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Encyclopedia > Haruspex
The bronze sheep's liver of Piacenza, with Etruscan inscriptions

In Roman practice inherited from the Etruscans, a haruspex (plural haruspices) was a man trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy, hepatoscopy or hepatomancy. Haruspicy is the inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The rites were paralleled by other rites of divination such as the interpretation of lightning strikes, of the flight of birds (augury), and of other natural omens. The Etruscan model of a sheep liver used by a haruspex, found at Piacenza File links The following pages link to this file: Haruspex Categories: Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images ... The Etruscan model of a sheep liver used by a haruspex, found at Piacenza File links The following pages link to this file: Haruspex Categories: Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... Species See text. ... The liver is an organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. ... Piacenza (Placentia in Latin and old-fashioned English, Piasëinsa in the local dialect of Emiliano-Romagnolo) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. ... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ... The Etruscan civilization existed in Etruria and the Po valley in the northern part of what is now Italy, prior to the formation of the Roman Republic. ... This article is about the religious practice of divination. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... The word Animals when used alone has several possible meanings in the English language. ... The liver is an organ in vertebrates including humans. ... Species See text. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For information on lightning precautions, see Lightning safety. ... The Augur was a priest or official in ancient Rome. ... Examples of omens from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493): natural phenomena and strange births. ...


Being a specific form of the general practice of extispicy, haruspicy is not original to Etruscans nor Romans. Rather, it is now considered to have originated from the Near East where one finds Hittites and Babylonians performing similar rites with entrails and producing comparable stylized models of the sheep's liver. Extispicy (from Latin extispicium) is the practice of using anomalies in animals entrails to divine future events. ... The Etruscan civilization existed in Etruria and the Po valley in the northern part of what is now Italy, prior to the formation of the Roman Republic. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists, geographers and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing Anatolia (the Asian portion of modern Turkey), the Levant (modern Israel/Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Georgia, Armenia, and... Relief of Suppiluliuma II, last known king of the Hittite Empire The Hittites were an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language, and established a kingdom centered at Hattusa (Hittite URU) in north-central Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite empire was... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Disembowelment is evisceration, or the removing of vital organs, usually from the abdomen. ...

Contents

Babylonian haruspicy

The Babylonians were famous for hepatoscopy. The liver was considered the source of the blood[citation needed] and hence the base of life itself. From this belief, the Mesopotamians deemed the liver of special sheep the means to discover the will of the gods. The priest, called a bārû, was specially trained to interpret the 'signs' of the liver. The liver was divided into sections with each section representing a particular deity. Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, and parts of eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and southwest Iran. ...


The Niniveh library texts name more than a dozen liver-related terms and before cuneiform writing was even deciphered, hints of the existence of Babylonian hepatoscopy were recorded in the Bible. One Babylonian clay model of a sheep's liver was found dated between 2050 and 1750 BCE. The model was used for omen divination which was important to Mesopotamian medicine. This study was carried out by priests and seers who looked for signs in the stars, or in the organs of sacrificed animals, to tell them things about a patient’s illness. Wooden pegs were placed in the holes of the clay tablet to record features found in a sacrificed animal’s liver. The priest or seer then used these features to predict the course of a patient’s illness. This article is about the ancient Middle Eastern city of Nineveh. ... Look up Cuneiform in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... This is an article about the ancient middle eastern region. ...


Haruspicy was part of a larger study of organs for the sake of divination, paying attention to the positioning of the organs. There are many records of different peoples using the liver and spleen of various domestic and wild animals to forecast weather. There are hundreds of ancient architectural objects, labyrinths composed of cobblestones in the northern countries that are considered to be a model of the intestines of the sacrificial animal, i.e. the colon of ruminants. The study of intestines was called "extispicy". Extispicy (from Latin extispicium) is the practice of using anomalies in animals entrails to divine future events. ...


Etruscan haruspicy

The Etruscans were also well known for the practice of divining by the entrails of sheep. A bronze sculpture of a liver called the "Piacenza Liver" was discovered in 1877 — and dating to c. 100 bce — near the town of Piacenza in northern Italy, complete with the name of regions marked on it which were assigned to various gods. It has been connected to the practice of haruspicy. By 1900, a professor of anatomy, Ludwig Stieda, sought to compare this artifact with a Mesopotamian one dated to a millennium earlier. Extent of Etruscan civilization and the twelve Etruscan League cities. ... Species See text. ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... A sculpture is a three-dimensional object, which for the purposes of this article is man-made and selected for special recognition as art. ... The Liver of Piacenza with its Etruscan inscriptions. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Piacenza (Placentia in Latin and old-fashioned English, Piasëinsa in the local dialect of Emiliano-Romagnolo) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. ... Gods can refer to: Plurality of Gods (see polytheism); Postulated preternatural beings (see deity); The upper levels of a theatre (see the gods); A 1991 video game (see Gods (video game)); A sixties rock band (see The Gods (band)). An internet term, common among usenet veterans, for those who engage...


