Information about Etruscan language
|Spoken in:||Ancient Etruria|
|Language extinction:||1st century CE|
History of Etruscan literacyMediterranean shores, as can be seen by about 13,000 inscriptions (dedications, epitaphs etc), most fairly short, but some of some length. They date from about 700 BC.
The Etruscans had a rich literature, as noted by Latin authors. Unfortunately only one book (now unreadable) has survived, although there is always some possibility that more will turn up. By AD 100, Etruscan had been replaced by Latin.
Only a few educated Romans with antiquarian interests, such as Varro, could read Etruscan. The last person known to have been able to read it was the Roman emperor Claudius (10 BC – AD 54), who — in the context of his work in twenty books about the Etruscans, Tyrrenikà (now lost) — compiled a dictionary (also lost) by interviewing the last few elderly rustics who still spoke the language. Urgulanilla, his first wife, was Etruscan.
Livy and Cicero were both aware that highly specialized Etruscan religious rites were codified in several sets of books written in Etruscan under the generic Latin title Etrusca Disciplina. The Libri Haruspicini dealt with divination from the entrails of the sacrificed animal, the Libri Fulgurales expounded the art of divination by observing lightning. A third set, the Libri Rituales, would have provided us with the key to Etruscan civilization: its wider scope embraced Etruscan standards of social and political life as well as ritual practices. According to the 4th century Latin writer Servius, a fourth set of Etruscan books existed, dealing with animal gods, but it is probably unlikely that any contemporary scholar could have read Etruscan at such a late date. Christian authorities collected such works of paganism and burnt them during the 5th century; the single surviving Etruscan book, Liber Linteus, being written on linen, survived only by being used as mummy wrappings.
Etruscan had some influence over Latin. A few dozen words were borrowed by the Romans and some of them can be found in modern languages.
Geographic distributionInscriptions have been found in north-west and west-central Italy, in the region that even now bears the name of the Etruscans, Tuscany (from Latin tuscī "Etruscans"), as well as in today's Latium north of Rome, in today's Umbria west of the Tiber, around Capua in Campania and in the Po valley to the north of Etruria. Presumably this range is a maximum Italian homeland where the language was at one time spoken.
Outside of Italy inscriptions have been found in Africa, Corsica, Elba, Gallia Narbonensis, Greece, the Balkans and the Black Sea. By far the greatest concentration is in Italy.
A Etruscan inscription found on Lemnos in 1886, which is in an alphabet practically identical.
ClassificationThe majority consensus is that Etruscan is related only to other members of what is called the Tyrsenian language family which in itself is an isolate family, that is, unrelated to other language groups by any known relationship. Since Rix (1998) it is widely accepted that Tyrsenian is composed of Rhaetic and Lemnian together with Etruscan.
In the 1st century BC the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus stated that the Etruscan language was unlike any other. He agrees with the prevalent modern view that Etruscan, or more recently Tyrsenian, is an isolate. Bonfante, a leading scholar in the field, says "... it resembles no other language in Europe or elsewhere ...."
Speculative relationshipsThe Etruscan language has been difficult to analyze, which is attributable to its being an isolate. The phonology is known through the alternation of Greek and Etruscan letters in some inscriptions (for example, the Iguvine Tables), and many individual words are known through loans into or from Greek and Latin, as well as explanations of Etruscan words by ancient authors. A few concepts of word formation have been formulated (see below). Knowledge of the language is incomplete.
Speculators nevertheless continue to compare known languages to Etruscan searching for a pattern match. Speculative decipherments utilize partial pattern matches. The key follows the formula: "Etruscan is really a form of X" where X is the known language or language group. None of these have found general academic credibility.
Semitic hypothesisThe interest in Etruscan antiquities and the mysterious Etruscan language found its modern origin in a book by a Dominican monk, Annio da Viterbo, called "il Pastura", the cabalist and orientalist who guided Pinturicchio's allegorical frescoes for Pope Alexander VI's Vatican apartments. In 1498 Annio published his antiquarian miscellany titled Antiquitatum variarum (in 17 volumes) where he put together a fantastic theory in which both the Hebrew and Etruscan languages were said to originate from a single source, the "Aramaic" spoken by Noah and his descendants, founders of Etruscan Viterbo. Annio also started to excavate Etruscan tombs, unearthing sarcophagi and inscriptions, and made a bold attempt at deciphering the Etruscan language.
