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Transliteration: ]esminupitisθauχkaạna
Original script: A5 sN sA5 sA5 sK sΧ sU2 sA5 sΘ sS dI sT3 sI sP2 sU2 sN sI sM sS dE s

Object: SZ-87 rod (bronze)
Position: front
Script: North Italic script (Sanzeno alphabet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 1.51.5 cm <br />2.22.2 cm <br />
Number of letters: 20
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: fragmentary
Archaeological culture: Late Iron Age [from object]
Date of inscription: 5th–1st centuries BC [from object]
Date derived from: archaeological context [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: MLR 140
TM 653589



First published in Marchesini 2014: 138 ff. Autopsied by TIR in October 2014.

Image in Marchesini 2014: Fig. 5 (photo).

Inscribed on the convex front side of the object, length 10.6 cm. The rod is broken along the hasta of initial E s – while the first word is complete, more words missing before it cannot be excluded. The letters are tidily executed and well legible despite the corrosion of the surface, though the quality of craftsmanship deteriorates toward the end: The writer commenced his work with letters too broad, and had to squeeze the last ones in before the two vertical lines separating the body from the end of the rod. The letters in the beginning cover the entire breadth of the rod, the last ones do not go around the bend to the very edge. The bars of A5 s in all cases do not touch the hasta. Of second-to-last A5 s, the right hasta is separated in two parts slightly offset from each other; this is most probably a technical failing which does not affect the reading. The effort made at accommodating the final characters excludes the possibility of them being line fillers despite the problems with interpretation.

The sequence esminu can be connected with the name esimne documented at Steinberg. It appears with the patronymic suffix -nu and metathesis to avoid the nasal cluster. pitis in the genitive case is a well attested individual name – possibly belonging with the patronym, with only one of the two name elements inflected? Alternatively, an individual name in the nominative to complement the patronym may be lost with the rest of the rod. Genitive case appears to generally mark the recipient in Raetic, often designated with an isolated individual name, though in such a construction the name of the donor should appear in the pertinentive, not the nominative. The sequence θauχ-, obscure despite multiple documentation, can be identified, but its ending cannot be determined. If -ka is identified as the enclitical conjunction, ana remains isolated and obscure. An interpretation as a name plus patronymic suffix -na (cp. θauχrilina on SZ-9) is unlikely, seeing as geminate vowels do not occur in the alphabet scripts of Transpadania – a separation of ana seems necessary in any case.

On the reverse side of the rod's "head", two characters E5 sI s are inscribed – possibly a factory mark?


Marchesini 2014 Simona Marchesini, "Nuove iscrizioni retiche da Cles e Sanzeno (Trento)", in: Rosa Roncador, Franco Nicolis, Antichi popoli delle Alpi. Sviluppi culturali durante l'età del Ferro nei territori alpini centro-orientali (Atti della giornata internazionale di studi 1 maggio 2010 Sanzeno, Trento), Trento: Provincia autonoma di Trento. Soprintendenza per i beni architettonici e archeologici 2014, 127–144.