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 religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages, it is through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages. Although the Celtic world at its height covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity. Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, few were worshiped.
However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is given credit. The nature and functions of these ancient gods can be deduced from their names, the location of their inscriptions, their iconography, the Roman gods they are equated with, similar figures from bodies of Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Ancient Celtic religion mythology in Goidelic languages, represented chiefly by Irish mythology Mythological Cycle Ulster Cycle Fenian Cycle Cycles of the Kings mythology in Brittonic languages Welsh mythology Cornish mythology Breton mythology As a result of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the most of the Celtic writings were destroyed by the Romans, although a written form of Gaulish using Greek and North Italic alphabets was used. Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance while noting that the Helvetii had a written census.
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered. Although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions, more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings; 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 eliminated as such from the culture. What has survived includes material dealing with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuired "The Battle of Mag Tuireadh", as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn; 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 and unknown origins; the particular character of the Dagda was as a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent enough to tolerate jokes at his own expense. 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 modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda; this has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure represents Hercules, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it.
In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup. 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 Badb, with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
The Seine is a 777-kilometre-long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre, it is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats, nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating. There are 37 bridges within dozens more spanning the river outside the city. Examples in Paris include the Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf, the latter of which dates back to 1607. Outside the city, examples include the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, which links Le Havre to Honfleur; the Seine rises in the commune of Source-Seine, about 30 kilometres northwest of Dijon. The source has been owned by the city of Paris since 1864. A number of associated small ditches or depressions provide the source waters, with an artificial grotto laid out to highlight and contain a deemed main source.
The grotto includes a statue of a nymph, a dog, a dragon. On the same site are the buried remains of a Gallo-Roman temple. Small statues of the dea Sequana "Seine goddess" and other ex voti found at the same place are now exhibited in the Dijon archaeological museum; the Seine can artificially be divided into five parts: the Petite Seine "Small Seine" from the sources to Montereau-Fault-Yonne the Haute Seine "Upper Seine" from Montereau-Fault-Yonne to Paris the Traversée de Paris "the Paris waterway" the Basse Seine "Lower Seine" from Paris to Rouen the Seine maritime "Maritime Seine" from Rouen to the English channel. The Seine is dredged and ocean-going vessels can dock at Rouen, 120 kilometres from the sea. Commercial craft can use the river from 516 kilometres to its mouth. At Paris, there are 37 bridges; the river is only 24 metres above sea level 446 kilometres from its mouth, making it slow flowing and thus navigable. The Seine Maritime, 123 kilometres from the English Channel at Le Havre to Rouen, is the only portion of the Seine used by ocean-going craft.
The tidal section of the Seine Maritime is followed by a canalized section with four large multiple locks until the mouth of the Oise at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Smaller locks at Bougival and at Suresnes lift the vessels to the level of the river in Paris, where the junction with the Canal Saint-Martin is located; the distance from the mouth of the Oise is 72 km. The Haute Seine, from Paris to Montereau-Fault-Yonne, has 8 locks. At Charenton-le-Pont is the mouth of the Marne. Upstream from Paris seven locks ensure navigation to Saint Mammès, where the Loing mouth is situated. Through an eighth lock the river Yonne is reached at Montereau-Fault-Yonne. From the mouth of the Yonne, larger ships can continue upstream to Nogent-sur-Seine. From there on, the river is navigable only by small craft to Marcilly-sur-Seine. At Marcilly-sur-Seine the ancient Canal de la Haute-Seine used to allow vessels to continue all the way to Troyes; this canal has been abandoned since 1957. The average depth of the Seine today at Paris is about 9.5 metres.
Until locks were installed to raise the level in the 1800s, the river was much shallower within the city most of the time, consisted of a small channel of continuous flow bordered by sandy banks. Today the depth is controlled and the entire width of the river between the built-up banks on either side is filled with water; the average flow of the river is low, only a few cubic metres per second, but much higher flows are possible during periods of heavy runoff. Special reservoirs upstream help to maintain a constant level for the river through the city, but during periods of extreme runoff significant increases in river level may occur. A severe period of high water in January 1910 resulted in extensive flooding throughout the city; the Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982, 1999–2000, June 2016, January 2018. After a first-level flood alert in 2003, about 100,000 works of art were moved out of Paris, the largest relocation of art since World War II. Much of the art in Paris is kept in underground storage rooms.
