Drowned Cities and Disappearing Islands - Common Motifs in Celtic Folklore

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Man in otherworld loaded down with wood. Then more and more put on him. People in otherworld pour water into tub full of holes. Trying to get a beam through a door crosswise in otherworld. People in otherworld with horses both before and behind wagon. They pull against each other. Man in otherworld kindles fire. It burns out repeatedly while he is gathering more wood. Thatch blows away while they go for more. Demon eats sand; gambler lives wretched life in otherworld. No time, no birth, no death in otherworld.

Hartland Science No gloom, no envy, etc. Otherworld land of happiness. Hero carried off to otherworld by his supernatural wives. Hero fights in otherworld and overcomes king queen , or fairy. Automatic service in otherworld: any sort of food desired furnished. Fairies elves. Schreiber Die Feen in Europa Freiburg i. Pixies little people unseen but often audible and occasionally caught.

Roughly equivalent to fairies. Generally malevolent, but often not. Fairyland under hollow knoll. Usually entered under roots of trees. Prehistoric burial mounds as dwellings of fairies. Contrast between people of the fairy mounds and inhabitants of the Land of Promise. Entrance to fairyland through door in knoll. Door to fairyland opens once a year. Fairyland under water. Fairyland entered through well. Fairyland on island. Magic boat to fairyland. Clouston Tales I ff. Fairies ferried across stream.

Fairies live in trees by stream. Fairies have a pretty room in hill. Fairy castle. Dickson n. Fairies have hollow backs. Fairies have breasts long enough to throw over their shoulders. Fairy as a small pretty girl with blond hair. Cheremis: Sebeok-Nyerges. Green fairy. Wimberly n. Fairies have yellow golden hair clothing. Fairy in form of an animal. Fairy in form of cow bull. Scotch: Macdougall and Calder ff. Fairy in form of stag. Fairy in form of worm snake, serpent. Fairy in form of bird.

Fairy in form of hag. Fairy assumes shape of woman and frequents bazaars. Horse used by mortal under fairy spell changes to gray cat. Scotch: Macdougall and Calder Fairies invisible. Tobler 94f. Fairies visible only at night. Fairies visible to one person alone. Fairies made visible through use of ointment. Fairies made visible through use of magic soap.

Scotch: Macdougall and Calder ; England: Baughman. Fairies made visible through use of magic stone on eyes. Fairies made visible through use of magic water. Fairies made visible when one carries four-leaf clover. Fairies made visible when person steps into fairy ring. F, F Fairies lose power of invisibility if mortals gain knowledge of their secret. Fairies made visible by looking with left eye. Fairies made visible when person walks three times around field where cows are grazing at night.

England: Baughman. Fairies in red clothes. Fairies in white clothes. Fairies in gleaming clothes. Fairy in green clothes. Fairies with red caps. Fairy women identical in form and feature. Fairies ride white horses. English: Child I , , , f. Fairies ride dapple-gray horses.

English: Child I , , Baughman. Fairy horse pulls chariot by pole which passes through his body. Fairies steal stalks of hemp and turn them into horses. Scotland: Baughman. Fairies have red cows. Fairies have herds of deer. Fairy boat. Christianized fairy woman refuses to eat fairy food.

Animals eaten by fairies become whole again. England, Ireland, U. Fairy shows hiding place of treasure in return for freedom. Ireland: Baughman. Fairy fetches mortals to remove treasure hidden by ghosts in their lifetimes. Wales: Baughman. Fairies scare treasure-seeker away from hoard. They get bigger and bigger, and cause violent storms until seeker leaves. Fairies as souls of departed.

Hartland Science f. Unbaptized children as fairies. Underworld people from children which Eve hid from God. Fairies as fallen angels. Irish myth: Cross; Scotland, Ireland, U. Fairies are people not good enough for heaven but not bad enough for hell. Fairies are Welsh women cursed by St. Patrick for rebuking him because he left Wales for Ireland. Fairy king.

Keightley 50ff. Mortal rules fairyland jointly with fairy king. Fairy queen. Keightley The Fairy Mythology London, 53ff. Soldiers of fairy king are trees by day and men by night. Fairies possess extraordinary strength. Fairies must trade whenever it is demanded of them. It does not matter how uneven the trade may be. Fairies can set down an object once but cannot raise it again. Swiss: Jegerlehner Oberwallis No. Fairies once seen by mortals no longer invisible at will. Fairies do not bend grass as they walk. Maori: Beckwith Myth Tribute taken from fairies by fiend at stated periods.

English: Child V s. Fairies freed from disgrace by bathing in blood of enemy. Fairy reveals her true identity when despite heavy rain she remains dry. Fairies dance. Fairy rings on grass. Seen after fairy dance. Fairy dances in snow: no tracks left. Finnish-Swedish: Wessman 50 No. Fairies dance on leaves without disturbing them. Cook Islands: Beckwith Myth Fairies make music. Fairies sing. Fairy music--person listening is without food or sleep for a year. Fairy music so potent it would cause wounded men to sleep. Fairy music makes seven years seem like one day to mortal hearer.

Fairies feast. Fairy bathes. Hoffman-Krayer Zs. XXV n. Fairies warm themselves. Burial service for fairy queen is held at night in Christian church. Fairies lacking axes work with their teeth. Hawaii: Beckwith Myth Fairies build great structures in one night.

Fairies excavate passage. Fairies skillful as smiths. Fairies bleach linen. Fairies wash their clothes: they are heard only at this task. Fairies descend chimney. Fairies fight among selves for possession of island. Eyes with wood, etc. English: Child I passim. Fairies come from the kingdom of Indra to earth in four flying thrones. Marriage or liaison with fairy. Fairy lover. Girl summons fairy lover by wishing for him. English: Child I 6ff. Girl summons fairy lover by plucking flowers. English: Child I n.

Girl summons fairy lover by lying under tree. Elf-knight produces love-longing by blowing on horn. English: Child I 15ff. Tasks set maid by elfin knight before she can marry him. Elf-knight entices maiden away and kills her. English: Child I 47; Japanese: Ikeda. Girl goes to see her fairy lover on certain nights.

Type III. Fairy mistress. Mortal man marries or lives with fairy woman. Man goes to fairyland and marries fairy. Mortals supplied with fairy mistresses during visit to fairyland. Mortal gives fairy ring after night spent with her in fairyland. Man marries fairy and takes her to his home.

S. Thompson. Motif-index of folk-literature

Fairy wife deserts mortal husband for repulsive lover. Fairy entices man into fairyland. Bonga girl fairy will return stolen goods only if mortal man will go with her. Fairies stop ship to entice man to their land. Man is carried to fairyland by fairy and marries her. Fairy abducts whomever she falls in love with. Fairy offers gifts to man to be her paramour. Fairy offers to disenchant mortal wife if man will marry her. Fairy avenges self on man who scorns her love.

