16 Apr 2011

The inscription of TLE 773

The Etruscan inscription known as TLE 773 (aka ET OA 3.8), written on a red-figure kylix, is said to read as follows:
marce . svincinas . alpan . puts
I have yet to see a picture of this artifact however. I would like to simply trust Rix and others in their ability to transcribe an artifact properly but I've seen enough iffy or downright incorrect transcriptions to feel that skepticism is warranted.

In this case, we have an odd last name that occurs only once in the entire record. There are no similar forms listed in Rix's Etruskische Texte. The name seems to pop up out of nowhere. Arnaldo D'Aversa treated it as of uncertain origin[1] and quite frankly I'm stumped too... unless... the repeated transcription as shown above is a bit off.

You see, I have an itching to compare this otherwise mysterious name with Vincnai in ET Cr 1.152 but in order to get away with that, we need to figure out whether the first and last name in the inscription in question is properly parsed. So is it truly Marce Svincinas 'Marce Svincina' (the last name contains the genitive, effectively '[he] of the Svincina [family]') or is it Marces Vincinas 'Of Marce Vincina' (ie. 'Of Marce of the Vincina [family]')? Hopefully somebody will cough up a "googlable" photo of TLE 773 one of these years.

If only archaeologists and historians with primary access to these finds weren't so stingy on sharing the photos with the general public and were more connected to the internet age and its communicative benefits. Why does this info still need to be stuffed in a dusty museum or obscure journal?

[1] D'Aversa, La lingua degli etruschi (1979), pp.237 & 409 (see link).


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