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Are modern Italians truly derived from the ancient Romans and Italians given how successful the latter were in warfare compared to recent Italians.
I've not noticed any 1000 year English, German, Russian or American empire around recently. I dont think running around like headless chickens and dying more rather than kicking back and surrendering counts for much.
This is one of those tired online debates. The Romans lived in a very small part of Italy and conquered everyone else in the boot. So are most modern Italians directly descended from Romans? No. They were conquered by the Romans and incorporated into their developing empire just as Gaul, Iberia, etc. had been.
I'm not sure about it but I think the original Romans were most likely Latins.
This is what I get from Wikipedia:
Latinus was worshiped on Mons Albanus (Monte Albano) during an annual festival that was attended by all Latins, including those from Rome, one of the Latin states. The Latin cities extended common rights of residence and trade to one another. Rome's territorial ambitions united the rest of the Latins against it in 341 BC, but the final victory was on Rome's side in 338 BC