Tages was claimed as a founding prophet of Etruscan religion who is known from reports by Latin authors of the late Roman Republic and Roman Empire. He revealed a cosmic view of divinity and correct methods of ascertaining divine will concerning events of public interest. Such divination was undertaken in Roman society by priestly officials called haruspices.
The religious texts recording the revelations of Tages (and a few other prophets, mainly a female figure known as Vegoia) were called by the Romans the Etrusca Disciplina at least as early as the late republic. They were written in the Etruscan language, despite their Latin titles. None presently survive. The last author claiming to have read elements of the disciplina is the sixth-century John the Lydian, writing at Constantinople.Thus, knowledge of Tages comes mainly from what is said about him by the classical authors, which is a legendary and quasimythical view; John the Lydian suggested Tages is only a parable.
As the Etruscan alphabet had no 'G', Tages is most likely a Latinization of an Etruscan word. The reverse of a third-century BC bronze mirror from Tuscania depicts a youthful haruspex in a conical hat examining a liver. He is labeled pavatarchies. A second, older haruspex with a beard listens and is labeled avl tarchunus. Massimo Pallottino made the generally accepted suggestion that the first name is to be segmented pava Tarchies and means "the child, Tarchies." The second name is "the son of Tarchon", where Tarchon is the legendary king of Tarquinia, location of Tages' revelation, and also one of the founders of the Etruscan League.
Gm. M. Facchetti proposed an alternative hypothesis linking the name to the repetitive Etruscan stem thac-/thax, which he interprets as 'voice'.
There are multiple versions of the origins of Tages.Broadly Tages appeared from the earth while an Etruscan was ploughing, and then taught Etruscans divination. He is sometimes the grandson of Jove. Cicero reports the myth in this way:
They tell us that one day as the land was being ploughed in the territory of Tarquinii, and a deeper furrow than usual was made, suddenly Tages sprang out of it and addressed the ploughman. Tages, as it is recorded in the works of the Etrurians (Libri Etruscorum), possessed the visage of a child, but the prudence of a sage. When the ploughman was surprised at seeing him, and in his astonishment made a great outcry, a number of people assembled around him, and before long all the Etrurians came together at the spot. Tages then discoursed in the presence of an immense crowd, who noted his speech and committed it to writing. The information they derived from this Tages was the foundation of the science of the soothsayers (haruspicinae disciplina), and was subsequently improved by the accession of many new facts, all of which confirmed the same principles. We received this record from them. This record is preserved in their sacred books, and from it the augurial discipline is deduced.
In Ovid's version,Tyrrhenus arator ("a Tyrrhenian ploughman") observed a clod turn into a man and begin to speak of things destined to happen and how the Etruscan people could discover the future.
Joannes Laurentius Lydus lived in the sixth century AD. Although the last classical-period writer to have read the books, he is the most specific about his sources. He implies that he read "the texts of the Etruscans"; that is, the Etrusca Disciplina, including the report of the haruspex , Tarchon, who was instructed by Tyrrhenus. Tarchon's work on Tages, he says, is a dialogue in which Tarchon asks Tages questions in "the ordinary language of the Italians". This is presumably Vulgar Latin, as Lydus cannot mean any early Italic dialect. Tages' recorded response is "in ancient letters", presumably in the Etruscan language. Lydus says it is not very understandable, and that he relies on translations.
Labeled Etruscan representations of Tages are very rare, and scenes clearly tied to the Tages myth are almost as rare. Figures leaning on the lituus , the crooked staff of the augur , or examining entrails wearing the conical cap of the haruspex, are common, but are not necessarily Tages. Winged figures, representing divinity, are also common, especially on funerary urns from Tarquinia, but whether any depict Tages is questionable. Assuming that a certain percentage of these representations are, in fact, Tages, there appears to be no standard way to depict him. Art historians have inserted Tages freely among them but entirely in a speculative fashion.
In addition to the labelled scene on the bronze mirror described above, which must have been repeated many times without labels, a type of scene engraved on fourth-century BC gemstones, once set in seal rings, appears to describe the Tages myth. A bearded figure (Tarchon?) bends over as though listening at the head or head and torso of another, beardless figure embedded in or arising from the ground. On a similar theme is a third-century BC bronze votive statuette, .327 m (1.07 ft) high, from Tarquinia, of a sitting infant peering upward with an adult's head and visage.
Etruscan was the language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria. Etruscan influenced Latin but eventually was completely superseded by it. The Etruscans left around 13,000 inscriptions that have been found so far, only a small minority of which are of significant length; some bilingual inscriptions with texts also in Latin, Greek, or Phoenician; and a few dozen loanwords. Attested from 700 BCE to 50 CE, the relation of Etruscan to other languages has been a source of long-running speculation and study, with its being referred to at times as an isolate, one of the Tyrsenian languages, and a number of other less well-known theories.
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. The language of its population, known as Lydian, was a member of the Anatolian branch of Indo-European language family. Its capital was Sardis.
The Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and Campania.
