27 Aug 2007

New "update page" for news on Etruscan Glossary Draft 001

I've decided to move my updates to a seperate entry (this one). I am also placing an easy-to-find link of this post at the top of the Paleoglot website so that people can monitor my progress easily. This entry will be a permanent feature of this blog as long as I continue to modify Etruscan Glossary Draft 001.


I'm scheduling Draft 002 for September 15, 2007. Is good? Stay tuned.


Sep 14 & 15, 2007

Ane [deity] - Duplicate. Merge item with: Ani [deity]
apana "clan, ancestry" - Reduce translation to: "clan"
apirinaθ [inanimate sanctified object] - Modify form: apirinθ
This was a lingering issue concerning phonotactics. I've decided that Proto-Etruscan forms must indeed permit word-final clusters of two consonants.
Aturmuca "Andromaca" - Modify form: Anturmaca
I'm revising the form to better reflect its Greek origin. Logically I think it would have been initially borrowed with this form, but later attested as Aturmucas where the second 'u' is for a reduced unstressed schwa from earlier *a as is present in the Greek form. I suspect that the dropping of 'n' here is a part of a larger phenomenon in Etruscan since we also find hanθe sometimes written without 'n' in the Liber Linteus. I wonder if there is a rule concerning phonotactic restraints beneath this.
aθeli [type of inanimate offering] - Modify type: ni.(I) instead of ni.(II)
cenla [type of offering] - Modify form and translation: cenula "gift"
ci śar "thirteen" - Modify form: ci-śar
Cusu [gentilicium] - Add item
Attested in ET Fa 1.6 in genitive (Cusul) and TLE 634 in the unmarked nomino-accusative. Also found on the Tabula Cortonensis.
Cusuθu "member of the Cusu family" - Add item
Recorded in the plural nomino-accusative and genitive on the Tabula Cortonensis.
flereś "small gift" - Modify form: fleriś
I think the usage and etymology of this word can best be explained as consisting of fler "gift" and the derivational suffix -iś.
frunta "augur of lightning, fulguriator" - Modify form: prunta
Bonfante connected the word to βροντή although timidly by placing a question mark beside it in The Etruscans. I believe this connection is correct, although specifically from the Doric dialect, I would presume. Also p appears to become f in certain environments centuries before the instance of this word which was inscribed around the 1st c. BCE (TLE 697). So it all now makes sense: The earliest form of the word would have been *prunta.
Fufluns [deity] - Modify form: Pupluns
The p>f sound change must have happened between 500 and 200 BCE but for some reason while Etruscologists talk about it, they never seem to date it. The softening of p in Etruscan was mentioned back in 1922 in Das grammatische Geschlecht im etruskischen by Eva Lehmann Fiesel (link here) who uses this very word to reconstruct earlier *Pupluns. Well, who am I to argue?
Herme "Hermes" [deity] - Modify form: Herame
Hermes seems less and less like it was borrowed from Greek, but rather built on the verb root heram. But then that implies that... well, no, I won't go there yet. More research for me.
Hermina [gentilicium] - Modify form: Heramina
It better explains one of its forms, Hirumina, since the medial u would be a schwa, an eroded form of original a. It also better reflects its probable etymological source.
isminθian "sanctuary of Apollo, smintheion"- Modify form and type: sminθian; na.(I) -> ni.(I)
A pesky typo: Naturally it's inanimate until proven otherwise, hehe ;) The word is also without a doubt from Greek σμινθειον (smintheion) but this Greek form lacks the prothetic vowel which must be a late Etruscan innovation. I now see a connection with gentilicium Śminθina in my list and have therefore altered it accordingly.
malena "mirror" - Modify form: malana
My decision here is based on my theories regarding phonotactics and rules of accentuation in (Pre-)Proto-Etruscan but luckily malana is in fact attested (ETP 335) alongside malena, on a mirror of all things so this is a load of my shoulders.
nap [a place or vessel to hold offerings] - Modify translation: [a place for offerings]
Neθuns [deity] - Modify form: Neθunś
nurφzi "nine times" - Modify form: nurφizi
For phonotactic reasons.
paχana "bacchanal, pertaining to Pacha; Bacchic temple" - Modify type: adj., nn. to adj., ni.(II)
Paχie [male praenomen] - Modify form: Paχaie
For etymological reasons (i.e. based on the deity Paχa).
Papanai [gentilicium] - Modify form: Papana
Paziethe [gentilicium] - Modify form: Pazieθe
A shameful typo.
Peθnei [gentilicium] - Modify form: Peθna
Another typo. No rest for the wicked.
peθs "to fill"- Modify form: peθas
Modelling after other verbs in -as like acas.
Puiana [gentilicium] - Add item
Attested on a tile (ET Fa 1.6) in a tomb, presumed to be inscribed by a slave.
Rufe [cognomen] - Modify translation: Rufe [gentilicium]
sul [type of offering] - Add form
sulis [recipient of offerings] - Modify form and translation: suliś [type of offering]
Śminθina [gentilicium] - Modify form: Sminθianna
Related to isminθian. See above under same date.
Śuri [male praenomen] - Modify translation and type: śuri [unknown inanimate noun]; na.(I) -> ni.(I)
As I've blogged, I'm having trouble with this pesky little item. All Etruscologists seem to claim the same damn thing, that Suri is a deity, and yet it absolutely does not fit the contexts where we find it inscribed. (Read Suri, the saga part one.) Since I know in my heart of hearts that this is wrong, I'm on my own to figure out what it really is. I've tried translating it as a male praenomen but this fails to explain its instances in the Tabula Capuana. It must then be just a noun, possibly even inanimate and describing an offering to the gods. It just doesn't seem to be a name at all. I wholeheartedly defy anyone to translate all these known instances as a deity's name. Think of it as Glenny's little translation contest for other avid paleoglots.
θunzi "one" - Modify translation: "once, one time"
Egad, another typo of mine. How do I live with my imperfection at all? Obviously this word means "once" not "one" because of other forms with the iterative suffix -zi (cizi "thrice", cezpzi "8 times", etc.). Naturally, only θun or θu means "one" as you will read in any semi-decent book on the Etruscan language.
traula [type of offering] - Modify translation: traula "libation"
θauraχ "bull sacrifice" - Modify form: θaurχ
Phonotactic considerations. Bear with me.
θuf "oath, promise, vow" - Modify form: θup
This is corroborated by evidence from Eteo-Cretan and derivative names Θupalθa (later written Θufalθa) and praenomen Θupe.
Θufalθa [deity] - Modify form: Θupalθa
The earlier form in -p- is confirmed in the genitive form of TLE 654.
Viśnai [gentilicium] - Modify form: Viśna
Viśnaia [gentilicium] - Add item
zilaχ "overseer, leader, head" - Modify form: zilχ
Yep, you guessed it: I'm using the "phonotactics" excuse again. Bear with me as I search for the perfect "Proto-Etruscan transcription system" to organize my dictionary. As I type this, I have some new ideas about syllabic rules I could try out... perhaps for Draft 003.

