Description of Ta Rat':

The Subterranean Temple
of the Giane

John Opsopaus
(c) 1996

General Description

This is the first description of the subterranean temple of the Giane of Sardinia, which they respectfully refer to as Ta Rat' ("this holy thing" in Etruscan).
[1] It is an especially large (32 X 20 m.) artificial cavarn, rather like the Domus de Janas or Domus de Gianus (Fairy Houses), as the Sardinians call the ancient rock-cut tombs which permeate Sardinia and date from the Copper Age (2000-1100 BCE). However, this underground temple (tmia), is more in the style of an Etruscan tomb (t'aura), such as the well-known Tomba del Cardinale and the (now lost) Tombo dei Ceisinie (both in Tarquinia). Ta Rat' is buried in the heart of the highest peak in the Gennargentu massif.

[floor plan of Ta Rat'] Plan of Ta Rat'

The roof the subterranean temple is supported by a number of pillars (3.5m. tall) decorated with colorful relief sculptures (described below). A central group of sixteen pillars is flanked by a trio of pillars on each of the eastern and western ends of the cavern. The sixteen pillars are arranged in two groups (east and west) of four pairs. In general, each of these pairs of pillars has a corresponding goddess and god, as shown by their reliefs. The four rows of four (each comprising an east pair and a west pair) are spaced evenly across the width of the temple (from north to south).

Each of the four pillars in the northernmost row has a built in censor, which is kept smoking by the Giane priestesses. The pillars in the next row to the south each have a small basin of water, rather like a baptismal fount. The third row is decorated with semiprecious gems and polished metal. The pillars of the southernmost row have oil lamps, which the priestesses keep burning.

In the middle of these sixteen pillars is a hearth built around an seemingly bottomless fissure in the rock floor, and above it in the ceiling is a smoke hole, through the great length of which a bit of the sky can be seen. The Giane call the fissure Chaos Profundum (Abyssal Chaos) and the chimney Spiraculum Aeternitatis (Air Hole of Eternity).

We entered through a hidden opening on the slopes of the mountain and went through a long passage to the temple entrance, which the Giane called the Eastern Portal. As will be described later, there is also a Western Portal at the other end of the temple. I also noticed slabs in the center of the northern and southern walls, which may have closed northern and southern portals, but my guides evaded my question about these. Finally, there are four tunnels which lead diagonally from the corners of the temple, and I was taken into these first. They are called the Quadrivia (Four Ways).

The Four Ways

The Four Ways lead off from corners of the cavern, to the northeast, northwest, southwest and southeast, and each is named after a river in the Underworld. They all have a common structure: Fourteen large steps or landings lead upward to a shrine at the end of the passage. Each step is carved with an abstract emblem, the emblems increasing in complexity as one goes from the shrine toward the central temple. The emblems appear to be structured around the numbers one through ten, although the last four (the eleventh through fourteenth) are more complex. I was shown each passage in turn.

Northeast: Acheron

The northeastern passage is called "Acheron of Ever-flowing Grief and Melancholy." The walls of the tunnel are painted reddish brown, which has flaked off to create a dry, brown dust on the floor. The shrine at the end of the tunnel is a fissure in the living rock, which my guides described as a "bottomless pit," and so it seemed to be. They said it went into the very bowels of Cel Ati (Mother Earth). Into it the Giane pour libations of wine.

Northwest: Styx

The northwestern passage is called "Styx, the Hateful and Bone-chilling." Indeed, the tunnel seemed very cold, partly because it is painted black and partly because of an inky stream which ran its length from the shrine, a spring flowing from a cleft in the rock. Into this stream the Giane pour libations of water for Nethuns (Neptune). It runs out into the main temple and vanishes into an opening in the floor at the base of one of the pillars, which has been displaced to accommodate it (see below).

Southwest: Cocytus

The southwestern passage, which has green walls and a white floor, is called "Cocytus, which Shrieks and Wails," as indeed it does, for a terrific blast of hot, humid wind blows continually from an opening at the wall at the end of the tunnel. I imagine this opening must eventually lead above ground, but I could see no light and it was pitch dark. The Giane say that the winds converge on the shrine from the four corners of the earth. The shrine is dedicated to Uni (Juno), to whom they pour libations of milk.

