...the famed Hetruscan sepulchral lamps...

"...the famed Hetruscan sepulchral lamps..."

Religion was an integral part of life for the Etruscans. Most of what is known about Etruscan religion comes to us through materials surrounding death. The images painted on tomb walls, and artifacts such as the famed Etruscan sepulchral lamps found in the tombs provide important clues to Etruscan relgion. Precious little is actually known of Etruscan religion but because the Roman religion inherited many aspects of Etruscan spiritual practice, a study of Roman religion could be helpful.

The seated figure featured to the right is an augur, an Etruscan priest. The large disc at his back suggests the full moon. As depicted here, he is interpreting the night flight of birds. The staff he holds in his hand was later adopted by Roman priests.

The mainstream Etruscan religion believed in a wide array of gods - ranging from Menrva, whom the Romans called Minerva (and the Greeks called Athena) to water and forest gods. They also believed in demons, who were usually depicted as blue and squat.


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