Rothbury and Coquetdale History Society

OLD BELIEFS: Dr Maeri West gave us a very intersting link between Celtic and Roman Gods, gleened from Roman and Greek writers, modern place names festivals and archaeology. The common Celtic language root was Indo-European.

Even before the Romans invaded Britain had been important to them for trading in grain, cattle, hides, gold, silver, iron, dogs trained to hunt, and salves. Their attitude to conquered tribes were to compromise, assimilation and respect of other’s beliefs.

They would have been familiar with the British tribal culture and recognised that many of their deities, but known by different names, both for the general and local worship and invocation.

General deities involved protection healing, luck and honour, such as Jupiter and Dea Matrona (Divine mother). Local deities tended to be for places in the local landscape such as wells and species of nature, such as Fagus (God of beech trees), and Epona (horses). Each tribe would have related to differently named deities.

Male Gods tended to dominate but many feminine goddesses were especially important. At Woodhorn (A68), can be seen the deity Cocidius/Mars/Silvans, a very important god for the Romano-British. They can also be seen at Yardhope on the Otterburn ranges.