Camulus

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Camulus or Camulos was a theonym for a deity of the Celts that the Romans equated with Mars in the interpretatio Romanum.[1] Camulus was an important god of early Great Britain and Gaul, especially among the Belgae and the Remi,[1] a Gaulish people living in the region that is now modern Grand Est around Reims.

Depiction[edit]

At Rindern, Germany, Mars Camulos appears on a stone with a wreath of oak.[1] Elsewhere he was portrayed with ram-horns on his head.[1]

Evidence[edit]

Evidence of Camulus' popularity can be seen in several place-names notably Camulodunum.[1]

Camulus is named in combination with Mars in inscriptions coming from Reims,[2] Arlon,[3] Kruishoutem,[4] Rindern,[5] Mainz,[6] Bar Hill Fort near the Antonine Wall,[7] Sarmizegetusa [8] and Southwark, London[9] [10]

The town Camulodunum (now Colchester) in Essex may have been named after him (and is the conjectured basis for the legendary city Camelot).[11] Camulodunum is a Latinised form of the Brittonic Camulodūnon from Camulos plus dūnon "(hill)fort, stronghold", a reference to the town's extensive Iron Age earthwork defences.[12]

Other proposed connections[edit]

Attempts from the 20th century and earlier to link the name Camulus with the nursery rhyme character Old King Cole, and with Irish mythological Cumhall, the hero Fionn's father, have been rejected by contemporary scholars.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Camulus". A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford University Press. 2004 [1998]. 
  2. ^ ILTG 351; AE 1935, 00064 [In] honor[em d(omus) d(ivinae)] / [3] Martis Cam[uli 3] / [Iucundiniu[s 3] / [Laurenti]um Lavinat[ium
  3. ^ CIL 13 3980 : Marti / Camulo / Lellius / Settus / v(otum) [s(olvit)] l(ibens) m(erito)
  4. ^ AE 1992, 01244 : Deo Marti Camulo / Verecundus Fructi / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito)
  5. ^ CIL 13 8701 : Marti Camulo / sacrum pro / salute [Neronis] <<Tiberii>> / Claudi Caesaris / [A]ug(usti) Germanici Imp(eratoris) / [c]ives Remi qui / [t]emplum constitu/erunt
  6. ^ CIL 13 11818 : Marti / Camulo / sacrum / [ // Fronto / T[3]oni f(ilius) / d(onum) d(edit)
  7. ^ CIL 7 1103 : Deo Mar(ti) / Camulo / [m]ilites coh(ortis) [I] / Hamioru[m] / [2]CIV[1]SC[2] / [2]IVI[3]
  8. ^ AE 1998, 01100 : Invicto / Mithrae / Marti Camulo / Mercurio / Rosmertae / Q(uintus) Axius Aeli/anus v(ir) e(gregius) / proc(urator) Aug[g](ustorum) / Ioni(us)
  9. ^ "MORITIX LONDINIENSIUM : A RECENT EPIG R APHIC FIND IN LONDON" (PDF). UCL. The British Epigraphy Society, Newsletter n.s. 8 (Autumn 2002) , pp. 10 - 13. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  10. ^ AE 2002, 882: Num(inibus) Augg(ustorum) / deo Marti Ca/mulo Tiberini/us Celerianus / c(ivis) Bell(ovacus) / moritix / Londiniensi/um / primus [3] / [3]VA[
  11. ^ Arthur Cotterell (1997). The Encyclopedia of Mythology: Classical, Celtic, Norse. Anness Publishing Ltd. 
  12. ^ Crummy, Philip (1997). City of Victory: The story of Colchester - Britain's first Roman town. Colchester Archaeological Trust. ISBN 1 897719 04 3.