(Thank you to Brunjōhildiz for this guest contribution to Senobessus Bolgon, and good luck on your path to establish a *Tungrōz practice!)
Viradecdis is a goddess of the Tungri, specifically those that lived in the Condroz southwest of present-day Liège, but She was a deity the Tungri took with them wherever they went.
Meaning of name: The name of this goddess gets spelled one of several ways, the most common being Viradectis and the most unusual being Viroddis. This makes any attempt at etymology quite hard, and Rudolf Simek is the only source that makes the attempt, linking it to the Irish ferdaht, “masculinity”. Most likely, however, *wīro-axti, truthfulness or honesty, is the derivation. Replacing the *-axti with *-ads results in a similar meaning.
The Tungri were a tribe that freely combined Celtic and Germanic elements in its culture and worship. A possible Proto-Germanic derivation could be *wēraz, “true” and “reliable” but also “friendly” and “kind”. The second part would then derive from *tihtiz, “utterance” which means something that’s said, such as an accusation, and announcement or an oath. Viroddis could then be a shortened form, *wēraz-thiz, “truthfulness”.
Pronunciation: Proto-Germanic ‘WEE-ra-dec-this, ‘WEE-rod-dis; or Gaulish Wee-ra-‘DEC-tis, Wee-‘ROD-dis, Wee-ro-DAC-tis
Function: One of the unusual attributes of Viradectis is that altars to her have been found far away from Tungri lands as well as within them. The one from Fectio, present-day Vechten in the Netherlands, reads:
Deae / [Vir]adecd(is) / [civ]es Tungri / [et] nautae / [qu]i Fectione / [c]onsistunt / v(otum) s(olverunt) l(ibentes) m(erito)
“The shipsmen from the civitas of the Tungri that are living in Fectio have delivered on their promise to the goddess Viradectis, gladly and justly.”
A different one, from Blatobulgium in present-day Scotland, says:
Deae Viradec/thi pa[g]us Con/drustis milit(ans) / in coh(orte) II Tun/gror(um) sub Silvi/o Auspice praef(ecto)
“The soldiers from the pagus of the Condroz in the second Tungri cohort lead by Silvius Auspex [erected this altar] to the goddess Viradectis.”
All six inscriptions refer to the goddess as someone to whom promises are fulfilled, and the number of altars found outside of Tungri lands might have been a means to provide a link “back home”, a way to combat homesickness while away in foreign lands, on campaign or on a trade mission.
Iconography: None known. One of the altars shows a trace of a crescent over a triangle, but it’s so faded it may as well have been part of a decoration.
Attested Sources: Six altar inscriptions, three from present-day German territory, one from Belgium, one from the Netherlands and one from Scotland.
Interpretatio Romana: None known. She doesn’t seem to have gotten any traction in the Empire at large, and her sole alias – Lucena – doesn’t occur anywhere else.
Senobessus Bolgon interpretation: Viradectis is a deity that served to unite the Tungri Condrustis and watched over them in foreign lands, and is excellently suited to anyone following a specifically Tungri path in Senobessus Bolgon. Both the Proto-Celtic and the Proto-Germanic derivations of Her name reveal something about Her character: She has a way with words and speaks the truth, specifically for pacts and promises. This could be one of the reasons She appears Germanicized, with the emphasis on oaths fulfilled, the orlaeg(sp?) being a spoken law, and the diplomatic tact to maintain fridh(sp?) and gridh(?). Especially for a tribe as heterogenous as the Tungri, a way to smooth over social missteps would have been highly valued, and she could well be seen as the patroness of peacemakers.
Which means we may end up with She who speaks the truth or She who speaks kind words. And that could give us a kind of diplomatic deity who isn’t necessarily connected to eloquence like Ogmios, but a peacemaker, someone who smooths over differences, and someone who keeps promises. A eusocial deity, with a communal focus.
- https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viradecdis No attestation, no source on Wikipedia.
- Although Tacitus called the Tungri Germanic, it is not clear whether they spoke a Germanic or a Celtic language, and Viradecdis’s name may be Celtic (compare Irish ferdaht, “masculinity”). (Simek, Dictionary, p. 264)
- Simek, Rudolf (Angela Hall, transl.) Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1993.