Etruscan architecture

Image: (Wikipedia): “The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site together with the necropolis in Tarquinia.”

From Wikipedia:

“Etruscan architecture was created between about 900 BC and 27 BC, when the expanding civilization of ancient Rome finally absorbed Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans were considerable builders in stone, wood and other materials of temples, houses, tombs and city walls, as well as bridges and roads. The only structures remaining in quantity in anything like their original condition are tombs and walls, but through archaeology and other sources we have a good deal of information on what once existed.

From about 630 BC, Etruscan architecture was heavily influenced by Greek architecture, which was itself developing through the same period. In turn it influenced Roman architecture, which in its early centuries can be considered as just a regional variation of Etruscan architecture. But increasingly, from about 200 BC, the Romans looked directly to Greece for their styling, while sometimes retaining Etruscan shapes and purposes in their buildings.

The main monumental forms of Etruscan architecture, listed in decreasing order of the surviving remains, were: the houses of the wealthy elite, the mysterious “monumental complexes”, temples, city walls, and rock-cut tombs. Apart from the podia of temples and some house foundations, only the walls and rock-cut tombs were mainly in stone, and have therefore often largely survived.

…much about Etruscan temples (is) uncertain. The only written account of significance on their architecture is by Vitruvius (died after 15 BC), writing some two centuries after the Etruscan civilization was absorbed by Rome. He describes how to plan a “Tuscan temple” that appears to be a Roman “Etruscan-style” (tuscanicae dispositiones) temple of a type perhaps still sometimes built in his own day, rather than a really historically-minded attempt to describe original Etruscan buildings, though he may well have seen examples of these.

Many aspects of his description fit what archaeologists can demonstrate, but others do not. It is in any case clear that Etruscan temples could take a number of forms, and also varied over the 400-year period during which they were being made. Nonetheless, Vitruvius remains the inevitable starting point for a description, and a contrast of Etruscan temples with their Greek and Roman equivalents…”

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