5.13.18 Etruscan Phrases showing Etruscan conjugation and declension patterns, vocabulary and translations

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Etruscan Phrases

by Mel Copeland
(from a work published in 1981)

Etruscan Mural


Book I
What I am trying to do with this website
Myths, mirrors and Etruscan declension patterns
Etruscan gods and goddesses, Etruscan_Phrases_b.html
Battle of the hero-god with the dragon: victory of light over darkenss, Etruscan_Phrases_b.html
Unique Etruscan storylines, Etruscan_Phrases_b.html
The Etruscan language is Indo-European, as confirmed herein, Etruscan_Phrases_b.html
Studying the Etruscans and their Indo-European relations through Table 1, Etruscan_Phrases_b.html
The Etruscans and the Trojan War, Etruscan_Phrases_c.html
Indo-European homelands and migrations, Etruscan_Phrases_c.html
The testimony of the Iliad and its relationship to the Indo-European saga, Etruscan_Phrases_c.html
Breaking down the Etruscan language through the scientific method, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
Background on the methodology, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
Book II
A short history, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
Mapping the spread of the tumuli, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
The Mycenean connection, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
On reading the scripts, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
What the translations are revealing, Etruscan_Phrases_d.html
The search for the Indo-European mother tongue, Etruscan_Phrases_e.html
Book III
Theories on the difussion of culture, Etruscan_Phrases_e.html
Comparative Linguistics and the movement of the Indo-Europeans, Etruscan_Phrases_e.html
Phylogenetic Chronology, Etruscan_Phrases_e.html
Trade routes, Etruscan_Phrases_f.html
Claims as to who was first among the Indo-Europeans, Etruscan_Phrases_f.html
Etruscan - its place in the Indo-European sequence, Etruscan_Phrases_f.html
Links, Etruscan_Phrases_f.html
Etruscan_Grammar.html & Etruscan_GlossaryA.xls
Banquet of the Gods: Banquet.html
Texts &Translations
Related Books/Reports
Hittite Treaties.html
| Phrygian.html | Lydian.html
When was the Iliad and Odyssey Created?
Etruscan Murals (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Etruscan Language - A compilation of work notes
Etruscan Declension patterns as thety relate to Latin, Greek, Sanskrit (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Accentuations of the Etruscan language that are comparable to Indo-European patterns (PDF)
Unique perspectives in Etruscan mythology Rev. 1.28.13 (PDF) Acadamia.edu
New additions of Etruscan texts on military affairs Acadamia.edu
Etruscan GlossaryA (PDF) Acadamia.edu
How to use Etruscan Glossary A spreadsheet (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Novilara Stele (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Pyrgi Gold Tablets (PDF)
Work Notes on the Magliano Disk (PDF)
Work Notes on the Zagreb Mummy (PDF)
Work Notes on the Tavola Cortonensis (PDF)
Work Notes on the Perugia Cippus (PDF)
Work Notes on Bona Dea & the Goddess Uni-a survey of Etruscan &Latin texts relating to the Pyrgi Gold Tablets Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Tavola Eugubine (III) Script Q278-Q453 (PDF)
Work Notes on the Tavola Eugubine IIB Script Q1-Q273 (PDF)
Work Notes on the Tavola Eugubine IV Script Q543-Q915  Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Tavola Eugubine Ia Script N462-N748  Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on the Tavola Eugubine V, Script R1-R154
Work Notes on the Lemnos Stele, Script S
Translation of Etruscan Devotional Plates (PDF)
Translation of Etruscan Devotional Plates II (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Translation of Etruscan Devotional Plates III (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Work notes on Etruscan Devotional Plates among the Celts (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Etruscan Mirrors and Murals I Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Etruscan Mirrors and Murals II Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Etruscan Mirrors and Murals III Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Etruscan Mirrors and Murals IV Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Phrygian texts  Acadamia.edu
Work Notes on Thracian texts Acadamia.edu
Thracian_Glossary Acadamia.edu
Translation of Etruscan short inscriptions (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 11, "uk" to "vre" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-Eropean Table 1, Part 10, "ta" to "tuto" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 9, "senata" to "Severa" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 8, "ri" to "semenies" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 7, "plak" to "rev, revio" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table1, Part 6, "mi" to "piviato" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 5, "la" to "meva" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 4, "fac" to "itis" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table1, Part 3, "chaina" to "evalta" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 2, "ca" to "ceto" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 1, "A" to "Brater" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
Indo-European Table 1, Part 1, "A" to "Brater" (PDF) Acadamia.edu
The Triple-dot Pattern and the Swastika in Ancient Art Acadamia.edu


     When one begins an investigation one does not know where it will lead. Of key importance to any investigation is the way the data are gathered and recorded; then the process by which the information is analyzed. With diligence the study may open new vistas and they too are important to the work. Bear with me, now, as we explore the fascinating, mysterious world of the Etruscans, their neighbors, ancestors, hopes, dreams and fears. I say, fears, since their writing includes fearsome depictions, as can be seen for instance, in the Tomb of Orcus (who would want to be buried with such depictions around them?), which you may wish to view by clicking on the Etruscan_murals link. To understand the Etruscans we have to step into their world about ~1,200 B.C. Although that date and the subsequent centuries are somewhat of a "Dark Age" to us, we can see in the light from the Etruscans and other Indo-European peoples, such as the Aryans of India who created the Rig Veda, and the Danaäns of the Iliad, an attempt to reconcile their lives, their hopes and dreams, to that which is greater than they are: the gods. What these ancient peoples, in those ancient times, were reconciling was then even ancient history to them.
     Also described in this work are the Celts, who have passed down a similar, though abbreviated, Indo-European tradition that continues with us till this day. They passed down to us the Táin Bó Cuailnge, also called The Tain. It is about a great battle between the two major chieftans of Ireland, concerning a cattle-raid by Queen Medb and King Ailill, of Connacht, with their allies, against the king of Ulster. The hero of the story is Cúchulainn, his name meaning "the hound of Chulainn." Though a giant of a man, still in his youth, he is obliged to watch the cattle that are about to be raided, because he killed the hound that normally watched the cattle. Obviously he is at the center of the battle that takes place and certain warriors that are killed in the battle leave their names to the places of Ireland where they were killed. It follows the same pattern of story-telling as the Iliad and the Hindu version of the "great battle" called the Mahabharata. An Anglo-Saxon, Danish version of the "great battle" is another wonderful story, Beowulf, that involves the hero, Beowulf, who destroys the monster Grendel, that lives underground, and feeds upon the warriors of a Danish palace. More ancient in the Indo-European tradition, perhaps, is the Rig Veda, which tells us of the god Indra (like the Greek god Zeus and Etruscan god Tinia) who destroys a dragon. In Greek mythology Zeus destroys the monster, whose legs were serpents, Typhöeus or Typhon. In Celtic mythology the name of this god who destroyed monsters or dragons is probably Cernunnos, who will be discussed more in this work. Typhöeus is a character, like many other Greek gods, remembered in Etruscan images. Knowing this we should be able to find in Tinia's ephitet a refrence to Typhöeus, or the Etruscan name of that character, if much different.
     A curious turn in our exploration of the Etruscan language has led to the Phrygian language and its very similar grammatical patterns that relate to the Etruscan language. Herodotus and other ancients, particularly Strabo, provided pointers suggesting that the Etruscans, originating in Lydia, and the Phrygians shared a common heritage and land. Strabo and others further point out that the Phrygians are identical to the Mysians and Thracians. He also compares the Thracians to the Celts. The ancient texts that point to the Etruscan-Phrygian-Celtic connection are at the "Etruscan Phrases" Phrygiank.html. Strabo describes these people as being very ancient and attributes many inventions, such as wagons, to them. He, as well as other ancient writers, says that the Phrygians are believed to have come from Thrace. He further points out that the Getae and Thracians share the same tongue. Strabo then points out that the island of Lemnos was first settled by Thracians. Lemnos has strong connections to the Phrygians and interestingly the Lemnos Stelae, Script S, written in Etruscan characters, shows a punctuation (3-dot colon) like the Phrygian script. While the Lemnos Script has been identified as an Etruscan writing, it appears that it is Phrygian, though both the Etruscans and Phrygians appear to share the same language.
     In Book X, Chapter 3.12, Strabo gives an interesting description of the Phrygian religion:
"But as for the Berecyntes, a tribe of Phrygians, and the Phrygians in general, and those of the Trojans who live round Ida, they too hold Rhea in honour and worship her with orgies, calling her Mother of the gods and Agdistis and Phrygia the Great Goddess, and also, from the places where she is worshipped, Idaea and Dindymene and Sipylene and Pessinuntis and Cybele and Cybebe. The Greeks use the same name 'Curetes' for the ministers of the goddess.." If the Etruscans shared the same religion worshipped among the Trojans, then we ought to expect to find Cybele's worship in their texts. The Etruscan mirrors and murals, however, project Uni as the mother-goddess (L. Juno; Gr. Hera) and on the Divine_Mirror.html we see the consort of Tinia (L. Jupiter; Gr. Zeus) as RALNA, who, in the Divine-Mirror, is the mother of Helen of Troy. In another mirror, Script AH, Volterra_Mirror, we see Uni suckling Heracles, accompanied by a text held up by Tinia. Of interest in this regard is a statement by Strabo, Book V, Chapter 4, that identifies the Etruscan "Hera" as "Cupra." He is discussing the Italian coast towards Naples, referring to the Etruscan Temple of Cupra, and then reviews a place considered to be one of the entrances to Hades which is called the Archerusian Lake, near Cumae. A similar place is discussed in Phrygia, possibly as Hieropolis. The discussion leads back to Lemnos (where Hephaestos [Latin, Vulcan] was believed to have been born) and possible connections to the Phrygian archeological site called Midas City which may be the Midiaeium described by Strabo. Strabo lists Midiaeium geographically with nearby cities such as Afyon and Gediz. In sum, the Etruscans and Phrygians appear to be connected in many ways, in historic background, mythology and language.
     Complicating the issue is the Aeneid by Virgil which identifies the ancestors of the Romans with Trojan refugees who speak the same language as the Latin tribe of Latinus who occupied Rome, where the Trojans led by Aeneas settled. This story thus merges with historical accounts, where apparent grammatical affinities among the Etruscans, Phrygians and Trojans point to a pan-Latin language group that moved through Thessaly into Anatolia and from there to Italy. The presence of the Latin and "Italic" tribes preceeding the "Trojans" suggests that the migration celebrated by Virgil was not the first migration of Latin speaking people to Italy. Curiously, ranked with other "Italic" languages that defy translation is "Old Latin," as preserved in the texts of the Fibula Praenestina, Duenos Vase, Ficorroni cista, Carmen Arvale and Carmen Saliare. (For links to these texts see en.allexperts.com/q/Latin-2145/) The historian of the Punic Wars, Polybius (wrote between 246-167 B.C.), reported that the first treaty between Rome and Carthage
written in Old Latin was difficult to translate. Other treaties were difficult to translate, as reported by Dionysus of Halicarnassus IV:26 and IV:28; Plinius, "Naturalis Historia," XXXIV:14) and the treaty between Rome and Ardea (Cicero, "Pro Balbo," 23.53).

