Ancient Pre-Roman Italy

Feb 2018
118
EU-Germany
#61
i think the most important question is what ended the terramare and above all what happened to its population (>120-130k) ? one thing seems for sure and that is that deforestation in southern po valley played its role and that resulting drought is a prime candidate, but deforestation also paves the way for another disaster in floods, it ought to be a natural disaster since no new culture/invaders superseded it;
https://whyfiles.org/107flood/3.html

maybe the umbrians have something to do with the terramare people Pliny (1) (HN 3. 14. 112) refers to the Umbrians as the 'gens antiquissima Italiae' (oldest of the peoples of Italy), and derives their Greek name of Ombrikoi from their having survived the flood
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,332
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#62
i think the most important question is what ended the terramare and above all what happened to its population (>120-130k) ? one thing seems for sure and that is that deforestation in southern po valley played its role and that resulting drought is a prime candidate, but deforestation also paves the way for another disaster in floods, it ought to be a natural disaster since no new culture/invaders superseded it;
https://whyfiles.org/107flood/3.html

maybe the umbrians have something to do with the terramare people Pliny (1) (HN 3. 14. 112) refers to the Umbrians as the 'gens antiquissima Italiae' (oldest of the peoples of Italy), and derives their Greek name of Ombrikoi from their having survived the flood
River Po presents some troubles:

from a planetary perspective it can seem a short river, but it collects the waters coming from the rainy Alps ... [about this is similar to Hindu and Ganges]. The difference is that while Ganges receives the waters of the Brahmaputra river, the Po doesn't receive the waters of Adige river, otherwise ... But in any case, its flow rate is enormous in relation with its dimensions.

From a morphological perspective, Po is a "pensile" river, since, being slow, it leaves materials along its course ... so that its waters tend to arise above the level of the terrain.

From a climatic perspective, it's seasonal [like Ganges and Hindu with the monsoon]. This means that the wide areas of forests along its course protected the territories from its waters during the rainy seasons [in Northern Italy there are two rainy seasons, not one like about Himalaya].

This said ... the "Terramare".

They were a social system and the crisis of that system was a real collapse. The causes are not that clear [it's like about the end of the Classic Mayan civilization], anyway the Terramare ended in XII century BCE, a bit before the age we are considering here.

A good hypothesis:

The Archaeological Terramare Park at Montale has developed a theory: according to their estimates the area reached a population between 150,000 and 200,000 persons ... too much even for the delta of River Po.

The social disaster was just a matter of time.
 
Jun 2012
6,990
Malaysia
#63
Plus only a few of Rome's Romans were "Roman" most were Italics... and by being "Roman" they were basically Trojan... and not really Italian or even Greek necessarily.
I hv heard this Trojan theme not a few times before, and it's got a certain romantic allure. Survivors of a fallen once glorious ancient kingdom finding their feet again & founding a new civilization in another place. But is it like now accepted as mainstream theory, or still a fringe hypothesis kind of thing?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,332
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#64
Archaeology would indicate that it was an Eastern myth which was developed and enrichment by Etruscan authors in VI century BCE [the wider collection of pottery presenting depictions of Enea's escape to the Italian lands from that period is Etruscan, not Greek].

A previous work by Stesicoro has generated doubts [it would be from VII century BCE, but later interpolations by Romans cannot be excluded: we've got well later versions of it].
 
May 2017
219
Italy
#65
I hv heard this Trojan theme not a few times before, and it's got a certain romantic allure. Survivors of a fallen once glorious ancient kingdom finding their feet again & founding a new civilization in another place. But is it like now accepted as mainstream theory, or still a fringe hypothesis kind of thing?
It's discarded by most if not all archaeologists and scholars, archaeological excavations have shown that the cultures of Central Italy, including of course the Latial culture, were completely different from those of West Anatolia including Troy. The Latial and Villanovian cultures were native cultures with influences from Central Europe in their burial customs and n other objects such as the fibulae, their weapons were similar to those of Cetral Europe too, to the Naue II swords of the Urnefield culture first and later to the Antenna swords of the Hallstat culture. Their settlements and their houses were clearly completely different from those of the Trojans, the late bronze age and early iron age central Italians lived in villages and built simple huts, often circular or elliptical, with thatch roofs, completely different from the rectangular houses of the Trojans and their large palaces and cities protected by stone walls. No visible Aegean influence was present in Central Italy before the late 8th, early 7th century bc. The few Mycenaean fragments found Southern Etruria and dating to the late bronze age were far fewer than those found in other regions of Italy such as Sicily, Sardinia or in the Southern part of the Peninsula, where they are interpreted only as evidence of trade and not of migrations. So it was just a myth, to form a connection between the cultures of the West and those of the East, and the Romans weren't certainly the only people claiming to be descendants of the Trojans, it was a popular legend.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2018
118
EU-Germany
#66
River Po presents some troubles:

from a planetary perspective it can seem a short river, but it collects the waters coming from the rainy Alps ... [about this is similar to Hindu and Ganges]. The difference is that while Ganges receives the waters of the Brahmaputra river, the Po doesn't receive the waters of Adige river, otherwise ... But in any case, its flow rate is enormous in relation with its dimensions.

