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Proper name: Inscription from Voltino [part 2 of 2]
Reading in Transliteration: θomezecuai / obauzana θina 
Reading in Original Script: Θ4 dO2 dM7 dE dZ10 dE dC dU3 dA dI d
O2 dB2 dA dU3 dZ9 dA dN7 sA dΘ4 d I dN7 sA d
Variant Reading: θomezeclai / obalza naθina (Thurneysen, Eska),
: omezecụai / obauzana : ina (separator5 d taken as separator, Morandi),
θoMe þeCuai ośau saNaθiNa (Zavaroni),
θome zecAai oBau zanaθina (Schürr)

Object: BS·3 Voltino (stela)Latitude: 45.784222
Longitude: 10.765944

(Inscriptions: BS·3.1, BS·3.2)
Position: front, lower area
Frame: straightFrame middle bottom.pngFrame middle bottom.pngstraight  (left: straight, middle: bottom, right: straight)
Direction of Writing: dextroverse
Script: Camunic Script
Number of Letters: 20 - 22
Number of Lines: 2
Workmanship: carved, painted
Condition: complete

Archaeological Culture: Augustan [from object]
Date of Inscription: end of 1st century BC / beginning of 1st century AD (Morandi, after Gregori) [from object]
Date derived from:

Type: unknown
Language: unknown
Syntactic Analysis: unknown
Meaning: unknown

Alternative Sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 249
Morandi 2004: 233 5-6

Sources: Zavaroni 2008: 18-35
Schürr 2006: 335-345
Morandi 2004: 670-671 & 806 (pl. XXIX)
Eska & Weiss 1996: 289-291



Reading and interpretations ambiguous. Script: Camunic Script (Alphabet of Sondrio), although M and N are neither properly Latin nor Camunic; C is a Latin character; the four a's are of the Lepontic tipe (Zavaroni 2008: 20-23, Schürr 2006: 336, 337-340 cf. De Marinis 1992: 160-161, Tibiletti Bruno 1990: 165, Prosdocimi 1965). In the past this inscription has undergone many interpretation attempts (cf. Zavaroni 2008: 18-19, Schürr 2006: 336-337 for a summary):

Thurneysen 1923: 8-9, followed by Meid 1989: 17-26, Eska 1989: 106-107, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 218-219 ecc. read "tomezeclai obalzanatina"; segmented by Eska & Weiss 1996 (cp. Eska & Evans 2009: 35) "to=me=declai obalda natina" (transl. "Obalda; (their) dear daughter; set me (the monument) up"; for syntax discussion cf. Zavaroni 2008: 23-24, Eska 1989, Koch 1983: 200-201, Koch 1985: 24-25, Thurneysen 1923: 8-10). This interpretation as Celtic inscription is based on an old reading and the interpretations of θomezecuai (cp. Schürr 2006: 336-337). Zavaroni (2008: 23-31) and Schürr (2006: 341-345) put forward, that it could be a double onomastic formula, once Gaulish-/Latinised and once Camunic/Euganeic, where tetumus = θome, sanadis = zanaθina. For Etruscan parallels see Zavaroni 2008: 23, CIE: 1416, CIE: 890, CIE: 1048. Regarding the possibly determinable, yet poorly known Camunic/Euganeic language see Schürr 2006: 341-342, 345, fn. 17.

  • Weisgerber 1931: 154-155 (old reading tomedeclai obalda natina, Thurneysen)
  • cf. also Markey & Mees 2004: 74, Eska & Weiss 1996: 289-90, Mees 2003: Stratum and Shadow. A Genealogy of Stratigraphy Theories from the Indo-Euopean West, in Language Contacts in Prehistory: Studies in Stratigraphy, 11-14 ("Etruscoid", "Kelto-Ligurian", "Para-Rhaetic")

For the script, cp. also the Latin inscription CIL 5, 4717 (Brixia/Brescia) which has three 'Camunoid' letters at its end.
Further References:


CIE Carl Pauli, Olof August Danielsson et al. (eds.), Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum. (3 volumes, various parts)
De Marinis 1992 Raffaele Carlo De Marinis, "Il territorio prealpino e alpino tra I laghi di Como e di Garda dal Bronzo recente alla fine dell'età del ferro", in: Ingrid R. Metzger (Ed.), Die Räter. I Reti, Bozen: Athesia 1992, 145-174.
Eska & Evans 2009 Joseph Francis Eska, David Ellis Evans, "Continental Celtic", in: Martin J. Ball, Nicole Müller (Eds.), The Celtic Languages, 2nd edition [= Routledge Language Family Series], London - New York: Routledge 2009.
Eska & Weiss 1996 Joseph Francis Eska, Michael Weiss, "Segmenting Gaul. tomedeclai", Studia Celtica 30 (1996), 289-292.
Eska 1989 Joseph Francis Eska, "Interpreting the Gaulish inscription of Voltino", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 36 (1989), 106-107.
Eska 1998c Josef Francis Eska, "PIE *p (doesn't become) Ø in proto Celtic", Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 58 (1998), 63-80.
Hamp 1989 Eric Pratt Hamp, "Voltino to-", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 36 (1989), 107-108.
Koch 1983 John T. Koch, "The Sentence in Gaulish", Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 3 (1983), 169-215.
Koch 1985 John T. Koch, "Movement and Emphasis in the Gaulish Sentence", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 32 (1985), 1-37.
Lejeune 1971 Michel Lejeune, Lepontica, Paris: Société d'Édition "Les Belles Lettres" 1971. (reprint of the article "Documents gaulois et para-gaulois de Cisalpine", Études Celtiques 12/2, 1970-1, pp. 357-500)
Markey & Mees 2004 Tom Markey, Bernard Mees, "A Celtic orphan from Castaneda", Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 54 (2004), 54-120.
Meid 1989 Wolfgang Meid, Zur Lesung und Deutung gallischer Inschriften [= Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft, Vorträge und kleinere Schriften 40], Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck 1989, 7-47.
Morandi 2004 Alessandro Morandi, Celti d'Italia. A cura di Paola Piana Agostinetti. Tomo II: Epigrafia e lingua dei Celti d'Italia [= Popoli e civiltà dell'Italia antica 12.2], Roma: Spazio Tre 2004.
Pauli 1885 Carl Eugen Pauli, Die Inschriften nordetruskischen Alphabets [= Altitalische Forschungen 1], Leipzig: Hannover Hahn 1885.
Prosdocimi 1965 Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi, "Per una edizione delle iscrizioni della Val Camonica", Studi Etruschi 33 (1965), 575-599.
Schürr 2006 Diether Schürr, "Zur Doppelinschrift von Voltino", Studi Etruschi 72 (2006 [2007]), 335-346.
Thurneysen 1923 Rudolf Thurneysen, "Irisches und Gallisches", Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 14 (1923), 1-12.
Tibiletti Bruno 1978 Maria Grazia Tibiletti Bruno, "Ligure Leponzio e Gallico", in: Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi (Ed.), Lingue e dialetti dell'Italia antica [= Popoli e civiltà dell'Italia antica 6/1], Roma: Biblioteca di Storia Patria 1978, 131-208.
Tibiletti Bruno 1990 Maria Grazia Tibiletti Bruno, "Nuove Iscrizioni Camune", Quaderni Camuni : Rivista Trimestrale di Storia, Arte e Cronaca Locale 49-50 (1990), 29-171.
Tibiletti Bruno 1992 Maria Grazia Tibiletti Bruno, "Gli alfabetari", Quaderni Camuni 60 (1992), 309-380.
Weisgerber 1931 Leo Weisgerber, "Die Sprache der Festlandkelten", Berichte der römisch-germanischen Kommission 20 (1931 [1930]), 147-226.
Whatmough 1933 Joshua Whatmough, The Prae-Italic Dialects of Italy. Vol. 2, Part 3: The Raetic, Lepontic, Gallic, East-Italic, Messapic and Sicel inscriptions, Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University Press 1933.
Zavaroni 2008 Adolfo Zavaroni, "La bilingue gallo-camuna di Voltino e CIL V 4883", Ollodagos 22 (2008), 15-38.
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