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The Etruscan scripts were written and read from right to left. You read in the direction the letters are facing. For the convenience of the reader who is used to reading from left to right I have laid in this work the Etruscan phrases reading from left to right. The Zagreb Mummy script, the longest extant script, follows the writing system/grammar of the other scripts on the Etruscan_Phrases.html and (no frame version) Etruscan_Phrases.a.html.
The words and phrases in the original "catalog" occupied 60 pages of handwritten text. These pages were written by hand to reflect the actual Etruscan characters used. The beginning of each phrase in which a word was used carried the location of the word/phrase. For instance, the first word listed is CVKV, location N1 (meaning it is the first word in the script I identified as script "N").
I began with CVKV because it is a verb "coger", probably meaning "to know". So here we go with a new experiment, trusting that those who are interested in translating the Etruscan language will tolerate the modifications I have done to render it readable on the web.
One of the texts which is shown in the lower frame is from Perugia, called the Perugia Cippus, and it, identified as script "K", carries a list of kings and queens. The word for queen is "rinf" and king is rendered "rina, rino". Years after publishing the "catalog" I saw a bust in bronze of a beautiful woman in the Etruscan exhibit in the Louvre, Paris, which had Queen Sarina's name inscribed on the forehead of the bronze. Reading right to left you will see her name as follows:
ANIRAS FNIR = in Etruscan ANIPA FNIO. "O" = "R"; the = "S"; the "P" = "R"; and the "F" is rare and the scribes seemed to have preferred rendering it as an "8". Both letters are also used as vowels. They also used "PH", as in the word, PHARI, PHAREII. The word Viri Viren is spelled 8IRI, 8IREN. There are two verbs which sound alike: FAR and 8AR. At first I thought the scribes were interchanging F & 8 with respect to the same verb. After uploading the Zagreb text I came to better appreciate the consistancy of usage of the F & 8. The letter "M" had an extra stroke on it to differentiate it from the "S". In ancient times the consonant which the Etruscans used as an "s" was derived from a stroke signifying water. They also used another "S". The consonant K was written as a "K" and also as an arrow , which may also be a "CH". Also the "K" was written with a "C", as in Latin and English. The "Q" is rare and will be found in the word, QECE. The sound "th" was written as , but we see in the scripts (Eugubine) where, in the word "citu", the scribe usually writes CITV; in the same, very often repeated phrase he used on one ocassion the . Thus, we know that what is probably indicated by this sign is the letter "T". In a more famous inscription this character appears in the following context, from the famous King Thanchulis' tomb: (Script "A1"): ECA SVTHI (SVI) THANKVILVS (ANKVILVS) MASNI AL.
The "ph" sound was written as: Ø. The hard "F" sound was written as an "8"; it seems to have doubled as a consonant and a vowel. The "F" differs, as in FAR, FAC. The "H" was written as a vertical box with a horizontal line in the middle, other times as an H and sometimes being a substitute for the letter "E". Sometimes we see a character which is a "Z", connoting a hard "s" sound. The "V" seems to have doubled in use as a "V" and a vowel, "O". It also appears as a: . There is an omega in one script, written as: ; this script, it turns out, involved spelling errors since this character is an S and the word before it, AIR, had the A upside down.. The gamma occurs as: . Where it is used we use the "Y". The Greek "L", Lambda , occurs in one script where we have read the word, "Lune", "moon". Usually "L" is rendered according to the Roman/English style. Another character appears which seems to be used as the gamma, "G". It resembles the Hebrew character, tzadi: . Sometimes it is written upside down: . ; appearing like it is another version of the "F" which is written as a . It seemed to be a spurious character but I found it frequently used in the Zagreb text. The use of the "M" in the scripts can be confusing at times, since in a couple of scripts the scribes were not consistent. Most of the time it appears as: or . Where it is used we always render it in our text as "M". Another way of rendering it is as: . Normally this character is read as an "S" sound. Variations on the "S" , as perhaps the "Z", "SH", "C as in "ice", appear as follows: , , . The latter bow-like sign is sometimes rendered in a horizontal fashion, following the early use of the letter, as in the Egyptian Hieroglyph originally representing water. We see two other versions of the "S" which are rendered as "C " and a character in the Egyptian Hieroglyphs which owed its origin to being a symbol of the backbone of Osiris, the Egyptian god. He is known as the great benefactor of the civilization, as he introduced agriculture, writing, etc. He is the symbol of resurrection and judge of the Dead, whose legend has it that he was an early king of Egypt who was killed by his evil brother Set. Set chopped up the body of Osiris into a myriad of pieces and placed them in a coffin and threw the coffin into the Nile. It floated to a beach near the king of Tyre's palace (Phoenicia) and was encircled by the trunk of a cedar tree. After awhile the coffin gave off such a wonderful fragrance the king ordered that it be chopped down, to be used as a pillar in his palace. When the tree was cut down and moved to the palace the coffin was discovered, and within it was a small child, Osiris. The wife of the king, whose name is Ishtar, the Phoenician mother goddess, nourished the child. Reports of the child came to the hearing of Osiris' wife, Isis, the Egyptian mother goddess, who came to the Phoenician court to be the wet nurse of Osiris, nourishing him at her breast. After the child grew up Osiris and Isis were joined back together again. They had a child named Horus, who is pictured as a hawk; and Horus is represented in the legend as the avenger of his father's murder, pursuing Set through the eons. Thus, this is the background behind the letter "S" which is represented as: . In the Zabreb text the names Horus and ISIS appear.
