It seemed, however, not advisable to leave to this more remote community alien in race from the Roman such communal independence as was still retained by the subject communities of Latium; the Caerite community received the Roman franchise not merely without the privilege of electing or of being elected at Rome, but also subject to the withholding of self-administration, so that the place of magistrates of its own was as regards justice and the census taken by those of Rome, and a representative (-praefectus-) of the Roman praetor conducted the administration on the spot--a form of subjection, which in state-law first meets us here, whereby a state which had hitherto been independent became converted into a community continuing to subsist -de jure-, but deprived of all power of movement on its own part. Not long afterwards (411) Falerii, which had preserved its original Latin nationality even under Tuscan rule, abandoned the Etruscan league and entered into perpetual alliance with Rome; and thereby the whole of southern Etruria became in one form or other subject to Roman supremacy. In the case of Tarquinii and perhaps of northern Etruria generally, the Romans were content with restraining them for a lengthened period by a treaty of peace for 400 months (403).

Pacification Of Northern Italy

In northern Italy likewise the peoples that had come into collision and conflict gradually settled on a permanent footing and within more defined limits. The migrations over the Alps ceased, partly perhaps in consequence of the desperate defence which the Etruscans made in their more restricted home, and of the serious resistance of the powerful Romans, partly perhaps also in consequence of changes unknown to us on the north of the Alps. Between the Alps and the Apennines, as far south as the Abruzzi, the Celts were now generally the ruling nation, and they were masters more especially of the plains and rich pastures; but from the lax and superficial nature of their settlement their dominion took no deep root in the newly acquired land and by no means assumed the shape of exclusive possession. How matters stood in the Alps, and to what extent Celtic settlers became mingled there with earlier Etruscan or other stocks, our unsatisfactory information as to the nationality of the later Alpine peoples does not permit us to ascertain; only the Raeti in the modern Grisons and Tyrol may be described as a probably Etruscan stock. The Umbrians retained the valleys of the Apennines, and the Veneti, speaking a different language, kept possession of the north-eastern portion of the valley of the Po. Ligurian tribes maintained their footing in the western mountains, dwelling as far south as Pisa and Arezzo, and separating the Celt-land proper from Etruria. The Celts dwelt only in the intermediate flat country, the Insubres and Cenomani to the north of the Po, the Boii to the south, and--not to mention smaller tribes --the Senones on the coast of the Adriatic, from Ariminum to Ancona, in the so-called "country of the Gauls" (-ager Gallicus-). But even there Etruscan settlements must have continued partially at least to subsist, somewhat as Ephesus and Miletus remained Greek under the supremacy of the Persians. Mantua at any rate, which was protected by its insular position, was a Tuscan city even in the time of the empire, and Atria on the Po also, where numerous discoveries of vases have been made, appears to have retained its Etruscan character; the description of the coasts that goes under the name of Scylax, composed about 418, calls the district of Atria and Spina Tuscan land. This alone, moreover, explains how Etruscan corsairs could render the Adriatic unsafe till far into the fifth century, and why not only Dionysius of Syracuse covered its coasts with colonies, but even Athens, as a remarkable document recently discovered informs us, resolved about 429 to establish a colony in the Adriatic for the protection of seafarers against the Tyrrhene pirates.

But while more or less of an Etruscan character continued to mark these regions, it was confined to isolated remnants and fragments of their earlier power; the Etruscan nation no longer reaped the benefit of such gains as were still acquired there by individuals in peaceful commerce or in maritime war. On the other hand it was probably from these half-free Etruscans that the germs proceeded of such civilization as we subsequently find among the Celts and Alpine peoples in general.(10) The very fact that the Celtic hordes in the plains of Lombardy, to use the language of the so-called Scylax, abandoned their warrior-life and took to permanent settlement, must in part be ascribed to this influence; the rudiments moreover of handicrafts and arts and the alphabet came to the Celts in Lombardy, and in fact to the Alpine peoples as far as the modern Styria, through the medium of the Etruscans.

Etruria Proper At Peace And On The Decline

Thus the Etruscans, after the loss of their possessions in Campania and of the whole district to the north of the Apennines and to the south of the Ciminian Forest, remained restricted to very narrow bounds; their season of power and of aspiration had for ever passed away. The closest reciprocal relations subsisted between this external decline and the internal decay of the nation, the seeds of which indeed were doubtless already deposited at a far earlier period. The Greek authors of this age are full of descriptions of the unbounded luxury of Etruscan life: poets of Lower Italy in the fifth century of the city celebrate the Tyrrhenian wine, and the contemporary historians Timaeus and Theopompus delineate pictures of Etruscan unchastity and of Etruscan banquets, such as fall nothing short of the worst Byzantine or French demoralization. Unattested as may be the details in these accounts, the statement at least appears to be well founded, that the detestable amusement of gladiatorial combats--the gangrene of the later Rome and of the last epoch of antiquity generally--first came into vogue among the Etruscans.

From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy Page 41

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