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Reading in transliteration: riśoị
Reading in original script: I sO3 sŚ sI sR s
Variant reading: riśoṣ
S dO3 sŚ sI sR s

Object: BG·21 Verdello (cup)
Position: outside, wall
Direction of writing: ambiguous
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Number of letters: 5
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete, damaged

Archaeological culture: La Tène D 2 [from object]
Date of inscription: 1st century BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: prob. Celtic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: Solinas 1995: 36
Morandi 2004: 224

Sources: Morandi 2004: 664 no. 224



First published in Solinas 1995: 334, no. 36.

Images in Tizzoni 1981: tav. 13 d (drawing), Frontini 1985: tav. 14.5 (drawing), Solinas 1995: tav. LXIV d and LXV d (photos), Morandi 2003: 132, fig. 17 (photo) and fig. 18 (drawing), Morandi 2004: 667, fig. 26.224 (drawing), Morandi 2007: 288, fig. 280.24 (drawing).

Inscribed on the wall of the cup, along the edge between wall and bottom. Since all letters are vertically mirror-symmetrical, it is possible – especially given the late dating of the document – that the inscription is written upside-down and dextroverse. The letters are not particularly neat, but unambiguous. Only the last letter is damaged by two abrasion spots in the centre and on top. What remains of the letter looks like a completely straight line, so that iota is the safest reading (thus Morandi). The reading with final sigma is given by Solinas; it is not clear whether she assumes that the abrasions cover a slight curvature or whether she considers a horizontal scratch extending from the bottom tip of the letter (see the images) to be intentional. (riśol as proposed by Tizzoni 1981: 22, no. 2.III is impossible.) Epigraphically, iota must be preferred, though the reading with sigma yields a more easily analysable form: -os is the ending of a nominative sg. personal name, while the ending -oi in riśoi is problematic – see the word pages for details and cf. the 1st-c. coin legends NM·5 rikoi and NM·11 kasiloi as well as NO·29 χoθioi for similar discussions about final iota/sigma.

The denotation of san in the inscription is debatable; very doubtful etymologies can be furnished for a dental (tau gallicum) or velar-dental cluster, none for /d/ (see the word pages). Morandi (also 2003: 132, no. 13; 2007: 299, no. 25), reading rigsos, compares ośoris (the second element!) for the non-spelling of the velar in a cluster with /s/, but this is only ever attested with sigma (viz. non-spelling of the weakened or dropped velar), not san (viz. as a letter for a cluster). Verger 2001: 286 reads rig-s-i̯os and books it as evidence for san spelling a palatalised velar+/s/ cluster (cf. priś).

Corinna Salomon


Frontini 1985 Patrizia Frontini, La ceramica a vernice nera nei contesti tombali della Lombardia [= Archeologia dell'Italia Settentrionale 3], Como: 1985.