Etruscan cities teamed with carthage to successfully defend their trade interests against a greek naval fleet at the battle of alalia aka battle of the sardinian sea in 540 bce such was the etruscan dominance of the seas and maritime trade along the italian coast that the greeks repeatedly referred to them as scoundrel pirates. The etruscans who lived in etruria were known as tyrrhenians by the greeks they were at their height in italy from the 8th to the 5th century bc herodotus c 450 bc reports as a theory of their origin that the etruscans came from asia minorrecent work on dna in cattle suggests herodotus may have been right although some still consider them indigenous to the italic peninsula
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