Hungarian hypothesisA recent (2003) study by linguist Mario Alinei has proposed the idea that Etruscan may have been an archaic form of Hungarian. Alinei's theory is based on similarities between certain words (magistrature names), agglutination, vowel harmony, construction of personal pronouns when used together with prepositions, etc. This theory has not been widely accepted in academic circles, and it has been rejected by practically all specialists of Uralic comparative linguistics. Critics accuse Alinei's work of being the product of mass comparison, a methodology that is not accepted by comparative linguists.
Indo-European hypothesisIn 1861 Robert Ellis proposed that Etruscan was related to Armenian, a view that is now untenable. Some modern scholars assert that the Tyrsenian family is distantly related to the Indo-European family. Proponents of this hypothesis put together similarities of phonetics, vocabulary and syntax that they see.
LuvianFrederik Woudhuizen has developed a theory that the Tyrsenians came from Anatolia, including Lydia, when they were driven out by the Cimmerians in the early Iron Age, 750-675 BC, leaving some colonists on Lemnos. He makes a number of comparisons of Etruscan to Luvian and asserts that Etruscan is modified Luvian. He accounts for the non-Luvian features as a Mysian influence: "deviations from Luwian ... may plausibly be ascribed to the dialect of the indigenous population of Mysia." According to Woudhuizen, the Etruscans were colonizing the Latins and the Villanovan and all preceding cultures were Indo-European. The Etruscans brought the alphabet from Anatolia. Dionysius of Halicarnassus was right for his time, but the Iron Age inhabitants of Lydia were Luvian.
Writing systemEtruscan words have been successfully explained from the resources of the Armenian, the Albanian, and the Rhaeto-Romansch languages. 
AlphabetThe Latin alphabet that is used in English owes its existence to the Etruscan writing system, which was adapted for Latin in the form of the Old Italic alphabet. The Etruscan alphabet employs a Euboean variant of the Greek alphabet using the letter digamma and was in all probability transmitted through Pithecusae and Cumae, two Euboean settlements in southern Italy. This system is ultimately derived from West Semitic scripts.
The Etruscans recognized a full 26-letter alphabet, which they depicted as itself for decoration on some objects such as an occasional ink-jar; for example, the "rooster ink-stand." This has been termed the model alphabet. They did not use four letters of it, mainly because Etruscan had no voiced stops, b, d and g, and also no o. They innovated one letter for f.
TextWriting was from right to left except in archaic inscriptions, which might use boustrophedon. A local variant at Cerveteri used left to right. In the earliest inscriptions the words are continuous; from the 6th century they are separated by a dot or a colon, which might also separate syllables. Writing was phonetic; the letters represented the sounds and not conventional spellings. On the other hand, many inscriptions are highly abbreviated and often casually formed, so that the identification of many individual letters is in doubt among specialists. Spelling might vary from city to city, probably reflecting differences of pronunciation.
Impossible consonantsSpeech featured a heavy stress on the first syllable of a word, causing syncopation by weakening of the remaining vowels, which then were not represented in writing: Alcsntre for Alexandros, Rasna for Rasena. This speech habit is one explanation of the Etruscan "impossible consonant clusters." The resonants however may have been syllabic, accounting for some of the clusters (see below under Consonants). In other cases the scribe sometimes inserted a vowel: Greek Herakles became Hercle by syncopation and then was expanded to Herecele. Pallottino regarded this variation in vowels as "instability in the quality of vowels" and accounted for the second phase (e.g., Herecele) as "vowel harmony, i.e., of the assimilation of vowels in neighboring syllables ...."
PhasesThe writing system had two historical phases: the archaic, 7th to 5th century BC, which used the early Greek alphabet, and the later, 4th to 1st century BC, which modified some of the letters. In the later period syncopation increased.
The alphabet went on in modified form after the language disappeared. In addition to being the source of the Roman alphabet, it has been suggested that it passed northward into Venetic and from there through Raetia into the Germanic lands, where it became the Futhark, a system of runes.
BilingualsThe Pyrgi Tablets are a bilingual text in Etruscan and Phoenician engraved on three gold leaves, one for the Phoenician and two for the Etruscan. The Etruscan is in 16 lines, 37 words. The date is roughly 500 BC.
Longer textsAccording to Rix and his collaborators only two unified (though fragmentary) texts are available in Etruscan:
- The Liber Linteus used for mummy wrappings (now at Zagreb, Croatia). Roughly 1200 words of readable text, mainly repetitious prayers yielding about 50 lexical items.
- The Tabula Capuana (the inscribed tile from Capua). About 300 readable words in 62 lines, dating to the 5th century BC.
- The lead foils of Punta della Vipera, about 40 legible words having to do with ritual fomulae. Dated to about 500 BC.
