5/26/2009 Etruscan Phrases showing Etruscan conjugation and declension patterns and vocabulary.
Translation of short inscriptions.

Translation of Short Inscriptions (continued)
Scripts: BS, FT, AO, LS, NC, AR, HT, FE, V, VD

by Mel Copeland
(from a work published in 1981)

Script BS: Fresco in the "Tomb of the Shields," Tarquinia, 3rd century B.C.
BS-1: FELe
R VR_R AFLE RV FELCHA AP RONAI. [Translation: [FELeR (a popular name) to speak (L. oro-are) the prince / lord (L. aule) I bedew (L. roro-are) of Velche (town in Campania; See also FELKES, TC-307) from (L. a, ab, abs) Ronai (personal name). The man holds a bowl, offering to the sad woman. The bowl is used frequently in Etruscan murals, appearing also in the hands of a withered old man in the Divine_Mirror.html. See also Translation_Short_Scripts.html, or click on the "Back" button below. (Corrected 5.26.09)

Script BS: Fresco in the "Tomb of the Shields," Tarquinia, 3rd century B.C.
BS-6: (left to right) AR ATIA TIV (right to left) TAR APA [Translation (text damaged, hard to read) the altar (L. ara-ae) of Attis the day (L. dies-ei, day; diu, by day; diutiuus, longer; Welsh, dydd; Scot, di) ; the bull (L. taurus-i; It. toro; Fr. taureau; Welsh, tarw; Gr. tavros) he plows (L. aro-are) or alternatively, of the field (L. arvum-i)]
BS-11: CA_ ASIE A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ IANT_ _
BS-15: ET. CE
KANERI TENeR RIALS MASA [Translation: and, even (L. et) : to us (It. ce) of the Chaneri to hold (L. teneo, tenere, tenui, tentum) the royals (L. regius-a-um; It. reale, Fr. royal) of the mass [tomb] (L. massa-ae)]
BS-21: AI ATIE: ERCE 8ISES _ _ _ _ _ _S: RAM_ _ _E: CLES NAS
R [Translation: [ai!, woe! of the Ati (sons of Atys): about / towards, about (L. erga) ......you look at, visit L. visio, visere, visi, visum; It. visione, vision; Fr. viser, to sight) _ _ _ _ _RAM _ _ __E : the keys (L. clavis-is, It. chiave; Fr. clé, clef) to be born (L. nascor-i, natus and gnatus).]
B-25: SILCI ::
[Translation: Silence! (L. silesco-ere, to become silent, grow still; silicernium-i, a funeral feast)]

Note: This mural appears to be of the same man as Script BS-1, and here we have another and older woman, perhaps his mother. She is handing him an egg, a symbol of rebirth. The couch appears to be the same couch in both murals. The script is badly deteriorated. In the former mural Script BS-1 the man must be the departed. The script appears to be a continuation of the other script and this woman offering him an egg may be the mother or mother-in-law. In the first mural the man is sharing a bowl whose contents could be considered to be a drink, possibly like mead, or wine. In the Iliad pouring wine on the pyre in the funeral ceremony was practiced and in the Rig Veda (See Banquet.html) we witness sacred banquets, usually at sunrise, noon, and sunset, centered around the offering of Soma, a drink that appears to have been made from Cannabis (marijuana) plants. The use of Cannabis was also found in Scythian tombs and Soma was used in early Persian (Avestan) rituals. In the Celtic rite we witness warriors being dipped into a magic cauldron and renewed. It appears, therefore, that both the egg offering and the bowl offering represent renewal, which is what the banquet scenes are about. The text, therefore, should tell us what is happening in this rite.

Line BS-7 contains the word ATIA and BS22 ATIE. ATI is used in many scripts, translated as being of the gens Atis / Atys, the Lydian ancestor of the Etruscans. The suffixes "ie" and "ia" correspond to a feminine names appearing in Etruscan scripts, such as those of Persephone ("ie") and Helen ("ai"). The Lydians were known for the extraordinary equality they gave to their women. From them we received the word, lady. The Etruscan burials also represent an unusual equality between the sexes. We may speculate that they followed a matrilineal system.

The Chaneri would appear to be a royal line traced to Atys, father of Tyrsennus, through the mother who assures the departed son by giving him an egg of rebirth. She may, in fact, be one of those buried in the tomb and thus is greeting him in the underworld (Orcus). Musicians and dancers depict a continuation of life after death – as in Egyptian tombs. Except for attendants one would think that all of those painted in banquet scenes would be either recently passed away or ghosts of the dead at the moment of the painting,. The younger lady who is weeping in BS-1 would not appear to be of the dead, and the text seems to follow context of the living girl saying goodby to the dead man, who is of royalty and taking the ship to the Underworld, Orcus. The Chaneri would thus be the royal family of 3rd century B.C.

