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Coin type

Coin type: stater (Lejeune B3, Pautasso "Salassi" d)
Description: obverse: circle, three parallel lines, triangle shape with grid pattern, reverse: circle with dot, trident, legend
Material (main component): gold
Average diameter: 1.9 cm0.748 in <br />
Average thickness: unknown
Average weight: 6.68 g0.00668 kg <br />0.0147 lb <br />
Workmanship: chased

Archaeological culture: unknown
Date: 2nd c. BC
Date derived from: typology

Number of known pieces: 1
Area of circulation: Valais (?)
Mint / Main site: unknown
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 22' 16.41" N, 6° 52' 22.11" E

Coin legend

Idealised transliteration: kasiloi 
Idealised original script: K4 dA dS sI dL dO2 dI d
Variant reading: kasiloṣ
K4 dA dS sI dL dO2 dSd s
Position: back, centre
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 0.4 cm0.157 in <br />
Number of letters: 7
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Inscription type: minting authority
Language: Celtic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 327

Sources: Pautasso 1966: 140 f.



First published in Mommsen 1853: 202. Examined for LexLep on 30th September 2021.

Images in Mommsen 1853: Taf. I.2 (drawings), Longpérier 1861: tav. XV.2 (drawings based on Mommsen's = Longpérier 1883 III: tav. X.2 = Pautasso 1966: tav. CVII.2 = Geiser et al. 2012: 87, fig. 15), Pauli 1885: Taf. I.7 (drawings based on Mommsen's), De La Tour 1892: pl. XXXVII, XV.2 (drawings based on Longpérier's), Forrer 1908: 279, fig. 479 (drawings based on De La Tour's), Wiblé 2000: 236, no. 1 (photos), Geiser et al. 2012: 87, fig. 16 (photos).

The single specimen of the coin type (Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz 12: 27, Abb. 18) was first recorded by Mommsen as being part of the collection of one Mr Odé in Sion, according to whom it had been found in Port-Valais (Wallis/Valais); Longpérier 1883 III: 505 gives 1825 as the approximate find date. Mommsen appears not to have seen the original, as he gives his reading based on a plaster cast owned by the Antiquarian Society in Zürich. Whatmough (PID II: 136) and Pautasso 1966: 141 recorded the coin as lost, but, as pointed out by Wiblé 2000: 236, it is kept at the Musée cantonal d'histoire (Sion), where it can be found in exhibition, with the inv. no. M 9050.

The coin belongs with group B of coin legends in the Lepontic alphabet, represented by legends on gold coins with primary distribution in the Aosta region and the Valais, associated originally with the Salassi, today with the Uberi (see Numismatics). The dating follows Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz 12: 28 for gold staters of the Uberi; Whatmough PID: 139 considers the present type to belong neither to the oldest nor to the youngest types in this group (but cf. Geiser et al. 2012: 89). Wiblé 2000: 236, no. 1, dates the coin to the 2nd–1st c. BC.

Mommsen, without discussing the reading, gave the legend as kasilos. Fabretti 1867: III, no. 4, followed, but both Longpérier 1861: 344, no. 2, and Pauli 1885: 5 f., no. 7, read kasiloi, because Mommsen's drawing (presumably of the cast), on which both their drawings are based, clearly shows a straight hasta with decorative dots at either end, as they are also found on the other letters. The reading with final iota is given by Blanchet 1905: 148 and Forrer 1908: 279, but Whatmough (PID II: 137) goes back to kasilos, arguing that "s is frequently so slightly curved as to appear almost indistinguishable from i" and implying that Mommsen's drawing from the plaster cast is unreliable. The question is also addressed by Pautasso 1966: 140, n. 384, who is disinclined to doubt Mommsen's confident reading based on his own drawing. Lejeune 1971: 129 goes with kasiloi, while the reading with final sigma is preferred by Marinetti & Prosdocimi 1994: 41 f., who argue that the upperd dot, referred to as a "ricciolino", visible in Longpérier's (!) drawing is sufficient to justify it. Wiblé 2000: 236, who found the actual coin and published a photo which shows a straight hasta as in the drawings, also sticks with kasilos (followed by Morandi 2004: 511, Geiser et al. 2012: 87). As can be seen in the new photos above, which were kindly provided by the Musées cantonaux, the last letter consists in a hasta with a dot on either end, the bottom one offset to the right. Should one want to read sigma in this, it would have to be retrograde Sd s, not S s as given by Pautasso (also 1984: 112), but such a reading is all but impossible. The preference of kasilos over kasiloi is of course due to the transparence of the former as a masculine o-stem personal name in the nominative and the excellent parallels within and beyond the Cisalpine Celtic corpus, while the ending of the latter is harder to explain (see the word pages). Still, the reading kasiloi must be preferred as accurately reflecting the evidence; the auslaut °oi also appears in the Padan coin legend rikoi.

Corinna Salomon


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Blanchet 1905 Adrien Blanchet, Traité des monnaies gauloises. Vol. I, Paris: 1905.
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.
De La Tour 1892 Henri de la Tour, Atlas des Monnaies Gauloises, Paris: 1892.
Forrer 1908 Robert Forrer, Keltische Numismatik der Rhein- und Donaulande, Strassburg: Trübner 1908.
Geiser et al. 2012 Anne Geiser, Julia Genechesi, Nicola Scoccimarro, "Monnaie et écriture au second âge du fer autour de l'arc alpin. Une nouvelle approche des statères épigraphes attribués naguère aux Salasses", Études Celtiques 38 (2012), 77–129.