Public Collections Of Etruscan Antiquities At Bologna.
Before proceeding to the cities and cemeteries of this mysterious Etruscan race, it is advisable to spend a few days amongst the museums of Bologna. The two public are the R. Museo Archeologico dell' Università Bolognese, containing a collection which in 1871 was exhibited in a house further down the street; now it occupies a room in the modern University, the old Palazzo Poggi. Here the most noticeable article is the metal mirror, known from its original owner as the PATERA COSPIANA, the GEMMA MAFFEIANA, which is described as a capolavoro di glittica: hither also the Mamolo finds were transferred. The second ‑‑ and allow me to remark, en passant, that the sooner Bologna combines the two collections, royal and communal, the better ‑‑ is in the old Archiginnasio, afterwards called the Scuole Pie, from its Charity Schools, and now the Biblioteca del
Comune. The frescoes and inscriptions, the court and galleries, of this venerable edifice, which once rang with every tongue of Europe and the nearer east, are described by all the guidebooks; but none, not even Cav. Gualandi, notice the collections of 1870‑1871. They are deposited in the Sale (III. and IV.), inscribed Scavi della Certosa, of the Museo Civico, which lie at the northern end of the grand cloister.
The arrangement is admirable. The walls of Sala No. III. are hung with large and detailed maps and plans, illustrating the topography of the find, which may be called the Certosa Collection. The merit of the discovery must be assigned to Cav. Antonio Zannoni, Capo‑Ingegnere Architetto of the Municipality, who, guided by what seems archaeological instinct, began to excavate in 1869. Four hundred tombs were opened in four years. All the skeletons lay supine; only six were irregularly disposed, probably facing their homes ‑‑ we find the practice noticed in Homer, and the BEATVLVS of Persius IN PORTAM RIGIDOS CALCES EXTENDIT. All the rest were oriented with their feet towards the rising Sun, as the Jews fronted Jerusalem. Thus Laertius tells us that the Greek liturgies ordered the face to look eastwards, and Helianus reports an old law,
which directed the head to be disposed westward: we shall presently learn that this was also an Umbrian custom; and that it was perpetuated by the Romans. A happy thought of Cav. Zannoni was bodily to transport the skeletons, adult and infantine, [footnote 1: they are mostly feminine; seven are adults and five are children] together with the remnants of coffins (ARCAE), and even the earth upon which they lay. Except only the AES RVDE, the fee of the griesly grim Ferryman, grasped in the right hand, the funereal adjuncts were placed on the left (north). These are CELEBES, AMPHORAE, tazze, and VNGVENTARIA of glass or alabaster, in fact, the multiform vases and pots for whose names the curious reader will consult my friend and colleague Mr. Dennis (Cities And Cemeteries Of Western Etruria, I, XCIV, c); together with CANDELABRA, dice, and pebbles, the latter possibly counters for play. The marriage ring still clings to the fleshless annular of the left hand: here is the old superstition (Isidore) which made a vein run from it to the heart, and which survives throughout modern Europe. It is often of iron, [footnote 2: the iron ring of the stern old Romans is still found amongst the Sikhs; and the strictest Moslems will not wear gold. Whilst the Aryans generally call the fourth finger of the Book of Common Prayer (vulgarly the third finger) ANNVLARIS, in Illyrian perstenjak, the Turanians, according to my learned friend Professor Hunfalvy, of Pesth, term it the finger without a name. This is found in Chinese (Works of Mencius), in Japanese, and in the Dravidian tongues; for instance, in Tamil, Telugu, and Canarese, it appears as anámika, anonymous, from the Sanskrit, náma. The philological puzzle was lately discussed in the columns of the Pall Mall] the servile
metal amongst the later Romans, who denoted nobility by gold, and the plebeian by silver. The more precious rings were rare at the Certosa. Professor Calori, Della Stirpe che ha populata l' antica necropoli alla Certosa di Bologna (Bologna: 1873. Plate IX), a most valuable study kindly given to me by the author, figures two of these skeletons: I shall offer further remarks upon the collection when we visit the spot.
