In Celtic mythology, Arduinna (also Arduina, Arduinnae or Arduinne) was the eponymous goddess of the Ardennes Forest and region, represented as a huntress riding a boar (primarily in the present-day regions of Belgium and Luxembourg). Her cult originated in what is today known as Ardennes, a region of Belgium, Luxembourg and France. She was later assimilated into the Gallo-Roman mythology of goddess Diana.
In The Gods of the Celts, Miranda Green states that some depictions of Arduinna show her riding a boar However, Simone Deyts notes that the bronze Gallo-Roman statue of a woman in a short belted tunic, riding a boar sidesaddle and holding a knife, conserved in the Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St-Germain-en-Laye, bears no inscription, and was simply assumed to be Arduinna by the 19th century antiquarian who discovered it— perhaps because the modern symbol of the Ardennes region is also a boar .
Arduinna is known from two inscriptions:
The name Arduinna derives from the Gaulish arduo- meaning height. It is also found in several placenames, such as the Ardennes Woods (Arduenna silva), the Forest of Arden in England, in personal names Arduunus and Arda — the latter from coinage of the Treveri, (RIG-4, 36-43) — and the Galatian Αρδή. The name Arduenna silva for "wooded heights" was applied to several forested mountains, not just the modern Ardennes: it is found in the départements of Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme and in the French commune of Alleuze.
It has also been suggested that the gemination -nn- is typical to a language of the Belgae, being different from Celtic and thus suggesting a Nordwestblock etymology, which, generally speaking, is also assumed to be closer to Germanic.
In 565, St. Walfroy (Wulfilaïc) preached to the local population of Villers-devant-Orval to persuade them to abandon worship of Arduinna.
- Some of Diana's attributes have then been reflected to Arduina: "In Celtic mythology Arduina is the goddess of woodlands, wild life, the hunt and the moon." (Ramesh Chopra, ed. (2005) Academic Dictionary Of Mythology, s.v. "Arduina").
- Green, Gods of the Celts, 1986, p. 180; the connection is also made in popularized guidebooks such as B.G. Walker (1991), Woman's Dictionary of Symbol and Sacred Objects (San Francisco: Harper) and J.C. Cooper (1992) Symbolic and Mythological Animals (London).
- Deyts, Simone (1992) Images des Dieux de la Gaule (Images of the Gods of Gaul). Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-067-5
- The bronze is illustrated in Boucher, S. (1976) Recherches sur les Bronzes Figurés de Gaule Pré-romaine et Romaine (Research on the Bronze Figures of Gaul, Pre-Roman and Roman). Paris, Ecole Français de Rome, fig.292, or Bridgeman archives: Arduinna) another such bronze from the collection of Richard Payne Knight, has been in the British Museum since 1824; it is traditionally identified as "Diana": illus.
- Deyts 1992, pp. 46–47.
- Delamarre, Xavier and Lambert, P.Y. (2003). Dictionaire de la Langue Gauloise (Dictionary of the Gaulish Language). 2nd edition. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6, p. 51).
- Delamarre pp. 51–52.
- e.g. M.Gysseling, De Vroegste geschiedenis van het Nederlands: een taalkundige benadering in Naamkunde 2, 1970, p157-180
- Colbert de Beaulieu, Jean-Baptiste and Fischer, Brigitte (1998) Receuil des Inscriptions gauloises (RIG) 4: les légendes monétaires. Paris, Editions du CNRS
- Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL), volume 6, Italia
- Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL), volume 13, Tres Galliae
- Green, Miranda (1986) The Gods of the Celts. Stroud, Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-1581-1