Loucetios

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In Gallo-Roman religion, Loucetios (Latinized as Leucetius) was a Gallic god invariably identified with the Roman Mars. About a dozen inscriptions in his honour have been recovered, mainly from eastern Gaul, with a particular concentration among the Vangiones (a Rhenish tribe). Mars Loucetios is often accompanied by Nemetona. Inscriptions to him have also been found at Bath and Angers.[1]

The name Loucetios may be derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *leuk- ("shine"). It is presumably analogous to Oscan Loucetius, "light-bringer," an epithet of Jupiter.[2] The Gaulish and Brythonic forms likely derive from Proto-Celtic *louk(k)et-, "bright, shining, flashing," hence also "lightning,"[3] in reference to either a Celtic commonplace metaphor between battles and thunderstorms (Old Irish torannchless, the "thunder feat"), or the divine aura of the hero (the lúan of Cú Chulainn).[4]

Modern literature[edit]

In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Leucotios [sic] appears in chapter three, during Shadow's (the main character) dream of forgotten gods.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicole Jufer & Thierry Luginbühl. 2001. Les dieux gaulois : répertoire des noms de divinités celtiques connus par l'épigraphie, les textes antiques et la toponymie. Editions Errance, Paris. pp.48-49
  2. ^ J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (Taylor & Francis, 1997), p. 513.
  3. ^ Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Éditions Errance, 2003), 2nd edition, p. 200.
  4. ^ Helmut Birkham, entry on "Loucetius," in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, edited by John Koch (ABC-Clio, 2006), p. 1192.