Fufluns is one of the ancient Etruscan
deities. His name is known under a variety of spellings, including Faflon, Fuflunus, Fuflunu, and Fufunal. One of Fufluns' other ancient names was Vertumnus
, to whom the Etruscans' great goddess Voltumna
was said to be allied. Often equated with the Greek Dionysus
or the Roman Bacchus
, Fufluns is described in many sources as a god of gaiety
Fufluns is often represented as a beautiful or even physically perfect being (part of the reason he is so often equated with Bacchus), though relatively little remains of representations of him, as Etruscan society was largely assimilated into the Roman fold.
Interestingly, even as Etruscan culture was eclipsed by the growing Roman state, Fufluns lingers on as a being in the legends and myth of Italy even to this day. Legends persist of modified versions of Fufluns in very rural regions, sometimes as a demon, sometimes not.
A legend is passed down in Italy about a spirit who lives among the vineyards. As men and women fill their baskets with grapes with which to make wine, Fufluns - usually remembered in the myth as Faflon - would come along, spill the baskets, and scatter the grapes. Those who got angry at him would be punished - the grapes would be smashed and rendered useless so the men and women who picked them could draw no profit. If the victim could take a joke and respond good-naturedly, Fufluns would bless him or her, refilling the basket and then some. Despite some 2,700 years of time separating the god from his modern, legend form, his purposes - wine, vitality, and a joy of living - remain his principal traits.
One assumes Fufluns would have approved.