English: Child I ff. Fairy avenges herself on inconstant lover husband. Fairies entice men and then harm them. Fairies dance with youth till he dies or goes insane. Fairy wooes and deserts man. Fairy takes lover back to fairyland in magic sleep. Fairies fall in love with prince and charm him into a deathlike sleep. Man shoots into wreath of mist and brings down fairy. She becomes his wife. She leaves when she finds them. Hero fights with fairy person, takes his wife and keeps her for a year. Fairy mistress surrenders man to his mortal wife Wildfrau. Bonga girl fairy surrenders man to his mortal wife if he will name first daughter after her.

Man loses luck when he leaves fairy wife for mortal. Fairy mistress demands that man send his mortal wife away. Fairy mistress leaves man when he breaks tabu. See all references to C31, C Mortal beats drum as fairies dance before Indra; is granted fairy wife permanently. Fairy gives up her fairy nature and becomes mortal to be able to return to her mortal husband. Fairy mistress demands mortal lover deny Christian teachings. Prince married to a she-monkey really queen of the fairies.

Wedding of mortal and fairy. Feilberg DF V 45ff. Purification in kettle of boiling oil as preparation for marriage to fairy. Tuti-Nameh 10th Night. Fairy king punishes ravisher of his daughter. English: Child I Beautiful woman found in bed with man after he has plugged keyholes to keep elves out. Tobler 68; Lithuanian: Balys Index No.

Fairy ravished by mortal strikes flesh from his ear. Mortal chooses to sleep with fairy as boon for saving her life. Offspring of fairy and mortal.

The Supernatural Races of the Irish Mythology

Fairy relative makes gifts to half-mortal child. Fairy mother bestows magic powers upon half-mortal son. Offspring of fairy and mortal extraordinarily beautiful. Right half of son resembles mortal father; left half, fairy father. Offspring of fairy and mortal has long hair and beard at birth. Fairy godmother. Attendant good fairy.

Man killed on night when fairy guardian relaxes vigilance. Sometimes the Norns, the Fates, etc. Fairies bestow supernatural gifts at birth of a child. Hartland Science ; Italian Novella: Rotunda. Fairies make good wishes for newborn child. Italian: Basile Pentamerone II 8. Three fairies sent to queen about to give birth to child. Fairy predicts birth of child. Fairy lays curse on child. Fairies carry people away to fairyland.

Fairy steals child from cradle. Fairy steals child from cradle and leaves fairy substitute. Changeling is usually mature and only seems to be a child. Piaschewski Der Wechselbalg Breslau, ; Hdwb. Religionswissenschaft VI ff. Changeling deceived into betraying his age. Changeling betrays his age when his wonder is excited. Usually pottage is boiled in an eggshell.

Meyer Germanische Myth. Changeling plays on pipe and thus betrays his maturity. Changeling dances wild dance to music, betrays maturity. Changeling addresses woman in verse and thus betrays maturity. Changeling shows supernatural power to work and thus betrays maturity. Hartland Science ; England, Scotland: Baughman. Changeling calculates his age by the age of the forest. Threat to throw on fire causes changeling to cry out and betray his nature.

Changeling has abnormal features or growth. Limbs grow too rapidly, head is too big, or he is slow to learn to walk, or the like. Changeling is always hungry, demands food all the time. Changeling is sickly often the fairy exchanged for a baby is an elderly, infirm member of the fairy clan whom the fairies are tired of caring for. Disposing of a changeling. Hartland Science , ff. Changeling thrown into water and thus banished.

Changeling thrown into ravine and thus banished. Scotch: Macdougall and Calder. Changeling thrown on fire and thus banished. Changeling left on hill dunghill, barrow etc. Hartland Science , f. When changeling is threatened with burning, child is returned. Changeling beaten and left outside; the mortal child is returned. Mortal mother pays no attention to changeling; the mortal child is returned. Mother treats changeling so well that her own child is returned.

Changeling made to believe that his house is burning up; he leaves. Water fairy changeling kept out of water too long, dies. Charms against theft of children by fairies. Man goes to fairyland and rescues stolen child. Unbaptized child stolen by fairies found in barn and rescued. Beggar returns to his mother child stolen by fairies. Fairies appear in house and offer to dance with child. England: Baughman F Woman carried off by water-fairy. Changeling bride. Fairies steal bride and leave a substitute. Hartland Science , ; U. Fairy borrows comb from Christian maid to comb hair of changeling bride.

Man rescues his wife from fairyland. Stolen mother returns from fairyland each Sunday to minister to her children. Girl borrows comb and mirror from bonga fairy : carried to fairyland when she returns them. Fairies kidnap boy when he breaks tabu by going outside mansion under earth before 12 years. Fairies carry off youth; he has gift of prophecy when he returns to earth Thomas the Rhymer.

Fairies abduct young woman, return her when fight starts over her. Fairies take persons up in air in chariots for a fortnight or a month. The lost are finally found in fields bereft of sense and with one of the members missing. Lost fairy child found by mortals. Fairy child found and cared for, but it pines away. Grateful fairies. Ireland, England, Scotland, U. Fairy grateful for hospitality. Fairy grateful to human midwife.

Hartland Science 55f. Fairy grateful for loan of meal causes the vessel to remain full thereafter. Canada, Scotland, U. Fairies loyal to mortal who owns their knoll. Scotland: Baughman, Macdougall and Calder Fairy grateful to mortal for saving his life. Fairies grateful to man who repairs their utensils or implements. Fairies care for tulip bed out of gratitude to owner for not plucking any of blossoms.

Fairies do all house and farm work for family who returns lost child. Fairies cause all ewes to have two lambs for owner who has returned fairy child. Gifts from fairies. Fairies give fulfillment of wishes. Fairies give three gifts. Rotunda: Italian Novella. Captured water fairy promises to make ugly man beautiful in return for her release. Fairies give mortal money.

Fairy gold. Fairies give coals wood, earth that turns to gold. Man borrows money from fairy dwarf, devil. When the man brings the money back, he learns that the fairy was killed by thunder. He keeps the money. Fairy offers mortal choice of magic objects. Fairies give hunter a dog. Fairy smith gives knight a magic sword. Fairies give beautiful clothes. Fairy leaves goats as purchase price for girl he has carried off. Fairy gives man horses, cattle, etc. Fairy offers man change of form and feature for aid in battle. Golden cup bowl, urn as gifts from otherworld inhabitants. Fairies give haymakers dinner each year until one of men keeps a fairy knife.

They give no more food even though the man returns the knife. Fairy bread must be eaten same day it is given or it turns to toadstools. Japanese: Mitford ff. Fairy physician can heal anyone whose spine is not severed. Fairies give man white powder to cure mortals, replenish his supply whenever needed. Supernatural person poet reveals marital infidelity. Fairy helps mortal with labor. Fairy adviser. Fairy gift disappears or is turned to something worthless when tabu is broken. German: Grimm No. Cup given by fairy not to be broken. Bad luck will follow Luck of Edenhall. Bad luck will follow.

Gifts of gold and silver not to be accepted from fairies. Mortal not to tell secret of gift of inexhaustible meat. Mortal not to thank fairy for gifts. Gifts of the fairies must never be measured or counted. Tabu: mortal for whom fairy works must not watch him at work.

