NO·18

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Inscription
Reading in transliteration: metelui : maeśilalui : uenia : metelikna : aśmina : krasanikna
Reading in original script: M6 dE dT dE dL dU dI dseparator dM6 dA dE dŚ dI dL dA dL dU dI dseparator dU dE dN dI dA dseparator dM6 dE dT dE dL dI dK dN dA dseparator dA dŚ dM6 dI dN dA dseparator dK dR3 dA dS sA dN dI dK dN dA d

Object: NO·18 Miasino (bottle)
Position: shoulder, outside
Orientation:
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Script: North Italic script
Number of letters: 47
Number of words: 6
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: unknown [from object]
Date of inscription: second half of 2nd century BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'for Metelos son of Maeśilos Uenia daughter of Metelos (and) Aśmina daughter of Krasanos' (?)

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 321
Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 20
Solinas 1995: 122
Morandi 2004: 94

Sources: Morandi 2004: 582 no. 94

Commentary

First published in Lattes 1904. In private possession.

Images in Lattes 1904: 449 (drawings of the letters) and tav. (photos = Rhŷs 1913: tav. VII).

Applied in a circle around the shoulder of the small flask; the last word had to be placed below the first for lack of space. The alphabet is Lepontic, but mu has a Latin form (cf. VB·1, VB·3.1 at Ornavasso). The reading was established by Lattes based on the drawing of the letters provided by Curioni, the only point of uncertainty being the first letter of the third word, which looked more like kappa in Curioni's, more like upsilon in Ferrero's drawing; upsilon is confirmed by Rhŷs 1913: 57 – the only editor who saw the inscription in person – with a description of the letters. Rhŷs 1914: 25, after a second autopsy, noted that the chevron which appears in the photograph after the sixth letter in the fourth word, making it look like nu N d rather than iota I s, is a chimera, but now reported that a faint T s was written under the bars of the first nu in krasanikna, which he suggested to be a correction. Despite Rhŷs' explanations, Whatmough PID: 121, based on the photograph, claimed that the sixth letter in the fourth word was "imperfect" alpha A21 d.

The inscription was cited as the main piece of evidence for the ending -ūi̯ being a dative by Danielsson 1909: 18 f. (following a hesitant Herbig 1906: 197, n. 2). uenia metelikna and aśmina krasanikna are taken to be the names of two women, respectively Metelos' daughter and wife ('for M. M. U. M. [and] A. K.'), in asyndeton by most scholars (Lattes, Herbig, Danielsson, Rhŷs, Tibiletti Bruno, Solinas). Vetter 1926: 12 f. instead proposed that, since the conjunction is missing (cf. -pe in VB·3.1), uenia was a lexeme 'wife', the last four words naming a single person 'wife of M., A., daughter of K.' (thus also Pisani 1964: 285 f., no. 122). As argued by Lejeune 1971: 73 f., this interpretation does not work for multiple reasons. It is syntactically unlikely, as the individual name aśmina should be expected to precede the affiliations, and also implausible with regard to the generally patronymic function of the suffix -ikn-; the derivation of uenia from *genih₂ disagrees with *g > b in Lepontic and Gaulish. Lejeune did, however, note that the relationship of Aśmina to Metelos is not evident. McCone 1993: 243–245 observes that the name of Metelos' wife would be expected to stand before that of their daughter; he interprets uenia as a lexeme 'offspring': 'for M. M. the descendants of M. and A., daughter of K.'. Tibiletti Bruno 1975: 55 f. notes the difference between the patronymic suffixes in the names of Metelos – -al- as on the pala-stelae from the Lugano area – and those of his daughter and putative wife – Gaulish -ikn- –, concluding that the familiy was in the process of Gallicisation (also Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 149 f., 165 f., Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 175, Meid 1999: 15).

See also Jacobsohn 1927: 30, no. 187, Pulgram 1978: 37 f..

Bibliography

Danielsson 1909 Olof August Danielsson, Zu den venetischen und lepontischen Inschriften [= Skrifter utgivna av Kungliga Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet i Uppsala 13.1], Uppsala – Leipzig: 1909.