Toutatis or Teutates is a Celtic god, worshipped in ancient Gaul and Britain. On the basis of his name's etymology, he has been interpreted to be a tribal protector. Today, he is best known under the name Toutatis through the Gaulish oath/catchphrase "By Toutatis!", invented for the Asterix comics by Goscinny and Uderzo. The spelling Toutatis is attested by about ten ancient inscriptions. Under the spelling Teutates, the god is known from a passage in Lucan; the name "Teutates" is derived from the stem teutā-, meaning "people" or "tribe", cognate with the Germanic *þeudō. Teutates was one of three Celtic gods mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan in the 1st century AD, the other two being Esus and Taranis. According to commentators, victims sacrificed to Teutates were killed by being plunged headfirst into a vat filled with an unspecified liquid. Of two commentators on Lucan's text, one identifies Teutates with Mercury, the other with Mars. Toutatis was worshipped in Gaul and in Roman Britain. Inscriptions to him have been recovered in the United Kingdom, for example that at Cumberland Quarries, dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and Mars Toutatis.
Two dedications have been found in Noricum and Rome. As noted above, among a pair of scholiasts on Lucan's work, one identifies Teutates with Mercury and Esus with Mars. At times the Gaulish “Mercury" may have the characteristic of a warrior, while the Gaulish “Mars" may act as a god of protection or healing. Paul-Marie Duval argues. A large number of Romano-British finger rings inscribed with the name "TOT", thought to refer to Toutatis, have been found in eastern Britain, the vast majority in Lincolnshire, but some in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire; the distribution of these rings matches the territory of the Corieltauvi tribe. In 2005 a silver ring inscribed DEO FELIX was discovered at Hockliffe, Bedfordshire; this inscription confirms. In 2012 a silver ring inscribed "TOT" was found in the area where the Hallaton Treasure had been discovered twelve years earlier. Adam Daubney, an expert on this type of ring, suggests that Hallaton may have been a site of worship of the god Toutatis. Interpretatio Romana Germanic Mercury 4179 Toutatis The dictionary definition of Toutatis at Wiktionary Media related to Toutatis at Wikimedia Commons
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 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
Erecura or Aerecura was a goddess worshipped in ancient times thought to be Celtic in origin represented with the attributes of Proserpina and associated with the Roman underworld god Dis Pater, as on an altar from Sulzbach. She appears with Dis Pater in a statue found at Oberseebach, in several magical texts from Austria, once in the company of Cerberus and once with Ogmios. A further inscription to her has been found near Germany. Besides her chthonic symbols, she is depicted with such attributes of fertility as the cornucopia and apple baskets, she is believed to be similar to Greek Hecate. She is depicted in a seated posture, wearing a full robe and bearing trays or baskets of fruit, in depictions from Cannstatt and Sulzbach. Miranda Green calls Aericura a "Gaulish Hecuba", while Noémie Beck characterizes her as a "land-goddess" sharing both underworld and fertility aspects with Dis Pater. Representations of Erecura are most found in the Danubian area of Southern Germany and Slovenia, but they occur in Italy, Great Britain, France.
Her inscriptions are concentrated along the Rhine. Several monuments in honour of Erecura occur in other funereal contexts. Jona Lendering notes the similarity between her iconography and that of Nehalennia, worshipped in Germania Inferior, while Beck sees no significant difference between her attributes and those of the Matres and Matronae. Geographically, the areas in which Erecura and Dis Pater were worshipped appear to be in complementary distribution with those where the cult of Sucellus and Nantosuelta is attested, Beck suggests that these cults were functionally similar although iconographically distinct. A male deity called Arecurius or Aericurus is named on an altar-stone in Northumberland, although Beck cautions that "this inscription is quite uncertain, it might be a misreading of Mercurio"; the theonym is of unclear origin. It has been connected with Latin aes, aeris'copper, money, wealth', era'mistress' and the name of the Greek goddess Hera. Many different Latinised forms of this goddess’s name occur: Aeraecura at Perugia.
The alternation between the initial H and A may be due to the letters' similar shape in the classical Latin capitals ordinarily used in epigraphic inscriptions in the Roman Empire since less literate members of the Roman Empire’s community sometimes misinterpreted the phonemic value of a given letter. A name of the form */aireˈkura/ or */eːreˈkura/ appears to underlie the alternations Aeraecura ~ Aerecura ~ Aericura ~ Eracura ~ Ercura ~ Erecura ~ Heracura ~ Herecura ~ Herequra. Though the goddess herself may be Celtic, it is open to question whether the name is of Celtic origin or Indo-European. Lendering considers her cult to be of Illyrian origin, spreading from Aquileia and only reaching the Danubian and Rhenish border regions through the Roman troops deployed there. Beck considers the name to be of Germanic origin. Beck, Noémie. Goddesses in Celtic Religion—Cult and Mythology: A Comparative Study of Ancient Ireland and Gaul. Université Lumière Lyon 2, University College of Dublin. Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Oxford University Press,: ISBN 0-19-508961-8 Egger, Rudolf.