Gift barrel of ale which never runs dry goes dry when maid looks into bunghole. Fairy gifts turn to paper when shown. Theft of money from fairies by joining unperceived in their game of money-throwing. Theft of money from fairies by frightening them away from it. Theft of cup drinking horn from fairies. Theft of cup drinking horn from fairies when they offer mortal drink.

Hartland Science passim; Boberg Festskrift til Hammerich, , Kettle borrowed from fairies and not returned. Saintyves Perrault 83ff. Fairy takes revenge for not being invited to feast. Fairy takes revenge for not being offered food drink. Fairy takes revenge for theft. Fairy recovers stolen cup by posing as a beggar. Fairies cause man to lose his senses after he steals flower while visiting them. Fairies bind man fast to ground after he has attempted to capture fairy prince and princess.

Fairies take revenge on person who spies on them. Spy uses magic salve on one eye. Fairies tear out the eye. Hartland Science 66ff. Andrews Ulster Folklore New York, 66f. II 13 No. Fairies leave work unfinished when overseen. Fairies chase person who watches them dance. Fairies take revenge on trespassers on ground they claim as theirs. Fairies punish girl who pours hot water into their spring. Finnish-Swedish: Wessman 47 No. Fairies take revenge on mortals who hold their king captive.

Fairy takes revenge for slaying of his relatives. Fairies take revenge for being teased. Fairies take revenge on mortals who destroy their homes. Fairy punishes servant girl who fails to leave food for him. Fairies punish mortals who refuse to eat fairy food given them. Fairies punish person who needs punishing because of his treatment of other mortals. Fairies lame miller who throws sod into his kiln where fairies are cooking oatmeal; the oatmeal scalds them.

Fairies take revenge on smith who disturbs them in the smithy when he returns after dark to get medicine. Fairies pinch plowboy who breaks their wooden oven as he plows. Fairy breaks leg of servant girl who tells lies about him. Fairies bathe children in churn when housewife forgets to leave a supply of clear water for the fairies.

Fairy kills dog that refuses to let fairy sleep in stack. Fairy kills man who refuses his hospitality. Man refuses to visit fairy after being invited. Fairies chase man who dares them to come chase him. He barely gets home ahead of them; they drive iron javelin through iron-covered door. Fairy mistress strikes her disobedient human lover on the face and predicts death.

Fairies cause disease. Kittredge Witchcraft 33, , cf. Fairies cause insanity. Fairies, directed by druid, bring about death of king by causing fish-bone to stick in his throat. Brownie Redcap, Redcomb, Bloody Cap murders travelers, catches their blood in his cap. Fairies steal. Fairies steal pieces as mortal plays draughts with fairy woman. Fairies admit calves to cows, depriving children of milk. Destructive fairy drink. Upon returning to earth mortal pours out drink which had been offered by fairies. It burns up whatever it touches.

Fairies lead travelers astray. Canada, England, Ireland, U. Elephants become lean from listening too much to fairy music; cannot graze. Visit to fairyland. BP II Fairies take human nurse to attend fairy child. Fairies take human midwife to attend fairy woman. Old man as godfather to underground folk.

Longing in fairyland to visit home. Mortal as servant in fairyland. I s. Tailor works in fairyland. Lithuanian: Balys Legends No. Supernatural lapse of time in fairyland. Years seem days. Mortal expelled from fairyland for breaking tabu. Tabu: touching ground on return from fairyland. Tabu: bathing or touching water in lake in fairyland. Mortal visiting in fairyland must keep his thought on the fairies.

Tabu: drinking from certain well in fairyland. Person does, finds himself alone on hillside. Tabu: using fairy bath water, soap, or ointment on oneself while bathing fairy child. Tokens brought back by mortal returning from fairyland.


Saint visits king of fairies on invitation of fairy king. Saint sprinkles holy water on fairy king, finds himself alone on hill. Escape from pursuing fairies by strewing path with bananas. Africa Ashanti : Rattray Fairy leaves when he is given clothes. Fairy escaped by learning and using his secrets. Finnish-Swedish: Wessman 56 No. Fairy lured away from house by treasure which he claims. Fairy leaves when druid utters spell that drowns her voice. Fairies leave when people do their needs where they live. Spinning fairies lured away from the house by fire alarm.

Fairies will not approach when dogs are present. Exorcising fairies. Fairies disappear when some name or ceremony of the Christian Church is used. Hartland Science , , , f. Fairies fear the cross. England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, U. Opening Holy Bible in presence of fairies nullifies their spells. Asking grace at fairy banquet causes fairies and banquet to disappear. Fairy unable to cross running stream. Hartland Science ; England, U. Fairy must leave at cockcrow. Fairy prince becomes mortal when surprised by daylight. Fairies leave at rise of morning star. Transformed fairy warriors disenchanted when attacked.

Magic objects powerful against fairies. Salt sprinkled on fairy food renders it harmless. Steel powerful against fairies. Iron powerful against fairies.

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Fairy spell averted by turning coat. This is supposed to reverse the spell. Troublesome bonga fairy pegged to ground and placed under stone. Fairies driven off with fire. Abduction of Christianized fairy woman by fairies prevented by saint. Ox lent fairies must not be worked after sunset. Fairy transforms self to fly, allows self to be swallowed by woman and reborn as fairy. Fairy dissatisfied with fairyland leaves to live among mortals.

Fairy minstrel lives among mortals to learn of their heroic deeds. Fairy woman exhibits her figure to warriors. Is most beautiful of women. Spirits and demons general. Spirits dressed in antique clothes. Waumpaus: monster with huge dog tracks. North Carolina: Brown Collection I Spirits without heads or with heads under arms. Spirit with feet turned wrong way. Evil spirits. Spirit leads person astray. Demons assume human forms in order to deceive. Kittredge Witchcraft f. Demon takes on form of God to deceive faithful. India: Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham.

Spirit devil sent by druids cause death of Christian king. Evil spirit harpoons sleepers. Demon seduces princess as she bathes at seashore. King of demons Asmodeus. Child of demon king marries mortal. Jewish: bin Gorion Born Judas I ff. Demons live in white cliff with hole in it. F India: Thompson-Balys. Spirits live in caves. Mono-Alu: Wheeler 6f, 18f, 32, 34, 39, 41f. Spirits help mortal. Familiar spirits.

Familiar spirit acquired by carrying egg under left arm-pit. Familiar spirit in animal form. Angels as familiar spirits. Act as servants about the house of saints and serve them otherwise. Finnish: Holmberg Finno-Ugric 10f. Spirit gives warning. Spirits teach boy how to sing. Familiar spirit brings news with magic speed. Spirit must speak as soon as addressed. Conjuring spirits. Priest bans spirit with sword. Spirits driven off by knife-thrusts and pistol shots. Spirit demon baffled by scolding and getting last word. Cat, dog, and mouse ward off evil spirit. Man takes these animals along with him as protection.

