Chapter 23






V - Vearn (Alder) - Tree Alphabet / (─┬┬┬─) Line Ogham





NAME         Vellaunos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         war god

CULTURE      Gallic - Senones tribe

COUNTRY      France


CENTERS      Vellaunodunum (Chateau-Landon or Montargis)

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 6th c

REMARKS      The war god Vellaunos was venerated at

  Vellaunodunum (fortress of Vellaunos) in the territory of

  the Senones tribe who settled there in BC 6th century.



NAME         Velleda

EPITHET      The Seer


GENDER       F

CATEGORY     vate

TYPE         prophet

CULTURE      Germani - Bructeri tribe

COUNTRY      Germany / France


AGE          Iron

DATES        AD 1st c / AD 68

SEE ALSO     Civilis

REMARKS      When Nero died in AD 68, chaos reigned

  throughout the Roman Empire.  The druids of Gaul called for

  a holy war and Velleda, a Celtic vate who was hiding among

  the Bructeri tribe of northern Germany, saw a chance to

  take revenge on the people who were trying to destroy her

  religion and kill off its leaders.

       Velleda headed south into Gaul and took up with one of

  the leaders of the revolt named Civilis.  She rode at his

  side as his virgin prophet and a representative of the

  druidic order.  Traitors among the Celtic people who had

  grown soft on Roman luxuries caused the revolt to fail, and

  the Celtic way of life lost its prominence in Gaul.

       Velleda went home to her tribe and was reported to

  have been the negotiator for her people with the Romans.

  She lived at the top of a high tower and the Roman

  ambassadors had to send their messages to her and receive

  their answers through a relative.

       The new Celtic leaders adopted the dress, language,

  religion and way of life of the Roman colonists.  The

  Celtic gods and goddesses had to adapt to the male-oriented

  attitude of the Romans and the heroes and warriors were

  slowly replaced with an inferior breed of people who were

  happy to enjoy the luxuries offered in exchange for wearing

  the yoke of Rome.



NAME         Vellocatos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior

TYPE         shield bearer

CULTURE      Briton - Brigantes tribe

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Yorkshire


AGE          Iron

DATES        AD 1st c

RELATIVES    Cartimandua (consort)

ENEMIES      Venutius

SEE ALSO     Cartimandua / Venutios

REMARKS      Vellocatos was Venutios's shield bearer until

  Cartimandua seduced him to become her lover.



NAME         Venutios

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     hero / warrior / Brenin

TYPE         chariot warrior / head chieftain

CULTURE      Pictish - Brigantes tribe / Briton

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Yorkshire


SITES        Stanwick / York (Eboracum)

AGE          Iron

DATES        AD 1st c / AD 71

RELATIVES    Cartimandua (wife)

ENEMIES      Cartimandua / Vellocatos / Rome

SEE ALSO     Cartimandua / Vellocatos

REMARKS      Venutios fought against his wife and Rome when

  she tried to make the Brigantes tribe a protectorate of

  Rome.  Venutios eventually won over a large portion of the

  tribe and drove Cartimandua and her lover to seek

  protection from the Romans.

       In AD 71, Venutios lost a decisive battle to the

  Romans at York.  This was the end of an independent way of

  life for his tribe and removed the last major obstacle to

  the Roman control of England.



NAME         Veraudinus

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         sun god

CULTURE      Belgae - Treveri and Mediomatrici tribes

COUNTRY      Luxembourg

TERRITORY    Gaul / Belgica

SITES        Widdenberg

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c

RELATIVES    Inciona (consort)

SEE ALSO     Inciona

REMARKS      Veraudinus was a sun god and consort to the

  Treveri goddess Inciona who was venerated at Widdenberg in

  Luxembourg.  The Treveri and the Mediomatrici were settled

  by BC 9th century.



NAME         Verbeia


GENDER       F

SYMBOL       snake

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         healer water goddess

CULTURE      Pictish - Brigantes tribe

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Yorkshire / Wharfedale


LANDMARKS    springs / Wharfe river

SITES        Ilkley

AGE          Bronze / Iron

DATES        BC 13th c / BC 6th c / AD 1st c

REMARKS      A sculpture depicts the water goddess Verbeia as

  having a large head and wearing a pleated cloak with snakes

  in an abstract zigzag pattern down her arms.

       Verbeia was venerated at Ilkley where there were

  springs and also at the nearby river Wharfe.  This was the

  territory of the Brigantes tribe who may have arrived in

  two waves from the continent during BC 13th and BC 6th

  centuries and were still there during the Roman invasion in

  AD 1st century.



