6 Feb 2008

The so-called "Etruscan" goddess Losna: Another nail in her coffin

I've updated my cheeky December 2007 post Perhaps we need an Etruscan "anti-dictionary" with a handy footnote concerning the certain falsehood of an "Etruscan" moon goddess called Losna. Previously, I only mentioned that the name losna is an Italic word for moon but new developments have arisen showing that the word is a teensy bit more widespread in Indo-European languages than I was aware, which works even more in my favour. I've now added this note at the bottom of that article for the benefit of readers:

I just found damningly conclusive proof now that Losna is indeed falsely identified as Etruscan as I asserted above. It turns out that a root may be reconstructed securely in Proto-Indo-European (PIE), namely *louksno- 'shiny' , based on cognates in Avestan raoxšna- 'shiny' and Old Prussian lauxnos 'stars' (see Puhvel, Hittite Etymological Dictionary (1984), p.154). As usual, Etruscologists are allergic to diligent research and my shameless skepticism of these 'experts' is once again entirely valid. Teehee!
Sorry, I can't help but gloat. I always think I'm mad for single-handedly questioning university-educated, PhD-endowed academics and then crazy stuff like this materializes to validate my flowery iconoclasty. Imagine, this all started with that dreaded mirror from Praeneste and then 19th-century Etruscan scholars pounced on it, automatically believing that the mirror was Etruscan (see George Dennis in 1848 and later George Rawlingson as published in 1893, for example). However, this "modern myth" never went away and continued on in published works such as Mayani's notoriously proposterous Les Étrusques commencent à parler in 1961 (See page 232. This book was unfortunately translated into English as The Etruscans Begin to Speak, serving to misinform the next generation of anglophones as well.) Then, even though it's now clear that this is not an Etruscan mirror, new-age nutjobs and poorly informed Etruscologists sadly can't let go and nonetheless use it to weave more tales about how they think Etruscan mythology works based on what they may even admit are antiquated "scraps"! (See the article For the mother and for the daughter by Nancy De Grummond, published in Charis: Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr, ed. by Chapin (2004), p.367 to know what I mean. I assume she's trying to appeal to the aforementioned new-age fanbase because I can't for the life of me find structure in this suspiciously gynocentric rant and thinly-stretched game of hyperassociation.) The internet is now awash with 150-year-old misinformation and probably won't change anytime soon.

So be on guard, fellow logicians. Insanity is everywhere and we're outnumbered.


  1. Hello,
    thanks alot for your last answer.

    I read in a website, Losna is often written "Lusna", Can't we considering that, Losna is the latin form for Lusna...? I agree with you, it's probably not an etruscan word, but maybe the etruscan adopted it from another language...All around them lived Indo-European people: Ligurian to the North, Latin and Gallic people on the south and the East of Etruscan country. And there were probably alot of cultural exchange.

    But, someone know when this term was used for the first time to indicate this goddess?? Did we find a proof of the utilisation of this term during antiquity?

    Again, i'am sorry, my english isn't perfect and i hope i'm enough clear.

    your faithfully.

  2. Even the notable Etruscanist Nancy De Grummond has written (Immerwahr/Chapin, Charis: Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr (2004), p.365. See link): "Philologists have concluded that the name of Losna is an early spelling of Luna, and that we have here a representation of the goddess of the moon."

    This matter seems to be resolved and we can very safely conclude that Losna was never an authentically Etruscan god but instead merely an Italic Indo-European name.

  3. Hello,

    I have come across your website and article doing research on the goddess name "Losna" as a moon goddess.

    I am a Wiccan and have been for over 15 years. My biggest pet peeve with other Pagans has been the serious lack of research into the mythological historical background of the cultures they use in their practice.

    I am also a writer and a pretty serious researcher. I don't feel comfortable working with any culture unless I am familiar with the mythology and am aware of the real background of the gods I am learning about.

    At any rate, coming across your Losna article was extremely helpful for me and has redirected my studies back towards Luna, who seems to be a legitimate historical goddess of the moon (There aren't many).

    Thanks for putting accurate information out on the Internet, where indeed, it needs to be.