The techniques for resurrection fall into two main groups, that of collecting or summoning the electrical deity, and that of applying the electrical force. Sympathetic magic was used, and is the explanation of some of the actions.
Much of the relevant material has been mentioned already, but in this chapter it may fit into a new pattern, and there are a few new details.
The deity could be collected by charging a chest from the atmosphere. The chest or ark was constructed on the principle of the Leyden jar. Obviously the quickest and most dangerous charging would be at the time of an electrical storm. Egyptian art shows the god Osiris rising from a chest, holding an ankh in each hand, and a relief from Dendera shows technicians carrying a length of what appears to be striated cable, with pictures of snakes at the end to show that the god is present.
A more symbolic method was that of enclosing a statue of Osiris in a length of hollow tree trunk, and raising the trunk until it was upright. I stand, sto, is closely related to zo, I live.
The Egyptian practice of embalming must be included among techniques aimed at assisting the soul to continue to exist after death in a recognisable form.
In Egypt, Osiris was the god on top of the staircase. Pyramids were fire-collectors; the aim was that a pharaoh buried in a pyramid should receive the full force of the electrical god.
Burial in a tholos tomb or in a shaft grave at Mycenae would have the aim of bringing the dead person into contact with the deity in the earth, just as the burning of a corpse would have the aim of aiding the soul in its flight to the region of heavenly fire.
Eating the bull, drinking the blood of goats, and so on, were more a matter of obtaining superhuman strength than of obtaining immortality, but are worth mentioning because they are all part of the general effort to cross the limen, threshold, between our world and that of the spirits of the dead and of the gods.
Ghosts recovered the strength to speak by drinking blood. Sanguis, blood, is basically the same as sanga and sankh. Greek haima, blood, is the same as Hebrew chaim, life.
The dancing of the Arval brothers at Rome was associated with the renewal of life in the fields in the spring. It was presumably aimed at rousing the chthonic deities Cerus and Ceres, the deities of crops and vegetation.
The dance of the Salii, the leaping priests of the Romans, was accompanied by a hymn. It contains the words Limen sali! Sta! Berber! Vile vale! Staile! Itrile! Vide Mayani, The Etruscans Begin to Speak, p. 316.
Anyone who has kept, say, a cat as a pet will know that the animal can communicate with its owner. If it is hungry, it will run purposefully and repeatedly to the place where its food is put down and look up, inviting one to imitate it and put down a plate of food. The Salian priests may have been doing just this kind of thing in their dance. The aim would be to persuade the Manes to appear and give advice and help. To do this the Manes would have to cross the limen, threshold. The Salii were showing the dead what they wanted them to do by leaping over an invisible threshold, stopping and looking backwards, returning and repeating the movements. The basic idea behind the verb salio, leap, is that of crossing. Hebrew shal is to transgress. It is noteworthy that representations of priestly dancers show them with the head turned, looking backwards.
The painting of a tanasar in the Tomb of the Augurs at Tarquinia shows him at work. In front of him is a bird, perhaps symbolising a soul. His left palm is on top of his head, his right hand is stretched out forwards. To understand this picture we have to examine the word tanasar.
One of the difficulties in understanding Etruscan is that words are often run into one another, and it is hard to know how to separate them. In the case of the tanasar, it is two words, tanas, and ar. Ar we know is the divine fire that descends from the sky and strikes the ara, altar, and is also found in the head, as described by Plato in the Timaeus. We are left with the word tanas.
In Etruscan, words are found ending in the letters -ac, for example frontac, thunderer; cf. Greek bronte, thunder. It is probable that we should regard the -ac as being -as; the letter c in Etruscan is sometimes to be pronounced as a k, sometimes as an s.
The Lydian kupassis is a kind of shoe. Etruscan capesar is a shoemaker. Hungarian cipö is a shoe, cipész is a shoemaker.
In Hungarian, the endings -as, -asz, and -esz indicate a performer of an action. Portas is a doorkeeper. Munka is work, munkas is a workman. I suggest that we see this phenomenon in the Etruscan tanas.
Greek tanuo means stretch out. The tanasar is he who holds out the ar, sacred electrical fire, as he is shown doing in the picture from Tarquinia.
There remains the question of why he holds the other hand on his head.
The head was recognised as the electrical headquarters of the human body, as shown by the words kephale, katec and caput. The Etruscan katec is that which covers the ka, and the Latin caput is a well or source of ka, as was Pytho, as Delphi used to be called. The tanasar appears to be transferring electrical power from his head through his left hand so that he can direct it at the object with his right hand. The action is reminiscent of that of the Egyptian god Amen-Re as he holds out the ankh, symbol of life, to Psammetichus III. [From the temple of Osiris at Karnak] Another example of the invisible force being directed at a person or object is that of Kheri-heb, who is shown holding his staff to the head of a statue. Vide Budge, From Fetish to God in Ancient Egypt, p. 33, Arkana edition.
In the Tables of Iguvium, the Osco-Umbrian word purdouiti occurs, meaning to sacrifice. Mayani suggests that this is the Albanian pertetoj, to dedicate, to consecrate. Latin porrigere is to stretch out, to offer. This makes good sense with pyr, fire.
It is tempting to speculate that the Greek word anthrop-, man, may originally have been santhrop-. A number of Greek words lost an initial s. Santhrop-could then have been a reversal of prytanis, the official who held out the fire. Humans were distinguished by their ability to imitate and even to manipulate the electrical god. In general, jerky movements were taken as a sign of life. The angular poses seen in Egyptian hieroglyphics for dancing support this idea; furthermore an electrical shock can cause convulsive movements.
Libations were a method of rousing the dead. Greek spendo and Hittite spanza, libation, both show that radiation 'down from the five' was directed onto the grave. The Egyptian hieroglyph tebh is a vase containing an udjat, an eye as a symbol of radiation. Tebh means an offering, and is evidence that radiation was what the king directed onto the ground in the relief from Malatya. It is, moreover, noteworthy that when reversed, the word tebh resembles the Hebrew beith, house, and the Greek for a tripod cauldron, lebet-, which is the dwelling place of El. It is possible that the significance of mirrors, of which the Etruscans have left us so many, may be that a mirror gives the holder not only a reflection of his or her face, but also a degree of control over the direction of the divine radiation.
The Egyptian un hra is a mirror. Hra means 'upon', or 'face'.
Un, Uni are forms of the name of Juno. Singing was one of the methods
of raising the ka, by sympathetic magic. 'Sing' may be related to Latin
sancio and to sankh.