June 19, 2007

Gratuitous Classical Civ Posting

Etruscan Decoration.jpg

This is cool. (Well, I think it is.) According to new genetic studies, the ancient Etruscans, whose civilization flourished in Central Italy before the rise of Rome obliterated it, originally migrated to Italy from Lydia, in what is now southern Turkey.

What makes it extra cool? The fact that this new evidence is consistent with what the 5th Century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus believed to be the origins of the Etruscan people.

Although called the Father of History, Herodotus often gets the "yeah, right" treatment. If you dip into his Histories, you'll see why: the man was widely travelled (and couldn't help showing it off a bit). In his quest to gather as much information as he could about foreign parts, he tended to write down any story he picked up from the locals, even those that were plainly fantastic in some cases. But just because you don't believe tales about men who could change into werewolves or whose heads are located under their arms doesn't mean you should be so fast to dismiss everything the old boy wrote. This would seem to be a case in point. Neat.

Yips! to Gail at Scribal Terror.

Posted by Robert at June 19, 2007 03:18 PM | TrackBack

Whaddya mean don't believe in werewolves or head-under-their-arms guys?
They're true, I read about them on the intertubes.

Posted by: rbj at June 20, 2007 10:58 AM

I remember, fondly, my grandfather dragging his second, and less academically inclined, wife around Turkey while using Herodotus as his guide book. My grandfather thought him to be the first great historian and structured his trip accordingly. I met them in London on their way back to NY. My grandfather was glowing; the second wife was just thrilled to be done.

Again, cool post. Thanks for putting this out there. You're the best.

Posted by: R P at June 21, 2007 03:39 PM