Domestication of the horse
Nordic Bronze Age
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Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European
Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture
The Horse, the Wheel and Language
Journal of Indo-European Studies
Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch
Indo-European Etymological Dictionary
Italic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group
identified by speaking Italic languages.
3.1 Copper Age
3.2 Early and Middle Bronze Age
3.3 Late Bronze Age
3.4 Iron Age
4 See also
Indo-European language tree (diagram) according to Gray and Atkinson
Ethnolinguistic map of
Italy in the Iron Age.
The Italics were all the peoples who spoke an idiom belonging to the
Italic branch of the
Indo-European languages and had settled in the
Italian peninsula. The first Italic tribes, the Latino-Falisci (or
"Latino-Veneti", if the membership of the ancient Veneti is also
Italy across the eastern Alpine passes into the
plain of the
Po River about 1200 BC. Later, they crossed the Apennine
Mountains and eventually occupied the region of Latium, which included
the area of Rome. Before 1000 BC, the Osco-Umbrians followed, which
later divided into various groups and gradually moved to central and
The Italics were, therefore, the set of all Indo-Europeans present
Italy in antiquity, not Indo-European peoples who were
present also in other areas of Europe, such as the Cisalpine
Continental Celtic people) or the
Messapians (related to the
The term is sometimes used improperly, especially in nonspecialised
literature, to refer to all pre-Roman people of Italy, including those
not of Indo-European lineages, such as the Etruscans, the Raetians and
See also: Indo-European migrations
Indo-European Migrations. Source David Anthony (2007), The Horse, The
Wheel and Language
According to David W. Anthony, between 3100–2800/–2600 BCE, a real
folk migration of Proto-Indo-European speakers from the Yamna culture
took place into the
Danube Valley. These migrations probably split off
Pre-Italic, Pre-Celtic and Pre-Germanic from Proto-Indo-European.
Hydronymy shows that
Proto-Germanic homeland is in Central Germany,
which would be very close to the homeland of Italic and Celtic
languages as well.
The origin of a hypothetical ancestral "Italo-Celtic" people is to be
found in today's eastern Hungary, "kurganized" around 3100 BC by the
Yamna culture. Subsequently, the Urnfield culture, also native of the
Hungarian plain, expanding to the west would have brought this people
Bavaria and in Austria, where it evolved in the Proto-Celtic
people, while the proto-Italic people would have formed from the
"Italo-Celtic" tribes who remained in Hungary, then penetrating in
Italy during the late
2nd millennium BC
2nd millennium BC through the Proto-Villanovan
This hypothesis is to some extent supported by the observation that
Italic shares a large number of isoglosses and lexical terms with
Celtic and Germanic, some of which are more likely to be attributed to
the Bronze Age. In particular, using Bayesian phylogenetic methods,
Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson argued that proto-Italic speakers
separated from proto-Germanic ones 5500 years before present, i.e.
roughly the start of the Bronze Age. This is further confirmed by
the fact that Germanic language family shares more vocabulary with the
Italic family than with the Celtic language family.
Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus
Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus known as the “Census frieze”.
Marble, Roman artwork of the late 2nd century BCE. From the Campo
Samnite soldiers from a tomb frieze in Nola, 4th century BCE; The
Samnites were descended from the Sabines, who were descended from the
Italy in 400 BC
Remains of the later prehistoric age have been found in
Lombardy (stone carvings in Val Camonica). The most famous is perhaps
Ötzi the Iceman, the mummy of a mountain hunter found in the
Similaun glacier in South Tyrol, dating to c. 3300 BC. During the
Copper Age, at the same time as metalworking appeared, Indo-European
people migrated to Italy. Approximatively four waves of population
from north of the
Alps have been hypothesized on the basis of
archaeological evidence. The
Remedello culture is associated by
some with the first identified wave of
Italy and took over the Po Valley.
Early and Middle Bronze Age
From the late 3rd to the early 2nd millennium BC, tribes coming both
from the north and from Franco-Iberia brought the Beaker culture
and the use of bronze smithing, to the Po Valley, to
Tuscany and to
the coasts of
Sardinia and Sicily.
In the mid-2nd millennium BC, the Terramare culture developed in
the Po Valley. The
Terramare culture takes its name from the black
earth (terra marna) residue of settlement mounds, which have long
served the fertilizing needs of local farmers. These people were still
hunters, but had domesticated animals; they were fairly skillful
metallurgists, casting bronze in moulds of stone and clay, and they
were also agriculturists, cultivating beans, the vine, wheat and flax.
