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In ancient Celtic polytheism, Latis is the name of two Celtic deities worshipped in Roman Britain. One is a goddess (Dea Latis), the other a god (Deus Latis), and they are both known from a single inscription each.

Dea Latis

The dedication to Dea Latis was found at Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria, England, in 1873. It reads simply:

DIE LATI

For the goddess Latis.[1]

The E is written as a . The stone is now in the Carlisle Museum.

She is known as the goddess of water and beer.[2] She may have been associated with the nearby rivers.[3]

Deus Latis

The dedication to Deus Latis, recovered on an altar-stone at the Roman fort of Aballava, Burgh-by-Sands (also in Cumbria) reads:

DEO LATI LVCIVS VRSEI

To the god Latis, Lucius Ursei [dedicates this].[1]

The altar-stone to Deus Latis was found near an image of a horned god named Belatucadros.

Etymology

The name 'Latis' may conceivably be related to the Proto-Celtic words *lati- meaning 'liquor', *lat- 'day', or *lāto- 'lust'.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b Collingwood, R.G. and Wright, R.P. (1965) The Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB) Vol.I Inscriptions on Stone. Oxford. RIB 1897, online at www.roman-britain.org
  2. ^ Folklore and Legend - Gods and Goddesses
  3. ^ Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Miranda J. Green, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1997
  4. ^ Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales. "Proto-Celtic—English lexicon." (See also this page for background and disclaimers.)

Further reading

  • ABALLAVA museum, Burgh by Sands, Cumbria, England.