The Religion of the Ancient Celts

Page: 24

Les Celtes, 20. Other grouped gods are the Bacucei, Castoeci, Icotii, Ifles, Lugoves, Nervini, and Silvani. See Holder, s.v.

Footnote 118:(return)

For all these see Holder, s.v.

Footnote 119:(return)

Professor Anwyl gives the following statistics: There are 35 goddesses mentioned once, 2 twice, 3 thrice, 1 four times, 2 six times, 2 eleven times, 1 fourteen times (Sirona), 1 twenty-one times (Rosmerta), 1 twenty-six times (Epona) (Trans. Gael. Soc. Inverness, xxvi. 413).

Footnote 120:(return)

Cæsar, vi. 17.

Footnote 121:(return)

D'Arbois, Les Celtes, 54; Rev. Arch. i. 201. See Holder, s.v.

Footnote 122:(return)

Solinus, xxii. 10; Holder, s.v.

Footnote 123:(return)

Ptolemy, ii. 2.

Footnote 124:(return)

See p. 71, infra.

Footnote 125:(return)

Dio Cass. lxii. 7; Amm. Mare, xxvii. 4. 4.

Footnote 126:(return)

Plutarch, de Vir. Mul. 20; Arrian, Cyneg. xxxiv. 1.

Footnote 127:(return)

S. Greg. Hist. viii. 15.

Footnote 128:(return)

Grimm, Teut. Myth. 283, 933; Reinach, RC xvi. 261.

Footnote 129:(return)

Reinach, BF 50.

Footnote 130:(return)

Holder, i. 1286; Robert, RC iv. 133.

Footnote 131:(return)

Rh[^y]s, HL 27.

Footnote 132:(return)

Anwyl, Celt. Rev. 1906, 43.

Footnote 133:(return)

Holder, s.v.; Bulliot, RC ii. 22.

Footnote 134:(return)

Holder, i. 10, 89.

Footnote 135:(return)

Holder, s.v.; see p. 213, infra.

Footnote 136:(return)

Holder, ii. 463. They are very numerous in South-East Gaul, where also three-headed gods are found.

Footnote 137:(return)

See pp. 274-5, infra.

Footnote 138:(return)

Courcelle-Seneuil, 80-81.

Footnote 139:(return)

See my article "Calendar" in Hastings' Encyclop. of Religion and Ethics, iii. 80.

Footnote 140:(return)

CIL v. 4208, 5771, vii. 927; Holder, ii. 89.

Footnote 141:(return)

For all these titles see Holder, s.v.

Footnote 142:(return)

There is a large literature devoted to the Matres. See De Wal, Die Mæder Gottinem; Vallentin, Le Culte des Matræ; Daremberg-Saglio, Dict. s.v. Matres; Ihm, Jahrbuch. des Vereins von Alterth. in Rheinlande, No. 83; Roscher, Lexicon, ii. 2464 f.

Footnote 143:(return)

See Maury, Fées du Moyen Age; Sébillot, i. 262; Monnier, 439 f.; Wright, Celt, Roman, and Saxon, 286 f.; Vallentin, RC iv. 29. The Matres may already have had a sinister aspect in Roman times, as they appear to be intended by an inscription Lamiis Tribus on an altar at Newcastle. Hübner, 507.

Footnote 144:(return)

Anwyl, Celt. Rev. 1906, 28. Cf. Y Foel Famau, "the hill of the Mothers," in the Clwydian range.

Footnote 145:(return)

See p. 73, infra.

Footnote 146:(return)

Vallentin, op. cit. iv. 29; Maury, Croyances du Moyen Age, 382.

Footnote 147:(return)

Holder, s.v.

Footnote 148:(return)

See pp. 69, 317, infra.

Footnote 149:(return)

For all these see Holder, s.v.; Rh[^y]s, HL 103; RC iv. 34.

Footnote 150:(return)

Florus, ii. 4.

Footnote 151:(return)

See the table of identifications, p. 125, infra.

Footnote 152:(return)

We need not assume with Jullian, 18, that there was one supreme god, now a war-god, now a god of peace. Any prominent god may have become a war-god on occasion.




Three divine and heroic cycles of myths are known in Ireland, one telling of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the others of Cúchulainn and of the Fians. They are distinct in character and contents, but the gods of the first cycle often help the heroes of the other groups, as the gods of Greece and India assisted the heroes of the epics. We shall see that some of the personages of these cycles may have been known in Gaul; they are remembered in Wales, but, in the Highlands, where stories of Cúchulainn and Fionn are still told, the Tuatha Dé Danann are less known now than in 1567, when Bishop Carsewell lamented the love of the Highlanders for "idle, turbulent, lying, worldly stories concerning the Tuatha Dédanans."

As the new Achæan religion in Greece and the Vedic sacred books of India regarded the aboriginal gods and heroes as demons and goblins, so did Christianity in Ireland sometimes speak of the older gods there. On the other hand, it was mainly Christian scribes who changed the old mythology into history, and made the gods and heroes kings. Doubtless myths already existed, telling of the descent of rulers and people from divinities, just as the Gauls spoke of their {50} descent from Dispater, or as the Incas of Peru, the Mikados of Japan, and the kings of Uganda considered themselves offspring of the gods. This is a universal practice, and made it the more easy for Christian chroniclers to transmute myth into history. In Ireland, as elsewhere, myth doubtless told of monstrous races inhabiting the land in earlier days, of the strife of the aborigines and incomers, and of their gods, though the aboriginal gods may in some cases have been identified with Celtic gods, or worshipped in their own persons. Many mythical elements may therefore be looked for in the euhemerised chronicles of ancient Ireland. But the chroniclers themselves were but the continuers of a process which must have been at work as soon as the influence of Christianity began to be felt. Their passion, however, was to show the descent of the Irish and the older peoples from the old Biblical personages, a process dear to the modern Anglo-Israelite, some of whose arguments are based on the wild romancing of the chroniclers.