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In ancient Celtic religion, Sucellus or Sucellos was a god depicted in Gallo-Roman art as carrying a hammer or mallet and also a bowl or barrel. He has been associated with agriculture or wine production.
He is usually portrayed as a middle-aged bearded man, with a long-handled hammer, or perhaps a beer barrel suspended from a pole. His wife, Nantosuelta, is sometimes depicted alongside him. When together, they are accompanied by symbols associated with prosperity and domesticity.
In this relief from Sarrebourg, near Metz, Nantosuelta, wearing a long gown, is standing to the left. In her left hand she holds a small house-shaped object with two circular holes and a peaked roof – perhaps a dovecote – on a long pole. Her right hand holds a patera which she is tipping onto a cylindrical altar.
To the right Sucellus stands, bearded, in a tunic with a cloak over his right shoulder. He holds his mallet in his right hand and an olla in his left. Above the figures is a dedicatory inscription and below them in very low relief is a bird, of a raven. This sculpture was dated by Reinach (1922, pp. 217–232), from the form of the letters, to the end of the first century or start of the second century.
- In honor(em) /
- d(omus) d(ivinae) deo Su/
- cello Silv(ano) /
- Spart(us) l(ocus) d(atus) d(ecreto) d(ecurionum)
The assimilation of Sucellus to Silvanus can also be seen in artwork from Narbonensis. (Duval 78)
In Gaulish, -cellos is interpreted as 'striker'. It is derived from Proto-Indo-European *-kel-do-s whence also come Latin per-cellere ('striker'), Greek klao ('to break') and Lithuanian kálti ('to hammer, to forge'). The prefix su- means 'good' or 'well' and is found in many Gaulish personal names. Sucellus is therefore widely glossed as 'the good striker.'
- Delamarre, X. (2003). Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise (2nd ed.). Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6
- Deyts, S., Ed. (1998) A la rencontre des Dieux gaulois, un défi à César. Paris, Réunion des Musées Nationaux. ISBN 2-7118-3851-X
- Paul-Marie Duval. (1957–1993) Les dieux de la Gaule. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France / Éditions Payot.
- Jufer, N. and T. Luginbühl (2001) Répertoire des dieux gaulois. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-200-7
- Reinach, S. (1922) Cultes, mythes et religions