Today Slavic languages are spoken in Eastern Europe, in countries like Russia, Poland, Czech, and Serbia, to name a few. But almost a thousand year earlier there lived Slavic speaking tribes close to today’s Netherlands. See the map below and compare it with today’s political borders.
We know that the Arabs and Jews speak Semitic languages. And the Arabic speaking tribes conquered much of the Iberian peninsula around AD700.
But there were Semitic speaking tribes in Europe much before, the Carthaginians. They establised colonies around the Mediterranean and were finally crushed by the ancient Romans much later. Anyway around 500BC the Semitic tribes — represented by the Carthaginians — had a strong presence on the shores of the Mediterranean, as shown on the map.
The Ligurian language was spoken in pre-Roman times and into the Roman era by an ancient people known as the Ligures.
Very little is known about this language which is generally believed to have been Indo-European.
The Italics were all the peoples who spoke an idiom belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages and had settled in the Italian peninsula.
As seen on the map, the Italic tribes and Italic languages were spoken on a very small area in the beginning. One of the languages, though, was Latin. The Roman conquests eventually spread it throughout the peninsula and beyond in the Roman Empire. The evolved dialects of Latin gave birth to the Romance languages; French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc. that are nowadays spoken allover the world.
The Sigynnae (Sigynni) were an obscure people of antiquity. They are variously located by ancient authors. Sigynnae — as mentioned by Herodotus — were “a people widely spread in the Danubic basin in the 5th century BC”.
The Sigynni were likely to be Iranian (Indo-Aryan) people.
The Illyrians were a group of Indo-European tribes, who once inhabited western Balkans.
Starting from the 2nd century AD the Illyrians were gradually wiped off from the map; and The Illyrians were mentioned for the last time in the 7th century. With the disintegration of the Roman Empire, Gothic and Hunnic tribes raided the Balkan peninsula, forcing many Illyrians to seek refuge in the highlands. With the arrival of the Slavs in the 6th century, most Illyrians were Slavicized.
Follow the link to see where the Illyrians once lived.
Around 600BC Ancient Greek dialects were spoken not only in today’s Greece but also all around the shores of the Black Sea. Ancient Greek includes the forms of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD.
The language was spoken on other locations, too. Follow the link to see where.
- Greek tribes on the map 600BC. Be sure to switch the map base layer to ‘political boundaries’ so that you will see the Greek areas shown in light gray.
Today Germanic languages are spoken allover the world, mainly because the English language belongs to Germanic languages. In Europe, however, Germanic languages are spoken in Central and Northern Europe only.
But around AD 400 the Germanic tribes were on the move allover Europe, as can be seen in the map behind the link below.
Celtic languages are those ancients with long history. They are nowadays spoken principally in Wales and on the countryside in Western Ireland.
Not so long ago (~ 2600 years ago) Celtic languages were spoken on a vast area of Central Europe, however. Follow the link to see where.
Baltic languages belong to the Indo-European languages. Today Baltic languages are spoken in Latvia (Latvian language) and Lithuania (Lithuanian language). But in the XIV Century, Baltic languages were spoken on a much bigger area. Follow the link below to see where.