Finished Projects

Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum


The term ‘Raetic’ refers to some 230 inscriptions found in Northern Italy, the Austrian federal state of Tirol, the Swiss canton of Grisons, and the South of the German federal state of Bavaria. These inscriptions are roughly dated between the 6th and the 1st centuries BC and are the only remains of Raetic, a non-Indo-European language that we now know to be related to Etruscan. Despite various efforts in the past, the documentation of the Raetic inscriptions is still inadequate, and our attempts at interpreting the inscriptions are still in their infancy. The aim of the project is a comprehensive collection, display and linguistic analysis of the Raetic inscriptions in the form of an online database of the MediaWiki type. The result will be a web-based interactive platform for displaying, storing and referring to the collected material.

The project comprises the following tasks:

  1. Collecting all Raetic inscriptions hitherto known, including those of doubtful status.
  2. Examining the original inscriptions, and documenting them, including photos, drawings and, if necessary, laser scans.
  3. Collecting and examining the secondary literature concerning both the individual inscriptions, and Raetic language, script, archaeology, and history in general.
  4. Creating an online interactive database capable of displaying the inscriptions in an online corpus, with all aspects of the inscriptions (linguistic, archaeological, and graphematic data) documented exhaustively, in the best possible way.

This project is a follow-up task to Lexicon Leponticum, an FWF-funded project at the Vienna Linguistics Department, and constitutes the next step towards a comprehensive online collection and edition of sources concerning the so-called North Italic scripts. In the course of the project, the employment of free open-source software for the online presentation of scientific content in the humanities will be further improved and refined. The project aspires to set new standards in applying Web 2.0 tools within linguistic studies, and encourage the adoption of such collaboration and communication tools like MediaWiki for scientific purposes.