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Numina proelii? Remarks on some Germanic divine names

Marco Battaglia

Abstract


The 1st century (A.D.) Roman hegemony over the Celto-Germanic Rhineland areas (particularly the province of Germania Inferior) unfolds the development of a brand new cultural and religious setting ensued from the changed political, military and social conditions. In the resulting mixed society, in which new clans and classes were superseding the traditional establishment, some unprecedented Germanic cults are witnessed through the expanding medium of the epigraphic writing. Unfortunately, the local oral culture, the imposition of the Roman citizenship and the consequences of Christianization hampered these feeble yet crucial tracks, often leaving this frail evidence in the domain of guesswork or ideological and ad hoc conjectures. This paper tries to shed some critical light on a limited number of feminine theo-nyms, the object of a long time and unlikely identification with the exotic representations of the 13th century Valkyries arising from Old Norse literature.

 

Marco Battaglia
Dipartimento di Filologia, Letteratura e Linguistica
Università di Pisa
Via Santa Maria 36
56126 Pisa (Italy)
marco.battaglia@unipi.it


Keywords


Germani; Religione germanica; Epigrafia romana delle province; Tacito;

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