NAME         Vercassivellaunus

ALTERNATIVE  Vercassibelaunos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / chieftain

TYPE         horse warrior / freedom fighter / war leader

CULTURE      Gallic - Arverni tribe

COUNTRY      France


SITES        Alesia (Alise Ste Reine)

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c / BC 52 ca.

BATTLES      Alesia

RELATIVES    Vercingetorix (father-in-law)

ENEMIES      Rome

SEE ALSO     Comm / Vercingetorix

REMARKS      Vercassivellaunus led his warriors in an attack

  against the rear of the Roman forces when they were sieging

  the Mandubians' oppidum of Alesia and had trapped

  Vercingetorix and his warriors inside.

       The only hope that Vercingetorix and his warriors had

  of surviving was that these forces under the war leader

  Comm would succeed in opening a pathway so they could

  escape to fight another day.

       Comm sent Vercassivellaunus and his warriors to a hill

  near the besieged oppidum where they remained hidden until

  midday, then charged the Roman siege works.  They threw

  earth against the walls so they could climb over the

  rampart.  Caesar sent six cohorts against them and slowly

  drove them back in a great battle in which

  Vercassivellaunus was captured.



NAME         Vercingetorix

EPITHET      The Head Chieftain over Warriors

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     hero / warrior / Brenin

TYPE         horse warrior / freedom fighter / war leader

CULTURE      Gallic - Arverni tribe

COUNTRY      France

LANDMARKS    Allier / Garonne (Garumna)

SITES        Alesia (Alise Ste Reine)

CENTERS      Gergovia

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c / BC 52 / BC 46 (executed)

BATTLES      Alesia

RELATIVES    Celtillos (father); Gobannitio (uncle);

             Vercassivellaunus (son-in-law)

ENEMIES      Gobannitio / Rome

SEE ALSO     Celtillos / Comm / Conconnetodumnus / Cotuatos /

             Lucterios / Vercassivellaunus

REMARKS      When Vercingetorix heard of the attack on the

  Romans by Cotuatos and Conconnetodumnus, he set about

  recruiting tribes.  His uncle and other Roman lackeys in

  the tribe tried to prevent him from gathering an army but

  in the end they were expelled.  The Senones, Parisii,

  Pictones, Cadurci, Turoni, Aulerci, Lemovices and Andes

  tribes, plus those of the west coast, all voted for him to

  be the supreme commander.

       By BC 52 Vercingetorix had raised a large army of

  horse warriors and sent Lucterios to recruit the Ruteni,

  Gabali and Nitiobriges tribes.  The Bituriges joined also,

  and his combined forces harried the Roman food supply,

  burned their own town, destroyed bridges and rallied the

  Gauls to help free themselves.  Vercingetorix's force

  defeated Caesar at Gergovia, then even the Ædui and the

  Bellovaci entered into the rebellion.  Again Vercingetorix

  used his horse warriors to cut grain supplies and sent

  troops to harass the tribes that were friendly to Rome.

       In desperation, Caesar again went to the Germani and

  they began to harass Vercingetorix's horse warriors which

  forced him to withdraw into the Mandubii oppidum at Alesia.

  Caesar surrounded the fort with ditches, ramparts,

  palisades and siege works, thus entrapping Vercingetorix

  and his warriors.

       On the outside, a force of 30,000 warriors was

  gathered together under the command of Comm of the

  Atrebates.  They attacked the Roman siege installations

  from their side.  The battle that was fought was a very

  vicious one but when the Gauls heard that Vercassivellaunus

  had been taken prisoner and his force beaten, the rest gave

  up hope and retreated.

       Vercingetorix called together his people and assured

  them that the cause had been worthy one and they had fought

  a glorious though unsuccessful war.  He would sacrifice

  himself for the sake of obtaining easier terms for his

  people and they could either send him or his head to


       The warriors made their decision and Vercingetorix

  fixed his horse with its most elaborate trappings, dressed

  himself in his most splendid attire, rode the magic spiral

  thrice around the Roman camp and laid the sword of

  independence to rest.  After six years in a Roman jail, his

  spirit was allowed to flee to Land of the Living in the The

  Otherworld.  With the loss at Alesia, the torch of

  independence in Gaul was extinguished.



NAME         Verica

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / Brenin

TYPE         chariot warrior / head chieftain

CULTURE      Belgae - Atrebates tribe

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Sussex


AGE          Iron

DATES        AD 1st c / AD 20-41 (leader) / AD 42

RELATIVES    Comm (father); Tincommios and Eppillos


ENEMIES      Epaticcos / Caratacus

SEE ALSO     Caratacus / Comm / Epaticcos / Eppillos /


REMARKS      In AD 20 Verica killed Epaticcos, a Catuvellauni

  leader of the Atrebates, and made himself their new leader.

