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Reading in transliteration: koliuetu
Reading in original script: U sT sE sU sI sL sO2 sK2 s
Variant reading: koliu·etu
U sT sE sseparator sU sI sL sO2 sK2 s

Object: VR·19 Verona (pot)
Position: bottom, outside
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Script: North Italic script (prob. Lepontic alphabet)
Number of letters: 8
Number of lines: 1
Workmanship: unknown
Condition: complete

Archaeological culture: La Tène D [from object]
Date of inscription: 2nd century BC [from object]

Type: unknown
Language: unknown
Syntactic analysis: unknown
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 248
Morandi 2004: 269

Sources: Morandi 2004: 691–694



First published in Poggi 1879: 312 ff. (no. 52).

Images in Pauli 1885: Taf. 2,39 (drawing = LIR), Morandi 2001: 20 (drawing), Morandi 2004: fig. 30, 269 (drawing).

The inscription, part of the collection of Amilcare Ancona (Ancona 1880: 32 f., n. 109, pl. XI, n. 7), was implied to be lost by Whatmough, but found and examined anew by Morandi in 2001, who also provides a new drawing (Morandi 2001: 20, no. 17). Pauli claims to have the drawing reproduced in the Altitalischen Forschungen from Poggi (no. 39), but Poggi only gives an idealised rendering of the characters (p. 312). (Pauli's citing page 90 from Poggi is a mere slip.) It is therefore unclear where that drawing is from (possibly Ancona 1880 (n.v.)?). The drawing in Pauli features omicron not quite closed at the bottom (expressly mentioned by Poggi 1879: 313) and followed by a short oblique scratch in the lower area. In the middle part, lambda and the three hastae following it are crossed by a long oblique line, which is judged to be an unintentional scratch by Poggi, Danielsson 1909: 23 and Rhŷs 1913: 69 ff., who consequently reads U sI sL s. The dot between putative upsilon and epsilon is included as a punct by Danielsson, but dismissed by Poggi and Rhŷs. While Poggi does not discriminate between the various North Italic groups, Pauli (p. 56) and Rhŷs classify the inscription as Celtic. It was Whatmough (PID II) who sorted it among the Raetic documents, based on the observations that Verona lies rather far east of the Lepontic area, and that the form of omicron was typical for Venetic. Disregarding Poggis reading, Whatmough prefers to include both scratch and punct, and suggests kolzi·eθu with a Venetic form of zeta, despite observing that the Venetic features do not agree with the forms of lambda and upsilon. Morandi's drawing shows closed omicron, the small scratch to its left and the punct, but not the longer scratch crossing the letters in the middle.

In consequence of Whatmough's reassignment of the inscription, it was included in Schumacher's preliminary Raetic corpus (Schumacher 1992, Schumacher 2004: 172, 340 f.) and allotted the Raetic siglum VR-5. It was originally included with this siglum in Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum, but was eventually moved to LexLep under the new siglum VR·19 with regard to its clear Celtic features which were acknowledged by all but Whatmough.

Epigraphically, the inscription is written in the Lepontic alphabet, with Etruscoid (not inverted) lambda and upsilon, and omicron (Rix 1998: 10). Raetic inscriptions from the area of Verona are written in a Magrè-type alphabet, showing Venetoid inverted forms. If the putative punct is part of the inscription, it may point to Venetic writing, but may also merely be due to influence from Venetic writing practice (cf. maybe, from the area of Verona, VR·22). If the longer scratch discounted by Poggi and Morandi cannot be used to turn the sequence iu into consonant + i (cf. Markey's reading below), the punct cannot be syllabic in any case.

The linguistic interpretation of the text depends on the chosen reading. koliu·etu is Morandi's reading, including the punct; Poggi and Rhŷs read a single word koliuetu. All three forms could be interpreted as masculine PNN, but koliuetu has not so far been convincingly analysed; both koliu and etu may find comparanda in the Cisalpine Celtic corpus, but the combination of two PNN in this form is not otherwise attested (unless etu is a second name; see Onomastics). A reading U sT sE sseparator sI sT sI sL sA24 dK2 s kaliti·etu = caletiedū, based on Pauli's drawing and including the smaller scratch next to omicron (assumed to be open at the bottom) as part of the letter to read alpha, is proposed by Markey (Markey & Mees 2003: 146, Markey & Mees 2004: 86, esp. Markey 2006: 157); it must be disregarded since it includes the longer scratch discounted by Morandi.

Further references: Add. CIL 5: 475 (no. 1080), PID: 549 (Commentary), LIR: VR-5, MLR: sub iudice no. 19.

Corinna Salomon


Ancona 1880 Amilcare Ancona, Catalogo Descrittivo delle Raccolte Egizia, Preromana ed Etrusco-Romana, Milano: 1880.
Danielsson 1909 Olof August Danielsson, Zu den venetischen und lepontischen Inschriften [= Skrifter utgivna av Kungliga Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet i Uppsala 13.1], Uppsala – Leipzig: 1909.