28 Jan 2013

The recent Sarteano inscription on an Etruscan plate

Details on a bucchero plate discovered last year are found under New inscription from Sarteano on Rex Wallace's blog. Many thanks for his clear photo of the text. Wallace has segmented the short, continuous-script text as m lariś riertu and opts to translate as "I (am) Laris Riertu" although, as he explains, the last name Riertu is unattested elsewhere.

Accepting that the letter m is short for the 1ps nominative pronoun mi 'I' due to a scribal error, I believe two issues remain:
1. a lack of genitive case to indicate ownership (expected: *Lariśl)
2. an otherwise unattested nomen Riertu

This alleged last name seems unlikely to me given the odd sequence rier-. I wonder if Wallace has overlooked another possible break-down of the sentence that more cleanly obeys expected Etruscan phonotactics: Mi Lariś-ri Ertu "I (am) for Laris Ertu."

This immediately fixes the first problem because the name is now in the locative case with a postposition -ri 'for' properly marking the recipient of the offering. This still fails to adequately address the second issue but I think we gain from this a more plausible Etruscan name, Ertu. The closest thing I can find attested is artu in ET Sp 2.107, although a diminutive *Artiiu from the name Arte in TLE 338 is also within the realm of  possibility.


Post a Comment