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The Etruscans were a people who lived in central Italy. Their state was a federation of cities, and included areas such as Etruria, Latium and Campania. They are also the founders of the city of Rome. Latium separated somewhere around 500 BCE, soon followed by Rome and other cities. The Etruscans lost their independence in the fourth century BCE and were assimilated in the Roman Republic in 265 BCE. Their influence however, remained in Roman culture (laws, architecture, sacral acts, etc.).
Although Livy described the Etruscans as being the nation most devoted to religion, there are relatively few sustained accounts of Etruscan religion. Etruscan literature has not survived and most information comes from Greek and Roman authors and from archaeological evidence.
The name "Etruscans" appears after 700 BCE, when their language was first written.