THE “TAVOLA DA ESTE” INSCRIPTION

 

Dear Friends,

I am sending you a copy of my paper presented to the international conference on “Traces of European History,” held in Ljubljana last month. Since its discovery some thirty years ago, the so-called Tavola da Este inscription has baffled linguists. Foremost of these, Anna Marinetti, in spite of her excellent transcription of lettering on the damaged artifact, has been completely stumped. Her customary approach via comparisons to the Greek and Latin again brought no tangible results.

As soon as I received her transcription through the good offices of Giancarlo Tomezzoli from Munich, I knew that translation by means of the Slovene, both dialectal and literary, could be the only resolution. Building on the interest expressed for the material presented to the two conferences last year, the Slovene World Congress this year again organized two conferences – one in Kobarid in the spring and a fall conference in Ljubljana. I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to present two papers this year.

One of the luminaries presenting a paper at Kovarid was Mario Alinei, Dean Emeritus of the University of Utrecht and director of several linguistic reviews. He is the progenitor of the Theory of Continuity, providing incontrovertible evidence that Indo-Europeans have lived in Europe basically in the same territories they occupy today ever since the Stone Age. For our purposes, I quote just two of the more poignant statements from his works:

“I have to commence by clearing away one of the most absurd consequences of the traditional chronology, namely, that of the ‘arrival’ of the Slavs into the immense area in which they now live. The only logical conclusion can be that the southern branch of the Slavs is the oldest and that from it developed the Slavic western and eastern branches…. Today only a minority of experts support the theory of a late migration for the Slavs… .”

To put the foregoing into somewhat broader perspective, I enclose a brief sketch of Alinei’s Theory in its relationship to the

Indo-European beginnings.

 

THE “TAVOLA DA ESTE” INSCRIPTION Anthony Ambrozic, Giancarlo Tomezzoli

taken from

http://maknews.com/html/articles/ambrozic/tavola_de_este.html

 

 

Abstract

A division, translation, linguistic examination, and evaluation of the Tavola da Este inscription is presented. It appears that the artifact’s votive character may have served as a prayer formula at a religious site in the vicinity of Padua.

Dated from the period between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th century BC (~ 400 BC), the thin plate of bronze (23.5 x 29 cm.) – see Fig. 1 – was discovered in the 1970’s during excavations for the reconstruction of The Civic Hospital of Este, Veneto (Italy). Now stored at the Museo Nazionale Atestino at Este, the cylindrical man-made artifact is estimated to be only half of the original size. According to A. Marinetti [1], whose transcription shall be used in deciphering, division and translation, the alphabet employed, as well as the artifact, came to Este from the area of Padua, seemingly at a time when the writing on it was no longer understood. It appears that the bronze plate was cut up for eventual reuse.

Before we proceed with the division and translation of the inscription, which was written in continuo, we wish to state that we are in total awe of the absolute professionalism and astuteness of judgment of A. Marinetti in her transcriptional work. Passage after passage of the translated lines bears out the accuracy of her transcription.

Ancient inscribers unquestionably faced logistical handicaps the elimination of which over time we smugly have no conception of in our overregulated, overparsed conformity. They overcame them, often with no guidelines to go by, by ingenious adaptations. Some such peculiarities, such as the omission of the U-sound at the end of participles, will be pointed out as they arise. Another phenomenon is betatism. We also often encounter akanje (akanye), which is a tendency to substitute an A-sound for a short O of today. Also occurring frequently is the bare E which is now invariably preceded by a J to form JE (pr. YE as in yellow) for “is, it is”, cf. also [2,3].

In any event, also considering the punctuation, it appears that there are no hard and fast rules for this and other ancient scripts.

