The Language of the Ancient Veneti


Two papers from chapters in


An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL”

(rev 6/2015)


Andres P ä ä b o (Ontario, Canada)

The following papercovers two subjects how Venetic was written and how it was pronounced, and Venetic grammar and comparison with Estonian and Finnish. Both are from the full document.


An AncientLanguage from a New Perspective: FINAL”

The pronunciation draws from existing academic decisions about how the Venetic writing sounded, but I add my own discovery that the dots are phonetic markers, mostly signaling pa-latalization. The grammar de-scription is the result of my lengthy analysis of the Venetic in- scriptions described in the above document which approached the Venetic inscriptions direct-ly instead the traditional approach of making assumptions and forcing the assumptions into the inscriptions. The proper methodo-logy should not involve any existing language, but con-clusions should be reached from the inscriptions themselves, from their context in the archeo-logical information and within sentences themselves. Originally one gets simple results like ‘Man-duck-elder’,but one keepsan eye on the grammatical endings and looks for consis- tent meanings. Thus the methodology did not project any known language onto the Venetic.

However, once it was clear Venetic was Finnic, I began to take notice of parallels in Estonian and Finnish and discovered some major grammati-cal endings were close to the same. In languages, grammar changes most slowly, andthat is why more distant languages will still be similar in grammatical features. And that is also why for any suggestion that Venetic was genetically connected to Estonian or Finnish, we MUST find similarity in grammar.


A New Interpretation of the Dots in Ancient VeneticInscriptions, and Resulting Phonetics

Andres P ä ä b o (Apsley, Ontario, Canada)


In northern Italy we find several hundred short examples of writing by an ancient people the Romans called Veneti and Greeks Eneti. Written mostly in several centuries after 500BC,  these inscriptions borrow the Etruscan alphabet,but use it to write continuously, and with dots inserted into the text in a frequent manner that does not represent word boundaries like dots did in Etruscan and Latin. Traditional studies of the insriptions have regarded the dots as some kind of syllabic punctuation,and the explanation of how they work is not believable be- cause human nature requires that this dot punctuation be as easy or easier to handle than the word boundary marking of Etruscan, of which the Venetic must have been aware. This paper offers apractical alternative - that these dots are actually phonetic markers mainly marking palatalization but also other phonetic behaviour all of which involves a raising of the tongue. This concept is a very good one because the use of dots has to be simple enough for anyone to use. In this case, the scribe simply inserted them wherever there was some kind of tongue-action of any kind.These dots were enough for the reader familiar with Venetic to be able to read it properly.

Interestingly the Venetic writing allows us to actually reconstruct how the language sounded.

Comparing words in today’s highly palata- lized Livonian with mildly palatalized Estonian, gives us some insight into how the dots modified sounds. The author also proposes the theory that the Venetic, lying at the bottom of amber trade from the Jut-land Peninsula was identical to the ancient Suebic language at the source of the amber, and that the palatalizationand stød of modern Danish ultimately comes from it.



1.1 Phonetics determined from Latin and Etruscan

In northern Italy we find several hundred short examples of writing by an ancient people the Romans called Veneti and Greeks Eneti. Written mostly in several centuries after 500BC, these inscriptions borrow the Etruscan alphabet, but use it to write continuously, and with dots inserted into the text in a frequent manner that does not represent word boundaries like dots did in Etruscan and Latin.

Figure 1.1 shows a very good example of Venetic writing. In small case Roman text below itwe see the text transformed to a form we can read, using Roman alphabet phonetics.

[reference atLLVEs64]

(MLV and LLV references indicate their locations in the cataloguing books see endnotes)


Venetic text is read in the direction the characters are pointing, in this case right to left. When it gets to the end of the line it goes to the next, starting at the rightagain. In other inscriptions theletters may simply turn and come back one follows the direction the letters (such as the E) are pointing. The convention of writing down Venetic text in Roman alphabet is to write them in Roman alphabet small case, in themodern left-to-right, adding the dotsin their proper places. New lines,changes in direction, continuation on the other side are shown with a verti- cal line.In reality these new lines or changes in direction mean nothing. It is done purely from the scribe running out of space. Mostly they are irrele-vant to reading the script. Often they do not even respect word boundaries as if the scribe did not even have a concept of word boundaries butwrote what he heard which sometimes resulted in variations in spelling and dot-handling.

Note in the above example the dots appear almost like short I’s and that may be how the practice got started  trying to write palatalizations with short I’s The Ancient Veneti borrowed the Etruscan alphabet for their writing and then modified it mostly from introducting dots. From the relationship between Etrus-can and Roman Latin in the same area, and other factors, the sounds of the Etruscan alphabet are quite reliably understood,and we can assume that when Ve-neti adopted the Etruscan alphabet they also adopted its sounds. But in my new view of the matter, they then modified those sounds by adding dots before and after some letters as needed. We cannot argue too much against how Venetologists in the past have decided on the sounds of the Venetic alpha-bet. I only found a couple of issues. Therefore other than offering my summary of the most common Venetic letters in figure 1.1, we need not discuss the phonetics ofthe Venetic alphabet further.



(with small modifications from current thinking)


1 - The X-like character is most common, but in the round stones of Padua, the T is represented by a circle with a dot inside.

2 - The L-character we think sometimes has a form that can be confused with one of the P-characters. Watch for two possibilities insome inscriptions.

3 Traditional Venetic interpetations have assumed that the I with the dots on both sides is an “H”.This is correct only if the H has a high tongue, as it is an ‘over-high’ “I”. It actually sounds either like a “J” (=”Y”) or an “H” depending on surrounding phonetics.

4 I believe that the big M-like character is probably an “ISS” as in English “hiss”, and not really the “SH” (š) that has been assumed. We show it when transcribed into Roman small caps form with $.

The main purpose of this paper is to solve the mystery of the dots found in the Ancient Venetic inscriptions.,

1.2 The Mystery of theDots in Ancient Venetic Inscriptions

Traditional studies of the inscriptions have regarded the dots as some kind of syllabic punc-tuation, and the explanation of how they work is not believable because human nature requi-res that this dot punctuation beas easy or easier to handle than the word boundary marking of Etruscan,of which the Venetic must have been aware. Originally ancient writing by Etruscans and Veneti were written continuously without any punctuation, but that made it difficult to read. You had to sound out the letters and then try torecognize the words. The Etruscans solved the problem by using dots to show the word boundaries. Romans followed the practice, and then the dots disappeared and there were spaces.

However, for some mysterious reason, the Veneti did not try to explicitly show word boundaries.They began putting dots on either side of a letter. Through the years academics attempting to interpret the Venetic inscriptions puzzled over these dots.

According to the accepted explanation, the dots were used to separate the final consonants from preceding phonological units, but was not pre-sent between a consonant or aconsonant (obstruent+sonorant) group and a following vowel (monophthong or dipthong),giving a syl-labic form C(C)V(C) which then underwent changes due to weakening and loss of h- (*ho.s.ti.s.  > *.o..s.ti.s.) and syncope of i preceding a final fricative (*.o..s.ti.s. > *.o..s.t.s.). As nice as it may be to present to understand the linguistic shifts in a language, we must not forgetthat the number of instances of Venetic inscriptions is limited.It is not enough to identi-fy a few ‘proofs’ of a theory, as that can simply be an arrange-ment of a few instances of coincidences that seem to demonstrate a pattern. But let us berealistic.Let us imagine the language being in actual use, and being spoken in many dialects and being interpre-ted in writing in different ways. Forexample, how do we know that .o..s.t.s. came from .o..s.ti.s. Maybe it did, but maybe .o..s.t.s.wassimply from laziness.

Consider your modern language.How often do you see vowels of consonants dropped by different speakers. For example someone says “DIFFRENT” in-stead of “DIFFERENT”. Venetic suffers from having been written continuously and there being so few examples (less than 100 complete senten-ces, not fragments) The overly intellectualized assumptions of linguistic shifts and patterns come from ima-gining that Venetic writing was highly standardized and formalized so that every-one spoke it in exactlythe same way or wrote it in exactly the same way.

But is that assumption realistic. We have to allow for the more natural interpretation as sug-gested from the use of writing in Greece and else-where that it was not exclusive to some priestly class but something that inspired everyone. Even if writing was only available to the educa-ted, even among the educated dialects varied. Thus if we take the more realistic view, that Venetic writing developed,as it did elsewhere,asa popular fad something that preserved sentences or made objects speak then we have toapproach the entire subject of the Venetic inscriptions from the point of view of it being something easy to master.You had your basic soundsthe natural vowels and consonants formed by the mouth in the most natural positions and then you had to modify it here and therewith intonations,stresses, pauses,and other ef-fects such as palatali-zation, trills, etc. One way ofidentifying the departure from the most na- tural human sounds,is by adding punctuation.Imaginea modern linguist trying to record a lan- guage he does not know.He will write down the soundsin phonetic writing, and add punctu-ations for stress, length, etc. It seems to me that if thisapproach of capturing the sound of speech is soobvious today, that it would be obvious inancient times.

Identifying word boundaries like we do today, helps us read because all languages have con-sistent patterns for word units. For example, stress may always be on the first syllableon a word.There may be length and pause features too.But in order to read writing that only shows word boundaries,you have to already know the language. Phonetic writing simply reproduces the speech, and the writer does not need to know the language at all. Thus what if the Venetic dots represent phonetic punctuation.

Yes,even if the linguists’ observations about many of the dots locations are correct,their explanations are merely a bypro-duct of the way the language is spoken. Let’s say that Venetic always palatalized an “S” sound before a “T” as in

Then the dots obviously have a relationship to sounds before and / or af-ter.But it is absurd to imagine that the purpose of the dotsare to identify the word boundaries indirectly. It makes more sense that dots were added aroundan “S” in that environment simply because that was how they spoke it. There is a similar word that shows it again. Certainly we can find some examples in which a pattern is repeated.

But it is much much more realistic to imagine aword of Venetic speakers whose only aim was to reproduce the sound of sentences they spoke, and they knew nothing about word boundaries, case endings, syllables etc.

They were simply aware that the alphabet represented sounds, and the dots were a phonetic punctuation device.Note that even today,you can ask a child who has only learned the sounds of Roman letters, to write a sentence he has never written before. He will sound it out and it will be readable, evenif it did not follow the conventional spellings that have developed in the modern language.

The phonetic writing explanation for the dots is so natural, that already it is convincing even beforelooking at examples. If the Veneti were long dis-tance traders as suggested by their being agents of northern amber and having colonies at the ends of Europe then here is a practical reason for phoneticwriting. They could record important phrases of customers without knowing anything about thewords and grammar.

Phoenicians are known to have created such phrasebooks, and if Veneti were traders in the north and major rivers, someone may have borrowed Etruscan writing, and then added the dots for phonetic punctuation. It is known that the dot punctuation appeared fromabout 300BC, but that is about the time the Veneti reached their zenith with the colony at Brittany, and their role in carrying tin from the British Isles.

1.3 Raw Phonetic Writing vs. Word-Boundary Writing

Ancient peoples generally wrote down sounds in order to reproduce what was spoken as closely as possible. In the beginning as seen even in early Etruscan there was nothing elsethan a string of letters repre-senting sounds.But,given the variation in any language of stress, empha-sis, length, pause, etc that was not enough. For example how should we read this?

Obviously if you know the language, you can read the string out loud and recognize the words: how should we read this? And that was the case with early Etruscan, and some early Venetic too. A continuous sting of letters was not enough. One had to read it out loud over and over be-foreone rea-lized what it was saying. Thus there was wisdom in adding some-thing to the string of sounds in order to give the readersome gui-dance. One way was to mark every sound featurepauses, intonations, etc. Raw phonetic writing.The other way,was to use the trick with which we are familiar today, to show wordboundaries. Identifying word boun-daries exploited the fact that in language words are spoken inconsistent ways.For example the language may always emphasize the first syllable. Thus if you knew the word boundaries, when you read it,you would em-phasize the first syllable, and thesentence would be read cor-rectly; but you had to already know the language.Let us look at each approach in more detail.

1.3.1. Raw Phonetic Writing

Phonetic writing, thus began in the raw form that recorded everything, Like the modern elec-tronic recorder does, it doing nothing to simplify the text and the reading of it. The earliest phonetic writing was purely recording what the spoken language sounded like. Phoenician and other trader peoples, recorded common phrases in the language of their customers in a raw phonetic fashion so that when needed they could read it back. They did not have to know anything more about the language. Similarly, a modern linguist who does not know a language will write it down in a raw phonetic fashion too, exactly what he hears, using the modern standard phonetic alphabet.


Not knowing where the word boundaries are, they will add marks to in-dicate length, pauses, emphasis, etc. This is raw phonetic transcription. Other than the few inscriptions done in the Roman alphabet following Roman conventions(like the Canevoi bucket inscription), Venetic writing, has the hallmarks of raw phonetic transcription:It is written continuous- ly and filled with dots that seem to function like themarkings a linguist makes when transcribing speech phonetically. Thus Venetic inscriptions can be viewed as transcription of what is actually spoken, using thedots as an all-purpose marker for pauses, emphasis, length, etc. Because the written Venetic language was not standardized,this dot-device must have been a very simple intuitive tool. I believe the rule was that dots were applied where some kind of tongue-related feature (mainly palatalization) was applied in the speech. Such a simple concept a dot-marker serving many purposes was something that could easily be applied and understood by anyone.

One may wonder why the Venetic writing was written inthis way, when the option ofmarking word boundaries would have made it easier. I sug-gest that perhaps Venetic was so highly pa-latalized that the Veneti wan-ted to mark those palatalizations even if it was not necessary to do so. But there is another explanation.If the Veneti originated as traders, then it was very im-portant to record the languages of customers.The problem with word boundary writing is that it relies on the reader already knowing how the language was spoken - where the inflections, stresses, lengthenings, palatalizations, etc were applied. For example while Latin wasused throughout the Roman Empire we have no idea from Roman texts how it actually sounded when spoken in different places and times in history. Like English today, there could have been many accents / dialects.

Word boundary writing does not capture the sound of the actual speech. Word boundary wri-ting is fine if you already knew the language, but if you neededphrasebooks to use in foriegn markets, you needed to record a whole phrase (such as ‘Would you like to buy this beauti-ful necklace?’) without needing to know how it broke down into words.In that case,the phrase had to be written down completely phonetically a continuous string ofsounds,with marks used to indicate pauses, emphasis, etc. Perhaps the dots were such phonetic markers, which became guides to how to speak the whole sentence, without having any idea about what were the words and grammatical ele-ments within it. If writing was used by traders, it did not have to be carved in stone or bronze. Thus, the writings archeology has found on stone, bronze and ceramics in the earth may thus be only thetip of the iceberg. How much more is there that has disappeared because it was written on paper or other soft media? For example Phoenician practices included not just writing on paper, but also on wax tablets that could be melted and reused.

Remains of Phoenician writing tablets which originally contained wax and was written upon by styluses. Note it has a hinge in the middle, and the user could fold it up and slip it into his pocket. If the Veneti used such wax tablets, a great deal of wri-ting may have been done that has been lost.Writing on wax,paper and other peri-shable media would not have survived for archeologists to find. We do not have here a situation such as existed in ancient Sumeria,where all everyday writing by every-one was done onto flattened pieces of clay, resulting in the survival in the earth of many thousands of cuneiform clay tablets of usually mundane content, such as inventories of goods and shopping lists.

1.3.2 Word-Boundary (Rationalized) Phonetic Writing

While we write texts (like this sentence) with blank spaces between words – and Ro-mans and Etruscans used dots – in speech these spaces do not appear as pauses. They are there mainly to assist the person who knows the language in reading it, without the need for detailed phonetic punctuation. If we know what the word is, then from our familiarity with the systematic characteristics of the language, we place all the stress, emphasis, etc. in the right places automatically. It simplifies the phonetic writing.Furthermore,with word boundary shown,the readers could also view the word as a graphic symbol. The only drawback of writing using word boundaries, is that the reader has to already know the language to reproduce it properly, whereas raw phonetic writing could be read as it sounded by any reader.1

Among the Venetic inscriptions, the Canevoi bucket example given earlier, is a rare instance where Venetic was written in the Roman fashion, with dots serving as word boundaries in the Roman fashion, rather than indicating phonetic features. Note that when the Venetic was written in the Roman fashion, there was no more need for the dots. This helps confirm that the dots were phonetic pronunciation guides when writ-ten continuously, and were no longer necessary for  those who knew the language, once word boundries were defined

1 This makes Venetic writing, using the dots, extremely valuable – it allows us to reproduce the actual sound, once we know more about the use of the dots.



2.1 Some Evicence Venetic was Extremely PalatalizedThere is some periferal evidence that Venetic was highly palatalized. There exists a basic truth that when a people begin speaking a new language, they will speak it in the manner of their origi- nal language. We call this an “accent”. In our theory, the Veneti were long distance traders, and the Veneti of Brittany were part of their trade system. With the rise of the Roman Empire, this trade system collapsed and different parts of the system as-similated into their surrounding peoples.At Brittany the Veneti assimilated into Celtic.

If their original Venetic language was palatalized, then their Celtic would also be pa-latalized. Without having another standard to emulate,this accented manner of spea-king Celtic would be passed down from generation to generation. Called the Vanne-tais dialect of Celtic, it stands out from its neighbouring Celtic dialects from being much more extensive palatalization.

Another example would be at the north end of the strong trade route between the Adriatic and the Jutland Peninsula. Today, at the Jutland Peninsula we find Danish. Danish is a highly palatalized German.Was the original language highly palatalized, and was the palatalization transferred when the people assimilated into the Germanic of their military conquerors.

2.2 Dot-punctuation – Invented to Indicate Palatalization?

Venetic writing borrowed the Etruscan letters, but did not acquire the Etruscan me-thod (later used by Romans too) of marking word boundaries. Instead, Venetic wri-ting simply began to add dots to the original continuous stings of letters. These dots have puzzled analysts of Venetic for centuries. They realized that it was a scheme to make the continous text easier to read than continuous writing without any spaces or markings, and proposed it was a “syllabic punctuation” and that the reader deter-mined the word boundaries from it.On the other hand there are also analysts who – failing to figure it out – like Slovenian analysts, claim that the dots are all decorative and meaningless. From the point of view of the probability bell curve, such a claim, although possible is not probable. In our methodology everything has to be very rea-listic, natural,and acceptable,and bizarre interpretations – according to the bell curve – have to be so rare they are negligble. The most natural answer, the most probable answer, is that the markings were intended to mark something strongly evident in Venetic, but absent in Etruscan.

I realized it had to be something very simple,not requiring special education for either reading it or writing it.But it could not be mere decoration either. That would be utterly silly as decorations are an aesthetic matter and if it were true then every scribe would put the dots in slightly different locations for the same word, and even employ other decorations too. This did not happen. For example always had the dots around the .s. and the n never had dots for this word but it appeared in other words – the dots were clearly purposeful. But they had to be practical and easy to apply. They had to be at least as easy to apply as the word-boundary dots they saw in their neighbouring Etruscan.

It is obvious how in Etruscan and Roman texts the dots were word boundaries which the scribe could easily insert from either small pauses in actual speech, or an under-standing of where words began and ended. But what simple feature could the dots in Venetic represent? What could there be that any writer or reader could understand almost intuitively without any major formula needing to be applied?


And why dots? What would dots represent? Maybe they were not dots initially but small “I”s. A good way of indicating palatalization might be to put small “I”s at front and back of a sound. For example N > iNi I noted that the dots in the inscription reproduced above in Figure 1.1 look like short “I”s.