Southeast: Pyriphlegethon

The southeastern passage, which is golden colored, is called "Pyriphlegethon, which Blazes like Fire." Indeed, the heat in the tunnel was almost unbearable, for at the shrine is an eternal flame, which seems volcanic in origin. Into this flame they pour honey libations for Tinia (Jupiter).

The Relief Sculptures on the Pillars

After exploring the Four Ways, we returned to the Eastern Portal, whence I was taken from pillar to pillar in a definite order, which was indicated by a letter of the archaic (7th cent. BCE) Etruscan alphabet above the relief on each pillar.
[2] I will describe the reliefs in this alphabetic order, and mention the corresponding Etruscan letter, below. For my benefit, a Giane was waiting by each pillar and, when I came to it, she recited an enigmatic Latin verse, which was apparently intended to illuminate the relief. (I've translated these verses below.) These Giane are responsible for their pillars (repairing the reliefs and restoring the paint), are dedicated to the deities represented, and are experts in their mythology.

1. Fufluns (A)

The first pillar, which is directly in front of the Eastern Portal, shows Fufluns (Bacchus), dancing with his thyrsus. He wears a green cloak and is accompanied by a snake and a panther. The Giane responsible for this pillar, who is aptly named Panthera (Panther), recited this verse:
Behold! the Holy Idiot, lost within
A private world. He'll have the chance to win
New freedom from confining rules. Rejoice
The madness! For it brings another choice.
Let Satre's holy festival begin!
She added that the entire temple is in some sense devoted to Satre (Saturn) and Ops (or Venus Genetrix, whom they usually call Turan Ati). The letter on this pillar is A, which represents, I was told, the Gods (Aisar), Being (Am), the Father (Apa), the Mother (Ati), the Ape (Arim) and the months Anpile (May) and Acala (June). Next, Panthera led me to each of the other pillars in their proper order.

2. Turmus (C)

Next we went south to the second pillar of the eastern trio. I could see that it represents Turmus (Mercury), since the figure holds a caduceus, wears his broad-brimmed hat, and is accompanied by his rooster. He is depicted as a mature man, dressed in a red and green tunic and mantle. He stands behind a table on which there are two dice and other paraphernalia; a Gorgon mask hangs on the wall behind him. Serpens (Serpent) announced that Turmus is called the "Lord of Chance" and then recited this verse:
A touch of the Wizard's Wand: a word,
A sight, a sound, a gift by chance conferred,
Transforms your life, and leads the soul beyond
Accustomed bounds, if only you respond.
Attend the Guide whene'er the call is heard!
This pillar is labeled with the letter C, which stands for Ritual (Cec'a), Direction (Cel), the Son (Clan), the numbers Three (Ci) and Eight (Cezp), and the month Celi (September).

3. Uni (E)

We temporarily skipped the third pillar in the eastern trio, and came to the pillar in the southeast corner of the central sixteen. It depicts Uni (Juno) crowned and seated in her throne, which has emerald lions for armrests; she is attended by her peacock and holds a sceptre topped by a dove or cuckoo. Green is the most common color on this relief. Pavo (Peacock)[3] intoned:
Eternal Mother, mistress of the grain,
Sustaining growth with either milk or rain,
Engulfs again her children, whereupon
The self-consuming wheel of life goes on.
Within her womb we all descend again!
This pillar's letter is E, which means Sacrifice (Esvis').

4. Tinia (V)

Next, we moved west to the fourth pillar, which forms a pair with the third; naturally, it depicts Tinia (Day, i.e., Jupiter), the husband of Uni (Juno). In bold reds it shows him in a classic pose: seated on his throne and attended by his eagle. He holds a thunderbolt in one hand and in the other a sceptre topped by a golden orb. Aquila (Eagle) said,
The Mighty Father makes the laws that bind
The elements, the plants, and every kind
Of beast - but people too. He strives to feed
The folk, defending them by word and deed.
Observe the judgments fathered by his mind!
The letter is V, which stands for Fire (Verse) and the month Velcitna (March).

