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
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
Nodens is a Celtic deity associated with healing, the sea and dogs. He was worshipped in ancient Britain, most notably in a complex at Lydney Park in Gloucestershire. He is equated with the Roman gods Mars, Mercury and Silvanus, and his name is cognate with that of the Irish mythological figure Nuada and the Welsh Nudd. The name Nodens probably derives from a Celtic stem *noudont- or *noudent-, making the connection with Nuada and Lludds hand, he detected an echo of the ancient fame of the magic hand of Nodens the Catcher. Similarly, Julius Pokorny derives the name from a Proto-Indo-European root *neu-d- meaning acquire, ranko Matasović has proposed that the name of this deity may come from proto-Celtic *snowdo-, meaning mist, clouds. The transition from *snoudo- to Nodons happened because the particle sN was changed to N in P-Celtic languages, such as Gaulish, Nodons name - which is in the nominative case - appears in inscriptions as Nodontī due to a change to the dative case. However, sN- was not reduced in Old Irish in which the cognate is attested as Núada ~ Núadat not *Snúada, which evidence reinforces Tolkiens derivation.
This imposing, Classical style temple building has been interpreted as an incubatio or dormitory for pilgrims to sleep. The complex was excavated in the 1920s by Sir Mortimer Wheeler. It has produced several inscriptions to Nodens, one, on a lead curse tablet, reads, It is conjectured that this lost ring is the ring of Silvianus found in the 19th century far away from Lydney. There is evidence of at least one temple priest. The cella has a floor, the surviving fragments of which depict dolphins, fish. The floor dates to the 4th century and was dedicated to the temple of Nodens by one Titus Flavius Senilis, the artifacts recovered include a bronze object, which may be a headdress or a vessel, showing a sea-god driving a chariot between torch-bearing putti and tritons. Miranda Green speculates that Senilis may have been the individual who wore this artifact, images of pilgrims and deities holding dogs occur at many Gaulish spring sanctuaries, and live sacred dogs were kept at the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus in the Peloponnese.
The pins are associated with childbirth, the dogs, and the equating of Nodens with Silvanus, suggest a connection with hunting. According to Cook, the toponym Lydney derives from the Old English *Lydan-eġ, ‘Lludd’s Island. ’ However, the god Noadatus, equated with Mars in an inscription found at Mainz in Germany may be the same deity. The placename Maynooth, a town in north Co, Ireland, is an anglicisation of Magh Núad, which means plain of Núadu. The Gaelic-Irish surname Ó Nuadhain is believed to derive from the forename Nuadha, found particularly in County Galway, County Mayo and County Roscommon, the family were a sept of the Uí Fiachrach who settled in Cálraighe, in what is now County Sligo
Coventina was a Romano-British goddess of wells and springs. She is known from inscriptions at one site in Northumberland county of the United Kingdom. It is possible that other inscriptions, two from Hispania and one from Narbonensis, refer to Coventina, but this is disputed, dedications to Coventina and votive deposits were found in a walled area which had been built to contain the outflow from a spring now called Coventinas Well. The remains of a Roman Mithraeum and Nymphaeum are found near the site. The well itself was a spring in a rectangular basin 2. 6m x 2. 4m in the centre of a walled enclosure 11. 6m x 12. 2m within a wall 0. 9m thick. The site near Coventinas Well was excavated by British archaeologist, John Clayton, the date of the wall at Coventinas Well is uncertain, but some have theorized that it was built sometime after the completion of the Roman fort. Since Hadrians Wall does not deviate to avoid the well, this may suggest that the wall around the well was built some time after in order to control the flow of water in a marshy area.