Looking at the real world of languages, I noted the differences between written Esto-nian and Livonian. Livonian is probably descended from the same east Baltic coast lingua franca of a millenium or two ago, but Livonian has been subjected to influence from the Indo-European Latvian language for the last half millenium or more. I no-ticed that while Livonian had words similar to Estonian, they were more extremely palatalized. The extreme palatalization has prompted the written Livonian to develop a host of letters officially described as palatalized. (In Estonian palatalization is not explicitly marked but is still there – although the palatalization is not strong. Was that the simple answer? Was Venetic highly palatalized like Livonian was. This palalati-zation would be caused by considerable contact with Indo-European languages that were spoken with tigher mouths. The action also resulted in vowels sounding higher (which we can roughly express by U > O, O > A, A > E, E > I, I > H or ’ break)

The palatalization in Venetic, I proposed, was indicated by dots on both sides of the normal letter, the most important being the “I” where .i. would sound either like “J” (= ”Y”) or “H” with palatalized tongue. But then I saw the dot to be more widely applied serving as an all-purpose phonetic marker. It could alter any alphabetical sound in which the tongue played a role. It could indicate sounds like “SH” and a trilled R, and indirectly even mark a pause or an emphasis or length. This theory made the dots ve-ry important to the project. It meant we cannot simply go by the Roman alphabet equi-valents. We also have to know how the dots alter the sound. If the use of dots lasted for centuries and was even used by ordinary people writing graffiti, then it had to be a very simple concept – not some complicated formula.

For an English speaker, our best example of palatalization is the ñ in Spanish, but weak palatalization is not uncommon in all languages. Most sounds made by the hu-man mouth can be found in all languages to some degree,even if the language does not explicitly recognize it. For example, although Estonian, unlike Livonian, does not explicitly define palatalized letters, there is weak palatalization where Livonian has strong palalatization. Estonian does not indicate the palatalizations, and any student of Estonian has to learn these.

Another modern example of a language that is weakly palatalized in one and strongly in another is Swedish versus Danish. Swedish has the rounded mouth (like Estonian) while Danish is strongly palatalized (like Livonian).

When Venetic was next written in the Roman alphabet for a while, with word boun-daries shown, all these dots were abandoned. If the reader knew the word bounda-ries, they could insert the proper pronunciation – the palatalizations, etc – from their know-ledge of the language. Once I had made the discovery, and knew most of the dots marked palatalization, I began to take notice of the dots around letters which we do not normally palatalize. I discovered that in all instances there was some kind of significance of the tongue. For example .r. was a trilled r.



3.1 Introduction

The secret of the dots cannot be solved independently of the rest, and the following conclusions were arrived at piece by piece throughout the project of deciphering Ve-netic, as outlined in THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL. This paper on the Venetic dots is also decribed in its Chapter 4. However they only affect how the Venetic sentences were pronounced and we can describe it independently here,to give the reader an idea of prounciation right off and then not have to deal with them further. As I already said I made a hypothesis that the dots were phonetic markers, and subsequently the hypothesis was proved correct. The most obvious use was to mark palatalization, but it marked more.

The dots,mainly served to indicate the common palatalizations we know well today in languages like Spanish, or more extensively in Livonian and Danish, appeared to have been applied to all circumstances of the tongue and palette being applied.

It took me a long time to realize that past analysts have been wrong in claiming the Venetic character that looks like an “M” was a “SH” sound.The “SH” sound obviously has to come from a ‘palatalized’ S.As you will see,I interpret the sound of the charac- ter that looks like an “M” as a long hissing S, possibly with an “I” at the start. Thus, once one grasps that the dots mark any intrusion of the tongue in the souind, questions about the correctness of past interpretations are resolved.

3.2 The “I” with dots on both sides - .i.

The modern custom in showing Venetic writing is to convert the Venetic letters to small case Roman and then to add the dots as well with periods. We begin by consi-dering dots on both sides of the “I” character. According to the bronze sheetsthat re-peat oeka over and over,with each of the Venetic letters attached to the end,the dot-ted “I”was so common, the Veneti actually recognized it as one of the basic alphabet letters. As I mentioned, traditional scholars of Venetic inscriptions have decided from various evidence, that this new character of the “I” with two short lines on both sides, represented some sound akin to an “H”. A few analysts have proposed a “J” sound. Since some early inscriptions show the dots as short lines, almost like small “I”s there is merit in considering the dots to represent tiny short I’s. (see Figure 1.1) The purpose of that, before and after a sound, in my view is to show palatalization.

These short lines then developed into dots. This truth can be realized when compa-ring the location of some of the palatalized letters in Venetic with locations in other languages. Human speech psychology and physiology is a constant and that means the same phonetic changes can occur in any language independently.

Languages do not change arbitrarily. If we put small faint I’s around an “I” sound we tend to arrive at the “J” which is the same as the sound of “Y” in English usage – short and consonantal. The new character, the Venetic .i., was therefore actually an ‘over-high’ “I”. Overall increased palatalization in a language can be caused simply by a general shifting, in the manner of speaking, of all vowels “upward” (such as U > A, A > E, E > I, I > Y / J, H)


If we explain the .i. in terms of palalizing the “I” we can see that it can result in a “Y / J” sound in one environment and an “H” sound in another environment. Palatalizing the “I” sound will demonstrate, the resulting sound is a “J”, but following a consonant like “V” it sounds like an “H” too – but an “H” produced at the front of the mouth, not back. Traditional analysis of the Venetic writing has decided (LeJeune) that the v.i. is an “F” sound and v.i. has been rewritten as vh (which occurs elsewhere in that form).

While it may be true that v.i. sound might sound like vh, I disagree with the Venetic v.i. always being rewritten vh and assumed to sound like “F”. It was certainly similar, but one must not forget the origins of v.i.r in the palatalization of “VIR” (as I will pro-pose). I think it is wise to leave the .i. alone, write it exactly as written, and not con-vert in the small case Roman representation into an “H”. Don’t arbitrarily alter what Veneti wrote. If the v.i. sometimes was written with a new cha-racter assumed an “H” and later as Roman “F” well we may be dealing with slight variations in dialect, or the scribe’s habits. In other words the “F” sound could have developed in the dialect from an earlier “VJ” (“VY”) sound - especially when the people began to adopt Latin which had no “VJ” (“VY”) sound.

The simple idea behind putting dots on both sides of letters that everyone could quickly understand was that wherever short I’s on dots were placed on both sides of a letter, the reader simply pushed up the tongue to the “I” positionahead of the sound,and the sound of the letter was altered accordingly,it becoming “J” (“Y”) or “H” according to its environment.

3.3 Dots around the “E” - .e.

The word .e.kupetaris allows us an opportunity to prove the above theory that the dots recorded palatalization. The effect of dots appears to be explicitly demonstrated in IAEEQVPETARS in the following inscription.

(When we show Roman capitals, it means the original is in the Roman alphabet.)

The word appearing as .e.kupetaris in inscriptions in the Venetic alphabet is shown here as IAEEQVPETARS. It is clear that .e.ku sounded like “IAEEQU” as given via Roman alphabet phonetics. Here we see both the palatalization suggested by the “I” and also a lengthening of the vowel. It demonstrates that the all-purpose dot could indirectly mark vowel palatalization but it could mark other modifications in the flow of sound as well such as lengthening or pause. Note in the illustration the IAEEQVPETARS down the right side in smaller letters suggests it is an added tag-line. This has helped us conclude that the word means something like ‘goodbye’ ‘have a good journey’, etc


Figure 3.3

[MLV-134, LLV-Pa6]

See the word IAEQVPETARS down the right side. Note too how it seems added as a tag, one of the reasons for interpreting it as a ‘happy journey’, ‘bon voyage’, etc.

3.4 Dots around Initial Vowels – In General

The above example showed the dots around the intial vowel E proving the palatali-zation.. Similar effects can be expected on the other vowels. We begin with the basic I with dots also discussed earlier. The phonetic representations use Roman pronunciation (J = English Y).

.i. = “J”
.e. = “jE”
.a. = “jA”
.o. = “jO”
.u. = “jU”

Perhaps Venetic put the stress strongly on the first syllable, and this feature may be the result of needing to ‘launch’ the initial vowel strongly.Such a need would produce a consonantal feature at the start – a J/Y or H.This could simply have been a feature arising from the manner of speech,accent,etc, a para-linguistic feature not part of the language itself; but if it was strong, the phonetic writing needed to record it. A good modern example would be that if we found a dialect of English in which all E sounds were pronounced “I”,a writer might want to show it explicitly – especially if writing dia- logue – instead of normal writing.For example if there were people who spoke “Hippy Dey ti yeh”, a writer transcribing this might want to write it phonetically as I just did (or in other phonetic writing) instead of writing “Happy Day to you” .

Early phonetic writing was not aware how languages only need certain sounds called “phonemes” in order for the text to represent the language, and therefore early phonetic writing tended towards being literally phonetic, capturing even strong paralinguistic sounds even if they were not part of the language.

Furthermore, if ancient scribes used too few characters for the sounds, a reader who knew the language was still able to read the text. Consider the Livonian language. Linguists have identified many palatalized sounds,and determined that many of them are phonemic; but if Livonian were written without the identified palatalized letters, a Livonian would still be able to identify the words. They might however read it more like Estonian where palatalization is weaker and needs not be marked. The reason Livonian has been assigned many additional palatalized letters is largely because of the influence of linguists.In the actual history of written language the written langu-age naturally reduces to a form that is readable, regardless of whether is ag
rees with lin-guistic representations.English is a good example – it is filled with letters wherein we cannot tell the sound without looking at the whole word. For example,we can only tell that the word “where” is pronounced with the final e silent, only by recognizing the whole word. Thus the more history there is in a phonetically written language, the more it departs from strict phonetic representation, and the more the reader deter-mines words from experience with the full words: the more the words become their own graphics.

To summarize, early phonetically written language like Venetic,naively tries to record the actual spoken language and captures many features which may not really need to be written down. Conversely there have been many written languages that mini-mized the alphabet, and the actual sound of the language has been lost. Too much information makes it possible to reproduced the sentences without knowing the lan-guage, and too little information requires the reader know the language well enough to identify the intended words even with a lack of information.

In the case of Venetic,therefore,we must recognize that,since the Venetic writing had very little history, for the most part,it is highly phonetic. It is valid to read Venetic pho-netically, following the Roman alphabet equivalents, and expect it to quite closely ref-lect how it was actually spoken. At the height of the Roman Empire it is certain that the way Latin was spoken varied from one region to another while the written langu-age remained unchanged. In other words,the Latin spoken by common folk in Britain would have sounded different from the Latin spoken in Gaul, or Spain. But the Latin would be written the same way.A good example is modern English.English is spoken in many different ways, many different dialects – compareaccents in America vs. Bri-tain vs. Australia vs. India etc. All use the same written language. If we were to write English truly phonetically, there would be a hundred or so written forms of English.

If Venetic writing tried to reproduce its language explictly then we can expect dialec-tic variations will appear in the writing. But what is most intriguing is that by adding the dots – serving not just mostly palalization and similar tongue-produced effects but (see later) situations with lengthening (of either sound or silence) –allows us to reproduced Venetic quite accurately.

Even if all the dots were not necessary and word boundary writing could have been used, the Veneti thought that it was important to mark the palatalizations explicitly, maybe thinking that if they didn’t it would be read like Etruscan.

While the dots strictly speaking are not needed for someone who knew the langu-age, and a Venetic reader could do just as well with dots only marking word bounda-ries, if we initially know no Venetic at all, the dots certainly give us a vivid idea of how the Venetic sounded.

Perhaps it sounded like Danish relative to German, or Livonian relative to Estonian. It is a blessing in disguise!! Furthermore as the dialects changed, the scribes who recorded it, captured significant changes in pronunciation. That is why we will see variations on some words, and especially with the application of the dots.

If we regard the Venetic writing as extremely phonetic because of all the dots,we can- not view the variations as erroneous, but that some words were spoken a little diffe-rently between two locations and two periods in time. For example if there is an in-scription that shows .e.petars instead of .e.kupetari.s. that does not mean the scribe made a mistake. It simply means that, just like in English good-bye can become g’bye, so too a commonly used .e.cupetari.s. could reduce to .e.petars over time.

When Venetic at the beginning of Roman times was written with Roman alphabet let-ters,the dots vanished,confirming that the original Venetic written language was more a phonetic recording of actual speech than its Roman alphabet form. We also have to bear in mind the fact that Romans explicitly showed word boundaries, which reduced the need for additional phonetic punctuation.

Figure 3.49


This is one of the few inscriptions (other than Roman writing inscriptions on urns) where Roman letters are used, and the Roman convention of simply using dots to separate words. The dots around letters are missing. This tends to prove that strictly speaking the dot-punctuation was not necessary to read the text. But without the dots, someone who does not know Venetic will read it like reading Latin, and the palatalizations, etc. that reproduce how it was really spoken is lost.

Throughout the investigations of the Venetic writing, investigators have wondered why the word “Veneti” does not appear (other than in one instance Venetkens, which could simply be a borrowing from Latin.) But we must bear in mind both that ancient Latin spoke the V as a “W” and Greeks called them “Eneti” (or “Henetoi”) both of which suggests the word was introduced with a palatalized initial “E”. In my analysis of the Venetic inscriptions I came to the conclusion that in the inscriptions the word is represented in the stem For example it appears as .e..n.noniia. The iia ending suggests the Venetic way of saying the Roman “Venetia”


[urn- MLV 91, LLV-Pa90]

Instead of showing any V-character (= W-sound), it shows the E surrounded by dots.

The actual Venetic pronunciation of .e..n.noniia may have sounded something like (playing on the phonetics of the Roman alphabet) “WHEI-NO-NII-A”.

This helps us reproduce the sound of other Venetic words that begins with dotted vo-wels. For example there is one sentence in which the scribe has added plenty of dots - .e..i.k. It must have sounded very unusual, such as WHEIHK, YEIHK, etc.

Note that the above discussion is a good example of determining the meaning of the dots through looking at evidence, starting from our first observation that showed .e.ku sounded like “IAEEQU”. It puzzles me how earlier studies of Venetic writing failed to identify the dots as punctuation that modified normal Etruscan letter sounds, and that it has nothing to do with syllables (which someone proposed.) It is nothing more than added information on pronunciation.The fact that it was added is evidence the Vene-tic language was pronounced with extreme palatalization – maybe like how Danish or southern Swedish speaks its Germanic language today – and the Venetic scribes were motivated to introduce the dots simply because their language was extremely different from the pure round sounds of neighbouring Etruscan or Latin.

We will look at the effect of the dots on consonants in the next sections. But first, for comparison, let us look at something similar with respect to intial vowel treatments in Estonian versus Livonian, were Estonian has weak palatalization and rounder sounds like in Latin, while Livonian is extremely palatalized like Danish.

3.4.1 Examples of Palatalization on Initial Vowels in Livonian and Estonian

To illustrate the above phenomenon of consonantal features appearing with intial vo-wels in a language in which there is stress on the initial vowel, we can look to some examples in Livonian, a Finnic language that was located on the coast south of the related language of Estonian. Perhaps you know of other languages to observe. One might for example look at highly palatalized Danish versus standard Swedish, for example. I use these examples that compare Livonian and Estonian, since my own greatest familiarity is with Finnic languages.

Since Livonian is highly palatalized and Estonian considerably less, it is possible to compare Livonian words with Estonian equivalents, and then compare what we witness with the above described circumstances visible in Venetic initial vowels with dots.

While Estonian does have palatalization it is mild and not explicitly noted in the writ-ten language. However, in Livonian, as I say, palatalization is strong and significant. Livonian explicitly shows the palatalization with diacritical marks. However, this applies only to situations commonly viewed as ‘palatalization’. As I indicate here, the Venetic use of dots seems more broadly applied to all situations in which the tongue modified a sound, and even side effects like length or pause.

Let us see what we can discover from Livonian compared to Estonian. Estonian like Finnish, in putting stress on the first syllable, commonly adds some consonantal feature at the start that helps launch the initial vowel. Note it is impossible not to have something consonantal on an initial vowel,in any language – but usually it is so weak it can be ignored in languages that do not put a stress or emphasis on the first syl-lable. For example in English,stress is applied later in the word. For example English people will mistakenedly pronounce Helsinki with “HelSINKi” instead of the Finnish “HEL-sinki”.


In fact this is a good example of a word in which the initial H probably appeared as a result of the emphasis on the first syllable in Finnish. There are other words in Esto-nian and Finnish where an “H” or “J/Y” has been explicitly recognized. But the con-sonantal sound launching an initial consonant is there,and its strength will vary with the dialect. In the following, we see some examples in which the Livonian is shown with an explicit J at the start, where it is not explicitly noted in written Estonian:

Table 3.4.1

initial vowel Estonian Livonian

E ema jemā
A ära   jarā
I   iga   jegā

(J follows the convention of pronouncing it like English “Y”)

What can we derive from this? It suggests that in pronouncing Venetic too,we should place the emphasis on the first syllable, and this will help us understand the reasons for the Venetic employment of the dots in various locations.Having observed similarities with Finnic intial vowels, we will continue to make reference to other coincidences with Finnic languages.

The reader is always welcome to advance examples of other languages with empha-sis on the first syllable. It is possible that a consonantal launch for initial vowels, is quite common for all languages – not just Finnic – that place the emphasis on initial syllables. The observations in the following sections will probably be found in those as well. The reader is welcome to investigate other languages.Our discussion merely observes phonetic parallels with Finnic purely as examples.

3.5 Palatalization of Consonants.

Besides the vowels, the Venetic inscriptions are also liberally sprinkled with dots on both sides of consonants.On sounded consonants,the resulting sounds are our fami- liar consonant palatalizations such as the Spanish palatalization of the N written as Ñ. In Livonian the palatalization of sounded consonants L and N involve the use of diacritical marks in the form of a cedilla underneath.Livonian palatalizes the D and T and R and shows it in this way as well, with the cedilla underneath. Other written lan-guages that actually show palatalization,may have other markers. If palatalization is weak and not linguistically significant, it will not be shown. For example Estonian has palatalization in places similar to Livonian, but they are weaker, and so not explicitly indicated.

But there is more to the Venetic dots than simply the common palatalizations of con-sonants we know in modern languages.They appear to have a broader more general application than what is meant by the modern conventional idea of ‘palatalization’.

Dots around the Venetic N and L have easy comparison to modern Spanish or Livo-nian. And dots around Venetic D and T are analogous to those in Livonian. But there are other applications of dots in Venetic.After completing my project,it was very clear that the dots marked all situations in which the forward, upward, tongue modified a letter sound from its normal relaxedtongue state. And that results in the dots marking consonants in other ways than what we might normally consider palatalization. We already saw how the dots modified vowels – introducing a J or H sound.


That too is not what we normally associate with the term ‘palatalization’. The scheme of dot addition in general makes things very easy. It is also the reason the dots were even used –it was a scheme that any writer could understand: For any tongue action up to to the top of the mouth,add a dot!! Let us explore additional application on con-sonants:From all the evidence so far,if the dots in the Venetic writing surround a con- sonant like an “S” we should discover its sound very simply by adding our faint “J” (= ”Y”),where the dot appears,and interpret the result.For example .s.sounding like “JS” can be considered the sound of the ss in English issue. In modern languages this sound is represented in many ways, beginning with the “SH”, which is described in other languages with “Š” Currently a Venetic character that looks like an M is as-sumed to be “SH” but this dot scheme suggests the current view about the M is wrong and that the “SH”is the dotted S as in .s. What then should the M be? I will give the argument later, but for now I believe it to be an unpalatalized “(I)SS” as in English hiss. I therefore represent the character in the transcriptions to Roman alphabet with $.

The following table shows some palatalized consonants, and Venetic examples. In addition, I selected some Estonian words that are similar to the Venetic, where Esto-nian has palatalization in the same locations. Livonian will have similar examples. A more comprehensive study might also look for parallels in other palatalized langua- ges,like Danish.The reader is invited to investigate if these locations of palatalization are more or less universal, and a function of preceding and following sounds.

