“Divine my future oh sacred priest…” – I’m trying to sound a little Etruscan/Roman (has it worked?)
The Etruscans lived in Italy, roughly Tuscany, for hundreds of years before their conversion to the Roman Republic during 700BC. Their culture, lifestyle, politics and religion didn’t flourish until 800BC, only to be adapted to the Roman way of life and Greek trading. The Etruscans were living at the end of the Iron age, but the prehistory of the Etruscans has been lost, so the dating of their creation is unknown.
Italy grew, and Rome became the capital around 758BC to 728BC. This was the time when Ovid had constructed the mythical Founding of Rome, the story of Romulus and Remus. I’ll blog more on this topic at a later date as it’s something that you should know when studying the history of pantheons’, paganism and magick. By 500BC Rome had more power and the Etruscan way of life was handed over and eventually lost.
A lot of the practises and beliefs from the Etruscans were mixed with early Roman religion and philosophy, thus creating the foundations of the Roman religion. (I’m not a 100% on this…) Later on with the years of trading from Greece, the Romans merged Greek religion, philosophy and politics with that of the Etruscan. The Romans changed the names of the Dii Consentes, who were the 12 major deities in Greece and adapted the myths of the triple Goddess and the muses etc. Often nobles, townsfolk and politicians would go to their local temple for guidance in matters of the home, state and land. One of the main practices that were kept alive was the Etruscan Oil.
It’s very simple so referring to it may become an everyday thing, or something you can do at a sleepover for the sake of fun. However, this was a practise that was taken seriously. It was quick and easy, plus to the Roman peoples it was a cheaper way to get a quick answer rather than seeing an oracle who took forever to perform ritual (which took all bloody afternoon at times) and cost an arm and leg, quite literally as you’ve give up a very expensive horse/bull/child, just for the answer to be ‘yes/no’. (great example in 300 and HBO’s Rome.)
Rambling on… A better how to will be written and published here in a few, for now enjoy the video =]
Etruscan Oil – Click the link (opens in a new tab)
HBO Rome – Random clip… but it’s in Italian, but the actions are simple to understand. The priest says ‘The Gods will look after your son’, Atia (cousin of Julius Caesar) finishes with ‘Good.’ – not a literal translation.. Her son, Octavian, later in history becomes Caesar Augustus the first Emperor of Rome.