Celtic polytheism, Borvo (also Bormo Bormanus Bormanicus Borbanus Boruoboendua Vabusoa Labbonus Borus) was a healing deityassociated with bubbling spring water[http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/rac/rac06.htm The Religion of the Ancient Celts: Chapter III. The Gods of Gaul and the Continental Celts ] ] .
Centres of worship
Gaul, he was particularly worshipped at Bourbonne-les-Bains, in the territory of the Lingones, where ten inscriptions are recorded.Two other inscriptions are recorded, one (CIL 13, 02901) from Entrains-sur-Nohainand the other (CIL 12, 02443) from Aix-en-Savoiein Gallia Narbonensis. [ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum(CIL), 12: "Gallia Narbonensis".] Votive tablets inscribed ‘Borvo’ show that the offerers desired healing for themselves or others . Many of the sites where offerings to Borvo have been found are in Gaul: inscriptions to him have been found in Drômeat Aix-en-Diois, Bouches-du-Rhôneat Aix-en-Provence, Gersat Auch, Savoieat Aix-les-Bains, Saône-et-Loireat Bourbon-Lancy, in Savoieat Aix-les-Bains, Haute-Marneat Bourbonne-les-Bainsand in Nièvreat Entrains[www.mythofrancaise.asso.fr/mythes/themes/divcelt2.htm] ] . However, findings have also been uncovered in the Netherlandsat Utrecht, where he is called Boruoboendua Vabusoa Labbonus, and in Portugalat Caldas de Vizellaand at Idanha a Velha, where he is called Borus and identified with Mars . At Aix-en-Provence, he was referred to as Borbanus and Bormanus but at Caldas de Vizellain Portugal, he was hailed as Bormanicus .
In all of his centres of worship where he is assimilated to a Roman god, Borvo was equated with
Apollo, . Many local gods were identified with Apollo in his capacity of god of healing . He bore similarities to the goddess Sirona, who was also a healing deity associated with mineral springs [Paul-Marie Duval. 1957-1993. "Les dieux de la Gaule." Presses Universitaires de France / Éditions Payot. Paris.] , but he is clearly distinct from her. Variant forms of his name include Bormo and Bormanus (in Gaul) and Bormanicus (in Portugal). The names Bormanus, Bormo and Borvo are found on inscriptions as names of river or fountain gods [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/rac/rac15.htm The Religion of the Ancient Celts: Chapter XII. River and Well Worship ] ] .
Borvo was frequently associated with a divine consort. Eight of the inscriptions mention the goddess
Damona. Here is an example of one of them (CIL 13, 05911):
:"Deo Apol/lini Borvoni / et Damonae / C(aius) Daminius / Ferox civis / Lingonus ex / voto"
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum(CIL), 13: "Tres Galliae et Germanae".]
In other areas, Borvo's partner is the goddess
Bormana. Bormana was, in some areas, worshipped independently of her male counterpart [Miranda Green. "Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend." Thames and Hudson Ltd. London. 1997] . Gods like Borvo, and others, equated with Apollo, presided over healing springs, and they are usually associated with goddesses, as their husbands or sons . He is found in Drômeat Aix-en-Dioiswith Bormanaand in Saône-et-Loireat Bourbon-Lancyand in Haute-Marneat Bourbonne-les-Bainswith Damonabut he is accompanied by the ‘candid spirit’ Candidusin Nièvreat Entrains. In the Netherlandsat Utrecht as Boruoboendua Vabusoa Lobbonus, he is found in the company of a Celtic Hercules, Macusanusand Baldruus.
The variants "Borus ~ Borvo ~ Bormo ~ Bormanus" seem to be based on a root *"boru"-. This root in turn is thought to be a variant of the
Proto-Celticroot *"beru"- ‘boil’ and may have meant ‘to bubble.’ Cognate with the names is the Welsh "berw" ‘boiling.’ and the Goidelic"bruich", ‘boil, cook’ [ [http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/MB2/mb05.html#bruich MacBain's Dictionary - Section 5 ] ] . The words are variants of a Proto-Indo-Europeanbase *"bhreue"- ‘to bubble, boil, effervesce’ (cf. Skt. "Bhurnih" ‘violent, passionate,’ Gk. "Phrear" ‘well, spring,’ L. "fervere" ‘to boil, foam,’ Thracian Gk. "Brytos" ‘fermented liquor made from barley;’ O.E. "beorma" ‘yeast;’ O.H.G. "brato" ‘roast meat’ ) from which the English word"brew" also derives [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=brew&searchmode=none Online Etymology Dictionary ] ] . The Proto-Celticforms of the name variants most probably were *"Boru-s", *"Borwon"-, *"Borumāno-s" and *"Borumān-iko-s" and the names most probably meant the ‘Bubbler.’ The base of these names is furthermore the source of the name of the River Barrow. In Irish, the river is called "Bearú", the ‘Boiling, Bubbling’ and in Irish mythologyit was Dian Cecht, a great healer of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who first caused the river to ‘boil’ [ [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cml/cml09.htm Celtic Myth and
] ] . *"Borvo"- is the stem Macbain reconstructs for the Irish "borbhan", ‘a purling sound,’ and which he also relates to the Welsh "berw", ‘seethe,’ French "Bourbon" and the Latin "fervo", ‘boil’ [ [http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/MB2/mb04.html#borbhan MacBain's Dictionary - Section 4 ] ] .
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