Greek in Italy: investigating the linguistic effect of the long-term presence of Greek speakers on the languages of Ancient Italy.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Classics

Abstract

In the course of the first millennium BC Greek sailors, traders and colonists visited and settled in the Italian peninsula in increasing numbers. So much so, that the southern half of Italy became known as 'Big Greece', both by Romans (Magna Graecia) and Greeks (Megale Hellas). Greeks brought with them urban living, religion and wine drinking, together with the alphabet and its associated uses. Some cities of Italy, including Naples, Rhegium and Tarentum, remained Greek speaking under Roman rule. Substantial archaeological and textual discoveries in the last three decades have opened up our knowledge of the Greeks in Italy and the native societies they encountered, but there has been no complete study of the impact made by Greek on indigenous languages. This project aims to fill this gap, and will consider the nature and outcomes of contact between Greeks and speakers of the various native languages of ancient Italy, investigating the changes on the languages themselves, and relating linguistic interactions to social and political factors. This project will bring a new approach to the study of the impact of Greeks in Italy by combining two major recent research developments in research, linking studies of micro-regions in the Mediterranean, which emphasize networks and connectivity (e.g. Horden & Purcell The Corrupting Sea 2000), within the context of new work on ancient language contact (e.g. Adams Bilingualism and the Latin Language 2003).
The project will work from a rich, but manageable data set. Epigraphic sources will be the primary focus, since inscriptions furnish the principle record for nearly all of the ancient languages once spoken in Italy (Latin is of course the exception). Recent research has hugely enhanced our knowledge of the non-Latin languages of Italy through the publication of new corpora, including Imagines Italicae (2011), the result of an AHRC project. These corpora allow us to tally the linguistic evidence with known archaeological or historical contexts.
The project team will comprise researchers with expertise on both the Greek language and the native languages of Italy, with overlapping strengths in historical / comparative linguistics, epigraphy and classical studies. Through collaborative research and by pooling expertise and knowledge of different areas and languages, we will gain a fuller picture of the complexity of bilingual and multilingual interaction in Italy over several centuries. We will develop methodologies for using epigraphic material to construct a picture of interactions between speech communities, and for interpreting similarities of script and uses of literacy. The findings of the project will shed new light on ancient history, and set a standard for the investigation of the long-term impact of migration and colonization on language use and change.
The project will be based in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, which affords excellent institutional support for ancient history, epigraphy, and comparative/historical linguistics. The PI (James Clackson) and Co-I (Geoff Horrocks) have internationally recognized expertise in the linguistic study of the Classical languages, and a proven record of collaborative research (joint publication Blackwell History of the Latin Language, 2007). The project will employ two post-doctoral researchers, Nicholas Zair and Katherine McDonald, and one PhD student.
The members of the project team will focus on different areas: Clackson on the early history of Latin and variation in the impact of Greek on different speech communities; Horrocks on developments in Greek in Italy; Zair will be concerned principally with phonological and morphological change within the Sabellian language family and McDonald will investigate long term contact and change between Greek, Oscan and Messapic in the far south of Italy. The associated PhD studentship will allow a student to work on the language of Greek inscriptions from southern Italy.

Planned Impact

Language use and migration are topics of current interest and concern. It is estimated that 60-75% of the world's population is bilingual, but currently only around 30% of the population of Britain can make active use of a language other than English. However, the long-term effects of migration on language use and language change are debated. Academic studies are largely restricted to episodes of recent colonial and post-colonial Europe and the US. This project proposes to take a much longer-term view of the interaction between migration, colonisation, language use and literacy, by viewing interactions on a historical time-scale of over six hundred years.
The research project will be aimed towards three targeted groups of beneficiaries. Firstly, schools and teachers of all schools that teach UK citizenship as part of the National Curriculum will benefit from learning about historical examples of migration and ensuing linguistic diversity (Identities and Diversity is part of Key Stage 3 of UK Citizenship). Secondly, schools that teach courses on classical civilization, the ancient world or Latin language will benefit through enhanced learning about the history of the language and its cultural background. The first book of the Cambridge Latin Course, the most widely used textbook for teaching Latin in schools, is set in Pompeii - a Roman town in Southern Italy where Latin, Greek and Oscan were all in use, and this provides an entry point for school visits, talks and participation.
The third constituency is centred on, but not exclusively limited to, members of the public who go to museums, and /or who have an interest in ancient history, and / or who are interested in the history of languages and scripts. The British Museum exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum will open in March 2013, and hence before the start of this project, but it is hoped that it will generate interest in the culture and history of Southern Italy in antiquity that can be utilised by the project. The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has good holdings of objects from Greek colonies in Italy, and will allow the project to make use of their changing display case in the Antiquities Gallery to illustrate some of the issues covered during part of the project lifespan, which will include links to the project blog and information of outreach talks to groups such as the Museum Friends and local Friends of Classics groups.
Dissemination to these targeted groups will take place through different media. We shall arrange school talks and visits, building on the Cambridge Classics Faculty's contact and outreach programmes with schools locally and nationally, and the PI's links with the Joint Association of Classical Teachers. The project will host a project blog (sample http://greekinitaly.wordpress.com/) with links to other web-resources in Classics, which will be publicised to schools and elsewhere. The blog will identify research findings and outputs which are suitable to different audiences, and will feature pod-casts of talks for both adult and school age audiences, and records of other outreach events.
 
