Ancient Celtic religion
Ancient Celtic religion known as Celtic paganism, comprises the religious beliefs and practices adhered to by the Iron Age people of Western Europe now known as the Celts between 500 BC and 500 AD, spanning the La Tène period and the Roman era, in the case of the Insular Celts the British and Irish Iron Age. Little is known with any certainty about the subject, apart from documented names that are thought to be of deities, the only detailed contemporary accounts are by hostile and not-well-informed Roman writers. Celtic paganism was one of a larger group of Iron Age polytheistic religions of the Indo-European family, it comprised a large degree of variation both geographically and chronologically, although "behind this variety, broad structural similarities can be detected" allowing there to be "a basic religious homogeneity" among the Celtic peoples. The Celtic pantheon consists of numerous recorded theonyms, both from Greco-Roman ethnography and from epigraphy. Among the most prominent ones are Teutatis and Lugus.
Figures from medieval Irish mythology have been interpreted as iterations of earlier pre-Christian Insular deities in the study of comparative mythology. According to Greek and Roman accounts, in Gaul and Ireland, there was a priestly caste of "magico-religious specialists" known as the druids, although little is known about them. Following the Roman Empire's conquest of Gaul and southern Britannia, Celtic religious practices began to display elements of Romanisation, resulting in a syncretic Gallo-Roman culture with its own religious traditions with its own large set of deities, such as Cernunnos, Telesphorus, etc. In Roman Britain this lost at least some ground to Christianity by the time the Romans left in 410, in the next century began to be replaced by the pagan Anglo-Saxon religion over much of the country. Christianity had resumed missionary activity by the 5th and the 6th centuries in Ireland, the Celtic population was Christianized supplanting the earlier religious traditions. However, polytheistic traditions left a legacy in many of the Celtic nations, influenced mythology, served as the basis for a new religious movement, Celtic Neopaganism, in the 20th century.
Comparatively little is known about Celtic paganism because the evidence for it is fragmentary, due to the fact that the Celts who practiced it wrote nothing down about their religion. Therefore, all we have to study their religion from is the literature from the early Christian period, commentaries from classical Greek and Roman scholars, archaeological evidence; the archaeologist Barry Cunliffe summarised the sources for Celtic religion as "fertile chaos", borrowing the term from the Irish scholar Proinsias MacCana. Cunliffe went on to note that "there is more, evidence for Celtic religion than for any other example of Celtic life; the only problem is to assemble it in a systematic form which does not too oversimplify the intricate texture of its detail." The archaeological evidence does not contain the bias inherent in the literary sources. Nonetheless, the interpretation of this evidence can be colored by the 21st century mindset. Various archaeological discoveries have aided understanding of the religion of the Celts.
Most surviving Celtic art is not figurative. Surviving figurative monumental sculpture comes entirely from Romano-Celtic contexts, broadly follows provincial Roman styles, though figures who are deities wear torcs, there may be inscriptions in Roman letters with what appear to be Romanized Celtic names; the Pillar of the Boatmen from Paris, with many deity figures, is the most comprehensive example, datable by a dedication to the Emperor Tiberius. Monumental stone sculptures from before conquest by the Romans are much more rare, it is far from clear that deities are represented; the most significant are the Warrior of Hirschlanden and "Glauberg Prince", the Mšecké Žehrovice Head, sanctuaries of some sort at the southern French oppida of Roquepertuse and Entremont. There are a number of Celtiberian standing "warrior" figures, several other stone heads from various areas. In general early monumental sculpture is found in areas with higher levels of contact with the classical world, through trade.
It is possible. Small heads are more common surviving as ornament in metalwork, there are animals and birds that may have a religious significance, as on the Basse Yutz Flagons; the Strettweg Cult Wagon is associated with libations or sacrifices, pairs of metal "spoons" used for divination have been found. Celtic coinage, from the late 4th century BC until conquest copies Greek and Roman examples, sometimes closely, but the heads and horses that are the most popular motifs may have a local religious significance. There are the coins of the Roman provinces in the Celtic lands of Gaul, Raetia and Britannia,Most of the surviving monuments and their accompanying inscriptions belong to the Roman period and reflect a considerable degree of syncretism between Celtic and Roman gods. A notable example of this is the horned god, called Cernunnos.
