The “names” on the ancient Greek vases are there for everyone to see, but only the Scythic speaking people can read the hidden message of these scytales! What a revealing name! that goes unnoticed by scientists for two and a half thousand years.The small cup from Corinth (1883 or earlier), now in Paris, Louvre MNC 332, has these “names” added to the boxing scene:
> Víjó (vívó) ki elbukta fél vége. (The fighter, who lost it, fears his end.)

CONTENTS Amazons & Scythians 'Nonsense Inscriptions'?! Making Sense Etruscan=Hungarian Cretan Hieroglyphs Linear A Sundry MY HUNGARIAN PAGES
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Blog : 'Nonsense Inscriptions'?!Keywords : Krater, olisboi, maenad, satyr, Olympos, Hermes, Dionysos, Nikai

Common sense in nonsense inscriptions V

from AVI numbers 4000 to 4999

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 4004; BAD 14576

Hillsborough, CA, Private: William Randolph Hearst 12. RF eye cup. Nikoxenos Painter (I. Raubitschek). Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: two women, back to back, placing pillows on couches. Ext.: between eyes: A: Heracles with a kantharos reclining on the ground under a vine. B: Dionysus reclining, with a rhyton; a crouching satyr. To left and right of eyes on A: satyr; amphora; maenad. Similar for B: satyr; amphora; satyr and maenad. Left and right of eyes on aaaa

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: downward between women's heads and shoulders: ο(ι)σιχτ.

Commentary: My reading from the photo. The first iota is doubtful.

Bibliography: I.K. Raubitschek (1969), ..../12. — *Letter from I. Raubitschek, July 7, 1969, incl. photo (detail of Int.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4165


ο(ι)σιχτ > ονσιχτ > ÖNöSÜ' eGYüTT > Önösül együtt. (Selfishly together.)

AVI 4027a

Fragmentary BF Tyrrhenian volute krater. From Phocaea (Eski-Foça), the settlement. Fallow Deer Painter (J. Kluiver){1}. 550-540 (Tuna-Nörling).

Decoration: A: the neck is missing. Body: top frieze: Heracles and the Amazons. Second frieze: horse race to right. There was a third frieze. B: neck: symposium: male symposiasts on couches. Body: Top frieze: hoplite battle.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: top: to right of Heracles' face, downward: σϙ(ρ)σο. Above the shield of an Amazon coming to rescue Heracles' opponent, nearly horizontal: σδγεσ. Second frieze: under the horses' bellies, short rows of imitation letters (two show in fig. 1, another in fig. 6; not all horses have them). B: the frs. show no inscriptions.

Commentary: The phs. are not very clear. - T.-N.'s article is on Tyrrhenian vases exported to the East (an important article for the location of Tyrrhenian in Attica). The clay has been identified as Attic (see p. 444).

Footnotes: {1} T.-N. earlier attributed to Guglielmi Painter.

Bibliography: Tuna-Nörling (1993), 16ff., figs. 8-9. — Kluiver (1996), 26/252 (inscriptions not metnioned). — Isler-Kerényi (1997), 525: dates shortly before 550. — *Tuna-Nörling (1997), 435-38, figs. 1-.. (1-2 show inscriptions; 3 is profile).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4190

σϙ(ρ)σο > SiKeReS Ő > Sikeres ő. (S/he is successful.)

σδγεσ > S iDeGES > S ideges. (And nervous.)

AVI 4050; BAD 310064

Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum B 2423. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Tarquinia{1}. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 550-530

Decoration: A: fight over the body of a hero. B: horse race: three riders between two bearded men.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: under the legs of the fallen warrior: γ(τ)ο...{2}. B: on either side of the bearded man at right: τοοτ(.)νο, retr.{3}. γλοϝγλ, kion{3}.

Commentary: = 200.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA; Winnefeld (1887), no. 200, says "Fundort Orvieto;" ABV: "from Cervetri? (see Rumpf (1923–4), 68-69)." {2} no more visible in photo of CVA. {3} thick imitation letters, hardly recognizable.

Bibliography: Thiersch (1899), no. 58, pl. 6 (A). — *G. Hafner, CVA Karlsruhe 1, Germany 7 (1951), pls. 5,5 and 6,3-4. — Schnellbach (1954), fig. 9. — ABV (1956), 100/65, 684.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4214

B: τοοτ(.)νο > τοϙτυνο > aTTÓ' KiTŰNŐ > attól kitűnő (it is excellent from it)

γλοϝγλ > νλοϝγλ > Nő LOVaGoL > nő lovagol (the woman rides)

Attól kitűnő: nő lovagol. (It is excellent because the woman rides.)


AVI 4055; BAD 204262

Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum B 3056. RF alabastron. From Haliki. Near Painter of Munich 2676{1}. Ca. 450

Decoration: Hera(2) leaning on a tree and Zeus.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the figures: κ̣ρκε. To right of (behind) Zeus: κργε.

Footnotes: {1} started as a Brygan, but lost touch with the Brygan style in his early classic phase (Beazley). {2} rather than a Hora (Beazley).

Bibliography: *G. Hafner, CVA Karlsruhe 1, Germany 7 (1951), fig. 8 (facs.), pl. 29,1-2. — ARV[2] (1963), 395/12.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4219

κ̣ρκε κργε > KéRőKKE' KeRGE > Kérőkkel kerge. (She is mad with suitors.)

AVI 4061; BAD 355

Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum 67/90. BF lip cup. Unattributed; Manner of Centaur Painter. Tleson, potter{1}. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Lip: A: potter at the wheel forming a vase, with a seated boy turning the wheel. B: potter with a formed cup on the wheel, with a youth (customer or owner?) facing him.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: partly imitation letters: A: starting a bit to left of scene: ϝυ(υ)(.)(.)(.)(.)υ(α)υ(ο)ν(.)(.)υ(.)υ. B: well centered: ε(π)ν(.)σ(.)υ(σ)(ο)υχλλ(σ)νσ{2}.

Commentary: Thick and indistinct letters, clearer on B than on A. Uncertain readings. Metzler thought the inscriptions written by an illiterate.

Footnotes: {1} Metzler. {2} the ph. in the Bea. Arch. shows only a part. Kunst der Schale, fig. 6.7a shows the whole inscription on A, but small: it begins with a large epsilon: εον ... (plus 8 imitation blobs) ... λλλοσ. 16 letters in all. The fourth letter an `Argive' lambda?

Bibliography: BADB: 355. — *Photo (in color, of the center of A) in Beazley Archive. — *Metzler (1969), 138-52, figs. 1-4. — Ziomecki (1975), 24-25, figs. 2-3 (A, B). — Tiverios (1981b), title page. — Scheibler (1983), 80, fig. 68 (detail of B) and 83, fig. 71 (A). — Hornbostel (1986), 12 (A, B, parts). — Maass (1988), 170, pl. 92. — C. Weiss, CVA Karlsruhe 3, Germany 60 (1990), pl. 24. — Vierneisel–Kaeser (1990), 59, figs. 6.7a-c (A and details of A and B).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4225

A:     ϝυ(υ)(.)(.)(.)(.)υ(α)υ(ο)ν(.)(.)υ(.)υ > ϝυ(υ)(ε)(υ)(τ)(ζ)υ(α)υ(ο)ν(κ)(χ)υ(λ)υ > VeVőVE' ViTáZVA VONaKoDJ VáLLa'Va > Vevővel vitázva vonakodj vállalva. (In discussion with a buyer, take him(/his suggestions) reluctantly.)

B:     ε(π)ν(.)σ(.)υ(σ)(ο)υχλλ(σ)νσ > ε(π)ν(υ)σ(ε)υ(σ)(ο)υχλλ(σ)νσ > ÉPP NöVeSSZE VáSÓVa íGY áLL LaSSaN öSSZe > Épp növessze vásolva, így áll lassan össze. (Just make it grow by wearing/thinning it down, it builds up slowly this way.)

Luckily for these highly educated scientists, the potter cannot talk back to ask how literate the scientists really are, because as one can see, both readings are perfectly complementing the depicted scenes. Who is than really illiterate?

AVI 4066; BAD 4861

Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum 69.61. (Incl. AVI 4056.) BF lip cup. Epitimos Painter (Thimme, Robertson), = Lydos (Tiverios). Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: Apollo with bow between two lions facing out; around the scene, tongue pattern bordered by groups of three lines. Ext.: fragmentary, esp. B: lip: A, B, each: two naked youths running to right.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: between the heads of the left lion and Apollo: πυρον{1}. Between the lion's back and the lower part of Apollo: οπσ^ϝα(ν)(σ). To right of Apollo's head: γοσ. Ext.: handle zone: [χ]αιρε κα[ι πι]ει συ̣{2}. B: χ̣αιρε κ[α]ι πρι[ο ...]{3}. [[from CVA I read: A: [Χ]αιρεκα[ιπ(ι)]εισυ̣[...?]. B: Χαιρεκ[α]ιπρ̣ι̣[ο ...] or Χαιρεκ[α]ιπε̣ι̣[συ ...?]]]

Commentary: All readings from the facss. in CVA. For `Hail thee and buy me', see AttScr (1990), 48. [[Diameter: 297–300.]]

Footnotes: {1} a gap before the last letter. {2} the upsilon is in the break. The index has σ[υ]. {3} the rho is pointed with a large head and disjointed at the top. In the index, this reading is confirmed: χαιρε κ[α]ι πρι[ο με].

Bibliography: BADB: 4861. — Photos in Beazley Archive. — Thimme (1975), fig. 15 (Int.). — Tiverios (1976), pls. 65,a-b and 66,a. — Metzler (1983), 77, fig. 2 (Int.) [[cl.]]. — LIMC ii (1984), pl. 209, Apollon 317 (Int.). — Thimme (1986), no. 36. — B. Fellmann, CVA Munich 10, Germany 56 (1988), p. 48, on pl. 29,1-4. — Maass (1988), 171, pls. 105-106. — Shapiro (1989), 59, pl. 29,d (Int.). — *C. Weiss, CVA Karlsruhe 3, Germany 60 (1990), pl. 22,1-7, fig. 7 (profile); p. 51, facss. of inscriptions (much bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4230

Int.: πυρον > BűVeRŐN > bűverőn (in witchcraft)

οπσ^ϝα(ν)(σ) > Ő BőS VAN iS > ő bős van is (he is abundant so there are )

γοσ > aGGÓSa > aggósa (troubled/concerned)

Bűverőn ő bős, van is aggósa. (In witchcraft he is abundant, so he has troubled/concerned men around himself.)

AVI 4089; BAD 201640

Kiel, Christian-Albrechts-Universität: Antikensammlung (Kunsthalle) inv. B 44. BF/WG lekythos. From Greece. Circle of Diosphos Painter (Freyer-Schauenburg). First quarter fifth 490-470 (Freyer-Schauenburg).

Decoration: Heracles and Acheloos; at left, Athena; in front of Acheloos, Oineus; at right, Deianeira.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: four inscriptions: between Athena and Heracles, facing him: ιλχυχυχ, retr. Between the legs of Heracles and Acheloos: ιλχιυ. Above Acheloos, close to Oineus: ιι(σ)υχιυ. Between Deianeira's lower legs and Acheloos' rear, facing her: ιυχιυ.

Commentary: An inscription for each figure? The lettering is neater than what I know of the Diosphos Painter. Read as in the Attic alphabet. Upsilons and lambdas are indistinguishable.

Bibliography: Isler (1970), 20, 101, 107, 137/80. — LIMC i (1981), 27, Acheloos 243. — NNN (1987), Westermann's Museum [[Oct.: Stiftung Pommern, Kiel]]: 38. — *B. Freyer-Schauenburg, CVA Kiel 1, Germany 55 (1988), pl. 18,1-3; p. 44, facs. of inscriptions.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4253

It's a play with words, using the facts that “Upsilons and lambdas are indistinguishable”. There are two sets of reading: one is by taking all the signs in question as upsilons, the other reading them all as lambdas, and some more by mixing the two letters, such as in H. R. Imerwhar's transcriptions:

ιλχυχυχ > ÜL íGY VaGY ÚGY > Ül így vagy úgy. (One sits this or that way.)

ιλχιυ > ÜL GYŰ'Ve > Ül gyűlve. (One sits gathering.)

ιι(σ)υχιυ > Ű IS ÜGY Ű'Ve > Ű is ügy ülve. (S/he is also a sitting case.)

ιυχιυ > Ü'Ve GYŰ'Ve > Ülve gyülve. (Gathered together sitting.)

υ:        ιυχυχυχ > Ű'Ve íGY VaGY ÚGY > Űlve így vagy úgy. (By sitting this or that way.)

ιυχιυ > Ű'Ve íGY JaVa > Űlve így java. (Sitting this way is for one's own good.)

ιι(σ)υχιυ > Ű IS VáGYI á'Va > Ű is vágyi állva. (S/he also desires it standing.)

ιυχιυ > Ű ÜGY Ű'Ve > Ű ügy ülve. (She is a sitting case.)

λ:       ιλχλχλχ > ÜLő íGY LéGY LáGY > Ülő így légy lágy. (Sited/sitter, be soft this way.)

ιλχιλ > ÜL íGY Ű Le > Ül így ű le. (One sits down this way.)

ιι(σ)λχιλ > Ű IS LáGY ÜLő > Ű is lágy ülő. (S/he is also a soft sitter/sited.)

ιλχιλ > Ű Le íGY ÜL > Ű le így ül (S/he sits down this way.)

And one can take on the play further by combining the two possible readings of the sign. It's real fun! What a pity that the “grey mass” cannot enjoy it.

AVI 4092; BAD 8322

Kiel, Christian-Albrechts-Universität: Antikensammlung (Kunsthalle) inv. B 510. BF Tyrrhenian ovoid neck amphora. Pointed-Nose Painter (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth Ca. 560-550 (Freyer-Schauenburg). Middle period (Kluiver).

Decoration: Shoulder: A: Heracles and Nessos with Deianeira; at left, a bearded man with kerykeion and a woman (Athena); at right, a woman and Hermes with kerykeion. B: duel of warriors between two bystanders on each side. Body: two animal friezes.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: shoulder: A: to left of Heracles' middle, not facing him: μογ(.). Between his left leg and Nessos' rump: (ο)ο(π)(ο){1}. To right of Heracles' face: υθκσυ(ο). To right of Nessos' chest: υον. Between the right-hand woman and Hermes: υουσσυ{2}. B: under the overlapping shields of the duelists: υοκλοι. Neater than the inscriptions on A.

Commentary: Thick letters, often unclear. Note the confusion of the two kerykeia.

Footnotes: {1} different shapes of incomplete omicrons? {2} the sigmas reversed.

Bibliography: Brommer (1973), 154/9. — Schauenburg (1973a), 32ff., 37, figs. 46-49. — Mayer-Emmerling (1982), 47ff./6 and 197/51. — NNN (1987), Westermann's Museum [[Oct.: Stiftung Pommern, Kiel]]: 33.40. — *B. Freyer-Schauenburg, CVA Kiel 1, Germany 55 (1988), pls. 10,1-4 and 11,1-3, fig. 10 (profile); p. 31, facs. of Dipp. — Kluiver (1996), 17/186 (inscrr. not mentioned).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4256

A:        μογ(.) > γνοσ{retr.} > GoNOSZ > gonosz (evil)

(ο)ο(π)(ο) > ϙο(π)(o) > KÓPé Ő > kópé ő (he is rogue)

υθκσυ(ο) > υθκσυζ > ViCC oKoS VíZ > vicc okos víz (the joke is clever, the water)

υον > öVÖN > övön (waist-high)

υουσσυ > υουσσγ > óVó Ő ViSZ eSeG > óvó ő visz eseg (he carries you protecting! - he entreats)

Gonosz kópé ő, vicc okos, víz övön, óvó ő visz! - eseg. (He is evil rogue, the joke is clever, the water is waist-high, he carries you protecting! - he entreats.)

B:       υοκλοι > óVó OKKaL ÖLJ > Óvó okkal ölj! (Kill to protect!)

Heracles … came with Deianeira to the river Evenus, then in full flood, where the Centaur Nessus, claiming that he was the gods’ authorized ferryman and chosen because of his righteousness, offered, for a small fee, to carry Deianeira dry-shod across the water while Heracles swam. He agreed, paid Nessus the fare, threw his club and bow over the river, and plunged in. Nessus, however, instead of keeping to his bargain, galloped off in the opposite direction with Deianeira in his arms; then threw her to the ground and tried to violate her. She screamed for help, and Heracles, quickly recovering his bow, took careful aim and pierced Nessus through the breast from half a mile away.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 142.i.)



AVI 4107; BAD 361407

Unlocated. BF lekythos. Near Sappho Painter; Little-Lion Class. Late sixth Ca. 500 (Cahn).

History: Once Küsnacht, Private: Hirschmann. Ex Fleischman collections.

Decoration: Three women preparing for a dinner: at left, a seated woman busies herself with things on a table; in front of it, a standing woman; at right, a seated woman holds out a large skyphos.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the two left women: (.)ι̣τστι. Above the right edge of the table and the right-hand woman's knee, irregular: (.)λτσι. Above the skyphos and the right-hand woman's shoulder: λτιστ.

Commentary: The readings of the first two inscriptions are not quite certain. The inscriptions are typical of the Sappho Painter.

Bibliography: *M&M-List (1964), 46/79 (ill.). — Para. (1971), 247 and 252. — Sotheby (1993), no. 21. — *Pingiatoglou (1994), 41 and n. 6, pl. 17,1-2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4273

(.)ι̣τστι > KiTáSSíTI > Kitássíti (kitársíti). (She pairs it/them out.)

(.)λτσι > FeLTeSZI > Felteszi. (She puts it/them out.)

λτιστ > LeTISZTá' > Letisztál (letisztáz). (She cleans it/them.)

AVI 4168; BAD 310035

Leipzig, Universität: Antikenmuseum T 3324. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Cerveteri. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: A: Heracles, Nessus, Deianeira, with other figures; at right, Hermes; the scene is framed by centaurs. B: foot race: seven runners; meta. Below: floral; two rows of animals.

Inscriptions: A: to right of a woman at left: nonsense: imitation: (.)γουυοτχ{1}. To right of Heracles' legs: imitation letters: (υ)θθο(ν)σ. To left of the legs of the women at right: ιδοτον{2}.

Commentary: Misshapen letters. Heta closed? Theta(?) with horizontal bar. Very low mu.

Footnotes: {1} the letters are unclear; complete? {2} My readings from a photo.; I have no information on B.

Bibliography: *Photo (A). — Bothmer (1944), 166/7. — ABV (1956), 98/36. — Para. (1971), 37. — *E. Paul, CVA Leipzig 2, East Germany 2 (1973), pls. 4 amd 5,1-4. — Add.[2] (1989), 26 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4337

(.)γουυοτχ > SZeGÖ'Ve VŐ TuDJa > szegölve vő tudja (by contravening, the fiancé knows)

(υ)θθο(ν)σ > (υ)θθομρ > ViCC CSÖMöR > vicc csömör (the trick/joke is heaving)

ιδοτον > IDő ŐT Ö'Ni > idő őt ölni (it's time to kill him)

Szegölve vő tudja: vicc csömör, idő őt ölni. (By contravening, the fiancé knows: the trick/joke is heaving, it's time to kill him.)

...he came with Deianeira to the river Evenus, then in full flood, where the Centaur Nessus, claiming that he was the gods’ authorized ferryman and chosen because of his righteousness, offered, for a small fee, to carry Deianeira dry-shod across the water while Heracles swam. He agreed, paid Nessus the fare, threw his club and bow over the river, and plunged in. Nessus, however, instead of keeping to his bargain, galloped off in the opposite direction with Deianeira in his arms; then threw her to the ground and tried to violate her. She screamed for help, and Heracles, quickly recovering his bow, took careful aim and pierced Nessus through the breast from half a mile away.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 142.i.)

AVI 4186; BAD 1910

Leipzig, Universität: Antikenmuseum T 4285. Frs. of BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Unattributed{1}. Third quarter sixth (?)

Decoration: A: Calydonian Boar Hunt. Fr. a: lower parts of three warriors with greaves.

Inscriptions: A: fr. a: nonsense: to right of the left-most warrior's shin: νρ(γ)ιν. In the same position for the second warrior: νο(γ)ιν. Fr. b: may have the trace of an inscription.

Commentary: Frs. a - c. Originally 26 sherds of which five remain [two joining?]. Not previously published? The `gamma's' are shaped like Ionic gamma's and are no doubt miswritten for epilons or pi's.

Footnotes: {1} Paul in CV attributes to painter of Geneva MF 156, ABV 99/49.

Bibliography: *E. Paul, CVA Leipzig 2, East Germany 2 (1973), pl. 10,3-4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4356

νρ(γ)ιν > νρπιν{Commentary} > öNeRőBŰ'/NőeRőBŰ' Nő > Önerőbűl/nőerőbűl nő. (Men grows from inner/woman's strength.)

νο(γ)ιν > νοπιν{Commentary} > NŐBŰ' Nő > Nőbűl nő! (Men grows out of woman/growth!)

Note the play with the Hungarian word meaning: grows & woman!


AVI 4195; BAD 310131

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 44. BF Tyrrhenian hydria. From Vulci. Guglielmi Painter (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth 550-530 575-550 (Bothmer). Middle period (Kluiver).

Decoration: Shoulder: Heracles and the Amazons: at left, combat of a Greek and two Amazons; Heracles fighting an Amazon; at right, a Greek and an Amazon. Body: a (divine) wedded pair in a chariot; at left, Dionysus; behind the horses, a goddess holding sprigs; at right, two goddesses facing the chariot.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: shoulder: between the feet of the Greek at left: πονονο. Under the leftmost Amazon: πυονοι{1}. To right of Heracles' left calf: τυον. Under Heracles' opponent: νο̣[..]νι. Body: between the lower body of Dionysus and the pair in the chariot: κυονϝι. To right of their heads: νονον. Behind the tail of one horse, curving around it: (ν)ονον{2}. In front of horses' legs, sloppy: κυο(π).

Commentary: = xv e 26. Thick and square letters typical of the Guglielmi Painter.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA, text; not clear in the photo. The photo in Bothmer (1957) seems to show ουονοι. {2} the first nu is very small.

Bibliography: Janssen (1842), 58-59, pl. 8,10a-b (inscriptions). — Janssen (1843–8), II 1650, p. 160. — Holwerda (1905), XVe 26, pp. 69-70. — ABV (1956), 105/132. — *Bothmer (1957), 8/24, 20f., pl. 13. — Bothmer (1969), 26. — Para. (1971), 39. — *M. Jongkees-Vos, CVA Leiden 1, Netherlands 3 (1972), pls. 5, 11,1, 16,1. — Add.[2] (1989), 28. — AttScr (1990), no. 194. — Kluiver (1996), 21/229 (inscrr. not mentioned).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4366

Shldr:  πονονο > BONYO' NŐ > bonyol nő (woman complicates)

πυονοι > BűVÖ'Ne OLY > bűvölne oly (she would charm one such)

τυον > TéV Ö'Ni > tév ölni (mistake is to kill)

νο̣[..]νι > NŐ[T üZe]NI > nő[t üze]ni (woman is her message)


Bonyol nő, bűvölne: oly tév ölni nő[t, üze]ni. (The woman complicates, she would charm one: such a mistake is to kill woman, - is her message.)


* Ligature: 'small ν'. See Footnote above {2}.  



Body: κυονϝι > KiVe' Ő NeVÜ' > kivel ő nevül (who's name she takes up)

νονον > öNNÖN ÖNe > önnön öne (her own self )

(ν)ονον > {KiS ν}*ονoν > KöSZöNŐN ÖNNe > köszönőn önne (would thankfully eat)

κυο(π) > éKü'Ve Ö'Be' > ékülve ölben (wedged by him in her lap)

Kivel ő nevül önnön öne köszönőn önne ékülve ölben. (Her own self would thankfully eat the one who's name she takes up, wedged by him in her lap.)

AVI 4197; BAD 302149

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 50. BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Leagros Group (Painter of Oxford 569). Last quarter sixth 510-500 (Vos).

