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Belisama (also Belesama, Belisma)

Where is the evidence for these two variant names?

to answer my own question, belesami is in a Gaulish inscription in Greek letters. need to figure out what the nominative is from that .... and also get the actual Greek rather than a transliteration.
I suspect the Delamarre has an etymology, once I get my books unpacked. --Nantonos 21:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Long-overdue reply: For the nominative of Bηλησαμι, Jufer and Luginbühl list Bηλησαμη, but surely this wrongly assumes Greek inflectional morphology, rather than Gaulish? Gaulish doesn't have feminines in , does it? For the time being, I've emended Jufer and Luginbühl to read Bηλησαμα. QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 19:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


The new Italian article – which unfortunately is of poor quality – uses the spelling 'Belisma' and asserts that 'Belisna' and 'Belisana' are also among the goddess's epiteti (sic). On what grounds I have no idea. From what I understand, there are precisely three sources for the name Belisama/Bηλησαμα: the Gaulish inscription, the Latin inscription, and Ptolemy's reference to the place-name (which might be a coincidental resemblance in any case). What are the exact spellings Ptolemy uses? What reason do we have to identify the river in northern England with this southern Gaulish goddess? And while we are about it, what reason does the author of have for asserting Belisama to be in any way connected with Belenus? Q·L·1968 10:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Given that this deity is attested one single time, in Gaul, where does the association with a British river come from?

I thought Ronald Hutton gave the Roman name for the Ribble as something similar to Belisama... I can try to find it when I get home. Incidentally, this page could maybe benefit from a translation from fr – there's a bit more material there. QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 19:01, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The French article has no cited references, and just a general Celtic bibliography. I wonder what Hutton's source is - perhaps a fort dedication, or Ptolemy? --Nantonos 21:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that was a definite problem I found with it when translating. A sentence or two after mentioning the Belisama and the Ribble, Hutton gives a footnote for "Webster, The British Celts, pp. 72–73". But I notice that Mary Jones' Celtic Encyclopedia credits Ptolemy with the identification of the Belisama as a river in northern England – either the Ribble or the Mersey, according to interpretation. QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 21:12, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I tracked it down, it is Ptolemy; added to article. Also mailed Mary Jones for clarification. --Nantonos 23:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Inscriptional evidence[edit]

A Slovenian? article (which I don't read) put me onto the Gaulish inscription; I wondered why it did not show up in the Latin inscription databases! I also added the more well known Latin inscription from Aquitania. --Nantonos 21:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)


Quartier, I had to convert your ref markup to the format that I am more used to from the manual of style, to get the other references in order. Sorry to mess with our footnote-style references. --Nantonos 21:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

No problem at all! Thanks for giving this article so much attention – it's shaping up to something respectable-looking now. ;-) QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 21:05, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Woops, sorry Nantonos, I forgot about this exchange, so I've effectively reverted to the new reference format, then. (I don't care for in-line citations anyhow, and the <ref> </ref> format is supposed to be the preferred style now, I think. Sorry; it's not a hostile revert! QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 19:18, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Lunate sigma[edit]

In the caption to the inscription, I can't find a way to force fonts with a capital lunate sigma — neither {{unicode}} nor {{polytonic}} seems to do it for me. And since this is a not-very-widely supported character, I've replaced it for now with the equivalent character (С) in Cyrillic instead. The latter should show up fine for most people these days. Not an ideal solution, but it should do. (For me, at least, the capital omega appears fine; is that a Cyrillic capital omega?) QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 16:11, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Ba'al Shamin[edit]

In mentioned connection to Ba'al Shamin seems implausible as Ba'al Shamin was a Hellenistic era syncretic Palmyran deity, who wouldn't have evolved until after the Assyrians conquered Canaan, and Carthage became the center of Phoenician civilization. Moreover Ba'al Shamin had no common traits with Belisama. If the goddess Belisama is derived from a Phonetician deity, then it would seem to be a Phoenician/Canaanite goddess, with similar traits, such as 'Anat. If the name is the only reason to look to Phoenicia for a ancestor, then it's more likely she's named after Ba'al Sumur (the Lord of the trading port of Sumur) although there is no evidence of this. I recommend the Ba'al Shamin reference be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I thought it was nonsense too. I'm commenting it out for now. If nobody can produce a credible source, then let's delete it altogether. Q·L·1968 10:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:RIG G-172.jpg[edit]

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Βηλησαμα is not the Greek-language name for Belisama. Belisama is, in fact, not known in any Greek writing. Βηλησαμα is Gaulish. Only the alphabet is Greek. I'll be adjusting the text accordingly. Q·L·1968 22:39, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Goddess "of" stuff[edit]

Nothing is known about the goddess except from her association with Minerva, and that only epigraphically.

People are free to speculate on either that or on etymologizing her name. Doing so, you easily end up with her being the goddess "of" wisdom, healing, the (hearth) fire, etc., but this is all modern speculation and needs to be cited by giving an author and a year. Editing Wikipedia, you are not free to just speculate in Wikipedia's voice. This includes the introduction of categories like "Goddess of Fire" and the like. Also, Ptolemy's river name is certainly worth noting, but strictly speaking this doesn't establish a presence of the goddess in Britain. These names are epithets, and if this name simply means "brightest" or "strongest", it may as well have emerged as a river name independently. The "same" goddess that was given the name of "Belisama" in Gaul may, for example, have been known as Sulis, or Coventina, or any number of other names, without the epithet Belisama ever catching on. We don't know. --dab (𒁳) 06:33, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

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Looks good! Q·L·1968 04:42, 31 October 2016 (UTC)