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Transliteration: terisna
Original script: A13 sN sS dI sR2 sE sT4 s

Object: SL-1 helmet (bronze)
Position: front, bottom, outside, medial
Script: North Italic script (Magrè alphabet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 0.90.9 cm <br /> – 1.3 cm
Number of letters: 7
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: complete
Date of inscription: second half of the 5th century BC [from object]
Date derived from: typology [from object]

Type: prob. votive
Language: Raetic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: MLR 285
TM 653569
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 329



First published in Schneider 1892: 54 f. (Nr 97). Examined by TIR on 12th February 2014.

Images in Schneider 1892: 54 (drawing), Marstrander 1927: Pl. III (photo), Pellegrini 1969: tav. I (photo), Egg 1986: 228, Abb. 186 (drawing), Nedoma 1995: 32, Fig. 11 (drawing) and Abb. 22 and 23 (photos) and MLR (photo and drawing = Egg 1986).

Length 3.7 cm. Embossed with a pointed tool on the chamfer. The inscription is in excellent condition, the characters are easily legible. The only point of debate is the first letter, which consists of a hasta (about 20 indentations) topped by a circle of eight indentations, embossed counter-clockwise, encircling the hasta's topmost elements. A single indentation, apparently belonging to the hasta, sits above the circle. (See also the detailed description by Marstrander 1927: 18.) The letter has in the past been interpreted as a form of zeta for t (Marstrander 1927: 20 ff., Prosdocimi in Prosdocimi & Scardigli 1976: 228, see also SL-2.3), as Etruscan f addF1 s (Kretschmer 1943: 186, see also SL-2.3), or as iota I s (Schneider 1892: 54, Pellegrini 1969: 50 f., Egg 1986: 228 [Nr. 330]). See T for a discussion of T4 s and the reasons for the inscription being ascribed to the Magrè alphabet group. The small scratched bar extending upwards from the hasta to the left, suspected by Eichner 1994: 135 to be the bar of a character variant of tau, we consider with Marstrander 1927: 18 to be unintentional – either a slip of the tool used for embossing, or entirely unconnected with the inscription. The same goes for what looks like one or even two indentations right below the bar of A13 s. See also Nedoma 1995: 33.

As the archaeological context of the helmet find is unknown, no terminus ante quem can be given for the dating of the inscription, which could be considerably younger than the object (see SL-2 helmet), but the presence of the possibly archaic letter T4 s may indicate a relatively high dating (5th–4th century) also for the inscription (see T). Apart from the application technique, the inscription is practically identical to NO-13, one of the oldest documents in the corpus and the only other inscription in which well-attested terisna appears in isolation. Since the word occurs otherwise on objects/in inscriptions whose votive function is fairly certain, the inscription on the Vače helmet is very likely to be votive as well, but see the word page for the ongoing discussion about its etymology and meaning.


Egg 1986 Markus Egg, Italische Helme. Studien zu den ältereisenzeitlichen Helmen Italiens und der Alpen. Teil 1: Text, Teil 2: Tafeln, Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum 1986.
Eichner et al. 1994 Heiner Eichner, Janka Istenič, Milan Lovenjak, "Ein römerzeitliches Keramikgefäß aus Ptuj (Pettau, Poetovio) in Slowenien mit Inschrift in unbekanntem Alphabet und epichorischer (vermutlich keltischer) Sprache", Arheološki vestnik 45 (1994), 131–142.
Kretschmer 1943 Paul Kretschmer, "Die vorgriechischen Sprach- und Volksschichten (Fortsetzung)", Glotta 30 (1943), 84–218.
Marstrander 1927 Carl Johan Sverdrup Marstrander, "Remarques sur les inscriptions des casques en bronze de Negau et de Watsch", Avhandlinger utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo. Hist.-filos. klasse 1926/2 (1927), 1–26.