Script FT: Script is from Ara della Regina temple, Tarquinia, second century B.C.
FT-1: ALCE : FEL : TIPLES Translation: [Some (L. aliqui, aliquae, or aliqua, aliquod; adj. some, aliquis, aliquid, pron. someone, something, anyone, anything) of the great (fel) Tiples (Name, Tiples : "The noble name Tiples is of Greek derivation" ; caption and image from "The Etruscans," by Federica Borrelli and Maria Cristina Targia, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Thus: Something of the great Tiples].

Script AO: Script is from a tomb in Orvieto.
AO-1: AMAR LE ANA TE: Translation: [To love (L. amo-are) there (le) Ana your (te)].

Script LS (photo www.bstorage.com): LS-1 LARO: SENTINATES: CA ESA
[Translation: The ghost / mask (L. aura [laura] -ae, f.) of Sentinates by which way (L. qua) he goes forth (L. exeo-ire-li [ivi]-itum)] Note: changes based upon a better image from www.servius.org (B. Storage photos).

Script NC (photo www.bstorage.com): NC-1 – AR : NAFLIS: CAINA Le:
Translation: [the altar (L. ara f.) of the ships (L. navalis-e, ship; navale-is, station for ships): Caina there (le) or alternatively, of the canal, channel, gutter (It. canale, m; Fr. canal, m., L. fosse)]

Note: This scene is a popular scene in the urns and is believed to be the sons of Oedipus fighting each other, as described in Script SM below. It could represent the battle of the Dioscori (Castor and Pollux), brothers of Helen of Troy, who was queen of Sparta. The two got involved in a battle with their cousins from Messena during which Castor was killed by his cousin Idas and Pollux then killed his cousin Lynceus at the tomb of the Messenian cousin's father. This script probably says: "The altar (from) the ships of the canal," or alternatively "The altar of the ships of Caina there."

Script AR (photo courtesy www.bstorage.com):

Translation: [the altar (L. ara f.) threatened, cursed (L. comminor-ari, to threaten; It. comminare, to comminate, threaten; woe to!) Amei, (person's name or friend (L. amicus, amica; It. amico, amica; Fr. ami, amie) royal (L. regius-a-um; It. reale, Fr. royal)] See Script SM below. This text probably says: "The altar of the threatened, a friend royal." Note: CVMNI is used again in the next urn, SM and thus is probably "threatened" rather than a proper name.

Script SM – This earthenware cinerary urn is from Santa Mustiola, now in the Museo Archeologico, Chiusi. "The deceased is portrayed on the lid in a tunic and cloak, while Polynices and Eteocles appear on the front." Image and caption from "The Etruscans," The J. Paul Getty Museum.
[the altar (L. ara f.) : of the threatened, cursed (L. comminor-ari, to threaten; It. comminare, to comminate, threaten; woe to!) to Ceres, the goddess of bread, grain (L. Ceres-eris), you (te) the loyal, (It. leale, adj., Fr. loyal, adj., L. fidelis, fidus). This text probably says: "The altar of the threatened, cursed, to Ceres, you the loyal."

To appreciate what is going on in the three cinerary urns, CN, AR, SM, the scene of Polynices and Eteocles involves the classic tale of the sons of Oedipus, king of Thebes. The two sons had agreed to rule Thebes jointly after their father's disgrace, but Eteocles did not honor the bargain and banished his brother. This quarrel, the result of Oedipus' curse on his sons, resulted in the war of the Seven Against Thebes and the death of the brothers at each other's hands. Eteocles was succeeded on the throne by his son Laodamas, or by Creon who was perhaps acting as regent for the boy.

Urns could be made out of alabaster for those who could afford it; terra-cotta was used by the end of the second century B.C. for those with less disposable income.
While the themes of the urns are the same, they were not made from the same mold, since there is a change in costumes for the four characters in each scene

Scripts AR and SM have in the hand of the deceased what appears to be bread. It bends in the lap of Script AR. The object can be seen on another cinerary urn from Citta della Pieve, now in the Museo Archeologico, Florence. The Etruscans strongly believed in an afterlife and in some tomb frescos (i.e., Script BS above) the deceased is being handed an egg.

