It is the aim of this paper to summarize the scholarship which has been devoted to the cognates and derivatives of the divine name Nodons, found in certain Roman British dedications, and to see whether any fresh insights can be obtained by considering this scholarship as a whole. Since the hypotheses of Sir John Rhys have apparently served as a starting-point for all subsequent investigators, I shall give them in outline first of all. On the basis of various Germanic parallels, Rhys proposed to translate the name as something like "the wealthy one", citing the descriptions of the opulence of the chieftain Nudd Hael found in subsequent Welsh literature1. He discussed the temple of Nodons at Lydney, and affirmed the connection (apparently first noticed by Henri Gaidoz) between Nodons and the Irish Nuadu Argatlam ("Silver-arm")2. He pointed out that the Welsh name Nudd can be derived from Nodons, but found in references to the legendary Lludd Llawereint ("Silver-arm") a "more complete counterpart" to the latter3. It seems likely that alliteration with Llawereint was the motive for changing Nudd to Lludd, and Rhys gave the placenames Ludgate* and Lydney5 as evidence that the shift took place quite early. He
Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie (ZcP) – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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