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Old Persian language  

Benjamin Fortson

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
Old Persian was the Iranian language spoken by the ruling class of the Achaemenid Empire, probably reflecting the Southwest Iranian dialect of Persis (see Persia). It is preserved in documents in a ... More

Oscan language  

Benjamin Fortson

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
Subject:
Linguistics
The Sabellic language (see Sabelli) spoken in central and southern Italy, attested in several hundred inscriptions from the 6th centurybce through the mid-1st centuryce. Specific varieties (e.g., ... More

Persian, Old  

Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Josef Wiesehöfer

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Old Persian (abbr. OP), an *Indo-European language of western Iran (first millennium bce). The identification of an administrative document written in OP among the texts in the Persepolis ... More

Phrygian language  

Michel Lejeune

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
Phrygian is known mainly from inscriptions, both at an early (Old Phrygian) and at a later (New Phrygian) stage. At some time in the 8th cent. bce, the Phrygians devised an alphabet adapted from ... More

pre-alphabetic scripts, Greek  

John Chadwick and Anna Morpurgo Davies

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
Writing in the Aegean area appears to be a native growth, although no doubt inspired by earlier scripts used in Anatolia and Egypt. Apart from an isolated case, it seems that all pre-alphabetic ... More

pre-Greek languages  

John Chadwick

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
The Greek language is known to have been well established in mainland Greece and *Crete by the 13th cent. bce. But the presence of an earlier language in this area can be inferred from the classical ... More

pronunciation, Greek  

Anna Morpurgo Davies

Online publication date:
Jul 2015
Subject:
Linguistics
The main features of the pronunciation of ancient Greek may be established through the study of contemporary documents, literary texts, spelling mistakes, puns, grammarians' statements, etc. (see ... More

pronunciation, Latin  

W. Sidney Allen and Jonathan G. F. Powell

Online publication date:
Jul 2015
Subject:
Linguistics
Our knowledge of the pronunciation of classical Latin is derived from a variety of sources. Most direct are the specific statements of Latin grammarians and other authors (though allowance ... More

Punic language  

Benjamin Fortson

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
Subject:
Linguistics
The Punic language was the variety of the Northwest Semitic language Phoenician spoken in Carthage and its colonies in the western Mediterranean basin (see Phoenicians). Remains of the language have ... More

Raetic language  

John Penney

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
The name is a conventional label applied to the language of some 220 very short inscriptions from the Alpine region to the north of Verona. These date from the 5th to 1st centuries bce and are ... More

register  

Patricia Watson

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
Register (esp. Latin), the level of language, especially with respect to vocabulary, appropriate to a particular *genre. Studies have concentrated on poetic rather than prose texts, though there are ... More

Sabelli  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Sabelli is not synonymous with *Sabini. It is the Roman name for speakers of *Oscan. They called themselves Safineis and their chief official *meddix. They expanded from their original ... More

Sabellic languages  

John Penney

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
Sabellic (or Sabellian) is the name given to a group of languages in ancient Italy, including Oscan and Umbrian, that belongs to the Italic branch of Indo-European (see italy, languages of for the ... More

Semitic  

J. F. Healey

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Semitic, a term derived from the Old Testament personal name Shem, refers to a middle eastern language group (used linguistically by A. L. Schlözer in 1781, though J. G. Eichhorn claimed priority). ... More

Sicel (or Siculian) language  

Benjamin Fortson

Online publication date:
Nov 2017
Subject:
Linguistics
Sicel was the language of the Siculi, spoken in eastern Sicily and preserved in a few inscriptions in the Greek alphabet (see alphabet, Greek) and in a handful of glosses noted by ancient ... More

South Picene language  

Benjamin Fortson

Online publication date:
Dec 2017
Subject:
Linguistics
South Picene was the Sabellic language spoken in east-central coastal Italy by a people who called themselves Safinús (Sabines, see Sabini). Examples of the language are found on about two dozen ... More

Spain, pre-Roman scripts and languages  

Jürgen Untermann

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
There are two scripts, narrowly delimited in time and place, that were taken over directly from outside the peninsula: a variant of the Libyan alphabet appears on coins in southern Andalucia; an ... More

Sumerian  

Stephanie Dalley

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Sumerian is the earliest known language of ancient *Mesopotamia, written on clay and stone in *cuneiform script. Unrelated to other known languages, it is agglutinative and ergative. ... More

tabulae Iguvinae  

Michael Weiss

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Linguistics
At Gubbio (Iguvium; see umbrians) were discovered, in 1444, seven bronze tablets of varying sizes (the largest measure 86 x 56.5 cm, or 33 x 22 inches, the smallest 40 x 28 cm or 16 x 12 inches), ... More

Terentius Varro, Marcus  

Robert A. Kaster

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Varro (according to Petrarch) was “the third great light of Rome”—after Vergil and Cicero—and certainly Rome's greatest scholar. Though the great bulk of his work survives only in ... More

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