Polybius, "The Rise of the Roman Empire," Book III.22): "...I give below as accurate a translation as I can of this treaty, but the modern language has developed so many differences from the ancient Roman tongue that the best scholars among the Romans themselves have great difficulty in interpreting certain points, even after much study."

     The "Duenos Vase" appears to have similar words to those used in Etruscan texts. We recognize TENOI (Etr. TENV, (Q893), INE (BT-21?), with INAS, INNI, INV; MAROS may be L. mare-is (3rd declension). Of interest is that Etruscan MAREM (Z1139) agrees with Latin 3rd declension, mare-is, sea, whereas the Old Latin MAROS (L. marus?) does not fit in the scheme of the 3rd declension. TODAS appears to be L. tutus-a-um, Etr. TVTA, TVTAS (N11, N41), TVTE, TVTHI. OPETOI appears to be L. oppidum-i, fort, Etr. VPETV (R49). Following this word is TESIA which appears to be a name because of its "ia" suffix.  A discussion on Old Latin is at wikpedia.org. An Etruscan text that appears to be transitional to Old Latin is Script ON.
     Some of these early tribes
, unlike their heroic Trojan War era cousins of Etruscans, Phrygians, Trojans, Lydians, etc. shared a living standard like the celts, typified by the tribes called the Roxolani. Says Strabo, "the Nomads, their tents, made of felt, are fastened on the wagons in which they spend their lives; and round about the tents are the herds which afford the milk, cheese, and meat on which they live; and they follow the grazing herds, from time to time moving to other places that have grass, living only in the marsh-meadows about Lake Maeotis." Strabo then lists the Iapodes who lived near Illyria (modern Croatia, Albania): "They are indeed a war-mad people, but they have been utterly worn out by Augustus. Their cities are Metulum, Arupini, Monetium, and Vendo. Their lands are poor, the people living for the most part on spelt and millet. Their armour is Celtic, and they are tattooed like the rest of the Illyrians and the Thracians." The description of these Celtic relatives is very similar to the record of Julius Caesar's "Gallic Wars" and others, such as Gerald of Wales' description of the Welsh people in his 1188 A.D. books, "The Journey through Wales" and "The Description of Wales." The populations of Celtic-Latin peoples are believed to have shared a common language and certainly dominated Western Europe from the time of the Trojan War.
     While there is no doubt that the Etruscan language, as shown on this site, is Indo-European and closely related to Latin, the work is not complete until other relationships are examined. We need to better understand what the Etruscan scripts say, and to do that, though we can read them, we need to be able to understand what we are reading. This is where an understanding of other like mythologies and languages is important and introduced in this work. For instance, in the "Tomb of the Lioness," in Tarquinia, a mural (See Etruscan_Murals) shows dancers and musicians on either side of an enormous vase or cauldron, and above them a lioness and a leopardess. What mythology is being represented here? Can the dance be similar to the Celtic ritual on the Gundestrop Cauldron? As will be seen in this work, the images from the Etruscan tombs are not just pretty images, though many have deteriorated; they tell a story. Our purpose ought to be to understand that story, to hopefully find at least a piece of the story in the extant Etruscan scripts. We need to step beyond the efforts of the "historians" of the past.
     Because so many of the Etruscan murals recall Greek mythology many contain names that coincide with Greek gods and godesses  we can presume that they adopted Greek themes to themselves, like the Latins. The Greek Zeus is the Latin Jupiter, for instance, and he is called Tinia by the Etruscans. We also know from the Aeneid of Vergil (born in Cisalpine Gaul, 70 B.C.) that the Lydian refugees with Aeneas were able to enlist the Etruscans (Tyrrhenians) to aid them in their war against the indigenous Latins at Rome. Mentioned in that tale is also the fact that nearby was a Greek colony. The Greeks did influence Etruscan works of art, justifying the title of the "Hellenic" period in Etruscan "history." I put the word, history, in quotes for a reason: What is known about the Etruscans is from archaeological data and bits and pieces of testimonials from the Greek and Latin historians. Here we shall attempt to put more legitimacy to the idea of an Etruscan history, one that at least is composed of words and images, as we can see from the murals and mirrors, from their own hands not others. Like the Greek mythology, Etruscan mythology focuses on patronymic relationships important to them. These characters are particularly associated with actors involved in the Trojan War and a few, like Alcestis and Admetus, provide moral lessons and conundrums. A modern representation of their history, from their point of view, is carried in a mirror about King Tarquin, whose powerful wife, Tanaquil, compelled him to move from Tarquinia to Rome where he became king. The mirror shows an augur warning Tarquin to beware.

      Many of the Etruscan inscriptions are on murals or frescoes painted in Etruscan tombs. The paintings are extraordinary art forms in themselves, but now they are also sources of a new history about the Etruscans from the Etruscan point of view.  A significant story in  Script AM, which we call "Rape of Hecuba," can be related here. It is known as  the "Battle of the Greeks and Amazons." There are some characters that are hard to read. See more details in Short_Scripts.html.

