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Lusitanian mythology is the mythology of the Lusitanians, an Indo-European speaking people of western Iberia, in what was then known as Lusitania. In present times, the territory comprises the central part of Portugal and small parts of Extremadura and Salamanca.

Lusitanian deities heavily influenced all of the religious practices in western Iberia, including Gallaecia as well. Lusitanian beliefs and practices intermingled with those of Roman deities after Lusitania was conquered.[1] Recently, a Vasconian substrate is starting to be recognized.[2]


Main pantheon

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Through the Gallaecian-Roman inscriptions, a great pantheon of Gallaecian deities begins to emerge, sharing cults with other Celtic or Celticized peoples in the Iberian Peninsula, such as Astur — especially the more Western — or Lusitanian, but also the Gauls and Britons among others. However, because the borders shifted numerous times and Lusitanians and Gallaecians were often referred to as one people, it is relevant to note that some of the so-called Gallaecian or Lusitanian deities had the same names.

Of particular importance and popularity, especially following the Roman conquest, were a number of deities among whom were Endovelicus, Ataegina, Nabia and Trebaruna.

The Fonte do Ídolo (Portuguese for Idol's Fountain), in Braga.

There is hardly any sign of Bandua, Reue, Arentius-Arentia, Quangeius, Munidis, Trebaruna, Laneana and Nabia — all worshipped in the heart of Lusitania — outside the boundary with the Vettones. Bandua, Reue and Nabia were worshiped in the core area of Lusitania (including Northern Extremadura to Beira Baixa and Northern Lusitania) and reaching inland Galicia, the diffusion of these gods throughout the whole of the northern interior area shows a cultural continuity with Central Lusitania.

Other deities

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Main article: List of Lusitanian deities

Two regional deities in Western Iberia do not occur in the region: Crouga, worshiped around Viseu, and Aernus, in the Bragança area. The largest number of indigenous deities found in the whole Iberian Peninsula are located in the Lusitanian-Galician regions, and models proposing a fragmented and disorganized pantheon have been discarded, since the number of deities occurring together is similar to those of other Celtic peoples in Europe and ancient civilizations.

Toga, female deity of the known Lusitanian mythology. Her name is in inscriptions found on Vettone and Lusitanian territory[8][9] but the cult is thought to have Vettone origins.[9]

A sun goddess, Kontebria (Cantabria), was apparently present, her worship later being assimilated into Virgin Mary's Nossa Senhora de Antime figure.[10][11][12]

Dii, Lares, Nymphs and Genii were the main types of divinity worshiped, known from the Latin epigraphy, although many names are recorded in the Lusitanian or Celtiberian languages.

See also


  1. ^ Katia Maia-Bessa and Jean-Pierre Martin (1999)
  2. ^ Encarnação, José d’. 2015. Divindades indígenas sob o domínio romano em Portugal. Second edition. Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra.
  3. ^ Juan Carlos Olivares Pedreño (2005)
  4. ^ Juan Francisco Masdeu (1688)
  5. ^ P. Le Roux and A. Tranoy (1974)
  6. ^ Lódz, Krzysztof Tomasz Witczak (1999). "On the Indo-European Origin of Two Lusitanian Theonyms (Laebo and Reve)" (66). Emerita: 65–73. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Monteiro Teixeira, Sílvia. 2014. Cultos e cultuantes no Sul do território actualmente português em época romana (sécs. I a. C. – III d. C.). Masters’ dissertation on Archaeology. Lisboa: Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa.
  8. ^ "Chapter 1: Paganism and Christianity in Spain Before the Council of Elvira". Retrieved 2023-09-23.
  9. ^ a b "e-Keltoi: Volume 6, Celtic Gods of the Iberian Peninsula, by Juan Carlos Olivares Pedreño". 2008-10-11. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2023-09-23.
  10. ^ "UM CULTO SOLAR OU RITUAL DE FECUNDIDADE". Archived from the original on 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  11. ^ Enciclopédia das Festas Populares e Religiosas de Portugal. Vol. 1. p. 64. ISBN 9789892013916.

Further reading