Jump to content

(Bronze Age) Civ: Etruscans


Recommended Posts


(1) Lars Porsenna, Lucumo of Clevsin, with chariot
This is a reconstruction of the Etruscan king immortalized for generations of British schoolboys by Macaulay’s poem Horatius at the Bridge.
While there would have been some variations in their equipment, it is likely that the heavily-armoured dynatotatoi would have had a complete panoply:
here, a full Corinthian helmet with high lophos, a painted ‘bell-shaped’ cuirass, protections for the thighs, and greaves decorated with embossed lion-masks.
His cloak and helmet-crest are in purple and gold, symbolizing his royal power. The chariot is based on a splendid example from Monteleone da Spoleto,
decorated with bronze panels representing the myth of Achilles.

(2) Rasenna hoplite of the first class, Clevsin
First-class hoplites wore defences similar to the Greeks, although produced by their own armourers.
This high-status warrior, copied from the Tomba della Scimmia (480 BC), has a Chalcidian helmet with
Italic-style feather plumes flanking the crest. His early muscled cuirass shows red-lacquered shoulder-guards.
He is otherwise protected by greaves, and by a hoplon shield decorated with a possible city blazon.
His weapons are a spear and (obscured here) a curved, single-edged kopis sword.

(3) Etruscan horn-player
The simply-dressed hornist plays the precious specimen of a cornu now preserved in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco, Villa Giulia, Rome. This bronze horn is smaller than the later specimens of the Roman Imperial period; derived from prehistoric ox-horn instruments, it is almost circular in shape (ex aere ricurvo). The cross-brace in the middle, to help the hornist hold it steady, was not always present.




(1) Roman tribunus Aulus Cossus, 437 BC

This officer is based on accounts by Livy and on the bone plaques from Praeneste showing Latin hoplites.
He is armed with a spear and a two-edged xiphos sword, and carries a round clipeum shield. The crest and
diadem of his Attic-type helmet are (hypothetically) shown here in the same colour. His leather muscled armour is
copied from the Roman warrior depicted in the so-called ‘François Tomb’; it was probably moulded and hardened by
the cuir-bouilli technique that would be used until the Middle Ages.

(2) Tolumnius, Lucumo of Veii

Livy (IV, 17-19) and Plutarch (Romulus, XVI) give us important attestations to the employment of the linothorax by an Etruscan king.
Following the single combat between King Tolumnius of Veii and Aulus Cornelius Cossus in 437 BC, the former’s linen armour was dedicated
at the temple of Jupiter Feretrius: ‘... Then he [Aulus] despoiled the lifeless body, and cutting off the head stuck it on his spear, and, carrying
it in triumph, routed the enemy… He solemnly dedicated the spoils to Jupiter Feretrius, and hung them in his temple… Augustus Caesar …
read that inscription on the linen cuirass with his own eyes.’

(3) Rasenna archer

The use of the composite recurved bow (arcus sinuosus) is attested on painted plaques of the Tarquinii period; constructed of bonded wood and horn,
it would have required great strength to draw. Vergil quotes the Etruscan archers using the quiver or leves gorytus (X, 168).




(1) Aristocratic Rasenna woman

This Etruscan lady is copied from the Tomba dell’Orco frescoes, and is dressed in the common fashion of ‘Magna Graecia’:
a garlanded headdress, discoid earrings, a long cloak over a pleated linen tunic, and calcei repandi on her feet.

(2) Rasenna hoplite from Velzna

Reconstruction of the warrior from the Settecamini tomb near Orvieto, which yielded a Montefortino-style helmet, a shield and a muscled cuirass.
Archaeological fragments of Etruscan shields from graves in Perugia and Settecamini give us clear evidence for the heavy phalanx style of fighting
in the 5th–4th centuries. The central position of the porpax arm-loop shows that it passed around the arm just below the elbow (see G1), with a
handgrip near the rim; this was useful only in the linear ‘shield wall’ formation typical of the hoplite phalanx.

(3) Rasenna hoplite from Tutere

One of the most spectacular statues of warriors, the nearly life-size ‘Mars of Todi’ dated to about 350 BC,
shows the employment of lamellar armour. The lamellae could be in bronze or – as suggested by their white
colour in many artistic representations – of white metal, or even of an organic material such as bone.



Edited by Genava55
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would really love me some Etruscans in 0AD... It's true that they peaked just before 500BC, but they lasted as an important power into the 3rd century BC, the last Etruscan cities being annexed by Rome around 100 BC. They were full on Iron Age, not Bronze Age, and belong in Vanilla, in my opinion.

The Chimera of Arezzo, one of the finest artefacts of the ancient world, Etruscan bronze (c. 400 BC):




I've been collecting some visual refs for the Etruscans for a while, so I thought I'd also share what I have so far (mainly architecture and some frescoes):



The Etruscan city of Vulci:



Etruscan city of Marzabotto 



Etruscan gate to the city of Volterra, still standing today!



Acropolis of Vetulonia 



Poggio Civitate (Murlo), seems perfect for the Etruscan Civic Center:



Earlier periods:






Etruscan temples,

temple of Veii



More temples:








Etruscan Tombs:















Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...