Tag Archives: Pluto

Donn of the Dead

There are many different ways to become god of the dead. You can win the job by chance (Hades/ Pluto), you can be cast into the underworld by other gods (Hel), marry into the job (Nergal), or you can be the first person to die.

Donn was one of the invaders known as the Milesians, after their father Mil. He was the warlike one, while his brother Armaigen was the poet/judge. They eventually did take Ireland, but not easily, and Donn never got to enjoy their victory.

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If ever a spacecraft had the right to turn around and come home, it’s NASA‘s little New Horizons ship. Launched on Jan. 19, 2006, it was dispatched on a mission no other ship had ever dared attempt — fly out and reconnoiter Pluto, the most distant and mysterious planet in the solar system. Little more than seven months later, however — on Aug. 14, 2006 — word came down from the International Astronomical Union that, oops!, Pluto isn’t a planet after all. It’s a dwarf planet or a minor planet or a planetoid, or, most insultingly, a plutoid. But whatever you want to call it, it had been summarily busted down from one of the sun’s little princelings to a mere pretender — nothing more than a refugee from the Kuiper belt, the band of comets and other rocky, icy debris that circles the solar system. And for…

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Dis Pater: Who was he?

Julius Caesar wrote that the Gauls believed they were descended from Dis Pater. In his writings, he did not give the local names for his deities, substituting ones his readers would recognize. (This was the interpretatio romana, giving foreign deities Roman names and attributes.)

Dis was originally the Roman god of wealth, fertile soil, and underground riches, who became equated to Pluto, Orcus, and Soranus. The question is, what Gaulish god reminded the Divine Julius of Dis?

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