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The Iguvine Tablets were a series of seven bronze tablets discovered at Iguviummarker, contemporary Gubbiomarker, in Italymarker in the year 1444. They are also known as Eugubian tablets. The earliest tablets were probably written in the 3rd century BC in the native Umbrian alphabet, the latest in the 1st century BC in the Latin alphabet.

The tablets contain religious inscriptions that memorialize the acts and rites of the Atiedian Brethren, a group of 12 priests of Jupiter with important municipal functions at Iguvium. They are written in the Umbrian language, one of the Italic languages, a not-too-distant relative of Latin. They shed light on the grammar of this ancient dead language, and also on the religious practices of classical paganism. They appear to be written in an accent metre, similar to the Saturnian metre that is encountered in the earliest Latin poetry. The complete text, together with a translation into Latin, was published in 1931 in a book by Albrecht von Blumenthal.

Here is a sample of their language and content, from Tablet I:

:Dei Grabouie
orer ose persei ocre fisie pir
:orto est
toteme Iouine arsmor dersecor
:subator sent
pusei neip heritu.


:Dei Grabouie
persei tuer perscler uaseto est
pesetomest peretomest
frosetomest daetomest
tuer perscler uirseto auirseto
:uas est. . .


"Jupiter Grabovius, if on the Fisian mount fire has arisen, or if in the nation of Iguvium the owed preparations have been omitted, let it be as if they had been made."

"Jupiter Grabovius, if in your sacrifice there has been any flaw, any defect, any ritual violation, any fraud, any error, if in your sacrifice there is a flaw, either seen or unseen. . . "

Here is the entire text of Tablet VI:

teio subocau suboco
:dei graboui
ocriper fisiu totaper iiouina
erer nomneper erar nomneper


fos sei pacer sei
ocre fisei tote iiouine
erer nomne erar nomne
arsie tio subocau suboco
:dei grabouie
arsier frite tio subocau suboco
:dei grabouie


:di grabouie
tio esu bue peracrei pihaclu
ocreper fisiu totaper iiouina
irer nomneper erar nomneper


:dei grabouie
orer ose persei ocre fisie pir orto est
toteme iouine arsmor dersecor subator sent
pusei neip heritu


:dei crabouie
persei tuer perscler uaseto est
pesetomest peretomest
frosetomest daetomest
tuer perscler uirseto auirseto uas est


:di grabouie
persei mersei esu bue peracrei
:pihaclu pihafei
:di grabouie
pihatu ocre fisiu pihatu tota iouina
:di grabouie
pihatu ocrer fisier totar iouinar nome


:nerf arsmo
:veiro pequo
:castruo frif
:pihatu
futu fos pacer pase tua


ocre fisi tote iiouine
erer nomne erar nomne


:di grabouie
saluo seritu ocre fisi
salua seritu tota iiouina
:di grabouie
saluo seritu ocrer fisier totar
:iiouinar nome
:nerf arsmo
:veiro pequo
:castruo fri
:salua seritu
futu fos pacer pase tua
ocre fisi tote iouine
erer nomne erar nomne


:di grabouie
tio esu bue peracri pihaclu
ocreper fisiu totaper iouina
erer nomneper erar nomneper
:di grabouie
tio subocau


The Tablets are housed in the Museo Civico in Gubbiomarker, which is in the old judicial building and date from the 2nd centu­ry BC. They are written in an alphabet of Etruscanmarker derivation.

Discovery

A farmer found the tablets in a field sometime in the medieval period (1441) and sold them to the city for 2 years worth of farming rights.The tablets speak of the town's organization, its boundaries and the religions and ceremonies that were celebrated there.

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