Dogs protect house from spirits. Grain scattered as a means of dispersing spirits. Spirit leaves when report is made of the death of one of his kind. Spirits leave when report is made of fire at their home. Denied readmittance. Accordingly, all of them, except for Flavia Favilla, are peregrines of Celtic origin in the process of Romanization.

Furthermore, it can be noted that none of the dedicators held official functions in Roman Gaul. From this, it follows that the sanctuary was mostly frequented by local people in Gallo-Roman times and that it must originally have been an indigenous place of devotion. There is no hagiographical tradition concerning the site of the Sources-de-la-Seine, although many stories tell of attempts of saints to overthrow and replace the indigenous gods, religious practices and traditions.

It is nonetheless worth noting that a powerful abbey dedicated to Saint Seine or Sequanus was established in AD ten kilometres south of the pagan sanctuary of Sequana, which was partly destroyed at the end of the 3 rd c. AD during the Germanic invasions.

From that time on, the saint became worshipped in periods of drought. Until the 18 th c, pilgrims came to the source to attend mass and traditionally throw goblets of water. A part of the site was bought by the city of Paris in and transformed into a park, where visitors may now come and throw coins into the sacred spring. Deyts, , pp. An inscription engraved on an altar in grey limestone, probably dating from the 2 nd c. It is dedicated to the goddess Matrona, the personification of the River Marne.

This inscription is highly interesting, for it mentions a sanctuary erected in honour of the goddess Matrona. The dedicator offers the outer wall surrounding the temple in gratitude for the accomplishment of a vow. Excavations carried out by Mr. Devaraigne at the spring of the river revealed no less than twelve rooms, some of which were equipped with hot baths, fragments of paintings in fresco, fragments of marble from the surrounding rocks, a pipe engraved with the initials of the founder of the baths TI. The temple to Matrona, mentioned in the inscription, must have been part of those buildings.

What were the functions of the goddess Matrona, embodiment of the River Marne? First and foremost, her name points to her maternal function. The river is envisaged as a mother who nurtures her people, for it had a significant life-giving and nourishing character insomuch as its waters were full of fishes, irrigated and fertilized the soil, ensuring thus the growth of crops, which in turn provided food for the cattle and the people living on its banks.

It is indeed found in many other mythologies of the world. The fact that the goddess Matrona had a sanctuary, composed of a complex of baths and a temple, built in her honour at the spring of the River Marne tends to indicate that she was also regarded as a goddess possessing salutary virtues. Apart from the baths, there is as yet no archaeological evidence of a curative cult rendered to Matrona.

Neither does the dedication offered by Successus provide proof of such a cult. Even though Successus thanks the goddess for granting his vow, nothing indicates that it is a vow of recovery. Nonetheless, the waters of the River Marne were certainly envisaged as beneficial and salutary, since a complex of baths was erected at its source. The ruins of the Gallo-Roman buildings and the mention of a temple dedicated to Matrona by Succellus prove that pilgrims came to pray to the goddess Matrona and to take the waters of her river. As the site has not been entirely excavated, new investigations could provide further evidence of her cult.

As mentioned above, the river simultaneously symbolizes life and death. The mother-river is the one who gives birth and maintains people alive thanks to her waters, but she is also the one who takes life back when she decides to flood inhabitants, crops and livestock: human beings metaphorically return to her womb, representing thus the eternal cycle of renewal.

Those tomb-boats, called Todtenbaum , i. Saintine reports the discovery of tree trunks containing the remains of human beings in in the Zuyder Zee, an inlet of the North Sea in the north-west of the Netherlands, but he does not give his references. This wooden vessel, dating to the 3rd-1st century BC, was therefore used as a sarcophagus.

The weapons tend to prove that the deceased was an honoured prince or warrior. As Gaston Bachelard, a renowned French philosopher of the first half of the 20th c. This funerary practice is redolent of the belief in the voyage to the Beyond: the boat symbolically brings the deceased to the otherworld, which was believed to be situated under the waters of rivers and lakes. The death-boat is a particularly recurrent theme in the oral tradition of the coast of Brittany. An hour suffices for the crossing, although with their own boats they have difficulty making it in a whole night.

The motif of the death boat is also found in the folklore of Ireland. There are traditions in many coastal parts of Ireland concerning phantom ships or boats seen at sea. Also they can be seen after a shipwreck, in which case they are definitely taking away the souls of the drowned people. These phantom vessels are sometimes lit up. Those discoveries thus prove that the river-goddess, in addition to her virtues of fertility and healing, must have had a funerary function. As a mother, she protected her people both in life and in the afterlife, and ensured their voyage to the otherworld.

Reinach, , p. AD, the form Souconna had changed into Sauconna. The name then evolved into Saogonna or Sagonna in the 7 th c. The meaning of Souconna remains obscure. This tends to prove that the cult of the goddess Souconna was prior to the Roman invasion. It is interesting to note that Soucona, Saucona and Sagona are variants of the same name, which would explain why the goddess Souconna was honoured in the village of Sagonne, near the brook of the Sagonin.

At this place, archaeologists also unearthed a bronze Gaulish coin, with a curly head on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse, five small bronze coins with the effigies of Tetricus AD , Constantinus I AD , Valentinienus I and his brother Valens , fragments of sculpted stones, statues and several hands and arms, which might point to a healing cult, but this remains hypothetical, since the objects are now lost. A small boat, an upside-down urn with water flowing from it, and a trident, are situated at her feet on the right-hand side.

On account of those attributes, which symbolize water, the goddess is clearly the personification of a river. The name of the river then evolved to Ingauna in the 6 th c. The inscription, which is now lost, was engraved on a square altar. The dedicator bears Latin names and the tria nomina of Roman citizens. The significance of the name of Icauni is unknown. There is besides an Istrian goddess of springs and fountains named Ica or Ika, attested near Fianona and Lovran Croatia. Pieces of broken Gaulish vases and fifteen Gaulish coins, such as a coin in silver of the Aedui, were found within a radius of one kilometre.

This provides evidence that Celtic people already frequented this place of devotion before the Roman invasion. It is likely that the Gallo-Roman monument was built over an ancient Celtic place of worship, marked out by an offering well or by a wooden fence. In view of the sanctuaries of the goddess Sequana unearthed at the Sources-de-la Seine and of Matrona at the spring of the River Marne, it is tempting to think that this shrine was dedicated to the goddess of the River Yonne, whose existence is attested by the inscription from Auxerre.

The goddess Verbeia is mentioned in a single inscription engraved on an altar, discovered before at a place known as Stubham Lodge, near Ilkley Yorkshire, GB. It was notably an emblem of the otherworld, death, medicine and fertility. Now in the Parish Church of Ilkley. Rinaldi Tufi, , pl. We have seen that the worship of river-goddesses in Celtic and Gallo-Roman times is widely attested in the epigraphy of Gaul and Britain, and in the ancient literature of Ireland. The fact that the goddess is eponymous of the river proves that she was envisaged as the personification of the river.

