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Transliteration: tevaśniχesiutikuθiuθisaχvilititerisnaθi
Original script: I sΘ sA3 dN sS dI sR sE3 sT3 sI sT3 sI sL2 sI sV3 sΧ sA3 dS dI sΘ sU2 sI sΘ sU2 sK sI sT3 sU2 sI sS sE sΧ sI sN sŚ sA3 dV3 sE3 sT3 s

Object: BZ-4 fragment (bronze)
Position: inside
Frame: Frame middle: top and bottomFrame middle: top and bottom   (none, top and bottom, none)
Script: North Italic script (Sanzeno alphabet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 1.21.2 cm <br /> – 1.8 cm
Number of letters: 39
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: engraved
Current condition: complete, damaged
Date of inscription:
Date derived from:

Language: Raetic
Meaning: '(?) to/by/for ? X-ed as a gift to/of Θiuθi ?' (?)

Alternative sigla: PID 192
MLR 273
TM 218526
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 179



First published in Conestabile 1863: 40 f. Autopsied by TIR in April 2014.

Images in Conestabile 1863: Pl. 1,4 (drawing), CII: Tab. VI,60 (drawing), Corssen 1874: 937 (drawing), AIF I: Taf. II (33) (drawing = Marstrander 1927: 24, Fig. 20), Mayr 1960c: Abb. 1 (photo) and LIR (drawing). An excellent copy of the bronze fragment and the inscription can be seen in the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum. It was this copy that was autopsied for the corpora of Schumacher, Mancini and Marchesini.

Neatly executed apart from the first S s, where the writer started with a hasta (maybe anticipating the following I s), then erased the lower part with tiny scratches and added the lower angle. This lapse is probably responsible for the first S s being oriented against the direction of writing. The fragment is broken along the first hasta of A3 d in aχvil and has a crack along the final I s, but both letters are legible unambiguously. Two lines enclose the inscription top and bottom. The fact that they are scratched, somewhat untidily, in steps, and more slightly than the inscription, indicates that they are not meant as an ornamental frame, but were made for guidance. Almost all characters cross the lines.

The reading with T3 s as Tau rather than Pi was already suggested by Marstrander 1927: 23 f., based on the comparison of the sequence terisna (conventionally read ]perisna[) with that on the Vače helmet. He argued that the character must in all four instances be read T d. (Assuming that Tau and Theta excluded each other, he separated the sequences containing the latter from the text and interpreted them as non-phonetic, as on the Negau helmet B: tevaśniχesiutiku Θ sI sU2 sΘ sI s saχvilititerisna Θ sI s.) Concerning those letters in the inscription whose lines meet on top, he observed that, E3 s and V3 s being counted out, A3 d, Ś s, N s and R s are scratched with tidy angles, while T3 s/T d the bar crosses the hasta. This is true only of two of the four cases; also, the hasta and bar never cross below the drawn line, and the bar does never extend significantly to the other side of the hasta. NO-17 remains the only inscription in the Sanzeno alphabet which features the more traditional form of Tau T d, but BZ-4 may be argued to demonstrate an intermediate stage of the character's graphic development. See T.

Following the reading going back to Pauli (no. 33), the only forms which can be identified without doubt are utiku, aχvil and terisna. tevaśniχesi features a pertinentive ending -si, which indicates a personal name. While the length of the sequence allows for further segmentation, no suggestions can be offered. Rix (p. 31 f.) segments teva śniχesi, but interpreting teva as a substantive. Cp. ]?niχesi on WE-4: The doubtful letter in the beginning cannot be Ś s, which may indicate that niχe-si is a discrete element. Rix further identifies a genitive θiuθis dependent on aχvil 'gift of/to Θiuθi', with a parallel on PA-1 ataris akvil. The sequence after aχvil he interprets as a locative syntagma iti perisnati. Another possibility is to read aχvili as a Locative in -i, with the postposition -θi/-ti ‘in, on’ known from Etruscan. Final θi is obscure.

Further references: CII 60, Corssen 1874: 937 ff (no. 33), Pichler 1880: 41 (no.4), Oberziner 1883: 175 f. (?), AIF I 33, Deecke 1886: 63 f. Meyer 1901: 7, Torp 1906: 10 ff., Pisani 1935: 95, Vetter 1943: 80, Battisti 1944: 225 f., Kretschmer 1943: 200, Mayr 1960c, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 227 f.


AIF I Carl Pauli, Altitalische Forschungen. Band 1: Die Inschriften nordetruskischen Alphabets, Leipzig: 1885.
Battisti 1944 Carlo Battisti, "Osservazioni sulla lingua delle iscrizioni nell'alfabeto etrusco settentrionale di Bolzano", Studi Etruschi 18 (1944), 199–236.
CII Ariodante Fabretti, Corpus inscriptionum italicarum, Torino: 1867. (2 volumes)
Conestabile 1863 Giancarlo Conestabile, Second spicilegium de quelques monuments écrits ou épigraphes des Étrusques. Musées de Londres, de Berlin, de Manheim, de La Haye, de Paris, de Pérouse (Italie), Paris: Librairie Académique - Didier et Cie 1863.
Corssen 1874 Wilhelm Paul Corssen, Ueber die Sprache der Etrusker. Band 1, Leipzig: 1874.
Deecke 1886 Wilhelm Deecke, "–", review of: Carl Pauli, Altitalische Forschungen. Band 1: Die Inschriften nordetruskischen Alphabets, Leipzig: 1885, Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen 2 (1886), 49–70.
Kretschmer 1943 Paul Kretschmer, "Die vorgriechischen Sprach- und Volksschichten (Fortsetzung)", Glotta 30 (1943), 84–218.
LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)
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.