Title Power and Resistance in pre- and early Roman Italy Exhibition in Fitzwilliam Museum 
Description A display case curated by the Greek in Italy project was on show in the Greek and Roman Gallery of the Fitzwilliam Museum for 2 months. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Increased public interest and awareness of the Project 
URL http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5286
 
Description The project put on an exhibition, 'Power and Resistance in pre- and early Roman Italy', in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, combining relevant objects from the Museum with information panels about the project in a dedicated display case in the Greek and Roman Gallery. The exhibition was on display from 6 October to 29 November (for further details, see the webpage: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5286).
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural
 
Description Alumni talk, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Spoke to alumni of Peterhouse, Cambridge on 'Learn Oscan in 10 minutes', which sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Interesting conversations with alumni of the college
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Ancient Linguistics conference (Cagliari) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact K McDonald gave a conference paper entitled "How multilingual was Southern Italy?" at a conference entitled "Contact phenomena between Greek and Latin and the peripheral languages in the Mediterranean area (1200 B.C. - 600 A.D.)", at the Università di Cagliari. As a result, there was an in-depth discussion between international experts in this field.

Further discussion and dissemination of the project's work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Article in Omnibus schools magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In 2016, I was invited to contribute an article on Oscan to "Omnibus", a national magazine for school students interested in Classics and Ancient History. This article, "Women in their own words," is due to be published and sent to schools nationwide in September 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Big and small data in ancient languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Panel on 'Sources of Evidence for Linguistic Analysis', Philological Society. Presentation and discussion of historical evidence for linguistics organised by the Philological Society. I was subsequently asked to write a post for the blog of teh Philological Society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description CRASSH Multilingualism Seminar (Cambridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Around 25 audience members attended a talk as part of a Mediaval/Ancient Multilingualism Seminar series.

Stimulating discussion of research in pub afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/multilingualism-and-exchange-in-the-ancient-and-medieval-worl...
 
Description Cambridge Schools Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Over a hundred schoolchildren and teachers attended a talk as part of the Cambridge Classics Open Day.

Increase in studying Classics and Languages at University noted by teachers in responses to the event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cambridge conference on Migration, Mobility and Language Contact in Italy and the Western Mediterranean 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A two-day conference hosted in Cambridge which led to collection of papers for volume to be published in 2017, with contributions from postgraduate researchers and early career academics as well as scholars in post from around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Classical Association Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to the local and district Classical Association, which comprises largely local schoolteachers. Discussion and questions followed.

Increased interest from local schools in project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Europe House Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the public and staff from European embassies were present at a presentation and panel discussion on multlingualism in the ancient world. Presentations will eventually be put in line.

Increase in interest from schools and others in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.europe.org.uk/2014/05/12/multilingualism-in-the-ancient-world/
 
Description Festival of Ideas (Cambridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact (Add details later)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Gonville and Caius College Humanities Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Around 20 potential applicants to Arts and Humanities subjects from lower-participation neighbourhoods attended a talk about Classics.

Two applicants expressed interest in applying to Classics at Cambridge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Guest on radio show (Radio London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact People learned about something interesting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Helsinki seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Professor Horrocks gave the seminar Greek in Italy: Public and Private at Locri at Helsinki University

We have already started plans for a collaborative project with members of Helsinki University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Indo-European Seminar, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact K. McDonald gave a work-in-progress talk entitled "Inter-city rivalry and the epigraphic habit in the Veneto and Campania" at approximately 20 audience members, including peers and graduate students. There was a resulting discussion between people working in different areas of Classics, and this inspired further avenues for research.

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Latin Taster Day talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Hopefully some pupils became interested in studying Latin
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Multilingualism Research Group talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Got invited to appear on Radio London

Connected with colleagues also working on multilingualism
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Multilingualism and Exchange Research Group talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Some people knew some more about our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description New module "Italy Before Rome" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact As a result of the "Greek in Italy" project, I pitched a new undergraduate module to the University of Exeter entitled "Italy Before Rome". This module will cover Greek, Etruscan and Samnite cultures in pre-Roman Italy. This module was accepted with enthusiasm by the department and the undergraduate liaison committee, and will run for first- and second-year students commencing in September 2017. The module will be a recommended "Ancient Sources" module in the undergraduate Classics, Classical Studies and Ancient History programmes, and an optional module for students in all other programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Outreach talk to King Soloman Academy School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 40 pupils from year 5 attended a talk on language, language change and linguistics, and engaged later with questions and discussion

School reported higher interest in University education among schoolchildren.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Outreach talk to Notting Hill and Ealing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Students from Notting Hill and Ealing Girls school attended a talk given in Jesus College.

