The Etruscan League
Models & Skins: Snevets, Map: Uranos, Research & Text: Mylae, Apostates & Ozz, Additional Art: Lupus & Snevets
The Etruscan faction symbol is the "Chimaera", daughter of the titan Typhon, Chimaera was a fire-breathing she-monster with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail.
The Etruscan League
The Etruscan civilization flourished in Etruria and the Po valley in the northern part of what is today Italy around 800 BC, prior to the arrival of Gauls in the Po valley and the formation of the Roman Republic. The exact origin of the Etruscans is still a mystery. Herodotus insisted that the Etruscans migrated from Lydia to Italy due to famine; their leader at that time was Tyrrhenos, from whom they adopted the name, the Tyrrhenians. The Etruscans are generally believed to have spoken a “non-IndoEuropean” language and they used a modified Hellenic alphabet of Euboian origin, brought to Italy by Greeks. Contrarily, Dionysios of Halicarnassos pronounced that the Etruscans were indigenous to Italy, calling themselves "Rasenna" and being part of an ancient nation which does not resemble any other people, both in their language and in their way of life or customs. Other theories suggest they were related to the Pelasgians or even to the Phoenicians.
Because of the dubious origins of the Etruscans, one can only assume that military chiefs of the aristocratic families conquered settlements which finally became independent Etruscan cities, each one controlled by its own king. The historical evolution of the area shows clearly that each Etruscan city faced crises in terms that it judged favorable for its own survival without concern of the interests of its neighboring cities. Etruria became dominant in the Italian peninsula after 650 BC. Their expansion included the Po River Valley and Latium and continued south until they came into contact with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy. Etruscan kings most notably conquered and ruled Rome for 100 years until 509 BC when the last Etruscan king "Lucius Tarquinius Superbus", was removed from power and the Roman Republic was established. The Etruscans are credited with changing Rome from a farming village into a large city. They are also responsible for building the first road on the main street of Rome, the Via Sacra, and also temples, housing, markets, etc.
The Etruscans are responsible for much of the Greek culture imported into the area, including the 12 Olympian gods, the Latin alphabet (adopted from the Greek alphabet), the phalanx formation, and the cultivation of olives and grapes. On a political and economical level, the Etruscans were known as great seafarers and wealthy miners of metals. These sources of wealth lead them to a high status of cultural and political power. They threatened the Hellenic cities of Kyme and Neapolis which stood close to their southern borders, and they allied with Carthaginians to throw the Greeks out of Corsika. However in 474 they collided with the Syracusian might of Hieron I, and lost most of their fleet and naval supremacy. Also around this time, Latin cities were established and influenced greatly by the flourishing Etruscan culture surrounding them. However, Latin cultures soon united with some of the Greek settlements and the Etruscans were driven from Latium. Later the Gauls took over the Po valley,causing the Etruscans to also lose their trading routes across the Alps.
The fall of the Etruscan state can be attributed to a variety of factors, the most influential being its disunity. The Etruscan state government was essentially a theocracy and the governmental organization of Etruria is characterized by a confederation of cities. It seems even to have had at a certain time 3 different Etruscan confederations (dodecapoles), one to the North, one to the South and one in central Italy, each one made up of 12 cities. It has been suggested by some authors that the number 12, is of ritual significance, and is also associated with the eastern origins of the Etruscan civilization. Ionia, with whom Etruria may have had little association, also consisted of a league of 12 city states.
The Etruscans had, at their apogee, an impressive, powerful army, although there was not undoubtedly any coordination between the quote-States. It seems that it is the infantry which formed the core of the army. The principal weapons were the spear and the axe. Archers and javelins were also used; one frequently finds arrows and javelins in the Etruscan tombs. Helmets and shields of various forms were borrowed from the Greeks and the tribes living in the Eastern Alps, and apparently, swords were of great value. One generally thinks that the cavalry played an important part in the Etruscan army, as war-chariots were discovered in large-sized tombs. Their navy was extremely powerful and in fact, the Mediterranean was dominated by the Etruscans for over 2 centuries.
Although the divisions between the Etruscan states were not as extreme as those found in ancient Greece, individual states were under no obligation to provide aid to one another, and frequently found it difficult to unite against a common threat. For this reason, their enemies attacked and annexed individual cities. This disunity is further illustrated by the fact that Rome created treaties individually with the Etruscan states, rather than the whole. With the fall of Veii to the Romans, a key southern defense was destroyed, leaving the Etruscans pressed in on from all sides by several different forces.....ripe for conquest....
