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Stereotypes: the Italians are the direct descendants of the ancient Romans

One of the stereotypes that is most common among foreign students of the Italian language is that the Italians are direct descendants of the ancient Romans. We have to correct this rumour, because the Italians are actually a product of centuries of invasions and mixtures of different peoples, it is like a melting pot of the Mediteranean. To simplify and synthesize these are the most important peoples (or the dominations)  in “making” Italians:

etruscans• The Etruscans, in the centre of Italy (northern Tuscany and Lazio), from the 8th century BC to the 1st century BC.

greeks
• The ancient Greeks, in the middle of Italy and Sicily, from the 8th century BC to 290/280 BC).

romans
• The Romans, that dominated all of Italy from the 1st century BC until the Occidental empire fell.

attila
• Various Barbarian peoples, from the 4th to the 6th century AC.

longobards
• The Longobards, prevailed in the north of Italy and in Ravenna during late medieval (6th-7th century AD).

arabs
• The Arabs, in Sicily (from 827 until the fall of Noto in 1091).

carlomagno
• The Franks, in central and northern Italy (8th – 9th century AD). Their most important emperor, Charlemagne, created the Sacred Roman Empire.

normans
• The Normans, from the year 1000 to 1194 in Sicily and central Italy.

swabian
• The Swabians (from Germany) in the 12th century and then the Angevins (from France), in Sicily and central Italy.

viceré
• From the second half of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century the domination was Spanish, direct or indirect, basically in all of Italy.

austrian empire
• In 18th and 19th century, the domination was Austrian, direct or indirect, in most of northern Italy.

napoleon
Napoleon‘s domination in basically all of Italy from 1796 to 1814.

Post translated by Maya and Dinorah. The version in Italian is here.

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