V E N E - D - E
               BOAT     -        (PLURAL)  -  (GENITIVE)
Finnic 'people of the boats'




A New View of the Language in the Ancient Venetic Inscriptions

by Andres Pääbo 

Ancient Veneti, also called Eneti by ancient Greeks, occupied the regions northwest of where Venice is today in a wealthy society with - as one  ancient text said -  50 cities.  In this society, made wealthy by trade since the land was not  all that good for  farming,  writing was adopted. Borrowing and modifying the Etruscan alphabet, they wrote sentences on objects, and archeology has found several hundred examples of writing surviving on durable materials, although less than 100 are complete and not fragments.  Scholars have for centuries wondered about the language in the inscriptions and sought to decipher them.  Lacking any example  of writing that was accompanied by a translation in a known ancient language like Greek or Phoenician, scholars simply advanced blind  hypotheses about the linguistic nature of Venetic and then testing the theory.   The following article  introduces a new approach that , like archeology, is not focussed only on the actual writing, but draws information from  the context of the inscriptions both  in the object use, and on the larger scale of the situation in Europe in those times, such as trade patterns and  the prevailing languages . This article is a summary of the core content of    THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    a book of almost 1000 pages that documents a major project by the author to interpret Venetic  inscriptions in a more direct manner  with later  consideration of Venetic being Finnic. The central methodology is to initially pursue results directly from  the contexts in which the writing occurs, and  internal comparative analysis  such as finding consistency in grammatical elements and word meanings. This article is a general introduction to  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  and a good profile of it, to both allow the reader to quickly grasp the ideas behind the larger document, and to decide whether to venture into the larger document.




    From the end of the 2nd millenium BC for a thousand years until the  Roman Empire, northeastern Italy saw the flourishing of a civilization of ancient Veneti. These people, who ancient Greeks knew as Eneti, are mentioned as early as in Homer's epic poem about the Trojan War, called The Iliad. Even in ancient times, The Iliad, written about 800BC, was thought to describe a war in Asia MInor that occurred around 1200 BC.  The Iliad became popular and was thought to reflect actual events. By Roman times, mythology had developed that imagined the Trojan War was followed by the wanderings of Achaean and Trojan heros such as for example Antenor. A tradition developed already in ancient times to try to explain why the Eneti/Veneti name was found at the north end of the Adriatic Sea. The Eneti or in Latin Veneti, who had been allies to the Trojans, the story goes, landed on the  northern Adriatic coast, and settled there, displacing the natives , the Euganei. It is notable that it was promoted by Roman historian Livy, who himself came from the regions of the Veneti in northern Italy.  Through the centuries since Roman times, this belief has been taken to heart. Centuries later, at the time of the rise of Venice and Venetian merchants, Venetian families drew up family trees that placed heros of the Trojan War at the roots of the trees. It was all fantasy. Archeology of the past century has not found any support in the actual evidence in the ground to support this arrival from Troy.  Archeology does not find a sudden displacement/.replacement of an original culture, but that the Veneti markets and colonies developed gradually from mainly northern influences. We can conclude that the theory of migration of Trojan heroes was born from romantic thinking. What was the reality?

    The archaeological record reveals that from about 1000 BC  at the north end of the Adriatic there developed a new civilization that covered a region that today comprises the current  Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino locations. Natural boundaries for this region consisted of the Po River to the south, the Mincio and the Garda Rivers on the west,  the valley of the Adige to the north- west and  the Alps to the north and northeast. The region within these natural boundaries comprised a large  geographical area with a heterogeneous morphology that included areas of plains, hills and mountains, and marshy regions. The marshy regions were mostly found in the  lowlands of the Veneto-Friuli region bordering the lagoon . This was area includes fertile plains and wooded areas crossed by major rivers. The location of the Veneti civilization was strategic relative to central Euripe towards the north, and the Mediterranean to the south. Archeology has uncovered hundreds of  objects attributed to the ancient Veneti describing how they lived, procured food, buried their dead, etc. The archeological discoveries have shed light on their culture, their practice of writing and its link to the sacred universe, their mastery of working bronze and expressing themselves in art and decoration.

    The Adriatic (V)Eneti excelled in the working of bronze into all manner of items. They made iron goods as well.  Metal goods ranged from practical tools like axes, hoes, shears and so on to household items like containers, and of course arms of war – shields, swords, helmets, etc.

    Notable among the finds was the bronze container referred to as a  “situla”. The situlas were formed from two sheets of bronze, combined and worked, and then stamped with the designs. Like the containers made of ceramics, we can assume that bronze containers had many applications. The situla and its decorations followed styles with an affinity to their east rather than central Europe to the north, demonstrating that there were trade connections to Greece and beyond. While northern traders brought goods like Baltic amber south, it was the colonies at the Adriatic who took the distribution into the Mediterranean and thereby became influenced by the cultures of their customers on top of what had been established from the northern direction.

    One of the most interesting archeological objects from the ancient Veneti is that of a woman in a local costume. She also reveals a particular hairstyle characteristic of Venetic women. Some believe she depicts the Venetic goddess.



Votive disc of Montebelluna, IV century BC. (Museo Civico di Treviso)
This disc, it is believed, represents the Goddess, dressed in the Venetic fashion of the day. The identity and relevance ot the animals on both sides is worth further study.

    There is much evidence that the Veneti, even though they produced their own food and carried on metallurgy and craftmanship, were mainly involved in trading activity. Goods were constantly crossing the Alps on one side, and being shipped out into the Mediterranean markets on the other. On the one hand there was amber coming down from the Jutland Peninsula or southeast Baltic, and on the other, traders ventured as far as the Caucusus in Asia Minor. Indeed ancient Greeks identify the “Eneti” name in Asia Minor. The "Veneti" name moreover appeared by Roman times in northeast Europe in Brittany, and in the form "Venedi" on the Vistula and along the southeast Baltic coast. While traditional thinking has  seen them a farmers who migrated a lot, that idea is not logical. Linguistically speaking, settled peoples diverge quickly linguistically  from lack of contact. It is impossible that they would retain the same name in such diverse parts of Europe and over a 1000-2000 year time frame. Much more likely, the Veneti were a northern equivalent to the Phoenician and Greek long distance traders of the Mediterranean. The Veneti not only carried amber from the north to Babylon, Greece and Rome, but also connected with brother colonies across the northern seas. Once we begin seeing them as professional long distance traders in the northern seas and up and down the major rivers, we can apply truths about better known long distance trading peoples such as the Phoenicians. Mainly long distance peoples established markets along their routes and at terminals. That means if archeology and ancient texts speak of amber coming down from the Jutland Peninsula or southeast Baltic to the Adriatic Veneti, it is valid to propose that the original Adriatic Veneti cities were established from northern amber trader initiatives, and managed in the northern language. When successful, these cities at the southern terminus, drew surrounding peoples into it.

    Although ancient trade was mostly by water – seas and rivers were free highways never needing maintenance –  because of the barrier of the Alps, the Adriatic Veneti displayed plenty of attention to the horse - a necessary animal for crossing the mountains. Even if they could follow river valleys, while the rivers tumbled down from the mountains they were often too rough for boats until they reached the coastal plain.  Because the use of the horse for crossing mountain trails, as well as other uses, Venetic archeology shows much reverence to the horse. Men involved in shipping might become as attached to their horses or boatst. Accordingly a man's journey into the afterlife might include either his horse or boat, whichever applied to his profession


    A significant development among the Veneti was the development of writing. Obviously influenced by the writing done by the Etruscans to their south, the Veneti borrowed the Etruscan alphabet and modified it to suit their language. Notably they added a couple more letters and introduced a practice of placing dots before and after some letters. Etruscans used dots, as did the later Romans, to mark the boundaries of words. But the Veneti put dots throughout a word, and that meant they used dots for another purpose. Scholars have speculated on these dots. In my analysis of the inscriptions documented in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL     found that they were markers for a phonetic writing that specified linguistic features like palatalization with the dots.  These dots were used like a linguist today, transcribing speech phonetically, might add marks to indicate length, breaks, and other features like palatalization, except the Veneti dots were not too specific They were all purpose markers, I found, that generally marked deviations from the pure sound caused mostly by interference by the tongue. I discuss it in great detail in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  with examples.

    But why use writing that described the sentences phonetically? If the Veneti originated as long distance traders, I think the phonetic writing approach developed from a need by traders of being able to reproduce common phrases of foreigners encountered at markets, even if one did not know the langauge –sentences like ‘this is a good price.’  The word-boundary writing approach used by Etruscans and later Romans, which is so familiar to us today (like right here) requires prior knowledge of the language patterns.. Venetic traders, thus, could create phrasebooks for all kinds of customer languages, like Phoenicians did, and introduce dots to help in properly reproducing it even if not understanding how the phrase was constructed. If this is true, then there may be some instances of Venetic writing containing another language, but we assume that most of the Venetic inscriptions found in Northern Italy, reproduce the ancient Venetic language dialect of the people there.

    The Venetic language found in the inscriptions was originally thought to have been a version of Etruscan. Then because Greek historian Herotodus had mentioned “Ilyrian Eneti” (Ilyria was the ancient region east of the Adriatic and north of Greece), the next belief was that the Veneic language had been Ilyrian. Failing with that theory, in the 1960's it was thought to have been an ancient Latin. These hypotheses were all arbitrary guesses to be tested. Unlike the Ilyrian theory that was limited by the lack of information about Illyrian, plenty was known about Latin, and that promoted large numbers of investigations, all seeking to decipher the inscriptions. Since Latin was known, scholars loved to try to "hear" Latin-like sentences in the Venetic inscriptions.  The fact that some Venetic words seemed close to Latin helped to solidify the belief Venetic was an early Latin. The fact that it was only an arbitrary hypothesis where failure was a legitimate option, was forgotten. Today tens of thousands of academics fully believe that the Latin hypothesis is correct for no other reason than it has been analyzed so much – as if the more words are printed by scholars, the more correct

    Since then  there have been attempts to see if Venetic was Celtic or Slavic. Some Slovenian scholars, inspired by nationalistic pride, proceeded to try to find the Venetic inscriptions were Slovenian-like. But none of the results of past deciphering of the Venetic –  whether via Latin, or Slavic, or anything else –  has been convincing. There is too much turning mystery segments into meaningless proper names (ignoring the fact that ancient names were not meaningless)  There is also too much twisting words to fit each other, or too much rewording poetically until some kind of non-absurd meaning is reached. As far as grammar is concerned, either there is no rationalization of grammar at all, or the grammar is assumed a priori from the language used as a tool of interpretation, and not determined from Venetic examples. And let us not forget the common practice of scholarly papers showing only the handful of good results and hiding the failures. (In  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    I hide nothing. I list all the Venetic sentences used in the study and at the end acknowledge them all, even if some results are incomplete or with some degree of  uncertainty.)

     Furthermore, all the attempts to decipher the Venetic inscriptions have not done any proper deciphering, but rather proceeded by trying to hear a particular known language in the Venetic sentences – a methodology I call the ‘hearing things’ approach.  This is a methodology that can begin with ANY known language, and hear that language in the Venetic – an easy process if the portions that remain mysterious are arbitrarily assumed to be proper names.(ignoring the fact that in ancient times names too had descriptive meanings.) The methodology can be easily described in two steps: a)decide the Venetic inscriptions are related to known language X, b) try to hear words of language X in the inscriptions when sounded out, c) turn all the portions that do not sound like words in language X into meaningless proper names. d) play around with the results to make it seem meaningful and not absurd.  This is a methodology that will be able to produce the same kind of inadequate results no matter what language X may be.

     I give one example of a past deciphering from the Latin perspective.


    Venetic, divided by analyst : eik goltanos doto louderai kanei

    Latin (literal): hic Goltanus dedit Liberae Cani

    English translation: Goltanus sacrificed this for the virgin Kanis

    Note  that the literal Latin barely resembles the original and requires the invention of two proper names Goltanus and Cani.

     It is nothing more than a puzzle game that gives a row of letters and instructs the player to ‘construct a sentence in your language from this row of letters’. This is what I call the ‘hearing your language in it’ methodology that is really essentially the same as hearing sentences spoken by wind in trees. In this case the game was one of finding Latin-like words in the Venetic, and then turning the rest into proper names and then manipulating it all to form a coherent concept.

    It did not help the situation when some words seemed close to Latin (such as dona.s.to sounding like Latin donato and or .e.go seeming like Latin ego). The more Venetic was pursued as an archaic Latin-like language, the more academia became convinced it was true. More recently the same has been true of Slovenian pursuit of Venetic as a Slavic language. Here too it seems the more noise is made about it, the more the laypeople and naïve academics begin to believe it is true.

    This approach resulted in presumptions about some word stems and case endings, which in turn invited linguists to apply their wisdom to the presumptions. Looking at what the past Latin approach produced regarding grammatical endings, I found little more than a presumption about gender marking endings, and a dative. They were the only grammatical features with enough evidence in the Venetic to seem to confirm them. The rest of the proposed case endings were based on only one or two presumed examples. As for the presumed word stems, because of the liberal way in which mysterious segments were turned into proper names, a third to a half of the word stems listed were such meaningless names of deities and people. But is it valid to simply assume untranslatable leftover pieces were proper names? Any mother looking for a name for her baby and studying books of names, knows that all popular names had meanings in their original languages.  Linguists, assuming the work was collected, leapt onto the bandwagon with their own interpretations of linguistic shifts, etc. But the reality is that this methodology would allow Venetic to be ‘proven’ any language on earth. For example a Chinese analyst could also look for Chinese-sounding elements, and then turn the left-over pieces into presumed proper names. And then the linguists would leap forward to make linguistic pronouncements, with reference to Chinese. (Anyone who disputes this, is welcome to test it themselves. Give some Venetic sentences to a Chinese analyst and tell them it is an ancient Chinese written in Etruscan letters, and prove it for yourself.)

    The Ancient Veneti, by my theory, managed a long distance trade network, of which the Adriatic, Brittany and Vistula Venedi were three major nodes in the system. As long as the long distance shippers/traders were in contact with one another, the language remained relatively unchanged throughout the system. With the rise of the Roman Empire, Romans established control over all economic activities, and that included Romanizing the original trade systems. The original trade systems were compromised. The major Venetic regions – Brittany, southeast Baltic, and north Adriatic – were cut off from one another, so that the regions became more localized. The north Italic Veneti assimilated early into Latin when the Roman province of Venetia was created. Later the Brittany Veneti assimilated into Celtic. Finally the Venedi of the trade routes connecting the Baltic to both Black Sea and Adriatic Sea assimilated into the Slavic peoples who were their major customers. Before the original Veneti were completely melted into their surroundings, there was a 1000 year period during which historical texts could imply the Veneti in the three regions were Latin, Celtic, or Slavic. There is some validity therefore in speaking of Latin Veneti, Celtic Veneti, and Slavic Veneti for the 1000 years of the post-Roman era, before the name itself disintegrated. But it is incorrect to project post-Roman information to before the Roman Empire as if the Roman Empire was an insignificant historical event, instead of a complete transformation of Europe.

