Maris (mythology)

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Maris (or Mariś) was an Etruscan god often depicted as an infant or child and given many epithets, including Mariś Halna, Mariś Husrnana ("Maris the Child"), and Mariś Isminthians. He was the son of Hercle, the Etruscan equivalent of Heracles. On two bronze mirrors, Maris appears in scenes depicting an immersion rite to ensure his immortality, possibly connected to stories about the centaur Mares, the ancestor of the Ausones, who underwent a triple death and resurrection.[1]

Some scholars think he influenced Roman conceptions of the god Mars,[2] but this is not universally held.[3]


  1. ^ Aelian, Varia Historia 9.16; Massimo Pallottino, "Religion in Pre-Roman Italy," in Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p. 29.
  2. ^ Pallotino, pp. 29, 30; Hendrik Wagenvoort, "The Origin of the Ludi Saeculares," in Studies in Roman Literature, Culture and Religion (Brill, 1956), p. 219 et passim; John F. Hall III, "The Saeculum Novum of Augustus and its Etruscan Antecedents," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.16.3 (1986), p. 2574.
  3. ^ Larissa Bonfante, Etruscan Life and Afterlife: A Handbook of Etruscan Studies (Wayne State University Press, 1986), p. 226.