Re: [tied] Lemnos stele

From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
Message: 5691
Date: 2001-01-22

On Mon, 22 Jan 2001 00:22:08 +0100, "Piotr Gasiorowski"
<gpiotr@...> wrote:

>Miguel and Glen,
>I have thought it prudent to keep out of this exchange so far, but may I suggest something to both of you?
>avis shialchveis maras-m avis (sh = "sigma", s = "zeta")
>Etruscan "avils" is a genitive meaning "in the [Nth] year (of his life)". The identification of shialchveis with shealch is secure, and comparison with Etruscan tombstone formulas virtually guarantees that avis = avils, but I think Glen is right in insisting that maras can't be a numeral. First, such a reading doesn't match Etruscan formulas syntactically; secondly, the poor wretch would have had to die twice if the expression "he died in the 40th year and in the X-th year" were to make sense.

Well, no.

Some of the Etruscan formulas (as I quoted them here recently) are:

TLE 93: avil-s ci-s zathrmi-s-c
TLE 144: avil-s huth-s celch-s
TLE 165: avils mach-s semphalchl-s
TLE 324: avil-s esal-s cezpalchal-s
TLE 325: avil-s mach-s zathrum-s

*Both* numerals are *always* in the genitive case, as well as the noun
they qualify (here always <avil> "age; year").

So the difference between <avil-s ci-s zathrmi-s-c> "of years three
and twenty" and a possible *<avil-s ci-s zathrmi-s-c avil-s> "of years
three, and twenty years" is merely stylistic, and both are perfectly
grammatical in Etruscan (and one may assume, in Lemnian).

Whether <mara> can somehow be equated with Etruscan <mach>, <muv-alch>
is a different question. I have explored some possibilities [*], but
since Etruscan and Lemnian are *different* languages, and the measure
of their divergence is hard to determine based on the extremely small
Lemnian corpus, they are not required to share the same numerals (cf.,
again, Anatolian *maw-/*mew- [or whatever the reconstructed PAnat is]

>But what about the following?
>"He died in his fortieth year, (that is,) in the year of X"
>where "of X" = maras ('of his investiture as a magistrate' -- or rather an office for which 40-year-olds became eligible)

Even if we identify <mara> with <marunu>/<maru> (an Italo-Etruscan
magistrature, cf. Latin <maro:>, Umbr. <maron->), which I don't think
is very likely, I doubt very much that Lemnian <mara> could mean
anything like "his investiture as a magistrate". Cf. TLE 325: <Tutes
$ethre Larthal clan Pumplialch Velas; zilachnu ciz; zilcti purt$vavcti
lupu, avils machs zathrums>, "Sethre Tute, son of Larth and Vela
Pumpli; he was zilach thrice; died while zilach and prytanis, at age
25(!)". Here the magistratures are expressed as locatives (zilc-ti,
purt$vavc-ti), and at least the second one has a more complex shape
than the simplex <purth> (etc.) "prytanis".

"He died in his fortieth year, in the year of X", where "X" could be
anything simple at all [say, "the year of the cat"], is in itself not
impossible (although I would expect a locative rather than a
genitive), but what could "X" be?

Since I have a 90% probability of being right about the numeral being
a compound one, it would require some pretty good evidence for "X"
being anything else before one could accept it.

[*] The main reason for posting that forgotten message after all was
the reference to Polish /awa/ >? /aa/, and I was hoping for an answer.
Prosze bardzo...

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal