From Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum
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Language: Raetic
Word type: proper noun

Case: pertinentive
Number: singular
Gender: masculine

Morphemic analysis: esimne-si
Meaning: 'of/by Esimne'

Paradigm: esimnesi (pertinentive, singular, masculine), esminu (nominative, singular) (2)
Attestation: ST-3 (esimnesikaszrinuaḷ[?) (1)


Raetic individual name in the pertinentive. The name is attested at least twice in Raetic, and at least five times in Latin inscriptions from Central Europe (Schmeja 1996: 20 f., Scheungraber 2014: 555 ff., Stifter 2013: 110 ff.):

a) Raetic

ST-3 esimnesi
SZ-87 esminu
SZ-15.1 esiunne
MA-14 esiumninu

The testimony of ST-3 is the only definite attestation in Raetic. The patronym esminu with metathesis and haplology (unknown to Scheungraber and Stifter) is likely to belong here. The other two forms with iu in the stem are problematic. Schürr 2003: 283 f. deduces a sound change iu > i; Stifter 2013: 111 suggests that u may be one option to try and reflect a bilabial nasal fricative foreign to Raetic in writing. Cp. also esumne, which is attested only once in Raetic, but can be connected with the common Gaul. PN exomnus with a straightforward etymology *exs-omno-s 'without fear'. The name esimne is not attested in Etruscan, which indeed does not appear to share a lot of onomastic material with Raetic. A Raetic etymology can obviously not be offered; a name with a parallel structure is piθamne, which is attested once in Venetic Cadore and once in Etruscan Spina, suggesting a Venetic origin. The auslaut -e is typically Raetic, but may well be substituted for IE -os, esp. as -e is conveniently identical to the ending of the IE vocative.

b) Latin

AE 1940, 115 = AE 2004, +1013 STERIO EXIMNII F(ILIUS) F(OCUNAS) MILES [...] EX C(O)HOR(TE) RAET(ORUM) ET VENDEL(ICORUM) (Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz; 1–70 AD)
AE 1984, 707 P(UBLIO) TENATIO ESSIMNO [...] DOMO IULIA TRIDENTUM (Passau, Bayern; 151–250 AD)
AE 1985, 689 T(ITUS) ESSIMNIUS TERTIUS (Osterburken, Baden-Württemberg; 171–231 AD)
AE 2004, +1089 NOUELLA ESSIBNI F(ILIA) (Eggstätt, Bayern; 182 AD)
AE 1891, 172 ]SIMNI F(ILIO) COND[R]US(O) (Eining, Bayern; 161–168 AD)
TS 37.6 EXSIBUUS (Bath, GB; 175–275)
TS 57.1 EXSIB[UUS] (Bath, GB; 175–275)

For the complete inscription texts, details and maps, see the discussions by Scheungraber and Stifter. While the testimonies from England, provided that they do belong here, support Scheungraber's formally unobjectionable Celtic etymology *exs-imno-s 'without compare' (p. 563 f., also Stifter p. 104 ff.), the cumulation of attestations in the South-East – Sterio, though buried in Mainz, is clearly from Southern Bavaria – well as the chronology point towards an Eastern Alpine core area. Surius of the Catenates could, according to the Tropaeum Alpium, be a Vindelician Celt; the Celtic affiliation of Sterio of the Focunates is doubtful. P. Tenatio Essimno, on the other hand, is from Raetic Trento. Stifter therefore inclines toward a Raetic (or Camunic) origin of the name. (It has to be observed, of course, that autochtonous attestations of a Gaulish PN as early as the Raetic ones could only be expected from the Italo-Celtic or Gaulish inscription corpora, and may be missing by chance.) Stifter (p. 115 ff.) also points to the fact that (excluding the British cases) the name is only once spelled with <X>, although Sigma for ks is rare in Latin inscriptions of the Early Imperial period, preferring one case of hypercorrect spelling (of a Raetic name with s) over the consistent misspelling of a Celtic name with ks. Other individual names in Raetic inscriptions for which Celtic etymologies can be offered are the abovementioned esumne, and kaθiave.

c) Other

Bl 2 es[ ]niiuikuru
PC-16 esi?msz?

The Venetic attestation in Bl 2 (Belluno) is amended to Esiiumniui Kuru by Schürr 2003b: 385 f., which is not impossible – Venetic does share onomastic material with Raetic – but cannot be conclusively argued. The Camunic testimony PC-16 from Piancogno, also adduced by Schürr (p. 387 f.) in support of his "Euganean" derivation of the name, is even more doubtful – the reading given above is from Tibiletti Bruno 1990: 63, but Zavaroni 2001: 740 reads eu3imu3s, more recently eu3kmu3s (Zavaroni 2005: 1).