07.12.13 Etruscan Phrases showing Etruscan conjugation and declension patterns and vocabulary.
Translation of short inscriptions.

Translation of Short Inscriptions (continued)
Scripts: MA, RA, VP, BT, LP, TB, FR, BB, BC, VC, ON, OM, BE, BD   

by Mel Copeland
(from a work published in 1981)

Script MA:

S : CVPVS: CFLVCA. [Translation: Arnth Caius / Gaius the wealthy (L. copiosus-a-um, richly provided, wealthy, abundant, of speech, eloquent; It. copioso, abundant, copius; Fr. copieux, copius, abundant, plentiful) or alternatively, in the jar (It. coppo, m.) he is placed, stationed (It. collocare) ] Note: the word CVPVS was read by Borrelli and Targia as "Cutu" who say the "Cutu were a family of freed servants who were recognized by the nobles of the city. This urn is from the same studio that produced that of the 'Volumnii.'" The word is either copus or copum. The "S" in CAIS does not match with the "S" in CVPVS, suggesting that the terminal letter may be an "M." However, a colon / punctuation mark follows the character and encroaches upon the space required by the placement of a tag as in . The "F" and "V" in CFLVCA are of interest since they differentiate the "U" and the "V" ; thus, CULOCA.

The scene with a man between two griffins suggests the guarding of wealth. The griffin is a fabulous beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. The legend of the griffins is Asiatic in origin and was widely known in Greece through Aristeas of Proconnesus, who claimed that griffins guarded hoards of gold from their warlike and greedy neighbors, the Arimaspians. Herodotus suggested that the story of these creatures reached Greece through the Scythians. Griffins are known to have been one of the stylized animal forms in Scythian art.

Based upon the symbolism in the art of the urn, the person was no doubt wealthy. We may be tempted to think that he was a glutton, in CFLVCA, but it is doubtful that family members would have placed an epitaph suggesting a glutton (L. gula-ae, throat; gulosus-a-um, gluttonous; It. gola, throat, golosso, glutton) on this urn. He may have been from a place such as Golosa, Liguria, in northern Tuscany. Arnth is a rare word and often ARN
R (O = R) is read as Arnth. In this case the character used is the target
, the Greek theta.

Travertine urn from Monteluce, now in Perugia, Museo Archeologico. 3rd century B.C. Image from "The Etruscans," by Federica Borrelli and Maria Cristina Targia, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2003.

"Arnus Gaius the wealthy he is stationed."

Script RA

Script RA, Cinerary urn, 150-100 B.C., British Museum, "Ancus the king." (Image: McManus, vroma.org)

The first word on this urn is difficult to read, but the legend has been given as "Thana Ancarui Thelesa." We need a better image, but a closer examination of the image in Photoshop suggests the following:

RA-1 A SINAANCA RVI THELESA (ELESA). [Translation: by, at, from (L. a) Sina (Siena, Italy) Ancus (L. Ancus-i) the king; a delight (L. delicae-orum; It. delizia; Fr. délice)

Script VP:

Script VP: Sarcophagus of "Velthur Partunus," Circa. 480-320 B.C., Tarquinia, Museo Archeologico. Image from "The Etruscans," by Federica Borrelli and Maria Cristina Targia, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

VP-1: FELe
ANERI (KANERI, CHANERI) : TENeRAS : AFIL CE AL RAS : XXXII [Translation: The ship (L. velum-i, a sail; It. vellero, Fr. voilier, sailing ship) of the boundary, coast (L. ora-ae, f.) : to part (L. partio-ire; It. spartire; Fr. partager) us, ours (L. nos) : the gods (L. Lar, Laris, Lares) Alisa; clan (L gens, tribus; It. tribu, Fr. clan, m.) RAMeRAS or RASeRAS: Cocle (L. Cocles, Roman cognomen, esp. of Horatius Cocles, the Roman who defended the bridge over the Tiber against Porsenna, after the Romans expelled Tarquin the Proud in 510 B.C.) new (L. novus-a-um; Gr. nous, nea) there (le) : successful, fruitful (L. felix-icis) to us (It. ce) the Chaneri : you held, kept (L. teneo, tenere, tenui, tentum [teneras]); he/she dwelt / had (L. habeo-ere) to us (It. ce) to the (It. al) tribe (It. razza; alternatively, Rasna, Rasne, Etruscans) 52 [years].

