Gallic Deities

 

Abellio
Abnoba
Aericura
Alisanos
Ancamma
Andarta
Arduinna
Artaius
Aveta
Belenus
Borvo
Brigindo
Camulos
Cathubodua
Cernunnos
Epona
Esus
genius cucullatus
Grannus
Lenus
Lugus
Matres
Nantosuelta
Nehalennia
Nemausius
Ogmios
Rigisamus
Ritona
Rosmerta
Rudiobus
Sequana
Sirona
Smetrios
Sucellus
Taranis
Tarvus Tigaranus
Teutates
Vosegus

 

Related pages:
British Deities
Roman Deities

 


 

Abellio
Abellio was a Romano-Celtic god of tree. His name was found in the inscriptions in the Garonne valley, in south-west France.

 

Abnoba
Abnoba was a goddess of the forest and river. Abnoba is a Romano-Celtic goddess who was popular in the Black Forest (in Germany).

 

Aericura
Aericura was chthonic god of the underworld. Aericura is a Romano-Celtic (Gallic) god, known only from inscriptions.

 

Alisanos
Alisanos was a local chthonic god of the earth. His name was in inscriptions found in the region of Côte d’Or, east-central France.

 

Ancamma
Ancamma or Ancama was the Romano-Celtic goddess of water. Her inscriptions were found at region of Trier, in south western Germany. There is a sanctuary at the spring, in Möhn, where it was dedicated to her and Smetrios.

 

Andarta
Andarta was the Gallic goddess of fertility. Andarta was the patron goddess of the Vocantii tribe. She should not be confused with the British goddess of war, Andrasta.

 

Arduinna
Arduinna was the Gallic goddess of the forest and hunting, which the Romans had identified her with Diana (Artemis). Arduinna had been depicted in art, riding on the back of a wild boar. She seemed to be popular around the Ardennes region.
Related Information
Related Articles
Diana.

 

Artaius and Artio
Artaius or Artio was the bear god in Gaul (France), particularly in present-day Switzerland. The Romans had identified Artaius with Mercury.

Some scholars believed that King Arthur may have originally being a god, and was derived from the Gallic god Artaius. Though, Artaius had also been identified with another Welsh figure, named Gwydion.

The female form of this deity was Artio or Dea Artio, the bear-goddess. There’s a Roman statutte of Artio, now housed in the Historisches Museum, in Bern. The art depicted the goddess seated, facing a bear.

Related Information
Name
Artaius, Artaios – “bear-god” (Gallic).
Artio – “bear-goddess.
Gwydyon, Gwydion (Welsh).
Mercury (Roman).
Arthur, Artorius, Artu.
Related Articles
Mercury, Gwydion, Arthur.

Artio

Artio
Roman statue AD 200
Historisches Museum, Bern

 

Aveta
Aveta was the goddess of birth. She was also the patron goddess of midwifery. At Toulon-sur-Allier (France), the clay figurines are the main source of information to Aveta. She was depicted with infants suckling her breast.

 

Belenus
Belenus was one of the most ancient of Celtic gods. Apart from his fire festival called Beltane, was held on the May 1, and that his name means “Bright One”, suggested that he was a fire or a sun god. However there was every little evidence that he was sun god, nor was the festival held to worship the sun.

Belenus was a popular deity, particular in Italy, Noricum (Switzerland and Austria) and Gaul (France). The Romans equated Belenus with the Greek/Roman god, Apollo, who was also the god of light and healing.

Belenus was associated with Irish deity named Bilé (Bile), the consort of the goddess Danu. The Welsh literature called him Beli, husband of Don (Danu). Both Bilé and Beli were actually the god of death and darkness. Therefore, they were more closer to Dis Pater or Pluto, the god of the dead and the Underworld.

Related Information
Name
Bright One“.
Belenus, Bel (Gallic).
Bile, Bilé (Irish).
Beli (Welsh).
Related Articles
Bilé, Beli, Danu. Don.

 

Borvo
Borvo was the Gallic god of healing. Borvo was also identified with therapeutic spring and mineral bath.

 

Brigindo
Brigindo was the Gallic goddess, also called Brigandu. She was a popular goddess throughout the Celtic world. Brigindo was the goddess of arts, crafts, fertility, and possibly of war. Her name means “Exalted One” or “High One”.

The Imbolc was a pagan spring festival held in her honour on February 1.