From a morphological perspective, Po is a "pensile" river, since, being slow, it leaves materials along its course ... so that its waters tend to arise above the level of the terrain.

From a climatic perspective, it's seasonal [like Ganges and Hindu with the monsoon]. This means that the wide areas of forests along its course protected the territories from its waters during the rainy seasons [in Northern Italy there are two rainy seasons, not one like about Himalaya].

This said ... the "Terramare".

They were a social system and the crisis of that system was a real collapse. The causes are not that clear [it's like about the end of the Classic Mayan civilization], anyway the Terramare ended in XII century BCE, a bit before the age we are considering here.

A good hypothesis:

The Archaeological Terramare Park at Montale has developed a theory: according to their estimates the area reached a population between 150,000 and 200,000 persons ... too much even for the delta of River Po.

The social disaster was just a matter of time.
exactly, an ecological disaster was pre calculated and that a disaster occurred is evident, yet what happened to the masses of its people as there was no superseding in culture nor are mass graves attested in the archaeological data; begging the ult question where did the masses disperse to? as the succeeding period 12th-9th known as 'proto-villanova' or by the more fitting term 'ascona-milazzo' is marked by the increase in the cremation/urn burial rite which was however already in practise in terramare horizon [olmo 11% fondo paviani/(scalvinetto) 62%]

https://www.gettyimages.de/detail/f...amare-civilization-stock-fotografie/103025285
As in Terramara burial sites, the remains of cremated bodies, without grave goods, were placed in urns, usually covered with a bowl and placed in pits without burnt earth

new cultural networks than only emerge ~900bc with the major urnfield center of villanova and atestine with the former being superseded by the orientalizing period ~720bc; the 900bc emergence could highlight a new wave explaining the venetic/latin affinities (urnfield?) in contrast to the sabellic/lepontic affinities (terramare?);
 
Oct 2017
186
United States
#68
Ok so decided to try and get all of wikipedia's ideas down as best as possible...

Basically, the Messapi are probably very similar to the Illyrians, who in turn were probably somewhat similar to the Greeks.

Umbri were likely Germanic or Celtic/Germanic and thus different from both Samnites/Greeks as well as Etruscans.

Etruscans were very similar to Villanovans basically replicating culture and/or was same with small changes,

Samnites have an unusual and complicated history, not sure who they are exactly but likely very different from surrounding groups.

Raeti were probably celtic, Veneti were probably Germanic and also very pro-Roman apparently since they donated so many soldiers later.

Ligurian were celtic I guess, something like that but also probably displaced somewhat quickly.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,391
#69
Ok so decided to try and get all of wikipedia's ideas down as best as possible...

Basically, the Messapi are probably very similar to the Illyrians, who in turn were probably somewhat similar to the Greeks.

Umbri were likely Germanic or Celtic/Germanic and thus different from both Samnites/Greeks as well as Etruscans.

Etruscans were very similar to Villanovans basically replicating culture and/or was same with small changes,

Samnites have an unusual and complicated history, not sure who they are exactly but likely very different from surrounding groups.

Raeti were probably celtic, Veneti were probably Germanic and also very pro-Roman apparently since they donated so many soldiers later.

Ligurian were celtic I guess, something like that but also probably displaced somewhat quickly.
The Umbri and Samnites both spoke Italic languages and would have been related to the Latins, rather than the Germans, though there was a closer link between the Umbrians and Samnites than between either group and the Latins. The languages of the Samnites & Oscans were both from the same branch (Osco-Umbrian) of Italic while Latin was in a different branch. (Latino-Faliscan).

The Veneti were also not likely Germanic. Not a lot is known about their language but the scraps that have survived show a lot of similarities with Italic languages. There is a bit of a debate whether Venetic was from the Italic branch of Indo-European languages or whether it might have formed it's own branch between the Italic and Celtic languages, since it also shared some similarities with Celtic.

Not a lot is known about Raetian but the few surviving inscriptions suggest it might have been originally related to Etruscan. The ancient Romans also believed the Raeti were related to the Etruscans. However by the time of the Late Republic and Principate some of Raetians had Celticized.
 
Feb 2018
118
EU-Germany
#70
the samnites are said to derive from the sabines(>sabelli) who in turn derived from the umbrians [umbri>sabini>sanniti] in which the 'ver sacrum' played a central role 'The Samnite males are considered to be farmer-warriors organized by male kinship ties' the language is attested to be IE sabellic branch Oscan and superseding a previous sabellic group attested as pre-samnite; the samnites are usually set in a martial context and samnite warrior motives often appear on local greek vases and at the alfedena necropolis (6th-5thbc) 17% of male skulls did display combat lesions;
http://www.lettere.uniroma1.it/sites/default/files/817/Alfedena AJPA 2007.pdf
 

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