"The Etruscans ruled powerful cities in central Italy before the Romans. They spoke a language unrelated to early Latin or any Indo-European language, so their origins are obscure. At the height of their power in the 7th to 5th century B.C. they dominated the areas of Tuscany and Umbria north of Rome, the city of Rome on the lower Tiber River, and parts of Italy between Rome and Capua, near Naples. Their wealth and power were due to their control of important iron deposits. They were expert metalworkers, sculptors, and builders."
* Barker & Rasmussen 2000 p1
"In their heyday in the seventh and sixth centuries BC, the Etruscans were the major power in Italy and disputed the hegemony of the central and western Mediterranean with the Greeks. Greek culture profoundly affected Etruscan culture, and the Etruscans in turn had a profound effect on the early Republic of Rome as it grew up on their southern boundary."
* Bigelow 1979 p65
"At the height of its power, this loosely bound city-state society stretched from the Alps in the north to the Tiber River in the south. Between 600 B.C. and 400 B.C., it ruled over Rome and established an alliance with Carthage. The Etruscan naval victory over the Phoenicians about 535 B.C. not only enlarged Etruscan territory to include the island of Corsica but it gave them visions of grandeur. Colonies were established in widely separated regions across the Apennines reaching to the Adriatic Sea. Their vision of controlling a large landmass was dimmed when the Gauls destroyed these colonies."