The Etruscan People and culture

Fred Hamori
updated April 22, 2007

The following key topics will be discussed in this study.

Historic Outline

The arrival of the Yamna Culture from Southern Russia to Central Europe, 3rd millenium BC, at the end of the Bronz Age.
The ties to the territory of Hungary and the Hungarian language proposed by Mario Alinei, prior to 2000BC.
The Thracian and Kimmerian roots of the Tauri. and Tursci.
The previous Anatolian country of the Etruscans and the Lydian ties, prior to 1200BC
Setttlement to northern Italy after 1200BC.

Etruscan Religion
Characteristics of the Etruscan Language
Etruscan Genetic Types (need to expand this since a lot of  new data is available)
Etruscan Dictionary
Etruscan Sound Rules based on proto FinnoUgrian roots


The Etruscans and their civilization has long disappeared from Europe, but their legacy lives on in many ways, even though often it is not allways recognized for its origin. The first builders of arches and aqueducts in Europe, underground sewers, city planning, iron and bronze working, and hundreds of culture words, including the calendar, that were adopted by the Romans and then later spread throughout their empire is from them. They also introduced the alphabet to the Romans from a Phonecian and Greek combination. The Etruscans also introduced the horse and charriot to Italy as well as quite a large body of culture words which we still use today such as ferrum=iron, horta=goddes of agriculture (hortaculture), litera=writing (literature), numa=sign, notch, coinage(numismatics), urbs=city (urban) , element, miles/milites(millitary) etc. As a people and a language, they were unique. They were not just another ancient nation that died off, but the descendant of the early Europeans, which was unique in customs, religion, language and their exceptional engineering and artistic skills, which were further enriched by their interactions with the Near East.

The center of late Etruscan culture was located mainly in Italy and their modern day namesake is the area known as Toscany, in northern Italy. After their long independent state succumbed to growing Roman power, they were granted Roman citizenship. They represented the core patrician class of the Rome, that gave many rulers and statesmen to the new empire. Their earliest writing is from 700BC, although as with most other early civilizations, writing came much later then their existence there. Smaller Etruscan texts have been also found on the island of Lemnos, while a very famous text was found in Egypt written on the linens of a mummy. Apparently the Etruscan cloth "book" was cut up and used for bandages for a mummy. Unfortunately most of the extensive literature of the Etruscans was destroyed by the book burning Christians. What made the Etruscans unique was their prominent position, their well planned cities and their many innovations, that eventually elevated the nearby Latin people also from their simple shepherd life to a great empire that greatly influenced European civilization. The Etruscans founded many cities on the Italian peninsula, including the city of Rome and if we believe the Greek traditions that they were the descendants of the Pelasgians of Greece then they or their kinsmen founded most of the major cities there also. Because they were seafarers and tradesman they had to compete with the Phonecians and Greeks. Some of the Roman rulers and prominent families claimed their origin from Etruscan families. Some of the Roman gods and godesses were also of Etruscan in origin. Even the Roman myth of origin from the twin boys Romulus and Remus that were raised by a female wolf, was from the Etruscans.  The name Remus is not Latin and cannot be explained by IndoEuropean either. The Etruscan origin of the legend of Romulus and Remus has already been mentioned by others, however it should be stated that this myth is similar to other legends found among eastern cultures, such as Turkic legends of origin from a female wolf “asena”.

It also appears that they gave the "calendar" term and the first six month's names to that calendar.
1) January from (i)ANI the god of the sky,
2) Ferbruary from Februs the god of the underworld,
3) March is perhaps from Masan, which is possibly from the upper level clans Mas, Mech in Etruscan,
4) April is perhaps from Aber-as is the name of the lower level clans,
5) May is from Mach =the Etruscan numeral 5,  but the Etruscan month name was Ampil.
6) June is from Uni, the chief goddess and wife of the chief god TIN.
7) July was called Turan, whose Latin equivalent was the goddess Venus.
8) August was called after the god Hermi,

I Origins

The origin of the Etruscans is a hotly debated subject, especially since Italians have a historic tie to them and wish to keep them close to their origins. The theories about their origins often tends to  just repeat the old disproven or misunderstood ideas. Some have claimed that they were in Italy before the coming of the Latins, while many other classical writers claim their origin from Anatolia. They were an ally of Troy. There is no agreement. Some claim their known presence in northern Italy from about 1600BC to late references as late as 400AD, while others claim only 700BC to 14AD. The Etruscans also had many ties also with the land of Greece, whose culture was based to a large extent upon the non Greek Pelazgians, who are also often mentioned by the Greeks, as relatives or even identical to the Etruscans. Both of these cultures provided the foundation of the later Greco – Roman civilization, without whom it never would have attained the levels that it did.

It is believed by such scholars as Beekes that they came to Italy around 1200 BC, after the Latins, who were already living there from about 1850 BC. Some classical writers such as Dionysus of Halicarnassus, argued that the Etruscans were the original people of the peninsula while others like the Greek Herodotus, claimed that they were colonists of the Lydians. However, since their language wasn’t like Lydian that cannot be true, even though Lydian had the most loan words from Etruscan according to Steinbauer.  The more likely explanation of this misunderstanding is explained very well by the Dutch historian/linguist Beekes who proves that the Meonians and Mysians of Asia Minor, became the subjects of the Lydians and eventually they were forced to leave their homelands because of various famines and foreign invasions that ravaged this area around prior to 1200BC.  They had however lived as neighbors with the Lydians for about 800 years, prior to this. The Lydians were a became a mixed people of partly IndoEuropean origin that crossed to Asia Minor and adopted even the names of some of their subjects, and assimilated their culture and language to the point that their vocabulary was less then 20% IndoEuropean, because many of their subjects were the people of local non IndoEuropean origin.  Hellanicus of Lesbos however wrote that Tyrrhenians, were previously called Pelasgians, the pre Greek inhabitants of Greece and surroundings.  The term Pelasgoi however, was also used as an ethnic designator at this time in north west Anatolia. Similarly the Tyrrhanians  (Etruscans) are also attested on the Kumdanli inscription, in Anatolia near lake Askania, which is modern Lake Burdur. This Etruscan link with the Pelasgians therefore is quite likely, because there were quite a few pre-Greek place names in Greece also that are not Greek in origin, nor are they IndoEuropean, but which have Etruscan twins, or Etruscan etymologies. {Spur=city & also citizenry/Etruscan, Sparta/Greece; Corithos/Etruscan, Corinthos/Greece; Curtun/Etruscan, Gurton/Greece; tepa=hill/Etruscan, Thebes/Greece, etc.[also in FinnUgor tempe and Turkic tepe],  Knosos is also a non-Greek name. The foundation of the Parthenon in Athens is called Pelasgian, since they probably built it, before the Greeks took it over.}

According to the Phoronis: "Phrastor was the son of Pelasgus, their king, and Menippe, the daughter of Peneus; his son was Amyntor, Amyntor's son was Tutamides, and the later's son was Nanas. In his reign the Pelasgians were driven out of their country by the Greeks, and after leaving their ships on the river Spines in the Ionian Gulf, they took Croton, an inland city and proceeding from there, they colonized the country (later) called Tyrrhenia."  It should be noted that the Greeks made a lot of claims to things they didn’t actually do, but which was near to them or adopted by them, including the conquest of Troy, which was the work of the Phrygians./Beekes/. The Etruscans also lived in various “Greek” lands and were generally called Pelazgian, and  Thucedetes [4.109,2] writes that the peninsula of Akte (Chalkidike), is inhabited by Tyrrhenians, showing that they weren’t just from Anatolia. (see map below). The town of Gergitha in the Troad, is tied to Hargita in Transylvania, inhabited by the Sicul (Hungarian Székelys) , a tribe also associated with the Etruscans and mentioned on the victory Stella near Thebes. Their name appears to be a variation of Scythian which was originally “Saka”.

