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Rhaetian people (Alpine ancient history)

Ancient sources characterise the Raeti as Etruscan people who were displaced from the Po valley by the Gauls and took refuge in the valleys of the Alps. But it is likely that they were predominantly indigenous Alpine people. Their language, the so-called Raetian language, was probably related to Etruscan, but may not have derived from it.[1]

Source: Rhaetian people – Wikipedia


Ahrensburg culture (Prehistoric Europe)


Etruscan origins (European ancient history)


  1. Tim B.

    “It was suggested in the 19th century that Raeti is an exonym given to these tribes by the Gauls, derived from a supposed Celtic root rait ‘highland’, so that Raeti meant ‘mountain people’.[2]”

  2. Tim B.

    “It is just as likely that the Raeti, if they spoke an Etruscan-like language, were Alpine indigenes who had spoken it as long as, if not longer than, the Etruscans of Etruria – especially if, as most scholars believe, Etruscan represents the pre-Indo-European base language of Italy and the Alps.[9] Alternatively, if the Alpine indigenes previously spoke a language unrelated to Etruscan, they may have adopted Etruscan through processes other than mass immigration e.g. through cultural interchange with the Etruscans of the Po valley, or as a result of “elite-transfer” by an Etruscan elite that acquired political hegemony over the Alpine tribes. “

  3. Tim B.

    “The Raeti are believed by many scholars to have spoken, originally at least, the so-called “Raetian language”, an extinct tongue known only from a series of inscriptions, written in a variant of the Etruscan alphabet. This tongue is commonly regarded by most philologists to be related to Etruscan, a non-Indo-European language which is best documented in the central Italian regions of Tuscany, northern Latium and western Umbria, and also in northern Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. The language has been called “Raetian” by linguists because it is assumed to have been spoken by the Raeti.”

  4. Tim B.

    “During the centuries of Roman rule, the Raeti became predominantly Latin-speakers. It has been suggested that a surviving relic of the Raeti’s Latin speech is the Romansh language, one of the so-called “Rhaeto-Romance languages”. Romansch survives today in a few valleys of Swiss canton Grisons (most of which is today German-speaking). However, a Raetian origin for Romansch is uncertain, as Rhaeto-Romance languages appear most closely related to the Gallo-Romance group, strengthening the argument that the Raeti had adopted Celtic speech before Latinisation. “

  5. Tim B.

    “It is clear that in the centuries leading up to Roman imperial times, the Rhaetians had at least come under Etruscan influence, as the Rhaetic inscriptions are written in what appears to be a northern variant of the Etruscan alphabet. The ancient Roman sources mention the Rhaetic people as being reputedly of Etruscan origin, so there may at least have been some ethnic Etruscans who had settled in the region by that time. “

  6. Ronald Adamowicz Engelhorn

    Very interesting. My family history shows hundreds of years (possible thousands) living in the area of Hockenheim, but our Y-DNA is not Germanic. We have a written history from Hockenheim of burgermeisters , tax collectors, etc..the oldest inn in Hockenheim was built by my family.
    I have taken a Y-DNA test with FTDNA, it shows a connection to the Anatolian people that migrated to Tuscany in ancient times. These ancestors of mine might have migrated into the Swiss Alps via the Po Valley, and or with the Roman Legions.
    My Y-DNA sits alone in FTDNA for years, the only match is my biological brother. We tested as a J2A, M-172, M92, Z515. Its has been over 5 years on FTDNA and no matches.

  7. Tim B.

    This is a very interesting. Thanks for sharing! I would be curious to see pictures of this old inn your family built if any are online! I will have to do more research into this topic.

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