A marking feature of this admirable trouvaille is the number of ciste in bronze a cordoni; we have here fourteen, whereas in 1871 Etruria Circumpadana had yielded only seven (Lettera dell' Ing. Ant. Zannoni al Sig. Conte Comm. Gian Carlo Conestabile. Torino: Stamperia Reale, Oct. 15th, 1873). All are of the same age, and undoubtedly denote a splendid epoch. The cylinders are two plates of thin bronze, flat bands alternating with cords repoussé‑worked. The cover is often a flat stone, and the lower band is sometimes ornamented with leaves; the horizontal rings number
fourteen or fifteen, and the bottom is also composed of concentric circles. Feet are present in some specimens, absent in others. The total height averages 0∙33 metre (= 1 foot 0∙99 inch), and the diameter 0∙29 metre (= 11∙42 inches) to 0∙40 metre (= 1 foot 3∙75 inches). The ornaments are mostly leaflike borderings, near the upper edge;
Bronze Cista, With Stone Cover.
winged masks at the junction of the ANSAE; and, on each of the three feet, appears in one specimen, a satyr, demi‑couchant, and holding a wine skin and a cup.
These artistic articles followed the rude big bellied urn of terracotta, which contained the ashes
of the dead, [footnote 1: at the Certosa at least one cyst was found not to contain human bones] even as the earthen tazza became the bronze cup. It has been suggested that during the owner's life they served for pixides or dressing cases; and this is supported by the presence of the ANSAE, which in one specimen represent a bull and a ram. The cysts of middle Etruria, and especially those of Praeneste, were buried as ornaments: they contained articles of toilette, sponges, unguentaria, and unguents, the little rouge box, the white ceruse, and so on. The Bolognese cysts are said to have been the produce of local art and industry; yet a precisely similar article, with handles and without feet, was found at Granholz, near Bern, and is exhibited at the Stadt Bibliotek of the Swiss capital. Mr. Cavedoni and Mr. Gozzadini infer from their simplicity that they are more ancient than those of the central federation and of Latium, which cannot date beyond the first half of the third century BC: the same may be said of the bronze disks which served as mirrors. I would further notice the resemblance of shape with the kilindi or bark cylinder, in which the Mnyamwezi stores and transports his valuables.
Another characteristic of this collection is the
huge and highly ornamented STELA or CIPPVS, the prototype of the humble headstone in the churchyards of our villages: perhaps, also, the META, or goallike shape, symbolised the end of man's EXIGVVM CVRRICVLVM.
a, FIBVLAE With Amber In Setting.
[Jeff Hill's footnote: FIBVLA PRO FIBVLAE.]
b, Amber Beads.
c, Glass Beads, Blue Ground, Yellow Enamel.
FIBVLAE From Villanova (All Half Size).
