Monday, May 14, 2012


Daniele F. Maras (ed.), Corollari: scritti di antichità etrusche e italiche in omaggio all'opera di Giovanni Colonna. Studia erudita, 14. Pisa; Roma: Fabrizio Serra editore, 2011. Pp. 235. ISBN 9788862272353. €300.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Ingrid Edlund-Berry, University of Texas at Austin (

Version at BMCR home site

[Authors and titles are listed below.]

This collection of papers in honor of Giovanni Colonna concerns topics relevant to his research and interests, presented by a broad spectrum of international authors. As reflected in the table of contents), the essays fall in the categories of History and Antiquity (thirteen papers), Religion (nine), and Language and Epigraphy (eight).

As can be expected, this volume is written for scholars and the format may seem intimidating to those with less knowledge of the field. The wealth of learned information and judicious interpretation of old and new evidence, some mainstream, some esoteric, should, however, encourage readers to select topics of special interest and to benefit from the material presented. An introductory chapter or brief summaries of the papers would have been useful.

In the first contribution, Bonfante introduces two small amber objects, a dolphin and a female head, as examples of the importance of amber as a symbol of wealth. Both may reflect a Dionysiac connection.

Bonghi Jovino presents a survey of the complex question of the foundation and early appearance of Pompeii. Linked to the presence of tufo (pappamonte) walls, evidence of Archaic houses, Etruscan pottery, and temples and sacred areas are the historical and cultural issues of the local population and Etruscan or Greek settlers. Rather than excluding any one group as influential for early Pompeii, Bonghi Jovino highlights the growing documentation of prehistoric settlements in the area that provide evidence of continuity.

Briquel discusses the historical accounts of Lausus, son of king Mezentius of Caere, known from Vergil's Aeneid where he is killed by Aeneas. In other authors, including Dionysios of Halikarnassus, Lausus instead survives Aeneas and is later killed by Ascanius. Although the historicity of Lausus cannot be ascertained, the name appears in a slightly variant form (Laucie Mezentie) on an impasto vase (not illustrated), now in the Louvre.

Camporeale reviews the evidence for artisans and merchants in Etruria, and the interaction between the producer of art and the recipient, with the merchant as middleman. Examples include Demaratus from Corinth and the artisans who accompanied him to Tarquinia, Sostratus from Aegina, and others who participated in the production and sales of objects imported to Etruria.

Capogrossi Colognesi presents the concepts of private and public land in ancient Italy, and, specifically, the ager compascuus, pasture land, the use of which appears to have varied with time and place. As shown in specific examples such as the Sententia Minuciorum, territorial disputes often included this particular type of land, shared by different groups for pasture.

Cerchiai connects the ambush at Hamae (Livy 23.35), in which the Roman consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus defeated the Campanians, with the actions of the Mamertines at Messana and the Campanian legion at Rhegium. Interpreted in the language of symbolism created by Detienne and Svenbro, these soldiers exemplify both the strengths and the weaknesses of wolves, a symbolism perhaps reflected also in the association between these animals and both Mars and Apollo.

D'Agostino provides a complete publication of tomb 722 at Capua, first discovered in 1967. It is considered a female burial, and the grave goods include a wealth of bronze ornaments, glass beads, a silver cup, impasto pottery, a Thapsos type cup, and an imitation of an Aetos 666 cup. He dates the tomb to 750-725 B.C. and reflects on the type of wealth documented in tombs from Etruria in the north to Capua in the south.

Maras and Michetti discuss the occurrence of the names Tyrrhenia and Tyrrhenoi in the Ethnica by the 6th century A.D. author Stephanus Byzantinus. The nomenclature varies according to the different sources on which Stephanus relied, and this explains how important Etruscan cities such as Caere or Tarquinia are referred to. An important entry is Kroton, which applies to three cities, one of which is Cortona, referred to as a metropolis of Tyrrhenia.

Martinez Pinna summarizes the historical accounts of king Porsenna of Chiusi and his role in Roman history. Whether or not he conquered Rome is a difficult issue, the origin of which may stem in his role as a powerful leader of troops, encouraged by factions in Rome.

Massa Pairault connects the account of the founding of Lavinium —including omens presented by three animals, wolf, bird, and fox — with the motifs shown on rings in the Castellani collection and the Ashmolean museum. The bird depicted may signify a heron, ardea, as a symbol of the etymology of the city of Ardea, referred to in Vergil, Aeneid 7.411-412. Rings with scenes of animals and seated figures illustrate a variety of symbolism, including observations of signs or funerary cults.

Moretti Sgubini explores the significance of the findspot of impasto pottery from near Tuscania. The location and the form and decoration of two vases, an amphora and a one-handled cup, may suggest a settlement on the border of the territory of Tuscania having trade contacts with nearby communities such as Bisenzio and Tarquinia.

