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Oswiu
Friday, November 21st, 2008, 03:14 PM
Attested Germanic or Germanised deities attested in Roman Britain

Mars Thincsus - Housesteads fort (Vercovicium) on Hadrian's Wall.

The Alaisiagae - Likewise.

Garmangabis - of Lanchester (Longovicium) fort, County Durham.

The Unseni Fersomari - at Old Penrith (Voreda), Cumberland.

Viradecthis - Birrens (Blatobulgium), Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

And the possibly Germanic Vitiris/Vheteris - widespread around the Wall, especially at Carvoran (Magnis).

et cetera...

These Gods were worshipped by Germanics serving in the Roman Garrisons, in a very Romanised fashion - at least as far as we can gather from the physical traces remaining of the cults - standard inscribed altarstones. In addition, many altars have been found dedicated by Germanic soldiers to Celtic, Roman and Celto-Roman Gods, indicating the interesting syncretism going on here.

http://www.roman-britain.org/places/vercovicium.htm#rib1594

DEO MARTI ET DVABVS ALAISIAGIS ET N AVG GER CIVES TVIHANTI CVNEI FRISIORVM VER SER ALEXANDRIANI VOTVM SOLVERVNT LIBENTES M
"To the god Mars the two Alaisagae and the divine spirit of the emperor, the German tribesmen from Tuihantis (modern Twenthe in Holland) [serving in] the Frisian Formation,¹ true servants of the Alexandrian,² willingly and deservedly fulfill their vow."
(RIB 1594; altarstone)



There have been over thirty altars to pagan gods unearthed at Housesteads, ... After the two classical gods the Celtic/Germanic god Vheterus is honoured with six altarstones, ... the Germanic god Cocidius is mentioned on another three, and the Celtic/Germanic goddesses known collectively as the Alaisagae also have three, though all of their altars are shared with other deities.
I have not seen Cocidius described as Germanic before. Collingwood in 'Roman Britain' 1937 sees him as solidly Celtic, and very local to the region of the Wall. He was very popular among the Army.


Temple of Mars Thincsus and the Goddesses Alaisiagae - Housesteads Temple 2DEO MARTI THINCSO ET DVABVS ALAISAGIS BEDE ET FIMMILENE ET N AVG GERM CIVES TVIHANTI VSLM
"To the god Mars Thincsus and the two Alaisagae, Beda and Fimmilena, and the divine spirit of the emperor, the German tribesmen from Tuihantis willingly and deservedly fulfill their vow."
(RIB 1593; pillar-shaped altarstone)

DEABVS ALAISIAGIS BAVDIHILLIE ET FRIAGABI ET N AVGN HNAVDIFRIDI VSLM
"To the Alaisagae goddesses Boudihillia and Friagabis, and to the divine spirit of the Emperor, the numerus¹ of Hnaudifridius willingly and deservedly fulfills its vow."
(RIB 1576; altarstone)
An excellent Germanic name there - Hnaudfrith. :thumbup

This roughly circular temple was found on top of Chapel Hill a little to the south of the fort, its walls of undressed stone facing with an earth and rubble infill enclosed an area measuring about 17¼ ft. across; the insubstantial foundations indicate that the superstructure was at least half-timbered. The temple was built in the early-3rd century upon the ruins of a rectangular workshop in the vicus which had been destroyed during the barbarian incursions of AD196. It contained altars dedicated by the commanders and men of all three units known to be stationed at Housesteads to the god Mars Thincsus, the Romanized aspect of a Teutonic god, a common occurrence among the Roman auxiliary units. Various altars have been found at this site dedicated to Mars and/or to the Germanic goddesses Alaisiagae; named on one altar as Beda and Fimmilena, on another as Baudihillia and Friagabis (vide RIB 1576 supra).

