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Mellár Mihály :
Common sense in nonsense inscriptions III


AVI 2000


from AVI numbers 2000 to 2999


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 2000; BAD 3735

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig BS 481. RF hydria. Group of Polygnotos (Schmidt). Third quarter fifth. Ca. 440 (CVA).

Decoration: Shoulder: head of Orpheus; bearded man; six muses. The man and a muse with her lyre are bending over the head{1}.

Inscriptions: Shoulder: over the head of the muse with the lyre, left-aligned horizontal stoich. two-liner: καλε | καλος. . . . . . . . . . Under the foot, Gr.: a line across and pi with small square in upper right-hand corner: ligature pi + omicron(?){2}.

Commentary: The two-liner is awkwardly spaced: there is a wide gap after the first letter in each line. Mixed alphabet. The lambda could be either Attic or Ionic: see AttScr (1990), 148.

Footnotes: {1} Schmidt in CVA suggests identification with Terpander and Kalliope. In AK Schmidt suggests that the man may be climbing down on ropes. {2} see a note by Johnston in AK.

Bibliography: M. Schmidt (1972), 128ff., pls. 39-41,1. Lezzi-Hafter (1976), 71 n. 229, pl. 175,d-e (details). Johnston (1979), 113/18C 64 and 119/6D 20. V. Slehoferova, CVA Basel 3, Switzerland 7 (1988), pls. 18,1-4 and 19,1-4, Beilage 6,2, p. 37 (facs.). LIMC vi (1992), pls. 398-99, Mousa(ai) 100.

Author: H.R.I.


καλε | καλος > κ αλε | κ αλος{Commentary} > Ki ALú’ E | Ki ÁLLÓS > Ki alul e? Ki állós. (Who is this below? Who stands up / Who is persisting/lasting.)

AVI 2001; BAD 205409

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig BS 483. RF pelike. Hermonax. Second quarter fifth. 470-460 (CVA).

Decoration: A: Zeus pursuing Ganymede; two companions. B: Tros with four companions of Ganymede.

Inscriptions: B: above the heads of the two companions at left, left-aligned stoich. two-liner: hερμοναχς | εγραφσεν.

Commentary: Ex Swiss Private. The alphabet Attic with four-stroke sigma.

Bibliography: N. Weil (1962), 69/9. ARV[2] (1963), 485/26. Kaempf-Dimitriadou (1979a), 50 (facs. of inscription), bibl. in n. 1; pls. 18,1-4 and 19,1 (A, B, parts). V. Slehoferova, CVA Basel 2, Switzerland 6 (1984), pls. 52,1-4 and 53,1-4, facs. p. 64 (much bibl.). Add.[2] (1989), 248.

Author: H.R.I.


hερμοναχς | εγραφσεν > Ha E'RoMÓ'NA íGY iS | ÉG RÁ FeSSEN > Ha elromolna így is, ég rá fessen (foszoljon) > (If he would fail anyhow, Heaven should tatter on him.)

AVI 2006; BAD 213

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig BS 496. BF amphora. Probably Phrynos Painter{1}. Third quarter sixth. 550-540 (Mommsen).

Decoration: A: Birth of Athena: in the center, Zeus seated while giving birth (Athena, armed, springs forth from his head); at left, Hephaestus between a goddess and an Eileithyia; at right, another Eileithyia; Hera enthroned; Poseidon. B: Introduction of Heracles into Olympus: in the center, Athena; at left, Zeus, Hera and Hermes; at right, Heracles, Poseidon, and Iolaus.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to Athena's left, above Zeus' head and over the head of the left Eileithyia: ενενενε. Between Athena's shield, above Hera's head and to left of Poseidon's outstretched hand: four letters, the third an omicron{2}. B: between Hera's and Hermes' lower legs, facing Hera: ευ(.)ν(ϝ)γ{3}. Between the faces of Hermes and Athena: οτοε(γ)ενε(σ){4}. To right of Heracles' face: εονενει, retr. Between Athena's and Heracles' lower legs: ενε(σ)ενι. Under foot, Gr.: Ε.

Commentary: [[= CAVI 1973, Basel, Antikenmuseum 103.4, R.W.]] Done from the photos in AK, since M. does not transcribe the inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} see Mommsen 137: by the same hand as Würzburg 241, which Beazley attributed to the Phrynos Painter. M. is non-committal on how the vase in Basel would affect the work of the Phrynos Painter. {2} not legible in the photo. {3} the third letter unclear in the photo.; the `digamma' probably a badly written epsilon. {4} the fifth letter unclear in the photo. The last perhaps a reversed three-stroke sigma.

Bibliography: Schefold (1978), 38, fig. 3. LIMC ii (1984), 987, Athena 353* (pl. 745). LIMC iii (1986), 687, Eileithyia 6. LIMC iv (1988), 646, Hephaistos 193* (pl. 402); 691, Hera 288, and 714, Hera 461. H. Mommsen (1989), 134ff. (facs. of Gr., p. 134), pls. 26,2,4, and 27 (much bibl. in n. 96). Malagardis (1989), 104-114. Shapiro (1989), 113-14, 135, 158, pl. 47,b (A). LIMC v (1990), 123, Herakles 2850*, Hermes 555. LIMC vi (1992), Moirai 16.

Author: H.R.I.



ενενενε > E iNNEN E'NE > E innen ellne (ellene=szülne)? (This/he would bring forth/give birth from here?)



ευ(.)ν(ϝ)γ > EVVe' TáN VéGe > evvel tán vége (Is it over with this?)

οτοε(γ)ενε(σ) > Ö'T Ő ÉGEN ES > ölt ő égen es (he has killed in heaven too)

εονενει > ιενενοε{not retro.} > iLYEN E NŐÉ' > ilyen e nőé(rt) (he is such, for this woman)

ενε(σ)ενι > ÉNE SENYI > éne senyi (his self/ego suffers)

Evvel tán vége? Ölt ő égen es, ilyen, e nőé(rt) éne senyi. (Is it over after this? He has killed in heaven too, he is such, for this woman his self/ego suffers.)



AVI 2011; BAD 302861

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig BS 1906.294. BF amphora. From Capua. Acheloos Painter. Last quarter sixth. Ca. 510 (CVA).

Decoration: A: discobolus; two runners; trainer. B: trainer; jumper; tree; jumper crouching; flautist in a flowing garment; trainer{1}.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: imitation letters: A: above the runners: σγι^ιρ(γ)(.). Between the left runner's legs: δεχο(δ). Under the feet: (ν)ιιειογε. B: to the left trainer's right: (χ)δεδεο. Above the left jumper: ιε(.)δ(ν)δυ{2}. To right of the left jumper's leg: σδεκογ{3}. Above the right jumper's head: (.)ει(ο){4}.

Commentary: Typical Leagros Group inscriptions. The readings are from CVA, not entirely reliable.

Footnotes: {1} so CVA; ABV reverses A and B. {2} upside down in CVA's facs. {3} also given wrongly in CVA. {4} facs. gives: δι(ε)(ν).

Bibliography: Photos. ABV (1956), 384/16 (bib.). J. Descoeudres, CVA Basel 1, Switzerland 4 (1981), pls. 42,6 and 43,3, pp. 106-107 (facss.). Add.[2] (1989), 101.

Author: H.R.I.


A:       σγι^ιρ(γ)(.) > SZeGŰ' ÜRöGŐ/IReGŐ > szegül ürögő/iregő (the light footed puts his back into it)

δεχο(δ) (ν)ιιειογε > De EGY ÓDa eNNYIJÉ' JOGa-E > de egy óda ennyijé(rt) joga-e (but is an ode due to him just for that)


Szegül ürögő/iregő (könnyen mozgó), de egy óda ennyijé(rt) joga-e? (The light footed puts his back into it, but is an ode due to him just for that?)


B:      (χ)δεδεο > eGY DED-E Ő > egy ded-e ő (isn’t he an infant)

ιε(.)δ(ν)δυ > JE(RK) De iNDÚ' > jerk (gyerek) de indul (he is a child but he starts)

σδεκογ > eSDi E KÖG > esdi e kög (this circus calls for him)

(.)ει(ο) > δι(ε)(ν){4} > iDeJÉN > idején (on time)


Egy ded-e ő? jerk (gyerek), de indul, esdi e kög (cirkusz) idején. (Isn’t he an infant? He is a child but he starts, but he starts, this circus calls for him on time.)

AVI 2013; BAD 7696

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig BS 1921.350. BF lip cup. Unattributed{1}. Third quarter sixth.

Decoration: Lip: A, B. each: two sirens facing.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: imitation letters: A: three plus seven letters. B: χ(ν)εειλ vac. 2, plus three more letters{2}.

Commentary: Ex Bachofen collection.

Footnotes: {1} by the same hand as Para. 77, Beazley-Magi, Raccolta Guglielmi, pl. 21(?) (CVA). {2} to judge by the photo in CVA.

Bibliography: BADB 7696. J. Descoeudres, CVA Basel 1, Switzerland 4 (1981), pl. 32,4-6. Hornbostel (1986), 49/12 (part of A).

Author: H.R.I.


?     χ(ν)εειλ > eGYeN-E ÉJJeL > Egyen-e éjjel? (Should one eat at night?)

AVI 2023;

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig Kä 426. RF skyphos. Manner of Tarquinia Painter. Second quarter fifth. Ca. 470 (Schauenburg). 470-460 (CVA).

Decoration: A: Eros flying with taenia and phiale. B: Eros flying with phiale and oinochoe.

Inscriptions: B: on the oinochoe's body, diagonally downward, in BG: nonsense: (h)εγ or (h)ελ{1}.

Commentary: Ex Lucerne market (A.A.). Ex Meggen, Käppeli. - The letters are written where one would expect a wreath; they are clear.

Footnotes: {1} The first letter like an uneven and reversed heta, clearly miswritten. Schauenburg prints the text on the oinochoe: ΓΕΛ.

Bibliography: Schauenburg (1960a), no. 156. ARV[2] (1963), 872/25 bis. Berger (1963), D 13. Para. (1971), 427. V. Slehoferova, CVA Basel 3, Switzerland 7 (1988), pls. 25,1-2, 26,1,2,7, Beilage 7,2, facs. p. 47.

Author: H.R.I.


(h)εγ or (h)ελ > HEG vagy HÉLa > heg vagy héla (toklász, magtalan) (scar or awn (seedless))

AVI 2034; BAD 7695

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig Z-331. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth. 540-530 (CVA).

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

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A: nonsense: νιχνιχνι. B: not given.

Commentary: Ex Zust.

Bibliography: BADB 7695. J. Descoeudres, CVA Basel 1, Switzerland 4 (1981), pl. 33,2-3; p. 93 (facs. of inscription on A).

Author: H.R.I.


νιχνιχνι > iNNi IGYoN ÍGY NI > Inni igyon, így ni! (Drink to drink, that's it!)

AVI 2035;

Basel, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig Z-364. BF amphora. Swing Painter. Third quarter sixth. 540-530 (CVA).

Decoration: A: men attacked by bees while stealing honey. B: two pairs of warriors fighting on either side of a fleeing woman.

Inscriptions: B: on the shield of the falling warrior of the right-hand pair, which is seen from the side: nonsense, in white: ΝΟΕ.

Commentary: Ex Züst collection. - A scene similar to that on A: London B 177, q.v. The nonsense inscription is used as shield device.

Bibliography: Schefold (1966), no. 104,3. Para. (1971), 134/21 quater. J. Descoeudres, CVA Basel 1, Switzerland 4 (1981), pl. 30,2,4, p. 88 (facs.). Davies–Kathirithamby (1986), 67 (A). Add.[2] (1989), 80.

Author: H.R.I.


ΝΟΕ > NŐÉ' > Nőé(rt) (For woman)

AVI 2095; BAD 14

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF neck amphora. Unattributed; Botkin Class{1}. Third quarter sixth. Ca. 540 (Cahn).

Decoration: Neck: A, B, each: Heracles and the Lion, between numerous figures. Body: love-making: A: bearded man stroking a youth (ορχιπεδιζων) between two men; dog. A similar pair is embracing between two men; two dogs.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: neck: A and B: numerous short nonsense inscriptions. Text gives: εν. κεμ. κκμ. ικευ. Body: A: to left of (behind) the lover's head: εκευνοι{2}. B: to right of (behind) the youth's head: εκεν. Under the foot, Gr.: six parallel lines{3}.

Footnotes: {1} workshop of the Phrynos Painter. {2} so Auktion's text; the photo seems to show something different but the letters are too small to be sure. {3} see Johnston (1979).

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1975), pl. 23/123. Johnston (1979), 30 and 207.

Author: H.R.I.



εν κεμ κκμ ικευ > κεμεν κρμ ικευ > KEMÉNY KaRMa ÍKÉVe' > Kemény karma íkével ... (With the wedge of its hard claws ...)


g. For a while, Heracles was at a loss how to flay the lion, until by divine inspiration, he thought of employing its own razor-sharp claws, and soon could wear the invulnerable pelt as armour, arid the head as a helmet.(R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 123.g.)



A:     εκευνοι > ÉKE ÜNŐI > Éke ünői. (His adornment is feminine.)

B:     εκεν > ÉK E Nő / ÉKE Nő / ÉKE'Ne >Ék e nő. / Éke nő(l). / Ékelne. (This woman is an adornment. / His wedge grows. / He would like to wedge in.)


It is a triple wordplay!


AVI 2100; BAD 9017864

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth.

Decoration: Lip: A, B, each: outline head to left.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A: centered but in an irregular line: nonsense: 14 imitation letters. B: centered, the line a bit irregular: γτα v. π(.)(σ)σοπευ{1}.

Commentary: Note that the number of letters on A is the same as that of a drinking inscription: χαιρε και πιει ευ. Cf. the inscription on B, which ends in ευ.

Footnotes: {1} there is a one space gap after the third letter. (.)(s) are unclear letters.

Bibliography: M&M-List (1964), 31/58 (A).

Author: H.R.I.

A:     ?

B:     γτα v. π(.)(σ)σοπευ > γτα(.)π(.)(σ)σοπευ{1} > GáT ALaPoZáS eSŐBE' Ű' > Gát alapozás esőben ül (elmerül). (Dam/dyke foundation laying in rain sinks.)

AVI 2110; BAD 775

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF band cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth. Ca. 540 (Cahn).

Decoration: Handle zone: A: between sphinxes in lieu of handle palmettes: duel of naked warriors (one with a Boeotian shield). B: similar.

Inscriptions: A: to left of the duelists: nonsense inscription of 11 letters. To their right, similar: χαι plus six nonsense letters, perhaps: χαιραιρε... . B: similar.

Commentary: Cahn says the inscriptions begin with χαι but end in nonsense, but the left inscription on one side (B?) does not seem to start this way; the right inscription does. The picture of the other side (A?) is too small to tell. -Clearly an illiterate attempt to write the drinking inscription.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1956), [no.?] 92. M&M-Auction (1975), pl. 22/124.

Author: H.R.I.

χαιραιρε... > iGYA JóRA ÍR E > Igya, jóra ír e! (Drink it, it's medicine for good!)

AVI 2115; BAD 9017870

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth.

Decoration: Lip: A: female head in outline. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: ατ(α)[.]οιλιοπχυ{1}. B: similar; the inscription more complete, but surface is dirty.

Footnotes: {1} the reading is uncertain.

Bibliography: Photo in Beazley Archive.

Author: H.R.I


ατ(α)[ϝ]οιλιοπχυ > A TÁV OJJaL JÓBa eGYŰ' > A táv ollyal jóba együl. (The remote with such unites in good.)


2116; BAD 9017214

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth.

Decoration: Lip: A: two draped men, facing.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: A: short nonsense: σ̣λοπγπχ.

Commentary: Complete. Letters uncertain, free-hand and not very even. Inscription complete. No photo of B.

Bibliography: Photo in Beazley Archive.

Author: H.R.I.


σ̣λοπγπχ > SZőLŐBe' éG BöGYe/BiGGYe > Szőlőben ég bögye/biggye. (Heaven's crop/stomach/pendant is in grape.)

AVI 2128; BAD 15

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF neck amphora. Unattributed. Last quarter sixth. Ca. 515 (Cahn).

Decoration: Neck: A: Dionysus. B: maenad, looking back. Body: BG.

Inscriptions: Neck: B: around the figure: nonsense: σοδχχασ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} Auktion gives σοδχ-χ-ασ, indicating gaps between the letters.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1975), pl. 32/147.

Author: H.R.I.


σοδχχασ > SZÓDé üGYe GYÁSZ > Szódé (mohó/torkos) ügye gyász. (Greedy’s/nibbler’s business is sorrow.)

AVI 2141; BAD 792

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF cup. Unattributed. Late sixth. Ca. 500 (Cahn).

Decoration: Int.: archer running to right while shooting to left. A: at left, two hoplitodromoi facing (shield device: centaur); behind them, a column; bearded trainer; hoplitodromos; young trainer. B: at left, mule (only the head is preserved); maenad between two satyrs; at right, boy on an ihyphallic mule.

Inscriptions: Int.: hο παι<ς> κ^αλο[ς], retr. [πα]ις <κ>αλο{ι}ς{ι}{1}. A: to left of the centaur's head, in BG: nonsense: οιh(?). Above the scene: ο^καλο, retr. plus: ^ hο ^ παι(γ)ο{1}. Miswritten? B: above the scene: κααλ. καλοι. [κ(?)]αλε.

Commentary: B: no doubt there was a boy riding the mule on the left. The inscriptions no doubt poorly reported in Auktion. They appear to be miswritten hο παις καλος or mock inscriptions (part nonsense). Note the difference between the athletic and the Dionysiac scenes.

Footnotes: {1} my interpretation of what Auktion prints.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1975), pls. 31 and 36/151.

Author: H.R.I.

Int:     hο παι<ς> κ^αλο[ς] > HO' BAJ Ki ÁLLÓ [Ha] > Hol baj ki álló ha, (Where problem is the one who stands, if)

[πα]ις <κ>αλο{ι}ς{ι} > [MeSSZ]I SZÁLLÓ ŰZI > [messz]i szálló űzi. (if long distance flyer chases him.)


A:     οιh(?) ο^καλο ^ hο ^ παι(γ)ο > OLY H(Ű) Ő Ki ÁLLÓ HO' BAJ aGGÓ > Oly hű ő ki álló hol baj aggó. (So faithful is who stands up where the trouble is alarming.)


B:      κααλ καλοι [κ(?)]αλε > oKKA' ÁLL Ki ÁL OLY [Ki CS]ÁLÉ > Okkal áll ki ál, oly[ki cs]álé (magtalan). (With reason stands out the one which is deceptive (sterile mule!).)



AVI 2143; BAD 353

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF cup. Colmar Painter (Cahn). First quarter fifth. Ca. 490 (Cahn).

Decoration: Int.: jumper: athlete with halteres. Ext.: athletes, three on each side: A: three boxers. B: discobolus between two boxers getting ready.

Inscriptions: Int.: Λυσις καλος. A: above the scene: Κοραχς{1}. B: above the scene: [...]αι[...]{2}.

Footnotes: {1} referring to one of the boxers? Cahn has nonsense: ροραρσ. {2} Cahn has: ..ΑΙ, which would also be nonsense.

Bibliography: BADB 353 (no other bibl.). M&M-Auction (1975), 65/153 (ill.). Add.[2] (1989), 397.

Author: H.R.I.


Λυσις καλος > eLŰZI SoK ALOS > Elűzi sok alos (alább való). (The many minors drive him away.)

Κοραχς / ροραρσ{Cahn} > Ki ŐRá AGYaS / eRŐRe ÁRoS > Ki őrá agyas (makacs) / Erőre áros (becses). (Who is headstrong with him. / He is precious on strength.)

[...]αι[...] > ..AI{Cahn} > [DoB]ÁJJ > [Dob]álj! (Keep throwing!)


