Cippus perusinus

The Cippus Perusinus or Cippus of Perugia is a stone tablet discovered on the hill of San Marco, near Perugia, Italy, in 1822. The tablet bears 46 lines of Etruscan text exquisitely carved into it. Surprisingly well-preserved , the cippus is often assumed to be a text dedicating a legal contract between two Etruscan families; however there is severe doubt about the validity of such a translation when these translated values are carefully cross-referenced with the same words found in other Etruscan texts. Rather, an alternative and more likely view is that this is simply a tombstone for the deceased. As the lower part of the stone is roughly finished, it is likely that it was buried in the ground.

The date of the inscription is considered to be 3rd or 2nd century BCE. The Cippus is conserved in the National Archeological Museum of Perugia [1].
Enlarge picture
The Cippus of Perugia, 3rd or 2nd century BCE

Discussion of its translation

As with most Etruscan inscriptions, translations vary between translators. Work has been done to piece together the language and attentive analysis and crossreferencing will further knowledge of the Etruscan language.

Due to keywords, known from other texts, being used here such as <mena> "lays down" and <muni> "burial plot", it seems unlikely the common idea of a legal document is sensible. Upon taking time to study the other Etruscan inscriptions, this theory is debunked. This is likely a dedication to a deceased person and the phrase <afuna&#353; pen&#952;na ama> 'the Afuna are below' suggests that this cippus is nothing more than a tombstone, not a legal contract. (Note that <pen&#952;na> 'below' is connected to the particle <pen> meaning "below" as well as <cepen> meaning "here below". These words were used very often and <-na> is an adjectival ending.)

The text

:Teurat tan-na larezu-l am-e vaχr.
:NOUN ADJECTIVE of NOUN were NOUN.


:Lautn Velθina-š, ešt-la Afuna-s, spel eθ car-u tezan,
:By the freedman of the Velthina, for the family of Afuna, a grave [as] an OFFERING [was] made devoutly,


::fušler-i tesn-š tei-š Rašne-š ipa am-a hen.
::with ANIMALS for these noble Etruscans which are before [you].


:Naper χi-i Velthinaθur-aš ar-aš,
:Cups with NOUN from the Velthina family having been raised,


::perašcem-ul mlesc-ul, zuci enesc-i ep-l, tular-u.
::the grounds of the temple, with dedicatory incense from the priest, [were] encircled.


:Aule-ši, Velθina-š Arnza-l, clen-ši,
:For Aule, of Velthina (father) and Arnza (mother), for the son,


::θi-i θi-l šcuna cen-u, epl=c feli=c Larθal-š Afuni-š,
::with the water of waters holy [was] given, both by the priest and by PEOPLE of Larthal Afuni,


::clan, θunχul θe fala-š.
::[to] the son, a jug with water from the mountain.


:Χi=em fušl-e, Velθina hinθa cap-e, muni=cle-t, mas-u,
:And thus with ANIMALS, Velthina below in the tomb, in this plot, [was] buried,


::naper šran=c zl, θi-i falš-ti.
::as well as two cups [with] images, with water inside the mountain.


:Veltina hut naper penez-š mas-u.
:Velthina four cups underneath [were] buried.


:Acnina cl-el Afuna, Velθina mler zin-ia.
:The offerings of this Afuna, [for] Velthina [as] blessings were formed (from clay).


:In temam-er cn-l Velθina zi-a šaten-e tesn-e,
:These [things] the temple priests of this Velthina set down with the seated nobles,


:Eca Velθinaθur-aš tHaura hel-u tesn-e Rašn-e ce-i.
:This sepulchre of the Velthina family [was] lowered with these noble Etruscans.


:Tesn-š tei-š Rašne-š χimθ, špel θuta šcu-na, Afuna men-a hen.
:Those noble Etruscans entombed, [in] the grave [of] the holy clan, the Afuna rest before [you].


:Naper ci cn-l har-e ut-uš-e.
:These three cups with NOUN were used.


side b:


:Velθina šatena zuci enesc-i ipa spelane-θi fulum-χva.
:[For] the seated Velthina dedicatory incense which in the burial opening [are] the stars(?).


