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Artio (Dea Artio in the Gallo-Roman religion) was a Celtic bear goddess. Evidence of her worship has notably been found at Bern. Her name is derived from the Gaulish word for "bear", artos.[1]

Representations and inscriptionsEdit

The goddess Artio as depicted in the Muri statuette group

A bronze sculpture from the Muri statuette group, found near Bern in Switzerland, shows a large bear facing a woman seated in a chair, with a small tree behind the bear. The woman seems to hold fruit in her lap, perhaps feeding the bear.[2]. The sculpture has a large rectangular bronze base, which bears the inscription "Deae Artioni / Licinia Sabinilla" ("To the Goddess Artio" or "Artionis", "from Licinia Sabinilla"). If the name is Gaulish but the syntax is Latin, a dative Artioni would give an i-stem nominative *Artionis or an n-stem nominative *Artio. That would perhaps correspond to a Gaulish n-stem nominative *Artiu.

Other inscription to the goddess have been discovered in Daun (CIL 13, 4203), Weilerbach (CIL 13, 4113), Heddernheim (CIL 13, 7375 [4, p 125]), and Stockstadt (CIL 13, 11789).


Her name is derived from the Gaulish word artos, bear (Delamarre 2003 p. 55-56), from Proto-Celtic *arto-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ŕ̥tḱos, bear. A Celtic word may also be the source for the name Arthur.

Popular cultureEdit

Artio is a playable character in the video game Smite. She comes from the Celtic pantheon and is a melee, magical guardian.


  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) vol XIII, Inscriptiones trium Galliarum et Germaniarum
  • Delamarre, X. (2003). Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise (2nd ed.) Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6
  • Deyts, Simone (1992) Images des Dieux de la Gaule. Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-067-5.
  • Green, Miranda (1992) Animals in Celtic Life and Myth. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-18588-2
  • Wightman, E. M. (1970) Roman Trier and the Treveri London: Hart-Davis. ISBN 0-246-63980-6

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of Artio at Wiktionary
  •   Media related to Artio at Wikimedia Commons