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Coin type

Coin type: stater (Lejeune B1, Pautasso "Salassi" b)
Description: obverse: circle, three parallel lines, triangle shape with grid pattern, reverse: triangle, trident, legend
Material (main component): gold
Average diameter: 1.75 cm0.689 in <br />
Average thickness: unknown
Average weight: 6.943 g0.00694 kg <br />0.0153 lb <br />
Workmanship: chased

Archaeological culture: unknown
Date: 2nd c. BC
Date derived from: typology

Number of known pieces: 1
Area of circulation: Aargau
Mint / Main site: unknown
Coordinates (approx.): 47° 17' 56.90" N, 8° 8' 38.56" E

Coin legend

Idealised transliteration: anatikou 
Idealised original script: A2 sN sA2 s
U sO6 sK4 sI sT s
Variant reading: ana tikou
Position: back, centre, top
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 0.3 cm0.118 in <br />
Number of letters: 8
Number of words: 0
Number of lines: 2
Inscription type: minting authority
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'Anatikou' (?)

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 326

Sources: Pautasso 1966: 140



First published in Haller 1829: 8. Examined for LexLep on 21th July 2021.

Images in Mommsen 1853: Taf. I.4a (drawings), Longpérier 1861: tav. XV.3 (drawings based on Mommsen's = Longpérier 1883 III: tav. X.3 = Pautasso 1966: tav. CVII.3 = Geiser et al. 2012: 82, fig. 6), Pauli 1885: Taf. I.8 (drawings based on Mommsen's), De La Tour 1892: pl. XXXVII, XV.3 (drawings based on Longpérier's), Pautasso 1966: tav. CXI.541 (photos), Geiser et al. 2012: 82, fig. 7 (photos), Nick et al. 2015: 26, fig. 15.2 (photos).

The single known specimen of the coin type was found in 1756 on the Murhübel, not among, but near the ruins of a Roman villa, in Oberkulm near Lenzburg (Aargau) (see Geiser et al. 2012: 82; Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz 12: 27, Abb. 18). It is kept in the Historisches Museum (Bern) (inv. no. N/G186).

The coin belongs with group B of coin legends in the Lepontic alphabet, represented by legends on gold coins with primary distribution in the Aosta region and the Valais, associated originally with the Salassi, today with the Uberi (see Numismatics). The dating follows Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz 12: 28 for gold staters of the Uberi; Whatmough PID: 139 considers the present type to be one of the oldest of the group with regard to the sinistroverse legend (cf. Geiser et al. 2012: 89).

The shorter sequence ana is inscribed above the trident, tikou in the centre between the two design elements of trident and triangle. The letter forms are unambiguous, only the two alphas have lower bars which extend from the lower ends of the hastae. The reading tikou is already found in Haller, who disregards the three letters in the upper area. Mommsen 1853: 120 gives the complete reading ana / tikou after he saw the coin at Bern; he had earlier (p. 220) read enp / tikou on a plaster cast of the reverse found in the collection of the Antiquarian Society in Zürich. See also Fabretti 1867: III, no. 5. Pauli 1885: 6, no. 8, and 76 reads a feminine name tikouana (cf. Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 162), while Longpérier 1861: 344, no. 3 = Longpérier 1883 III: 505, no. 3 gives anatikou as one word (cf. Blanchet 1905: 148, 272). Whatmough 1933: 135 f. and 555, no. 326 also prefers anatikou, which he interprets as an on-stem personal name, observing that feminine names are not to be expected on coins. See also Pautasso 1966: 140 and 1984: 112; Morandi 2004: 511. Lejeune 1971: 128 f., though agreeing with Pauli that, if the two lines formed one name, the one in the "cartouche" (which is not really a cartouche, but only a naturally occurring space between the straight design elements) would have to be the initial part, considers the two sequences to be separate, both abbreviations – tikou of a personal name, ana probably of an ethnonym. Marinetti & Prosdocimi 1994: 43 f. argue that the application of personal names in two lines on one coin face has parallels (see NM·7), while two separate forms on the same face do not, and analyse anatikou as a – possibly abbreviated – personal name (see the word page). They do not consider the reading tikouana.

In either case, comparison with NM·13 prikou suggests that -ou is an ending, as two personal names with second element in ° abbreviated in exactly the same way would be surprising (thus also Marinetti & Prosdocimi 1994: 44). The spelling ⟨ou⟩ may be evidence for a development of /ū/ to /ou̯/ (dialectally in the west of the Cisalpine Celtic area? cf. AO·3 from Aosta), or orthographic – either due to influence from Greek writing practice, or a spelling compromise between the vernacular ending -ū and the Latinised ending -ō. Cf. the legend coppou beside coppo on Noric coins (Göbl 1973: 83 f., 117).

Corinna Salomon, Michela Vignoli


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Blanchet 1905 Adrien Blanchet, Traité des monnaies gauloises. Vol. I, Paris: 1905.
CII Ariodante Fabretti, Corpus inscriptionum italicarum antiquioris aevi. Ordine geographico digestum et glossarium italicum, in quo omnia vocabula continentur ex umbricis, sabinis, oscis, volscis, etruscis aliisque monumentis quae supersunt, Augusta Taurinorum: 1867.
De La Tour 1892 Henri de la Tour, Atlas des Monnaies Gauloises, Paris: 1892.
Geiser et al. 2012 Anne Geiser, Julia Genechesi, Nicola Scoccimarro, "Monnaie et écriture au second âge du fer autour de l'arc alpin. Une nouvelle approche des statères épigraphes attribués naguère aux Salasses", Études Celtiques 38 (2012), 77–129.