Rome and Gaul Adopt Celtic Myths for Good Fortune

How Ancient Gauls and Romans Adopted Celtic Myths for Good Fortune

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Avia

The Roman Empire made a name for itself across Europe, Asia, and Africa for conquering new lands and bringing new societal and technological advancements to the people it invaded or brought into the fold. Culturally, though, Rome wasn’t always an originator. The most overt example of this comes by way of their cultural symbols and deities. We see this significantly in historical documents when ancient Romans adopted Celtic myths for good fortune.

The Basic Premise of Roman Beliefs

The Roman pantheon is, more or less, heavily derived from that of ancient Greece. Of course, many of the gods would later take on new aesthetics and stories as the myths were told further by more people, but really, Jupiter is Zeus, Neptune is Poseidon, and Mars is Ares.

As it goes, in proper Roman fashion, the Gauls under the thumb of Rome also opted to seek the guidance of deities from elsewhere. This allowed for a Celtic gods, goddesses, and symbols to evolve in the culture and become quite the cult far-flung from the British Isles.

Plenty of Symbols for Good Fortune Made by Celtic Myth

Rome and Gaul Adopt Celtic Myths for Good Fortune

To this day, we still know the icons in Celtic myths for good fortune very well. You just need to look to the online casino at Paddy Power Games to see them all decked out, offering players good luck symbology in gambling games. As you’d expect from the Ireland-based platform, you play plenty of these games, from Gaelic Luck to Paddy Power Celtic King.

Aside from games, the ancient Romans adopted many of these Celtic symbols and icons to enrich their spirituality and enhace their luck. Symbols like the four-leaved clover, shamrock, rainbow, horseshoes, harps, and more were often adopted by ancient Greeks and Romans.

Celtic myth was widespread across Western Europe at a time, but it became entrenched and lived on the longest in the British Isles, particularly Ireland, as the people were much more insular. It is from these luck-loving people that many places in the world now derive their symbols, habits, and even deities of good luck (including ancient Rome). 

How Gauls and Romans Adopted the Celtic God Sucellus

The god who made his way from the old Celtic myths to the other side of Europe to help those classed as Gallo-Roman was the mighty Sucellus.

Rome and Gaul Adopt Celtic Myths for Good Fortune

Sucellus wasn’t a lesser god or even an overlooked one in his native Celtic myths. Rather, Sucellus was very popular, donning his hefty mallet and olla (a type of barrel) to offer good fortune to his followers, as World History Encyclopaedia details on its page. Most importantly, the olla was known to be filled with goodies that Sucellus would give out to his followers, while the mallet would be brought down on the sick and dying to end their misery.At the time, good fortune would mean a bountiful harvest and more luxurious goods, like wine, so he was also associated with agriculture.

Given Rome’s wrath after the Gauls plundered Rome, with the aim being to conquer them all per Britannica, it makes sense that they’d turn to much-loved deities of good fortune. So, it wouldn’t have taken much for the strong and giving deity Sucellus to have taken root in the Gallo-Roman religion. Having been overrun by Rome’s military might, anyone would have been clamoring for some good things to come their way, and it turns out, many of their neighbors were speaking very highly of the cult of Sucellus.

From Europe’s most famous myths for lucky charms and good fortune, Sucellus managed to reach those closest to Rome’s fury and develop his own cult following, bringing comfort and luck to the Gallo-Romans.

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