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Roman World 800 BC – AD 324

Case 11: Italy before Rome 800-200 BC

Etruscans

Before Rome became dominant in Italy, the country was shared by several distinct groups of people. Best known are the Etruscans, who lived in the region of Etruria in central Italy. They were skilled craftsmen and energetic traders. While receptive to the cultures of the Greeks and others, the Etruscans maintained their own distinctive way of life and developed their own artistic styles. Much of our information about the Etruscans comes from their richly furnished tombs. For more Etruscan objects see Case 7

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Umbrians

Before Rome became dominant in Italy, the country was shared by several distinct groups of people. These figurines come from the region of Umbria in central Italy where the Umbri lived.

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South Italy

Before Rome became dominant in Italy, the country was shared by several distinct groups of people. South Italy had long been a mix of populations with different traditions, both Greek and Italian. Ancient wirtiers, such as Thucydides and Strabo, record that from around 730 BC Greeks began to establish 'colonies' in Sicily and South Italy, but it is likely that both Greeks and native Italians actually lived in these 'colonies' and the mix of cultures appears in the archaeological remains.  For examples of Greek-style pottery from South Italy see Case 10.

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