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Etruscan Demons, Monsters Unearthed
Discovery news.com ^ | 11-5-2003 | Rossella Lorenzi

Posted on 11/05/2003 8:18:48 AM PST by blam

Etruscan Demons, Monsters Unearthed

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

Demonic Charioteer with the Shadow of Death

Nov. 5, 2003 — Etruscan art, made of strange demons and monsters, is emerging in a Tuscan village, in what could be one of the most important discoveries of recent times, according to scholars who have seen the paintings.

Lurking on the left wall of a 4th century B.C. tomb, the exceptionally preserved monsters have been unearthed during the ongoing excavation of the Pianacce necropolis in Sarteano, a village 50 miles from Siena, Italy.

"So far we have found some scenes of banquets, snake-like monsters, demons, a hyppocampus and a sarcophagus broken in many fragments, probably by tomb robbers. We are confident to find more art as the digging goes on," archaeologist Alessandra Minetti told Discovery News.

.

One of Europe's most mysterious people, the Etruscans forged Italy's most sophisticated civilization before the Romans. They rose from Italian prehistory around 900 B.C. and dominated most of the country for about five centuries.

Yet mystery shrouds their history. First defeated by the Romans in the 4th century B.C., in 90 B.C., after centuries of decline, the Etruscans became Roman citizens. They left no literature to record their culture — few traces of their puzzling, non-Indo-European language survive. Only the richly decorated tombs they left behind provide a glimpse into their world.

"The newly excavated tomb belonged to a rich family, and shows that Sarteano wasn't just a countryside village, but a politically important center," Minetti said.

Vividly colored, the scenes in the tomb reflect a sinister change in the Etruscan concept of death. A fun loving and sensuous people, on the verge of decline they adopted the Greek vision of a demon-infested underworld.

"The figure with red hair is surely a death demon of some kind. This is confirmed by the black figure at her side, used by the Etruscans to characterize demons," chief archaeologist Mario Iozzo, director of the Center for Conservation in Florence and Chiusi's Archaeological Museum, told Discovery News.

With a chariot driven by gryphons, the demonic figure has probably come to hurry the soul of the deceased to the Underworld. Scholars are not sure whether the figure is Charu (Charon), normally shown as a bearded man with ruddy skin, the female Vanth, usually winged, or a totally unknown demon. They hope to find more clues as the digging continues.

Other paintings in the burial chamber are celebratory, showing joyful people banqueting — a scene more in tone with the spontaneity of the early Etruscan art.

Scholars are intrigued. "From what I can see, I can state that the painting is of exceptional quality, indeed a masterpiece of the late Etruscan style," Michael Padgett, curator of ancient art at Princeton University Art Museum, told Discovery News.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; demons; etruscan; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; monsters; unearthed
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1 posted on 11/05/2003 8:18:48 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Interesting development.
2 posted on 11/05/2003 8:21:21 AM PST by dodger
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To: blam
few traces of their puzzling, non-Indo-European language survive

Related to the Basques?

3 posted on 11/05/2003 8:22:20 AM PST by r9etb
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; Bilbo Baggins; billl; ..
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

For real time political chat - Radio Free Republic chat room

4 posted on 11/05/2003 8:22:53 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: blam
It would be nice if they turned up a long bilingual text, say Latin and Etruscan. Almost all we know of the Etruscan language is from short bilinguals of the form "A. Doofus erected this to his father lest he be thought lacking in filial piety."

That red-haired lady is obviously some guy's ugly wife with a big fat cat. In fact, the cat looks a lot like a character from a Cary Grant - Katherine Hepburn movie. No need to get supernatural here.

5 posted on 11/05/2003 8:24:55 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: blam

6 posted on 11/05/2003 8:30:10 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Looks like Helen Thomas to me.
7 posted on 11/05/2003 8:31:36 AM PST by LanPB01
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To: Romulus; blam
Yet mystery shrouds their history. First defeated by the Romans in the 4th century B.C., in 90 B.C., after centuries of decline, the Etruscans became Roman citizens. They left no literature to record their culture — few traces of their puzzling, non-Indo-European language survive. Only the richly decorated tombs they left behind provide a glimpse into their world.
Shame on the false Etruscan
Who lingers in his home,
When Porsena of Clusium
Is on the march for Rome.

8 posted on 11/05/2003 8:33:14 AM PST by eastsider
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To: r9etb
More likely the Minoans.
9 posted on 11/05/2003 8:41:29 AM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: eastsider
The Roman historians wrote about lots of others, even Lapplanders. The Wrote of Greek history and myths. Yet they did not preserve any Eutruscan heritage. Were they too familiar? Were they ashamed? Just seems strange to me.
10 posted on 11/05/2003 8:51:59 AM PST by shamusotoole
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To: shamusotoole; eastsider
The Roman historians wrote about lots of others, even Lapplanders.

