The Siscia curse tablet from a linguistic point of view : a new autopsy

Title: The Siscia curse tablet from a linguistic point of view : a new autopsy
Author: Barta, Andrea
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2017, vol. 22, iss. 2, pp. 23-41
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
In 1912, during the dredging works of the river Kupa (in Sisak, today Croatia) a curse tablet was found by workers. Its text was published several times which showed differences in certain sections. On one hand it was due to the poor legibility of the text. On the other hand the reason of the discrepancies is that only some of the researchers could examine the tablet personally, the rest of them applied photographs or previous editors' sketches which they interpreted in their own way. Because of the divergent readings, even establishing the correct text order of the outer and the inner side of the tablet has given rise to much controversy. Despite these problems, the text of this curse tablet has become a standing exemplar of vulgar Latin features on the course of the past 100 years, handbooks and publications on the Latin of imperial times refer its well-known "mistakes". For obvious reasons, a new autopsy could not be delayed any longer. This paper aims to present a revised and interpreted reading of the Latin curse tablet from Siscia based on a recent autopsy.
  • The present paper has been prepared within the framework of the project OTKA (Hungarian Scientific Research Fund) No. K 108399 entitled "Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age" (see: and of the project entitled "Lendület ('Momentum') Research Group for Computational Latin Dialectology" (Research Institute for Linguistics of the HAS), and was presented at the Second International Workshop on Computational Latin Dialectology, Budapest, March 30–31, 2017.
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