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Rome\'s Enemies on the Italian Peninsula
Hey everyone, I am ahowl11, the leader of the newest RTR for the classic game Rome Total War. Not only do I mod that game to depict realism, but I also have a fond interest on the allies and enemies of Rome. My main interest is the inhabitants of Italy from the Etruscans and Umbrians in the north, to the Messapians and Brutii in the south. Here I will post what I know, and some questions, and I am hoping this can become a resourceful topic.

Well we all know they were never united, they had a league of 12 cities and I'm assuming they were in a pretty loose confederation. Each city state had it's own laws and culture aside from the dominant Etruscan culture. So I thought that was interesting. Basically they were very similar to the Greek City States but also very different. A lot of speculation has been had on their origins, but I have not researched that entirely, I will only say that the theory that they came from Asia Minor is interesting.
As for their military (trying to focus more around early third century BC) I found a great article by Ross Cowan:

Basically If I were to divide the Etruscan military into troop types I'd do the following:
1) Spear/Aspis melee Infantry with Javelins, fighting in maniples
2) Sword/Aspis melee Infantry with Javelins, fighting in maniples
(In reality I know that you could combine the two units into one, since a soldier had both spear and sword, but in RTW the units are limited to two weapons. Also, the theory that they fought as Greek Hoplites seems to be not true and that's why I have them in maniples not a hoplite phalanx)
3) Javelin/Axe skirmisher infantry (not sure if they used axes at this time, but I'm going with it for now to add some flavor.)
4) Spear/Sword medium cavalry. (I don't believe they wielded javelins but I could be wrong.)

Other than the above source, I do not have many sources on the Etruscans describing their military, maybe an article from the Ancient Warfare Magazine but that's it.
The books I have don't reveal much military info on them:

Also, I know it's not academic to use wiki as a source, but it led me to other sources.

If anyone has more info please feel free to share, I don't feel comfortable moving forward when it seems like some things aren't clear.

I'll leave it at the Etruscans for now, and once that discussion has been exhausted I will post the next Italian people Smile
Rome Total Realism team leader
I would think that they had axes. The Ice Man found in the Italian Alps was found with an axe, and he supposedly traveled up from northern Italy, some even say he came from southern Sardinina, since modern DNA genomes there are the closest match to his. He dates to long before the Etruscans, so I would think they'd still have "axe technology," if you will, and maybe they used them for war. They'd be irregular troops, though, or maybe marines. Close-quarter combat on ship decks would be a perfect situation for an axe! It's a very long stretch for simple reasoning, but it's a possibility. Hope this helps in some way, Amice!

John F.
I just know from archaeological digs that axes are found, and even in the article above they were used by them in their earlier armies, but were they used in their later armies? I feel like giving them to the skirmishers is most reasonable.
Rome Total Realism team leader

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