Script "AM,"  
a sarcophagus from Tarquinia, now in the Archeological Museum in Florence


Hither is (L. huc) Crai the king (
L. rex, regis; It. re, Fr. roi). Aso (Asius, a Trojan ally) of the Ati (sons of Atis). He carries away (L. deveho -veheree -vexi -vectum; Ind. Pres. 3rd Pers. singl. devehit) Cnei (Hecate or Hecuba; Cyneus):  the god (L. lar) royal (L. regalis).

Note: Asius was the younger brother of Hecuba and son of Dymas, king of the Phryigian tribe who lived on the Sangarius River (their father was the river god, Sangarius). Asius led that nation's forces in the Trojan War. Crai carries a genetive suffix and may have a relationship to the Titan Crius. Crius was the father of Perses and Perses was the father of Hecate (Hecuba) by Asteria. Rather than calling this scene the "Battle of the Greeks and Amazons" it appears to be "The rape of Hecuba, wife of King Priam of Troy." Trojan stories are favorites in Etruscan art.

(Continued, Myths, Mirrors & Etruscan Declension Patterns
Texts & Translations (~6000 words)

Translation of the Zagreb Mummy, Script Z. A mummy of a woman found in Egypt was wrapped in linens that contains the longest Etruscan text.

Translation of tomb murals, dedications, statue of Aule Metelis and various textsMiscellaneous Short Inscriptions, Scripts A, P, AB, AD, AE, AF, AG, AT, AJ, AK, AL, TA, AN(1), AN(2), AN(3), AP, HA, LF, AM, T ; See also Script PH, "Phersipnei," above. (12.03.06) [~226 words] The orator of Script AL is Prince Metelis who appears to be of the clan Veleres, a name appearing in many scripts, including the Zagreb Mummy. The text (still in work) indicates that he holds the chair of Turin. The gens. Clensi are mentioned in this script (CLENSI). The Clensi (K52) are associated with Queen Sarina in the Perugia Cippus, Script K, a stele of kings and queens. (9.23.06)

Piacenza Liver, Script PL,
[~34 words] An Etruscan model of a sheep liver used for instruction in divination. This is the latest and one of the more exciting of the Etruscan Phrases translations. Most of the words in the text are repeated in other Etruscan Phrases texts, and thus, using Table 1 Vocabulary, this text was relatively easy to understand. The words / locaters of the liver have been added to the glossary. The liver is read from left to right. The right-hand side leads up through the "eternal gods" through the "arch of god" and to the "Net of Propitiation" which begins with "The Law of the Sheep-fold" and salvation / healing. Links to the correlating words and texts are provided in Script PL (5.11.06)

Script HA is on the left leg of the haruspex (seer), saying, "Behold! He atoned for the faithful offspring." This also falls within the category of "Illustrated Etruscan literature," and we should expect the text to explain the image. Since it does not contain a personal name, we can presume it was not of any particular seer.

Script T – This stele is of Prince Serelus, which has been called the Avle Luske stele, a misnomer. His armor is like that described in the Iliad and the sword pointing up between his legs may indicate his power as a great warrior. Images of Mycenean swords have been found carved on stonehenge, among many places, thus indicating a tradition, perhaps indicating that he is under the protection of the god of War (Roman Mars; Greek, Ares). Part of the text is damaged but it appears to say, "To Prince Serelus a lamentation we sing; I write in love; in the least, he comes from Achaea."

Translation of Devotional Plates Scripts J1-J24 (Etr. LEXAIE) from Massimo Pallottino excavations, report "Il Santuario Di Portonaccio a Veio" (1939-1940)   maravot.com/Translation_Shortscripts_g.html, Scripts J1 through J24.
Translation of Devotional Plates Scripts J25-J40 maravot.com/Translation_Shortscripts_h.html, Scripts J25 through J40.  See updated pdf file Worknotes on Devotional Plates II 11.21.13 - . From Danial F. Maras, Un'inedita iscrizione falisca nel Museo di Cattolica, Rivista di antichita, Anno XVIII-n.2-Luglio-Dicembre 2009, Loffredo Editore Napoli - Provided to Academia.edu.
Translation of Devotional Plates (PA-PZ) Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.e.html, Scripts PA, PB, PC, PD, PE, PG, PJ, PK, PL, PM, PN, PO, PP, PQ, PR, PS, PT, PU, PV, PX, PY, PZ

Translation of miscellaneous tomb murals, sarcophagi and urns, Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.a.html, Scripts BS, AQ, LS, FT, NC, AR, HT, MF, V, SM   [~90 words] (11.26.06)

The Banquet scenes and Script HT, a tile identifying the precinct of Hermes, are shedding considerable light on the Etrusan beliefs. In Script For instance, Hermes plays an important role in the burial chambers, where he is the escort of the departed soul to the abode of the afterlife (gods). This makes sense since Hermes is identified as the messenger of the gods. If he brings messages from the gods or takes messages to the gods, it follows that he would be the one who carries the departed soul to the gods. A curious word, AL, ends the phrase of Script NT, but it is common to many scripts. I thought it was similar to Italian, al, "to the," but always recognized that Etruscan, as is true with Latin, does not use the article, "the," so "al" had to represent something else. It turns out, if my interpretation of Script NT is correct, "al" is Latin "alius," another and the word preceeding AL in Script NT is FETVS (Lat. "fetus-us," the bringing forth or hatching of young). Hermes is involved in the bringing forth of another birth, and we can see that the Etruscan view of life after death was very similar to the Egyptian and Judaic concepts, of being reborn.
Scripts BS-1 and BS-6 – In Banquet BS-1 there is an offering of an egg, and on the mirror where the goddess Uni is suckling Heracles a child-like angelic being (Epe?) is offering an egg. In this scene a person who appears to be the departed matron of the family is offering an egg to the man. The same man appears to be in Script BS-1, in the same tomb, and there he is offering a bowl (containing a mead-like drink?) to a younger woman, who appears to be his wife. These banquet scenes fall in the category of "Illustrated Etruscan literature" where the script should reflect the illustration. Script BS-6 contains the name of a family name, Chaneri (KANERI) who are mentioned in an earlier sarcophagus (Script VP) from Tarquinia, of the 4th- 5th century B.C. The Banquet scenes, Scripts BS, are in the "Tomb of the Shields," Tarquinia and dated the 3rd century B.C. The "Velthur Partunus" Script VP is about "Alisa of the clan Rameras and she is "to us of the Chaneri royalty.

Other, important scripts reflecting a coincidence between a scene and its script is the "Rape of Hecuba," reviewed above (
1.31.06) the Volterra Mirror (2.01.06) and Script V: "Alcestis and Admetus."

Translation: Chiusi Fibula, Script VF, [~6 words] Villanovan, 7th Century B.C., Louvre Museum. This fibula is interesting since it clarifies words in Indo-European Table 1 and the Etruscan Glossary and Grammar. It is a gold clasp / brooch with an inscription, "my gold brooch of praise, Nasia Maximas / Nasia the greatest." The word for gold, "ara" is confirmed by this brooch as well as the word for praise. (9.14.06)

Translation of the Chimera_Script, Script CA [ 3 words] (7.17.04)

Translation of Vases and Sarcophagi - Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.b.html Scripts MA, RA, VP, BT, LP, TB, FR, BB, BC, BD, BE, VC, OM, ON [~180 words, "LP" largely unreadable; ON added 10.20.10] An interesting script is BT, which has nail holes on its right hand side, indicating it was posted against a wall, like the Pyrgi gold tablets, as opposed to the Tavola Cortonensis, a bronze plate designed to be hung by a lanyard. Script LP, "Laris Pulena," is a long inscription that I have tentatively translated. The image I have is hard to read and when I get a better copy I will be able to finish this translation. Most of the words in the text are common to the Etruscan vocabulary. The urn is in the Museo Archeologico, Tarquinia. The text refers to the "divine Tarquins." The recently added text involving Dionysian rites, ON, recalls Old Latin. Of particular interest is ON-5, TVODEITXES (L. duodecie(n)s?). The "O" and "D" are rare in Etruscan.