- The Cippus Perusinus, a stone slab (cippus) found at Perugia. Contains 46 lines, 130 words.
- The Tabula Cortonensis, a bronze tablet from Cortona recording a legal contract. About 200 words.
- The Piacenza Liver, a bronze model of a sheep's liver representing the sky, with the engraved names of the gods ruling different sections.
Inscriptions on monumentsEtruscan civilization is or was its tombs. Public and private buildings were dismantled and the stone reused centuries ago. The tombs remain as they were except for the ravages of time and the activities of plunderers. More tombs continue to be found regularly.
The tombs are the main source of portables in collections throughout the world, provenience unknown. The Etruscans lived well and valued art. Their objets d'art are of incalculable value, causing a brisk black market and equally brisk law enforcement effort. It is against the law to remove objects from Etruscan tombs unless authorized by the Italian government.
The total number of tombs is unknown due to the magnitide of the task of cataloging them. They are of many different types. Especially fruitful are the hypogeal or "underground" chamber or system of chambers cut into tufa and covered by a tumulus. The interior of the tomb represents a habitation of the living stocked with furniture and favorite objects. The walls may display painted murals, the predecessor of wallpaper. Tombs are identified as Etruscan dating form the Villanovan period to about 100 BC, when presumably the cemeteries were abandoned in favor of Roman ones. Some of the major cemeteries are as follows:
- Caere or Cerveteri, a UNESCO site. Three complete necropolises with streets and squares. Many hypogea are concealed beneath tumuli retained by walls; others are cut into cliffs. The Banditaccia necropolis contains more than 1000 tumuli. Access is through a door.
- Tarquinia, Tarquinii or Corneto, a UNESCO site. Approximately 6000 graves dating from the Villanovan (9th & 8th centuries BC) distributed in necropolises, the main one being the Monterozzi hypogea of the 6th - 4th centuries BC. About 200 painted tombs display murals of various scenes with call-outs and descriptions in Etruscan. Elaborately carved sarcophagi of marble, alabaster and nenfro include identificatory and achievemental inscriptions. The Tomb of the Orcus at the Scatolini necropolis depicts scenes of the Spurinna family with call-outs.
- Inner walls and doors of tombs and sarcophagi.
- Engraved steles (tombstones)
Inscriptions on portable objects
SpeculaA speculum is a circular or oval hand-mirror used predominantly by Etruscan women. Speculum is Latin; the Etruscan word is malena or malstria. Specula were cast in bronze as one piece or with a tang into which a wooden, bone or ivory handle fit. The reflecting surface was created by polishing the flat side. A higher percentage of tin in the mirror improved its ability to reflect. The other side was convex and featured intaglio or cameo scenes from mythology. The piece was generally ornate.
About 2300 specula are known from collections all over the world. As they were popular plunderables, the provenience of only a minority is known. An estimated time window is 530-100 BC. Most probably came from tombs.
Many bear inscriptions naming the persons depicted in the scenes, for which reason they are often called picture bilinguals. In 1979, Massimo Pallottino, then president of the Instituto de Studi Etruschi ed Italici initiated the Committee of the Corpus Speculorum Etruscanorum (CSE), which resolved to publish all the specula and set editorial standards for doing so.
Since then the committee has grown, acquiring local committees and representatives from most institutions owning Etruscan mirror collections. Each collection is published in its own fascicle by diverse Etruscan scholars.
CistaeA cista is a bronze container of circular, ovoid or more rarely rectangular shape used by women for the storage of sundries. They are ornate, often with feet and lids to which figurines may be attached. The internal and external surfaces bear carefully crafted scenes usually from mythology, usually intaglio, rarely part intaglio, part cameo.
Cistae date from the Roman Republic of the 4th and 3rd centuries BC in Etruscan contexts. They may bear various short inscriptions concerning the manufacturer or owner or subject matter. The writing may be Latin, Etruscan or both.
Excavations at Praeneste, an Etruscan city turned Roman, turned up about 118 cistae, one of which has been termed "the Praeneste cista" or "the Ficoroni cista" by art analysts, with special reference to the one manufactured by Novios Plutius and given by Dindia Macolnia to her daughter, as the archaic Latin inscription says. All of them are more accurately termed "the Praenestine cistae."
Rings and ringstonesAmong the most plunderable portables from the Etruscan tombs of Etruria are the finely engraved gemstones set in patterned gold to form circular or ovoid pieces intended to go on finger rings. Of the magnitude of one centimeter, they are dated to the Etruscan floruit from the 2nd half of the 6th to the 1st centuries BC. The two main theories of manufacture are native Etruscan and Greek.
