From Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum
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Language: Raetic
Word type: unknown

Meaning: unknown

Attestation: BZ-4 (tevaśniχesiutikuθiuθisaχvilititerisnaθi), BZ-26 (?]i:terisṇ[), NO-13 (ṭerisna), SL-1 (terisna), SR-4 (θul·te?·s[?/$ teris·ṇ[), SR-6 (aṛụseθar·̣nateris·̣nạ), SR-9 (?]θ̣ṣ́ieṛịṣna) (7)


Arguably formed with the derivational suffix -na, expressing affiliation/appurtenance, known from Etruscan. However, the suffix is not certainly attested in its lexical function in Raetic. An interpretation of the form as a name, as favoured by Marstrander 1927: 19 ff. and Morandi 1999: 56 (also 2000, 2003: 346), is unlikely, as the word, despite its comparatively frequent attestation, never appears in one of the pertinent casus (genitive, pertinentive) or together with an individual name.

Rix 1998: 48 (n. 2) compares Etruscan zeri, which is translated as 'all, everyone' by Vetter 1924: 149. An adjective derived with the genitival suffix -na Etr. *zerisna 'belonging to everyone' = 'public' would correspond to Raet. terisna. This theory is expanded by Heiner Eichner with his interpretation of Lemn. zari[ 'for everybody'. The word, attested twice fragmentarily on potsherds from the Kabiri sanctuary at Chloi, appears to make a pair with novaisna (six attestations), which is interpreted as 'belonging to the Gods' = 'sacred' (Beschi 2000: 99, Agostiniani 2012: 185, Cristofani 2003: 219). (Besides the more or less complete attestations of full words, there is a large number of ceramics with single nu or zeta, thought to be the corresponding abreviations. The material is published in Beschi 2000: 73–94.). Eichner (p.c.) analyses the latter form as nu-v-aiz-na 'sacro-sanctum' (with the glide w reflected in writing; for nu- cf. Etr. nu-na-r [with variants] 'taboo' vel sim.), and emends zari[ to zarisna (from zarizna by dissimilation) 'belonging to everyone'. Such a pairing of 'sanctus' – 'publicus' on the pottery is supported by documents from the younger Greek tradition of the sanctuary. (Only ἵερός/ἵερά/ἵερόν, however, is written on vessels; δημοσία appears stamped onto bricks – probably reused – from the Late Roman telesterion [see Beschi 2000: 100–135]). Eichner also compares zeronai on the Kaminia stela (2012b: 28, note 85, 2013: 37, n. 11 with reference to the translation of Steinbauer 1999: 501 Etr. zeri 'free'). The sound value of the letter which Eichner has designated "Quasi-Zeta" ([ts] vs. [s]) is still under discussion (e.g. Eichner 2012b: 13 ff., Agostiniani 2012: 180 ff.); the variation in the stem vowel also remains to be explained.

Rix 2000 further compares problematic zêrśna on the Tabula Cortonensis (ET 2 AC a4) to the equation. The common reading is têrśna with tau T s rather than zeta Z s, but the character is damaged in the lower area, so that zeta cannot be excluded (ibid.: 13, n. 6). Meiser in ET 2 includes both options in the index. The meaning of the word in the first section of the text, which seems to be concerned with the number or amount of the commodities negotiated in the contract, is unclear. (Overviews of possible interpretations can be found in Wallace 2008: 197 ff. and Amann 2005.) It is likely to stand in opposition to raśna 'public' in the following line, so while the semantic field would be appropriate, in Rix's translation the word would have to be a synonym. In light of the doubtful anlaut, it is not clear that it is a derivation of zeri. têrśna would correspond exactly to Raet. terisna: both <ê> (from compensatory lengthening, see Eichner 2006: 217) and <ś> ("lariś-rule" = palatalisation of s before i in the North Etruscan dialect area, see Eichner 2011: 76; more detailed Eichner 2012: 19–26) point to syncopated i.