Altarstones to the God Hueterus
Inscription Togo-Translation RIB
DEO HVETERI SVPERSTES ET REGVLVS VSLM
"To the god Hueterus, the survivors and Regulus willingly and deservedly fulfill their vow." 1602
DEO HVITRI ASPVANIVS PRO ET SVIS VOT SOL "To the god Huitris, Aspuanius fulfills a vow for himself and his family." 1603
VETERIBVS POSVVIT AVRE VICT V "To the Veterian gods, Aurelius Victor places this offering." 1606

Collingwood (his book (http://books.google.com/books?id=fMcbnMFn8lcC&pg=RA1-PA268&lpg=RA1-PA268&dq=fersomari&source=web&ots=Zh16HYZBs8&sig=nBBf_nwszooQen6ZnKxJFUboat8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PRA1-PA269,M1)) mentions 40+ altars known for this God, as far flung as York. He characterises the worshippers as 'humble and semi-literate' from their dedications, and refers to the Germanic possibility, given the varied attempts at spelling with a VH- or HV- seen as a sign of aspiration. He states that the philologists of his day ruled against the Germanic hypothesis but gives no details.

A Swabian Goddess:

DEAE GARMANGABI ET N GORDIANI AVG N PRO SAL VEX SVEBORVM LON GOR VOTVM SOLVERVNT M
"To the Goddess Garmangabi and the divine spirit of Gordianus our Lord, for the health of the Detachment of Suevi in Gordian's Lingones, (who) deservedly fulfilled their vow."
(RIB 1074; altarstone)



VIRADECTHIS -
A Germanic goddess who is known from an inscription found at Birrens, Scotland. The dedication was made by men of the "pagus Condrustis" serving as soldiers of the garrison at Birrens. The Pagus Condrustis was an area of the German Rhineland, and other dedications to Viradecthis have been found there. http://www.janeraeburn.com/brigantia/deities.htm


An interesting book here:THE ROMANIZATION OF ROMAN BRITAIN
BY F. HAVERFIELD OXFORD 1915
e-book (http://www.archive.org/stream/romanizationofro00haveuoft/romanizationofro00haveuoft_djvu.txt)

III. Foreign cults were also imported into Britain from
non-Celtic sources. But these were confined to the haunts
of soldiers almost more rigidly than the Mother Goddesses.
One group, in its way an interesting group, consists of
Teutonic cults brought over by German soldiers serving in
the northern British frontier garrisons. Sometimes these
Germans accepted the gods whom they found in their new
quarters ; thus, a little band of men who bear German names
and expressly call themselves ' Germani ', is found erect-
ing an altar to Maponus close by the Roman Wall. But
often they kept to their Teutonic deities Mars Thingsus
and the Two Alaisiagae, Garmangabis, Viradecthis, the
Unseni Fersomari, and many more. One German cult even
spread a little, though not beyond military surroundings.
The small ill-cut altars inscribed deo Hveteri or Vheteri or
Veteri were, as it appears, originally set up to a German god
Veter. Soon the worshippers forgot this and took the dedi-
cation to mean ; to the old god ' ; they even put it into the
plural and paid honour to the di veteres, the Old Gods
generally. 2

I would be very interested to hear of any ideas as to identifications of the Deities mentioned with later known Germanic Gods, or possible explanations of their titles/significance.

It is curious to speculate how many Germanics may have ultimately settled here before the Adventus Saxonorum, and whether their Brythonicised descendants had any awareness of their partial kinship with the later invaders of the 4th/5th Century...

Anfang
Saturday, November 22nd, 2008, 10:00 PM
Thank you for this very intriguing thread.

In ancient times, before there were roads in Northern and Western Europe,
the going through the forests and mountains was very tough. Also when one travelled through lands, either for trade or conquest, there were always people one had to fight along the way.
This was not so on the seas. The seas were the equivalent to taday's air traffick as compared to driving by auto to a far away place. If you stuck close to the coasts it was far safer and faster than traveling through the land.
Why would we presume to think that our beloved Atlantic would not be the information highway of our Ancestors, both Celts and Germanics?

Aemma
Sunday, November 30th, 2008, 03:51 AM
Interesting finds Oswiu!

These items caught my eye:

"To the Veterian gods..." and elsewhere "The small ill-cut altars inscribed deo Hveteri or Vheteri or Veteri were, as it appears, originally set up to a German god Veter."

I looked things up in Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology and got the following pertinent entries:

"Veterahenae: Matron name, recorded twice in Embken. Another form of Veteranehae.

