BRITONS. The gods of the ancient Britons. Taramis (the father of the gods and master of thunder), Teutates (patron of commerce and inventor of letters), Esus (god of war), Belinus (= Apollo), Ardena (goddess of forests), Belisarna (the queen of heaven and the moon.)

CARTHAGINIAN GODS. Urania and Moloch. The former was implored when rain was required.

“Ista ipsa virgo [Urania] cœlestis pluviarum pollicitatrix.” —Tertullian.

Moloch was the Latin Saturn, to whom human sacrifices were offered. Hence Saturn was said to devour his own children.

CHALDEANS. The seven gods of the Chaldeans. The gods of the seven planets called in the Latin language Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Apollo [i.e. the Sun], Mercury, Venus, and Diana [i.e. the Moon].

EGYPTIAN GODS. The two chief deities were Osiris and Isis (supposed to be sun and moon). Of inferior gods, storks, apes, cats, the hawk, and some 20,000 other things had their temples, or at least received religious honours. Thebes worshipped a ram, Memphis the ox [Apis], Bubastis a cat, Momemphis a cow, the Mendesians a he-goat, the Hermopolitans a fish called “Latus,” the Paprimas the hippopotamus, the Lycopolitans the wolf. The ibis was deified because it fed on serpents, the crocodile out of terror, the ichneumon because it fed on crocodiles' eggs.

ETRUSCANS. Their nine gods. Juno, Minerva, and Tinia (the three chief); to which add Vulcan, Mars, Saturn, Hercules, Summanus, and Vedius. (See Aesir.)

Lars Porsena of Clusium,
By the nine gods he swore
That the great house of Tarquin
Should suffer wrong no more,
By the nine gods he swore it,
And named a trysting day.

Macaulay: Horatisu, Stanza 1.

GAUL. The gods of the Gauls were Esus and Teutates (called in Latin Mars and Mercury). Lucan adds a third named Taranes (Jupiter). Caesar says they worshipped Mercury, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva. The last was the inventor of all the arts, and presided over roads and commerce.

GREEK AND ROMAN GODS were divided into Dii Majores and Dii Minores. The Dii Majores were twelve in number, thus summed by Ennius -

Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercurius, Joyi, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo. Their blood was ichor, their food was ambrosia, their drink nectar. They married and had children, lived on Olympus in Thessaly, in brazen houses built by Vulcan, and wore golden shoes which enabled them to tread on air or water.

The twelve great deities, according to Ennius were (six male and six female):

Juno was the wife of Jupiter, Hera of Zeus; Venus was the wife of Vulcan, Aphrodite of Hephaistos.

Four other deities are often referred to:
Of these, Proserpine (Latin) and Persephone (Greek) was the wife of Pluto, Cybele was the wife of Saturn, and Rhea of Kronos.

In Hesiod's time the number of gods was thirty thousand, and that none might be omitted the Greeks observed a feast called qeozenia or Feast of the Unknown Gods. We have an All Saints' day.

Tris gar murisi eisiu epi cqoni pouluboteirh Aqanatz, Zhuos, fulakes meropwu auqrwpwu. Hesiod i. 250

Some thirty thousand gods on earth we find
Subjects of Zeus, and guardians of mankind.

PERSIAN GODS. The chief god was Mithra. Inferior to him were the two gods Oromasdes and Tremanius. The former was supposed to be the author of all the evils of the earth.

SAXON GODS. Odin or Woden (the father of the gods), to whom Wednes-day is consecrated; Frea (the mother of the gods), to whom Fri-day is consecrated; Hertha (the earth); Tuesco, to whom Tues-day is consecrated; Thor, to whom Thurs-day is consecrated.

SCANDINAVIAN GODS. The supreme gods of the Scandinavians were the Mysterious Three, called HAR (the mighty), the LIKE MIGHTY, and the THIRD PERSON, who sat on three thrones above the Rainbow. Then came the Æsir, of which Odin was the chief, who lived in Asgard, on the heavenly hills, between the Earth and the Rainbow. Next came the Vanir', or genii of water, air, and clouds, of which Niord was chief.

GODS AND GODDESSES. (See Deities, Fairies.)


Among the gods. In the uppermost gallery of a theatre, which is near the ceiling, generally painted to resemble the sky. The French call this celestial region paradis.

Dead gods.
The sepulchre of Jupiter is in Candia. Esculapius was killed with an arrow. The ashes of Venus are shown in Paphos. Hercules was burnt to death. (Ignatius.)

Triple gods.
(See Trinity.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

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