Published on August 26, 2007
Reading: "The Etruscan Language" by Larissa Bonfante
"The story of the Etruscans is shrouded in mystery. Some scholars believe they were ancestors of the ancient Greeks. Their civilisation was eventually wiped out by the less advanced but more warlike Romans in the fourth century BC. The Etruscan language is among the world's last undeciphered languages, something that's always intrigued me. But this book also explores the ancient root of all writing. Some 40 years ago the consensus was that writing came about through people sending invoices to their customers. The current consensus is that writing began in order to set down stories that only existed in oral form before Homer. So Etruscan writing fits the picture for the origins of the written word. It's a fascinating book."