Sep 13, 2007

tanám "at that, then, additionally" - Modify item: taná "then, so"
In the Liber Linteus, we only encounter etnam or its suffix -tnam. While I had a hunch that it consisted of an underlying adverb taná (which due to strong stress accent is eventually squished to *tna then itna with a prothetic vowel just as it apparently occured in eslem zaθrum < *zal-ém zaθrum "18", literally "2 minus 20") and the phrasal conjunctive -m "and", used to convey subsequent actions following a previous event, I couldn't be sure until perusing the Tabula Capuana where we indeed find itna by itself. (It's found in the sentence: Iχ nac Fulinuśnes vacil savcnes, itna muluri zile.). Hooray! I'm also simplifying the translation to "then, so". That suffices. So, I now have the following specs on this interesting little puppy:

ituna [TCap xxx], itna [TCap vi], etna-m [LL 3.xiii{bis}, 5.vii, 6.v, 6.vii{bis}, 6.xii, 7.ii, 7.iii, 7.iv, 7.v, 7.ix, 7.x, 7.xiii, 7.xiv, 7.xv, 7.xvi, 7.xvii, 7.xix, 7.xx{bis}, 7.xxii, 7.xxiii, 8.v, 8.xxiii{bis}, 10.x{bis}, 11.iv, 11.vi{bis}, 11.vii{bis}, 11.xv, 11.xviii, 11.xxii, 11.xxiii, 11.xxx, 12.i, 12.ix], -tna-m [LL 6.x, 7.xii, 8.iv, 10.xxxi{bis}, 11.xvi, 11.xvii, 12.ix]

