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Reading in transliteration: rupelos
Reading in original script: S2 sO3 sL sE sP sU sR s
Variant reading: runelos
S2 sO3 sL sE sN sU sR s

Object: TI·11 Giubiasco (pot)
Position: shoulder, outside
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 2–3 cm0.787 in <br />1.181 in <br />
Number of letters: 7
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched after firing
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: La Tène D [from object]
Date of inscription: last quarter of 2nd–1st c. BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'Rupelos'

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 257
Solinas 1995: 5
Motta 2000: 21
Morandi 2004: 12

Sources: Morandi 2004: 526 no. 12



First published in Herbig 1906: 191, no. 9. Examined for LexLep on 16th October 2023.

Images in Herbig 1906: 191, no. 9 (drawing), Rhŷs 1913: pl. III (photo), Crivelli 1973b: tav. 8.3 (drawing),Solinas 1995: tav. LXIa (photo), Motta 2000: 211, fig. 17 (drawing) and 212, fig. 18 (photo), Morandi 2004: 525, fig. 8.12 (drawing) and pl. V.12 (photo), Pernet et al. 2006: 233, fig. 6.39 = pl. sub 383.7 (drawing).

Inscribed in tall, well legible letters on the shoulder of the olla (length 6 cm). The only letter under debate is the third one, which is P s with a short vertical scratch extending upward from the bar. If the scratch is discounted, the letter is pi → rupelos (Herbig; Rhŷs 1913: 24, no. 2; Crivelli 1943: 53; Motta 2000: 212, no. 21; De Marinis & Biaggio Simona 2000: 461, no. 528). A reading as nu was suggested by Whatmough 1933: 76, no. 257; also Pisani 1953 = Pisani 1964: no. 120 A; Lejeune 1971: 64; Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 143; Solinas 1995: 323, no. 5; Morandi 2004. While it is true that the nu created by the scratch does not fit in with the other, generously executed letters, as observed by Motta, the scratch does look intentional and coincides with the bar neatly. It seems possible that the scratch was added secondarily to correct a spelling mistake. There are a few other scratches around the top of the letter, however. In any case, the form is a personal name in the nominative; both bases find comparanda (see the word pages).

Corinna Salomon


Crivelli 1943 Aldo Crivelli, Atlante preistorico e storico della Svizzera Italiana. Vol. 1: Dalle origini alla civiltà romana, Bellinzona: Istituto Editoriale Ticinese 1943.
Crivelli 1973b Aldo Crivelli, "Cronologia protostorica della Valpadana dal IV al I sec. a.C.", Rivista Archeologica dell'Antica Provincia e Diocesi di Como 152–155 (1970–1973), 427–474.
De Marinis & Biaggio Simona 2000 Raffaele C. De Marinis, Simonetta Biaggio Simona (eds), I leponti tra mito e realtà. Raccolta di saggi in occasione della mostra Locarno, Castello Visconteo - Casorella, 20 maggio - 3 dicembre 2000, Verbania: Armando Dadò Editore 2000.