Table 3.5



R = trilled
Venetic example

ka.n.te.s. = alueelle = hyvin
vo.t.te.i = ottaa
.u.r.kli = tutkia

mo.l.ta = maa, multa

Compare with palatalization in Estonian words like this:

kanti ‘into the region’
hästi ‘well’
võtteid ‘takings’
uuri ‘investigate’
muld ‘soil’

The table shows another consonant that we would not normally consider a palata-lized consonsant. I propose dots around the Venetic R represent a trilled R. The R with dots does not appear often in Venetic,but there is an inscription in which a trilled and non-trilled R appear together - .a.tra.e.s. The R in the first word, by out theory, is not trilled and in the second it is trilled. We can find that in languages that have the trilled R, the trilling strength is also dependent on its situation within the word – the letters preceding and following.For example,Estonian uses trilling,and we can find that a word like adra produces the R in a weak position that does not have to be trilled, while on the other hand, tarvis places the R in a stronger position that promotes strong trilling. Estonian will, like Venetic, similarly strongly trill the loanword terminus (is it from Greek?) which is similar to the Venetic

I believe that for a person who already knew the language, the dots as represen-tations of all tongue-effects was enough for the reader to recognize what sound was intended. The dot was an all-purpose phonetic marker, but mostly marked palatalization and other tonguemodifications of pure sounds.


3.6 Dots in Venetic Around Silent Consonants Representing a Stød?

Let us consider now, what happens if we “palatalize” a silent consonant (if dots sur-round a silent consonant). That would be represented in Livonian explicitly with the D or T with the cedilla mark beneath it. But in Venetic we see it also around other silent consonants, such as G (.g.). How can silence be palatalized? The true palata-lizing of a silent consonant should result in more silence,and that would be represen- ted by the break in tone called “stød”. Represented by a mark similar to an apost-rophe, stød is found today in the highly palatalized langugages of Danish and Livo-nian.Stød can be viewed as palatalization on a high vowel so that the high vowel dis-appears from being ultra high. For example “I” >“J/Y”. Indeed the Venetic dotted “I” is an overhigh “I” that becomes silent while the tongue positions are the same as with “I”. Normally it appears as the “J/Y” or a frontal “H”. But what if we have “MIN”? Then raising the “I” in this case becomes “MJN” or “M’N”. This is in Danish called “stød”.

In Livonian an example of a word with stød would be jo’g ‘river’ where ’marks the stød. Estonian, without the stød would say it jõgi. Based on our view of the Venetic dots, if we used Venetic writing to write the Livonian it would probably look like jo.g. except that Venetic “j” would be written .i. (palatalized “I”) so it would be .i.o.g. or simply .o.g .

Another example in Livonian would be le’t ‘leaf’. If we wrote it in Venetic writing, by our theory, it would be le.t. In this case the Estonian equivalent without the stød would be leht and the Finnish would be lehti.

Another Livonian example would be tie’da ‘to do’. The Estonian equivalent would add the H here as well – teha. In Finnish tehdä.

Perhaps one can find similar situations when comparing Danish words and equiva-lent words in related standard Swedish or Norwegian which are not highly palata-lized. It appears that palatalization arises from the general movement of a language upward towards tighter mouth and more involvement of the tongue on the palate.

The addition of the H by Estonian suggests the Livonian stød can be seen as an ‘ex-treme palatalization’. If a culture in general develops a dialect in which they push all vowels upward (which means pushing vowels forward-upward while relaxing the mouth) then we get a general shift that can roughly be described by U>O O>A A>E E > I But what about the I? What is higher than the I? Obviously it is the “J/Y”or fron- tal “H”. But then what happens with the “H” or “J/Y”? That is when the stød appears. Al-ready silent, where can it go? The only direction it has would be to create a break, a stop. Thus, to continue the shift we would have I > H (tongue in “J” position) and then H, J > stød. If we start with a word like SOMAN it can evolve as the speaker’s tongue grows. Follow the rise in vowels: SOMAN > SAMEN >SEMIN > SIMHN> SIM’N

Thus in general palatalization and upward shifts of vowels are related to the same shift in speech. It follows that highly palatalized languages also display upward shifts of lower vowels too. For example Livonian presents the suffix for agency as – ji while Estonian and Finnish use – ja.It may explain the name Roman historian Tacitus used for the nations along the southeast Baltic coast in the first century – “Aestii”. If these people were ancient Estonians, and the reason Estonians have always been called Eesti, then maybe if the word was highly palatalized, we could rewrite it (imitating Li-vonian) as ESTJI, which when lowered becomes OSTJA of low palatalized Estonian and Finnish, which means ‘buyer’, ie ‘merchant’, which is how surrounding peoples would have viewed the managers of the market port near the Vistula mouth.


It is never a uniform shift because many other factors are at play as well. A speaker cannot change a word so much it becomes unintelligible. Some crutial features, such as grammatical endings, may resist being changed. The changes will mostly manifest in the word stems.

In Venetic, in the available Venetic inscriptions, this shifting of vowels upward de-scribed above, can explain words in which no vowels are shown between conso-nants where one would expect it. In the body of inscriptions we see vda.n. and mno.s. If the above is true of Venetic then we can expect that earlier vda.n. may have been vhda.n. or v.i.dan and before that vida.n. Similarly mno.s. may origina-ted from m.n.os and before that mino.s. In other words the progressions are v.i.dan > v.d.a.n. > vda.n. and mino.s. > m.n.o.s. > mno.s.

We have possible proof of this in the Venetic inscriptions, where a word written seve- ral times as vo.l.tiiomno.i. appears in another dialect .vo.l.tiio.m.minna.i. thus re-vealing the original “I” between M and N.(One of the advantages of Venetic writing is that the scribe actually records actual dialect and in this case,a less palatalized one!) The occurrence of two vowels together as in vda.n. or mno.s. was rare in Venetic as these are the only two occurrences in the body of under 100 complete inscriptions available.

3.7 Solitary Dots

Sometimes dots appeared only once,not around a letter. Solitary dots probably are to be interpreted in the following manner:After a silent consonant they could produce a pause. After a vowel they could lengthen the vowel. We have to use common sense and put ourselves into the mind of the scribe. The writing system has no other way of indicating length or pause.

Sometimes scribes treated each palatalized character with a dot on either side, but if there were two palatalized characterized in a row, often the dot between them was shared. In our arbitrary division of the continuous Venetic writing with spaces to show word boundaries,
a shared dot can become separated from one of the adjacent characters using it. Bear this in mind when I break up a continuous Venetic inscription with word boundaries to make our analysis simpler.


4.1 Venetic at the South End of the Jutland Amber Route Implications on Danish All in all, from the use of the phonetics of regular words (which we assume were pro-nounced like Latin) plus the additional effects indicated by the dots, we can sense how the Venetic actually sounded –strongly palatalized.

As already mentioned, two languages with strong palatalization and stød is Danish and Livonian. Livonian lies south of Estonia and was dominated by Latvian (an Indo-European language that is a cousin of Slavic languages) and therefore we might propose that Livonian palatalization arose from the influence of Latvian.Another pos- sibility is that Livonian was actually strongly influenced by traders from the west Bal-tic who spoke in a palatalized way who regularly accessed the trade river known in Livonian as Vaina, but today as Daugava.

But let us look at Danish, because Danish is today spoken by descendants of peoples who lay at the north end of the trade route that reached down to northern Italy where the Venetic inscriptions we are studying have been found. Both ancient historical texts and archeology has demonstrated that the Veneti were agents of amber from the north.

There were two northern sources of amber –the southeast Baltic, and the Jutland Peninsula.

Most of the amber to the Venetic regions at the north end of the Adriatic Sea came from the Jutland Peninsula. The amber from the other source,the southeast Baltic, coming down via the Vistula and Oder, went mostly directly to Greece. With the rise of the Romans, there appears to have been a detour of the Vistula trade path west-ward however, coming down the Piave River Valley. But inscriptions from the Piave Valley and eastward are few, and the body of Venetic inscriptions that archeology has uncovered,mainly represents language of the peoples who recieved amber from the Jut-land Peninsula route. Most of the inscriptions, thus, have the high palatalized dialect, and it is likely it was also found at the Jutland Peninsula source of amber, which we can perhaps identify with the language of independent peoples Roman identified as “Suebi” who we will here say spoke “Suebic

As we have already noted archeology is clear about the intimate connection between the Adriatic Veneti in the region of most of the inscriptions, and the Jutland Peninsula. According to Grahame Clark (World Prehistory, Cambridge Univ Press) based on the archeological data, the early amber route went up the Elbe, then made its way south by using both the Saale and upper Elbe to start.But then,in the second phase of the central European Bronze Age,a distinctive bronze industry, associated with tumulus burial, arose among descendants of Corded-ware folk [Indo-Europeans ancestral to the Celts or Germans] occupying the highlands of south-west Germany ... These are identifiable in my view with the true Germans - those Tacitus (see his Germania of 98AD) calls Chatti. They were sedentary farming and pastoral peoples and hence customers for traders.

Thus their growth caused the traders from Jutland to develop in their route an additional westward detour or loop to that area.

Then, after that, another center of industry developed east of the Saale River by people of the same Corded-ware origins (Germanic). The growth of the Germanic culture in central Germany is evident, which in turn promoted traders to create mar-kets for them. The impact of this on the traders is that the trader colonies at the ter-minuses in northern Italy and the Jutland Peninsula developed as well. As Clarke in-dicates: Another distinctive industry developed in Northern Italy adjacent to the south end of the overland route,and at its northern end the Danes ...were importing bronze manufactures both from central and also from western Europe This information affirms the connection between activity in northern Italy and Jutland Peninsula. The “Danes” were recieving bronze wares in exchange for their supplying amber to the southern civilizations. The "Danes" at this time were not Germanic. In general, The amber route formed a veritable hub around which the Early Bronze Age industry of much of Europe revolved.

It is thus clear that the Danes of ancient times spoke another language,one that may even have been analogous to Venetic, and there is a distinct possibility that their tra-der peoples were the initiator of Venetic colonies to serve a newly opened up way around 1000BC of carrying Jutland amber south to Mediterranean civilization. Then when the Jutland tribes were conquered by the German-speaking Goths (Chatti, Göta) since Roman times,some centuries later,they adopted the Germanic language of their conquerors,but spoke it in their original highly palatalized fashion. A new lan-guage is initially always spoken in the accent of the old. If one does not experience an environment of ‘correct’ speakers, one will continue to speak it with the accent, and transfer the accent to subsequent generations. Danish can be seen that way – as an accent originating from Suebic of the Roman era,carried down through the ge- nerations. Southern Sweden (Skåne) has a highly palatalized dialect as well, and it indicates that the palatalized Suebic language was found also in southern Sweden.


Little is known about the Suebic language other than from what is implied in ancient writings. According to Tacitus’ Germania, it seems the Suebic language covered vast part of the geographical region of Germania, like a trade language. Some have been tempted to see it as some early form of Germanic, but we cannot forget that the re-gion the Romans called “Germania” was purely a geographic region, and could have contained many languages and dialects.

Tacitus wrote in his Germania that the Aestii were like the Suebi, but their language was ‘closer to’ (not ‘different’!!) to that of native Britain, thus tending to point to a pos-sible interpretation that there were Finnic-like trade languages across the northern seas in the Pre-Roman period. The Finnic languages would have been aboriginal in origins, arising ultimately from the dugout-canoe hunter-gatherers the archeologists have identified as the “Maglemose” culture. It is very believable that before the de-velopments and movements of the farming peoples of continental Europe, the unfar-mable marshy and cold Scandinavia and south Baltic was the abode of descendants of these aboriginal peoples – except that those towards the south in contact with farmers found a role to play for the static farming settlements in professional long distance traders. These trader tribes could also adopt some innovations from the farming cultures, and even change genetically from intermarriage.

Figure 4.1

Amberroutes to the Adriatic circa early Roman era with tribe names “Germania”, superimposed. Note Tacitus’ “Chatti” and neighbours would be the true Germanic speakers, the “Goths” and had only begun their military conquests in Tacitus’ time, meaning the expansions of Germanic Goths from the interior of Germany occurred only from about 0 AD.


Roman historian Tacitus appeared to have personally approached the south Baltic coast by sea – he also wrote a biography of Agricola, first governor of Roman Britain and could have secured passage on a long distance traders ship. Accordingly in his geography “Germania” Tacitus primarily encountered the boat peoples - the Suebi tribes who interracted with each other via waterways.Once I discovered that if Sue-bic tribe names were assumed to have raised vowels and lowered the vowels,the re- sulting words were meaningful descriptions via Estonian. For example Suebi as SUO-ABA meant ‘bay, estuary of the marsh’ which might refer to the region at the mouth of the Oder. There was probably a market there. (See elsewhere for the whole analysis of names.)

Thus, after an analysis of Suebic tribe names, it appeared to me that even if the inte- rior farmable parts of Germania had Germanic/Indo-European farmers, the unfar-mable coastal areas, lowlands, marshes, still retained descendants of the original “Maglemose” Finnic culture. Thus in conclusion it appeared to me that Suebic was a Finnic language that seemed to have raised vowels and palatalization, and therefore was consistent with the people speaking the same way when in the subsequent ex-pansion of the Göta (Chatti, Goths) they began speaking the Germanic language of their military conquerors in the early centuries AD.

In other words, in the early centuries AD, after being conquered by the Germanic Goths, they spoke the introduced Germanic language with their highly palatalized Suebic accent, and if that is not corrected,it is passed down from generation to ge-neration ultimately resulting in the highly palatalized Danish language of today. We can conclude that the original language of the Jutland Peninsula when it was in close trade contact with northern Italy, was highly palatalized, and that highly palatalized language was carried down to northern Italy.

This suggests that the language in the Venetic inscriptions, as it sounds when the dots are interpreted as palatalization markers, was in fact a dialect of Suebic.

The connections between what is now northern Italy, and the Jutland Peninsula are very significant in arguing that the Veneti colonies were initiated by amber trader tribes / families attempting to establish an alternative route to access the Mediterra-nean markets. We will not only find evidence of similar palatalization and vowel raising, but also a religious connection in terms of the worship of the goddess Rhea (The subject of a separate paper.) We know now where the strong palatalization in Venetic came from – it came from the Jutland Peninsula. Supporting this is archeo-logical determinations that the north Italic area developed gradually from about 1000 BC, from northern influences.

4.2 Two Amber Routes, Two Finnic Dialects from the North.

Traditional thinking has been that the traders at the sources of amber were “Balt” (ie like Lithuanians) or Germanic. And yet, both are rooted in agriculture. Finnic peoples arose from the northern aboriginals. Archeology has found their environment filled with adzes for making dugout canoes and harpooning and fishing gear for harvesting lakes, rivers, and seas. If early trade went by water, then the probability that the sea-traders across the northern seas, and river traders travelling up and down the major river, were derived from these aboriginal boat-using cultures, should be greater than the notion farming peoples took to boats.

There are other coincidences that cannot be ignored – such as the peoples along the southeast Baltic amber coast Tacitus called Aestii, had a name that has endured among Estonians as Eesti, for as long as there has been historical proof of it in Latin texts. It is therefore more probable that the Aestii spoke an ancient Finnic, and that their dialect travelled south with the amber from the southeast Baltic source.


While most of the inscriptions in our project were found at the south end of the amber route from the Jutland Peninsula, during the rise of Rome,Rome became a consumer of amber, and I believe the eastern amber route that came down from the southeast Baltic,which originally continued south along the east coast of the Adriatic, turned westward, and descended the Piave River to more easily access Roman markets.

Not very many inscriptions have been found in the Piave River valley, but those that do have a remarkably strong resonance with Estonian. If the Aestii at the southeast Baltic were ancestral to Estonians, this would not be a surprise.

But most of the inscriptions come from the south terminus of the western amber trade route that came from the Jutland Peninsula.The inscriptions at the south termi- nus from the west Baltic area will have the higher vowels and palatalization, and the few inscriptions at the south terminus of the route from the southeast Baltic re-gion will not have the raised vowel dialect nor the strong palatalization. They repre-sent dialectic difference between east and west Baltic. Yet the two trader peoples – east vs west Baltic – are connected by a common way of life. We will later find them to also be connected via the goddess Rhea.


5.1 Venetic Alphabet Sounds vs Roman

The previous sections have focused on the mystery of the dots,and we have in doing so so far implied the sounds of the Venetic characters through the representation of the Venetic with Roman alphabet characters.For more about these investigations in-to interpreting the original Venetic character sounds see MLV and LLV.Bear in mind, that these books do not know that the dots marked palatalization, etc. and there may be some misinterpretations.The Roman equivalent to Venetic characters have gene-rally been determined by scholars over the decades,from former interpretations of the sounds of the Etruscan alphabet. The Roman alphabet was born from the Etrus-can so that Latin phonetics is close too.Since in Roman times some Venetic words are given in Roman characters,it is possible to compare the Roman characters with the Venetic in the same words from earlier writing. However one has to be cognizant of a general degeneration of Venetic through Roman times. It seems reasonable to believe that Venetic sounds moved closer to Roman in those times, such as losing the original palatalization. It is one of the reason we do not pay too much attention to the Venetic inscriptions written in Roman times in Roman characters..

While sometimes the Venetic dots produced peculiar sounds,as demonstrated in the example given earlier to assess the sound of an initial .e., it appears from the better Roman alphabet inscriptions that the dots lost their role once the sentences were di-vided in Roman fashion,explicitly showing word boundaries. As I stated earlier, when a speaker of a language knows the word boundaries in their language,they will natu-rally apply the phonetic features correctly. The palatalizations, etc, may still be there, but no longer need to be explicitly marked when there are word boundary divisions. But of course the reader must already know the language to place the phonetic fea-tures correctly. The following, a long inscription, if not the longest, is one example of how Venetic looks when written in Roman fashion where the dots give word bounda-ries and the Venetic pronunciation dots are absent, and presumably no longer needed to comprehend the text.


Figure 5.1 was shown earlier in figure 3.4 and we will speak more about it here. The drawing was made from the original object which is lost. Note the dots, plus a small space between ANDETIC and OBOSECUPETARIS where there must have been a dot. It follows the Roman convention of actually showing word boundaries with dots. I separate the SSELBOI’s arbitrarily. The result, divided into words, is already given in the Roman style original.

Fig 5.1


If written in Venetic script with added dots, it would probably look approximately something like this (This is my own guesswork based on other inscriptions and must not be taken as factual, since no Venetic alphabet version actually exists):


Because the original Venetic writing showed the actual pronunciation,it picked up the actual accents and dialects that were in use in the environment of the writer. In the past, as we see in MLV, when the analysts saw a particular word written in a slightly different way, they presumptuously add a “[sic]” which impliesthe scribe made an er-ror. No, he may not have made an error but phonetically recorded the way people said a particular word in his region.

For example vo.l.tiiomno.i. in .e.go vo.l.tiiomno.i. iuva.n.t iio.i [obelisque- MLV- 59 LLV-Es4] appears alternatively as vo.l.tiio.m.minna.i. in e.go v.i.u.k.s. siia.i. vo.l.tiio.m.minna.i. [obelisque- MLV-57 LLVEs2]. The latter sentence shows other differences like v.i.u.k.s. and siia.i. It is not wrongly written but records another dialect!!

If a language has not developed literature,has not developed standards, then we cannot presume that there is a particularly universal correct way of writing a Venetic word.If it was a trade language then it had many dialectic versions – different in each significant trade route and region. The situation is not unlike where in one part of the English speaking world Mother sounds like “mah-thah” and an American “mah-thrr”, and it sounds still different in Australia.