Script VP is interesting, located in the Museo Archeologico, Tarquinia. It dates from circa. 480 B.C. - 320 B.C. and is of "Alisa, of the clan Rameras, the new Cocle."
Horatius Cocles, is the Roman who defended the bridge over the Tiber against Porsenna, after the Romans expelled Tarquin the Proud in 510 B.C. Tarquin the Proud, also called Lucius Tarquinius Superbus or Tarquin II, was the 7th and last king of Rome. He ruled for 24 years, from 535-510 B.C. The deposed monarch, whose family was of Etruscan origin, appealed to the Etruscan king, Lars Porsena, of Clusium (now Chiusi), for assistance in suppressing the new Roman Republic, and Lars Porsena agreed to help.

There are two other scripts that refer to the Tarquins. Script A identifies the tomb of Tanaqil, the wife of Tarquin the Great (Lucius Tarquinius Priscus), 5th king of Rome. She and her husband, Tarquin the Great, are depicted on a mirror, Script DL, "Mirror from Tuscania" where an augur reads a sheep's liver in the presence of Tarquin, Tanaqil and the god Veltune. He says, "Fear Tarquins" (Pave Tarquii). Tanaqil was a highborn and ambitious Etruscan woman who urged her husband to move from Tarquinia to Rome in order to advance his fortunes. Her training in the Etruscan art of augury often aided her husband in his affairs. At his death her strong-mindedness and quick thinking assured the throne to their son-in-law, Servius Tullius, in accordance with her husband's wishes.

More mirrors: Translation of Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.d.html, Scripts AC, BR , AV, SC ; and MirrorsBM, DJ, DG, DD, DC, DB, DA, DE, DF, DK, DN Script AC is written around an aryballos. We need an image detailing the other side of the aryballos to complete a translation. It refers to the mistress Turan (Aphrodite, Venus). Script BR is a bowl / plate found in Rome with other shards at the base of the Capitol. It carries two interesting words that relate to other declensions involving the suffix "ii," as in RASIIA, ANIIA and Tarquii.

Script SC is a small shard from Cetamura and indicative of the importance of a small piece of pottery carrying text, for the text is LAVS INI...The word, LAVS (L. laus, laudis, praise) is used in Script TC, Tabula_Cortonensis.html, TC-211 is in the following context: LAVS ISA. The Cortonensis text appears to controvert the translation of the Cetamura shard by Dr. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Florida State University, who stated that the shard contains the name of the owner: "Lausini."
(Updated 5.30.09)

More mirrors: Translation of Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.f.html, Scripts from the multivolume work, "Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum," CAA, CB, CC, CD, CF, CG, CH, CI, CJ, CL, CM, CN, CO, CP, CQ, CR, CS, CT, CU, CV, CX, CY, CZ, CAB, CAC. These include mirrors in museums and private collections published under the auspices of the International Scientific Committe for the Corpus of Etruscan Mirrors. The mirrors are important since they carry an illustration of an event and the characters associated with the event, including the Etruscan name of the character. The name and words help to reconcile declension and conjugaation patterns of the texts on the "Etruscan Phrases" site. We reviewed all of the "Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum" volumes and found only these mirrors that contained text that could be verified. A few mirrors were in such bad condition, though the "Corpus" editor(s) produced a transcription, I could not verify the results from the image(s) supplied in the "Corpus" and thus chose not to include them here.

The images produced on this site from the volumes focus on the text of the mirror, which explains why the reader will often see only a portion of the mirror. We will, of course, supply better images when we get them. The mirrors may be objects of art to art history buffs, but to the Etruscans they were essential to their daily grooming and were obviously in high demand, with over 3,000 mirrors extant. They were found with grave goods intended to accompany the departed in his / her quest for eternal life, through the Underworld. Erebus (Etr. Arepes?) and the throne of King Hades (Etr. Atai) and Queen Persephone (Etr. Phersipnei). The stories on the mirrors were derived essentially from Greek myths, but from the spelling of the names, such as APVLV (Apollo) we note that the mirrors were intended for those who could read the Etruscan language. Of interest with regard to this point is the fact that the mirrors were found throughout the western Mediterranean, from Central France to the upper reaches of the Black Sea.

The Etruscans were known for their seamanship and in the myth of Dionysus, the god of wine, we are told that he was kidnapped by Tyrrhenian pirates (Etruscans), and during the episode he cast a spell on the ship, causing it to be invaded by wild animals, including lions, panthers and tigers. This frightened the pirates such that they jumped overboard, leaving Dionysus alone on the ship. Dionysus continued his journey through Egypt to spread his cult of wine around the world. It would be informative to find a mirror that told the Etruscan version of the pirate story. We do have their version of the story of Dionysus' first disciple, Icarius, which is on the
Schøyen Mirror, MS 565/2.

More mirrors: Translation of Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.k.html,  Here there are more mirrors from the Speculorum Etruscum: CBA, CBB, CBC, CBE, CBD, CBG, CBH, CBI, CBJ, CBK, CBL, CBM, CBN, CBO, CBP, CBQ, CBR, CBS, CBT, CBU, CBV, CBX, CBZ, CCA, CCC

The Volterra mirror, Script AH, [~11 words] "Uni Suckling Hercules.html" containing heroes and a script common to the Divine_Mirror.html. (Updated 9.26.06). The Volterra mirror is another script falling into the category, "Illustrated Etruscan literature," and thus we can expect the text to coincide with the illustration. The genitive case of Uni, VNIA, is used in this script, as well as Au-13. The page also contains a mirror of Dionysus, Semele & Apollo, Script SF.

Translation: Schøyen Mirror, "Ikarius," Script MS, 6th Century B.C. [~26 words] This mirror is interesting since it contains many words in Indo-European Table 1 and the Etruscan Glossary & Grammar. It contains the word 8RATER, brother, that corresponds to Latin frater-tris, with several declensions, in the Tavola Eugubine, Scripts N, R and G. The text can be seen to relate to the story written on the mirror. This is, thus, the first of the Etruscan "literature," that can be demonstrated. The story depicted on the mirror is of Icarius, the first disciple of Dionysus, the god of wine. The story of Icarius is unusual since it involves his faithful dog Maera who sets off with him in a chariot to spread the word of wine cultivation to the world. The first encounter they had was with shepherds who got drunk from the wine and thought Icarius had possessed them. They killed the disciple of wine and left his faithful dog wailing beside Icarius. Icarius' daughter came out looking for her missing father and the wailing dog led her to his burial place. She was so bereaved over his death she hung herself in the tree beside her father's burial. Then the dog jumped into a nearby well. The Athenians afterwards created a festival in honor of the event, where young virgin girls would swing in trees during the harvest of grapes. While the character in the mirror could suggest Dionysus himself, the image of the dog prancing alongside the chariot established that the story was of Icarius. The first word of the text is IKRA.

The story of Helen of Troy on an Etruscan Mirror, Divine_Mirror.html, Scripts DM and OB [~19 words/names] This mirror is one of the most interesting and informative Etruscan texts. It has the names of the characters in the story of Helen of Troy and is an excellent illustration of the Etruscan ability to tell an entire story through graphic images. The story is told from the Etruscan point of view, with a Lydian bias, as it were. It is important because it defines the gods used in the mirror in the context of the story of the Iliad. We can see that the consort of Tinia (Zeus) is Ralna (Nemesis). There are two interesting characters that are strictly "Lydian" : MEAN and LASA THIMRAE. MEAN is the Roman Diana, Greek Artemis, virgin goddess of the hunt and sister of Apollo. She can be contrasted to the Asian, Ephesian Artemis, who appears to be a mother goddess, not a virgin. LASA THIMRAE appears to be the Lydian goddess Thimrae, possibly the prophetess Cassandra, daughter of Priam. The Trojans worshipped at the temple of Apollo Thymbrae. The temple name is after the river Thymbra which empties into the Scamander river. Cassandra got her prophetic powers when sleeping in the temple.