(1) RAMe
RAS might be RASeRAS, however the character on closer inspection appears to be . Script Z709 carries the word RASR (L. rado, radere, rasi, rasum, to scrape, shave, graze, to erase, hurt, offend). RASeRAS may be RASeR AS (L. as-asgis, m. a whole unit, divided into 12 parts). The Etruscans were composed of a confederation of 12 cities.

(2) The Chaneri (
KANERI) are mentioned at BS17, a fresco in the "Tomb of the Shields" in Tarquinia. They are referred to as royalty.

Script BT

Script BT:

SILiCI CEISIN EISIFe [Translation: The stone (L. silex-icis any hard stone, such as flint, crag, rock, cliff); they ask for (L. quaeso-ere) you denied their oath (L. eiuro and eiero-are) I sail (L. veho-vehere)]
BT-5 ESIC Fe Fe CLEFSINAS [Translation: I follow to the end, follow to the grave, keep up (L. exsequor-sequi-sectus) of us (It. ce); I sail (L. veho-vehere) I sail (L. veho-vehere) of Clusium (Clusium-i, adj. Clusinus-a-um)]
TEIS RVIS RVTaS SSV [Translation: the gods (L. deus divus) of the kings (L. Fr. roi, m. L. rex, regis) you whirl around, brandish (L. roto-are) SS ; O]
VMIS (end of text, blank space) IPAILRCF [Translation: you moisten, bedew (L. umeo-[hu]-ere); Ipa (name, used also at Z1153, Z1183, Z1227) of Ilircu (L. Ilyrii-orum?)]
TI RVNIS RENeS TENAR [Translation: to you; you watch, guard (It. ronda, rounds; Fr. rond, adj. round, circular) you deny (Fr. rener); to hold, possess (L. teneo, tenere, tenui, tentum)]
SIS SFA LENI T [Translation: you swim, sail over? (L. inno-nare); from (L. e, ex) to be willing, to want (L. si vis, sis = si vis) he joins together (L. suo, suere, sui, sutum) the linen thread, lines (L. linea-ae, f.) T]
BT-27 AR
ILRCF AF TENARA [Translation: the altar, place (L. ara, f.) Ilircu (Ilyrii-orum?) I carry off (L. aveho-vehere-vexi-vectum) he shall hold (L. teneo, tenere, tenui, tentum)
BT-31 SE8ATE Le TRE LVAEI [Translation: himself (L. se, sese) the prophet, bard (L. vates-is) there you take up, pull (L. traho, trahere, traxi, tractum); he expiates, atones for (L. luo, luere, lui, luiturus) oh! (L. ai, oh, ei, woe)
BT-37 IC AM SANaR VNIAM [Translation: here, now (Fr. ici) I love (L. amo-are) to heal, restore (L. sano-are) of the goddess Uni (Juno); I love (l. amo-are)]

Script LP, "Laris Pulena," Museo Archeologico, Tarquinia, middle third century B.C.

This script is difficult to read using the existing image and is my first attempt. When I get a better image, I will be able to improve this translation.

