The Scythian Phoenix This is a simple, printer-friendly version of the page.
Click here to go back to the original page.
Mellár Mihály :
Making Sense after Rudolf Wachter X (Lakonia – Ithaka – Euboian Colonies).



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.


8. Lakonia


 Lakonian vase-painting has recently been made better known and understood mainly by Stibbe (1972) and Pipili (1987). Yet, inscriptions are rare on the vases in this style. The pieces in question have been found at different places, none of them Sparta. The opposite is true for a number of fragments with dedicatory inscriptions (partly painted, partly incised), which were found at Sparta but which cannot be attributed to any of the Lakonian bf. artists. These latter documents contribute hardly anything to our knowledge of the Lakonian dialect if isolated from the rest of the linguistic evidence, nor do they contribute to our understanding of Lakonian vase-painting. Moreover, they are of different and mostly uncertain periods.

~ @ LAK 3 ~

Cup from Vulci, by the Arkesilas P. (shortly before 1833). Paris, Cabinet des Médailles 189 (4899) (2707).

Scene: For an interpretation see Arias–Hirmer–Shefton and Simon–Hirmer. Sitting on a throne to r., a man with elaborate robe and sceptre (a) is supervising workers working at scales, one (b) to r. looking and pointing back to (a), one striving to l. (c) looking at (or checking?) the l. pan of the scales, one to r. carrying a sack (d), and two tying up a sack, one to r. (e) turning his head back and looking up to where his opposite (f) is pointing (to the finger of the scales rather than to the birds). In the segment below, a man to r. is standing (g), while two workers (h) and (i) are striding to r., carrying sacks to a deposit.

Date: c.570–560 ( Jeffery); c.565–560 (Arias–Hirmer–Shefton); shortly before 560 (Stibbe, Simon–Hirmer).

(a) Αρκεσιλας > ÁRu KÉSZŰ' LÁSS > áru készül láss (goods in making look)

(b) Σοφορτος > SÓ FÖRTŐS > só förtős (sárral kevert) (the salt is muddy)

(c)[..ṣṭ]αθμος > [TÉSZT]A CSoMÓS > tészta csomós (the pasta is lumpy)

(d)[...]ịρμοφορος > [MáR] IRaMO' FORRÓZó > [már] iramol forrózó (the brewer [already] rushes)

(e) Ορυχο > Ő üRÜGYŐ' > ő ürügyöl (he for excuse)

(f) ΣλιφομαΨος > eSZeLI FŐ' MA BűZÖS > eszeli fől ma bűzös (conceives to cook today with stinking)

(g) Φυλακος > FűVe' LAKÓS > fűvel lakós (laktatós) (grass substantial meal)

(h) Ε[g.ṣ . .] > E [GöSöRGő] > e [gösörgő] (hasfájós) (this [sick with colic])

  1. Μαεν > MA É'Ne > ma élne (would live today)

Áru készül, láss: só förtős (sárral kevert), tészta csomós. [Már] iramol forrózó, ő ürügyöl eszeli, fől ma bűzös fűvel lakós (laktatós). E [gösörgő] (hasfájós) ma élne... (Goods in making, look: the salt is muddy, the pasta is lumpy. The brewer [already] rushes, he for excuse conceives to cook today, with stinking grass, a substantial meal. This [sick with colic] would live today...)

Wachter's interpretation: Non-heroic working scene (labels, partly nonsense?).

~ @ LAK 4 ~

Hydria from Rhodes, by the Hunt P. (1934). Rhodes, Arch. Mus. 15373.

Scene: On one of two horses to r. a youth (a) is watching his master (b), who is facing r. and fighting his opponent (c) over the dead body of a warrior (unnamed, head to the r.); behind (c) on one of two horses to l., his page (d) is watching the fight.

Date: c.560–550 (Jeffery); c.555 (Simon–Hirmer); c.555–550 (LIMC).

(a) Ανιοχιδας > ANNYi JÓ DZSIDÁS > Annyi jó dzsidás. (There are plenty of good lancers.)

(b) Αρχιλοχ[ι]δας > A RaGYa ILLŐ DZS[I]DÁS > A ragya illő dzsidás. (The pockmarked is a matching lancer.)

(c) Δενομαχοτ > DE NŐ iMÁDJa ŐT > De nő imádja őt. (But the woman adores him.)

(d) Συνις > SZíVéN IS > Szívén is! (She is in his heart too!)

Wachter's interpretation: Non-heroic fight over the body of a dead warrior (labels).

~ @ LAK 5 ~

Fr. of a ? from Samos, by the Hunt P. (found ?). Berlin, Antikensammlung, Samos 476X (+ 464X).

Scene: Dog or fox to l. and a man to r. (to whom the inscr. seems to belong) throwing a stone.

Date: mid-6th cent. (Diehl).

Εμσιβιυος > Ε{μ+ν}σιβιυος > E'MeNéSŰ' BŰVÖS > Elmenésűl bűvös (It (the stone in hand) is magical/fascinating to make it go away.)

Epigraphy: The μ has a fifth stroke, it is a ligature: {M+N}!

Wachter's interpretation: Nonsense inscription.

