May 23, Since Celtiberian inscriptions date from a late period, they are the perfect . The rest of the gods recorded in Celtiberia in Latin epigraphs are Another inscription alludes to a goddess named Ataecina, who became associated with Proserpina. Los mitos griegos y la Hispania Antigua: consideraciones. Proserpina or Proserpine (/proʊˈsɜːrpɪˌni, ˈprɒsərˌpaɪn/) is an ancient Roman goddess Her name is a Latinisation of "Persephone", perhaps influenced by the Latin .. Accessed 27 January ; Il Ratto di Proserpina (in Italian). A Latin defbdo from Saguntum (n° 40) is a new specimen of this group. . Amsterdam, If not otherwise specified, dates are B.C. \Ve are ver)' much obliged to Alti dei convegno illtemazionale in ricordo di N. ValellZa Mele, Napoli,. a priest of Proserpina ([sacJerdos 1 [PJroselpil1ae).The Greek text reads.
e-Keltoi: Volume 6, Celtiberian Ideologies and Religion, by Gabriel Sopeña
Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals. The Etruscan city of Corythus as the "cradle" of Trojan and Italian civilization. Religion in ancient Rome Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary.
Although Roman religion did not have a basis in scriptures and exegesispriestly literature was one of the earliest written forms of Latin prose. Some aspects of archaic Roman religion survived in the lost theological works of the 1st-century BC scholar Varroknown through other classical and Christian authors. Capitoline Triad The earliest pantheon included Janus, Vestaand a leading so-called Archaic Triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, whose flamens were of the highest order.
According to tradition, Numa Pompiliusthe Sabine second king of Romefounded Roman religion; Numa was believed to have had as his consort and adviser a Roman goddess or nymph of fountains and of prophecy, Egeria. The Etruscan-influenced Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva later became central to official religion, replacing the Archaic Triad — an unusual example within Indo-European religion of a supreme triad formed of two female deities and only one male.
The cult of Diana became established on the Aventine Hillbut the most famous Roman manifestation of this goddess may be Diana Nemorensisowing to the attention paid to her cult by J.
Frazer in the mythographical classic The Golden Bough. Behind her Iris stands and gestures. On the left Vulcan the blond figure stands behind the wheel, manning it, with Ixion already tied to it. Nephele sits at Mercury's feet.
The gods represented distinctly the practical needs of daily life, and Ancient Romans scrupulously accorded them the appropriate rites and offerings. Early Roman divinities included a host of "specialist gods" whose names were invoked in the carrying out of various specific activities. Fragments of old ritual accompanying such acts as plowing or sowing reveal that at every stage of the operation a separate deity was invoked, the name of each deity being regularly derived from the verb for the operation.
Tutelary deities were particularly important in ancient Rome. Also dating from the Augustan era BC are the Roman coins from Turiaso Tarazonawhich show, together with the epigraph Silbis, a female head, facing right, adorned with a laurel crown. Another inscription alludes to a goddess named Ataecina, who became associated with Proserpina. Native epigraphy Figure 2.
Bronze plaque from Botorrita Zaragoza. A fragment of the A Side with two mentions of possible Celtiberian deities: Neto Line 6 and Tokoitos Line Museo Provincial de Zaragoza. The bronze plaque from Botorrita Zaragozawhich is a crucial text, invokes two possible Celtiberian deities Fig.
To sum up, the evidence shows a warlike, bright divinity who was later assimilated to Mars and Cosus. Perhaps this is the Celtic god Net, well attested in the insular Celtic world. The other citation regards Tokoitos.
De Hoz and Untermann have related this divinity to other peninsular theonyms that appear in dative form: Albertos observes, in Celtic means oath. Perhaps this was a deity who guaranteed pacts, which would not only be in keeping with the Tabula Contrebiensis, but also with Appian's account Iber. The Irish, for their part, alluded to the divinity of pacts without naming a specific deity: Iconography As I have so far shown iconographic representations of the gods are very scarce and entail serious interpretation problems.