A trident , Greek "Psi", sign used in the Pyrgi Gold Tablets appears to be a vowel, which I have rendered in that script as an AE. Sometimes it appears upside down. The Magliano bronze disk, whose characters were written in a spiral (Labyrinth), has other unusual characters, such as the one for "B". This is:or also written as . The Magliano disk dates from about 600 b.c. and stands equal in time to the date when the Greek alphabet was created. We identify that script as "M". Later versions of the "B" appear as in the Roman/English style. More often the "B" seems to be represented by the "F" or "P": , since the letter "B" is so rarely used.
Another peculiarity of the writing style is that the Etruscans often put no spaces dividing words and barely used punctuation marks. The ":" and a dot are the primary punctuation marks. In a tombstone from Lemnos the scribe used three verticaly aligned dots. That script I have identified as script "S". Assume that the colon I use in this work, as relating to script "S", is actually three vertical dots, rather than two.
I would say that the written Etruscan language is a transitional writing system which not only carries forward within its characters syllabic characters, as in the Cypriotic Scripts, but also sparingly used vowels. As in Hebrew the Etruscan scribes could no doubt read their script without the vowels. I suspect that the interpolated vowel is the vowel which is used to write a letter. For instance, the letter µ "M "in Greek is spelled, Mu. In the Zagreb script I found the same word/name spelled MvLAK frequently used and in one instance the interpolated vowel , v, was spelled out: MVLAK. Until I saw this I used the vowel "a" as a default and spelled Mulak as Malak. MvLAK also appears in the Magliano Bronze. Where a vowel is omitted it is obvious what vowel belongs in the word, such as LTV, which is read, "LeTV"; in one case in the same often repeated phrase the scribe inserted the vowel "e" in the word "LETV". In the case of Ce and other instances requiring an interpolated vowel I used an "e" as a default vowel until the actual vowel can be confirmed, as I confirmed them in MvLAK and LeTV. In the case of Le which often appears in the text the name, LETV (Leto), confirms that "e" is the vowel used to spell the character Lambda = . In Hebrew the "L" is called Lamedh. Where I use a lower case letter, it is an "interpolated" vowel, following the criteria I mentioned. I have, of course, separated the words, which in the texts may not be separated, here. I occasionally highlight conjugation/declension forms in the text. Where the unusual characters are used the color will mark the letter which is transcribed.
The Etruscan Alphabet is similar to ours with the below exceptional characters. A, C (K) E, F, H, I, IE (J), L, N, S, T, X, Y, Z are familiar letters. Letters not found in most of the scripts include D, W, and G. D is usually seen as a T; the G is rendered as shown below. The B is rare and seems to be indistinguishable from the 8. The texts use both the F and 8, and sometimes they are interchangeable. The scripts, as is true with the Zagreb Mummy, have two "R's" and three "S's". The Zagreb Mummy, like the Tavola Eugubine, follows a liturgical style which involves considerable repetition. The language of all the scripts is close to the Romance languages. If you are familiar with Latin/the Romance languages you will be able to follow much of the script. In script ZH ff we see the two "R's" being interchanged and used in tandum, which is peculiar to the Zagreb script. The "M" = S is consistently used with the "S", and sometimes there is confusion between the "M" and the "" or , but because of the repetition, the use of the two letters is fairly easy to verify. In fact missing pieces of the linen wrapping we have replaced because of the repetition. The other "S" is given a work-out in the linen, as opposed to other scripts. Where you see a lower case letter (e vs E) it is an interpolated vowel whose use has been confirmed in other scripts .