Brigit or Brigid was the Irish equivalent of Brigindo. In Britain she was called Brigantia, where the Celts living in northern region of England was named after her. The Romans had identified her as Minerva (Athena).

Related Information
Name
“Exalted One”
“High One”
Brigindo, Brigandu (Gallic).
Brigit, Brigid (Irish).
Brigantia (British).
Minerva (Roman).
Related Articles
Brigit, Brigantia, Minerva.

 

Camulos
Camulos (Camulus) was a Romano-Celtic god of war. The Romans associated Camulos with Mars (Ares), the Roman god of war.

Though, a British city Camulodunum (Colchester, in Essex) was named after Camulos, Camulos was the tribal god of the Remi, a Gallic tribe living in Belgium, Netherland and Germany, particularly near the cities of Mogontiacum (Mainz) and Rindern.

The wild boar was his symbol. Camulos was said to have wield an invincible sword. Coins found in Camulodunum, depicted the god with ram-horns.

Related Information
Name
Camulos, Camulus (Romano-Celtic).
Related Articles
Mars.

 

Cathubodua
Cathubodua was the Continental goddess of war similar to the Irish Badb Catha (see Morrigan).

 

Cernunnos
Cernunnos was the Horn One, because he worn antlers of the stag on his head. He was often called the “Lord of the Wild Things”.

He was clearly a god of nature, and probably of fertility of animals and agriculture. Cernunnos was also god of grains and fruits.

Cernunnos was equated with another god with stag-like antlers on his head, Belatucadnos, a British god of war. The Romans associated Cernunnos with their god Mercury (Hermes), though Julius Caesar associated him with Dis Pater, cthlonic god of the underworld. The early Christians associated Cernunnos as the Devil or Anti-Christ, because of pagan ritual.

The worship of Cernunnos can be found in the France, Alps, Italy, and in Britain. The most famous depiction of Cerrunnos can be found on the Gundestrup Cauldron (c. 1st century BC).

Related Information
Name
Horned One“,
Lord of All Wild Things“.
Cernunnos, Cerunnus.
Belatucadnos (British).
Mercury (Roman).
Related Articles
Belatucadnos, Mercury (Hermes).

 

Epona
Epona was the a Romano-Celtic goddess of horses. Epona was known throughout Continental Europe, particularly worshipped by the Gauls in France and Italy. Her cult would later spread to Britannia (Britain).

The Roman adopted the Gallic goddess as the patron-goddess of cavalrymen, and was the only Celtic deity to be worshipped in Rome; annual festival in Epona’s honour on December 18. She can be found in arts in both Celtic and Roman world.

Epona was also called Bubona. In the Moselle valley, the name Eponabus indicated triple goddesses.

Epona was associated with the later Welsh horse-goddess, Rhiannon and the Irish goddess Macha.

Statuttes usually depicted her riding a horse side-saddle, sometimes accompanied with a dog and bird.

Related Information
Name
Epona, Bubona – “Horse-Goddess” (Romano-Celtic).
Macha (Irish).
Rhiannon (Welsh).
Related Articles
Macha, Rhiannon.

Epona

Epona
Stone statuette,
2nd century AD
Museum of Alesia, Alesia

 

Esus
Esus’ name means “Lord” or “Master”. Esus was the husband of Rosmerta.

Esus was identified with the Roman god Mercury (Hermes).

The Roman poet Lucan mentioned (in the Pharsalia, Book I) Esus along with two other gods – Taranis and Teutates. Blood sacrifices were made to all three gods among the Ligurian and Treveri tribes. Esus was the god associated with blood-sacrifice and hanging.

For some reason, he was depicted with three birds and a bull.

Related Information
Name
Esus – “Lord“.
Esus, Hesus (Gallic).
Mercury (Roman).
Sources
The Pharsalia was written by Lucan.
Related Articles
Rosmerta, Taranis, Teutates, Mercury.

Esus

Esus
Stone carving from the Ara Nautae,
found under Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris
Musée du Moyen Age, Cluny (Paris)

 

genius cucullatus
genius cucullatus, which mean the “Hooded One” are somewhat of mysterious figure. The hooded cloak is called cucullus.

Stone and clay statuettes and stone-carvings of genius cucullatus have been found in both Continental Europe and Britain.

The length of the hooded cloak varied from the head to waist or covered from head all the way to his/her ankles, where only their face, ankles and feet are exposed. More often than not, the figures have footwear on their feet. Only a few images have the hoods pushed back to their shoulders.

