Last updated
Tinia Staatliche Antikensammlungen Munchen 2013.jpg
Terracotta bust of Tinia from 300–250 BCE
Symbol Thunderbolt
Personal information
Consort Uni
Children Hercle and Menrva
Greek equivalent Zeus
Roman equivalent Jupiter
Egyptian equivalent Amun
Tinia on a Roman As from Etruria Populonia AR 5 asses 700006.jpg
Tinia on a Roman As from Etruria

Tinia (also Tin, Tinh, Tins or Tina) was the god of the sky and the highest god in Etruscan mythology, equivalent to the Roman Jupiter and the Greek Zeus. [1] However, a primary source from the Roman Varro states that Veltha, not Tins, was the supreme deity of the Etruscans. [2] This has led some scholars to conclude that they were assimilated, but this is speculation. [3] He was the husband of Uni and the father of Hercle. Like many other Etruscan deities, his name is gender neutral. [4]


The Etruscans had a group of nine gods who had the power of hurling thunderbolts; they were called Novensiles by the Romans. [5] Of thunderbolts there were eleven sorts, of which Tinia wielded three. [5]

Tinia was sometimes represented with a beard or sometimes as youthful and beardless. [3] In terms of symbolism, Tinia has the thunderbolt. [3] [4] Tinia's thunderbolts could be red or blood coloured. [6]

Like Selvans [3] and possibly Laran, [7] Tinia also protected boundaries. His name appears as the guarantor on three boundary stones with identical inscriptions found in Tunisia, originally placed there by the Etruscan colonists. [3]

Some of Tinia's possible epithets are detailed on the Piacenza Liver, a bronze model of a liver used for haruspicy. These inscriptions have been transcribed as Tin Cilens, Tin Θuf and Tinś Θne. There have been a number of suggestions as to their meaning, but the Etruscan language is poorly understood and there is no scholarly consensus for the translation.


Chimera d'arezzo, firenze, 05 firma.JPG
TINSCVIL inscription on foreleg

Tinia appears in several inscriptions, including:

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Novensiles</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Etruscan religion</span> Stories, beliefs, and religious practices of the Etruscans

Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories, beliefs, and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, heavily influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece, and sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was gradually assimilated into the Roman Republic from 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. The first attestations of an Etruscan religion can be traced back to the Villanovan culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aita</span> Etruscan underworld deity

Aita, also spelled Eita, is an epithet of the Etruscan chthonic fire god Śuri as god of the underworld, roughly equivalent to the Greek god Hades.

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laran</span> Etruscan god of war

In Etruscan mythology and religion, Laran is the god of war. In art, he was portrayed as a naked youth wearing a helmet, a cuirass and carrying a spear, shield, or lance. Laran also appears to be an underworld god. Among his attributes is his responsibility to maintain peace. According to some scholars, he also seems to have been the guardian of boundaries as shown by the boundary cippi found in Bettona with the inscriptions tular Larna and tular larns. Along with eight other Etruscan gods, he can wield lightning. Due to the Tabula Capuana we know that the Laran festival was celebrated on the Ides of May. Laran is the Etruscan equivalent of the Greek Ares and the Roman Mars. Like many other Etruscan gods, his name is gender neutral.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menrva</span> Etruscan goddess of war, art, wisdom, and medicine

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hercle</span> Ancient Etruscan god

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Uni (mythology)</span> Etruscan goddess

Uni is the ancient goddess of marriage, fertility, family, and women in Etruscan religion and myth, and was 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.

In Etruscan mythology and religion, Selvans is god of the woodlands and boundaries, including sacred boundaries. He is possibly cognate with Roman Silvanus. As the god of boundaries, he is known by the epithet tularias as stated by a dedication of a statue to the god. His name is 10th on the list of 16 gods on the outer rim of the Piacenza Liver. Votive inscriptions from the liver show that he was a popular god in Etruria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Usil</span> Etruscan god of the sun

Usil is the Etruscan god of the sun, shown to be identified with Apulu (Apollo). His iconic depiction features Usil rising out of the sea, with a fireball in either outstretched hand, on an engraved Etruscan bronze mirror in late Archaic style, formerly on the Roman antiquities market. On Etruscan mirrors in the Classical style, Usil appears with an aureole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Satre (Etruscan god)</span> Etruscan god identified with Saturn

Satre or Satres was an Etruscan god who appears on the Liver of Piacenza, a bronze model used for haruspicy. He occupies the dark and negative northwest region, and seems to be a "frightening and dangerous god who hurls his lightning from his abode deep in the earth." It is possible that Satre is also referred to with the word "satrs" in the Liber Linteus, the Etruscan text preserved in Ptolemaic Egypt as mummy wrappings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catha (mythology)</span> Etruscan goddess

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.

