The gods, goddesses and mythology of the Etruscans

Many of the names listed here are Etruscan spellings (and pronunciations) of Greek and native Italic names, but some names are entirely Etruscan.

Etruscan Mythology

An Etruscan tomb fresco

Achlae: Greek river god, Achelous
Achle, Achile: from the Greek Achilles, hero of the Trojan War
Achmemrun: from the Greek Agamemnon, king of Mycenaean Greece
Achrum, Acharum: from Acheron, the Greek river of the underworld
Achvizr, Achuvesr, Achuvizr, Achviztr: unknown figure associated with Turan
Aita, Eita: Hades, the Greek god of the underworld and ruler of the dead
Aivas Tlamunus, Aivas Vilates: Also Eivas or Evas. Etruscan equivalents of the Greek heroes Ajax, son of Telamon and Ajax, son of Oileus
Alchumena: The Greek legendary figure, Alcmena
Alcstei, Alcsti: The Greek legendary figure, Alcestis
Alichsantre, Alechsantre, Alcsentre, Elchsntre, Elachśantre, Elachśntre, Elcste: The Trojan legendary figure, Alexandrus, otherwise known as Paris
Alpan, Alpanu, Alpnu: Etruscan goddess, whose name is identical to Etruscan “willingly”
Althaia: The Greek figure Althaea, mother of Meleager
Ani: Divinity named on the periphery of the Piacenza Liver as dominant in that section. It seems to correspond to Martianus Capella’s Templum I, north, ruled by Janus, for which Ani appears to be the Etruscan word
Aminth: Etruscan winged deity in the form of a child, probably identified with Amor
Amuce, Amuche, Amuke: The Greek legendary figure Amycus of the Argonauts myth
Apulu, Aplu: The Greek god, Apollo
Areatha: The Greek mythological figure, Ariadne
Aril: Etruscan deity identified with Atlas
Aritimi, Artumes: The Greek goddess Artemis
Ataiun: The Greek mythological figure, Actaeon
Athrpa: The Greek deity, Atropos
Atlenta, Atlnta: The Greek mythological person, Atalanta
Atmite: The Greek legendary figure, Admetus
Atunis: The Greek mythological figure, Adonis
Aturmica: The Greek mythological figure, Andromache, the Amazon
Aulunthe: Etruscan, the name of a satyr
Calaina: The Greek Nereid, Galena
Calanice: A Greek name of Hercle, Kallinikos
Calu: Etruscan infernal god of wolves, represented by a wolf
Capne, Kapne: The Greek legendary hero, Capaneus
Caśntra: Greek prophetess, Cassandra, of the Trojan War
Castur: Greek legendary figure, Castor
Catha, Cavtha, Cath: An Etruscan deity, god and goddess, not well represented in the art. She appears in the expression ati cath, “Mother Cath” and also maru Cathsc, “the maru of Cath”; however, the nature of the maru is not known. She is also called śech, “daughter,” which seems to fit Martianus Capella’s identification of the ruler of Region VI of the sky as Celeritas solis filia, “Celerity the daughter of the sun.” In the Piacenza Liver the corresponding region is ruled by Cath
Catmite: The Greek mythological figure, Ganymede, from an alternative Greek spelling, Gadymedes. From the Etruscan is Latin Catamitus
Cel: Etruscan goddess, probably identified with Ge, as she had a giant for a son. Her name occurs in the expression ati Cel, “Mother Cel”
Celsclan: Etruscan Gigas, “son of Cel”, identifying her as “Earth”, as the giants in Greek mythology were the offspring of the earth
Cerca: Greek enchantress of the Odyssey, Circe
Chaluchasu: Translation of Greek panchalkos, “wholly of bronze”, perhaps the robot of Crete, Talos
Charun, Charu: The Greek mythological figure, Charon
Chelphun: An Etruscan satyr
Cilens, see: Celens
Cluthumustha, Clutmsta: The Greek female legendary figure, Clytemnestra
Crapsti: Umbrian local deity, Grabouie
Crisitha: The heroine of the Trojan War, the Greek name Chryseis
Culsans: God of doors and doorways, corresponding to the two-faced Roman god Janus
Culsu, Cul: A female underworld demon who was associated with gateways. Her attributes included a torch and scissors. She was often represented next to Culsans.
Easun, Heasun, Heiasun: Etruscan version of the Greek legendary hero Jason
Ecapa: The Greek tragic heroine of the Trojan War, Hecuba
Ectur: Hero of the Trojan War, Hector
Elinei, Elinai, Elina: The Greek figure Helen of Trojan War fame
Enie: Greek Enyo, one of the Graeae
Epiur, Epeur: Greek epiouros, “guardian”, a boy presented to Tinia by Hercle, possibly Tages
