Ar 2:21 PM -0700 6/15/98, scríobh Gary Ingle:
>I notice you cite figures from "Roman Gaul" and "Roman Britain".
>Do they predate Constantine and the Christianization of the Roman
Constantine was emperor in the early 4th century (AD 306-337).
The very fine stone representations of the triple Matronae
Aufaniae set up in eastern Gaul (modern Rhineland) date from
the 2nd century. One particularly well-carved altar was
erected in AD 164 by a quaestor of Cologne.
A terra cotta vase with a three-headed (front and two profiles)
bearded god from Bavay, France, has been dated to the 2nd century.
One of the best known triple representations of the the Genii
Cucullati, found at Housesteads in Northumberland in the
region of Hadrian's Wall, has been assigned a 3rd century date.
It's worth mentioning here that major pre-conquest cult sites in
Gaul such as Ribemont-sur-Ancre and Gornay-sur-Aronde have yielded
nothing of note in the way of concrete representations of the gods.
Jean Louis Brunaux, the foremost scholar of pre-roman Gaulish
sanctuaries, has said "we are not even quite sure that they [the
gods] assumed human shape before the conquest." The custom of
representing the gods in physical, and generally human, form was
part of the cultural baggage of romanization, and forms and
attributes the divine figures clearly borrowed heavily from
Greco-Roman models. It's very difficult in retrospect to tell
what's indigenous from what's not. The penchant for triplism does
seem to be one of the indigenous attributes.