AVI 2148; BAD 1434

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF/WG lekythos. Athena Painter. First quarter fifth. Ca. 480 (Cahn).

Decoration: Apollo with bow, looking back.

Inscriptions: To right, following the body: στοστοστο{1}.

Footnotes: {1} so Auktion's text; small in photo.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1969), 48/82, pl. 28.

Author: H.R.I


στοστοστο >SZóT OSZT OSZTÓ / SZíTÓ SZóT OSZT Ő / éSZT OSZT OSZíTÓ > Szót oszt osztó. / Szító szót oszt ő. / Észt oszt oszító (uszító). (Distributor distributes words. / He distributes inflammatory words. / The provocator deals out brains.)


AVI 2149; BAD 12301

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. BF/WG alabastron. Diosphos Painter. First quarter fifth. 500-490 (Cahn).

Decoration: Gigantomachy. Ares and a giant; Athena and a giant (Enkelados).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: imitation inscriptions: between Ares' legs: 5+ letters. Above Ares' opponent: υχιχισ. Above Enkelados: υχιχι(σ)υ... (not all letters are visible).

Bibliography: Emmerich Gallery (1968), 22. M&M-Auction (1969), 47/80, pl. 28.

Author: H.R.I.


υχιχισ > ÜGY ÍGY IS > Ügy így is (It is a case anyway.)

AVI 2151; BAD 188

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. Lekythos in Six' technique. Sappho Painter. First quarter fifth. Ca. 490 (Cahn).

Decoration: Bearded citharode before a palm tree.

Inscriptions: Before the palm tree: φ[.]οντοσ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} Cahn read Φ[α]οντος, considering it the name of the citharode, a singer for Apollo-Helios; but R. Perry (by letter) suggests that the letters are probably nonsense. I agree.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1975), pl. 32/145.

Author: H.R.I.


φ[.]οντοσ > Φ[α]οντος{1} > F[A]ÖNTÖZő > f[a]öntöző (tree-watering)


If the letter in [.] is in fact erased than:


φοντοσ > FONTOS > fontos (important)

AVI 2152; BAD 307006

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. Lekythos in Six' technique. Diosphos Painter (Cahn). First quarter fifth. 490-480 (Cahn).

Decoration: Warrior with a horse.

Inscriptions: On each side, nonsense inscription in two lines: at left: λυιλιλ{1}; below it, a row of vertical strokes.

Footnotes: {1} Cahn prints the first lambda as a Latin L, the other two as Attic lambdas.

Bibliography: M&M-List (1971), 18/15 (ill.).

Author: H.R.I.

λυιλιλ > LÚ ÜL ÜL > (ló) ül, ül! (Horse sit, sit!) (Just look up the picture!)

AVI 2153; BAD 11550

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF column krater. Unattributed{1}. First quarter fifth.

Decoration: Heracles and Cycnus; at right Ares. B: komos of three youths, each carrying an empty(?) wineskin.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: on Cycnus' shield: οισ...σϝ/οισ ογσο. Above him: οισ vac. οσα. On the lower half of Ares' shield: σποσιο{2}. B: on the wineskins are imitation letters. Under the foot, Gr. : ΔΙ/ΟΞ. (Not in Johnston (1979)).

Commentary: The inscriptions done after the text in Auktion, no doubt not very reliably.

Footnotes: {1} not in Beazley; Cahn suggests the circle of the Nikoxenos Painter, and near the Göttingen Painter. {2} the photo seems to show eight letters.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1967), pl. 47/150.

Author: H.R.I.


οισ...σϝ/οισ ογσο > φισ φγσο > FeJéSZ FoGáS Ő > Fejész (nehezen felejthető) fogás ő. (He is a hard to forget attack/catch.)

οισ vac. οσα > φισ ϙσα > FeJeS KaSZA > Fejes (önfejű) kasza. (He is a headstrong scythe.)

? σποσιο > SeBÖS JŐ/SeBÖSÜ' Ő > Sebös jő./Sebösül ő. (It comes fast./He gets wounded.)

e. Heracles now came to Itonus, a city of Phthiotis, where the ancient temple of Athene stands. Here he met Cycnus, a son of Ares and Pelopia, 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.

g. … 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. Heracles and Iolaus then despoiled Cycnus’s corpse and resumed their interrupted journey; while Athene led the fainting Ares back to Olympus.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 143.e, g.)


AVI 2159; BAD 711

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF cup. Boot Painter (Cahn). First quarter fifth. Ca. 475 (Cahn).

Decoration: Int.: libation: a bearded man with his stick seated and holding a phiale; a draped boy pours from an oinochoe. A, B, each: hoplitodromoi: A: in the center, a woman pouring a libation for a hoplitodromos; at left, hoplitodromos with his sword; at right, a youth seated with his stick (trainer). B: three hoplitodromoi with trainer.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the figures: nonsense: γυ^ι^οσυγι.

Commentary: Done from Auktion's text; barely visible in photo. The inscription is related to Kleophrades Painter's nonsense. The scene on A seems humorous: the libation is faulty and the left athlete has trouble putting on his sword; see Auktion, p. 45.

Bibliography: M&M-Auction (1980), pls. 36 and 41/95.

Author: H.R.I.


γυ^ι^οσυγι > éGiVe' Ű ÖSZVeGÜ' > Égivel ű öszvegül (összegül = összeadódik). (He'll get summed up with heavenly.)


AVI 2168; BAD 12630

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter (Cahn). Second quarter fifth. Ca. 470 (Cahn).

Decoration: Young trainer; st right, aryballos, sponge, strigil hung up.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: οσ-σοε. Under the foot, Gr.: φ.

Bibliography: M&M-List (1971), 24/21 (ill.).

Author: H.R.I.


οσ-σοε φ > ŐSi SZÓ'-E Fi > Ősi szól-e, fi(ú)? (Does the ancestral talk, boy?)

AVI 2170; BAD 12700

Basel, Market: Münzen & Medaillen AG. WG lekythos. Unattributed. Second quarter fifth. Ca. 460 (Cahn).

Decoration: At top, maeander. Seated woman holding a mirror; to her right, a kalathos; at left, a long sakkos hung up.

Inscriptions: To right of the mirror: nonsense: γ(γ) γ{1}.

Commentary: Imitation letters. Cahn compares lekythoi by the Tymbos Painter.

Footnotes: {1} vacat of one space before the last letter.

Bibliography: M&M-List (1971), 38/50 (ill.).

Author: H.R.I.


γ(γ) γ > GőG aGG > Gőg agg. (Pride is anxious.)

AVI 2178; BAD 244

Basel, Private (CJ) Fragmentary WG lekythos. Painter of Athens 1826 (Cahn). Second quarter fifth. 460-450. Ca. 450 (Cahn).

Decoration: A standing woman faces a seated woman reading from a book roll; at left a crow to left; on the wall, a satchel (tablets with stylus).

Inscriptions: On the book roll, nonsense: stoich. three-liner: νδσ(.) | hνου | αυhσ{1}.

Commentary: Ex Basel Market (M.M.). For the stoichedon see Immerwahr (1973). [[Ht. 272.]]

Footnotes: {1} the fourth letter is the bottom of a diagonal stroke (/).

Bibliography: Photo. Immerwahr (1973), 146/12 quater, pl. 33, figs. 3-4. M&M-Auction (1975), 75f./169, phs. pl. 46.

Author: H.R.I.


νδσ(.) | hνου | αυhσ > νδσ(.) | hνου | αυh{N DL}{1} > öNiDőSíTő | Ha NŐ Ü' | Á' Ű Ha dől > Önidősítő ha nő ül, áll ű ha dől. (When a woman sits, she makes oneself older, makes it stand (erect!) when the woman leans back.)

{1}: The diagonal stroke / is a nu dől “nu leaning back”.

AVI 2198;

Berkeley, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum 8/3. RF cup. Poseidon Painter (Coarser Wing II). Last quarter sixth.

Decoration: Int.: Poseidon. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of forehead: οκ(κ)σ(ν). Behind his back: ιο̣(ν). Also: κκσμιον{1}.

Commentary: Ex Hearst? Three-stroke sigma.

Footnotes: {1} text, not visible in photo.

Bibliography: H.R.W. Smith, CVA Berkeley 1, USA 5 (1936), pl. 32,1. ARV[2] (1963), 136/6. Add.[2] (1989), 178.

Author: H.R.I.


οκ(κ)σ(ν) ιο̣(ν) > OK KéSZeN/KéSőN JÖN > Ok készen/későn jön. (Cause comes ready/late.)

κκσμιον > Ki oKoS áMú'JON > Ki okos ámuljon. (Who is clever let wonder.)

AVI 2199; BAD 201126

Berkeley, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum 8/4. Fragmentary RF cup. From Cerveteri. Unattributed (Coarser Wing I). Last quarter sixth.

Decoration: Int.: woman dancing with krotala. A: departure of chariot, with Hermes or youth (fragmentary). B: battle (parts of 6 warriors).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: starting to left of woman's face, around the circle, facing out, nonsense: ιοε(ε)οσοσ{1}. A: under the handle and above the extended arm of a figure on B, to left of Hermes' leg: ισε[...]{2}. B: starting under the left handle, between legs: εδεσ{3}. On the second warrior's shield, which is seen from the inside, horizontally in BG between two dotted circles: καλος. To right of this warrior's head: αοσ[...]. Between legs at right: αι(.)ο. - The photo of Braunschweig 502, which gives part of A, seems to give Β[...] to right of the head of the youth. CVA, Germany 4, also gives that beta and, preceding it, perhaps an omicron, i.e. [...]οβ[...].

Commentary: + Braunschweig 502. Ex Van Branteghem and Somzee Collections.

Footnotes: {1} the second epsilon perhaps a pi. {2} perhaps complete at left. {3} so CVA, text; the second letter looks more like alpha in the photo. {3} CVA, text; the third letter given as two horizontal strokes.

Bibliography: BADB 201,126. H.R.W. Smith, CVA Berkeley 1, USA 5 (1936), pl. 32,2 and 3 (Braunschweig). A. Greifenhagen, CVA Braunschweig, Germany 4 (1940), pl. 12,3 (Braunschweig). ARV[2] (1963), 135/11.

Author: H.R.I.


ιοε(ε)οσοσ > ιοε(π)οσοσ{1} > JÓ-E POSOS > Jó-e posos (megposhadva)? (Is it good stagnant?)

ισε[...] > IDE[…] > ide… (here…)

εδεσ > ÉDES > édes (sweet)

καλος > Ki ÁLLÓS > ki állós (what is lasting)


AVI 2208; BAD 320383

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1686. BF amphora. From Vulci. Painter of Berlin 1686. Third quarter sixth.

Decoration: Feast of Athena: A: sacrifice of a cow at an altar of Athena: Athena and her priestess; man and two youths leading a cow. B: two cithara players; two flute players; all bearded.

Inscriptions: B: nonsense: to lower right of each figure: χειοχειοσειοχεισο{1}. χεο(ρ)ειογσιο(ρ)ει(ο){2}. (ρ)ειο v.οχειο(γ)ειολειοι{3}. χειοχοι(.)(γ)(.)οιο(χ)ειο{4}. Above heads of flautists: χπιο(.)hεο v. (.)ο{5}.

Commentary: Berlin East. Small letters. The inscriptions resemble ειοχεοχε: see Berlin 1697. Curious that A has no inscriptions.

Footnotes: {1} the last letter may be theta with a horizontal bar. {2} the rhos perhaps alphas; the last letter smeared. {3} rho perhaps alpha; gamma near-Ionic. {4} not all letters clear; gamma Ionic. chi = `Argive' lambda. {5} the end unclear; first (.) a dot; the second (.) = .

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1686. — ABV (1956), 296/4. — Para. (1971), 128. — Böhr (1982), pl. 89. — Add.[2] (1989), 77 (bibl.). — Shapiro (1989), 30, pl. 9,c-d. — Shapiro (1992), 54-55, fig. 34,a-b (A, B).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2354


χειοχειοσειοχεισο > uGYE JÓ üGGYE' JÖSSZ E JÓ uGYE ÜSZŐ > Ugye jó üggyel jössz? E jó ugye üsző? (Are you coming with a good cause, aren't you? Is this good a heifer, isn't it?)

χεο(ρ)ειογσιο(ρ)ει(ο) > χεο(ρ)ειογσιο(ρ)ειε{2} > uGYE ŐR E JOGoS JÓR E JE' > Ugye őr e jogos jóra e jel? (Is this mark a guard for this rightful good, isn't it?)

(ρ)ειο v. οχειο(γ)ειολειοι > (ρ)ειο v. οχειοπειολεςοι{3} > őRE JÓ Ó uGYE JOBB E JÓ LESŐJe > Őre jó ó, ugye? Jobb e jó lesője. (Does the guardian protects well, doesn't he? Better is his good lurking.)

χειοχοι(.)(γ)(.)οιο(χ)ειο > χειοχοι(κ)π(ρ)ϙιο(χ)ειο{4} > uGYE JÓ eGY OLY KóBoR Ki JÓ üGGYE' JŐ > Ugye jó egy oly kóbor ki jó üggyel jő? (Is such a vagabond, who comes with good intentions, good, isn't he?)

χπιο(.)hεο v. (.)ο > χπιο(ToSZ)hεο v. (ζ)ο{5} > üGYBe' JÓ TáSS HÉ Ő űZŐ > Ügyben jó táss hé, ő űző. (Fever/elan in business/affair is a good companion, it is driving.)



AVI 2209; BAD 320396

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1697. BF amphora. From Cerveteri? Painter of Berlin 1686. Third quarter sixth Ca. 530

Decoration: A: chorus of `Knights' (Beazley), with flutist. B: satyrs and maenads.

Inscriptions: In front of the flutist: nonsense: ειοχ(ε)οχ(ε).

Commentary: Hampe says the inscription eiocheoche is not meaningless; he compares New York 26.49 (the Nearchos aryballos) for the shouts of pygmies and cranes, Acr. i, 220 and 2184 and Acr. i, 213 and 2124, for other shouts. Pickard-Cambridge thought this was a shout addressed to the `horses.' Beazley proved it nonsense. For parallels, see AttScr and Brownlee, RA 1989, 4 n. 5 who discusses the inscriptions connected with this painter. The second and third epsilons are miswritten.

Bibliography: Furtwängler (1885), no. 1697. — *Beazley (1929a), 361-62. — *Beazley (1931–2), 10/8. — *Hampe (1935–6), 295ff. — ABV (1956), 297/17. — Pickard-Cambridge (1962), 246. — Para. (1971), 128. — Dev.[2] (1986), pl. 76, fig. 4. — Add.[2] (1989), 78 (much bibl.). — AttScr (1990), 27 n. 10 [[mention]].

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2355


 ειοχ(ε)οχ(ε) > E JÓ uGYe E Ó üGYÉ' > E jó ugye e ó ügyé(rt)? (Is this good for this old case?)

AVI 2210; BAD 310314

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1698. BF amphora. From Vulci. Group E. Stesias (bf.), kalos. Mid-sixth Ca. 540

Decoration: A: Ajax and Cassandra. B: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Inscriptions: A: Ανθιλοχος{1}. Πολυχσενε. Αι[ας]. Κατ<τ>ανδρ̣α̣. Αθεναι̣α, retr. γλαυχς. Σκαμανδροφιλος. Στεσιας κα[λος]. B: πε(π)ιχσπχο̣ε, retr. (after Furtw., facs.). (.)(.)σχσ. Θεσευ[ς]. (π)σπυεο(.)σ. πευπ(.), retr. [Ἀ]ριαγ(ν)ε, retr. πε v.(?) (ρ), retr.{2}. ε vac. μ(.)σ(.).

Commentary: Restored (ABV). The readings combine those of Furtwängler, Beazley in BSA, and a photo once in Beazley's possession. The nonsense inscriptions on B after Furtw. only. Beazley in BSA gives Αριαγνε, complete. Furtw. and Beazley print Ανθιλοχος. Pi is often miswritten in the nonsense. Not all letters are clear in the facsimiles.

Footnotes: {1} This, not Αν(φ)ιλοχος, is the correct reading, for Αντιλοχος. See also Threatte (1980), 463. {2} (ρ) may be a miswritten pi.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1698. — Beazley (1931–2), 7/32. — Wolff (1936), photo opposite p. 208. — ABV (1956), 136/54, 674. — Add.[2] (1989), 37. — AttScr (1990), no. 130.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2356


 A:     Ανθιλοχος > Ανθιλογος{1} > A Nő CSILLOGÓS > a nő csillogós (the woman is a sparkler)

Πολυχσενε > aPOLi ÜGYeS ENNÉ' > apoli ügyes ennél (he kisses her he is clever with this)

Αι[ας] > A J[ÁSZ] > a j[ász] (the Jazygian)

Κατ<τ>ανδρ̣α̣ > oK A TANDíRA > ok a tandíra (reason for tuition fees)

Αθεναι̣α > A CSE'/CÉ' Nő ÁLLJA> a csel/cél nő állja (the trick/aim the woman stands it)

γλαυχς > GáLÁVa' ÜGYeS > gálával ügyes (with gala-dress she is skilful)

Σκαμανδροφιλος > SZűK ÁM A Nő De RŐF ILLŐS > szűk ám a nő de rőf illős (the woman is very thin but the yard goods are proper)

Στεσιας > S TESZi JÁSZ > s teszi jász (and the Jazygian makes it up)

κα[λος] > Ki Á[LLÓS] > ki á[llós] (who stands out)


A nő csillogós, apoli (szeretgeti), ügyes ennél a j[ász], ok a tandíra (tandíjra) a csel/cél. Nő állja, gálával (gálaruhával) ügyes. Szűk ám a nő, de rőf illős s teszi jász ki á[llós]. (The woman is a sparkler, he kisses her, the Jazygian is clever with this, the trick/aim is reason for tuition fees. The woman stands it, with gala-dress she is skilful. The woman is very thin, but the yard goods are proper and the Jazygian, who stands out, makes it up.)


B:       πε(π)ιχσπχο̣ε > eBBE' éPP ÍGY SZéP íGY Ő E > ebben épp így szép így ő e (in this exactly this way she is nice he with this)

(.)(.)σχσ > (SZéP) SZűGYeS > (szép) szűgyes ((nice) bulging)

Θεσευ[ς] > CSÉSZÉVe' [iS] > csészével [is] (with cup to)

(π)σπυεο(.)σ > BeSZéPŰ' E Ö(Nö)S > beszépűl e önös (becomes nice this selfish man)

πευπ(.) > éPP E VéPP(E') > épp e véppel (lépéssel) (exactly with this step)

[Ἀ]ριαγ(ν)ε > [Á]RuJA iGeNE' > [á]ruja igenel (his merchandise excel)

πε v.(?) (ρ) > πε v.(?) (π){2} > eBBE' éPP > ebben épp (exactly in this)

ε vac. μ(.)σ(.) > E Mű(Vé)SZe(TÖ > e művészet (this is conjuring/artful)

Ebben épp így szép, így ő e (szép) szűgyes (kidudorodó) csészével [is] beszépűl. E önös épp e véppel (lépéssel) [á]ruja igenel (remekel), ebben épp e művészet (In this exactly this way she is nice this way he with this (nice) bulging cup becomes nice. For this selfish man, exactly with this step, his merchandise excel, exactly in this is this conjuring/artfulness.)

Just to illustrate how the high science works: here is this 'word' Κατ<τ>ανδρ̣α̣, definitely written with just one τ, as Κατανδρ̣α̣. For the scientists this 'word' is nonsense, so they discredit the potter and they will tell us that the potter meant to say Cassandra, but he mixed up the τ and σ letters. I would say that these scientists mixed up science with bragging at a bar counter.

AVI 2211; BAD 310014

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1704. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Cerveteri. Kyllenios Painter (Bothmer). Second quarter sixth 560-550 Middle period (Kluiver).

