By 500 BC, Greek and Phoenician settlers had colonized the entire Mediterranean, from Iberia in the west, to the Black Sea in the East. Colonists came to the new shores for a number of reasons, to exploit new land and resources, to trade with local groups, and to escape political and military oppression at home.
Meanwhile in the East, the Achaemenid Empire of Persia was at its greatest extent. They had conquered the Phoenician homeland in modern day Lebanon, this lead to the emergence of the Phoenician colony of Carthage in North Africa as the leader of the new autonomous Phoenician world in the Western Mediterranean.
In the Italian Peninsula, the Etruscan civilization is at its height. The Etruscans controlled an large area of North-Central Italy. But a small town at the southern tip of Etruscan control has just rebelled and established a Republic, that town is Rome.

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