Regions/Locations around Etruria:
Etruscan Axemen -
The Etruscans have adopted many Hellenic methods of warfare but they have not forgotten their own. The Etruscan Axemen are a testament to that military ancestry, a walking example of syncretic methods of warfare. Represented richly on the field, these men wear armor similar to the linthorax and carry a sword, but their main strength lies in the savage blows of their axes.
Etruscan Levies -
Etruscan nobles call men from their homes to swell the ranks of the army, drawing numbers of men directly based on their own military and social prowess. Like any conscripts however, Etruscan levies have little interest in battle, and their low morale and sole loyalty to their general means they will inevitably run if he falls. Still, if enheartened greatly by their overlord these men will hold the line well enough, fighting as an unarmored mainstay with spears and daggers.
Etruscan Archers -
Drawn from local hunters and fighting in their everyday clothes these men are the long range troops available to an Etruscan general. Their training varies greatly; sometimes they are recruited in cities from nearby countryside, thus enjoying organized training, while others they share a similar experience to their unskilled levy counterparts, amassed by a general on his way to a campaign. In any case, these men are extremely mobile troops, deadly against lightly armored or even heavily armored soldiers who are caught unprepared.
Etruscan Hoplites -
The Etruscan Hoplite evolved with the growing Etruscan contact with the Hellenes. As southern armor became increasingly popular in Etruria, the main Etruscan battle line transformed from main dependence on swordsmen and light troop types to match the tactics of their southern, Magna Graecian neighbors. The typical Etruscan hoplite is drawn from the same societal position as its Hellan counterparts: The free, land-owning, middle to well-to-do classes which are not privilaged enough to ride horses or chariots, but can keep their own hoplite armor. These represent the primary troops for the Etruscan army, and are as such, recruited in bulk.
Etruscan Light Cavalry -
The light cavalry consitute the fast, lightly armed and ranged Etruscan cavalry, fighting in a traditional Italian style, riding small horses, and wearing little protection beyond a cloak. Their job is to harass the enemy line and chase loosely formed routing troops, while avoiding melee combat of anykind. The armor of the light cavalry is its speed, and should be used as such; that said, while not heavy cavalry, their talent for breaking apart enemy formations make them an asset.
Etruscan Regular Sworsmen -
The mainstay soldiers of the pre-hoplite era, the regular swordsmen are fast, brave and impetuous enemies, but find weakeness in their outdated old style negau helmets and armor. Still, these men fight with well crafted swords, an expensive commodity in Etruria, and balance their slightly backward tactics with sheer savage fervor.
Etruscan Noble Swordsmen -
Representing another method of noble combat relying on ancient tradition, the Elite Etruscan Swordsmen wear a Negau helmet and an intimidating facemask which invokes their savage ancestry, they are heavily armored with greaves and a metal breast plate. They fight with expensively made swords and small axes, which although capable of piercing armor are utilized less as an effective weapon as a traditional symbol of command. These men are brave and staunch traditionalists, and their high morale attained from the knowledge that they do the will of their ancestors in a time of change make them a worthy command.
Latin Mercenaries -
The Latin tribes, save for the rebelious Romans, are the traditional allies and protectorates of the Etruscans. Represented here as mercenaries, these men are intended to swell the ranks of the hoplite based Etruscan battle line and even that of the pre-hoplite era with their stealthy tactics and Hellenic style armaments of "kopis" swords and metal cuirasses; military developments which, diffused into Latium before they reached Etruria simply due to geographic proximity.
Etruscan Charioteers -
The elite young nobles of Etrucan society are valuable, but not soft; the brave fight in maneuverable medium wooden chariots from which they knock down and slash at enemy foot soldiers. Chariots are not heavily armored in order to retain their speed, but only a foolish commander would ignore the fantastic morale and skill only expensive individual training and aristocratic confidence can bring; talents which have the uncanny ability to dishearten, trample, cut down and rout, even the organized elite of other nations.
Etruscan Family Bodyguards -
The older nobles from across the Etruscan league ride extremely heavy (though slightly impractical) bronze chariots as they defend their general, whose shear weight and momentum can shatter the backbone of the enemy line wholescale. Etruscan generals however ride so heavily because they are not truly intended for battle: the fact that they are generals means that they have earned the right to avoid the danger of the fray, issuing orders through gallopers and runners. This privilage is both fortunate and carefully calculated, since the loyalty of the army is so closely tied to the surival of the nobles constituting the bodyguard and the general himself. The abilities of these handpicked men should not be underestimated merely due to tradition however, as their places are earned as much as inherited, making them the supreme Etruscan reserve.
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