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Reading in transliteration: petu
Reading in original script: U sT sE sP s

Object: MI·1 Nosate (bowl)
Position: bottom, outside
Orientation: 180°
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 1.9–2.6 cm0.748 in <br />1.024 in <br />
Number of letters: 4
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete, damaged

Archaeological culture: La Tène D [from object]
Date of inscription: middle of 1st c. BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'Petu'

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 334
Solinas 1995: 105
Morandi 2004: 131

Sources: Morandi 2004: 610 no. 131



First published in Rhŷs 1914: 24. Examined for LexLep on 27th April 2022.

Images in Tizzoni 1984: tav. LXVII n (drawing), Solinas 1995: tav. LXVII b (photo), Morandi 2004: 609, fig. 17.131 (drawing).

Inscribed upside-down on the bottom of the patera near the rim of the foot (length 4.5 cm). The entire inscription is damaged by a horizontal break; the scratches are better preserved on the upper (the lower in terms of the object) fragment, generally faint, but unambiguous. Discovered by Rhŷs in the Castello Sforzesco while searching for MI·6 Milano (Rhŷs 1914: 24). Rhŷs reads petu or pexu, the latter including a horizontal indentation beneath the third letter. The letter in question is read as san Ś4 s by Whatmough (PID 334), who compares a seemingly similar letter in VB·3.1. The reading peśu appears e.g. in Lejeune 1971: 50, 64, n. 215, 70, Solinas 1995: no. 105, Stüber 1998: 108, Delamarre 2007: 148, often connected with the base bessu- 'custom' (DLG: 74, Villar & Prósper 2005: 181). However, the horizontal scratch is clearly damage as found on other parts of the bowl and not part of the letter (cf. Ś and Stifter 2010: 367); thus also Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 163, 1984: 122, Morandi 2004: no. 131.

The form petu is a personal name in the nominative; see the word page for details.

David Stifter, Corinna Salomon


Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
DLG Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.