    In the post Roman period, obviously the north Italic Veneti became Romanized and today’s Veneto dialect arose from Veneti assimilating into Latin. At the same time, obviously the Venetic traders travelling from the Baltic, via the Oder or Vistula to the Black or Adriatic Seas were now selling their wares to Slavs expanding in every direction around the east side of the Black Sea and they assimilated into Slavic. (It is interesting to note that the Roman historian Tacitus, in Chapter 46 of his Germania, wrote that the Vistula Venedi,  by 98AD, were acquiring “Sarmatian” wives and customs, and losing their original characterisitcs of the geographic region of Germania. Since the Roman view of “Sarmatia” covered the Slavic territories, he was in effect saying that the Venedi were becoming Slavicized in his time (98 AD)  It means the Venedi was NOT Slavic before the Roman era.

    In this article we distinguish the original ancient Veneti from the post-Roman Latin, Slavic, Celtic etc Veneti, through the term ‘Ancient Veneti”

As a result there is a war between the groups. Each group claims that the Veneti were Latin, Slavic, Celtic, or some other alternative back to the beginning of time (so to speak). Speaking in terms of another long distance trading people – the Phoenicians – that would be like discovering that the Phoenicians of Spain spoke Latin after the Roman Empire, and then claiming they were Latin back to the beginning of time. In that case, the Phoenician language is known from elsewhere in the ancient world as  a Semitic language.

    In this war of Venetologists the arguments are based distortions, trickery, reference to selected supportive ideas in historical texts, geography, archeological discoveries, etc. But this achieves no resolution. The truth about the pre-Roman ancient Venetic language lies in a PROPER deciphering of Venetic inscriptions like documented in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL 




    We would today have no idea what the ancient Venetic language was like if archeologists had not found inscriptions.  What is the nature of the objects archeology has been finding that serve as carriers of the ancient writing and the language it reflects?

    The first major archeological discovery in northern Italy was made in 1876 at Este when two burial tombs were discovered containing numerous cremations and bronze artifacts. In the next six years, hundreds of such burial vaults were discovered and investigated. These and subsequent investigations led to the rich world of archeological finds of the Este area. Many of the archeological objects had writing on them in an alphabet that resembled the Etruscan alphabet. It was evident that before the rise of the Romans, the Eneti/Veneti cities at the north end of the Adriatic Sea, borrowed writing habits and alphabet from the Etruscans to their south and adapted it to their own language. With it, they put their language onto objects of ceramic, stone, and bronze (and no doubt many other materials that have since decomposed) primarily during the period between 500BC and 100BC when the Venetic cities were at their peak, and ancient Greek historians described them as a wealthy civilization of "50 cities" who were also the agents for northern amber being distributed into Mediterranean markets.The objects on which they wrote their inscriptions were objects with special uses in their religious and regular lives. All sentences are short, and an addition to the object and its purpose.

    The Veneti made plenty of ceramic containers. The techniques of making ceramics were varied and sophisticated. Much pottery was decorated before or after firing. Some containers of terracotta were used to conserve cereal grains and legumes, to cook food, and of course table ceramics for eating and drinking. The form of ceramics that was inscribed by writing was the cremation urn.


Example cremation urn inscribed with writing

    The cremation urns have provided the largest quantity of examples or writing. They can be viewed as sendoff messages to the cremated deceased inside.  The (V)Eneti followed the practice as spread in the “Urnfield Culture” (which can be associated with (V)Eneti colonies elsewhere in the trade system of Europe), of cremating their dead, placing their cremations in urns, and placing the urns in tombs or in burial vaults. Along with the urns the tombs contained valuables, perhaps that belonged to the deceased. In some, goblets, plates, etc. were interred, perhaps from the funeral banquet(?).

    Outside the tombs, one might find stone obelisques marking the locations of the tombs. The stone that stood upright, one end rooted in the ground that typically had written on it a sentence beginning in “.e.go….”  These texts have been interpreted traditionally, using the Latin ego,  which means ‘I’. It is not very believable that the deceased said "I am  -----", when throughout history tomb markers have been dominated by the sentiment - rest in peace, or in memory. (I offer an alternative below, that claims .e.go meant 'let remain, rest')


An example obelisque with its inscription, that marked tomb locations

Also connected with tombs but perhaps it was a custom unique to the Pernumia area south of Padua, were a small number of round river stones engraved with texts. They were left at the bottom of tombs and the context of it suggests they were additional personal messages added before the tomb was closed up.

round stone

Example round inscribed strone left at bottoms of tombs at Pernumia

Getting away from funerary inscriptions (which are sad) we can look now at sentences surrounding relief images on pedestals. These, we found, look and sound like memorials, and perhaps some of the memorials related to deceased, but many celebrated other notable  events –marriages, armies going off to war, distinguished visitors depart.

round stone

Example memorial stone, this is a later one with Latin text which I believe announces a married couple setting off on a honeymoon.

Another category of objects are objects left at sanctuaries, religious places, where offerings were made to the Goddess. According to ancient Latin and Greek authors, the sanctuaries in the north Adriatic landscape included groves in a natural state often fenced in to define their boundaries. Inside the sanctuaries space one would find the facilities – including pillars, statues, pedestals, etc – for practicing the religion whether it be processions, rituals, prayers, burnt offerings. Permanent temple structures were only built in more important sanctuaries in the larger cities. Religious rituals carried out at the sanctuaries included purification rituals involving liquids, and sacrifices of animals to deities. There were sanctuaries associated with important urban places – marketplaces, ports, etc. There were public sanctuaries associated with political and military centers in  a region. Communities too might establish sanctuaries in association with natural features like springs. Ceremonies and rituals were carried out at sanctuaries. It was something like an outdoor church..

At the Baratella sanctuary near Este archeologists found large numbers of bronze styluses. Most of these three sided writing instruments had no writing on them, but some did. Why the accumulation of them? Why did people leave them with their offerings -  with or without inscriptions? The answer is they must have used the stylus to write a prayer at a shrine,  on a thin soft sheet of bronze – a few examples of which have been found. Once the prayer had been written, the stylus was left behind, in a place of collection, perhaps eventually to be recycled. Since it was only used at the sanctuary, there was not reason for anyone to take it home.


Example inscribed styluses used to inscribe messafes on thin bronze sheets (below)


An example bronze sheet on which a message to the Goddess was inscribed

    The above categories - the urn, obelisque, round stone, stylus and sheet - represent those categories for which we have several examples of each - which allows us to employ comparative analysis to affirm some repeated words and elements.  There are also some other groupings possible but the most interesting are the inscriptions on miscellaneous objects – isolated finds, often of a very common secular nature,  which represents the everyday writing that has been lost because it is not on durable objects nor accumulated in large quantities anywhere. These randomly discovered objects demonstrate the Veneti people  used writing in very ordinary ways as well. We can only imagine how extensively ordinary people may have used writing on objects that did not last in the ground! 

    It is because ordinary writing does not accumulate and was done on materials that decomposed, the  body of discovered (V)Eneti  inscriptions as a whole are dominated by sentences found on sanctuary and cemetery sentences. Accordingly past interpretations have looked for solutions based on Roman  patterns in later cemetary or sanctuary inscriptions. This has led to the scholars allowing most of the inscriptions to resemble what we might see today on gravestones and memorials –a few keywords and names assumed  from untranslatable fragments. This allowed troublesome portions of text to be viewed as proper names, and for the translations to be non-sentences with assumed ideas.

    Unfortunately, the number of examples of Venetic writing  is relatively small. Several hundred examples have been found, but most are fragmentary, There are less than 100 good, complete, inscriptions. When the number of full sentences is small, the repetition of word stems, case endings, and patterns in style and meaning is also small.  It reduces the ability to confirm suggestions about meanings or grammatical elements through internal comparisons (between sentences containing the same word stems and grammatical features).

    The greatest shortcoming of the body of Venetic inscriptions so far uncovered is that there are no examples of inscriptions with an accompanying translation in a known ancient language. Translations could at least establish with certainty the words and grammar of that particular writing and then carry these discoveries into other inscriptions. The successful translations of ancient unknown texts have always had examples of writing with parallel texts in a known ancient language. For example headway has been made into Etruscan because of inscriptions with translations in a known language like Phoenician.

    Past successful deciphering of ancient writing has benefited from at least  a few translations in a known ancient language like Greek. Having a few translations allows the analyst to acquire a few solid, certain, words. Let us say that  we determine the meanings of two words of the unknown language to mean ‘man’ and ‘food’.  We can then look for those two words in untranslated examples of the unknown language.  For example we find  ‘man’ ---?--- ‘food’ and we can infer that the ---?--- word could be ‘eats’. We can now TENTATIVELY assume ---?--- means ‘eats’ and look for that word elsewhere.  Then when we manage to get partial translation in that other location, we can see if the interpretation ‘eats’ fits. Back and forth we test good possibilities for the unknowns between the knowns we acquired from the parallel translation. This is exactly how a baby learns language. One day the mother points to a dog and tells her baby it is a  ‘doggy’.  The baby assumed that is the word for a four legged creature. But then on another day the baby points to a cat and says “doggy”. The mother replies “No, that is a kitty”. Language learning is all about making hypotheses and testing them until one arrives at a system that works – the final meaning of the word is the one that works correctly everywhere it is used.

    This example suggests that there is another way of determining meaning – from context. When the baby  points to a dog or a cat when saying “doggy” or “kitty”, she is captioning a real object. In the case of ancient inscriptions, it helps if there are pictures associated with the text. The writing has to be captioning the pictures. Furthermore there are labels. If we buy a refrigerated carton in a foreign country that shows the image of a glass of milk, we can assume that the word for ‘milk’ will be prominent in the writing on that carton.




    Without archeology ever finding translations of Venetic in a known ancient language, the investigation of the meanings in the Venetic inscriptions has been quite blind. They have had to advance theories based on periferal or indirect evidence.

    Ancient history only tells us (Polybius) that although allied with Romans in wars against Celts, and employing customs in Gaul, they spoke "their own language".  This at least should tell us Venetic was not close enough to Latin or Celtic or any other well known language of the time to be seen as a dialect of it.

    The first scholarly proposal some centuries ago was that it was a northern Etruscan. It was suggested purely from their use of the Etruscan alphabet. The next proposal that it was an "Illyrian" language (Illyria was the ancient region east of the Adriatic and north of Greece) was based on the ancient Greek historian Herodotus mentioning an Ilyrian  "Eneti". These early proposals failed to be fruitful and in the end someone said why can't we assume it was ancestral to Latin? It was a guess, based only on the fact that Venetic was located in the Italic Peninsula like Latin, and because  the Venetic inscriptions provided a few words that looked remarkably like Latin - for example dona.s.to and .e.go closely resembled Latin donato and ego. This final theory in the academic world produced a great amount of scholarly analysis for the simple reason that Latin is well known and anyone who knew Latin could try to see if they could hear Latin sentences within Venetic inscriptions.  The results however are very poor by scientific standards - often being little better than hearing sentences in the sounds of the wind through the trees. Then scholars, finding the results a real mess, tried to bring some linguistic integrity into the accumulated Latin-oriented study, now only assuming only that Venetic was an ancient Indo-European that need not be ancestral to Latin but maybe related. That is how the pursuit stands. But the results were still not convincing. The fact that by the 1980’s some Slovenian academics took on  the Venetic inscriptions with Slovenian and Slavic proves previous work was not convincing enough to discourage new theories. But the Slovenian approach too simply tried to hear Slovenian-like sentences in the inscriptions. There has been no rationalization of word stems or grammatical elements – just a lot of trying to ‘hear’ Slovenian-like sentences in the Venetic when sounded out, followed by plenty of massaging and poetic twisting to arrive at meanings that do not sound absurd.

    In the absense of any way to determine the meaning of any words through a parallel translation in a known language, the entire history of analysis of the Venetic inscriptions has been like blind scholars wandering this way and that with arm’s stretched out, and making guesses about what they are feeling and where they are going.

    If you have committed to one hypothesis, will you admit defeat and stop? No. Who can admit they have spent years of their lives achieving nothing? Let us not forget that the proposals that Venetic was Latin-like, Slavic-like, etc have only been UNPROVEN HYPOTHESES, and that all they are doing is testing the unproven hypothesis. Then, over time the academic world forgets that the linguistic nature of Venetic had simply been arbitrarily advanced for testing, and after thousands of man-hours have been spent, everyone has completely forgotten that the notion that Venetic was Indo-European in a Latin-like way or in a Slavic way, as the case may be, has always been an arbitrary hypothesis advance for testing, and that if the testing has not produced convincing results, the option that the hypothesis was incorrect is a valid conclusion and that it is not necessary to keep forcing the hypothesis onto the Venetic.

    This is different from having a priori proof before attempting the deciphering. For example, if the Venetic inscriptions were FIRST proven to be an archaic cousin to Latin, then the pursuit with Latin would be valid. For example if Polybius had said "Eneti spoke their own dialect of Latin" then that would form a non-arbitrary foundation for the pursuit.

    But if the Latin hypothesis were forced onto Venetic for no reason to test yet another hypothesis, then everything that follows is a testing of the hypothesis and one of the valid results is that the hypothesis is false. But this is forgotten, and the analysts now have assumed it to be true and will not admit that they may have in reality disproven the hypothesis from general failure.

    If modern scholars do not realize they are ONLY exploring a hypothesis they will tend to regard poor results as their own failures in analysis, and not as a failure of the initial hypothesis.. But there has always been the option that the hypothesis was wrong and the failures in achieving the believable and convincing results are the consequence of all the hypotheses being incorrect.

    The entire methodology followed in the past half century has been wrong. Instead of guessing the linguistic nature arbitrarily and then spending years of frustration on an erroneous path, why not pursue the determination of the correct hypothesis first, before investing a great time and effort testing with a known language? Too little academic energy has been spent trying to find evidence that eliminates the guesswork. Instead of a history of blind men walking around in the dark and making guesses, Is it possible to prove a hypothesis of linguistic affiliation a priori before beginning to try to force Latin (or Slavic) into the inscriptions based on vague similarities in sound? Certainly it would be possible if we had a parallel translation. But is that the only way?


