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Mihaly Mellar :
Common sense in nonsense inscriptions IV


Common sense in nonsense inscrip


from AVI numbers 3000 to 3999

The transliteration into modern Greek from the different ancient handwritings is done by H. R. Immerwahr and others, which in turn is transcribed by me, using this simple ABC table, at the same time backfilling the left out vowels, to reconstruct the inscriptions in today's spelling.

All the descriptions are pasted in from Henry R. Immerwahr’s AVI (Attic Vase Inscriptions) Project homesite ( Where it could be identified, there the inscription’s Beazely Archive Database (BAD: ) number is also given, which can be very useful for the pictures supplied on this website to most of the inscriptions.

There are two categories of nonsense inscriptions: those with imitation letterings are real nonsense and not the subject of our attention, but most of the others – which imitate words by using real letters – are actually legible texts that make perfect sense when one fills back the left out vowels by the applied method of writing, the so called defective notation of vowels method, wildly used in the era and area (see for example I. J. Adiego in The Carian Language).

In the followings, the Greek letters of the “nonsense” inscriptions are transcribed or transliterated (in green) CAPITAL letters, while the left out vowels are filled back in small/lower case letters. It is still only a transcription/transliteration from one lettering (Greek alphabet) to Hungarian Roman lettering and from one method of writing (defective notation of vowels) to the today’s full phonetic notation in use by the current grammar. In these legitimate transcriptions the language of the inscriptions is not changing, we still read the inscriptions in their original language, that is in Scythian/Hun/Hungarian and only occasionally we need explanation for some words with, by now, faded away meanings.

This is all the science needed to read the “nonsense” inscriptions. But to analyse and further investigate these, from here and now on meaningful, common sense texts, all scientists are welcome, from linguists, historians, artists and art-historians, aestheticians etc.

Going the other way around is only groping about in the dark, as it turns out the inscriptions are integral parts of the depictions. They complement it in such a way that our perception or first impression often changes for good. With the hindsight of the text we sometimes see and comprehend an entirely different picture with a valuable message only accessible by these readings. So, like it or not, these readings of the “nonsense” inscriptions are hard facts and without them neither the message nor the artistic value of the Attic vases cannot be fully apprehended nor it can be fully appreciated.


<>: omitted letters

(): miswritten letters

{}: letters inserted by mistake

[]: letters lost

^ : gap between letters, whether caused by intervening objects or not

v. vac. vacat: letter spaces left blank

: two-dot punctuation

:* three-dot punctuation

|: line break

dotted letters: letters uncertain when taken out of context accents and breathings: in principle omitted for the vase inscriptions, but sometimes added for clarity long marks: added sporadically especially for the ending –on strike-through: used for ligatures and for the so-called syllabic heta(h<e>)

For abbreviations of Books and Archives see

AVI 3001; BAD 330737

Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery 33.135 (G 479). BF/WG lekythos. From Gela. Athena Painter. Early fifth century.AVI 3001

History: Ex Hirsch collection.

Decoration: Athena (flanked by cocks) and two trainers or officers of the Panathenaic Games.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the heads of Athena and the left trainer: (σ)ογο. To his right: ιεποσ. To right of Athena's head: λο(.). Below, to left of the right trainer: ελοιποσ{1}.

Commentary: Shapiro mentions the ‘ιεροποιοι’ reading of Bieber’s and refers to DAA. [Readings from the photo in Shapiro differ: between the heads: looks more like: hοσο. To Athena’s left: ιενοσ. Rather than ιεποσ. To Athena’s right: λο(.)^εγοιλο(.). These readings are not certain either as the letters are in part distorted.] Clearly just nonsense.

Footnotes: {1} Bieber assumes that the second and fourth inscriptions are near-sense: ιεπον (sic) for ιερον and ο.εροιποσ for ιεροποιος. The photo in AJA does not show the initial omicron; the second letter does not look like a rho, but it could be incomplete. Bieber also reads the first and third inscriptions together: νογο-υον.

Bibliography: Haspels (1936), 256/34. — *Bieber (1944), 121 ff., fig. 2a-b. — ABV (1956), 522/34. — Shapiro (1989), 35-36, pl. 15,a. — *Neils (1992a), 183/55 (bibl.) and 17; ill. p. 18 (all) and p. 182 (part).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3155


(σ)ογο > SZÓ éGŐ > szó égő (the word is burning)

ιεποσ > iLY E BŐSZ > ily e bősz (such is this angry man)

λο(.) ελοιποσ > LOHo' ELő' OLY BŐSZ > lohol elől oly bősz (he is running in front so ferocious)


SZó égő, ily e bősz. Lohol elől, oly bősz . (The word is burning, such is this angry man. He is running in front so ferocious.)



AVI 3008; BAD 204353

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College. RF cup. Foundry Painter. Euphronios, potter (Blösch). First quarter fifth 490-480 AVI 3008

Decoration: Symposium: Int.: man reclining and playing the flutes; boy dancing. A: four bearded men on couches. B: similar to A, but with a female flautist.

Inscriptions: B: above the heads: nonsense: (.) v. υν ον(ν)νμν. ννγν{1}.

Commentary: After the drs. in JHS. One nu reversed.

Footnotes: {1} "On the background, the usual inscriptions, with mu, upsilon, sigma." (Beazley (1989)).

Bibliography: *Bicknell (1921), 223/2; 224, pls. 15-16. — ARV[2] (1963), 402/12, 1651. — Para. (1971), 370. — Add.[2] (1989), 231. — Beazley (1989), 81, pls. 54-55.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3162


(.) v. υν ον(ν)νμν ννγν > ε υν ονσνμν ννγν* > E ÜNŐ NáSZáN MáN NőNe iGéNY > E ünő nászán mán nőne igény. (On this fawn's nuptials the demand would grow already.)


* The reversed nu is actually a sigma.

AVI 3018; BAD 12744

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum 66. BF lip cup. From Vulci. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 550-530 AVI 3018

Decoration: Handle zone: A, B, each: two cocks fighting.

Inscriptions: On either side of the figures: nonsense: A: χο(ν)ορεοσ and χ(ν)ο(ν)σ(ν)ε. B: χ(ν)ϝ(ν)εο(ν) and >(ν)(ε)οε(ν)(.)(ν)ε(.){1}.

Commentary: The inscriptions on A are clearer than those on B. Epsilons shaped like U-shaped digammas. D-shaped rho. Chi = upright crosses.

Footnotes: {1} the last inscription very unclear: hasty imitation letters.

Bibliography: Gardner (1897), pl. XXII. — *W. Lamb, CVA Cambridge 1, Great Britain 6 (1930), III H, pl. 194.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3173


A:      χο(ν)ορεοσ > íGY Ő NŐRE OS(oN) > Így ő nőre os(on). (It sneaks this way after a hen/woman.)

χ(ν)ο(ν)σ(ν)ε > íGY NŐN eSSeN E' > Így nőn essen el! (Let it fall this way on a hen/woman!)

B:      χ(ν)ϝ(ν)εο(ν) > íGY NŐ ViNNE ÖNNi > Így nő vinne önni. (This way a woman would take it to eat.)

>(ν)(ε)οε(ν)(.)(ν)ε(.) > {Λ DőL}*(ν)(ε)οε(ν)(.)(ν)ε(.) > LeDőLNE Ő E NŐNEK > Ledőlne ő e nőnek. (It would lay down to this woman.)


* Λ tilts over! = ΛΔΛ

AVI 3043; BAD 201128

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum 37.19. RF cup. Unattributed; wider Circle of Nikosthenes Painter. Last quarter sixth

History: Ex Ricketts and Shannon.AVI 3043

Decoration: Int.: a bearded komast. A: symposium of four youths. B: fight of five figures.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: around the komast, along the margin: σγπσγ(σ)ϝλεσ(ε)ασϝσπυ{1}. A: at leat six nonsense inscriptions. B: on the left shield: (.)γΙΙδπν, retr., and another inscription of four letters. On the shield of the central youth: circle with dot (Θ?) and five letters. On the right man's shield, quasi-kion.: λπποε̣υ, and: λε. In addition, at least six nonsense inscriptions in the field. The inscriptions on the shield are in BG.

Commentary: The digammas could be epsilons.

Footnotes: {1} the bracketed epsilon is written sideways and has a double main stroke.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *W. Lamb, CVA Cambridge 2, Great Britain 11 (1936), Ricketts and Shannon, pls. 7,2, 8,6 and 9,5. — ARV[2] (1963), 135/13.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3198


Int.:     σγπσγ(σ)ϝλεσ(ε)ασϝσπυ > SeGG BőSéGeS VeLE SE A SZíVóS éPŰ' > Segg bőséges, vele se a szívós épül. (Arse is plenty, not the leathery/persistent builds with it either.)

B:       (.)γΙΙδπν > (.)γ{KéT}δπν > ÉG Ke'T iDőBeN > Ég kelt időben! (Heaven will wake you on time!)

λπποε̣υ λε > λπποϝυ λε > LaP áPO' VíVe öL É' > Lap ápol víve, öl él! (Its flat nurses you by carrying you, its edge kills!)

AVI 3044; BAD 204449

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum 37.23. RF Nolan amphora Briseis Painter. First quarter fifth Ca. 480 (CVA). AVI 3044

Decoration: A: Zeus pursuing Ganymede. B: Bald man with a staff.

Inscriptions: A: to left of Ganymede's body: nonsense: γλιοσκγιο.

Commentary: Beazley in JHS wrongly read: λυιοσ καλος; he rejected the earlier reading Alkaios. Nonsense typical of the Briseis Painter; see AttScr (1990), 89 and n. 38.

Footnotes: {1} Serbeti reads: γυιοσκαι ο. Gerhard had read: Αλκαιος καλος. My reading is probably the right one.

Bibliography: Beazley (1914), 194, n. 13. — *W. Lamb, CVA Cambridge 2, Great Britain 11 (1936), Ricketts and Shannon, pls. 11,1, 17,3,6,8. — ARV[2] (1963), 409/51. — Add.[2] (1989), 233. — *Serbeti (1989), 40. — AttScr (1990), no. 556.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3199


γλιοσκγιο > γλιοσκαιο{1} > éGGeL JÓS oKKA' JÓ > Éggel jós okkal jó! (Prophet is with reason good with/to heaven!)

AVI 3051; BAD 12834

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum N 137. Fr. of RF cup. From Naukratis. Unattributed (?){1}. Ca. 500

Decoration: Int.: back view of a nude soldier crouching; the shield drawn in perspective.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: on the shield, along the lower margin, widely spaced: υευγ.

Footnotes: {1} In CF Beazley attributed the fr. to the Pithos Group, but it is not in ARV[2] or Para. But it seems clearly related.

Bibliography: CF (1933), 27. — *W. Lamb, CVA Cambridge 2, Great Britain 11 (1936), pl. 27,9.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3206


υευγ > eVVE' VéGe > Evvel vége! (This is the end!)

AVI 3093; BAD 14227

Capua, Museo provinciale campano inv. 7556. BF amphora. From Capua. Unattributed{1}. Last quarter sixth AVI 3093

Decoration: A: Heracles and the Amazons: Amazon; Heracles attacking; a fallen Amazon. B: Dionysus on a mule, between two satyrs (the right-hand one holds a wineskin).

Inscriptions: A: to right of the fallen Amazon's mouth: (φ)ιλτε, retr.

Commentary: = Capua 366. = Patroni 3. - The first letter could be phi or theta. The inscription looks more like a miswritten text or a name than a nonsense inscription. Φιλτη is listed as a name in Pape and LGPN ii. Or imploring Heracles: φιλτ<ατ>ε?

Footnotes: {1} somewhat related to Antimenes Painter, Mingazzini.

Bibliography: BADB: 14227. — *Photo. — Patroni (1897–8), no. 3, pl. 1. — *P. Mingazzini, CVA Capua 2, Italy 23 (1954), III H, pls. 1,1-2 and 3,2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3249


(φ)ιλτε > iFI éLeT E > Ifi, élet e? (Young man, is this life?)

AVI 3100; BAD 366

Unlocated. BF lekythos. Athena Painter. Early fifth (CVA).

History: Once Castle Ashby, Private: Northampton.

Decoration: Fight of two warriors; at left, warrior moving away.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the warrior at left and the left contestant: σταοσε̣, retr.{1}. Between the contestants' helmets: στχc^p{1}.

Commentary: Small in ph., pl. 23,3.

Footnotes: {1} so the text in CVA. In the first inscription the first sigma is given as reversed three-stroke sigma, the second as regular three-stroke. In the second inscription, sigma is regular three stroke, chi is upright; the fourth letter is given as a Roman C (it is probably an omicron), and the last letter as a Roman P; a spear intervenes before the last letter.

