Russian version

Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.


by Sergei V. Rjabchikov

In my opinion the Etruscans spoke a Proto-Slavonic language (Rjabchikov 1998: 19-21). Let us examine the Etruscan calendar (Nemirovsky 1983: 185-7), see table 1.

Table 1

velcitna March
capre    April
ampill   May
acall    June
turane   July
herme    August
masn     September
xurvar   October

Etruscan velcitna 'March' is split into vel and kit. The first component compares with Indo-European root *uel- included, in particular, in the names of the Old Indian (Indo-Aryan) deities Vala, Vrtra, Varuna and in the names of the Old Russian deities Veles, Volos. This ancient personage is under a mountain, under a tree; he represents the serpent and owns the cattle. He is a chthonic deity, besides, he is an enemy of the god thunderer (Ivanov and Toporov 1991: 530). The second component, kit, is a Slavonic word, cf. Russian skot 'cattle' < s kot (kosh) 'near a carriage/military transport'. Moreover, the chthonic goddess of the record of the Phaistos disk is called Kyat.

Etruscan capre 'April' compares with Latin capra 'she-goat' and caper 'he-goat'. It is known that the star Capella 'She-goat' was a sign of the spring in the Indo-European beliefs from 4400 B.C. till 20 A.D. (Shilov 1995: 212). It is quite correct statement. Let us start up the RedShift 2 computer program. The dates of the heliacal (morning) risings of the star Capella, for instance, are 11 April 4000 B.C. and 25 April 500 B.C. So the Etruscan word capre means 'April; goat; the star Capella'. Furthermore, the goat belongs to the small cattle, pacu in Old Indian, cf. Argimpasa, the name of a Scythian goddess and the symbol of the spring.

Etruscan ampill 'May' is comparable with German Vampir and Russian upyr' 'vampire'. The common part of both words is the form pir, cf. Russian root bir: zabirat', brat' 'to take'. The latter term is related to Old Indian bharati 'he carries, takes away' (Vasmer 1986: 159). The component am of the Etruscan name is comparable with the name of the Indo-Aryan god Yama 'the owner of the world of the dead' associated with the Indo-Aryan god Varuna (Grintser 1992).

So the Etruscan names of the months March, April and May are associated with the deity of the dead and cattle. The analogous situation takes place in the Russian pagan beliefs for the months from February till May (Belyakova 1995: 202, 207, 210-4).

Etruscan acall 'June' is comparable with Slavonic kolo 'round; the sun'. On the other hand, the Indo-Aryan myths tell of the god Kala 'The time' (Grintser 1992: 683).

Etruscan turane 'July' (cf. Etruscan tur- 'to give') compares with Russian dar 'gift', Dazh'bog 'a name of the sun god', lit. 'The giving god', and Greek Thargelion 'May-June' consisting in my opinion of the form thar connected with Greek dateomai 'to divide', daterios 'distributing, dividing', Russian dat' 'to give', dar 'gift' and of the form gelion connected with Greek elios 'the sun; east; heat'.

Etruscan herme 'August' may be compared with the Greek god's name Ermes 'Hermes'. This god was also connected with the cattle and the world of the dead (Takho-Godi 1991).

Etruscan celi 'September' is comparable with Russian tsely 'whole'. Besides, this Etruscan month's name has a variant, masn. I translate it as 'stone', cf. Latin massa 'lump, piece', German Masse 'thickness, layer', Circassian myzh''o and Old Circassian maza 'stone'. The term "stone" is associated with the name of the Scythian sky god Papaios 'the Beating (god)' also corresponding to September. This god is the Russian pagan god Perun (cf. Hittite peruna- 'rock', Old Indian parvata- 'mountain') who kills the serpent in accordance with the Indo-European mythology (Ivanov and Toporov 1991: 530). This situation is reflected in a Roman proverb, Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. The Etruscan expression celi suth (Nemirovsky 1983: 98) means 'the Stone (the Indo-European Beating god) judges', cf. Russian sud 'court' and Old Indian samdhis, samdha 'agreement; connection; union' (Vasmer 1987a: 794).

