Script PH: Mural from the Tomb of Orcos with the name of Phersipnei (Persephone), Hades (Aita) and the three-headed giant Geryon (Etr. Cervn) who complains to Hades, that Hercules stole his cattle (Hercules' 10th labor).
(Aphrodite, goddess of erotic
love, born of the sea -foam, Gr.
"aphros," near Cyprus, from the
genitals of the god Uranus; she
favored the Trojans and caused the
Trojan War by rewarding Paris in
The Judgment of Paris with the
love of Helen), Apolo, Aplo
(Apollo, son of Zeus and the
Titaness Leto, god of youth,
music, prophecy, archery and
healing; he was born with his
sister, Artemis, on the island of
Delos. At an early age he traveled
to Delphi and killed there a huge
snake; later a temple was raised
at Delphi for him, attended by a
Pythia, or prophetess, who
delivered his oracles. He
supported the Trojans in the
Trojan War.); Artumes (Artemis,
daughter of Zeus and Leto, goddess
of the hunt whose arrow never
missed its mark; unusualy jealous
over the honors given her, she was
offended by Agamemnon and
(Poseidon, a god of the sea, of
earthquakes, and of horses, may be
his equivalent, and Fel tune may
represent the words, "great
thunder," — i.e., to
thunder: L. tono-are; It. tonare;
Fr. tonnerre, thunder —, and we see
in a mirror Feltune standing,
overlooking a haurspex, or augur,
as he examines a liver in the
presence of Tarkonos [Tarquin].
The Roman version of Poseidon is
Neptune [L. Neptunus-i], a name
curiously similar to Feltune.);
Hercle (Heracles, a hero involved in many Etruscan myths; son of Zeus and Alcmene, he was hated by Hera who attempted to prevent his birth and then, after Hera had been tricked by Alcmene's nursemaid, she put snakes in Heracle's crib; he had to perform 10-12 labors for Eurystheus, often facing hardship during them which was caused by jealous Hera; Zeus tricked Hera one day, causing her to suckle the babe Heracles while she was sleeping – the milk spilled and caused the Milky Way. An Etruscan mirror shows Heracles suckling at the breast of Hera as an adult! In the mirror, Tinia (Zeus) holds a writing tablet describing the odd situation; Atle (Atlas, a son of the Titan Iapetus by the Oceanid Clymene or by Asia, was the father of the Oceanid Pleïone, by Calypso, of the Pleiades, and some say, of the Hyades. His name is related to the Greek word "to bear," and is known as the divine giant that stood near the Pillars of Hercules holding up the world. While on the way to fetch the golden apples of the Hesperides, Heracles came across Atlas holding up the world. Atlas offered to fetch the apples for Heracles provided he held up the world for him. Heracles took the world on his shoulder while Atlas went on his mission. Atlas came back with the apples and suggested that he could deliver the apples to Eurystheus himself. Heracles saw that he was being conned and realized that he had to trick Atlas into taking the burden back on his shoulders, otherwise he would be stuck with the job. So Heracles asked Atlas to hold the earth while he put a cloth on his head to soften the weight of the world on his head. Atlas felt that he could at least do this for his friend and took over the weight. Heracles bade him goodby.);
Semle (Semele, daughter of Cadmus, king of Thebes and Harmonia; mother of Dionysus by Zeus; jealous Hera got Hermes to kidnap Semele's six-month-old child from the womb and he sewed the child in Zeus' thigh); Euple (Euippe, also called Athamas, was a king of Orchomenus, son of the powerful king Aeolus. For all of his prestige Athamas was one of the most unlucky men who ever lived. His troubles began with his decision to take a second wife while his first, Nephele, still lived. Athamas brought Ino, one of Cadmus' daughters, from Thebes and installed her in his palace. She bore him two sons, Learchus and Melicertes, but could not rest content while Nephele's children, Phrixus and Helle, lived, presumably because Phrixus might be expected to succed his father as king. Phrixus and Helle were saved from Ino's plot when a miraculus ram appeared where they were about to be sacrificed and they climbed on its back. The ram with the golden fleece flew off. Helle fell off the ram, however, as it crossed over the Hellespont, but Phrixus continued riding the ram until it came to rest in Colchis. Later, Jason, a grandson of Aeolus, led the Argonauts to Colchis to steal the golden fleece. After the ram died, the king of Colchis, Aeëtes, had placed the pelt in a tree in a sacred grove, guarded by a dragon. Jason was able to kill the monster and steal the fleece through the help of the king's daughter, Medea, who was a sorceress.); Fufluns (a name of Dionysus, the god of wine and vegetation); Efan (Euan, another name of Dionysus — The Romans called him Bacchus and Euan);
Atunis (Adonis, a vegetation god that died too young; the red anemone sprouted from the spot where his blood was spilled and he was worshipped in "gardens of Adonis." He is similar to the Sumero-Akkadian god of rebirth, Tammuz or Dimuzzi. There are two versions of the love affair between Aphrodite and Adonis. One version has her turning the child over to Persephone for safe keeping in Hades, because he was so beautiful. Persephone refused to give the boy up, and a judgment was called where Zeus may have had the Muse Calliope arbitrate the matter. She assigned half of the boy's time to each goddess, and Aphrodite was so furious over the ruling she caused the death of Calliope's son, Orpheus. The other version says that when Aphrodite saw Adonis for the first time he was already a handsome youth. She fell in love with him and spent much time with him. He loved to hunt and ignored her pleas to chase only small game. As a consequence he was killed by a boar. Aphrodite grieved for him inconsolably and caused the blood-red anemone to sprout from his blood.); Mehar or Snenar (Myrrha, mother of Adonis. Although Adonis in the Catalogues of Women is said to be the son of Phoenix and Alphesiboea, or according to Apollodorus, Adonis is a son of Cinyras, king of Paphos, in Cyprus, and Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, the usual tradition is that he is the son of the incestuous union of Cinyras or Theias, king of Assyria, with his daughter, named Myrrha or Smyrna [Gr. smyrna = myrrh]. For not giving honor to Aphrodite, Myrrha was punished by the goddess with an uncomfortable love for her father. Myrrha satisfied her desire with the help of her nurse and became pregnant. When the father learned what had happened, he pursued the girl with a sword. The gods changed her into a myrrh tree, which split open in due course, revealing the infant Adonis inside.); Snenar / Snenao or Snenath (Goddess unknown, seen in Script DR. She holds a wand and unguent bottle like the goddess Lasa and is associated with the lovers Atunis and Turan. She may be Myrrha. See Script DR and DO for Atunis and Snenar, and DS for Atunis and Lasa); Tul Thieth (Theias, king of Assyria, husband of Myrrha and father of Adonis);
Ikra (Icarius, the first disciple of Dionysus who set off in a wagon filled with wineskins, with his faithful dog Maera, to spread the gospel of wine-making. He first met up with shepherds who, being drunk from the wine because they drank it unwatered, thought he had tried to poison them. They bludgeoned him to death with clubs and buried him. His daughter, Erigone, looked everywhere for him and finally went to the place where she heard the wailing dog and saw her dead father's grave. In grief she hanged herself from the tree that grew over his grave. His faithful dog Maera jumped into a well in grief. Ever since then, in remembrance of the tragedy, a festival was held each year in Athens where the young girls were placed in swings in trees where they would swing to the accompaniment of flutes and panpipes); Oso (Mt. Ossa in North Magnesia. This name appears on the "Icarius Mirror" which depicts Icarius driving a chariot pulled by two Centaurs. The home of the Centaurs is on Mt. Ossa. Ossa was one of the three mountains that Otus and Ephialtes piled up when they attempted to storm heaven. The Centaurs, descended from Centaurus, a son of Apollo, and of Stilbe or of Ixion and the cloud that Zeus substituted for Hera in Ixion's bed. The tribe of Centaurs are principally known for their famous battle with the Lapiths, another Thessalian mountain tribe. The conflict began when Peirithoüs, a Lapith king, inherited the rule of a pat of Thessaly from his father, Ixion. The Centaurs, who were also Ixion's sons (or grandsons), claimed a share in the rule. War ensued, but a peace was arranged. Later Peirithoüs invited the Centaurs to his wedding. Unused to wine, they became violent and, led by Eurytion, tried to carry off the Lapith women. The result was a bloody battle, which ended with the Centaurs being drived out of the region by the Lapiths. Heracles encountered the Centaurs in western Arcadia. He was being entertained by Pholus, a civilized member of the tribe, when the other Centaurs, aroused by the odor of wine, broke up the feast. Heracles killed many of them and drove away the others. Nessus ended up in Aetolia, where he ultimately took revenge uupon Heracles. Among many incidents, Heracles inadvertently caused the death of the wise Centaur, Cheiron, the king of the Centaurs who had reared Jason and Achilles.
