Italy

The modern country of Italy corresponds more or less to what was referred to in ancient times as Italia, also referred to by modern commentators as the Italic peninsula. In the north, the region was inhabited by Celts, Ligurians, and other assorted peoples. Etruscans lived in what is today Tuscany.

Actual Italic-speaking peoples lived in Umbria, Marche, Latium, and other regions in the central and southern parts of the peninsula. The Greeks founded important cities in Southern Italy and Sicily from the eighth century BC onwards. The Greek presence became so influential that the Romans would later refer to that area as Magna Graecia or “Great Greece”. In addition, the Carthaginians also founded cities in the western parts of Sicily.

Rome was originally one of many city-states on the Italic peninsula. It managed to slowly seize control of the entire region, subjugating the Etruscans, the other Italic peoples, the Greeks, the Sicilians, and the peoples living in the Po Valley and other territories on the Italic side of the Alps. Rome would slowly engulf the entire Mediterranean and become the largest empire the world had thus far seen.

Boccaccio and the Golden Ass

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Boccaccio and the Golden Ass

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Stories from antiquity have inspired later writers for many hundreds of years. For one of the hundred tales in the Decameron, Boccaccio looked to the ancient novelist Apuleius for inspiration.

Networks in the ancient Mediterranean

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Networks in the ancient Mediterranean

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Special guest Lieve Donnellan joins the regular team to talk about networks in the ancient Mediteranean, with special reference to Cyprian Broodbanks’ book, The Making of the Middle Sea.

Top reads of 2018

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Top reads of 2018

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Happy New Year from all of us here at Ancient World Magazine. Here’s a look back at the most popular articles of the past year.