The Divine_Mirror tells the story of the bargain Agamemnon made with Helen for her hand in marriage to his brother Menelaus, the abudction of Helen by Alexander (Paris) prince of Troy. In the Judgment of Paris, Alexander was asked to judge between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, as to which was the fairest. Alexander chose Aphrodite (Etr. TVRAN). The son of King Priam of Troy, Aescus (Etr. Aecai) prophesied that Alexander would be the cause of the destruction of Troy. Cassandra also prophesied of its destruction, but when she received her gift of prophecy she was told that no one would believe her. The goddess Artemis, virgin of the hunt and sister of Apollo, was also involved with the prophecy, since Agamemnon had bragged that he could shoot as well as Artemis. An anomaly exists in this mirror, however, since the name MEAN appears above the head of the character known as Artemis. The name Artemis appears in many other Etruscan mirrors, causing one to wonder why that character was given the name MEAN in the "Divine Mirror." If the prophet Calchas is to believed, Artemis was so enraged over the idle boast she demanded the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter, Iphigenia. When the sacrafice was about to be made, Artemis switched the girl for a deer and sent her off to become a high priestess of the Taurians. In the mirror MEAN is accompanied by a deer and is crowning Alexander, while Agememnon shakes hands with Helen, to the alarm of Aescus (Etr. Aecai) while LASA THIMRAE, who carries a wand and an unguent bottle, departs the room. The unguent bottle is seen in many Etruscan tomb murals. MEAN appears in other mirrors, seated before Manerva, Aphrodite and Heracles (Script CBZ), between Heracles and the prostitute Larentia (Script CZ) and seated before Adonis and a Bacchante who is shouting "euan.")

In the top panel of the mirror are four figures of interest: TVRAN (Aphrodite) HERCLE (Heracles) EPEVR (Epior?) TINIA (Etr. Zeus) and RALNA (Nemesis?). Of the characters shown in the mirror, Heracles is the most perplexing, who holds a cherub, EPEVR, in his hand. Heracles had no involvement in the Trojan War, to our recollection. EPEVR or EPE VR appears to be the son, Eros, of TVRAN (Aphrodite). Some accounts say that Aphrodite caused her cherub-like son to shoot his arrows of love at Helen, causing her to fall in love with Alexander. The presentation of EPEVR appears to suggest that Heracles is the father of Eros by Aphrodite, an anamoly. Aphrodite was also involved in the conception of Helen, since she pursued Zeus, causing him to change into a swan in his chase of Nemesis, who had changed into a goose. Zeus caught Nemesis who laid an egg containing the most beautiful girl in the world, Helen. The egg was given to Leta, the wife of KingTyndareus of Sparta, who raised the child as her own. Aphrodite had other lovers, such as Anchises, and gave birth to a son by him whose name is Aeneas.

The suffix "ia" in Tinia, and "ai" in the name of Helen, Elenai, led to the identification of the suffixes as determinants for proper names (genitive case?), as in the case of Atai (Hades), Acai (Aesacus) and Phersipnei (Persephone), the latter seen in the judgment scene of the tomb of Orcus. Helen's name is spelled in another declension as ELENEI on mirror MM-1. Also on this page is a mirror, Script OB, from Tarquinia in the possession of Oberlin College that is of the Judgment of Paris, containing the names, MINRFA (Minerva), Uni, Turan and a variant spelling of Alexandar; i.e, on DM-6, ELCHINTRE and OB-4, ELACHSNTRE. (

More mirrors are at Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.d.html: BM, DD, DC, DB, DA, DE, DF, DG, DH, DK, DN, DO Script DF carries another complex story, combining that of Orestes with Jason, the leader of the Argonauts who sought the Golden Fleece. Both stories involve the revenge of the son of the father's murder. Orestes took revenge upon Clytemnestra, his mother, and her lover, over their murder of Agamemnon. Jason, son of Aeson, took revenge upon Pelias who had murdered his half-brother, Aeson, for the throne of Iolcus.

Translation of Miscellaneous Short Inscriptions.c,html Scripts GA, MR, MM, OU, VG, VA, CH, MG, MH, PF, LM, DP, DQ, DR, DS, PF Script GA is from the necropolis of Gouraya near Algiers, Algeria. Script MR is a mirror containing what appears to be the Nereid Thetis, the goddess of wisdom, Minerva, the goddess of discord, Eris, and Heracles.

Translation of the two Lemnos stele, Script S [~60 words] (6.13.06) This script is being reworked and seems quite poetic, repeating the word eternal (L. aevus-i; Etr. AFIS).

Translation of the Tavola Cortonensis, Script TC, [~284 words] the latest find of an Etruscan script. This is a letter of demand which appears to relate to passage money and is addresssed to a commander of the Etruscans. Rasna, the name of the Etruscans, is mentioned twice in the text. The sender appears to be of the Latins. The text is amazingly consistent with the body of the other Etruscan texts and from it I have acquired more vocabulary. It seems to involve a conflict over passage through a domain that also has a complaint regarding daughters-in-law (nuora), thus suggesting a family alliance that has been broken. A short introductory text is on one side and on the reverse one finds the rest of the message. Shades of French and Italian are strong in this text. I am revisiting the text for the fourth time, reconciling it to the other scripts. (11.21.05).

Translation of the Novilara Tablet, Script L . [~76 words] It was found near Pesaro and dates around the 5th to 4th century B. C. This script uses characters common to the Osco-Umbrian scripts. (9.10.06).

Translation of the Siculian Tablet, Script F. [~ 29 words] It is a short letter from a grandson, Brutus, to his grandfather dating around the 5th century B.C (9.11.06)

Translation of theMagliano Lead Disk, Script M. [~87 words] Probably the oldest of the texts dating from circa. 600 B.C. It is written in a spiral (labyrinth) much like the Phaestos Disk. It uses the TH more extensively than other scripts. This script, like the Tavola Cortonensis, is a military document, and it too invokes Dione, Minerva and Tinia in the defense of its oration.(Updated 6.16.06). This script has been updated in correspondence with our Etruscan Glossary.

Translation of the Perugia Cippus, Script K. [~195 words] It contains a list of queens and refers to their power and relationships. Much of the script seems to be a record of a Queen Sarina. Her bust is in the Louvre Museum. She was an extraordinarily beautiful woman, as can be seen from the bronze bust. The bronze has her name inscribed on its forehead. I have updated the translation reflecting findings from the other scripts and reviewing a better copy of the script supplied by the Perugia Museum. We can confirm the word, RINA, queen, used throughout this text with a name, like SARINA, through the bronze bust in the Louvre. The text is unusual since it lists queens and no king is mentioned.

The cippus is proving to be a history and most interestingly seems to have identified a Queen Hinera of the Valley of Fiesole (ancient Florence) – see K65, K66 – whose name also appears in the Zagreb Mummy's wrappings closest to the mummy's body. This has to be verified, but it may be that between the two documents there is a disclosure of not only the Queen of the Etruscan city Fiesole but also the name of the person of the Zagreb Mummy, who died in Egypt, Hinera, the queen of Fiesole (Florence)? This is, thus, becoming an Etruscan history, not from others, such as the Romans and Greeks, but from the Etruscans themselves. K65 is the beginning of a new section of the text, suggesting that the previous section deals with a dynasty of the Clensi, featuring Queen Sarina (K45-K52). The Clensi are mentioned in the text on the bronze statue of Prince Metelis. So far, we have three documents being linked together in the Perugia Cippus.

