List of Etruscan mythological figures

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This is a list of deities and legendary figures found in the Etruscan mythology.

The names below were taken mainly from Etruscan "picture bilinguals", which are Etruscan call-outs on art depicting mythological scenes or motifs. Several different media provide names. Variants of the names are given, reflecting differences in language in different localities and times.

Many of the names are Etruscan spellings (and pronunciations) of Greek names. The themes may or may not be entirely Greek. Etruscans frequently added their own themes to Greek myths. The same may be said of native Italic names rendered into Etruscan. Some names are entirely Etruscan. Which is often a topic of debate in the international forum of scholarship.

Deities[edit]

Deity Description
Achlae Greek river god, Achelous.[1]
Achvizr, Achuvesr, Achuvizr, Achviztr Unknown character associated with Turan.[2] It may be one of the Samothracian Great Gods or Cabeiri (Άξίερος, perhaps from *Aχsiver-) according to É. Benveniste.[3]
Aita, Eita The Etruscan equivalent of the Greek god of the underworld and ruler of the dead, Hades.[2]
Alpanu, Alpan, Alpnu Etruscan goddess, whose name is identical to Etruscan "willingly."[2]
Aminth Etruscan winged deity in the form of a child, probably identified with Amor.[4]
Ani Divinity named on the periphery of the Piacenza Liver as dominant in that section. It seems to correspond to Martianus Capella's Templum I, north, ruled by Janus, for which Ani appears to be the Etruscan word.[5]
Apulu, Aplu The god, Apollo.[4]
Apru Alternate Etruscan spelling of Aphrodite. See Turan.[6]
Aril Etruscan deity identified with Atlas.[4]
Aritimi, Artumes The goddess Artemis.[4]
Athrpa The deity, Atropos.[4]
Calu Etruscan infernal god of wolves, represented by a wolf.[7]
Catha, Cavtha, Cath An Etruscan deity, god and goddess, not well represented in the art. She appears in the expression ati cath, "Mother Cath"[8] and also maru Cathsc, "the maru of Cath". However, the nature of the maru is not known. She is also called śech, "daughter,"[9] which seems to fit Martianus Capella's identification of the ruler of Region VI of the sky as Celeritas solis filia, "Celerity the daughter of the sun." In the Piacenza Liver the corresponding region is ruled by Cath.[10]
Cel Etruscan earth goddess, probably identified with Ge, as she had a giant for a son. Her name occurs in the expression ati Cel, "Mother Cel."[8]
Crapsti Umbrian local deity, Grabouie.[11]
Culsans God of doors and doorways, corresponding to the two-faced Roman god Janus.
Enie Greek Enyo, one of the Graeae.[12]
Eris divinity Eris.[13]
Erus divinity Eros.[13]
Esplace legendary healer, Asklepios.[13]
Ethausva, Eth Etruscan goddess, attendant at the birth of Menrva.[13]
Euturpa, Euterpe The Greek divinity, Euterpe.[13]
Feronia An obscure rural goddess primarily known from the various Roman cults who worshipped her.[14]
Fufluns Etruscan god of wine, identified with Dionysus. The name is used in the expressions Fufluns Pacha (Bacchus) and Fufluns Pachie.[13][15] Puplona (Populonia) was named from Fufluns.[16]
Horta Goddess of agriculture (highly conjectural).
Ilithiia The goddess of childbirth, known to the Greeks as Eileithyia. Occurs also in the expression flereś atis ilithiial, "statue of mother Eileithyia."[17]
Laran Etruscan God of war.[18]
Lasa One of a class of deities, plural Lasas, mainly female, but sometimes male, from which the Roman Lares came. Where the latter were the guardians of the dead, the Etruscan originals formed the court of Turan. Lasa often precedes an epithet referring to a particular deity: Lasa Sitmica, Lasa Achununa, Lasa Racuneta, Lasa Thimrae, Lasa Vecuvia.[18]
Lasa Vecuvia Goddess of prophecy, associated with the nymph Vegoia.[18] See under Begoë.