Urthea (Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen, married to Aegeus, king of Athens, mother of Theseus by Zeus; abducted by Helen's brothers, "the Dioscuri" and given to Helen as a slave; she accompanied Helen when she was abducted by Paris and taken to Troy), These (Theseus, king of Athens, son of Aethra and the sea-god Poseidon, hero who wanted to be as great as Heracles: He killed the Minotaur that was fed the flesh of Athenian children in the Labyrinth of king Minos of Crete; he abducted Helen with his friend, Peirithoüs, when she was a child but released her, then the two went down into the Underworld to abduct Persephone where both were frozen in their stone seats called the "seats of forgetfulness"; Theseus was later rescued by Heracles who entered the Underworld to capture the three-headed dog, Cerberus; he accompanied the Argonauts, he was on the Calydonian Boar Hunt, and he accompanied Heracles in the War against the Amazons; and he was part of the Embassy to Achilles to persuade him to get back in the battle in the Trojan War);
Turms (Hermes, messenger of the gods, was the son of Maia, a daughter of Atlas and Pleïone, and a nymph that was visited in the night by Zeus whilst Hera was sleeping. He was precocious and a trickster even in the crib, noted for having left his crib one night and stole 50 head of cattle belonging to Apollo); Mean (another name for Artemis, the huntress), Maris (Ares, the only son of Zeus and Hera, the god of war, lover of Aphrodite; he opposed Athena in the Trojan War and was wounded by Diomedes and later flattened by Athena), Menrfa (Athena, goddess of crafts and war, born from the first wife of Zeus, Metis. Fearing a prophesy that his son would overpower him (Zeus had overthrown his own father) Zeus swallowed the pregnant Metis, but began to repent it and asked either the Titan Prometheus or craftsman-god Hephaestus to extricate him from the predicament. One or the other took an axe and split open his head and out jumped Athena, dressed in full armor. She, with Hera, sided with the Greeks in the Trojan war. Hephaestus made the prized armor of Achilles, over which Ajax committed suicide.);
Achmemnun (Agamemnon, king of Mycenae who commanded the 1,000 ship army that invaded Troy; who offended Artemis by claiming to be equal to her in archery; she required him to sacrifice his eldest daughter, Iphigenia); Menle (Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon, husband of Helen of Troy and king of Sparta); Cluthumustha (Clytemnestra, wife of King Agamemnon, daughter of Tyndareüs, king of Sparta, and Leda; and she was the sister of Helen of Troy. She bore several children to Agamemnon: Iphigeneia, Electra (Laodice), Chrysothemis, and Orestes. Agamemnon deceived her into sending Iphigeneia to Aulis, on the pretext of marrying her to Achilles; in reality he was preparing to sacrifice her to Artemis [Agamemnon had offended Artemis by boasting that he was a better archer than she, so she asked him to sacrifice his beloved daughter to make things right]. When Clytemnestra discoverd this treachery she conceived a great hatred for her husband and plotted with her lover, Aegisthus, to kill him on his return from the Trojan War. When Agamemnon returned, accompanied with his new concubine, Cassandra, daughter of King Priam, the two lovers killed him in his bath and Clytemnestra, herself, is reported to have killed Cassandra. Aegisthus and Clytemnestra had two children, Erigone and Aletees.
Orestes had been sent away as a child to Phocis by his sister Electra. There he was raised by Strophius, who had married Agamemnon's sister, Anaxibia or Astyoche. Orestes and Strophius' son, Pylades, became loyal friends, and Pylades accompanied Orestes in nearly all his subsequent adventures. Eight years after his escape from Argos, Orestes, now a young man, went to Delphi to ask of the oracle what it was his duty to do about his father's murderers, who were prospering in Agamemnon's palace. Apollo commanded him to kill them both. With many misgivings Orestes journeyed to Argos with Pylades and there made himself known to Electra, whom Aegisthus had married to a commoner or otherwise humiliated. Urged on by Electra, Orestes killed Clytemnestra and her lover.); Orste and Orosthe (Orestes, son of Agamemnon who killed his mother Clytemnestra over her adultry), Elchsuntre, Elchintre, Elachsntre (Alexander, Paris, prince of Troy, the second son of Priam, king of Troy and Hecuba. Alexander — whose name means, "defender of men," — had an inauspicious birth. His mother had a disturbing nightmare that she had given birth to a firebrand and her daughter, Cassandra, a soothsayer, warned that the child to be born would be the destruction of Troy. After the child was born he was exposed, then given to be killed to a shepherd on Mount Ida. Instead of killing him, the shepherd raised the child. When he reached adulthood Cassandra recognized him and he was welcomd back into the family. He was considered to be the handsomest man on earth and was selected as Zeus to judge who was the most beautiful of the goddesses, Hera, Athena or Aphrodite. Aphrodite was given the prize in exchange for the promise that she would deliver the most beautiful woman in the world to him. Fulfilling her promise, Aphrodite caused Paris to fall in love with the beautiful Helen, queen of Sparta, when he was a guest at the castle of Menelaus and Helen, in Sparta. Menelaus had to leave for Crete to attend his father's funeral, leaving his beautiful wife alone with Paris. Paris and Helen got together, fell in love, and he carried her and Menelaus' treasure off to Troy. Alexander the Great popularized the name, with many cities in the ancient world, such as Alexandria, Egypt, named after him. Kandahar, Afghanistan, is another "Alexandria" founded by his army. Modern Iran has a Russian-made (2004) missile, Iskander, named after Alexander, such are the variants in the spelling of the name.); Ralna, or Thalna (Nemesis, goddess of retribution, mother of Helen of Troy by Zeus; she changed into a goose trying to evade Zeus, Zeus changed into a swan and, aided by Aphrodite, he raped Nemesis. The egg produced by the goose hatched into Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world); Latfa (Leda, mortal mother of Helen of Troy, wife of Tyndareüs), Tuntle, Tuntles (Tyndareüs, king of Sparta, mortal father of Helen who is shown in Etruscan mirrors holding or receiving the egg that contained Helen); Elinei and Elinai (Helen of Troy, daughter of Zeus and Nemesis, raised by Leda and Tyndareüs of Sparta);
Amphiare, Hamphiare (Amphiaraüs, Argive warrior and greatest seer of his day; in Script DC he is involved in a scene with Ajax who seems to be lamenting the loss of Achilles armor and contemplating suicide. Although the seer is not described in the Greek myths involving Ajax, the reputation of Amphiaraüs being a great seer and officiating at funerals may apply here.); Tute (Tydeus, on of the Seven Against Thebes, married king Adrastus' daughter, Deïpyle); Atrste (Adrastus, king of Argos and leader of the Seven Against Thebes, driven from his throne in a feud with Amphiaraüs); Meliaphr (Meleager was a son of Oeneus, king of Calydon, and Althaea, daughter of Thestius. Immediately after the birth of the infant Meleager, the three Fates appeared in the mother's room. Clotho and Lachesis predicted that the child would be noble and brave, but Atropos, pointing to a stick burning in the fireplace, added that he would die the moment the brand was consumed. Althaea leaped from her bed, put out the flames, and hid the stick somewhere in the palace. He participated in the Calydonian Boar Hunt and is credited with having killed the boar that had been terrorizing his father's land. But a quarrel broke out between the Calydonians and their arch enemies over the prize from the hunt, and Meleager killed Thestius' sons, his mother's brothers. His mother cursed him and remembered the brand that the Fates had said was the key to Meleager's life. She took it from its hiding place and flung it into the fire.); Atlenta (Atalanta, the virgin huntress, gained fame from the Calydonian Boar Hunt. She was the daughter of either Iasus, king of Tegea, or Maenalus, by Clymene, daughter of Minyas. Her father could also have been Schoeneus, a son of Athamas. Wanting only sons, Atalanta's father exposed his infant daughter in a forest, but she was suckled by a bear and eventually found by hunters who brought her up. Atalanta grew to adulthood loving the hunt above all other things and wished to remain a virgin in oarder that she might continue to enjoy the sport. Some say that an oracle warned that disaster would result if she married. She participated in the Calydonian Boar Hunt together with some of the most famous men of her age. Her participation led to the death of some of the men, including the sons of Thestius and perhaps also of Meleager, who had falled in love with Atalanta.); Athrpa (Atropos, one of the three Fates. Clotho and Lachesis predicted that the child Meleager would be noble and brave, but Atropos, pointing to a stick burning in the fireplace, added that he would die the moment the brand was consumed.);
