Nurtia, the Etruscan goddess of time

Dancers from the tomb of the Triclinium, Tarquinia. World History Encyclopaedia.

As you don’t know me yet, you are not aware that I love history . Not much is known about the Etruscans, but one fact seems to be certain: they did value their women as much as their men. The Etruscans occupied the central region of Italy, between rivers Arno and Tiber river, with some outpost reaching the Po river. The Etruscans eventually assimilate Roman culture but before this happened they were an evolved civilization with many accomplishments but unfortunately little is left behind but some of their beautiful art.

Nurtia or Nortia/Nursia is the Etruscan Goddess of time or fate, and some compare her to the Roman Goddess Fortuna or the Greek goddess Minerva. She is the patron goddess of Velsna, a city that was eventually destroyed and no one knows where it was located. The custom was to put a nail into the wall of her temple to signify the ending of an year. This is a symbolism of Fate. This was a custom that was passed on to the Romans. Nailing down the fate of her charge, Nurtia was an important female figure in Etruscan culture.

Our society does not value wisdom and experience of women as much as it does of men’s. This is especially true as women pass menopause. Medical books were initially written by men, even in subjects that they had no personal experience of. Menopause was seen as a loss, end of productivity and usefulness. Our voices were not considered as important as others’ . The concept of female beauty is closely linked to youth and inexperience and we get constant reminders of this from ads, movies, books. Few heroines are older women.

As I approach menopause and see myself in the mirror, I need to learn to love this new Eliana that stares back at me. She has a hint of sadness and pain, but also SO MUCH LIFE! She has a lot more experience, wisdom and despite the tribulations, she is still that person full of dreams. Dreams that will be realized! I have so much vitality, so much willingness to learn and discover that the 24 hour day is too short for me. I believe most women our age feel the same, but society still sees us as less than perfect. They should not define who we are. Our own grandmothers were fighting to change this and we should carry on the work to value ourselves and other women, not only for ourselves but for our daughters and granddaughters.

In the next blogs we will talk more about what is menopause, physiological changes that happen during menopause and what is happening to our skin and hair. We will have more topics dedicated to health and dermatology as well as more balanced lifestyle. We can also talk about historical perspectives of beauty and cosmetics.

Like Nurtia, the new woman takes charge of her own destiny . Menopause then ceases to be a time of loss, but a time of confidence and empowerment. Like Nurtia, we are mistresses of our own destiny. The soul is timeless.

Lartia Seianti, terracota sarcophagus. World History Encyclopaedia.

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