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Reading in transliteration: slaniai : uerkalai : pala
Reading in original script: A15 sL sA15 sP sseparator2 sI sA15 sL sA15 sK4 sR2 sE2 sU12 sseparator3 sI sA15 sI sN2 sA15 sL sS2 d

Object: TI·36 Davesco (stela)
(Inscriptions: TI·36.1, TI·36.2, TI·36.3)
Position: front, right-hand side
Orientation: 270°
Frame: waisted headtop and bottomtop and bottomfeet  (left: waisted head, middle: top and bottom, right: feet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 10–12 cm3.937 in <br />4.724 in <br />
Number of letters: 19
Number of words: 3
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: carved
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: La Tène B, La Tène C
Date of inscription: 4th–mid-2nd c. BC

Type: funerary
Language: Lepontic
Syntactic analysis: NPOind. NPOind. NPSUBJ
Meaning: 'pala for Slania daughter of Uerkos'

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 269
Solinas 1995: 3 Aa
Motta 2000: 6 B1
Morandi 2004: 34 Aa

Sources: Morandi 2004: 539 f. no. 34



First published in Hormayr 1823 I.2: 143. Examined for LexLep on 27th September 2021.

Images in Hormayr 1823 I.2: Taf. fig. 3 (drawing = Mommsen 1853: Taf. I.6A = CII: tab. I, fig. 2a), Mommsen 1853: Taf. I.6B (demagnified tracing made by Biondelli = CII: tab. I, fig. 2b), Monti 1860: 59 (drawing = CII: tab. I, fig. 2c), CII: tab. LVIII, fig. 2 (drawing = Pauli 1885: Taf. I.11 = Giussani 1902: 32), Ghirardini 1869 II: 95 (drawing), Oberziner 1883: 169 (drawing), Motta & Ricci 1908: tav. II (photo), Rhŷs 1913: pl. I (photo), Crivelli 1943: 32, fig. 49 (photo), Risch 1970: 131, Abb. 2.1 (drawing) and Taf. 4.3 (photo), Risch 1984: 27, Abb. 3 (drawing = Risch 1989: 1585, fig. 1) and 33, Abb. 13 (photo = Risch 1992: 681, Abb. 3.1), Tibiletti Bruno 1990b: 80 (drawing), De Marinis & Motta 1991: 208, fig. 4 (drawing), Solinas 1995: tav. LX a (photo), Tibiletti Bruno 1997: fig. 5 (photo), Motta 2000: 201, fig. 4 (photo), Morandi 2004: 543, fig. 34 (drawing).

Inscribed vertically from bottom to top on the right-hand side of the stela between two frame lines which form the body of a stylised human figure, tapering at the top and forming a round head, and ending in short oblique lines representing feet at the bottom. The length of the inscription is 102 cm, the frame in its entirety measures 122 cm in length; it is shorter than the one enclosing TI·36.2. The distance between the two frames is ca. 3–4 cm. The letters are as high as the frame is broad throughout; the inscription neatly fills the entire body between feet and shoulders, indicating that the frame was finished after the writing of the text. The letters are executed with a preference for rounded lines, namely in sigma, nu, rho, and the bars of alpha. The shapes of alpha are not quite consistent, with some oblique first and almost straight second hastae, and the elegant double curve in the third hasta may be due to the last-minute correction of a writing error, but the goal seems to be A15 s throughout, matching U12 s in shape.

Despite the well-conceived layout, which suggests that TI·36.1 and TI·36.2 were applied at the same time, conceivably for a double grave of wife and husband (Rhŷs 1913: 4, Risch 1984: 26, Morandi 2004: 540, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 135), the letter forms in TI·36.1 are more archaic than those in TI·36.2 (sigma, alpha). That the inscriptions were not written by the same hand may simply mean that the man was buried later than the woman and his name added at his burial, in the space left for that purpose (Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 135; as argued by Tibiletti Bruno 1990b: 88 f., n. 13, the antecendence of TI·36.1 is indicated not only be the letter forms, but also by the left foot of the frame of TI·36.2, which appears to be shortened to avoid disturbing the left one of the frame of TI·36.1). In that case, however, the time that passed between the application of the two inscriptions – about 30 years maximum – can hardly account for the seemingly systematic chronological difference of the letter forms. If the two inscriptions are near-contemporary, the document serves as a caveat for the overinterpretation of palaeographical features for dating. Based on the frame shape (type C), TI·36.1 and TI·36.2 are dated to the 4th–mid-2nd century BC by De Marinis & Motta 1991: 206, 218 (cf. Solinas 1995: 322, no. 3). Motta 2000: 201 dates both inscriptions to the late 4th–mid-2nd century BC, Piana Agostinetti 2004: 312 to LT B (4th century BC), Morandi 2004: 539 to the 4th–3rd century BC.

The text is fully transparent, recording the name of Slania, daughter of Uerkos, in the dative, followed by the nominative pala, which probably refers to the grave or a part of it. See the word pages for details.

See also Franscini 1837: 83, Mommsen 1853: 203, no. 6, Monti 1860: 59, CII: iii, no. 2 (correct reading), Corssen 1874–1875 I: 944–946, Pauli 1885: 6 f., no. 11, 73 f. (correct analysis), Giussani 1902: 32 f., Danielsson 1909: 16, Rhŷs 1913: 4–8, no. 1, Jacobsohn 1927: 31, no. 198, PID: 86 f., no. 269, Crivelli 1943: 32, 34, Pisani 1964: 281, no. 118 B, Risch 1970: 130, n. 5, Lejeune 1971: 81, Tibiletti Bruno 1975b: 52 f., Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 135, De Simone 1978: 266, Risch 1984: 26, Risch 1989: 1581 f., Risch 1992: 680, Solinas 1995: 322, no. 3, Tibiletti Bruno 1997: 1007 f., Motta 2000: 200–202, no. 6, Morandi 2004: 539 f., no. 34.

Corinna Salomon


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.
Corssen 1874–1875 Paul Wilhelm Corssen, Über die Sprache der Etrusker, Leipzig: Teubner 1874–1875. (2 volumes)
Crivelli 1943 Aldo Crivelli, Atlante preistorico e storico della Svizzera Italiana. Vol. 1: Dalle origini alla civiltà romana, Bellinzona: Istituto Editoriale Ticinese 1943.
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De Marinis & Motta 1991 Raffaele C. De Marinis, Filippo Motta, "Una nuova iscrizione lepontica su pietra da Mezzovico (Lugano)", Sibrium 21 (1990–1991), 201–225.
De Simone 1978 Carlo De Simone, "I Galli in Italia: testimonianze linguistiche", in: Paola Santoro (ed.), I Galli e l'Italia, Roma: De Luca 1978, 261–269.
Franscini 1837 Stefano Franscini, La Svizzera Italiana. Volume primo, Lugano: G. Ruggia e Comp. 1837.
Ghirardini 1869 Alessandro Ghirardini, Studj sulla lingua umana, sopra alcune antichi iscrizioni e sulla ortografia italiana, Milano: 1869.
Giussani 1902 A[ntonio] Giussani, "L' iscrizione nord-etrusca di Tesserete e le altre iscrizioni pre-romane del nostro territorio", Rivista Archeologica della Provincia e Antica Diocesi di Como 46 (1902), 25–67.