Of interest are words on the lateral side of the cippus that seem to be more related to the Italian language:
K188 RONCHVLeR (RVNKVLeR), to swallow up (It. ringolare ringhiottire) or to recoil, fall back, withdraw (It. rinculare; reculer; L. recello-ere) and K194 CECHASI (CEKASI), (It. checchessia, anything, everything, chicchessia, anyone, anybody; Fr. quelquechose). This is the more challenging part of the text which seems to conclude: "and indeed the gods there to swallow up, fall back, I bind; as far as anything you inhabit." On the front of the monument may be the name of Perugia (Perusia) which begins with a phrase: LERI TEVeNS (TE8eNS) TEIS, the lords divine (L. dius-a-um; adj. divinus) of the gods RASNE SIPA AMA HENNA PER the Etruscans (Rasne) she encloses (L. saepio, saepire, saeps, saeptum) she loves Henna (L. Henna [Enna], f. city of Sicily with a temple of Ceres); through, by (L. per) XII FEL RINA RVRAS ARAS, twelve of the great (Fel) queen (L. regina-ae, f.; It. f. regina; Fr. reine, f.) (PE)RASCEM VLiM, at Perusia (Perugia, Perusia, Tuscan town; "em" suffix, accusative) at times, for a long time now, often (L. olim). The cippus may be the most important Etruscan text found to date. (Updated 12.25.06).

Partial translation of the Capua Tile, Script CP [~126 words that can be read – script largely unreadable] This script is so badly damaged only a portion of it can be made out at the moment. I need a better copy of the tile! It contains the name of the goddess Aph, a partial genealogy of the Etruscan gods which appear to have been born out of Aph, including the god Tini and an interesting reference to HIPA RIV, the "river horse" which may relate to the Egyptian goddess of fertility which had the body of a hippopotamus with human breasts and features of other animals. Places and boundaries, providing somewhat of a geography lesson from Etruscan times, are mentioned, including rivers relating to the people of Pisa and the Oscans. This is so far the most interesting of the Etruscan scripts. (10.06.01).

Translation of sheet 1 of the Pyrgi Gold Tablets, Script Au. [~72 words] These gold tablets were found in the sanctuary of Pyrgi, dating circa. 5th century B.C. This is an oration during the Festival of Hera with regard to a controversy (polemic) involving the goddess Aph. The Etruscan tablets are a dedication to Uni, the Roman Juno, and affirms her seat as the main sigoddess of the site. She is addressed in the two tablets both as Uni, the Etruscan Juno, whose name may also be in the text as IVNO. Juno is the moth and fertility goddess of the Romans and the occasion of the dedication is on the feast called Heraea (L. Heraea-orum). The oration calls Uni and Janus, the god of wisdom, to the rock together before the Italian magistrates' seats to resolve a controversy (polemic). The beginning of the oration acknowledges the goddess Thia, (L. Dia-ae), mother of Mercury (Gr. Hermes) "to you Maia" and the god Janus. Maia was the oldest daughter of Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione. One of the Pleaides, Maia was shy and lived quietly in a cave on Mount Cyllene, in Arcadia. Zeus seduced her, from which a son, Hermes, was born. Hermes was a precocious child and while still in swaddling clothes stole the cattle of Apollo, hiding them in his mother's cave. Hermes (Roman Mercury) seems to have played a very strong role in the Etruscan religion, and a dedication of his feast days can be read at Script HT. Mercury seems to have had a large presence in Celtic religion as well.

May is named after the goddess Maia, the wife of Mars. May is a month of purification and religious ceremony in honor of the dead. Hermes (Mercury) was the messenger of the gods and appears to play a major role, as the transporter of the soul, in the Etruscan view of the afterlife. Janus was the doorkeeper of heaven in Roman mythology and the god of beginnings and endings. He was originally a supreme deity, like Zeus and Jupiter, and was the mediator of prayers and petitions to the other gods. His blessing was asked at the beginning of every day, month and year. January was named after him. He also presided over the sowing of crops, and Roman commanders departed through the doors of his temple, which were closed only in times of peace. He was represented in art with two faces, looking in opposite directions, symbolizing his knowledge of the past and future.

The Pyrgi Gold Tablets are curious from the standpoint that they are a dedication of the Festival of Hera (Heraea). The festival – games for young virgin women – in ancient times preceded the Olympic Games held for males. Both games were associated with lunar calendar dating systems, often varying among the Greek City States. The date of the games served to regulate the calendars, and sometimes the Olympiad and the Heraea conflicted in their timing, so the dates of the festivals were reset to avoid the conflict. The conflict and dates of the festivals is described by http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/harrison.htm:

We have seen that the Olympic festival was a moveable feast, and occurred alternately in Apollonios and Parthenios, which were probably the second and third months of the Elean year. This variation of the month is a strange and inconvenient arrangement. Moreover it is unique. The Pythia also were held at intervals of 50 and 49 months, but the incidence of the intercalated months of the octennial period was so arranged that the festival itself always fell in the same month (Bukatios) of the Delphic year. In the same way the Panathenaea, though penteteric, always fell in Hekatombaion. There must have been some very strong reason for the troublesome variation of months in the sole case of the most important of panhellenic gatherings.

Weniger finds the reason in the existence of an older immovable festival at the very season at which the reconstituted Games were to be fixed. Every fourth year a college called the Sixteen Women wove a robe for Hera and held games called the Heraea. The games consisted of a race between virgins, who ran in order of age, the youngest first, and the eldest last. The course was the Olympic stadium, less about one-sixth of its length (i.e. 500 instead of 600 Olympic feet). The winners received crowns of olive and a share of the cow sacrificed to Hera. ÔThey trace the origin of the games of the virgins, like those of the men, to antiquity, saying that Hippodameia, out of gratitude to Hera for her marriage with Pelops, assembled the Sixteen Women, and along with them arranged the Heraean games for the first time.Õ

It is highly probable that these games of virgins (Parthenia) gave its name to the month Parthenios, and were in honour of Hera Parthenos—Hera whose virginity was perpetually renewed after her sacred marriage with Zeus. It is also probable that they were held at the new moon, that is, on the first day of Parthenios. Further, if these games gave the month its name, in that month they must always have fallen. Thus the octennial period of the Heraea is of the usual straightforward type, which keeps always to the same month. The natural inference is that the Heraea were first in the field, and that, when the menÕs games were fixed at the same season, it was necessary to avoid this older fixed festival. At the same time, if the games of Zeus were allowed to be established regularly in the middle of the previous month Apollonios, it was obvious that the Heraea would sink into a mere appendage. Zeus, on the other hand was not inclined to yield permanent precedence to Hera. The deadlock was solved by a characteristic compromise. The octennial period for the Games of Zeus was so arranged that in alternate Olympiads they should fall fourteen days before, and fourteen days after, the Heraea (on Apollonios 14/15 and Parthenios 14/15). By this device of priestly ingenuity the honour of both divinities was satisfied, and so the inconvenient variation of months for the Olympic festival is explained.

The Heraea, then, were probably older than the reconstituted Olympia; and if they gave its name to the month Parthenios, they must have been annual before they were octennial or penteteric. They carry us back to the old lunar year, which preceded the combined sun-and-moon penteteris.

If the reference to Maia also acknowledges the calendar date of the Heraea held in Pyrgi, we are tempted to postulate that the confusing, mysterious date for the Heraea, at least among the Etruscans, coincided with the later Roman month of Maius. Like the old Greek lunar calendars, the early Roman calendar involved 10 months: Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November and December (September, "seventh month," October, "eighth month," November, "ninth month," and December, "tenth month." The calendar was later revised to include ianuarius and Februarius. In order to keep the calendar year roughly aligned with the solar year, Numa, the second king of Rome (715-673 B.C.), added an "intercalated" month every other year at the end of February of 22 -27 days, called the Interclaris, or Mensis Intercalaris, sometimes also known as Mercedonius or Mercedinus. The leap month was added from time to time at the end of February, which was shortened to 23 or 24 days. The resulting year was either 377 or 378 days long.