Venetic writing is purely phonetic and that will show differences like this explicitly. There could therefore be many written Venetic languages, which are yet the same language spoken with different accents and which are, in actual use, mutually under-standable It would be similar to how an English-speaking person will be able to under
stand English spoken in an extreme accent (such as Cockney English or Sou-thern drawl of America). Venetic was not like Latin or Greek, which had developed standards of both speaking and writing it. Latin eventually was written more or less the same throughout the Roman Empire because of standardization from widespread and constant use including literature. In practice, there may have been different dialects in different parts of the Roman Empire.

5.2 Implications of the Dot – Palatalization Markers on How Venetic is Transcribed to Roman Alphabet.

I follow the form employed in MLV with modifications as described in the notes given under Figure 1.1 Because the dots now have a significance,I feel it is important not to tamper with them. For example an .i. should not be rewritten as an h. Nor should a la-ter h, be converted back to .i. either. Leave the Venetic way of writing it, as is. These differences could actually reflect, for example a shift from the ‘J’ (=’Y’) sound of .i. to a frontal ‘H” that can develop from increased palatalization in the speech.

In the body of Venetic inscriptions we see the introduction of an “H” character. With some words an initial v.i. represented with vh, and then in Roman alphabet as F. But this does not mean .i.= h.It may simply be that the dialect shifted from originally a “VJ” sound written v.i. to saying “F” sound written vh. Leave it as it is written, and don’t arbitrarily change vh to v.i. or even to F. Leave it as written.They could actually reflect small changes in dialect, and they are not necessarily all equivalent.

In addition, I have a disagreement with the assumption that the Venetic character that looks like an M, be interpreted as an “SH” (š).

This character that looks like an M, came with the Etruscan alphabet, so the Veneti did not invent it. But, whoever invented it, it raises the question – why is a character whose sound is in the S-family,written in a fashion that resembles their M-character? Shouldn’t the “SH” character be derived from the S-character? The following illustrates the problem: = “SH?” = “M” = “SI = “I

But perhaps the SH-character was indeed developed from the S-character. The fol-lowing shows how a rough M-like character can be formed by combining the I- and S- characters, tilting the S a little. We have presented it right to left because it was common for Etruscan / Veneti writing to flow from right to left. < < + I If this theory is correct then the sound represented by the M-like character is not “SH” as has been traditionally assumed but “ISS” (not palatalized).

Estonian provides a good example of an intense emphasis of this kind,that rarely oc-curs. It is in the word issand, an intensification of isand ‘fatherly entity’. The empha-sized form issand is translated in the modern day as ‘lord, master’. This sound is not palatalized, but is like in English hiss. (by contast,the Venetic S with dots – pa-latalized as in English issue) We note that in the Venetic inscriptions the M-like cha-racter is also rare, and the most common location is found in apparently votive texts, in a word in front of a seeming goddess “reitia” or “trumusia” which academics have interpreted as Venetic deities. We saw it for example in the inscription given above. Read left to right we rewrite it in Roman alphabet as (M)a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i.


If the M-like character is to be taken as an ISS-sound (as in English hiss), it would parallel the Estonian traditions of saying ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’ to a lordly figure, using issand. We will discuss this later in interpreting (M)a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i.

To conclude, the M-like character is essentially a very strong plain S with a faint I at front. But the faint I at front probably disappeared with the rise in vowel tone, which caused high vowels to disappear into H’s or sound breaks. ISSA- > SSA- The upward shift of tone is discussed next.

Summary: two forms of “SH”as presented in this study: .s. - palatalized as in English issue or Estonian uss (‘snake’) $ (Venetic M) - NON-palatalized as in English hiss or Estonian issand.

5.3 Systematic Shifts Observed

We have already shown in this chapter on the phonetics of Venetic, some many coincidences in terms palatalizations in Venetic also appearing in Estonian words, about the addition of H for the Estonian parallel when dots surround a consonant, about the addition of a J (=Y) in the Estonian and Livonian parallel when dots surround an initial vowel, and more.

In the final results we discovered remarkable parallels between some Venetic words and Estonian, especially in regards to how Estonian words wrote the locations where the Venetic had dots.

The following table illustrates some Estonian words that are quite parallel to Venetic words, with the Estonian showing an H, in locations where the Venetic shows dots. This repetition of the same pattern is very revealing, and evidence that by the laws of probability these are not likely to be pure coincidences.

Earlier I gave some examples of how palatalization could introduce the J sound (=Y) where otherwise it was too weak to palatalize. Such as between highly palatalized Livonian and mildly palatalized Estonian.

I have bolded the H or J on the Estonian side.

Table 5.3

Venetic Estonian

.e..i.k = hakkud =
a.kut = ehk = ehkä
la.g.sto = lahkustus
= lahjoitus (?)
.e.go = jäägu = = jänu =

[HM: Suomen lahja-sanan etymologia on täysin hämärän peitossa samoin viron sanan lahkus.

Ralf-Peter Ritter pitää esitettyjä kermaanivirityksiä älyttöminä:

102. Ein beredtes beispiel in diesem Zusammenhang KOIVULEHTOs Etymologie von fi.lahja ‘Geschenk´: germ. *lazja < (urfi.lašja).Er "beleuchtet die semantische Seite mit Hilfe von mhd.vergeben ’(ver)schenken”, vergebens ‘unnütz, vergeblich‘ und nhd.vergeblich" (HOFSTRA 1985,185). HOFSTRA muss die Bedeungs- parallele für überzeugend halten, wenn POSTIs Deutung von  fi. lahja als "noch überzeugender" einstuft.

POSTI geht davon aus,daß die Entsprechungen des finnischen Wor- tes in anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen die speziellere Bedeutung „Brautgabe´ haben. Da diese Gaben häufig aus Textilien bestehen, führt POSTI das in Rede stehende Wort auf ein aus urgerm. blahjon entstandenes nordisches  blahja- (an. blæja ‘Laken, Bettuch’) zurück Ial (POSTI 1981 6 ff). POSTI kann keine Bedeutungsparallele für den Bedeutungswandel ´Linnen´ zu ‘Brautgeschenk’ beibringen.

Niehtsdestoweniger ist seine Etymologie evident da sie einen universell gültigen Typ von Bedeutungs-wandel voraussetzt und sachgeschichtlich abgesichert ist. KOIVULEHTOs Erklärung hingegen erscheint trotz der semantischen "Beleuchtung" schlichtweg indiskutabel.

... "

These are a few examples. There are others within the inscriptions studied. Estonian does not mark its normal palatalizations. But if Estonian were written out phonetically we would find the more common palatalization parallels too.

See examples in Table 5.3 where the Estonian palatalizations are not marked, but we point them out by underlining the letter.

Palatalization can be viewed as pushing sounds upward with the tongue. We have already noted that the ancient northern language called Suebic did it as well.


This upward shifting ofsounds would be a dialectic event, much like someone in English saying “HIV EH HIPPY DEY!” for “have a happy day!” These observations of higher vowels relative to Estonian words that appear similar, of course must be done in conjunction with interpreting the sentences, since we also have to ascertain the meanings of our words first, before we look for parallels in known languages, as discussed in the next chapter.

5.4 How Venetic Sounded

In looking at examples of dots in Venetic as indicators of palatalization, stød, and other effects caused by the forward tongue, we must first find word boundaries in or-der to relate the Venetic text to our familiar modern word-boundary writing. It is im-portant for us to know the word boundaries, otherwise we cannot even discover simi-lar palatalization in known languages like Livonian or Estonian since palatalization is dependent on location in a word.

Once we have identified the words, we can then obreve oter languages for exemple sounds occurring at the location of the dots. To use an example, let us assume we have separated an inscription into words as follows vda.n. vo.l.tii mno.s. ke Let us explore how it sounds, when we intepret the sound modifications created by the dots.While the sounds can be found in various languages,we will refer mostly to Estonian for no other reason than that is is familiar to me.

The first word vda.n. shows a palatalization of N at the end.Can we find such palata-lization of N in the final position in Estonian? Yes,for example in vann ‘bath’. By com- parison – for demonstration of an example other languages – English does not have such palatalization in a final position. French on the other hand has this, as in gagne.

Next, the word vo.l.tii shows palatalization at LT that exists in Estonian. For example tuld ‘fire (Partitive)’. English for example does not have it. Its LT is not palatalized.
Next we see .s. in mno.s. Does Estonian have palatalization situations for a final s? Yes,it occurs.Estonian uss ‘snake’.This palatalization of a final S is not very common in languages. Next we have the .s. inside, preceding a T, in and Once again Estonian provides a good sound parallel in hästi ‘well’.

Next we see .g. in presents the dots on a silent consonant,which in ac- tual speech, probably presents itself as stød as described above, and which written in Livonian fashion would appear as LA’GSTO but, - to follow the patterns described here with words like le’t vs leht – with the Estonian adding the H (or Livonian losing the H for a stød) would if expressed in Estonian, sound like LAHGSTO perhaps somewhat like Estonian says lahkust ‘gift’.

These examples and others show that Estonian has phonetics that parallels the phonetics indicated by the dots. Here are my rough suggestions (representing the sounds with Latin and English phonetics)



(The first interpretation if at start of syllable and second if terminating a syllable) *invented English representations to mimic sound not naturally in English

a = “A” as in “father”
e =”E” as in “essence”
i =“I” as in “illness”
o= “O” as in “old”
u=”U” as in “moon”
l= “L” as in “land”
s= “S” as in “see”
$= “ISS” as in “hiss”
r= “R” as in “are”
m= “M” as in “me”
n= “N” as in “no
v= “V” as in “very”
t= “T” as in “too”
p=”P” as in “pat”
k=”K” as in “cut”
d= “D” as in “do”
h= “H” as in “hold”
b= “B” as in “bat”
g= “G” as in “got”

These are relatively accurate Venetic existed into the beginning of Roman alphabet use and there exists Venetic written in the Roman alphabet

.a. = “JA” “AH” as in “cough”, “ahk”*
.e. = “JE” “EH, as in “keh”* “ehk”*
.i. = “J”(=”Y”) as in “yes”
.o. = “JO” “OH” as in “joh”* “oh”
.u. = “JU” “UH” as in “you”, “pooh”
.l.= “LJH”, “HL” as in “lyiss”* “apple”
.s.= “SJH” , “HS”, as in “she”, “issue”

Dotted one not found (?)

.r.= “RJH”, “HR”, as in “rough”(trilled)
.m.=“MJH”,“HM”,as in“myih”*“ihm”*
.n.=“NJH”,“HN”,as in “myih”* “ihn”*
.v.= “VJH”, “HV” as in “vyih”* “if”
.t.= “TJH”, “HT”, as in “choo”, “aht”*
.p.= “PJH”, “HP” as in “pyih”* “ahp”*
.k.=”KJH”, “HK” as in “cute”, “ahk”*
.d.= “DJH”, “HD” as in “dew”, “aid”
No dotted - h is derived from .i.
.b.= “BJH”, “HB” as in “byih”* “ahb”*
.g.= “GJH”, “HG” as in “gyih”*”ahg”*

These are rough guesses. It is possible for linguistics to study the final results more carefully and with additional comparisons with Danish and Livonian discover precise phonetic rules.

If we are searching for a known language that is related to Venetic, then a study to find parallels to palatalization, will be very important.

Linguistics also says that grammar changes more slowly than words. This is under-standable – grammar is like the structure of a building. While one can change the cladding of a building easily, it is difficult to change the structure itself. But at this stage we have not identified any grammar which we can compare against the grammar of a known language. We will do it later.

The survival of phonetic and grammatical features should be stronger than lexical features. The reality is that words can be easily changed during usage, or borrowed from other languages, and a language can become filled with foreign words. But grammar –the structure of the language – cannot be borrowed.


Phonetics is analogous to accent.It is preserved unconsciously and is unconsciously transferred to another language.Others percieve it as a ‘foreign accent’. For example immigrants to North America will speak English with an accent, and if they maintain a community among themselves in which they preserve their original language, they may continue to speak with that accent for several generations. Danish, I believe re-presents the preservation of an accent from their previous language,that was carried over when the people adopted Germanic language; and from that we can conclude that the original language of the Jutland Peninsula was just as palatalized as Danish.

Amazingly, with the dots as phonetic markers we can reasonably easily reproduce how the language sounded. The reader, with reference to the sounds in Danish or Livonian, can explore how Venetic actually sounded. It is a side project best done in a sound medium rather than in written form.

5.5 Conclusions: An Efficient Alternative Writing System

Past thinking about the dots has ranged from ignoring them and considering them as decorative, to viewing them as a syllabic punctuation with mysterious rules requiring scribes to be educated to their use. But both these extremes are ridiculous. There are many Venetic inscriptions on ordinary objects obviously not requiring any priestly scribe.

The Venetic scheme of using dots, is an ingenious way of writing a language phonetically while using only one phonetic marker – a dot.

And it was simple. The writer would have become accustomed to simply throw in a dot wherever the speech pushed the tongue up for whatever reason. This gives us our required simplicity that permitted the dots to be understood and used by anyone. It was so simple and intuitive that there is no evidence of any Venetic writing copying the late Etruscan or early Roman use of word boundaries, until Roman times.

While many inscriptions were made formally for memorials and urns, the body of in-scriptions offers some evidence of ordinary people writing texts when at a sanctuary to the Goddess, or writing text on round river stones, or in some examples on every-day objects like a stick or hunting horn. Venetic writing was not anything restricted to a priestly class. Anyone could master it quickly, and did. One simply sounded out one’s sentence and wrote down the letters, adding dots whenever the tongue pressed up to the palate, for whatever reason.
R e f e r e n c e s

Andres Pääbo, 2002-2014, THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL*
S. Berneco, 2003, A Closer Look at Livonian Stød, Fenno-Ugristica 25, Tartu.
Grahame Clark, World Prehistory, Cambridge Univ Press LLV = G.B. Pellegrini & A.L. Prosdocimi, 1964 La Lingua Venetica, Padova. MLV = M. Lejeune, 1974. Manuel de la Langue Vénète,


Expanding the Discussion from “THE VENETIC LANGUAGE

An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL” (rev 6/2015)

Andres P ä ä b o (Ontario, Canada)

The following paper is from the chapter on Venetic Grammar documented in “THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL” in or-der to present a summary of the Venetic Grammar as discovered in the study – with some improvements and expansions from the original, wherever some further obser- vations could be made.As explained in the above document,this grammar is basical-ly achieved directly from the Venetic inscriptions. The methodology required first the discovery of word stems with the same meaning across all the inscriptions in the stu-dy which then produced grammarless sentences of the kind ‘Man -duck- elder’.

Along the way, I keep an eye on the grammatical endings and manage to determine meanings as I go, but the final results for grammatical ending functions is only reached when arriving at the end. The methodology of deciphering involved a great deal of attention to the context as determined by archeology, in which the sentences must appear so that whatever meaning is assigned has to resonate with the context; and also context within the sentence. Thus the methodology did not project any known language onto the Venetic. However, once it was clear Venetic was Finnic, I began to take notice of parallels in Estonian and Finnish and discovered some major grammatical endings were close to the same. In languages, grammar changes most slowly, and that is why more distant languages will still be similar in grammatical fea-tures.And that is also why for any suggestion that Venetic was genetically connected to Estonian or Finnish,we MUST find similarity in grammar. The similarities were also noted since if Venetic was Finnic, Estonian and Finnish grammar can now be used for further insights. The following is intended for the average educated reader who has used common grammar descriptions. My work contains little linguistic jargon and this paper should be easy to read.


1.1 The Most Comprehensive Description of Venetic

So Far Created Grammar cannot be directly discovered. It is necessary to include its discovery in the generalpursuitofword stems, and meaningful sentences that agree with the archeological context. It isonly during the discovery of sentences and maintaining a constancy in word stems, that it is possible to look for the grammatical endings thatfunctionin the same way in all the sentences.


It is only inthe final stagethat the gaps in terms of grammatical markets get filled in and we havean organized description. That is the reason I did not create this description of grammar until thevery end.

See “THEVENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a NewPerspective: FI-NAL” for the word stems and translations of the existing sentences on the archeolo-gical objects. They say that the only way to prove that you have discovered a real language is if you have identified sufficient word stems (lexicon) and grammar that you can form new sentences thathave not existed before.I have achieved this, as will be clear in some examples in this paper. However, there will be some critics who say that it is possible to invent a language and that I have invented all this. After all it is well known that some fantasy movies have hired linguists to create new languages for the movie (example ‘Klingon’). I agree that it would be easy to invent a language using some of the structures of existing languages. But it would be impossible to in-vent a language so that if applied to real ancient texts, it consistently produced trans-lations that were suitable for the context in which the sentences appeared, unless this invented language was the real language of the ancient texts. Int he recent tra-ditions of interpreting the Venetic inscriptions via Indo-European Latin or (more re-cently) Slovenian, the methodology has been to project the known language onto the unknown.Linguists participating do nothing other than try to vaguely ‘hear’ the known language in the unknown and then do some rationalizing to give it legitimacy. Not only is there a projecting of Indo-European word stems onto the Venetic inscriptions, but also desperate attempts to project Indo-European grammar onto the inscriptions.

In the Latin approach, there was nothing that actually could be inferred from the in-scriptions themselves other than the “dative” suggested by a number of inscriptions associated with giving an offering to a deity. Otherwise there was mostly a projecting of Indo-European features onto the Venetic sentences (see Lejeune).

Recent Slovenian attempts to interpret Venetic did not even attempt to identify word stems and grammatical elements to build a lexicon and grammar, but obscured the problem by pretending the Venetic sentences were all very poetic and complex and generally similar to Slovenian. The following extensive rationalization of grammar from the inscriptions themselves, is completely new.

You will not find any rationalization even to a tenth the degree in any previous inves-tigations. Our inventory of words from the Venetic inscriptions is not presented here, but we will make use of the min the illustrationsand explain the words we use. The purpose of this paper is to discuss Venetic grammar and to show how Venetic gram-mar resonates with common Estonianand Finnish grammar. Anyone who claims Ve-netic is genetically related to a particular language family must be able to do this.

Linguists have established that as languages from the same origins diverge from each other, grammar changes most slowly.Common grammar is in constant use. It is transferred generation to generation with little or no change. For that reason, when linguistics tries to find genetic connection between two languages whose common parent existed very long ago, many thousands of years ago,too distant for conventio-nal comparative linguistic is applied to words, then a comparison of grammar is very revealing. For example,it is difficult to determine a genetic connection between Esto- nian and Basque purely from comparing words, but when one looks at the grammati-cal structures, the Estonian grammar and Basque grammar look very similar.


1.2 Proposed Theory of How Venetic could be a Finnic Language

Finding in our investigation documented in“THEVENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL”that the Venetic in the Adriatic Venetic in-scriptions was a Finnic language, will inevitably raise questions as to how this can be the case. The following is a brief account of my theory. Archeological finds in the last century has found that there were strong trade ties between the Jutland Penin-sula and the north Italic region. In addition archeology has traced, from dropped am-ber, an amber route that began at the Elbe River and eventually came down the Adi-ge River tothe center of the Venetic colonies at Este (ancient Ateste). Another amber trade route came south from the southeast Baltic amber source, went via the Vistula and Oder to the vicinity of Vienna and then southto the Adriatic Sea. It stands to rea-son that if there was a Finnic language at the sourced of amber, then if the northern traders with a monopoly on Baltic amber established trade routes and markets towards the Mediterranean, than they would hve established these with their own people, hence wouldhave established their northern Finnic language.Archeology con- firms, as I already mentioned, that there was an amber trade route from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea. Ancient historical texts also confirm that the Adriatic Veneti were known for dealing in amber.This then is the connection between Venetic and the Fin-nic north. What was the character of the Finnic language in the north? All evidence suggests that the Finnic language was derived from the first hunter-gathe-rer peoples across northern Europe, who,because the north was flooded by the melt water of the Ice Age glaciers as they retreated to the mountains of Norway, were highly developed in living in a watery landscape and using dug out canoes.

