Clusium and Porsena
Type of Spiritual Experience
This 'tomb' was used as part of the Mystery ceremonies and designed to induce rebirth experiences. The following description comes from a guide book
"The Labyrinth of Porsena is a series of underground tunnels that branch out to all the old part of Chiusi and are in small part open to tourist visits. Similar passages are also found in other cities of central Italy (Perugia, Orvieto, Todi).
According to Pliny the labyrinth was part of a monument (with a base of 90 meters on each side) which was the tomb of King Porsena at Chiusi. It is an ancient monument excavated by the Etruscans between 500 and 400 BC and is thus older than the Etruscan civilisation. It is believed to be one of the four labyrinths described by Pliny.
Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis historia xxxvi.19.91-93 says
"In the words of M. Varro, the king Porsena lies buried under the city of Clusium, under a monument of hewn stone, 300 feet wide and 50 high. The foundations of rectangular and uniform hiding a maze from which no one can find out without a thread of Ariadne. On this foundation rise five pyramids, four corners and the center. On the top, each bears a bronze disk from which hang bells hanging from long chains that resonate in every breath of wind. Above the hard stand each other 4 pyramids 100 feet high. Above the second series of 4 pyramids there is a platform from which rise other 5 pyramids, of the height of which Varro not precise. "
The origin of Clusium is lost in prehistory. By the time it appears in Livy's History, it is already a major Etruscan city being petitioned for assistance against the republican partisans of Rome. About its life prior to that time, Livy only makes a brief statement (10.25) that it was once called Camars.
"Camars, is believed to mean "marshland" and may have its roots in a language from which the Camargue gained its name. On enclosing the city with a wall they changed the name to "enclosure", using an Etruscanized form, Clevsin, of the perfect passive participle, clusus, of Latin cludere, "to close". The name must be symbolic as Chiusi is situated on a hill in the uplands, far from the marshes of Latium" .
A description of the experience
Clevsin is another name for Clusium
The 'Tomb 'of Lars Porsena
The source of the experienceMysteries, the
Concepts, symbols and science items
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - enclosures and camps
Sacred geography - labyrinths
Activities and commonsteps
OverloadsOverwhelming fear and terror
Visit sacred sites
SuppressionsEnacting ritual and ceremony