Sunday, 31 July 2011

To the Lugoves...

I'm currently at the arse end of my annual-ish chest infection, just left with a cold. I think it has only been about 9 months since the last one but this will probably be gone in less than a week as opposed to the last one which hung about in my respiratory system for 3 weeks.

Oh well :)

Thanks to A.N. For a nifty new term: locavore. Certainly succinct. The blackberries keep on coming – wine, jelly and lots of crumble on the horizon – the damsons are about ready and I did at least get some plums (someone beat me to them), enough to make a huge apple, plum and blackberry crumble for 6 of us. More to come with that obviously so I will just blogasm something when it happens.

The other nice step towards self sufficiency arrives over the next 3 weeks; Chickens!! at long last I will be getting me three pretty girls to turn veg scraps into eggs (with proper layers ration of course alongside the fresher food). I have a decent sized coop and run coming an they will get the run of the garden whilst we are home. The only risk is that foxes from the graveyard behind us – seen them, heard them – find a way in though I do doubt it as the fences around the garden are damn high. We shall see, maybe something to warn them off; bones most likely and something wtiha rather large 'fuck off Mr Fox' imprinted in it.

Anyway, onto something a bit more substantial – not sure I will get all this done as I am leaking snot like you wouldn't believe right now.

There are two things about Lugus that stand out:

Ravens; I think the imagery associated with him from contemporary statuary suggest he is associated with them which is kinda cool as it ties him in nicely with Woden/Odin. They are both local variations on the same Indo-European god-form, something that offers some interesting insight in itself. Corvids in general has significance for me, nothing I can put my finger on, they just do. When I hear them making a racket in the trees above me or when I see them on the foot a few feet away from my window feeding one of their rather tubby fledglings; these things are beyond the normal. Raven though stand out among them, they aren’t common in London – Tower of London aside – and it is usually the throaty croaking that gives them away. The last time I saw one was in the Gwaun Valley back home when myself and my sister were pootling about in graveyards trying to track down ancestors, I say saw, in fact I head the croak drifting across the damp leafy valley and saw nothing at all. That was enough.

Then there is the tricephaly; this bit screams out at me as being important, especially when taken with the occurrence of inscriptions to him being addressed not as to Lugus, but the 'Lugoves' the 'Luguses'. This to me indicates a couple of possibilities;

'Lugus' wasn't a single god but three, three brothers or gods who brought all the skills and arts to man, who taught man all it is that we call culture. A niggling little voice says they are Ambaxtonos, Gobannos and a third... maybe the magician Wetionos. (Compare with the three mabinogion brothers Amaethon, Gofannon and Gwydion). Which of course also raises the possibility of introducing Dumezilian trifunctionalism; a God, or triumvirate of them fulfilling all three functions in one.

If not this then it is possible he was simply a very powerful god, with a huge range of influence.

The statue of Lugus with his three faces stands out, I have seen this image before, something hat came into my head when thinking about Lugus and in his three functions; all sharing a single pair of eyes. This to me says it was very much an emphasis on them being three in one. If I get my ass in gear and make a start on some statuary Lugus is the first I will attempt, something incorporating this three faces but 2 eyes and the three functions of farmer/craftsman, blacksmith/warrior and magician.


Deiniol said...

While appealing, I'm not sure that linking "the Lugoves" to the three sons of Dôn is overly plausible, nor is it entirely accurate to see trifunctionalism there: Gofannon is the difficulty, as smiths (in classical Dumezilian analysis) are not second function but rather trans- or para-functional (that is, they partake of all functions but also stand outside the schema).

It is also not certain that our (single!) inscription to the Lugoves indicates triplicity, simply plurality. A couple of interesting thoughts here, however: Lleu was the younger of a pair of twins, while a late Irish story has Lugh as the youngest of a set of triplets. Perhaps this is the implication?

Furthermore, the linguistics is a bit iffy. The dative plural of a u-stem like Lugus would be *lugubo in Celtiberian and Gaulish, while the Latin form (the language of the inscription in question) would be *Lugibus. Lugovibus suggests a nominative singular in *Lugovus: *Lugoves as the nominative plural is unattested. While certainly a plural form, and (almost) certainly connected to the theonym Lugus, I would hesitate to say that Lugovibus is simply the dative plural of "Lugus". That is, we might not be looking at "the Luguses" at all- maybe it could be something like "the sons of Lugus", or "the associates of Lugus". (Alternately, it could have absolutely nothing to do with Lugus at all. Several other possible etymologies suggest themselves.)

Having said all that, however, it is interesting that the inscription is dedicated on behalf of a guild of shoemakers. And, of course, Lleu is recorded as one of the tri eurgryd ynys Brydein, the three golden shoemakers of the Island of Britain.

Deiniol said...

Oh, and a further thought. Deities appearing in inscriptions and myths in plural form does not neccessarily mean we're looking at "triple deities", or even "multiple aspects" of one god. It could simply be a case of pluralis maiestatis- the "Royal we", as it were.