900 BC to 27 BCThe Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and small parts of Campania.
The Villanovan culture (c. 900–700 BC), regarded as the earliest phase of the Etruscan civilization, was the earliest Iron Age culture of Central Italy and Northern Italy. It directly followed the Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture which branched off from the Urnfield culture of Central Europe.
The earliest evidence of a culture that is identifiably Etruscan dates from about 900 BC. Etruscan history is the written record of Etruscan civilization compiled mainly by Greek and Roman authors. Apart from their inscriptions, from which information mainly of a sociological character can be extracted, the Etruscans left no surviving history of their own, nor is there any mention in the Roman authors that any was ever written. Remnants of Etruscan writings are almost exclusively concerned with religion.
Clusium was an ancient city in Italy, one of several found at the site. The current municipality of Chiusi (Tuscany) partly overlaps this Roman walled city. The Roman city remodeled an earlier Etruscan city, Clevsin, found in the territory of a prehistoric culture, possibly also Etruscan or proto-Etruscan.
The Etruscan culture was influenced by Ancient Greek culture, beginning around 750 BC, during the last phase of the Villanovan period, when the Greeks, who were at this time in their Archaic Orientalizing period, started founding colonies in southern Italy.
The Etruscans were a dominant culture in Italy by 650 BC, surpassing other ancient Italic peoples such as the Ligures. Their influence may be seen beyond Etruria's confines in the Po River Valley and Latium, as well as in Campania and through their contact with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy (including Sicily).
Around 540 BC, the Battle of Alalia led to a new distribution of power in the western Mediterranean. Though the battle had no clear winner, Carthage managed to expand its sphere of influence at the expense of the Greeks, and Etruria saw itself relegated to the northern Tyrrhenian Sea with full ownership of Corsica.
The reduction in the Etruscan territory was gradual, but after 500 BC, the political balance of power on the Italian peninsula shifted away from the Etruscans in favor of the rising Roman Republic.
It was only in the 5th century BC, when the Etruscan civilization had been established for several centuries, that Greek writers started associating the name "Tyrrhenians" with the "Pelasgians", and even then, some did so in a way that suggests they were meant only as generic, descriptive labels for "non-Greek" and "indigenous ancestors of Greeks".
As the Etruscan civilization was gradually assimilated into the Roman Republic from the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were partially incorporated into ancient Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands.
The first Battle of Lake Vadimo was fought in 310 BC between Rome and the Etruscans and ended up being the largest battle between these nations. The Romans were victorious, gaining land and influence in the region. The Etruscans sustained heavy losses in the battle and would never again reclaim their previous glory.
The second Battle of Lake Vadimo was fought in 283 BC between Rome and the combined forces of the Etruscans and the Gallic tribes of the Boii and the Senones. The Roman army was led by consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella. The result of the battle was a Roman victory.
The Roman–Etruscan Wars were a series of wars fought between ancient Rome (in both the regal and the republican periods) and the Etruscans. Information about many of the wars is limited, particularly those in the early parts of Rome's history, and in large part is known from ancient texts alone. The conquest of Etruria was completed in 265–264 BC.