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate, confusing structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, the monster killed by the hero Theseus. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could escape it after he built it. Although early Cretan coins exhibit branching patterns, the single-path seven-course "Classical" design without branching or dead ends became associated with the Labyrinth on coins as early as 430 BC, similar non-branching patterns became used as visual representations of the Labyrinth – though both logic and literary descriptions make it clear that the Minotaur was trapped in a complex branching maze; as the designs became more elaborate, visual depictions of the mythological Labyrinth from Roman times until the Renaissance are invariably unicursal. Branching mazes were reintroduced only. In English, the term labyrinth is synonymous with maze; as a result of the long history of unicursal representation of the mythological Labyrinth, many contemporary scholars and enthusiasts observe a distinction between the two.
In this specialized usage maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursal labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and presents no navigational challenge. Unicursal labyrinths appeared as designs on pottery or basketry, as body art, in etchings on walls of caves or churches; the Romans created many decorative unicursal designs on walls and floors in tile or mosaic. Many labyrinths set in floors or on the ground are large enough. Unicursal patterns have been used both in group ritual and for private meditation, are found for therapeutic use in hospitals and hospices. Labyrinth is a word of pre-Greek origin, which the Greeks associated with the palace of Knossos in Crete, excavated by Arthur Evans early in the 20th century; the word appears in a Linear B inscription as da-pu-ri-to. As early as 1892 Maximilian Mayer suggested that labyrinthos might derive from labrys, a Lydian word for "double-bladed axe".
Evans suggested that the palace at Knossos was the original labyrinth, since the double axe motif appears in the palace ruins, he asserted that labyrinth could be understood to mean "the house of the double axe". This designation may not have been limited to Knossos, since the same symbols were discovered in other palaces in Crete; however Nilsson observes that in Crete the "double axe" is not a weapon and always accompanies goddesses or women and not a male god. Beekes finds the relation with labrys speculative, suggests instead the relation with lavra, narrow street; the original Minoan word appears to refer to labyrinthine grottoes, such as seen at Gortyn. Pliny the Elder's four examples of labyrinths are all complex underground structures, this appears to have been the standard Classical understanding of the word, it is possible that the word labyrinth is derived from the Egyptian loperohunt, meaning palace or temple by the lake. The Egyptian labyrinth near Lake Moeris is described by Strabo.
By the 4th century BC, Greek vase painters represented the Labyrinth by the familiar "Greek key" patterns of endlessly running meanders. When the Bronze Age site at Knossos was excavated by explorer Arthur Evans, the complexity of the architecture prompted him to suggest that the palace had been the Labyrinth of Daedalus. Evans found various bull motifs, including an image of a man leaping over the horns of a bull, as well as depictions of a labrys carved into the walls. On the strength of a passage in the Iliad, it has been suggested that the palace was the site of a dancing-ground made for Ariadne by the craftsman Daedalus, where young men and women, of the age of those sent to Crete as prey for the Minotaur, would dance together. By extension, in popular legend the palace is associated with the myth of the Minotaur. In the 2000s, archaeologists explored other potential sites of the labyrinth. Oxford University geographer Nicholas Howarth believes that'Evans's hypothesis that the palace of Knossos is the Labyrinth must be treated sceptically.'
Howarth and his team conducted a search of an underground complex known as the Skotino cave but concluded that it was formed naturally. Another contender is a series of tunnels at Gortyn, accessed by a narrow crack but expanding into interlinking caverns. Unlike the Skotino cave, these caverns have smooth walls and columns, appear to have been at least man-made; this site corresponds to an unusual labyrinth symbol on a 16th-century map of Crete contained in a book of maps in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. A map of the caves themselves was produced by the French in 1821; the site was used by German soldiers to store ammunition during the Second World War. Howarth's investigation was shown on a documentary produced for the National Geographic Channel. More labyrinth might be applied to any complicated maze-like structure. Herodotus, in Book II of his Histories, describes as a "labyrinth" a building complex in Egypt, "near the place called the City of Crocodiles," that he considered to surpass the pyramids: It has twelve covered courts — six in a row facing north, six south — the gates of the one range fronting the gates of the other.
