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Transliteration: eθsualeuθikukaial· / nakinaθarisakvil·
Original script: Lpunct2 sA3 sI sA3 sK sU sK sI sΘ sU sE sL sA3 sU sS dΘ sE2 s
Lpunct2 sI sV sK sA3 sS dI sR sA3 sΘ sA3 sN sI sK sA3 sN s

Object: PA-1 spatula (bronze)
Position: back, left-hand side"left-hand side" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property., right-hand side"right-hand side" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property.
Script: North Italic script (Magrè alphabet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 11 cm <br /> – 1.8 cm
Number of letters: 33
Number of characters: 35
Number of lines: 2
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: complete, damaged
Date of inscription: 6th–5th centuries BC [from object]
Date derived from: typology [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: 'by/of Etsu* (?) ? for ? a gift'

Alternative sigla: PID 244
MLR 80 (a + b)
TM 218512
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 170, 340


First published in Ghirardini 1901: 319 f. Autopsied by TIR on 12th October 2015.

Embossed in two lines along both lateral edges of the undersurface of the spatula, both lines sinistroverse with the upper parts of the letters closer to the edge (reverse boustrophedon). Well legible, though line 1 is damaged by corrosion. The order of the lines is determined by the layout, line 1 starting right at the shoulder, line 2 starting opposite the end of line 1 and not filling the entire space available.

Line 1 runs along the left edge, extending over 11.5 cm, about two thirds of the length of the blade. The beginning of the line looks messy: Initial Epsilon is upside-down, the St. Andrew's cross is very close to it, touching its bars. Two slighter, but well visible short strokes or scratches are situated between the two letters and inscribed into Θ s, respectively, judged to be slips of the tool by Ghirardini (p. 320, note 2). Furthermore, letters 2 and 3 appear to be permuted (see below). It seems clear that the writer had some difficulties here, though what they were is not evident. Inverted Epsilon could be explained by assuming that this line was the continuation of the other, and it only belatedly occurred to the writer to turn the object around, but as pointed out above, the succession of the lines seems clear. The rest of line 1 is unambiguous, with generously spaced letters, slightly uneven at 0–4 mm from the edge. The last letter, as already seen by Mancini, is definitely Lambda, not Nu as suspected by Whatmough: The perceived second bar is the edge of the corrosion pit which damages the surface in the upper area just after the letter; five tiny holes create the impression of a line. (See the microscopic image.) Lambda is inscribed with a punctuation mark, much corroded, in the shape of a short vertical line.

Line 2 starts almost exactly opposite of the last letter of line 1. The surface on this side is hardly corroded, the reading is clear. The letters uniformly touch the edge of the blade. Finely scratched sketch lines are clearly visible in some places – possibly to make sure that the rest of the text would fit into the space determined by the length of line 1. The line is 10.1 cm long, ending at about 1.2 cm from the shoulder.

The inscription is filed as written in the Magrè alphabet (rather than the Venetic) in regard to the following features: absence of Omikron, Sigma with the upper angle opening in writing direction, absence of syllabic punctuation. It must be pointed out that the last point is debatable: Kretschmer 1943: 174 ff., reading one of the two dubious short scratches at the beginning of line 1 as an inscribed punctuation mark (into Θ s), suggested that all the punctuation marks in the inscription represent syllabic puncts. If one includes the other scratch between E2 s and Θ s, all four do indeed occur in positions where punctuation would be correct: initial vowel (E2 s), the first consonant in a cluster (Θ s), and in two instances a word-final consonant (L s). They are also all inscribed save in the case of E2 s, where this is not possible. However, there are more letters in the inscription which ought to be punctuated (at the very least the first a and initial u in uθiku). Linguistically, the text is definitely Raetic, containing the words akvil and uθiku. It does, however, display some peculiarities. A form esθuale, not eθsuale, is attested twice in Magrè. uθiku is in all other instances written either with Tau T3 s or with T4 s; similarly, akvil in both other instances in the Raetic corpus is spelled aχvil. The writer appears to have worked with only one set of characters for plosives (Theta, Kappa, hypothetical Pi). Together, these inconsistencies with Raetic standard might be connected with the out of the way find place in the heart of the Venetic realm and/or the high dating of the object.

It is not clear whether the two short verticals inscribed into the final Lambdas merely mark the end of the lines, or are meant to separate the two sequences, though the interpretation suggests the former. eθsuale is a pertinentive, not accompanied by a second name, but going with uθiku. kaial is obscure. It is the only Raetic candidate for a genitive II-form in -al, but see the morpheme page. The beginning of line 2 cannot be securely segmented, but the s is likely to mark a genitive depending on akvil. Rix 1998: 32 f. reads nakin(a) aθaris (with avoidance of repeated letter), where the latter might have a parallel in aθare in the completely obscure TV-1.1, also of Southern provenance. Uninflected nakina as a patro-/matronym in -na does not fit in, as any nominative in the inscription must be expected to refer to the gift (the object?) (cp. Rix 1998: 32). nakin, with consonantal auslaut, might be a substantive (cp. tani(u)n). A tentative translation is 'by/of (the) Esθu* given ... (the nakin?) as a gift to Aθari'. Rix prefers to translate the genetive not as benefactive, but subjective, and to interpret Esθu* as a theonym ('to Esθu* given ... by Aθari') – see The Raetic language for a discussion of the (possible) different functions of pertinentive and genitive.

At the point where the handle joins the blade, two symbols symbol3 ssymbol4 s are inscribed lengthwise. Their function is unknown.

Further references: Ghirardini 1901b: 203 ff., Ghirardini 1902: 120 ff., Ghirardini 1906: 217 ff., Lattes 1902, Cordenons 1911: no. 81, Pellegrini 1918: 192 (note 1), Pallottino 1930: no. 33, Buonamici 1932: 370, Goldmann 1934: 198, PID: 548, 629, Whatmough 1934: 29 ff., Pisani 1935: 92 ff., Battisti 1936b: 602 ff., NRIE no. 61, Pisani 1964: 321 f., Zuffa 1960: 149 ff. (no. 39), Pellegrini & Prosdocimi 1967: 310 ff., Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 240 f.


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.
Buonamici 1932 Giulio Buonamici, Epigrafia etrusca, Firenze: 1932.
Cordenons 1911 Federico Cordenons, Silloge delle Iscrizioni Venetiche. Con note sugli antichi alfabeti e sistemi di scrittura usata dagli Italici e dagli Etruschi, Feltre: 1911.
Ghirardini 1901 Gherardo Ghirardini, "Padova – Di un singolare bronzo paleoveneto scoperto presso la Basilica di S. Antonio", Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità (1901), 314–321.
Goldmann 1934 Emil Goldmann, "Zur nordetruskischen Inschrift von Collalbo", Studi Etruschi 8 (1934), 197–216.
Kretschmer 1943 Paul Kretschmer, "Die vorgriechischen Sprach- und Volksschichten (Fortsetzung)", Glotta 30 (1943), 84–218.
Lattes 1902 Elia Lattes, "L'iscrizione etrusca della Paletta di Padova", Studi italiani di filologia classica 10 (1902), 1–17.
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)