5. Ves'na (Z)

We moved north to the next pair, starting again with the eastern pillar, which depicts Ves'na, an Etruscan lunar spirit, in dark blues. She is slim, with short hair, a ten-rayed crown, and also a lunula - an upward lunar crescent - on her brow. She wears shoes, a studded belt and a full-length tunic, with a sort of vest made from a Bacchic panther skin with the head attached. She holds a sistrum in her right hand and a vase in her left. She sits under a canopy in a chariot drawn across the sea by a black horse and a white horse. A Giane named Canis (Dog) recited:
The Shining Queen, who rules the velvet night,
And nurtures nascent growth, concealed from sight,
Transforms and changes, light and dark by turns,
And seeks the Sun to sire the spark that burns
Within the water, newborn Child of Light.
The letter on this pillar is Z, which means Rite (Zeri), Book (Zic'), Leader (Zil) and the number Two (Zal).[4]

6. Usil (H)

Paired with the preceding pillar is one depicting Usil (Helios), the Etruscan sun god. He is shown as an old, but clean-shaved, winged man with a radiate crown, and holding a pruning saw in his right hand and a vase in his left. He wears a long tunic, revealing his bare feet, sleeves to elbows, with a belt. He rides in a golden chariot drawn by two hippocampi (one black, one white). The dominant colors are red and gold. Lupa (She-wolf) recited:
The Sun obscured by night, the heavens' fire,
Inflaming lunar waters, looks to sire
The Child, and purify the world with scorn
Severe, that scorches errors earthly born.
He holds the heights to which we all aspire.
The letter H stands for the Phallic Statue (Herma), Children (Husar), the number Six (Hut') and the month Hermie (August, originally the sixth month).

7. Ac'vizr (T')

We progressed to the third pair of pillars, the first of which depicts two nearly naked figures, apparently Aplu (Apollo) and Aritimi (Diana), facing each other in a forest clearing. In the sky above them hovers Ac'vizr (Cupid?), a barefoot, naked, winged child (of unclear sex) holding a downward pointing dart in his right hand and a dish in his left. The colors are red and white. Columba (Dove) explained,
Desire draws the Moon and Sun to hold
Each other; hid in darksome depths, the bold
Embrace of sibling spirits joined in love
Unites the world below with sky above.
Unasked, the Dart of Passion strikes; be bold!
The letter on this pillar is T', which represents the Cup (T'afna), the Dawn (T'esan), the number One (T'u) and the month T'ucte (?).

8. Alpan (I)

Paired with Ac'vizr is a pillar showing Alpan (Gift, Harmonia), a winged girl, naked but for sandals and a multicolored mantle over her left arm and wrapped around her legs. Her hair is piled up and she wears a necklace, ear rings and a tiara with a gem in the middle of a six-pointed star. She pours from a vase in her right hand into a dish in her left. In the background a dart flies upward into a rainbow between the twin peaks of a mountain. Gold and silver dominate the colors. This verse was recited by a Giane named Iris:
The Child Divine was born of Moon and Sun.
She tempers wine with water, never done
With mixing, and her rainbow joins the poles,
For she's the messenger and guide of souls.
Accept her cup, and let the two be one.
Her letter is I, representing the making of prayers or offerings (Ilu).

9. Maris Apa & Mean (K)

Finally we came to the northernmost of the four eastern pairs of pillars. The more eastern one shows Maris Apa (Marspiter, Father Mars) driving his triumphal chariot drawn by a red horse and a blue horse. He sits naked but for a cloak draped over his left shoulder, and is beardless, with short, red hair. He holds a long lance in his right hand, and holds the reins in his left. He wears bronze greeves and a Phrygian helmet. Beside him is a figure-eight shield decorated with a bronze apple surmounted by a spread-wing Victory. Red is the dominant color.

Mean (Victoria) flies above Maris, bringing victory. She is winged and naked but for a purple mantle over her left arm, wrapped back around her legs and flung again over her left arm. She wears ear rings and sandals, and Her hair is done up; she holds a laurel wreath in her hands. Ursa (She-bear) stated,

The Hero crowned by Victory drives the car
Of triumph, seeking still to venture far,
Accepting every challenge. He commands,
And masters mighty steeds with skillful hands.
Our eyes are dazzled by the Hero's star!
The letter on the pillar is K, which represents Making (Kar), the Son (Klan) and the month Karpe (April).

10. Lasa (L)

The pillar paired with Maris depicts Lasa, a martial goddess, as young woman, who wears a thin, saffron tunic, above her knees, with simple boots and bracelets on her left arm. Her hair is fastened up, and she wears ear rings. She appears to be forcing open with her bare hands the jaws of a lion, wreathed with roses, who sits beside her. An unused sword or dagger lies on the ground nearby. Leaena (Lioness) sang,
With gentle hand and eye she charms the beast
And teaches him the time to speak. Released
From fear of one another, freedom grows
For each, a bond that blossoms like the rose.
It's love, not fear or hate, that tames the beast!
This pillars is marked L, which represents Lasa, Lion(ess) (Leu), Family (Lautn), and Giving (Al, cf. Alpan).

