DNA Reveals Origins of Ancient Etruscans

Discussion in 'Education' started by American Horse, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    The enigma of Italy's ancient Etruscans is finally unraveled

    DNA tests on their Italian descendants show the 'tuscii' came from Turkey

    We have DNA evidence that the Etruscans originally came from very close to Izmir Turkey, which is the location of the ancient Smyrna. Note the distance between ancient Troy and Smyra, about 120 miles. The map imaged on the right shows the extent of the Hittite Empire (2,000 - 700 BCE) and the second of their great periods II [the] Great Hittite Kingdom or "Imperial Hittites" (1480 to 1190 BCE) corresponds with the fall of Troy and the flight of Aeneas.
    .........IX. Lydian Period ( 900 - 547 BCE.).........................VI. Hittite Period ( 2,000 - 700 BCE.)
    [​IMG]… [​IMG]
    Note that the map above, the Lydian Kingdom map shows both Troy and Smyrna or modern Izmir. But Troy
    was destroyed about the same time as the immigration to Italy from the area near Smyrna in ancient Anatolia took place.


    The enigma of Italy's ancient Etruscans is finally unravelled | World news | The Guardian
    DNA tests on their Italian descendants show the 'tuscii' came from Turkey

    “Genetic research made public at the weekend appears to put the matter beyond doubt, however. It shows the Etruscans came from the area which is now Turkey - and that the nearest genetic relatives of many of today's Tuscans and Umbrians are to be found, not in Italy, but around Izmir. [Turkey]…

    The latest findings confirm what was said about the matter almost 2,500 years ago, by the Greek historian Herodotus. The first traces of Etruscan civilisation in Italy date from about 1200 BC. …

    But the latest conclusions may add weight to a rival, apparently more fanciful, theory that links their name to Troy, the "city of towers" and a part of the Lydian empire. The most likely date for the fall of Troy, as described by Homer, is between 1250 and 1200 BC. …”

    Timeline
    circa 1200BC Destruction of Troy
    circa 1200BC First traces of Etruscan civilization in Italy

    700BC Etruscans borrow alphabetic writing from Greeks, and become first people in Italy to write

    616-579BC Rome ruled by its first, legendary Etruscan king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus

    550BC Etruscan power at zenith. Three confederations hold Po valley and coast south of Rome, heartland of southern Tuscany, and western Umbria. Allied with Carthaginians, Etruscans trade across the Mediterranean
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  2. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Connected with the theory about the origins of the Etruscans, and being interested I was reading recently from Gerhard Herm’s Phoenicians – The purple empire of the ancient world (1975)

    In it he lays out some interesting supporting evidence for a Trojan-Etruscan therefore Roman-Trojan connection, but also one of Etruscans-Romans-Carthaginians, but as allies. In it he mentions the Bulgarian Indo-Germanic scholar V.I. Georgiev’s publishing an article tracing a close relationship between the Etruscans and the Hittites. The evidence also suggests (if not proves) that the flight of Aeneas after the fall of Troy was not just an invention of Vergil and Livy.

    His theory is: the Etruscans are Trojans; the Trojans Hittites

    It goes something like this: About 1150(?) BC the Sea Peoples (the Mycenaean’s) overran the territory and ports of the peoples surrounding the Dardanelles, causing its inhabitants to flee to the western leg of Italy and Northern Africa. Near Veii, a city built by the Etruscans, excavators have found figurines portraying the flight of Aeneas, figurines much too old to have been influenced by Roman ideas.

    (Herm says) “In North Africa, the French scholar Jacques Heurgon found 5-boundary stones with inscriptions reading “Heed the Dardanian (referring to people of the Dardanelles), brought safely from afar.” inscribed in, he says, “their language”. Heurgon was a Latin and Etruscan scholar, so it could be the language he referenced was the Etruscan language.”

    All this happened before the founding of Carthage, but North Africa was territory dominated by the Phoenician region of trading influence, and the Carthaginians developed out of Phoenician civilization. At a later point in time the Etruscans joined up with the Carthaginians in an alliance of trade. The Carthaginians allotted specific zones to their allies and kept others, especially the sea routes, for themselves. The Etruscans were farmers and cattle-breeders rather than merchants or ship owners. They preserved a symbiotic relationship with the Phoenicians/Carthaginians. The Carthaginians, likewise needed them, since they were a people without a “hinterland;” they operated their trading empire out of “sea cities” or seacoast fortresses accessible from the sea, but braced against landward approaches.

    (Herm says) “It is sad that there was no poet who recreated poetically the alliance between the Etruscans and the Carthaginians. We would then perhaps know a little more about it. But we do know that the descendants in Italy of the people from Asia Minor who were driven out of their homeland joined up with the Phoenician Carthaginians – two [peoples,] thus, whose history was decisively influenced by the invasion of the Sea Peoples – and there was an excellent relationship, [a bond] between them. Archeologists have also re-confirmed this.”

    The relationship between Carthage and Rome was between Carthage and the Etruscan (Roman) nobles, and perhaps that alliance would’ve played a role in the Roman Carthaginian relationship to come later.


