and the Central Regions
The regions of Emilia, Tuscany, Latium, Corsica and
part of Campania were inhabited since prehistoric times by the Etruscan, a people of
which there are no clear historical accounts of their provenience, their evolution or their mysterious language.
The Etruscans had a religious respect for the dead and the occult. There was a prophecy that the Etruscan people
were going to fade away and when in the fifth century BC the Etruscan civilization began to decline it was
interpreted as a fulfillment of the prophecy which made the defeats suffered by the Romans accepted with
passiveness and stoicism.
The Roman kingdom was founded by the
Etruscans. They developed and transformed the farmland of the Seven Hills of Rome into an important city, ruled by Etruscans.
The kings of Rome who had been trying to
disassociate from the Etruscans were in continuous belligerencies with them and in the year 510 BC, in alliance
with the Greeks from Syracuse defeated the Etruscans at Veius, (Veio in Italian) a rich and prosperous Etruscan
town 10 miles North-West of Rome.
The Etruscan were driven out of the region
of Latium and in time the Romans conquered most of the Etruscan cities in spite of an attempt by the Etruscan in
the forth century BC, to defend their independence, when they allied with the Samnites and other inhabitants of
the peninsula to be defeated again.
Years later with a peace treaty, the
Romans took over completely as far North as the Po’ river.
The Etruscans disappeared as a political entity: their civilization and their culture were absorbed and it
became patrimony of Rome.
In the field of cooking, the legacy left
by the Etruscan survives to our current days and has been inherited in the cooking of the Emilians, the Tuscans,
the Romans, the Corsicans and it pervades in French cooking.
The mush made with grain fed the Etruscan
and the italic population for centuries. In Tuscany and Corsica the
grain was at times replaced with the abundant chestnuts and when the corn arrived from America, the
mush evolved into polenta. The ways to make cured meats by the
Etruscans, with some improvements, are used to the present and many famous dishes are passed on today in the
Emilian, Tuscan and Latial cuisine.