The Noric language, or Eastern Celtic, is an unclassified Continental Celtic language. It is attested in only two fragmentary inscriptions from the Roman province of Noricum (one in Grafenstein, Austria, the other in Ptuj, Slovenia), which do not provide enough information for any conclusions about the nature of the language to be drawn. However, the language was probably similar to the other Celtic languages near to it, such as Gaulish. Due to its scant evidence it is unknown when it became extinct.
|Native to||Austria, Slovenia|
|Era||attested 2nd century AD|
The Ptuj inscription, discovered in 1894, is written right to left in a northern Italic alphabet and reads:
This is interpreted as two personal names: Artebudz [son] of Brogduos. The name Artebudz may mean "bear penis" (compare Welsh arth "bear" and Irish bod "penis"), while Brogduos may contain the element brog-, mrog- "country" (compare Welsh bro "region, country"). Alternatively, the inscription may be interpreted as Artebudz [made this] for Brogdos, with the second name in the dative case.
The Grafenstein inscription, on a tile from the 2nd century AD that was discovered in a gravel pit in 1977, is incomplete, but the extant part has been transcribed as follows:
MOGE · ES[
P· II- LAV · EX[
ṆE · SAḌỊÍES[
OLLO · SO · VILO[
OLLO · SO · ? [
P LṾGNṾ · SI
Here, Moge seems to be a personal name or an abbreviation of one, P· II- lav a Latin abbreviation indicating a weight, ne sadiíes a verbal form possibly meaning "you (singular) do not set", ollo so perhaps "this amount", and Lugnu another personal name. The text may therefore be a record of some sort of financial transaction.
Other readings of the inscription have also been proposed, including:
MOGE · ES+[---]
PET(?) LAV · EX[---]
NE · SAMES[---]
OLLO · SO · VILO ·[---]
ONA O(?) + ++
OLLO · SO ·+
MOGV · CISS [---
PETILAV · IEX[---
NE · SADIIES[---
OLLO · SO · VILO ·[---
OLLO · SO · VIA .[
- David Stifter, 2007-10-12, Keltisch in Österreich (Powerpoint document) Archived 2011-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, (PDF of lecture) Archived 2010-05-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Encyclopédie de l'arbre celtique, Vase de Ptuj. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Il Vocabolario Celtico, p. 87, p. 89. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- A. Falileyev, Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-Names. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Indogermanistik Wien, University of Vienna, Quellentexte: Ptuj Archived 2007-05-04 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Indogermanistik Wien, University of Vienna, Quellentexte: Grafenstein Archived 2007-05-04 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Encyclopédie de l'arbre celtique, Tuile de Grafenstein. Retrieved 2008-01-09.