Because their unique culture and their many technical innovations weren’t present in earlier times on the Italian peninsula, they probably weren't there yet and came and brought them in later. Some archeologists like Hugh Hencken claim they came from the area of Hungary. Barfield called this area of Europe the "heartland of technology of the Bronze Age".  The American archeologist, Hugh Hencken have claimed their origin was from Hungary due to the similar type of Urn burial customs and metallurgy, which was present there much earlier, and the bronze technology they brought from there, as well as their equestrian customs. Hugh Hencken [1968, 612, 614] also claimed, that originally the Trysenoi came from the north, settled on the Lydian coast (before the Lydians came) and then fled several hundred years later to Italy, because of a long lasting famine and wars.  There must have been a very considerable timeline from the first event to the last.  Hencken also believes that the Etruscans were part of the people who attacked Egypt under the confederation known as the “Sea People” along with several other closely related peoples. They ruled Egypt for several generation from their capital Avaris. They are named by the Egyptians by their actual later known name, as “T(w)r(w)s’ “ [Mernpetah, 1214BC].

According to the Victory Stela found near Thebes, the Sea Peoples destroyed the Hittite kingdom, and consisted of the following peoples or tribes:

1. Shardana =Sardinians?  However references also claim that Shar=10 in Etruscan  and the Danoi of Greece were a branch of the Pelasgians
    Sardes was also a place name in Anatolia near the homeland of the Etruscans.
2. Lukka =Lycians, who also took over that name from the locals, but are likely a mixture with Etruscan.
3. Meshwesh =Myonians, Misians who according to Beekes are the original ancient Anatolian Etruscans.
4. Teresh =Tyrhaneans, who are also Etruscans found in both Anatolia and Italy.
5. Ekwesh =Acheans?
6. Shekelesh =Siculs,  a term commonly used by the Hungarian Székely, who were in Hungary before the Magyars came, but whose language has shown little signs of being ever different from Hungarian.

The Etruscans also had a settlement on the island Lemnos, where their writing is recorded,  and other islands in the Aegian Sea and Anatolia, but they had allies also from the European side as well, like the Peonians, who were probably distantly related to them, from among the Thracian tribes living there. I have seen no trustworthy proof that the Thracians were IndoEuropean, since their language cannot be classified without more known words and without the knowledge of the morphology of their language. Names for the most part don’t lend themselves to any consclusions, only speculations. Yet the idea is sold to unsuspecting people who want to believe it. The whole idea that old territory of Hungary was once the homeland of the IndoEuropeans is also unproven, even if short periods of their rule is known, the common people and their language are often not identical to their rulers and the aboriginals are rarely mentioned by historians. The same can be said of the later Macedonians, who were ruled by Greek colonist, but weren’t Greek in origin.

Several Etruscan city names shown here end with the name sin or sina, which is in proto Finno-Ugrian "as'a + na=locative" means "settlement, to make a camp. Such names as Fel-sina (upper settlement), Vel-sna "velsina" (central settlement) or Al-sina (lower settlement, near the port of Pyrgy/Caere). Clev-sin is possibly from Cel 2, a goddess of the dawn that is associated with the east, the rising sun. The term “sina” is also found in the Thracian language.

The ties to Hungary and Hungarian, according to Mario Alinei

The most recent linguistic origin theory, claimed by Mario Alinei, which ties the Etruscan language to Hungarian-Ugrian, had several previous champions, besides Alinei, such as J.Martha of Paris University, who simply claimed it to be related to FinnoUgrian and Felix Pongracz Nagy of Hungary whose presentation to the Hungarian Academy of Science on Etruscan claimed that both Etruscan and Hungarian languages are related to Sumerian.  In the 1973 International Congress of Orientalists, Paris, Madame G.Enderlin also presented a paper on the  ties of Etruscan runes to Hungarian runic writing, including translations tying it to Hungarian. (Coloques – Le De Chiffrement des Ecritures et des Languages”.

The senior Italian linguist Mario Alinei has done extensive comparisons of all European languages in general and the has studied the language of the Etruscans and has come to the conclusion that it was an archaic form of Hungarian, perhaps an early branch of it and its predecessors the Ugrians. He had studied this link for over 10 years before publishing it in Italian. His theory of origin was that the ancestors of the Hungarians were living in Hungary by the end of the 3rd millenium BC, long before they supposed to have arrived from the Ukraine nearby in 896AD when the Magyar confederacy moved in. Personally I don’t see that they all  had to be within the Carpathian basin for these linguistic ties to be valid, but it is importatnt to say that they probably didn’t come from the Ural Mountain area either. Even the well known Hungarian archeologist Gyula László has stated that the Hungarian language place names were in the Carpathian Basin, before the Magyars came in, and the locals were a lot more numerous than these incoming Magyars, who generally left the locals stay in place and they settled around them.  Their language may or may not have been also Hungarian like the locals. A totally independent American researcher Grover Kranz had recently also claimed that the whole FinnoUgrian language family had originally come from Hungary and its surroundings, which is not that different from the Uralic Continuity Theory, except for the fact that Kranz claimed that the Hungarians never left the basin as is generally thought, while Alinei believed that they came in with the early Kurgan invasions from the Ukraine during the bronze age.

The  earlier theories about Etruscan-Hungarian ties, were much less detailed and multifaceted than the new theory proposed by Mario Alinei. Hugh Hencken [1968, 612, 614] also claimed, that originally the Trysenoi came from the north, settled on the Lydian coast and then fled several hundred years later to Italy, because of a long lasting famine and wars.  There must have been a very considerable timeline from the first event to the last. Alinei’s theory still has a lot of biases to overcome in the linguistic community, which is infamous for its extreme conservatism and reluctance to change as well as its willingness to persecute those who stray from the "established" facts without even checking them out.  It has already been reported by others, that the FinnoUgrianists snubbed his theory. In reading their criticisms from the “Szemle” periodical “Magyar lenne a mai etruszk”, I didn’t find any earthshaking errors, but plenty of unprovable criticisms and assumptions about what Hungarian grammar in the bronze age was supposedly like, with many unconvincing arguments of errors, that weren’t that major.  Blank statements that this couldn’t have been this way in old Hungarian, which obviously couldn’t be prooven.  The criticism that words like “tezen” should be written as tegyen in modern Hungarian, also show that the level of criticism is one which is at the level of not a historic linguist, but a modern Hungarian grammar teacher, because it refuses to observe the presence of sound changes or different orthography, that occur in an ancient language over a long period of time.  The orthography of Etruscan  used the z  to indicate similar sounds that are found in  Hungarian as ch and gy, and at this early time it is unlikely that Hungarian even had the unique ‘gy’ sound which often evolved from “ch”, as indicated by historic comparisons. Also the very idea which was proposed, that all Hungarian like sister languages, must have evolved in an identical way to the surviving modern Hungarian, even after a huge long period of total isolation from each other and that these dialects all had to call themselves Magyar to be considered Hungarian, is all very ludicrus since even in the 9th century A.D. they were divided into at least 7 major tribes plus their Sicul relations already living in eastern Hungary, known collectively as the Székely today. The criticism that most FU ethnic groups including the Ugrians are mentioned by various classic writers like Herodotus, but Magyar wasn’t mentioned, should have been a clue to the critic, that the name originally wasn’t an ethnic name at all, but a very generic term that no one could use for a tribal designation or else they simply didn’t live in the areas where he presumes they lived at. At the same time quite a few eastern branches of the Hungarian language died out following the early Middle Ages.  A few illustrations of the Etruscan z vs Hungarian cs and gy is actually better proof than some ideantical words are, since they follow a systematic rule of change. Normally the z serves the function of ch at the start of the word and x shows its evolution inside the word.

