An important Oscan inscription relates to a treaty with Nola, regarding a joint temple of Hercules, attributable to the 2nd century B.C. Under the early empire it had already become a colony and had perhaps been one since the time of Sulla.
An interesting stone containing nine cavities for measures of capacity found in Pompeii and now preserved in the Naples Museum with Oscan inscriptions erased in antiquity shows that the Oscan system of measurement was modified so as to correspond more closely with the Roman, about 14 B.C., by the duoviri, who record their work in a Latin inscription (C.I.L.
It would follow, on the other hand, that what is called Oscan represented the language of the invading Sabines (more correctly Safines), whose racial affinities would seem to be of a distinctly more northern cast, and to mark them, like the Dorians or Achaeans in Greece, as an early wave of the invaders who more than once in later history havevitally influenced the fortunes of the tempting southern land into which they forced their way.
Save for the consequences of these phonetic changes, Umbrian morphology and syntax exhibit no divergence from Oscan that need be mentioned here, save perhaps two peculiar perfect-formations with -1- and -nci-; as in ampelust, fut.
How far also the language or languages spoken in Bruttium and at certain points of Lucania, such as Anxia, differed from the Oscan of Samnium and Campania there is not enough evidence to show (see BRUTTII).
The more conspicuous buildings are the ancient Gothic cathedral (restored in 1866, and again in 1870 after the interior was destroyed by fire), with its lofty tower, the cavalry barracks, the ex-convent of the Capuchins at a little distance from the city, and the seminary in which are preserved the famous Oscan inscription known as the Cippus Abellanus (from Abella, the modern Avella, q.v.) and some Latin inscriptions relating to a treaty with Nola regarding a joint temple of Hercules.
Like Umbrian also, but unlike Latin and Oscan, it has degraded all the diphthongs into simple vowels (Volscian se parallel to Oscan svai; Volscian deue, Old Latin and Oscan deivai or deiuoi).
Send), in allusion to the journey of Heracles with the oxen of Geryon, but modern authorities refer it to the Oscan pompa (five).
At this time they were speaking Oscan as well as Greek, and two of three Oscan inscriptions in Greek alphabet still testify to the language spoken in the town in the 3rd century B.C. We know, however, that the Bruttians, though at this date speaking the same language (Oscan) as the Samnite tribe of the Lucani, were not actually akin to them.
Paelignian and this group of inscriptions generally form a most important link in the chain of the Italic dialects, as without them the transition from Oscan to Umbrian would be completely lost.