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For the italic Peninsula, in spite of their favorable position in center of the Mediterranean, their natural borders have constituted during manycenturies barriers extremely difficult to surpass. At prehistoric time, the mountain range of the Alps and the waters that surround the bootthey imposed remarkable limitations to the contacts with the other towns. The Neolithic one (that corresponds to transformations of extraordinaryimportance in the sort of life, as the introduction of agriculture and the cattle ranch) BC only began in Italy towards VII the millenium., orbe with a delay of almost two thousand years with respect to the civilizations of the Next East. The main stages of the historical progressalso they followed one another in the peninsula to great delay in relation to the other zones of the Mediterranean. Already as of III the millenium BCwe can speak of history in the Next East (we think about the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and of the Eastern Mediterranean), whereas in which one talks about Italy we must wait to century IX BC Also the diverse towns that inhabited the peninsula haddiverse degrees of development, in agreement with the different environmental conditions in which they lived. Only at the beginning of II the millenium BC, with the dffusión of the metallurgy of the bronze (with a delay of about thousand years respect to Mesopotamia), we began to find towns of certainethnic homogeneity: of native origin, this is, original of the place, like ligures, Sardinian and the icanios ones (in Sicily), and ofoeuropea origin, like the vénetos, the icos (that is umbros, Latin, oscos sabinos) and the sículos. The Indo-European, originating townsof central Europe, aspects of their culture megred with the natives, imposing in some certain cases, and in other cases absorseeingthe local culture. Between centuries IX and VII BC, affirms in central Italy the civilization of the ruscos, a defined town simplisenteduring years like mysterious. Today we know its uses and customs, religion and economy. Also its writing, for a long timeconsidered dark, it has been deciphered to a great extent, but even having many texts of similar content, we are not in conditions ofto dominate the totality of the Etruscan vocabulary.

Etruscan in the legend

An uncertainty that today persists refers the origin of this town: Herodoto, the Greek historian of century V BC, narrates that they descendedof a prince of Lydia. The king of this region, afflicted by one burdens shortage, trusted his Tirreno son leaves from his subjects, in order thathe guided them until a territory where they could find sustenance. After to have crossed many seas and regions, they arrived at the country fromshady, name with which Herodoto designated to the people who inhabited between the Alps and central Italy. Dionisio de Halicarnaso(century I BC), on the other hand, one talks about a native town, since the manifestations of this civilization present/display many aspectsarchaic and original. The Greeks called tirrenos, according to Dionisio, probably because they lived in called constructions tyrseis ortyurreis, that is towers, or because one of its sovereigns took the name of Tirreno. The Romans called Etruscan or tuscos. They were called to themselves rasenna, that derives from Etruscan rasna, word that means the one that belongs to the city, and demonstrates ofway very significant desire to emphasize the property to an organized affluent society, in contrast to the primitive townssurrounding. Between centuries IX and VII BC, was born and they were developed, in effect, the first great urban centers in a zone ofCentral Italy that arrived from Emilia to Campania (Capua), and that had its center in the territory of the present Toscana and the Straight stop. The first activities, favored by the fertility of the ground, were of agricultural type, with special dedication to cereals, and to start offof century VII BC to the grapevine, with a as abundant production as to in a moment allow a remarkable traffic of these products. Thanks to the development ofexports, quickly grew the political and economic power of the Etruscans, maintained well by the remarkable progresses of the metallurgy, Let us remember riqui 1 simos deposits of the island of Elbe, specially operated between centuries VII and V BC, and those of the Alpsapuanos and of mounts of the Tolfa. We know in addition by Estrabón that existed mines near Populonia, although already abandoyou swim at the timeof the definitive Roman conquest. The commercial relations promoted as well the cultural growth of this cultured and refined town. In a civilization socomplex and organized, in that the commercial interchanges constituted one of the pillars of the system, the currency began to circulate withcertain regularity in foreign currency form. As of century V BC, appeared a ori’gi’nal series, characterized by reversosmooth. A premonetal phase very similar to is documented which was registered in Smaller Asia and in the great civilizationsEastern. They have been, in effect, breads that go back to the period between centuries XI and IX BC, which, been born withthe function of votiva donation to the divinity, also acquired with time the value of parameter for the interchanges. It isalso testified the phase of the currency tool, as sickles, chisels confirm numerous findings of work instruments (andaxes) destined to the tesaurización. !>

