Etruscan Phrases showing Etruscan conjugation and
declension patterns and vocabulary.
Translation of short inscriptions.
Translation of Short
Scripts: MA, RA, VP, BT, LP, TB, FR, BB, BC, VC, ON,
OM, BE, BD
(from a work published in 1981)
MA-1: ARN(ARNTH) CAIS :
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
= 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."
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
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)
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
VP-1: FELeR VR:
PARTV NVS : LARIS ALISA : CLAN : RAMeRAS : CVCLe NIA Le:
FILi (Filic) : CE
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
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
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
BT-1 — 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
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)]
BT-9 — 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]
BT-14 — 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?)]
[Translation: to you; you watch, guard (It. ronda,
rounds; Fr. rond, adj. round, circular) you deny
(Fr. rener); to hold, possess (L. teneo, tenere,
BT-21 INE E 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]
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,
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)]
LP, "Laris Pulena," Museo Archeologico,
Tarquinia, middle third century B.C.
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.
LP-1 MATRE _ _ _FVRNALAR 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_ _ _]
LP-4 TIV 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,
LP-14 FINITI HA AP 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)]
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.
LP-39 M R_ _ IRI FIR EVR _ _ __ES TALA ARC STIV [Translation: (unreadable)
LP-48 MELE CRIA ICRE 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)
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.
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
Script BB-1 LAS FELVS
A [Translation: ...las (male divinity? See
script DM for lasa, female divinity) of the fleece?
(L. vellus-eris) or alternatively, handsome (L.
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)]
Note: The characters "D" and "O" are rare.
Image from www.ou.ed
Script BC, Charon, ferryman of Hades
BC-1 CHARON (KARVN) [Translation: Charon,
ferryman of Hades (L. Charon-ontis)
BC-2 CHON (KVN KVLIS) [Translation: with (L.
con) caulis, a shepherd's crook? (based on
L. caulae-arum, f. pl. a hole, opening; a
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
VC-1 VNE — Translation: one (L.
unnus-a-um, unius, uni, una; It. un, uno,
una; Fr. Un, une; Welsh, un-au)]
VC-2 CHICHACO (CHICHACHV) — [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)]
VC-3 HEMIIM or HEMIM — [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.."
VC-4 SISA ..VN [Translation: to be
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
|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.
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.
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.
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
[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)]
OM-6 — [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
Royal Ontario Museum, Script OM,
Script BD, Inscribed lead tablet, Pech Maho
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)
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
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)
BE-8 RVST Le RVI MERLvM
R (to next line)
BE-12 RvMVAS .......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
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,
BE-25 ALB NVLA RES
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)
inscriptions in the Royal Ontario Museum" by Rex
Wallace, WallaceENEWS5.pdf, 2006 http://etp.classics.umass.edu/
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