Bibliography: *J. Boardman and M. Robertson, CVA Northampton, Castle Ashby, Great Britain 15 (1979), Castle Ashby (1979), no. 27, pl. 23,5-7 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3256


σταοσε̣ > SéTÁ' ŐS E' > Sétál ős el. (The old man walks away.)

στχc^p > στχο^ρ > SéTa aGY ŐRe > Séta agy őre! (Walking is the guardian of the brain!)

AVI 3101; BAD 19354

Catania, Museo archeologico. BF LM [[lip]] cup. From Catania, Sanctuary of Demeter. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: two rampant goats facing. Ext.: ?

Inscriptions: Int.: to goats' left, facing out: αγριος or Αγριος (a proper name? On the Tyrrhenian amphora in Cerveteri, AVI 3126, it is a satyr name). To the goats' right, similar but facing in and crowded: [...]αδε(?) vacat. [[and "all' esterno si legge χαιρε και πιει ευ", not ill.; however, two more inscribed frs. of lip cups are shown on fig. 7, one probably with nonsense inscr., both sm. and illeg.]]

Commentary: Since C. does not mention the inscription on the right, I am unsure of the reading. She cites the vase for the inscription on the left, claiming that the goat is a wild animal that devours cultivated plants. I wonder if the word refers to the goat at all. Are the goats male?

Bibliography: Rizza (1960), 249, [[ph. 251]] fig. 7 [[cl.]]. — *Cerchiai (1988), 235-36, fig. 57,2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3257


αγριος > AGGóRa JÓ SZó > Aggóra jó szó. (Word good for the concerned.)


AVI 3134; BAD 9017595

Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Ackland Art Museum 77.6.2. Fragmentary BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Lip: A: two panthers facing.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A: nonsense: imitation letters in a somewhat wavy line: (.)σγ(ρ)γιγ(.)σ{1}.

Commentary: Small casual letters. Triangular rho.

Footnotes: {1} not clear if complete fore.

Bibliography: *Photo.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3305


(.)σγ(ρ)γιγ(.)σ > BőSéG öReG ÍGéRéS > Bőség öreg ígérés. (Plenty is an old promise.)

AVI 3180; BAD 6700

Christchurch, N.Z., University of Canterbury, Classics Department, James Logie Memorial collection 34/55. BF lip cup. From Orvieto. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth AVI 3180

Decoration: Int.: a BG circle in a reserved tondo. Lip: A: lion and bull, facing. B: similar, but the lion puts his paw on the bull's head.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: σ(.)πhτ(γ)(π)υγο vac. B: σενσ ν α χ ν (.).

Commentary: Logie collection.

Bibliography: *Photos in Beazley Archive. — J. Green, CVA New Zealand 1 (1979), pl. 28,1-4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3351


A:     σ(.)πhτ(γ)(π)υγο > SiLáP Ha TáG BUGa Ó > Siláp ha tág buga ó. (Cudgel, if it is a wide horn it protekts.)

B:     σενσ ν α χ ν (.) > eSZÉN iS N A GY NŐ > Eszén is n a gy nő! (On its brain also b i g grows!)

AVI 3199; BAD 211381

Cleveland, Museum of Art 24.537. Fr. of RF cup. Manner of Pistoxenos Painter (?) (Beazley). Second quarter fifth 470-460 (Oakley).

Decoration: Cleveland fr.: upper part of a bearded man (Nereus?); upper part of a Nereid looking and gesturing to left while holding a dolphin.

Inscriptions: Cleveland fr.: below the margin, interrupted by the heads: (κ)[.]^λ(ο)(.)(ν)^αιχι^.

Commentary: + The Hague OC 125-34. - The inscription may be nonsense, but in view of the letters αιχι, it is probably part of a hastily written [hο παις] καλος, ναιχι. Disjointed letters.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 864. — *C.G. Boulter, CVA Cleveland 1, USA 15 (1971), pl. 39,1; p. 25, fig. 11 (facs.). — Hemelrijk (1973), 176-77, figs. 1-5 (Hague fr.). — Add.[2] (1989), 299.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3370


(κ)[.]^λ(ο)(.)(ν)^αιχι^ > KiÁLLÓSaN Á' ÍGY Ű > Kiállósan áll így ű! (Outstandingly stands he this way!)

AVI 3201; BAD 761AVI 3201

Cleveland, Museum of Art 27.145. BF loutrophoros. Unattributed. Ca. 500 (Boulter).

Decoration: Neck: A, B, each: two women mourning. Body: A: a dead woman on the bier, with six women mourners. B: three male mourners.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense (mock inscriptions): to right of the third mourner's face: οιυλτ{1}. To right of of the fourth mourner's head (although she faces left): ουτοσοσο. Above the head of the dead: ου{2}.

Commentary: The words faintly recall οιμοι.

Footnotes: {1} this could be two inscriptions, for two mourners: οιυ and λτ. {2} lambda's and upsilon's are indistinguishable in these inscriptions. - Mommsen wrongly says in n. 189 that there are dots instead of letters on this vase.

Bibliography: Howard (1927), 101 (ill. p. 98); (1928), 46. — [[deleted]]. — Zschietzschmann (1928), no. 61. — *C.G. Boulter, CVA Cleveland 1, USA 15 (1971), pls. 15-16; p. 12, fig. 3 (facs.). — H. Mommsen (1997a), 23 n. 189, 70/51.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3372


οιυλτ > οιλ λτ{1+2} > Ő JóL éLT > Ő jól élt. (She had a good life.)

ουτοσοσο ου > Ó UTO'SÓ SZÓ ÖVé > Ó, utolsó szó övé! (Oh, the last word is hers!)

AVI 3202; BAD 207549

Cleveland, Museum of Art 28.660. RF lekythos. From Italy. Oionokles Painter. Second quarter fifth 480-470 (Boulter). AVI 3202

Decoration: Warrior cutting off a lock of hair with his sword and placing his armor on a stool.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: on his left, not facing him: υγιοσ εγυ. To right of the stool and an upright spear, which is to right of his face: γυιοσεγυ{1}.

Commentary: Small neat letters. CVA's facs. is not quite accurate. The inscriptions are identical except that the first two letters are upside down in comparison with the other. The style of writing does not suit the Oionokles Painter: was there perhaps contamination of inscriptions in this workshop? For parallels to the inscriptions see CB ii (on Boston 01.8028, by the Briseis Painter): the similarity of inscriptions shows that the Oionokles, Briseis, and the Painter of Louvre G 265 worked in the same workshop at one time. For the subject Beazley refers to his `Kleophr.' 28 and to Haspels (1936), 73-74.

Footnotes: {1} Serbeti's readings differ: λγιοσεγ(α). [Alpha upside down]. γυιοσεαυ. She has a list of these inscriptions and discusses the question of literacy.

Bibliography: CB (1931–63), ii, 40 (mention). — Beazley (1933), 28/on 79. — Haspels (1936), 73-74. — ARV[2] (1963), 648/37. — *C.G. Boulter, CVA Cleveland 1, USA 15 (1971), pl. 31; p. 20 (facs.). — Add.[2] (1989), 275 (much bibl.). — *Serbeti (1989), 40.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3373



υγιοσ εγυ > ÜGe JÓS ÉGiVe' > Üge jós égivel. (The word is oracle with heavenly.)

γυιοσεγυ > éGiVe' JÓ SEGé'Ve > Égivel jó segélve. (Good to be aided by the heavenly.)

AVI 3217; BAD 201758

Compiègne, Musée d’art et d’archéologie Antoine Vivenel 1068. RF psykter. From Vulci{1}. Kleophrades Painter. Ca. 500 Very early (Beazley).

Decoration: Heracles and Dionysus, in front of a platform running around the whole scene; on the platform, satyrs; in front of the platform, kraters and a kantharos (the latter is between Heracles and Dionysus).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: ιολελε ιαλινιυνε λυν. ισυπ.υλις{2}. Under the foot, Gr.: ligature ΚΛ [[lig.]]. See Johnston (1979), 110/12C 3 and comm., p. 202.

Commentary: Attributed by Richter and accepted by Beazley; earlier attributions are: Oltos (Hartwig (1893), 80 n. 4) and, doubtfully, Euthymides by Beazley (VA (1918), 32 n. 1). Johnston doubts the ligature stands for the potter Kleophrades. There is discussion of the scene in the Rouen cat., where the reference to a satyr play is rejected. - Drougou mentions and illustrates the Mercantile Gr., citing on p. 48 as parallels Vatican 415 (ABV 343) and the RF pelike Copenhagen 149 by the Kleophrades Ptr. (ARV[2] 184/27). She cites Webster (1972), 31 for the opinion that the Gr., KL, may stand for the potter's name. [See now Johnston.] D. does not mention the nonsense inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} so ARV[2]; CVA says from Cavalupo, Canino. {2} so CVA, index, apparently treating the letters as two inscriptions [they probably need to be broken up]. The text has: ιολεγειαλιυιλυνελυν..ισυρ..υλισ in capital letters.

Bibliography: *M. Flot, CVA Compiègne, France 3 (1924), III I c, pls. 13,7-8, 15,4, 16 (old bibl.). — ARV[2] (1963), 188/66. — Drougou (1975), 17/25, *48, 63-64, pl. 15,1-2 (includes facs. of Gr.). — Rouen Musée Dép. (1982), 54/7 and 256/106. — Add.[2] (1989), 188.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3389

As you can see, the text has two different transcriptions, done by researchers not speaking the Scythian/Hun/Hungarian language. The inscriptions should be looked at again, now with the “hindsight” knowledge of the “nonsensical” language the text are written in. To help this here is the more probable reading, the most suited to the context of the depicted scene:


ιολεγειαλιυιυνελυν[π]ισυρ[ικ]υλισ > JÓ LÉGELY ÁLL INNI VaN-E Lé VaN [B]IZ ÚR[I Ki]VáLó IS > Jó légely (kis hordószerű csobolyó) áll, inni van-e lé? Van biz, úri kiváló is! (The good canteen/flask stands, is there juice to drink? Yes, there is, furthermore some excellent gentlemanly.)

AVI 3226; BAD 10668

Copenhagen, National Museum 87. BF lekythos. From Sicily. Sappho Painter (Haspels). Ca. 500 (?) AVI 3226

Decoration: Ajax pursuing Cassandra; altar; statue of Athena; warrior.

Inscriptions: To right of Ajax' beard: Αιας̣. Nonsense: between Ajax' and Cassandra's legs: ασ{1}. Above the altar: σ. Behind Athena's head: δ v. χιι{2}. To right of her lower garment: ασ/αυ.

Footnotes: {1} complete. {2} A·ΧΙΙ, CVA, text.

Bibliography: *C. Blinkenberg and K. Friis Johansen, CVA Copenhagen 3, Denmark 3 (1928), pl. 111,1. — Haspels (1936), 225/1.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3398



Αιας̣ > ALJAS > aljas (dirty rascal)

ασ σ > A SZó SZó' > a szó szól (the word (name) speaks)

δ v. χιι ασ/αυ > δ χ{KéT} ασ/αυ > De íGY KöT A SZaVa > de így köt a szava (but its word ties like this)


Aljas, - a szó szól, de így köt a szava. (Dirty rascal, - the word (name) speaks, but its word ties like this.)

f. No sooner had the massacre begun in Troy than Cassandra fled to the temple of Athene and clutched the wooden image which had replaced the stolen Palladium. There Little Ajax found her and tried to drag her away, but she embraced the image so tightly that he had to take it with him when he carried her off into concubinage; which was the common fate of all Trojan women.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 168.f.)

AVI 3245a; BAD 201640

Copenhagen, National Museum 3836. RF column krater. From Orvieto. Myson. First quarter fifth AVI 3245a

Decoration: A: a satyr to right, looking back, carrying a drinking horn and a wreathed volute krater. B: a nude young komast walking to right, holding a skyphos and a wineskin.

Inscriptions: A: on the krater's body, vertically down in the center: λο^(σ)ο(.){1}.

Commentary: The inscription is very faint; I may have misread it. Lissarrague gives the number as Copenhagen MN 3836.

Footnotes: {1} this looks like καλος miswritten rather than real nonsense. The last letter is a `quotation mark'.

Bibliography: C. Blinkenberg and K. Friis Johansen, CVA Copenhagen 3, Denmark 3 (1928), pl. 126,2. — ARV[2] (1963), 241/48. — *Bérard et al. (1984), figs. 168-69 (A, B). — Add.[2] (1989), 201. — *Lissarrague (1990b), 202, pl. 21a-b (B, A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3418


λο^(σ)ο(.) > öLŐ SZŐLő > Ölő szőlő! (The killing grape!)