Leinth is an Etruscan deity. Within Etruscan iconography, it is difficult to distinguish mortals from divine figures without inscriptions. Inscriptions to the god Leinth have only been identified on two bronze mirrors and a single fragment of ceramic, found within an artisan’s zone on an Etruscan site in Italy. It is difficult, with such little evidence, to determine what may seem to be even the most rudimentary qualities of the deity, because the Etruscans did not consistently assign specific genders or attributes to their gods. Leinth appears both as a male and a female on two different bronze mirrors, and aside from the inscription, there seem to be no distinguishing traits to connect the figures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ethausva</span> Etruscan birth goddess

Ethausva is an Etruscan divine figure that appears in a few Etruscan inscriptions. She is depicted as a winged female richly robed and wearing a jeweled crown on her head. Her lack of mention on Etruscan artwork and inscriptions suggest that she was not very common, but she was considered canon to the Etruscan Pantheon so she was still known during the time of the Etruscans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Epiur</span> Fictional character

Epiur is an Etruscan mythological figure that appears on bronze Etruscan engraved mirrors. He is shown as an infant that has the face of a young man. He is also often winged and being held by Hercle or Menrva, who are charged with the protection and care of infants. He is also often shown to be presented to other gods.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Culsans</span> Etruscan deity

Culsans (Culśanś) is an Etruscan deity, known from four inscriptions and a variety of iconographical material which includes coins, statuettes, and a sarcophagus. Culśanś is usually rendered as a male deity with two faces and at least two statuettes depicting him have been found in close association with city gates. These characteristics suggest that he was a protector of gateways, who could watch over the gate with two pairs of eyes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lur (deity)</span>

Lur is an Etruscan underworld deity with not much known history. Lur does not have many depictions but the ones that have been found show the deity as a male. He has been noted to be associated with a prophetic nature, while also bearing oracular and martial characteristics. He has been linked to another deity by the name of Laran, which, it has been suggested, is where Lur derives his name from. The context of the name has been associated with darkness and the underworld. A fifth century vase found near a sanctuary in San Giovenale bears an inscription that translates: "I am Lurs, that of Laran." Another inscription has been found with the spelling lartla, noting relations to a Lar, which gives a label to Lur that describes features of protection. The name may be related to Latin luridus "pale".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Apulu</span> Etruscan god

Apulu, also syncopated as Aplu, is an epithet of the Etruscan fire god Śuri as chthonic sky god, roughly equivalent to the Greco-Roman god Apollo. Their names are associated on Pyrgi inscriptions too. The name Apulu or Aplu did not come directly from Greece but via a Latin center, probably Palestrina.

Śuri, later latinized as Soranus, was an ancient Etruscan deity, also venerated by other populations of central Italy and later adopted into ancient Roman religion.


  1. de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend, page 53
  2. Varro, De lingua Latina V.46.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press. 2006.
  4. 1 2 The Etruscan World. Routledge. 2013. ISBN   978-0-415-67308-2.
  5. 1 2 Dennis, George (1848). The cities and cemeteries of Etruria: Vol.I. London.
  6. Nancy T. de Grummond, "Thunder versus Lightning in Etruria," Etruscan Studies, 2016, 19(2), 183-207.
  7. Konstantinos I. Soueref; Ariadni Gartziou-Tatti (2019). Gods of Peace and War in the Myths of the Mediterranean People. Ioannina, Greece: Ephorate of Antiquities of Ioannina - University of Ioannina. ISBN   978-960-233-247-4.
  8. Giuliano Bonfante and Larissa Bonfante (1983). The Etruscan language: an introduction . Manchester University Press. ISBN   9780719009020.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)