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🐗 The Etruscans: The Etruscans were an Iron-Age civilization found in the Italian peninsula, primarily in the north. The Etruscan language was not of Indo-European origin, unlike its neighbor Latin, and instead belonged to an extinct language family known as Tyrsenian, a holdout from before the Indo-European invasions, like Basque. The Tyrsenian languages we know of are Etruscan, Lemnian (Lemnos, Greece), and Raetic (found in the Alps) — all of which are extinct. The Etruscans called themselves the “Rasna” or “Rasenna”, while the Romans called them “Tusci” or “Etrusci”, and the Greeks called them the “Τυρρηνοί” — “Tyrrhenians”. While Rome was a newly-founded Latin kingdom (its founding possibly influenced by Etruscans), the Etruscan civilization thrived and dominated the Italian peninsula, with the Etruscans trading with the Celts, Greeks, Latins, and Phoenicians, and as a result, the Etruscan elite grew rather wealthy. The Greeks had a profound influence on Etruscan architecture, art, and other cultural aspects, including mythology and religion. In their heyday, the Etruscans formed extensive trade networks and held much influence over western Mediterranean trade. They even made the famous Boar Vessel, 600-500 BC, Etruscan, ceramic. The Etruscans greatly influenced the Romans, including having an influence on the Latin language. The Romans owed many cultural practices and aspects of life to the Etruscans, whose civilization and city-states were much older and influential. The Etruscans adopted the Greek alphabet, and from there formed their own, which the Romans would adopt, which evolved into the Latin alphabet we use today. Over time, the Roman Republic would rise to power in the Italian Peninsula, and would conquer and subjugate the Etruscans in the 3rd and 4th centuries BC. The Etruscans would still have a presence in the republic for some time, as some Roman families were of Etruscan origin, but eventually the Etruscans would disappear as a culture as they were assimilated by Italic/Latin Roman culture, and their language would be lost to the ages, as linguists are still unable to fully decipher Etruscan texts. Tuscany, Italy is named after the Etruscans.