Visucius was a Gallo-Roman god, usually identified with Mercury. He was worshipped primarily in the east of Gaul, around Trier and on the Rhine, one such inscription has been found in Bordeaux. Visucius is, along with Gebrinius and Cissonius, among the most common epithets of the Gaulish Mercury. The name has sometimes been interpreted as meaning of the ravens or knowledgeable, cf. the Proto-Celtic roots *wesāko- raven, the variant or mistaken spelling Visuclus is attested. Another inscription is co-dedicated to Sancta Visucia, as well as to Mercurius Visucius and this goddess, apparently a companion or analogue of Visucius, has sometimes been likened to Rosmerta or Maia, who accompany Mercury on many Gaulish dedications. One inscription dedicated to Visugius has found at Agoncillo in Spain
Lugus was a deity of the Celtic pantheon. The exact etymology of Lugus is unknown and contested, L Urcico collegio sutorum d d L. L. His name was commemorated in numerous place-names, such as Lugdunum, other such place-names include Lugdunum Clavatum and Luguvalium. It is possible that Lucus Augusti is derived from the theonym Lugus and he said that Mercury was the god most revered in Gaul, describing him as patron of trade and commerce, protector of travellers, and the inventor of all the arts. The Irish god Lug bore the epithet samildánach, which has led to the identification of Caesars Mercury as Lugus. Mercurys importance is supported by the more than 400 inscriptions referencing him in Roman Gaul and he is often armed with a spear. He is frequently accompanied by his consort Rosmerta, who bears the ritual drink with which kingship was conferred, unlike the Roman Mercury, who is always a youth, Gaulish Mercury is occasionally represented as an old man. Gaulish Mercury is associated with triplism, sometimes he has three faces, sometimes three phalluses, which may explain the plural dedications and this compares with Irish myth.
In some versions of the story Lug was born as one of triplets, and his father, Cian, is mentioned in the same breath as his brothers Cú and Cethen. High places, including Montmartre, the Puy-de-Dôme and the Mont de Sène, were dedicated to him, in Ireland, Lugh was the victorious youth who defeats the monstrous Balor of the venomous eye. His festival, called Lughnasadh in Ireland, was commemorated on 1 August, when the Emperor Augustus inaugurated Lugdunum as the capital of Roman Gaul in 18 BC, he did so with a ceremony on 1 August. At least two of the ancient Lughnasadh locations and Tailtiu, were supposed to enclose the graves of goddesses linked with terrestrial fertility. Triple deities AE = LAnnée épigraphique CIL = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Vol XIII, Inscriptiones trium Galliarum et Germaniarum Latinae, Vol II, Inscriptiones Hispaniae Latinae
British Iron Age
The parallel phase of Irish archaeology is termed the Irish Iron Age. The Iron Age is not a horizon of common artefacts. The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron for tools, the Romanised culture is termed Roman Britain and is considered to supplant the British Iron Age. The Irish Iron Age was ended by the rise of Christianity, at a minimum, Celtic is a linguistic term without an implication of a lasting cultural unity connecting Gaul with the British Isles throughout the Iron Age. However it cannot be assumed that particular cultural features found in one Celtic-speaking culture can be extrapolated to the others. At present over 100 large-scale excavations of Iron Age sites have taken place, dating from the 8th century BC to the 1st century AD, hundreds of radiocarbon dates have been acquired and have been calibrated on four different curves, the most precise being based on tree ring sequences. In parts of Britain that were not Romanised, such as Scotland, the geographer closest to AD100 is perhaps Ptolemy.
Pliny and Strabo are a bit older, but Ptolemy gives the most detail, during the Bronze Age there are indications of new ideas influencing land use and settlement. Extensive field systems, now called Celtic fields, were being set out and settlements were becoming more permanent, long ditches, some many miles in length, were dug with enclosures placed at their ends. These are thought to indicate territorial borders and a desire to control over wide areas. By the 8th century BC, there is increasing evidence of Great Britain becoming closely tied to continental Europe, especially in Britains South and East. New weapon types appeared with clear parallels to those on the continent such as the Carps tongue sword, phoenician traders probably began visiting Great Britain in search of minerals around this time, bringing with them goods from the Mediterranean. At the same time, Northern European artefact types reached Eastern Great Britain in large quantities from across the North Sea, defensive structures dating from this time are often impressive, for example the brochs of Northern Scotland and the hill forts that dotted the rest of the islands.