::spel-θi, rene-θi.
::in the grave [and] in the PLACE.


:Esta=c Velθina, acil-un-e, tur-un-e, šcu-n-e.
:And [for] the family Velthina, [it] was completed, was given and was sanctified.


:Ze-a zuci enesc-i aθumi=cš.
:[They] set down dedicatory incense to the sky.


:Afuna-š penθ-na am-a.
:The Afuna below are.


:Velθina, Afun[a]θur, un-i ei-n zeri, una cla θi-l θunχulθ-l.
:[By] the Velthina, [for] the Afuna family with a libation was brought [for] the rite, a libation of this water from the jugs.


:Iχ ca ceχa ziχ-uχ-e.
:Thus, this event was written.

See also

External links

References

  • Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002). The Etruscan Language: an Introduction. Manchester, University of Manchester Press. ISBN 0-7190-5540-7. 
  • Cristofani, Mauro, et al (1984). Gli Etruschi: una nuova immagine. Firenze, Giunti Martello. ISBN. 
  • Cristofani, Mauro (1979). The Etruscans: A New Investigation (Echoes of the ancient world). Orbis Pub. ISBN 0-85613-259-4. 
  • Rix, Helmut (1991). Etruskische Texte. G. Narr. ISBN 3-8233-4240-1.  2 vols.
Comune di Perugia
Piazza IV Novembre

Seal
Location of Perugia in Italy
Coordinates:
Country Italy
Region Umbria
Province Province of Perugia
Government
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 Etruscan
}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: und
ISO 639-3: ett The Etruscan language was spoken and written by Etruscan civilization in the ancient region of Etruria (modern Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern
..... Click the link for more information.

 Etruscan
}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: und
ISO 639-3: ett The Etruscan language was spoken and written by Etruscan civilization in the ancient region of Etruria (modern Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern
..... Click the link for more information.
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to the culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy and Corsica whom the ancient Romans called Etrusci or Tusci.
..... Click the link for more information.
Tyrsenian (Tyrsenisch, also Tyrrhenian), after the Tyrrhenoi, is a proposed classification by Helmut Rix (1998), who argues for a close relationship of the Etruscan language and the Raetic language, together with the Lemnian language.
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The Liber Linteus (Zagrabiensis) (also rarely known as Liber Agramensis) (Latin: Linen Book (of Zagreb) or Book of Agram) is the longest Etruscan text and the only extant linen book.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Tabula Cortonensis, or the Cortona Tablet in English, is a ca. 2200-year-old artifact found in the ancient city of Cortona, Italy in 1992.

It is the third longest Etruscan inscription so far found, and the longest discovered in the 20th century.
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The Pyrgi Tablets, found in an excavation of a sanctuary of that town in Italy (current Santa Severa), a port of the southern Etruscan town of Caere, are three golden leaves that record a dedication made around 500 BC by Thefarie Velianas, king of Caere, to the Phoenician goddess
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Giuliano Bonfante (August 6, 1904 - September 9, 2005 in Rome) was an Italian linguistics scholar and expert on the language of the Etruscans and other Italic peoples.

Bonfante was born in Milan.
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Larissa Bonfante is Professor of Classics at New York University and an international authority on Etruscan language and culture.
  • B.A. 1954 (fine arts and classics) Barnard College
  • M.A. 1957 (classics), University of Cincinnati
  • Ph.D.

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Mauro Cristofani (born, Rome, Italy, 1941; died 1997) was a linguist and researcher in Etruscan studies.

Cristofani was a student of Massimo Pallottino and would himself teach at the Università di Pisa, Università di Siena and, his final post, at the Università "Federico II"
..... Click the link for more information.
Mauro Cristofani (born, Rome, Italy, 1941; died 1997) was a linguist and researcher in Etruscan studies.

Cristofani was a student of Massimo Pallottino and would himself teach at the Università di Pisa, Università di Siena and, his final post, at the Università "Federico II"
..... Click the link for more information.
Helmut Rix (July 4, 1926–December 3, 2004) was a German linguist and professor of the Sprachwissenschaftliches Seminar of Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany.

He is best known for his research into Indo-European and Etruscan languages.
..... Click the link for more information.


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