Inside, the building is of two storeys and contains three thousand rooms, of which half are underground, the other half directly above them. I was taken through the rooms in
Dál Riata or Dál Riada was a Gaelic overkingdom that included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ireland, on each side of the North Channel. At its height in the late 6th and early 7th centuries, it encompassed what is now Argyll in Scotland and part of County Antrim in the Irish province of Ulster. In Argyll, it consisted of four main kindreds each with their own chief: Cenél Loairn in north and mid-Argyll, who gave their name to the district of Lorn Cenél nÓengusa based on Islay Cenél nGabráin based in Kintyre Cenél Comgaill based in east Argyll, who gave their name to the district of CowalLatin sources referred to the inhabitants of Dál Riata as Scots, a name used by Roman and Greek writers for the Irish who raided Roman Britain, it came to refer to Gaelic-speakers, whether from Ireland or elsewhere. They are referred to herein as Dál Riatans; the hillfort of Dunadd is believed to have been its capital. Other royal forts included Dunollie and Dunseverick. Within Dál Riata was the important monastery of Iona, which played a key role in the spread of Celtic Christianity throughout northern Britain, in the development of insular art.
Iona produced many important manuscripts. Dál Riata had a large fleet. Dál Riata is said to have been founded by the legendary king Fergus Mór in the 5th century; the kingdom reached its height under Áedán mac Gabráin. During his reign Dál Riata's power and influence grew. However, King Æthelfrith of Bernicia checked its growth at the Battle of Degsastan in 603. Serious defeats in Ireland and Scotland during the reign of Domnall Brecc ended Dál Riata's "golden age", the kingdom became a client of Northumbria for a time. In the 730s the Pictish king Óengus I led campaigns against Dál Riata and brought it under Pictish overlordship by 741. There is disagreement over the fate of the kingdom from the late 8th century onwards; some scholars have seen no revival of Dál Riatan power after the long period of foreign domination, while others have seen a revival under Áed Find. Some claim that the Dál Riata usurped the kingship of Fortriu. From 795 onward there were sporadic Viking raids in Dál Riata. In the following century, there may have been a merger of the Dál Pictish crowns.
Some sources say Cináed mac Ailpín was king of Dál Riata before becoming king of the Picts in 843, following a disastrous defeat of the Picts by Vikings. The kingdom's independence ended sometime after, as it merged with Pictland to form the Kingdom of Alba; the name Dál Riata is derived from Old Irish. Dál, cognate to English dole and deal, German Teil, Latin tāliō and descendants including French taille and Italian taglia, means "portion" or "share". Thus, the name refers to "Riada's portion" of territory in the area; the Dalradian geological series, a term coined by Archibald Geikie in 1891, was named after Dál Riata because its outcrop has a similar geographical reach to that of the former kingdom. Dál Riata included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ireland. In Scotland, it corresponded to Argyll and grew to include Skye. In Ireland, it took in the northeast of County Antrim corresponding to the baronies of Cary and Glenarm; the modern human landscape of Dál Riata differs a great deal from that of the first millennium.
Most people today live in settlements far larger than anything known in early times, while some areas, such as Kilmartin, many of the islands, such as Islay and Tiree, may well have had as many inhabitants as they do today. Many of the small settlements have now disappeared, so that the countryside is far emptier than was the case, many areas that were farmed are now abandoned; the physical landscape is not as it was: sea-levels have changed, the combination of erosion and silting will have altered the shape of the coast in some places, while the natural accumulation of peat and man-made changes from peat-cutting have altered inland landscapes. As was normal at the time, subsistence farming was the occupation of most people. Oats and barley were the main cereal crops. Pastoralism was important, transhumance was the practice in many places; some areas, most notably Islay, were fertile, good grazing would have been available all year round, just as it was in Ireland. Tiree was famed in times for its oats and barley, while smaller, uninhabited islands were used to keep sheep.
