But Bologna must not seduce us with her modern attractions; we have no time to dwell on the memories of Michelangelo and Francia, the Caraccis and Domenichino, Galvani, Mezzofanti, and Achille Marozzo, the creator of our modern Art of Arms. We come here to inspect the vestiges of a day long gone by, to seek with Thucydides, the history of the people in its sepulchres, to detect under the earth which covers the Etruscan tombs the secrets of their civilisation. The researches which began systematically in 1856 have made study an easy matter. Things have greatly changed since Des Vergers could write of Pelasgian Spina, Atria, and other Circumpadane cities: Elles ont laissé bien peu de traces dans le souvenir des hommes, et les traces sont si légères qu' elles n' ont plus ni forme ni couleur. Between 1825‑1827 Zecchi was able to issue his four octavos, describing the sepulchral
monuments of the cemetery of Bologna, and illustrating them with 152 plates. It is generally believed that the first Etruscan Federation of Twelve Cities was founded, west of the Apennines, on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea; and the date is laid about the fourteenth century BC. The chief witness is the Karnak inscription of the Pharaoh Merien Phtah (Menephtah I.), son and successor of Ramses the Great (II. of nineteenth dynasty), which mentions, amongst the invaders of the Egyptian Delta from the regions of the sea, the isles of the sea, Sicily and Sardinia, the Lycians, and, to quote no other names, the Turis'a, or Turscha (Tursci, Turski, or Tusci), [footnote 1: the Eugubine Tables (commented upon by Lepsius), of which five are in Etruscan and two in Latin characters, give, as variants of Tuscus, Tursce, Turscer, Tuscum, and, in the fourth line, Turskum. The Vicomte de Rougé (Revue Archaeo., Nouvelle Série, 8th year, August 1867) translates Turis'a (TYRRHENVS) COEPERAT CAPVT BELLI TOTIVS, BELLATOR OMNIS REGIONIS EIVS ADDVXERAT VXOREM (ET) LIBEROS SVOS, and he remarks that, had the Etruscans not failed, une colonie Tyrrhénienne eût devancé Alexandre de plus de dix siècles. Chabas (Études sur l' Antiq. and the rest, 1872), in a new version of this important inscription, makes the leader not the Tursha (Etruscans), but Marmaion, King of the Lybians, and son of Teit or Deid, who, after the battle on the left of the Nile, escaped to the north, leaving in the hands of the enemy 890 Etruscan hands and 6,369 Lybian trophies. The word Raseni occurs for the first time in Dionysios Halicarnassus, and thus it is comparatively modern] the Greek Thyrsenoi, who occupied Tyrrhenia. After overpopulating the land, they crossed the backbone of
the country, and conquered the Aryan Umbrians whose mariere and terramare (pile villages and kitchen middens) ‑‑ not to be confounded with the subsequent Etruscan ‑‑ still remain. These races were familiar with metal working, and they had succeeded the great ocean of Turanians which that highly distinguished Mongol scholar, Professor Paul Hunfalvy, would call An‑Aryans; and again these, perhaps, the men of the latest Tertiary or of the earliest Quaternary epoch. In the Circumpadane regions the Etruscan immigrants ‑‑ dated, by the general voice of history, about the twelfth century BC ‑‑ built their cities and cemeteries, FELSINA being the chief centre, and annexed Atria and Spina, the maritime depots. This theory assumes that the Etruscans all travelled by water and not by land ‑‑ which, to say the least, is not proven. In the inverse case they would first occupy the eastern and afterwards the western slopes of the Apennines; and thence, emboldened by strength and security, they would overspread the surrounding lowlands, and become pedionomites. But there is nothing to disprove the habit of voyaging and of travelling at the same or at different times; thus, indeed, I would explain the modern theory
of a dozen writers, which derives the Rasenna from the Rhaetian Alps, and the existence of the Euganeans, a kindred tribe in the vicinity of Padua. And, in the peculiar fanaticism of the modern Tyrolese, I find direct survival from the GENS ANTE OMNES ALIAS DEDITA RELIGIONIBVS.