It has traditionally been considered, for example, that the ceramic piece from Numancia might represent the god Cernunnos with his characteristic horns Fig. Similarly, a female figurine modeled in clay and a ceramic painting representing a woman wearing a veil are identified as images of divinities Fig.
Despite Olmos Romera's brilliant exposition on this subject Olmos Romera Ceramic piece that is traditionally considered an image of the God Cernunnos. Ceramic decoration representing a woman wearing a veil, identified as a Celtiberian Goddess. Other records are related to the image of the wolf. The Roman historian Appian Iber. Perhaps, these elements attest to a cult of the Celtic god Sucellus.
This prominent infernal and funerary deity, whose partner is Nantosuelta and who is clearly related to the Irish Dis Pater and Dagda, carries a mallet, a barrel and the skin of a wolf. The frequent association between monetary iconography and religion and spirituality in Celtiberia is well documented. Such zoomorphic images, which characterize the male portraits on the obverse of the coins, should prove the divine identity of the figures.
Celtiberia apparently imported a monetary model common to the whole Mediterranean area, adapting it to its own pantheon. The portraits on the obverse might be images of gods whose names are unknown to us, though we may assume that among them was Lugus, the main Pan-Celtic deity Abascal Although the interpretation of this evidence has just begun, there are already interesting prospects Almagro-Gorbea b; Burillo In Europe there are around 60 mentions of places called Mediolanum "center of the plain"while Ireland had its center in the hill of Tara, called Midhe The Center.
At least until the fourth century BC, when ritual structures begin to appear in greater numbers Brunauxsacred places were linked to natural spots - open-air temples which Classical authors called hieron or locus consecratus. No doubt, the most important sanctuary was the nemeton, a term that alludes to a clearing in the wood and is found in toponyms like Nemetodunum, Nemetobriga and Medionemeton. It was one of the most important religious centers in Hispania and it boast more than 20 inscriptions, cave paintings and various structures for ritual practice holes, ditches, etc.
Apart from the necropoli, which were sacred sites by definition, neither urban sanctuaries nor artificial temples have been found in the heart of Celtiberia so far, although there are records of them in other areas of the Celtic world. However, it seems possible that ritual practices were performed in certain dwellings in Numancia, as suggested by finds of sepulchral monuments, decorated ceramic vessels containing human remains, decapitated heads, etc.
The Roman sanctuary dedicated to Diana in Segobriga, which predates the Christian era, may also be regarded as an original Celtiberian locus Almagro-Gorbea a: The Roman poet Martial, of Celtiberian descent, cites a nemeton in the wood of Boterdus beloved by the Roman goddess Pomona for its vegetation, as he says in I, 49 in his hometown Bilbilis present-day Calatayud, Zaragoza. The same author alludes to a mountain, Sacrum Vadaueronem montibum Sierra del Madero?How's it like dating a LATINO?
Similiarly, according to Saint Braulio Vit. Of course, this does not imply a direct worship of nature: These spots are merely places of interaction between gods and human beings, but never entities that are honored in their own right.
Proserpina - Wikipedia
The ritual use of natural sites lasted until the Middle Ages Sanz Serrano A priest with an apron and a conical cap holding a jug and a bird over an altar in order to perform a sacrifice. Sacrifices in Celtiberia must have been practiced, but little can be said about them in detail. The finding of vessels like simpula or oinochoes, which were used for making libations, indicates that this might have been a private practice.
Probably clay figurines were also part of the domestic cult. As regards public sacrifices, these are explicitly cited by Plutarch Tib. The most accurate information available is provided by those necropoli where weapons that were ritually killed have been found in addition to ceramic offerings and sacrificed animals, perhaps the remains of a funerary banquet Argente et al. A painting from Numancia shows a figure with an apron and a conical cap, possibly associated with some type of augury Cowan Furthermore, deposits of metal offerings are known to have existed that might have been votive objects Lorrio III, 11, 4 relates that Viriatus took the people from Segobriga by surprise while they were occupied celebrating sacrifices, and this is all the evidence we have.