Etruscan                            Modern Hungarian
zat =battle                              csata=battle
zam-(athi)=                            gyám-(anya) =adopting/protective mother
zilac-al=stars                         csilag-ok=stars
zicu=write                              gyök-ik=engrave, cut or stabb into;
zilat=community head         gyula=military commander
zin=make, leader                   csin-ál=make, due

cexa =love,benevolence      kegy=love, benevolence
ix=like this                             igy=like this
i-x-eme=I should drink       i-gy-am=I should drink “drink-should-I”
mex=leading clans                megy-er=ruling clan >> Magyar

The presently proposed timeline of Hungarian prehistory is so full of problems that it serves only as a deterent to understanding and to prevent the many other associations with other languages and cultures that occurred in its early history. My criticism of the critics of Alinei doesn’t imply however that Mario Alinei’s work is totally perfect and without fault. What pioneer of a new theory is perfect in every way, especially if his specialty isn’t Uralic languages? Even I take some of his statement with criticism, even though most of what he wrote appears reasonable, balanced, logical and proven. There are however several false assumptions, originating from the FinnoUgrian school that need to be reevaluated to correct their biases, which Alinei also accepted at face value.  The idea that we can draw a direct line from Hungary to Toscany (Etruria) is also among those oversimplifications, as is evident from the review of early Etruscan history. At the same time I find fault with many of Alinei’s critics, who criticize trivial linguistic differences, which could very well have existed in another closely related language, and saying things like,  Etruscan “maru” can’t be linked to modern Hungarian “mérö”=”one who measures”, since it uses backvowels rather than frontvowels, even though other FinnUgor languages like Komi also use backvowels (Komi  “muru-tu”). To me é (pronounce like a) and ö are a backvowels! Tying too close of a link to modern Hungarian is a mistake, but a looser association can become a valuable guide in understanding Etruscan, even if there are known differences also, due to at least 4,000 years of separation, if we accept the timeline of Etruscan history and their first move to Anatolia from Europe and later to Italy.

There is no reason to believe that the Etruscans couldn’t have had ties to several other places and had separate branches and tribes, such as Troy (Ilios), the island of Lemnos, the Balkans as well as the Carpathian Basin in their early history.  Each of these branches probably had their own dialects. They spread in various places due to being forced out of their previous homelands due to famine, taking with them not just warriors, but women and children, when they settled on the Italian peninsula. This has also been proven by genetic research of Etruscan women corpses, who do carry Asiatic-Anatolian genes. When we try to trace their origins through Europe back through their source nations, it becomes very likely that there was a link through different branches of these related earlier people.


A historic hunt for the origins of the Etruscans and the Thracians

Lets attempt to trace them backwards in time and see where that takes us. The Etruscans are generally associated with the Villanovan Culture of Italy. This culture entered Italy from the south, from the direction of the Balkans, where traces of the Etruscans were also found.  Several early Greek writers even stated that the Etruscans were related to the pre-Greek aboriginals of Greece, known as the Pelasgians. The American archeologist Hencken has stated that the Italian Villanovan Culture that entered Italy is Balkan in origin. This area was for a long time inhabited by the people known as the Thracians, whose very name sounds much like "Tursci", which is the local Latin name of the Etruscans. Thrace had a very long history from about 1800BC to the start of the Christian Era. Later they also spread to the Eastern Carpahian Basin under the name of Dacian, a name which sounds a bit like the early ethnic designation of the Scythian tribe known in the east as Daha, who lived in western Asia.

The term Thraci-an and Troja-n names also sound very similar, especially if we assume that the internal C was more like a ch, which is a distinct possibility after we compare several Etruscan words to its protoforms. Thrace and Troyas were in fact on the opposite sides of the Sea of Marmara, before the entrance to the Black Sea. The European side of this area was called Thrace while the Asian side was once Troyas. It seems that both sides were inhabited originally by the ancestors of the Etruscans since the Trojans were claimed to be the ancestors of the Etruscans according to Virgil. This fact however is not accepted by others, who claim that they were only allies to the Trojans.  Beekes has done detailed review of historical references to the people of northern Anatolia and has in my oppinion prooven his point that prior to their resetlement to Italy they lived in northern Anatolia, and were driven out by years of famine and invaders. They are therefore to be tied to the Mionians and Misians of that region.  These names repeat themselves in Etruscan as “mex”, meaning something like nation. This same term in FinnoUgrian is the term “mies, mes, mos, mech” meaning people, men (of high rank). The term is not just FinnUgor, but also found in Sumerian and Dravidian. I believe it was also common in the Balkans and in Bulgarian term mac=men, from the old Thracian origin and perhaps part of the name of the old “god-hero” of the Thracians known as  “Zal-mox-is”.

What is so strange about this map that it claims this whole complex started in its origin (Urheimat) from the historically claimed center of FinnoUgrians origins, without ever mentioning them, as though they didn’t exist.  The fact is that they did exist and do exist and probably played a part in this, along with other groups and those southern branches over time dissapeared, just like the Etruscans, Thracians, Cimmerians, Scythians and others. Today they are remembered, but their linguistic ties are misrepresented.

I believe that perhaps the Thracians came from the east, with strong Scythian cultural elements, (kurgans and stagg motifs)  and were part of a larger group of related people stretching from Central Europe to the edge of Western Asia to the Ural Mountains and the Caspean Sea, who were once known by the ancient Greeks as the Kimmeroi (Cimmerians). This was before the coming of the later Scythians from the east in the 7th century BC, who pushed them out or took over as rulers of some of these groups of people. The royal clans of the Cimmerians originally lived in and around the Crimean Peninsula that juts into the Black Sea from it's northern shores. A lot of their royal tombs were found here and around the local Sea of Azov, which was a bay of the Black Sea. The following links to the Cimmerians of the East-Central European people of the Thracians and Dacians is claimed by several historians, however the link to the Etruscans is my own association. The linguistic link between these people is impossible to prove however, due to the insufficient linguistic material that exists. A few names whose meaning isn’t known can never be sufficient to prove a language, especially if it’s from long after the Scythian conquest that influenced them. Relatively little is known about the Thracian language and a lot of the supposed terms are only derived from place names, hydronyms, or short inscriptions, without a known translation.  23 words are attested from Greek and Latin references and the rest derived from geographic names and are much less certain.  Their later rule by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germanics and others naturally changed them and their language over time.



FinnoUgrian protoword


an(a)='at, on ' .


*nu- , num= upper part, high /Ug  

-on=upon, at the top

ars- ='to flow, current, river' 


*sare =flood, storm 

ár =flood, torrent/Hu

at='at, towards ' 

  -ti, -thi=locative

tt  -tt =locative suffix


bur, buris ='man ' 


elmpi > empi =man,  

> em-ber= man, human/Hu *p>f férj,berj=husband /Hu 

-as, -es, -is, -os=adjectival endings

-su, -za =adjectival


-as, -os, -us =adjectival suffix.

dentu-= 'clan, tribe 

tuthi =community

tenke? =root, source

dentu-Magyaria =old country of the Magyars

din-ga ='fertile ground+place '

  hil, clu =place


tanya =farmstead + hely=place


tume? =burry  
tame-ra=grave chamber

teme =burry  

temet =burry

_er-mas ='fierce, mad '



har- ag=anger/Hu

gaid-rus= 'bright, clear 

cate =dawn, sungod



ida (ide)= 'tree, forrest’


*tüNke =base, lower trunk of a tree  

töv, tö

íl(u)- ='silt, mud' 



   üle-p=sediment /Hung << ül=to sit

kal-sas= 'dry, dried up, dry out '


*ki-(me) =outside, out  + *sas'e=dry

hely =place, ki=out
asz-ik=dries out.

kel(l)a ='a spring ' 

cel =east,dawn, arise

*kälä =arise (from water), ford, etc   

kel=arise, ford, cross over; kelet=east;

kiri- [or kira]= 'mountain', 'forest' 


*kura & *wares =mountain,
forrested mountain 

_or-m =mountain peak
_er-dö=forrest.  {#w>blk}

kurp- ='to burrow' ].   


