In Gallo-Roman religion
was a Gaulish
god of the sun, healing and prophecy. His name is known from inscriptions found in Lurs
in southern France
(in the dative form Αλα[υ]νειουι) and in Mannheim
in western Germany
. In the latter inscription, Alaunus is used as an epithet of Genius Mercury
The Proto-Celtic Alaunos
is believed to mean ‘shining one’, which has led Dr. John Koch at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies to suggest that this personality may be another name for Belenos
. This theory, if it is correct, would account for the associations with the sun and the apparent mental brilliance of the ability to heal and tell the future.
Theo Vennemann compares this god’s name with Basque arau ‘order, regularity’, which he asserts is from Proto-Vasconic Alaunu meaning ‘order’.
- Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology(Oxford Paperback Reference), Oxford University Press, (1994): ISBN 0-19-508961-8
- Wood, Juliette, The Celts: Life, Myth, and Art, Thorsons Publishers (2002): ISBN 0-00-764059-5