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He says that Mercury was the most honoured of all the gods and many images of him were to be found.
Mercury was regarded as the inventor of all the arts, the patron of travellers and of merchants, and the most powerful god in matters of commerce and gain. After him the Gauls honoured Apollo, who drove away diseases, Mars, who controlled war, Jupiter, who ruled the heavens, and Minerva, who promoted handicrafts.
He adds that the Gauls regarded Dis Pater as their ancestor. In characteristic Roman fashion, Caesar does not refer to these figures by their native names but by the names of the Roman gods with which he equated them, a procedure that greatly complicates the task of identifying his Gaulish deities with their counterparts in the insular literatures.
He also presents a neat schematic equation of god and function that is quite foreign to the vernacular literary testimony.
Yet, given its limitations, his brief catalog is a valuable witness. The gods named by Caesar are well-attested in the later epigraphic record of Gaul and Britain. Unsyncretised theonyms are also widespread, particularly among goddesses such as Sulevia, Sirona, Rosmerta, and Epona. In all, several hundred names containing a Celtic element are attested in Gaul.
The majority occur only once, which has led some scholars to conclude that the Celtic gods and their cults were local and tribal rather than national.
Supporters of this view cite Lucan's mention of a god called Teutates, which they interpret as "god of the tribe" it is thought that teuta- meant "tribe" in Celtic. The multiplicity of deity names may also be explained otherwise — many, for example, may be simply epithets applied to major deities by widely extended cults.
General Characteristics Evidence from the Roman period presents a wide array of gods and goddesses who are represented by images or inscribed dedications.
Certain deities were venerated widely across the Celtic world, while others were limited only to a single religion or even to a specific locality. Certain local or regional deities might have greater popularity within their spheres than supra-regional deities.
For example, in east-central Gaul, the local Burgundian healing goddess Sequana was probably more influential in the minds of her local devotees than the Matres, who were worshipped all over Britain, Gaul and the Rhineland.
Supra-Regional Cults Among the divinities transcending tribal boundaries were the Matres, the sky-god and Epona, the horse-goddess, who was invoked by devotees living as far apart as Britain, Rome and Bulgaria.
A distinctive feature of the mother-goddesses was their frequent depiction as a triad in many parts of Britain, in Gaul and on the Rhine, although it is possible to identify strong regional differences within this group.
The Celtic sky-god too had variations in the way he was perceived and his cult expressed. Local Cults It is sometimes possible to identify regional, tribal, or sub-tribal divinities. Specific to the Remi of northwest Gaul is a distinctive group of stone carvings depicting a triple-faced god with shared facial features and luxuriant beards.
In the Iron Age, this same tribe issued coins with three faces, a motif found elsewhere is Gaul. Another tribal god was Lenus, venerated by the Treveri.View Sam Triolo, CISSP’S profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community.
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The gods and goddesses, or deities of the Celts are known from a variety of sources, these include written Celtic mythology, ancient places of worship, statues, engravings, cult objects and place or personal names. INTRODUCTION.
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