    The problem with making an a priori hypothesis and then getting stuck with it because nobody wishes to admit failure, is that the hypothesis becomes entrenched and nobody then considers any alternatives.  All the alternative options, such as Venetic having come from the north via amber traders, are shut down, and the entire quest for discovering Venetic truths comes to a dead end. Let us consider other options that the narrow stance of the past has thwarted.

    For example, there has always been a valid possibility that Venetic was NON-Indo-European, especially since Venetic had two acknowledged NON-Indo-European languages as neighbours - Etruscan and Ligurian. Indeed Etruscans were close neighbours and the Veneti adopted the Etruscan alphabet. Why has it not been pursued? The explanation  is too simple: everyone knows Latin, but nobody knows NON-Indo-European languages. It was an academic path of least resistance!

    Furthermore, the pursuit fell into the rut of being focussed mostly on the sentences themselves, and little serious analysis has been given to the archeological objects and contexts in which the sentences have been found. But the more information you can look at the better. As any crime scene investigator will attest, the more information you collect, the clearer the truth becomes. Consider what analysis of the archeological side of things can reveal. Archeology can tell us if the object was connected to a funerary ritual, acted as a memorial, marked a tomb, etc. Then we have a sense a priori what messages would be most probable for that object and context. It gives us a basis for accepting some possibilities and rejecting others.

    Then there is archeological discoveries about the world in general. For example if we see that the Veneti were intimately involved in the Greek dominated Mediterranean, then the probability is very high that the Veneti would worship the well established deity Rhea, and not invent their own called “Reitia”.  What else can we infer from archeology on the larger scale? In the past century of archeology, it has been discovered that amber came down to the north Italic region from two sources in the  Baltic, the Jutland Peninsula and the southeast Baltic coast.  Therefore we can entertain the possibility that a northern language was transferred south through this path of contact. In other words we cannot restrict our attention to the Mediterranean. According to archeological discoveries, the north Italic region where most of the Venetic writing has been found was at the bottom of the amber trade route from the Jutland Peninsula. From these origins, archeology has discovered from amber dropped along the route, that amber goods travelled up the Elbe River, crossed the Danube Valley to the Innsbruck area and then descended the Adige River valley to the Venetic colonies at the bottom of the Adige.  This opens the possibility that the Venetic language in the inscriptions came from the Jutland Peninsula, established as a new southern terminus for amber trade.

    Scholars have not excluded this possibility as they have wondered if Venetic was Germanic, and while they found some features that seemed Germanic, the conclusion was that it was not Germanic. The Germanic hypothesis has not been pursued. That means since the Venetic inscriptions were made before the Roman era,  we should be dealing with the unknown language that was found in the Jutland Peninsula before the Germanic (Goth) militaristic expansions northward from central Germany.  And to identify that unknown language, we cannot simply look at historical languages, but recognize the aboriginal foundations of northern Europe, which were Finnic (like the Saami, Finns, Karelians, Estonians, Livonians, and many other remnants across northern Europe as far as the Urals.)

    Archeology has found that the aboriginal peoples of northern Europe began as reindeer hunters, but then became general hunters of a flooded  wilderness as the reindeer tundra disappeared. The new culture,  called the “Maglemose" culture, spread across the north as far east as the Ural mountains with dugout boats, and then invented skin boats (skin-on-frame construction) in the arctic where there were no trees for dugouts.  While linguists can argue over fine points, looking at the broad picture, the aboriginal peoples of northern Europe were boat peoples, and as such could easily adapt to farmer civilization by performing the role of long distance traders. With such boat-oriented roots, descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous, north Europeans, were preadapted to enter into roles in long distance shipping/trading, and for that reason we have to find that the most likely large scale trade language across the northern seas remained Finnic. in character even as intermarriage with the farming peoples altered the original peoples in the caucasian direction.

    It is well known that in the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians established trading colonies everywhere they went, and set up trade networks. Greek traders did the same. This was a standard practice of long-distance traders.

What if, derived from the northern trader tribes,   amber traders of the Jutland Peninsula established the trade route to the Adriatic, and that formed an ongoing relationship via trade, or they may even have established the colonies at the south end of the route and planted colonies of their own people there. That was what we know other long distance  trader peoples did.  Ancient Greece was a major customer for amber, dating to over 2000 BC. The original colonies at the lower Adige River could have initially been established as trade centers for handling goods coming from the north, and goods heading onward into the Mediterranean markets. Once established and successful the Venetic cities would have drawn surrounding peoples into their midst, but preserved the northern language as the general language of the region.

    Such an investigation of archeological knowledge on a larger scale raises the possibility the Venetic inscriptions CAN  have a high probability of being Finnic in character. The wider our net for information gathering, the more we open our mind to possibilities not thought of previously. If indeed the Veneti were long distance traders, we cannot look at the Venetic inscriptions purely as a local phenomenon.

    We cannot isolate the Venetic inscriptions from the ENTIRE context in which they occur – not just the local context of a funerary site, etc, but the larger context suggested by the name appearing through ancient history in Babylon, the coasts of the Black Sea, Illyria, southeast Baltic, Vistula, Oder, northwest Europe, Adriatic Sea, etc….Once we decide they were long distance traders based in the north and dominating major rivers, we begin to view the Venetic inscriptions in a new way.

    Our first step is to ignore that actual Venetic sentences, and study the entire archeological context for what is possible and then evaluate all the possibilities for what is PROBABLE.  Then we will have a good intuitive sense of what the sentences will say, and at least we will have a sense of what is absurd, what is possible and what is both possible and most probable. By always selecting what is most probable, we gravitate towards the truth. We can then determine when we are proceeding towards the truth, by finding our discovery of the language accelerating like always happens in correct language learning.

    It is only then that we begin to note that the resulting language that we discover has similarities to one known language or another. If we then employ that knowledge as an additional tool, we are no longer forcing something onto Venetic, but employing a correct tool for further revealing  the truth.




    The practice employed with the Venetic inscriptions of simply making a hypothesis of affiliation with a known language and then trying to hear that known language in the inscriptions mentioned above, has not the normal approach in deciphering ancient inscriptions.

    Past successful deciphering of inscriptions has been approached from an archeological direction, where every piece of information connected with the writing is brought into the deductive process.  Unlike a linguist, who views sentences in isolation, an archeologist sees the inscription wholistically in the archeological context, and then the writing is treaded like elements of the archeological whole, and the task becomes an extension of interpreting the archeological information.

    Linguistics looks only at the sentences, and a great amount of information that can reveal meaning in the inscriptions is lost. For that reason an unknown language cannot be deciphered by linguistics. Meaning is found in the context in which a language is used and that means we must observe the language in its real world context.  A linguist trying to understand an unknown language being spoken by a newly discovered people, can only determine meanings from observing it in use. A baby too needs context from which to infer meaning. We cannot separate language, whether spoke or written, from the real-world context in which it occurs. Iif we went to a foreign country today and found a jar with a word on it, and there were beans inside, we can determine that the word means 'beans', whereas when that word is separated from this context, it cannot be deciphered. Linguistics needs a correct understanding of the relationship of an unknown language to a known one to proceed without any reference to the realworld context. But if the relationship is unknown, then linguistics is blind. Archeology is not, since archeology has the realworld context to investigate.

    But the amount that can be discovered from a wholistic archeological perspective varies with the situation. As I mentioned earlier, if there is an archeological find that shows a translation in a known language beside the unknown language, then there is less need for inferring meaning. It would be like a student of a language looking up a word in a dictionary, rather than making and testing guesses. Unfortunately archeologists have never found a Venetic inscription that is accompanied by a parallel text in a known ancient language, and it has never been possible to determine a few words with certainty. Scholars may believe that translating words like dona.s.to and .e.go with Latin donato and ego ; but these may be coincidences since human languages use the same limited number of vocal sounds. All languages will have words that are similar in sound to words in any another language.  We cannot go by a few similarities. The similar sounding word in one language can mean something completely different to a similar sounding word in another language. For example the first of these, dona.s.to, resembles Estonian toonustus 'something brought' and the second, .e.go , resembles jäägu  'let remain'.  And then we can investigate other languages and find similarities there too. Even English – which did not exist back then – can give us donate and ego We can imagine the absurd sentence we would get from that. Thus mere coincidence with a known language proves nothing.  It is not enough to find dona.s.to and .e.go  is similar sounding to  Latin donato and ego. Proof is needed that these similarities are valid, and not the similarities in another language.

    If we lack any discovery of a parallel text in a known language, we can still learn a great deal about the language by the traditional direct methods described above that approach the inscriptions from an archeological point of view. If we can find some words in this way that can be viewed as certain, we can then have the handful of solid words we can then use to leverage more words, just as well as if we had found a parallel text.. Since the Venetic texts are written on objects with a clear purpose and context, Venetic has always been a very good candidate for looking for highly probable meanings in this way. But until I tried it, I don’t think it had been tried before.

    I have already described how a visitor to a foreign country might learn some words of the unknown language from the way they are used. For example the word in a sign above a bin of apples probably says 'apples', or the large word on a carton of milk, probably means 'milk'. A red stop sign at the end of a street probably has a word that means 'stop'. By searching all the objects that have inscriptions on them, we can find some for which the objects and their use suggests highly probable meanings of some words in the inscriptions. We only need to find a handful of words whose meaning is obvious, which also appear elsewhere, to leverage meanings in still-unknown words in other sentences.  For example, if we have one word that also appears on another object in a two-word sentence, we can use the context of the other object and the meaning of the one word to make a  very good guess for the meaning of the second word. The proposed meaning of the second word can then be tested on yet other inscriptions. Soon we will find four word sentences in which three words are known and we can infer the fourth. The process accelerates. Every new discovery leads to even more discoveries, so that if we observe the deciphering becoming increasingly easier, we know we are on the right track. If we get stuck, then we can conclude that we made a mistake earlier and we can backtrack and try another alternative.

    This is the traditional methodology of interpreting ancient unknown inscriptions directly. A handful of correctly deciphered words can be leveraged to decipher a hundred words, . This methodology, when it produces correct results, accelerates, just like when a child learns its parents' language, its learning accelerates - from a very slow start, the child is speaking well by the age of three.  The same should occur in deciphering ancient writing - as long as the analysis is correct, the analysis accelerates. It is a way to sense it is on the right pa th.  If the analysis gets stuck, the analyst has to backtrack and look for the error

    This acceleration is counter-intuitive since in ordinary learning, the more one learns the more challenging further learning becomes. But language is not a body of knowledge, but a system. In any learning about using a system., the more you know, the faster you learn more. For example learning to play a musical instrument is learning the system of making music. The beginnings are slow, but then the learning accelerates. The fact that analysts have fussed over Venetic for centuries should be proof that the analysts have been on the wrong track.  Any belief that deciphering Venetic should be a struggle of many centuries is completely false. A correct deciphering can begin very slowly but like a child learning its first language, to be on the correct path it should accelerate - that is take several months and not several decades or even centuries.

    The methodology presented below resulted in the deciphering of most of the known inscriptions within two years (2002-2004) with the discoveries constantly accelerating. This parallels how a child learns its first language.  We learn  Venetic by starting with the simplest sentences.


    When dealing with the written language children's books are filled with illustrations that describe what the words are saying.  Comic strips and cartoons too provide visual information to help interpret the texts.

    There is one Venetic inscription that is like a cartoon. The figure below represents an isolated find on a rock face in a mountainous area (Bedoina) in north central Italy. The image shows five men with fists raised shouting “pueia” while a man in the distance seems to be running away. The treelike symbol with the five branches in my opinion says five foreground men shouted it in unison. It is analogous to a balloon in a comic strip.


Carved onto a rock in the mountains, this illustration tells a whole story and limits the the possibilities for the word that they are all shouting. It is like a cartoon with a word balloon.

    ANALYSIS: It is important to note that the foreground men have their fists raised. This suggests anger. But three of them have no weapons. Therefore they are not a group of warriors  heading after someone and saying possibly “charge!” or something. We study the picture. Use some shrewd analysis. It seems the fleeing man has upset the three closed-fisted men. But the remaining to foreground men do have swords and seem to be after the fleeing men. It seems to me that they are shouting “After him!” or “Catch him!”. If these the foreground men had no swords, and only fists, then we can propose they were just shoutiing “Get out of here!” or “Go away!”. Thus the image as it is, seems like a community set some armed men, maybe policemen of a town, to chase after an escaping enemy or criminal. It would be consistent with chasing him into the mountains. Reaching the mountains, maybe the fleeing man escaping, they camp for the night and create this picture to record the event.

     Thus after analyzing the possibilities, the most probable choice is that pueia means ‘catch him!’m ‘stop him!’ or similar.

    Tentatively assuming pueia means ‘Catch him!’, the next step in the methodology, is to look for this word pueia in another inscription and hope the context of the object and other words support this same meaning. But this word does not occur elsewhere, and in this case we are unable to use this word to leverage more words in other sentences,
We can accept that pueia means ‘Catch him!’ and that would be a good example of deriving a meaning without any reference at all to any known language.

    But should we ignore known languages? No. If we allow the Venetic to search known languages for words that are similar in sound and mean something similar to ‘Catch him!’ then we are not forcing any known language onto Venetic, but allowing Venetic to scan known languages for the best fitting word in any candidate language. What is nice about this is that since Venetic does the searching, it doesn’t matter too much that the languages scanned are modern ones, since the Venetic will only see the remnants of actual ancient words in that modern language.

    Nearly all languages will have something sounding similar to pueia, but only one may have a meaning close to the desired meaning ‘Catch him!’. The reader can scan known languages to find a word that fits the meaning we arrived at from the picture. But ultimately the reader will find the closest known word is in Estonian (a Finnic language) and its word püija! 'catch (him, her, it )'  Other languages may have similar words with meanings that could be poetically manipulated to be possible, but we are not interested in what is possible, but what is MOST PROBABLE that ordinary humans would shout in the situation depicted.

     At least in this methodology we are not simply matching sound, but also matching the meaning implied in the information in the archeological context . This  greatly reduces the chance of false paths of analysis. In this way, it is the Venetic that is projecting into its best known language, and not vice versa. In general, as in a court of law, the more evidence there is pointing to the same conclusion, the less the chance that our conclusion is just opinion or wishful thinking. 