*kōrwε== scrape , scratch , grind 


mar-= 'water, river, bog

?mare=sea >> Latin

*mare=immerse, sink/Ug

mer-ül =sink, immerse.









There are also a few claims that the Cimmerians came from the Middle East based on the fact that the earliest records of their names is from Assyrian sources. This in itself doesn’t prove the case if there were no one around them to record their earlier presence in Europe. So in this case I think we need to trust in the early Greek historians, who had no reason to invented such a big lie, but who explained how the Cimmerians were pushed into Mesopotamia by the Scythians.

The Scythians coming from the east in the 7th century BC, conquered much of the eastern Cimmerians, who were pushed out from mainly their south-eastern territories, but many also remained around the Crimea and the area around the Sea of Azov under Scythian rule. They also remained in the northern forest zone as well as in the Balkans and Hungary even after the birth of Christ. Some of the Eastern Cimmerians escaped from the Scythians and crossed the Caucasus Mountains and established a large but short lived kingdom in Anatolia. A few of their leaders are recorded by documents from the Near East. They are remembered in the Bible as the sons of Gomer, whose sons were Askenaz, Riphat and Togarma. {Askenaz sounds Turkic tribal name Isguz, Riphat is the old name of the Ural Mountains, Togarma is possibly from the Dak, Daha, Dacian name from eastern Europe.) Assyrian records also called areas of the empire which were under the control of their Cimmerian mercenaries, by the name Gamir. The name which thereafter became the name for all dreaded nomadic horsemen, including their enemy the Scythians. We can only assume that those who stayed behind in Eastern Europe thereafter came under Scythian domination and were also called Scythian afterward, simply due to their rulers and the subsequent combining of the two cultures. The other languages in the area of the Northern Black Sea, known later as Scythian were not all related but required at least seven translators according to the early Greeks. Therefore the people named collectively Scythian, could not have been a single people, because their languages were not related. The real Scythians were called the Royal Scythians and were probably absorbed linguistically by the masses over time. So the question becomes, who were the Cimmerians and some of these pseudo Scythians? Where they always here or did they come from another place? Some claim them to be simply an early western branch of the Scythians and IndoEuropean in language, but without any reliable proof whatsoever. This is one of many gross oversimplifications of modern and ancient historians.

Cimmerian Tauri > Tursci Theory of origin

The following is my own idea about Cimmerian origins, which is still in the process of being developed. I warn the readers that there are currently several different ideas about Cimmerian linguistic origin. My main reason to propose there is a link with FinnoUgrian and Cimmerian is that I believe that the Etruscans and Thracians were originally the same, but both were eventually absorbed by their neighbors. If that is the case then the Cimmerians, who were related to the Thracians must have had a similar in language. The following associations could also be used as possible proofs that the idea is correct along with the extensive word list and derivations listed in Mario Alinei’s book, which unfortunately is only available in Hungarian and Italian. Most of his critics obviously haven’t even bothered to read it and at best have seen a short illustrated sample on the internet, which is a tiny fraction of the whole work. From this they simple don’t know the types of proofs in the book. Returning to the Cimmerians:

Homer writes the following about the origin of the Cimmerians, in the Odyssey, XI, 14:
"Ardys took Priene and attacked Miletus. Thus she brought us to the deep Rowing River of Ocean and the frontiers of the world, where the fog bound Cimmerians live in the City of Perpetual Mist. When the bright Sun climbs the sky and puts the stars to flight, no ray from him can penetrate to them, nor can he see them as he drops from heaven and sinks once more to the earth. For dreadful night has spread her mantle over the heads of those unhappy folk. " What did this mean? Perhaps the following information from other Greek references can explain this darkness.

According to Plutarch, the Cimmerians were the first to be known to the Greeks, took flight and were driven from their land by the Scythians. The others lived at the ends of the earth, near the Hyperborean Ocean, (Arctic Sea) in a land covered in woods and dense shade, where the sun rarely penetrates the forests so huge that they spread into the Hercynian forest. They were situated under the part of the heavens where the slope of parallel circles makes the pole so high that it is virtually the zenith of these peoples and the year is divided into exactly in half by days which are the same length as nights.

While some of this may sound a bit strange and even exaggerated, a few things become quite obvious. Some of them, not all,  come from the far north or were pushed toward the arctic where days and nights can last for days, in deep and impenetrable forests, where no Scythian would ever put his foot into, because they were plains dwelling people, whose main occupation was herding animals, on the grasslands rather than hunting or farming.  Archeology has substantiated this. Yet the southern branches of these Cimmerians did adopt the plains customs, long before the Scythians ever came west, while some of them also practiced agriculture, which was also uncommon among the Scythians. Archeologically speaking this culture started as the "Yamna Culture" in Russia, which first domesticated the horse evolving into the Kurgan Cultures. These were heavily changed and mixed with other eastern invaders that moved westward due to various climactic or population pressures. Their northern relatives also originated once from the southern Ukraine, before the Ice Age according to the Uralic Continuity theory, then many went north following the herds, which was their chief livelyhood. This region once was predominantly FinnoUgrian but many others later also came and went mainly from Central Asia and mixed with the locals, changing and enriching their cultures over the millenias. The Cimmerians also adapted their earlier water-nomadic life to horse nomadism and also seafaring, by building larger boats and eventually became quite familiar with the Black Sea and later the Mediterranean Sea.

The Cimmerian name reminds me also of another famous people, who came from this general area, on the north-eastern side of the Black Sea or perhaps from the northern Caspean. These were the Sumerians, who moved to southern Mesopotamia around 5,500BC, following the flooding of the Black Sea. Today there is an ongoing underwater investigation looking for their remnants in the shallow areas of the Black Sea. Their language was also not IndoEuropean, but quite similar to an early form of FinnoUgrian and Turkic according to Noah Cramer, “The Sumerians”. The origin of the Sumerian Flood Story, which is the source of the Biblical Flood story, is being searched for in the area of the Black Sea, however the Caspean also experienced this major event and can be linked to it. Quite a few of the divinity names of Sumerian and Etruscan agree. Unfortunately we know next to nothing about the Cimerian language, but rather could only guess that quite a few of the so called Scythian names were Cimmerian and other origins, even if they were under the rule of the Scythians at one period of their history.

Indeed names like Artemis from Scythian Artimpaz, are the same as Etruscan Artume (night,death), possibly linked to Sumerian *Eret >> Eres (KiGal).(goddess of the underworld,death).  Turan (Venus) is possibly from Ugrian Torem (god),  Mantus (god of underworld) is Man-ala/Mano and underground being in Finnic & Hungarian. Tin=high god of heaven /Hungarian is-Ten=old sky god,  which also has Anatolian ties as ‘isten’  . Cel & Thesan are goddess of dawn/birth  as is Kaltes in FinnoUgrian. There are more that are mentioned later.

A title of one late Cimmerian king recorded in the Middle East was Lugdame (Dugdame according to other references), which if we take Sumerian equivalents of certain FinnoUgrian words as a guide j>g become Lugal=ruler,big man, thus Lugdame, which is the same as Etruscan Lucumu meaning king or leader. The Sumerian term gal is the same in meaning as mah, which is big. These have their Etruscan equivalents (m>n) nac=big. (Hungarian nagy), which is a fairly basic and acceptable sound change since ch becomes gy in Hungarian in many cases.

The son of Lugdame was a war leader Sandak -satru in Lycian documents. The god Sandak only appears once in Lycian writing so it was probably also foreign and probably also Cimmerian. The god is associated with darkness and Hades. In FinnoUgrian *čette= dark, early dawn, which becomes set-ét=dark in Hungarian, sitik in Estonian for "black"currant and becomes *šu-du > ud-šu =dark (metathesis) =become/time dark in Sumerian. To historian linguists such a miniscule list is useless in comparing language types, yet even less was accepted to link it to Scythian and IndoEuropean. So lets not quibble about double standards here, else there won’t ever be any progress. Mistakes will be made but will be eventually minimized. The term ‘sanda’ also exists in Hungarian today meaning a person who engenders mistrust and having a dark and evil presence, and evil or crooked eye.

