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date: 27 January 2023

epigraphy, Etruscanfree

epigraphy, Etruscanfree

  • Jean Turfa


  • Linguistics
  • Roman Material Culture
  • Roman Myth and Religion

The study of the inscriptions written in the Etruscan language and alphabet, usually texts incised on stone, pottery, or metal objects, or occasionally on more fragile media such as ink-on-cloth. Dipinti (painted inscriptions) appear on vases and frescoes, especially from tombs at Tarquinia, Chiusi, and Vulci. The unique characteristics of the non-Indo-European Etruscan language and its seminal place in transmission of the “Roman” alphabet and numerals make it impractical to divorce linguistic, historical, and social considerations from the study of Etruscan epigraphy. The gradual replacement of Etruscan with Latin characters and language may serve as an index of the political and social domination of the Roman state.

The alphabet reached Etruria during the 8th century bce; the earliest exemplar is a set of rocchetti (spools/tablet-weaving weights) incised with the letter A, in a woman’s burial at Veii, implying the involvement of women weavers in its dissemination.1 Early examples (7th-century, especially abecedaria or sample alphabets) retain letter forms developed in western Greek colonies such as Pithekoussai, including letters not used in the pronunciation of Etruscan. These soon dropped out (d, b, o) or were reassigned to different sounds (gamma = c; an array of s-sounds attached to forms of sigma and Phoenician sibilants). The scripts of Italic languages such as Latin, Faliscan, and Umbrian were subsequently derived from Etruscan archaic forms. Etruscan is usually transliterated with the Latin alphabet, plus the Greek letters theta, chi, and phi to represent th, ch, and ph; there is no consensus on exact pronunciation. Transcriptions otherwise follow the same editorial conventions as Greek and Latin epigraphy.

Women are named in many early inscriptions; from the 7th century, servile and freed persons sometimes signed their works, implying widespread literacy. Inscriptions on road cuttings and cippi outside tombs naming the occupants (as at Caere) imply that customers and passersby were expected to read them, as do ornaments worn by men and women. The Romans credited the Etruscans as a source of written scriptures, the etrusca disciplina, recording the tenets of their religion. The authority of many texts is asserted by formulae such as “X zichunce” (“X has written”), or zichri cn (“let this be written,” Zagreb text ET LL I.21); or the declaration of the Perugia cippus, ich ca cecha zichuche (“as this agreement has been written down”; ET Pe 8.4).

Etruscan inscriptions are divided into two periods, Archaic (7th–5th centuries bce) and Late (4th–1st centuries bce). Following one or two generations of experiment (including boustrophedon style, with lines alternating direction “as the ox plows”), Etruscan came to be written sinistrorsa (from right to left; pictorial scenes were “read” the same way); according to chronological period and locale, various forms of punctuation were used, such as one to four dots between words. Scribal schools may be identified at some cities (e.g., Veii) by the later 7th century.2

Historical Approaches to Etruscan Epigraphy

Scholarly interest in Etruscan inscriptions was evident in the Middle Ages, when many more examples remained visible. Annius of Viterbo, in Antiquitatum variorum volumina XVII a venerando et sacrae theologiae et praedicatorii ordinis professore Ioanni Annio (Paris, 1512 and 1515) had begun to correctly transliterate inscriptions and attempted to read them by referring to Greek and Latin comparanda.3 Scholarship was stimulated when northern finds provoked the interest of the Medici; by the 18th century, drawings of monuments and inscriptions were published. The founding of the Accademia Etrusca at Cortona (1727) further encouraged research. Lodovico Bourguet’s Dissertazione sopra l’alfabeto etrusco (1735), like other early works, was influenced by the Umbrian and Latin Tablets of Gubbio (discovered 1444 and later). Major contributions included Thomas Dempster’s De Etruria regali libri VII (2 vols., 1723–1726), and Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (Dresden, 1764) which illustrated mythical names engraved on an Etruscan gem. Luigi Lanzi in Saggio di lingua etrusca e di altre antiche d’Italia (1789) further developed Etruscan epigraphy.4

Formal research tools were created in the 19th century by the Berlin Academy of Sciences with catalogues and indices of inscriptions, the Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum (CIE, ongoing), followed by Massimo Pallottino’s Testimonia Linguae Etruscae (TLE), and two editions of Etruskische Texte (ET). Frequently cited is Mario Buffa’s Nuova Raccolta di Iscrizioni Etrusche (NRIE, Rome, 1935). During the later 20th century (and ongoing), numerous special topics and corpora have been published, especially in the series Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi (Bib. Stud. Etr.). Major exhibitions of epigraphic materials were held in 1985 and 2016. Ongoing inventory of recent finds appears in REE—Rivista di epigrafia etrusca, in annual volumes of Studi Etruschi.