LINE ONE

Marinetti’s Transcription

1 ]o.m.kutetiiariqore.s.va.cso.n. q-[------------------(-----)]imo.i.s.toqi-[--]e : ne.i.j a.r.o.-[

1 ]omkudediaritoresvagsont-[ ]imoisdoti-[]e neibaro-[

Our Division:

[ ]om KUD E DIARITOR E SVAGS ON t-[ ] imoisdoti – [ ]e NEI BARO – [ ]

Pronunciational Guide and Punctuation

[ ]om KUD JE DJARITOR JE SVAGS(T) ON t-[ ] imoisdoti – [ ]e NEJ VARO(U) –[ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation:

[ ]om KJER JE DARITELJ JE ZVAGAN ON t-[ ] imoisdoti – [ ]e NAJ VAROVAL –[ ]

Eng. Translation:

[ ]om WHERE THE OFFEROR IS JUDGED t-[ ] imoisdoti – [ ]e LET BE PROTECTED –[ ]

Commentary:

KUD, also KUDA, is Sc. For “where”. The lit. Sln. Is KOD.

The etymology of DIARITOR is derived from DAR – “gift, present, donation”. However, here the votive context is obvious and the word’s similarity to the Sln. DARITEV – “sacrifice” is unambiguous. The translation really calls for ZHRTVOVALEC in Sln. and “sacrificer” in Eng. In form DARITELJ – “giver, donor” (pr. DARITEL) is closer to the original and does not provoke an etymological analysis which the Sln. ZHRTEV would, on account of its inherent meaning containing all the three components of the ancient ritualistic sacrifice, namely, that of the “VICTIM” (of a victory), being victimized by being “SACRIFICED” (lit. in L. “made holy”) and then consumed (Sln. “pozhrt – Eng. “devoured”) at a ritualistic meal.

SVAGS is a composition of the Sln. Prefix S – “with, by, at” and VAGS, an adj. form of VAGA (inf. VAGATI) – “balance, scale (of justice and weight)”, i.e. figuratively, “judgment”. Vide VAGTAIE in inscription M-01a, p. 29, GKU-AA.

NEI is a dial. Sln. counterpart of the literary Sln. NAJ – “let it, let it be that”. It appears as NEY in the inscription W-010 on p. 8 of GKU-AA; as NAI in the inscription III, p.9, GKU-AA; and lastly, as NII (ikanje) in inscription XV, p. 25, ATB-AA and in inscription II, p. 7, Appendix C, GKU-AA

BARO exhibits the phenomenon of betatism, an exchange among letters B, V and P. These share a similarity of sound originating in the labial area of the mouth. The original Venetic alphabet reflected this exchange by having the same symbol for both B and V. In respect to BARO [VARO(U) in dial. Sln.], another adaptive feature is the U-sound. It is quite often omitted. It is never inscribed at the end of participles. However, it is not improbable that it was not sounded at all. Today’s Croatian vernacular of Dalmatia and Lika invariably omit it. As a result, we encounter verbs in a transitive, iterative, uncompleted-action form in instances where today’s Sln. calls for an intransitive verb.

The very dial. Sln. VARO(U) (its lit Sln. counterpart being VARUJE) derives from the inf. VARATI which in its archaic origin meant “to protect, to watch over”. Vide VAR in two separate inscriptions on pp. 55 and 66, GKU-AA, VARA in inscription M-04, p. 27, GKU-AA, and the grammatical dual VORETO in the inscription XXXVIII, p. 60, ATB-AA.

Word and Meaning Comparison

Venetic Text

Meaning

Sln.

Meaning

KUD (Sc.)

where

KÓD

where

E

is

JE

is

DIARITOR

offeror, sacrificer

DARITELJ

giver, donor

 

(pr. DARITEL)

 

DARITEV

sacrifice

SVAGS

judged

ZVAGAN

weighed, balanced

ON

he

ON

he

NEI

let, let it be

NEJ (dial.)

let, let it be

 

NAJ (lit.)

BARO

protect

VARUOU (dial.)

protect.

 

VAROVAL (lit.)

