22.07.

1862: Liber Linteus Zagrebiensis – The Longest Etruscan Text

1862: Liber Linteus Zagrebiensis – The Longest Etruscan Text
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 July 1862
  • The Liber Linteus Zagrebiensis (Latin for the “Linen Book of Zagreb”) is the longest Etruscan text ever found. It is interesting to note that the Etruscan language remains mostly incomprehensible due to relatively small number of preserved inscriptions.

On this day in 1862, it was decided that the “Linen Book of Zagreb” would be kept in Zagreb, Croatia. The 1130-word text is the longest Etruscan text ever found.

The fabric of the book was preserved when it was used for wrapping an Egyptian mummy, which was also donated to the city of Zagreb.

Namely, Mihajlo Barić, an Austrian officer of Croatian origin, bought the mummy in Egypt in 1848 or 1849, and brought it to Vienna, where he lived. He displayed the mummy at his home, and removed the linen wrappings, which were also displayed there.

At the time, he didn’t know that they had an Etruscan inscription. Before Barić died, he wanted the mummy and the linen wrappings to be kept in Zagreb.

His brother Ilija Barić, who was a priest, donated them to the State Institute of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia (the present-day Archaeological Museum in Zagreb). The mummy and the linen wrappings were transported by train and car, and came to Zagreb on 25 July 1862.

It is a female mummy, and she was named Nesi-hensu. Her husband was Paher-hensua from Thebes. It is interesting to note that the Etruscan language remains mostly incomprehensible due to relatively small number of preserved inscriptions.

The Liber Linteus Zagrebiensis is something akin to a liturgical calendar, which includes rules regarding the sacrifice to different deities.

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