The area, until was notable for its inshore fisheries, for plentiful shellfish, therefore seafood is to have been an important part of the diet. The Senchus fer n-Alban lists three main kin groups in Dál Riata in Scotland, with a fourth being added later: The Cenél nGabráin, in Kintyre the descendants of Gabrán mac Domangairt; the Cenél nÓengusa, in Islay and Jura the descendants of Óengus Mór mac Eirc. The Cenél Loairn, in Lorne also Mull and Ardnamurchan the descendants of Loarn mac Eirc; the Cenél Comgaill, in Cowal and Bute, a addition the descendants of Comgall mac Domangairt. The Senchus does not list any kindreds in Ireland, but does list an
The Picts were a confederation of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. Where they lived and what their culture was like can be inferred from the geographical distribution of Brittonic place name elements and Pictish stones; the name Picts appears in written records from Late Antiquity to the 10th century, when they are thought to have merged with the Gaels. They lived to the north of the rivers Forth and Clyde, spoke the Pictish language, related to the Celtic Brittonic language spoken by the Britons who lived to the south of them. Picts are assumed to have been the descendants of the Caledonii and other tribes that were mentioned by Roman historians or on the world map of Ptolemy. Pictland called Pictavia by some sources merged with the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to form the Kingdom of Alba. Alba expanded, absorbing the Brittonic kingdom of Strathclyde and Northumbrian Lothian, by the 11th century the Pictish identity had been subsumed into the "Scots" amalgamation of peoples.
Pictish society was typical of many Iron Age societies in northern Europe, having "wide connections and parallels" with neighbouring groups. Archaeology gives some impression of the society of the Picts. While little in the way of Pictish writing has survived, Pictish history since the late 6th century is known from a variety of sources, including Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, saints' lives such as that of Columba by Adomnán, various Irish annals; the term Pict is thought to have originated as a generic exonym used by the Romans in relation to people living north of the Forth–Clyde isthmus. The Latin word Picti first occurs in a panegyric written by Eumenius in AD 297 and is taken to mean "painted or tattooed people". Pict is Peohta in Old English, Pecht in Scots and Peithwyr in Welsh; some think. In writings from Ireland, the name Cruthin, Cruthni, Cruithni or Cruithini was used to refer both to the Picts and to another group of people who lived alongside the Ulaid in eastern Ulster.
It is accepted that this is derived from *Qritani, the Goidelic/Q-Celtic version of the Britonnic/P-Celtic *Pritani. From this came Britanni, the Roman name for those now called the Britons. What the Picts called themselves is unknown, it has been proposed that they called themselves Albidosi, a name found in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba during the reign of Máel Coluim mac Domnaill, but this idea has been disputed. A unified "Pictish" identity may have consolidated with the Verturian hegemony established following the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 AD. A Pictish confederation was formed in Late Antiquity from a number of tribes—how and why is not known; some scholars have speculated that it was in response to the growth of the Roman Empire. The Chronicon Pictum, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the early histographers such as Isidore of Seville, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, etc. all present the Picts as conquerors of Alba from Scythia. However, little credence is now given to that view. Pictland had been described by Roman writers and geographers as the home of the Caledonii.
These Romans used other names to refer to tribes living in that area, including Verturiones and Venicones. But they may have heard these other names only second- or third-hand, from speakers of Brittonic or Gaulish languages, who may have used different names for the same group or groups. Pictish recorded history begins in the Dark Ages. At that time, the Gaels of Dál Riata controlled what is now Argyll, as part of a kingdom straddling the sea between Britain and Ireland; the Angles of Bernicia, which merged with Deira to form Northumbria, overwhelmed the adjacent British kingdoms, for much of the 7th century Northumbria was the most powerful kingdom in Britain. The Picts were tributary to Northumbria until the reign of Bridei mac Beli, when, in 685, the Anglians suffered a defeat at the Battle of Dun Nechtain that halted their northward expansion; the Northumbrians continued to dominate southern Scotland for the remainder of the Pictish period. Dál Riata was subject to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa during his reign, though it had its own kings beginning in the 760s, does not appear to have recovered its political independence from the Picts.