Scholarship in the Etruscan language and epigraphy in the 19th and early 20th centuries dwelt upon the origins question (based on Herodotus’s story [1.94] of Lydian migration) until the historical and archaeological studies of Massimo Pallottino focused attention on the character of Etruscan culture.5 During the 20th and 21st centuries, study of the Etruscan language has progressed through several methodological approaches: the etymological, based on comparanda known from other languages; the bilingual, using parallel texts (such as the epitaphs of Hellenistic Etruscan families inscribed in Etruscan and Latin)6; the combinatory, making reference to inscriptions in known languages with similar formulae or contexts to those of Etruscan texts; and the grammatical method of Helmut Rix. The work of Giovanni Colonna (excavator of the Pyrgi Plaques), Mauro Cristofani (analyst of the Capua “Tile”), and Adriano Maggiani has furnished an archaeological reality check for the epigraphic studies of Wilhelm Deecke and Maristella Pandolfini Angeletti, and the linguistic works of O. A. Danielsson, Søren Peter Cortsen, Giulio Buonamici, Emil Vetter, Eva Fiesel, Helmut Rix, Carlo de Simone, Luciano Agostiniani, and Rex Wallace.7

All Etruscan inscriptions should now be cited by ET designation: geographic abbreviation and serial number for example ET Ta 1.9 = Tarquinia, type 1 (tomb), item no. 9 (epitaph of Velthur Partunus); note that some designations of locale have been amended in the second edition.

Genres and Examples of Etruscan Inscriptions

Most of the 13,000 known Etruscan texts are brief: names, epitaphs, dedications or gift inscriptions. The so-called Tuscania Dice furnished a paradigm for correlating number names with other dice marked, as today, with dots.8 Exceptional texts include an early find of a funeral stele on Lemnos similar in script and language to Etruscan (ca. 600 bce), which complicated research into Etruscan “origins.”9

Long texts are rare, comprising boundary markers, cultic documents in calendar format, votive or magical texts, and one mortgage. A fragmentary liber linteus (“linen book”) is the Zagreb Mummy Binding, a folded cloth book torn up to wrap a female mummy removed from Egypt to Zagreb in the 19th century. It is the longest extant Etruscan text (approximately 1,200 legible words, ca. 2nd century bce).10 Written in broad columns with black ink and rubrics in red beginning each section, it lists dates for cult activities such as sacrifices. The next longest text was incised before firing on the Capua “Tile,” a terracotta slab containing part of a cultic calendar; the 5th-century text preserving almost 300 words betrays older antecedents.11 Divided into ten sections by incised lines, this text runs “pseudo-boustrophedon” with lines alternating not only in direction but also in orientation: alternate lines are upside down, so that either plaque or reader must turn 180 degrees.

The Tabula Cortonensis, the Cortona bronze tablet (discovered in 1992, broken into eight pieces in antiquity), is the third longest inscription (200 words, 27 not previously attested), commemorating funding of a mortgage for purchase of land by several individuals.12 The Perugia cippus (2nd century bce) is a rectangular stone boundary marker recording resolution of a dispute over land and tomb rights by the Velthina and Afuna families. It contains 130 words in 46 lines.13

The next longest inscriptions are magical, cultic or funerary:

Defixio (lead tablet, charm or curse) from Santa Marinella with 80 words (ET 4.10, ca. 500 bce).

Oval lead plaque with spiral inscription of approximately 70 words, perhaps magical, from Magliano (ET Av 4.1, CIE 5237, 5th century bce).

Piacenza bronze liver model (Iecur placentinum), perhaps insignia of a haruspex (divination priest), with 51 names of gods relevant to different areas of a victim’s (sheep) liver (ET Pa 4.2, Hellenistic).14

Epitaph/elogium of Laris Pulenas of Tarquinia, carved onto a scroll exhibited by his sarcophagus effigy (ET Ta 1.17, CIE 5430, 3rd century bce).15 The 59 words in nine lines name his ancestry and offices held in religious cults, noting ancn zich nethśrac acasce “he made this book of liver-divination.”