A 2002 report by the French government stated the worst-case Seine flood scenario would cost 10 billion euros and cut telephone service for a million Parisians, leaving 200,000 without electricity and 100,000 without gas. In January 2018 the Seine again flooded. An official warning was issued on January 24 that heavy rainfall was to cause the river to flood. By January 27, the river was rising; the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Colombe Brossel, warned that the heavy rain was caused by climate change, that "We have to understand that climatic change is not a word, it's a reality." The basin area is 78,910 square kilometres, 2 percent of, forest and 78 percent cultivated land. In addition to Paris, three other cities with a population over 100,000 are in the Seine watershed: Le Havre at the estuary, Rouen in the Seine valley and Reims at the northern limit—with an annual urban growth rate of 0.2 percent. The population density is 201 per square kilometer. Periodically
Cissonius was an ancient Gaulish/Celtic god. After Visucius, Cissonius was the most common name of the Gaulish/Celtic Mercury. Cissonius was represented either as a bearded, helmeted man riding a ram and carrying a wine cup, or else as a young man with winged helmet and herald's staff accompanied by a rooster and goat; the name has been interpreted as meaning "courageous", "remote" or else "carriage-driver". He was a god of trade and protector of travellers, since Mercury exercised similar functions in the Roman pantheon. In one inscription from Promontogno in Switzerland, Cissonus is identified with Matutinus; the name of Niederzissen, a village in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, may be derived from the name of Cissonius. A goddess Cissonia is recorded
A spring is a point at which water flows from an aquifer to the Earth's surface. It is a component of the hydrosphere. A spring may be the result of karst topography where surface water has infiltrated the Earth's surface, becoming part of the area groundwater; the groundwater travels through a network of cracks and fissures—openings ranging from intergranular spaces to large caves. The water emerges from below the surface, in the form of a karst spring; the forcing of the spring to the surface can be the result of a confined aquifer in which the recharge area of the spring water table rests at a higher elevation than that of the outlet. Spring water forced to the surface by elevated sources are artesian wells; this is possible if the outlet is in the form of a 300-foot-deep cave. In this case the cave is used like a hose by the higher elevated recharge area of groundwater to exit through the lower elevation opening. Non-artesian springs may flow from a higher elevation through the earth to a lower elevation and exit in the form of a spring, using the ground like a drainage pipe.
Still other springs are the result of pressure from an underground source in the earth, in the form of volcanic activity. The result can be water at elevated temperature such as a hot spring; the action of the groundwater continually dissolves permeable bedrock such as limestone and dolomite, creating vast cave systems. Seepage or filtration spring; the term seep refers to springs with small flow rates in which the source water has filtered through permeable earth. Fracture springs, discharge from faults, joints, or fissures in the earth, in which springs have followed a natural course of voids or weaknesses in the bedrock. Tubular springs, in which the water flows from underground caverns. Spring discharge, or resurgence, is determined by the spring's recharge basin. Factors that affect the recharge include the size of the area in which groundwater is captured, the amount of precipitation, the size of capture points, the size of the spring outlet. Water may leak into the underground system from many sources including permeable earth and losing streams.
In some cases entire creeks disappear as the water sinks into the ground via the stream bed. Grand Gulf State Park in Missouri is an example of an entire creek vanishing into the groundwater system; the water emerges 9 miles away. Human activity may affect a spring's discharge—withdrawal of groundwater reduces the water pressure in an aquifer, decreasing the volume of flow. Springs are classified by the volume of the water they discharge; the largest springs are called "first-magnitude", defined as springs that discharge water at a rate of at least 2800 liters or 100 cubic feet of water per second. Some locations contain many first-magnitude springs, such as Florida where there are at least 27 known to be that size; the scale for spring flow is as follows: Minerals become dissolved in the water as it moves through the underground rocks. This may give the water flavor and carbon dioxide bubbles, depending on the nature of the geology through which it passes; this is why spring water is bottled and sold as mineral water, although the term is the subject of deceptive advertising.
Springs that contain significant amounts of minerals are sometimes called'mineral springs'. Springs that contain large amounts of dissolved sodium salts sodium carbonate, are called'soda springs'. Many resorts are known as spa towns. Water from springs is clear; however some springs may be colored by the minerals. For instance, water heavy with iron or tannins will have an orange color. In parts of the United States a stream carrying the outflow of a spring to a nearby primary stream may be called a spring branch or run. Groundwater tends to maintain a long-term average temperature of its aquifer; the cool water of a spring and its branch may harbor species such as certain trout that are otherwise ill-suited to a warmer local climate. Springs have been used for a variety of human needs including drinking water, domestic water supply, mills and electricity generation. Other modern uses include recreational activities such as fishing and floating. A sacred spring, or holy well, is a small body of water emerging from underground and revered either in a Christian, pagan or other religious context, sometimes both.
The lore and mythology of ancient Greece was replete with sacred and storied springs—notably, the Corycian and Castalian. In medieval Europe, holy wells were pagan sacred sites that became Christianized; the term "holy well" is employed to refer to any water source of limited size, which has some significance in local folklore. This can take the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centred on the well site. In Christian legend, the spring water is said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme in the hagiography of Celtic saints. LaMor
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
In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, ponies and mules. She was a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures, she and her horses might have been leaders of the soul in the after-life ride, with parallels in Rhiannon of the Mabinogion. The worship of Epona, "the sole Celtic divinity worshipped in Rome itself", was widespread in the Roman Empire between the first and third centuries AD. Although known only from Roman contexts, the name Epona is from the Gaulish language. In an episode preserved in a remark of Pausanias, an archaic Demeter Erinys too had been a Great Mare, mounted by Poseidon in the form of a stallion and foaled Arion and the Daughter, unnamed outside the Arcadian mysteries. Demeter was venerated as a mare in Lycosoura in Arcadia into historical times. Fernand Benoît found the earliest attestations of a cult of Epona in the Danubian provinces and asserted that she had been introduced in the limes of Gaul by horsemen from the east.