Eifas Telmonos, or Aifas (Ajax Telemonos, hero of Troy who committed suicide), Thethis (Thetis, a sea-nymph, daughter of Nereis. She was the mother of Achilles, the sulking hero of Troy who was killed by an arrow shot by Paris); Pele (Peleus, son of Aeacus, king of Aegina, and Endeïs, was the husband of Thetis and father of Achilles. He was a never-do-well in his youth, who, with his brother, Telemon, thought to kill their half-brother, Phocus. He wandered in exile and finally returned to Phthia where he became king. In the mean time Zeus had fallen in love with Thetis — who had been raised by Hera — and this, of course, encouraged Hera's wrath. The sea-nymph was a bit of trouble to both of them. Zeus had been warned that the child of Thetis would be greater than his father, so they decided they would pawn her off on a mortal. There was a problem with Thetis, however, since she changed shape. Zeus and Hera advised Peleus that he could probably win her — who would be unwilling to wed — if he would catch her when she was sleeping and hold her down. He caught her in her cave, and held her tightly while she was asleep. While holding her firmly she changed into fire, water, a lioness and a tree. After she succumbed to the idea of marriage, they invited all of the gods to their wedding. They did not invite Eris, the goddess of discord, and thus caused the discord that caused the Trojan War.); Achle (Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis — hero of the Trojan War who at first sulked over the death of his friend Patroclus and killed the Trojan hero Hector), Eris, (Eres, goddess of discord who caused the Trojan War by throwing a golden apple inscribed with the words, "for the fairest" in the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. Hera, Aphrodite and Athena fought over who should receive the apple);
Aeitheon (Jason was the son of Aeson, half-brother to Pelias, king of Iolcus. Pelias and his twin, Neleus, had been exposed at birth and a horse herder accidentally discovered them, but a mare had trampled on Pelias' face, leaving a livid mark (pelios). When grown, Pelias revealed his violent nature by killing the stepmother of his mother, who was Tyro, daughter of Salmoneus and the god Poseidon. Pelias became one of the most powerful Greek kings of his day, but a prediction by the Delphic oracle came to his attention, that an Aeolid wearing one sandal would one day bring about his death.
The prophesy came true the day Jason returned to claim the throne of Iolcus. In crossing a stream on the way to the city he lost a sandal, and went on without it. The king was not present in the city when Jason entered it, but an official of the city heard the young man who was missing a sandal declaring his right to the throne, and he reported his sighting to King Pelias. Pelias recognized the boy and tricked him into going to Colchis to recover the Golden Fleece — which Pelias believed would be Jason's last voyage. While Jason was gone on his adventure with the Argonauts Pelias killed Jason's father, Aeson, and his brother Promachus, a mere boy. Aeson's wife committed suicide.
Pelias had from an early date offended Hera, in refusing to sacrifice to her, so Hera had taken sides with Jason, greeting him at the stream where he lost his sandal, and she contrived a complex plan of revenge against Pelias: to cause Jason to abduct the sorceress, Medea, who was the daughter of the king of Colchis where the Golden Fleece was kept. Hera caused Medea to fall in love with Jason, and Medea continued to be the main help for Jason, to kill the dragon that guarded the Golden Fleece and to deliver the poison that would take Pelias' life. After Pelias was killed Jason and Medea took the throne of Iolcus and then went to Corinth to claim the throne there that had been in Medea's inheritance (Her father, Aeëtes, had been king of Corinth before he took the throne of Colchis). There presence in Corinth was not well received by the Corinthians.);
Alcsti, (Alcestis, daughter of king Pelias, wife of Admetus who was willing to die to save his life and then resurrected, either through the hand of Heracles or Persephone. Admetus had offended Artemis by not performing the proper rites honoring her at his wedding. She put snakes in his bed in revenge and he fell deathly ill. Pressed to save the repentent young man's life, Artemis consented that his life could be saved if someone were to die in his stead. Admetus asked his old parents if they might be willing to give their life for him. They declined, but his lovely wife, Alcestis, was willing to give her life up so that he could live.); Atmite (Admetus, king of Pherae, husband of Alcestis; he offended Artemis during his wedding night); Pheris (Pheris, father of Admetus who refused to give his life for his son); Chalchas (Calchas, seer who fortold the Trojan War), Charon (Charon, ferryman of Hades who hit souls on the head when they reached the Underworld, to make sure they were dead), Himrae (Hemera, goddess of the day; when she leaves the goddess of the night, Nyx, enters and she often spells doom), Tuchulcha (The Gorgons may be a form of this demon. Tuchulcha threated souls entering Hades with the three snakes that grew out of his head); Eos (Eos, goddess of the dawn, also called Aurora by the Romans, with her brother and sister, Helius[sun] and Selene [moon]), was a child of the Titans Hyperion or Pallas and Theia or Euryphaëssa. She personified the day and was thought to accompany Helius on his journey through the sky. She is often seen at the top of Etruscan mirrors, driving her four horsed chariot. This is to be expected, since everyone uses a mirror and more often than not the mirror is used in the morning as a person grooms for the coming day. Women comb their hair and put on makeup, and men shave or trim their beards. A mirror is, of course, no good at night and thus would represent the dawning day. Those of you who review the Rig Veda, quoted somewhat in the Banquet.html, will find that the goddess of the dawn held an important place in the worship of the early Aryans of India. Many verses are dedicated to her. The reason for this is due to the fact that their first and foremost worship service was held at dawn, when the worshippers prepared a special feast for the gods to attend, including Indra, who was the hero that defeated the dragon in the mountains. In the ceremony horses and other animals were sacrificed and vats of a liquor called Soma — made out of the marijuana plant — were offered to the gods who were bid to the feast, along with those in attendance. The early Persians had a similar practice, described in the Avesta, and they shared similar gods. Their god, Mithra, was the same as the Aryan god Mitra. Mithra was a member of the ahuric triad who maintained order in the universe and in his capacity he was the protector of truth and justice and the source of cosmic light. Because of the antiquity of this character, his equivalent ought to be somewhere in the Etruscan mythology. In the course of time, as with the Greek gods, their were wars in heaven and gods, like Cronus, were overturned. Saturn, Zeus, Cronos, etc. in Greek mythology attempted to consume their own children. The same battles, the overturning of gods, appear in the verses of the Rig Veda. The same contests between the sons of light and the sons of darkness also come into play and appear to be strong themes in the Etruscan presentations. The murals in Etruscan tombs are quite grim in some cases and one might wonder who on earth would want to be buried in a tomb with Tuchulcha or Typhon painted on the wall. In contrast to the grim murals from the Etruscan tombs, we have Etruscan mirrors portraying with the dawn the glory and loves of the day. Of interest is a phrase used several times in the Tavola Eugubine that refers to Eos and Phaebeto (See Etruscan Glossary spreadsheet for locations of the epithets), dawn and the sun god, perhaps Apollo?); Tages (no Greek equivalent) was a god of boundaries who appeared in a field one day as a child with a full, grey beard. He set the boundaries of the Etruscan cities.);