Decoration: A: Aeneas carrying Anchises; at left, Ascanius, naked, follows; at right, Creusa precedes. B: Dionysus with a kantharos between two maenads.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: between Aeneas' legs: χγ(.)ι{1}. Between the lower bodies of Aeneas and Creusa: (μ)χεδ(.)ιοδε{2}.

Commentary: Large letters; typical Leagran nonsense.

Footnotes: {1} the third letter is clearly in the shape of a numeral `6' with the vertical straight; it could be a sloppy omicron. The second letter wrongly appears as Ionic gamma in the facs. {2} the fifth letter is of the same shape as the third letter in the previous inscription, which is not uncommon in Leagran nonsense. The mu is upside down.

Bibliography: Bonaparte (1829), 173–7/1891, dr. pl. 41 (inscriptions). — Janssen (1842), 56-57, pl. 8,6 (inscriptions). — Janssen (1843–8), II 1648, p. 159. — Holwerda (1905), XV i, 58, p. 79. — ABV (1956), 358, 372/154. — Para. (1971), 163. — *M. Jongkees-Vos, CVA Leiden 1, Netherlands 3 (1972), pls. 32,1-2 and 51,10; facss. p. 26 (bibl.). — Woodford–Loudon (1980), 38/III 7, pl. 5, fig. 12 (A) (shows the second inscription but not clearly).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4368

χγ(.)ι > íGY íGéRI > így ígéri (he promisses this way)

(μ)χεδ(.)ιοδε > áM üGYEDRŰ' O'D-E > ám ügyedrűl old-e (but is he absolves you from your case)

Így ígéri, ám ügyedrűl old-e? (He promisses this way, but is he absolves you from your case?)


The (.) dots are upside down ro-s, just like the upside down mu.

c. According to the Romans, the only other Trojan family spared by the Greeks was that of Aeneas who, like Anterior, had lately urged the surrender of Helen and the conclusion of a just peace; Agamemnon, seeing him lift the venerable Anchises upon his shoulders and carry him towards the Dardanian Gate without a sideways glance, gave orders that so pious a son should not be molested.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 168.c.)

AVI 4198; BAD 310086

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 53. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Vulci. Pointed-Nose Painter (Bothmer){1}. Third quarter sixth 550-530 570-560 (Vos; too early, H.R.I.). Late period (Kluiver).

Decoration: Upper frieze: A: duel over a fallen warrior, between a woman and a man on the left and a woman and a horseman on the right. B: komos of three men (the central one, ithyphallic) between sphinxes.

Inscriptions: Upper frieze: A: nonsense: imitation letters: between the man and the woman at left: 8 letters. Between the warriors' heads: χογνχι, retr.{2}. Between the right woman and the rider: ϝ(.)ϝ(.)ϝ(γ)(...){3}. B: to right of the leftmost man's chest: [...]χιχιν̣ι. To right of the central man's legs: χικγ.

Commentary: The inscriptions are not given in CVA's text.

Footnotes: {1} see Bothmer (1944), 168, E). {2} or not retr.: ιχ(ν)(α)οα, with reversed nu? {3} Uncertain reading. There is a chi under the second digamma.

Bibliography: Janssen (1842), 54-55, pl. 8,5 (inscriptions). — Janssen (1843–8), II 1623, p. 155. — A.E.J. Holwerda (1890), 244/41. — Thiersch (1899), 30/2, 31/35, 154/2. — Holwerda (1905), XIV 1, p. 62. — *Brants (1930), 16-17, pl. 19,1. — Bothmer (1944), 168/E 2. — ABV (1956), 94 and 101/87. — *M. Jongkees-Vos, CVA Leiden 1, Netherlands 3 (1972), pl. 3,1-4; facs. p. 3. — Add.[2] (1989), 27. — Kluiver (1992), 88/9, fig. 65 (profile). — Kluiver (1996), 17/187, figs. 45-47 (inscrr. not mentioned).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4369

A:       χογνχι > íGY Ő éGeN eGYÜ' > Így ő égen együl. (This way he joins in heaven.)

ϝ(.)ϝ(.)ϝ(γ)(...) χ{3} > VÍVA VéG (HaMaR) GYű > Víva vég (hamar) gyű. (In fighting the end comes (soon).)


B:       [...]χιχιν̣ι > [éGi Ke]GY ÍGY INNI > [Égi ke]gy így inni! (It is heavenly favour to drink this way!)

χικγ > eGYŰ KéG > Egyű kég. (It's going together.)

AVI 4200; BAD 3639

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 57. BF cup with merrythought handles. From Vulci. Unattributed. Second quarter sixth Ca. 560-550 (Vos).

Decoration: Int.: BG with red lines. A: a young horseman with a void horse between; at left, three men and, at right, a warrior, a woman and a man. B: similar: two men and a woman; a horseman with a void horse; a man and a woman.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: between two men at left: χε(ν)σε(ν)ε. Below the horses' bellies: (γ)ελσ(ϝ)υ. To right of the warrior's face: π(α)(σ)ε{1}. Between the right man and woman (as the first inscription): πε(ν)ϙευ{2}. B: not inscribed.

Commentary: The readings from Brants, whose pl. 18 has a good picture. CVA has somewhat different readings. Brants compares Berlin 1672 and a very similar cup, with similar inscriptions, probably by the same hand, mentioned by Luce in AJA 1913.

Footnotes: {1} παιει text. {2} πευϙεν, text.

Bibliography: Janssen (1842), 55-56, pl. 8,4 (but the second figure from the left is not a woman) (inscriptions). — Janssen (1843–8), II 1621, p. 155. — Holwerda (1905), XIIIb 10, p. 61. — *Brants (1930), 17, figs. 1 and 1a, pl. 18,2a-b. — Kraiker (1934), 6 n. 2, no. 5. — *M.F. Vos, CVA Leiden 2, Netherlands 4 (1978), pls. 57,1-2 and 58,1-2; facss. pp. 3-4 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4371

χε(ν)σε(ν)ε > eGYENeSEN É' > egyenesen él (he lives honestly)

(γ)ελσ(ϝ)υ > éG ÉL SZaVáVa' > ég él szavával (heaven uses his words)

π(α)(σ)ε > aBBA' eSZE > abba esze (his mind in that)

πε(ν)ϙευ > πευϙεν{2} > éPÉVe' KÉNe > épével kéne (should be sound)

Egyenesen él. Ég él szavával. Abban esze épével kéne! (He lives honestly. Heaven uses his words. His mind should be sound in that!)

AVI 4202; BAD 204538

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden PC 75. RF cup. Painter of Louvre G 265. 480-470

Decoration: Voting for the arms of Achilles: Int.: one Greek voting; pebbles on the altar; Athena. A: similar, but with four voters. B: the aftermath of voting: at left, Ajax being comforted by a companion; Odysseus wearing the armor; a youth offering a sash to Odysseus. Under each handle a squarish object (chest, altar?).

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: on either side of Athena's head: νοσν ^ αλοσν (fig. g). A: between Athena's spear and the head of the third voter: καλος (fig. h). B: between the heads of Odysseus and the fourth figure: nonsense: κοσν (fig. i). On the object between sides A and B, near the top, in BG: καλος (fig. j and pl. 164,3). Under the foot, Grr.: Χ and ΣΟ with three-stroke sigma and square omicron.

Commentary: Small and fine writing. The nonsense words seem to be imitations of kalos: illiterate? The facss. in CVA are poor.

Bibliography: Holwerda (1905), XVIII a 6, p. 99. — ARV[2] (1963), 416/7. — Para. (1971), 373. — M.I. Davies (1973), 69 and nn. 48 and 51. — Add.[2] (1989), 234. — *M.F. Vos, CVA Leiden 4, Netherlands 7 (1991), pls. 164, 175,2,6, 178,2, 180,2, fig. 2 (profile), figs. g-k (facss.) (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4373

Int.:       νοσν ^ αλοσν > Ne OSSZoN ÁLLÓSoN > Ne osszon állóson! (It shouldn't split/divide the loyal/enduring ones.)

A:         καλος > Ki ÁLLÓS > Ki állós (Who is loyal/enduring)

B:         κοσν > KÖSZöNi > köszöni. (he thanks it.)

Under the foot.: Χ ΣΟ > üGY SZÓ' > Űgy szól! (The cause speaks!)

WHEN Thetis decided to award the arms of Achilles to the most courageous Greek left alive before Troy, only Ajax and Odysseus, who had boldly defended the corpse together, dared come forward to claim them. Some say that Agamemnon, from a dislike of the whole House of Aeacus, rejected Ajax’s pretensions and divided the arms between Menelaus and Odysseus, whose goodwill he valued far more highly ...

b. Agamemnon therefore awarded the arms to Odysseus. He and Menelaus would never, of course, have dared to insult Ajax in this manner had Achilles still been alive: for Achilles thought the world of his gallant cousin. It was Zeus himself who provoked the quarrel.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 168.c.)

AVI 4211; BAD 601

Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden I.1968.12.1. BF lip cup. From Etruria? Unattributed{1}. Third quarter sixth Ca. 540 (Vos).

Decoration: Lip: A: an overlapping pair of a black cock and a white hen. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: imitation letters: A: ϝ<χϝυ(.)(>)(τ). B: ϝ<ϝ<(ρ)υ(τ).

Commentary: Uncertain readings. The inscription short and centered.

Footnotes: {1} according to Vos, by the same painter as London B 392; cf. also Cambridge G 66, q.v.

Bibliography: BADB: 601. — *M.F. Vos, CVA Leiden 2, Netherlands 4 (1978), pl. 60,1,3; fig. 6 (profile); facs. p. 7 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4382

A:     ϝ<χϝυ(.)(>)(τ) > ϝγχϝυρ{Λ DőL}(τ) > VéG GYáVa URa eLéD LéP > Vég gyáva ura eléd lép (The cowardly master of destiny steps in front of you.)

B:     ϝ<ϝ<(ρ)υ(τ) > ϝγϝγ(ρ)υ(τ) > VéG VáGóRa VeT > Vég vágóra vet. (Destiny puts you on slaughter.)

Note: the '<' signs are Corinthian gammas (Γ-s), while the '>' sign is a lambda (Λ) tilting (DőL) over.

AVI 4224; BAD 9017993

London. RF kantharos. Unattributed. Second half fifth

Decoration: A: youth before a tall stele. B: similar, but the youth holds a thyrsus.

Inscriptions: A: on the stele: πλ[.]νο(ν) (χ)αιρε. B: on the stele: ατια.

Commentary: W. thinks the scenes funerary, but see, for the subject, Adolphseck 134. Ionic lambda. Is the vase Attic?

Footnotes: {1} Walters reads Πλ(α)νον, but I rather think the name is miswritten. The chi of chaire is given as a Roman `I'. I think the inscriptions are nonsense, although that on A may be a miswritten kalos-inscription.

Bibliography: *Walters (1921), 133/5 (not ill.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4396

A:     πλ[.]νο(ν) (χ)αιρε > πλ[α]πο(ν) Ιαιρε{1} > éP aLAPON Í(jj)A' ÍR E > Ép alapon í(jj)al ír e. (This one writes on sound grounds with bow.)

B:     ατια > ÁTi Í(jj)A' > Áti í(jj)al. (With a bow from the other side (underworld).)

AVI 4229; BAD 310069

London, British Museum 1847,0806.26 (B 48). BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Kyllenios Painter (Bothmer). Second quarter sixth 560-550 Late period (Kluiver).

Decoration: A: athletes and trainers. B: fight of seven warriors.

Inscriptions: A: inscriptions near the figures: ΣΙΧΕΟΣ (bearded wrestler). hιπ<π>οστενες (young wrestler). ΟΥΕΡΠΟΣ (bearded javelin thrower). Ο̣Λ̣ΥΠΟΚΣΥΥΧΥ (jumper). ΟΥΠΕΣΟΕ, retr. (bearded trainer). (.)[...]Ρ̣ΙΩ(.) (bearded discus thrower). B: near the figures: ΠΟΕΟ[.]. ΠΙϘΕΣΟ[.]. (.)ΥΙΣΟΕΣ. ΟΥ(.)ΟΓΠΟ̣[.]. Π̣[.]ΠΟΕΣΟΓ. One more, rubbed off. All sigmas are three-stroke. [[Addenda:]]

Inscriptions: B: hιποστενες among several nonsense inscriptions transcribed in AttScr [but not in K.]{1}.

Commentary: = 1847.8-626. K. does not give nonsense inscriptions. The inscriptions take the place of names; written by an illiterate? I am not sure that there is a `name' for each person. hιπ<π>οσθενες: see LGPN ii and PA 7666 = DAA, no. 90 (dated beginning fifth), IG I(2) 506 (part) = i/3. 762. For στ = σθ see Threatte (1980), 559.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter of the name is not a blob [as AttScr states], but is "written on a spot now broken and repaired." [Hence read: [ς] or (ς)].

Bibliography: Bothmer (1944), 168/4. — *ABV (1956), 100/70. — Para. (1971), 38. — Add.[2] (1989), 11 (bibl.). — *AttScr (1990), no. 181, fig. 43. — *Kluiver (1996), 2/116 and 5/116 (inscriptions done by C.J. Ruijgh (not ill.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4401

A:       ΣΙΧΕΟΣ > SZIDJa E ŐS > Szidja e ős. (This elder scolds him.)

hιπ<π>οστενες > hιποστενες > HIBa ŐSTENYÉSZ > Hiba őstenyész. (The fault is inbreeding.)

ΟΥΕΡΠΟΣ > Ő VERőBe'/VÉRéBe' ŐS > Ő verőben/vérében ős. (He is in beating/in hes blood ancestral.)

Ο̣Λ̣ΥΠΟΚΣΥΥΧΥ > Ο̣ΗΥΠΟΚΣΥΥΧΥ > Ő HUPPO' KeSá'Va VáGYáVa' > Ő huppol kesálva vágyával. (He patters fighting his wishes.)

ΟΥΠΕΣΟΕ > ÖVé BeESŐ-E > Övé beeső-e? (Is his a falling in?)

(.)[...]Ρ̣ΙΩ(.) > TáVoL]Ra JÓ > Távol]ra jó. (It's good for long distance.)

B:       ΠΟΕΟ[.] > aPO'-E ŐS > Apol-e ős? (Does ancestor care for you?)

ΠΙϘΕΣΟ[.] > BŰ KE' üSZÖG > Bű kel üszög. (Cinder sprouts abundantly.)

(.)ΥΙΣΟΕΣ > ΟΥΙΣϘΕΣ > ÓVI SZöKÉS > Óvi szökés (Escape saves him.)

ΟΥ(.)ΟΓΠΟ̣[.] > Ő ViLLOGó BŐSZ > Ő villogó bősz. (He is strikingly furious.)

Π̣[.]ΠΟΕΣΟΓ > PoRBÓ' E üSZÖG > Porból e üszög. (This cinder is from dust.)

AVI 4230; BAD 301738

London, British Museum 1856,0512.10 (B 49). BF neck amphora{1}. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: A: sanctuary of a goddess (Artemis or Cybele?); her image in a shrine; a lion above the architrave. B: warrior, and a man leading his horse.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to left of the lion, diagonally down: υ(.)ρχ̣σχυτ(λ)στ. [Perhaps to be read retr.] To right of the lion, diagonally down: (.)(ο)τσϝχσ(π)χσϝκ̣(π).

Commentary: = 1856.5-12.10. - The identification of the statue with Cybele was maintained by Schefold (1937), 38, and has recently been reiterated by F. Naumann, Die Ikonographie der Kybele in der phrygischen und griechischen Kunst (1983) 117. But Tiverios (1976), 116 n. 357 and independently C. Bauchhenss-Thüriedl, Der Mythos von Telephos (1971) 100 n. 49, have suggested Apollo. Shapiro thinks the vase dates from 540-530 (it is unusual and hard to date) and may commemorate the building of the Temple of Apollo Pythios in Athens, which according to Hsch. was executed by Peisistratus. The inscriptions are arranged as in a pediment. First inscription: the second letter consists of two parallel horizontal strokes; lambda faces left. Second inscription: the first letter is a dot; the second is open at right; the pi's are like Ionic gamma's.

Footnotes: {1} special shape: see ABV.

Bibliography: Dörpfeld (1922), 102. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III H e, pl. 35,2a-b. — ABV (1956), 326, 715. — Add.[2] (1989), 88. — Shapiro (1989), 59-60, pl. 29,c (part of A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4402

υ(.)ρχ̣σχυτ(λ)στ > τσλτυχσχρζυ{retro}* > iTTaS eLőTT ÜGYeS íGY RáZVa > Ittas előtt ügyes így rázva. (It is clever to shake in front of a drunkard this way.)

(.)(ο)τσϝχσ(π)χσϝκ̣(π) > {ToSZ}(ο)τσϝχσ(π)χσϝκ̣(π)** > iTTaS O'TáSa iVó-GYűSZűBe eGYeSéVe' KaP > Ittas oltása: ivó-gyűszűbe egyesével kap. (Sobering of drunkards: he gets one by one in drinking thimble.)

* See the note in [] and in Commentary: “the second letter consists of two parallel horizontal strokes”, that is zeta (Z), a section locked at both ends: Zár in Scythic/Magyar.

** “the first letter is a dot (ToSZ in Scythic/Magyar)

AVI 4232; BAD 305024

London, British Museum 1888,0601.410 (B 103.2). Fr. of Siana cup. From Naukratis. Palazzolo Painter (Komast Group, VII). Second quarter sixth

Decoration: A: komos: a youth and a woman, both dancing.

Inscriptions: A: to left of the woman's forehead: nonsense: αθα(ν)hο{1}.

Commentary: Open heta. Cartwheel theta.

Footnotes: {1} complete; the inscription abuts the forehead.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), .... — *Beazley–Payne (1929), 260/25, pl. 16,2. — ABV (1956), 35/5.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4404

αθα(ν)hο > ATYJA NőHÖ' > Atyja nőhön (Father to woman)

As one can see: it's not comos, not dancing, but fatherly admonition that is unfortunately missing from the fragment.

AVI 4239; BAD 4092

London, British Museum 1851,0416.7 (B 141). BF Panathenaic amphora. Unattributed. Mid-sixth

Decoration: A: Athena to left; no columns; shield device: a star. B: Musical contest: athlete; a bearded man and a beardless flautist on a platform; a seated trainer.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense(?): οινε[.]ο[.]ε{1}.

Commentary: The earliest representation of an aulode. For Oinanthe, which has been read, see C. Fränkel (1912), 51-52.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA; read as Οινανθε in the text; the BM Cat. has: ΟΙNΕ[N]ΘΕ (read as: Οινανθε(?)) and compares London E 197 [? E 182, CAVI 4522?].

Bibliography: BADB: 4092. — Roscher (1884–1937), iii, ...., s.v. Oinanthe. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 141. — Brauchitsch (1910), 2/4. — Gardiner (1910), 231. — *A.H. Smith, CVA London 1, Great Britain 1 (1925), III H e, pl. 6,1a-b. — Beck (1975), pl. 44/236 (B). — Polacco (1990), fig. 161 (B). — Shapiro (1992), 62, fig. 40 (B).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4411

οινε[.]ο[.]ε > ΟΙNΕ[N]ΘΕ{1} > Ő INNEN CÉ' > Ő innen cél. (She is target from here.)

AVI 4244; BAD 302100

London, British Museum 1837,0609.47 (B 158). BF amphora. From Vulci. Leagros Group (Antiope Group, I). Last quarter sixth 550-510

Decoration: A: Heracles and Cycnus. B: mounted Amazons.

Inscriptions: Nonsense inscriptions in the Leagran manner: A: (σ)χεδhν. νχεγδ (complete, upside down). χοιδευ. (σ)χεδεο. B: χεουhευ, retr. χεδοχεδ. χρεδο, retr. (σ)χδι. Under the foot, Gr.: Πυ ||.

Commentary: = 1837.6-9.47. - Peculiar Leagran letter forms. The vase recalls the Acheloos Painter (ABV).

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III H e, pl. 27,2a-b. — ABV (1956), 356, 368/105. — Para. (1971), 162. — Johnston (1979), 149/24E,3, fig. 10,bb. — Add.[2] (1989), 98. — AttScr (1990), no. 935.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4416

A:       (σ)χεδhν > éSZ üGYE' De HuN > ész ügyel de hun (the mind is on the lookout, but where)

νχεγδ > Nő őGYE'G oDa > nő őgyelg oda (woman loiters, there)

χοιδευ > GYŐ IDÉVe' > győ idével (she comes on time)

(σ)χεδεο > κχεδεο > KeGGYE'/KéGGYE' üDE Ő > keggyel/kéggyel üde ő (with grace/race-track she is fresh)

Ész ügyel, de hun nő őgyelg, oda győ idével, keggyel/kéggyel (versenypályával) üde ő. (The mind is on the lookout, but where woman loiters, there she comes on time, with grace/race-track she is fresh.)

e. Heracles now came to Itonus, ... Here he met Cycnus, ... who was constantly offering valuable prizes to guests who dared fight a chariot duel with him. The ever-victorious Cycnus would cut off their heads and use the skulls to decorate the temple of his father Ares.

f. Apollo, ... incited Heracles to accept Cycnus’s challenge.

g. Athene, descending from Olympus, ... mounted beside Heracles and Iolaus, shaking her aegis, and Mother Earth groaned as the chariot whirled forward. Cycnus drove to meet them at full speed, and both he and Heracles were thrown to the ground by the shock of their encounter, spear against shield. Yet they sprang to their feet and, after a short combat, Heracles thrust Cycnus through the neck.

2. His combat with Cycnus recalls Pelops’s race with Oenomaus, another son of Ares, and equally notorious as a head-hunter. In both cases one of the chariots contained a woman: namely Oenomaus’s daughter Hippodameia (the subject of his contention with Pelops) and Athene, who is apparently, the same character - namely the new king’s destined bride. Cycnus, like Spartan Polydeuces, is a king of the swan cult whose soul flies off to the far northern otherworld.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 143.e, f, g, 2.)

B:       χεουhευ > uGYE ÓV HEVe > ugye óv heve (his ardour guards you, isn't it)

χεδοχεδ > íGY E'DŐ' üGYED > így eldől ügyed (this way your case will be decided)

χρεδο > üGYéR-E iDŐ > ügyér-e idő (is the time case manager)

(σ)χδι > SZű íGY ó'DI > szű így oldi (the heart solves it this way)

Πυ || > Πυ {KéT} >BűVüKeT > bűvüket (their spell)

Ugye óv heve? Így eldől ügyed. Ügyér-e idő? Szű így oldi bűvüket. (His ardour guards you, isn't it? This way your case will be decided. Is the time case manager? The heart solves their spell this way.)

AVI 4252

London, British Museum 1843,1103.30 (B 196). BF amphora. From Vulci. Leagros Group (Painter S). Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: Heracles and Antaios, between Athena and Hermes and a portico with Ge and Poseidon. B: three horsemen; two hounds.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to right of Athena's forehead: π^ε(.)^νγ{1}. To right of the left wrestler's body: νχιδε. Under the foot, Grr.: ΛΗ [[lig.]] and opposite: κυλιφα : κ. I.e., κυλιφα<κτοι> 20.

Commentary: = 1843.11-3.30. Johnston (1979), 221ff., argues that the ligature is not a price inscription as claimed by Amyx and Jonkees.

Footnotes: {1} my reading; CVA wrongly reads Α.ΕNΑ, i.e. Α[θ]ενα, which it somewhat resembles. A hand and a spear intervene.

Bibliography: H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 130/196. — Hackl (1909), 405 and 546. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III H e, pls. 38,2a-b and 41,2. — ABV (1956), 366/84. — Johnston (1979), 153/2F 49 and 221ff. — Johnston (1984a), 125-28 (kyliphaktos). — Add.[2] (1989), 97.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4424

π^ε(.)^νγ > éPP ÉLeNG > épp éleng (he just vegetates)

νχιδε > NaGY Ű DE > nagy ű de (he is big but)

ΛΗ > LéHa > léha (ribald)

κυλιφα > ρυλιθα > eRőVeL Ű CSA' > erővel ű csal (he cheats with his strength)

Épp éleng, nagy ű de léha, erővel ű csal. (He just vegetates, he is big but ribald, he cheats with his strength.)