Lars Porsena was a Swede, wasn't he? ;-)

11 posted on 11/05/2003 8:56:43 AM PST by Romulus (Nothing really good ever happened after 1789.)
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To: Junior
From the red hair I would guess they were celtic or related to them. I remember vaguely there was a group of Celts that invaded and fought the locals, I am not positive of the timing. They may have come later.
12 posted on 11/05/2003 8:56:45 AM PST by Evil Inc
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To: blam
Did someone say "Demon"?


13 posted on 11/05/2003 9:00:56 AM PST by BushMeister
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To: shamusotoole; Romulus
The Wrote of Greek history and myths.
Arma virumque cano
14 posted on 11/05/2003 9:01:54 AM PST by eastsider
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To: Evil Inc
From the red hair I would guess they were celtic or related to them. I remember vaguely there was a group of Celts that invaded and fought the locals, I am not positive of the timing. They may have come later.

There were Celts (Cisalpine Gauls) south of the Alps, but they weren't the Etruscans. The Celtic languages are Indoeuropean; Etruscan is an isolate.

15 posted on 11/05/2003 9:04:19 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: blam
There was a whole history of interaction between peoples the world over in ancient times that we moderns are largely unaware of. Most people's Darwinistic view of man's development has clouded their vision of the human race's many rises and falls in world travel, interaction, sophistication, and technology.

I find it quite interesting that pretty much every other piece of Etruscan art I've ever seen depicted dark haired and often dark skinned people. This person, I would imagine was most definitely not of that origin. If he is, and yes I think it's a he and not a she, then he would probably have been a far more ancient Etruscan, living long before the Etruscans became a uniformly dark haired people.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. I am fascinated by this find. Thank you for posting it.
16 posted on 11/05/2003 9:07:32 AM PST by MarcoPolo
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To: Junior
They were the off-scouring of Numenor, deceived by Sauron.
17 posted on 11/05/2003 9:08:06 AM PST by muleskinner
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To: MarcoPolo
"There was a whole history of interaction between peoples the world over in ancient times that we moderns are largely unaware of. Most people's Darwinistic view of man's development has clouded their vision of the human race's many rises and falls in world travel, interaction, sophistication, and technology.

That's my view also.

18 posted on 11/05/2003 10:03:21 AM PST by blam
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To: VadeRetro
Not only was Lars (non Norgensis) Porcena an Etruscan King of Rome, supposedly I Clavdivs (and II Clavdivs and III Clavdivs and IV Clavdivs....) was of Eutruscan descent and wrote about their language. His book was last (perhaps buried in the Robert Graves.)
19 posted on 11/05/2003 10:08:45 AM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: muleskinner
Sauron this, Sauron that - Sauron was jsut Melko(r)'s piss boy.
20 posted on 11/05/2003 11:01:45 AM PST by SengirV
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To: MarcoPolo
I hear a popular saying in Northern Italy is: "When you travel south of Rome, you are in Africa." ;-)
21 posted on 11/05/2003 11:09:43 AM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: shamusotoole
Too early.

The great Roman historians wrote most usefully of things of their own time - Tacitus, Caesar, etc. Only Livy went back to the origins of Rome, and his work is very unreliable.
22 posted on 11/05/2003 11:18:59 AM PST by buwaya
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To: VadeRetro
My theory is that they were like Basques (also an isolate).

They were much more interesting than Basques though.
23 posted on 11/05/2003 11:21:13 AM PST by buwaya
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To: Evil Inc
The Celts/Gauls were later invaders and occupiers of Northern Italy. They fought both Etruscans and Romans.
24 posted on 11/05/2003 11:22:31 AM PST by buwaya
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To: buwaya
Post modern man --- liberals - rats !


25 posted on 11/05/2003 11:27:43 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: Cultural Jihad
Really? Hm. That IS interesting. Old, oft-quoted folk sayings are often full of hidden truths.
26 posted on 11/05/2003 3:59:22 PM PST by MarcoPolo
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To: farmfriend
Fascinating and absolutely NOTHING like anything I've ever seen previously, attributted to the Etruscans.
27 posted on 11/05/2003 7:40:34 PM PST by nopardons
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To: eastsider
Ahhhhhhhhh ... the Aeneid ! I I SING OF ARMS AND ARMAMENTS " ... the onpening line, when said by a male. When said by a female, those same lines read : " I SING OF A MAN'S ARMS AND THE ARMS HE CARRIES ."
28 posted on 11/05/2003 7:44:17 PM PST by nopardons
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To: blam
Thanks for the post. Significant new finds are always interesting.
29 posted on 11/05/2003 7:44:51 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (Further, the statement assumed)
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To: eastsider
Okay, so you can recite the first three words of the Aeneid.