After I have completed the first phase of the Zagreb Mummy profile, as you will see below, I will upload a copy of my worksheets which assign alpha-numeric locators to each word. After this I will fold into the main Etruscan_Phrases.html the words and phrases of this site (through which you will find a working vocabulary; a work now in progress).
G, i, AE
Z1-- ETvNAM TESIMETvNAM
Z5--CaLE TeRAM CFAT ........TA LER
Z10 TARa CeMVTINVM ANA NaCFIS NAC PvSTI RaCa; Note: see Z53 for PSTI reconstruction
Z19--RESI FAC La AN Se CANIN CE_ _ _CaSA ØaPES SIN; Note: in the Eugubine texts ØABE and EROS are mentioned together. This could be Phoebe who is the mother of Leda who changed into a goose, being chased by Zeus, and and having been raped by Zeus she laid an egg. The King of Sparta, Tyndareus, received custody of the egg from which came Helen, who thus became his daughter. Phoebe also gave birth to Apollo and Artemis (the huntress called Diana by the Romans). This story is recorded on the Divine Mirror.html. Artemis is called MAEN; Zeus and Leda are TINIA and RALeNA.
Z29--CaLE TeRAM SeRENe KFE IK (K=) Se CANIN CE CaLE FAC La
Z40--ARA NVN RENESARASNATFE AEKiS MVLE; note I read Aekis as Aegis;
Z47--FINVM (vinum) VSI (osi)TeRVN 8eLERE (Velere)IN CaRA PvSTi
Z54--VNvMvLATNVN RENe RACa LeRI RARe RIE CIA La
Z64--HV SaLeNEFINVMESI SeCe SERAMV ERA CYSE
Z72A--8ASEISePVRES TREIE ENASERi RIE TINi SI
Z72--TIYIM AFILiS KIS CISVM RVTETVLeRANI; Note: RVTE is probably PVTE which is the word used with CISVM in this phrase. See PVTE.
Z79--..NT PE REPINE SEVeRe ERI MARLVM ERIC
Note: concerning the top fragments MVLAC (Molak) LARE and LAETIM seem to be the only discernable words.
Z86--ERi RaSETINi SITI VRIM AFILiSKIS
Z93--IN CeTECe8eLERe RESIN CE CISVMRVTETVLe
Z100--HA TECeREPINE CeME LERIS FEL ERICSaFe
Z109--CaSa MELERVNiMVTIN CE RESINERVTe
Z117--..S PVRE MERLVI ERIC ENAS
Z123--TeNeR8aNER Le VS LEFESNVN RENe
Z129--8eLERESIN CaRA PvSTI CaLE TeRAM
Z135--RAKaR TYRAS EKSReFINVM
Z139--ETV AMaSaREN KIS RAKARSVR
Z145--VS LEFES NVN RENE Ce TREI
Z150--AL ØASEI SaLE TeRAM SeRENe CFE EIM TVLeFARa; Note: SaLE is probably CaLE; See SaRENE.
Z156--RAKaRTVRiNYS RENeR8ASICaSa TeRAMEITVLe
Z171--INCaRA PvSTIVS MvLAKNVN RENeKISEIFIS Ce
Z180--8ASEICISVM PVTETVLe RANIHA TECe REPINE Ce
Z189--ME LERI Se FEL ERICSaF CeAN CaSaMELERVNi
Z199--MYTIN Ce ..........................SIRFE
Z203--MERLYM ERICENAS SiS 8eLERE IN CaRA PvSTI
Z211--KISESvFIS Ce8ASE SIN AISER 8ASESIN
Z219--AISCEM NACa8ASEIN RAKaR SVTANASCELI
Z226--SVREISiNAPE FAKaFINVM TRAV PAYKeS
This page is in and will be updated as I proceed, with commentary.
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