LAR TE RVI LAFAALR_ _ _ [ Translation: mother (L. mater) or master (Fr. maître, master, patron) _ _ _oven (L. furnus-i, m.): of the god (Lar, Laris, m.) your (L. te) of the king (Fr. roi) he washes (L. lavo, lavare or lavere, lavi, lautum, to wash, bathe, to moisten, wet, to wash away) ALR_ _ _]
VRVS _ _ _ _ CI RVMI SI PVLIS LARIS AR TH_ SIPE_ [Translation: Daily? (L. diurnus-a-um) you plead (L. oro, orare, oravi, oratum [ores] _ _ _ _he who/ those (L. qui, quae, quod; It. chi) of the Romans (L. Roma-ae, f.) if (L. si) the sky, heaven (L. polus-i, m.); the gods (L. Lar, Laris m.) of the altar (L. ara-ae) : th_ often (L. saepe, often, frequently)]
RVR RAL SCASCE CREATS TARKII TIVS PIA [Translation: you limited (L. finio-ire, to bound, limit, enclose, restrain; to define, determine, appoint, put an end to, conclude, finish, esp. to finish speaking, or to die) he has? (L. habeo-ere) after, from; I bedew (L. roro-are) I scoff at (Fr. railler) you investigate / ordain (L. scisco, sciscire, scivi, scitum, to investigate, inquire; polit. to vote, ordain, resolve) the election? (L. creatio-onis, f., choice, election); of the Tarquins the divine (L. dius-a-um); the godly, holy (L. pius-a-um)]
LUCI TIA CFITA VRCFA CARA Ce FARMI RI PIT SVLV [Translation: I go back, return (L. remeo-are); you set (L. loco-are, to place, put, set, esp. to give in marriage, to contract for work to be done); Dia (L. Dia-ae, f., the mother of Mercury) he meets, unites with (L. coeo-ire-li-ivi-itum, to go or come together, assemble), the boundary (L. or) he assembles, secures (L. coeo-ire-ivi-itum); alternatively he unites with Orcus (Hades; L. Orcus-i, Orcus, the infernal regions; transf. the god of the lower world, death); he cares for (L. curo-are) here (Fr. ici) the farms, farming (Fr. ferme, f., farm, farming; It. fattoria, farm; L. agrigultura, res rusticae, farming) of things (L. res, ri); I appease? (L. pio-are) to make solitary (L. solo-are)]
LP-39 M R_ _ IRI
FIR EVR _ _ __ES TALA ARC STIV [Translation: (unreadable)
TIVS CHIMV LVSI _ _ PRAI IPSI MARS CERIS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _[Translation: the honey, pleasantness (L. mel, mellis) he produced (L. creo-are) of Icre; god (L. dius-a-um); Chimos of the lights (L. lux, lucis) _ _ before (L. prae) himself (L. ipse-a-um); Mars?; of the goddess Ceres (L. Ceres-eris, Roman goddess of agriculture; transf. bread, grain, corn) _ _ _ _ _ _ _]
LP-59 FAR HA PVI AIRS TIV R_SRE – SI ATI [Translation: grain, meal (L. far, farris) he has (L. habeo-are); Truly! by Pollux! (L. poi) the air (L. aer, aeris, m.) divine (L. dius-a-um) R_SRE (unreadable)
LP-70 (unreadable)
LP-80 (unreadable)

Lake Trasimene Bronze, Script TB

TB-1 ...SANS LeCFER [Translation: ...I cure (L. sano-are, to heal, cure, restore) there (le) to assemble (L. coeo-ire)] Note: This short inscription of a boy holding a bird, Vatican Museum, found near Lake Trasimene, carries two important words used in other texts. CFER declines.

Script FR:

FR-1: EL RVI ES [Translation: her (L. eius, illius; It. ella; Fr. elle, elles) king, regent (L. rex, regis; It. re; Fr. roi) you are (L. sum, esse, fui, futurus)]

FR-4 ARFEN (word unknown)

This image is a composite. Click on image for actual Etruscan mural from the Tomb of Francoise.

Bronze, Boy with a bird, Script BB


A [Translation: ...las (male divinity? See script DM for lasa, female divinity) of the fleece? (L. vellus-eris) or alternatively, handsome (L. bellus-a-um)]
BB-3 ...S SE LARIS V_ [Translation: ...himself, itself (L. se, sese; It. si; Fr. se) of the gods (L. lar, laris)..]
BB-5 ...E DOMO [Translation: ...from (L. e, ex) home (L. domus-us, house, home; domo, from home) or alternatively, to tame, conquer (L. domo, domare)]

BB-6 (unreadable)

Note: The characters "D" and "O" are rare.

Image from www.ou.ed

Script BC, Charon, ferryman of Hades

KARVN) [Translation: Charon, ferryman of Hades (L. Charon-ontis)
KVN KVLIS) [Translation: with (L. con) caulis, a shepherd's crook? (based on L. caulae-arum, f. pl. a hole, opening; a sheep-fold)
BC-3 LIS (part of line BC-2)

Note: This scene from an Etruscan tomb shows Charon holding an unusual tool which looks like it is designed to catch the neck of an animal. On the opposite wall is the picture of a man attempting to escape from the tomb. "konkolis" may be the name of the implement.

Script VC, vase from Cerveteri, Vatican Museum
(Image from "The Etruscans," Raymond Bloch, 1969)

Translation: one (L. unnus-a-um, unius, uni, una; It. un, uno, una; Fr. Un, une; Welsh, un-au)]

[Translation: a potion from hemlock? (L. cicuta-ae, f. hemlock, poison extracted from the hemlock; a shepherd's pipe, made of hemlock stalk) or alternatively, sweet (It. chicca, f. sweet, candy; chiazza, f., mottle, stain, spot) or a potion made from a grape, grain or seed (It. chicco)]

[Translation: ~half a pint (L. hemina-ae, a measure of capacity, about half a pint)] Note: This Bucchero vase is 6 3/4 in. high. A US pint is 16 ounces; thus, it appears that this vase contained about 250 mililiters or 1 US cup. The is rarely used and in the Formello alphabet is positioned as follows: ABCDFEIHIbLMN...