  Verica ruled for 21 years until Caratacos, another

  Catuvellauni, overran his territory in AD 42.  He then fled

  to Gaul where he begged Claudius for the Romans to help




NAME         Vernostonos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         god of alder trees

CULTURE      Pictish - Brigantes tribe

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Durham


SITES        Ebchester

AGE          Bronze / Iron

DATES        BC 13th c / AD 1st c

SEE ALSO     Cocidos

REMARKS      Vernostonos was a nature god associated with the

  alder tree and was venerated in the county of Durham at a

  site at Ebchester, in the territory of the Brigantes.

       The Brigantes settled in England in BC 13th century

  and they were still settled around Ebchester when the

  Romans invaded in AD 1st century.  The deity Cocidos was

  also venerated at this site.



NAME         Vindonnos

EPITHET      Clear Light


GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         healer sun god

CULTURE      Gallic - Mandubii tribe

COUNTRY      France

REGION       Cote d'Or

LANDMARKS    Plateau Châtillon

SITES        curative spring at Essarois

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 6th c / BC 1st c

REMARKS      Vindonnos was a sun god who was venerated at

  Essarois near Châtillon-sur-Seine.  He was especially

  venerated by people with eye afflictions.  Sacrifices

  included oak and stone carvings of hands holding fruit,

  cake and eyes.  Bronze eyes showing they were diseased were

  also found.

       From BC 6th century the site was in the territory of

  the Mandubii tribe when they pushed out the Sequani, and

  the Mandubii were still there when the Romans invaded Gaul

  in BC 1st century.



NAME         Virgil


GENDER       M

CATEGORY     poet

TYPE         popular poet

CULTURE      Gallic - Andes tribe

COUNTRY      Italy

REGION       Mantua

TERRITORY    Cisalpine Gaul

CENTERS      Andes

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c / BC 70-19

SEE ALSO     Gaius Valerius Catullus / Helvius Cinna

REMARKS      Virgil was born in Andes in the Mantua region of

  Italy.  He wrote an epic poem (The Aeneid) which revolved

  around the expropriation of the Celtic lands.  He was

  friends with two other Celtic poets: Gaius Valerius

  Catullus and Helvius Cinna.



NAME         Viriato

EPITHET      The Terror of Rome

ALTERNATIVE  Viratos / Viriathos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     hero / warrior / chieftain

TYPE         herder warrior / war leader

CULTURE      Lusitanian confederation - Lusitani

COUNTRY      Portugal / Spain

REGION       Beira Alta / Castilla-y-Leon

LANDMARKS    Duero river / Serra de Caramulo / Serra de


SITES        Numancia (Numantia) / Citânia de Sanfins ?

CENTERS      Viseu (headquarters ?) / Manteigas

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 2nd c / BC 139 (asassinated)

RELATIVES    Astolpas (father-in-law)

ENEMIES      Rome

REMARKS      Although several towns boast the birthplace of

  Viriato, he was most likely born in the mountains of the

  Serra de Estrela in eastern Portugal in the territory of

  the Lusitani tribe.

       Viriato was present during the siege of Numantia

  (Numancia) in Spain near present-day Soria.  He  escaped

  and fled to Portugal where he led a guerrilla war for nine

  years against the Romans.  Manteigas with its hot springs

  in the Serra de Estrela was typical of the almost

  inaccessible mountain sites he chose for refuge.

       In Portugal, Viriato married a daughter of Astolpas, a

  wealthy chieftain of a lowland farming tribe, thereby

  securing links between them and the mountain pastoral

  tribes.  At the ceremony he and his new bride were showered

  with fabulous gifts of gold.  After the festivities they

  returned to the mountains where they sacrificed much of

  their booty to the goddess of war.

       Viriato fought 8 major campaigns against the Romans

  and was so successful that the Roman proconsul was forced

  to reconcile a treaty with him.  In the end, Viriato was

  murdered by a traitor of his own people in the pay of the


       Viriato's name derives from the Celtic word Viriae

  meaning arm-bands or bracelets.  They were usually made of

  gold or silver and were given as a reward for military

  feats.  A statue of a warrior wearing such bracelets was

  found at the main entrance of the strategic Celtic hillfort

  Citânia de Sanfins in Portugal.



