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Chapter 5 - Lost – and Found – in Transmission

The Creation of the Oscan Alphabet

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2020

James Clackson
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Patrick James
Affiliation:
Saffron Walden County High School
Katherine McDonald
Affiliation:
University of Exeter
Livia Tagliapietra
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Nicholas Zair
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

As has often been remarked, Oscan inscriptions originate from a large area – Campania, Samnium, Lucania, Bruttium and Sicily – but despite this are remarkably similar in terms of language and spelling, with very little regional variation (see e.g. Rix 1996). Likewise, the Oscan alphabet was created in a context of multiple languages and scripts, the result of a long period of successive migrations to the southern half of the Apennine peninsula; the Etruscans, from Etruria; Greek settlers, from different Greek city-states; and later on the Samnites, from the heights of the Apennine mountain range.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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