Pherse (Perseus was a king of Mycenae and Tiryns. His mother, Danaë, bore him in a brazen cell in which her father, Acrisious, king of Argos, had imprisoned her on learning from an oracle that a son of Danaë would kill him. Although Danaë claimed that Perseus was a son of Zeus, who had visited her as a shower of gold, Acrisius set mother and child adrift in a chest. Zeus saw to it that the chest containing Perseus floated safely across the sea to the island of Seriphus, where it was found by a kindly fisherman, Dictys., who took them in and raised the youth to adulthood. One day King Polydectes, Dictys' lustful brother, saw Danaë and wanted to marry her, but she was unwilling and the king did not dare to oppose Perseus, who defended his mother's decision. He therefore falsely announced that he intended to sue for the hand of Hippodameia, daughter of the Pisan king Oenomaüs, and required all of his subjects to contribute horses toward the bride-gift. Perseus, who owned no horses, rashly promised to bring anything else that the king might ask, even to the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Polydectes eagerly accepted this offer, knowing that no man had ever returned alive from an encounter with the Gorgons. The Gorgons were an invincible foe for an ordinary mortal: on foot he could not get near them; to esacpe after battle would be impossible, for they would follow on golden wings. To kill Medusa one would need to attack invisibly and then flee faster than her sisters could fly. Moreover, anyone who glimpsed a Gorgon's face would instantly be turned to stone. But Perseus had the help of Athena, who had her own reasons for killing Medusa. She appeared to him and explained how to proceed against the Gorgons. Their hair was surrounded with the petrified forms of men and animals that had looked at the Gorgons' faces. Perseus avoided this danger by keeping his eyes on the highly polished surface of his shield, in which the scene was clearly but safely reflected. Invisible, he soon found the Gorgons, hideous monsters with hands of brass and wings of gold; huge tongues lolled from their mouths between swine's tusks, and their heads were entwined with snakes. Perseus waited until they were asleep; then, avoiding the two immortal Gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, he crept toward Medusa. Watching her in his shield, he cut off her head with a single blow of the sikcle, stuffed it into the wallet, and felw off. The other Gorgons rose into the air, but, unable to pursue an invisible attacker, they returned to mourn their sister.); Metus (Medusa was one of the three snaky-haired monsters known as the Gorgons. Medusa, unlike her sisters, Stheno and Euryale, was not immortal. In late versions of the myth, she is said to have once been a beautiful maiden. Pursued by many suitors she would have none of them, until Poseidon lay with her in a flowery field. She incurred the enmity of Athena, either because the goddess envied her beauty or because Medusa had yielded to Poseidon in Athena's shrine. In any case, the goddess turned Medusa's lovely hair into serpents and made her face so hideous that a glimpse of it would turn men to stone. Having snatched away the head of Medusa, Perseus happened by Atlas who was king of the Hesperides and also was holding up the world. He also was guardian of the Golden Apples of the Hesperides and feared that Perseus might attempt to snatch them too. He had been told by the goddess Themis that a son of Zeus would attempt to steal them one day. The two began to wrestle but Perseus knew he would be no match for the Titan, so he drew the head of Medusa out of its pouch and showed it to Atlas. Atlas was instantly turned into a mountain, known today as Mount Atlas.);
Cerun, (Geryon, king of Cadez whose cattle Heracles raided as part of his 12 labors. In script PH we see Geryon standing before Hades, complaining to him about the theft of his cattle by Heracles. This is important to recognize, since one might have thought that he would have appealed to Zeus, king of heaven. But Hades was also the god of wealth, so it would follow that his appeal in the Etruscan view of things would be to Hades. The Romans called Hades by the name Pluto, meaning wealth. Cernnunos, the Gaelic horned god, is pictured with coins and a cornucopia, and it may be that the Celts appealed to Cernnunos in issues involving cattle raids, etc., just as Geryon did in the Etruscan mural before Hades.); Nike (Nike, Greek goddess of victory. Nike, though called a daughter of Pallas and Styx, was more a symbol than a mythological character. Like her brothers, Cratus [Strength] Boa [Force] and Zelus [Emulation], she was a constant companion or atribute of Zeus.); Tarkonos (Tarquin, king of Rome) and Tarkie (the Tarquins), Tankuilos (Tanaquil, Etruscan queen, wife of Tarquin the Elder, 5th king of Rome).
To help you appreciate this work observe "The Battle of the Greeks and Amazons" from a sarcophagus from Tarquinia, now in the Archeological museum in Florence: There were two major mythological battles of the Amazons. The earlier involved a battle with Priam, king of Troy, in his youth. A later battle took place when the Amazons invaded Attica (Athens). "The Battle of the Greeks and Amazons" seems to have been misnamed as the text appears to relate to the abduction of Hecuba, the wife of King Priam of Troy, following the destruction of Troy by Agamemnon's Greek alies. To view more murals and paintings click on the panel below:
many myths about the origin of the
Etruscans, as will be discussed on
this site, but the Battle of the
Greeks and Amazons says it all.
The words above the battle are
reconciled through the overall
Etruscan vocabulary developed by
the author through Table 1 and
refined in the Etruscan Glossary).
The script above this battle scene
reads, as shown in Translation_Short_Scripts.html,
"I have/ am of Tirai (Tyrsenus)
the king of the cause of Ati
(Atys) born of the god royal."
This scene leads us back to the
old myth involving kings Priam and
Atys the Lydians. There are
several references to Ati, and the
sons of Ati, the locations of
which can be determined using Etruscan
Glossary spreadsheet. Many
of the mythological stories
recounted on this site are based
on The Meridian handbook of
(Originally published as Crowell's
Handbook of Classical Mythology),
by Edward Tripp, 1970. The photo
of the Battle of the Amazons is
courtesy of the Skira book on Etruscan
Painting, a volume of the
Collection, The Great Centuries of
Painting, 1952. Many of the
paintings and murals in the
Etruscan tombs deal with Trojan
themes. Probably emulating the
Etruscan tombs were Thracian
tombs. To view a Thracian mural
A theme in the Etruscan tombs follows the principal line of the Rig Veda, which I call, Banquet of the gods. Many stories in mythology begin with a banquet of the gods, and the heros and kings of men are immortalized within that theme. Also associated with the Banquet of the gods.html is a separate work on Hittite & Mitanni documentes, Hittite_Treaties.html. The Hittites and the Mitanni help set an important date with regard to the formation of the Indo-European languages, particularly with respect to their relationship to the Latin-Etruscan and Germanic languages. The Treaty of Mitanni, for instance, invokes the gods Indra, Mithra, Varuna and the "twins," of the Rig Veda. The treaty dates to about 1380 B.C. For more details see our Phrygian.html and Lydian.html, people who were contemporaries of the Etruscans and spoke a similar language.
"The Banquet of the gods" is a term used in the Rig Veda but is most appropriately viewed in Etruscan murals. While the Etruscan murals certainly reflect Greek mythology, the scenes of a banquet in death are best matched with those of the Egyptian tombs. Nothing reminds us of this close relationship more than the Zagreb Mummy text, a text written in Etruscan on a woman's mummy found in Egypt. A significant breakthrough occurred with the translation of a text on a mirror, MS 565 /2 in the possession of the Schoyen Collection. The mirror contains a scene involving Icarius, the disciple of Dionysus, who set off with his faithful dog to spread the knowledge of wine making. Because we knew the subject of the mirror from the illustration, and because words in the text are used in other texts, we were able to make a literary step in proving the Etruscan Glossary. Of interest in MS 565/2 is a particular word, 8RATER (brater, frater), meaning "brother." This word declines in the Tavola Eugubine, scripts N, Q, R and G (see glossary). The Tavola Eugubine contains many names of gods and goddesses, Greek references, and is highly religious in nature, containing considerable repetition, as would be expected in religious tracts.
Herodotus tells us through his inquiries in Egypt he believed that the Greeks got their gods directly from Egypt (except for Poseiden, who came from Lybia, it was claimed). In The Histories (440 B.C.), he says:
Book II.L. In fact, the names of nearly all the gods came to Hellas from Egypt. For I am convinced by inquiry that they have come from foreign parts, and I believe that they came chiefly from Egypt. Except the names of Poseidon and the Dioscuri, as I have already said, and Hera, and Hestia, and Themis, and the Graces, and the Nereids, the names of all the gods have always existed in Egypt. I only say what the Egyptians themselves say. The gods whose names they say they do not know were, as I think, named by the Pelasgians, except Poseidon, the knowledge of whom they learned from the Libyans. Alone of all nations the Libyans have had among them the name of Poseidon from the beginning, and they have always honored this god. The Egyptians, however, are not accustomed to pay any honors to heroes.