King Antaeus, son of Poseidon and Mother Earth, was in the habit of forcing strangers to wrestle with him until they were exhausted, whereupon he killed them; for not only was he a strong and skilful athlete, but whenever he touched the earth, his strength revived.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 133.g.)

AVI 4253; BAD 320380

London, British Museum 1861,0425.50 (B 197). BF amphora. From Camiros. Painter of Berlin 1686. Third quarter sixth Early (Beazley).

Decoration: A: a wedded pair in a chariot. B: Heracles and Cycnus.

Inscriptions: B: between Heracles' legs: nonsense: (ν)εδειονειοσ, retr.{1}.

Commentary: = 1861.4-25.50.

Footnotes: {1} the first nu is not retr.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), pl. 6 (dr.). — H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), pls. 38,1 and 41,1. — ABV (1956), 296/1. — Para. (1971), 128. — Add.[2] (1989), 77.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4425

(ν)εδειονειοσ > υεδειονειοσ > VÉD E JÓ NEJ ŐSe > Véd e jó nej őse. (The ancestor of this good wife protects you (Ares, that is).)

Heracles thrust Cycnus through the neck. He then boldly faced Ares, who hurled a spear at him; and Athene, with an angry frown, turned it aside. Ares ran at Heracles sword in hand, only to be wounded in the thigh for his pains, and Heracles would have dealt him a further blow as he lay on the ground, had not Zeus parted the combatants with a thunderbolt.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 143.g.)

AVI 4256; BAD 310390

London, British Museum 1849,0518.10 (B 209). BF neck amphora. Exekias. Third quarter sixth Ca. 540

Decoration: A: Achilles and Penthesilea. B: Memnon between two Ethiopian attendants.

Inscriptions: B: to left of Memnon's head: Α̣ΟΙΗΣΝ. To right of his head: Αμασις. Under the foot, Dip. in black: a crossed pair and some single lines, very thin. Vidi. Not in Johnston (1979).

Commentary: = 1849.5-18.10. The inscriptions "may be intended for Αμασις εποιησεν," CVA. The inscriptions were cleaned in 1947 and the first letter turned out to be a clear, though damaged, alpha. - The first inscription is nonsense, but both pretend to be the squires' names. Boardman takes the second inscription to be a joke on the potter's name; see AttScr (1990), 33 n. 8, and no. 138. - Lissarrague (1990), 24 discusses the inscriptions on B, with bibl.

Bibliography: Kretschmer (1894), 124. — Beazley (1929), 130. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 4, Great Britain 5 (1929), III H e, pl. 49,1a-c. — Dugas (1932), 335-40. — A.D. Fraser (1935), 37, pl. 7,a (B). — ABV (1956), 144/8, 686. — Para. (1971), 60. — Add.[2] (1989), 39 (much bibl.). — AttScr (1990), no. 134 and chart on p. 35.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4428

Α̣ΟΙΗΣΝ > Á' OLY HőSöN > áll oly hősön (on such a hero stands)

Αμασις > A MÁSé IS > a másé is (stuff belonging to others also)

Áll oly hősön a másé is! (On such a hero stands also stuff belonging to others!)

Namely, the armours of Achilles on Odysseus, as decided by Memnon, after the death of Achilles!

AVI 4260; BAD 302121

London, British Museum 1843,1103.14 (B 222). BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: Heracles and Antaios between Athena and Hermes. B: a frontal chariot.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: above the backs of the wrestlers: (ν)χπ(ο)ι(ν)πϝ(σ)ι, complete.

Commentary: = 1843.11-3.14. Large Leagran letters, often miswritten.

Bibliography: *Photo (A). — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 4, Great Britain 5 (1929), III H e, pl. 55,1a-b. — ABV (1956), 370/126. — Add.[2] (1989), 98. — *AttScr (1990), no. 449, fig. 95.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4432

(ν)χπ(ο)ι(ν)πϝ(σ)ι > σχπρισμϝνι > eSeDJ BáR ISZaMáVa' NYŰ > Esedj, bár iszamával nyű! (Do beseech/fall on knees, although he will uproot you with his drive!)

King Antaeus, son of Poseidon and Mother Earth, was in the habit of forcing strangers to wrestle with him until they were exhausted, whereupon he killed them; for not only was he a strong and skilful athlete, but whenever he touched the earth, his strength revived. … The combatants grappled again, and presently Antaeus flung himself down of his own accord, not waiting to be thrown; upon which, Heracles, realizing what he was at, lifted him high into the air, then cracked his ribs and, despite the hollow groans of Mother Earth, held him aloft until he died.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 133.g, h.)

AVI 4266; BAD 303026

London, British Museum 1836,0224.170 (B 257). BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Unattributed{1}. Second quarter fifth 480-450

Decoration: A: Apollo with goddesses and a god{2}. B: Dionysus with Ariadne and Hermes.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to right of the face of `Artemis': an illegible inscription. To right of the `bridal pair's' lower garments: λτ(.)σιλτ(.)σ, retr.

Commentary: (.): probably miswritten omicrons.

Footnotes: {1} listed in ABV under `Some very late standard neck-amphorae II: various.' {2} CVA: Apollo, Artemis(?), bridal pair in marriage procession.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Gerhard (1840–58), pl. 73. — H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 160. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 4, Great Britain 5 (1929), III H e, pl. 63,3a-b. — ABV (1956), 401/3. — Add.[2] (1989), 105.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4438

λτ(.)σιλτ(.)σ > λττσιλττσ > éLTeTéSÜ' áLTaTáS > Éltetésül áltatás. (Delusion for cheering.)



λτ(.)σιλτ(.)σ > λτεσιλτασ > éLTESÜ' áLTASS > Éltesül áltass. (Delude me in oldish way.)

AVI 4267; BAD 303027

London, British Museum 1843,1103.50 (B 275). BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Unattributed{1}. Second quarter fifth 480-450 (Beazley).

Decoration: A: chariot with charioteer; man, and seated man. B: woman between two youths.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to right of the charioteer: λυτιστι(σ). To right of an old man's head: υτισισ(.) σ. Above the horses: υτισιτι(.). Under the foot, Gr.: ΛΑ [[lig.]]. See Johnston (1979), 148/23E 20.

Commentary: Inscriptions are similar to London B 257. Some letters disjointed; the iota's unclear.

Footnotes: {1} listed in ABV among very late standard neck amphorae ii, various.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 4, Great Britain 5 (1929), III H e, pl. 681,a-d. — ABV (1956), 401/4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4439

λυτιστι(σ) > LoVa TISZTI > Lova tiszti. (His horse is official.)

υτισισ(.) σ > υτιστστσ > ÚT IS TiSZTieS > Út is tiszties. (The road is also official.)

υτισιτι(.) > υτισττισ > ÜT ÜSZTeTő IS > Üt üsztető (űzettető) is. (He beats us urging.)

ΛΑ > iLLA > Illa! (Run!)

AVI 4276; BAD 302063

London, British Museum B 306 (B 306). BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group (Antiope Group, I){1}. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: Heracles and the Lion. Body: 4 horsemen departing, with 3 dogs.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense. To left of the leftmost rider: νρεοδυ, retr. Above and below the dog at left: νχιδε, retr. To right of the third rider's face: νδε(α). To right of the dog in the center: γεγι. To right of the fourth horse's neck: νχδεδ. Under the foot, Grr.: a ligature with beta; pi with cross stroke. See Johnston (1979), 126/5E 3 (Hackl (1909), no. 515) and 128, top.

Footnotes: {1} see ABV 356.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 76,3 and 77,3. — ABV (1956), 356, 365/68.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4448

νρεοδυ > Nő őRE O'DVa > Nő őre oldva. (Woman's guards are unleashed.)

νχιδε > NéGY ÜDE > Négy üde. (Four fresh.)

νδε(α) > νδελ > NeDÉLY > Nedély (Humour)

γεγι > iGe ÉGI > Ige égi. (Heavenly word.)

νχδεδ > Nő eGYeDi ÉD > Nő egyedi éd... (Woman is individual sweetness...)

ligature: Β+{Π+Ϝ} > Bő aPo'Va > … bő apolva. (… kissing many times.)

After the reading the picture is changed: the dogs are guard-dogs the four riders are freshly escaping from, but still craving for the woman's humour and sweetness. The nonsense inscriptions again make sense to an otherwise senseless picture.

AVI 4277; BAD 302012

London, British Museum B 307 (B 307). BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: Achilles and Troilos, with Polyxena, a woman, and a warrior{1}. Body: Heracles and the Lion, between Hermes and Iolaus; behind heracles, Athena{2}.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense: below Heracles: νεννο{3}. Above Iolaus: χεν(σ)ποκ. To right of his legs: (σ)κο̣κ. Also: χοι.

Commentary: The sideways sigmas are easily mistaken for reversed nu's.

Footnotes: {1} the greater part is modern. {2} only the right half is well enough preserved to show inscriptions. {3} so my reading from the vase; the photo seemed to show it retr.

Bibliography: *Photo. — H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 178. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 76,4 and 80,1. — ABV (1956), 361/17. — Para. (1971), 161. — LIMC i (1981), pl. 88, Achilleus 301. — Add.[2] (1989), 96.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4449

νεννο > öNÉNéN Ö' > Önénén öl. (Kills on its own self-being.)

χεν(σ)ποκ > üGYE NeSZéBe' OK > Ügye neszében (ürügyén) ok. (It is the reason in his case's pretext.)

(σ)κο̣κ χοι > SoK OK íGY OLY > Sok ok így oly. (This way many reasons are such.)

AVI 4278 ; BAD 302051

London, British Museum B 309 (B 309). BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group (Simos Group). Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: Heracles and the Cretan bull. Body: Man mounting a chariot.

Inscriptions: Shoulder: some dots to right of Iolaus and behind Hermes. Body: In front of the man's face: Σιμος. The woman holding his spear: Κλειτα, complete{1}. To her right, above and below the horses bellies: Τελοhυυς = Τελ<λ>ο hυυς(?){2}. To right of the horses' bellies: Κ.ΟΝΟΥ{3}. Under the foot, Gr.: an incised character (CVA): Siglum of beta pierced by a horizontal upsilon, see Johnston (1979), 127/5E,13 and Hackl (1909), 516.

Commentary: LGPN ii has Σιμος, Κλειτα and Τελης (not Τελλος). Boeckh read Κλειτα[γορας], Τηλ(εκλη)ς, and Κ[ρ?]ονων.

Footnotes: {1} so ABV; CVA suggests Κλειτα[γορας], but there is no room for the rest of the name. {2} so ABV; I do not know to whom this would refer; perhaps nonsense (but listed as hυυς in Threatte (1996), 221). Another Tellos appears in Hdt. 1.30. {3} ABV; CVA has what looks like an incomplete pi instead of the dot.

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 7643. — H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 179. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 78,2 and 81,2. — *ABV (1956), 356, 364/56. — AttScr (1990), no. 442.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4450

Σιμος > SZiMMOS > szimmos (flagging)

Κλειτα > Ki LEJT Á' > ki lejt áll (the one who is on descent)

Τελοhυυς > íTÉLŐ HéV ViSZi > ítélő hév viszi (the judging heat carries him)

Κ.ΟΝΟΥ > KiTO'/KöZŐ' NŐVe' > kitol/közől nővel (takes it out of / evades it with woman)

Szimmos (tunya) ki lejt áll. Ítélő hév viszi. Kitol/közől nővel. (Flagging is the one who is on descent. The judging heat carries him. Takes it out of / evades it with woman.)

AVI 4283; BAD 302019

London, British Museum B 324 (B 324). BF hydria. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: chariots. Body: Achilles and Troilos at the fountain, with Polyxena.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense: χλεδοσ, retr. νχρο(δ)ευ. χιε(δ)εγ. αχι ερεγ{1}. υχει(σ)χ(.)χ(ν). υχε.

Commentary: Rho with the vertical extending beyond the loop. The upsilon resembles a lambda.

Footnotes: {1} very uncertain; I thought (from the photo) that the alpha did not belong; the other letters are from CVA, which is not reliable.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 84,4 and 87,1. — ABV (1956), 361/24. — AttScr (1990), no. 936.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4455

χλεδοσ > GYúL-E iDŐS > gyúl-e idős (does the elder sparks up)

νχρο(δ)ευ > NaGYRÓ' iDÉVe' > nagyról idével (by the passing time about greatness)

χιε(δ)εγ > GYŰ'-E éDE'Gő > gyűl-e édelgő (does fondness collect)

αχι ερεγ > AGYI É' öREG > agyi él öreg (old brain-sharpness)

υχει(σ)χ(.)χ(ν) υχε > ÜGYE IS GYÓGYu'Na UGYE > ügye is gyógyulna ugye (its case would heal, wouldn't it)

Gyúl-e idős? Nagyról idével gyűl-e édelgő? Agyi él öreg ügye is gyógyulna, ugye? (Does the elder sparks up? Does by the passing time about greatness collect fondness? Would the old case of brain-sharpness heal, wouldn't it?)

g. Now, the city was fated not to fall if Troilus could attain the age of twenty. Some say that Achilles fell in love with him as they fought together, and ‘I will kill you,’ he said, ‘unless you yield to my caresses!’ Troilus fled and took refuge in the sanctuary in the temple of Thymbraean Apollo; but Achilles cared nothing for the god’s wrath and since Troilus remained coy, beheaded him at the altar, the very place where he himself later perished.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 162.g.)

AVI 4288; BAD 306483

London, British Museum B 333 (B 333). BF hydria. From Vulci. Unattributed. Anthyle/Anthylle/Anthylla (fem.) (bf.), Mnesilla (fem.) (bf.), kale. 530-520

Decoration: Shoulder: fight of two warriors. Body: Women at the Fountain.

Inscriptions: Body: inside the fountain house, vertically: καλε. Above the girl at left, horizontally: Μνεσιλ<λ>α{1}. Between the lower parts of two figures, vertically: ελελειελν. Above and to right of the next girl, horizontally: Ροδον. As before: ελετειεν. Behind the head of the next girl: ΑΜΑΤ, complete. As before: ελετελειεν. ΕΡΙΣ{2}. In the position of the nonsense inscriptions: Ανθυλ<λ>ε καλε{3}.

Commentary: For the nonsense inscriptions see JHS; cf. Boulogne 417 (ABV 260/32, manner of the Lysippides Painter) and Brussels R 291 (270/52, by the Antimenes Painter). In ABV Beazley states that the vase is a replica, by a different hand, of Würzburg 304.

Footnotes: {1} cf. London B 330. {2} a certain reading. Ηρις for Εαρις, (if that name exists)? {3} space between the first and second letters and before καλε; for the name see Hesp. 22 (1953) 215.

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 8038. — Beazley (1927), 83, n. 50. — H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 90,1 and 91,3. — Dunkley (1935–6), 166, fig. 8. — ABV (1956), 676, 677/3, 678. — Tölle-Kastenbein (1986), 67, fig. 5 (dr., part). — Add.[2] (1989), 148. — *AttScr (1990), no. 301, fig. 92.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4460

καλε > oK ÁLL-E > ok áll-e (does the cause stand)

Μνεσιλ<λ>α > Μνεσιλα > MéN E SZŰ aLÁ > mén e szű alá (this heart goes down)

ελελειελν > E LÉLE JELeN > e léle jelen (its essence/juice is present)

Ροδον > BODON > bodon (bucket)

ελετειεν > ÉLETE iLYEN > élete ilyen (its life is such)

ΑΜΑΤ > A MÁT > a mát (the present day)

ελετελειεν > ÉLi-E TELE iLLYE' Nő >éli-e tele illyel nő (does it lives full with this (fluid) grows)

ΕΡΙΣ > ERő IS > erő is (the strength also)

Ανθυλ<λ>ε καλε > A Nő CSéVéLi-E oKKAL E' > a nő csévéli-e okkal el (does the woman turns it away with reason)

Ok áll-e? Mén e szű alá, e léle jelen bodon, élete ilyen. A mát éli-e? Tele illyel nő erő is. A nő csévéli-e okkal el? (Does the cause stand? This heart goes down, its essence/juice is present in the bucket, its life is such. Does it lives the present day? Full with this (fluid) the strength also grows. Does the woman turns it away with reason?)

Again, not the inscriptions are nonsense, but the descriptions of them by the scientists, their arrogant examining of the spellings of a writing they don't have even the slightest clue about its writing methods and rules, not to mention the language. It's a pity because the depicted scene and its complementing inscription makes up quite a hearty reflection.

AVI 4289; BAD 302066

London, British Museum B 334 (B 334). BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: Nike in the center (the acroterion of the fountain); at left, Dionysus and a woman, both seated, and a man decorating the fountain with branches; at right, a woman doing the same and Hermes with a seated woman. Body: 6 girls at a fountain house.

Inscriptions: Body: four nonsense inscriptions: to right of the 2 girls at left: σκε(ν̣). Around the left spout: χελκο. Around the fourth girl's head: χε(ν)οελ, retr. To right of the heads of the 2 women at right: νε(ν)(σ).

Commentary: = 1837.6-9.53. The inscriptions small and not very clear; the nu's idiosyncratic (mostly reversed).

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 90,2 and 91,4. — ABV (1956), 365/71. — Add.[2] (1989), 97.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4461

σκε(ν̣) > SoK E Nő > Sok e nő! (Plenty of women here!)

χελκο > üGYELő KÖ' > Ügyelő köll. (Supervisor is needed.)

χε(ν)οελ > üGYE' NŐ ELő > Ügyel nő elő. (The woman in front oversees.)

νε(ν)(σ) > NE NőS > Ne nős! (Not a married one!)


AVI 4290; BAD 320013


London, British Museum B 336 (B 336). BF hydria. From Vulci. Antimenes Painter. Sime (fem.) (bf.), kale. Last quarter sixth Ca. 520

Decoration: Shoulder: warriors leaving home, one in a chariot. Body: Women at the Fountain (seven women).

Inscriptions: Body: ten nonsense inscriptions, two for each woman (where applied), one near the head, the other by the legs: αρχνομ{1}. πογυοννον. - πσι(π)ο{2}. νυχεονο. - (.)εοσεο{3}. πο(σ)νο(.)(.)ν{4}. - στονσν{5}. εγ(.)ποσγ. - By the head of the fifth woman: (Σ)(ι)με καλε{6}. χαργκεχσ{7}. - No inscriptions between the sixth and seventh women. The inscriptions are not directly related to the individual women. Under the foot, Gr.: ΣΟ (three-stroke sigma). The omicron is drawn with a compass, showing the central dot. See Johnston (1979), 21A/49.

Commentary: Done from the ph. in Burow. The readings in CVA are often inaccurate. Beazley says in JHS: "The inscriptions, with one possible exception, are meaningless: they are genuine, but look as if ... written in French hotel ink with a Waverley pen." I noted that this color is not found elsewhere on this vase. - Burow 42 notes parallels for Sime: Berlin pinax by Exekias, ABV 146/22-23; maenad on cup by Kallis Ptr. in Naples, ABV 203/1. - Burow 41 notes that the sigmas are peculiar. There are at least two three-stroke sigmas, the rest are four-stroke of two shapes. The lettering is small and hard to make out, but I see at least one high-kicking alpha and several nu's that are different from the Antimenes Painter's nu's. The inscriptions are not in his hand. - Burow 74 discusses fountain scenes.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter looks more like a low mu than a four-stroke sigma turned 90 degrees. {2} with four-stroke sigma. {3} sigma three-stroke. {4} sigma three-stroke? {5} sigma three-stroke twice? {6} four-stoke sigma reversed? The iota is a thick blob. I do not think that this inscription refers to either figure. H. Mommsen (1997a), 50 and n. 354: thinks this is a servant or a hetaera rather than a citizen "wegen des abwertenden Namens"; she refers to Hannestad (1984), 254. [But there are other names of respectable persons that make fun of them; e.g. Pordax]. Sime occurs on the Exekias plaque fr. F 1814, probably as a servant's name, and as a maenad name on Naples Stg. 172. {7} done from CVA.

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 8035. — Beazley (1927), 90 and n. 11. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 90,4 and 93,2. — ABV (1956), 266/3, 678. — Add.[2] (1989), 69. — *Burow (1989), 42, 43.122, pl. 120. — AttScr (1990), no. 1091. — Robertson (1992), 12, fig. 7.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4462

  1. αρχνομ πογυοννον > αρχνομ ποπυοννον > ARa iGYa NŐ íM aBBÓ' BűVÖ'Ni NŐNe > ara igya nő ím abból bűvölni nőne (Let fiancèe drink it! Look, woman from it would grow to charm)

  2. πσι(π)ο νυχεονο > πσινο νυχεονθ > BőSÜ' aBBÓ' iNNi ViGYE ÖNTSe > bősül abból inni vigye öntse (she should carry plenty from it to drink, let she pour it)

  3. (.)εοσεο πο(σ)νο(.)(.)ν > (.)εοσεο πολνο(.)(.)ν > [üD]E ÖSSZE Ő aPOLóN O'[VaD]Na > [üd]e össze ő apolón ol[vad]na (together freshly; he would meld caressing)

  4. στονσν εγ(.)ποσγ > eSZéT ÖNöSeN ÉGe[SSe] BŐSéG > eszét önösen ége[sse] bőség (let his mind burn selfishly with fullness)

  5. (Σ)(ι)με καλε χαργκεχσ > S íME KALÉ' áGYÁRa éG KEGYeS > szű íme kalél ágyára Ég kegyes (heart already strolls on his bed. Heaven is gracious!)

Ara igya! Nő, ím, abból bűvölni nőne, bősül abból inni vigye, öntse [üd]e össze. Ő apolón ol[vad]na, eszét önösen ége[sse] bőség: szű íme kalél ágyára. Ég kegyes! (Let fiancèe drink it! Look, woman from it would grow to charm, she should carry plenty from it to drink, let she pour it together freshly. He would meld caressing, let his mind burn selfishly with fullness: heart already strolls on his bed. Heaven is gracious!)

A typical scène from the confines of a village: girls are carrying water from the “magical” well, dreaming about the handsome warrior departing on the other side of the well (vessel)!

AVI 4291; BAD 302067

London, British Museum B 338 (B 338). BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: gigantomachy. Body: Four women at two fountains.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense. To left of the left girl's face: νχου. Between the third girl and a hydria: νχε(ι). Around the head of the fourth girl: νχοσ and κρ (retr.). To her lower right: (ν)οχει. Under the foot, Gr.: pi with attached diagonal. See Johnston (1979), 76/16A 22.

Commentary: Beazley compares London B 328 and B 337. Smith calls the inscriptions Nearchos anagrams and suggests that κρ stands for κρ<ενε>, but it is nowhere near the fountains. - The nu's are reversed.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 6, Great Britain 8 (1931), III H e, pls. 92,2 and 93,4. — *H.R.W. Smith, CVA San Francisco 1, USA 10 (1943), p. 31. — ABV (1956), 366/72. — Add.[2] (1989), 97.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4463

νχου > NaGY ÓV > Nagy óv. (Big protects.)

νχε(ι) > NaGY-E Ű > Nagy-e ű? (Is this big?)

νχοσ κρ > NaGY ŐS KáR > Nagy ős kár. (It is big ancient wrong.)

(ν)οχει > NŐ üGYELJ > Nő ügyelj! (Woman, be careful!)

AVI 4305; BAD 302855

London, British Museum B 403 (B 403). BF lip cup. From Vulci. BMN Painter. Third quarter sixth 540-530

Decoration: Lip: A, B, each: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: χπσεαινκνσ. B: χπσειαπσοιν.

Commentary: Very clear and neat letters, fairly large.

Bibliography: *A.H. Smith and F.N. Pryce, CVA London 2, Great Britain 2 (1926), III H e, pl. 12,4 (A). — ABV (1956), 227/18. — Add.[2] (1989), 59 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4477

A:     χπσεαινκνσ > íGY Be SE ÁLJoN Ki NőS > Így be se áljon ki nős! (This way shouldn't even enter who is married!)

B:     χπσειαπσοιν > úGY BeSZÉLJ APa SZÓLJoN > Úgy beszélj, apa szóljon! (Speak in the manner a father does talk!)

