Entarabos/Intarabus

**Written by Brunjōhildiz**

Meaning of name: Intarabus’ name is usually listed as having an uncertain etymology. Xavier Delamarre, citing Olmstead, gives us “God of the Region between the Rivers”, from IE *h1enter “between” and IE *ab (*h2-ep-) “waters, river”.[1][2] Olmstead suggests that the rivers in question are the Saar and the Mosel, though this seems somewhat questionable because many attestations are from outside this area.

Pronunciation: EN-tar-AH-bus

Function: From the tentative etymology, He appears to have been a deity of liminal spaces. The etymology, referencing rivers, suggests demarcation of space between wild and civilized; rivers were the highways of the ancient world if you are traveling by ship, but they form a border to be crossed if you are on foot. Towns and villages were often founded along these rivers, or on islands where the river splits.

His iconography, as seen on a statuette found in Foy-Noville near Bastogne in present-day Belgium, shows very strong similarities between Intarabus and Sucellus or Silvanus. Silvanus is depicted wearing a wolf-pelt and also sometimes has an interpretatio with Mars, but is a deity of the common folk and is largely concerned with boundaries as well. In the South of Gaul, He is supplanted by Sucellus, depicted with a hammer or a scythe and a bowl. Unfortunately, the statuette we have is missing one hand, and the other is empty, so we’re missing several important attributes. Unlike Silvanus and Sucellus, though, Intarabus is portrayed as beardless and youthful.

Very interesting is the Vosegus Silvanus, found at a border shrine among the Mediomatrici, the closest neighbors of the Treveri. More information on Silvanus and Sucellus can be found at the excellent Deo Mercurio website.[3]

Iconography: Youthful appearance, long-haired, wearing a tunic and a wolf pelt. May have carried a scythe and a sack with pine cones and almonds.

Attested Sources: Most are in or around the area of present-day Luxemburg or in Trier, the Roman capital of the Treveri. While Jufer & Luginbühl list the finds in Foy-Noville as being part of the territory of the Tungri, but this is questionable and all nine attested inscriptions are likely Treverian.[4][5] Ton Derks feels this geographical concentration suggests that He might be a tutelary deity of (a part of) the Treveri.[6]

Interpretatio Romana: Mostly stands on his own, but a single inscription from Trier refers to Him as Mars Intarabus.

Senobessus Bolgon interpretation: Intarabus is a deity for the opening for boundaries and the crossing of boundaries, which makes Him an excellent god to invoke when hallowing an area or beginning a ritual, to allow for the crossing of the profane into the holy. He’s also a god of running waters, trade and financial prosperity. Like Lenus, he’s suitable for a Treverian-styled route within Senobessus Bolgon as a more general patron deity.

Entarabus

 

Resources:

1. Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (2nd ed.) by Xavier Delamarre (2003) Paris: Editions Errance. P. 162

2. The God of the Celts and the Indo-Europeans by Garrett S. Olmstead (1994) University of Michigan. P. 432-433

3. http://www.deomercurio.be/en/silvano.html

4. Les dieux gaulois : répertoire des noms de divinités celtiques connus par l’épigraphie, les textes antiques et la toponymie by Nicole Jufer & Thierry Luginbühl (2001) Paris: Editions Errance.

5. La cité des Tongres sous le Haut-Empire. Problèmes de geographie historique by Marie-Thérèse Raepsaet-Charlier, in: Bonner Jahrbücher des Rheinischen Landesmuseums in Bonn und des Vereins von Altertumsfreunden im Rheinlande, 194(1994), P. 57-58

6. Gods, Temples and Ritual Practices: The Transformation of Religious Ideas and Values in Roman Gaul by Ton Derks (1998) Amsterdam University Press. P. 199