The Latino-Faliscan people have been associated with this culture,
especially by the archaeologist Luigi Pigorini.
Late Bronze Age
From the late 2nd millennium to the early 1st millennium BC, the Late
Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture, related to the Central European
Urnfield culture, dominated the peninsula and replaced the preceding
Apennine culture. The Proto-Villanovans practiced cremation and buried
the ashes of their dead in pottery urns of a distinctive double-cone
shape. Generally speaking, Proto-Villanovan settlements have been
found in almost the whole
Italian peninsula from
Veneto to eastern
Sicily, although they were most numerous in the northern-central part
of Italy. The most important settlements excavated are those of
Veneto region, Bismantova in
Emilia-Romagna and near the
Monti della Tolfa, north of Rome. The Osco-Umbrians, the Veneti, and
possibly the Latino-Faliscans too, have been associated with this
In the 13th century BC, Proto-
Celts (probably the ancestors of the
Lepontii people), coming from the area of modern-day Switzerland,
eastern France and south-western Germany (RSFO Urnfield group),
Lombardy and eastern Piedmont), starting the
Canegrate culture, who not long time after, merging with the
indigenous Ligurians, produced the mixed Golasecca culture.
In the early Iron Age, the relatively homogeneous Proto-Villanovan
culture shows a process of fragmentation. In
Tuscany and in part of
Latium and Campania, the
Proto-Villanovan culture was
followed by the Villanovan culture. The
Villanovan culture is closely
associated with the Celtic
Halstatt culture of Alpine Austria, and is
characterised by the introduction of iron-working, the practice of
cremation coupled with the burial of the ashes in distinctive pottery.
The earliest remains of
Villanovan culture date back to approx. 1100
In the region south of the
Latium Vetus), the
Latial culture of
the Latins emerges, while in the north-east of the peninsula the Este
culture of the Veneti appeared. Roughly in the same period, from their
core area in central
Umbria and Sabina region), the
Osco-Umbrians began to emigrate in various waves, through the process
of Ver sacrum, the ritualized extension of colonies, in southern
Molise and the whole southern half of the peninsula, replacing
the previous tribes, such as the
Opici and the Oenotrians. This
corresponds with the emergence of the
Terni culture, which had strong
similarities with the Celtic cultures of Hallstatt and La Tène.
The Umbrian necropolis of Terni, which dates back to the 10th century
BC, was identical under every aspect, to the Celtic necropolis of the
List of ancient Italic peoples
David W. Anthony - The Horse, The Wheel and Language pg.344
^ Hans, Wagner. "Anatolien war nicht Ur-Heimat der indogermanischen
Stämme". eurasischesmagazin. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
David W. Anthony - The Horse, The Wheel and Language pg.367
^ Douglas Q., Adams (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture.
Taylor & Francis. pp. 316–317.
^ "Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date
makes, Russell D. Gray, Quentin D. Atkinson and Simon J. Greenhill
^ "A Grammar of Proto-Germanic, Winfred P. Lehmann Jonathan Slocum"
^ Salmon 1967, p. 29.
^ J. P. Mallory, Douglas Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European
Italic languages pg. 315-319
Remedello culture map
^ p144, Richard Bradley The prehistory of Britain and Ireland,
Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-521-84811-3
^ Pearce, Mark (December 1, 1998). "New research on the terramare of
northern Italy". Antiquity.
^ Leonelli, Valentina. La necropoli delle Acciaierie di Terni:
contributi per una edizione critica (Cestres ed.). p. 33.
^ Farinacci, Manlio. Carsulae svelata e
Associazione Culturale UMRU - Terni.
Villar, Francisco (1997). Gli Indoeuropei e le origini dell'Europa.
Bologna: Il Mulino. ISBN 88-15-05708-0.
Devoto, Giacomo; Buti, Gianna G. (1974). Preistoria e storia delle
regioni d'Italia. Florence: Sansoni.
Devoto, Giacomo (1951). Gli antichi Italici. Florence: Vallechi.
Pigorini, Luigi (1910). Gli abitanti primitivi dell'Italia. Rome:
Moscati, Sabatino (1998). Così nacque l'Italia: profili di popoli
riscoperti. Turin: Società Editrice Internazionale.
Ancient Italian peoples
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