While the Irish medieval texts indicate that Irish river-goddesses incarnated wisdom and were believed to bestow mystical knowledge on the ones who drank their waters, archaeology evidences that Gaulish river-goddesses were worshipped as healers, who brought relief to pilgrims through their salutary waters. In Gaul, moreover, the healing function was not only attributed to goddesses of rivers. Many wells, fountains and springs were worshipped and put under the patronage of goddesses, who seem to have also fulfilled that role in view of the archaeological context or the curative properties of the waters.

Archaeological evidence from Gaul and Britain proves that the worship of water was not limited to river-goddesses: many a fountain and healing spring was embodied and presided over by a goddess. What were the functions of those fountain and spring-goddesses? How were they revered and by whom? The first part will deal with goddesses presiding over local fountains or wells, which do not seem to have had any particular mineral or therapeutic virtues in ancient times, and the second part will analyse goddesses whose cult is attached to thermal waters.

A cast of the inscription was taken in from a lithograph drawn by Jollois and is now in the same museum. Debal, , p. This inscription mentions that the dedicator had a portico built in recognition of the fulfilment of a vow. The portico might have been part of a religious edifice erected in honour of Acionna, but no archaeological data provide evidence of such a monument in the area. The dedicator Capilliushas a Roman name, but is not a Roman citizen, since he bears the unique name. As for his father, he has a Gaulish name: Illiomarus, which is composed of illio —?

In paying homage to a Celtic goddess, Capillius however shows his attachment to his indigenous roots and cults. The first excavations brought to light a big quadrilateral basin, a small duct harnessing the spring and a well 3. The two fragments being very damaged, their reconstitution is uncertain. The first one reads: [Aug. Aci]onn a e [ … e]t Epade[textorigi. According to Delamarre, it is based on a root aci -, the meaning of which is unknown.

BC, Axuenna in the 3 rd c. The phrase V. Moreover, the waters do not have any mineral or thermal virtues today. The fact that her name can be connected to the River Aisne, situated to the north-east of Paris, might nonetheless indicate a wider cult. The goddess name Icovellauna is known from two inscriptions and three fragments of inscriptions discovered in Le Sablon, a village situated to the south of Metz Moselle , in the territory of the Mediomatrici, and from a dedication found in Trier Germany , in the territory of the Treveri.

The five inscriptions to the goddess Icovellauna were discovered in an underground octagonal well, six metres in diameter, dating from the Gallo-Roman period, excavated between and in the sand-quarry of Le Sablon fig. The first inscription is engraved on a bronze plaque with two holes in the top left- and right-hand corners, which served to hang the plaque on the wall of the well, and leave it as an ex-voto for the goddess. It seems that it was originally gilded, but copper oxide almost entirely covered the plaque when it was discovered. It might have been the coin at the effigy of Constantine beginning of the 4 th c.

AD found near to the bronze plaque. AD or the beginning of the 3 rd c. The phrase v. Lacroix, , p. AD found near the dedication. The reconstitution of the inscription, which is damaged on the left side, remains tentative: [Deae] Icov ellaunae maxi mus Licini us magister vic i? Finally, a dedication engraved on a stone was discovered in in Trier, in the territory of the Treveri, who neighboured the Mediomatrici.

The dedications prove that the spring of Le Sablon was under the patronage of the goddess Icovellauna, who probably healed people through the restorative qualities of her waters. This inscription also suggests that Icovellauna was not only a local goddess protecting the spring of Le Sablon but a goddess presiding over waters in general.

This hypothesis, however, remains conjectural for lack of evidence. The goddess Mogontia is known from a single inscription engraved on a small quadrangular altar in white stone, found in in the sand quarry of Mey, situated about metres to the west of the octogonal well of Le Sablon dedicated to goddess Icovellauna, in the territory of the Mediomatrici. The dedicator Julius Paternus bears Latin names. He is a tabellarius , that is a messenger or bearer of letters. The public tabellarii were hired by the tax department, either to work for the postal service — since its reorganization by Augustus — or in the service of some public offices, while the private tabellarii were servants, working for the emperors or particular people.

Contrary to the private messengers, the public messengers generally bore a qualification indicating their specific role and position. As Julius Paternus does not have a particular qualification, he certainly belonged to the private class of the tabellarii and was the messenger of some private individual. It is worth noting that the name Paternus appears again on one of the stairs of the sacred well of Le Sablon presided over by Icovellauna — his name was roughly engraved, probably with a knife. In the Museum of Metz. CAG, She has some analogies with the names of certain British and Gaulish gods.

This convinces some commentators that Mogons was a title applied to several deities rather than the signifier of a single god. As he is associated with Apollo Granus in one inscription, he might have been a healing god, but this remains to be proved. The god cannot thus shed light on the possible functions and character of the goddess Mogontia. The inscription is the following: [Matris? In keeping the name of his father and in paying homage to Celtic goddesses, the dedicator shows that despite his Romanization he is still attached to his ancient cults and beliefs.

The place of discovery of the inscription and the dedication itself do not bring any significant information on the character of the goddess Mogontia. It is therefore difficult to determine what her functions were in ancient times. As the inscribed stone was unearthed near to the water shrine of Le Sablon, it is possible that both Icovellauna and Mongotia were worshipped at this spring. Mongotia could therefore have been a goddess of salutary waters.

As for Jullian, Holder, Bourgeois and Olmsted, Mongotia would have been the eponymous goddess of the city of Mogontiacum, later called Mogontia the present-day Mayence, in Germany , which is located about kms from Metz. Various etymologies have been proposed for her name, but it remains difficult to determine its significance and whether it is Celtic or not.

This theory however clearly does not suit the nature and structure of the shrine.

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Finally, Norah Joliffe suggests that Coventina could be a goddess of a conventus , that is a community of German soldiers implanted at the Fort, but Allason-Jones argues that that is rather unlikely. Watercolour by F. Mossman, Clayton, , plate I. The various offerings are composed of inscriptions honouring the goddess; sculptures; jewellery such as brooches 10 , finger-rings 14 , hairpins 2 , bracelets 5 and glass beads; animal bones; lead; leather and other objects.

These clearly evidence that the waters were worshipped and placed under the patronage of Coventina. The inscriptions to Coventina are twelve in number. They are all listed and studied by Allason-Jones in her catalogue of sculpted stone and inscriptions. Allason-Jones, , p.

Out of the twelve inscriptions, Coventina is given the title of deae ten times, nymphae twice and sanctae once. This proves that she was a water-goddess presiding over the springs of Carrawburgh and that she was held in high respect by the population who came to visit the shrine and pray to her. The peregrines are far less represented and very few bear Celtic names.

Given the various votive offerings discovered in the well, it remains clear, however, that she was a goddess presiding over the springs of this locality. Allason-Jones, referring to two inscriptions unearthed in Spain, in Os Curvenos and Santa Cruz de Loyo, and a dedication discovered in France, in Narbonne Aude , believes that Coventina was worshipped on a larger scale.