Sep 12, 2007

aiu "oil" - Add item.
A few sentences I've noticed in the Tabula Capuana (i.e. Aiu-m vacilia Leθamsul nunθeri.;
Śanti arvus-ta aius nunθeri.
) are telling me that aiu is part of the votive offerings set down at the altar for Lethams. I suggest a possible value of "oil" but this is uncertain.
epni [type of offering] - Add item.
epni [TCap xiv] (na.sg.) // epninai [TLE 28] (loc.pl.)
iś [type of offering] - Add item.
Found in the Tabula Capuana several times either with what appears to be a phrasal conjunctive in the nomino-accusative, iś-um (TCap xiii), or in the locative plural, iśvei (TCap viii, xviii, xxviii, lx, lvi). The use of the plural in -va, an allomorph of -χva found regularly after sibilants, indicates an inanimate noun.

Sep 10, 2007

riθna "table (for sacrifice or libations)" - Add item.
The word appears in the Tabula Capuana several times and always in the locative case. So I have a hunch that based on the surrounding text, this might be describing a place where sacrifices and libations are made, and hence a table seems like a nice fit. Hopefully, I can narrow things down as I find more information.

Sep 9, 2007

alfa "ox" - Add item.
The hapax elfa is found in the environs of another interesting item Aφe. (See under "Aφe".)
Aφe "Apis" [deity] - Add name.
Considering there are no serious, in-depth translations of the Tabula Capuana available, I hope the reader respects that I'm taking my own initiative. Now, I find the phrase Aφes ilucu vacil zuχne elfa riθnai interesting because thus far, I'm deducing that ilucu means altar and that word is always right beside the names of other gods declined in the genitive in this same text (with Laran and Lethams). So if Aφe is a god, it certainly looks like the name Apis with Greek's nominative ending -s taken away as is typical of Etruscan's treatment of foreign case endings. What's more, if elfa is a noun unmarked in the nomino-accusative case and associated with the Apis cult, it's another great coincidence that it should look like a Semitic word for "ox" (note Ugaritic ʔlp perhaps pronounced *ʔalpu) considering the extensive trade between Etruscans and Phoenicians who also worshipped oxen extensively. It's too intriguing a notion to toss aside and lends an interesting interpretation to this text.
ser "to guard, to watch over" - Modify translation: "to remain".
I first saw the word on the boundary marker of TLE 515. It wasn't much to go on and spoke of deceased people which I presumed were "guarding over" the boundary. However, the word may also be written in the Tabula Capuana. If I'm not mistaken, an infinitive verb is modifying the preceding noun, aiu. To remind readers, the Tabula Capuana is written in continuous text but the scribe had used single dots to show syllabicity (e.g.: ais would be written ai.s. showing that semivowel 'i' and 's' are terminating the syllable). However I'm skeptical of how consistent he was with this dot marking. Rix presents us with a word travaiuser which I suspect is actually three words: trau "poured" (passive participle), aiu (found elsewhere in the same text) and our beloved ser.

Sep 8, 2007

Leθams - Add name.
Oh dear! My favourite deity isn't in my database already! How shameful. Well, we must add that one in then. Mea culpa.
Satilna [gentilicium] - Modify form: Śatilna.
Typo. There's a san not a sigma in Śatlnal-c of TLE 128.
savicna, Saucane - Remodify: savicnes "plate"
Please forgive my indecisiveness with this item however I have only three nebulous instances of the word to go on (CIE 10498: savcnes śuris; TCap ii: savcnes sa tirias; TCap vi: vacil savcnes). Now that I'm scouring the Tabula Capuana in more detail, its presence there just can't be easily explained if it were a gentilicium. Perhaps a better explanation, considering its presence beside words like vacil "votive", would be that it describes a votive object (a plate?). Don't quote me on it. As always, this is a work in progress. (See "savicna (?)" under September 5.)
Śatna [female praenomen] - Add name.
Found in TLE 135: Larθal Śatnal-c clan.
Velχe [male praenomen] - Add name.
Velχe [TLE 662] (na.) // Velχes [TLE 535, 662] (gen.)

