Sunday, August 26, 2012

TARANIS – The Thunder God

The three Celtic deities best known from classical sources are Teutates, Esus, and Taranis. Teutates is identified with Mars or Mercury, and receives as human sacrifice drowned captives and fallen warriors. Esus is also identified with Mercury but also with Mars, and he accepts as human sacrifices prisoners who are hanged on trees and then dismembered. The Celtic 'Thunder-God' – Taranis, who is also known from eight inscriptions found in Germany, Hungary, Croatia, France and Belgium, and also figures as the character of Taran in the Cymric (Welsh) Mabinogi of Branwen ferch Llŷr, is identified with Jupiter, as a warlord and a sky god. Human sacrifices to Taranis were made by burning prisoners (see Mac Congail/Krusseva 2010, The Men Who Became the Sun. Barbarian Art and Religion on the Balkans. Plovdiv).