The materials are mainly dark red cornelian with agate and sard coming in from the 3rd to the 1st centuries BC along with purely gold finger rings of a hollow engraved bezel. The engravings, mainly cameo, but sometimes intaglio, depict scarabs at first and then scenes from Greek mythology, often with heroic personages called out in Etruscan. The gold setting of the bezel bears a border design, such as cabling.
CoinsEtruscan-minted coins date ca. 500-200 BC. Use of the Euboïc-Syracusan standard, based on the silver litra of 13.5 grams maximum, indicates the custom, like the alphabet, came from Greece. Roman coinage supplanted Etruscan, but the basic Roman coin, the sesterce, is believed to have been based on the 2.5 denomination Etruscan coin. Etruscan coins have turned up in caches or individually in tombs and in excavations seemingly at random, concentrated, of course, in Etruria.
Etruscan coins were in gold, silver and bronze, the gold and silver usually having been struck on one side only. The coin bore a denomination, a minting authority name, and a cameo motif. Gold denominations were in units of silver; silver, in units of bronze. Full or abbreviated names are mainly pupluna (Populonia), Vatl or Veltuna (Vetulonia), Velathri (Volaterrae), Velzu or Velznani (Volsinii) and Cha for Chamars (Camars). Insignia are mainly heads of mythological characters or depictions of mythological beasts arranged in a symbolic motif: Apollo, Zeus, Janus, Athena, Hermes, griffin, gorgon, sphinx, hippocamp, bull, snake, eagle, etc.
Recent discoveriesA book of gold sheets bound with gold rings went on display in May 2003 at the National History Museum in Sofia, Bulgaria. It consists of six bound sheets of 24-carat (100%) gold, with low-reliefs of a horseman, a mermaid, a harp and soldiers, with text. It was claimed to have been discovered about 1940 in a tomb uncovered during digging for a canal along the Strouma river in south-western Bulgaria, kept secretly and anonymously donated by its 87-year-old owner, living in Macedonia.
SoundsIn the tables below, conventional letters used for transliterating Etruscan are accompanied by likely pronunciation in IPA symbols within the square brackets, followed by examples of the early Etruscan alphabet which would have corresponded to these sounds:
VowelsThe Etruscan vowel system consisted of four distinct vowels. Vowels "o" and "u" appear to have not been phonetically distinguished based on the nature of the writing system where only one symbol is used to cover both in loans from Greek (e.g. Greek κώθων kōthōn > Etruscan qutun "pitcher").
Front Central Back High i
Table of consonants
Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Stops p
c, k, q
Voiced stops missingThe Etruscan consonant system primarily distinguished between aspirated and non-aspirated stops. Voiced stops such as English "b", "d" or "g" were non-distinct from [p], [t] and [k], respectively. When words were borrowed that had voiced stops, the stops were unvoiced: Greek thriambos to Latin triumpus and triumphus through Etruscan.
Syllabic theoryBased on standard spellings by Etruscan scribes that appear otherwise to lack vowels or that have strings of clusters that as they occur seem phonetically impossible to pronounce, as seen in words like cl "of this (gen.)" and lautn "freeman", it is likely that "m", "n", "l" and "r" were sometimes written for syllabic resonants. Thus cl /kl̩/ and lautn /'lɑwtn̩/.
Rix postulates several syllabic consonants, namely /l, r, m, n/ and palatal /lʲ, rʲ, nʲ/ as well as a labiovelar spirant /xʷ/ and some scholars such as Mauro Cristofani also view the aspirates as palatal rather than aspirated but these views are not shared by most Etruscologists. Rix supports his theories by means of variant spellings such as amφare/amφiare, larθal/larθial, aranθ/aranθiia.
Word formationEtruscan was inflected, varying the endings of nouns, pronouns and verbs. It also had adjectives, adverbs and conjunctions, which were uninflected.
NounsEtruscan substantives had five cases, a singular and a plural. All five cases are not attested for every word. Nouns merge the nominative and accusative; pronouns do not generally. Gender appears in personal names (masculine and feminine) and in pronouns (animate, or either masculine and feminine, and inanimate or neuter); otherwise, it is not marked.
Unlike the Indo-European languages, the Etruscans might add two or three endings instead of alternative endings; for example, where Latin would have distinct nominative plural and dative plural endings, Etruscan would suffix the case ending to a plural marker: Latin nominative singular fili-us, "son", plural fili-i, dative plural fili-is, but Etruscan clan, clen-ar and clen-ar-aśi.