 

(pr. VAROVAU)

LINE TWO

Marinetti’s Transcription:

2 ]-orecno.s.e.kvo.[-].jo.s.mo.1.qevejose.i.vito :X:ve.r.te.o.s.tiiariqo.r.jo.s.tane.i.v[-]-

a.q.qaplanam[

2 ]-oregnosekvo[i]bosmolteveboseivido :X:verdeosdiaritorbosdaneiv[-]-attaplanam[

Our Division:

[ ] OR E GNO SE K VO I BOS MOLTEV E BO SE I VIDO :X: VER DE OS

DIARITOR BOS DA NEI V ATTAPLANAM –[ ]

Pronunciational Guide and Punctuation:

[ ] OR JE GNO(U) SE K VO I VOS MOLTEV JE BO SE I VIDO(U) :X: VER DJE

OS DIARITOR VOS DA NEI V (P)ATAPLANAM –[ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation (strained):

[ ] DARITELJ JE GNAL SE KO V VSO MOLITEV SE BO VIDEL TUDI BOG. BOG

VERI, DA JE OSTAL DARITELJ VES, DA NIV POTOPLJENJU-[ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation (looser):

[ ] DARITELJ JE GNAL SE, DA TUDI V VSEJ MOLITVI SE BO VIDEL TUDI BOG.

BOG VERI, DA OSTANE DARITEL CEL, DA NIV POTOPLJENJU-[ ]

Eng. Translation:

[ ] THE OFFEROR HAS STRIVEN THAT IN ALL HIS PRAYER SHALL BE SEEN

ALSO GOD. GOD, BE RELIABLE IN THAT THE OFFEROR REMAINS UNHARMED,

THAT HE NOT (END UP) IN DROWNING [ ]

Commentary:

-OR is very likely the suffix of DIARITOR, not only because of the context, but also because no other word in the text ends with –OR;

E is the aux. to the reflex. GNO SE, the three together to mean “pushed himself to, strived”, the subject being DIARITOR.

K is the dial. Sln. K - “would it that, so that”. Vide inscription P-03, p.23 and inscription M-01b, p. 32, GKU-AA.

Still extant in Mac. and Rus., VO is the counterpart of the lit. Sln. V – “in, into, at”.

Much encountered in the Slavenetic inscriptions from ancient Gaul, the Sc. I – “and “ by its repeated use to the point of a fixation in the text, here has the meaning of “also” rather than “and”.

BOS is a very dial. Sln. VOS – “all, whole”. It is seen as VAS in the “Spada di Verona” inscription, p. 111, GKU-AA. Its contemporary colloquial equivalent is VS as well as VAS.

The Eng. word whole means “sound, healthy, uninjured”. It has equivalence of meaning in the Sln. CEL – “whole, all” which in the inf. CELITI – “to heal, to cure” or prefixed ZA-CEL-JEN – “healed, cured” reflects the unbrokeness of body as being “whole”.

The contemporary Sln. fut. tense has shed the additional aux. JE, but in E VO SE (-JE BO SE – “shall be”), we still encounter both the present and future tense forms of aux. BITI –“to be”.

MOLTEV is readily recognizable in today’s Lit. Sln. MOLITEV – “prayer”

VIDO is the dial. Sln. participial VIDO(U) of the lit. Sln. VIDEL (pr. VIDE(U)) – “seen”.

The context of the text predicates the symbolic representation of :X: to be for a deity. Not only does the sentence before the symbol end with it (omega), but the next sentence begins with it (alpha). We see an almost Hebraic reluctance to write the personal name of God. There is no such scrupulousness in other Slavic passages treated so far. Gods Sosin, Velis, Mithras, Ates and godess Kubeleya are quite openly named. Are the four dots on each side of the symbol to represent a cultic Tetragrammaton?

Who, then, is our offeror to stand out so staunchly to guard his God from the rest of the words in the text, as if from a contamination? That he is a seafarer is clear by his plea for protection against (P)ATAPLANAM – “drowning” and mirrored in KOMP – “boat”, VALGAM – “waves” and KERMENOS – “helmsman” (see later). To what distant eastern ports does he ply his trade?

VER (lit. Sln. VERI) is the dial. Sln. imp. of inf. VERITI – “to make reliable, trustworthy”.

DE (DJE and DJE) is a common colloquial contraction of DA JE - <<>>. The JE portion of it serves as aux. verb to OS – “remain”. Already encountered in several inscriptions from ancient Gaul and Anatolia, OS remained unaltered regardless of tense, mood or voice called for.

