Lugus was a deity of the Celtic pantheon. His name is directly attested in inscriptions, but his importance can be inferred from place names and ethnonyms, his nature and attributes are deduced from the distinctive iconography of Gallo-Roman inscriptions to Mercury, believed to have been identified with Lugus, from the quasi-mythological narratives involving his cognates, Welsh Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Irish Lugh Lámhfhada; the exact etymology of Lugus is unknown and contested. The Proto-Celtic root of the name, *lug-, is believed to have been derived from one of several different Proto-Indo-European roots, such as *leug- "black", *leuǵ- "to break", *leugʰ- "to swear an oath", It was once thought that the root may be derived from Proto-Indo-European *leuk- "to shine", but there are difficulties with this etymology and few modern scholars accept it as being possible; the god Lugus is mentioned in a Celtiberian inscription from Peñalba de Villastar in Spain, which reads: ENI OROSEI VTA TICINO TIATVNEI TRECAIAS TO LVGVEI ARAIANOM COMEIMV ENI OROSEI EQVEISVIQVE OGRIS OLOCAS TOGIAS SISTAT LVGVEI TIASO TOGIASThe exact interpretation of the inscription is debated, but the phrase "to Luguei" indicates a dedication to the god Lugus.
Additionally, the name is attested several times in the plural, for example: nominative plural Lugoues in a single-word inscription from Avenches and dative plural in a well known Latin inscription from Uxama, Spain: Lugovibus sacrum L. L Urcico collegio sutorum d d"L. L. Urcico dedicated this, sacred to the Lugoves, to the guild of shoemakers" The plural form of the theonym is found in the following Latin inscriptions: Lugo, Spain: Luc Gudarovis Vale Cle. V L SOuteiro de Rei, Galicia, Spain: Lucoubu Arquieni Silonius Silo ex votoSober, Galicia, Spain: Lucubo Arquienob C Iulius Hispanus V L S MNemausus, France: Rufina Lucubus v s l mThe majority of the known inscriptions dedicated to Lugus come from the Iberian Peninsula indicating this deity's particular importance and popularity among the Iberian Celts. An inscribed lead plate found in Chamalières in France includes the phrase luge dessummiíis, tentatively interpreted by some scholars as "I prepare them for Lugus", though it may mean "I swear with/by my right".
His name was commemorated in numerous place-names, such as Lugdunum, capital of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. Other such place-names include Lugdunum Luguvalium, it is possible that Lucus Augusti is derived from the theonym Lugus, but Lucus in that place may in fact be purely Latin. Other places which are named after him include: Loudun and Montluçon in France. Julius Caesar in his De Bello Gallico identified six gods worshipped in Gaul, by the usual conventions of interpretatio romana giving the names of their nearest Roman equivalents rather than their Gaulish names, he said that "Mercury" was the god most revered in Gaul, describing him as patron of trade and commerce, protector of travellers, the inventor of all the arts. The Irish god Lug bore the epithet samildánach, which has led to the widespread identification of Caesar's Mercury as Lugus. Mercury's importance is supported by the more than 400 inscriptions referencing him in Roman Gaul and Britain; such a blanket identification is optimistic – Jan de Vries demonstrates the unreliability of any one-to-one concordance in the interpretatio romana – but the available parallels are worth considering.
The iconography of Gaulish Mercury includes birds ravens and the cock, now the emblem of France. He is armed with a spear, he is accompanied by his consort Rosmerta, who bears the ritual drink with which kingship was conferred. Unlike the Roman Mercury, always a youth, Gaulish Mercury is also 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; this compares with Irish myth. In some versions of the story Lug was born as one of triplets, his father, Cian, is mentioned in the same breath as his brothers Cú and Cethen, who nonetheless have no stories of their own. Several characters called Lugaid, a pop
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. 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, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The 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 "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: 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. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr
The Hooded Spirits or Genii Cucullati are figures found in religious sculpture across the Romano-Celtic region from Britain to Pannonia, depicted as "cloaked scurrying figures carved in an abstract manner". They are found with a particular concentration in the Rhineland. In Britain they tend to be found in a triple deity form, which seems to be specific to the British representations; the hooded cape was associated with Gauls or Celts during the Roman period. The hooded health god was known as Telesphorus and may have originated as a Greco-Gallic syncretism with the Galatians in Anatolia in the 3rd century BC; the religious significance of these figures is still somewhat unclear, since no inscriptions have been found with them in this British context. There are, indications that they may be fertility spirits of some kind. Ronald Hutton argues that in some cases they are carrying shapes that can be seen as eggs, symbolizing life and rebirth, while Graham Webster has argued that the curved hoods are similar in many ways to contemporary Roman curved phallus stones.