It is, likewise, impossible to ascertain if the confusing interments of children in hamlets were foundation sacrifices Burillo Thus, the so-called Piedra de los Sacrificios Stone of Sacrifices from Arcobriga Monreal de Ariza never existed, except in the burning imagination and bright prose of its enthusiastic discoverer Aguilera y Gamboa Celtiberian religion indisputably required and relied on people who could mediate between the gods and humankind as well as on celebrants to perform animal sacrifices.
Even more important is that the Celtiberians unquestionably counted on specialists who were able, among other things, to adapt scripts to their own language, deploy sophisticated symbolic codes in order to express their spirituality and settle legal debates in the most just manner possible as demonstrated by the bronze plaques from Botorrita.
Undoubtedly, there were intellectual elites in Celtiberia who undertook priesthood roles as well as performing other functions Costa The term Druid only occurs on one occasion in Caesar, who was quite aware of the way their role had been belittled by other observers BG. Druidism did include the function of the sacerdos, but went far beyond that: In any case, to reduce druidic duties to simple, mechanical administrative tasks is to miss the point.
To regard these functions as part of a centralized, unchangeable clergy-like phenomenon is equally misleading: Furthermore, Graeco-Roman authors did not mention Druids before the second century BC and when they did, they did not refer to Italy, the Danube valley or the Carpathians. Should their existence be thus denied without consideration, as it was in Celtiberia?
As specialists have argued, Druidism was a Pan-Celtic institution whose existence was concealed under various names Berresford Ellis ; Green Vase from Arcobriga showing a tree springing from the head of a human figure.
Some terms contained in the inscriptions might allude to this institution: According to Suetonius Galba, IX, 2 a Celtiberian fatidica puella foretold that Galba would ascend to power, two hundred years before the ascent took place. In the year BC, according to Florus I, 33, 3a man called Olyndicus stood out on account of a peculiar war deed.
The Roman writer betrayed a hostile attitude towards the rebel, whom he considered a cunning sham. The Celtiberian in question was perhaps a man whose main function was a druidic one. Florus, who refers to this subject as a summus uir and dux, narrates that he gained leadership after receiving a silver spear which appeared to have fallen from the sky and that he acted like a prophet. This person, Florus goes on to explain, died as a guardsman caught him alone by the consul's tent at night.
The silver spear coming from the sky coincides with the invincible Gae Bolga, symbol of the lightning bolt, used by Cuchulainn, the warrior hero of Ulster.
Similiarily, Olyndicus acted and died solely at night. In addition, he vaticinated holding the silver spear: Thus, Florus' text might allude to a ceremonial performance within a warfare context, corresponding to other known Celtic ceremonies carried out by Druidic figures who took on military functions when necessary. The ritual nature of such celebrations is proved by the fact that they took place during the full moon. Some paintings include figures that look like dancers, but no further details are discernible.
Celtiberian dancer with his forearms encased in bull's horns. Present-day dances, with poles and shields, from San Leonardo, Soria. La Barrosa de Abejar Soria: Young man wearing bull-shaped armor Photo: On this basis, and taking into account some generic information gathered from Strabo III, 3, 7, according to which dances were simulated battles, BlasTaracena has argued that the present-day dances from San Leonardo and Casarejos Soria are original Celtiberian dances that have subsisted until today Taracena The dances in question are essentially a war parade in which swords are replaced by poles.
The dancers rhythmically clash the poles one against the other, strike the floor and also clash their small shield, which is significantly called cetra. In former times, this dance was performed to the songs of women, in a pine wood Caro Baroja However, this must remain an assumption and the Celtiberian root of such dances cannot be ascertained.
Men wearing animal-shaped armor.