AVI 3247; BAD 203934

Copenhagen, National Museum inv. 3880. RF cup. From Italy. Dokimasia Painter{1}. Brygos, potter. Early fifth AVI 3247

Decoration: Int.: a bearded symposiast on a couch, about to vomit into a krater, a nude youth assisting him. Ext.: komos. A: column; two youths and two men (one playing the lyre, the other singing). B: two men; flautist; lyre player singing; man.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: above the figures, curving: γοιτ. On the krater, in BG: συνυ(π){2}. A: above scene: ιοσν{2}. B: above scene: three letters{3}.

Commentary: The pi perhaps lacking the third stroke, which is a Brygan characteristic.

Footnotes: {1} attributed in ARV[2], p. 373, to the Brygos Painter, with the remark that it might be by the Dokimasia Painter; in Para. 366 and 372 definitely given to the Dokimasia Painter. {2} not mentioned in CVA. {3} these inscriptions, mentioned in text of CVA, are not visible in the photos.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *C. Blinkenberg and K. Friis Johansen, CVA Copenhagen 3, Denmark 3 (1928), pls. 141-42. — ARV[2] (1963), 373/36, 1649. — Para. (1971), 366, 372/11 ter. — Add.[2] (1989), 225.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3420


Int.:     γοιτ συνυ(π) > γολτ συνυ(π) > éG OLTi SaVó NeVéBe' > Ég olti savó nevében. (Heaven suppresses heartburn in the name of stomach acid.)

A:        ιοσν > ιοζν > JÓZaN/JÓ ZeNe > Józan/jó zene. (Sober/good music.)



AVI 3248

AVI 3248; BAD 10666

Copenhagen, National Museum inv. 4707. Lekythos in Six' technique. From Boeotia. Unattributed. Early fifth

Decoration: Man with a stick pursuing a woman.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of his face: hιοσ̣ττκ̣υ{1}. To left of, and alongside, the woman's body: νοσολτι, retr.{2}.

Commentary: This vase is stated to be Attic in CVA.

Footnotes: {1} taken from the photo in CVA: the fourth letter perhaps an upsilon; the text in CVA gives only hιοσττ. . {2} so the photo.; CVA's text gives ιτυοσον. .

Bibliography: *C. Blinkenberg and K. Friis Johansen, CVA Copenhagen 4, Denmark 4 (1931), pl. 175,1.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3421


     hιοσ̣ττκ̣υ > Ha JÖSSZ TiTKo'Va > Ha jössz, titkolva! (If you come, do it secretly!)

     νοσολτι > NŐS Ő LáTI > Nős ő, láti. (He is married, she can see.)

AVI 3251

AVI 3251; BAD 351299

Copenhagen, National Museum inv. 8385. BF oinochoe. From Italy. Unattributed; Class of London B 524. Second half sixth

Decoration: Love-making: youth lifting a woman; at left, youth looking on.

Inscriptions: Above the heads in the center: six illegible letters{1}. Nonsense?

Footnotes: {1} tentative reading: (λ)ιγλσα; the first letter an `Argive' lambda?

Bibliography: *C. Blinkenberg and K. Friis Johansen, CVA Copenhagen 3, Denmark 3 (1928), pl. 123,1. — Para. (1971), 179/12.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3424

(λ)ιγλσα > öLIG LáSSA > Ölig lássa! (Let him see to the lap!)

AVI 3270; BAD 213705

Copenhagen, Thorvaldsen Museum 101. Fr. of RF bell krater. Group of Polygnotos. Third quarter fifth

Decoration: A: Amazonomachy: parts of two Amazons are preserved.

Inscriptions: A: Αλλοτιμ(α). Ευνομ<ο>ς. Πν[...].

Commentary: The inscriptions taken from Bothmer's text, who considers them nonsense. I do not know whether he has seen the vase or is taking the inscriptions from Tischbein. They do not seem meaningless to me, but miswritten. Or nonsense inscriptions misread by Tischbein?

Bibliography: *Bothmer (1957), 196/115 (not ill.). — ARV[2] (1963), 1055/73.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3444


Αλλοτιμ(α) > ÁLL eLŐTTe Ű MA > Áll előtte ű ma. (S/he stands in front of him/her today.)

Ευνομ<ο>ς > EVVe' NŐ MáS > Evvel nő más. (With this woman is different.)

AVI 3283; BAD 28181

Corinth, Archaeological Museum C-33-130. Fr. of BF lekythos. From Corinth, South Stoa{1}. Diosphos Painter (Haspels). Early fifth

Decoration: Forward portions of chariot horses trampling a warrior.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: under the horses' heads: ιεhιχσ.

Footnotes: {1} fill 1933-2, deposit in Shop XXXXII.

Bibliography: Haspels (1936), 95 n. 2 and 232/9. — *Brownlee (1995), 353/190 (sketch of Dip.), pl. 74.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3457


ιεhιχσ > JE' Ha ÍGY SZó' > Jel ha így szól... (Sign when sounds this way...)

AVI 3327; BAD 208066

Cracow, Czartoryski Museum 605. RF lekythos. From Attica? Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Naked woman at a laver.

Inscriptions: On the basin of the laver, in BG: nonsense: ιτδπ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA, text; the ph. shows some dots.

Bibliography: *K. Bulas, CVA Cracow, Poland 2 (1935), pl. 10,5. — ARV[2] (1963), 682/113. — Para. (1971), 406.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3502


ιτδπ > ITT iDőBe' > Itt időben. (Here on time.)

AVI 3328; BAD 350915

Cracow, Czartoryski Museum 1079. BF band skyphos{1}. From Attica? Unattributed; Class of Rhodes 11941. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Handle zone: A: a white pegasus galloping. B: similar, but mostly lost.AVI 3328

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: mock inscriptions: A: to left of the pegasus: χαιετϝεκαι. To his right, similar: χαιποιεσεν. B: χαι. No more is preserved.

Commentary: Illiterate inscriptions: the first on A and that on B imitate a drinking innscription, the second on A imitates a signature. Cf. similar inscriptions in Munich, e.g. 2128, 2172, etc.

Footnotes: {1} BF cup-kotyle (CVA).

Bibliography: Beazley (1932), 202-203. — *K. Bulas, CVA Cracow, Poland 2 (1935), pl. 5,4 (A). — Para. (1971), 88/5.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3503


χαιετϝεκαι > aDJA iLYET VÉKÁJa > Adja ilyet vékája. (It gives the like by bushels.)

χαιποιεσεν > χαιπολεσεν > aDJ A BÓ' öLESEN > Adj a jóból ölesen! (Give me from the good by cords/fathoms!)


AVI 3329; BAD 13994

Cracow, Czartoryski Museum 1080. Plain band cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: No figured decoration.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: νχνελπλνλκχνλν. B: νλνλχεχελπλχν{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so the text, which may not be reliable; the ph. is too small to be readable.

Bibliography: *K. Bulas, CVA Cracow, Poland 2 (1935), pl. 5,2 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3504


A:     νχνελπλνλκχνλν > iNGYeNÉLő eBBőL NáLa KeGYeN éLNe > Ingyenélő ebből nála kegyen élne. (At him/her a parasite/sponger would live on good will out of this.)

B:     νλνλχεχελπλχν > NáLa Ne LeGYÉ' íGY ÉLőBőL GYaNú > Nála ne legyél így élőből gyanú. (Don't be to him/her suspected to be one who lives that way.)

AVI 3330; BAD 204601

Cracow, Czartoryski Museum 1211. RF cup. Painter of Paris Gigantomachy. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: palaestra: a young athlete with one hand in a laver; at right, a column with superstructure. A: a youth leaning on his stick, between two jumpers; on either side, a javelin. B: similar, but no javelins.

Inscriptions: Int.: on the basin, in BG: nonsense: γοσκτε{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so the text in CVA; not visible in the ph.

Bibliography: *K. Bulas, CVA Cracow, Poland 2 (1935), pl. 9,2,a-b (Int., B). — ARV[2] (1963), 420/56. — Para. (1971), 374. — Add.[2] (1989), 235.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3505


γοσκτε > éGŐ SiKiT E > Égő! – sikit e. (It's burning! - yells out this.)

AVI 3331 BAD 302372

Cracow, Czartoryski Museum 1245. BF lekythos. Leagros Group. Late sixth AVI 3331

Decoration: Achilles dragging the body of Hector: Achilles running like a hoplite; charioteer in the chariot, dragging the body; Iris.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: beside Achilles: ευσ. Under the horses, two inscriptions, one under the other: πομεπσ and hετιει. Between Iris' legs: πομ{1}. To right of the charioteer's head: τεροσ.

Commentary: Taken from CVA, text.

Footnotes: {1} Bulas thinks the prototype may have had πομπος.

Bibliography: Beazley (1931d), 301. — *K. Bulas, CVA Cracow, Poland 2 (1935), pl. 2,a-b (bibl.). — Haspels (1936), 196/3. — ABV (1956), 30/291. — Add.[2] (1989), 100.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3506



ευσ > É'V iS > élv is (pleasure is also )

πομεπσ > BŐ ME' BőSZ > bő me(rt) bősz (great because he is grim)

hετιει > HE'TÜ'-E Ű > hejtül-e ű (is he loosing his mind?)

πομ > BOMo' > bomol (he's getting soft-headed)

τεροσ > íTE ROSSZ > íte rossz (his judgement is bad)

Élv is bő me(rt) bősz. Hejtül*-e ű? Bomol, íte rossz. (Pleasure is also great because he is grim. Is he loosing his mind? He's getting soft-headed, his judgement is bad.)

*HEJT, (hë-it) fn. tt. hejt-ot. A Góry-codexben, Katalin legendájában stb. ugyanaz, ami a Bécsi és Tatrosi codexben heit, azaz esztelen.CzF

AVI 3349; BAD 302338AVI 3349

Delos, Archaeological Museum 546. BF lekythos. From Delos. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Dragging of Hector's body.

Inscriptions: Above the body, nonsense: h[.]σλε̣ισπσ.

Commentary: = B 6137.546. On p. 51, Haspels discusses the double appearance of two souls flying over the tumulus. Attic alphabet.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Haspels (1936), 50-51; cf. 60 n. 1. — ABV (1956), 378/257. — Stähler (1967), fig. 8 (dr.). — Para. (1971), 163. — Add.[2] (1989), 100.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3525


h[.]σλε̣ισπσ > HŐS iLLő-E ISZaPoS > Hős illő-e iszapos?! (Is this mud proper for a hero?!)

AVI 3350; BAD 302355

Delos, Archaeological Museum 547. BF lekythos. From Delos. Leagros Group{1}; Class of Delos 547. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Heracles and Geryon.AVI 3350

Inscriptions: Nonsense: at left, top: οεσι. At left, bottom: σι(ν)ο{2}. By Geryon: ονσευσ, retr. Below Geryon: ευ(ϙ)ισ. To left of the woman at right: εγογοσ.

Commentary: The inscriptions look in part like imitation names. Koppa is miswritten. The readings are not very certain.

Footnotes: {1} Beazley compares the Edinburgh Painter and the Group of Vatican 424. {2} nu reversed.

Bibliography: *Photo. — ABV (1956), 379/274. — Para. (1971), 163.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3526


οεσι > Ó E SZŰ > ó e szű (oh, this heart)

σι(ν)ο > SZŰNŐ > szűnő (is stopping)

ονσευσ > ÖNöS E'VéSZ > önös elvész (selfish will perish)

ευ(ϙ)ισ > E VaK IS > e vak is (this blind also)

εγογοσ > É' GŐGÖS > él gőgös (arrogant lives)


Ó, e szű szűnő! Önös elvész. E vak is. Él gőgös! (Oh, this heart is stopping! Selfish will perish. This blind also. Arrogant lives!)

AVI 3359; BAD 44119

Detroit, Private: Lawrence A. Fleischman. BF lip cup. Workshop of Phrynos Painter (Joan Haldenstein{1}). Ca. 550 (Hamma–Guy).

Decoration: A, B, each: lip: Heracles and the Lion.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A, B, each: nonsense inscription. A: (λ)(α)(υ)υ(σ)ουλ(σ)(ο)(υ)α(σ)ολυ(.)ο(.)υ(.){2}.

Commentary: The Fleischman collection is now in the Getty Museum at Malibu. - A: small and casual letters, partly imitation. The inscription well centered, but the line is not quite straight.

Footnotes: {1} Haldenstein published four BF cups at Madison in the Bull. of the Elvehjem Museum, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Annual Report 1989-91, 8-9 and 12. {2} the first letter: `Argive' lambda. (σ) = < or >. (ο) = omicron with a short stroke at 5 o'clock. (υ) lies sideways.

Bibliography: *Hamma–Guy (1994), 79/33 (ill.; inscr. shows on p. 80, bottom) (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3535


(λ)(α)(υ)υ(σ)ουλ(σ)(ο) > áLL A ViVó SZÓ VáLaSZÓ' > áll a vivó szó válaszol (the fighter stands the word answers)

(υ)α(σ)ολυ(.)ο(.)υ(.) > aVVA' SZÓL ViVÓ éLVE > avval szól vivó élve (with that call the fighter is alive)


Áll a vivó, szó válaszol, avval szól: vivó élve! (The fighter stands, the word answers, with that call the fighter is alive!)

