The Provider





Smertrios is a Celtic deity, venerated in Gaul. Very little information about him survives. It isnot even conclusive that Smertrios was his name (although it is now). Smertrios may be a title, meaning “The Provider.” Smertrios’ primary consort was Rosmerta, whose name derives from the same root word (smert), referring to the providing of abundance. Smertrios also shared a shrine with the goddess Ancamna. The Romans identified him with Mars.

Based on archaeological evidence, Smertrios seems to have been widely venerated throughout Gaul as well as in the ancient Celtic kingdom of Noricum (corresponding to parts of what are now modern Slovenia and Austria). An image of Smertrios is on a pillar dedicated by first century CE. Parisian sailors, discovered in the eighteenth-century beneath the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The pillar is covered with carvings of spirits. Smertrios is at the top of this pillar in the company of Cernunnos and the Dioscuri. (Rosmerta appears on one of the pillar’s lower tiers).


On the Pillar of the Boatmen, Smertrios is depicted as a bearded, muscular man who confronts a snake, which rears up before him.


Club, torch


Cernunnos; Dioscuri; Mars; Rosmerta and the Glossary entry for Identification


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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