Ermania: Greek legendary figure Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and Helen
Eris: Greek divinity Eris
Erus: Greek divinity Eros
Esplace: Greek legendary healer, Asklepios
Ethausva, Eth: Etruscan goddess, attendant at the birth of Menrva
Etule: Greek Aitolos, confused with his brother, Epeios, who built the Trojan horse
Euturpa, Euterpe: The Greek divinity, Euterpe
Evan: An attendant on Turan, sometimes male, sometimes female
Evtucle, [Ev]thucle: The Greek hero, Eteocles
Feronia: An obscure rural goddess primarily known from the various Roman cults who worshipped her
Fufluns: Etruscan god of wine, identified with Dionysus. The name is used in the expressions Fufluns Pacha (Bacchus) and Fufluns Pachie. Puplona (Populonia) was named from Fufluns.
Hamphiare, Amphare: Legendary Greek seer, Amphiaraus
Hathna: Etruscan satyr
Hercle, Hercele, Herecele, Herkle, Hrcle: Etruscan form of the legendary hero known to the Greeks as Hēraklēs and the Romans as Hercules
Hipece: The magic Greek spring, Hippocrene, represented in Etruscan art as a water spout in the form of a lion’s head
Horta: Goddess of agriculture (highly conjectural)
Ilithiia: The Greek goddess of childbirth, Eileithyia. Occurs also in the expression flereś atis ilithiial, “statue of mother Eileithyia”
Iynx: An Etruscan mythological creature, a bird of love
Laran: Etruscan God of war
Lasa: One of a class of deities, plural Lasas, mainly female, but sometimes male, from which the Roman Lares came. Where the latter were the guardians of the dead, the Etruscan originals formed the court of Turan. Lasa often precedes an epithet referring to a particular deity: Lasa Sitmica, Lasa Achununa, Lasa Racuneta, Lasa Thimrae, Lasa Vecuvia
Lasa Vecuvia: Goddess of prophecy, associated with the nymph Vegoia
Latva: The Greek mythological person, Leda
Leinth: Etruscan divinity, male and female, possibly related to lein, Etruscan word for “to die”, but does not appear in any death scenes
Letham, Lethns, Letha, Lethms, Leta: An Etruscan infernal goddess
Letun: The Greek goddess, Leto
Lunc, Lnche: The Greek legendary figure, Lynceus
Malavisch: Etruscan divinity of the mirrors, probably from malena, “mirror”
Man, Mani: Etruscan class of spirits representing “the dead” and yet not the same as a hinthial, “ghost.” From the Mani came the Latin Manes, which are both “the good” and the deified spirits of the dead
Mania: Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mantus. She went on into Latin literature, ruling beside Mantus and was reported to be the mother of the Lares and Manes. Under the Etruscan kings, she received the sacrifices of slain children during the Laralia festival of May 1. She continued to survive in post-classical Tuscan folklore as Mania della Notte, a nocturnal spirit bringing nightmares
Mantus: Etruscan infernal deity, one of a dyad including Mania. A tradition of Latin literature names the Etruscan city of Manthua, later Mantua, after the deity
Mariś: A class of divinity used with epithets: mariś turans, mariś husurnana, mariś menitla, mariś halna, mariś isminthians. The appearances in art are varied: a man, a youth, a group of babies cared for by Menrva. The Roman god, Mars, is believed to have come from this name. Pallottino refers to the formation of a god by “… fusing groups of beings … into one.” Of Mars he says “… the protecting spirits of war, represented as armed heroes, tend to coalesce into a single deity, the Etrusco-Roman Mars, on the model of the Greek god Ares”
Mean, Meanpe: Etruscan deity, equivalent of Nike or Victoria
Meleacr: The Greek legendary figure, Meleager
Memnum, Memrum: Memnon, a Trojan saved from Achle by his mother, Thesan
Menerva, Menrva: The Etruscan original to the Roman Minerva, made into Greek Athena
Menle: The Greek hero, Menelaus, of Trojan War fame
Metaia, Metua, Metvia: The Greek mythological figure, Medea
Metus: The Gorgon, Medusa, of Greek mythology. The head appears on the Aegis of Menrva as a Gorgoneion
Mlacuch: A young Etruscan woman kidnapped by Hercle
Nestur: The Greek legendary hero, Nestor
Nethuns: Italic divinity, probably Umbrian, of springs and water, identified with Greek Poseidon and Roman Neptune, from which the name comes. It occurs in the expression flere Nethuns, “the divinity of Nethuns”
