The Venetian History Rewrited
1. The Ancient Times
Vèneto takes his name from the population that occupied this territory roughly 1000 b.C., and that came, it appears, from Central Asia together with other indoeuropean populations. The etimology of the word means "noble" or also "shining," being an honorary name rather than an etnic description. In fact there are quite a few places in Europe were this root-name is found, in particular France, Austria, Brittany, Wales, the Baltics and some Slavic areas.
The first time the etnic name "venet" is found is on a stone in Isola Vicentina, on which it can be read "Venetkens (venet kin, race)" and dates around the 4th century b.C. There is also a myth which traces the origin of Rome to the town Venetulan, of which however, nothing else is known. It's however probable that the root of the Venet name does not indicates a unique population, but a honorary title used in several populations of indoeuropean language.
Without doubt, any name they used to be called, they were not the first population to live in what is currently Veneto, and they shared the territory in patches as it is often the case in ancient times. Without doubt theer were pre-indoeuropean populations already present, as teh Euganei, in honor of whom the hills by Padua are now called. Also, teh name of the town Abano appears to be of pre-indoeuropean etimology.
There is also a mythical story on the origins of the Venets, which according to ancient accounts, they came from Paflagonia, a region located in today's northern Turkey on the Black Sea. Homer talks about the Venets, and so do the Greeks using the name "Henetoi". Roman historians claim that their leader was Antenore, originary of Troy. It is possible, however, that this tradition was made up to celebrate the friendship between Venets and Romans.
There were close relations between the Venets and teh Greek world: in fact, for sure the Greeks traded abundantly with populations of the Adriatic coast, and in particular the main commercial hub was the port of Adria. There is also a tradition of an incursion lead by king Cleonimo which was fought back by the Venets, and the myth of the Argonauts mentions the Venet area as well. The Venets were since then a maritime population and they were reknown for their navigational skills, a characteristic that perhaps draws a link between the Venets of the Adriatic to the Celtic population in Brittany (who defeated by Caesar had to disclose the routes to the British Isles). If there was a relationship between the Venets of the Adriatic and those of Brittany, it is possible that some roots of the ancient venetic language are present in the Breton spoken in the area of Vannetais (the ancient stronghold of the celtic venets) where the Breton there has some differences with the rest of the region.
Regarding religion of the Venets in the Adriatic it is documented that they worshiped the goddess Reitia, who is represented with an egg and with a a key on her hand. Her name, according to Prosdocimi, has the same roots as the Spartan Goddess Ortia, which is similar also for the type of worship (donations of bronze tools). It is possible that the worship of Reitia has then been transformed in that of Juno. There is an account by Tito Livio (ancient historian of Veneto) that there was a temple dediacted to Juno in Padua of the 4th century b.C. (from which the apparent link betwwen Juno and Reitia). The worship of Reitia was also found in Cadore under the name Ludera (meaning free), and it was also linked to otehr two feminine divinities (Pora and Veica). The greek hero Diomede was also worshiped as the mythical founder of teh city of Adria, from which the Adriatic sea took its name. In honor of Diomede white horses were sacrificed at the mouth of the river Timavo.
Horses were another identifying sign of ancient Venets, since they were reknown throughout the ancient world for their horse-breeding. Horses were also considered among some indoeuropean populations as a link with life afterdeath.
Findings in sacred grounds include also letters divided in sixteen squares (sacred number also for the Etrurians, being the product of four by four). It is also posible that these tables were used to teach or for ritual purposes. The alphabet used was of etrurian origins with bustrofic scripts (meaning that the letters went from right to left and then from left to right on the next line). In fact the archeological findings are quite numerous. They are tables, coins, and inscriptions (usually very short that do not consent to learn more about the venetic language.
It is possible instead to say that ancient Venets traded metals and in particular gold. Many archeological findings areare still happening nowadays, especially in the cities of paleo-venet origins like Este, Pàdua, Odèrzo, Adria, Vicénza, Verona, Altìno, but also Carìnzia, on the "amber road", a mineral coming from the baltic area. Since the Romans and the Venets were in good relations (except perhaps few marginal episodes) Venet integration in Roman society was gradual and easy. THe historian Tito Livio and the architect Vitruvio were Venets, and the latter in particular had a influencial impact on architecture. According to some recent thesis, the centurization (the method of dividing arable land) was invented by the Venets, and perhaps it was the outcome of ancient methods based on the measurement of places and land based on celestial reference points. According to a recent book "Italian Archeoastronomy" by Romano a great number of geographical places in Veneto support this thesis, and advances the theory that centurization was actually invented by the venets and then adopted by the Romans
Finally, a bit of religious tradition of the ancient venets has remained today in the local folklore of the Pallidi Mounts in the Dolomites, as recounted by the German F. Wolff.
(Bibliography from site www.veneto.org)