Digital History of Early Italy
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Since antiquity, a number of ancient peoples had lived in the Italian Peninsula. Alongside the ancient Italian tribes were Greek, Carthaginian, and Phoenician colonies. Rome began as a kingdom in 753 BCE. The monarchy was overthrown in favor of a government of the people and the Senate, and that made Rome a republic in 509 BCE. The Republic unified Italy at the expense of the indigenous Etruscans, and overcame the foreign colonies that had flourished in the south of the peninsula. Rome would go on to lead a federation of the Italic peoples that grew into the greatest and most enduring empire in history.