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Reading in transliteration: akisios : arkatokok / materekos : toṣ́o / kote : aṭom : teuoχ / tom : koneu
Reading in original script: A dK5 dI dS6 dI dO2 dS6 dseparator dA dR dK5 dA dT dO2 dK5 dO2 dK5 d
M6 dA dT dE dR dE dK5 dO2 dS6 dseparator dT dO2 dŚ dO2 d
K5 dO2 dT dE dseparator dA dT dO2 dM6 dseparator dT dE dU dO2 dΨ3 d
T dO2 dN dI dK5 dO2 dN dE dU d
Variant reading: teuoχtoni[o]n, atoś

Object: VC·1 Vercelli (boundary stone)
(Inscriptions: VC·1.1, VC·1.2)
Position: front, bottom
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Script: North Italic script (Lepontic alphabet)
Letter height: 3.2–5.6 cm1.26 in <br />2.205 in <br />
Number of letters: 50
Number of words: 6
Number of lines: 4
Workmanship: carved
Condition: complete, damaged

Archaeological culture: Late Republican [from object]
Date of inscription: shortly before the middle of 1st century BC [from object]

Type: dedicatory
Language: Cisalpine Gaulish
Meaning: 'Akisios the treasurer (?) has given it, the precinct (?) of gods and men, ex voto'

Alternative sigla: Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 34
RIG: E-2
Solinas 1995: 141 b
Morandi 2004: 100 9–12

Sources: Morandi 2004: 589 f. no. 100



First published in Tibiletti Bruno 1977; already mentioned in Tibiletti Bruno 1976: 106 f.

Images in Baldacci 1978: fig. 1 (photo), Tibiletti Bruno 1977: tav. I and II (photos), Lejeune 1977: 590, fig. 3 (photo) and 591, fig. 4 (drawing), Lejeune 1988: 28, fig. 14 (photo) and 29, fig. 15 (drawing).

The alphabetically and linguistically vernacular part of the Vercelli bilingua is inscribed in four lines below the Latin part VC·1.1. Being less detailed and written in smaller letters, it takes up only a third of the space of the Latin part. Though it is evidently secondary, the increasingly economical spacing of the Latin part shows that its addition was planned from the beginning (Tibiletti Bruno 1977: 356). It was carved with a different, more pointed instrument; Baldacci 1978: 336 f. and Tibiletti Bruno 1977: 356 also assume a different hand, but this is doubted by Lejeune 1977: 589 (also 1988: 30 f.), who notes that the carver appears not to have been familiar with writing the Lepontic alphabet and Celtic language, as indicated by the dittographical misspelling arkatoko{k}materekos for arkatokomaterekos. The rare letter chi is carved somewhat awkwardly, and see below on Lejeune's contention that a san in the original was mistaken for mu. The alphabet also shows some Latin interference in the form of the separator (a single dot) and Latin mu M6 d as in the Latin part; rounded sigma S6 d and large omicron O2 d may also be considered graphically Latinised forms. Lejeune suggests that a Latin-speaking lapicide was tasked with copying both inscriptions, and changed his tool to apply the vernacular text in the small space left to him. Lejeune also notes that no separators are visible except after akisios and arkatokomaterekos (perhaps no word separation in the original and separators added by the lapicide after the name elements, which he could recognise?).

Note that the cluster /nt/ is reflected by T d in arkatokomaterekos and atom as usual in the Lepontic alphabet, but spelled ⟨nt⟩ in the Latin part (argantocomaterecus). This may indicate that nasal effacement in this position was not executed fully, but that /n/ was only weakened, unless the nasal was restituted in this form by a Latin speaker based on Latin argentum. Lejeune 1977: 602 takes the spellings in the Vercelli inscriptions as evidence that the non-spelling of /n/ before /t/ in Cisalpine Gaulish inscriptions is an "habitude orthographique" which was borrowed with the alphabet from speakers of Lepontic. Rare chi appears to be used to denote the spiranticised allophone of /g/ before /d/ in teuoχtoni(o)n (while /g/ after /r/ is written with kappa in arkantokomaterekos, cf. Lejeune 1977: 597, 604 f.).

arkatokomaterekos: Tibiletti Bruno 1977: 366 f. patronym in -eko-, Lejeune 1977: 601 f., 610 adjective in -iko- (with lowering of /i/ after /r/) from a toponym (also 1988: 32), Pisani 1979: 51 f. title, Meid 1989: 12 originally job description, but "namenhaftes Element" in the inscription (because untranslated in Latin), Lambert 2018b: 80 title.

