Alternative History
Fifty Years War
Part of Vae victis!

A painting of Etruscan Soldiers at battle
Date 380-330 BC
Location Italian Peninsula
Result Victory for Estruca
  • Estruca gains limited amounts of land in Safinim
  • Etruscan influence spreads across the Italian Peninsula
Etrusca Safineim
Commanders and leaders
lucius I
  • Lausas
  • Lucius II
Gaius I
  • Gaius II
  • Gaius III
36,000 in total 38,000 in total
Casualties and losses
15,000 total
  • 11,000 Soldiers
  • 4000 civilians
17,000 total
  • 10,000 Soldiers
  • 7000 civilians

The Fifty Years War was a long and brutal conflict between the Safeni and the Etruscans. The war started in the summer of 380 BCE, after sustained border conflicts between the two nations. Both nations had undergone rapid expansion, and saw the other nation as a major threat. The Etruscan victory at the end would be minimal, but would still be enough for Etrusca to gain a major advantage over their opponent. This advantage would last centuries, and cause two more wars between the two nations.

The most obvious cause for this war would be rapid militarization on both sides, which is the cause that both sides stated when going to war. Other causes would include alliances on both sides, and the fear that the other side would gain an advantage over them if they waited longer. In short, the war was caused by paranoia, anger and bad relations on each side.


First Battles (380-367)

The first battles were surprisingly brutal and long. Because of this, it would hurt both sides badly, and is arguably what caused the war to be ultimately inconclusive. The Safeni, led at the time by Gaius I, fought the Etruscans near the borders of their countries. Each side had about 20,000 men for these battles, and took amazingly high casualties. The fighting at this time was brutal, but mostly limited to the border. Neither side made many gains, and the battle lines stood steady.

The Battle of Escal is often used as an example of the brutality of this period. Around 1400 Etruscan fought 1600 Safeni. Each side suffered at least 200 fatalities and 500 more casualties. In the end, the Etruscans did force the Safeni to retreat, but they soon took up defensive positions only miles away. Because of this, no gains were made as a result of the battle, and is only one of several similarly pointless battles this period saw. Thus, public support in both nations fell, though both nations attempted to keep going.

The Middle War (365-340)

After a brief period between the end of the first battles period, the fighting resumed, this time, the Etruscans were under the command of Lausas, and the Safinis were led by Gaius II. Both generals proved much more apt than their predecessors, and larger battles followed. During the first battles, none of the battles involved more then than 5000 men total. During the middle war, the battles got much larger, with up to 20,000 total in some cases. despite the advances in combat, and larger battles, the lines still remained almost the same.

However, the larger battles did have the advantage in popular support, as they tended to be more conclusive then what had amounted to skirmishes during the first battle. The Etruscans were able to advance 50 miles into Safinis territory, before being shut down by a larger army. The series of battles did, however, represent a turning point, with more territorial gains and losses, and soon after the Safanis similarly fought deep into Etruscan territory before being forced out.

The Final Campaign (340-330)

The final campaign was the last attempt by the Etruscans to gain at least some land. It was a massive attack of 7600 Etruscan soldiers launched down the Italian coast, with the goal of taking what was formerly Roman land. The campaign initially started to great success, and the Etruscans were able to consistently win battles and defeat the Safinis. However, as the war dragged on, the Etruscans slowed down, with more and more attacks.

The pivotal battle was the battle of Rome, which was a very close one. With the Safafis on defense, the Etruscans attacked, but at first failed. The casualties were high on both sides. Eventually, the Etruscans won but their army was defeated. This managed to stop the final campaign, with only minimal Etruscan gains. The Safinis retreated but with a decimated Etruscan army at their backs, they were confident they were safe. The campaign was a success for the Etruscans but a very bloody one.


The most obvious effect of the war was total Etruscan dominance over the Italian peninsula for several centuries, and the weakening of Safinim. This would drastically change the power dynamic between the two, and would allow Etrusca to influence the breakup the Alexander the Great's empire, while Safinim could barely stay together. Although the two sides would clash in various incarnations for almost a thousand years, Etrusca would never lose a war to their southern neighbors, and would ultimately assert dominance over the Italian peninsula.