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by H. Crosthwaite



A brief summary of events just after the sack of Troy is needed if we are to be able, later, to tackle the problem of the Etruscans, and the electrical terms in their language.

We noticed, when reading of the legendary origins of the mysteries of Samothrace, that Dardanus left Samothrace and went to Troy, where he established mysteries. There is mention in Hesiod, Theogony 1011 ff., of Latinos and Agrios, sons of Odysseus and of Circe, the enchantress who delayed the return of Odysseus to Ithaca after the sack of Troy. He refers to Latinos and Agrios, who ruled over the Tyrsenians. The latter have been thought to be the Etruscans, who, according to Herodotus, came to Italy from the east. Whether true or not, a link with the foundation of Rome begins to emerge. The Etruscan language is related to inscriptions found on Lemnos.

Our source for Dardanus leaving Samothrace and going to Troy is Hellanicus of Mytilene, one of the logographi, or chroniclers, of Greek history. He lived about the time of Herodotus, 5th century B. C.. Later sources say that Dardanus took statues and cult objects associated with the Penates. Dionysius of Halicarnassus equates these with what Aeneas rescued from the burning of Troy. Plutarch says that it was the Palladium that he rescued. The Palladium was probably a meteorite, sacred to Pallas Athene, worshipped at Troy.

When Herodotus visited Egypt, he was told by priests that Helen of Troy and Paris, on their way to Troy from Sparta, had been blown by storms to Egypt. In Chapter 114, Paris is referred to as a Teucrian stranger. The Teucrians are first mentioned in Greek literature in the 7th century B. C..

The father of Aeneas was Anchises, and the story of how Aeneas carried his father out of Troy and escaped from the Greeks is well known. The mother of Aeneas was no less a person than Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. There is an interesting parallel between the stories of the foundation of Rome by Romulus and Remus, twins suckled by a she-wolf, and the stories of Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess, in the Gilgamesh epic. There was a string of lovers of Ishtar, starting with Tammuz, who was taken down to the underworld. Another lover was a shepherd whom she turned into a wolf. There were lion and horse lovers whom she trapped and whipped. All suffered some unpleasant fate at her hands. A love affair with Ishtar was dangerous. It is of interest that at about 1500 B. C. (conventional dating), the war functions of Ishtar increase.

Rome, according to a legend of about 400 B. C., was named after a Trojan woman. Capua may have been named after Capys, a Trojan and friend of Aeneas. Capys was a king of Alba in Latium, according to Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV: 613, and in Livy IV: 37 he is king of Capua. Cape Misenum will have been named after Misenus, Aeneas's trumpeter.

The generally accepted view was that the foundation of Rome followed quite closely the arrival of Aeneas in Italy after the sack of Troy. The earliest Roman historian, Quintus Fabius Pictor, agrees with Greek historians in putting Aeneas in the eighth century B. C.. There is an obvious clash here with the view of those scholars who date the sack of Troy to c. 1200 B. C. Such evidence as is normally adduced for the conventional date of Troy, arrived at via orthodox Egyptian chronology, is increasingly under attack, but detailed discussions of this, and of the difficulties that are caused by the extension of Dark Ages, in the face of the archaeological and literary evidence, is beyond the scope of the present work [1] .


Iliad V: 628: Hard fate brought Tlepolemus, son of Herakles, face to face with Sarpedon.

Line 648: Herakles sacked holy Ilion through Laomedon, who rebuked Herakles when he did not give him the horses for which Herakles came.

Iliad XX: 215 ff.: Aeneas, about to fight with Achilles, tells of his ancestry. Dardanus, a son of Zeus, founded Dardania. His son Erichthonius had a son called Tros, king of the Trojans. Tros's three sons were Assaracus, Ganymedes, and Ilus. Ilus was father of Laomedon. Among Laomedon's sons was Priam. Assaracus was father of Capys, Capys was father of Anchises. Aeneas himself was the son of Anchises and Aphrodite.