    As I said above, we could omit scanning known languages completely and that would be ideal. However if eventually the revelations from the direct approach keep pointing to Venetic being Finnic in nature, then how can we not extend our methodology to use Finnic language (Estonian or Finnish) as an addition tool to confirm the meanings found directly, or even to suggest possibilities. The truth is that had I not eventually begun using Estonian as an additional tool, my results would have been more vague. The main benefit when I began checking words with Estonian was to CONFIRM or REFINE meanings. For example discovering Estonian püija! 'catch (him, her, it )' helped to settle on ‘Catch him!’ instead of ‘Stop him!’.  It means they are trying to capture the fleeing man, and not simply stop him.


The next example is a better one, as it produces discoveries that can now be applied more widely since it contains words found often in other inscriptions - it permits internal comparative analysis between all sentences in which a word is repeated..

    1. THE CONTEXT. This example is one of the inscriptions on the pedestals with relief images. I believe they were intended as memorials of events, and did not necessarily refer to someone passing on.  For example there is one in which we see chariots and our interpretation suggests commemoration of the departure of an army into the mountains the engage in a war. The example we will decipher appears to commemorate an event where an important religious or political elder pays a visit, and upon leaving is given a duck for the journey. It is a lovely example to interpret directly because it gives a unique illustration depicting what appears to be a peasant, maybe a fisherman or hunter, handing a duck - probably a real duck - to a distinguished-looking man with a cane. And the sentence obviously captions what we see in the image!


This image tells a story that will reflect what is stated in the surrounding text. What does the duck represent? It is possible that water birds were sacred to the Veneti. See the earlier image on the disc, which shows a bird, possibly a swan on the other side. Or was the duck given as something to eat on the journey.

1. THE INSCRIPTION: The Venetic inscription is written continuously, in the fashion of Venetic inscriptions and when the text is converted from the Venetic alphabet to Roman small case alphabet, and including the dots in the Venetic text, it reads - when the Venetic alphabet is converted to small case Roman alphabet but preserving the dots:


(Notes: Reading the dots. The dots in the conversions of the originall Venetic writing to small case Roman alphabet represent palatalizations of the sounds on either side of a letter, and other features like trilled r, or aspiration.  It mostly affects how the language sounded, and it doesn't greatly affect our discussion. For example .e.go only means it sounded more like "YHE-EGO" instead of a pure "E-EGO" For detailed discussion of the dot puncctuations see THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL)

3. IDENTIFYING WORD BOUNDARIES: For interpreting we need to break it apart into words. We can divide it easily from identifying some of the words in other inscriptions. In this case, the identifiable word .e.go occurs in the middle, and .e.cupetari.s. which is a word from how it is used in other sentences, at the end. Thus the word boundaries for the remaining two unknown words are obvious. The sentence with the word boundaries shown as spaces is:

pupone.i   .e.go   rako.i.   .e.kupetaris

4. INTERPRETING THE CONTEXT: Looking at the illustration we can propose that the text describes how a peasant is giving a duck to a distinguished-looking gentleman as suggested by his clothing and cane. We can expect that the words ought to at least identify the central object, the duck. The first word appears to have the stem pupo-. We can determine this because the remainder -ne.i. appears as an ending in many other sentences and is therefore a grammatical ending.  pupo sounds remarkably like universal words naming 'father'. It is the word from which PAPA comes, and more importantly it is in the tradition of the Italic Peninsula in being used to name  the Pope. I believe this was how in all the Italic Peninsula it was common to call a leader, a city or county elder, as a ‘Father’ even before Christian and Roman times. In conclusion we can propose that pupone.i. may mean 'to the distinguished father' and that suggests that the word for 'duck' will also appear in the sentence.  Further deciphering will conclude that the best meaning for ne.i. is similar to the Estonian –ni, (Terminative case) which means ‘(physically) up to the location of’. The duck is extended physically as far as the Pupo. It is not a Dative, as the Dative will imply the Pupo revieved the gift in more than physical terms.,

    5. INTERNAL COMPARISONS ACROSS ALL THE INSCRIPTIONS:    We have already noted how internal comparisons in the body of inscriptions established that ne.i. was an ending, and all of .e.kupetaris was a word. The word .e.kupetaris occurs repeatedly at the end of sentences that accompany illustrations showing horses. The stem .e.ku resembles Latin equus for 'horse' and that has inspired previous analysts especially from the Latin direction assuming the word referred to horses. But let us analyze it properly.

    Scanning the other inscriptions, we find that .e.kupetari.s.  occurs almost always at the end of a sentence. Most other sentences with the word show people being transported by horses, which tends to reinforce the notion that the Latin equus is involved.  But it does not work in this case, as one does not give an elder a duck, using horses. There are no horses in the picture. We need to compare the possibile meanings in all places the word appears to determine what meaning fits all instances

    Because .e.kupetari.s.  almost always is tagged to the end, we can propose that it actually means something like 'happy journey' - a 'farewell' term - and that since in ancient times journeys involved horses, we do not even need to find Latin equus in the word. For example .e.ku could be the same as .e.go, occurring with harder sounds for phonetic reasons (like consonant harmony) In conclusion the fact is that .e.kupetari.s. is an end-tag and is most probably a 'goodbye' or 'farewell' term. We can propose that the duck is being given to the distinguished father as a farewell gift.

    We have already mentioned how .e.go always appears at the beginning of obelisques marking tombs. Traditionally, assuming it is the same as  Latin ego 'I' those tomb markings have been interpreted as ‘I am [NAME]’ which does not sound believable.  It is human nature that the most likely repeated word on tomb markers would be something like ‘here lies’ or ‘rest in peace’, etc. Thus a natural way to interpret .e.go is with 'let rest, remain' . This also suggests that the Latin approach could have obtained a more appropriate path with Latin iaco, which appears in post Roman gravestones in HIC IACIT 'here lies, rests'. But the word that best fits is Finnic jäägu 'let remain, be' . Since iaco occurs alone in Latin vocabulary, it is possible this is a word borrowed into Latin from Venetic, and not genuinely Latin.  In interpreting the .e.go in the inscription with a duck being given to an elder, the problem is that  while on the tomb-markers the idea of 'rest-in-peace' etc works, here I don’t think there is a tomb, and there is simply a commemoration of a visit by a distinguished man. We have to revise the meaning of .e.go so that it is not  specific to a cemetary situation. Furthermore the meaning must fit the image.

    One solution analogous to in English saying 'l LEAVE the duck with the Father'..  Let's leave the duck with the Father...Let's leave the deceased to the afterlife....Let the duck be, remain, with the Father....:Let the duck rest with the Father.... Let the deceased rest, remain, be, endure in the afterlife.

    Our methodology thus tries to find the meaning that fits all locations it appears. In conclusion:In that light the inscription so far, from direct interpretation of the context and cross-checking across all inscriptions is:

'To the Elder, let remain a duck. Happy journey!'

    The only word left to analyze is rako.i. We determine the ending (vowel).i. is a case ending because it occurs often in the body of inscriptions. We eventually develop a quite convincing belief that the ending is a partitive.

    Thus the stem is rako and it means ‘duck’. But we do not know for sure - it could mean, for example. 'present, gift'. We can leave the translation with this uncertainty, or we can search for more evidence.

    Here is where we can now look towards known languages. We can allow our a priori establishing the sound of the word and its probable meaning as ‘duck’ to scan known languages for something that is like ‘duck’ and also sounds like rako.  For example, English has drake. Can we explore where English obtained that word? It could be a loanword from Germanic? Scanning candidate languages (languages with which Veneti had contract), is not necessary in this methodology, but it does not hurt, since it is the Venetic that is selecting from known language, and we are not forcing something onto Venetic. Let us see if we can find confirmation that rako means ‘duck’ and not ‘gift’

    6. SCANNING KNOWN LANGUAGES WITH WHICH VENETIC HAD CONTACT: We already have a strong probability that rako meant 'duck' and that may be enough for a translation. But it is always interesting to scan known languages in case we can find confirmation.

    If we scan Latin, we do not find anything sounding similar to rako that would fit. (For example Latin draco means 'snake') Anyone who knows English will see some similarity to the English word drake but we should trace the word to its earlier origins, since Venetic predates English. We can look for it in other Germanic languages. Then it would be a word borrowed into Venetic. We could also investigate what is known about Etruscan. It does not help to scan Estonian or Finnish because in modern Estonian the word for 'duck' is part and in Finnish anka.

     But we can also recognize that there could be remnants of rako right there in the same place in the north Adriatic. When the ancient Veneti assimilated in the post-Roman era into Latin towards the west, and Slavic towards the east they would have preserved some words and expressions, not to mention unique accents, from their original Venetic. It is possible that the Veneto dialect of Italian, or the Slovenian dialect of Slavic, contain remnants of Venetic. With this in mind, I decided to access a Slovenian dictionary. I found that in Slovenian 'duck' is expressed by the word raca. Exactly what I was looking for!  Proof that this word was a remnant of Venetic within Slovenian can be deduced from the fact that I did not find raca for ‘duck’ in other Slavic languages. It could be true that Slovenian men are descended from Veneti, but the original Veneti assimilated into Slavic, and it would be wrong to pretend assimilation did not occur, when assimilation was so common since the Roman era.

    We can of course continue to scan known languages for the other words too to help confirm the results. If we were to scan Finnic, we could as I have already said, find .e.go resonating with Estonian jäägu 'let remain, continue, rest' which works well. The Finnic word jäägu is one of the most common Estonian words. Words in constant use generation after generation can be thousands of years old.  Furthermore, even though we can scan Latin and find equus for 'horse' to suit the .e.ku in .e.kupetari.s.  but there is nothing in Latin that is both similar to petari.s. and from which we can form a word of the desired meaning - which we concluded was an end-tag like a farewell. 

    But if we consider .e.kupetari.s.  as an end-tag we can also expect it can be abbreviated, in the way English good-bye comes from a longer expression and is now progressing to simply 'bye.  A Finnic approach then can propose a parallel in jäägu pida  reisi!  'let it be (so-be-it), engage the journey.  The use of jäägu nii is still common in Estonian vernacular as in 'let it be so' 'so-be-it' 'okay then'. 'let it remain thus'. This proposes that the Venetic expression began with  .e.go  peta  ri.s. and contracted from frequent use to .e.kupetari.s.  Indeed further abbreviating can even be found in some inscriptions, where the word appears for example as .e.petars   If this is the case then the similarity to Latin equus is pure coincidence.

    7. PROBABLISTIC CONCLUSIONS. A methodology that, like archeology (or like crime scene investigation), looks at ALL evidence touching upon the truth we are seeking, works best if there is plenty of such evidence: the object purpose is clear, the context is clear, there are many sentences in the same context, and many words and grammatical elements are repeated to allow cross-checking of results for linguistic consistency. But in practice, the amount of evidence varies. Results achieved from direct analysis of context, repetitions throughout the inscriptions, grammatical structure, etc are only as good as the amount of evidence we find and analyze. This evidence includes known languages with which Venetic could have had strong contact, as all languages borrow words from other languages, and the other languages from Venetic. (For example, earlier I proposed that Latin iaco actually came from .e.go or an Etruscan version, and that Slovenian raca was preserved from rako when its people became Slavicized in the post-Roman era and that perhaps there is a distant connection with drake.) We try FIRST to determine meaning directly, so that we are scanning other languages not just for similarity in sound (which practically every language can have) but also for similarity to the meaning we have determined we require (which now greatly reduces the number of languages that have candidates). Eventually we will discover that one language tends to repeatedly provide good parallels, which then suggest genetic kinship and not simply borrowing. For it to work best, we have to first directly arrive at the highly probable meanings from direct analysis.


    OBEYING THE LAWS OF PROBABILITY. Earlier me mentioned how common sense suggested that the Venetic .e.go repeated on all the obelisque tomb markers, was MOST probably something related to ‘rest (in peace)’ or ‘(in) memory’ and then we discovered Latin iaco, and Estonian jäägu ‘let be, rest, remain’. Ultimately we focussed on the Estonian because its Finnic jää- is very flexible, applicable to a wide variation of meaning from ‘be, continue’, to ‘remain behind’ to ‘rest, remain’ etc. By choosing the most probable, we will probably be correct, based on the laws of statistics and probability – which states that the most probable events happen most of the time. By the laws of statistics, it is possible that tombstones will have ‘I am [NAME]’, but when we look at tomb and grave markers thoughout humankind, we never find that. All the way back to the Ice Age, humankind saw the deceased to be sleeping and travelling to the dreamworld heaven we see during sleep. Yes, maybe some peculiar people somewhere might write ‘I am [NAME]’ on a tombstone, but by the laws of probability, such departures from the bulging part of the bell curve are rare. Science – all science – is about studying the statistically most probable events. Accordingly science says that MAYBE if  ONE tombstone had ‘I am [NAME]’ that might be acceptable. But if every one has it, then by the laws of probability, it must be wrong. Peculiar results must be the exception, and rare, rather than common. If deciphering of Venetic results in strange and unusual features, even if they are POSSIBLE, they cannot be right if the strange results are not rare exceptions. As you will see if you study the documenting of the deciphering in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  when meanings are deciphered directly from both the context in which the inscription appears in the archeological site, and from what is suggested for the unknown words  from partial translations of sentences, there are often several alternative solutions. In the decisionmaking we have to apply laws of probability. If we always select the solution that seems the most probable, our results as a whole will be most probably correct.

    OBEYING THE LAWS OF LANGUAGE. Languages too follow the laws of probability. While sometimes the same word can have another meaning, most often a word will consistently have the same meaning. That is why it is false to have the same words having different meanings in different sentences. The consistency of meanings of words and grammatical elements is one of the laws of language.  If you choose a particular meaning for a word, that meaning must also work in other sentences in which it appears. Thus every choice of meaning for a word must be tested in other sentences in which the word appears. If the chosen meaning produces absurd sentences when the meaning is applied elsewhere, then we cannot change the meaning arbitrarily – causing the word to have more than one meaning. We are more correct to assume the chosen meaning must be wrong, and it is necessary to work on two or more sentences at the same time, adjusting meanings until the chosen meaning works well in all the sentences in which it appears. If we make a wrong choice, we run into problems as we continue and the deciphering grinds to a halt.

    THE LAW OF LANGUAGE LEARNING: When we are learning to operate a system, operating that system becomes easier the more we know. Learning to read music is an example. It is different from learning information, where the more we learn, the more we still need to learn. Thus, according to the principle of language learning, the more we know about a language the more the learning rate should accelerate. This can be used to sense when we are on the right track. Even if we do not track our adjustments, if we are going in the wrong direction,  we can sense that doors are closing and that we are getting into a jam. When we go off the path, we can go back to find the point where we made a wrong choice and search for a better choice that frees us to continue forward again. By always being sensitive to paths that are more probable, and to doors opening, we can sense when we have made a mistake and then go back to an earlier choice and try another choice and see if it clears the path.