Archeology identifies this culture as the “maglelmose” culture. When later in history, the highlands of cen-tral Europe became settled with farming peoples, there was a growing demand for trade to connect the settled peoples to one another through trade. The obvious source for traders in a world with not other long distance trans-portation routes than river, were the aboriginals who were already travelling long distance in their annual rounds of hunting and fishing. The original Finnic peoples of northern Europe be-came quite varied.In the remote north,they remained primitive well into historic times, but those who became involved as professional traders with southern Europe be-came quite advanced. My theory is that it is the advanced groups who took on the role of professional long distance traders for the sedentary civilizations,that produced the peoples ancient historical texts have called “Veneti”.

(The word, as VENEDE, is a genitive plural of VENE, meaning ‘boat’)

1.3 Limitations of Linguistics in Basic Interpretation of Unknown Language

Scholars often have a false idea that the deciphering of an unknown language, is a task forlinguistics.This is not true.Linguistics is the study of language,and that means it can only study known languages, since if a language is unknown it is nothing but meaningless sounds. Thus it is necessary to at least partially decipher the language before linguistic methodologies can be applied. In the tradition of deciphering the Ve-netic inscriptions, linguists have been too quick in trying to apply linguistics – making observations and pronouncements before the language hasbeen revealed. Since all languages have various patterns, it is possible for linguistics to identify patterns and then completely misinterpret those patterns.


A good example is a complex theory toexplain the location of the dots in the Venetic writing, whereas in my study I found the dots were simply markers for palatalization and similar features that were probably not relevant linguistically (since when written in the Roman alphabet,the dots disappeared, and instead there were the normal Ro-man dots to separate words.) In addition, when Indo-European was forced onthe in-scriptions, what I found to be a case ending, was interpreted by linguists as female gender markers. The result was that linguists worked with rather arbitrary determi-nations, without the reever being any solid results in the basic interpreting of the sentences.

Most people assume that since we are dealing with language, then the matter of de-ciphering language is a linguistic one.But the fact is that if you give a linguist a recor-ding of an unknown language, he or she will just hear meaningless noise. The most he or she can do is to identify the repeated patterns. But what do those patterns mean. You can only determine the meanings of those patterns by observing it in ac-tual use. In order to determine the meaning of a word like “Phikbith” he or she has to watch the word in action and infer its meanings, like any child does. Or use gestural language with a questioning look - for example point to a tree and say “Phikbith” with a questioning look and recieved a nod. While it is true that the linguist can propose that the unknown language is related to a known one and try to project the known one  into the unknown, this is a speculative approach that can be wrong and great success is needed to prove it is true. The number of Venetic inscriptions is too limi-ted for this ap-proach to work. The tendency has been to make an assumption and then not let it go even if there is no real success.It is not difficult when the data is limited to use imagi- nation to justify not letting the hypothesis go. For example even though the Venetic language has non-Indo-European Etruscan to the south and Li-gurian to the east, no-body actually tested non-Indo-European. The tradition of ana-lysis became obsessed with ancient Latin for no other reason than that most ana-lysts knew Latin and could participate. We must understand how limited linguistics is if the language is unknown and if there is no ‘informant’ to give translations in a known language. We must also recognize that simple proposing the unknown langu-age is related to a known langu-age is nothing more than a hypothesis to be tested, and that being the case, if there is not significant success, the option of the hypothe-sis being wrong must be recognized and the analysts must let it go. On the other hand, when the language is deciphered from direct analysis of it in actual use, then all results will tend towards the truth be-cause they are based on direct observation. Fo rexample,if you point to a tree,and the speaker says Pthigluk, then the probability is high that Pthigluk means ‘tree’. As you saw in my document of my methodology, even though Venetic is no longer spoken and that one cannot ask a speaker,the fact is that the Venetic language appears in short sentences on archeological objects that strongly suggest the nature of the sen-tences written on them. By cross-referen-ces across the body of objects, we can make very good guessesas to meanings of words, and then refine the meanings.

See “THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FI-NAL” for a detailed description of the ideal methodology I used, and which eventually revealed the Venetic language was Finnic.

1.4 Basic Characteristics of Finnic Languages

Because in the end, we found that the Venetic language looked Finnic, I organized my description of Venetic in a form that makes reference to Finnic languages. Since most readers will know very little about Finnic language (the best known are Finnish and Estonian), here is a basic summary of characteristics of Finnic languages.


If Venetic is Finnic we will expect similarcharacteristics in Venetic and I will identify them. We will also structure our description of the Venetic grammar with similar grammatical terminology as is used with Finnish and Estonian today. The moment I claim that Venetic looks Finnic, I am obliqued to find that its grammar is similar to the gram-mar of Finnish and Estonian. Linguists say that basic grammar changes very slowly in languages, and therefore if Venetic is Finnic, we MUST find Venetic to have basic similarity. If we fail to find the similarities that will then prove we are wrong, and that similarities in words are probably from borrowings. For example, in my deciphe-ring of the inscriptions I found evidence of some words that seemed of Germanic ori-gins, but since the grammatical structure was Finnic in nature,those Germanic words would have been borrowed. There would also be other borrowings too.It is only the grammar that reveals genetic descent. The following is an introduction to characteristics of Finnic languages which we will identify in Venetic.


Venetic as a Finnic language would be agglutinative. That means case endings (or suffixes), can be added to case endings to express complex thoughts.This is actually a degeneration of the most primitive forms of language which have a relatively small number of stems, and an abundance of suffixes, affixes and prefixes. Linguists call a language that is extremely of this nature ‘polysynthetic’. The Inuit language is a good example. There are indications in some Inuit words and grammar that it has the same ancestor as Finnic languages.Finnic languages are best understood if they are seen as having such a ‘polysynthetic’ foundation, and then being influenced towards the form of language seen in Indo-European. (It is important to note that the modern descriptions of Finnic languages like Estonian and Finnish are some what contrived in that they modeled themselves after grammatical description models similar to what had already been done in other European languages. The reality is that Esto-nian or Finnish case endings are merely selections of the most common endings from a large array of possible suffixes. Thus even though in the following pages we are oriented to specific formalized case endings in Estonian and Finnish, there re-mains also suffixes that could have been case endings if the linguist who developed the popular grammatical descriptions had chosen to. The difference between ‘deri-vational suffixes’ and ‘case endings’ is merely in the latter being commonly applied in the opinion of the linguists who described the grammar.


It seems as if in the evolution of language, the ‘polysynthetic’ form degenerated in the direction of our familiar modern European languages, where there are less and less case endings, and more and more independent modifiers located in front. Finnic languages are not as ‘primitive’ as Inuit,and have developed through millennia of be-ing influenced from the languages of the farmers and civilizations - some premodifi-ers, adjectives, prepositions and otherfeatures placed in front. Venetic, like modern Finnic, present some instances of prepositions and pre-modifiers, like va.n.t.- and bo- but in general there are very few modifiers in front. It appears that instead of ad-jectives, Venetic liked to create compound words, where the first part – a pure stem without case endings – was somewhat adjectival.



There is no gender in Finnic languages. There is no ‘la’ or ‘le’ in front,nor any gender markerat the end. English too lacks gender in nouns,so that will not be a problem for English readers here.But there is only one pronoun in Finnic for ‘he,she, it’. In Vene-tic we do not mistakenedly consider some repeated ending to be a gender marker, but we always look for a case ending or suffix.


In English and many European Indo-European languages, there are definite and in-definite articles. For example French has un or une as the indefinite article and le or la as the definitearticle. Finnic does not have it. Instead the indefinite sense as in ‘a’ or ‘some’ is expressed via the Partitive. The Partitive is a case form that views some-thing as being part of something larger.For example “a” house among many houses. or “some” houses among many houses.


Plural in Estonian and Finnish is marked by T,D or I, J added to the stem according to phonetics requirements. Finnish only uses the Tin the Nominative and Accusative, and then uses I,or J to form the plural stem.Estonian uses T for plural stem,and then uses I or J if necessary where phonetics calls for it.Venetic appears to have both plu- ral markers too, but perhaps more like Estonian. As we will see, there is more rea-son to attribute Estonian conventions than Finnish conventions to Venetic. (There is reason to believe that Estonian and Venetic / Suebic have the same ancestral language – see later.)


Venetic shows evidence of consonant gradation and vowel and consonant harmony. For example if a suffix/ending is added to a stem with high vowels or soft conso-nants,the sound of the suffix may be altered to suit - with a lower vowel going higher, or a soft consonant going harder. For example ekupetaris has hard consonants P, T,  hence the K in eku instead of G as in.e.g.e.s.t.s. We can find similar situations with vowels, unforunately the Venetic inscriptions are phonetic and capture dialectic variations, and the number of examples is very small.


A compound word occurs when a word stem is added to the front of another word stem. Thecase endings then are added to the combined word. We can detect them in Venetic when we see a naked word stem in front of another word stem but the latter taking the case endings.


Generally all words develop in the following way, but this is less noticable in the ma-jor languages today. Words began with very short stems with broad, fluid, meanings.


As humans  evolved, they needed to name things more specifically, and did so by combining them withadditional elements – suffixes, infixes and prefixes. As the new word came into commonuse, the new word would become a stem in itself, taking its own grammatical endings. Because of abbreviation and other changes in the stem, the fact that the stem arose from a simpler stem, becomes obscured. For example in Estonian we might create the word puu-la-ne ‘tree-place-pertaining to’ as a poetic word for an animal who lives in trees. If this word were to come into common use, such as describing a squirrel,we might have puulane = ’squirrel’ which then over time might degenerate topulan. Puulane > pulan then is a stem for endings, such as pulanest ‘from the squirrel’. This is invented for illustration, but a real example might be how the word vee might have developed into the word for ‘boat’ as follows: vee (‘water’) > vee-ne (‘pertaining to water’) > vee-ne-s (‘object pertaining to water’) > reducing to vene (‘boat’). (In our analysis of Venetic, we looked into the internal construction of words for additional insights into meaning.)

1.5 If Venetic is Finnic, it must be looked at in a different way Finnic languages are NON-Indo-European language, and therefore most readers of this will be entering foreign territory.

Most scholars know absolutely nothing about Finnic languages, and that is and has been an obstacle to proper investigation of the Venetic inscriptions. When Veneticis regarded as Latin-like, or generally Indo-European, then a million scholars can try to relate toit. But when Venetic is viewed as NON-Indo-European, the number of scho-lars both educated and interested in the subject drops to merely handfuls. That is the reason why it will be far easier for some scholars to reject this work outright, so as not to have to enter the foreign world of Finnic languages.Basically Finnic languages are strong in case endings,and case endings can be added to case endings.This is a very old manner of constructing sentences. The only more primitive language forms can be seen in either ancient Sumerian, or today’s Inuit of arctic North America – where ideas are formed by combining small syllabic elements. In the course of the evolution of languages case endings became incorporated into word stems, and the freedom to play with case endings decreased. Also modifiers became separate words placed at the front. There has been a steady conversion of human kind’s lan-guage from short syllabic words freely combined,to today’s large number of indepen- dent words. It can be compared to making soup from raw vegetables compared to buying ready-made soup in a can.

Modern words are the consequence of the ‘canning and cooking of basic elements’. In Estonian and Finnish it is possible to see the consituent elements in words. For example the word Eestlane, ‘Estonian’ or in Finnish Eestiläinen, is regarded as a word, but already adds two elements onto the stem Eesti. We have -la meaning ‘place of’ (Eesitla = ‘Estonian place’) and then -aneor-ainen meaning ‘pertaining to, of the character of’ These are not recognized as case endings because they are not freely added in actual usage, but poetic authors could do so. For example I already pointed out that using puu ‘tree’, one can say puulane and could use it to mean ‘ani-mal of the tree’ such as a squirrel or monkey or even a human who lives in a tree-house. Today a large number of endings are not regarded as adding case endings but as ‘derivatio-nal suffixes’ I think part of the problem was that past Finnic linguists did not want to stray too far from the grammar descriptions of Indo-European langu-ages. Thus, using the above examples, Eestlane or puulane are wordsin themselves and to this wecan add more case endings. We can thus have Eestlastele from Eestlane–t–ele ‘to the Estonians’.


But from a more polysynthetic view, we have Eesti–la–ne–t–ele A great dealof the Estonian and Finnish words already contain many of the abovementioned ‘derivatio-nal suffixes’ which to a great extent can be case endings too if an author wants to play with them. It shows the progression – that as structures with case endings be-come used so often they seem like words in themselves, the constituent case en-dings become frozen into them. It is howall the words in all languages evolved. All that has happened is that some languages progressed slowly on this path, which other progressed slowly. From a Finnic perspective, some Venetic words produce revealing results when broken down into their elements. For example the goddess is addressed with $ te.i. re.i.tiia.i. 2 I interpreted $ a as the basic stem meaning ‘lord, god’ -.i.- is a pluralizer, and –nais a case ending meaning ‘in the form, nature, of’ The resulting meaning is to describe the goddess having ‘the character of gods’. It resonates a bit with Etruscan eisna ‘divine’ and with Estonian issa- ‘lord’ and we can form a paralleelissa -i-na The intent was to address the goddess in the praiseful way so that the whole $ te.i. re.i.tiia.i. means ‘joining with You,Rhea,of the nature of the gods’ (‘of the nature of the gods’ can be stated simply with ‘divine’.)

Words that were difficult to decipher from context, became easy when broken apart into Finnic-type elements,but often resulted in abstract ideas whose precise meaning needed some imagining of what went on in the actual context. For example V.i.rema.i.stna.i. (v.i.rema = v.i.-re-maand thenv.i.rema-.i.-.s.t-na-.i.) which is very abstract but because it was used in place of $a.i.nait has to be praisful, and so I de-cided it meant something like ‘uniting with Rhea in the nature of arising from the land of life energy’. Similar senten-ces in the same context plus the context of the sen-tence, helped move towards the more precise meaning. Note that ancient language was always spoken in context,so that the context would help in making the meaning clearer. Thus in this section of describing the results of my determinations of case endings, you have to think in a different way than when thinking of Indo-European languages.

1.6 Some Notes on reading Venetic Writing

(For More Detail SeePart A)Venetic writingwas peculiar in that dots were added bet-ween characters, whereas Etruscan and Latin used dots only to mark word bounda-ries.Analysts puzzled over these dots for a long time,and finally there was a complex theory. Butto me, the dot use had to be very simple. If it had not been simple, then scribes would have followed the Etruscan convention of marking word boundaries.

I hit on the idea that the dots were like phonetic markers added when speech is tran-scribed phonetically – marks for pauses, length,etc .– except that I found the dot was an all-purpose mark.If the writer sensed that his mouth was palatalizing or something similar, he threw in a dot on both sides of the alphabet character. Most often it was a plain palatalization,but it could also signify “S” being “SH” by writing the character for .s. Or “R” could become trilled with .r. The convention is to write the Venetic text in small case Roman, introducing the dots in thecorrect places. 2

The $ represents in my approach a long Sas in ‘hiss’. The small case Roman letters represent the Venetic characters. The dots are as found in the original sentences, and in my results mostly are phonetic in intent andmostly represent palatalizations. For details about the Venetic writing see the appropriate section in THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL


2.1.1. Static vs Dynamic Interpretations of Some Case Endings

When one first looks at Venetic the first thing one notices are endings of the form-a.i.or-o.i.or-e.i. Sometimes there is a double II in front, as in-iia.i. A good example isre.i.tiia.i. The context of the sentence, even when it was viewed from a Latin per-spective from imagining was like Latin donato,is that it was like a Dative – an offering was being given ‘to’ the Goddess. This remains true when viewed in our new Finnic perspective – something is brought ‘to’ Rhea.But is it a Dative? I was fully prepared to grant that ending, (vowel) .i.a Dative label, but the more I studied it wherever it occurred it seemed to most of the time have a meaning analogous to how in modern religious sermons, the priest might say ‘to join God’ or ‘to unite with the holy’ and so on. I eventually found this idea of uniting with has to be correct because in the prayers written to the goddess Rhea at sanctuaries, written in con-junction with burnt offerings, one is not giving the offering to Rhea, but rather relea-sing the spirit which then joins or unites with Rhea up in the clouds.But what was this case ending if it was not Dative? What case ending would mean ‘uniting with’? But then I saw the ending from time to time in a context where it seemed to be like a regular Partitive. If a regular Partitive has a meaning ‘a thing’ or ‘some things’ and can be described as something ‘being part of’ a larger whole, then if it were viewed in a dynamic way,would that not mean ‘becoming part of, to unite with’? If this is the case, then we would have to discover Venetic having a static vs dynamic interpretation in other case endings.

But let us assume the Partitive has two forms - the normal static form and a dynamic form (‘becoming part of, uniting with, joining’) Overlooking similar endings for the Terminative -na.i. or used for the infinitive use of (vowel) .i., we can find the example .lemeto.i..u.r.kleiio.i. – [funerary urn-MLV-82, LLV-Es81] ‘Warm-feelings. To join the oracle’s eternity’ In this describing of Venetic grammar we will not explain the en-tire laborious process of establishing the word stems. That information is extensively discussed in the main document- “THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Langu-age from a New Perspective: FINAL”. Here the first word, a plural of lemecan only be a static Partitive – ‘Some warm-feelings’, while the second expresses a dynamic Partitive conveying the sense of ‘towards’ in the sense of ‘joining’ (‘becoming part of’) an infinite destination, the infinite future with which the oracle deals with. One may wonder if the double I (-ii-) is an infix that makes it dynamic.

(See later discussion of the –ii-)


If it is possible for a language to allow a case ending to be interpreted in both a dy-namic and a static way,what more can we say about it? What I mean by dynamic vs static meanings of a caseform? An example of dynamic vs static can be seen in how English uses ‘in’. One can say “He went in the house” and it would be clear the mea-ning is he went ‘into’ the house. And then I do un that Venetic appears to have both dynamic and static ways of interpreting ‘in’ as well.

The Venetic Inessive (‘in’) is marked by .s. - often the meaning,as a result of context, ‘into’ not ‘in’ as Inessive requires. The only difference between the concept ‘in’ and the concept ‘into’ is whether there is movement. Thus one case can be used for both static and dynamic intepretations. Thecorrect interpretation is determined from the context.Modern Finnic languages have developed explicit static vs dynamic interpre-tations – perhaps from the development of literature which promoted more precision.

For example modern Finnic will have an explicit ‘in’ case in the Inessive and and ex-plicit ‘into’ case in the Illative. But perhaps originally it was not that way. One indi-cation of it is the fact that, for example, theEstonian and Finnish Inessive (‘in’) case endings are similar (Finn. -ssa versus Est.- s) and yet the Estonian and Finnish Illa-tive (‘into’) case endings are different . This suggests that theIllative case is a more recent development and they do not have a common parent. The commonparent would have had an Inessive case that could have a dynamic meaning if the context required it. Then I think the use of the language – probably about a thousand years ago - put pressure on being more explicit and that lead to Finnish and Estonian de-veloping an Illatie eachin their own separate way. Finnish has an Illative case (‘into’) that looks like it was developed out of the Genitive (‘of’) for example Finnish talo-Genitivetalon, Illative taloon.Meanwhile Estonian has an Illative that looks like it was an enhancement fromthe originalInessive in that –s becomes –sse. Estonian (using talu) the Inessive (‘in’) talus, Illative (‘into’) talusse. In summary, it appears that the ancestral language of Estonian and Finnish only had theInessive, and that the Illa-tive developed when Estonian and Finnish had branched away fromeach other, and perhaps onlyless thanthe last two millenia.Inshort, the Illatives being verydifferent, are not related, while Inessives are similar,hence are related and must havebeenin the common ancestral language. If Venetic only has the Inessive for both usages, then Venetic precedes any development of an explicit Illative. The development of the Illative described,indicate that they developed from a lengthening ofa static case.