Veteranehae: Matron name. A number of inscriptions on votive stones from Embken and Wollersheim (Kreis Duren, Germany) are dedicated to the matronibus Veteranehis. In addition to this there are two monuments with the name variant Veterahenae and three with Vataranehae from the same area, so that a cult centre in Embken may be postulated; four of the inscriptions with the Veteranehae come from donors from the same family. Another newly found inscription, of which only Veter...is extant is not found in the same area of the other stones (Rommerskirchen, Kreis NeuB), but it was used as a building stone and could therefore also come from Embken originally.--The link with the name veteranus 'veteran' is unlikely. Gutenbrunner suggested the form Vataranehae was the correct one and related the name etymologically to Germanic *watar 'water' as numerous matron names are derived from river names. The great frequency of the form of Veter-, however, makes this interpretation somewhat improbable, and a derivation from the name of camp Castra Vetera is to be preferred.

Vetr (ON, 'winter'): Vetr (in Vafþrúðnismál 27 and then in Snorri, Gylfaginning 18) is a purely literary personification of winter whose father is named here as being Vindsvalr. In actual mythology, there is no 'winter' as a mythical person." (Simek, pp.358-359)

I'm not really certain that this helps answer anything in any way but at least it's fun to add pieces to the puzzle!

Frith...Aemma

Aemma
Sunday, November 30th, 2008, 04:20 AM
Okie dokie...found something else that *seems* pertinent and interesting...just too bad I can't read (nor speak nor write) any German. I'm hoping that your German language skills are way better than mine Oswiu. ;) If not, perhaps a nice bilingual comrade here might like to translate for us and give us the broad strokes of this article then?

Here is the part that caught my attention:

"Vor wenigen Monaten ist nun auch in unserer engsten Heimat im Kreise Düren eine gallo-römische Kult-..."

Here is the link to the full article: http://www.wisoveg.de/woengede2/heimatkalender/61matronen.html

All this from trying to figure out where Embken is and only being able to access it via the German language section of Wikipedia. Imagine!

Oh well, perhaps this will shed a bit more light on the subject.

Frith...Aemma

Oswiu
Sunday, November 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM
Excellent work, Aemma! :thumbup

"Veterahenae
Veteranehae
...
Gutenbrunner suggested the form Vataranehae was the correct one and related the name etymologically to Germanic *watar 'water' as numerous matron names are derived from river names. The great frequency of the form of Veter-, however, makes this interpretation somewhat improbable, and a derivation from the name of camp Castra Vetera is to be preferred.
I wonder if this scholar was aware of the British evidence for aspiration? All those Hv- and Vh- on our altars...
Strikes me that we're dealing with the HWAET root here, nothing to do with water or winter (or the related wind - c.f. Russian veter).
Personal names in Hwaet are attested in Old English, such as the Hwaetred on the Bewcastle cross (see my thread in the Runes section), or the scholarly Abbot Hwaetberht of Jarrow/Wearmouth (Bede's contemporary).
The use of 'i' as the first vowel in at least one British inscription is awkward, though. At least it helps rule out the 'watar' association.

Perhaps the difficulties reflect a more complex origin - e.g. a deity adopted by Germanics from Belgic Gauls?

I'm hoping that your German language skills are way better than mine Oswiu. ;)
Here is the link to the full article: http://www.wisoveg.de/woengede2/heimatkalender/61matronen.html
Ich spreche auf Deutsch просто ужасно, meine Liebchen!

But haven't you noticed the Ger/Eng Eng/Ger translating facility at the top of each post? I'll just copy and paste it here, and we can all just click the button up to the top right of this post! Not ideal a translation, but enough to get the idea, I hope. Here goes:

Badua - Im Reich der Matronen

Von Armin Renker

Es gibt Wälder mancher Art in unserem Eifelland, Wälder, deren hohe Baumstämme klaren, weiten Durchblick gestatten, die sich von den Hochflächen hinab in die Täler erstrecken, daß du in den Talgrund blicken kannst, dessen Wiesen tief unter dir das liegen. Es gibt aber auch Wälder mit dichtem Unterholz, undurchsichtig und undurchdringlich, die des Försters ordnender Hand zu widerstreben scheinen, Wälder, die ein Ungesagtes in sich bergen, ein Geheimnis aus Urzeiten. Als ein solcher Wald ist mir immer das große Gebiet zwischen Münstereifel und Pesch erschienen, das an ganz verborgener Stelle im Waldesdunkel den keltisch-römischen Tempelbezirk der „Matronae Vacallinehae“ in sich birgt. Wenn du dieses Waldgelände betrittst, umfängt dich ein Schauer eigner Art. Es ist uralter Wald, bebuscht und von verwachsenen Gräben durchzogen, deren Bedeutung du nicht deuten kannst. Mitten darin liegt der „Heidentempel“, wie er im Volksmund genannt wird. Das erhaltene Mauerwerk läßt eine umfangreiche Anlage erkennen, die Reste eines Tempels mit quadratischem Innenbau und weitausladenden Säulenumgang und eines weitern noch größeren Gebäudes in basilikaähnlicher Anlage.

