Sites & cities that bear the name of Chiusi


Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 8th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Clevsin, Klysion, Κλύσιον, Clusium, Camars

Description : Chiusi (Etruscan: Clevsin; Umbrian: Camars; Ancient Greek: Klysion, Κλύσιον; Latin: Clusium) is a town and comune in province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy. By the time it appears in Livy's History, it is already a major Etruscan city being petitioned for assistance against the republican partisans of ancient Rome. About its life prior to that time, Livy only makes a brief statement that it was once called Camars. Different theories exist of the city's origin. Villanovan pottery has been found at Chiusi. One common type is a cinerary urn dating to the 8th century BC. These urns are in the shape of wattle-and-daub huts with thatched roofs, presumably the homes of the deceased. This style of architecture is so different from classical Etruscan that many Etruscologists have denied a continuity. On the other hand, it is clear that the people of the region received a strong impetus from Greek colonies such as Cumae and from Greek immigration. The minority theory is currently the Proto-Italic. In this theory, Etruscans from the coast or from the Aegean resettled and renamed an Umbrian city called Camars, which the exponents believe means "marshland" in Italic. On enclosing the city with a wall they changed the name to "enclosure", using an Etruscanized form, Clevsin, of the perfect passive participle, clusus, of Latin cludere, "to close". Clevsin and Camars are more comfortable in their Etruscan milieu as Etruscan words. The limited known Etruscan vocabulary includes camthi, the name of a magistracy, which might be segmented cam-thi, where –thi is a known locative ending. Ar, -arasi, -aras are plural endings of different cases. A cleva is an offering. S and -isi are genitive and dative endings. A place of magistracies or offerings is entirely harmonious with Etruscan culture and the uses of a regional capital city. The final resolution of the question waits for more evidence. It is believed that Clusium joined the Etruscan League of twelve cities in the 600s BC. The site of ancient Clusium was reoccupied in Roman and later times, obscuring and obliterating much of the Etruscan layers. For example, the ancient sources describe the tomb of Lars Porsena at Clusium as well as the sacking and levelling of the city by Sulla. Much of what remains are its tombs and its underground passages, some of which might have been associated with the monument to Porsena. Lars Porsena was king of Clusium in 508 BC. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, formerly king of Rome, had been expelled along with his family from Rome in 509 BC. He had sought to regain the throne, firstly by the Tarquinian conspiracy and secondly by force of arms. Both attempts had been unsuccessful, the conspiracy having been discovered, and Tarquin's army having been defeated at the Battle of Silva Arsia.

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