Languages

Raetic

Fact corner

Introduction

Raetic is a largely obscure language of antiquity, which used to be spoken in the province of Raetia, in the Eastern Alps, to the north and west of Venetic. It is sparsely attested, in inscriptions in various northern developments of the Etruscan alphabet, leaving room for much speculation on its ancestry.

In his Natural History (1st century AD), Pliny wrote about Alpine peoples: "adjoining these (the Noricans) are the Raeti and Vindelici. All are divided into a number of states. The Raeti are believed to be people of Tuscan race driven out by the Gauls; their leader was named Raetus."

Raetic became extinct by the 3rd century, after the speakers were assimilated and adopted Latin (in the south) and German (in the north). Many inscriptions are known, but most of them are only fairly repetitive and short, probably mostly votive texts. The name of the Venetic goddess Reitia has commonly been discerned in the Raetic finds, but the two names do not seem to be linked.

The Verb

Sample

 lavisešeli
 velχanu
 lup.nu pitiave
 kusenkus trinaχe
 ϕelna vinutaline

Translation: "(Of the son of Lavis), to Velχanu (someone) gave (this) wine-bearing tankard, for Pitiave of Kuseku."

Verb:

  • trinaχe 'gave' or 'sent'.

References

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