A Pictish king, Caustantín mac Fergusa, placed his son Domnall on the throne of Dál Riata. Pictish attempts to achieve a similar dominance over the Britons of Alt Clut were not successful; the Viking Age brought great changes in Britain and Ireland, no less in Scotland than elsewhere, with the Vikings conquering and settling the islands and various mainland areas, including Caithness and Galloway. In the middle of the 9th century Ketil Flatnose is said to have founded the Kingdom of the Isles, governing many of these territories, by the end of that century the Vikings had destroyed the Kingdom of Northumbria weakened the Kingdom of Strathclyde, founded the Kingdom of York. In a major battle in 839, the Vikings killed the King of Fortriu, Eógan mac Óengusa, the King of Dál Riata Áed mac Boanta, many others. In the aftermath, in the 840s, Cínaed mac Ailpín became king of the Picts. During the reign of Cínaed's grandson, Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the Kingdom of Alba rather than the Kingdom of the Picts, but it is not known whether this was because a new kingdom was established or Alba was a closer
Roman Gaul refers to Gaul under provincial rule in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. The Roman Republic began its takeover of Celtic Gaul in 121 BC, when it conquered and annexed the southern reaches of the area. Julius Caesar advanced the task by defeating the Celtic tribes in the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC. In 22 BC, imperial administration of Gaul was reorganized, establishing the provinces of Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Belgica and Gallia Lugdunensis. Parts of eastern Gaul were incorporated into the provinces Germania Superior. During Late Antiquity and Roman culture amalgamated into a hybrid Gallo-Roman culture; the Gaulish language was marginalized and extinct, being replaced by regional forms of Late Latin which in the medieval period developed into the group of Gallo-Romance languages. Roman control over the provinces deteriorated in the 4th and 5th centuries, was lost to the kingdoms of the Franks and Burgundians; the last vestiges of any Roman control over parts of Gaul were effaced with the defeat of Syagrius at the Battle of Soissons.
Gaul had three geographical divisions, one of, divided into multiple Roman provinces: Gallia Cisalpina or "Gaul this side of the Alps", covered most of present-day northern Italy. Gallia Narbonensis Gallia Transalpina or "Gaul across the Alps" was conquered and annexed in 121 BC in an attempt to solidify communications between Rome and the Iberian peninsula, it comprised the present-day region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, most of Languedoc-Roussillon, the southeastern half of Rhône-Alpes. Gallia Comata, or "long haired Gaul", encompassed the remainder of present-day France and westernmost Germany, which the Romans gained through the victory over the Celts in the Gallic Wars; the Romans divided Gallia Comata into three provinces:Gallia Aquitania Gallia Belgica Gallia LugdunensisThe Romans divided these huge provinces into civitates corresponding more or less with the pre-Conquest communities or polities sometimes described misleadingly as "tribes," such as the Aedui, Allobroges and Sequani but the civitates were too large and in turn were divided into smaller units, pagi, a term that became the modern French word "pays".
These administrative groupings would be taken over by the Romans in their system of local control, these civitates would be the basis of France's eventual division into ecclesiastical bishoprics and dioceses, which would remain in place—with slight changes—until the French revolution. In the five centuries between Caesar's conquest and the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Gaulish language and cultural identity underwent a syncretism with the Roman culture of the new governing class, evolved into a hybrid Gallo-Roman culture that permeated all levels of society. Gauls continued writing some inscriptions in the Gaulish language, but switched from the Greek alphabet to the Latin alphabet during the Roman period. Current historical research suggests that Roman Gaul was "Roman" only in certain social contexts, the prominence of which in material culture has hindered a better historical understanding of the permanence of many Celtic elements; the Roman influence was most apparent in the areas of civic administration.
The Druidic religion was suppressed by Emperor Claudius I, in centuries Christianity was introduced. The prohibition of Druids and the syncretic nature of the Roman religion led to disappearance of the Celtic religion, it remains to this day poorly understood: current knowledge of the Celtic religion is based on archeology and via literary sources from several isolated areas such as Ireland and Wales. The Romans imposed their administrative, economic and literary culture, they wore the Roman tunic instead of their traditional clothing. The Romano-Gauls lived in the vici, small villages similar to those in Italy, or in villae, for the richest. Surviving Celtic influences infiltrated back into the Roman Imperial culture in the 3rd century. For example, the Gaulish tunic—which gave Emperor Caracalla his surname—had not been replaced by Roman fashion. Certain Gaulish artisan techniques, such as the barrel and chain mail were adopted by the Romans; the Celtic heritage continued in the spoken language.