In diesem Gebiet, das von den Eburonen bewohnt war und nach deren Vernichtung von den unter römischen Einfluß stehenden Ubiern, wurden die Mütter verehrt als die Schützerinnen von haus und Hof, Familie und Sippe. In der nördlichen Eifel sind unzählige Matronensteine aufgefunden worden, Bildnisse der einheimischen Ortsgötter mit den verschiedensten lateinischen Namens- und Ortsbezeichnungen.

Vor wenigen Monaten ist nun auch in unserer engsten Heimat im Kreise Düren eine gallo-römische Kult- und Wohnstätte aufgefunden worden. Auch hier ist es ein geheimnisvolles Waldgebiet, das diese unter dem Boden liegende Reste durch die Jahrhunderte zäh verborgen gehalten hat. Der „Badewald“, der sich von den Dörfern Berg bei Nideggen und Wollersheim auf viele Kilometer gen Südwesten erstreckt, gehört zu den von Sagen und Überlieferungen umwitterten einsamen Wäldern. Wer ihn durchwanderte, damals, als er noch stand, wurde auch unwillkürlich von den Schauern der Vergangenheit berührt. Es war ein unübersichtliches Waldgelände, hügelig auf- und niedersteigend. Das Eigentümlichste an ihm waren aber tiefe, runde Löcher von erheblichem Umfang, die teilweise mit Wasser ausgefüllt, teilweise mit Gestrüpp bewachsen, in grünen Waldesdunkel verborgen lagen. Wenn es in früheren Zeiten schon Bomben gegeben hätte, so wäre die Erklärung einfach gewesen. Man hätte gesagt, dort haben die Flieger einen „Bombenteppich gelegt“.

Die tiefen Löcher und Gruben gaben dem großen Waldgelände etwas Unheimliches, und dazu kam die Sage von einer Stadt, Badua genannt, die in uralten Zeiten in diesem Walde gelegen haben sollte. Diese Stadt soll versunken sein, und das solle auch der Grund sein, warum sich so viele Vertiefungen in dem Walde befänden.

Badua! Diesen Namen überliefert uns der Volksmund. Eigenartige Fassung eines sagenhaften Ortes in der „Bad“, dem großen Waldgebiet, mit lateinischer Endung. Die Forscher wissen, daß an dieser Stelle die alte Römerstraße, die von Venlo in Holland an die Mosel ging, vorbeiführte. Es ist bekannt, daß die Eisenstraße, auf der die Erztransporte vor sich gingen, ihren Weg über dieses Gebiet nahm. Wer im Winter oder Frühjahr über die Felder ging, dem werden die vielen rötlich leuchtenden Ziegel und Röhrenstücke aufgefallen sein, von denen manche Äcker und Wege geradezu übersät waren. Mancher Ortsbewohner der Gegend hatte sich darüber schon seine Gedanken gemacht.

