模板:凱爾特神話 凱爾特神話（Celtic mythology）是凱爾特多神信仰的神話學的一環，是凱爾特民族在鐵器時代的信仰。就如其他鐵器時代的歐洲民族般，早期的凱爾特民族也擁有多神信仰的信仰結構。其中凱爾特民族比如高盧人和凱爾特伊比利亞人與羅馬有複雜關係，所以他們的神話並沒有在羅馬帝國中幸存。最後其轉變成爲基督教，也在其中失去了凱爾特語言。諷刺的是，大部分人認爲同一時期的羅馬及基督教出處透露著他們的神話得到了保存。凱爾特民族保留著由其祖先信仰中殘留的政治或語言特性（例如蓋爾人和不列顛群島的布立吞亞支部落），從中世紀開始訴諸文字。
- 1 概述
- 2 Historical sources
- 3 The mythology of Ireland
- 4 The mythology of Wales
- 5 Remnants of Gaulish and other mythology
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- 蓋爾亞支（Goidelic）語言中的神話。主要的代表是蓋爾神話（Gaelic mythology）（參考蘇格蘭神話及愛爾蘭神話）
- 布立吞亞支（Brythonic）語言中的神話。主要的代表是威爾士神話（Welsh mythology）（參考大不列顛神話及民間故事）
Because of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the pagan Celts were not widely literate— although a written form of Gaulish using the Greek, Latin and North Italic alphabets was used (as evidenced by votive items bearing inscriptions in Gaulish and the Coligny Calendar). Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but also wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance (Caesar, De Bello Gallico 6.14) while also noting that the Helvetii had a written census (Caesar, De Bello Gallico 1.29).
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, and broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered; in fact, most inscriptions to deities discovered in Gaul (modern France), Britain and other formerly (or presently) Celtic-speaking areas post-date the Roman conquest.
And although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions (largely personal names), more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity; indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings.
The mythology of Ireland
The oldest body of myths is found in early medieval manuscripts from Ireland. These were written by Christians, so the formerly divine nature of the characters is obscured. The basic myth appears to be a war between two apparently divine races, the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuireadh (the Battle of Mag Tuireadh), as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn (the Book of Invasions). The Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship, crafts and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature.
The supreme god of the Irish pantheon appears to have been The Dagda. The name means the 'Good God', not good in a moral sense, but good at everything, or all-powerful. The Dagda is a father-figure, a protector of the tribe and the basic Celtic god of whom other male Celtic deities were variants. Celtic gods were largely unspecialised entities, and perhaps more like a clan rather than as a formal pantheon. In a sense, all the Celtic gods and goddesses were like the Greek Apollo, who could never be described as the god of any one thing.
Because the particular character of Dagda is a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent (or ineffectual) enough to tolerate a joke at his expense.
Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a spear and associated with a cauldron. In Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was probably produced in relatively modern times (English Civil War era), it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda. This has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure actually represents Hercules(Heracles), with the skin of the Nemean Lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it. In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellos, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup.
The Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the ancient Irish Celts. Collectively she was known as the Morrígan, but her divisions were also referred to as Nemhain, Macha, and Badb (among other, less common names), with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most commonly known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge, where she is at various times a helper and a hindrance to the hero Cúchulainn, and in the Cath Maige Tuireadh (the Battle of Mag Tuired) where she also plays the role of a poet, magician and sovereignty figure, and gives the victory to the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was most often represented as a crow or raven but could take many different forms, including a cow, wolf or eel. The Morrígan can be compared to other Indo-European goddesses of death such as Kali in the Hindu pantheon and the Valkyries in Norse Mythology.
The widespread diffusion of the god Lugus (seemingly related to the mythological figure Lugh in Irish) in Celtic religion is apparent from the number of place names in which his name appears, occurring across the Celtic world from Ireland to Gaul. The most famous of these are the cities of Lugdunum (the modern French city of Lyon) and Lugdunum Batavorum (the modern city of Leiden). Lug is described in the Celtic myths as a latecomer to the list of deities, and is usually described as having the appearance of a young man. He is often associated with light, the sun, and summer. His weapons were the throwing-spear and sling, and in Ireland a festival called the Lughnasa (Modern Irish lúnasa) was held in his honour.
Among these are the goddess Brigid (or Brigit), the Dagda's daughter; nature goddesses like Tailtiu and Macha; Epona, the horse goddess; and Ériu. Male gods included Goibniu, the smith god and immortal brewer of beer.
The mythology of Wales
Less is known about the pre-Christian mythologies of Britain than those of Ireland. Important reflexes of British mythology appear in the Four Branches of The Mabinogi, especially in the names of several characters, such as Rhiannon (‘the Divine Queen’), Teyrnon (‘the Divine King’), and Bendigeidfran (‘Bran [Crow] the Blessed’). Other characters, in all likelihood, derive from mythological sources, and various episodes, such as the appearance of Arawn, a king of the Otherworld seeking the aid of a mortal in his own feuds, and the tale of the hero who cannot be killed except under seemingly contradictory circumstances, can be traced throughout Indo-European myth and legend. The children of Llŷr (‘Sea’ = Irish Lir) in the Second and Third Branches, and the children of Dôn (Danu in Irish and earlier Indo-European tradition) in the Fourth Branch are major figures, but the tales themselves are not primary mythology.