The connection of terisna with the zeri-group, which presupposes the traditional interpretation of the letter as a third character for the dental affricate and consequent reading as z (see T), and/or z/têrśna is most tenuous. A meaning 'public' would theoretically fit well on the helmets (SL-1, BZ-26), where the word might mark the piece of armoury as belonging not to an individual, but to a community, to be dispensed to helmless individuals in times of conflict; it makes less sense on votive gifts.


Agostiniani 2012 Luciano Agostiniani, "Sulla grafia e la lingua delle iscrizioni anelleniche di Lemnos", in: Vicenzo Bellelli (Ed.), Le origini degli Etruschi. Storia Archeologia Antropologia, Roma: 2012, 169–194.
Amann 2005 Petra Amann, "Die Tabula Cortonensis. Ein epigraphischer Neufund aus Etrurien und seine unterschiedlichen Interpretationen", in: Franziska Beutler, Wolfgang Hameter (Eds.), „Eine ganz normale Inschrift“ ... und Ähnliches zum Geburtstag von Ekkehard Weber. Festschrift zum 30. April 2005, Wien: 2005, 179–196.
Beschi 2000 Luigi Beschi, "Cabirio di Lemno: Testimonianze letterarie ed epigrafiche", Scuola archeologica di Atene e delle missioni italiane in oriente 74–75 (nuova serie 58–59) (1996–97 [2000]), 7–145.
Cristofani 2003 Mauro Cristofani, "Nuove iscrizioni "tirreniche" da Lemno", in: Graziella Fiorentini, Maria Caltabiano, Anna Calderone, Archeologia del Mediterraneo. Studi in honore di Ernesto de Miro [= Bibliotheca Archaeologica 35], Roma: 2003, 219–222.
Eichner 2006 Heiner Eichner, "Das E von Cortona und das etruskische Phonemsystem", in: Petra Amann, Marco Pedrazzi, Hans Taeuber, Italo – Tusco – Romana, Vienna: 2006, 209–220.
Eichner 2011 Heiner Eichner, "Anmerkungen zum Etruskischen in memoriam Helmut Rix", Alessandria 5 (2011), 67–92. (= Atti del Convegno Internazionale Le lingue dell'Italia antica in memoriam Helmut Rix)
Eichner 2012 Heiner Eichner, "Sakralterminologie und Pantheon der Etrusker aus sprachwissenschaftlicher Sicht", in: Petra Amann (Ed.), Kulte – Riten – religiöse Vorstellungen bei den Etruskern und ihr Verhältnis zu Politik und Gesellschaft. Akten der 1. Internationalen Tagung der Sektion Wien/Österreich des Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi ed Italici (Wien, 4. – 6. 12, 2008) [= ÖAW Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Denkschriften 440], Wien: 2012, 17–46.
Eichner 2012b Heiner Eichner, "Neues zur Sprache der Stele von Lemnos (Erster Teil)", Journal of Language Relationship / Voprosy jazykovogo rodstva 7 (2012), 9–32.
Eichner 2013 Heiner Eichner, "Neues zur Sprache der Stele von Lemnos. (Zweiter Teil)", Journal of Language Relationship 10 (2013), 1–42.
ET 2 Gerhard Meiser, Valentina Belfiore, Sindy Kluge (Eds), Etruskische Texte. Editio minor, revised edition [= Studien zur historisch-vergleichenden Sprachwissenschaft Band 4], Hamburg: Baar 2014. (2 volumes)
Lunz & Morandi 2003 Reimo Lunz, Alessandro Morandi, "Un frammento di elmo di bronzo con iscrizione retica da Settequerce – Siebeneich", Archeologia Classica LIV (2003), 341–349.
Marstrander 1927 Carl Johan Sverdrup Marstrander, "Remarques sur les inscriptions des casques en bronze de Negau et de Watsch", Avhandlinger utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo. Hist.-filos. klasse 1926/2 (1927), 1–26.