AVI 3360; BAD 46975

Detroit, Private: Lawrence A. Fleischman. BF amphora. Painter of Berlin 1686 (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth Ca. 540 (Wight–Guy).

Decoration: A, B, each: Heracles and Geryon.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: behind Heracles, along the margin: eight letters. To his right, facing him: ειοτοχειοτ(.)σε(.){1}. Between Geryon's legs: ειοτολολ{2}. Behind Geryon's legs: eight letters. B: replica of the scene and of the inscriptions, except that the inscription on Heracles' right is placed between his legs. The number of letters also differs: 10 letters - 10 letters - 10 letters - 13-14 letters (smeared at end).

Commentary: The inscriptions are typical of this painter.

Footnotes: {1} letter 11 = a filled upside down triangle; letter 14: a thick dot. {2} the sixth letter perhaps upsilon: ειοτουολ.

Bibliography: Atlantis (1988), 38-40, fig. 35 (A, reversed) and p. 41 (part of B). — *Wight–Guy (1994), 81/34 (ill., A, B).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3536


ειοτοχειοτ(.)σε(.) > ειοτοχειοτυσε{ToSZ}{1} > E'JÖTT Ő íGY E'JÖTT VéSSZE' íTéSZ > Eljött ő, így eljött vésszel ítész. (He did come, thus the judge did come with disaster.)

ειοτολολ > E'JÖTT Ő eLŐL … > Eljött ő elől … (He did come before ...)

AVI 3365; BAD 200096

Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Albertinum 288. RF neck amphora with twisted handles. Unattributed{1}. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: A: Heracles. B: Cycnus. [So ARV[2].]AVI 3365

Inscriptions: A: Heracles is inscribed: nonsense: αθετσ ενϙχεσ. B: the adversary: νοαχ.

Commentary: L.-J. (referring to Boardman) says that Beazley [where? Not in ARV[2]] thought the inscription on B should be read [Λυ]καον, retr., but Boardman knows no other vase with Heracles fighting Lykaon. L.-J. thinks the inscription on B should be nonsense as is that on A.

Footnotes: {1} the vase resembles neck amphorae decorated by or near Euphronios, "but the figures are not Euphronian, though contemporary" (Beazley).

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 19, top. — J. Boardman, LIMC v (1990), 116, Herakles 2800 [[= iv (1988), 734, Herakles 17*]]. — *Lloyd-Jones (1995), 44.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3541


A:     αθετσ ενϙχεσ > A CSE' üTéS ENNeK üGYES > A csel ütés, ennek ügyes. (The trick is in the hit, he is skilled with that.)

B:     νοαχ > NŐ AGYa > Nő agya! (It is woman's brain!)

AVI 3398; BAD 310140AVI 3398

Durham, NC, Duke University Nasher Museum of Art 1965.8. BF neck amphora. Near Tyrrhenian Group. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex Northwick Park, Spencer-Churchill.

Decoration: A: duel of warriors, between two women and two men looking on. B: similar, between two women looking on{1}.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to right of the left woman's head: κυο(σ)ν(ι){2}. Between the warriors' heads: κτυεσκ. Between their knees: χσνπκσγ. To left of the face of the man at right: κνγντυ. B: to right of the left woman's chest: κν(ν)(σ)γ{3}. To right of her shins: χ<ν(σ)νιν{4}. Between the warriors' heads: νσγκσνσγ(ι){5}. Between their knees: κτνσντν.

Commentary: All inscriptions but one start with kappa or chi.

Footnotes: {1} may be Achilles and Memnon (M. Moore by letter). {2} the two letters in brackets are unclear letters near breaks. {3} either retr., or not retr. with reversed nu. {4} the fourth letter unclear. {5} the last letter more a dot than a stroke.

Bibliography: *Photos. — ABV (1956), 105/3. — Para. (1971), 43. — *Stanley (1994), 30/39, pl. 13 (A, B) and back cover (A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3575


A:      κυο(σ)ν(ι) > Ki VÖSZ NőŰ' > ki vösz nőűl (who will marry you)

κτυεσκ > KeTTőVE' SoK > kettővel sok (with both is to much)

χσνπκσγ > íGY eSSeN BéKeSSéG > így essen békesség (let be peace)

κνγντυ > Ki NeGéNY aTTÚ' > ki negény attúl (from the one who is affectionate)


Ki vösz nőűl? Kettővel sok, így essen békesség ki negény attúl. (Who will marry you? With both is to much, let be peace from the one who is affectionate.)


B:      κν(ν)(σ)γ > KaN öNöSSéG > kan önösség (male selfishness)

χ<ν(σ)νιν > íGY eLDőL Nő SZíNIN > így eldől nő színin (will decide this way on woman's stage)

νσγκσνσγ(ι) > Nő SúG KéSZeN SeGíTS > nő súg készen segíts (the woman whispers she is ready help her)

κτνσντν > KiT NőS iNTeNe > kit nős intene (what as married would caution)


 Kan önösség így eldől nő színin. Nő súg: készen, segíts!, kit nős intene. (Male selfishness will decide this way on woman's stage. The woman whispers: she is ready, help her!, what as married would caution.)

AVI 3402; BAD 31432

Edinburgh, National Museum (Royal Scottish Museum) 1872.23.4. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 540-530 (CVA). AVI 3402

Decoration: Lip: A, B, each: female head in outline.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: νεενοεινοεσσσε. B: κνειοεοσοεπνσ{1}.

Commentary: CVA compares London B 402 [attributed to Sakonides]; the letter forms are given incorrectly.

Footnotes: {1} readings are from CVA, text, but they are not accurate as the photos. show (which however are too small to give accurate readings).

Bibliography: *E. Moignard, CVA Edinburgh 1, Great Britain 16 (1989), pl. 12,6-7.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3580


A:     νεενοεινοεσσσε > eNNÉ' E NŐ ÉJJe' NŐ ESZeS éSSZE' > Ennél e nő éjjel, nő eszes ésszel. (This woman is with him nightly, the woman is clever with brain.)

B:     κνειοεοσοεπνσ > KiNÉ' JÓ E Ő SZÓ' ÉPP NőS / KiNÉ' JÓ E'OSO' E BűNöS > Kinél jó e, ő szól, épp nős. / Kinél jó, eloson e bűnös! (With whom this is good, tells her that he is already married. / With whom this is good, the guilty sneaks away!)

AVI 3405; BAD 31438

Edinburgh, National Museum (Royal Scottish Museum) 1881.44.22. BF oinochoe. Unattributed. Last quarter sixth Ca. 520 (CVA).

Decoration: Ajax and Achilles playing a board game, with Athena in the center.AVI 3405

Inscriptions: Mostly nonsense or mock inscriptions: above and around the helmet of the left hero: νεο(τ)δκυο. To right of his head and shield: καλε{1}. Above and around the helmet and back of the right hero: δενοιεκοσ{2}. To left of his face: νιδσ{2}.

Commentary: Based on a hasty note and CVA. The inscriptions seem to me to represent illiterate attempts to write kalos-inscriptions rather than nonsense. Is the left one for Neokleides (despite the kale)? CVA calls the left hero Achilles, the other Ajax.

Footnotes: {1} so the photo and autopsy; the previous word inaccurate in CVA, text. Or καλε? {2} so CVA, text; I did not read it; the photo shows: ...κοσ^νιδσ; i.e., the last two inscriptions go together.

Bibliography: *E. Moignard, CVA Edinburgh 1, Great Britain 16 (1989), pl. 11,4-6.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3583


νεο(τ)δκυο καλε > νεο(τ)δκλο καλε >eNNÉ' ÖT DuKáLÓ oKKAL E > ennél öt dukáló okkal e (his five is winning with reason)

δενοιεκοσ νιδσ > DE NŐJÉ' KÖSZöNI aDóS > de nőjé(rt) köszöni adós (but for the woman he thanks he remains a debtor)


Ennél öt, dukáló okkal e, de nőjé(rt) köszöni, adós! (His five is winning with reason, but for the woman he thanks he rather remains a debtor! )

AVI 3431; BAD 7965

Eleusis, Archaeological Museum 907. Frs. of BF epinetron. Sappho Painter. Ca. 500 Still sixth (Haspels, 105).

Decoration: Amazons arming.AVI 3431

Inscriptions: Nonsense: fr. a: ?](.)ετοτοτ. h(.)οτ. Fr. b: τειτ. πεhι{1}.

Commentary: See Haspels 96 for a discussion of the Sappho Painter's use of nonsense inscriptions. (.) preserves a bit of a letter. Lissarrague lists this vase as an example of nonsense in the position of a song [from the mouth].

Footnotes: {1} D. Philios mentioned the possibility that the letters attached to the fighters imitate barbarian war cries and those attached to the trumpeter, music. This is strongly supported by Bélis. Lissarrague follows her. My readings differ from Belis' readings and I do not believe that the inscriptions are musical notation: Immerwahr Belis fr. 1: ?](.)ετοτοτ τοτοε hτ̣οτ το<τ>η fr. 2: πεhι Γεηι fr. 3: τειτ τειτ I think that none of the inscriptions are retr. as Belis assumes.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Kabbadias (1895), pl. 8,1-3. — *Haspels (1936), 94, 98, 228/54, pl. 34. — *Bélis (1984), 99-104 (reads the inscriptions as musical notation). — *H. Metzger (1986), 67/17 (the first inscription there read .ΕΤΟΤΟΥ, the rest from my readings). — Lissarrague (1990a), 127, fig. 97 (sketch of fr. a, with inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3609


?](.)ετοτοτ h(.)οτ > KE'Tő ÖTÖT HíVoTT > Keltő ötöt hívott. (Five times sounded the wakeup call.)

τειτ πεhι > öTTE' ÜTi éPP E HŰ > Öttel üti épp e hű. (Five times hits her this very faithful.)

AVI 3521; BAD 12960

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale. BF band cup{1}. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex Vagnonville.

Decoration: Erotic scene: a nude youth carrying two wreaths; man embracing another youth who holds up a wreath.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: above the left youth: πσειν. To his left: αειυπσι. To right of his legs: αξνπες{2}. To right of the right youth's head: αιϙε{3}. To right of his legs: τασεστλε.

Commentary: I do not know whose drawing this is.

Footnotes: {1} patch band cup (Beazley). {2} so the dr.; I thought the xi was meant for an epsilon. {3} the first letter could be a delta.

Bibliography: *dr. — *Beazley (1947), 216[[f.]]/γ 2 (not ill.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3698


πσειν > BeSZÉLJ> beszélj nő (speak up woman)

αειυπσι > Á'-E JöVőBe SZŰ > áll-e jövőbe szű (will your heart stand in future)

αξνπες > AKaSSZa üNNePES > akassza ünnepes (hang it up ceremonially)

αιϙε >διϙε{3} > aDIK-E > adik-e (will they give her)

τασεστλε > iTT A SZESZ íTéL-E > itt a szesz ítél-e (will the excuse judge here)


Beszélj, nő!Áll-e jövőbe szű? Akassza ünnepes! Adik-e? Itt a szesz ítél-e? (Speak up, woman! Will your heart stand in future? Hang it up (the wreath) ceremonially! Will they give her to me? Will the excuse judge here?)

AVI 3522; BAD 9017677

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale. Fr. of band cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 550-530

Inscriptions: Nonsense: πσοικσ.

Commentary: Beazley and Payne compare London B 600.40, q.v.

Bibliography: *Beazley–Payne (1929), 268 (not ill.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3699


πσοικσ > PöSZe OLYiK SZó / PiSZe OLY KiS … > Pösze olyik szó / pisze oly kis (orr). (Some words are lisping / (the nose) is snub so small)

AVI 3540; BAD 310008

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale 3773. Fragmentary BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Tarquinia. Castellani Painter (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth Early period (Kluiver).

Decoration: Body: upper zones: A: Amphiaraos leaving home. B: chariot race{1}. Lower zones: A: Heracles and Amazons. B: Dionysus with satyrs and maenads. Neck: A: fight. B: arming: the right half is clear: a nude and bearded man is confronted by three women, two of whom carry shields, the third a sword(?).AVI 3540

Inscriptions: Nonsense: neck: B: at the extreme lower right, facing the margin: (α)(ε)φχι{2}. Shoulder: A: to right of the head of the charioteer of the second chariot: γ(τ)ο(ε){3}. Between the wheel and the rear of the horses of the front chariot: οτοακγ{4}. Between the horses' legs: γτο(ε){5}.

Commentary: + Berlin 1711. Very peculiar letter forms, characteristic of the Castellani Painter.