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Similarly, Frontinus II, 4, 17 explains that Hispanic people tied oxen to carts that were filled with burning torches and fat in order to infuriate the animals, and used them as a weapon against Hamilcar, the Carthaginian general. This narration alone has fostered the belief that current festivals with toros de fuego, or fire bulls, to which iron staffs with burning balls are fastened, date from Celtiberian times Taracena It cannot be doubted, however, that this bull festival at goes back at least to the Middle Ages, when pyrotechnic works were first deployed Caro Baroja Ethics The Graeco-Latin perception What brought together Celtiberian peoples and shaped their culture was, together with their Mediterranean identification, their common resistance against Rome.
Thus, Celtiberian conflicts were the vehicle whereby Celtiberia was introduced into history, due to the interest shown by Graeco-Roman writers in an atrocious war for survival which was waged for decades, according to Cicero De offic. Painting by Alejo Vera Therefore, although Greek and Roman writers had a more immediate perception of Celtiberians' ethical principles than of their system of beliefs, our knowledge in this respect is also poor and mainly dependent on authors who were alien or hostile to the culture they were describing.
Lastly, it must be remembered on the one hand that the narrations that have reached us date from long after the events they describe and, therefore, the researchers must beware of these views. On the other hand, with the exception of Polybius as he himself quotes in III, 59, 7 and Poseidonius who visited Hispania circa BC and whose direct testimony of these peoples has been lostwe can only rely on other authors who were inferior to the Stoic master from Apamea.
The agonistic ethos The documents already found prove that Celtiberians articulated their lives through a system of beliefs and values with a high degree of moral content. The spiritual portrait of Celtiberians drawn by Greek and Roman authors, biased as it may be, is in keeping with archeological records, iconography and direct, though late, references relative to the native peninsular environment.
Everything points to an agonistic ethos that parallels the existential development and religion of other Celtic peoples. Celtiberians developed their own way of life, without breaking with Celtic culture.
They had an extraordinary sense of social responsibility and held personal uirtus virtue in high esteem. Celtiberian societies were characterized by war and individuals perceived themselves mainly as fighters, regarding death in battle as the most desirable personal achievement. Celtiberians, in fact, had immense confidence in life beyond death and thought that the Otherworld could be best gained through the fulfillment of such ethical premises, which granted not only social esteem but also the individual's ultimate fate.
As is well known, the Celts' war-like attitude was perceived by the Graeco-Roman people as rough, imbued with furor and lacking foresight. This was due to the high degree of ritualization that characterized the life of these peoples, for whom war played the role of an institution that regulated their social rhythms.
Celtic military practices were actually brief, highly regulated demonstrations of strength that never resulted in huge loss of human lives, at least until the confrontation with Rome: Chapter 2; Rawlings Celtiberian dynamics were grounded in basic elements of individual honor: The strong aesthetic component derived from such an ethic and religious nature influenced the image of the Celts gained by Classical authors to such an extent that the barbarian stereotype, the feritas celtica, was created Kremer The Celtiberian war-like orientation, rooted in religious and moral values, also had an aesthetic component that was diametrically opposed to Roman military pragmatism.
Sacrificed sword from a tomb, Numancia. Weapons played an important role in Celtiberian social life, and the Classical sources on the sophisticated metalworking of Celtiberians have been supported by archaeological evidence Lorrio This excellence in weaponry may be regarded as the material expression of ethic will and is well attested in the Celtic world at large. Like the parts that were removed from the enemies' bodies, especially skulls and hands, the weapons taken during war were considered trophies and were consecrated and buried in tumuli Caesar, BG.
The bond that existed in Celtiberia between uirtus and weapons was so close that the latter became an extension of the person who carried them, the very symbol of his valor. To hand over one's weapon implied the loss of one's self; without weapons life was not worth anything. Due to the Celtiberians' belief in life beyond death, the bond between the warrior and his weapons continued after his death and his arms were deliberately made unusable before being deposited in the tomb Lorrio This practice, common all over the Celtic world, may be interpreted as a sacrifice of objects: Sword Arcobriga type in iron, silver and bronze, decorated with solar circles.
