Drawing of an altar to Mercury Arvernus found at Gripswald along with a group of votive altars and reliefs dedicated to the Matronae

In Gallo-Roman religion, Arvernus was an epithet of the Gaulish Mercury. Although the name refers to the Arverni, in whose territory Mercury had at important sanctuary at the Puy-de-Dôme in the Massif Central, all of the inscriptions to Mercury Arvernus are found farther away along the Rhenish frontier. The similar name Mercury Arvernorix, ‘king of the Arverni’, is also recorded once.[1] Compare also the title Mercury Dumiatis (‘of the Puy-de-Dôme’), found in the territory of the Arverni.[2] The name, like the name of the Arverni and of Auvergne, appears to derive from a Proto-Celtic compound adjective *φara-werno-s ‘in front of alders’.


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  1. MERCURIUS - L'inventore di tutti le arte.
  2. Nicole Jufer & Thierry Luginbühl (2001). Les dieux gaulois : répertoire des noms de divinités celtiques connus par l'épigraphie, les textes antiques et la toponymie. Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-200-7.
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