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The "Dea Artemide" 
(bronzetto of the VI sec. b.C.   
 - Museum of Cortona)  
The territory that corresponds to the actual regions in Tuscany, Umbria and north of the Lazio belonged to the Etruria it interns and in this territory the Etruschis built the twelve cities that formed the dodecapoli etrusca. 
The most important centers were, from south to north: 
Veio, Caere, Tarquinia, Vulci, Roselle, Vetulonia, Populonia, Volterra, Volsinii, Chiusi, Perugia, Cortona, Arezzo, Fiesole.
Vergil declared that Cortona was founded by the mythical Dardano; in fact, it was probably an Umbrian fortress which passed to the Etruscans in the VIII - VII centuries BC; after this it became an important Lucumonia, as the main centers of Etruria were called.  

Many Etruscan tombs have been discovered in the countryside beneath.   

The most famous are; the Tanella di Pitagora (V century BC): « Melone » at Sodo.   


One can see that Cortona was a power in Etruscan 
times by the massive walls, of which many traces 
remain: their perimeter can be clearly seen and  
was only just short of two miles.

There is a wealth of exhibits in the Etruscan rooms of the Museum in Palazzo Casali, with jewelry and artifact such as the famous bronze lamp, richly embossed, of the century B.C., 
found in 1840.

 Cortona entered into the Roman alliance at the end of the IV century BC, but the exact date of its occupation is unknown.
There is no further certain information after this date 
until it was taken by the Goths in 490 A.D. 
It reappeared in the XI century as a free commune, at war with Perugia and the bishops of Arezzo.
It had a notable period of splendour in the communal period, under democratic institutions which gave it peace and prosperity.
It 1335 it became a bishopric and a Signoria under the Ranieri Casali family, under whom it was embellished and rendered a fluorishing city. 
In 1409 King Ladislao of Naples conquered it and sold it to the Florentines.
From then on, its fortunes were linked to those of the Gran Duchy of Tuscany. 

Cortona, is rightful to underline it, it had famous representatives in each field: artistic, literary, religious.

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