.
In other words, this means that the Etruscans and Romans could live in harmony and even pray together in this area even though they were in conflict. Others have suggested that this offers the possibility of rewriting the relationship between the two. In addition, some archaeologists have stated that very few Etruscan texts have been preserved in the past, so any text, especially a longer text, is a supplement to cognition.
Not only that, before that, most of the Etruscan statues appeared in front of people today in the form of pottery figurines. According to Massimo Osner, director of the National Museum of Italy, the unearthed cultural relics are the most important discovery in Italy since the discovery of the Ries bronze, and it is also one of the most important bronze discoveries in the history of the ancient Mediterranean.
Although it was later assimilated by ancient Rome, Etruria is still an existence that cannot be ignored in history. The Louvre in France has a collection of more than 35,000 works. The museum is divided into 8 departments, one of which is Etruria.
From egalitarianism to power rule
The Etruscan civilization went through three different periods. As early as the 10th century BC, there were already traces of Etruscan civilization, which even occupied the whole of Italy in its heyday.
Where did the Etruscans come from? Scholars have different opinions on this. Some believe that the Etruscans were immigrants from Lydia in the Near East, but this is not recognized by most scholars because of their different language families; some have suggested that the Etruscans came from northern Italy across the Alps; others The Etruscans were the “natives” of Italy, a view supported by current genetic testing.
Even today, more than 2,000 years later, you can still see the clear inscriptions on the statue and the folds of the clothes.
The rise of Etruria is inseparable from rich products. At first, the Etruscans lived between the Arno River and the Tiber River in the central and western regions of Italy. The rich agriculture brought by the fertile land provided the agricultural foundation for the development of civilization.
On the other hand, the region is extremely rich in minerals, with important copper deposits and abundant iron ore resources—this is an exception in the Mediterranean region. Merchants from all over the world came in droves, and a trade network radiating the Mediterranean Sea was gradually formed. The Etruscans even became the “overlord” of the mineral industry in the Mediterranean region.
However, the influx of business opportunities is a double-edged sword. While merchants from all over the world brought great wealth, they also brought different civilizations and ideas. The superstructure collided, and Etruria, once solid as an iron barrel, became loose.
Some of the bronze statues unearthed in Italy this time
The Etruscans were the “natives” of Italy, a notion supported by current genetic testing.
Although only a few hundred years old, the Etruscan civilization was divided into several phases, beginning with the “Villanovan period”. This name comes from a small town in northern Italy, and the reason for its name is that it was the first to discover Etruscan cultural relics here.
At this time, egalitarianism is popular. The archaeological discoveries of that period were mostly concentrated on tomb objects, and we can also feel one or two things from it: the Etruscans put the ashes of the deceased in pottery urns, and then buried the pottery urns in round pits, which is also to a certain extent Weaken the distinction between the status and wealth of the deceased.
Although the later Etruscan civilization was assimilated by ancient Rome, it left a rich legacy to the ancient Romans, which was passed on to Western civilization, and traces of ancient Greek civilization seem to be visible in it. The ancient Greeks came to southern Italy in the first half of the 7th century BC and established settlements, gradually affecting the development of this area.
Etruria introduced new varieties of crops and cultivation methods never before seen here. Grapes and olives were no longer a novelty in Etruria. At the same time, Greek merchants also brought many imported goods. The prosperity of the commodity economy has brought obvious class differentiation, and the rich are oppressed and oppressed
. The simple “egalitarianism” in the early days is gradually replaced, and the class distinction becomes more and more obvious. This is also confirmed in archaeological discoveries. In the late period of Villanovan, there were warrior tombs buried with many weapons, and the average was broken.
At this time, Etruria was in the “Orientalization period”. The outflow of minerals, the inflow of gold, silverware, and ivory, between buying and selling, pushed the Etruscan trade to become more prosperous. Greek characters were also introduced into this area at this time, and Greek customs such as banquet customs and hunting became common practice. The powerful ruling family appeared, and the Etruscan civilization reached its peak at this time.
After reaching its peak, Etruria soon ushered in a decline. From 600 BC to 300 BC, Etruria entered the classical period. Prior to this, Etruscan commerce and handicrafts had flourished, various cities had sprung up, and Etruscans began to spread to the north and south.
Interests caused disputes, and exchanges between Etruscans and Greeks , gradually rose from commerce to military conflict, and after their defeat in 474 BC, the Etruscans lost control of the Tyrrhenian Sea. During this period, commerce and trade also experienced a serious decline and the economy declined. Later, ancient Rome rose, and Etruria further declined.
Temple of Jupiter (later coloring picture)
In 273 BC, ancient Rome controlled all the city-states of Etruria, and there was no independent Etruria in the Mediterranean. After becoming a vassal, Etruria was gradually assimilated by ancient Rome, and its writing, like its civilization, was submerged in the long river of history.
There is no gap in culture, and civilization affects future generations
A civilization that has gone through hundreds of years tells its rise and fall through cultural relics. Its different periods have their own characteristics, the lower foundation affects the superstructure, and the superstructure in turn guides the direction of civilization. It is interesting, however, that these periods did not present a cultural gap, as evidenced by the later discovery of artifacts from the Villanovan period in the Etruscan heartland.
Today, we learn more about this civilization from the objects left over thousands of years ago. Those funerary objects excavated from the tomb show us the glory of the past. The Etruscan civilization exhibition in Italy has been exhibited in museums in Hubei, Zhejiang and Guangdong.
Judging from those exhibits, the Etruscans were more concerned about secular life. They lived in luxury, pursued pleasure, and loved banquets. Even the murals in the tombs were painted with scenes of feasting and entertainment. Some people even think that a banquet refers to eating meat and drinking, and there is another form of social drinking party. It was also through social receptions that the Etruscan nobles formed their own culture, and the social class became clearer.
Etruscanism is gone, but its influence is far-reaching. It can also be said that it has changed its form and flowed through the long river of history.
From the perspective of political form, the ancient Romans first built their cities in the form of tribal alliances. In 616 BC, the fifth king of ancient Rome was the old Taquin of the Etruscans, and ancient Rome became a city-state.
Features of ancient Roman kingship, such as crowns and scepters, also came from Etruria. As far as religious belief is concerned, the Romans worshiped gods from open-air altars to temples, and were also influenced by the Etruscans. The Temple of Jupiter was built according to the Etruscan temples—Ancient Rome Jupiter in mythology is also derived from the main god in Etruscan civilization.
Even the toga worn by the ancient Romans, and the Roman numerals still in use today, were inherited from the Etruscans. Wherever you walk, there must be traces, not to mention the most splendid civilization before ancient Rome.