And Oscan, (3) Messapian, (4) North Oscan, (5) Volscian, (6) East Italic or Sabellic, (7) Latinian, (8) Sabine, (9) Iguvine or Umbrian, (10) Gallic, (11) Ligurian and (12) Venetic.
(I) It is probable, though not very clearly demonstrated, that Venetic, East Italic and Messapian are connected together and with the ancient dialects spoken in Illyria, so that these might be provisionally entitled the Adriatic group, to which the language spoken.
It was in early times a place of some importance, as is indicated by the remains of a prehistoric enceinte and by the discovery of several Messapian inscriptions.
If this last identification be correct it would show that in Messapian (just as in Venetic and Ligurian) the original velars were retained as gutturals and not converted into labials.
The use of double consonants which has been already pointed out in the Messapian inscriptions has been very acutely connected by Deecke with the tradition that the same practice was introduced at Rome by the poet Ennius who came from the Messapian town Rudiae (Festus, p. 293 M).
Besides the Italic alphabets already mentioned, which are all derived from the alphabet of the Chalcidian Greek colonists in Italy, there were at least four other alphabets in use in different parts of Italy: (i) the Messapian of the south-east part of the peninsula, in which the inscriptions of the Illyrian dialect in use there were written, an alphabet which, according to Pauli (Alt-italische Forschungen, iii.
Pauli, who has published all the known inscriptions of the Heneti, holds that the language is Illyrian, closely connected with Messapian.