Messapian language

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Messapian (also known as Messapic) is an extinct Indo-European language of South-Eastern Italy, in the regions of Apulia and Calabria. It was spoken by the Messapians, the Iapyges, and other tribes in the region.

The language was preserved in about 260 inscriptions dating from the 6th to the 1st century BC.

Many linguists believe that Messapian was an Illyrian language. The Illyrian languages were spoken mainly on the other side of the Adriatic Sea. The link between Messapian and Illyrian is based mostly on personal names found on tomb inscriptions and on classical references, since hardly any traces of the Illyrian language are left.

The language became extinct after the Roman Empire conquered the region and assimilated the inhabitants.

Language sample

klohi zis thotoria marta pido vastei basta veinan aran in daranthoa vasti staboos xohedonas daxtassi vaanetos inthi trigonoxo a staboos xohetthihi dazimaihi beiliihi inthi rexxorixoa kazareihi xohetthihi toeihithi dazohonnihi inthi vastima daxtas kratheheihi inthi ardannoa poxxonnihi a imarnaihi
undeciphered; from the Vaste inscription (Corpus Inscriptionum Messapicarum 149)

There is a Messapic inscription that may have been correctly translated:

klauhi Zis
Dekias Artahias
Thautouri andirahho
daus apistathi vinaihi
Hear Zeus,
Dekias Artahias
to the infernal Thaotor
set up (the rest untranslated)

See also

sl:Mesapščina

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