Aeneid II: 781: In the blazing ruins of Troy, the ghost of his wife Creusa speaks to Aeneas, and prophesies that he will come to the land of Hesperia, where the Lydian Thybris flows. Pausanias X: 17: 6: When Troy fell, some of the Trojans with Aeneas were carried away by storm winds to Sardinia, where they mingled with the Greeks. Many years later the Libyans, who had landed in Sardinia much earlier under Sardos, crossed to the island again and made war on the Greeks. Very few Greeks survived, and the Trojans fled to the hills. They are still called Ilians, but have a Libyan way of life and appearance.

Aeneid VIII: 479: Evander talks with Aeneas: Long ago a Lydian race, distinguished in war, settled on the hills of Etruria.

Aeneid VIII: 600: Near Caere is a sacred wood. There is a story that the ancient Pelasgians had consecrated this wood, and a festival day, to Silvanus, god of fields and cattle. Aeneid X1: 785: Arruns (an Etruscan name) prays to Apollo, whom he and his people worship more than do others, and relying on whom they walk on fiery ashes.

Lydia seems to have been an important centre for fire magic. Pausanias, V: 27: 5, recalls seeing in Lydia, among the Lydians who are called Persians, two buildings, each with an altar covered with ash. A magician puts wood on the ash, puts a crown on his head, and sings prayers. The wood catches fire.

The importance of the Etruscans for our subject is obvious, for they were expert in the divination on which the Romans relied. Furthermore, where our knowledge of the origins of Roman civilisation is still confused, we are helped by the Etruscan links with other countries, as described in such works as The Etruscans, by Pallottino.

Herodotus and most ancient authors believed that the Etruscans came from the east (Lydia). What is known for certain is that to the north-west of Rome was Etruria and that from the 8th century B. C., there were many flourishing cities, such as Mutina, Caere, Clusium, Cremona, and Felsina. Many names end in -na, a fact that is useful in tracing links with other areas.

Rome, according to the official chronology, was founded in 753 B. C., or soon after. It was believed that it had a link with Troy, for Aeneas and his companions escaped from Troy and reached Italy to found a second Troy. His son, Ascanius, founded the city of Alba Longa. Alba Longa was destroyed by the Roman king Tullus Hostilius.


In Mesopotamia, 'kingship came down from heaven', and the Roman state too was at first ruled by a king. Under Tarquinius Priscus (the Old Tarquin), and his two successors, Rome was under the domination of Etruscan kings. Servius Tullius enlarged the city, building new walls. He built the Cloaca Maxima, which drained especially the low-lying Subura, the densely populated area near the Capitoline Hill, and the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. His successor, Tarquinius Superbus, is thought to have been in close contact with Greece. He consulted the oracle at Delphi over a proposed colony.

The monarchy ended in 510 B. C.. There were Etruscan attempts to recover Rome, led by Lars Porsenna, and the stories of Horatius holding the bridge, and of Mucius Scaevola, refer to this period.

Although the Etruscan alphabet is basically the same as that of Greek and Latin, progress in understanding the language has been slow. There is no lengthy bilingual text. Certain words are closely related to Latin, e. g. fanu, Latin fanum, a dwelling or temple. It is recognised by some as an Indo-European language; the problem has been to establish the divisions between words, the system of grammar, and to find the meanings of words which have no obvious links with Latin or Greek. Readers are referred to The Etruscans Begin to Speak, by Mayani, for a challenging account of the many attempts to understand the inscriptions and few texts available. In his book, Mayani, relying chiefly on Albanian, claimed to establish some of the grammar, and enlarged the known vocabulary, relying on the evidence that Etruscan was based on Illyrian, a core of which survives in modern Albanian, quite apart from Albanian's obvious borrowings from Latin and modern languages. Etruscan has features linking it with the inscriptions on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean, with Lydia, Lycia, Phoenicia, and with Egypt. In many instances the words involved have a religious significance.

Indo-European languages can be put into two groups, the centum group, and the satem. In essence this means that the letter 'c', e. g. in the word for 'hundred', is either pronounced like a 'k', as in the Latin centum, or like an 's', as in Slavonic 'sto'. The distinction between Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages becomes less useful and harder to maintain the farther one directs one's attention towards the Baltic area, and let it be said at the start that Etruscan sometimes resembles a centum, sometimes a satem language, when it is using Indo-European material familiar to us from Latin and Greek.