Etruscan haruspicy probably reached Etruria via the Hittites, perhaps because the Etruscans originated in Asia Minor. The art of haruspicy was taught in the Libri Tagetici, a collection of texts attributed to Tages, a childlike being who figures in Etruscan mythology, and who was discovered in an open field by Tarchon. The area covered by the Etruscan civilzation. ... Relief of Suppiluliuma II, last known king of the Hittite Empire The Hittites were an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language, and established a kingdom centered at Hattusa (Hittite URU) in north-central Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite empire was... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... TAGES (Tagès) is a software Copy Protection brand, jointly developed, at first, by MPO and the Thales Group (formerly known as Thomson-CSF). ... The Etruscans were a race of unknown origin from North Italy who were eventually integrated into Rome. ... In Etruscan mythology, Tarchon and his brother, Tyrrhenus were culture heroes who founded the Etruscan Federation of twelve cities. ...


Roman haruspicy

Haruspicy continued to be practiced throughout the history of the Roman empire. The emperor Claudius was a student of Etruscan and opened a college to preserve and improve their art, which lasted until the reign of Theodosius I. In 408, the haruspices offered their services when the Goths under Alaric threatened Rome; Pope Innocent I reluctantly agreed to allow them to help so long as the rituals were kept secret. Further evidence has been found of haruspices in Bath, England where the base of a statue was inscribed to honour a god for a haruspex. Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ... An engraving depicting what Theodosius may have looked like, ca. ... Events Theodosius II succeeds his father Arcadius as Emperor of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire In the summer of this year, the usurper Constantine III captures Spain, destroying the loyalist forces defending it. ... Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche, is a highly romanticized portrait of the Goths as cavalrymen. ... An 1894 photogravure of Alaric I taken from a painting by Ludwig Thiersch. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Saint Innocent I, pope (402 - 417), was, according to his biographer in the Liber Pontificalis, the son of a man called Innocent of Albano; but according to his contemporary Jerome, his father was Pope Anastasius I, whom he was called by the unanimous voice of the clergy and laity to... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In Popular Culture and Literature

  • One of the characters in Neil Gaiman’s Death: The High Cost of Living is a haruspex.
  • One of the characters in Dean Koontz's "Velocity" believes herself to be a haruspex.
  • The 2005 Mars Volta live album Scabdates features a song entitled "Haruspex".
  • Homer Simpson listens to Doctor Marvin Monroe's "Increase Your Vocabulary" subliminal tape in the episode "Bart's Friend Falls In Love", and hears "Haruspicy: Predicting the future through the study of animal entrails."
  • In the movie Being Human (1993), one scene played in ancient Rome involves a haruspex. In this case, a chicken is studied.
  • The St. Paul-based hip-hop group Heiruspecs' name is a deliberate misspelling of haruspex.
  • In the PC game Titan Quest: Immortal Throne (2007), "haruspex" is the title given to a character who combines the Hunting and Dream masteries.
  • In the 2007 movie "StarDust," Michelle Pfeiffer's character practices haruspicy as well as divination through Rune Stones.

Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... Death as illustrated by Chris Bachalo. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Mars Volta onstage at the 2004 Big Day Out, Melbourne, Australia. ... Scabdates is the second official live recording from the band The Mars Volta. ... Being Human is a 1993 indie film starring Robin Williams and Ewan McGregor. ... Heiruspecs (pronounced high-roo-spex) is a live rap/hip hop band based in St. ...

See also

Extispicy (from Latin extispicium) is the practice of using anomalies in animals entrails to divine future events. ...

References

  • Walter Burkert, 1992. The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (Thames and Hudson), pp 46-51.

Walter Burkert (born Neuendettelsau (Bavaria), February 2, 1931), the most eminent living scholar of Greek myth and cult, is an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland who has also taught in the United Kingdom and the United States. ...

External link

  • Haruspices, article in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
Roman religion series
Offices
Augur | Flamen | Haruspex | Pontifex Maximus | Rex Nemorensis | Rex Sacrorum | Vestal Virgin
Beliefs and practices
Apotheosis | Festivals | Funerals | Imperial cult | Mythology | Persecution | Sibylline Books | Temple

  Results from FactBites:
 
PROGRESSIVEWORLD.NET: REVIEWS BY STEPHANIE SOLLOW (858 words)
Haruspex is not the Linux database software or game software, either (for those tech-heads that were wondering).
From the Occultopedia that I came across in my web-wanderings prepping for this review, it means: "The Latin name for a diviner, originally derived from the Etruscan method of divination which involved the foretelling of future events from an examination of the entrails of slaughtered animals (haruspicy).
Well, "Haruspex," the first track is a dialog-less horror film, told with music and eerie, ethereal vocalizations from Lynnette Shelley.
Haruspex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (715 words)
In Roman practice inherited from the Etruscans, a haruspex (plural haruspices) was a man trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy or hepatoscopy.
In 408, the haruspices offered their services when the Goths under Alaric threatened Rome; Pope Innocent I reluctantly agreed to allow them to help so long as the rituals were kept secret.
One of the characters in Neil Gaiman’s Death: The High Cost of Living is a haruspex.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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