From Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum
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Transliteration: ??(?)r·cie·rudi·[ / arci·die·crs·sa[ / ?·uitari·sa?[? / ?????
Original script: ??(?)addR3d spunctuation daddC3d sI daddE1d spunctuation daddR3d sU2 dR2 dI dpunctuation7 d[
addA5 saddR3d saddC3d sI dpunctuation dR2 dI daddE1d spunctuation daddC3d saddR3d saddS1d spunctuation daddS1d saddA5 s[
U2 dI daddT1 saddA5 saddR3d sI dpunctuation daddS1d saddA5 s?[

Object: TV-1 slab (sandstone)
(Inscriptions: TV-1.1, TV-1.2)
Position: back
Script: Latin script
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Letter height: 33 cm <br /> – 4 cm
Number of letters: 29
Number of characters: 36
Craftsmanship: engraved
Current condition: fragmentary, damaged
Date of inscription:
Date derived from:

Language: Latin
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: TM 968567



First published by Pellegrini 1964. Autopsied by TIR in October 2014.

Images in Pellegrini & Prosdocimi 1967: 400 (photo) and Morandi 1999: fig. 5, 7, 32 and 33 (photos) and 11 and 34 (drawings).

The Latin inscription was only detected in 1962, after the slab had been taken out of the church wall, where it had been placed with the allegedly Raetic inscription facing outward. Pellegrini, who was the first to mention the finding in 1964, addressed the possibility of a bilingua and expressed his hope for the Latin text shedding light on the Raetic (p. 78). He announced a soon-to-be-published edition of the text by Franco Sartori, professor at the Università di Padova, but although the slab was immediately examined and restored at Padua, no edition has been published. The text is noted and reproduced in the Lingua Venetica with the comment "di dubbia trascrizione" (p. 400); similarly, Mancini refers to "un'iscrizione di età romana di difficile lettura" (p. 278).

The inscription is indeed in a worse state of preservation that the Raetic one, possibly because the surface was not as well prepared. On the left, the lines must be assumed to be complete, as two letters belonging to the Raetic inscription are inscribed on the lateral surface, demonstrating it to be undamaged. On the right, the lines are incomplete, corresponding with the Raetic side. The Latin inscription may have been written on the yet undamaged slab. Line 1 only starts in the centre of the remaining surface (on the level of line 2–line 3 of the Raetic inscription); apart from abrasion damage in the beginning, it is fairly well legible, as is line 2. Below line 2, the left area is taken up by an arrangement of scratches which cannot be considered part of the text, the most conspicuous shape being reminiscent of an oversized North Etruscan A s, incomplete on the left (note that this side of the object is undamaged), accompanied by some three or more shorter vertical scratches. The area between this group and lines 3 and 4 of the text is either empty or abraded; Morandi very tentatively suggests a sequence U2 dI daddS1d s vis before the well legible (rest of) line 3. Line 4, despite the scratches being well discernible, could not so far be made sense of. At the top of the slab, the remains of a horizontal line can be seen – part of a frame? The area between that line and line 1 appears to be empty. If not a trick of the eye due to the closeness of the lines of text, faint pre-drawn lines can be discerned between them.

The first to attempt a reading was Alessandro Morandi (pp. 99–104). Morandi assumes that, as already suspected by Pellegrini 1985: 115 f., the Latin inscription is not connected with the Raetic one, but was inscribed at a later date. He suggests the reading given above (confirmed by our autopsy), and the following interpretation:

]r – a vocative, possibly vir (difficult) or puer?
]cie – Imp. of ciere 'to invoke' (attested in a Christian carmen epigraphicum, see FN 74)
]rudi – uncertain
arci – of arx 'summit, citadel' or arcere 'to ward off' (Imp. arce with Late Latin -i for -e)
die crs – 'in the day of Christ' (CRS being unattested as an abbreviation for Christ*; Morandi suggests contamination with die crastino 'tomorrow')
sa[ – sacra, sacramenta?
vitarivitare (again with Late Latin -i for -e) 'to avoid'
sac[ – sacrilegium?

Morandi consequently interprets the text as a Christian carmen epigraphicum. Based on the shapes of Alpha (with a dot instead of a bar) and Rho, which he compares with identical shapes in the inscription CIL, V, 2096 from Asolo, dated to the Imperial age (see pp. 104–108), he dates it to the 3rd–4th c. AD.

An alternative was suggested to Morandi by Prof. Mazzoleni, who addressed the possibility of the puncts in the inscription being syllabic puncts. In this case the first sequence in line 1 might be read as a female name [Mu]r.cie (for Murciae) (see FN 74).

Seeing as Morandi's reading hinges on the interpretation of CRS as Christi, both it and the dating must be considered doubtful. Moreover, a dot under Rho in the sequence makes a reading cas possible (cp. the second-to-last sign in line 4). Both the scratches in the lower left area and the illegible fourth line require explanation. Also, it must be noted that while the alphabet is clearly Latin, unambiguously Latin words are lacking. While the characters corresponding to CIL, V, 2096 are certainly suggestive, it cannot be excluded that the inscription is considerably younger or older than the Imperial age.

TIR thanks the attendees of the 70th Papyrologisch-epigraphische Werkstatt of the Viennese Department of Ancient History for their input!


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)