Leinth Etruscan divinity, male and female,[19] possibly related to lein, Etruscan word for "to die", but does not appear in any death scenes.[18]
Letham, Lethns, Letha, Lethms, Leta An Etruscan infernal goddess.[18]
Letun The goddess known to the Greeks as Leto.[18]
Malavisch Etruscan divinity of the mirrors, probably from malena, "mirror."[20]
Mania Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mantus.[21] She went on into Latin literature, ruling beside Mantus and was reported to be the mother of the Lares and Manes.[22] Under the Etruscan kings, she received the sacrifices of slain children during the Laralia festival of May 1.[23]
Mantus Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mania.[21] A tradition of Latin literature[24] names the Etruscan city of Manthua, later Mantua, after the deity.[16]
Mariś A class of divinity used with epithets: mariś turans, mariś husurnana, mariś menitla, mariś halna, mariś isminthians. The appearances in art are varied: a man, a youth, a group of babies cared for by Menrva.[20] The Roman god, Mars, is believed to have come from this name. Pallottino refers to the formation of a god by "... fusing groups of beings ... into one." Of Mars he says "... the protecting spirits of war, represented as armed heroes, tend to coalesce into a single deity, the Etrusco-Roman Mars, on the model of the Greek god Ares."[25]
Mean, Meanpe Etruscan deity, equivalent of Nike or Victoria.[20]
Menerva, Menrva The Etruscan original to the Roman Minerva, made into Greek Athena.[20]
Munthukh Goddess of love and health, and one of the attendants of Turan
Nethuns Italic divinity, probably Umbrian, of springs and water,[26] identified with Greek Poseidon and Roman Neptune, from which the name comes.[27] It occurs in the expression flere Nethuns, "the divinity of Nethuns."[28]
Nortia Goddess of fate and chance. Unattested in Etruscan texts but mentioned by Roman historian Livy.[29] Her attribute was a nail, which was driven into a wall in her temple during the Etruscan new year festival as a fertility rite.
Orcus Etruscan god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths. He was portrayed in paintings in Etruscan tombs as a hairy, bearded giant.
Pacha Roman Bacchus, an epithet of Fufluns.[26]
Pemphetru Greek Pemphredo, one of the Graeae.[12]
Phersipnai, Phersipnei, Persipnei, Proserpnai Queen of the underworld, equivalent to the Greek Persephone and Roman Proserpina.[12]
Phersu A divinity of the mask, probably from Greek prosopon, "face".[30] The god becomes adjectival, *phersuna, from which Latin persona.[12]
Prumathe The Greek mythological figure Prometheus.[31]
Rath Etruscan deity identified with Apollo. Tarquinia was his sanctuary.[31]
Satre Etruscan deity, source of the Roman god, Saturn.[31]
Selvans God who appears in the expression Selvansl Tularias, "Selvans of the boundaries", which identifies him as a god of boundaries. The name is either borrowed from the Roman god, Silvanus or the original source of the Roman god's name.[32]
Sethlans Etruscan blacksmith and craftsman God, often wielding an axe. Equivalent to the Greek Hephaistos and Roman Vulcanus.[32]
Summanus Etruscan God of Nocturnal Thunder, often said to be Zeus's twin or opposite.
Svutaf A winged Etruscan deity whose name, if from the same Latin root as the second segment of persuade, might mean "yearning" and therefore be identifiable with Eros.[32]
Tecum God of the lucomenes, or ruling class.
Thalna, Thalana, Talna Etruscan divine figure of multiple roles shown male, female and androgynous. They attend the births of Menrva and Fufluns, dance as a Maenad and expound prophecy. In Greek thallein, "to bloom". A number of divinities fit the etymology: Greek Thallo and Hebe and Roman Iuventas, "youth."[33][34]
Thanr An Etruscan deity shown present at the births of deities.[33]
Thesan Etruscan goddess of the dawn. She was identified with the Roman Aurora and Greek Eos.[33]