A fragment of the Zagreb record written down on the shroud of a mummy, thunem cialxus masn unialti ursmnal (Nemirovsky 1983: 186), can be read as thunem cialxus masn Uni alti urs mnal 'The Wind of the Sky-Stone (= the Beating god Perun or Papaios); (the earth goddess) Uni of the altar is the harvest (because) of the victims'.

The word thunem 'wind' is comparable with Russian dunovenie 'breath of wind', dut' 'to blow', Old Indian dhamati 'he blows', Ossetic dumun 'to blow' (Vasmer 1986: 555). Cf. also the term tunu of Linear A (Rjabchikov 1998a: 16). The words storm and wind are connected with the expression bab'e leto 'warm time in September' in the Russian folk calendar (Belyakova 1995: 222). On the other hand, bab'e leto is the reflex of the name of the Scythian Beating god Papaios.

The word cialxus 'sky' is comparable with Latin caelestis 'celestial'.

The word masn 'stone' is examined above.

The name Uni is comparable with Old Russian un 'young'. The goddess Uni is mentioned together with Tin 'The day', the god of the sky (Nemirovsky 1983: 192); she correlates with the Roman goddess Juno (Nemirovsky 1983: 192) and the Scythian goddess Api.

The word alti is comparable with Latin altare 'altar' and altus 'high'. So the words Uni alti may mean either 'Uni of the altar' or 'the great Uni'. Moreover, the words alti urs may mean 'the great crops'.

The word urs is comparable with Russian urozhay 'harvest', rod 'family; mankind', rody 'birth', Old Indian vardati, vrdhati '(he, she, it) grows, increase' (Vasmer 1987b: 490-1).

The word m(e)nal is the Genitive of Etruscan men- 'to sacrifice' (Pallottino 1976: 378). Interestingly, the similar Russian mena 'exchange' is connected with Old Indian menis 'vengeance' and mayate 'he changes' (Vasmer 1987a: 598).

Etruscan xuru, xurvar 'October' is comparable with Russian kur 'cock', kuritsa 'hen' and Iranian hros 'cock'. On the other hand, the component var resembles Russian varit' 'to boil', Old Russian var 'intense heat; fire; boiling water', and Etruscan verse 'fire'. The cock is a symol of the sun, a designation of the death and resurrection as well as the chthonic bird in the Greek mythology (Toporov 1992). Interestingly, the ancient Russians killed cocks and took the killed hens when they visited churches on November 1; the cock was a symbol of the fire (Diachenko 1993: 530).

The Etruscan language is a Proto-Slavonic (Indo-European) one. One can add the following parallels: Etruscan tin 'day' (Nemirovsky 1983: 185) compares with Russian den' 'day'; Etruscan xu 'command' (Nemirovsky 1983: 90) compares with Old Indian ksayati 'he owns, predominates', Old Church Slavonic kazati 'to command; to order'; Etruscan fler 'statue' (Nemirovsky 1983: 219) compares with Greek falaros 'light; shining; white'; Etruscan trin (Nemirovsky 1983: 220) compares with Russian darit' 'to give'; Etruscan quil 'gift' (Nemirovsky 1983: 87) compares with Russian skol'(ko) 'how much; how many'; Etruscan santi 'water' (Nemirovsky 1983: 98) compares with Old Indian sindhu- 'river', Sindian *sindu- 'river' (1), Scythian Sad (Thagimasados) 'the god of the sea', Russian Sadko 'the character from the Russian traditional heroic poem of the same name who plays a role of the god of the sea'; Etruscan cilen (Nemirovsky 1983: 196) compares with Russian silny 'strong'; Etruscan ne (Nemirovsky 1983: 196) compares with Russian ne 'not'; Etruscan Fufluns 'god of the wine' (Nemirovsky 1983: 200) compares with Russian fufynit' 'to behave capriciously', fufyrit'sya 'to be angry', fuflo 'bad'; Etruscan Tuhulha 'the chthonic god with the tail' (Nemirovsky 1983: 206) compares with Russian hula 'abuse'.

The Etruscan text tin thvfn (Nemirovsky 1983: 196) is Tin thv (= thu) f(a)n 'The god 'the Day', you are the holy place' (2).

The words written down near the characters on an Etruscan mirror (Nemirovsky 1983: 208, figure; 206) are the variants of the months' names, see figure 1.

