Belisama


Belisama (of the Gaules) is the accompanying female of Belenos.  Belenos is the elected god of the sun in Bretton (le belier, is thought to be Appolos of Grece).  Belisama is also a spider genus (Pholcidae).

In Celtic polytheism, Belisama or Bηλησαμα (Bēlēsama) was a goddess worshipped in Gaul and Britain. She was connected with lakes and rivers, fire, crafts and light. Belisama was identified with Minerva/Athena, and has been compared with Brigid. She has been claimed to be the consort of Belenus, with whom she shared certain attributes. The exact meaning of her name is uncertain, but one possible interpretation is “Very Strong”.

A Gaulish inscription found at Vaison-la-Romaine in Provence shows that a nemeton(1) was dedicated to her:  Segomaros Ouilloneos tooutious Namausatis eiōrou Bēlēsami sosin nemēton ” Segomarus Uilloneos, citizen [toutius] of Namausus, dedicated this sanctuary [nemeton] to Belesama”.

A Latin inscription from Saint-Lizier, Aquitania (in antiquity, Consoranni) associates her with Minerva:

Minervae / Belisamae / sacrum / Q(uintus) Valerius / Montan[us] / [e]x v[oto?]

The River Ribble in England was known by the name Belisama in Roman times.  Ptolemy lists a Belisama estuary that coordinates which, that corresponds to the mouth of the Ribble.

Some of her other names:

.  Beleymas

.  Bellême

1.^ Belisama: a Gaulish and Brythonic goddess (Summer Bright)

2.^ Delamarre, Xavier, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Errance, 2003, p. 71.

3.^ Michel Lejeune. Receuil des Inscriptions Gauloises (RIG) 1: Inscriptions Gallo-Grèques. G-153.

4.^ Xavier Delamarre (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Éditions Errance, p.299.

5.^ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) 13: Tres Galliae et Germanae. 0008

6.^ Ronald Hutton (1991). The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. Oxford: Blackwell. p.218

(1)     Nemeton:  A nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion. Nemeta appear to have been primarily situated in natural areas, and, as they often utilized trees, they are often interpreted as sacred groves. However, other evidence suggests that the word implied a wider variety of ritual spaces, such as shrines and temples. Evidence for nemeta consists chiefly of inscriptions and place-names, which occur all across the Celtic world. Toponyms related to the word nemeton occur as far west as Galicia, Spain, as far north as Scotland, and as far east as central Turkey. The word is related to the name of the Nemetes tribe living by the Rhine between the Palatinate and Lake Constance in what is now Germany, and their goddess Nemetona.

 

Taken and adapted from: 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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