THE FINAL DAYS


Life in Etruria from the 4th through 1st centuries BC was still marked by affluent cities and productive countryside, but vast changes occurred in political and social life. Slave revolts and a growing class of wealthy freedmen and freedwomen accoompanied the loss of the cities’ autonomy to Rome. The tombs of aristocrats, commoners, and freedmen and freedwomen show a high level of technology and an ever increasing rate of literacy, but the days of the warrior-ruler and the princess who wove her family’s clothing were over.

Eventually a new order would emerge with Etruscans holding posts under the Roman government. For status and fulfillment many turned to religious administration.

By the 1st century BC Etruria was just another part of the Roman world. Her warriors had become priests and authors, her weaver women owners of factories and patrons of the arts. Their families’ futures lay with the power of Rome. Etruscan culture had flourished for the span of a millennium; its vestiges remain in the cities of Renaissance Tuscany, in Italy’s tiled roofs and political and religious symbols, and in our own thought and writing.