Decoration: A: Birth of Athena. B: fight (three pairs of warriors).

Inscriptions: A: Διονυσος. hεφ{ι}αιστο<ς>. hερμες ειμι Κϙλελνιος. h(ε)λειθυα. Ἀ(θ)εναια̣. ΔΒευς. [Δε]μετερ. [Ευρ]υμεδ̣[ον](?). Ἀ<ν>φ[ιτριτ]ε. Απολ<λ>ον. B: ροοτσ. .ονος. π(.). [[Alternate reading, from Ruijgh/Kluiver:]] A: Διονυσος. hεφαιστο<ς>, retr.{1}. hερμες ειμι ΚϘΛΕΛΝΙΟς{2}. hελειθυα{3}. ΔΒευς. Αθεναια. [Δε]μετερ. [Ευρ]υμεδ[ον]{4}.

Commentary: Eurymedon and Amphitrite are Furtwängler's restorations. Eurymedon would be an epithet for Poseidon. See further, AttScr.The beta in ΔΒευς is sometimes taken for a Corinthian epsilon. Kirchner reads Κϙυελνιος, but the upsilon is indistinguishable from the lambda. Kirchner reads Κϙυελνιος (cf. also Threatte (1980), 22), but the upsilon is indistinguishable from the lambda. The letters in the nonsense inscriptions on B are thicker and coarser. The alphabet is mainly Attic. The first epsilon of Eileithyia lacks the bottom horizontal. Closed heta. Dotted theta. Koppa with large head.

Footnotes: {1} Ruijgh: either lacks the final sigma or was meant as genit. Cf. also Threatte (1996), 725. {2} so R. saying: remarkable that Hermes who is not very important in this story has such a long name. The dittography in the epithet and in ΔΒΕΥς may best be explained by assuming the writer used Corinthian examples (see Kretschmer 102f.). Parallels for ειμι (the regular Attic form): see Threatte (1980), 176-77. {3} for the second letters see Threatte (1980), 342. {4} the epithet of Poseidon, `he who rules far and wide,' occurs e.g. in Pindar, Olymp. 8.31. Cf. also Threatte (1980), 546; ii, 231.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1704. — Bothmer (1944), C 1. — *Kirchner (1948), pl. 3/6 (photo of A). — ABV (1956), 96/14, 683. — Para. (1971), 36. — *H. Mommsen, CVA Berlin 5, Germany 45 (1980), pls. 12, 14,1-2, 16,1-3. — Add.[2] (1989), 25 (much bibl.). — AttScr (1990), no. 178. — *Kluiver (1996), 1/107 and 5/107 (inscriptions done by C.J. Ruijgh), fig. 38.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2357


A:      Διονυσος > iDe JÖN VeSSZŐS > ide jön vesszős (here comes the one with shoots)*

hεφ{ι}αιστο<ς> > hεφιαιστο > Ha E iFJA IS uTÓ > ha e ifja (utódja) is utó (if this his offspring is also later)

hερμες ειμι Κϙλελνιος > HERe Mi ESÉLY MŰ Ki KeL ÉLNI ŐS > here mi esély mű ki kel élni ős (drone what is a possibility as he is artificial who sprouts to life ancestral)

h(ε)λειθυα > HÉLa-E Ű CSóVA > héla-e ű csóva (barren is he, truss)

Ἀ(θ)εναια̣ > A' CSENÁLJA > a' csenálja (that makes it)

ΔΒευς > iDőBE' ViSSZa > időben vissza (backwards in time)

[Δε]μετερ > [DE] Mi ÉTER > [de] mi éter (but what is aether)

[Ευρ]υμεδ̣[ον](?) > [E VéRé]Ve' MEDD[ŐN] > [e véré]vel medd[őn] (with this his blood sterile)

Ἀ<ν>φ[ιτριτ]ε > Aφ[ιτριτ]ε > A' iF[JaT éRi ÍT]E > a' if[jat éri ít]e (the judgement will fall on the offspring)

Απολ<λ>ον > Απολον > APa-ÖLŐN > apa-ölőn (like patricide)


Ide jön vesszős. Ha e ifja (utódja) is utó (utólag) here, – mi esély: mű ki kel élni. Ős héla-e (magtalan-e) ű? Csóva, a' csenálja (csinálja) időben vissza, [de] mi éter, [e véré]vel medd[őn], a' if[jat éri ít]e apa-ölőn. (Here comes the one with shoots. If this his offspring is also later becomes drone, – what is a possibility, as he is artificial who sprouts to life. Is he an ancestral barren? A truss that makes it backwards in time, but what is aether, with this his blood sterile, the judgement will fall on the offspring, like patricide.)

B:       ροοτσ .ονος π(.) > ροϙτσ γονος πρ > eRŐ-KeTTőS GONOSZ PáR > Erő-kettős gonosz pár. (Force doubled is an evil/malicious pair.)


* Look what he holds in his hand.

That Zeus swallowed Metis, for instance, and subsequently gave birth to Athene, through an orifice in his head, is not an irrepressible fancy, but an ingenious theological dogma which embodies at least three conflicting views:

               (1) Athene was the parthenogenous daughter of Metis; i.e. the youngest person of the Triad headed by Metis, Goddess of Wisdom.

(2) Zeus swallowed Metis; i.e. the Achaeans suppressed her cult and arrogated all wisdom to Zeus as their patriarchal god.

(3) Athene was the daughter of Zeus; i.e. the Zeus-worshipping Achaeans spared Athene’s temples on condition that her rotaries accepted his paramount sovereignty.

Zeus’s swallowing of Metis, with its sequel, will have been represented graphically on the walls of a temple; and as the erotic Dionysus—once a parthenogenous son of Semele—was reborn from his thigh, so the intellectual Athene was reborn from his head.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, Introduction)



AVI 2214; BAD 310012

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1712. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. From Vulci. Unattributed. Mid-sixth 550-530

Decoration: A: warrior in a chariot leaving home. B: two warriors fighting between two pairs of man and woman. Below: horse race of eight youths, with a judge.

Inscriptions: A: inscriptions vertical: nonsense: κνορν{1}. κσυοσκ{2}. κσυ̣δοσ, retr.{3}. οσο(φ)σν, retr.{1}. υοχσ{2}. B, upper zone{1}: οσοι̣. υ(.). υον(φ)σνσο. υονσο.

Commentary: Berlin East. Sigma almost sideways.

Footnotes: {1} Furtw., text. {2} AM, pl. 16. {3} Furtw., facs. The nu's may all be sigma's.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1712 (one facs.). — *Wrede (1916), pl. 16,12 (A). — ABV (1956), 96/12. — Add.[2] (1989), 25.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2360


A:      κνορν > κσορσ{3} > Ki SORS > ki sors (What is destiny)

κσυοσκ > KaSZáVa' Ő SoK > kaszával ő sok ( it is too much with scythe)

κσυ̣δοσ > KáSZúVa' aDÓS > kászúval adós (with basket it is in debt)

οσο(φ)σν > Ó SZÓ FeSZeN > ó szó feszen (old word in good manner)

υοχσ > óV Ő íGY iS > óv ő így is (it protects anyway)


Ki sors: kaszával ő sok, kászúval (kosárral) adós, ó szó feszen (modorosan) óv ő így is. (What is destiny: it is too much with scythe, with basket it is in debt, old word in good manner it protects anyway.)

B:       οσοι̣ υ(.) > Ó SZÓLJ VeLe > ó szólj vele (o speak with it)

υον(φ)σνσο > óVÓN FeSZeN SZÓ > óvón feszen szó (cautiously mannered word)

υονσο > VONSZO' > vonszol (takes you on)


Ó, szólj vele óvón, feszen szó vonszol! (Oh, speak it cautiously, mannered word takes you on.)


AVI 2215; 310012

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1717. BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Group of London B 174 (Near Group E, v). Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Shoulder: A: foot race: three runners between two seated and two standing men. B: man running; Pegasus; youth running. Body: A: citharode (Apollo?) between two women. B: Heracles and the lion between Iolaus and Athena.

Inscriptions: Shoulder: B: under Pegasus: nonsense: imitation letters: (.)(σ)συαν.

Commentary: Berlin West.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1717 (facs.). — ABV (1956), 141, 686. — Add.[2] (1989), 38.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2361


(.)(σ)συαν > FuSS SiVÁN > Fuss siván (zsivány)! ( Run, you rascal!)

AVI 2231

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1768. Plain lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: No figured decoration.

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: ϝγκγνουεκνο. B: (κ)νγκγκϝυγκ̣ο.

Commentary: Attic gamma with a short right hasta. U-shaped digamma. The first kappa on B smudged; the last may be upsilon (only the top is preserved).

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1768. — AttScr (1990), no. 958.

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2377


A:     ϝγκγνουεκνο > VéGeKiG NŐV-E Ki NŐ > Végekig nőv-e ki nő? (Is the one who grows grows to the ends.)

B:     (κ)νγκγκϝυγκ̣ο > ννγκγκϝνγλο{Commentary} > NőNe eGeKiG Ki VoNaGLÓ > Nőne egekig ki vonagló (halállal küzdő). (The one who is fighting with death would like to grow up to the Heavens.)


AVI 2235; BAD 302570

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1773. BF lip cup. From Etruria. Painter of Boston Polyphemos. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: erotic: man and youth between two men. A: lip: Nike. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Int.: six nonsense inscriptions, three of which are: κνεhϝϝ. (σ)(ν)(σ)λρϝ(ν). ϝhϝκϝιϝν. A, B, each: nonsense inscriptions.

Commentary: Berlin West. U-shaped digamma. D-shaped rho. Some nu's reversed. Sigma = <.

Bibliography: *Photo (Int.). — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1773. — Beazley (1932), 178. — ABV (1956), 198/1. — Para. (1971), 80. — Add.[2] (1989), 53.

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2381


κνεhϝϝ > KíN E HeVéVe' > Kín e hevével. (It's torture with this his heat.)

(σ)(ν)(σ)λρϝ(ν) > SZáNáS éL áRVáN > Szánás él árván. (Pity lives orphaned.)

ϝhϝκϝιϝν > óV HeVe KíVŰ' íVáN > Óv heve kívül íván. (His heat protects spawning outside (like fish).)

AVI 2244

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1799. BF band cup. From Vulci. Unattributed{1}. Hippokritos (bf.), kalos. Mid-sixth Ca. 550

Decoration: Int.: frontal chariot; in the exergue: hound pursuing a hare. A: Gigantomachy. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Int.: above the scene: remains of a senseless inscription. In the exergue; above the scene: senseless letters. A: ευοπιν. οιτοττ. νλτσχιτυιπι. And others. B: similar inscriptions. Under one handle, horizontal non-stoich. two-liner: [h]ιπ<π>οκριτος | καλ<λ>ιστο[ς]. The other handle is missing.

Commentary: Berlin West. - The nonsense inscriptions after the text in Furtw. (unsatisfactory readings). Furtw. thought the signature of Glaukytes might have been under the other handle and Neugebauer cites the vase as "unsignierte, aber sorgfältige Arbeit des Töpfers Glaukytes."

Footnotes: {1} not by the same hand as London B 400 [which has the potter's signature of Glaukytes and the same kalos-name], ABV.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1799 (facs. of kalos-inscription). — Beazley (1932), 188 and 200. — Neugebauer (1932), 68. — ABV (1956), 164. — Add.[2] (1989), 47.

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2390


And other similar inscriptions.Where?

A:       ευοπιν > EVŐ BŰNe > ()

οιτοττ > OLY TÖ'TöTT > ()

νλτσχιτυιπι > NáLa iTT öSSZeGYŰ' TöVIBŰ' > ()

B:       [h]ιπ<π>οκριτος | καλ<λ>ιστο[ς] > HIBa OKáRa ITOS KALISZTÁS > ()

AVI 2252; BAD 29217

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1836. BF neck (?) amphora. From Nola. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: A: Struggle for the Tripod: Apollo and Heracles. B: Athena and a giant.

Inscriptions: A: to Apollo's left, nonsense: τοτστ.

Bibliography: Stephani (1868), 43ff. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1836.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2398


τοτστ > iTT Ő uTaSíT > Itt ő utasít! (She gives the orders here!)

AVI 2253

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1837. BF neck amphora. From Nola. Diosphos Painter. Early fifth

Decoration: A: man holding a girl child over a stool, with woman and Hermes{1}. B: Peleus and Atalante.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: imitation inscriptions: A: above the stool: χσχι<. Above the woman: χυχιυχσ{2}. B: above the heads of P. and A.: υχυτ̣(π). Between the two: (λ)υχυχχυ. Under the foot, Gr.: siglum, see Johnston (1979), 105/21B 2.

Commentary: Berlin West. A small vase. - The inscriptions after the photo. Small and irregular letters. Attic lambda, forward-leaning. Pi with verticals of equal length.

Footnotes: {1} birth of Athena, Furtw., but Beazley in ABV objects and suggests perhaps Artemis. At any rate, the figures are divinities. {2} a blot after the second letter.

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1837 (facs.). — Haspels (1936), 238/121. — ABV (1956), 509/121, 703. — ARV[2] (1963), 973. — Para. (1971), 248. — *H. Mommsen, CVA Berlin 5, Germany 45 (1980), pl. 43,3-4. — Add.[2] (1989), 127.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2399


A:      χσχι< > χσχιλ > üGYeS íGY ÜL > ügyes így ül (Clever (girl) sits this way)

χυχιυχσ > χυ(•)χιυχσ{2} > íGY óVa(ToS) íGY Ű'Ve üGYeS > így ova(tos) így ülve ügyes (this way she is cautious sitting this way is smart)

Ügyes így ül, így óva(tos), így ülve ügyes. (Clever (girl) sits this way, this way she is cautious, sitting this way is smart.)

B:       υχυτ̣(π) > υχυτ̣(II){Commentary} > υχυτ̣(K_T) > GY ViTáKaT > gy vitákat (Thus afterwards)

(λ)υχυχχυ > eLé ÜGY ÚGY GYŰ' > elé ügy úgy gyűl (in front of her cases are collecting that way)


gy vitákat? Elé ügy úgy gyűl. (Does one desire contests? Cases are collecting in front of him that way.)


AVI 2254; BAD 302131

Berlin 1845. BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Painter of Würzburg 210 (Leagros Group){1}. Last quarter sixth. 510-500.

Decoration: A: Heracles playing the cithara, with Hermes and Athena. B: Dionysus with two pairs of satyr and maenad.

Inscriptions: Leagran nonsense: to Hermes' lower left: (ν)δεακ(.). Above Heracles' head: (ν)χδιασ{2}. To left of bema: χδε(α). Above the bema: χδοδ(ε). To the right of the bema: υαχν{2}. To Athena's right: υχοερ(α){3}. Under the foot, Grr.: ligature including pointed beta (2) and retr. pi with cross stroke: see Johnston (1979), 126/5E 1 and 127/6E 3; Hackl (1909), 45/508.

Commentary: Furtwängler's readings are not very accurate. I am not sure that all inscriptions are listed here. B is not inscribed.

Footnotes: {1} see ABV 370/136, where he is said to be near the Acheloos Painter; but on pp. 369 and earlier, on p. 357, Beazley speaks of the `Group of Würzburg 210.' {2} Furtw., text. {3} not in Furtw. Gamma and alpha cannot be distinguished in some cases; the same is true of nu and sigma.

Bibliography: Photo. Furtwängler (1885), no. 1845 (no facs., except pl. 1, the Grr.). ABV (1956), 370/136. Para. (1971), 162.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2400

The reading only makes sense when the alternate transcriptions/transliterations suggested by the Footnotes: Gamma and alpha cannot be distinguished in some cases; the same is true of nu and sigma., is taken seriously.


(Ν)ΔΕΑΚ(.) > (Σ)ΔΕΓΚ(T) > SZóD ÉGieKeT > szód égieket (your word, the heavenly)

(Ν)ΧΔΙΑΣ > (Σ)ΧΔΙΓΣ > SZiDJa De JoGoS > szidja de jogos (swears, and rightfully so)

ΧΔΕ(Α) > ΧΔΕ(Γ) > üGYeD ÉGi > ügyed égi (your case is heavenly)

ΧΔΟΔ(Ε) > üGY iDŐDDE' > ügy időddel (case, with your time)

ΥΑΧΝ > Ű aDJoN > ű adjon (S/he should give)

ΥΧΟΕΡ(Α) > ΥΧΘΕΡ(T) > ÜGYCSERéT > ügycserét (change of matter)


Szód égieket szidja, de jogos, ügyed égi ügy, időddel Ű adjon ügycserét. (Your word swears the heavenly, and rightfully so, your case is heavenly case, with your time S/he should make change of matter.)

AVI 2256; BAD 302396

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1851. BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Acheloos Painter (Leagros Group). Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: Heracles and Acheloos, with Hermes. B: hoplite and archer leaving home.

Inscriptions: A: Leagran nonsense: Photo: to right of Hermes' head: χι̣. Between Acheloos' (horse) legs: χαχδογσιχ. Above Heracles' head: h[.](ν)υ. To right of Acheloos' head: χκ(ρ). To right: χαο(ν). More? Furtwängler's text: above Heracles: (.)δκh(.)(ν)ολ. Further down: (.)χ. Below Acheloos: χαχ(ρ)ο. To right of his body: γινιχ. To right of his head, in smaller letters: χχι{1}. Above the raven: δο(ν)κ{2}. - Under the foot, Gr.: ΛΗ [[lig.]]: so Johnston (1979), 151/2F 5; Furtw. read only heta.

Commentary: B apparently not inscribed.

Footnotes: {1} the chi's 2 and 1, according to Furtw.'s text. {2} or δο(σ)κ(?).

Bibliography: *Photo. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1851 (no facs. except Gr.). — ABV (1956), 383/3. — Add.[2] (1989), 101. — Beazley (1989), pl. 14,1 (after Gerhard (1843), pls. 15-16).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2402


χι̣ >GYŰ' > gyűl (it gathers)

χαχδογσιχ > íGY AGYa DÖGöS ÍGY > így agya dögös így (this way his brain is quite sick this way)

h[.](ν)υ >{Furtw.} (.)δκh(.)(ν)ολ (.)χ > (éR)DeK H(O)NOL (Í)GY > (ér)dek h(o)nol (í)gy (interest resides this way)

χκ(ρ) > GYaKo(Ri) > gyako(ri) (often)

χαο(ν) > χασ(ν) > GYÁSZo(N) > gyászo(n) (in mourning)

χαχ(ρ)ο > aGYA íGY (eR)Ő > agya így (er)ő (one’s brain this way force)

γινιχ > éGIN ÍGY > égin így (on heavenly this way)

χχι > χχλ > GYóGYuL > gyógyul (is recovering)

δο(ν)κ > óDO(NNa)K/iDŐ[Ne]K > ódo(nna)k/idő(ne)k (archaic to become)


Gyűl így agya, dögös (beteges). Így (ér)dek h(o)nol, (í)gy gyako(ri) gyászo(n), agya így (er)ő égin, így gyógyul ódo(nna)k/idő(ne)k . (His brain gathers this way, it is quite sick. This way interest resides, this way is he often in mourning, his brain is this way force on heavenly, this way he is recovering for archaic to become / for time.)


It is quite interesting what the Wikipedia says about Achelous: “In Greek mythology, Achelous (/ækɨˈloʊ.əs/; Ancient Greek: Ἀχελῷος Achelōios) was the patron deity of the "silver-swirling" Achelous River, which is the largest river of Greece, and thus the chief of all river deities, every river having its own river spirit. His name is pre-Greek, its meaning unknown.Using the same transcriptions for Achelous’ name as for the “nonsense” inscriptions, we got a perfectly matching descriptive name :

Ἀχελῷος > ÁGY ELŐ ŐS > ágy elő ős (the ancestor of riverbeds)

ágybed’, but also waterbed, riverbed; előfore’, but also ancestor, father; os Greek word ending or ősancestor’. (ágybed’ rhymes with agybrain’, that is the bed of the mind! and this wordplay is playing in the above inscription.)

