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
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, messages/communication, boundaries, luck and thieves. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology, in his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand, similar to his Greek equivalent he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade.
Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul and he was also, like Hermes, the Romans psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans, archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. The god of commerce was depicted on two bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana, 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples. The Romans made use of small statues of Mercury. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury, Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury.
Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, and is possibly the deity as Banda Isibraiegus. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, who was equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France. The name Moccus implies that this deity was connected to boar-hunting, Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped primarily in the area of the empire in Gaul
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, and by inscriptions, in Gaul she was often depicted with the Roman god Mercury as her consort, but is sometimes found independently. A relief from Autun, shows Rosmerta and Mercury seated together as a divine couple and she holds a cornucopia, with Mercury holding a patera at her left side. A bas-relief from Eisenberg shows the couple in the relative positions. Rosmerta holds a purse in her hand and a patera in her left. In a pair of statues from Paris depicting the couple, Rosmerta holds a cornucopia, Rosmerta is shown by herself on a bronze statue from Fins dAnnency, where she sits on a rock holding a purse and, bears the wings of Mercury on her head. A stone bas-relief from Escolives-Sainte-Camille shows her both a patera and a cornucopia. An additional two inscriptions are known, one from Roman Dacia, an inscription from Metz is a dedication to Mercury and 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 the epithet sacra, sacred. A lengthier inscription from Wasserbillig in Gallia Belgica associates the divine couple with the dedication of a shrine, the name Rosmerta is Gaulish, and 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, Smertus. Ro- is a meaning very, great, or 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, ISBN 2-87772-237-6 Deyts, S. Images des dieux de la gaule. ISBN 2-87772-067-5 Jufer, N. and T. Luginbühl Répertoire des dieux gaulois
Toutatis or Teutates was a Celtic god worshipped in ancient Gaul and Britain. On the basis of his names 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, however, is authentic and 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, 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, present-day scholars frequently speak of the toutates as plural, referring respectively to the patrons of the several tribes. Of two commentators on Lucans text, one identifies Teutates with Mercury, the other with Mars, Toutatis was worshipped especially 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, two dedications have been found in Noricum and Rome. As noted above, among a pair of scholiasts on Lucans work, one identifies Teutates with Mercury, 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. The distribution of these rings closely matches the territory of the Corieltauvi tribe, in 2005 a silver ring inscribed DEO TOTA and FELIX was discovered at Hockliffe, Bedfordshire. This inscription confirmed that the inscription TOT did indeed refer to the god Toutatis, 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
It was the result of selective acculturation. In some cases, Gaulish deity names were used as epithets for Roman deities, in other cases, Roman gods were given Gaulish female partners – for example, Mercury was paired with Rosmerta and Sirona was partnered with Apollo. In at least one case – that of the equine goddess Epona – a native Celtic goddess was adopted by Romans. The Jupiter Column was a type of religious monument from Roman Gaul and Germania. Eastern mystery religions penetrated Gaul early on and these included the cults of Orpheus, Mithras and Isis. The imperial cult, centred primarily on the numen of Augustus, came to play a prominent role in the religion of Gaul. This gave rise to a characteristic Gallo-Roman fanum, identifiable in archaeology from its concentric shape, Roman Gaul Gallo-Roman culture Interpretatio romana Celtic mythology Burnand, Y. Notes sur le vocabulaire épigraphique de la de la divinité en Gaule romaine in Signa deorum. Debal, J. Vienne-en-Val, divinités et sanctuaires, bulletin de la Société Archéologique et Historique de lOrléanais,42 Deyts, S.
A la rencontre des Dieux gaulois, un défi à César, faudet, I. Les temples de tradition celtique en Gaule Romaine. ISBN 2-87772-074-8 Green, M. Gods of the Celts, jufer, N. Luginbühl, T. Répertoire des dieux gaulois. ISBN 2-87772-200-7 Weisgerber, G. Das Pilgerheiligtum des Apollo und der Sirona von Hochscheid im Hunsruck, woolf, G. Becoming Roman, the origins of provincial civilization in Gaul
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
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
They are found with a particular concentration in the Rhineland. In Britain they tend to be found in a deity form. The hooded cape was especially associated with Gauls or Celts during the Roman period, the hooded health god was known as Telesphorus specifically 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 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, several of these figures seem to carry swords or daggers, and Henig discusses them in the context of warrior cults. de la Bedoyère, Guy. Gods with Thunderbolts, Religion in Roman Britain, the Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. The British Celts and their Gods under Rome
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
Jupiter, Jove, is the god of sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering. Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as a sky god, the two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins. As the sky-god, he was a witness to oaths. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located and he was the chief deity of the early Capitoline Triad with Mars and Quirinus. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the guardian of the state with Juno. His sacred tree was the oak, the Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter.