    INTUITION, AND WHOLISTIC EVALUATION.  We cannot describe in words the process of decisionmaking as it is wholistic and may include intuition (intuition is to make choices without explicit rationalization). The reader will not see how every choice of meaning for a word is tested in all other places the word appears, or then how adjustments are made, back and forth until results are achieved that once again free up the process and reveal more discoveries.  Therefore, merely being able to imagine other choices for the meaning of the word means nothing. The correct meaning, according to the laws of language, must function in every location it appears, both in its grammatical role and the appropriateness of the results for the context in which the sentence appears.

    See  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    for more discussions and examples of the methodology, as well as a full documentation of the project and results. The following sections jump to the results to show how appropriate they are to the context, and some conclusions about word stems and grammar, followed with application of the knowledge to show the creation of new sentences - a good test for determining how extensively the Venetic language has been described.


EXPLORATION OF RESULTS: WHAT DO THEY SAY? (Assessing meaningfulness) 


    The Venetic inscriptions, I found, were very direct. They were like the writer was actually speaking to a person or deity, and then the object the writing was on.  Early writing was magical. It gave speech to inanimate objects. The inscriptions on the styluses make reference to when the stylus is left behind at the sanctuary, the stylus text continues to speak the prayer to Rhea.

    What were the results we arrived at? Are they consistent with the object or are they absurd-sounding and improbable. As you will see below all my results were not just suitable to the object but the messages were consistent within the same category of object.

    The following sections select the several main categories of object - cremations urns, obelisques marking tombs, round stones left on bottoms of tombs, dippers at Lagole,  styluses and bronze sheets of the Baratela site to demonstrate how the results are all consistent with what we would expect. Nothing sounds absurd – the main criticism from archeologists of the past translations from forcing Latin or Slavic onto the inscriptions.

    The analysing is described in the full documentation   THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    This is only a summary of results. Understanding how we arrived at it will require carefully reading the entire nearly 1000 page book


    Past blind hypotheses about Venetic - such as assuming it was ancestral to Latin - had particular difficulty in interpreting words on funerary urns because of the obvious need for the sentences to be appropriate to a funerary urn.

    With the hypothesis being erroneous, the easilest solution was to  assume the inscriptions were mostly proper names of the deceased.  In general any  natural human language on earth can be manipulated to arrive at such trick translations if the analyst is allowed to throw out most of the sentences by assuming most are meaningless proper names of the deceased,  relatives, deities, etc.  In my analysis I did not find any proper names. Where people were named the names translated mostly in terms of profession, family relationship, place of origin. In ancient times people did not assign formal names. Everyone was known in a nickname fashion by their dominant characteristic. For example a carpenter in a community might simply be known as ‘Carpenter’.  Even today, most common first names in use actually have descriptive meanings in their language of origin – as every mother with a baby studying a book of  names will know.

    Using the proper methodology described in the previous section, one does not need any trickery, and in fact there was never a need to include any proper name. Thinking of it realistically, why would people put a name on an urn that is entombed never to be seen again? Instead the sentences were actual statements, communications, expressing appropriate thoughts. (It is only in later Roman alphabet inscriptions that the deceased is addressed and follow Roman-style formality but even then the deceased was referred to in terms of their profession, origins, family relationship and there is still a lack of any official proper names.)As far as the pre-Roman era inscriptions in proper Venetic cultural practices and language, what my analysis found were heartfelt summaries describing the fate of the deceased. They  sound natural and believable.


This is a typical urn that was intended to hold cremated remains. Although there were a great number of them, cermanics breaks easily and the number of complete sentences is relatively small. Our methodology, which interprets words from context in partial translations, can only use complete sentences.

Here are what I found on the cremation urns:   Note that the following represent ALL the complete inscriptions I found in my sources for urns with the original Venetic alphabet inscriptions. The methodology, which includes interpreting unknown words from partially translated sentences, requires complete sentences and cannot operate on fragments. (Fragments leave unknown portions that invite invention and error) Nor have I left out poor ones. In scientific method, all the sentences in the study must be dealt with. We do not use the 'trick' of only showing the best ones. The translations are as literal as possible in order to avoid the further  'trick' of making absurd meanings seem poetic from poetic rewording. The words are translated with the meanings that agree in all places they appear in the body of inscriptions used in the study, and also the structure agrees with the meanings of the grammatical elements in all places. (It would be silly to reword these sentences into nice English form, as rewording is the most common trick for deception and in effect can alter the translation dramatically from its true meaning!! ) Thus I offer the most literal translation I can achieve with English that correctly communicates the thought. You the reader can imagine how an English speaker would express the sentiment in modern English idiom.

    The following translate the original Venetic inscriptions. Urn inscriptions in the Roman era become more formal in structure and use Roman conventions like using initials for repeated words. We do not translate inscriptions from the transitional period between the original use of Venetic and the final use of Latin due to how it would have complicated the analysis and results. In our study we first of all looked for the pure, original Venetic, mostly occurring between 500-100BC.

    “To go to the heavens” ('heavens' in this case means the whole universe overhead)

    “Till, up to, the vital energies”  ('vital energies' I decided perhaps means the white light, or the cremation fire seen in a positive manner)
    “Until (new) beginnings”  (the idea that with death is the beginning of a new state of existence in the afterlife)

    “ Till earth/ash - to reach”  (there remains a question of whether it refers to the urn being put into the earth, or whether it refers to the deceased reaching the state of earth=cremation ash. )

    “In the direction of the space-way” (the word which 'space-way' translates appears to refer to the wide open physical space above through which the deceased, in spiritual form, journeys.)

    “in the direction of  the gathering of conveyances -  let remain” (the word translated with  'gathering of conveyances' could refer to several possibilities - the cemetary itself where the urns were placed, or more abstractly the gathering of spiritual conveyances at their destination in the heaven. More study of Venetic funerary practices and sites may help make it clearer.)

    “Ingratiations in the direction of the oracle’s eternity” (the word urkle is translated with 'oracle' because of similarity, but in fact it appears to refer to the universe of the mysterious and unknown that oracles deal with, based on what is suggested by Finnic uuri ‘investigate’ from which a person doing so can be called uurik. It is debatable.)

    “In perished form also in(to) the (new) beginning  ” (the idea here is that when a person dies/perishes, they enter a new beginning)

    “From perishing, into continuing on(??)”   (the same word seems to appear here as the previous for perishing, and the whole sentence seems to express the same thought, although the latter part uses other words.)

    “the end (of life)”  (the word for 'end, terminus' appears in other places too and resonates with Finnic 'ot(s)' and is the only meaningful way a single word would fit the context. Traditional analysts simply assume it is the name of the deceased,)

    “Go to heavens go” (there is a duplication in two grammatical forms of the idea 'go', and ‘heavens’ is also eternity, etc)

    Some of the results are more certain than others: It depends on how much evidence was available to support a choice. For example the most solid result of the above might be "To go to the heavens" [v]oltio.m.nio.i. because the meaning of voltiio is very clear from other inscriptions and so is .m.nio.i. including the ending being an infinitive.

    The most uncertain of the above is  “From perishing, into continuing on(??)” .u.ko.e..n.non.s.  Here we see .u.ko which appears in another sentence too, and our only way of determining a meaning appropriate for an urn is by referring to Finnic ukko using the meaning 'perish'. The meaning of .e.n.non.s. is also unclear but at least other words suggest .e.n.no- has a meaning related to conveying, shipping. Hence our proposed meaning is 'into perish-transporting' or something like that. It is suitable to the context of the urn with a cremation inside. This is a good example of how the correctness is supported simply from the fact it works very well, and that means if it is erroneous, the error is in the nuances of meaning, and not in the general intent. (For example .u.ko- might mean 'death' and that would work too.) Words with little supportive evidence are much more open to debate in terms of details (if the overall concept is consistent with the other sentences on similar objects) and nuances of meaning.

    You can study the actual analysis for all these results in the project documentation THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  . Note in the results that the Veneti gave each urn individual treatment according to wishes of relatives and friends of the deceased. In this early time there was no standard conventions as to what was put in the text. In fact the adding of texts was in itself elective - most funerary urns had no inscriptions at all.  When we enter the Roman era, the urn inscriptions begin to have a standard form, indicative of influence from Roman conventions, before they are finally entirely in Latin. 


    Past analysis that tried to force Latin onto the inscriptions also had problems with the obelisques that marked the location of tombs. Because it was an erroneous hypothesis,  past analysis could only claim the initial .e.go meant 'I' so that all the inscriptions were little more than 'I am [NAME]'  Here too the same flawed method was used, of identifying the Latin-like word and then turning the rest into a meaningless proper name. I have already earlier commented on the lack of probability that the sentence on a tomb could express that message. Thus the traditional Latin based interpretation fails on two counts.

    The obelisque inscriptions made sense if we allowed them to express the eternal sentiment towards the deceased 'rest eternally in peace' etc.  This was possible if we allowed .e.go to be paralleled by the Finnic jäägu 'let remain, let continue'. Here are the results from the obelisques, bearing in mind that they are like tombstones, marking the location of tombs: Once again the English is awkward in order to stay as literal to the venetic as possible, including grammatical parallel. The reader can imagine how the sentiment would be expressed in modern English. The purpose for being literal is to be honest, as past analysis (particularly by Slovenians) was all too keen to turn a result that was absurd when taken literally into a seeming possible sentence from poetic manipulation when converting into a modern language like English.


This is a typical obelisque that marked tomb locations, showing how one end was buried into the ground. It functioned much like later tombstones. Being visible to the public they would have followed a standard pattern. All began with .e.go, whose best meaning is 'rest, remain'. The traditional interpretation with Latin ego 'I' is completely wrong. Indeed even Latin iaco is better.

    “Let remain to humble (oneself) in the eternal direction.” (The Venetic nerka is interpreted with 'humble' but in reality it expresses the larger idea of being weak-kneed and bowing towards something very powerful and frightening)

    "Let remain to go to the heavens, to extend eternally to  the infinite direction”  ('heavens', refers to the whole universe overhead, while other words refer to eternity, infinity. I tried to be consistent in the English word used for translation of a particular word to lessen confusion)
    “Let remain (endure, contininue, etc) , to disappear, till forever”

    “Let remain, out of being extending to forever extending”  (the use of 'extending' is only one way of trying to parallel in English a complex, somewhat abstract, idea, that needs a poet to interpret such as ‘Let remain, from out of existence, now extending, extending forever’  But such poetic rewriting causes us to lose the connection to the original Venetic structure.)

    “Let remain eternally towards  the oracle’s forever’s beginnings.” (see notes above for the urns for the meaning of the use of 'oracle')

    “Let remain, to the collection-gathering, towards the oracle-eternity” ('collection gathering probably refers to the cemetary or tomb containing many urns.)

    “Let remain  until ash/dust/earth , then  up to eternity”  (very similar to one of the urn texts in last section. Finding the same concept in both obelisques and urns but in different grammar and words tends to confirm correctness)

    “Let remain, to carry, towards the sky extending” (There are several ways in which the destination of the spirit is expressed and here it appeared the word indicated a meaning of 'sky')

    “Let remain, to be conveyed, to the heavens go”  (whenever we translate with 'heavens'the Venetic word is voltiio, which appears to refer to the entire physical universe overhead whereas words like 'eternity' indicate abstract destinations.)

    “Let remain, to convey, to the direction of eternity”

    It is very interesting to me that all these messages refer to the journey of the spirit of the deceased to a destination both in the physical universe above to where smoke rises, and to a more abstract place at eternity - infinitely far away.. In general all these sentences basically give the universal message humans have expressed since the beginning of awareness of death - to wish the deceased have an eternal sleep or rest. The sleep is physically on the earth, but the spirit, it is naturally believed goes to the same place where we experience dreams. Some people saw the new life occurring in the dream-world.

    Once you have developed a good sense of the Venetic language from this investigation, one senses that the sentences on the tombs are especially profound and poetic, each sentence essentially with the same message, but each one attempting to say that same thing in a unique new poetic way – to avoid repetition.

    As with the urns, the certainty of these results vary according to how much evidence there was. The most certain result might be .e.go vo.l.tiiomno.i.  iuva.n.tiio.i  (literally)  “Let remain to go to the heavens, to extend eternally to  the infinite direction”   All the words in this example occurs many times and cross-checking has given much certainty to thier meanings.

    The least certain of the above might   be .e.go v.i.u.k.s.siia.i.  vo.l.tiio.m.min|na.i. “Let remain, to be conveyed, to the heavens go” because it appears to be in a slightly different dialect so we have to assume that v.i.u.k.s. is a variation of v.i.oug- and vo.l.tiio.m.minna.i. is equivalent to vo.l.tiio.m.nio.i. This dialect looks less palatalized and more like Estonian which uses viiuks and minna. This suggests a colony from the southeast Baltic amber route, not the one from the Jutland Peninsula.

    The inscriptions on funerary objects above reveal a great deal about the Venetic religious world view.  They suggest that the Veneti believed in an eternal afterlife. This should not be surprising. The concept of death being an eternal sleep is very old going back into prehistory.  A dead person looks like they are sleeping, but their breath has left, so they have gone permanently into the dream world. This obvious concept is perhaps 50,000 years old.


  The obelisques followed a formula that began with .e.go, probably because they were visible to the public and at least needed the repetition of the “Let be, remain, rest’ concept. The urns had individual personal messages perhaps because they were not seen above ground after being entombed - until the Roman period. But archeology has found another group of inscriptions that seem very personal.These were the round stones found at Pernumia near Padua, Italy. These stones were apparently left on the bottom of tombs almost as if a last personal message to the deceased before the tomb was closed up.

    These inscriptions expressed their thoughts in many ways, but all but one spoke more or less the same message - to command the spirit to rise out of the tomb and journey into the infinite sky. It was almost as if people had a fear that the deceased would be trapped in the tomb, forgetting to leave the tomb for the freedom of the infinite sky. The following is an illustration of one of the stones

round stones

The texts were written on rounded river stones and this is an example. Left at the bottom of tombs they seem like a personal message left before the tomb was closed up, almost all of them telling the deceased spirit to fly out of the tomb into the heavens above.

The following are the messages on the round stones. We don't have very  many examples of these objects, but  four of them express the same sentiment in several different creative ways.