Tibiletti Bruno 1977: 360, 375 f. reads atom teuoχtom (deuōtum) as a congruent accusative sg. phrase, followed by a verb koneu: 'Akisios son of Arkatokomateros put up (koneu) the sacred (teuoχtom) border (atom)' (tośokote remaining untranslated; also Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 157 f.). Differently Lejeune 1977: 595–598, who corrects Tibiletti's mu M6 d – the final /m/ in teuoχtom – to nu and iota N dI d and segments a form teuoχtoni[ ]n, which he interprets as either a genitive pl. teuoχtonion 'of gods-and-men' or adjectival accusative sg. teuoχtonikon 'pertaining to gods-and-men'. Observing that both these options show final -/n/ rather than -/m/, he concludes that Tibiletti's accusative sg. atom 'border' must be a misspelling for atoś, the final mu-shaped letter being due to a copying mistake of the lapicide. (In the post-script (p. 609), Lejeune notes that (according to his classification) final -/m/ would identify the language of the text as Lepontic rather than the Gaulish expected at this time and place; reply in Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 194.) The accusative pl. atoś 'borders' in turn excludes an accusative sg. for the following word, resulting in an interpretation atoś teuoχtonion 'the borders of gods and men'. Lejeune identifies tośokote as the verb, but offers no analysis beyong the suggestion that to- is the preverb do-. Remaining E dU d at the end is tentatively suggested (p. 600) to be the abbreviation of ex uoto; originally suspecting it to be a Latinism, Lejeune 1988: 36 compares RIIG EUR-01-01 (RIG L-16) eu. The notion that M6 d is misspelled san is somewhat problematic, since Lepontic butterfly san Ś s does not resemble Latin mu that much; Lejeune's more similar letter variant Ś2 s, which he suggests was written in the original from which the lapicide copied, is in fact most likely to be mu (see Ś); also, regular san Ś s is written (if damaged) in tośokote (as admitted by Lejeune p. 597 f.; cf. Meid 1989: 11, who opts to simply read damaged san). Lejeune's N dI d is preferable to Tibiletti's M6 d in the last line, but Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 193 contends that the distance between iota and omicron is too wide and must contain another letter (her kappa, but cf. again Meid 1989: 10 on the exact position of omicron; Lejeune's reading is also confirmed by Motta 1992: 315 f.). Pisani 1979, based on Tibiletti's reading, interprets teuoχtom as teuoχtomom (with haplology or haplography), tośokote as a verb 'declare' and koneu as a u-stem 'common' congruent with atom teuoχtom: 'Akisios the quaestor declared the common god-human border' (in which Akisios' action relates to the finis rather than the campus as usually assumed). Critiques of Tibiletti's and Pisani's analyses in Lejeune 1988: 34–36, who (p. 37) discusses the implications of taking final -/m/ in Tibiletti's atom at face value (Leponticism? evidence for sound change -/m/ > -/n/ in fieri? see also Uhlich 1999: 282, n. 13). See the word pages on the linguistic analyses of the forms.

If the direct object is singular atom, what would it mean for Akisios to have given one border; could the relative clause in the Latin text also refer to finis rather than campo? If the object is plural atoś, could this refer to the campus as a whole (in the sense 'enclosed area, precinct'), is it the equivalent of finis pl. finīs (as per Lejeune) in the Latin part, or does it refer to the border stones (cf. Meid 1989: 16)? The Celtic text is not a translation of the Latin one, but may be its original, though the uncertainties about the interpretation specifically of the direct object ('border'/'borders'/'termini'/'precinct') make it difficult to decide how accurately the Latin text reflects the Celtic one. Lejeune 1977: 591 f., 607 takes the Latin phrase comunem deis et hominibus to be a translation of the Celtic teuoχtonion, comunem being a lexical expression of the semantics inherent in the Celtic dvandva compound (cf. also Lejeune 1988: 32 f.); the unusual expression finis campo with the dative rather than genitive may also reflect the translator's understanding of the Celtic wording. Like Baldacci for the Latin text, Lejeune (p. 606) concludes that the space dedicated by Akisios has religious rather than civic significance. See also Motta 1992: 316 f., who suggests that the Latin text is more prominent because the inscription was primarily created for and aimed at Romans who needed an explanation of the sanctuary space's function, which would have been obvious to the Celtic population (the Celtic tet being added to make a point), and Gambari 2011: 28.

Lejeune 1977: 592: dating to around 100 BC, Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 192 second half of 1st c. BC, Gambari 1991: 233 between 89 and 49 BC.

Ascribed by Lejeune to the Libicii (as are PV·1 and PV·4), a Gaulish tribe reported to have settled between Ticino and Po (for the sources s. AcS II: 204).


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896–1907.
Baldacci 1978 Paolo Baldacci, "Una bilingue latino-gallica di Vercelli", Atti dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 32 (1977 [1978]), 335–347.
Bonfante 1979 Giuliano Bonfante, "Il Retico, il Leponzio, il Ligure, il Gallico, il Sardo, il Corso", Atti dei Colloqui Lincei ( = Le Iscrizioni Prelatine in Italia; Roma, marzo 1977) 39 (1979).
Gambari 1991 Filippo Maria Gambari, "La stele di Cureggio: una nuova iscrizione epicorica preromana dal Novarese", Sibrium 21 (1990–1991), 227–237.
Gambari 2011 Filippo Maria Gambari, "Le pietre dei signori del fiume: il cippo iscritto e le stele del primo periodo della cultura di Golasecca", in: Filippo Maria Gambari, Raffaella Cerri (eds), L'alba della città. Le prime necropoli del centro protourbano di Castelletto Ticino, Novara: 2011, 19–32.