But can you recite the first ten lines of the Oddessey??

a billion years ago, back in high school, we had to memorize it, and I can still recite part of it from memory.

so there, na na.
30 posted on 11/05/2003 7:51:59 PM PST by fqued ("He who doesn't reboot at least once a day is not using the capacity of his computer.")
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To: blam
Bill and Hillary?
31 posted on 11/05/2003 7:56:53 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: buwaya
like the BAsques

An interesting bit of research found that the Basques are not genetically different from their neighbours, only linguistically. Of course, being a small population they must have intermingled with the communities around them. The basque language is also supposed to be related to the Chechen. The other non-IndoEuropean linguistic group in Europe is the Finnish-Ugaritic group to which Finnish and some Baltic languages belong.

Weren't the Celts also Indo-European? Not Aryan though.
32 posted on 11/06/2003 12:36:49 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: buwaya
Found this list of Indo-European language groups:

Subfamily Group Subgroup Languages and Principal Dialects
Anatolian     Hieroglypic Hittite*, Hittite (Kanesian)*, Luwian*, Lycian*, Lydian*, Palaic*
Baltic     Latvian (Lettish), Lithuanian, Old Prussian*
Celtic Brythonic   Breton, Cornish*, Welsh
Celtic Continental   Gaulish*
Celtic Goidelic or Gaelic   Irish (Irish Gaelic), Manx*, Scottish Gaelic
Germanic East Germanic   Burgundian*, Gothic*, Vandalic*
Germanic North Germanic   Old Norse* (see Norse): Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish
Germanic West Germanic (see Grimm's law) High German German, Yiddish
Germanic West Germanic (see Grimm's law) Low German Afrikaans, Dutch, English, Flemish, Frisian, Plattdeutsch (see German language)
Greek     Aeolic*, Arcadian*, Attic*, Byzantine Greek*, Cyprian*, Doric*, Ionic*, KoinE*, Modern Greek
Indo-Iranian Dardic or Pisacha   Kafiri, Kashmiri, Khowar, Kohistani, Romany (Gypsy), Shina
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan   Pali*, Prakrit*, Sanskrit*, Vedic*
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan Central Indic Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan East Indic Assamese, Bengali, Bihari, Oriya
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan Northwest Indic Punjabi, Sindhi
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan Pahari Central Pahari, Eastern Pahari (Nepali), Western Pahari
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan South Indic Marathi (including major dialect Konkani), Singhalese (Sinhalese)
Indo-Iranian Indic or Indo-Aryan West Indic Bhili, Gujarati, Rajasthani (many dialects)
Indo-Iranian Iranian   Avestan*, Old Persian*
Indo-Iranian Iranian East Iranian Baluchi, Khwarazmian*, Ossetic, Pamir dialects, Pushtu (Afghan), Saka (Khotanese)*, Sogdian*, Yaghnobi
Indo-Iranian Iranian West Iranian Kurdish, Pahlavi (Middle Persian)*, Parthian*, Persian (Farsi), Tajiki
Italic (Non-Romance)   Faliscan*, Latin, Oscan*, Umbrian*
Italic Romance or Romanic Eastern Romance Italian, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, Sardinian
Italic Romance or Romanic Western Romance Catalan, French, Ladino, Portuguese, Provençal, Spanish
Slavic or Slavonic East Slavic   Belorussian (White Russian), Russian, Ukrainian
Slavic or Slavonic South Slavic   Bulgarian, Church Slavonic*, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian
Slavic or Slavonic West Slavic   Czech, Kashubian, Lusatian (Sorbian or Wendish), Polabian*, Polish, Slovak
Thraco-Illyrian     Albanian, Illyrian*, Thracian*
Thraco-Phrygian     Armenian, Grabar (Classical Armenian)*, Phrygian*
Tokharian (W China)     Tokharian A (Agnean)*, Tokharian B (Kuchean)*

33 posted on 11/06/2003 12:39:53 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: buwaya
TRue, the Aenied seems very much like the Romans were desperate to show that they were not barbarians at earlier times. Which they were. The GReeks themselves (contrary to the dad in 'My Big Fat GReek Wedding') were themselves barbarians before and even arguably IN the Mycenean age (1500 to 1200 B.C.) when the war against Troy took place. After that, they went into stagnation until the rise of the city states. A 1700 BC date of the Minoan civilisation in Crete still makes it a comparatively infantile civilisation compared to those in the Nile, Euphrates-Tiger and Indus valleys with their early points stretching back to 3100 BC (for the scorpion king) and 4000 B.C. (for the Sumerians in what is now modern day Iraq).

History is fascinating, eh?
34 posted on 11/06/2003 12:45:30 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
The * indicate dead languages.
35 posted on 11/06/2003 12:49:01 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: r9etb
few traces of their puzzling, non-Indo-European language survive

Related to the Basques?