The Greek word 'semnos' means solemn, divine. It was originally applied only to deities and to things divine. Here are some examples of its use:

semnoi logoi, oracles; Herodotus VII: 6. semnai theai, the Erinyes, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus. semnon antron, the cave of Chiron the centaur; Pindar, Pythian IX: 50.

semnon nomon, the august law; Pindar, Nemean 1: 72. semna orgia, semna musteria, solemn rites; Sophocles, Trachiniae.

semnos paian, a solemn paean; Aeschylus, Persae 393. en throno semno semnon thokeonta, sitting in state on his holy throne; Herodotus II: 173.

Of tragedy: Plato, Gorgias 502b. ta semn' epe, proud words (haughty); Sophocles, Ajax 1107. semnomantis, a revered, venerable prophet; Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus 556.

From these instances it seems likely that semnos is connected with Greek electrical theology. Let us look at a few Etruscan words which illustrate the points so far raised.

Cemnac. I suggest that it is related to semnos. It implies lightning and thunder. Greek and Latin 'gemo' means to make a groaning sound as a result of fullness. Ais cemnac truthtrachs rinuth, God thundering like a formidable bull in the clouds (Mayani's translation).

Curte, carath, the Etruscan sacred enclosure, is the same as garth, Slavonic gorod which we see in Leningrad.

Frontac, thunderer, is the Greek bronte. Truna, fear, means fear of a god or king. Compare Greek throngs, throne, whence Zeus dispensed divine justice, zealously copied by earthly monarchs and priests.

Spel, cave or vault; compare Greek speos, Latin spelunca. Tarkhu, bull, appears in part in the Latin taurus. Tark suggests Tarquinius, also the neo-Hittite weather god, Tarhund.

Fear, and the bull, are fundamental concepts in Etruscan, as in Greek thought. The Greek 'tarache' means confusion, reminding one of the bull in a china shop .

The Etruscan connection with Troy and Aeneas is hinted at on the Tagliatella vase. The vase is decorated with a picture of a labyrinth, labelled Truia. In Albanian the words troje, truej, mean ground, area. I suggest that it is not only the Greek agon, the arena for the contest, but also the place of the double-axe, Greek labrys, Latin dolabra, the lightning symbol.

We have already met the young slave boy Servius Tullius, round whose head there was a crown, stephanos, of fire when he was asleep in his nursery. The connection between electrical fire and royalty appears in the Etruscan kvil, light, closely connected with the eagle, the bird of Zeus, in the name Tanaquil, wife of Tarquinius Priscus.

Hungarian kivilagit means to illuminate. Frazer, The Golden Bough, suggested that the kings of Rome may have been killed sacrificially. The regifugium, flight of the king, was a ceremony held on 24th February. The rex sacrorum fled from the forum. This may be compared with the Stepteria at Delphi, which has been discussed already. Marcus Curtius was said to have ridden into a chasm in the forum, in order to save Rome; the chasm closed over horse and rider. The story has links with a lake (Lacus Curtius) and with lightning.

The Romans were originally grouped into three tribes, Ramnes, Luceres and Tities. Luceres resembles the Latin lux, light, and Tities suggests titio, a firebrand. If the link with light is to be maintained, one might consider the Greek horan, to see, Egyptian Ra, and Hebrew or.

The Greek menus means force, but any solution to the problem of Ramnes is speculative at the moment.

The names of the Roman cavalry divisions are Celeres, Trossuli, and Flexuntes. Celeres suggests Latin - cello, strike, found in compounds, e. g. percello. Translated as 'swift', it suggests the speed of Apollo's arrow or the strike of a snake, both of which have electrical significance in mythology. For Trossuli there is the Greek tarasso, throw into confusion. Flexuntes may be from flecto, bend. Perhaps this detachment could bend the enemy line.

The Etruscan zilc or zilch is a high official, a magistrate, perhaps 'praetor Etruriae', the praetor, i. e. he who goes in front, of Etruria.

