In the 1540s, Giambattista Gelli and Pierfrancesco Giambullari introduced a controversial theory concerning the foundation of Florence. Marshaling spurious textual sources and archaeological remains, they claimed that the city was Etruscan, challenging the long-standing belief in its Roman origin. In a painstaking rebuttal, Vincenzo Borghini rejected their sources, methods, and conclusions. Their three treatises are among the earliest efforts to develop critical methods to establish an artifact’s culture of origin, whether Etruscan, Roman, or medieval. While history has looked more favorably on the work of Borghini, all three manipulated the histories of artifacts to serve competing narratives of Florence’s past.