Icovellauna was a Celtic goddess worshipped in Gaul. Her places of worship included an octagonal temple at Le Sablon in Metz, originally built over a spring, from which five inscriptions dedicated to her have been recovered; and Trier, where Icovellauna was honoured in an inscription in the Altbachtal temple complex.A[›] Both of these places lie in the valley of the Moselle river of eastern Gaul, in what are now Lorraine in France and Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. One such inscription was, somewhat unusually, inscribed on a copper tablet in Roman cursive letters.
At the temple in Metz, a spiral staircase led down to the water level, allowing worshippers to leave offerings in the spring and/or to take the waters. A statuette of a local Gaulish Mercury was among the ex-votos deposited at the shrine, which also included coins and ceramics dating from the 2nd to 4th centuries CE. Jeanne-Marie Demarolle states that Apollo was also associated with Icovellauna.
Demarolle glosses the name Icovellauna as “bonne fontaine” or ‘good fountain’. Miranda Green follows Joseph Vendryes in interpreting the Gaulish root ico- as ‘water’ and characterizes Icovellauna as a "water-goddess" who "presided over the nymphaeum at Sablon in the Moselle Basin, a thermal spring-site". Xavier Delamarre, however, considers Vendryes' interpretation to be very improbable; on purely etymological grounds, he suggests that ico- might be the name of a bird, perhaps the woodpecker. The root uellauno- has been variously interpreted, though the interpretation "chief, commander" has recently found favour; see Vellaunus.
^ A: Although Jufer and Luginbühl also report a number of inscriptions to Icovellauna at Malzéville, it has been suggested that this is an error on their part and that the inscriptions in question belong at Le Sablon in Metz. The Epigraphik-Datenbank Clauss/Slaby has no records of any inscriptions from Malzéville published in CIL or similar publications.
- Dyfed Lloyd Evans (2005). "Icovellauna: a Gaulish Goddess (Divine Pourer of the Waters)" from www.celtnet.org.uk, accessed 10 September 2006.
- CIL XIII, 4294-4298. Of these, only CIL 13: 4294 is complete.
- CIL XIII, 3644
- Edith Mary Wightman (1970). Roman Trier and the Treveri. Rupert Hart-Davis, London, p.217.
- Demarolle (1992), p. 23.
- Le Sablon › L'histoire › Période gallo-romaine. Includes a line drawing of Icovellauna's sacred well in Metz. Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
- Demarolle (1992), p. 29.
- Demarolle (1992), p. 26.
- Demarolle (1992), p. 27.
- Miranda Green (1986). The Gods of the Celts. Alan Sutton, Gloucs. ISBN 0-389-20672-5. pp.85, 165.
- Delamarre (2003), p. 187.
- Delamarre (2003), p. 310.
- 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. ISBN 2-87772-200-7. p.45; pp.50,70.
- Scrupulum (2007-03-19). Icovellauna: la bonne eau ou la grande Victoire? (French) Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
- Epigraphik-Datenbank Clauss/Slaby. Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
- Delamarre, Xavier (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise : Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental (in French) (2nd ed.). Éditions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6.
- Demarolle, Jeanne-Marie (1992). "Les eaux et le sacré dans la Lorraine antique". Dossiers d'Archéologie (in French). 173-177 (174): 22–32. L'eau en Gaule, rites sacrés et thermalisme.