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Reading in transliteration: koma
Reading in original script: A22 sM4 sO3 sK s
Variant reading: koiśa
A22 sŚ sI sO3 sK s

Object: TI·2 Giubiasco (cup)
Position: bottom, outside
Orientation: 180°
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script
adapted to: Latin script
Letter height: 1.4–2.9 cm0.551 in <br />1.142 in <br />
Number of letters: 4–5
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: Augustan [from object]
Date of inscription: last quarter of 1st c. BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'Koma' or 'Koiśa'

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 266
Solinas 1995: 15
Motta 2000: 20
Morandi 2004: 3

Sources: Morandi 2004: 521 no. 3



First published in Herbig 1906: 190, no. 4. Examined for LexLep on 18th August 2021.

Images in Herbig 1906: 190, no. 4 (drawing), Rhŷs 1913: tav. IV (photo), Crivelli 1973b: tav. 8.8 (drawing), Crivelli 1977: tav. 1 (drawing), Morandi 1999: 161, no. 3 (drawing) and pl. II.2 (photo = Morandi 2004: 728, tav. V.3), Morandi 2004: 525, fig. 8.3 (drawing).

Inscribed upside-down on the bottom of the vessel, taking up its entire breadth (length ca. 8 cm). The first and last letter are clear, though the upper bar of kappa and the second hasta of alpha are scratched twice. In between are rather too many scratches to make a certain reading (cf. Motta 2000: 211, no. 20, who suspects that "una sorta di "legatura"" is involved, and Morandi 1999: 161, no. 3, who observes "una certa esuberanza dei tratti"). Kappa is followed by a character addΦ2- s, which looks like phi (cf. Herbig 1906: 190, no. 4, Crivelli 1943: 53), but is probably omicron with a miscarried first attempt at a curved line (cf. Whatmough 1933: 81, no. 266); the two scratches forming the left-side angle are fainter than the others and may well be a half-hearted correction. The following five scratches are usually segmented into iota and butterfly san → koiśa, thus Herbig, Rhŷs 1913: 28, no. 6; Whatmough; Solinas 1995: 326, no. 15; Morandi 1999: 161, no. 3; Morandi 2004. koma with the putative iota as the hasta of mu M4 s and a superfluous scratch crossing the bars is suggested by Tibiletti Bruno 1968c: 356 (also Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 143; Motta 2000: 211, no. 20; De Marinis & Biaggio Simona 2000 II: 462, no. 533). This reading is linguistically preferable to koiśa (see the word pages); the extra scratch may be another failed attempt, here at the first bar, coming out too horizontal. Three- instead of standard four-bar mu may be due to Latin influence, cf. Latinoid alpha. Rhŷs' alternative suggestion koima with its excellent comparandum koimila must be excluded, as the hastae of Ś s are not long enough to allow for a reading as Latin mu M5 s with prolonged, crossed bars.

Corinna Salomon


Crivelli 1943 Aldo Crivelli, Atlante preistorico e storico della Svizzera Italiana. Vol. 1: Dalle origini alla civiltà romana, Bellinzona: Istituto Editoriale Ticinese 1943.
Crivelli 1973b Aldo Crivelli, "Cronologia protostorica della Valpadana dal IV al I sec. a.C.", Rivista Archeologica dell'Antica Provincia e Diocesi di Como 152–155 (1970–1973), 427–474.
Crivelli 1977 Aldo Crivelli, "La necropoli di Giubiasco", Rivista Archeologica dell'Antica Provincia e Diocesi di Como 159 (1977), 5–98.
De Marinis & Biaggio Simona 2000 Raffaele C. De Marinis, Simonetta Biaggio Simona (eds), I leponti tra mito e realtà. Raccolta di saggi in occasione della mostra Locarno, Castello Visconteo - Casorella, 20 maggio - 3 dicembre 2000, Verbania: Armando Dadò Editore 2000.