Mika Waltari
Publication date
Format info
708 pages

The Etruscan

Turms kuolematon

A historical and philosophical novel set during Rome’s Villanovian and Classical periods

Set during the era that saw the formation of the Roman Republic (509BC), the Athenian defeat of the Persians at Marathon (490 BC), and the Greek repulse of the second Persian invasion (480 BC), The Etruscan follows the adventures of Lars Turms as he searches for the meaning of life in the ancient world.

Like much of Waltari’s historical fiction, The Etruscan has been praised for its historical accuracy. In it, Turms is involved in the Ionian Revolts against Darius the King of Persia, introducing readers to Mediterranean civilizations during the Iron Age.

The Etruscan is, however much more than a historical novel. Filled with Waltari’s characteristic philosophical musings, it presents the human condition as a timeless entity. It is notable, for example, that The Etruscan’s main characters ponder the same questions that we are still asking ourselves today.

Mika Waltari (1908-1979) is the most popular 20th century Finnish writer who is best known for his magnus opus The Egyptian. Over a career that spanned five decades, Waltari published well over 100 works, of which 200 translations have been made. His works include at least 30 novels, 20 plays and 15 novellas, as well as short stories, poems, screenplays and essays. In 1957 he was appointed to the Academy of Finland, having previously won the state literature award five times. Waltari’s works have been translated into over 40 languages.


Finnish PDF
English synopsis
Estonian translation
German translation

Rights sold

Bulgarian (Ednorog 2002), rights reverted
Czech (Cesky Klub 2003 / Albatros 2018)
Croatian (A3DATA 1958)
Danish (Sesam 1982)
Dutch (Van Holkema & Warendorf 1956)
English (G. P. Putnam’s Sons 1957 / Buccaneer Books 2000)
Estonian (Varrak 2016)
French (Olivier Orban 1980 / Le Jardia des Livres 2004), rights reverted
German (Lubbe 1956 / Kuebler 2012)
Greek (Cactus 1989 / Kalendis 1991)
Hebrew (M. Mizrahi 1964)
Hungarian (Europa 1986)
Italian (Castelvecchi 2014)
Latvian (Janis Roze 2012), rights reverted
Lithuanian (Tyto Alba 1998), rights reverted
Persian (Shı̄rı̄n 1996)
Polish (Kziaznica 1993)
Portuguese, Brazilian (Jose Olympio 1958)
Romanian (Univers 2002 / Polirom 2017)
Serbian (Tabernakl 2008)
Slovakian (Ikar 1997)
Slovenian (Cankarjeva založba 1961)
Spanish (Edhasa 1993)
Swedish (Schildt 1956 / Wahlström & Widstrand 1988)


“A very interesting and comprehensive introduction to the arms and armour of the Etruscans.” – Adventures in History blog