~ @ LAK 6 ~

Fr. of a cup from Misokampos on Samos, by the Hunt P. (found ?). Samos, Pythagoreion K 176.

Scene: Arm of Herakles to r. (no name preserved) fighting the Hydra, to the r. the head of his companion to l. (named).

Date: c.560–550 ( Jeffery); 565–560 (Pipili); c.560 (LIMC v, ‘Iolaos’); c.550 (LIMC v, ‘Herakles’).

Ϝιολας > VÍjÓ áLLÁS/LÁSS > Víjóállás/Víjó, láss! (Fencing position/Fencer, look!)

Wachter's interpretation: Herakles and the Hydra (label).

~ @ LAK 7 ~

Fr. of a cup from Kyrene, by the Hunt P. (found ?). Kyrene.

Scene: Four men walking to l.; the second is (a), the third is (b), the others’ names are lost. The second (a) is grasping the arm of the first one, who has drawn his sword against a lost opponent to the l. Date: c.560–550 ( Jeffery); towards 570 (Schefold); c.550 (LIMC); 555–545 (Pipili).

(a) Παρθενοπαος > iPA éRCSE NŐBe' A' ÖSSZ > Ipa értse nőben a' össz (háborúság). (Let father-in-low understand the whole (calamity) is in the woman.)

(b)[. . .]ος

Wachter's interpretation: Peacemaking scene with some of the Seven against Thebes (labels).

10. Ithaka

Only a few vases from Ithaka bear inscriptions. They are from a very early period and do not show any labelled figure decoration. The first must have contained a long metrical inscription, of which we would wish to have more.

~ @ ITH 2 ~

Stand with handle (candlestick?) from Ithaka (1932). Vathy (Ithaki) Mus. 292.

Scene: Sphinxes etc., not related to the inscr. Date: imitating PC (Payne); 1st q. 7th cent. (Karo); younger than our INC 1 and EUC 3 (Robertson); no later than c.675–650 (Jeffery).

Καλικλεασποιασε > Ki A LIK eLÉ A SZoPÓJa/SZiPÓJa AZÉ > Ki a lik elé, a szopója/szipója azé. (The one in front of the hole gets its sucker.)

Wachter's interpretation: Potter’s signature.

11. Euboian Colonies

~ @ EUC 1 ~

Fr. of a local late geometric krater, from Ischia (‘metalworking quarter’ of Mazzola, Lacco Ameno) (1966–71). Ischia, Mus. di Lacco Ameno.

Scene: Sphinx (?), not related to the inscr.

Date: late 8th cent. (Cordano); c.700–675 ( Johnston); c.730–720 (G. Buchner, per litt.).

[...].ινοσμεποιεσe[...?] > HaZuDN]I NŐ SZeMÉBe OLY ESÉ[LYTeLeN > Hazudn]i nő szemébe oly esé[lytelen. (To lie into the eye of a woman has no chance whatever.)

Wachter's interpretation: Potter’s signature.

~ @ EUC 2 ~

Krater (of Euboian make?), almost complete, from tomb 168 of the S. Montano necropolis, Pithekussai (1953). Ischia, Mus. di Lacco Ameno 166780.

Scene: None.

Date: 3rd q. 8th cent. (Cordano); some time before 720, the date of the tomb (G. Buchner, per litt.).

Ḍ (?) εξθεο > Δεξθεϙ > iDE KéSZíCSE Ki > Ide készítse ki. (Do prepare it to here.)

Epigraphy: Written upside-down round the foot. Johnston reads 5EO, considering an ‘abbreviated personal name or an indication of divine ownership, very much out of place in a tomb’. Before the theta, however, G. Buchner’s drawing shows a cross-shaped xi and an epsilon (reversed, with four strokes), which in my view cannot be said to belong to the decoration. The omicron has a – probably casual – dot. The star after it is probably not meant to be a letter in view of the other similar stars.

Wachter's interpretation: Probably an owner’s inscription or a dedication to a human.

~ @ EUC 3 ~

Pointed aryballos (imitation of PC) from ? (1898 or earlier). Boston, Mus. of Fine Art 98. 900.

Scene: None. Date: 7th cent. (Robinson); early 7th cent. (Lorber).

Πυροσμεποιεσεναγασιλεƒο > Πυροσμεποιεσεν{V+A}γ{V+A}σιλεϝο > BURjOS eME BŐJE SZÉNa-VÁGóVA' SÜLEVŐ > Burjos (burjánzás) eme bője szénavágóval sülevő (kisülő). (This abundance of rank growth gets scorched with the use of hay making.)

Wachter's interpretation: Potter’s signature.

This alpha, too, is very likely to be an archaic feature. For it seems to emerge directly from the horizontal alpha of the eighth century, from which two vertical normalizations by means of a rotation through 90° were possible, namely clockwise or anti-clockwise (see Wachter (1989b), 50). Considering the fact that in the mother-town Chalkis on Euboia upright alpha was in use – though not necessarily in exclusive use – already in the eighth century (see ibid. 27 n. 24), it seems more likely that this letter-form survived in some unspecified colony.” The upside down A, = {V+A} is a very clever and legitimate ligature and indeed an archaic feature, but still very much alive in Scythian-Székler rovás.