Greenberg includes Etruscan in Eurasiatic, although not enthusiastically (there really isn't much data)

See Indo-European and Its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family: vol. I Grammar and Vol II Lexicon by Joseph Greenberg (the greatest linguist of the 20th century)

Soviet linguists have concluded that Basque is part of a Dene-Sino-Caucasic phylum that includes na-Dine (Athabaskan (icl Navaho and Apache), Sino-tibeten, Yeniesian (Kott and Kett), Burushaski, Basque, and the non-Kartvelian Caucasian tongues.

Discussed in On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy by Merritt Ruhlen.

36 posted on 11/06/2003 1:02:19 AM PST by Virginia-American
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To: r9etb
few traces of their puzzling, non-Indo-European language survive

Related to the Basques?

Greenberg includes Etruscan in Eurasiatic, although not enthusiastically (there really isn't much data)

See Indo-European and Its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family: vol. I Grammar and Vol II Lexicon by Joseph Greenberg (the greatest linguist of the 20th century)

Soviet linguists have concluded that Basque is part of a Dene-Sino-Caucasic phylum that includes na-Dine (Athabaskan (icl Navaho and Apache), Sino-tibeten, Yeniesian (Kott and Kett), Burushaski, Basque, and the non-Kartvelian Caucasian tongues.

Discussed in On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy by Merritt Ruhlen.

37 posted on 11/06/2003 1:05:25 AM PST by Virginia-American
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To: farmfriend
Could you please add me to your "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" ping list?

Thanks!

38 posted on 11/06/2003 1:24:20 AM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
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To: fqued
I'd wager you went to a Jesuit high school in the NE : )
39 posted on 11/06/2003 6:54:04 AM PST by eastsider
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To: nopardons


40 posted on 11/06/2003 7:05:18 AM PST by eastsider
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To: GiovannaNicoletta
Consider yourself added. If you ever change your mind, just let me know.
41 posted on 11/06/2003 8:08:07 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: fqued
LOL ... pre the flood, when I was in boarding school, the choir, of which I was a member, had to learn to sing almost the entire AENEID and yes, I can still sing it. :-)
42 posted on 11/06/2003 7:56:24 PM PST by nopardons
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To: blam

Hmmm... she bears a passing resemblance to Hillary!(tm) to me.

43 posted on 11/06/2003 8:02:39 PM PST by Jonah Hex (If a dog started to salivate, would Pavlov ring a bell?)
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To: Cronos
The Basques are certainly genetically odd. Cavalli-Sforza "History and geography of human genes" has genetic maps of Europe, and the Basques form an isolate, and the regions around the Basque country a transition zone. The Basques have physical characteristics that distinguish them from the European norm, such as many times the rate of rare blood types.
44 posted on 11/07/2003 1:48:58 PM PST by buwaya
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To: Cronos
I did leave out Virgil as a chronicler of early Rome.

The Romans were later eager to show a glorious orgin for themselves, certainly, as were most of the Greeks. Everybody was a descendant of Hercules, or Athena, or somesuch.
45 posted on 11/07/2003 1:51:10 PM PST by buwaya
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To: eastsider
I'd wager you went to a Jesuit high school in the NE

Pretty close--a Jesuit high school in Denver, Colo. Best school by far in Colorado at that time, and I got an education that doesn't quit.

46 posted on 11/08/2003 6:20:35 PM PST by fqued ("He who doesn't reboot at least once a day is not using the capacity of his computer.")
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To: buwaya

My theory is that there is a connection between Etruscan and Pelasgian(the pre-Indo-European -inthos or -ossos/-assos substratum of Greek, which may be related to Minoan.) I have little evidence for this, but it makes a lot of sense.
Pelasgian may be related to the Hurro-Urartian languages (the ancient languages of NE Anatolia, where M172 and related Y chromosome markers are found) which are thought to be NE Caucasian.
Genetic data shows that for Greece there is an association between the M172 Y chromosome marker that is associated with expansion from Anatolia to SE Europe and regions of intensive Neolithic settlement.
Here's the link:
http://www.santafe.edu/files/gems/ehlchronology/king.pdf
I wonder what genetic studies (esp. Y chromosome) of the Etruscan remains (or modern rural people from Tuscany and Umbria) would show.




47 posted on 07/07/2004 2:28:32 AM PDT by monkeyman81
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To: farmfriend
Would you also add me to your ping list?

Thank You!!

48 posted on 07/07/2004 2:47:20 AM PDT by gracex7 (The LORD is not slack concerning His promise....but is longsuffering to us-ward. 2 Peter 3:9)
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To: blam
The figure with red hair is surely a death demon of some kind.

Yeah, redheads always bear watching.

So9

49 posted on 08/04/2004 4:59:38 PM PDT by Servant of the 9 (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: blam

And here I thought it was Teraza HK~!


50 posted on 08/04/2004 5:01:26 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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