The prosperous northern region of modern Italy, comprising the Po (*Padus) plain and its mountain fringes from the Apennines to the Alps, was known to the Romans as Cisalpine Gaul. In the middle republic it was not even considered part of Italy, which extended only to the foothills of the Apennines along a line roughly from Pisa (see
The background to this situation is difficult to reconstruct in detail. Archaeological evidence broadly confirms literary reports of *Etruscan settlement in Emilia-Romagna during the 6th cent.
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