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This map shows the regions of the world where Oscan and Umbrian were commonly spoken. Umbrian (the upper left circle) was spoken by those Indo-European tribes inhabiting the area north and west of Rome. Oscan (the lower right circle) was the language spoken by the Samnites and the tribes of the southern Italian peninsula except for the extreme projections of Italy's "heel" and "toe." Both the Oscan and Umbrian languages were very similar to Latin. At least two other Indo-European linguistic groups, the Faliscans and Sabellians (or Sabines), may have inhabited the Italian peninsula, along with non-Indo-European races like the Etruscans, who for a long time ruled over the Roman region of Latium. Eventually, the Latin-speaking Romans in Latium threw off their Etrurian chains and swallowed the entire region whole. Etruscan then died out as a language; Faliscan, Oscan, and Umbrian were probably absorbed into the new Latin-speaking entity, which, under the Roman Empire, spread across Europe.


Daniel M. Short originally created this map and the other Indo-European language charts for his website at http://www.danshort.com/. I reproduce these images here with the author's permission, but they are copyrighted by Daniel Short as of 2002. These charts should not be reproduced or reused without Mr. Short's approval. You may contact him at danshort@gte.net for more information. These images are not public domain.

 

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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.