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Reading in transliteration: ]aḷạ[
Reading in original script: ]A7 sL sA7 s[

Object: TI·31 Aranno (slab)
Position: front
Frame: ?top and bottomtop and bottom?  (left: unknown, middle: top and bottom, right: unknown)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 15 cm5.906 in <br />
Number of letters: 3
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: carved
Condition: fragmentary

Archaeological culture: La Tène B, La Tène C [from object]
Date of inscription: 4th–mid-2nd c. BC [from object]

Type: prob. funerary
Language: Celtic
Meaning: '... pala' (?)

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 272 b
Solinas 1995: 1 D
Motta 2000: 8 b
Morandi 2004: 29

Sources: Morandi 2004: 535–537 no. 29



First published in Mommsen 1853: 202 f., no. 5b. Examined for LexLep on 18th October 2023.

Images in Mommsen 1853: Taf. I.5b (drawings by Pelli = CII: tab. I.1B a and b), Monti 1860: 59, no. 4 (drawing = CII: tab. I.1B c), CII: tab. LVIII.1B (drawing of a cast by Serafino Balestra ~ Pauli 1885: Taf. I.1b ~ Giussani 1902: 33, fig. 3), Tibiletti Bruno 1965: 113 and 118 (photos) and 119 (drawing). Photo of a plaster cast, probably from the Museo Civico Lugano, in Motta & Ricci 1908: tav. II; while this cast must be assumed to be lost, two more casts are said to be kept at the Rätisches Museum (Chur) and at the defunct Museo Civico Storico Bellinzona by Tibiletti Bruno 1965: 104, n. 16 (the latter currently untraceable). In great detail on the history of the documentation Tibiletti Bruno 1965: 103–105 with footnotes.

The remains of at least three letters between frame lines (width 15 cm) are preserved on the fragment (length of remains ca. 26 cm). The first alpha is complete, while only the upper parts are preserved of the other two letters. The second alpha can be inferred from the remaining traces, while the identification of the hasta in the middle as the remains of lambda, going back to Whatmough PID and followed by later editors, is based on the assumption that the sequence is part of the formula word pala. The end of the bar of pi may be visible right beside the breaking edge before alpha, but it is possible that the impression is merely due to the flaking of the surface. If the second alpha is indeed the last letter of the inscription (as is likely if it is pala), the frame lines should form the neck/head of the anthropomorphic figure above it; the frame line preserved above/after alpha shows no clear curve, but moves slightly inward rather than outward.

In the earliest publications, it was generally assumed that the four fragments from Aranno (TI·29, TI·30, TI·31, TI·32) were parts of the same inscription. Rhŷs 1913: 23 observed that they must belong to at least two stelae (keeping TI·30 separate; thus also Whatmough PID: 89). The separation into four distinct inscriptions goes back to Tibiletti Bruno 1965 (see the object page). Considering, however, the similarity of the stone fragments bearing the present inscription and TI·29, these two fragments were with some likelyhood part of the same stela. The fragments of text agree, in that ]aḷạ[ pala may represent the final word of the inscription in line 1 of TI·29; the preserved parts of line 1 would thus amount to ]ạniui : p?[   ]aḷạ[ 'pala for °nios son of P°', with most of the patronym missing. (Similarly already Whatmough, though he considered the fragments to be adjacent: ]ạnạui : p̣|ạḷạ[). Tibiletti Bruno 1965: 115 argues that this cannot be the case since the width of the frame is different, measuring 15.6 cm in line 1 of TI·29 but 14.1 cm in TI·31. According to our measurements, however, the frame of TI·29 line 1 tapers slightly from 16 cm at the bottom end toward 15 cm at the top end, agreeing with a frame width of 15 cm in TI·31 (agreeing with the measurements given by Whatmough, and cf. already Mommsen); the thickness of the frame lines themselves is also equivalent (5 mm).

Dating according to De Marinis & Motta 1991: 206, who tentatively classify the document as their type C although the execution of the ends of the frames is uncertain – type C is correct if the very slight tapering of the preserved frame line does represent the shoulder of the anthropomorphic frame (cf. also TI·30).

See also Monti 1860: 59, CII: iii, no. 1b, Addenda et Corrigenda, c.2033, Pauli 1885: 8, no. 13b, 70–74, Giussani 1902: 33 f., no. 2, Motta & Ricci 1908: 28 f., Rhŷs 1913: 21–23, no. 7b, Crivelli 1943: 34, Tibiletti Bruno 1965, Tibiletti Bruno 1968c: 356, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 136.

Corinna Salomon


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.
Crivelli 1943 Aldo Crivelli, Atlante preistorico e storico della Svizzera Italiana. Vol. 1: Dalle origini alla civiltà romana, Bellinzona: Istituto Editoriale Ticinese 1943.
De Marinis & Motta 1991 Raffaele C. De Marinis, Filippo Motta, "Una nuova iscrizione lepontica su pietra da Mezzovico (Lugano)", Sibrium 21 (1990–1991), 201–225.
Giussani 1902 A[ntonio] Giussani, "L' iscrizione nord-etrusca di Tesserete e le altre iscrizioni pre-romane del nostro territorio", Rivista Archeologica della Provincia e Antica Diocesi di Como 46 (1902), 25–67.