A stone stele excavated in 2015 at a sanctuary site near Florence (Poggio Colla/Vicchio) preserves a long dedicatory inscription under study.16

Famous monuments include life-size bronze statues of the 4th to 2nd centuries, such as the Chimaera of Arezzo, from lost group, inscribed before casting tinścvil (“gift to Tinia”/Jupiter, ET Ar 3.2).

The “Oratore” (or “Arringatore”) depicts a male statesman and was found near Lake Trasimene (or Perugia): auleśi. meteliś. ve[lus]. vesial. clenśi/cen. flereś. tece. sanśl. tenine. tuthineś. chisvlicś (“For Aule Meteli, son of Vel and Vesi, Tenine set up this statue as a votive offering [or for the deity] to Tec Sans, by deliberation of the people.” ET Pe 3.3; CIE 4196). This may be one of the few surviving public statues of pre-Roman Italy.

The Pyrgi Plaques, excavated at the Caeretan port in 1964, are invaluable in confirming some readings of Etruscan terms and raise questions on politics and society. These are three gold tablets, once affixed to a monument in the seaside sanctuary: one engraved in neat Phoenician-Punic script/language, one with its Etruscan paraphrase (36 or 37 words in 16 lines), and the third another dedication by the same man, Thefarie Velianas, ruler of Caere, who, ca. 500 bce, thanked the goddess Uni-Astarte for assistance, perhaps related to the Etruscan-Carthaginian alliance against Greek Alalia (ca. 535). All were ritually buried when the sanctuary was dismantled.17

A number of Etruscan inscriptions have been identified abroad: in Corsica (4th-century grave goods, ET Cs 2.1–2.23, 0.1–0.2); on the Gaulish coast (Gallia Narbonensis, ET Na 2.1–3.1, Na 0.1: Lattara/Lattes, names on ceramic vessels in a 6th–5th century settlement; graffiti on vases in Marseille and Saint-Blaise; the Pech Mahô seamen’s agreement; vases in wrecks such as Grand Ribaud (F); and in Tunisia (boundary cippi of Etruscans probably deported under Sulla, ET Af 8.1–8.8).18 A fragmentary vase in the Aphaia sanctuary on Aigina preserves part of an Etruscan’s dedication (6th century, ET Gr 3.1).

Writing and Etruscan Society

Finds of actual writing media are rare. A small ivory tablet from a “princely tomb” at Marsiliana d’Albegna (675–650 bce) has an incised abecedarium, likely decorative or magical in purpose (ET AV 9.1, CIE 11445).19 Found with it were ivory knives for smoothing the now-disintegrated wax. Styli are also known. Some small vases have been identified as inkwells, with incised abecedaria: a bucchero flask found near the Regolini Galassi Tomb, Caere (ET Cr 9.1); a bucchero rooster vase from southern Etruria (ET AT 9.1). During the last decades of the 7th century and first half of the 6th, Poggio Civitate (Murlo, Siena) held numerous inscribed objects in a residential setting, including letters and sigla inscribed on bucchero vases or roof tiles, or personal names on ivory tesserae hospitales (tokens in permanent material identifying persons entitled to hospitality in a foreign city) found in the burnt, 7th-century residence.20 Tesserae confirmed the identity of persons from distant regions, such as merchants or bankers.21 One fragmentary tessera (ET AS 2.14) is comparable to the lion tessera from the Roman Sant’Omobono deposit naming Araz Spurianas from Sardinian Sulcis (ET La 2.3, CIE 8602); another may name a businesswoman (ET AS 2.15).

Some archaic Chiusine funerary sculpture, Hellenistic Volterran urns, and other objects depict the importance of writing, with aristocratic men holding a wax tablet or scroll. The painted Tomb of the Shields in Tarquinia (ca. 350 bce) features a winged youth holding a diptych with date: zilci vel[u]s[i] hulchniesi larth velchas vel[thu]r(u)s aprthn[al]c cl[a]n sacniśa thui [ecl]th śuthith acazrce (ET Ta 5.5, “while Vel Hulchnie was zilath [magistrate equivalent to Roman praetor]), Larth Velcha, son of Velthur and of Aprthnai, having made offerings here in this tomb, made [the grave]”). Bronze engraved mirrors portray mythical characters holding or reading from scrolls, tablets, and diptychs (ET Vt S.2). Chiusine cippi show scribes with scrolls or tablets, recording awards in funeral games: when misunderstood, they perhaps inspired the tale of Mucius Scaevola’s assassination attempt on king Porsenna.22

Regional Variation

There is distinct regional variation in letter forms, spelling conventions, grammar, and vocabulary from the end of 8th century bce to the 1st century ce, with differences linked to city and region: southern Etruria bounded by the Tiber, Fiora, and Paglia rivers (Tarquinia, Veii, Vulci, Cerveteri); central and northern Etruscan culture (Vetulonia-Vatluna, Marsiliana d’Albegna, Roselle, Populonia, Volterra-Velathri, Volsinii-Velzna [Urbs Vetus=Orvieto], Chiusi, Perugia, Arezzo.) Significant finds were also made in the upper Adriatic (Spina, Hadria, Marzabotto) and Campania (especially Capua), where letter forms show Caeretan influence.

The shift in language from Etruscan to Latin during the late Republic and Julio-Claudian eras is well documented in funerary and votive inscriptions, such as the Tomb of the Inscriptions in Vulci (4th century bce1st century ce).23Cippi from Tarquinia and elsewhere indicate that the shift to Latin began in southern Etruria at the end of the 2nd century bce, but permeated the north more slowly, despite Roman rule and citizenship.24 At Perugia, the tombs of the Raufe (Raufia) and Velimna (Volumnii) families (1st century bce) each include a bilingual epitaph (ET Pe 1.72, Pe 1.313; CIE 3500 and 3763); other tombs of Hellenistic Perugia include both Latin and Etruscan-language epitaphs. At Chiusi, Etruscan forms and language lingered up to three generations in some families. Syncopation, especially noticeable in names, is a hallmark of later Etruscan (e.g., Ramutha ➔ Ramtha; turuce “gave” ➔turce).

Etruscan inscriptions include civic, economic/commercial, religious, funerary, and magical texts (cf. ET AV 4.2, 4.3, binding spell on lead figures). Stone boundary markers bear the term tular or tular rasnal (“boundary of the Etruscans”).25 Thin plaques of lead (defixiones) were used for curses or charms, and also for business documents, such as a lead plaque (reused, with a Greek commercial inscription) found at the Celtic oppidum site of Pech Mahô (ET Na 0.1, 5th century).26 Probable charms are perfume vases inscribed from left to right, opposite to normal practice, such as the Poupé Aryballos (ET Cr 0.4, late 7th century). Sortes, tokens used in divination, sometimes were inscribed (e.g., lead disc from Arezzo, 2nd century, ET Ar 4.2).

Votives and gifts are often iscrizioni parlanti (“talking inscriptions”), for instance specially commissioned 7th-century gold jewellery with names set in granulation technique (mi arathia velaveśnaś zamathi mamurke mulvenike tursikina, ET Cl 2.3, man’s fibula “I am the gold[fibula] of Arath Velaveśna, Mamurke Tursikina has given”). A vase with grafitto (mi velelias thina mlach mlakas “I am the beautiful/fine vase of beautiful/worthy Velelia,” ET Cr 2.36) employs a favorite formula.27 Votive inscriptions run across bronze statuettes (Apollo figure: mi flereś spulare aritimi/fasti rufriś t(u)rce clen cecha, “for Artemis Spulare I am the offering Fasti Rufris donated on behalf of her son,” ET OB 3.2, 4th century). A few famous names were identified among votives in the Portonaccio shrine, Veii, including Aulus Vibenna, and the Mezentius and Tulumnes (Tolumnii) families of Roman history.28

More than half of the extant inscriptions are funerary offerings and epitaphs, highly formulaic and conservative. In the Orvieto-Vulci region, a 5th–3rd century tradition of disfiguring vases and metalwork (jewelry, instrumenta, mirrors) with the inscription śuthina (“of the tomb” from śuthi, tomb), possibly prevented state claims on valuable metal offerings. Some tomb dedications state eca śuthi (“this tomb”) or thui cesu (“here lies”). Thousands of tombs, cippi, urns, and sarcophagi at Chiusi, Volterra, and Tarquinia constitute a fine database for demographic and social analyses.29 A special feature of urns, tomb frescoes, and sarcophagi at Chiusi and Volterra (from the 4th century) was formulae recording age at death. Some epitaphs record the number of offspring (huśur, huśiur, ET Pe 5.1) or sons (clenar); some women were recorded with the gamonymic “wife (puia) of X,” but men were not labeled “husband.” The deceased were named as “son” (clan) or “daughter” (sec/sech), occasionally “grandson” (nefts), or rarely “grandmother” (ati nacna, ati nacnva ET Ta 1.51).