    But back to the Etruscans: Herm supports the connection between the Trojans and the Etruscans with the similarity between their two names, as described by Georgiev:

    The Greek name for the Trojans, (Georgiev says) “was Troes, which goes back to an earlier Troses, just as Troy was derived from Trosia. A place of the same name is frequently mentioned in Hittite and Egyptian documents of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as Turush and Trusya. If, (Georgiev continues) one takes the essential components of all these names, one is left with the syllable Tros or Trus. And this is also the main part of E-trus.-ci or E-trus-ia. Therefore: when Homer said Troes, he was calling the Trojans by their correct name, because they themselves probably said Tros (or Trus), and only added the preceding E later in Italy” [from the Latin preposition “e” (as in e pluribus unum) meaning “from” or “out from”]
     
  3. konradv
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    Interesting, since the Romans also considered themselves the descendants of Troy, a legend fleshed out by Virgil in The Aeneid. I wonder if it was a borrowing from the Etruscans, when they were the overlords, or came about seperately.
     
  4. American Horse
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    I think you have identified the mystery. Adding to that, Virgil lived his last twelve years under the reign of Augustus Caesar. Some believe he was alluding to an Augustus/Aeneas (Aeneid) dichotomy to lend authenticity to the Augustan regime, the Julian/Claudian gens.

    According to Julius Caesar himself, his (the Julian) clan’s origins were from Aeneas descended from Venus. And he, himself dedicated a public cult to Venus to remind Romans of his and Rome’s lineage. Venus Genetrix, or Venus the Progenitor, was honored as the divine ancestor of the Roman people and of the Julian clan in particular. Caesar fully instituted Venus worship.

    The Etruscans, as you said, were the Roman’s early overlords, and Rome's first kings. They also maintained a longstanding trading relationship with the Carthaginians; a kind of symbiosis in which the Etruscans had no ships, though they bred cattle and the Carthaginians had no back-country, only a fortress city with no hinterlands, and a trading empire.

    Furthermore there is also some allusion to a Roman/Carthaginian common birth:
    After leaving Troy and before going on to Rome, Aeneas went to North Africa, where he met and had an affair with Dido, queen of the newly founded Carthage. But Troy was destroyed, about 1200 BC, Rome founded about the middle of the 8th century BC - and Carthage about 60 years before that.

    Implicit in all the Rome/Carthage connection is the strong element of “fratricide” in Roman Mythology; Romulus murders Remus. And it is a fact that in every speech the respected senator Marcus Cato made in the Roman Senate, regardless of what it was about, he ended it with the phrase “Carthago delenda est! ― Carthage must be destroyed!”
    And at the end of the third Punic War, general Scipio Africanus, taking Cato's slogan to heart, destroyed the city, plowed it over and sowed it with salt ...so that nothing would grow from the soil.

    In the end, it seems there is some element of truth in most myths or legends.
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The reason that the Romans believed such, or perhaps, one reason, was that Virgil was asked to write the Aeneid to bathe the Roman culture in the glory of the Greek.

    Seemed like a pretty good idea.
     
  6. CrusaderFrank
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    Not just cool, but cool squared!

    Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places on Earth
     
  7. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Like America, the Romans, although conservative with all the baggage that label implies, were a very cosmopolitan people. They admired their Greek contemporaries' Hellenic culture, and not only added to it, but improved upon it and preserved it by making it not just the culture enjoyed by the noble elites of a minor Greek City State, but that of an empire spread the length and breadth of the Mediterranean world from Asia to the British Isles.

    After the founding of Nova Roma (Constantinople), and establishing the new capital in the east, the Roman Empire survived more than another thousand years but was to be remembered by the name of the ancient Greek Town it had been built over the top of, Byzantium. Thus Rome in its old age was counted as an empire of the Greeks, becoming those whom it had conquered 1,500 years earlier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  8. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    America is 'conservative?' Since when, and the idea of conservatism, as we understand it today from Kirk et al, would only fit a Rome in its hierarchical principle. And cosmopolitan is the opposite of conservative. Replace conservative with republicanism and you'd have a point. You were doing fine until you allowed your biases in. lol


    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-before-Liberalism-Quentin-Skinner/dp/0521638763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8]Amazon.com: Liberty before Liberalism (9780521638760): Quentin Skinner: Books[/ame]
     
  9. American Horse
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    The Roman Republic was stable as their empire expanded, but as power shifted to the plebeian assemblies, catering to popular uprisings by demagogues, enabled a man like Caesar to end the republic and nearly make himself a monarch, thus the end of the repubic and the beginning of the empire as a "principate" - the rule by a "first citizen" overlaying the still functioning elected magistracies.


    Afterwards, in a point early on in the empire it was more common for an emperor to have been born outside Italy than in it. Romans sent their youth to Greece and Egypt,and the east for higher education. They did not interfere with the ways, culture, and religions of their provincial states, nor of their governing themselves, and adopted and spread their ways, culture, and their various religions throughout the empire. The "empire' was conservative in that it defended itself from hostile forces or rebellion relentlessly. Part of the reason for this inclusiveness was the Roman legionaires, being stationed in foreign postings for many years, would learn the language, and marry the local women.

    It was a commonly held belief, that "any mother's son" could ascend to the office of emperor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  10. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    The interesting thing about the whole Caesar Venus cult was he was bringing back the concept of the kingship back to Rome.

    The Etruscan Tarquins were overlords over the Latins and the Romans. Rome tossed the Etruscans out, and formed a republic. Caesar brought the kingship and based it on his Etruscan linage? How bad is that? It makes as much sense as 0bama making himself 6 star general based on the fact his mom was a relative in the nth degree of George III.
     

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