The goddess Damona is known from sixteen inscriptions. Finally, she is honoured on her own and given the epithet Matuberginni in an inscription from Saintes Charente-Maritime. Clearly, Borvo and Damona were the protectors and embodiment of the waters of Bourbonnes-les-Bains, which brought relief to sick pilgrims. The story which tells that, in AD, Thierry II, King of Burgundy, built a fortification on the site of a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to the divine couple, is apparently a complete fabrication from the pen of Docteur Chevallier in The existence of a temple at the location of the ancient medieval castle rests therefore on weak presumptions.

This proves that the curative spring was already known and used in Gallo-Roman times. Apart from the four dedications, no images of the couple or ruins of a temple erected in their honour have been discovered. The first inscription is engraved on a fragment of stone, broken at the bottom. The second inscription, engraved on a stone, probably dating from the 1 st c.

AD, was found in in the foundations of Bourbon-Lancy castle. Allmer draws attention to the fact that Eporedirix was the name of an Aedui chief at the time of the War of the Gauls. A very damaged fragment was found in and embedded in the wall of the thermal establishment. Bo]rvoni et [Damonae]. Archaeologists assume that the edifice was a temple erected in honour of the divine couple. The reading of the inscription is difficult and unsure: [Borvoni et Da]monae [—]scent Bo[—]p sibi ab[——] Sua do[rix——s]omnolen[tus—]rans.

It is likely that Borvo and Damona were worshipped in connection with that fountain. In this dedication, Damona is partnered with the god Albius, who is known by this single inscription: his character and functions are thus undetermined. This idea is supported by his association with Damona, the goddess presiding over salutary springs. It might be possible that the waters of the well had some curative virtues or were regarded as sacred in ancient times.

AD to Gratianus 4 th c. This remains nonetheless a hypothesis, since no archaeological evidence proves the existence of such a small place of devotion. Damona and Albius may have been the deities presiding over the waters of this fountain or possibly over thermal waters in the area. A bronze statuette representing a character seated on a rock, as well as coins and potteries discovered on the site, prove that the spring was already known and used in Gallo-Roman times, but there is no evidence attesting to the worship of the couple on this site.

The waters have no therapeutic properties today, but analyses carried out in revealed that they had medicinal virtues in ancient times. Le Gall, , p. In view of the inscription to Moritasgus and Damona, Le Gall assumes that the statue is a figuration of Damona and that the chapel was dedicated to her. No archaeological evidence has been uncovered so far to support this theory: the inscription was not discovered in the chapel and the statue is anepigraphic.

This could indicate that a small temple or shrine was erected on the hill, but this remains unconfirmed. ILA-S Her first name Julia is Latin, but her second name Malla is clearly Celtic. She might have had a monument erected in honour of Damona, such as an altar or a temple, but no archaeological evidence has been discovered in the area. This inscription is interesting, for it illustrates the complete Romanization of a Celtic family in three generations. Damona is given the epithet Matuberginnis, the significance of which can be interpreted in various ways.

In the 19th c. As Damona is attached to curative springs in the centre of Gaul, it is likely that she was related to a spring or a fountain in the area. Jules Lhomme, who investigated the place in , did not find any springs, but he did discover a well supplied with a subterranean spring. From all of this, it follows that Damona was a goddess venerated in relation to curative springs.

She is indeed honoured in several famous spa towns, such as Bourbonnes-les-Bains and Bourbon-Lancy, the hot springs of which were already used in antiquity. In Chassenay and Alise-Sainte-Reine, she presided over waters which were held in high respect and probably worshipped for their medicinal virtues.

Moreover, she is coupled with Gaulish gods of salutary waters, such as Borvo or Bormo, the renowned god of hot waters; Moritasgus, who personified the mineral waters of Mont-Auxois; and Albius, who might have been a protector of healing waters too. The two inscriptions from Bourbonnes-les-Bains and Saintes prove the independence of her cult: she was not the mere doublet of a healing god. The sixteen inscriptions dedicated to her attest to the importance of her cult, seemingly concentrated in the north-east and centre of Gaul. The dedication from Saintes, situated in the south-west of Gaul, shows, however, that Damona was also worshipped elsewhere.

The bovine shape illustrated by her name is a proof of its antiquity, since the cow is the animal metaphor of the river-goddesses in ancient Sanskrit literature. From the study of the inscriptions, it emerges that Damona was often honoured by women. This shows that women played an important part in local cults and devotions. Eleven inscriptions are offered by Roman citizens who intentionally specify that they are of Celtic origin.

Some dedicators have fathers who are peregrines bearing Celtic names, such as Caius Julius Magnus, son of Eporedirix, in Bourbon-Lancy. This provides evidence of their indigenous origin. Therefore, it appears that Damona was mainly honoured by Romanized people of Celtic origin, who were still profoundly attached to their ancient cults and beliefs after the Roman conquest.

The goddess Bormana is known from two inscriptions discovered in Aix-en-Diois Die , where she is partnered with Bormanus, and in Saint-Vulbaz Ain , where she is honoured on her own. Other divine couples bearing the same name are known, such as Visucius and Visucia. Bormana can be therefore understood as a doublet of the healing god. The inscription found in Saint-Vulbaz, anciently Saint-Bourbaz, situated near Belley Ain , is engraved on two fragments of an altar, which are respectively housed in the rural museum of the village and embedded in the wall of a mill at nearby Convers.

It was unearthed somewhere near the source of the stream La Bormane, the name of which is reminiscent of the cult of Bormana. The waters of Saint-Vulbaz are profuse, clear and fresh but are not known to have thermal virtues. BC-4 th c. The second inscription, engraved on a small altar, was discovered at the beginning of the 19 th c. Aix-en-Diois is besidesa village which is famous for its saline waters. The inscription is the following: Borman[o] et Borman[ae]. It is clear that Bormanus and Bormana were revered in relation to the saline waters of Aix-en-Diois, which were believed to relieve pilgrims from their pains.

The dedicator Per[…]rius Bassus is a Roman citizen and holds official functions. He is a curator, which means he had been appointed by the emperor to manage and supervise the finances of the city. He offers a wall, two basilicas, ornaments and accessories extending and embellishing the sanctuary, which is built on the property of the Roman citizen Aulus Pompeius Antiquus. This is probably the reason why rivers and towns situated near a stream or a spring bear that name. According to Paul Aebischer, rivers and places named Toulon or Touron are derived from the same root as the name of the god.

Unlike the name of her partner, Stanna does not survive in the local idiom. She thanks the deity for accomplishing a vow she had previously made. Because the inscription begins with the name of the dedicator, which was particularly in use in the 1st c. AD, the inscription must date from this time. Contrary to what Vaillat maintains, it is thus highly likely that Sianna and Stanna are the very same divine figure. The emplacement of an ancient statue representing a standing draped woman the goddess? Sianna might have been the goddess protecting the waters of Mont-Dore, which were known and used in Gallo-Roman times, as proven by excavations carried out on the site in When Michel Bertrand started to build a thermal establishment in , he discovered the remains of huge Gallo-Roman baths, preceded by a yard surrounded by columns and composed of two spacious galleries and rooms, where the baths and swimming-pools were supplied with the waters of several hot springs, harnessed by lead pipes.

