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Etruria

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This page deals with the VII region of Italy, bordered by the river Macra, the Appennine, the river Tiber and the Thyrrhenian sea. It includes the small peoples of Falisci and Capenates close to the Latium's border and the Etruscans proprie dicti. These have been subdivided here in a Southern Etruria and a Northern Etruria, divided by the Umbro river, plus the seven Etrurian Isles in the Tyrrhenian sea.

Common remarks: the place-names have been put in the nominative case, an asterisk * means not attested, reconstructed form. The late place-names of probable Latin origin have not been included. The IE roots are in the form given by Pokorny's Indogermanische W÷rterbuch. The links will be active when the single pages will be published, see the main page. For any comment, suggestion, email me.

Etruria

Southern Etruria

Albinia fl.

Algae

Alma fl.

Alsium

Axia

Blera

Caere, Agylla

Caletra

Castrum Novum
  • Place: Torre Chiaruccia di Santa Marinella, province Roma, region Lazio, Italy
  • Name: Castrum Novum (Mel., Peut.)
  • Etymology: A Roman foundation over some previous settlement. The name is the Latin 'new castle'.

Ciminus lac., Ciminius m., Ciminia silva

Cosa
  • Place: Ansedonia di Capalbio, province Grosseto, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Cosa (Ptol., Plin., Strab., Mel., Rut. Nam.)
  • Etymology: The name was probably spelled cusa in Etruscan. The etymology is unknown.

Cremera fl.

Heba

Ferentum

Forum Clodii
  • Place: San Liberato di Bracciano, province Roma, region Lazio, Italy
  • Name: Forum Clodii (Ptol.) Foro Clodo (Peut.)
  • Etymology: The place was in the proximity of the via Clodia, from whence its name, which is built with Latin forum 'marketplace'. Another Forum Clodii was in northern Etruria, not far from Luca.

Fregenae

Graviscae

Minio fl.

*Musarna

*Orcla
  • Place: Norchia di Viterbo, province Viterbo, region Lazio, Italy
  • Name: inferred from the survival of the name
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Osa fl.

Prile lac.
  • Place: a marsh connected to the sea now disappeared, close to Castiglione della Pescaia, province Grosseto, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Prile (Plin.) Aprile (Marit.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Pyrgi

Regae, Regisvilla

Rusellae

Sabate, Sabatinus lac.

Salebro

Statonia

Suana

Sutrium

Tarquinia, Corythus

Telamo

Veii

Visentium

Vetulonium

Volci

Volsinii

Falisci and Capenates

Capena

Falerii

Fescennia

Horta

Lucus Feroniae
  • Place: Bambocci di Capena, province Roma, region Lazio, Italy
  • Name: Lucus Feroniae (Ptol., Plin.) Feronia (Strab.)
  • Etymology: The place was a sanctuary (lucus) of the Italic goddess Feronia, from whence the name.

Nepet

Northern Etruria

Arnus fl.

Arretium

Auser fl.

Biturgia

Bondelia

Caecina fl.

Clanis fl.

Camars, Clusium

Cortona

Faesulae

Florentia
  • Place: Firenze, province Firenze, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Florentia (Ptol., Plin., Peut.)
  • Etymology: The name is of augural origins, deriving from Latin florere 'to flourish'.

Luca

Luna

Perusia

Pisae, Teuta

Pistoria
  • Place: Pistoia, province Pistoia, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Pistoria (Ptol.) Pistorium (Plin.) Pistorie (Peut.)
  • Etymology: It is likely a Roman camp that later became a town. The name has been explained from Latin pistor, -oris 'baker'.

Populonium

Sena

Trasimennus lac.

Umbro fl.

Vesidia fl.

*Visentius fl.

Volaterrae

Etrurian Isles

Capraria i.
  • Place: island Capraia, province Livorno, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Capraria i. (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: The name is certainly from Latin capra, thus meaning 'island of the goats'.

Dianium i.
  • Place: island Giannutri, province Grosseto, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Dianium i. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: The name is Latin and means 'temple of Diana'.

Igilium i.

Ilva i., Aethale i.

Ocrasia

Planasia i.
  • Place: island Pianosa, province Livorno, region Toscana, Italy
  • Name: Planasia i. (Ptol., Plin., Tac.)
  • Etymology: The name has been derived from Latin planus 'plane', for the morphology of the island (UTET). In this case, it should be rather old, because the intervocalic s in preserved.

Urgo i.

Conclusions

In the place-names of the wide region of Etruria at least three different linguistic strata can be recognized. In the souther coast especially, many place-names show the result of a consonant shift of the type *b,d,g>p,t,k, *bh,dh,gh>b,d,g maybe accompanied by *p,t,k>ph,th,kh not denoted by the Roman sources bacause there were no aspirated stops in Latin, apart from f that could have denoted ph. These are typical features of the "Pelasgian" or pre-Greek language, postulated by linguists like Georgiev to explain the toponymy of southern Greece. It is not clear whether this language was an A-language (i.e, if it had a replacing *o), but it is rather clear that, unlike Thracian and Daco-Misian, it was a centum language. The presence of "Pelasgian"-like names in southern Etruria corresponds to what reported by various classical sources. On this subject, a more detailed discussion will follow later.

According to the oldest of these sources, the Pelasgians are often confused with the Tyrrheanians. But the former came from Arcadia, the latter maybe from Lydia and probably later. According to Pittau, the Tyrrhenians sojourned in Sardinia, being the Sardian (the people of the Nuraghes), for centuries, before to land in Etruria and become the Etrurians. In this case, it is likely that in Etruria they simply adopted the place-names they found, probably adapting them in their language. Some simple rules of such an adaption process can be derived. To a Latin p,t,k may correspond either f,th,ch or p,t,k. The place-names showing the first spelling (Caere/cheizra, Sutrium/shuthri, Tarquinia/tarchna, Volci/velch) have been reconstructed from a "Pelasgian" shift, namely *b,d,g>p,t,k. The place-names showing the second spelling (Cortona/curtun, Clusium/clevsi, Telamon/tlamu, Tarquinia/tarchna, Capena/capna, etc.) have instead been reconstructed from original (IE) *p,t,k. It is not completely clear what this means. Anyway, the origins of the Etruscan language is far from being clear. It is even disputed now if it were really non-IE or if it was at least partly IE, related in this case to the Anatolian branch or even to the "Pelasgian" language itself. This could explain the apparent confusion made in the classical sources between the two people. For this reason, and also because very few Etruscan toponymical appellatives have reached us, here no Etruscan etymologies have been given for the place-names.

The inhabitants of inner Etruria at the arrival of the Tyrrhenians/Etruscans were Umbrians or, according to other sources, Sicani. If these Umbrians are the Tabulae Iguvinae ones, and were speaking an Eastern Italic language, various place-names of inner, central and northern Etruria can be explained, including the ones showing f's, or features like *ei>e, *gw>b. In addition, there is a clear Eastern Italic presence in the region of the Faliscans, who were close to the Sabines, but later strongly influenced by the Etruscans. They can be the last remnaint of the Eastern Italic branch west of the Tiber river.

As for the Sicani, it will be shown in a future page that the most ancient linguistic stratum of Sicily and Liguria shared an exclusive consonantic shift, with *bh,dh,gh>p,t,k. This "Ligurian" stratum could explain at least one place-name in northern Etruria, and is not in contrast with many others.