Thetlvmth Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver, which is not a picture bilingual.[35]
Thufltha Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver, which is not a picture bilingual.[35]
Tinia, Tina, Tin Chief Etruscan god, the ruler of the skies, husband of Uni, and father of Hercle, identified with the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter well within the Etruscan window of ascendance, as the Etruscan kings built the first temple of Jupiter at Rome. Called apa, "father" in inscriptions (parallel to the -piter in Ju-piter), he has most of the attributes of his Indo-European counterpart, with whom some have postulated a more remote linguistic connection.[36] The name means "day" in Etruscan. He is the god of boundaries and justice. He is depicted as a young, bearded male, seated or standing at the center of the scene, grasping a stock of thunderbolts. According to Latin literature, the bolts are of three types: for warning, good or bad interventions, and drastic catastrophes.[37] Unlike Zeus, Tin needs the permission of the Dii Consentes (consultant gods) and Dii Involuti (hidden gods) to wield the last two categories. A further epithet, Calusna (of Calu), hints at a connection to wolves or dogs and the underworld.[37]
Tiur, Tivr, Tiv Etruscan deity identified with Greek Selene and Roman Luna (goddess).[38]
Tlusc, Tluscv, Mar Tlusc Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver, which is not a picture bilingual.[35][39] The corresponding region in Martianus Capella is ruled by Sancus, an Italic god and Sabine progenitor, who had a temple on the Quirinal Hill, and appears on an Etruscan boundary stone in the expression Selvans Sanchuneta, in which Sanchuneta seems to refer to the oaths establishing the boundary. Sancus probably comes from Latin sancire, "to ratify an oath."[40]
Turan Etruscan goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus. She appears in the expression, Turan ati, "Mother Turan", equivalent to Venus Genetrix.[41] Her name is a noun meaning "the act of giving" in Etruscan, based on the verb stem Tur- 'to give.'
Turms, Turmś Etruscan god identified with Greek Hermes and Roman Mercurius. In his capacity as guide to the ghost of Tiresias, who has been summoned by Odysseus, he is Turms Aitas, "Turms Hades."[41]
Turnu An Etruscan deity, a type of Eros, child of Turan.[41]
TV[?]th Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver, which is not a picture bilingual.[35]
Uni Supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon, wife of Tinia, mother of Hercle, and patroness of Perugia. With Tinia and Menrva, she was a member of the ruling triad of Etruscan deities. Uni was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, whose name Uni may be derived from, and the Greek Hera.
Usil Etruscan deity identified with Greek Helios, Roman Sol.[38]
Vea Etruscan divinity, possibly taking its name from the city of Veii or vice versa.[42]
Veltha, Velthume, Vethune, Veltune Etruscan deity, possible state god of the Etruscan league of Etruria, the Voltumna in the Latin expression Fanum Voltumnae, "shrine of Voltumna", which was their meeting place, believed located at Orvieto. The identification is based on reconstruction of a root *velthumna from Latin Voltumna, Vertumnus and Voltumnus of literary sources, probably from Etruscan veltha, "earth" or "field." Representations of a bearded male with a long spear suggest Velthune may be an epithet of Tinia.[43]
Veiove, Veive, Vetis Etruscan infernal deity whose temple stood at Rome near the Capitoline Hill.[42] The identification is made from the deity's Latin names related by a number of ancient authors over the centuries: Vēi, Vēdi, Vēdii, Veiovis, Vediovis, Vediiovis, Vedius.[44]
Vesuna Italic goddess mentioned also in the Iguvine Tables.[42]
Zerene Macedonic goddess Zeirene Eleusia, Latin Ceres.[42]