Sep 5, 2007

savicna (?) - Merge with: Saucane [gentilicium]
(See "savicna, Saucane" under September 8.)
śur [religious offering] - Merge with: Śuri [male praenomen]
I'm fully aware that most Etruscologists claim Śuri to be a male deity. However, I'm skeptical of how both Erika Simon (The Religion of the Etruscans, p.59) and Jannot (Religion in Etruria, p.159) gloss over the deity while at the same time stating confidently that the deity is "well-known in Etruria" and that Colonna somehow convincingly relates it to the sun without going into further details. Erika Simon touches vaguely on some votive inscriptions with "father Suri", and as usual, no reference numbers supplied. I'll continue to dig further on this.

Sep 4, 2007

Θanra [deity] - Modify form: Θanura
Considering Θanura-ri (TCap xxiii) which I interpret to be a locative form of the name extended further with postposition -ri, the new form would account for both this and the other syncopated forms already in my database.

Sep 3, 2007

Claruχie [gentilicium] - Add item.
Found as genitive Claruχies in the inscription of a boundary marker (TLE 515).
snuiaφi "as numerous as" - Modify form and translation: snuiapi "more numerous, greater".
Pondering on the word lately (found both in the Pyrgi Tablets and the Liber Linteus), I've come to the conclusion that -pi must be a comparative ending indicating "more", rather than a similative (i.e. "like, as"). If so, I can then explain morphologically the numeral cezp "eight" as underlying *ciś-pi "three more (than five)". In fact, I may have already encountered the elusive similative suffix in clanti "stepson".
zamaθi [type of vessel] - Modify translation: "gold".
While deeply leery of the otherwise faulty translations I see in books by Pallottino, Bonfante, Jannot and DeGrummond, I have to say that it looks like this word might be properly translated afterall. It appears in all honestly to be describing the object of inscription TLE 489 which happens to be a gold fibula, not a vessel. My translation is incorrect; I will adapt. It is often compared with Greek xanthos which appears at first an ad hoc connection however the Greek word is interesting in that its etymology is currently unknown. I'm now wondering if the word is originally Hittite or Luwian in origin.
zamaθiχ "golden" - Add item.
The adjectival form of zamaθi would be formed with the application of the common derivational suffix used to form new substantives, particularly adjectives (n.b. mlaχ "blessed" and Rumaχ "Roman"). In the Liber Linteus, both zamθic and zamtic are found with final kappa (letter 'k') instead of chi (letter 'χ') making it appear as though it were a noun with conjunctive -c "and". However I now must concede that the noun phrase caperi zamθic must refer to a "golden bowl" for offerings making zamθic an adjective from an earlier form *zamaθiχ. Another attested adjective in the Liber Linteus, Cemnac, is alternatively spelled Cemnaχ in the same document.

Sep 1, 2007

nafau "pillar" - Modify translation: nafa [uncertain verb].
I've decided that the word must instead be a passive participle, not a noun. It would then be acting as an adjective, in an accusative noun phrase muθ nafau-cn in the Liber Linteus (LL 12.vi).

Aug 31, 2007

fler "gift" - Modify gender to Type I (i.e. declined with s-genitive).
I incorrectly keyed the gender as Type II, but the genitive is attested in the Liber Linteus as flerś. I'm now seperating instances of flereś (< *fler(a)-iś) as a seperate noun, a kind of diminutive of fler using the suffix -iś which is productive in forming derivatives. I briefly thought today that it should be translated as "statue" however this just doesn't work in some sentences in the Liber Linteus where it implies that the item can also be poured. So I'm keeping it as "gift" after it all. A blog entry talking more on this conundrum is forthcoming.
flereś "little gift" - Add word.
A blog entry talking more on this conundrum is forthcoming.
Mura [gentilicium] - Add name.
Attested in ET Vc 1.55, TLE 906 and TLE 908 in the locative case as Murai.
Una [gentilicium] - Add name.
Attested in ET Vc 1.45 in the genitive case as Unas.

