THE GLORIOUS ETRUSCANS
Fabulous post by Dave Schuler
at The Glittering Eye
, " Who were the Etruscans?
". Dave delves into the history, linguistics and art of mighty Rome's Northern predecessor:"The Etruscan language
What we know of the Etruscan language comes from inscriptions and “bilinguals”” like the gold inscription at right. A number of Roman writers testified that the Etruscans had a substantial literature but no extensive texts in the language have been found to date. The Etruscan language was written, like Latin and Greek, in an alphabet derived from the Phoenician. Deciphering the texts has not been so much a problem of determining what the letters were as of what the words meant.
I have read claims of relationships between Etruscan and Hungarian, Ukrainian, Dravidian languages and several others, apparently for reasons as much political as linguistic.
The prevailing wisdom on the Etruscan language has been that Etruscan is not an Indo-European language and, indeed, until quite recently Etruscan was believed to be a “linguistic isolate”—a language with no known affinities. More recent scholarship has suggested otherwise. In 1998 the German scholar Helmut Rix published a paper that demonstrated relationships between Etruscan and a number of other languages including Rhaetic, another extinct language of northern Italy, Eteocypriot, a language of Iron Age Cyprus, and Lemnian, a language spoken on the island of Lemnos, interesting in light of the quote from Thucydides cited above"
A must read post for lovers of ancient history and cultures.
Labels: etruscan, glittering eye, history, schuler