Footnotes: {1} Shapiro thinks the subject is the Funeral Games for Patroclus: three chariots are racing; the last is crashing to the ground; at right, a goal post with a cauldron on top; bleachers with six unlookers; a tripod. {2} the first letter is a blob; the second is uncertain but perhaps an epsilon, though not lying on its side as the others; the third letter is a phi or perhaps theta. {3} the tau is not clear; the epsilon is horizontal with short vertical strokes; this could also be read retr. {5} epsilon as the last. The inscription is identical with the first in this scene.

Bibliography: *Thiersch (1899), pls. 3-4 (drs), and p. 64. — FR (1904–32), iii, 5, figs. 2-3 (after Thiersch, pl. 4). — ABV (1956), 95/8, 683. — Para. (1971), 36. — Add.[2] (1989), 25. — AttScr (1990), no. 280. — Carpenter (1991), fig. 267. — Esposito–De Tommaso (1993), pl. 21. — R. Blatter, LIMC vii (1994), Peliou athla. — *Shapiro (1994), 35 and 37, figs. 21-22 (A, B, neck and shoulder). — McGowan (1995), 622, fig. 2. — Kluiver (1996), 9/180 and 13 (inscrr. mentioned), figs. 17-18 (17 shows 2 nonsense inscrr., faintly).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3717


(α)(ε)φχι > Á' E FeGYŰ' > Áll e fegyül. (He stands disciplined.)

γ(τ)ο(ε) > üGeTŐ-E > Ügető-e? (Is it trotting?)

οτοακγ > Ó eTTŐ' A KéG > Ó ettől a kég. (The course cautions against it.)

γτο(ε) > üGeTÖ E > Ügetö e. (It is trotting.)

AVI 3544; BAD 8076

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale 3858. BF hydria (kalpis). From Vulci (Inghirami). Unattributed. Last quarter sixth Ca. 510 (Bocci).

Decoration: Shoulder: chariot with charioteer; in front, a dog.AVI 3544

Inscriptions: Shoulder: nonsense: behind the charioteer's back: (ν)ν. To his right: χαχχι. Under the horses' bellies: χρεγ, retr. Above the dog: ιχ̣χ̣ν.

Commentary: The lettering recalls the Leagros Group.

Bibliography: Inghirami (1835), iii, pp. 30ff., pl. 211. — *P. Bocci, CVA Florence 5, Italy 42 (1969), pl. 42,1-3. — *Esposito–De Tommaso (1993), 46/58 (shows inscription small).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3721


(ν)ν χαχχι > üNőN aGYA' eGYüGYű > Ünőn agyal együgyű, (The simpleton's mind is on doe (woman),)

χρεγ ιχ̣χ̣ν > íGY RÉGi ÜGY GYüN > így régi ügy gyün. (so the old case comes again.)

AVI 3569; BAD 202261AVI 3569

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale 3991. RF column krater. Chairippos Painter. First quarter fifth 500-490 (CVA).

Decoration: A: fight: duel over a fallen comrade. B: komos: two youths (one with a cup).

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: imitation letters: between the heads of the duelists: λ(ν)(ο)(κ)γεσ.

Commentary: CVA suggests Ε]υνοκλες, referring to Bechtel (1917), 166; but it is clearly nonsense.

Bibliography: *D. Levi, CVA Florence 2, Italy 13 (1938), III I, pls. 38,3 and 41,1-2 (facs. in text). — ARV[2] (1963), 236/1.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3746


λ(ν)(ο)(κ)γεσ > éLNe Ő Ki iGÉS/eGÉSZ > Élne ő ki igés/egész! (The good with words/the whole man could live!)

AVI 3587; BAD 9458

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale 72732. BF pelike. Antimenean{1}. Ca. 500 (Scheibler).

Decoration: A: bearded oil seller sitting on a basket(?), with a stick in a pelike, gesticulating to a woman customer. B: bearded oil seller at a stool warding off with a stick two dogs attracted by a group of lekythoi and a pelike.

Inscriptions: A: from the man's mouth: κ(α)λον ε(ι)[1-2(?)]{2}. B: to right of man's upper body (it issues from the mouth of the seller): κ(.)ναμ̣εμι̣{3}.

Commentary: I do not think the inscriptions are nonsense, though they are probably partly miswritten. On A the seller is praising the oil.

Footnotes: {1} not in Beazley. {2} triangular alpha. The end of the inscription is quite doubtful; the ph. seems to show a restoration following the bracketed iota. {3} very uncertain reading (the surface is dirty).

Bibliography: Waele (1926), 1, 288, fig. 4. — *Scheibler (1983), 19, fig. 7 (B). — *Esposito–De Tommaso (1993), 45/57 (A). — *Shapiro (1997), 65 and nn. 16 and 27.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3764


A:     κ(α)λον ε(ι) > κδλον ε(μ) ζ{2} > KiDűLŐ NEM eZ > Kidülő? Nem ez! (Is it spilling? Not this one!)

B:     κ(.)ναμ̣εμι̣ > KeLLeNe ÁM E MI > Kellene ám e, mi? (Would you like this, ain't you?)

AVI 3628; BAD 202363

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale (3 B 15). Fr. of RF cup. Myson. Leagros, kalos. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: satyr raping a maenad (lower parts). A: warriors (horsemen and hoplites; on one shield: ithyphallic ass).

Inscriptions: Int.: Λεαγρ[ος ...]. A: on the shield, nonsense: hιγν{1}.

Footnotes: {1} or: hιγν[--].

Bibliography: *Photo. — *D. Levi, CVA Florence 1, Italy 8 (1932), pl. 3, B 15. — CF (1933), .... — *ARV[2] (1963), 242/83. — Para. (1971), 349.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3805


Int.:     Λεαγρ[ος …] > LEÁ' íGéRŐS > Leáll ígérős. (The promised is droopy.)

A:        hιγν > hιγν[- -]{1} > HiGaNYOS > Higanyos. (Amalgam with quicksilver.)

AVI 3677; BAD 9011011

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale (13 B 46). Frs. of RF column krater. Unattributed. First quarter fifth Early (Brazley).

Decoration: A: lower part of picture: Dionysus(?) with the oschos on a donkey; a satyr on either side.

Inscriptions: CVA, under fr. 46: χγογχπγπν χγlονγοσ γονγοσ{1}.

Commentary: + Florence 13 B 52, 57, 59, 68. - The above transcript does not adequately render the capital Attic letters in CVA's text. Attic alphabet.

Footnotes: {1} not mentioned by Beazley. Clearly nonsense.

Bibliography: *D. Levi, CVA Florence 1, Italy 8 (1932), pl. 13, B, 46. — CF (1933), ....

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3854


χγογχπγπν > GYuG Ő GaGYáBa GeBéN > Gyug ő gagyába gebén. (He hides it in underpants on the nag.)

χγlονγοσ > íGY GaLLÓ iNGÓS > Így galló (hintázó) ingós. (This way the droopy is swinging.)

γονγοσ > γανγοσ > GANGOS > Gangos. (He is proud.)

AVI 3691; BAD 200895

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale A B 4. Frs. of RF cup. Manner of Epeleios Painter{1}. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: A: athletes: discobolus; youth bending over; discobolus.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense? ναισ̣αιυ(?){2}.AVI 3691

Commentary: + Florence 1 B 11 and 12; 4 B 50.

Footnotes: {1} 1629/39 ter; also listed among cups mingling Epeleian elements and Euergidean, as 104/1. {2} so CVA; not in CF. Under pl. 4, 83 are given the letters: οσ(?), which ought to be part of this.

Bibliography: *D. Levi, CVA Florence 1, Italy 8 (1932), pl. A, B 4; cf. ad pl. 4, 83. — CF (1933), .... — ARV[2] (1963), 104/1, 1629 (add to 150 as 39 ter).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3868


ναισ̣αιυ(?) > aNNÁ' IS A JaVa > Annál is a java! (At him also the best!)

AVI 3694; BAD 211396AVI 3694

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale D B 2. Frs. of RF cup. Tarquinia Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: a nude athlete at an altar. A-B: males.

Inscriptions: Int.: between his head and the altar, nonsense two-liner, the second line centered: Ο Α Μ Α I Ϲ | Ρ Α Ι Κ Ϲ {1}.

Commentary: An unreliable reading. Surely not nonsense but hο παις | καλος. Is it in oblique stoichedon?

Footnotes: {1} so CVA; not in CF.

Bibliography: *D. Levi, CVA Florence 1, Italy 8 (1932), pl. D, B 2 [[Appendix, p. 26: frammento 219, pl. 14, invis.]]. — CF (1933), .... — ARV[2] (1963), 866/2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3871

ΟΑΜΑIϹ | ΡΑΙΚϹ > ΟΑΜΑIΓ | ΡΑΙΚC > Ő Á' MÁIG | BAJ KiCSi > Ő áll máig, baj kicsi! (It still stands today, the damage is small!)

AVI 3699; BAD 210136

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale PD 54. RF cup. From Populonia. Telephos Painter{1}. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: woman. A: man, boy and youth. B: male, boy and youth.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the woman's head: καλος. Ext.: nonsense: A: around the edges: πιλ(ο)συ(ο)πυ. B: similar (the first half of a semicircle): ΙΙυ(.)π{2}.

Footnotes: {1} follower of Makron. {2} the first letter consists of two parallel strokes, the third resembles an arrow pointing up.

Bibliography: *Minto (1926), 369-70, figs. 7 and 8. — ARV[2] (1963), 819/36. — Para. (1971), 421. — Add.[2] (1989), 293.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3876


A:     πιλ(ο)συ(ο)πυ > éPÜL Ő SíVÓBÚ'/SZíVÓBÚ' > Épül ő sívóbúl/szívóbúl. (He is getting built up from the crying/sucking one.)

B:     ΙΙυ(.)π > Νυϡπ > NőVe SZéP > Nőve szép. (Grown is he nice.)

AVI 3708

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale PD 250. RF cup. From Orvieto, excavation of Fontana del Leone. Near Dokimasia Painter{1}. First quarter fifth 480-470 (CVA).

Decoration: Int.: warrior with his shield, crouching in an ambush. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the figure: nonsense: imitation letters: ιλ<<.

Footnotes: {1} Beazley, personal communication to Magi; and Para.

Bibliography: *A. Magi, CVA Florence 4, Italy 38 (1964), pl. 123,4 (Int.). — Para. (1971), 373 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3885


ιλ<< > ιλ{Λ DőL}{Λ DőL}* > Ű LeLeDüL eLDüL > Ű leledül eldül. (He falls in felony.)


* Λ tilts over! = ΛΔΛ

AVI 3716; BAD 203513AVI 3716

Florence, Museo archeologico nazionale PD 362. RF cup. From Populonia. Antiphon Painter. Lysis, kalos. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: youth leaning on his stick; at left, sponge, aryballos, strigil hung up. Ext.: fragmentary: hoplitodromoi: A: two hoplitodromoi arming on either side of a trainer. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: to left of his upper body, starting below the head, in an irregular line: κογγισ(?){1}. A: Λ[υσ]ις κ[αλος]{2}. B: above and to left: nonsense: υγ.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA, text. {2} so ARV[2]; CVA mentions no inscription on A.

Bibliography: *A. Magi, CVA, Italy 30, Florence 3 (1959), pl. 97,1-3. — *ARV[2] (1963), 341/80.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3893


Int:     κογγισ > KÖ' GőG IS > Köll gőg is. (Arrogance is also needed.)

A:     Λ[υσ]ις κ[αλος] > LoVaS IS KiáLLÓS > Lovas is kiállós. (The horseman is also exelent.)

B:     υγ > VéGe > Vége? (End?)

AVI 3745; BAD 12585

Frankfurt, Archäologisches Museum (formerly Mus. für Vor- und Frühgeschichte) B 394. Frs. of BF band cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: A: handle zone: in the center, symposium: two males reclining, a dog beneath; at right, two nude youths dancing; at left, remains of two similar figures. B: similar.AVI 3745

Inscriptions: A: handle zone: numerous nonsense inscriptions in largish letters, several beginning with epsilon and some being retr. To right of the couch: ειοντ̣. Between the two right dancers: εσ̣ονιοσ, retr. A similar inscription to right of the rightmost dancer, also beginning with epsilon. (The photo shows remains of six inscriptions, some to left of the couch.) B: similar.

Commentary: Listed in Beazley Archive as `Frankfurt, Historisches Museum', but I assume that the vases there are now in the MusVF. The inscriptions on B are more disjointed and hastier. - For nonsense inscriptions beginning with epsilon see e.g. Munich 2241, with parallels.

Bibliography: *Photos in Beazley Archive. — Xeroxes in Paris at CRCSA. — *K. Deppert, CVA Frankfurt 2, Germany 30 (1968), pl. 57,4 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3922


ειοντ̣ > E JÓ NőT > … e jó nőt ... (… this good woman ...)