Some inscriptions denote noble classes with triple names, equivalent to Roman onomastic schemes; the gens-name was at times derived from an ancestor’s praenomen or a territory of origin.30 At Orvieto, stone-built tombs in the Crocifisso del Tufo and Cannicella necropoleis have lintels inscribed with founders’ names (ET Vs 1.1 to 1.168).31 Volterra has numerous Hellenistic urns naming members of the Caecina/Ceicna family, noted in Roman history (ET Vt passim).

Manumission resulted in adoption of the master’s first name and creation of a new family name; epitaphs denote male and female freed persons as lautni or lautnitha (Latin libertus, -a). Slaves had single names compounded with the owner’s name in the genitive (Tomba Golini Orvieto: ET Vs 7.3–7.12). A few items carry artist’s signatures or workshop designations, such as Arnthe Praxias, a Greek name with Etruscan praenomen (Arnth) on a 5th-century amphora from a Vulcian tomb (ET Vc 6.3, 7.2–7.5). A Caeretan White-on-Red pyxis in the Louvre (ET Cr 6.4, ca. 650 bce) was signed kvsnailise, denoting the slave of a woman of the Cusna family. Several early vases, tiles, and a Tarquinian tomb fresco bear servile names of craftsmen, and Hellenistic vase-stamps are attributed to slave workshops.32 A mold for terracotta statuettes was incised before firing as the property of Luvcies Aninies (ET Cr 2.139).

Inscriptions of architect/engineer mark some road-cuttings; architectural terracottas of monumental buildings, as the Portonaccio Temple, Veii, bear sigla, incised or painted, of single letters or combinations of letters. Populonia was one of the first cities to mint bronze coins, inscribed Pupluna/Fufluna (5th century bce). A bronze weight may represent a civic standard (ET Cr 4.22); lead sling bullets cast with a name (e.g., staties, ET AV 0.7) probably denoted a commander of militia. A number of objects were inscribed before firing (vases), casting (bronzes like the Chimaera of Arezzo), or construction (gold jewelry). Some transport amphorae were incised or painted with merchants’ marks or names. A rare find at Musarna, near Tarquinia, is a Hellenistic mosaic pavement in a public bath building naming the Alethna family (ET AT 5.1+5.2). Gems and mirrors were engraved with labels for images.33

Primary Sources

Basic Corpora

CIE—Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum: intended to catalogue all Etruscan inscriptions, including sigla, with facsimiles, each inscription serially numbered but published in a volume/fascicule according to geographic source and moveable objects vs. permanent structures. Published at different times: early series, Leipzig: Barth; later series, Rome: Centro di Studio per l’Archeologia Etrusco-Italico; 1964 fascicle, Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider.

Vol. 1: northern Etruria (1893–1902), K. Pauli, O. A. Danielsson, B. Nogara; Vol. 2 section 1, fasc. 1 (Orvieto, etc., 1907), Danielsson, fasc. 2 (Populonia, etc., 1923), Danielsson, fasc. 3 (Tarquinia, 1936), Danielsson, E. Sittig; Vol. 2 section 2: fasc. 1 (ager Faliscus, Capenate, including Faliscan inscriptions, 1912), G. Herbig; Suppl. Zagreb Mummy (1919–1921), G. Herbig.

Vol. 2 section 1, fasc. 4 (Tarquinia, Cerveteri, 1970), M. Cristofani; Vol. 2 section 2, fasc. 2 (Latium, Campania), M. Pandolfini Angeletti; Vol. 3 fasc. 1 (Tarquinia, 1982), M. Pandolfini Angeletti; fasc. 2 (Orvieto, 1987), Pandolfini Angeletti and G. M. Carella Prada; fasc. 3 (Vulci, 1994), Pandolfini Angeletti; fasc. 4 (Roselle, Vetulonia, 2004), A. Maggiani, S. Zambelli. Vol. 2 section 1, fasc. 5 (Veii instrumenta, architecture, some ager Faliscus, 2006), G. Colonna, D.F. Maras.

In preparation: Vol. 3 fasc. 4, 5 (Cerveteri, Populonia), Pandolfini Angeletti and Maggiani; Vol. 2 section 2, fasc. 4 (Etruria Padana), G. Sassatelli; fasc. 5 (Liguria, Gaul, western Mediterranean), G. Colonna.