Deified mortals[edit]

Name Description
Calanice A Greek name of Hercle, Kallinikos.[45]
Castur The legendary figure, Castor.[45]
Catmite The mythological figure, Ganymede, from an alternative Greek spelling, Gadymedes.[46] From the Etruscan is Latin Catamitus.[8]
Hercle, Hercele, Herecele, Herkle, Hrcle Etruscan form of the legendary hero known to the Greeks as Hēraklēs and the Romans as Hercules.[17] With Perseus, the main Etruscan hero, the adopted son of Uni/Juno, who suckled the adult Hercle. His image appears more often than any other on Etruscan carved hardstones. His name appears on the bronze Piacenza Liver, used for divination (hepatoscopy), a major element of Etruscan religious practice. His Etruscan epithet, sometimes substituted for his name, is Calanice, "beautiful victory", derived from Greek Kallinikos
Pultuce, Pulutuce, Pulutuke, Pultuke One of the mythological twins, known to the Greeks as Pollux.[31]
Rathmtr The Greek mythological character, Rhadamanthys.[31]
Tinas cliniar Etruscan expression, "sons of Tina", designating the Dioscuri, proving that Tin was identified with Zeus.[38]

Spirits, demons and other creatures[edit]

Name Description
Aulunthe Etruscan, the name of a satyr.[45]
Begoë, Vegoia Etruscan nymph believed to have power over lightnings. She was also said to have composed a tract known as Ars Fulguritarum ("Art of the Thunderstruck"), which was included in the Roman pagan canon, along with the Sibylline Books.
Calaina The Greek Nereid, Galene.[45]
Celsclan Etruscan Gigas, "son of Cel", identifying her as "Earth", as the giants in Greek mythology were the offspring of the earth.[8]
Chaluchasu Translation of Greek panchalkos, "wholly of bronze", perhaps the robot of Crete, Talos.[8]
Charun, Charu The mythological figure, Charon.[38]
Chelphun An Etruscan satyr.
Culsu Also Cul. A female underworld demon who was associated with gateways. Her attributes included a torch and scissors. She was often represented next to Culsans.
Evan An attendant on Turan, sometimes male, sometimes female.[13]
Hathna Etruscan satyr.[17]
Iynx An Etruscan mythological creature, a bird of love.
Man, Mani Etruscan class of spirits representing "the dead"[47] and yet not the same as a hinthial, "ghost." From the Mani came the Latin Manes, which are both "the good" and the deified spirits of the dead.[48]/>
Metus The Gorgon, Medusa. The head appears on the Aegis of Menrva as a Gorgoneion.[20]
Pecse, Pakste The name of the legendary winged horse, Pegasus, assigned by the Etruscans to the Trojan Horse.[26]
Puanea Etruscan name of a satyr.[31]
Sime An Etruscan satyr who has a Greek name.[32]
Thevrumines Minotaur
Tuchulcha An Etruscan daemon.[41]
Tusna Perhaps from *Turansna, "of Turan." The swan of Turan.[41]
Vanth Etruscan winged demon of the underworld often depicted in the company of Charun. She could be present at the moment of death, and frequently acted as a guide of the deceased to the underworld.[38][42][49]
Vecu, Vecui, Vecuvia, Vegoia The prophetic nymph, Vegoia. See under Lasa Vecuvia,[42] Begoë.

Places[edit]

Name Description
Achrum, Acharum Legendary Greek river of the underworld, the Acheron.[2]
Hipece The magic spring, Hippocrene, represented in Etruscan art as a water spout in the form of a lion's head.[17]
Truia, Truials Troy, Trojan, the city of the Iliad.[50]

Mortals[edit]