DA – “that, so that” is here encountered, probably because the word that follows it, i.e. NEI, starts with a consonant, and retaining the vowel A in DA makes for a more balanced cadence in speech.

NEI is the dial. Sln. NEJ – “not, is not” for the lit. NI.

V is the lit. Sln. “in, into, at”. We do not know whether an O or possibly an A followed it. The meaning, however, is clear.

-ATTAPLANAM is missing a letter at the front. By going through the alphabet the only candidate that fits is the letter P. This renders the word as the very akn. form of PATAPLANAM which can readily be identified in the contemporary lit. Sln. POTOPLJENJEM – “drowning”. This construction draws support from VALGAM – “waves” and KERMENOS – “helmsman” and KOMP – “boat, raft”.

Word and Meaning Comparison

Venetic Text

Meaning

Sln.

Meaning

(DIARIT)OR

offeror, sacrificer

DARITELJ

giver, donor

 

(pr. DARITEL)

E (aux.)

is, did

JE (aux.)

is, did

GNO SE (reflex.)

strived

GNAL SE

pushed himself

 

(pr. GNAU)

strived

 

(dial.) GNOU SE

K

that, so that

K

that, so that

VO

in, into

V

in, into

BOS

all, whole

VES (lit.)

all, whole

 

VAS, VS (dial.)

MOLTEV

prayer, plea

MOLITEV

prayer

E BO SE

shall be, will be

BO SE

shall be, will be

I

also

IN

and, also

VIDO

seen

VIDEL (pr. VIDEU)

seen

 

(dial.) VIDU

VER

make it trustworthy

VERI

make trustworthy

reliable

VER (dial.)

reliable

DE

that he/she/it is

DJE, DJE (dial.)

that he/she/it is

DIARITOR

vide supra

BOS

vide supra

DA

that, so that

DA

that, so that

NEI

not, is not

NI (lit.)

not, is not

 

NEJ (dial.)

V

in into

V

in, into

-ATTAPLANAM

drowning

POTOPLJENJEM

drowning.

 

(pr. dial. POTOPLENEM

LINE THREE

Marinetti’s Transcription:

3 ]eqa.i.io.n.va.l.ca.m.qo.om.mni.o.peto.n. : .e.lokvi.l.lo.s.to.u.ka.i.periko.n.voni.n.ko.m.pro.i.vo.s.[

3 ]etai(i)onvalgamtoom(m)niopedon : elokvillosdoukaiperikonvoninkomproivos[

Our Division:

[ ] E TAI I ON VALGAM TOOM M NIO PEDON : E LOK VIL L OS DOUKAJ PERIKON VONIN KOMP PROIV OS [ ]

Pronunciational Guide and Punctuation:

[ ] JE TAJ I ON VALGAM TOUOM M NJOU PEDON : JE LOK VIL L OS DOUKAJ PERIKON VONIN KOMP PROJV OS [ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation (strained):

[ ] JE TA IN ONI VALOVOM S TELESOM MI NJOJ U PEST ; JE LOK LE NAVIT OSTAL DOKAJ KOT NAPERJEN PRAV JE DUŠIN BROD OSTAL [ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation (looser):

[ ] JE SLEHERNI S TELESOM VALOVOM NJEJ (arch.) V PEST ; LE NAJ JE LOK OSTAL NAVIT DOKAJ KOT NAPERJEN V PRAVO SMER JE DUŠIN BROD [ ]

Eng. Translation:

[ ] HER BEING AND HIS THE WAVES AWAIT INTO THEIR CLUTCHING GRASP ; MAY THE BOW REMAIN UNDRAWN MUCH AS POINTED STRAIGHT – ARROW REMAINS THE SOUL’S RAFT [ ]

Commentary:

The Sc. TAJ has the Sln. counterpart in TA – “this”.

ON is lit. Sln. for “he”.