However, several of these figures seem to carry swords or daggers, Henig discusses them in the context of warrior cults. Guy de la Bédoyère warns against reading too much in to size differences or natures in the figures, which have been used to promote theories of different roles for the three figures, arguing that at the skill level of most of the carvings, small differences in size are more to be hit-or-miss consequences, pointing out that experimental archaeology has shown hooded figures to be one of the easiest sets of figures to carve. de la Bedoyère, Guy. Gods with Thunderbolts: Religion in Roman Britain. Stroud, UK: Tempus. Pp. 166–168. ISBN 0-7524-2518-8. Henig, Martin. Religion in Roman Britain. London, UK: Batsford. P. 62. ISBN 0-7134-1220-8. Hutton, Ronald; the Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Pp. 214–216. ISBN 0-631-18946-7. Webster, Graham; the British their Gods under Rome. London, UK: Batsford. Pp. 66–70. ISBN 0-7134-0648-8
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", the goddess of the Marne has been interpreted to be a mother goddess. Many Gaulish religious images—including inexpensive terracotta statues mass-produced for use in household shrines—depict mother goddesses nursing babies or holding fruits, other foods, or small dogs in their laps. 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
In Celtic mythology Taranis is the god of thunder, worshipped in Gaul, Britain, Ireland but in the Rhineland and Danube regions, amongst others. Taranis, along with Esus and Toutatis as part of a sacred triad, was mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan in his epic poem Pharsalia as a Celtic deity to whom human sacrificial offerings were made. Taranis was associated, with the wheel. Many representations of a bearded god with a thunderbolt in one hand and a wheel in the other have been recovered from Gaul, where this deity came to be syncretised with Jupiter; the name as recorded by Lucan is unattested epigraphically, but variants of the name include the forms Tanarus, Taranucno-, Taranuo-, Taraino-. The name is continued in Irish as Tuireann, is connected with those of Germanic, Lithuanian and Sami gods of thunder. Taranis is associated with the Gallic Ambisagrus, in the interpretatio romana with Jupiter; the reconstructed Proto-Celtic form of the name is *Toranos "thunder". In present-day Welsh taranu and taran means'to thunder' and'thunder'.
Taranis, as a personification of thunder, is identified with similar deities found in other Indo-European pantheons. Of these, Old Norse Þórr, Anglo-Saxon Þunor, Old High German Donar—all from Proto-Germanic *þunraz —and the Hittite theonym Tarhun contain a comparable *torun- element; the Thracian deity names Zbel-thurdos, Zbel-Thiurdos contain this element. The name of the Sami thunder god Horagalles derives from Thor's; the wheel, more the chariot wheel with six or eight spokes, was an important symbol in historical Celtic polytheism associated with a specific god, known as the wheel-god, identified as the sky- sun- or thunder-god, whose name is attested as Taranis by Lucan. Numerous Celtic coins depict such a wheel; the half-wheel shown in the Gundestrup "broken wheel" panel has eight visible spokes. Symbolic votive wheels were offered at shrines, cast in rivers, buried in tombs or worn as amulets since the Middle Bronze Age; such "wheel pendants" from the Bronze Age had four spokes, are identified as solar symbols or "sun cross".
Artefacts parallel to the Celtic votive wheels or wheel-pendants are the so-called Zierscheiben in a Germanic context. The identification of the Sun with a wheel, or a chariot, has parallels in Germanic and Vedic mythology. In 2013 a British combat drone system developed by defence contractor BAE Systems was named Taranis in reference to the Celtic god. Taranis and Toutatis are mentioned by characters of the Asterix and Obelix cartoon series. Delbáeth Fontes Tamarici Perkūnas Indra Perun Thor Tuireann Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Oxford University Press,: ISBN 0-19-508961-8 MacKillop, James. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-280120-1. Wood, The Celts: Life and Art, Thorsons Publishers: ISBN 0-00-764059-5 Celtic Gods and Associates Images of Taranis Celtic Gods Doran, Michael. "Marvel Teaser: The NEW God of Thunder? ". Newsarama
In Gallo-Roman religion, Rosmerta was a goddess of fertility and abundance, her attributes being those of plenty such as the cornucopia. Rosmerta is attested by statues, by inscriptions. In Gaul she was depicted with the Roman god Mercury as her consort, but is sometimes found independently. A relief from Autun, shows Mercury seated together as a divine couple, she holds a cornucopia, with Mercury holding a patera at her left side. A bas-relief from Eisenberg shows the couple in the same relative positions, with Rosmerta securely identified by the inscription. Rosmerta holds a patera in her left. In a pair of statues from Paris depicting the couple, Rosmerta holds a cornucopia and a basket of fruits. Rosmerta is shown by herself on a bronze statue from Fins d'Annency, where she sits on a rock holding a purse and, unusually bears the wings of Mercury on her head. A stone bas-relief from Escolives-Sainte-Camille shows her holding both a cornucopia. Twenty-seven inscriptions to Rosmerta are listed by Jufer and Luginbühl, distributed in France and Luxembourg, corresponding to the Roman provinces of Gallia Belgica and Germania Superior.