While further mythological names and references appear elsewhere in Welsh narrative and tradition, especially in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, where we find, for example, Mabon ap Modron (‘the Divine Son of the Divine Mother’), and in the collected Triads of the Island of Britain, not enough is known of the British mythological background to reconstruct either a narrative of creation or a coherent pantheon of British deities. Indeed, though there is much in common with Irish myth, there may have been no unified British mythological tradition per se. Whatever its ultimate origins, the surviving material has been put to good use in the service of literary masterpieces that address the cultural concerns of Wales in the early and later Middle Ages.
Remnants of Gaulish and other mythology
A number of objets d'art, coins, and altars may depict scenes from lost myths, such as the representations of Tarvos Trigaranus or of an equestrian ‘Jupiter’ surmounting a snake-legged human-like figure. The Gundestrup cauldron has been also interpreted mythically.
Along with dedications giving us god names, there are also deity representations to which no name has yet been attached. Among these are images of a three headed or three faced god, a squatting god, a god with a snake, a god with a wheel, and a horseman with a kneeling giant. Some of these images can be found in Late Bronze Age peat bogs in Britain, indicating the symbols were both pre-Roman and widely spread across Celtic culture. The distribution of some of the images has been mapped and shows a pattern of central concentration of an image along with a wide scatter indicating these images were most likely attached to specific tribes and were distributed from some central point of tribal concentration outward along lines of trade. The image of the three headed god has a central concentration among the Belgae, between the Oise, Marne and Moselle rivers. The horseman with kneeling giant is centered on either side of the Rhine. These examples seem to indicate regional preferences of a common image stock.
Julius Caesar’s comments on Celtic religion and their significance
The classic entry about the Celtic gods of Gaul is the section in Julius Caesar's Commentarii de bello Gallico (52–51 BC; The Gallic War). In this he names the five principal gods worshipped in Gaul (according to the practice of his time, he gives the names of the closest equivalent Roman gods) and describes their roles. Mercury was the most venerated of all the deities and numerous representations of him were to be discovered. Mercury was seen as the originator of all the arts (and is often taken to refer to Lugus for this reason), the supporter of adventurers and of traders, and the mightiest power concerning trade and profit. Next the Gauls revered Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva. Among these divinities the Celts are described as holding roughly equal views as did other populations: Apollo dispels sickness, Minerva encourages skills, Jupiter governs the skies, and Mars influences warfare. In addition to these five, he mentions that the Gauls traced their ancestry to Dis Pater.
The problem with Caesar’s ‘equivalent’ Roman gods
As typical of himself as a Roman of the day, though, Caesar does not write of these gods by their Celtic names but by the names of the Roman gods with which he equated them, a process that significantly confuses the chore of identifying these Gaulish gods with their native names in the insular mythologies. He also portrays a tidy schema which equates deity and role in a manner that is quite unfamiliar to the colloquial literature handed down. Still, despite the restrictions, his short list is a helpful and fundamentally precise observation. In balancing his description with the oral tradition, or even with the Gaulish iconography, one is apt to recollect the distinct milieus and roles of these gods. Caesar's remarks and the iconography allude to rather dissimilar phases in the history of Gaulish religion. The iconography of Roman times is part of a setting of great social and political developments, and the religion it depicts may actually have been less obviously ordered than that upheld by the druids (the priestly order) in the era of Gaulish autonomy from Rome. Conversely, the want of order is often more ostensible than factual. It has, for example, been noticed that out of the several hundred names including a Celtic aspect that can be found in Gaul the greater part crop up only once. This has led some scholars to conclude that the Celtic deities and the related cults were local and tribal as opposed to pan-Celtic. Proponents of this opinion quote Lucan's reference to a divinity called Teutates, which they translate as “tribal spirit” (*teuta is believed to have meant “tribe” in Proto-Celtic). The apparent array of divine names may, nonetheless, be justified differently: many may be mere epithets applied to key gods worshiped in extensive pan-Celtic cults. The concept of the Celtic pantheon as a large number of local deities is gainsaid by certain well-testified gods whose cults seem to have been followed across the Celtic world.
- de Vries, Jan, Keltische Religion (1961)
- Duval, Paul-Marie, Les Dieux de la Gaule, new ed. updated and enlarged (1976).
- Green, Miranda J. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992. ISBN 0-500-27975-6.
- MacCana, Proinsias. Celtic Mythology. New York: Hamlyn, 1970. ISBN 0-600-00647-6.
- Mac Cana, Proinsias, The Learned Tales of Medieval Ireland (Irish Literature - Studies), Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1980): ISBN 1-85500-120-9
- MacKillop, James. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-280120-1.
- Monaghan, Patricia. The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. New World Library, 2002. ISBN 1-57731-190-6.
- O'Rahilly, Thomas F. Early Irish History and Mythology (1946, reissued 1971)
- Rhys, John, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by Celtic Heathendom 3rd ed. (1898, reprinted 1979).
- Sjoestedt, M. L. Gods and Heroes of the Celts. 1949; translated by Myles Dillon. repr. Berkeley, CA: Turtle Press, 1990. ISBN 1-85182-179-1.
- Stercks, Claude, Éléments de cosmogonie celtique (1986)
- Vendryès, Joseph, Ernest Tonnelat, and B.-O. Unbegaun Les Religions des Celtes, des Germains et des anciens Slaves (1948).
- Wood, Juliette The Celts: Life, Myth, and Art Thorsons Publishers (2002): ISBN 0-00-764059-5
- Celtic Art & Cultures: a detailed description of the Gundestrup cauldron
- Celtic Religion - What Information do we really have
- Pretanic World - Celtic Pantheons
- What We Don't Know About the Ancient Celts