VALGAM – “to the waves” has a fem., pl., dat. case that predicates the nom. sing. to be VALGA. It is no coincidence that the Russian river VOLGA is pronounced in Rus. as VALGA.

TOOM – “with the body” omits the U one would expect between the two Os. We encounter the word as TOVO in inscription G-02, p. 45, GKU-AA and as TOBO in the Plumergat Stele inscription from Armorica (vide App. E, GKU-AA).

M is the dial. Sln. M - “to me” and an example of the use of pers. pronouns for purposes of emphasis.

NIO (NJO) is fem., sing. acc. of ONA – “she”. Here it presents a grammatical dilemma in that it is not governed by VALGAM because VALGAM is pl. and dat.. The only way it could refer to VALGAM is by an implied VODA – “water” surfing in the thought process of the inscriber’s mind. An alternative explanation could be that there were other words, now lost to us, preceding E TAI containing a fem. noun to which NIO referred.

In respect to NIO, another facet is that the context of the passage at hand argues for a diphtonged NIOU, the U ushering the word that follows, PEDON, with a preposition. We have encountered such an omitted U in BARO, GNO and VIDO.

Literally meaning “into the (measure of a) span”, U PEDON conjures up the image of an outstretched hand or claw, ready to pounce.

E, JE is here aux. to VIL.

LOK is lit. Sln. – “bow”.

VIL is p.p. of inf. VITI – “to wind”.

PROIV => straight, just, right => PRAV => straight, just, right

OS => remains => OSTANE => remains

LINE FOUR

Marinetti’s Transcription:

4 ]i.me.r.ketaq--[-]-u.qe.i.tekome.i.tiie.i.kva.n.venev[?]i.s.pa.i.verokeno.n.[

4 ]imerkedat--[-]-uteidekomeidieikvanvenev[?]ispaiverokenon[

Our Division:

[ ] IM ER KE DAT ---(-) [-] U TEI DE KOMEI DIEI K VAN VENEV [?] I SPAI VERO K E N ON [ ]

Pronunciational Guide and Punctuation:

[ ] JIM JER KE DAT ---(-) [-] U TEJ DJE KOMEJ ZHE K VAN VENEV [?] I SPAJ VERO(U) K JE N ON [ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation:

[ ] KER JIM TJA DATI ---(-) [-] V TEJ DA JE KOMAJ ZHE KO VEN VENEL (ODCVETEL) [?] IN V SPANJU VERIL DA NAJ JE ON [ ]

Eng. Translation:

[ ] BECAUSE THERE TO GIVE THEM ---(-) [-] IN THIS THAT HE NO SOONER WITHERED OUT THAN [?] AND SLEEPING SEEN TO IT THAT HE [ ]

Commentary:

For another instance of IM (JIM) – “them, to them” see IM in inscription B-01, p. 52 GKU-AA

ER (JER) is an arch. form of today’s lit. Sln. KER – “because”. Vide ER in inscription I p. 59, GKU-AA and inscription XXII, p. 33, ATB-AA.

KE – “there”. Vide KEDOKEY in inscription W-01b, p. 17, GKU-AA

DAT is still the Sln. colloquial usage for the lit. Sln. inf. DATI – “to give”.

U – “in, into” is still the colloquial-speech counterpart of the lit. Sln. V – “in, into”.

TEI (TEJ) – “to, to this one” is an arch. form for the fem. sing. dat. case of ONA – “she”, the preposition U preceding TEI predicating the dat. case. Vide TEJ in inscription XXXIV, p. 53, ATB-AA and in inscription W-01b, p. 17, GKU-AA.

DE (DJE and DJE) is a common colloquial contraction of DA JE – “that he/she/it is”.

KOMEI is the dial. Sln. for the lit. Sln. KÓMAJ – “scarcely, hardly”.

DIEI is a sound approximation of the dial. Sln. ZHEJ – “already, yet, as early as”. Due to the lack of diacritics, the ancients coined as best they could.

The second L is for the dial. Sln. L - “let it, may it be that”.

OS, see OS under Commentary for Line Two.

