Uni (mythology)

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Uni
Goddess of Love and Marriage
Uni et hercle.jpg
Drawing of a scene on an Etruscan mirror, in which Uni suckles the adult Hercle before he ascends to immortality
Consort Tinia
Greek equivalent Hera
Roman equivalent Juno

Uni was the supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon and the patron goddess of Perugia. Uni was identified by the Etruscans as their equivalent of Juno in Roman mythology and Hera in Greek mythology.[1]

Uni appears in the Etruscan text on the Pyrgi Tablets as the translation of the Phoenician goddess Astarte. Livy states (Book V, Ab Urbe Condita) that Juno was an Etruscan goddess of the Veientes, who was ceremonially adopted into the Roman pantheon when Veii was sacked in 396BC. This seems to refer to Uni. She also appears on the Liver of Piacenza.

Among the pre-roman Latin tribes, the goddess was worshipped as Uni: a single trinity made up of the maiden Juventas, the mother Juno, and the wise Minerva. Later, the Etruscans and early Romans, as we have seen, substituted the chief god Jupiter for Juventas, creating another kind of trinity altogether.[2]

With her husband Tinia and Menrva, she was part of a powerful trinity.

In the Etruscan tradition, it is Uni who grants access to immortality to the demigod Hercle (Greek Heracles, Latin Hercules) by offering her breast milk to him.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend, page 78-84
  2. ^ David Leeming (2003), From Olympus to Camelot: The World of European Mythology, p. 143 ISBN 0-19-514361-2
  3. ^ Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History, and Legend (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2006), pp. 83-84.