AVI 2257; BAD 6095

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1853. BF neck amphora. From Bomarzo. Unattributed{1}. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: A: the Struggle for the Tripod, between a palm tree and a doe on each side. B: athletes: two wrestlers between two trainers.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: between Heracles' legs: (κ)ειαοιχι, retr.? To his right: αλο(λ)(λ)ομσ, retr.?

Commentary: The inscriptions after Furtw.' text. The bracketed lambdas shaped = the Attic drachma sign.

Footnotes: {1} attributed to the Leagros Group by Baglione, to the Red-Line Painter by Mommsen; to the Club-foot Potter by Blösch and Mommsen.

Bibliography: BADB: 6095. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1853 (no facs.). — Schröder (1927), 126, pl. 66,a. — Baglione (1976), pls. 44-45. — Schauenburg (1979), pl. 6, fig. 17 (A). — H. Mommsen, CVA Berlin 5, Germany 45 (1980), pls. 28,6, 29,4, 33, Beilage E. — Holmberg (1989), 76, figs. 29-30. — LIMC v (1990), pl. 126, Herakles 2964.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2403


(κ)ειαοιχι, retr.? > ιχιοαιεκ{not retr.} > ÍGY JÓ A JE' Ki > Így jó a jel ki (So the sign is good who)

αλο(λ)(λ)ομσ, retr.? > σμολλολα{not retr.} > SZáMOL eLÓLÁ' > számol elólál (counts slinks away)

          Így jó a jel, ki számol elólál (elólálkodik). (So, the sign is good, who counts slinks away.)

The text refers to the count of the legs of the tripod: HáRoM > HaRaMia (brigand/bandit) is who takes the tripod, who is the stronger and better fighter.


AVI 2258; BAD 360895

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1879. BF neck amphora. From Vulci. Unattributed; Dot-Band Class, (v) (various painters). First quarter fifth

Decoration: A: wounded warrior carried by a comrade. B: duel over a fallen warrior.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: at left: hοε. At right: (.)οχεοτο. Under the foot psi (= chi) and upsilon, i.e., χυ(){1}.

Commentary: A small vase. From the printed letters in Furtw.

Footnotes: {1} Etruscan? Not in Johnston (1979), or Hackl (1909). If Etruscan, it should be retr.; hence perhaps ΛΑ (so the facs. in Furtw.).

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1879 (no facs. of Dipp.), pl. I (facs. of Gr.). — Para. (1971), 221 (add to ABV 483/v). — *H. Mommsen, CVA Berlin 5, Germany 45 (1980), pls. 44,1,2 and 47,3, Beil. G. — Add.[2] (1989), 122.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2404


hοε (.)οχεοτο > HO' É' aHO' üGYE O'TÓ > Hol él? Ahol ügye oltó. (Where he lives? Where his case is encouraging.)

AVI 2261; 360895

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1900. BF hydria. From Vulci. Acheloos Painter (Leagros Group). Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: 2 groups of youths taming bulls. Body: Peleus and Thetis approaching Chiron (four figures).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: shoulder: (γ)χγιν, retr. χκγογ, retr. χγε(ν)χι. (ν)χδνι. ν(χ)ευυ, retr.{1}. Body: to right of the horses: h(κ)ερενρ{2}. Elsewhere: σχεδεδ. νχεδε. νχενδεσ>. σχδιχι. Under the foot: ΛΗ [[lig.]]. See Johnston (1979), 151/2F 4, and Hackl (1909), 40.418.

Commentary: Furtw.'s readings are probably not reliable.

Footnotes: {1} Furtw., text. {2} the readings on the body taken from the photo.; here Furtw. gives: (ν)χεδεν(δ)ι. Other readings also differ, as the differences between sigma and nu, and of rho and delta, are unclear.

Bibliography: *Photo (body). — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1900 (facs. of Gr. only). — ABV (1956), 385/27. — Add.[2] (1989), 102. — Bérard et al. (1989), 60, fig. 84 (shoulder, shows inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2407



(γ)χγιν > (β)χγιν > BuGYoG INNi > bugyog inni (it bubbles on drinking)

χκγογ > íGY KaGOG > így kagog (it clucks)

χγε(ν)χι > íGY iGÉNY GYŰ' > így igény gyűl (so the want collects)

(ν)χδνι > υχδνι > VáGYóDNI > vágyódni (to desire)

ν(χ)ευυ > NaGY EVőVé > nagy evővé (to become big eater)


Bugyog inni. Így kagog, így igény gyűl vágyódni nagy evővé. (It bubbles on drinking. It clucks, so the want collects for desire to become big eater.)


as the differences between sigma and nu, and of rho and delta, are unclear”, the following corrections are legitimate:

h(κ)ερενρ > Ha KÉRő E NőRe > ha kérő e nőre (if suitor for this woman )

σχεδεδ > νχερεδ > iNGY ERED > ingy ered (in vain ruts)

νχεδε > NéGGYE' üDE > néggyel üde (he is fresh with four of them)

νχενδεσ> > νχενρεσ{Λ DőL} > iNGYEN RÉSeLő DőL > ingyen réselő dől (the fugitive will fall for nothing)

σχδιχι > S eGYeDi ÍGY Ű > s egyedi így ű (and she is unique/one-off this way)

Ha kérő e nőre ingy ered, néggyel üde. Ingyen réselő (menekvési rést kereső) dől s egyedi így ű. (If suitor for this woman in vain ruts, he is fresh with four of them. The fugitive will fall for nothing and she is unique/one-off this way.)

     j. … on the advice of Themis, Zeus chose Peleus to be the husband of the Nereid Thetis, whom he would have married himself had he not been discouraged by the Fates’ prophecy that any son born to Thetis would become far more powerful than his father. He was also vexed that Thetis had rejected his advances, for her foster-mother Hera’s sake, and therefore vowed that she should never marry an immortal. Hera, however, gratefully decided to match her with the noblest of mortals, and summoned all Olympians to the wedding when the moon should next be full, at the same time sending her messenger to King Cheiron’s cave with an order for Peleus to make ready.

k. Now, Cheiron foresaw that Thetis, being immortal, would at first resent the marriage; and, acting on his instructions, Peleus concealed himself behind a bush of patti-coloured myrtle-berries on the shores of a Thessalian islet, where Thetis often came, riding naked on a harnessed dolphin, to enjoy her midday sleep in the cave which this bush half screened. No sooner had she entered the cave and fallen asleep than Peleus seized hold of her. The struggle was silent and fierce. Thetis turned successively into fire, water, a lion, and a serpent; but Peleus had been warned what to expect, and clung to her resolutely, even when she became an enormous slippery cuttle-fish and squirted ink at him—a change which accounts for the name of Cape Sepias, the near-by promontory, now sacred to the Nereids. Though burned, drenched, mauled, stung, and covered with sticky sepia ink, Peleus would not let her go and, in the end, she yielded and they lay locked in a passionate embrace.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 81.j, k.)


AVI 2265

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1908. BF hydria. From Vulci. Leagros Group{1}. 510-500

Decoration: Shoulder: Achilles and Ajax playing. Body: 5 women at the fountain.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense in the field: νχεδε. (ν)ιιπι(.){2}. (ν)πε and ν(α){3}. νχει. Under the foot, 2 Grr.: ΛΗ Χ [[ΛΗ lig.]]. Delta with two cross strokes on a long vertical. See Johnston (1979), 151/2F 16 (the first Gr. only) = Hackl (1909), 40/419{4}. The other Gr.: Hackl (1909), 47/LXIV.

Commentary: Berlin East{5}. Most letters confirmed by photo and AA. Nu reversed and sideways sigma (hard to distinguish).

Footnotes: {1} see also Para. 173. {2} so the photo.; the second iota over the white of a hand. Furtw.: (ν)ιπι(.). {3} Furtw.: (σ)πε(σ)α, with sigma S 3. {4} similar, but without the cross strokes, is Johnston (1979), 109/6C. {5} ref. from E. Langridge.

Bibliography: *Photo (body). — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1908. — *Sulze (1936), 30, fig. 8 (body). — ABV (1956), 365/70. — Para. (1971), 162.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2411


νχεδε > NeGYEDDE' > negyeddel (with a quarter)

(ν)ιιπι(.) > (ν)ιπι(.){2} > iNNI eBBŰ' > inni ebbűl (to drink of this)

(ν)πε ν(α) > (ν)πε/(σ)πε σ(α){Commentary} > NéPPE'/SZéPPE' iSZA > néppe'/széppe' isza (with people/beauty is habit to drink)

νχει > iNGYÉ' Ű > ingyé(rt) ű (it's for free)

Negyeddel inni ebbűl néppel/széppel isza, ingyé(rt) ű. (With a quarter of this with people/beauty is habit to drink, it's for free.)


AVI 2267; BAD 9017550

Berlin, Antikensammlung 1936. BF oinochoe. From Camiros. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Seated man between two standing.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: e.g., μχιογχλ.

Commentary: After Furtw., text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 1936.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2413


μχιογχλ > MeGY JÓ GaGYuL > Megy jó, gagyul (lerészegül). (The good is going away, he gets drunk.)


AVI 2271; 390116

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2001. BF lekythos. From Italy. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Amazon(?) mounting a chariot; Nike(?) behind the horses.

Inscriptions: Nonsense. below the horses: ν(α). To horses' right: νϝι{1}.

Commentary: Much repainted. The alpha lacks the cross stroke.

Footnotes: {1} the inscription perhaps after a model that had Nικη (Furtwängler).

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2001.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2417


ν(α) νϝι > ν(λ){Commentary} νϝι > NYíL NYűVI > Nyíl (sors) nyűvi. (Cast/destiny is hard on her.)


AVI 2272; BAD 21088

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2003. BF lekythos. From Athens. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Peleus and Thetis, between Chiron and a Nereid.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: small imitation letters: between Chiron and Peleus: υιυχ. Between Thetis and the Nereid: (ρ)σσι[.](ν).

Commentary: The nu is reversed.

Bibliography: Treu (1881), 257. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2003 (facs.). — Baur (1912), 106/258.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2418


υιυχ (ρ)σσι[.](ν) > υιυχ (ρ)σσι[.]{N DűL}{Commentary} > VíVó íGY eRőS SZŰ [Po]SDuL > Vívó így erős, szű [po]sdul (pezsdül). (The contender is strong this way, the heart fizzles.)


AVI 2275; BAD 9017553

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2010. BF lekythos. From Rhodes. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Dance: woman on a bema, clapping; two women dancing; between them, a woman playing the flute; altar; youth{1}.

Inscriptions: Above, over the whole scene, in large letters: επαλκαλε{2}.

Commentary: After the text in Furtw.

Footnotes: {1} Neugebauer calls the figure a youth, Furtw., a priestess(?), and the scene `Sakraler Festtanz.' {2} Επαλ<κε> καλε̣, but it is not listed in Beazley. Επαλκος is listed in Pape; Επαλκειδης (409 B.C.) in LGPN ii. Or: hε παυ<ς> καλε̣ Or nonsense? Neugebauer says: "Im Raume die Inschrift Epalke," which presupposes an error in Furtw., or the reading Επαλκ{αλ}ε. καλε-name without kale?? Or name of a figure?

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2010 (no facs.). — *Neugebauer (1932), 49.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2421


επαλκαλε > ÉP ALaKKAL É' > Ép alakkal él. (It lives with healthy build/figure.)


AVI 2276

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2030. BF alabastron. From Pikrodafni (ancient Halimous), Attica. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Preparations for a cock fight: A: bearded man squatting in front of a tree and holding a cock; a hen is on the ground. B: the opponent: similar, but a youth.

Inscriptions: A: to left of the man: hο πα[ι]ς {ι}, retr. Above the cock: κα<λ>ο{ι}ς. I.e., hο πα[ι]ς {ι} κα<λ>ο{ι}ς{1}. Under the cock, nonsense: λστλτ. B: to right of the youth: Μικιον. To his left: καολολΙΙΙ, retr.{2}. Under the cock: ι(σ)τυ.

Commentary: The inscriptions after Furtw.'s text. Miswritten and nonsense, as well as sense.

Footnotes: {1} small and careless letters (Furtw.). {2} contains καλος (Furtw.), but I do not think that Mikion is here a kalos-name.

Bibliography: E. Curtius (1878), 159, pl. 21,1. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2030 (no facs.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2422


hο πα[ι]ς {ι} κα<λ>ο{ι}ς > HO' BA[J] SZIKÁ' OLY iS > hol ba[j] szikály oly is (where the misery is adherent, there)

λστλτ > LeSZ íTéLeT > lesz ítélet (there going to be judgement day)

Μικιον > MIKó' JÖN > mikor jön (when he comes)

καολολΙΙΙ > καολολ(HáRoM) > oKKA' ÖL ÖL HaRaMia > okkal öl öl haramia (he kills with reason, the bandit kills)

ι(σ)τυ > ÜSTö'Ve' > üstölve (by putting in kettle)


Hol ba[j] szikály oly is lesz ítélet. Mikor jön, okkal öl! Öl haramia üstölve. (Where the misery is adherent, there going to be judgement day. When he comes, he kills with reason. The bandit kills by putting one in kettle.)

AVI 2280; BAD 9017556

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2098. Fr. of BF kyathos. From Athens. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Two seated women spinning.

Inscriptions: Around them scattered letters. Nonsense: on the left: λλο. Below: ιειατ. Between them: Μικκα.

Commentary: Done from the text printed in Furtw. Μικκα is not in LGPN ii, but cf. Μικκος.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2098.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2426


λλο ιειατ >λλφιειατ > eLLeL FűJE úJAT > Ellel fűje újat. (Its grass will rise its fleece again.)

Μικκα > Μικρα > MIKoRRA > Mikorra? (How soon?)


AVI 2289; 202580

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2171. RF pelike. Geras Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: A: Triptolemos and Demeter. B: man offering a hare to a boy.

Inscriptions: A: above and to right of Triptolemos: nonsense: π(ο)εκακ<.

Commentary: Unclear letters.

Bibliography: *Photo. – *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2171. – ARV[2] (1963), 285/5. – Add.[2] (1989), 209.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2434


π(ο)εκακ< > π(ο)εκακ{Λ DőL}* > eBBŐ' E KÁKaLé DőL > Ebből e kákalé dől! (From it this bulrush juice pours!)


* < = Λ DőL 'Λ tips over'



Just look at the pictures! Look the sausage shaped spikes of the bulrush in Demeter's hand, they are the same as the spike of the bulrush in the photograph on the left. Its name in Hungarian is káka, here it is written as KÁKa with defective notation of vowels, leaving out the vowel a at its second occurrence in the word. Can scientists ever come up with a proof like this? Can they say again that this inscription is nonsense without making themselves fullish? Furthermore, the tipping over of Λ in the text to describe the depicted pouring of the bulrush juice is very peculiar, language specific occurrence.

 Bulrush in many survival books is presented as one of the “big four” survival foods. Starch from its roots/tubers, which is a lot like wheat, contains gluten, can be eaten raw or cooked and was a staple food of Aborigines.



AVI 2290; BAD 202832

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2176. RF hydria. From Castellucci in Basilicata. Probably Painter of Florence 3984 (Beazley). First quarter fifth

Decoration: Mission to Achilles: Phoenix, Odysseus, Achilles.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: above: ρχνκχ(ο)εσεσ. Between Phoenix and Odysseus: χοεσ. Between Odysseus and Achilles: οεσεσ.

Commentary: Done from Furtw., text only. Neugebauer dates after 490.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2176. — Neugebauer (1932), .... — ARV[2] (1963), 271/3. — Para. (1971), 353. — Add.[2] (1989), 206.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2435


ρχνκχ(ο)εσεσ > ρχνκχφεσεσ > üRüGYNeK üGY FESZES > Ürügynek ügy feszes! (For an excuse the cause (casus belli) is tight!)

χοεσ > χφεσ > üGY FESSe > Ügy fesse! (Let the cause paint it!)

οεσεσ > φεσεσ > FESSe ÉSZ > Fesse ész! (Let the mind paint it!)


AVI 2293; BAD 200119

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2181. Fr. of RF volute krater. From Capua. Phintias. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: A: parts of two groups of fighting warriors.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: above the central figure, between helmet and raised fist: καπενισανι{2}. To right of a warrior's head: εχυπκι ... (more){2}.

Commentary: + Villa Giulia frs.

Footnotes: {1} listed as fr. of a stamnos. {2} Furtw. has: καπενισαμνι. {3} my reading. Furtw. has: εχυπκιι, complete. I also considered the second inscription as possibly the continuation of the first: καπενισανι | εχυπκι ...

Bibliography: *Photo (Berlin VG). — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2181 (Berlin){1}. — ARV[2] (1963), 23/4.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2438


καπενισανι > καπενισαμνι{2} > KAP ENNYI SZÁMó'NI > kap ennyi számolni (So many gets it, to count)

εχυπκι > εχυπκλι{3} > EGYüVé PoKoLI > együvé pokoli (together it is hellish)


Kap ennyi, számolni együvé pokoli! (So many gets it, to count together it is hellish!)

AVI 2294; BAD 202509

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2182. RF stamnos. From Tarquinia. Syleus Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: A: Judgement of Paris, with Hermes and Aphrodite. B: Dionysus between two maenads.

Inscriptions: A: to right of Aphrodite's head: καλε. B: on the drinking horn held by Dionysus, in BG: καλσ<(.), retr.{1}.

Commentary: The inscription on B is not a regular nonsense inscription.

Footnotes: {1} so Furtw., text; miswritten for καλος(?).

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2182. — Beazley (1950), 318. — ARV[2] (1963), 251/32 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2439



καλε > oKKAL É' > Okkal él. (He lives with reason.)

καλσ<(.) > καλσ{Λ DőL}* > oKKAL SZeLíDüL > Okkal szelídül. (He is getting tamed with reason.)

* < = Λ DőL 'Λ tips over'

AVI 2297; BAD 203818

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2189. RF oinochoe. From Chiusi. Triptolemos Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Three women in a sacrificial procession.

Inscriptions: In the field, scattered small letters in two lines(?): nonsense: γγγ | ογγ(λ){1}.

Commentary: Are the readings reliable?

Footnotes: {1} so Furtw., text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2189. — ARV[2] (1963), 363/27 (bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2442


γγγ | ογγ(λ) > γγγ | ϙγγ(λ) > GáGoGó Ki GuGGoL > Gágogó ki guggol (gúnyolva szidalmaz). (Gaggling one is who pelts others with mocker abuses.)


AVI 2304; 204670

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2211. RF lekythos. From Basilicata or Nola (Furtwängler). Painter of Paris Gigantomachy. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Nike, frontal, holding an aphlaston. At left, low base (altar).

Inscriptions: On the left, in two lines, not correlated(?): καλε | hε παις. On the base, in BG, nonsense: κοστστ.

Commentary: The inscriptions from Furtw.'s text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2211; pp. 518 and 1055 (add.). — ARV[2] (1963), 423/125. — Add.[2] (1989), 235.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2449


καλε | hε παις > oKKAL E HÉ BÁJoS > okkal e hé bájos (with reason is this zeal lovely)

κοστστ > KOSZT SüTő > koszt sütő (food oven)


Okkal e hé(v), bájos koszt sütő. (With reason is this zeal, lovely food oven.)

AVI 2309; BAD 9017559

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2253. RF alabastron. From Attica. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Satyr and maenad.

Inscriptions: On a narrow reserved strip on the neck, in BG: nonsense: κννοhτισ.

Commentary: Hasty letters; from Furtw.'s text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2253.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2454


κννοhτισ > KíN NŐHeT IS > Kín nőhet is (Torment can grow also.)

AVI 2327; BAD 211324

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2282. Fragmentary RF/WG cup. From Vulci. Pistoxenos Painter. Euphronios, potter. Glaukon son of Leagros, kalos. Second quarter fifth 480-470 Ca. 470 (CVA).

