Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bath Museum

The plaque found at Bathampton with the three matres depicted. There is definitely a 'celtic' interpretation here of a roman concept, the three matres, are found elsewhere in the district, especially at Cirencester. They normally feature the women wearing roman dress, with the females either holding a basket, maybe full of apples, or a corncupia, or a dog,

The head of Minerva, Found in Stall Street, there is evidence that her head was 'hacked' from the body, a decapitation echoed elsewhere with Roman goddesses; probably after 360ad and the local uprisings.

This is the famous pediment that greeted you as you went into the temple, the guarding celtic head, probably one of the finest pieces of statuary work in this country from this period. Often called a gorgon head, because of his dreadlocks, sometimes people see horns also and snakes which may represent a torc.

A close up of the gorgons head, though of course if viewed from a celtic perspective, this is a perfect example of the head cult.

Diana and her hound, the hound being well defined and executed, similar to the stature at Nettleton Shrub temple

Part of a sacrificial altar, right hand side, it depicts Bacchus

Relief of Roman god Mercury and celtic deity Rosmerta

Stone tablet showing the goddess Minerva

Stone relief of the God Mercury

Fragment of a hand holding a thunderbolt

The above shows some of the many examples of the gods worshipped at Aqua Sulis, the great hot springs that centered both roman and celtic religion...Ann Ross in her book "Pagan Celtic Britain", writes of the sanctuaries associated with springs in Europe, she states that rivers, are dedicated to goddesses; seen as mothers, whether in their warmongering or destructive role or as givers of fertility. Such rivers as the Marne - Gaulish Matrona 'Divine mother', or the Seine, sacred to the goddess of the source Sequana. The veneration of of rivers in Britain is less well documented but the names of such rivers as the Dee - Deva, Clyde (Clota Gaulish Clutoida), the Severn - Sabrina; the Wharfe-Verbeia and the Braint of Anglesey and the Brent - from Brigantia; and of course the Boyne and Shannon in Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.