Who are these hooded figures? There seemed to be many speculations and theories on genius cucullatus, and their attributes remained a mystery to this day.

Even the gender of the figures are difficult to determine. Some seemed to be clearly male, while others indicate to be female, but usually their sex are ambiguous. However, there are number of clay figures found in the Moselle regions, where they wear moustaches to indicate they are male, are obvious signs to their gender.

What other gods they appeared with and what they hold in their hands may give us the signs of their attributes. They sometimes appeared either singular or as triplet, with the mother goddess (eg. Rosmerta), suggested that they are connected with healing and fertility; and if they are holding a fruit or a money bag, then it would symbolise fertility and prosperity. Statuettes found near springs would indicate that they were deities of healing, since water was symbol of health and healing, such as the thermal bath at Aque Sulis (Bath). Swords may indicated they are guardians or in the case where appear next to Lenus, god of healing, would indicate they are protection against disease.

The genius cucullatus has been confused with another hooded figure, Telesphorus, who appeared in Greek/Roman myths as the son of Asclepius. However, Telesphorus, usually appeared bare-footed, holding a scroll in hold hand. But since Romans have conquered and settled in the provinces, it is sometimes difficult to determined are Telesphorus or genius cucullatus. If there are three hooded figures, then we can safely say they are Celtic. The difficulties is to determining the singular figure.

More frequently objects found in Britain are usually grouped in three (genii cucullati), found in north near the Hadrain’s Wall and in southwest in Gloustershire. While those found in Gaul and the Rhine regions tends to be singular figure. The genii cucullati found in Gaul, often appeared in dwarfish size.

Related Information
Name
genius cucullatus (singular),
genii cucullati (plural).
Related Articles
Rosmerta, Lenus, Asclepius.

genii cucullati

genii cucullati (Hooded Ones)
Stone relief, AD 225
found at Housesteads (Bercovicium), Northumberland, England
Housesteads Museum

 

Grannus
Grannus was the Romano-Celtic god of healing and the spring.

Grannus was widely worshipped in Continental Europe. Mineral springs in Brittany, Aix-la-Chapelle, Grand (Vosges, eastern France), and Trier (in Germany) were all sacred to Grannus. There are some artefacts found where he was depicted beside the goddess Sirona, who was also the goddess of healing spings.

Grannus was associated with Apollo as Apollo Granni.

Related Information
Related Articles
Apollo, Sirona.

Sirona and Grannus
2nd century AD
Musée archéologique de Dijon, Burgundy, France

 

Lenus
Lenus was the Celtic god of healing, worshipped by the Celts throughout Continental Europe, but particularly by the Treveri, where inscriptions were found.

The Romans later adopted Lenus, calling him Lenus Mars.

Related Information
Name
Lenus.
Lenus Mars (Roman).
Related Articles
Mars.

 

Lugus
Lugus was one of the most popular deities to Celts. Several cities were named after him, Lugdunum (Lyon) in southern France, Lugdunum Batavorum (Leiden) in the Netherland, and Luguvallium (Carlisle) in northern England. Lugus was also worshipped in several sites on the Spanish province of Tarraconensis (including the tribes of Gallaeci, Astures, Cantabri and Celtiberians.

Lugus was the god of light or of the sun, where the Romans identified him with their god Apollo. With skill in many crafts, he was also identified with another Roman god, Mercury (Hermes).

Related Information
Name
Lugus, Lugos (Gallic).
Lugh, Lug (Irish).
Lleu (Wales).
Apollo (Greco-Roman); Mercury (Roman).
Related Articles
Lugh, Lleu. Mercury.

Borvo

God of Bouray (Lugus?)
1st century AD
Museum of St-Germain-en-Laye, France

 

Matres
Matres was a triad of mother goddesses, worshipped through much of Continental Europe, especially around the Rhine regions.

There were numerous images and figurines of the mother goddesses, such as carrying or suckling children. They were also seen carrying the cornucopia or basket of fruit. The cornucopia was a symbol of prosperity and fertility.

They were household deities that guarded against diseases and famines. There were indication that they were goddesses of healing, which were symbolised by the dogs at their feet.

The Matres were known as the Treverae among the Treveri tribe around modern day Trier (west Germany), and at Nimes (southern France) they were called the Nemausicae.

The Romans had equated Matres with Terra Mater and the Germanic goddess Nerthus.

