Language Map of Ancient Italy


Aeq.- Aequian; Aur.- Auruncan; Fal.- Faliscan; Hern.- Hernican; Lat.- Latin; Marr.- Marrucinian; Mars.- Marsian; Nov.- Novilara; Pael.- Paelignian; Vest.- Vestinian;


  • The lower Po valley (marked off from Etruscan by a dotted line) was colonized by Etruscans from 600-400 B.C. and adopted their language. Celtic-speaking Gauls (Senones) then occupied the area until the Roman conquest. It is not known what ethnic group originally existed in this area. Livy mentions the Euganei, who lived between the head of the Adriatic and the Alps until driven out by the Veneti; and the language of the Novilara stele cannot yet be affiliated with any historical group.

  • No inscriptions survive of the indigenous languages of Sardinia and Corsica: though colonial inscriptions from these areas (in Phoenician and Etruscan respectively) have been found.

  • The use of the term "Ligurian" is confusing, since it is used both for a pre-Indo-European substrate language whose chief evidence is place names, as well as an Indo-European language (not Celtic or Italic) from names in an inscription near Genoa. The language of the historical Ligurians was probably the second of these. Also sometimes lumped in with Ligurian are the Lepontic inscriptions of lakes Como, Maggiore, Lugano, and d'Orta.--which are Celtic.

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