11. Cilens (M)

Having visited the first quadruple of pairs, Panthera took me back to the third of the eastern trio of pillars, which we had skipped earlier. It depicts Cilens (Fortuna) in the center of the "wheel of fortune." She wears a long, heavy, coarse mantle of varying hue over a tunic, and has bracelets on her arms. She holds the cornucopia in her left hand and a ship's rudder in her right. Four small figures are on the rim of the wheel, a young man to the left, a mature man on top, an old man on the right, and a decrepit man at the bottom. Amalthea said Cilens is the "Lady of Chance" (thus complementing Turmus, the Lord of Chance), and then she recited:
The Wheel of Fortune turns; while one declines
Another is upraised, but she assigns
The fate who holds the axle pin,
For Cilens is the drama's origin.
Ensure each turn of life the soul refines!
The letter M on the pillar means Being (Am), the Ego (Mi), the Ancestors (Mani), the number Five (Mac) and the month Masan (?).

12. Satre (N)

The next pillar in order was one of the western trio, in the southwest corner of the temple. It depicts Satre (Saturn) as an old man carrying a sickle in his right hand and in his left an hour glass filled with black sand. The dominant colors on the relief are black, brown and white. Pica (Magpie) introduced him as the "Lord of Necessity" and then chanted:
No power impedes the measured step of Time,
Which eats away from everything its prime,
For nought endures for long. Yet passing years
May grant us peace and wisdom, free from fears.
Attend the tread of Time: stark, yet sublime.
The letter N represents the Diviner (Haruspex, Netsvis'), the Dead One (Nes), the Grandson (Nefs'), He/She (An) and the number Nine (Nurf).

13. Prumat'e (P)

After visiting Satre, we returned to the southeast corner of the western quadruple of pairs of pillars. The pillar there depicts Prumat'e (Prometheus) suffering his punishment on the peak of Mt. Caucasus. There we see him suspended upside down, hanging by his left leg from a tree, on which a snake climbs towards him. Red is the dominant color: Promet'e has red hair and is naked and sun-scorched; blood runs from a wound where the eagle of Jupiter daily tears his liver. A burning brand lies on the ground nearby. Ferula (Fennel) explained,
Desiring revolution, he betrayed
His world; by choice the painful price is paid.
Hanging above the Abyss by Heaven's chains,
He calmly waits for freedom from his pains.
Who dives within the womb will be remade!
The letter P on the pillar means Promet'e (Prometheus), the Grandfather (Papa) and the Wife (Puia).

14. Eita (S')

Paired with Promet'e to the west is a pillar depicting Eita (Hades). He is horrifically depicted in blacks and whites, for he wears skeletal armor and stands in the midst of severed body parts. He holds an empty dish in his right hand and an (apparently) empty cornucopia in his left. In the background is a Mycenaean beehive tomb flanked by a white cypress on the left and a dark cypress on the right. Menta (Mint) intoned,
The Lord of Death is paid in bitter coin
For dissolution, hoping he'll rejoin
The scattered parts, far better rearranged,
For callous Death's decrees cannot be changed.
"Accept thy fated end," he doth enjoin.
The letter S' on the pillar represents the Dead (S'an), Establishing (S'at'e) and the numbers Four (S'a) and Ten (S'ar).

15. Set'lans (Q)

The next pair of columns to the north begins with a depiction of Set'lans (Hephaestus). He is attractive, sports a goatee, and has long ringlets descending from his navy-blue Phrygian cap (which has golden ram's horns on it). He wears a short green tunic, to mid thighs and mid upper arms, and has a pendant around his neck. He holds a large hammer in his left hand and raises his right in an odd salute (the fingers divided in two groups of two). He wears elaborate sandals and leggings, almost up to his knees, which leave the forward half of his feet exposed. We can see that his legs are crippled in some way. Set'lans stands on an anvil, to the base of which two small figures (male and female) are chained. They do not look quite natural, and may be effigies or Hephaestus' "robots." Flamma (Flame) recited:
The Master of the melting blaze creates
Material things, and draws together mates
In hot embrace. He works from depths obscure;
To bring him to the Light, the only cure.
Reveal and seize the force he radiates!
The letter on Set'lans' pillar is Q, which means Vessel (Qutun).