This lengthening is a natural development when we wish to indicate movement. For example, Estonian Illative -sse can easily arisefrom the speaker of an original –s simply lengthening it to emphasize movement,as in talus > talusse. What is peculiar is that the Finnish Illative was developed by adding length to the Genitive! It is pos-sible when you consider thatyou can start with a Genitive (talon ‘of the house) and exaggerate it to get the concept of ‘becoming of’ (taloon ‘becoming of the house’ = ‘into the house’) Thus, technically the EstonianIllative and Finnish Illative have diffe-rent underlining meanings! This shows that if originally Finnic had static case en-dings that would assume dynamic meanings (from movement) from context, the dynamic forms could be spontaneously implied bythe speaker simply lengthening it.

We take any static case and add into the meaning ‘becoming’ as for example ‘into’ = ‘becoming in’. Thusif we accept that Venetic cases could be interpreted in both static and dynamicways, we have to allow all the static case endings the possibility of having dynamic meanings.


Returning to the Venetic Partitive. Depending on the context, the listener would inter-pret the Partitive ending either in a static way ‘part of a’ or a dynamic way ‘become part of a ’ideally interpreted in English as ‘unite with,join with’ That is the reason, I in- terpret re.i.tiia.i. with ‘join with Rhea’ instead of simply ‘to Rhea’. I believe the inten-ded meaning was that the item brought to the sanctuary and sent skyward as a burnt offering was intended to join Rhea, become part of Rhea – the Partitive case assu-ming a dynamic meaning here that had a more complex implication to it – that of the offering travelling into the sky and joining, uniting with, becoming part of Rhea. As I said above, the idea is reflected in modern religious ideas of ‘uniting with God’. We have above now identified two Venetic case endings that can be interpreted either statically or dynamically.(v means ‘vowel’) – v.s. can mean either ‘in’ or ‘becoming in’ = ’into’ -v.i.can mean either ‘a (part of)’ or ‘becoming part of’ = ‘join,unite with’ and an added –ii-may emphasize the latter. I notice that often the seeming dynamic inter-pretation of the Partitive in Venetic is preceeded with the double ii as in the example re.i.tiia.i. This insertion of the long ii sound may be an explicit development, analo-gous in the psychological effect of lengthening, to how Finnish achieves the Illative meaning by lengthening the last vowel (example taloon).It can therefore be interpre-ted with its psychological quality.The possibility exists that the double ii can serve as an explicit way of making the following ending dynamic.That is to say perhaps – iia.i. instead of just – a.i emphasizes the fact there is movement. We will consider the –ii-infix further later. The following sections describe case endings, in the order of pre-sence in the Venetic.The case endings names are inspired by Estonian case ending- names. We will reveal examples in theVenetic inscriptions and note them. However, case endings are really frequently used suffixes, and Venetic may have some addi-tional suffixes which could be considered additional case endings for Venetic. A summary of our investigation of case endings and comparisons with Estonian and Finnish case endings will follow this section in the table at the end of section 22.

1.2. Introduction to Est. / Finn. Case Endings and the Presence of these Case Endings in Venetic. Since we will structure our description of Venetic case endings in the standard descriptions used for Estonian and Finnihs, and since we will make comparisons between Venetic and Estonian and Finnish case endings, we should first summarize the common case endings in Estonian and Finnish. The list is orien-ted to Estonian and the modern order in listing them.This is by way of summary of the ones we have looked at, showing which ones do and do not have resonances with Venetic.See also the chart given in Table 2.The following is an introductory overview of the possible case endings based on Estonian and Finnish. This will be followed by more detailed study of each, and how it is represented in Venetic.

Nominative - identified by a finalizing element that has to be softened when made into a stem.Even if the last letter may be hardened over the stem, there is no formal suffix or caseending. Genitive ‘of’ (Estonian) [stem],(Finnish) -n identified by a softened ending able to take case endings Venetic seems to have gone the direction of Estonian – ie Genitive given by stem.


Partitive ‘part of’(Estonian) -t (Finnish) -a

Venetic appears to have evolved to convert the -t in the parental language of Estonian and Venetic / Suebic into -j(.i.)

Inessive ‘in’ (Est.) -s (Finn.) -ssa

Appears in Veneti as-.s. but Venetic uses it in both astatic way to describe something and a dynamic way with meaning of Illative ‘into’

Illative ‘into’ (Est.) -sse (Finn) -vvn NOT in Venetic, meaning the explicit Illative maybe a develop-ment since Venetic times,as I described above. Venetic allows -.s. to assume this dy- namic meaning according to context needs.

Elative ‘out of’ (Est.) -st,(Finn) -sta strong in Finnic languages including Venetic but appearing mainly as a nominalizer and therefore must be very old

Adessive ‘at (lo-cation)’ (Est.) -l (Finn.) -lla

Due to similari-ties between Est. and Finn. versions is an-other very old ending, hence expected within Venetic (and is as -l)

Allative ‘to (location)’ (Est. and Finn.) -lle.

Because it is found in both Est. and Finn. also very old, and we found it in Venetic as -le.i..

Ablative ‘from (location) (Est.) -lt (Finn.) -lta.

Probably also in Veneticat least embed- ded in words like vo.l.tiio

Translative ‘transform into’ (Est.) -ks (Finn.) -ksi

Not identified yet in Venetic, but if it exists in both Estonian and Finnish one might expect it does exist in Venetic too. One watches for evidence.

Essive ‘as’ (same in all three languages) -na

This is one of the endings that must be very- old to appear in all three.

Terminative ‘up to, until’ (Est.) -ni (not acknowledged in Finnish grammar)

This seems it may exist in Venetic as Essive plus dynamic Partitive -na.i.–ne.i.

Abessive ‘without’ (Est.) -ta [suomen -tta,HM]

Not noticed in the Venetic, but could be there somewhere.

Comitative ‘with, along with’ (Est) -ga

Venetic definitely presented k’orke in the meaning ‘and, also’ as in Estonian ka, -ga. Unclear if it occurs as a suffix in Venetic. The following go through the above in more detail:

2.1.3. Nominative Case

In Estonian the nominative has a hard ending as it lacks case ending or suffix. If there is acase ending, there is astemwitha softened ending since more will be added to it. Common inEstonian is the softening of a consonant too. For example Nom. -kond, and stem becomes konna – Since we find in Venetic -gonta as well as-gonta.i. etc this character may not exist in Venetic. I expected in Venetic too the Nominative may show a harder or more final terminal sound than when it becomes a stem for endings. It may depend on the nature of the stem.Butin the Venetic inscrip-tions I simply looked for the stem without endings and that would then be the nomi-native. It may seem strange, but the appearance of the Nominative in the Venetic inscriptions is ver yrare – almost always there was some kind of ending – because most of the sentences have the following as the subject (The nominative occurs only as the subject)

44 ‘the brought-thing’ however contains endings, as the primitive stem is do- See discussion in section 1.2 Some other Nominatives (underlined)… (Spaces added to show word boundaries)

5. K) .a.tta- ‘the end’ [urn-MLV-99, LLV Es2]

7. A) ada.ndona.s.tore.i.tiia.iv.i.etiana.o.tnia- [MLV-32 LLV-Es51]

Above we see the ending –ia Such an ending is indicative of the Nominative. It resembles the –ia ending used in Latin, but did not come from Latin since Venetic is older than Latin.

7. B)[.e.]b[.]|  – “The collection of conveyances, as ingratiation producers, remains” [MLV-38bis, LLV-ES-58]

Above we see v.i.o.u.go.n.ta which is unusual since this word usually occurs with an endingand hence is not nominative – and ending like v.i.o.u.go.n.ta.i

In general, once you determine the word stem from scanning all words for the com-mon firstportion, you can assume when that word stem occurs without any such en-ding,it is Nominative.Later we will see something similar when studying verbs. When a verb appears not to have anyendings,then we regard it as the common imperative. (See later section onverbs) For verbs wedetermine the verb stem by removingthe endings (The present indicative, past participle, infinite, imperative…)

2.1.4. Partitive Case -v.i. ‘part of; becoming part of’

This is the case ending that earlier analysis from Latin or Indo-European was thought to be “Dative” because by coincidence the mistakened idea was related to Latin donato, the prayers to the goddess seemed to speak of an offering being given to the goddess. (In realitynothing was being given directly to the goddess, but something was being burnt andits spirit wasbeing sent up to join with the goddess in the clouds, and that needed a different kind of caseending than simply giving.)

Practically any static case ending could become a dynamic one which can be inter-pretedbroadly with ‘to’. A good example a Genetive ending meaning ‘of, possessing’’ in a dynamic sentence with movement can become ‘becoming possessed by’ as in ‘coming to be of,coming to possess’ which in a general way can be interpreted as ‘to’ in the sense that when something is given ‘to’ someone, it is becoming possessed by them. Similarly giving something ‘to’ someone can also mean ‘becoming part of’ (from Partitive) or ‘becoming inside’ (from Inessive, turning into an Illative meaning) or ‘coming to the location of’ (from Adessive, becoming Allative inmeaning).

As I said in 2.1.1, I believe that in actual real world use, the dynamic interpretation was dictated by context. But with the arrival of literature much context was lost and it was necessary to be more explicit in terms ofwhether a meaning was static or dynamic. And sometimes a meaning could shift.


I believe that Finnish Illative ‘into’ developed from its Genetive – that the dynamic Genetive meaning ‘becoming of, becoming possessed by’ came to be used in the sense of ‘becoming inside’. Similarly a dynamic Partitive ‘becoming part of, uniting with’ could shift its meaning towards the Dative idea of giving something ‘to’ someone.

The main reason for my regardingthis case endingas a Partitive rather than another case thatwill also reduce to a Dative - like ‘to’, is that in some contextsin the inscrip-tions it appears in aregular Partitive fashion much like in Estonian or Finnish. That means that the dynamic meaningof the ‘to’-concept actually means ‘becoming part of’, or ‘uniting with’, etc. Comparing with Estonian Partitive. Here is more evidence that this case ending in Venetic of the form -v.i. was intrinsically Partitive: we can demonstrate that the Venetic Partitive can beachieved if an Estonianlike Partitive (which may have existed a couple millenia ago in thecommon language) was spoken in an intensely palatalized manner. I explain it as follows:The Partitive in general can be viewed as a plural treated in a singular way (one item beingpart of many), and so theplural markers come into play. The plural markersin Finnic are -T-, -D-, and -I-, -J-; hence the replacement of T, D with J, I is already intrinsic to Finnic languages.

When speakersof the ancestor to Venetic–Suebic – began to palatalize a great deal, they found the -J ending more comfortable than -T. Estonian marks the Partitive with a -T-,-D- and therefore it isn’t surprising that you can get a Venetic Partitive by repla- cing the -T-,-D-ending with -J-, as in talut > taluj (=“talu.i.”).While it ispossible in this way to arrive at the Venetic Partitive ending from the Estonian one, one cannot do so from the Finnish Partitive. This suggests that both the Estonian and Venetic / Suebic languages had a common parent. Perhaps the Estonian Partitive came first. Then, with strong palatalization, the Venetic/Suebic Partitive, converted the -T-, -D-, to -J (.i.)

This and observations of the Inessive as well,give us a family tree of Finnic language descent which agrees with both archeological knowledge and common sense. I have shown it on the nextpage in a tree diagram. In it I show how we can arrive at the Es-tonian Partitive and modern Finnish Partitive from an ancient one,and then arrive at the Suebic /Venetic Partitive from highly palatalized speaking ofthe Estonian-like Fin- nic that was presumably the first language usedamong the sea-traders across the northern seas.Follow the Partitive in the chart. We begin with -TA which then loses the T in the descendants going towards Finnish, and loses the A in the descendants going towards Aestic and Suebic (as I call the two ancient dialects of the east and west Baltic Sea). The common Baltic-Finnic language then on the west side interacts with “Corded-ware” Indo-European speaking farmers,and becomes a little degenera- ted and spoken with a tight mouth that results in intensified palatalization, rising vo-wels, and that the -T Partitive is softened to a frontal H or J sound, which is what the Venetic Partitive ending -v.i. means.


Fig. 2.1.3.

This chart also describes how the Estonian and Finnish Illatives must be develop-ments inhistoric times, as Venetic shows no presence of an explicit Illative (‘into’) but uses the Inessive (‘in’) in a dynamic context to express the Illative idea.I show above how the Estonian Illativedeveloped out of emphasis on the Inessive,while Finnish derived it from emphasis on the vowelin the Genetive.See later discussions of the Inessive case in Venetic. Thus the Venetic Partitive could be interpreted in a static or dynamic wayas follows: Static interpretation (‘part of’): This is the normal use of the Partitive-where something is part of something larger. It is indefinite andis equivalent tousing the indefinite article “a” in English.

The static Partitive appears a number of times in the body of Venetic sentences, such asrako.i.inpupone.i.e.gorako.i.e.kupetaris but because so many of the inscriptions aresending offerings to Rhea or a deceased person to eternity, the follo- wing dynamic interpretation tends to dominate. Maybe this is just an illusion created from the fact that most of theinscriptions involve conveying something to the god-dess. Dynamic in-terpretation (‘becoming part of, joining with’): Perhaps dynamic in-terpretationwas less in everyday use of Venetic,but very few inscriptions show every- day sentences. If we gave the Partitive a dynamic meaning, it would be ‘becoming part of many’. The best concept is ‘to join with ’or‘ unite with’. For example giving an offering to the Goddess in re.i.tiia.i does notmean giving in a give-recieve way, but rather for that offering is to unite with her, become partof her. It resonates with modern Church expressions of ‘uniting with God’.

Further Discussion: From an Estonian point of view, one can understand how there can be a dynamic interpretation because of the alternative Partitive and Illative in Es-tonian 3,where,using the stem talu,both the alternative Illative (a dynamic case mea- ning ‘into’) and alternative Partitive have the same form tal’lu based on lengthening.

This suggests that the language from which this alternative form came must have had a dynamic Partitive interpretation like we see in Venetic, and its usage was so much like a newly created Illative that it was linked to the Illative.In thatcase the so-called Estonian alternative Illative is not an Illative at all, but a dynamic interpretation of the Partitive. Sometimes the only indication of the alternative Partitive in Estonian is emphasis or length.But this only underscores the fact that explicit dynamic case endings can easily shift their meaning. One of the sentences discussed in THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An Ancient Langu-age from a New Perspective: FINAL was..

(a) .e..i.k.go.l.tano.s.dotolo.u.dera.i.kane.i- [container-MLV-242, LLV-Ca4]

Here we see dera.i.kane.i ‘a whole container’ in the static Partitive interpretation. In Esto-nian the normal Partitive is to use -T-, -D- instead of the J (.i.) as in Est. tervet kannut but it is also common to say in Estonian terv’e kann’u adding length.

Considering that Estonian was converged from various east Baltic dialects,in my opi- nion this alterna-tive Partitive form in Estonian comes from ancient Suebic (the pa-rent of Venetic) from the significant immigration from the west Baltic to the east du-ring the first centuries AD when there were major refugee movements caused by the Gothic military campaigns up into the Jutland Peninsula and southern Sweden. The Suebic grammatical forms needed to converge with the indigenous Aestic gramma-tical forms, and so an original tervej kannuj (for example) evolved among these speakers into terv’e kann’u instead of reverting to the indigenous tervet kannut (which would sound unusual to people used to tervej kannuj). The following sen-tence below shows the general form used in regards to an offering being made to Rhea.It shows the most frequent context in which the dynamic interpretation is desired.

(b) mego vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s.$ – [bronze sheet MLV-10LLV-Es25]

Our brought-item ((ie offering), skyward-going, in the infinite direction, into the airy-realm [?], to (= unite with) you of the Gods, to (= unite with) Rhea When you think about it, the idea of uniting with or joining with a deity, or eternity, is more involving than merely moving to that location or giving something to it – which is the reason in religion today, it is more satisfying to ‘unite with God’ . In the case of the Venetic con-text it is the spirit,rising to the clouds via the smoke of burning, that unites with the deity. 3 Estonian has preserved alternative Illatives and Partitives that look similar or the same. Lengthening the next to last syllable as in talu > tal’luis a grammatical form that can be used either as a Partitive (normally talut) and as an Illative (normal- ly talusse). Since this phenomenon does not exist in Finnish, it may have come from the south and west Baltic dialect spoken by the “Suebi” of Roman times, carried to the east Baltic by refugees from the Gothic military expansions of the early centuries AD. Suebic in turn can be linked via the amber trade to Venetic.


2.1.5. “Iiative” Infix -ii- ‘extremely (fast or far or large)’

As we saw in the example above (b) one of the Partitive endings, the one inside re.i.tiia.i. is preceeded by -ii- It is possible to regard the -ii- as a separate infix giving motion, or the entire thing iia.i. as an explicit expression of the dynamic Partitive. It could represent a way by which the speaker emphasized the dynamism. However, the double-ii-appears else-where too and theexample shows it twice as well. Note the double “I” under the underlined parts:

 mego vo.l.tiiomno.s.iiuva.n.t.s  .a.riiun.s.$

While there may have developed some degree of an explicit dynamic Partitive in -iiv.i. the appearance of the double i iin non-Partitive situations,made me decide that this was a more widely applicable infix that added a sense of extremeness and or motion. See our discussions about the infinite as well in the lexicon (ie the meaning of In the above .a.riiun.s. the stem is probably .a.riu- and three elements are added: -ii-, -nand,-.s. We note that the –ii- occurs also in a similar way vo.l.tiio which describes movement to the heavens overhead,where we see no other ending. Here it seems that the -ii-is intended to exaggerate the size of the realm above. As funny as it may seem,it could have the same psychological basis as when an Esto-nian says ‘hiiiiigla suur’ emphasizing the I’s in the word meaning ‘gigaaaaaaantic’. Humans do this extension naturally, and it is certainly possible that such inclinations could be formalized in a language (ie systematically used, rather than purely on whim)

Note that in our determination that the dots were phonetic markers, we determined that Venetic writing was highly phonetic – which means this kind of doubling of the “I” could simply reflect the actual speech, even if the sound in reality had no grammatical significance.

2.1.6. Inessive Case -v.s. ‘in; into’ (In dynamic meaning equivalent to Illative) Static interpretation (‘in’):

In today’s Finnic, the Inessive and Illative cases are considered different, but as we decribed in 2.1.1 above, it seems originally, in the parent langu-age of Finnish, Esto-nian, ancient Suebic (from which the inscriptions Venetic came) there was only the Inessive, interpreted in both a static and dynamic way. And then in recent millenia, it became necessary to explicitly distinguish between the two. But Venetic,remaining an ancient language does not show this distinguishing,and for Venetic we determine whether it is the static ‘in’ or dynamic ‘into’ from the context. Was the action simply happening, or was the action being doneto wards something else?

Was something merely ‘being’, or‘acting on something’? An object that simply was, and did nothing onto anything else,would take thestaticmeaning.I already  mentioned how in modern English, we can useinand the context could suggest it means ‘into’. For example “He went in the water” is technically incorrect, but from the context the listener knows the intent is “He went into the water”. This shows how easily the cor-rect idea is understood from context, and why in early language it wasn’t necessary to have two different case endings. Also, in early language, all speaking was done in the context of things going on around the speakers and listerners. If language be-came separated from being used in real contexts – such as when it was used in sto-rytelling or song even before written literature – it became more important to explicit- ly indicate the required meaning. There was another usage forthe staticform – as a namer. Many Estonian names of objectsend in –s seeming to be a nominalizer.


