Tabula Cortonensis

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The Tabula Cortonensis (sometimes also Cortona Tablet) is a 2200-year-old, bronze artifact of Etruscan origin, discovered in Cortona, Italy. It may record for posterity the details of an ancient legal transaction which took place in the ancient Tuscan city of Cortona, known to the Etruscans as Curtun. Its 40-line, two-sided inscription is the third longest inscription found in the Etruscan language, and the longest discovered in the 20th century.[citation needed] While the discovery was made in October 1992, the contents were not published until seven years later, in 1999. The delay was due to the tablet's having been brought to the police by someone who claimed to have found it at a construction site. When provided to the police, the tablet had been broken into seven fragments, with the original right bottom corner missing. Investigators believed that, if the existence of the tablet were not initially disclosed, it would have been easier to ascertain whether the tablet had really been found at that location (examination of the construction site did not reveal any other Etruscan remains) and possibly locate the missing portion.

Interpretation[edit]

The tablet is thought by some scholars, notably Larissa Bonfante and Nancy De Grummond, to be a notarized record of the division of an inheritance or sale of real estate. Reference is made on the tablet to a vineyard (cf. lines 1 and 2: vinac), cultivated land (line 2: restm-c), and an estate located in the territory of Lake Trasimeno (cf. lines 35 and 36: celti nɜitisś tarsminaśś). The lake lies east of Cortona in modern day Western Umbria.

In addition to the references to land, the tablet includes several references relating to table furnishings. The tablet includes words that appear to refer to plates (line 3: spante, a loan word from Umbrian) and salt (line 9: salini, also the Latin word for salt cellar, as well as 'a number of linguistically similar words such as the various forms of larisal). Additionally, several words (pav, clθii, zilci, atina, larz) that appear on the tablet have been found inscribed on Etruscan plates, drinking cups, or wine jugs or jars.[1]

Physical description[edit]

The tablet measures 50 centimetres (20 in) by 30 centimetres (12 in), and is about between 2 millimetres (0.079 in) and 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick.[citation needed]

When discovered, the tablet had been broken into multiple pieces, of which only seven have been found (Larissa & Giuliano Bonfante. The Etruscan Language, p. 179. 2002). The missing portion is believed by Etruscanists to contain only names and not details of the estate.

Text[edit]

The text contains thirty-four known Etruscan words and an equal number of previously unattested Etruscan words. Moreover, a new alphabetic sign Ǝ (a reversed epsilon) is present on the tablet. This implies that, at least in the Etruscan dialect spoken in Cortona where this letter exclusively appears, the letter Ǝ marks a different sound from that of the letter E (Larissa & Giuliano Bonfante. The Etruscan Language, pp. 178–9. 2002).[2]

Contents[edit]

The following transcribes the special reversed epsilon as ɜ:

On the front
01: et . pɜtruiś . scɜvɜś . ɜliuntś .
02: vinac . restmc . cenu . tɜnθur . śar .
03: cusuθuraś . larisalisvla . pesc . spante . tɜnθur .
04: sa . śran . śarc . clθii . tɜrsna . θui . span θi . ml
05: ɜśieθic . raśnas IIIIC inni . pes . pɜtruś . pav
06: ac . trau lac . tiur . tɜn[θ]urs . tɜnθa[ś] . za cina tpr
07: iniserac . zal[six] \\ cś . ɜsiś vere cusuθurśum .
08: pes . pɜtruśta . scɜv[aś] \\ nu θanatur . lart pɜtr
09: uni . arnt . pini . lart . [v]ipi . lusce . laris . salini
10: vɜtnal . lart . vɜlara . larθal'isa . lart vɜlara.
11: aulesa . vɜl . pumpu . pruciu . aule cɜl atina . sɜ
12: tmnal . arnza . fɜlśni . vɜlθinal . vɜl . luisna
13: lusce . vɜl uslna . nufresa . laru . slanzu . larz
14: a lartle vɜlaveś arnt . pɜtru . ra ufe \\ ɜpru
15: ś . ame . vɜlχe . cusu larisal . clenia rc . laris
16: cusu . larisalisa larizac clan . larisal . pɜtr
17: uni . scɜ[va]ś arntlei . pɜtruś . puia
18: cen . zic . ziχuχe . spa-rzɜ-śtiś śazleiś in
19: θuχti . cusuθuraś . suθiu . ame . tal suθive
20: naś . rat-m . θuχt . ceśu . tlt eltɜi . sianś .
21: spa-rzɜ-te . θui . saltzic . fratuce . cusuθuraś .
22: larisalisvla . pɜtruśc . scɜvaś . pesś . tarχ ian
23: eś \\ cnl . nuθe . mal ec . lart . cucrina . lausisa .
24: zilaθ meχ l.raśnal .[la]ris . cɜl atina lau
25: sa clanc . arnt luscni [a]rnθal . clanc . larz
26: a . lart . turmna . salin[ial . larθ cɜl atina . a
27: pnal . clenia rc . vɜlχe[ś][...][papal]
28: śerc . vɜlχe . cusu . aule[sa][...]
29: aninalc . laris . fuln[folnius][clenia]
30: rc . lart . pɜtce . uslnal[...][cucrina]
31: inaθur . tɜcsinal . vɜl[...]
32: uś . larisc . cusu . uslna[l][...]
On the back
33: aule.salini.(Latin.salini.salt cellar).cusual
34: zilci . larθal . cusuś . titinal
35: larisalc . salini'ś(Latin.salt cellar) . aulesla . celti nɜitis
36: ś . tar sminaśś . spa rz a in θuχt ceśa .
37: rat-m . suθiu . suθiusa . vɜlχeś . cusuśa
38: ulesla . vɜlθuruś . t[.]lniś . vɜlθurusla .
39: larθalc . cɜl atina ś . vetnal . larisalc .
40: cɜl atina ś . pitlnal

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://etp.classics.umass.edu/cgi-bin/query.pl
  2. ^ William Whitakers-latin words.

References[edit]

  • Luciano Agostiniani, Francesco Nicosia, 'Tabula Cortonensis'. Studia Archaeologica 105. Roma: "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 2000.
  • Scarano Ussani & Torelli, La Tabula Cortonensis. Un documento giuridico, storico e sociale (Napoli, 2003).
  • de Simone, Carlo (2007) 'Alcuni termini chiave della Tabula Cortonensis', Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies, Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 1.
  • Wylin, Koen (2006) 'Pyrgi B et la rédaction de la Tabula Cortonensis'. Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 84/1,pp. 35–44.

Bibliography[edit]

Atti dell'Incontro di Studio, 22 giugno 2001, CNR (Roma, 2002):

  • Benelli, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, pp. 93–100.
  • Maggiani, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 11–15, 65-75.
  • Nicosia, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 17–25.
  • Bruschetti, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 27–38.
  • Peruzzi, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 39–42.
  • Roncalli, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 43–52.
  • Pandolfini–Angeletti, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 53–64.
  • Rix, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 77–86.
  • Facchetti, in Atti dell'Incontro di studio, op. cit., pp. 87–99.

Others:

  • De Simone, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, 3, 1998, pp. 1–122.
  • De Simone, Ocnus, 9-10, 2001–02, pp. 69–114.
  • De Simone, Incontri Linguistici, 25, 2002, pp. 77–85.
  • Eichner, in The Complete Linguist : A collection of papers in honor of Alexis Manaster Ramer (München, 2001), pp. 141–152.
  • Facchetti, Frammenti di diritto privato etrusco, (Firenze, 2000).
  • Facchetti, Appunti di morfologia etrusca. Con un’appendice sulla questione delle affinità genetiche dell’etrusco (Firenze, 2002).
  • Facchetti, Archivio Glottologico Italiano, 88, 2003, pp. 203–219.
  • Facchetti, Lingua Posnaniensis (Poznan, 2005), pp. 59–63.
  • Maggiani, Rivista di Archeologia, 25, 2001, pp. 94–114.
  • Rix, Incontri linguistici, 23, 2000, pp. 11–31.
  • Scarano Ussani & Torelli, La Tabula Cortonensis. Un documento giuridico, storico e sociale (Napoli, 2003).
  • Wylin, Studi Etruschi, 65-68, 2002, pp. 215–223.
  • Wylin, Archivio Glottologico Italiano, 87, 2002, pp. 88–108.
  • Wylin, Etruscan News, 3, 2003, pp. 11–12.
  • Zamboni, Ath, 90, 2002, pp. 431–441.

External links[edit]