from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The study and divination by use of animal entrails, usually the victims of sacrifice.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The art or practices of haruspices. See aruspicy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as haruspication. Also aruspicy. See haruspex.
However I have a fresh entry just itching to be written about the Etruscan Piacenza Liver, a bronze model of a sheep's liver created for the ritualistic practice called haruspicy in order to divine the future.
The Piacenza Liver is a bronze object designed to express the entire science of divination into a single model, uniting the practices of divination from lightning and bird omens (nb. the border representing the horizon and associated deities which is useful for these practices) with that of omens read from sheep livers (nb. the inner portion useful only to haruspicy).
It seems practically everything of Etruscans has already been shown historically to originate from the Near East despite any denials from a few narrow-minded historians: divine hammer/mallet/labrys, haruspicy, the alphabet, architecture, pottery styles, world-view, etc.
As you say, Hercle is most definitely performing haruspicy because of his left foot raised to rest on what looks like nothing more than a stone, unbeknownst to mysterymonger De Grummond who mangles the meaning of the mirror with cutesy parenthesized question marks and disjointed artistic interpretations.
One link online concerning Babylonian haruspicy i.e. the practice of divining the future through sheep livers may oddly enough help us shed some light on Etruscan rites, beliefs and cosmology: Sacrificial divination: Confirmation of extispicy.
It's well known that Etruscan haruspicy ie. divining the future from sheep's livers can only have derived from Anatolia where it was also practiced.
Both mirrors suggest nothing more that vinum, mixed perhaps with some venena, was a great help in haruspicy.
Yet, as of 2006, De Grummond in Etruscan Myth, Sacred History, and Legend3 (much like Pallottino in The Etruscans (1975) before her) has the gull to waste her readers time attempting unsuccessfully to illucidate Etruscan haruspicy not through our well-established knowledge of the identical practice in Babylon and Western Anatolia, but by devoting several pages to a most obscure allegory created by our poetic friend, Martianus Capella.
It's hardly a trustworthy, first-hand account of Etruscan haruspicy when compared to the Babylonian artifact from Sippar whose picture I've shown in Part 1.
Yet if we accept that such important things like the Etruscan alphabet and haruspicy are both exogenous, what then is left which can be said to be autochthonous to Italy and which is still identifiably Etruscan?
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