Some key events in the history of Italy include the settling of the area by the Etruscans in 800 B.C., the rise of Rome in 500 B.C., the rule of Julius Caesar between 60 and 44 B.C. and the emperors of Rome that lasted until 476 A.D. After the Roman Empire fell, a number of groups invaded Italy, ranging from the Byzantine Empire to the Lombards, Franks and Normans.
The beginning of Italian civilization began with the Etruscan civilization in 800 B.C., the ancestors of the ancient Romans. This was followed by the establishment of Rome in 753 B.C. and the Roman Republic in 509 B.C. The Roman Republic usurped Etruscan power and took over one of its main cities in 391.
From 343 to 200 B.C., the Roman Republic participated in a number of wars against native Italians from the First and Second Samnite Wars to the Latin War, Tarentum War and Celtic Wars. Both Hannibal and Spartacus led revolts against Rome and lost. Julius Caesar went from a military general to a dictator in 49 B.C., but was assassinated five years later. Caesar's nephew, Octavian, took over upon his uncle's death and became the first emperor of Rome.
The Roman Empire was sacked by the Goths in A.D. 410 . A number of groups took over Italy in the aftermath, including the Byzantine Empire in 562, the Lombards in 568, Charlemagne in 773, the Germans in 961 and the Normans in 1017.
The Italian Renaissance commenced in about 1300 A.D., lasting for 300 years. More conflicts beset the region throughout the 1600 and 1700s ending with Napoleon's conquest from 1796 to 1814. Italy didn't become a republic again until 1946.