The etymology of her name has been taken to translate to "brightest one", i.e. containing a superlative suffix -isama attached to the root bel "bright"; based on this she has also been speculatively claimed as companion of Belenus, whose name seems to contain the same root. But the root bel has also (for either deity) been interpreted differently, e.g. as bel "strong".
- СΕΓΟΜΑΡΟС/ ΟΥΙΛΛΟΝΕΟС/ ΤΟΟΥΤΙΟΥС/ ΝΑΜΑΥСΑΤΙС/ ΕΙѠΡΟΥ ΒΗΛΗ/СΑΜΙ СΟСΙΝ/ ΝΕΜΗΤΟΝ
- Segomaros Ouilloneos tooutious Namausatis eiōrou Bēlēsami sosin nemēton
- "Segomarus Uilloneos, citizen [toutius] of Namausus, dedicated this sanctuary to Belesama"
- Minervae / Belisamae / sacrum / Q(uintus) Valerius / Montan[us] / [e]x v[oto?]
The presence of the goddess in Britain is more difficult to establish. Based on Ptolemy listing a "Belisama estuary", River Ribble in England seems to have been known by the name Belisama in Roman times.
- Helmut Birkhan, Kelten. Versuch einer Gesamtdarstellung ihrer Kultur p. 613.
- Delamarre, Xavier, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Errance, 2003, p. 71.
- Michel Lejeune. Receuil des Inscriptions Gauloises (RIG) 1: Inscriptions Gallo-Grèques. G-153.
- Xavier Delamarre (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Éditions Errance, p.299.
- Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) 13: Tres Galliae et Germanae. 0008
- The identification of Ptolemy's Belisama aest. with River Ribble is due to William Camden's Britannia (1586); see also Bill Thayer's "Ptolemy at Lacus Curtius" page
- Ronald Hutton (1991). The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 218. Hutton also suggests that the name of Samlesbury may derive from a corruption of the name.
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