List of Etruscan mythological figures
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.
- Achvizr, Achuvesr, Achuvizr, Achviztr
- Unknown character associated with Turan. It may be one of the Samothracian Great Gods or Cabeiri (Άξίερος, perhaps from *Aχsiver-) according to É. Benveniste.
- Aita, Eita
- The Etruscan equivalent of the Greek god of the underworld and ruler of the dead, Hades.
- Aivas Tlamunus, Aivas Vilates
- Also Eivas or Evas. Etruscan equivalents of the Greek heroes Ajax, son of Telamon and Ajax, son of Oileus.
- Alichsantre, Alechsantre, Alcsentre, Elchsntre, Elachśantre, Elachśntre, Elcste
- The Trojan legendary character, Alexandrus, otherwise known as Paris.
- 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.
- 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.
- A Greek name of Hercle, Kallinikos.
- Catha, Cavtha, Cath
- An Etruscan deity, god and goddess, not well represented in the art. She appears in the expression ati cath, "Mother Cath" and also maru Cathsc, "the maru of Cath"; however, the nature of the maru is not known. She is also called śech, "daughter," 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.
- The mythological figure, Ganymede, from an alternative Greek spelling, Gadymedes. From the Etruscan is Latin Catamitus.
- 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."
- Etruscan Gigas, "son of Cel", identifying her as "Earth", as the giants in Greek mythology were the offspring of the earth.
- Translation of Greek panchalkos, "wholly of bronze", perhaps the robot of Crete, Talos.
- An Etruscan satyr.
- Also written Celens.
- God of doors and doorways, corresponding to the two-faced Roman god Janus.
- 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.
- Easun, Heasun. Heiasun
- Etruscan version of the mythological hero Jason.
- Ethausva, Eth
- Etruscan goddess, attendant at the birth of Menrva.
- An attendant on Turan, sometimes male, sometimes female.
- An obscure rural goddess primarily known from the various Roman cults who worshipped her.
- Etruscan god of wine, identified with Dionysus. The name is used in the expressions Fufluns Pacha (Bacchus) and Fufluns Pachie. Puplona (Populonia) was named from Fufluns.
See under C.
- Hercle, Hercele, Herecele, Herkle, Hrcle
- Etruscan form of the legendary hero known to the Greeks as Hēraklēs and the Romans as Hercules. 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
- The magic spring, Hippocrene, represented in Etruscan art as a water spout in the form of a lion's head.
- The goddess of childbirth, known to the Greeks as Eileithyia. Occurs also in the expression flereś atis ilithiial, "statue of mother Eileithyia."
- An Etruscan mythological creature, a bird of love.
See under I.
See under C.
- 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.
- Etruscan divinity, male and female, possibly related to lein, Etruscan word for "to die", but does not appear in any death scenes.
- Letham, Lethns, Letha, Lethms, Leta
- An Etruscan infernal goddess.
- Etruscan divinity of the mirrors, probably from malena, "mirror."
- Man, Mani
- Etruscan class of spirits representing "the dead" 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.
- Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mantus. She went on into Latin literature, ruling beside Mantus and was reported to be the mother of the Lares and Manes. Under the Etruscan kings, she received the sacrifices of slain children during the Laralia festival of May 1.
- Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mania. A tradition of Latin literature names the Etruscan city of Manthua, later Mantua, after the deity.
- 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. 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."
- A young Etruscan woman kidnapped by Hercle.
- Goddess of love and health, and one of the attendants of Turan
- Italic divinity, probably Umbrian, of springs and water, identified with Greek Poseidon and Roman Neptune, from which the name comes. It occurs in the expression flere Nethuns, "the divinity of Nethuns."
- Goddess of fate and chance. Unattested in Etruscan texts but mentioned by Roman historian Livy. 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 was an Etruscan god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths. He was portrayed in paintings in Etruscan tombs as a hairy, bearded giant.
- Pava Tarchies
- Etruscan Tarchies in an expression: "boy Tarchies." See under Tarchies.
- Pecse, Pakste
- The name of the legendary winged horse, Pegasus, assigned by the Etruscans to the Trojan Horse.
- Phersipnai, Phersipnei, Persipnei, Proserpnai
- Queen of the underworld, equivalent to the Greek Persephone and Roman Proserpina.
- A divinity of the mask, probably from Greek prosopon, "face". The god becomes adjectival, *phersuna, from which Latin persona.
- Pultuce, Pulutuce, Pulutuke, Pultuke
- One of the mythological twins, known to the Greeks as Pollux.
- 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.
- Etruscan blacksmith and craftsman God, often wielding an axe. Equivalent to the Greek Hephaistos and Roman Vulcanus.
- Etruscan God of Nocturnal Thunder, often said to be Zeus's twin or opposite.
- 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.
- See under 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.
