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He also notes that as of 53 BC the Gaulish druids used the Greek alphabet for private and public transactions, with the important exception of druidic doctrines, which could only be memorised and were not allowed to be written down.
According to the Recueil des Inscriptions Gauloises, nearly three quarters of Gaulish inscriptions (disregarding coins) are in the Greek alphabet.
The lead inscription from Rezé (dated to the 2nd century, at the mouth of the Loire, 450 kilometres (280 mi) northwest of La Graufesenque) is evidently an account or a calculation and contains quite different ordinals: Other Gaulish numerals attested in Latin inscriptions include *petrudecametos "fourteenth" (rendered as petrudecameto, with Latinized dative-ablative singular ending) and *triconts "thirty" (rendered as tricontis, with a Latinized ablative plural ending; compare Irish tríocha).
450, Gaulish begins to be mentioned in contexts where Latin has replaced "Gaulish" or "Celtic" (whatever the authors meant by those terms).
For Galatia (Anatolia), there is no source explicitly indicating a 5th century language replacement: Inscriptions include short dedications, funerary monuments, proprietary statements, and expressions of human sentiments, but the Gauls also left some longer documents of a legal or magical-religious nature, the three longest being the Larzac tablet, the Chamalières tablet and the Lezoux dish.
In a wider sense, it also comprises varieties of Celtic that were spoken across much of central Europe ("Noric"), parts of the Balkans, and Asia Minor ("Galatian"), which are thought to have been closely related.
Together with Lepontic and the Celtiberian language spoken in the Iberian Peninsula, Gaulish forms the geographic group of Continental Celtic languages.
It is clear from the subject matter of the records that the language was in use at all levels of society.
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Other sources also contribute to knowledge of Gaulish: Greek and Latin authors mention Gaulish words, and toponyms. The longest known Gaulish text is the Larzac tablet, found in 1983 in l'Hospitalet-du-Larzac, France.
As a result of the expansion of Celtic tribes during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, closely related varieties of Celtic came to be spoken in a vast arc extending from present-day Britain and France through the Alpine region and Pannonia in central Europe, and into parts of the Balkans and Anatolia.
Their precise linguistic relationships are uncertain because of the fragmentary nature of the evidence.
The Gaulish varieties of central and eastern Europe and of Anatolia (known as Noric and Galatian, respectively) are barely attested, but from what little is known of them it appears that they were still quite similar to those of Gaul and can be considered dialects of a single language.
/p/, whereas both Celtiberian in the south and Goidelic in Ireland retain /kʷ/.