The H is used more frequently than this sign and can be seen in the verb habeo, to have: HA, HIA, HV. The "M" in VC-3 is written like the "M" in the Formello alphabet, though there is a downward stroke appearing as the "i" contacting the character. But there is an adjacent character, "i," between it and the next "M." Etruscan texts normally read from right to left, but the criteria for the direction of reading is by the direction the characters face. In this vase the characters face to the right.

If the first word, VC-1, is "one," then "Hemiim" would be 1st declension singular, accusative, Latin suffix "-am." The suffix "im" occurs freqently in Etruscan.

A proof of this script can be provided by the Vatican performing a test to determine whether the vase contains one US cup of fluid. This vase resembles the alabastron vases used to contain ointment, but the alabastron vases have rounded bottoms (See Bill Thayer, "George Dennis – Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, Appendix on Vases."). Albastron vases can be seen being carried by Etruscan women in many Etruscan Murals on the "Etruscan Phrases" site.

We can see that this small vase is designed to hold a liquid and to stand on a table, suggesting that it was frequently used. Thus, we may read VC-1 through VC-3, "One grain, a cup.."

SISA ..VN [Translation: to be determined]

VC-5 SISA SVSE CHI [Translation: parted (L. scindo, scindere, to cut, rend, split, divide, separate; part. scissus-a-um; It. scisso; Fr. scindere, to divide) double (L. duplex; It. sosia, suisare, to alter; Fr. double) thatL. qui, quae, quod; It. chi; Fr. qui) or alternatively, some (L. quae or qua)]

VC-6 ATI TATOE (TATVE) [Translation: to the Ati? by so much (L. tantus-a-um; of such a size, so great; abl. tanto, by so much)]

VC-7 AS VSTVX CACH (CAK or IAK) [Translation: a whole unit of 12 parts, possibly a weight, as a pound (L. as, assis, m.) ostox, istox (unreadable, possibly, L. iuxta, iuxtim, close by, near, in like manner, equally, near to, just short of) Bacchus, wine? (L. Iacchus-i, name of Bacchus; meton. wine)]

Thus, this seems to be a bottle, possibly for the Ati, a gens mentioned frequently in Etruscan texts, whose contents may have been one cup of sweet wine.

Script ON
(Image from:
(Pennsylvania State University), Erotic Art of Ancient Rome: via www.the-goldenrule.name)

ON-1 TVTHE TVO [Translation: All , entire (L. total, entire (L. tutus-a-um; totius, toti; It. totale, tutto; Fr. tout; Welsh, tuath) two (L. duo-ae)

ON-3 LOTUOI (LOTVOI) L. lotos-us, name of several African plants; L. lotus-i, f. lotos.; lotus-a-um, partic. from lavo. (L. lavo, lavare, or lavere, lavi, lautum, or lotum or lavatum, to wash, bathe, to moisten, wet, to wash away. Actors appear to be bathing someone.

ON-4 KV _C

ON-5 TVODEITCHES (TVODEIXES) L. duodecie(n)s, twelve

ON-6 IU (IV) OE IUOT (IVOT) NOTYEIS F [Translation : Io OE? she helps, aids (L. iuvo, iuvat, 3rd person sing. present) Nycteis or probablyNyctimene. Io was an Argive girl loved by Jupiter and changed into a cow; Polydorus, Pentheus' successor and son of Cadmus, married Nycteus' daughter Nycteis, who bore him Labdacus. Dying while the child was still young, the king made Nycteus regent, to rule during Labdacus' childhood. Nycteus (king of Thebes) had trouble with his daughter Antiope who attracted the roving eye of Zeus who laid with her in the guise of a Satyr. When Antiope became pregnant she fled Thebes and took refuge in Sicyon where she married King Epopeus. Nyctimene was a daughter of Epopeus, king of Lesbos. When her father raped her, Nyctimene hid in the woods for shame. Athena pitied her and made her an owl, which does not appear in the daylight.

ON-9 NOCTVA (L. noctua-ae, f. owl)?

Note: If the word duodecies, twelve, appears in this image, it would be presumed that the vase carries twelve acts involving Dionysus.

