Tinia (also Tin, Tinh, Tins or Tina) was the god of the sky and the highest god in Etruscan mythology, equivalent to the Roman Jupiter and the Greek Zeus. He was the husband of Thalna or Uni and the father of Hercle.
Terracotta bust of Tinia from 300–250 BCE
|Symbol||Thunderbolt, eagle, ivy wreath|
|Consort||Thalna or Uni|
|Children||Hercle and Menrva|
The Etruscans believed in Nine Great Gods, who had the power of hurling thunderbolts; they were called Novensiles by the Romans. Of thunderbolts there were eleven sorts, of which Tinia, as the supreme thunder-god, wielded three. Tinia was also part of the powerful "trinity" that included Menrva and Uni, and had temples in every city of Etruria. Tinia was sometimes represented as seated and with a beard or sometimes standing and beardless. In terms of symbolism, Tinia has the thunderbolt and the rod of power, and is generally accompanied by the eagle and sometimes has a wreath of ivy round his head, in addition to the other insignia of Jove.
Some of Tinia's possible epithets are detailed on the Piacenza Liver, a bronze model of a liver used for haruspicy. These inscriptions have been transcribed as Tin Cilens, Tin Θuf and Tinś Θne. There have been a number of suggestions as to their meaning, but the Etruscan language is poorly understood and there is no scholarly consensus for the translation.
Tinia appears in several inscriptions, including:
- Itun turuce venel atelinas Tinas cliniiaras.
- This has given Venel Atelinas for the sons of Tin (ie: The Dioscuri)
- On the bronze Chimera of Arezzo:
- A gift to Tinia
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- de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend, page 53
- Dennis, George (1848). The cities and cemeteries of Etruria: Vol.I. London.
- von Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz (1862). The Gentile and the Jew: Vol.II. London.
- Giuliano Bonfante and Larissa Bonfante (1983). The Etruscan language: an introduction. Manchester University Press.
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