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
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Dīs Pater was a Roman god of the underworld. Dis was associated with fertile agricultural land and mineral wealth, since those minerals came from underground, he was equated with the chthonic deities Pluto and Orcus. Dīs Pater was shortened to Dīs and this name has since become an alternative name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the City of Dis of Dante's The Divine Comedy, which comprises Lower Hell, it is thought that Dīs Pater was a Celtic god. This confusion arises from the second-hand citation of one of Julius Caesar's comments in his Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, where he says that the Gauls all claimed descent from Dīs Pater. However, Caesar's remark is a clear example of interpretatio Romana: what Caesar meant was that the Gauls all claimed descent from a Gaulish god that reminded him of the Roman Dīs Pater, a scholia on the Pharsalia equates Dis Pater with Taranis, the chief sky deity in the Gaulish religion. Different possible candidates exist for this role in Celtic religion, such as Gaulish Sucellus, Irish Donn and Welsh Beli Mawr, among others.
In De Natura Deorum, Cicero derives the name of Dīs Pater from the Latin dives, suggesting a meaning of "father of riches", directly corresponding to the name Pluto, Pluto being how Plouton is spelled is Latin.. According to some 19th century authors, many of Cicero's etymological derivations are not to be taken and may indeed have been intended ironically. Alternatively, he may be a secondary reflex of the same god as Jupiter. Dīs Pater became associated with death and the underworld because mineral wealth such as gems and precious metals came from underground, wherein lies the realm of the dead, i.e. Hades' domain. In being conflated with Pluto, Dīs Pater took on some of the latter's mythological attributes, being one of the three sons of Saturn and Ops, along with Jupiter and Neptune, he ruled the dead beside his wife, Proserpina. In literature, Dīs Pater's name was used as a symbolic and poetic way of referring to death itself. In 249 BC and 207 BC, the Roman Senate under senator Lucius Catellius ordained special festivals to appease Dīs Pater and Proserpina.
Every hundred years, a festival was celebrated in his name. According to legend, a round marble altar, Altar of Dīs Pater and Proserpina, was miraculously discovered by the servants of a Sabine called Valesius, the ancestor of the first consul; the servants were digging in the Tarentum on the edge of the Campus Martius to lay foundations following instructions given to Valesius's children in dreams, when they found the altar 20 feet underground. Valesius reburied the altar after three days of games. Sacrifices were offered to this altar during the Ludi Saeculares or Ludi Tarentini, it may have been uncovered for each occasion of the games, to be reburied afterwards, a chthonic tradition of worship. It was rediscovered in 1886–87 beneath the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Rome. In addition to being considered the ancestor of the Gauls, Dīs Pater was sometimes identified with the Sabine god Soranus. In southern Germany and the Balkans, Dīs Pater had Aericura, as a consort. Dīs Pater was associated with foreign deities in the shortened form of his name, Dis.
Demeter Dievas Dyaus Pita Hades Tiwaz Zeus Crom Media related to Dīs Pater at Wikimedia Commons
Bow and arrow
The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon system consisting of an elastic launching device and long-shafted projectiles. Archery is the practice, or skill of using bows to shoot arrows. A person who shoots arrows with a bow is called an archer. Someone who makes bows is known as a bowyer, one who makes arrows is a fletcher, one who manufactures metal arrowheads is an arrowsmith; the use of bows and arrows by humans for hunting predates recorded history and was common to many prehistoric cultures. They were important weapons of war from ancient history until the early modern period, where they were rendered obsolete by the development of the more powerful and accurate firearms, were dropped from warfare. Today and arrows are used for hunting and sports. A bow consists of a semi-rigid but elastic arc with a high-tensile bowstring joining the ends of the two limbs of the bow. An arrow is a projectile with a pointed tip and a long shaft with stabilizer fins towards the back, with a narrow notch at the end to contact the bowstring.
To load an arrow for shooting, the archer places an arrow across the middle of the bow with the bowstring in the arrow's nock. To shoot, the archer pulls back the arrow and the bowstring, which in turn flexes the bow limbs, storing elastic energy. While maintaining the draw, the archer sights along the arrow to aim it; the archer releases the arrow, allowing the limbs' stored potential energy to convert into kinetic energy, transmitted via the bowstring to the arrow, propelling it to fly forward with high velocity. A container or bag for additional arrows for quick reloading is called a quiver; when not in use, bows are kept unstrung, meaning one or both ends of the bowstring are detached from the bow. This removes all residual tension on the bow, can help prevent it from losing strength or elasticity over time. For many bow designs, this lets it straighten out more reducing the space needed to store the bow. Returning the bowstring to its ready-to-use position is called stringing the bow; the bow and arrow appears around the transition from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic.
After the end of the last glacial period, use of the bow seems to have spread to every inhabited region, except for Australasia and most of Oceania. The earliest definite remains of bow and arrow are from Europe. Possible fragments from Germany were found at Mannheim-Vogelstang dated 17,500-18,000 years ago, at Stellmoor dated 11,000 years ago. Azilian points found in Grotte du Bichon, alongside the remains of both a bear and a hunter, with flint fragments found in the bear's third vertebra, suggest the use of arrows at 13,500 years ago. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana County, obsidian bladelets found embedded in a skull and within the thoracic cavity of another skeleton, suggest the use of stone-tipped arrows as weapons about 10,000 years ago. Microliths discovered on the south coast of Africa suggest that projectile weapons of some sort may be at least 71,000 years old; the oldest extant bows in one piece are the elm Holmegaard bows from Denmark which were dated to 9,000 BCE. Several bows from Holmegaard, date 8,000 years ago.
