Monday, May 24, 2021

Roman Empire Languages (Except Latin and Greek)

How many languages were spoken in the Roman Empire, other than Latin and Greek?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
studied Latin at Lund University
Answered just now
Someone mentioned the big survivors.

Coptic, Aramaic, Brythonic & Gaulish (not sure if Gaulish did survive all the way to 476), Punic, someone else added Berber languages. Add Aquitanes speaking some version of Basque. And Illyric may well have been some early version of Albanian.

There is another side to it too.

Some did not survive Roman Empire:

Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Siculic, Iberic, Celt-Iberic, Ligurian, Thracian, Dacian, Luwian, Lydian, Lykian, Akkadian. Probably Sumerian even.

Yes, Akkadian and Sumerian were spoken 1st C BC, when Seleucid rule was under the Republic, and Akkadian one century more.

And some came in from the outside, just before the fall, I have mentioned Germanic and Hunnic languages. If you count East-Rome, add Slavic to this.

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