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[L, good purveyor, great provider].

Latin name for an indigenous Gaulish deity whose worship was known from what is today Germany to Britain. Frequently seen as a cult-partner of Gaulish Mercury, her statues sometimes acquire his attributes, such as the purse of plenty and the caduceus. She also sometimes appears with the Roman goddess Fortuna and may borrow artefacts from her icons. Other imagery implies fertility and a patronage of motherhood. Additionally, however, she may also be seen by herself, especially in south-eastern France, implying that her cult may have pre-dated that of either Mercury or Fortuna. There may be an echo of her name in the epithet of Gaulish Smertrius, a sometime epithet of Gaulish Mars.

See J. Alfs, ‘A Gallo-Roman Temple near Bretton (Baden)’, Germania, 24 (1940), 128–40;Colette Bémont, ‘Ro-Smerta’, Études Celtiques, 9 (1960–1), 29–43;‘À propos d'un nouveau monument de Rosmerta’, Gallia, 27 (1969), 23–44;Jean-Jacques Hatt, ‘Les Dieux gaulois en Alsace’, Revue Archéologique de l'Est et du Centre-Est, 25 (1971), 187–276.

Subjects: Religion.

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