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Usil is the Etruscan god of the sun. This name appears on the bronze liver of Piacenza, next to Tiur, the moon.[1] Another iconic depiction features Usil rising out of the sea, with a fireball in either outstretched hand, on an engraved Etruscan bronze mirror in late Archaic style, formerly on the Roman antiquities market.[2] On Etruscan mirrors in Classical style, Usil appears with a halo.

Usil has been syncretised with the Roman Sol and Greek Helios. However, while Usil is depicted as male in some artwork, there are also feminine depictions.[3][4] In particular, there is a possible equation with another indigenous Etruscan goddess, Catha, which is often interpreted as having a solar character. In artwork Usil is shown in close association with Thesan, the dawn goddess, something almost never seen with Helios and Eos.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Larissa Bonfante and Judith Swaddling, Etruscan Myths (Series The Legendary Past, British Museum/University of Texas) 2006:77.
  2. ^ Noted by J. D. Beazley, "The World of the Etruscan Mirror" The Journal of Hellenic Studies 69 (1949:1–17) p. 3, fig. 1.
  3. ^ Haynes, Sybille (2000). Etruscan Civilization: A Cultural History. Los Angeles: Getty Publications
  4. ^ de Grummond, Nancy Thomson (2008). "Moon Over Pyrgi: Catha, an Etruscan Lunar Goddess". American Journal of Archaeology.
  5. ^ Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Erika Simon, The Religion of the Etruscans, University of Texas Press, 20/04/2009