An altar, found at Brenna (Como) and donated to the Civic Archaeological Collections of Milan in 1875, was never taken into account by scholars because it is unintelligible. The alleged text is sharply and skilfully engraved on at least 13 lines, but is composed of only partially alphabetic signs, devoid of any logical sense. Blaming the stonecutter of incompetence is too simplistic: the text was either proposed to him with scribbled and illegible notes, or had the function of occupying a physical space with no communication purposes, in order to give authoritativeness to the monument, whose owners were already known in other ways. In both cases, it was a forgery, either not corresponding to the original intention, or visibly added as a complementary filler.
Keywords: Inscribed zone as decorative surface • Forged blunder • Coarse altar • Non-alphabetic graphemes • Epigraph balanced between dimensions and inscripti