The bronze of these FIBVLAE showed ‑‑
Copper . . . . . 84∙26
Tin . . . . . 15∙74
From the learned studies of the late
Count Giovanni da Schio, of Vicenza (Sulle Iscrizioni ed altri monumenti Reto‑Euganei. Padova: Angelo Sicca, 1853), of which I owe a copy to the courtesy of his two sons, Counts Almerico and Alvise, we learn that the Euganeans used the obelisk shaped gravestone, whose legend usually began with ΕΙΧΟ (HIC, HEIC?). Thirty tombstones were found, a monumental series unique in size and ornamentation; and the largest and most remarkable of these products of national art is thus described by Count G. C. Conestabile (Congrès, page 271): The height, not including the base, is about 2∙10 metres (= 6 feet 10∙68 inches); the breadth 1∙26 metre (= 4 feet 1∙60 inch) and the thickness 0∙30 metre (= 11∙81 inches). The bas‑reliefs, raised hardly half a centimetre (= 0∙197 inch), are divided into four compartments to the front and three behind. Beginning at the top, a hippocampus faces a Nereid holding a fish: in the second zone the defunct, umbrella in hand, rides a BIGA behind the AVRIGA; a winged figure soars above him, and before the horses marches a helmeted form, mantled about the reins, with a torch in the right and a rudder (oar) in the left hand. The third band contains two pugilists, separated by a little TIBICEN, and flanked by the
AGONOTHETES (director of games), and a youth; the latter holds an VNGVENTARIVM and another utensil for the comfort of the combatants. In the lowest compartment a throned figure is approached by a personage accompanying a car, and by others with a basket and various offerings ‑‑ apparently it is the Infernal Deity receiving the defunct and his suite. The reverse contains fewer figures: a feminine body, ending in a double serpent's tail, hurls a rock; a charioteer urges his BIGA at speed, and in the lowest a warrior, with lance and shield, faces a cloaked form. These designs are separated, and mixed with ornaments of leaves, ivy stems, and waving lines.
Count Conestabile, who would distribute the dates of the several kinds of STELAE between the third and the fifth or even the sixth century of Rome, followed by Cav. Zannoni (Lettera dell' Ing. Ant. Zannoni al Sig. Conte Comm. Gian Carlo Conestabile. Torino: Stamperia Reale, Oct. 15th, 1873, page 27), proposes a fourfold division of the thirty tombstones.
1. Rough water‑rolled natural blocks, still found in the Reno bed; menisci, lenticular, cylindrical, ovoid, or spheroidal. The diameter ranges to 0∙77 metre (=30∙35 inches).
2. Long ovoid and cylindrical STELAE, with plain faces, and sides converging below like TERMINI, artificially smoothed and flattened; in fact, the
menisci civilised. The bases were left, as usual, unworked for planting in the ground, and one shows the letters IAN or NAI.
3. The sculptured STELA of the same shape, but especially the horseshoe. Of these splendid specimens the tallest is 1∙45 metre (= 4 feet 9∙08 inches) by 0∙80 (= 2 feet 7∙50 inches) broad; a segment of a circle above, with the sides inclining inwards or descending vertically. It is carved on one, perhaps on both faces; and here and there it preserves traces of red paint, with which, possibly, the name was inscribed (M. Hirschfeld). The vine and the ivy, both sacred to Bacchus, [footnote 1: hence the Latin saw: VINO VENDIBILI SVSPENSA HEDERA NON OPVS EST (Good wine needs no bush); and the ivy tuft still hangs over the Oenopolium and the Thermopolium of Istria. It is not difficult to detect the origin of the practice in the beauty of the plant upon the borders of the Mediterranean: the rich purple clusters exactly resemble the currant grape of the Peloponnesus, and the perfume of the finely veined leaf is still supposed to dissipate the fumes of wine] meander over the perimeter, enclosing, as has been shown, a variety of figures; and certainly the most remarkable, when we remember how lately the umbrella found its way into England, are the personages holding it with the right hand ‑‑ a frequent rilievo amongst Etruscans. The others, still representing funereal usages, are a panoplied warrior, with lance at rest; a battle scene between a horseman
and a footman; a feminine face and bust ending, not in a fish, but in a double snake; the winged Genius, with a serpent in either hand; the BIGA and TRIGA; horse races, and chariot races; the barded steed; the altar and basket; the bark (Baris?), with mast and sail; Charon, holding the oar in the left hand; sports with balls and lances; the star; the funereal owl, the hippocampus, also a favourite; the olive, the myrtle, and the pomegranate; and various other herbs, flowers, lotus (?), and fruits. The signs of archaism are the shallowness of relief; heavy proportions; angular movements in the figures; imperfect forms, and indistinctness of details. In later times the sculptor's hand became freer, his tool worked with greater breadth, vivacity, and truth; and, finally, he arrived at individualism.