Der große Badewald, der in meiner Jugendzeit viele Quadratkilometer bedeckte, ist nicht mehr da. Man hat die Stämme geschlagen und den Boden kultiviert. Wo einst Wipfel an Wipfel rauschte, geht im Frühjahr der Pflug, steht das Getreide im Sommer hoch im Halm. So wird Stück für Stück gerodet. Im Frühjahr 1954 war man auch dabei, mit der „Rodehexe“ Wurzelstock auf Wurzelstock aus dem Erdboden zu ziehen. Da gab es an einer Stelle mitten im ehemaligen Waldgelände unerwarteten Widerstand. Der Greifer hatte einen schweren behauenen rötlichen Sandsteinblock erfaßt und aus seinem Gefüge gelöst. Und es zeigte sich, daß mehrere solcher Blöcke im Erdreich lagen, dicht unter der Oberfläche. Die Stämme hatten ihre Wurzeln um sie geschlungen, und ein Teil von ihnen zerbarst, als sie ans Tageslicht gebracht wurden. Es waren gleichmäßig behauene Quadern eines Tempels, der wie der Heidentempel von Pesch etwa 5 Meter im Geviert gemessen hatte und von einer Säulenvorhalle von etwa 9 x 9 Meter umgeben gewesen war. Es waren aber nur die Trümmerstücke übrig geblieben. Man hatte den Tempel geraubt. Der Matronenstein, der wahrscheinlich in ihm verehrt worden war, konnte nicht mehr aufgefunden werden. Dafür aber barg dieser von so viel rätselhafter Vergangenheit trächtige Boden etwas anderes, etwas Unerwartetes. Nicht weit von dem Tempelbezirk, an einer Wegekreuzung - gerade dort, wo wir so viele hellrote Dachziegel auf dem Feld gesehen hatten - fand man eine Handbreit unter dem Erdboden eine Siedlung. Die Fundamente eines Hauses wurden freigelegt, ein regelrechter Keller, aus schweren Steinen gemauert, in den eine steinerne Treppe hinabführte. Man forschte und grub weiter, und es zeigte sich, daß Mauerreste in der ganzen Umgebung vorhanden waren. Es war also offensichtlich ein Gutshof, eine gallo-römische Ansiedlung von großem Umfang. Ihre Lage unmittelbar an der alten römischen Straße zeigt, welche Bedeutung diese Stelle gehabt hat.

Es war etwas Erregendes zu wissen, hier, ganz nah deiner Heimat, haben schon vor 1700 Jahren Menschen gelegt, Menschen wie ich und du, sie haben in Häusern gewohnt, wie wir, sie waren mit Kulturvölkern in Verbindung oder gehörten selbst jenem Kulturvolk an, das im fernen Rom das Zentrum unserer abendländischen Welt geschaffen hatte. Hier in der Eifel war Kolonialland, ein Gebiet, das unter dem Einfluß des damals mächtigsten Volkes Europas stand. Nur widerwillig hatten sich die Eburonen kolonisieren lassen. Ob an dieser Stelle die „Fliehburg“ war, die Julius Caesar auf seinem Zuge durch die Eifel für den Nachschub seiner Legionen benutzte, die „Gutswache“ der Kimber und Teutonen, ob hier die Kohorten Caesars unter den Feldherren Sabinus und Cotta von den Eburonen zusammengehauen wurden, darüber ist sich die gelehrte Forschung nicht einig.

http://www.wisoveg.de/woengede2/heimatkalender/61matronen71.jpg
Matronenstein Fundort Zülpich

Rom! Schon damals war es der Mittelpunkt der Welt. Von dort stammt unsere Gesittung, stammt unser Recht. Rom ist die Hauptstadt aller europäischen Kultur. Unsere Vorfahren haben das antike Rom, diese ungeheure Herrlichkeit, in Trümmer geschlagen, sie haben selbst den kleinsten Erdenfleck, der von ihnen besiedelt war, vernichtet auch in unserem Badewald. Alles, was über dem Erdboden stand, wurde abgetragen, ein jedes Kunstwerk zerschlagen oder als Baustein vermauert. Aber der Geist war mächtiger als die mächtigen Steine, er rächte sich an den Barbaren und nahm ihnen alles, was sie an eigenem Geist besaßen. Ihre Dunkelheit blieb durch Jahrhunderte bestehen. Und nun wuchs der dichte Wald über den Mauerresten und hüllte alles in seine grünen Schleier ein. Die ganze große Vergangenheit, der Gewerbefleiß des in der „Metallprovinz“ tätigen Volkes verfiel in einen Dornröschenschlaf. Übrig blieb nur die raunende Sage, die von Geschlecht zu Geschlecht getragene, die Sage von der Stadt Badua im geheimnisvollen Badewald.

Dunkel ruht vor mir das Gewölbe des uralten Gebäudes, in das eine Treppe hinabführt. Ganz nahe bei dieser Stelle lag das Heiligtum mit dem Bildnis der Matronen. Ich muß an Faust denken, der ins Reich der Mütter herniedersteigt:

„Göttinnen thronen hehr in Einsamkeit,
Um sie kein Ort, noch weniger eine Zeit ...
Die Mütter sind es!“

Faust schaudert es.