Pallottino calls this phenomenon "morphological redetermination", which he defines as "the typical tendency ... to redetermine the syntactical function of the form by the superposition of suffices." His example is Uni-al-thi, "in the sanctuary of Juno", where -al is a genitive ending and -thi a locative. Steinbauer uses the term "inflecting language" (rather than inflected), which he explains as "... there can be more than one marker ... to design a case, and ... the same marker can occur for more than one case."
No distinction is made between nominative and accusative of nouns. Common nouns use the unmarked root. Names of males may end in -e: Hercle (Hercules), Achle (Achilles), Tite (Titus); of females, in -i, -a or -u: Uni (Juno), Menrva (Minerva), Zipu. Names of gods may end in -s: Fufluns, Tins; or they may be the unmarked stem ending in a vowel or consonant: Aplu (Apollo), Pacha (Bacchus), Turan.
Pallottino defines two declensions based on whether the genitive ends in -s/-ś or -l. In the -s group are most noun stems ending in a vowel or a consonant: fler/fler-ś, ramtha/ramtha-ś. In the second are names of females ending in i and names of males that end s, th or n: ati/ati-al, Laris/Laris-al, Arnth/Arnth-al. After l or r -us instead of -s appears: Vel/Vel-us. Otherwise a vowel might be placed before the ending: Arnth-al instead of Arnth-l.
There is a patronymic ending: -sa or -isa, "son of", but the ordinary genitive might serve that purpose. In the genitive case morphological redetermination becomes elaborate. Given two male names, Vel and Avle, Vel Avleś means "Vel son of Avle." This expression in the genitive become Vel-uś Avles-la. Pallottino's example of a three-suffix form is Arnth-al-iśa-la.
The dative ending is -si:Tita/Tita-si.
The locative ending is -thi: Tarchna/Tarchna-l-thi.
PronounsPersonal pronouns refer to persons; demonstrative point out: English this, that.
PersonalThe first person personal pronoun has a nominative mi ("I") and an accusative mini ("me"). The second person has a dative singular une ("to thee"), an accusative singular un ("thee") and an accusative plural unu ("you"). The third person has a personal form an ("he" or "she") and an inanimate in ("it").
DemonstrativeThe demonstratives are ca and ta used without distinction. The nominative/accusative singular forms are: ica, eca, ca, ita, ta; the plural: cei, tei. There is a genitive singular: cla, tla, cal and plural clal. The accusative singular: can, cen, cn, ecn, etan, tn; plural cnl. Locative singular: calti, ceithi, clth(i), eclthi; plural caiti, ceithi.
AdjectivesThough uninflected, adjectives fall into a number of types formed from nouns with a suffix:
- quality, -u, -iu or -c: ais/ais-iu, "god/divine"; zamathi/zamthi-c, "gold/golden."
- possession or reference, -na, -ne, -ni: pacha/pacha-na, "Bacchus, Bacchic"; laut/laut-ni, "family/familiar" (in the sense of servant)
- collective, -cva, -chva, -cve, -chve, -ia: sren/sren-cva: "figure/figured"; etera/etera-ia, "slave/servile"
AdverbsAdverbs are unmarked: etnam, "again"; thui, "now"; thuni, "at first." Most Indo-European adverbs are formed from the oblique cases, which become unproductive and descend to fixed forms. Cases such as the ablative are therefore called "adverbial." If there is any such system in Etruscan it is not obvious from the relatively few surviving adverbs.
VerbsVerbs had an indicative mood and an imperative mood. Tenses were present and past. The past tense had an Active voice and a Passive voice.
Present activeEtruscan uses a verbal root with a zero suffix or -a without distinction to number or person: ar, ar-a, "he, she, we, you, they make."
Past or preterite activeThe -ce or -ke suffix to the root produces a third person singular active, which has been called variously a "past", a "preterite" or an "aorist." In contrast to Indo-European, this form is not marked for aspect, nor are the roots, apparently, distinguished for their aspect; they are simply actions that went on in the past. Examples: tur/tur-ce, "gives/gave"; sval/sval-ce, "lives/lived."
Past passiveThe third person past passive is formed with -che: mena/mena-ce/mena-che, "offers/offered/was offered."
- See the list of Etruscan words and list of words of Etruscan origin at Wiktionary, the free dictionary and Wikipedia's sibling project
The Etruscan vocabulary is now a few hundred words known with some certainty. The exact count depends on whether the different forms and the expressions are included. The Wiktionary list referenced above is in alphabetic order. Below is a table of some of the words grouped by topic.