Related Information
Name
Matres – “mother”
Deane Matres, Matronae.
Treverae (at Trier).
Nemausicae (at Nimes).
Terra Mater (Roman); Nerthus (Germanic).
Related Articles
Terra Mater, Nerthus.

Matronae

Matronae or Matres
Stone relief, 2nd century AD
Mümling-Grumbach, Odenwald, Germany

 

Nantosuelta
Nantosuelta was the Gallic goddess of nature, valley and streams. She was the consort of Sucellus, the god of fertility or prosperity.

The Gaul craftsmen depicted Nantosuelta holding a pole surmounted by dove-cote. Nantosuelta was a mother goddess or fertility goddess because she was seen carrying a cornucopia.

Her symbol was also the raven, which linked her with the dead and the Underworld.

Related Information
Name
Nantosuelta – “Winding River”.
Related Articles
Sucellus.

 

Nehalennia
Nehalennia was the Romano-Celtic goddess worshipped around the region of the Netherlands. Nehalennia was the goddess of seafarers, and was the tribal goddess of the Morini.

Nehalennia was depicted standing on prow of a boat, holding either an oar or rope in her hands. Nehalennia was also seen carrying a cornucopia or a basket of fruits, which symbolised fertility, and suggesting she was the goddess of fertility.

 

Nemausius
Nemausius was a Roman-Celtic god of the sacred spring at Nimes, in southern France. Nimes was a capital of one of the Gallic tribe who lived in the region around the spring.

 

Ogmios
Ogmios was a Gallic god known for his strength. The Romans identified Ogmios as Hercules (Heracles to the Greeks), wearing a cloak made of lion’s hide, carrying a club and bow.

Ogmios also appeared as an old man who was followed by a crowd with their ears attached to his mouth by a golden chain. This was to indicate he was the god of eloquence, keeping the crowd spellbound with his oratory.

Ogmios was identified as the Irish god Ogma (Oghma). Ogma was the son of the goddess Danu and Dagda. He was the god of eloquence and poetry.

Related Information
Name
Ogmios, Ogmius, Ogamius (Gallic).
Ogma (Irish).
Hercules (Roman).
Related Articles
Ogma. Hercules.

Ogmios

Ogmios
(Sorry, no information available)

 

Rigisamus
A Celtic god of war. Rigisamus or Rigonmetis had been assimilated with the Roman god of war, Mars (Ares). Perhaps, it is an epithet to the Gaulish Mars.
Related Information
Related Articles
Mars.

 

Ritona
Goddess of rivers and fords. Ritona was a Romano-Celtic goddess, associated with the Treveri tribe. Inscriptions are found in this region.

 

Rosmerta
Rosmerta was a fertility goddess. Rosmerta was depicted as woman carry basket of fruit, possibly Cornucopia, suggests that she was goddess of abundance. She was sometimes seen as carrying a two-headed axe.

Rosmerta was the wife of Mercury. Rosmerta was associated with Maia, who was the mother of Mercury. Rosmerta was popular in Gaul (France).

Related Information
Name
Rosmerta – “Great Provider”.
Related Articles
Esus, Mercury.

Rosmerta

Rosmerta
Statue
Clermont-Ferrand, France

Rosmerta of Champoulet-Loiret

Rosmerta of Champoulet
Statue found Champoulet-Loiret
Museum of St-Germain-en-Laye, France

 

Rudiobus
Rudiobus was the Gallic god of the horses. Inscription was found at Neuvy-en-Sullias, which included the depiction of a stallion.

 

Sequana
A river goddess. Sequana was a tutelary goddess of the Sequanae tribe, who occupied territory between the Saône, Rhône and Rhine rivers. Sequana was also a goddess of healing.

She had been depicted wearing diadem, standing on a boat with her arms spread out.

 

Sirona
Goddess of healing springs. Judging by the number of sites dedicated to Sirona, from Brittany in the west to Hungary in the east, she was a popular goddess.

Artefacts have being found where she was depicted alone or with the god Grannus (Apollo Grannus), who was also the god of healing and of healing springs.

A shrine found in Hochscheid of the Moselle valley, Sirona was depicted as a seated goddess, wearing a diadem on her head, a dog resting on her lap, a snake entwined around her right arm, while she was holding three eggs. The snake is often a symbol of healing in ancient civilizations or culture, while the eggs clearly symbolized fertility.