The letter 'z', zeta, in ancient Greek was pronounced 'sd'. It could approach the sound of 'st', depending on the degree of voicing of the consonants.

The Phoenician alphabet had consonants; vowels were added to the alphabet by the Greeks. Furthermore, the farther east one travelled in the Mediterranean world into Semitic territory, the harder it was for natives to pronounce two consonants together without a vowel, such as an indefinite 'e' sound, the Hebrew shewa, between them.

This gives grounds for supposing that the word zilch began with the sound 'sed', resulting in 'sedilch'. 'Ch' in Greek was a 'k' followed by an aspirate.

In Homer, one of the epithets of a king is skeptouchos, having a sceptre. 'Ouchos' is from the verb 'echo', have, hold. Zeus is described as aigiochos, holding the aegis. It seems possible that 'zilch' is sedilech, 'having a sedile', and that 'zil' is the Etruscan for 'sedile'. The Latin sedile is a seat, corresponding to the Greek thronos, seat or throne. A senior Roman magistrate, one with imperium such as a consul or praetor, had an ivory throne, a sella curulis. Sella means a saddle, as well as an ordinary seat. In Plato's Timaeus, each soul has a star as its chariot. The Arabic 'cursa' is the name given to a star in the constellation of Eridanus, and means 'seat' (cf. Latin currus, chariot).

Zilch is often found in conjunction with other words. Zilch spurana is an urban magistrate (Subura is a part of Rome, and is originally 'city'). The zilch parchis may be a patrician official. Maru, marniu, and marunuch are associated with the priestly title cepen (cupencus = priest). The zilch eterau or zilch eteraias may be linked with the Egyptian hieroglyph 'heter', two women shaking hands, which means friendship. The link may be more acceptable if one recalls the Greek 'hetairos', comrade. The feminine, hetaira, means in classical Greek a lady who plays a more prominent part in public life than Athenian conservatives thought desirable. Temple prostitutes were a feature of temples in the ancient world. Perhaps the zilch eterau was in charge of the Vestal Virgins.

A priestess of Astarte is in Hebrew qadhesh, a consecrated one. In the Etruscan language there are nasalised vowels. Hate, hatec is hantec, Hades. Muth = mund, the gateway to the underworld. German 'Mund' = mouth. Other examples can be found. Ceus, grandfather or ancestor, = Latin gens. Mayani quotes hutra, and hondra, lower, in the Tables of Iguvium, as examples in the Osco-Umbrian dialect. The Hebrew athiq, splendid, suggests Latin antiquus, ancient and illustrious. Nasal vowels occur in languages from the Balto-Slavonic area, e. g. Polish.

This phenomenon, combined with z = sd, suggests that Zeus may be Sdeus, Sedeus, Sedens. The genitive case, Zenos, gives support to this. His name appears as the present participle, sitting, of the verb sedere, to sit. Zeus is often referred to as the god sitting on a throne. In Aeolic and Doric, he is Sdeus.

It seems possible that the Greek ending '-eus' is related to the Latin present participle ending '-ens', in English '-ing'. If we take the Greek for king, basileus, as an example, we find that he may be 'basilens', 'basiling'. But what is the meaning of this imaginary verb, to 'basil'?

Fortunately, Etruscan is of help here. There is an Etruscan word vacl, or vacil. I suggest that it means a religious feast, referring especially to a feast in which the priests and officials sacrificed an animal by killing it at an altar with an axe, burning the entrails, cutting up the good flesh and sticking it on iron spits to roast, and eating.

That the basileus, or king, was a banqueter at a religious sacrifice, has an interesting parallel in Albanian folklore. Albanian retains some of its ancient Illyrian basis. Mayani quotes from a ballad by G. Fishta: A feast is provided by the good fairies for heroes who have defeated a dragon in battle. They are rewarded with 'dy drej te majme', two fat stags.

Stags were sacrificed on threshing-floors, and here we have a scene like that of an Homeric sacrifice. The bright sky-god is represented by the priests who probably wear white robes in imitation. The snake-like entrails, and the tongues, are thrown on the fire, and other parts are eaten by the priests. It fits the ancient Greek accounts, in Hesiod and others, of lightning exchanges and the break-up of the snake-like tail in the sky. The subsequent absorption of some of the debris by larger heavenly bodies has a parallel in Thor's great appetite.

