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In history Rome always lived the ambition of conquering the world. Romans’ conviction was based on courage and on an unshakable certainty of their superiority.

And Rome, which inherited the greater part of its culture from the Etruscans, their first governors, developed military power, elaborated laws, articulated a government administration and forged new instruments and techniques.

According to Theophrastus, Etruscans were rich in remedies and always cultivated medicine. Etruscan mirrors worked in bronze showed aphrodisiac feminine devils whose function was to protect women in labor. A round mirror in the Gregorian Museum of Rome portrays an aruspice examining a liver, evidence that Etruscans practiced some magic-medical rites from Assyrian and Babylonian cleric-doctors.

There is evidence that Etruscans practiced surgery and were experts in dentistry: in several Etruscan graves teeth wired together by gold threads were found. That method was handed down to Romans and found in several of their graves.

Besides, Roman history tells that, after expelling Etruscan dominators (around 500 B.C.), Romans founded a Republic that lasted four centuries. Patricians initially controlled the government, but as time went by, common people (plebeians) could elect their own consuls. Three popular assemblies (comitia) expanded gradually until taking the legislative power from patricians. Around the 3rd century B.C. the Senate was the supreme power in Rome.

Roman weapons, nevertheless, conquered the whole Italy, the whole Mediterranean, annexed Greece and Hellenic states, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, and finally, Egypt.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    10 July 2006
  • Date of issue
    Apr 2006
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