DOUKAI – “much as, rather as” is the arch. diphtonged for of today’s DOKÁJ – “much, a good many, rather”

PERKON – “aimed, pointed at” has a contemporary lit. Sln. prefixed counterpart in (NA)PERJEN – “aimed, pointed at”.

VONIN – “of the soul, of the spirit” is an adjectivized VON – “soul, spirit” encountered in inscription III of App. C, p. 8 of GKU-AA and in inscription IV, p. 92, GKU-AA.

KOMP – “boat, raft” and PROJV – “straight, just right” for today’s PRAV with the same meaning exhibit the phenomenon of “conecutive same-sound letter reduction” seen in passages Dd-102, G-144, G-229, M-01b, M-02, W-08 and B01. Vide p. 114 GKU-AA for a fuller explanation.

For OS, see OS supra.

Word and Meaning Comparison

Venetic Text

Meaning

Sln.

Meaning

E

is

JE

is

TAI (Sc.)

this

TA

this

I

and

IN

and

ON

he

ON

he

VALGAM

to the waves

VALOVOM

to the waves

TOOM

with the body

TELOM (dial.)

 

TELES OM (lit.)

 

TUOM (dial.)

M

to me

M (dial.)

to me

(emphasis)

MI (lit.)

(emphasis)

MIO

her

NJO (lit.)

her

 

NJOU (dial.)

PEDON

grasp, fist

PED

span

 

PEDENJ

(measure from

 

(pr. PEDEN)

the index to the last finger)

E (aux.)

is, did

JE (aux.)

is, did

LOK

bow

LOK

bow

VIL

wound

(NA) VIL

wound

OS

remain

OSTANE

remain

DOUKAI

much as, rather as

DOKAJ

much as, a good

 

many, rather

PERIKON

aimed, pointing at

(NA)PERJEN

aimed, pointing at

VONIN

of the soul

VONJEN

scented, aromatic

 

smelling

KOMP

boat, raft

KOMP, KOMPA

boat, raft

 

(Iterative, Enumeration)

SPAJ

sleeping

SPAJE

sleeping

 

(obsolescent)

 

V SPANJU

VERO

made reliable, trustworthy

VERIL (VERIV)

saw to it that it be

 

reliable, trustworthy

K

that, so that

K (dial.)

that, so that

 

KO (lit.)

E

he/she/it is

JE

he, she, it is

N

let, may, may it happen

N (dial.)

let, may it happen

that that

ON

he

ON

he.

LINE FIVE

Marinetti’s transcription:

5 ]preke.r.e.s.t[----]-o.1.qevejo.s.e.i.po.i.krivine.a.:\:ti.a[

5 ]-rekeresd[----]-olteveboseipoikrivinea.: \ : dia[

Our Division:

[ ] REK E RES D [-------(--)] –OLTEV E BO SE I POI KRIV I NEA :X: dia [ ]

Pronunciational Guide and Punctuation:

[ ] REK JE RAJŠ D [-------(--)] –OLTEV JE BO SE I POJ KRIV I NEJA :X: dia [ ]

Sln. Lit. Translation:

[ ] JE REK RAJŠI DA [-------(--)] (M)OLITEV SE NE BO POTEM TUDI KRIVA :X: dja [ ]

Eng. Translation:

[ ] TO SAY RATHER THAT [-------](--)] THE PRAYER SHALL THEN NOT BE ALSO FALSE; DIA [ ]

Commentary:

REK – “to say” appears to be an arch. inf. of today’s dial. Sln. REKTI – “to say”.

RES is the Venetic counterpart of today’s dial. Sln. REJŠ and lit. Sln. RAJŠI, both meaning – “rather, better, sooner”.

D is the dial. Sln. D for the lit. Sln. DA – “that, so that”.

Undoubtedly MOLTEV is an arch. form for the present day MOLITEV – “prayer”.

K is dial. Sln. K for the lit. Sln. KO – “when, as”. KOMEI DIEI K is today’s idiom KOMAJ ZHE KO – “no sooner than”.

VAN is the Venetic counterpart for the contemporary dial. Sln. VAN and VN and the lit. Sln. VEN, all meaning – “out”.