Script OM

Royal Ontario Museum, Script OM This script is on an "urn" located in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. The images were supplied by Beth Knox, curator of antiquities at the Royal OntarioMuseum, to Rex Wallace, Department of Classics, University of Massachusetts, Amherts, MA. The images are identified as Hayes G13 and G15. They are of two cinerary urns of a cylindrical type common at Chiusi. The inscription on G13 was painted in dark red. (1)

OM-1 [G13] FET NEPFIS CN AL SEK [Translation: The feast, holiday (L. fetura-ae, It. festa; Fr. fête) of Nepuis (name, related to L. nepos-otis, grandson, nephew?) CN (initial Cn, for L. Cnaeus-i) to, by the (It. al) six (L. secus, indecl. sex) or alternatively rye (L. seges-etis, It. segale; Fr. seigle)]

[G15] AA HA TEI FINAR [Translation: AA (Maker's mark?) he, it has (L. habeo-ere; It. avere, Fr. avoir) god (L. deus, divus, di, divi, dea, diva; It. dio, dia; Fr. dieu, dieux, deese) to finish, bind, limit, enclose, apppoint, finish by speaking, or to die (L. finio-ire)]

Royal Ontario Museum, Script OM, G15:

Script BD, Inscribed lead tablet, Pech Maho (France). 
BD-1 FE FVLS          IS  You, to you, Enclit. or perhaps (It. ve)  you ordain (L. volo, velle, volui, Ind. Pres. 2nd Pers. single vis, volas)  he, that person or thing (L. is, ea, id)
BD-4 SEKE KIS NEF 8EKI he cuts, parts (L. seco, secare, Conj. Pres. 3rd Pers. Pres. secet ; It. seccare; Fr. sécher) who, those, that (L. quis, quid) or not, and (L. neve or neu) he excited, stirred up (L. vegeo-ere, 3rd Pers. Single Perf. veguit)
BD-8 FENE LVIKAVTAFV he will come, arrive (L. venio, venire, Ind. Fut. veniet; It. venire; Fr. venir) I expiated, loosed (L. luo, luere, 1st Pers. Perf. lui) by which way, whereby, as far as (L. ca) he was at leisure, rest (L. otior-ari, 3rd Pers. Single Imperf. otiebat)
BD-11 8EI TFA KI FENMIS Veii he would watch over (L. tueo-are, Conj. Pres. 3rd Pers. Single tueat) that which, who, whereby (L. qui, quae, quod) I arrive, come  (L. venio, venire, Ind. Pres. 1st Pers. Single venio; It. venire; Fr. venir); I deplore (L. miseror-ari, Ind. Pres. 1st Pers. Single, misero)
BD-16 MATALIAMEL Matalia (person's name) the honey, sweetness, pleasantness (L. mel, mellis)

SIK 8INV TVS thus, in this way (L. sik) by the vinyard, wine (L. vinum-i, Abl. Single -o) thine (L. tuus-a-um)

Script BE, Etruscan soldier's bulla

BE-1 RARS TVRM SAL  Rare (L rarus-a-um) the troop, company (L. turma-ae) I am in good health (L. salveo-ere, Ind. Pres. 1st Pers. Single salveo)

BE-4 FE LVS P CH M SAL you, to you? (It. ve, vi; L. enclit., or, or perhaps) the light  (L. lux, lucis; Tocharian, luks; Lycian, luga; Hittite, lukkai) a peace (L. pax pacis) healthy (L. salus-utis, health, soundness, safety, welfare, well-being, salvation)

MERLvM R (to next line)

.......IMSEL of the Romans (L. Roma-ae, Acc. Pl. -as) her (L. illus, eius)

BE-14 ALPAN TELEII Alban (L. Albanus-a-um) land, earth (L. tellus-oris, 2nd Decl. Gen. Single-i)

BE-16 EAT TAREIC (C to next line) likewise (L. eadem) Tarraco-onis, town in Spain

PENeRI FEL I hide (L. caeco-are, Ind. Pres. 1st Pers. Single caceo); the provisions (L. Penarius-a-um, 2nd Decl. Nom Pl. -i) the  great (fel)

SILCILAR from blemis, disgrace (L. labes-is, 3rd Decl. Abl. -e) the god (L. lars, penates, household gods, goddesses)

  Alp, name of a god? he was unwilling, wished not to refuse (L. nolo, nolle, nolui, Conj. Imperf. 3rd Pers. Single nollet) the matter(s), thing(s)


(1) "Etruscan inscriptions in the Royal Ontario Museum" by Rex Wallace, WallaceENEWS5.pdf, 2006 http://etp.classics.umass.edu/

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