Figure 1.
There are the four characters in the central round. The goddess Turan 'Giving' is equivalent of the ancient Russian pagan god Dazh'bog 'The giving god' who is the sun god as well. The character Atunis corresponds to the Greek god Adonis (Nemirovsky 1983: 206). The swan is called Tusna. The fourth deity is called Zirna. The swan is related to the duck (a symbol of the winter solstice) in the Western Slavonic calendar. I believe that the word tusna resembles Russian tuhnut' 'to go out', Old Indian tosayati 'he calms', tusnim 'quietly' (Vasmer 1987b: 128). I suggest the reading of the name Zirna as a variant of Osiris, the Egyptian god of vegetation and resurrection. Earlier I found this name in the Scythian and Western Slavonic religious systems.

The name of a character, Mean, signifies 'August' (lit. 'solar; the sun'). The name of another character, Munthh, means 'September' (lit. 'mountain', cf. Latin montanus 'mountain'), cf. its variants, celi and masn 'September'. The name of another character, Ahvisur, means 'October' (lit. 'The solar horse'). It consists of the two words, ahvi and sur, cf. Old Indian acvah 'horse' and surya 'the sun'. This term corresponds to the Circassian term avsurg 'the solar horse'. Interestingy, in the Meotian-Sarmatian calendar the sign of the head of a horse corresponds to October - December. The name of another character, Alpan, means 'November' (cf. Latin albus 'white') associated with the Indo-Arian god Agin/Agni 'Fire'. The name of another character with the tail, Hathna, means 'December' (cf. Russian gad 'reptile (snake)'), it is a symbol of the transformation of winter into spring. The next character has no name, and the next one is named Uh 'February'. The latter term compares with Russian yug, Old Russian ug 'south', Latin jugo 'to harness to a yoke', so it correlates with the name velcitna 'March'.


1. See (Trubachev 1977: 22).

2. See (Pallottino 1976: 380).


Belyakova, G.S., 1995. Slavyanskaya mifologiya. Moscow: Prosveshchenie.

Diachenko, G., 1993. Polny tserkovno-slavyansky slovar'. Moscow: Izdatel'sky otdel Moskovskogo Patriarkhata.

Grintser, P.A., 1992. Yama. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 2. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 682-3.

Ivanov, V.V. and V.N. Toporov, 1991. Indoevropeyskaya mifologiya. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 1. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 527-33.

Nemirovsky, A.I., 1983. Etruski: Ot mifa k istorii. Moscow: Nauka.

Pallottino, M., 1976. Problema etrusskogo yazyka. In: I.M. Diakonoff (ed.) Tayny drevnikh pis'men. Problemy deshifrovki. Moscow: Progress, pp. 349-80.

Rjabchikov, S.V., 1998. Drevnie texty slavyan i adygov. Krasnodar: Torgovo-promyshlennaya palata Krasnodarskogo kraya.

Shilov, Y.A., 1995. Prarodina Ariev: Istoriya, obryady i mify. Kiev: SINTO.

Takho-Godi, A.A., 1991. Germes. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 1. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 292-3.

Toporov, V.N., 1992. Petukh. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 2. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 309-10.

Trubachev, O.N., 1977. Lingvisticheskaya periferiya drevneyshego slavyanstva. Indoariytsy v Severnom Prichernomor'e. Voprosy yazykoznaniya, No 6: 13-31.

Vasmer, M., 1986. Etimologichesky slovar' russkogo yazyka. Vol. 1. Moscow: Progress.

Vasmer, M., 1987a. Etimologichesky slovar' russkogo yazyka. Vol. 3. Moscow: Progress.

Vasmer, M., 1987b. Etimologichesky slovar' russkogo yazyka. Vol. 4. Moscow: Progress.

Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.

Published 10 November 1999.

Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, RUSSIA.

How to cite the articles of "THE SLAVONIC ANTIQUITY" Home Page in printed articles: like articles. Maintain the link if citing in the World Wide Web. Notice italics on the homepage name:

Rjabchikov, Sergei V., 1999. The Interpretation of the Etruscan Calendar. "THE SLAVONIC ANTIQUITY" Home Page (


Thanks for visiting.

E-mail me here at

Return to Top of Home Page