David Morton's Roman Road Walks - Adventures in Italy, Made to Order
a brief cast of characters
The Etruscans
The Faliscans
The Latin League
The Romans
Medieval Times
Renaissance and Baroque
The Land

Etruscan sarcophagus with man and wife, from Cerveteri

The Etruscans

Before the Romans, Central Italy was dominated by the Etruscans, who spoke a language of unknown origin. In the seventh century BC they began to build powerful city-states with paved streets, sewers, palaces and public buildings. Their striking rock-tombs often echo details from houses and other buildings. Some are painted with cheerful scenes that seem to reflect a good life: banquets, games, musicians, dancers. Prolific sea traders, they absorbed cultural features from Greece and the Middle East. In turn, they passed on much to the Romans: artistic styles, religious practices, water and drainage systems, the toga, the basic forms of the house and temple.

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