Among the major gods and godesses in Egypt Herodotus links Dionysus with Osiris, Isis with Demeter. The children of Osiris and Isis are Apollo (Egypt. Horus) and Artemis (Egypt. Bubastis). The nurse of Horus is the goddess Leto, of whom Herodotus says:
Leto, one of the eight gods who first came to be, who was living at Buto where this oracle of hers is, taking charge of Apollo from Isis, hid him for safety in this island which is now said to float, when Typhon came hunting through the world, keen to find the son of Osiris. Apollo and Artemis were (they say) children of Dionysus and Isis, and Leto was made their nurse and preserver; in Egyptian, Apollo is Horus, Demeter Isis, Artemis Bubastis. It was from this legend and no other that Aeschylus son of Euphorion took a notion which is in no poet before him: that Artemis was the daughter of Demeter.
Leto is mentioned in
the Etruscan scripts and among the (Greek)
legends shown in Etruscan tomb murals is
Typhon. The Greeks called Leto "the
goddess of the night," says Herodotus. It
may be that the Etruscans will be a link
between the Greek and Egyptian memories of
The battle of the hero with a dragon, as Osiris (Dionysus) with Set (Typhon), refers us back to the common formative theme in the Rig Veda of Indra and Vrtra, and other Indo-European myths, including Beowulf and Grendel. The Dragon-killer motif is also Mesopotamian, being a core theme in the Gilgamesh Epic, in the story of Ishtar and Tammuz. Tammuz was a diety of agriculture and flocks, personifying the creative powers of spring. His consort was the goddess Ishtar who is reported to have gone into the underworld to recover him when he died (as Isis recovered the body of her husband, Osiris or as Persephone helped restoreTheseus and Alcestis.).
Dumuzi, left, bound in hands and feet, before a god(dess) flanked by snakes. A storm god (right) stands atop a dragon (from bibleorigins.net; See also the seal of Ningishzida: http://www.bibleorigins.net/TammuzDumuziDamuSeal.html)
Ningishzida with serpent dragon heads on his shoulder presenting King Gudaea of Samaria. Note dragon later known as the god Marduk on the left. (from bibleorigins.net)
Tile of Marduk from the Ishtar gate of Babylon
Tuchulcha threatening Theseus; Etruscan Tomb of Orcos, Tarquinia. See Etruscan_Murals.html. A similar scene, Script V, "Alcestis and Admetus" shows Tuchulcha threatening Admetus while his wife Alcestis offers to die in his stead. Like Theseus who was rescued from Hades by Heracles, Alcestis is said to have been rescued from Hades by Persephone. Another script that has an illustration corresponding to the text is Script MS, "Ikarius" the disciple of Dionysus.
1: When King Astyages was laid with his fathers, Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom.
2: And Daniel was a companion of the king, and was the most honored of his friends.
3: Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel, and every day they spent on it twelve bushels of fine flour and forty sheep and fifty gallons of wine.
4: The king revered it and went every day to worship it. But Daniel worshiped his own God.
5: And the king said to him, "Why do you not worship Bel?" He answered, "Because I do not revere man-made idols, but the living God, who created heaven and earth and has dominion over all flesh."
6: The king said to him, "Do you not think that Bel is a living God? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?"
7: Then Daniel laughed, and said, "Do not be deceived, O king; for this is but clay inside and brass outside, and it never ate or drank anything."
8: Then the king was angry, and he called his priests and said to them, "If you do not tell me who is eating these provisions, you shall die.
9: But if you prove that Bel is eating them, Daniel shall die, because he blasphemed against Bel." And Daniel said to the king, "Let it be done as you have said."
10: Now there were seventy priests of Bel, besides their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
11: And the priests of Bel said, "Behold, we are going outside; you yourself, O king, shall set forth the food and mix and place the wine, and shut the door and seal it with your signet.
12: And when you return in the morning, if you do not find that Bel has eaten it all, we will die; or else Daniel will, who is telling lies about us."
13: They were unconcerned, for beneath the table they had made a hidden entrance, through which they used to go in regularly and consume the provisions.
14: When they had gone out, the king set forth the food for Bel. Then Daniel ordered his servants to bring ashes and they sifted them throughout the whole temple in the presence of the king alone. Then they went out, shut the door and sealed it with the king's signet, and departed.
15: In the night the priests came with their wives and children, as they were accustomed to do, and ate and drank everything.
16: Early in the morning the king rose and came, and Daniel with him.
17: And the king said, "Are the seals unbroken, Daniel?" He answered, "They are unbroken, O king."
18: As soon as the doors were opened, the king looked at the table, and shouted in a loud voice, "You are great, O Bel; and with you there is no deceit, none at all."
19: Then Daniel laughed, and restrained the king from going in, and said, "Look at the floor, and notice whose footsteps these are."
20: The king said, "I see the footsteps of men and women and children."
21: Then the king was enraged, and he seized the priests and their wives and children; and they showed him the secret doors through which they were accustomed to enter and devour what was on the table.
22: Therefore the king put them to death, and gave Bel over to Daniel, who destroyed it and its temple.
23: There was also a great dragon, which the Babylonians revered.
24: And the king said to Daniel, "You cannot deny that this is a living god; so worship him."
25: Daniel said, "I will worship the Lord my God, for he is the living God.
26: But if you, O king, will give me permission, I will slay the dragon without sword or club." The king said, "I give you permission."
27: Then Daniel took pitch, fat, and hair, and boiled them together and made cakes, which he fed to the dragon. The dragon ate them, and burst open. And Daniel said, "See what you have been worshiping!"
28: When the Babylonians heard it, they were very indignant and conspired against the king, saying, "The king has become a Jew; he has destroyed Bel, and slain the dragon, and slaughtered the priests."
29: Going to the king, they said, "Hand Daniel over to us, or else we will kill you and your household."
30: The king saw that they were pressing him hard, and under compulsion he handed Daniel over to them.
31: They threw Daniel into the lions' den, and he was there for six days.
32: There were seven lions in the den, and every day they had been given two human bodies and two sheep; but these were not given to them now, so that they might devour
33: Now the prophet Habakkuk was in Judea. He had boiled pottage and had broken bread into a bowl, and was going into the field to take it to the reapers.
34: But the angel of the Lord said to Habakkuk, "Take the dinner which you have to Babylon, to Daniel, in the lions' den."
35: Habakkuk said, "Sir, I have never seen Babylon, and I know nothing about the den."
36: Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown of his head, and lifted him by his hair and set him down in Babylon, right over the den, with the rushing sound of the wind itself.
37: Then Habakkuk shouted, "Daniel, Daniel! Take the dinner which God has sent you."
38: And Daniel said, "Thou hast remembered me, O God, and hast not forsaken those who love thee."
39: So Daniel arose and ate. And the angel of God immediately returned Habakkuk to his own place.
40: On the seventh day the king came to mourn for Daniel. When he came to the den he looked in, and there sat Daniel.
41: And the king shouted with a loud voice, "Thou art great, O Lord God of Daniel, and there is no other besides thee."
42: And he pulled Daniel out, and threw into the den the men who had attempted his destruction, and they were devoured immediately before his eyes.
We do not know why
Heracles is in the scene in Script MR, since
he is not mentioned in the stories passed
down to us by the Greeks and Romans of the
wedding of Thetis and Peleus. However,
Heracles is not mentioned in other stories
covering the causes the Trojan War, and the
Etruscans seem to have created several
mirrors / stories that are unique to them.
In any event the Etruscans have involved him
in the "wedding" stories and several
Etruscan versions are peculiar to the
Etruscans. Script MS , "Icarius,
the first disciple of Dionysus," for
instance, is another mirror that carries a
story peculiar to the Etruscans, where it
combines two events in spreading the gospel
of wine introduced by Dionysus: 1) the
murder of Icarius with his faithful dog
Maera, by shepherds, the first to get drunk
from wine, and 2) the wedding of the Lapith
king Peirithous, who was a son of Ixion and
had inherited a part of Thessaly from his
father. He invited the Centaurs — also
sons of Ixion and bitter over the
inheritance — to
his wedding. (They had previously engaged in
war over the inheritance, but peace was
arranged). Wine was served at the wedding
and the Centaurs, being unused to wine,
became violent, and, led by Eurytion, tried
to abduct the Lapith women. The result was a
bloody battle, which ended with the Centaurs
being driven out of the region by the
Later Heracles encountered the Centaurs in western Arcadia. He was being entertained by Pholus, a civilized member of the tribe of Centaurs, when the Centaurs, aroused by the odor of wine, broke up the feast. Heracles killed many of them and drove away the others, most of whom fled either to Malea, to Mount Pholoe (named after Pholus), or to Eleusis. Nessus, however, went to Aetolia, where he ultimately took a terrible revenge on Heracles. In Heracle's war with the Centaurs, Pholus had accidentally dropped one of the guest's poisoned arrows on his foot. (The poisoned arrows Heracles carried that were dipped in the blood of the Hydra somewhat bind the stories together).
