CHAPTER VI
RELIGION AND POLITICS

RELIGION and politics were inseparable in Etruscan State-economy; the man who was the prince-ruler of a city was also its high priest and its judge. Of these offices that of priest was paramount, for all public functions and many private ones had to be carried out in strict accordance with ceremonial laws prescribed by the gods. It will be well then to learn first of all something about the Etruscan gods and their attitude towards men. What is known has been gathered together from Etruscan monuments and their inscriptions, as well as from the works -- more or less trustworthy -- of Latin writers.

There were divinities celestial, terrestrial, and infernal. Nine operated in the high heavens, and of these Tinia (Jupiter), Uni (Juno), and Menrva (Minerva) formed the supreme triad. Every member of the celestial group was entitled to wield a thunderbolt, and Tinia had three at his disposal. Most of the Greek and Roman gods had an Etruscan equivalent, and in addition there were some who were purely Etruscan. Maris was Mars, Sethlans was Vulcan (the protector of Perugia), Nortia (Fortuna) was a local deity and favoured Bolsena. A second triad, of noncelestial character, had great power. Concerning these we know that Eita or Mantus, Phersipnai or Mania and another not identified correspond to Hades (Roman, Liber), Persephone (Roman, Libera) and Demeter (Roman, Ceres).

Remarkable reality is imparted to our knowledge

-81-

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