The Latins

"Go," he said, "and tell the Romans that by heaven's will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms." -Livy, History I, xvi

It was in Latium that an Indo-European group, the Latins, (ancestors of the Romans) migrated and settled near the Tiber River. Their first city, called Alba Longa, was built about 1000 BC. Their most important city, Rome, was founded in 753 BC by Romulus. (see Language Map)

The Seven Hills

They settled in an area known as the seven hills. Palentine Hill was one of the first places where villages were built. (see Latium and Geography)

The Earliest Settlements in Italy

Archaeologists have found remains of human settlements evidences of peoples in Italy long before the Roman or Greek civilizations began. The earliest cultures date back to over 3000 BC who lived in villages and farms. Latin tribes from the south and the Sabines in the north settled here in small circular villages on the hilltops around the eighth century BC.. (see Invaders from the North)

During the time period of 2000 -1000 BC there was a wave of Indo-European immigrants who had engulfed the area. These peoples included the Umbrians in the north, Oscans in the south, and the Latins in between them in the central plain called Latium (Lay-see-uhm). The most mysterious of these peoples were known as the Etruscans. (see Etruscan, Phoenician, and Greek Influences)