Though we can read the Etruscan language, we can't understand it in any detail--for while the alphabet is known (it is derived from the Greek), the language itself isn't. Most of the inscriptions we do have are short and confined to tombs or mirrors; any more lengthy literature there was (and we presume there was quite a bit, as there are mentions of Etruscan drama) has been lost. Alas, for some of these Goddesses then we have very sparse information, and sometimes the only reference will be a small handful of inscriptions on a mirror back. I have done my best.

Some of the Etruscan Goddesses were linked with Greek ones brought by the settlers of Magna Graecia. I have left out Goddesses who are primarily Greek Goddesses under an Etruscanized Greek name and who show very little difference from the Greek original, such as Artumes for Artemis or Semla for Semele, instead focusing on those who are peculiarly Etruscan. The Etruscan Pantheon seems to have quite a few Midwives and Fate-Goddesses; it is also heavy on Underworld Deities and demons. Some accordingly make the Etruscans a rather gloomy people; however I don't find them so, as their tombs are decorated with lively scenes that depict people dancing, feasting, playing drinking games, and enjoying themselves; they seem much like the Egyptians, who placed such a strong emphasis on the afterlife precisely because they loved the present one so much that they wanted it to go on forever. Women held a fairly high status in Etruscan society: take for example Tanaquil, who was a powerful Queen and seeress; also, in many depictions showing both men and women (especially on the engraved hand-mirrors), women are drawn as taller or more central to the composition than the men, or shown as obviously older with a younger lover. And, there are a couple of Goddesses here and there who are sometimes referred to as Gods; perhaps their gender changed over time or with the location of the worship, or maybe it just wasn't that important to their function.

I have tried to standardize the spellings of these names, using kh for what is sometimes rendered x or ch and which corresponds to the Greek letter chi (which looks like an x but is pronounced like a cat coughing up a hairball--this general sound is also used extensively in Scots Gaelic, which may be why Maude starts meowing at me when I practice my Gaelic). Anyhoo:


Akhuvitr, Alpan, Catha, Cels, Cilens, Culsu, Cupra, Ethausva, Evan, Hinthial, Horta, Lala, Lasa, Leinth, Losna, Malaviskh, Mean, Menrfa, Mera, Mlakukh, Munthukh, Nathum, Nortia, Tanaquil, Tesana, Thalna, Thanr, Thesan, Thufltha, Tiv, Tukhulkha, Turan, Uni, Usil, Vanth, Zipanu.














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