Artaius

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For the racehorse, see Artaius (horse).

Artaius is a Celtic epithet[1] applied to the Roman god Mercury during the Romano-Celtic period. It is known from a single inscription from Beaucroissant in the Isère:

MERCVRIO
AVG ARTAIO
SACR
SEX GEMINIVS
CVPITVS
EX VOTO[2]
"To the august Mercury Artaius, Sextus Geminius Cupitus (has dedicated this) sacred (stone) in fulfillment of a vow."

In Gaulish, the word artos means ‘bear’, and artaios would have been a derivative[1] (meaning something like ‘ursine’). Miranda Green considers Mercury Artaius to have been a bear-god.[3] It is also possible that Artaius is derived from a place name (so that, as an "Artaian Mercury", he would only indirectly have any association with bears - if at all) - the inscription above was discovered at a location that was once called Artay and there is a similarly named town, Artaix, in Saône-et-Loire.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Xavier Delamarre (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Paris: Editions Errance, p.56
  2. ^ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XII: 2199.
  3. ^ Miranda Green (2004). The gods of the Celts. Sparkford, UK: Sutton Publishing, p.174.
  4. ^ Longnon, Auguste, Les noms de lieu de la France, Paris, 1920, p. 114.

Curiosity[edit]

Artaius is also an Italian folk-prog metal band.