AVI 4306; BAD 13248

London, British Museum B 404 (B 404). BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Lip: A: youth running between two draped figures. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A: nonsense: χεο(ν)σ(ο)νολπυσα̣ο(ο)λυν{1}. B: nonsense inscription.

Commentary: Small and irregular lettering.

Footnotes: {1} the fourth letter resembles heta with a curved horizontal, but is probably a nu; the bracketed omicrons are half-moons open to the left.

Bibliography: BADB: 13248. — Photos of A in Beazley Archive — A.H. Smith and F.N. Pryce, CVA London 2, Great Britain 2 (1926), pl. 12,1 (A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4478

χεο(ν)σ(ο)νολπυσα̣ο(ο)λυν > χεοησ(ο)νολπυσλοσλυν > üGYE' Ő Ha oSON Ő LoPVA/LaPu'Va eSZeLŐS LéVéN > Ügyel ő ha oson ő lopva/lapulva, eszelős lévén. (He heeds when he sneaks stealthily/lurking, being crack-brained.)

AVI 4307; BAD 13253

London, British Museum B 405 (B 405). BF lip cup. From Corinth. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Lip: A, B, each: panther.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: lip: to left of the panther, diagonally: πεχευσ(.), retr.; at his right: μεχνλ. Handle zone: χεκϝεκεκπ(λ)οπ(λ)ϝκπ. B: said to be similar.

Commentary: Beazley notes that a lip cup in the market has inscriptions similarly disposed as London B 405 [i.e., diagonally on either side of the picture]. The subjects of the cup in the market are: A, B, each: rider. I have not entered the market cup, as Beazley gives no further particulars. The lambdas resemble the Argive shape.

Bibliography: H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 405. — *A.H. Smith and F.N. Pryce, CVA London 2, Great Britain 2 (1926), III H e, pl. 14,1 (A only). — Beazley (1932), 168 n. 6. — *AttScr (1990), no. 280, fig. 56 (A, part).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4479

πεχευσ(.) > eBBe EGY EVéS > ebbe egy evés (in this a meal)

μεχνλ > MEGY NáLa > megy nála (it goes for it (the panther))

χεκϝεκεκπ(λ)οπ(λ)ϝκπ > üGYE' KiVE' KÉZBőL Ő aPoLVa KAP > ügyel kivel kézből ő apolva kap ()

Ebbe egy evés megy nála. Ügyel kivel kézből ő apolva kap. (In this a meal goes for it (the panther). It (the panther) cares from whom hand it lovingly receives (the meal).)

AVI 4325; BAD 13242

London, British Museum B 434 (B 434). BF eye cup. From Vulci. Unattributed. 530-520

Decoration: A: between eyes: Athena and a giant.

Inscriptions: A: between the eyes, at the top of the scene, below the lip, in BG, nonsense: νκστετασ^οσκανοτε{1}.

Commentary: Large and clear lettering. Is the first half of the inscription an attempt to write a proper name?

Footnotes: {1} the space is filled completely, between vines. Athena's head intervenes.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4497

νκστετασ^οσκανοτε > Nő KeSáT E TÁSS ŐS KAN O'Ti-E > Nő kesát e táss ős kan olti-e? (Does this companion ancient male abate woman's revolt?)

AVI 4337; BAD 31867

London, British Museum B 498 (B 498). BF oinochoe. From Athens. Gela Painter (Haspels). First quarter fifth

Decoration: Heracles and Athena clasping hands; palmette.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: behind Heracles: (.)v.νυογ. To right of his legs: νενι. Behind Athena's back: (ν)ε(ν)(σ){1}.

Footnotes: {1} distorted in the photo.; uncertain reading. All readings are from the photo in AK 31.

Bibliography: BADB: 31867. — Gerhard (1843a), pl. C 7. — Welcker (1851), pl. 5,1. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 244. — Haspels (1936), 214/181. — Brommer (1973), 28/A 1. — Mommsen (1989), 130 and n. 73 (mention), pl. 25,4. — LIMC v (1990), pl. 142, Herakles 3184.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4509

(.) νυογ > E NYáVOGó > e nyávogó (this mewing)

νενι > NÉNI > néni (aunty)

(ν)ε(ν)(σ) > eNNÉ' éNeS > enné' énes (to him is selfish)

E nyávogó néni ennél énes. (This mewing aunty to him is selfish.)

AVI 4338; BAD 303253

London, British Museum B 507 (B 507). BF oinochoe. From Vulci. Unattributed; Keyside Class. Mys (bf.), kalos. Early fifth

Decoration: Forge: one male working on each side.

Inscriptions: On the left side of the forge, starting at the top of the left margin, facing it, and continuing to the right of the crouching bearded man (the last word is written separately above him): hο :* Μυς | καλ̣ος :* δοκει, | ναι. To right of the forge, three nonsense inscriptions: above the man's head: five letters, beginning λο... Starting to left of the man's mouth: hευυα̣(.)ει, retr. Behind his back: an inscription ending in ...ν.

Commentary: Two of the nonsense inscriptions do not show well in the photo. The kalos could be a (young?) worker (perhaps a slave) or an aristocratic youth (nick name?). See also Webster.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 246 (not ill.). — Cloché (1931), 53, 107, pl. 23,1,3. — *ABV (1956), 426/9. — Webster (1972), 66 and 249. — Add.[2] (1989), 110.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4510

hο :* Μυς | καλ̣ος :* δοκει, | ναι > HŐ MűVéSZ Ki ÁLLÓS iDŐ KELJ iNALJ > Hő művész ki állós: idő, kelj, inalj! (Heat artist is who is persistent: it's time, stand up, run!)

λο... > LO[HoLVa] > Lo[holva] (In the run)

hευυα̣(.)ει > HEVéVe' ACÉLJ > hevével, acélj! (with its heat do steel/harden!)

AVI 4339; BAD 390486

London, British Museum B 541 (B 541). BF lekythos. Athena Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Achilles and Ajax playing a board game, with Athena.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to Athena's right: οσδ^οσ(δ)σ{1}. To Athena's left: σδεπ(δ)οπσ{2}. To right of the left hero: οσεδο^σε. To left of the right hero: οσεδο^σε{4}.

Commentary: The exact repetition of a nonsense `word' is unusual.

Footnotes: {1} Athena's hand intervenes; the sixth letter could also be a triangula rho. {2} slightly differently in Walters' dr.: hσ at end (I did not see the final sigma); the fifth letter perhaps a triangular rho. {3} lances intervene. {4} a lance intervenes.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Welcker (1851), pl. 1. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 254; p. 27, fig. 35 (dr.) (bibl.). — Haspels (1936), [[254/]] Athena Painter no. 6.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4511

οσδ^οσ(δ)σ > OSSZaD OSSZ DúS > Osszad, ossz dús! (Deal it, deal amply!)

σδεπ(δ)οπσ > SZeD ÉPP DOBáS > Szed épp dobás. (The cast only just seizes.)

οσεδο^σε > Ő SZEDŐ éSSZE' > Ő szedő ésszel. (He is who seizes with brain.)

οσεδο^σε > Ő SZEDi ÖSSZE > Ő szedi össze. (He scrapes it (the bets) together.)

AVI 4379; BAD 16207

London, British Museum B 633 (B 633). WG lekythos{1}. From Camiros. Unattributed. Uncertain (hardly Myia), kalos. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Theoxenia (Dioscuri).

Inscriptions: Under the couch, non-stoich. two-liner: καλ(η) | (α)ιυ(λ){2}.

Commentary: The second word is nonsense or miswritten. Ionic alphabet. Eta is two parallel lines.

Footnotes: {1} outline. {2} My reading. Beazley reads Μυιλ and suggests `Muia'. So also Walters. Μιχα, Heydemann, Μικλ = Μικκα, Wernicke. I do not believe the word is a name.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 288 (not ill.). — ARV[2] (1963), 1615. — Add.[2] (1989), 390.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4551

καλ(η) | (α)ιυ(λ) > καλ{KéT}* | Mιυ(λ) > KiÁLLóKaT MŰ VaLL > Kiállókat mű vall! (The opus (work of art) declares the outstandings!)

* “Eta is two parallel lines”, that is II = KéT (two!) standing for the {K+T} ligature.

AVI 4381; BAD 456

London, British Museum B 639 (B 639). BF lekythos. Sappho Painter (Haspels). Late sixth

Decoration: Psychostasia: Hermes weighing souls.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: horizontal: σο. (ε)ιτι. Diagonally up: πυοινοιντυ, retr.{1}.

Commentary: The epsilon is smudged.

Footnotes: {1} it is not certain that this is retr. The upsilons look like lambda's going in the other direction. This reading is from Hespels' plate; another inscription is partially visible in the photo.: στσ(.)οσιοσ ... .

Bibliography: *Photo. — H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 290. — *Haspels (1936), 98, 113, 227[[/28]], pl. 36 (bibl.), Sappho Painter no. 28.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4553

σο (ε)ιτι > SZÓ EJTI > Szó ejti. (The word drops it.)

πυοινοιντυ > λτνιονιολπ{1} > LáTNi JÖN JÓ LaP > Látni jön jó lap. (It seems good page is turning.)

στσ(.)οσιοσ > SZó TiSZTÖS JÓS > Szó tisztös jós. (Word is a honest oracle.)

AVI 4382; BAD 390500

London, British Museum B 643 (B 643). BF/WG lekythos. Athena Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Komos of three satyrs.

Inscriptions: Nonsense inscriptions: two go diagonally downward: ο^σεαοο, retr.{1}. στασεϙ, retr.

Commentary: Sloppy writing.

Footnotes: {1} a drinking horn intervenes.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 291. — Haspels (1936), [[257/]] Athena Painter no. 69.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4554

ο^σεαοο > ο^σεαϙο > ÓS E AKÓ > Ós e akó. (Oldish is this ako (cask).)

στασεϙ > SaTó-A' SZE'Ke > Sató-ajj (sajtó alja), szejke (szik-/büdösköves-víz). (It's the dregs of the wine-press, sodic/sulphuric water.)



AVI 4387; BAD 3566

London, British Museum B 678 (B 678). BF phiale{1}. From Capua. Unattributed. Workshop of Nikosthenes, potter (Williams){2}. Ca. 520 (Williams).

Decoration: Int.: inner frieze: hare hunt with four dogs, and a hunter having set up a net. Outer frieze: animals: foxes, partridges, two snakes, scorpion to left playing the flutes.

Inscriptions: Nonsense inscriptions: Int.: inner frieze: an inscription for each figure, some horizontally above them, others diagonally beside them. E.g.: λοσσλ. σ(λ)σλσ. Some have imitation letters. Outer frieze: similar. The letters seem more casual than on the inner frieze.

Footnotes: {1} BF/WG on Int. {2} Bea. Arch.: attributed to Nikosthenic by unknown.

Bibliography: BADB: 3566. — Löschke (1881), 34ff., pl. 5. — *H.B. Walters in BM Cat. B (1893), 298. — Schauenburg (1970a), 37 n. 48 (bibl.), pl. 19,3 (Int.). — Kerényi (1976), fig. 18. — Mertens (1977), pl. 15,3. — *D. Williams (1985), 36/41 (good colored ill. of Int., shows inscriptions). — *Bérard et al. (1989), 73, fig. 99 (colored picture exc. for inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4559

λοσσλ > eLŐ SZeSSZeL > Elő szesszel! (Up with the tricks!)

σ(λ)σλσ > SZéLeS LeSZ > Széles lesz. (It'll be wide.)

AVI 4408; BAD 209083

London, British Museum D 29 (D 29). WG lekythos. Carlsruhe Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Woman at a laver.

Inscriptions: On the laver: hο (π)α<ι>(ς){1}. To left of the woman's head: κα̣λο[ς]. To right of her face: nonsense: χσηλ.

Commentary: Small letters, hasty: near imitation. Cromey, letter of 1 July, 2000: to left of woman's head: καλ(η) [kappa 6 angular; lambda 2, leaning only slightly; `eta' miswritten (but surely not omicron sigma).] To right of face: χ>(μ)ε. On the laver: κομας [the mu noted by C. as `lame'; that on the last inscription is disjointed: nu + a vertical. Sigma 2, z-shaped.] The letter says: `my note says: "It can't be read amd may mean nothing." There is no hο παις, certainly.' C. also says: `letters small, light brown, difficult to read.' [I think: consider the kind of writing the Carlsruhe Ptr. does. Perhaps καλη and two nonsense words? For letter forms see the chart in AttScr.]

Footnotes: {1} My reading, which is very doubtful for the second word. The third letter is perhaps a μ; Smith read κο(ν)ιασ, with a dot by the nu, which could make it into a mu (I too saw such a dot); Fairbanks has κομασ, which could be a name: hο Κομας | καλο[ς](?). But note the nonsense inscription. Nonsense is common with this painter.

Bibliography: Fairbanks (1907), Group A, Class 3, no. 66. — ARV[2] (1963), 734/91. — Lissarrague (1988), fig. 14,2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4580

hο (π)α<ι>(ς) > κομας{Commentary} > KÖ' MÁS > köll más (someone/something else is needed)

κα̣λο[ς] > καλ(η){Commentary} > Ki ÁLL Ha > ki áll ha (who/what stands when)

χσηλ > χ>(μ)ε{Commentary} > χ{Λ DőL}(μ)ε > íGY LeDőL ME' > így ledől mell (breast bends down this way)

Köll más ki áll, ha így ledől mell. (Someone/something else is needed who/what stands when breast bends down this way.)

AVI 4416; BAD 202287

London, British Museum E 2 (E 2). BF/RF cup. From Vulci. Painter of London E 2{1}. Late sixth

Decoration: Int.: youth lifting a pointed amphora. Around the tondo, BF: ships. Ext.: komos: A: two youths dancing; between them, a pointed amphora. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: to the youth's left: νχδει. On his right: (ν)δειυο. A: to left of the left youth's head: (ν)δεν. To left of the right youth's face: (ν)δει. To right of his body: α(.)ε{2}. Between his legs: δευ. Starting from the youth's head: (ν)α(ε){3}. To right of his body: ναι. To left of the right youth's face: (ν)αει. To right of his body: αιοιου{4}.

Commentary: Typical Leagran nonsense. Delta and omicron are hard to distinguish; the reversed nu's are probably sigma's lying sideways. Cf. also Bonn 315, by the same painter.

Footnotes: {1} related to the Nikoxenos Painter. {2} The photo shows a raised horizontal line for the second letter. {3} the epsilon is smeared. {4} perhaps διοσ̣οσ̣(?).

Bibliography: *Photos. — *H.B. Walters (1905), pl. 37,1 (Int.). — ABV (1956), 390/1. — ARV[2] (1963), 225/1, 1636. — Para. (1971), 346. — Add.[2] (1989), 198. — Lissarrague (1990a), 113-14, fig. 87 (ph. of Int.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4588

Note: “the reversed nu's are ...” Corinthian betas, as the shape of the sign allows and the requirement for intelligible writing suggest it!


νχδει > NaGY De EJJ > nagy de ej (large but well)

(ν)δειυο > βδειυο > VeDE' IVÓ > vedel ivó (the drunkard drinks like fish)


Nagy de ej, vedel ivó! (Large but well, the drunkard drinks like fish!)



(ν)δεν > βδεν > VeDE'Ni > vedelni (to drink)

(ν)δει > βδει > VeDE' Ű > vedel ű (he drinks like fish)

α(.)ε > αζε{2} > AZÉ' > azé(rt) (therefore he is so playful)

δευ > DÉVa' > dévaj (playful)

(ν)α(ε) > βα(ε) > VA' E > vall e (he confesses)

ναι > iNNA Ű> inna ű (he would drink)

(ν)αει > βαει > aVVA' ÉLJ > avval élj Live with it)

αιοιου > διοιου > De JÖJJ ÓVa > de jöjj óva (but come with care)


Vedelni vedel ű, azé(rt) dévaj! Vall e: inna ű. Avval élj, de jöjj óva. (To drink he drinks like fish, therefore he is so playful! He confesses: he would drink. Live with it, but come with care.)

AVI 4421; BAD 201341

London, British Museum E 7 (E 7). RF cup. From Vulci. Manner of Epeleios Painter. Hippon I, kalos. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: warrior. A: two warriors fighting; on each side a warrior leading a horse. B: two groups of fighting warriors.

Inscriptions: A: around the shield device of the fallen warrior: hιππον καλος :*{1}. In the field: hο π(α)ις και{2}. B: nonsense.

Commentary: Beazley compares Fayetteville, Uni. of Arkansas, ARV[2] 151/59.

Footnotes: {1} the inscription is a complete circle, with καλος retr. {2} so Smith. Alpha, as printed, lacks the cross stroke.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 43 (not ill.). — ARV[2] (1963), 149/16. — Add.[2] (1989), 179.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4593

hιππον καλος > HIBa PONKa ÁLLÓS > hiba ponka állós (the fault's bump is persistent)

hο π(α)ις και > hο πγις και{2} > HO' BaGLYaS oK ÁLLJa > hol baglyas ok állja (where tousled cause rules)

Hiba ponka (dudora) állós hol baglyas (borzas) ok állja. (The fault's bump is persistent where tousled cause rules.)

AVI 4422; BAD 200524

London, British Museum E 8 (E 8). RF cup. Oltos. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: a boy running, with lyre and meat. A: Heracles and Cycnus. B: Dionysus and a giant. Facing each handle, a warrior with a horse, probably belonging to A (Beazley).

Inscriptions: Int.: imitation inscriptions. A: above Heracles: hερ(α)<κλ>ες(?){1}. Imitation inscriptions. B: under the left handle: imitation inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} Smith prints ΗΕΡΛΕΣ with three-stroke sigma and reads hερ<ακ>λες, but that gives an Ionic lambda; I prefer alpha lacking the cross stroke. I wonder if this is not also a nonsense, or at best a mock, inscription.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 345-46. — ARV[2] (1963), 63/88 (bibl.). — Add.[2] (1989), 165.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4594

hερ(α)<κλ>ες(?) > ΗΕΡΛΕΣ{1} > HERéLÉS > Herélés (Maiming)

AVI 4426; BAD 201067

London, British Museum E 11 (E 11). RF cup. From Vulci. Unattributed{1}. Pamphaios, potter. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: warrior. Ext.: between pegasi: A: Dionysus between two satyrs. B: maenad between two satyrs.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: litter of letters: Int.: starting to left of the warrior's head and following the margin: νσοσ^υ̣εσεε^ε(σ)εσ^νοσε[1-2]{2}. In the field: χ(α)σν. Single letters: ο ν 9. h ο ε φ. A and B: similar. Frequent are: εσε, εον, and combinations. Under the left pegasus, horizontal: ον(φ)σε. On the reserved foot profile, in BG: Παν(φ)αιος εποιεσεν. Under the foot, Gr.: ΣΕ, retr.{3}.

Commentary: All sigmas reversed and many sideways. The letter marked 9 looks like a schwa, but is no doubt a miswritten omicron. Phi with diagonal or with horizontal hasta.

Footnotes: {1} "...very like the roughest cups of the Nikosthenes Painter, such as London E 14." "The same litter of letters as in London E 14 and E 815." (ARV[2] 130.) {2} this looks a bit like mocking the signature of Nikosthenes. C. Smith thinks the litter of letters is taken from the signature. {3} not in Johnston (1979), or Hackl. Perhaps an owner's Gr. (since it is Attic, with three-stroke sigma)?

Bibliography: *Photos. — *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 47. — ARV[2] (1963), 129/22 (bibl.), 130. — *Immerwahr (1984), 351/39, pl. 43, figs. 20-21. — Add.[2] (1989), 176.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4598

Int.:     νσοσ^υ̣εσεε^ε(σ)εσ^νοσε > NeSZÖS VESSE E' ESZES NŐS-E > Neszös vesse el! Eszes nős-e? (Observant should drop it! Is a clever man married?)

χ(α)σν > GYÁSZo'Na > Gyászolna ... (He would be in mourning ...)

ο ν 9. h ο ε φ > ο ν ϙ h ο ε φ > Ő Nő Ki Hű Ó E Fő > Ő nő ki hű, ó e fő! (She Woman Who Faithful Guard This Main thing > She is a Woman Who is Faithful, Guards you This Head!)*

A+B:  ον(φ)σε > ονθσε > Ő Nő CSőSZE > Ő nő csősze. (He is woman's guard.)

Παν(φ)αιος εποιεσεν > BÁNó FÁJÓS E PÓLYa ESZÉN > Báni fájós e pólya eszén. (Hurtingly painful this bandage on his mind.)

* Even this “litter of letters” makes perfect sense in the context!

AVI 4429; BAD 201049

London, British Museum E 14 (E 14). RF cup. From Vulci. Nikosthenes Painter{1}. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: a maenad dancing. Ext.: between sirens: A: Dionysus between two satyrs. B: satyr and maenad.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: at left, facing out: νοσενοσε. At right, facing out: ποσενοσ.

Commentary: The foot is not preserved. I noted that the letters (on the Int.) are rather neat [i.e., compared to London E 11, q.v., and other parallels]. But Beazley, ARV[2] 130 speaks of `litter of letters,' as on London E 11 and E 815. I have no note on the Ext.

Footnotes: {1} "Very hasty, but I think by the painter himself," Beazley.

Bibliography: *Murray–Smith (1894), no. 11 (Int.). — ARV[2] (1963), 125/21, 130.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4601

νοσενοσε > uNOS E NŐSSE' > Unos e nőssel. (It is boring with this married man.)

ποσενοσ > BŐSZ E NŐS > Bősz e nős. (This married man is furious.)

AVI 4431; BAD 200511

London, British Museum E 16 (E 16). RF cup. From Vulci. Oltos. Memnon, kalos. Last quarter sixth 520-510

Decoration: Int.: boy lifting a hydria. A: departure of Ajax, with a chariot. B: Dionysus with maenads and satyrs.


Inscriptions: Int.: in a circle, starting to left of the youth's forehead and facing out: Μεμνον καλος. A: above the old man: [1-2](.)ρ(α)λος{1}. Αιας{2}. Between Ajax' legs: χ(α)τσο, the σο perhaps separate. To right of a woman's face: ΑΤΟΛ(Ε). Above a warrior: Μεμ̣[μ]νον and καλος. αυκ, complete{2}? B: ΕΛΑ is clear once. Other inscriptions are similar, all short.

Commentary: Hard to read. Extremely sloppy writing; it is hard to tell what is sense and what is nonsense. Lissarrague says that the vase has Αιας καλος, but that is not what I read.

Footnotes: {1} C. Smith suggests [Πα]ραλος, but Beazley in AJΑ says it is doubtful whether there was ever anything before the rho [see however my reading; I thought the first extant letter probably an iota]; Beazley rightly suggests that the inscription may be meaningless. Smith himself suggests that the old man is Telamon. {2} the location not noted by me.

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 7655. — *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 51-52 (not ill.). — *Beazley (1935), 480/9. — ARV[2] (1963), 61/75. — Add.[2] (1989), 165. — AttScr (1990), no. 344. — Lissarrague (1990), 108.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4603

Int.:     Μεμνον καλος > íME Mi NŐN KiÁLLÓS > Íme, mi nőn kiállós! (Look, what is on woman outstanding!)


A:       [1-2](.)ρ(α)λος > Iρ(α)λος{1} > ÍRó ÁLLÓS > író állós (writing is lasting)

Αιας > A JÁSZ > a jász (the Jazygian)

χ(α)τσο > íGY ÁTSZÓ' > így átszól (this way calls out)

ΑΤΟΛ(Ε) > ATTÓL É' > attól él (through it lives)

Μεμ̣[μ]νον > íME Mi MeNŐN > íme mi menőn (look, what in the ongoing)

καλος αυκ > KALLÓ SZAVaK > kalló szavak (vanishing words)

Író állós, a jász így átszól. Attól él, íme, mi menőn kalló szavak! (Writing is lasting, the Jazygian this way calls out. Look, through it lives what in the ongoing are vanishing words!)

AVI 4474; BAD 204134

London, British Museum E 67 (E 67). RF cup. From Vulci. Castelgiorgio Painter (Manner of Brygos Painter, i). First quarter fifth 490-480 (Williams).