In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune, each presided over one of the three realms of the universe, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart. The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honoured him more than any other people had, Jupiter was the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested. He personified the divine authority of Romes highest offices, internal organization and his image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Romes ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours. The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiters name, to thank him for his help, they offered him a white ox with gilded horns. A similar offering was made by generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiters statue in the Capitol.
Some scholars have viewed the triumphator as embodying Jupiter in the triumphal procession, Jupiters association with kingship and sovereignty was reinterpreted as Romes form of government changed. Originally, Rome was ruled by kings, after the monarchy was abolished and the Republic established, religious prerogatives were transferred to the patres, nostalgia for the kingship was considered treasonous. Those suspected of harbouring monarchical ambitions were punished, regardless of their service to the state, in the 5th century BC, the triumphator Camillus was sent into exile after he drove a chariot with a team of four white horses —an honour reserved for Jupiter himself. His house on the Capitoline Hill was razed, and it was decreed that no patrician should ever be allowed to live there, during the Conflict of the Orders, Romes plebeians demanded the right to hold political and religious office
Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the horned god of Celtic polytheism. Cernunnos was a Celtic god of fertility, animals, the name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but he appears all over Gaul, and among the Celtiberians. Not much is known about the god from literary sources, and details about his name, speculative interpretations identify him as a god of nature, life or fertility. The theonym ernunnos appears on the Pillar of the Boatmen, a Gallo-Roman monument dating to the early 1st century CE, both antlers have torcs hanging from them. The name has been compared to a divine epithet Carnonos in a Celtic inscription written in Greek characters at Montagnac, a Gallo-Latin adjective carnuātus, horned, is found. The Proto-Celtic form of the theonym is reconstructed as either *Cerno-on-os or *Carno-on-os, the augmentative -on- is characteristic of theonyms, as in Maponos, Epona and Sirona. Maier states that the etymology of Cernunnos is unknown, as the Celtic word for horn has an a, Gaulish karnon horn is cognate with Latin cornu and Germanic *hurnaz, English horn, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *k̑r̥no-.
The etymon karn- horn appears in both Gaulish and Galatian branches of Continental Celtic, the root appears in the names of Celtic polities, most prominent among them the Carnutes, meaning something like the Horned Ones, and in several personal names found in inscriptions. The name Cernunnos occurs only on the Pillar of the Boatmen, the distinctive stone pillar is an important monument of Gallo-Roman religion. Its low reliefs depict and label by name several Roman deities such as Jupiter and Castor and Pollux, along with Gallic deities such as Esus and this inscription read Deo Ceruninco, to the God Cerunincos, assumed to be the same deity. The Gaulish inscription from Montagnac reads αλλετνος καρνονου αλσοεας, with the last word possibly a place based on Alisia. The god labelled ernunnos on the Pillar of the Boatmen is depicted with stags antlers in their stage of annual growth. Both antlers have torcs hanging from them, the lower part of the relief is lost, but the dimensions suggest that the god was sitting cross-legged, providing a direct parallel to the antlered figure on the Gundestrup cauldron.
In spite of the name Cernunnos being attested nowhere else, it is used in Celtological literature as describing all comparable depictions of horned/antlered deities. The god may have symbolised the fecundity of the stag-inhabited forest, other examples of Cernunnos images include a petroglyph in Val Camonica in Cisalpine Gaul. The antlered human figure has been dated as early as the 7th century BCE or as late as the 4th, an antlered child appears on a relief from Vendeuvres, flanked by serpents and holding a purse and a torc. The best known image appears on the Gundestrup cauldron found on Jutland, dating to the 1st century BCE, the horns are taken to represent aggressive power, genetic vigor and fecundity. Divine representations of the Cernunnos type are exceptions to the view that the Celts only began to picture their gods in human form after the Roman conquest of Gaul