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The worship of the salutary waters of Mont-Dore may go back to Celtic times, for a very well-preserved quadrangular swimming-pool 4m long and 1. Durand-Lefebvre suggests that the woman could be the representation of the main spring, and the seven genii the embodiment of the seven secondary springs. They are nowadays renowned for the treatment of venous and gynaecological problems. The god Luxovius gave his name to the city of Luxeuil and, with Bricta, presided over its curative springs.

Bricta might thus have been originally the personification of the River Breuchin and have been later attached to the salutary waters of Luxeuil. Until the end of the 18th c. Patrum in Evangelia quattuor. The stone was not linked at once to the inscription mentioned in the manuscript, which is why they used to be understood as two different inscriptions. The now lost dedication, probably dating from the 3rd c. The votive formula v. In this inscription, the name of the god is spelt Lussoius instead of Luxovius, which is not surprising, as the letters x and ss were interchangeable in the Roman epigraphy.

The last stone inscription, probably dating to the 1 st c. AD, composed of four fragments, was fortuitously found in during earthworks undertaken to the west of the thermal establishment, where it can be seen nowadays. He may thus have been a pilgrim returning to the water sanctuary at Luxovium. The ancient name of Luxeuil-les-Bains is neither mentioned in the Classical texts nor in the 4th-century Carte de Peutinger , but in The Life of Saint Columbanus , written in the 7th c.

Ibi imaginum lapidearum densitas vicina saltus densabat, quas cultu miserabili rituque profano vetusta paganorum tempora honorabant, quibusque execrabiles ceremonias litabant; solae ibi ferae ac bestiae, ursorum, bubalorum, luporum multitudo frequentabant. As he was already hemmed in by the presence of many monks, he began to consider whether he might discover a suitable place in the same wilderness where he might found a monastery, and he discovered a fortress which had once been protected by the strongest of fortifications, approximately eight miles from the aforementioned place.

Earlier times had called it Luxovium. There hot baths [lit. This description is significant, for it coincides with the discovery of the stone inscriptions dedicated to Luxovius and Bricta and the Gallo-Roman thermal establishment, excavated from to , and from to A network of piping, including aqueducts in stone and hollowed oak trunks serving as channels for harnessing the spring water inside the establishment, was also discovered. In addition to Luxovius and Bricta, Apollo and Sirona, the renowned divine couple of healing springs, were also honoured in Luxeuil, since an inscription dedicated to them engraved on an altar in white marble sculpted on three sides comes from the site.

In , three wooden kegs containing about 20, coins in copper and silver, dating from AD to AD, were unearthed fig. Those statues probably date from the end of the 1st c. BC or the beginning of the 1st c. AD, for a coin from the time of Augustus was found in the same layer of earth. They indeed represent the pilgrims who came to the sanctuary of Luxeuil-les-Bains to soothe their pains in taking the salutary waters and praying to the healing deities: Bricta and Luxovius.

Richard, , p. Deyts, , plate XC. This proves that she was not a mere partner of Apollo Grannus and that she had her proper cult. The sites linked to the dedications tend to prove that she was mostly worshipped in relation to thermal waters, springs or fountains. A full study of the thirty inscriptions honouring her is beyond the scope of this research; thus only the epigraphic and iconographical devices from Gaul will be studied. As regards the meaning of her name, which remains uncertain, three etymologies have been suggested.

Yet, apart from being partnered with the sun god Apollo, she is never represented with stellar symbols or images in the iconography. Dedications to her have also been discovered in Germany, in the territory of the Treveri, notably in Trier 1 , Mainz 1 , Bitburg 1 , Nietaltdorf 1 and Hochscheid 1 , where a shrine linked to a spring was excavated. In the Treveran territory, the close relationship between Sirona and curative waters stands out.

Pro con? The water sanctuary and the representation of the goddess clearly prove that Apollo and Sirona were associated with the spring gushing forth near the shrine and its possible curative virtues. Dehn, , p. In Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier. Dehn, , plate In the territory of the Mediomatrici, an inscription to Sirona, probably dating from the 2 nd c. AD, engraved under a schematized representation of the goddess, was discovered in on the bank of a pond in Sainte-Fontaine, near Saint-Avold Moselle , where a sacred spring used to flow fig.

The two circles around her neck may represent a necklace or the collar of her dress. However, the foundations of a potential temple dedicated to the divine couple have never been excavated. Robert, , p. Her representation is classical — she wears a dress and her hair is done into a bun. The bust of Apollo must have originally been carved in another niche, the remains of which appear on the left-hand side of the inscription.

A representation of Apollo must have originally appeared on the left-hand side but the stone is now broken. RG The word idem at the end of the inscription indicates that Taurus had already previously made an offering to the gods. Moreover, fragments of pottery, Roman coins and stone seats, possibly dating from Gallo-Roman times, were discovered in the 19 th c. Even though those various discoveries are of interest, there is no tangible proof of a temple erected for Apollo and Sirona in the area.

Cravayat, , p. In the south-west of Gaul, in Bordeaux Gironde , an inscription engraved on an altar in hard stone, probably dating from the beginning of the 1 st c. Nevertheless, as the beginning of the inscription is unreadable, the name of the goddess ending in […]onae could be dedicated to Divona, whose fountain in Bordeaux was famous in antiquity. Outside Gaul, Sirona also protects salutary waters, such as in Nierstein Germany , where a dedication to her and Apollo was discovered near sulphur springs; and in Wiesbaden Germany , where an inscription, mentioning the offering of a temple by a Roman curator, was unearthed in the ruins of the Roman thermal establishment.

This is significant, for it proves that her cult pre-dated the Roman conquest and that it was still extant among the local population in Gallo-Roman times. By invoking a Celtic goddess, he shows that, despite his Romanization, he is still attached to his original cults.

This proves their desire to display their attachment to their indigenous origins and their profound respect for their ancient deities, whom they continued to honour and to pray to in spite of their Roman citizenship. Because of its life-giving aspect, water has been envisaged as a particularly sacred natural element since time immemorial. The prehistoric and proto-historic deposits of hoards of objects, such as weapons, jewels or coins, in rivers, lakes and bogs, must be understood as votive gifts offered to water-deities with the aim of earning their benevolence and ensuring the fertility of the land.

The idea of a lady inhabiting and personifying the water is particularly well illustrated in Irish mythology. The tradition of the divine lady embodying the river is attested in Gaul by various archaeological discoveries of great importance. This is not insignificant: springs were primarily revered, for they mysteriously gushed forth from the earth and were directly related to the otherworld.

Worship must have later extended to the whole river. What were the functions of those water-goddesses? From the study of the Irish texts, it emerges that water was closely related to wisdom, poetry and perceptiveness. A sip from the river in June was believed to give access to sacred knowledge and Fionn mac Cumhaill earns his mystical inspiration from the Salmon of Knowledge fished in the Boyne. Similarly, Sionnan is drowned in the river after trying to catch the mystical bubbles. By trying to accede to absolute knowlege, one is on the road to ruin.

