Much more difficult and complicated is the problem of when, from where and how the Etruscan lineages arrived and expanded in Italy. Here there is no lack of traditional information, but they are contradictory and have a conjectural, not a historical, foundation; here there are thousands of epigraphic texts, but unfortunately they have not until now allowed the insertion, not only certain but not even probable, of Etruscan in one or the other linguistic group; hence here too it is necessary to turn to the aid of prehistoric archeology. But, unfortunately, if this is a very precious source of information as regards the succession of the different civilizations in the world, it is generally insufficient for ethnographic identifications, and it rarely happens that, by bringing the linguistic and traditional data closer to the archaeological ones, it is possible to get out of field of conjecture. This unfortunately occurs in particular in Italian prehistory and especially in the Etruscan question, and in fact the numerous systems proposed by historians and archaeologists are very different and contradictory, concerning the transfer of the individual prehistoric strata of the different Italian regions to the different populations, and above all about the ethnographic identification of the strata that follow one another from the period of the early metal age to the early iron age. There are those who identify the pile-dwellings-terramaricolous with the Italics, and those who identify them with the Etruscans, those who bring the latter from the North, those from the East, those who consider the Italics as Aeneolithic preceding the pile-dwellings, and those who want them Villanoviani, those who consider the Iapigi pre-Italian, and those who bring them to an almost historical age. In so much variety of opinions we limit ourselves to inclining, without being able to specify the reasons here, for those who consider the Italians as Eneolithic, they bring the Etruscans from the North during the same Eeneolithic period: the Venetians and the Iapigi from Illyria in the early iron age. On the other hand, it remains uncertain for us whether the pile-dwellings-terramaricolous are the Italics or the Etruscans, and whether the Ligurians should be considered as descendants of the Paleolithic, the Corsicans and the Sardinians of the Paleolithic or Neolithic.
According to thembaprograms, the ethnographic map of pre-Roman Italy is therefore extremely colorful: there are four Indo-European nationalities: Italics, Greeks, Celts, Illyrians; one certainly not Indo-European: the Etruscans; several of uncertain origin: Ligurians, Sardis, Corsicans, Elimi. And in the various prehistoric ages the millennial struggle of the succession and transformation of various civilizations is outlined, often obscure and anonymous, until Rome with the force of arms and the genius of politics gives Italy unity, order, and a superior form of civil life.
Roman conquest of peninsular Italy and its organization. – Among so many varieties of lineages, at the beginning of the historical age, Rome city occupied just about twenty hectares of land, and its territory about a hundred square kilometers. All around, up to the Albani mountains, stood the cities of the Latin confederation.
The subjugation and unification of all those peoples was for Rome a very arduous work, fraught with fatigue and travail (see Romans: History) and of which the main stages were: the conquest of primacy over Lazio, during the monarchical period, the struggles against Equi, Volsci and Etruscans of the South in the century. It goes. C., the destruction of Veii at the beginning of the IV and, immediately after, the overcoming of the Gallic catastrophe, the confrontation of the first Latin insurrections, the continuation of the struggles against Volsci and Etruscans, with an ever more rapid expansion, so that towards the middle of that century the Roman dominion already had an extension of about 8000 square kilometers, from Monte Cimino to Terracina. Then came the first Samnite war, with the enlargement of the Roman dominion up to the gulf of Naples and towards the outposts of the Apennines for about 12.000 sq. km., and the Latin war, with the consecutive dissolution of the league. Just about sixty years later, through the other Samnite wars and the Pyrrhic war, with the immediately following operations, all peninsular Italy from Rimini and Pisa up to the Strait of Messina, for about 130,000 square kilometers, is tightly under control. From Rome.
Only in the early stages of their conquests did the Romans do nothing but destroy the defeated cities and transport part of the inhabitants to Rome, but after the destruction of Alba, they generally allowed the defeated communities to survive. At the beginning of the century V BC they joined the so-called foedus Cassianum with the Latins on the basis of an equality, at least theoretical, political and juridical, and with the Latins they shared the fruits of their common victories, generally avoiding further exclusive enlargements of their own territory, and contenting themselves with founding colonies of Latin law in the conquered lands, in which they participated , on par, Romans and Latins. Destroyed Veii, they returned to the policy of direct annexations with the foundation of new tribes and with the deduction of Roman colonies, but in the following decades they perfected the schemes of their expansion in ever more ingenious forms, devising a double system of annexation of the defeated communities: annexes with the conferral of full citizenship, and annexes with the conferment of civitas sine suffragio, that is, without political rights, and with this minor citizenship, in turn, articulated two different types; the one with municipal autonomy and the one without it. The communities, which were not given one or the other form of citizenship, Rome left to exist as federates, on the basis of treaties, which rigorously determined their conditions and relationships, some few based on equal rights that naturally could not be if not formal; the most about inequality of rights; treatises significantly diverging from each other even within the same category (for details see city, X, p. 483 ff.). Thanks to this system, Rome was able to hold firmly in its hand a population that was about double that of Rome, belonged to four different nationalities, Italics, Greeks, Iapigi, Etruscans,