For example we could begin with vee ‘water’ form veene ‘in the nature of water’ and then add the -sto get veenes ‘an object associated with water’. This could very well be the origin ofvene‘boat’ (same smaller boat which acquired the name rus as well in Scandianvia) Venetic too appears to have such naming purposes for the static Inessive. Because here,the -s creates a new word, the whole word is now a stem, a nominative form. For example, the word (see full sentence below) appears to be a word for ‘infinity’ formed from adding the -.s. and therefore we do not interpret it as‘in the eternal’ but simply ‘eternity’ If an additional Genitive is added, we arrive at a place name. Modern maps of Estonia andFinland show a historic practice of creating place names by adding either -se which is like the Inessive and Genitive, or –ste which is like Elative plus Genitive, as for example from silla- ‘bridge’, giving town names Sillase or Sillaste. I like to view these respectively as a name based on the sense ‘in the bridge’ versus‘ arising from the bridge’. In other words, the choice de-pended on what suited the situation. We could take the veenes example above, and adding a Genitive sense with veenese, it becomes a name of a place ‘(place) asso-ciated with the boat ’This can be found in some Venetic place names too. In Venetic, the Adige River was called on Roman references Atesis and the market was called Ateste.

Our lexicon indicated that AT-meant ‘terminus’ and therefore we can interpret Atesis as ‘(The river) in the terminus (of the trade route)’, and Ateste as ‘(The market that.) arises at the terminus’. Another Venetic town was Tergeste, at today’s Triest. This information comes from Roman texts, so we do not know exactly how it was said in Venetic. How did the Roman form change the ending? Dynamic Interpretation (‘into’ = Illative) But if that object was either entering or leaving that state, it would take the dynamic meaning. We discussed the absence of an explicit Illative in Venetic in 2.1.1 This interpretation is common in the inscriptions, once again perhaps because the abundant cemetary and sanctuary inscriptions speak of the deceased or smoke tra-velling intothe sky.Note that the difference between ‘to’ in an Inessive situation, in the sense of physical movement ‘into’, whereas ‘to’ in a Partitive situation has a sense of uniting with, which is quite abstract. Thus while English has the all-purpose ‘to’ in Venetic, that ‘to’ has different meanings depending on the case ending. It makes the English translation a little challenging.The Inessive case is underlinedin the following. Note I interpret it both with ‘in’ and ‘into’ as required:
mego vo.l.tiiomno.s.iiuva.n.t.s.a.riiun.s.$
Our brought-item ((ie offering), skyward-going, in the infinite direction, into the airy-realm[?],to (=unite with) you of the Gods,to (=unite with) RheaThe following is a good example showing the Inessive in a prominent role, and in this case it is borderline whether the interpretation should be ‘in’ or ‘into’ (hence I translate with in(to)):

[MLV-125,LLV-Vi2; image afterLLV] expanded:



‘Hoping (alt. Out of being) the offering, would be disappeared,in(to) the eternity end, in(to) the sky-heaven terminus ’There seem to be two parallel word pairs (Finnic re-quires the same case ending on connected words)

The two versions seem to be Venetic inthe first pair and loanwords from Indo-Euro-pean in the second.This example shows how theinterpretation as ‘in’ or ‘into’ is not particularly crutial.

2.1.7. Elative Case -v.s.t ‘arising from; out of’

I include this next because we have al-ready above discussed how -ste can be used to name something. It is actually not so common in the body of inscriptions. Static In-terpretation (‘arising from’) This is similar to the Inessive,in that the static form seems to have most often served the role of na-ming. Today Estonian and Finnish tend to view the Elative case in a dynamic way – something is physically coming out of after being in something. Thus as the table of case endings (Table 2 at the end of these case ending discussions) shows, it is the static form that is less known and less used today,which logically comes from the idea of something being derived from or arising from something else.This static form is the one that names things. As mentioned un- der the Inessive, where the static form also names things, a town with a bridge silla – could acquire a name two ways – with the static Inessive as a description Sillase, and with the static Elative with Sillaste.

Just as we referred to A tesisf or our example with the Inessive, there was also the town,Ateste at the end of the amber route. In this case the meaning is ‘derived from, arising from, the terminus (of the trade route)’.

Another major Venetic city was Tergeste, which suggests‘arising from the market (terg) ’Interestingly the market at the top of the amber route, in historic times called Truso was probably in Roman times called Turuse (or Turgese or Tergese) in that case using the static Inessive manner of naming.) Of course,as mentioned under the Inessive, it was not just used for place names,but to derive a name for something re- lated to something else. I gave the example earlier of vee > veene > veenes which could refer to a boat and even-tually reduce to vene. We could also have veenest but it would name something arising from water (like maybe a fishing net?) The diffe-rence between naming with -s(e) and naming with -st(e) is whether the item named is integrated with the stem item, or arising out of the stem item and separate from it.

In the Venetic sentences, there are nouns that were originally developed from this static Elative ending. For example .e.g.e.s.t- is one. .e.g.e.s.t- could be interpreted as ‘something arising from the continuing’ = ‘forever’. The common could be interpreted as ‘some-thing arising from bringing (do- or Est. / Finn too/tuo)’ An-other is which I in-terpreted as ‘gift’ but internally means ‘something arising from kindness’. (The reader should review my interpretations of the –ST words in the lexicon from this perspec-tive – the stem word plus the concept of ‘arising from’.)

Dynamic Interpretation (‘out of’) This is the common modern usage in Estonian and Finnish and this is the meaning we will find in their grammar describing case endings. The dynamic interpre-tation of the Elative in the body of Venetic inscriptions depends on our determining there is movement involved. The static meaning ‘arising from’ is abstract and there is no movementm but the dynamic meaning ‘(moving) out of’ involves movement.


Perhaps the .o.s.t..s. in the recent example sentence in the last section is one, as movement occurs in that sentence. In general the Elative is less common in the known inscriptions because the concept of something travelling ‘out of’ or even ‘arsi-sing from’ something else was not particularly applicable to offerings towards the heavens or the Goddess when in things are going ‘into’ not ‘out of’.Most often, when- ever the -.s.t appears in Venetic, it appears to be the static kind where there is no movement, and it produces a new noun stem from the more basic stem.

2.1.8. Genitive Case –n OR [naked stem] ‘of, possessed by ’Static Interpretation (‘of’) vs Dynamic Interpretation (‘coming into possession of’)

Estonian today lacks the -n Genitive which is standard in Finnish. Estonian simply uses the  naked stem. For that reason (considering also the tree chart of Fig 2.1.3) we must investigate the inscrip-tions to determine if Venetic had an –n Genitive, a naked stem, or both. What I found in the Venetic sentences was that the idea of possession seems often to be expressed by what seems to be the compound word form. In a compound word, the first part is the stem and takes no endings, while the second part takes the endings. But given that in modern Estonian the Genitive is pu-rely the naked stem, these first parts of compound words are indistinguishable from Genitives. For example Venetic kluta-viko-.s. is a compound word, the first part interpreted from context as ‘clutch’ (of flowers) and the second as ‘the bringing’. But the first element,kluta,could very well be seen to be in the Genitive.It may be exactly such overuse of compounding, that developed the use of the naked stem as Geni-tive in Estonian, with the consequential abandoning of the -n at the end, while it en-dured in Finnish which derives from the earlier ancestor language. Nonetheless, the -n does appear a number of times in a way that makes it seem to be joining con-cepts. For example in iiuvant – [MLV-138, LLV-Pa8] we see the -n appearing in a way that makes it seem Genitive ( seems like ‘the conveyance’s infinity’).

The same occurs in pilpote.i. k up. [MLV-139, LLV-Pa9;] in which seems like ‘nation’s infinity’. We also see the –n appearingin the example mego vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s.a.riiun.s.$a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i. Other examples include  kara.n.mnio.iandvoltiio.n.mnio.i. To summarize it seems more common to find in Venetic the bare stem in a situation that looked like a compound word. It is possible that while the n-Genitive was still in usein the inscriptions; how-ever, the use of the bare stem in a fashion almost like a Genitive was also inuse. The disappeance of the n-Genitive in Estonian may have occuredin this way, that is to say,from the latter be- coming more and more common. My conclusion is that Venetic had the -n Genetive, but lazy speakers dropped it. (Linguistic change often arises from lazy speech where endings are dropped.)

2.1.9. Essive -na ‘as, in the form of’; ‘becoming as.’

This ending is almost as common in the body of inscriptions as the Partitive and Inessive.We will assume for the sake of argument that this case ending too had both a static interpretation and a dynamic one, depending on context. I propose this was the case for all the Venetic case endings;but some case endings were more drama-tic in the difference between the static interpretation versus dynamic for example case endings about location interpretation versus dynamic – for example case endings about location.


Here were are speaking of form, appearance and the differentiation between static and dynamic meanings is not significant in this case as it is a more abstract concept, and abstract concepts are quite static by nature compared to concepts involving actual physical movement or lack of movement.

Static Essive: In the static interpretation this ending has the meaning ‘as, in the form of, inthe guise of’ For example it appears in $a.i.nate.i.where$a.i.nais seen as ‘in the form ofthegods’ It appears more commonly in the inscriptions with an additional Partitive attached, giving -na.i This added Partitive usually results in a very dynamic meaning, which appears to be like Estonian Terminative ‘till….’

Dynamic Essive: I do not know if there is a clear example of this in our body of inscriptions, except for the situation in which an attached as mentioned above – as in -na.i. The dynamicinterpretation would mean ‘assuming the form of’ It would need to have a verb behind it, such as ‘he changed into….’ It is purely a question of whether there is a motion towards. In any event, I believe the speaker or listener understood what was intended from the context.

2.1.10. Terminative -na.i.-ne.i. ‘up to, until, as far as’

This ending appears often. It looks like a Partitive ending added to an Essive ending and originally my interpre-tations tried to combine the Essive meaning with Partitive and got confusing complex results like ‘in the form of joining with’ and then one day I hit on the simpler idea of the Terminative – ‘up to,until,as far as’ – which exists in Es- tonian but not Finnish. Already we have evidence that Estonian and Venetic / Suebic were related through a common parental language, and so something found in Esto-nian could be represented in Venetic, evenifnot represented in Finnish. (We have al-ready seen for example,that we cannot transform a Finnish Partitive to Venetic,while we can transform an Estonian Partitive to Venetic by changing the – T, D ending to – J (.i.)) Without much rational justificationI applied the Terminative meaning every-where it occurred and it fit better than my complicated combining of Essive and Par-titive concepts. This case ending might also have static and dynamic interpretations.

If so, I would say that – the static interpretation is as in pupone.i. – something (the duck rako) is physically given to, in the example pupone.i.e.gorako.i.e.kupetaris To (‘til) the elder remain a duck, Bon Voyage. This static intepretation seems very much like a Dative. Meanwhile the dynamic interpretation would be to physically travel until somewhere which is how Estonian uses the Terminative. The Estonian Terminative can be seen in Ta läks taluni ‘he went as far as the farm’ In Venetic, for example in a funerary urn inscription ‘to convey mydear (?) untildown below’ the word appears to be in a context with physical move-ment. (Hmm. Perhaps the static form is -ne.i. and the dynamic form is na.i.?? There remains a questionas to the signifance of using e instead of a. )

2.1.11. Adessive -l ‘at (location of)’ & Allative -le.i. ‘towards (location of)’

The Adessive in the meaning ‘at (location of)’ represents the static interpretation. In this case it seems Veneticdoeshave anexplicitdynamic form which parallels what is in relation to Estonian and Finnish called the Allative ‘towards (location of)’.


One may ask,why does Venetic have the explicit Allative,when it did not have the ex- plicit Illative? To understand what Venetic is expected to have and what not, we can look at what iscommon in Estonian and Finnish. If a case ending exists in both Esto-nian and Finnish in asimilar way then it is very old,and must exist in Venetic.Our tree chart of Fig 2.1.3 showed the descent of Inessive,Partitive and Illative. If we were to add Adessive and Allative, we wouldshow both existing at the common ancestor of all three languages – Estonian, Venetic / Suebic, and Finnish. These two separate forms could have developed in an early stage of Finnic perhapsbecause in the lives of early hunters of northern Europe, it was important to distinguish withbeing at a lo-cation versus going towards a location. Too important to clarify via context. In Esto-nian Adessive is reperesented by -l, Finnish by -lla which is essentially the same (Est. has lost terminal a’s on case endings).And the Allative,which is equivalent to a dyna- mic interpretation of the Adessive, is found both in Estonian and Finnish as -le and -lle respectively.Unfortunately in the body of inscriptions available to study, the Venetic Adessive and Allative occur only a couple of times, so we do not have many examples.The most significantsentence is the following.It is written on one of the Pa- dova round stones left at the bottom oftombs, and on which most of them are telling the deceased spirit to fly up out of the tomb. The first underlined ending I think is the Allative and the second is Adessive.

[round stones-LLVPa 26]
‘towards wing, on(at) top of, to fly!
(Est. tiivale peal lendama!) (= tiiva peale lendama!)
I propose that the ending -le.i.ontivale.i. is an Allative (‘to location of’) while the -.l.onbe.l. is the Adessive (‘at’).Note that the stem of tivale.i. is tiva,and its meaning is confirmed by the handle-with-hook that has kalo-tiba on it (= Est. ‘kallu tiib’ ‘wing for pouring’ ) The latter is in the Lagole dialect. Here is another example with tiva in the inscription and here it appears with the Adessive ending (-l) to which is added aniio.i. which seems to mean ‘to infinity’)

(b) vhug-iio.i.tival-iio.i.a.n.tet-iio.i.eku.e.kupetari.s.e.go-
[figure 8 design with text-image of Pa26]

‘Carry infinitely, upon wingto infinity, the givings to infinity, so-be-it happy journey, let it remain ’We can interpret tivaliio.i.astiva + l + iio.i.

2.1.12. Ablative -.l.t ‘out of (location of)’

The Ablative also exists in both Estonian and Finnish in a similar way and therefore must exist in Venetic from its origins in the nor-thern Suebic. The Ablative (-.l.t) to Adessive (-l) and Allative (-le.i.), is similar to the Elative (-.s.t) in relationto the Ines-sive / Illative (-.s.). The difference is that one deals with physical location, while the other (-.s.t) deals with interiors. Static Interpretation of the Ablative (‘derived from lo-cation of”) Similarly to the Elative (.s.t) the Ablative (-.l.t) probably was mostly used to create nouns, to name things, but inthis case related to a location – on top of it, not inside it.An example in Venetic is the word vo.l.tiio Could it have originated with AVA ‘openspace’?AVALT would then mean‘derived from the location of the open space’ This seems to accord with the apparent meaning ofvo.l.tiioas‘sky, heavens’.


But like, it is not a free case ending, but now incorporated in the word. Dynamic Interpretation of the Ablative (‘from the location of’) This is the com-mon usage in modern Estonian and Finnish – to physically move away from a lo-cation.Ta läks talult eemale ‘he went away from the farm’ Do any of the inscriptions indicate movement from one location to another? We can presume Venetic / Suebic had it, but we have not yet identified common use in the dynamic meaning in the body of inscriptions, as opposed to the form being integated into a word stem, dis-cussed above. But then the body of usable Venetic sentences is very small and examples of less commoncase endings will be few if any.It is obvious that if the num-ber of sentences we can study islimited, we will tend to see the most commonly used case endings.

2.1.13. Other Possible Case Endings, Suffixes Suggested from Estonian

Derivational SuffixesThe above listing of Venetic case endings has compared Vene-tic case endings to Estonian / Finnish as summarized in 2.1.2. This comparison is absolutely necessary becauselinguisics has found that grammar changes very slow-ly and that if Venetic is really Finnic, thenwhat we found in the interpreting of Venetic from first principle, MUST show significant similarities to modern Finnic languages that were at the top of the amber routes to the Adriatic Veneti.Even though Estonian and Finnish is over 2000 years in the future or Venetic,t he similarities must be de-monstrable. But this idea of grammar having longevity is really part ofthe basic idea that commonly used language tends to endure. The common everyday language tends to endure because it is in constant use. That means not only is basic grammar preserved from generation to generation,but also everyday words. Linguists have al- ways known that some words – words relating to family relationships, for example – have great long-evity. I have pointed out how the Venetic word .e.go and stem.e. is practically identical to Estonian jäägu and stem jää- and how this is understandable considering that even today the jää-stem is used all day. On the other hand, the Venetic word rako for ‘duck’ has no survival in Estonian or Finnish ‘duck’ is part and anka respectively. But how often is the word ‘duck’ used. Unless you keep a flock of ducks,only a few times a year.When a concept is rarely mentioned, alternative words can be used, at the whim of the speakers.. For example ‘duck’ could be expressed by a word meaning ‘water-bird’ or ‘wide-bill’. (Venetic rakosounds like it came from the quacking sound, and Finnis hanka, sounds like it actually originated with geese that go “honk!” The origin of the Estonian part is a mystery) So unless one word is used often the word lacks stability. But the same applies to grammar. The most com-mon grammar – the grammar taught to babies – has greatest longevity. Thus we will find similarities to the most common grammatical features,andless so in rarely used grammatical features. The point is that longevity is proportional to usage, and there-fore if someone compares a modern language with an ancient genetically related one, the correctness is more probable if thecomparison is with very common words or grammar, and it helps if you learned the modernlanguage as a child, as then you will have an intuition about the core language. Such wisdom isnot available for those analysts who simply look up words in a dictionary,because in adictionary a very rare- ly used word can be beside a commonly used one. There is no filter. Although in this description of Vene-tic grammar follows the modern model for describing Estonian and Finnish, there can be other ways of constructing the descriptive model.


As I have already mentioned, in reality in Finnic, the concept of case endings is artifi- cial-selecting themost common of a large spectrum of endings. The original primitive language might have beenvery much like modern Inuit of arctic North America. Lin-guists have not handled Inuktitut according to common ways of describing grammar, and they called it ‘polysynthetic’ (a system where the speaker simply combines short stems with many suffixes, infixes, and prefixes). The modern manner of describing Estonian and Finnish, is really a selection by linguists developing a description, ofthe most common, most universally used, suffixes. But there aremore. What they chose was to a large degree influenced by how grammar had been described inthe most common Indo-European languages. This means that there are other suffixes that could have been included with the stated “case endings”. But these further suffixes are in modern Estonian and Finnish, generally not identified in the grammar but ra-ther incorporated into thecommon word stems in which they appear and so the suf- fix portions are not identified.There are many such suffixes that are common enough that a creative speaker could combinethem and in effect revivesome amount of the original polysynthetic approach of speaking. Many words with the suffixes built into them, are so common and so old,that speakers ofEstonian or Finnish no longer think of how they were derived.For example the wordkond,‘community’ is one an Estonian would not even think about in terms of its internal components.But when you think of it, it is in fact a combination of KO plusthe suffix -ND,and the intrinsic meaning is ‘together’ + ‘something defined from’. Thus what we have is not only recognizable suffixes including “case endings”, but suffixes that have frozen onto the stem and as-sumed a quite particular meaning. In Venetic there some we have mentioned where the endings are incorporated into a new word stem (,vo.l.tiio,etc, etc) With Venetic too, there is a constant issue as to whether an apparent case ending is stuck onto a stem, or whether a new word - has been established,which of course can add case endings itself. I believe that in the evolution of language, the polysynthetic con-structions that were constantly used, became solidified from constant use. And then with people using it often, fromlaziness, it becomes contracted. Once contracted, the original construction is no longer apparent. Starting with mere tens of basic syllabic elements, evertually we end up with thousands of new stems that cannot be taken apart.