In Gaul and Britain, water seems to have been worshipped in the context of healing. The wisdom-giving aspect of Irish river-goddesses is not reflected in the character of Gaulish and British water-goddesses, who clearly stand out as healers prayed to for their salutary and beneficial virtues. The most well-known example is the goddess Sequana, who had an important sanctuary and complex of baths built at her source, where pilgrims would come to take the curative waters, invoke the goddess and deposit votive offerings to have their vows granted.

As for Sirona and Damona, who were both honoured in relation to thermal springs; the inscriptions prove that their cult transcended frontiers and peoples. The waters could have lost their curative virtues, either by drying up or by mixing with common waters, but it seems more plausible that it was actually, and more than anything else, the faith in the omnipotent healing power of the goddess which caused the pilgrims to be relieved of their pains.

This explains how rivers, the waters of which do not have any salutary properties, were believed to have the capacity to cure, and were worshipped as divine female healers. Gaulish water-goddesses clearly fulfilled a function of regeneration and renewal. The water-goddess plays the same role as the land-goddess: she ensures the survival of the peoples and the growth of crops and cattle. Like a mother, she gives birth, feeds and maintains her people.

The life-giving aspect of the water-goddess is counterbalanced by a funerary dimension which is inherent in the mother-water complex: the dead were given back to the bosom of the mother-river to achieve rebirth in the afterlife. The voyage to the otherworld, metaphorically represented by the boat and the river, was placed in the care of the water-goddess, who, in taking the deceased back into her womb, ensured their renewal in the afterlife.

Actually, this question is wrongly framed, for, in the mind of the Celts, the river could not be dissociated from the goddess: the river was a divine entity; the river and the goddess were as one. Consequently, the goddess bore the name of the river like the river bore the name of the goddess. It is interesting to note that the belief in a divine lady dwelling in the river has survived in the folklore of Ireland and France.

The character of the river mermaid could be understood as the reminiscence of the ancient cult of the river-goddess. The transformation of the supernatural river ladies into evil and damned souls is due to Christian influence. In Ireland, where about 3, wells have been recorded, almost every parish has its own sacred or blessed fountain. Even though Irish mythology does not preserve evidence of healing goddesses presiding over curative springs, that does not necessarily mean that wells, fountains and springs were not worshipped and deified there also in Celtic times.

Murray, , pp. Saint Columbanus c. Educated in the monastery of Bangor Co. He built the nearby monasteries of Luxovium c. He was unpopular among the clergy and was indicted before a synod of French bishops in for keeping Easter according to the Celtic usage. A powerful conspiracy was organized against him at the court of King Theodoric II and he was forcibly removed from his monastery in Luxovium in He went then to Switzerland with other monks, where he preached to the Alemanni, a pagan Germanic people.

Compelled to leave, he went to Italy and founded the monastery of Bobbio in the Appenines, where he was buried around His influence became widespread, and numerous miracles were attributed to him. His writings include poems, letters, sermons, a rule and a penitential. Vita Columbani , Book I, Greppo, , pp. Bourquelot, , pp. Richard, , pp. Bonnard, , p. Lerat, , p. Green, , pp. The Divination of Water Introduction Before considering in detail the various river-goddesses honoured in Irish and Gallo-British tradition, this part explores the concept of water as a divine entity in Celtic times.

The Lady in the Water in Irish Tradition The belief in underwater realms inhabited by beautiful divine maidens is widespread in Irish tradition. River Goddesses Introduction The cult of river-goddesses is widely attested in Ireland, Britain and Gaul by ancient literary texts, epigraphic devices and votive offerings discovered at places of worship where the goddesses used to be honoured. The River Inny: Eithne The motif of the divine lady drowned in the river is found again in the story of the goddess Eithne, whose name is eponymous of the two rivers called Inny, an Eithne in Irish.

The campaigns of excavations The first excavations, carried out by Henri Baudot from to at the bottom of the cliff, revealed a series of rooms, a huge entrance and a building where a stone water pipe, fed by an underground spring, used to flow. Gaulish and British Healing Spring-Goddesses Introduction Archaeological evidence from Gaul and Britain proves that the worship of water was not limited to river-goddesses: many a fountain and healing spring was embodied and presided over by a goddess.

Icovellauna and the Spring of Le Sablon Moselle The goddess name Icovellauna is known from two inscriptions and three fragments of inscriptions discovered in Le Sablon, a village situated to the south of Metz Moselle , in the territory of the Mediomatrici, and from a dedication found in Trier Germany , in the territory of the Treveri. Mogontia Le Sablon? Conclusion From all of this, it follows that Damona was a goddess venerated in relation to curative springs. Conclusion Because of its life-giving aspect, water has been envisaged as a particularly sacred natural element since time immemorial.

Notes Bradley, Brunaux, , pp. Green, , p. Callender, , pp. Kruta, , pp. Kruta, , p. Book IV. Eogan, , p. Raferty, , pp. Mahr, , p. Corcoran, , pp. Raftery, Briard, , pp. Bourgeois, , pp. Bourgeois, , p. Dauzat, , pp. Lambert, , p. Dauzat, , p. Macalister, , p. Delamarre, , pp. Delamarre, , p. De Vries, , p. Carnoy, , p. Allmer, vol. Lambert, , pp. Pictish refers to the extinct language spoken by the Picts, the people of northern and central Scotland.

Toutain, , p. Etienne, , p. Hogan, , p. Mackillop, , p. Mackillop, , pp. Stokes, a, pp. Hennessy, , pp. Mac Airt, , pp. Gwynn, , pp. Meyer, , pp. See Chapter 3. Gwynn, , p. Stokes, , p. Stokes, , pp. See also Bourgeois, , pp. RIA Dictionary s. Ptolemy, Geography , II. Sergent, a, p. AE , Gutenbrunner, , pp. Van Hamel, , pp. The text is given is Chapter 2. Philip, , pp. Ford, , pp. Knott, , p. Joynt, , p. Jackson, , pp. Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost and celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, i.

Material collected in primary schools. Hogan, , pp. Bergin, , p. The name was given erroneously by Strabo as Epkoanas 1 st c. It had evolved into Segona and Sigona by the 6 th c. Baudot, , pp. Corot, , pp. To avoid them crumbling into dust on contact with air, the statuettes were treated with a plastic resin, called polyethylene-glycol, as soon as they were taken out of the swamp. See Deyts, , pp. Jung, , pp. Sergent, , p. Le Bohec, , pp. Raespeat-Charlier, , p. Chevalier, , p. Green, a, pp.

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Camuset-Le Porzou, , pp. Baudot, , p. For an interpretation of the possible illnesses or disabilities represented on the ex-votos of the Sources-de-la-Seine, see Green, , pp. In , the sculptor J. It only took him two to three hours to reproduce a head in wood. See Deyts, , p. Birkhan, , p.