4. Spheres and spheroid stones, worked and prolonged in the rough where the parallelopipedon base was intended for planting in the ground ‑‑ a form very rare in Etruria Proper, the central region between the Campanian and the Circumpadan. Two globes of remarkable size are in this museum; perhaps they symbolised the head, neck, and shoulders which lay below. A smaller ball, carved with a little figure, was unearthed, as will afterwards
appear, at Marzabotto; and another, cut only on one side, was taken from the Torricelli tombs.
The articles of pottery, not including fragments, reach the goodly total of 810. These interesting remains of home life were found with the skeletons, as well as with the ashes, and they are divided by Cav. Zannoni into four kinds: ‑‑
1. The rude brown, black, and ash coloured, numbering 200.
2. The plain red (160).
3. The plain varnished black (150).
4. The painted and figured (300).
The latter again are either red figures on black fields with violet accessories, or black on red with violet and white, for flesh and tools. The former belonged generally to the tombs, the latter to the pyres. More than 50 bear inscribed marks. The collector's chief enemy, both in pottery and in bronze, is the general custom of breaking, sometimes with great violence, the objects which accompany the defunct: thus the ghost or material soul of a man ate the Manitou, spirit or ghost of food, out of the phantasm or ghost of a pot. So Propertius (IV, 7, 33): ‑‑
HOC ETIAM GRAVE ERAT, NVLLA MERCEDE HYACINTHVM
INIICERE, ET FRACTO BVSTA PIARE CADO.
Amongst modern Fetishists it is not held loyal to take anything from the person of the dead, and some advanced tribes, such as the people of the Old Calabar River, allow houses, canoes, furniture, weapons, boxes, and moveable wealth to fall to pieces; whilst others break them up and form a kind of monument. It is here easy to see the connection with sacrifice, human and bestial.
Specimens of the AES SIGNATVM were also found. According to Pliny (XXXIII, 13) it was used in the days of Servius Tullus ‑‑ king or dynasty ‑‑ but we know from him (XXXIV, 13) that Numa had instituted AERARII, or coppersmiths. The AES RVDE, whose funereoreligious use continued to Imperial ages, has four several shapes [footnote 1: the AES GRAVE appeared only in the fourth century of Rome] at Villanova, the Certosa, and Marzabotto; and these, again, vary not only in the amount of alloy, but in the nature of the metal. Some have tin and zinc with lead; others only the last.
1. The rude inform or scoriform mass, ash coloured, and friable under the hammer, has 96∙592 percent of copper; lead, 2∙142; and the rest is impure matter without zinc or tin.
2. The cylindrical or virgated, with longitudinal striae, 91∙77; tin, 8∙22; of lead a trace, and no zinc.
3. The flat, or laminated like the fragment of an ingot, has only 80∙679; lead, 17∙886; and tin, 1∙435.
4. The discoid, more or less ovoidal, possibly the oboles of Plutarch (VITA NVMAE), whence came the OBOLVS. One disk (diameter 0∙03 metre = 1∙18 inch) engraved with three parallel lines, may be an AES SIGNATVM (?).
The following is the late Professor Sgarzi's analysis of the AES RVDE of Villanova (1), and of the STIPS VOTIVA of Vicarello (2), compared with the AES RVDE of Marzabotto (3) (Professor Missaglia): ‑‑
1 2 3
Copper . . . . . 93∙70 95∙20 64∙40 and 54∙61
Tin . . . . . 06∙30 04∙80 32∙53 and 38∙00
Accidental elements . . . (trace)
------------ ------------ ------------
100∙00 % 100∙00 % 100∙00 %
It will be seen that the bronze of Vicarello is the ruder material, and probably more ancient, as it contains the smallest quantity of alloy. Lead and tin in increased proportions appear at the Certosa, and even more at Marzabotto. That of Vicarello has the zinc alloy of the Romans. And, whilst all the
reputed bronzes found outside Italy, as the vase in the museum of Bern, contain lead, here in some it is present, and absent from others. Cav. Zannoni (Lettera dell' Ing. Ant. Zannoni al Sig. Conte Comm. Gian Carlo Conestabile. Torino: Stamperia Reale, Oct. 15th, 1873, page 46) suggests that the shapes are not accidental, but arbitrary, to show the different monetary value, which would vary with the quantity and the quality of alloy.