The tower tombs of Palmyra and the rock tombs of Asia Minor and Syria Proper, where the dead lay buried along the main lines of suburban road, were reproduced by the Etruscans in their new Italian homes. This aesthetic and artistic system of sepulture, which made the monuments true MONIMENTA, ‑‑ an immense advance upon the days when the corpse was interred, as by modern Africans, in the house; by Moslems near it, and by Christians in the church ‑‑ was borrowed, with a host of ceremonies and superstitions, by the Romans, as the well known instance of the VIA APPIA proves: and yet the old habit survived in the burial of babes that had not cut their teeth under the roof eaves (SVBGRVNDARIVM), like swallows' nests. These groups of sepulchres, which will presently be described, enable a hypothetical planimetry to lay down, with a tolerably sure hand, the lines and limits of Etruscan
FELSINA, [footnote 1: The only names which have survived this Federation are Atria (Pelasgic), Spina (Pelasgic), MANTUA, MELPUM (captured by the Boii), FELSINA or VELSINA, and, perhaps, we may now add, MISA. Cav. Zannoni, of whom more presently, quotes Manetho: APVD ENIM TVSCOS, PYSEO SVCCESSIT TVSCVS IVNIOR ANNIS XXXIX: HVIC AVCNVS ANNIS XXV, QVEM SECVTVS EST FELSINVS ANNIS XXXIII. Silius Italicus (DE BELLO PVNICO, LIBER VIII, 601): OCNI PRISCA DOMVS. Servius, commentating on the AENEIS (X, 198) adds: HVNC OCNVM ALII AVLETIS FILIVM, ALII FRATREM, QVI PERVSIAM CONDIDIT REFERVNT: ET NE CVM FRATRE CONTENDERET IN AGRO GALLICO, FELSINAM, QVAE NVNC BONONIA DICITVR, CONDIDISSE. Pliny (III, 19) says: BONONIA FELSINA VOCITATA. Sempronivs (DE DIV. ET CHOROGR. ITALIAE): FLAMINEA (REGIO) ITEM A BONONIA AD RVBICONEM AMNEM ANTE A FELSINA A PRINCIPE HETRVRIAE MISSIS COLONIIS LAMONIBVS. Marcus Cato (DE ORIGINIBVS): GALLIA CISPADANA, OLIM BIANORA A VICTORE OCNO, POSTEA FELSINA DICTA VSQVE RAVENNAM, NVNC GALLIA AVRELIA, EMILIA A ROMANIS DVCIBVS NOMEN HABET. PRINCEPS METROPOLIS FELSINA PRIMVM A REGE THVSCO CONDITVR. Livy has (HIST., XXXIII, 37) DEIN (CONSVLES, VIDELICET MARCVS CLAVDIVS MARCELLVS and LVCIVS FVRIVS PVRPVREO) IVNCTIS EXERCITVBVS PRIMVM BOIORVM AGRVM VSQVE AD FELSINAM OPPIDVM POPVLANTES PERAGRAVERVNT. EA VRBS, CETERAQVE CASTELLA ET BOII FERE OMNES, PRAETER IVVENTVTEM, QVAE PRAEDANDI CAVSA IN ARMIS ERAT (TVNC IN DEVIAS SILVAS RECESSERAT), IN DEDITIONEM VENERVNT (VRBIS CONDITAE 556). FELSINA then disappears from literature, and the historian (LIBER XXXVII, 34) speaks of BONONIA as a COLONIA LATINA, established after a SENATVS CONSVLTVM by the Triumvirs, Spurius Valerius Flaccus, Marcus Atilius Seranus, and Valerius Tappus] the colony of Tarchon, the capital of the twelve Federated Cities in the so called ETRVRIA NOVA. Evidently built upon an Umbrian site, and smaller than its Roman successor, it did not extend, as some archaeologists have supposed, to the southern hills. The position was the normal isthmus, mull, or peninsula; whose base is the Reno River, a NON IGNOBILE FLVMEN, rising in the nearest
Apennines about Pistoja, and whose arms are the Áposa affluent to the east, and the Ravóna westward. It was probably walled around, like Etruscan cities generally; the interior was divided into INSVLAE, or REGIONES, by main lines of street, each with its own gate or gates; and it is noticed that the most ancient sepulchres are those nearest the defences. Probably a considerable part was of timber. Strabo (V, i, § 7) tells us that Ravenna, a city of the Thessalians, given over by these Pelasgi to the Umbrians, was composed of wooden edifices; [footnote 1: the French translators understand ΞΥΛΟΠΑΓΗΣ ‛ΟΛΗ, built wholly on piles] and Atria, Hat, or Hatri, which named the Adriatic preserves, according to the learned Bocchi (Importanza di Adria la Veneta), memories of similar constructions, the spoils of the oaks, which in Vergil's day ‑‑
On Padus's bank .....
Uprear their heads, and nod their crests sublime.
AENEIS, IX, 680‑682.
Atop of the Etruscan city lay BONONIA, whose name, revived in BONONIA GESSORIACVM (Boulogne), has been erroneously derived from the Boii. These barbarians, about BC 350, ravaged the Etruscan
Federation of the Po, and finally bequeathed a name to Bohemia. The Consular Via Emilia, the Great Northeastern, probably a successor of the Etruscan highway, traversed the city from west to east, as is proved by the trachytic slabs found some three metres below the actual level; a metalling brought from the Euganean hills, and still showing the wheel rut. BONONIA, larger than FELSINA, was smaller than Bologna, a hexagon, measuring about two miles in circumference; and the Via Emilia still enables us to master the intricacy of the modern city. This thoroughfare corresponded with the Corso, which runs, roughly speaking, between the two halves, northern and southern. Eastward the main street radiates into four branches: the Via Luigi Zamboni (old San Donato) to the northeast; the Strade San Vitale, Maggiore, and di San Stefano, the latter to the southeast; while to the west there are three spokes, the Strade delle Lamme and di San Felice, and the Via del Pradello.
Etruscan Bologna, A Study