We know that the Etruscans used "Roman numerals" in their dating system, seen in Scripts AN, for instance. Since the Romans received their alphabet (that which is used for English) from the Etruscans, we can rightfully assert that the Roman Numerals should be called "Etruscan Numerals," setting the heritage where it belongs. The Roman Calendar may also owe its origin to the Etruscans, who no doubt were influenced by the Greek calendars of 10 lunar months. As may be revealed in the Pyrgi Gold Tablets, the Etruscan calendar may, in fact, be influenced by the date of the Heraea Festival, just as the Greek calendar(s) were influenced by the Heraea and the Olympiad held every four years. The following, which is relevant to the date of the Pyrgi Heraea, is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiad:

An Olympiad, especially in ancient literature, was a period of four years (Polybius, Histories 9.1.1) counting inclusively (the fifth year during which the games were held was also the first year in the beginning of the new cycle), starting with the games at Olympia. The ancient Olympics, it is believed, originated from Heracles, the eldest of five brothers, who matched them in a race and crowned the winner with an olive branch. The games, in accordance with the number of brothers, were held every fifth year (Pausanias, Description of Greece (Elis 1) 5.7.6-9). By our modern calendar system (Gregorian), the first Olympiad is reckoned to the year 776 BC, which year is arrived at deductively. The first year of the common era (1 CE/AD) is equivalent to the seven-hundred and fifty-fourth year from the founding of Rome (AUC 754) according to the Varronian epoch. The founding of Rome, in turn, is testified as being April 21, in the third year of the sixth Olympiad (OL 6) (Plutarch, Romulus 23-24; Eutropius, History 1.1). So deductively speaking, the first year of the games and the start of the first Olympiad was the summer of 776 BC.

We may conclude that the Festival of the Heraea referred to in the Pyrgi tablets has to do with the first month of the Etruscan year, probably coinciding with the Elean month Parthenios. That the mother of Mercury is addressed in the Pyrgi dedication both as Dia and Maia suggests a coincidence with the old Roman month, Maius (May). Uni (Juno) and Ianas (Janus) are addressed in the scripts. The month of June (after Juno) follows May and January (named after Janus, the god of ports and doors, beginnings and endings, became the 11th month, after which February was added. We may assume for the moment that the Etruscans at Pyrgi had only a 10 month calendar, and beginning with Martius as the first month would celebrate Juno's feast day, March 1, called the Matronalia, the primary feast of Juno, the chief Roman goddess. On this day, lambs and other cattle were sacrificed to her. Also on this day the Feriae Marti, the festival of Mars, the Roman god of war, was held. March 1 is also New Year's Day in the old Roman calendar.

Maius is the third month of the old Roman calendar, and on May 1 a cow was sacrificed to Maia, the mother of Mars (Gr. Ares). May 1 was also the Celtic feast of Beltane, marking the first day of Summer. May 15 was the festival of the Mercuralia, the festival of Mercury, the Roman god of merchants and travellers. April 9 was the feast of Ishtar, known today as Easter, and April 18 was when the festival of Maia began (see http://syrylynrainbowdragon.tripod.com/april.html). It may be that the Etruscan Heraea was coincident with the Feast of Ishtar then in the 6th century B.C., somehow relating to the "3rd month," of Maius (May). Perhaps further examination of the Pyrgi Gold Tablets will clarify this. The third sheet is in Punic and refers to the goddess Ishtar. Updated

Translation of sheet 2 of the Pyrgi Gold Tablets, Script Au, [~105 words] This page carries the second page of the Pyrgi script. Also on the page is a third gold tablet which is in Phoenician, "Lamina B" script. Images of the gold sheets are from "The Etruscans." (5) Its translation by Sabatino Moscati is:

To [our] Lady Ishtar. This is the holy place // which was made and donated // by TBRY WLNSH [= The faries
Velianas] who reigns on // Caere [or: on the Caerites], during the month of the sacrifice // to the Sun, as a gift
in the temple. He b//uilt an aedicula [?] because Ishtar gave in his hand [or: raised him with her hand] // to
reign for three years in the m//onth of KRR [=Kerer], in the day of the burying // of the divinity. And the years
of the statue of the divinity // in his temple [might be ? are ?] as many years as these stars.

The Etruscan scripts largely coincide with the Phoenician. There are some corrections, however. Velianas is Fel Ianus (the great Janus).
Fel is a term meaning "great" used frequently in the Etruscan scripts on this site. The name Caere is read as "heart" in the context of getting to the heart or kernel of the matter which concludes acknowledging the polemic involving the goddess Aph. Updated (

The Tavola Eugubine Script N is being updated based upon better images of the tablets. [~755 words] A general note on the Tavola Eugubine should be listed here. The vocabulary is consistent with the vocabulary used in the other Etruscan scripts on this website. To translate an entire corpus of scripts, using common grammatical rules and a consistent vocabulary, without a "Rosetta Stone," is a big challenge in itself. But one can make a fair translation, knowing that all languages have rules of grammar and following the rules there is the liklihood of repetition. These scripts, together with the Zagreb Mummy script, fortunately contain a lot of repitition. And they use the same grammar/vocabulary; and both are consistent with other scripts. Where you see an alpha-numeric locater for a word, which points to several different Etruscan scripts, know that the same word works well in the same context in the translations where it appears. The Tavola is thus Etruscan. My vocabulary, built from the various scripts, defines what Etruscan is. It is old, rich in inflections, like Latin and Greek. It is like Latin but recalls shades of Italian and French. These are the closest languages to which Etruscan is related. (01.24.07).

Translation of the Tavola Eugubine Script Q [~920 words] – Script "Q" is a funeral oration and like Script N interchanges repeated formulas which contain the names of gods who were on the side of Troy during the Trojan war. We have added copies of the images, from Citta di Gubbio to complement / verify our transcription.

The ephitets towards the end of the text focus on Eos (the goddess of dawn; also the dawn) and Apollo who in a more ancient form was linked to the sun god, Helios. Escaping the sometimes impish Eros, god of love, is mentioned; Venus, the goddess of love, Jupiter and others are placed in the context of salvation, returning to the day. The repetition of "blessed" and many synonyms used for death, wasting away, etc. demonstrate their preoccupation with it. This text also addresses the demon Tuchulcha, not by name, but as TRE 8IPER, Tre Viper. He as well as a host of gods and goddesses are addressed in the context of being chased away, using a verb (L. abeo) "be off with you." The formulas recount how the people in the crowd are brothers of Atigerius the patriarch of the gens of Cato. Script Q shows the way the Etruscans expressed themselves during a funeral liturgy, recalling the repitition we have all seen in most liturgical documents. Page is being updated based on the better images. (02.11.08).

Translation of the Tavola Eugubine Script R. [~671 words] This is a blessing of the people through supplication of the gods. It is a feast of lights, and it begins with an address to Oph (L. Ops, goddess of abundance?): "you pull, bring forth the day." The blessing refers to a pyre and various images, linking the light of the pyre and the sprinkling of water in the names of specific gods and godesses. The orator calls out/summons Apollo, Phabia, the goddess of the moon, Lune (Diana), Phobea, etc. in addressing the castle which is apparently located in Pisa. The ritual connects an ancient form of Apollo (Phoebus) with Helios, the sun, and in the middle of the text the orator contrasts a goddess of the earth, Eph, with the moon and the sun. Tavola II para. 2 appears to be a letter, addressed to the descendents of Atigerius in Achaia; it also addresses the same in Gordos, and the port of Pyrae. It complains about the sacrifice of mares without blemish, endorsing the sacrifice of lambs. It is a celebration of light which is illuminated by Script "G" which repeats some phrases (R164; R204) in script "R." And these repititions are connected with the aegis of Jupiter/Zeus which is the source of lightning. The Etruscans interpreted lightning bolts. (Being updated, reflecting the Etruscan Glossary and Grammar, 2.11.08).

Translation of the Tavola Eugubine Script G. [~45 words] A short text which is written by another hand which renders the "T" as a "Y". The hand that wrote Script "N" and "Q" is not the same as the one that wrote script "R," and "G" is completely different. See comment on Script "R," for both scripts cover a festival of "lights" which refers to a three-fold supremacy or monarchy: that of three planes. Three are noted: the goddess Eph, who is of the earth; Jupiter, the sky-god; and Lune, the goddess of the moon. The pyres appear to be related to the worship of Eph and also Pha and symbolic of the light of the sun and the moon; and Jupiter/Tini/Zeus rule over all through their shield (aegis) of lightning bolts. The introductory phrase of this script is a repeat of a phrase in script R. The script concludes, "I go before the arbitrator himself." (9.29.06)

Translation, Aph.html, an inscription from Santa Marinella. This text is on two sides of a lead foil, found in a temple precinct believed to be dedicated to the goddess Minerva (Gr. Athena). The text begins rather with an address to Uni (Juno; Gr. Hera) . Although there are claims that this is dedicated to Minerva, her name is not on this image or the transcriptions seen on the lead foil. The Pyrgi scripts mention a controversy over the goddess Aph, which name is mentioned in this script as well. Ashtar is mentioned on the Punic gold tablet found with the Etruscan Pyrgi gold tablets. (

Translation of Lydian, showing its relationship to the Etruscan language (new 6.26.06).

