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Sulis


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[cf. L l, sun; Ir. súil, eye].

Latin name for an indigenous British goddess of healing springs whose worship was known as far afield as Hesse in Germany. During the Roman period her cult became conflated with that of Gaulish Minerva, notably at Aquae Sulis, what is today Bath, England. Unlike the pattern with Mars or Mercury, where the local deity becomes attached to the Roman divinity as an aspect or epithet, the goddess at Aquae Sulis was always known as Sulis-Minerva or Sul-Minerva. The huge volumes of hot water pouring forth from the hot springs at Bath would have made it a destination for pilgrims long before Roman occupation, when the site was converted into a pool enclosed by a large building in classical style. See Barry W. Cunliffe, Roman Bath (London, 1969); Barry W. Cunliffe andP. Davenport, The Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath, i: The Site (Oxford, 1985). See also SULEVIAE.

Subjects: Religion.


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