Aug 29, 2007

Turanu [deity] - Modify form: Turaniu.
Although we actually only find Turnu attested (see here), his name (equivalent to Greek Eros) is surely a derivative of Turan, his mother's name, plus a diminutive suffix -iu. Depalatalization of 'i' after liquids (i.e. l, r, m and n) has a plethora of examples in Etruscan and affects the expression of other suffixes like the gentilitial suffix -ie in many names.
Caiśra "Caere" - Add city name.
It is apparently attested as Ceizra (ET Vs 6.7, Vs 6.8, Vs 6.9). Plus, Virgil's gloss Cisra in the Aeneid kinda helps. The hardening of sibilant 'ś' to affricate 'z' before 'r' is regular (e.g. huzrnatre < *huśrnatre, found in TLE 131).
pesnaiu [type of vessel] - Add word.
The word is found once in TLE 38 (a vessel) which is often transcribed into gobbleygook like this or this. My understanding of this inscription however (despite experts hiding photos from plebs like me and clearly adding extra letters that aren't there) is this:
  • Velθur Tulumneś pesnu zinace, mene, muluvanice.
    Velthur Tulumnie fashioned the [vessel], set it down, and had it blessed (i.e. by a priest).
No doubt the name given to this type of vessel is related to the offering of pes mentioned in the Tabula Cortonensis (lines 3 and 5). A very early syncope might have reduced a diminutive *pesna-iu to *pesniu and then to pesnu (compare Turnu < *Turaniu, the name for the child of the goddess Turan).

Aug 28, 2007

Tuśnutinaie [gentilicium] - Add name.
The form Tusnutnie is found in ET Cl 0.8, Cl 0.9, Cl 0.10 and Cl 0.11.

Aug 27, 2007

muni "grave plot" - Revise translation: "plot, area".
Due to its use in the Pyrgi Tablets, a specific translation like "grave plot" doesn't fit since what is being talked about in this inscription involves a temple of Uni. It would more naturally be the land on which the temple was built by Thefarie Veliana. (The Etruscans believed the land of holy places and its boundaries were sacred and needed to be protected with special religious rites.) Ergo, I will now generalize the translation to account for this to "plot, area".
munisule "tomb" - Add word.
The word is attested in TLE 84 in the unmarked nomino-accusative case (the subject or object of a sentence), as well as in TLE 172 and 173 in the inessive case (indirect object with "in"). The meaning seems to clearly mean "tomb" (TLE 84: Larθiale Hulχniesi Marcesi-c Caliaθesi munsle. = "The tomb for Larth Hulchnie and for Marce Caliathe." This sentence is written directly on the wall of the Tomb of Orcus and that's good enough for me.) It is clearly a derivative of muni although I'm as yet unsure of the semantics of the ending. I have placed some forms of this word under muni, mistaking them as dative or genitive forms. I am now placing these forms under this item instead.

Aug 26, 2007

lup "to die" - Revise translation: "to depart to".
I recently discovered grammatical evidence showing that this verb does not literally mean "to die" as claimed by experts, but rather is a euphemism. Its primary meaning therefore must be updated. I've explained my reasons in the article Death and euphemisms in Etruria.
murza "small sarcophagus" - Delete word.
I now feel that the plural form murzva should be placed under muriś instead. (Note that inanimate plural -va is an allomorph of -χva used after sibilants and certain other sounds.) I had presumed that this word was formed with the common diminutive -za but there is no direct evidence of its existence in its expected singular *murza whereas muriś is well represented. (Interestingly, the purported existence of *murza 'small urn' is frequently published without references as in Compendium of the World's Languages. Frustrating, very frustrating.)
śealχu "sixty" - Delete word.
This is an extra entry for "sixty" that I lost track of. The proper form is śaiálχal but this is already in the pdf.


  1. This is fantastic, I registered to Lulu especially to retrieve this.

    Besides that you are absolutely insane for going through all that trouble, I respect it a lot ;) Keep up the good work!

  2. Hahaha, thank you. Insane was exactly what I was going for ;)

    It looks like a lot more work than what it is, honest. I like to code programs anyway, and I obsess over languages anyway... so I'm merely doing what I normally do. I dream in HTML and Perl.

    In the system I set up on my computer, I made a button that automatically generates a list of my database, however format I want it to be, with whatever fields I want included. One click. I mean really, how much work is it to press a button? A fun little button it is, though.

    Glad you like it and I hope to improve on it.