Decoration: Int.: WG: woman facing a seated youth (Achilles and Diomede, Furtw.); probably a libation scene. A-B: RF: A: boys' horse race: two racers; three columns (one fluted). B: very fragmentary: youth with an object that may be a writing tablet; parts of youths and horses.

Inscriptions: Int.: in BG on WG: [Ευ]φρονιος :* ε̣ποιεσεν{2}. Below the signature, somewhat smaller: [Δι]ομεδ[ε] (Furtw.){3}. A: on the two plain columns, remains of widely spaced letters; no doubt: hο παις καλος{4}. Above: Γλαυκ̣ον κα[λος]. On the reserved foot profile, in BG: Ευφ[...], no doubt another potter's signature of Euphronios{5}.

Commentary: Diomede is mentioned as a slave and mistress of Achilles in Il. 9.664f.; the identification was first made by Jahn. -The inscriptions mainly after Furtw.; some letters have since been lost (see `ftn'). Beazley says this is the latest signature of Euphronios. Attic except for four-stroke sigma.

Footnotes: {1} CVA, pl. 102,1 is a photo of Euphronios' signature. {2} CVA gives (in agreement with pl. 102,1): [Ευφ]ρονιος : ε̣ποιεσε[ν]. The phi and final nu are no longer visible, but were reproduced in Diepolder (1954), 5ff., fig. 1 and pl. 1; Diepolder (1936), 1ff., pls. 1 and 2,2, reproduces the old restorations. Berlin Antikenmuseum (1991), 235 shows no trace of the first epsilon; the interpoint is triple. {3} now showing only [--]μεδ[--]; see Berlin Antikenmuseum (1991), 235 (there may be a slight trace of the omicron). Jahn (1853), 143, restored: Διομηδη; differently Hartwig. {4} so CVA, but Berl. cat. says `mit buchstabenähnlichen Zeichen'. Nonsense? {5} this fr. mentioned by Furtw. and Hartwig, but the foot is now lost (CVA; Berlin Antikenmuseum (1991)).

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2282. — Beazley (1944), 36 = Beazley (1989), .... — *A. Greifenhagen, CVA Berlin 3, Germany 22 (1962), pls. 102,1-5, 103,1-6, figs. 1-3 (photos, mainly the old condition) (much bibl.){1}. — ARV[2] (1963), 859/1, 1703. — Add.[2] (1989), 298. — AttScr (1990), no. 717. — *Berlin Antikenmuseum (1991), 234/56 (present condition: Int., A; bibl.). — Robertson (1992), 156 and fig. 162 (Int.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2472


[Ευ]φρονιος ε̣ποιεσεν > [EVVe'] FúRÓN JÓS ÉPP OLY ESZÉN > [evvel] fúrón jós épp oly eszén (with this one is a cleverly seer, exactly such is in his mind)

[Δι]ομεδ[ε] > [De J]Ó íM ÉD[E] > [de j]ó ím éd[e] (but its sweet is good)

hο παις καλος > HO' BÁJoS KiÁLLÓS > hol bájos kiállós (where lovely is who stands out)

Γλαυκ̣ον κα[λος] > GáLA eVőKÖN KiÁ[LLÓS] > gála evőkön kiá[llós] (on eating galas one stands out)


[Evvel] fúrón (furfangosan) jós, épp oly eszén, [de j]ó, ím éd[e]. Hol bájos kiállós, gála evőkön kiá[llós]. (With this one is a cleverly seer, exactly such is in his mind, but its sweet is good. Where lovely is who stands out, on eating galas one stands out.)

AVI 2341; BAD 204411

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2300. RF cup. From Chiusi. Briseis Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: king (Thoas?) in a chest.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: three small hasty letters: τσκ.

Commentary: Done from Furtw., text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2300. – ARV[2] (1963), 409/43. – Para. (1971), 371. – Add.[2] (1989), 232.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2486



τσκ > ThoáSZ Ki (&) To'a úSZiK > Thoász ki (&) tova úszik. (Thoas who (&) swims away.)


or just a simple word-play:


τσκ > ThoúSZiK > Thoúszik. (Thoaswims.)

… the Lemnian men had quarrelled with their wives, complaining that they stank, and made concubines of Thracian girls captured on raids. In revenge, the Lemnian women murdered them all without pity, old and young alike, except Thoas, whose life his daughter Hypsipyle secretly spared, letting adrift in an oarless boat.” R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 149.b.)

AVI 2385; BAD 212159

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2523. RF cup. From Italy. Bordeaux Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: a satyr in long chiton and himation holds a branch over an altar. A-B: women at home.

Inscriptions: Int.: to left of the scene, nonsense: οσ(σ)σγ.

Commentary: Done from Furtw.'s text.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2523. — Hartwig (1893a), 167 n. 11. — ARV[2] (1963), 835/1.

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2530


οσ(σ)σγ > ŐS SoSe éG > Ős sose ég! (Ancestor never burns!)

AVI 2394; BAD 3407

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2549. RF cup. Unattributed. Ca. 425

Decoration: Int.: boy in himation with a yo-yo. A: a seated boy playing the lyre; another holds out a closed book roll; at right a third reads in an open roll. B: three youths.

Inscriptions: A: on the open book roll, nonsense in small hasty letters, two-liner (stoich.?): γανμ(α)ν | (α)αγχνθ.

Bibliography: BADB: 3407. — Panofka (1843), pl. 4/5. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2549. — Pöhlmann (1960), frontispiece (A). — A. Greifenhagen, CVA Berlin 2, Germany 21 (1962), pls. 93,3,4,7 and 94,6. — A. Greifenhagen, CVA Berlin 3, Germany 22 (1962), pl. 129,3 (3,7 (A, Int.). — *Immerwahr (1964), 23/11 (bibl.). — Beck (1975), pls. 11/63 and 15/79 (A). — Pöhlmann (1976), 57 and 72/11. — Deubner (1982), 363, fig. 9 (dr. of Int.). — *Lezzi-Hafter (1988), 140, 331/150, pl. 104. — May et al. (1991), 77, fig. 67 (Int.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2539


γανμ(α)ν | (δ)αγχνθ > éG Á' NéMÁN De AGG aGYa oNTJa > Ég áll némán, de agg agya ontja (a tudást).(The Heaven stands silently, but the old man's brain pours (the knowledge).)

AVI 2404; BAD 219002

Berlin, Antikensammlung 2589. RF skyphos. From Chiusi. Penelope Painter. Third quarter fifth Ca. 440

Decoration: Anthesteria: A: satyr swinging a woman. B: woman (the Basilinna) escorted by a satyr{1}.

Inscriptions: A: above the satyr: Ε(υ)α[ν](θ)εια. Above the girl: [κ]αλη{2}. B: above the woman: Θ(ε)(μ)^ισστο{3}. To satyr's right: Χοριλλος{4}. Under the foot, Gr.{5}.

Commentary: Berlin East (vidi). Coarse lettering. - A: the Aiora is part of the Anthesteria.

Footnotes: {1} so ARV[2]. {2} many readings have been proposed: ει αδεια (Hiller); εια ω εια (Wolters); ει Ανθεια καλη (Hauser); εια α εια (Buschor); Ευανθεια καλη (Immerwahr, TAPA). Portrait-kalos. Iota for upsilon, omicron for theta. {3} read retr. by Furtw. (after Heydemann): Θεμισστο. Epsilon would be miswritten or written over an omicron. Mu = nu, not retr. Sigmas not retr. FR has οτσσι νοθ, similar to Furtw. Nonsense does not seem likely on this vase, though miswriting does. {4} so Furtw. [[Hauser in]] FR gives: Χοριλλ<ος>. {5} the Gr. is not given in Furtw. or in Johnston (1979).

Bibliography: CIG 4 (1855–77), no. 8447b. — *Furtwängler (1885), no. 2589 (facs.). — *F. Hauser in FR (1904–32), iii, 28-32, pl. 125 (dr.); p. 128, n. 11 (Buschor) (bibl.). — C. Fränkel (1912), 70, 96/x. — Immerwahr (1946), 256. — ARV[2] (1963), 1301/7. — Para. (1971), 475. — Add.[2] (1989), 360 (bibl.). — Kossatz-Deissmann (1991), 150 (Chorillos 1, bibl.). — Robertson (1992), 218-19.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2549


Ε(υ)α[ν](θ)εια > EVVe' A [Nő] CÉLJA > evvel a [nő] célja (the woman's aim with this)

[κ]αλη > KALa'-E > kalaj-e (is it tramping)

Θ(ε)(μ)^ισστο > CSE'/CÉ' MI eSZeS uTÓ > csel/cél mi eszes utó (trick/aim what looks clever later)

Χοριλλος > íGY ŐRJüL öLŐS > így őrjül ölős (such a maddening killer)


Evvel a [nő] célja kalaj-e (csavargás-e)? Csel/cél mi eszes, utó(lag) így őrjül ölős. (With this is the woman's aim tramping? Trick/aim what looks clever, later is such a maddening killer.)

AVI 2425; BAD 9017604

Berlin, Antikensammlung 4008. BF pyxis. From Attica. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Lid: two chariots racing; termata between them. Body: Peleus and Thetis.

Inscriptions: Lid: nonsense: spacefilling imitation letters: μν(λ)γλκ(λ).

Commentary: After Furtw., text. Lambdas resemble the `Argive' type{1}.

Footnotes: {1} not true lambdas.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1885), no. 4008. — Neugebauer (1932), ....

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2570


μν(λ)γλκ(λ) > MéNNeL éG LaKoL/LéKeL/LeKeL > Ménnel ég lakol/lékel/lekel. (With a stud-farm Heaven atones/springs a leak/lands on earth.)


Turf-lovers would heartily agree to all three readings!

AVI 2454; BAD 1003937

Berlin, Antikensammlung inv. 3241. RF cup. From Capua. Unattributed. Date unclear

Decoration: Int.: youth arming. Ext.: plain.

Inscriptions: Int.: to left and right of head: κ(α)κος ^ κ(α)χσος.

Commentary: Nonsense imitating a kalos-inscription.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1893), 90/38 (not ill.). — Neugebauer (1932), 91 (not ill.). — A. Greifenhagen, CVA Berlin 3, Germany 22 (1962), pl. 129,4,8 *dr. (small).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2598


κ(α)κος ^ κ(α)χσος > κλκος ^ κλχσος > Ki aLaKOS oKuL GYáSZOS > Ki alakos okul gyászos. (The dissembler/simulator is edified sorrowfully.)


AVI 2458; BAD 330735

Berlin, Antikensammlung inv. 3252. BF lekythos. From Eretria{1}. Athena Painter. Early fifth

Decoration: Hypnos and Thanatos with the body of a young warrior (Sarpedon).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of Hypnos: σε(τ)οσ{2}. Above the warrior, in groups of 2 letters: ο(σ) (π)ο εκ ο(σ), retr. Above him: σλοσκ and (λ)λ. To left of Thanatos: (σ̣)ετσλ.

Commentary: Done from AA. The second inscription written in groups of two letters.

Footnotes: {1} said to be from the same tomb as Berlin 3253 (Neugebauer). {2} the tau upside down.

Bibliography: *Furtwängler (1893), 85/20, fig. 20. — Neugebauer (1932), 51. — Haspels (1936), 147, 255/28 (bibl.; not ill.). — ABV (1956), 522/28.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2602


σε(τ)οσ > SiETŐS > sietős (urgent)

ο(σ) (π)ο εκ ο(σ) > ŐS áPO' É' Ki ŐSi > ős ápol él ki ősi (the forefather cares for you lives who is ancestral)

σλοσκ (λ)λ > SZóL ŐS Ki éLLeL > szól ős ki éllel (speaks the ancestor who with edge)

(σ̣)ετσλ > eSETeS éL > esetes él (only accidentally lives)


Sietős? Ős ápol, él ki ősi, – szól ős, ki éllel esetes (véletlenszerűen) él. (Is it urgent? The forefather cares for you, lives who is ancestral, – speaks the ancestor, who with edge/blade only accidentally lives.)

AVI 2495; BAD 200892

Berlin, Antikensammlung inv. 31390. WG alabastron. From Athens. Group of Paidikos Alabastra. Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Two youths, and a boy with a cat. Bottom: archer in silhouette.

Inscriptions: Nonsense, in BG: above the scene, in a marked-off zone, filling the circle: αλαλ ^ υσχεν ^ {1}. To left of the boy: χε......ε{2}. To his right: χο̣ε(σ)ε(.){3}.

Commentary: Berlin West. One sigma sideways.

Footnotes: {1} ^ indicates the bosses. {2} uncertain, from the photo, whether there is a letter after the second epsilon. {3} I could not see the letters in the photo.

Bibliography: *Photo. — ARV[2] (1963), 101/4. — Add.[2] (1989), 172.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2639


αλαλ ^ υσχεν ^ > ÁLL A Ló eVéS/iVáS íGYEN > Áll a ló, evés/ivás ígyen. (When the horse stands, eating/drinking is in order.)

χε......ε χο̣ε(σ)ε(.) > GYE[ReKeKK]E' íGY Ő ESZEL > Gye[rekekk]el így ő eszel. (With the kids it (the cat) grows shrewder.)

AVI 2503; BAD 209067

Berlin, Antikensammlung inv. 1989.2. RF lekythos. Carlsruhe Painter. Second quarter fifth

History: Ex Mainz, Brommer collection. Ex Lembessis.

Decoration: Bearded man, leaning on his stick and holding out a flute case; his mouth is open. Behind him, strigil and sponge hung up.

Inscriptions: To right of his mouth, nonsense: imitation letters: πυο(ν)(ν)ι{1}.

Commentary: The inscription is read by Neumann: πτοσσε (πτῶσσε): the man, on his way to a symposium, is holding out the flute case to someone, probably a hetaera (not represented), and says to her: ‘duck’, i.e. he wants to have intercourse. But the inscription seems to be the Carlsruhe Painter’s usual nonsense.

Footnotes: {1} I want to thank I. Wehgartner for sending me a picture (the original of fig. 2 in her article). This shows, from the open mouth, slightly bearing upward: πυο... (the rest is unclear). I originally read the inscription upside down: (.)(γ)ο(σ)(σ)(ι), but this is erroneous. The facs. must be turned 180 degrees: πυο(ν)(ν)ι. The nu's are reversed; they are read as sigmas by Neumann, which is not impossible, but I do not see a tau or an epsilon.

Bibliography: *Photo (detail with inscription). — ARV[2] (1963), 733/76. — Kumme (1989), no. 275. — *Wehgartner (1989), 223-231, fig. 1, facs. of inscr. by M. Heilmeyer, p. 230. — *I. Wehgartner, CVA Berlin 8, Germany 62 (1991), pls. 4,1-4 and 5,5, Beilage 3,2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2647


πυο(ν)(ν)ι > BúVÓ NüNÜ > Búvó nünü (síp). (Hiding whistle/reed.)


Nothing dirty, dear Neumann, just hiding, probably misplaced flute!

AVI 2518; BAD 7257

Bern, University (loan). RF lekythos. Circle of Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Satyr with drinking horn, branch, and wineskin over his shoulder.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: on the winskin, lengthwise, in BG: νοσϝγεκ.

Commentary: = Bern, Private. Attic alphabet.

Bibliography: *Lanz (1973), 57-59, pls. 7,1 and 8,1 (detail).

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2662


νοσϝγεκ > NŐS üVeGE éK > Nős üvege ék! (Married man's bottle/glass is ornament (glass-beads on the wife)!)


AVI 2536b; BAD 13378

Bochum, Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität S 1104. BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Castellani Painter. 560-500 (Pfeifer).

Decoration: A: upper body: symposium: three couches with two bearded men reclining on each. B: in the center, a woman to left, stirring in a kettle, with fire beneath; at left and right, each, two bearded dancers; at the extreme left, a flautist.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: at the extreme right, vertically down: γτοε(κ)ο{1}. B: to right of the flautist, an inscription{2}. Above the left portion of the kettle, bending down at left: ατο(α)ε(μ)χτ, retr.{3}. Betweeen the dancers at right, vertically down: γεο(π)χμ{4}.

Commentary: The lettering is odd and the letters are not clearly oriented. Soome identifications are quite doubtful. The phs. are excellent.

Footnotes: {1} partly kionedon. Kappa S 1 in chart in AttScr? {1} so the text; not illustrated. {3} the second alpha: alpha 10? {4} nearly kionedon. Pi S 5?

Bibliography: Kunisch (1984), 14, figs. 8-9. — *U. Pfeifer (1989), 42/14 (A), fig. 1 (detail of A with inscription) and fig. 3 (detail of B with 2 inscriptions).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2683


γτοε(κ)ο > éGeTŐ E KŐ > Égető e kő. (This stone is burning.)

ατο(α)ε(μ)χτ > ατορε(μ)χτ > A TÖRE Mi GYú'T > A töre mi gyújt. (The turf of peat what ignites.)

γεο(π)χμ > éG-E ÖBéDJe/ËBéDJe Ma > Ég-e ëbédje ma? (Will her lunch burn today?)

AVI 2547; BAD 330812

Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico 74. BF oinochoe. From Bologna. Workshop of Athena Painter, iv. First quarter fifth

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

Inscriptions: To left of the right warrior, not facing: nonsense: χενοι{1}.

Commentary: = inv. G.M. 9. Beazley compares Bologna 73 (ABV 527/28).

Footnotes: {1} a very doubtful reading from the photo in CVA. The last letter looks more like a lambda.

Bibliography: *L. Laurinsich, CVA Bologna 2, Italy 7 (1931), III H e, pl. 34,5. — ABV (1956), 527/23.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2694


χενοι > eGY E NŐJé > Egy e nőjé! (One for this woman!)

AVI 2576; BAD 42070

Bonn, Akademisches Kunstmuseum 60. BF oinochoe (olpe). Unattributed. Last quarter sixth Ca. 510

Decoration: Warrior with horse.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: behind his head: ε..., retr.{1}. Beginning over the horse's head: νσονιο(σ).

Commentary: The sigma 3-stroke and sideways.

Footnotes: {1} no more is visible in the photo.

Bibliography: *Greifenhagen (1935), 450-51, fig. 36 (bib.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2723


… νσονιο(σ) > … NáSZÓ'Ni JÖSSZ > … nászolni jössz! (… you're coming for nuptials!)

AVI 2586; BAD 202084

Bonn, Akademisches Kunstmuseum 315. RF cup. From Chiusi. Painter of London E 2 (near Nikoxenos Painter). Last quarter sixth 510-500 (CVA). 520-510 (Gabelmann).

Decoration: Int.: symposium: youth reclining, playing kottabos.

Inscriptions: Between his foot and the hand holding the cup: (ν)χαομι.

Commentary: Leagran nonsense, though RF. The painter is (according to ABV) "a black-figure painter and doubtless a member of the Leagros Group." Alpha with the right bar curved.

Bibliography: *A. Greifenhagen, CVA Bonn 1, Germany 1 (1938), pl. 2,5 and 3,1. — ABV (1956), 390/4. — ARV[2] (1963), 225/6. — Add.[2] (1989), 198. — AttScr (1990), no. 1045.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2733


(ν)χαομι > hχδομι > HaGYóDÓ MŰ > Hagyódó mű. (Traditional art.)


AVI 2594

Bonn, Akademisches Kunstmuseum 538. BF/WG lekythos. From Athens. Perhaps Athena Painter himself (Beazley). Early fifth

Decoration: Heracles and the bull.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: around the bull's tail: (π)(σ)ε(σ)γ, retr. Above Heracles' head: (α)σο(.){1}.

Commentary: Greifenhagen places the vase with the lekythos Cab. Méd. 299, Haspels (1936), [[258/]] no. 106. Sloppy letter forms, some miswritten.