the idea of the currency

Between centuries VII and I B. C. in the inner region of the territory of Etruscan influence begin to circulate iingotes of type bronzeenough niforme, and with a reconocible affluent mark that soon will transfer to the system adopted by the Romans in the first metal samplescoined. Between the coastal communities, the idea of the coined currency arose thanks to the contacts with Greece, although it does not toleratenecessarily the adoption of that ponderal system. In century V BC appears the first local mintings of silver. We canto distinguish the emissions of the metalliferous zone (, criminal included/understood in broad strokes between Volterra, Populonia and Vetulonia) and the area of Vulci, next to the Straight limit with the present one. To the first group of emissions the types with reverso pedenecen smooth, whereas in the obversethey appear the symbols of the wild boar, the chimera, the head of lion, the Pegaso and the Gorgona (these two last ones known only in Volterra). Incurrencies emitted in the region of Vulci we found a tipología less constant and the Etruscan legend of the name of the city. With exception of the mintings of Volterra, probably reserved by very strict exigencies of market, the diversity of symbols incurrencies coming from such districts suggest the hypothesis of an emission of deprived type, not yet sanctioned by a state authority. The first public mint can be located in second half of century V BC in the city of Populonia, greater and the most important one ofEtruscan ports. The date that today we can assign with certainty to this type of official currency, that presented/displayed a fixed figurative type (the head of the Gorgona)it illustrates on the outpost and complex organization to us of the society in those years, that evidently the exigency raised to pay onemanual labor: in effect, it was necessary to pay the operation of the mines, to the troops and trimmings of defense (to defend the coast andmines of the excursions of the pirates), to maintain an intense mercantile traffic, to provide money in cash to the dedicated class to the commerceand that pleased to surround itself by luxury. Also in Populonia the existence is testified towards century IV BC of other currencies of silver, of weightdemediado and minting very hurried and neglected, expression of a situation of urgency or difficulties. These emissions present/displayhead of Heracles or Athenian. Shortly after they will follow first acunac, ones of bronze, with Etruscan divinities of characteristicssingle-breasted uniform jackets and in militant attitudes that demonstrate clearly the destiny of these currencies: to pay to the military in fight against Rome. process of absorption of the Etruscan territory by the Romans can be considered practically concluded between 273 years 280 and BC, whenthe territory of Vulci and Cere becomes agerpublicus and the Roman colonization of the coastal territory begins.

a cultural identity composed

The Etruscan civilization appears very varied and complex, fruit of the original fusion of several cultures. The contacts are evident withthe Eastern world, attested by the abundance of products coming from Egypt, Asiría and Greece, that stops the Etruscan noblethey turned authentic symbols of being able social and refinement. The artists were many who, between centuries VII and I BC, they arrived at central Italy to even decorate the palaces of the aristocrats, favoring therefore a cultural interchange of great relevancein the matter of religion. This strong orientalizante component comes attested in the currencies by figures like esfinge, the faucet andcerbero with three heads, so frequent in the mesopotámica and Egyptian decoration. The adoption of these monsters, so mysterious, it adapted well to a fantastic vision of the Etruscan divinities, that were inasibles and secret investigations, and were expressed by means of prodigies whoonly the priests (the arúspicos) could see and interpret. The encounter with the Roman world testifies the presence of Etruscan kingsthat they were alternated with Latin monarchs. Doubt that does not fit, in any case, the Etruscan community maintained its identity cultural andpolicy, until the point of which when the Romans expugnaron the city of Veio, strategically important for the control of the Tíber river, after a siege of ten years of duration, its conquest was compared to the taking of Troy; the comparison was chosen to emphasize the Roman victory, but it also attests the power and the prestige that, until beginnings of century IV BC, maintained the society Etruscan. Period of the human evolution is called prehistory to larguísimo about which any written document is not controlled. From the invention of the writing in ahead, we spoke of history itself. This word derives from Greek and the signinvestigation, search, and are not only a term that designates a period and fits a series of events. By history they are understoodalso a study and a narration of the facts that the man has made, to conserve the memory of such and investigatingcritically the complex trajectory of the civilization.

A mysterious trastero

In the trastero of San Francisco, in Bologna, many bronze utensils were found that present/display alphabetical passwords. Sincethese objects represented a wealth monopolizing likely, these marks have provoked interrogative. Probably, Vista veryfrequent presence of the last letter of the Etruscan alphabet, in tridente form, these abbreviations were placed to mark a game ofobjects. With certain frequency we simultaneously found the first letter of the alphabet in use, the alpha, and it could mean that the utensil thusindicated it had a own value and had circulated individually. The objects of the trastero of San Francisco do not present/display anywaya ponderal uniformity that allows to think with certainty about a system codified for the interchanges. It is possible to consider that they performed a function of at sight account very simplified, that did not tolerate operations of heavy.

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