Römische Antike und frühes Christentum: Ausgewählte Schriften von Rudolf Egger. Lebensjahres, ed. Artur Betz and Gotbert Moro. 2 vols. Klagenfurt: Verlag des Geschichtsvereines für Kärnten, 1962-63. Green, Miranda; the gods of the Celts. Sparkford, UK: Sutton Publishing. 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 Proto-Celtic — English lexicon Ogmios Ogma and Heracles Livius.org: Herecura
In Gallo-Roman religion, Dea Aveta was a mother goddess associated with the fresh-water spring at Trier in what is now Germany. Aveta is known from clay figurines found at Toulon-sur-Allier in France and at Trier; these figurines show the goddess with infants at small lap-dogs, or baskets of fruit. There was a temple dedicated to Aveta in the Altbachtal complex at Trier, her name is known from inscriptions found in Switzerland, the Côte-d'Or
Matres and Matronae
The Matres and Matronae were female deities venerated in Northwestern Europe, of whom relics are found dating from the first to the fifth century. They are depicted on votive offerings and altars that bear images of goddesses, depicted entirely in groups of three, that feature inscriptions and were venerated in regions of Germania, Eastern Gaul, Northern Italy that were occupied by the Roman army from the first to the fifth century. Matres appear on votive reliefs and inscriptions in other areas occupied by the Roman army, including southeast Gaul, as at Vertillum. Matres and Matronae appear depicted on both stones with inscriptions and without, both as altars and votives. All depictions are frontal, they appear exclusively in threes with at least one figure holding a basket of fruit in her lap, the women are either standing or sitting. In some depictions, the middle figure is depicted with loose hair and wearing a headband, the other two wear head dresses. In addition, snakes and nappies appear.
Other motifs include depictions of sacrifice—including burning incense and bowls filled with fruit—and decorations of fruits and trees. In most cases, the votive stones and altars are not found singularly, but rather in groups around temple buildings and cult centers. Scholars connect the Germanic Matres with the dísir and norns attested in 13th century sources; the motif of triple goddesses was widespread in ancient Europe. Rudolf Simek comments that the loose hair may point to maidenhood, whereas the head dresses may refer to married women, the snakes may refer to an association with the souls of the dead or the underworld, the children and nappies seem to indicate that the Matres and Matronae held a protective function over the family, as well as a particular function as midwives. Information about the religious practices surrounding the Matres is limited to the stones on which their depictions and inscriptions are found, of which over 1,100 exist. Motifs include depictions of sacrifice—including burning incense and bowls filled with fruit—and decorations of fruits and trees.
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 Matronae. Dea Matrona Mōdraniht Nehalennia Suleviae
In Celtic mythology, Nantosuelta is the goddess of nature, the earth and fertility. Pseudo-historical texts explain how there is an uncanny resemblance between Nantosuelta and what we know of the Irish goddess The Morrígan, associated with death and war. Evidence suggests that Nantosuelta was the name given to the goddess The Morrígan after a transformation or joining of new alliances; the Mediomatrici depicted her in art as holding a round house with a crow. Other depictions show her with a pot or bee hive. Nantosuelta's round house was a symbol of her connection to the faery habitation of her Irish counterpart and may have symbolized abundance, it was believed that Nantosuelta transformed into a crow on the battlefield, an appropriate transformation for the goddess or may have been a metaphor for her ability to powerfully navigate a battlefield. Nantosuelta is associated with water and depicted as being surrounded by water; the goddess's name translates as'of winding stream' or'sun-drenched valley'.
Nantosuelta is attested by statues, 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 a peaked roof, her right hand holds a patera. To the right Sucellus stands, bearded, in a tunic with a cloak on his right shoulder, he holds an olla in his left. Above the figures is a dedicatory inscription and below them in low relief is bird, of a raven; this sculpture was dated by Reinach, from the form of the letters, to the end of the first century or start of the second century. 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; the inscription on the Sarrebourg altar reads: Deo Svcello / Nantosvelte / Bellavsvs Mas / se filivs v s l m "To the god Sucellus and to Nantosuelta, son of Massa and deservedly fulfilled his vow."The inscription on the Metz altar says: In h d d / M Tignuarius / v s l m "In honour of the divine house, Marcus Tignuarius willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow."Here the dedication is to the Imperial house, 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, Polomé in 1997 maintained that the proto-Indo-European root *swel-'swelter', found in Indo-European words denoting'sun', was inherited into Gaulish. Année Epigraphique, volume 1896. Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. Proto-Celtic—English lexicon. University of Wales. 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. Ed. A la rencontre des Dieux gaulois, un défi à César. Paris, Réunion des Musées Nationaux. ISBN 2-7118-3851-X Heichelheim, F. M. and J. E. Housman and Nantosuelta in Mediaeval Celtic Mythology, in: L'antiquité classique 17, pp. 305-316 Jufer, N. and T. Luginbühl Répertoire des dieux gaulois. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-200-7 Le Roux "Le soleil dans les langues Celtiques." Ogham 4, p. 93. Olmstead, G; the Gods of the Celts and the Indoeuropeans.
Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft-Archaeolingua, Sonderheft 92. Polomé, E. C. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 49-50. Porkorny, Julius Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch Berlin: Franke Verlag Reinach, S. Cultes, mythes et religions. Le musée de Liffol-le-Grand has a reconstructed shrine to Nantosuelta