Footnotes: {1} there may be more. The picture in Gabelmann seems to show (around Heracles and bull): σσ v. ρσοσ̣ ... σ.

Bibliography: *Greifenhagen (1935), 467-68, fig. 51. — ABV (1956), 523, bottom. — *Gabelmann et al. (1969), no. 156, fig. 83. — Add.[2] (1989), 131.

Author: H.R.I.

Internal ID: 2741


(π)(σ)ε(σ)γ > BőSZ E SeGG > ()

σσ v. ρσοσ̣ ... σ{1} > eSZeS eRőS ŐS … > ()

AVI 2608; BAD 207259

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 76.47. RF cup. From Capua. Villa Giulia Painter. Ca. 450

Decoration: Int.: symposium (youth reclining). A: boy with lyre, youth, and man. B: the like.

Inscriptions: Int.: nonsense: συυσγ. A: γυι(γ)υ̣(λ)υλ(ι). B: γυιγγι(.)σγυγγ.

Commentary: Imitation letters, hard to identify.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 625/103. — AttScr (1990), no. 704.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2755


συυσγ > SZŰ ÜSZöG > Szű üszög (His heart is fire-brand.)

γυι(γ)υ̣(λ)υλ(ι) > aGG VÍG VeLE ÜLL Ű > Agg víg, vele üll ű. (The old man is jolly, with him celebrates he.)

γυιγγι(.)σγυγγ > aGG VÍG éGI ÜSZöG VéGiG > Agg víg égi üszög végig. (The old man is jolly heavenly fire-brand all the time.)



AVI 2614; BAD 207813

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 90.157. RF Nolan amphora From Nola. Painter of London E 342. Second quarter fifth 470-460

Decoration: A: two women at an altar. B: youth.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: between the heads, horizontal stoich. left-aligned two-liner: λσhσυ | κ̣(ο)λ(ο) vac.

Commentary: The second line resembles καλο<ς>. Imitation of a kalos-inscription. Mixed alphabet. Lambda upright and turned 180 degrees (or gamma). The omicrons miswritten. Three-stroke sigma.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 667/19. — AttScr (1990), no. 658.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2761


λσhσυ | κ̣(ο)λ(ο) > LeSZ Hű SZŰ KÖLLŐ > Lesz hű szű köllő (kellő)! (The faithful heart going to be desirable!)

AVI 2615; BAD 2503

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 92.2654. BF lip cup. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth 550-530

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

Inscriptions: Handle zone: nonsense: A: εοεσδ(σ)εοεδ(σ)εσε. B: αε(σ)οκοπ(.)εσεσεσς. Both complete.

Commentary: In large letters. Attic alphabet. Some sigmas could be iotas written with a slight wave.

Bibliography: BADB: 2503. — E. Robinson (1893), 365. — M. True et al., CVA Boston 2, USA 19 (1978), pls. 93,6 and 95,1-2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2762


A:     εοεσδ(σ)εοεδ(σ)εσε > É' Ő ÉS DiSZÉ' Ő ÉD SZESSZE' > Él ő és diszély ő, éd szesszel. (It (the swan) lives and it is decorative, sweet with caprice.)

B:     δε(ι)οκοπ(η)εσεσεσς > éD E JÓ KÓPÉ ÉS ESZES iS > Éd e jó kópé és eszes is. (This rascal is sweet and clever also.)

AVI 2626; BAD 205728

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 95.23. RF calyx krater. From Orvieto. Fröhner Painter (see ARV[2]). Second quarter fifth 470-460 (Beazley).

Decoration: A: Zeus pursuing Thetis. B: a Nereid fleeing to Nereus.

Inscriptions: A: to left of Thetis' head: nonsense: λο(.)λ, apparently complete. To right of Zeus' face: λ(ο)(σ)[...]. To right of his head: λονα(.) vac. B: to right of the Nereid: καλος, retr. To left of Nereus' scepter: Νερευς, retr.

Commentary: The lettering of the nonsense on A is different from (smaller than) the sense on B; curious that the more important side has the lesser inscriptions. Are two hands involved in the writing? CB's readings of A differ somewhat from mine. Hardly Nερευς καλος. Attic alphabet.

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), ii, no. 10 suppl. pls. 13,2 (A, vase) and 14 (dr. of B by Caskey). — ARV[2] (1963), 510/3. — AttScr (1990), no. 642.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2773


A:       λο(.)λ > LOHoL > lohol (she runs away)

λ(ο)(σ)[...] λονα(.) > λϙ(σ)[...] λονα(.) > aLaKoSSá[G] iLLŐ NÁLa > alakossá[g] illő nála (dissimulation is befitting her.)


Lohol. Alakossá[g] illő nála. (She runs away. Dissimulation is befitting her.)


B:       καλος > KiÁLL ŐS > kiáll ős (ancestor stands out)

Νερευς > öNERő E VéSZ > önerő e vész (this peril is self-reliant)


Kiáll ős, önerő e vész. (Ancestor stands out, this peril is self-reliance.)


... on the advice of Themis, Zeus chose Peleus to be the husband of the Nereid Thetis, whom he would have married himself had he not been discouraged by the Fates’ prophecy that any son born to Thetis would become far more powerful than his father. He was also vexed that Thetis had rejected his advances, for her foster-mother Hera’s sake, and therefore vowed that she should never marry an immortal.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 81.j.)

AVI 2631; BAD 210144

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 95.30. RF cup. Telephos Painter{1}. Second quarter fifth 470-460 (CB).

Decoration: Int.: Dionysus; at left, a burning altar. A: a running maenad; satyr pursuing a fleeing maenad. B: satyr and two maenads.

Inscriptions: Int.: around Dionysus' upper body: καλο(ς). A: nonsense: to right of the open mouth of a satyr pursuing a maenad: οσυ<σσ{3}.

Commentary: + fr. ex Leipzig, see Beazley, CF (1933), 34/25. The glaze on B has flaked off. The fourth letter of the nonsense word is also intended for a sigma. Very casual lettering.

Footnotes: {1} follower of Makron. {2} CB gives καλοι. The ph. shows only the οι, to upper right of D.'s head; the beginning must be to upper left of his head. {3} A: dr. has: οσυ<^σσ, the right maenad's head intervening. CB, text has: οσλ<σσ with three-stroke sigma.

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), iii, 60, pl. 91. — ARV[2] (1963), 819/44. — Para. (1971), 421. — Add.[2] (1989), 293.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2778


οσυ<σσ > οσυ{Λ DőL}σσ > ŐSéVeL iDüL eSZeS > Ősével idül eszes. (The clever will change for the best with his/her ancestor.)


AVI 2636; BAD 201132

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 95.35. RF cup. From Italy. Poseidon Painter (Coarser Wing). Last quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: youth with javelin and halteres. A: Dionysus on a donkey, with three satyrs and two maenads. B: three satyrs and three maenads alternating.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Int.: to left of the youth's face: λολοσ. To right of his body: γοσνοσνο. Between the legs: γοσλ(ο)σ(ο){1}. A: above the back of the third figure (a satyr): λοσλο[.]. To left of a donkey's rear: γοσλ(ο). To left of Dionysus' head: λοσιο. To right of the rightmost figure's head: λοσ<λι̣. B: to right of the leftmost satyr's head: νοσ(.). To left of the second satyr's head: λοσγο. To left of the second maenad's face: γοσ̣ι. To left of the third satyr's head: πυ<ι̣λι. To right of the rightmost maenad's head: λ(ο)<σ. Under the foot, Gr.: ΑΤΣ, the sigma three-stroke and reversed. See Johnston (1979), 110/14C,2 and Hackl (1909), 450.

Commentary: I do not know the value of the sign < (sigma?). Rather sloppy writing. Note the alternation of gamma and lambda. The same graffito on Boston 95.32 and 13.82.

Footnotes: {1} the last two omicrons open at the top, as are most of the omicrons.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 136/2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2783


Int.:     λολοσ > LÓ iLLŐS > ló illős (the horse is appropriate )

γοσνοσνο > ποσνοσνο > POSZáN ÖSSZeNŐ > poszán összenő (scruffy, coalesces)

γοσλ(ο)σ(ο) > ποσλυσυ > BŐSZ LoVaSáVa' > bősz lovasával (with its grim rider)


Ló illős poszán (satnyán) összenő bősz lovasával. (The horse, scruffy as it is appropriate, coalesces with its grim rider.)

A:       λοσλο[.] > LÓ eSZéLYÖ[S] > ló eszélyö[s] (horse is capricious)

γοσλ(ο) > ποσλ(ο) > POSZa LÓ > posza ló (scruffy horse)

λοσιο > LÖSZ JÓ > lösz jó (will be right)

λοσ<λι̣ > λοσ{Λ DőL}ηι̣ > LÓ SZeLíDüL HÍ > ló szelídül hí (the horse invites him meekly)

Ló eszélyö[s], posza ló lösz jó. Ló szelídül hí. (Horse is capricious, scruffy horse will be right. The horse invites him meekly.)


B:     νοσ(.) > NOSZA > nosza (come on)

λοσγο γοσ̣ι > LÖSZ GŐGÖS Ű > lösz gőgös ű (he going to be proud)

πυ<ι̣λι > πυ{Λ DőL}ι̣λι > éPÜL DaL ILLI > épül dal illi (the song gets better fits him)

λ(ο)<σ > λυ{Λ DőL}σ > LóVaL DeLi iS > lóval deli is (with horse he is valiant knight also)

ΑΤΣ > Á'TaSSa > áltassa (deceives himself)


Nosza, lösz gőgös ű, épül dal, illi lóval, deli is áltassa (áltatja). (Come on, he going to be proud, the song gets better, fits him with horse, he deceives himself (that he) is valiant knight also.)


The satyrs and maenads are our writhings, doubts, hopes, our thoughts we struggle with in real life. Here not Dionysus, but a young man is dreaming to become a warrior on horseback.

AVI 2662; BAD 361413

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 98.885. Lekythos in Six' technique. From Gela. Diosphos Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Satyr pursuing a maenad.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of his head: ιιλυι. Below the figures: ιυιυιχιι<χι.

Commentary: Small but neat letters. < = sigma?

Bibliography: Haspels (1936), [[236/]] Diosphos Painter no. 81. — Para. (1971), 248.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2809


ιιλυι > ÍJ LöVI > Íj lövi! (Bow shoots him!)

ιυιυιχιι<χι > ιυιυιχιι{Λ DőL}χι > Ű VÍVa ÍGY ÍJJaL o'DaLL eGYÜ' > Ű, víva így, íjjal oldall (mozog párhuzamosan) együl (egyként)! (He, by fighting this way, moves side by side like one with a bow!)

* < = Λ DőL 'Λ tips over'


AVI 2669; BAD 301077

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 98.923. BF amphora. Unattributed{1}; Botkin Class. Third quarter sixth 550-540

Decoration: A: duel of two hoplites. B: similar (the right shield device: leopard).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: behind the left hoplite's head: ϝκεκν. Between heads, closer to the right hoplite: γςκνγεο. B: in the same position as the second inscription on A: ϝκεκϝκμ.

Commentary: Are the inscriptions intended for the "names" of the hoplites? Large letters. Digamma U-shaped. The possibility that the digammas are epsilons is not to be excluded.

Footnotes: {1} This vase "bears some resemblance to the work of the Phrynos Painter" (Beazley).

Bibliography: Beazley (1931c), 284. — ABV (1956), 169/3. — Para. (1971), 71. — *H. Hoffmann et al., CVA Boston 1, USA 14 (1973), pl. 25. — Add.[2] (1989), 48. — AttScr (1990), no. 959.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2816


A:     ϝκεκν γςκνγεο > ϝκεκν πςκνπεθ >VaK-E KiN BüSZKéN BECS > Vak-e kin büszkén becs? (Is the one, who is pridefully honest, blind?)

B:     ϝκεκϝκμ > VaK E KeVé'/ÉKéVe' KoMa > Vak e kevély/ékével koma. (This arrogant crony is blind. / The crony with his adornment is blind.)


AVI 2670; BAD 330768

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 98.924. BF/WG oinochoe. Athena Painter. Early fifth

Decoration: Heracles leading a monster (a female Cerberus?).

Inscriptions: Widely spaced nonsense: around her head: οσπο(ο̣)ο. To Heracles' right: ο(κ)κοκ.

Commentary: Sevres Class. The first kappa is smeared.

Bibliography: Haspels (1936), [[260/]] no. 129. — ABV (1956), 524/1. — Add.[2] (1989), 131.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2817



οσπο(ο̣)ο > οσποθϙ > ŐS POCoK > Ős pocok? (Is she an ancient rat?)

ο(κ)κοκ > οςκθκ > Ő SZuKa CSaK > Ő szuka csak. (She is only a bitch.)

AVI 2677; BAD 302569

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 99.518. BF cup with merrythought handles{1}. Painter of Boston Polyphemus. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: A: Odysseus with his companions, and Circe. B: Odysseus and Polyphemus.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: χνεπ(.)hχ̣(.). χ(ε)νυνι. ϝκ(.)π(ο), retr. χκ̣h(.), retr. κχ̣(.), retr. κοπν[...]. κϝνκχ(ϝ)ϝ{2}, retr. κυκκ·, retr.{3}. πχγοτ. πυπhπο(.)[...]. κμϝοσπχγ. κhκνϝ(ϝ)ϝ̣ε(λ). κοεhο(α). ϝ(α)ϝ·{3}. ϝν[.]ι̣οϝπγνρ̣. πḥοϝ(π)χ(ε)χ{4} (.)πολι̣. B: 9 similar inscriptions{5}.

Commentary: Numerous letter forms, see AttScr (esp. for the kappa). The letters in round brackets are unclear. Note the digammas.

Footnotes: {1} fragmentary, especially B. {2} upside down. {3} these inscriptions end in dots. {4} sideways. {5} many inscriptions on A are vertical except for those in the center. B: the ph. shows a curved horizontal inscription and a diagonal one. Pl. 88,4-5 show inscriptions spilling over into the handle area.

Bibliography: ABV (1956), 198. — Para. (1971), 80. — *M. True et al., CVA Boston 2, USA 19 (1978), Boston 2, pl. 88. — Add.[2] (1989), 53 (bibl.). — Shapiro (1989), 45, pl. 21,c-d. — AttScr (1990), no. 1013. — Vierneisel–Kaeser (1990), fig. 34.1 (A). — *Wannagat (1999), 9-20, pls. 3-4 (pl. 3,1 is B, the fragmentary Polyphemus scene; pl. 3,2 is A, the Circe scene. Both pictures are exc. for showing the strings of nonsense letters).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2824


χνεπ(.)hχ̣(.) > χνεπνhχ̣λ > íGY üNNEPeN Ha GYűL > így ünnepen ha gyűl (this way on holidays when they gather)

χ(ε)νυνι > íGYEN eVVe' iNNI > ígyen evvel inni (in such way to drink with this)

ϝκ(.)π(ο) > ϝκτπ(ο) > ViKoTáBÓ' > vikotából (from dispute)

χκ̣h(.) > χκ̣h(λ/γ) > íGY KoHoL/KaHoL/KuHoG > így kohol/kahol/kuhog (they invent/bark this way)

κχ̣(.) > κχ̣λ > KeGGYeL > keggyel (in goodwill)

κοπν[...] > κοπν[τ] > KOPPiN[T] > koppin[t] (he taps)

κϝνκχ(ϝ)ϝ > KöVöN Ki íGY éVe-íVa > kövön ki így éve-íva (on stone who is eating-drinking this way)

κυκκ > κυκκ{ToSZ} > Ki VaK KúTáSZ > ki vak kútász (like a blind searches)

πχγοτ > éPP GYuGOTT > épp gyugott (just pocketed something)

πυπhπο(.)[...]> πυπhπο(κ)[λ] > BőViBe' HaBÓKo[L] > bőviben habóko[l] (frolicking in plenty)

κμϝοσπχγ > κμϝοσπγτ > KoMáVa' Ő SZíPoGaT > komával ő szípogat (he is sucking with his crony)

κhκνϝ(ϝ)ϝ̣ε(λ) > κhκνϝεϝ̣ε(λ) > Ki HéKa NYe'VÉVEL > ki héka nyelvével (who with pally tongue)

κοεhο(α) > aKÓ' EHO' Á' > akól ehol áll (measures in akós here he stands)

ϝ(α)ϝ > ϝ(α)ϝ{ToSZ} > aVVA' ViTáS > avval vitás (with him disputed)

ϝν[.]ι̣οϝπγνρ̣ > ViNN[E] JÓVa' PoGáNRa > vinn[e] jóval pogánra (he would take you with good on pagan)

πḥοϝ(π)χ(ε)χ > éPP HOVa BöGYE íGY > épp hova bögye így (exactly where his stomach this way)

(.)πολι̣ > νπολι̣ > NaPOLI > napoli (takes him to spend the day)


Így ünnepen, ha gyűl ígyen evvel inni vikotából (vitatkozásból) így kohol/kahol/kuhog (csahol). Keggyel koppin[t] kövön, ki így éve-íva, ki vak kútász épp gyugott. Bőviben habóko[l], komával ő szípogat, ki héka (pajtáskodó) nyelvével akól (akóval mér). Ehol áll, avval vitás, vinn[e] jóval pogánra, épp hova bögye így napoli (tölti el a napot). (This way on holidays, when they gather in such way to drink with this, from dispute they invent/bark this way. In goodwill, he taps on stone, who is eating-drinking this way, like a blind searches, just pocketed something. Frolicking in plenty, he is sucking with his crony, who with pally tongue measures in akós.* Here he stands, with him disputed, he would take you with good on pagan, exactly where his stomach this way takes him to spend the day.)


* Old Hungarian measure for wine-casks; about 12 gallons.

AVI 2678; BAD 300620

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 99.519. BF Siana cup. From Thebes. Painter of Boston C.A.{1}. Second quarter sixth

Decoration: Int.: sphinx. Top row: A-B: black. Bottom row: A: Circe turning Odysseus' companions into animals. B: Heracles and Acheloos (bull), between six onlookers.

Inscriptions: Bottom row, B: above Acheloos, poorly preserved nonsense: δ(.)ργρ̣ι{2}.

Commentary: Double-decker.

Footnotes: {1} For `Circe-Acheloos'. {2} my reading; photo seems to show an omicron for the first letter.

Bibliography: *Photo. — ABV (1956), 69/1. — Add.[2] (1989), 18.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2825


δ(.)ργρ̣ι > iDőL/iDőS RéGiRŰ' > idől/idős régirűl (celebrates the old times / oldies about old times)

AVI 2680; BAD 300318

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 99.527. BF oinochoe. Unattributed; Class of Vatican G 47. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Man cutting up a carcass, with a boy.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of the scene only: ονο. λχοσϝ. Similar, starting behind boy's head: αντh. Under the foot, possibly a Gr.: V (perhaps a scratch).

Commentary: The digamma is F-shaped.

Bibliography: ABV (1956), 430/25. — Add.[2] (1989), 111.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2827


ονο λχοσϝ > Ő NŐ LáGY Ő SZíVe > Ő nő, lágy ő szíve. (She is a female, her heart is soft.)

αντh > αντγ > A Nő TáG > A nő tág. (The female is wide open.)

AVI 2702; BAD 201573

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 01.8024. RF cup. From Orvieto. Ambrosios Painter. Last quarter sixth Ca. 510

Decoration: Int.: boy fishing. A: kneeling satyr to right with rock and empty amphora threatening his companion, also kneeling, who is balancing a kantharos on his erect penis. [My interpretation: Lissarrague thinks the left satyr is lifting an empty amphora and turning its neck toward his erect penis; L. ignores the rock]. B: two satyrs.

Inscriptions: Int.: at the top of the scene, ending near boy's head, slightly curved: πα[..3..]ος. A: above left satyr's head and to its right, horizontal: κρα̣τεσελεο{2}. B: to right of left satyr's forehead, horizontal: εακεα(.)σε{3}.

