Sunday, 12 May 2013

Esus, a Celto-Aryan Prototype for Jesus of Nazareth?

Over the coming weeks I intend to pen a series of articles concerned with the various God forms of the Aryan Krist in Indo-European mythologies. I have said many times in the past that much of what is contained in the Old and New Testaments is plagiarised from the Aryan religious systems and mythologies that the jews encountered on their travels and captivities. The Aryan world recognised the concept of a Krist but this is an entirely different deity from the Christ of modern xtianity. One interesting and now fairly obscure deity is the Celtic God Esus from Gaul. Not much is now known about this God. We must remember that the ancient Celtic world was much greater in size and variety than was the case at the time of the emergence of the Germanic peoples into world history. By then the territory occupied by the Celts had shrunk to a small part of western Europe due to conquest, subjugation and extermination by the then stronger and more virile Germanic peoples. So hundreds of Celtic Gods and Goddesses are now only known to us from brief references in classical sources, iconography and epigraphic inscriptions on stone statues, many from Roman Britain or Gaul. A good source for this kind of information is the thoroughly scholarly but very readable Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross, a very useful study for those interested in comparative mythology. According to the Bern Commentary on Lucan human beings were sacrificed to Esus by being tied to a tree and then being flailed. Charms are linked to Him and He has been associated with the Roman God Mercury in the same way that Woden has and thus there is a link between Esus and Woden. The Esuvii tribe of Gaul in present day Normandy may have taken their name from this God. According to Jaan Puhvel[Comparative Mythology], in my opinion one of the best works on Indo-European mythology:
"Esus is homologous with the Norse Odin in receiving human sacrifices by hanging....."
He also draws another link with Woden:
"The figure of Esus can perhaps be brought together with the theonym Lugus, which lurks in toponyms[Lugu-dunum `Lugus town`].
My readers will be aware that I have linked Lugh to Woden in previous articles. So once again there is a further link, albeit an indirect one between Esus and Woden. Interestingly he also states:
"Esus may mean simply `Lord` and be cognate with Latin erus `master`....."
`Lord` is also an interpretation for the name of the Vana God Frey. Also `Lord` is a term that was used of Christ in the New Testament. In addition to this it is also fairly obvious that the sound and appearance of the two names Esus and Jesus is suggestive of a strong link. Indeed it was quite possibly the God Esus who had His name stolen and given to the jewish `messiah` in order to come up with a personal name for this New Testament `saviour`. The process of deciding what to call this supposedly jewish saviour god was decided at the Council of Nicaea in 325CE under the watchful eye of Constantine[the `Great`] who needed a religion to unify his empire. Puhvel also states:
Lug was the father of Cuchulainn in Irish saga, even as Odin was the sire of prominent Norse heroes; likwise Esugenus `Begotten of Esus` was a Gaulish name of nobility."
Like earlier scholars Puhvel links together Esus with Teutates and Taranis as a triad but J.A. McCulloch in his The Celtic and Scandinavian Religions tends to deny this. It should be noted that Puhvel`s scholarship[1987] is more recent than McCulloch`s[1948].
"Esus-Lugus, Taranis, and Teutates as a triad receiving human sacrifice may thus roughly match the Scandinavian set of Odin, Thor, and Freyr in pagan Sweden....." [Puhvel]
Aryan mythology is replete with examples of triads or TRINITIES of Gods but I will reserve further discussion about this to a future article. Esus is portrayed as using an axe to cut down a tree. My readers will be aware that Thunor`s original thunder weapon was an axe and a stone one at that. As symbolic of lightning the axe fells the oak tree in a thunder storm. Could Esus be a Thunder God in a similar way to Taranis or Succellos? However it is not very well known but Woden is also sometimes pictured as carrying an axe. In a 12th century CE church tapestry from Skog, Haelsingland, Sweden Thor is depicted as holding a hammer,Frey an ear of corn and Odin an axe. Likewise the Frisian God Fosite[referred to by Adam of Bremen in the 11th century CE] is known to have an axe as his primary magical weapon. Fosite may or may not be identical with the Norse Forseti. The axe is therefore a symbol of the importance and the solar nature of these sky deities; Thunor, Woden, Fosite and Esus. It was important to the Romans that the Christ be portrayed as being a solar deity. The disparate peoples of Roman Europe could relate to such a god. The accompanying photograph shows Esus on the Pillar of the Boatmen from 1st century CE Paris and now located in the Musée National du Moyen Age.


KaiserGray94 said...

1. The only comparison between the Celtic diety Esus, god of blood and the willow tree, and the Jesus is the coincidental name similarity. It's also similar to Zues in pronounciation.
2. The Aryans(Germanic cultures) and the Celts are two different peoples entirely. Much as Basques and Castilians. Yes there will be some common Exchange, when the only thing seperating you is a river, then there is bound to be some cultural exchange.
3. There are similarities umong all the gods of the ancient world. Every culture had a thunder god, agricultural god, fire/sun god or goddess, and father/mother god or goddess.
4. The Hebrews already had their mythology well set long before their diaspora. And had several prophets.

KaiserGray94 said...

Otherwise quite knowledgable and well written, aside from the previous mentioned four errors.

Wotans Krieger said...

1.I do not accept that it is an "error" to make comparisons between 2 deities. The purpose of this blog is to make such comparisons.
2.I am not clear as to why you imply that the Germanic culture is an Aryan one but not the Celtic? They are two separate peoples but with a common shared Indo-European ancestry. This is demonstrated through linguistics and comparative mythology.
3.Yes I agree but how does this weaken the Indo-European hypothesis?
4.Yes, a mythology stolen and plagiarised from the Aryans!
Thank you for your thoughtful input. It is always appreciated. :}

Barry Iaconelli said...

Constantine had a druid mother