Related to ancient Anatolian languages, it is cognate with Luwian.

Meaning “to luminate” in Hittite, the word Lukka or Lukki and its Hellenic counterpart Lykoioi were possibly used to define the Lycians. The Lycians, on the other hand, referred to themselves as Trimmise, which means “zenith of the mountain” in Luwian. Encountered on many inscriptions and coins from 5th century BC, Lycian was discovered for the first time by Western travelers in the 19th century. Related to ancient Anatolian languages, it is cognate with Luwian. Similar to other Anatolian languages, Lycian is a neuter gender language, though there is a distinction between animate and inanimate words.

The order of the Lycian alphabet is unknown: a a b d e g h χ i j k l m m̃ n n p q r s t τ θ u w z. In addition, the transliteration of two letters still remains undecided. It is believed that the vowels a and correspond to the nasal vowels a and e.

The Inscribed Pillar of Xanthos or The Harpagus Stele

Place of Discovery: Xanthos (Kaş/Antalya)

Language: Lycian-Hellenic

Date: 425-400 BC

Material: Marble

[ἐ]ξ οὗ τ’ Εὐρώπην [Ἀ]σίας δίχα πόν[τ]ος ἔνεμ[ε]ν,
[ο]ὐδές πω Λυκίων στήλην τοιάνδε ἀνέθηκ<ε>ν
[δ]ώδεκα θεοῖς ἀγορᾶς ἐν καθαρῶι τεμένει·
[νικ]έων καὶ πολέμου μνῆμα τόδε ἀθάν<α>τον…

“[Ever since the sea divided Europa from Asia. None of the Lycians hitherto has dedicated such a monument (stele) To the Twelve Gods of the Agora in (their) pure temenos and this eternal memorial of war.
… is, son of Harpagos, best in wrestling of all the Lycians of his age, Having sacked many citadels with Athena, Destroyer of Cities, Gave his kinsmen the rank of king, For which the immortal gods bestowed just favor on him. He slew seven hoplites, men of Arkadia, in a day And set up the most trophies to Zeus of all mortal men And crowned the house of Kheriga with the fairest deeds.

As the longest Lycian inscription, the monumental Inscribed Pillar of Xanthos features Lycian writings on all four faces; only 12 of the lines are in Hellenic. Presumably 11 meters in original height, only 6 meters of the pillar has survived to date. The monument describes the battles of Lycian Lord Kheriga.

The Lycian part of the monument has not been entirely deciphered. 




Tomb Inscription

Place of Discovery: Tlos (Fethiye/Muğla)

Language: Lycian-Hellenic

Date: Classical Era, 4th century BC

Material: Limestone

In Lycian:

“(Son) of Thrypsis, grandson of Prybatis, Porpaks of Tlos erected for Apollon (a sculpture of) himself and his wife, the granddaughter Prianoba, daughter of Ortalia, Tiseusembra of Pinar.”

In Hellenic:

“Thrypsis’in (oğlu), Prybatis’in torunu, Tloslu Porpaks, kendini ve eşi Prianoba’nın torunu, Ortakia’nın kızı, Pinaralı Tiseusembra’yı Apollon için (heykel olarak dikti)”.

Other Anatolian Languages