Name Description
Achle, Achile Legendary hero of the Trojan War, from the Greek Achilles.[1]
Achmemrun Legendary king of Mycenaean Greece, from the Greek Agamemnon.[1]
Aivas Tlamunus, Aivas Vilates Also Eivas or Evas. Etruscan equivalents of the Greek heroes Ajax, son of Telamon and Ajax, son of Oileus.[2]
Alchumena The Greek legendary character, Alcmena.[2]
Alcstei, Alcsti The Greek legendary character, Alcestis.[2]
Alichsantre, Alechsantre, Alcsentre, Elchsntre, Elachśantre, Elachśntre, Elcste The Trojan legendary character, Alexandrus, otherwise known as Paris.[2][16]
Althaia The Greek figure Althaea, mother of Meleager.[2]
Amuce, Amuche, Amuke The Greek legendary figure Amycus of the Argonauts myth.[4]
Areatha The mythological figure, Ariadne.[4]
Ataiun The mythological figure, Actaeon.[4]
Atlenta, Atlnta The mythological person, Atalanta.[4]
Atmite The legendary character, Admetus.[45]
Atunis The mythological figure, Adonis.[45]
Aturmica The mythological figure, Andromache, the Amazon.[45]
Capne, Kapne The legendary hero, Capaneus.[45]
Caśntra Cassandra, prophetess of the Trojan War.[45]
Cerca Enchantress of the Odyssey, Circe.[8]
Cilens Also written Celens.
Cluthumustha, Clutmsta The female legendary character, Clytemnestra.[16]
Crisitha The heroine of the Trojan War, the Greek name Chryseis.[12]
Easun, Heasun. Heiasun Etruscan version of the mythological hero Jason.
Ecapa The tragic heroine of the Trojan War, Hecuba.[12]
Ectur Hero of the Trojan War, Hector.[12]
Elinei, Elinai, Elina The character Helen of Trojan War fame.[16]
Epiur, Epeur Greek epiouros, "guardian", a boy presented to Tinia by Hercle, possibly Tages.[13]
Ermania legendary character Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and Helen.[13]
Etule Greek Aitolos, confused with his brother, Epeios, who built the Trojan horse.[13]
Evtucle, [Ev]thucle The hero, Eteocles.[13]
Hamphiare, Amphare Legendary seer, Amphiaraus.[17]
Latva The mythological person also known as Leda.[18]
Lunc, Lnche The legendary figure, Lynceus.[18]
Meleacr The legendary figure, known to the Greeks as Meleager.[20]
Memnum, Memrum Memnon, a Trojan saved from Achle by his mother, Thesan.[20]
Menle The hero Menelaus, of Trojan War fame.[20]
Metaia, Metua, Metvia The mythological character, Medea.[20]
Mlacuch A young Etruscan woman kidnapped by Hercle.[26]
Nestur The legendary hero, Nestor.[26]
Palmithe, Talmithe The hero, Palamedes.[26]
Pantasila, Pentasila The Greek name, Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons.[26]
Patrucle Patroclus, of Trojan War fame.[26]
Pava Tarchies Etruscan Tarchies in an expression: "boy Tarchies." See under Tarchies.[26]
Pele The hero Peleus.[26]
Perse, Pherse The mythological hero, Perseus.[12]
Phaun, Faun, Phamu The mythological character, Phaon.[12]
Phuinis The Greek Phoinix, friend of Peleus.[12]
Phulsphna The legendary figure Polyxena.[12]
Prisis The Greek Briseis mentioned in the Iliad.[12]
Priumne Priam king of Troy.[12]
Semla The Greek mortal, Semele.[32]
Sispe, Sisphe The legendary king, Sisyphus.[32]
Tages See Tarchies.
Taitle The Etruscan form of the mythological figure Daedalus.[33]
Tarchies Occurs in Pava Tarchies, label of a central figure in depictions of divination, who, along with Epiur, a divinatory child, is believed to be the same as Tages, founder of the Etruscan religion, mentioned by Roman authors.[32]
Tarchon An Etruscan culture hero who, with his brother, Tyrrhenus, founded the Etruscan Federation of twelve cities.
Techrs From the Greek, the Trojan War hero, Teucer.[33]
Telmun, Tlamun, Talmun, Tlamu A legendary Argonaut, Telamon.[33]
Teriasals, Teriasa Legendary blind prophet, Tiresias.[33]
These A hero who is the equivalent of Theseus.
Thethis nymph Thetis, mother of Achilles.[1]
Tuntle The legendary figure, known to the Greeks as Tyndareus.[41]
Tute The Greek hero, Tydeus.[41]
Tyrrhenus An Etruscan culture hero and twin brother of Tarchon.
Urphe The mythological figure, Orpheus.[1]
Urusthe The homeric legendary character, Orestes.[1]
Uthste Legendary hero, Odysseus