Some words with corresponding Latin or other Indo-European forms are likely loanwords to or from Etruscan. For example, neftś "nephew", is probably from Latin (Latin nepōs, nepōtis; German neffe, Old Norse nefi). A few dozen from Etruscan survive in Latin; for example, elementum (letter), litterae (writing), cera (wax), arena (sand).
The Etruscan numerals are known although debate lingers about which numeral means "four" and which "six" (huth or śa). Numerals are listed in their own article. Of them, and of the basic words in general, Bonfante (1990) says:
What these numerals show, beyond any shadow of a doubt, is the non-Indo-European nature of the Etruscan language. Basic words like numbers and names of relationships are often similar in the Indo-European languages, for they derive from the same root.
Etruscan English Family apa father apana paternal papa, papacs grandfather ati, ativu mother teta, ati nacna grandmother pui, puia wife tusurthir married couple clan son papals grandson sec, sech daughter ruva brother neftś, nefś, nefiś nephew prumath, prumathś, prumats, prumts great-nephew or great-grandson nene wetnurse snenath maid, companion hus youth husiur children pava boy talitha girl lautun, lautn gens lautni freedman lautnitha, lautnita freedwoman etera, eteri foreigner, slave, client Government Rasna Etruscans mechl Rasnal Etruria pes land tul stone tular, tularu boundaries tular rasnal public boundaries tular spural city boundaries vachr contract tudthi, tuthiu, tuthi, tuti state tuthin, tuthina public mech people mechl, methlum nation, league, district spur, śpur civitas, populus spureni, spurana civic thruna sovereignty lucair to rule lauchum king, prince lauchumna regal, palace tenve, tenine,
hold office zil, zilac, zilc,
praetor camthi unknown magistrates
cechase parnich macstreve maru, marunu, marniu,
purth, purthne tamera Etruscan English Time tin- day thesan morning, day uslane at noon tiur, tivr, tiu month, moon avil year ril at the age of Velcitna March Capr- April Ampile May Acale June Hermi August Celi September Chosfer October Masan, Masn unknown month Nature antha northwind, eagle arac sparrow-hawk, falcon arim monkey capu falcon falatu sky hiuls screech-owl leu lion neri water pulumchva stars thamna horse thevru bull tisś lake tiu moon usil sun vers- fire Vessels aska ἄσκος, flask (wineskin in Greek) aska eleivana olive oil flask cape, capi container, probably Latin capio, "keep", perhaps capis, a bowl. capra urn cletram Umbrian kletra, a basin or basket culichna κύλιξ, a large wine-cup cupe κύπη or Latin cūpa, English cup lechtum λήκυθоς, a small bottle lechtumuza a small lechtum patna πατάνη, a bowl pruch, pruchum πρόχоυς, an ewer qutun, qutum κώθων, a vessel of Laconia. qutumuza small qutum thafna chalice thina, tina δῖνος, a goblet Common verbs am- to be cer- to make Tur- to give zich- to write
Notes1. ^ Online Etymological Dictionary
2. ^ Bonfante (1990), page 12
3. ^ Bonfante (1990) page 10.
4. ^ For Urgulanilla, see Suetonius, Life of Claudius, Section 26.1; for the 20 books, same work, Section 42.2.
5. ^ A summary of the locations of the inscriptions published in the EDP project, given below under External links, is stated in its Guide.
6. ^ 1.30.2.
8. ^ Robert Ellis, The Armenian origin of the Etruscans, London: Parker, Son, & Bourn, 1861.
9. ^ For example, Steinbauer (1999).
10. ^ Page 83.
11. ^ Etruscan researches - Page 351 by Isaac Taylor
12. ^ The alphabet can also be found with alternative forms of the letters at Omniglot.
13. ^ Bonfante (1990) chapter 2.
14. ^ Rooster ink-stand at Etruscan Art Virtual Museum.
15. ^ Bonfantes (2002) page 55.
17. ^ The Bonfantes (2002) page 56.
19. ^ Page 261
20. ^ The Bonfantes (2002), page 117 following.
21. ^ The Bonfantes (2002) page 58.
23. ^ Brief description and picture at The principle discoveries with Etruscan inscriptions, article published by the Borough of Santa Marinella and the Archaeological Department of Southern Etruria of the Italian government.
24. ^ Some Internet articles on the tombs in general are:
Etruscan Tombs at mysteriousetruscans.com.
Scientific Tomb-Robbing, article in Time, Monday, Feb. 25, 1957, displayed at www.time.com.
Hot from the Tomb: The Antiquities Racket, article in Time, Monday, Mar. 26, 1973, displayed at www.time.com.
