2018, Volume 15, Issue 3

Back to the Table of Contents

Blanca María Prósper
University of Salamanca
Salamanca, Spain

Celtic Theonymy at the 14th F.E.R.C.AN. Workshops
Review of the book: Matijević, K. (Ed.). (2016). Kelto-Römische Gottheiten und ihre Verehrer. Akten des 14 F.E.R.C.AN.-Workshops, Trier 12–14 Oktober 2015. Rahden: VML Vlg Marie Leidorf. 296 p.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2018, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 242–249 (in English)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2018.15.3.040

Received 7 September 2017

Abstract: Ancient inscriptions containing divine names and religious terms are of the utmost importance for the appreciation of Celtic religion in its various forms. These sources have never been systematically documented and analysed, which constitutes the goal of the F.E.R.C.AN. project launched in 1998 by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. For the time being, a number of publications have been produced on the outcome of the F.E.R.C.AN. workshops, in which new findings and etymologies, terminological problems, several questions concerning the sociology of religion, and methodological issues are discussed. In a nutshell, some preliminary results of the F.E.R.C.AN. project are: a more nuanced view of all the elements contained in the votive formulae; the distinction between theonyms and epithets; the identification of several layers of theonyms; and the detection of theonymical synonyms (the so-called interpretatio Romana). This review deals with most of the questions addressed by the participants of the Trier workshop in 2015, highlighting a number of specific etymological and methodological issues.

Keywords: Celtic religion, Celtic languages, Latin epigraphy, Indo-European language reconstruction, theonymy


Evans, D. E. (1967). Gaulish Personal Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Falileyev, A. (2007). Celtic Dacia. Personal Names, Place-Names and Ethnic Names of Celtic Origin in Dacia and Scythia Minor. Aberystwyth: CMCS.

Matasović, R. (2009). Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Leiden: Brill.

Matasović, R. (2009). Sun and Moon in Celtic and Indo-European. In T. A. Mikhailova, & S. Mac Mathúna (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Colloquium of Societas Celto-Slavica (pp. 154–162). Moscow: MAKS Press.

Meißner, T. (2010). Bratonio Gratias: Bemerkungen zur festlandkeltischen Onomastik und Phraseologie. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 57 (1), 97–106. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783484605909.97

Prósper, B. (2015). Celtic and non-Celtic Divinities from Ancient Hispania: Power, Daylight, Fertility, Water Spirits and what they Can Tell us about Indo-European Morphology. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 43 (1/2), 1–56.

Prósper, B. (2016), The Indo-European Names of Central Hispania. A Study in Continental Celtic and Latin Word Formation. Innsbruck: IBS.

Prósper, B. (2017). The Irreducible Gauls Used to Swear by Belenos. — Or did they? Celtic Religion, Henbane and Historical Misapprehensions. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 64 (1), 255–298. https://doi.org/10.1515/zcph-2017-0007

Prósper, B. (2018). The Indo-European Personal Names of Pannonia, Noricum and Northern Italy: Comparative and Superlative Forms in Celtic, Venetic, and South-Picene. Voprosy onomastiki, 15, 2, 108–138. https://dx.doi.org/10.15826/vopr_onom.2018.15.2.017

Villar, F. (1995). Estudios de celtibérico y de toponimia prerromana [Studies in Celtiberian and Pre-Roman Toponymy]. Salamanca: EUSAL.

Viret, J., Lambert, P.-Y., Stüber, K., Stifter, D., & Repanšek, L. (2014). La défixion gauloise de Chartres. Extrait des Études Celtiques, 39, 123–192, Paris: C.N.R.S. Éditions.

Weiss, M. (2017). An Italo-Celtic Divinity and a Common Sabellic Sound Change. Classical Antiquity, 36, 370–389. https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2017.36.2.370.