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Customary name: pi

Variants and attestation

Transliteration Sinistroverse Dextroverse
  Glyph Number Glyph Number
P P.png 8 Pd.png 9
P2 P2.png 29 P2d.png 3
P3 P3.png 1 P3d.png 0
P4 P4.png 2 P4d.png 0
P5 P5.png 1 P5d.png 0
P6 P6.png 1 P6d.png 0

Pi is one of the letters (together with lambda and upsilon) which serve as a basis for distinguishing the Magrè and Sanzeno alphabets (see Property:alphabet and Script): the variants P s, P5 s, P3 s, P4 s, P6 s with an angle (sometimes rounded) belong to the Magrè alphabet, while P2 s with a single bar is the form used in the Sanzeno alphabet.

The Magrè forms with the angle, often termed "Venetoid" in TIR, are similar to forms of the Venetic alphabets (though P s with a completely closed angle is not attested in the Venetic alphabets, which prefer opened variants like addP1 s). The variants with a small angle P s, P5 s are used in the south. Particularly at Magrè, P s has been and is sometimes still misread as rho (e.g., MLR, Markey 2006). The variants with a large angle P3 s, P4 s, which are used in the north, are even easier to confuse with rho (e.g., ST-2; however, in at least two instances (IT-4 and IT-8) a gap between the lower ends of the hasta and the angled or curved line which forms the pocket can be clearly seen. P6 s occurs once in the north.

Sanzeno pi P2 s is equivalent to the form prevalent in the Etruscan and Lepontic alphabets, and also sometimes used in Venetic. The letter occurs in more than thirty inscriptions and inscriptoids in alphabetic Sanzeno context. In ten certainly language-encoding inscriptions (CE-1.3, SZ-15.1, SZ-22.1, SZ-30, SZ-87, SZ-98, NO-11, BZ-9, BZ-10.1, WE-3), thirteen tokens represent up to eight different types. Of these, two are attested in Magrè context with certain pi (piθam(n)e vel sim., pitie vel sim.). The letter can therefore be clearly identified as pi (Salomon 2017: 245 f.). The letter P2 d, with the bar extending against writing direction, is still widely considered to be Sanzeno pi, but is better identified as a variant of tau (see T). On P2 s vs. P2 d in Sanzeno context, though with obsolete argumentation, see Salomon in Kluge & Salomon 2015: 89–92.


Kluge & Salomon 2015 Sindy Kluge, Corinna Salomon, "Ausgewählte Funde aus Dercolo im Kontext der rätischen Inschriften", Wissenschaftliches Jahrbuch der Tiroler Landesmuseen 8 (2015), 80–95.
Markey 2006 Thomas L. Markey, "Early Celticity in Slovenia and at Rhaetic Magrè (Schio)", Linguistica 46 (2006), 145–171.