Evidence from coin hoards and stones which covered them and those blocking the well suggest a fairly abrupt end around 388. Excavation of the site revealed several inscribed altars, some depictions of Coventina in typical Roman nymph form - reclining. On one, Coventina is either depicted in form or with two attendants. At least ten inscriptions to Coventina are recorded from Carrawburgh, several stone altars contained dedications to Coventina, as did two pottery incense burners. ”Three altars dedicated to Mithras were placed there by the Prefects of the military garrison. In his book The Skystone, Jack Whyte represents Coventina as the inspiration for The Lady of the Lake, seamus Heaneys poem Grotus and Conventina from his 1987 collection The Haw Lantern. Tehomet. net has historical, folkloric and literary resources for Coventina, plus photographs of the archaeological site, includes directions to the site and associated museum
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
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
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
In Celtic mythology, Nantosuelta is the goddess of nature the earth and fertility. She was a part of the Tuatha Dé Danann and was paired with Sucellus, pseudo-historical texts explain how there is an uncanny resemblance between Nantosuelta and what we know of the Irish goddess The Morrígan who was associated with death and war. Evidence suggests that Nantosuelta was the given to the goddess The Morrígan after a transformation or joining of new alliances. The Mediomatrici depicted her in art as holding a house on a pole. Other likely depictions show her with a pot or bee hive, nantosueltas round house was a symbol of her connection to the faery habitation of her Irish counterpart and may have symbolized abundance. Nantosuelta is often associated with water and depicted as being surrounded by water, the goddesss name literally translates as of winding stream or sun-drenched valley. Nantosuelta is attested by statues, and by inscriptions, in this relief from Sarrebourg, near Metz, wearing a long gown is standing to the left.
In her left hand she holds a small house-shaped object with two holes and a peaked roof. Her right hand holds a patera which she is tipping onto a cylindrical altar, to the right Sucellus stands, bearded, in a tunic with a cloak on his right shoulder. He holds his mallet in his hand and an olla in his left. Above the figures is an inscription and below them in very low relief is bird. This sculpture was dated by Reinach, from the form of the letters, an altar from Metz has a carving of a woman with similar dress to the Sarrebourg example, holding a small house on a pole, thus presumed to be Nantosuelta. Sucellus is not shown on this example and she was associated with the cornucopia. The inscription on the Metz altar says, In h d d / M Tignuarius / v s l m In honour of the divine house, here the dedication is to the Imperial house, and Nantosuelta is not explicitly mentioned. The visual depiction makes the identification secure, delamarre asserts that the name means sun-warmed valley. Roux in 1952, Olmstead in 1994, and Polomé in 1997 maintained that the proto-Indo-European root *swel- swelter, centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, volume 13, Tres Galliae, delamarre, X. Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise. A la rencontre des Dieux gaulois, un défi à César, ISBN 2-87772-200-7 Le Roux Le soleil dans les langues Celtiques
Ritona, known as Pritona, is a Celtic goddess chiefly venerated in the land of the Treveri in what is now Germany. Her cult is attested at Pachten and at Trier, where she had a carefully built little temple in the Altbachtal complex, ritonas temple was one of several in the Altbachtal to include exedrae and courtyards that may have been used to prepare ritual banquets and/or to place offerings. At Pachten her temple had a theatre, presumably used for performances of a religious nature, a single inscription honours her at Uzès in southern France. Her name, related to the root as Welsh rhyd ‘ford’. The name variant ‘Pritona’ is directly attested twice, on the only inscription at Pachten. ‘Pritona’ is restored in a further, more fragmentary inscription from Trier, the Pachten inscription specifies that the goddess was invoked by an individual for the well-being of the townsfolk of Contiomagium. A votive sculpture from Crain, depicting a figure holding an offering-dish and pouring out liquid from a vessel, is dedicated to Minerva.
On two of the inscriptions from Trier, Ritona is invoked in either with the numina of the Augusti or in honour of the divine house
In Celtic mythology Taranis was the god of thunder worshipped primarily in Gaul, the British Isles, but in the Rhineland and Danube regions, amongst others. Taranis, along with Esus and Toutatis as part of a 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, as was the cyclops Brontes in Greek mythology, 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 apparently came to be syncretised with Jupiter. The name as recorded by Lucan is unattested epigraphically, but variants of the include the forms Tanarus, Taranucno-, Taranuo-. The name is continued in Irish as Tuireann, and is connected with those of Germanic. Taranis is likely associated with the Gallic Ambisagrus, and 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 often 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 Thors, numerous Celtic coins depict such a wheel. It is thought to correspond to a practiced in Bronze Age Europe. 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 usually had four spokes, 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, Greek, in 2013 a British combat drone system developed by defence contractor BAE Systems was named Taranis in reference to the Celtic god.
Delbáeth Fontes Tamarici Indra Perun Thor Tuireann Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508961-8 MacKillop, James. Wood, The Celts, Life and Art, Thorsons Publishers, ISBN 0-00-764059-5 Celtic Gods and Associates Images of Taranis Celtic Gods Doran, marvel Teaser, The NEW God of Thunder