The Etruscans Research Paper

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF ITALY By Tim Lambert ANCIENT ITALY The Etruscans The first civilisation in Italy was the Etruscan, which arose about 800 BC in central Italy. The Etruscans built cities on a grid pattern. Some these cities still exist (including Arezzo, Chiusi, Cortona, Perugia and Cerveteri). The Etruscans were also engineers who drained marshes and built roads. They were also skilled artists. The Etruscans made terracotta sculptures and worked in bronze. Their craftsmen also made jewellery of gold and silver. Etruscan artists painted frescoes on the walls of rich people's tombs. They also painted pottery. Upper class Etruscans lived in splendid houses of many rooms arranged around a courtyard. They had luxurious furniture. Poor Etruscans…show more content…
By 272 BC almost all the south of Italy was in Roman hands. Rome then came into conflict with Carthage. The Phoenicians from Lebanon founded a colony in North Africa, which they called Carthage. In time Carthage became very powerful, ruling North Africa, Sardinia, Corsica and part of Spain. The wars between Rome and Carthage are called the Punic wars. The first lasted from 264 to 241 BC and it was mainly a naval war. It ended with the Romans capturing Sicily. Shortly afterwards they also occupied Sardinia and Corsica. The second Punic War lasted from 218 to 202 BC. In 218 Hannibal marched a great army including elephants from Spain, through southern France and over the Alps into Italy. He defeated the Romans in several battles, Ticinus and Trebia in 218 BC, Lake Trasimeno in 217 and at Cannae in 216. However Hannibal did not have the resources to completely destroy Rome and the Romans sent an army to North Africa. Led by Scipio the Romans won a decisive battle at Zama in 202 BC. Meanwhile the Romans expanded northwards. North Italy was inhabited by Celts but the Romans conquered them piecemeal. By 90 BC all of northern Italy was in Roman…show more content…
The Germanic kings respected Roman culture and laws. Odoacer was followed by Theodoric the Ostrogoth in 493. He ruled until 526 and under him Germans and Romans in Italy lived together peacefully. Meanwhile the eastern half of the Roman Empire was still flourishing. It was now called the Byzantine Empire. In 535 the Byzantine emperor Justinian sent an army to Italy under his general Belisarius. So began a long period of warfare which devastated much of Italy. Belisarius marched north through Italy and he captured Ravenna in 540. However under their leader Totila (541-552) the Goths recaptured most of Italy. Only Ravenna and some other coastal towns stayed in Byzantine hands. The Pendulum then swung the other way. Under their general Narses the Byzantines took all of Italy again by 562. Then in 568 a people called the Lombards invaded north Italy. Under their leaders Authari (584-590) and Agilulf (590-616) the Lombards fought their way south but they were halted by the Byzantines at a line from Ravenna to Rome. Gradually the Lombards intermarried with the native Italians and they also adopted Italian customs. They also adopted the Italian
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