Gli Etruschi

Gli Etruschi
1984, Istituto Geografico de Agostini, 1:275,000.
back side of the map

Hi everyone,

With the national-conservative political party Brothers of Italy becoming the largest party in the 2022 Italian general election and Giorgia Meloni on course to become the country’s first female prime minister, Italy has attracted worldwide political attention in the past few days. Therefore, I think we may take a look at this Italian map Gli Etruschi, “The Etruscans,” made by the Geographical Institute of Agostini.

The Etruscan is an ancient civilization that emerged in central and northern Italy around 900 BC. Centered in today’s Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, its territory once spanned north to the Po Valley and south to Campania. The Etruscan civilization had profound impacts on later Roman civilization, as the latter fully conquered and absorbed the former at the beginning of the first century. This map, which focuses on the regions of Etruscan civilization on the Italian Peninsula, introduces the famous sites related to Etruscan culture and suggestive travel itineraries. Specifically, on the back of the map, there is practical information such as hotels, restaurants, campsites, and local specialties. Thus, it is a travel guide made for Italian speakers.

On the front page, the largest section of the map is devoted to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio. On the lower left, a smaller map of Italy with Etruscan regions highlighted is illustrated to help the readers better context the civilization. The symbols on the map highlight museums, antiquarians, tombs and graves, extensive burial sites, and archaeological excavation sites and monuments. The green circle, which is labeled “Località Della Dodecapoli,” shows the locations of “the twelve cities,” one of the most famous Etruscan leagues. The green squares, meanwhile, show other important Etruscan centers in ancient Italy.

In addition, this map is also interesting for containing both cultural information and topographic features. For example, the map featured a few crater lakes such as Lago di Bolsena (lake Bolsena), Lago di Vico (lake Vico), and Lago di Bracciano (lake Bracciano). In particular, Lago di Bolsena is the largest volcanic lake in Europe.

Have a great week!

Yidan Xu ’24