Heracles had also inadvertently caused the death of the wise Centaur Cheiron, who had reared Jason and Achilles. When Heracles met Nessus again it was at the river Evenus, where Nessus provided a ferry service. Heracles hired Nessus to carry his new bride, Deianeira, across the river, and as Nessus was wading across the river Heracles heard his wife cry out. He went to the far shore and shot Nessus as he was in the act of raping his beautiful passenger. As Nessus lay dying he pretended to be remorseful and asked Deianeira to take his bloody tunic and smear it on Heracle's tunic. He told her it would serve as a love potion to keep his fidelity, as she was already concerned over her philandering husband who had earlier taken a concubine. However, the Centaur's blood had been poisoned by the deadly venom of the Hydra that Heracles had put on his arrow. Deianeira kept the tainted tunic aside, but when Heracles took another concubine, named Iole (the daughter of Eurytus, king of Oechalia, who owed her to him for winning an archery contest) , she sent the tunic to him. At once the Hydra's venom, which Heracles had used to destroy so many enemies, began to do its work, eroding his skin. He tore off the tunic, but the flesh came away with it. The dying Heracles returned to Trachis, where Deianeira, learning of the horror that she had unknowingly worked, killed herself. As a babe Heracles was known as Alcaeus.
Only once before had the gods attended a wedding: that of the mortal Cadmus, founder and king of Cadmeia (Thebes), and the goddess Harmonia, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. The wedding gifts for Harmonia, which included a lyre from Apollo and a necklace made by Hephaestus, proved to be a curse to those who later wore them – which is why the wedding of Thetis and Peleus was met with some misgiving. But the gods brought a number of splendid gifts in any event, among them a jeweled crown for Thetis and the immortal horses Xanthus and Balius for Peleus. Peleus and Thetis later bore a son, Achilles. It is believed that Thetis placed the infant, her only child, in the fire at night and anointed him with ambrosia by day, hoping by these means to make him immortal. Thetis knew that Achilles would die if he went to the Trojan War and thus attempted to make him immortal. (Another account claims that she dipped the baby in the river Styx, thus immortalizing every part of his body except the heel by which she held him.)
Achilles was the reluctant hero of the Trojan War, who grieved over the burial of his companion, Patroclus, and finally entered the battle when his mother, Thetis, brought him a shield and armor made by Hephaestus. Achilles finally engaged Priam's eldest son, Hector, brother of Paris and son of Hecuba, before the gate of Troy and, aided by Athena (Etr. MENRFA), killed him. He stripped Hector of his armor and dragged his body behind his chariot to his camp by the ships. He later defiled Hector's corpse and refused to give it up for burial, but finally ransomed it, heeding the advise of his mother, Thetis, to old king Priam.
Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited to the wedding of Thetis – probably because of the prior adversity occasioned by the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia – but went to the event anyway. She was refused admittance and in spite threw a golden apple inscribed, "For the fairest," among the guests. Three goddesses claimed the golden apple: VNI (Hera), TVRAN (Aphrodite) and MENRFA (Minerva). They asked Zeus to judge which of them deserved the apple.
As a side note, and to consider other possibilities for understanding the character, we note that AECAI in Script DM could be Aeacus, the first king of Aegina, who was the son of Zeus and Aegina. In his isolation as a youth he prayed for company and was blessed with a people who later became known as Myrmidons (from myrmex, "ant"). He acquired a reputation for piety and his respect for justice, and his prayers later relieved the Greek lands of drought. When Apollo and Poseidon were building the walls of Troy, they called on Aeacus for help. The walls were scarcely erected when three snakes attacked them. Two fell dead, but the third, which had assaulted the part that Aeacus had built, was able to enter. Apollo correctly interpreted this omen to mean that the descendants of Aeacus would bring destruction on Troy during three generations. After his death Aeacus is believed to have become either a gate-keeper or judge of Hades. Of interest, with regard to this and the "three snakes" version of this story, there is the Etruscan demon, TVCHVLCHA, who is seen brandishing three snakes at Theseus when he entered Hades to rescue his companion.
Since Apollo was involved in the "Aeacus" story, we would expect him to be one of the characters shown in the Divine_Mirror, Script DM. Apollo is not in the scene of Script DM, so we should identify the character AECAI as the son of Priam, Aesacus, who warned specifically against Paris of Troy. It is noted that in Script DM both the names of Aeacus and Helen carry the suffix, "ai." This suffix appears to be the "accusative" case and is no doubt the neuter gender since it is used with both feminine and masculine names.
We see here how the illustrations on mirrors help us understand Etruscan declension patterns and how an understanding of mythology is important to the understanding of Etruscan texts. Now the Etruscans would not have had to review both of the stories, of Aeacus and Aesacus, to understand Script DM. We, on the other hand, are attempting to understand how Aesacus shifts to AECAI in Etruscan, when Aeacus shifting to AECAI would represent a more logical spelling. To reconcile the differences we need more mirrors explaining how the Etruscans viewed the episodes.
Script MG, an Etruscan mirror, "Judgment of Paris," (one of several mirrors on the subject) follows the conventional story that has come down to us, where Paris is asked to judge "the fairest" of the three goddesses, TVRAN (Aphrodite), MENRFA (Minerva) and VNI (Hera). In this mirror we have a character who appears – based upon the Declension Table – to be the Titaness Rheia (L. Ops) mother of Hera, Zeus and Tethys. The script near her head appears to be a phrase: "AL RAIA," which involves an interesting word, "al," that is used in the scripts and appears to mean "to the." The suffix to the name is "ia," following the genitive case. She is standing behind the seated TVRAN (Aphrodite) as VNI (Hera) presents her with a crown. Behind VNI is MENRFA (Minerva) and ELCINTRE (Paris, Alexandar), who is holding a scroll, or perhaps a perfume bottle. The Greek story tells us that Zeus, wishing to avoid trouble over Eris' spiteful act, asked Paris – the handsomest man in the world in those days – to judge which of them is fairest. He sent Hermes, the messenger of the godes, to Mount Ida, where Paris was keeping his flocks; and Hermes – some say it was Apollo or possibly both – persuaded him to judge the beauties. The contestants immediately attempted to bribe Paris: Hera promised to make Paris ruler of the world, Athena vowed that he would always be victorious in war, and Aphrodite promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, daughter of Tyndareus, king of Sparta.
Paris gave Aphrodite the award. But Helen – who had most of the princes of Greece as her suitors – had chosen Menelaus, the brother of King Agamemnon, for his money. In Script DM, below the panel of the gods, are thus the main characters to the story of Helen of Troy: AECAI (Aeacus), MEAN (Artemis), ELCHINTRE (Paris, Alexander), ELINAI (Helen), MENLE, (Menelaus), and ACHMEMNVN (Agamemnon) and above them the gods, TVRAN (Aphrodite) HERCLE (Heracles), TINIA (Zeus) and the mother of Helen, RALNA (the goddess of retribution, Nemesis) whose child by Zeus was turned over to Leda, wife of King Tyndareus, who raised Helen as her own. In the scene ACHMEMNVN is shaking hands with ELENAI while MENLE seems to be touching her head, unaware of the crowning on the other side of the room. A household goddess, LASA (L. lasa) HIMRAE is leaving the room carrying a wand and either a perfume bottle (for the anointing) or the purse. AECAI, who wears a Phrygian hat, holds his hand over his forehead in shock. MEAN (Artemis, the huntress) awards ELCHINTRE (Paris) with a laural crown, showing that he is the victor. But the prophet AECAI knew, and he also knew why MEAN (Artemis) was crowning Paris. For Artemis was remarkably jealous of her honors. The name Menle confirms the "e" declension applying to Pele discussed above. Similar declensions involve "le" as in Hercle.
