Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/49

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The European Sky -God. 39

Nodons was the counterpart of Nuada or Nudd, and that he too had his human viceroy. The temple has a cdla divided, Hke that of the Capitoline Jupiter at Rome, into three celiac. This may be taken to imply that Nodons was the Jupiter Optimus Maximus of the locality — a suggestion borne out by one of the votive inscriptions mentioned above :

D • M • NODONTI

d{eo) m{agno) Nodonti

and by the inscription worked into the mosaic pave- ment of the cella, which seems to have begun with the letters, now damaged :

D MN

d{eo) m{agnd) Nipdonti).^

This mosaic was dedicated to the god by Flavius Senilis, an officer in command of the fleet stationed at the mouth of the Severn.'^ It is framed in an elaborate border representing in red, blue, and white two water- monsters with intertwined necks and a number of salmon.^ The water-monsters recall Nuada's association with the Boyne and with Nechta the water-spirit from whose well it burst forth.* Nor are the salmon less significant : for not only was Nechta's well inhabited by divine and omniscient salmon,^ but also Eogan Tdidlech, 'the Splendid,' who wore a shining mantle made of the

^ I follow the readings of E. Hiibner as given in his article ' Das Ileiligtum des Nodon' in the jfahrbuch des Vereins von Alterthuinsfreunden ini Rheiti- lande Bonn 1879 Heft Ixvi. pp. 29-46, which corrects and supplements the account that he had published six years earlier in the C.I.L. vii. p. 42 f. Mr. C. W. King in Lydney Park p. 46 takes the letter M, perhaps rightly, to denote m[aximo), a yet closer approximation to the title of Jupiter.

^He describes himself in his inscription as PR rll, which Mommsen, relying on Orelli-Henzen Inscrr. Lat. sel. GSjz praepositi reliquationis class, praet. Misenat, deciphered as praepositus reliquationis.

'^Lydney Park pi. 8. ^ Supra p. 31.

  • Rh;^s Hibbert Lectures p. 553 ff. well compares with them the sapient

salmon of Llyn Llyw, connected with the Severn by the story of Kilhwch and Olwen.