Gaulish spelling and pronunciation of Latin are apparent in several 5th century poets and transcribers of popular farces. The last pockets of Gaulish speakers appear to have lingered until the 7th century. Gaulish was held to be attested by a quote from Gregory of Tours written in the second half of the 6th century, which describes how a shrine "called'Vasso Galatae' in the Gallic tongue" was destroyed and burnt to the ground. Throughout the Roman rule over Gaul, although considerable Romanization in terms of material culture occurred, the Gaulish language is held to have survived and continued to be spoken, coexisting with Latin. Germanic placenames were first attested in border areas settled by Germanic colonizers. From the 4th to 5th centuries, the Franks settled in northern France and Belgium, the Alemanni in Alsace and Switzerland, the Burgundians in Savoie; the Roman administration collapsed as remaining Roman troops withdrew southeast to protect Italy. Between 455 and 476 the Visigoths, the Burgundians, the Franks assumed control in Gaul.
However, certain aspects of the ancient Celtic culture continued after the fall of Roman administration and the Domain of Soissons, a remnant of th
In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point. Two major definitions of "spiral" in the American Heritage Dictionary are: a curve on a plane that winds around a fixed center point at a continuously increasing or decreasing distance from the point. A three-dimensional curve that turns around an axis at a constant or continuously varying distance while moving parallel to the axis; the first definition describes a planar curve, that extends in both of the perpendicular directions within its plane. In another example, the "center lines" of the arms of a spiral galaxy trace logarithmic spirals; the second definition includes two kinds of 3-dimensional relatives of spirals: a conical or volute spring, the vortex, created when water is draining in a sink is described as a spiral, or as a conical helix. Quite explicitly, definition 2 includes a cylindrical coil spring and a strand of DNA, both of which are quite helical, so that "helix" is a more useful description than "spiral" for each of them.
In the side picture, the black curve at the bottom is an Archimedean spiral, while the green curve is a helix. The curve shown in red is a conic helix. A two-dimensional spiral may be described most using polar coordinates, where the radius r is a monotonic continuous function of angle θ; the circle would be regarded as a degenerate case. Some of the most important sorts of two-dimensional spirals include: The Archimedean spiral: r = a + b ⋅ θ The Euler spiral, Cornu spiral or clothoid Fermat's spiral: r = θ 1 / 2 The hyperbolic spiral: r = a / θ The lituus: r = θ − 1 / 2 The logarithmic spiral: r = a ⋅ e b θ. For example, a conic helix may be defined as a spiral on a conic surface, with the distance to the apex an exponential function of θ; the helix and vortex can be viewed as a kind of three-dimensional spiral. For a helix with thickness, see spring. A rhumb line is the curve on a sphere traced by a ship with constant bearing; the loxodrome has an infinite number of revolutions, with the separation between them decreasing as the curve approaches either of the poles, unlike an Archimedean spiral which maintains uniform line-spacing regardless of radius.
The study of spirals in nature has a long history. Christopher Wren observed. D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's On Form gives extensive treatment to these spirals, he describes how shells are formed by rotating a closed curve around a fixed axis: the shape of the curve remains fixed but its size grows in a geometric progression. In some shells, such as Nautilus and ammonites, the generating curve revolves in a plane perpendicular to the axis and the shell will form a planar discoid shape. In others it follows a skew path forming a helico-spiral pattern. Thompson studied spirals occurring in horns, teeth and plants. A model for the pattern of florets in the head of a sunflower was proposed by H. Vogel; this has the form θ = n × 137.5 ∘, r = c n where n is the index number of the floret and c is a constant scaling factor, is a form of Fermat's spiral. The angle 137.5° is the golden angle, related to the golden ratio and gives a close packing of florets. Spirals in plants and animals are described as whorls.
This is the name given to spiral shaped fingerprints. When potassium sulfate is heated in water and subjected to swirling in a beaker, the crystals form a multi-arm spiral structure when allowed to settle Potassium sulfate forms a spiral structure in solution. A spiral like form has been found in Mezine, Ukraine, as part of a decorative object dated to 10,000 BCE; the spiral and triple spiral motif is a Neolithic symbol in Europe. The Celtic symbol the triple spiral is in fact a pre-Celtic symbol, it is carved into the rock of a stone lozenge near the main entra
Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the "horned god" of Celtic polytheism. Cernunnos was a Celtic god of fertility, animals and the underworld; the name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but he appears all over Gaul, among the Celtiberians. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, seated cross-legged, associated with animals, holding or wearing torcs; this deity is known from over 50 examples in the Gallo-Roman period in north-eastern Gaul. Not much is known about the god from literary sources, details about his name, his followers or his significance in Celtic religion are unknown. Speculative interpretations identify him as a god of life or fertility; the theonym ernunnos appears on the Pillar of the Boatmen, a Gallo-Roman monument dating to the early 1st century CE, to label a god depicted with stag's antlers in their early stage of annual growth. Both antlers have torcs hanging from them; the name has been compared to a divine epithet Carnonos in a Celtic inscription written in Greek characters at Montagnac, Hérault.