εσ̣ονιοσ > E SZÓN JÖSSZ > E szón jössz! (On this word you will come!)


The words fit perfectly to the context, making mokery of the “scientific” mumbling.

AVI 3754a; BAD 350219

Frankfurt, Goethe-Universität: Archäologisches Institut inv. 136. BF Tyrrhenian ovoid neck amphora. Kyllenios Painter (Bothmer). Second quarter sixth (Mayer-Emmerling).

Decoration: Shoulder: A; Heracles and the Hydra. B: fight. Below: three animal friezes.AVI 3754a

Inscriptions: Nonsense: shoulder: A: to left of the left-facing chariot horses, upward: το:(.)ονοσ(.)[...]. Between their legs, downward: ϝσουδουι, retr. In front of the charioteer's (i.e., Ioalaus') thighs, vertically down, not facing him: αδο(ξ):ον{1}. To right of his feet, vertically down, not facing him: νοϝ(ξ)ο̣ν{1}. To right of the woman behind Heracles, who faces right, downward: νιι(ο)μγϝιο{2}. Behind Heracles' head is a four-letter inscription, roughly horizontaL: (.)οε(.), retr. Another short inscription is found to right of his thigh, diagonally down and facing him: αεσοε. B: between the heads of the pair of fighters at left, curving downward and facing the second man: hοεο(σ)ο{3}. To right of the shin of the left warrior of the right pair, diagonally downward: νοα̣[...]. Between their heads, vertically down and facing the left man(?): ινοισ(.){4}. At the extreme right, under the left leg of a running figure, horizontal: [...]τοι vacat.

Commentary: Fragmentary. - Attic alphabet with sigma 1 and 2, but also the squiggly sigmas, if they are that. Digamma 2 (u-shaped). Large nu 6's and omicron 1's. See chart in AttScr.

Footnotes: {1} note the letters that look like xi's. I think they are squiggly four-stroke sigmas, although there are also three-stroke sigmas! {2} the omicron has a vertical line on its right. {3} clearly a squiggly sigma. {4} the last letter looks like a `6'; it should be an omicron.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1956), 24/84, pl. 20. — Para. (1971), 39. — Schauenburg (1980), 99, pl. 32,b. — Mayer-Emmerling (1982), 57ff. 200/K 58. — Venit (1989), 106. — LIMC v (1990), 36, Herakles 1997. — *S. Mayer-Emmerling and U. Vedder, CVA Frankfurt 4, Germany 66 (1994), pls. 11-13 (show inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3932

AVI 3754a_deatails



το:(.)ονοσ(.)[...] > τοζγονοσ > uTÓ' űZ GONOSZ > utól űz gonosz (the evil chases us at the back)

ϝσουδουι > VéSZ Ő VéD ÓVI > vész ő véd óvi (calamity he guards us protects him)

αδο(ξ):ον > αδο(ξ)ζον > Á'DÓ KéZ aZON > áldó kéz azon (blessed hand on that)

νοϝ(ξ)ο̣ν > NŐ á'Va KöSZÖNi > nő állva köszöni (woman standing expresses her gratitude)

νιι(ο)μγϝιο > νιι{ο+ι}μγϝιο > Ne JaJOLJ MíG VÍ Ő > ne jajolj míg ví ő (do not wail while hi is fighting)

(.)οε(.) > VÍ Ő ÉRTe > ví ő érte (He fights for her)

αεσοε > Á' E SZÓÉ' > áll e szóé(rt) (stands firm for those words)


Utól űz gonosz vész. Ő véd, óvi áldó kéz, azon nő állva köszöni, – ne jajolj míg ví ő. Ví ő érte, áll e szóé(rt). (The evil calamity chases us at the back. He guards us, protects him a blessed hand, the woman standing expresses her gratitude on that, - do not wail while hi is fighting. He fights for her, stands firm for those words.)

AVI 3760; BAD 208067

France, Private. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter (?){1}. Second quarter fifth AVI 3760

History: Ex Philadelphia Market. Ex Basel Market (M.M.). The location of the vase is given in ARV[2] 1665.

Decoration: Satyr with a thyrsus holding out a kantharos from which wine is spilling (libation).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of his beard: πππππυ{2}. Below the end of the thyrsus stalk, to right of the satyr's legs: γε(.)(υ)(σ){3}.

Commentary: Pi with verticals of equal length.

Footnotes: {1} so Beazley in ARV[2]; but a note from Cahn in AK 16 (1973) 59 n. 15 says that he has abandoned the attribution [which had appeared in Auktion 22]. I too would be doubtful of the attribution as the hand-writing differs from that of the Bowdoin Painter. {2} to the edge of the photo in AK; the inscription may continue. {3} unclear in the photo.

Bibliography: *M&M-Auction (1961), pl. 51/168. — ARV[2] (1963), 683/122 bis, 1665. — *Lanz (1973), 59, pl. 8,3.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3939


πππππυ > PaP éPP PaPo'Va > Pap épp papolva (priest just chattering)

γε(.)(υ)(σ) > iGÉRe VeSZ > igére vesz (takes on words)


Pap épp papolva igére vesz. (Priest just takes you on words chattering.)

AVI 3769; BAD 207815AVI 3769

Gela, Museo archeologico regionale inv. 63. RF Nolan amphora From Gela. Painter of London E 342. Second quarter fifth 460-450 (CVA).

History: Ex Navarra collection.

Decoration: A: woman holding a lekythos; at left, a chair; at right, a bird. B: woman; at right, a rectangular object.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: non-stoich. two-liner{1}: αοσγγο | πχοοι.

Footnotes: {1} according to the facs.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 668/21. — *F. Giudice, CVA Gela 3, Italy 54 (1974), pl. 38,1-2; facs. III I, p. 10. — Add.[2] (1989), 278.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3948


αοσγγο | πχοοι > αοσγδο | πχθοι > Á' Ő SZeGőDŐ éPP íGY óCSÓJa > Áll ő szegődő. Épp így ócsója (olcsója)! (It stands slanting. Exactly what makes it cheap!)

AVI 3773; BAD 303453

Gela, Museo archeologico regionale inv. 108/B. BF amphora (dubleen). From Gela. Unattributed. Early fifth 500-490 (CVA). AVI 3773

History: Ex Navarra collection.

Decoration: A: a young flautist, and a satyr carrying a full wineskin. B: Capture of Silenus: a warrior leads him.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to the flautist's left, facing the margin: εοσο[.]εσ(γ). Around the bearded head: (ε)ου(.){1}. B: between the figures: (.)ο[...]ς{2}.

Commentary: B is restored. The letters resemble the writing of the Sappho Painter.

Footnotes: {1} the first letter smeared, the last a tiny sigma(?) = <. {2} not certainly complete at end.

Bibliography: Benndorf (1867), 229/XI. — Brommer (1941), 39/4. — ABV (1956), 482/4. — Para. (1971), 220. — *F. Giudice, CVA Gela 4, Italy 56 (1979), pls. 20,2 and 21,1-2; facs. p. 15. — Add.[2] (1989), 121.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3952


εοσο[.]εσ(γ) > εθσο[ρ]εσ(γ) > E CSoSZÓ RÉSZeG > E csoszó (csoszogó) részeg! (This shuffling man is drunk!)

(ε)ου(.) > (ε)ου{Λ DőL}{1} > É' ŐVeLe DaL > Él ővele dal. (With him lives the song.)

AVI 3774AVI 3774; BAD 204673

Gela, Museo archeologico regionale inv. 112/B. RF lekythos. From Gela. Painter of Paris Gigantomachy. Second quarter fifth Ca. 470 (CVA).

History: Ex Navarra collection.

Decoration: Nike flying with lyre and phiale.

Inscriptions: On the phiale, below the rim, nonsense, in BG: λασασα{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so the facs. in CVA, but I wonder if there really is an inscription; the photos. are small.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 423/128. — *F. Giudice, CVA Gela 3, Italy 54 (1974), pls. 25,3,5 and 26,2; facs. p. 4. — Add.[2] (1989), 235.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3953


λασασα > aLÁSSA' SZÁ' > Alással (alvással) száll. (It (she) flies with sleep.)

AVI 3788; BAD 208057AVI 3788

Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire inv. 18043. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Woman seated at a wool basket, holding a wreath.

Inscriptions: Above her head: Πασιθ̣εα{1}. Above the wool basket: nonsense: γμσε(.)σρ̣δ.

Footnotes: {1} I wonder if Pasithea is a correct reading: the Bowdoin Painter usually has nonsense or (rarely) insignificant inscriptions. Pasithea is the name of a Hesperid on New York 08.258.20, ARV[2] 1472/1, AttScr (1990), no. 823; a Nereid in Hesiod, Theog. 246; a Grace in Il. 14.269, etc.

Bibliography: Deonna (1943), 3. — *A. Bruckner, CVA Geneva 1, Switzerland 1 (1962), pl. 22,1-2, p. 23 (facs.). — ARV[2] (1963), 682/104 bis. — Para. (1971), 406.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3967


Πασιθ̣εα > BA' SZŰCCSE' Á' > baj szűccsel áll (the trouble is with the furrier)

γμσε(.)σρ̣δ > éG MeSSE KeSeRűD > ég messe keserűd (let heaven let cut your distress)


Baj szűccsel áll, ég messe keserűd. (The trouble is with the furrier, let heaven cut your distress.)

AVI 3796; BAD 60

Unlocated. BF Nikosthenic neck amphora. From Etruria. Painter N. 530-520 Ca. 530 (CVA).

History: Ex Geneva Market. Ex Castle Ashby, Northampton.

Decoration: Mouth: dolphins. Neck: floral. Handles, each: youth. Shoulder: between palmettes: A: duel over a fallen warrior. B: duel. Body: lotus frieze; below it: animals including an alien piece with cocks fighting, with a hen on either side.

Inscriptions: On the shoulder, under the handle (left, seen from A): Νικοσθενες εποιεσεν. On the alien fr.: nonsense: above the left cock, slightly curved: χαικασα{1}. Above the right cock, similar: [...]χαι̣{2}.

Commentary: Much repainting; the surface damaged. The readings of the alien fr. in CVA are there said to differ slightly from those given by others. CVA seems to consider the two inscriptions as parts of one inscription, which seems to me doubtful as they are obviously related to the two cocks. The Second Marquess read the first inscription ΑΙΑΚΙΔ and referred it to Achilles whom he identified in one of the duels. Klein and Hopkins read a kale-name; Burl. 1888, the names of the cocks (see Beazley (1929b)). - It is unclear whether the foot is also alien as Beazley thought it might be.

Footnotes: {1} so the text of CVA, with three-stroke sigma printed. {2} the inscription is clearly incomplete fore, but possibly also aft.

Bibliography: Northampton (1847), 255-62, pls. 15-16. — Klein (1887), 64/44. — Fröhner (1888), 47/107. — Strong (1904), 94f./G 3, pl. 89 [[invis.]]. — Hoppin (1924), 194 (A). — Beazley (1929b), 6/11. — Philippart (1935), 212. — *ABV (1956), 221/44. — *J. Boardman and M. Robertson, CVA Northampton, Castle Ashby, Great Britain 15 (1979), Castle Ashby (1979), no. 18, pl. 19,4-8. — Add.[2] (1989), 58.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3976


χαικασα > χαικδσα > íGY ÁLLJ Ki DúSSA' > Így állj ki dússal! (Stand out with the loot!)

AVI 3803; BAD 2517

Germany, Private. BF skyphos{1}. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 540-530 (Hornbostel).

Decoration: A, B, each: chariot with charioteer, with a warrior jumping up on it.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: between the left palmette and horses, in an uneven line: 11 letters (many sigmas). Between the warrior and the right-hand palmette, similar: σεσνετνχσι, retr.

Commentary: H. lists two other Hermogenean skyphoi with nonsense inscriptions: Carlsruhe B 2598 and Heidelberg S 36.

Footnotes: {1} of Hermogenean type.

Bibliography: Hornbostel (1977a), 274/242 (A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3984


σεσνετνχσι > SZeSSZeN ETTű' NaGY SZŰ/eSZŰ > Szesszen (jókedvre derül) ettűl nagy szű/eszű. (Big heart/minder cheers up from this.)

AVI 3804a

Germany, Private. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth Ca. 550 (Hornbostel).

Decoration: Int.: surrounded by a tongue border: a doe to left, scratching its head with its left hind leg.

Inscriptions: Int.: above the doe, nonsense: φιλϝδιε{1}.

Commentary: Hornbostel does not mention the inscription; he gives no location or bibl.

Footnotes: {1} the third letter = V-shaped upsilon; the fourth letter no doubt an epsilon with one stroke omitted. One is tempted to read φιλε̅δίε̅ `delight', referring to the scratching, despite the non-Attic ending..

