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Transliteration: val·θeφnu
Original script: V dA7 dLpunct2 dΘ dE dΦ2 dN dU d
Variant Reading: val·θer·nu
V dA7 dLpunct2 dΘ dE dRpunct2 dN dU d

Object: MA-16 antler (antler)
Position: front
Script: North Italic script (Magrè alphabet)
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Letter height: 1.91.9 cm <br /> – 2.8 cm
Number of letters: 8
Number of characters: 9 – 10
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: engraved
Current condition: complete
Date of inscription: 3rd–2nd centuries BC [from object]
Date derived from: archaeological context [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: 'son of Valθe?*'

Alternative sigla: PID 236
MLR 58
TM 218489
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 164


First published in Pellegrini 1918: 181 (no. 6).

Images in Pellegrini 1918: 181, fig. 13 (drawing), LIR (photo and drawings), MLR (photos).

Length 8.6 cm, starting at the narrower end of the antler piece. With deeply incised letters on a well preserved object, the inscription is in excellent condition and very well legible. The only point of contention is the sixth letter, which consists of two slightly curved verticals forming an ellipsoid with a short vertical scratch in the centre. It was read as Φ2 d Theta by Pellegrini (see p. 196 f. for his reasoning). Whatmough preferred Φ2 d Phi, which is followed by Schumacher and Mancini. While Theta in the shape Φ2 d is unknown in Raetic, Phi in the shape Φ2 d (rather than Φ d) is not unusual, but does not occur elsewhere in the Magrè inscriptions (Φ d is in MA-12 and MA-19). A third possibility is to read punctuated Rho Rpunct2 d (cp. MA-12 and MA-14) with a sloppily executed hasta. No other lines in the inscription are unduly curved, but the letter should be expected to be punctuated just like Lambda.

Whatmough interpreted the letter in question to be a misspelling for Khi (valθeχnu), in regard to valθikinu in MA-17. Neither valθeφ* nor valθer* has any comparanda. In any case, the word must be a patronym in -nu, unaccompanied by individual name, verb or other element, making MA-16 the most elliptical of the Magrè inscriptions.

On the back, at 2.8 cm from the broader end, an arrangement of lines line d 2 sline v 1 sline d 1 s (2.7 cm).

Further references: Kretschmer 1932, Kretschmer 1943: 179, Pisani 1964: 320, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 237.


Kretschmer 1932 Paul Kretschmer, "Die Etruskerfrage und die Inschriften von Magrè", in: Axel Nelson (Ed.), Symbolae philologicae O.A. Danielsson Octogenario dicatae, Uppsala: 1932, 134–142.
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)