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Reading in transliteration: ṣụnaḷei : makọ[
Reading in original script: ]O sK7 sA7 sM2 sseparator3 sI sE sL sA7 sN2 sU4 sS6 d

Object: TI·37 Viganello (stela)
Position: front
Orientation: 270°
Frame: ?top and bottomtop and bottomfeet  (left: unknown, middle: top and bottom, right: feet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 15 cm5.906 in <br />
Number of letters: 11
Number of words: 2
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: carved
Condition: fragmentary

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

Type: prob. funerary
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'for Sunalis daughter of Mako°' (?)

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 270
Solinas 1995: 28
Morandi 2004: 35

Sources: Morandi 2004: 540 f. no. 35



First published in CII: Addenda et Corrigenda, c.2033. Currently untraceable.

Images in CII: tav. LVIII, 2 quater 2 (drawing based on a squeeze by Balestra = Oberziner 1883: 174 = Pauli 1885: Taf. I.12), Giussani 1902: 40, fig. 9 (drawing = Motta & Ricci 1908: 44, fig. 19 = Crivelli 1943: 34, fig. 54 = Morandi 2004: 543, fig. 10.35), Tibiletti Bruno 1990b: 80 (drawing).

The remains of the beginning of one line written between frame lines which end in anthropomorphic feet. Since Rhŷs (1913: 12–14, no. 2) failed to find it in the collapsing oratory in 1912, the inscription is only known from Fabretti's (CII) and Giussani's (1902: 39 f., no. 8) drawings and descriptions, which are dubious in many points. The drawing provided by Tibiletti Bruno differs in detail from both Fabretti's and Giussani's; it is not clear to me whether it is based on personal examination or represents an interpretative copy of the older images. The first two letters, underdefined in Fabretti's drawing, appear in Giussani's as sigma and upsilon in shapes which are quite untypical in the Lepontic alphabet (but cf. for upsilon TI·35, TI·43). As observed by Morandi 2004, the little circle at the bottom of sigma is most likely a spot of surface damage; the remaining line, which appears slightly curved in both drawings, may well reflect a more traditional sigma. Still, the reading of the first two letters must be considered highly doubtful, also with regard to the fact that sunalei does not find good comparanda. The bars of alpha are suspiciously short in both drawings and were probably closer to those of the second alpha. Lambda was not legible anymore when Giussani saw the inscription. The identification of the remaining letters seems fairly reliable, including final omicron as per Pauli 1885: 7, no. 12.

sunalei could theoretically contain the patronymic suffix -al-, but this would place the patronym irregularly before the individual name (e.g. emended makoni uel sim.); we would also expect an o-stem dat. sunalui or sunalai rather than the i-stem in evidence. This was indeed suspected by Lejeune 1971: 52, n. 131, who suggested that epsilon may be a misreading of alpha (cf. Delamarre 2007: ?). He assumed that in this case sunalai would be an old patronym which became an individual name; cf. komoneos. There is, however, no indication that epsilon was at all uncertain to either Fabretti or Giussani. Considering that -ei̯ is per se an unproblematic i-stem ending and -al- exists as a name formant, sunalei can simply be the individual name and mako( the beginning of the patronym, e.g. maconalui*/maconalai* uel sim. (cf. Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 139); see the word pages for details.

Dating according to De Marinis & Motta 1991: 206, who tentatively classify the document as their type C (with stylised feet, one of which is in evidence in Giussani's drawing).

See also Corssen 1874–1875 I: 947, Oberziner 1883: 174, Motta & Ricci 1908: 43 f., Jacobsohn 1927: 31, no. 199, Motta 2000: 206.

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.
Corssen 1874–1875 Paul Wilhelm Corssen, Über die Sprache der Etrusker, Leipzig: Teubner 1874–1875. (2 volumes)
Crivelli 1943 Aldo Crivelli, Atlante preistorico e storico della Svizzera Italiana. Vol. 1: Dalle origini alla civiltà romana, Bellinzona: Istituto Editoriale Ticinese 1943.
Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
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.