Tarchon

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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. [1] 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. [2] Lydus had the advantage in credibility, even though late (6th century AD), 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 Virgil's Aeneid, Tarchon, king of the Tyrrhenians, leads the Etruscans in their alliance with Aeneas against Turnus and the other Latian tribes. [3] The legend fits well with Lydus', as this Tarchon must been the younger, dating him to the century immediately after the Trojan War. Nothing in the archaeology of Tarquinii and the other cities of the league contradicts these legends, as they were all founded in Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age contexts; i.e., in one round number, about 1000 BC. The legends indicate that Aeneas was not an Etruscan, that he arrived in an already existing Etruria, and that it is to be dated to before the Trojan War.

"Tarchon" is the anglicized transliteration of the Greek Τάρχων, or Τάρκων in Strabo's Geography, [4] which itself is thought to reflect tarχun in the Etruscan language. [5] The same name is thought to be related to the Latin Tarquinius, the name of a Roman gens , and of the Tarquins, two of the legendary Seven Kings of Rome. Hittite expert Oliver Gurney thought that it might be related to the name of the Luwian storm god Tarhunt, [6] which in turn could be connected to gods present also in the Norse mythology as Thor, in the Celtic mythology as Taranis and in the Baltic mythology as Perkūnas. [7] But the connection between Tarchon and Tarhunt has been dismissed by Carlo De Simone. [8]

Dodecapoli

The Dodecapoli is:

Ancient/Modern

  1. Aritim/Arezzo
  2. Kisra/Cerveteri
  3. Clevsi-n/Clusium/Chiusi
  4. Curtun-a/Cortona
  5. Perusna/Perugia
  6. Pupluna/Populonia
  7. Tarχuna/Tarquinia-Corneto (named after Tarchon the Younger)
  8. Vatluna/Vetulonia
  9. Velathri/Volterra
  10. Velzna/Orvieto
  11. Velχ/Vulci
  12. Veia/Veio

Rusellae/Roselle is incorrectly considered to have been part of the league by some modern authors. Likewise, since Vipsul/Fiesole was probably founded in the 9th-8th century BC and the Dodecapoli was founded Tyrsenos and Tarchon, who are both assumed to have lived in the 11th century BC, it is impossible that Vipsul was part of the league.

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Caere

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Tyrsenian languages Hypothetical extinct Pre-Indo-European language family

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Etruscan history

Etruscan history is the written record of Etruscan civilization compiled mainly by Greek and Roman authors. Apart from their inscriptions, from which information mainly of a sociological character can be extracted, the Etruscans left no surviving history of their own, nor is there any mention in the Roman authors that any was ever written. Remnants of Etruscan writings are almost exclusively concerned with religion.

Etruscan cities

Etruscan cities were a group of ancient settlements that shared a common Etruscan language and culture, even though they were independent city-states. They flourished over a large part of the northern half of Italy starting from the Iron Age, and in some cases reached a substantial level of wealth and power. They were eventually assimilated first by Italics in the south, then by Celts in the north and finally in Etruria itself by the growing Roman Republic.

Etruscan art

Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.

Tomb of Orcus Etruscan hypogeum (burial chamber) in Tarquinia, Italy

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Etruscan origins

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Tarchon may refer to:

Catha (mythology)

Catha is a female Etruscan lunar or solar deity, who may also be connected to childbirth, and has a connection to the underworld. Catha is also the goddess of the south sanctuary at Pyrgi, Italy She is often seen with the Etruscan god Śuri with whom she shares a cult. Catha is also frequently paired with the Etruscan god Fufluns, who is the counterpart to the Greek god Dionysus, and Pacha, the counterpart to the Roman god Bacchus. Additionally, at Pyrgi, Catha is linked with the god Aplu, the counterpart to the Greek god Apollo. Aplu may have even taken some of the characteristics of Catha when he was brought into the Etruscan religion. Giovanni Colonna has suggested that Catha is linked to the Greek Persephone since he links Catha's consort, Suri, to Dis Pater in Roman mythology.

References

  1. Lydus, Joannes Laurentius. "2.6.B". De Ostentis.
  2. Dennis, George (1848, 2009). William Thayer (ed.). "Chapter XIX Tarquinii - The City". The Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria. London, Chicago: John Murray, University of Chicago. p. 372 Note 5. Retrieved 24 June 2009.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. Book VIII.506, 603; X.153, 290; XI.727, 746
  4. 5.2.2
  5. Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002). The Etruscan Language: an Introduction, Revised Edition. Manchester: University of Manchester Press. p. 219. ISBN   0-7190-5540-7.
  6. Green, Alberto R. W. (2003). The storm-god in the ancient Near East. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns. pp. 132–133. ISBN   1-57506-069-8.
  7. Golan, Ariel (1991). Prehistoric religion : mythology, symbolism. Jerusalem. pp. 75–76. ISBN   9659055501.
  8. De Simone, Carlo (1982). Tischler, Johann (ed.). Serta Indogermanica. Festschrift für Günter Neumann zum 60. Geburtstag (in German). Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck. pp. 401–402. ISBN   978-3851245684.