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The philologist Georg Friedrich Grotefend (1775–1853) combined his career as a senior master at schools in Frankfurt and Hannover with the publication of school textbooks on German and Latin, and academic research in ancient history and languages. He was a co-founder of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica series of historical sources, still widely consulted today, and is also remembered for his role in deciphering Old Persian cuneiform. During his lifetime he was best known for his study of the geography and history of pre-Roman Italy (published 1840–2 and also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection) and his analyses of the fragmentary evidence for the Umbrian and Oscan languages, published in Latin in 1835–9 and now reissued in this volume. Inscriptions from buildings, tablets, coins and vessels allow Grotefend to reconstruct significant portions of the grammars of these early languages belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European family.