Icons of her were also found in Mainz and in Sainte-Fontaine. In the former she holds grapes in her hand, in the later, she was in possession of grains and fruits.

Related Information
Name
Sirona, Divona, Dirona.
Related Articles
Grannus.

Sirona and Grannus
2nd century AD
Musée archéologique de Dijon, France

 

Smetrios
Smetrios or Smetrius was the Gallic god of war. Smetrios was the tutelary deity of the Treveri.

It is possible that Smetrios is not a name of individual god, rather that it is a title or epithet used by several Gaulish gods, such as Cernunnos, Esus and Tarvus Trigaranus.

Smetrios was said to be depicted as a bearded god holding a rearing snake in one hand, while the other hand held either a club or a firebrand. Smetrios has been identified with the Roman god Mars (Ares) and Hercules (Heracles). He was referred to sometimes as Mars Smetrius.

At Möhn, near Trier, there was a large temple enclosing a sacred spring, sacred to Smetrios and his consort, Ancamma, a water goddess. Because of the spring and the meaning of his name, which possibly means “Provider”, Smetrios was a god of healing spring and god of plenty.

Outside of Gaul, his name can be found on invocation at Grossbach, Austria.

Related Information
Name
Smetrios, Smetrius – “Provider” or “Abdundance”.
Related Articles
Ancamma, Cernunnos, Esus, Tarvus Trigaranus, Mars (Ares), Hercules (Heracles.

 

Sucellus
Sucellus was possibly the god of feast and providence. His consort was Nantosuelta, the goddess of nature and water.

Sucellus was depicted carrying a long-handed hammer and a cauldron, suggesting that those who invoked his name, either ask him for protection or provision. This sort of associated him with the Irish god, Dagda, because Dagda’s weapon was a huge club on wheels, and he also possessed a magic cauldron.

Sucellus was also seen accompanied by a raven and a three-headed dog. These link him to the funerary practice.

Sucellus was possibly also the god of the woodland and agriculture (fertility). He was therefore equated with the Roman woodland god Silvanus.

Related Information
Name
Sucellus – “Good Striker”.
Related Articles
Nantosuelta, Dagda.

Sucellus

Sucellus
Bronze statuette
from Prémeaux (France)

 

Taranis
Since Taranis’ name means “Thunderer”, Taranis was identified with the Germanic god Donar and with the Roman god Jupiter. His name suggests that he was the god of rain, storm and thunder. His symbol was the spoke wheel.

Taranis was one of three gods mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan; the other gods were Esus and Teutates. His sacrificial victims (human?) were placed in a wicker image before it was burn.

Related Information
Name
Taranis – “Thunderer”.
Jupiter (Roman).
Sources
The Pharsalia was written by Lucan.
Related Articles
Esus, Teutates, Jupiter (Zeus).

Taranis

Taranis
Bronze statuette

 

Tarvus Trigaranus
Tarvus Trigaranus was the Gallic bull god. Almost nothing is known about Tarvus Trigaranus, except for some images of him as a bull, on some stone carvings.

During the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius, boatmen from the Seine River, near Paris erected a monument, which depicted several gods, including Esus, Tarvus, Jupiter and Vulcanus. At Dorchester, England, it depicted Tarvus as a bull with three cranes perched on his back. Some show Tarvus as a bull with three horns.

Related Information
Name
Tarvus, Travos.
Tarvus Trigaranus – “Tarvus of the Three Cranes”.

Tarvus Trigaranus

Tarvus Trigaranus
Stone carving from the Ara Nautae found under Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris
Musée du Moyen Age, Cluny (Paris)

 

Teutates
Teutates, whose name means “God of the People”, was mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan, who identified him with the Roman gods – Mars (Ares) or Mercury (Hermes). Teutates was seen as the god of war, wealth and fertility.

Lucan mentioned Teutates along with Esus and Taranis, whom the Gauls (Ligurian and Treveri tribes) practiced blood sacrificial rites. Teutates was associated with rites in which his victims were drowned in sacrificial lake.

Related Information
Name
Teutates – “God of the People”.
Teutates, Toutates (Gallic).
Totatis (British).
Mars (Ares), Mercury (Hermes).
Sources
The Pharsalia was written by Lucan.
Related Articles
Esus, Taranis.

 

Vosegus
Vosegus was an eponym or personification of the Vosges, a region with mountains and forests in eastern France. Vosegus was a god of nature or the animals in that region. Vosegus had been depicted carrying a pig under his arm.