Translation of Phrygian, showing its relationship to the Etruscan language . Of interest is the discovery of a stele from Southeastern Turkey, Zincirli, that appears to record in the Phrygian language the conquest of that area by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib (704-681 B.C.). The area is known to historians as Cilicia, and the eastern corner (area of the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers) is recorded in Assyrian documents as Kûe or Que. The text of the Phrygian relief from Zincirli lists the name Kuom. Because the Phrygian script is from an area that is not recognized by archeologists as part of Phrygia (Phrygia proper being far to the west of Turkey, in the bend of the Halys river), the stele implies an extension of the dominion of Phrygia well beyond the territory attributed to them by historians. Because of this anomaly we revisited the abundant Assyrian texts from the 12th century B.C. to the time of Sennacherib to ascertain any connection from the Assyrian records that would imply Phrygian sovereignty over the area of Que. The records not only confirmed that the Phrygians (called Muski, Mushki, by the Assyrians) possessed Que, the texts ( of Assur-nâsir-pal (884-859 B.C. ) also locate the Phrygians just across the Tigris river from Armenia (Urartu). This may imply that the Phrygians entered Anatolia (Turkey) by way of the Caucasus Mountains, against the historical theory that they crossed the Hellespont from Thrace into Anatolia. Equally fascinating are the monuments of the "Three Kalas" of Midas City, located near the Halys River, that appears to contain the name of the mythical Phrygian king Midas. King Midas is remembered as the king of the Mygdonians of Phrygia, son of king Gordius and the goddess Cybele who founded Ancyra (Ankara). He is said to have been the discoverer of both black and white lead, but he is best known for his connections with gold.

While the god Dionysus was on his expedition to India with his train, old Seilenus wandered away and was captured by Phrygian peasants, who took him to the king. Some say that Midas caught him by mixing wine with water in a spring, presumably in the hope of profiting from his prophetic powers. In either case, the king entertained Seilenus graciously and then gave him a guide to lead him back to Dionysus and his company. Dionysus was so grateful to Midas that he offered to grant any boon that he asked. Midas, who was fond of luxury, asked that all he touched might turn to gold. Reluctantly the god consented. Midas was at first delighted with the results, but he soon discovered that when he tried to eat, the food turned to metal. Before long the ravenously hungry king was begging Dionysus to take back his miraculous gift. The god could not do that, but he advised Midas to wash in the river Pactolus. The king did so and his "golden touch" was transferred to the river, which forever after had gold-bearing sands. Midas then was asked to judge between Pan and Apollo as to which was the better lyre player. Midas awarded Pan with the distinction, but Apollo was so wrathful over the decision he changed the ears of Midas into the ears of an ass. He wore a Phrygian cap with its flaps covering his ears after that and only his barber knew that his ears were the ears of an ass. The barber could not keep the secret and one day whispered the secret into a hole in a deserted meadow. Reeds grew up on the spot and began whispering the secret. From that day passersby were astonished to hear them murmuring, "Midas has ass's ears." Historically, Midas was one dynastic title
alternating with the name of Gordius of a succession of Phrygian kings who ruled in the valley of the Sangarius River. Gordion was their capital city. The Assyrian texts refer to the name of Midas (Mitâ); Sargon II (704- 705 B.C.) reports: "[I} drove out Mitâ, king of Muski; who restored the captured fortresses of Kûe." (1.03.08).

The Etruscans' view of their faith after death Etruscan_Faith.html
Hittite Treaties.html

LINKS of interest (Etruscan_Phrases_f.html)
Old Etruscan_Phrases_a.html (now Etruscan_Phrases_x.html)

Visitor statistics on maravot.com from 1and1.com ~30,000 per month. About half of the visitors per month are to "Etruscan Phrases," from around the world. This page is one of many "Etruscan Phrases" pages in the visitor statistics.


(1) Illiad, translated by W. H. D. Rouse, A Mentor book, 1938, pp. 265 ff. All quotes on the Illiad are from the Rouse translation.
(2) Praying to the North Wind and the West Wind. Compare the importance of the Wind gods in the ceremony to their function in the Rig Veda, quoted in Banquet of the Gods.
(3) Following this Achilles began the games, consisting of chariot races, boxing and wrestling matches, spear throwing, throwing a lump of iron, and other feats.
(4) An interesting comment by the Roman historian Suetonius (70 A.D. - 130 or 140 A.D) refers to an Etruscan word. About 100 days before Augustus Caesar's death a bolt of lightning struck a statue of Caesar near the Campus Martius. A bronze plaque on the statue contained the word, Caesar, and the bolt melted the "C" in his name, leaving the letters, aesar. The "flash of lightning ..was interpreted to mean that he would live only a hundred days from that time, the number indicated by the letter C, and that he would be numbered with the gods, since aesar (that is, the part of the name Caesar which was left) is the word for god in the Etruscan tongue." [Lives of the Caesars, Suetonius, "The Diefied Augustus," XCVII]. There is one Etruscan word, AIS, that comes near to "aesar," and it appears in the Zagreb Mummy Script. In most instances it appears as a single word, AIS, and in a compound, AIS AN. At the end of the script, Z1861, the contruction, AIS ERAS appears. I translated AIS as "bronze object" and its use was in the context of worship, i.e., Z1861 "they shall turn / change; to the bronze you wander; to Zeus of the serene trellis you assemble."

(5) "The Etruscans," Federica Borrelli and Maria Cristina Targia, translated by Thomas Michael Hartmann, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2004, J. P. Getty Trust.

(6) Bibliographical Data from our earlier work, "Catalogue of Etruscan Words," 1981, pdf file.

Comment on Sources: Sources used in "Etruscan Phrasaes," are quoted in situ, as we prefer to place a link to the source where it applies. It is easier to update and, for the reader, easier to use. We may not agree with the data in all sources linked in "Etruscan Phrases." All of the data pertaining to the translation, grammar, and process of translating, the Etruscan language is original to this work and not developed from any other source. Because the common understanding among Etruscologists was that the "Etruscan language is not Indo-European and an isolate, unlike any language, modern or dead," which is contrary to the presentation of "Etruscan Phrases," there has been no need to refer to those sources, except as noted in situ on these pages. We credit sources on photographs, etc., where possible.

My commentary relative to the history of the Etruscans is a composite, sifted from many works, including those listed in the "Catalogue of Etruscan Words," bibliographical data which include perhaps one of the best works on the Etruscans: "The Etruscans," by Massimo Pallottino, Indiana University Press, 1975 (first published in 1942). An Etruscologist from Italy categorized the "Etruscan...non-Indo-European theorists" in an email to the author as the "Pallottino School," an appropriate nomenclature, I think. However, my "Catalogue of Etruscan Words," 1981, used examples from Staccioli's works to illustrate the erroneous linguistic view we can call the "Pallottino School." Pallottino's Part 3, "The Etruscan Language," includes a short "vocabulary" and pronunciation table that is based on the study of short inscriptions, usually on tombs. His analysis covers the efforts of those who preceeded him. Their conclusions on the language have been misleading scholars at least since 1942. I am indebted to Edward Tripp's "The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology," New American Library, 1974 for the Greek Mythology used in "Etruscan Phrases."

*Background documents:

(Etruscan_Phrases_b.html)  (Etruscan_Phrases_c.html)   (Etruscan_Phrases_d.html)
(Etruscan_Phrases_e.html)  (Etruscan_Phrases_f.html)


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