Προλαλιά. Ηρακλῆς

  • Ancient Greek
  • prose
Brief work in Greek by Assyrian satirist/rhetorician Lucian on the Gaulish worship of the god Heracles, whom the Gauls are said to call Ogmios in their native tongue. Lucian compares and contrasts the Gaulish version with the common Greek one, for instance pointing out differences such as his bald, dark appearance and association with eloquence. Lucian, who is known to have lectured in Gaul for some time, attributes some of his information to an anonymous Gaul, who is educated and proficient in Greek.
Lucian of Samosata
(fl. c.120–180)
rhetorician and satirist of Assyrian descent, who was probably born in Samosata, Syria, and travelled widely as a lecturer (Asia Minor, Greece, Italy and Gaul) before settling in Athens; author of some eighty works in Greek.

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  • Ancient Greek
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Veneration of a deity named Ogmios is confirmed by invocations on two Latin inscribed tablets or defixiones discovered in Bregenz (Brigantium), Austria. Scholars have pointed out that in Irish mythology, Ogma is functionally reminiscent of Ogmios, but generally agree that there are no solid linguistic grounds for considering Ogma an Irish reflex of Ogmios. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, ‘Onomata’, Ériu 30 (1979) suggests that the rare name Dár Oma, attested in some Irish genealogies, may mean ‘daughter of (the god) Ogmios’ and that Ogma may be a learned reinterpretation of the name.



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Anonymous [Gaulish informant for Lucian]Anonymous ... Gaulish informant for Lucian
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Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Werner, Jürgen [ed.], Herbert Greiner-Mai [ed.], and Christoph Martin Wieland [tr.], Lukian. Werke in drei Bänden, 3 vols, vol. 3, Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1981.
[ed.] Macleod, M. D., Lucian. Opera, 4 vols, vol. 1: Books I-XXV, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972.
[ed.] [tr.] Nilén, Nils [ed.], Karl Gottfried Jacobitz [ed.], and A. M. Harmon [tr.], Lucian, 8 vols, vol. 1, Loeb Classical Library, London: Heinemann, 1913.
Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Mees, Bernard, Celtic curses, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2009.
Spickermann, Wolfgang, “Ekphrasis und Religion: Lukian und der Hercules Ogmios”, in: Günther Schörner, and Erker Šterbenc (eds), Medien religiöser Kommunikation im Imperium Romanum, Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 2008. 53–63.
Bauchhenß, Gerhard, “Hercules in Gallien: facts and fiction”, in: Ralph Häussler, and Gerhard Bauchhenß (eds), Continuity and innovation in religion in the Roman West 2, 67.2, Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2008. 91–102.
Mac Cana, Proinsias, Celtic mythology, London: Hamlyn, 1970.
37–41 [‘Gaulish Ogmios-Hercules: Irish Oghma’]
Le Roux, Françoise, “Le dieu celtique aux liens de l’Ogmios de Lucien à l’Ogmios de Dürer”, Ogam: tradition celtique 12 (1960): 209–234.
Benoit, Fernand, “L‘Ogmios de Lucien, la ‘tête coupée’ et le cycle mythologique irlandais et gallois”, Ogam: tradition celtique 5 (1953): 33–42.
Bibliotheque.idbe-bzh.org – nos 25-26 (Feb): <link> Bibliotheque.idbe-bzh.org – no. 27: <link> Bibliotheque.idbe-bzh.org – no. 28: <link> Bibliotheque.idbe-bzh.org – no. 29: <link> Bibliotheque.idbe-bzh.org – no. 30 (Dec): <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2020, last updated: April 2023