Bibliography: *Hornbostel (1986), 43/6 (Int.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3986


φιλϝδιε > FÜLe VéDI-E > Füle védi-e? (Does her ears protect her?)

AVI 3813

Germany, Private. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth 480-470 (Zwierlein-Diehl).

Decoration: Young trainer with a branch; at left, sponge, strigil and aryballos hung up; at right (on the ground), a discus with a BG owl in the center, to which the trainer is pointing.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: on the discus around the owl, in BG: τσοοσ[.]{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so the text; the photo shows one Ο and blots.

Bibliography: Zwierlein-Diehl (1977), 314/268 (ill.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3999


τσοοσ[.] > uTóSÓ OSSo[N] > Utósó osson. (Let the last flit.)

AVI 3814d

Germany, Private: Zimmermann. BF neck amphora. Group of Würzburg 199 (Hornbostel). Ca. 510 (Steinhart). Ca. 485 (Beazley (1919)).

Decoration: A: Theseus and the Minotaur, between a woman and a youth. B: chariot, with charioteer and warrior, turning round toward the left.

Inscriptions: B: nonsense: to left of the horses, between handle palmettes, diagonally downward: οσοσ (σ)(ο), retr.{1}. Under the horses' legs, bearing slightly downward: γροτγϙ.

Commentary: The Group of Würzburg 199 is related to the Antimenes Painter (Steinhart).

Footnotes: {1} the letters are rather indistinct.

Bibliography: Hornbostel (1986), 67/27. — *Steinhart (1996), 61/11 (ill., showing inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4005


οσοσ (σ)(ο) > ϙσοσ (σ)(ο) > oKoS ŐSi SZÓ > okos ősi szó (Clever ancient saying)

γροτγϙ > γρϙτυϙ > éG RaKaTa VaK > ég rakata vak (heavens firmament is blind)


Okos ősi szó: ég rakata vak. (Clever ancient saying: heavens firmament is blind.)

AVI 3817; BAD 9009482

Gioia del Colle, Museo archeologico nazionale MG 29. Id. with 3816. (Incl. AVI 3816.) Fragmentary BF column krater. From Gioia (Apulia), Monte Sannace, excavations of 1961. Leagros Group (Ciancio); unattributed (Bea. Arch.). Last quarter sixth 520-510 (Ciancio). 550-500 (Bea. Arch.).

Decoration: A: upper portion of a scene: Amazonomachy: Heracles and the Amazons. B: very fragmentary: Amazon in a chariot; Athena.AVI 3817

Inscriptions: A: to right of the left Amazon's helmet: nonsense: οασ^οασ(.){1}. To right of the second Amazon's helmet: hιπ<π>οσοιΛς{2}. Above, and to right of, Heracles' head: hερακλες. Coming from the lost head of his adversary and running into Heracles' head: [Αν]δρομα(χ)<ε>, retr.{3}.

Commentary: The museum is located in Bari and houses the finds from the excavations at Monte Sannace. The inscriptions written by a semi-literate.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter resembles the `Argive' lambda with a longish horizontal; a spear intervenes. {2} mock inscription: half sense: hιπ<π>οσ(θ)<εν>ι(α)ς(?). The sixth letter is a theta showing the dot on the circle in the ph., but given as O in the facs. {3} the inscription bends upward to avoid H.'s head; the chi is a blob; the final epsilon was never written.

Bibliography: BADB: 9009482. — Juliis et al. (1983), 87, fig. 155 (A). — *A. Ciancio, CVA Gioia del Colle, Italy 68 (1995), pls. 21,1-2 and 22,1-4; fig. 4 (facs. of inscriptions) (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4019


οασ^οασ(.) > οασ^οασ(λ)> Ő ASZó Ő A SZóLó > ő aszó, ő a szóló (she is shrivelling, she is the talking one)

hιπ<π>οσοιΛς > HŰBŐ’ SZÓ ILLőS > hűből szó illős (from the faithful word is polite)

hερακλες > Ha ERő AKLa ÉSZ > ha erő akla ész (if mind is the pen for force)

[Αν]δρομα(χ)<ε> > δρομαχ > DuRRÓ Ma AGY > durró (durrogó/dörgő) ma agy (the brain is thunderous/roaring today)


Ő aszó*, ő a szóló. Hűből szó illős: ha erő akla ész, durró (durrogó/dörgő) ma agy. (She is shrivelling, she is the talking one. From the faithful word is polite: if mind is the pen for force, the brain is thunderous/roaring today.)


*Playing with words: aszó – a szó(ló)shrivelling – the word(ing)

Even though the scientists acknowledge that “Herodotus and others describe bilingual Scythians and Greeks. Multilingualism may have been more common than generally recognized.” Actually, they look for the Scythians in the wrong direction: “Although literary evidence supports the presence of individual Scythians in Greece in the late sixth and fifth centuries BC, these foreign inscriptions on vases cannot, prima facie, be taken to confirm historical reports of a large “official” force of Scythians in Athens.” That large “official” force of Scythians in Athens is actually the substratum, the native Scythian population of Greece. So, the attempt of the authors to display the “nonsense” inscriptions on vases as that of some Caucasian languages is also nonsense! Scythian language is still alive and well, but nowadays it is called Hungarian. As you could see on the examples before, and on the followings, you can read the “nonsense” inscriptions directly, without any linguistic trickery, just by filling in the here and there left out vowels by the applied method of writing, the so called defective notation of vowels.

AVI 3822; BAD 25700AVI 3822

Gotha, Schlossmuseum. BF column krater. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: A: Heracles and Triton; at left, two Nereids; at right, Nereus. B: Dionysus with thiasos.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to right of the right Nereid's head: υτσο. Around Triton's tail: υ(τ)λυοτσ(ο). Above the combatants: (υ)συι̣. More.

Commentary: The letters are ill-formed, partly imitation letters.

Bibliography: *Photos.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4027



υτσο > UTaS Ő > Utas ő. (He is a traveller.)

υ(τ)λυοτσ(ο) > υζλυοτσo > ŰZi eLaVOTT SZÓ > Űzi elavott szó. (He is driven by an outdated word.)

(υ)συι̣ >(υ)σλι > ViSSZáLI > Visszáli. (He ruffles it.)

AVI 3845; BAD 9017707

Göttingen, Georg-August-Universität: Archäologisches Institut J 35. Fragmentary RF cup. From Italy. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Int.: satyr before a burning altar.

Inscriptions: Int.: starting above an altar: nonsense: imitation letters: (γ)ι(π)ι(γ)ι(κ)[...].

Commentary: The gammas, pi, and kappa may all be the same "letter."

Bibliography: *Jacobsthal (1912), 21, pl. 12,37.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4049


(γ)ι(π)ι(γ)ι(κ)[...] > (γ)ι(γ)ι(γ)ι(κ)[...] > éGIG IGéIK … > Égig igéik … (Their words up to heavens...)

AVI 3858; BAD 16197AVI 3858

The Hague, Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum inv. 619. BF hydria (kalpis). Athena Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Shoulder: ship; at left, dolphin.

Inscriptions: Shoulder: above the steersman (in the stern of the ship), near horizontal: nonsense: (κ)ιονιυ:.

Commentary: The vase is not listed by Beazley.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Scheibler (1983), 155, fig. 136 (dr. after Köster, Seewesen, fig. 47). — *Scholl (1993), 353 and 371, fig. 8.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4068

(κ)ιονιυ > Ki JÖN JóVa' > Ki jön jóval. (Who comes with goods.)


AVI 3861; BAD 14263

Amsterdam, Allard Pierson Museum 1850. RF cup. From Italy. Foundry Painter. First quarter fifth AVI 3861

Decoration: Int.: arming: youth holding two spears and a helmet; a shield behind his feet. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the figure, nonsense: to left of his head: υ(γ)γ vac., retr. To right of it (not retr.): πλοπυ[...]{1}.

Commentary: This vase seems to have dropped out of Beazley's lists after AV. - The inscriptions are in the typical hand of theFoundry Painter: the vase was not turned to write them.

Footnotes: {1} this inscription is interrupted by spears and a hand with a helmet: πλ^ο^πυ[--].

Bibliography: AV (1925), 474. — *C.W. Lunsingh Scheurleer, CVA The Hague 1, Netherlands 1 (1927), III I c, pl. 4,1-2. — [[J.M. Hemelrijk, CVA Amsterdam 1, Netherlands 6 (1988), pls. 27, 28.3]].

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4071


υ(γ)γ > VéGiG > végig (all the time)

πλοπυ[...] > eBBőL Ő BU[GYKáZ] > ebből ő bu[gykáz] (from this he bubbles forth)


Végig ebből ő bu[gykáz]. (All the time from this he bubbles forth.)

AVI 3881: BAD 6538

Unlocated. BF lip cup. Manner of Tleson Painter (Kurtz){1}. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex Hamburg Market: Termer.

Decoration: Lip: A: two sirens facing, but each looking away. B: similar, but a bit farther apart.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A, B, each: a short nonsense inscription, in squat letters and imitation letters hard to identify: A: σ-νϝ-ν(κ)(α)(.)(ε)ν{2}. B: similar: also starting in sigma and ending in nu.

Commentary: The Int., not illustrated, was presumably without figured decoration.

Footnotes: {1} but placed at the Bea. Arch. in the Unattributed box, since not known to Beazley? {2} the horizontal strokes represent similar strokes bearing downward.

Bibliography: *Photos in Beazley Archive.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4091


σ-νϝ-ν(κ)(α)(.)(ε)ν > Só NöVe' iNKÁBB ENNi > Só növel inkább enni. (Salt rather increases one's apatite.)

AVI 3900; BAD 9017685

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1925.30.28. RF cup. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Int.: satyr with oinochoe.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: around the figure: (ε)(α)λυ ^ κσκ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} the two parts are separated by the head. The first epsilon is upside down. BADB: 9017685. —

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4110


(ε)(α)λυ ^ κσκ > (ε)δλυ ^ κσκ > E'DöLVe KieSiK > Eldölve kiesik. (By falling down it will drop out.)

AVI 3901; BAD 202582AVI 3901

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1925.30.34. RF pelike. Geras Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: Heracles carrying a pair of pointed amphoras on a pole. B: satyr getting water from a well.

Inscriptions: B: about the satyr's middle, far to the right: κ(α)ι{1}. Under the foot, Gr.: ΔΙΙ{2}.

Footnotes: {1} beginning of καλος or nonsense? {2} the first upright is short, the second long. Not in Johnston (1979).

Bibliography: BADB: 202582. — J. Hoppin and A. Gallatin, CVA Hoppin & Gallatin, USA 1 (1926), pl. 12,3-4. — ARV[2] (1963), 285/7.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4111


κ(α)ι ΔΙΙ > KŰ DŰJJ > Kű dűjj (dőlj)! (Stone, fall down!)

AVI 3905; BAD 202186

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1925.30.126. RF column krater. Göttingen Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: A: neck, in silhouette, centaurs fleeing. Body: in silhouette: warriors lying in wait. B: body: similar to A.AVI 3905

Inscriptions: A, neck: nonsense, the letters very rough: (ν)γχ(ν).(ο)χυ. υγγhογσ(.). γχοσγ | γγσογκυ. Body: σϝσ(κ). εσυ. ϝσιγ(ι). (.)γ(σ). (γ)ϝου(ϝ)(.). On the shield, in a circle: (ο)οσοχ(υ)οχυσ(.)υογχ(.)σ v{1}. B: body: σπσ{2}.

Commentary: All inscriptions are nonsense, and are here read left-to-right, but that is uncertain. Coarse writing, many letters misformed [indicated by ()]. The gammas could be read as upsilons, but not as lambdas.

Footnotes: {1} read Χολχος οπσκαλος·>λ in CVA, quite wrongly. {2} I saw no more on B.

Bibliography: BADB: 202186. — *J. Hoppin and A. Gallatin, CVA Hoppin & Gallatin, USA 1 (1926), pl. 7. — ARV[2] (1963), 234/11, 235. — AttScr (1990), no. 964.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4115



(ν)γχ(ν).(ο)χυ >(ν)γχ(ν)h(ο)χυ > eNGeDJ NeHOGY óVa > engedj nehogy óva (let it go so that it would not by protecting)

υγγhογσ(.) > υγγhϙγσ(ν) > VéGiG HöKK aGGaSSZoN > végig hökk aggasszon (to the end set back trouble you)

γχοσγ | γγσογκυ > GaGYa eRőSSéGe | GőG SZO'Ga-KöVe> Gagya erőssége gőg szolga-köve (the support assistant of arrogance is the strong point of an insane)


Engedj, nehogy óva végig hökk (hökkölés) aggasszon! Gagya erőssége gőg szolga-köve. (Let it go, so that, by protecting to the end, trouble would not set you back. The support assistant of arrogance is the strong point of an insane.)



