The exact origin of the ancient people (Latin Etrusci, Tusci), which called itself Rasenna, is unclear. An immigration from Asia Minor is suspected, but they are also considered to be a long-established native population Italy considered. First reports appear around 1000 BC. When they landed on the Tyrrhenian coast, they spread out to the Adriatic Sea on the other side of the coast and settled in central Etruria (Latin Tuscia, Greek Tyrrhenia). This area between Tiber, the Apennines and the Tyrrhenian Sea named after them corresponds to the present day Tuscany as well as parts of the two regions Umbria and Lazio, The influence of the Etruscans also extended to the present two regions Abruzzo and Brands into it.
But there was no unified state, but only a few loosely connected city-states. The twelve most powerful formed a (rather religious) cult alliance. In the 6th century BC Then the Etruscans expanded to the south to the present day Campania and represented the first Roman royal families. Around 540 BC Felsina (today's Bologna) was founded. They dominated the western Mediterranean and came in contact with the Greeks, with whom an intensive trade was conducted. Of these, in addition to many others, they were also influenced in viticulture, which they cultivated long before the Romans in their dominion. The right picture shows a representation on one amphora from the 6th century v. Found in the ancient Etruscan town of Vulci (etr. Velch) 8 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea and 100 km northwest from Rome (Lazio).
They were the founders of the first great culture in Western Europe and loved life, luxury and good food and drink. There are many literary references to Etruscan wine and wine drinking culture, Wine was from the Etruscans since the 7th Jhdt. v. Wine in amphorae exported to southern France. According to one hypothesis, ancestors of today's grape varieties Lambrusco. Sangiovese and Verdicchio Bianco already cultivated by them. On many murals and art objects are taken over by the Greeks symposia shown. These luscious eating and drinking treats were later criticized by the Roman moralists as a negative example of extravagant morals. Especially because the Etruscans let their wives participate in the feasts. The Romans took over many of their knowledge and skills, including in viticulture. As a result, the Etruscans were coming from the Samnites (an Italic tribe) who came across the Alps Celts (Gauls) and finally pushed back more and more by the Romans and from the latter to the 1st century BC. Chr. Assimilated. See also below Ancient wines and Antique grape varieties,