- The Romanization of Etruria, accompanied by the relatively rapid disappearance of the Etruscan language, can be followed along a number of interrelated and parallel lines: the already mentioned language replacement, changes in material culture, changes in settlement organization, and our knowledge of political change from literary sources. A key factor in the study of Romanization is that it was not uniform but operated regionally (according to the political relationship of Rome to the local region), operated at different political and economic levels (the effect on farmers and the elite, on ritual practice, and ceramic production), and changed over time. A good insight into the incorporation of the old political elite is through language replacement in tombs of the descent groups, such as the Volumni and the Cai Cutu in Perugia, where the founders of the tombs wrote in Etruscan and the last to be placed in the tomb wrote in Latin.Material culture changes are more complex. Some ceramic forms continued through from Etruscan times (the almond rim form for instance), but Arezzo soon became the center of production of some of the most distinctive forms of Roman pottery, Aretine or terra sigillata. At the higher levels of ritual production, some patterns of votive offerings of anatomical terracottas provide continuity whereas temples linked to Roman practice form some level of intervention. In the sphere of settlement change, there were interventions in terms of destroyed cities (Perugia and Falerii Veteres) and founded cities (the coloniae such as Cosa), but also continuities such as Arezzo and Volterra. Equally, surveys such as that in the Cecina Valley have shown how the Roman villa worked alongside the preceding rural settlement pattern of the Etruscans, and indeed was most probably an investment by the local Etruscan elite in a new stylistic format, much as their ancestors had done in the Orientalizing period with tombs. Much of the political landscape was determined by preexisting Etruscan layout. All these patterns observed in the archaeology can be read in conjunction with the literary sources, which also convey a picture of differentiated Romanization of the Etruscan world.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.
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