„Die Mütter! Mütter!
's klingt so wunderlich!
Wohin der Weg?“
„Kein Weg!“ ist die Antwort. „Ins Unbetretene,
Nicht zu Betretende, ein Weg ins Unerbetene ...
Von Einsamkeiten wirst umhergetrieben ...“

Im Scheine eines glühenden Dreifußes wird er die Mütter sehen.

„Die einen sitzen, andre stehn und gehen,
Wie's eben kommt. Gestaltung, Umgestaltung,
Des ewigen Sinnes ewige Unterhaltung,
Umschwebt von Bildern aller Kreatur.“

Die Matronensteine ruhen im Erdboden an geheimen Stellen, sie weilen im Reich der Mütter, und es gelingt selten genug einem Glückskinde, einen von ihnen zu bergen. Wohl, daß dem so ist, daß diese Mäler, die Ewigkeit und Vergangenheit in sich vereinigen, unversehrt ruhen! Was wird einst von unserem unseligen flüchtigen Geschlecht übrig bleiben, wenn der Rechen des Schicksals über uns hinweggegangen ist? Neben den Trümmerhaufen der großen Städte werden es die gesprengten Bunker und die Panzersperren sein, die sich durch die Felder ziehen. Von uns werden keine Gottheitsbilder im Erdboden ruhen, denn wir besitzen sie nicht. Seit den Madonnen der Gotik, die noch aus demütigem Gottvertrauen geschaffen wurden, schufen wir uns noch Bilder und Gestalten, die uns selbst, aber nicht das höchste Wesen über uns verkörperlichen. Wir sind arm geworden, trägt auch ein jeder ein besseres Gewand als vor einem Jahrhundert, innerlich arm. Wir sind flüchtig geworden und fliehen vor jedem Ernst, vor jeder Verinnerlichung. Wir sind roh geworden in unserer Gesinnung und gleichgültig gegenüber dem, was einst war und was einst sein wird.

Der geheimnisvolle Badewald hat sein Geheimnis preisgegeben. Sollten wir nicht nachdenklich werden bei der Überlegung, daß auch damals Menschen lebten, Menschen wie du und ich, daß sie einer Verehrung lebten, die unmittelbar in die christliche überging, denn die drei Matronen auf den alten Steinen wurden ins Christentum übernommen, und die drei Heiligen werden auch heute noch in einer unserer Dorfkirchen verehrt.

Entnommen: Heimatkalender des Kreises Euskirchen 1961

© Copyright 2003 Kreisarchiv - Der Landrat
© Copyright wisoveg.de 2003
Or click here http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=912571&postcount=5&langpair=de%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

Rather more journalistic than academic, but some nice context. :)

Hrafnmann
Sunday, November 30th, 2008, 06:38 PM
. . .The link with the name veteranus 'veteran' is unlikely.

Entering the land of conjecture. . .I'm no Latin scholar but when I first saw the name Veteranehae, on an purely simplistic level I was reminded of the Latin veteranus (veteris) meaning "old" hence nothing more than the honorific "Old One" easily translatable from any other tongue be it Germanic dialects or otherwise. I’m sure linguists have discounted this tack on some philological grounds.


. . .I wonder if this scholar was aware of the British evidence for aspiration? All those Hv- and Vh- on our altars... Strikes me that we're dealing with the HWAET root here,. . .

One would hope that any scholar weighing into this matter would know that Germanic aspiration can follow a number of patterns involving the same phonemes (mindful of consonant clusters) and can change over time as dialects develop forcing heedfulness to place of articulation. The waters here can be deep and murky given reconstruction efforts and obviously subject to disagreement within the discipline. The hw- cluster looks to be a viable angle of approach to this problem since it is quite ancient in form stemming from the PIE *kw- (*qw-), Proto-Germanic *khw- and thus surviving in O.E., O.S., O.Fris., O.H.G. hw-, O.N., Dan. Goth. hv-. I think the best course would be for one to follow this up by examining other inscriptions to see if this pattern is replicated.

Aemma
Monday, December 1st, 2008, 06:08 AM
Excellent work, Aemma! :thumbup

Why thank you Oswiu, but now having read this article I'm not so sure. LOL! It didn't add much to the enquiry I'm afraid. Yes perhaps it gave some context though. (You're being very kind! :D)


I wonder if this scholar was aware of the British evidence for aspiration? All those Hv- and Vh- on our altars...

