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Reading in transliteration: ṣnaśịọụịṭoṣ §
Reading in original script: S6 dO8 sT sI sU sO8 sI sŚ sA3 sN6 sS6 d

Object: VA·20 Arsago Seprio (bowl)
Position: bottom, outside
Orientation: 180°
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
adapted to: Latin script
Letter height: 1 cm0.394 in <br />
Number of letters: 10–11
Number of words: 1
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: scratched
Condition: damaged

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

Type: unknown
Language: Celtic
Meaning: 'Snaśiouitos' (?)

Alternative sigla: Morandi 2004: 120

Sources: Morandi 2004: 604 no. 120



First published in Volontè Fredini 1990: 68, 72. Examined for LexLep on 30th April 2022.

Images in Veronesi 1990: tav. Vd (drawing), Morandi 2001: 12, no. 5 (drawing), Morandi 2004: 603, fig. 16.129 (drawing) and tav. XVIII.120 (photo).

Inscribed upside-down on the bottom of the vessel near the rim of the foot (length ca. 9 cm). naś- is the only clearly legible part. Before nu, a slighter trace looks like only slightly curved sigma S6 d as repeatedly attested at Sant'Ambrogio (cf. VA·7, VA·8). It was read as alpha by Volontè Fredini (anasc) and Solinas 1995: 384 (anask), which is impossible. Morandi (also 2001: 12, no. 5) describes the trace as an unintentional half-moon-shaped scratch, but considering the smoothness of the surface around the inscription the trace must have some significance. The lower parts of the five letters following san are missing, but they can be reconstructed with reasonable confidence; most are already in Morandi's reading naśiọụị?ọị. St. Andrew's cross is particularly deeply incised, while the last two letters are more faint. Omicron is clear. Morandi identifies the final letter as iota, but again a slight counterrotating curvature indicates sigma S6 d (see S on cases of uncertainty concerning final iota vs. sigma). Offset toward the bottom of the hypothetical line follows a large fragmentary character which is judged by Morandi to be a para-script sign, possibly a potter's mark and presumably unconnected with the inscription. The inscription is thus complete, also in the beginning, where no trace of letters can be seen in the 1 cm gap before initial sigma. The alphabet is Lepontic (alpha, san), but nu has a Latin shape (cf. VA·19 from the same grave).

The form can be interpreted as a masculine personal name, though the analysis is not clear (see the word page).

David Stifter, Corinna Salomon