Etruscan civilization

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Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci.[1] Their Roman name is the origin of the terms Tuscany, which refers to their heartland, and Etruria, which can refer to their wider region.

In Attic Greek the Etruscans were known as Τυρρήνιοι (Tyrrhēnioi), earlier Tyrsenoi, from which the Romans derived the names Tyrrhēni (Etruscans), Tyrrhēnia (Etruria), and Mare Tyrrhēnum (Tyrrhenian Sea).[2] The Etruscans called themselves Rasenna, which was syncopated to Rasna or Raśna.[3]

As distinguished by its unique language, this civilization endured from the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions (ca. 700 BC)[4] until its assimilation into the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.[4] At its maximum extent, during the foundational period of Rome and the Roman kingdom, it flourished in three confederacies of cities: of Etruria, of the Po valley with the eastern Alps, and of Latium and Campania.[5] Rome was founded within or adjacent to Etruscan territory, and there is considerable evidence that early Rome was dominated by Etruscans until the Romans sacked Veii in 396 BC.

Culture that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 800 BC approximately over the range of the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture. The latter gave way in the 7th century to a culture that was influenced by Greek traders and Greek neighbours in Magna Graecia, the Hellenic civilization of southern Italy. After 500 BC the political destiny of Italy passed out of Etruscan hands.[6]

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