Another Cimmerian ruler's name was Teush-pa which sounded a bit like Hurrian Teshub, and thus was immediately explained by that since the meaning of the name isn't really known. Of course that kind of sound alike linguistics is open to a lot of diverse explanations but none can be really certain. To cut the field down to something closer in line to what we propose, lets assume that perhaps Etruscan is linked to Cimmerian as we propose. In Etruscan TESH=to take care, to cure like a medicine man or shaman. PA=head, chief in a bunch of languages from FinnoUgrian, Altaic, Sumerian. Etruscan also has the word in the form of PAP-N, which is the reduplication of chief, meaning chief of chiefs, similar to Hungarian föfö (p>f). This "Teush" all goes back to a FinnoUgrian term for shaman, found also in Hungarian as TAL-TOSH, for the chief priest-shaman.

Kimm-er is the name of the Cimmerians, where the ending er is the plural marker. Just as in Etruscan  -ar, modern Turkish ler, and I believe also found in several other ethnic names, like Sum-er. Magy-ar, Kaz-ar, Sab-ir etc. The root word KIM or KUM is common in FinnoUgrian and Altaic for the name for man, male (Hungarian him). Etruscan also has this in a title of the chief LU-CUM-U which is the "Lead Man" and from Etruscan Latin also borrowed the word “cum” as “homo” which is the source of English human. It is also worth remembering the alegorical description of the Cimmerian homeland as dark and shadowy, because even in several modern FinnoUgrian languages the word  “kumer”  and its variants mean “cloud , mist”, just as the early Greeks were no doubt also told by them and who then retold it to us in their writing.


The map above, from Archeologist Kaalevi Wiik, illustrates the slow retreat of the northern FinnUgor hunters to their present areas.This occurred until they finally had to adopt agriculture or stock herding. Among the first FinnoUgrian nations, that still exists, to adapt were the Hungarians and they were never pushed far north like the others. Their national tradition, "The Legend of the Stagg", claims their origin from the area around the Sea of Azov, which was the same location as that of the Cimmerian Royalty in the Crimea.

The Tauri Scythians

The Cimmerian royal tribe, the Tauri is much like Tursci name of the Etruscans, so that it can be traced from the royal Cimmerians, known much later as the "Tauri" Scythians, to the Balkans as Thracian and to eastern Hungary as Dacian, then to Troy as Trojan and are also known in Greek as the Tyrsenoi, then to Italy where the Latins called them Tursci while the area of their past homeland is remembered today as Tosc-an. There is strong evidence that the Etruscans were not Indo Europeans, however much less is known about the Thracians or Cimmerians. If they were all linked, then the Scythians were probably from the east of the Caspean and were the western Turks, because there are a lot of Turkic influences on the languages of the Southern Finno-Ugrian languages and also in some Eastern European languages, especially in a southern Finno-Ugrian nation like Hungarian. Similarly there are also Turkic links in Etruscan or at least words that only survived in Turkic today. Such words as mother "ati" which is much like Turkish "ede". A lot of their words can be described with Ugrian or Turkic. The label “Sea People”  applied to the Etruscans and which the Greeks sometimes made fun of as “pirates” could have come about because of their sea faring could have originated from their archaic Tauri-Scythian name, which in fact is not Scythian, but the name of the old Kimmerian royal tribe.   It is interesting to see that Tau or Towe is the old FinnUgor term for lake or sea to which the “eri” ending could refer to men and in ethnic names this has been used as a plural in old tribal names. Tau-ri, Hurri, Magy-ar, Sav-ir, Sum-er, Kim-er, etc.

The chief Etruscan magistate titles Zila (Gyula), Komti (Kende) and the title or leader of the early Etruscans and the later ruler of Rome, Tarquin can also be tied to names of eastern origin.  The Hungarian tribe Tarján, Scythian Targi-ta,  and Parthian & Turkic Tarxin. According to others this has it earlier roots in an old Anatolian god of thunder and lightning, known as “Tarhunt”.  Lykophron (1245-1249) wrote that Tarchon and Tyrsenos, sons of Telephos, were the leaders of the Etruscans on their voyage to Italy. In Virgil he is the leader of the Etruscans. I cannot help making a comment of Telephos since it sounds just too similar to Hungarian  telepes, and means settler, founder of settlement “telep”.

The Scythians or Turks were predominantly animal herders of the steppes and nomadic. Their many tribes stretched from Europe to China over the grasslands following the domestication of the horse in eastern Europe. Their separation into various dialects however is not from ancient times, indicating that their western branches were absorbed and disappeared or barely survived in a few languages like Chuvash. Chuvash according to some may only be a Turkicized language that originated partly from Savir/Subarian of northern Mesopotama. That of course is far from being accepted or even considered by most researchers. The later Cimmerians, who are known by archeologists as the "timber grave culture" after the manner of their burials and the early Scythians "Kurgan Culture", had a long history of common development in this area, which is the reason that there are so many common terms in the FinnUgor and Turkic languages, from the most ancient times. Yet they weren't the same people, or at least they diverged a long time ago. Their languages were quite similar in some ways and even shared basic words. At least there were more pronounced differences between the eastern Turkic languages and the west. Most FinnoUgrians were forrest dwelers and hunters and fishers and water nomads, while most Turkic people were herdsmen of the plains, horse nomads. However there were some FinnoUgrians who like the Hungarians, adopted the herding and agricultural lifestyles quite early. The similarity of their languages was the reason for the idea that there once might have been a common Ural-Altaic language family. If that was true it must have been from a very early time, perhaps 10,000 BC and must have been originally from Eastern Europe and not from outer Asia. Most of the common shared words are later borrowings back and forth between the two groups, but there are some words that are of common origin from very early times.

The Cimmerians

The name Kimmer (Cimmerian) name as well as several so called Scythian names that were recorded by Herodotus (ca 500BC), can be explained from FinnoUgrian as well as Altaic name for man "Kujme" in FinnUgor and "Kum" in Turkic. In Europe in recent times the Scythians were claimed to be IndoEuropeans , who supposedly overran the continent very quickly and changed the languages of the local population. This Indo-European invasion theory from the east, known as the "Kurgan Theory" of Marija Gimbutas cannot be supported, for it causes too many conflicts with the linguistic links of Finno-Ugrian, Altaic, Sumerian and Dravidian languages, which would have totally isolated them. There isn't a shred of trustworthy linguistic evidence that can stand up to scrutiny for the Iranian or Indo-European origin of early Scythian culture or language, even though the later (2000BC +) Andronovo Culture complex, centered around the Urals and Caspean Sea had Fino-Ugrian, Turk and Iranian elements in it. A culture complex however doesn’t have to have a common language! The Kurgan Theory would place the Indo-Europeans into central Europe much too late in time, not allowing enough time to develop the huge differentiation between languages, cultures and ethnic groups that are very self evident to the historic linguists or archeologist. To simply explain this diversity away with a small elite that settled over a much larger settled farmer population throughout Europe at such a late time, with the coming of the Scythians and then leaving supposedly next to no trace of the local languages among entrenched farmers is totally unbelievable. Sure the "Kurgan" people made many inroads into Europe, but they didn’t give their language to it aside from some new culture words. They eventually melted in. The Scythian royal tribe eventually moved to Hungarian from the Ukraine and settled there. Following the collapse of their empire, it is recorded that on the western side of the Meotis (Sea of Azov)  in the 1st century BC, there is already a Ugor (Agaroi) tribe recorded by Strabo ( XI, p.723), wich can only be the Ugor –Hungarians. The name Hungarian therefore is by no means Turkic in origin, but is Ugrian and refers to wetlands-irrigated lands, which they allways favored. This important fact has been thoroughly analyzed and documented by Dr Katalin Czeglédi and disproves the supposed Turkic origin of the name.