25. ^ Refer to Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, a World Heritage site.
26. ^ Some popular Internet sites giving photographs and details of the necropoleis are: Cisra (Roman Caere / Modern Cerveteri) at mysteriousetruscans.com.
Chapter XXXIII CERVETRI.a — AGYLLA or CAERE., George Dennis at Bill Thayer's Website.
Aerial photo and map at mapsack.com.
28. ^ A history of the tombs at Tarquinia and links to descriptions of the most famous ones is given at  on mysteriousetruscans.com.
29. ^ For pictures and a description refer to the Etruscan Mirrors article at mysteriousetruscans.com.
30. ^ For the dates, more pictures and descriptions, see the Hand Mirror with the Judgment of Paris article published online by the Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College.
31. ^ Representative examples can be found in the U.S. Epigraphy Project site of Brown University: , 
32. ^ Paggi, Maddalena. "The Praenestine Cistae" (October 2004), New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Timeline of Art History.
33. ^ Classic Encyclopedia.
34. ^ Beazley Archive.
35. ^ Ancient Coins of Etruria.
36. ^ BBC News report.
37. ^ J.H. Adams pages 163-164.
38. ^ Bonfante (1990), page 20.
39. ^ Bonfante (1990) page 19.
40. ^ Page 263.
41. ^ Etruscan Grammar: Summary at Steinbauer's website.
42. ^ Page 264.
43. ^ Bonfante (1990), page 20.
44. ^ Pallottino page 114, Bonfante (1990) page 41.
45. ^ The summary in this section is taken from the tables of the Bonfantes (2002) pages 91-94, which go into considerably more detail, citing examples.
46. ^ The words in this table come from the Glossaries of Bonfante (1990) and Pallottino. The latter also gives a grouping by topic on pages 275 following, the last chapter of the book.
47. ^ Page 22.
- (2003) Bilingualism and the Latin Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521817714. Available for preview on Google Books.
- Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002). The Etruscan Language: an Introduction. Manchester: University of Manchester Press. ISBN 0-7190-5540-7. Preview available on Google Books.
- Bonfante, Larissa (1990). Etruscan. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07118-2. Preview available at Google Books.
- Mario Alinei (2003). Etrusco: una forma arcaica di ungherese. Bologna: Le edizioni del Mulino.
- Cristofani, Mauro; et al (1984). Gli Etruschi: una nuova immagine. Firenze, Giunti Martello.
- Cristofani, Mauro (1979). The Etruscans: A New Investigation (Echoes of the ancient world). Orbis Pub. ISBN 0-85613-259-4.
- Pallottino, Massimo (1955). The Etruscans. Penguin Books. Translated from the Italian by J. Cremona.
- Rix, Helmut (1991). Etruskische Texte. G. Narr. ISBN 3-8233-4240-1. 2 vols.
- Steinbauer, Dieter H. (1999). Neues Handbuch des Etruskischen. Scripta Mercaturae. ISBN 3-89590-080-X.
- Woudhuizen, Frederik Christiaan. April 2006. The Ethnicity of the Sea Peoples. Doctoral dissertation; Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte.
- Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum
- Etruscan alphabet
- Etruscan civilization
- Etruscan documents
- Liber Linteus — An Etruscan linen book that ended as mummy wraps in Egypt.
- Tabula Cortonensis — An Etruscan inscription.
- Cippus perusinus — An Etruscan inscription.
- Pyrgi Tablets — Bilingual Etruscan-Phoenician golden leaves.
- Etruscan mythology
- Etruscan numerals
- Lemnian language
- List of English words of Etruscan origin
- List of Spanish words of Etruscan origin
- Raetic language
- Tyrsenian languages
- Etruscan News Online, the Newsletter of the American Section of the Institute for Etruscan and Italic Studies.
- Etruscan News back issues, Center for Ancient Studies at New York University.
- Etruscology at Its Best, the website of Dr. Dieter H. Steinbauer, in English. Covers origins, vocabulary, grammar and place names.
- Viteliu: The Languages of Ancient Italy at web.archive.org.
- The Etruscan Language, the linguistlist.org site. Links to many other Etruscan language sites.
- ETP: Etruscan Texts Project A searchable database of Etruscan texts.
- Etruscan Inscriptions in the Royal Ontario Museum, article by Rex Wallace displayed at the umass.edu site.
- Etruscan; The Pyrgi Bilingual, paper by Michael Weiss, Cornell University.
- An Etruscan Vocabulary at web.archive.org. A short, one-page glossary with numerals as well.