NAME         Viridomar

EPITHET      Armoricus / Son of the Rhine


GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / chieftain

TYPE         mercenary

CULTURE      Belgae - Gaesatae warrior

COUNTRY      France or Belgium / Italy

TERRITORY    Gaul / Belgica / Cisalpine Gaul


SITES        confluence of the Addua and the Po

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 3rd c / BC 222 (died)

ENEMIES      Claudius Marcellus

REMARKS      The Belgae chieftain Viridomar led a force of

  30,000 Gaesatae over the Alps and battled with the Romans

  on the right bank of the Po near the mouth of the Addua

  tributary.  Claudius Marcellus challenged Viridomar to

  single combat and Viridomar lost.  Viridomar had the

  epithets "Armoricus" and "Son of the Rhine".



NAME         Viridomar


GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / chieftain

TYPE         horse warrior / freedom fighter / war leader

CULTURE      Gallic - Ædui tribe

COUNTRY      France / Switzerland


SITES        Alesia (Alise Ste Reine)

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c / BC 52

BATTLES      Alesia

ENEMIES      Rome

SEE ALSO     Comm / Eporedorix / Vercassivellaunus /


REMARKS      Viridomar led his warriors in an attack against

  the rear of the Roman forces while they were sieging

  Vercingetorix and his warriors at the Mandubii fortress of


       The only hope Vercingetorix and his sieged warriors

  had were the bands of warriors led by Eporedorix,

  Vercassivellaunus and Viridomar under the war leader Comm.



NAME         Viridovix

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / chieftain

TYPE         war leader

CULTURE      Armorican - Venelli tribe

COUNTRY      France

REGION       Normandy

LANDMARKS    Orne river

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c / BC 56

ENEMIES      Rome

REMARKS      Viridovix waged a war against Rome with warriors

  of the Aulerci, Eburovices and Lexovii tribes.  The Roman

  commander planted a spy among Viridovix's troops to spread

  false rumors and make them believe the Romans were weak

  from lack of food.

       The Armoricans carried bundles of sticks up the hill

  intending to light the walls of the Roman camp on fire. The

  Romans waited until the exhausted warriors were almost to

  the top of the hill, then rode out with their horse

  warriors and slaughtered them.



NAME         Virotutis

EPITHET      Benefactor of Humanity

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         sun god

CULTURE      Gallic - Aulerci, Andes and Centrones tribes /

COUNTRY      France

REGION       Maine-et-Loire / Haute-Savoie

TERRITORY    Gaul / Aremorica

LANDMARKS    Loir / Loire / Alps

SITES        Jublains / Fins d'Annecy

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c

REMARKS      During BC 1st century, the sun god Virotutis was

  venerated by the Aulerci, the Andes who had a site at

  Jublains in Maine-et-Loire and the Centrones at Fins

  d'Annecy in Haute-Savoie.



NAME         Vismarus

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / chieftain

TYPE         mercenary

CULTURE      Gallic

COUNTRY      France


SITES        Jean

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 3rd c / BC 214

BATTLES      Jean

REMARKS      Vismarus was a Gallic mercenary who was killed

  in the battle of Jean while fighting for the Carthaginian

  Hasdrubal against Rome during the 2nd Punic War.



NAME         Vitiris


GENDER       M

SYMBOL       boar / snake

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         healer fertility god of war and the hunt

CULTURE      Britons - Brigantes

COUNTRY      England

REGION       Yorkshire / Durham



SITES        Netherby

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c

REMARKS      Vitiris was venerated at Netherby on the Wharfe

  river in northern Yorkshire.  The site was in the territory

  of the Brigantes and was in use in BC 1st century.  He was

  associated with boars and snakes.



NAME         Voricius

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     deity / warrior

TYPE         healer god

CULTURE      Gallic - Segusiavi tribe

COUNTRY      France

REGION       Allier


LANDMARKS    Allier river

SITES        curative spring at Vichy

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 1st c

REMARKS      Voricius was a healing god who was depicted as a

  warrior.  He was probably a sun god and he was venerated at

  the thermal springs at Vichy, especially by people with eye




NAME         Vortigern

EPITHET      The Great Chieftain

ALTERNATIVE  Guortigernus / Gwrtheyrn / Uvertigernus /

             Vertigernos / Vortigernos / Wortigernos

GENDER       M

CATEGORY     warrior / Brenin

TYPE         head chieftain

CULTURE      Briton - Cantii tribe

COUNTRY      England / Wales

REGION       Kent / Gwynedd {Gwin-eth} / Clwyd {clud}

TERRITORY    Gewissei / Gwynedd

SITES        Mount Erith (Snowdon)

AGE          Post-Roman

DATES        AD 5th c / AD 449 (invited Saxon)

RELATIVES    Renwein (wife); Vortimer, Katigern and Paschent


ENEMIES      Hengist / Renwein / Aurelius

SEE ALSO     Aurelius / Myrddin / Vortimer

REMARKS      Imperial Rome pulled their troops out of England

  leaving the domesticated Britons at the mercy of the

  unconquered Celts and Germani who were both in an expansion

  stage of their culture.

