Re: Etruscan

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun Nov 02 1997 - 13:15:20 EST


I looked at the most recent proposal and found that there was an open issue
which we (John Jenkins of UTC and me of WG2) really never resolved, though
it appears in the current document as a joint UTC/US/Irish proposal. We'd
better solve this, I think.

The issue is, should Etruscan be encoded with a right-to-left or
left-to-right default?

I received only one response from my Etruscologist informants:

>Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 14:54:16 -0500
>To: Michael Everson <>
>From: (Claudio R. Salvucci)
>>The only other issue, I'm curious to what your preference is, to work with
>>Etruscan going right-to-left or left-to-right.
>That depends largely on what the aim of the font is. Most of the
>"classical" Etruscan inscriptions are right-to-left; that would be the
>historically precise way to go.
>On the other hand, everything (European) goes left-to-right today, and if
>someone is setting Etruscan words or phrases among modern language text,
>it's a bit confusing to have a "backwards" word in the middle of a
>rightward text.
>I generally use the left-to-right because it flows better with the English
>text around it. Maybe if I was writing passages in Etruscan alone, I would
>use the right-to-left, but that doesn't happen too often.

Etruscan was used from the -7th century to the 1st century. The proposal
states that Etruscan writing normally goes from right to left, though some
early inscriptions are written boustrophedon, and that left-to-right
examples are also found, and that from the -3rd century to the 1st century
Etruscan is usually written left-to-right.

The proposal gives Etruscan inherent right-to-left directionality and says
that directionality overrides can be used to reverse this.

I don't remember a discussion resolving this. Is this what we want? Or do
we want the reverse? John Jenkins' proposals have shown the code table with
R-L glyphs; mine have shown the code table with L-R glyphs.


Michael Everson, EGT *
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland)
Gutháin:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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