Monday, 6 April 2015


Epona (Classical type), Köngen, Germany, ca. 200 AD
photo: Rosemania
Almost all of the work on Celtic deities is focused on the Roman period. Depictions of deities in La Tène period Celtic art are quite rare and are concentrated in Provence and Germany. Paul Jacobsthal, Early Celtic Art, p.3) says: "The works from Germany (nos. 10-15) are far more original, since they are untouched by direct foreign influences: the sculptures in Provence speak audibly of the neighbourhood of Massilia." Celtic coinage appears to show plenty of deities but their exact identification can be difficult to impossible to identify and they first created their coinage based on Greek prototypes depicting Greek deities. The very earliest of these were just rather crude copies or copies of copies. It was important to the Celts to reflect their most heroic period when they fought for Greek patrons around the Mediterranean. I call this a Graeco-Celtic synthesis.

Epona is popularly described as a Celtic horse-goddess, but even though her name is Celtic was she really Celtic in origin? The best study of the goddess on the web is "; a scholarly resource" by Nantonos and Ceffyl. I have communicated with Nantonos over many years and if you knew his real identity, you would not be too surprised by either the scholarship or the beautiful design of the website.

No comments:

Post a Comment