The vacl took place at numerous festivals, including the games, where the battle in the sky was represented especially by the chariot race round an elliptical racecourse or orbit.

There were seven pillars in the spin, or barrier, of the Circus at Rome, one of them called the fala (Juvenal: VI: 590). A chariot smash could easily be arranged at the turning point round the fala. There was a cushioned seat (pulvinar), on the spina, for the benefit of the senior magistrate. A fala was also a tower used in sieges from which to attack defenders of a besieged city. Falando means the sky.

Etruscan art shows figures of humans, and of gods, banqueting. At a Roman dinner party the guests reclined on cushions. Cushions, pulvinaria, were seen in the streets, with puppets, models of deities, on them, at the festival of the Lectisternium. The priests in charge, epulones, consumed the offerings that the devout gave to the puppets. (There is a reference to cushion-shaped capitals in architecture, capitula columnarum, in Vitruvius).

There was an epulum, sacred feast, of Jupiter, one of Juno, and one of Minerva. Such sacred meals were offered especially at the funeral of a great man. Funeral games were held for Hector, and games were organised by Aeneas for his father Anchises.

The Etruscan words macstrevc and macstrna shed light on the Latin 'magister' and 'magistratus', magistrate. The Roman curule magistrate was accompanied by a body of lictors who carried the fasces. The Vetulonia fascis is a double axe, with metal rods. It is illustrated in M. Pallottino, The Etruscans (Penguin). It symbolised not only the legal power to kill, but also the divine authority revealed in lightning; it might be wreathed in laurel (which symbolises electrical fire) as a sign of victory. Support for this interpretation comes from the Hebrew 'maghzera', axe. The Latin 'magnus' means great, and the letter z was pronounced sd or st, helped by a vowel between consonants. It seems probable that the Latin magister and magistratus, and the Hebrew maghzerah, are 'mag set ar', the great fire of Set, or great Set's fire. Set, whom Plutarch called Typhon, killed Osiris, and was in turn defeated by Horus, who lost an eye in the struggle. The winged axe mould found at Mycenae suggests a link with the sky.

On the same lines as zilch, the Etruscan rumach may mean spear holder.

Ignis, fire, may furnish a clue to the Etruscan 'ichnac'. Etruscan 'zichne' may mean to engrave. Pallottino suggests that it means 'write'. The link with Hebrew and with the god Set is discussed in the next chapter. Etruscan tru, drouna, are similar to Greek thronos, throne. Etruscan 'zac' is 'stac', blood, that which makes to stand, and to live. '-ac' is a suffix in Etruscan denoting origin, occupation, or agency. When Odysseus visits the underworld, he slaughters animals to fill a trench with blood. The Greek 'zo', live, and the Latin, 'sto', stand, are cognate.

A Hittite relief from Malatya shows a king holding a lituus and pouring from a smaller vessel into a larger one on the ground. Before him is a god wearing a conical hat and holding a thunderbolt over the king's libation cup. It appears that a libation bearer hoped to pour electricity onto the grave, to rouse the spirit of the dead person. It is illustrated in O. R. Gurney, The Hittites, p. 207.

The Hittite, 'tipas' or 'tapas' is a cup, Mycenean 'dipas'. In classical Greek depas is a libation vessel, usually of gold, and sacred. In Etruscan, 'thapna' is a cup, and 'putere' is a kind of vase, Greek poterion'. Tipas, in hieroglyphic Hittite, = heaven. Etruscan 'spanza' resembles Hittite 'sipand'; Hittite 'panza' is 'five'. 'Spendo', Greek means 'I pour a libation'. Sanskrit 'pancha', and Greek 'pente', mean 'five'.

'C' in Slavonic (pronounced 'S') means with, from, down from. Spanza, sipand and spendo all imply 'down from the five. '

I suggest that 'the five' are the five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all of which were visible to the unaided eye, and were regarded as sources of divine energy from the sky. In this context, it is noteworthy that the Greek pempabolon, the sacrificial fork, had five prongs. See Iliad I: 463, Odyssey III: 460. [2] .

