Multilingualism and Minority Languages in Ancient Europe


Project Summary

This project aims to shed light on some important defining features of past and modern European identity. It focuses on multilingualism, languages in contact and the various types of cultural involved in this process. Finally, this project examines the concept of prestige and ‘transnational’ languages and their impact on minority languages.

These features are often perceived as a typical problem of contemporary Europe, linked to globalisation and recent migrations, rather than a constitutive part of our identity since its foundation. However, the most ancient written documents found in the European continent already show traces of multilingualism and intense language contact. One of the main problems is that in antiquity transnational and prestige languages such as Greek and Latin tended to replace in writing various local languages, which as a consequence are poorly attested and are usually classified as Restsprachen.

The project consists of five research units. Each will focus on different aspects of multilingualism in Ancient Europe. The researchers will study specific poorly documented minority languages and explore different types of language contact. As a result, various superficially studied or unpublished documents written in Phrygian, Lydian, different dialects of Ancient Greek, Latin, Messapic and Cappadocian Greek will be edited, commented upon and examined in their historical context.

At a more general level, each research unit will reflect on the sociolinguistic dynamics underlying the new philological, linguistic, historical and cultural data that will be collected during the project. This will result in a better understanding of the linguistic and cultural identities of present Europe.

Prof. Albio Cesare Cassio

Project Leader

Sapienza University of Rome
Italy


Project Partners

Prof. Albio Cesare Cassio

Project Leader

Sapienza University of Rome
Italy

Email

Prof. Marina Benedetti

Foreigners University of Siena
Italy

Email

Prof. Emilio Crespo

Autonomous University of Madrid
Spain

Email

Prof. Mark Janse

Ghent University
Belgium

Email

Prof. Alexander Lubotsky

Leiden University
Netherlands

Email

Associate Partners

Lario Capasso

Associazone Italian di Cultura Classica (AICC)

Dr Marloes Deene

Nederlands Klassiek Verbond

Dr Johann Vandewalle

Centre for Oriental Languages & Cultures

Theofanis Issakidis and Vassiliki Papadopoulou

Panhellic Association of Cappadocian Unions

Dr W.H.M. Huppertz

Allard Person Museum

Prof. Ioannis N. Kazazis

Ministry of Culture, Education and religious Affairs - Centre for the Greek Language

Pierre Ducrey and Gary Vachicoura

Foundation Hardt

Mauro Tulli

Associazone Italian di Cultura Classica - Delegazione di Pisa

Prof. Salavatore Caruso

Liceo Classico G. Galilei

Paola Fasano

Liceo Classico Machievelli in Florence

Alessandro Bechini

Oxfam Italia Intercultura

Prof. Emilio Crespo Guemes

Fundacion Pastor de Estudios Clasicos

  • Sapienza University of Rome

    Sapienza University of Rome

    Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

  • Foreigners University of Siena

    Foreigners University of Siena

    Piazza Carlo Rosselli, 27/28, 53100, Siena SI, Italy

  • Autonomous University of Madrid

    Autonomous University of Madrid

    Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain

  • Ghent University

    Ghent University

    St. Pietersnieuwstraat 33, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

  • Leiden University

    Leiden University

    Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ Leiden, Netherlands