    “In the infinite direction would(?)  conveying to eternity” ('would' translates a word in which the verbal grammatical ending is unclear, and this is an educated guess)

     “lift from the tomb into the open”

    “To the clouds, also up  to the nation’s  eternity”

    “Onto wing, to fly”

    The round stone that does not wish the deceased a journey to infinity has one word 'to remember' The single word inscription mu.s.ta.i. 'to remember' looks like Finnish-Estonian muista.

    All the sentences on the round stones resonate remarkably with modern Finnic - Estonian and Finnish - and in fact the place where they were found, today called Pernumia, strongly resembles the province name Pärnumaa 'linden-land'  for southwest Estonia. The following two sound very much like a distortion of Estonian: *Dividing the continuous sentence as following.

     ho.s.ti  havo.s.t  o.u.peio   “lift from the tomb into the open”

    This sentence when spoken out loud sounds like a distortion of Estonian “Tõsta hauast õu’e

    Similarly the following can only be translated from its remarkable resonance with Estonian, beginning with the word divisions as shown:

     pilpote.i.  k  up.  rikon.io.i.  “To the clouds, also up  to the nation’s  eternity”

    Spoken out loud, to the Estonian ear it sounds like “Pilvedele ka üles riigi-hii’u (=riigi-igavesele)” Note that the parallelism in both is also in the grammatical structure. The only word not in Estonian is u.p. for 'up', but that meaning  is confirmed from other inscriptions that show .o.p clearly meant 'up'.  . Estonian does not have this, but it is easy to see how it could evolve from the opposite of PA 'on top of'. 

    See  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  . for much more discussion of these remarkable objects and their inscriptions. I did not know what to expect. I didn’t expect that all but one spoke of the deceased being told to fly up out of the tomb.


One of the places in the Piave Valley appears, from the large number of dippers and pots found, to have served travelling merchants coming south from the amber trade route that began at the southeast Baltic (as opposed to the route that came from the Jutland Peninsula). Previously these traders headed to Greece but with the rise of the Romans, it appears many began to turn west and come down the Piave Valley.  Since the sauna custom was well established in the Baltic culture, if these traders/merchants came from the Finnic north, it is likely the archeological objects describe a public sauna facility

Inscriptions are found on many of the dipper handles. These can be studied in detail in THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL


Example of dipper handle. The bowl part of the dipper attached at the river holes have come off. This is the kind of dipper that would have been used for throwing water onto sauna stones.

    These inscriptions date from the later Venetic era into the Roman era. Most writing is in fragments and we cannot use them since our methodology requires complete sentences to compare and analyze. Thus there aren't very many to use from the early period with proper Venetic, and most of the inscriptions are in compromised later Venetic. Like the Roman era urns, we have to look at them separately and be careful about using them to analyze the main body of inscriptions,

    The reason we present them here is because we discovered something remarkable - they seem to identify professions within what could be a public sauna spa facility (since dippers are commonly used to throw water on hot stones in a sauna).  But more importantly the names of the professions or departments of the facility translate easily directly with Estonian vernacular. The full sentences state that these groups are identified with an object and offering to a deity or lord called TRUMUSIA. We will only look at the names of the professions or departments, the Estonian translation, and English translation. Question marks indicate my uncertainty for some of them. All come from the beginnings of sentences that end with 'offering to TRUMUSIAT' (TRUMUSIAT, I interpret to be turu-maasejad  'those deities/spirits/lords of the market land' and a professional deity for merchants coming through.) In the following, the Venetic is given first, next the Estonian parallel, and the third the English translation.

ke.l.lo.s. ossoko.s. - kelluse osakuse bell division
ke.l.lo.s.  pi.t.|ta.m.mniko.s. - kelluse pidamisekuse - bell maintainers
 voto.s.  na.i.son.ko.s. - vedese naisekuse  - water-women
 ku.i.juta . ametiku.ss. - kuivajate ametikuse - dryers bureau workers
 suro.s.  resun.ko.s. - (?)suure reisija (?) - (?)long-distance traveller(?)
 butijako.s. {- - - -]kos.   puidejaguse (?) - wood distributing (?)

                                  (Latin libertos ‘book’)
 e.s.kaiva  liber.tos.  a.rs.  petija|ko.s. - eeskava-raamatu (libertos) haruse pidajakuse schedule-book division maintainer
 aviro  bro.i.joko.s. -  (?)

(?? Latin foveo, fovi, fotum - keep warm, maintain, foster.)
 fo.u.vo.s eneijo.s.   - ‘(??) inimesed’ - (?Fire-maintaining ?) people
fugene.s. inijo.nti[kos -  ‘(??) inimesed’ (?Furnace?) people
 fovo fouvoniko.s.  -

(Latin applico ‘devote to’)
o.p.po.s. aplisiko.s.    õppuse  APLISIKUSE  -  learning-devoted
 futto.s. aplisikos. tris’iko.s.

    While a few were elusive,  all of them represent roles in a sauna facility, that by the laws of probability  simply cannot be random coincidences. 

    There is more evidence that merchants from the southeast and perhaps even east Baltic who made trade journeys down the more easterly amber route came down the Piave Valley as we enter the Roman period, and that a dialect with more of the Estonian idiom is found in the inscriptions found there. Furthermore, the Piave Valley offers geographical names that suggest traders from the east Baltic set up colonies to serve their people who were carrying wares back and forth between the Adriatic and Baltic. But that is beyond the scope of this short summary article.


    The most profound sentences in Venetic come from the sanctuaries where the Veneti made offerings to their goddess. The goddess appears in the inscriptions with the word re.i.tiia.i and past analysts have interpreted the name of the goddess as "Reitia"  However, our study as described in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    finds the goddess to be the eternal European mother goddess known as "Rhea" who the Greco-Roman mythology made into one of their Titans and she was the mother of the common Greco-Roman gods.  The word re.i.tiia.i. by our analysis is simply "Rhea" with a grammatical ending.

    The inscribed sentences of dedication to Rhea appear mostly on styluses and on a number of thin bronze sheets onto which the texts have been pressed by styluses. I believe that the ritual at the sanctuary was that a burned sactifice was made to the goddess, and then the pilgrim wrote a message with the stylus onto a sheet of bronze. Not all styluses had writing on it. Thus the writing on the stylus may have represented another way of speaking to the goddess for those who did not know how to write it. All the evidence suggests that both the bronze sheet, the stylus, and any other gifts were left in a special place accepting these items. It is possible that the objects left there served to finance the operations of the sanctuary. Archeologists have found plenty of styluses but not many bronze sheets. Some of the bronze sheets appear to be practice sheets for practicing writing (see next section). It is likely that bronze sheets were flattened again to be reused, or they have simply disintegrated in the ground or been melted for their bronze.

    While the thin bronze sheets are few, archeology has found a considerable number of styluses with a significant number inscribed with the same kind of sentences that would be written onto the bronze sheets.


Example of a stylus (above) used to inscribe onto bronze sheets

bronze sheet

Example of a bronze sheet inscribed on the top part. Archeologists have found very few of these - probably because such thin bronze disintegrates in the earth. (Note the sheets with the "OEKA" inscriptions - see below -, are not the same but were obviously used to practice the alphabet and writing some sentences)

We know that our interpretations are correct when we tend to find more or less the same sentiments expressed in them all, the repetition of certain words, and the same grammatical structure. What we find is that the pilgrim to the sanctuary has written something that addresses the goddess, and appears to have been done in conjunction with making a burnt offering to the goddess. In general, scholars have determined that the Veneti followed a practice that was common in those days - sacrificing farm animals to a deity. This word "sacrifice" has negative connotations today but in fact it was how barnyard animals were slaughtered for food. By dedicating the slaughter of an animal to dieites, the slaughtering of the animal was made palatable even in small households. After the ceremony, the meat was eaten in a feast.  (We find many examples of animals being "sacrificed" in a ceremony instead of coldly "slaughtered", with a feast following, in the Greek epic poem The Odyssey,)

The way something was transmitted to the deity was by burning it,. so that the essence of it would rise with the smoke to the deity in the sky. This was the principle in cremation too. But in animal sacrifice, the importance of the meat as food prevented allowing fire to consume the animal sacrifice completely. Often the innards were burnt for the deity, and the rest then became a roast to be feasted upon. It was also possible to burn inanimate things as offerings - such as burning of grains from the first harvest, but only careful archeological evidence chemical analysis will reveal what exactly was burnt.

    Let us study some examples that reveal a little about the practices at the sanctuary. Note that we identify the deity as the universally known ancient mother goddess Rhea, which I believe would have been written in the nominative case as re.i.a  But the nominative case does not appear in any of the inscriptions. What we commonly see is a word re.i.tiia.i. that translates as 'to Rhea' except that the 'to' has a complex meaning that is analogous to how in modern religion we might say 'to unite with god'.  I found it was a dynamic usage of  the partitive case.

    I do not include below  the sentences in Venetic as my purpose here is only to demonstrate the results, as they reveal a great deal about Veneti practices at the sanctuary and how the goddess was addressed. For all the other details and more discussions see the project documentation (THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL )
Note again that the results are literal so as not to be deceptive, and the reader is invited to consider how it would be expressed in modern English


    “I (we) convey, the offering to Rhea as carryings endpurpose”

     Comment: The Venetic for this was difficult, and thus the certainty is not as good as with some other ones. The final meaning that uses the idea of 'end purpose' is inspired by what best fits the context.

    “The collection of conveyances,  as ingratiation producers, remains”

    Comment: The 'collection of conveyances' is our interpretation of v.i.o.u.go.n.ta see the study for the complete rationalization of this and similar words. The v.i.ou- words are very difficult because they seem to have assumed intricate meanings connected with the rituals of making offerings. The idea in this sentence seems to be that the pilgrims brought material gifts which were left at a location where gifts were left. The gifts and the location where they were left are a 'collection'. Our translation of 'ingratiation producers' worked everywhere it appeared. Its meaning would be that the gifts, left at the sanctuary, continued to worship the goddess after the pilgrims had left and gone home.

    “Our brought  conveyance-collection  as earth/ash/dust remains”

    Comment: In the context of making offerings to Rhea, the word mo.l.ta would refer to the ash left over after the offering is burnt. There are other indications in other inscriptions that mo.l.ta  referred to the remains of burning – including in the urns cremation ash . But there might be some contexts in which it refers to returning ash to the soil, or even the urn into the soil of the cemetery. This interpretation implies that the conveyances that were brought were things that were burnt, as opposed to gifts left at a collection site.

    “To  the conveyance-collection, as conveyed-things, the offerings (things brought) to Rhea”,

    Comment: This interpretation also seems to speak of a collection of gifts left at a collection site.

    “Our offering to Rhea humbles as ingratiations-producer”

    Comment: The interpretation of one word as a verb for 'humble' was inspired by Estonian and Finnish. The Venetic ne.r.ka, would seem to be paralleled by Estonian nõrk, but today it means ‘weak’ but the parallel word in Finnish is ‘humble’ as required. The translation above is literal, but the intention that the offering is by way of showing humility through objects brought and left behind.

    “Our  conveyances taken  towards Rhea of the lords. Up to the heavens, fly!

    Comment: The tag words 'up to the heavens, fly!' are certain as they occur in a similar way in some other inscriptions. This message accompanies a sacrifice and burning, as it expresses the wish that the spirit of the sacrificed/burnt item travels up to the deity in the smoke.

    “Convey the offering  as  expression- of- wishes to Rhea”

    Comment: This interpretation expresses the typical sentiment in the messages.

    “The conveyance up to the place arising out of the vital fires  brought to (unite with) Rhea”

    Comment: This and the next interpretations struggled with a word beginning with v.i.re-  After many avenues of investigation I became convinced that this word represented vital energy and could be compared to the bright light seen at death - a positive energetic, bright place. In a culture that cremated its dead, one had to see the cremation as a journey into a positive energetic place - where the experience of fire was positive not negative. This energetic place would also be experienced by a sacrificed offering, and the goddess Rhea would also reside in that place. See the project documentation for detailed exploration of this subject.

    “Up to (?) the place arising from the vital fires,  brought to Rhea”

    Comment: Here I identify the bright light at death as 'vital fires'. The sacrificed and burnt item entering the vital fires is conveyed to Rhea.

    “Our brought [v.e.r.ko.n.darna   ne.r.ka.i. m]”

    Comment: This one we did not translate because it clearly showed evidence of being in another dialect of Venetic. We know from the other inscriptions generally what it is about, but aside from noting the word ‘humble’ within ne.r.ka.i.m, I did not feel I should force a meaning on this one.

    Our offering to You, of the Gods, Rhea   to turn    (?)to eternal something(?)...and   towards the [ lo.u.de(?)]-way

    Comment: Unfortunately there are words here that do not occur anywhere else – although the grammatical endings are clear – and with the information we have we cannot translate – other than that we can make an educated guess. I include this and the other difficult ones purely for the sake of completeness (to stop critics who think that I am only presenting the ones that were successful.)

    “Our brought ... to Rhea     [bu.k.kakolia.i.(?)]”

    Comment: Unresolved as well on account of not finding a solution for . bu.k.kakolia.

    “I convey the conveyance, the offering, to Rhea of the oracles”.

    Comment: This was an easy one. The Venetic word URKLI I intrerpreted as 'oracle' a word that was well established in the Mediterranean world. This word appears to have referred to the realms of mystery and an oracle was a person who consulted these realms of mystery. This inscription seemed to regard the goddess as such a person - an agent of the realms of mystery.

    “ Conveyances to heavens-going, our offering to Rhea”

    Comment: There was some uncertainty as to grammar in this way. I interpreted it in a way that made most sense.

    “Carry the Roman, the offering, to Rhea”  (?)

    Comment: I include this too for the sake of completeness. This inscription looks like it was written by a Roman who did not speak Venetic well, as we have a good idea what it says, but the grammatical endings are off. The interpretation above suggest what was intended.

    “Our offering, carry the Roman, to Rhea”

    Comment: This too showed bad grammar written by a Roman living in the Veneti colonies. The intent is obviously that it is a Roman who is bringing an offering to Rhea.


    Comment. Because the words . katakna lo.g.sii  remain unknown, it is not possible to produce a translation other than that we see here again the re.itii v.i.rema.i.stna  we saw in a couple of places earlier.

    “Our offering  convey to Rhea”

    Comment: This too had poor writing but the message was clear.

    “Our offering, conveyance and conveyance-collection to You of the Gods, Rhea.”

