Tools
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Introduction

Object and scope of this book. The archaic period.

My main object in this fourth volume of Remains of Old Latin is to present and to translate a number of the older Latin inscriptions as being an important part of early Latin remnants; this book has, however, a wider scope, because it also introduces readers to the general subject of Latin epigraphy and, in a narrow sense, to the study of Roman numismatics. Epigraphy, which is a branch of palaeography or the study of ancient writing, deals with the lettering, language and subject-matter of inscriptions written on hard and durable material such as stone and metal; it includes inscriptions on coins, though this part of the subject is usually separated under the title of numismatics, and inscriptions on gems, which likewise are usually studied separately.

I have set the year 80 b.c. as the latest limit of the archaic period; but it must be noted at once that archaisms in the Latin language and spelling occur to a much later date, especially in official documents. In fact there are large records of a date later than 80 b.c. which in spelling1 present an appearance just

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