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The Etruscans were an ancient civilization in Etruria, Italy, known for their artistic achievements and building of necropolises. Their language is only partly deciphered and their origins are still debated. They called themselves Rasna and formed a confederation of twelve cities. In the 6th century the Etruscan civilization started to crumble after Roman and Gallic incursions. Rome itself probably originated as a city state that threw off Etruscan domination. As a result, Roman sources often put the Etruscans in a negative light, depicting them as a sexually licentious culture. However, Roman civilization owes a lot to their Etruscan predecessors.