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Reading in transliteration: polibi spuris
Reading in original script: P3 dO2 dL4 dI dB dI dspace sspace sspace sS6 dP6 dU dR6 dI dS6 d

Object: TI·4 Giubiasco (plate)
Position: outside, wall
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Script: Latin script
Letter height: 1.1–1.8 cm0.433 in <br />0.709 in <br />
Number of letters: 12
Number of words: 2
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: Augustan [from object]
Date of inscription: second half of 1st c. AD [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: Latin
Meaning: 'of Polibios Spuris' (?)

Alternative sigla: Morandi 2004: 5

Sources: Morandi 2004: 522



First published in Morandi 2004. Examined for LexLep on 18th August 2021.

Images in Ulrich 1914: Taf. LXXXVIa.6-6a (photos), Crivelli 1977: tav. 1 (drawing only of spuris = Morandi 1999: 165, fig. 5).

The two sequences (length 4.1 and 5 cm, respectively) are inscribed by the same hand in well legible letters at ca. 7 cm distance from each other below the rim. The scratches are traced with white paint. The alphabet is Latin, only lambda is deviant, having a form otherwise known from the archaic Greek alphabet of Argos (Morandi 2004) and the Venetic alphabet of the Cadore. The language of the inscription, accordingly, is also a mix of Greek and Latin. The Greek name πολυβιος (or Latinised polybius) appears with a Latin genitive ending; for the spelling cf. the Campanian fabricant Publius Cipius Polybius, whose cognomen is sometimes spelled POLIBI (gen.) on fabrication stamps (P·CIPI·POLIBI·F(ECIT), see Kunow 1985: 222–224). spuris is less clear; Morandi 1999: 164 f. considers it to be a personal name, "senza alcun dubbio un italico". It is certainly hardly Celtic, but reminiscent of the common Latin cognomen spurius and Etruscan names (ET I: 281). Assuming that spuris agrees with polibi, it must be inflected like a Latin consonant or i-stem spuris, though the motivation for the separate application of the two sequences is not evident. How exactly they relate to each other is unclear.

Corinna Salomon


Crivelli 1977 Aldo Crivelli, "La necropoli di Giubiasco", Rivista Archeologica dell'Antica Provincia e Diocesi di Como 159 (1977), 5–98.