From Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum
Jump to navigationJump to search
Transliteration: kusenkustrinaχe
Original script: E sΧ sA dN sI sR sT dS dU2 sK sN sE sS dU2 sK s

Object: CE-1 situla (bronze)
(Inscriptions: CE-1.1, CE-1.2, CE-1.3, CE-1.4, CE-1.5)
Position: rim
Script: North Italic script
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 0.8 cm
Number of letters: 15
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: complete
Date of inscription: 4th century BC [from object]
Date derived from: typology [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: PID 215 (b3)
IR 5 (b3)
LIR CE-1 (5)
MLR 26 (b3)
TM 218458
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 155, 337



First published in Giovanelli 1834. Autopsied by TIR in October 2014.

Pictures in Giovanelli 1834: drawing (= Giovanelli 1844), Inghirami 1828: Tav. XII (drawing), Giovanelli 1845: tav. I, fig. 7 (drawing = Giovanelli 1876: Taf. I, No. 7), Mommsen 1853: Taf. I, 11 B (drawing), Sulzer 1855: Tav. VII (drawing), CII: Tab. I, Corssen 1874: tav. XXIII, Oberziner 1883b: tav. XXIII, AIF I: tav. II, no. 37 (drawing), IR (photo = LIR), Morandi 1982: 201 (drawing), MLR (photo).

Length about 10.7 cm; written on the rim of the situla, starting at about 1.5 cm from one of the eyes for the handle (the one farther from CE-1.1) = about 10 cm from CE-1.3. Facing outward. The execution is less tidy than that of CE-1.2 and CE-1.3: Some of the strokes are sightly broader, some bars and hastae intercross, in two instances (Iota and Chi) the hastae are struck twice. The letters and distances between them are broader. The chevrons of Alpha and Upsilon are symmetrical, the second bar of Nu is oblique. It is unlikely that the inscription was applied together with CE-1.2 and CE-1.3, even if it was the same writer.

The reading is unambiguous. Final -χe is the preterite ending, but the identification of the verbal base is uncertain. Rix 1998: 42, 57 suggested an identification with frequent þinaχe, with a digraph as a compromise spelling for z in which <r> functions as an indicator of the fricative element, an ad-hoc solution by a writer unacquainted with either of the Raetic special characters. Schumacher 2004: 306 rejects the equation, preferring to identify an otherwise unattested verb similar in both form and meaning. kusenku is likely to be a name in -u. If Rix' theory is rejected, the segmentation cannot be quite certain – þinaχe can be argued to appear with both nominative and genitive forms, so both kusenku-s trinaχe 'X-ed for/by Kusenku' and kusenku strinaχe 'Kusenku X-ed' are possible. In the second case, the inscription can be independent of the others on the situla, while the first option may indicate that at least one of the other sequences on the object belongs with this one and contains the subject of the sentence – since all the other sequences on the rim are names in the nominative case, any one theoretically qualifies. While in terms of letter shape, CE-1.4 resembles CE-1.5 and CE-1.1, the shape of the tool groups it with CE-1.2 and CE-1.3. If the context of the inscriptions is a votive one, the dedication may have been a joint effort, with the names of the people involved having been added successively. kusenku, not being accompanied by a patronym, might in this case be tentatively interpreted as a theonym. The rather wide gap between E s and N s can hardly be an intentional space (as in CE-1.3), as the distances between letters in this inscription are irregular (final E s is about the same distance from Χ s). nkus is not a likely word either. An isolated sequence kusen, on the other hand, is attested in a rock inscription from Unterammergau, which weakens the interpretation of kusenku as a name, unless one opts to interpret the rock inscription as an aborted attempt to write the name of a deity. Both kusen and kus would be obscure. Further reference: Inghirami 1828: 210–218 (= a letter from Giovanelli to Inghirami (1832), followed by Inghirami's reply (1833); the latter is also reprinted in the original publication), Giovanelli 1844: 99–113, Mommsen 1853: No. 11, Sulzer 1855: 22, Weber 1861: 31–32, Schneller 1866: 185 ff., CII: no. 12, Suppl. I: 5 f., 100, Corssen 1874: 919 ff., Pichler 1880: no. 1, Oberziner 1883b: 182 ff., AIF I: no. 37 (d), Runes 1935, Battisti 1944: 235 f., Mayr 1959d, Pisani 1964: 323 f., Morandi 1982: no. 77, Battisti 1936b: 596 f., Kretschmer 1943: 170 ff., Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 233 f.


AIF I Carl Pauli, Altitalische Forschungen. Band 1: Die Inschriften nordetruskischen Alphabets, Leipzig: 1885.
Battisti 1936b Carlo Battisti, "Rassegna critica degli studi linguistici sull'Alto Adige nel quinquennio 1931-36", Archivio per l'Alto Adige 31/2 (1936), 561–611.
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)
Corssen 1874 Wilhelm Paul Corssen, Ueber die Sprache der Etrusker. Band 1, Leipzig: 1874.
Giovanelli 1834 Benedetto Giovanelli, "Ueber ein rhätisches Gefäß und über rhätische Paläographie", Beiträge zur Geschichte, Statistik, Naturkunde und Kunst von Tirol und Vorarlberg 8 (1834), 133–149.
Giovanelli 1844 Benedetto Giovanelli, Dei Rezj. Dell'origini de' popoli d'Italia e d'una iscrizione rezio-etrusca. Pensieri di Benedetto Conte Giovanelli Podestà di Trento, Trento: 1844.
Giovanelli 1845 Benedetto Giovanelli, Le antichità rezio-etrusche scoperte presso Matrai nel Maggio 1845, Trento: Monauni 1845.
Giovanelli 1876 Benedetto Giovanelli, "Die Rhätisch-Etruskischen Alterthümer entdeckt bei Matrei im Mai 1845", Zeitschrift des Ferdinandeums für Tirol und Vorarlberg 3/20 (1876), 45–99.
Inghirami 1828 Francesco Inghirami (Ed.), Lettere di etrusca erudizione, Fiesole: 1828.
IR Alberto Mancini, "Iscrizioni retiche", Studi Etruschi 43 (1975), 249–306.
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)