Nortia: Goddess of fate and chance. Unattested in Etruscan texts but mentioned by Roman historian Livy. Her attribute was a nail, which was driven into a wall in her temple during the Etruscan new year festival as a fertility rite.
Pacha: Greek Bacchus, an epithet of Fufluns
Palmithe, Talmithe: The Greek hero, Palamedes
Pantasila, Pentasila: The Greek name, Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons
Patrucle: The Greek hero, Patroclus, of Trojan War fame
Pava Tarchies: Etruscan Tarchies in an expression: “boy Tarchies.” See under Tarchies
Pecse, Pakste: The name of the Greek legendary winged horse, Pegasus, assigned by the Etruscans to the Trojan Horse
Pele: The Greek hero, Peleus
Pemphetru: Greek Pemphredo, one of the Graeae
Perse, Pherse: The Greek legendary figure, Perseus
Phaun, Faun, Phamu: The Greek mythological figure, Phaon
Phersipnai, Phersipnei, Proserpnai: Queen of the underworld, equivalent to the Greek Persephone and Roman Proserpina
Phersu: A divinity of the mask, probably from Greek prosopon, “face”. The god becomes adjectival, *phersuna, from which Latin persona
Phuinis: The Greek Phoinix, friend of Peleus
Phulsphna: The Greek legendary figure, Polyxena
Prisis: The Greek Briseis mentioned in the Iliad
Priumne: Priam king of Troy
Prumathe: The Greek mythological figure Prometheus
Puanea: Etruscan name of a satyr
Pultuce, Pulutuce, Pulutuke, Pultuke: The Greek mythological figure, Pollux
Rath: Etruscan deity identified with Apollo. Tarquinia was his sanctuary
Rathmtr: The Greek mythological figure, Rhadamanthys
Satre: Etruscan deity, source of the Roman god, Saturn
Sime: An Etruscan satyr who has a Greek name
Selvans: God who appears in the expression Selvansl Tularias, “Selvans of the boundaries”, which identifies him as a god of boundaries. The name is borrowed from the Roman god, Silvanus
Semla: The Greek goddess, Semele
Sethlans: Etruscan blacksmith and craftsman God, often wielding an axe. Equivalent to the Greek Hephaistos and Roman Vulcanus. See also Velchans below
Sispe, Sisphe: The legendary Greek king, Sisyphus
Svutaf: A winged Etruscan deity whose name, if from the same Latin root as the second segment of persuade, might mean “yearning” and therefore be identifiable with Eros
Taitle: The Etruscan form of the Greek mythological figure Daedalus
Tarchies: Occurs in Pava Tarchies, label of a central figure in depictions of divination, who, along with Epiur, a divinatory child, is believed to be the same as Tages, founder of the Etruscan religion, mentioned by Roman authors
Tarchon: An Etruscan foundation hero who, with his brother, Tyrrhenus, founded the Etruscan Federation of twelve cities
Tecum: God of the lucomenes, or ruling class
Techrs: From the Greek, the Trojan War hero, Teucer
Telmun, Tlamun, Talmun, Tlamu: A Greek legendary figure, the Argonaut, Telamon
Teriasals, Teriasa: Legendary Greek blind prophet, Tiresias
Thalna, Thalana, Talna: Etruscan divine figure of multiple roles shown male, female and androgynous: it attends the births of Menrva and Fufluns, dances as a Maenad and expounds prophecy. The name comes from Greek thallein, “to bloom”. A number of divinities fit the etymology: Greek Thallo and Hebe and Roman Iuventas, “youth”
Thanr: An Etruscan deity shown present at the births of deities
Thesan: Etruscan goddess of the dawn. She was identified with the Roman Aurora and Greek Eos
These: A hero who is the equivalent of the Greek Theseus
Thethis: Greek nymph Thetis, mother of Achilles
Thetlvmth: Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver
Thufltha: Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver
Tinia, Tina, Tin: Chief Etruscan god, the ruler of the skies, husband of Uni, and father of Hercle, identified with the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter well within the Etruscan window of ascendance, as the Etruscan kings built the first temple of Jupiter at Rome. Called apa, “father” in inscriptions (parallel to the -piter in Ju-piter), he has most of the attributes of his Indo-European counterpart, with whom some have postulated a more remote linguistic connection. The name means “day” in Etruscan. He is the god of boundaries and justice. He is depicted as a young, bearded male, seated or standing at the center of the scene, grasping a stock of thunderbolts. According to Latin literature, the bolts are of three types: for warning, good or bad interventions, and drastic catastrophes. Unlike Zeus, Tin needs the permission of the Dii Consentes (consultant gods) and Dii Involuti (hidden gods) to wield the last two categories. A further epithet, Calusna (of Calu), hints at a connection to wolves or dogs and the underworld. In post-classical Tuscan folklore he became an evil spirit, Tigna, who causes lightening strikes, hail, rain, whirlwinds and mildew
