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Ogmios was a Gaulish deity, who Lucian records was depicted as a bald old man with a bow and club leading an apparently happy band of men with chains attached to their ears from his tongue. This is thought by some scholars to be a metaphor for eloquence, possibly related to bardic practices. Lucian records that the Gauls associated him with Hercules, but his appearance on two defixiones from Austria suggests that he was also associated with Hermes in Eastern Celtic tradition.

He is likely related to the Irish god Ogma, and is one of the closest Gaulish parallels to Ogma's brother, the Dagda.

Etymology of the Name

Entries in the University of Wales' reconstructed Proto-Celtic lexicon suggest that the name is likely to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Celtic *Ogmjos , a word related to the word for ‘furrow’ and having the semantic connotations of ‘The Imprinting One, The Impressive One.’ He may therefore personify impressive character, be it of a plough impressing on the soil, or the impressive quality of eloquent language or skill. This would explain his syncretism with Hercules, another impressive character. The usual etymology, however, is that he was a god of 'leading' or 'conveying' (hence the description of Lucian); cf. Greek ogmos.


  • Egger, Rudolf. (1962-63). Römische Antike und frühes Christentum: Ausgewählte Schriften von Rudolf Egger; Zur Vollendung seines 80. Lebensjahres, ed. Artur Betz and Gotbert Moro. 2 vols. Klagenfurt: Verlag des Geschichtsvereines für Kärnten


Suggested Reading

Celtic Myths and Legends
by T. W. Rolleston

Book Description
Masterful retelling of Irish and Welsh stories and tales of the Ultonian and Ossianic cycles, the voyage of Maeldun, and the myths and tales of the Cymry (Welsh). Favorite and familiar stories of Cuchulain, King Arthur, Deirdre, the Grail, many more.



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