Cernunnos Pendentif, Bronze

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Cernunnos - Notre Pendentif

Cernunnos est ici représenté dans la célèbre posture avec les jambes croisées, portant un anneau sur le bras supérieur droit et un Torques. Sur ses genoux, il porte un sac, Cernunnos distribue ses dons pour les animaux de la forêt. Le motif est inspiré par une stèle sacrificielle gallo-romain de Reims (Musée Saint-Rémi de Reims). L'amulette de Cernunnos a un diamètre d'environ 25 mm. Elle est febriquè de bronze massif et sera livré avec une lanière de cuir et d'un certificat.


Cernunnos - A Celtic God

Unfortunately the Celts left nearly no writings, inscriptions or literature, that could help us with the reconstruction of the Celtic beliefs. However, it is sure that faith and superstition were so strong, that even people and most valuable consecration gifts were sacrificed.

Depictions of celtic gods, like at the plates of the cauldron from Gundestrup, are a window into the past, which give us valuable insights. Again and again we encounter the representation of a God with deer antlers, which by inscriptions is called Cernunnos or the Latinate variants of Cernenus, cornutus or Cornunus (from the Cornu, the Horn).
  Cernunnos Anhänger, Bild vom Gundestrup-Kessel


Gods with deer antlers appear already since the early stone age and also can be found in other Indo-European cultures. The prehistoric cave paintings show horned shamans or gods, most likely relating to hunting rituals. Also Cernunnos is the God of the forest and the animals. He is their protector and guardian, he will bring fertility and prosperity. On the cauldron from Gundestrup, which is dated mostly to the 1st century BC, he holds a torque (neckring) and a snake in his hands. Cernunnos is surrounded by a deer, wolves, birds, and other mythical creatures.

The wooden figures of two goats and a deer, found at the celtic settlement of Felbach-Schmieden, originally belonged to a cult image, which also comprised a human figure which is unfortunately not preserved. Here, one can assume a depiction of Cernunnos, too.
Horned creatures, ghosts and heroes are known from numerous myths and legends of the middle ages. Just from the rich treasure of Irish mythology, memories of the ancient Celtic God seem to be preserved.
  Cernunnos Anhänger, Rekonstruktion Fellbach-Schmieden
Hypothetic reconstruction of the cult-figures of Fellbach-Schmieden

 

Cernunnos - the Gallo-Roman Votiv Stele of Reims


Even after the conquest of Gaul by the Romans, the old belief in Cernunnos as the God of animals and forests is not extinguished. Pictures on votiv stones are dated far into the roman age. In contrast to other celtic deities he is not a victim of the Interpretatio Romana and was not equated with any classical Roman God.

At the stone from Durocorturum (today´s Reims) of the 1st century AD, which inspired our Cernunnos pendant, the antlered god is accompanied by Apollo and mercury. Cernunnos is the centre of the votiv stele, and he pours out water or cereal out of a bag, to feed a bull and a deer. I think, a proposed interpretation of coins as a symbol of wealth and prosperity instead of water is rather unlikely.
 

Cernunnos Anhänger | Rekonstruierter Weihestein aus dem Arch. Park Samara

Reconstruction of the votiv stele of Reims at the Archaeological Park of Samara near Amiens


Cernunnos - Literature and Informations

Michael Altjohann: Cernunnos-Darstellungen in den gallischen und germanischen Provinzen. In: Peter Noelke (Hrsg.): Romanisation und Resistenz in Plastik, Architektur und Inschriften der Provinzen des Imperium Romanum. Neue Funde und Forschungen. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2003. S. 67–80. ISBN 3-8053-3089-8.

Bernhard Maier: Lexikon der keltischen Religion und Kultur. Kröner, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-520-46601-5.

 


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