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Cicolluis or Cicoluis is a god in Celtic mythology worshiped by the ancient Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

ish peoples and having a parallel in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. The name is Gaulish
Gaulish language
The Gaulish language is an extinct Celtic language that was spoken by the Gauls, a people who inhabited the region known as Gaul from the Iron Age through the Roman period...

 and means “All-Breast” or “Great-Breasted” and is probably used to signify strength. In the Gallo-Roman religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Gallo-Roman religion was a fusion of the traditional religious practices of the Gauls, who were originally Celtic speakers, and the Roman and Hellenistic religions introduced to the region under Roman Imperial rule. It was the result of selective acculturation....

, Cicolluis is thought to be a common epithet
An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

 for Gaulish Mars
Mars (mythology)
Mars was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter, and he was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions...

. A Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 dedicatory inscription from Narbonne
Narbonne is a commune in southern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It lies from Paris in the Aude department, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Once a prosperous port, it is now located about from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea...

 (which was in the far south of Gaul), France, bears the words MARTI CICOLLUI ET LITAVI (“Mars Cicolluis and Litavis
Litavis is a goddess in Celtic mythology worshiped by the ancient Gauls. Her name is found in inscriptions found at Aignay-le-Duc and Mâlain of the Côte-d'Or, France, where she is invoked along with the Gallo-Roman god Mars Cicolluis in a context which suggests that she might have been his consort...

”)., “Mars Cicolluis” has dedications in Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

, Germany, and Aignay-le-Duc
Aignay-le-Duc is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in Bourgogne in eastern France.-Population:-Places of interest:The church of Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul dates back to the early 13th century. The Renaissance-influenced altar and the tower are classified as 'historical...

 (where his consort is given as Litavis) and Mâlain
Mâlain is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-References:*...

 (where his consorts are given as Litavis and Bellona
Bellona (goddess)
Bellona was an Ancient Roman goddess of war, similar to the Ancient Greek Enyo. Bellona's attribute is a sword and she is depicted wearing a helmet and armed with a spear and a torch....

, Roman goddess and personification of war) of the Côte-d'Or
Côte-d'Or is a department in the eastern part of France.- History :Côte-d'Or is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was formed from part of the former province of Burgundy.- Geography :...

, France. “Cicolluis” is named alone (not as an epithet of Mars) in an inscription at Chassey
Chassey is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-References:*...

, Côte-d'Or, Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

, France, and a partial inscription from Ruffey-lès-Echirey
Ruffey-lès-Echirey is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-References:*...

, Côte-d'Or, France, may be dedicated to Cicolluis. In Windisch
Windisch is a municipality in the district of Brugg in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.-History:Windisch is situated at the site of the Roman legion camp Vindonissa. In 1064 the current municipality was mentioned as Vinse, and in 1175 as Vindisse. Until the 19th Century the official name was...

, Switzerland, he is known as “Cicollus,” and in Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

, Côte-d'Or, France, he is known as “Mars Cicoluis.”

Cicolluis may also be identified with Cichol or Cíocal Gricenchos
Cichol Gricenchos
In Irish mythology, is Cichol or Cíocal Gricenchos the earliest-mentioned leader of the Fomorians. His epithet, Gricenchos or Grenchos, is obscure but may mean "withered foot" or "footless"....

, the earliest-mentioned leader of the Fomorians
In Irish mythology, the Fomoire are a semi-divine race said to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. It has been suggested that they represent the gods of chaos and wild nature, as opposed to...

 or Fomóiri (the semi-divine initial inhabitants of Ireland) in Irish mythology
Irish mythology
The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branch and the Historical Cycle. There are...

. According to the seventeenth-century Irish historian Seathrún Céitinn (also known by the English name Geoffrey Keating
Geoffrey Keating
Seathrún Céitinn, known in English as Geoffrey Keating, was a 17th century Irish Roman Catholic priest, poet and historian. He was born in County Tipperary c. 1569, and died c. 1644...

), Cichol arrived in Ireland with fifty men and fifty women on six boats a hundred years after the Flood. There, his people lived on fish and fowl for two hundred years until Partholón
Partholón, in medieval Irish historical tradition, was the leader of the second group of people to settle in Ireland, supposedly first to arrive after the biblical Flood. They arrived in 2680 BC according to the chronology of the Annals of the Four Masters, 2061 BC according to Geoffrey Keating's...

 and his people (who brought the plough and oxen) invaded and defeated the Fomorians in the Battle of Magh Ithe
Magh Ithe
Magh Ithe was the location of the first recorded battle fought in Ireland, dated to 2530 Anno Mundi , or 2670 BC, in the Annals of the Four Masters...


Cicolluis’s name is most likely derived from the reconstructed proto-Celtic roots *k-kƒ
The letter ' is a letter of the Latin alphabet, based on the italic form of f; or on its regular form with a descender hook added...

(“breast,” but also yields the insular Celtic words for “meat,” such as Irish cich [“flesh”]), Welsh cig [“meat/flesh”] and *olyo- (“all,” “whole,” or “every”); this leads to the translation “All-Breast” or “Great-Breasted.” This likely epithet for strength might relate with Cichol as leader of the Fomorians. Therefore, Cicolluis may have been identified with the warrior aspect of Roman Mars and may have been a protective deity.

External links

  • A section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn
    Lebor Gabála Érenn
    Lebor Gabála Érenn is the Middle Irish title of a loose collection of poems and prose narratives recounting the mythical origins and history of the Irish from the creation of the world down to the Middle Ages...

     relating to Ciccul Gricenchoss and its translation into English by Jonathan Slocum, Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, and Caren Esser
  • Etymological translations of “Cicolluis,” “Cicollus,” “Cicos,” etc. by Patrick Cuadrado (in French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

    ); automatic Google translation into English