In Greek mythology, Omphale was queen of the kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor. Diodorus Siculus provides the first appearance of the Omphale theme in literature, though Aeschylus was aware of the episode. The Greeks did not recognize her as a goddess: the undisputed etymological connection with omphalos, the world-navel, has never been made clear. In her best-known myth, she is the mistress of the hero Heracles during a year of required servitude, a scenario that offered writers and artists opportunities to explore sexual roles and erotic themes.
In ancient Roman religion, the diiNovensiles or Novensides are collective deities of obscure significance found in inscriptions, prayer formulary, and both ancient and early-Christian literary texts.
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories, beliefs, and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture, heavily influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, and sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were partially incorporated into ancient Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands.
In Etruscan religion, Fufluns or Puphluns was a god of plant life, happiness, wine, health, and growth in all things. He is mentioned twice among the gods listed in the inscriptions of the Liver of Piacenza, being listed among the 16 gods that rule the Etruscan astrological houses. He is the 9th of those 16 gods. He is the son of Semla and the god Tinia. He was worshipped at Populonia and is the namesake of that town.
Menrva was an Etruscan goddess of war, art, wisdom, and medicine. She contributed much of her character to the Roman Minerva. She was the child of Uni and Tinia.
In Etruscan mythology, Tarchon and his brother, Tyrrhenus, were culture heroes who founded the Etruscan League of twelve cities, the Dodecapoli. One author, Joannes Laurentius Lydus, distinguishes two legendary persons named Tarchon, the Younger and his father, the Elder. It was the Elder who received the Etrusca Disciplina from Tages, whom he identifies as a parable. The Younger fought with Aeneas after his arrival in Italy. The elder was a haruspex, who learned his art from Tyrrhenus, and was probably the founder of Tarquinia and the Etruscan League. Lydus does not state that, but the connection was being made at least as long ago as George Dennis. Lydus had the advantage in credibility, even though late, of stating that he read the part of the Etrusca Disciplina about Tages and that it was a dialogue with Tarchon's lines in "the ordinary language of the Italians" and Tages' lines in Etruscan, which was difficult for him to read. He relied on translations.
In Etruscan mythology, Tyrrhenus was one of the founders of the Etruscan League of twelve cities, along with his brother Tarchon. Herodotus describes him as the saviour of the Etruscans, because he led them from Lydia to Etruria; however this Lydian origin is to be debated as it contradicts cultural and linguistic evidence, as well as the view held by both the Etruscans themselves and by other Etrusco-Roman and Greek ancient sources. His name was given to the Etruscan people by the Greeks. The Romans extended this use to the sea west of Etruria: the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In Etruscan religion, Hercle, the son of Tinia and Uni, was a version of the Greek Heracles, depicted as a muscular figure often carrying a club and wearing a lionskin. He is a popular subject in Etruscan art, particularly bronze mirrors, which show him engaged in adventures not known from the Greek myths of Heracles or the Roman and later classical myths of Hercules.
In the religion of ancient Rome, a haruspex was a person trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy (haruspicina), the inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The reading of omens specifically from the liver is also known by the Greek term hepatoscopy.
Tarquinia, formerly Corneto, is an old city in the province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy known chiefly for its ancient Etruscan tombs in the widespread necropoleis or cemeteries which it overlies, for which it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
Uni is the ancient goddess of marriage, fertility, family, and women in Etruscan religion and myth, and the patron goddess of Perugia. She is identified as the Etruscan equivalent of Juno in Roman mythology, and Hera in Greek mythology. As the supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon, she is part of the Etruscan trinity, an original precursor to the Capitoline Triad, made up of her husband Tinia, the god of the sky, and daughter Menrva, the goddess of wisdom.
Giulio Quirino Giglioli was an art historian of classical Roman and Etruscan art and was associated with Fascism in Italy.
The Tomb of Orcus, sometimes called the Tomb of Murina, is a 4th-century BC Etruscan hypogeum in Tarquinia, Italy. Discovered in 1868, it displays Hellenistic influences in its remarkable murals, which include the portrait of Velia Velcha, an Etruscan noblewoman, and the only known pictorial representation of the demon Tuchulcha. In general, the murals are noted for their depiction of death, evil, and unhappiness.
In antiquity, several theses were elaborated on the origin of the Etruscans that can be summarized into three main hypotheses. The first is the autochthonous development in situ out of the Villanovan culture, as claimed by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus who described the Etruscans as indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. The second is a migration from the Aegean sea, as claimed by two Greek historians: Herodotus, who described them as a group of immigrants from Lydia in Anatolia, and Hellanicus of Lesbos who claimed that the Tyrrhenians were the Pelasgians originally from Thessaly, Greece, who entered Italy at the head of the Adriatic sea. The third hypotheses was reported by Livy and Pliny the Elder, and puts the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and other populations living in the Alps.
Vegoia is a sibyl, prophet, or nymph within the Etruscan religious framework who is identified as the author of parts of their large and complex set of sacred books, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time; she initiated the Etruscan people to the arts, as originating the rules and rituals of land marking, and as presiding over the observance, respect, and preservation of boundaries. Vegoia also is known as Vecu, Vecui, and Vecuvia, as well as Vegoe; her name is also given as Begoe or Bigois.
A boy named Tages, the son of Genius, grandson of Jupiter ...