The industry of the stone age is represented by arrowheads (elf shots), axes (coins de foudre); [footnote 1: these GLOSSOPETRAE, or BETVLI, the CERAVNIAE SIMILES SECVRIBVS of Pliny; the CERAVNIAE GEMMAE of other writers, are so called in the Channel Islands and elsewhere. The Calabrese believe that these cuogni di truoni are the bolt itself (CERAVNITES, not ARMA HEROVM): they strike 18 canne (each 2∙21 metres) deep, and they mount 1 canna PER ANNVM, when they reach the surface, and form most valuable talismans against thunder. They are proved by being hung over the fire with a blue thread, which must not burn. With this boorish superstition the axe of the savage has been worn on the warrior's helm and on the royal diadem] knives or scrapers, flakes artificially struck from the core; fictile disks in great numbers ‑‑ some of the latter may have been used for the dress weights, which will presently be described. In this part of the collection there is nothing to notice. The bronze weapons are fragments of a large round CLYPEVS, with gilt and engraved handle; a GALEA; three knives, like those of Caserta and Matray in Rhaetia, [footnote 2: at Matray, also written Matrai, a village on the northern slope of the Brenner Mountain in the Tyrol, was found in 1845 the part of a procession in relief, illustrated by the late Count Giovanni da Schio, to which allusion will presently be made. The rude art is held to confirm the testimony of Livy (V, 33), of Pliny (III, 24), and of Justin (XX, 5), that Rhaetia was conquered by and occupied by the Etruscans when driven by the Gauls from their Padan settlements. Evidently it may prove the reverse, and an emigration from north to south is more credible than a movement VICE VERSA]
whence Frèret and Heyne, Niebuhr, and Mommsen would derive the original Etruscans; one small and two long narrow CVSPIDES (lance heads); a long, heavy iron cutter, found in the grasp of a young and vigorous male skeleton, bore signs of a wooden scabbard, showing that the Etruscans were wiser in this matter than we are.
Amongst the unexplained articles are cylinders, shaped like dumbbells, but ending in MENISCI, not in
The Dumb Bells.
spheres, made of fine black clay, about 0 metre 8 centimetres (= 2∙75 inches) long, oftener plain, and sometimes
ornamented at both ends with five circles and the mystic die. Of these as many as twenty, all unbroken, were found in the wealthiest tombs; and Villanova yielded seventy four. The Grotto of Isis (necropolis of Volci) has supplied similar articles; and Visconti figures (Mus. P. Cl. II, plates 17, 18) what appear to be the same things in the hands of two Egyptian statues. He suggests, first, that they were emblems of the Agathodaemon; secondly, that they were PHALLI. Others suppose them to have been used in worshipping the Lampsacan God, and they offer a superficial resemblance to certain emblems well known in India. They are always found in pairs, but no use for them has yet been defined. In the Isis grotto of Vulci, however, we see similar shapes used by men jumping; and the second table of Count Schio's learned study represents two nude pugilists contending with (leaden?) HALTERES or ALTERES [footnote 1: QVID PEREVNT STVLTO FORTES ALTERE LACERTI? (Martial, XIV, 44)] in their hands. I reminded Count Gozzadini of his cousin's publication. He replied, however, that the resemblance could not be accepted, as many of the clay cylinders were only 3 centimetres (= 1∙18 inch) long. But, these SIMVLACRA might, as was the custom with the human figure, with weapons,
and with other articles, have been reduced imitations for the purpose of sepulture. The Lilliputian agricultural implements of bronze in Sardinia, to mention no other place, are supposed to be symbols or religious emblems (Congrès, page 27).
