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 inscriptions

The goddess Artio as depicted in the Muri statuette group

A bronze sculpture from Muri, 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. (Deyts p. 48, Green pp. 217–218). The sculpture has a large rectangular bronze base, which bears an inscription. (CIL 13, 05160)

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.


External links

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