  • TLEM. Pallottino, Testimonia Linguae Etruscae. 2d ed. Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1968.
  • ThLE—Thesaurus Linguae Etruscae I. Indice lessicale. Rome: Centro di Studio per l’Archeologia Etrusco-Italica, 1978. 2d ed. Edited by E. Benelli with M. Pandolfini Angeletti and V. Belfiore. Pisa: F. Serra, 2009.
  • ETEtruskische Texte. Edited by H. Rix et al. Editio minor. I: Einleitung, Konkordanz, Indices; II: Texte. Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr, 1991. 2d ed. Edited by G. Meiser with V. Belfiore and S. Kluge. Hamburg: Baar, 2014. Omits inscriptions with fewer than three letters.
  • Etruscan Texts Project. Edited by R. E. Wallace (University of Massachusetts, Amherst).
  • IESP: The International Etruscan Sigla Project (Florida State University and Università degli Studi di Milano), to document all sigla (single letters, signs, marks) on Etruscan objects.
Regional Corpora
  • Morandi, Alessandro. Epigrafia di Bolsena etrusca. Studia Archaeologica 54. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1990.
  • Morandi Tarabella, Massimo. Prosopographia Etrusca I. Corpus; 1. Etruria Meridionale. Studia Archaeologica 135. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2004.
  • Marchesini, Simona. Prosopographia Etrusca II, Studia; 1, Gentium Mobilitas. Studia Archaeologica 158. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2007.

Links to Digital Materials


  • Agostiniani, Luciano. “The Etruscan Language.” In The Etruscan World. Edited by Jean MacIntosh Turfa, 457–477. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Benelli, Enrico. Iscrizioni etrusche: Leggerle e capirle. Ancona: SACI, 2007.
  • Bonfante, Larissa. Etruscan. London: British Museum, 1990.
  • Bonfante, Larissa, and Giuliano Bonfante. The Etruscan Language: An Introduction. 2d ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.
  • Bruschetti, Paolo, F. Gaultier, P. Giulierini, L. Haumesser, and L. Pernet, eds. Gli Etruschi maestri di scrittura: Società e cultura nell’Italia antica. Exhibition, Cortona MAEC, 2015–2016. Milan: Silvana, 2015.
  • Cristofani, Mauro. Introduzione allo studio dell’etrusco. Florence: Olschki, 1991.
  • Haack, Marie-Laurence, ed. Écritures, cultures, sociétés dans les nécropoles d’Italie ancienne: Table-ronde des 14–15 décembre 2007. Bordeaux: de Boccard, 2009.
  • Rix, Helmut. “Etruscan.” In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages. Edited by R. D. Woodard, 943–966. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Roncalli, Francesco, ed. Scrivere etrusco: Dalla leggenda alla conoscenza; Scrittura e letteratura nei massimi documenti della lingua etrusca, Catalogo della mostra, Perugia, 1985. Milan: Electa, 1985.
  • Steinbauer, Dieter H. Neues Handbuch des Etruskischen. St. Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1999.
  • Wallace, Rex E. Zikh Rasna: A Manual of the Etruscan Language and Inscriptions. Ann Arbor, MI: Beech Stave, 2008.


  • 1. Rivista di Epigrafia Etrusca 50 (1982), no. 51. Henceforth REE.

  • 2. D. F. Maras, “Interferenza e concorrenza di modelli alfabetici e sistemi scrittori nell’Etruria arcaica,” in eds. L. Haumesser and J. van Heems, Régler l’usage: norme e standard dans l’Italie préromaine. Premier atelier: languages, eds. Laurent Haumesser and Gilles van Heems, Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome 124.2 (2012): 331–344.

  • 3. Ingrid D. Rowland, “Annius of Viterbo,” in The Etruscan World, ed. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (London: Routledge, 2013), 1117–1129.

  • 4. Luciano Agostiniani, “La riscoperta dell’Etrusco dopo il Rinascimento,” in Gli Etruschi maestri di scrittura, eds. Paolo Bruschetti et al. (Milan: Silvana, 2015), 162–175.

  • 5. Massimo Pallottino, Elementi di lingua etrusca (Florence: Rinascimento del Libro, 1936); Massimo Pallottino, Testimonia linguae etruscae (2d ed.; Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1968), henceforth TLE; Massimo Pallottino, “The Etruscan Language,” in The Etruscans, by Massimo Pallottino (Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1975), 187–234; and Massimo Pallottino, “I documenti scritti e la lingua,” in Rasenna: Storia e civiltà dei Etruschi, by Massimo Pallottino (Milan: Scheiwiller, 1986), 309–367.

  • 6. Use of the few (66, many duplicates) glosses in Greek or Latin is problematic: see Dominique Briquel, “Les glosses étrusques,” Res Antiquae 3 (2006): 301–318.