       Vortigern of Gewissei proved himself to be the most

  powerful chieftain in Britain, ridding himself of

  opposition which included the family of Constantine whom he

  killed or drove out.  In AD 449 Vortigern invited German

  warriors under the command of two brothers: Hengist and


       These two chieftains became very powerful and soon

  were inviting more of their people to come and settle in

  the new land.  Vortigern married the daughter of Hengist

  and the Britons became angry that the Saxons were being

  favored over themselves.  The Britons voted to give rule

  over to Vortimer, Vortigern's son from a previous marriage,

  who was anti-Saxon.

       The tribes of Britons assembled under his son and

  assumed the name Cymry (tribes that fight side by side).

  Vortigern fought with the Saxons and when they lost the

  fourth battle to the Cymry, he sought peace with his son.

  Vortigern's Saxon wife Renwein poisoned Vortimer and

  Vortigern again became the ruler and invited tribes of the

  Germani once more to Britain.

       This time the Germani came in a mighty force under

  Hengist.  He arranged an unarmed meeting between the

  Britons and Saxons, then slaughtered most of the Britons.

  Vortigern was also a target but he managed to escape and

  flee to the territory of the Ordovices tribe in Gwynedd,


       Vortigern was told by his druid to build a fortress on

  Mount Erith.  The fortress kept falling apart and the

  druids said they needed to sacrifice a fatherless boy. They

  found such a young lad but he had the sight of prophecy and

  explained that under the fortress lay two dragons in stone


       The young boy Myrddin explained that the red dragon

  represented the warriors of Britain and the white dragon

  represented the warriors of the Saxons.  The red dragon was

  under attack by the white dragon and this was causing the

  fortress to fall.  He then told Vortigern that the sons of

  Constantine were sailing to Britain with a mighty force of

  warriors and would assemble at Totnes in modern-day Devon.

  It was not long before Aurelius attacked Vortigern's

  fortress, destroying it by fire and killing Vortigern.



NAME         Vortimer

EPITHET      Supreme Chieftain / The Great Commander


GENDER       M

CATEGORY     hero / warrior / chieftain / Gwledig

TYPE         horse warrior / war leader

CULTURE      Cymry (tribes that fight side by side)

COUNTRY      Wales / England

AGE          Post-Roman

DATES        AD 5th c

RELATIVES    Vortigern (father); Katigern and Paschent

             (brothers); Renwein (step-mother)

ENEMIES      Saxons / Renwein

SEE ALSO     Vortigern

REMARKS      Vortimer, son of Vortigern, had strong anti-

  Germani feelings, and the tribes of Wales and England

  elected him the high chieftain.  This was the time when the

  name Cymry (tribes that fight side by side) came into


       Vortimer fought four major battles against the Saxons

  and counted a victory in each.  During the second battle,

  his brother Katigern fought a single combat with Horsa and

  both died of their wounds.  During the fourth battle, the

  Saxons left the country by boat and he and his father

  negotiated a peace treaty.

       Vortimer had all the land returned to his people and

  order was restored.  He died from a poisonous drink that

  was prepared by his father's wife.  He was buried at

  Trinovantum and his father was convinced by his stepmother

  to bring back the Saxons and other Germani tribes.



NAME         Vosegos


GENDER       M

SYMBOL       wolf

CATEGORY     deity

TYPE         god of nature

CULTURE      Gallic - Lingones

COUNTRY      France


LANDMARKS    Vosges Mountains / Moselle

SITES        Le Donon

AGE          Iron

DATES        BC 6th c / BC 1st c

ACCESSORIES  acorns / boar / hunting knife / nuts / pine

             cones / sack / spear / wolf

REMARKS      Vosegos was a nature god and carried the harvest

  of the forest in his pouch.  He wore a cape of wolfskin

  which was a symbol of the moon goddess.  He was the most

  revered tribal hunter of the forest.

       Vosegos also wore an assortment of animal heads and

  carried a long-handled instrument that could be used for

  dislodging nuts from the trees.  A sculpture shows him

  resting his right hand on the antlers of a young stag under

  his protection.  There is also some foliage on the same

  relief, giving an early Green Man image.

       The site is in an area which was controlled by the

  Lingones who settled the area in BC 6th century and were

  still there in BC 1st century when the Romans invaded.