Bronzes are numerous in the Archiginnasio; but of the 13 mirrors, of which one is white metal, none are inscribed or figured. Besides SITVLAE, there are oenochoes (12), cullenders (11), simpuli (20), and CANDELABRA (30): many show the forms familiar to the peasant's cottage in the present day. Some of the iron coffin rails have bronze heads, like those found at Salona. Professors Pucinotti and Casali detected little zinc in bits of fused and worked bronze of a CANDELABRVM from Villanova (Number 1), the Certosa (2), and Marzabotto (3): ‑‑
1 2 3
Copper . . . . . 91∙11 86∙45 95∙93
Lead . . . . . 6∙85
Tin . . . . . 08∙77 06∙70 04∙07
Iron, trace Iron, trace
------------ ------------ ------------------------
99∙88 % 100∙00 % 100∙00 %
The beaten bronze from Villanova (1), the Certosa (2), and Marzabotto (3), gave the following results: ‑‑
1 2 3
Copper . . . . . 94∙04 83∙754 91∙32
Tin . . . . . 05∙00 16∙246 08∙68
Zinc, trace Zinc, trace
------------ ------------ ------------------------
99∙40 % 100∙00 % 100∙00 %
The bone dice were numerous and of two kinds, cubes (ΚΥΒΟΣ) and oblongs, the latter bearing the CANIS, (ΚΥΩΝ) or CANICVLA, the Greek ΜΟΝΑΣ or ‛ΝΗ (VNIO), and one ace at one short end, and the deuce at the other. [Footnote 1: Lord Crawford (Athenaeum, April 11, 1874) remembering the DAMNOSA CANICVLA, and the DAMNATI CANES ‑‑ the damned dogs ‑‑ of the poets, hence derives the dog luck of our modern slang speech. This is going deep for a proverbial saying which lies on the surface. We might as well refer son of a doggess to the offspring of Hecuba. And if VNIO, the ace, is so condemned, how can we believe it to represent Sirius, the CANICVLA, sacred to Mercury or Hermes, the God Of Good Luck?] In both the concentric circlets varied from one to three, and were coloured red or blue. The disposition of the pips also completely distinguishes them from the Roman dice, according to Cav. Zannoni, who has forwarded his description to the eminent Etruscologue, Professor Ariodante Fabretti, for publication in the continuation of his great work. Thus the correspondence from Twickenham, concerning
the scheme of the marks, which appeared in the Athenaeum (July, 1874), [Jeff Hill's footnote: also the Athenaeum of August 1st, 1874] is, to speak mildly, premature, and the hypothesis about Sig. Campanari uncalled for. I expect great things from a scientific illustration of these Lydian implements.
One of the SITVLAE contained a light ligneous matter, very porous and friable. Treated by Professor Adolfo Casali, it proved insoluble in water; concentrated alcohol dissolved about one sixth, and the dissolution strongly troubled water, which left when evaporated an orange black sediment. The latter, exposed to fire, burnt with a filliginous flame -- briefly, it appeared to a mixture of olibanum and storax, serving like the incense still used in our churches.
