Etrurians  (ē-tru ´ri-anz ), or Etruscans  (ē-trus ´-kanz ).—The ancient inhabitants of Etruria, the modern Tuscany. The Etrurians are the most mysterious people of antiquity. According to ancient tradition, they came from Lydia in prehistoric times, and colonized Latium. Certain details of their costumes and customs appear to be identical with those of Lydia, and the legend is probably based upon fact.

The Etruscans were proverbially a religious people. Their tombs bear witness to a belief in a future life, and a dread of the malignant power of their deities.