Languages such as Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit share regularities which indicate a close historical relationship (see linguistics). This grouping, termed Indo‐European (IE) to indicate its geographical extent in historical times, includes some nine major living language‐groups and also extinct ones known only through inscriptions. The earliest recorded examples belong to the second millennium bc, and include the bronze age form of Greek written in Linear B (e.g. at Cnossus, 14th cent. bc); but many unrecorded languages and language‐groups of this family must once have existed, only some of which gave rise to successors which have left evidence in written or spoken form. The peoples who spoke any of this family of related languages may be termed—in a purely linguistic sense—Indo‐Europeans.
Subjects: Classical Studies.