Etruscan Cosmogony Sons of a Unique God

Etruscan Cosmogony

Sons of a Unique God


Many researchers would agree with the possibility of common characteristics between civilizations that develop even if far away from each other. They would have common thoughts regarding Cosmogony, Religiosity, the vision of the Sacred and the structure of the Celestial Universe, in other words they share somehow the disposition of the venerated Gods. It has also been assessed that many ancient divinities have in common features and their stories where they are the main protagonists.

Regarding their Cosmogony the main theme is the transition from Chaos to Cosmos, from virtual to existence, from the primordial waters to the centre of creation (our Creator). A common patter seems to occur; the stories change according to where each civilization later on settled.

First, it possible to notice a distinction regarding the figure of the Supreme (Creator of everything); celestial, full of personality and separated from the world as the monotheistic religions would declare. On the other hand he is immanent, and pervades everything in the Universe in the pantheistic religions. He is usually defined as Wizard or Shaman that with the capacity of his thoughts is able to create (the power of creation). Second distinction, in the monotheistic religions the Cosmos once created there is nothing more to do ‘’just let it be’’; in a pantheistic religious view the order of the Cosmos has to be revitalized continuously through a complex of sacred rituals following a periodic pattern or particular circumstances.

Usually in Cosmogony the Supreme Divinity intervenes in a battle that later on creates order in the Cosmos and from there the act of creation. Examples can be Zeus and the Titanomachy; the Fall of Ymir by the hand of Odin, Vili and Ve in the Viking Cosmogony, or the battle between Marduk and Tiamat for the Babylonians.

Another main theme to consider is the continuous creation of two individuals (man and woman) diverse, but completing.

What concerns the Etruscan Cosmogony sources and documents are not many, meagre and usually filtered by others. Seneca cites about the nymph Vegoe or Vegonia who reveals to the Etruscan Arunte Veltimna how the waters of the sea had been separated from cosmic ether under the will of the Creator; He is a divine entity that appears always imprecisely whether in aspects that in his responsibilities, and thus always obtains different representations.

The Suda (Byzantine encyclopedia, containing 30.000 entries, written in Byzantin Greek) is a collection of the ancient Mediterranean World and whose design dates back to the 10th century AC. So from here it seems that, for the Etruscans the Creator took 12.000 years (subdivided into 12 millennia each one called ‘’house’’ – the 12 Chiliads-) to create the Universe. 6000 years had to be used to create all things around, and the other 6000 years were used later to create and contain all human kind history.

The creation is divided as follows:

  • 1st millennia Sky and Earth.
  • 2nd millennia the Firmament.
  • 3rd millennia all the waters and the surfaces of the globe.
  • 4th millennia the Sun, the Moon and the Starts.
  • 5th millennia all animals that live in the waters, in the sky and on the ground.
  • 6th millennia the Human being.

Supernatural and Natural worlds are strictly connected and obey to one order only. The Supreme Entity can manifest itself through natural events that men have to interpret. In the case of the Etruscans, this task was destined to the Augurs and the Haruspex.