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Tarvos trigaranus


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[bull with three cranes/ egrets; three-horned]. Latin name for a presumably Celtic deity represented in two stone sculptures surviving in Paris and Trier, Germany. As his name implies, the figure is clearly a bull, accompanied by three long-legged marsh birds, which may be either cranes or egrets, both of which have much resonance in Celtic tradition. In the Paris sculpture, uncovered under Notre-Dame cathedral in 1711, Tarvos trigaranus is represented with Esus, Cernunnos, and Smertrius. While the Paris sculpture is dedicated to Jupiter, a comparable representation in Trier is dedicated to Mercury; the imagery is much the same but the name Tarvos does not appear.

Subjects: Religion.


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