16. Fanu Frontac (R)

Paired with Set'lans is the first pillar that does not depict a deity; it shows Fanu Frontac (The Sacred Place of Lightning), that is, the Omphalos Mundi (World Navel) blasted by heaven. Specifically, a conical tower with seven stories (like a ziggurat) stands on a small island in the midst of the ocean. Four rivers (blue, white, yellow and red) flow from the base of the tower into the sea. A lightning bolt has struck, knocking the conical top off the tower. Two small figures (male and female), apparently blasted out of the tower, are falling to earth. Fire is everywhere, showing through seven openings in the side of the tower, and raining down on the island from the tower. The color scheme is primarily structured around the quadruple blue, green, yellow and red. Semele chanted this:
The lightning bolt destroys the outworn walls.
Two characters are overthrown; each falls,
Returns to Mother Earth. The Sacred Mound
Is quickened; there the spark of life is found.
Accept the holy blast that overhauls!
The letter on the pillar is R, which stands for the Sacred Thing (Rat'), the Brother (Ruva) and Moving (Er).

17. Turan Ati (S)

When we had finished at the pillar depicting Fanu Frontac we returned to the western trio, to the northernmost of the three pillars. It is displaced approximately a meter to the south of where it should be, in order to accommodate a pool or basin filled by the stream from the Northwest Way (which, it will be recalled, flows from the spring in its shrine). This pool empties into a drain in the floor of the temple.

Turan Ati (Mother Venus, Venus Genetrix) is depicted as a young woman, with copper-colored skin, naked but for a tiara, shoes laced up her calves and her kestos (embroidered magic girdle); she kneels by the side of a pool. From a gold drinking horn in her left hand she pours water onto the ground, from the silver horn in her right she pours water into the pool. In the background is a beehive tomb flanked by white and dark cypresses, similar to those on the fourteenth pillar. A eight-rayed star blazes above, which is surrounded by seven smaller stars. This symbol shows that Turan is also Aphrodite Urania (Heavenly Venus). Spes (Hope) announced that Turan is the "Lady of Necessity," and then sang,

The Child of Earth and Starry Heaven waits,
Attending to decrees of Stars and Fates,
While through her hands the waters ebb and flow
In Cosmic Rhythm, then descend below.
She marks the time, and Destiny creates!
The letter on this pillar is S, which stands for the Mistress (Maid or Female Companion, Snenat'), the Daughter (Sec), Alive (Sval) and the number Seven (Semp').

18. Aritimi (T)

After Turan's pillar we returned to the northwest pair of pairs, starting at the pillar in the southeast corner, which depicts the Moon (Tiv), ruled by Aritimi (Diana). A young crescent moon shines above a desolate scene at the beach: two canines (black and white) bay at the moon while some sort of crustacean emerges from the water. The twin towers of a walled city are visible in the distance. The dark blue of the sky and ocean is the dominant color. The Giane called Phoebe said,
The Nascent Moon controls the sunless skies,
And offers wisdom for whoever tries
To cross the desert. Guardians must be
Appeased to make the passage from the Sea.
Approach the dreadful Dark with insight's eyes!
The letter on this pillar is T, which stands for the Moon (Tiv), the Boundaries (Tular), the Grandmother (Teta) and the month Turane (July).

19. Aplu (U)

Paired with the Moon is a pillar depicting the Sun (Usil), ruled by Aplu (Apollo). A brilliant solar disk shines above a walled garden in which a boy and girl dance, arm in arm. Panthera explained that the children represent Castur (Castor) and Clutmstra (Clytemnestra) among mortals, and Pultice (Polydeuces) and Elinai (Helen) among the immortals. "Golden drops of sunshine" seem to be falling from the solar disk; yellow and gold are the dominant colors in this sunny scene. Pythias recited:
The holy place where dawn is never done,
The garden wherein rebirth is begun,
Is where the children dance the Dance of Life,
With Love and Logic, reconciling strife.
Enjoy the sacred Garden of the Sun!
The letter U on the pillar stands for the Sun (Usil) and Noontime (Uslane).

