Quirinus: god of the People

On the Capitoline hill in Rome three deities had their temple, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. This cult was important enough that every city in Italy and later the Empire had its temple called the Capitola. If you’re thinking that this seems a heavily feminine group of deities to represent the warlike and male-dominated Romans, then you may also wonder how they came to replace the original trio of gods: Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus.

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Neith – reblog from the Ancient History Encyclopedia

Neith (aka Net, Neit or Nit) and is one of the oldest deities of ancient Egypt who was worshipped early in the Pre-Dynastic Period (c. 6000 – 3150 BCE) and whose veneration continued through the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323 – 30 BCE), the last to rule Egypt before the coming of Rome.

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For the image at the top, click here.

 

Celtic Mercuries

We’ve all wondered what god Julius Caesar meant when he said that Mercury was the most important of all Gaulish gods. He was right in one sense, and wrong in another – there are many Gaulish Mercuries, and they have many different functions.

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Julius Caesar as Ethnographer (reblog)

Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul, Germany and Britain occasioned great excitement in Rome. For Catullus “the Gaulish Rhine, the formidable Britons, remotest of men” represented “the memorials of great Caesar” (Cat. 11.10-11). Cicero too considered Caesar’s exploits against the Britons the stuff of poetry (Q Fr. 2.16.14). The reading public must have been interested in what he had to say about his foreign adversaries.

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The image at the top is from a bust of Caesar, in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Wikimedia.

Lugos and Gaulish Mercury

The Irish god Lugh, we’re told, is one version of a pan-Celtic deity, called Llew in Wales and Lugos/Lugus in Gaul. Given that Lugh was such an important deity, and that Lugos could be the Celtic Mercury that Julius Caesar describes, you would expect Lugos to also be an important and well-attested god.

So it’s a bit of a shock to look up the Gaulish god Lugos/Lugos on the Epigraphik Datenbank and find no inscriptions matching his name. Why is Lugos so often assumed to be the Gaulish Mercury when there’s very little evidence for his worship in France?

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The doves of Aphrodite (Reblog)

Our blessed Goddess Aphrodite intrigues me. She is a Goddess of both love and war, of friendship and hate, of companionship and jealousy. She is one of the Goddesses with the widest range of domains and influence in our world and She is Goddess that touches us personally. She doesn’t control the weather or the sea, She controls us directly.

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For the image at the top, click here.

Hekate: Bright Goddess of the Mysteries (Reblog)

Hekate is one of the most unique and interesting Goddesses of the ancient world, her worship reaches backwards into pre-history and continues to thrive in the modern world. Even at times when the shrines and temples of the old Gods were forgotten old ruins, her myths continued to thrive, remaining alive in the hearts, minds and dreams of poets, artists and mystics who promulgated her mysteries..

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Iphigenia, the Heroines and Hecate

Those of us who know Iphigenia only from Euripides’ tragedies (Iphigenia in Tauris, Iphigenia at Aulis) may be surprised to know that she also had a presence in Greek religion, with temples or shrines at various sites where she received prayers and offerings.

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Scythian Diana – who was she?

You may remember, if you read my post on Taranis, how the Roman writer Lucan compared his cult to that of the “cruel” Diana of the Scythians.  I wondered at the time who Diana of the Scythians was, and what was cruel about her cult.

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After Amergin, by Michael Longley

I am the trout that vanishes
Between the stepping stones.
I am the elver that lingers
Under the little bridge.
I am the leveret that breakfasts
Close to the fuschia hedge.
I am the stoat that dances
Around the erratic boulder.
I am the skein of sheep’s wool
Wind and barbed wire tangle.
I am the mud and spittle
That make the swallows’ nest.

From Michael Longley’s poem, After Amergin.

For the image at the top, click here.