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Home  |  Gods   |  European Gods   |  Celtic Gods   |  Taranis : The Thunder God

Taranis : The Thunder God

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At a glance

Description
Origin Celtic Mythology
Classification Gods
Family Members N/A
Region Ireland, United Kingdom
Associated With Thunder

Taranis

Introduction

The Celtic tribes of Europe, including the ones in Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and the Iberian Peninsula, worshipped Taranis, the god of weather, fire, sky, and storms. Similar gods were also worshipped across various regions, including those near the Rhine River.

Since Taranis was a well-known deity, seven altars to him still exist in various European countries, such as Britain, France, Germany, and Serbia. He was often referred to as the Celtic god of lightning and thunder. His attributes are similar to those of other storm gods such as Perun, Yahweh, and Thor. Taranis is often compared to Jupiter, the sky god of Rome and the Romans were also the first to document the religious following of Taranis.

Physical Traits

A bronze statue of Taranis, which dates back to the Second Century BCE, was found in France. It was found in Le Chatelet, and it shows a vigorous-looking bearded man with a spoked wheel on his left side. Archaeologists believe that the statue was of the god of storms instead of Jupiter. According to historians, Taranis was a prominent deity in the Celtic pantheon. However, he had his share of faults. Like Jupiter, he was unpredictable and also exhibited violent tendencies.

Family

Known as Tuireann in Irish mythology, Taranis had a significant role in the tale of Lugh, another pan-Celtic deity. He was also kin to the Gaulish Ambisagrus. For the Romans, Taranis was connected to both Jupiter and the cyclops Brontes, whose name also means “thunder.” Other Indo-European thunder gods, most notably the Norse Thor, shared an etymology with Taranis. Taranis’ name also resembled Baltic deities like Perkunas and the Slavic Perun.

Other names

The name of Taranis, which literally means thunder, was derived from the Proto-Canto-Celtic toranos. It is a common reference to thunder gods in Indo-European cultures. He was also referred to as a wheel god due to his association with the wheel.

Powers and Abilities

The Celts believed that Taranis was worthy of human sacrifice due to how he was a powerful deity that protected and led the gods. He also formed a sacred triad with other Gaelic deities such as Toutatis and Esus.

The weapon used by Taranis was a powerful thunderbolt, and his sacred symbol was a wheel, which is one of the most common Celtic symbols found in Europe. The wheel symbolized mobility, and it could have represented how quickly a storm could destroy an unprepared population.

Modern Day Influence

Taranis was well-liked in contemporary media, and was portrayed as Thor’s main Celtic foe and ally in Marvel Comics. In the “Asterix and the Soothsayer” storyline from the French comic book Astreix, Taranis is mentioned as well.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.