Bandua

Bandua

In classical Celtic polytheism and in Lusitanian mythology, Bandua was a theonym used to refer to a goddess worshipped in Iberia by Celtiberians.

Extent of worship

The theonym Bandua has been found recorded in Portugal and North-West Spain. The name is found with a number of epithets [ [ http://www.arbre-celtique.com/approfondissements/divinites/inventaire-div/div_liste.php] ] . At Espinhosela, the name Bandua alone is found. At Codosedo, Alenquer and Xinzo de Limia however, the name Bandua is qualified by the epithet Aetobrico(m). At Caceres, Bandua is qualified by Araugelensis, at Curbián by Bolleco(m), at Miguel o Anjo by Brico(m), at Mixo(m) by Calaigus, at La Mezquitilla by Itobrico(m), at Eiras by Lanobrica, at Rairiz de Veiga by Veigebreaeco(m), at Arcuelos by Verubrigo(m), at Seisco de Anciães by Vordeaeco(m) and at S. Martinho by Vorteaecio(m) [ [ http://www.arbre-celtique.com/approfondissements/divinites/inventaire-div/div_liste.php] ] . Along with Cosus, Nabia and Reva, Bandua is one of the best documented deities in large areas of western and north-western Iberia. In contrast to the worship of Cosus, Nabia and Reva, the worship of Bandua seems to have spread from South to North in Lusitania [Prósper, Blanca M.(2000:440-441). ‘Ein Betrag zur Vergöttlichung der Flüsse in der Antike: Arentia, Arantia. Beiträge zur Namenforschung.’ "Neue Folge" 35: 41-65. 2002. "Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del Occidente de la Península Ibérica". Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.] .

Interpretations

Bandua has been associated with water [Prósper, Blanca M.(2000:272). ‘Ein Betrag zur Vergöttlichung der Flüsse in der Antike: Arentia, Arantia. Beiträge zur Namenforschung.’ "Neue Folge" 35: 41-65. 2002. "Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del Occidente de la Península Ibérica". Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.] in order to explain the hydronym Banduje, in Portugal, or the toponym Baños de Bande, a thermal spot, and the relationship of the name with fords [Prósper, Blanca M.(2000:272). ‘Ein Betrag zur Vergöttlichung der Flüsse in der Antike: Arentia, Arantia. Beiträge zur Namenforschung.’ "Neue Folge" 35: 41-65. 2002. "Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del Occidente de la Península Ibérica". Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.] . The form "Bandue" predominates in the Galician territory north of the Duero River while the "Bandi ~ Bande" form is more common in the Lusitanian area to the south [Untermann, Jürgen, n.d. ‘Los teónimos del noroeste peninsular y la gramática de las lenguas indígenas de esta región.’ In "II Colóquio Internacional de Epigrafia: Divinidades indigenas e interpretatio romana", Sintra, 16-18 março de 1995.] . Its epithets seem to allude more to dwelling places, at least those containing the suffix -"briga", "fortress": Lanobrigae, Aetobrigo, than to the worshipping communities themselves [Pedrero Sancho, Rosa 1999. ‘Aproximación lingüística al teónimo lusitano-gallego Bandue/Bandi.’ In Francisco Villar and F. Beltrán (eds), "Pueblos, lenguas y escrituras de la Hispania prerromana", pp. 535-543. Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. ] [Pedrero Sancho, Rosa (2001). ‘Los epítetos del teónimo lusitano-gallego Bandue/Bandi.’ In Francisco Villar and M.P. Fernández Álvarez (eds), "Actas del VII Coloquio sobre lenguas y culturas paleohispánicas", pp. 541-560. Zaragoza-Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.] [de Hoz Bravo, Javier, and F. Fernández Palacios (2002). ‘Band-’ In Luis Raposo (ed.), "Religiôes da Lusitânia. Loquuntur saxa", pp. 45-52. Lisboa: Museu Nacional de Arqueología.] . This theory has been recently refuted by De Bernardo Stempel [Bernardo Stempel, Patricia de (2003). ‘Los formularios teonímicos, Bandus con su pareja Bandua y unas isoglosas célticas.’ "Conimbriga" 42: 197-212. ] , who interprets what have traditionally been considered singular thematic datives of male attributes as plural genitive forms referring to groups of people ("B'andue Aetobrico(m), Cadogo(m), Roudeaeco(m), Veigebreaego(m)"). She also states that they depend on a theonym, Bandua, which would be feminine as a consequence of the above, and which was probably created later than its masculine counterpart. Thus, we have a pair of deities, Bandus (male) and Bandua (female), comparable to other Celtic pairs like Bormanos & Bormana, Belisama & Belisamaros, Camulos & Camuloriga and Arentius & Arentia. It has recently been proposed [Castro Pérez, Ladislao (1992). "Los torques de los dioses y de los hombres". A Coruña: Ayuntamiento de La Coruña.] that Torquatus, one of the seven apostolic men responsible for the introduction of Christianity to Hispania whose relics are kept in Santa Comba de Bande (Orense), may be a Christian version of Bandua [Castro Pérez, Ladislao (1992). "Los torques de los dioses y de los hombres". A Coruña: Ayuntamiento de La Coruña.] . Equally it is tempting to draw comparisons between Bandua and Banba, a female member of the Tuatha Dé Danann in Irish mythology.

References


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