- An Etruscan culture hero who, with his brother, Tyrrhenus, founded the Etruscan Federation of twelve cities.
- 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."
- An Etruscan deity shown present at the births of deities.
- A hero who is the equivalent of Theseus.
- 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. 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. 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.
- Tinas cliniar
- Etruscan expression, "sons of Tina", designating the Dioscuri, proving that Tin was identified with Zeus.
- Tlusc, Tluscv, Mar Tlusc
- Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver, which is not a picture bilingual. 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."
- Etruscan goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus. She appears in the expression, Turan ati, "Mother Turan", equivalent to Venus Genetrix. 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."
- Perhaps from *Turansna, "of Turan." The swan of Turan.
- 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.
- Legendary hero, Odysseus
- 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.
- 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.
- Veiove, Veive, Vetis
- Etruscan infernal deity whose temple stood at Rome near the Capitoline Hill. 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.
- Son of Taitle, the mythological figure of Icarus. The name is found inscribed once, on a golden bulla dating to the 5th century BCE now housed at the Walters Art Museum.
See under V.
- Macedonic goddess Zeirene Eleusia, Latin Ceres.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 192.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 193.
- É. Benveniste "Nom et origine de la déesse étrusque Acaviser" in Studi Etruschi 31929 pp. 249-258.
- Pallottino page 248.
- Rykwert page 140. The liver and a list of names is depicted in Hooper & Schwartz page 223.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 194.
- de Grummond, N.T. & Simon, E. (eds). (2006). The Religion of the Etruscans. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 195.
- De Grummond page 55.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 196
- De Grummond page 105.
- Thulin pages 50 and 65.
- J.N. Adams page 163.
- Swaddling & Bonfante page 78.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 215.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 203.
- The Bonfantes (2002) page 198.
- Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita book 1, chapter 30, section 5
- Leland, Chapter IV, Faflon.
- The Bonfantes (2002) page 199.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 200.
- De Grummond page 21.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 201.
- Bonfante 2000 page 60.
- 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.
- Pallottino, page 162.
- For a summary of her classical life, see Seyffert's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities under Mania, online at  ancientlibrary.com.
- Summers, page 24, quotes Macrobius, Saturnalia I vii on this topic.
- 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.
- Page 159.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 202.
- De Grummond page 59.
- Bonnefoy page 30.
- Livy vii. 3. 7
- The face theory is presented, among other reputable sources, by Eric Partridge, Origins, ISBN 0-517-41425-2.
- The Bonfantes (2002) page 204.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 205.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 206.
- De Grummond pages 152-153.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 174.
- 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.
- De Grummond, Chapter IV.
- Thulin page 59.
- De Grummond, page 50, features a diagram comparing Capella and the liver, while page 149 presents the boundary stone.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 178.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 208.
- The Bonfantes (2002), page 210.
- de Grummond, pages 220-225.
- A good development of the concept can be found in Harmon.
- Lewis & Short, Latin Lexicon, available online at www.perseus.com.
- Swaddling & Bonfante page 42.
- The Walters Art Museum
- Adams, J. N. (2003). Bilingualism and the Latin Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-81771-4.
- Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002). The Etruscan Language: an Introduction. Manchester: University of Manchester Press. ISBN 0-7190-5540-7.
- Bonnefoy, Yves (1992). Roman and European Mythologies. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-06455-7. Translated by Wendy Doniger, Gerald Honigsblum.
- De Grummond; Nancy Thomson (2006). Etruscan Mythology, Sacred History and Legend: An Introduction. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. ISBN 1-931707-86-3.
- Dennis, George (1848, 2009). Thayer, William P (ed.). The Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria. London, Chicago: John Murray, University of Chicago. Check date values in:
- Harmon, Daniel P. (1986). "Religion in the Latin Elegists". In Haase, Wolfgang (ed.). Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischenwelt. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 1961–1965. ISBN 3-11-008289-6.
- Hooper, Finley & Schwartz, Matthew (1991). Roman Letters: History from a Personal Point of View. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1594-1.
- Leland, Charles Godfrey (1892, 2002). Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition. London, Santa Cruz: T. Fisher Unwin, sacred-texts.com. Check date values in:
- Summers, Montague (2001). The Vampire in Lore and Legend. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-41942-8.
- Pallottino, M. (1975). The Etruscans. London: Penguin Books.
- Richardson, Emeline Hill (1976) . The Etruscans: Their Art and Civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-71234-6.
- Rykwert, Joseph (1988). The Idea of a Town: the Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome, Italy and the Ancient World. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-68056-4.
- Swaddling, Judith & Bonfante, Larissa (2006). Etruscan Myths. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70606-5.
- Thulin, Carl (1906). Die Götter des Martianus Capella und der Bronzeleber von Piacenza (in German). Alfred Töpelmann. Downloadable Google Books.