Many Latin and a few Greek phrases are now used in English, even by people who don't necessarily know the original language, as proverbs, phrases, mottos, and so on. Many short fragments from ancient authors are also preserved through this sort of quotation, even when the original work they come from has been lost.

Were any snippets of Etruscan, Oscan, or other non-Latin languages of Italy preserved in this way?

  • 1
    Extremely interesting question! I'd love to hear about Etruscan quotations. I've never heard of any, though, which does not bode well...
    – Cerberus
    May 8, 2018 at 3:32

1 Answer 1


For bits of Etruscan mentioned in Latin authors, see p186-191 of Bonfante & Bonfante, The Etruscan Language: An Introduction. (Manchester UP, 1983.) I say "bits" because they are almost all very short. Most of the Etruscan we have comes from inscriptions on tombs, possessions, etc. Latin authors of the classical period did not quote Etruscan because by then it was not a prestige language. Only weirdos like the emperor Claudius paid any attention to it.

  • I don't have access to Bonfante at the moment; what sorts of texts do they list?
    – Draconis
    Aug 9, 2020 at 4:29
  • The Bonfantes cite about 70 glosses, most of which are a single sentence or phrase. The glosses are mainly from later grammarians, so are of philological interest only. Other Roman authors (including the historians, obviously) do talk about the Etruscans, but I know of no extended quotes in Etruscan. This is the problem of sources: the Bonfantes state (p60) that "what has come down to us are religious writings, legal documents, and funerary epitaphs."
    – Pomponius
    Aug 10, 2020 at 21:48
  • If there are any phrases (more than one word), that's exactly what I'm looking for with this question; if there are, and you can give some examples here, I'll give the checkmark.
    – Draconis
    Aug 10, 2020 at 21:50
  • Sorry, there are no phrases cited, just single words.
    – Pomponius
    Aug 11, 2020 at 22:25

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