An additional two inscriptions are known, one from Roman Dacia. An inscription from Metz is a dedication to Rosmerta jointly. Another from Eisenberg was made by a decurion in fulfillment of a vow to the couple jointly. In two inscriptions both from Gallia Belgica, Rosmerta is given sacred. A lengthier inscription from Wasserbillig in Gallia Belgica associates the divine couple with the dedication of a shrine, with "hospitable" rites to be celebrated; the name Rosmerta is Gaulish, is analysed as ro-smert-a. Smert means "provider" or "carer" and is found in other Gaulish names such as Ad-smerio, Smertu-litani, Smertae and others. Ro - is "most" as found in Ro-bili or Ro-cabalus; the -a ending is the typical Gaulish feminine singular nominative. The meaning is thus "the Great Provider". Dalheim Visucia Maia Année Epigraphique volumes 1967, 1987, 1998 Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, volume 13, Tres Galliae Delamarre, X.. Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise. 2nd edition. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6 Deyts, S. Images des dieux de la gaule.
Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-067-5 Jufer, N. and T. Luginbühl Répertoire des dieux gaulois. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-200-7
The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned 63 kilometres and was about 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. Lidar scans have been carried out to establish the length of the wall and the Roman distance units used. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side, it is thought. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in what the English once called Northern Britain, its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south because the turf and wood wall has weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor. Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, took about 12 years to complete. Antoninus Pius never visited Britain. Pressure from the Caledonians may have led Antoninus to send the empire's troops further north.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them. The soldiers who built the wall commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs, twenty of which survive; the wall was abandoned only eight years after completion, the garrisons relocated back to Hadrian's Wall. In 208 Emperor Septimius ordered repairs; the occupation ended a few years and the wall was never fortified again. Most of the wall and its associated fortifications have been destroyed over time, but some remains are visible. Many of these have come under the care of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall around 142. Quintus Lollius Urbicus, governor of Roman Britain at the time supervised the effort, which took about twelve years to complete; the wall stretches 63 kilometres from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to extend Roman territory and dominance by replacing Hadrian's Wall 160 kilometres to the south, as the frontier of Britannia.
But while the Romans did establish many forts and temporary camps further north of the Antonine Wall in order to protect their routes to the north of Scotland, they did not conquer the Caledonians, the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may refer to the whole area north of Hadrian's Wall; the Antonine Wall was shorter than Hadrian's Wall and built of turf on a stone foundation, but it was still an impressive achievement. It was a simpler fortification than Hadrian's Wall insofar as it did not have a subsidiary ditch system behind it to the south, as Hadrian's Wall did with its Vallum; the stone foundations and wing walls of the original forts on the Antonine Wall demonstrate that the original plan was to build a stone wall similar to Hadrian's Wall, but this was amended. As built, the wall was a bank, about four metres high, made of layered turves and earth with a wide ditch on the north side, a military way on the south.
The Romans planned to build forts every 10 kilometres, but this was soon revised to every 3.3 kilometres, resulting in a total of nineteen forts along the wall. The best preserved but one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort. In addition to the forts, there are at least 9 smaller fortlets likely on Roman mile spacings, which formed part of the original scheme, some of which were replaced by forts; the most visible fortlet is Kinneil, at the eastern end of the Wall, near Bo'ness. There was once a remarkable Roman structure within sight of the Antonine Wall at Stenhousemuir; this was Arthur's O'on, a circular stone domed monument or rotunda, which may have been a temple, or a tropaeum, a victory monument. It was demolished for its stone in 1743. In addition to the line of the Wall itself there are a number of coastal forts both in the East and West, which should be considered as outposts and/or supply bases to the Wall itself. In addition a number of forts farther north were brought back into service in the Gask Ridge area, including Ardoch, Strageath and Dalginross and Cargill.
Recent research by Glasgow University has shown that the distance stones, stone sculptures unique to the Antonine Wall which were embedded in the wall to mark the lengths built by each legion, were brightly painted unlike their present bare appearance. These stones are preserved in the University's museum and are said to be the best-preserved examples of statuary from any Roman frontier. Several of the slabs have been analysed by various techniques including portable X-ray fluorescence. Tiny remnants of paint have been detected by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Several of the distance slabs have been scanned and 3-D videos produced. There are plans to reproduce the slabs, both digitally and in real physical copies, with their authentic colours. A copy of the Bridgeness Slab has been made and can be found in Bo'ness, it is expected that lottery funding will allow replicas of distance markers to be placed along the length of the wall. The wall was abandoned onl