  • 7. Enrico Benelli, “Epigrafia e lingua etrusca fra Pauli e Buonamici,” in La Construction de l’étruscologie au début du XXe siècle: Actes des journèes d’ètudes internationales des 2 et 3 dècembre 2013 (Amiens), ed. Marie-Laurence Haack (Bordeaux: Ausonius, 2015), 93–103.

  • 8. ET Vc 0.73–74 (formerly ET AT 0.14–15). G. Colonna, “I dadi ‘di Tuscania’,” Studi Etruschi 46 (1978): 115; G. Artioli, V. Nociti, and I. Angelini, “Gambling With Etruscan Dice: A Tale of Numbers and Letters,” Archaeometry 53.5 (2011): 1031–1043; D. F. Maras, “Numbers and Reckoning: A Whole Civilization Founded upon Divisions,” in The Etruscan World, ed. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (London: Routledge, 2013), 478–491; P. Keyser, “The Origin of the Latin Numerals 1–1000,” American Journal of Archaeology 92 (1988): 529–546; and see also Larissa Bonfante and Giuliano Bonfante, The Etruscan Language: An Introduction (2d ed.; Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 94–98.

  • 9. Luciano Agostiniani, “Sulla grafia e la lingua delle iscrizioni anelleniche di Lemno,” in Le Origini degli Etruschi, ed. Vincenzo Bellelli (Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2013), 169–194; and Vincenzo Bellelli, Appendix, in Bellelli, Origini degli Etruschi, 30–37. A 6th-century settlement furnished some ceramics with similar letters incised.

  • 10. ET LL; CIE Suppl. (1919–1921); Valentina Belfiore, Il Liber Linteus di Zagabria: Testualità e contenuto (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 50; Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 2010); L. Bouke van der Meer, Liber Linteus Zagrabensis: The Linen Book of Zagreb; A Comment on the Longest Etruscan Text (Leuven: Peeters, 2007); and Francesco Roncalli, “Carbasinis uoluminibus implicati libri.: Osservazioni sul liber linteus di Zagabria,” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 95 (1980): 227–264.

  • 11. ET TC; CIE 8682. Mauro Cristofani, Tabula Capuana: Un calendario festivo di età arcaica (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 29; Florence: Olschki, 1995).

  • 12. ET AC (Co 8.3), 2nd century bce; Luciano Agostiniani and Francesco Niocosia, Tabula Cortonensis (Studia Archaeologica 105; Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2000); and Maristella Pandolfini Angeletti and Adriano Maggiani, eds., La Tabula Cortonensis e il suo contest storico-archeologico: Atti dell’Incontro di studo 22 giugno 2001 (Rome: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 2002).

  • 13. ET Pe 8.4, CIE 4538. Francesco Roncalli, “La pietra come ‘instrumentum scriptorium’ e il cippo di Perugia,” Annali Faina 4 (1990): 11–20; and Giulio M. Facchetti, Frammenti di diritto privato etrusco (Florence: Olschki, 2000) discusses Perugia cippus, Cortona tablet, Tarquinia bronze plaque, Pech Mahô lead.

  • 14. L. Bouke van der Meer, “Iecur Placentinum and the Orientation of the Etruscan Haruspex,” Babesch: Bulletin Antike Beschaving 57 (1979): 87–99; and L. Bouke van der Meer, The Bronze Liver of Piacenza: Analysis of a Polytheistic Structure (Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1987).

  • 15. ET Ta 1.17; CIE 5430; Valentina Belfiore, “Studi sul lessico ‘sacro’: Laris Pulenas, le lamine di Pyrgi e la bilingue di Pesaro,” Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies 3 (2012).

  • 16. P. G. Warden Warden, “The Vicchio Stele and Its Context,” and A. Maggiani, “The Vicchio Stele: Its Inscription,” Etruscan Studies 19.2 (2016): 208–219, 220–224.

  • 17. ET Cr 4.4–4.5, CIE 6314–6315. Previous scholarship is documented in recent works: Akten des Kolloquiums zum Thema “Die Göttin von Pyrgi.” Archäologische, linguistische und religions-geschichtliche Aspekte, Tübingen, 16–17 gennaio 1979 (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 12; Florence: Olschki, 1981); Maria P. Baglione and Laura Maria Michetti, eds., Le lamine d’oro a cinquant’anni dalla scoperta: Dati archeologici su Pyrgi nell’epoca di Thefarie Velianas e rapporti con altre realtà del Mediterraneo (Scienze dell’Antichità 21.2; Rome: Quasar, 2015); Vincenzo Bellelli and Paolo Xella, eds., Le lamine di Pyrgi: Nuovi studi sulle iscrizioni in etrusco e in fenicio nel cinquantenario della scoperta (Studi epigrafici e linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico n.s. 32–33; and Verona: Essedue, 2015–2016).