Some of the most well-known hill forts include Maiden Castle, Cadbury Castle and Danebury, hill forts first appeared in Wessex in the Late Bronze Age, but only become common in the period between 550 and 400 BC. The earliest were of a simple form, and often connected with earlier enclosures attached to the long ditch systems. Few hill forts have been excavated in the modern era, Danebury being a notable exception. However, it appears that forts were used for domestic purposes, with examples of food storage, industry. Many hill forts are not in fact forts at all, the development of hill forts may have occurred due to greater tensions that arose between the better structured and more populous social groups
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and it is mostly through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either their political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is often given credit. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, the oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were slowly eliminated as such from the culture, the Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature. The leader of the gods for the Irish pantheon appears to have been the Dagda, the Dagda was the figure on which male humans and other gods were based because he embodied ideal Irish traits.
Celtic gods were considered to be a clan due to their lack of specialization. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a club, in Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was produced in relatively modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda. In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the Celts of Ancient Ireland. She was known as the Morrígan, but the different sections she was divided into were referred to as Nemain and she is most commonly known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge. The god appearing most frequently in the tales is Lugh, the most famous of these are the cities of Lugdunum, Lugdunum Batavorum and Lucus Augusti. Lug is described in the Celtic myths as the last to be added to the list of deities, in Ireland a festival called the Lughnasadh was held in his honour.
Other important goddesses include Brigid, the Dagdas daughter, Aibell, Áine, notable is Epona, the horse goddess, celebrated with horse races at the summer festival. Significant Irish gods include Nuada Airgetlám, the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the smith and brewer, Dian Cecht, the patron of healing, less is known about the pre-Christian mythologies of Britain than those of Ireland. Important reflexes of British mythology appear in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, especially in the names of characters, such as Rhiannon, Teyrnon. The children of Llŷr in the Second and Third Branches, and the children of Dôn in the Fourth Branch are major figures, though there is much in common with Irish myth, there may have been no unified British mythological tradition per se. Whatever its ultimate origins, the material has been put to good use in the service of literary masterpieces that address the cultural concerns of Wales in the early
In Celtic polytheism, Sirona was a goddess worshipped predominantly in East Central Gaul and along the Danubian limes. A healing deity, she was associated with healing springs, her attributes were snakes and she was sometimes depicted with Apollo Grannus or Apollo Borvo. She was particularly worshipped by the Treveri in the Moselle Valley, the name of the goddess was written in various ways, Sirona, Đirona, indicating some difficulty in capturing the initial sound in the Latin alphabet. The root is a long vowel Gaulish variant of proto-Celtic *ster- meaning ‘star’, the same root is found in Old Irish as ser, Welsh seren, Middle Cornish sterenn and Breton steren. The name Đirona consists of a long-vowel, o-grade stem tsīro- derived from the root *ster-, alternatively it may be an augmentative -on- suffix found in many Celtic divine names and epithets. To this is suffixed the Gaulish feminine singular -a, the feminine variant of o-stem adjectives. So *Tsīrona would seem to have meant ‘stellar’ or ‘astral’, due to her association with Apollo Grannus, the Interpretatio Romana has sometimes identified Sirona with the Roman goddess Diana.
The evidence for Sirona is both epigraphic and representational, as the map shows, it is primarily concentrated in east-central Gaul, up to the Germanic lines, and along the Danubian limes as far east as Budapest. A few outliers are seen in Aquitaine and one in Italy, there are no Sirona finds in Britannia, Hispania, or in any of the other Roman provinces. The identification as Sirona is assured by a dedication to Apollo, the richly furnished spring sanctuary of Hochscheid was decorated with statues of Sirona and Apollo, again confirmed by an inscription AE1941,00089 Deo Apolli/ni et sanc/te Sirone. The statue of Sirona shows her carrying a bowl of eggs and she wears a long gown and has a star-shaped diadem on her head. A bronze statue from Mâlain in the Côte dOr and dating to around 280 CE shows Sirona naked to the waist and holding a snake draped over her left arm, the inscription is Thiron et Apollo. A stone with an engraved bust of Sirona from Saint-Avold, now in the Musée de Metz, bears an inscription, at Vienne-en-Val in the Loiret, a square stone pillar depicts Sirona, Apollo and Hercules.