I realize that I am oversimplifying the Kurgan Theory somewhat, but this whole idea was done at the expense of mislabeling the Cimmerians and Scythians also as "Indo-European", which they weren't proven to be.  The conquerors of the Scythians, known as the Sarmatians were probably Iranic, but the Scythians they conquered weren’t also Sarmatians, nor related to them. This fallacy has finally become very self evident to the leading historians and linguists, like Diakanov, Collin Renfrew, Mario Alinei and many others causing the radical revision of the origin of indo-European languages to a south central area, within Europe. The consequence of this is that the Scythians will no longer be the linchpin that ties together the whole theory of IndoEuropean origin. Hopefully this will end the random claims of origin from so many distant areas in Eurasia and totally maligning the history and cultural ties of the remnants of the non-Indo-European language groups of the continent who were treated as late immigrants of no account to this land, and discounted, rather than the aboriginal founders, who were here all along. Unfortunately there are still others who are trying to salvage and accommodate the outdated "Kurgan Theory" in any way they can. They were only able to keep this theory in place by inventing a totally misleading and racist idea that most Uralic (FinnUgor) were originally mongoloid.  A belief that genetics has disproven with most FU nationals and also proved their archaic European origins. Selectively picking out those with eastern traits, found in small minorities of less then 5% of the population only prooves the well known fact of these “ally” ethnic elements that came from the east and were absorbed over time.


The map illustrating the early European cultures including the Cimmerians of central and eastern Europe. To be consistent with the newer theories the Iranians probably entered their homeland also from the west, through Anatolia south of the Black Sea where originally there were several early IndoEuropean nations, like the Hittites. Early references to the Mitani also mention the Iranians. The Cimmerians neighbors to the north are shown to be Slavs and Balts in the west and FinnoUgrians in grey on the northeast. It should also be mentioned that the Dravidic Languages werent related to the Caucasian languages as is implied by the common grey color.

This seemingly unrelated discourse into the history of Eastern Europe and Southern Russia was necessary to lay the foundation for the Etruscan origin from that region. We have all probably heard the story of the Trojan war and the supposed cause of it, however just as in most wars there had to be a more substantial reason then simply to recover Helen from Troy. Something so important that it temporarily united the eternally feuding Greek city-states for a common cause, booty and a lucrative trade area. I do not want to give away the plot, which is told quite convincingly at the following site. How accurate all of this may be, I cannot guarantee, but there are a few interesting points to it worth considering. Among these is the fact that the Cimmerians considered their chief god’s favorite animal to be the horse, much like Ugrians and Hungarians. That is why the Greeks built a wooden horse to trick the Trojans.
The Trojan origin of Roman Civilization. (

The Etruscan Religion

The Cimmerians and some Scythians had a very egalitarian and respectful attitude towards women, who not only could have their own properties but could rule a nation or even lead an army to war. Its no wonder that the term Amazon comes from them. This attitude was also common among the Etruscans and also reflected in their religion. These traits definitely did not endear them to the very staunchly patriarchal societies of the Romans, Greeks or most early Indo-European cultures, which originally before their separation into various nations, did not worship feminine deities and only later adopted local goddesses to their pantheons, under local foreign influences. A few examples of Etruscan goddesses may be worth considering, which were adopted by the Greeks and Romans. The Roman goddess of wisdom,  known as Min-erva, the goddess of wisdom, is from Etruscan and can be interpreted from Finno Ugrian and Hungarian  to mean "young woman/wife of reason" as "menye-érv".  The goddess Artemis, was also worshiped by the Etruscans as "Artuma", but Artemis originally was a Thracian and Scythian goddess that the Greeks adopted, from these people. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, her Scythian name was Artim-paz. However the term PAZ is Ob_Ugrian for god, divinity not Iranian and not Turk. The name Artem- however, has cognates in both Turkic and Hungarian, meaning virtuous "érdem". Others have claimed that PAZ does not refer to God, but to the head as in Turkish BAS or Finnugor PA, so that Artim-paz refers to the "head of righteousness". I leave it to the reader to pick what makes more sense, since both seem to be logical possibilities, however Artim may have other homonymic meanings also.

By no means were these the only similarities to the names of the Etruscan gods and goddesses. The Etruscans were a highly religious and even superstitious people, according to the Romans, having different types of priests, who were famous for their fortune telling. According to their legends their sacred books, were given to them by the god Tages, who sprang forth from the plowed field as a boy. He conversed with the Etruscans and thought them various things from foretelling the future to the proper way of doing things. For even things like finding the best location and orientation of building they had specialists. This reminds me of similar customs in China, Korea and Japan rather than anything in early European Culture. Due to the many similarities in Etruscan and Sumerian, I have included a comparison column for Sumerian in the following list of Etruscan deities.

proto Finno Ugrian

Etruscan Divinities > Latin (C=K)

Equivalent Sumerian divinity

*sanke > teng = sky, god
(s>t in Ob ugrian)
(also Altaic tengri)

TIN =chief god;
TAGE=god born as a boy, to teach men.

DING-ir =god, divinity , represented by a star.

*sanke =sky, god

_ ANI =sky god #s/blk > Janus>January

_AN =sky, chief god

*nume =high

_Uni =goddess of the cosmos >Juno >June

NUM-mah =goddess of the cosmos

*leile =breath, spirit

RIL (L>R) =spirit

(en) LIL =god of winds, atmosphere, soul

*iche=breath, wind, soul

ASE=breath, wind, soul; AIS=god

ZI =breath, wind, spirit

*kudhe =sunrise, morning

CATHE =sun god, shown as sunrise

HÁDA =shine brightly

*äse =to heat, become very hot
*al-me=lift, rise

US-IL =sun god, noon? sun

UTU=sun god, time god.
IL=to lift, rise, elevate.

Kwor-es=sun god, time god/Ug

XUR =time (X is a hard H)
ITU=time >> Latin Ides= division of time

KUR=the rising sun, time;
UTU=sun god, UD= time

*koje =dawn,

au-KÉL =aurora, dawn,
CEL 2=dawn, goddess of the dawn


Kal-Thes =goddess of dawn, wife of the chief god, mother goddess.

CEL =goddess of birth
THES-an =goddess of dawn, childbirth

GAL-ama=great mother goddess

*kul =death, (also in Turkic)
kul-ater=devil, king of hell.

CUL-su=demones of the underworld.

GALA =demons of the underworld.

*pels =inside, inner +
*tume =to stuff into, to burry.

VOL-TUMA =god of the afterlife, underworld (P >V)

DUMU-ZI=god of death, resurrection, spring.

*torem = creator god , the source
of all knowledge and the universe

?.Turan= perhaps his wife, goddess of love, health, fertility.

Daramah, enKI, Ea =all names of the magician of the gods, the wiseman of the gods, and creator.


ARTU-ME =goddess of night and death
(ama > eme =mother) >> Artemis

*ERET > ERES' (KI-GAL) =queen of the underworld elder sister of Inana.

*mińe =young wife,
*arwe=ripen,value, understand

MIN-ERVA =goddess of wisdom.


*kunta > *xont =war, army

CATHA=war, LAR-an =god of war

GUD-bir=war; NER-(gal)="the great victor"

 man-ala, man-o=demons of the underworld.

