Armenians and Etruscans

One of the most ancient people of Europe are the Etruscans (their self-name is Rassena, Rasna), the oldest settlers of the Apennine peninsula. In the 1st millennium BC, they already lived in its northwestern part between the Arno and Tiber rivers.

In the old days, this territory was called Etruria (now Tuscany). These ancient people had a great influence on the creation of the Roman state and culture.

In the 5th century BC, the inhabitants of Etruria already had a written language. Inscriptions were found on gravestones, ornaments, and household objects. Etruscan culture is closely connected to the culture of the Aegean Basin and Asia Minor, which dates at the 2nd-1st millennia BC. There are different theories about the origin of the Etruscans.

According to one of them, Etruscans are the native inhabitants of Italy. In accordance with another theory, they are of Asia Minor origin. Supporters of the second version refer to the testimony of Herodotus (5th century BC), who claimed that the Etruscans came from Lydia (Asia Minor).

According to Herodotus, because of the start of a severe famine, the Tyrrhenians or the Tirsen were forced to leave their homeland and move westward. It is interesting that Herodotus connected this event with the Trojan War (the Trojan War and the migration took place at the same time (13th-12th centuries BC)), which is also the time of migration of the “peoples of the sea”.

In the new homeland of Etruscans, the Apennine peninsula, a number of geographic names are associated with their name. The sea territory, which was controlled by the Etruscans, was called the Tyrrhenian Sea (the Greek name of the Etruscans) by Romans. Romans called them Tuskas, which is the base of the Tuscany toponym, the name of one of the regions of Italy.

Interesting information about the Etruscans was provided by Strabo (1st century BC – 1st century AD). According to his testimony, the forefather of the Etruscans (Tirrens, Tirsens, Tusks) was Tirsen, the son of Hercules.

As you can see, many names associated with the Etruscans resemble the name of the Armenian god Tir (Տիր), father of writing. Tir was also a predictor of people’s destinies, an interpreter of dreams, a descriptor of their deeds, and a conductor of the souls of people to the other world.

In this regard, the Etruscans also attached great importance to afterlife. They created beautiful tombstones and decorated them with patterns and frescoes representing the life of the deceased. Next to the deceased in the grave, beautiful vessels, jewelry, weapons, etc. were placed.

For comparison, the Armenians also decorated (and now decorate) gravestones with patterns and images that indicate the profession of the deceased, his or her craftsmanship, and deeds committed during the lifetime.

Investigators have tried to read the Etruscan letters in several languages, but to no avail. Recently, Russian researchers have tried to read it in Old Slavonic. They have been inspired by the sound combination of rus in the name of the people and their self-name Rasenna.

Researchers compared Etruscan and Armenian as well. Norwegian philologist and linguist Sophus Bugge, studying Armenian and Etruscan languages and comparative linguistics, considered Etruscan one of the older dialects of the Armenian language.

The Bulgarian linguist V. Georgiev also saw a connection between Etruscan and ancient Asian languages as well as the Armenian language. He especially drew attention to the fact that the phonetic structure of the Etruscan language is very similar to Armenian phonetics.

The origins of Etruscans as well as other ancient inhabitants of Europe, including Celts, Tricks, Franks, Basques, and others are ascribed to Armenians (English scientist Robert Ellis). Ellis wrote that at one time, they and Armenians lived together in a vast territory, from where they spread westward to Italy under the names of Phrygians, Trakians, Pelasgians, and Etruscans. The resettlement took place in other directions as well (“The Armenian Origin of the Etruscans”, Robert Ellis, London, 1861).

Apparently, the researchers have found a connection between the Etruscans and Armenians. Note also that this topic needs serious research and, especially, a linguistic study.

Statuette of a goddess, Etruscan figurines and tombstones (1st half of the 1st millennium BC).
Statuette of a goddess, Etruscan figurines and tombstones (1st half of the 1st millennium BC).
Etruscan fresco and a Medieval Armenian tombstone.
Etruscan fresco and a Medieval Armenian tombstone.

“Ancient Written Sources of European Peoples About Their Homeland Armenia and Armenians”, Anzhela Teryan, Yerevan, 2016 Download the full version of the book

The sources of data of the above section of the book are:

“History” p. 43 (Book 1, p.94), Herodotus, Yerevan, 1986;

“Geography”, Strabo; “History of Armenia” (p. 437), Agatangeghos, Yerevan, 1983;

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science (p.99);

“Studies in Comparative-Historical Linguistics” (p.194), V. Georgiev, Moscow, 1958.

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