List of ancient peoples of Italy

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This is a list of ancient peoples living in Italy before the Roman conquest. Nearly all the names are either scholarly inventions or endonyms assigned by the writers of works in ancient Greek and Latin. The time window necessarily falls into the range of about 750 BC at the foundation of Rome to about 300 BC in the middle Roman Republic. Before the invention of writing, archaeological cultures might be hypothesized to have been associated with historical identities only in relatively isolated and continuous regions. Any further assumptions would be presumptuous by current standards. The ancient peoples of Italy are therefore confined to the Iron Age of Italy.

Non-Indo-European speakers

The following peoples are believed to have spoken languages that were not Indo-European, although most on scanty evidence. Some of them were pre-Indo-Europeans, and some not. For some has been also proposed the definition of Peri-Indo-European.[1]

Ancient Sardinian tribes.

Indo-European speakers

Italo-Celtic tribes


Italy in 400 BC. The Samnitic League at its peak, including also the Frentani tribe on the Adriatic sea as a full member and controlling parts of both coasts of the Italian peninsula.
One reconstruction of the locations of the Elymians, Sicani and Sicels in Sicily, known only from Greek and Roman historical legend.


Further information: Lepontii and Cisalpine Gaul
Peoples of Cisalpine Gaul 391-192 BC.

Ligures (Celtic? Para-Celtic?)

Venetics (Italics? Illyrians?)


Further information: Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia around 280 BC.


Further information: Illyrians

See also