Script HT (photo www.bstorage.com): 8ASTI HERMNE TIVS A FETVS AL
Translation: [list of legal days (L. fasti-orum; It. fasto, Fr. faste, pomp, display) of Hermes (L. Hermes or Herma-ae, m.) the divine (L. dius-a-um) to (L. a) the feast (L. festus-a-um) or probably the age / lifetime (L. aevitas - atis, f., aetas-atis, f.) of it (It al, of the)]

Script MF (Image from Museum Fine Arts, Boston: http://www.mfa.org)

MF-1: VASTIA (8ASTIA) FELSI: LARS (or LARI) LEFVS (or LEFES) [Translation: Fastia, name (probably based on L. fasti-orum; It. fasto, Fr. faste, pomp, display; See HT-1 for fasti) Felsi, name; to the gods (L. Lars, Laris) you raise up (L. levo-are)

Script FE – (Image from De Etruria via "The Search for the Etruscans," James Wellard, Saturday Review Press, NY, 1973). A funeral urn.

CN CE IP IIII [Translation: HVTI (L. hodi, today, at present, still, even now, at once) to you I ate / enjoyed (L. vescor-i, to eat, feed on, to use, enjoy) the great; CN to us (It. ce) there, at that place (L. ibi) four] Note: FESI is used at AN-1.

VD-1 – (Click on image for larger view) L SVPRI INASI ACE [Translation – there (le) above (L. supra; It. sopra) it rose up, upon (L. innascor-nasci-natus) you call (L. accio-aire)
VD-4 – _ _ ALTRA
VSTIA ISLA [Translation – another (It. altri, altro; l. altus, alter) of Ostia? the island (L. insula-ae; It. isola; Fr. ile)

VD-7 – STATA NVS [Translation – it stands / establishes (L. statuo-uere -ui -utum, to cause to stand, place, set up, establish, settle) or alternatively, oil of myrhh (L. stacta-ae and stacte-es) our (L. noster, nostri-orum; It. nostro, nostra, nostri; Fr. nostre, nous)]

Script V: "Alcestis and Admetus"

(From "The Search for the Etruscans," James Wellard, Saturday Review Press, NY, 1973), Vase from Vulci. Click on image for larger view.

Script V:
Translation: "Behold the dawn to us born of the dark the sailing ship of the funeral pile, Alcestis and Admetus." Note: to the left is Charon, the Ferryman of Hades who hits one on the head on entering Hades to assure you are dead; Alcestis is making her offer to her husband, who is threatened by Tuchulcha, the harbinger of death. After dying in her husband's stead, some say that Persephone rescued her from Hades, bringing her to life. Tuchulcha can also be seen threatening Theseus who was also rescued from Hades (See Etruscan_Murals.html).

V-1 – ECA EVS CE: NAC: ATRVM: 8eLER RFCE [Translation: Behold! (L. (L. en!, ecce!) the dawn (L. Eos) to us (It. ce): born (L. nascor-ari); of the dark (L. to pluck out, pull (L. velo, vellere, velli (vulsi, volsi) vulsum) or alternatively, the sailing ship (It. vellero) of the funeral pile (L. rogus-i, m.)

V-8 – ALCeSTI [Translation: Alcestis, daughter of Pelion who married Admetus and was so faithful to her husband, when he was dying he was told that only a substitute willing to die on his behalf will save him. Admetus asked his aging parents if they would give up the remaining years of their lives, but they refused. But Alcestis offered to die on his behalf. It is believed that she was later resurrected by Persephone, Queen of Hades. To the left of her is Charon, also called "The Ferryman" of Hades. He clubbed people on the head to assure that they were dead and would not reenter the land of the living. The character with the serpents may be Tuchulcha. Both demons are pictured in Etruscan tombs.

V-3 ATMITE [Transaltion: Admetus]


(1) Characters that are underlined are hard to read and thus suspect. Characters that are "green" relate to the characters "O" = "R" versus the "D, P, " = "R"; or

= "CH". See the Lemnos_Script.html for the complete alphabet and its use in the scripts. Letters shown in lower case are interpolated letters, not written but understood to be there. It was a common practice of writing among the ancients, probably a hand-me-down from the syllabic scripts from Linear B, Cyprus and the Middle East.

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Upadated: 7.11.04; 8.02.04; 9.05.05; 9.06.05; 11.14.05; 2.02.06; 3.24.06; 8.28.06; 9.18.06; 10.12.06; 5.26.09

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