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The Etruscans were a people from west Italy whose civilisation reached its height in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. When the Etruscan people emerged is a point of debate, and their origins lie in Italy's prehistory. The earliest surviving examples of the Etruscan language date from around 700 B.C.[1] Etruscan influence expanded into Campania in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., although survival of their material culture in this region is sparse. The expansion saw them colonise Capua in around 650 B.C. and over the coming century their influence increased. They came into contact with the Greek colonies along the coast, most notably Cumae. In 524 and 474 B.C. they tried and failed to capture Capua. Etruscan settlements in Campania aside from Capua included Pompeii and Herculaneum.[2][3] In the mid 6th century B.C. the Etruscans conquered the island of Corsica off the west coast of Italy, and held it until at least the mid 5th century B.C. although it is uncertain when they lost control of the island.[4]


  1. Barker, Graeme & Rasmussen, Tom (2000). The Etruscans. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 1, 4–5. ISBN 0-631-22038-0.
  2. Banti, Luisa (1973). Etruscan Cities and Their Culture. University of California Press. pp. 11–13. ISBN 9780520019102.
  3. Grant, Michael (1976). Cities of Vesuvius: Pompeii & Herculaneum. p. 20. London: Penguin Books.
  4. Banti, Etruscan Cities and Their Culture, p. 4.