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Article

Edward Togo Salmon and D. W. R. Ridgway

Telamon (2), modern Talamone on the coast of Etruria (midway between Rome and Pisa; see pisae), was already inhabited in *Etruscan times. Here the Romans annihilated the *Celts of Cisalpine Gaul (see gaul (cisalpine)) in 225 bce (Polyb. 2.27–31). Here too C. *Marius(1) landed in 87 bce (Plut.

Article

Jean Turfa

The study of the inscriptions written in the Etruscan language and alphabet, usually texts incised on stone, pottery, or metal objects, or occasionally on more fragile media such as ink-on-cloth. Dipinti (painted inscriptions) appear on vases and frescoes, especially from tombs at Tarquinia, Chiusi, and Vulci. The unique characteristics of the non-Indo-European Etruscan language and its seminal place in transmission of the “Roman” alphabet and numerals make it impractical to divorce linguistic, historical, and social considerations from the study of Etruscan epigraphy. The gradual replacement of Etruscan with Latin characters and language may serve as an index of the political and social domination of the Roman state.The alphabet reached Etruria during the 8th centurybce; the earliest exemplar is a set of rocchetti (spools/tablet-weaving weights) incised with the letter A, in a woman’s burial at Veii, implying the involvement of women weavers in its dissemination.1 Early examples (7th-century, especially abecedaria or sample alphabets) retain letter forms developed in western Greek colonies such as Pithekoussai, including letters not used in the pronunciation of Etruscan.

Article

Rex E. Wallace

The Lemnian language was spoken by the inhabitants of Lemnos, an island in the northern Aegean, in the period before Attic Greek colonization. Lemnian is preserved on sixteen inscriptions dating to the second half of the 6th centurybce. Most inscriptions are single words incised or painted on ceramic vessels.1 Inscriptions on stone monuments provide the bulk of the evidence for the language.

Lemnian inscriptions were written in an alphabet that had its roots in Phrygia, but several letters—theta, phi, and khi—were borrowed from Greek. Other accommodations were made in order to represent more faithfully the Lemnian sound system. The letters for voiced stops and for the vowel ypsilon were eliminated. Words in inscriptions were separated by punctuation in the form of a colon or a tri-colon ⋮. The direction of writing was typically left to right, but lines in longer inscriptions were frequently written in boustrophedon style.

Article

John Penney

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 written in an alphabet of Etruscan origin on bronze objects, antlers, or ceramics. The texts are not completely understood, but from certain similarities in vocabulary, and especially in the formation and declension of personal names, it has been shown that the language is related to Etruscan.

Article

Parma  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Parma, on the *via Aemilia, south of the Po (*Padus), in Cisalpine Gaul (see gaul (cisalpine)). First settled in the late bronze age, it was developed by the *Etruscans and Gauls. From 183 bce a Roman colony, it was sacked by Mark Antony (M.

Article

Rex E. Wallace

This article describes the current state of our knowledge of the Etruscan language. The presentation covers language relationships, approaches to interpretation, alphabet and phonology, morphology and syntax, and the lexicon. Illustrative examples of Etruscan inscriptions complement the linguistic description.Contemporary views about the Etruscan language vary dramatically. Some scholars regard the language as obscure and mysterious; others believe the longest and most complicated texts can be translated. The truth lies somewhere between these extremes. Our knowledge of the structure of the language is much richer than it was fifty years ago, but large gaps remain in our understanding of the grammar, lexicon, and texts—larger than is the case with other languages of comparable attestation.Access to Etruscan is made more difficult by its genetic isolation, which was already recognized by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Ant. Rom. 1.30.2). The only languages that have so far been shown to be related to Etruscan—that is, to be descended from a common source (referred to now as Proto-Tyrrhenian)—are (a) .

Article

John Penney

There is no evidence for any form of writing in Italy before the arrival of Greek colonists in the 8th century bce. The Euboean alphabet brought by settlers at Pithecusae (mod. Ischia) and Cumae was borrowed by the Etruscans, who acted as intermediaries for the spread of writing throughout much of the peninsula. Only in southern regions adjacent to other Greek settlements was the Greek alphabet again borrowed directly, as in Lucania (for writing Oscan see Sabellic languages) and the Sallentine peninsula (with some modifications, for writing Messapian). Greek cities, of course, continued to write in the Greek alphabet throughout antiquity.An alphabet learnt as such (the theoretical alphabet) may contain more letters than are used in practice. So a number of 7th-century Etruscan abecedaria (written-out alphabets) adhere to the Greek model and include letters such as b, d, or o that are not found in texts: abcdevzhθiklmnsopśqrstuṡφχ.