I'll give you the works upon which Simek based these entries: 1. S. Gutenbrunner, Die germanischen Götternamen, Halle 1936; 2. M. Clauss, 'Neue Inschriften im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Bonn' (Epigraphische Studien 11) 1976; 3. H. Reichert, Lexikon der algermanischen Namen, Vienna 1987-90.

I have absolutely no idea if this is helpful at all. :(


Strikes me that we're dealing with the HWAET root here, nothing to do with water or winter (or the related wind - c.f. Russian veter).
Personal names in Hwaet are attested in Old English, such as the Hwaetred on the Bewcastle cross (see my thread in the Runes section), or the scholarly Abbot Hwaetberht of Jarrow/Wearmouth (Bede's contemporary).
The use of 'i' as the first vowel in at least one British inscription is awkward, though. At least it helps rule out the 'watar' association.

Ok. I'll look up your entry in the Rune section. Thanks.


Perhaps the difficulties reflect a more complex origin - e.g. a deity adopted by Germanics from Belgic Gauls?

Yes indeedy. I'll post the other bits that Simek as to say about matron cults. It might offer a tad more insight. But yes I can see things can become quite complex in piecing this together as Hrafnmann alludes to as well.


Ich spreche auf Deutsch просто ужасно, meine Liebchen!

Et non le français Oswiu? Dommage! :D (Just ribbing ya!...the more languages the better I say! So German, Russian (I'm assuming?) and English...sweet! :thumbup)


But haven't you noticed the Ger/Eng Eng/Ger translating facility at the top of each post?

Yes I had noticed that a few days ago but it was late and I had forgotten about it I guess. Thank you for the reminder. It was useful in reading this article...hard reading but was readable at any rate. :)

Simek also has an item on Mars Thingsus which I will try to post tomorrow...hmmm today I guess.

TTFN!

Frith...Aemma

Aemma
Monday, December 1st, 2008, 09:41 PM
Attested Germanic or Germanised deities attested in Roman Britain...Garmangabis - of Lanchester (Longovicium) fort, County Durham.

...

DEAE GARMANGABI ET N GORDIANI AVG N PRO SAL VEX SVEBORVM LON GOR VOTVM SOLVERVNT M
"To the Goddess Garmangabi and the divine spirit of Gordianus our Lord, for the health of the Detachment of Suevi in Gordian's Lingones, (who) deservedly fulfilled their vow."
(RIB 1074; altarstone)

Interesting cross reference to one of Carl's posts today re: Danish Gefjon whereby according to an item I posted with respect to that thread and written by Swain Wodening, Gefjon might be considered as part one of the matrons (matronae, matres). See item below written by Swain Wodening.

"Geofon
by Swain Wodening

There is no evidence for Geofon left in Old English literature, save for her name is a word for "ocean." This should not be taken to imply she was not worshiped however. One of her legends, told to us in the Ragnarsdrápa, preserved in the Heimskringla, would have been known to the Angles on the continent. The legend is that of the creation of the island of Zealand. She took her four sons by a giant, and as oxen plowed out the island, and gave it the name Zealand. We are further told in the Prose Edda, that she married the king, Scyld (Skjöldr) afterwards. Snorri holds that she recieved the souls of unmarried women while in the Lokasenna she is said to be as omniscient as Woden himself.

Her name may derive from a word meaning "to give." And this would place her perhaps in the cult of the of mothers known amongst Germanic mercenaries in service to Rome in Great Britain. These goddesses usually had names like Garmangibi 'giving.'"


Unfortunately S. Wodening offers no sources for his account of placing Gefjon among the matronae. But if one may be permitted to push the envelope somewhat here, one could see a connection between Gefjon and Garmangibi, since both have a name relating to the words "to give" or "giving". Might they be the same being in the end? Is this even a feasible proposition?

Ok, I need the big guns to help me out on this one please. :D

Frith...Aemma

Aemma
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008, 02:04 PM
As I promised last week, here are the other bits found in Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology re: matron cults. Hmm since this is a fairly long entry I'll have to enter the other bits a litle later when I have time. In the meantime, happy reading!


