ISBN: 978-2-87457-127-5

Antica iscrizione di Castegnero (Vicenza) in scrittura simile alla ligure con invocazione a divinità del fuoco e del calore

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by Adolfo ZAVARONI, in Res Antiquae 18, 2021.

The inscription of Castegnero (Vicenza province, territory of ancient Veneto) was written with letters and ligatures similar to those of the Ligurian script. Moreover, the words cusum, ocuo, ido are certainly derived from well-known Ligurian lexemes, while boruo recalls Gaulish *boruo- and da, duca the Latin imperatives da, duce. The text – which reminds several Ligurian inscriptions concerning the resurrection, the return to life – mentions Imusa and Ocuos Imusos. The comparison with various Germanic terms derived from the root *h2ei-m- « to burn, to be hot, embers, steam »  allows us to suppose that Imusa is a goddess of fire and heat, while Ocuos Imusos means « Rapid Burner ». The adjective ocuos « rapid, fast » leads us to suppose that the god corresponded to the Irish Dían Cécht « fast efficiency » and the Gaulish Dinomogetimarus « Great-fast-powerful ». In the inscription, Imusa is asked to rouse Ocuos Imusos, supposedly locked up in the Underworld, so that he can fulfil his function as a psychopomp.

Keywords: Castegnero, ancient Veneto, ancient Ligurian language, Ligurian inscriptions, gods of fire and heat, Borvo, -onis, Bormana, Dían Cécht, rebirth, psychopomp god