Decoration: Int.: a seated man with a phiale served with wine by a woman{1}. A: Achilles and Memnon. B: Zeus and Hera in Olympus, with Ares; Iris pouring for Hera; Doric column.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: ογογγολ{2}. A: illegible letters. B: illegible letters, possibly καλος [??]{3}.

Footnotes: {1} Zeus and Hebe? (Beazley). {2} Williams. {3} the inscriptions after C. Smith's text; Williams does not mention kalos.

Bibliography: Hartwig (1893), 361-62, 688/51. — *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 90. — Simon (1953), 66,9. — ARV[2] (1963), 386/3, 1649. — LIMC i (1981), Achilleus 836. — LIMC vi (1992), pl. 236, Memnon 53 (A). — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 61/47, pls. 66-67, fig. 11,d (profile).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4646

Int.:     ογογγολ > Ő aGGÓ GuGGOL > Ő aggó guggol (gúnyolva szidalmaz). (She worriedly scolds mockingly.)

AVI 4476; BAD 204623

London, British Museum E 70 (E 70). RF cup. From Vulci. Painter of Paris Gigantomachy. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Symposium: Int.: two youths reclining; boy cup bearer. A: five males. B: similar. Most figures play kottabos.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: γιε(σ)μι. A: σιρι. B: γεαρι(α)ς{1}.

Commentary: Tailed rho?

Footnotes: {1} so C. Smith's text; he thinks the inscription imitates a name; it is not certain that the sixth letter is an alpha.

Bibliography: Hartwig (1893), 330, 688/26. — *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 94-95. — ARV[2] (1963), 421/78. — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 70/56, pls. 70 and 80,a-b, fig. 13,d (profile).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4648

Int.:   γιε(σ)μι > éGI E SeMMI > Égi e semmi. (This nothing is like heaven.)

A:     σιρι > SÍRI > Síri. (It is like grave.)

B:     γεαρι(α)ς > éGi-E A RÍvÁS > Égi-e a rívás? (Is crying heavenly?)

AVI 4477; BAD 203927

London, British Museum E 71 (E 71). RF cup. From Vulci? Brygos Painter. First quarter fifth Ca. 490 495-490 (Williams).

Decoration: Int.: a young komast playing the flutes. Ext.: symposium: A: three youths: at left, a youth kneels on a couch and wields a(n empty) wineskin to hit his companion who is dancing in the center; at right, a youth faces left, leaning on his stick and playing the flutes. B: two youths and a flute girl.


Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: to left of the flautist's back: ρε[.]ι, retr. Above the flutes: νονο{1}. A: υνονν{2}. ναν. hhνονο. (The last two from Williams). B: similar, on either side of the flute girl's head: νον ννον{3}. To right of the scene, partly under one handle, a large water bucket (kados); on the body: καλος{4}.

Commentary: Note that the nonsense inscriptions seem to be connected with the flautists or the flute case: do they represent music? But since on the Ext. they are widely spaced, this is not certain. The vase was dirty when I saw it.

Footnotes: {1} Williams in CVA reads: hο πα[ις]. δε[.]ι, retr. Nonsense? {2} ννον, Williams. {3} my reading. Smith has: χνονχνον. {4} Smith, Williams.

Bibliography: Michaelis (1870), 106, pl. 39. — Hartwig (1893), 327 and 687/19. — *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 95. — ARV[2] (1963), 372/29. — Wegner (1973), pls. 1, 27a, 30a, 33a (Int., A, B and parts of B). — Bron (1988), 75, fig. 4 (dr. of A). — Add.[2] (1989), 225. — D. Williams (1991a), 293, fig. 10 (B). — D. Williams (1991b), 108, fig. 43 (B). — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 54/42, pls. 6-57, fig. 10,c (profile).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4649

Int.:     ρε[.]ι > RÉGI > régi (old)

νονο > NŐ uNÓ > nő unó (girlfriend is boring)


Régi nő unó. (An old girlfriend is boring.)  


A:       υνονν > UNÓN iNNa > unón inna (he would drink dully)

ναν > iNA'Na > inalna (he would run)

hhνονο > Ha HiNNYÖ' NŐ > ha hinnyöl nő (if woman giggles)


Unón inna. Inalna ha hinnyöl nő. (He would drink dully. He would run if woman giggles.) 


B:       νον ννον > uNÓN Nő uNÓ Nő > unón nő unó nő (A woman who is bored by the man is a boring woman)

καλος > oK ÁLLÓS > ok állós (cause is persistent)

Unón nő unó nő, (ez az) ok állós (A woman who is bored by the man is a boring woman, (this) cause is persistent.)

AVI 4479; BAD 204401

London, British Museum E 75 (E 75). RF cup. Briseis Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: an old man at a door (Priam at the tent of Achilles?). A-B: Dionysus with satyrs and maenads.

Inscriptions: γυιο{1}.

Commentary: No doubt nonsense.

Footnotes: {1} so Serbeti; location not given.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 406/2. — Para. (1971), 371. — LIMC iii (1986), pls. 133 and 136, Briseis 1, 14 (A, B). — Add.[2] (1989), 232. — *Serbeti (1989), 41.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4651

γυιο > éGiVe' JÓ > Égivel jó. (It is good with heavenly.)

AVI 4480; BAD 204400

London, British Museum E 76 (E 76). RF cup. From Vulci. Briseis Painter. First quarter fifth Ca. 480 485-480 (Williams).

Decoration: Int.: conversation of a seated old man and a bearded man. A: Briseis led away from Achilles. B: Briseis brought to Agamemnon.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the medaillon: γυιοσ κιοσ υισι{1}. A: between the heads, very widely spaced, on the left side of the scene: γυιοσυ{2}. B: similar but stretching over the whole scene: γυιοσυιοσκι{3}.

Commentary: = 1843.11-3.92. Hartwig attributed the cup to his `Meister mit dem Kahlkopf'. B is interpreted by Williams as Briseis being taken out of Agamemnon's tent to be returned to Achilles, but Kossatz-Deissmann in LIMC iv, s.v. Briseis, pp. 157-66, esp. 166, keeps the old interpretation that she is brought to Agamemnon. Cf. also Schefold (1981), 181-82. Shapiro thinks the two elders on the Int. are discussing the Briseis affair, cf. the elders on B. His phs. show the location of the letters only; they are widely spaced, especially on B. For the type of nonsense inscription, For the type of nonsense inscription, see Beazley (1914), 194, n. 13. Serbeti reads: γυιοσκιοσλισ. γυιολιοσκι. γυιοσ. Gerhard read: Λυκος καλος (cf. s., 41 n. 167).

Footnotes: {1} the last letter from BM Cat.; I did not see it. CVA reads as one: γυιοσκιοσυισ (CVA also does not read the final iota). {2} after BM Cat. γυιοσλ, CVA. At right, Achilles' tent interferes. {3} after BM Cat. γυιουιοσκι, my note from CVA.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 102 f. (not ill.). — VA (1918), 109 and 110/7. — ARV[2] (1963), 406/1, 1651. — Para. (1971), 371. — Kakridis, (1986), V, 86, figs. 73-74. — LIMC iv (1988), Eurybates 5, pls. 49-50 (details of heralds). — Add.[2] (1989), 232. — Serbeti (1989), 41. — AttScr (1990), no. 557. — Carpenter (1991), fig. 302 (A). — D. Williams (1991), 56-59. — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 65/70, pls. 72-73, fig. 12,c (profile). — Shapiro (1994), 13-15, figs. 4-6 (all).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4652

Int.:    γυιοσ κιοσ υισι > γυιοσ κιοσ υισ {1} > éGiVe' JÓ SZó JÓ SZíVű IS > Égivel jó szó jó szívű is. (To the heavens good word also is good-hearted.)

A:     γυιοσυ > éGiVe' JÓ SZíVű > Égivel jó szívű. (S/he is good-hearted with heaven.)

B:     γυιοσυιοσκι > éGiVe' JÓ SZíVű JÓ SZéKÜ' > Égivel jó szívű jó székül (The good-hearted with heaven is good to sit in council/board.)

AVI 4482; BAD 204342

London, British Museum E 78 (E 78). RF cup. From Vulci. Foundry Painter. Euphronios, potter. First quarter fifth 490-480

Decoration: Int.: boy boxer and trainer. A: pancratiast, trainer and three boxers. B: two boxers; two wrestlers with a trainer.


Inscriptions: Nonsense (part imitation letters): Int.: ο[...]εοσεσεοσν. νενοννοεο{1}. A: starting to left of the pancratiast: (ν)νh(α)υν(α)ε[.]ν(.)γ[.]νννευ. To right of the right youth's head: hγνε. B: between the boxers' heads: ν(.)ευνυν(.)ε. Above the wrestlers, wavy: hν[..]υεκν{2}. Under the foot, Gr.{3}.

Commentary: Hartwig attributed the cup to the Diogenes Painter, Murray with reserve, to the style of the Brygos Painter. - The inscriptions done from the drs. of A and B in JHS 26 and for the Int. from CVA, GB 17. Beazley, lecture 80: "On the inside and outside of the London cup there are imitation inscriptions, without meaning, of a particular kind: the letters nu, sigma, epsilon, upsilon are prevalent. This form of inscription is found on many of the Foundry Painter's cups, and, like the way the letters are formed, is characteristic of him." Beazley compares New York L.1981.91a-b (ex Heidelberg 73(c) and 74(a) + New York (ex Vatican, Astarita L.1986.41) + New York 07.156.8 (q.v.). Dotted alpha. Epsilon variable. Kappa once miswritten. Nu sometimes reversed.

Footnotes: {1} these readings from CVA. {2} readings from Frost. {3} Smith refers to the old Cat., pl. B, 971*. CVA gives: ϝΕ, retr. Not in Johnston (1979).

Bibliography: C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 104-105. — *Frost (1906), 220, pl. 13 (dr. of Ext.). — ARV[2] (1963), 401/3, 1651. — Para. (1971), 370. — Add.[2] (1989), 230. — Beazley (1989), 80, pls. 60 - 61. — Robertson (1992), fig. 105 (B, part). — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 62/48, pls. 68-69, figs. 3,k (facs. of Gr. upside down) and 12,a (profile) (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4654

Int.:     ο[...]εοσεσεοσν > Ö[NeRőR]E ŐS ÉSSZE' OSSZoN > Ö[nerőr]e ős ésszel osszon! (Elder on self-esteem should add on rationally.)

νενοννοεο > νενοννορο > iNNEN ÖNöN ŐRe Ő > Innen önön őre ő. (From here he is his own guard.)


A:       (ν)νh(α)υν(α)ε[.]ν(.)γ[.]νννευ > iNNeN HA Vo'NA ERéNYe IGeN NőNe NEVe > Innen ha volna erénye igen nőne neve, (From here, if he would have virtue his name would grow greatly,)

hγνε > Ha iGéNYE > ha igénye. (if he requires.)


B:       ν(.)ευνυν(.)ε > NeVÉVe' Nő ÜNNePE > Nevével nő ünnepe, (With his name grows his celebration,)

hν[..]υεκν > Ha Na[GY Ki] VEKKeN > ha na[gy ki] vekken. (if big is who drops down with a crack.)

AVI 4509; BAD 201056

London, British Museum E 154 (E 154). RF kantharos. From Vulci. Nikosthenes Painter. Last quarter sixth 520-510

Decoration: A: chariot, driver, and warrior. B: similar. Shield device: rear end of a horse.

Inscriptions: B: around the shield device: σπ(ε)ον{1}.

Footnotes: {1} CVA, text; the epsilon reversed. BM Cat. iii, 142 gives: N Ο Σ Ε.(Π) in a circle; sigma three-stroke, pi sideways. Both suggest Σπεων(?), but it is clearly nonsense.

Bibliography: Genick–Furtwängler (1883), pl. 26,1. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 4, Great Britain 5 (1929), III I c, pl. 33,1a-d. — CB (1931–63), iii, text. — ARV[2] (1963), 127/28.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4681

σπ(ε)ον > σπξον* > SZéP KéZÖN > Szép kézön. (It is nice on hand.)

* It is not a reversed epsilon but a xi with its vertical stroke a bit to the right of the centre.

AVI 4537; BAD 200204

London E 253. RF amphora. From Vulci. Probably Euergides Painter{1}. Last quarter sixth.

Decoration: A: Dionysos with kantharos and vine, satyr and maenad with snake and staff. B: warrior with horse, archer, shield device, lion.

Inscriptions: A: Διονυσος. Βριαχος{2}. Εροφυλλις{3}. B: above the warrior's head and curving behind him: hιππαιχμος{4}. To right of the archer's upper body: Σεραγυε{5}.

Footnotes: {1} ARV[2] 35: the amphora is of Pioneer type, but the drawing is not; many details recall the Euergides Painter; 1625: other details would be unusual for him, but the vase may be his nevertheless. {2} see C. Fränkel, p. 34. {3} Ηρο-, not Ερο-, Ερω-: see Fränkel, pp. 46-47. {4} cf. Athens, Acr. ii 102, ARV[2] 1625 (Graef–Langlotz (1925–33), ii, pl. 5 (part)), Frs. of a cup, probably by the Euergides Painter: male leading horses, hιππαιχμ[ος]. {5} the same name for an archer occurs on Basel BS 488 (ex Swiss Private) [[2003]], RF cup by the Delos Painter, ARV[2] 172/4, 1631; Add.[2] 184. Williams also calls Seragye an archer. Is the name Σεραγυε[ς], or an Amazon name in error?

Bibliography: Beazley, J.D., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1963): 35.2, 1625. Beazley, J.D., Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, 1st ed. (Oxford, 1942): 32
Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: LONDON, BRITISH MUSEUM 3, III.Ic.3, PL.(167) 2.1A-B
View Whole CVA Plates Denoyelle, M. (ed.), Euphronios Peintre, Recontres de l'Ecole du Louvre 10 Octobre 1990 (Paris, 1992): 86, FIGS.9-10 (A, B)Frankel, C., Satyr- und Bakchennamen auf Vasenbildern (Halle, 1912): PL.2 Hesperia: 83.3 (2014), 474, FIG.9 (COLOUR OF A)
Hoppin, J.C., Euthymides and his fellows (Cambridge, 1917): 145, PLS.11 BOTTOM, 37
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae: III, PL.133, BRIAKCHOS 2 (PART OF A), PL.604, EROPHYLLIS 1 (A) Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae: V, PL.301, HIPPAICHMOS 1 (B) Swindler, M.H., Ancient painting: from the earliest times to the period of Christian art (New Haven, 1929): FIG.306 (B)

A red figure amphora (that recalls the Euergides Painter, 525-500 BC, from Vulci /London, British Museum E 253; BAD 200204; AVI 4537/) shows a Greek-named warrior Hippaichmos, leading a horse toward an Amazon or Scythian (it is often difficult to distinguish gender) whose non-Greek name is ΣΕΡΑΓΥΕ, Serague.” ( Making Sense of Nonsense Inscriptions Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Athenian Vases, Version 2.0 )

ΣΕΡΑΓΥΕ > SZER AGGÚ’-E > Szer (itt: a férfi fegyvere) aggúl-e? (Is the weapon ageing?)

The “Greek-name” Hippaichmos actually above the warrior's head and curving behind him reads as:

hιππαιχμ[ος] > hιππαιχμ[ολ] > HŰ BaBÁJa GYáMOLi > Hű babája gyámolja. (His faithful fiancé protects him.)

So, it is not the aging of the “weapon”, but the faithful fiancée makes the warrior refrain from the young Amazon’s tempting offer!

The other decoration (A: Dionysus between a satyr and a dancing maenad) has this inscriptions: A:

Διονυσος > DIONÜSZOSZ/(DűLJÖN íVa iSZOS) > Dionüszosz/(Dűljön íva iszos) (Dionysos/(Let the drunkard fall drinking))

Βριαχος > BáR ÍjA üGYÖS > bár íja ügyös (although his bow is able)

Ηροφυλλις > HúRRa Ő FÜLeL IS > húrra ő fülel is (he listens to the string(s) too)

Dionüszosz/(Dűljön íva iszos), bár íja ügyes, húrra ő fülel is. (Dionysus/(Let the drunkard fall drinking), although his bow is able, he listens to the string(s) too (the sinew of the bow doubles as a string on an instrument).)

AVI 4538; BAD 200166

London, British Museum E 254 (E 254). RF amphora. From Vulci. Dikaios Painter. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: Warrior leaving Home. B: citharode.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to left of an archer: [.]ο̣ποισαογι. To right of his head: τοπ[1-2]οι̣ο. To right of the legs: εοισ. To left of a hoplite's face, not facing: τονει. To left of his legs, retr.: εοποι. To right of the head: ιοπι. To left of an old man's chest and legs: τοτε v. οποεναι. To right of his lower body and legs: ιοπο(γ)μ. B: to left of a youth's head, not facing: ποε[...]ι̣[...]ε̣[...]{1}. On his right: ονμαοπαε v. ιπο. To right of the lyre player: εοπο̣παεριιο, not certainly complete at end. To right of the other youth: χοπαοπ.

Commentary: My readings, which supersede those in CVA. C. Smith in BM Cat. notes that the inscriptions, which are very clearly written, recall Euthymides.

Footnotes: {1} repainted.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III I c, pl. 2,2a-b. — Bloesch (1951), 31/A 4 (Eukleo Class). — ARV[2] (1963), 31/3. — *Scheibler (1987), 113, figs. 35,a-b (A, B). — AttScr (1990), no. 410.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4710

A:       [.]ο̣ποισαογι > [θ]ο̣ποισαργι > CSOBOLYóSA RéGI > csobolyósa régi (his flask handler is the old one)

τοπ[1-2]οι̣ο > τοπ[επ]οι̣ο > uTÓBB [EBB]Ő' JÓ' > utóbb [ebb]ől jól (lately from this well)

εοισ > É' Ő IS > él ő is (he lives also )

τονει > úTON ÉJ > úton éj (the night is near)

εοποι > εθποι > E CSoBOLYó > e csobolyó (this flask)

ιοπι > JÓ BŰ > jó bű (quite charming)

τοτε οποεναι > TÖ'T-E Ő BŐEN ÁLLJa > tölt-e ő bően állja (will he pour allows plenty of it)

ιοπο(γ)μ > JÓ BŐ GuMó > jó bő gumó (the good size bump )


Csobolyósa régi, utóbb [ebb]ől jól él ő is. Úton éj, e csobolyó jó bű. Tölt-e ő? Bően állja jó bő gumó. (His flask handler is the old one, lately from this he lives also well. The night is near, this flask is quite charming. Will he pour? The good size bump allows plenty of it.) 


B:        ποε[...]ι̣[...]ε̣[...] >> ()

ονμαοπαε ιπο > Ő NéMA ÓBA' É' JóBÓ' > ő néma csába él jóból (it is mute, lives well in old things)

εοπο̣παεριιο > E ÓBÓ' BÁ' ÉRI JÓ' > e óból báj éri jól (from this old thing charm riches him well)

χοπαοπ > íGY Ő PA' ÓBa > így ő pall óba ( hereupon he strikes the old tunes)

Ő néma, óban él jóból. E óból báj éri jól, így ő pall óba. (It is mute, lives well in old things. From this old thing charm riches him well, hereupon he strikes the old tunes.)

AVI 4539; BAD 200175

London, British Museum E 255 (E 255). RF amphora. From Vulci. Dikaios Painter. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: The Struggle for the Tripod. B: Warrior leaving Home.

Inscriptions: A: Αθεναια{1}. παλοσ. δεχιοι{2}. Απ̣[ολ]λον. Αρτεμις. B: nonsense only: κισι. γεχγογκ. χλε[.]σι, retr., except the first sigma. χεχγιοχεχογε. χλειοπχιο.

Commentary: The inscriptions here taken from AttScr. Large and coarse letters, especially on B.

Footnotes: {1} Threatte (1980) reads Αθεναα. {2} C. Smith, rejecting previous readings Δεξιοπαλος, Δεξιος καλος, read δεξιος παλος, but Beazley in AjA considers the two inscriptions probably meaningless.

Bibliography: C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 192. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III I c, pl. 3,1a-b. — *Beazley (1929a), 364/7. — ARV[2] (1963), 31/2. — Para. (1971), 324. — Threatte (1980), 272. — Add.[2] (1989), 157. — *AttScr (1990), no. 409.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4711

“A red figure amphora attributed to the Dikaios Painter (510-500 BC, from Vulci / London, British Museum E 255; BAD 200175; AVI 4539/) has Greek names of gods—Athena, Apollo, and Artemis—on one side. On the other side, five unknown words are associated with a Greek warrior flanked by a Scythian archer, a dog, and an old man. Behind the Scythian’s head, ΚΙΣΙ; to the right of his head and shoulder, ΓΕΧΓΟΥΧ(Κ?); at his feet above the dog, ΧΛΕ…ΣΙ?; along the Greek warrior’s back, ΧΕΧΓΙΟΧΕΧΟΓΕ; along the old man’s back, ΧΛΕΙΟΠΧΙΟ, pronounced “kisi,” “gekh-goukh,” “khle . . . si,” “khekh-gee-okh-ehkho-ge,” “khleiopkhio,” respectively.” The citation is taken from the paper Making Sense of Nonsense Inscriptions Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Athenian Vases, Version 2.0 , July 2012 by Adrienne Mayor, John Colarusso and David Saunders.

ΚΙΣΙ > KISÜ' > kisül (it will come out )

ΓΕΧΓΟΥΧ > iGE őGYe'GŐ VaGY > ige őgyelgő vagy (does the word loafs around or)

ΧΛΕΣΙ > eGGYé LE[SZ-E] SZŰ > eggyé le[sz-e] szű (the hearts become one)

ΧΕΧΓΙΟΧΕΧΟΓΕ > üGYE íGY aGGáLY Ö'GYE üGYÖ'GGE' > ügye így aggály ölgye ügyölggel (his case is anxiety mixed with billing and cooing this way)

ΧΛΕΙΟΠΧΙΟ > üGYeL E JÓ eB íGY JÓ > ügyel jó eb így jó (this good dog guards well, so it is good)

Kisül ige (szó) őgyelgő vagy eggyé lesz-e szű. Ügye így aggály ölgye ügyölggel (enyelgéssel). Ügyel jó eb, így jó. (It will come out does the word loafs around or the hearts become one. His case is anxiety mixed with billing and cooing this way. This good dog guards well, so it is good.)

This is a perfectly constructed, very clever text, the writer could imbibed this mastery of the Scythian/Magyar language only from infancy, with mother’s milk. The word is about the always actual question of “multiculturalism”: anxiety mixed with adulation. Only a watchdog can guaranty the the piece between the Greek warrior and the Scythian archer represented people. And what “science” says about this inscription? “The letter strings with many kh/g sounds are suggestive of Caucasian languages. “Kisi” is Circassian, indicating something like (?) “here is his friend” referring to the archer’s name, Gekhgoukh, “Brave Adversary” in Abkhazian. The label for the hoplite, Khekhgeeokhehkhoge, translates as “One Chosen from Among the Brave” in Circassian, an appropriate description of a warrior. The old man’s name, Kleiopkhio, seems to identify him in Circassian as the descendant of “the daughter of a big man.” The incomplete word above the dog is unclear – perhaps it is the dog’s name.” As you can see, it is a nonsensical blabber, compared with the deep-rooted thoughts we have got only by direct and simple reading of the inscriptions.

The decoration on side A is The Struggle for the Tripod, which is the most famous tripod from which the Pythian priestess took her seat to deliver the oracles, that is the predictions or precognition of the future inspired by the gods. But why is that tripod, a simple chair with three legs worth fighting for? Believe it or not, the answer is in its Scythian/Hun/Hungarian name:

HáRoMLáBú SZéK > HáRaMoL aBBú'/Bű SZó Ki > háramol (háramlik) abból/bű szó ki (sorrow/spell word comes out of it).

