The Etruscans formed the most powerful nation in pre-Roman Italy. They created the first great civilization on the peninsula, whose influence on the Romans as well as on 20th-century culture is increasingly recognized. Evidence suggests that it was the Etruscans who taught the Romans the alphabet and numerals, along with many elements of architecture, art, religion, and dress. The toga was an Etruscan invention, and the Etruscan-style Doric column (rather than the Greek version) became a mainstay of architecture of both the Renaissance and the later Classical revival. Etruscan influence on the ancient theatre survives in their word for "masked man," phersu, which became persona in Latin and person in English.
(Concise Britannica Online.)