Who were the Italians before Rome?

When we think about Italy, we automatically think of Rome. However, Rome wasn’t the only ancient civilization in Italy. There were actually quite a few. However, none influenced Rome like Etruscan. Hopefully, this post will spread some light on a civilization often living in the shadows of rome.

The Etruscan civilization map brought to you by google

The Etruscans dominated Italy before the rise of rome. In fact, rome was once under the rule of the Etruscans as shown in the picture above. Not much is known of their history because they spoke a language that was not indo-European. The Etruscans were from what is now known as turkey. Which is why thier language was different than their neighbours.

Map of Italy in 400 B.C. brought to you by google

Italy was divided by many civilizations before rome eventually unified them all. However, the Etruscans were one of the first pre-rome Italians to unify mulitple Italian states. Plus, they are probably the one few in history that can say they conquered Rome’s capital.

An Etruscan Tomb brought to you by Google

As mentioned before, most of the Etruscans’ language and culture died out when Rome conquered. Since, most just adopted Latin and Roman customs. Eventually, the Etruscan simulated into Roman society and were forgotten. Within generations, you couldn’t tell the difference from an Etruscan and a Roman.

An Etruscan an pot brought to you by Google

What we know about the Etruscans’ culture is through tombs, art and what they left behind. A lot of their pottery was heavy influenced by Greece. They even had gods similar to the greek. The Etruscan religion had some influence to the Roman gods as well. Romans learned how to build arches from the Etruscans. The Etruscans even laid a foundation for the roman sewers. The city of Roman and the Roman architecture are imprints left behind by the Etruscans.

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27 thoughts on “Who were the Italians before Rome?

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  1. Wow thanks for sharing about what you are learning. I didn’t know that the Etruscans originally came from modern day Turkey. How interesting! Are there any sources you recommend for further reading about this?

  2. The author David Hewson has a series set in Italy, what first appears as a crime series soon develops into the twists and turns of history, art the stunning backdrop of Rome Venice and so many other wonderful locations in between.

  3. Another great read…
    It’s also the reason why Italy has 34 languages and over 300 dialects (no one know the correct number), but ‘Italian’ is the standard language. I wrote a post on this after living in Italy for several years – form an ‘outsider’s view’.

      1. Yes, a lot of people don’t realise and the reason why my brain is meshed up with loads of different “Italian” and dialects! Check out my post and you’ll understand more…

  4. hi!,I like your writing very so much! share we keep up a correspondence more about your post on AOL?
    I need a specialist on this house to solve my problem. May be that is you!
    Looking ahead to peer you.

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