Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/50

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40 The Etiropean Sky -God.

woollen covering of a particoloured salmon, was known as Mog Niiadat or ' Nuada's Slave.' ^ In fact, Nodons, like Nuada, was a Jupiter and a Neptune rolled into one. Possibly he was a Pluto too : for right in the middle of Flavius' inscription space is left for a circular hole or funnel 9 inches wide, surrounded by concentric bands of red, blue, and white tesserae ; it leads down- wards directly into the earth, and at the bottom of it was found a bronze dog, the legs of which were joined together with lead.^ The find is noteworthy, since in and around the temple a whole series of wolves or dogs came to light, seven in bronze, six at least in a coarse freestone.^ The dog was probably a surrogate for the wolf; and both alike remind us of Taliessin's description of Nudd as ' the superior wolf-lord.' His further reference to ' the Generous one ' may likewise have been applicable to Nodons: for a stone statuette of Fortuna, seated, with a cornucopia in her left hand, was among the very few pieces of sculpture found at Lydney.* In short it appears that Nodons, so far as his character can be determined from the remains of his temple, bore a decided resem- blance both to Nuada and to Nudd.

That he, like them, was represented by a priestly king is no less probable. For the most important clue to the cult at Lydney is a crown or diadem of thin beaten bronze, made with five points and adorned with figures characteristic of the god.^ In the centre stands a beard-

1 Coir Anmann 36-40 in Stokes and Windisch Irische Texte Hi. 300 ff.

^Lydney Park, p. 14.

^C. W. King Lydney Park p. 46 thinks that two of the series are undoubtedly wolves {ib. pi. 20, 2 and pi. 27, 10) and two dogs {ib. pi. 27, 3 and pi. 30, 3). The Rev. W. H. Bathurst classed them all as 'dogs' (z3. p. 14). Hiibner {op. cit. p. 34) says: 'Ob das Thier ein Hund oder ein Wolf ist, wird sich schwer entscheiden lassen.'

  • Hiibner op. cit. p. 44 : King Lydney Park p. 43, pi. 19, erroneously

makes it a statuette of Ceres.

^Lydney Park pi. 13.