VENEV is an exact sound replica of the lit. Sln. VENEL (pr. VENEV) – “withered, faded”.

I for – “and”. Even though standing alone I is Sc. for – “and”; Sln. also employs it as I …I in instances of iterative enumeration.

SPAI is a Sln. dial. gerund of the inf. SPATI – “to sleep”. However, the contemporary use of SPAJE – “sleeping” is obsolete and generally replaced by V SPANJU – “in one’s sleep”.

VERO is p.p. of inf. VERITI – “to make reliable, trustworthy”.

K is for the dial. Sln. K - “that, so that”.

E is for JE – “he/she/it is”.

N is for the very dial. Sln. N - “let, may, may it happen that”. Vide N in inscription G-136, p. 10 GKU-AA.

ON encountered above is for the lit. Sln. ON – “he”.

Word and Meaning Comparison

Venetic Text

Meaning

Sln.

Meaning

IM

to them

JIM

to them

ER

because

JER (dial.)

because

 

KER (lit.)

KE

there

DE (dial.)

there

 

TJA (lit.)

DAT

to give

DAT (dial.)

to give

 

DATI (lit.)

U

in, into

U, also V

in, into

TEI

to this one

TEJ (dial.)

to this one

 

TI (lit.)

DE

that he/she/it is

DJE, DJE

that he/she/it is

 

(both dial.)

KOMEI

scarcely, hardly

KOMEJ (dial.)

scarcely, hardly

 

KOMAJ (lit.)

DIEI

already, yet, as early as

ZHEJ (dial.)

already, yet,

 

ZHE (lit.)

as early as

K

when, as, that

K (dial.)

when as, that

 

KO (lit.)

KOMEI DEI K

no sooner than

KOMAJ ZHE KO

no sooner than

VAN

out

VN, VAN (dial.)

out

 

VEN (lit.)

VENEV

withered, faded

VENEL (pr. VENEV)

withered, faded

I

(Sc.) and

IN

and

E BO SE I – “will also be” is the contemporary JE BO SE IN, BO SE TUDI. See E BO SE I under Line Two.

POI is still the adv. dial. Sln. (Gor.; RACNA) form POJ for the contemporary lit. Sln. POTEM – “then”.

KRIV is still the form of today’s lit. Sln. KRIV which has meanings ranging from “guilty, culpable, false” on one side to “curved, crooked, distorted, bent” on the other. When it comes to expressions of moral and religious judgement, it is the former group that is relevant and especially in the meaning of “false”. This can be seen in such expressions as KRIVA PRISEGA – “false oath”. PO KRIVEM – “falsely”, KRIVI BOGOVI – “false gods”, KRIV PREROK – “false prophet”, KRIVA VERA – “false belief, heresy”. Accordingly, since KRIV in the text at hand relates to (M)OLTEV – “prayer”, we are compelled to render KRIV as – “false”.

Word and Meaning Comparison

Venetic Test

Meaning

Sln.

Meaning

REK

to say

REKTI (dial. arch.)

to say

 

RECI (lit.)

E

is, it is

JE

is, it is

RES

rather

REJŠ (dial.)

rather

 

RAJŠI (dial.)

sooner

D

that, so that

D (dial.)

that, so that

 

DA (lit.)

MOLTEV

prayer

MOLITEV

prayer

E BO SE I

will also be

(JE) BO SE IN

will also be

 

(strained)

 

SE BO TUDI

POI

then

POJ (dial.)

then

 

POTEM (lit.)

KRIV

false

KRIV

guilty, culpable,

 

false; crooked,

 

bent

NEA

is not

NIJE (Sc.)

is not.

LINE SIX

Marinetti’s Transcription:

6 ].s.toqikelut[-----]-niqa[--]okv-ker.me.n.oso.n.mo.l[

6 ]sdotikelud[-----]nita[--]okv-kermen-sonmol[

Our Division:

Due to its truncated state, it would be a chancy endeavor to place a definitive value on most of what is left of Line Six. The only word that comes out clearly is KERMENOS. This is an arch. form of today’s lit. Sln. KORMANUŠ – “helmsman”. The more frequent usage now is KRMAR from KRMA – “the stern (part of a boat)”. It would also be noted that A. Marinetti in the second version of the transcription [1] erroneously omits the letter O in KERMENOS which comes out quite clearly in the inscription.