That suggestion has not been taken up. Although the name is Gaulish, dedicatory inscriptions to Epona are in Latin or Greek, they were made not only by Celts, but by Germans and other inhabitants of the Roman Empire. An inscription to Epona from Mainz, identifies the dedicator as Syrian. A long Latin inscription of the first century BC, engraved in a lead sheet and accompanying the sacrifice of a filly and the votive gift of a cauldron, was found in 1887 at Rom, Deux-Sèvres, the Roman Rauranum. Olmsted reads the inscription as invoking the goddess with an archaic profusion of epithets: Eponina'dear little Epona', Atanta'horse-goddess', Potia'powerful Mistress', Dibonia", Catona'of battle', noble and good Vovesia. However, Olmsted's interpretation has not been accepted by other scholars. Epona's feast day in the Roman calendar was given as December 18 on a rustic calendar from Guidizzolo, although this may have been only a local celebration, she was incorporated into the imperial cult by being invoked on behalf of the Emperor, as Epona Augusta or Epona Regina.
The supposed autonomy of Celtic civilization in Gaul suffered a further setback with Fernand Benoît's study of the funereal symbolism of the horseman with the serpent-tailed daemon, which he established as a theme of victory over death, Epona. Benoît compared the rider with most of the riders imaged around the Mediterranean shores. Perceptions of native Celtic goddesses had changed under Roman hegemony: only the names remained the same; as Gaul was Romanized under the early Empire, Epona’s sovereign role evolved into a protector of cavalry. The cult of Epona was spread over much of the Roman Empire by the auxiliary cavalry, alae the Imperial Horse Guard or equites singulares augustii recruited from Gaul, Lower Germany, Pannonia. A series of their dedications to Epona and other Celtic and German deities was found in Rome, at the Lateran; as Epane she is attested in Cantabria, northern Spain, on Mount Bernorio, Palencia, as Iccona Loiminna in Portugal on the Lusitanian inscription of Cabeço das Fráguas.
A euhemeristic account of Epona's origin occurs in the Parallela Minora, which were traditionally attributed to Plutarch: Fulvius Stellus hated women and used to consort with a mare and in due time the mare gave birth to a beautiful girl and they named her Epona. She is the goddess, concerned with the protection of horses. So Agesilaüs in the third book of his Italian History; the tale was passed along in the context of unseemly man-beast coupling in Giambattista Della Porta's edition of Magia naturalis, a potpourri of the sensible and questionable, erroneously citing Plutarch's Life of Solon. It may represent some recollection of Indo-European horse sacrifice, such as the Vedic ashvamedha and the Irish ritual described by Giraldus Cambrensis, both of which have to do with kingship. In the Celtic ritual, the king mates with a white mare thought to embody the goddess of sovereignty. Sculptures of Epona fall into five types, as distinguished by Benoît: riding, standing or seated before a horse, standing or seated between two horses, a tamer of horses in the manner of potnia theron and the symbolic mare and foal.
In the Equestrian type, common in Gaul, she is depicted sitting side-saddle on a horse or lying on one. In distant Dacia, she is represented on a stela in the format of Cybele, seated frontally on a throne with her hands on the necks of her paired animals: her horses are substitutions for Cybele's lions. Epona is mentioned in The Golden Ass by Apuleius, where an aedicular niche with her image on a pillar in a stable has been garlanded with freshly picked roses. In his Satires, the Roman poet Juvenal links the worship and iconography of Epona to the area of a stable. Small images of Epona have been f
Source-Seine is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. It was formed on 1 January 2009. Source-Seine is located 30 kilometres northwest of Dijon. True to its name, within Source-Seine is the source of the Seine, in woods off the D103 road 2 km Southeast by east of the cluster of buildings in Saint-Germaine, or 3 km East by south of the cluster of buildings in Blessey; the Seine rises at an elevation of 470 metres in this wooded area, from waters in several clustered ditches/depressions. France's second-longest river, the Seine flows 776 kilometres before it passes between the coastal communes of Le Havre and Honfleur, on the Normandy coast, into the English Channel. What is now Source-Seine saw Gaulic pilgrimage beginning in the 1st century BC. In the late 4th century AD, Roman Emperor Theodosius I ordered the closure of pagan temples at the Seine's source and gave their property to Christian institutions. In accordance with this edict, in the 5th century the abbey of Sainte-Marie-de-Cestra, the closest religious institution to the Seine's source, received a donation from the Roman government.
In the 17th century, rumors of healing powers in the Seine were circulating around Paris. This led to the construction of a grotto dedicated to the Seine Nymph and financed by its residents in the 19th century; the city of Paris bought the source of the Seine in 1864. Modern times have seen a wave of coin throwers flocking to the river's source; the commune of Source-Seine was formed on 1 January 2009 when Saint-Germain-Source-Seine was fused with Blessey. The area around Source-Seine is noted for its wine. Communes of the Côte-d'Or department INSEE