The Italian peninsula

Last Updated: 28 Jan 2021
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The Italian peninsula started off consisting and inhabited by a mixture of different ethnic groups, which includes the Sabines, Umbrians, Oscans and Latins. The Etruscans came from the sea from Lydia setting foot on North Eastern and Central Italy. They allied themselves with the Carthaginians, increasing their influence and conquering an enormous region of the Italian peninsula. Etruscan territory was composed of independent and separate city states that never came to form a unified Etruscan state and that absence of national identity brought the Etruscan dominance over the Italian peninsula to an end.

The Greeks, on the other hand, settled over South Western Italy and the island of Sicily. The Greeks of Italy were engaged in primarily in commerce, thus pressure from adjacent civilizations had suppressed territorial expansion. The settlements being far off from Greek military influence and the lack of unification among these colonies, similarly as the Etruscan confederacies, had lessened their grip of the Italian territory. Near the borders of Etruscan influence, Rome was built in 753 BC as a city of Italic peoples living south of the Tiber.

Rome was controlled by an absolute monarch, his rule checked and balanced by a council of elders, which was the Senate. However, during the 6th century, the Etruscans extended its control over Rome to suppress its development and established Etruscan monarchs as kings of Rome. Finally, in 509 BC, the Romans expelled the last Etruscan kings and started their conquest of Italy. Romans found themselves allied with the Greeks and other Latin tribes, although wielding supremacy over them, driving away the Etruscans from the Italian peninsula.

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However, the Latins resented the Romans hegemony over them and revolted against them, although the Romans dismantled them and took control over Latium. The Romans seized the rest of Italy through liberal and militaristic policies. The Romans cunningness in collaborating with native rulers and granting certain rights to citizens of cities that they have conquered enabled them to take control of Italy without encountering united opposition.

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The Italian peninsula. (2017, Apr 16). Retrieved from

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