Velparun The Greek hero, Elpenor.[42]
Vikare Son of Taitle, the mythological figure of Icarus.[51] The name is found inscribed once, on a golden bulla dating to the 5th century BCE now housed at the Walters Art Museum.[52]
Vile, Vilae Greek Iolaos, nephew of Hercle.[42]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f The Bonfantes (2002), page 192.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Bonfantes (2002), page 193.
  3. ^ É. Benveniste "Nom et origine de la déesse étrusque Acaviser" in Studi Etruschi 31929 pp. 249-258.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Bonfantes (2002), page 194.
  5. ^ Rykwert page 140. The liver and a list of names is depicted in Hooper & Schwartz page 223.
  6. ^ de Grummond, N.T. & Simon, E. (eds). (2006). The Religion of the Etruscans. Austin, TX. University of Texas Press.
  7. ^ De Grummond page 55.
  8. ^ a b c d e f The Bonfantes (2002), page 196
  9. ^ De Grummond page 105.
  10. ^ Thulin pages 50 and 65.
  11. ^ The Bonfantes (2002), page 215.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Bonfantes (2002), page 203.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The Bonfantes (2002) page 198.
  14. ^ Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita book 1, chapter 30, section 5
  15. ^ Leland, Chapter IV, Faflon.
  16. ^ a b c d e Pallottino page 248.
  17. ^ a b c d e The Bonfantes (2002) page 199.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h The Bonfantes (2002), page 200.
  19. ^ De Grummond page 21.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Bonfantes (2002), page 201.
  21. ^ a b Pallottino, page 162.
  22. ^ For a summary of her classical life, see Seyffert's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities under Mania, online at [1] ancientlibrary.com.
  23. ^ Summers, page 24, quotes Macrobius, Saturnalia I vii on this topic.
  24. ^ Virgil Aeneid Book X lines 199-200 says that it was named after the prophetess Manto, but Servius' gloss on Line 199 says that the city was named after Mantus and that he was Dispater, which corresponds to Aulus Caecina's view that Tarchon dedicated all the Etruscan cities of the Po valley to Dispater. De Grummond, pages 141, 205.
  25. ^ Page 159.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Bonfantes (2002), page 202.
  27. ^ De Grummond page 59.
  28. ^ Bonnefoy page 30.
  29. ^ Livy vii. 3. 7
  30. ^ The face theory is presented, among other reputable sources, by Eric Partridge, Origins, ISBN 0-517-41425-2.
  31. ^ a b c d e f The Bonfantes (2002) page 204.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g The Bonfantes (2002), page 205.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g The Bonfantes (2002), page 206.
  34. ^ De Grummond pages 152-153.
  35. ^ a b c d The Bonfantes (2002), page 174.
  36. ^ The Nostratic Macrofamily: a Study in Distant Linguistic Relationships, (1994) Allan R. Bornhard and John C. Kerns, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3-11-013900-6, page 304, previewed on Google Books.
  37. ^ a b De Grummond, Chapter IV.
  38. ^ a b c d e Swaddling & Bonfante page 78.
  39. ^ Thulin page 59.
  40. ^ De Grummond, page 50, features a diagram comparing Capella and the liver, while page 149 presents the boundary stone.
  41. ^ a b c d e f g The Bonfantes (2002), page 208.
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h The Bonfantes (2002), page 210.
  43. ^ A good development of the concept can be found in Harmon.
  44. ^ Lewis & Short, Latin Lexicon, available online at www.perseus.com.
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Bonfantes (2002), page 195.
  46. ^ J.N. Adams page 163.
  47. ^ Bonfante 2000 page 60.
  48. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Manes". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. ancientlibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-06.
  49. ^ de Grummond, pages 220-225.
  50. ^ The Bonfantes (2002), page 178.
  51. ^ Swaddling & Bonfante page 42.
  52. ^ The Walters Art Museum

References[edit]