The longer the language has followed this experience, the more new word stems arise, and thegrammatical elements become fewer and fewer. If we wish to use mo-dern Estonian or Finnish to detect further case endings in Venetic, we can reverse the evolution of Estonian or Finnish by noting still-detectable suffixes within words, and then see if Venetic has repeated use of one of them.So what kinds of suffixes are still apparent in modern Estonian or Finnish that are stillidentifiable as suffixes and not disappeared into new words stems?Today these suffixes arecalled ‘Deriva-tional Suffixes’. Poets are free to create new words with them,but they are not recog- nized as case endings as they are not in regular use. But as we go back in time, it is likely some of them were more commonly applied and if linguists had described Es-tonian or Finnish a few thousand years ago, they would have claimed more case en-ding. (The Finno-Ugriclanguage of Hungarian is an example of a language in an older state,and so linguists haveclaimed many more case endings.).There are about 50 suffixes enumerated in A Grammatical Survey of the Estonian Language by Johannes Aavik, most readily found within Estonian-English Dictionary complied by Paul F. Saagpakk, 1982.It was and is important for us to be aware of these suffixes when looking at Venetic, to find resonances, since the ‘case endings’ definitions arbitrarily selected by linguists, may have excluded important suffixes that appear in Venetic.


For example,the ending -nd seems to be common enough in Venetic that maybe we ought to put it into the case endings list. However, what we have done here, is to use the well-established descriptions of Estonian andFinnish as our template. Those who are familiar with Estonian or Finnish can then process theVenetic grammarmore ea-sily. Stillit is possible that since Venetic is over 2000 years old, it maycontain more of the free-combinations of suffixes, infixes, and prefixes. That is the reason in our ana-lysisof the Venetic inscriptions documented in THE VENETIC LANGUAGE An An-cient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL*, we were keen to look inside word structure to help determine meanings.For example v.i.ougonta seems like ‘carry’ + ‘community, grouping’, and we have to determine what it really meant from the context in which it was used. But if there wasnokondin Estonian, we could still break gonta down further with ‘grouping’ from KO ‘together’ and ND ‘entity connected to’.

For our purposes in deciphering Venetic, there was nothing to be gained by looking at morethan a few Estonian derivationalsuffixes in the listgiven by Aavik – those that we found worthyof consideration in our analysis ofthe Venetic. They also allow us to look at the internal makeupof a word, to determine in a general or abstract sense how the word originated, to assist innarrowing down its meaning. The following is a limited list of the Estonian derivational suffixes that I considered inanalyzing the Ve-netic. Some were very significant. -ma (=Venetic -ma?)Estonian 1st infinitive, is believed to have originated in Estonian as a verbal noun in the Illative. Something of this nature seems to be found in Veneticsuch as inv.i.rema. I believe it meant some-thing like ‘in the state of’-m (= Veneti -m?) where this appears in Estonian words it appears to have a reflective sense. It is psychological. It is a nominalizer too that may also produce the idea of ‘state of’ as in -maabove. Possibly it appears in the donom of Lagole inscriptionswhich obviously from how itis used means ‘some-thing brought’,and a synonym for suffix of agency,equivalent to English ending -eras inbuyer. I did not find anything solid in Venetic in this regard, perhaps because Venetic is likely to write it -.i.i and how wouldone distinguish it from all the other uses of “I” within Ve-netic! I believe that Venetic turned in another direction to express the idea of agency -o.r. see next.Estonian has it in the derivational suffic -ur so it is not entirely foreign.

The way languages from the same origins evolve is that there may be two words or endings that mean the same, and one branch popularizes one and the other branch popularizes the other. Thus we can conclude that -ja maight have been found in Ve-netic, but that -o.r. was preferred.Nonetheless,the ending -ur is still recognized with-in Estonian. -ur (= Venetic -o.r.) indicating a person or thing which has a permanent activity orprofession,equivalent to English -or as in surveyor. Would appear in Vene- tic as -or.I foundthis onevery useful as it perfectly explained a word like lemetorna associated with a stylus left as an offering ‘as a producer of warm-feelings’ – ie the object continues to be an expression fromthe giver after it is left behind. An example: v.i.o.u.go.n.ta .e.b.- [stylus-MLV-38bis,LLV-ES-58] ‘The collection-of-bringings, as ingratiation-producers, remains ’Note how is composed of plural plus two suffixes leme-t-o.r.-na



Another simple example is a fibula (used top in togas together) with the word augar on the back. This was appropriate if aug- was ‘hole’ (as in Est. auk) thus giving the Venetic word for a fibula as literally ‘hole-producer’ (= ‘pin’) This word survive elsewhere too as we can evenfind it surviving in English auger.

-nd (= Venetic -nd, -nt) attached to nouns, verbs, and participles to form derived nouns with meanings related to the stems of words.In my view the best interpretation for this is ‘entity made from’ or ‘entity,something,defined from’ and similar.The use of -ND, NT is apparentin Venetic and seems widely used in ancient pre-Indo-European sub-stratum of Europe (as the Atlant is example suggests 4) For example it appears in va.n.t.s. in the sentence mego dona.s.tore.i.tia.i ‘Our brin-ging , in the direction of the everlasting, to Rhea But asmentioned above, this ending was now incorporated into the word. But let us take va.n.t.s. appart. Then we get (A)VA (‘open up’) NT (‘entity of’) S ( ‘in, into’) giving us ‘entity in the direction of the opening’ But this is very abstract, and obviously its final meaning developed from usage. As I say above with gonta, the suffixes, from contant use, disappear into the the brand new meaning.

-kond (konna-)(=Venetic –go.n.ta) ‘a group of things or persons related to a certain place or area’. This is an important component in the Venetic inscriptions. It appears in Venetic often as v.i.ougo.n.ta, but also elsewhere too.

-us (Venetic -o.s. (?) k.o.s. (?)) a suffixthat may have ancient Roman influence behind it. This probably would not appear until Roman times. It may be represented inside the – ko.s. in Lagole inscriptions which already have Latin elements mixed in. Estonian certainly acquired it asa result of theRoman influences.

-ik (Venetic-?)is a suffix that hasPartitive properties in that the K sound suggests breaking off something from a whole.I did not identify an example in the inscriptions other than the fact that the conjunction ke employs the psychology of breaking off. Possibly it occurs and Ifailed to see it.

-la- (Venetic -LA) place or residence.

I saw it in one place, the ending on ‘Crete’ in the Roman period urn inscription – CRETEILA-M-ENNIO-GRAICI-F- [urn-MLV-120-02,LLV-Es II]

-la would have served the same function as the Roman use of -iaat the ends of place names, as in “Venetia” Perhaps it is rare in Venetic because Venetic had re-placed it with -ia.As I said,Aavik presents about 50 ‘derivational suffixes’ in Estonian, bound into words and not used as frequently as the formally set aside ‘case en-dings’. Since Venetic is 2000 years old and closer to the common ancestor of Esto-nian and Venetic, it is more likely that Estonian has LOST some forms that Venetic had . For example, we noted earlier how an original wider use ofendings on (A)VA had Venetic creating va.n.t which has vanished if it was in the common ancestor, and somehow Estonian has only preserved va-stu. We can also propose that Esto-nian lost the use of bo- in a wider fashion and it only survives today as poo-l ’half, to the side of’ (in effect POO in the Adessive case). In Venetic we find bo-, along with va.n.t- used as a preposition, but Venetic also appears to use -bo- as an ending (example in SSELBOI, SSELBOI) and I have included it in Table 24 ATA- ‘end’ -LA ‘place,location’ -ND ‘entity thing’ -S (namer element)- ‘Entity (ie sea) at the end-place


Veneetit Julius Caesarin kirjassa Gallian sota


Roman auxiliaries in the form of the Aeduii attack a Veneti vessel in Morbihan Bay on the French Atlantic coast during the campaign of 56 BC

" ... 56 BC

Following his successful campaign against the Belgae in the previous year, Caesar sets out for Illyricum. Once he has left, war flares up again, triggered by Publius Lici-nius Crassus and the Seventh Legion in the territory of the Andes. With supplies of corn running low,he sends scavenging parties into the territories of the Cariosvelites, [Aulerci] Sesuvii, and the highly influential Veneti.

The latter revolt against this infringement of their lands and possessions, and the neighbouring tribes rapidly follow their lead, including the Ambiliati, [Aulerci] Diab-lintes, Lexovii, Menapii, Morini, Namniti, Nannetes, and Osismii (and probably the Boiocasses, smaller neighbours of the Aulerci and Lexovii). The Veneti also send for auxiliaries from their cousins in Britain. Julius Caesar rushes back to northern Gaul, to a fleet that is being prepared for him by the (Roman-led) Pictones and Santones on the River Loire. The Veneti and their allies fortify their towns, stock them with corn harvests from the surrounding countryside, and gather together as many ships as possible. Knowing that the overland passes are cut off by estuaries and that a sea-ward approach is highly difficult for their opponents, they plan to fight the Romans using their powerful navy in the shallows of the Loire.

Before engaging the Veneti,Caesar sends troops to the Remi, Treveri, and other Bel- gae to encourage them to keep to their allegiance with Rome and to hold the Rhine against possible incursions by Germans who may be planning to join the Veneti. This works, with even the previously militant Bellovaci remaining subdued during this revolt.Crassus is sent to Aquitania and Quintus Titurius Sabinus to the Cariosvelites, Lexovii and Venelli, to prevent them sending reinforcements to the Veneti.

Sabinus finds that Viridovix of the Venelli has joined the revolt, along with the Aulerci and Sexovii, who have killed their magistrates for wanting to remain neutral. Sabinus remains in his well-fortified camp, resisting the taunts of the Venelli and their allies until they venture too far forwards, allowing a Roman sally across the defensive ditch and into the fleeing Celtic ranks. This area of the revolt is instantly extinguished.

The campaign by Caesar against the Veneti is protracted and takes place both on land and sea. Veneti strongholds, when threatened, are evacuated by sea and the Romans have to begin again. Eventually the Veneti fleet is cornered and defeated in Quiberon Bay by Legate Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus. The Veneti strongholds are stormed and much of the Veneti population is either captured and enslaved or but-chered. The confederation is destroyed and Roman rule is firmly stamped upon the region.

Now only the Morini and Menapii remain in opposition to Rome, never having sent their ambassadors to agree peace terms. Caesar leads his army to their territory but they withdraw into the forests and marshes, having realised that head-on conflict will be fruitless. However, guerrilla warfare simply results in the Romans decimating the countryside and burning the villages, and the invaders return to winter quarters amongst the Aulerci and Lexovii and other recently conquered tribes, having seen off the latest threat.

53 BC

The expedition to Britain by Julius Caesar goes ahead, following which he is forced to winter his troops in different quarters in Gaul owing to the poor harvests of that year. One legion is given to Caius Fabius to be quartered in the territories of the Mo-rini, while Quintus Cicero takes another to the Nervii,Lucius Roscius takes one to the lands of the Essui (the Aulerci Sesuvii), and Titus Labienus goes to the Remi 'in the confines of the Treveri'. Three more legions are stationed amongst the Belgae and one with the Eburones who are commanded by Ambiorix and Cativolcus. The Essui appear to play no part in the subsequent rebellion by the Eburones and Treveri. ... "

Gallian sota:,&source=bl&ots=D8pkJvQpZi&sig=ACfU3U1eEYLtU946XTPOPvLdfNUkUt6X5g&hl=fi&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiF_cmZnunlAhXmoYsKHfm5BcIQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=But%20at%20this%20point%20the%20war%20broke%20suddenly%20in%20Gaul%2C&f=false

II 34

" ... At the same season Publius Crassus whom he [Caesar] despatched with one legion agaist the Veneti, Venelli, Osismi, Curiolotae, Esubii, Aulerci and Redones, the maritime states which border upon the ocean, reported that all those states had been brought into subjection to the power of Rome. ... "


" ... But at this point the war broke suddenly in Gaul, of which the cause was as fol-lows.Publius Crassus the younger (Jr.) with Seventh legion had been wintering at the by the Ocean at the Andes.As there was a lack of corn in those parts,he despatched several commandants and tribunes into the neighbouring states to seek it. Of these officers Titus Terrasidius was sent to the Esubii, Marcus Trebius Gallus among the Curiosolites, Quintus Velantius with Titus Silius among the Veneti.

Toinen käännös Wikistä

[The occasion of that war was this: Publius Crassus, a young man, had taken up his winter-quarters with the seventh legion among the Andes, who border upon the Ocean. He, as there was a scarcity of corn in those parts, sent out some officers of cavalry [who would be equites], and several military tribunes [who would be of sena-torial rank] among the neighbouring states,for the purpose of procuring corn and pro- vision; in which number Titus Terrasidius was sent among the Esubii; Marcus Tre-bius Gallus among the Curiosolitae; Quintus Velanius, [and] Titus Silius, amongst the Veneti.]

Thsese Veneti exrcise by far the most extensive authority over all the sea cost in these districts, for they have numerous ships, in which it was their custom to sail to Britain and they excel the rest of the theory and practice of navigation. As the sea is very boisterous, and open,with a few harbours here and there which tehy hold them- selves, they have as tributaries almost all those whose custom is to sail that sea. It was Veneti who took the first step, by detaining Silius an Velanius supposing that through them they should recover their own hostages whom they had given to Cras-sus.Their authority induced their neighbours - for the Gauls are sudden and spasmo-dic in their designs - to detain Trebius and Terrasidius or the same reason, and, ra-pidly despatcing deputies among their chiefs, they bound themselvesby mutual oath to do nothing save by common conscent, and to abide together the single issue of their destiny. Moreover, they urged the remaining states to choose rather to abide in the liberty received from their ancestors than to endure Roman slavery. The whole sea-cost was rapidly won to their opinion, and they dispatched a deputation in com-mon to Publius Crassius, bidding him restore their hostages if he would receive back his own officers.

Caesar was informed by Crassus concerning these matters , and, as he himself was at some distance, he ordered men-of-war to be built meanwhile on the the river Loire , which flows into Ocean, rowers to be drafted from Provence, seemen and steers-men to be got together. These requirements were very rapidly executed, and so soon as the season allowed he himself hastened to join the army.

The Veneti and likewise the rest ofthe states were informed of Caesar´s coming, and at the same time they perceived the magnitude of their offence - they had detained and cast into prison deputies, men whose title had ever been sacred and inviolable among all nations . Therefore, as the danger was great, they began to prepare for war on a corresponding scale, and especially to provide naval equipment, and the more hopefully because they relied much on the nature of the country. they knew that onthe land the roads were intersected by estuaries,that our navigation was ham- pered by ignorance of the locality  and by the scarcity of harbours, and they trusted trusted that the Roman armies would be unable to remain long in their neghbour-hood by the reason of lack of corn. Moreover, they felt that, even though everything should turn out contrary to expectations, they were predominant in sea power, while the Romans had no supply of ships, no knowledge of the shoals,harbours, or islands in the region where they were about to wage war, and they [Veneti] could see that navigation on a land-locked see was quite different from navigation on an Ocean very vast and open. Therefore, having adopted this plan, they fortified their towns, gathered corn thither from the fields, and assembled as many ships as possible in the campaign. As allies for the war they took to themselves the Osismi, the Lexovii, the Namnetes, the Ambiliati, the Morini, the Diablintes, and the Menapii; and they send to fetch auxiliaries rom Britain, which opposite those regions.

The difficulties of the campaign were such as we have shown above; but, neverthe-less, many considerations moved caesar to take it. Such were the outrageous de-tention of Roman knights,the renewal of war after surrender,the revolt after hostages given,  the conspiracy of so many states - and, above all, the fear that if this district were not dealt with the other nations might suppose they had the same liberty. He knew well enough that almost all the Gauls were bent on revolution, and could be recklessly and rapily aroused to war; he knew also that all men are narurally bent to liberty, and hate the state of slavery. And thereore he deemed it proper to divide his army and disperse it at wider intervals before more states could join the conspiracy.

According to the dispatched titus Labienus, lieutent-general, with the cavalry to the territory of the Treveri, who live next the river Rhine. His instructions were to visit Remi and the rest of the Belgae, and to keep them loyal, and to hold back the Ger-mans, who were said to have been summoned by the Belgae to their assistance, in case they should endeavour to force the passage of the river by boats.Publius Cras-sus, with twelwe cohorts from the legions and a large detachment of cavalry, was or- dered to start for Aquitania to prevent the dispatch of auxiliaries from the tribes there into Gaul, and the junction of the two great nations. Quintus Titurius Sabinus
, lieute-nant-general, was depatched with three legions to the territory of Venelli, the Curio-solites and the Lexovii, to keep that force away from the rest. Decimus Brutus the younger was put in command of the fleet, and the Gallic ships already ordered to as-semblerom the territory of Pietones,the santoni and others now pacified, and was or- dered  to tart as soon as possible for the country ofthe Veneti, whither caesar himself hastetened with the land force.


III 13

... Not so the ships of "Gauls" [Veneti], for they were built and equipped in the follo-wing fashion.Their keels were considerably more flat than of our own ships, that they they might more easily weather shoals and ebb-tide.Their prows were very lofty, and their sterns were similarly adapted to meet the force of waves and storms. The ships were made entirely of oak, to endure any violence and buffeting. The cross-pieaces were beams a foot thick, fastened with iron nails as thick as a thumb. The anchors were attached by iron chains intead of cables.Skins of peaces of leather fine finished were used instead of sails, either because the natives had no supply of flax and no knowledge of its use, or, more propably, because they thought that the mighty ocean storms and hurricanes could not be ridden out nor the mighty burden of their ships conveniently controlled, by means of sails. When our own fleet encountered these ships it proved its superiority only in speed and and oarsmanship; in all other res-pects,having regard to the locality of the tempests the others were more suitable and adaptable. For our ships could not them with ram (they were stoutly built),nor by rea- son of their height,they were, was it easy to hurl a pike,and for the same reason they were less rapidly gripped with grapnels. Moreover, when the wind began to rage and they ran before it, they endured the storm more easily, and rested in shoals more safely, with no fear of rocks or crags if let by the tide; whereas our own vessels could not but dread the possibility of all these changes.

II 14

Caesar had taken several towns by assault , when he perceived that all his labour availed nothing, since the flight of the enemy could not be checked the capture of towns, nor damage done to them; accordingly he determined to aweit the fleet. It as-sembled in due course, and so soon as it was sighted by the enemy about two hund-red and twenty of ships, fully prepared and provided with every kind of equipment, sailed out of harbour and took sataion opposite ours. Brutus, who commanded the fleet , and his tribunes and centurios in charge of single ships, were by no means certain what to do or what plan of battle they would pursue. orour commender knew the enemy could not be damaged by the ram; while, even when turrets were set up on board, the lofty sterns of the native ships commanded evan these, so that from the lower level missiles could not be hurled property, while those dischrged by the Gauls gained heavier impact.One device our men had prepared to great advantage - sharp-pointed hooks let and in and fastened to long poles,in shape not unlike siege-hooks. When by these contrivances the halyards which fastened the yards to the masts were caught and drawn taut, the ship was rowed hard ahead and they were snapped short. With the halyards cut the yards of necessity fell down; and as all the hope of the Gallic ships lay in their saila and tackle, when those were torn away all change of using their ships wastaken away also. The rest of the conflict was a question of courage, in which our own troops easily had the advantage - the more so because the engagement took place in sight of caesarand of the whole army, so that no exploit a little more gallant than the the rest could escape notice.The army,in fact, was occupying all the hills and higher ground from which there was a near view down upon the sea.

III 15

When the yards had been torn down as described, and each ship wassurraounded by two or three, the troops strove with the utmost force to climb on the enemies ships. When several of them had been boarded, the natives saw what wastoward; and, s they could think of no device to meet it, they hastened toseek safety in flight. ... "