What was the impact of the Etruscans and Greeks on the early deveopment of Roman Civilization?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Etruscans were the dominant influence in the area, and contributed heavily to Roman Civilization.  Among their contributions:

They were the first to use the Arch for building bridges.  It is a form that adds strength, and dissipates the weight of a structure.  It is from the Arch that we get our word “architecture.”  They also introduced soothsayers, and gods with human forms, mostly borrowed from the Greeks, of course.  They held slave fights – typically at funerals, as a blood memorial to one’s greatness. These were the forerunner of the Gladiatorial games. They also started public parades as welcomes for War heroes. Finally, they adopted the Greek alphabet; somewhat altered, but in use still today. By and large, the Etruscans probably contributed more than the Greeks, as much of the culture we consider "Roman" originated with the Etruscans.