Teacher reported increased interest in university education by students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Philology seminar talk, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact 20 academics attended a talk on 'What the Greek alphabet can tell us about Oscan: phonology, morphology and sociolinguistics' at the Linguistics and Philology Seminar, Classics Faculty, Cambridge, 22 January, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Greater interest among colleagues
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Plenary lecture at the conference Le lingue classiche tra variazione, identità e norma, University of Pisa, February 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk sparked discussion and invitation to submit paper to journal.

Paper will be published in Studi e Saggi Linguistici, 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Project Research Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The members of the team contributed to a project blog, writing approximately one entry per month. The blog attracts around 1000 individual readers per month, and has had over 22,000 page views since the beginning of the project (4832 in 2014; 9917 in 2015; 6944 in 2016; 1223 in January and February 2017).

Colleagues contacted us with additional information that would be of interest to us. Blog has stimulated discussions among interested non-speacialists (for example, on Twitter).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.greekinitaly.wordpress.com
 
Description Project Twitter Account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project's twitter account exists mainly to publicise new blog posts. The project currently has 661 followers (as of February 2017).

Readership and reach of blog substantially improved by tweets publicising blog posts. Interested members of the public more often ask follow-up questions on twitter than by commenting on the blog itself.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017
URL https://twitter.com/GreekinItaly
 
Description Queen's College Classics Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a talk to the Queens' College Classics undergraduates about the project's work.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Reading the City (Sixth form taster day, Cambridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Thirty sixth form students attended a talk on 'Reading the City. Inscriptions and graffiti in Pompeii', with questions afterwards

Positive feedback from attendees
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School Talk (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Professor Horrocks gave the talk 'Language and power in ancient Italy' at a school in London

Pupils themselves asked for talk from academic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School Visit to the Faculty of Classics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact K. McDonald gave a talk called "Exploring Ancient Bilingualism" to a school group with some basic knowledge of Latin, to highlight the kinds of research going on in the Classics Faculty and the breadth of the undergraduate Classics degree.

TBD
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School talk (Henrietta Barnett) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Write-up of talk on school's website: http://www.hbschool.org.uk/media/news/article/188/Classics-Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School visit (somerset) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion

School reported continuing interest in topic after my visit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Seminar, Ca' Foscari, Venice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact K. McDonald gave a talk entitled "Language Contact and Magical Language in Ancient Italy" to a research seminar aimed at undergraduate students at Ca' Foscari, Universita di Venezia.

Two students decided to their extended research project on topics relating to this talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Societas Linguistica Europeaa 2015 (Leiden) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact K. McDonald gave a talk entitled "Oscan and Greek in Italy: Contact Phenomena and Domain" at the "Managing Multilingualism" panel at SLE 2015. As a result, there was international discussion and collaboration, including future collaboration on a publication based on this panel.

Future publication of this panel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk 'Saxa Loquuntur: Epigraphy and Language', British Epigraphy Society Summer School, Institute of Classical Studies, London. 7 August 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk promoted extensive discussions

Email contact initiated with a number of UK graduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.britishepigraphysociety.org/bes-summer-school-in-greek-and-latin-epigraphy-2015.html
 
Description Talk at Cambridge Festival of Ideas, October 2015 (GC Horrocks): Did Language Matter? Local vs Imperial Languages in Classical Antiquity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Questions and discussion

Raised awareness of the project in local area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/fully-booked-did-language-matter-local-versus-imperial-l...
 
Description Talk at Hay on Wye Literary Festival, May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions, discussion and invitations to other engagements.

I was invited to speak at the Hay-Levels engagement video for your people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.cam.ac.uk/public-engagement/public-events/other-events/cambridge-series-at-the-hay-festi...
 
Description Talk: Migration and Language: Ancient Perspectives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk as part of the Festival of Ideas, also released as podcast
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://soundcloud.com/university-of-cambridge/migration-and-language-ancient-perspectives?in=univer...
 
Description Workshop talk (Harvard) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a talk on 'Why the Oscans couldn't spell and what this tells us about Oscan'. Workshop in Indo-European and Historical Linguistics, Harvard University. This talk sparked questions and discussion.

Contacts made with academics and graduate students at Harvard
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Year 11 residential Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 20 Students from schools in Ealing were staying in Jesus College and attended a talk on language and linguistics, which sparked discussion afterwards.

Increased interest in studying languages at University amongst children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Year 12 Taster Day, Peterhouse 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 25 pupils and teachers attended talk about linguistics entitled 'How languages change, and how we can tell if they're related', with questions afterwards

Hopefully, some people became interested in linguistics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014