When Admetus (See Script V, "Alcestis and Admetus") inadvertently failed to include Artemis among those to whom he sacrificed at his wedding, he led his bride to their bedchamber only to find it filled with snakes. Oeneus, king of Calydon, once neglected to dedicate the firstfruits of the year's harvest to her and was punished when his entire land was ravaged by a monstrous bear. Agamemnon received even more severe treatment for idly boasting that he could hunt as well as Artemis. The goddess sent unfavorable winds to keep the entire Greek fleet, which Agamemnon commanded, at Aulis. She then demanded — if the priest Calchas (Etr. CHALCHAS) was to be believed — the sacrifice of Agamemnon's fairest daughter, Iphigeneia. Some say that when the sacrifice was carried out, she substituted a deer on the altar and spirited Iphigeneia away to the land of the barbaric Taurians to be her priestess there. Some accounts claim that the original cause of Artemis' enmity toward Agamemnon was no act of his but rather the failure, long before, of his father, Atreus, to sacrifice the best lamb of his flock to the goddess. He had promised it to her, but when it was born with a golden fleece, he hid it instead of sacrificing it.
The identification of HIMRAE was a problem, as the character "H" is difficult to read and contained in a cartouche of sorts. There are versions of the "H" with all sides closed, allowing us to read the character as an "H." HIMRAE is probably the goddess of the day, Hemera. She was born, together with Aether, from Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night), and regularly emerged from Tartarus as Nyx entered it, and returned as Nyx was leaving. Since Eos (Dawn) was thought of as accompanying the Sun as well as heralding his rising, she tended to usurp the functions of Hemera and was often identified with her. In Script DM HIMRAE is exiting the room, and since she is Day, then what follows is Nyx (Night). Nyx was born, together with Erebus (Darkness), Ge (Earth), Tartarus and Eros (Love), out of Chaos. Apart from Aether (Upper Air) and Hemera (Day) she spawned a large and generally unpleasant brood that included Moros (Doom), Thanatos (Death), Hypnos (Sleep), the Fates, and Nemesis. The suffix, "ae" of Himrae occurs in the Declension Table, but only in a few instances at the moment.
Knowing that HIMRAE is leaving the room where terrible betrayals and bargaining is taking place, the story in the Divine_Mirror, Script DM, is clear. As HIMRAE leaves the room love will take over and bring forth Chaos. There will be Doom, Death and, for those wondering where it all began, you can look to RALNA (Nemesis) who was desired by Zeus at one time. She changed into verious forms in order to escape him and when she changed into a goose he changed into a swan, caught her and raped her. The result of this union was an egg that was given to Leda, the wife of King Tyndareus. The egg hatched into Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Thus, we have many directions to which the tale on the Divine_Mirror, Script DM points. And we have only discussed some of them! What master storytellers the Etruscans were, to have put all this into one mirror!
Agamemnon's fate in the story is death. He and his younger brother Menelaus were known as the Atreidae, that is, sons of Atreus. Agamemnon took his father's throne, ruling over Mycenae and possibly Argos and became the most powerful king of the Greeks. He led the expedition to Troy and was married to Helen's sister, Clytemnestra. Because he had offended Artemis, however, his fleet was delayed in Aulis by violent storms and he was forced to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigeneia, to appease Artemis. This induced the implacable hatred of his wife Clytemnestra.
While Agamemnon was engaging the Trojans, Thyestes' son Aegisthus, ignoring a warning from Hermes, killed a minstrel guarding Clytemnestra, seduced her, and made himself ruler of Argoplis. There are several variant stories as to how the seduction took place, and why Clytemnestra was unfaithful to her husband. One story suggested that Agamemnon was bringing Cassandra, Priam's daughter, back as his concubine. In any event, the two lovers, Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, maintained a watch for the return of Agamemnon over the course of the year and had contrived a plan to murder him. This included killing Cassandra and her children by Agamemnon, Teledamus and Pelops. One version of the murder describes the lovers throwing a robe over Agamemnon while he was at bath and killing him with an axe. They would no doubt have killed Orestes as well, but his sister Electra or some loyal retainer sent him away secretly to the court of Strophius, king of Phocis, where he grew to manhood. The vengeance of brother and sister on the murderers of their father is next taken up by the story of Orestes.
The Etruscans left us a mirror covering Orestes, Script MM, a mirror in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This mirror contains the following names: ELENEI (Helen of Troy), PHERIS, (Pheris, founder and king of Pharae inThessaly who faced the challenge of dying for his son Admetus. Admetus was Pheris' eldest son and crewed on the expedition to Colchis by the Argonauts. It turns out that Admetus had a reputation for piety as a young king but failed to pay homage to Artemis during his marriage rites to Alcestis. Apollo interferred on his behalf and got Artemis to agree that the dying young man could be saved if someone were to volunteer to die on his behalf. His aging parents were not willing to die for him, but Alcestis was, so she thus accompanied Thanatos, the implacable god of death, when he came to escort her to the Underworld. Admetus, though plunged into grief, did not refuse his wife's self-sacrifice. She was saved from her fate either because Heracles wrestled with Thanatos and brought her back or because Persephone, queen of the Underworld, sent her up again to the world of the living. Admetus and Alcestis are principal characters in Euripides' play, Alcestis, which tells of her death and resurrection. Other names on Script MM are VReSTE (Orestes) and MELPE, a name we cannot yet identify.
Now we may wonder whether the lamb hidden by Agamemnon was the same as the ram with the golden fleece that miraculously appeared to save Phrixus, the son of Athamas and Nephele. Ino, the second wife of Athamas, had forced him to sacrifice Phrixus, but the boy was saved at the appearance of the ram which carried him and his sister, Helle, off through the air. The ram flew over the strait now known as the Hellespont, and Helle fell off, but Phrixus safely reached Aea, capital of Colchis (now Georgia), a land at the eastern end of the Black Sea. At the ram's bidding, Phrixus sacrificed it and hung its fleece in a sacred grove of the god Ares. King Aeëtes welcomed Phrixus to his land and gave him his daughter Chalciope or Iophossa as his bride, and some say that Aeëtes killed Phrixus, having learned from an oracle that he would die at the hand of a foreigner. When Jason and the Argonauts arrived in Colchis and lifted the Golden Fleece from its grove, where it was guarded by an unsleeping dragon, they also abducted the daughter of Aeëtes, Medea, who was a sorceress, and took the son of Phrixus as well.
Aeëtes had formerly been the ruler of Corinth, and Medea had a strong claim to the throne. How Medea came to fall in love with Jason when he ventured to the land of Aea involves the nemesis of many Greek heroes: Hera. Hera made many attempts to destroy Heracles, and she was no more fond of Pelias, who had usurped the throne of Iolcus, in Thessaly, which should have fallen to Aeson as eldest son of Cretheus, the previous king. Aeson was the grandson of Aeolus.The deposed king continued to live in Iolcus and when his wife gave birth to a son they pretended the infant, Jason, had died and secretly sent him to Cheiron the Centaur in order to protect him from the enmity of Pelias. When Jason reached his twenty-first year, he determined to declare his right to the Iolcan throne, and this desire played right into the hand of Hera. For it turns out that he chose the festival in honor of Poseidon as the time when he would make his move to reclaim the crown. Pelias assured that all the gods would be given their due respect at the festival, except Hera, whom Pelias had scorned throughout his life. On the way to Iolcus, from the hills where he had been a shepherd, Jason had to cross the Anaurus river. Unbeknown to him an old woman, who was Hera in disguise, met him there and asked him to carry her across the stream. As he crossed the stream he lost his sandal. He went on without it, however, as he was running late for the festival.
For some reason Hera believed that only the sorceress Medea, granddaughter of Helius, the sun-god, would be clever enough to overthrow the powerful and treacherous king. But Medea lived in Colchis, at the farthest end of the Black Sea, and the inhabitants of Aea had a reputation for killing strangers. Hera contrived an elaborate plan to get Jason and the Argonauts to make the dangerous journey in spite of the difficulties.