Naso presents an overview of Etruscan and Italic objects found in North Africa. The material consists of thirty-eight objects, arranged by location: pottery, bronzes, and a tessera hospitalis. Bucchero kantharoi are particularly common, especially at Carthage.

Rocca compares an event in Messenian history (Paus. 4.20.2) with the discovery of the tomb of Numa Pompilius and his books written in Greek and in Latin. Regardless of the questionable historicity of Numa and his books, inscribed lead tablets suggest the practice of hiding sacred texts in the ground.

Tassi Scandone discusses whether the concept and the term imperium are of Etruscan or Roman origin. On the basis of of an axe as a symbol of absolute power, used alone, or with rods to constitute the fasces, both the execution of power and its symbols originated in Etruria but were adapted to fit the Roman military system and constitution.

In the first paper in the second section Baglione presents a group of three large Attic vases from the Portonaccio sanctuary at Veii. Discovered in fragments by Stefani in 1918 in the fill of the pool, together with architectural terracottas, they were most likely used in connection with the rituals of the sanctuary, perhaps stored in the temple proper. Bartoloni discusses a deposit of close to 100 small drinking cups (kyathoi) found in a posthole in the so- called Casa del re at Populonia. The find context, shape of the vessels, and their number suggest that they represent a ritual of the leading families at Populonia in which the previous regime was laid to rest in favor of the new aristocratic rule.

Bonamici presents two architectural terracottas from Volterra depicting in relief a seated Paris and Aphrodite, and Aeneas carrying his father Anchises. They may have been part of a private house in loc. Ortino, and exemplify the pro-Roman sentiments in Volterra at the time of Augustus, emphasizing the Trojan tradition.

Bruni describes the find of a bronze statuette at San Casciano in Val di Pesa, recorded in 1544. The female figure, who is holding a pomegranate, may be a deity or a votary, and the findspot may suggest a sanctuary connected with others in the direction of Impruneta and Fiesole.

Krauskopf introduces the topic of early Etruscan representations of Greek myths. While the Etruscans seem to have had good knowledge of the stories, they selected some over others, favoring those which involved seafaring, and took liberties in their artistic depictions. . Only later do we find images of Greek deities, usually with their familiar attributes, but also modified to include Etruscan visual traditions.

Maggiani discusses the name of an Etruscan deity, Tluscv, Tlusc, which occurs three times on the Piacenza liver. Various identifications have been proposed, but recent discoveries at loc. S. Antonio, Cerveteri, include inscriptions referring to tlusXval, to be interpreted as the genitive form of Tluschva, a plural name, found recently also on a base at Campo della Fiera, Orvieto. These deities were connected with nature and vegetation and may correspond to Nymphs or Charites. Sassatelli explores the significance of the urban temple of Tina at Marzabotto in the context of location and cults. A kiln complex discovered on the side of the temple was used for manufacturing tiles and architectural terracottas as well as pottery. Two mould fragments from the kiln would have been used to make small female heads, probably votive, for use at the temple, and a vase fragment carries an inscription, indicating a votive offering to the god Tina or a receptacle used in the cult practices.

Simon provides a new interpretation of two figures from the sima of the pediment from via S. Gregorio in Rome, previously identified as Herakles (left) freeing Hesione (right) from a sea monster. It is, however, possible to reverse the figures and construe the scene as Peleus and Thetis and furthermore to interpret the central figure of the pediment as Achilles rather than Mars, originally placed on the temple of Virtus near porta Capena. Torelli discusses two groups of painted plaques from the Portonaccio temple at Veii, of which the earlier includes a scene with two armed women, and a fish divination rite, while the later one shows games and dancing. The motifs indicate connections with sanctuaries in Asia Minor, including the temple of Artemis at Ephesos and the sanctuary of Sura in Lycia, suggesting a complexity of cult practices at Veii. In the first paper in the third section, Agostiniani presents the problem of naming the warrior shown on the well- known stele from Vetulonia. Although the inscribed name is generally read as Feluskeś, its first letter may also be read as a theta, in which case, the correct name would be Theluskeś. Bagnasco Gianni analyzes the use of language and speech in ritual contexts, including the so-called talking heads and inscribed letters on pottery. A key feature is the word 'ara' which appears together with inscribed strings of letters and may indicate a completed action, and one that fosters divine order.

Benelli discusses the term 'Vornamengentilizia', used by Rix to identify Etruscan family names that originated in first names. An analysis of material from Chiusi coupled with the etymology of family names suggests instead that the term lacks all validity.

De Simone investigates the Etruscan numbering system based on examples of mistaken similarities between Etruscan and other languages. A comparison between Etruscan and Anatolian numbers shows that there is no relation between the two systems.