- Etruscan Vocabulary, a vocabulary organized by topic at etruskisch.de, in English.
- Etruscan-English Dictionary at iolairweb.co.uk. An extensive lexicon compiled from other lexicon sites. Links to the major Etruscan glossaries on the Internet are included.
Etruria — usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia (see Tyrrhenos) — was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria.
- [https://webspace.utexas.edu/jp9334/www/fonts.html Etruscan and Early Italic Fonts], download site by James F. Patterson at webspace.utexas.edu.
..... Click the link for more information.Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana or Penisola appenninica) is one of the greatest peninsulas of Europe, spanning 1,000 km from the Alps in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in
..... Click the link for more information.An extinct language is a language which no longer has any native speakers, in contrast to a dead language, which is a language which has stopped changing in grammar, vocabulary, and the complete meaning of a sentence.
..... Click the link for more information.The 1st century was that century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Gregorian calendar. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period
..... Click the link for more information.A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common ancestor, called the proto-language. As with biological families, the evidence of relationship is observable shared characteristics.
..... Click the link for more information.ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. It consists of 136 two-letter codes used to identify the world's major languages. These codes are a useful international shorthand for indicating languages.
..... Click the link for more information.ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 464 language codes in the list.
..... Click the link for more information.ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. It extends the ISO 639-2 alpha-3 codes with an aim to cover all known natural languages. The standard was published by ISO on 5 February 2007.
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A language is a system of symbols and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon.
..... Click the link for more information.Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to the culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy and Corsica whom the ancient Romans called Etrusci or Tusci.
..... Click the link for more information.Etruria — usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia (see Tyrrhenos) — was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria.
..... Click the link for more information.Regione Toscana
Map highlighting the location of Toscana in Italy
President Claudio Martini
Area 22,990 km
- Ranked 5th (7.6 %)
Population (2006 est.
..... Click the link for more information.Regione Umbria
Map highlighting the location of Umbria in Italy
President Maria Rita Lorenzetti
Area 8,456 km
- Ranked 16th (2.8 %)
Population (2006 est.
..... Click the link for more information.Latium was a region of ancient Italy, home to the original Latin people. Its area is now part of the (much larger) modern Italian Regione of Lazio, also called Latium in Latin and also occasionally so in modern English.
..... Click the link for more information.Regione Lombardia
Map highlighting the location of Lombardy in Italy
President Roberto Formigoni
(Forza Italia-House of Freedoms)
Area 23,861 km
- Ranked 4th (7.
..... Click the link for more information.Regione Veneto
Map highlighting the location of Veneto in Italy
President Giancarlo Galan
(Forza Italia-House of Freedoms)
Area 18,391.22 km
- Ranked 8th (6.
..... Click the link for more information.Regione Emilia-Romagna
Map highlighting the location of Emilia-Romagna in Italy
President Vasco Errani
Area 22,124 km
- Ranked 5th (7.3 %)
Population (2006 est.
..... Click the link for more information.Gaul (Latin: Gallia) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of
..... Click the link for more information.Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)
..... Click the link for more information.Latin}}}
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
..... Click the link for more information.A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept whereby it is the meaning or idiom that is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself.
..... Click the link for more information.Latin}}}
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
..... Click the link for more information.Comune di Roma
Nickname: "The Eternal City"
Motto: "Senatus Populusque Romanus" (SPQR) (Latin)
..... Click the link for more information.Mediterranean is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. It covers an approximate area of 2.
..... Click the link for more information.Epigraphy (Greek, ἐπιγραφή — "written upon") is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs engraved into stone or other durable materials, or cast in metal, the science of classifying them as to cultural context and
..... Click the link for more information.epitaph (ἐπιτάφιος literally: "on the gravestone" in ancient Greek) is text honoring the deceased, most commonly inscribed on a tombstone or plaque.
..... Click the link for more information.1st century - 2nd century
70s 80s 90s - 100s - 110s 120s 130s
97 98 99 - 100 - 101 102 103
..... Click the link for more information.Marcus Terentius Varro (116 BC – 27 BC), also known as Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his contemporary Varro Atacinus, was a Roman scholar and writer, whom the Romans came to call "the most learned of all the Romans.
..... Click the link for more information.Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period (from about 27 BC onwards). The Romans had no single term for the office: Latin titles such as imperator (from which English Emperor derives), augustus, caesar and
..... Click the link for more information.Claudius
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign January 24 41–October 13 54
Full name Tiberius Claudius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus (Britannicus AD44)
Born August 1 10 BC
Died September 13 54 (age 64)
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