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date: 31 October 2020


  • D. W. R. Ridgway


Ateste (mod. Este) has given its name to one of the principal iron age cultures of northern Italy, lasting from the 9th cent. bce until its peaceful annexation by Rome in 184 bce. Until ce 589 it stood on the Adige, now some miles south, and throughout its history thus combined natural advantages for sea-trade, presumably coming through *Atria, with easy access to the land routes round the gulf. Already by the late 7th–early 6th cents. its products were not only reaching *Felsina and the head of the Adriatic, but were also crossing the Alps to Carniola and the Tyrol. Noted for its production of sheet-bronze, particularly of situlae, Ateste was for 800 years the most important commercial and artistic centre of Venetia (see veneti (2)): its commercial position led to the incorporation of foreign (e.g. oriental) elements, via Greek and Etruscan intermediaries, into a distinctive indigenous art-style.


  • Economic History
  • Historical Geography

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