Commentary: The spacing of the inscription on the interior does not allow for the reading παις καλος. Could it be Πα[ραλ]ος, which is known both as a mythical and as a personal name, here used with a punning connotation? Cf. Beazley (1928), 127. But the inscriptions on the exterior are miswritten, hence this one could also be. To read on the exterior Κρατες Ελεο (for Ηλειο) and εγραφσε is surely wild speculation. - A. Boegehold in a letter of 4/13/1992 suggests that the object lying under water on the Int. may be a κημος [like a lobster trap, I think], for which see scholia to Ar., Equites 1150 and LSJ, s.v. II 1 (eel-basket).

Footnotes: {1} Int. is often reproduced. {2} this looks suspiciously like the name Κρατες with nonsense letters added (or a father's name?). Lisarrague's dr.: to right of top of head of left satyr bearing upward along his outstretched arm: κρατεσελ[.](.). {3} this could conceivably be badly miswritten for εγραφσε. The sixth letter an indistinct rest.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 173/9. — Add.[2] (1989), 184 (bibl.){1}. — Lissarrague (1990a), fig. 65 (sketch of A with inscription).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2849


Int.:   πα[..3..]ος > aBBA' [HaL áLL-/HaLáL]OS > Abban hal állós/halálos. (In that fish is keeping. / In that it is deadly.)

A:     κρα̣τεσελεο > KuRÁT ESZEL-E Ő > Kurát* eszel-e ő? (Does he imagine girls/whores?)

B:     εακεα(.)σε > É' A KÉ' A SZeSZÉ' > Él a kéj, a szeszély. (The pleasure and caprice lives.)


* Kurva 'whore' originally it was kura 'girl' as in Greek ζυρη, ζορα, or in Polish czura. It has only later became the attribute of bad girls.

AVI 2705; BAD 204447

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 01.8028. RF Nolan amphora From Capua. Briseis Painter. Second quarter fifth Ca. 470 (Beazley).

Decoration: A: maenad dancing. Satyr playing the flutes. B: satyr with castanets.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: below the ends of the flutes: υγιο̣κι, complete. B: below the left arm, to right of the body: υιοσγυισ, complete{1}.

Commentary: Nonsense typical of this painter. Read as Attic alphabet. The upsilon variable. Bothmer wonders whether the nonsense inscriptions rendered by Beazley as λγιοσκι and υιοσγυισ are not illiterate attempts of writing Lykos. He thinks Lykos kalos on a cup by the Foundry Painter. Para. 370/33 bis is the same (as Beazley thought) as that on the Onesimos cups.

Footnotes: {1} Serbeti reads: λγιοσκι and λγιοσγιν.

Bibliography: Beazley (1914), 194, n. 13. — *CB (1931–63), ii, 39/86, pl. 45 (photo). — ARV[2] (1963), 409/49. — *Bothmer (1986a), 67. — *Serbeti (1989), 40. — AttScr (1990), no. 555.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2852


A:     υγιο̣κι > λγιοσκι{1} > eLéG JÓ' SZöKI > Elég jól szöki. (He jumps quite well.)

B:     υιοσγυισ > λγιοσγιν{1} > eLéG JÓ SZuG INNi > Elég jó szug inni. (Quite a good spot to drink.)

AVI 2709; BAD 210114

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 01.8033. RF cup. From Capua. Telephos Painter{1}. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: javelin thrower between a laver and a stele. A: three young athletes. B: two athletes and trainer.

Inscriptions: Int.: to right of the athlete's face, around the stele: καλος. A: nonsense: between the heads: υ^συ^ρυσ^πλ(ν). B: between heads, similar: mock inscription: κ^αλ^ο^πυσ^υ.

Commentary: The nu is reversed.

Footnotes: {1} follower of Makron.

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), iii, 59-60, pl. 90. — ARV[2] (1963), 817/14. — Para. (1971), 420. — Add.[2] (1989), 292.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2856


Int.:   καλος > KiÁLLÓS > Kiállós. (He is outstanding.)

A:     υ^συ^ρυσ^πλ(ν) > ViSSZáVa' RaVaSZ BöLőN > Visszával ravasz bölőn. (With his back spinning he is cunning on the ball.)

B:     κ^αλ^ο^πυσ^υ > KiÁLLÓ BűVéSZ/BűVöS Ű > Kiálló bűvész/bűvös ű. (He is an outstanding conjurer/magician.)


AVI 2744; BAD 300851

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 08.291. BF lekythos{1}. Painter of Boston 08.291. Second quarter sixth Ca. 560-550 Ca. 540 (Vermeule).

Decoration: Three zones: Top: male lovers. Middle: six boy horsemen to right. Bottom: animals.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Readings from Haspel: Top frieze: to right of the lower body of the third man from left: χεστκτ. Similar for the sixth figure: ν[.]τκτ. Middle frieze: the inscriptions are either behind the rider's back [α] or under the horse's belly [β]. (There is no inscription [α] by the second rider.) νει [α]. κτεπτ [β]. εσκλππ [β]. κσπι [α]. ατι̣(σ)οι [β]. πστ [α]{2}. παοπ[..] [β]. νετ(.) [α]. νκπι [β]. πσοει [α]. κπεκ [β]. Bottom frieze: above the cocks: χνε̣ισ̣πο{3}. Readings from E.V. [probably better]{4}: Top: χοστκτ. ν^σκτ. (A slight gap after the first letter.) Middle: numerous short inscriptions, mostly diagonally downward, many near the heads of the riders and under the horses' bellies: [I copied 13 as against 11 from Haspels]: νει. κτ^επτ. ν^τετ. επ̣κγ. κσρι. (.)^ρπ̣ (Uncertain.) ατ(.)(σ)οι. π^στ. παοπ.νετ. νκρι. πσοε. κρεκ. [The underlined words [[all except ν^τετ and (.)^ρπ̣]] seem to be in the Haspels readings, sometimes with some difference.] Bottom: (.)ν(.)(σ)(.)πο. The dots represent blobs of various kinds. Readings from Bérard: the middle picture shows: under the belly of a horse, diagonally downward: κπε^(κ). The tail of the next horse intervenes. Above the rump of the next horse, similar: νει. Under belly of second horse, similar: κτ^επι. Tail of preceding horse intervenes.

Commentary: Clear letters, very neat and normal. For somewhat different readings see th facs. in E. Vermeule's article, which however has very small letters.

Footnotes: {1} Deianeira shape. {2} probably complete fore. {3} not clear if complete at end. {4} done from the facs. in AK, fig. 1, which has very small letters.

Bibliography: *Haspels (1936), 27, pl. 8,2. — Beazley (1947), 199f./α 2. — ABV (1956), 92. — *E.T. Vermeule (1969), 10/1, fig. 1 (facs. of inscriptions), pl. 4,1-4. — Para. (1971), 34. — Add.[2] (1989), 25 (bibl.). — *Bérard et al. (1989), 80, fig. 110 (3 views).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2892


χεστκτ/χοστκτ{E.V.} > íGY ESZi/ÖSZi TöKéT > így eszi/öszi tökét (he eats his balls this way)

ν[.]τκτ/ν^σκτ{E.V.} > iNNÁ TöKéT/iNNa SoKaT > inná tökét/inna sokat (he would drink his balls/he would drink a lot)


νει κτεπτ > NEJ KiT éPP iTT > nej kit épp itt (the wife whom exactly here)

εσκλππ > E SZaKáLL/SaKáL PaP > e szakáll/sakál pap (this beard(ed)/jackal priest)

κσπι ατι̣(σ)οι > κσρι (.)^ρπ̣ ατ(.)(σ)οι{E.V.} > KíSéRI VáRBa A TÜSZŐJe > kíséri várba a tüszője (escorts her to the fortress his sporran)

πστ παοπ[..] > Bő eSeTT aBBA Be[Le] > bő esett abba be[le] (is wide she fell into it)

νετ(.) νκπι > νετ νκρι{E.V.} > iNNÉT Nő KéRI > innét nő kéri (from there woman asks him)

πσοει κρεκ{E.V.} > Bű SZÓ E Í' KéR E Ki > bű szó e íj kér e ki (wander word is this bow it asks her out)


χνε̣ισ̣πο > íGY NEJ SZű aPO' > így nej szű apol (the wife's heart cherishes him for it)


Így eszi/öszi tökét, inná tökét/inna sokat. (He eats his balls this way. He would drink his balls. / He would drink a lot. )

Nej, kit épp itt e szakáll/sakál pap kíséri várba, a tüszője bő, esett abba be[le]. Innét nő kéri. Bű szó e íj, kér e ki! (The wife, whom exactly here this beard(ed)/jackal priest escorts to the fortress, his sporran is wide, she fell into it. From there woman asks him (the husband). Wander word is this bow, it asks her out!)

Így nej szű apol. (The wife's heart cherishes him for it.)

AVI 2766; BAD 210165

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 10.572. RF cup. Boot Painter{1}. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: satyr. Women washing: A: three women folding clothes; a tree in the center. B: two women dressing; a column. At right, a woman tends to her clothes.

Inscriptions: Int.: around the satyr: καλος v. πχ vacat{2}. A: under the left handle: nonsense: (π)υσυ{3}. B: by the heads of the second and third woman: καλο(ς) λ.

Footnotes: {1} "Continues the late style of the Kleophrades Painter ... Might even be a late phase of the Kleophrades Painter himself." (ARV[2] 820). {2} somewhat similar the inscription καλοςχh on a cup by Douris, Baltimore, ARV[2] 445/251. Both have chi as an upright cross. {3} could be the continuation of the inscriptions on B.

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), iii, 53-54, pl. 87. — ARV[2] (1963), 821/5. — Para. (1971), 421. — Add.[2] (1989), 293.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2914


Int.:   καλος v. πχ > KALLÓS BuGYi > Kallós bugyi! (Scoured/milled panties!)

A:     (π)υσυ > BeVaSa'Va > Bevasalva (It has been ironed)

B:     καλο(ς) λ > KALLÓSuL > Kallósul (It is getting thrown about.)

AVI 2777; BAD 203143

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 13.188. RF neck amphora. From Suessula (Campania). Dutuit Painter{1}. First quarter fifth Ca. 480 (Beazley).

Decoration: A: Hephaestus and Thetis. B: Nike.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: A: to right of Hephaestus' mouth: κολοκν. To left of Thetis' mouth and starting from there, but the letters not retr.: οκονο. B: to right of Nike's body (not near her mouth): σοϝοϝο.

Commentary: On A at least the inscriptions "represent" spoken words. F-shaped digamma and miswritten. The lambda perhaps a miswritten tau.

Footnotes: {1} connected with the circle of the Diosphos Painter (ARV[2]).

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), ii, 36/82, pl. 44. — ARV[2] (1963), 306/2. — Para. (1971), 357. — Add.[2] (1989), 212. — AttScr (1990), no. 965.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2925


A:       κολοκν > KÖLű OKáN > kölű okán (due to hammering)

οκονο > Ő KÖNYŐ > ő könyő (he takes things easily)


Kölű okán ő könyő (könnyed). (Due to hammering he takes things easily.)


B:       σοϝοϝο > SZÓ VÖVŐ > Szó vövő (felvesz új értelmet). (The word is buyer (for new meanings). )

AVI 2787; BAD 204367

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 13.204. Fragmentary RF cup. From Cerveteri. Foundry Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Int.: maenad (head to left). A: maenad attacked by two satyrs. B: similar.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: in part, imitation letters{1}: Int.: in half circles: to left of her face: ονοεοπσο, retr. To right of her head: νευοεονυ[.]. A: Behind the maenad's head: ν(α)νο. Above the right satyr: γνυν vac. B: to left of the maenad's head: [.]υν. To right of her face: ν..(.)ν vac. To left and right of one satyr's head: (.) / γεπ vac.

Commentary: On the Int., the inscriptions are done without turning the vase; cf. AttScr and Boston 10.195. My readings; the dr. in CB renders some letters differently.

Footnotes: {1} dots represent indistinct letters, (.) badly miswritten ones.

Bibliography: *CB (1931–63), i, no. 33, pl. 13. — ARV[2] (1963), 403/26. — *AttScr (1990), no. 554, fig. 121.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2935


Int.:     ονοεοπσο νευοεονυ[.] > ουϙεοπσο νενθεονυ[.] > ÖVőKKE' Ő BőSÖ' íNYENCCE' Ő NeVE[S] > Övőkkel ő bősöl, ínyenccel ő neve[s]. (With eaters it feasting, with gourmet it is renowned.)

A:       ν(α)νο γνυν > iNA' NŐ iGéNY eVőN > Inal nő, igény evőn! (The woman is running, needed by the eater!)

AVI 2792; BAD 204367

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 22.677. RF column krater. Unattributed{1}. First quarter fifth

Decoration: A: satyr with wineskin; Dionysus. B: see n. 1 below.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: on the wineskin, kionedon: χσογσ.

Commentary: Attic gamma with the lines crossing at the top. Three-stroke sigma, the top curved. There might be other inscriptions. I saw only A, through the glass.

Footnotes: {1} not in ARV[2] or Para., but in AV as no. 12. Luce identified the vase with Gerhard (1840–58), pl. 77 (then Basseggio, Rome; accepted in Bea. Arch.) and referred to MFA Bull. 20 (1922) 74 and to VA (1918), 48, fig. 29 (Myson). I.e., Luce compared the vase to Myson. {2} so the museum card.

Bibliography: BADB: 14864. — Gerhard (1840–58), pl. 77. — NNN (1922), BMusB 20: 74 (A, B). — Luce (1923), 184, figs. 1-2 (A, B). — AV (1925), no. 12{2}.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2940


χσογσ > íGY SZO'Gá'SZ > Így szolgálsz! (You are serving me this way!)

AVI 2812; BAD 275233

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 63.1246. RF calyx krater. Dokimasia Painter. Second quarter fifth 458 or 457 (Vermeule; but stylistically earlier).

Decoration: A: Death of Agamemnon by Aegisthus. B: Death of Aegisthus by Orestes.

Inscriptions: A: between Aegisthus and Agamemnon: ε ε{1}. B: nonsense: between Clytemnestra and Orestes, running over her arm: νονενον. Over Electra's forearm: Ν. Above Aegisthus' head: Ν(.){2}. Over Electra's palm: a broken eta?{3}.

Commentary: The BG surface is poor and some letters on B may have flaked off. I have relied on E.V. except for the one epsilon that shows in the photo. - E.V. compares the nonsense letters on New York 06.1021.188, also by the Dokimasia Painter; see AJA 70 (1966) 5 n. 8.

Footnotes: {1} Vermeule's interpretation of two small epsilons, separated from each other, one of which is visible in pl. 3, fig. 4 and is not particularly related to Agamemnon's open mouth. E.V.: " The groans hang painted in the air betweem the two men." I do not know what to make of this; note that B has nonsense inscriptions. Are there no other letters on A? {2} the second letter is a stroke - of iota or eta? {3} E.V. thinks perhaps νη̣ is intended.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 1624/34 quater. — *E.T. Vermeule (1966), 1-22, pls. 1-4 and 5,19. — Para. (1971), 373. — Add.[2] (1989), 234 (much bibl.).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2960


A:     ε ε > E' É' > El él! (Away with the leader!)

B:     νονενον ν νι ε{2+3} > NŐ NÉNe Ö'Ne aNYa NYŰ E > Nő néne, ölne: anya, nyű el! (The woman is his sister, she would kill: away with mother, maggot!)


When Agamemnon had washed himself and set one foot out of the bath, eager to partake of the rich banquet now already set on the tables, Clytaemnestra came forward, as if to wrap a towel about him, but instead threw over his head a garment of net, woven by herself, without either neck or sleeve-holes. Entangled in this, like a fish, Agamemnon perished at the hands of Aegisthus, who struck him twice with a two-edged sword.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 112.k.)

l. Electra, meeting Orestes by Agamemnon’s tomb, would not believe at first that he was her long-lost brother, despite the similarity of their hair, and the robe he showed her. Finally, a scar on his forehead convinced her; because once, when they were children together, chasing a deer, he had slipped and fallen, cutting his head upon a sharp rock.

m. Obeying her whispered instructions, Orestes went at once to the altar where the bull had now been slaughtered and, as Aegisthus bent to inspect its entrails, struck off his head with the sacrificial axe. Meanwhile, Electra, to whom he presented the head, enticed Clytaemnestra from the palace by pretending that, ten days before, she had borne a son to her peasant husband; and when Clytaemnestra, anxious to inspect her first grand-child, visited the cottage, Orestes was waiting behind the door and killed her without mercy.” (R. Graves: The Greek Myths, 113.l, m.)


AVI 2819; BAD 350340

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 67.1006. BF Tyrrhenian hydria. Tyrrhenian Group (Archippe Group){1}. Third quarter sixth Before 550 (Shapiro).

Decoration: Top zone: antithetic sphinxes between lions between cocks. Main zone: unusual: Iolaus in a chariot; Heracles beside it; at left, Hermes and Demeter; at right, Artemis and Aphrodite{2}. Bottom: animal frieze.

Inscriptions: Top zone: nonsense: between the left lion and the left sphinx: οτευσπ, retr. Similarly between the right sphinx and the right lion: σπεχ(.), retr., the last letter smeared?{3} Main zone: between Hermes' and Demeter's lower bodies: hερμες, retr., not facing him. In a similar position to right of Demeter (who faces left): Δεμετε(ρ), retr., not facing her. Below the horses' bellies (not very close to Heracles): hερακλες, retr. To left of Iolaus' face: Ιο(λ)εος, retr.{4}. To left of Artemis' body, facing her: Αρτεμις, retr. Between Artemis' and Aphrodite's lower bodies, facing the latter: [Α]φροδιτε, retr.{5}.

Commentary: Note that all inscriptions are retr. regardless of which way the figures are facing. Most letters are distorted in the photo. Typical Tyrrhenian lettering. The inscriptions are similar to Vienna 3613 and Louvre E 869, both by the Archippe Painter.

Footnotes: {1} Beazley compares the Archippe Group and Cab. Méd. 253 (ABV 104/127). {2} Bothmer interprets this as Apotheosis of Heracles. Shapiro (with Beazley and against Bothmer) thinks not Apotheosis of Heracles, but simply H. setting out; the divinities are brought in as spectators as often in Tyrrhenian. CVA: this cannot be the final arrival of Heracles as Zeus is not present; it is rather an excerpt of an arrival scene as on Cab. Méd. 253 (ABV 104/127) attributed by Bothmer to the same painter. {3} uncertain readings. {4} the lambda does not look right. {5} no trace of the alpha, but there is space: is there some restoration (or an error of the painter)?

Bibliography: C.C. Vermeule (1968), 56ff., figs. 9-12. — *Bothmer (1969), 26, pl. 20. — *Para. (1971), 43. — *M. True et al., CVA Boston 2, USA 19 (1978), pls. 69,3-4 and 70,1-3 (bibl.). — Add.[2] (1989), 28. — Shapiro (1989), 74, pl. 32,c.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2967


οτευσπ σπεχ(.) > ÖT EVVe' SZéP SZéPe EGYüTT > Öt evvel szép. Szépe együtt! (Five with him is nice. The nice one's are together!)


It is really the Apotheosis of Heracles, emphasised by the FIVE 'ÖT' god spectators, as it follows from the “nonsense” inscription on the top frieze. One can count the gods in any language, their number will sound ÖT only in Magyar.


AVI 2835; BAD 302264

Boulogne, Château-Musée 417. BF hydria. From Vulci. Manner of Lysippides Painter. Automenes (bf.), kalos. 530-520

Decoration: Shoulder: lion and bull; lion and boar. Body: Athena mounting a chariot with Heracles. Predella: swan and goat; siren and goat; swan.

Inscriptions: Above the horses' heads: Αυτομενες καλος. Nonsense: to left of Athena's head: [...]τ̣ειε{1}. Between the horses' legs: ειελειεισ. In front of their legs, similar: ειειελσλ. Two more inscriptions at right. Beazley also read: παι καλος{2}.