The inscriptions on this side are

Αθεναια > ATHENA/A CÉ'NÁ' Í(j)A > Athena/a célnál í(j)a (Athena’s bow/at the aim her bow)

παλοσ > PALLOS(JOG) > pallos(jog) (broadsword (the right to doom capital sentence))

δεχιοι > De EGY JÓ Í(j) > de egy jó íj (but it is a good arrow)

Απ̣[ολ]λον > AP[OL]/ÁP[OL] iLLŐN > apol/ápol illőn (it kisses/cultivates properly)

Αρτεμις > ARaT-E MI SZó / ÁRT E MŰ SZó > arat e mi szó / árt e mű szó (Does word reap harvest? / This artificial word harms!)

Athena/a célnál í(j)a pallos(jog), de egy jó íj apol/ápol illőn! Arat e mi szó? / Árt e mű szó! (Athena’s bow / at the aim her bow is broadsword (the right to doom capital sentence), but it is a good arrow, it kisses/cultivates (nurses) properly! Does word reap harvest? This artificial word harms!)

Athena’s bow has the right to doom to capital sentence as the consequence of a (mis)deed and, as a symbolic arrow, shows the right direction to take! Its kiss painfully educates by making one alert for the consequence of one's deeds. Contrary to this, the tripod from/out of which the oracle (words!) has been delivered changes the flow of time, and is actually harmful.

If this reading is only a distortion of original meaning or a fanciful interpretation, then one has to acknowledge that it is masterly, because it is impossible to state more clearly the absurdity of predictions or oracles, as it the double reading of the word Αρτεμις does. While one accepts responsibility for one's actions, and is punished for bad ones, one can learn from it, whereas the prediction would be an artificial intervention into the flow of time without any personal responsibility. But isn't she Artemis? Compared to the moral in the above readings it doesn't really matter, or rather: nomen is omen!

On the technical level, these sentences – in which only a couple of very obvious vowels are backfilled – should be enough proof for the correctness and appropriateness of my readings, since more adequately, more precisely and more concisely no one could express the essence of the depicted scene. The “distortion of meaning”, “fanciful interpretation” or the “scientifically not sound” labelling here is only mud-slinging which will fall on the one who throws the mud.

AVI 4547; BAD 213421

London, British Museum E 272 (E 272). RF neck amphora. Polygnotos. Third quarter fifth

Decoration: A: Amazonomachy: in the center, an Amazon attacked by a Greek on each side. B: a king before two women.

Inscriptions: A: above the Amazon, nonsense: χοσλοσυ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA, text.

Bibliography: C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 203f. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III I c, pl. 11,2a-c. — ARV[2] (1963), 1031/38. — Add.[2] (1989), 317. — Matheson (1995), 61-62, 239, 355/P43, pl. 49A-B (A, detail of A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4719

χοσλοσυ > íGY Ö' eSZeLŐSÜ' > Így öl eszelősül. (She kills so foolishly.)

AVI 4567; BAD 205974

London, British Museum E 306 (E 306). RF Nolan amphora From Nola. Alkimachos Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: a nude warrior. B: a draped youth to right, looking back.

Inscriptions: A: to right of his head, a nonsense two-liner, in approximate oblique stoich.: λσ(ε)οσν | νσγοσα{1}. [[Thus:]] |. . . . . . | . . . .. .

Footnotes: {1} the epsilon reversed and tilted, with very short hastae.

Bibliography: *dr. — C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 220. — *H.B. Walters and E.J. Forsdyke, CVA London 5, Great Britain 7 (1930), III I c, pl. 54,3a-b. — ARV[2] (1963), 529/3. — Add.[2] (1989), 254.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4739

λσ(ε)οσν | νσγοσα > λσξοσν | νσγοσα* > LeS KöZÖSöN öNöSSéG OSSZA > Les közösön, önösség ossza! (Selfishness is sneaks over commonwealth dividing it!)

* It is not a reversed epsilon but a xi with its vertical stroke a bit to the right of the centre.

AVI 4580; BAD 209104

London, British Museum E 386 (E 386). RF pelike. Carlsruhe Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: woman seated and woman (mistress and maid). B: youth.

Inscriptions: A: Nonsense: imitation inscriptions: one is to right of the servant's head: σοσκοσ.

Bibliography: *c.h. smith in bm cat. e (1896), 248-49. — arv[2] (1963), 735/112.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4752

σοσκοσ > SZÓ SZűKÖS / SZÓ' iSZáKOS > Szó szűkös / szól iszákos (The word is laconic / the drunkard speaks)

AVI 4584; BAD 209102

London, British Museum E 403 (E 403). RF pelike. Carlsruhe Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: two women. B: woman.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: imitation letters: between the womens' middles, non-stoich. two-liner: γρ(λ)σ(σ) | (α)σ(λ)ρ(.).

Commentary: C. Smith wrongly suggests that this inscription may be an imitation of Λαχης καλος; but the chronolgy does not fit. Alpha nearly triangular; the `lambdas' resemble `Argive' lambda.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 254 (not ill.). — ARV[2] (1963), 735/110. — AttScr (1990), no. 661.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4756

γρ(λ)σ(σ) | (α)σ(λ)ρ(.) > γρ(λ)σ(σ) | δσ(λ)ρ(.){Commentary} > éGRőL SZó'SZ De SZó eLáRuL > Égről szólsz, de szó elárul! (You speak about heavens, but the word betrays you!)

AVI 4613; BAD 215759

London, British Museum E 504 (E 504). RF bell krater. Pothos Painter. 430-420

Decoration: A: sacrifice: two youths at an altar; at right, a bearded man. B: three draped youths.


Inscriptions: A: nonsense: imitation inscriptions. Under the foot, Gr.: two lines(?) crossing the foot and: κρατερ (Ε)ΠΙ:Ι- Ι- Ι- Ι- (4 drachme signs). πελλινια (ΔΙΙ:ΙΙΙ οξιδες (:)ΔΔ(:)ΙΙΙ οξυβαφα (:)ΔΔCΙ{1}.

Commentary: A price graffito.

Footnotes: {1} so Hesp. 27. Johnston (1979), does not give a text. Hackl has only: οξυβαφαΞΔΔ. C. Smith refers to the old cat., pl. C, 1282.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 305-306. — Hackl (1909), 54/599. — *Amyx (1958), 289-92, pl. 52,d. — ARV[2] (1963), 1190/25, 1686. — Johnston (1979), 112/18C 45, 161/14F 4. — Add.[2] (1989), 342.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4785

κρατερ > KöR-A'TÉR > kör-altér (krater)

(Ε)ΠΙ:Ι- Ι- Ι- Ι- > (Ε)ΠΙ {N+GY}* > EBBŰ' NaGY > ebbűl nagy (is great because)

πελλινια Δ > BELüL INNI aDó > belül inni adó (it is drink-giving inside)

ΙΙ:ΙΙΙ οξιδες (:)Δ > {K+T} {H+R+M} οξιδες Δ* > KúT Ha iRaMO' KöZé ÜDE SéD > kút ha iramol közé üde séd (well if a fresh stream runs into it)

Δ(:)ΙΙΙ οξυβαφα (:) > Δ {H+R+M} οξυβαφα* > De Ha Rá oMO' KáSZÚBA' FA > de ha rá omol kászúban fa (but if a tree in a basket leans on it)

ΔΔCΙ/ΔΔΣΙ > aD DiCSÜ'/DíSZÜ' > ad dicsül/díszül (gives as praise/decoration)

Kör-altér (krátér) ebbűl nagy: belül inni adó kút, ha iramol közé üde séd; de ha rá omol kászúban fa, ad dicsül/díszül. (Krater (space under circle)** is great, because it is a drink-giving well inside, if a fresh stream runs into it; but if a tree in a basket leans on it, gives as praise/decoration.)

* II = 2 = KéT/KeTTő = {K+T}; III = 3 = HáRoM = {H+R+M}; IIII = 4 = NéGY = {N+GY}.

** This is the inner meaning of the descriptive, three-part compound word: the circle is the circular rim which borders the deep dent, the cauldron-shape space under that rim, that is the crater. The 'l' joined with the vowel preceding it before a consonant as it usual in Hungarian and the first vowel dropped out when after adoption in Greek the accent moved to the second syllable. The process has been helped with the writing method, the so called defective notation of vowels by which the word köraltér is written as κρατερ.

The first word of the inscription, the κρατερ should indicate for the scientists that the whole inscription is about the vessel itself, but the most they did come up with was that the text is a price graffito and a nonsense imitation inscription. Not very original thought, but very much suited to the conceited world of science. Although my reading of the inscription gives a perfect and wonderful description of the krater's possible uses, the scientists will chant further on their nonsensical mantra for a while yet.

AVI 4621; BAD 215997

London, British Museum E 525 (E 525). RF oinochoe (chous). From Viterbo. Shuvalov Painter; workshop (Lezzi-Hafter). Third quarter fifth

Decoration: `Zwei Knaben beim Unterricht': at left, a seated boy holding an open book roll and looking at his companion, who stands at right, holding a lyre; a bag hung up.

Inscriptions: On the book roll, nonsense, three horizontal lines stoich.: α(ο)δ̣ (λ)λο επ v{1}.

Footnotes: {1} my reading from the vase, which does not quite correspond to Immerwahr (1964) or Beazley in AJA, but the letters are not very clear. The first letter is an alpha with a horizontal cross bar; the second letter is probably an omicron with an extended loop rather than a rho as Beazley thought; the third letter is either an Attic lambda, in which case the next two lambdas would have to be read as Attic gammas (see also Beazley in AJA), or an incomplete delta, certainly not an iota; the fourth letter is disjointed and has a curving right hasta; the rest is clear.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 314. — *Beazley (1948), 340. — ARV[2] (1963), 1208/38. — *Immerwahr (1964), 23/10, fig. 3. — Para. (1971), 463. — *Lezzi-Hafter (1976), 84, 92, 111/S 95, pl. 137. — Add.[2] (1989), 346.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4793

α(ο)δ̣ > αρλ{1} > ÁRuLó > áruló (revealing)

(λ)λο > πγο{1} > aBa'GÓ > abajgó (chasing)

επ > EB > eb (dog)

Áruló abajgó eb. (The chasing dog is revealing.)

AVI 4626; BAD 212290

London, British Museum E 556 (E 556). RF oinochoe (olpe). From Camiros. Sabouroff Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Youth, frontal, but looking to left, holds out a lyre; at right, a base surmounted by a plinth; above, a bag.

Inscriptions: On the plinth, nonsense: λοσκ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so Smith's text; he suggests: κ(α)λος(?), which I do not understand.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 321. — ARV[2] (1963), 843/142.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4798

λοσκ > éLÖS Kő > Élös kő. (Sharp plint.)

AVI 4630; BAD 208313

London, British Museum E 573 (E 573). RF lekythos. Manner of Bowdoin Painter (Beazley){1}. First quarter fifth (?) Early (Beazley).

Decoration: Pyrrhichist(2); at right, a diphros with a cloak.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: σοτσο. τοσαεσ{3}.

Commentary: Clear writing.

Footnotes: {1} appended to manner of Bowdoin Painter: shape is Bowdoin Painter's, but shoulder palmettes are RF. Haspels lists with three other lekythos as having been made in the workshop of the Athena Painter. {2} so ARV[2]; Smith calls her an Amazon. {3} Haspels, p. 74 gives: (σ)οτ(σ)ο (the first letter, four-stroke sigma reversed; the fourth a `Z' reversed) and (.)οσδεσ (the first letter = lambda 6; both sigmas, sigma 1).

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 325. — *Haspels (1936), *74-75, 162, 262/1, pl. 22,2 (does not show inscription). — Cf. ARV[1] (1942), 480/α. — ARV[2] (1963), 694/bottom, 1666. — Add.[2] (1989), 280.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4802

σοτσο > SZÓT SZÓ' > szót szól (speaks the words)

τοσαεσ > TOSZA ÉSZ > tosza ész (lame brain)

Szót szól tosza ész. (The lame brain speaks the words.)

AVI 4636; BAD 208196

London, British Museum E 653 (E 653). RF squat lekythos. From Nola. Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A naked youth at a laver; above the laver, sponge, aryballos, strigil hung up.

Inscriptions: On the laver, widely spaced, horizontal and planned: nonsense: (.)(.)σαι{1}.

Footnotes: {1} the first letter a blob, the second quite unclear. Wrongly interpreted in CIG (Beazley).

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 7979. — *ARV[2] (1963), 688/238 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4808

(.)(.)σαι > {ToSZ}(.)σαγ{1} > TiSZTaSÁG > Tisztaság (Cleanliness)



AVI 4664; BAD 201043

London, British Museum E 815 (E 815). RF cup. From Vulci. Nikosthenes Painter. Pamphaios, potter. Early fifth

Decoration: Int.: a naked woman using olisboi. A: Hermes playing the lyre, with the cattle (four heads). B: three maenads and three satyrs.

Inscriptions: Int.: at right: Παν(φ)αιος; at left: εποιεσεν. A: nonsense: above the left cow: νοσ[.]h. Above the center: ν(θ)ιοσ. Above the third cow from the left: επο[.]σε. Above the fourth cow: ν[3-4]πον. B: not inscribed.

Commentary: A: four heads of cattle, four nonsense inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} According to Blösch, deep in the fifth century, cf. early Brygos. {2} cf. London E 11 and E 14. Smith thinks the inscriptions on A play with the letters of the signature [note επο[.]σε, above]. ARV[2] 130: litter of letters.

Bibliography: *C.H. Smith in BM Cat. E (1896), 386. — Bloesch (1940), 68/38, pl. 19,2. — Yalouris (1953–4), ii, 175-76. — ARV[2] (1963), 125/15, 130. — Immerwahr (1984), 350/29. — Add.[2] (1989), 176 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4836

Int.:     Παν(φ)αιος > BÁNi FÁJÓS > báni fájós (She regrets it painfully.)

εποιεσεν > ÉPP Ő iJESSZEN > épp ő ijesszen (Let exactly that terrify you!)


Báni fájós. Epp ő ijesszen! (She regrets it painfully. Let exactly that terrify you!) 


A:       νοσ[.]h > NŐ SZaJHa > nő szajha (the woman is lewd)

ν(θ)ιοσ > iNTSe JÓ SZó > intse jó szó (let good word warn her)

επο[.]σε > E BO[T] üSSE > e bot üsse (let this stick beat her)

ν[3-4]πον > N[ŐT ÜLe]PÖN > n[őt üle]pön (the woman on the bottom)

Nő szajha. Intse jó szó, e bot üsse n[őt üle]pön. (The woman is lewd. Let good word warn her, let this stick beat the woman on the bottom.)

AVI 4670; BAD 301614

London, British Museum 1865,1118.38. BF amphora. Witt Painter. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex Witt collection.

Decoration: A: Heracles entering Olympus, between Hermes and and Athena. B: Dionysus seated between two satyrs.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to Heracles' right: κοκι̣. Below: χοινοκ(σ)(.){1}. To lower right of Athena: χ[.]οκον{2}.

Commentary: Walters’ readings are inaccurate.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter a blob. {2} unclear if there is a one-letter gap or a letter I could not make out.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III H e, pl. 35,4a-b. — ABV (1956), 313/2. — Bothmer (1985), 50 and 52, fig. 53. — Add.[2] (1989), 84.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4842

κοκι̣ > KÖ'Ke Ű > kölke ű ((he is his (Zeus's) son)

χοινοκ(σ)(.) > χοινοκ(σ)θ{1} > íGY OLYaN OKoSíTSa > így olyan okosítsa (let him enlighten one such)

χ[.]οκον > χ [ρ]οκον{2} > eGY ROKON > egy rokon (a relative)

Kölke ű, így olyan okosítsa: egy rokon. (He is his (Zeus's) son, let him enlighten one such: a relative!)

h. The thunderbolts had consumed Heracles’s mortal part. He no longer bore any resemblance to Alcmene but, like a snake that has cast its skin, appeared in all the majesty of his divine father. A cloud received him from his companions sight as, amid peals of thunder, Zeus bore him up to heaven in his four-horse chariot; where Athene took him by the hand and solemnly introduced him to her fellow deities.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 145.h.)

AVI 4672; BAD 11804

London, British Museum 1851,0507.3. BF Siana cup. From Corinth. Unattributed. Second quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: medaillon of lotus and palmettes. A-B: plain except for handle palmettes.


Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: κελσχεελελτελχελος. B: κ(ε)λοσχλεεχελελχελ.

Commentary: Lambdas, not upsilons. Note the `ending' on A.

Bibliography: *A.H. Smith and F.N. Pryce, CVA London 2, Great Britain 2 (1926), pl. 14,3. — AttScr (1990), no. 1015.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4844

A:     κελσχεελελτελχελος > Ki ELSő üGYE' ÉLLE' LéTE éLő üGYELŐ SZó > Ki első, ügyel éllel, léte élő ügyelő szó. (Who is the leader, takes care with his/her leadership; his/her being is an alive caring word.)

B:     κ(ε)λοσχλεεχελελχελ > Ki ÉLő ŐS íGY éL-E EGYELő ELeGGYEL > Ki élő ős, így él-e egyelő (egyelítő) eleggyel? (Who is a living elder/ancestor, does he live with equalising medley?)

These “nonsense” words were never more actual than these days!

AVI 4692; BAD 204440

London, British Museum 1896,0621.1. RF cup. From Vulci. Briseis Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: a naked woman at a laver. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: on the laver, in dilute BG: γιοσι. To left of the laver: γγοπ{1}.

Commentary: γιοσι is typical of the Briseis Painter.

Footnotes: {1} taken from Walters; Williams gives γγογ.

Bibliography: VA (1918), 110/12. — *Walters (1921), 124/3, fig. 5. — Ginouvès (1962), 81 and 83. — ARV[2] (1963), 409/42. — *D. Williams, CVA London 9, Great Britain 17 (1993), 68/52, pl. 76, fig. 13,a (profile).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4866


γιοσι > éGi JÓ SZŰ > Égi jó szű. (Heavenly good heart.)

γγοπ > éGi GÖB/GÓBé > Égi göb/góbé. (Heavenly bump/rascal.)



AVI 4718

London, British Museum 1906,1215.5. RF lekythos. From Rhodes. Bowdoin Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: A young athlete at a laver.

Inscriptions: κα[λο]ς. On the laver, below the rim, nonsense in BG: σ^τ-κ·^ο{1}.

Commentary: Walters says: Gift, 1916, which must be a misprint.

Footnotes: {1} note the uneven spacing. The dot is probably accidental.

Bibliography: *Walters (1921), 127/6, fig. 7. — ARV[2] (1963), 684/154.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4893

κα[λο]ς > κα[ρο]ς > KÁ[RO]S > káros ()

σ^τ-κ·^ο > σ^τ-κ{ToSZ}^ο > SZó iTT KéTeS Ó > szó itt kétes ó ()

Káros szó, itt kétes ó. (The word is harmful, here it doubtfully saves you.)

AVI 4720; BAD 305503

London, British Museum 1910,0212.1. BF lekythos. Sappho Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Capture of Silenus: in the center, Silenus in an enclosure lying down, to drink from a spring; above him, a clothed figure is crawling on top of the enclosure, noose in hand; on either side, a seated man holding a spear and facing the center (that at left is Midas), and a palm tree.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: under the outstretched arm of the seated man at right: (.)(.)^(ο)εσ{1}. Under the right-hand palm tree: λτ(ι)τ^(ι)(ι)^{2}.

Commentary: Lissarrague has slightly different readings.

Footnotes: {1} the readings are from Brommer: the first two letters may be imperfections in the glaze; the spear intervenes; the omicron is smeared. According to Miller, Midas is inscribed. The ph. perhaps shows, at top right of his middle: Μ̣(.)^δες (so in Walters', but not in Brommer's reading: (Μ)[ι]δες). The mu perhaps partially preserved. (.) looks like a dot at the bottom of the line. [I wonder if the reading is right: nonsense? But bad misspellings are found in the Sappho Painter.] Walters has other readings that differ. {2} the tree and the spear intervene; the `iotas' are vertical strokes with small hooks at the bottom.

Bibliography: *Walters (1911), 10, fig. 9 (poor dr.). — Haspels (1936), 227/32. — *Brommer (1941), 39, 42, and 43/I 5, figs. 3-5. — ABV (1956), 507/32. — M. Miller (1988), 80 and n. 9, pl. 18,4 (part of A). — Add.[2] (1989), 126. — Lissarrague (1990a), fig. 4 (sketch with inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4895

(.)(.)^(ο)εσ > (Μ)[ι]δες{1} > MI' éDES > Mily édes! (How sweet it is!)

λτ(ι)τ^(ι)(ι)^ > iLLeTi ITT ILY > Illeti itt ily. (Suits him such.)

AVI 4722; BAD 30704

London, British Museum 1910,0615.2. RF oinochoe (chous). Unattributed. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Two Nikai holding fillets fly toward a tripod on a two-stepped base.

Inscriptions: Three lines in BG: on the top step: δγhεμελος | αριριλος. Continuation on the bottom step: τος φιλος.

Commentary: Compare Acr. 504 and London E 298, which have tripods for a victory of Akamantis. But here the inscription is a miswritten amatory inscription (not nonsense). Possibly ὁ δεῖνα (i.e., ΑΓΗΕΜΕΛΟΣ) | ἅρι{ριλο}σ | τος φίλος. Mixed alphabet.

Bibliography: *Walters (1921), 147/18, pl. 5, v 18. — *AttScr (1990), no. 681, fig. 129.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4897

δγhεμελος > eDDiG Ha EMEL ŐS > eddig ha emel ős (when elder/ancestor lifts you up to this height)

αριριλος > ÁRJa éR ILLŐS / ARRa ÍRi ILLŐS > árja ér illős / arra íri illős (his current/influence reaches you properly / he will write on it properly)

τος φιλος > TŐS FŰ áLLÓS / uTÓSó FI áLLÓS > tős fű állós / utósó fi állós (grass with roots is persistent / the last/youngest son is persistent)

Eddig ha emel ős, árja ér illős / arra íri illős, tős fű állós / utósó fi állós. (When elder/ancestor lifts you up to this height, his current/influence reaches you properly / he will write on it properly, grass with roots is persistent / the last/youngest son is persistent.)

Whatever the scientists try to read into this inscription in Greek, it will never reach the deep-rooted thoughts expressed both explicitly and implicitly in the Scythic readings above.

AVI 4729; BAD 4804

London, British Museum 1920,0315.2. BF amphora. Unattributed. 550-500 (Bea. Arch.).

Decoration: A: Theseus and the Minotaur, between two women with spears. B: similar, but with draped men with spears.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to left of Theseus' head: ολουυ(ν). To right of the left woman's legs: κοκοκοκο. B: two nonsense inscriptions.

Commentary: A and B are reversed in Bea. Arch.

Bibliography: BADB: 4804. — *H.B. Walters, CVA London 3, Great Britain 4 (1927), III H e, pl. 35,3a-b. — Korti-Kondi (1979), fig. 7 (B).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4904

ολουυ(ν) > ÖLŐVe' VaN > ölővel van (with your killer is)

κοκοκοκο > Ki OKO' KŐ aKO' > ki okol kő akol (who/what accuses you: the stone pen)

Ölővel van ki okol: kő akol! (With your killer is who/what accuses you: the stone pen (that is the labyrinth).)

AVI 4740

London, British Museum 1928,0117.56. RF amphora. From Nola. Briseis Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: The Sons of Boreas(?): A: Zetes and an umpire: a bearded man seated in a chair, holding a forked stick; a nude bearded figure running; pick axe and poles. B: Kalais to right.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: [...](.)λιοσκ(γ)[...]{1}.

Commentary: The subject of the scenes is copied from Beazley who follows Hutton, BCH 1899, 158 and 160. CVA suggests that the winged figure on A is probably Agon and does not identify the other figures. For parallels to the Briseis Painter's nonsense inscriptions see CB and Boston 01.8028.

Footnotes: {1} Serbeti reads: γλιοσκι.

Bibliography: *H.B. Walters and E.J. Forsdyke, CVA London 5, Great Britain 7 (1930), III I c, pl. 59,2a-b. — CB (1931–63), ii, 40 (mention). — ARV[2] (1963), 409/48, 1651. — LIMC i (1981), pl. 223, Agon 4 (A). — Add.[2] (1989), 233. — Serbeti (1989), 40.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4915

[...](.)λιοσκ(γ)[...] > γλιοσκι{1} > áGGaL JŐ iSZKI > Ággal jő iszki! (With the stick comes run!)

