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Iguvine Tables

The Iguvine Tables were a series of seven bronze tablets discovered at Iguvium, contemporary Gubbio, in Italy in the year 1444. The tablets were probably written in the first century or second century.

They 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 related more or less closely to 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 accentual metre, similar to the Saturnian metre that is encountered in the earliest Latin poetry.

Here is a sample of their language and content:

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. . . "