The amount of toilette articles was immense in variety, if not in number; of bronze FIBVLAE 200 articles, of silver 120 (two large and fine), and of gold 2. They are, as usual, complicated and multiform, and three had enamelled glass beads on the needle. There were 150 bronze buttons; 10 ARMILLAE; huge pins for the use of the ORNATRIX (coiffeuse); 7 gold rings; 10 silver, and 3 iron; with sundry of paste, bone, and amber. The pendeloques are 20 of glass, mostly enamelled, and
50 of brown pottery. The earrings are of amber, iron, silver, and gold (7 pairs and 3 odd of the latter): some weigh four tenths of an ounce (13 grams = 200∙60 grains). The minute balls of gold, which the Etruscans soldered with a marvellous art, the elegant filigrane and granulated work, are the despair even of the famous Castellani. One is a serpent biting its own tail, and another a leonine head. The PIXIS or dressing case, rivetted with plates of bone, stands on four feet, and contains little cylinders of the same material. The ARYBALLA (perfume holders) and VNGVENTARIA of pottery, alabaster, and glass, coloured and enamelled, still contain rouge, which analysis proves to be colcothar or crocus martis (oxide of iron), locally called rosso Inglese or rossetto di Parigi. The mirrors, all plain, number 13, including one of white metal, probably copper and tin; the front disk is slightly concave, and none are of stone: 12 others are of bronze. The necklaces are chiefly of glass, and of amber, concerning which long discussions took place at the Congress of Bologna. The general opinion was that this semimineralised gum came from the Baltic, and denoted an ancient connection with the Phoenicians. One necklace had,
by way of pendant, a silex arrowhead, probably a charm against the fiery tongue with which God spoke to man ‑‑ a superstition far from extinct amongst the highly civilised, even in this day, when the philosopher makes thunder and lightning in his cabinet.
The gem of the collection is the splendid vase (Sala Number III), which contained burnt bones, ashes, and fragments of tissue; it is a cone, truncated below, about a foot high; or, more exactly, 0∙32 metres (= 1 foot 0∙60), and in diameter a maximum of 0∙29 (= 12∙42 inches), and a minimum of 0∙13 (= 5∙12 inches). The archaic aspect, the variety of subjects, the general composition, and the marvellous execution of this find demand a full notice. The bas‑reliefs, repoussé, and chiselled work, covering the bulge, are divided into four horizontal zones, which does not, however, exclude the unity of the design ‑‑ a varied and pompous procession, and the ceremonies of a great religious act ending in a feast.
The first, or highest, zone shows the procession. Two horsemen and thirteen footmen, all with couched lances, marching from right to left; their shields are four oval, five long oval, and the rest
circular (CLYPEI); and of their helms five are hemispheres, with the apex which we still see in the German pickelhaub, while the rest have depending manes. A bird hovers over the horsemen, and four bell men, with the bronze TINTINNABVLA so frequently found in central Etruria, bring up the rear of this processional section.
The second band, the preparation for sacrificing a bull and a ram, shows the advance, this time from left to right, of the VICTIMARII and the MINISTRI with the animals and the sacred utensils, followed by three CANEPHORAE, vases on heads. Two of the MINISTRI support a pole or brancard, from which hangs a SITVLA (pail with handles); a third has charge of a huge ox, over whose head floats a bird like Progne; whilst a victimary drags by the horns a goat, sacred to Mars. [Footnote 1: HIRCVM MARTI VICTIMANT (Apuleius, LIBER VII).] Two men escort a pair of mules, whilst others carry different articles, such as knives, vases, baskets (VANNVS MYSTICVS?), and loads of wood. There are three quaint figures in long robes (TOGAE CAMPESTRES? without tunics?), [footnote 2: PRIMO SINE TVNICA TOGA SOLA AMICTA FVERVNT (Aulus Gellius)] and the gigantic PILEI of the Spanish cardinals, whom Mgr. de Mérode described as coming to the
Oecumenical Council in their canoes; this part of the composition ends with a big dog.
The third zone, which resumes the direction of the first, displays the agricultural pursuits preceding the preparations for the feast: a calf carried on the shoulders of two slaves; a pig drawn by a third, and others following. In the centre of the groups, acting the point de mire, appears the idea which inspires the whole. At one end of a couch (BICLINIVM or ANACLYNTERIS), whose arms are adorned with griffins' heads, sits a lyre player, at the other a performer on the syrinx, each backed by a small boy in the nude. They wear the huge PILEVS before alluded to; and between them hangs another SITVLA. Rural episodes on the right ‑‑ hare hunting and bird netting with the VARRA, and on the left a peasant carrying his primitive plough and driving his steers, finish both ends of this third zone. Finally, the fourth or lowest is filled with fantastic animals -- five‑winged chimaeras, two quadrupeds, a stag, and so forth.