AVI 4782a; BAD 9017985

Unlocated. Handleless stamnos in Six' technique. Unattributed. Late sixth (Ede).

History: Ex London Market: Ede.

Decoration: Continuous: two pairs of satyr and billy goat to right of a tree: billy goat to right and satyr to left approaching each other; satyr buggering a billy goat to right.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the goat and satyr who approach each other, at mid-height, starting from the satyr: κλ(.)ε, retr.{1}. Between the backs of the two satyrs are two inscriptions: along the right arm of the satyr at left, diagonally downward: οχι. Between the two at head hight, horizontal: α̣εγ{2}.

Commentary: There could be a fourth inscription to the right of the second goat (of whch area I have no picture), in which case there would be one for each figure.

Footnotes: {1} I cannot make out the third letter which is miswritten. Johnston says someone might suggest κλυε, `listen', although the upsilon "is not quite written as it should"; he thinks it is nonsense. {2} I am quite uncertain of the alpha; Johnston reads καλ (but the last letter should be an Attic gamma, since the lambda in the the first inscription is Attic). The second inscription is imagined by Johnston as ο<υ>χι, `not', but he obviously considers all inscriptions nonsense.

Bibliography: Xerox of part of a *letter from A. Johnston containing his readings. — *Letter from Charles Ede of 25 January 2000 with *photos.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4962

κλ(.)ε > Ki LeGE' > ki legel ()

οχι > Ő GYŰ' > ő gyűl ()

α̣εγ > λεγ > eLÉGGé > eléggé ()

Ki legel, ő gyűl eléggé. (Who grazes grows fairly.)

AVI 4783; BAD 207773

Unlocated. RF pelike. Ethiop Painter. Second quarter fifth

History: Ex London Market: Ede. Ex Deepdene, Hope 101.

Decoration: Heracles, with Athena pouring a libation over a flaming altar. B: youth.

Inscriptions: A: between the heads, nonsense: σκκκι.

Commentary: Similar inscriptions by the Ethiop Painter: Oxford 11927.3; London E 411; London E 413.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Tillyard (1923), 58/101, pl. 12. — ARV[2] (1963), 665/2. — Add.[2] (1989), 278.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4963


σκκκι > eSKü oKa KÜ' > Eskü oka kül. (The reason for oath is external.)

AVI 4786; BAD 41360

Unlocated. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 550-530

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby.

Decoration: A: duel between 2 pairs of a woman and a rider. B: horsemen.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: between the warriors' legs: [...](.)(.)οδο. To left of the right horse: (θ)ονοσνι.

Commentary: Bought by Stanley (ABV). Much worn. There may be more inscriptions. The theta with a diagonal cross-stroke may be a phi.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Sotheby (1928a), pl. 6. — ABV (1956), 101/85.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4966

[...](.)(.)οδο > [MáR] öReGÖDŐ > [már] öregödő ([already] aging)

(θ)ονοσνι > φονοσνι{Commentary} > FŐ NŐSü'NI > fő nősülni (head to marry)

[Már] öregödő fő nősülni. (He is [already] aging head to marry.)

AVI 4790; BAD 7147

Unlocated. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby.

Decoration: Lip: A: two boxers.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: κν(ρ)ο(τ)νσο/. B: similar: κν ... {1}.

Footnotes: {1} blurred and dirty.

Bibliography: BADB: 7147. — *Photos in Beazley Archive. — Sotheby neg. F 18556. — Sotheby (1982), lot 307.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4970

κν(ρ)ο(τ)νσο > KíNJáRÓ' uTáNa SZÓ' > Kínjáról utána szól. (He will talk afterwards about his torment.)



AVI 4794; BAD 7046

Unlocated. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby.

Decoration: Lip: A, B, each: outline head of Dionysus, ivy-wreathed.


Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: τεοτο(.)ικοσ. B: τσοτσεο(.) vac. 2 εοσ.

Commentary: Note the endings of both inscriptions which may imitate names.

Bibliography: BADB: 7046. — *Photos in Beazley Archive. — Sotheby neg. F 19232 (A). — Sotheby (1982a), lot 249. — Sotheby (1985), no. 260 (A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4974

A:     τεοτο(.)ικοσ > iTT É' Ő TÖ'TI aKÓS > Itt él ő, tölti akós. (He lives here, it is filled by cask.)

B:     τσοτσεο(.) εοσ > iTaSSa ÖTeSSE Ö(NT) E ŐS > Itassa, ötesse önt e ős! (Let this ancestor give you to drink and to eat!)

AVI 4796; BAD 6330

Unlocated. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby. Ex Hampshire, Richard Hattatt 685. Ex London Market (Ede). Exhibited in the Ashmolean with the Hattatt collection, November–December 1982.

Decoration: Int.: BG dot and circle in a small reserved tondo. Lip: A-B, each: cock.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: νhουι(α)σ{1}. B: κουισδου-α{2}.

Commentary: The inscriptions in large letters and with unusual lettering.

Footnotes: {1} alpha with horizontal cross stroke. {2} `-' stands for a horizontal line.

Bibliography: BADB: 6330. — *Photos in Beazley Archive. — Ede (1977), no. 17. — Sotheby (1984), lot 49.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4976

Handle zone:     νhουι(α)σ > NéHa ÓVI A SZó > Néha óvi a szó. (Sometimes the word saves one.)

B:                     κουισδου-α > Ki ÓVI SZiDi ÓVa A' > Ki óvi szidi óva a(z). (He who protects, he scolds protecting.)

AVI 4803

Unlocated. BF neck amphora. Acheloos Painter. Last quarter sixth 510-500

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby. Ex New York Market (Kevorkian). Ex Tynemouth, Dr. Wilfred Hall.

Decoration: A: komos of three men, that in the center lifting a woman. B: similar.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to right of the leftmost komast: διδγ. B: to left of the leftmost komast: (ν)δχου. To right of the rightmost komast, partly kionedon: σχχοδ(ι){1}.

Commentary: Typical Leagran nonsense inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} the delta written as if the inscription were retr. The last letter thickened.

Bibliography: *Photos (A, B). — Christie (1953), pl. 2 (A). — ABV (1956), 383/10. — Sotheby (1968), no. 88, pl. facing p. 51. — Para. (1971), 168. — Add.[2] (1989), 101 (still listed as London Market).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4983

A:       διδγ > DŰ' iDDoGa > Dűl iddoga. (The waterhole collapses.)

B:       (ν)δχου > iNNi iDe aDJ ÓVa > Inni ide adj óva! (Give some drink here with care!)

σχχοδ(ι) > ιδοχχσ{1} > IDD Ő/IDŐ GYóGYáSZ > Idd, ő/idő gyógyász! (Drink it, he/time is medicine!)

AVI 4803a; BAD 302403

Unlocated. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter. 480-470

History: Ex London Market: Sotheby.

Decoration: A naked young athlete to right with his hands in a standed laver; above, strigil, sponge, aryballos hung up.

Inscriptions: On the bowl of the laver, below the rim, probably in BG, horizontal, nonsense: στασ(κ), and probably another letter{1}.

Commentary: Nonsense on the laver: London E 653 (CAVI 4636); London 1906.12-15.5 (CAVI 4718) (very similar).

Footnotes: {1} the kappa is unclear in the ph.

Bibliography: Sotheby (1967), pl. at p. 60. — Para. (1971), 406/154 ter. — *Boardman (1989), fig. 57 (shows inscription).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 4984

στασ(κ) > aSZaTTA' SíKÁ' > Aszattal síkálj! (Scrub with dirt!)



AVI 4819; BAD 390307

Unlocated. BF lekythos. Sappho Painter; probably (Haspels). Ca. 500 480-470 (Andreae). Ca. 480 (Shapiro).

History: Ex Naples, Private: Hamilton.

Decoration: Heracles shooting Alkyoneus, with Athena and Hypnos.


Inscriptions: Nonsense: to left and right of Heracles' left leg: (γ)ι^ουιχ. To right of his forehead: στισ. To left and right of Athena's head: τισ^ι and further down: υ. Scattered near Hypnos: ι(ο)τ, τιυ and ισισ{1}. The readings are not certain.

Commentary: Andreae uses the inscriptions for the attribution, referring to Haspels (1936), 96.

Footnotes: {1} Danali-G. reads τισις and αλσει (I do not know to which of the nonsense inscriptions she is referring for the second) and compares αλσει on Athens, NM 460. She considers the latter a stage direction, which may be right, although her readings of the Sappho vase are not acceptable.

Bibliography: Tischbein (1791–5), ii, [[pl.]] 20. — Millin (1811), 120/449. — de Witte (1833), [[310,]] pl. D, 1. — Jahn (1833), pl. 7,2. — Haspels (1936), 227/40 bis. — *Andreae (1962), 195/19, fig. 47 (after Annali [[i.e. de Witte]]). — Para. (1971), 246. — [[R. Olmos and L. J. Balmaseda, LIMC i (1981), 561, Alkyoneus 23°]]. — Lissarrague–Thélamon (1983), 140, fig. 1 (dr. with 1 fr. [sic]). — *Danali-Gkiole (1987), 159-66, figs. 1-7. — Add.[2] (1989), 126. — *Shapiro (1993), 253/100, 154, fig. 118 (dr. after Andreae (1962), 195).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5000

(γ)ι^ουιχ > GIa/éGI ÓVi ÍGY > Gia/égi óvi így. (Gia/Heavenly protects him this way.)

στισ > SZíTi IS > Szíti (éleszti) is. (It also festers/revitalises him.)

τισ^ι υ ι(ο)τ > τισ^ι υ ιλτ > TŰSÜ' óV ÜLőT > Tűsül (tövesként) óv ülőt. (She protects the sitting one as if he is rooted (like a plant).)

τιυ ισισ > iTT Ü'Ve Ű SZISZZő > Itt ülve ű szissző. (Sitting here, he is breathing.)

ENRAGED because Zeus had confined their brothers, the Titans, in Tartarus, certain tall and terrible giants, with long locks and beards, and serpent-tails for feet, plotted an assault on Heaven. They had been born from Mother Earth at Thracian Phlegra, twenty-four in number.

c. The Olympians could now join battle with the giants. Heracles let loose his first arrow against Alcyoneus, the enemy’s leader. He fell to the ground, but sprang up again revived, because this was his native soil of Phlegra. ‘Quick, noble Heracles!’ cried Athene. ‘Drag him away to another country!’ Heracles caught Alcyoneus up on his shoulders, and dragged him over the Thracian border, where he despatched him with a club.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 33.a, c.)

The children of Mather Earth (Gia/Gea) are rooted in soil, like plants: the home soil revives them!

AVI 4862; BAD 9017690

Lucerne Market (A.A.). A] BF cup. Unattributed. Ca. 500 (A.A.). *Ars Antiqua AG, Kunstwerke der Antike (June 1966) 13/75, pl. 13.

Decoration: Int.: a woman running. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: partly imitation letters: to her left, along the margin: (γ)γικλ. To her right: (.)(.)^o(γ)υ(γ)o.{1}

Footnotes: {1}her outstretched left arm intervenes. The gammas are not real letters.

Bibliography: Ars Antiqua A.G., Lucerne, sale catalogue: (1966) PL.13.75

Author: H.R.I.

(γ)γικλ > δγικλ{1} > DuGó LYuKaL > dugó lyukal (the stopper opens the hole)

(.)(.)^o(γ)υ(γ)o > μν^oδυδo{1} > MiN Ő DuVaDÓ > min ő duvadó ()

Dugó lyukal min ő duvadó (kitüremlő) (The stopper opens the hole on which it is protruding.)

AVI 4868

Lugano, Private. BF/WG lekythos. Sappho Painter. Early fifth

History: Ex Basel Market (M.M.).

Decoration: Man and woman; a bearded man and a boy; a dog howling.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: behind the man: χειπλε. Behind the boy: υσυχι

Commentary: Attic alphabet.

Footnotes: {1} so Beazley in the ms. of Para.; not given in the printed version. So also in `Auktion'. Done from Auktion's text, but the first inscription shows fairly well in the photo.

Bibliography: *M&M-Auction (1963), 61/117, pl. 40. — *Para. (1971), (ms.) 507-508. — Para. (1971), 247.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5050

χειπλε > uGYE JoBBuL E > Ugye jobbul e? (Will this (boy) improve, won't he?)

υσυχι > ViSSZaVáGY Ű > Visszavágy ű. (He wishes to go back.)

AVI 4876; BAD 5153

Madison, University of Wisconsin Elvehjem Museum 1979.122. BF/WG mastoid skyphos. Related to Sappho Painter and Diosphos Painter; Pistias Class M (Kurtz). Last quarter sixth Ca. 515 (Moon).

Decoration: A: an old man, in himation and with a sakkos in his hair, seated and playing the lyre (kithara) while singing. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: imitation letters: A: from the mouth, in a large downward curve: (h)(σ)ο(θ)(ι)π(.)ποχσι. B: a similar inscription{1}.

Commentary: The letters are exceedingly sloppy and often only approximate. Moon rightly thinks the inscription imitates a song, whence he calls the figure a poet. Moon's picture of A is better than his picture of B.

Footnotes: {1} Lissarrague gives a longer inscription than the above, hence it may be of B: hh(δ)(h)ιπισοχσ(.)χσι.

Bibliography: *Moon (1979), 123/70. — Lissarrague (1990a), 128, fig. 98 (sketch of A or B, after Moon, with inscription).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5058

A:     (h)(σ)ο(θ)(ι)π(.)ποχσι > Ha SZÓ CSIPoG aPÓ GYeSZÜ' > Ha szó csipog apó gyeszül (csiszolódik). (When the word chirrups the old man gets refined.)

B:     hh(δ)(h)ιπισοχσ(.)χσι > hhρ(h)ιπισοχσ(.)χσι{1} > Ha HíR HIBa IS Ő GYúSZőRRé GYeSZÜ' > Ha hír hiba is ő gyúszőrré gyeszül. (Even when the information is a mistake it gets refined into firing/stirring material.)

AVI 4877; BAD 5173

Madison, Private. BF amphora. Painter of Berlin 1686 (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth Ca. 550 (Moon).

Decoration: A: Departure of a Warrior: in the center, a hoplite, with two children; at left, a man, a youth and a woman; at right, an old man and two other men. B: unexplained subject: in the center, a bearded man with a spear; at left, a group of three: an elderly Hermes and a man talking to a warrior; at right, another group of three: a young Hermes talking to a warrior and a bearded man.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: some imitation letters: A: to right of the woman's face, facing her(?): λεσχ(.). To right of the warrior's face: εοσκ^οσ(α){1}. B: to right of the leftmost warrior's leg: εοσ(χ)οσ(.)(.). To lower right of the man talking to the warrior: ιοσ(τ)οι. Behind the back and legs of the older Hermes: εο(ι)^εογϝοσ{1}. Between his and the central figure's heads: εοσ(.)(.). To right of the young Hermes' face: εοσγο(.). Between his and the right warrior's legs: σεσ^γοσεο{1}. (The seventh figure on the right has no inscription.) Under the foot, Dip. and Gr. (not in Johnston (1979)); the shapes are unclear to me.

Commentary: Perhaps on loan to the Elvehjem Museum of the University of Wisconsin: see Moon-Berge. Moon thinks the painter is illiterate (I think all his inscriptions are nonsense of a cetain type). The same Dip. and Gr. under the foot occur on a BF amphora by the same painter, Chicago, Art Institute 1978.114, published by Bothmer in Moon and Berge 52/31, see the fig. on p. 53. Moon discusses the appearance of two figures of Hermes (if both are Hermes) as well as the inscriptions. For other vases by this painter with similar inscriptions see Beazley (1929a), 361-62.

Footnotes: {1} a spear intervenes.

Bibliography: *Moon (1979), 54/32.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5059

A:       λεσχ(.) > LESZ GYőZő > Lesz győző! (There is going to be a winner!)

εοσκ^οσ(α) > ερσκ^οσ(α) > ERőS Ki OSSZA > Erős ki ossza! (The strong is the dealer!)


B:       εοσ(χ)οσ(.)(.) > ερσ(χ)οσ(.)(.) > ERőS íGY OSZTJA > Erős így osztja. (The strong deals it this way.)

ιοσ(τ)οι > JÓ SZó TOLJa > Jó szó tolja. (Good word pushes it.)

εο(ι)^εογϝοσ > ερςργϝοσ > ERőS E öReG iVóS > Erős e öreg ivós. (Strong is this old drinker.)

εοσ(.)(.) > ερσ(.)(.) > ERőS … > Erős … (Strong ...)

εοσγο(.) > ερσγρ(.) > ERőS íGéRéS > Erős ígérés! (Strong promise!)

σεσ^γοσεο > σεσ^γρσεο > eSZES íGéRéSSE' Ő > Eszes ígéréssel ő. (S/he is clever with promise.)

AVI 4884; BAD 305509

Madrid, Museo Arqueológico 10916. BF amphora. From Vulci. Sappho Painter or closely related{1}. Late sixth

Decoration: A: Heracles at banquet, with Dionysus. B: Heracles and the sons of Eurytus.


Inscriptions: Mainly after Leroux: A: above D.'s head: Διο(ν)υσος <ΙΝ. The last three letters vertical. {2}. To right of lyre: χιοιο{3}. To right of the reclining Heracles, and above the head of the standing woman: κι – – ο{4}. B: above the collapsing archer: τι^ονο, retr.{5}. Starting above Eurytus' head and ending above Heracles': Ευρυτος, retr.{6}. Below the fallen archer's head and between Eurytus' legs, which puts it to left of the second fallen warrior's body: Ιφι^τος{7}. To left of the running warrior's face, in a curve around it and facing it: Αντ<ι>φολο<ς>, retr.{8}. In front of the woman, starting at the shoulder, slanting downward and continuing vertically between her arms: Ιολ^εα^(ς), retr.{9}. The readings of Alvarez-Ossorio differ from CVA's: A: Διονυσος. B: Ευρυτος. τιονο. Ιφιτος. [Ιο][λ]ε[ι]ος.

Commentary: Is there confusion of Iole and Iolaus? There seems to be no trace of the latter, although there is a curious object by Iole's neck into hich several arrows have fixed themselves. Attic alphabet. The inscriptions mix sense and nonsense.

Footnotes: {1} emulates Leagros Group (ABV). {2} nu reversed; first three-stroke, second sigma reversed. CVA: Διο(ν)υσο(ς) v. <ΙN. The last three letters vertical. {3} interpreted by Leroux as χιοιο, sc. οινου. CVA: χιοιο. {4} Leroux: κιτο (pour κιττου?). CVA shows: κι(.) and ο. {5} Eurytos' hand intervenes. {6} so the text; the ph. seems to show: Ευ^[ρ]υτος, with the tip of Heracles' bow intervening. {7} Leroux refers this to the fallen warrior at the right, no doubt because he thinks of tiono as a garbled name of the fallen archer. But tiono could be a nonsense word and Ifitos the archer's name leaving the other nameless. {8} Leroux: `Αντφολο (pour Αντιφονος?)'. The letters run into the warrior's arm, hence there was no room for the final sigma. Αντιφονος(?), CVA. Αντιφονος or Αντιλοφος, Richter. {9} the two arms intervene. Leroux prints the final sigma as a nu; I think from the ph. that it is sigma S 11 (<).

Bibliography: Bienkowski (1899), 604. — Bienkowski (1900), 64ff., figs. 6-7. — Alvarez-Ossorio (1910), 17 and 39, pls. 5 (A) and 19 (B) (The readings of Alvarez-Ossorio differ from CVA's). — *Leroux (1912), 39/65 (facss.), pls. 9-10 (B, A; pl. 9 shows inscriptions, pl. 10 shows location of some) (bibl.). — *J.R. Mélida, CVA Madrid 1, Spain 1 (1930), III H e, pl. 21,3a-c. — Haspels (1936), 116. — Richter–Hall (1936), i, 60, n. 6. — Boardman (1955), 62/under 28 (mention). — ABV (1956), 508. — Fehr (1971), 152 and 175. — Romero Olmos (1977), pls. 32-34,b (A,B, parts). — Schefold (1978), 148 , fig. 199 (B). — LIMC i (1981), 861, Antiphonos, pl. 687 (B). — Add.[2] (1989), 126 (bibl.). — AttScr (1990), no. 1051. — Pochmarski (1990), 269/V 1, pl. 1,1 (A).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5067

A:       Διο(ν)υσος <ΙΝ > DIONYSOS/De JÓ NeVeS ŐS > Dionysos/de jó neves ős (Dionysos/the renowned ancestor)

χιοιο > íGY JŐ JÓ > így jő jó (good comes this way)

κι – – ο > Ki iTaTÓ > ki itató (he who gives to drink)


Dionysos/de jó neves ős. Így jő jó, ki itató. (Dionysos/the renowned ancestor. Good comes this way, he who gives to drink.) 


B:       τι^ονο > iTT JÖN Ő > itt jön ő (here comes he)

Ευρυτος > EURYTOS/E VéR-VeTŐS > Eurytos/e vér-vetős (Eurytos/the blood-seeding)

Ιφι^τος > IFI uTÓSó > ifi utósó (the young man is ultimate)

Αντ<ι>φολο<ς> > Á' iNTő FŐ eLŐ' > áll intő fő elől (stands a warning head in front)

Ιολ^εα^(ς) > Ű ÖL É' A SZó > ű öl él a szó (he kills, the word lives)


Itt jön ő, Eurytos/e vér-vetős. Ifi utósó áll, intő fő elől. Ű öl, él a szó. (Here comes he, Eurytos/the blood-seeding. The young man stands ultimate, a warning head in front. He kills, the word lives.)

AVI 4885; BAD 301795

Madrid, Museo Arqueológico 10920. BF hydria. From Etruria. Priam Painter. Nikias (bf.), Teles (bf.), kalos. Last quarter sixth Early (Beazley).

Decoration: Shoulder: two chariots racing. Body: Priam's chariot harnessed.


Inscriptions: Shoulder: to right of the left charioteer's head: ελα τοδε. Below his horses: νιπιον{1}. To right of the right charioteer's head: κινι(α){2}. Below his horses: Νικιας κ<α>λος. Body: to right of the Oriental's (Paris') face: Παρι<ς> καλος. Above the bearded man leading a horse: Τελες (retr.) v. καλος{3}. To right of the horses' bodies: κιονις{4}.

Commentary: Small letters. The readings are from CVA. The three `meaningless' inscriptions are probably miswritten names, not nonsense. Alvarez-Ossorio has some very peculiar readings: First chariot: πλατοοκ-νιγιον. (Ionic gamma.) κινια-νικιοσκιος. Παρι - καλος - Τελες - καλος - Χιονις{5}.

Footnotes: {1} is a name hidden here? {2} CVA reads Κινια[ς]; or a mock inscription related to κινειν? {3} Beazley in ABV says rightly that this does not refer to the man, but is a regular kalos-inscription. {4} is this nonsense or the name of a horse? {5} only the last 5 words show in O.'s photo, and those not at all well.

Bibliography: *Photo. — Klein (1898), 42-43. — Alvarez-Ossorio (1910), 77-78, pl. 28. — Leroux (1912), 43/68, pl. 11, right (shows location of some inscriptions in body picture). — *J.R. Mélida, CVA Madrid 1, Spain 1 (1930), III H e, pls. 8,2 and 10 (also facs.). — *ABV (1956), 332/17. — Para. (1971), 146. — Add.[2] (1989), 90.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5068

Shldr: ελα τοδε > ELÁ' úTTÓ' iDE > elláll úttól ide (he gives up the road/trail here)

νιπιον > iNNI BeJÖN > inni bejön (comes in to drink)

κινι(α) > Ki INNI Á' > ki inni áll (who stops to drink)

Νικιας κ<α>λος > NÍKi JÁSZ-Kő iLLŐS > níki jász-kő illős (to him tomb-stone is suited)


Elláll úttól, ide inni bejön. Ki inni áll, níki jász-kő illős. (He gives up the road/trail, comes in here to drink. Who stops to drink, to him tomb-stone is suited.


