A Feeling Thing - Teach Me, please

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Teach me, please.

Please forgive me if I go somewhere you don't want me to go. If you tell me to stop, then I will, but I feel the need to riff ahead on at least the historicity of the Etruscans. I don't see how we can wait til we see each other to talk about these things (they are SO fascinating!), but I defer to your greater knowledge here, my friend, and I'm confident that we'll only teach each other...

Until just this moment, I had NO IDEA the Etruscans had any connection with Italy. I saw them first in France, after all, and had no time for the history - only to get gob-smacked side of the head by the power of being next to their *stuff*. I didn't tell you that the reason I was in Europe last year was to go with Douglas to a violinmaker's convention in Cremona, (in the Po Valley) and that I had the most amazing experiences in Italy while I was there.

Suffice it to say that I had a "knowing" while in Italy that was extremely visceral. It filled my body. I got shivers when I walked on the old stone streets. I felt such a tremendous connection with the land, and the air, and when I was in Venice I knew I had to go back there and sing someday. When I came back to the US, I determined that one of the things I would do in 2003 would be to go to Venice (possibly in the Late Fall/winter) and do some performing there. Most of my friends here in Eugene know that I'm "headed to Venice" to sing. It's one of those wild dreams that just may happen...

You are the first person I've even mentioned the Etruscans to. Not even Douglas knows how drawn I was to the sarcophagus, or the personal items in the glass case. I don't want to make ANY kind of a case here for anything other than a DEEP AFFINITY to a pattern that resonates very strongly with me.

I make the assumption that the affinity is related to my interest in social organization, and understanding the history of how WE got here (ME - or You and I - not necessarily the amorphous collective us, but the individuals you and I currently are - genetically, and hinted at in the metaphors we carry within us like our names, our memories, our dreams, our desires, our affinities). I think that the more I understand about what/who I may have been, the more I can shape and support the best patterns of where I'm going. These are the leads I follow for my story, Chasing Spring...This is how I chase spring.

Here are some links that I want to be able to see and so I thought I'd share them here with you, too.

the Married Couple

an Etruscan Course outline

A good image of The Couple

from U Texas! :-)

and an informational site which shows a map of the Etruscan territory in 530-510 BC, and seems to include the Po River Valley, out to Venice. There's intersting stuff here, Dan, don't you think? -

One thing that stands out for me: Cerveteri - "Caere" - as in Caer Sidi (?)of The Silver Wheel, Arianhrod and the Moon? If the word "cerveteri" goes THERE, then the connection is provocative. isn't it (I can't wait to hear what you've thought about this) ?

Following the trail of my name , Cynthia: is there a Hellenic connection to the Gaellic (you said it was unknown when we talked about the Runic Analysis of my name)? In the tiny bit I've read so far, there seems to be some disagreement on whether or not the Etruscans were from Lydia/Asia Minor OR some other place with Celtic influence (what do you think?- both?).

There's a good case for Asia minor, including the connection to the Hebrews that's just "in a name". If we follow my name, Cynthia, we have amongst the Hebrew the God "Sin", in the time of the worship of Ba'al, or Be'el, or Bel - (can you spell "Beal"?) Sin was the Moon God. Cynthos - Kynthos/Cynthia is the Hellenic Moon goddess. Is there a semantic connection that links these folk around the symbol/language of the moon? Do you know of other interesting references?

Where does the word Caer come from? Is the Welsh (?) use of it at all connected to the Italian/Etruscan Cerveterii/Caere?

Man, there's so much - I don't have the time here, but it certainly is one more brain wander while I go dig in the garden, and run to the dump, and do all those mundane things that seem to balance out the wild wooly liberty of this mental plane.

Hug! * *

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2002


The "Good Picture" is the Veii sarcophagus. The one in the Louvre is the Cerveteri sarcophagus. The Veii sarcophagus is a hundred or so years older. It has the archaic robustness. The Cerveteri sarcophagus is a bit more naturalistic: is shows a hint of increasingly "classic" style. The motif was imbedded in Etruscan culture. The Etruscans really understood Love and Death and social Equality of the sexes.

For me, these sarcophagi are the most precious artifacts IN THE WORLD. The Veii sarcophagus has haunted me deeply ever since I first laid eyes on an image of it in Greenwich Library at the age of 14. I haven't been able to shake it. Nor would I ever want to. I returned again and again to the Estruscan section in the Metrolpolitan Museum in New York, running my eyes over the bronze artifacts. There was one Corinthian style helmet... I felt these things were "mine", just as you did.

Everything about them: styles, forms, the vibes, the pictures of the insides of their tombs. Unfortunately many Etruscan tombs were opened in the 1800s before modern techniques. There are stories of slabs being slid aside to reveal undecomposed bodies in perfect condition that then turned to dust before the eyes of their beholders, bones and all.

The Etruscans are thought to be some form of aboriginal Europeans. Aboriginal Mediterraneans, perhaps. There language is non Indo-European. There may have been other aboriginal linguistic groups beside Basque. The language remains undeciphered. The alphabet was based on Greek. The Latin alphabet came from Greek via the Etruscans. I've heard the stories of their origins in Boetia or Lydia. I don't buy it. I think they were from Tuscany. Nobody knew: stories grew up. Remember, the Trojans were Achaean Hellenes (Indo European).

The connection of the Celts with the Etruscans was that the Celts were very active in Helevetia (Switzerland) when the Etruscans were at there peak. There was much trade, especially Keltic salt, furs, iron for Etruscan bronze and art. The flowing organic swirls loved by the Etruscans influenced the Celts early and profoundly. The Etruscans influenced the Germans too. It is believed that the Germanic Runes came from the Etruscan alphabet as the Roman alphabet did. There is no such thing as Celtic "runes". The runes are Germanic. There was some overlap but not much, maybe only a few tribes. They were related but distinct and linguistically unintelligable. The continental Celts never developed writing. In Ireland they developed Ogham, rune-"like" markings, but definitely their own system.

The Etruscans were the first Kings of Rome. In Rome Etruscan was studied as Latin is studied today. The Etruscans were revered for their ability to prophesy. They used various techniques, the most famous of which were the Augurs, who prophesied by ritually disembowling animals (or men) and examining the entrails. There were the Haruspex, who used other techniques, including intrepreting the flights of birds. There is some confusion. It was a heavy thing when a Haruspex came to town. They wore cloaks and carried long staffs. They wore tall, conical hats with or without brims. They carried nothing tied about them: shoes or boots were slip-ons. It was believed that knots on the person prevented free-flow of the energy that enabled clear prophesy. Our image of the arrival of the wizard most recently expressed in the movie "The Fellowship of the Ring" is a folk memory derived directly from the experiences of earthy Latin tribes-people who were impressed with the arrival of a learned, erudite, slightly foreign and ancient Haruspex to read the Omens.

The last living person who could read Etruscan died in the AD 400s, even though the language had been essentially dead since about 300 BC. It lingered in scholarly circles as Latin does today.

I cherish every image of the Etruscans and their world and life and art I possess. These are treasures of my mind's eye.

This is truly the MUSEUM OF THE SOUL as I had suggested. My favorite room in the Museum of the Soul.

To think I found you here not only grazing at, but enraptured by my favorite artifact.

The Veii Sarcopagus is the very first thing I see when I open my eyes every morning, and that is the way I want it. For there is, for here is; a Love that is stronger than death, a Beauty that it stronger than death, a Loyalty that is stronger than death. They are SO beautiful.

It is the same as the message of Jesus really. And of Orpheus.

-- Anonymous, June 15, 2002

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