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Over 2,800 years ago, what would later become Rome was a small group of huts huddled next to the Tiber River. This village was surrounded by more powerful and sophisticated communities that already had developed amazing artistic cultures. First, there was Greater Greece which included Southern Italy and where Greeks were creating the best version of their civilization as they tested Plato's political and social theories. Then there were the Etruscans in the North who contributed a writing system and basics of craftsmanship and art. As the Roman village grew into a great empire, this melting pot of ideas spread to an area reaching from modern Istanbul to London. Through photos, literature, and cultural artifacts, we will discover how these peoples interacted and gave birth to a unique culture that shaped the very idea of Western art.