Today, let's compare contradictory statements from two people and see who wins the argument. Think of it as an entertaining cockfight in the streets of Chennai. Place your bets, people! In the quotes below, I highlight important statements in red font. Larissa Bonfante and her father cowrote the following in The Etruscan Language: An Introduction, Revised Editon (2002), p.205:
- "Selvans (Silvanus) - The Etruscan name of the god, which perhaps comes from the Latin, appears twice on the Piacenza Liver, once next to that of Fufluns, near Letham. He was worshipped: many votive offerings, in particular bronze statuettes, bear inscriptions with dedications to Selvans. He is referred to with a variety of epithets: canzate, enizpeta, sanchuneta. Most interesting is the dedication to Selvansl Tularias, 'Selvans of the Boundaries' (Source 50), since the principal function of Selvans seems to be the protection of boundaries. He does not appear in scenes of Greek mythology."
To say that it "perhaps" comes from Latin is like saying, in my view, that evolution "perhaps" exists. Selvans assuredly comes from Latin Silvanus which is in turn formed from a Latin word silva "forest" and that would help explain why he does not appear in Greek mythological scenes, right? Alas, I sigh, but no matter. Let's continue on and see what Tim Cornell says in The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-265 BC) (1995), p.46:
- "For example, a bronze votive statuette in the British Museum bears the following dedication to the god Selvans:
ecn turce larthi lethanei alpnu selvansl canzate
('this gave Larthi Lethanei a gift(?) to Selvans Canzate(?)'). Scholars disagree about the meaning of alpnu, some preferring an adverb ('gladly') to a direct object ('gift'), while the meaning of the final word is completely unknown. That it is a divine epithet is a pure guess."