    Comment: This too appeared to have errors. I translated as I thought was intended.

    ” I convey carrying-going grouping the offering to Rhea”

    Comment: This is a literal translation, and its peculiar form comes from the original intending to describe the brought thing in new poetic ways, something we have already seen several times.

    I have listed all the complete inscriptions I found in my sources for Venetic inscriptions - Manuel de la Langue Venete,  by M. LeJeune While all these were inscribed on styluses, the inscriptions were extra and not found on all styluses. Ordinary styluses without inscriptions would naturally be used to write similar  messages on bronze sheets.


    Sadly only one bronze sheet with a complete sentence was one used at the shrine. The several others that were found were practice sheets with the OEKA repetitions on them.  The practice sentences on them, however would be similar to what was written for real at the sanctuaries.  The first of the sentences below come from an actual bronze sheet written upon at the shrine.

.     “I(We?) convey  the conveyance  our offering (lit. brought-thing) to (unite with) Rhea as oracle”

    The rest of the examples on the bronze sheets are thought to be practice sheets because of the repeating of the letters OEKA. We will explain the OEKA below, but first let us look at the practice messages to Rhea that are found on the remainder of the practice sheet. If it sounds awkward it is because the English is placed in literal parallel

    “Our offering remains to liberate(?? uncertain grammar for v.i.aba.i. s’a) to turn up in the direction of the eternal way”

    Comment: There aren’t enough other examples of an ending -a.i.’s’a to determine what the grammatical form is, but there is evidence elsewhere that v.i.aba involves the idea of liberation, freedom

“Our offering  into the sky-realm-going, in the eternal direction, into  the area-above, to You, eternal Reia”

    Comment: The translation 'area-above' is a little uncertain but conceptually it must be close to what was intended.

“I convey to the heavens-going our  brought-thing  and gift to  You of the gods, Rhea. Up to the heavens, fly!”

    Comment: This translation is one of the most certain ones. It is also one of those that confirms our interpretation of certain words. Chances of it being incorrect are very small (for reasons documented in
THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL 

    “Our offering in the direction of ash which is also (via the smoke) to the mountains-going to unite with Rhea.”

    Comment: The intent of his sentence I believe intends to contrast the act of the offering being burnt to ash and its smoke rising up towards the Carnic Alps to the north. In ancient times deities were associated with the heights of mountains.

“Our ingratiation-producing expressions of energy(???v.i.ratere.i. ) as offerings  towards  eternity  to skyward-go”

    Comment: This sentence is difficult in its details  because of  the uncertainty of v.i.ratere.i. (other than v.i.re from other locations referring to vital energy but we can infer the rough meaning from the rest of the sentence.

    “I convey the offering (brought-thing) to Rhea, the energetic of the energetic. Up to the heavens, fly.”

    Comment: The most presumptious part of this interpretation is to interpret a duplication of v.i.rema with 'energetic of the (most) energetic' as a superlative description of the deity Rhea (analogous to 'mighty of all the mighty' and that kind expression found in ancient descriptions of kings, and emperors)


    There are several more inscriptions dedicated to Rhea on other objects - in this case columns with equestrian figures. Once again the following are literal parallels. Our intent is not to show the originals or discuss how they were analyzed but rather to study the content for how it reveals the Venetic relationship to the deity Rhea. If they sound awkward it is because they are in strict literal parallel including word order and grammar.

    “Our offering in carrying  to take  to eternity’s beginning, to you, divine Rhea”

    Comment: This is a quite reliable translation because the whole thing resonates so well with Estonian, with all the correct grammatical parallels  The meaning is clear, the offering in carrying it, is taken to beginning of eternity, where Rhea resides.

     “Our into forever offering in the direction of Rhea”

    Comment: This can be interpreted in another way too, with another word order. Note the message is generally the same, but as human nature dictates the writer will say the same thing in various other ways.

    “In the direction of ash also offering  into no(?)”

    Comment: Unresolved. It is possible that the no word is an abbreviation. OR there is no ‘and’ and the mystery word is kno.s.


Archeology has found a small number of bronze sheets at the Rhea sanctuary where the bottom is scored into squares and the letters OEKA are repeated over and over. At the end of OEKA is one of the letters of the Venetic alphabet. The following is the best example because it even seems to have a handle a student could use for carrying it.


A bronze sheet scored along the bottom with the letters OEKA followed by one of the letters of the Venetic alphabet. The writing on the top then is a practice message to Rhea.

    The great mystery is in why is OEKA repeated each time? Are these letters more common than any other? This is is a question that has puzzled analysts for years, and there have been several ideas. My own explanation, that is based on a presumption that Venetic was Finnic, is that the repetition is a kind of educational repetition. In education it is common to repeat, such as “2 times 2 equals 4; 2 times 3 equals 6 ; 2 times 4 equals 8; etc”. In Estonian tradition it is common in studying the language to be attentive to the ‘correct way’ of speaking. Hence Estonian dictionaries and grammar, have been fond of  the terminology õige keelsus ‘correct way of speaking’. Thus we can regard the letters OEKA as being equivalent to Estonian õige ‘correct’. The antiquity of this word  seems to be affirmed by its strong presence in Finnish too as oikea. Perhaps the Finnish form can be seen to be the original form, and both the Venetic and Estonian, are simplifications as in OIKEA > ÕIGE and OIKEA > OEKA

    At the end of each OEKA is one of the Venetic characters. Thus what we see here is something analogous to the Estonian  ‘õige A, õige B,...’ translating as ‘The correct (way of writing) A, the correct B, etc’

Estonian Venetic
oikea a
oikea b
oikea d
oikea e
- etc -
õige a
õige b
õige d
õige e
- etc -.
oeka  a
oeka  b
oeka  d
oeka  e
- etc -

    The purpose of the student writing OEKA before writing each letter had the purpose of drumming the letters into the student's memory in the fashion used by teachers since the beginning of humankind.

    This is only one of a great number of remarkable coincidences that seem to connect Venetic with Estonian, the only surviving language whose ancient speakers would have had direct involvement in the north-south trade revolving around amber from both the southeast Baltic where Tacitus found the Aestii, and Jutland Peninsula. Another remarkable coincidence is described below:


    It is logical that if it is true that the Venetic colonies were initiated by Finnic professional amber trader families in the north at the two sources of amber - the Jutland Peninsula and Southeast Baltic coast - then not only was the Finnic language displaced southward but also other aspects of culture. Religion is not easily replaced. We should therefore find the religion found in the inscriptions also represented in the north. I will limit our attention to the goddess, Rhea.

    The Roman historian Tacitus wrote a geography of the broad unorganized region of Europe the Romans knew as "Germania". This only named the geographical region, and does not mean there were many actual "Germans" there. The modern Germanic cultures originated after the Roman Empire from a militaristic people in the highlands south of the Jutland Peninsula. All other regions - regions that depended on boats and harvesting nature - were ethnically of aboriginal origins - Finnic.

    The region of "Germania" was arbitrarily defined by the Romans as the region from the Rhine to the Vistula north of the Danube. Most of the region, Tacitus noted, consisted of independent tribes that could be collectively called "Suebi" because of cultural similarities, and perhaps speaking more or less the same "Suebic" language.  But when Tacitus reached the southeast Baltic where he found Venedi on the Vistula, and Aestii along the coast, he noted that the Aestii worshipped "the mother of the gods"

. . .the Aestii nations ..... worship the Mother of the gods. As the characteristic of their national superstition, they wear the images of wild boars. This alone serves them for arms, this is the safeguard of all, and by this every worshipper of the Goddess is secured even amidst his foes.     (Tacitus Germania ch 45)

    To a Roman, 'the mother of the gods' was Rhea. When Greeks first reached the Mediterranean via Mycenea, they found Rhea and some other deities among the natives. So as not to offend the original natives, Greek mythology turned Rhea and the other original dieties into "Titans" and made Rhea into the mother of the deities that were brought by the Greeks.  This Rhea was a universal pre-Greek deity, probably known all around Europe, her name spread by seafarers, who Greco-Roman mythology inherited and hence to a Roman or Greek she was the 'mother of the gods'.

    We note that the Aestii were worshipping Rhea through boars. This practice was not local to the southeast Baltic because later in history  Jacob Grimm wrote  of a mythology of ‘The Boars of Freya’ and that in early Christian Scandinavia, everywhere across  the north, pigs were offered at Christmastime in the name of the Scandinavian goddess Freya. Freya=Rheia? Obviously!

    Those who want to claim the Aestii worshippers of boars could not be identified with Estonians (Eesti) should learn that the practice of sacrificing pigs continued in Estonia into the period dominated by the Church. Their desire to do so was so intense that the priests allowed the practice if it would be done in church cemetaries dedicated to Saint Anthony, patron saint of pigs. In this way they managed to extinguish the custom from its connection to Rhea




    The ultimate proof that one has discovered Venetic is to have rationalized word stems and grammar, and done it enough to be able to construct new sentences.
Our purpose here is to only offer a sampling of words and major grammatical features, and therefore we will select from among the most certain (with most evidence) words as listed in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    (words are selected more or less arbitrarily according to whim and ease of introducing grammar and example sentences. The following sampling  becomes increasingly complex.

Note: An asterisk* attached to a word, means it is reconstructed from the stem and grammar information and we do not find it in the inscriptions.

    o.p , up ‘up’  Because of a tag phrase at the end of several sentences - .o.p voltiio leno - and its suitable appearance in some other sentences, this meaning is one of the most certain.  This is one of the words that demonstrate that Venetic does not originate from any modern Finnic language (for example Estonian word for 'up' is üles) but from an ancient west Baltic dialect. Nonetheless one can see how .o.p could arise from reversing PA 'on top of'. We know that the meaning is 'up' from the direct analysis of the Venetic. It is 100% certain.

  vo.l.tiio  (n) ‘universe above’  This interpretation is also quite certain from our analysis of the evidence. I believe the meaning  more precisely  expresses the general concept of ‘the whole universe dominating everything above’.  This word too has no Estonian or Finnish direct parallel, but it could have arisen out of an ancient interpretaion of what is now in Finnish valta, which means 'dominating' This suggests vo.l.tiio arises from the concept of 'universe' as 'everything that dominates us above'. Here too, reference to modern Finnic only supplies indirect support. This is clearly a word that developed in the west Baltic, Jutland Peninsula, and the Germanic territories through which the Finnic traders moved

    mn- (v)(verb stem) ‘go’  This is a certainty because of how it appears. It exactly parallels Est. minna 'go'  The following shows how it appears in a compound word

    vo.l.tiio-mno.i. (v)(Compount word in the Infinitive) ‘to skyward go’

    GRAMMAR NOTES 1. (NOUN) : Nouns consist of stems plus case endings or second parts of compound words.  In order to identify the nominative, we had to find the word in several sentences so that we could identify the stem, hence the nominative.. (For example vo.l.tiio is probably a noun in the nominative, except that the doubling of the i, which is seen a number of times in the inscriptions might be an emphasis device expressing the idea of 'extreme') 

    leno  (v) (Imperative) ‘fly’ This word appears several times in sentences where the meaning is obvious from context and additional language evidence. This word is one whose meaning is fully supported by Finnish and Estonian  lenda 'fly'. But this meaning is strongly indicated by the end tag on several sentences in which burnt offerings were sent up to the goddess - .o.p voltiio leno 'up to the universe-above, fly!'

    EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCE (By making mn- 3rd pers. imperative instead of infinitive) o.p voltiIo mno*  'up to the heavens go!' 

.e.go (v) ( third person imperative)  'let remain'.  This word is very certain from the context where it was used. In fact, we can find this verb represented in other forms, for example:

.e.b (v) (third person present indicative) '(he,she, it) remains, continues'.

    GRAMMAR NOTES 2. (VERBS) Verb stems are the same as the regular 2nd person imperative.  Again the verb stem was identified by observing the same word with different endings. Whether it is a verb or noun can only be determined from context.  Ending for third person imperative: -go  Ending for third person present indicative -b.
    Example 1. stem .e. 'remain; 3rd person imperative .e.go 'let remain', 3rd person indicative .e.b '(he,she,it) remains'. 
    Example 2. stem leno 'fly'; 3rd person imperative lenego* or lengo*; 3rd person indicative leneb* or lenob*
    When a * (asterisk) is added to the word, it means it does not actually appear in the body of inscriptions and is reconstructed using knowledge of the stem and case endings

    va.n.t-  (n) ‘in the direction of’ (possibly ‘along with’)  This is also quite certain. In the body of inscriptions it appears with two different endings: as Inessive vant.s. and Partitive vanta.i. It seems to be something like a preposition.  The closest Estonian parallel would be vastu, 'against' which is also a preposition that takes a partitive. 

    GRAMMAR NOTES 3. (NOUNS.) A couple of major case endings:
-.s. Inessive or Illative depending on context in sentence.
-(vowel).i. Partitive which translates in both a passive (normal) way and a dynamic way that means 'become part of, unit with'. 

    .i.io-, iio-, iiu-  (n) ‘infinity’ is suggested by the context. Seems to have a fluid meaning. Here the Venetic shows initial doted I as in .i.io- it implies Estonian will have a J or H at front, and this resonates with hiis which ,in recent history referring to a (sacred) grove, may once have had a fluid meaning of ‘eternal place’ (place where souls lived forever) and was abstract in character like a soul/spirit heaven.

    iio.s.(n) ‘infinity, eternity'  This meaning is one that tends to become obvious in the Venetic use of a long I the more it is observed. It happens to be reflected in the Finnic prefix iia and in Estonian hii-

    GRAMMAR NOTES 4 (NOUNS): Creating names for towns and objects from -st and -s This is revealed by the fact that in the ancient Venetic colonies, the Adige River was called in Latin  Atesis and the market at the nottom was called Ateste. Elsewhere the Piave River was called Piavis, and the city today called Trieste was called Tergeste. These reflect one of the ways in which ancient Estonian also created names. For example silla- was a stem meaning 'bridge', and a town on a river could be called Sillaste or Sillase.  The -ste approach was based on the Elative case ending -st which meant 'out of' or 'arising from' and the -se approach was based on the Inessive case ending meaning 'in -'  Hence Sillaste meant '(town)arising from the bridge' and Sillase was '(town) in the bridge location'.  This approach was also used for creating names of things out of descriptive stems. For example in Finnic if veene meant 'connected with water' then veenes meant '(object) connected with water=boat'. Using Estonian parallels like ote 'end, terminus' and turg 'market', Atesis means 'in the location of the terminus (of the trade route that went down the Adige) and Ateste means '(town)arising at the terminus (of the trade route) and Tergeste means 'town arising from the market'. The two case endings involved are::  -st - Elative 'out of' 'arising from'  -.s. Inessive 'in the place, form, location'  ('into' if the context expresses an active concept)  

EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCE   lenob* .o.p voltiio  vanta.i  iio.s.  'It flies up into the universe-above in the direction of infinity'

    iiuva.n.t- (n) ‘eternally in the direction of’ (‘eternally along with’) This only adds a prefix, that from context, and other usage of io, iio means ‘infinite’. This interpretation like the above is largely determined from how it is used in Venetic. This meaning fits well in every location it occurs.