High-performance wooden bows are made following the Holmegaard design. The Stellmoor bow fragments from northern Germany were dated to about 8,000 BCE, but they were destroyed in Hamburg during the Second World War, before carbon 14 dating was available; the bow was an important weapon for both hunting and warfare from prehistoric times until the widespread use of gunpowder in the 16th century. Organised warfare with bows ended in the mid 17th century in Europe, but it persisted into the early 19th century in Eastern cultures and in hunting and tribal warfare in the New World. In the Canadian Arctic bows were made until the end of the 20th century for hunting caribou, for instance at Igloolik; the bow has more been used as a weapon of tribal warfare in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The British upper class led a revival of archery from the late 18th century. Sir Ashton Lever, an antiquarian and collector, formed the Toxophilite Society in London in 1781, under the patronage of George Prince of Wales.
The basic elements of a bow are a pair of curved elastic limbs, traditionally made from wood, joined by a riser. Both ends of the limbs are connected by a string known as the bow string. By pulling the string backwards the archer exerts compressive force on the string-facing section, or belly, of the limbs as well as placing the outer section, or back, under tension. While the string is held, this stores the energy released in putting the arrow to flight; the force required to hold the string stationary at full draw is used to express the power of a bow, is known as its draw weight, or weight. Other things being equal, a higher draw weight means a more powerful bow, able to project heavier arrows at the same velocity or the same arrow at a greater velocity; the various parts of the bow can be subdivided into further sections. The topmost limb is known as the upper limb. At the tip of each limb is a nock, used to attach the bowstring to the limbs; the riser is divided into the grip, held by the archer, as well as the arrow rest and the bow window.
The arrow rest is a small ledge or extension above the grip which the arrow rests upon while being aimed. The bow window is that part of the
In Gallo-Roman religion, Sucellus or Sucellos was a deity depicted as carrying a large mallet and an olla and/or barrel. A Celtic deity, his cult flourished not only among Gallo-Romans, but to some extent among the neighbouring peoples of Raetia and Britain, he has been associated with agriculture and wine in the territory of the Aedui. He is portrayed as a middle-aged bearded man, with a long-handled hammer, or a beer barrel suspended from a pole, his companion Nantosuelta is sometimes depicted alongside him. When together, they are accompanied by symbols associated with domesticity. In a well-known 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 circular holes and a peaked roof – a dovecote – on a long pole, her right hand holds a patera. To the right Sucellus stands, bearded, in a tunic with a cloak over his right shoulder, he holds an olla in his left. Above the figures is a dedicatory inscription and below them in low relief is 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. At least eleven inscriptions to Sucellus are known from Gaul. One is from Eboracum in Britain. In an inscription from Augusta Rauricorum, Sucellus is identified with Silvanus: In honor / d d deo Su/ cello Silv / Spart l d d dThe syncretism of Sucellus with Silvanus can be seen in artwork from Narbonensis. In Gaulish, the root cellos can be interpreted as'striker', derived from Proto-Indo-European *-kel-do-s whence come Latin per-cellere, Greek klao and Lithuanian kálti; the prefix is found in many Gaulish personal names. Sucellus is therefore translated as'the good striker.' An alternate etymology is offered by Celticist Blanca María Prósper, who posits a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel- ‘to protect’, i.e. *su-kel-mó "having a good protection" or *su-kel-mṇ-, an agentive formation meaning "protecting well, providing good protection", with a thematic derivative built on the oblique stem, *su-kel-mn-o-.
Prósper suggests the name would be comparable to the Indic personal name Suśarman-, found in Hindu mythology. The Dagda – a similar figure from Irish mythology. Delamarre, Xavier. Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise. Paris: Éditions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6. Deyts, Simone, ed.. À la rencontre des Dieux gaulois, un défi à César. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux. ISBN 2-7118-3851-X. Duval, Paul-Marie. Les dieux de la Gaule. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France / Éditions Payot. Jufer, Nicole. Répertoire des dieux gaulois. Paris: Éditions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-200-7. Reinach, Salomon. Cultes, mythes et religions
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
Mont Donon is the highest peak in the northern Vosges. It is a Category 2 climb in the Tour de France. On Donon, there is an 80 metre tall lattice tower for TV transmission, its TV transmission antennas are covered by a polymeric cylinder, which gives its structure a characteristic shape. An engraved block of sandstone near the summit commemorates the conception of Victor Hugo. Many archaeological remains of a Gallo-Roman sanctuary have been found on and around the top of the mountain, they are now displayed in the Musée archéologique de Strasbourg. During the earliest stages of World War I, Mount Donon was the site of heavy fighting between German and French troops between 14 August and 22 August 1914 and specially on 21 and 22 August; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed.. "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne