With these names must clearly be judged the forms Tusci and Etrusci, although these forms must not be regarded as anything but the names given to the Etruscans by the folk among whom they settled.
The conclusion suggested is that these -COtribes occupied the centre and west coast of Italy at the time of the Etruscan invasion (see Etruria: Language); whereas the -NOtribes only reached this part of Italy, or at least only became dominant there, long after the Etruscans had settled in the Peninsula.
It constituted the most common form of divination in ancient Babylonia, where it can be traced back to the 3rd millennium B.C. Among the Etruscans the prominence of the rite led to the liver being looked upon as the trade-mark of the priest.
From the Etruscans it made its way to the Romans, though as we shall see it was also modified by them.
It is well known that the Romans borrowed their methods of hepatoscopy from the Etruscans, and, apart from the direct evidence for this in Latin writings, we have, in the case of the bronze model of a liver found near Piacenza in 1877, and of Etruscan origin, the unmistakable proof that among the Etruscans the examination of the liver was the basis of animal divination.
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