- Old Italic alphabet
Infobox Writing system
Italic languages, Etruscan, Raetic
time=8th to 1st centuries BC
Greek alphabet(Cumae variant)
Latin alphabet, Runic alphabet
Old Italic refers to several now extinct
alphabetsystems used on the Italian Peninsulain ancient times for various Indo-European (predominantly Italic) and non-Indo-European (e.g. Etruscan) languages.
The alphabets derive from the
Euboean Greek Cumaean alphabet, used at Ischiaand Cumaein the Bay of Naplesin the eighth century BC. Cumaean, in turn, showed strong similarities to the Phoenician alphabet, lending support to theories of Phoenician influence in the West-Central Mediterraneanregion.
Indo-European languagesbelonging to the Italic branch ( Faliscanand members of the Sabelliangroup, including Oscan, Umbrian, and South Picene, and other Indo-European branches such as Veneticand Messapic) originally used the alphabet. Faliscan, Oscan, Umbrian, North Picene, and South Piceneall derive from an Etruscan form of the alphabet.
runic alphabetwas most likely derived from one of these alphabets in about the 2nd century.
It is not clear whether the process of adaptation from the
Greek alphabettook place in Italyfrom the first colony of Greeks, the city of Cumae, or in Greece/ Asia Minor. It was in any case a Western Greek alphabet. In the alphabets of the West, X had the IPA| [ks] , Ψ stood for IPA| [kʰ] ; in Etruscan: X = IPA| [s] , Ψ = IPA| [kʰ] or IPA| [kχ] (Rix 202-209).
The earliest Etruscan "
abecedarium," the Marsiliana d'Albegna (near Grosseto) tablet which dates to c. 700 BC, lists 26 letters corresponding to contemporary forms of the Greek alphabet which retained san and qoppabut which had not yet developed omega.
Alphabet of Nuceria
The "nucerian alphabet" is based on inscriptions found in southern Italy (
Nocera Superiore, Sorrento, Vico Equenseand others places). Is attested only between the 6th and the 5th century BC.The most important sign is the /S/ who is designed like an Abies, maybe a derivation from the Phoenician alphabet.
Alphabet of Lugano
The Alphabet of
Lugano, based on inscriptions found in northern Italy and Canton Ticino, was used to record Leponticinscriptions, among the oldest testimonies of any Celtic language, in use from the 7th to the 5th centuries BC. The alphabet has 17 letters, derived from the archaic Etruscan alphabet:
Alphabets of Asia Minor
* [http://etp.classics.umass.edu Etruscan Texts Project] : A searchable online database of Etruscan inscriptions.
* [http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U10300.pdf Old Italic Unicode]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/etruscan.htm The Etruscan alphabet] (Omniglot)
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/olditalic.htm Old Italic alphabets] (Omniglot)
* [http://www.ancientscripts.com/etruscan.html Etruscan] (Ancient Scripts)
* [http://www.ancientscripts.com/oscan.html Oscan] (Ancient Scripts)
* [http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_OldItalic.html Unicode Fonts]
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