Grannus (also Granus, Mogounus,[1] and Amarcolitanus[2]) was a Celtic deity of classical antiquity. He was regularly identified with Apollo as Apollo Grannus and frequently worshipped in conjunction with Sirona, and sometimes with Mars and other deities.[3]

A partially reconstructed temple of Apollo Grannus at Faimingen (Phoebiana) near Lauingen

Name edit

Etymology edit

The theonym Grannus is a latinized form of Gaulish Grannos.[4] The same stem appears in the personal names Grania, Grannia, Grannicus, and Grannica, as well as in the place names Grignols (from an earlier *Granno-ialon 'Grannus' clearing'), Aquae Granni (> Aachen), and Granéjouls.[5]

Its etymology remains debated. The name could be connected to Proto-Celtic *grand-/grend-, meaning 'beard' (cf. Middle Irish grend, Middle Welsh grann 'chin, beard, cheek', Middle Breton grann 'eyebrow'), although some scholars have pointed that the god is never actually portrayed with a beard. Old French grenon ('small beard'), Old Spanish greñon ('beard') and Occitan gren ('moustache') are derived from an earlier *grennos, that is supposed to be Gaulish, but the vocalism is difficult to reconcile with the other forms.[5][6][7]

An alternative etymology connects the name to a reconstructed form *gra-snó- (< *gwhr-snó-), which could be related to Proto-Celtic *gwrīns-/gwrens-, meaning 'heat' (cf. Middle Irish grīs 'heat, glow, embers', Middle Welsh gwres 'heat [of the sun, fire], passion, lust').[4][8] Scholar Jürgen Zeidler contends that this would be a "probable reference to the sun's heat and its healing properties".[9] In early twentieth century scholarship, the theonym was often compared with the Old Irish grían ('sun'),[5] which, according to linguist Ranko Matasović, should be derived from Proto-Celtic *gwrensā (> Primitive Irish *gwrēnā).[8]

Epithets edit

At Monthelon, Grannus is called Deus Apollo Grannus Amarcolitanus[2] ("The one with a piercing or far-reaching look"[10]), and at Horbourg-Wihr Apollo Grannus Mogounus.[3][1]

In all of his centres of worship where he is assimilated to a Roman god, Grannus was identified with Apollo,[3] presumably in Apollo's role as a healing or solar deity. In Trier, he is identified more specifically with Phoebus as Apollo Grannus Phoebus.[11][3]

Centres of worship edit

Hot springs such as those at Aquae Granni (today's Aachen) are thought to have been dedicated to Grannus.
The amphitheatre in Grand, dedicated to Apollo. The name of Grand has been linked to Grannus.

One of the god's most famous cult centres was at Aquae Granni (now Aachen, Germany). Aachen means ‘water’ in Old High German, a calque of the Roman name of "Aquae Granni".[12] The town's hot springs with temperatures between 45 °C and 75 °C lay in the somewhat inhospitably marshy area around Aachen's basin-shaped valley region.[12] Aachen first became a curative centre in Hallstatt times.[12]

According to Cassius Dio, the Roman Emperor Caracalla (188 AD to 217 AD) unsuccessfully sought help from Apollo Grannus—as well as Aesculapius and Serapis—during a bout of physical and mental illness, visiting the god's shrine and making many votive offerings; Dio claims that the gods refused to heal him because they knew Caracalla's intentions to be evil.[13] Caracalla's visit to the shrine of ‘the Celtic healing-god’ Grannus was during the war with Germany in 213.[14][citation needed]

Festival edit

A 1st century AD Latin inscription from a public fountain in Limoges mentions a Gaulish ten-night festival of Grannus (lightly Latinized as decamnoctiacis Granni):

NORIGIS F(ilius) VERG(obretus) AQV
NOCTIACIS GRANNI D(e) S(ua) P(ecunia) D(edit)[15]

Translation: "The vergobretus Postumus son of Dumnorix gave from his own money the Aqua Martia ("Water of Martius [or Mars]", an aqueduct[16]) for the ten-night festival of Grannus".[citation needed]

Divine entourage edit

The name Grannus is sometimes accompanied by those of other deities in the inscriptions. In Augsburg, he is found with both Diana and Sirona;[17] he is again invoked with Sirona at Rome,[18] Bitburg,[19] Baumberg,[20][3] Lauingen,[21] and Sarmizegetusa (twice).[22] At Ennetach he is with Nymphs,[23] at Faimingen with Hygieia and the Mother of the Gods,[24] and at Grand with Sol.[3] A votive altar at Astorga invokes him after "holy Serapis" and "the many-named Isis", and before "the unvanquished Core and Mars Sagatus".[25][3]

References edit

  1. ^ a b CIL XIII, 05315
  2. ^ a b CIL XIII, 02600
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Patrice Lajoye. Un inventaire des divinités celtes de l’Antiquité. Société de Mythologie Française. See also the inventory's introduction. (in French)
  4. ^ a b Zeidler 2003, pp. 82–83.
  5. ^ a b c Delamarre 2003, p. 183.
  6. ^ Zeidler 2003, pp. 78–80.
  7. ^ Matasović 2009, p. 166.
  8. ^ a b Matasović 2009, p. 147.
  9. ^ Zeidler 2003.
  10. ^ Zeidler, Jürgen, "On the etymology of Grannus", Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, Volume 53 (1), de Gruyter. 2003, p. 86.
  11. ^ CIL XIII, 03635
  12. ^ a b c Dr. Rita Mielke. History of Bathing. Aachen.
  13. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History 78.15.
  14. ^ CIL VI 2086; IvEph 802
  15. ^ AE 1989: 521; AE 1991: 1222.
  16. ^ Laurent Lamoine, Le pouvoir local en Gaule romaine, Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal, 2009, pp. 114-115.
  17. ^ AE 1992, 01304
  18. ^ CIL VI, 00036
  19. ^ CIL XIII, 04129
  20. ^ CIL III, 05588
  21. ^ CIL III, 11903
  22. ^ AE 1983, 00828
  23. ^ CIL III, 05861
  24. ^ CIL III, 05873
  25. ^ AE 1968, 00230. The dedicant is Julius Melanius, an imperial governor.

Bibliography edit

  • Delamarre, Xavier (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise: Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental. Errance. ISBN 9782877723695.
  • Matasović, Ranko (2009). Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Brill. ISBN 9789004173361.
  • Zeidler, Jürgen (2003). "On the etymology of Grannus". Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie. 53 (1): 77–92. doi:10.1515/ZCPH.2003.77. ISSN 0084-5302.

Further reading edit

  • Hofeneder, Andreas; Hainzmann, Manfred, and Mathieu, Nicolas. “Apollon Grannos – Überlegungen Zu Cassius Dio 77, 15,5–7”. In: Théonymie Celtique, Cultes, Interpretatio - Keltische Theonymie, Kulte, Interpretatio. Edited by Andreas Hofeneder and Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 1st ed. Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2013. pp. 101-112.

External links edit

  •   Media related to Grannus at Wikimedia Commons