December 31, 2013

Catalogs and categories of Epona artifacts

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A friend of mine recently asked me if the categorization of Epona artifacts used on Epona.net was original to Nantonos and I. The short answer is that, no, every author who has studied Epona artifacts has created their own categories. It’s like organizing a pantry: each cook has a different way of arranging cans so they make the most sense to that cook.

Nantonos did the majority of the analysis on the artifacts and the catalog we were creating. The categorization on Epona.net was his design. The artifact catalogs of Reinach (1895-1903), Magnen and Thevenot (1953), Sterckx (1985), and Euskirchen (1993) all apply organize artifacts into different categories. Linduff (1979) also categorizes the artifacts, although she didn’t compile a catalog.

The usual divisions are side-saddle and subtypes, enthroned / imperial and subtypes, and then miscellaneous. I’m not sure if others subset the cart type or not. There are additional might be something in the catalogs, especially in Euskirchen. My German isn’t good enough to see a division for that at a quick glance, but Euskirchen does break the types down into the smallest details.

The cart type categorization might be specific to Epona.net. I’m not sure if the other catalogs use the cart type.

In addition to the above catalogs of artifacts, two English language sources by Linduff and Mackintosh contain other types of categorizations. In Chapter 4 of The Divine Rider in the art of the Western Roman Empire, Mackintosh has an excellent discussion of symbolism and what the difference in artistic types mean. Linduff explores the relationship between how the artifacts are crafted and the cultural context.

Euskirchen is hard to find. I had to go to the Library of Congress to photocopy the catalog. Sterckx is available on Amazon, although the book appears to be out of print.

Magnen and Thevenot as well as Reinach are usually available through interlibrary loan. Reinach is still one of the best resources and is available online.

Here are the citations:

  • Euskirchen, Marion. “Epona.” Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission Deutsches Archäologisches Institut., 74 (1993): 607-838. Print.
  • Linduff, K. “Epona: A Celt among the Romans.” Collection Latomus 38.4 (1979): 817-37. Print.
  • Mackintosh, M. (1995). The divine rider in the art of the Western Roman empire. Oxford, Tempus reparatum.
  • Magnen, René , and Emile Thevenot. Épona : Déesse Gauloise Des Chevaux Protectrice Des Cavaliers. Bordeaux: Delmas, 1953. Print.
  • Reinach, Salomon. Épona La Déesse Gauloise Des Chevaux. Paris,: Leroux, 1895. Print.
  • Sterckx, Claude. Eléments De Cosmogonie Celtique. Bruxelles, Belgique: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles, 1986. Print.
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