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New Review: The Etruscans 9th – 2nd Centuries BC

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The Etruscans are sometimes regarded as the fore-runners of the later Roman civilization, and they certainly appear to have had enormous influence over the development of that empire, and yet despite this, relatively little is really know today about them.  Their language has only ever been partially translated and very little written documentation survives except later tomes by Romans and Greeks which are debatably accurate, to say the least.  What is generally believed is that the Etruscans were something of an amalgam culture, having some seafaring antecedents as well as people from the Asian subcontinent and other places (which seems to suggest they were very much a merchant culture with extensive trade routes).  However, there are other later writers who claimed they were native to the area of Northern Italy, so go figure.  In any case they dominated Northern Italy for around a millennia, and even occupied Rome for a while before going into a steep decline and eventual extinction.

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