In Hittite myth there was a knife with which heaven and earth were separated. It was used by Ea to split a diorite stone, thus anticipating the story of the augur Attus Navius at Rome, who split a whetstone with a razor.

The name Corycus, on Parnassus and in Cilicia, links Greece and Asia. Delphyne, the serpent killed by Apollo, is a name common to Greek and Hittite.

Before leaving the word 'magister', we may note that the fasces of the general Marius are described as wreathed in laurel as a symbol of victory (Cicero; De Divinatione I: XXVIII). Possibly laurel imitates an electrical glow, symbolising divine power.


Etruscan drama was introduced to Rome at a time of pestilence and national calamity. "Ludiones ex Etruria acciti" players were summoned from Etruria. (Livy VII: 2: 4) Is there a link between the Etruscan thanasa, actor, and histro, mime or actor, and the Greek thanatos, death?

The Albanian 'heshtur', silent, may be the Latin 'histro', and Etruscan drama was dancing and mime. There is a parallel in early 18th century A. D. Russia. When Peter the Great invited foreign engineers to Russia, most of them German, they were called Nemtsi, mutes, because they could not speak Russian. The Russian for a German is still Nemets. The derivation from the Thracian Istro, speedy, strong, after the Danube's name, Ister, seems less likely, expert though the Etruscan dancers may have been. Why should the Romans have thought that the introduction of silent drama would allay the anger of the deity causing the trouble?

Departed spirits (Manes) in the underworld cannot speak, only squeak and gibber. When Odysseus descends to consult the ghosts of Teiresias and others, he has to slaughter animals and pour their blood into a trench. The ghosts do not speak until they have drunk the life-giving blood.

Cumae, near Naples, was a famous oracle and an entrance to the underworld, where Aeneas went to meet the ghost of his father (Aeneid VI). The Hebrew qum means arise; cf. N. T. St. Mark V, where Jesus raises Jairus' daughter. Thanasa-Thanasa was a name of Amen, the hidden god of Neter-khert, the Egyptian underworld.

Perhaps the Etruscan mimes specialised in the portrayal of ghosts, and their drama aimed at consulting and enlisting the aid of the dead in times of peril. We know from the Old Testament that the spirits of the dead were consulted (Saul and the witch of Endor, I Samuel XXVIII). Whatever the details, it was apotropaic, turning aside a threat, just like Greek dithyramb and tragic drama. The Etruscan word svulare is an epithet of Apollo. The 's' has the significance of the English 'un-'; compare the 's' in modern Italian, e. g. scoperto, uncovered. Albanian is quoted by Mayani: zbuloj, to unveil. 'C', English 'S', in Slavonic, is 'with', or 'from'. Svulare is the same as Sibylla, the unveiler. The Sibyl sat on a cauldron on the 'cisum pute' or tripod (cis = three, pute = Greek pous, podos, foot), and unveiled the future, or revealed the god's intentions.

We have seen the importance of the liver in Etruscan divination. Ie and iu are two words meaning divine, god. In the Samnite language (mountain people east of Rome) gur, like the Etruscan cur, cure, means stone, rock. The combination of the two gives iecur, the Latin word for liver. The stone gives us a link with Delphi, where the thriabolos threw stones into the divining bowl. Furthermore, 'cur' resembles some words in Slavonic. The Russian 'gora' is a mountain, and the verb goretj (Russian) means to burn. In due course we shall see the link with a Latin word for a mountain peak cacumen.

There was an important ritual at Rome, that of the Manalis Lapis. This was the stone of the Manes (departed spirits). It was sacred, and was carried in procession. It blocked up the entrance to the abode of the Manes, and the purpose of the rite was to unblock it. The Etruscan word 'muth' or 'mund', Latin 'mundus', world, meant a trench for offerings, near an Etruscan temple. It was the entrance to the underworld.