After Jason arrived at the festival he laid claim to the kingdom. There had been a prophesy known to Pelias that a descendant of Aeolus — a man without a sandal — would one day cause his death. Someone noticed the young man without a sandal and, knowing about the oracle, quickly reported the sighting to King Pelias. The king then drove straight to the festival in his mule-drawn chariot. There he saw the a youth wearing the rough trousers and a pantherskin cloak of a Magnesian. One of his feet was bare. When Pelias demanded to know his name, Jason not only gave it but announced that he had come to claim the kingdom. Recognizing the difficulty of destroying the lad in the witness of the crowd at hand, Pelias asked Jason what he would do if there were an oracle that said a certain citizen were to kill him. The youth replied without hesitation, "I would order him to bring back the golden fleece." Seizing upon these words, the king commanded him to do precisely that. When he reached Colchis Hera made Medea fall in love with Jason, and through her sorcery — she killed Pelias by a trick — she allowed the band of fifty-two Argonauts to take the city. But Jason and Medea did not stay there for long and moved to Corinth where, by some accounts, he became king of the city by virtue of Medea's hereditary claim. He turned over the Iocan throne to Acastus, but when Jason's son Thessalus returned to Iolcus he is believed to have succeeded Acastus on the throne.
According to Greek and Roman writers, such as Herodotus and Strabo, the Etruscans — who called themselves Rasna — came from Lydia, migrating to Italy because of a long drought following the Trojan War. The war lasted ten years, suggesting that the countryside would have been plundered and ravaged throughout those years. As a historical fact, as evidenced in the ancient "Linear B" scripts from Mycenae — as well as the fortified towers that arose after ~1180 B.C. — the whole region, from the Hellespont to Italy was being raided by pirates, etc. The Trojan War, perhaps, is the recollection of the early days of the raids of the Sea Peoples recorded by the Egyptians and others. As it turns out the Etruscan mirrors reflect a strong bias, favoring the Trojans and the distribution of the mirrors was as far as the further reaches of the Black Sea. Of interest is Virgil's work, the Aeneid, which traces Roman ancestry to Aeneas, who led refugees from the ruined country of Troy to Italy and founded Rome. Other mythologies, such as the Parisians,' trace their ancestry to Trojan refugees.
The Etruscan language is Indo-European, as confirmed herein
A recent study published by a professor at Stanford University claims that the Etruscans were not Indo-Europeans. The article based its conclusions on DNA analysis of selected Etruscan remains (about 27 samples dating from an unspecified period of time).
Racial charateristics – images of Etruscans by Etruscan painters, indicating a fair-haired people.
Etruscans and their Indo-European relations
through Table 1.
Indo-European Table 1 is a map showing the relationships of the words found in the Etruscan vocabulary. Because the Etruscan language is frozen in time (~500 B.CS.), it is a good reference on the evolution of related Indo-European languages. Just as we now utilize maps of genetic movement through populations, so too can we map the flow of words through populations using a map similar to Table 1.
A major effort is now being exercised in mapping languages. Thus, Table 1 follows, and is a part of, that effort; and there are many discoveries in Table 1 which are fascinating and bear further investigation. Watching the table evolve I am most curious in the part Albanian is playing in it. While one can see a distinct and dominating "red line" running through the table showing Etruscan words and their relatives, mainly Latin, French and Italian, Albanian comes into view as a link between the Italic languages and the Germanic tongues. Those who are proficient in English will appreciate how many Albanian words in Table 1 are familiar to English speakers. Albanian is particularly interesting since the language has survived since before Roman times, and the placement of the Albanian homeland has always been in dispute. Several ancient cartographers placed Albania north of the Caucaus mountains. To see such a map click here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/eastern_roman_empire.jpg.
The Albanians occupy an area which used to be called Illyria. Some of the people from that area moved across the Adriatic sea into Northern Italy, near Venice, and southern Italy (Apulia), and to this day a dialect of Albanian survives in those regions. The people that occupied Illyria in the first millennium B.C. buried their dead in dolmens and barrows (tumuli), and similar constructions can be seen in Apulia. The Etruscans modified the barrow by digging into the tufa and adorning the tomb with wonderful frescos and reliefs.
The Albanians have been in the cross-roads of history, having been occupied by the Greeks, the Romans, and the Turks (They were under Turkish rule for 500 years), and in spite of the long occupations by each conqueror, their language has survived. In Table 1 you can discern Albanian words which are no doubt from Latin, a few words that are close to Greek, and a lot of words which relate to English roots. Albanians, after a manner of speaking, have experienced — perhaps more so — cultural mixing like the ancient English speaking group(s). Like English, in spite of all the external influences and attempts to displace the root language, the root remains and is quite discernable. We can call those roots "cognates," words that have a similar sound and meaning between two or more languages. Mapping the cognates can reveal how a language spread. Again, since we know that Etruscan is a dead language and has remained as such since before Cicero's time (43 B.C.), we have in Etruscan a [scientific] blind against which we can measure the other languages in Table 1.
What is shown in Table 1 is a map of three Indo-European linguistic strands: an Eastern (Blue), a Middle (Green), and a Western group (Red). The Slavic language group, which is in the main represented in Table 1 by Polish, appears in the "green" zone. Sanskrit, Avestan and Persian I placed in the "blue" zone. What is interesting about Table 1 is that some of the solid "green" and "red" zone languages have words that fall into the "blue," Sanskrit zone. German and Gaelic — including Old English — fall solidly into the (Green) zone, and French, Italian, Etruscan and Latin represent the strongest band in Table 1: the red zone.
As in Albanian and English, the Poles have been occupied by Roman and Germanic interests; so it is no surprise to see a strong representation of those languages in its language. French has from the beginning had a most curious interplay in the Etruscan Vocabulary and Table 1, for there are many Etruscan words whose only cognate is, at the moment, found only in the French language. Some of these cognates tie into the Green strand through Gaelic. Italian cognates also fit into this French-Etruscan map, and many of the cognates fit into the "blue," Eastern field of the Indo-European language map of Table 1.
The Gaelic (Celtic) languages, while fitting solidly into the "green" field of Table 1, seem to have a stronger bias towards the "blue," Eastern field. Welsh, of those Celtic languages most represented in Table 1, harbors a perspective of a group of people with a long-standing presence in the center of the Indo-European migration patterns.
(1) The name of Tini, Tinia is possibly related to the Latin verb, tinnio-ire, to ring, pay money. If the Phrygian language is related to the Etruscan, as shown in our Phrygian.html, there may be a connection in the name TINI and VTIN. VTIN, seen in the Phrygian.html may be related to the Teutonic Odin, Wodin, who is the Teutonic father of the gods, comperable to Zeus. However, Odin is not a storm god, and is known as a one-eyed wise old man, defender of the Asas, who rides on a horse with eight legs and who gave mankind the knowledge of the Runes. The Runes are essentially the Etruscan alphabet which is patterned perhaps after the Greek and more explicitly after the Phoenician and Aramaic alphabets. The Runes appear to have come into use about the 6th century A.D., about 800 years after the Etruscan alphabet ceased to be used. Associated with the mystery of transfer of the Runes to the Teutonic peoples is the Serbian alphabet which also uses characters common to the Runes.
Of interest is the tradition in the Teutonic myths that Odin emigrated to Scandia (Scandinavia) from Troy (Phrygia). The Baltic Sea peoples were the source amber, highly prized by the Mycenean Greeks as well as the Mediterranean littoral. Because of the trade in amber no doubt there was considerable movement of traders in the Mediterranean during the Bronze and Iron Age. Metals from Anatolia, Thrace and the Alps no doubt flowed up the riverine systems of Europe in exchange for amber and other Teutonic goods.
Etruscan murals and mirrors depicted people wearing the distinctive Phrygian hat, and Etruscan legend owes the source of the Etruscans to be in the land of Lydia. The Phrygians are believed to have moved from southeastern Europe, Thrace, to Anatolia, including the region known as the Troad which Virgil's "Aeneid" refers to as Phrygia. Because of these connections the origin of the Etruscan and Phrygian gods may include Teutonic influence.
Glossary with link to Excel spreadsheet
Etruscan GlossaryA.xls or the same spreadsheet as a Google
Etruscan Grammar with link to Excel spreadsheet Etruscan Grammar.xls.
To view the Etruscan alphabet as used in these scripts click here, Lemnos Script.html
To the Vocabulary words > L, (no longer current; see Grammar and Glossary) which laid the foundation for Table 1.
To Vocabulary words L> (no longer current; see Grammar and Glossary)
The University of California's Press, book (out of print) which alleges that Etruscan is not an Indo-European Language (Latin is an Indo-European language, for those who aren't sure): http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/2495.html
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