Commentary: Automenes occurs as a kalos-name also on Rimini, another hydria in the manner of the Lysippides Painter, ABV 261/36, and on Florence 81,601 [[CAVI 3606]], a RF cup by Oltos, ARV[2] 64/96 and 1568, but the last may not be the same person. - Beazley compares the vase with Louvre F 295 (ABV 260/31).

Footnotes: {1} uncertain reading from the photo. To right of her head more letters in a glare. {2} in ABV: nonsense resembles strings of letters on London B 333 (BF fountain hydria, ABV 677/3, q.v.), which has ελετειεν, etc.; cf. also Brussels R 291 (BF neck amphora by the Antimenes Painter, ABV 270/52). παις miswritten?

Bibliography: *Photo. — *ABV (1956), 260/32, 691.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2983


Αυτομενες καλος > AVaTÓ MENÉS KiÁLLÓS > Avató menés, kiállós. (Initiation walking, outstanding.)

[...]τ̣ειε > [MeNe]T ÉJJE' > [Mene]t éjjel. (Night procession.)

ειελειεισ > E JEL ÉJJE' IS > E jel éjjel is. (This sign is on at night also.)

ειειελσλ > ÉJJE' JELeSüL > Éjjel jelesül! (It excels at night!)

AVI 2845; BAD 310070

Brunswick, Bowdoin College Museum of Art 13.25. Frs. of BF Tyrrhenian neck amphora. Unattributed. Third quarter sixth

Decoration: Shoulder: battle: fr. a: three warriors, one to left and two to right. Fr. b: at left, duel over a falling warrior; at right youth on horseback to left. Fr. c: a bit of the shoulder frieze; ivy wreath; body frieze: knee preserved on shoulder. Body: parts of two horses, one showing young rider, galloping to right (horse race).

Inscriptions: Nonsense: Fr.a: to left of the left warrior's left knee (he faces left): [...]σ:*γ. Between the legs of the middle warrior (he faces right): υοκσν. To right of his face, slightly curved: πσνσο. Fr. b: to left of the horseman at right: πογονοχ, perhaps retr.

Commentary: 3 frs.

Bibliography: *Photo. — ABV (1956), 100/71. — Add.[2] (1989), 27.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2993


υοκσν > NŐ KöSZöNi > Nő köszöni. (The woman thanks it.)

πσνσο > éP eSZéN SZÓ' > Ép eszén szól. (She talks from her right mind.)

πογονοχ > aPO' aGGÓ NŐ íGY > Apol aggó nő így. (The anxious woman kisses this way.)


AVI 2848; BAD 208101

Brunswick, Bowdoin College Museum of Art 20.1. RF lekythos. Bowdoin Painter. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A seated youth playing the flutes.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: from the forehead: (.)στοσ̣κσ̣{1}.

Footnotes: {1} the existence of the first letter is uncertain.

Bibliography: ARV[2] (1963), 684/143. — Herbert (1964), pl. 23,1. — Para. (1971), 406.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 2996


(.)στοσ̣κσ̣ > TiSZTÖS KóSZa > Tisztös kósza. (A honest stray.)

AVI 2854; BAD 361401

Brunswick, Bowdoin College Museum of Art 1984.23. BF bail amphora. Sappho Painter. First quarter fifth

History: Ex Lausanne, Private (Gilet collection).

Decoration: Funerary: a body lowered into his coffin.

Inscriptions: Nonsense inscriptions imitating cries of lament. E.g.: οσλτισυτ. λαβμελιτυτα, retr.{1}. οιεγοιολτ. Around the head of a woman standing to left: ολτιστιοσ.

Commentary: Attic alphabet. - Mommsen explains the unusual subject: the dead body is transferred to a coffin; two oil lamps show that this takes place at night so that the body can be taken to the grave before sunrise, as prescribed by Solonian law. She calls the vase a "Korbhenkelgefäss".

Footnotes: {1} taken from the photo, pl. 327; uncertain reading. This is in much larger letters and surrounds the head of the deceased.

Bibliography: *Kurtz–Boardman (1971), 148-49, pls. 37-38. — Para. (1971), 247. — NNN (1987), Bowdoin [alumni magazine] 61,1 (September 1987): 15 (ph. A). — CAH 4(2) (1988), plate volume, fig. 218a-c. — Add.[2] (1989), 126, bottom. — Shapiro (1991), 635, fig. 4 (A). — H. Mommsen (1997a), 26.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3002


οσλτισυτ > Ő SZóLíTI SZíVéT > Ő szólíti szívét. (S/he calls his/her heart.)

λαβμελιτυτα, retr. > ατυτιλεμβαλ{not retr.} > ÁTVeTÜL-E Mi BAL > Átvetül-e mi bal? (Does left also reflect?)*

οιεγοιολτ > OLY ÉGŐ JÓ éLeT > Oly égő jó élet! (Such a burning good life!)

ολτιστιοσ > OLTI iS áTI ŐS > Olti is áti ős. (The ancestor on the other side extinguishes it anyhow.)

* The question reflects on the the belief that the underworld is a mirror image of the real one, where right becomes left and vice versa. The twist here is in the language itself: in Magyar the left is synonymous with bad. So, the question would be: does bad in underworld become good?

AVI 2861; BAD 12397

Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum 521. Fr. of BF pyxis. Unattributed. Last quarter sixth Ca. 520

Decoration: A winged female figure holds out two wreaths toward a seated man with a spear.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: above her raised arm: [...]υχιοπυι. Above her lowered arm: [.]υιτυο. By her lower body: ε[...].

Bibliography: *A. Greifenhagen, CVA Braunschweig, Germany 4 (1940), pl. 10,12.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3009


[...]υχιοπυι > ÚGY JÓ BőVŰ' > (temető) úgy jó bővül, ((the graveyard) does grow well that way,)

[.]υιτυο >[Bő]VÍTi iVÓ > [bő]víti ivó. (drinker makes it grow.)

AVI 2878; BAD 17079

Bristol, City Museum and Art Gallery H 801. BF hydria. Unattributed{1}. 530-520 515-510 (Johnston).

Decoration: Shoulder: [four figures.] Body: in the center, hoplite (Memnon?) to left; on either side a negro archer; behind him a third negro.

Inscriptions: Body: nonsense: partly imitation letters: between the left archer and the hoplite: ιχκ(π)λγ{2}. Between the hoplite and the right archer: χεχυχ. [Under the foot,] Gr.: ροι<>{3}.

Commentary: Heta with short right vertical.

Footnotes: {1} notation with Beazley's photos.: related to Andokides Painter. {2} the pi in a break, may be repainted. {3} J. on p. 189 says probably an abbreviation of a proper name and mentions Ροικος. There are two other vases listed with this Gr.

Bibliography: *Photos. — Clairmont (1951), pl. 23. — Johnston (1974), 151/5. — *Johnston (1979), 77/18A 3. — *Lissarrague (1990), 23, fig. 2.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3026


ιχκ(π)λγ > ÍGY KéPiLeG > így képileg (illustrated this way)

χεχυχ > uGYE eGYÜGYű > ugye együgyű (isn't it silly)

ροι<> > ροικος{3} > íRÓJa oKOS > írója okos (its writer is clever)


Így képileg, ugye, együgyű? Írója okos. (Illustrated this way, isn't it silly? Its writer is clever)

AVI 2887; BAD 306439

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire A 132. BF oinochoe. From Vulci. Unattributed. Hippon (bf.) (?), kalos. Second half sixth

Decoration: Heracles and Athena in a chariot.

Inscriptions: Starting to right of their heads and going to the horses' heads: nonsense: οσπλοιασ{1}. From the horses' heads down to between their legs: καλος hιπ<π>ο(ν){2}. Under the foot, Gr.: a complex ligature, not in Johnston (1979).

Commentary: Beazley says "perhaps" of the kalos-name Hippon, which appears on Boston 01.8059 (ABV 667); (the nu is clear there). He considers the inscriptions one: "I do not understand the first part of the inscription, could understand δις Πυθιονικος, but that is far from what is written." Attic alphabet; but both four- and three-stroke sigma (see below)?

Footnotes: {1} first sigma four-stroke, second sigma three-stroke. {2} the last letter printed as Z in ARV[2], as four-strike sigma in CVA; is it a reversed nu or a sigma lying sideways and also turned?

Bibliography: *F. Mayence, CVA Brussels 1, Belgium 1 (1926), III H e, pl. 7,2. — ABV (1956), 668. — Cf. ARV[2] (1963), 1568.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3035


οσπλοιασ > Ő SZéP LÓ JÁSZ/ÍjÁSZ > Ő szép ló, jász/íjász. (It is a nice horse, Jazygian/Bowman)

καλος hιπ<π>ο(ν) > καλος hιποσ{2} > KiÁLLÓS HŰ POSZa > Kiállós hű posza (satnya). (An outstanding faithful puny (pony).)

AVI 2891

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire A 261. BF oinochoe. From Vulci. Painter of Sèvres 100 (workshop of Athena Painter). First quarter fifth

Decoration: Seated woman between two men.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: to right of the back of her head: υγο. To right of the right man's lower body, facing the margin: τχυγ.

Commentary: Read by me as in the Attic alphabet.

Bibliography: *F. Mayence, CVA Brussels 1, Belgium 1 (1926), III H e, pl. 5,8. — Haspels (1936), [[261/]] no. 28. — ABV (1956), 530/79, 534/8.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3039


υγο > υλο{Commentary} > ÜLŐ/ÜL Ő > Ülő/ül ő. (The sitting one./She is sitting.)

τχυγ > τχυλ{Commentary} > TuDJa ÜL > Tudja, ül. (She knows, she sits.)

AVI 2923

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 255. RF Nolan amphora Manner of Painter of London E 342. Second quarter fifth

Decoration: A: maenad and fawn. B: youth.

Inscriptions: A: Nonsense: above the maenad's head: νο(.)hλο{1}.

Footnotes: {1} facs. in CVA, text. The third letter = , but short. The fourth could be for eta.

Bibliography: *F. Mayence and V. Verhoogen, CVA Brussels 2, Belgium 2 (1937), III I d, pl. 7,1 and 8,4. — ARV[2] (1963), 670/4. — Add.[2] (1989), 278.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3073


νο(.)hλο > νοξhλο{= > Z} > NŐ-ZuHáLÓ > Nő-zuháló! (Woman-basher/beater!)

AVI 2929; BAD 320062

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 291. BF neck amphora. Antimenes Painter. Last quarter sixth 520-510

Decoration: A: Heracles and Eurystheus, between Athena and a woman. B: extispicy: boy holds a liver before two warriors; at right, an archer.

Inscriptions: A: nonsense: to left of Athena's lower body, not facing: ευε(.)υε(.)πο(.)ε{1}. To her lower right, facing: ειλτελ(λ){2}. Between the boar's rear end (on Heracles' shoulder) and Athena's face: ελτειε, retr. Between Heracles' legs: ειλε. To right of the boar's head, downward to the pithos, and to right of Eurystheus' head: ελειτ(ε)λει{3}. Higher up, to right of the boar: ειγε{4}. Above the head of the woman at right: four letters{5}. Under the foot, Gr.: ΣΜΙ.

Commentary: Beazley in ABV 677/3 mentions vases with similar inscriptions: London B 333; Boulogne 417; and this vase. T. Panofka and H. Philippart attempted to read sense: see Beazley (1927), 83 n. 50. Burow 41 thinks the writing is not by the Antimenes Painter, but I think it could be although it is very hasty. - Readings from CVA and Beazley in JHS are: A: nonsense: ευειλειτειε. ειλτελ(π). ε(π)λειε. ευειτ(ι)λει. ειλε. ειγε. ειλε.

Footnotes: {1} the letters marked (.) appear to be dots. The inscription is distorted in pl. 103,A; the end is very unclear. {2} the last letter is unclear, perhaps epsilon miswritten? {3} (ε) is a rectangular blob. {4} distorted in the photo. {5} too distorted to read.

Bibliography: *F. Mayence, CVA Brussels 1, Belgium 1 (1926), III H e, pl. 8,1. — *Beazley (1927), 83/13 (not ill.). — *ABV (1956), 270/52, *677/under no. 3 (mention), 678. — Johnston (1979), 78/20A 31, fig. 2,r (facs.). — Verbanck-Piérard (1980), 37, figs. 1-2 (A, B). — Add.[2] (1989), 70. — *Burow (1989), 41, 43, 72-73, 91/104, pls. 103 and 160,h.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3079


ευε(.)υε(.)πο(.)ε > ευειλειτειε{Commentary} > EVVE' ILLő-E ITT ÉJJE' > evvel illő-e itt éjjel (Is it proper here with this overnight)

ειλτελ(λ) > ειλτελε{2} > ÉJJeL iTT ÉL E > éjjel itt él e (does he live here at night)

ελτειε > ε(π)λειε{Commentary} > EBBőL ÉJJE' > ebből éjjel (from this during the night)

ειλε > E' ILL-E > el ill-e (will he escape)

ελειτ(ε)λει > ευειτ(ε)λει{Commentary} > EVVE' ÍTÉL-E/ITT ÉL-E Ű > evvel ítél-e/itt él-e ű (does he judges/lives with this)

ειγε > E JÉGGE' > e jéggel (with this ice)

ειλε{Commentary} > ηιλε > HŰL-E > hűl-e (would he cool down)

ΣΜΙ > éSZ MŰ > ész mű (work of mind)


Evvel illő-e itt éjjel? Éjjel itt él e? Ebből éjjel el ill-e? Evvel ítél-e/itt él-e ű? E jéggel hűl-e? Ész mű. (Is it proper here with this overnight? Does he live here at night? From this during the nigh will he escape? Does he judges/lives with this? With this ice would he cool down? Work of mind.)


The actor's names (even if real ones) do not add anything to the picture, but by reading the “nonsense” inscriptions one can fetch the full depicted and described humorous story about the pair caught in-flagrantly by the husband. Without this reading how would you know that the enraged husband is pouring ice into the amphora, appropriately, to cool the lover's heat? It is interesting that the whole description has been told in interrogative sentences.

AVI 2930; BAD 351332

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 295. BF oinochoe. From Cerveteri. Unattributed; Keyside Class. Early fifth

Decoration: Heracles and an Amazon.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: behind his back: six letters. Between the two figures: υυχενχν{1}.

Footnotes: {1} or retr.: νχνεχλυ(?).

Bibliography: *F. Mayence, CVA Brussels 1, Belgium 1 (1926), III H e, pl. 5,1. — Bothmer (1957), 43/56, pl. 35,2. — Para. (1971), 183.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3080


υυχενχν > νχνεχνλ{1} > iNGYeN EGY íNNaL > Ingyen egy ínnal! (Loosing a sinew for nothing!)

AVI 2933; BAD 203807

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 308. RF Nolan amphora From Orvieto. Triptolemos Painter. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Warrior leaving home: A: young warrior arming; woman. B: youth holding a helmet.

Inscriptions: A: Nonsense(?): υο(.)χοιος.

Commentary: Nonsense or miswritten?

Bibliography: *F. Mayence and V. Verhoogen, CVA Brussels 2, Belgium 2 (1937), III I c, pl. 15,3. — ARV[2] (1963), 362/16.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3083

υο(.)χοιος > VONa/VO'Na ÍGY OLY ŐSi > Vona/volna így oly ősi. (His attraction/he would be this way such ancestral.)

AVI 2936; BAD 303274

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 323. BF oinochoe. From Orvieto. Unattributed; near Keyside Class. First quarter fifth

Decoration: Chariot racing: having passed a terma at left.

Inscriptions: Nonsense: behind the driver's back: τοχ̣εν, retr. To right of the driver's forehead: υοκδ. Below the horses' bellies: hοκοσ{1}.

Footnotes: {1} readings from CVA photos.; uncertain are: the third letter of the first and the whole of the second inscription. CVA, USA 10, reads hονος from the photograph.

Bibliography: *F. Mayence, CVA Brussels 1, Belgium 1 (1926), III H e, pls. 5,10 and 6,3. — H.R.W. Smith, CVA San Francisco 1, USA 10 (1943), p. 32. — ABV (1956), 427/1.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3086


  τοχ̣εν > uTÓ íGYEN > utó ígyen (the rest this way)

υοκδ > σακδ{1} > SZAKaD > szakad (will lag behind)

hοκοσ > Ha OKOS > ha okos (if they are clever)


Utó ígyen szakad, ha okos! (The rest this way will lag behind, if they are clever!)

AVI 2937

Brussels, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire R 324. BF column krater. From Orvieto. Leagros Group. Last quarter sixth 510-500

Decoration: Neck: in silhouette: satyrs and donkeys. Body: A: fight, with a chariot. B: Dionysus with a maenad and two satyrs.

Inscriptions: Neck: nonsense: (ν)πογο. (ν)γυ. υα(.)γενο. (ν)(.)(ε).

Commentary: The nu's are probably sigma's.

Bibliography: *F. Mayence and V. Verhoogen, CVA Brussels 2, Belgium 2 (1937), III H e, pl. 16,2 (facs. in text). — ABV (1956), 376/225.

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3087


(ν)πογο > σπογο{Commentary} > SZéP Ő éGŐ > szép ő égő (she is nice burning)

(ν)γυ > σγυ{Commentary} > SeGGéVe' > seggével (with her arse)

υα(.)γενο > VALaG E NŐ > valag e nő (cunt is this woman's)

(ν)(.)(ε) > NeVE > neve (name)


Szép ő égő seggével, valag e nő neve. (She is nice with her burning arse, cunt is this woman's name.)

AVI 2959b; BAD 301135

Unlocated. BF lip cup. Taleides Painter. Taleides, potter (Heesen). Third quarter sixth Ca. 550 (Heesen).

History: Ex Brussels, J.L. Theodor Collection.

Decoration: Int.: a nude warrior in Knielauf to right, looking back; his shield is in profile. A, B, each: lip: a centaur to right, hurling a rock.

Inscriptions: Int.: on the shield, in added white: Σο̅τε̅́ρ{1}. Ext.: handle zone: A: Ταλειδες :* <ε>ποιεσεν{2}. B: Ταλειδες : <ε>ποιεσεν{2}.

Commentary: The punctuation on B seems to be only double.P. H. gives parallels for Ζεῦ Σο̃τερ, twice in Kretschmer (1894), 87/57, nn. 6-7 [Athens, Acr. ii, 434+ (CAVI 1361), manner of Onesimos, and Naples RC 117 = 85,982 (CAVI 5465), by the Shuvalov Painter]. Another shield inscription: Villa Giulis 50,700 (CAVI 7209), E. Bartoccini and A. de Agostino, Antiquarium e collezione dei vasi Castellani (n.d.), pl. 27 (nonsense) [= ABV 300/4, BF amphora, (Manner of) Princeton Painter].

Footnotes: {1} should this be vocative: <Ζεῦ> Σο̃τερ(?) Not visible in the ph. (2)miswritten.

Bibliography: *Heesen (1996), 127/29 (Int., B); p. 28, pl. 29 (A, color).

Author: H.R.I. Internal ID: 3111


Σο̅τε̅́ρ > SZÓT ÉRő > Szót érő. (It's worth a word.)

Ταλειδες :* <ε>ποιεσεν > Ταλειδεςξποιεσεν* > iTAL EJ DE SZűKöS BŐJE eSSEN > Ital ej de szűkös, bője essen! (The drink is so meagre, let its plenty fall!)

Ταλειδες : <ε>ποιεσεν > Ταλειδεςιποιεσεν* > iTAL E ÜDE SZIPOLY ESSEN! > Ital e, üde szipoly essen! (This is a drink, let a fresh snort fall/take place.)


* The triple dot is actually a Ξ! and there is need (and no room) for an epsilon. On side B, as the picture shows, the double dot is an iota.