mi mlac mlakas larθus elaivana araθia numasianasI hate to be a stickler for grammar (no wait... I love it!) but for anyone actively studying Etruscan inscriptions, seeing someone miss the common phrase mlac mlakas is glaring. This phrase is repeated in a few other Etruscan inscriptions (eg. ET Cr 2.33, 2.36) and has been compared already to nearly identical formulae in Faliscan (duenom duenas) and in Greek (καλος καλο) as published by Agostiniani (SE 49:1981). This nugget of fact easily shows that overlooking this formula while parsing a sequence mlakas Larθus out of this is nonsense. Such a sequence doesn't even mean 'for the good Larth(u)' but rather *'of the blessed of Larth'.
'Io (sono) il buon/bel (vaso) oleario di Arath Numasiana per il buon Larthu.'
[English: 'I (am) the good (vessel) of oil of Arath Numasiana for the good Larthu.']
I object doubly against this translation because I know that Etruscan adjectives (putting aside numerals and such) never precede the noun, nor are they marked with case at all. In Etruscan, there simply is no case agreement between noun and trailing adjective like in neighbouring, unrelated Latin. 'For the good Larth' would be more competently translated into Etruscan as either *Larθus mlac (genitive of giving) or *Larθe-ri mlac (locative with postposition -ri 'for').
Reexamining the inscription above, it's more likely to be translated as follows:
Mi, mlac mlakas, Larθus elaivana Araθia Numasianas.Notice that now we see that Arath Numasiana is the one in possession of the vessel (in the commitative case ending -a) whereas Larth, whose last name is unspecified, is merely the donor (in the genitive, denoting origin).
"I, blessed of the blessed, (am) Larth's oil-vessel with Arath Numasiana."
(03 September 2010) After just posting this, a clearer translation had come to me by simply moving the comma over, all still in keeping with my grammatical analysis above:
Mi, mlac mlakas Larθus, elaivana Araθia Numasianas.
"I, blessed of the blessed from Larth, (am an) oil-vessel with Arath Numasiana."