It is tempting to relate the Greek 'nerteros' of the dwellers below, i. e. the dead and the gods of the underworld, to Njord, the Norse deity, and to Nortia, the Etruscan goddess of destiny. The interest the Etruscans had in the world of departed spirits is illustrated by their elaborate tombs, vaults, decorations, and paintings on the walls of underground rooms. Manthus was an Etruscan deity, Latin and Greek Rhadamanthus, one of the judges of the underworld. Etruscan 'rad' means order, and is presumably the Latin 'ratio', reason, orderly thought. The Greek manthano means 'I find out, learn'.

The following words suggest either electrical happenings or possible places of origin or temporary or permanent home, of the Etruscans.

Arseverse, from ar, fire or altar, and severse, Latin severto, turn aside, means a lightning averter or conductor. Mayani suggests that the word cupencus, a Sabine priest, or a priest of Hercules, may be connected with the Etruscan cipen, Albanian cip, peak. The priest often wore a peaked hat.

Spura, city; tular spura, city boundaries. The Slavonic sobor means a gathering of people. In Lydian the word is Cibyra, in Latin Subura, the densely populated part of Rome which was drained by the Cloaca Maxima.

Suplu, subulo, a piper; Russian sopetj, to puff quietly, and soplo, a nozzle.

Lakhuth, libation; Greek lekuthos, oil flask. Kathesa, jug; Greek kados, Hebrew kadh. Capesar, shoemaker; kupassis, in Lydian, is a kind of footwear. Breseus is a Lydian name for Dionysus. Albanian vere is wine. Finnish veri is blood.

Dionysus is Baki in Lydian, Pakhies or Pakheis in Etruscan. PakEhisa is the Hittite for a stick. The thyrsus? Spel, Etruscan for cave, resembles Lydian pel. Elfaci is best explained by Albanian ill, star, and pashi, vision.

The Hebrew argaz is a box or chest. I suggest that it is a combination of ar, Etruscan for divine fire, and gaza, a word used by Vergil in Book I of the Aeneid. Aeneas and his fellow Trojans are wrecked by a storm off the coast of Carthage. Trojan gaza is seen among the wreckage. It is translated as plunder. This implies that it may be stolen treasure. Hebrew ariel means hearth of God, altar.

De Grazia, in God's Fire, has suggested that the Egyptians pursued the Israelites to the Red Sea because they were taking with them important electrical equipment such as the ark.

The Etruscan goddess Venth, or Vanth, may be Bendis, a Thracian goddess who shares the characteristics of Artemis. Tark a divine name, is Trqnta in Lycian, and is presumably related to Etruscan Tarkhies.

The Etruscan 'suv lusi' is translated by Mayani as 'look on my prayer'; the verb sv = look, see. I suggest that we may have here the Latin verb 'specto', watch, see.

Cremia, firewood, may be an instance of the Egyptian 'ka' plus 'remus', an oar. Remus is very close to ramus, branch of a tree. The two groves, 'luci', between the two peaks of the Capitoline Hill at Rome, were originally on the peaks. Romulus here established a refuge, asylum, which was named 'inter duos lucos', between the two groves.

We may detect a link with the Hittites in 'caerimonia', which in Etruscan and Latin means religion, or a religious rite. The Hittite 'karimmi' is a temple. Etruscan 'falandum', sky, may be linked to Palladium (nasalisation of Etruscan vowels). The Palladium fell from heaven at Troy. Odysseus and Diomedes carried it off, since the safety of Troy depended on its staying in the city. When Metellus saved it from the burning temple of Vesta he was blinded.

Tem, tema, may be the Greek demas, body, especially a body in the sky. The Book of the Dead has 'Tem-bull of the body' (Arkana translation by Budge p. 437).

'Tem', in Etruscan, is translated by Mayani as 'bull'. Etruscan 'lamna', Latin lamna, lamina, lammina, is a threshing-floor. Such places were sacred, with electrical significance. Uzah was killed when he touched the ark on Nachon's threshing-floor (Old Testament II Samuel VI: 6 f.).

Egyptian Seker boats were mounted on sledges, which presumably were similar to threshing sledges. Stags were sacrificed on threshing-floors. Sert was an Etruscan deity who inspired fear. Egyptian 'herit' is fear, awe.

