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Attestation: TI·13 (pirạụịχeś) (1)
Status: probable
Language: Celtic
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: personal name

Grammatical Categories: nom. sg. animate
Stem Class: t

Morphemic Analysis: bir(r)-a-u̯ik-et-s or bir(r)-a-u̯ik-ent-s
Phonemic Analysis: /biraikets/ or /biraikents/
Meaning: 'Pirauiχeś'


See the inscription page on problems with the reading.

Probably a compound personal name formed with pira- and u̯ik-, though /a/ in place of the expected stem vowel sheds some doubt on the segmentation (but cf. names in birak-, s. pirakos). In an alternative segmentation pir-auiχeś (with au̯i- 'desire'?), the latter part of the form -iχeś would be difficult to explain. The ending -eś also occurs in siteś, where it is interpreted as an accusative plural. This is unlikely for the present form, in which we expect a personal name in the nominative, genitive or dative (cf. aśeś). Under this assumption, the form has been analysed as a participle in -ent- (-u̯ik-ent-s 'fighting') by Solinas 1995: 324, no. 10 (see also Motta 2000: 213 f., no. 24; Stifter 2010: 370). If this should be the case, the form would provide another instance of (analogical?) -enC- rather than -anC- for *-n̥C- in Cisalpine Celtic (see The Cisalpine Celtic Languages). We prefer to analyse ⟨eś⟩ as the agentive suffix -et- plus -s (cf. Salomon 2023: 26 f.) – a derivation u̯ik-et- 'fighter' would parallel formations such as king-et- 'attacker' (in PNN like vercingetorix, maybe also kiketu), seg-et- 'victor' (CIL XI 1711 segetius, sekezos, arguably also seχeθu) and org-et- 'killer' (orgetius, orgetorix etc., s. Delamarre 2007: 146), all with martial semantics. (The comparison is not perfect, as the abovementioned Gaulish nomina agentis in -et- have generalised e-grade, not zero-grade of the root; see Irslinger 2002: 57–68 on the formation of nomina actionis and agentis with ablauting t-suffix in Irish.) For the use of the non-thematised nominative u̯ik-et-s in a personal name cf. cinges = king-et-s (Delamarre 2007: 65, Irslinger 2002: 58).

Corinna Salomon


CIL Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. (17 volumes, various supplements)
Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.