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An excerpt of a review from,
The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review
and Oriental and Colonial Record:
The saying of Dionysius of Halicarnassus with reference to the Etruscans, namely that they are unlike any other nation as regards language and customs, still holds good, as far as the language is concerned; Prof. Krall's discovery, however, of an Etruscan "linnen book" folded round a mummy in an Egyptian tomb, may give reasonable hope that the time is not far distant when important clues to the ultimate decipherment of the language will be available. Old Etruria was a veritable home of augury and divination. Spirits and ghosts played a prominent role in the Etruscan religion. In the liber linteus we frequently meet the word "Hinthu"-a ghost- which is one of the few Etruscan words that can be translated. (See Krall, die Etruskishen Mumienbinden des Agramer National Museums, 1892.) It is Mr. Leland's merit to have devoted many years of untiring research to the task of throwing light on the old religion and sorcery which is still alive among the peasantry of the Tuscan mountains. The author's remarkable gift for eliciting the secrets of the "old faith" from his informants, who appear to hold it in even greater reverence than they do the saints of their churches, renders him pre-eminently successful in these and similar researches; as much of this strange traditional creed is on the verge of dying out Mr. Leland's labours were most opportune and deserve our thanks. It appears that this Etruscan witchcraft-"stregeria"-though less than what might be termed a faith, is certainly something more than a mere system of sorcery; Mr. Leland has even rediscovered the names of the old Etruscan gods, such as Tinia or Jupiter, Faflau or Bacchus and Terams or Tunus (Mercury) as we read them on the Etruscan mirrors, and abundant proof is produced that these ancient deities yet live in the memories of the Tuscan peasantry. The mass of material collected by the author, consisting of invocations, legends, incantations and the like, reproduced in the original Italian and in translation, is really astounding. Mr. Leland's statement that the difficulties of "extracting" witchcraft from the Italian Strege far surpass those he experienced in collecting "volumes of folk-lore among very reticent Red Indians and reserved Romanys" is fully credited by us; we have good reason not to doubt it.
The distinguished compiler's descriptions and quotations leave the impression of being derived from original sources and in the preparation of the work he had moreover the advantage of advice from Senatore Comparetti, one of the greatest living Italian scholars. To judge from the comments, notes and explanatory passages generally, Mr. Leland is thoroughly acquainted with the existing literature on the subject of Etruria, in Latin, Italian, German and English.
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