Sirona wears a dress and a diadem, from which falls a veil. Her left hand holds a cornucopia and in her right is a patera which she is offering to a coiled snake, again there is a similarity with Hygeia, who carries a snake. Several temples to Sirona are known, often these were of the Gallo-Roman fanum type, an inner with an outer walkway or pronaos, and were constructed around thermal springs or wells, as at Augst and Oppenheim-Nierstein. Two inscriptions describe the establishment of temples to Sirona and it was built in the second century CE around a spring, which filled a cistern in the temple. The remote location is thought to have been a pilgrimage site and it was destroyed in the third century, probably during the Germanic incursions of 250-270, and was never rebuilt
In ancient Celtic religion, Maponos or Maponus is a god of youth known mainly in northern Britain but in Gaul. In Roman Britain, he was equated with Apollo, the Welsh mythological figure Mabon ap Modron is apparently derived from Maponos, who by analogy we may suggest was the son of the mother-goddess Dea Matrona. The Irish god Aengus, known as the Mac Óg, is related to Maponos, as are the Arthurian characters Mabuz. In Gaulish, mapos means a boy or a son. Besides the theonym Maponos, the root mapos is found in names such as Mapodia, Mapillus. In Insular Celtic languages, the root is found in Welsh and Breton mab meaning son. In Old Irish, macc means son, it is found in Ogham inscriptions as the genitive maqui, maqqi and he therefore personified youthfulness, which would explain the syncretism with the Graeco-Roman god Apollo. Maponos is mentioned in Gaul at Bourbonne-les-Bains and at Chamalières but is attested chiefly in the north of Britain at Brampton, Ribchester, some inscriptions are very simple such as Deo Mapono from Chesterholm.
At Corbridge are two dedications Apollini Mapono and one / apo / Apo, the inscription at Brampton by four Germans is to the god Maponos and the numen of the emperor. This inscription by a unit of Sarmatians based at Ribchester shows the association with Apollo and can be dated to the day. The name is found on the inscription from Chamalières, which is a relatively long magical text written in Gaulish on a rolled lead sheet. The second line calls for the help of Maponos (here in the singular, Maponon. Two items of evidence attest to Maponos in Britain. Both are from the 7th-century Ravenna Cosmography, locus Maponi or the place of Maponos, is thought to be between Lochmaben and Lockerbie. Maporiton or the ford of Maponos is thought to be Ladyward, the Lochmaben Stone lies near Gretna on the farm named Old Graitney, the old name for Gretna. The name Clachmaben, meaning stone of Maben or Maponos, has become corrupted to Lochmaben and this stone was probably part of a stone circle and the area is thought to have been a centre for the worship of Maponus.
An inscription from Birrens in Scotland mentions a lo Mabomi, which is regarded as a stone-cutters error for locus *Maponi. In Britain, dedications have been found to Apollo Anextiomarus, Apollo Anicetus Sol, Apollo Grannus and it can thus be difficult to tell from a simple dedication to Apollo whether the classical deity is meant or whether a particular Celtic deity is being referred to under a classical name
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western-Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation, it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815, nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to international organisations.
On the European level, it is a member of the European Free Trade Association. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties, spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions, French and Romansh. Due to its diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names, Suisse, Svizzera. On coins and stamps, Latin is used instead of the four living languages, Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, a term for the Swiss. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, in use since the 16th century.
