Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- 4th century - first half of the 1st century B.C.

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. The Iguvine Tablets by Carlo d'Adamo
    Amateur website on the Iguvine Tableats, edited by Carlo D'Adamo, which also offers the opportunity to review some issues related to the Italic culture in general.
  2. The Italic Peoples
    Page of a fan website that offers a clear and concise overview on the people of ancient Italy and their geographical distribution in the territory of the Italian peninsula over time.
  3. VÍTELIÚ The Languages of Ancient Italy
    Site of a general nature which, although very briefly, presents a lot of information on the languages of Ancient Italy, transcripts of some of the most important Italic inscriptions and several very interesting links to both Italian and foreigne sites.
  4. Epigraphy Laboratory on Ancient Italy
    Schematic and clear page on the Italic languages organized by the University of Venice Ca 'Foscari, which has the advantage of providing a comprehensive and accessible to the diverse world of rhe Italic inscriptions and languages.
  5. Language and Alphabet
    This website, in English, features a comprehensive overview of different writing systems, focusing on the main writings of ancient Italy, with writing system charts for each. Despite some inaccuracies, the website provides a very brief overview of the alphabets and languages of ancient Italy and has many links to sites in various languages that provide information on the languages of ancient Italy and sometimes even to bibliographic links.
  6. Historical Town of Fabriano
    Site dedicated to the town of Fabriano with a brief history about its pre-Roman period. Noteworthy is an essay on the Umbrian people organized by a local, reliable Marches historian.
  7. Iguvine Tablets
    English Wikipedia-site which explains the Iguvine Tablets in a concise but also detailed and clear way.
  8. Omniglot - Old Italic Alphabets
    Online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages: the page is devoted to the alphabets of ancient Italy, with very brief commentaries and a few errors in the transcription and attribution of the letters.
  9. Encyclopedia Britannica
    Short encyclopedic entry in English devoted to the Italic languages.
  10. Online Enciclopedia Treccani
    Encyclopedic entry devoted to the Oscan-Umbrian language group.
  11. Romano Impero
    Page on Samnites on a site containing historical information on Rome and its empire, with content of varying quality, but often useful and well-informed. It may also be worthwhile to consult the general page on Italic peoples (
  12. Lingua umbra (Glosbe)
    Short encyclopedic entry on Umbrian as part of an open-access online dictionary built by combining data from various sources on the web.
  13. Summa Gallicana
    Page in Italian and English devoted to Umbrians, within a rather heterogeneous encyclopedic lexicon edited by Elio Corti, whose texts are mostly taken from Wikipedia.

Online documents

  1. "The Samnite" by A. L. Prosdocimi
    Extensive and detailed article of great interest written by AL Prosdocimi entitled “Il sannita” and published in Studi sull'Italia dei Sanniti, Roma 2000, pp. 208-213 (Studies on Italy of the Samnites, Rome 2000, p. 208-213), in which, besides indicating in a precise and detailed way the main features of the languages of ancient Italy, discusses the relationships of dependence and kinship that bind together the different Italic languages concluding, then, all with hypotheses on the formation of the Samnite language.
  2. Umbrian Studies
    Thematic online magazine sponsored by the city of Perugia, and containing in-depth articles on the Umbrian culture in general.
  3. "Tra Venere, Bona Dea e Cupra. Note a margine della lamina di Fossato di Vico" by Francesco Marcattili
    Article written by prof Francesco Marcattili, University of Perugia, about the goddess Cupra. The text analyses the inscription from Fossato di Vico in which there is a dedication to the goddess and provides an interesting overview of a number of possible comparisons with other similar deities like Bona Dea and Venus.

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. Titus
    Titus (Acronym for Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien) is a website dedicated to the Indo-European languages in general and presents a bibliography on Italic linguistics as well as some examples of texts written in Oscan and in Umbrian. In addition, you can also download free fonts for these languages and also has some interesting hyperlinks.

Study and research centers

  1. IRDAU
    Site managed by the “Associazione Culturale Istituto di Ricerche e Documentazione sugli Antichi Umbri” (Cultural Institute of Research and Documentation on Ancient Umbrians) and entirely devoted to the culture of the ancient Umbrians, with extensive and reliable information about the language, territory, inscriptions and history of the Umbrians. The purpose of the site is the promotion, study and dissemination, in a comprehensible form, of all the knowledge on the ancient Umbrian civilisation, language and culture, based mostly on the studies by A. Ancillotti and other researchers. The site is divided into easily accessible sections (Chi siamo, I convegni, L’attività divulgativa, Le Tavole di Gubbio, Gli Antichi Umbri, News) rich in both information and materials. The section on the Iguvine Tablets, the longest and most important epigraphic document in Umbrian language, is particularly rich and well articulated. Also the section Gli Antichi Umbri is very interesting. Its subsection entitled Altre iscrizioni umbre contains a catalog of the main minor inscriptions in Umbrian language discovered in this area. Among these, outstanding is the Umbrian inscription in Latin alphabet from Fossato di Vico. Lastly, the section L’attività divulgativa is interesting and useful for deepening the knowledge on the ancient Umbrians through papers and powerpoint in pdf format dealing with the religion, territorial extension and cultural features of these people.


  1. Carl Richard Lepsius, Inscriptiones Umbricae et Oscae (1841)

  2. Michel Bréal, Les tables Eugubines (1875)

  3. Sophus Bugge, Altitalische Studien (1878)

  4. Robert von Planta, Grammatik der oskisch-umbrischen Dialekte (1892)

  5. Robert Seymour Conway, The Italic dialects (1897)

  6. Carl Darling Buck, A grammar of Oscan and Umbrian: with a collection of inscriptions and a glossary (1904)

  7. Screhto est. Lingua e scrittura degli antichi Umbri (2011)
    Catalog of the exhibition held in Gubbio and Perugia from September 22, 2011 to January 8, 2012, edited by Luciano Agostiniani, Alberto Calderini and Riccardo Massarelli: contains in-depth pages and linguistic commentaries of a high scholarly level on all the epigraphic documents of the northern Sabellian languages and of Umbrian.
  8. Palaeohispanica
    Open-access online publication of the proceedings of the international congress Lenguas y culturas epigráficas paleoeuropeas. Retos y perspectivas de estudio (Rome, March 13-15, 2019): the Umbrian language and writing system are treated in the essays by Paolo Poccetti (403-494) and Daniele F. Maras (923-968).
  9. Tuttostoria
    Popular page devoted to Umbrians included in a site devoted to Italic history, with content of varying quality.
  10. Le tradizioni e la lingua degli Antichi Umbri nelle Tavole Eugubine
    Short popular introduction on the Umbrian language aimed at tourists visiting Todi and included in the site of a local hotel.
  11. I Liguri e gli Umbri: i popoli più antichi d'Italia?
    Popular paper containing information not always exact and verified, dedicated to the ancient traditions of the oldest peoples in Italy.
    Collection of titles and publications on the Etruscan language and writing system, in many cases accessible to registered users of the site: registration is free and the collection is progressively updated by new contributions from scholars registered on the portal. Research on other related topics is available as needed: for example, specifically on the Umbrian language, one can consult the collections


  1. Bibliography on magistratures and political institutions of Italic peoples
    Large, diverse and rich site edited by the researcher Loredana Cappelletti where there are several references to the Italic Institutions and Judiciaries in general and, in the long list of items, you can also find specific publications on the Institutions of ancient Italy in several languages and in connection with the populations which inhabited Italy more than two thousand years ago.