σϝσ(κ) > SZíVóS Ki > szívós ki (tough is who)

εσυ > ESZéVe' > eszével (with his/her own mind)

ϝσιγ(ι) >ϝσιγτ > ViSZ IGáT > visz igát (carries the yoke)

(.)γ(σ) > IGáS > igás (carrier)

(γ)ϝου(ϝ)(.) > (γ)ϝον(ϝ)(.) > iGaVONóVa' éL > igavonóval él (lives with the draught animal)

Szívós ki eszével visz igát. Igás igavonóval él. (Tough is who with his/her own mind carries the yoke. Carrier lives with the draught animal.)



(ο)οσοχ(υ)οχυσ(.)υογχ(.)σ > (ο)ϙσοχ(υ)οχυσγγογχ(.)σ > OKoSODJ óVÓ GYáVaSáG GŐG GYőZéSe > Okosodj óvó gyávaság gőg győzése (Listen to reason protective cowardice is the conquering of arrogance)


B: body:

σπσ > SZó-BeSZe > Szó-besze (Tittle-tattle)



AVI 3907; BAD 205978

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1927.148. RF Nolan amphora Alkimachos Painter. Second quarter fifth AVI 3907

Decoration: A: Theseus and Sinis. B: a wreathed youth.

Inscriptions: A: Nonsense: stoich. two-liner, approximately left-aligned, in misshappen letters: γο(σ)γ(ο)γ | (λ)σγο(ο)γ. Under the foot, Gr.: ΝΥ, the upsilon looking like an Attic lambda. See Johnston (1979), 156/9F 4. A modern trident mark, also found on Harvard 1927.150.Λ

Commentary: My transcription is an approximation. Imitation of early two-liners, perhaps of a kalos-name?

Bibliography: BADB: 205978. — *G.H. Chase and M.Z. Pease, CVA Fogg & Gallatin, USA 8 (1942), pl. 16,1. — ARV[2] (1963), 529/7.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4117



γο(σ)γ(ο)γ | (λ)σγο(ο)γ >γθ(σ)γθγ | (λ)σγοθγ > GaCSoS áG CSüGG | LeSZ GÖCöGő > gacsos ág csügg | lesz göcögő (the knotty branch hangs, it is going to be a jolting)

ΝΥ > iNGa > inga (fork/pendulum)

Gacsos ág csügg, lesz göcögő inga! (The knotty branch hangs, it is going to be a jolting fork/pendulum!)

b. At the narrowest point of the Isthmus, where both the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs are visible, lived Sinis, ... He had been nicknamed Pityocamptes, or ‘pinebender’, because he was strong enough to bend down the tops of pine-trees until they touched the earth, and would often ask innocent passers-by to help him with this task, but then suddenly release his hold. As the tree sprang upright again, they were hurled high into the air, and killed by the fall. ...

e. Theseus wrestled with Sinis, overpowered him, and served him as he had served others.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 96.b, c.)

AVI 3913; BAD 201683

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1960.236. RF calyx krater. Kleophrades Painter. Ca. 500 Very early (Beazley).

History: Ex [New Haven,] Watkins.AVI 3913

Decoration: A-B: Return of Hephaestus: Dionysus on one side, Hephaestus on the donkey on the other; satyrs.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to left of a satyr with an axe: ιοι. To right of his open mouth: ιστε. Elsewhere: (γ)ειο(γ)(.){1}. ωε. εισ.

Commentary: The inscriptions resemble other nonsense inscriptions by the early Kleophrades Painter, e.g. Princeton, University Museum, RF psykter, Compiègne 1068, RF psykter; see also AttScr (1990), 82.

Footnotes: {1} the first and fifth letters resemble Ionic gamma; the last letter is a dot.

Bibliography: BADB: 201683. — *Richter (1936), 100ff., figs. 1 (photo) and 2-3 (drs.). — ARV[2] (1963), 185/31. — Add.[2] (1989), 187 (much bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4123


ιοι > JŐJJ > Jőjj! (Come!)

ιστε > ιστϝ > ŰS TéV > űs tév (ancient vagabond)

(γ)ειο(γ)(.) >{1} (γ)ειο(γ)(){•=ToSZ} > éGGE' JÓ GöTöS > éggel jó götös (with heavens mostly clumsy)

ωε εισ > ωε ϝισ > Ő E'VISZ > ő elvisz (it will take you)


Jőjj! űs (ős) tév (tévelygő). Éggel, jó götös (göthös)! Ő (a szamár) elvisz. (Come! you ancient vagabond. Who is with heavens mostly clumsy! It (the donkey) will take you!)

Contrary to the opinion stated in the the Commentary, the text perfectly describes Hephaestos reletionship with Heavens, from where he was ejected out twice, the second time the fall to the ground ended with brocken legs, so he needed the donky to carry him on.

AVI 3921; BAD 352403

Cambridge, MA, Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum 1972.40. RF hydria (kalpis). Unattributed Pioneer{1}. Last quarter sixth 510-500

History: Ex New Haven, Watkins.

Decoration: The ransoming of Hector.

Inscriptions: Πριαμος. χεχι, retr. χετοι, retr. χινι. τετλ, retr. χετει.

Commentary: The inscriptions after Auktion 34. The nonsense inscriptions are of Euthymidean type; see AttScr (1990), 71 n. 35.

Footnotes: {1} recalls Euthymides and the earliest Kleophrades Painter (Para.).

Bibliography: BADB: 352403. — *M&M-Auction (1967), 76, pls. 46 and 47, no. 149. — Para. (1971), 324/13 bis. — *Ashmead–Phillips (1973), no. 19. — Add.[2] (1989), 157. — AttScr (1990), no. 422.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4131


Πριαμος > PRIÁMOSZ > Priámosz (Priam)

χεχι > íGY EGYÜ' > így együl (unites this way)

χετοι > üGYET OLY > ügyet oly (the cause with such)

χινι > χενι > eGYÉNI > egyéni (personal)

τετλ > TETTeL > tettel (with deed)

χετει > íGY É’TE Ű > így élte ű (he lived it this way)


Priámosz így együl, ügyet oly egyéni tettel így élte ű (mármint Hector). (Priam unites this way, he (Hector) lived the cause with such a personal deed this way.)


AVI 3931; BAD 210109

Havana, Museo nacional de bellas artes 164. RF cup. Telephos Painter (Beazley). Second quarter fifth 470-460 (Olmos).

History: Ex Lagunillas collection.AVI 3931

Decoration: Int.: youth at a burning altar; at right, another altar or offering table. Ext.: A-B: palaestra.: A: three youths, one at a pillar. B: similar; clothes on the pillar.

Inscriptions: Int.: καλος. A: nonsense: above the scene: πϝλ σλ{1}. B: nonsense: above the scene: κπχλπιχι{1}.

Footnotes: {1} the inscriptions taken from the text; not visible in phs. Surely there is no digamma. The readings are poor.

Bibliography: NNN (1956), Revista I.N.C. [[see ARV[2], p. 1998]] i, iii-iv, 13,2. — ARV[2] (1963), 817/9. — Olmos (1990), no. 35. — *Olmos (1993), 167/74 (all; inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4148


Int.:    καλος > oKKAL OSSZa > okkal ossza (with reason one distributes)

B:      κπχλπιχι > Ki PoGGYa LePi ÍGY Ű > ki poggya lepi így ű (who covers it with baggage this way he)

A:      πϝλ σλ > BőVeL SZóL > bővel szól (speaks with plenty)


Okkal ossza ki poggya lepi, így ű bővel szól. (He, who covers it with baggage, distributes it with reason, this way he speaks with plenty.)

AVI 3961

Heidelberg , Antikenmuseum und Abguss-Sammlung der Universität B 95. Fr. of RF cup. Veii Painter (Penthesilean; probable, Beazley). Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: youth with his stick and a lyre "die er auf das Knie stützt. In der Linken schräg einen langen Stock mit wagrechter Krücke" (Kr.). A: athletes: wrestlers or the like.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the upper part of the youth: nonsense: [--]ανδυο̣(γ)ς.

Commentary: The gamma is uncertain (the right hasta is shortened). I am not sure that this is really nonsense and not a misreading. Kr. reads "ανδρ̣οκ̣ς (Ἀνδρόξενος?)".

Bibliography: *Drawing. — [[Kraiker (1931), 44/158, pl. 44.]] — ARV[2] (1963), 907/2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 8494


[--]ανδυο̣(γ)ς > [--]ανδυϙ(γ)ς > [ÁLL]ANDó VaKoGáS > [Áll]andó vakogás (makogás). (Non-stop mumbling.)

AVI 3983; BAD 4054

Heidelberg , Antikenmuseum und Abguss-Sammlung der Universität S 35. Fr. of BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Lip: A: bull.AVI 3983

Inscriptions: A: handle zone: probably well centered: nonsense: εποιεποσυποιυποιυ(.)[--]{1}. [[Rather: εποισ̣ν̣οιυποιυποιυπ[...] ]]

Commentary: Mocking an epoiesen signature. Small letters. For the mock inscription Gropengiesser refers to Beazley (1932), 194f. and to Berkeley 8/358, CAVI 2200. Cf. AttScr (1990), nos. 282-284. Fellmann in CVA, Germany 56, Munich 10, compares Heidelberg S 35 to Munich 9422, AVI 5382 (which has a different animal on the lip and long nonsense inscriptions with repeated ιυπ and ιυν) saying that the former has a bull on the lip and inscription with ιυπ pattern. He asks: is coincidence excluded? [I rather think it is.] [[See also CAVI 2540, Bologna.]]

Footnotes: {1} the last letter is in the break.

Bibliography: BADB: 4054. — *H. Gropengiesser, CVA Heidelberg 4, Germany 31 (1970), pl. 154,6 (no facs.; no bibl.). — [[Haldenstein (1982), 150.]]

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 8516


εποισ̣ν̣οιυποιυποιυπ[...] > εποισ̣κοιυποιυποιυπ[...] > EBBŐ' ISZiK Ő JaVáBÓ' ÍVa eBBŐ' JóVa' Bő[VÜL] > Ebből iszik ő javából. Íva ebből jóval bő[vül]. (He drinks the best from this. By drinking from this he enriches him/her-self with goods.)

AVI 3995; BAD 6359

Helgoland, Private: Kropatscheck. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Fallow Deer Painter (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth 560-550 (Schauenburg). Middle period (Kluiver).

Decoration: Shoulder: A: Calydonian Boar Hunt. B: two duels of naked warriors; at right three draped figures (one with a wreath, two with spears). Below: dot band; lotus palmette frieze; animal frieze.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: shoulder: A: to right of the leftmost warrior's outstretched arm: γογσγ. To right of the second warrior's forehead: λονονσγ̣{1}. Under the boar's belly (and above a dying warrior): γογογσγ. Between the dog on top of the boar and the first warrior to its right: λονογ(.){1}. B: between the legs of the third warrior: νσ(.)[...]. Above the shields of the second pair of duelists: υοσνσγ. To left of the upper part of the male with the wreath: (ι)ονσν. To left of his lower legs: υουουο(σ){2}.

Commentary: Listed as Germany, Private in Hornbostel, Schätze [[1977]]; as Hamburg, Kropatschek in the Kropatschek cat. [[1980]]; I have changed this to Helgoland. [[Addenda:]] Listed as Basel Market. - The style of the inscriptions differs from those of the Kropatschek cat. 73/49, by the same painter.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter damaged. {2} this could also be read: γογογο(σ), retr., i.e. facing the figure.

Bibliography: *Schauenburg (1977), 258/235 (A, B, sides). — Schnapp (1979), 205f. — *Hornbostel (1980), 68/48 (ill.). — M&M-Auction (1983), 12f./20, [[pl. (sm. but partly quite cl.)]]. — Carpenter (1984), note 48 [sic]. — Kluiver (1996), 26/238 (inscrr. not mentioned).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4156


A:       γογσγ > GŐGöSSéG > gőgösség (arrogance)

λονονσγ > iLLŐN ÖNöSSéG > illőn önösség (properly selfishness)

γογογσγ > aGGÓ GŐGöSSéG > aggó gőgösség (concerned arrogance)

λονογ(.) > λονου(.) > iLLŐN ÓVóS > illőn óvós (properly protective)


Gőgösség illőn önösség. Aggó gőgösség illőn óvós. (Arrogance is properly selfishness. Concerned arrogance is properly protective.)


B:       νσ(.)[...] > öNöSSéG > önösség (selfishness)

υοσνσγ > óVÓ SZáNáSSáG > óvó szánásság (protective pity)

(ι)ονσν > JÓ öNSZáNó > jó önszánó (good self-pity)

υουουο(σ) > éVŐVe ÓVÓS > évőve óvós (broodingly protective)


Önösség óvó szánásság. Jó önszánó évőve (évelődve) óvós. (Selfishness is protective pity. Good self-pity is broodingly protective.)