Matron cult: The worshipping of matrons (matronae, also matres and matrae) is a phenomenon which, apart from a minor distribution elsewhere, is basically limited to upper Italy as well as the occupied parts of Germania and eastern Gaul during the Roman Empire. Our sole source of information about the matron cult comes from inscriptions on votive stones and votive altars of which over 1100 are known up to now; of these, over half the matrons bear Germanic names. The Germanic cult of matrons is not limited to the tribal area of the Ubians, who moved to the western bank of the Lower Rhine in 38 AD, but it is in this area where there are most finds and there are indications of numerous single individual cult centres here. The monuments of the Germanic matron cult were set up by adherents to the cult, in particular by Germanic legionaries in the Roman army, and reach as far as the borders of the empire in Scotland, Frisia, southern Spain, and also via the imperial guards even to Rome.

It is difficult to ascertain the origins of the matron cult in the Roman religion of imperial times as there is no exactly corresponding counterpart, and the origin more probably comes from Gallic matrons, upon which the other half of the extant monuments to the matron cult fall. Nonetheless, the basis of the specific Lower Rhine form of a matron cult undoubtedly rests on native-Germanic concepts of belief, such as are reflected in important later sources, namely the belief in the disír, and perhaps also the belief in valkyries. On the other hand, the Germanic-Celtic-Roman mixed culture of the Lower Rhine in the first century AD must be accepted as a catalyst for the creation of the belief in protective mother deities, aided by the influence of literacy through the Roman troops. We have to rely exclusively on a great number of votive inscriptions as sources of our information on the matron cult, as the classical authors are silent about this aspect of Germanic belief. This may be because they saw the cult of the matrons as a religious syncretism, a consideration which would have run contrary especially to Tacitus's intentions in his description of Germanic life and beliefs.

In the cult of the matrons the terms occurring for the mother-deities are, apart from matronae, the terms matres and *matrae (from the Dative matrabus). Since Gutenbrunner's work on matrons attempts have been made to define a distinction between these various descriptions and not to see them as accidental or at most regional variants. Scholars have started working out some factual differences. The geographical distribution is noteworthy: Matronae are to be found predominantly in the Lower Rhine and it is the only term found in Upper Italy, whereas in Britain only matres and in Gaul mostly matrae and matres are documented. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the matronae, whose epithets are based on tribal or people's names, are on the whole called matres. It is, however, very difficult to ascertain whether the matres should be seen as 'actually mother-deities' and the matronae as 'more generally as godesses worshipped by married women', as de Vries suggested.

The temporal limitation of the matron cult can be set at the end of the 1st and 5th centuries AD. The oldest inscription found comes from Andemach/Germany set up by a sailor in the Roman fleet (CIL XIII, 7681) from the time between 70 and 89 AD. Although the cult of matrons was borne especially by Germanic soldiers and clerks in Roman service (as well as their families), it is clear from information on the inscriptions, as well as from the names of the matrons themselves that the 'helper in times of need' aspect and the protective function of the matronae strongly predominated: matribus paternis Kannanef., Matribus [M]arsacis paternis sive maternis, [M]atribus meis [Ger]manis Suebis are names given to the matrons referring directly to their personal relationship to the worshipper. Frequently they are called upon by these pro se et suis('for himself and his (family)') if there is no direct petition for himself or else for a particular member of his family. Apart from this a few of the matrons have names identifying them as warrior godesses. The stones and the altars which bear the inscriptions are predominantly votive offerings which were set up after the fulfilment of a vow and to this extent do not diverge in their function from Christian votive inscriptions.

..... (pp. 205-206)

To be continued....

Frith...Aemma

Oswiu
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, 04:28 PM
And the possibly Germanic Vitiris/Vheteris - widespread around the Wall, especially at Carvoran (Magnis).

Collingwood (his book (http://books.google.com/books?id=fMcbnMFn8lcC&pg=RA1-PA268&lpg=RA1-PA268&dq=fersomari&source=web&ots=Zh16HYZBs8&sig=nBBf_nwszooQen6ZnKxJFUboat8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PRA1-PA269,M1)) mentions 40+ altars known for this God, as far flung as York. He characterises the worshippers as 'humble and semi-literate' from their dedications, and refers to the Germanic possibility, given the varied attempts at spelling with a VH- or HV- seen as a sign of aspiration. He states that the philologists of his day ruled against the Germanic hypothesis but gives no details.

A minor addition,

Veteris is also invoked in an inscription in Lincolnshire, in the land of the Coritani (where I've been hiding the last few weeks). :thumbup