Old Italic Etruscan Alphabet


The Etruscan alphabet appeared, approximately, in the VII century BC. It was built on the basis of the  Greek alphabet 0391โ€“03C9 . The oldest monument of this writing is a tablet from Marsiliana, which contains a complete list of letters of the alphabet. Up to today, about 9 thousand inscriptions have been found. It was not possible to read them because the Etruscan language died long ago and at the same time it was isolated (it is not included in any known language family). The meaning of the letters was established from texts written in Etruscan, together with translations into Latin and proper names found in both languages.

The direction of the script varied. The writing could be performed from right to left (more often) and vice versa. There is also a boustrophedon โ€” a method of writing in which the direction alternates in each subsequent line. If the first one goes from left to right, then the second one goes from right to left, the third as the first, the fourth as the second. In the end, it looks like a snake.

There is a theory according to which  Germanic runes 16A0โ€“16F8 came from the Etruscan alphabet. Up to discussion.