Reflection

As already stated, we are indebted to Anna Marinetti for her excellent transcription. And this of an artifact that would not divulge its symbols even to photography. Her finding that the Venetic language is Indo-European of relative transparency in respect to morphology, lexicon, and syntax is also born out by the above translation.

Her further conclusion, on p. 419, that it is also tightly tied to Latin (“e anche strettamente legata (lingua) al Latino”), however, is unfortunate. It causes her to deduce by means of the Latin that the inscription has to do with “spatial” matters and has reference to animals (“ekvo(i)vos, moltevebos, elokvillos” – p. 420). Apparently, the similarity of the first of the above beasts to the Latin “equus” (horse) has induced her to this claim.

As a result, she argues that the inscription served a civic function, was of a possibly contractual nature, containing a juridical (notarial) disposition in respect to boundaries, real estate, and usufructs in relation thereto.

In view of our indebtedness for her fine transcription, we take no pleasure in having disproven her conclusions by the above translation.

Conclusion

It appears that the artifact’s votive character may have served as a prayer formula at a religious site in the vicinity of Padua. Being only some 20 miles from the Venetian Lagoon, Padua was at the center of the river systems that drain into the lagoon and into the Gulf of Venice. The prayer was structured for the mariner supplicants. The enigma of the çXç symbol in the inscription likely indicates an option as to which individual deity the supplicants plea was to have been addressed.

Bibliography

1. Marinetti A., Venetico 1976 – 1996. Acquisizioni e prospettive, in Protostoria e Storia del ‘Venetorum Angulus’, Atti del XX Convegno di Studi Etruschi ed Italici, Portogruaro – Quarto D’Altino – Este – Adria, 16-19 Ottobre 1996, Istituti Editoriali Poligrafici Internazionali, Pisa – Roma, 1999, ISBN 88-8147-169-8;

2. Ambrozic. A., Etymological Parallelism in Inscriptions, Tribal Names, Toponyms, Hydronyms, and Word Compounding from Ancient Gaul, Proceedings of the First International Topical Conference “The Veneti within the Ethnogenesis of the Central-European Population”, September 17-18, 2001 Ljubljana; Zaloznistvo Jutro, Ljubljana 2002.

3. Ambrozic A., Gordian Knot Unbound, Cythera Press, Toronto, 2002;

4. Ambozic A., Adieu to Brittany: a transcription and translation of Venetic passages and toponyms, Cythera Press, Toronto, 1999;

5. Tomezzoli G., Cudinov V. A., The “Spada di Verona”, Proceedings of the Conference “Ancient Settlers of Central Europe”, September 28, 2002, Ljubljana; Zaloznistvo Jutro, Ljubljana 2003.

Povzetek

=> Napis “Tavola da Esta”

Predstavljena je delitev, prevod, jezikoslovna raziskava in ovrednotenje napisa Tavola da Este. Videti je, da je predmet votivnega znacaja in da je sluzil kot molitveni obrazec v nekem svetiscu v blizini Padove.

Abbreviations

acc.

Accusative

fut.

Future Tense

p., pp.

Page(s)

adj.

Adjective

gen.

Genitive

pers.

Personal

adv.

Adverb

imp.

Imperative

pl.

Plural

akn.

Akanje

inf.

Infinitive

pr.

Pronounce

arch.

Archaic

L.

Latin

p.p.

Past Participle

aux.

Auxiliary Verb

lit.

Literary

reflex

Reflexive

dat.

Dative

Mac.

Macedonian

Rus.

Russian

dial.

Dialectal

masc.

Masculine

SC.

Serbo – Croatian

Eng.

English

nom.

Nominative

sing.

Singular

fem.

Feminine

O.Phr.

Old Phrygian

Sln.

Slovenian

 

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