The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, the Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for Confederates, used since the 14th century. The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately related to swedan ‘to burn’
In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona was the goddess who gives her name to the river Marne in Gaul. The Gaulish theonym Mātr-on-ā signifies great mother, and the goddess of the Marne has been interpreted to be a mother goddess, in many areas, such Matronae were depicted in groups of three. The name of Welsh mythological figure Modron, mother of Mabon is derived from the same etymon, by analogy, Dea Matrona may conceivably have been considered the mother of the Gaulish Maponos. Aveta, another Gallic mother-goddess Matres and Matronae Modron Triple deities
It covered an area of 190,800 sq mi. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts, Gallia Celtica and Aquitania, during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule, Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, Gallia remains a name of France in modern Greek and modern Latin. The Greek and Latin names Galatia, and Gallia are ultimately derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the supposedly milk-white skin of the Gauls, modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, power, thus meaning powerful people. The English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, as adjectives, English has the two variants and Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls, although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish.
The Germanic w- is regularly rendered as gu- / g- in French, unrelated in spite of superficial similarity is the name Gael. The Irish word gall did originally mean a Gaul, i. e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to foreigner, to describe the Vikings, and still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, by 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads rapidly across the territory of Gaul. The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia, farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans described Gallia Transalpina as distinct from Gallia Cisalpina, while some scholars believe the Belgae south of the Somme were a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements, their ethnic affiliations have not been definitively resolved.
One of the reasons is political interference upon the French historical interpretation during the 19th century, in addition to the Gauls, there were other peoples living in Gaul, such as the Greeks and Phoenicians who had established outposts such as Massilia along the Mediterranean coast. Also, along the southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Ligures had merged with the Celts to form a Celto-Ligurian culture, the prosperity of Mediterranean Gaul encouraged Rome to respond to pleas for assistance from the inhabitants of Massilia, who were under attack by a coalition of Ligures and Gauls. The Romans intervened in Gaul in 154 BC and again in 125 BC, whereas on the first occasion they came and went, on the second they stayed. Massilia was allowed to keep its lands, but Rome added to its territories the lands of the conquered tribes. The direct result of conquests was that by now, Rome controlled an area extending from the Pyrenees to the lower Rhône river
Matres and Matronae
The Matres and Matronae were female deities venerated in Northwestern Europe from the first to the fifth century. Information about the practices surrounding the Matres is limited to the stones on which their depictions and inscriptions are found. The Germanic Matres have been connected with the Germanic dísir, valkyries and Matronae appear depicted on both stones with inscriptions and without, both as altars and votives. All depictions are frontal, they appear almost exclusively in threes with at least one figure holding a basket of fruit in her lap, in some depictions, the middle figure is depicted with loose hair and wearing a headband, and the other two wear head dresses. Other motifs include depictions of sacrifice—including burning incense and bowls filled with decorations of fruits, plants. In addition, snakes and nappies appear, in most cases, the votive stones and altars are not found singularly, but rather in groups around temple buildings and cult centers. R. Pascal theorizes that The Three Marys may be Christianized versions of the Matres, the motif of triple goddesses was widespread in ancient Europe, compare the Fates, the Erinyes, the Charites, the Morrígan, the Horae and other such figures
Artio was a Celtic bear goddess. Evidence of her worship has notably been found at Bern and her name is derived from the Celtic word for bear, artos. A bronze sculpture from Muri, near Bern in Switzerland shows a bear facing a woman seated in a chair. The woman seems to hold fruit in her lap, perhaps feeding the bear, the sculpture has a large rectangular bronze base, which bears an inscription. Deae Artioni / Licinia Sabinilla To the Goddess Artio, from Licinia Sabinilla, if the name is Gaulish but the syntax is Latin, a dative Artioni would give an i-stem nominative *Artionis or an n-stem nominative *Artio. That would perhap correspond to a Gaulish n-stem nominative *Artiu, other inscription to the goddess have been discovered in Daun, Weilerbach and Stockstadt. Her name is derived from the Gaulish word artos, from Proto-Celtic *arto-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ŕ̥tḱos, a Celtic word may be the source for the name Arthur. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum vol XIII, Inscriptiones trium Galliarum et Germaniarum Delamarre, X.
Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise Paris, ISBN 2-87772-237-6 Deyts, Simone Images des Dieux de la Gaule. Green, Miranda Animals in Celtic Life and Myth, ISBN 0-415-18588-2 Wightman, E. M. Roman Trier and the Treveri London, Hart-Davis. ISBN 0-246-63980-6 The dictionary definition of Artio at Wiktionary Media related to Artio at Wikimedia Commons