Body: Παρι<ς> καλος > BÁR Ű KiÁLLÓS > bár ű kiállós (although he is exceptional)

Τελες καλος > íTÉLő ÉSZ oKKAL ŐS > ítélő ész okkal ős (the judging brain with reason old)

κιονις > KuJON IS > kujon is (also is a rascal)

Bár ű kiállós, ítélő ész okkal ős kujon is. (Although he is exceptional, the judging brain with reason also is an old rascal.)

AVI 4895; BAD 205980

Madrid, Museo Arqueológico 11102. RF Nolan amphora From Nola. Alkimachos Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: a woman with a scepter: the woman is frontal, head to left; behind her, a stool with a cushion. B: a woman to right, bringing her a phiale, from which wine is spilling{1}.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: before the woman, shown by Leroux as oblique stoich. two-liner: δοσασε | δε<οτ. . . . . . . . . . . .. I do not know if this is accurate. B: before the woman, horizontal:δοσε.

Commentary: It is not clear what Beazley's dr. indicates; it could be δδσε, or nonsense. I do not know what form of διδωμι, if any, is intended. We would expect δοσο; hence perhaps miswritten. Attic alphabet. Triangular omicron.

Footnotes: {1} interesting: women were not supposed to drink. Unless this is a cult scene (the scepter!).

Bibliography: *dr. by Beazley. — *Leroux (1912), 99/177 (inscriptions printed in text, not as facss.; not ill.; no bibl.). — J.R. Mélida, CVA Madrid 2, Spain 2 (1944), III I C, pl. 22,5. — ARV[2] (1963), 529/9.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5078

A:       δοσασε | δε<οτ > δθσασε | δε{Λ DőL}οτ > iDőCSúSZÁS-E DE LóDuLÓT > időcsúszás-e de lódulót ()

B:       δοσε > δθσε > iDő CSeSZ E' > idő csesz el ()

Időcsúszás-e?, de lódulót idő csesz el. (Is it slip of time?, certainly time spoils the man in swing.)

AVI 4902; BAD 321753

Madrid, Museo Arqueológico 11266. RF cup. Painter of London E 2{1}. Early fifth

Decoration: Int.: a bearded komast with a cup; at right, his stick. Ext.: symposium. A: Heracles and a man (Iolaus?) waited on by a satyr. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: at left: χοχπο. At right: χσ^(ο)χ(λ)σ{2}. B: on a pointed amphora, in BG, nonsense(?): οχ(μ)ιονοσ{3}.

Commentary: Leroux has: A: satyr dancing with large amphora before two reclining symposiasts (whom he does not identify). B: similar but the satyr carries an oinochoe. Printed letters only: Int.: ΧΟΧΠΟ ΧN ΔΧΔN (with Attic pi). A: NΟΧNΧ NΧΟNΟNΟ NΟNΟΛΟ ΛΟΔΕΟ. On the amphora: ΗΟ ΟΧΔΙΟNΟΛ. B: NΧΔΟ NΟΧΟΚNΙ NΟN NΟNΟ NΟ.ΟΔ.

Footnotes: {1} a BF artist, doubtless a member of the Leagros Group, akin to the Nikoxenos Painter. {2} a cup intervenes; the omicron ia triangular; the lambda smeared and uncertain. {3} the mu could be an Attic gamma; complete at end, probably not at the beginning.

Bibliography: *Photos. — Leroux (1912), 80/153 (not ill.; printed letters) (no bibl.). — ABV (1956), 390/5. — ARV[2] (1963), 225/5. — Wolf (1993), figs. 72-73.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5086

By the commentary:

Int.:     ΧΟΧΠΟ ΧN ΔΧΔN > GYÓGY eBBŐ' GYüN De iGYa üDéN > Gyógy ebből gyün, de igya üdén! (Medicine comes from this, but drink it fresh!)

A:       NΟΧNΧ NΧΟNΟNΟ NΟNΟΛΟ ΛΟΔΕΟ > NŐ iGYoN uGYe Ne iGYON Ő NŐ NŐN ÖLŐ LŐDE Ő > Nő igyon, ugye? Ne igyon, ő nő! Nőn ölő lőde ő. (Should woman drink, shouldn't she? She should not drink, she is a woman! On woman this is a killing shooting-range.)


On the amphora: ΗΟ ΟΧΔΙΟNΟΛ > HO' Ő eGYeD JÖN ÖL > Hol ő egyed jön: öl. (Where it comes by itself, it kills.)

B:        NΧΔΟ NΟΧΟΚNΙ NΟN NΟNΟ NΟ.ΟΔ > NaGY iDŐ NŐ íGY OK iNNI NŐNe iNNi ÖNNÖN OKOD > Nagy idő, nő így ok inni. Nőne inni önnön okod. (Big time, grows/woman is reason to drink. Your on excuse to drink would grow.)

AVI 4909; BAD 1005672

Mainz, University 74. BF Panathenaic amphora. From Vulci, Cavalupo. Unattributed. Nikon (bf.), kalos. Ca. 500 (Hampe–Simon).

Decoration: A: Athena to left between cock columns. B: chariot racing to right.

Inscriptions: B: to right of the charioteer's mouth, horizontal: εια[.]λα{1}. Under the horses' bellies: Νικο(ν){2}. At the horses' right: (κ)αλο(ς), retr.{3}. Under the foot: two Grr. and Dip. ΑΡ.

Commentary: Once Delessert 16. For Nikon see ARV[2] 1602. CVA reads ελα ελα; this is already the reading of Gerhard (1830), 220 and Kretschmer (1894), 91. See further, Hampe (1935–6), 295; differently Beazley (1929a), 361f. H&S cite as a parallel for the shout a BF oinochoe Brussels R 323 [but the inscription there is nonsense]. The vase is said in CVA to hold 22 liters. Clearly not a standard Panathenaic.

Footnotes: {1} the second letter is not drawn as a partial lambda in the facs. in CVA, although it nearly touches the break beneath it; the photo, however, seems to show the vertical going right into the break, but the letters are very small. Read: εια[ε]λα or ελ̣α [ε]λα(?). {3} the last nu is somewhat incomplete. {4} the sigma is unclear.

Bibliography: Gerhard (1830), 220 (not ill.). — CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 7860. — Kretschmer (1894), 91, para. 65. — *ABV (1956), 671, *716. — *R. Hampe and E. Simon, CVA Mainz, Universität 1, Germany 15 (1959), pl. 35; facss., pp. 37 (under foot) and 38 (B). — ARV[2] (1963), 1602, under Nikon I. — *Para. (1971), 318, top. — Johnston (1979), 129/8E 34 and 131/9E 8.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5094

εια[.]λα > E JÁRó ILLA > e járó illa (this vehicle is running)

Νικο(ν) > eNNI KONYa > enni konya (to eat, drooping)

(κ)αλο(ς) > A LÓ > a ló (the horse)

E járó illa enni, konya a ló. (This vehicle is running to eat, the horse is drooping.)

AVI 4912; BAD 207492

Mainz, University 103. RF cup. Providence Painter (Beazley). Second quarter fifth 465-460 (Böhr).

Decoration: Int.: a woman before an altar, holding out a taenia; at right, a stool with clothes; above it, a kerchief hung up. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: starting to left of the forehead, along the margin: κ(λ)υυ(γ), ending at the altar, unless a sigma to the lower right of the altar belongs with this rather than the other inscription. Starting from the back of the head, interrupted by the stool: κλονι, unless the sigma belongs with it.

Commentary: The inscriptions done from the facss. Böhr reads καλλος and Κλονι<ς> (`Steissbein'), a new name for a hetaera. Böhr's readings are unlikely for they assume both Ionic and Attic lambda. To judge by the facs., the inscriptions are coarsely written nonsense. Böhr cites Frisk's dictionary (1960) 875f. for the name of the hetaera.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 644/135. — Papoutsaki-Serbeti (1983), 178/157, fig. 24 (profile). — *E. Böhr, CVA Mainz, Universität 2, Germany 63 (1993), pls. 32,4-6 and 33,2,4, Beilage 14,2; p. 52, dr. of Int. with inscription.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5097

κ(λ)υυ(γ) σ κλονι > KüLéVe' üVeG iS KüLÖNÜ' > Külével üveg is különül. (With its outside even the glass separates.)



AVI 4923; BAD 201340

Malibu. Fragmentary RF cup. Oltos. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: part of an armed(?) figure. A: not noted. B: one running, followed by two mounted archers.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: at right: h[.](ν)ιχπ[.]πχι^{1}. One iota elsewhere. A: hε[ρμες]. hερ[ακλες]. Below: a retr. kappa. B: much nonsense: e.g.: between the runner's legs: πκπυπhσ. In front of the first archer: εhσπ. Behind: hσπκ. Four more.

Commentary: The nu is reversed.

Footnotes: {1} ends at the foot.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5108


Int.:      h[.](ν)ιχπ[.]πχι^ι > HaSSoN ÍGY BéKéBe' eGYÜ' Ű > Hasson így békében együl ű! (Let he act uniting in peace!)

B:        πκπυπhσ > BéKe BűVéBe' HőS > Béke bűvében hős. (The hero is in the magic spell of peace.)

εhσπ hσπκ > E HőSBe' HaSS BéKe > E hősben hass, béke! (Peace, do act in this hero!)


AVI 4960; BAD 28785

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 82.AE.127.1. Fragmentary RF cup. Unattributed. Last quarter sixth Ca. 510

Decoration: Int.: hoplitodromos. A: youth running; two boy wrestlers; hand of a trainer.

Inscriptions: Int.: below the man: ντιαο̣ς. Complete fore, perhaps also aft{1}. A: near the runner's leg: [...]ας{2}. The right wrestler: Αντιες.

Footnotes: {1} nonsense: mock inscription playing with Αντιας? The first letter could also be a sideways sigma. {2} rather than --]χς.

Bibliography: BADB: 28785. — AttScr (1990), no. 373.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5146

ντιαο̣ς > iNTI A HőS > Inti a hős. (The hero warns him/her.)

Αντιες > ANNYi íTéLJE eS > Annyi ítélje es! (That many should also judge him/her!)

AVI 4976; BAD 16321

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 84.AE.63. RF neck amphora. Euthymides. Last quarter sixth 510-500 520-510 (Houghton). Closer to 510 (Guy). 500 (Ohly-Dumm).

Decoration: A: discus thrower. B: athlete with javelin.

Inscriptions: The inscriptions vertically down on either side of the figure. A: on the left: Φαυλ<λ>ος̣ [..2..?] v. ιο{1}, probably complete at end. On the right: κοτελο, the last two letters very faint, but probably complete at end. B: along the lower left: εχοπει. Along the lower right: χοισι. Both complete.

Commentary: My readings: a mixture of sense and nonsense. It is uncertain whether any letters are missing on A, as the surface is not in good condition. Since Phayllos was famous in the pentathlon he may be represented on both sides (GMusJ). I have omitted the readings in GMusJ, which are inferior.

Footnotes: {1} or λο(?).

Bibliography: BADB: 16321. — *Houghton (1985), 168/17 (A). — Knudsen Morgan (1986), 48. — AttScr (1990), no. 375.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5162

Φαυλ<λ>οσ̣ >FÁVaL ŐS > fával ős (the ancestor with wood)

[..2..?] v. ιο > [δπ] ιο > [DoB] JÓ' > [dob] jól (throws well)

κοτελο > KŐ íTÉLŐ > kő ítélő (stone is the judge)

εχοπει > εχθπει > EGY CSePELY > egy csepely (cserje, csemetefa) (a shrub/sapling)

χοισι > χθισι > íGY CSŰSZÜ' > így csűszül (becomes surveyor this way)

Fával ős dob jól – kő ítélő. Egy csepely (cserje, csemetefa) így csűszül (lesz csősz). (The ancestor throws well with wood – stone is the judge. A shrub/sapling becomes surveyor this way.)

The inscriptions are faint, similar letters are easily mixed up, as usual in a handwriting. As always in similar cases, one relays on the context to ascertain the proper reading. Ο and Θ are very similar, only context can sometimes decide between them.

AVI 4983a; BAD 30960

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 85.AE.505.18-19,21. Frs. of RF cup. Unattributed (Moore). Ca. 510-500 (Moore).

Decoration: Int.: legs of a youth or man running to right. A, B, each: fight.


Inscriptions: A: in the field, [nonsense]: γσλ/^λλ{1}.'

Commentary: No S. number; no Bareiss number. Not previously published.

Footnotes: {1} surely nonsense inaccurately rendered. Printed in text mostly in the Attic alphabet. First letter: Ionic gamma (perhaps intended by the author for pi as is sometimes done); second letter: three-stroke sigma; third: Attic lambda leaning back somewhat; then a slash; then a break; finally two rather odd Attic lambdas (meant for upsilons?). The photo., pl. 408,3, shows only one indistinct letter

Bibliography: BADB: 23917. — *M.B. Moore, CVA Malibu 8, USA 33 (1998), no. 36, pl. 408,2-4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5172

γσλ/^λλ > γσλ{I DőL}^υυ*{1} > eGéSZ éLe ÜDöL VíVa > Egész éle üdöl víva. (His whole wittiness celebrates fighting.)

*/“ = {I DőL} = “I is leaning”, this is a ligature standing for the letters {I+D+L}.

AVI 4986; BAD 3891

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.82 (formerly S.82.AE.48). BF neck amphora. Leagros Group (Bothmer). Last quarter sixth Ca. 520-510 (Bothmer).

History: Ex Bareiss 352.

Decoration: Neck: A: chariot. B: Departure of a Warrior: an old man; warrior; dog; woman. Body: A: Aeneas rescuing Anchises, with son Ascanius(?) leading the way and Aphrodite looking on from behind. B: Dionysus between a satyr flautist and another satyr.

Inscriptions: Neck: A and B: nonsense: to the charioteer's left, along the left margin and facing it: μεχτε̣ετ̣σ. Between the head of the charioteer and the horses' necks: λεβιτ[.]δεσ{1}. At horses' right and facing them: χ̣τ̣ρτο(.)ν. B: behind the old man's back, facing out (like the first inscription): μυχταεν̣. Between the warrior's and woman's heads: (.)[..](h)χω{2}. Behind the woman, along the margin, facing in: 7-8 letters not legible in CVA's photo. Body: A: nonsense: behind Aphrodite, facing out: πετελευχ{3}. Between Aphrodite and Aeneas: Α(φ)ροδιτε καλε. To left of Anchises' forehead (he looks back): Ανχισι. Between the ankles of Aeneas and Ascanius: Αινεα<ς> : καλος.

Commentary: Note the kalos’ added to divine and mythical names. The writing is very neat (more Antimenean than Leagran) except in some nonsense inscriptions. For the inscriptions see also Schauenburg 48-53.

Footnotes: {1} this looks like a miswritten(?) proper name. {2} it is not clear that this is really an omega. {3} so Bothmer in Greek Vases; the reading in CVA, text, is: πυτελευχ.

Bibliography: BADB: 3891. — Bothmer (1969a), 433, fig. 9. — Schauenburg (1969a), pls. 2 and 3 (A, B). — Havelock (1980), pl. 6, fig. 13 (A). — *J. Paul Getty Museum (1983), 71/44 (not ill.). — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 1, USA 23 (1988), p. 72, bottom right, pls. 41, and 44,3-4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5175


Neck A:

μεχτε̣ετ̣σ > Mi EGYü'T E É’TeS > mi egyült e éltes (what had collected/merged, this elderly)

λεβιτ[.]δεσ > eLÉ BŰ Té[P]őDÉS/Tű[N]őDÉS > elé bű té[p]ődés/tű[n]ődés (in front of him, a lot of pensiveness/musing)

χ̣τ̣ρτο(.)ν > íGY TaRTÓ(S)aN > így tartó(s)an (so permanently)

 Mi egyült e éltes elé, bű té[p]ődés/tű[n]ődés, így tartósan. (What had collected/merged in front of this elderly is a lot of pensiveness/musing, so permanently.)

Neck B:

μυχταεν̣ > íMe VáGY úTA' É'Ni > íme vágy útal élni (what case to hang on)

πεχτ χ νχπ > éPP EGYüTT eGY NaGYoBB > épp együtt egy nagyobb ... (as a craw)

Íme, vágy útal élni épp együtt egy nagyobb (Look, the desire/urge/longing adverts/reverts to live together just in a bigger )


πετελευχ/πυτελευχ > BŰ-TELE ÜGY > bű-tele ügy (case full of spell)

Α(φ)ροδιτε καλε > A Fi-eRŐ iDÜ'TTE' KALL-E > a fi-erő idülttel kall-e (do the strength of the son kneads/clogs together with the enduring)

Ανχισι > Ανχτσι > A NaGY TeSZI > a nagy teszi (the great makes)

Αινεα<ς> : καλος > ÁLLJoN-E A KiÁLLÓS > álljon-e a kiállós (the outstanding stand)

Bű-tele ügy, a fi-erő idülttel kall-e? A nagy teszi álljon-e a kiállós. (Case full of spell, do the strength of the son kneads/clogs together with the enduring? The great makes the outstanding to stand out.)

AVI 4989; BAD 30544

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.100.1-4 (formerly S.80.AE.160). Frs. of BF neck amphora. Painter of Nicosia Olpe. Third quarter sixth 540-530 (CVA).

History: Ex Bareiss 360 and 362.

Decoration: A: a frontal horsemen flanked by several figures.


Inscriptions: Nonsense: imitation letters: A: fr. 1: (the central portion of the picture:) to left of the left horse: ιιιο[...]. Between two horses: ι(ε)(κ)οκο̣(.){1}. To right of the right horse: ιιε̣ο̣[...]. Under the foot, Gr.: ΔΡ.

Commentary: 14 frs. put together by Bothmer, not all from Bareiss.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter is a dot.

Bibliography: BADB: 30544. — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 1, USA 23 (1988), pls. 25,4 and 26,5 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5178

ιιιο[...] > ILY JÓ … > Ily jó … (So good ...)

ι(ε)(κ)οκο̣(.) > ιϝεοκυ{ToSZ}{1} > Ü'VE Ő KöVíTéS > Ülve ő kövítés. (By sitting he becomes stony.)

ιιε̣ο̣[...] > ILY-E Ő … > Ily-e ő? … (Is he such ...)

AVI 4990; BAD 32055

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.112 (formerly S.80.AE.176). Fragmentary BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Fallow Deer Painter (Bothmer). Third quarter sixth Ca. 560 (Bothmer, CVA; too early?).

History: Ex Bareiss 325.

Decoration: Lower part only: A: a duel flanked on each side by a woman (Achilles and Memnon?). B: komos of six naked males. Under the handles: eyes.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: between the duelist's legs: υοσνον. B: between legs of the third and fourth males: χσ/ρ(κ)<ο{2}. Between the backs of the fifth and sixth males: κσδο(.)(σ){3}.

Footnotes: {1} listed as a fragmentary BF column krater. {2} perhaps not complete fore, as there is a trace of a letter higher up. {3} read as retr., but the reading is uncertain.

Bibliography: BADB: 32055. — *J. Paul Getty Museum (1983), 72/58 (not ill.){1}. — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 1, USA 23 (1988), pls. 50,1-2 and 51,1-2 (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5179

A:       υοσνον > óVÓ SZó NŐN > Óvó szó nőn. (Warning words are on women.)


B:        χσ/ρ(κ)<ο > χσ{I DőL}ρ(κ){Λ DőL}ο > üGYeS IDD eLőRe KoLDuLÓ > ügyes idd előre kolduló (clever will drink in advance, beggar)

κσδο(.)(σ) > KéSő iDŐZéS > késő időzés (late timing)

Ügyes idd előre, kolduló késő időzés. (Clever will drink in advance, beggar is late timing.)

AVI 4992; BAD 30530

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.115 (formerly S.80.AE.181). BF hydria. Leagros Group (Bothmer). Last quarter sixth Ca. 510 (CVA).

History: Ex Bareiss 139.

Decoration: Shoulder: two chariots racing. Body: Dionysus seated between two pairs of dancing maenads.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense: between mid-bodies of the dancing maenads at right: νδε(.). Curving around the head of the rightmost maenad: (χ)ερο{1}.

Commentary: By the same hand as London B 334 (ABV 365/71) (Bothmer).

Footnotes: {1} the readings are uncertain, as the photos. in CVA are very small.

Bibliography: BADB: 30530. — *J. Paul Getty Museum (1983), 72/61 (not ill.). — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 1, USA 23 (1988), pls. 52,4, 56,1, and 57,5-6.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5181

νδε(.) > NeDÉLY > nedély ()

(χ)ερο > aGYERŐ > agyerő ()

Nedély agyerő. (Humour is brainpower.)

AVI 4995; BAD 41928

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.130 (formerly S.80.AE.46). Fragmentary BF oinochoe (olpe). Leagros Group (Bothmer). Last quarter sixth 520-510 (CVA).

History: Ex Bareiss 319.

Decoration: Two Amazons setting out; the right one turns back to her companion, who is accompanied by a dog.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: between the heads: οhε(υ)ν. Complete. Along the right margin, facing in: κε(υ)ν[...?].

Commentary: The inscriptions may ‘represent’ the Amazons’ names. I am unsure of the upsilon.

Bibliography: BADB: 41928. — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 2, USA 25 (1990), pls. 63,1 and 66,1-2, fig. 8 (profile) (no bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5184

In the paper Making Sense of Nonsense Inscriptions Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Athenian Vases, Version 2.0 , July 2012 by Adrienne Mayor, John Colarusso and David Saunders the scientist are saying about this inscription that It shows two Amazons setting out on foot. Trotting alongside is a dog with a red collar (Amazons, like Greek warriors and hunters, are often depicted with dogs). The first Amazon turns to her companion, giving the impression of conversation, although dialogue usually issues from mouths as “bubble” inscriptions. The letter strings painted next to the women, ΟΗΕΥΝ ΚΕΥΝ, pronounced “oheun” or “oe:eun” and “keun,” can be deciphered as ancient forms of Abkhazian. Depending on the pronunciation of the eta, ohe(u)n signifies either “(They/She/ were/was over there,” or in the case of oe:eun, “We are helping each other” perhpaps a face-to-face injunctive with loss of pronomial inflection, “Let us be helping one another.” Ke(u)n means “Set the dog loose.”

Nonsense! The inscriptions read:

ΚΕΥΝ ΟΗΕΥΝ > Ki E ÜNő? Ő HËU/HÉU Nő > Ki e ünő? Ő hëu/héu (hiú) nő. (Who is this doe? She is a vain woman.)

An obvious play with words: ünő – ű nő (‘doe’ – ‘she is woman’)

AVI 4999; BAD 302850

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 86.AE.156.1-2 (formerly S.80.17.1-2). Frs. of BF Siana cup. BMN Painter. Second quarter sixth 570-560 (Beazley).

History: Ex Bareiss 95.

Decoration: Int.: a swan. A: Calydonian Boar Hunt(?). B: wounded stag between two mounted riders.


Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to left of a dog that has jumped on the boar's back: four letters in a break, hence illegible, incomplete fore. Above the dog, just below the top margin: κσεασ(ο)πσ(ο)^σ{1}. B: below the belly of one ridden horse that rushes toward the stag: [...]χ̣δ(.)ο{2}.

Commentary: + frs. in Tarentum, unpublished, but described in CVA (no inscriptions mentioned). Overlap. There are many more frs.

Footnotes: {1} a spear intervenes. {2} uncertain reading.

Bibliography: BADB: 9018036. — *J. Paul Getty Museum (1983), 74/85 (not ill.). — *A.J. Clark, CVA Malibu 2, USA 25 (1990), pl. 85, fig. 11 (profile) (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 5188

κσεασ(ο)πσ(ο)^σ > κσεασ{ToSZ}πσ{ToSZ}[.]{1}* > KéSZ-E A SüTő SZéP SüTéS LeSZ > Kész-e a sütő? Szép sütés lesz! (Is the oven ready? It's going to be a nice baking!)

* Look at the photograph to see the justification for correction: the omicrons are dots, 'ToSZ' in Scythic, which stands for the {T+S/Z} ligature, and there is room for a letter in the chipped off area.

Mihaly Mellar

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The Scythian language resurrects as Scythic-Hun-Magyar.


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