Fufluns, an Etruscan epithet for Bacchus, is compared by Mayani with Albanian 'bubullij', to resound, roar. He compares it with Bromios, a name of Dionysus. Fabulonia, henbane, produces mental instability and ravings. Amongst other meanings of the Latin 'fabula' is 'plot', of a play.


There has been a conflict of views over the place of origin of the Etruscans. Some have sided with Herodotus, who wrote that they came from Lydia; others have maintained that Etruscan civilization came from the north, others again that it was formed in Italy.

The evidence points to all three being at least partly right. A possible scenario, based on Mayani, is that some Indo-European speakers, including the Pelasgi, who had come from the Danube area with a good knowledge of copper and tin technology (from Hungary and Bohemia), settled in Illyria, then moved via Greece and southern Italy into Etruria. Others went via Thrace to Anatolia, and thence to Italy, some taking part in a descent on Egypt, where they were known as Tursha. There is a fuller discussion in Mayani of the names Tiras (O. T. Genesis X: 2), Tursha, Rosh, Rasna, and Tyrrheni. Paris of Troy, alias Alexander, is mentioned by Herodotus, II: 114, as a Teucrian stranger.

The vocabulary of Etruscan gives some clues to history and provenance. So far we have seen a few words which suggest eastern influence or borrowings. It is straining things to attribute these solely to the presence of Greek colonies in the south of Italy. The presence of Illyrian words not only in Italy (e. g. Umbrian and Tuscan) but also in Macedonia, Lydia, Lemnos and Phrygia, points to the presence of Etruscans (whose language was Illyrian) in, for example, Asia Minor, and also to an origin farther north. Messapian, an Illyrian dialect of Italy, is related to Slavonic and Lithuanian, as is Albanian. The Hungarian 'nincs', 'there is not', can be compared to the Etruscan 'ninctu' (in the Tables of Igavium). The Hungarian 'kulcs', key, resembles the name of the Etruscan deity Culsu, and the infernal deity Tuchulcha, who was similar to Cerberus in having snakes on his head and guarding the mouth of the underworld. The Hungarian 'kvilagit', to illuminate, suggests Tanaquil, wife of the elder Tarquin, mentioned by Livy (I: 34). 'Aquila', eagle, symbolises lightning.

Hungarian 'kert', garden, and 'kerit', encircle, are cognate with the Slavonic 'gorod, ' city, which appears in Italy as 'carth', 'carath', and in various Pelasgian place names such as Gurton (Thessaly), Gortyna (Gete), Gortynia (Macedonia), and Crotona (south Italy). There is even a resemblance to the Egyptian 'neter chert', underworld. Slavonic words abound, ea. 'sobor', assembly, which means 'spur' in Etruscan, 'Cibyra' as a place name in Lydia, and 'subura' in Latin (a low, thickly populated area of Rome near the forum). 'Sopetj', to puff (quietly), and 'soplo', nozzle, become in Etruscan 'subulo', Latin 'tibicen', piper. Coins of Phaestus in Crete bear the name Velchanos, a name resembling that of the Roman god Vulcan.

Notes (Chapter Eighteen: Rome and the Etruscans)

1. For an account of the chronological impasse, vide The Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum, Volume I, The Institute for the Society of Interdisciplinary Studies.

2. The five-pronged sacrificial fork, pempobolon, of the Greeks may correspond to the Hebrew 'mazlegh, ' fork, flesh-hook. There is an interesting coincidence of the letters M, Z, and L in the two Hebrew words mazlegh (fork) and mazzal (planets). Hebrew 'mazar' is the north, or northern stars. Hebrew 'chamesh' = 5. It is interesting that the number 5 was associated with planets, which were regarded by the Greeks as gods, concentrations of divine force such as the Egyptian ka. In Slavonic, 'mesto' = place.

3. The finale of an Etruscan pantomime was a drinking session, Latin comissatio, from Greek komazein, to revel. It may have been a survival of a libation, with all that that implies in resurrection technique.

4. The wife of the Hittite king Hattusilis III (13th century B. C.) was called Puduhepa. Her name is perhaps suggestive of the title 'Pythia'. Her father was a priest.

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