    -ro- (n) 'way'  This element, consisting of r+vowel is a very ancient and fluid manner of saying 'way'. It exists in the ancient names of the Rhine (Latin Rhennus) and Rhone (Latin Rodanus) and also at the ends of major trade rivers Loire (Latin Ligera) Wesser (Latin Vesera), Oder (Latin Otra), Volga (Latin Rha)  This usage is so old it is not just in Finnic and Basque, but also in Germanic words for 'road'. It is so old it may have arisen in Europe's proto-language.

    bo-  (n) ‘in the direction of, to the side of’ is like va.n.t- (or iiuva.n.t), seems to be like a preposition that can take endings. In the body of inscriptions, appears with two endings, Partitive bo.i. and Inessive bo.s. The meaning is quite clear from direct analysis of the Venetic inscriptions. It also appears as a suffix or in a compound word. Example: iorobo.s.  (see examples below)

    EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCES: lengo* bo.i. iio.i. 'Let  fly to the side of eternity'   lengo* iiuva.n.ta.i.  'Let fly in the infinite direction' , lengo* iorobo.s. 'Let fly into the eternal way' 

    .e.ge.s.t.-  (n) ‘the continuation, the everlasting-to-come’  This word resonates with .e.go  and the –st ending nominalizes it, creates a noun. (see NOTES 4 above) Hence we see it as a derivation from .e.go or at least the stem .e.    If .e. means ‘remain’ ‘continue’ then a nominalization would mean ‘the remaining, the continuance, the from-here-to-eternity’. The following are two actual examples from the inscriptions:

     .e.go  kata.i.  ege.s.tna.i.  ‘Let remain, to vanish, until the forever-yet-to-come.’
.e.go .o.s.tiio.i  .e.ge.s.tiio.i.  ‘Let remain, to infinite being, to infinite continuance’

    GRAMMAR NOTES 5 (NOUNS): Case ending -na.i. 'up to, until'  This form is commonly called terminative and fund in Estonian as  -ni.  This meaning is proven by this interpretation fitting all places where it is used better than any other interpretation  Sometimes the ending is –ne.i. 

:    GRAMMAR NOTES 6 (VERBS)  Infinitive: while the verb stem is the  simple imperative, the infinitive requires an ending. I discovered that when verbs had an ending (vowel).i. that the best interpretation was as the infinitive which is in English expressed by 'to [verb]'. A real example would be kata.i. 'to disappear'. By interesting coincidence  this  ending when used on a noun, is also  translated in English by 'to' - although on a noun it is best identified with the Partitive case (see above). 

    EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCE: .e.go leno.i.* .o.p  iiuvant.s.  'Let remain (continue) to fly into the infinite direction'

    kata.i. (v)(Infinitive) ‘to vanish’ (stem kata*)This meaning was vague until we decided it was parallel to Estonian  kadu ‘disappear’ and it worked perfectly in the context of the sentence when applied. (Another Estonian word kata ‘cover’ did not work at all  except that if you cover something it becomes hidden. The –a.i. ending in this case is the Venetic infinitive marker. The stem can be deduced to be kata*

    ke, k (Conjunction) ‘also, and’  appears several times in a manner where viewing it as a conjunction similar to Est. ka (‘also’) is the only possible approach. This is another certainty as where it occurs we see parallelism. 

EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCE  .e.b leno.i.* bo.i. .i.io.s. ke kata.i. ege.s.tna.i. '(he,she,it) remains/endures to fly to the side of infinity and to disappear until eternity'

    pora.i.  (v)(Infinitive) ‘to turn (self)’  Where this appears in the text it fits the context ‘to turn towards the sky...etc’   It is one of the 100% certain interpretations even before finding a perfect parallel for it with Estonian põõra.  

    EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCE   .e.b  pora.i. .o.p iorobo.s.  '(He,she, it)  remains,  to turn up into the infinite-way’ 

    mego (n) ‘Our (my)’   The context  had from the beginning  suggested to everyone traditionally from the Latin perspective considering the word should mean ‘I’ or ‘We’ because of Latin ego.. The context – associated with making offerings to a goddess at a sanctuary –  indeed accepts this interpretation. However, it is not necessary to go with the Latin intepretation. The Finnic language of. Livonian is relevant as it is highly palatalized like Venetic. Estonian has meie, 'we'. for both Nominative and Genitive, while Livonian has meg for the Nominative not Genitive. Perhaps when meie is highly palatalized it becomes MEIJE and then MEGE, but this is a linguistic matter.. Nontheless Venetic appears to like an O ending alot (I think on the Nominative) so MEGE becomes MEGO. Although Livonian applies the meg only to the Nominative, we can still arrive at MEGO for the Genetive if the Genitive is also originally MEIJE.  In any case, the context in  which it appears seems to require mego be Genitive. I tried in many ways to see if it might be nominative and it can’t because the accompanying word dona.s.to was found by comparative analysis in the inscriptions to be not a verb but a noun (ie not something like ‘offer,donate’ but ‘the offering,etc’) which it modifies. That mego means 'our' or a formal expression of 'my', is so strong, we might as well go with it

    dona.s.to (n) ‘the bringing, something brought’ Traditional analysis of Venetic by any other theory, will invariably determine from context that this word means someting like ‘offering, donation’.  I agreed it had to be something like this, but my analysis found it to be nominal not verbal.and that the verb form was simple do- 'bring'. The lengthy deductive process is too lengthy to discuss here. It and the expression mego dona.s.to ..'s'a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i is discussed at length in   THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL    Note the ending -.s.to arises in the manner described in Grammatical Notes 4 above.

    do* (v) (imperative and stem) 'bring'   This imperative form does not appear in the body of inscriptions but it was probably as common as today in Finnic the command 'tuo!' or 'too!'

    la.g.s.to (n) 'gift'  This word appears in parallel with dona.s.to and that parallelism proves not only the correctness of the interpretation but also our deduction that both dona.s.to and la.g.s.to are nouns. Both are new objects derived by applying -.s.to on a more basic stem.  In the case of la.g.s.to the stem is  la.g.-  In this case we knew the meaning would be similar to dona.s.to and decided on the detailed meaning from Estonian lahke 'generous' and lahkustus 'gift'. (Note many times when Venetic shows dots, the Estonian parallel will show an added H.)

    re.i.tiia.i. (n) (Partitive)  'towards union with Rhea' . The stem reia* (n) 'Goddess Rhea'  Does not appear in the inscriptions. We determine it from removing the endings from re.i.tiia.i.. Note as discussed in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  the t is introduced for phonetic reasons - to break up a long accumulation of vowels.

    te.i. (pronoun) 'to You'   This is quite certain and resonates with Finnic. When compared with mego 'our', it suggests there was also a tego* for 'your' and me.i.* for 'to us'

GRAMMATICAL NOTES :(NOUNS) mego is irregular. The only other personal pronoun in the body of inscriptions is te.i. which is 'you' in the Partitive. We can infer that there could have been a me.i.

    GRAMMATICAL NOTES :(VERBS) Past Participle appears to be give by the ending -to or -tu  For example doto appears several times, and translates well as 'brought'. A summary of word endings so far given in the Grammatical Notes above, using the stem do:  do! 'bring'. do 'go* 'let bring', dota.i.* (added t,d to break up long series of vowels) do.b. (he,she,it) brings. 

    EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCES:  do.b. mego dona.s.to ke la.g.sto re.i.tiia.i.  '(he,she,it) brings our brought-thing and gift ;  tego* dona.s.to ke la.g.sto lengo* iiuvant.s. iiorobo.s. ke  kata.i. .e.gestna.i.  re.i.tna.i.*  'Your brought-thing (offering) and gift let fly in the eternal direction into the eternal way and vanish until eternity and until Rhea.

     ka.n.ta.i. (v)(Infinitive) ‘to carry (bear)’  This word is one that Finnic suggests is most appropriate when something is carried on foot, as opposed to carried by water.. (Est. kandma)

    vo.t.te.i. (v)(Infinitive) ‘to take’  This word is one that Finnic suggests is most appropriate when something is taken  (Est. võtma)

    v.i.(o)u- (v) ‘carry, convey’ This is the stem for several words and Finnic suggests it originated from a verbalization of 'water' and meant 'carry by water'. . The infinitive  form does not appear in the inscriptions but it  might be v.i.a.i. or v.i.o.i.
.u.pos, .o.pos  noun  'horse'  This word is quite certain because it occurs in two sentences where a picture or context  suggests involvement of  a horse or horses

    .e.cupetaris  ‘happy journey!’  This is an end tag found on memorials that shown people in chariots going someplace. The memorial celebrates the departure. Perhaps there was great festivity celebrating departures. The first part .e.cu is clearly the same as .e.go, with g becoming harder among the hard consonants P, T  

    rako (n) 'duck'  A certain word -see discussion earlier

    pueia (v) imperative 'catch (him, her, it)

EXAMPLE NEW SENTENCES:  .o.pos ka.n.tab la.g.sto .o.p kara.i.  - .e.cupetaris  'the horse carries the gift up to the mountains - bon voyage.'         pueia rako.i.!! 'catch the duck!'          rako .o.* la.g.sto kanta.i. pupone.i.   'the duck is a gift to carry to the Father' (There is reason to believe that .o. is third person singular for 'be')

    This is only a sampling of words, significant grammatical features, and example sentences to demonstrate that the methodology was able to decipher Venetic enough that it is possible to create usable new sentences from what was determined.

There are an equal number of further words in the lexicon and an entire chapter of grammar in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL  There is also a paper that summarizes the grammar that you can consult.



    The problem we face, even if the inscriptions have been translated well, is that archeology has revealed only less than 100 complete usable sentences, Our vocabulary is limited. In creating new sentences above, I would have loved to have more common everyday words. What are words for 'man', 'woman', 'walk', 'run', 'speak', and so many more everyday words needed to create common senences?  It is frustrating to be limited to the sentences used for bowing to Rhea, or saying goodbye to the deceased.  If Venetic is Finnic as the examples seem to confirm, it is possible perhaps to borrow words from Estonian or Finnish, that linguists determine existed in the Venetic times. In this way a pseudo-Venetic could  be developed.

    But the purpose of  the project documented in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL was only to determine what the Venetic inscriptions say, when interpreted properly in the traditional way -such as how code is deciphered from direct study of the language - instead of the traditional silly approach of trying to 'hear' Latin, Slovenian, etc  in Venetic sentences and forcing the sentences into strange and absurd meanings that are far from what the actual archeology suggests.

    All previous attempts to decipher Venetic have been pursued by first making a hypothesis of linguistic affiliation. For example one proposes Venetic was "archaic Latin" or "Latin-like archaic Indo-European" or  "archaic Celtic" or "archaic Slavic/ Slovenian" .... and then tries to listen for meaningful sentences in those proposed languages in the inscriptions. This is a testing-a-hypothesis approach. Hypotheses, as any scientist knows are tested and if the testing is not successful rejected. Unfortunately because the testing involves a large investment of time and effort, anyone who pursues any such hypothesis is unlikely to admit failure and admit "The results are not adequate and chances are high that the hypothesis is wrong and I have wasted years of my life". Instead each hypothesis gets a following that becomes sometimes fanatical about defending the hypothesis. As long as the results of the trial-and-error approach is poor from any hypothesis, all trial-and-error results are equally poor, equally rejectable.

    Realizing this, I knew that the past approaches did not work. If I assumed Venetic was Finnic, and tried to hear Estonian or Finnish in it, that would simply add a further language into the battle between hypotheses. That is when I looked at how traditionally ancient unknown writing was deciphered - having at least a few translations to achieve a few CERTAIN words. If even a handful of words was taken out of the realm of imaginings, that would give an anchor of certainty.  What could we learn from the Venetic inscriptions without any a priori hypothesis? So my methodology became one of finding the simplest inscriptions and discovering meanings suggested directly from the context. And then we began looking for confirmations in Finnic. In this approach, as I explained above, we are not forcing any hypothesis on the Venetic sentences, but allowing the Venetic sentences reveal themselves and then apply the hypothesis. Instead of "hearing" Finnic in Venetic, we find solutions first and then try to "hear" Venetic in Finnic. The reverse approach!  Scholars are free to try this approach with other languages, but because Finnic words and grammar produced extraordinary parallels, it is quite unlikely that a non-Finnic language will come even close in terms of getting results.

    The proof is in the results (see  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL   for the full project document) and the following saying applies: "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck."

    Those who find some of the above a little questionable should note that this article is a great condensation of the contents of the full documentation in    THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL . In the above brief introductory article we have carefully selected examples and explanations that can be easily absorbed by readers who hopefully have a general scholarly education and experience, but know very little about the Venetic inscriptions or even the issues around the deciphering of ancient incriptions.  Those who have questions need only refer to the full documentation contained in the book, but note that to fully understand the subtleties of the project, it is advised the reader follow the book carefully in sequence from beginning to end, as the book is constructed in the same way one teaches any language - starting with the simplest ideas and gradually becoming more complex. Anyone who does not follow the documentation in sequence from the beginning would be analogous to, for example, opening a textbook of the French language in the middle and expecting to be able to understand it. One cannot grasp any language of any kind without learning it in sequence from simple to complex. Note that, since it is in the character of learning a language that it becomes increasingly easier, anyone who seriously tries to understand the contents of the book, in sequence, will find progress becoming increasingly easier, as in learning any new language.


The above article is a simplified summary of the project and results documented in  THE VENETIC LANGUAGE: An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL (2013) and anyone who has developed further interest should access the full account of the project, located by clicking the link. The images above come from that writing, which in turn came from a major 1960's documenting of Venetic inscriptions -  La Lingua Venetica by G.B. Pellegrini and A.L. Prosdocimi . The sentences used in the study and the way of writing them with normal Roman alphabet plus dots, came ultimately from  Manuel de la Langue Vénète 1974, by  M. Lejeune in   in 1974


 2014 (c) A. Pääbo.