 MANIA =guardian of the underworld


*shar-ne =magic, incantation,ceremony

ZERI =rite, ceremony

ZUR =pray, sacrifice, offering


While the names of some of the Etruscan gods and goddesses are at times similar sounding to some Greek ones, their function is far from identical and cannot be simply functionally linked to be the same, based solely on their sound. At the same time the names of the major Sumerian divinities are very similar in name and function to the Etruscan ones. The Etruscans were also greatly influenced in their beliefs by the Greeks, or perhaps vica versa, but also had a very distinctive religion that was independent in most ways. Their religious beliefs remind me in many ways to the Sumerian ways and beliefs. Both believed that most of civilization was not man made but its knowledge was god given. Both were shamanistic in ideology and origin, often consulting with the spirits of the deceased. Both cultures strongly emphasized religion and lived under a theocracy, which in the end was their undoing. Since both Etruscans and Sumerians lived under a theocratic system with a polytheistic religion. They both lived in city states where the interpretation of the will of god was the main source of guidance in crucial decisions. The Etruscans even had books that codified the teaching of god and what to do in certain cases. Since each city would have its local chief god there was a tendency to not get along with other city states, with a lot of conflicting religious views that prevented them from uniting except in dire situations.  With an enemy like the Romans, that knew them for a long time, they were probably very predictable. This identical problem was found with the Sumerians. Despite their very advanced civilization, they couldn’t unite and spread their culture, because of their disunity (strong individualism). If these nations were different and more practical minded, like the Romans, and the most advanced in their regions, most of Europe and the Near East would be speaking the same type of language today, one with an Etruscan dialect and the other in a Sumerian dialect. This religious explanation is of course just an educatioted guess, and there is another equally important characteristic that is common in old FinnoUgrian languages, to which Etruscan seems related. The languages and cultures of these people were highly egalitarian rather than  subserviating like IndoEuropean languages are even today, a fact that many of the expressions and words of these languages still strongly emphasize. Therefore it took a lot of haggling to get a concensus in such a  “democratic”  outlook.  This view was ideal under most conditions, but not ideal during wars and troubles which over a long time lead to their demise.  Both Sumerian and Etruscan tried to balance this trait with religion, but that didn’t work either in a society that was under atack from outside.

The custom of Gladiatorial "sports" was Etruscan in origin, however it was totally perverted by the Romans to be a public spectacle rather than a religious rite. It became more for the living than for the dead. To the Etruscans it was a ceremonial act to honor a prominent deceased leader. This was a way to help send the deceased to the afterlife, with a guardian and a servant. Such customs were very common among the Sumerians, Cimerians and Scythians who all buried servants and sometimes even family members with their rulers for the purpose of serving them in their afterlife. Even more than a millenium after this time it is echoed in the story from the early Hungarian Chronicles about the death of an important Hungarian tribal leader, LEHEL, who was captured following a major campaign in Germany. The legend goes that, he was lead in front of the German Emperor and due to his prominent position was asked for his last wish, before dying. Lehel then requested his carved elephant tusk horn so he could blow it one last time, but when he received it, he jumped in front of the Emperor and dashed it on his head, killing him instantly. Then he said that now he is ready to die because he has a worthy servant in the afterlife. The custom more akin to the formal Etruscan gladiatorial fights is also recounted among the Cimmerians. The Greek version of this story about the Cimmerians is probably totally misrepresented, because it was claimed that the Cimmerian royal family was paired off and fought to the death, upon hearing that the Scythians had conquered their lands. This was so that they could be buried in their homeland, along the river Tyras along with their ancestors, rather than moving away. Certainly there is a bit of truth in this, but the reasons are doubtful.  “Tyr-as” or Tor-os in Hungarian means to do with the ceremony for the dead person or animal.  “Tir” in ancient Ugrian also refered to the ceremonial glen, where prayers and offerings were made to the gods. The word is not Slavic as is claimed.


III Etruscan Genetic types

DNA analysis of Etruscan remains has revealed their links to northern Anatolia, where Troy was located, but found no similarity in that area to their recorded language, during those historic times, except on the island of Lemnos. The Etruscans have picked up a lot of the local characteristics of the people around the ancient Mediterranean and local Mediterranean racial types, during their wanderings. They appear to have been a minority in Italy that was in positions of leadership and who often intermarried with the local "Latins". The latest finds in certain towns in Toscany have shown stronger ties to Anatolia even in the living population of these more isolated places than in most of Italy.



IV Some of the main characteristics of the Etruscan language

The number of Etruscan words, that are understood, is not very large and is in excess of about 200 words, while the grammar is still only roughly understood. There are few long documents written in Etruscan that survived, even though they once had libraries and an extensive literature. Many short phrases have been deciphered, based on circumstances and pictures associated mainly with burials or boundary markers. That is why the burial custom of these people are so well known, since they built a whole underground decorated homes for their deceased prominent leaders, somewhat like the Cimmerians and Scythians, except more elegant.

Their written language is alphabetic and is easily read, even though the Romans called it illegible, pertaining not so much to readability as understandability. Etruscan was very hard for the Romans to understand. Latin was based on Indo-European vocabulary with a layer of Etruscan culture words as well as the influence of Etruscan grammar as spoken by the upper class of Romans, while Etruscan was not an Indo European language at all. While it had some loanwords from IndoEuropean neighbors its grammar was totally unlike any of them.

Etruscan was an agglutinated language like FinnoUgrian , Altaic, Sumerian and Dravidian of India and many other languages in the world.
It didn’t have voiced stops like (b,d,g) but did have aspirated stops like bh, dh, gh just as early Finno-Ugrian and proto Sumerian/Thompson.
Words put the emphasis on the start of the word as FinnoUgrian, Sumerian and Altaic.
Words were originally of the "open structure" type where they ended with a vowel, such as old FinnoUgrian languages.
The language used vowel harmony, just like Finnougrian , Sumerian and Altaic.
Vowels in suffixes are normally meaningless and adjust to the sound harmony of the root word, so the vowel is irrelevant in morphemes.
The normal word order is Subject, Object, Verb as it is also in Finno-Ugrian and most agglutinated languages,
although it is possible to vary that order for special emphasis.
The plural suffix was unused when the subject was enumerated already, just like FinnoUgrian and Sumerian.
Etruscan had no letters for o, ö, w, j (y) just like Sumerian.
Etruscan also has many common words with Finno-Ugrian and Sumerian and some Turkic languages but especially
with southern Ugrian, Hungarian which was geographically much nearer to it.
Many of its words and morphemes that link with root words are nearly identical to Hungarian, but some common words are found in other FinnoUgrian languages also.

One of the stranger things about the Etruscan orthography is that it occasionally reverses the starting Consonant Vowel at the start of the word or simply drops the first vowel. Something like this occurred occasionally in short Sumerian root words also. This perhaps was to simplify the writing with the presumption that the vowel will be reconstructed in sounding out the initial consonant.

Pronouns, Numbers, Word morphemes

Additions by Fred Hamori from Mario Alinei’s work 2005 and my own grammatical analysis.


Etruscan pronoun





1st . I, me

mi=I, mini=me


én (m>n)


ben (#m>b)

2nd you




si-na (#ti>si)


3rd he/she

_an (#s>blk)


_ö_ (#s>blk)

hen (#s>h)

o, _ol

1st pl. we






2nd pl. you






3rd pl. they

_ein (#s>blk)


_ö_-k (#s>blk)


on-la (anc)

profession or participle


*wa or *pa




relative pronoun

fas, fashe





plural suffix (animate)






plural suffix






Ethnic names of southern FU may have had r plurals, Cimm-er-(ian), Magy-ar, Mari, Tau-ri scythian.











egy=1, (egész=whole)




( zal, es(a)l )






ci_ (deleted -am)






( sha_ variant of 2)






( max**   m~w)












semφ, sempf

*sapte (IE?SM)

_hét  (#s>h)




nur-p (L~R)


nyol-c (2x4)




-alx (suffx)


–on= -l0
( L~N)
tiz < desa /IE






száz < *sat-em /IE
(t/z/V_V )






ezer =1000
( t/z/V_V)






szer, szor









The original FinnUgor number system was base 6, not base 10 and because of that the base numbers can only be derived from 1 to 6,
and afterwards they become combinations, 7 through 9 are derivations, and 10, 100 are sometimes loans from other languages or adaptations
of the old multipliers. Strangely enough what we know about Etruscan number names comes from a set of dice, which has six sides and where
the name of the number was written instead of the usual dots. There are still some disagreements about which name is what number, but there is a natural and traditional way of ordering the numbers on dice that should be observed.