  • 18. J. M. Gran-Aymerich, “Etruria Marittima: Massalia and Gaul, Carthage and Iberia,” in The Etruscan World, ed. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (London: Routledge, 2013), 319–348.

  • 19. Maristella Pandolfini and A. L. Prosdocimi, Alfabetari e insegnamento della scrittura in Etruria e nell’Italia antica (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 20; Florence: Olschki, 1990); Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni, Oggetti iscritti di epoca orientalizzante in Etruria Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 30; Florence: Olschki, 1996); and Simona Marchesini, Studi onomastici e sociolinguistici sull’Etruria arcaica: Il caso di Caere Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 32; Florence: Olschki, 1997.

  • 20. R. E. Wallace, “Etruscan Inscriptions on Ivory Objects Recovered from the Orientalizing Period Residence at Poggo Civitate (Murlo),” Etruscan Studies 11 (2008): 67–80; and R. E. Wallace, “Muluvanice Inscriptions at Poggio Civitate (Murlo),” American Journal of Archaeology 112.3 (2008): 449–458.

  • 21. Adriano Maggiani, “Dinamiche del commercio arcaico: Le tesserae hospitales,” in Gli Etruschi e il Mediterraneo: Commerci e politica, ed. G. M. Della Fina (Annali Museo Faina 13; Rome: Quasar, 2006), 317–349.

  • 22. Giovanni Colonna, “Scriba cum rege sedens,” in L’Italie préromaine et la Rome républicaine: Mélanges offerts à Jacques Heurgon (Rome: École Française de Rome, 1976), 187–195. See also note 6.

  • 23. Enrico Benelli, Le iscrizioni bilingui etrusco-latine (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 27; Florence: Olschki, 1994); and Margaret M. T. Watmough, Studies in the Etruscan Loanwords in Latin, Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 34 (Florence: Olschki, 1997).

  • 24. Jorma Kaimio, The Cippus Inscriptions of Museo Nazionale di Tarquinia (Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider, 2010); and Jorma Kaimio, “The Ousting of Etruscan by Latin in Etruria,” in Studies in the Romanization of Etruria, ed. Patrick Bruun (Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae 5; Rome: G. Bardi, 1975), 85–246. The phenomenon burgeoned also at Praeneste, Tuscania, Caere and Vulci.

  • 25. Roger Lambrechts, Les inscriptions avec le mot “Tular” et les bornages étrusques (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 4; Florence: Olschki, 1970).

  • 26. Riccardo Massarelli, I testi etruschi su piombo (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 54; Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 2014).

  • 27. D. F. Maras, Il dono votivo: Gli dei e il sacro nelle iscrizioni etrusche di culto (Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 46; Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 2009); and Larissa Bonfante, “Etruscan Inscriptions and Etruscan Religion,” in The Religion of the Etruscans, eds. Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006), 9–26.

  • 28. Dominique Briquel, “Les inscriptions votives du sanctuaire de Portonaccio à Véies,” in Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion: Studies in Honor of Jean MacIntosh Turfa, eds. Margarita Gleba and Hilary Becker (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2009), 43–67. E.g., ET Ve 3.11, 6th cent. bucchero vase: mini muluv[an]eke .a.vile (“Avile Vipiiennas dedicated me”).

  • 29. Dominique Briquel, Catalogue des inscriptions étrusques et italiques du Musée du Louvre (Paris: Louvre Editions/Picard, 2016).

  • 30. Helmut Rix, Das etruskische Cognomen (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1963).

  • 31. Adriano Maggiani, “L’epigrafia di epoca etrusca,” in Storia di Orvieto I: Antichità, ed. G. M. Della Fina (Rome: Quattroemme, 2003), 371–384.

  • 32. Giovanni Colonna, “Ceramisti e donne padrone di bottega nell’Etruria arcaica,” in Indogermanica et Italica: Festschrift fur Helmut Rix zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. G. Meiser (Innsbruck: Institut fur Sprachwissenschaft, 1993), 61–68.

  • 33. Laura Ambrosini, Le gemme etrusche con iscrizioni (Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 2011).