Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Tuscania

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TUSCA′NIA (Eth. Tuscaniensis: Toscanella), a city of Southern Etruria, situated about 12 miles NE. of Tarquinii. It is mentioned only by Pliny, who enumerates the Tuscanienses among the municipal communities of Etruria, and in the Tabula, which places it on the Via Clodia, between Blera and Saturnia, but in a manner that would afford little clue to its true position were it not identified by the resemblance of name with the modern Toscanella. (Plin. iii. 5. s. 8; Tab. Peut.) The name is found in an inscription, which confirms its municipal rank. (Murat. Inscr. p. 328.) But it appears to have been in Roman times an obscure town, and we find no allusion to it as of ancient Etruscan origin. Yet that it was so is rendered probable by the tombs that have been discovered on the site, and some of which contain sarcophagi and other relics of considerable interest; though none of these appear to be of very early date. The tombs have been carefully examined, and the antiquities preserved by a resident antiquary, Sig. Campanari, a circumstance which has given some celebrity to the name of Toscanella, and led to a very exaggerated estimate of the importance of Tuscania, which was apparently in ancient times never a place of any consideration. It was probably during the period of Etruscan independence a dependency of Tarquinii. The only remains of ancient buildings are some fragments of reticulated masonry, undoubtedly of the Roman period. (Dennis's Etruria, vol. i. pp. 440-460.) [ E. H. B. ]