Shield from Griegos Teruel. For this reason, the bending and sacrifice of these objects was carried out before they were deposited in the tomb Gracia Alonso The iuuentus celtiberorum The periodic raids that Celtiberians made into neighboring territories must be understood as a way of gaining prestige, social status, virtue and wealth.
The same motives drove them to fight in foreign armies, where their warlike skills were much appreciated. As in the rest of the Celtic world, the Celtiberian mercenaries were a phenomenon that mainly took place before and after the confrontation against Rome, in other words mainly, when the Celtiberians themselves were under no external threat.
Mercenaries were not soldiers of fortune who individually joined a foreign army, but well organized groups. They determined whether to serve far from their town by holding a consilium XXXIV, 19and sometimes their decisions were taken against the will of their homeland Appian, Iber.
An ambassador in wolf's clothing: Yet, the term iuuentus is to be understood only in its semantic sense, since it indicated a master of men from a town who, due to their condition, were fit to take arms. Therefore, as suggested above, these people could even oppose the decisions made by their own hometown. This person represented a group which, disregarding the town's decision, had deliberately attacked the Romans, and appeared before the Consul in order to ask for forgiveness and the restoration of normal relations.
The existence of "brotherhoods of warriors" in Hispania has been defended for years. It is an initiatory phenomenon attested in the whole Mediterranean milieu, whereby roles were assigned to men according to their social age: Arguments in support of the existence of this phenomenon are based on the solid evidence of a cult to the gods of war in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as of typical actions like plunder and robbery, deuotio, foundations of cities, abandonment of the homeland, bandolerismo, a roving life, uer sacrum and a tendency towards risk.
To conclude, what has been so far uncovered suggests that this institution actually existed in Hispania Almagro-Gorbea a: This hypothesis might be related to the discovery of needles and double needles in Celtiberian tombs, the function of which still remains unknown Lorrio: It has been postulated that the current festival of Paso del fuego in San Pedro Manrique Soriaheld during the solstice, might stem from an initiatory ritual performed in Celtiberia Caro Baroja Although this hypothesis cannot be proved, there is a remarkable similarity, though it concerns only a small part of the present-day festival, to the ceremony of fire-walking as performed by the Italic Hirpi sorani, whose relation with the wolf and Dis Pater is widely known Almagro-Gorbea a: The latter has thick and bristly hair and he is yelling and moving towards the left, armed with a shield and a spear.
The Celtiberian herald in wolf clothing may be interpreted in this light.
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A wolf skin can be seen in the stele from Zurita, in Cantabria. This case is particularly worth mentioning because it is iconographically associated with the ritual whereby corpses were exposed to vultures Peralta Labrador To disguise oneself as a wolf meant to turn oneself into the animal, gain its qualities and be imbued with its furor. The wolf was associated by the Celts with the infernal god Sucellus, and is frequently represented in Celtiberian iconography.
If a girl had two suitors her father would give her to the first one who succeeded in cutting off the right hand of an enemy also in Sallust, Hist. Not only did this act represent a public sanction of the match, but it also marked the beginning of a period of initiation that would culminate in a wedding. The fact that the initiation began in mid-summer is significant in this respect.
The same is true of Celtiberians to a great extent. The text, which describes how Hannibal had a pyre built at the entrance of his camp to incinerate Gracchus, is used by Livy in order to demonstrate that these people no doubt performed typical war dances. The Celtiberians' intimidatory use of their hair in war seems to be confirmed by Martial, who boasted of his bristly hair after the fashion of his Celtiberian forebears: The intimidating use of cries and shaggy hair appears to have been captured in a scene from Numancia, which shows two big men fighting against a smaller one: