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Attestation: BI·8 (sipiu koil[ ]ios) (1)
Language: unknown
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: personal name

Grammatical Categories: nom. sg. masc.
Stem Class: on

Morphemic Analysis: sip-(i)i̯
Phonemic Analysis: /si/īp(p)/b(i)ū/
Meaning: 'Sipiu'


Individual name of uncertain etymology, also attested as base of a patronym sipionios. Comparanda for the base in Gaulish inscriptions are sparse (cf. Cresci Marrone & Solinas 2013: 30) – AcS II: 1538 lists siberis and sibōra in Galatia, as well as (p. 1576) sippia in Moesia and CIL V 2327 siponis (gen.) in Adria. A base sīp- could be derived from the root PIE *sek- 'follow', but the irregular lengthened grade (*sēki̯on- > *sīpi̯on-) requires explanation. A raising of short /e/, to allow a comparison with names in sep(p)- from the same root (Delamarre 2007: 166, 232, DLG: 271), would be irregular in this position, but cf. possibly sin- < sen- 'old' at the same find place (BI·7). In light of the strongly Latin-influenced context of the attestations, a Celticised Latin name could be considered, but the options is this direction are no better: Lat. scip(i)i̯ō, itself etymologically unclear, is formally equivalent, but should have been borrowed with the anlauting cluster intact (unless – hypothetically – the cluster was already realised as [sts] as early as the first half of the 1st century BC).

David Stifter, Corinna Salomon


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896–1907.
CIL Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. (17 volumes, various supplements)
Cresci Marrone & Solinas 2013 Giovannella Cresci Marrone, Patrizia Solinas, Microstorie di romanizzazione. Le iscrizioni del sepolcreto rurale di Cerrione, Venezia: Edizioni Ca' Foscari 2013.
Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
DLG Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.