Etruscan League 600BC- 400BC

DBA list:
1x 3Cv (General): Lars Porsena
1x 3Cv
7x 4Sp
1x 4Bd or 4Sp
1x 2Ps
1x 7Hd or 2Ps

Etruria was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria. The Etruscans referred to themselves as Rasenna, but to the Romans and Greeks they were Etrusci, Tusci, Tyrrheni, or Tyrseni.

According to legend, the Etruscan League of 12 cities was founded by two Lydian noblemen; Tarchun and his brother Tyrrhenus. Tarchun lent his name to the city of Tarchna, or Roman Tarquinnii. Tyrrhenus gave his name to the Tyrrhenians - the alternative name for the Etruscans. Although there is no total consensus on which cities were in the league, the following list may be reasonable: Arretium (Arezzo), Caisra (Caere or modern Cerveteri), Clevsin (Clusium or modern Chiusi), Curtun (modern Cortona, Perusna (Perugia), Pupluna (Populonia), Veii, Tarchna (Tarquinii or modern Tarquinia-Corneto), Vetluna (Vetulonia), Felathri (Volaterrae or modern Volterra), Velzna (Volsinii or modern day Bolsena), and Velch (Vulci or modern day Volci). According to Livy, the twelve city states met once a year at the Fanum Voltumnae at Volsinii, where a leader was chosen to represent the league.

Lars Porsena (or Porsenna) was an Etruscan king known for his war against the city of Rome. He ruled over the city of Clusium.There are no established dates for his reign, but Roman sources often place it at around 500 BC. According to legend the town of Clusium was built by Clusius, the son of Tyrrhenus, one of the legendary Lydian founders of Etruria. Lars Porsena's tomb, together with the rest of the city of Clusium, was razed to the ground in 89 BC by Cornelius Sulla.

In the early 6th century BC Clusium entered into an alliance with Arretium (Arezzo) and other Etruscan towns against Tarquinius Priscus of Rome.

In 524 BCE, Etruscan ships attacked Cumae, the major Greek city of Campania and were defeated. At the end of the 6th century BC, Clusium's king, Lars Porsena, attacked Rome and probably captured the city. The writings of Livy and Diodorus Siculus reflect an alternative history with Rome bravely resisting Lars Porsenna (See the tales of Mucius Scaevola and Horatius Cocles).

In 506 BCE an alliance of Cumaen Greeks and Latins defeated Lars Porsenna at Aricia.

Rome began its attacks on Etruria in approximately 498 BC and concluded in 264 BC with the complete conquest of Etruria. The last three of Rome's seven kings were probably Etruscan and although they were disliked by the Latin people, they did much for the city: they built the Cloaca Maxima to drain the Forum, constructed walls around the town and the erected the Temple of Jupiter on Capitol Hill. They also instituted an efficient administrative system.

The last king, Tarquin the Proud, was driven out of the city in 510 when the Romans chose to become a republic. After this the Etruscans stayed north of the Tiber and their influence gradually declined, although the haruspices, responsible for religious rites and divination in Rome, continued to be Etruscans up to the end of the republic. Eventually, the Etruscan culture was absorbed into that of Rome.

 

 

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