Beauty and The Beast ~ Epona and Rhiannon, Goddesses of Equines














In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures.[1] She and her horses might also have been leaders of the soul in the after-life ride, with parallels in Rhiannon of the Mabinogion.[2] Unusual for a Celtic deity, most of whom were associated with specific localities, the worship of Epona, “the sole Celtic divinity ultimately worshipped in Rome itself,”[3] was widespread in the Roman Empire between the first and third centuries AD.

Although known only from Roman contexts, the name Epona, ‘Great Mare’ is from the Gaulish language; it is derived from the inferred proto-Celtic *ekwos ‘horse’[4] — which…

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