Noun Case Markers

In comparison to many agglutinated languages Hungarian has a very large set of case markers(21?27), which in other FU languages is less extensive and were probably also less extensive in Hungarian in the past. Some case markers are simply the joining of two cases. Some of the added cases originated from independent words that became case markers later. So in comparison to Etruscan it should be expected that there will be a simpler, more original form to some of these cases than there are today with similarity to the derivatives. All particles suffixes, prefixes, case markers, mood etc use vowel harmony, when added to the root word. The root however doesn’t change, except the shorthand of scribes, who deleted some internal vowels to shorten their writing. There appears to be something like that or at least the remnants of that in Etruscan, since the particles vary in the type of vowels that use them, indicating that the vowel usually doesn’t matter, but the consonant has most of the information.

Most examples are just too few in number to be absolutely certain about their precise function, only their approximate meaning is certain. However that may be, a case can be made for the following.










apa=father (no marker)




-Vt (was *m)

t  is unlike Uralic and is a later change from m.

Genitive (of)
and Possessive



(-al is claimed)

ais-na=of the gods
spur-na=of the city
lein-e=(at) the age of
tuthi-na =of the public <tuthi=public;
ras-na =of Etruria

-na-k <*-nä

subj+GEN obj+possesive

Dative, (for)


man-in= for the dead
tuthi-n =public? (for the public)


verb+subj .. obj+DAT


-shi, -i

Kaviie-shi=of/from Kaviie
calusura-shi=has died to/for his case.
Alsa-she=of/from Alsa
Tulera-she=of/from a foreign (land)


nyár-i = of summer

( with)
also used as genetive at times.

-el, -al

vac-al=libation (with drink)
xur-al =within time
kor-val =with the age
avil-x-val =with the end of the year

-(v)al, -(v)el

iv-ás-al=with a drink
kor-al =with the age
hajó-val =with a ship

(out of, from)


eleiv-ana=of oil

-bol =elative
(-na =locative)

olaj-bol =from oil

Allative (to)



-hoz  < *s'e


Illative (into)

apl ?

ve-ls (*p>v) =in?central

-ba,-be <*pälse


(“in” sometimes also “at” )

-us, -su,-as
–va(r), -vi

api-ase=in April
celi-us =in September
xur-var=in the season/time
acal-vi=in June (p>v >u)
lai-va= left side (in the left?)
heram-ve=the place of Hermes
kelu-ben=in place
pul =in, at
an-pile =in May

-ba-n, -be-n
<< *pälse

bel -sö=inner

Sublative (onto/into/ from)


tame-ra=upon the grave
(e)s-re-n=realize? /MA
lu-ri=from him

-ra, -re
< *ränke

teme-tö-re=onto or to the cemetery.
ész-re=realize, "onto the mind", notice

Adessive (at)
or just locative


cexa-na=(at) the summit?mountain
ete-nel =at/with this

-nál, -nél
< *nä= locative

ez-nél >>ez-el



kl-umi-e= at the oven’s opening

-ol, -ul, -ül
also see next

fel-e=the half of

Ablative (away from)

-ale, -al, -l

(-als, alas  & es)

arithi-ale=from Arathea
Uni-al=from Uni
Rasna-l =from Etruria
lu-ri =from him


Estonian -lt

-tol=from beside
-bol=from inside
-rol =from off of,from
( el = away )

(as far as)


ar-ce =reached, attained (ar=build)
avil-x -val=until the end of the year


ház-ig =untill t. house
év-ig=until the year

Time Locative


thes-an =at dawn
us_l-ane =at noon

-án, -en

tél-en=during winter.
rég-en=long ago
kor-án =early



auri-na=(at) town;
hup-ni =sepulchral place

-(V)n < *nä

vár-on=in/on the fort


-tu, ti, thi

fala-tu =sky <above
cela-ti =in/at the grave
tush-ti =in/at the fire
Uni-al-ti =from (place of) Uni

-(v)tt <*ttä

Pécs-ett=at Pécs
(mostly replaced by the innesive, but not in ObUgrian)


Noun formatives, modify noun root words to create variations. There are a lot more in Hungarian than this.

deverbal and noun formatives

-tala, -tale

ca-us-tla =undieable, (immortal)
selei-tala =border area

-atlan (neg. formative)


noun formative

-vani, -veni
--vene, vena(s)

mulu-vene=ofering, gift
tiur-unias =law
zelar-venas =family

-vány, -vény

tör-vény =law
nö-vény=plants < grow












Verbal and Adjectival suffixes



Etruscan examples


Hungarian examples


-al, -il

zil-at=ruler, king
ziv-al=heart; ith-al=a drink
cap-er=cloak< cover; cv-er=gift;
mal-ac=votive offering<<mal= give
ali-xa =gift, present <ali = offering (togod)
pul-um=hallway < pul=through
cexa-na =upper < cexa=up

-at, -et
-ak, -ek
-ás, -és
-am, -om
-any, -ony

it-al =beverage, a drink
vez-ér =leader
lél-ek =soul
áldoz-ás =sacrifice
foly-am=t. that flows



alpa-n =gladly, willingly
avil-an =yearly


év-en -te =yearly




calu-su =a needed (quality)
acn-es =terror (state of?)
vel-su = inner (#p/v)
pher-su ="masked", actor-disguised
tur-za =funerary object?


bel- =inner
tor-os = to do with a wake



cexa-se =magistracy title "high-ness"
tan-asha =(family) "member-ship"

-ság, -ség

tag-ság =membership


-ma, -am

rabi-ma =to pull, tear, tug
tn-am =to see
tes-am =to cure


ir-ni=to write
ídé-z-ni =to cause to see.

V Vocabulary

The initial dictionary was borrowed from the collection of Neil Gratton 2002-203 and additional data was added from the works of Mario Alinei and others, with Finno ugrian references by Alinei and myself as well as the analysis of grammatical particles and the tables of numbers, pronouns, cases and suffixes. This dictionary is still in the process of development because there are many other Uralic and Altaic links that need to be researched and included. This represents my first major attempt at explaining the basic words from FinnUgor. I am not trying to decipher texts and guessing at possible meanings, but left that to those who do it for a living. Rather I am only trying to give close equivalents to the presumed meanings that are already stated by others.

dep: Damien ErwanPerrotin's
Etruscan Etymological Dictionary.
pcr: Patrick C Ryan's
Etruscan Glossary.
pa: Paolo Agostino's
Etruscan Glossary.
dhs: Dieter H. Steinbauer's
Etruscan Vocabulary.


Comparisons of Etruscan to Finno Ugrian and Hungarian

New additions from
az96: Adolfo Zavaroni
: Mario Alinei "Etrusco Una Forma Archaica Ungherese", 2003
Etruscan: An ancient form of Hungarian, by Mario Alinei (a summary, with a few examples)
Mario Alinei, “Ösi Kapocs, a magyar-etruszk nyelvrokonság”, Budapest2005.

fh: Fred Hamori; Most of the FinnUgor additions are my own entries, I left the "translation" column to predominantly to the Etruscan experts, with a few minor exceptions. However I did try to add my own translation of parts of speech, like the case markers, verbal and adjectival suffixes which were not in the initial list. I thought that this would help in making the agglutinated phrases be more understandable, although its not as reliable as those who work with it more. Of course these aren't guaranteed to be completely right, just as the dictionaries that are listed here aren't perfect either, as shown by the variations of meaning that different researchers assigned to the words.

For those not concerned about grammatical particles the Etruscan Dictionary is a listing of words and their definitions. Examples of Etruscan Sound Rules for proto FinnoUgrian origin, illustrate a first attempt to systematize the sound changes that are required for proving a relationship.

Etruscan Dictionary
Etruscan Sound Rules for proto FinnoUgrian