A Gallo-Latin adjective carnuātus, "horned," is found. The Proto-Celtic form of the theonym is reconstructed as either *Cerno-on-os or *Carno-on-os; the augmentative -on- is characteristic of theonyms, as in Maponos, Epona and Sirona. Maier states. Gaulish karnon "horn"is cognate with Latin cornu and Germanic *hurnaz, English horn from Proto-Indo-European *k̑r̥no-; the etymon karn- "horn" appears in both Gaulish and Galatian branches of Continental Celtic. Hesychius of Alexandria glosses the Galatian word karnon as "Gallic trumpet", that is, the Celtic military horn listed as the carnyx by Eustathius of Thessalonica, who notes the instrument's animal-shaped bell; the root appears in the names of Celtic polities, most prominent among them the Carnutes, meaning something like "the Horned Ones," and in several personal names found in inscriptions. The name Cernunnos occurs only on the "Pillar of the Boatmen", now displayed in the Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris. Constructed by Gaulish sailors in 14 CE, it was discovered in 1710 within the foundations of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, site of ancient Lutetia, the civitas capital of the Celtic Parisii.
The distinctive stone pillar is an important monument of Gallo-Roman religion. Its low reliefs depict and label by name several Roman deities such as Jupiter and Castor and Pollux, along with Gallic deities such as Esus and Tarvos Trigaranus; the name Cernunnos can be read on 18th century drawings of the inscriptions, but the initial letter has been obscured since, so that today only a reading ernunnos can be verifiedAdditional evidence is given by one inscription on a metal plaque from Steinsel-Rëlent in Luxembourg, in the territory of the Celtic Treveri. This inscription read; the Gaulish inscription from Montagnac reads αλλετνος καρνονου αλσοεας, with the last word a place name based on Alisia, "service-tree" or "rock". The god labelled ernunnos on the Pillar of the Boatmen is depicted with stag's antlers in their early stage of annual growth. Both antlers have torcs hanging from them; the lower part of the relief is lost, but the dimensions suggest that the god was sitting cross-legged, providing a direct parallel to the antlered figure on the Gundestrup cauldron.
In spite of the name Cernunnos being attested nowhere else, it is used in Celtological literature as describing all comparable depictions of horned/antlered deities. This "Cernunnos" type in Celtic iconography is portrayed with animals, in particular the stag, frequently associated with the ram-horned serpent, less bulls and rats; because of his frequent association with creatures, scholars describe Cernunnos as the "Lord of the Animals" or the "Lord of Wild Things", Miranda Green describes him as a "peaceful god of nature and fruitfulness". The Pilier des nautes links him with sailors and with commerce, suggesting that he was associated with material wealth as does the coin pouch from the Cernunnos of Rheims —in antiquity, the civitas capital of the Remi tribe—and the stag vomiting coins from Niedercorn-Turbelslach in the lands of the Treveri; the god may have symbolized the fecundity of the stag-inhabited forest. Other examples of "Cernunnos" images include a petroglyph in Val Camonica in Cisalpine Gaul.
The antlered human figure has been dated as late as the 4th. An antlered child appears on a relief from Vendeuvres, flanked by serpents and holding a purse and a torc; the best known image appears on the Gundestrup cauldron found on Jutland, dating to the 1st century BCE, thought to depict Celtic subject matter though regarded as of Thracian workmanship. Among the Celtiberians, horned or antlered figures of the Cernunnos type include a "Janus-like" god from Candelario with two faces and two small horns; the horns are taken to represent "aggressive power, genetic vigor and fecundity."Divine representations of the Cernunnos type are exceptions to the often-expressed view that the Celts only began to picture their gods in human form after the Roman conquest of Gaul. Th