Ancient Pre-Roman Italy

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,232
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#51
As for I know the most ancient find with Roman writing is a block of stone under the "lapis niger". The inscription [not in great conditions] has been dated to around 550BCE.

The inscription presents an alphabet with letters more near to the Greek ones than to the future Latin ones. This is obvious, since it wasn't a long time that the Greek alphabet had arrived.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapis_Niger#/media/File:Textlapis.jpg
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,232
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#53
Does Praeneste Fibula also qualify as Latin?
Regarding that fibula there have been long debates [and even doubts it is a forgery]. Scientific examinations have stated that the object and the inscription are compatible with VII century BCE.

A part the recent history of the object, the inscription itself is in Archaic Latin. It’s licit to consider it the first Latin inscription [enlarging the horizon of proper Latin], personally I’m with who says it stays in the proto-Latin period, but at the end it’s a matter of considerations [example: did Petrarch and Dante write in Italian? Technically they didn’t, but since modern Italian has developed from how they wrote … today you can here that Dante wrote in Italian].
 
Mar 2015
853
Europe
#54
Was Roman written language of Lapis Niger a descendant of over a century of independent Latin literary development, since Praeneste fibula or before? Or was it a new and independent adaptation from Etruscan?

Etruscan alphabet is first attested around 700 BC, on Marsiliana tablet.

Also, was Latin alphabet (whether of Praeneste fibula or of Lapis Niger) adopted from Etruscan alphabet, or from Cumaean? Cumaean alphabet is attested in Nestor cup, about 730 BC.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,232
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#55
Was Roman written language of Lapis Niger a descendant of over a century of independent Latin literary development, since Praeneste fibula or before? Or was it a new and independent adaptation from Etruscan?

Etruscan alphabet is first attested around 700 BC, on Marsiliana tablet.

Also, was Latin alphabet (whether of Praeneste fibula or of Lapis Niger) adopted from Etruscan alphabet, or from Cumaean? Cumaean alphabet is attested in Nestor cup, about 730 BC.
As alphabet the inscription under the Lapis Niger presented a clear derivation from Etruscan-Greek alphabet.

The Praeneste fibula shows a very similar alphabet [I would say that an evolution from the fibula to the other inscription is visible].

As for origin, generally it's the Cumaean alphabet to be indicated as "father" of Etruscan and Latin alphabets. Kirchhoff put it in the Western [red] group.
 
Mar 2015
853
Europe
#56
As alphabet the inscription under the Lapis Niger presented a clear derivation from Etruscan-Greek alphabet.

The Praeneste fibula shows a very similar alphabet [I would say that an evolution from the fibula to the other inscription is visible].

As for origin, generally it's the Cumaean alphabet to be indicated as "father" of Etruscan and Latin alphabets. Kirchhoff put it in the Western [red] group.
But is Latin alphabet derived from Etruscan, or directly from Cumaean? Does Latin alphabet have any features that prove adaptations to Etruscan language, inappropriate to Latin, that would not have been made if Latin alphabet had been adopted directly from Greek?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,232
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#57
But is Latin alphabet derived from Etruscan, or directly from Cumaean? Does Latin alphabet have any features that prove adaptations to Etruscan language, inappropriate to Latin, that would not have been made if Latin alphabet had been adopted directly from Greek?
Back to this thread with a doubt: are you aware that the Cumaean alphabet was "Greek" as well?

Pay attention to use the word "Greek" about the proto-alphabets of that age.

[See Kirchhoff "Studien zur Geschichte des griechischen Alphabets, Gütersloh 18874"].
 
Mar 2015
853
Europe
#58
Back to this thread with a doubt: are you aware that the Cumaean alphabet was "Greek" as well?

Pay attention to use the word "Greek" about the proto-alphabets of that age.
Yes, I am. Three main branches of early Greek alphabet, of which one was used by Euboea, also by a lot of Dorians and others, and by Cumae.

So back to the question of origin of Latin alphabet: adopted from Etruscan (with adaptations to Etruscan language that make no sense in Latin) or adopted directly from Greek (and adapted only to Latin language)?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,232
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#59
Yes, I am. Three main branches of early Greek alphabet, of which one was used by Euboea, also by a lot of Dorians and others, and by Cumae.

So back to the question of origin of Latin alphabet: adopted from Etruscan (with adaptations to Etruscan language that make no sense in Latin) or adopted directly from Greek (and adapted only to Latin language)?
The general consensus was for a direct adoption from Greek, but a minority of scholars noted a kind of "Etruscan passage". And today the Etruscan mediation is gaining kudos.

Probably we can compare the three alphabets: this article [in Italian] introducing the matter shows a comparison L'alfabeto e la scrittura dei Romani - Storia Romana e Bizantina.

Now, it's true what the author says that Cn was the abbreviation of Gnaeus and C the abbreviation of Gaius. This would be among the evidences of an Etruscan passage: the Etruscan alphabet made no distinction between "c" and "g". Only later, because of the Greek influence, Romans introduced a proper "g".
 

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