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This paper outlines the individual histories of the attested ancient Celtic epigraphic traditions, Cisalpine Celtic, Celtiberian, Gaulish and Ogam-Irish. It discusses the types of literacy in each of them and presents them as examples of how and under which conditions literacy arose and grew, and finally disappeared, in non-classical languages of antiquity. Where possible, the Celtic languages are viewed against an early Germanic background, to highlight similarities and parallels between thedoi:10.1075/nowele.00037.sti fatcat:gpjudcnqdfd57dfmawj5xrr7ua