It would be impossible, says Professor Count J. Conestabile, [footnote 1: Cav. Zannoni also looks upon it as representing not a funeral but a procession; a Laudesis (Dionysius, II, page 129); a Panathenaeum (Aristophanes, NVB., V, 984), a SALTATIO (Livy, I, xx), or an ARMILVSTRVM (Plautus, PSEVD., III, 112)] whose account differs in many points
from that of Cav. Zannoni (Scavi della Certosa, page 12) [footnote 1: Sur les Découvertes de la Certosa de Bologne (pages 272‑274) in the Compte Rendu of the Congrès Internationale à Bologne, 1821. The valuable volume printed by Fava and Garagnani at Bologna, 1873, is now not to be bought there. I owe my copy to the kindness of my excellent friend Professor Gian Giuseppe Cavaliere Bianconi, of Bologna, whose name in the world of letters is so well known. He was kind enough to give me copies of his three studies (Bologna, 1862, 1868, 1874) on Marco Polo and the Rukh bird (Degli Scritti di Marco Polo e dell' Uccello Ruc and the rest), which supply much interesting matter concerning the original edition of the great traveller. In his memoir entitled Esperienze intorno alla Flessibilità del Ghiaccio (Bologna, 1871), he proves by the experiment that the flexibility of ice, as supported by Forbes, and its torsionability, do not depend upon regelation] to describe the multitudinous details of the figures and articles upon this admirable composition; the marvellous care; the finesse of execution in the ornamentation of the armour, the tunics, and the mantles; and the minute exactness with which the costumes are represented. Whilst the animals are admirably drawn, the human beings show, in the highest degree, an archaic, or rather, artistically speaking, an infantine, type, in the prognathism, the puffy cheeks, and the general stiffness of the movements; in the profiled position; in the arrangement of the dress, and in the absence of distinction between the latter and the forms which it covers. If this archaism be really what it appears, original and
not imitated, the vase may date from the third century of Rome (BC 450), a period which we obtain by comparison with other authentic antiquities, such as the fragments of the Etruscan car in the museum of Perugia, where the human figure is represented with more cunning. Thus this rare vase would be not only the most ancient of the artistic finds from the Bologna necropolis, but would antedate, as a witness to the art and industry of the people, everything that has been discovered in Northern Etruria. The others with which it is compared are the bronze vase with burnt bones from Valdichiana; another from Peccioli, and the silver gilt SITVLA of Chiusi.
I rejoice to add, that this unique SITVLA will be figured in facsimile by Cav. Zannoni in his forthcoming volume, Gli Scavi della Certosa di Bologna. The work, which will illustrate the Circumpadan Federation, so rich in olden civilisation, as ably as the central and Campanian regions have been treated by a host of writers, is to be concluded in twenty five issues, of which the first may be expected daily (March 1, 1875); the total will be 300 pages of royal folio, with 150 tables and figures. The cost to the author can hardly be less than 20,000 francs.
He is aided to a certain extent by the Municipality; but the learned public will not, I hope, allow his five years of incessant labour, at hours snatched from official work, to go unrewarded.
A large hall and its offset immediately adjoin on the west the two Etruscan Salle. The floor is covered, as well as the tables, with piles of remains taken from hut and tomb. In due time they will be thrown open to the world, classed by the indefatigable Cavaliere. Meanwhile, a line from the courteous municipal authorities admits the student. He will find much that merits his attention, such as the pinheads of glass enamelled with various metals; gold leaf artistically beaten upon baser metal; a vast variety of articles in bronze and clay; and, finally, boars' tusks, perhaps used for amulets, the custom of the modern Moslem.
Of the collection of Crania, under charge of the celebrated Professor Calori, I propose to speak in a future page.
Etruscan Bologna, A Study