Tinas cliniar: Etruscan expression, “sons of Tina”, designating the Dioscuri, proving that Tin was identified with Zeus
Tiur: Etruscan deity identified with Greek Selene and Roman Luna (goddess)
Tlusc, Tluscv, Mar Tlusc: Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver. The corresponding region in Martianus Capella is ruled by Sancus, an Italic god and Sabine progenitor, who had a temple on the Quirinal Hill, and appears on an Etruscan boundary stone in the expression Selvans Sanchuneta, in which Sanchuneta seems to refer to the oaths establishing the boundary. Sancus probably comes from Latin sancire, “to ratify an oath”
Truia, Truials: Troy, Trojan, the city of the Iliad
Tuchulcha: An Etruscan demon
Tuntle: The Greek legendary figure, Tyndareus
Turan: Etruscan goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus. She appears in the expression, Turan ati, “Mother Turan”, equivalent to Venus Genetrix. Her name is a noun meaning “the act of giving” in Etruscan, based on the verb stem tur- ‘to give’
Turms, Turmś: Etruscan god identified with Greek Hermes and Roman Mercurius. In his capacity as guide to the ghost of Tiresias, who has been summoned by Odysseus, he is Turms Aitas, “Turms Hades.”
Turnu: An Etruscan deity, a type of Eros, child of Turan
Tusna: Perhaps from *Turansna, “of Turan.” The swan of Turan
Tute: The Greek hero, Tydeus
Tv[?]th: Unknown deity of the Piacenza Liver
Tyrrhenus: An Etruscan culture hero and twin brother of Tarchon
Uni: Supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon, wife of Tinia, mother of Hercle, and patroness of . With Tinia and Menrva, she was a member of the ruling triad of Etruscan deities. Uni was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, whose name Uni may be derived from, and the Greek Hera
Urphe: The Greek mythological figure, Orpheus
Urusthe: The Greek legendary figure, Orestes
Usil: Etruscan deity identified with Greek Helios, Roman Sol
Vanth: Etruscan winged demon of the underworld often depicted in the company of Charun. She could be present at the moment of death, and frequently acted as a guide of the deceased to the underworld
Vea: Etruscan divinity, possibly taking its name from the city of Veii or vice versa
Vecu, Vecui, Vecuvia: The prophetic nymph, Vegoia. See: Lasa Vecuvia
Veltha, Velthume, Vethune, Veltune: Etruscan deity, possible state god of the Etruscan league of Etruria, the Voltumna in the Latin expression Fanum Voltumnae, “shrine of Voltumna”, which was their meeting place, believed located at Orvieto. The identification is based on reconstruction of a root *velthumna from Latin Voltumna, Vertumnus and Voltumnus of literary sources, probably from Etruscan veltha, “earth” or “field.” Representations of a bearded male with a long spear suggest Velthune may be an epithet of Tinia
Veiove, Veive, Vetis: Etruscan infernal deity whose temple stood at Rome near the Capitoline Hill. The identification is made from the deity’s Latin names related by a number of ancient authors over the centuries: Vēi, Vēdi, Vēdii, Veiovis, Vediovis, Vediiovis, Vedius
Velparun: The Greek hero, Elpenor
Vesuna: Italic goddess mentioned in the Iguvine Tables
Vikare: Son of Taitle, derived from the Greek mythological figure Icarus. The name is found inscribed once, on a golden bulla dating to the 5th century BC now housed at the Walters Art Museum
Vile, Vilae: Greek Iolaos, nephew of Hercle

Elena Spolaor

Elena Spolaor

About Elena Spolaor

Although Elena was born in Venice, she was brought up in Tuscany and is a historian and frequent contributor to online articles about life in Tuscany and Umbria. Her specialities are Tuscan and Umbrian local history and folklore.

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