Marchese discusses the etymology of Aesernia (Isernia), derived from Etruscan and Indo-European roots indicating something 'sacred'. An inscription found at Campochiaro with the text "to Hercules the Isernian" may indicate that Isernia, the town, derived its name from the original name of the Matese mountains.

Prosdocimi and Marinetti present examples of the use of atta (father) in various linguistic contexts, as a noun and a name, with variants in Latin, Sabine, and Gothic. In a Roman context it should be noted that the via Appia refers to the first name and not the gens name as could have been expected.

Roncalli discusses the interpretation of a Faliscan krater, now in Madrid, with a design of ten masks lined up along a horizontal support with two legs and with a dedicatory inscription below. The vase may have been used in a funerary theatrical performance, illustrated by the masks.

Tagliamonte interprets the meaning of a brickstamp preserved on two tile fragments from the sanctuary of Monte San Nicola at Pietravairano. The text includes the name Aufidius as the owner of the kiln where the tiles were produced, adding to our knowledge of the commercial activities of this family, known in other areas.

The volume is attractive, and seems to hold up well in spite of the soft-cover binding. The illustrations, all black- and-white, are for the most part of good quality. The papers contain extensive bibliographies, and the volume will serve as a useful reference tool. Due to the high price, even academic libraries may have a hard time justifying the expense, despite the high quality of the contents.

Authors and Titles

Storia e antichità:
Larissa Bonfante, "Amber abroad"
Maria Bonghi Jovino, "Ripensando Pompei arcaica"
Dominique Briquel, "Lausus fils de Mézence et le Laucie Mezentie de l'inscription du Louvre"
Giovannangelo Camporeale, "Maestri d'arte e mercanti d'arte ai primordi della storia etrusca"
Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi, "Il diritto della città e le situazioni marginali"
Luca Cerchiai, "L'agguato di Hamae"
Bruno d'Agostino, "La tomba 722 di Capua loc. Le Fornaci e le premesse dell'Orientalizzante in Campania"
Daniele F. Maras, "Laura M. Michetti, "Un nome per più realtà: Tirrenia e Tirreni negli Ethniká di Stefano Bizantino"
Jorge Martínez Pinna, "Apuntes sobre la intervención de Porsenna en Roma"
Françoise-Hélène Massa Pairault, "Locus Ardea quondam dictus avis ou variations sur le sujet d'une histoire"
Anna Maria Moretti Sgubini, "Un sito di frontiera della prima età del Ferro nel territorio di Tuscania"
Alessandro Naso, "Manufatti etruschi e italici nell'Africa settentrionale (IX-II sec. a.C.)" Giovanna Rocca, "I Libri di Numa Pompilio"
Elena Tassi Scandone, "Il [Turrenikòn éthos] di Dion. Hal. 3, 61, 2. Nuovi elementi sull'origine e la natura dell'imperium."
Maria Paola Baglione, "Funzione dei grandi donari attici di Veio-Portonaccio"
Gilda Bartoloni, "Un rito di obliterazione a Populonia"
Marisa Bonamici, "Un programma figurativo troiano a Volterra nel I sec. a.C."
Stefano Bruni, "Un nuovo santuario del territorio fiesolano. Su un ritrovamento di età rinascimentale a San Casciano in Val di Pesa"
Ingrid Krauskopf, "Seefahrergeschichten – Göttergeschichten oder der Hunger nach Bildern. Zur Faszination des griechischen Mythos in der etruskischen Kultur"
Adriano Maggiani, "Tluschva, divinità ctonie"
Giuseppe Sassatelli, Città etrusca di Marzabotto: una fornace per il tempio di Tina"
Erika Simon, "Zum Terrakotta-Giebel von der Via di San Gregorio"
Mario Torelli, "Le amazzoni di Efeso e l'ittiomanzia di Sura. Appunti sulla decorazione pittorica del tempio di Portonaccio di Veio."
Lingua e epigrafia:
Luciano Agostiniani, "Feluske? o Theluske? sulla stele di Vetulonia?"
Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni, "Lettere e immagini: esempi etruschi di parola ispirata" Enrico Benelli, "'Vornamengentilizia'. Anatomia di una chimera"
Carlo de Simone, "I numerali etruschi e D. Steinbauer: ancora «L'origine degli Etruschi»"
Maria Pia Marchese, "Aesernia: appunti per un'etimologia"
Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi, Anna Marinetti, "Sul tipo atta 'padre' in alcune tradizioni indeuropee: tra lessico istituzionale e funzionalità onomastica"
Francesco Roncalli, "Lo strano vaso di Cavios Frenaios"
Gian Luca Tagliamonte, "Un bollo laterizio dal santuario del Monte San Nicola di Pietravairano (CE).

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