23 Apr 2010

Truth will shine forth (1)

It amuses me that the mythos of ancient pagan Etruria, later to be the seat of Catholicism, just so happens to show evidence of a trinity built around the all-seeing Tinia in much the same way as the modern Catholic Trinity is built around the all-seeing Yahweh. But Etruscans win; they thought of it first. Tinia was the head of the Etruscan pantheon, the god of all gods. Neither Father Murphy nor the average modern Etruscanist will likely tell you the following because between religious extremism, mystery marketing, and the aimless pedantry of teasing meaning out of the nebulous Martianus Capella, no matter how futile, it seems that simple common sense is having a hard time competing for air time.

Evidence for a solar trinity is right there on the Piacenza Liver (illustrated above) where three incarnations of Tinia are recorded in abbreviated form side-by-side on its border, on the right-hand side above (tin. cilen., tin. θvf., and tins θne.), and only after these three portions do we find the section for his consort, Uni (here written as uni mae, equivalent to Roman Juno Maia).

Since the forms are abbreviated here and since these epithets appear to be hapaxes, one can only surmise the full forms. From what I know of Etruscan grammar, the full epithets are perhaps best read as Tin Cilensl, Tin Thufl and Tin Thneth. (Tins is merely a genitive case form meant to refer to the region *of* the deity in question and these suffixes were added off-and-on by the artist of the bronze liver due to spatial constraints. Thus, Cilensl too marks the region *of* Cilens, for example.)

Tinia's epithets find clear equivalents in Roman religion (and even Umbrian and Ancient Greek religions) lest anyone feign doubt:
The source of these three faces of the God of Gods isn't very transparent from the perspective of Roman mythology alone and that's partly because these epithets are Etruscan in origin, grounded in Near Eastern beliefs that Etruscans imported to Italy from Anatolia at the onset of the 1st millennium BCE. Once we shed the Indo-European-biased mistranslation of tin as 'sky' and acknowledge that it means 'sun', we now are witness to three solar incarnations reminiscent of Egyptian religion. More later.

Read onward: Truth will shine forth (2).


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