20. Turmus & Atunis (S`)

The scene is dominated by Turmus (Mercury), who flies in the air, sandals strapped to his legs, naked but for a blue cloak clasped over his shoulders. He is young, clean-shaved, and on his head is a broad, red, winged hat. In his left hand he holds a long caduceus, with two snakes wound tightly on the top; his right holds to his mouth a long golden trumpet, from which hangs a banner emblazoned with an equal-armed cross. Below him, on a small island in the midst of the ocean, is a green sarcophagus, in which stands Atunis (Adonis) as a naked, young child. The sarcophagus is flanked by two figures, Turan Ati and Maris Apa (Mother Venus and Father Mars). Chloe (Young Green Shoot) gave the verse:
The trumpet sounds; the Herald calls the Child
To rise and be rewarded - or reviled.
Reborn from ash that roasted in the Arc,
His spirit body bears the golden mark.
Arise, and let the poles be reconciled!
The letter S` is on this pillar; it represents the Wind Player (S`uplu), the Tomb (S`ut'i) and the Dead One (S`ians).

21. Menrva (P')

Menrva (Minerva) is seated on a throne, and holds scales in her left hand and an upright sword in her right; a helmet with a red horse-hair fringe is pushed back on her blond hair. She wears a green mantle over a blue robe; on her chest is a red aegis with the Mask of the Gorgon in the center. The four primary colors, red, blue, green and yellow, are balanced in the picture. Noctua (Nightowl) intoned loudly:
A balance holds opposing forces, bound
But separate. Herein Harmony is found,
The child of Strife and Love. The keen-edged blade
Divides acutely, truth with wisdom weighed.
By balanced deeds the cosmic mind is crowned.
This pillar's letter is P', which mean a Mask (P'ersu).

22. Ana & Ane (F)

This completed our viewing of the paired columns in the center of the temple, so Panthera brought me to the last, westernmost pillar. It depicts a figure with two faces like Janus, except that one is female and the other male. Indeed, Panthera explained that the figure represents the magical unification (as recounted in The Janid) of Jana and Janus, who the Giane say are the same as Diana and Dianus. Moreover, she said that in their oldest language (Etruscan) they are called Ana and Ane, which may be translated She and He.[5] This androgyne, whom they call Ana-Anec (Ana-and-Ane, She-He), is dancing in an oval formed by two dragons, who bite each other's tails. Outside this oval, in the corners of the relief, are four heads: an old man's, a calf's, a lion's and an eagle's. The colors red, blue, green and yellow dominate the image, although Ana-Anec is draped in a violet, Y-shaped scarf. Gold and silver rods are in the androgyne's hands. Virga (Staff) recited the verse:
The Dancer looks both ways, and holds the keys
That show the rising, falling vortices.
Her dance expands within the world, and takes
The world within; in her the world awakes.
Unreal divisions yield to unities!
The letter on this pillar is F, which means Divinity (Flere), Heaven (Falatu) and Sacred Place (Fanu).

I was shown the Western Portal in the wall behind this pillar, but I was not allowed to go through, for I was told that this led to the Sacrum Sacrorum (Holy of Holies), which is off-limits. Therefore we returned to the Eastern Portal and left the subterranean temple.


1 In Etruscan words throughout this document, C', P' and T' represent aspirated C, P and T; S' and S` are S-like sounds. Z is pronounced TS.

2 The Giane are an oral culture, but use the Etruscan alphabet for numeration. As used by the Giane, the alphabet comprises letters that are transliterated:

A C E V Z H T' I K L M N P S' Q R S T U S` P' (C') F.
The Giane received this alphabet when the first Sardinian settlers came from Etruria, and the Etruscans may have got it from the Greeks at Cumae. According to The Janid, the Giane origin epic, at the end of the second millenium BCE, western Luvian (Lydian or Lycian) colonists, who called themselves the Rasna (Etruscans), including "the Sibyl" and "the Daedalus," stopped at Sardinia before colonizing first Cumae and later Etruria, and they may have brought the alphabet to the Giane at this time.

3 Many of the attendant Giane had names appropriate for the gods to whom they were dedicated; I wondered whether they had chosen, or been given, these names when they had dedicated themselves to their gods, or whether they had been intended for a particular god from birth. I never found out; they did not seem to see much of a distinction.

4 The Etruscan letter transliterated "Z" is pronounced TS.

5 These names have the form of feminine and masculine proper noun endings (-a, -e) applied to the gender-neutral pronoun an (s/he).

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Last updated: Mon Aug 17 10:35:28 EDT 1998